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ALL. And a good Judge, too!
JUDGE. For now I’m a Judge!
ALL. And a good Judge, too!
JUDGE. Though all my law be fudge, Yet I’ll never, never budge,
But I’ll live and die a Judge! ALL. And a good Judge, too!
JUDGE (pianissimo). It was managed by a job– ALL. And a good job, too!
JUDGE. It was managed by a job!
ALL. And a good job too!
JUDGE. It is patent to the mob,
That my being made a nob
Was effected by a job.
ALL. And a good job too!

[Enter Counsel for Plaintiff. He takes his place in front row of Counsel’s seats


Swear thou the jury!

USHER. Kneel, Jurymen, oh, kneel!

[All the Jury kneel in the Jury-box, and so are hidden from audience.

USHER. Oh, will you swear by yonder skies, Whatever question may arise,
‘Twixt rich and poor, ‘twixt low and high, That you will well and truly try?

JURY (raising their hands, which alone are visible)

To all of this we make reply
By the dull slate of yonder sky: That we will well and truly try.
We’ll try.

(All rise with the last note)


Where is the Plaintiff?
Let her now be brought.


Oh, Angelina! Come thou into Court! Angelina! Angelina!

Enter the Bridesmaids


Comes the broken flower–
Comes the cheated maid– Though the tempest lower,
Rain and cloud will fade Take, oh maid, these posies:
Though thy beauty rare Shame the blushing roses,
They are passing fair! Wear the flowers ’til they fade; Happy be thy life, oh maid!

[The Judge, having taken a great fancy to First Bridesmaid, sends her a note by Usher, which she reads, kisses rapturously, and places in her bosom.

Enter Plaintiff


O’er the season vernal,
Time may cast a shade; Sunshine, if eternal,
Makes the roses fade!
Time may do his duty;
Let the thief alone–
Winter hath a beauty.
That is all his own.
Fairest days are sun and shade: I am no unhappy maid!

[The Judge having by this time transferred his admiration to Plaintiff, directs the Usher to take the note from First Bridesmaid and hand it to Plaintiff, who reads it, kisses it rapturously, and places it in her bosom.


Comes the broken flower, etc.

JUDGE. Oh, never, never, never,
Since I joined the human race, Saw I so excellently fair a face.
THE JURY (shaking their forefingers at him). Ah, sly dog! Ah, sly dog!
JUDGE (to Jury). How say you?
Is she not designed for capture? FOREMAN (after consulting with the Jury). We’ve but one word, m’lud, and that is–Rapture!
PLAINTIFF (curtseying). Your kindness, gentlemen, quite overpowers!

JURY. We love you fondly, and would make you ours!

BRIDESMAIDS (shaking their forefingers at Jury). Ah, sly dogs! Ah, sly dogs!


May it please you, m’lud!
Gentlemen of the jury!


With a sense of deep emotion, I approach this painful case;
For I never had a notion
That a man could be so base, Or deceive a girl confiding,
Vows, etcetera deriding.

ALL. He deceived a girl confiding, Vows, etcetera, deriding.

[Plaintiff falls sobbing on Counsel’s breast and remains there.

COUNSEL. See my interesting client, Victim of a heartless wile!
See the traitor all defiant Wear a supercilious smile!
Sweetly smiled my client on him, Coyly woo’d and gently won him.

ALL. Sweetly smiled, etc.

COUNSEL. Swiftly fled each honeyed hour Spent with this unmanly male!
Sommerville became a bow’r, Alston an Arcadian Vale,
Breathing concentrated otto!– An existence la Watteau.

ALL. Bless, us, concentrated otto! etc.

COUNSEL. Picture, then, my client naming, And insisting on the day:
Picture him excuses framing– Going from her far away;
Doubly criminal to do so,
For the maid had bought her trousseau!

ALL. Doubly criminal, etc.

COUNSEL (to Plaintiff, who weeps)

Cheer up, my pretty–oh, cheer up!

JURY. Cheer up, cheer up, we love you!

[Counsel leads Plaintiff fondly into Witness-box; he takes a tender leave of her, and resumes his place in Court.

(Plaintiff reels as if about to faint)

JUDGE. That she is reeling
Is plain to see!

FOREMAN. If faint you’re feeling
Recline on me!

[She falls sobbing on to the Foreman’s breast.

PLAINTIFF (feebly). I shall recover
If left alone.

ALL. (shaking their fists at Defendant) Oh, perjured lover,
Atone! atone!

FOREMAN. Just like a father [Kissing her I wish to be.

JUDGE. (approaching her)
Or, if you’d rather,
Recline on me!

[She jumps on to Bench, sits down by the Judge, and falls sobbing on his breast.

COUNSEL. Oh! fetch some water
From far Cologne!

ALL. For this sad slaughter
Atone! atone!

JURY. (shaking fists at Defendant)
Monster, monster, dread our fury– There’s the Judge, and we’re the Jury! Come! Substantial damages,

USHER. Silence in Court!


Oh, gentlemen, listen, I pray,
Though I own that my heart has been ranging, Of nature the laws I obey,
For nature is constantly changing. The moon in her phases is found,
The time, and the wind, and the weather. The months in succession come round,
And you don’t find two Mondays together. Consider the moral, I pray,
Nor bring a young fellow to sorrow, Who loves this young lady to-day, And loves that young lady to-morrow.

BRIDESMAIDS (rushing forward, and kneeling to Jury).

Consider the moral, etc.

One cannot eat breakfast all day,
Nor is it the act of a sinner, When breakfast is taken away,
To turn his attention to dinner. And it’s not in the range of belief,
To look upon him as a glutton, Who, when he is tired of beef,
Determines to tackle the mutton. But this I am willing to say,
If it will appease her sorrow, I’ll marry this lady to-day,
And I’ll marry the other to-morrow.

BRIDESMAIDS (rushing forward as before)

But this he is willing say, etc.


That seems a reasonable proposition, To which, I think, your client may agree.

But I submit, m’lud, with all submission, To marry two at once is Burglaree!
[Referring to law book. In the reign of James the Second,
It was generally reckoned
As a rather serious crime
To marry two wives at a time.
[Hands book up to Judge, who reads it.

