Anacreononce before You were young

In Wienis' chambers, Hardin relaxed in perfect comfort and accepted with amurmur of gratitude the glass of liquor that had been poured out by theregent's own hand.
"Locris wine, Hardin," said Wienis, "from the royal cellars. The real thing? two centuries in age. It was laid down ten years before the ZeonianRebellion.""A really royal drink," agreed Hardin, politely. "To Lepold I, King ofAnacreon."They drank, and Wienis added blandly, at the pause, "And soon to be Emperorof the Periphery, and further, who knows? The Galaxy may some day bereunited.""Undoubtedly.

By Anacreon?""Why not? With the help of the Foundation, our scientific superiority overthe rest of the Periphery would be undisputable."Hardin set his empty glass down and said, "Well, yes, except that, ofcourse, the Foundation is bound to help any nation that requests scientificaid of it.

Due to the high idealism of our government and the great moralpurpose of our founder, Hari Seldon, we are unable to play favorites. Thatcan't be helped, your highness."Wienis' smile broadened. "The Galactic Spirit, to use the popular cant,helps those who help themselves. I quite understand that, left to itself,the Foundation would never cooperate.""I wouldn't say that. We repaired the Imperial cruiser for you, though myboard of navigation wished it for themselves for research purposes."The regent repeated the last words ironically. "Research purposes! Yeeeeeetyou would not have repaired it, had I not threatened war."Hardin made a deprecatory gesture. "I don't know.""I do. And that threat always stood."

"And still stands now?""Now it is rather too late to speak of threats." Wienis had cast a rapidglance at the clock on his desk. "Look here, Hardin, you were on then; we were both young. But even then we hadentirely different ways of looking at things. You're what they call a manof peace, aren't you?""I suppose I am. At least, I consider violence an uneconomical way ofattaining an end. There are always better substitutes, though they maysometimes be a little less direct.""Yee. I've heard of your famous remark: 'Violence is the last refuge of theincompetent.' And yet" ?the regent scratched one ear gently in affectedabstraction ?I wouldn't call myself exactly incompetent."Hardin nodded politely and said nothing.

"And in spite of that," Wienis continued, "I have always believed in directaction. I have believed in carving a straight path to my objective andfollowing that path. I have accomplished much that way, and fully expect toaccomplish still more."