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"Power especially proves itself to itself by the singular abuse which consists in crowning some absurdity with the laurels of success, thereby insulting genius, the only strength which power can never attain. The promotion of Caligula's horse, that imperial farce, has enjoyed an almost unbroken run.."

Honoré de Balzac, Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes [A Harlot High and Low]