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In a rough-and-tumble smother; Col’nel Fairfax and no other
Was the man to whom I clung!

ALL Col’nel Fairfax and no other, Was the man to whom he clung!

WILFRED After mighty tug and tussle–

POINT It resembled more a struggle–

WILFRED He, by dint of stronger muscle–

POINT Or by some infernal juggle–

WILFRED From my clutches quickly sliding–

POINT I should rather call it slipping–

WILFRED With a view, no doubt, of hiding–

POINT Or escaping to the shipping–

WILFRED With a gasp, and with a quiver–

POINT I’d describe it as a shiver–

WILFRED Down he dived into the river, And, alas, I cannot swim.

ALL It’s enough to make one shiver, With a gasp, and with a quiver,
Down he dived into the river; It was very brave of him!

WILFRED Ingenuity is catching;
With the view my King of pleasing, Arquebus from sentry snatching–

POINT I should rather call it seizing–

WILFRED With an ounce or two of lead I dispatched him through the head!

ALL With an ounce or two of lead He dispatched him through the head!

WILFRED I discharged it without winking, Little time I lost in thinking,
Like a stone I saw him sinking–

POINT I should say a lump of lead.

ALL He discharged it without winking, Little time he lost in thinking.

WILFRED Like a stone I saw him sinking–

POINT I should say a lump of lead.

WILFRED Like a stone, my boy, I said–

POINT Like a heavy lump of lead.

WILFRED Like a stone, my boy, I said–

POINT Like a heavy lump of lead.

WILFRED Anyhow, the man is dead, Whether stone or lump of lead!

ALL Anyhow, the man is dead,
Whether stone or lump of lead! Arquebus from sentry seizing,
With the view his King of pleasing, Arquebus from sentry seizing,
With the view his King of pleasing, Wilfred shot him through the head, And he’s very, very dead!

And it matters very little
Whether stone or lump of lead, It is very, very certain that
he’s very, very dead!

LIEUT. The river must be dragged– no time be lost; The body must be found, at any cost. To this attend without undue delay; So set to work with what dispatch ye may!

[Exit LIEUTENANT

ALL Yes, yes,
We’ll set to work with what dispatch we may!

[Men raise WILFRED, and carry him off on their shoulders.

ALL Hail the valiant fellow who
Did this deed of derring-do! Honours wait on such an one;
By my head, ’twas bravely done, ’twas bravely done!
Now, by my head, ’twas bravely done!

[Exeunt all but ELSIE, POINT, FAIRFAX, and PHOEBE.

POINT [to ELSIE, who is weeping] Nay, sweetheart, be comforted. This Fairfax was but a pestilent fellow, and, as he had to die, he might as well die thus as any other way. ‘Twas a good death.

ELSIE Still, he was my husband, and had he not been, he was nevertheless a living man, and now he is dead; and so, by your leave, my tears may flow unchidden, Master Point.

FAIRFAX And thou didst see all this?

POINT Aye, with both eyes at once– this and that. The testimony of one eye is naught– he may lie. But when it is corroborated by the other, it is good evidence that none may gainsay. Here are both present in court, ready to swear to him!

PHOEBE But art thou sure it was Colonel Fairfax? Saw you his face?

POINT Aye, and a plaguey ill-favoured face too. A very hang- dog face– a felon face– a face to fright the headsman himself, and make him strike awry. Oh, a plaguey, bad face, take my word for it. [PHOEBE and FAIRFAX laugh] How they laugh! “Tis ever thus with simple folk– an accepted wit has but to say “Pass the mustard,” and they roar their ribs out!

FAIRFAX [aside] If ever I come to life again, thou shalt pay for this, Master Point!

POINT Now, Elsie, thou art free to choose again, so behold me: I am young and well-favoured. I have a pretty wit. I can jest you, jibe you, quip you, crank you, wrack you, riddle you–

FAIRFAX Tush, man, thou knowest not how to woo. ‘Tis not to be done with time-worn jests and thread-bare sophistries; with quips, conundrums, rhymes, and paradoxes. ‘Tis an art in itself, and must be studied gravely and conscientiously.

No. 19. A man who would woo a fair maid (TRIO)
Elsie, Phoebe, and Fairfax

FAIRFAX A man who would woo a fair maid, Should ‘prentice himself to the trade; And study all day,
In methodical way,
How to flatter, cajole, and persuade.

He should ‘prentice himself at fourteen, And practise from morning to e’en; And when he’s of age,
If he will, I’ll engage,
He may capture the heart of a queen, the heart of a queen!

ALL It is purely a matter of skill, Which all may attain if they will. But every Jack
He must study the knack If he wants to make sure of his Jill! If he wants to make sure of his Jill!

ELSIE If he’s made the best use of his time, His twig he’ll so carefully lime That every bird
Will come down at his word, Whatever its plumage and clime.

He must learn that the thrill of a touch May mean little, or nothing, or much; It’s an instrument rare,
To be handled with care,
And ought to be treated as such, Ought to be treated as such.

ALL It is purely a matter of skill, Which all may attain if they will: But every Jack,
He must study the knack If he wants to make sure of his Jill! If he wants to make sure of his Jill!

PHOEBE Then a glance may be timid or free; It will vary in mighty degree,
From an impudent stare
To a look of despair
That no maid without pity can see! And a glance of despair is no guide– It may have its ridiculous side; It may draw you a tear
Or a box on the ear;
You can never be sure till you’ve tried! Never be sure till you’ve tried!

ALL It is purely a matter of skill, Which all may attain if they will: But every Jack,
He must study the knack
If he wants to make sure of his Jill, If he wants to make sure of his Jill! But every Jack,
He must study the knack,
But every Jack,
Must study the knack
If he wants to make sure of his Jill! Yes, every Jack,
Must study the knack
If he wants to make sure of his Jill!

FAIRFAX [aside to POINT] Now, listen to me– ’tis done thus– [aloud] Mistress Elsie, there is one here who, as thou knowest, loves thee right well!

POINT [aside] That he does– right well!

FAIRFAX He is but a man of poor estate, but he hath a loving, honest heart. He will be a true and trusty husband to thee, and if thou wilt be his wife, thou shalt lie curled up in his heart, like a little squirrel in its nest!

POINT [aside] ‘Tis a pretty figure. A maggot in a nut lies closer, but a squirrel will do.

FAIRFAX He knoweth that thou wast a wife– an unloved and unloving wife, and his poor heart was near to breaking. But now that thine unloving husband is dead, and thou art free, he would fain pray that thou wouldst hearken unto him, and give him hope that thou wouldst one day be his!

PHOEBE [alarmed] He presses her hands– and whispers in her ear! Ods bodikins, what does it mean?

FAIRFAX Now, sweetheart, tell me– wilt thou be this poor goodfellow’s wife?

ELSIE If the good, brave man– is he a brave man?

FAIRFAX So men say.

POINT [aside] That’s not true, but let it pass.

ELSIE If the brave man will be content with a poor, penniless, untaught maid–

POINT [aside] Widow– but let that pass.

ELSIE I will be his true and loving wife, and that with my heart of hearts!

