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On The Obscenity Of Mansions

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1 On The Obscenity Of Mansions on Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:16 am

A pamphlet, seemingly printed with the same quality as the ever-popular Thea Starguide romances, begins to find its way around the city. Written in the human language, it can be summed up as follows:

[The pamphlet begins with a list of some of the more extravagant mansions and country villas in and around the city, contrasted with descriptions of slum tenements.]

“It strikes me as odd that those who own those slums are welcome at the finest of gatherings and their names respected everywhere, while those who merely live there are best handled with bailiffs and not allowed within fifty feet of the front door. What merit is there in such a name? Do the years of that name’s honoured existence crowd about its bearers like a great entourage – is that why the great families of our land need such big houses? Oh, glory to Olidammara indeed that the rich and haughty can steal not merely the labour and the fair judgement of the courts but even the very living space from the poor and be rewarded for their theft with yet more rights over their victims! For what recourse do the poor have but to enter service with our lords and with that service win modest lodgings in the very building where their masters enjoy suites!

[There follows descriptions of the cleanliness and good hygiene in the Sun District, and the diseases common in cramped dirty cattle-pens disguised as houses Westside.] The highborn carry pomanders to ward off the peasant stench as they ride past; shall the next step be blindfolds and earplugs?”

“What has become of hospitality? Does Yondalla no longer uphold the rights of those in need of shelter? For surely she cannot look upon the slums of this city and consider those hovels adequate. Ah, but I forget: it is money that is the true citizen of Bright-Light-on-the-Water, and a gold florin holds more weight than a poor child’s life as they cough up blood in the streets. The gods have simply accepted this reality faster than us blinkered mortals. Bury your coins with honour once they are too worn for use!

I have no right to demand anything of the poor: they know better than I what can be done in their conditions. But to the children of the rich, do we not spring from those alliances made to shore up our families’ power and wealth? I myself would not exist were it not for the desire to refurbish a spare mansion; what honour is there in such an origin?

Let us be gadflies stinging the pretensions of our births. Let us be the thorns of the roses that grow in manure. Let us confront our class with the truth of what we are, and lend our strength to the oppressed; the mighty have more than enough to go on with.”

The pamphlet is unsigned.
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