What’s in a Name? or Draw…SWORDS! (2)
Sounds much better than ‘prostitute’, doesn’t it? More…refined. More genteel. And in fact, courtesans were the top tier: upper-class prostitutes. So expensive only the very wealthy could afford them.
Harriette Wilson was such a lady. A consort of royalty and the titled, as her attractions waned with age she decided to write her memoirs. She offered those men who had paid for her favours the opportunity to avoid having their names in print – for a fee of course. One notable was the Duke of Wellington, who upon receiving her offer is reputed to have uttered those immortal words ‘Publish and be damned!’
So why do I mention her? For the simple reason that she wrote a humorous anecdote, mimicking the drill sergeant of the 10th Hussars, which is relevant to our sword drill.
‘”Tik nutiss!! The wurd dror h’is h’only a CARSHUN.
At t’wurd suards, ye drors um h’out, tekin a farm un possitif grip o’th’ilt! Sem time, throwing th’shish smartly backords thus…! DROR!!!!!!”
Here the men, forgetful of the caution which had just been given to them began to draw their sabres……’
So you see, even the professionals found it difficult!