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Sir and Sire

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A petition from the English _detenus_ at Valenciennes was
left for signature at the house of the colonel of gendarmerie, addressed in
a fulsome manner to Bonaparte, under his title of Emperor of the French,
and beginning with "_Sire_." Some unlucky wag took an opportunity of
altering this word into "_Dear Sir_," and nearly caused the whole party to
be imprisoned.





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