With the recent happy announcement that Sean Connery is dubbed a knight of the realm on behalf of Her Majesty’s Non-Secret Service to Great Britain (along with Bond ambassadors-at-large Jane Seymour and Shirley Bassey) we recall to mind the 00-turn down of a similar offer of knighthood by James B. in Ian Fleming’s “the Man With The Golden Gun” as follows:
“So now James Bond said to Mary Goodnight, avoiding her eyes, “Mary, this is an order. Take down what follows and send it tonight. Right? Begins, quote MAILEDFIST EYES ONLY” [Bond interjected, “I might have said PROMONEYPENNY. When did M last touch a cipher machine?”] “YOUR [Put in the number, Mary] ACKNOWLEDGED AND GREATLY APPRECIATED STOP AM INFORMED BY HOSPITAL AUTHORITIES THAT EYE SHALL BE RETURNED LONDONWARDS DUTIABLE IN ONE MONTH STOP REFERRING YOUR REFERENCE TO AYE HIGH HONOUR EYE BEG YOU PRESENT MY HUMBLE DUTY TO HER MAJESTY AND REQUEST THAT EYE MAY BE PERMITTED COMMA IN ALL HUMILITY COMMA TO DECLINE THE SIGNAL FAVOR HER MAJESTY IS GRACIOUS ENOUGH TO PROPOSE TO CONFER UPON HER HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT SERVANT BRACKET TO MAILEDFIST PLEASE PUT THIS IN THE APPROPRIATE WORDS TO THE PRIME MINISTER STOP MY PRINCIPAL REASON IS THAT EYE DON’T WANT TO PAY MORE AT HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS BRACKET.”
Mary Goodnight broke in, horrified. “James. The rest is your business, but you really can’t say that last bit.”
Bond nodded. “I was only trying it on you, Mary. All right, let’s start again at the last stop. Right…
EYE AM A SCOTTISH PEASANT AND WILL ALWAYS FEEL AT HOME BEING A SCOTTISH PEASANT AND EYE KNOW COMMA SIR COMMA THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND MY PREFERENCE AND THAT EYE CAN COUNT ON YOUR INDULGENCE BRACKET LETTER CONFIRMING FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY ENDIT OHOHSEVEN
…[Bond to Goodnight] “I just refuse to call myself Sir James Bond. I’d laugh at myself every time I looked in the mirror to shave.”
Long live the peasant, and so say all of us! Happy landings, Sir Sean!