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Tantissimi classici della letteratura e della cultura politica, economica e scientifica in lingua inglese con audio di ReadSpeaker e traduttore automatico interattivo FGA Translate

  1. Abbe Prevost - MANON LESCAUT
  2. Alcott, Louisa M. - AN OLDFASHIONED GIRL
  3. Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE MEN
  4. Alcott, Louisa M. - LITTLE WOMEN
  5. Alcott, Louisa May - JACK AND JILL
  6. Alcott, Louisa May - LIFE LETTERS AND JOURNALS
  7. Andersen, Hans Christian - FAIRY TALES
  8. Anonimo - BEOWULF
  9. Ariosto, Ludovico - ORLANDO ENRAGED
  10. Aurelius, Marcus - MEDITATIONS
  11. Austen, Jane - EMMA
  12. Austen, Jane - MANSFIELD PARK
  13. Austen, Jane - NORTHANGER ABBEY
  14. Austen, Jane - PERSUASION
  15. Austen, Jane - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
  16. Austen, Jane - SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
  18. Authors, Various - SELECTED ENGLISH LETTERS
  21. Balzac, Honore de - EUGENIE GRANDET
  22. Balzac, Honore de - FATHER GORIOT
  23. Baroness Orczy - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
  24. Barrie, J. M. - PETER AND WENDY
  25. Barrie, James M. - PETER PAN
  26. Bierce, Ambrose - THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY
  28. Boccaccio, Giovanni - DECAMERONE
  30. Bronte, Charlotte - JANE EYRE
  31. Bronte, Charlotte - VILLETTE
  32. Buchan, John - GREENMANTLE
  33. Buchan, John - MR STANDFAST
  34. Buchan, John - THE 39 STEPS
  35. Bunyan, John - THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
  37. Burnett, Frances H. - A LITTLE PRINCESS
  38. Burnett, Frances H. - LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY
  39. Burnett, Frances H. - THE SECRET GARDEN
  40. Butler, Samuel - EREWHON
  41. Carlyle, Thomas - PAST AND PRESENT
  42. Carlyle, Thomas - THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
  43. Cellini, Benvenuto - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  44. Cervantes - DON QUIXOTE
  45. Chaucer, Geoffrey - THE CANTERBURY TALES
  46. Chesterton, G. K. - A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGLAND
  47. Chesterton, G. K. - THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
  49. Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
  50. Chesterton, G. K. - THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY
  51. Chesterton, G. K. - THE WISDOM OF FATHER BROWN
  52. Chesterton, G. K. - TWELVE TYPES
  53. Chesterton, G. K. - WHAT I SAW IN AMERICA
  54. Chesterton, Gilbert K. - HERETICS
  55. Chopin, Kate - AT FAULT
  56. Chopin, Kate - BAYOU FOLK
  60. Clausewitz, Carl von - ON WAR
  62. Coleridge, S. T. - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
  65. Collins, Wilkie - THE MOONSTONE
  66. Collodi - PINOCCHIO
  67. Conan Doyle, Arthur - A STUDY IN SCARLET
  68. Conan Doyle, Arthur - MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
  69. Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
  70. Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES
  71. Conan Doyle, Arthur - THE SIGN OF THE FOUR
  72. Conrad, Joseph - HEART OF DARKNESS
  73. Conrad, Joseph - LORD JIM
  74. Conrad, Joseph - NOSTROMO
  75. Conrad, Joseph - THE NIGGER OF THE NARCISSUS
  76. Conrad, Joseph - TYPHOON
  77. Crane, Stephen - LAST WORDS
  78. Crane, Stephen - MAGGIE
  79. Crane, Stephen - THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
  80. Crane, Stephen - WOUNDS IN THE RAIN
  85. Darwin, Charles - THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
  87. Defoe, Daniel - A JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR
  88. Defoe, Daniel - CAPTAIN SINGLETON
  89. Defoe, Daniel - MOLL FLANDERS
  90. Defoe, Daniel - ROBINSON CRUSOE
  93. Deledda, Grazia - AFTER THE DIVORCE
  94. Dickens, Charles - A CHRISTMAS CAROL
  95. Dickens, Charles - A TALE OF TWO CITIES
  96. Dickens, Charles - BLEAK HOUSE
  97. Dickens, Charles - DAVID COPPERFIELD
  98. Dickens, Charles - DONBEY AND SON
  99. Dickens, Charles - GREAT EXPECTATIONS
  100. Dickens, Charles - HARD TIMES
  101. Dickens, Charles - LETTERS VOLUME 1
  102. Dickens, Charles - LITTLE DORRIT
  103. Dickens, Charles - MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT
  104. Dickens, Charles - NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
  105. Dickens, Charles - OLIVER TWIST
  106. Dickens, Charles - OUR MUTUAL FRIEND
  107. Dickens, Charles - PICTURES FROM ITALY
  108. Dickens, Charles - THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD
  109. Dickens, Charles - THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP
  110. Dickens, Charles - THE PICKWICK PAPERS
  111. Dickinson, Emily - POEMS
  112. Dostoevsky, Fyodor - CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
  113. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV
  114. Du Maurier, George - TRILBY
  115. Dumas, Alexandre - THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
  116. Dumas, Alexandre - THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
  117. Dumas, Alexandre - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
  118. Eliot, George - DANIEL DERONDA
  119. Eliot, George - MIDDLEMARCH
  120. Eliot, George - SILAS MARNER
  121. Eliot, George - THE MILL ON THE FLOSS
  123. Equiano - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  124. Esopo - FABLES
  125. Fenimore Cooper, James - THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
  126. Fielding, Henry - TOM JONES
  127. France, Anatole - THAIS
  128. France, Anatole - THE GODS ARE ATHIRST
  129. France, Anatole - THE LIFE OF JOAN OF ARC
  130. France, Anatole - THE SEVEN WIVES OF BLUEBEARD
  131. Frank Baum, L. - THE PATCHWORK GIRL OF OZ
  132. Frank Baum, L. - THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ
  133. Franklin, Benjamin - AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  134. Frazer, James George - THE GOLDEN BOUGH
  135. Freud, Sigmund - DREAM PSYCHOLOGY
  136. Galsworthy, John - COMPLETE PLAYS
  137. Galsworthy, John - STRIFE
  138. Galsworthy, John - STUDIES AND ESSAYS
  139. Galsworthy, John - THE FIRST AND THE LAST
  140. Galsworthy, John - THE FORSYTE SAGA
  141. Galsworthy, John - THE LITTLE MAN
  142. Galsworthy, John - THE SILVER BOX
  143. Galsworthy, John - THE SKIN GAME
  144. Gaskell, Elizabeth - CRANFORD
  145. Gaskell, Elizabeth - MARY BARTON
  146. Gaskell, Elizabeth - NORTH AND SOUTH
  147. Gaskell, Elizabeth - THE LIFE OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE
  148. Gay, John - THE BEGGAR'S OPERA
  149. Gentile, Maria - THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
  150. Gilbert and Sullivan - PLAYS
  151. Goethe - FAUST
  152. Gogol - DEAD SOULS
  153. Goldsmith, Oliver - SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
  154. Goldsmith, Oliver - THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD
  155. Grahame, Kenneth - THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
  156. Grimm, Brothers - FAIRY TALES
  158. Hardy, Thomas - A CHANGED MAN AND OTHER TALES
  159. Hardy, Thomas - FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
  160. Hardy, Thomas - JUDE THE OBSCURE
  161. Hardy, Thomas - TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
  162. Hardy, Thomas - THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE
  164. Hawthorne, Nathaniel - LITTLE MASTERPIECES
  165. Hawthorne, Nathaniel - THE SCARLET LETTER
  167. Henry, O. - CABBAGES AND KINGS
  168. Henry, O. - SIXES AND SEVENS
  169. Henry, O. - THE FOUR MILLION
  170. Henry, O. - THE TRIMMED LAMP
  171. Henry, O. - WHIRLIGIGS
  172. Hindman Miller, Gustavus - TEN THOUSAND DREAMS INTERPRETED
  173. Hobbes, Thomas - LEVIATHAN
  174. Homer - THE ILIAD
  175. Homer - THE ODYSSEY
  180. Ibsen, Henrik - A DOLL'S HOUSE
  181. Ibsen, Henrik - AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
  182. Ibsen, Henrik - GHOSTS
  183. Ibsen, Henrik - HEDDA GABLER
  184. Ibsen, Henrik - JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN
  185. Ibsen, Henrik - ROSMERHOLM
  186. Ibsen, Henrik - THE LADY FROM THE SEA
  187. Ibsen, Henrik - THE MASTER BUILDER
  188. Ibsen, Henrik - WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN
  189. Irving, Washington - THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
  190. James, Henry - ITALIAN HOURS
  191. James, Henry - THE ASPERN PAPERS
  192. James, Henry - THE BOSTONIANS
  193. James, Henry - THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY
  194. James, Henry - THE TURN OF THE SCREW
  195. James, Henry - WASHINGTON SQUARE
  196. Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN IN A BOAT
  197. Jerome, Jerome K. - THREE MEN ON THE BUMMEL
  198. Jevons, Stanley - POLITICAL ECONOMY
  199. Johnson, Samuel - A GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH TONGUE
  200. Jonson, Ben - THE ALCHEMIST
  201. Jonson, Ben - VOLPONE
  203. Joyce, James - CHAMBER MUSIC
  204. Joyce, James - DUBLINERS
  205. Joyce, James - ULYSSES
  206. Keats, John - ENDYMION
  207. Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1817
  208. Keats, John - POEMS PUBLISHED IN 1820
  209. King James - THE BIBLE
  210. Kipling, Rudyard - CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS
  211. Kipling, Rudyard - INDIAN TALES
  212. Kipling, Rudyard - JUST SO STORIES
  213. Kipling, Rudyard - KIM
  214. Kipling, Rudyard - THE JUNGLE BOOK
  215. Kipling, Rudyard - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
  216. Kipling, Rudyard - THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK
  217. Lawrence, D. H - THE RAINBOW
  218. Lawrence, D. H - THE WHITE PEACOCK
  219. Lawrence, D. H - TWILIGHT IN ITALY
  220. Lawrence, D. H. - AARON'S ROD
  221. Lawrence, D. H. - SONS AND LOVERS
  222. Lawrence, D. H. - THE LOST GIRL
  223. Lawrence, D. H. - WOMEN IN LOVE
  224. Lear, Edward - BOOK OF NONSENSE
  225. Lear, Edward - LAUGHABLE LYRICS
  226. Lear, Edward - MORE NONSENSE
  227. Lear, Edward - NONSENSE SONG
  229. Leblanc, Maurice - THE ADVENTURES OF ARSENE LUPIN
  231. Leblanc, Maurice - THE HOLLOW NEEDLE
  232. Leblanc, Maurice - THE RETURN OF ARSENE LUPIN
  233. Lehmann, Lilli - HOW TO SING
  234. Leroux, Gaston - THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER
  235. Leroux, Gaston - THE MYSTERY OF THE YELLOW ROOM
  236. Leroux, Gaston - THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
  237. London, Jack - MARTIN EDEN
  238. London, Jack - THE CALL OF THE WILD
  239. London, Jack - WHITE FANG
  240. Machiavelli, Nicolo' - THE PRINCE
  241. Malthus, Thomas - PRINCIPLE OF POPULATION
  242. Mansfield, Katherine - THE GARDEN PARTY AND OTHER STORIES
  243. Marlowe, Christopher - THE JEW OF MALTA
  244. Marryat, Captain - THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST
  245. Maupassant, Guy De - BEL AMI
  246. Melville, Hermann - MOBY DICK
  247. Melville, Hermann - TYPEE
  249. Milton, John - PARADISE LOST
  251. Montaigne, Michel de - ESSAYS
  252. Montgomery, Lucy Maud - ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
  253. More, Thomas - UTOPIA
  254. Nesbit, E. - FIVE CHILDREN AND IT
  256. Nesbit, E. - THE RAILWAY CHILDREN
  257. Nesbit, E. - THE STORY OF THE AMULET
  258. Newton, Isaac - OPTICKS
  259. Nietsche, Friedrich - BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL
  260. Nietsche, Friedrich - THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA
  261. Nightingale, Florence - NOTES ON NURSING
  262. Owen, Wilfred - POEMS
  263. Ozaki, Yei Theodora - JAPANESE FAIRY TALES
  264. Pascal, Blaise - PENSEES
  265. Pellico, Silvio - MY TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT
  266. Perrault, Charles - FAIRY TALES
  267. Pirandello, Luigi - THREE PLAYS
  268. Plato - THE REPUBLIC
  269. Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 1
  270. Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 2
  271. Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 3
  272. Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 4
  273. Poe, Edgar Allan - THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS 5
  274. Poe, Edgar Allan - THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
  275. Potter, Beatrix - THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT
  276. Proust, Marcel - SWANN'S WAY
  277. Radcliffe, Ann - A SICILIAN ROMANCE
  279. Richardson, Samuel - PAMELA
  280. Rider Haggard, H. - ALLAN QUATERMAIN
  281. Rider Haggard, H. - KING SOLOMON'S MINES
  284. Schiller, Friedrich - THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN
  285. Schiller, Friedrich - THE PICCOLOMINI
  286. Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE ART OF CONTROVERSY
  287. Schopenhauer, Arthur - THE WISDOM OF LIFE
  288. Scott Fitzgerald, F. - FLAPPERS AND PHILOSOPHERS
  289. Scott Fitzgerald, F. - TALES OF THE JAZZ AGE
  290. Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED
  291. Scott Fitzgerald, F. - THIS SIDE OF PARADISE
  292. Scott, Walter - IVANHOE
  293. Scott, Walter - QUENTIN DURWARD
  294. Scott, Walter - ROB ROY
  295. Scott, Walter - THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR
  296. Scott, Walter - WAVERLEY
  297. Sedgwick, Anne Douglas - THE THIRD WINDOW
  298. Sewell, Anna - BLACK BEAUTY
  299. Shakespeare, William - COMPLETE WORKS
  300. Shakespeare, William - HAMLET
  301. Shakespeare, William - OTHELLO
  302. Shakespeare, William - ROMEO AND JULIET
  303. Shelley, Mary - FRANKENSTEIN
  304. Shelley, Percy Bysshe - A DEFENCE OF POETRY AND OTHER ESSAYS
  305. Shelley, Percy Bysshe - COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS
  306. Sheridan, Richard B. - THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL
  307. Sienkiewicz, Henryk - QUO VADIS
  308. Smith, Adam - THE WEALTH OF NATIONS
  311. Spyri, Johanna - HEIDI
  312. Sterne, Laurence - A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
  313. Sterne, Laurence - TRISTRAM SHANDY
  314. Stevenson, Robert Louis - A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
  315. Stevenson, Robert Louis - ESSAYS IN THE ART OF WRITING
  316. Stevenson, Robert Louis - KIDNAPPED
  317. Stevenson, Robert Louis - NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
  318. Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE BLACK ARROW
  319. Stevenson, Robert Louis - THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
  320. Stevenson, Robert Louis - TREASURE ISLAND
  321. Stoker, Bram - DRACULA
  322. Strindberg, August - LUCKY PEHR
  323. Strindberg, August - MASTER OLOF
  324. Strindberg, August - THE RED ROOM
  325. Strindberg, August - THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS
  326. Strindberg, August - THERE ARE CRIMES AND CRIMES
  327. Swift, Jonathan - A MODEST PROPOSAL
  328. Swift, Jonathan - A TALE OF A TUB
  329. Swift, Jonathan - GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
  331. Tagore, Rabindranath - FRUIT GATHERING
  332. Tagore, Rabindranath - THE GARDENER
  333. Tagore, Rabindranath - THE HUNGRY STONES AND OTHER STORIES
  334. Thackeray, William - BARRY LYNDON
  335. Thackeray, William - VANITY FAIR
  336. Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE BOOK OF SNOBS
  337. Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE ROSE AND THE RING
  338. Thackeray, William Makepeace - THE VIRGINIANS
  339. Thoreau, Henry David - WALDEN
  340. Tolstoi, Leo - A LETTER TO A HINDU
  341. Tolstoy, Lev - ANNA KARENINA
  342. Tolstoy, Lev - WAR AND PEACE
  343. Trollope, Anthony - AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  344. Trollope, Anthony - BARCHESTER TOWERS
  345. Trollope, Anthony - FRAMLEY PARSONAGE
  346. Trollope, Anthony - THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS
  347. Trollope, Anthony - THE MAN WHO KEPT HIS MONEY IN A BOX
  348. Trollope, Anthony - THE WARDEN
  349. Trollope, Anthony - THE WAY WE LIVE NOW
  350. Twain, Mark - LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
  351. Twain, Mark - SPEECHES
  354. Twain, Mark - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER
  355. Vari, Autori - THE MAGNA CARTA
  356. Verga, Giovanni - SICILIAN STORIES
  357. Verne, Jules - 20000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEAS
  359. Verne, Jules - ALL AROUND THE MOON
  360. Verne, Jules - AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
  361. Verne, Jules - FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON
  362. Verne, Jules - FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
  363. Verne, Jules - MICHAEL STROGOFF
  364. Verne, Jules - THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
  366. Vyasa - MAHABHARATA
  367. Wallace, Edgar - SANDERS OF THE RIVER
  368. Wallace, Edgar - THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY
  369. Wallace, Lew - BEN HUR
  370. Webster, Jean - DADDY LONG LEGS
  371. Wedekind, Franz - THE AWAKENING OF SPRING
  372. Wells, H. G. - KIPPS
  373. Wells, H. G. - THE INVISIBLE MAN
  376. Wells, H. G. - THE TIME MACHINE
  377. Wells, H. G. - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
  378. Wells, H. G. - WHAT IS COMING
  379. Wharton, Edith - THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
  380. White, Andrew Dickson - FIAT MONEY INFLATION IN FRANCE
  381. Wilde, Oscar - A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
  382. Wilde, Oscar - AN IDEAL HUSBAND
  383. Wilde, Oscar - DE PROFUNDIS
  384. Wilde, Oscar - LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN
  385. Wilde, Oscar - SALOME
  386. Wilde, Oscar - SELECTED POEMS
  387. Wilde, Oscar - THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL
  388. Wilde, Oscar - THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
  391. Wilde, Oscar - THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GREY
  392. Wilde, Oscar - THE SOUL OF MAN
  393. Wilson, Epiphanius - SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST
  394. Wollstonecraft, Mary - A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN
  395. Woolf, Virgina - NIGHT AND DAY
  396. Woolf, Virgina - THE VOYAGE OUT
  397. Woolf, Virginia - JACOB'S ROOM
  398. Woolf, Virginia - MONDAY OR TUESDAY
  399. Wordsworth, William - POEMS
  400. Wordsworth, William - PROSE WORKS
  401. Zola, Emile - THERESE RAQUIN




Non si può dire di conoscere l'inglese se non si è in grado di capire le grandi opere che sono state scritte in questa lingua: i classici. E in questa sezione te ne offriamo una notevole selezione. Come strumenti ausiliari per la comprensione e la pronuncia trovi il dizionario di Babylon, il lettore automatico di ReadSpeaker e la traduzione interattiva di FGA Translate. Per attivarla basta selezionare una porzione qualsiasi di testo e, immediatamente, la traduzione in italiano comparirà in una finestrella. Qualora si desideri evitare la sovrapposizione della traduzione e dell'audio di ReadSpeaker è possibile deselezionare la casella della traduzione interattiva on/off. Dato che la pagina contiene tutta l'opera, per ascoltare le porzioni di testo successive a quelle iniziali anziché premere il pulsante Ascolta il testo si può selezionare la porzione di testo che si vuole ascoltare e poi cliccare sul simbolino di altoparlante che apparirà vicino alla porzione di testo selezionato.

Gilbert and Sullivan
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14 PLAYS By William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan






Libretto by William S. Gilbert

Music by Arthur S. Sullivan


THE DUKE OF PLAZA-TORO (a Grandee of Spain) LUIZ (his attendant) DON ALHAMBRA DEL BOLERO (the Grand Inquisitioner)




INEZ (the King's Foster-mother)

Chorus of Gondoliers and Contadine, Men-at-Arms, Heralds and Pages

ACT I The Piazzetta, Venice

ACT II Pavilion in the Palace of Barataria

(An interval of three months is supposed to elapse between Acts I and II)

DATE 1750


Scene.-- the Piazzetta, Venice. The Ducal Palace on the right.

Fiametta, Giulia, Vittoria, and other Contadine discovered, each tying a bouquet of roses.


List and learn, ye dainty roses, Roses white and roses red, Why we bind you into posies Ere your morning bloom has fled. By a law of maiden's making, Accents of a heart that's aching, Even though that heart be breaking, Should by maiden be unsaid: Though they love with love exceeding, They must seem to be unheeding-- Go ye then and do their pleading, Roses white and roses red!


Two there are for whom in duty, Every maid in Venice sighs-- Two so peerless in their beauty That they shame the summer skies. We have hearts for them, in plenty, They have hearts, but all too few, We, alas, are four-and-twenty! They, alas, are only two! We, alas!


FIA. Are four-and-twenty, They, alas!


FIA. Are only two.

CHORUS. They, alas, are only two, alas! Now ye know, ye dainty roses, Roses white and roses red, Why we bind you into posies, Ere your morning bloom has fled, Roses white and roses red!

(During this chorus Antonio, Francesco, Giorgio, and other Gondoliers have entered unobserved by the Girls--at first two, then two more, then four, then half a dozen, then the remainder of the Chorus.)


FRANC. Good morrow, pretty maids; for whom prepare ye These floral tributes extraordinary?

FIA. For Marco and Giuseppe Palmieri, The pink and flower of all the Gondolieri.

GIU. They're coming here, as we have heard but lately, To choose two brides from us who sit sedately.

ANT. Do all you maidens love them?

ALL. Passionately!

ANT. These gondoliers are to be envied greatly!

GIOR. But what of us, who one and all adore you? Have pity on our passion, we implore you!

FIA. These gentlemen must make their choice before you;

VIT. In the meantime we tacitly ignore you.

GIU. When they have chosen two that leaves you plenty-- Two dozen we, and ye are four-and-twenty.

FIA. and VIT. Till then, enjoy your dolce far niente.

ANT. With pleasure, nobody contradicente!


For the merriest fellows are we, tra la, That ply on the emerald sea, tra la; With loving and laughing, And quipping and quaffing, We're happy as happy can be, tra la-- With loving and laughing, etc.

With sorrow we've nothing to do, tra la, And care is a thing to pooh-pooh, tra la; And Jealousy yellow, Unfortunate fellow, We drown in the shimmering blue, tra la-- And Jealousy yellow, etc.

FIA. (looking off). See, see, at last they come to make their choice-- Let us acclaim them with united voice.

(Marco and Giuseppe appear in gondola at back.)

CHORUS (Girls). Hail, hail! gallant gondolieri, ben venuti! Accept our love, our homage, and our duty. Ben' venuti! ben' venuti!

(Marco and Giuseppe jump ashore--the Girls salute them.)


MAR. and GIU. Buon' giorno, signorine!

GIRLS. Gondolieri carissimi! Siamo contadine!

MAR. and GIU. (bowing). Servitori umilissimi! Per chi questi fiori-- Questi fiori bellissimi?

GIRLS. Per voi, bei signori O eccellentissimi!

(The Girls present their bouquets to Marco and Giuseppe, who are overwhelmed with them, and carry them with difficulty.)

MAR. and GIU. (their arms full of flowers). O ciel'! O ciel'!

GIRLS. Buon' giorno, cavalieri!

MAR. and GIU. (deprecatingly). Siamo gondolieri.

(To Fia. and Vit.) Signorina, io t' amo!

GIRLS. (deprecatingly). Contadine siamo.

MAR. and GIU. Signorine!

GIRLS (deprecatingly). Contadine!

(Curtseying to Mar. and Giu.) Cavalieri.

MAR. and GIU. (deprecatingly). Gondolieri! Poveri gondolieri!

CHORUS. Buon' giorno, signorine, etc.


We're called gondolieri, But that's a vagary, It's quite honorary The trade that we ply. For gallantry noted Since we were short-coated, To beauty devoted, Giuseppe\Are Marco and I;

When morning is breaking, Our couches forsaking, To greet their awaking With carols we come. At summer day's nooning, When weary lagooning, Our mandolins tuning, We lazily thrum.

When vespers are ringing, To hope ever clinging, With songs of our singing A vigil we keep, When daylight is fading, Enwrapt in night's shading, With soft serenading We sing them to sleep.

We're called gondolieri, etc.


MAR. And now to choose our brides!

GIU. As all are young and fair, And amiable besides,

BOTH. We really do not care A preference to declare.

MAR. A bias to disclose Would be indelicate--

GIU. And therefore we propose To let impartial Fate Select for us a mate!

ALL. Viva!

GIRLS. A bias to disclose Would be indelicate--

MEN. But how do they propose To let impartial Fate Select for them a mate?

GIU. These handkerchiefs upon our eyes be good enough to bind,

MAR. And take good care that both of us are absolutely blind;

BOTH. Then turn us round--and we, with all convenient despatch, Will undertake to marry any two of you we catch!

ALL. Viva! They undertake to marry any two of us\them they catch!

(The Girls prepare to bind their eyes as directed.)

FIA. (to Marco). Are you peeping? Can you see me?

MAR. Dark I'm keeping, Dark and dreamy!

(Marco slyly lifts bandage.)

VIT. (to Giuseppe). If you're blinded Truly, say so

GIU. All right-minded Players play so! (slyly lifts bandage).

FIA. (detecting Marco). Conduct shady! They are cheating! Surely they de- Serve a beating! (replaces bandage).

VIT. (detecting Giuseppe). This too much is; Maidens mocking-- Conduct such is Truly shocking! (replaces bandage).

ALL. You can spy, sir! Shut your eye, sir! You may use it by and by, sir! You can see, sir! Don't tell me, sir! That will do--now let it be, sir!

CHORUS OF GIRLS. My papa he keeps three horses, Black, and white, and dapple grey, sir; Turn three times, then take your courses, Catch whichever girl you may, sir!

CHORUS OF MEN. My papa, etc.

(Marco and Giuseppe turn round, as directed, and try to catch the girls. Business of blind-man's buff. Eventually Marco catches Gianetta, and Giuseppe catches Tessa. The two girls try to escape, but in vain. The two men pass their hands over the girls' faces to discover their identity.)

GIU. I've at length achieved a capture! (Guessing.) This is Tessa! (removes bandage). Rapture, rapture!

CHORUS. Rapture, rapture!

MAR. (guessing). To me Gianetta fate has granted! (removes bandage). Just the very girl I wanted!

CHORUS. Just the very girl he wanted!

GIU. (politely to Mar.). If you'd rather change--

TESS. My goodness! This indeed is simple rudeness.

MAR. (politely to Giu.). I've no preference whatever--

GIA. Listen to him! Well, I never! (Each man kisses each girl.)

GIA. Thank you, gallant gondolieri! In a set and formal measure It is scarcely necessary To express our pleasure. Each of us to prove a treasure, Conjugal and monetary, Gladly will devote our leisure, Gay and gallant gondolieri. Tra, la, la, la, la, la, etc.

TESS. Gay and gallant gondolieri, Take us both and hold us tightly, You have luck extraordinary; We might both have been unsightly! If we judge your conduct rightly, 'Twas a choice involuntary; Still we thank you most politely, Gay and gallant gondolieri! Tra, la, la, la, la, la, etc.

CHORUS OF Thank you, gallant gondolieri; GIRLS. In a set and formal measure, It is scarcely necessary To express our pleasure. Each of us to prove a treasure Gladly will devote our leisure, Gay and gallant gondolieri! Tra, la, la, la, la, la, etc.

ALL. Fate in this has put his finger-- Let us bow to Fate's decree, Then no longer let us linger, To the altar hurry we!

(They all dance off two and two--Gianetta with Marco, Tessa with Giuseppe.)

(Flourish. A gondola arrives at the Piazzetta steps, from which enter the Duke of Plaza-toro, the Duchess, their daughter Casilda, and their attendant Luiz, who carries a drum. All are dressed in pompous but old and faded clothes.)

(Entrance of Duke, Duchess, Casilda, and Luiz.)

