Brutus and Prime Minister Singh
There's trouble brewing between Brutus and Cassius, the two main conspirators who have spearheaded the assassination of Julius Caesar. Each has his own followers among the Roman army, and they need each other's help in the looming war with the triumvirate of
Cas: "That you have wronged me doth appear in this:
You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians,
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, was slighted off."
Bur: "You wronged yourself to write in such a case."
Cas: "In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offense should bear his comment."
Brutus' decision to kill Julius Caesar was, at least in the spirit of the time, a principled one, there not being much point in idealizing Julius' fascist dictatorship. Like those of us alarmed by the misuse of the Commerce Clause, Brutus sought a return to a republic and not coincidentally, fair and honest administration.
So does India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who yesterday fired his country's Foreign Minister Natwar Singh (no relation) after Foreign Minister Singh was identified as one of the recipients of Saddam's Oil For Food blood money. This would be the equivalent of President Bush firing Secretary Rice for a similar offense. Natwar Singh stands as the first political casualty of the OFF scandal worldwide. And Prime Minister Singh stands proudly before the world, and usefully before his own nation, as an example of rectitude; intolerant of corruption. Here's how his meeting with Natwar Singh went yesterday:
Bru: "Let me tell you Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemned to have an itching palm,
To sell and mart your offices for gold
Cas: "I an itching palm?
You know that you are Brutus that speaks this,
Or by the gods, this speech were else your last."
"O ye gods, ye gods! Must I endure all this?"
Bru: "All this? Ay, more, Fret till your proud heart break.
Go show your slaves how choleric you are
And make your bondman tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humor? By the gods.
You shall digest the venom of your spleen
Thogh it do split you; for from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter…".
Hamlet: "In the corrupted currents of this world
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice,
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law."
Closer to home (for this America-based blog) stories continue to percolate about
Not only France but
Bru: "Shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman."