The Grand Duke

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The Grand Duke
by W.S. Gilbert

 THE GRAND DUKE

  OR

  THE STATUTORY DUEL

  By W. S. Gilbert

  DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

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

  ——

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

        OLGA
        GRETCHEN
        BERTHA
        ELSA
        MARTHA

  Chamberlains, Nobles, Actors, Actresses, etc.

  ——

  ACT I.—Scene. Public Square of Speisesaal.

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

                      Date 1750.

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





ACT I.

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

  CHORUS.

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

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

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

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

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

  CHORUS. Such a pretty, pretty wedding!

  CHORUS.

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

  (LUDWIG and LISA come forward.)

                  DUET—LUDWIG and LISA.

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

  CHORUS. No, he will not contradict you!

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

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

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

  (LUDWIG and LISA sit at table.)

  Enter NOTARY TANNHAUSER.

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

  (LUDWIG and LISA come down.)

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

                       SONG—LUDWIG.

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

  ALL. You must eat a sausage-roll!

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

  ALL. Very bilious on the whole.

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

  ALL. It found favour in our eyes.

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

  ALL. Our offended gorges rise!

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

  ERNEST enters in great excitement.

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

                      SONG—ERNEST.

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

  ALL. Oh, the man, etc.

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

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

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

  Enter JULIA JELLICOE.

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

                          BALLAD—JULIA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  (Dance.)

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

  EXCITED CHORUS.

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

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

                        SONG—LUDWIG.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  CHORUS.

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

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

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

                          SONG—NOTARY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                             QUINTET.
                LUDWIG, LISA, NOTARY, ERNEST, JULIA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    CHORUS OF CHAMBERLAINS.

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

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

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

                          SONG—RUDOLPH.

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

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

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

        That incident a keynote to my character supplies.

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

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

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

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

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

  Enter BARONESS VON KRAKENFELDT.

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

                      DUET—BARONESS and RUDOLPH.

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

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

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

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

  BAR. No doubt it is expensive.

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

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

  BAR. As two-and-six?

  RUD. As two-and-six—

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

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

  RUD. By half-a-crown?

  BAR. By half-a-crown.

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

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

  RUD. Nor I—I can't abide it.

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

  RUD. Get out!

  BAR. We could—I've tried it!

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

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

  BAR. Can purchase all his fancy loves
              Conspicuous hats—

  RUD. Two shilling gloves—

  BAR. (doubtfully). Two-shilling gloves?

  RUD. (positively). Two-shilling gloves—

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

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

  RUD. Which he's not!

  BAR. Oh no, he's not!

  RUD. Oh no, he's not!

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

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

                      SONG—RUDOLPH.

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

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

  (Sinks exhausted and weeping at foot of well.)

  Enter LUDWIG.

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

                            FINALE.

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

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

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

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

  CHORUS.

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

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

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

  RUD. Now you begin

  LUD. No, you begin—

  RUD. No, you begin—

  LUD. No, you begin!

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

  DUET—RUDOLPH and LUDWIG

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

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

  RUD. You muff, sir!

  LUD. You lout, sir!

  RUD. Enough, sir!

  LUD. Get out, sir! (Pushes him.)

  RUD. A hit, sir?

  LUD. Take that, sir! (Slaps him.)

  RUD. It's tit, sir,

  LUD. For tat, sir!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  RUD. To you, sir!

  LUD. To me, sir?

  RUD. I do, sir!

  LUD. We'll see, sir!

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

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

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

  ALL. Big bombs, small bombs, etc.

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

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

  ALL. Why, what's that?

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

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

  RUD. and Lud. Agreed! Agreed!

  RUD. Come, come—the pack!

  LUD. (producing one). Behold it here!

  RUD. I'm on the rack!

  LUD. I quake with fear!

  (NOTARY offers card to LUDWIG.)

  LUD. First draw to you!

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

  LUD. (same business). Behold the Ace!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                         SONG—LUDWIG.

        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!

                    DUET—LISA and JULIA.

  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.

                       SONG—LISA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                              END OF ACT I.





ACT II.

  (THE NEXT MORNING.)

  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.

  CHORUS.

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

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

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

  RECIT.—LUDWIG.

        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!

                         SONG—LUDWIG.

  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.)

                           SONG—LISA.

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

  LUD. I want a deal of nursing!

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

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

  LUD. I only yield to kindness!

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

                                                       [Exit,
  weeping.

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

                       DUET—LUDWIG and JULIA.

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

                            ENSEMBLE.

              LUD. JULIA.

  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!

  [Exit JULIA

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

  CHORUS.

        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!

  Enter BARONESS VON KRAKENFELDT, in a fury.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  BAR. Express your grief profound!

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

  BAR. Rudolph at once produce!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                   SONG—BARONESS and CHORUS.

              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.)

  RECIT.—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!

                     SONG—JULIA.

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

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

  [Exit JULIA.
  Enter ERNEST.

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

  Enter LISA.

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

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

  (JULIA gazes at him as if transfixed.)

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

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

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

                       DUET—ERNEST and JULIA.

  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.

  CHORUS.

        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!

                  SONG—BARONESS with CHORUS.

        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?

  Enter HERALD.

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

  CHORUS. The Prince of Monte Carlo, etc.

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

  CHORUS. The Prince of Monte Carlo, etc.

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

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

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

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

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

                  DUET—Prince and PRINCESS.

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

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

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

  NOBLES. We're the supernumeraries.

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

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

  NOBLES. Our nails are not presentable!

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

  NOBLES. To the Peerage elevated.

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

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

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

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

  CHORUS (as they dance towards exit).

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

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

  RECITATIVE.

  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!

                             FINALE.

              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.)

                             THE END