A National Frailty

The American people
Were put into the world
To assist foreign lecturers.
When I visited them
They filled crowded halls
To hear me tell them Great Truths
Which they might as well have read
In their own prophet Thoreau.
They paid me, for this,
Three hundred dollars a night,
And ten of their mandarins
Invited me to visit at Newport.
My agent told me
If I would wear Chinese costume on the platform
It would be five hundred.
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