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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cazaril, from Bujold's The Curse of Chalion, on war

"Chalion lost more than dy Jironal gained on that ill-conceived venture."
Iselle's eyebrows bent. "Was it not a victory?"
"By what definition? We and the Roknari princedoms have been pushing shoving over that border area for decades -- it's now a waste. Orchards and olive groves and vineyards burned, farms abandoned, animals turned loose to go wild or starve -- it's peace, not war,that makes wealth for a country. War just transfers posession of the residue from the weaker to the stronger. Worse, what is bought with blood is sold for coin, and then stolen back again." He brooded, and added bitterly, "Your grandfather Roya Fonsa bought Gotorget with the lives of his sons. It was sold by March dy Jironal for three hundred thousand royals. It's a wondrous transmutation, where the blood of one man is turned into the money of another. Lead into gold is nothing to it." (Lois McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion, New York: HarperCollins, 2001, pp. 131-2) Cazaril is in Roya (king) Orico's menagerie with Iselle, now 16, the Roya's half-sister, and Betriz, her companion, a little older. He is tutoring them. Umegat, who runs the menagerie, is also present. The conversation starts with a discussion of a rare bird brought to the menagerie by dy Jironal.

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