This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Language:
Form:
Genre:
Published:
Collection:
Tags:
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

blameless country which the consensus of European civiliza-
tion has declared it to be. Place yourself unreservedly in
the hands of these gentlemen, and they will reorganize your
country on a footing that will enable you to defy your persecutors. They are all now washing their hands after their journey. Shall I introduce them?

King: My dear Zara, how can I thank you? I will consent to any-
thing that will release me from the abominable tyranny of these two men. (Calling) What ho! Without there! (Enter
Calynx) Summon my Court without an instant’s delay! (Exit
Calynx)

FINALE
Enter every one, except the Flowers of Progress.

CHORUS
Although your Royal summons to appear From courtesy was singularly free, Obedient to that summons we are here– What would your Majesty?

RECITATIVE — King

My worthy people, my beloved daughter Most thoughtfully has brought with her from England The types of all the causes that have made That great and glorious country what it is.

Chorus: Oh, joy unbounded!

Sca., Tar., Phan (aside). Why, what does this mean?

RECITATIVE — Zara

Attend to me, Utopian populace,
Ye South Pacific island viviparians; All, in the abstract, types of courtly grace, Yet, when compared with Britain’s glorious race, But little better than half clothed Barbarians!

CHORUS

Yes! Contrasted when
With Englishmen,
Are little better than half-clothed barbarians!

Enter all the Flowers of Progress, led by Fitzbattleaxe.

SOLOS — Zara and the Flowers of Progress.

(Presenting Captain Fitzbattleaxe)

When Britain sounds the trump of war (And Europe trembles),
The army of the conqueror
In serried ranks assemble;
‘Tis then this warrior’s eyes and sabre gleam For our protection–
He represents a military scheme In all its proud perfection!

Chorus: Yes–yes
He represents a military scheme In all its proud perfection.
Ulahlica! Ulahlica! Ulahlica!

SOLO — Zara.

(Presenting Sir Bailey Barre, Q.C., M.P.)

A complicated gentleman allow to present, Of all the arts and faculties the terse embodiment, He’s a great arithmetician who can demonstrate with ease That two and two are three or five or anything you please; An eminent Logician who can make it clear to you That black is white–when looked at from the proper point of
view;
A marvelous Philologist who’ll undertake to show That “yes” is but another and a neater form of “no.”

Sir Bailey: Yes–yes–yes–
“Yes” is but another and a neater form of “no.” All preconceived ideas on any subject I can scout, And demonstrate beyond all possibility of doubt, That whether you’re an honest man or whether you’re a thief Depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief.

Chorus: Yes–yes–yes
That whether your’e an honest man, etc. Ulahlica! Ulahlica! Ulahlica!

Zara: (Presenting Lord Dramaleigh and County Councillor) What these may be, Utopians all, Perhaps you’ll hardly guess–
They’re types of England’s physical And moral cleanliness.
This is a Lord High Chamberlain, Of purity the gauge–
He’ll cleanse our court from moral stain And purify our Stage.

Lord D.: Yes–yes–yes
Court reputations I revise, And presentations scrutinize,
New plays I read with jealous eyes, And purify the Stage.

Chorus: Court reputations, etc.

Zara: This County Councillor acclaim, Great Britain’s latest toy–
On anything you like to name His talents he’ll employ–

All streets and squares he’ll purify Within your city walls,
And keep meanwhile a modest eye On wicked music halls.

C.C.: Yes–yes–yes
In towns I make improvements great, Which go to swell the County Rate– I dwelling-houses sanitate,
And purify the Halls!

Chorus: In towns he makes improvements great, etc. Ulahlica! Ulahlica! Ulahlica!

SOLO — Zara:

(Presenting Mr. Goldbury)

A Company Promoter this with special education, Which teaches what Contango means and also Backwardation– To speculators he supplies a grand financial leaven, Time was when two were company–but now it must be seven.

Mr. Gold.: Yes–yes–yes
Stupendous loans to foreign thrones I’ve largely advocated;
In ginger-pops and peppermint-drops I’ve freely speculated;
Then mines of gold, of wealth untold, Successfully I’ve floated
And sudden falls in apple-stalls Occasionally quoted.
And soon or late I always call For Stock Exchange quotation–
No schemes too great and none too small For Companification!

Chorus: Yes! Yes! Yes! No schemes too great, etc. Ulahlica! Ulahlica! Ulahlica!

Zara: (Presenting Capt. Sir Edward Corcoran, R.N.)

And lastly I present
Great Britain’s proudest boast, Who from the blows
Of foreign foes
Protects her sea-girt coast– And if you ask him in respectful tone, He’ll show you how you may protect your own!

SOLO — Captain Corcoran

I’m Captain Corcoran, K.C.B.,
I’ll teach you how we rule the sea, And terrify the simple Gauls;
And how the Saxon and the Celt Their Europe-shaking blows have dealt With Maxim gun and Nordenfelt
(Or will when the occasion calls). If sailor-like you’d play your cards, Unbend your sails and lower your yards, Unstep your masts–you’ll never want ’em more. Though we’re no longer hearts of oak, Yet we can steer and we can stoke,
And thanks to coal, and thanks to coke, We never run a ship ashore!

All: What never?

Capt.: No, never!

All: What never?

Capt: Hardly ever!

All: Hardly ever run a ship ashore! Then give three cheers, and three cheers more, For the tar who never runs his ship ashore; Then give three cheers, and three cheers more, For he never runs his ship ashore!

CHORUS

All hail, ye types of England’s power– Ye heaven-enlightened band!
We bless the day and bless the hour That brought you to our land.

QUARTET

Ye wanderers from a mighty State, Oh, teach us how to legislate–
Your lightest word will carry weight, In our attentive ears.
Oh, teach the natives of this land (Who are not quick to understand)
How to work off their social and Political arrears!

Capt. Fitz.: Increase your army!
Lord D.: Purify your court! Capt. Corc: Get up your steam and cut your canvas short! Sir B.: To speak on both sides teach your sluggish brains! Mr. B.: Widen your thoroughfares, and flush your drains! Mr. Gold.: Utopia’s much too big for one small head– I’ll float it as a Company Limited!

King: A Company Limited? What may that be? The term, I rather think, is new to me.

Chorus: A company limited? etc.

Sca, Phant, and Tara (Aside)
What does he mean? What does he mean? Give us a kind of clue!
What does he mean? What does he mean? What is he going to do?

SONG — Mr. Goldbury

Some seven men form an Association (If possible, all Peers and Baronets), The start off with a public declaration To what extent they mean to pay their debts. That’s called their Capital; if they are wary They will not quote it at a sum immense. The figure’s immaterial–it may vary From eighteen million down to eighteenpence. I should put it rather low;
The good sense of doing so Will be evident at once to any debtor. When it’s left to you to say
What amount you mean to pay, Why, the lower you can put it at, the better.

