And now, my friends, please to excuse My lisping and my stammers; I, for this once, have done my best, And so--I'll make my manners.
The change, however, came too late; Firdousi, now a broken and decrepit old man, had in the meanwhile returned to Tus, and, while wandering through the streets of his native town, heard a child lisping a verse from his own satire in which he taunts Mahmud with his slavish birth: "Had Mahmud's father been what he is now A crown of gold had decked this aged brow; Had Mahmud's mother been of gentle blood, In heaps of silver knee-deep had I stood."
"Why this," began Pierre, not sitting down but pacing the room, sometimes stopping short, gesticulating, and lisping: "the position in Petersburg is this: the Emperor does not look into anything.
A little flock of these titmice came daily to pick a dinner out of my woodpile, or the crumbs at my door, with faint flitting lisping notes, like the tinkling of icicles in the grass, or else with sprightly day day day, or more rarely, in spring-like days, a wiry summery phe-be from the woodside.
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