ALL. Oh, man of learning!


JUDGE. A nice dilemma we have here,
That calls for all our wit:

COUNSEL. And at this stage, it don’t appear That we can settle it.

DEFENDANT (in Witness-box).
If I to wed the girl am loth
A breach ’twill surely be–

PLAINTIFF. And if he goes and marries both, It counts as Burglaree!

ALL. A nice dilemma we have here,
That calls for all our wit.


PLAINTIFF (embracing him rapturously)

I love him–I love him–with fervour unceasing I worship and madly adore;
My blind adoration is ever increasing, My loss I shall ever deplore.
Oh, see what a blessing, what love and caressing I’ve lost, and remember it, pray,
When you I’m addressing, are busy assessing The damages Edwin must pay—
Yes, he must pay!

DEFENDANT (repelling her furiously)

I smoke like a furnace–I’m always in liquor, A ruffian–a bully–a sot;
I’m sure I should thrash her, perhaps I should kick her, I am such a very bad lot!
I’m not prepossessing, as you may be guessing, She couldn’t endure me a day!
Recall my professing, when you are assessing The damages Edwin must pay!

PLAINTIFF. Yes, he must pay!

[She clings to him passionately; after a struggle, he throws her off into arms of Counsel.

JURY. We would be fairly acting,
But this is most distracting!
If, when in liquor he would kick her, That is an abatement.


The question, gentlemen–is one of liquor. You ask for guidance–this is my reply: He says, when tipsy, he would thrash and kick her. Let’s make him tipsy, gentlemen, and try!

COUNSEL. With all respect,
I do object!

PLAINTIFF. I do object!

DEFENDANT. I don’t object!

ALL. With all respect
We do object!

JUDGE (tossing his books and paper about)

All the legal furies seize you!
No proposal seems to please you, I can’t sit up here all day,
I must shortly get away.
Barristers, and you, attorneys, Set out on your homeward journeys;
Gentle, simple-minded Usher,
Get you, if you like, to Russher; Put your briefs upon the shelf,
I will marry her myself!

[He comes down from Bench to floor of Court. He embraces Angelina.


PLAINTIFF. Oh, joy unbounded,
With wealth surrounded,
The knell is sounded
Of grief and woe.

COUNSEL. With love devoted
On you he’s doated,
To castle moated
Away they go.

DEFENDANT. I wonder whether
They’ll live together,
In marriage tether
In manner true?

USHER. It seems to me, sir,
Of such as she, sir,
A Judge is he, sir,
And a good Judge, too!

JUDGE. Yes, I am a Judge!

ALL. And a good Judge, too!

JUDGE. Yes, I am a Judge!

ALL. And a good Judge, too!

JUDGE. Though homeward as you trudge, You declare my law is fudge.
Yet of beauty I’m a judge.

ALL. And a good Judge too!

JUDGE. Though defendant is a snob,

ALL. And a great snob, too!

JUDGE. Though defendant is a snob,

ALL. And a great snob, too!

JUDGE. Though defendant is a snob, I’ll reward him from his fob.
So we’ve settled with the job,

ALL. And a good job, too!






Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan Libretto by William S. Gilbert


King Paramount, the First (King of Utopia) Scaphio and Phantis (Judges of the Utopian Supreme Court) Tarara (The Public Exploder)
Calynx (The Utopian Vice-Chamberlain)

Imported Flowers of Progress:

Lord Dramaleigh (a British Lord Chamberlain) Captain Fitzbattleaxe (First Life Guards) Captain Sir Edward Corcoran, K.C.B. (of the Royal Navy) Mr. Goldbury (a company promoter; afterwards Comptroller of the Utopian
Sir Bailey Barre, Q.C., M.P.
Mr. Blushington (of the County Council)

The Princess Zara (eldest daughter of King Paramount) The Princesses Nekaya and Kalyba (her Younger Sisters) The Lady Sophy (their English Gouvernante)

Utopian Maidens:


A Utopian Palm Grove


Throne Room in King Paramount’s Palace

First produced at the Savoy Theatre on October 7, 1893.



In lazy languor–motionless, We lie and dream of nothingness; For visions come
From Poppydom
Direct at our command: Or, delicate alternative,
In open idleness we live, With lyre and lute
And silver flute,
The life of Lazyland.

SOLO – Phylla.

The song of birds
In ivied towers;
The rippling play
Of waterway;
The lowing herds;
The breath of flowers; The languid loves
Of turtle doves–
These simply joys are all at hand Upon thy shores, O Lazyland!

(Enter Calynx)

Calynx: Good news! Great news! His Majesty’s eldest daughter, Princess Zara, who left our shores five years since to go to
England–the greatest, the most powerful, the wisest country
in the world–has taken a high degree at Girton, and is on
her way home again, having achieved a complete mastery over
all the elements that have tended to raise that glorious country to her present pre-eminent position among civilized

Salata: Then in a few months Utopia may hope to be completely Angli-

Calynx: Absolutely and without a doubt.

Melene: (lazily) We are very well as we are. Life without a care–every want supplied by a kind and fatherly monarch, who, despot though he be, has no other thought than to make
his people happy–what have we to gain by the great change
that is in store for us?

Salata: What have we to gain? English institutions, English tastes,
and oh, English fashions!

Calynx: England has made herself what she is because, in that fa- vored land, every one has to think for himself. Here we have no need to think, because our monarch anticipates all
our wants, and our political opinions are formed for us by the journals to which we subscribe. Oh, think how much more
brilliant this dialogue would have been, if we had been accustomed to exercise our reflective powers! They say that
in England the conversation of the very meanest is a corus-
cation of impromptu epigram!

(Enter Tarara in a great rage)

Tarara: Lalabalele talala! Callabale lalabalica falahle!

Calynx: (horrified) Stop–stop, I beg! (All the ladies close their

Tarara: Callamalala galalate! Caritalla lalabalee kallalale poo!

Ladies: Oh, stop him! stop him!

