Two bold kings shared a feast in the shadowed garden and debated the nature of justice.
The nature of Justice is the consent of his people, spoke the first. When a king makes his judgments, his people know that they are just because they have consented to the king’s own rule. So long as a King assumes his throne rightly, by succession, his decisions cannot help but be just, for those decisions have been consented to by his subjects.
Nay, responded the second, the nature of Justice is the blessing of the gods. For if a king’s subjects rise in rebellion, they may not have justice in their mind, but a keen envy for his gold and lands. But the gods have an envy for nothing a king holds dear. When a king makes grand conquests and fathers many sons, the blessing of the gods is clearly upon him, and so his rule is Just. If a King’s rule grows unjust, then the gods will grant him no further blessings, and his rule will soon crumble.
Pfaaw, snorted the gardeness, hands gone to rough leather from an age tending her natural domain, as she came across their debate. What do kings know of justice? It is not their currency. What you wager over is the nature of strength. The king that survives the rebellions of his subjects, and overcomes the defenses of his neighbors, such a king is surely strong, but strength is not justice. What matters succession when the king grows to be an addle-minded tyrant? What matters the blessings of the gods when they can be mistaken for a sufficiently procreative harem?
Chastened, the two kings turned to one another.
Tis true, said the first, that a king’s survival in the face of rebellion is not sufficient to name him Just.
Indeed, agreed the second, and that any gutter-rat can father a brood that shares his name. A king must be strong, but strength is not justice. We must raise up men who can consider the blessings of the gods, for that is their consent to the rule of kings.
Having reached mediation, they gathered in their palaces men wise in the knowledge of the gods and took wisdom from them, crafting their rule to draw the gods’ blessings.
And the gardeness returned to her labours, tending the earth that fed their people, and upon which their armies trampled and freely shed the blood of man.