DUKE. From the sunny Spanish shore, The Duke of Plaza-Tor!--

DUCH. And His Grace's Duchess true--

CAS. And His Grace's daughter, too--

LUIZ. And His Grace's private drum To Venetia's shores have come:

ALL. If ever, ever, ever They get back to Spain, They will never, never, never Cross the sea again--

DUKE. Neither that Grandee from the Spanish shore, The noble Duke of Plaza-Tor'--

DUCH. Nor His Grace's Duchess, staunch and true--

CAS. You may add, His Grace's daughter, too--

LUIZ. Nor His Grace's own particular drum To Venetia's shores will come:

ALL. If ever, ever, ever They get back to Spain, They will never, never, never Cross the sea again!

DUKE. At last we have arrived at our destination. This is the Ducal Palace, and it is here that the Grand Inquisitor resides. As a Castilian hidalgo of ninety-five quarterings, I regret that I am unable to pay my state visit on a horse. As a Castilian hidalgo of that description, I should have preferred to ride through the streets of Venice; but owing, I presume, to an unusually wet season, the streets are in such a condition that equestrian exercise is impracticable. No matter. Where is our suite? LUIZ (coming forward). Your Grace, I am here. DUCH. Why do you not do yourself the honour to kneel when you address His Grace? DUKE. My love, it is so small a matter! (To Luiz.) Still, you may as well do it. (Luiz kneels.) CAS. The young man seems to entertain but an imperfect appreciation of the respect due from a menial to a Castilian hidalgo. DUKE. My child, you are hard upon our suite. CAS. Papa, I've no patience with the presumption of persons in his plebeian position. If he does not appreciate that position, let him be whipped until he does. DUKE. Let us hope the omission was not intended as a slight. I should be much hurt if I thought it was. So would he. (To Luiz.) Where are the halberdiers who were to have had the honour of meeting us here, that our visit to the Grand Inquisitor might be made in becoming state? LUIZ. Your Grace, the halberdiers are mercenary people who stipulated for a trifle on account. DUKE. How tiresome! Well, let us hope the Grand Inquisitor is a blind gentleman. And the band who were to have had the honour of escorting us? I see no band! LUIZ. Your Grace, the band are sordid persons who required to be paid in advance. DUCH. That's so like a band! DUKE (annoyed). Insuperable difficulties meet me at every turn! DUCH. But surely they know His Grace? LUIZ. Exactly--they know His Grace. DUKE. Well, let us hope that the Grand Inquisitor is a deaf gentleman. A cornet-a-piston would be something. You do not happen to possess the accomplishment of tootling like a cornet-a-piston? LUIZ. Alas, no, Your Grace! But I can imitate a farmyard. DUKE (doubtfully). I don't see how that would help us. I don't see how we could bring it in. CAS. It would not help us in the least. We are not a parcel of graziers come to market, dolt! (Luiz rises.) DUKE. My love, our suite's feelings! (To Luiz.) Be so good as to ring the bell and inform the Grand Inquisitor that his Grace the Duke of Plaza-Toro, Count Matadoro, Baron Picadoro-- DUCH. And suite-- DUKE. And suite--have arrived at Venice, and seek-- CAS. Desire-- DUCH. Demand! DUKE. And demand an audience. LUIZ. Your Grace has but to command. DUKE (much moved). I felt sure of it--I felt sure of it! (Exit Luiz into Ducal Palace.) And now, my love--(aside to Duchess) Shall we tell her? I think so--(aloud to Casilda) And now, my love, prepare for a magnificent surprise. It is my agreeable duty to reveal to you a secret which should make you the happiest young lady in Venice! CAS. A secret? DUCH. A secret which, for State reasons, it has been necessary to preserve for twenty years. DUKE. When you were a prattling babe of six months old you were married by proxy to no less a personage than the infant son and heir of His Majesty the immeasurably wealthy King of Barataria! CAS. Married to the infant son of the King of Barataria? Was I consulted? (Duke shakes his head.) Then it was a most unpardonable liberty! DUKE. Consider his extreme youth and forgive him. Shortly after the ceremony that misguided monarch abandoned the creed of his forefathers, and became a Wesleyan Methodist of the most bigoted and persecuting type. The Grand Inquisitor, determined that the innovation should not be perpetuated in Barataria, caused your smiling and unconscious husband to be stolen and conveyed to Venice. A fortnight since the Methodist Monarch and all his Wesleyan Court were killed in an insurrection, and we are here to ascertain the whereabouts of your husband, and to hail you, our daughter, as Her Majesty, the reigning Queen of Barataria! (Kneels.)

(During this speech Luiz re-enters.)

DUCH. Your Majesty! (Kneels.) (Drum roll.) DUKE. It is at such moments as these that one feels how necessary it is to travel with a full band. CAS. I, the Queen of Barataria! But I've nothing to wear! We are practically penniless! DUKE. That point has not escaped me. Although I am unhappily in straitened circumstances at present, my social influence is something enormous; and a Company, to be called the Duke of Plaza-Toro, Limited, is in course of formation to work me. An influential directorate has been secured, and I shall myself join the Board after allotment. CAS. Am I to understand that the Queen of Barataria may be called upon at any time to witness her honoured sire in process of liquidation? DUCH. The speculation is not exempt from that drawback. If your father should stop, it will, of course, be necessary to wind him up. CAS. But it's so undignified--it's so degrading! A Grandee of Spain turned into a public company! Such a thing was never heard of! DUKE. My child, the Duke of Plaza-Toro does not follow fashions--he leads them. He always leads everybody. When he was in the army he led his regiment. He occasionally led them into action. He invariably led them out of it.


In enterprise of martial kind, When there was any fighting, He led his regiment from behind-- He found it less exciting. But when away his regiment ran, His place was at the fore, O-- That celebrated, Cultivated, Underrated Nobleman, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

ALL. In the first and foremost flight, ha, ha! You always found that knight, ha, ha! That celebrated, Cultivated, Underrated Nobleman, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

DUKE. When, to evade Destruction's hand, To hide they all proceeded, No soldier in that gallant band Hid half as well as he did. He lay concealed throughout the war, And so preserved his gore, O! That unaffected, Undetected, Well-connected Warrior, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

ALL. In every doughty deed, ha, ha! He always took the lead, ha, ha! That unaffected, Undetected, Well-connected Warrior, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

DUKE. When told that they would all be shot Unless they left the service, That hero hesitated not, So marvellous his nerve is. He sent his resignation in, The first of all his corps, O! That very knowing, Overflowing, Easy-going Paladin, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

ALL. To men of grosser clay, ha, ha! He always showed the way, ha, ha! That very knowing, Overflowing, Easy-going Paladin, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

(Exeunt Duke and Duchess into Grand Ducal Palace. As soon as they have disappeared, Luiz and Casilda rush to each other's arms.)


O rapture, when alone together Two loving hearts and those that bear them May join in temporary tether, Though Fate apart should rudely tear them.

CAS. Necessity, Invention's mother, Compelled me to a course of feigning-- But, left alone with one another, I will atone for my disdaining!


CAS. Ah, well-beloved, Mine angry frown Is but a gown That serves to dress My gentleness!

LUIZ. Ah, well-beloved, Thy cold disdain, It gives no pain-- 'Tis mercy, played In masquerade!

BOTH. Ah, well-beloved, etc.

CAS. O Luiz, Luiz--what have you said? What have I done? What have I allowed you to do? LUIZ. Nothing, I trust, that you will ever have reason to repent. (Offering to embrace her.) CAS. (withdrawing from him). Nay, Luiz, it may not be. I have embraced you for the last time. LUIZ (amazed). Casilda! CAS. I have just learnt, to my surprise and indignation, that I was wed in babyhood to the infant son of the King of Barataria! LUIZ. The son of the King of Barataria? The child who was stolen in infancy by the Inquisition? CAS. The same. But, of course, you know his story. LUIZ. Know his story? Why, I have often told you that my mother was the nurse to whose charge he was entrusted! CAS. True. I had forgotten. Well, he has been discovered, and my father has brought me here to claim his hand. LUIZ. But you will not recognize this marriage? It took place when you were too young to understand its import. CAS. Nay, Luiz, respect my principles and cease to torture me with vain entreaties. Henceforth my life is another's. LUIZ. But stay--the present and the future--they are another's; but the past--that at least is ours, and none can take it from us. As we may revel in naught else, let us revel in that! CAS. I don't think I grasp your meaning. LUIZ. Yet it is logical enough. You say you cease to love me? CAS. (demurely). I say I may not love you. LUIZ. Ah, but you do not say you did not love me? CAS. I loved you with a frenzy that words are powerless to express--and that but ten brief minutes since! LUIZ. Exactly. My own--that is, until ten minutes since, my own--my lately loved, my recently adored--tell me that until, say a quarter of an hour ago, I was all in all to thee! (Embracing her.) CAS. I see your idea. It's ingenious, but don't do that. (Releasing herself.) LUIZ. There can be no harm in revelling in the past. CAS. None whatever, but an embrace cannot be taken to act retrospectively. LUIZ. Perhaps not! CAS. We may recollect an embrace--I recollect many--but we must not repeat them. LUIZ. Then let us recollect a few! (A moment's pause, as they recollect, then both heave a deep sigh.) LUIZ. Ah, Casilda, you were to me as the sun is to the earth! CAS. A quarter of an hour ago? LUIZ. About that. CAS. And to think that, but for this miserable discovery, you would have been my own for life! LUIZ. Through life to death--a quarter of an hour ago! CAS. How greedily my thirsty ears would have drunk the golden melody of those sweet words a quarter--well, it's now about twenty minutes since. (Looking at her watch.) LUIZ. About that. In such a matter one cannot be too precise. CAS. And now our love, so full of life, is but a silent, solemn memory! LUIZ. Must it be so, Casilda? CAS. Luiz, it must be so!


LUIZ. There was a time-- A time for ever gone--ah, woe is me! It was no crime To love but thee alone--ah, woe is me! One heart, one life, one soul, One aim, one goal-- Each in the other's thrall, Each all in all, ah, woe is me!

BOTH. Oh, bury, bury--let the grave close o'er The days that were--that never will be more! Oh, bury, bury love that all condemn, And let the whirlwind mourn its requiem!

CAS. Dead as the last year's leaves-- As gathered flowers--ah, woe is me! Dead as the garnered sheaves, That love of ours--ah, woe is me! Born but to fade and die When hope was high, Dead and as far away As yesterday!--ah, woe is me!

BOTH. Oh, bury, bury--let the grave close o'er, etc.

(Re-enter from the Ducal Palace the Duke and Duchess, followed by Don Alhambra del Bolero, the Grand Inquisitor.)

DUKE. My child, allow me to present to you His Distinction Don Alhambra del Bolero, the Grand Inquisitor of Spain. It was His Distinction who so thoughtfully abstracted your infant husband and brought him to Venice. DON AL. So this is the little lady who is so unexpectedly called upon to assume the functions of Royalty! And a very nice little lady, too! DUKE. Jimp, isn't she? DON AL. Distinctly jimp. Allow me! (Offers his hand. She turns away scornfully.) Naughty temper! DUKE. You must make some allowance. Her Majesty's head is a little turned by her access of dignity. DON AL. I could have wished that Her Majesty's access of dignity had turned it in this direction. DUCH. Unfortunately, if I am not mistaken, there appears to be some little doubt as to His Majesty's whereabouts. CAS. (aside). A doubt as to his whereabouts? Then we may yet be saved! DON AL. A doubt? Oh dear, no--no doubt at all! He is here, in Venice, plying the modest but picturesque calling of a gondolier. I can give you his address--I see him every day! In the entire annals of our history there is absolutely no circumstance so entirely free from all manner of doubt of any kind whatever! Listen, and I'll tell you all about it.


I stole the Prince, and I brought him here, And left him gaily prattling With a highly respectable gondolier, Who promised the Royal babe to rear, And teach him the trade of a timoneer With his own beloved bratling.

Both of the babes were strong and stout, And, considering all things, clever. Of that there is no manner of doubt-- No probable, possible shadow of doubt-- No possible doubt whatever.

ALL. No possible doubt whatever.

But owing, I'm much disposed to fear, To his terrible taste for tippling, That highly respectable gondolier Could never declare with a mind sincere Which of the two was his offspring dear, And which the Royal stripling!

Which was which he could never make out Despite his best endeavour. Of that there is no manner of doubt-- No probable, possible shadow of doubt-- No possible doubt whatever.

ALL. No possible doubt whatever.

Time sped, and when at the end of a year I sought that infant cherished, That highly respectable gondolier Was lying a corpse on his humble bier-- I dropped a Grand Inquisitor's tear-- That gondolier had perished.

A taste for drink, combined with gout, Had doubled him up for ever. Of that there is no manner of doubt-- No probable, possible shadow of doubt-- No possible doubt whatever.

ALL. No possible doubt whatever.

The children followed his old career-- (This statement can't be parried) Of a highly respectable gondolier: Well, one of the two (who will soon be here)-- But which of the two is not quite clear-- Is the Royal Prince you married!

Search in and out and round about, And you'll discover never A tale so free from every doubt-- All probable, possible shadow of doubt-- All possible doubt whatever!

ALL. A tale free from every doubt, etc.

CAS. Then do you mean to say that I am married to one of two gondoliers, but it is impossible to say which? DON AL. Without any doubt of any kind whatever. But be reassured: the nurse to whom your husband was entrusted is the mother of the musical young man who is such a past-master of that delicately modulated instrument (indicating the drum). She can, no doubt, establish the King's identity beyond all question. LUIZ. Heavens, how did he know that? DON AL. My young friend, a Grand Inquisitor is always up to date. (To Cas.) His mother is at present the wife of a highly respectable and old-established brigand, who carries on an extensive practice in the mountains around Cordova. Accompanied by two of my emissaries, he will set off at once for his mother's address. She will return with them, and if she finds any difficulty in making up her mind, the persuasive influence of the torture chamber will jog her memory.


CAS. But, bless my heart, consider my position! I am the wife of one, that's very clear; But who can tell, except by intuition, Which is the Prince, and which the Gondolier?

DON AL. Submit to Fate without unseemly wrangle: Such complications frequently occur-- Life is one closely complicated tangle: Death is the only true unraveller!


ALL. Try we life-long, we can never Straighten out life's tangled skein, Why should we, in vain endeavour, Guess and guess and guess again?

LUIZ. Life's a pudding full of plums,

DUCH. Care's a canker that benumbs.

ALL. Life's a pudding full of plums, Care's a canker that benumbs. Wherefore waste our elocution On impossible solution? Life's a pleasant institution, Let us take it as it comes!

Set aside the dull enigma, We shall guess it all too soon; Failure brings no kind of stigma-- Dance we to another tune!

LUIZ. String the lyre and fill the cup,

DUCH. Lest on sorrow we should sup.

ALL. Hop and skip to Fancy's fiddle, Hands across and down the middle-- Life's perhaps the only riddle That we shrink from giving up!

(Exeunt all into Ducal Palace except Luiz, who goes off in gondola.)

(Enter Gondoliers and Contadine, followed by Marco, Gianetta, Giuseppe, and Tessa.)


Bridegroom and bride! Knot that's insoluble, Voices all voluble Hail it with pride. Bridegroom and bride! We in sincerity Wish you prosperity, Bridegroom and bride!


TESS. When a merry maiden marries, Sorrow goes and pleasure tarries; Every sound becomes a song, All is right, and nothing's wrong! From to-day and ever after Let our tears be tears of laughter. Every sigh that finds a vent Be a sigh of sweet content! When you marry, merry maiden, Then the air with love is laden; Every flower is a rose, Every goose becomes a swan, Every kind of trouble goes Where the last year's snows have gone!

CHORUS. Sunlight takes the place of shade When you marry, merry maid!

TESS. When a merry maiden marries, Sorrow goes and pleasure tarries; Every sound becomes a song, All is right, and nothing's wrong. Gnawing Care and aching Sorrow, Get ye gone until to-morrow; Jealousies in grim array, Ye are things of yesterday! When you marry, merry maiden, Then the air with joy is laden; All the corners of the earth Ring with music sweetly played, Worry is melodious mirth, Grief is joy in masquerade;

CHORUS. Sullen night is laughing day-- All the year is merry May!

(At the end of the song, Don Alhambra enters at back. The Gondoliers and Contadine shrink from him, and gradually go off, much alarmed.)

GIU. And now our lives are going to begin in real earnest! What's a bachelor? A mere nothing--he's a chrysalis. He can't be said to live--he exists. MAR. What a delightful institution marriage is! Why have we wasted all this time? Why didn't we marry ten years ago? TESS. Because you couldn't find anybody nice enough. GIA. Because you were waiting for us. MAR. I suppose that was the reason. We were waiting for you without knowing it. (Don Alhambra comes forward.) Hallo! DON AL. Good morning. GIU. If this gentleman is an undertaker it's a bad omen. DON AL. Ceremony of some sort going on? GIU. (aside). He is an undertaker! (Aloud.) No--a little unimportant family gathering. Nothing in your line. DON AL. Somebody's birthday, I suppose? GIA. Yes, mine! TESS. And mine! MAR. And mine! GIU. And mine! DON AL. Curious coincidence! And how old may you all be? TESS. It's a rude question--but about ten minutes. DON AL. Remarkably fine children! But surely you are jesting? TESS. In other words, we were married about ten minutes since. DON AL. Married! You don't mean to say you are married? MAR. Oh yes, we are married. DON AL. What, both of you? ALL. All four of us. DON AL. (aside). Bless my heart, how extremely awkward! GIA. You don't mind, I suppose? TESS. You were not thinking of either of us for yourself, I presume? Oh, Giuseppe, look at him--he was. He's heart-broken! DON AL. No, no, I wasn't! I wasn't! GIU. Now, my man (slapping him on the back), we don't want anything in your line to-day, and if your curiosity's satisfied--you can go! DON AL. You mustn't call me your man. It's a liberty. I don't think you know who I am. GIU. Not we, indeed! We are jolly gondoliers, the sons of Baptisto Palmieri, who led the last revolution. Republicans, heart and soul, we hold all men to be equal. As we abhor oppression, we abhor kings: as we detest vain-glory, we detest rank: as we despise effeminacy, we despise wealth. We are Venetian gondoliers--your equals in everything except our calling, and in that at once your masters and your servants. DON AL. Bless my heart, how unfortunate! One of you may be Baptisto's son, for anything I know to the contrary; but the other is no less a personage than the only son of the late King of Barataria. ALL. What! DON AL. And I trust--I trust it was that one who slapped me on the shoulder and called me his man! GIU. One of us a king! MAR. Not brothers! TESS. The King of Barataria! [Together] GIA. Well, who'd have thought it! MAR. But which is it? DON AL. What does it matter? As you are both Republicans, and hold kings in detestation, of course you'll abdicate at once. Good morning! (Going.) GIA. and TESS. Oh, don't do that! (Marco and Giuseppe stop him.) GIU. Well, as to that, of course there are kings and kings. When I say that I detest kings, I mean I detest bad kings. DON AL. I see. It's a delicate distinction. GIU. Quite so. Now I can conceive a kind of king--an ideal king--the creature of my fancy, you know--who would be absolutely unobjectionable. A king, for instance, who would abolish taxes and make everything cheap, except gondolas-- MAR. And give a great many free entertainments to the gondoliers-- GIU. And let off fireworks on the Grand Canal, and engage all the gondolas for the occasion-- MAR. And scramble money on the Rialto among the gondoliers. GIU. Such a king would be a blessing to his people, and if I were a king, that is the sort of king I would be. MAR. And so would I! DON AL. Come, I'm glad to find your objections are not insuperable. MAR. and GIU. Oh, they're not insuperable. GIA. and TESS. No, they're not insuperable. GIU. Besides, we are open to conviction. GIA. Yes; they are open to conviction. TESS. Oh! they've often been convicted. GIU. Our views may have been hastily formed on insufficient grounds. They may be crude, ill-digested, erroneous. I've a very poor opinion of the politician who is not open to conviction. TESS. (to Gia.). Oh, he's a fine fellow! GIA. Yes, that's the sort of politician for my money! DON AL. Then we'll consider it settled. Now, as the country is in a state of insurrection, it is absolutely necessary that you should assume the reins of Government at once; and, until it is ascertained which of you is to be king, I have arranged that you will reign jointly, so that no question can arise hereafter as to the validity of any of your acts. MAR. As one individual? DON AL. As one individual. GIU. (linking himself with Marco). Like this? DON AL. Something like that. MAR. And we may take our friends with us, and give them places about the Court? DON AL. Undoubtedly. That's always done! MAR. I'm convinced! GIU. So am I! TESS. Then the sooner we're off the better. GIA. We'll just run home and pack up a few things (going)-- DON AL. Stop, stop--that won't do at all--ladies are not admitted. ALL. What! DON AL. Not admitted. Not at present. Afterwards, perhaps. We'll see. GIU. Why, you don't mean to say you are going to separate us from our wives! DON AL. (aside). This is very awkward! (Aloud.) Only for a time--a few months. Alter all, what is a few months? TESS. But we've only been married half an hour! (Weeps.)



Kind sir, you cannot have the heart Our lives to part From those to whom an hour ago We were united! Before our flowing hopes you stem, Ah, look at them, And pause before you deal this blow, All uninvited! You men can never understand That heart and hand Cannot be separated when We go a-yearning; You see, you've only women's eyes To idolize And only women's hearts, poor men, To set you burning! Ah me, you men will never understand That woman's heart is one with woman's hand!

Some kind of charm you seem to find In womankind-- Some source of unexplained delight (Unless you're jesting), But what attracts you, I confess, I cannot guess, To me a woman's face is quite Uninteresting! If from my sister I were torn, It could be borne-- I should, no doubt, be horrified, But I could bear it;-- But Marco's quite another thing-- He is my King, He has my heart and none beside Shall ever share it! Ah me, you men will never understand That woman's heart is one with woman's hand!


Do not give way to this uncalled-for grief, Your separation will be very brief. To ascertain which is the King And which the other, To Barataria's Court I'll bring His foster-mother; Her former nurseling to declare She'll be delighted. That settled, let each happy pair Be reunited.

MAR., GIU., Viva! His argument is strong! GIA., TESS. Viva! We'll not be parted long! Viva! It will be settled soon! Viva! Then comes our honeymoon!

(Exit Don Alhambra.)


GIA. Then one of us will be a Queen, And sit on a golden throne, With a crown instead Of a hat on her head, And diamonds all her own! With a beautiful robe of gold and green, I've always understood; I wonder whether She'd wear a feather? I rather think she should!

ALL. Oh, 'tis a glorious thing, I ween, To be a regular Royal Queen! No half-and-half affair, I mean, But a right-down regular Royal Queen!

MAR. She'll drive about in a carriage and pair, With the King on her left-hand side, And a milk-white horse, As a matter of course, Whenever she wants to ride! With beautiful silver shoes to wear Upon her dainty feet; With endless stocks Of beautiful frocks And as much as she wants to eat!

ALL. Oh, 'tis a glorious thing, I ween, etc.

TESS. Whenever she condescends to walk, Be sure she'll shine at that, With her haughty stare And her nose in the air, Like a well-born aristocrat! At elegant high society talk She'll bear away the bell, With her "How de do?" And her "How are you?" And "I trust I see you well!"

ALL. Oh, 'tis a glorious thing, I ween, etc.

GIU. And noble lords will scrape and bow, And double themselves in two, And open their eyes In blank surprise At whatever she likes to do. And everybody will roundly vow She's fair as flowers in May, And say, "How clever!" At whatsoever She condescends to say!

ALL. Oh, 'tis a glorious thing, I ween, To be a regular Royal Queen! No half-and-half affair, I mean, But a right-down regular Royal Queen!

(Enter Chorus of Gondoliers and Contadine.)


Now, pray, what is the cause of this remarkable hilarity? This sudden ebullition of unmitigated jollity? Has anybody blessed you with a sample of his charity? Or have you been adopted by a gentleman of quality?

MAR. and GIU. Replying, we sing As one individual, As I find I'm a king, To my kingdom I bid you all. I'm aware you object To pavilions and palaces, But you'll find I respect Your Republican fallacies.

CHORUS. As they know we object To pavilions and palaces, How can they respect Our Republican fallacies?


MAR. For every one who feels inclined, Some post we undertake to find Congenial with his frame of mind-- And all shall equal be.

GIU. The Chancellor in his peruke-- The Earl, the Marquis, and the Dook, The Groom, the Butler, and the Cook-- They all shall equal be.

MAR. The Aristocrat who banks with Coutts-- The Aristocrat who hunts and shoots-- The Aristocrat who cleans our boots-- They all shall equal be!

GIU. The Noble Lord who rules the State-- The Noble Lord who cleans the plate--

MAR. The Noble Lord who scrubs the grate-- They all shall equal be!

GIU. The Lord High Bishop orthodox-- The Lord High Coachman on the box--

MAR. The Lord High Vagabond in the stocks-- They all shall equal be!

BOTH. For every one, etc.

Sing high, sing low, Wherever they go, They all shall equal be!

CHORUS. Sing high, sing low, Wherever they go, They all shall equal be!

The Earl, the Marquis, and the Dook, The Groom, the Butler, and the Cook, The Aristocrat who banks with Coutts, The Aristocrat who cleans the boots, The Noble Lord who rules the State, The Noble Lord who scrubs the grate, The Lord High Bishop orthodox, The Lord High Vagabond in the stocks--

For every one, etc.

Sing high, sing low, Wherever they go, They all shall equal be!

Then hail! O King, Whichever you may be, To you we sing, But do not bend the knee. Then hail! O King.

MARCO and GIUSEPPE (together).

Come, let's away--our island crown awaits me-- Conflicting feelings rend my soul apart! The thought of Royal dignity elates me, But leaving thee behind me breaks my heart!

(Addressing Gianetta and Tessa.)

GIANETTA and TESSA (together).

Farewell, my love; on board you must be getting; But while upon the sea you gaily roam, Remember that a heart for thee is fretting-- The tender little heart you've left at home!

GIA. Now, Marco dear, My wishes hear: While you're away It's understood You will be good And not too gay. To every trace Of maiden grace You will be blind, And will not glance By any chance On womankind!

If you are wise, You'll shut your eyes Till we arrive, And not address A lady less Than forty-five. You'll please to frown On every gown That you may see; And, O my pet, You won't forget You've married me!

And O my darling, O my pet, Whatever else you may forget, In yonder isle beyond the sea, Do not forget you've married me!

TESS. You'll lay your head Upon your bed At set of sun. You will not sing Of anything To any one. You'll sit and mope All day, I hope, And shed a tear Upon the life Your little wife Is passing here.

And if so be You think of me, Please tell the moon! I'll read it all In rays that fall On the lagoon: You'll be so kind As tell the wind How you may be, And send me words By little birds To comfort me!

And O my darling, O my pet, Whatever else you may forget, In yonder isle beyond the sea, Do not forget you've married me!

QUARTET. Oh my darling, O my pet, etc.

CHORUS (during which a "Xebeque" is hauled alongside the quay.)

Then away we go to an island fair That lies in a Southern sea: We know not where, and we don't much care, Wherever that isle may be.

THE MEN (hauling on boat). One, two, three, Haul! One, two, three, Haul! One, two, three, Haul! With a will!

ALL. When the breezes are a-blowing The ship will be going, When they don't we shall all stand still! Then away we go to an island fair, We know not where, and we don't much care, Wherever that isle may be.


Away we go To a balmy isle, Where the roses blow All the winter while.

ALL (hoisting sail). Then away we go to an island fair That lies in a Southern sea: Then away we go to an island fair, Then away, then away, then away!

(The men embark on the "Xebeque." Marco and Giuseppe embracing Gianetta and Tessa. The girls wave a farewell to the men as the curtain falls.)



SCENE.--Pavilion in the Court of Barataria. Marco and Giuseppe, magnificently dressed, are seated on two thrones, occupied in cleaning the crown and the sceptre. The Gondoliers are discovered, dressed, some as courtiers, officers of rank, etc., and others as private soldiers and servants of various degrees. All are enjoying themselves without reference to social distinctions--some playing cards, others throwing dice, some reading, others playing cup and ball, "morra", etc.


Of happiness the very pith In Barataria you may see: A monarchy that's tempered with Republican Equality. This form of government we find The beau ideal of its kind-- A despotism strict combined With absolute equality!


Two kings, of undue pride bereft, Who act in perfect unity, Whom you can order right and left With absolute impunity. Who put their subjects at their ease By doing all they can to please! And thus, to earn their bread-and-cheese, Seize every opportunity.

CHORUS. Of happiness the very pith, etc.

MAR. Gentlemen, we are much obliged to you for your expressions of satisfaction and good feeling--I say, we are much obliged to you for your expressions of satisfaction and good feeling. ALL. We heard you. MAR. We are delighted, at any time, to fall in with sentiments so charmingly expressed. ALL. That's all right. GIU. At the same time there is just one little grievance that we should like to ventilate. ALL (angrily). What? GIU. Don't be alarmed--it's not serious. It is arranged that, until it is decided which of us two is the actual King, we are to act as one person. GIORGIO. Exactly. GIU. Now, although we act as one person, we are, in point of fact, two persons. ANNIBALE. Ah, I don't think we can go into that. It is a legal fiction, and legal fictions are solemn things. Situated as we are, we can't recognize two independent responsibilities. GIU. No; but you can recognize two independent appetites. It's all very well to say we act as one person, but when you supply us with only one ration between us, I should describe it as a legal fiction carried a little too far. ANNI. It's rather a nice point. I don't like to express an opinion off-hand. Suppose we reserve it for argument before the full Court? MAR. Yes, but what are we to do in the meantime? MAR. and GIU. We want our tea. ANNI. I think we may make an interim order for double rations on their Majesties entering into the usual undertaking to indemnify in the event of an adverse decision? GIOR. That, I think, will meet the case. But you must work hard--stick to it--nothing like work. GIU. Oh, certainly. We quite understand that a man who holds the magnificent position of King should do something to justify it. We are called "Your Majesty"; we are allowed to buy ourselves magnificent clothes; our subjects frequently nod to us in the streets; the sentries always return our salutes; and we enjoy the inestimable privilege of heading the subscription lists to all the principal charities. In return for these advantages the least we can do is to make ourselves useful about the Palace. SONG--GIUSEPPE with CHORUS.

Rising early in the morning, We proceed to light the fire, Then our Majesty adorning In its workaday attire, We embark without delay On the duties of the day.

First, we polish off some batches Of political despatches, And foreign politicians circumvent; Then, if business isn't heavy, We may hold a Royal levee, Or ratify some Acts of Parliament. Then we probably review the household troops-- With the usual "Shalloo humps!" and "Shalloo hoops!" Or receive with ceremonial and state An interesting Eastern potentate. After that we generally Go and dress our private valet-- (It's a rather nervous duty--he's a touchy little man)-- Write some letters literary For our private secretary-- He is shaky in his spelling, so we help him if we can. Then, in view of cravings inner, We go down and order dinner; Then we polish the Regalia and the Coronation Plate-- Spend an hour in titivating All our Gentlemen-in-Waiting; Or we run on little errands for the Ministers of State.

Oh, philosophers may sing Of the troubles of a King; Yet the duties are delightful, and the privileges great; But the privilege and pleasure That we treasure beyond measure Is to run on little errands for the Ministers of State.

CHORUS. Oh, philosophers may sing, etc.

After luncheon (making merry On a bun and glass of sherry), If we've nothing in particular to do, We may make a Proclamation, Or receive a deputation-- Then we possibly create a Peer or two. Then we help a fellow-creature on his path With the Garter or the Thistle or the Bath, Or we dress and toddle off in semi-state To a festival, a function, or a fete. Then we go and stand as sentry At the Palace (private entry), Marching hither, marching thither, up and down and to and fro, While the warrior on duty Goes in search of beer and beauty (And it generally happens that he hasn't far to go). He relieves us, if he's able, Just in time to lay the table, Then we dine and serve the coffee, and at half-past twelve or one, With a pleasure that's emphatic, We retire to our attic With the gratifying feeling that our duty has been done!

Oh, philosophers may sing Of the troubles of a King, But of pleasures there are many and of worries there are none; And the culminating pleasure That we treasure beyond measure Is the gratifying feeling that our duty has been done!

CHORUS. Oh, philosophers may sing, etc.

(Exeunt all but Marco and Giuseppe.)

GIU. Yes, it really is a very pleasant existence. They're all so singularly kind and considerate. You don't find them wanting to do this, or wanting to do that, or saying "It's my turn now." No, they let us have all the fun to ourselves, and never seem to grudge it. MAR. It makes one feel quite selfish. It almost seems like taking advantage of their good nature. GIU. How nice they were about the double rations. MAR. Most considerate. Ah! there's only one thing wanting to make us thoroughly comfortable. GIU. And that is? MAR. The dear little wives we left behind us three months ago. GIU. Yes, it is dull without female society. We can do without everything else, but we can't do without that. MAR. And if we have that in perfection, we have everything. There is only one recipe for perfect happiness.


Take a pair of sparkling eyes, Hidden, ever and anon, In a merciful eclipse-- Do not heed their mild surprise-- Having passed the Rubicon, Take a pair of rosy lips; Take a figure trimly planned-- Such as admiration whets-- (Be particular in this); Take a tender little hand, Fringed with dainty fingerettes, Press it--in parenthesis;-- Ah! Take all these, you lucky man-- Take and keep them, if you can!

Take a pretty little cot-- Quite a miniature affair-- Hung about with trellised vine, Furnish it upon the spot With the treasures rich and rare I've endeavoured to define. Live to love and love to live-- You will ripen at your ease, Growing on the sunny side-- Fate has nothing more to give. You're a dainty man to please If you are not satisfied. Ah! Take my counsel, happy man; Act upon it, if you can!

(Enter Chorus of Contadine, running in, led by Fiametta and Vittoria. They are met by all the Ex-Gondoliers, who welcome them heartily.)


Here we are, at the risk of our lives, From ever so far, and we've brought your wives-- And to that end we've crossed the main, And don't intend to return again!

FIA. Though obedience is strong, Curiosity's stronger-- We waited for long, Till we couldn't wait longer.

VIT. It's imprudent, we know, But without your society Existence was slow, And we wanted variety--

BOTH. Existence was slow, and we wanted variety.

ALL. So here we are, at the risk of our lives, From ever so far, and we've brought your wives-- And to that end we've crossed the main, And don't intend to return again!

(Enter Gianetta and Tessa. They rush to the arms of Marco and Giuseppe.)

GIU. Tessa! TESS. Giuseppe! {All embrace.} GIA. Marco! MAR. Gianetta!


TESS. After sailing to this island-- GIA. Tossing in a manner frightful, TESS. We are all once more on dry land-- GIA. And we find the change delightful, TESS. As at home we've been remaining-- We've not seen you both for ages, GIA. Tell me, are you fond of reigning?-- How's the food, and what's the wages? TESS. Does your new employment please ye?-- GIA. How does Royalizing strike you? TESS. Is it difficult or easy?-- GIA. Do you think your subjects like you? TESS. I am anxious to elicit, Is it plain and easy steering? GIA. Take it altogether, is it Better fun than gondoliering? BOTH. We shall both go on requesting Till you tell us, never doubt it; Everything is interesting, Tell us, tell us all about it!

CHORUS. They will both go on requesting, etc.

TESS. Is the populace exacting? GIA. Do they keep you at a distance? TESS. All unaided are you acting, GIA. Or do they provide assistance? TESS. When you're busy, have you got to Get up early in the morning? GIA. If you do what you ought not to, Do they give the usual warning? TESS. With a horse do they equip you? GIA. Lots of trumpeting and drumming? TESS. Do the Royal tradesmen tip you? GIA. Ain't the livery becoming! TESS. Does your human being inner Feed on everything that nice is? GIA. Do they give you wine for dinner; Peaches, sugar-plums, and ices? BOTH. We shall both go on requesting Till you tell us, never doubt it; Everything is interesting, Tell us, tell us all about it!

CHORUS. They will both go on requesting, etc.

MAR. This is indeed a most delightful surprise! TESS. Yes, we thought you'd like it. You see, it was like this. After you left we felt very dull and mopey, and the days crawled by, and you never wrote; so at last I said to Gianetta, "I can't stand this any longer; those two poor Monarchs haven't got any one to mend their stockings or sew on their buttons or patch their clothes--at least, I hope they haven't--let us all pack up a change and go and see how they're getting on." And she said, "Done," and they all said, "Done"; and we asked old Giacopo to lend us his boat, and he said, "Done"; and we've crossed the sea, and, thank goodness, that's done; and here we are, and--and--I've done! GIA. And now--which of you is King? TESS. And which of us is Queen? GIU. That we shan't know until Nurse turns up. But never mind that--the question is, how shall we celebrate the commencement of our honeymoon? Gentlemen, will you allow us to offer you a magnificent banquet? ALL. We will! GIU. Thanks very much; and, ladies, what do you say to a dance? TESS. A banquet and a dance! O, it's too much happiness!


Dance a cachucha, fandango, bolero, Xeres we'll drink--Manzanilla, Montero-- Wine, when it runs in abundance, enhances The reckless delight of that wildest of dances! To the pretty pitter-pitter-patter, And the clitter-clitter-clitter-clatter-- Clitter--clitter--clatter, Pitter--pitter--patter, Patter, patter, patter, patter, we'll dance. Old Xeres we'll drink--Manzanilla, Montero; For wine, when it runs in abundance, enhances The reckless delight of that wildest of dances!


(The dance is interrupted by the unexpected appearance of Don Alhambra, who looks on with astonishment. Marco and Giuseppe appear embarrassed. The others run off, except Drummer Boy, who is driven off by Don Alhambra.)

DON AL. Good evening. Fancy ball? GIU. No, not exactly. A little friendly dance. That's all. Sorry you're late. DON AL. But I saw a groom dancing, and a footman! MAR. Yes. That's the Lord High Footman. DON AL. And, dear me, a common little drummer boy! GIU. Oh no! That's the Lord High Drummer Boy. DON AL. But surely, surely the servants'-hall is the place for these gentry? GIU. Oh dear no! We have appropriated the servants'-hall. It's the Royal Apartment, and accessible only by tickets obtainable at the Lord Chamberlain's office. MAR. We really must have some place that we can call our own. DON AL. (puzzled). I'm afraid I'm not quite equal to the intellectual pressure of the conversation. GIU. You see, the Monarchy has been re-modelled on Republican principles. DON AL. What! GIU. All departments rank equally, and everybody is at the head of his department. DON AL. I see. MAR. I'm afraid you're annoyed. DON AL. No. I won't say that. It's not quite what I expected. GIU. I'm awfully sorry. MAR. So am I. GIU. By the by, can I offer you anything after your voyage? A plate of macaroni and a rusk? DON AL. (preoccupied). No, no--nothing--nothing. GIU. Obliged to be careful? DON AL. Yes--gout. You see, in every Court there are distinctions that must be observed. GIU. (puzzled). There are, are there? DON AL. Why, of course. For instance, you wouldn't have a Lord High Chancellor play leapfrog with his own cook. MAR. Why not? DON AL. Why not! Because a Lord High Chancellor is a personage of great dignity, who should never, under any circumstances, place himself in the position of being told to tuck in his tuppenny, except by noblemen of his own rank. A Lord High Archbishop, for instance, might tell a Lord High Chancellor to tuck in his tuppenny, but certainly not a cook, gentlemen, certainly not a cook. GIU. Not even a Lord High Cook? DON AL. My good friend, that is a rank that is not recognized at the Lord Chamberlain's office. No, no, it won't do. I'll give you an instance in which the experiment was tried.


DON AL. There lived a King, as I've been told, In the wonder-working days of old, When hearts were twice as good as gold, And twenty times as mellow. Good-temper triumphed in his face, And in his heart he found a place For all the erring human race And every wretched fellow. When he had Rhenish wine to drink It made him very sad to think That some, at junket or at jink, Must be content with toddy.

MAR. and GIU. With toddy, must be content with toddy.

DON AL. He wished all men as rich as he (And he was rich as rich could be), So to the top of every tree Promoted everybody.

MAR. and GIU. Now, that's the kind of King for me. He wished all men as rich as he, So to the top of every tree Promoted everybody!

DON AL. Lord Chancellors were cheap as sprats, And Bishops in their shovel hats Were plentiful as tabby cats-- In point of fact, too many. Ambassadors cropped up like hay, Prime Ministers and such as they Grew like asparagus in May, And Dukes were three a penny. On every side Field-Marshals gleamed, Small beer were Lords-Lieutenant deemed, With Admirals the ocean teemed All round his wide dominions.

MAR. and GIU. With Admirals all round his wide dominions.

DON AL. And Party Leaders you might meet In twos and threes in every street Maintaining, with no little heat, Their various opinions.

MAR. and GIU. Now that's a sight you couldn't beat-- Two Party Leaders in each street Maintaining, with no little heat, Their various opinions.

DON AL. That King, although no one denies His heart was of abnormal size, Yet he'd have acted otherwise If he had been acuter. The end is easily foretold, When every blessed thing you hold Is made of silver, or of gold, You long for simple pewter. When you have nothing else to wear But cloth of gold and satins rare, For cloth of gold you cease to care-- Up goes the price of shoddy.

MAR. and GIU. Of shoddy, up goes the price of shoddy.

DON AL. In short, whoever you may be, To this conclusion you'll agree, When every one is somebodee, Then no one's anybody!

MAR. and GIU. Now that's as plain as plain can be, To this conclusion we agree--

ALL. When every one is somebodee, Then no one's anybody!

(Gianetta and Tessa enter unobserved. The two girls, impelled by curiosity, remain listening at the back of the stage.)

DON AL. And now I have some important news to communicate. His Grace the Duke of Plaza-Toro, Her Grace the Duchess, and their beautiful daughter Casilda--I say their beautiful daughter Casilda-- GIU. We heard you. DON AL. Have arrived at Barataria, and may be here at any moment. MAR. The Duke and Duchess are nothing to us. DON AL. But the daughter--the beautiful daughter! Aha! Oh, you're a lucky dog, one of you! GIU. I think you're a very incomprehensible old gentleman. DON AL. Not a bit--I'll explain. Many years ago when you (whichever you are) were a baby, you (whichever you are) were married to a little girl who has grown up to be the most beautiful young lady in Spain. That beautiful young lady will be here to claim you (whichever you are) in half an hour, and I congratulate that one (whichever it is) with all my heart. MAR. Married when a baby! GIU. But we were married three months ago! DON AL. One of you--only one. The other (whichever it is) is an unintentional bigamist. GIA. and TESS. (coming forward). Well, upon my word! DON AL. Eh? Who are these young people? TESS. Who are we? Why, their wives, of course. We've just arrived. DON AL. Their wives! Oh dear, this is very unfortunate! Oh dear, this complicates matters! Dear, dear, what will Her Majesty say? GIA. And do you mean to say that one of these Monarchs was already married? TESS. And that neither of us will be a Queen? DON AL. That is the idea I intended to convey. (Tessa and Gianetta begin to cry.) GIU. (to Tessa). Tessa, my dear, dear child-- TESS. Get away! perhaps it's you! MAR. (to Gia.). My poor, poor little woman! GIA. Don't! Who knows whose husband you are? TESS. And pray, why didn't you tell us all about it before they left Venice? DON AL. Because, if I had, no earthly temptation would have induced these gentlemen to leave two such extremely fascinating and utterly irresistible little ladies! TESS. There's something in that. DON AL. I may mention that you will not be kept long in suspense, as the old lady who nursed the Royal child is at present in the torture chamber, waiting for me to interview her. GIU. Poor old girl. Hadn't you better go and put her out of her suspense? DON AL. Oh no--there's no hurry--she's all right. She has all the illustrated papers. However, I'll go and interrogate her, and, in the meantime, may I suggest the absolute propriety of your regarding yourselves as single young ladies. Good evening! (Exit Don Alhambra.) GIA. Well, here's a pleasant state of things! MAR. Delightful. One of us is married to two young ladies, and nobody knows which; and the other is married to one young lady whom nobody can identify! GIA. And one of us is married to one of you, and the other is married to nobody. TESS. But which of you is married to which of us, and what's to become of the other? (About to cry.) GIU. It's quite simple. Observe. Two husbands have managed to acquire three wives. Three wives--two husbands. (Reckoning up.) That's two-thirds of a husband to each wife. TESS. O Mount Vesuvius, here we are in arithmetic! My good sir, one can't marry a vulgar fraction! GIU. You've no right to call me a vulgar fraction. MAR. We are getting rather mixed. The situation is entangled. Let's try and comb it out.


In a contemplative fashion, And a tranquil frame of mind, Free from every kind of passion, Some solution let us find. Let us grasp the situation, Solve the complicated plot-- Quiet, calm deliberation Disentangles every knot.

TESS.I, no doubt, Giuseppe wedded-- THE OTHERS. In a contemplative That's, of course, a slice of luck fashion, etc. He is rather dunder-headed. Still distinctly, he's a duck.

GIA. I, a victim, too, of Cupid, THE OTHERS. Let us grasp the Marco married - that is clear. situation, etc. He's particularly stupid, Still distinctly, he's a dear.

MAR. To Gianetta I was mated; THE OTHERS. In a contemplative I can prove it in a trice: fashion, etc. Though her charms are overrated, Still I own she's rather nice.

GIU. I to Tessa, willy-nilly, THE OTHERS. Let us grasp the All at once a victim fell. situation, etc. She is what is called a silly, Still she answers pretty well.

MAR. Now when we were pretty babies Some one married us, that's clear--

GIA. And if I can catch her I'll pinch her and scratch her And send her away with a flea in her ear.

GIU. He whom that young lady married, To receive her can't refuse.

TESS. If I overtake her I'll warrant I'll make her To shake in her aristocratical shoes!

GIA. (to Tess.). If she married your Giuseppe You and he will have to part--

TESS. (to Gia.). If I have to do it I'll warrant she'll rue it-- I'll teach her to marry the man of my heart!

TESS. (to Gia.). If she married Messer Marco You're a spinster, that is plain--

GIA. (to Tess.). No matter--no matter. If I can get at her I doubt if her mother will know her again!

ALL. Quiet, calm deliberation Disentangles every knot!

(Exeunt, pondering.)

(March. Enter procession of Retainers, heralding approach of Duke, Duchess, and Casilda. All three are now dressed with the utmost magnificence.)


With ducal pomp and ducal pride (Announce these comers, O ye kettle-drummers!) Comes Barataria's high-born bride. (Ye sounding cymbals clang!) She comes to claim the Royal hand-- (Proclaim their Graces, O ye double basses!) Of the King who rules this goodly land. (Ye brazen brasses bang!)

DUKE and This polite attention touches DUCH. Heart of Duke and heart of Duchess Who resign their pet With profound regret. She of beauty was a model When a tiny tiddle-toddle, And at twenty-one She's excelled by none!

CHORUS. With ducal pomp and ducal pride, etc.

DUKE (to his attendants). Be good enough to inform His Majesty that His Grace the Duke of Plaza-Toro, Limited, has arrived, and begs-- CAS. Desires-- DUCH. Demands-- DUKE. And demands an audience. (Exeunt attendants.) And now, my child, prepare to receive the husband to whom you were united under such interesting and romantic circumstances. CAS. But which is it? There are two of them! DUKE. It is true that at present His Majesty is a double gentleman; but as soon as the circumstances of his marriage are ascertained, he will, ipso facto, boil down to a single gentleman--thus presenting a unique example of an individual who becomes a single man and a married man by the same operation. DUCH. (severely). I have known instances in which the characteristics of both conditions existed concurrently in the same individual. DUKE. Ah, he couldn't have been a Plaza-Toro. DUCH. Oh! couldn't he, though! CAS. Well, whatever happens, I shall, of course, be a dutiful wife, but I can never love my husband. DUKE. I don't know. It's extraordinary what unprepossessing people one can love if one gives one's mind to it. DUCH. I loved your father. DUKE. My love--that remark is a little hard, I think? Rather cruel, perhaps? Somewhat uncalled-for, I venture to believe? DUCH. It was very difficult, my dear; but I said to myself, "That man is a Duke, and I will love him." Several of my relations bet me I couldn't, but I did--desperately!


On the day when I was wedded To your admirable sire, I acknowledge that I dreaded An explosion of his ire. I was overcome with panic-- For his temper was volcanic, And I didn't dare revolt, For I feared a thunderbolt! I was always very wary, For his fury was ecstatic-- His refined vocabulary Most unpleasantly emphatic. To the thunder Of this Tartar I knocked under Like a martyr; When intently He was fuming, I was gently Unassuming-- When reviling Me completely, I was smiling Very sweetly: Giving him the very best, and getting back the very worst-- That is how I tried to tame your great progenitor--at first! But I found that a reliance On my threatening appearance, And a resolute defiance Of marital interference, And a gentle intimation Of my firm determination To see what I could do To be wife and husband too Was the only thing required For to make his temper supple, And you couldn't have desired A more reciprocating couple. Ever willing To be wooing, We were billing-- We were cooing; When I merely From him parted, We were nearly Broken-hearted-- When in sequel Reunited, We were equal- Ly delighted. So with double-shotted guns and colours nailed unto the mast, I tamed your insignificant progenitor--at last!

CAS. My only hope is that when my husband sees what a shady family he has married into he will repudiate the contract altogether. DUKE. Shady? A nobleman shady, who is blazing in the lustre of unaccustomed pocket-money? A nobleman shady, who can look back upon ninety-five quarterings? It is not every nobleman who is ninety-five quarters in arrear--I mean, who can look back upon ninety-five of them! And this, just as I have been floated at a premium! Oh fie! DUCH. Your Majesty is surely unaware that directly your Majesty's father came before the public he was applied for over and over again. DUKE. My dear, Her Majesty's father was in the habit of being applied for over and over again--and very urgently applied for, too--long before he was registered under the Limited Liability Act.


To help unhappy commoners, and add to their enjoyment, Affords a man of noble rank congenial employment; Of our attempts we offer you examples illustrative: The work is light, and, I may add, it's most remunerative.


DUKE. Small titles and orders For Mayors and Recorders I get--and they're highly delighted--

DUCH. They're highly delighted!

DUKE. M.P.'s baronetted, Sham Colonels gazetted, And second-rate Aldermen knighted--

DUCH. Yes, Aldermen knighted.

DUKE. Foundation-stone laying I find very paying: It adds a large sum to my makings--

DUCH. Large sums to his makings.

DUKE. At charity dinners The best of speech-spinners, I get ten per cent on the takings--

DUCH. One-tenth of the takings.

DUCH. I present any lady Whose conduct is shady Or smacking of doubtful propriety--

DUKE. Doubtful propriety.

DUCH. When Virtue would quash her, I take and whitewash her, And launch her in first-rate society--

DUKE. First-rate society!

DUCH. I recommend acres Of clumsy dressmakers-- Their fit and their finishing touches--

DUKE. Their finishing touches.

DUCH. A sum in addition They pay for permission To say that they make for the Duchess--

DUKE. They make for the Duchess!

DUKE. Those pressing prevailers, The ready-made tailors, Quote me as their great double-barrel--

DUCH. Their great double-barrel--

DUKE. I allow them to do so, Though Robinson Crusoe Would jib at their wearing apparel--

DUCH. Such wearing apparel!

DUKE. I sit, by selection, Upon the direction Of several Companies bubble--

DUCH. All Companies bubble!

DUKE. As soon as they're floated I'm freely bank-noted-- I'm pretty well paid for my trouble--

DUCH. He's paid for his trouble!

DUCH. At middle-class party I play at ecarte-- And I'm by no means a beginner--

DUKE (significantly). She's not a beginner.

DUCH. To one of my station The remuneration-- Five guineas a night and my dinner--

DUKE. And wine with her dinner.

DUCH. I write letters blatant On medicines patent-- And use any other you mustn't--

DUKE. Believe me, you mustn't--

DUCH. And vow my complexion Derives its perfection From somebody's soap--which it doesn't--

DUKE. (significantly). It certainly doesn't!

DUKE. We're ready as witness To any one's fitness To fill any place or preferment--

DUCH. A place or preferment.

DUCH. We're often in waiting At junket or feting, And sometimes attend an interment--

DUKE. We enjoy an interment.

BOTH. In short, if you'd kindle The spark of a swindle, Lure simpletons into your clutches-- Yes; into your clutches. Or hoodwink a debtor, You cannot do better

DUCH. Than trot out a Duke or a Duchess--

DUKE. A Duke or a Duchess!

(Enter Marco and Giuseppe.)

DUKE. Ah! Their Majesties. Your Majesty! (Bows with great ceremony.) MAR. The Duke of Plaza-Toro, I believe? DUKE. The same. (Marco and Giuseppe offer to shake hands with him. The Duke bows ceremoniously. They endeavour to imitate him.) Allow me to present-- GIU. The young lady one of us married?

(Marco and Giuseppe offer to shake hands with her. Casilda curtsies formally. They endeavour to imitate her.)

CAS. Gentlemen, I am the most obedient servant of one of you. (Aside.) Oh, Luiz! DUKE. I am now about to address myself to the gentleman whom my daughter married; the other may allow his attention to wander if he likes, for what I am about to say does not concern him. Sir, you will find in this young lady a combination of excellences which you would search for in vain in any young lady who had not the good fortune to be my daughter. There is some little doubt as to which of you is the gentleman I am addressing, and which is the gentleman who is allowing his attention to wander; but when that doubt is solved, I shall say (still addressing the attentive gentleman), "Take her, and may she make you happier than her mother has made me." DUCH. Sir! DUKE. If possible. And now there is a little matter to which I think I am entitled to take exception. I come here in state with Her Grace the Duchess and Her Majesty my daughter, and what do I find? Do I find, for instance, a guard of honour to receive me? No! MAR. and GIU. No. DUKE. The town illuminated? No! MAR. and GIU. No. DUKE. Refreshment provided? No! MAR. and GIU. No. DUKE. A Royal salute fired? No! MAR. and GIU. No. DUKE. Triumphal arches erected? No! MAR. and GIU. No. DUKE. The bells set ringing? MAR. and GIU. No. DUKE. Yes--one--the Visitors', and I rang it myself. It is not enough! It is not enough! GIU. Upon my honour, I'm very sorry; but you see, I was brought up in a gondola, and my ideas of politeness are confined to taking off my cap to my passengers when they tip me. DUCH. That's all very well in its way, but it is not enough. GIU. I'll take off anything else in reason. DUKE. But a Royal Salute to my daughter--it costs so little. CAS. Papa, I don't want a salute. GIU. My dear sir, as soon as we know which of us is entitled to take that liberty she shall have as many salutes as she likes. MAR. As for guards of honour and triumphal arches, you don't know our people--they wouldn't stand it. GIU. They are very off-hand with us--very off-hand indeed. DUKE. Oh, but you mustn't allow that--you must keep them in proper discipline, you must impress your Court with your importance. You want deportment--carriage-- GIU. We've got a carriage. DUKE. Manner--dignity. There must be a good deal of this sort of thing--(business)--and a little of this sort of thing--(business)--and possibly just a Soupcon of this sort of thing!--(business)--and so on. Oh, it's very useful, and most effective. Just attend to me. You are a King--I am a subject. Very good-- (Gavotte.)


DUKE. I am a courtier grave and serious Who is about to kiss your hand: Try to combine a pose imperious With a demeanour nobly bland.

MAR. and Let us combine a pose imperious GIU. With a demeanour nobly bland.

(Marco and Giuseppe endeavour to carry out his instructions.)

DUKE. That's, if anything, too unbending-- Too aggressively stiff and grand;

(They suddenly modify their attitudes.)

Now to the other extreme you're tending-- Don't be so deucedly condescending!

DUCH. and Now to the other extreme you're tending-- CAS. Don't be so dreadfully condescending!

MAR. and Oh, hard to please some noblemen seem! GIU. At first, if anything, too unbending; Off we go to the other extreme-- Too confoundedly condescending!

DUKE. Now a gavotte perform sedately-- Offer your hand with conscious pride; Take an attitude not too stately, Still sufficiently dignified.

MAR. and Now for an attitude not too stately, GIU. Still sufficiently dignified.

(They endeavour to carry out his instructions.)

DUKE (beating Oncely, twicely--oncely, twicely-- time). Bow impressively ere you glide. (They do so.)

Capital both, capital both--you've caught it nicely! That is the style of thing precisely!

DUCH. and Capital both, capital both--they've caught it nicely! CAS. That is the style of thing precisely!

MAR. and Oh, sweet to earn a nobleman's praise! GIU. Capital both, capital both--we've caught it nicely! Supposing he's right in what he says, This is the style of thing precisely!

(Gavotte. At the end exeunt Duke and Duchess, leaving Casilda with Marco and Giuseppe.)

GIU. (to Marco). The old birds have gone away and left the young chickens together. That's called tact. MAR. It's very awkward. We really ought to tell her how we are situated. It's not fair to the girl. GIU. Then why don't you do it? MAR. I'd rather not--you. GIU. I don't know how to begin. (To Casilda.) Er--Madam--I--we, that is, several of us-- CAS. Gentlemen, I am bound to listen to you; but it is right to tell you that, not knowing I was married in infancy, I am over head and ears in love with somebody else. GIU. Our case exactly! We are over head and ears in love with somebody else! (Enter Gianetta and Tessa.) In point of fact, with our wives! CAS. Your wives! Then you are married? TESS. It's not our fault. GIA. We knew nothing about it. BOTH. We are sisters in misfortune. CAS. My good girls, I don't blame you. Only before we go any further we must really arrive at some satisfactory arrangement, or we shall get hopelessly complicated.



ALL. Here is a case unprecedented! Here are a King and Queen ill-starred! Ever since marriage was first invented Never was known a case so hard!

MAR. and I may be said to have been bisected, GIU. By a profound catastrophe!

CAS., GIA., Through a calamity unexpected TESS. I am divisible into three!

ALL. O moralists all, How can you call Marriage a state of unitee, When excellent husbands are bisected, And wives divisible into three? O moralists all, How can you call Marriage a state of union true?

CAS., GIA., One-third of myself is married to half of ye TESS. or you,

MAR. and When half of myself has married one-third of ye GIU. or you?

(Enter Don Alhambra, followed by Duke, Duchess, and all the Chorus.)



Now let the loyal lieges gather round-- The Prince's foster-mother has been found! She will declare, to silver clarion's sound, The rightful King--let him forthwith be crowned!

CHORUS. She will declare, etc.

(Don Alhambra brings forward Inez, the Prince's foster-mother.)

TESS. Speak, woman, speak-- DUKE. We're all attention! GIA. The news we seek- DUCH. This moment mention. CAS. To us they bring-- DON AL. His foster-mother. MAR. Is he the King? GIU. Or this my brother?

ALL. Speak, woman, speak, etc.


The Royal Prince was by the King entrusted To my fond care, ere I grew old and crusted; When traitors came to steal his son reputed, My own small boy I deftly substituted! The villains fell into the trap completely-- I hid the Prince away--still sleeping sweetly: I called him "son" with pardonable slyness-- His name, Luiz! Behold his Royal Highness!

(Sensation. Luiz ascends the throne, crowned and robed as King.)

CAS. (rushing to his arms). Luiz! LUIZ. Casilda! (Embrace.)

ALL. Is this indeed the King? Oh, wondrous revelation! Oh, unexpected thing! Unlooked-for situation!

MAR., GIA., This statement we receive GIU., TESS. With sentiments conflicting; Our hearts rejoice and grieve, Each other contradicting; To those whom we adore We can be reunited-- On one point rather sore, But, on the whole, delighted!

LUIZ. When others claimed thy dainty hand, I waited--waited--waited,

DUKE. As prudence (so I understand) Dictated--tated--tated.

CAS. By virtue of our early vow Recorded--corded--corded,

DUCH. Your pure and patient love is now Rewarded--warded--warded.

ALL. Then hail, O King of a Golden Land, And the high-born bride who claims his hand! The past is dead, and you gain your own, A royal crown and a golden throne!

(All kneel: Luiz crowns Casilda.)

ALL. Once more gondolieri, Both skilful and wary, Free from this quandary Contented are we. Ah! From Royalty flying, Our gondolas plying, And merrily crying Our "preme," "stali!" Ah!

So good-bye, cachucha, fandango, bolero-- We'll dance a farewell to that measure-- Old Xeres, adieu--Manzanilla--Montero-- We leave you with feelings of pleasure!





By W. S. Gilbert


RUDOLPH (Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig). ERNEST DUMMKOPF (a Theatrical Manager). LUDWIG (his Leading Comedian). DR. TANNHUSER (a Notary). THE PRINCE OF MONTE CARLO. VISCOUNT MENTONE. BEN HASHBAZ (a Costumier). HERALD.


THE PRINCESS OF MONTE CARLO (betrothed to RUDOLPH). THE BARONESS VON KRAKENFELDT (betrothed to RUDOLPH). JULIA JELLICOE (an English Comdienne). LISA (a Soubrette). Members of Ernest Dummkopf's Company:


Chamberlains, Nobles, Actors, Actresses, etc.


ACT I.--Scene. Public Square of Speisesaal.

ACT II.--Scene. Hall in the Grand Ducal Palace.

Date 1750.

First produced at the Savoy Theatre on March 7, 1896.


SCENE.--Market-place of Speisesaal, in the Grand Duchy of Pfennig Halbpfennig. A well, with decorated ironwork, up L.C. GRETCHEN, BERTHA, OLGA, MARTHA, and other members of ERNEST DUMMKOPF'S theatrical company are discovered, seated at several small tables, enjoying a repast in honour of the nuptials of LUDWIG, his leading comedian, and LISA, his soubrette.


Won't it be a pretty wedding? Will not Lisa look delightful? Smiles and tears in plenty shedding-- Which in brides of course is rightful One could say, if one were spiteful, Contradiction little dreading, Her bouquet is simply frightful-- Still, 'twill be a pretty wedding! Oh, it is a pretty wedding! Such a pretty, pretty wedding!

ELSA. If her dress is badly fitting, Theirs the fault who made her trousseau.

BERTHA. If her gloves are always splitting, Cheap kid gloves, we know, will do so.

OLGA. If upon her train she stumbled, On one's train one's always treading.

GRET. If her hair is rather tumbled, Still, 'twill be a pretty wedding!

CHORUS. Such a pretty, pretty wedding!


Here they come, the couple plighted-- On life's journey gaily start them. Soon to be for aye united, Till divorce or death shall part them.

(LUDWIG and LISA come forward.)


LUD. Pretty Lisa, fair and tasty, Tell me now, and tell me truly, Haven't you been rather hasty? Haven't you been rash unduly? Am I quite the dashing sposo That your fancy could depict you? Perhaps you think I'm only so-so? (She expresses admiration.) Well, I will not contradict you!

CHORUS. No, he will not contradict you!

LISA. Who am I to raise objection? I'm a child, untaught and homely-- When you tell me you're perfection, Tender, truthful, true, and comely-- That in quarrel no one's bolder, Though dissensions always grieve you-- Why, my love, you're so much older That, of course, I must believe you!

CHORUS. Yes, of course, she must believe you!

CHORUS. If he ever acts unkindly, Shut your eyes and love him blindly-- Should he call you names uncomely, Shut your mouth and love him dumbly-- Should he rate you, rightly--leftly-- Shut your ears and love him deafly. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Thus and thus and thus alone Ludwig's wife may hold her own!

(LUDWIG and LISA sit at table.)


NOT. Hallo! Surely I'm not late? (All chatter unintelligibly in reply.) NOT. But, dear me, you're all at breakfast! Has the wedding taken place? (All chatter unintelligibly in reply.) NOT. My good girls, one at a time, I beg. Let me understand the situation. As solicitor to the conspiracy to dethrone the Grand Duke--a conspiracy in which the members of this company are deeply involved--I am invited to the marriage of two of its members. I present myself in due course, and I find, not only that the ceremony has taken place--which is not of the least consequence --but the wedding breakfast is half eaten--which is a consideration of the most serious importance.

(LUDWIG and LISA come down.)

LUD. But the ceremony has not taken place. We can't get a parson! NOT. Can't get a parson! Why, how's that? They're three a penny! LUD. Oh, it's the old story--the Grand Duke! ALL. Ugh! LUD. It seems that the little imp has selected this, our wedding day, for a convocation of all the clergy in the town to settle the details of his approaching marriage with the enormously wealthy Baroness von Krakenfeldt, and there won't be a parson to be had for love or money until six o'clock this evening! LISA. And as we produce our magnificent classical revival of Troilus and Cressida to-night at seven, we have no alternative but to eat our wedding breakfast before we've earned it. So sit down, and make the best of it. GRET. Oh, I should like to pull his Grand Ducal ears for him, that I should! He's the meanest, the cruellest, the most spiteful little ape in Christendom! OLGA. Well, we shall soon be freed from his tyranny. To-morrow the Despot is to be dethroned! LUD. Hush, rash girl! You know not what you say. OLGA. Don't be absurd! We're all in it--we're all tiled, here. LUD. That has nothing to do with it. Know ye not that in alluding to our conspiracy without having first given and received the secret sign, you are violating a fundamental principle of our Association?


By the mystic regulation Of our dark Association, Ere you open conversation With another kindred soul, You must eat a sausage-roll! (Producing one.)

ALL. You must eat a sausage-roll!

LUD. If, in turn, he eats another, That's a sign that he's a brother-- Each may fully trust the other. It is quaint and it is droll, But it's bilious on the whole.

ALL. Very bilious on the whole.

LUD. It's a greasy kind of pasty, Which, perhaps, a judgement hasty Might consider rather tasty: Once (to speak without disguise) It found favour in our eyes.

ALL. It found favour in our eyes.

LUD. But when you've been six months feeding (As we have) on this exceeding Bilious food, it's no ill-breeding If at these repulsive pies Our offended gorges rise!

ALL. Our offended gorges rise!

MARTHA. Oh, bother the secret sign! I've eaten it until I'm quite uncomfortable! I've given it six times already to-day--and (whimpering) I can't eat any breakfast! BERTHA. And it's so unwholesome. Why, we should all be as yellow as frogs if it wasn't for the make-up! LUD. All this is rank treason to the cause. I suffer as much as any of you. I loathe the repulsive thing--I can't contemplate it without a shudder--but I'm a conscientious conspirator, and if you won't give the sign I will. (Eats sausage-roll with an effort.) LISA. Poor martyr! He's always at it, and it's a wonder where he puts it! NOT. Well now, about Troilus and Cressida. What do you play? LUD. (struggling with his feelings). If you'll be so obliging as to wait until I've got rid of this feeling of warm oil at the bottom of my throat, I'll tell you all about it. (LISA gives him some brandy.) Thank you, my love; it's gone. Well, the piece will be produced upon a scale of unexampled magnificence. It is confidently predicted that my appearance as King Agamemnon, in a Louis Quatorze wig, will mark an epoch in the theatrical annals of Pfennig Halbpfennig. I endeavoured to persuade Ernest Dummkopf, our manager, to lend us the classical dresses for our marriage. Think of the effect of a real Athenian wedding procession cavorting through the streets of Speisesaal! Torches burning--cymbals banging--flutes tootling--citharae twanging--and a throng of fifty lovely Spartan virgins capering before us, all down the High Street, singing "Eloia! Eloia! Opoponax, Eloia!" It would have been tremendous! NOT. And he declined? LUD. He did, on the prosaic ground that it might rain, and the ancient Greeks didn't carry umbrellas! If, as is confidently expected, Ernest Dummkopf is elected to succeed the dethroned one, mark any words, he will make a mess of it. [Exit LUDWIG with LISA. OLGA. He's sure to be elected. His entire company has promised to plump for him on the understanding that all the places about the Court are filled by members of his troupe, according to professional precedence.

ERNEST enters in great excitement.

BERTHA (looking off). Here comes Ernest Dummkopf. Now we shall know all about it! ALL. Well--what's the news? How is the election going? ERN. Oh, it's a certainty--a practical certainty! Two of the candidates have been arrested for debt, and the third is a baby in arms--so, if you keep your promises, and vote solid, I'm cocksure of election! OLGA. Trust to us. But you remember the conditions? ERN. Yes--all of you shall be provided for, for life. Every man shall be ennobled--every lady shall have unlimited credit at the Court Milliner's, and all salaries shall be paid weekly in advance! GRET. Oh, it's quite clear he knows how to rule a Grand Duchy! ERN. Rule a Grand Duchy? Why, my good girl, for ten years past I've ruled a theatrical company! A man who can do that can rule anything!


Were I a king in very truth, And had a son--a guileless youth-- In probable succession; To teach him patience, teach him tact, How promptly in a fix to act, He should adopt, in point of fact, A manager's profession. To that condition he should stoop (Despite a too fond mother), With eight or ten "stars" in his troupe, All jealous of each other! Oh, the man who can rule a theatrical crew, Each member a genius (and some of them two), And manage to humour them, little and great, Can govern this tuppenny State!

ALL. Oh, the man, etc.

Both A and B rehearsal slight-- They say they'll be "all right at night" (They've both to go to school yet); C in each act must change her dress, D will attempt to "square the press"; E won't play Romeo unless His grandmother plays Juliet; F claims all hoydens as her rights (She's played them thirty seasons); And G must show herself in tights For two convincing reasons-- Two very well-shaped reasons! Oh, the man who can drive a theatrical team, With wheelers and leaders in order supreme, Can govern and rule, with a wave of his fin, All Europe--with Ireland thrown in!

ALL. Oh, the man, etc. [Exeunt all but ERNEST.

ERN. Elected by my fellow-conspirators to be Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig as soon as the contemptible little occupant of the historical throne is deposed--here is promotion indeed! Why, instead of playing Troilus of Troy for a month, I shall play Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig for a lifetime! Yet, am I happy? No--far from happy! The lovely English comdienne--the beautiful Julia, whose dramatic ability is so overwhelming that our audiences forgive even her strong English accent--that rare and radiant being treats my respectful advances with disdain unutterable! And yet, who knows? She is haughty and ambitious, and it may be that the splendid change in my fortunes may work a corresponding change in her feelings towards me!


JULIA. Herr Dummkopf, a word with you, if you please. ERN. Beautiful English maiden-- JULIA. No compliments, I beg. I desire to speak with you on a purely professional matter, so we will, if you please, dispense with allusions to my personal appearance, which can only tend to widen the breach which already exists between us. ERN. (aside). My only hope shattered! The haughty Londoner still despises me! (Aloud.) It shall be as you will. JULIA. I understand that the conspiracy in which we are all concerned is to develop to-morrow, and that the company is likely to elect you to the throne on the understanding that the posts about the Court are to be filled by members of your theatrical troupe, according to their professional importance. ERN. That is so. JULIA. Then all I can say is that it places me in an extremely awkward position. ERN. (very depressed). I don't see how it concerns you. JULIA. Why, bless my heart, don't you see that, as your leading lady, I am bound under a serious penalty to play the leading part in all your productions? ERN. Well? JULIA. Why, of course, the leading part in this production will be the Grand Duchess! ERN. My wife? JULIA. That is another way of expressing the same idea. ERN. (aside--delighted). I scarcely dared even to hope for this! JULIA. Of course, as your leading lady, you'll be mean enough to hold me to the terms of my agreement. Oh, that's so like a man! Well, I suppose there's no help for it--I shall have to do it! ERN. (aside). She's mine! (Aloud.) But--do you really think you would care to play that part? (Taking her hand.) JULIA (withdrawing it). Care to play it? Certainly not--but what am I to do? Business is business, and I am bound by the terms of my agreement. ERN. It's for a long run, mind--a run that may last many, many years--no understudy--and once embarked upon there's no throwing it up. JULIA. Oh, we're used to these long runs in England: they are the curse of the stage--but, you see, I've no option. ERN. You think the part of Grand Duchess will be good enough for you? JULIA. Oh, I think so. It's a very good part in Gerolstein, and oughtn't to be a bad one in Pfennig Halbpfennig. Why, what did you suppose I was going to play? ERN. (keeping up a show of reluctance) But, considering your strong personal dislike to me and your persistent rejection of my repeated offers, won't you find it difficult to throw yourself into the part with all the impassioned enthusiasm that the character seems to demand? Remember, it's a strongly emotional part, involving long and repeated scenes of rapture, tenderness, adoration, devotion--all in luxuriant excess, and all of the most demonstrative description. JULIA. My good sir, throughout my career I have made it a rule never to allow private feeling to interfere with my professional duties. You may be quite sure that (however distasteful the part may be) if I undertake it, I shall consider myself professionally bound to throw myself into it with all the ardour at my command. ERN. (aside--with effusion). I'm the happiest fellow alive! (Aloud.) Now--would you have any objection--to--to give me some idea--if it's only a mere sketch--as to how you would play it? It would be really interesting--to me--to know your conception of--of--the part of my wife. JULIA. How would I play it? Now, let me see--let me see. (Considering.) Ah, I have it!


How would I play this part-- The Grand Duke's Bride? All rancour in my heart I'd duly hide-- I'd drive it from my recollection And 'whelm you with a mock affection, Well calculated to defy detection-- That's how I'd play this part-- The Grand Duke's Bride.

With many a winsome smile I'd witch and woo; With gay and girlish guile I'd frenzy you-- I'd madden you with my caressing, Like turtle, her first love confessing-- That it was "mock", no mortal would be guessing, With so much winsome wile I'd witch and woo!

Did any other maid With you succeed, I'd pinch the forward jade-- I would indeed! With jealous frenzy agitated (Which would, of course, be simulated), I'd make her wish she'd never been created-- Did any other maid With you succeed!

And should there come to me, Some summers hence, In all the childish glee Of innocence, Fair babes, aglow with beauty vernal, My heart would bound with joy diurnal! This sweet display of sympathy maternal, Well, that would also be A mere pretence!

My histrionic art Though you deride, That's how I'd play that part-- The Grand Duke's Bride!

ENSEMBLE. ERNEST. JULIA. Oh joy! when two glowing young My boy, when two glowing hearts, young hearts

From the rise of the curtain, From the rise of the curtain, Thus throw themselves into their Thus throw themselves into their parts, parts, Success is most certain! Success is most certain! If the role you're prepared to endow The role I'm prepared to endow With such delicate touches, With most delicate touch- es, By the heaven above us, I vow By the heaven above us, I vow You shall be my Grand Duchess! I will be your Grand Duchess!


Enter all the Chorus with LUDWIG, NOTARY, and LISA--all greatly agitated.


My goodness me! What shall we do? Why, what a dreadful situation! (To LUD.) It's all your fault, you booby you--you lump of indiscrimination! I'm sure I don't know where to go--it's put me into such a tetter-- But this at all events I know--the sooner we are off, the better!

ERN. What means this agitato? What d'ye seek? As your Grand Duke elect I bid you speak!


Ten minutes since I met a chap Who bowed an easy salutation-- Thinks I, "This gentleman, mayhap, Belongs to our Association." But, on the whole, Uncertain yet, A sausage-roll I took and eat-- That chap replied (I don't embellish) By eating three with obvious relish.

CHORUS (angrily). Why, gracious powers, No chum of ours Could eat three sausage-rolls with relish!

LUD. Quite reassured, I let him know Our plot--each incident explaining; That stranger chuckled much, as though He thought me highly entertaining. I told him all, Both bad and good; I bade him call-- He said he would: I added much--the more I muckled, The more that chuckling chummy chuckled!

ALL (angrily). A bat could see He couldn't be A chum of ours if he chuckled!

LUD. Well, as I bowed to his applause, Down dropped he with hysteric bellow-- And that seemed right enough, because I am a devilish funny fellow. Then suddenly, As still he squealed, It flashed on me That I'd revealed Our plot, with all details effective, To Grand Duke Rudolph's own detective!

ALL. What folly fell, To go and tell Our plot to any one's detective!


(Attacking LUDWIG.) You booby dense-- You oaf immense, With no pretence To common sense! A stupid muff Who's made of stuff Not worth a puff Of candle-snuff!

Pack up at once and off we go, unless we're anxious to exhibit Our fairy forms all in a row, strung up upon the Castle gibbet!

[Exeunt Chorus. Manent LUDWIG, LISA, ERNEST, JULIA, and NOTARY. JULIA. Well, a nice mess you've got us into! There's an end of our precious plot! All up--pop--fizzle--bang--done for! LUD. Yes, but--ha! ha!--fancy my choosing the Grand Duke's private detective, of all men, to make a confidant of! When you come to think of it, it's really devilish funny! ERN. (angrily). When you come to think of it, it's extremely injudicious to admit into a conspiracy every pudding-headed baboon who presents himself! LUD. Yes--I should never do that. If I were chairman of this gang, I should hesitate to enrol any baboon who couldn't produce satisfactory credentials from his last Zoological Gardens. LISA. Ludwig is far from being a baboon. Poor boy, he could not help giving us away--it's his trusting nature--he was deceived. JULIA (furiously). His trusting nature! (To LUDWIG.) Oh, I should like to talk to you in my own language for five minutes--only five minutes! I know some good, strong, energetic English remarks that would shrivel your trusting nature into raisins--only you wouldn't understand them! LUD. Here we perceive one of the disadvantages of a neglected education! ERN. (to JULIA). And I suppose you'll never be my Grand Duchess now! JULIA. Grand Duchess? My good friend, if you don't produce the piece how can I play the part? ERN. True. (To LUDWIG.) You see what you've done. LUD. But, my dear sir, you don't seem to understand that the man ate three sausage-rolls. Keep that fact steadily before you. Three large sausage-rolls. JULIA. Bah!--Lots of people eat sausage-rolls who are not conspirators. LUD. Then they shouldn't. It's bad form. It's not the game. When one of the Human Family proposes to eat a sausage-roll, it is his duty to ask himself, "Am I a conspirator?" And if, on examination, he finds that he is not a conspirator, he is bound in honour to select some other form of refreshment. LISA. Of course he is. One should always play the game. (To NOTARY, who has been smiling placidly through this.) What are you grinning at, you greedy old man? NOT. Nothing--don't mind me. It is always amusing to the legal mind to see a parcel of laymen bothering themselves about a matter which to a trained lawyer presents no difficulty whatever. ALL. No difficulty! NOT. None whatever! The way out of it is quite simple. ALL. Simple? NOT. Certainly! Now attend. In the first place, you two men fight a Statutory Duel. ERN. A Statutory Duel? JULIA. A Stat-tat-tatutory Duel! Ach! what a crack-jaw language this German is! LUD. Never heard of such a thing. NOT. It is true that the practice has fallen into abeyance through disuse. But all the laws of Pfennig Halbpfennig run for a hundred years, when they die a natural death, unless, in the meantime, they have been revived for another century. The Act that institutes the Statutory Duel was passed a hundred years ago, and as it has never been revived, it expires to-morrow. So you're just in time. JULIA. But what is the use of talking to us about Statutory Duels when we none of us know what a Statutory Duel is? NOT. Don't you? Then I'll explain.


About a century since, The code of the duello To sudden death For want of breath Sent many a strapping fellow. The then presiding Prince (Who useless bloodshed hated), He passed an Act, Short and compact, Which may be briefly stated. Unlike the complicated laws A Parliamentary draftsman draws, It may be briefly stated.

ALL. We know that complicated laws, Such as a legal draftsman draws, Cannot be briefly stated.

NOT. By this ingenious law, If any two shall quarrel, They may not fight With falchions bright (Which seemed to him immoral); But each a card shall draw, And he who draws the lowest Shall (so 'twas said) Be thenceforth dead-- In fact, a legal "ghoest" (When exigence of rhyme compels, Orthography forgoes her spells, And "ghost" is written "ghoest").

ALL (aside) With what an emphasis he dwells Upon "orthography" and "spells"! That kind of fun's the lowest.

NOT. When off the loser's popped (By pleasing legal fiction), And friend and foe Have wept their woe In counterfeit affliction, The winner must adopt The loser's poor relations-- Discharge his debts, Pay all his bets, And take his obligations.

In short, to briefly sum the case, The winner takes the loser's place, With all its obligations.

ALL. How neatly lawyers state a case! The winner takes the loser's place, With all its obligations!

LUD. I see. The man who draws the lowest card-- NOT. Dies, ipso facto, a social death. He loses all his civil rights--his identity disappears--the Revising Barrister expunges his name from the list of voters, and the winner takes his place, whatever it may be, discharges all his functions, and adopts all his responsibilities. ERN. This is all very well, as far as it goes, but it only protects one of us. What's to become of the survivor? LUD. Yes, that's an interesting point, because I might be the survivor. NOT. The survivor goes at once to the Grand Duke, and, in a burst of remorse, denounces the dead man as the moving spirit of the plot. He is accepted as King's evidence, and, as a matter of course, receives a free pardon. To-morrow, when the law expires, the dead man will, ipso facto, come to life again--the Revising Barrister will restore his name to the list of voters, and he will resume all his obligations as though nothing unusual had happened. JULIA. When he will be at once arrested, tried, and executed on the evidence of the informer! Candidly, my friend, I don't think much of your plot! NOT. Dear, dear, dear, the ignorance of the laity! My good young lady, it is a beautiful maxim of our glorious Constitution that a man can only die once. Death expunges crime, and when he comes to life again, it will be with a clean slate. ERN. It's really very ingenious. LUD. (to NOTARY). My dear sir, we owe you our lives! LISA (aside to LUDWIG). May I kiss him? LUD. Certainly not: you're a big girl now. (To ERNEST.) Well, miscreant, are you prepared to meet me on the field of honour? ERN. At once. By Jove, what a couple of fire-eaters we are! LISA. Ludwig doesn't know what fear is. LUD. Oh, I don't mind this sort of duel! ERN. It's not like a duel with swords. I hate a duel with swords. It's not the blade I mind--it's the blood. LUD. And I hate a duel with pistols. It's not the ball I mind--it's the bang. NOT. Altogether it is a great improvement on the old method of giving satisfaction.


Strange the views some people hold! Two young fellows quarrel-- Then they fight, for both are bold-- Rage of both is uncontrolled-- Both are stretched out, stark and cold! Prithee, where's the moral? Ding dong! Ding dong! There's an end to further action, And this barbarous transaction Is described as "satisfaction"! Ha! ha! ha! ha! satisfaction! Ding dong! Ding dong! Each is laid in churchyard mould-- Strange the views some people hold!

Better than the method old, Which was coarse and cruel, Is the plan that we've extolled. Sing thy virtues manifold (Better than refined gold), Statutory Duel! Sing song! Sing song!

Sword or pistol neither uses-- Playing card he lightly chooses, And the loser simply loses! Ha! ha! ha! ha! simply loses. Sing song! Sing song! Some prefer the churchyard mould! Strange the views some people hold!

NOT. (offering a card to ERNEST). Now take a card and gaily sing How little you care for Fortune's rubs--

ERN. (drawing a card). Hurrah, hurrah!--I've drawn a King:

ALL. He's drawn a King! He's drawn a King! Sing Hearts and Diamonds, Spades and Clubs!

ALL (dancing). He's drawn a King! How strange a thing! An excellent card--his chance it aids-- Sing Hearts and Diamonds, Spades and Clubs-- Sing Diamonds, Hearts and Clubs and Spades!

NOT. (to LUDWIG). Now take a card with heart of grace-- (Whatever our fate, let's play our parts).

LUD. (drawing card). Hurrah, hurrah!--I've drawn an Ace!

ALL. He's drawn an Ace! He's drawn an Ace! Sing Clubs and Diamonds, Spades and Hearts!

ALL (dancing). He's drawn an Ace! Observe his face-- Such very good fortune falls to few-- Sing Clubs and Diamonds, Spades and Hearts-- Sing Clubs, Spades, Hearts and Diamonds too!

NOT. That both these maids may keep their troth, And never misfortune them befall, I'll hold 'em as trustee for both--

ALL. He'll hold 'em both! He'll hold 'em both! Sing Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades and all!

ALL (dancing). By joint decree As {our/your} trustee This Notary {we/you} will now instal-- In custody let him keep {their/our} hearts, Sing Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades and all!

[Dance and exeunt LUDWIG, ERNEST, and NOTARY with the two Girls.

March. Enter the seven Chamberlains of the GRAND DUKE RUDOLPH.


The good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig, Though, in his own opinion, very very big, In point of fact he's nothing but a miserable prig Is the good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

Though quite contemptible, as every one agrees, We must dissemble if we want our bread and cheese, So hail him in a chorus, with enthusiasm big, The good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

Enter the GRAND DUKE RUDOLPH. He is meanly and miserably dressed in old and patched clothes, but blazes with a profusion of orders and decorations. He is very weak and ill, from low living.


A pattern to professors of monarchical autonomy, I don't indulge in levity or compromising bonhomie, But dignified formality, consistent with economy, Above all other virtues I particularly prize. I never join in merriment--I don't see joke or jape any-- I never tolerate familiarity in shape any-- This, joined with an extravagant respect for tuppence-ha'penny, A keynote to my character sufficiently supplies.

(Speaking.) Observe. (To Chamberlains.) My snuff-box!

(The snuff-box is passed with much ceremony from the Junior Chamberlain, through all the others, until it is presented by the Senior Chamberlain to RUDOLPH, who uses it.)

That incident a keynote to my character supplies.

RUD. I weigh out tea and sugar with precision mathematical-- Instead of beer, a penny each--my orders are emphatical-- (Extravagance unpardonable, any more than that I call), But, on the other hand, my Ducal dignity to keep-- All Courtly ceremonial--to put it comprehensively-- I rigidly insist upon (but not, I hope, offensively) Whenever ceremonial can be practised inexpensively-- And, when you come to think of it, it's really very cheap!

(Speaking.) Observe. (To Chamberlains.) My handkerchief!

(Handkerchief is handed by Junior Chamberlain to the next in order, and so on until it reaches RUDOLPH, who is much inconvenienced by the delay.)

It's sometimes inconvenient, but it's always very cheap!

RUD. My Lord Chamberlain, as you are aware, my marriage with the wealthy Baroness von Krakenfeldt will take place to-morrow, and you will be good enough to see that the rejoicings are on a scale of unusual liberality. Pass that on. (Chamberlain whispers to Vice-Chamberlain, who whispers to the next, and so on.) The sports will begin with a Wedding Breakfast Bee. The leading pastry-cooks of the town will be invited to compete, and the winner will not only enjoy the satisfaction of seeing his breakfast devoured by the Grand Ducal pair, but he will also be entitled to have the Arms of Pfennig Halbpfennig tattoo'd between his shoulder-blades. The Vice-Chamberlain will see to this. All the public fountains of Speisesaal will run with Gingerbierheim and Currantweinmilch at the public expense. The Assistant Vice-Chamberlain will see to this. At night, everybody will illuminate; and as I have no desire to tax the public funds unduly, this will be done at the inhabitants' private expense. The Deputy Assistant Vice-Chamberlain will see to this. All my Grand Ducal subjects will wear new clothes, and the Sub-Deputy Assistant Vice-Chamberlain will collect the usual commission on all sales. Wedding presents (which, on this occasion, should be on a scale of extraordinary magnificence) will be received at the Palace at any hour of the twenty-four, and the Temporary Sub-Deputy Assistant Vice-Chamberlain will sit up all night for this purpose. The entire population will be commanded to enjoy themselves, and with this view the Acting Temporary Sub-Deputy Assistant Vice-Chamberlain will sing comic songs in the Market-place from noon to nightfall. Finally, we have composed a Wedding Anthem, with which the entire population are required to provide themselves. It can be obtained from our Grand Ducal publishers at the usual discount price, and all the Chamberlains will be expected to push the sale. (Chamberlains bow and exeunt). I don't feel at all comfortable. I hope I'm not doing a foolish thing in getting married. After all, it's a poor heart that never rejoices, and this wedding of mine is the first little treat I've allowed myself since my christening. Besides, Caroline's income is very considerable, and as her ideas of economy are quite on a par with mine, it ought to turn out well. Bless her tough old heart, she's a mean little darling! Oh, here she is, punctual to her appointment!


BAR. Rudolph! Why, what's the matter? RUD. Why, I'm not quite myself, my pet. I'm a little worried and upset. I want a tonic. It's the low diet, I think. I am afraid, after all, I shall have to take the bull by the horns and have an egg with my breakfast. BAR. I shouldn't do anything rash, dear. Begin with a jujube. (Gives him one.) RUD. (about to eat it, but changes his mind). I'll keep it for supper. (He sits by her and tries to put his arm round her waist.) BAR. Rudolph, don't! What in the world are you thinking of? RUD. I was thinking of embracing you, my sugarplum. Just as a little cheap treat. BAR. What, here? In public? Really, you appear to have no sense of delicacy. RUD. No sense of delicacy, Bon-bon! BAR. No. I can't make you out. When you courted me, all your courting was done publicly in the Marketplace. When you proposed to me, you proposed in the Market-place. And now that we're engaged you seem to desire that our first tte- occur in the Marketplace! Surely you've a room in your Palace--with blinds--that would do? RUD. But, my own, I can't help myself. I'm bound by my own decree. BAR. Your own decree? RUD. Yes. You see, all the houses that give on the Market-place belong to me, but the drains (which date back to the reign of Charlemagne) want attending to, and the houses wouldn't let--so, with a view to increasing the value of the property, I decreed that all love-episodes between affectionate couples should take place, in public, on this spot, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, when the band doesn't play. BAR. Bless me, what a happy idea! So moral too! And have you found it answer? RUD. Answer? The rents have gone up fifty per cent, and the sale of opera-glasses (which is a Grand Ducal monopoly) has received an extraordinary stimulus! So, under the circumstances, would you allow me to put my arm round your waist? As a source of income. Just once! BAR. But it's so very embarrassing. Think of the opera-glasses! RUD. My good girl, that's just what I am thinking of. Hang it all, we must give them something for their money! What's that? BAR. (unfolding paper, which contains a large letter, which she hands to him). It's a letter which your detective asked me to hand to you. I wrapped it up in yesterday's paper to keep it clean. RUD. Oh, it's only his report! That'll keep. But, I say, you've never been and bought a newspaper? BAR. My dear Rudolph, do you think I'm mad? It came wrapped round my breakfast. RUD. (relieved). I thought you were not the sort of girl to go and buy a newspaper! Well, as we've got it, we may as well read it. What does it say? BAR. Why--dear me--here's your biography! "Our Detested Despot!" RUD. Yes--I fancy that refers to me. BAR. And it says--Oh, it can't be! RUD. What can't be? BAR. Why, it says that although you're going to marry me to-morrow, you were betrothed in infancy to the Princess of Monte Carlo! RUD. Oh yes--that's quite right. Didn't I mention it? BAR. Mention it! You never said a word about it! RUD. Well, it doesn't matter, because, you see, it's practically off. BAR. Practically off? RUD. Yes. By the terms of the contract the betrothal is void unless the Princess marries before she is of age. Now, her father, the Prince, is stony-broke, and hasn't left his house for years for fear of arrest. Over and over again he has implored me to come to him to be married-but in vain. Over and over again he has implored me to advance him the money to enable the Princess to come to me--but in vain. I am very young, but not as young as that; and as the Princess comes of age at two tomorrow, why at two to-morrow I'm a free man, so I appointed that hour for our wedding, as I shall like to have as much marriage as I can get for my money. BAR. I see. Of course, if the married state is a happy state, it's a pity to waste any of it. RUD. Why, every hour we delayed I should lose a lot of you and you'd lose a lot of me! BAR. My thoughtful darling! Oh, Rudolph, we ought to be very happy! RUD. If I'm not, it'll be my first bad investment. Still, there is such a thing as a slump even in Matrimonials. BAR. I often picture us in the long, cold, dark December evenings, sitting close to each other and singing impassioned duets to keep us warm, and thinking of all the lovely things we could afford to buy if we chose, and, at the same time, planning out our lives in a spirit of the most rigid and exacting economy! RUD. It's a most beautiful and touching picture of connubial bliss in its highest and most rarefied development!


BAR. As o'er our penny roll we sing, It is not reprehensive To think what joys our wealth would bring Were we disposed to do the thing Upon a scale extensive. There's rich mock-turtle--thick and clear--

RUD. (confidentially). Perhaps we'll have it once a year!

BAR. (delighted). You are an open-handed dear!

RUD. Though, mind you, it's expensive.

BAR. No doubt it is expensive.

BOTH. How fleeting are the glutton's joys! With fish and fowl he lightly toys,

RUD. And pays for such expensive tricks Sometimes as much as two-and-six!

BAR. As two-and-six?

RUD. As two-and-six--

BOTH. Sometimes as much as two-and-six!

BAR. It gives him no advantage, mind-- For you and he have only dined, And you remain when once it's down A better man by half-a-crown.

RUD. By half-a-crown?

BAR. By half-a-crown.

BOTH. Yes, two-and-six is half-a-crown. Then let us be modestly merry, And rejoice with a derry down derry. For to laugh and to sing No extravagance bring-- It's a joy economical, very!

BAR. Although as you're of course aware (I never tried to hide it) I moisten my insipid fare With water--which I can't abear--

RUD. Nor I--I can't abide it.

BAR. This pleasing fact our souls will cheer, With fifty thousand pounds a year We could indulge in table beer!

RUD. Get out!

BAR. We could--I've tried it!

RUD. Yes, yes, of course you've tried it!

BOTH. Oh, he who has an income clear Of fifty thousand pounds a year--

BAR. Can purchase all his fancy loves Conspicuous hats--

RUD. Two shilling gloves--

BAR. (doubtfully). Two-shilling gloves?

RUD. (positively). Two-shilling gloves--

BOTH. Yes, think of that, two-shilling gloves!

BAR. Cheap shoes and ties of gaudy hue, And Waterbury watches, too-- And think that he could buy the lot Were he a donkey--

RUD. Which he's not!

BAR. Oh no, he's not!

RUD. Oh no, he's not!

BOTH (dancing). That kind of donkey he is not! Then let us be modestly merry, And rejoice with a derry down derry. For to laugh and to sing Is a rational thing- It's a joy economical, very! [Exit BARONESS.

RUD. Oh, now for my detective's report. (Opens letter.) What's this! Another conspiracy! A conspiracy to depose me! And my private detective was so convulsed with laughter at the notion of a conspirator selecting him for a confidant that he was physically unable to arrest the malefactor! Why, it'll come off! This comes of engaging a detective with a keen sense of the ridiculous! For the future I'll employ none but Scotchmen. And the plot is to explode to-morrow! My wedding day! Oh, Caroline, Caroline! (Weeps.) This is perfectly frightful! What's to be done? I don't know! I ought to keep cool and think, but you can't think when your veins are full of hot soda-water, and your brain's fizzing like a firework, and all your faculties are jumbled in a perfect whirlpool of tumblication! And I'm going to be ill! I know I am! I've been living too low, and I'm going to be very ill indeed!


When you find you're a broken-down critter, Who is all of a trimmle and twitter, With your palate unpleasantly bitter, As if you'd just eaten a pill-- When your legs are as thin as dividers, And you're plagued with unruly insiders, And your spine is all creepy with spiders, And you're highly gamboge in the gill-- When you've got a beehive in your head, And a sewing machine in each ear, And you feel that you've eaten your bed, And you've got a bad headache down here-- When such facts are about, And these symptoms you find In your body or crown-- Well, you'd better look out, You may make up your mind You had better lie down!

When your lips are all smeary--like tallow, And your tongue is decidedly yallow, With a pint of warm oil in your swallow, And a pound of tin-tacks in your chest-- When you're down in the mouth with the vapours, And all over your Morris wall-papers Black-beetles are cutting their capers, And crawly things never at rest-- When you doubt if your head is your own, And you jump when an open door slams-- Then you've got to a state which is known To the medical world as "jim-jams" If such symptoms you find In your body or head, They're not easy to quell-- You may make up your mind You are better in bed, For you're not at all well!

(Sinks exhausted and weeping at foot of well.)


LUD. Now for my confession and full pardon. They told me the Grand Duke was dancing duets in the Market-place, but I don't see him. (Sees RUDOLPH.) Hallo! Who's this? (Aside.) Why, it is the Grand Duke! RUD. (sobbing). Who are you, sir, who presume to address me in person? If you've anything to communicate, you must fling yourself at the feet of my Acting Temporary Sub-Deputy Assistant Vice-Chamberlain, who will fling himself at the feet of his immediate superior, and so on, with successive foot-flingings through the various grades--your communication will, in course of time, come to my august knowledge. LUD. But when I inform your Highness that in me you see the most unhappy, the most unfortunate, the most completely miserable man in your whole dominion-- RUD. (still sobbing). You the most miserable man in my whole dominion? How can you have the face to stand there and say such a thing? Why, look at me! Look at me! (Bursts into tears.) LUD. Well, I wouldn't be a cry-baby. RUD. A cry-baby? If you had just been told that you were going to be deposed to-morrow, and perhaps blown up with dynamite for all I know, wouldn't you be a cry-baby? I do declare if I could only hit upon some cheap and painless method of putting an end to an existence which has become insupportable, I would unhesitatingly adopt it! LUD. You would? (Aside.) I see a magnificent way out of this! By Jupiter, I'll try it! (Aloud.) Are you, by any chance, in earnest? RUD. In earnest? Why, look at me! LUD. If you are really in earnest--if you really desire to escape scot-free from this impending--this unspeakably horrible catastrophe--without trouble, danger, pain, or expense--why not resort to a Statutory Duel? RUD. A Statutory Duel? LUD. Yes. The Act is still in force, but it will expire to-morrow afternoon. You fight--you lose--you are dead for a day. To-morrow, when the Act expires, you will come to life again and resume your Grand Duchy as though nothing had happened. In the meantime, the explosion will have taken place and the survivor will have had to bear the brunt of it. RUD. Yes, that's all very well, but who'll be fool enough to be the survivor? LUD. (kneeling). Actuated by an overwhelming sense of attachment to your Grand Ducal person, I unhesitatingly offer myself as the victim of your subjects' fury. RUD. You do? Well, really that's very handsome. I daresay being blown up is not nearly as unpleasant as one would think. LUD. Oh, yes it is. It mixes one up, awfully! RUD. But suppose I were to lose? LUD. Oh, that's easily arranged. (Producing cards.) I'll put an Ace up my sleeve--you'll put a King up yours. When the drawing takes place, I shall seem to draw the higher card and you the lower. And there you are! RUD. Oh, but that's cheating. LUD. So it is. I never thought of that. (Going.) RUD. (hastily). Not that I mind. But I say--you won't take an unfair advantage of your day of office? You won't go tipping people, or squandering my little savings in fireworks, or any nonsense of that sort? LUD. I am hurt--really hurt--by the suggestion. RUD. You--you wouldn't like to put down a deposit, perhaps? LUD. No. I don't think I should like to put down a deposit. RUD. Or give a guarantee? LUD. A guarantee would be equally open to objection. RUD. It would be more regular. Very well, I suppose you must have your own way. LUD. Good. I say--we must have a devil of a quarrel! RUD. Oh, a devil of a quarrel! LUD. Just to give colour to the thing. Shall I give you a sound thrashing before all the people? Say the word--it's no trouble. RUD. No, I think not, though it would be very convincing and it's extremely good and thoughtful of you to suggest it. Still, a devil of a quarrel! LUD. Oh, a devil of a quarrel! RUD. No half measures. Big words--strong language--rude remarks. Oh, a devil of a quarrel! LUD. Now the question is, how shall we summon the people? RUD. Oh, there's no difficulty about that. Bless your heart, they've been staring at us through those windows for the last half-hour!


RUD. Come hither, all you people-- When you hear the fearful news, All the pretty women weep'll, Men will shiver in their shoes.

LUD. And they'll all cry "Lord, defend us!" When they learn the fact tremendous That to give this man his gruel In a Statutory Duel--

BOTH. This plebeian man of shoddy-- This contemptible nobody-- Your Grand Duke does not refuse!

(During this, Chorus of men and women have entered, all trembling with apprehension under the impression that they are to be arrested for their complicity in the conspiracy.)


With faltering feet, And our muscles in a quiver, Our fate we meet With our feelings all unstrung! If our plot complete He has managed to diskiver, There is no retreat-- We shall certainly be hung!

RUD. (aside to LUDWIG). Now you begin and pitch it strong--walk into me abusively--

LUD. (aside to RUDOLPH). I've several epithets that I've reserved for you exclusively. A choice selection I have here when you are ready to begin.

RUD. Now you begin

LUD. No, you begin--

RUD. No, you begin--

LUD. No, you begin!

CHORUS (trembling). Has it happed as we expected? Is our little plot detected?


RUD. (furiously). Big bombs, small bombs, great guns and little ones! Put him in a pillory! Rack him with artillery!

LUD. (furiously). Long swords, short swords, tough swords and brittle ones! Fright him into fits! Blow him into bits!

RUD. You muff, sir!

LUD. You lout, sir!

RUD. Enough, sir!

LUD. Get out, sir! (Pushes him.)

RUD. A hit, sir?

LUD. Take that, sir! (Slaps him.)

RUD. It's tit, sir,

LUD. For tat, sir!

CHORUS (appalled). When two doughty heroes thunder, All the world is lost in wonder; When such men their temper lose, Awful are the words they use!

LUD. Tall snobs, small snobs, rich snobs and needy ones!

RUD. (jostling him). Whom are you alluding to?

LUD. (jostling him). Where are you intruding to?

RUD. Fat snobs, thin snobs, swell snobs and seedy ones!

LUD. I rather think you err. To whom do you refer?

RUD. To you, sir!

LUD. To me, sir?

RUD. I do, sir!

LUD. We'll see, sir!

RUD. I jeer, sir! (Makes a face at LUDWIG.) Grimace, sir!

LUD. Look here, sir-- (Makes a face at RUDOLPH.) A face, sir!

CHORUS (appalled). When two heroes, once pacific, Quarrel, the effect's terrific! What a horrible grimace! What a paralysing face!

ALL. Big bombs, small bombs, etc.

LUD. and RUD. (recit.). He has insulted me, and, in a breath, This day we fight a duel to the death!

NOT. (checking them). You mean, of course, by duel (verbum sat.), A Statutory Duel.

ALL. Why, what's that?

NOT. According to established legal uses, A card apiece each bold disputant chooses-- Dead as a doornail is the dog who loses-- The winner steps into the dead man's shoeses!

ALL. The winner steps into the dead man's shoeses!

RUD. and Lud. Agreed! Agreed!

RUD. Come, come--the pack!

LUD. (producing one). Behold it here!

RUD. I'm on the rack!

LUD. I quake with fear!

(NOTARY offers card to LUDWIG.)

LUD. First draw to you!

RUD. If that's the case, Behold the King! (Drawing card from his sleeve.)

LUD. (same business). Behold the Ace!

CHORUS. Hurrah, hurrah! Our Ludwig's won And wicked Rudolph's course is run-- So Ludwig will as Grand Duke reign Till Rudolph comes to life again--

RUD. Which will occur to-morrow! I come to life to-morrow!

GRET. (with mocking curtsey). My Lord Grand Duke, farewell! A pleasant journey, very, To your convenient cell In yonder cemetery!

LISA (curtseying). Though malcontents abuse you, We're much distressed to lose you! You were, when you were living, So liberal, so forgiving!

BERTHA. So merciful, so gentle! So highly ormamental!

OLGA. And now that you've departed, You leave us broken-hearted!

ALL (pretending to weep). Yes, truly, truly, truly, truly-- Truly broken-hearted! Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! (Mocking him.)

RUD. (furious). Rapscallions, in penitential fires, You'll rue the ribaldry that from you falls! To-morrow afternoon the law expires. And then--look out for squalls! [Exit RUDOLPH, amid general ridicule.

CHORUS. Give thanks, give thanks to wayward fate-- By mystic fortune's sway, Our Ludwig guides the helm of State For one delightful day!

(To LUDWIG.) We hail you, sir! We greet you, sir! Regale you, sir! We treat you, sir! Our ruler be By fate's decree For one delightful day!

NOT. You've done it neatly! Pity that your powers Are limited to four-and-twenty hours!

LUD. No matter, though the time will quickly run, In hours twenty-four much may be done!


Oh, a Monarch who boasts intellectual graces Can do, if he likes, a good deal in a day-- He can put all his friends in conspicuous places, With plenty to eat and with nothing to pay! You'll tell me, no doubt, with unpleasant grimaces, To-morrow, deprived of your ribbons and laces, You'll get your dismissal--with very long faces-- But wait! on that topic I've something to say! (Dancing.) I've something to say--I've something to say--I've something to say! Oh, our rule shall be merry--I'm not an ascetic-- And while the sun shines we will get up our hay-- By a pushing young Monarch, of turn energetic, A very great deal may be done in a day!

CHORUS. Oh, his rule will be merry, etc.

(During this, LUDWIG whispers to NOTARY, who writes.)

For instance, this measure (his ancestor drew it), (alluding to NOTARY) This law against duels--to-morrow will die-- The Duke will revive, and you'll certainly rue it-- He'll give you "what for" and he'll let you know why! But in twenty-four hours there's time to renew it-- With a century's life I've the right to imbue it-- It's easy to do--and, by Jingo, I'll do it!

(Signing paper, which NOTARY presents.)

It's done! Till I perish your Monarch am I! Your Monarch am I--your Monarch am I--your Monarch am I! Though I do not pretend to be very prophetic, I fancy I know what you're going to say-- By a pushing young Monarch, of turn energetic, A very great deal may be done in a day!

ALL (astonished). Oh, it's simply uncanny, his power prophetic-- It's perfectly right--we were going to say, By a pushing, etc.

Enter JULIA, at back.

LUD. (recit.). This very afternoon--at two (about)-- The Court appointments will be given out. To each and all (for that was the condition) According to professional position!

ALL. Hurrah!

JULIA (coming forward). According to professional position?

LUD. According to professional position!

JULIA Then, horror!

ALL. Why, what's the matter? What's the matter? What's the matter?

SONG--JULIA. (LISA clinging to her.) Ah, pity me, my comrades true, Who love, as well I know you do, This gentle child, To me so fondly dear!

ALL. Why, what's the matter?

JULIA Our sister love so true and deep From many an eye unused to weep Hath oft beguiled The coy reluctant tear!

ALL. Why, what's the matter?

JULIA Each sympathetic heart 'twill bruise When you have heard the frightful news (O will it not?) That I must now impart!

ALL. Why, what's the matter?

JULIA. Her love for him is all in all! Ah, cursed fate! that it should fall Unto my lot To break my darling's heart!

ALL. Why, what's the matter?

LUD. What means our Julia by those fateful looks? Please do not keep us all on tenter-hooks- Now, what's the matter?

JULIA. Our duty, if we're wise, We never shun. This Spartan rule applies To every one. In theatres, as in life, Each has her line-- This part--the Grand Duke's wife (Oh agony!) is mine! A maxim new I do not start-- The canons of dramatic art Decree that this repulsive part (The Grand Duke's wife) Is mine!

ALL. Oh, that's the matter!

LISA (appalled, to LUDWIG). Can that be so?

LUD. I do not know-- But time will show If that be so.

CHORUS. Can that be so? etc.

LISA (recit.). Be merciful!


LISA. Oh, listen to me, dear-- I love him only, darling! Remember, oh, my pet, On him my heart is set This kindness do me, dear- Nor leave me lonely, darling! Be merciful, my pet, Our love do not forget!

JULIA. Now don't be foolish, dear-- You couldn't play it, darling! It's "leading business", pet And you're but a soubrette. So don't be mulish, dear- Although I say it, darling, It's not your line, my pet-- I play that part, you bet! I play that part-- I play that part, you bet!

(LISA overwhelmed with grief.)

NOT. The lady's right. Though Julia's engagement Was for the stage meant-- It certainly frees Ludwig from his Connubial promise. Though marriage contracts--or whate'er you call 'em-- Are very solemn, Dramatic contracts (which you all adore so) Are even more so!

ALL. That's very true! Though marriage contracts, etc.


The die is cast, My hope has perished! Farewell, O Past, Too bright to last, Yet fondly cherished! My light has fled, My hope is dead, Its doom is spoken-- My day is night, My wrong is right In all men's sight-- My heart is broken! [Exit weeping.

LUD. (recit.). Poor child, where will she go? What will she do?

JULIA. That isn't in your part, you know.

LUD. (sighing). Quite true! (With an effort.) Depressing topics we'll not touch upon-- Let us begin as we are going on! For this will be a jolly Court, for little and for big!

ALL. Sing hey, the jolly jinks of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

LUD. From morn to night our lives shall be as merry as a grig!

ALL. Sing hey, the jolly jinks of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

LUD. All state and ceremony we'll eternally abolish-- We don't mean to insist upon unnecessary polish-- And, on the whole, I rather think you'll find our rule tollolish! ALL. Sing hey, the jolly jinks of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

JULIA. But stay--your new-made Court Without a courtly coat is-- We shall require Some Court attire, And at a moment's notice. In clothes of common sort Your courtiers must not grovel-- Your new noblesse Must have a dress Original and novel!

LUD. Old Athens we'll exhume! The necessary dresses, Correct and true And all brand-new, The company possesses: Henceforth our Court costume Shall live in song and story, For we'll upraise The dead old days Of Athens in her glory!

ALL. Yes, let's upraise The dead old days Of Athens in her glory!

ALL. Agreed! Agreed! For this will be a jolly Court for little and for big! etc

(They carry LUDWIG round stage and deposit him on the ironwork of well. JULIA stands by him, and the rest group round them.)




SCENE.--Entrance Hall of the Grand Ducal Palace.

Enter a procession of the members of the theatrical company (now dressed in the costumes of Troilus and Cressida), carrying garlands, playing on pipes, citharae, and cymbals, and heralding the return of LUDWIG and JULIA from the marriage ceremony, which has just taken place.


As before you we defile, Eloia! Eloia! Pray you, gentles, do not smile If we shout, in classic style, Eloia! Ludwig and his Julia true Wedded are each other to-- So we sing, till all is blue, Eloia! Eloia! Opoponax! Eloia!

Wreaths of bay and ivy twine, Eloia! Eloia! Fill the bowl with Lesbian wine, And to revelry incline-- Eloia!

For as gaily we pass on Probably we shall, anon, Sing a Diergeticon-- Eloia! Eloia! Opoponax! Eloia!


Your loyalty our Ducal heartstrings touches: Allow me to present your new Grand Duchess. Should she offend, you'll graciously excuse her-- And kindly recollect I didn't choose her!


At the outset I may mention it's my sovereign intention To revive the classic memories of Athens at its best, For the company possesses all the necessary dresses And a course of quiet cramming will supply us with the rest. We've a choir hyporchematic (that is, ballet-operatic) Who respond to the choreut of that cultivated age, And our clever chorus-master, all but captious criticaster Would accept as the choregus of the early Attic stage. This return to classic ages is considered in their wages, Which are always calculated by the day or by the week-- And I'll pay 'em (if they'll back me) all in oboloi and drachm, Which they'll get (if they prefer it) at the Kalends that are Greek!

(Confidentially to audience.) At this juncture I may mention That this erudition sham Is but classical pretension, The result of steady "cram.": Periphrastic methods spurning, To this audience discerning I admit this show of learning Is the fruit of steady "cram."!

CHORUS. Periphrastic methods, etc.

In the period Socratic every dining-room was Attic (Which suggests an architecture of a topsy-turvy kind), There they'd satisfy their thirst on a recherche cold {Greek word} Which is what they called their lunch--and so may you if you're inclined. As they gradually got on, they'd {four Greek words) (Which is Attic for a steady and a conscientious drink). But they mixed their wine with water--which I'm sure they didn't oughter-- And we modern Saxons know a trick worth two of that, I think! Then came rather risky dances (under certain circumstances) Which would shock that worthy gentleman, the Licenser of Plays, Corybantian maniac kick--Dionysiac or Bacchic-- And the Dithyrambic revels of those undecorous days.

(Confidentially to audience.) And perhaps I'd better mention, Lest alarming you I am, That it isn't our intention To perform a Dithyramb-- It displays a lot of stocking, Which is always very shocking, And of course I'm only mocking At the prevalence of "cram"!

CHORUS. It displays a lot, etc.

Yes, on reconsideration, there are customs of that nation Which are not in strict accordance with the habits of our day, And when I come to codify, their rules I mean to modify, Or Mrs. Grundy, p'r'aps, may have a word or two to say. For they hadn't macintoshes or umbrellas or goloshes-- And a shower with their dresses must have played the very deuce, And it must have been unpleasing when they caught a fit of sneezing, For, it seems, of pocket-handkerchiefs they didn't know the use. They wore little underclothing--scarcely anything--or nothing-- And their dress of Coan silk was quite transparent in design-- Well, in fact, in summer weather, something like the "altogether" And it's there, I rather fancy, I shall have to draw the line!

(Confidentially to audience.) And again I wish to mention That this erudition sham Is but classical pretension, The result of steady "cram." Yet my classic lore aggressive (If you'll pardon the possessive) Is exceedingly impressive When you're passing an exam.

CHORUS. Yet his classic lore, etc.

[Exeunt Chorus. Manent LUDWIG, JULIA, and LISA.

LUD. (recit.). Yes, Ludwig and his Julia are mated! For when an obscure comedian, whom the law backs, To sovereign rank is promptly elevated, He takes it with its incidental drawbacks! So Julia and I are duly mated!

(LISA, through this, has expressed intense distress at having to surrender LUDWIG.)


Take care of him--he's much too good to live, With him you must be very gentle: Poor fellow, he's so highly sensitive, And O, so sentimental! Be sure you never let him sit up late In chilly open air conversing-- Poor darling, he's extremely delicate, And wants a deal of nursing!

LUD. I want a deal of nursing!

LISA. And O, remember this-- When he is cross with pain, A flower and a kiss-- A simple flower--a tender kiss Will bring him round again!

His moods you must assiduously watch: When he succumbs to sorrow tragic, Some hardbake or a bit of butter-scotch Will work on him like magic. To contradict a character so rich In trusting love were simple blindness-- He's one of those exalted natures which Will only yield to kindness!

LUD. I only yield to kindness!

LISA. And O, the bygone bliss! And O, the present pain! That flower and that kiss-- That simple flower--that tender kiss I ne'er shall give again!

[Exit, weeping.

JULIA. And now that everybody has gone, and we're happily and comfortably married, I want to have a few words with my new-born husband. LUD. (aside). Yes, I expect you'll often have a few words with your new-born husband! (Aloud.) Well, what is it? JULIA. Why, I've been thinking that as you and I have to play our parts for life, it is most essential that we should come to a definite understanding as to how they shall be rendered. Now, I've been considering how I can make the most of the Grand Duchess. LUD. Have you? Well, if you'll take my advice, you'll make a very fine part of it. JULIA. Why, that's quite my idea. LUD. I shouldn't make it one of your hoity-toity vixenish viragoes. JULIA. You think not? LUD. Oh, I'm quite clear about that. I should make her a tender, gentle, submissive, affectionate (but not too affectionate) child-wife--timidly anxious to coil herself into her husband's heart, but kept in check by an awestruck reverence for his exalted intellectual qualities and his majestic personal appearance. JULIA. Oh, that is your idea of a good part? LUD. Yes--a wife who regards her husband's slightest wish as an inflexible law, and who ventures but rarely into his august presence, unless (which would happen seldom) he should summon her to appear before him. A crushed, despairing violet, whose blighted existence would culminate (all too soon) in a lonely and pathetic death-scene! A fine part, my dear. JULIA. Yes. There's a good deal to be said for your view of it. Now there are some actresses whom it would fit like a glove. LUD. (aside). I wish I'd married one of 'em! JULIA. But, you see, I must consider my temperament. For instance, my temperament would demand some strong scenes of justifiable jealousy. LUD. Oh, there's no difficulty about that. You shall have them. JULIA. With a lovely but detested rival-- LUD. Oh, I'll provide the rival. JULIA. Whom I should stab--stab--stab! LUD. Oh, I wouldn't stab her. It's been done to death. I should treat her with a silent and contemptuous disdain, and delicately withdraw from a position which, to one of your sensitive nature, would be absolutely untenable. Dear me, I can see you delicately withdrawing, up centre and off! JULIA. Can you? LUD. Yes. It's a fine situation--and in your hands, full of quiet pathos!


LUD. Now Julia, come, Consider it from This dainty point of view-- A timid tender Feminine gender, Prompt to coyly coo-- Yet silence seeking, Seldom speaking Till she's spoken to-- A comfy, cosy, Rosy-posy Innocent ingenoo! The part you're suited to-- (To give the deuce her due) A sweet (O, jiminy!) Miminy-piminy, Innocent ingenoo!



The part you're suited to-- I'm much obliged to you, (To give the deuce her due) I don't think that would do-- A sweet (O, jiminy!) To play (O, jiminy!) Miminy-piminy, Miminy-piminy, Innocent ingenoo! Innocent ingenoo!

JULIA. You forget my special magic (In a high dramatic sense) Lies in situations tragic-- Undeniably intense. As I've justified promotion In the histrionic art, I'll submit to you my notion Of a first-rate part.

LUD. Well, let us see your notion Of a first-rate part.

JULIA (dramatically). I have a rival! Frenzy-thrilled, I find you both together! My heart stands still--with horror chilled--- Hard as the millstone nether! Then softly, slyly, snaily, snaky-- Crawly, creepy, quaily, quaky-- I track her on her homeward way, As panther tracks her fated prey!

(Furiously.) I fly at her soft white throat-- The lily-white laughing leman! On her agonized gaze I gloat With the glee of a dancing demon! My rival she--I have no doubt of her--- So I hold on--till the breath is out of her! --till the breath is out of her!

And then--Remorse! Remorse! O cold unpleasant corse, Avaunt! Avaunt! That lifeless form I gaze upon-- That face, still warm But weirdly wan-- Those eyes of glass I contemplate-- And then, alas! Too late--too late! I find she is--your Aunt! (Shuddering.) Remorse! Remorse!

Then, mad--mad--mad! With fancies wild--chimerical-- Now sorrowful--silent--sad-- Now hullaballoo hysterical! Ha! ha! ha! ha! But whether I'm sad or whether I'm glad, Mad! mad! mad! mad!

This calls for the resources of a high-class art, And satisfies my notion of a first-rate part!


Enter all the Chorus, hurriedly, and in great excitement.


Your Highness, there's a party at the door-- Your Highness, at the door there is a party-- She says that we expect her, But we do not recollect her, For we never saw her countenance before!

With rage and indignation she is rife, Because our welcome wasn't very hearty-- She's as sulky as a super, And she's swearing like a trooper, O, you never heard such language in your life!


BAR. With fury indescribable I burn! With rage I'm nearly ready to explode! There'll be grief and tribulation when I learn To whom this slight unbearable is owed! For whatever may be due I'll pay it double-- There'll be terror indescribable and trouble! With a hurly-burly and a hubble-bubble I'll pay you for this pretty episode!

ALL. Oh, whatever may be due she'll pay it double!-- It's very good of her to take the trouble-- But we don't know what she means by "hubble-bubble"-- No doubt it's an expression la mode.

BAR. (to LUDWIG). Do you know who I am?

LUD. (examining her). I don't; Your countenance I can't fix, my dear.

BAR. This proves I'm not a sham. (Showing pocket-handkerchief.)

LUD. (examining it). It won't; It only says "Krakenfeldt, Six," my dear.

BAR. Express your grief profound!

LUD. I shan't! This tone I never allow, my love.

BAR. Rudolph at once produce!

LUD. I can't; He isn't at home just now, my love.

BAR. (astonished). He isn't at home just now!

ALL. He isn't at home just now, (Dancing derisively.) He has an appointment particular, very- You'll find him, I think, in the town cemetery; And that's how we come to be making so merry, For he isn't at home just now!

BAR. But bless my heart and soul alive, it's impudence personified! I've come here to be matrimonially matrimonified!

LUD. For any disappointment I am sorry unaffectedly, But yesterday that nobleman expired quite unexpectedly--

ALL (sobbing). Tol the riddle lol! Tol the riddle lol! Tol the riddle, lol the riddle, lol lol lay! (Then laughing wildly.) Tol the riddle, lol the riddle, lol lol lay!

BAR. But this is most unexpected. He was well enough at a quarter to twelve yesterday. LUD. Yes. He died at half-past eleven. BAR. Bless me, how very sudden! LUD. It was sudden. BAR. But what in the world am I to do? I was to have been married to him to-day!

ALL (singing and dancing). For any disappointment we are sorry unaffectedly, But yesterday that nobleman expired quite unexpectedly-- Tol the riddle lol!

BAR. Is this Court Mourning or a Fancy Ball? LUD. Well, it's a delicate combination of both effects. It is intended to express inconsolable grief for the decease of the late Duke and ebullient joy at the accession of his successor. I am his successor. Permit me to present you to my Grand Duchess. (Indicating JULIA.) BAR. Your Grand Duchess? Oh, your Highness! (Curtseying profoundly.) JULIA (sneering at her). Old frump! BAR. Humph! A recent creation, probably? LUD. We were married only half an hour ago. BAR. Exactly. I thought she seemed new to the position. JULIA. Ma'am, I don't know who you are, but I flatter myself I can do justice to any part on the very shortest notice. BAR. My dear, under the circumstances you are doing admirably--and you'll improve with practice. It's so difficult to be a lady when one isn't born to it. JULIA (in a rage, to LUDWIG). Am I to stand this? Am I not to be allowed to pull her to pieces? LUD. (aside to JULIA). No, no--it isn't Greek. Be a violet, I beg. BAR. And now tell me all about this distressing circumstance. How did the Grand Duke die? LUD. He perished nobly--in a Statutory Duel. BAR. In a Statutory Duel? But that's only a civil death!--and the Act expires to-night, and then he will come to life again! LUD. Well, no. Anxious to inaugurate my reign by conferring some inestimable boon on my people, I signalized this occasion by reviving the law for another hundred years. BAR. For another hundred years? Then set the merry joybells ringing! Let festive epithalamia resound through these ancient halls! Cut the satisfying sandwich--broach the exhilarating Marsala--and let us rejoice to-day, if we never rejoice again! LUD. But I don't think I quite understand. We have already rejoiced a good deal. BAR. Happy man, you little reck of the extent of the good things you are in for. When you killed Rudolph you adopted all his overwhelming responsibilities. Know then that I, Caroline von Krakenfeldt, am the most overwhelming of them all! LUD. But stop, stop--I've just been married to somebody else! JULIA. Yes, ma'am, to somebody else, ma'am! Do you understand, ma'am? To somebody else! BAR. Do keep this young woman quiet; she fidgets me! JULIA. Fidgets you! LUD. (aside to JULIA). Be a violet--a crushed, despairing violet. JULIA. Do you suppose I intend to give up a magnificent part without a struggle? LUD. My good girl, she has the law on her side. Let us both bear this calamity with resignation. If you must struggle, go away and struggle in the seclusion of your chamber.


Now away to the wedding we go, So summon the charioteers-- No kind of reluctance they show To embark on their married careers. Though Julia's emotion may flow For the rest of her maidenly years, ALL. To the wedding we eagerly go, So summon the charioteers!

Now away, etc.

(All dance off to wedding except JULIA.)


So ends my dream--so fades my vision fair! Of hope no gleam--distraction and despair! My cherished dream, the Ducal throne to share That aim supreme has vanished into air!


Broken every promise plighted-- All is darksome--all is dreary. Every new-born hope is blighted! Sad and sorry--weak and weary Death the Friend or Death the Foe, Shall I call upon thee? No! I will go on living, though Sad and sorry--weak and weary!

No, no! Let the bygone go by! No good ever came of repining: If to-day there are clouds o'er the sky, To-morrow the sun may be shining! To-morrow, be kind, To-morrow, to me! With loyalty blind I curtsey to thee! To-day is a day of illusion and sorrow, So viva To-morrow, To-morrow, To-morrow! God save you, To-morrow! Your servant, To-morrow! God save you, To-morrow, To-morrow, To-morrow!

[Exit JULIA. Enter ERNEST.

ERN. It's of no use--I can't wait any longer. At any risk I must gratify my urgent desire to know what is going on. (Looking off.) Why, what's that? Surely I see a wedding procession winding down the hill, dressed in my Troilus and Cressida costumes! That's Ludwig's doing! I see how it is--he found the time hang heavy on his hands, and is amusing himself by getting married to Lisa. No--it can't be to Lisa, for here she is!

Enter LISA.

LISA (not seeing him). I really cannot stand seeing my Ludwig married twice in one day to somebody else! ERN. Lisa! (LISA sees him, and stands as if transfixed with horror.). ERN. Come here--don't be a little fool--I want you. (LISA suddenly turns and bolts off.) ERN. Why, what's the matter with the little donkey? One would think she saw a ghost! But if he's not marrying Lisa, whom is he marrying? (Suddenly.) Julia! (Much overcome.) I see it all! The scoundrel! He had to adopt all my responsibilities, and he's shabbily taken advantage of the situation to marry the girl I'm engaged to! But no, it can't be Julia, for here she is!

Enter JULIA. JULIA (not seeing him). I've made up my mind. I won't stand it! I'll send in my notice at once! ERN. Julia! Oh, what a relief!

(JULIA gazes at him as if transfixed.)

ERN. Then you've not married Ludwig? You are still true to me?

(JULIA turns and bolts in grotesque horror. ERNEST follows and stops her.)

ERN. Don't run away! Listen to me. Are you all crazy? JULIA (in affected terror). What would you with me, spectre? Oh, ain't his eyes sepulchral! And ain't his voice hollow! What are you doing out of your tomb at this time of day--apparition? ERN. I do wish I could make you girls understand that I'm only technically dead, and that physically I'm as much alive as ever I was in my life! JULIA. Oh, but it's an awful thing to be haunted by a technical bogy! ERN. You won't be haunted much longer. The law must be on its last legs, and in a few hours I shall come to life again--resume all my social and civil functions, and claim my darling as my blushing bride! JULIA. Oh--then you haven't heard? ERN. My love, I've heard nothing. How could I? There are no daily papers where I come from. JULIA. Why, Ludwig challenged Rudolph and won, and now he's Grand Duke, and he's revived the law for another century! ERN. What! But you're not serious--you're only joking! JULIA. My good sir, I'm a light-hearted girl, but I don't chaff bogies. ERN. Well, that's the meanest dodge I ever heard of! JULIA. Shabby trick, I call it. ERN. But you don't mean to say that you're going to cry off! JULIA. I really can't afford to wait until your time is up. You know, I've always set my face against long engagements. ERN. Then defy the law and marry me now. We will fly to your native country, and I'll play broken-English in London as you play broken-German here! JULIA. No. These legal technicalities cannot be defied. Situated as you are, you have no power to make me your wife. At best you could only make me your widow. ERN. Then be my widow--my little, dainty, winning, winsome widow! JULIA. Now what would be the good of that? Why, you goose, I should marry again within a month!


ERN. If the light of love's lingering ember Has faded in gloom, You cannot neglect, O remember, A voice from the tomb! That stern supernatural diction Should act as a solemn restriction, Although by a mere legal fiction A voice from the tomb!

JULIA (in affected terror). I own that that utterance chills me-- It withers my bloom! With awful emotion it thrills me-- That voice from the tomb! Oh, spectre, won't anything lay thee? Though pained to deny or gainsay thee, In this case I cannot obey thee, Thou voice from the tomb!

(Dancing.) So, spectre, appalling, I bid you good-day-- Perhaps you'll be calling When passing this way. Your bogydom scorning, And all your love-lorning, I bid you good-morning, I bid you good-day.

ERN. (furious). My offer recalling, Your words I obey-- Your fate is appalling, And full of dismay. To pay for this scorning I give you fair warning I'll haunt you each morning, Each night, and each day!

(Repeat Ensemble, and exeunt in opposite directions.)

Re-enter the Wedding Procession dancing.


Now bridegroom and bride let us toast In a magnum of merry champagne-- Let us make of this moment the most, We may not be so lucky again. So drink to our sovereign host And his highly intelligent reign-- His health and his bride's let us toast In a magnum of merry champagne!


I once gave an evening party (A sandwich and cut-orange ball), But my guests had such appetites hearty That I couldn't enjoy it, enjoy it at all. I made a heroic endeavour To look unconcerned, but in vain, And I vow'd that I never--oh never Would ask anybody again! But there's a distinction decided--- A difference truly immense-- When the wine that you drink is provided, provided, At somebody else's expense. So bumpers--aye, ever so many-- The cost we may safely ignore! For the wine doesn't cost us a penny, Tho' it's Pommry seventy-four!

CHORUS. So bumpers--aye, ever so many--etc.

Come, bumpers--aye, ever so many-- And then, if you will, many more! This wine doesn't cost us a penny, Tho' it's Pommry, Pommry seventy-four! Old wine is a true panacea For ev'ry conceivable ill, When you cherish the soothing idea That somebody else pays the bill! Old wine is a pleasure that's hollow When at your own table you sit, For you're thinking each mouthful you swallow Has cost you, has cost you a threepenny-bit! So bumpers--aye, ever so many-- And then, if you will, many more! This wine doesn't cost us a penny, Tho' it's Pommry seventy-four!

CHORUS. So, bumpers--aye, ever so many--etc.

(March heard.)

LUD. (recit.). Why, who is this approaching, Upon our joy encroaching? Some rascal come a-poaching Who's heard that wine we're broaching?

ALL. Who may this be? Who may this be? Who is he? Who is he? Who is he?


HER. The Prince of Monte Carlo, From Mediterranean water, Has come here to bestow On you his beautiful daughter. They've paid off all they owe, As every statesman oughter-- That Prince of Monte Carlo And his be-eautiful daughter!

CHORUS. The Prince of Monte Carlo, etc.

HER. The Prince of Monte Carlo, Who is so very partickler, Has heard that you're also For ceremony a stickler-- Therefore he lets you know By word of mouth auric'lar-- (That Prince of Monte Carlo Who is so very particklar)--

CHORUS. The Prince of Monte Carlo, etc.

HER. That Prince of Monte Carlo, From Mediterranean water, Has come here to bestow On you his be-eautiful daughter!

LUD. (recit.). His Highness we know not--nor the locality In which is situate his Principality; But, as he guesses by some odd fatality, This is the shop for cut and dried formality! Let him appear-- He'll find that we're Remarkable for cut and dried formality.

(Reprise of March. Exit HERALD. LUDWIG beckons his Court.)

LUD. I have a plan--I'll tell you all the plot of it-- He wants formality--he shall have a lot of it! (Whispers to them, through symphony.) Conceal yourselves, and when I give the cue, Spring out on him--you all know what to do! (All conceal themselves behind the draperies that enclose the stage.)

Pompous March. Enter the PRINCE and PRINCESS OF MONTE CARLO, attended by six theatrical-looking nobles and the Court Costumier.

DUET--Prince and PRINCESS.

PRINCE. We're rigged out in magnificent array (Our own clothes are much gloomier) In costumes which we've hired by the day From a very well-known costumier.

COST. (bowing). I am the well-known costumier.

PRINCESS. With a brilliant staff a Prince should make a show (It's a rule that never varies), So we've engaged from the Theatre Monaco Six supernumeraries.

NOBLES. We're the supernumeraries.

ALL. At a salary immense, Quite regardless of expense, Six supernumeraries!

PRINCE. They do not speak, for they break our grammar's laws, And their language is lamentable-- And they never take off their gloves, because Their nails are not presentable.

NOBLES. Our nails are not presentable!

PRINCESS. To account for their shortcomings manifest We explain, in a whisper bated, They are wealthy members of the brewing interest To the Peerage elevated.

NOBLES. To the Peerage elevated.

ALL. They're/We're very, very rich, And accordingly, as sich, To the Peerage elevated.

PRINCE. Well, my dear, here we are at last--just in time to compel Duke Rudolph to fulfil the terms of his marriage contract. Another hour and we should have been too late. PRINCESS. Yes, papa, and if you hadn't fortunately discovered a means of making an income by honest industry, we should never have got here at all. PRINCE. Very true. Confined for the last two years within the precincts of my palace by an obdurate bootmaker who held a warrant for my arrest, I devoted my enforced leisure to a study of the doctrine of chances--mainly with the view of ascertaining whether there was the remotest chance of my ever going out for a walk again--and this led to the discovery of a singularly fascinating little round game which I have called Roulette, and by which, in one sitting, I won no less than five thousand francs! My first act was to pay my bootmaker--my second, to engage a good useful working set of second-hand nobles--and my third, to hurry you off to Pfennig Halbpfennig as fast as a train de luxe could carry us! PRINCESS. Yes, and a pretty job-lot of second-hand nobles you've scraped together! PRINCE (doubtfully). Pretty, you think? Humph! I don't know. I should say tol-lol, my love--only tol-lol. They are not wholly satisfactory. There is a certain air of unreality about them--they are not convincing. COST. But, my goot friend, vhat can you expect for eighteenpence a day! PRINCE. Now take this Peer, for instance. What the deuce do you call him? COST. Him? Oh, he's a swell--he's the Duke of Riviera. PRINCE. Oh, he's a Duke, is he? Well, that's no reason why he should look so confoundedly haughty. (To Noble.) Be affable, sir! (Noble takes attitude of affability.) That's better. (Passing to another.) Now, who's this with his moustache coming off? COST. Vhy; you're Viscount Mentone, ain't you? NOBLE. Blest if I know. (Turning up sword-belt.) It's wrote here--yes, Viscount Mentone. COST. Then vhy don't you say so? 'Old yerself up--you ain't carryin' sandwich boards now. (Adjusts his moustache.) PRINCE. Now, once for all, you Peers--when His Highness arrives, don't stand like sticks, but appear to take an intelligent and sympathetic interest in what is going on. You needn't say anything, but let your gestures be in accordance with the spirit of the conversation. Now take the word from me. Affability! (attitude). Submission! (attitude). Surprise! (attitude). Shame! (attitude). Grief! (attitude). Joy! (attitude). That's better! You can do it if you like! PRINCESS. But, papa, where in the world is the Court? There is positively no one here to receive us! I can't help feeling that Rudolph wants to get out of it because I'm poor. He's a miserly little wretch--that's what he is. PRINCE. Well, I shouldn't go so far as to say that. I should rather describe him as an enthusiastic collector of coins--of the realm--and we must not be too hard upon a numismatist if he feels a certain disinclination to part with some of his really very valuable specimens. It's a pretty hobby: I've often thought I should like to collect some coins myself. PRINCESS. Papa, I'm sure there's some one behind that curtain. I saw it move! PRINCE. Then no doubt they are coming. Now mind, you Peers--haughty affability combined with a sense of what is due to your exalted ranks, or I'll fine you half a franc each--upon my soul I will!

(Gong. The curtains fly back and the Court are discovered. They give a wild yell and rush on to the stage dancing wildly, with PRINCE, PRINCESS, and Nobles, who are taken by surprise at first, but eventually join in a reckless dance. At the end all fall down exhausted.)

LUD. There, what do you think of that? That's our official ceremonial for the reception of visitors of the very highest distinction. PRINCE (puzzled). It's very quaint--very curious indeed. Prettily footed, too. Prettily footed. LUD. Would you like to see how we say "good-bye" to visitors of distinction? That ceremony is also performed with the foot. PRINCE. Really, this tone--ah, but perhaps you have not completely grasped the situation? LUD. Not altogether. PRINCE. Ah, then I'll give you a lead over. (Significantly:) I am the father of the Princess of Monte Carlo. Doesn't that convey any idea to the Grand Ducal mind? LUD. (stolidly). Nothing definite. PRINCE (aside). H'm--very odd! Never mind--try again! (Aloud.) This is the daughter of the Prince of Monte Carlo. Do you take? LUD. (still puzzled). No--not yet. Go on--don't give it up--I dare say it will come presently. PRINCE. Very odd--never mind--try again. (With sly significance.) Twenty years ago! Little doddle doddle! Two little doddle doddles! Happy father--hers and yours. Proud mother--yours and hers! Hah! Now you take? I see you do! I see you do! LUD. Nothing is more annoying than to feel that you're not equal to the intellectual pressure of the conversation. I wish he'd say something intelligible. PRINCE. You didn't expect me? LUD. (jumping at it). No, no. I grasp that--thank you very much. (Shaking hands with him.) No, I did not expect you! PRINCE. I thought not. But ha! ha! at last I have escaped from my enforced restraint. (General movement of alarm.) (To crowd who are stealing off.) No, no--you misunderstand me. I mean I've paid my debts! ALL. Oh! (They return.) PRINCESS (affectionately). But, my darling, I'm afraid that even now you don't quite realize who I am! (Embracing him.) BARONESS. Why, you forward little hussy, how dare you? (Takes her away from LUDWIG.) LUD. You mustn't do that, my dear--never in the presence of the Grand Duchess, I beg! PRINCESS (weeping). Oh, papa, he's got a Grand Duchess! LUD. A Grand Duchess! My good girl, I've got three Grand Duchesses! PRINCESS. Well, I'm sure! Papa, let's go away--this is not a respectable Court. PRINCE. All these Grand Dukes have their little fancies, my love. This potentate appears to be collecting wives. It's a pretty hobby--I should like to collect a few myself. This (admiring BARONESS) is a charming specimen--an antique, I should say--of the early Merovingian period, if I'm not mistaken; and here's another--a Scotch lady, I think (alluding to JULIA), and (alluding to LISA) a little one thrown in. Two half-quarterns and a makeweight! (To LUDWIG.) Have you such a thing as a catalogue of the Museum? PRINCESS. But I cannot permit Rudolph to keep a museum-- LUD. Rudolph? Get along with you, I'm not Rudolph! Rudolph died yesterday! PRINCE and PRINCESS. What! LUD. Quite suddenly--of--of--a cardiac affection. PRINCE and PRINCESS. Of a cardiac affection! LUD. Yes, a pack-of-cardiac affection. He fought a Statutory Duel with me and lost, and I took over all his engagements--including this imperfectly preserved old lady, to whom he has been engaged for the last three weeks. PRINCESS. Three weeks! But I've been engaged to him for the last twenty years! BARONESS, LISA, and JULIA. Twenty years! PRINCE (aside). It's all right, my love--they can't get over that. (Aloud.) He's yours--take him, and hold him as tight as you can! PRINCESS. My own! (Embracing LUDWIG.) LUD. Here's another!--the fourth in four-and-twenty hours! Would anybody else like to marry me? You, ma'am--or you--anybody! I'm getting used to it! BARONESS. But let me tell you, ma'am-- JULIA. Why, you impudent little hussy-- LISA. Oh, here's another--here's another! (Weeping.) PRINCESS. Poor ladies, I'm very sorry for you all; but, you see, I've a prior claim. Come, away we go--there's not a moment to be lost!

CHORUS (as they dance towards exit).

Away to the wedding we'll go To summon the charioteers, No kind of reluctance we show To embark on our married careers--

(At this moment RUDOLPH, ERNEST, and NOTARY appear. All kneel in astonishment.)


RUD., Ern., and NOT. Forbear! This may not be! Frustrated are your plans! With paramount decree The Law forbids the banns!

ALL. The Law forbids the banns! LUD. Not a bit of it! I've revived the law for another century! RUD. You didn't revive it! You couldn't revive it! You--you are an impostor, sir--a tuppenny rogue, sir! You--you never were, and in all human probability never will be--Grand Duke of Pfennig Anything! ALL. What!!! RUD. Never--never, never! (Aside.) Oh, my internal economy! LUD. That's absurd, you know. I fought the Grand Duke. He drew a King, and I drew an Ace. He perished in inconceivable agonies on the spot. Now, as that's settled, we'll go on with the wedding. RUD. It--it isn't settled. You--you can't. I--I--(to NOTARY). Oh, tell him--tell him! I can't! NOT. Well, the fact is, there's been a little mistake here. On reference to the Act that regulates Statutory Duels, I find it is expressly laid down that the Ace shall count invariably as lowest! ALL. As lowest! RUD. (breathlessly). As lowest--lowest--lowest! So you're the ghoest--ghoest--ghoest! (Aside.) Oh, what is the matter with me inside here! ERN. Well, Julia, as it seems that the law hasn't been revived--and as, consequently, I shall come to life in about three minutes--(consulting his watch)-- JULIA. My objection falls to the ground. (Resignedly.) Very well! PRINCESS. And am I to understand that I was on the point of marrying a dead man without knowing it? (To RUDOLPH, who revives.) Oh, my love, what a narrow escape I've had! RUD. Oh--you are the Princess of Monte Carlo, and you've turned up just in time! Well, you're an attractive little girl, you know, but you're as poor as a rat! (They retire up together.) LISA. That's all very well, but what is to become of me? (To LUDWIG.) If you're a dead man--(Clock strikes three.) LUD. But I'm not. Time's up--the Act has expired--I've come to life--the parson is still in attendance, and we'll all be married directly. ALL. Hurrah!


Happy couples, lightly treading, Castle chapel will be quite full! Each shall have a pretty wedding, As, of course, is only rightful, Though the brides be fair or frightful. Contradiction little dreading, This will be a day delightful-- Each shall have a pretty wedding! Such a pretty, pretty wedding! Such a pretty wedding!

(All dance off to get married as the curtain falls.)




Libretto by William S. Gilbert

Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan


THE RT.HON SIR JOSEPH PORTER, K.C.B. (First Lord of the Admiralty). CAPTAIN CORCORAN (Commanding H.M.S. Pinafore). TOM TUCKER (Midshipmite). RALPH RAKESTRAW (Able Seaman). DICK DEADEYE (Able Seaman). BILL BOBSTAY (Boatswain's Mate). BOB BECKET (Carpenter's Mate). JOSEPHINE (the Captain's Daughter). HEBE (Sir Joseph Porter's First Cousin). MRS. CRIPPS (LITTLE BUTTERCUP) (A Portsmouth Bumboat Woman). First Lord's Sisters, his Cousins, his Aunts, Sailors, Marines, etc.


ACT I.--Noon. ACT II.--Night

First produced at the Opera Comique on May 25, 1878.


SCENE--Quarter-deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. Sailors, led by BOATSWAIN, discovered cleaning brasswork, splicing rope, etc.


We sail the ocean blue, And our saucy ship's a beauty; We're sober men and true, And attentive to our duty. When the balls whistle free O'er the bright blue sea, We stand to our guns all day; When at anchor we ride On the Portsmouth tide, We have plenty of time to play.

Enter LITTLE BUTTERCUP, with large basket on her arm


Hail, men-o'-war's men-safeguards of your nation Here is an end, at last, of all privation; You've got your play--spare all you can afford To welcome Little Buttercup on board.


For I'm called Little Buttercup--dear Little Buttercup, Though I could never tell why, But still I'm called Buttercup--poor little Buttercup, Sweet Little Buttercup I!

I've snuff and tobaccy, and excellent jacky, I've scissors, and watches, and knives I've ribbons and laces to set off the faces Of pretty young sweethearts and wives.

I've treacle and toffee, I've tea and I've coffee, Soft tommy and succulent chops; I've chickens and conies, and pretty polonies, And excellent peppermint drops.

Then buy of your Buttercup--dear Little Buttercup; Sailors should never be shy; So, buy of your Buttercup--poor Little Buttercup; Come, of your Buttercup buy!

BOAT. Aye, Little Buttercup--and well called--for you're the rosiest, the roundest, and the reddest beauty in all Spithead. BUT. Red, am I? and round--and rosy! Maybe, for I have dissembled well! But hark ye, my merry friend--hast ever thought that beneath a gay and frivolous exterior there may lurk a canker-worm which is slowly but surely eating its way into one's very heart?

BOAT. No, my lass, I can't say I've ever thought that.

Enter DICK DEADEYE. He pushes through sailors, and comes down

DICK. I have thought it often. (All recoil from him.) BUT. Yes, you look like it! What's the matter with the man? Isn't he well? BOAT. Don't take no heed of him; that's only poor Dick Deadeye. DICK. I say--it's a beast of a name, ain't it--Dick Deadeye? BUT. It's not a nice name. DICK. I'm ugly too, ain't I? BUT. You are certainly plain. DICK. And I'm three-cornered too, ain't I? BUT. You are rather triangular. DICK. Ha! ha! That's it. I'm ugly, and they hate me for it; for you all hate me, don't you? ALL. We do! DICK. There! BOAT. Well, Dick, we wouldn't go for to hurt any fellow creature's feelings, but you can't expect a chap with such a name as Dick Deadeye to be a popular character--now can you? DICK. No. BOAT. It's asking too much, ain't it? DICK. It is. From such a face and form as mine the noblest sentiments sound like the black utterances of a depraved imagination It is human nature--I am resigned.


BUT. (looking down hatchway). But, tell me--who's the youth whose faltering feet With difficulty bear him on his course? BOAT. That is the smartest lad in all the fleet-- Ralph Rackstraw! BUT. Ha! That name! Remorse! remorse!

Enter RALPH from hatchway


The Nightingale Sighed for the moon's bright ray And told his tale In his own melodious way! He sang "Ah, well-a-day!"

ALL. He sang "Ah, well-a-day!" The lowly vale For the mountain vainly sighed, To his humble wail The echoing hills replied. They sang "Ah, well-a-day!"

All. They sang "Ah, well-a-day!"


I know the value of a kindly chorus, But choruses yield little consolation When we have pain and sorrow too before us! I love--and love, alas, above my station!

BUT. (aside). He loves--and loves a lass above his station! ALL (aside). Yes, yes, the lass is much above his station!



A maiden fair to see, The pearl of minstrelsy, A bud of blushing beauty; For whom proud nobles sigh, And with each other vie To do her menial's duty. ALL. To do her menial's duty.

A suitor, lowly born, With hopeless passion torn, And poor beyond denying, Has dared for her to pine At whose exalted shrine A world of wealth is sighing. ALL. A world of wealth is sighing.

Unlearned he in aught Save that which love has taught (For love had been his tutor); Oh, pity, pity me-- Our captain's daughter she, And I that lowly suitor! ALL. And he that lowly suitor!

BOAT. Ah, my poor lad, you've climbed too high: our worthy captain's child won't have nothin' to say to a poor chap like you. Will she, lads? ALL. No, no. DICK. No, no, captains' daughters don't marry foremast hands. ALL (recoiling from him). Shame! shame! BOAT. Dick Deadeye, them sentiments o' yourn are a disgrace to our common natur'. RALPH, But it's a strange anomaly, that the daughter of a man who hails from the quarter-deck may not love another who lays out on the fore-yard arm. For a man is but a man, whether he hoists his flag at the main-truck or his slacks on the main-deck. DICK. Ah, it's a queer world! RALPH. Dick Deadeye, I have no desire to press hardly on you, but such a revolutionary sentiment is enough to make an honest sailor shudder. BOAT. My lads, our gallant captain has come on deck; let us greet him as so brave an officer and so gallant a seaman deserves.



CAPT. My gallant crew, good morning. ALL (saluting). Sir, good morning! CAPT. I hope you're all quite well. ALL(as before). Quite well; and you, sir? CAPT. I am in reasonable health, and happy To meet you all once more. ALL (as before). You do us proud, sir!


CAPT. I am the Captain of the Pinafore; ALL. And a right good captain, tool You're very, very good, And be it understood, I command a right good crew, ALL. We're very, very good, And be it understood, He commands a right good crew. CAPT. Though related to a peer, I can hand, reef, and steer, And ship a selvagee; I am never known to quail At the furry of a gale, And I'm never, never sick at sea! ALL. What, never? CAPT. No, never! ALL. What, never? CAPT. Hardly ever! ALL. He's hardly ever sick at seal Then give three cheers, and one cheer more, For the hardy Captain of the Pinafore!

CAPT. I do my best to satisfy you all-- ALL. And with you we're quite content. CAPT. You're exceedingly polite, And I think it only right To return the compliment. ALL. We're exceedingly polite, And he thinks it's only right To return the compliment. CAPT. Bad language or abuse, I never, never use, Whatever the emergency; Though "Bother it" I may Occasionally say, I never use a big, big D-- ALL. What, never? CAPT. No, never! ALL. What, never? CAPT. Hardly ever! ALL. Hardly ever swears a big, big D-- Then give three cheers, and one cheer more, For the well-bred Captain of the Pinafore! [After song exeunt all but CAPTAIN]



BUT. Sir, you are sad! The silent eloquence Of yonder tear that trembles on your eyelash Proclaims a sorrow far more deep than common; Confide in me--fear not--I am a mother!

CAPT. Yes, Little Buttercup, I'm sad and sorry-- My daughter, Josephine, the fairest flower That ever blossomed on ancestral timber, Is sought in marriage by Sir Joseph Porter, Our Admiralty's First Lord, but for some reason She does not seem to tackle kindly to it.

BUT, (with emotion). Ah, poor Sir Joseph! Ah, I know too well The anguish of a heart that loves but vainly! But see, here comes your most attractive daughter. I go--Farewell! [Exit.

CAPT. (looking after her). A plump and pleasing person! [Exit.

Enter JOSEPHINE, twining some flowers which she carries in a small basket


Sorry her lot who loves too well, Heavy the heart that hopes but vainly, Sad are the sighs that own the spell, Uttered by eyes that speak too plainly; Heavy the sorrow that bows the head When love is alive and hope is dead!

Sad is the hour when sets the sun-- Dark is the night to earth's poor daughters, When to the ark the wearied one Flies from the empty waste of waters! Heavy the sorrow that bows the head When love is alive and hope is dead!


CAPT. My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to melancholy. You should look your best to-day, for Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., will be here this afternoon to claim your promised hand. JOS. Ah, father, your words cut me to the quick. I can esteem-- reverence--venerate Sir Joseph, for he is a great and good man; but oh, I cannot love him! My heart is already given. CAPT. (aside). It is then as I feared. (Aloud.) Given? And to whom? Not to some gilded lordling? JOS. No, father--the object of my love is no lordling. Oh, pity me, for he is but a humble sailor on board your own ship! CAPT. Impossible! JOS. Yes, it is true. CAPT. A common sailor? Oh fie! JOS. I blush for the weakness that allows me to cherish such a passion. I hate myself when I think of the depth to which I have stooped in permitting myself to think tenderly of one so ignobly born, but I love him! I love him! I love him! (Weeps.) CAPT. Come, my child, let us talk this over. In a matter of the heart I would not coerce my daughter--I attach but little value to rank or wealth, but the line must be drawn somewhere. A man in that station may be brave and worthy, but at every step he would commit solecisms that society would never pardon. JOS. Oh, I have thought of this night and day. But fear not, father, I have a heart, and therefore I love; but I am your daughter, and therefore I am proud. Though I carry my love with me to the tomb, he shall never, never know it. CAPT. You are my daughter after all. But see, Sir Joseph's barge approaches, manned by twelve trusty oarsmen and accompanied by the admiring crowd of sisters, cousins, and aunts that attend him wherever he goes. Retire, my daughter, to your cabin--take this, his photograph, with you--it may help to bring you to a more reasonable frame of mind. JOS. My own thoughtful father!

[Exit JOSEPHINE. CAPTAIN remains and ascends the poop-deck.

BARCAROLLE. (invisible)

Over the bright blue sea Comes Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B., Wherever he may go Bang-bang the loud nine-pounders go! Shout o'er the bright blue sea For Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B.

[During this the Crew have entered on tiptoe, listening attentive to the song.


Sir Joseph's barge is seen, And its crowd of blushing beauties, We hope he'll find us clean, And attentive to our duties. We sail, we sail the ocean blue, And our saucy ship's a beauty. We're sober, sober men and true And attentive to our duty. We're smart and sober men, And quite devoid of fe-ar, In all the Royal N. None are so smart as we are.


(They dance round stage)

REL. Gaily tripping, Lightly skipping, Flock the maidens to the shipping. SAILORS. Flags and guns and pennants dipping! All the ladies love the shipping. REL. Sailors sprightly Always rightly Welcome ladies so politely. SAILORS. Ladies who can smile so brightly, Sailors welcome most politely. CAPT. (from poop). Now give three cheers, I'll lead the way ALL. Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! hurray!



I am the monarch of the sea, The ruler of the Queen's Navee, Whose praise Great Britain loudly chants. COUSIN HEBE. And we are his sisters, and his cousins and his aunts! REL. And we are his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts! SIR JOSEPH. When at anchor here I ride, My bosom swells with pride, And I snap my fingers at a foeman's taunts; COUSIN HEBE. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts! ALL. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts! SIR JOSEPH. But when the breezes blow, I generally go below, And seek the seclusion that a cabin grants; COUSIN HEBE. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts! ALL. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts! His sisters and his cousins, Whom he reckons up by dozens, And his aunts!


When I was a lad I served a term As office boy to an Attorney's firm. I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor, And I polished up the handle of the big front door. I polished up that handle so carefullee That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.--He polished, etc.

As office boy I made such a mark That they gave me the post of a junior clerk. I served the writs with a smile so bland, And I copied all the letters in a big round hand-- I copied all the letters in a hand so free, That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.- He copied, etc.

In serving writs I made such a name That an articled clerk I soon became; I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit For the pass examination at the Institute, And that pass examination did so well for me, That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.--And that pass examination, etc.

Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip That they took me into the partnership. And that junior partnership, I ween, Was the only ship that I ever had seen. But that kind of ship so suited me, That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.- But that kind, etc.

I grew so rich that I was sent By a pocket borough into Parliament. I always voted at my party's call, And I never thought of thinking for myself at all. I thought so little, they rewarded me By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.- He thought so little, etc.

Now landsmen all, whoever you may be, If you want to rise to the top of the tree, If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool, Be careful to be guided by this golden rule-- Stick close to your desks and never go to sea, And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.--Stick close, etc.

SIR JOSEPH. You've a remarkably fine crew, Captain Corcoran. CAPT. It is a fine crew, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH. (examining a very small midshipman). A British sailor is a splendid fellow, Captain Corcoran. CAPT. A splendid fellow indeed, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH. I hope you treat your crew kindly, Captain Corcoran. CAPT. Indeed I hope so, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH, Never forget that they are the bulwarks of England's greatness, Captain Corcoran. CAPT. So I have always considered them, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH. No bullying, I trust--no strong language of any kind, eh? CAPT. Oh, never, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH. What, never? CAPT. Hardly ever, Sir Joseph. They are an excellent crew, and do their work thoroughly without it. SIR JOSEPH. Don't patronise them, sir--pray, don't patronise them. CAPT. Certainly not, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH. That you are their captain is an accident of birth. I cannot permit these noble fellows to be patronised because an accident of birth has placed you above them and them below you. CAPT. I am the last person to insult a British sailor, Sir Joseph. SIR JOSEPH. You are the last person who did, Captain Corcoran. Desire that splendid seaman to step forward.

(DICK comes forward)

SIR JOSEPH. No, no, the other splendid seaman. CAPT. Ralph Rackstraw, three paces to the front--march! SIR JOSEPH (sternly). If what? CAPT. I beg your pardon--I don't think I understand you. SIR JOSEPH. If you please. CAPT. Oh, yes, of course. If you please. (RALPH steps forward.) SIR JOSEPH. You're a remarkably fine fellow. RALPH. Yes, your honour. SIR JOSEPH. And a first-rate seaman, I'll be bound. RALPH. There's not a smarter topman in the Navy, your honour, though I say it who shouldn't. SIR JOSEPH. Not at all. Proper self-respect, nothing more. Can you dance a hornpipe? RALPH. No, your honour. SIR JOSEPH. That's a pity: all sailors should dance hornpipes. I will teach you one this evening, after dinner. Now tell me--don't be afraid-- how does your captain treat you, eh? RALPH. A better captain don't walk the deck, your honour. ALL. Aye; Aye! SIR JOSEPH. Good. I like to hear you speak well of your commanding officer; I daresay he don't deserve it, but still it does you credit. Can you sing? RALPH. I can hum a little, your honour. SIR JOSEPH. Then hum this at your leisure. (Giving him MS. music.) It is a song that I have composed for the use of the Royal Navy. It is designed to encourage independence of thought and action in the lower branches of the service, and to teach the principle that a British sailor is any man's equal, excepting mine. Now, Captain Corcoran, a word with you in your cabin, on a tender and sentimental subject. CAPT. Aye, aye, Sir Joseph (Crossing) Boatswain, in commemoration of this joyous occasion, see that extra grog is served out to the ship's company at seven bells. BOAT. Beg pardon. If what, your honour? CAPT. If what? I don't think I understand you. BOAT. If you please, your honour. CAPT. What! SIR JOSEPH. The gentleman is quite right. If you please. CAPT. (stamping his foot impatiently). If you please!

[Exit. SIR JOSEPH. For I hold that on the seas The expression, "if you please", A particularly gentlemanly tone implants. COUSIN HEBE. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts! ALL. And so do his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!


BOAT. Ah! Sir Joseph's true gentleman; courteous and considerate to the very humblest. RALPH. True, Boatswain, but we are not the very humblest. Sir Joseph has explained our true position to us. As he says, a British seaman is any man's equal excepting his, and if Sir Joseph says that, is it not our duty to believe him? ALL. Well spoke! well spoke! DICK. You're on a wrong tack, and so is he. He means well, but he don't know. When people have to obey other people's orders, equality's out of the question. ALL (recoiling). Horrible! horrible! BOAT. Dick Deadeye, if you go for to infuriate this here ship's company too far, I won't answer for being able to hold 'em in. I'm shocked! that's what I am--shocked! RALPH. Messmates, my mind's made up. I'll speak to the captain's daughter, and tell her, like an honest man, of the honest love I have for her. ALL. Aye, aye! RALPH. Is not my love as good as another's? Is not my heart as true as another's? Have I not hands and eyes and ears and limbs like another? ALL. Aye, Aye! RALPH. True, I lack birth-- BOAT. You've a berth on board this very ship. RALPH. Well said--I had forgotten that. Messmates--what do you say? Do you approve my determination? ALL. We do. DICK. I don t. BOAT. What is to be done with this here hopeless chap? Let us sing him the song that Sir Joseph has kindly composed for us. Perhaps it will bring this here miserable creetur to a proper state of mind.


A British tar is a soaring soul, As free as a mountain bird, His energetic fist should be ready to resist A dictatorial word. His nose should pant and his lip should curl, His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl, His bosom should heave and his heart should glow, And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow.

CHORUS.--His nose should pant, etc.

His eyes should flash with an inborn fire, His brow with scorn be wrung; He never should bow down to a domineering frown, Or the tang of a tyrant tongue. His foot should stamp and his throat should growl, His hair should twirl and his face should scowl; His eyes should flash and his breast protrude, And this should be his customary attitude--(pose).

CHORUS.--His foot should stamp, etc.

[All dance off excepting RALPH, who remains, leaning pensively against bulwark.

Enter JOSEPHINE from cabin

JOS. It is useless--Sir Joseph's attentions nauseate me. I know that he is a truly great and good man, for he told me so himself, but to me he seems tedious, fretful, and dictatorial. Yet his must be a mind of no common order, or he would not dare to teach my dear father to dance a hornpipe on the cabin table. (Sees RALPH.) Ralph Rackstraw! (Overcome by emotion.) RALPH. Aye, lady--no other than poor Ralph Rackstraw! JOS. (aside). How my heart beats! (Aloud) And why poor, Ralph? RALPH. I am poor in the essence of happiness, lady--rich only in never- ending unrest. In me there meet a combination of antithetical elements which are at eternal war with one another. Driven hither by objective influences--thither by subjective emotions--wafted one moment into blazing day, by mocking hope--plunged the next into the Cimmerian darkness of tangible despair, I am but a living ganglion of irreconcilable antagonisms. I hope I make myself clear, lady? JOS. Perfectly. (Aside.) His simple eloquence goes to my heart. Oh, if I dared--but no, the thought is madness! (Aloud.) Dismiss these foolish fancies, they torture you but needlessly. Come, make one effort. RALPH (aside). I will--one. (Aloud.) Josephine! JOS. (Indignantly). Sir! RALPH. Aye, even though Jove's armoury were launched at the head of the audacious mortal whose lips, unhallowed by relationship, dared to breathe that precious word, yet would I breathe it once, and then perchance be silent evermore. Josephine, in one brief breath I will concentrate the hopes, the doubts, the anxious fears of six weary months. Josephine, I am a British sailor, and I love you! JOS. Sir, this audacity! (Aside.) Oh, my heart, my beating heart! (Aloud.) This unwarrantable presumption on the part of a common sailor! (Aside.) Common! oh, the irony of the word! (Crossing, aloud.) Oh, sir, you forget the disparity in our ranks. RALPH. I forget nothing, haughty lady. I love you desperately, my life is in your hand--I lay it at your feet! Give me hope, and what I lack in education and polite accomplishments, that I will endeavour to acquire. Drive me to despair, and in death alone I shall look for consolation. I am proud and cannot stoop to implore. I have spoken and I wait your word. JOS. You shall not wait long. Your proffered love I haughtily reject. Go, sir, and learn to cast your eyes on some village maiden in your own poor rank--they should be lowered before your captain's daughter.


JOS. Refrain, audacious tar, Your suit from pressing, Remember what you are, And whom addressing! (Aside.) I'd laugh my rank to scorn In union holy, Were he more highly born Or I more lowly! RALPH. Proud lady, have your way, Unfeeling beauty! You speak and I obey, It is my duty! I am the lowliest tar That sails the water, And you, proud maiden, are My captain's daughter! (Aside.) My heart with anguish torn Bows down before her, She laughs my love to scorn, Yet I adore her!

[Repeat refrain, ensemble, then exit JOSEPHINE into cabin.

RALPH. (Recit.) Can I survive this overbearing Or live a life of mad despairing, My proffered love despised, rejected? No, no, it's not to be expected! (Calling off.) Messmates, ahoy! Come here! Come here!


ALL. Aye, aye, my boy, What cheer, what cheer? Now tell us, pray, Without delay, What does she say-- What cheer, what cheer?

RALPH (to COUSIN HEBE). The maiden treats my suit with scorn, Rejects my humble gift, my lady; She says I am ignobly born, And cuts my hopes adrift, my lady. ALL. Oh, cruel one.

DICK. She spurns your suit? Oho! Oho! I told you so, I told you so.

SAILORS and RELATIVES. Shall { we } submit? Are { we } but slaves? they they Love comes alike to high and low-- Britannia's sailors rule the waves, And shall they stoop to insult? No!

DICK. You must submit, you are but slaves; A lady she! Oho! Oho! You lowly toilers of the waves, She spurns you all--I told you so!

RALPH. My friends, my leave of life I'm taking, For oh, my heart, my heart is breaking. When I am gone, oh, prithee tell The maid that, as I died, I loved her well!

ALL (turning away, weeping). Of life, alas! his leave he's taking, For ah! his faithful heart is breaking; When he is gone we'll surely tell The maid that, as he died, he loved her well.

[During Chorus BOATSWAIN has loaded pistol, which he hands to RALPH.

RALPH. Be warned, my messmates all Who love in rank above you-- For Josephine I fall!

[Puts pistol to his head. All the sailors stop their ears.

Enter JOSEPHINE on deck

JOS. Ah! stay your hand--I love you! ALL. Ah! stay your hand--she loves you! RALPH. (incredulously). Loves me? JOS. Loves you! ALL. Yes, yes--ah, yes,--she loves you!



Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen, For now the sky is all serene; The god of day--the orb of love-- Has hung his ensign high above, The sky is all ablaze.

With wooing words and loving song, We'll chase the lagging hours along, And if {I find } the maiden coy, we find I'll } murmur forth decorous joy We'll In dreamy roundelays!


He thinks he's won his Josephine, But though the sky is now serene, A frowning thunderbolt above May end their ill-assorted love Which now is all ablaze.

Our captain, ere the day is gone, Will be extremely down upon The wicked men who art employ To make his Josephine less coy In many various ways. [Exit DICK.

JOS. This very night, HEBE. With bated breath RALPH. And muffled oar-- JOS. Without a light, HEBE. As still as death, RALPH. We'll steal ashore JOS. A clergyman RALPH. Shall make us one BOAT, At half-past ten, JOS. And then we can RALPH Return, for none BOAT. Can part them then! ALL. This very night, etc.

(DICK appears at hatchway.)

DICK. Forbear, nor carry out the scheme you've planned; She is a lady--you a foremast hand! Remember, she's your gallant captain's daughter, And you the meanest slave that crawls the water! ALL. Back, vermin, back, Nor mock us! Back, vermin, back, You shock us! [Exit DICK

Let's give three cheers for the sailor's bride Who casts all thought of rank aside-- Who gives up home and fortune too For the honest love of a sailor true! For a British tar is a soaring soul As free as a mountain bird! His energetic fist should be ready to resist A dictatorial word! His foot should stamp and his throat should growl, His hair should twirl and his face should scowl, His eyes should flash and his breast protrude, And this should be his customary attitude--(pose).




Same Scene. Night. Awning removed. Moonlight. CAPTAIN discovered singing on poop deck, and accompanying himself on a mandolin. LITTLE BUTTERCUP seated on quarterdeck, gazing sentimentally at him.


Fair moon, to thee I sing, Bright regent of the heavens, Say, why is everything Either at sixes or at sevens? I have lived hitherto Free from breath of slander, Beloved by all my crew-- A really popular commander. But now my kindly crew rebel, My daughter to a tar is partial, Sir Joseph storms, and, sad to tell, He threatens a court martial! Fair moon, to thee I sing, Bright regent of the heavens, Say, why is everything Either at sixes or at sevens?

BUT. How sweetly he carols forth his melody to the unconscious moon! Of whom is he thinking? Of some high-born beauty? It may be! Who is poor Little Buttercup that she should expect his glance to fall on one so lowly! And yet if he knew--if he only knew! CAPT. (coming down). Ah! Little Buttercup, still on board? That is not quite right, little one. It would have been more respectable to have gone on shore at dusk. BUT, True, dear Captain--but the recollection of your sad pale face seemed to chain me to the ship. I would fain see you smile before I go. CAPT. Ah! Little Buttercup, I fear it will be long before I recover my accustomed cheerfulness, for misfortunes crowd upon me, and all my old friends seem to have turned against me! BUT, Oh no--do not say "all", dear Captain. That were unjust to one, at least. CAPT. True, for you are staunch to me. (Aside.) If ever I gave my heart again, methinks it would be to such a one as this! (Aloud.) I am touched to the heart by your innocent regard for me, and were we differently situated, I think I could have returned it. But as it is, I fear I can never be more to you than a friend. BUT, I understand! You hold aloof from me because you are rich and lofty--and I poor and lowly. But take care! The poor bumboat woman has gipsy blood in her veins, and she can read destinies. CAPT. Destinies? BUT. There is a change in store for you! CAPT. A change? BUT. Aye--be prepared!


BUT, Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream; Highlows pass as patent leathers; Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers. CAPT. (puzzled). Very true, So they do. BUT. Black sheep dwell in every fold; All that glitters is not gold; Storks turn out to be but logs; Bulls are but inflated frogs. CAPT. (puzzled). So they be, Frequentlee. BUT. Drops the wind and stops the mill; Turbot is ambitious brill; Gild the farthing if you will, Yet it is a farthing still. CAPT. (puzzled). Yes, I know. That is so. Though to catch your drift I'm striving, It is shady--it is shady; I don't see at what you're driving, Mystic lady--mystic lady. (Aside.) Stern conviction's o'er me stealing, That the mystic lady's dealing In oracular revealing. BUT. (aside).Stern conviction's o'er him stealing, That the mystic lady's dealing In oracular revealing. Yes, I know-- That is so! CAPT. Though I'm anything but clever, I could talk like that for ever: Once a cat was killed by care; Only brave deserve the fair. Very true, So they do. CAPT. Wink is often good as nod; Spoils the child who spares the rod; Thirsty lambs run foxy dangers; Dogs are found in many mangers. BUT. Frequentlee, I agree. Paw of cat the chestnut snatches; Worn-out garments show new patches; Only count the chick that hatches; Men are grown-up catchy-catchies. BUT. Yes, I know, That is so. (Aside.) Though to catch my drift he's striving, I'll dissemble--I'll dissemble; When he sees at what I'm driving, Let him tremble--let him tremble!


Though a mystic tone { I } borrow, you You will } learn the truth with sorrow, I shall Here to-day and gone to-morrow; Yes, I know-- That is so! [At the end exit LITTLE BUTTERCUP melodramatically.

CAPT. Incomprehensible as her utterances are, I nevertheless feel that they are dictated by a sincere regard for me. But to what new misery is she referring? Time alone can tell!


SIR JOSEPH. Captain Corcoran, I am much disappointed with your daughter. In fact, I don't think she will do. CAPT. She won't do, Sir Joseph! SIR JOSEPH. I'm afraid not. The fact is, that although I have urged my suit with as much eloquence as is consistent with an official utterance, I have done so hitherto without success. How do you account for this? CAPT. Really, Sir Joseph, I hardly know. Josephine is of course sensible of your condescension. SIR JOSEPH. She naturally would be. CAPT. But perhaps your exalted rank dazzles her. SIR JOSEPH. You think it does? CAPT. I can hardly say; but she is a modest girl, and her social position is far below your own. It may be that she feels she is not worthy of you. SIR JOSEPH. That is really a very sensible suggestion, and displays more knowledge of human nature than I had given you credit for. CAPT. See, she comes. If your lordship would kindly reason with her and assure her officially that it is a standing rule at the Admiralty that love levels all ranks, her respect for an official utterance might induce her to look upon your offer in its proper light. SIR JOSEPH. It is not unlikely. I will adopt your suggestion. But soft, she is here. Let us withdraw, and watch our opportunity.

Enter JOSEPHINE from cabin. FIRST LORD and CAPTAIN retire


The hours creep on apace, My guilty heart is quaking! Oh, that I might retrace The step that I am taking! Its folly it were easy to be showing, What I am giving up and whither going. On the one hand, papa's luxurious home, Hung with ancestral armour and old brasses, Carved oak and tapestry from distant Rome, Rare "blue and white" Venetian finger-glasses, Rich oriental rugs, luxurious sofa pillows, And everything that isn't old, from Gillow's. And on the other, a dark and dingy room, In some back street with stuffy children crying, Where organs yell, and clacking housewives fume, And clothes are hanging out all day a-drying. With one cracked looking-glass to see your face in, And dinner served up in a pudding basin!

A simple sailor, lowly born, Unlettered and unknown, Who toils for bread from early mom Till half the night has flown! No golden rank can he impart-- No wealth of house or land-- No fortune save his trusty heart And honest brown right hand! And yet he is so wondrous fair That love for one so passing rare, So peerless in his manly beauty, Were little else than solemn duty! Oh, god of love, and god of reason, say, Which of you twain shall my poor heart obey!


