But the little prince was puzzled. The planet was tiny. Over what could this king really rule?
'Sire … ' he began, ' … please excuse my asking you a question … '
'I order you to put your question to me,' the king was quick to reply.
'Sire … over what do you rule?'
'Over everything,' replied the king very simply.
The king made a sweeping gesture taking in his own planet, the other planets and the stars.
'Over all that?' said the little prince.
'Over all that,' replied the king.
For he was not only an absolute monarch but a universal one.
'And the stars obey?'
'Of course,' said the king. 'They obey immediately. I do not tolerate insubordination.'
The little prince marvelled at such power …
'I should like to see a sunset … Please, do me that kindness … order the sun to set'.
'If I were to order a general to fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a tragedy, or to change himself into a sea-bird, and if the general did not carry out the order, which one of us would be at fault?'
'It would be you,' said the little prince firmly.
'Exactly. One must demand of each and every one what he or she is capable of. Authority is first and foremost based on reason.