Rudyard Kipling

Pagett, M.P

The toad beneath the harrow knows Exactly where eath tooth-point goes. The butterfly upon the road Preaches contentment to that toad. Pagett, M.P., was a liar, and a fluent liar therewith -- He spoke of the heat of India as the "Asian Solar Myth"; Came on a four months' visit, to "study the East," in November, And I got him to sign an agreement vowing to stay till September. March came in with the koil. Pagett was cool and gay, Called me a "bloated Brahmin," talked of my "princely pay." March went out with the roses. "Where is your heat?" said he. "Coming," said I to Pagett, "Skittles!" said Pagett, M.P. April began with the punkah, coolies, and prickly-heat, -- Pagett was dear to mosquitoes, sandflies found him a treat. He grew speckled and mumpy-hammered, I grieve to say, Aryan brothers who fanned him, in an illiberal way. May set in with a dust-storm, -- Pagett went down with the sun. All the delights of the season tickled him one by one. Imprimis -- ten day's "liver" -- due to his drinking beer; Later, a dose of fever --slight, but he called it severe. Dysent'ry touched him in June, after the Chota Bursat -- Lowered his portly person -- made him yearn to depart. He didn't call me a "Brahmin," or "bloated," or "overpaid," But seemed to think it a wonder that any one stayed. July was a trifle unhealthy, -- Pagett was ill with fear. 'Called it the "Cholera Morbus," hinted that life was dear. He babbled of "Eastern Exile," and mentioned his home with tears; But I haven't seen my children for close upon seven years. We reached a hundred and twenty once in the Court at noon, (I've mentioned Pagett was portly) Pagett, went off in a swoon. That was an end to the business; Pagett, the perjured, fled With a practical, working knowledge of "Solar Myths" in his head. And I laughed as I drove from the station, but the mirth died out on my lips As I thought of the fools like Pagett who write of their "Eastern trips," And the sneers of the traveled idiots who duly misgovern the land, And I prayed to the Lord to deliver another one into my hand.

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