Ancient Advice

Don’t know why, been on a Robert Graves kick recently. Started with Goodbye to All That last year (a better screed against war, especially those of the mindless variety, I’ve not read, go read it if you haven’t already) and have moved on to the Roman historical novels more recently (I Claudius, Claudius the God and right now King Jesus).

Claudius says there are essentially four types of men:

Scoundrels with Stony Hearts (really bad men)

Virtuous men with Stony Hearts

Scoundrels with Golden Hearts

Virtuous Men with Golden Hearts

He goes on to say that the best friend one can have is a Scoundrel with a Golden Heart. They get things done, even things that shouldn’t be done, in a time of crisis for their friends.

Interesting. Kept thinking about Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and which quadrant they fit in!

UPDATE: To be more clear, I think Bill is a doubt a Scoundrel with a Golden Heart. Maybe not to his actual friends, but to his constituents. Hillary? Not so sure…

NOV 07 UPDATE: Having watched Hillary more closely since I first wrote this, I think she’s probably a virtuous *man* (i.e, person) with a stony heart.  I think she wants to do the right thing most of the time, but her stony heart leads her toward calculated political triangulation — like voting for the war before she was against it.  I think Obama is probably a virtuous man with a golden heart. So is McCain (even though I fundamentally disagree with his politics).


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