Yet ideas can be true, although men die:
For we have seen a myriad faces
Ecstatic from one lie.
Auden, "Sonnets from China"
Among Master Jack's tribe there is a proverb, oft told, to justify Premium Services from Trusted Advisors, "Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations." Tutor has seen that cycle among upstart families, in the financial centers, and now Silicon Valley, how they rise and fall, from obscurity to wealth to folly to obscurity, or worse, and some have hired him, as Tess has, to provide a patina of culture, a touch of class, to the barbaric heirs. But that beating that proverb has not been the focus of his personal brand or business model. He follows Aristotle's theory of the polis. First democracy, then the rise of the nobles and autocrats at war with one another, then the demagogue or warrior king. The people turned against one another, while their pockets are picked, or turned against a common enemy. Then consolidated power, in king, queen, emperor, or figure like Tess who already owns a controlling interest in the world's assets, then revolution. Then over again, like shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves, but on a national or planetary scale. How to beat that proverb? Tutor is Old School and has an obvious answer. When the Leader or Owner rises above the law, when her power is the law, when she can point at the sea and say it is calm when it rages, and all agree; when she can point to night, and call it day, and all put on sunglasses, what matters is the Leader's character.
Tutor sewed the diamonds into the vest of youngest heir of the Tsar, and protected her from that first fusillade in the death pit into which she and her family had been cast. It was he who taught geometry and ethics to the Princes in the Tower, and gave them last rites, as they slept on the night before the emissary of the new king, strangled them in their beds. It was Tutor who counselled restraint to the adolescent King Charles the Second, and taught stoicism to the young Sun King, or tried. For us, however, for our time, for our body politic, there is hope. In Audrey Tutor has found a Once and Future Queen who will rule, like Elizabeth in Shakespeare's time, virtuous and just, warlike and kind, magnificent, and beloved of nobles, tradespeople, soldiers, bankers, and shopkeepers of all sects. First among savage equals, he is a Trusted Advisor of Last Resort. Committed to wisdom and virtue, as are all the best Trusted Advisors, he and he alone is an ordained monk. He alone has taken vows of chastity, poverty, and silence, keeping one of the three for now over one thousand years. His ignoble peers, most rooted in law, banking, or family counselling, serve families to preserve them. They call that their "fiduciary standard," and deem that their "noble trade." Tutor serves the best families to preserve God's Will on Earth.
Teachable moments for she who will rule us all: Holidays in the Castle. Pursuant to his Learning Objectives (the inculcation of wisdom and virtue) Tutor and Audrey will cook and serve a superb meal in the Great Hall to the servants and cooks, and to Seal Team Seven. Not Momma, and not Master Jack. They will neither serve nor be served, but for one meal serve themselves, as if they were middle class, who must open a can of tuna and chop celery unaided. Our future queen and her faithful Tutor will slave in the kitchen, all Christmas morning, and by 2 pm the help will roister in the hall, calling for seconds, and demanding service, drunk on wine and power, however temporary. But what will be on the menu? Tutor suggests a whole steer, roasted on a spit, or whole pig with an apple in its mouth, or peacocks or swans with feathers intact. But that would mean butchering an animal, a thought repugnant to Audrey. Tutor suggests lobsters boiled alive. And that is rejected out of hand as totally cruel. How could he even think like that? Even Rex the Rescue Dog whines at the thought. So, they have settled on hamburgers and hotdogs. (Logic? Have I not already explained that facts are malleable to power? Stow your logic. Smile. You want a hamburger? Or would you rather starve amidst plenty?)