Calynx: My lord, I’m surprised at you. Are you not aware that His
Majesty, in his despotic acquiescence with the emphatic wish
of his people, has ordered that the Utopian language shall
be banished from his court, and that all communications shall henceforward be made in the English tongue?

Tarara: Yes, I’m perfectly aware of it, although–(suddenly present-
ing an explosive “cracker”). Stop–allow me.

Calynx: (pulls it). Now, what’s that for?

Tarara: Why, I’ve recently been appointed Public Exploder to His Majesty, and as I’m constitutionally nervous, I must accus-
tom myself by degrees to the startling nature of my duties.
Thank you. I was about to say that although, as Public Exploder, I am next in succession to the throne, I neverthe-
less do my best to fall in with the royal decree. But when
I am overmastered by an indignant sense of overwhelming wrong, as I am now, I slip into my native tongue without knowing it. I am told that in the language of that great and pure nation, strong expressions do not exist, conse- quently when I want to let off steam I have no alternative
but to say, “Lalabalele molola lililah kallalale poo!”

Calynx: But what is your grievance?

Tarara: This–by our Constitution we are governed by a Despot who,
although in theory absolute–is, in practice, nothing of the
kind–being watched day and night by two Wise Men whose duty
it is, on his very first lapse from political or social propriety, to denounce him to me, the Public Exploder, and
it then becomes my duty to blow up His Majesty with dynamite–allow me. (Presenting a cracker which Calynx pulls.) Thank you–and, as some compensation to my wounded
feelings, I reign in his stead.

Calynx: Yes. After many unhappy experiments in the direction of an
ideal Republic, it was found that what may be described as a
Despotism tempered by Dynamite provides, on the whole, the
most satisfactory description of ruler–an autocrat who dares not abuse his autocratic power.

Tarara: That’s the theory–but in practice, how does it act? Now,
do you ever happen to see the Palace Peeper? (producing a
“Society” paper).

Calynx: Never even heard of the journal.

Tarara: I’m not surprised, because His Majesty’s agents always buy
up the whole edition; but I have an aunt in the publishing
department, and she has supplied me with a copy. Well, it
actually teems with circumstantially convincing details of
the King’s abominable immoralities! If this high-class journal may be believed, His Majesty is one of the most Heliogabalian profligates that ever disgraced an autocratic
throne! And do these Wise Men denounce him to me? Not a
bit of it! They wink at his immoralities! Under the cir-
cumstances I really think I am justified in exclaiming “Lalabelele molola lililah kalabalale poo!” (All horri- fied.) I don’t care–the occasion demands it. (Exit Tarara)

(March. Enter Guard, escorting Scaphio and Phantis.)


O make way for the Wise Men!
They are the prizemen–
Double-first in the world’s university! For though lovely this island
(Which is my land),
She has no one to match them in her city. They’re the pride of Utopia–
Is each his mental fertility. O they make no blunder,
And no wonder,
For they’re triumphs of infallibility.

DUET — Scaphio and Phantis.

In every mental lore
(The statement smacks of vanity) We claim to rank before
The wisest of humanity.
As gifts of head and heart
We wasted on “utility,”
We’re “cast” to play a part
Of great responsibility.

Our duty is to spy
Upon our King’s illicites,
And keep a watchful eye
On all his eccentricities.
If ever a trick he tries
That savours of rascality,
At our decree he dies
Without the least formality.

We fear no rude rebuff,
Or newspaper publicity;
Our word is quite enough,
The rest is electricity.
A pound of dynamite
Explodes in his auriculars; It’s not a pleasant sight–
We’ll spare you the particulars.

Its force all men confess,
The King needs no admonishing– We may say its success
Is something quite astonishing. Our despot it imbues
With virtues quite delectable, He minds his P’s and Q’s,–
And keeps himself respectable.

Of a tyrant polite
He’s paragon quite.
He’s as modest and mild
In his ways as a child;
And no one ever met
With an autocrat yet,
So delightfully bland
To the least in the land!

So make way for the wise men, etc.

(Exeunt all but Scaphio and Phantis. Phantis is pensive.)

Scaphio: Phantis, you are not in your customary exuberant spirits. What is wrong?

Phantis: Scaphio, I think you once told me that you have never loved?

Scaphio: Never! I have often marvelled at the fairy influence which
weaves its rosy web about the faculties of the greatest and
wisest of our race; but I thank Heaven I have never been subjected to its singular fascination. For, oh, Phantis! there is that within me that tells me that when my time does
come, the convulsion will be tremendous! When I love, it will be with the accumulated fervor of sixty-six years! But
I have an ideal–a semi-transparent Being, filled with an inorganic pink jelly–and I have never yet seen the woman who approaches within measurable distance of it. All are opaque–opaque–opaque!

Phantis: Keep that ideal firmly before you, and love not until you find her. Though but fifty-five, I am an old campaigner in
the battle-fields of Love; and, believe me, it is better to
be as you are, heart-free and happy, than as I am–eternally
racked with doubting agonies! Scaphio, the Princess Zara returns from England today!

Scaphio: My poor boy, I see it all.

Phantis: Oh! Scaphio, she is so beautiful. Ah! you smile, for you have never seen her. She sailed for England three months before you took office.

Scaphio: Now tell me, is your affection requited?

Phantis: I do not know–I am not sure. Sometimes I think it is, and
then come these torturing doubts! I feel sure that she does
not regard me with absolute indifference, for she could never look at me without having to go to bed with a sick headache.

Scaphio: That is surely something. Come, take heart, boy! you are
young and beautiful. What more could maiden want?

Phantis: Ah! Scaphio, remember she returns from a land where every youth is as a young Greek god, and where such beauty as I
can boast is seen at every turn.

Scaphio: Be of good cheer! Marry her, boy, if so your fancy wills,
and be sure that love will come.

Phantis: (overjoyed) Then you will assist me in this?

Scaphio: Why, surely! Silly one, what have you to fear? We have but
to say the word, and her father must consent. Is he not our
very slave? Come, take heart. I cannot bear to see you sad.

Phantis: Now I may hope, indeed! Scaphio, you have placed me on the
very pinnacle of human joy!

DUET — Scaphio and Phantis.

