The Pirates of Penzance

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The Pirates of Penzance, or The Slave of Duty  (1879) 
W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan

First produced at:

  • The Royal Bijou Theatre, Paignton, Devon, 30 December 1879
  • Fifth Avenue Theatre, New York, 31 December 1879
  • Opera Comique, London, 3 April 1880

Dramatis Personae[edit]

  • The Pirate King
  • Samuel (his Lieutenant)
  • Frederic (the Pirate Apprentice)
  • Ruth (a Pirate Maid of all Work)
  • Major-General Stanley
  • Mabel (his daughter)
  • Edith (his daughter)
  • Kate (his daughter)
  • Isabel (his daughter)
  • Sergeant of Police
  • Chorus of Pirates, Police, and General Stanley's Daughters.

Act I[edit]

A rocky seashore on the coast of Cornwall. In the distance is a calm sea, on which a schooner is lying at anchor. As the curtain rises groups of pirates are discovered some drinking, some playing cards. Samuel, the Pirate Lieutenant, is going from one group to another, filling the cups from a flask. Frederic is seated in a despondent attitude at the back of the scene.
All
Pour, oh, pour the pirate sherry;
Fill, O fill the pirate glass;
And, to make us more than merry,
Let the pirate bumper pass.
Samuel
For today our pirate 'prentice
Rises from indenture freed;
Strong his arm, and keen his scent is
He's a pirate now indeed!
All
Here's good luck to Frederic's ventures!
Frederic's out of his indentures.
Samuel
Two and twenty, now he's rising,
And alone he's fit to fly,
Which we're bent on signalizing
With unusual revelry.
All
Here's good luck to Frederic's ventures!
Frederic's out of his indentures.
Pour, oh, pour the pirate sherry;
Fill, O fill the pirate glass;
And, to make us more than merry,
Let the pirate bumper pass.
Frederic rises and comes forward with Pirate King, who enters.
Pirate King
Yes, Frederic, from to-day you rank as a full-blown member of our band.
All
Hurrah!
Frederic
My friends, I thank you all, from my heart, for your kindly wishes. Would that I could repay them as they deserve!
Pirate King
What do you mean?
Frederic
To-day I am out of my indentures, and to-day I leave you for ever.
Pirate King
But this is quite unaccountable; a keener hand at scuttling a Cunarder or cutting out a P. & O. never shipped a handspike.
Frederic
Yes, I have done my best for you. And why? It was my duty under my indentures, and I am the slave of duty. As a child I was regularly apprenticed to your band. It was through an error -- no matter, the mistake was ours, not yours, and I was in honour bound by it.
Samuel
An error? What error?
Frederic
I may not tell you; it would reflect upon my well-loved Ruth.
Ruth rises and comes forward.
Ruth
Nay, dear master, my mind has long been gnawed by the cankering tooth of mystery. Better have it out at once.
Ruth sings
Ruth
When Frederic was a little lad he proved so brave and daring,
His father thought he'd 'prentice him to some career seafaring.
I was, alas! his nurserymaid, and so it fell to my lot
To take and bind the promising boy apprentice to a pilot
A life not bad for a hardy lad, though surely not a high lot,
Though I'm a nurse, you might do worse than make your boy a pilot.
I was a stupid nurserymaid, on breakers always steering,
And I did not catch the word aright, through being hard of hearing;
Mistaking my instructions, which within my brain did gyrate,
I took and bound this promising boy apprentice to a pirate.
A sad mistake it was to make and doom him to a vile lot.
I bound him to a pirate — you — instead of to a pilot.
I soon found out, beyond all doubt, the scope of this disaster,
But I hadn't the face to return to my place, and break it to my master.
A nurserymaid is not afraid of what you people call work,
So I made up my mind to go as a kind of piratical maid-of-all-work.
And that is how you find me now, a member of your shy lot,
