On the Capitoline Hill

May 25, 2007 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Just writing | Leave a comment

“Senator Barca, now that you’re retiring, what advice do you have for us younger Citizens?” A reporter from the Sentinel Post inquired.

“Son. There is little I have to impart to you young go-getters. I am an old man from a different generation,” came the reply.

Senator Barca had served the Republic for as long as anyone could remember. Having come from the finest pedigree the Republic had to offer, his career was laid out from the start. Yet little did anyone know what an impact this man would have on the growth, history and future of the Republic.

“Would you say that your time here at the Senate has been a success?” Shot the reporter from the Daily Gazette.

“Success? My friend it depends what success is. For some of my fellow Citizens, it is the amount of money they have stashed away in the banks. For others the size of their Villas or their sedans. Me? I tend to define success as the ability to go to sleep at night knowing that what I did today was right. I am a man of simple expectations. I am successful because I can retire without regrets,” Senator Barca waxed on.

As a young tribune with the 4th Legion, Senator Barca had successfully out down the rebellion led by some leading families who had hope to seize power. Unlike most other tribunals who served time in the legions so as to advance their careers, Barca worked hard for his men. His commanding officer, Legatus Legionis Parvian, once mentioned that his young tribune would shake the very core of the Republic. Having instituted a pension for the men of the 4th, affordable housing for their families, proper education for themselves and their children, and ensuring that injured and handicapped members of the 4th were well cared for after their discharge. Barca’s efforts earned the 4th the nickname “Barca’s Lucky Boys,” which it still proudly displays on all its official letterheads.

“What do you think is your greatest accomplishment, Senator?” Came the question from the back.

“Being able to retire knowing no one is waiting around the corner to stab me,” joked Barca.

Barca’s career was paved with much accomplishment. He successfully ended the Moravii dictatorship that had usurped its powers. He had improved the living conditions of the lower classes. Having served as Consul twice, he had turned down the post of Consul-for-life when offered to him by the people. He served as Dictator numerous times, but each time after the threat had passed, he stepped down immediately and returned power to the Senate. A lesser man would have seized power, but not Barca. The young Republic needed proper role models on how to rule itself, and Barca ensured that the institutions set up did not atrophy from lack of use.

“What will you do after this? Can you really walk away from all this power and privilege? All the perks and wealth?” Came a pointed question from the Sun Herald reporter.

“Yes. I can. That’s the short answer. I look forward to spending time with the grandkids at my estate. I also look forward to tending my vines. They have been neglected these many years,” Barca answered looking wistfully at his estate over the hill.

“Well gentlemen, if you do not mind, I have a retirement to enjoy and a whole lifetime’s worth of living to do in a decade or two.” Senator Barca walked out of the Senate Halls to the setting sun and the cheers of the people lining the streets from the Capitoline to his villa. It indeed is rare to have a man taste ultimate power and walk away just as contended as when he first walked in.

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