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Are bought up, others by a warlike leader,
Some by a place -as tend their years or natures ; The most by ready cash—but all have prices, (1) From crowns to kicks, according to their vices.
The eunuch having eyed them o'er with care,
Turn'd to the merchant, and begun to bid First but for one, and after for the pair ;
They haggled, wrangled, swore, too-so they did! As though they were in a mere Christian fair
Cheapening an ox, an ass, a lamb, or kid; So that their bargain sounded like a battle For this superior yoke of human cattle.
At last they settled into simple grumbling,
And pulling out reluctant purses, and Turning each piece of silver o'er, and tumbling
Some down, and weighing others in their hand,
(1) [“ Sir Robert Walpole is justly blamed for a want of political de corum, and for deriding public spirit, to which Pope alludes :
. Seen him, I have, but in his happier hour
Of social pleasure, ill exchanged for power;
He does not think me, what he thinks mankind.' Although it is not possible to justify him, yet this part of his conduct has been greatly exaggerated. The political axiom generally attributed to him, that all men have their price, was perverted by leaving out the word those. Flowery oratory he despised; he ascribed it to the interested views of themselves or their relatives, the declarations of pretended patriots, of whom he said, ' All those men have their price,' and in the event many of them justified his observation.” — Coxe.]
And by mistake sequins (1) with paras jumbling,
Until the sum was accurately scann'd, And then the merchant giving change, and signing Receipts in full, began to think of dining.
I wonder if his appetite was good ?
Or, if it were, if also his digestion ? Methinks at meals some odd thoughts might intrude,
And conscience ask a curious sort of question, About the right divine how far we should
Sell flesh and blood. When dinner has opprest one, I think it is perhaps the gloomiest hour Which turns up out of the sad twenty-four.
“ No:" he tells you that Candide Found life most tolerable after meals; He's
wrong :-unless man were a pig, indeed, Repletion rather adds to what he feels, Unless he's drunk, and then no doubt he's freed
From his own brain's oppression while it reels. Of food I think with Philip's son, (2) or rather Ammon's (ill pleased with one world and one fa
(1) [The Turkish zecchino is a gold coin, worth about seven shillings and sixpence. The para is not quite equal to an English halfpenny.]
(2) See Plutarch in Alex., Q. Curt. Hist. Alexand., and Sir Richard Clayton's “ Critical Inquiry into the Life of Alexander the Great." (3) [MS. -" But for mere food, I think with Philip's son,
Or Ammon's - for two fathers claim'd this one."]
Of eating, with another act or two,
Redoubled; when a roast and a ragout,
Can give us either pain or pleasure, who
This is a fact, and no poetic fable
My hat and gloves still lying on the table,
And, running out as fast as I was able, (2) I found the military commandant Stretch'd in the street, and able scarce to pant.(3)
(1) [“ Last night suffered horribly from an indigestion. I remarked in my illness the complete inertion, inaction, and destruction of my chief mental faculties. I tried to rouse them, and yet could not. I should believe that the soul was married to the body, if they did not sympathise so much with each other, If the one rose when the other fell, it would be a sign that they longed for the natural state of divorce. But, as it is, they seem to draw together like post-horses.” — B. Diary, 1821.)
(2) The assassination alluded to took place on the 8th of December, 1820, in the streets of Ravenna, not a hundred paces from the residence of the writer. The circumstances were as described. – [“ December 9. 1820. I open my letter to tell you a fact, which will show the state of this country better than I can. The commandant of the troops is now lying dead in my house. He was shot at a little past eight o'clock, about two hundred paces from my door. I was putting on my great coat when I heard the shot. On coming into the hall, I found all my servants on the balcony, exclaiming that a man was murdered. I immediately ran down, calling on Tita (the bravest of them) to follow me. The rest wanted to hinder us from going, as it is the custom for every body here, it seems, to run away from the stricken deer.” - B. Letters.]
(3) [MS.—“ Just kill’d, and scarcely competent to pant.”]
Poor fellow ! for some reason, surely bad,
They had slain him with five slugs; and left him there To perish on the pavement: so I had
Him borne into the house and up the stair,
I gazed upon him, for I knew him well ;
And though I have seen many corpses, never Saw one, whom such an accident befell, So calm ; though pierced through stomach, heart,
“ so I had
More circumstances,” &c.] (2) [“ We found him lying on his back, almost, if not quite, dead, with five wounds, one in the heart, two in the stomach, one in the finger, and the other in the arm. Some soldiers cocked their guns, and wanted to hinder me from passing. However, we passed, and I found Diego, the adjutant, crying over him like a child - a surgeon, who said nothing of his profession - a priest, sobbing a frightened prayer — and the command. ant, all this time, on his back, on the hard, cold pavement, without light or assistance, or any thing around him but confusion and dismay. As no. body could, or would, do any thing but howl and pray, and as no one would stir a finger to move him, for fear of consequences, I lost my pa. tience — made my servant and a couple of the mob take up the body sent off two soldiers to the guard - despatched Diego to the Cardinal with the news, and had him carried up stairs into my own quarters. But it was too late -- he was gone. There were found close by him an old gun. barrel, sawn half off; it had just been discharged, and was quite warm." B. Letters.]
He seem'd to sleep, - for you could scarcely tell
(As he bled inwardly, no hideous river Of gore divulged the cause) that he was dead: So as I gazed on him, I thought or said —
XXXVI. 6 Can this be death ? then what is life or death? Speak !” but he spoke not: “ wake !” but still he
slept: “ But yesterday and who had mightier breath?
A thousand warriors by his word were kept In awe: he said, as the centurion saith,
Go,' and he goeth ; 'come,' and forth he stepp'd. The trump and bugle till he spake were dumbAnd now nought left him but the muffiled drum.” (1)
And they who waited once and worshipp'd — they
With their rough faces throng'd about the bed To gaze once more on the commanding clay
Which for the last, though not the first, time bled: And such an end ! that he who many a day
Had faced Napoleon's foes until they fled, The foremost in the charge or in the sally, Should now be butcher'd in a civic alley.
The scars of his old wounds were near his new,
Those honourable scars which brought him fame; And horrid was the contrast to the view - (2)
But let me quit the theme; as such things claim
(1) [MS. — “ And now as silent as an unstrung drum.”]
(2) [" I had him partly stripped — made the surgeon examine him, and examined him myself. He had been shot by cut balls or slugs. I felt one of the slugs, which had gone through him, all but the skin. He only said, O Dio!' and ' Giesu! two or three times, and appeared to have suffered