FAIRFAX My own dear love! [Embracing her]

PHOEBE [in great agitation] Why, what’s all this? Brother– brother– it is not seemly!

POINT [also alarmed, aside] Oh, I can’t let that pass! [Aloud] Hold, enough, Master Leonard! An advocate should have his fee, but methinks thou art over-paying thyself!

FAIRFAX Nay, that is for Elsie to say. I promised thee I would show thee how to woo, and herein lies the proof of the virtue of my teaching. Go thou, and apply it elsewhere! [PHOEBE bursts into tears]

No. 20. When a wooer goes a-wooing (QUARTET)
Elsie, Phoebe, Fairfax, and Point

ELSIE When a wooer Goes a-wooing, Naught is truer Than his joy.

FAIRFAX Maiden hushing All his suing– Boldly blushing, bravely coy!
Bravely coy! Boldly blushing–

ELSIE Boldly blushing, bravely coy!

ALL Oh, the happy days of doing! Oh, the sighing and the suing! When a wooer goes a-wooing,
Oh the sweets that never cloy!

PHOEBE [weeping] When a brother leaves his sister For another, sister weeps,
Tears that trickle,
Tears that blister– ‘Tis but mickle Sister reaps!

ALL Oh, the doing and undoing, Oh, the sighing and the suing, When a brother goes a-wooing,
And a sobbing sister weeps!

POINT When a jester Is outwitted, Feelings fester, Heart is lead! Food for fishes Only fitted,
Jester wishes He was dead! Food for fishes Only fitted,
Jester wishes He was dead!

ALL Oh, the doing and undoing, Oh, the sighing and the suing, When a jester goes a-wooing,
And he wishes he was dead!

Oh, the doing and undoing,
Oh, the sighing and the suing, When a jester goes a-wooing,
And he wishes he was dead, And he wishes he was dead!

[Exeunt all but PHOEBE, who remains weeping.

PHOEBE And I helped that man to escape, and I’ve kept his secret, and pretended that I was his dearly loving sister, and done everything I could think of to make folk believe I was his loving sister, and this is his gratitude! Before I pretend to be sister to anybody again, I’ll turn nun, and be sister to everybody– one as much as another!

[Enter WILFRED

WILFRED In tears, eh? What a plague art thou grizzling for now?

PHOEBE Why am I grizzling? Thou hast often wept for jealousy– well, ’tis for jealousy I weep now. Aye, yellow, bilious, jaundiced jealousy. So make the most of that, Master Wilfred.

WILFRED But I have never given thee cause for jealousy. The Lieutenant’s cook-maid and I are but the merest gossips!

PHOEBE Jealous of thee! Bah! I’m jealous of no craven cock- on-a-hill, who crows about what he’d do an he dared! I am jealous of another and a better man than thou– set that down, Master Wilfred. And he is to marry Elsie Maynard, the pale little fool– set that down Master Wilfred– and my heart is wellnigh broken! There, thou hast it all! Make the most of it!

WILFRED The man thou lovest is to marry Elsie Maynard? Why, that is no other than thy brother, Leonard Meryll!

PHOEBE [aside] Oh, mercy! what have I said?

WILFRED Why, what matter of brother is this, thou lying little jade? Speak! Who is this man whom thou hast called brother, and fondled, and coddled, and kissed!– with my connivance, too! Oh Lord! with my connivance! Ha! should it be this Fairfax! [PHOEBE starts] It is! It is this accursed Fairfax! It’s Fairfax! Fairfax, who–

PHOEBE Whom thou hast just shot through the head, and who lies at the bottom of the river!

WILFRED A– I– I may have been mistaken. We are but fallible mortals, the best of us. But I’ll make sure– I’ll make sure. [Going]

PHOEBE Stay– one word. I think it cannot be Fairfax– mind, I say I think– because thou hast just slain Fairfax. But whether he be Fairfax or no Fairfax, he is to marry Elsie– and– and– as thou hast shot him through the head, and he is dead, be content with that, and I will be thy wife!

WILFRED Is that sure?

PHOEBE Aye, sure enough, for there’s no help for it! Thou art a very brute– but even brutes must marry, I suppose.

WILFRED My beloved. [Embraces her]

PHOEBE [aside] Ugh!

[Enter LEONARD MERYLL, hastily

LEONARD Phoebe, rejoice, for I bring glad tidings. Colonel Fairfax’s reprieve was signed two days since, but it was foully and maliciously kept back by Secretary Poltwhistle, who designed that it should arrive after the Colonel’s death. It hath just come to hand, and it is now in the Lieutenant’s possession!

PHOEBE Then the Colonel is free? Oh, kiss me, kiss me, my dear! Kiss me, again, and again!

WILFRED [dancing with fury] Ods bobs, death o’ my life! Art thou mad? Am I mad? Are we all mad?

PHOEBE Oh, my dear– my dear, I’m well nigh crazed with joy! [Kissing LEONARD]

WILFRED Come away from him, thou hussy– thou jade– thou kissing, clinging cockatrice! And as for thee, sir, devil take thee, I’ll rip thee like a herring for this! I’ll skin thee for it! I’ll cleave thee to the chine! I’ll– oh! Phoebe! Phoebe! Who is this man?

PHOEBE Peace, fool. He is my brother!

WILFRED Another brother! Are there any more of them? Produce them all at once, and let me know the worst!

PHOEBE This is the real Leonard, dolt; the other was but his substitute. The real Leonard, I say– my father’s own son.

WILFRED How do I know this? Has he “brother” writ large on his brow? I mistrust thy brothers! Thou art but a false jade!

[Exit LEONARD.

PHOEBE Now, Wilfred, be just. Truly I did deceive thee before– but it was to save a precious life– and to save it, not for me, but for another. They are to be wed this very day. Is not this enough for thee? Come– I am thy Phoebe– thy very own– and we will be wed in a year– or two– or three, at the most. Is not that enough for thee?

[Enter SERGEANT MERYLL, excitedly, followed by DAME CARRUTHERS, who listens, unobserved.

MERYLL Phoebe, hast thou heard the brave news?

PHOEBE [still in WILFRED’s arms] Aye, father.

MERYLL I’m nigh mad with joy! [Seeing WILFRED] Why, what’s all this?

PHOEBE Oh, father, he discovered our secret thorough my folly, and the price of his silence is–

WILFRED Phoebe’s heart.

PHOEBE Oh, dear, no– Phoebe’s hand.

WILFRED It’s the same thing!

PHOEBE Is it?

[Exeunt WILFRED and PHOEBE.

MERYLL [looking after them] “Tis pity, but the Colonel had to be saved at any cost, and as thy folly revealed our secret, thy folly must e’en suffer for it!

[DAME CARRUTHERS comes down] Dame Carruthers!

DAME So this is a plot to shield this arch-fiend, and I have detected it. A word from me, and three heads besides his would roll from their shoulders!

MERYLL Nay, Colonel Fairfax is reprieved. [Aside] Yet, if my complicity in his escape were known! Plague on the old meddler! There’s nothing for it–
[aloud]– Hush, pretty one! Such bloodthirsty words ill become those cherry lips!
[Aside] Ugh!

