MachiavelliAutumn is a cold killer. His scholar's countenance, unblemished by pity, confronts a weakened world through the casements in a fortress of rectitude. Leaves, in terror, dither into gutters to avoid the hooves of the tyrant's procession. Leaves are slaughtered, frozen, grotesque, strewn between houses: the bones of leaves, thin casualties, displayed in piles and on gateposts, a message for children, a warning for travellers. The window eyes do not turn until the slaughter is done. The Prince will not be moved by murder, nor by the keening fingers of bleeding trees.