Scaphio: Let all your doubts take wing– Our influence is great.
If Paramount our King
Presume to hesitate
Put on the screw,
And caution him
That he will rue
Disaster grim
That must ensue
To life and limb,
Should he pooh-pooh
This harmless whim.

Both: This harmless whim–this harmless whim, It is as I/you say, a harmless whim.

Phantis: (dancing) Observe this dance Which I employ
When I, by chance
Go mad with joy.
What sentiment
Does this express?

(Phantis continues his dance while Scaphio vainly endeavors to discover
its meaning)

Supreme content
And happiness!

Both: Of course it does! Of course it does! Supreme content and happiness.

Phantis: Your friendly aid conferred, I need no longer pine.
I’ve but to speak the word,
And lo, the maid is mine!
I do not choose
To be denied.
Or wish to lose
A lovely bride–
If to refuse
The King decide,
The royal shoes
Then woe betide!

Both: Then woe betide–then woe betide! The Royal shoes then woe betide!

Scaphio: (Dancing) This step to use
I condescend
Whene’er I choose
To serve a friend.
What it implies
Now try to guess;

(Scaphio continues his dance while Phantis is vainly endeavouring to
discover its meaning)

It typifies

Both: (Dancing) Of course it does! Of course it does! It typifies unselfishness.

(Exeunt Scaphio and Phantis.)

March. Enter King Paramount, attended by guards and nobles, and preced-
ed by girls dancing before him.


Quaff the nectar–cull the roses– Gather fruit and flowers in plenty! For our king no longer poses–
Sing the songs of far niente! Wake the lute that sets us lilting, Dance a welcome to each comer; Day by day our year is wilting– Sing the sunny songs of summer! La, la, la, la!

SOLO — King.

A King of autocratic power we–
A despot whose tyrannic will is law– Whose rule is paramount o’er land and sea, A presence of unutterable awe!
But though the awe that I inspire Must shrivel with imperial fire
All foes whom it may chance to touch, To judge by what I see and hear,
It does not seem to interfere
With popular enjoyment, much.

Chorus: No, no–it does not interfere With our enjoyment much.

Stupendous when we rouse ourselves to strike, Resistless when our tyrant thunder peals, We often wonder what obstruction’s like, And how a contradicted monarch feels. But as it is our Royal whim
Our Royal sails to set and trim To suit whatever wind may blow– What buffets contradiction deals
And how a thwarted monarch feels We probably will never know.

Chorus: No, no–what thwarted monarch feels, You’ll never, never know.


My subjects all, it is your with emphatic That all Utopia shall henceforth be modelled Upon that glorious country called Great Britain– To which some add–but others do not–Ireland.

Chorus: It is!

King: That being so, as you insist upon it, We have arranged that our two younger daughters Who have been “finished” by an English Lady– (tenderly) A grave and good and gracious English Lady– Shall daily be exhibited in public, That all may learn what, from the English standpoint, Is looked upon as maidenly perfection! Come hither, daughters!

(Enter Nekaya and Kalyba. They are twins, about fifteen years old; they
are very modest and demure in their appearance, dress and manner.
They stand with their hands folded and their eyes cast down.)


How fair! how modest! how discreet! How bashfully demure!
See how they blush, as they’ve been taught, At this publicity unsought!
How English and how pure!

DUET — Nekaya and Kalyba.

Both: Although of native maids the cream, We’re brought up on the English scheme– The best of all
For great and small
Who modesty adore.

Nek: For English girls are good as gold, Extremely modest (so we’re told)
Demurely coy–divinely cold–
And that we are–and more.

Kal: To please papa, who argues thus– All girls should mould themselves on us Because we are
By furlongs far
The best of the bunch,
We show ourselves to loud applause From ten to four without a pause–

Nek: Which is an awkward time because It cuts into our lunch.

Both: Oh maids of high and low degree, Whose social code is rather free, Please look at us and you will see What good young ladies ought to be!

Nek: And as we stand, like clockwork toys, A lecturer whom papa employs
Proceeds to prussia
Our modest ways
And guileless character–

Kal: Our well-known blush–our downcast eyes– Our famous look of mild surprise.

Nek: (Which competition still defies)– Our celebrated “Sir!!!”

Kal: Then all the crowd take down our looks In pocket memorandum books.
To diagnose
Our modest pose
The Kodaks do their best:

Nek: If evidence you would possess
Of what is maiden bashfulness
You need only a button press–

Kal: And we will do the rest.

Enter Lady Sophy — an English lady of mature years and extreme gravity
of demeanour and dress. She carries a lecturer’s wand in her hand. She is led on by the King, who expresses great regard and
admiration for her.


This morning we propose to illustrate A course of maiden courtship, from the start To the triumphant matrimonial finish.

(Through the following song the two Princesses illustrate in gesture
the description given by Lady Sophy.)

SONG — Lady Sophy

Bold-faced ranger
(Perfect stranger)
Meets two well-behaved young ladies. He’s attractive,
Young and active–
Each a little bit afraid is. Youth advances,
At his glances
To their danger they awaken; They repel him
As they tell him
He is very much mistaken.
Though they speak to him politely, Please observe they’re sneering slightly, Just to show he’s acting vainly. This is Virtue saying plainly
“Go away, young bachelor, We are not what you take us for!” When addressed impertinently,
English ladies answer gently, “Go away, young bachelor,
We are not what you take us for!”

As he gazes,
Hat he raises,
Enters into conversation.
Makes excuses–
This produces
Interesting agitation.
He, with daring,
Give his card–his rank discloses Little heeding
This proceeding,
They turn up their little noses. Pray observe this lesson vital– When a man of rank and title
His position first discloses, Always cock your little noses.
When at home, let all the class Try this in the looking glass. English girls of well bred notions, Shun all unrehearsed emotions.
English girls of highest class Practice them before the glass.

His intentions
Then he mentions.
Something definite to go on– Makes recitals
Of his titles,
Hints at settlements, and so on. Smiling sweetly,
They, discreetly,
Ask for further evidences:
Thus invited,
He, delighted,
Gives the usual references: This is business. Each is fluttered When the offer’s fairly uttered. “Which of them has his affection?” He declines to make selection.
Do they quarrel for his dross? Not a bit of it–they toss! Please observe this cogent moral– English ladies never quarrel.
When a doubt they come across, English ladies always toss.


The lecture’s ended. In ten minute’s space ‘Twill be repeated in the market-place!

(Exit Lady Sophy, followed by Nekaya and Kalyba.)

Chorus: Quaff the nectar–cull the roses– Bashful girls will soon be plenty! Maid who thus at fifteen poses
Ought to be divine at twenty!

(Exeunt all but KING.)

King: I requested Scaphio and Phantis to be so good as to favor me
with an audience this morning. (Enter SCAPHIO and PHANTIS.)
Oh, here they are!

Scaphio: Your Majesty wished to speak with us, I believe. You–you
needn’t keep your crown on, on our account, you know.

King: I beg your pardon. (Removes it.) I always forget that! Odd, the notion of a King not being allowed to wear one of
his own crowns in the presence of two of his own subjects.

Phantis: Yes–bizarre, is it not?

King: Most quaint. But then it’s a quaint world.

Phantis: Teems with quiet fun. I often think what a lucky thing it
is that you are blessed with such a keen sense of humor!

King: Do you know, I find it invaluable. Do what I will, I cannot
help looking at the humorous side of things–for, properly
considered, everything has its humorous side–even the Palace Peeper (producing it). See here–“Another Royal Scandal,” by Junius Junior. “How long is this to last?” by Senex Senior. “Ribald Royalty,” by Mercury Major. “Where
is the Public Exploder?” by Mephistopheles Minor. When I
reflect that all these outrageous attacks on my morality are
written by me, at your command–well, it’s one of the funni-
est things that have come within the scope of my experience.

Scaphio: Besides, apart from that, they have a quiet humor of their
own which is simply irresistible.

King: (gratified) Not bad, I think. Biting, trenchant sarcasm–the rapier, not the bludgeon–that’s my line. But
then it’s so easy–I’m such a good subject–a bad King but a
good Subject–ha! ha!–a capital heading for next week’s leading article! (makes a note) And then the stinging little paragraphs about our Royal goings-on with our Royal
Second Housemaid–delicately sub-acid, are they not?

Scaphio: My dear King, in that kind of thing no one can hold a candle
to you.

Phantis: But the crowning joke is the Comic Opera you’ve written for
us–“King Tuppence, or A Good Deal Less than Half a Sover-
eign”–in which the celebrated English tenor, Mr. Wilkinson,
burlesques your personal appearance and gives grotesque imitations of your Royal peculiarities. It’s immense!

King: Ye–es–That’s what I wanted to speak to you about. Now I’ve not the least doubt but that even that has its humorous
side too–if one could only see it. As a rule I’m pretty quick at detecting latent humor–but I confess I do not quite see where it comes in, in this particular instance. It’s so horribly personal!

Scaphio: Personal? Yes, of course it’s personal–but consider the antithetical humor of the situation.

King: Yes. I–I don’t think I’ve quite grasped that.

Scaphio: No? You surprise me. Why, consider. During the day thou-
sands tremble at your frown, during the night (from 8 to 11)
thousands roar at it. During the day your most arbitrary pronouncements are received by your subjects with abject submission–during the night, they shout with joy at your most terrible decrees. It’s not every monarch who enjoys the privilege of undoing by night all the despotic absurdi-
ties he’s committed during the day.

King: Of course! Now I see it! Thank you very much. I was sure
it had its humorous side, and it was very dull of me not to
have seen it before. But, as I said just now, it’s a quaint

Phantis: Teems with quiet fun.

King: Yes. Properly considered, what a farce life is, to be sure!

SONG — King.

First you’re born–and I’ll be bound you Find a dozen strangers round you.
“Hallo,” cries the new-born baby, “Where’s my parents? which may they be?” Awkward silence–no reply–
Puzzled baby wonders why!
Father rises, bows politely–
Mother smiles (but not too brightly)– Doctor mumbles like a dumb thing–
Nurse is busy mixing something.– Every symptom tends to show
You’re decidedly de trop–

All: Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! Time’s teetotum,
If you spin it,
Gives it quotum
Once a minute.
I’ll go bail
You hit the nail,
And if you fail,
The deuce is in it!

King: You grow up and you discover
What it is to be a lover.
Some young lady is selected–
Poor, perhaps, but well-connected. Whom you hail (for Love is blind) As the Queen of fairy kind.
Though she’s plain–perhaps unsightly, Makes her face up–laces tightly,
In her form your fancy traces
All the gifts of all the graces. Rivals none the maiden woo,
So you take her and she takes you.

All: Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! Joke beginning,
Never ceases
Till your inning
Time releases,
On your way
You blindly stray,
And day by day
The joke increases!

King: Ten years later–Time progresses– Sours your temper–thins your tresses; Fancy, then, her chain relaxes;
Rates are facts and so are taxes. Fairy Queen’s no longer young–
Fairy Queen has got a tongue. Twins have probably intruded–
Quite unbidden–just as you did– They’re a source of care and trouble– Just as you were–only double.
Comes at last the final stroke– Time has had its little joke!

All: Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! Daily driven
(Wife as drover)
Ill you’ve thriven–
Ne’er in clover;
Lastly, when
Three-score and ten
(And not till then),
The joke is over!
Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! Then–and then
The joke is over!

(Exeunt Scaphio and Phantis.)

King: (putting on his crown again) It’s all very well. I always
like to look on the humorous side of things; but I do not think I ought to be required to write libels on my own moral
character. Naturally, I see the joke of it–anybody would–but Zara’s coming home today; she’s no longer a child, and I confess I should not like her to see my Opera–though it’s uncommonly well written; and I should be
sorry if the Palace Peeper got into her hands–though it’s
certainly smart–very smart indeed. It is almost a pity that I have to buy up the whole edition, because it’s really
too good to be lost. And Lady Sophy–that blameless type of
perfect womanhood! Great Heavens, what would she say if the
Second Housemaid business happened to meet her pure blue eye! (Enter Lady Sophy)

Lady S.: My monarch is soliloquizing. I will withdraw. (going)

King: No–pray don’t go. Now I’ll give you fifty chances, and you
won’t guess whom I was thinking of.

Lady S.: Alas, sir, I know too well. Ah! King, it’s an old, old story, and I’m wellnigh weary of it! Be warned in time–from my heart I pity you, but I am not for you! (going)

King: But hear what I have to say.

Lady S.: It is useless. Listen. In the course of a long and adven-
turous career in the principal European Courts, it has been
revealed to me that I unconsciously exercise a weird and supernatural fascination over all Crowned Heads. So irre-
sistible is this singular property, that there is not a European Monarch who has not implored me, with tears in his
eyes, to quit his kingdom, and take my fatal charms else- where. As time was getting on it occurred to me that by descending several pegs in the scale of Respectability I might qualify your Majesty for my hand. Actuated by this humane motive and happening to possess Respectability enough
for Six, I consented to confer Respectability enough for Four upon your two younger daughters–but although I have,
alas, only Respectability enough for Two left, there is still, as I gather from the public press of this country (producing the Palace Peeper), a considerable balance in my

King: (aside) Damn! (aloud) May I ask how you came by this?

Lady S.: It was handed to me by the officer who holds the position of
Public Exploder to your Imperial Majesty.

King: And surely, Lady Sophy, surely you are not so unjust as to
place any faith in the irresponsible gabble of the Society

Lady S.: (referring to paper) I read on the authority of Senex Senior that your Majesty was seen dancing with your Second
Housemaid on the Oriental Platform of the Tivoli Gardens. That is untrue?

King: Absolutely. Our Second Housemaid has only one leg.

Lady S.: (suspiciously) How do you know that?

King: Common report. I give you my honor.

Lady S.: It may be so. I further read–and the statement is vouched
for by no less an authority that Mephistopheles Minor–that
your Majesty indulges in a bath of hot rum-punch every morning. I trust I do not lay myself open to the charge of
displaying an indelicate curiosity as to the mysteries of the royal dressing-room when I ask if there is any founda-
tion for this statement?

King: None whatever. When our medical adviser exhibits rum-punch
it is as a draught, not as a fomentation. As to our bath,
our valet plays the garden hose upon us every morning.

Lady S.: (shocked) Oh, pray–pray spare me these unseemly details.
Well, you are a Despot–have you taken steps to slay this scribbler?

King: Well, no–I have not gone so far as that. After all, it’s
the poor devil’s living, you know.

Lady S.: It is the poor devil’s living that surprises me. If this man lies, there is no recognized punishment that is suffi-
ciently terrible for him.

King: That’s precisely it. I–I am waiting until a punishment is
discovered that will exactly meet the enormity of the case.
I am in constant communication with the Mikado of Japan, who
is a leading authority on such points; and, moreover, I have
the ground plans and sectional elevations of several capital
punishments in my desk at this moment. Oh, Lady Sophy, as
you are powerful, be merciful!

DUET — King and Lady Sophy.

King: Subjected to your heavenly gaze (Poetical phrase),
My brain is turned completely. Observe me now
No monarch I vow,
Was ever so afflicted!

Lady S: I’m pleased with that poetical phrase, “A heavenly gaze,”
But though you put it neatly, Say what you will,
These paragraphs still Remain uncontradicted.

Come, crush me this contemptible worm (A forcible term),
If he’s assailed you wrongly. The rage display,
Which, as you say,
Has moved your Majesty lately.

King: Though I admit that forcible term “Contemptible worm,”
Appeals to me most strongly, To treat this pest
As you suggest
Would pain my Majesty greatly.

Lady S: This writer lies!
King: Yes, bother his eyes!
Lady S: He lives, you say?
King: In a sort of way.
Lady S: Then have him shot.
King: Decidedly not.
Lady S: Or crush him flat.
King: I cannot do that.
Both: O royal Rex,
My/her blameless sex
Abhors such conduct shady. You/I plead in vain,
I/you will never gain
Respectable English lady!

(Dance of repudiation by Lady Sophy. Exit followed by King.)

March. Enter all the Court, heralding the arrival of the Princess Zara,
who enters, escorted by Captain Fitzbattleaxe and four Troopers, all
in the full uniform of the First Life Guards.


Oh, maiden, rich
In Girton lore
That wisdom which,
We prized before,
We do confess
Is nothingness,
And rather less,
Perhaps, than more.
On each of us
Thy learning shed.
On calculus
May we be fed.
And teach us, please,
To speak with ease,
All languages,
Alive and dead!

SOLO–Princess and Chorus

Zara: Five years have flown since I took wing– Time flies, and his footstep ne’er retards– I’m the eldest daughter of your King.

Troop: And we are her escort–First Life Guards! On the royal yacht,
When the waves were white, In a helmet hot
And a tunic tight,
And our great big boots,
We defied the storm;
For we’re not recruits,
And his uniform
A well drilled trooper ne’er discards– And we are her escort–First Life Guards!

Zara: These gentlemen I present to you, The pride and boast of their barrack-yards; They’ve taken, O! such care of me!

Troop: For we are her escort–First Life Guards! When the tempest rose,
And the ship went so–
Do you suppose
We were ill? No, no!
Though a qualmish lot
In a tunic tight,
And a helmet hot,
And a breastplate bright
(Which a well-drilled trooper ne’er discards), We stood as her escort–First Life Guards!


Knightsbridge nursemaids–serving fairies– Stars of proud Belgravian airies;
At stern duty’s call you leave them, Though you know how that must grieve them!

Zara: Tantantarara-rara-rara!

Fitz: Trumpet-call of Princess Zara!

Cho: That’s trump-call, and they’re all trump cards– They are her escort–First Life Guards!


Chorus Princess Zara and Fitzbattleaxe

Ladies Oh! the hours are gold, And the joys untold, Knightsbridge nursemaids, etc. When my eyes behold My beloved Princess; Men And the years will seem When the tempest rose, etc. But a brief day-dream, In the joy extreme
Of our happiness!

Full Chorus: Knightsbridge nursemaids, serving fairies, etc.

