Oh, well, I’m back to my bitter-outcast, the-hell-with-humanity approach to society again, insulting readers everywhere. Enduringly upon me is…the multitude.
Belua multorum es capitum. The people are a many-headed beast.
—So says Horace, a lyric poet and soldier of Rome in 44 BC.
The multitude of the gross people, being a beast of many heads.
—Declares Erasmus, a humanist, classic scholar and theologian during the 1400s.
The people resemble a wild beast, which, naturally fierce and accustomed to live in the woods, has been brought up, as it were, in a prison and in servitude, and having by accident got its liberty, not being accustomed to search for its food, and not knowing where to conceal itself, easily becomes the prey of the first who seeks to incarcerate it again.
—And we can believe Niccoló Machiavelli who lived during the early 1500s.
O weak trust of the many-headed multitude.
—Offered Sir Philip Sidney in1590.
The beast of many heads, the staggering multitude.
—Suggests the stage play, The Malcontent, by John Marston in 1604
If there be any among those common objects of hatred I do condemn and laugh at, it is that great enemy of reason, virtue, and religion, the multitude…one great beast and a monstrosity more prodigious than Hydra.
—Dares Sir Thomas Browne in1643.
Where is Shakespeare? we must have Shakespeare:
Rumor is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still-discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.
With many heads butts me away.
—Antony and Cleopatra
It pleases me to be in such good company, not of a multitude of heads, but among artists, each having a vision, singular and unique—and just one head.