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Chapter 19


For Love’s Sake

Men and women eat breakfast together – Kronus speaks to the women – Women to be considered as precious – Two labors: tending house/gardens, improving the self – “This house will I give you to be as a school” – Kronus to teach skills – A plea for one year of silence – The women receive a golden necklace and new clothes – Women are asked to choose a leader among them – The chief steward expresses his fears – Kronus: “Life is risk” – The women, undecided, ask Kronus to choose one to lead – Kronus chooses the First Woman of the house, and gives a bracelet of gold

 

1  Now on the morrow, at the rising of the sun, were the women awakened from their slumbers by the soft ringing of the bells; and the women, rising from their pallets, did most quickly freshen and set in order the uppermost room.

2  And there appeared suddenly and unannounced, Kronus Maximillius, and with him also came the chief steward of all his house; and every woman, seeing again the Master, did most inwardly leap for joy, for in his presence did every woman feel herself esteemed and highly favored.

3  And there followed after the chief steward, a great many servants bearing baskets of fruit and sweet warm breads; and there was also brought unto the women a variety of fruit juices; and there was added unto this, a special hot drink of chocolate and mint together blended.

4  Then did Kronus speak to the women, saying: “Come, my darlings, and eat and drink your fill; for this day shall I place before you a new life filled with promise.” And so saying, Kronus took to himself a bit of fruit and did himself eat of it.

5  Then did every woman come forth themselves to partake also; and for the first time within the empire did the man and the woman eat their food together, to mingle in some social fashion as though they were equals, and not as slave or master.

6  And every woman was filled with amazement concerning the kind regard and gentle ways of their good but fearsome lord; evensomuch that they would set aside their fear of him, and in their hearts become most anxious to please him.

7  Now when they were finished eating, Kronus gathered all the women unto himself, and taking the chief steward also, he led them out of the manor and into the innermost gardens of his estate; and taking them into a separate house, he spoke unto them, saying:

8  “In this house is it appointed by custom and tradition that every noble master should imprison the women which serve him; yet have I removed from you the chains of bondage and despair, having placed you in the uppermost floor of the manor whereby we might dwell together in peace and joy, having cast aside the fearful shadows of ages past.

9  For I have sworn upon my Mother’s heart to break in pieces the hurt and fear of all your days; to chase from the heart and mind of you, such terrors as would haunt you night and day, to fill your lives with pain and weeping.

10  Know then, my darlings, that in the House of Kronus shall you be most kindly treated; for I have given strong commands unto the chief steward of my estate, and to the captain of my guards, that in my house shall you never again be slapped or beaten, neither shall any man rape or abuse you in any fashion, lest he, himself, should die the death.

11  And not this only, for even I have set aside all manner of cruelties and harsh abuse; forbidding in my house that any woman should be branded or tattooed in any fashion; for I will not permit that any hurt should fall upon you; for of all the treasures of my estate have I counted you the greatest and most precious.

12  Thus in the House of Kronus shall you be most gently treated, to have given unto you all manner of courtesy and kind respect; for you shall hear no longer the angry words and cursing harshness of bitter men filled with hate; for even I shall guide you in the things which you shall do.

13  And if you shall prove yourselves both willing and faithful unto me, then shall I clothe you in soft raiments made beautiful and rare, and I shall place upon your feet, shoes to wear, and I shall adorn your bodies with ornaments of gold and silver and precious stones.

14  Yet would I give unto you even some greater assurance, for in the House of Kronus shall you never again feel thirst or hunger, for in the house which I shall give you, shall you be fed at your leisure; for I shall keep in your quarters every day, the freshest of fruits and vegetables; for I would give you strength and not weakness.

15  For the labors of your days shall I make as gentle as the summer rain, both pleasing and filled with purpose; for I shall set before you two labors only; for in the first shall you attend unto the house and gardens, to make beautiful and pleasing the place where you and I shall dwell together.

16  While in the second shall you labor most constantly in the improving of yourselves; for in you shall I create a treasure which far surpasses the luster of gold, or the sparkle of diamonds; causing that those men which should meet you, even they will yearn for themselves so great a treasure as I would make of you.

17  For this I tell you truly, that you are the seeds which I would plant into the heart of every man; and if you shall rise up within yourselves to some greater purpose, then shall you blossom forth to bear much fruit.

18  And all which see and speak and touch upon the softness of your lives, even these shall stand amazed and filled with wonder; desiring for themselves women of equal fashion and worth.

