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The Politest of Nations!

Fun, VIII - 2nd January 1866


Paris fashions to puff people can't say enough,
  Its idioms, its shrugs, and its phrases —
And people who chance to have visited France
  Are eternally singing its praises.
Wherever we go, as all travellers know,
  We are met by the same observations,
We are constantly told by the young and the old
  That it's much the politest of nations,
    By far the politest of nations,
Most courteous and civil of nations,
Though Britons we be, we are bound to agree
  That it's much the politest of nations!

Though it's true beyond doubt that they shove you about
  With an unceremonious behavement,
And ladies they meet in a narrowish street
  They will elbow right off of the pavement.
Though conduct like this, touchy men take amiss,
  As a blot on their civilisations,
Yet only think how they will chatter and bow —
  It's by chalks the politest of nations
    By chalks the politest of nations,
Most courteous and civil of nations,
Though Britons we be, we are bound to agree
  That it's much the politest of nations!

Though they fight with ill grace for a popular place
  At a theatre or concert or races,
Though rollicking blades sneer at blighted old maids,
  And puff bad cigars in their faces,
Though they cover with shame any elderly dame,
  Who elicits unkind observations,
How they twist and they twirl to a pretty young girl!
  It's by far the politest of nations,
    By far the politest of nations,
Most courteous and civil of nations,
Though Britons we be, we are bound to agree
  That it's much the politest of nations!

Though the dresses they wear I'd be sorry, I swear,
  To see on my wife or my daughter —
Though they rouge themselves fair, and don't comb out their hair,
  And are n — not over partial to water —
Though untidy by day in a slipsloppy way,
  And scorning all kinds of lavations,
Yet it must be confessed that when — when they are dressed,
  They do look the politest of nations,
    By far the politest of nations,
Most courteous and civil of nations,
Though Britons we be, we are bound to agree
  That it's much the politest of nations!

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