While sitting in his favourite corner at the Greenroom Club, Henry Irving* was approached by a member, Watkins by name, who was an acknowledged bore.
Watkins slapped him on the shoulder:
Ah, Harry, delighted to see you.”
Irving, who was never called Harry, and, in fact, could not tolerate the name, turned around and looked at the speaker, and then resumed his reading.
Not abashed in any way, the man again clapped Irving on the shoulder, and continued:
Just returned from the continent, Harry, and whom do you think I saw in Paris? None other than our dear old friend Witherspoon. I walked up to him and said,. How are you, Witherspoon? You don’t know me, old chap, do you?
And will you believe me, Harry, he didn’t know me! I said to him: ‘Why, Witherspoon, can it be that you have forgotten me? It’s Watkins. Don’t you remember Watkins, of our old Charterhouse days? Don’t you remember Watkins? It’s Watkins.’ ”
At that moment Irving, who had been a lifelong friend of Witherspoon, turning with a look of supreme horror on his face, said:
And was it?”
* An anecdote on English stage actor, Sir Henry Irving (1838~1905) from The Gadfly 7th March 1906