So Much Bigotry,
So Much Bias

“Octavius who is dead among the living” and “Octavius who is inimical-barren-undignified to Maat” and “Octavius who is a camel expert” are some of the epithets the Egyptian masses now have for their best benefactor; the Roman people similarly have to endure such idiosyncratic vilification as “you who are all aggression-activity-judgment when you yourself shall be judged, and judged you shall be in the court of the forty-and-two assessor gods and found wanting by Osiris-Thoth-Devourer and suffer oblivion or be stuck in the worst of duats.”

Given the debauched state of that society, our men will simply overrun and secure the land within a matter of days. Physical liberation, however, will prove only one tenth of our work. How can we win the hearts and minds of a country that cares for no counsel, that cannot muster more than mean understanding, that is very little disposed to reign in its stormy temper? A future in which Egypt will be our friend and ally rather than a taxing dependent can only come to fruition if Egypt’s mistaken education is rectified, if Egypt learns that there is more to life than passing it away in bounding from one empty pleasure to the next, if Egypt arrives at the conclusion that its refusal to stand for Mediterranean values has been nothing but the certain mark of confined views.

Our troops are glorious and steady to their purpose, but this particular victory — and it will be a great victory indeed — is not theirs to achieve. Only a priest of Saturn qualifies, and of those only the most veteran, the most versatile, the most adept must be sent. Only they can discover to Egypt that its orthodoxies far from tally with reality, only they can bring up Egypt to think beyond its own nose, only they can persuade Egypt of the advantages of letting itself be guided by the dictates of reason. To start them on the road to knowledge will be their central goal and enough of a goal it will be.

And finally — finally! — the country will one day have matured to believe — more than believe, know — that indifference is not an option and at last transition to an esteemed colleague among nations and begin to make its proper contribution to the world at large. And what a day that will be!