The English

A Wartime Civil Mil Relationship …

Posted on May 25, 2017. Filed under: Personalities, The English |

Gen Brooke commanded II Corps in the British Expeditionary Force and had a pessimistic view of the Allies’ chances of countering a German offensive. He was sceptical of the quality and determination of the French Army. This appeared to be justified when on a visit to some French formations he was shocked to see unshaven men, unkempt horses and dirty vehicles.

After Dunkirk,in his first conversation with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Brooke insisted that all British forces should be withdrawn from France. Churchill objected but was soon convinced by Brooke.

In July 1940 Brooke took over command of  Home Forces to counter any invasion. Contrary to his predecessor, who favoured a static coastal defence, Brooke focused on developing a mobile reserve which was to swiftly counterattack the enemy forces before they became established. A light line of defence on the coast was to assure that the landings were delayed as much as possible.

Brooke believed that the lack of a unified command of the three services was “a grave danger” to the defence of the country. Despite this, and the fact that the available forces never reached the numbers he thought were required, Brooke considered the situation far from “helpless” in case the Germans invaded.

“We should certainly have a desperate struggle and the future might well have hung in the balance, but I certainly felt that given a fair share of the fortunes of war we should certainly succeed in finally defending these shores”, he wrote after the war. But in the end, the German invasion plan was never taken beyond the preliminary assembly of forces.

In December 1941 Brooke became Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) and member the Chiefs of Staff Committee and in March 1942 its Chairman. For the remainder of the Second World War, Brooke was the foremost military adviser to Winston Churchill.

As CIGS, Brooke was the functional head of the British Army, and as chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, which he dominated by force of intellect and personality, he took the leading military part in the overall strategic direction of the British war effort.

His relationship with his Civilian boss was a turbulent one. He describes Churchill as a “genius mixed with an astonishing lack of vision – he is quite the most difficult man to work with that I have ever struck but I should not have missed the chance of working with him for anything on earth! “

Churchill on his part said about Brooke: “When I thump the table and push my face towards him what does he do? Thumps the table harder and glares back at me. I know these Brookes – stiff-necked Ulstermen and there’s no one worse to deal with than that!” 

It has been claimed that part of Churchill’s greatness was that he appointed Brooke as CIGS and kept him for the whole war.

A general complaint from Brooke was that Churchill often advocated diversion of forces where the CIGS preferred concentration. Brooke was particularly annoyed by Churchill’s idea of capturing the northern tip of Sumatra.

But in some cases Brooke did not see the political dimension of strategy as the Prime Minister did. The CIGS was sceptical about the British intervention in the Greek Civil War in late 1944, believing this was an operation which would drain troops from the central front in Germany. But at this stage the war was practically won and Churchill saw the possibility of preventing Greece from becoming a communist state.

 The most serious clash between the Prime Minister and the Chiefs of Staff, was regarding the British preparations for final stages of the Pacific War. Brooke and the rest of the Chiefs of Staff wanted to build up the forces in Australia while Churchill preferred to use India as a base for the British effort. It was an issue over which the Chiefs of Staff were prepared to resign, but in the end a compromise was reached

Despite their many disagreements Brooke and Churchill held an affection for each other. After one fierce clash Churchill told his chief of staff and military adviser, Sir Hastings Ismay, that he did not think he could continue to work any longer with Brooke because “he hates me. I can see hatred looking from his eyes.”

Brooke responded to Ismay: “Hate him? I don’t hate him. I love him. But the first time I tell him that I agree with him when I don’t will be the time to get rid of me, for then I can be no more use to him.” When Churchill was told this he murmured, ”Dear Brookie.”.

The partnership between Brooke and Churchill was a very successful one and led Britain to victory. According to historian Max Hastings, their partnership “created the most efficient machine for the higher direction of the war possessed by any combatant nation, even if its judgments were sometimes flawed and its ability to enforce its wishes increasingly constrained”.

