When I was a boy, my grandfather taught me the list of kings: Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Tarquinius the Elder, Servius Tullius. Tarquinius the Proud was to be the last, the very last, cast out and replaced forever by something called a republic. A mockery! A mistake! An experiment that failed! Today is the republic’s final day. Tomorrow, men will shout in the Forum, ‘All hail King Coriolanus!
But sometimes...sometimes I wake with a mad thought in my head: What if that boy's life mattered as much as anyone else's, even Caesar's? What if I were offered a choice: to doom that boy to the misery of his fate, or to spare him, and by doing so, to wreck all Caesar's ambitions? I'm haunted by that thought - which is ridiculous! It's self-evident that Caesar matters infinitely more than that Gaulish boy; one stands poised to rule the world, and the other is a miserable slae, if he even still lives. Some men are great, others are insignificant, and it behooves those of us who are in-between to ally ourselves with the greatest and to despise the smallest. To even begin to imagine that the Gaulish boy maters as much as Caesar is to presume that some mystical quality resides in every man and makes his life equal to that of any other, and surely the lesson life teaches us is quite the opposite! In stength and intellect, men are anything but equal, and the gods lavish their attention on some more than on others.