That het’rogeneous thing

In a local paper this past week, an area businessman was called, “[a] true Englishman in the best sense.”

God knows what the reporter meant (“not a football hooligan” is probably insufficiently precise), but it made me chuckle, because I thought immediately of college boys in dress-up, singing Gilbert and Sullivan:

In spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!
He remains an Englishman!

Then of Daniel Defoe’s, “The True-Born Englishman: A Satyr.” A quick trip via Google yielded the exact wonderfulness of this:

Thus from a mixture of all kinds began,
That het’rogeneous thing, an Englishman:
In eager rapes, and furious lust begot,
Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot.


That het’rogeneous thing — 1 Comment

  1. It was Flanders and Swann who wrote:

    The English the English the English are best
    I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest

    It's not that they're wicked or naturally bad
    It's just that they're foreign that makes them so mad
    The English are all that a nation should be
    And the pride of the English are Chipper and me

    Can't say fairer than that, then!

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