Which you wouldn't have found, had he been bound apprentice to a pilot.
Ruth
Oh, pardon! Frederic, pardon! (kneels)
Frederic
Rise, sweet one, I have long pardoned you.
Ruth (rises)
The two words were so much alike!
Frederic
They were. They still are, though years have rolled over their heads. But this afternoon my obligation ceases. Individually, I love you all with affection unspeakable; but, collectively, I look upon you with a disgust that amounts to absolute detestation. Oh! pity me, my beloved friends, for such is my sense of duty that, once out of my indentures, I shall feel myself bound to devote myself heart and soul to your extermination!
All
Poor lad, poor lad! (All weep.)
Pirate King
Well, Frederic, if you conscientiously feel that it is your duty to destroy us, we cannot blame you for acting on that conviction. Always act in accordance with the dictates of your conscience, my boy, and chance the consequences.
Samuel
Besides, we can offer you but little temptation to remain with us. We don't seem to make piracy pay. I'm sure I don't know why, but we don't.
Frederic
I know why, but, alas! I mustn't tell you; it wouldn't be right.
Pirate King
Why not, my boy? It's only half-past eleven, and you are one of us until the clock strikes twelve.
Samuel
True, and until then you are bound to protect our interests.
All
Hear, hear!
Frederic
Well, then, it is my duty, as a pirate, to tell you that you are too tender-hearted. For instance, you make a point of never attacking a weaker party than yourselves, and when you attack a stronger party you invariably get thrashed.
Pirate King
There is some truth in that.
Frederic
Then, again, you make a point of never molesting an orphan!
Samuel
Of course: we are orphans ourselves, and know what it is.
Frederic
Yes, but it has got about, and what is the consequence? Every one we capture says he's an orphan. The last three ships we took proved to be manned entirely by orphans, and so we had to let them go. One would think that Great Britain's mercantile navy was recruited solely from her orphan asylums — which we know is not the case.
Samuel
But, hang it all! you wouldn't have us absolutely merciless?
Frederic
There's my difficulty; until twelve o'clock I would, after twelve I wouldn't. Was ever a man placed in so delicate a situation?
Ruth
And Ruth, your own Ruth, whom you love so well, and who has won her middle-aged way into your boyish heart, what is to become of her?
Pirate King
Oh, he will take you with him. (Hands Ruth to Frederic.)
Frederic
Well, Ruth, I feel some difficulty about you. It is true that I admire you very much, but I have been constantly at sea since I was eight years old, and yours is the only woman's face I have seen during that time. I think it is a sweet face.
Ruth
It is — oh, it is!
Frederic
I say I think it is; that is my impression. But as I have never had an opportunity of comparing you with other women, it is just possible I may be mistaken.
Pirate King
True.
Frederic
What a terrible thing it would be if I were to marry this innocent person, and then find out that she is, on the whole, plain!
Pirate King
Oh, Ruth is very well, very well indeed.
Samuel
Yes, there are the remains of a fine woman about Ruth.
Frederic
Do you really think so?
Samuel
I do.
Frederic
Then I will not be so selfish as to take her from you. In justice to her, and in consideration for you, I will leave her behind. (Hands Ruth to Pirate King)
Pirate King
No, Frederic, this must not be. We are rough men, who lead a rough life, but we are not so utterly heartless as to deprive thee of thy love. I think I am right in saying that there is not one here who would rob thee of this inestimable treasure for all the world holds dear.
All (loudly)
Not one!
Pirate King
No, I thought there wasn't. Keep thy love, Frederic, keep thy love.

