Golden fool, p.73
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       Golden Fool, p.73

         Part #2 of Tawny Man series by Robin Hobb
 

  There were so many things I wanted to discuss with him. I wanted to review the Prince’s mission and talk about Web and ask him why he now gambled so much and what his wild extravagances meant. But I suddenly wanted to add no more words to what we had said tonight. As he had said, it balanced now. It was a hovering scale between us; I would chance no word that might tip it awry again. I nodded to him and rose slowly. When I reached the door, I said quietly, “Then, good night, Fool. ” I opened the door and went out into the corridor.

  “Good night, beloved,” he said from his fireside chair. I shut the door softly behind myself.

  Epilogue

  The hand that once wielded both sword and axe now aches after an evening of the quill. When I wipe the tip of one clean, I often wonder how many buckets of ink I have used in a lifetime. How many words have I set down on paper or vellum, thinking to trap the truth thereby? And of those words, how many have I myself consigned to the flames as worthless and wrong? I do as I have done so many times. I write, I sand the wet ink, I consider my own words. Then I burn them. Perhaps when I do so, the truth goes up the chimney as smoke. Is it destroyed, or set free in the world? I do not know.

  Page 270

 

  I used to doubt the Fool when he told me that all of time was a great circuit, and that we are ever doomed to repeat what has been done before. But the older I get, the more I see it is so. I thought then that he meant one great circle entrapped all of us. Instead, I think we are born into our circuits. Like a colt on the end of a training line, we trot in the circular path ordained for us. We go faster, we slow down, we halt on command, and we begin again. And each time we think the circle is something new.

  My father’s raising was given over, all those many years ago, to my grandfather’s half-brother, Chade. In his turn, my father gave me over to his right-hand man to rear. And when I became a father, I trusted that the same hand could best raise my daughter in safety. Instead, I took in another man’s son and made Hap mine. Prince Dutiful, my son and yet not mine, also came to be my student. And in time, Burrich’s own son came to me, to learn from me that which his own father would not teach him.

  Each circle spins off a circle of its own. Each one seems a new thing but in truth it is not. It is just our most recent attempt to correct old errors, to undo old wrongs done to us, and to make up for things we have neglected. In each cycle, we may correct old errors, but I think we make as many new ones. Yet what is our alternative? To commit the same old errors again? Perhaps having the courage to find a better path is having the courage to risk making new mistakes.

 
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