DAME [bashfully] Sergeant Meryll!

MERYLL Why, look ye, chuck– for many a month I’ve– I’ve thought to myself– “There’s snug love saving up in that middle-aged bosom for some one, and why not for thee– that’s me– so take heart and tell her– that’s thee– that thou– that’s me– lovest her– thee– and– and– well,I’m a miserable old man, and I’ve done it– and that’s me!” But not a word about Fairfax! The price of thy silence is–

DAME Meryll’s heart?

MERYLL No, Meryll’s hand.

DAME It’s the same thing!

MERYLL Is it?

No. 21. Rapture, rapture
(DUET)
Dame Carruthers and Sergeant Meryll

DAME Rapture, rapture
When love’s votary,
Flushed with capture,
Seeks the notary,
Joy and jollity
Then is polity;
Reigns frivolity!
Rapture, rapture!
Joy and jollity
Then is polity;
Reigns frivolity!
Rapture, rapture!

MERYLL Doleful, doleful!
When humanity
With its soul full
Of satanity,
Courting privity,
Down declivity
Seeks captivity!
Doleful, doleful!
Courting privity,
Down declivity
Seeks captivity!
Doleful, doleful!

DAME Joyful, joyful!
When virginity
Seeks, all coyful,
Man’s affinity;
Fate all flowery,
Bright and bowery,
Is her dowery!
Joyful, joyful!
Fate all flowery,
Bright and bowery,
Is her dowery!
Joyful, joyful!

MERYLL Ghastly, ghastly!
When man, sorrowful,
Firstly, lastly,
Of to-morrow full,
After tarrying,
Yields to harrying–
Goes a-marrying.
Ghastly, ghastly!

DAME Joyful, joyful!

MERYLL Ghastly, ghastly!

DAME Joyful, joyful!

MERYLL Ghastly, ghastly!

DAME MERYLL

Joyful, joyful! Ghastly, ghastly! Joyful, joyful, joyful! Ghastly, ghastly,ghastly!

Rapture, rapture Doleful, doleful! When love’s votary, When humanity Flushed with capture, With its soul full Seeks the notary, Of satanity,
Joy and jollity Courting privity, Then is polity; Down declivity Reigns frivolity! Seeks captivity! Rapture, rapture! Doleful, doleful! Joy and jollity Courting privity, Then is polity; Down declivity Reigns frivolity! Seeks captivity! Rapture, rapture! Doleful, doleful! Rapture, rapture! Doleful, doleful! Rapture, rapture, Doleful, doleful, Rapture, rapture! Doleful, doleful! Joy and jollity Courting privity, Then is polity; Down declivity Reigns frivolity! Seeks captivity! Rapture, rapture! Doleful, doleful!

[Exeunt DAME and SERGEANT MERYLL.

No. 22. Comes the pretty young bride (FINALE OF ACT II)
Ensemble

[Enter YEOMEN and WOMEN

WOMEN Comes the pretty young bride, a-blushing, timidly shrinking– Set all thy fears aside–
cheerily, pretty young bride! Brave is the youth to whom thy lot thou art willingly linking!
Flower of valour he–
loving as loving can be!
Brightly thy summer is shining, Brightly thy summer is shining,
Fair as the dawn, as the dawn of the day; Take him, be true to him–
Tender his due to him–
Honour him, honour him, love and obey!

[Enter DAME, PHOEBE, and ELSIE as Bride

PHOEBE, ELSIE
& DAME ‘Tis said that joy in full perfection Comes only once to womankind– That, other times, on close inspection, Some lurking bitter we shall find. If this be so, and men say truly, My day of joy has broken duly
With happiness my/her soul is cloyed– With happiness is cloyed–
With happiness my/her soul is cloyed– This is my/her joy-day
unalloyed, unalloyed, This is my/her joy-day unalloyed!

ALL Yes, yes, with happiness her soul is cloyed! This is her joy-day unalloyed!

[Flourish. Enter LIEUTENANT

LIEUT. Hold, pretty one! I bring to thee News– good or ill, it is for thee to say. Thy husband lives– and he is free, And comes to claim his bride this very day!

ELSIE No! No! recall those words– it cannot be!

[all four blocks below sung at once]

KATE and CHORUS DAME CARRUTHERS and PHOEBE

Oh, day of terror! Oh, day of terror! Oh, day of terror! Oh, day of terror! Day of terror! The man to whom thou art Day of tears! allied
Day of terror! Appears to claim thee Day of tears! as his bride.

Who is the man who, The man to whom thou art In his pride, allied
Claims thee as his bride? And claim me as his bride. Day of terror! Day of terror! Day of tears! Day of tears!

LIEUT., MERYLL, and WILFRED ELSIE

Come, dry these unbecoming tears, Most joyful tidings greet
thine ears,
Come, dry these unbecoming tears, Oh, Leonard, Most joyful tidings greet Oh,Leonard, thine ears, Come thou to my side,

The man to whom thou art allied And claim me as Appears to claim thee thy loving bride! as his bride. Day of terror! The man to whom thou art allied Day of tears! Appears to claim thee
as his bride.

[Flourish. Enter COLONEL FAIRFAX, handsomely dressed,and attended by other Gentlemen

FAIRFAX [sternly] All thought of Leonard Meryll set aside.
Thou art mine own! I claim thee as my bride.

ALL Thou art his own!
Alas! he claims thee as his bride.

ELSIE A suppliant at thy feet I fall; Thine heart will yield to pity’s call!

FAIRFAX Mine is a heart of massive rock, Unmoved by sentimental shock!

ALL Thy husband he!

ELSIE [aside] Leonard, my loved one– come to me. They bear me hence away!
But though they take me far from thee, My heart is thine for aye!

My bruised heart,
My broken heart,
Is thine, my own, for aye!
Is thine, is thine, my own, Is thine, for aye!

ELSIE [To FAIRFAX] Sir, I obey!
I am thy bride;
But ere the fatal hour
I said the say
That placed me in thy pow’r Would I had died!
Sir, I obey!
I am thy bride!

[Looks up and recognizes FAIRFAX

Leonard!

FAIRFAX My own!

ELSIE Ah! [Embrace]

ELSIE &
FAIRFAX With happiness my soul is cloyed, This is our joy-day unalloyed!

ALL Yes, yes!
With happiness their souls are cloyed, This is their joy-day unalloyed! With happiness their souls are cloyed, This is their joy-day unalloyed, Their joy-day unalloyed, unalloyed!

[Enter JACK POINT

POINT Oh, thoughtless crew!
Ye know not what ye do!
Attend to me, and shed a tear or two– For I have a song to sing, O!

ALL Sing me your song, O!

POINT It is sung to the moon By a love-lorn loon,
Who fled from the mocking throng, O! It’s a song of a merryman, moping mum, Whose soul was sad, and whose glance was glum, Who sipped no sup, and who craved no crumb, As he sighed for the love of a ladye.

ALL Heighdy! heighdy!
Misery me–lack-a-day-dee! He sipped no sup, and he craved no crumb, As he sighed for the love of a ladye!

