Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quote of the day--from Howard Fast's Spartacus, from Gutenberg Project site--

He whispers the empty philosophy of his kind and his profession, "Dum vivimus, vivamus." But it is empty and without solace, and his bones and muscles ache as he stands up to begin his day and force his body and mind to the task of killing Spartacus — whom he loves and values above all other white men in the place. Yet isn't it said, "Gladiator — make no friends of gladiators." IV They went to the baths first, the four of them walking together in silence. It was no use to talk, because there was nothing for them to talk about now, and since they would be together from now until they entered the arena, talking would only worsen the situation. Already, the baths were steaming hot, and they plunged into the murky water quickly, as if everything had to be gotten through without thought or consideration. The bath house was quite dark, forty feet long and twenty feet deep, and lit, once the doors were closed, only by a small mica skylight. Under this pale light, the water of the bath was dull gray, overlaid by the hot mist rising from it, steaming from the red-hot stones which had been dropped into it, filling the whole bath house with the heavy texture of vapor-saturated air. It penetrated every pore of Spartacus 's body, relaxed his tense muscles, and gave him a strange, divorced feeling of ease and comfort. The hot water was a never- ending wonder to him, and never did the dry death of Nubia wash entirely from him; and never could he enter the bath house without reflecting on the care given to the bodies of those who were bred for death and trained to produce only death. When he had produced the things of life, wheat and barley and gold, his body was a dirty, useless thing, a thing of shame and filth, to be beaten and kicked and whipped and starved — but now that he had become a creature of death, his body was as precious as the yellow metal he had mined in Africa. And strangely enough, it was only now that hatred had come to flower in him. There was no room for hatred before; hatred is a luxury that needs food and strength and even time for a certain kind of reflection. He had those things now, and he had Lentulus Batiatus as the living object of his hatred. Batiatus was Rome and Rome was Batiatus. He hated Rome and he hated Batiatus; and he hated all things Roman. He had been born and bred to accept the tilling of the fields, the herding of cattle and the mining of metal; but only in Rome had he come to see the breeding and training of men so that they could cut each other to pieces and bleed on the sand to the laughter and excitement of well bred men and women.

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