Toast to Sir Reginald Musgrave

Toast by Matt Laffey of Always1895.net to Sir Reginald Musgrave delivered at the Montague Street Lodgers of Brooklyn on November 10, 2012 at Armando’s Restaurant (143 Montague Street, Brooklyn NY). Thanks to Peter Crupe for hosting yet another excellent MSLBK event and for the chance to deliver the following toast.

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Greetings all - and welcome to the 454th annual Musgrave Family Reunion taking place on - as I’m sure you can tell from the towering oaks surrounding us and that rambling pile of gray stone behind - the grounds of charming Hurlstone Manner.

I will attempt to keep these introductory remarks brief for I realize many of you are keen to begin the pheasant hunt, which is North by 20 and by 20, West by 10 and by 10, Northeast by 3 and by 3 and so Under….Oh, I mean under the elm. The always, er, inviting Ms Janet Tregellis will be dispensing helpings of Na Na Musgrave’s famous pickled blood fruit cake along with piping hot cafe noir (which Reggie knows to avoid unless he wants to be up all night…).

I want to thank the Northern Musgraves for making the considerable trip down to Western Sussex this year. For those of you unfamiliar with our Northern kin, at some point in the 16th century Great Great Great, etc. Grandpappy Musgrave, after having had a serious row with his brother regarding the place of the Monarchy in modern, enlightened feudal society, began walking South by a lot and by a lot until he ended up here, noting the extreme beauty of the lake…which FYI was considerably more attractive than it’s current state due to the recent and unfortunate string of lake draggings… 

But let us not dwell on tragedy during this joyous occasion - or as joyous an occasion as damp grey archways and a freezing understaffed house will allow - and instead introduce our gracious host…

Now where is that pale, keen faced dandy of a parliamentary official?? Oh, what’s that? He’s chastising the footman again for having the gall to use his private umbrella during last night’s thunder shower? Ha! When will that boy ever learn to stop hiring these passionate Celtic men and excitable Welsh women?

I’d like to take advantage of Reggie’s absence to beg your understanding during this time of transition at Hurlstone. As you are well aware of the recent unpleasantness, I thank you for soldiering on in the absence of the always entertaining and infinitely knowledgeable Brunston the butler. I mean honestly, Brunton was the only reason any of us ever had any fun at these things - am I right? During Reggie’s four years at *cough**cough* University, it was no secret that he was generally not very popular among the undergraduates. But I digress…

So try your best to enjoy yourselves this weekend and be sure to check out the crown of ol’ Charlie the first which was recently and inexplicably unearthed in the basement. Sorry, one last thing: I’ve just been handed a note and I regret to inform you that tonight’s lecture on the origin of the piccolo has been canceled. 

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