Chorus: When it’s left to you to say, etc.

They then proceed to trade with all who’ll trust ’em Quite irrespective of their capital (It’s shady, but it’s sanctified by custom); Bank, Railway, Loan, or Panama Canal. You can’t embark on trading too tremendous– It’s strictly fair, and based on common sense– If you succeed, your profits are stupendous– And if you fail, pop goes your eighteenpence.

Make the money-spinner spin!
For you only stand to win,
And you’ll never with dishonesty be twitted. For nobody can know,
To a million or so,
To what extent your capital’s committed!

Chorus: No, nobody can know, etc.

If you come to grief, and creditors are craving (For nothing that is planned by mortal head Is certain in this Vale of Sorrow–saving That one’s Liability is Limited),– Do you suppose that signifies perdition? If so, you’re but a monetary dunce– You merely file a Winding-Up Petition, And start another Company at once! Though a Rothschild you may be
In your own capacity,
As a Company you’ve come to utter sorrow– But the Liquidators say,
“Never mind–you needn’t pay,” So you start another company to-morrow!

Chorus: But the liquidators say, etc.

King: Well, at first sight it strikes us as dishonest, But if its’s good enough for virtuous England– The first commercial country in the world– It’s good enough for us.

Sca., Phan., Tar. (aside to the King) You’d best take care– Please recollect we have not been consulted.

King: And do I understand that Great Britain Upon this Joint Stock principle is governed?

Mr. G.: We haven’t come to that, exactly–but We’re tending rapidly in that direction. The date’s not distant.

King: (enthusiastically) We will be before you! We’ll go down in posterity renowned As the First Sovereign in Christendom Who registered his Crown and Country under The Joint Stock Company’s Act of Sixty-Two.

All: Ulahlica!

SOLO — King

Henceforward, of a verity,
With Fame ourselves we link– We’ll go down to Posterity
Of sovereigns all the pink!

Sca., Phan., Tar.: (aside to King)
If you’ve the mad temerity
Our wishes thus to blink, You’ll go down to Posterity,
Much earlier than you think!

Tar.: (correcting them)

He’ll go up to Posterity,
If I inflict the blow!

Sca., Phan.: (angrily)

He’ll go down to Posterity–
We think we ought to know!

Tar.: (explaining) He’ll go up to Posterity, Blown up with dynamite!

Sca., Phan.: (apologetically)

He’ll go up to Posterity,
Of course he will, you’re right!

ENSEMBLE

King, Lady Sophy, Nek., Sca., Phan, and Tar Fitz. and Zara (aside)
Kal., Calynx and Chorus (aside)

Henceforward of a verity, If he has the temerity Who love with all sincerity;
With fame ourselves we Our wishes thus to blink Their lives may safely link.
link–
And go down to Posterity, He’ll go up to Posterity And as for our posterity
Of sovereigns all pink! Much earlier than they We don’t care what they think!
think!

CHORUS

Let’s seal this mercantile pact– The step we ne’er shall rue– It gives whatever we lacked–
The statement’s strictly true. All hail, astonishing Fact!
All hail, Invention new– The Joint Stock Company’s Act– The Act of Sixty-Two!

END OF ACT I

ACT II

Scene — Throne Room in the Palace. Night. Fitzbattleaxe discovered,
singing to Zara.

RECITATIVE — Fitzbattleaxe.

Oh, Zara, my beloved one, bear with me! Ah, do not laugh at my attempted C! Repent not, mocking maid, thy girlhood’s choice– The fervour of my love affects my voice!

SONG — Fitzbattleaxe.

A tenor, all singers above
(This doesn’t admit of a question), Should keep himself quiet,
Attend to his diet
And carefully nurse his digestion; But when he is madly in love
It’s certain to tell on his singing– You can’t do the proper chromatics With proper emphatics
When anguish your bosom is wringing! When distracted with worries in plenty, And his pulse is a hundred and twenty, And his fluttering bosom the slave of mistrust is, A tenor can’t do himself justice,
Now observe–(sings a high note), You see, I can’t do myself justice! I could sing if my fervour were mock, It’s easy enough if you’re acting– But when one’s emotion
Is born of devotion
You mustn’t be over-exacting. One ought to be firm as a rock
To venture a shake in vibrato, When fervour’s expected
Keep cool and collected
Or never attempt agitato.
But, of course, when his tongue is of leather, And his lips appear pasted together, And his sensitive palate as dry as a crust is, A tenor can’t do himself justice.
Now observe–(sings a high note), It’s no use–I can’t do myself justice!

Zara: Why, Arthur, what does it matter? When the higher qualities
of the heart are all that can be desired, the higher notes
of the voice are matters of comparative insignificance. Who
thinks slightingly of the cocoanut because it is husky? Be-
sides (demurely), you are not singing for an engagement (putting her hand in his), you have that already!

Fitz.: How good and wise you are! How unerringly your practiced brain winnows the wheat from the chaff–the material from the merely incidental!

Zara: My Girton training, Arthur. At Girton all is wheat, and idle chaff is never heard within its walls! But tell me, is
not all working marvelously well? Have not our Flowers of
Progress more than justified their name?

Fitz.: We have indeed done our best. Captain Corcoran and I have,
in concert, thoroughly remodeled the sister-services–and upon so sound a basis that the South Pacific trembles at the
name of Utopia!

Zara: How clever of you!

Fitz.: Clever? Not a bit. It’s easy as possible when the Admiral-
ty and Horse Guards are not there to interfere. And so with
the others. Freed from the trammels imposed upon them by idle Acts of Parliament, all have given their natural tal-
ents full play and introduced reforms which, even in Eng- land, were never dreamt of!

Zara: But perhaps the most beneficent changes of all has been ef-
fected by Mr. Goldbury, who, discarding the exploded theory
that some strange magic lies hidden in the number Seven, has
applied the Limited Liability principle to individuals, and
every man, woman, and child is now a Company Limited with liability restricted to the amount of his declared Capital!
There is not a christened baby in Utopia who has not already
issued his little Prospectus!

Fitz.: Marvelous is the power of a Civilization which can trans- mute, by a word, a Limited Income into an Income Limited.

Zara: Reform has not stopped here–it has been applied even to the
costume of our people. Discarding their own barbaric dress,
the natives of our land have unanimously adopted the taste-
ful fashions of England in all their rich entirety. Scaphio
and Phantis have undertaken a contract to supply the whole
of Utopia with clothing designed upon the most approved English models–and the first Drawing-Room under the new state of things is to be held here this evening.

Fitz.: But Drawing-Rooms are always held in the afternoon.