ELSIE I have a song to sing, O!

ALL What is your song, O!

ELSIE It is sung with the ring Of the songs maids sing
Who love with a love life-long, O! It’s the song of a merrymaid, peerly proud, [optional– nestling near,] Who loved her lord, and who laughed aloud [optional– but dropped a tear] At the moan of the merryman, moping mum, Whose soul was sad, and whose glance was glum, Who sipped no sup, and who craved no crumb, As he sighed for the love of a ladye!

ALL Heighdy! heighdy!
Misery me–lack-a-day-dee! He sipped no sup, and he craved no crumb, As he sighed for the love of a ladye!

Heighdy! heighdy!
Misery me–lack-a-day-dee! He sipped no sup, and he craved no crumb, As he sighed for the love of a ladye!

Heighdy! heighdy!
Heighdy! heighdy!
Heighdy! heighdy!

[FAIRFAX embraces ELSIE as POINT falls insensible at their feet.

CURTAIN
PATIENCE

or

Bunthorne’s Bride

Book by
W.S. GILBERT

Music by
ARTHUR SULLIVAN

First produced at the Opera Comique, London, on April 23, 1881.

PATIENCE
DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Officers of Dragoon Guards
COLONEL CALVERLEY Baritone MAJOR MURGATROYD Baritone
LIEUT. THE DUKE OF DUNSTABLE Tenor

REGINALD BUNTHORNE (A Fleshly Poet) Light Baritone

ARCHIBALD GROSVENOR (An Idyllic Poet) Baritone

MR. BUNTHORNE’S SOLICITOR Non-singing

Rapturous Maidens
THE LADY ANGELA Mezzo-Soprano THE LADY SAPHIR Mezzo-Soprano THE LADY ELLA Soprano
THE LADY JANE Contralto

PATIENCE (A Dairy Maid) Soprano

Chorus of Rapturous MAIDENS and Officers of DRAGOON GUARDS

ACT I–Exterior of Castle Bunthorne

ACT II–A Glade

ACT I

[Scene: Exterior of Castle Bunthorne, the gateway to which is seen, R.U.E., and is approached by a drawbridge over a moat. A rocky eminence R. with steps down to the stage. In front of it, a rustic bench, on which ANGELA is seated, with ELLA on her left. Young Ladies wearing aesthetic draperies are grouped about the stage from R. to L.C., SAPHIR being near the L. end of the group. The Ladies play on lutes, etc., as they sing, and all are in the last stage of despair.]

No. 1. Twenty love-sick maidens we (Opening Chorus and Solos)
Maidens, Angela, and Ella

MAIDENS Twenty love-sick maidens we, Love-sick all against our will.
Twenty years hence we shall be Twenty love-sick maidens still!
Twenty love-sick maidens we,
And we die for love of thee! Twenty love-sick maidens we,
Love-sick all against our will. Twenty years hence we shall be
Twenty love-sick maidens still!

ANGELA Love feeds on hope, they say, or love will die;

MAIDENS Ah, miserie!

ANGELA Yet my love lives, although no hope have I!

MAIDENS Ah, miserie!

ANGELA Alas, poor heart, go hide thyself away, To weeping concords tune thy roundelay! Ah, miserie!

MAIDENS All our love is all for one, Yet that love he heedeth not,
He is coy and cares for none,
Sad and sorry is our lot!
Ah, miserie!

ELLA Go, breaking heart,
Go, dream of love requited! Go, foolish heart,
Go, dream of lovers plighted; Go, madcap heart,
Go, dream of never waking;
And in thy dream
Forget that thou art breaking!

MAIDENS Ah, miserie!

ELLA Forget that thou art breaking!

MAIDENS Twenty love-sick maidens we, Love-sick all against our will.
Twenty years hence we shall be Twenty love-sick maidens still.
Ah, miserie!

ANGELA There is a strange magic in this love of ours! Rivals as we all are in the affections of our Reginald, the very hopelessness of our love is a bond that binds us to one another!

SAPHIR Jealousy is merged in misery. While he, the very cynosure of our eyes and hearts, remains icy insensible — what have we to strive for?

ELLA The love of maidens is, to him, as interesting as the taxes!

SAPHIR Would that it were! He pays his taxes.

ANGELA And cherishes the receipts!

[Enter LADY JANE, L.U.E.]

SAPHIR Happy receipts! [All sigh heavily]

JANE [L.C., suddenly] Fools! [They start, and turn to her]

ANGELA I beg your pardon?

JANE Fools and blind! The man loves — wildly loves!

ANGELA But whom? None of us!

JANE No, none of us. His weird fancy has lighted, for the nonce, on Patience, the village milkmaid!

SAPHIR On Patience? Oh, it cannot be!

JANE Bah! But yesterday I caught him in her dairy, eating fresh butter with a tablespoon. Today he is not well!

SAPHIR But Patience boasts that she has never loved — that love is, to her, a sealed book! Oh, he cannot be serious!

JANE `Tis but a fleeting fancy — `twill quickly wear away. [aside, coming down-stage] Oh, Reginald, if you but knew what a wealth of golden love is waiting for you, stored up in this rugged old bosom of mine, the milkmaid’s triumph would be short indeed!

[PATIENCE appears on an eminence, R. She looks down with pity on the despondent Ladies.]

No. 2. Still brooding on their mad infatuation! (Recitative)
Patience, Saphir, Angela, and Maidens

PATIENCE Still brooding on their mad infatuation! I thank thee, Love, thou comest not to me! Far happier I, free from thy ministration, Than dukes or duchesses who love can be!

SAPHIR [looking up] `Tis Patience — happy girl! Loved by a poet!

PATIENCE Your pardon, ladies. I intrude upon you! [Going]

ANGELA Nay, pretty child, come hither. [PATIENCE descends.] Is it true that you have never loved?

PATIENCE Most true indeed.

SOPRANOS Most marvelous!

ALTOS And most deplorable!

I cannot tell what this love may be (Solo)
Patience

PATIENCE I cannot tell what this love may be [L.C.] That cometh to all but not to me. It cannot be kind as they’d imply, Or why do these ladies sigh?

It cannot be joy and rapture deep, Or why do these gentle ladies weep? It cannot be blissful as `tis said, Or why are their eyes so wondrous red?

Though ev’rywhere true love I see A-coming to all, but not to me, I cannot tell what this love may be! For I am blithe and I am gay, While they sit sighing night and day.

PATIENCE ALL

For I am blithe and I am gay, Yes, she is blithe and she is gay,
Think of the gulf `twixt Yes, she is blithe and them and me, she is gay,
Think of the gulf `twixt them, Yes, she is blithe and and me, and she is gay,
Fal la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la,
and miserie! Ah, miserie!

[She dances across R. and back to R.C.]

PATIENCE If love is a thorn, they show no wit Who foolishly hug and foster it.
If love is a weed, how simple they Who gather it, day by day!

If love is a nettle that makes you smart, Then why do you wear it next your heart? And if it be none of these, say I,
Ah, why do you sit and sob and sigh?

