The Tale of Yeldorado — Part One (Vol. 1, Issue 16)
(Editor’s Note: It was in the summer of 1935 that a roving reporter was dispatched by The Commentator to search for something extraordinary—anything for news. The dutiful newshawk travelled far and wide, but, alas, there was only one Rosetta Stone. Desperately he roamed farther and farther into the unknown wilds of Asia until suddenly he emerged from his endless wanderings in the jungle into a clearing which stretched for miles and miles around. The ground was strewn with old relics while here and there the crumbling ruin of a long passed age could be discerned. Fascinated by the divine calm that rested on this land of yore, The, Commentator reporter gingerly explored every nook and crevice, but the only article of interest he could find was dirty parchment manuscript yellow with age, which he saw peering out of a column he chanced to break. Quickly stepping over, he picked up the musty document, pocketed it carefully, and continued his uneventful wandering. Only when he returned to civilization and showed the musty document to an archaeological authority was he first made to realize the pricelessness of his discovery. Fabulous sums were offered to him for it, but the chap was a true Commentator man: allegiance to his paper first, business man second. And so The Commentator came into possession of the most monumental relic since the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. What other world-famous and wealthy newspapers, periodicals, and publishing houses have offered The Commentator to give them the copyright of this gem of the age, few can imagine. However, The Commentator has ever appreciated the faith the student body has placed in it. No temptation could be sufficiently enticing for The Commentator to deprive the student body, from whence comes its sole power and strength, of the greatest honor it could pay back to it in return, namely, the dedication of this supreme prize of the twentieth century to the undergraduates and alumni of Yeshiva. To you, and then to the world, The Commentator respectfully presents the first installment.)
Once upon a time, long, long ago, in the far-off continent of Amdole, there lived a king who ruled over a small country called Yeldorado. Yeldorado was still in its early years, for it had only recently gained independence through the initiative and leadership of the ruling king, whose name was King Roger.
The country was inhabited by a vigorous native population, and there was every reason to believe that under foresighted, sane, and sympathetic government Yeldorado would rapidly develop into an influential and mighty power. in international affairs
With this goal in mind, no sooner had the treaty of independence been signed, than King Roger set about to form a model government consisting of men of efficiency, ability, and integrity. The most renowned and respected authorities from renowned and respected authorities from all the surrounding countries were invited to accept positions in the cabinet of the newly-born state. Many accepted, and when finally drawn up the cabinet comprised an imposing group, indeed!
In one case only was the rigid standard of efficiency, ability, and integrity not strictly applied by King Roger. That was in the choice of prime minister. For this most important and determining position as far as the policy and administration of Yeldorado would be concerned, King Roger chose a man who had worked continuously under him for the formation of this state. In recognition for his loyal help during those trying years, King Roger committed a tragic error, which in later years threatened to become fatal, of discarding the standards of office requirements for positions of State and proceeded to appoint his chief of staff, General Silas, prime minister of the impressive and promising cabinet.
For two or three years all went well. Yeldorado showed the beneficial results that could be expected from so competent and capable a group of leaders as her cabinet comprised. The population presented a beautiful picture of national enthusiasm which was reflected in its material progress. Truly, as the first few years rolled by the prophesy that Yeldorado was destined to become an internationally recognized power in continental affairs began to emerge from the realm of fantasy to reality.
Slowly, however, the beautiful dream of the Yeldorado patriots began to fade. Discontent with the prime minister and his actions began to brew. Natives coming in contact with him in regard to matters, either personal or of public concern, resented with a growing bitterness the callousness and arrogance of Prime Minister Silas.
It was among the members of the cabinet that the first open breaks with the prime minister occurred. Though the controversies always took place behind closed doors, rumors were soon racing around the country that the disintegration of the cabinet, though spurred by the financial instability of the country, was mainly due to the arrogant stand of Silas with cabinet members on all misunderstandings.
Though yet only rumors, they were accepted as very probable truths. by the entire population who were fast becoming indignant at the lack of sympathy and consideration that Silas was increasingly showing for all public activities and problems independent of the state.