Zara: Ah, we’ve improved upon that. We all look so much better by candlelight! And when I tell you, dearest, that my Court train has just arrived, you will understand that I am long-
ing to go and try it on.

Fitz.: Then we must part?

Zara: Necessarily, for a time.

Fitz.: Just as I wanted to tell you, with all the passionate enthu-
siasm of my nature, how deeply, how devotedly I love you!

Zara: Hush! Are these the accents of a heart that really feels?
True love does not indulge in declamation–its voice is sweet, and soft, and low. The west wind whispers when he woos the poplars!

DUET — Zara and Fitzbattleaxe.

Zara: Words of love too loudly spoken Ring their own untimely knell; Noisy vows are rudely broken,
Soft the song of Philomel. Whisper sweetly, whisper slowly, Hour by hour and day by day;
Sweet and low as accents holy Are the notes of lover’s lay.

Both: Sweet and low, etc.

Fitz: Let the conqueror, flushed with glory, Bid his noisy clarions bray;
Lovers tell their artless story In a whispered virelay.
False is he whose vows alluring Make the listening echoes ring; Sweet and low when all-enduring
Are the songs that lovers sing!

Both: Sweet and low, etc.

(Exit Zara. Enter King dressed as Field-Marshal.)

King: To a Monarch who has been accustomed to the uncontrolled use
of his limbs, the costume of a British Field-Marshal is, perhaps, at first, a little cramping. Are you sure that this is all right? It’s not a practical joke, is it? No one has a keener sense of humor than I have, but the First
Statutory Cabinet Council of Utopia Limited must be conduct-
ed with dignity and impressiveness. Now, where are the other five who signed the Articles of Association?

Fitz.: Sir, they are here.

(Enter Lord Dramaleigh, Captain Corcoran, Sir Bailey Barre, Mr. Blushington, and
Mr. Goldbury from different entrances.)

King: Oh! (Addressing them) Gentlemen, our daughter holds her first Drawing-Room in half an hour, and we shall have time
to make our half-yearly report in the interval. I am neces-
sarily unfamiliar with the forms of an English Cabinet Council–perhaps the Lord Chamberlain will kindly put us in
the way of doing the thing properly, and with due regard to
the solemnity of the occasion.

Lord D.: Certainly–nothing simpler. Kindly bring your chairs forward–His Majesty will, of course, preside.

(They range their chairs across stage like Christy Minstrels. King sits center, Lord Dramaleigh on his left, Mr. Goldbury on his right,
Captain Corcoran left of Lord Dramaleigh, Captain Fitzbattleaxe right of
Mr. Goldbury, Mr. Blushington extreme right, Sir Bailey Barre extreme
left.)

King: Like this?

Lord D.: Like this.

King: We take your word for it that this is all right. You are not making fun of us? This is in accordance with the prac-
tice at the Court of St. James’s?

Lord D.: Well, it is in accordance with the practice at the Court of
St. James’s Hall.

King: Oh! it seems odd, but never mind.

SONG — King.

Society has quite forsaken all her wicked courses. Which empties our police courts, and abolishes divorces.

Chorus: Divorce is nearly obsolete in England.

King: No tolerance we show to undeserving rank and splendour; For the higher his position is, the greater the offender.

Chorus: That’s maxim that is prevalent in England.

King: No peeress at our drawing-room before the Presence passes Who wouldn’t be accepted by the lower middle-classes. Each shady dame, whatever be her rank, is bowed out neatly.

Chorus: In short, this happy country has been Anglicized completely
Is really is surprising
What a thorough Anglicizing
We have brought about–Utopia’s quite another land; In her enterprising movements,
She is England–with improvements, Which we dutifully offer to our mother-land!

King: Our city we have beautified–we’ve done it willy-nilly– And all that isn’t Belgrave Square is Strand and Piccadilly.

Chorus: We haven’t any slummeries in England!

King: The chamberlain our native stage has purged beyond a ques-
tion.
Of “risky” situation and indelicate suggestion; No piece is tolerated if it’s costumed indiscreetly–

Chorus: In short this happy country has been Anglicized com- pletely!
It really is surprising, etc.

King: Our peerage we’ve remodelled on an intellectual basis, Which certainly is rough on our hereditary races–

Chorus: We are going to remodel it in England.

King: The Brewers and the Cotton Lords no longer seek admission,
And literary merit meets with proper recognition–

Chorus: As literary merit does in England!

King: Who knows but we may count among our intellectual chickens
Like you, an Earl of Thackery and p’r’aps a Duke of Dickens–
Lord Fildes and Viscount Millais (when they come) we’ll welcome sweetly–

Chorus: In short, this happy country has been Anglicized completely!
It really is surprising, etc.

(At the end all rise and replace their chairs.)

King: Now, then for our first Drawing-Room. Where are the Prin-
cesses? What an extraordinary thing it is that since Euro-
pean looking-glasses have been supplied to the Royal bed- rooms my daughters are invariably late!

Lord D.: Sir, their Royal Highnesses await your pleasure in the Ante-room.

King: Oh. Then request them to do us the favor to enter at once.

(Enter all the Royal Household, including (besides the Lord Chamber-
lain) the Vice-Chamberlain, the Master of the Horse, the Master
of the Buckhounds, the Lord High Treasurer, the Lord Steward, the
Comptroller of the Household, the Lord-in-Waiting, the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting, the Gold and Silver Stick, and the Gentlemen Ushers. Then enter the three Princesses (their trains
carried by Pages of Honor), Lady Sophy, and the Ladies-in-Waiting.)

King: My daughters, we are about to attempt a very solemn ceremo-
nial, so no giggling, if you please. Now, my Lord Chamber-
lain, we are ready.

Lord D.: Then, ladies and gentlemen, places, if you please. His Maj-
esty will take his place in front of the throne, and will be
so obliging as to embrace all the debutantes. (LADY SOPHY
much shocked.)

King: What–must I really?

Lord D.: Absolutely indispensable.

King: More jam for the Palace Peeper!

(The King takes his place in front of the throne, the Princess Zara on
his left, the two younger Princesses on the left of Zara.)

King: Now, is every one in his place?

Lord D.: Every one is in his place.

King: Then let the revels commence.

(Enter the ladies attending the Drawing-Room. They give their cards
to the Groom-in-Waiting, who passes them to the Lord-in-Waiting,
who passes them to the Vice-Chamberlain, who passes them to the
Lord Chamberlain, who reads the names to the King as each lady approaches. The ladies curtsey in succession to the King and the
three Princesses, and pass out. When all the presentations have
been accomplished, the King, Princesses, and Lady Sophy come forward, and all the ladies re-enter.)

