SCARBO. Among the many devoted servants of the Prince was a dwarf, whose name was Scarbo. He was a proud little man, with stern features and a small pointed beard; he dressed in the latest fashion, was a master of court etiquette, and of all questions concerning precedence, and was noted for his disdainful glance, his penetrating intelligence, and his unswerving devotion to the Prince. Once, after a courtier had humiliated the little man by picking him up and tossing him lightly in the air, while others had watched with smiles and laughter, Scarbo lay on his bed in silent fury for two nights and two days. On the third night he crept into the bedchamber of the offending courtier and plunged his little sharp sword into the sleeper’s throat. After that he cut off both the dead man’s hands and laid them with interlocked fingers on the coverlet. The Prince forgave his dwarf, but sentenced him to a month in prison; some say he was confined in the dungeon itself, and absorbed its darkness into his soul. But if his proud and disdainful nature was immediately apparent, earning him an uneasy respect never far from ridicule, Scarbo’s most remarkable feature was his delicacy of feeling—for he possessed a highly developed and almost feminine sensitivity to the faintest motions of another person’s mood. This unusual development in the realm of feeling, born perhaps of an outsider’s habit of extreme watchfulness, increased his danger as an enemy and his value as a trusted servant and councillor.
from “The Princess, the Dwarf, and the Dungeoun” by Steven Millhauser, in Little Kingdoms
Quote 7 from AFS: Etching by Vija Celmins
Quote 6 from AFS: Mark Twain
Quote 4 AFS: Native Speaking fantasies