Brooke’s diary entry for 10 September 1944 is particularly revealing of his ambivalent relationship with Churchill: ...”And the wonderful thing is that 3/4 of the population of the world imagine that Churchill is one of the Strategists of History, a second Marlborough, and the other 1/4 have no idea what a public menace he is and has been throughout this war! It is far better that the world should never know, and never suspect the feet of clay of this otherwise superhuman being. Without him England was lost for a certainty, with him England has been on the verge of disaster time and again…… Never have I admired and despised a man simultaneously to the same extent. Never have such opposite extremes been combined in the same human being.

The Alanbrooke diaries also give sharp opinions on several of the top Allied leaders. The Americans Eisenhower and Marshall, for example, are described as poor strategists and Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander as unintelligent. Among the few individuals of whom Brooke seems to have kept consistently positive opinions, from a military standpoint, were General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Field Marshal Sir John Dill, and Joseph Stalin.

Brooke admired Stalin for his quick brain and grasp of military strategy. Otherwise he had no illusions about the man, describing Stalin thus: “He has got an unpleasantly cold, crafty, dead face, and whenever I look at him I can imagine his sending off people to their doom without ever turning a hair.”

After the war, the Brookes’ financial situation forced the couple to move into the gardener’s cottage of their former home, where they lived for the rest of their lives.

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Birth of New Delhi …

Posted on February 19, 2017. Filed under: Indian Thought, The English |

The foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by George V, Emperor of India, during the Delhi Durbar of 12 December 1911. Delhi was inaugurated as the capital of British India by Viceroy and Governor-General of India, Lord Irwin, on 13 February 1931.

Announcement At The Delhi Durbar 
The Delhi Durbar, also known as the Imperial Durbar, was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911. The 1911 Durbar was attended by George V.
 The Delhi Durbar of 1911, with King George V and Queen Mary seated upon the dais. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)
The Delhi Durbar of 1911, with King George V and Queen Mary seated upon the dais. (Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia) The Emperor’s 12 December 1911 announcement, naming Delhi the new capital, stunned the nation. Geography was one of the main reasons. 

Some studies also say that the British had grown wary of the violence and nationalist uprisings in Bengal and that they planned to undo the Partition of Bengal and move out of the conflict zone.

The Prince of Wales, later King George V, laid the foundation stone of the memorial to Queen Victoria – who died in 1901 – in Kolkata on 4 January 1906.With the capital being moved to Delhi in 1912, the Victoria Memorial was formally opened to the public in 1921, in a provincial city, and not the capital as had been intended.

The new capital was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. They chose the southern plains beyond the old walled city of Shahajanabad as their site. The roads were to be huge, in contrast to the walled city’s narrow lanes.

The area was first made a district province of Punjab. It was named “New Delhi” in 1927.


It would take 20 years more, until 1931, for the British to officially inaugurate their new city. The British worked swiftly to establish a temporary seat of government in Civil Lines. In 1912, they constructed a secretariat building to house government offices while the North and South Blocks were constructed on Raisina Hill in New Delhi.


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Crusaders vs Islam …

Posted on January 31, 2017. Filed under: The English, Uncategorized |

Khalid Elhassan in Quora

Generally, the Muslim forces were lightly armed and armored, and thus faster and more mobile, while the Crusaders were more heavily armed and armored, which came at the cost of making them slower.

Tactically, the Muslims preferred wide open spaces, where their mobility and speed gave them an advantage in fighting at a standoff distance that enabled them to attrit and discomfit the Crusaders with projectile weapons at leisure, coupled with hit and run attacks against vulnerable parts of the Crusader armies, before swooping in for the kill once they judged their foes to have been sufficiently weakened – or, alternatively, retreat and live to fight another day if things weren’t going well.

The greatest Muslim victories usually came when they managed to stage a series of quick hit and run attacks against Crusader armies on their line of march over a few days, cutting off stragglers or units poorly deployed beyond the effective mutual protection of the rest of the army, severing them off from supplies and/or water, and otherwise weaken and frazzle them over an extended period of time, then finish them while they were reeling.

