As the 18th century draws to a close, as do my days on this earth, I cannot help but wonder how I will be remembered by those who come after me. Not just here in the Port of Sandwich, but in the many lands over which the British flag proudly flies.
Though it may be immodest of me to say, it is my dearest hope that I, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, shall be remembered as a great man by all. I long to know what will be foremost in the everyman's thoughts when he hears the name Sandwich. Will it be my Lordship of the Admiralty? Or my able and devoted service as Secretary of State? Either is a fair guess, I believe.
Yet, part of me suspects that it will be an object that is destined to bear my name for eternity, just as people now have begun to refer to a metal stove as a Franklin, after its inventor. Other men, as well, have been so honoured, and I must note that none of these other so-called great men represented England at the Breda Conference negotiations.
There, now I am thinking! Perhaps it will be treaties that will come to be known for eternity as Sandwiches. Great leaders of countries will say, "Let us enact a Sandwich, that our two nations shall cease to be enemies. By the terms of this most sacred and honorable Sandwich, let us have peace in our great lands." That would be a most fitting tribute to me, considering my tireless contributions to the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
Or will it be for my love of travel and discovery that the name Sandwich takes its rightful place in the annals of history? Yea verily, it is true that the most esteemed Captain James Cook, whom I personally outfitted and dispatched on an around-the-world voyage, has already named a set of small islands in the Pacific Ocean on my behalf. Ten years ago, he did thrust a pole into the ground and declare, "This land would make a perfect Sandwich, and so it is!"
Yet, I can hardly believe that my tribute will end at the shores of that trifling rocky stand. Dare I say, I can feel in my breast that my tribute will be greater still.
Do you believe it will be my great wit that will be recollected in association with my name? Perhaps a bon mot will come to be known as a Sandwich, and educated men will toss Sandwiches at each other from across the supping table, each endeavoring to come up with a better Sandwich than the last man.
Ah, wait! At last, I have come upon the answer! It will be my broad knowledge of the seven seas and all the lands under the sun that will inspire my designation. Maps are destined to bear the name Sandwich. Yea, I have decided that such an honour is what it will surely be! In every town, there shall be a shop devoted solely to the sale of Sandwiches. Indeed, and the boldest explorers and most erudite scholars will have the walls of their homes covered with Sandwiches, as well.
This is all very good, I say, for I have determined how I shall be forever recalled! Now please, servant, bring to me some hanks of salted beef and place them between two rounds of bread, so that I might continue my work of reminiscing here at my desk without the bother of a full table setting.