Constantia ii

Setting: Dawn Avenue, Constantia
Personae: Sir M. Thatcher – a businessman; Francis – a reporter
Scene 2:

right, so here are two bottles from my famous beech cellar, as you called it. but you have to make a choice. either a glass of this rich red Columella…

Columella – as in the agricultural writer from the Roman Empire?

precisely, it’s named after him…

I’m intrigued

… or you can try this sweet Constantia wine. Napoleon is said to have had a weakness for it. apparently that’s all he could stomach on his deathbed

even more interesting

well, choose wisely. your pick will decide the nature and course of our conversation

fair enough, Columella it is – please

you just proved my instincts right. you’re a man of intellect… but not passion. you play safe

and you know that because…

it’s simple – a man’s taste is determined by temperament

I can see the correlation…

clearly you couldn’t dare drink a great man’s favourite… irrespective of choice, they are both exceptional wines… locally grown in fertile grounds

thank you, no regrets here… it’s exquisite! much appreciated


out of curiosity, please do tell me about what kind my disposition is

don’t stress – you are who you are… I can accept that. can you?

accept who I am or what you are?

ah! what I am is a man of ambition

I was going to say…

no bother, just messing with you. whatever I am remains to be seen, correct? unless you’ve come here with preconceived and unalterable notions… in which case I would have to ask again what the point of conducting this interview is

oh no, of course not. benevolently unbiased. I promise

a little early to be making promises methinks

well, you seem to be a very accommodating man

your words! now let’s get down to business and matters of interest… but no stupid questions… and none of that utilitarianism bullshit. I can’t stomach it. the crowd has always been less enlightened than the individual. and don’t try to be revolutionary. remember you’re in my home

you have my word. I know all too well that revolution is neither rational nor everlasting

not to sound Machiavellian… although I do question – is not everything but an instrument to secure the end, and is not yours to gather secrets to share with the state press?

can’t say I agree… I find myself leaning more towards Aristotle’s view that ‘… the state should exist for the sake of the noble life’ and so, any service to its benefit is for the greater good, in my opinion

there lies the contradiction… noble implies hierarchy but on the other hand it alludes to the aspect of high morality… unless of course you agree that in our sociopolitical economy the definitions are synonymous, despite the obvious differences

you have a point

so don’t be hasty in your judgements, Francis. there’s a fine line between success and sorrow… one day you rest, the next misery follows

not sure I’m following…

how else can I put it… you know, my good friend Murdoch once taught me an important lesson


the one and only… he gave me a great piece of advice – that as men of business, we need not worry about approval ratings. we aren’t politicians. we chase success. create and run empires…

I see…

anyway, forget I said that… off the record. I don’t expect you to understand – I’m sure that just sounds like any ‘ol hackneyed sayings to you

not at all. makes perfect sense

so you say, but your choice suggested something else. you’re playing polite but I know… as Taine eloquently expressed ‘while manners have become elegant and tastes delicate, the hearts and characters of men have remained ferocious’. I’ve done my research. read some of your interviews, and personally, I think in most instances you could have been more objective. but then again, that’s just my opinion

I’ll be fair Sir Thatcher, you have my word

right then, in that case let me tell you a story that’s never been told


© Heath Muchena, 2016

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