I am in a lather of anticipation as the states of North America prepare to make their great decision, as their citizens queue to mark their preference on the ballot. It is an unwarranted privilege to view a great democracy cast its vote, to see with my own eyes its statesmen traverse its territories at a speed faster than that afforded by the fastest railway; the telegram and the printed newspaper could never offer such a spectacle.
Et jam tempus equum fumantia solvere colla, yes indeed, I am inclined to repeat this quotation from Horace, oft-attributed to myself as it is. These noble steeds foam at the mouth, awaiting the final contest. But if I must cast about for quotations, I should refer to the great Homer, the poet who chronicled the duels of heroes:
aurion 'en areten diaeisetai, ei k' emon egchos meinei eperchomenon.
(tomorrow he shall come to know his courage, whether he can resist my on-coming spear).
And yet it must be recorded that tomorrow's great contest may be of even greater significance than the war recounted by Homer. Even if Senator McCain is cast as Hector, the stout defender of the city of wealth, and Senator Obama as Achilles, the champion of the people, tomorrow's dawn may yet mark a moment when European civilisation embraces the hopes of all the people's of the world, when the peoples of North America themselves can aspire to equality of hope. And so I turn to Horace again:
Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit
or to St Luke
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
The reader must forgive the prematurity of my reflections; let us perhaps for just one day enjoy from some distance, but as if close to, such a mighty spectacle.
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