(Hands her back to Frederic.)

Frederic
You're very good, I'm sure.
Exit Ruth.
Pirate King
Well, it's the top of the tide, and we must be off. Farewell, Frederic. When your process of extermination begins, let our deaths be as swift and painless as you can conveniently make them.
Frederic
I will! By the love I have for you, I swear it! Would that you could render this extermination unnecessary by accompanying me back to civilization!
Pirate King
No, Frederic, it cannot be. I don't think much of our profession, but, contrasted with respectability, it is comparatively honest. No, Frederic, I shall live and die a Pirate King.
Pirate King sings.
Pirate King
Oh, better far to live and die
Under the brave black flag I fly,
Than play a sanctimonious part,
With a pirate head and a pirate heart.
Away to the cheating world go you,
Where pirates all are well-to-do;
But I'll be true to the song I sing,
And live and die a Pirate King.
For I am a Pirate King!
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King!
For I am a Pirate King!
All
You are! Hurrah for the Pirate King!
Pirate King
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King.
All
It is! Hurrah for the Pirate King!
Pirate King
When I sally forth to seek my prey
I help myself in a royal way.
I sink a few more ships, it's true,
Than a well-bred monarch ought to do;
But many a king on a first-class throne,
If he wants to call his crown his own,
Must manage somehow to get through
More dirty work than ever I do,
For I am a Pirate King!
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King!
For I am a Pirate King!
All
You are! Hurrah for the Pirate King!
Pirate King
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King.
All
It is! Hurrah for the Pirate King!
Exeunt all except Frederic. Enter Ruth.
Ruth
Oh, take me with you! I cannot live if I am left behind.
Frederic
Ruth, I will be quite candid with you. You are very dear to me, as you know, but I must be circumspect. You see, you are considerably older than I. A lad of twenty-one usually looks for a wife of seventeen.
Ruth
A wife of seventeen! You will find me a wife of a thousand!
Frederic
No, but I shall find you a wife of forty-seven, and that is quite enough. Ruth, tell me candidly and without reserve: compared with other women — how are you?
Ruth
I will answer you truthfully, master — I have a slight cold, but otherwise I am quite well.
Frederic
I am sorry for your cold, but I was referring rather to your personal appearance. Compared with other women, are you beautiful?
Ruth
(bashfully) I have been told so, dear master.
Frederic
Ah, but lately?
Ruth
Oh, no; years and years ago.
Frederic
What do you think of yourself?
Ruth
It is a delicate question to answer, but I think I am a fine woman.
Frederic
That is your candid opinion?
Ruth
Yes, I should be deceiving you if I told you otherwise.
Frederic
Thank you, Ruth. I believe you, for I am sure you would not practice on my inexperience. I wish to do the right thing, and if — I say if — you are really a fine woman, your age shall be no obstacle to our union! (Chorus of Girls heard in the distance) Hark! Surely I hear voices! Who has ventured to approach our all but inaccessible lair? Can it be Custom House? No, it does not sound like Custom House.
Ruth
(aside) Confusion! it is the voices of young girls! If he should see them I am lost.
Frederic
(looking off) By all that's marvellous, a bevy of beautiful maidens!
Ruth
(aside) Lost! lost! lost!
Frederic
How lovely, how surpassingly lovely is the plainest of them! What grace — what delicacy — what refinement! And Ruth — Ruth told me she was beautiful!
Recitative.
Frederic
Oh, false one, you have deceived me!
Ruth
I have deceived you?
Frederic
Yes, deceived me! (Denouncing her)
Duet — Frederic and Ruth.
Frederic
You told me you were fair as gold!
Ruth
(wildly) And, master, am I not so?
Frederic
And now I see you're plain and old.
Ruth
I'm sure I'm not a jot so.
Frederic
Upon my innocence you play.
Ruth
I'm not the one to plot so.
Frederic
Your face is lined, your hair is grey.
Ruth
It's gradually got so.
Frederic
Faithless woman, to deceive me,
I who trusted so!
Ruth
Master, master, do not leave me!
Hear me, ere you go!
My love without reflecting,
Oh, do not be rejecting!
Take a maiden tender — her affection raw and green,
At very highest rating,
Has been accumulating
Summers seventeen — summers seventeen.
Ensemble
Ruth Frederic
Don't, beloved master, Yes, your former master
Crush me with disaster. Saves you from disaster.
What is such a dower to the Your love would be uncomfortably
dower I have here? fervid, it is clear
My love unabating If, as you are stating
Has been accumulating It's been accumulating
Forty-seven year — forty-seven year! Forty-seven year — forty-seven year!
At the end he renounces her, and she goes off in despair.
Recitative — Frederic.
What shall I do? Before these gentle maidens
I dare not show in this alarming costume!
No, no, I must remain in close concealment
Until I can appear in decent clothing!
Hides in cave as they enter climbing over the rocks.
Girls
Climbing over rocky mountain,
Skipping rivulet and fountain,
Passing where the willows quiver
By the ever-rolling river,
Swollen with the summer rain;
Threading long and leafy mazes
Dotted with unnumbered daisies,
Scaling rough and rugged passes,
Climb the hardy little lasses,
Till the bright sea-shore they gain!
Edith
Let us gaily tread the measure,
Make the most of fleeting leisure,
Hail it as a true ally,
Though it perish by-and-by.
Girls
Hail it as a true ally,
Though it perish by-and-by.
Edith
Every moment brings a treasure
Of its own especial pleasure;
Though the moments quickly die,
Greet them gaily as they fly.
Kate
Far away from toil and care,
Revelling in fresh sea-air,
Here we live and reign alone
In a world that's all our own.
Here, in this our rocky den,
Far away from mortal men,
We'll be queens, and make decrees —
They may honour them who please.
All
Let us gaily tread the measure, etc.
Kate
What a picturesque spot! I wonder where we are!
Edith
And I wonder where Papa is. We have left him ever so far behind.
Isabel
Oh, he will be here presently! Remember poor Papa is not as young as we are, and we came over a rather difficult country.
Kate
But how thoroughly delightful it is to be so entirely alone! Why, in all probability we are the first human beings who ever set foot on this enchanting spot.
Isabel
Except the mermaids — it's the very place for mermaids.
Kate
Who are only human beings down to the waist!
Edith
And who can't be said strictly to set foot anywhere. Tails they may, but

