Hear me, my dear sons, for now you stand within the kingdom's chalice. You look at the aristocrats with awe. You extend your hands, desiring their wealth, their lavish houses, their vibrant, elegant garments. You lust for their daughters. You envy their blood, their honors, their status. You wish to follow in their footsteps. As you grow, you discover the chasm that separates us; the bitter fate that awaits the common man. You learn to despise them – for all their glory, for all their light. Yet know this: all of that is but a flicker.
Be wary of the hidden depths masked behind those vicious smiles, the wickedness that smolders within their minds, the otherworldly intellect they possess, and the darkness that befalls the wide alleyways when the night comes. Petty kings rule petty kingdoms: blossoming gardens spiraling up into the sky, laden with lilacs and hydrangeas, leading up and far away from the downtown stench, where they can live oblivious to the pains of lesser men.
There is nothing in this world an aristocrat's money can't buy. Yet riches won't ever bring them true happiness: the richer they get, the poorer their fates.
Despite that, they keep on clinging to their usual lives, their putrid pasts. Unable to change, indifferent to the world around them. Their hearts remain cold, their gazes fixed somewhere beyond the murky horizon. What visions do they see? Maybe they don't want to change? Maybe they’ve already given up? Ultimately, what would they gain? Carnal pleasures became their only escape: the bitterness of the evening wine, the sweet, rose-fragrant lips, the blazing sensation of fever-moistened, intermingling bodies. The will and passion to live. The passion to live their short lives to the fullest extent, ignoring the dangers lurking behind every corner; chasing wildly after their dreams, until they run out of breath. Isn't it the same for us all? Do we really differ that much?
-The Sons and Daughters of Antioch, by anonymous writer
What is the true measure of a man?