(Enter King, Princess Nekaya and Kalyba, and Lady Sophy. As the King enters,
the escort present arms.)

King: Zara! my beloved daughter! Why, how well you look and how
lovely you have grown! (embraces her.)

Zara: My dear father! (embracing him) And my two beautiful little sisters! (embracing them)

Nekaya: Not beautiful.

Kalyba: Nice-looking.

Zara: But first let me present to you the English warrior who commands my escort, and who has taken, O! such care of me during my voyage–Captain Fitzbattleaxe!

Troopers: The First Life Guards.
When the tempest rose,
And the ship went so–

(Captain Fitzbattleaxe motions them to be silent. The Troopers place
themselves in the four corners of the stage, standing at ease, immovably, as if on sentry. Each is surrounded by an admiring group of young ladies, of whom they take no notice.)

King: (to Capt. Fitz.) Sir, you come from a country where every
virtue flourishes. We trust that you will not criticize too
severely such shortcomings as you may detect in our semi-barbarous society.

Fitz.: (looking at Zara) Sir, I have eyes for nothing but the blameless and the beautiful.

King: We thank you–he is really very polite! (Lady Sophy, who has
been greatly scandalized by the attentions paid to the Lifeguardsmen by the young ladies, marches the Princesses Nekaya and Kalyba towards an exit.) Lady Sophy, do not leave

Lady S.: Sir, your children are young, and, so far, innocent. If they are to remain so, it is necessary that they be at once
removed from the contamination of their present disgraceful
surroundings. (She marches them off.)

King: (whose attention has thus been called to the proceedings of
the young ladies–aside) Dear, dear! They really should-
n’t. (Aloud) Captain Fitzbattleaxe–

Fitz.: Sir.

King: Your Troopers appear to be receiving a troublesome amount of
attention from those young ladies. I know how strict you English soldiers are, and I should be extremely distressed
if anything occurred to shock their puritanical British sensitiveness.

Fitz.: Oh, I don’t think there’s any chance of that.

King: You think not? They won’t be offended?

Fitz.: Oh no! They are quite hardened to it. They get a good deal
of that sort of thing, standing sentry at the Horse Guards.

King: It’s English, is it?

Fitz.: It’s particularly English.

King: Then, of course, it’s all right. Pray proceed, ladies, it’s
particularly English. Come, my daughter, for we have much
to say to each other.

Zara: Farewell, Captain Fitzbattleaxe! I cannot thank you too em-
phatically for the devoted care with which you have watched
over me during our long and eventful voyage.

DUET — Zara and Captain Fitzbattleaxe.

Zara: Ah! gallant soldier, brave and true In tented field and tourney,
I grieve to have occasioned you So very long a journey.
A British warrior give up all– His home and island beauty–
When summoned to the trumpet call Of Regimental Duty!

Cho: Tantantara-rara-rara!
Trumpet call of the Princess Zara!


Men Fitz. and Zara (aside)

A British warrior gives up all, etc. Oh my joy, my pride, My delight to hide,
Let us sing, aside, Ladies What in truth we feel, Let us whisper low
Knightsbridge nursemaids, etc. Of our love’s glad glow, Lest the truth we show We would fain conceal.

Fitz.: Such escort duty, as his due, To young Lifeguardsman falling Completely reconciles him to
His uneventful calling.
When soldier seeks Utopian glades In charge of Youth and Beauty, Then pleasure merely masquerades As Regimental Duty!

All: Tantantarara-rara-rara!
Trumpet-call of Princess Zara!


Men Fitz. and Zara (aside)

A British warrior gives up all, etc. Oh! my hours are gold, And the joys untold, When my eyes behold
Ladies My beloved Princess; And the years will seem Knightsbridge nursemaids, etc. But a brief day-dream, In the job extreme
Of our happiness!

(Exeunt King and Zara in one direction, Lifeguardsmen and crowd in opposite direction. Enter, at back, Scaphio and Phantis, who watch
Zara as she goes off. Scaphio is seated, shaking violently, and
obviously under the influence of some strong emotion.)

Phantis: There–tell me, Scaphio, is she not beautiful? Can you wonder that I love her so passionately?

Scaphio: No. She is extraordinarily–miraculously lovely! Good heavens, what a singularly beautiful girl!

Phantis: I knew you would say so!

Scaphio: What exquisite charm of manner! What surprising delicacy of
gesture! Why, she’s a goddess! a very goddess!

Phantis: (rather taken aback) Yes–she’s–she’s an attractive girl.

Scaphio: Attractive? Why, you must be blind!–She’s entrancing–enthralling–intoxicating! (Aside) God bless
my heart, what’s the matter with me?

Phantis: (alarmed) Yes. You–you promised to help me to get her father’s consent, you know.

Scaphio: Promised! Yes, but the convulsion has come, my good boy! It is she–my ideal! Why, what’s this? (Staggering) Phantis! Stop me–I’m going mad–mad with the love of her!

Phantis: Scaphio, compose yourself, I beg. The girl is perfectly opaque! Besides, remember–each of us is helpless without
the other. You can’t succeed without my consent, you know.

Scaphio: And you dare to threaten? Oh, ungrateful! When you came to
me, palsied with love for this girl, and implored my assis-
tance, did I not unhesitatingly promise it? And this is the
return you make? Out of my sight, ingrate! (Aside) Dear!
dear! what is the matter with me? (Enter Capt. Fitzbattleaxe
and Zara)

Zara: Dear me. I’m afraid we are interrupting a tete-a-tete.

Scaphio: (breathlessly) No, no. You come very appropriately. To be
brief, we–we love you–this man and I–madly–passionately!

Zara: Sir!

Scaphio: And we don’t know how we are to settle which of us is to marry you.

Fitz.: Zara, this is very awkward.

Scaphio: (very much overcome) I–I am paralyzed by the singular radiance of your extraordinary loveliness. I know I am incoherent. I never was like this before–it shall not occur again. I–shall be fluent, presently.

Zara: (aside) Oh, dear, Captain Fitzbattleaxe, what is to be done?

