Lookout in the crow’s nest of the admiral’s flagship: Deck, there! Enemy sail sighted!
First Lieutenant: The French fleet, sir! Shall I sound the beat to quarters?
Nelson: Oh, I don’t know. The fellow could be wrong. Maybe it’s just a convoy of merchant ships. Or some dolphins.
Lookout: Ahoy the deck! French fleet running out their guns!
First Lieutenant: See, sir? It’s definitely the French fleet. Shall we prepare to engage them?
Nelson: W-e-l-l…the sun’s in my eyes. Why don’t we wait until after dinner?
Second lieutenant (running up and saluting): Lord Nelson! The other ships are signaling, waiting for your orders.
Nelson: You can’t rush these things, Lieutenant. I need to mull the situation over, see if there isn’t a way out of this confrontation that doesn’t involve blood all over the deck, damage to the ship’s new paint job, and, above all, the embarrassment of being held personally responsible for standing in the way of history.
Lookout: On deck, there! A skiff has been launched from the French fleet’s flagship. It’s heading directly for us.
Fifteen minutes later, a French officer clambers over the deck rail.
French officer: Greetings from Admiral Henri Reid, your Lordship. He weeshes to honor you with theez gift, wheech I present wit’ heez compliments.
Nelson (opening the package): Ah, truffles! Yum!
French officer: Admiral Reid further weeshes to inform your Lordship that he is weeling to supply you an’ your family wit’ a permanent supply.
Nelson: Well, Admiral Reid can’t speak fairer than that! You may give him my assurances that I will not sink his fleet. Lieutenant, turn tail for England.
First Lieutenant: You mean “set sail”, don’t you sir?
Nelson: Er, yes. Heh. Yes, that’s what I meant. Set sail for England!