George III. on Punctuality

: Kings.

The celebrated mathematical instrument maker,
Mr. Ramsden, was frequently deficient in punctuality, and would delay for

months, nay, for years, the delivery of instruments bespoken from him. His

majesty, who had more than once experienced this dilatory disposition, once

ordered an instrument, which he made Ramsden positively promise to deliver

on a certain day. The day, however, came, but not the instrument. At length

sent word to the king that it was finished; on which a message was

sent him, desiring that he would bring it himself to the palace. He,

however, answered, that he would not come, unless his majesty would promise

not to be angry with him. "Well, well," said the king, "let him come: as he

confesses his fault, it would be hard to punish him for it." On this

assurance he went to the palace, where he was graciously received; the

king, after expressing his entire satisfaction with the instrument, only

adding, with a good-natured smile, "You have been uncommonly punctual this

time, Mr. Ramsden, having brought the instrument on the very day of the

month you promised it; you have only made a small mistake in the date of

the year." It was, in fact, exactly a year after the stipulated time.