Fitz.: (aside) Leave it to me–I’ll manage it. (Aloud) It’s a
common situation. Why not settle it in the English fashion?

Both: The English fashion? What is that?

Fitz.: It’s very simple. In England, when two gentlemen are in love with the same lady, and until it is settled which gentleman is to blow out the brains of the other, it is provided, by the Rival Admirers’ Clauses Consolidation Act,
that the lady shall be entrusted to an officer of Household
Cavalry as stakeholder, who is bound to hand her over to the
survivor (on the Tontine principle) in a good condition of
substantial and decorative repair.

Scaphio: Reasonable wear and tear and damages by fire excepted?

Fitz.: Exactly.

Phantis: Well, that seems very reasonable. (To Scaphio) What do you
say–Shall we entrust her to this officer of Household Cavalry? It will give us time.

Scaphio: (trembling violently) I–I am not at present in a condition
to think it out coolly–but if he is an officer of Household
Cavalry, and if the Princess consents—

Zara: Alas, dear sirs, I have no alternative–under the Rival Admirers’ Clauses Consolidation Act!

Fitz.: Good–then that’s settled.

Fitzbattleaxe, Zara, Scaphio, and Phantis.

Fitz.: It’s understood, I think, all round That, by the English custom bound I hold the lady safe and sound
In trust for either rival, Until you clearly testify
By sword and pistol, by and by, Which gentleman prefers to die,
And which prefers survival.


Sca. and Phan. Zara and Fitz

Its clearly understood all round We stand, I think, on safish ground
That, by your English custom bound Our senses weak it will astound
He holds the lady safe and sound If either gentleman is found In trust for either rival, Prepared to meet his rival. Until we clearly testify Their machinations we defy; By sword or pistol, by and by We won’t be parted, you and I–
Which gentleman prefers to die, Of bloodshed each is rather shy–
Which prefers survival. They both prefer survival

Phan.: If I should die and he should live (aside to Fitz.) To you, without reserve, I give Her heart so young and sensitive, And all her predilections.

Sca.: If he should live and I should die, (aside to Fitz.) I see no kind of reason why You should not, if you wish it, try To gain her young affections.


Sca. and Phant. Fitz and Zara

If I should die and you should live As both of us are positive To this young officer I give That both of them intend to live,
Her heart so soft and sensitive, There’s nothing in the case to give
And all her predilections. Us cause for grave reflections.
If you should live and I should die As both will live and neither die
I see no kind of reason why I see no kind of reason why He should not, if he chooses, try I should not, if I wish it, try
To win her young affections. To gain your young affections!

(Exit Scaphio and Phantis together)

DUET — Zara and Fitzbattleaxe

Ensemble: Oh admirable art!
Oh, neatly-planned intention! Oh, happy intervention–
Oh, well constructed plot!

When sages try to part
Two loving hearts in fusion, Their wisdom’s delusion,
And learning serves them not!

Fitz.: Until quit plain
Is their intent,
These sages twain
I represent.
Now please infer
That, nothing loth,
You’re henceforth, as it were, Engaged to marry both–
Then take it that I represent the two– On that hypothesis, what would you do?

Zara. (aside): What would I do? what would I do? (To Fitz.) In such a case,
Upon your breast,
My blushing face
I think I’d rest–(doing so) Then perhaps I might
Demurely say–
“I find this breastplate bright Is sorely in the way!”

Fitz.: Our mortal race
Is never blest–
There’s no such case
As perfect rest;
Some petty blight
Asserts its sway–
Some crumbled roseleaf light Is always in the way!

(Exit Fitzbattleaxe. Manet Zara.)

(Enter King.)

King: My daughter! At last we are alone together.

Zara: Yes, and I’m glad we are, for I want to speak to you very seriously. Do you know this paper?

King: (aside) Da–! (Aloud) Oh yes–I’ve–I’ve seen it. Where
in the world did you get this from?

Zara: It was given to me by Lady Sophy–my sisters’ governess.

King: (aside) Lady Sophy’s an angel, but I do sometimes wish she’d mind her own business! (Aloud) It’s–ha! ha!–it’s
rather humorous.

Zara: I see nothing humorous in it. I only see that you, the des-
potic King of this country, are made the subject of the most
scandalous insinuations. Why do you permit these things?

King: Well, they appeal to my sense of humor. It’s the only really comic paper in Utopia, and I wouldn’t be without it
for the world.

Zara: If it had any literary merit I could understand it.

King: Oh, it has literary merit. Oh, distinctly, it has literary

Zara: My dear father, it’s mere ungrammatical twaddle.

King: Oh, it’s not ungrammatical. I can’t allow that. Unpleas-
antly personal, perhaps, but written with an epigrammatical
point that is very rare nowadays–very rare indeed.

Zara: (looking at cartoon) Why do they represent you with such a
big nose?

King: (looking at cartoon) Eh? Yes, it is a big one! Why, the
fact is that, in the cartoons of a comic paper, the size of
your nose always varies inversely as the square of your popularity. It’s the rule.

Zara: Then you must be at a tremendous discount just now! I see a
notice of a new piece called “King Tuppence,” in which an English tenor has the audacity to personate you on a public
stage. I can only say that I am surprised that any English
tenor should lend himself to such degrading personalities.

King: Oh, he’s not really English. As it happens he’s a Utopian,
but he calls himself English.

Zara: Calls himself English?

King: Yes. Bless you, they wouldn’t listen to any tenor who didn’t call himself English.

Zara: And you permit this insolent buffoon to caricature you in a
pointless burlesque! My dear father–if you were a free agent, you would never permit these outrages.

King: (almost in tears) Zara–I–I admit I am not altogether a
free agent. I–I am controlled. I try to make the best of
it, but sometimes I find it very difficult–very difficult
indeed. Nominally a Despot, I am, between ourselves, the helpless tool of two unscrupulous Wise Men, who insist on my
falling in with all their wishes and threaten to denounce me
for immediate explosion if I remonstrate! (Breaks down completely)

Zara: My poor father! Now listen to me. With a view to remodel-
ling the political and social institutions of Utopia, I have
brought with me six Representatives of the principal causes
that have tended to make England the powerful, happy, and