The Crusaders on the other hand preferred to come to grips at close quarters with their opponents as soon as possible, as their heavier arms and armor gave them a decided advantage in a melee. Even more so if it was still early in the campaign, while they and their horses were still fresh and full of vigor.

The greatest Crusader victories often came when they managed to pin a Muslim army against a natural terrain feature or obstacle that prevented or at least made it difficult to freely maneuver, and thus fixed them in place for a decisive cavalry charge by heavily armored Crusader knights.

There were exceptions, of course, but in broadest terms, it was contest between a military tradition emphasizing maneuver by light and highly mobile forces softening the enemy with hit and run tactics and attrition over an extended period before finally swooping in for the kill, vs a military tradition emphasizing a more immediate commitment to decisive battle.

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Those damned Upper Lip English …

Posted on January 9, 2017. Filed under: Books, The English, Uncategorized |

“May I ask you a question, My Lord?”

“Go ahead, Carson ,” said His Lordship

“I am doing the crossword in The Times and found a word the exact meaning of which I am not too certain.”

“What word is that?” asked His Lordship.

“Aplomb,  My Lord”.

“Now that’s a difficult one to explain. I would say it is self-assurance or complete composure.”

“Thank  you, My Lord, but I’m still a little confused about it.”

“Let me give you an example to make it clearer. Do you remember a few months ago when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived to spend a weekend with us?”

“I remember the occasion very well, My Lord. It gave the staff and myself much pleasure to look after them.”

“Also,” continued the Earl of Grantham, “do you remember when Wills plucked a rose for Kate in the rose garden?”

“I was present on that occasion, My Lord, ministering to their needs”.

“While Will was plucking the rose, a thorn embedded itself in his thumb very deeply.”

“I witnessed the incident, My Lord, and saw the Duchess herself remove the thorn and bandage his thumb with her own dainty handkerchief.”

“That evening the hole the rose made in his thumb was very sore. Kate had to cut his venison for him, even though it was extremely tender.”

“Yes,  My Lord, I did see everything that transpired that evening.”

“And do you remember the next morning while you were pouring coffee for Her Ladyship, Kate inquired of Will in a loud voice, ‘Darling does your prick still throb?’

And you, Carson, did not spill one drop of coffee!  That, Carson, is complete composure, or aplomb.

  • The TV Serial  DOWN TOWN ABBEY ……….
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This Wonderful English Language …

Posted on December 24, 2016. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, The English, Uncategorized |

C. N. Annadurai was a prominent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India,  known for his proficiency in English. Once at Yale University he was asked to mention a hundred words which did not have any of the letters –  A, B, C or D.

He promptly recited ‘One to Ninety Nine’ ………….. and then shouted ‘STOP’ – thus completing the one hundred words without any  of the Four Letters !

The next request was to  construct a sentence repeating ‘because’ three times contiguously.

After a moments thought, he says, “A sentence never ends with ‘because,’ because ‘because’ is a conjunction”.

Over to Messrs Shakespeare and Milton!



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Wellington – the Iron Duke …

Posted on November 30, 2016. Filed under: Personalities, The English, Uncategorized |

Arthur Wellesley participated in some 60 battles during his military career. He is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimizing his own losses.  However many, perhaps most, of his battles were offensive -Argaum, Assaye, Oporto, Salamanca, Vitoria, Toulouse. But for most of the Peninsular War, where he earned his fame, his troops lacked the numbers for an attack. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time and his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world.

Wellington always rose early – he “couldn’t bear to lie awake in bed”.. Even when he returned to civilian life after 1815, he slept on his camp bed, reflecting his lack of regard for creature comforts.While on campaign, he seldom ate anything between breakfast and dinner. During the retreat to Portugal in 1811, he subsisted on “cold meat and bread” – to the despair of his staff who dined with him. He was, however, renowned for the quality of the wine which he drank and served, often drinking a bottle with his dinner – not a great quantity by the standards of his day.

