LAYING THE
FOUNDATION-STONE
OF THE COTTAGE HOSPITAL

by
John Tilley

  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, we are gathered here to-day on the happy and auspicious occasion of laying the foundation-stone of the new cottage hospital that has been so kindly promised to the village by Lady Bargain. An occasion so happy and so auspicious that for sheer happiness and downright auspicious-ness I cannot recall an occasion more auspicious or more happy since the salvage operations after the fire at the Brewery last year. I am only sorry her Ladyship is unable to be with us to-day, but you may not know that her Ladyship was only let out this morning, and the doctor of the home told me in confidence that she may find the strain of financing the hospital too much for her, as she is still very busy with the three cathedrals, the railway station and the ornamental bathing-pool which she promised to the Mayor of Peacehaven before she was actually certified—well, earlier on in the year. I daresay that some of the more critical members of my audience may think it a little peculiar that there is no foundation-stone here to lay, but as a matter of fact the contractor has turned rather nasty, because he holds that if Lady Bargain can't pay cash for the foundation-stone, he doesn't stand much chance for the rest of the building. But that is his affair, and I am here in my capacity as Mayor to perform the ceremony, stone or no stone, especially as this is the first opportunity I have had of
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