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The gate of heaven; like eastern thresholds is
The place where death's grand cause is argued o'er,
And souls despatch'd to that world or to this;
And therefore Michael and the other wore
A civil aspect: though they did not kiss,
Yet still between his Darkness and his Brightness
There pass'd a mutual glance of great politeness.

The archangel bow'd, not like a modern beau,
But with a graceful oriental bend,
Pressing one radiant arm just where below
The heart in good men is supposed to tend.
He turn'd as to an equal, not too low,

But kindly; Sathan met his ancient friend
With more hauteur, as might an old Castilian
Poor noble meet a mushroom rich civilian.

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An instant; and then, raising it, he stood In act to assert his right or wrong, and show

Cause why King George by no means could or should Make out a case to be exempt from woe

Eternal, more than other kings endued With better sense and hearts, whom history mentions, Who long have "paved hell with their good intentions." XXXVIII.

Michael began: "What wouldst thou with this man, Now dead, and brought before the Lord? What ill Hath he wrought since his mortal race began,

That thou canst claim him? Speak! and do thy will, If it be just: if in this earthly span

He hath been greatly failing to fulfil
His duties as a king and mortal, say,
And he is thine; if not, let him have way."

"Michael!" replied the prince of air, "even here,
Before the gate of Him thou servest, must
I claim my subject; and will make appear
That as he was my worshipper in dust,
So shall he be in spirit, although dear

To thee and thine, because nor wine nor lust
Were of his weaknesses! yet on the throne
He reign'd o'er millions to serve me alone.

"Look to our earth, or rather mine; it was
Once, more thy Master's: but I triumph not
In this poor planet's conquest, nor, alas!
Need he thou servest envy me my
With all the myriads of bright worlds which pass
In worship round him, he may have forgot
Yon weak creation of such paltry things;
I think few worth damnation save their kings,

"And these but as a kind of quit-rent, to
Assert my right as lord; and even had

I such an inclination, 't were (as you

Well know) superfluous; they are grown so bad, That hell has nothing better left to do

Than leave them to themselves: so much more mad And evil be their own internal curse, Heaven cannot make them better, nor I worse.


"Look to the earth, I said, and say again:

When this old, blind, mad, helpless, weak, poor worm Began in youth's first bloom and flush to reign, The world and he both wore a different form, And much of earth and all the watery plain

Of ocean call'd him king: through many a storm His isles had floated on the abyss of time; For the rough virtues chose them for their clime.


"He came to his sceptre, young; he leaves it, old:
Look to the state in which he found his realm,
And left it; and his annals, too, behold,
How to a minion first he gave the helm;

grew upon his heart a thirst for gold,
The beggar's vice, which can but overwhelm
The meanest hearts; and, for the rest, but glance
Thine eye along America and France!


"T is true, he was a tool from first to last
(I have the workmen safe); but as a tool
So let him be consumed! From out the past

Of ages, since mankind have known the rule
Of monarchs-from the bloody rolls amass'd

Of sin and slaughter-from the Cæsar's school, Take the worst pupil, and produce a reign More drench'd with gore, more cumber'd with the slam XLV.

"He ever warr'd with freedom and the free: Nations as men, home subjects, foreign foes, So that they utter'd the word 'Liberty!'

Found George the Third their first opponent. Whose History was ever stain'd as his will be

With national and individual woes?

I grant his household abstinence; I grant
His neutral virtues, which most monarchs want;


"I know he was a constant consort; own He was a decent sire, and middling lord. All this is much, and most upon a throne; As temperance, if at Apicius' board, Is more than at an anchorite's supper shown.

I grant him all the kindest can accord ; And this was well for him, but not for those Millions who found him what oppression chose.


The new world shook him off; the old yet groans
Beneath what he and his prepared, if not
Completed: he leaves heirs on many thrones
To all his vices, without what begot
Compassion for him-his tame virtues; drones
Who sleep, or despots who have now forgot
A lesson which shall be re-taught them, wake
Upon the throne of earth; but let them quake!

"Five millions of the primitive, who hold
The faith which makes ye great on eartn, implored
A part of that vast all they held of old,—
Freedom to worship-not alone your Lord,
Michael, but you, and you, Saint Peter! Cold

Must be your souls, if you have not abhorr'd
The foe to Catholic participation

In all the license of a Christian nation.

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This was a signal unto such damn'd souls
As have the privilege of their damnation
Extended far beyond the mere controls

Of worlds past, present, or to come; no station Is theirs particularly in the rolls

Of hell assign'd; but where their inclination Or business carries them in search of game, They may range freely-being damn'd the same. LIV.

They are proud of this-as very well they may,
It being a sort of knighthood, or gilt key
Stuck in their loins; or like to an "entrée"
Up the back stairs, or such free-masonry:
I borrow my comparisons from clay,

Being clay myself. Let not those spirits be
Offended with such base low likenesses;
We know their posts are nobler far than these.


When the great signal ran from heaven to hell,-
About ten million times the distance reckon'd
From our sun to its earth, as we can tell

How much time it takes up, even to a second,
For every ray that travels to dispel

The fogs of London; through which, dimly beacon'd, The weathercocks are gilt, some thrice a year, If that the summer is not too severe :


I say that I can tell-'t was half a minute;
I know the solar beams take up more time
Ere, pack'd up for their journey, they begin it;
But then their telegraph is less sublime,
And if they ran a race, they would not win it

'Gainst Sathan's couriers bound for their own clime The sun takes up some years for every ray To reach its goal-the devil not half a day. LVII.

Upon the verge of space, about the size

Of half-a-crown, a little speck appear'd (I've seen a something like it in the skies In the Ægean, ere a squall); it near'd, And, growing bigger, took another guise;

Like an aerial ship it tack'd, and steer'd
Or was steer'd (I am doubtful of the grammar
Of the last phrase, which makes the stanza stammer ;-

But take your choice); and then it grew a cloud,
And so it was-a cloud of witnesses.

But such a cloud! No land e'er saw a crowd
Of locusts numerous as the heaven saw these;
They shadow'd with their myriads space; their loud
And varied cries were like those of wild-geese
(If nations may be liken'd to a goose),
And realized the phrase of "hell broke loose."


Here crash'd a sturdy oath of stout John Bull,
Who damn'd away his eyes as heretofore:
There Paddy brogued "by Jasus!" "What's you wull?"
The temperate Scot exclaim'd: the French gho wo

In certain terms I sha'nt translate in full,

As the first coachman will; and 'midst the w The voice of Jonathan was heard to express, "Our President is going to war, I guess."


Besides there were the Spaniard, Dutch, and [
In short an universal shoal of shades
From Otaheite's Isle to Salisbury Plain,

Of all climes and professions, years and trade. Ready to swear against the good king's reign,

Bitter as clubs in cards are against spades:
All summon'd by this grand "subpœna," to
Try if kings may n't be damn'd like me or you.

When Michael saw this host, he first grew pale,
As angels can; next, like Italian twilight,
He turn'd all colours-as a peacock's tail,
Or sunset streaming through a Gothic skylight
In some old abbey, or a trout not stale,

Or distant lightning on the horizon by night,
Or a fresh rainbow, or a grand review
Of thirty regiments in red, green, and blue.

Then he address'd himself to Sathan: "Why-
My good old friend, for such I deem you, though
Our different parties make us fight so shy,
I ne'er mistake you for a personal foe;
Our difference is political, and I

Trust that, whatever may occur below,
You know my great respect for you; and this
Makes me regret whate'er you do amiss-

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"Why, my dear Lucifer, would you abuse
My call for witnesses? I did not mean
That you should half of earth and hell produce;
'Tis even superfluous, since two honest, clean
True testimonies are enough: we lose

Our time, nay, our eternity, between
The accusation and defence: if we
Hear both, 't will stretch our immortality."

Sathan replied, "To me the matter is
Indifferent, in a personal point of view:
I can have fifty better souls than this

With far less trouble than we have gone through
Already; and I merely argued his

Late Majesty of Britain's case with you
Upon a point of form: you may dispose
Of him; I've kings enough below, God knows!"

Thus spoke the demon (late call'd "multi-faced"
By multo-scribbling Southey). "Then we 'll call
One or two persons of the myriads placed

Around our congress, and dispense with all The rest," quoth Michael: "Who may be so graced As to speak first? there's choice enough-who shall It be?" Then Sathan answer'd, "There are many; But you may choose Jack Wilkes as well as any."


A merry, cock-eyed, curious looking sprite
Upon the instant started from the throng,
Dress'd in a fashion now forgotten quite;
For all the fashions of the flesh stick long
By people in the next world; where unite

All the costumes since Adam's right or wrong, From Eve's fig-leaf down to the petticoat, Almost as scanty, of days less remote.


The spirit look'd around upon the crowds

Assembled, and exclaim'd, "My friends of all The spheres, we shall catch cold amongst these clouds; So let's to business: why this general call?

If those are freeholders I see in shrouds,

And 't is for an election that they bawl,

Behold a candidate with unturn'd-coat!

Saint Peter, may I count upon your vote?"