RECITATIVE — King

This ceremonial our wish displays To copy all Great Britain’s courtly ways. Though lofty aims catastrophe entail, We’ll gloriously succeed or nobly fail!

UNACCOMPANIED CHORUS

Eagle High in Cloudland soaring– Sparrow twittering on a reed–
Tiger in the jungle roaring–
Frightened fawn in grassy mead– Let the eagle, not the sparrow,
Be the object of your arrow–
Fix the tiger with your eye– Pass the fawn in pity by.
Glory then will crown the day– Glory, glory, anyway!

Exit
all.

Enter Scaphio and Phantis, now dressed as judges in red and ermine robes
and undress wigs. They come down stage melodramatically — working together.

DUET — Scaphio and Phantis.

Sca.: With fury deep we burn

Phan.: We do–

Sca.: We fume with smothered rage–

Phan.: We do–

Sca.: These Englishmen who rule supreme, Their undertaking they redeem
By stifling every harmless scheme In which we both engage–

Phan.: They do–

Sca.: In which we both engage–

Phan.: We think it is our turn–

Sca.: We do–

Phan.: We think our turn has come–

Sca.: We do.

Phan.: These Englishmen, they must prepare To seek at once their native air. The King as heretofore, we swear, Shall be beneath our thumb–

Sca.: He shall–

Phan.: Shall be beneath out thumb–

Sca.: He shall.

Both: (with great energy)
For this mustn’t be, and this won’t do. If you’ll back me, then I’ll back you, No, this won’t do,
No, this mustn’t be. With fury deep we burn…

Enter the King.

King: Gentlemen, gentlemen–really! This unseemly display of energy within the Royal precincts is altogether unpardon- able. Pray, what do you complain of?

Scaphio: (furiously) What do we complain of? Why, through the innovations introduced by the Flowers of Progress all our harmless schemes for making a provision for our old age are
ruined. Our Matrimonial Agency is at a standstill, our Cheap Sherry business is in bankruptcy, our Army Clothing contracts are paralyzed, and even our Society paper, the Palace Peeper, is practically defunct!

King: Defunct? Is that so? Dear, dear, I am truly sorry.

Scaphio: Are you aware that Sir Bailey Barre has introduced a law of
libel by which all editors of scurrilous newspapers are pub-
licly flogged–as in England? And six of our editors have
resigned in succession! Now, the editor of a scurrilous paper can stand a good deal–he takes a private thrashing as
a matter of course–it’s considered in his salary–but no gentleman likes to be publicly flogged.

King: Naturally. I shouldn’t like it myself.

Phantis: Then our Burlesque Theater is absolutely ruined!

King: Dear me. Well, theatrical property is not what it was.

Phantis: Are you aware that the Lord Chamberlain, who has his own views as to the best means of elevating the national drama,
has declined to license any play that is not in blank verse
and three hundred years old–as in England?

Scaphio: And as if that wasn’t enough, the County Councillor has or-
dered a four-foot wall to be built up right across the proscenium, in case of fire–as in England.

Phantis: It’s so hard on the company–who are liable to be roasted alive–and this has to be met by enormously increased salaries–as in England.

Scaphio: You probably know that we’ve contracted to supply the entire
nation with a complete English outfit. But perhaps you do
not know that, when we send in our bills, our customers plead liability limited to a declared capital of eighteenpence, and apply to be dealt with under the Winding-up Act–as in England?

King: Really, gentlemen, this is very irregular. If you will be
so good as to formulate a detailed list of your grievances
in writing, addressed to the Secretary of Utopia Limited, they will be laid before the Board, in due course, at their
next monthly meeting.

Scaphio: Are we to understand that we are defied?

King: That is the idea I intended to convey.

Phantis: Defied! We are defied!

Scaphio: (furiously) Take care–you know our powers. Trifle with us, and you die!

TRIO — Scaphio, Phantis, and King.

Sca.: If you think that, when banded in unity, We may both be defied with impunity, You are sadly misled of a verity!

Phan.: If you value repose and tranquility, You’ll revert to a state of docility, Or prepare to regret your temerity!

King.: If my speech is unduly refractory You will find it a course satisfactory At an early Board meeting to show it up. Though if proper excuse you can trump any, You may wind up a Limited Company,
You cannot conveniently blow it up!

(Scaphio and Phantis thoroughly baffled)

King.: (Dancing quietly)
Whene’er I chance to baffle you I, also, dance a step or two–
Of this now guess the hidden sense:

(Scaphio and Phantis consider the question as King continues dancing
quietly–then give it up.)

It means complete indifference!

Sca. and Phan.: Of course it does–indifference! It means complete indifference!

(King dancing quietly. Sca. and Phan. dancing furiously.)

Sca. and Phan.: As we’ve a dance for every mood With pas de trois we will conclude, What this may mean you all may guess– It typifies remorselessness!

King.: It means unruffled cheerfulness!

(King dances off placidly as Scaphio and Phantis dance furiously.)

Phantis: (breathless) He’s right–we are helpless! He’s no longer a
human being–he’s a Corporation, and so long as he confines
himself to his Articles of Association we can’t touch him!
What are we to do?

Scaphio: Do? Raise a Revolution, repeal the Act of Sixty-Two, recon-
vert him into an individual, and insist on his immediate ex-
plosion! (Tarara enters.) Tarara, come here; you’re the very man we want.

Tarara: Certainly, allow me. (Offers a cracker to each; they snatch
them away impatiently.) That’s rude.

Scaphio: We have no time for idle forms. You wish to succeed to the
throne?

Tarara: Naturally.

Scaphio: Then you won’t unless you join us. The King has defied us,
and, as matters stand, we are helpless. So are you. We must devise some plot at once to bring the people about his
ears.

Tarara: A plot?

Phantis: Yes, a plot of superhuman subtlety. Have you such a thing
about you?

Tarara: (feeling) No, I think not. No. There’s one on my dressing-table.

Scaphio: We can’t wait–we must concoct one at once, and put it into
execution without delay. There is not a moment to spare!

TRIO — Scaphio, Phantis, and Tarara.

Ensemble

With wily brain upon the spot A private plot we’ll plan,
The most ingenious private plot Since private plots began.
That’s understood. So far we’ve got And, striking while the iron’s hot, We’ll now determine like a shot
The details of this private plot.

