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LORD RAGLAN
Young ladies should concern themselves with what is pretty. England is pretty... babies are pretty... some table linen can be very pretty...
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LORD RAGLAN
It will be a sad day for England when her armies are officered by men who know too well what they are doing- it smacks of murder.
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GENERAL AIREY
It does look like war.
LORD RAGLAN
Does it? I do think the French have been asking for it, ever since they had my arm.
AIREY
But it won't be the French.
RAGLAN
Won't it be the French?
AIREY
I've got a map, somewhere, of who it ought to be.
AIREY
Well, it might be the French. It might always be the French.
RAGLAN
I knew it would be.
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LORD CARDIGAN
I cam to be offered a command, not serve under that fool Lucan! I knew, the moment I saw his biscuit face sopping up wet around the Horse Guards he'd be here, starting his wheedling!
LORD RAGLAN
I am sure that after a little while, Lord Cardigan, you can be persuaded that such an arrangement can be made to work. After all, you will have the Light Brigade. Dash and fire, eh?
GENERAL AIREY
Yes, Cardigan. You'll have the Light Brigade. Dash and fire, it is!
CARDIGAN
[slightly mollified] Lucan could not make himself fit to command a tent. Command an escort. Not fit to command a troop of knackered tailors on stubbed donkeys!
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LORD RAGLAN
War. This is war, gentlemen. Our passage to India is threatened, I should think, wouldn't you? The honour, the reputation, the glory of England is threatened, and the Queen's Majesty is sure to be threatened, she is. Poor brave weak little, sick little Turkey--
GENERAL AIREY
[sententiously] "The Sick Man of Europe."
RAGLAN
Yes, though I prefer to consider her as a young woman, hands up, fluttered, defenceless-- if she should fall to the Tyrant, eh? If the Turks go down like cards, flip-flop, then next, up our own Solent, and our own Queen will come the Russians! Ships and guns to rip our country into shame!