Though ev’rywhere true love I see A-coming to all, but not to me,
I cannot tell what this love may be! For I am blithe and I am gay,
While they sit sighing night and day.

PATIENCE ALL

For I am blithe and I Yes, she is blithe and she is am gay, gay,
Think of the gulf `twixt Yes, she is blithe and she is them and me, gay,
Think of the gulf `twixt Yes, she is blithe and she is them and me, gay,
Fal la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la,
and miserie! Ah, miserie!

ANGELA Ah, Patience, if you have never loved, you have never known true happiness! [All sigh.]

PATIENCE [C.] But the truly happy always seem to have so much on their minds. The truly happy never seem quite well.

JANE [coming L.C.] There is a transcendentality of delirium — an acute accentuation of supremest ecstasy — which the earthy might easily mistake for indigestion. But it is not indigestion — it is aesthetic transfiguration! [to the others.] Enough of babble. Come!

PATIENCE [stopping her as she turns to go up C.] But stay, I have some news for you. The 35th Dragoon Guards have halted in the village, and are even now on their way to this very spot.

ANGELA The 35th Dragoon Guards!

SAPHIR They are fleshly men, of full habit!

ELLA We care nothing for Dragoon Guards!

PATIENCE But, bless me, you were all engaged to them a year ago!

SAPHIR A year ago!

ANGELA My poor child, you don’t understand these things. A year ago they were very well in our eyes, but since then our tastes have been etherealized, our perceptions exalted. [to the others] Come, it is time to lift up our voices in morning carol to our Reginald. Let us to his door!

[ANGELA leading, the Ladies go off, two and two, Jane last, over the drawbridge into the castle, singing refrain of “Twenty love-sick maidens”, and, as before, accompanying themselves on harps, etc.]

No. 2a. Twenty love-sick maidens we (Chorus)
Maidens

MAIDENS Twenty love-sick maidens we, Love-sick all against our will.
Twenty years hence we shall be Twenty love-sick maidens still!
Ah, miserie!

[PATIENCE watches them in surprise, and, with a gesture of complete bafflement, climbs the rock and goes off the way she entered.]

[The officers of the DRAGOON GUARDS enter, R., led by the MAJOR. They form their line across the front of the stage.]

No. 3. The soldiers of our Queen (Chorus and Solo)
Dragoons and Colonel

DRAGOONS The soldiers of our Queen Are linked in friendly tether; Upon the battle scene
They fight the foe together.

There ev’ry mother’s son
Prepared to fight and fall is; The enemy of one
The enemy of all is!
The enemy of one
The enemy of all is!

[On an order from the MAJOR they fall back.]

[Enter the COLONEL. All salute.]

COLONEL If you want a receipt for that popular mystery, [C.] Known to the world as a Heavy Dragoon,

DRAGOONS [saluting] Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

COLONEL Take all the remarkable people in history, Rattle them off to a popular tune.

DRAGOONS Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

COLONEL The pluck of Lord Nelson on board of the Victory– Genius of Bismarck devising a plan– The humour of Fielding (which sounds contradictory)– Coolness of Paget about to trepan– The science of Jullien, the eminent musico– Wit of Macaulay, who wrote of Queen Anne– The pathos of Paddy, as rendered by Boucicault– Style of the Bishop of Sodor and Man– The dash of a D’Orsay, divested of quackery– Narrative powers of Dickens and Thackeray– Victor Emmanuel — peak-haunting Peveril– Thomas Aquinas, and Doctor Sacheverell– Tupper and Tennyson — Daniel Defoe– Anthony Trollope and Mister Guizot! Ah!

DRAGOONS Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

COLONEL DRAGOONS

Take of these elements all A Heavy Dragoon, that is fusible a Heavy Dragoon, Melt them all down in a A Heavy Dragoon, pipkin or crucible– a Heavy Dragoon, Set them to simmer, A Heavy Dragoon, and take off the scum, a Heavy Dragoon, And a Heavy Dragoon Is the residuum! is the residuum!

COLONEL If you want a receipt for this soldier-like paragon, Get at the wealth of the Czar (if you can)– The family pride of a Spaniard from Aragon– Force of Mephisto pronouncing a ban– A smack of Lord Waterford, reckless and rollicky– Swagger of Roderick, heading his clan– The keen penetration of Paddington Pollaky– Grace of an Odalisque on a divan– The genius strategic of Caesar or Hannibal– Skill of Sir Garnet in thrashing a cannibal– Flavour of Hamlet — the Stranger, a touch of him– Little of Manfred (but not very much of him)– Beadle of Burlington — Richardson’s show– Mister Micawber and Madame Tussaud! Ah!

DRAGOONS Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

COLONEL DRAGOONS

Take of these elements all A Heavy Dragoon, that is fusible a Heavy Dragoon, Melt them all down in a A Heavy Dragoon, pipkin or crucible– a Heavy Dragoon, Set them to simmer, A Heavy Dragoon, and take off the scum, a Heavy Dragoon, And a Heavy Dragoon Is the residuum! is the residuum!

COLONEL Well, here we are once more on the scene of our former triumphs. But where’s the Duke?

[Enter DUKE, listlessly, and in low spirits.]

DUKE Here I am! [Sighs.]

COLONEL Come, cheer up, don’t give way!

DUKE Oh, for that, I’m as cheerful as a poor devil can be expected to be who has the misfortune to be a Duke, with a thousand a day!

MAJOR Humph! Most men would envy you!

DUKE Envy me? Tell me, Major, are you fond of toffee?

MAJOR Very!

COLONEL We are all fond of toffee.

ALL We are!

DUKE Yes, and toffee in moderation is a capital thing. But to live on toffee — toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea — to have it supposed that you care for nothing but toffee, and that you would consider yourself insulted if anything but toffee were offered to you — how would you like that?

COLONEL I can quite believe that, under those circumstances, even toffee would become monotonous.

DUKE For “toffee” read flattery, adulation, and abject deference, carried to such a pitch that I began, at last, to think that man was born bent at an angle of forty-five degrees! Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?

COLONEL You’re about as commonplace a young man as ever I saw.

ALL You are!

DUKE Exactly! That’s it exactly! That describes me to a T! Thank you all very much! [Shakes hands with the Colonel] Well, I couldn’t stand it any longer, so I joined this second-class cavalry regiment. In the army, thought I, I shall be occasionally snubbed, perhaps even bullied, who knows? The thought was rapture, and here I am.

COLONEL [looking off] Yes, and here are the ladies!

DUKE But who is the gentleman with the long hair?

COLONEL I don’t know.

DUKE He seems popular!

COLONEL He does seem popular!

[The DRAGOONS back up R., watching the entrance of the Ladies. BUNTHORNE enters, L.U.E., followed by the Ladies, two and two, playing on harps as before. He is composing a poem, and is quite absorbed. He sees no one, but walks across the stage, followed by the Ladies, who take no notice of the DRAGOONS — to the surprise and indignation of those officers.]

[Bunthorne, the Ladies following, comes slowly down L. and then crosses the stage to R.]

