You need a special kind of mind to rule a city like Ankh-Morpork, and Lord Vetinari had it. But then, he was a special kind of person.
He baffled and infuriated the lesser merchant princes, to the extent that they had long ago given up trying to assassinate him and now merely jockeyed for position among themselves. Anyway, any assassin who tried to attack the Patrician would be hard put to it to find enough flesh to insert the dagger.
While other lords dined on larks stuffed with peacocks’ tongues, Lord Vetinari considered that a glass of boiled water and half a slice of dry bread was an elegant sufficiency.
It was exasperating. He appeared to have no vice that anyone could discover. You’d have thought, with that pale, equine face, that he’d incline toward stuff with whips, needles, and young women in dungeons. The other lords could have accepted that. Nothing wrong with whips and needles, in moderation. But the Patrician apparently spent his evenings studying reports and, on special occasions, if he could stand the excitement, playing chess.
He wore black a lot. It wasn’t particularly impressive black, such as the best assassins wore, but the sober, slightly shabby black of a man who doesn’t want to waste time in the mornings wondering what to wear. And you had to get up very early in the morning to get the better of the Patrician; in fact, it was wiser not to go to bed at all.
But he was popular, in a way. Under his hand, for the first time in a thousand years, Ankh-Morpork operated. It might not be fair or just or particularly democratic, but it worked. He tended it as one tends a topiary bush, encouraging a growth here, pruning an errant twig there. It was said that he would tolerate absolutely anything apart from anything that threatened the city.*
*And mime artists. It was a strange aversion, but there you are. Anyone in baggy trousers and a white face who tried to ply their art anywhere within Ankh’s crumbling walls would very quickly find themselves in a scorpion pit, on one wall of which was painted the advice: Learn The Words.
A motley crew of models in lace shirts, sequin jackets and brocade suits star in the recently revealed SS16 Gucci campaign. Featuring a skateboard, a stuffed peacock and Gucci’s trademark excess, the new campaign, shot in Berlin by @_glen_luchford. #itsnicethat via @itsnicethat