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Ages Ago

Dialogue Following No. 11


Lord C.:
Ahem! (Sir C. and Lady Maud start and look round.) Ahem!
Lady M.:
(looking into Sir Cecil's face). Eh?
Sir C.:
I didn't speak.
Lady M.
You said "Ahem!"
Lord C.:
(from picture). I said "Ahem!"
Lady M.
Gracious, who are you?
German Reed as Lord Carnaby Poppytop
Lord Carnaby Poppytop
Lord C.
I'm Lord Carnaby Poppytop. How-de-do? (Comes down from picture and embraces Lady Maud.)
Sir C.
Sir! what is the meaning of the outrage?
Lord C.
Outrage?
Sir C.
Yes, Sir, outrage. You kissed this lady.
Lord C.
I did.
Sir C.
And by what right, Sir, did you take such a liberty?
Lord C.
Liberty? Why she's my great, great, great, great, great- grandmother.
Sir C.
Nonsense, Sir, you are old enough to be her father.
Lord C.
Because I was painted at the age of sixty-five; Lady Maud was painted at the age of twenty-two. I was not born until a hundred and seventy years after Lady Maud's death. And talking of liberties, may I ask by what right my Michael Angelo puts his arm round the waist of my Leonardo da Vinci?
Sir C.
We are companion portraits, Sir. Besides, don't it strike you that it is hardly dutiful on your part to interfere with the proceedings of your great, great, great, great great-grandmother?
Lord C.
She's my picture, Sir, and I may do what I like with her.
Sir C.
She's your great-grandmother, Sir, and she claims the respect due to her extraordinary old age. Besides, who are you? I don't know you.
Lord C.
I'm Lord Carnaby Poppytop, painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, in 1713, at the age of sixty-five, and forty-four years after coming into possession of this castle.
Sir C.
Sir Godfrey Kneller! Nobody ever heard of the man!
Lord C.
No one would have heard of you if you hadn't been painted by an old master.
Lady M.
Gentlemen, pray don't quarrel on my account. (To Lord Carnaby, with authority.) My dear, your grandmama is quite old enough to take care of herself.

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Page Modified August 23, 2011