It's Pop Quiz Friday here on Halfway Down the Danube, a new feature I am inaugurating in a hopel/e/s/s/ful attempt to get more comments on (and links to) this blog. Today's question: from the following quote, can you identify the Balkan dictator this person is talking about? NB: one culturally specific word has been changed. No fair using Google.
Well, then, [blank] was dissembling, two-faced; a clever fellow with a marvellous ability to conceal his real opinion, and able to shed tears, not from any joy or sorrow, but employing them artfully when required in accordance with the immediate need, lying all the time; not carelessly, however, but confirming his undertakings both with his signature and with the most fearsome oaths, even when dealing with his own subjects. But he promptly disregarded both agreements and solemn pledges, like the most contemptible class of zek, who by fear of the tortures hanging over them are driven to confess misdeeds they have denied on oath. A treacherous friend and an inexorable enemy, he was passionately devoted to murder and plunder; quarrelsome and subversive in the extreme; easily led astray into evil ways but refusing every suggestion that he should follow the right path; quick to devise vile schemes and to carry them out; and with an instinctive aversion to the mere mention of anything good. How could anyone find words to describe [blank]'s character? These vices and many yet greater he clearly possessed to an inhuman degree; it seemed as if nature had removed every tendency to evil from the rest of mankind and deposited it in the soul of this man.I'll give the answer later in the week.