19  What then, my darlings, shall I do with this house, seeing that I will not imprison you herein? Come then and I will answer; for even this house will I give you to be as a school; for I would add to your beauty and comely form, a great many graces, tender and wise.

20  For you have felt already the harsh and brutal strength of every man, yet is there found in him a weakness greater than all others; for it is the softness of the woman which he fears most of all, finding therein an offense to such egos as do rule within him.

21  Thus will I teach you the ways of men, that you may set at liberty the ways of women; for such knowledge shall set at naught your fear of man, even as your grace shall set at peace the fears of every man.

22  Let us therefore be wise and set aside the fears and hate of every man through such curiosities as we shall place within him; to set in abeyance the fierceness of his ego through such soft and gentle graces as you shall cast upon him.

23  For this cause have I determined that you should take to yourselves a fullness of social graces; which graces even I have designed for the benefit of every man and every woman; for I will clothe in grace the fullness of your learning.

24  Thus in this school will I cause you to learn the arts and pleasures of sexual intercourse, and to this shall be added the arts of music, and singing, and dancing; and also the art of humor and gentle laughter.

25  These things will I, myself, teach you whereby you might set at ease the man’s fear of you; and I shall teach you also, the skills of language and of writing, the ways of science and of war, as well as mathematics; and I shall add to all these things, the history of the empire within and without.

26  And to this shall I add to your learning the psychology and inner workings of every man, whereby you might know more deeply the things which please him, and the things which drive him to rage and brutal fury.

27  For in this knowledge will you find that certain means which would set at ease your fear of man; for you know yourselves that if you fear a man to show it, then will the beast in man rise up to hurt and destroy.

28  But if you should remain most pleasing calm and most attentive, then does the beast in man cease its inward pacing; and in that moment are you saved from injury and destruction; for the beast in man will surely sleep before such graces as I would teach you.

29  Only be you wise and speak not a word to any man concerning such things as I would do for your sake; for you know already that beyond the walls of my estate is the world made cruel and heartless, for pain and death are ever vigilant to devour the weak and disobedient.

30  Thus would I command you to silence for one year only, that in that year I might create in you a new creature which will set free every other woman within the empire; to make equal to every man of power, the woman of grace and beauty.

31  For yet again would I tell you for your learning, that you are the seeds of something new and wondrous in the affairs of men; thus by your silence will you preserve yourselves from such noxious weeds as spring upon you unawares, to choke you of such light and nourishment as I would give you.

32  Therefore do I command you straightly to obey me in all things, to refrain yourselves from treachery, and to be silent and closely guarded whensoever you are beyond the walls of my estate; for by these means would you secure your place and station in the House of Kronus Maximillius.”

33  Now when Kronus had spoken these things, there came into the house a servant bringing with him the clothiers, cobblers and jewelers; each bearing the implements of their trades.

34  And Kronus, calling unto the jewelers, asked whether or not they had completed their commission; and the jewelers gave unto Kronus a large box which was heavily carved and overlaid with gold.

35  Then did Kronus smile, and turning to the women, he spoke, saying: “Come, my darlings, and I will give to you a gift far greater than any you have known before.” And opening the box, Kronus gave unto each woman a necklace of exquisite beauty and craftsmanship.

36  And each woman, receiving a necklace of her own, did gasp with delight and astonishment; for the necklace was heavily fashioned of gold, and there dangled from its center a small gold shield which bore on its surface the seal of their master’s house.

37  And when every woman had received around her neck, a necklace of her own, Kronus spoke, saying: “In the House of Kronus will you not be branded or tattooed; for this cause did I have fashioned for your sake, the gold necklace which now you wear.

38  Keep then this token in remembrance of my love for you; for this I give you freely, and it shall never be taken from you; for unto you would I give a fullness of goodly things.

39  Now, therefore, would I have you attend yourselves unto these clothiers and cobblers, for they shall create to your liking a great many clothes and shoes, that you might dress in stately fashion, the beauty of your flesh.

40  Only this one thing would I ask of you: For it is expedient that you choose for yourselves, the one which shall stand beside me as the First Woman of my house.

41  Therefore, choose from among yourselves, the one which shall preside among you; and when I return again unto you, even I shall accept whomsoever you have appointed to stand beside me.”

42  And so speaking, Kronus turned himself to go, and there went with him the chief steward; and when they were outside the house, the chief steward spoke, saying:

43  “My Lord Kronus, I fear greatly this thing you do. For if we offend the men of power, then will they reach forth to kill even all these women which you care for, to break them in pieces upon the rack.

