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Ages Ago

Dialogue Following Song No. 13


Dame C.:
Perfect! (They gaze in rapture on each other's pictures.)
Lord C.:
I say, I don't want to be rude, but wouldn't it have made it pleasanter for all parties if that portrait of Dame Cherry Maybud had come to life instead of this one (indicating her).
Dame C.:
Oh, you think so? Very good. Shall I go back to my frame and send her down instead?
Lord C.:
Do! do! You won't be offended, I'm sure - it's still you, you know, only younger and - ahem! -prettier!
Dame C.:
Offended! not a bit — only —
Lord C.:
Yes.
Dame C.:
I was going to say that if Dame Cherry at the age of eighteen is to take the place of Dame Cherry at the age of fifty-six, it is only fair that Lord Carnaby at the age of twenty-one should take the place of Lord Carnaby at the age of sixty- five.
Lord C.:
Ah! Do you insist upon that?
Dame C.:
Oh yes, I insist upon that. Dame Cherry at eighteen would have nothing to say to an old gentleman like you, you know.
Lord C.:
Don't you think she would?
Dame C.:
I'm quite sure she wouldn't. She wouldn't hear of it.
Lord C.:
Am I to gather from that that Dame Cherry at the age of —
Dame C.:
Fifty-six.
Lord C.:
Oh, impossible — say thirty-five — that Dame Cherry, at the age of thirty-five, would hear of it?
Dame C.:
(coquettishly). Oh, Lord Carnaby. (Lord Carnaby places his arm around Dame Cherry's waist.)
Brown:
(from frame). I say, ahem! I don't want to interfere — but really you know — before a third party — you shouldn't; you shouldn't indeed.
Lord C.:
Be quiet, Sir, and look the other way.
Brown:
By all means. (Turns his back to them.) Will that do?
Lord C.:
Capitally. Stop like that until I tell you to turn round, or I'll rub you out. (To Dame Cherry.) Then there is only one thing to be done — to ask the sanction of our respected ancestors to our union. Ah! they come!

Enter Lady Maud and Sir Cecil.

Sir C.:
There is, however, one duty we owe to our venerable relations - we must obtain their consent to our marriage. Ah! they are here!

Sir Cecil and Lady Maud kneel at the feet of the elder couple, who at the same moment kneel at the feet of Sir Cecil and Lady Maud.

Lord C.:
(kneeling) Eh! What's this?
Sir C.:
(kneeling) We were about to ask your consent —
Lord C.:
To what?
Sir C.:
To my marriage with Lady Maud.
Lord C.:
But why ask our consent?
Sir C.:
Because you are our oldest relatives.
Lord C.:
But we were going to ask your consent.
Sir C.:
To what?
Lord C.:
To my marriage with Dame Cherry.
Sir C.:
But why?
Lord C.:
Because you are my great, great, great, great-grandfather. You are our ancestors.
Sir C.:
But we are your property.
Brown:
(from picture). Allow me to arrange this — you are all Alderman Tare's property — whose representative I am. Allow me to act for him, and bestow the necessary blessing.
All.:
With pleasure.
Brown:
Then, bless you, my ancestors. (All rise.)
Dame C.:
Well, that's comfortably settled. But bless me, the sun will rise in a few moments, when we shall all have to retire to our respective frames for a hundred years, and I declare we've been forgetting the very purpose for which we have been revived! The title deeds! (Taking deeds from pocket.)
Lord C.:
Of course, they must be given over to our next lineal descendant of the wicked Sir Roger do Bohun.
Dame C.:
I declare that lineal descendant to be Mr. Columbus Hebblethwaite, who is now stopping in this very house. We will leave the deeds on this table, where he will find them as soon as he descends to breakfast. (Places deeds on table.) There, the spell is broken and may not be revived for a hundred years.

All kneel. Crash. Cock crows. Daylight dawns. The lights go out.

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Page Modified August 23, 2011