Sca.: I think we ought–(whispers) Phan. and Tar.: Such bosh I never heard! Phan.: Ah! happy thought!–(whispers) Sca. and Tar.: How utterly dashed absurd! Tar.: I’ll tell you how–(whispers)
Sca and Phan.: Why, what put that in your head? Sca.: I’ve got it now–(whispers)
Phan. and Tar.: Oh, take him away to bed! Phan.: Oh, put him to bed!
Tar.: Oh, put him to bed!
Sca.: What, put me to bed?
Phan. and Tar.: Yes, certainly put him to bed! Sca.: But, bless me, don’t you see– Phan.: Do listen to me, I pray–
Tar.: It certainly seems to me– Sca.: Bah–this is the only way!
Phan.: It’s rubbish absurd you growl! Tar.: You talk ridiculous stuff!
Sca.: You’re a drivelling barndoor owl! Phan.: You’re a vapid and vain old muff!

(All, coming down to audience.)

So far we haven’t quite solved the plot– They’re not a very ingenious lot–
But don’t be unhappy,
It’s still on the tapis,
We’ll presently hit on a capital plot!

Sca.: Suppose we all–(whispers)
Phan.: Now there I think you’re right. Then we might all–(whispers)
Tar.: That’s true, we certainly might. I’ll tell you what–(whispers)
Sca.: We will if we possibly can. Then on the spot– (whispers)
Phan. and Tar.: Bravo! A capital plan! Sca.: That’s exceedingly neat and new! Phan.: Exceedingly new and neat.
Tar.: I fancy that that will do.
Sca.: It’s certainly very complete. Phan.: Well done you sly old sap!
Tar.: Bravo, you cunning old mole! Sca.: You very ingenious chap!
Phan.: You intellectual soul!

(All, coming down and addressing audience.)

At last a capital plan we’ve got We won’t say how and we won’t say what: It’s safe in my noddle–
Now off we will toddle,
And slyly develop this capital plot!

(Business. Exeunt Scaphio and Phantis in one direction, and Tarara in
the other.)

(Enter Lord Dramaleigh and Mr. Goldbury.)

Lord D.: Well, what do you think of our first South Pacific Drawing-Room? Allowing for a slight difficulty with the trains, and a little want of familiarity with the use of the
rouge-pot, it was, on the whole, a meritorious affair?

Gold.: My dear Dramaleigh, it redounds infinitely to your credit.

Lord D.: One or two judicious innovations, I think?

Gold.: Admirable. The cup of tea and the plate of mixed biscuits
were a cheap and effective inspiration.

Lord D.: Yes–my idea entirely. Never been done before.

Gold.: Pretty little maids, the King’s youngest daughters, but timid.

Lord D.: That’ll wear off. Young.

Gold.: That’ll wear off. Ha! here they come, by George! And with-
out the Dragon! What can they have done with her?

(Enter Nekaya and Kalyba timidly.)

Nekaya: Oh, if you please, Lady Sophy has sent us in here, because
Zara and Captain Fitzbattleaxe are going on, in the garden,
in a manner which no well-conducted young ladies ought to witness.

Lord D.: Indeed, we are very much obliged to her Ladyship.

Kalyba: Are you? I wonder why.

Nekaya: Don’t tell us if it’s rude.

Lord D.: Rude? Not at all. We are obliged to Lady Sophy because she
has afforded us the pleasure of seeing you.

Nekaya: I don’t think you ought to talk to us like that.

Kalyba: It’s calculated to turn our heads.

Nekaya: Attractive girls cannot be too particular.

Kalyba: Oh pray, pray do not take advantage of our unprotected inno-
cence.

Gold.: Pray be reassured–you are in no danger whatever.

Lord D.: But may I ask–is this extreme delicacy–this shrinking sensitiveness–a general characteristic of Utopian young ladies?

Nekaya: Oh no; we are crack specimens.

Kalyba: We are the pick of the basket. Would you mind not coming quite so near? Thank you.

Nekaya: And please don’t look at us like that; it unsettles us.

Kalyba: And we don’t like it. At least, we do like it; but it’s wrong.

Nekaya: We have enjoyed the inestimable privilege of being educated
by a most refined and easily shocked English lady, on the very strictest English principles.

Gold.: But, my dear young ladies—

Kalyba: Oh, don’t! You mustn’t. It’s too affectionate.

Nekaya: It really does unsettle us.

Gold.: Are you really under the impression that English girls are
so ridiculously demure? Why, an English girl of the highest
type is the best, the most beautiful, the bravest, and the
brightest creature that Heaven has conferred upon this world
of ours. She is frank, open-hearted, and fearless, and never shows in so favorable a light as when she gives her own blameless impulses full play!

Nekaya Oh, you shocking story!
and
Kalyba:

Gold.: Not at all. I’m speaking the strict truth. I’ll tell you
all about her.

SONG — Mr. Goldbury.

A wonderful joy our eyes to bless, In her magnificent comeliness,
Is an English girl of eleven stone two, And five foot ten in her dancing shoe! She follows the hounds, and on the pounds– The “field” tails off and the muffs diminish–

Over the hedges and brooks she bounds, Straight as a crow, from find to finish. At cricket, her kin will lose or win– She and her maids, on grass and clover, Eleven maids out–eleven maids in– And perhaps an occasional “maiden over!”

Go search the world and search the sea, Then come you home and sing with me There’s no such gold and no such pearl As a bright and beautiful English girl!

With a ten-mile spin she stretches her limbs, She golfs, she punts, she rows, she swims– She plays, she sings, she dances, too, From ten or eleven til all is blue! At ball or drum, til small hours come (Chaperon’s fans concealing her yawning) She’ll waltz away like a teetotum. And never go home til daylight’s dawning. Lawn-tennis may share her favours fair– Her eyes a-dance, and her cheeks a-glowing– Down comes her hair, but then what does she care? It’s all her own and it’s worth the showing! Go search the world, etc.

Her soul is sweet as the ocean air, For prudery knows no haven there;
To find mock-modesty, please apply To the conscious blush and the downcast eye. Rich in the things contentment brings, In every pure enjoyment wealthy, Blithe and beautiful bird she sings, For body and mind are hale and healthy. Her eyes they thrill with right goodwill– Her heart is light as a floating feather– As pure and bright as the mountain rill That leaps and laughs in the Highland heather! Go search the world, etc.

QUARTET

Nek.: Then I may sing and play?

Lord D.: You may!

Kal.: Then I may laugh and shout?

Gold.: No doubt!.

Nek.: These maxims you endorse?

Lord D.: Of course!

Kal.: You won’t exclaim “Oh fie!”

Gold.: Not I!

Gold: Whatever you are–be that:
Whatever you say–be true: Straightforwardly act–
Be honest–in fact,
Be nobody else but you.

Lord D.: Give every answer pat–
Your character true unfurl; And when it is ripe,
You’ll then be a type Of a capital English girl.

All.: Oh sweet surprise–oh, dear delight, To find it undisputed quite,
All musty, fusty rules despite That Art is wrong and Nature right!

Nek.: When happy I,
With laughter glad
I’ll wake the echoes fairly, And only sigh
When I am sad–
And that will be but rarely!

