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It's like those eerie stories nurses tell, Of how some actor on a stage played Death, With pasteboard crown, sham orb and tinselled dart, And called himself the monarch of the world; Then, going in the tire-room afterward, Because the play was done, to shift himself, Got touched upon the sleeve familiarly, The moment he had shut the closet door, By Death himself. Thus God might touch a Pope At unawares, ask what his baubles mean, And whose part he presumed to play just now. Best be yourself, imperial, plain and true!
-Robert Browning, Bishop Blougram's Apology, 1855