Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Case of the Twelve Red-Bearded Dwarfs, part 5

Mr. Snapdriver, cross-examining, said, 'Now, Sir Ewart, will you, as a distinguished sailor, be good enough to tell the court what you know of these dwarfs, of whose persistent interference Mrs. Renton complains?'

There was a hush of expectation as the admiral adjusted his spectacles, produced a sheaf of papers from an attache case, and began to read the following:-'By the might of the Navy our Empire was built up. By the might of the Navy it must be protected. Britannia did not rise from out the azure main merely to sink back into it again. The salt is in our blood, and-'
By this time the court was filled with wild cheering, and several ladies waved small Union Jacks.

Mr. Justice Cocklecarrot: Yes, yes, Sir Ewart, but what has this to do with the case?

Sir Ewart: The future of our Navy -(cheers)-is the concern of us all (cheers).

Cocklecarrot: Really, I shall have to clear the court if this goes on.

Mr. Snapdriver: I beg leave to enter a residuum, with jaggidge.

Cocklecarrot: Don't talk rubbish.

Mr. Snapdriver: Now, Sir Ewart, do you know these dwarfs?

Sir Ewart: Dwarfs or no dwarfs, Britannia's bulwarks are her great ships. (Cheers). See how they churn the farthest seas, their enormous prows cleaving-

Mr. Snapdriver: Please, please, Sir Ewart, try to confine your remarks to the matter in hand. Do you or do you not know these dwarfs?

Sir Ewart: I should be sorry to allow my acquaintanceship with dwarfs, giants, or anyone else to distract my attention from Britain's need to-day-a stronger Fleet. (Cheers.) Britannia, Mother of Ships, Queen of the Deep, and-

Cocklecarrot: Mr. Snapdriver, why was this witness ever called?

Mr. Snapdriver: It was a subpoena.

Cocklecarrot: In demurrage?

Mr. Snapdriver: Yes, and in toto.

Cocklecarrot: Oh, I shall have to grant a mandatum sui generis.

(The case was then adjourned.)

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