“I am twenty-eight but look younger,” he remarked to Mr. Meek. “Perhaps that is because I am twenty-seven. My mother is not English, she is Scottish. My father is not a Hindoo.”
“I warned you against reading the newspapers.”
“But he is not a Hindoo.”
“It’s near enough for the Gazette.”
“But Mr. Meek, what if I said you were a Welshman?”
“I would not hold you inaccurate, as my mother had Welsh blood.”
“Or an Irishman?”
Mr. Meek smiled back at him, unoffended, perhaps even looking a little Irish.
“Or a Frenchman?”
“Now there, sir, you go too far. There you provoke me.”
Julian Barnes, "Arthur and George"