Monday, June 9, 1650
Aric will strike out for the slopes of Mt. Ossa, taking pathways that are steep and not that well travelled. By early afternoon, the two of you have climbed to a place where Symeon is able to see a considerable distance across the plain below, eight or ten miles to the horizon.
“Symeon,” will say Aric. “I have heard you speak of Greece as a single entity, and while I understand this thinking, I cannot say that I condone it. Greek thought has never been a single land or had a solitary existence. It has existed as slave, servant and master in a hundred lands, and whatever the political nature of its people, the ideas are not bound by mere soldiers or kings.
“You have said you wish Greece to be free. When has this land ever been free? We were Byzantines and the land was soaked with blood as usurper slaughtered king over and over. We were Roman and still there was blood. We were many independent cities and always, again, blood. And now you would raise more armies and drench the ground with more blood, to gain what? To make the land free. It is only land, Symeon. It does not breathe, it does not feel pain, it knows nothing of whose armored feet tread upon it, nor does it care. Think not of the land, but of the people in it, of the spirits that have dwelt here for ages upon ages, reaching back into the depths of time. When blood is what they want, they will call for it. If it satisfies them to have the land in the hands of the Turks, we cannot bring about a change.
“We must worry ourselves with those things that are in our grasp. We must keep chaos from breaking loose the bonds that keep it held ... the chaos that those bandits down there, who share your views, would release upon the land. Stop, now, and look out at the plains below. Do they seem ill at ease, or do they seem at peace. The land blossoms, food grows, children laugh and play, all is as it should be. Put aside this anger, and find instead peace yourself.”
It would be the character’s nature to ignore all this, but I will point out that when Symeon does look out at the plain, he DOES feel a sense of peace ... this would be a sight he would rarely see, and it would be compelling and even, if we must use a magic phrase for it, suggestive. So he may stuff all that down if he wishes, but he must admit to himself that the world is a beautiful place.