July 17, 2011

The City of Brass by Rudyard Kipling


They said: “Who has hate in his soul? Who has envied his neighbour?
Let him arise and control both that man and his labour.”
They said: “Who is eaten by sloth? Whose unthrift has destroyed him?
He shall levy a tribute from all because none have employed him.”
They said: “Who hath toiled, who hath striven, and gathered possession?
Let him be spoiled. He hath given full proof of transgression.”
They said: “Who is irked by the Law? Though we may not remove it.
If he lend us his aid in this raid, we will set him above it!

So the robber did judgment again upon such as displeased him,
The slayer, too, boasted his slain, and the judges released him.

-- -- Excerpt from Rudyard Kipling: "The City of Brass"

Posted by Vanderleun at July 17, 2011 12:53 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

That was some mighty prophecy, Gerard. I read the whole think and quaked. Is it a privilege or a curse to live in such times, I wonder.

Posted by: Jewel at July 17, 2011 7:00 AM

The last lines are a humdinger as well-

"For the hate they had taught through the State brought the State no defender,
And it passed from the roll of the Nations in headlong surrender!

Posted by: Hunt Johnsen at July 17, 2011 7:57 AM

As seen in real time, Hunt:


Posted by: Jewel at July 17, 2011 8:17 AM


This and IF are two of my favorites of Kipling's works. It's always a pleasure to read one again.

They just to make too many men like him these days, and it is such a great shame.

Posted by: Jeff Crump at July 17, 2011 8:30 AM

That should have been "don't make" !!!!

Posted by: Jeff Crump at July 17, 2011 8:32 AM

Jewel - thanks for the link. When I got to the part where everyone jumped up and started pointing their fingers, I was thinking he should have pointed his own finger at his head and said, "Nobody move or the conservative gets it!"

Posted by: Julie at July 17, 2011 8:40 AM

It is hard to fathom this hatred, Julie. I saw it briefly, when I worked in the press from 81 through 94. The journos and editors all talked like this.

One particularly nasty editor...oddly enough named McCarthy, used to go on long tirades against Pope John II and Reagan.

Other editors also 'didn't know ANYONE who voted for Reagan' and couldn't fathom his victories. That's how disconnected from reality they were. I thought they were just funny as hell and insane.

Now the lunatics are running the asylum. Their mental illness is contagious, incubated and if the kids haven't been inoculated against this madness by parents at home, they are going to succumb to it.

Posted by: Jewel at July 17, 2011 10:17 AM