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“Vetinari: "'You know, it has often crossed my mind that those men deserve a proper memorial of some sort." Vimes: "Oh yes? In one of the main squares, perhaps?" Vetinari: "Yes, that would be a good idea." Vimes: "Perhaps a tableau in bronze? All seven of them raising the flag, perhaps?" Vetinari: "Bronze, yes." Vimes: "Really? And some sort of inspiring slogan?" Vetinari: "Yes, indeed. Something like, perhaps, 'They Did The Job They Had To Do'?" Vimes: "No. How dare you? How dare you! At this time! In this place! They did the job they didn't have to do, and they died doing it, and you can't give them anything. Do you understand? They fought for those who'd been abandoned, they fought for one another, and they were betrayed. Men like them always are. What good would a statue be? It'd just inspire new fools to believe they're going to be heroes. They wouldn't want that. Just let them be. For ever.”—Sam Vimes and Lord Havelock Vetinari, Terry Pratchett, Night Watch (2002)
The current Patrician, head of the extremely rich and powerful Vetinari family, was thin, tall and apparently as cold-blooded as a dead penguin. Just by looking at him you could tell he was the sort of man you’d expect to keep a white cat, and caress it idly while sentencing people to death in a piranha tank; and you’d hazard for a good measure that he probably collected rare thin porcelain, turning it over and over in his blue-white fingers while distant screams echoed from the depths of the dungeon. Yes you wouldn’t put it past him to use the word ‘exquisite’ and have thin lips. He looked the kind of person who, when they blink, you mark it off on the calendar.
Practically none of this was in fact the case, although he did have a small and exceedingly elderly wire-haired terrier called Wuffles that smelled badly and wheezed at people. It was said to be the only thing in the entire world he truly cared about. He did of course sometimes have people horribly tortured to death, but this was considered to be perfectly acceptable behavior for a civic ruler and generally approved of by the overwhelming majority of citizens. The people of Ankh are of a practical persuasion, and felt that the Patrician’s edict forbidding all street theatre and mime artists made up for a lot of things. He didn’t administer a reign of terror, just the occasional light shower.
“Down there," he said, "are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathsomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. Sin, you might say, without a trace of originality. They accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don't say no.”—