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Dialogue following No. 3

Colonel. Well, here we are once more on the scene of our former triumphs. But where's the Duke?

Enter Duke, listlessly, and in low spirits.

Duke. Here I am! (sighs)

Colonel. Come, cheer up, don't give way!

Duke. Oh, for that, I'm as cheerful as a poor devil can be expected to be who has the misfortune to be a Duke, with a thousand a day!

Major. Humph! Most men would envy you!

Duke. Envy me? Tell me, Major, are you fond of toffee?

Major. Very!

Colonel. We are all fond of toffee.

All. We are!

Colonel Calverley(Darrell Fancourt), The Duke of Dunstable (John Dean) and Major Murgatroyed (William Sumner), 1938
Click on picture to enlarge

Duke. Yes, and toffee in moderation is a capital thing. But to live on toffee - toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea - to have it supposed that you care for nothing but toffee, and that you would consider yourself insulted if anything but toffee were offered to you - how would you like that?

Colonel. I can quite believe that, under those circumstances, even toffee would become monotonous.

Duke. For "toffee" read flattery, adulation, and abject deference, carried to such a pitch that I began, at last, to think that man was born bent at an angle of forty-five degrees! Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?

Colonel. You're about as commonplace a young man as ever I saw.

All. You are!

Duke. Exactly! That's it exactly! That describes me to a T! Thank you all very much! Well, I couldn't stand it any longer, so I joined this second-class cavalry regiment. In the army, thought I, I shall be occasionally snubbed, perhaps even bullied, who knows? The
thought was rapture, and here I am.

Colonel. (looking off) Yes, and here are the ladies!

Duke. But who is the gentleman with the long hair?

Colonel. I don't know.

Duke. He seems popular!

Colonel. He does seem popular!

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