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Rhyme and Reason

The Earl of Rochester once scribbled a poem on Charles II's bedchamber door: "Here lies our sovereign lord the king,/ Whose promise none relies on;/ He never said a foolish thing,/ Nor ever did a wise one."

"This is very true, for my words are my own," Charles wryly replied, "and my actions are those of my ministers."

[Charles's last thoughts were of his mistress, "Let not poor Nelly starve." (His last words are often rendered: "I have been a most unconscionable time dying, but I beg you to excuse it.")]

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