Comment: For whom doth the bell tolls?

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For whom doth the bell tolls?

For whom doth create "legal tender out-of-thin-airs?

For whom doth monetize debts? Promissory notes? Cashes?

For whom doth have faiths? Confidences?

For whom shall come to collect their debts? To be paid in more debts?

For whom doth the bell tolls?
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John Donne " for whom the bell tolls " Ernest Hemingway

XVII. MEDITATION.

PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that ....

We often see the words respelled in modern style, with lines laid out as if written as a poem. Much better to read the text authentically, as copied from the original publication of l624:

    No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were ; and mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."

Standing on deck of one of the warships, Donne had a good view of the city, which stood on a low promontory reaching out into the Bay of Cadiz. The land was so low, a virtual promontory with water on both sides, that it must have looked to him as if the whole landmass could be shaken loose under the heavy bombardments and vanish by sliding out to sea. What if your house or your friend's house were washed out into the sea ....? Or another life slipped out to sea...?

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul