Downton Abbey

Maggie Smith delivers zingers in new 'Downton Abbey' promos

Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM ET

Dame Maggie Smith's Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess on "Downton Abbey," is known for her sharp barbs, and when Shirley MacLaine's Martha Levinson arrives from America in season three, expect delightful insults to be traded.

As fans have already seen from a clip that aired June 24 on TVLand, the two ladies get off to a spicy start when they first meet. But in a new promo from Britain's ITV, the Dowager Countess starts flinging her insults even before her new foe arrives.

During a dinner scene with the Crawley family, Violet manages to insult Cora's mother and Americans: "I'm so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I'm with her I'm reminded of the virtues of the English." "Isn't she American?" asks Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens. "Exactly," Smith says. Oh, snap!

But that wasn't the end of the Dowager Countess' disses. When Martha finally arrives, Violet insults Americans right to her face.

"You Americans never understand the importance of tradition," Violet tells Martha not so nicely. But as a previous sneak peek has already shown, Martha can certainly dish out her own smackdowns. Check it out:

Season three of "Downtown Abbey" premieres Jan. 6 

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