SIR JOSEPH. Madam, it has been represented to me that you are appalled by my exalted rank. I desire to convey to you officially my assurance, that if your hesitation is attributable to that circumstance, it is uncalled for. JOS. Oh! then your lordship is of opinion that married happiness is not inconsistent with discrepancy in rank? SIR JOSEPH. I am officially of that opinion. JOS. That the high and the lowly may be truly happy together, provided that they truly love one another? SIR JOSEPH. Madam, I desire to convey to you officially my opinion that love is a platform upon which all ranks meet. JOS. I thank you, Sir Joseph. I did hesitate, but I will hesitate no longer. (Aside.) He little thinks how eloquently he has pleaded his rival's cause!



CAPT. Never mind the why and wherefore, Love can level ranks, and therefore, Though his lordship's station's mighty, Though stupendous be his brain, Though your tastes are mean and flighty And your fortune poor and plain, CAPT. and Ring the merry bells on board-ship, SIR JOSEPH. Rend the air with warbling wild, For the union of { his } lordship my With a humble captain's child! CAPT. For a humble captain's daughter-- JOS. For a gallant captain's daughter-- SIR JOSEPH. And a lord who rules the water-- JOS. (aside). And a tar who ploughs the water! ALL. Let the air with joy be laden, Rend with songs the air above, For the union of a maiden With the man who owns her love! SIR JOSEPH. Never mind the why and wherefore, Love can level ranks, and therefore, Though your nautical relation (alluding to CAPT.) In my set could scarcely pass-- Though you occupy a station In the lower middle class-- CAPT. and Ring the merry bells on board-ship, SIR JOSEPH Rend the air with warbling wild, For the union of { my } lordship your With a humble captain's child! CAPT. For a humble captain's daughter-- JOS. For a gallant captain's daughter-- SIR JOSEPH. And a lord who rules the water-- JOS. (aside). And a tar who ploughs the water! ALL. Let the air with joy be laden, Rend with songs the air above, For the union of a maiden With the man who owns her love!

JOS. Never mind the why and wherefore, Love can level ranks, and therefore I admit the jurisdiction; Ably have you played your part; You have carried firm conviction To my hesitating heart. CAPT. and Ring the merry bells on board-ship, SIR JOSEPH. Rend the air with warbling wild, For the union of { my } lordship his With a humble captain's child! CAPT. For a humble captain's daughter-- JOS. For a gallant captain's daughter-- SIR JOSEPH. And a lord who rules the water-- JOS. (aside). And a tar who ploughs the water! (Aloud.) Let the air with joy be laden. CAPT. and SIR JOSEPH. Ring the merry bells on board-ship-- JOS. For the union of a maiden-- CAPT. and SIR JOSEPH. For her union with his lordship. ALL. Rend with songs the air above For the man who owns her love!

[Exit JOS. CAPT. Sir Joseph, I cannot express to you my delight at the happy result of your eloquence. Your argument was unanswerable. SIR JOSEPH. Captain Corcoran, it is one of the happiest characteristics of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably regarded as unanswerable. [Exit SIR JOSEPH. CAPT. At last my fond hopes are to be crowned. My only daughter is to be the bride of a Cabinet Minister. The prospect is Elysian. (During this speech DICK DEADEYE has entered.) DICK. Captain. CAPT. Deadeye! You here? Don't! (Recoiling from him.) DICK. Ah, don't shrink from me, Captain. I'm unpleasant to look at, and my name's agin me, but I ain't as bad as I seem. CAPT. What would you with me? DICK (mysteriously). I'm come to give you warning. CAPT. Indeed! do you propose to leave the Navy then? DICK. No, no, you misunderstand me; listen!


DICK. Kind Captain, I've important information, Sing hey, the kind commander that you are, About a certain intimate relation, Sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar. BOTH. The merry maiden and the tar.

CAPT. Good fellow, in conundrums you are speaking, Sing hey, the mystic sailor that you are; The answer to them vainly I am seeking; Sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar. BOTH The merry maiden and the tar.

DICK. Kind Captain, your young lady is a-sighing, Sing hey, the simple captain that you are, This very might with Rackstraw to be flying; Sing hey, the merry maiden and the tar. BOTH. The merry maiden and the tar.

CAPT. Good fellow, you have given timely warning, Sing hey, the thoughtful sailor that you are, I'll talk to Master Rackstraw in the morning: Sing hey, the cat-o'-nine-tails and the tar. (Producing a "cat".)

BOTH. The merry cat-o'-nine-tails and the tar!

CAPT. Dick Deadeye--I thank you for your warning--I will at once take means to arrest their flight. This boat cloak will afford me ample disguise--So! (Envelops himself in a mysterious cloak, holding it before his face.) DICK. Ha, ha! They are foiled--foiled--foiled!

Enter Crew on tiptoe, with RALPH and BOATSWAIN meeting JOSEPHINE, who enters from cabin on tiptoe, with bundle of necessaries, and accompanied by LITTLE BUTTERCUP.


Carefully on tiptoe stealing, Breathing gently as we may, Every step with caution feeling, We will softly steal away.

(CAPTAIN stamps)--Chord.

ALL (much alarmed). Goodness me-- Why, what was that? DICK. Silent be, It was the cat! ALL. (reassured). It was--it was the cat! CAPT. (producing cat-o'-nine-tails). They're right, it was the cat!

ALL. Pull ashore, in fashion steady, Hymen will defray the fare, For a clergyman is ready To unite the happy pair!

(Stamp as before, and Chord.)

ALL. Goodness me, Why, what was that? DICK. Silent be, Again the cat! ALL. It was again that cat! CAPT. (aside). They're right, it was the cat! CAPT. (throwing off cloak). Hold! (All start.) Pretty daughter of mine, I insist upon knowing Where you may be going With these sons of the brine, For my excellent crew, Though foes they could thump any, Are scarcely fit company, My daughter, for you. CREW. Now, hark at that, do! Though foes we could thump any, We are scarcely fit company For a lady like you!

RALPH. Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl! Vain man, suppress that supercilious sneer, For I have dared to love your matchless girl, A fact well known to all my messmates here!

CAPT. Oh, horror!

RALPH and Jos. { I } humble, poor, and lowly born, He The meanest in the port division-- The butt of epauletted scorn-- The mark of quarter-deck derision-- Have } dare to raise { my } wormy eyes Has his Above the dust to which you'd mould { me him In manhood's glorious pride to rise, I am } an Englishman--behold { me He is him

ALL. He is an Englishman! BOAT. He is an Englishman! For he himself has said it, And it's greatly to his credit, That he is an Englishman!

ALL. That he is an Englishman! BOAT. For he might have been a Roosian, A French, or Turk, or Proosian, Or perhaps Itali-an!

ALL. Or perhaps Itali-an! BOAT. But in spite of all temptations To belong to other nations, He remains an Englishman!

ALL. For in spite of all temptations, etc.

CAPT. (trying to repress his anger). In uttering a reprobation To any British tar, I try to speak with moderation, But you have gone too far. I'm very sorry to disparage A humble foremast lad, But to seek your captain's child in marriage, Why damme, it's too bad

[During this, COUSIN HEBE and FEMALE RELATIVES have entered.

ALL (shocked). Oh! CAPT. Yes, damme, it's too bad! ALL. Oh! CAPT. and DICK DEADEYE. Yes, damme, it s too bad.

[During this, SIR JOSEPH has appeared on poop-deck. He is horrified at the bad language.

HEBE. Did you hear him? Did you hear him? Oh, the monster overbearing! Don't go near him--don't go near him-- He is swearing--he is swearing! SIR JOSEPH. My pain and my distress, I find it is not easy to express; My amazement--my surprise-- You may learn from the expression of my eyes! CAPT. My lord--one word--the facts are not before you The word was injudicious, I allow-- But hear my explanation, I implore you, And you will be indignant too, I vow! SIR JOSEPH. I will hear of no defence, Attempt none if you're sensible. That word of evil sense Is wholly indefensible. Go, ribald, get you hence To your cabin with celerity. This is the consequence Of ill-advised asperity

[Exit CAPTAIN, disgraced, followed by JOSEPHINE

ALL. This is the consequence, Of ill-advised asperity! SIR JOSEPH. For I'll teach you all, ere long, To refrain from language strong For I haven't any sympathy for ill-bred taunts! HEBE. No more have his sisters, nor his cousins, nor his aunts. ALL. For he is an Englishman, etc.

SIR JOSEPH. Now, tell me, my fine fellow--for you are a fine fellow-- RALPH. Yes, your honour. SIR JOSEPH. How came your captain so far to forget himself? I am quite sure you had given him no cause for annoyance. RALPH, Please your honour, it was thus-wise. You see I'm only a topman- -a mere foremast hand-- SIR JOSEPH. Don't be ashamed of that. Your position as a topman is a very exalted one. RALPH. Well, your honour, love burns as brightly in the fo'c'sle as it does on the quarter-deck, and Josephine is the fairest bud that ever blossomed upon the tree of a poor fellow's wildest hopes.

Enter JOSEPHINE; she rushes to RALPH'S arms

JOS. Darling! (SIR JOSEPH horrified.) RALPH. She is the figurehead of my ship of life--the bright beacon that guides me into my port of happiness--that the rarest, the purest gem that ever sparkled on a poor but worthy fellow's trusting brow! ALL. Very pretty, very pretty! SIR JOSEPH. Insolent sailor, you shall repent this outrage. Seize him! (Two Marines seize him and handcuff him.) JOS. Oh, Sir Joseph, spare him, for I love him tenderly. SIR JOSEPH. Pray, don't. I will teach this presumptuous mariner to discipline his affections. Have you such a thing as a dungeon on board? ALL. We have! DICK. They have! SIR JOSEPH. Then load him with chains and take him there at once!


RALPH. Farewell, my own, Light of my life, farewell! For crime unknown I go to a dungeon cell.

JOS. I will atone. In the meantime farewell! And all alone Rejoice in your dungeon cell!

SIR JOSEPH. A bone, a bone I'll pick with this sailor fell; Let him be shown at once At once to his dungeon cell.


He'll hear no tone Of the maiden he loves so well! No telephone Communicates with his cell!

BUT. (mysteriously). But when is known The secret I have to tell, Wide will be thrown The door of his dungeon cell.

ALL. For crime unknown He goes to a dungeon cell! [RALPH is led off in custody.

SIR JOSEPH. My pain and my distress Again it is not easy to express. My amazement, my surprise, Again you may discover from my eyes.

ALL. How terrible the aspect of his eyes!

BUT. Hold! Ere upon your loss You lay much stress, A long-concealed crime I would confess.


A many years ago, When I was young and charming, As some of you may know, I practised baby-farming.

ALL. Now this is most alarming! When she was young and charming, She practised baby-farming, A many years ago.

BUT. Two tender babes I nursed: One was of low condition, The other, upper crust, A regular patrician.

ALL (explaining to each other). Now, this is the position: One was of low condition, The other a patrician, A many years ago.

BUT. Oh, bitter is my cup! However could I do it? I mixed those children up, And not a creature knew it!

ALL. However could you do it? Some day, no doubt, you'll rue it, Although no creature knew it, So many years ago.

BUT. In time each little waif Forsook his foster-mother, The well born babe was Ralph-- Your captain was the other!!!

ALL. They left their foster-mother, The one was Ralph, our brother, Our captain was the other, A many years ago.

SIR JOSEPH. Then I am to understand that Captain Corcoran and Ralph were exchanged in childhood's happy hour--that Ralph is really the Captain, and the Captain is Ralph? BUT. That is the idea I intended to convey, officially! SIR JOSEPH. And very well you have conveyed it. BUT. Aye! aye! yer 'onour. SIR JOSEPH. Dear me! Let them appear before me, at once!

[RALPH. enters as CAPTAIN; CAPTAIN as a common sailor. JOSEPHINE rushes to his arms

JOS. My father--a common sailor! CAPT. It is hard, is it not, my dear? SIR JOSEPH. This is a very singular occurrence; I congratulate you both. (To RALPH.) Desire that remarkably fine seaman to step forward. RALPH. Corcoran. Three paces to the front--march! CAPT. If what? RALPH. If what? I don't think I understand you. CAPT. If you please. SIR JOSEPH. The gentleman is quite right. If you please. RALPH. Oh! If you please. (CAPTAIN steps forward.) SIR JOSEPH (to CAPTAIN).You are an extremely fine fellow. CAPT. Yes, your honour. SIR JOSEPH. So it seems that you were Ralph, and Ralph was you. CAPT. SO it seems, your honour. SIR JOSEPH. Well, I need not tell you that after this change in your condition, a marriage with your daughter will be out of the question. CAPT. Don't say that, your honour--love levels all ranks. SIR JOSEPH. It does to a considerable extent, but it does not level them as much as that. (Handing JOSEPHINE to RALPH.) Here -- take her, sir, and mind you treat her kindly. RALPH and JOS. Oh bliss, oh rapture! CAPT. and BUT. Oh rapture, oh bliss!

SIR JOSEPH. Sad my lot and sorry, What shall I do? I cannot live alone! HEBE. Fear nothing--while I live I'll not desert you. I'll soothe and comfort your declining days. SIR JOSEPH. No, don't do that. HEBE. Yes, but indeed I'd rather-- SIR JOSEPH (resigned). To-morrow morn our vows shall all be plighted, Three loving pairs on the same day united!



Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen, The clouded sky is now serene, The god of day--the orb of love, Has hung his ensign high above, The sky is all ablaze.

With wooing words and loving song, We'll chase the lagging hours along, And if { he finds } the maiden coy, I find We'll murmur forth decorous joy, In dreamy roundelay.

CAPT. For he's the Captain of the Pinafore. ALL. And a right good captain too! CAPT. And though before my fall I was captain of you all, I'm a member of the crew. ALL. Although before his fall, etc. CAPT. I shall marry with a wife, In my humble rank of life! (turning to BUT.) And you, my own, are she-- I must wander to and fro; But wherever I may go, I shall never be untrue to thee! ALL. What, never? CAPT. No, never! ALL. What, never! CAPT. Hardly ever! ALL. Hardly ever be untrue to thee. Then give three cheers, and one cheer more For the former Captain of the Pinafore.

BUT. For he loves Little Buttercup, dear Little Buttercup, Though I could never tell why; But still he loves Buttercup, poor Little Buttercup, Sweet Little Buttercup, aye! ALL. For he loves, etc.

SIR JOSEPH. I'm the monarch of the sea, And when I've married thee (to HEBE), I'll be true to the devotion that my love implants, HEBE. Then good-bye to his sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts, Especially his cousins, Whom he reckons up by dozens, His sisters, and his cousins, and his aunts!

ALL. For he is an Englishman, And he himself hath said it, And it's greatly to his credit That he is an Englishman!








PHYLLIS (an Arcadian Shepherdess and Ward of Chancery)


An Arcadian Landscape


Palace Yard, Westminster


SCENE.--An Arcadian Landscape. A river runs around the back of the stage. A rustic bridge crosses the river.

Enter Fairies, led by Leila, Celia, and Fleta. They trip around the stage, singing as they dance.


Tripping hither, tripping thither, Nobody knows why or whither; We must dance and we must sing Round about our fairy ring!


We are dainty little fairies, Ever singing, ever dancing; We indulge in our vagaries In a fashion most entrancing. If you ask the special function Of our never-ceasing motion, We reply, without compunction, That we haven't any notion!


No, we haven't any notion! Tripping hither, etc.


If you ask us how we live, Lovers all essentials give-- We can ride on lovers' sighs, Warm ourselves in lovers' eyes, Bathe ourselves in lovers' tears, Clothe ourselves with lovers' fears, Arm ourselves with lovers' darts, Hide ourselves in lovers' hearts. When you know us, you'll discover That we almost live on lover!


Yes, we live on lover! Tripping hither, etc. (At the end of Chorus, all sigh wearily.)

CELIA. Ah, it's all very well, but since our Queen banished Iolanthe, fairy revels have not been what they were!

LEILA. Iolanthe was the life and soul of Fairyland. Why, she wrote all our songs and arranged all our dances! We sing her songs and we trip her measures, but we don't enjoy ourselves! FLETA. To think that five-and-twenty years have elapsed since she was banished! What could she have done to have deserved so terrible a punishment? LEILA. Something awful! She married a mortal! FLETA. Oh! Is it injudicious to marry a mortal? LEILA. Injudicious? It strikes at the root of the whole fairy system! By our laws, the fairy who marries a mortal dies! CELIA. But Iolanthe didn't die!

(Enter Fairy Queen.)

QUEEN. No, because your Queen, who loved her with a surpassing love, commuted her sentence to penal servitude for life, on condition that she left her husband and never communicated with him again! LEILA. That sentence of penal servitude she is now working out, on her head, at the bottom of that stream! QUEEN. Yes, but when I banished her, I gave her all the pleasant places of the earth to dwell in. I'm sure I never intended that she should go and live at the bottom of a stream! It makes me perfectly wretched to think of the discomfort she must have undergone! LEILA. Think of the damp! And her chest was always delicate. QUEEN. And the frogs! Ugh! I never shall enjoy any peace of mind until I know why Iolanthe went to live among the frogs! FLETA. Then why not summon her and ask her? QUEEN. Why? Because if I set eyes on her I should forgive her at once! CELIA. Then why not forgive her? Twenty-five years--it's a long time! LEILA. Think how we loved her! QUEEN. Loved her? What was your love to mine? Why, she was invaluable to me! Who taught me to curl myself inside a buttercup? Iolanthe! Who taught me to swing upon a cobweb? Iolanthe! Who taught me to dive into a dewdrop--to nestle in a nutshell--to gambol upon gossamer? Iolanthe! LEILA. She certainly did surprising things! FLETA. Oh, give her back to us, great Queen, for your sake if not for ours! (All kneel in supplication.) QUEEN (irresolute). Oh, I should be strong, but I am weak! I should be marble, but I am clay! Her punishment has been heavier than I intended. I did not mean that she should live among the frogs--and--well, well, it shall be as you wish--it shall be as you wish!


Iolanthe! From thy dark exile thou art summoned! Come to our call-- Come, come, Iolanthe!

CELIA. Iolanthe!

LEILA. Iolanthe!

ALL. Come to our call, Iolanthe! Iolanthe, come!

(Iolanthe rises from the water. She is clad in water-weeds. She approaches the Queen with head bent and arms crossed.)

IOLANTHE. With humbled breast And every hope laid low, To thy behest, Offended Queen, I bow!

QUEEN. For a dark sin against our fairy laws We sent thee into life-long banishment; But mercy holds her sway within our hearts-- Rise--thou art pardoned!

IOL. Pardoned!

ALL. Pardoned!

(Her weeds fall from her, and she appears clothed as a fairy. The Queen places a diamond coronet on her head, and embraces her. The others also embrace her.)


Welcome to our hearts again, Iolanthe! Iolanthe! We have shared thy bitter pain, Iolanthe! Iolanthe!

Every heart and every hand In our loving little band Welcomes thee to Fairyland, Iolanthe!

QUEEN. And now, tell me, with all the world to choose from, why on earth did you decide to live at the bottom of that stream? IOL. To be near my son, Strephon. QUEEN. Bless my heart, I didn't know you had a son. IOL. He was born soon after I left my husband by your royal command--but he does not even know of his father's existence. FLETA. How old is he? IOL. Twenty-four. LEILA. Twenty-four! No one, to look at you, would think you had a son of twenty-four! But that's one of the advantages of being immortal. We never grow old! Is he pretty? IOL. He's extremely pretty, but he's inclined to be stout. ALL (disappointed). Oh! QUEEN. I see no objection to stoutness, in moderation. CELIA. And what is he? IOL. He's an Arcadian shepherd--and he loves Phyllis, a Ward in Chancery. CELIA. A mere shepherd! and he half a fairy! IOL. He's a fairy down to the waist--but his legs are mortal. ALL. Dear me! QUEEN. I have no reason to suppose that I am more curious than other people, but I confess I should like to see a person who is a fairy down to the waist, but whose legs are mortal. IOL. Nothing easier, for here he comes!

(Enter Strephon, singing and dancing and playing on a flageolet. He does not see the Fairies, who retire up stage as he enters.)


Good morrow, good mother! Good mother, good morrow! By some means or other, Pray banish your sorrow! With joy beyond telling My bosom is swelling, So join in a measure Expressive of pleasure, For I'm to be married to-day--to-day-- Yes, I'm to be married to-day!

CHORUS (aside). Yes, he's to be married to-day--to-day-- Yes, he's to be married to-day!

IOL. Then the Lord Chancellor has at last given his consent to your marriage with his beautiful ward, Phyllis? STREPH. Not he, indeed. To all my tearful prayers he answers me, "A shepherd lad is no fit helpmate for a Ward of Chancery." I stood in court, and there I sang him songs of Arcadee, with flageolet accompaniment--in vain. At first he seemed amused, so did the Bar; but quickly wearying of my song and pipe, bade me get out. A servile usher then, in crumpled bands and rusty bombazine, led me, still singing, into Chancery Lane! I'll go no more; I'll marry her to-day, and brave the upshot, be it what it may! (Sees Fairies.) But who are these? IOL. Oh, Strephon! rejoice with me, my Queen has pardoned me! STREPH. Pardoned you, mother? This is good news indeed. IOL. And these ladies are my beloved sisters. STREPH. Your sisters! Then they are--my aunts! QUEEN. A pleasant piece of news for your bride on her wedding day! STREPH. Hush! My bride knows nothing of my fairyhood. I dare not tell her, lest it frighten her. She thinks me mortal, and prefers me so. LEILA. Your fairyhood doesn't seem to have done you much good. STREPH. Much good! My dear aunt! it's the curse of my existence! What's the use of being half a fairy? My body can creep through a keyhole, but what's the good of that when my legs are left kicking behind? I can make myself invisible down to the waist, but that's of no use when my legs remain exposed to view! My brain is a fairy brain, but from the waist downwards I'm a gibbering idiot. My upper half is immortal, but my lower half grows older every day, and some day or other must die of old age. What's to become of my upper half when I've buried my lower half I really don't know! FAIRIES. Poor fellow! QUEEN. I see your difficulty, but with a fairy brain you should seek an intellectual sphere of action. Let me see. I've a borough or two at my disposal. Would you like to go into Parliament? IOL. A fairy Member! That would be delightful! STREPH. I'm afraid I should do no good there--you see, down to the waist, I'm a Tory of the most determined description, but my legs are a couple of confounded Radicals, and, on a division, they'd be sure to take me into the wrong lobby. You see, they're two to one, which is a strong working majority. QUEEN. Don't let that distress you; you shall be returned as a Liberal-Conservative, and your legs shall be our peculiar care. STREPH. (bowing). I see your Majesty does not do things by halves. QUEEN. No, we are fairies down to the feet.


QUEEN. Fare thee well, attractive stranger. FAIRIES. Fare thee well, attractive stranger. QUEEN. Shouldst thou be in doubt or danger, Peril or perplexitee, Call us, and we'll come to thee! FAIRIES. Aye! Call us, and we'll come to thee! Tripping hither, tripping thither, Nobody knows why or whither; We must now be taking wing To another fairy ring!

(Fairies and Queen trip off, Iolanthe, who takes an affectionate farewell of her son, going off last.)

(Enter Phyllis, singing and dancing, and accompanying herself on a flageolet.)


Good morrow, good lover! Good lover, good morrow! I prithee discover, Steal, purchase, or borrow Some means of concealing The care you are feeling, And join in a measure Expressive of pleasure, For we're to be married to-day--to-day! Yes, we're to be married to-day!

BOTH. Yes, we're to be married, etc.

STREPH. (embracing her). My Phyllis! And to-day we are to be made happy for ever. PHYL. Well, we're to be married. STREPH. It's the same thing. PHYL. I suppose it is. But oh, Strephon, I tremble at the step I'm taking! I believe it's penal servitude for life to marry a Ward of Court without the Lord Chancellor's consent! I shall be of age in two years. Don't you think you could wait two years? STREPH. Two years. Have you ever looked in the glass? PHYL. No, never. STREPH. Here, look at that (showing her a pocket mirror), and tell me if you think it rational to expect me to wait two years? PHYL. (looking at herself). No. You're quite right--it's asking too much. One must be reasonable. STREPH. Besides, who knows what will happen in two years? Why, you might fall in love with the Lord Chancellor himself by that time! PHYL. Yes. He's a clean old gentleman. STREPH. As it is, half the House of Lords are sighing at your feet. PHYL. The House of Lords are certainly extremely attentive. STREPH. Attentive? I should think they were! Why did five-and-twenty Liberal Peers come down to shoot over your grass-plot last autumn? It couldn't have been the sparrows. Why did five-and-twenty Conservative Peers come down to fish your pond? Don't tell me it was the gold-fish! No, no--delays are dangerous, and if we are to marry, the sooner the better.


PHYLLIS. None shall part us from each other, One in life and death are we: All in all to one another-- I to thee and thou to me!

BOTH. Thou the tree and I the flower-- Thou the idol; I the throng-- Thou the day and I the hour-- Thou the singer; I the song!

STREPH. All in all since that fond meeting When, in joy, I woke to find Mine the heart within thee beating, Mine the love that heart enshrined!

BOTH. Thou the stream and I the willow-- Thou the sculptor; I the clay-- Thou the Ocean; I the billow-- Thou the sunrise; I the day!

(Exeunt Strephon and Phyllis together.)

(March. Enter Procession of Peers.)


Loudly let the trumpet bray! Tantantara! Proudly bang the sounding brasses! Tzing! Boom! As upon its lordly way This unique procession passes, Tantantara! Tzing! Boom! Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes! Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses! Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses! Tantantara! Tzing! Boom! We are peers of highest station, Paragons of legislation, Pillars of the British nation! Tantantara! Tzing! Boom!

(Enter the Lord Chancellor, followed by his train-bearer.)


The Law is the true embodiment Of everything that's excellent. It has no kind of fault or flaw, And I, my Lords, embody the Law. The constitutional guardian I Of pretty young Wards in Chancery, All very agreeable girls--and none Are over the age of twenty-one. A pleasant occupation for A rather susceptible Chancellor!

ALL. A pleasant, etc.

But though the compliment implied Inflates me with legitimate pride, It nevertheless can't be denied That it has its inconvenient side. For I'm not so old, and not so plain, And I'm quite prepared to marry again, But there'd be the deuce to pay in the Lords If I fell in love with one of my Wards! Which rather tries my temper, for I'm such a susceptible Chancellor!

ALL. Which rather, etc.

And every one who'd marry a Ward Must come to me for my accord, And in my court I sit all day, Giving agreeable girls away, With one for him--and one for he-- And one for you--and one for ye-- And one for thou--and one for thee-- But never, oh, never a one for me! Which is exasperating for A highly susceptible Chancellor!

ALL. Which is, etc.

(Enter Lord Tolloller.)

LORD TOLL. And now, my Lords, to the business of the day. LORD CH. By all means. Phyllis, who is a Ward of Court, has so powerfully affected your Lordships, that you have appealed to me in a body to give her to whichever one of you she may think proper to select, and a noble Lord has just gone to her cottage to request her immediate attendance. It would be idle to deny that I, myself, have the misfortune to be singularly attracted by this young person. My regard for her is rapidly undermining my constitution. Three months ago I was a stout man. I need say no more. If I could reconcile it with my duty, I should unhesitatingly award her to myself, for I can conscientiously say that I know no man who is so well fitted to render her exceptionally happy. (Peers: Hear, hear!) But such an award would be open to misconstruction, and therefore, at whatever personal inconvenience, I waive my claim. LORD TOLL. My Lord, I desire, on the part of this House, to express its sincere sympathy with your Lordship's most painful position. LORD CH. I thank your Lordships. The feelings of a Lord Chancellor who is in love with a Ward of Court are not to be envied. What is his position? Can he give his own consent to his own marriage with his own Ward? Can he marry his own Ward without his own consent? And if he marries his own Ward without his own consent, can he commit himself for contempt of his own Court? And if he commit himself for contempt of his own Court, can he appear by counsel before himself, to move for arrest of his own judgement? Ah, my Lords, it is indeed painful to have to sit upon a woolsack which is stuffed with such thorns as these!

(Enter Lord Mountararat.)

LORD MOUNT. My Lord, I have much pleasure in announcing that I have succeeded in inducing the young person to present herself at the Bar of this House.

(Enter Phyllis.)


My well-loved Lord and Guardian dear, You summoned me, and I am here!


Oh, rapture, how beautiful! How gentle--how dutiful!


Of all the young ladies I know



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