Machiavelli goes up to the counter and orders four espressos. He begins systematically placing his cups of coffee on tables, kicking out all of the previous customers, and bartering with the baristas until he is in full control of the shop. He begins taking over numerous Starbucks locations throughout the city, and he rises through the ranks until he becomes the new CEO of the company. He has completely reorganized the power structure of the company, although a few baristas have been mysteriously killed. It doesn’t matter. The ends justify the means.
He thinks he owns her. They all do. In the streets they cry out for her; queen, saint, saviour. They clamber at the palace gates, and she opens her arms to them. They think she’s a fairy-tale, but she is a knife in the dark, a poisoned chalice. She will own every last golden apple.
He thinks the kingdom is his, but she could have him replaced. The barons are under her thumb; the general dreams of falling into her bed. She bears her husband daughters and teaches them to smile. If a man ever tries to make you love him, she tells them, crush him under your heel.
“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger, but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”
“…for the gap between how people actually behave and how they ought to behave is so great that anyone who ignores everyday reality in order to live up to an ideal will soon discover he had been taught how to destroy himself, not how to preserve himself.”