296 • Class distinction

296 • Class distinction

‘Stand my bodyguard down,’ cried The Duke
As he strode through the crowds in the Souk.
‘See, the commoners blench,
And recoil from the stench
Of my horseradish-sodden perruque.’

More heart-warming stories of this kind might do much to restore ordinary folk’s admiration for their overlords, who are too often painted by the media as out-of-touch, self-absorbed, and lacking in self-knowledge. This unspecified Duke amply possesses what Shakespeare calls ‘the common touch’, and harbours no illusions about the effect his presence has on the lower orders.

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