"Do you know
how a man makes
his way here?
By brilliant genius
or by skilful corruption.
You must either cut your way
through these masses of men
like a cannon ball,
or steal among them
like a plague.
Honesty is nothing to the purpose.
Men bow before the power of genius;
they hate it, and try to slander it,
because genius does not divide the spoil;
but if genius persists, they bow before it.
To sum it all up in a phrase,
if they fail to smother genius in the mud,
they fall on their knees and worship it.
Corruption is a great power in the world,
and talent is scarce.
So corruption is the weapon
of superfluous mediocrity;
you will be made
to feel the point of it everywhere."
(Vautrin from Father Goriot)
(Collision Art by Thomas Robson)