Lineage for Hire

Gladstone, Britain’s famous PM, visiting an antique dealer’s shop, admired an early seventeenth-century oil painting depicting an aristocrat dressed in old Spanish costume with a ruff, plumed hat, and lace cuffs. He wanted it badly but thought the price too high. Sometime later, at the house of a rich London merchant, he came upon the portrait he had so admired. His host, noticing Gladstone’s absorption, approached him. “You like it? It’s a portrait of one of my ancestors, a minister at the Court of Queen Elizabeth.” Said Gladstone: “Three pounds less and he would have been my ancestor.”

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Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 9:50 AM  Leave a Comment  
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