I know whose ancestors they were, I wish I knew whose ancestors they are now, and I shudder to think what may have become of them …

bringing together ‘orphan’ portraits and
Orphan of the Month

*or, as W S Gilbert had it in the Pirates of Penzance:

Major-General Stanley Why do I sit here?  To escape from the pirates' clutches, I described myself as an orphan; and, heaven help me, I am no orphan!  I come here to humble myself before the tombs of my ancestors, and to implore their pardon for having brought dishonour on the family escutcheon.

Frederic But you forget, sir, you only bought the property a year ago, and the stucco on your baronial castle is scarcely dry.

Major-General Stanley Frederic, in this chapel are ancestors: you cannot deny that.  With the estate, I bought the chapel and its contents.  I don't know whose ancestors they were, but I know whose ancestors they are, and I shudder to think that their descendant by purchase (if I may so describe myself) should have brought disgrace upon what, I have no doubt, was an unstained escutcheon.

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