Thursday, 26 May 2016
Good And Bad
Senator Apuleius Vero, tribune of Aquilo;
praetorian prefect Ardens;
Stilicho, dictator of the Western Empire;
army veterans settled in Armorica thanks to Gratillonius;
former outlaws transformed into forest rangers;
tribes people benefiting from the suppression of pirates and bandits and from the revival of trade.
They never ask why, if he has done all this good, they regard him as bad. What they do consider is whether to oppress the Ysan colony with increased taxation and then they pragmatically discuss whether a tax would be insufficiently ruinous or unenforceable or resisted. Dispersing the Ysans would humble them and save their souls, of course. It is possible not only to oppress a social group but also to feel pious about it.
Martin Luther King wrote that laws cannot change the heart but can restrain the heartless. Something similar happens to the anti-Gratillonians. Bishop Martinus, the future St Martin, knows claivoyantly that these three men are currently plotting against Gratillonius in the basilica so he sends his kinsman, Sucat, the future St Patrick, to command them not to afflict the Ysans. This would after all hinder their evangelization.
Sucat does not wait for an answer. The principle plotters agree between themselves to heed the bishop but only as long as he remains alive and only because they fear his political and supernatural power. Blinded by hatred, they do not suspect that they are agents of the kind of evil that they claim to oppose.