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Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), first Duke of Wellington, was the British general who defeated Napoleon in 1815 and was thereafter among the men most honored by his country during his lifetime. His career included service as prime minister (1828-1830) and later as commander in chief of the army. Known as the "Iron Duke," and famous for his uncompromising principles, he is often cited as an example of the best of the aristocracy.

Another such example that sounds a bit strange to American ears is the marquis Charles Cornwallis, whose surrender at Yorktown in 1781 convinced the politicians that the American Revolution could not be won (that's a tale for a later day).

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Wellington was in his office one day when the door flew open and a man entered, crying:

"I must kill you."

Wellington did not raise his head from his papers.

"Does it have to be today," said he.

The fellow look confused.

"Well, they didn't tell me ... but soon, surely."

"Good," came the reply. "Later then; I'm busy at the moment."

The man withdrew and was taken in charge by the authorities.

-----------------A Final Thought ...

"I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, they terrify me."

- Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), British soldier, prime minister; speaking of his generals