Kal.: I’ll row and fish,
And gallop, soon–
No longer be a prim one– And when I wish
To hum a tune,
It needn’t be a hymn one?

Gold and Lord D.: No, no!
It needn’t be a hymn one!

All (dancing): Oh, sweet surprise and dear delight To find it undisputed quite–
All musty, fusty rules despite– That Art is wrong and Nature right!

(Dance, and off)
(Enter Lady Sophy)

RECITATIVE — Lady Sophy.

Oh, would some demon power the gift impart To quell my over-conscientious heart– Unspeak the oaths that never had been spoken, And break the vows that never should be broken!

SONG — Lady Sophy

When but a maid of fifteen year, Unsought–unplighted–
Short petticoated–and, I fear, Still shorter-sighted–
I made a vow, one early spring, That only to some spotless King
Who proof of blameless life could bring I’d be united.
For I had read, not long before, Of blameless kings in fairy lore,
And thought the race still flourished here– Well, well–
I was a maid of fifteen year!

(The King enters and overhears this verse)

Each morning I pursued my game
(An early riser);
For spotless monarchs I became An advertiser:
But all in vain I searched each land, So, kingless, to my native strand
Returned, a little older, and
A good deal wiser!

I learnt that spotless King and Prince Have disappeared some ages since–
Even Paramount’s angelic grace– Ah me!–
Is but a mask on Nature’s face! (King comes forward)

King: Ah, Lady Sophy–then you love me! For so you sing–

Lady S.: (Indignant and surprise. Producing “Palace Peeper”) No, by the stars that shine above me, Degraded King!
For while these rumours, through the city bruited, Remain uncontradicted, unrefuted,
The object thou of my aversion rooted, Repulsive thing!

King: Be just–the time is now at hand When truth may published be.
These paragraphs were written and Contributed by me!

Lady S.: By you? No, no!

King: Yes, yes. I swear, by me! I, caught in Scaphio’s ruthless toil, Contributed the lot!

Lady S.: That that is why you did not boil The author on the spot!

King: And that is why I did not boil The author on the spot!

Lady S.: I couldn’t think why you did not boil!

King: But I know why I did not boil The author on the spot!

DUET — Lady Sophy and King

Lady S.: Oh, the rapture unrestrained Of a candid retractation!
For my sovereign has deigned
A convincing explanation–
And the clouds that gathered o’er All have vanished in the distance, And the Kings of fairy lore
One, at least, is in existence!

King: Oh, the skies are blue above, And the earth is red and rosal,
Now the lady of my love
Has accepted my proposal!
For that asinorum pons
I have crossed without assistance, And of prudish paragons
One, at least, is in existence!

(King and Lady Sophy dance gracefully. While this is going on Lord Dramaleigh enters unobserved with Nekaya and Capt. Fitzbattleaxe. The
two girls direct Zara’s attention to the King and Lady Sophy, who
are still dancing affectionately together. At this point the King kisses Lady Sophy, which causes the Princesses to make an exclamation. The King and Lady Sophy are at first much confused at
being detected, but eventually throw off all reserve, and the four couples break into a wild Tarantella, and at the end exeunt
severally.)

Enter all the male Chorus, in great excitement, for various entrances,
led by Scaphio, Phantis, and Tarara, and followed by the female
Chorus.

CHORUS.

Upon our sea-girt land
At our enforced command
Reform has laid her hand
Like some remorseless ogress– And made us darkly rue
The deeds she dared to do– And all is owing to
Those hated Flowers of Progress!

So down with them!
So down with them!
Reform’s a hated ogress.
So down with them!
So down with them!
Down with the Flowers of Progress!

(Flourish. Enter King, his three daughters, Lady Sophy, and the Flowers
of Progress.)

King: What means this most unmannerly irruption? Is this your gratitude for boons conferred?

Scaphio: Boons? Bah! A fico for such boons, say we! These boons have brought Utopia to a standstill! Our pride and boast–the Army and the Navy– Have both been reconstructed and remodeled Upon so irresistible a basis
That all the neighboring nations have disarmed– And War’s impossible! Your County Councillor Has passed such drastic Sanitary laws That all doctors dwindle, starve, and die! The laws, remodeled by Sir Bailey Barre, Have quite extinguished crime and litigation: The lawyers starve, and all the jails are let As model lodgings for the working-classes! In short–Utopia, swamped by dull Prosperity, Demands that these detested Flowers of Progress Be sent about their business, and affairs Restored to their original complexion!

King: (to Zara) My daughter, this is a very unpleasant state of
things. What is to be done?

Zara: I don’t know–I don’t understand it. We must have omitted
something.

King: Omitted something? Yes, that’s all very well, but— (Sir
Bailey Barre whispers to Zara.)

Zara: (suddenly) Of course! Now I remember! Why, I had forgot-
ten the most essential element of all!

King: And that is?—

Zara: Government by Party! Introduce that great and glorious element–at once the bulwark and foundation of England’s greatness–and all will be well! No political measures will
endure, because one Party will assuredly undo all that the
other Party has done; and while grouse is to be shot, and foxes worried to death, the legislative action of the coun-
try will be at a standstill. Then there will be sickness in
plenty, endless lawsuits, crowded jails, interminable confu-
sion in the Army and Navy, and, in short, general and unex-
ampled prosperity!

All: Ulahlica! Ulahlica!

Phantis: (aside) Baffled!

Scaphio: But an hour will come!

King: Your hour has come already–away with them, and let them wait my will! (Scaphio and Phantis are led off in custody.)
From this moment Government by Party is adopted, with all its attendant blessings; and henceforward Utopia will no longer be a Monarchy Limited, but, what is a great deal better, a Limited Monarchy!

FINALE

Zara: There’s a little group of isles beyond the wave– So tiny, you might almost wonder where it is– That nation is the bravest of the brave, And cowards are the rarest of all rarities. The proudest nations kneel at her command; She terrifies all foreign-born rapscallions; And holds the peace of Europe in her hand With half a score invincible battalions!

Such, at least, is the tale Which is born on the gale,
From the island which dwells in the sea. Let us hope, for her sake
That she makes no mistake– That she’s all the professes to be!

King: Oh, may we copy all her maxims wise, And imitate her virtues and her charities; And may we, by degrees, acclimatize Her Parliamentary peculiarities! By doing so, we shall in course of time, Regenerate completely our entire land– Great Britain is the monarchy sublime, To which some add (others do not) Ireland. Such at least is the tale, etc.

CURTAIN.

THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD

or

The Merryman and His Maid

Book by
W.S. GILBERT

Music by
ARTHUR SULLIVAN

First produced at the Savoy Theatre in London, England, on October 3, 1888.

THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD
DRAMATIS PERSONAE

SIR RICHARD CHOLMONDELEY [pronounced Chum’lee] (Lieutenant of the Tower) Baritone

COLONEL FAIRFAX (under sentence of death) Tenor

SERGEANT MERYLL (of the Yeomen of the Guard) Bass/Baritone

LEONARD MERYLL (his son) Tenor

JACK POINT (a Strolling Jester) Light Baritone

WILFRED SHADBOLT
(Head Jailer and Assistant Tormentor) Bass/Baritone

THE HEADSMAN Non-singing

FIRST YEOMAN Baritone

SECOND YEOMAN Tenor

THIRD YEOMAN [optional] Baritone

FOURTH YEOMAN [optional] Tenor

FIRST CITIZEN Chorus

SECOND CITIZEN Chorus

ELSIE MAYNARD (a Strolling Singer) Soprano

PHOEBE MERYLL (Sergeant Meryll’s Daughter) Mezzo-Soprano

DAME CARRUTHERS (Housekeeper to the Tower) Contralto

KATE (her Niece) Soprano

Chorus of YEOMEN of the Guard, GENTLEMEN, CITIZENS, etc.

SCENE: Tower Green

16th Century

ACT I

[Scene.– Tower Green]

[Phoebe discovered spinning.

No. 1. When maiden loves, she sits and sighs (INTRODUCTION and SONG)
Phoebe

PHOEBE When maiden loves, she sits and sighs, She wanders to and fro;
Unbidden tear-drops fill her eyes, And to all questions she replies, With a sad “Heigh-ho!”

‘Tis but a little word–“Heigh-ho!” So soft, ’tis scarcely heard–“Heigh-ho!” An idle breath–
Yet life and death
May hang upon a maid’s “Heigh-ho!”

When maiden loves, she mopes apart, As owl mopes on a tree;
Although she keenly feels the smart, She cannot tell what ails her heart, With its sad “Ah, me!”

‘Tis but a foolish sigh–“Ah, me!” Born but to droop and die–“Ah, me!” Yet all the sense
Of eloquence
Lies hidden in a maid’s “Ah, me!”

Yet all the sense
Of eloquence
Lies hidden in a maid’s “Ah, me!” “Ah, me!”, “Ah, me!”

Yet all the sense
Of eloquence
Lies hidden in a maid’s “Ah, me!”

[PHOEBE weeps

[Enter WILFRED

WILFRED Mistress Meryll!

PHOEBE [looking up] Eh! Oh! it’s you, is it? You may go away,if you like. Because I don’t want you, you know.

WILFRED Haven’t you anything to say to me?

PHOEBE Oh yes! Are the birds all caged? The wild beasts all littered down? All the locks, chains, bolts, and bars in good order? Is the Little Ease sufficiently comfortable? The racks, pincers, and thumbscrews all ready for work? Ugh! you brute!

WILFRED These allusions to my professional duties are in doubtful taste. I didn’t become a head-jailer because I like head-jailing. I didn’t become an assistant- tormentor because I like assistant-tormenting. We can’t all be sorcerers, you know. [PHOEBE is annoyed] Ah! you brought that upon yourself.

PHOEBE Colonel Fairfax is not a sorcerer. He’s a man of science and an alchemist.

WILFRED Well, whatever he is, he won’t be one for long, for he’s to be beheaded to-day for dealings with the devil. His master nearly had him last night, when the fire broke out in the Beauchamp [pronounced Bee’cham] Tower.

PHOEBE Oh! how I wish he had escaped in the confusion! But take care; there’s still time for a reply to his petition for mercy.

WILFRED Ah! I’m content to chance that. This evening at half- past seven– ah! [Gesture of chopping off a head.]

PHOEBE You’re a cruel monster to speak so unfeelingly of the death of a young and handsome soldier.

WILFRED Young and handsome! How do you know he’s young and handsome?

PHOEBE Because I’ve seen him every day for weeks past taking his exercise on the Beauchamp [pronounced Bee’cham] Tower.

WILFRED Curse him!

PHOEBE There, I believe you’re jealous of him, now. Jealous of a man I’ve never spoken to! Jealous of a poor soul who’s to die in an hour!

WILFRED I am! I’m jealous of everybody and everything. I’m jealous of the very words I speak to you– because they reach your ears– and I mustn’t go near ’em!

PHOEBE How unjust you are! Jealous of the words you speak to me! Why, you know as well as I do that I don’t even like them.

WILFRED You used to like ’em.

PHOEBE I used to pretend I like them. It was mere politeness to comparative strangers.

[Exit PHOEBE, with spinning wheel

WILFRED I don’t believe you know what jealousy is! I don’t believe you know how it eats into a man’s heart– and disorders his digestion– and turns his interior into boiling lead. Oh, you are a heartless jade to trifle with the delicate organization of the human interior.

No. 1A. When jealous torments (OPTIONAL SONG)
Wilfred

WILFRED When jealous torments rack my soul, My agonies I can’t control,
Oh, better sit on red hot coal Than love a heartless jade.

The red hot coal will hurt no doubt, But red hot coals in time die out, But jealousy you can not rout,
Its fires will never fade.

It’s much less painful on the whole To go and sit on red hot coal
‘Til you’re completely flayed, Or ask a kindly friend to crack
Your wretched bones upon the rack Than love a heartless jade,
Than love a heartless jade.

The kerchief on your neck of snow I look on as a deadly foe,
It goeth where I dare not go And stops there all day long.

The belt that holds you in its grasp Is to my peace of mind a rasp, It claspeth what I can not clasp, Correct me if I’m wrong.

It’s much less painful on the whole To go and sit on red hot coal
‘Til you’re completely flayed, Or ask a kindly friend to crack
Your wretched bones upon the rack Than love a heartless jade,
Than love a heartless jade.

The bird that breakfasts on your lip, I would I had him in my grip,
He sippeth where I dare not sip, I can’t get over that.

The cat you fondle soft and sly, He layeth where I dare not lie. We’re not on terms, that cat and I. I do not like that cat.

It’s much less painful on the whole To go and sit on red hot coal
‘Til you’re completely flayed, Or ask a kindly friend to crack
Your wretched bones upon the rack Than love a heartless jade,
Than love a heartless jade.

Or ask a kindly friend to crack Your wretched bones upon the rack Than love a heartless jade.

[Exit WILFRED. Enter people excitedly, followed by YEOMEN of the Guard with SERGEANT MERYLL at rear.

No. 2. Tower warders, Under orders (Double Chorus)
CROWD and YEOMEN, with Solo 2ND YEOMEN

CROWD Tower warders,
Under orders,
Gallant pikemen, valiant sworders! Brave in bearing,
Foemen scaring,
In their bygone days of daring! Ne’er a stranger
There to danger–
Each was o’er the world a ranger; To the story
Of our glory
Each a bold, a bold contributory!

YEOMEN In the autumn of our life, Here at rest in ample clover,
We rejoice in telling over Our impetuous May and June. In the evening of our day,
With the sun of life declining, We recall without repining
All the heat of bygone noon, We recall without repining
All the heat,
We recall, recall
All of bygone noon.

2ND YEOMAN This the autumn of our life, This the evening of our day;
Weary we of battle strife,
Weary we of mortal fray.
But our year is not so spent, And our days are not so faded, But that we with one consent,
Were our loved land invaded, Still would face a foreign foe, As in days of long ago,
Still would face a foreign foe, As in days of long ago,
As in days of long ago, As in days of long ago.

YEOMEN Still would face a foreign foe, As in days of long ago.

CROWD Tower warders,
Under orders,
Gallant pikemen, valiant sworders! Brave in bearing, Foemen scaring, In their bygone days of daring!

CROWD YEOMEN

Tower warders, This the autumn of our life Under orders,
Gallant pikemen,
Valiant sworders
Brave in bearing, This the evening of our day; Foemen scaring,
In their bygone days of daring!

Ne’er a stranger Weary we of battle strife, There to danger
Each was o’er the world a ranger:

To the story Weary we of mortal fray. Of our glory
Each a bold,
A bold contributory.

To the story This the autumn of our life. Of our glory
Each a bold contributory! This the evening of our day, Each a bold contributory! This the evening of our day.

[Exit CROWD. Manent YEOMEN. Enter DAME CARRUTHERS.

DAME A good day to you!

2ND
YEOMAN Good day, Dame Carruthers. Busy to-day?

DAME Busy, aye! the fire in the Beauchamp [pronounced Bee’cham] last night has given me work enough. A dozen poor prisoners– Richard Colfax, Sir Martin Byfleet, Colonel Fairfax, Warren the preacher-poet, and half-a- score others– all packed into one small cell, not six feet square. Poor Colonel Fairfax, who’s to die to- day, is to be removed to no. 14 in the Cold Harbour that he may have his last hour alone with his confessor; and I’ve to see to that.

2ND
YEOMAN Poor gentleman! He’ll die bravely. I fought under him two years since, and he valued his life as it were a feather!

PHOEBE He’s the bravest, the handsomest, and the best young gentleman in England! He twice saved my father’s life; and it’s a cruel thing, a wicked thing, and a barbarous thing that so gallant a hero should lose his head– for it’s the handsomest head in England!

DAME For dealings with the devil. Aye! if all were beheaded who dealt with him, there’d be busy things on Tower Green.

PHOEBE You know very well that Colonel Fairfax is a student of alchemy– nothing more, and nothing less; but this wicked Tower, like a cruel giant in a fairy-tale, must be fed with blood, and that blood must be the best and bravest in England, or it’s not good enough for the old Blunderbore. Ugh!

DAME Silence, you silly girl; you know not what you say. I was born in the old keep, and I’ve grown grey in it, and, please God, I shall die and be buried in it; and there’s not a stone in its walls that is not as dear tome as my right hand.

No. 3. When our gallant Norman foes (SONG WITH CHORUS)
Dame Carruthers and Yeomen
DAME When our gallant Norman foes Made our merry land their own,
And the Saxons from the Conqueror were flying,

At his bidding it arose,
In its panoply of stone,
A sentinel unliving and undying.

Insensible, I trow,
As a sentinel should be,
Though a queen to save her head should come a-suing,
There’s a legend on its brow
That is eloquent to me,
And it tells of duty done and duty doing.

The screw may twist and the rack may turn, And men may bleed and men may burn, O’er London town and its golden hoard I keep my silent watch and ward!

CHORUS The screw may twist and the rack may turn, O’er London town and all its hoard, And men may bleed and men may burn, O’er London town and all its hoard, O’er London town and its golden hoard I keep my silent watch and ward!

DAME Within its wall of rock
The flower of the brave
Have perished with a constancy unshaken. From the dungeon to the block,
From the scaffold to the grave, Is a journey many gallant hearts have taken.

And the wicked flames may hiss
Round the heroes who have fought For conscience and for home in all its beauty, But the grim old fortalice
Takes little heed of aught
That comes not in the measure of its duty.

The screw may twist and the rack may turn, And men may bleed and men may burn, O’er London town and its golden hoard I keep my silent watch and ward!

CHORUS The screw may twist and the rack may turn, O’er London town and all its hoard, And men may bleed and men may burn, O’er London town and all its hoard, O’er London town and its golden hoard I keep my silent watch and ward!

[Exeunt all but PHOEBE. Enter SERGEANT MERYLL.

PHOEBE Father! Has no reprieve arrived for the poor gentleman?

MERYLL No, my lass; but there’s one hope yet. Thy brother Leonard, who, as a reward for his valour in saving his standard and cutting his way through fifty foes who would have hanged him, has been appointed a Yeoman of the Guard, will arrive to-day; and as he comes straight from Windsor, where the Court is, it may be– it may be– that he will bring the expected reprieve with him.

PHOEBE Oh, that he may!

MERYLL Amen to that! For the Colonel twice saved my life, and I’d give the rest of my life to save his! And wilt thou not be glad to welcome thy brave brother, with the fame of whose exploits all England is a-ringing?

PHOEBE Aye, truly, if he brings the reprieve.

MERYLL And not otherwise?

PHOEBE Well, he’s a brave fellow indeed, and I love brave men.

MERYLL All brave men?

PHOEBE Most of them, I verily believe! But I hope Leonard will not be too strict with me– they say he is a very dragon of virtue and circumspection! Now, my dear old father is kindness itself, and—-

MERYLL And leaves thee pretty well to thine own ways, eh? Well, I’ve no fears for thee; thou hast a feather- brain, but thou’rt a good lass.

PHOEBE Yes, that’s all very well, but if Leonard is going to tell me that I may not do this and I may not do that, and I must not talk to this one, or walk with that one, but go through the world with my lips pursed up and my eyes cats down, like a poor nun who has renounced mankind– why, as I have not renounced mankind, and don’t mean to renounce mankind, I won’t have it– there!

MERYLL Nay, he’ll not check thee more than is good for thee, Phoebe! He’s a brave fellow, and bravest among brave fellows, and yet it seems but yesterday that he robbed the Lieutenant’s orchard.

No. 3A. A laughing boy
(OPTIONAL SONG)
Sergeant Meryll

MERYLL A laughing boy but yesterday, A merry urchin blithe and gay, Whose joyous shout came ringing out Unchecked by care or sorrow.