"Above the sun repeat, then, what thou hast

To urge against him," said the archangel. "Why,"
Replied the spirit, "since old scores are past,
Must I turn evidence? In faith, not I.
Besides, I beat him hollow at the last,

With all his Lords and Commons: in the sky
I don't like ripping up old stories, since
His conduct was but natural in a prince.


"Foolish, no doubt, and wicked, to oppress
A poor unlucky devil without a shilling;
But then I blame the man himself much less
Than Bute and Grafton, and shall be unwilling
To see him punish'd here for their excess,
Since they were both damn'd long ago, and still in
Their place below; for me, I have forgiven,
And vote his habeas corpus' into heaven."

"Wilkes," said the devil, "I understand all this;
You turn'd to half a courtier ere you died,
And seem to think it would not be amiss
To grow a whole one on the other side
Of Charon's ferry; you forget that his

Reign is concluded; whatsoe'er betide,
He won't be sovereign more: you've lost your labour,
For at the best he will but be your neighbour.


"However, I knew what to think of it,
When I beheld you, in your jesting way,
Flitting and whispering round about the spit
Where Belial, upon duty for the day,
With Fox's lard was basting William Pitt,

His pupil; I knew what to think, I say:
That fellow even in hell breeds farther ills;
I'll have him gagg'd-'t was one of his own bills.


"Call Junius!" From the crowd a shadow stalk'd, And at the name there was a general squeeze,

So that the very ghosts no longer walk'd
In comfort, at their own aerial ease,

But were all ramm'd, and jamm'd (but to be balk',
As we shall see) and jostled hands and knees,
Like wind compress'd and pent within a bladder,
Or like a human colic, which is sadder.


"Sir," replied Michael," you mistake: these things The shadow came! a tall, thin, gray-hair'd figure,

Are of a former life, and what we do

Above is more august; to judge of kings

Is the tribunal met; so now you know.” "Then I presume those gentlemen with wings,"

Said Wilkes," are cherubs; and that soul below Looks much like George the Third; but to my mind A good deal older-Bless me! is he blind?"


He is what you behold him, and his doom Depends upon his deeds," the angel said. "If you have aught to arraign in him, the tomb Gives license to the humblest beggar's head To lift itself against the loftiest."-" Some," Said Wilkes, "don't wait to see them laid in lead, For such a liberty-and I, for one,

Have told them what I thought beneath the sun."

That look'd as it had been a shade on earth;
Quick in its motions, with an air of vigour,
But nought to mark its breeding or its birth:
Now it wax'd little, then again grew bigger,
With now an air of gloom, or savage mirth;
But as you gazed upon its features, they
Changed every instant-to what none could say.

The more intently the ghosts gazed, the less

Could they distinguish whose the features were; The devil himself seem'd puzzled even to guess; They varied like a dream-now here, now there, And several people swore from out the press,

They knew him perfectly; and one could swear He was his father; upon which another Was sure he was his mother's cousin's brother:


Another, that he was a duke, or knight,
An orator, a lawyer, or a priest,
A nabob, a man-midwife; but the wight
Mysterious changed his countenance at least
As oft as they their minds: though in full sight
He stood, the puzzle only was increased;
The man was a phantasmagoria in
Himself-he was so volatile and thin!


The moment that you had pronounced him one,
Presto! his face changed, and he was another;
And when that change was hardly well put on,
It varied, till I don't think his own mother
(If that he had a mother) would her son

Have known, he shifted so from one to t' other,
Till guessing from a pleasure grew a task,
At this epistolary "iron mask."


For sometimes he like Cerberus would seem"Three gentlemen at once (as sagely says Good Mrs. Malaprop); then you might deem

That he was not even one; now many rays Were flashing round him; and now a thick steam Hid him from sight-like fogs on London days: Now Burke, now Tooke, he grew to people's fancies, And certes often like Sir Philip Francis.


I've an hypothesis-'t is quite my own;
I never let it out till now, for fear
Of doing people harm about the throne,
And injuring some minister or peer
On whom the stigma might perhaps be blown;
It is my gentle public, lend thine ear!
"Tis, that what Junius we are wont to call,
Was really, truly, nobody at all.


I don't see wherefore letters should not be
Written without hands, since we daily view
Them written without heads; and books we see
Are fill'd as well without the latter too;
And really, till we fix on somebody

For certain sure to claim them as his due, Their author, like the Niger's mouth, will bother The world to say if there be mouth or author.


And who and what art thou?" the archangel said. "For that, you may consult my title-page," Replied this mighty shadow of a shade:

"If I have kept my secret half an age,

I scarce shall tell it now."-" Canst thou upbraid,”
Continued Michael, "George Rex, or allege
Aught further?" Junius answer'd, "You had better
First ask him for his answer to my letter.