He rarely showed emotion in public, and often appeared condescending to those less competent or less well-born than himself (which was nearly everyone). Once, just before the Battle of Salamanca, he was eating a chicken leg while observing the the French army. He spotted an over extension on the French left flank and realized that he could launch a successful attack there. He threw the drumstick in the air and shouted – “The French are lost!”

Military historian Charles Dalton recorded that, after a hard-fought battle in Spain, a young officer made the comment, “I am going to dine with Wellington tonight”, which was overheard by the Duke who retorted- “Give me at least the prefix of Mr. before my name!”. — “My Lord,” replied the officer, “we do not speak of Mr. Caesar or Mr. Alexander, so why should I speak of Mr. Wellington?”

His stern countenance and iron-handed discipline were renowned. He was said to disapprove of soldiers cheering as “too nearly an expression of opinion”.He cared for his men and refused to pursue the French after the battles of Porto and Salamanca, foreseeing an inevitable cost to his army in chasing a diminished enemy through rough terrain. The only time that he ever showed grief in public was after the storming of Badajoz – he cried at the sight of the British dead in the breaches.

In this context, his famous dispatch after the Battle of Vitoria, calling them the “scum of the earth,” can be seen to be fueled as much by disappointment at their breaking ranks as by anger. He expressed his grief openly the night after Waterloo before his personal physician, and later with his family; unwilling to be congratulated for his victory, he broke down in tears, his fighting spirit diminished by the high cost of the battle and great personal loss.

His valet, Holman, who resembled Napoleon, recalled how his master never spoke to servants unless he was obliged – preferring instead to write his orders on a note pad on his dressing table.

Wellington had a “vigorous sexual appetite” and many amorous liaisons during his marriage to Kitty. He enjoyed the company of intellectual and attractive women for many decades, particularly after the Battle of Waterloo and his subsequent Ambassadorial position in Paris. The British press lampooned this side of the national hero and when some one threatened to publish some thing, he is supposed to have thundered “Publish and be damned.”

In September 1805, Major-General Wellesley was newly returned from his campaigns in India and was not yet particularly well-known to the public. He reported to the office of the Secretary for War to request a new assignment. In the waiting room he met Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, already a legendary figure after his victories at the Nile and Copenhagen, who was briefly in England after months of chasing the French Toulon fleet to the West Indies and back.

Some 30 years later, Wellington recalled the conversation that Nelson began with him which he found -“almost all on his side in a style so vain and silly as to surprise and almost disgust me”.

Nelson left the room to inquire who the young general was and, on his return, switched to a very different tone, discussing the war, the state of the colonies, and the geopolitical situation as between equals.  On this second discussion, Wellington recalled, “I don’t know that I ever had a conversation that interested me more”.

This was the only time that the two men met. Nelson was killed at Trafalgar –  just seven weeks later.

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Coincidence of a Life Time !

Posted on October 3, 2016. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, The English, Uncategorized |

The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia.
The navigator had just finished working out a star fix & brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0º 31′ N and LON 179 30′ W.  The date was 31 December 1899
 “Know what this means?” First Mate Payton broke in, “We’re only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line”.
Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime.  He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ships position.  He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark.  Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor.
 At midnight the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line!
 .The consequences of this bizarre position were many:forward parts (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & the middle of summer.  The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.  
The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.  Forward it was 1 January 1900.

This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different months, two different years, two different seasons but in two different centuries – all at the same time.


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Round III – US vs GB ?

Posted on October 3, 2016. Filed under: American Thinkers, The English, Uncategorized |

By Kevin Flint ——-I’ve always been partial to The Pig War of 1859. And though territory was actually gained in the war, the sole casualty on the fields of battle was a poor little pig.

