Despite repeated appeals to his better judgment and several stern appraisals of disapproval, Mr. M____, of Nortfordshire Suffolk-Wain, a foppish dandy of eccentric reputation, disregarded a number of local constabulary this Thursday last.
M____, who is a well-known socialite and composer of light verse, is said to have behaved most rudely toward the constables, responding to their attempts to subdue him with what one witness called "an air of casual dismissal." The police, who were extremely offended by the snubbing, have accused him of acting in poor taste, looking down his nose, and playing the inappropriate role of a prima donna.
Although at this time certain aspects of the incident remain unclear, it is generally agreed that M____'s conduct was most irregular and boorish, and by no means appropriate for a gentleman of his standing.
The fracas occurred at the country estate of Madam K____, where guests had gathered to enjoy one of the Madam's famed thrice-yearly entertainments. Although all accounts indicate that the bulk of the party-goers were tasteful and well-mannered in all respects, M_____ had by mid-afternoon dispatched "a great amount of port," and had begun to offend the sensibilities of his fellows. Observers note that M____ seemed "lost in reverie": singing mightily, tossing his curly locks to and fro, gesturing madly about the room and laughing gaily all the while.
In addition, he is described as dominating conversation, eating all the comfits, wickedly quipping bon mots derived from village gossip and comporting himself generally in a manner most unbecoming and unsettling.
After being seated for the meal, M____ apparently calmed himself, much to the relief of his peers. However, although the first few courses of dinner were uneventful, the arrival of the steamed pheasant set off another outburst, proving the earlier peace to be a mere respite from M____'s ill-mannered displays of cheek. M____ is said to have amused himself by kicking up his heels, prancing daintily about the dining hall and extemporaneously composing unflattering quatrains with which he ridiculed and belittled the other guests.
"He behaved as though all the world was merely an addendum to himself, and he an object of adoration to more lowly folk," said Mrs. P____, wife of a prominent captain of industry. "After every remark, he would turn wildly about and bow, as if his overtures were being met in each instance with thunderous applause. What a beastly person."
Mrs. P____, who was the victim of some of the more tasteless parodic jests, is leaving for the Continent soon in an effort to put the unfortunate unpleasantness behind her.
The officers arrived after entreaties by the gathered citizenry to intervene on their behalf. They found M____ in the process of attempting to circumnavigate one of Madam K___'s award-winning botanical arrangements—and, failing spectacularly, overturning the table upon which it had been situated.
"There he sat, amidst the flora and spilled wine, loudly demanding a freshly laundered ascot and waistcoat," said one officer present at the time of the snubbing. "We tried to explain to him the folly of his ways, but he insisted on putting on airs." The constables commanded M____ to curb his excessive merry-making, but were promptly snubbed by him, after which they were extremely peeved.
As punishment for his untoward attitude, M____ was forcibly removed to the village station house, where he was thrashed severely about the buttocks with a willow switch. In addition, it was required of him to send handwritten notices of apology to all offended constabulary through the registered daily mail, and to ruminate in verse on what he had done to merit such a severe and uncompromising reprimand from the forces of law by writing, "I do not wish to go to gaol" one hundred times neatly.
He has been warned that it will not count unless his handwriting is decent, proper, and presentable. No word yet on whether he is continuing to joke, jape or jest at the expense of others.