I’m leaning against the bookshelves when it occurs to me that one thing here is real-the books. I reach behind me and let my fingers trail over the rough leather of their antique spines, then pull one free. Nobody here reads them; the books are for decoration. Chosen for the richness of their leather bindings not for the contents of their pages. Nobody will miss one, and I need a dose of reality.

A ruler must learn to persuade and not to compel… he must lay the best coffee hearth to attract the finest men… a good ruler has to learn his world’s language… it’s different for every world… the language of the rocks and growing things… the language you don’t hear just with your ears… the Mystery of Life… not a problem to solve, but a reality to experience…

Understanding must move with the flow of the process.

But George knows he can’t do that. Because, absurdly, inadequately, in spite of himself, almost, he is a representative of the hope. And the hope is not false. No. It’s just
that George is like a man trying to sell a real diamond for a nickel, on the street. The diamond is protected from all but the tiniest few, because the great hurrying majority can never stop to dare to believe that it could conceivably be real.

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