Perhaps you know this story

Of the Emperor Hadrian,

That most remarkable man.

On one occasion

He was travelling at a very rapid pace

When a woman cried

From the roadside:

‘Give me justice!’

He said: ‘I have no time.’

And she replied:

‘Then give up being Emperor.’

Hadrian stopped

And heard her case.



At Athens once

He disputed about philosophy

With Fronto and some other sophists.

One by one

They became silent.

At the end

Even Fronto grew still -

All apparently convinced

By Hadrian's arguments

But the Emperor was not deceived.

‘Why,’ he asked,

‘Do you pretend

When you do not really agree

With what I say?’

Fronto answered:

‘Who would dare to differ

With the Master of thirty legions?’

Not a graceful reply.

But the Emperor did not take it ill.