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August 2009

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CDAE -- Extension <[log in to unmask]>
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Tue, 25 Aug 2009 16:52:54 +0200
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Tering portrait, supposed to be the work of an old master. The portrait
having appeared, I then dwelt upon the original, and pointed out "that
no doubt, if we could see the original of this portrait, if we could see
again the man who sat for it, I would not hesitate to say that we would
be alarmed at the inconsistency of pictorial art. I will show you,
ladies and gentlemen, what I imagine this gentleman must have been
like!" As I was speaking, some old gentleman in the side gallery had
either fallen asleep or was very excited by my remarks, for he somehow
jerked the cord which fastened the top of the screen to the gallery, and
snap went the cord and down came the screen! Behind it there was an
expanse of empty platform, with a semi-circular seat, and on it sat my
friend, the enthusiast on art, fast asleep! The limelight, no longer
checked by the screen, fell full upon him, and the rounds of applause
which followed showed me that my unrehearsed effect, which might have
ruined the evening, had made it instead a great success. [Illustration:
DISCOVERED!] There are sure to be occasional mishaps when the lecturer
is assisted by the lantern; but as in my case, when one is not taken too
seriously, it is easy to turn the misfortune off with a joke. A fly was
the offender on one occasion in my experience. I was showing some
portraits of Mr. Gladstone in my entertainment "The Humours of
Parliament," and was doing my level best to rouse an appreciative North
Country audience to a high pitch of enthusiasm for the man they
worshipped so. I was telling them that at one moment he looks like this,
and at another moment he looks like that, when I was amazed to hear them
go into fits of laughter! In describing Mr. Gladstone I dilate upon him
first in a rhetorical vein, and then proceed to caricatu


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