Ah, aha – [nervous titter] my Liege! I did not – that is to say – I had no idea you were here, my Liege!
A trick of the light – a thousand curses on my eyes for being so clumsy and short-sighted – I had thought you in for the evening, Liege, and did not expect to find you – no, of course not, I do not presume to anticipate my Liege’s fancies! A droll jest! Indeed, a droll jest!
Yes, yes, of course, my Lord – right away, my Lord – it shall be just as you say, sir, it shall be attended to immediately, I shall see to it myself – most assiduous – all the care in the world!
My Liege will forgive me – your humblest servant craves this indulgence – but you must remember that I had not seen you, nor expected you to be here of all places, dressed as you are. Allowances must be made. I did not see my Lord. Had I but known, how different things might have been. No, no, I do not mean to suggest you acted wrongly – I merely wish to remind my Liege that I should never have spoken thus had I known myself to be in your presence. My intention is, always, to serve!
Surely my Liege can understand it was but the mildest of jokes! Mere frippery. Not to be thought of, not to be worried over.
A thousand pardons, my Liege! A thousand! And hang this servant for a clumsy fool if ever I fail to beg your pardon in such a circumstance, but Sir must remember that your loyal oaf could not have seen you in the passageway, hidden in shadows as you were – dressed as you have been – obscuring the noble countenance that reveals you instantly as your father’s son!
Yes, yes – of course, of course – my Liege is right, as always, and very funny the joke is too, but surely my Lord must acknowledge – had I any idea it was you, my Liege, I can assure you I would have never – Allow me to assure my Lordship that had I believed for even a moment your presence likely at this particular venture my conduct would have been other than what it was!
Please allow me to bow repeatedly! My liege, I do not seek to argue, merely bow. If my Liege would only make himself known sooner when entering a room, I might more effectively be able to serve – ah, aha, aha, very clever, my Lord! I shall attend to it immediately. I swear on my eyes I did not see you, my Liege – !