The pen, on his upward rise to rank among the mightiest and most honourable of instruments, held a grand position at court. Wielded by the most learned of ladies and lords, he scurried on parchments and was constantly nourished by the rarest of inked fluids. If decrees had to be passed, communiqués jotted, or other matters of state dispensed with, man called upon this instrument to his bidding.
However, an enemy had always existed long before our mighty protagonist took his rightful place in society. Cold, dreary and ghastly, the sword was the bane which the very society the pen wished to preside over had forged. Smelted in the tongues of greatest heat, he had had the onerous pleasure of smiting the weak, deriding the meek, and creating the lowly.
Our feared antagonist took it upon himself once to challenge the pen to a duel. Wielded by two opposing parties, the former looked down on the potential of the latter. In a rather gruesome turn of events, he sliced through the unarmoured chest of a wee lad – whose only offence, we should add, had been to conspire to show affection to a golden-haired lady of the court.
The said lad’s uncle, being a man of great learning and discernment, called upon the power of his instrument. With parchment, ink, molten wax, and the seal of his house, he poured his heart out and beseeched the lord of the castle of his birth to come to the family’s aid. Signed, sealed, and delivered, the communication thrust one ancient lineage against its newly-formed enemy.
Our dear reader will construe to forgive the war caused by these two instruments. One crafted to inform and record, the other raised from ores as black as darkest night, the War of the Instruments formed tales for many generations that followed. Banners were called, men armed, flags hoisted, and throngs marched to the King’s Court.
At the end of the crusade, which only occurred ages and ages hence, one instrument remained. Being the wiser of the two, the pen embedded its power in the hearts of men. He smoothly sailed from his dark corner atop the medieval desk of slate to a purveyor of law, justice and the ordering of humanity.
And so we got the constitution, a child of the pen and the written tenets of what ought and ought not to be done. Starting with the Magna Carta and sifting down from civilization to civilization, she all but banished the sword only to be beheld in the cold hallways of marbled museums, and admired as an instrument whose usefulness had long been exhausted.
To this day, babes in their cribs and nurseries continue grasping with the wisdom of the pen – that not only is it mightier than the sword, but also that brain always beats brawn. Alas! We must away to our mortal callings, never forgetting this age-old adage – what might seem small and insignificant often causes the fall of that which has the face-value of grandiose power.Read more "A TALE OF INSTRUMENTS"