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At the end of Ralph's suggested list of speakers for this memorial, he
said, "Admonish them to be brief." That caveat, of course, mirrored
Ralph's abiding modesty. It surely also reflected a weariness induced by his
faithful attendance at half a century of meetings that, however worthy and
even essential they may have been, were needlessly protracted. And
Ralph's courtesy led him to refer to us, the speakers, as "them," using a
collective pronoun rather than specifying those in particular need of his
advice. We are thus enabled to proceed in the spirit that animated a British
cabinet on addressing Queen Victoria, when they amended their
introductory disclaimer-" conscious as we are of our failings"-to
"conscious as we are of each other's failings."

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