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A ROYAL SALUTEby@julesverne

A ROYAL SALUTE

by Jules Verne 11mAugust 21st, 2023
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“Then I take your bishop, major,” said Colonel Murphy, as he made a move that he had taken since the previous evening to consider. “I was afraid you would,” replied Major Oliphant, looking intently at the chess-board. Such was the way in which a long silence was broken on the morning of the 17th of February by the old calendar. Another day elapsed before another move was made. It was a protracted game; it had, in fact, already lasted some months—the players being so deliberate, and so fearful of taking a step without the most mature consideration, that even now they were only making the twentieth move. Both of them, moreover, were rigid disciples of the renowned Philidor, who pronounces that to play the pawns well is “the soul of chess”; and, accordingly, not one pawn had been sacrificed without a most vigorous defense. The men who were thus beguiling their leisure were two officers in the British army—Colonel Heneage Finch Murphy and Major Sir John Temple Oliphant. Remarkably similar in personal appearance, they were hardly less so in personal character. Both of them were about forty years of age; both of them were tall and fair, with bushy whiskers and mustaches; both of them were phlegmatic in temperament, and both much addicted to the wearing of their uniforms. They were proud of their nationality, and exhibited a manifest dislike, verging upon contempt, of everything foreign. Probably they would have felt no surprise if they had been told that Anglo-Saxons were fashioned out of some specific clay, the properties of which surpassed the investigation of chemical analysis. Without any intentional disparagement they might, in a certain way, be compared to two scarecrows which, though perfectly harmless in themselves, inspire some measure of respect, and are excellently adapted to protect the territory intrusted to their guardianship.
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Jules Verne

Jules Verne

@julesverne

French novelist, poet and playwright.

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Jules Verne  HackerNoon profile picture
Jules Verne @julesverne
French novelist, poet and playwright.

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