GERMANIA: THE ARISTOCRACY

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There was something to be said for the feudal system, reminisced Baron Engelhardt, poking the corpse of the gardener.

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The trouble with Prussians, sighed Count Von Wittensdorf, is that they have no sense of humour. It’s like talking to a golf-ball.

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Are these your children? asked the Baron, wiping the mud off the skulls.

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See this skull? said Count von Meissen reaching for his biro. It is my late uncle Wieland, Let me sign it for you.

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One does not swim: one floats and moves forward through acts of grace, remarked saintly Count Brock.

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I always keep the noses, said the Baron. One can never have too many.

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The trousers of the late Count are on show in the gallery, said Dr Grohl. Will you take an aperitif first?

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The Archduke was a wag, guffawed Mayor Witter. Some days he’d appear at breakfast dressed as a gherkin and we wouldn’t know where to look.

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You must never scare children with stories of massacre and butchery, said Graf Blütz. Leave that to me.

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When Frau Melzer opened the box she discovered the whalebone corset bequeathed her by the late Countess. It was still glowing.

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