The Mayor of Troy
98 Pages
English
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The Mayor of Troy

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98 Pages
English

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Published 08 December 2010
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Language English

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Mayor of Troy, by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: The Mayor of Troy Author: Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch Release Date: November 10, 2006 [eBook #19751] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE MAYOR OF TROY*** E-text prepared by Lionel Sear THE MAYOR OF TROY. BY Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch. 1906. This e-text prepared from a reprint of a version published in 1906. TO MY FRIEND KENNETH GRAHAM AND THE REST OF THE CREW OF THE "RICHARD AND EMILY" AND WITH APOLOGIES TO THE MAYOR OF LOSTWITHIEL A BOROUGH FOR WHICH I HAVE (WITH CAUSE) MUCH AFFECTION AND A VERY HIGH ESTEEM. CONTENTS. Chapter I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI. XXII. PROLOGUE OUR MAJOR. OUR MAYOR. THE MILLENIUM. HOW THE TROY GALLANTS CHALLENGED THE LOOE DIEHARDS. INTERFERENCE OF A GUERSEY MERCHANT. MALBROUCK S'EN VA. THE BATTLE OF TALLAND COVE. "COME, MY CORRINNA, COME!" BY LERRYN WATER. GUNNER SOBEY TURNS LOOSE THE MILLENIUM. THE MAJOR LEAVES US. A COLD DOUCHE ON A HOT FIT. A VERY HOT PRESS. THE "VESUVIUS" BOMB. UP-CHANNEL. FAREWELL TO ALBION! MISSING! APOTHEOSIS. THE RETURN. IN WHICH THE MAJOR LEARNS THAT NO MAN IS NECESSARY. FACES IN WATER. WINDS UP WITH A MERRY-GO-ROUND. THE MAYOR OF TROY. PROLOGUE. Good wine needs no bush; but this story has to begin with an apology. Years ago I promised myself to write a treatise on the lost Mayors of Cornwall—dignitaries whose pleasant fame is now night, recalled only by some neat byword or proverb current in the Delectable (or as a public speaker pronounced it the other day, the Dialectable) Duchy. Thus you may hear of "the Mayor of Falmouth, who thanked God when the town jail was enlarged"; "the Mayor of Market Jew, sitting in his own light"; "the Mayor of Tregoney, who could read print upside-down, but wasn't above being spoken to"; "the Mayor of Calenick, who walked two miles to ride one"; "the Mayor of East Looe, who called the King of England 'Brother.'" Everyone remembers the stately prose in which Gibbon records when and how he determined on his great masterpiece, when and how he completed it. "It was at Rome: on the 15th of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the bare-footed friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the Decline and Fall of the City first started in my mind." So I could tell with circumstance when, where and how I first proposed my treatise; and shall, perhaps, when I have concluded it. But life is short; and for the while my readers may be amused with an instalment. Now of all the Mayors of Cornwall the one who most engaged my speculation, yet for a long while baffled all research, was "the Mayor of Troy, so popular that the town made him Ex-Mayor the year following." Of course, if you don't know Troy, you will miss half the reason of my eagerness. Simple, egregious, adorable town! Shall I go on here to sing its praises? No; not yet. The reason why I could learn nothing concerning him is that, soon after 1832, when the Reform Bill did away with Troy's Mayor and Corporation, as well as with its two Members of Parliament, someone made a bonfire of all the Borough records. O Alexandria! And the man said at the time that he did it for fun! This brings me to yet another Mayor—the Mayor of Lestiddle, who is a jolly good fellow. Nothing could be handsomer than my calling the Mayor of Lestiddle a jolly good fellow; for in fact we live at daggers drawn. You must know that Troy, a town of small population (two thousand or so) but of great character and importance, stands at the mouth of a river where it widens into a harbour singularly beautiful and frequented by ships of all nations; and that seven miles up this river, by a bridge where the salt tides cease, stands Lestiddle, a town of fewer inhabitants and of no character or importance at all. Now why the Reform Bill, which sheared Troy of its ancient dignities, should have left Lestiddle's untouched, is a question no man can answer me; but this I know, that its Mayor goes flourishing about with a silver mace shaped like an oar, as a symbol of jurisdiction over our river from its mouth (forsooth) so far inland as a pair of oxen yoked together can be driven in its bed. He has, in fact, no such jurisdiction. Above bridge he may, an it please him, drive his oxen up the riverbed, and welcome. I leave him to the anglers he will discommodate by it. But his jurisdiction below bridge was very properly taken from him by order of our late Queen (whose memory be blessed!) in Council, and vested in the Troy Harbour Commission. Now I am Chairman of that Commission, and yet the fellow declines to yield up his silver oar! We in Troy feel strongly about it. It is not for nothing (we hold) that when he or his burgesses come down the river for a day's fishing the weather invariably turns dirty. We mislike them even worse than a German band—which brings us no worse, as a rule, than a spell of east wind. Nevertheless, the Mayor of Lestiddle is a jolly good fellow, and I am glad that his townsmen (such as they are) have re-elected him. One day this last summer he came down to fish for mackerel at the harbour's mouth, which can be done at anchor since our sardine factory has taken to infringing the by-laws and discharging its offal on the wrong side of the prescribed limit. (We Harbour Commissioners have set our faces against this practice, but meanwhile it attracts the fish.) It was raining, of course. Rowing close up to me, the Mayor of Lestiddle asked—for we observe the ordinary courtesies— what bait I was using. I answered, fresh pilchard bait; and offered him some, delicately forbearing to return the question, since it is an article of faith with us that the burgesses of Lestiddle bait with earthworms which they dig out of their back gardens. Well, he accepted my pilchard bait, and pulled up two score of mackerel within as many