The setting: The boundary region between British Columbia and the Oregon Territory was prime for conflict. The mightiest power of the age- the British Empire- was pushed right up against the rapidly growing United States in an area filled with islands, inlets, channels, and peninsulas. Not exactly an easy place to draw a boundary line. Add to it poorly drawn maps by self glorifying adventure seekers (that wacky John C Fremont) and humorless bureaucrats (isn’t that every British bureaucrat?) the area was ripe for conflict. And right in the middle of this powder keg was San Juan Island. And island resident Polly the Pig.

The Shot!  Every war needs a first shot. And on June 15, that shot rang out. No, it was not the “shot heard ’round the world.”  Heck, it wasn’t even heard around tiny San Juan Island. But when Irishman Charles Griffin’s free range pig picked American Lyman Cutler’s potato patch as a place to grab a snack that morning, it (and the entire island) sealed its own fate. The shot rang out, and the pig who would bring two mighty nations to war lay bloody and mortally wounded in the dirt.

Lyman offered Charles $10. Charles scoffed and demanded $100. Lyman shouted that he should have kept the pig out of his tubers. Charles countered that he should have done a better job of keeping his tubers out of the Pig.

The War! British authorities moved to arrest Lyman who they considered, like all Americans on the island, to be a squatter. Lyman and his fellow squatters…er, I mean settlers… thinking his residency protected by the Donation Land Claim Act asked for US military intervention. And the honorable Brigadier General William Harney answered the call. 66 soldiers of the 9th Infantry landed on the island, ready to defend the honor and safety of American pig killers across the entire (albeit tiny) land.

And thus, the Red Coats were defeated! Wait. What? Hell no. The mightiest empire of the age wasn’t going to be intimidated by a few dirty, squatting farmers and 66 soldiers. Three British warships were quickly dispatched to the escalating conflict. And Captain George Pickett, leader of the US forces proclaimed “we’ll make a Bunker Hill of it!

And in an age when Fox news could have looked respectable and non-sensational, that grandiose quote by Captain Pickett made headlines across the nation. People were outraged! Justice was demanded!

Good job Captain Pickett. A situation that could have been resolved by Judge Wapner before the first commercial break on People’s Court was now about to be ground zero for US vs Britain III.

And now you’re thinking “Pickett, Pickett, Pickett… how do I know that name?” Well , yes, you do recognize it. Captain Pickett. He of Pickett’s Charge! who only a few years later would command his Confederate Army division into an absolute slaughter (following a few more choice, grandstanding quotes) as he had them heroically charge the Union lines, heroically turning most of his soldiers into Swiss Cheese.

But back to the Pig. Soon 461 American soldiers armed with 14 cannon under the command of Colonel Silas Casey (who, a few years later would notably fight a major battle as a Union General against the bombastic future Confederate General Pickett, now serving under him) were on scene in the blue corner. And in the red corner, weighing in at 2140 British troops with 70 cannon aboard 5 warships, was Sir Geoffrey Hornby. Muskets were loaded, cannon primed, powder horns filled… dying time was here.

The Landing! (that wasn’t.) James Douglas was the British governor of Vancouver.  Bravely leading from his mansion, he ordered the overall military commander of the area, British Admiral Robert Baynes, to land his Marines and start kicking American butt. Admiral Baynes carefully considered the order, concluded that it was idiotic to send his troops to fight and die over a pig, and promotly refused. He ordered his men only to return fire if shot upon. Of course, were Pickett still in command, those shots probably would have come (following a few headline grabbing quotes) before running up as many casualties as possible. Luckily Colonel Casey had taken command, and ordered his men to also fire only if fired upon.

And soldiers, being soldiers (ie, not always sensible) spent the next weeks hurling insults across the lines in an attempt to provoke war. But they were still obedient professionals, and no shots were fired by either side.

Despite the best attempts by the British governor and the American captain, the cool heads prevailed. What came extremely close to being a violent and bloody war over a pig was negotiated after a few tense, trigger on the finger weeks, to a fair resolution.