"My charges upon record will outlast

The brass of both his epitaph and tomb." "Repent'st thou not," said Michael, "of some past Exaggeration? something which may doom Thyself if false, as him if true? Thou wast Too bitter-is it not so? in thy gloom

Of passion?" "Passion!" cried the phantom dim, "I loved my country, and I hated him.

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At length, with jostling, elbowing, and the aid
Of cherubim appointed to that post,

The devil Asmodeus to the circle made

His way, and look'd as if his journey cost Some trouble. When his burden down he laid, "What's this?" cried Michael; "why, 'tis not a ghost!"

"I know it," quoth the incubus; "but he Shall be one, if you leave the affair to me. LXXXVI.

"Confound the renegado! I have sprain'd

My left wing, he's so heavy; one would think
Some of his works about his neck were chain'd.
But to the point: while hovering o'er the brink
Of Skiddaw (where, as usual, it still rain'd),
I saw a taper far below me wink,
And, stooping, caught this fellow at a libel-
No less on history than the holy bible.

"The former is the devil's scripture, and
The latter yours, good Michael; so the affair
Belongs to all of us, you understand.

I snatch'd him up just as you see him there,
And brought him off for sentence out of hand:
I've scarcely been ten minutes in the air-
At least a quarter it can hardly be:
I dare

say that his wife is still at tea."

Here Sathan said, "I know this man of old,
And have expected him for some time here;
A sillier fellow you will scarce behold,

Or more conceited in his petty sphere:
But surely it was not worth while to fold

Such trash below your wing, Asmodeus dear! We had the poor wretch safe (without being bored With carriage) coming of his own accord.

LXXXIX. "But since he 's here, let's see what he has done." "Done!" cried Asmodeus, "he anticipates The very business you are now upon,

And scribbles as if head clerk to the Fates. Who knows to what his ribaldry may run,

When such an ass as this, like Balaam's, prates ?" "Let's hear," quoth Michael," what he has to say; You know we're bound to that in every way!"

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But ere the spavin'd dactyls could be spurr'd
Into recitative, in great dismay
Both cherubim and seraphim were heard

To murmur loudly through their long array;
And Michael rose ere he could get a word
Of all his founder'd verses under way,


He had sung against all battles, and again
In their high praise and glory; he had call'd
Reviewing "the ungentle craft," and then
Become as base a critic as e'er crawl'd—
Fed, paid, and pamper'd by the very men

By whom his muse and morals had been maul'd:

And cried, "For God's sake stop, my friend! 't were He had written much blank verse, and blanker prose best

Non di, non homines,' you know the rest."


A general bustle spread throughout the throng,
Which seem'd to hold all verse in detestation;
The angels had of course enough of song

When upon service; and the generation
Of ghosts had heard too much in life, not long
Before, to profit by a new occasion;

The monarch, mute till then, exclaim'd "What! what!
P'ye come again? No more-no more of that!"

The tumult grew, an universal cough

Convulsed the skies, as during a debate, When Castlereagh has been up long enough (Before he was first minister of state,

I mean-the slaves hear now), some cried "off, off,”
As at a farce; till, grown quite desperate,
The bard Saint Peter pray'd to interpose
(Himself an author) only for his prose.


The varlet was not an ill-favour'd knave;
A good deal like a vulture in the face,
With a hook nose and a hawk's eye, which gave
A smart and sharper looking sort of grace
To his whole aspect, which, though rather grave,
Was by no means so ugly as his case;
But that indeed was hopeless as can be,
Quite a poetic felony, "de se."


Then Michael blew his trump, and still'd the noise
With one still greater, as is yet the mode
On earth besides; except some grumbling voice,
Which now and then will make a slight inroad
Upon decorous silence, few will twice

Lift up their lungs when fairly overcrow'd;
And now the bard could plead his own bad cause,
With all the attitudes of self-applause.


He said (I only give the heads)-he said,
He meant no harm in scribbling; 't was his way
Upon all topics; 'twas, besides, his bread,

Of which he butter'd both sides; 't would delay,
Too long the assembly (he was pleased to dread),
And take up rather more time than a day,
To name his works-he would but cite a few-
Wat Tyler-rhymes on Blenheim-Waterloo.

He had written praises of a regicide;

He had written praises of all kings whatever;
He had written for republics, far and wide,
And then against them, bitterer than ever;
For pantisocracy he once had cried

Aloud, a scheme less moral than 't was clever;
Then grew a hearty anti-jacobin-

Had turn'd his coat-and would have turn'd his skin.

And more of both than any body knows.

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