the monarch's fæces were examined every day
by doctors and astrologers. The practice
probably continues, more scientifically, for presidents,
dictators, oligarchs, tycoons and royalty.
My stool today, some 22 cm (9 inches) in length
suggests a long life (alas!), and its firmness
is an erroneous indication of my continuing strength.
(Feudalism never disappeared,
but was exported to the European colonies.)