Did I say weeks? Oops. Actually it was 12 Years! Yes, for 12 years the 2 sides faced off. Reduced by negotiation to a maximum of 100 soldiers on each side, the Brits and Yanks stared angrily at each other, ready for slaughter for a dozen years.

Well, ok, maybe not angrily. In fact, the two camps soon got to socializing, and with an abundance of alcohol, the “no man’s land” between camps basically became a 12 year long Spring Break party, punctuated by athletic competitions (epic tug of war matches across no man’s land) and hangover recovery.

The Resolution. All good things must come to an end. Eventually the two great powers decided the Germans could best figure this out. Because… why not?  Kaiser Wilhelm was asked to arbitrate. He awarded the island to the Yanks. A few other disputed areas were figured out as well. The Canadians, thinking their British overlords had screwed them, were royally pissed off. Well, at least that is what the history books tell us. I don’t think Canadians are capable of getting that pissed. So I’m going to assume they were “annoyed, but still pleasant” about the whole affair.

And thus ended The War of the PigThousands of troops. Warships. Cannons. The combined military might of two powerful nations. And one very dead side of bacon.
Fun fact: The British camp is now a park, and park rangers raise the Union Jack over it every day. One of the few spots in the US where the American government raises a foreign flag over US soil. Neat!

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Nelson n Trafalgar in 21st Century …

Posted on September 18, 2015. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, The English |

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.” Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”

Nelson: “Hold on, this isn’t what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?” Hardy: “Sorry sir?”

Nelson (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ – What gobbledygook is this for God’s sake?”
Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting “ England ” past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.” Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.” Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It’s part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest, please.” Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.” Nelson: “What?” Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected.”

Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.” Hardy:”He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral.” Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.” Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier- free environment for the differently abled.”

Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.” Hardy: ” Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under- represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy” Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.” Nelson: “What? This is mutiny!” Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?” Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”  Nelson: “We’re not?” Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy. Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.” Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity coordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary report.”e shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”                                                                                

Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.” Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me – Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?” Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment. “Nelson: “What about sodomy?” Hardy: “I believe that is now legal, sir.”              

Nelson: “In that case – Kiss me, Hardy.”

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Lord Chesterfield on Self Development …

Posted on May 23, 2015. Filed under: Guide Posts, Searching for Success, The English | Tags: , |

Let us learn from the celebrated letters of a father to his son – despite his view that as fathers commonly went, it was seldom a misfortune to be fatherless; and considering the general run of sons, as seldom a misfortune to be childless. And on sex – the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous and the expense damnable. …………. Now over to Lord Chesterfield –

I recommend that you take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.

Learning is acquired by reading books but the much more necessary learning which knowledge of the world, is acquired by reading men and studying them. You have to look into people – as well as at them – to take the tune of the company around you.

If you can once engage people’s pride, love, pity, ambition on your side, you need not fear what their reason can do against you.

Patience is the most necessary quality. Many a man would rather you heard his story than grant his request. Good humor is the health of the soul and sadness is its poison To be pleased, you must please

Modesty is the only sure bait when you angle for praise. Never seem more learned than the people around you. Wear your learning like a pocket watch – taking it out only when asked the time.

Wit is so shining a quality that everybody admires it, most aim at it, all fear it.. Few love it – unless in themselves.

A wise man will live as much within his wit as within his income. Regularity in the hours of waking and retiring, perseverance in exercise, adaptation of dress to the variations of climate, simple and nutritious aliment and temperance in all things.

Aim at perfection in everything. Persist and persevere and you will find most things possible and attainable. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. Who ever is in a hurry, shows that the thing is too big for him.

Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial.

If you are not in fashion, you are nobody. The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress. The man of sense laughs at it and at the same time he knows he must not neglect it.

Knowledge gives weight but accomplishment gives luster and the world sees more than it weighs. An injury is much sooner forgotten than an insult. Advice is seldom welcome and those who need it the most, like it the least.


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