No. 4. In a doleful train
(Chorus and Solos)
Maidens, Ella, Angela, Saphir, Dragoons, and Bunthorne

MAIDENS In a doleful train
Two and two we walk all day– For we love in vain!
None so sorrowful as they
Who can only sigh and say, Woe is me, alackaday!
Woe is me, alackaday!

DRAGOONS Now is not this ridiculous, and is not this preposterous?
A thorough-paced absurdity — explain it if you can.
Instead of rushing eagerly to cherish us and foster us, They all prefer this melancholy literary man. Instead of slyly peering at us, Casting looks endearing at us, Blushing at us, flushing at us, flirting with a fan; They’re actually sneering at us, fleering at us, jeering at us!
Pretty sort of treatment for a military man! They’re actually sneering at us, fleering at us, jeering at us!
Pretty sort of treatment for a military man!

[Bunthorne, C.]

ANGELA [R. of BUNTHORNE] Mystic poet, hear our prayer, Twenty love-sick maidens we–
Young and wealthy, dark and fair, All of county family.
And we die for love of thee– Twenty love-sick maidens we!

MAIDENS Yes, we die for love of thee– Twenty love-sick maidens we!

BUNTHORNE [crossing to L.] Though my book I seem to scan In a rapt ecstatic way,
Like a literary man
Who despises female clay,
I hear plainly all they say,
Twenty love-sick maidens they!

[BUNTHORNE crosses to C.]

DRAGOONS [to each other] He hears plainly all they say, Twenty love-sick maidens they!

SAPHIR [L. of BUNTHORNE] Though so excellently wise, For a moment mortal be,
Deign to raise thy purple eyes From thy heart-drawn poesy.
Twenty lovesick maidens see–
Each is kneeling on her knee!

[All kneel.]

MAIDENS Twenty love-sick maidens see– Each is kneeling on her knee!

BUNTHORNE [going R.] Though, as I remarked before, Any one convinced would be
That some transcendental lore
Is monopolizing me,
Round the corner I can see
Each is kneeling on her knee!

DRAGOONS Round the corner he can see
Each is kneeling on her knee!

Now is not this ridiculous, and is not this preposterous? A thorough-paced absurdity — ridiculous! preposterous!
Explain it if you can.

MAIDENS DRAGOONS

In a doleful train Now is not this ridiculous, Two and two we walk all day, and is not this preposterous? A thorough-paced absurdity– None so sorrowful as they explain it if you can.

For we love in vain! Instead of rushing eagerly None so sorrowful as they to cherish us and foster us, They all prefer this
melancholy literary man.

Who can only sigh and say, Instead of slyly peering at us, Casting looks endearing at us, Blushing at us, flushing at us, Flirting with a fan;

Woe is me, alackaday! They’re actually sneering at us, fleering at us, jeering at us! Pretty sort of treatment for a military man!

Woe is me, alackaday! They’re actually sneering at us, fleering at us, jeering at us! Pretty sort of treatment for a military man!

Twenty love-sick maidens we, Now is not this ridiculous, and is not this preposterous? They all prefer this melancholy literary man.

And we die for love of thee! Now is not this ridiculous, and is not this preposterous? They all prefer this melancholy, Yes, we die for love of thee! melancholy literary man. Now is not this ridiculous, and is not this preposterous?

COLONEL [R.C.] Angela! what is the meaning of this?

ANGELA [C.] Oh, sir, leave us; our minds are but ill-tuned to light love-talk.

MAJOR [L.C.] But what in the world has come over you all?

JANE [L.C.] Bunthorne! He has come over us. He has come among us, and he has idealized us.

DUKE Has he succeeded in idealizing you?

JANE He has!

DUKE Good old Bunthorne!

JANE My eyes are open; I droop despairingly; I am soulfully intense; I am limp and I cling!

[During this BUNTHORNE is seen in all the agonies of composition. The Ladies are watching him intently as he writhes. At last he hits on the word he wants and writes it down. A general sense of relief.]

BUN. Finished! At last! Finished!

[He staggers, overcome with the mental strain, into the arms of the COLONEL.]

COLONEL Are you better now?

BUN. Yes — oh, it’s you! — I am better now. The poem is finished, and my soul has gone out into it. That was all. It was nothing worth mentioning, it occurs three times a day.

[Sees PATIENCE, who has entered during this scene.]

Ah, Patience! Dear Patience!

[Holds her hand; she seems frightened.]

ANGELA Will it please you read it to us, sir?

SAPHIR This we supplicate. [All kneel.]

BUN. Shall I?

DRAGOONS No!

BUN. [annoyed — to PATIENCE] I will read it if you bid me!

PATIENCE [much frightened] You can if you like!

BUN. It is a wild, weird, fleshy thing; yet very tender, very yearning, very precious. It is called, “Oh, Hollow! Hollow! Hollow!”

PATIENCE Is it a hunting song?

BUN. A hunting song? No, it is not a hunting song. It is the wail of the poet’s heart on discovering that everything is commonplace. To understand it, cling passionately to one another and think of faint lilies.
[They do so as he recites]

“OH, HOLLOW! HOLLOW! HOLLOW!”

What time the poet hath hymned
The writhing maid, lithe-limbed, Quivering on amaranthine asphodel, How can he paint her woes,
Knowing, as well he knows,
That all can be set right with calomel?

When from the poet’s plinth
The amorous colocynth
Yearns for the aloe, faint with rapturous thrills, How can he hymn their throes
Knowing, as well he knows,
That they are only uncompounded pills?

Is it, and can it be,
Nature hath this decree,
Nothing poetic in the world shall dwell? Or that in all her works
Something poetic lurks,
Even in colocynth and calomel? I cannot tell.

[He goes off, L.U.E. All turn and watch him, not speaking until he has gone.]

ANGELA How purely fragrant!

SAPHIR How earnestly precious!

PATIENCE Well, it seems to me to be nonsense.

SAPHIR Nonsense, yes, perhaps — but oh, what precious nonsense!

COLONEL This is all very well, but you seem to forget that you are engaged to us.

SAPHIR It can never be. You are not Empyrean. You are not Della Cruscan. You are not even Early English. Oh, be Early English ere it is too late!

[Officers look at each other in astonishment.]

JANE [looking at uniform] Red and Yellow! Primary colors! Oh, South Kensington!

DUKE We didn’t design our uniforms, but we don’t see how they could be improved!

JANE No, you wouldn’t. Still, there is a cobwebby grey velvet, with a tender bloom like cold gravy, which, made Florentine fourteenth century, trimmed with Venetian leather and Spanish altar lace, and surmounted with something Japanese — it matters not what — would at least be Early English! Come, maidens.

[Exeunt Maidens, L.U.E., two and two, singing refrain of “Twenty love-sick maidens we”. PATIENCE goes off L. The Officers watch the Ladies go off in astonishment.]

No. 4a. Twenty love-sick maidens we (Chorus)
Maidens

[As the MAIDENS depart, the DRAGOONS spread across the stage.]

MAIDENS Twenty love-sick maidens we, Love-sick all against our will.
Twenty years hence we shall be Twenty love-sick maidens still!
Ah, miserie!

DUKE Gentlemen, this is an insult to the British uniform.

COLONEL A uniform that has been as successful in the courts of Venus as on the field of Mars!

No. 5. When I first put this uniform on (Solo and Chorus)
Colonel and Dragoons

[The DRAGOONS form their original line.]

Song — COLONEL

When I first put this uniform on,
I said, as I looked in the glass, “It’s one to a million
That any civilian
My figure and form will surpass. Gold lace has a charm for the fair, And I’ve plenty of that, and to spare, While a lover’s professions,
When uttered in Hessians, Are eloquent ev’rywhere!”
A fact that I counted upon, When I first put this uniform on!

Chorus of DRAGOONS

By a simple coincidence, few
Could ever have counted upon, The same thing occurred to me,
When I first put this uniform on!

COL. I said, when I first put it on, “It is plain to the veriest dunce, That every beauty
Will feel it her duty
To yield to its glamour at once. They will see that I’m freely gold-laced In a uniform handsome and chaste”– But the peripatetics
Of long-haired aesthetics
Are very much more to their taste– Which I never counted upon,
When I first put this uniform on!

CHORUS By a simple coincidence, few
Could ever have reckoned upon, I didn’t anticipate that,
When I first put this uniform on!

[The DRAGOONS go off angrily, R.]

[Enter BUNTHORNE, L.U.E., who changes his manner and becomes intensely melodramatic.]

No. 6. Am I alone and unobserved? (Recitative and Solo)
Bunthorne

BUN. [Up-stage, he looks off L. and R.] Am I alone,
And unobserved? I am!
[comes down]
Then let me own
I’m an aesthetic sham!
[and walks tragically to down-stage, C.]

This air severe
Is but a mere
Veneer!

This cynic smile
Is but a wile
Of guile!

This costume chaste
Is but good taste
Misplaced!

Let me confess!
A languid love for Lilies does not blight me! Lank limbs and haggard cheeks do not delight me! I do not care for dirty greens
By any means.
I do not long for all one sees That’s Japanese.
I am not fond of uttering platitudes In stained-glass attitudes.
In short, my mediaevalism’s affectation, Born of a morbid love of admiration!

[Tiptoes up-stage, looking L. and R., and comes back down, C.]

If you’re anxious for to shine in the high aesthetic line as a man of culture rare,
You must get up all the germs of the transcendental terms, and plant them ev’rywhere.
You must lie upon the daisies and discourse in novel phrases of your complicated state of mind,
The meaning doesn’t matter if it’s only idle chatter of a transcendental kind.

And ev’ry one will say,
As you walk your mystic way, “If this young man expresses himself in terms too deep for me, Why, what a very singularly deep young man this deep young man must be!”

Be eloquent in praise of the very dull old days which have long since passed away,
And convince ’em, if you can, that the reign of good Queen Anne was Culture’s palmiest day.
Of course you will pooh-pooh whatever’s fresh and new, and declare it’s crude and mean,
For Art stopped short in the cultivated court of the Empress Josephine.

And ev’ryone will say,
As you walk your mystic way, “If that’s not good enough for him which is good enough for me, Why, what a very cultivated kind of youth this kind of youth must be!”

Then a sentimental passion of a vegetable fashion must excite your languid spleen,
An attachment a la Plato for a bashful young potato, or a not- too-French French bean!
Though the Philistines may jostle, you will rank as an apostle in the high aesthetic band,
If you walk down Piccadilly with a poppy or a lily in your medieval hand.

And ev’ryone will say,
As you walk your flow’ry way, “If he’s content with a vegetable love which would certainly not suit me,
Why, what a most particularly pure young man this pure young man must be!”

[At the end of his song, PATIENCE enters, L. He sees her.]

BUN. Ah! Patience, come hither. [She comes to him timidly.] I am pleased with thee. The bitter-hearted one, who finds all else hollow, is pleased with thee. For you are not hollow. Are you?

PATIENCE No, thanks, I have dined; but — I beg your pardon — I interrupt you. [Turns to go; he stops her.]

BUN. Life is made up of interruptions. The tortured soul, yearning for solitude, writhes under them. Oh, but my heart is a-weary! Oh, I am a cursed thing! [She attempts to escape.] Don’t go.

PATIENCE Really, I’m very sorry.

BUN. Tell me, girl, do you ever yearn?

PATIENCE I earn my living.

BUN. [impatiently] No, no! Do you know what it is to be heart- hungry? Do you know what it is to yearn for the Indefinable, and yet to be brought face to face, dally, with the Multiplication Table? Do you know what it is to seek oceans and to find puddles? That’s my case. Oh, I am a cursed thing! [She turns again.] Don’t go.

PATIENCE If you please, I don’t understand you — you frighten me!

BUN. Don’t be frightened — it’s only poetry.

PATIENCE Well, if that’s poetry, I don’t like poetry.

BUN. [eagerly] Don’t you? [aside] Can I trust her? [aloud] Patience, you don’t like poetry — well, between you and me, I don’t like poetry. It’s hollow, unsubstantial — unsatisfactory. What’s the use of yearning for Elysian Fields when you know you can’t get `em, and would only let `em out on building leases if you had `em?

PATIENCE Sir, I–

BUN. Patience, I have long loved you. Let me tell you a secret. I am not as bilious as I look. If you like, I will cut my hair. There is more innocent fun within me than a casual spectator would imagine. You have never seen me frolicsome. Be a good girl — a very good girl — and one day you shall. If you are fond of touch-and-go jocularity — this is the shop for it.

PATIENCE Sir, I will speak plainly. In the matter of love I am untaught. I have never loved but my great-aunt. But I am quite certain that, under any circumstances, I couldn’t possibly love you.

BUN. Oh, you think not?

PATIENCE I’m quite sure of it. Quite sure. Quite.

BUN. Very good. Life is henceforth a blank. I don’t care what becomes of me. I have only to ask that you will not abuse my confidence; though you despise me, I am extremely popular with the other young ladies.

PATIENCE I only ask that you will leave me and never renew the subject.

BUN. Certainly. Broken-hearted and desolate, I go. [Goes up- stage, suddenly turns and recites.]

“Oh, to be wafted away,
From this black Aceldama of sorrow, Where the dust of an earthy to-day
Is the earth of a dusty to-morrow!”

It is a little thing of my own. I call it “Heart Foam”. I shall not publish it. Farewell! Patience, Patience, farewell!

[Exit BUNTHORNE.]

PATIENCE What on earth does it all mean? Why does he love me? Why does he expect me to love him? [going R.] He’s not a relation! It frightens me!

[Enter ANGELA, L.]

ANGELA Why, Patience, what is the matter?

PATIENCE Lady Angela, tell me two things. Firstly, what on earth is this love that upsets everybody; and, secondly, how is it to be distinguished from insanity?

ANGELA Poor blind child! Oh, forgive her, Eros! Why, love is of all passions the most essential! It is the embodiment of purity, the abstraction of refinement! It is the one unselfish emotion in this whirlpool of grasping greed!

PATIENCE Oh, dear, oh! [beginning to cry]

ANGELA Why are you crying?

