The capitalist has this over the politician and the clergyman; he has in practice done more to raise the standard of living of the poor than all the government and church programs in history. . . . Monsanto and the Archer Daniels Midland Company have fed more hungry people than all the. . . soup kitchens combined.
Then Martine said: "So yuo will be poor now all your life, Babette?" Poor?" said Babette. She smiled as if to herself. "No, I shall never be poor. I told you that I am a great artist. A great artist, Mesdames, is never poor. We have something, Mesdames, of which other people know nothing.
The rest of my days I'm going to spend on the sea. And when I die, I'm going to die on the sea. You know what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed grape. One day out on the ocean I will die--with my hand in the hand of some nice looking ship's doctor, a very young one with a small blond moustache and a big silver watch. "Poor lady," they'll say, "The quinine did her no good. That unwashed grape has transported her soul to heaven.
I think there's no question that historians create; they would tell you that, I think. If I'm trying to imagine an imperial Roman position, it's much easier to imagine the poor schlub who's not even sure why he's doing what he's doing than it is to imagine Caesar. At least for me. And I'm intrigued, too, by the position of the poor schlub who *still* finds himself supporting the imperial project.