No, that can’t be right.
This is Rome, after all. Yes, Rome in all her grandeur. And the year is 36 AD, if I knew what ‘AD’ meant. Anno Domini, they say, ‘The Year of our Lord.’
Not that I have any idea what you’re talking about. Our lord is, of course, the great and glorious Emperor Tiberius. But this you surely know.
They whisper in the streets that Tiberius only rose to power because his step-father was the mighty Caesar Augustus, but if you were to only see the man, you would know that this is not the case. Indeed, you may find many here who would disparage the great emperor as a fool at best and a madman at worst, but these are nothing but false reports!
Of course, you may not have the good fortune to see Emperor Tiberius. He is away presently, as he so often is, at his villa in Capri.
But just because he’s off in some pleasure villa doesn’t mean he’s not working tirelessly to make Rome great again! Granted, our historian Tacitus has recorded the emperor as a temperamental man who goes on rants (such as decrying the Senate as ‘men fit to be slaves’), but do you know what? I can appreciate an emperor who says exactly what’s on his mind.
Not like these purveyors of wicked falsehoods!
I speak, as you must know, of Gaius Suetonius, who like Tacitus, has recorded that our emperor as ‘paranoid.’ Paranoid! Can you believe such falsehoods should be uttered against the emperor?
Worse yet, they accuse him of impropriety and immorality with women and youths! By all the gods, what would become of the republic if such things were true?
Why, the very sanctity of the imperial seat would come into question! Future generations would mock us as decadent fools for tolerating a lunatic to dictate the affairs of state! Why, even the barbarian Gauls would be laughing at us!”
Meanwhile, In France – 1394
“And we should be right to laugh at that pederast imbecile Tiberius! Our beloved Monarch? Our blessed Charles, sixth of his name? He wouldn’t never touch a child! Or a woman! Or anyone, for that matter, as he believes he is made of glass and with shatter into ten thousand fragments at the slightest nudge.
But is this truly madness? Certainly our sovereign may utter all manner of things, but any man of reason knows not to believe him!
Mon Dieu! He is the king, is he not? And what harm is there? For once – for once we are led by a man who speaks his mind! Must we question also the state of his mind? Next you’ll be telling me that you take issue with his recent order to
deport expel the dastardly Muslims Jews who are plotting our downfall!
Why, it’s almost like you would have us believe that leaders who are erratic and delusional may somehow be detrimental to the good of the people! Dégage! Look at the English! They are stuffed to burst with mad kings and queens and they‘re doing fine!”
Meanwhile, In Britain – 1783
“Yes, yes – we’re doing fine. Absolutely splendid. No need to question that. It’s odd that you’d even ask. Anyways, thanks for stopping in. And if you see someone standing in his nightgown, addressing a tree as if it were the king of Prussia, I assure you that it is certainly not his majesty King George III. In fact, King George isn’t even here. He’s visiting the colonies in the Americas. Because we still have those as well and there’s no reason to check. Thank you. Goodbye.”
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