A story about Lord Kitchener, who was often spoken of as ‘the most distinguished bachelor in the world,’ is being told. A young member of his staff when he was in India asked for a furlough in order to go home and be married. Kitchener listened to him patiently then he said:
‘Kenilworth, you’re not yet twenty-five. Wait a year. If then you still desire to do this thing you shall have leave.’
The year passed. The officer once more proffered his request.
‘After thinking it over for twelve months,’ said Kitchener, ‘you still wish to marry?’
‘Very well, you shall have your furlough. And frankly, my boy, I scarcely thought there was so much constancy in the masculine world.’
Kenilworth, the story concludes, marched to the door, but turned to say as he was leaving: ‘Thank you, sir. Only it’s not the same woman.’