Thursday, 21 December 2017

Kings Who Die

"'He knew that the time had come when the King must die that the folk might live, and the land be renewed by the willing sacrifice of his blood. So it was he walked to the Dark Mother consenting, with a smile, savoring every moment the more because it might be the last.'
"'Clotho spins, Lachesis measures, Atropos cuts,' Heuradys said with a sigh. 'We don't choose our fate, only how we meet it.'"
-SM Stirling, Prince Of Outcasts (New York, 2017), Chapter Twenty, pp. 429-430.

I disagree with:

the King must die;
willing sacrifice;
renewal by blood.

But I agree with:

accepting the inevitability of death;
savoring every moment;
choosing how we meet our fate.

Please read or reread the discussion here of Poul Anderson's "Kings Who Die."

This chapter by Stirling describes a sea food meal that I might (or might not) summarize!


David Birr said...

"the King must die"

"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest."
(Attributed to Denis Diderot; the closest thing to this he's CONFIRMED to have written translates as, "His hands would plait the priest's guts, if he had no rope, to strangle kings.")

Paul Shackley said...

Kaor, DAVID!

And I emphatically disagree with the violent sentiments attributed to Denis Diderot! To be ponderously literal minded, it's not the form of a gov't which matters--what matters if the people it rules accepts it as LEGITIMATE, monarchy or republic.

The more than two centuries since the hideous French Revolution has been a thoroughly disillusioning time for political dreamers and optimists. We have been shown over and over that republics and democracies can be as tyrannical and oppressive as any king. In fact, often far more so!

No, what matters is both whether or not a gov't, whatever form it has, is both accepted as legitimate and does not rule too intolerably badly. That is all conservatives like me think we can reasonably hope for. And I wrote an article about how Poul Anderson had exactly similar views.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Sean