A State-mandated Opening

How then shall I describe her beauty, who was the rarest of pearls? When she appeared, though it were the pitchest midnight, then was the room filled with sunshine and light, the freshening warmth of Maying-day; when she spoke, the logic of God Herself rang through all she said; and, when she rejoiced, eke when she sorrowed, then all the city wore white marriage-hues or scarlet mourning, and the bells rang out, each to each. Such was her worth to the city!

In all ways was she loved by her people. The poets laboured sleepless nights to win her praises, and found in her the riches of inspiration.

‘Black that ravishing, raven wing
Rainbowed in the sunlight
The sheeny sweet oil that musks to madness…’

one popular poem went. But nothing that lives, lives pure from error, for nothing is perfect save the Goddess Himself, and so it was with the queen. She suffered debilitatingly from a sense of humour. The pomp and circumstance of ruling amused her with a terrible amusement. It was always with a feeling of despair that the Wazir noted the twitching of her oded lips. She would be frought with a Merry Witticism.