Parthagica Directory 08
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Parthagica Directory 08
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Thus Rome was a city supported, in a great measure, by the fruits of its conquests, that is, in a certain sense, by plunder. It was a vast community most efficiently and admirably organized for this purpose; and yet it would not be perfectly just to designate the people simply as a band of robbers. They rendered, in some sense, an equivalent for what they took, in establishing and enforcing a certain organization of society throughout the world, and in preserving a sort of public order and peace. They built cities, they constructed aqueducts and roads; they formed harbors, and protected them by piers and by castles; they protected commerce, and cultivated the arts, and encouraged literature, and enforced a general quiet and peace among mankind, allowing of no violence or war except what they themselves created. Thus they _governed_ the world, and they felt, as all governors of mankind always do, fully entitled to supply themselves with the comforts and conveniences of life, in consideration of the service which they thus rendered.

Sir Roger Casement, of Putumayo atrocities fame, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Manaos, possessed a most beautiful specimen of the _Macrocerus hyacinthinus_. It was most touching to see the pathetic devotion which existed between master and bird and _vice versa_. Only the people of the hotel where we both stayed did not appreciate the magnificent blue-black visitor, for when its master was out it spent all its time chipping off pieces from tables and chairs, and took the greatest pride and delight in flinging forks, knives and spoons off the dining-room tables, and tearing the menus to strips. The Brazilian waiters, in their caution to maintain their own anatomy intact, did not dare go near it; for the bird, even on hearing remarks made on its behaviour, would let itself down the sides of chairs and defiantly proceed to attack the intruders.

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