|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|The Weakness of Kings|
|By François Fénelon (16511715)|
From Telemachus: Translation of Thomas Joseph Shahan
|MENTOR said to Idumæus:How comes it, since you know so thoroughly these wicked men, that you still keep them near your person? I do not marvel to see them follow you; that is in their own best interest; nor yet that you give them asylum in your new State. But why put trust in them after so much cruel experience? You are ignorant, replied Idumæus, how useless is all experience to princes who live in idleness and luxury a life of irreflection; they are dissatisfied with all about them, yet they lack the courage to correct what they disapprove. The habits of so many years held me as with chains of iron to these men, who in turn haunted me without ceasing. Since my arrival they have betrayed me into all the excessive expenditure that you behold; they have exhausted the growing State, and have drawn upon me the war that without your aid would have overwhelmed me. At Salentum I would have soon fallen a prey to the same misfortunes that worked my ruin in Crete. But you have now opened my eyes, and have filled me with the courage needed to throw off these shackles. I know not how it is, but since we are here I feel myself another man.|| 1|