Setebos nods encouragingly at your choice and decision. He responds:
- A truly enlightened recommendation indeed! A wise choice, truly wise!
(Setebos mutters under his breath:
why, my anger hath indeed a privilege in the vile calumny of thy hated choice! Dost thou knowest not the triumph of Guillaume Shakspere, his tale of the bewitching of Searlas V, and the Siege of Dawlat al-Jaza-ir? I, Setebos, curse you!
Avaunt, vile tumescence! Thou art
The arbitrament of goatish treasons
Ichneumon to the risen asp of Man.
I would have an Emperor of Pillagers,
As false as Pharamond that plied
The women of Frankish lands, such hath been
The woe of thy thrusting braquemart.)
After clearing his throat carefully, Setebos resumes in an ordinary tone:
- And yet I am afraid it is a choice that is quite heretical... this tale of yours appears to exalt some Lowborn thief, encouraging the desecration of Machine Souls within the Void. Now doubtless this is a fable of the elder days, I see this author writes a tale in the gothic manner, the divided machine family as an allegory of consciousness and separation. We have adopted some of its manner in the administration of our Great Houses and corporations, for the executive governance of our holdings is entirely autonomous, machine-automated Boards Of Directors subordinated to our Will. Nonetheless I fear this heresy would displease the delicate and refined nature of Lady Praxagora - given her upcoming nuptials, her... great Modesty, and reticence, perhaps some other tract could encourage her to choose amongst the many suitors? A suitable ancient text to serve as the marital verses of her Epithalamion... Indeed, it is quite preposterous. A single utterance and glance from Lady Praxagora would suffice to end this Discourse of Salt And Iron, to finish that tedious and interminable debate, if only the Lady Praxagora would claim the Porphyogeniture of her Birthright and the Throne through consent of marriage...!
Mariamne protests a little:
- I think Lady Praxagora would not at all be shocked by this work! It is ancient and beautiful! And she is perfectly capable of understanding it, she is so clever and wise, although I have never met her. But she is virtuous and exquisite and elegant, so probably possessed of great intellect and grace too.
(You see Setebos suppress a satirical smile)
Before you can respond to this, a messenger interrupts your conversation: