Theophilus,1 seeing a ves­sel bea­ring mer­chan­dise for his wife Theodora, had it bur­ned. “I am an empe­ror,” he said to her, “and you are making me into a ship­mas­ter ; how can the poor go about ear­ning their living if we too ply their trade ?” He could have added : Who can curb us if we create mono­po­lies ? Who will force us to ful­fill our enga­ge­ments ? This trade we are prac­ti­cing is one the cour­tiers will want to prac­tice ; they will be more avid and more unjust than we are. The peo­ple have confi­dence in our jus­tice ; they have none in our opu­lence : ours is cer­tainly pro­ven by all the taxes that reduce them to poverty.

[Johannes] Zonaras.