Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Let the people pay for it!

Sally and I are deeply engaged with The Odyssey, using the splendid Robert Fagles translationand the equally splendid recording by Sir Ian McKellen. What great finds! Last night we heard King Alcinous tell his nobles to add yet more gifts to Odysseus's horde, and to send the bill--where else?--to the taxpayers at large:

'Here, friends, here's a command for one and all,
you who frequent my palace day and night and drink
the shining wine of kings and enjoy the harper's songs.
The robes and hammered gold and a haul of other gifts
you lords of our island council brought our guest--
all lie packed in his polished sea-chest now. Come,
each of us add a sumptuous tripod, and a cauldron!
Then recover our costs with levies on the people:
it's hard to afford such bounty man by man.'


Alcinous and his council would feel right at home in Washington today. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

2 Comments:

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Perf said...

Curious coincidence -- Snopes recently verified a Margaret Thacher quote: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger Dan Ford said...

Perhaps that's what happened to Greece. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

 

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