(notes by Donald Mackenzie)


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

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

[line 28] Father of his Country Washington.


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