Primogeniture

Dad once told the tale of a man who Dad found to be unpleasant. After dealing with this man for a while, Dad told him this:

During the height of the British empire, the upper classes were often challenged to keep their younger sons busy. (The daughters didn’t come into this equation. They were married off for political or financial gain.)

The firstborn male was easy enough. He’d get the title and the bulk of the estate.

If any of the other sons were particularly bright, they’d be packed off to the Foreign Office to help make a big empire even bigger.

If any of the remaining sons weren’t too stupid, then they’d join the church.

The remaining sons who were completely useless were bought a commission and sent into the military. The hope was that either the empire, or it’s enemies, would solve the family’s problem.

Since those days, there’s been a marked decline in numbers of the military. I’ve often wondered what the upper classes do now with their completely useless sons.

But now that I’ve met you, I think I know.

 

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