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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

(Signing paper, which NOTARY presents.)

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

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

Enter JULIA, at back.

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

ALL. Hurrah!

JULIA (coming forward). According to professional position?

LUD. According to professional position!

JULIA Then, horror!

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

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

ALL. Why, what’s the matter?

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

ALL. Why, what’s the matter?

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

ALL. Why, what’s the matter?

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

ALL. Why, what’s the matter?

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

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

ALL. Oh, that’s the matter!

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

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

CHORUS. Can that be so? etc.

LISA (recit.). Be merciful!


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

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

(LISA overwhelmed with grief.)

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




SCENE.–Entrance Hall of the Grand Ducal Palace.

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

CHORUS. Periphrastic methods, etc.

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

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

CHORUS. It displays a lot, etc.

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

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

CHORUS. Yet his classic lore, etc.

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

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

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


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

LUD. I want a deal of nursing!

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

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

LUD. I only yield to kindness!

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


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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

Do you know who I am?

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

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

LUD. (examining it). It won’t; It only says “Krakenfeldt, Six,” my dear.

BAR. Express your grief profound!

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

BAR. Rudolph at once produce!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Now away, etc.

(All dance off to wedding except JULIA.)


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


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

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

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

Enter LISA.

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

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

(JULIA gazes at him as if transfixed.)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

(Repeat Ensemble, and exeunt in opposite directions.)

Re-enter the Wedding Procession dancing.


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


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

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

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

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

(March heard.)

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

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


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

CHORUS. The Prince of Monte Carlo, etc.

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

CHORUS. The Prince of Monte Carlo, etc.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

NOBLES. We’re the supernumeraries.

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

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

NOBLES. Our nails are not presentable!

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

NOBLES. To the Peerage elevated.

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

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

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

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

CHORUS (as they dance towards exit).

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

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


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

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


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

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




Libretto by William S. Gilbert Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan


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


ACT I.–Noon. ACT II.–Night

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


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


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

Enter LITTLE BUTTERCUP, with large basket on her arm


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


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

I’ve snuff and tobaccy, and excellent jacky, I’ve scissors, and watches, and knives I’ve ribbons and laces to set off the faces Of pretty young sweethearts and wives.
I’ve treacle and toffee, I’ve tea and I’ve coffee, Soft tommy and succulent chops;
I’ve chickens and conies, and pretty polonies, And excellent peppermint drops.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Enter RALPH from hatchway


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

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

All. They sang “Ah, well-a-day!”


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

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



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

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

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

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



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


CAPT. I am the Captain of the Pinafore; ALL. And a right good captain, tool You’re very, very good,
And be it understood, I command a right good crew, ALL. We’re very, very good,
And be it understood, He commands a right good crew. CAPT. Though related to a peer, I can hand, reef, and steer, And ship a selvagee;
I am never known to quail At the furry of a gale,
And I’m never, never sick at sea! ALL. What, never?
CAPT. No, never!
ALL. What, never?
CAPT. Hardly ever!
ALL. He’s hardly ever sick at seal Then give three cheers, and one cheer more, For the hardy Captain of the Pinafore!
CAPT. I do my best to satisfy you all– ALL. And with you we’re quite content. CAPT. You’re exceedingly polite, And I think it only right
To return the compliment. ALL. We’re exceedingly polite, And he thinks it’s only right To return the compliment.
CAPT. Bad language or abuse, I never, never use,
Whatever the emergency; Though “Bother it” I may
Occasionally say,
I never use a big, big D– ALL. What, never?
CAPT. No, never!
ALL. What, never?
CAPT. Hardly ever!
ALL. Hardly ever swears a big, big D– Then give three cheers, and one cheer more, For the well-bred Captain of the Pinafore! [After song exeunt all but CAPTAIN]



BUT. Sir, you are sad! The silent eloquence Of yonder tear that trembles on your eyelash Proclaims a sorrow far more deep than common; Confide in me–fear not–I am a mother!
CAPT. Yes, Little Buttercup, I’m sad and sorry– My daughter, Josephine, the fairest flower That ever blossomed on ancestral timber, Is sought in marriage by Sir Joseph Porter, Our Admiralty’s First Lord, but for some reason She does not seem to tackle kindly to it.
BUT, (with emotion). Ah, poor Sir Joseph! Ah, I know too well The anguish of a heart that loves but vainly! But see, here comes your most attractive daughter. I go–Farewell!

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

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


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

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


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

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

BARCAROLLE. (invisible)

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

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


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

(They dance round stage)

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



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


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

CHORUS.–He polished, etc.

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

CHORUS.- He copied, etc.

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

CHORUS.–And that pass examination, etc.

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

CHORUS.- But that kind, etc.

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

CHORUS.- He thought so little, etc.

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

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

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

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


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

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

CHORUS.–His nose should pant, etc.

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

CHORUS.–His foot should stamp, etc.

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

Enter JOSEPHINE from cabin

JOS. It is useless–Sir Joseph’s attentions nauseate me. I know that he
is a truly great and good man, for he told me so himself, but to