PATIENCE To think that I have lived all these years without having experienced this ennobling and unselfish passion! Why, what a wicked girl I must be! For it is unselfish, isn’t it?

ANGELA Absolutely! Love that is tainted with selfishness is no love. Oh, try, try, try to love! It really isn’t difficult if you give your whole mind to it.

PATIENCE I’ll set about it at once. I won’t go to bed until I’m head over ears in love with somebody.

ANGELA Noble girl! But is it possible that you have never loved anybody?

PATIENCE Yes, one.

ANGELA Ah! Whom?

PATIENCE My great-aunt–

ANGELA Great-aunts don’t count.

PATIENCE Then there’s nobody. At least — no, nobody. Not since I was a baby. But that doesn’t count, I suppose.
ANGELA I don’t know. Tell me about it.

No. 7. Long years ago, fourteen maybe (Duet)
Patience and Angela

PATIENCE [R.] Long years ago — fourteen, maybe, When but a tiny babe of four,
Another baby played with me,
My elder by a year or more;

A little child of beauty rare,
With marv’lous eyes and wondrous hair, Who, in my child-eyes, seemed to me
All that a little child should be!

[She goes to ANGELA, L.C.]

Ah, how we loved, that child and I! How pure our baby joy!
How true our love — and, by the bye, He was a little boy!

ANGELA Ah, old, old tale of Cupid’s touch! I thought as much — I thought as much! He was a little boy!

PATIENCE Pray don’t misconstrue what I say– Remember, pray — remember, pray,
He was a little boy!

ANGELA No doubt! Yet, spite of all your pains, The interesting fact remains –
He was a little boy!

BOTH Ah, yes, in/No doubt, yet spite of all my/your pains, The interesting fact remains–
He was a little boy!
He was a little boy!

[Exit ANGELA, L.]

PATIENCE [R.C.] It’s perfectly dreadful to think of the appalling state I must be in! I had no idea that love was a duty. No wonder they all look so unhappy! Upon my word, I hardly like to associate with myself. I don’t think I’m respectable. I’ll go at once and fall in love with… [As she turns to go up R., GROSVENOR enters, R.U.E. She sees him and turns back.] a stranger!

No. 8. Prithee, pretty maiden (Duet)
Patience and Grosvenor

GROSVENOR [up-stage, R. ] Prithee, pretty maiden — prithee, tell me true,
(Hey, but I’m doleful, willow willow waly!) Have you e’er a lover a-dangling after you? Hey willow waly O!
[coming down-stage]

I would fain discover
If you have a lover!
Hey willow waly O!

PATIENCE [L.] Gentle sir, my heart is frolicsome and free– (Hey, but he’s doleful, willow willow waly!) Nobody I care for comes a-courting me– Hey willow waly O!
Nobody I care for
Comes a-courting — therefore, Hey willow waly O!

GROSVENOR [C.] Prithee, pretty maiden, will you marry me? (Hey, but I’m hopeful, willow willow waly!) I may say, at once, I’m a man of propertee– Hey willow waly O!
Money, I despise it;
Many people prize it,
Hey willow waly O!

PATIENCE Gentle Sir, although to marry I design– (Hey, but he’s hopeful, willow willow waly!) As yet I do not know you, and so I must decline. Hey willow waly O!
To other maidens go you–
As yet I do not know you,

BOTH Hey willow waly O!

GROS. Patience! Can it be that you don’t recognize me?

PATIENCE [down L.] Recognize you? No, indeed I don’t!

GROS. Have fifteen years so greatly changed me?

PATIENCE [turning to him] Fifteen years? What do you mean?

GROS. Have you forgotten the friend of your youth, your Archibald? — your little playfellow? Oh, Chronos, Chronos, this is too bad of you! [Comes down, C.]

PATIENCE Archibald! Is it possible? Why, let me look! It is! It is! [takes his hands.] It must be! Oh, how happy I am! I thought we should never meet again! And how you’ve grown!

GROS. Yes, Patience, I am much taller and much stouter than I was.

PATIENCE And how you’ve improved!

GROS. [dropping her hands and turning] Yes, Patience, I am very beautiful! [Sighs.]

PATIENCE But surely that doesn’t make you unhappy?

GROS. Yes, Patience. Gifted as I am with a beauty which probably has not its rival on earth, I am, nevertheless, utterly and completely miserable.

PATIENCE Oh — but why?

GROS. My child-love for you has never faded. Conceive, then, the horror of my situation when I tell you that it is my hideous destiny to be madly loved at first sight by every woman I come across!

PATIENCE But why do you make yourself so picturesque? Why not disguise yourself, disfigure yourself, anything to escape this persecution?

GROS. No, Patience, that may not be. These gifts — irksome as they are — were given to me for the enjoyment and delectation of my fellow-creatures. I am a trustee for Beauty, and it is my duty to see that the conditions of my trust are faithfully discharged.

PATIENCE And you, too, are a Poet?

GROS. Yes, I am the Apostle of Simplicity. I am called “Archibald the All-Right” — for I am infallible!

PATIENCE And is it possible that you condescend to love such a girl as I?

GROS. Yes, Patience, is it not strange? I have loved you with a Florentine fourteenth-century frenzy for full fifteen years!

PATIENCE Oh, marvelous! I have hitherto been deaf to the voice of love. I seem now to know what love is! It has been revealed to me — it is Archibald Grosvenor!

GROS. Yes, Patience, it is! [She goes into his arms.]

PATIENCE [as in a trance] We will never, never part!

GROS. We will live and die together!

PATIENCE I swear it!

GROS. We both swear it!

PATIENCE [recoiling from him] But — oh, horror!

GROS. What’s the matter?

PATIENCE Why, you are perfection! A source of endless ecstasy to all who know you!

GROS. I know I am. Well?

PATIENCE Then, bless my heart, there can be nothing unselfish in loving you!

GROS. Merciful powers! I never thought of that!

PATIENCE To monopolize those features on which all women love to linger! It would be unpardonable!

GROS. Why, so it would! Oh, fatal perfection, again you interpose between me and my happiness!

PATIENCE Oh, if you were but a thought less beautiful than you are!

GROS. Would that I were; but candour compels me to admit that I’m not!

PATIENCE Our duty is clear; we must part, and for ever!

GROS. Oh, misery! And yet I cannot question the propriety of your decision. Farewell, Patience!

PATIENCE Farewell, Archibald! [they both turn to go.] [suddenly] But stay!

GROS. Yes, Patience?

PATIENCE Although I may not love you — for you are perfection – – there is nothing to prevent your loving me. I am plain, homely, unattractive!

GROS. Why, that’s true!

PATIENCE The love of such a man as you for such a girl as I must be unselfish!

GROS. Unselfishness itself!

No. 8a. Though to marry you would very selfish be (Duet)
Patience and Grosvenor

PATIENCE Though to marry you would very selfish be–

GROSVENOR Hey, but I’m doleful — willow willow waly!

PATIENCE You may, all the same, continue loving me —

GROSVENOR Hey willow waly O!

BOTH All the world ignoring,
You’ll/I’ll go on adoring– Hey, willow waly O!