There was hardly a discussion among the people in every part of the country concerning the state that did not rebel at one time or another against the autocratic and repressive policies and demeanor that Silas had assumed. That the inspiring hopes only recently entertained concerning the happy future of Yeldorado should be in the process of being so brutally and completely shattered by the cancerous presence of Silas as prime minister aroused the nationalistic element to a bitter and, rebellious mood.
In reality, Silas was not at all fit nor capable to occupy the position he did. First of all, Yeldorado was a theocratic state, consisting of a population which was ardently and sincerely interested in the perpetuation of its religious ideals, theoretically and in practice. But Silas not only lacked the religious background and convictions which were imperative for the determination of the policies of Yeldorado; but he brazenly paraded his opinion of Yeldorado’s religion by flagrantly desecrating its fundamental tenets in the very public centers of the capital. The natives were disgusted while Prime Minister Silas, well aware of bitter objection by the populace particularly towards his conduct continued unperturbed. “To the devil with them,” was his smug attitude.
His relationship with the citizenry indeed bore out this attitude. He evinced absolutely no interest for national activities, nor towards individual problems. His only concern for the population consisted in the collection of taxes. Then only did he deign to speak to the citizenry privately, but for the purpose of exacting as much as possible. Those unfortunates who could not meet the tac rate found a deaf war to their troubles and many were verbally evicted from his office with no regard for personal feelings. Exceptions there were, but the remainder of the population bore only hatred and contempt for the prime minister who was so thoroughly devoid of sincerity and sympathy.
With the population discontented and thoroughly disgruntled, it was not long before leaders arose to reawaken the nation, from the supine position it had assumed. Gradually dejection and pessimism gave way to a rebirth of national enthusiasm. The people were exhorted to realize that the golden future of Yeldorado was not an idle dream. It could be gloriously achieved if the citizenry would only assume its proper position of power end prestige in the determination of national policy.
Though disinterested in the activities of the population, Prime Minister Silas quickly recognized the rebirth of idealism in the nation as a distinct threat to his power. With rare political cunning, he masqueraded as a friend of the new movement, hinting continuously to the leaders that the cause of all difficulties was centered in King’ Roger. At the same time he subtly tried to arouse the king against the nationalist representatives.
But the leaders were not misled. Rounding into the final stages of the revivification of nationalistic morale, the leaders and people became thoroughly convinced that only by the removal of Prime Minister Silas from office would the ideal Yeldorado be obtainable.
Skilifully Silas began an attempt to draw the unsuspecting cabinet into his camp. His scheme was to win their unsuspecting support for camouflaged legislation which would eventually give him the power to completely suppress the nationalist movement.
Realizing the purpose of the prime minister’s nefarious plans, the leaders of the citizenry decided that the time for action had come. With a suddenness that left the government speechless, the nationalist senate. entertained a charge which declared that the influence and policies of Prime Minister Silas constituted a fatal danger to Yeldorado. In a tumultuous session that abounded with fiery demands for action, a resolution was finally adopted unanimously to authorize a secretly appointed commission to investigate the indictments.
No sooner was the historic decision publicly announced than the momentous news spread around the country like wild fire. In every village and hamlet it was hailed as the first great step towards the restoration of Yeldorado to its true course by excited citizens who gathered together in countless groups to tensely speculate on the senate’s action.
When Silas heard of the senate’s action, he trembled with rage, the complexion of his face changing into every color of the rainbow. But he soon regained his composure and immediately set about to formulate plans with which to defeat the senate’s desires and exile the nationalist leaders.
A complete change in the Prime minister’s attitude towards the population was immediately noticed. He began to evince surprising interest in civilian affairs. For the first time since he had been inducted into office he inquired concerning their situation.
Towards the citizens themselves, however, his change was complete. Natives, whom he had never deigned to recognize previously, he stopped in the street and sympathetically inquired: as to their welfare. With a tenderness that seemed paternal, he conversed with individuals of the rank and filed in regard to family-matters, and to offer any aid that he could possibly render.
But his schemes seemed to have lost their effectiveness, for everybody recognized the motives inspiring his sudden sweetness. Mocking him inwardly as he fraternized with them like a long lost brother, they always returned immediately to their representatives to whom they related every such incident amid great merriment. The people of Yeldorado had suffered too much to be misled by such shallow [illegible]. Silas was fooling no one but himself.
(To be continued)