(notes by Donald Mackenzie and John Radcliffe)


Published in Rewards and Fairies (1910) where it precedes “Brother Square-Toes”

Peter Bellamy rendition can be found here.

Notes on the Text

[Line 5] Talleyrand: Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord – 1754-1838 – (left). Debarred from a military career by lameness, he entered the Church and became bishop of Autun. A strenuous defender of Church privileges before 1789, he emerged as one of the most radical deputies in the early stages of the Revolution and was excommunicated after introducing the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1790.

Expelled from England, where he had been on a diplomatic mission, in January 1794, he spent two years in America, returning to France in September 1796. Thereafter he remained near the centre of French foreign policy for much of the next forty years. Treacherous, greedy, and a master diplomat, he signed two documents a few hours before his death in which he declared himself reconciled with the Church and received extreme unction with his hands turned down, as the rite prescribes for a bishop.

[Line 7] Count Zinzendorf: German nobleman (1700-60) and leader of the Moravian Church. He travelled in America (1741-3), setting up new Moravian congregations in New York and Pennsylvania, including a settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

[line 9] Atlantis: legendary island-continent in the Atlantic, swallowed up by the sea.

[Line 11] Seventeen Ninety-three:   In January 1793 King Louis XVI was tried and executed.

[Line 15]  Bob Bicknell:  In “A Priest in Spite of Himself”,  BoB Bicknell ran coaches to Philadelphia

[Line 16] Limited:   This is the National Limited train. Like Bob Bicknell’s coach, it would take one from Baltimore to Philadelphia.

[Line 17] Toby Hirte:  the Philadephia apothecary and friend of the Indians for whom Pharaoh worked in “Brother Square-Toes”. Tobias Hirte was a celebrated historical figure

[Line 20] Pharaoh:  Pharaoh Lee, who tells the stories of “rother Square-Toes” and “A Priest in Spite of Himself.”

[Line 21] Thebes the Golden: ancient capital of Egypt, legendary for its wealth as far back as Homer (Iliad, ix. 381-4).

[Line 27] Eppy’s or The Buck:  Two hostelries in old-time Philadelphia

[Line 28]  The Father of his Country:   George Washington

[Line 29] Adam Goos:  an Elder of the Moravian Church who disapproved of Pharaoh’s fiddling.

[Line 30] Pastor Meder:  Pastor of the Moravian Church in Philadelphia

[Line 40] Red Jacket:  one of the Seneca Chiefs in “Brother Square-Toes.”



©Donald Mackenzie and John Radcliffe2020 All rights reserved