“The Sultan Mahmood, who had a great deal of wit and courage, but whose face was anything but handsome, had heard himself called so often, by his courtiers, Star of the World, Source of Consolation, Delight of the People, Image of the Sun, that when, in their audacity, they went so far as to eulogize his beauty, he finished by believing that he was really handsome. But one day, when he was walking in a great gallery, he looked by chance upon a mirror, and saw with astonishment that he was everything else.”
“Either my courtiers tell me falsehoods,” he said, “or this mirror is bad. So many eyes, which find me handsome, cannot however he easily deceived. The fault, beyond a doubt, must be in this mirror.”
He presented himself, before a second, which showed him the same face.
“It may well be,” he said at last, “that these mirrors are right! One may trust to them; for, in sooth, they are not paid for lying, like my courtiers.”
He was still plunged in his reflections, when his Grand-Vizier, Kasajas, who rarely flattered, approached.
“Vizier,” said the Prince, “whence is it, that so many people say they are charmed to look upon me? for, if these mirrors do not deceive me, I am not exactly handsome.”
“My lord,” replied the Vizier, “nations would be happy if their kings found no flatterers. Thine follow thee step by step, as the shadow follows the light. They have lied to please thee; but I will speak the truth to be useful to thee. It is a matter of no consequence to a king whether lie be handsome or ugly : for there is but a small number of his subjects that have an opportunity of seeing him, and that small number becomes easily accustomed to his appearance : whereas all his subjects, without exception, rejoice in his justice and wisdom. These two. qualities, then, are the greatest beauties that a people can wish for in their king.”
The Director pushed his people beyond the limits to get “The Magic Ring” and the accompanying research into the hands of the FDA.
None of Jeff’s previous co-workers were too thrilled about the situation; especially since they had learned how The Director had usurped Jeff’s work. Of course they were all terrified of The Director. They knew him for the weasel he was.
So business went on as usual at Big Pharma. The CEO was keeping The Director and his project well financed. The Director had the CEO and his wife over for supper several times a month. The execs played golf while the lab workers worked twelve hour days, six days a week. Due to the tight schedules the lab workers didn’t always follow protocol.
Short cuts were taken; however, The Director was told that everything was being done according to FDA rules.
He was happy and did not bother to review their work.
The director reflected, to the CEO, a project that was on schedule.
TOMORROW: 15. The Transformation