315 • Buckstopper

315 • Buckstopper

‘Oh King! Why reproach us recruits
For such small specks of muck on our boots?’
‘Should the Kaiser detect
Such cosmetic neglect
Then I’ll be the one that he shoots.’

This morning’s bulletin – a parade-ground conversation from long, long ago – exemplifies the generous spirit evinced by great leaders of an all-but forgotten century. ‘The Buck stops here,’ would have been a pithier – yet exactly equivalent – answer from the British monarch. What joy it is, to contemplate a return to those days, when a potentate acknowledged the responsibility that goes with great privilege … and, by example, inspired the highest standards even in his lowliest subjects.

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