Now, for something completely different.
This past evening we settled down after a lovely repast of leftover Irish-style stew and cornbread to watch a DVD of the 2019 “Downton Abbey” movie. It is about the king and queen visiting the estate and the anticipation of that event for the family and the servants.
Minutes into the flix one of the characters, Merton, asks: “Who were those men measuring on the green as we came past?”
Mary replies: “They’re building the dais for the Queen at the parade.”
Merton: “How exciting.”
Isobel: “It seems rather a waste of money.”
Violet: “Here we go.”
Cora: “Isn’t that what the Monarchy’s for? To brighten the lives of the Nation with stateliness and glamour?”
Then Isobel, quotes Alfred Tennyson’s poem 1842 poem “Lady Clara Vere de Vere,” saying, “Kind hearts are more than coronets, And simple faith than Norman blood.”
To which Violet replies, “Will you have enough clichés to get you through the visit?”
And Isobel smartly counters, “if not, I’ll come to you.”
What makes this a slightly amusing juxtaposition is the fact the next DVD on our shelf is a 1949 flix starring Alec Guinness in several different roles. It is called “Kind Hearts and Coronets.”
Apparently Tennyson is saying that it is one’s character that counts, rather than the nobility of one’s descent.
In the Guinness film, which we’ve yet to watch, apparently one member of the family knocks off those above him in lineage to increase his inheritance and place in line to a title.
So the moral of his story is … none whatsoever. Just a royally odd coincidence to encounter so closely together the same obscure — to me at least — quotation. We are amused, but we are, these days, easily amused. I hope you are, too, whatever your current station in life and lore.