For the benefit (?) of my English-speaking friends, I’ll start posting in this section of the Basin some English translations of selected texts of mine. The first is The Prince and The Palace. The translation is mine, but my Australian friend Maeve Vella gave me a tip or two in the polishing of the “A far greater injustice” sentence. The translation has now a touch of my dear Jinny Brown as well. Se você não fala inglês, em Bauru tem uma escola muito boa.
There’s also the story of the prince who thought it unfair to live in such a magnificent palace, so wisely built and richly finished—and being unable to admire it in its entirety because of living in it.
“The poorest citizen has a privilege I don’t”, the prince said. “He can admire the beauty of my palace from the streets, the fields, from any window. I claim that right for myself”.
He asked the three wiser men in the kingdom to come up with a solution for his problem.
The first one offered encircling the palace within a huge wall, covered with mirrors on the inside. “So”, he said, “not only will the prince be able to enjoy the reflection of his own palace from every window, but the common people will be prevented to enjoy what becomes a prince only”.
The second wise man brought the project of an exact duplicate of the palace, to be built on a privileged spot not far from there, which could be easily confiscated for this end. “So the prince will be able to enjoy day and night, in all its glory, a faithful image of his own palace.”
The prince wasn’t appeased, until the third wise man spoke.
“For your problem, Your Majesty, there’s no solution”, he said. “Your Majesty thinks unfair to live in the palace without being able to admire its beauty as your vassals do. Believe me, Sir, that’s the least injustice of all. A far greater injustice lies in the fact that, Your Majesty being the fairest of all princes, it is we, the very least of your vassals, who enjoy the sight of Your Majesty daily. It’s proper of beauty, Your Majesty, not to be suitably enjoyed by its owner. Let these fancies go and be content with the paradox of beauty: having it without being able to enjoy it. Be the fairest of princes in the fairest of palaces, and leave to the rest of us what becomes us: to admire them”.
The prince believed him, got cool, and forgot the entire idea.