44  For it is a dangerous thing to go against the traditions of those which sit in power; for if you would set aside the customs of the age, then will angry men rise up to consume even all of us together, thinking the whole of your estate polluted and corrupted.

45  I entreat you, my lord Kronus, do not risk all which you have gained for the sake of silly women; for women are incapable of such designs as you have set before them; being unworthy and inferior in their flesh and mind together when compared to men.

46  For this cause are women kept naked, that she might be constantly shamed into submission; being in themselves incapable of learning; having in themselves no capacity for greater things; being but empty vessels only where a man might cast his seed.”

47  But Kronus answered him, saying: “Life is risk, and he who risks nothing, gains nothing, is nothing. For we are all but dead already; being pushed and driven by constant fears and endless terrors.

48  To wait midst constant tremblings the coming of our doom; not knowing if today we live or today we die; for the rule of man is harsh and brutal, consuming both great and small, to take both suddenly and unawares the life of every man and every woman.

49  Why then will you hesitate to change forever the ways of men? For I tell you truly, that in the uplifting of every woman is there found life in place of death, joy in place of fear, and hope in place of blind despair.

50  For if I should dress the beauty of the woman with grace and tender speech, then will even the mightiest of men seek to have her; that by her presence in the affairs of men, might even the darkness of this brutal age fade itself away; being consumed by that softer light which in the woman dwells.

51  For what is death that you should fear it? For death is made that peaceful sleep which would deliver us from pain and torment, possessing in its calm embrace, a refuge from the storm.

52  Let us, therefore, be brave and not relent, for death is better than our constant fears; and dreams and visions more preferred than such slavish passions as would compel us towards some frightful doom.”

53  So spoke Kronus, but the chief steward spoke again, saying: “My Lord, I am not a brave man, for I am filled with fear and foreboding.” And Kronus, being filled with tenderness, spoke to him, saying: “Then stand you close beside me, and I shall prove brave enough for both of us. Come now, and let us tend to our labors.”

54  Now when it was evening, Kronus returned to the uppermost room of the manor; for the clothiers and cobblers had completed all their many measurements, and even they did promise that in one week’s time would all things be completed.

55  And going among the women, Kronus asked them, saying: “Tell me, my good and precious darlings: Whom have you chosen to be as the First Woman of my house?”

56  But the women stood themselves about, being uncertain how to answer; and Kronus spoke again most tenderly, saying: “Come, come, my darlings, do not be afraid. For whomsoever you have elected, even that one will I accept.”

57  Then did there step out from all the rest, the small woman whom Kronus loved, and she spoke, saying: “Most good and noble Lord, we know not how to choose. For in the affairs of men are we most uncertain.

58  Therefore, my lord, if you will choose for us, then are we all agreed that unto the woman which you would choose, even we shall prove most faithful to obey her in all things.”

59  And all the women, hearing this, gave ready assent, and Kronus, looking upon the woman before him loved her all the more, for she had proven herself most courageous and ready to lead. And Kronus spoke unto all the women gathered, saying: “This then is the woman I choose.”

60  And so speaking, Kronus placed his hand upon the woman which stood before him; and the woman, kneeling before her lord and master, spoke, saying: “Then, my lord, do I submit before all your power and might. Take me now that I might please you; for in my flesh shall you find pleasure and release of all your passions.”

61  But Kronus answered her saying: “I would not have you submit for power’s sake, but rather for love only.” And the woman answered him, saying: “My Lord, I know not this word, ‘love’. But if you will not take me to rape and plunder, then how shall these women know that I please you first above all the rest?”

62  And Kronus, reaching into his tunic, pulled out a bracelet finely made of gold, having emeralds and rubies placed upon it; and placing it upon the woman’s wrist, he spoke, saying: “By this token shall all women know of your place and station beside me. As for ‘love’, even this will I teach you that we might be one together.”

63  Then did the woman answer him, saying: “My Lord, for what cause would you honor me so?” And Kronus, lifting her upon her feet, did embrace her to himself, and kissing her upon the lips, he spoke, saying: “Only for love’s sake, dearest. Come now and let us go down to dinner, for I have prepared for all my darlings a great and sumptuous feast. For this day shall you sit and walk beside me always.”

64  Then did Kronus take the woman by the hand to lead her and all the others to the dining hall where they might eat and be merry together.

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