Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Card XIII — (Major Arcana) — Death




An article by Chris Hedges (who wrote War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning [2002]) which was just published in AdBusters and can be read here. It came across my Twitter-radar via the always vital Thaïs Dahas.

•••


CLEON

This Tarsus, o'er which I have the government,
A city on whom plenty held full hand,
For riches strewed herself even in her streets;
Whose towers bore heads so high they kissed the clouds,
And strangers ne'er beheld but wondered at;
Whose men and dames so jetted and adorned,
Like one another's glass to trim them by;
Their tables were stored full, to glad the sight,
And not so much to feed on as delight;
All poverty was scorned, and pride so great
The name of help grew odious to repeat.

DIONYZA

O, 'tis too true!

CLEON

But see what heaven can do! By this our change
Those mouths who, but of late, earth, sea, and air
Were all too little to content and please,
Although they gave their creatures in abundance,
As houses are defiled for want of use,
They are now starved for want of exercise.
Those palates who, not yet two savours younger,
Must have inventions to delight the taste,
Would now be glad of bread, and beg for it.
Those mothers who to nuzzle up their babes
Thought nought too curious, are ready now
To eat those little darlings whom they loved.
So sharp are hunger's teeth that man and wife
Draw lots who first shall die to lengthen life.
Here stands a lord, and there a lady weeping;
Here many sink, yet those which see them fall
Have scarce strength left to give them burial.
Is not this true?

DIONYZA

Our cheeks and hollow eyes do witness it.

CLEON

O, let those cities that of plenty's cup
And her prosperities so largely taste
With their superfluous riots hear these tears!
The misery of Tarsus may be theirs.

—from Pericles, I.iv., by W. Shakespeare and collaborator (excerpt above by collaborator), 1608.







FIRST FISHERMAN

No, friend? Cannot you beg? Here's them in our country of Greece gets more with begging than we can do with working.

—from Pericles, II.i., by W. Shakespeare and collaborator (excerpt above by collaborator), 1608.



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