And of Kublai:
Back to China, but from an Occidental perspective:
"I have told you of that emperor's city in detail
And will tell you of the coining in Cambaluc
that hyght the secret of alchemy:
They take bast of the mulberry-tree,
That is a skin between the wood and the bark,
And of this they make paper, and mark it
Half a tornesel, a tornesel, or a half-groat of silver,
Or two groats, or five groats, or ten groats,
Or, for a great sheet, a gold bezant, 3 bezants,
And they are written on by officials,
And smeared with the great khan's seal in vermilion;
And the forgers are punished with death.
And all this costs the Kahn nothing,
Note how the sea-surge of Cantos I & II
re-echoes even in prosy-looking
passages. Cf Malatesta Cantos
And so he is rich in this world.
And his postmen go sewed up and sealed up,
Their coats buttoned behind and then sealed,
In this way from the voyage's one end to its other.
And the Indian merchants arriving
Must give up their jewels, and take this money
(That trade runs, in bezants, to 400,000 the year.)
And the nobles must buy their pearls"
- thus Messire Polo; prison at Genoa -
"Of the Emperor."
Marco Polo sounds as if he regarded this
kind of interest-bearing paper money as a gigantic swindle.
Later it became known as Finance Capitalism;
Ez calls it Usurocracy. Principals:
1. Monopoly on currency
2. Usury for use of currency.
There was a boy in Constantinople,
And some britisher kicked his arse.
Imperialism NOT blamed entirely on Usurocracy,
but on ethnic prejudice also. EP's prose
on economic politics usually makes this point
also -- except, alas, when he gives way
to his own prejudice.
"I hate these french," said Napoleon, aged 12,
To young Bourrienne, "I will do them all the harm
that I can."
A Corsican Osama bin Laden?????
Amusing/perplexing sidelight on Nap's motives....
and on imperialism and its backlashes,
violence breeding violence.
In like manner Zenos Metevsky.
Metevsky: based on Sir Basil Zaharoff,
super munitions magnate, model for
evil gun merchants in many other 1920s-30s
writings. Cf Robert Sherwood's Idiot's Delight.
One source I can't find now identifies
Zaharoff as the boy kicked in the arse above.
Hence, "like" Napoleon.
EP's villains never driven by
"motiveless malignancy" but usually
by revenge and/or avarice and/or both.
And old Biers was out there, a greenhorn,
To sell cannon, and Metevsky found the back door;
And old Biers sold the munitions,
And Metevsky died and was buried, i. e. officially,
And sat in the Yeiner Kafe watching the funeral.
Another guy was shot and mis-identified as Zaharoff
About ten years after this incident,
He owned a fair chunk of Humbers.
Humbers: EP's name for Vickers, England's largest gun merchants. By then, Z owned banks & newspapers, too.
"Peace! Pieyce!!" said Mr. Giddings,
Giddings not identifiable yet.
"Uni-ver-sal? Not while yew got tew billions ov money,"
Said Mr. Giddings, "invested in the man-u-facture
"Of war machinery.
EP blames wars chiefly on banks and national
prejudices, but never ignores the profit$
earned by gun merchants,
Haow I sold it to Russia -
"Well we tuk 'em a new torpedo-boat,
"And it was all electric, run it all from a
"Little bit uv a keyboard, about like the size ov
"A typewriter, and the prince come aboard,
"An' we sez wud yew like to run her?
"And he run damn slam on the breakwater,
"And bust off all her front end,
"And he was my gawd scared out of his panties.
"Who wuz agoin' tew pay for the damage?
"And it was my first trip out fer the company,
"And I sez, yer highness, it is nothing,
"We will give yew a new one. And, my Christ!
"The company backed me, and did we get a few orders/"
So La Marquesa de las Zojas y Hurbara
Used to drive up to Sir Zenos's place
in the Champs Elysees
And preside at his dinners, and at las once
She drove away from the front door, with her footmen
And her coachman in livery, and drove four blocks round
To the back door, and her husband was the son of a bitch,
Zaharoff had an affair with the Marquesa,
and sold lots of munitions to her cousin,
the king of Spain.
And Metevsky, "the well-known philanthropist,"
Or "the well-known financier, better known,"
As the press said, "as a philanthropist,"
Since Z [Metevsky] served two prison terms
for fraud, this does remind one of how
the corporate media today refer to our
Gave - as the Este to Louis the Eleventh, -
A fine pair of giraffes to the nation,
And endowed a chair of ballistics,
And was consulted before the offensives.
And Mr. Oige was very choleric in a first-class
From Nice to Paris, he said: "Danger!
"Now a sailor's life is a life of danger,
"But a mine, why every stick of it is numbered,
"And one time we missed one, and there was
"Three hundred men killed in the 'splosion."
He was annoyed with the strikers, having started himself
As engineer and worked up, and losing,
By that coal strike, some months after the paragraph:
: Sir Zenos Metevsky has been elected President
Of the Gethsemane Trebizond Petrol.
The Anglo-Persian Oil Company.....
beginning of the "oil wars" still continuing
in the mid-east.
And then there came out another: 80 locomotives
On the Manchester Cardiff have been fitted with
New oil-burning apparatus...
Large stocks of the heavier varieties of which (i. e. oil)
Are now on hand in the country.
So I said to the old quaker Hamish,
I said: "I am interested." And he went putty colour
And said: "He don't advertise. No, I don't think
You will learn much." That was when I asked
About Metevsky Melchizedek.
He, Hamish, took the tractors up to
King Menelik, 3 rivers and 140 ravines.
Example of how even intelligent people like Ez
begin to believe in Vast International Conspiracies.....
"Qu'est-ce qu'on pense...?" I said: "On don't pense.
"What do they think?" "They don't think."
EP's view of England when he left for France, 1919
"They're solid bone. You can amputate from just above
The medulla, and it won't alter the life in that island."
ARRGGGGGGH, sounds just like my view of
American minds c 2001.....
But he continued, "Mais, qu'EST-CE qu'ON pense,
"de la metallurgie, en Angleterre, qu'est qu'on
"Pense de Metevsky?"
And I said: "They ain't heard his name yet.
"Go ask at MacGorvish's bank."
"But what do the English think about Zaharoff?"
The Jap observers were much amused because
The Turkish freemasons hadn't bothered to
Take the..... regimental badges off their artillery.
And old Hamish: Menelik
Had a hunch that machinery...and so on...
But he never could get it to work,
never could get any power.
The Germans wd. send him up boilers, but they'd
Have to cut 'em into pieces to load 'em on camels,
And they never got 'em together again.
And so old Hamish went out there,
And looked at the place, 3 rivers
And a hundred and forty ravines,
And he sent out two tractors, one to pull on the other
And Menelik sent down an army, a 5000 black army
With hawsers, and they all sweated and swatted.
And the first thing Dave lit on when they got there
Was a buzz-saw,
And he put it through an ebony log: whhsssh, t ttt,
Two days' work in three minutes.
War, one war after another,
Men start 'em who couldn't put up a good hen-roost.
"Dave" and the men who cd put up a good henhouse
represent what Ez likes in the modern world
in contrast to machinations of "Metevsky"/Zaharoff.