feet they cannot.

Kate
But what shall we do until Papa and the servants arrive with the luncheon?
Edith
We are quite alone, and the sea is as smooth as glass. Suppose we take off our shoes and stockings and paddle?
All
Yes, yes! The very thing!
They prepare to carry, out the suggestion. They have all taken off one shoe, when Frederic comes forward from cave.
Frederic
(recitative) Stop, ladies, pray!
Girls
(Hopping on one foot) A man!
Frederic
I had intended
Not to intrude myself upon your notice
In this effective but alarming costume;
But under these peculiar circumstances,
It is my bounden duty to inform you
That your proceedings will not be unwitnessed!
Edith
But who are you, sir? Speak! (All hopping)
Frederic
I am a pirate!
Girls
(recoiling, hopping) A pirate! Horror!
Frederic
Ladies, do not shun me!
This evening I renounce my vile profession;
And, to that end, O pure and peerless maidens!
Oh, blushing buds of ever-blooming beauty!
I, sore at heart, implore your kind assistance.
Edith
How pitiful his tale!
Kate
How rare his beauty!
Girls
How pitiful his tale! How rare his beauty!
Song — Frederic.
Frederic
Oh, is there not one maiden breast
Which does not feel the moral beauty
Of making worldly interest
Subordinate to sense of duty?
Who would not give up willingly
All matrimonial ambition,
To rescue such a one as I
From his unfortunate position?
Girls
Alas! there's not one maiden breast
Which seems to feel the moral beauty
Of making worldly interest
Subordinate to sense of duty!
Frederic
Oh, is there not one maiden here
Whose homely face and bad compl—exion
Have caused all hope to disappear
Of ever winning man's affection?
To such an one, if such there be,
I swear by Heaven's arch above you,
If you will cast your eyes on me,
However plain you be — I'll love you!
Girls
Alas! there's not one maiden here
Whose homely face and bad complexion
Have caused all hope to disappear
Of ever winning man's affection!
Frederic
(in despair) Not one?
Girls
No, no — not one!
Frederic
Not one?
Girls
No, no!
Mabel enters.
Mabel
Yes, one!
Girls
'Tis Mabel!
Mabel
Yes, 'tis Mabel!
Recitative — Mabel.
Oh, sisters, deaf to pity's name,
For shame!
It's true that he has gone astray,
But pray
Is that a reason good and true
Why you
Should all be deaf to pity's name?
Girls
(aside) The question is, had he not been
A thing of beauty,
Would she be swayed by quite as keen
A sense of duty?
Mabel
For shame, for shame, for shame!
Song — Mabel.
Mabel
Poor wandering one!
Though thou hast surely strayed,
Take heart of grace,
Thy steps retrace,
Poor wandering one!
Poor wandering one!
If such poor love as mine
Can help thee find
True peace of mind —
Why, take it, it is thine!
Take heart, fair days will shine;
Take any heart — take mine!
Girls
Take heart; no danger lowers;
Take any heart — but ours!
Exeunt Mabel and Frederic. Edith beckons her sisters, who form a semicircle around her.
Edith
What ought we to do,
Gentle sisters, say?
Propriety, we know,
Says we ought to stay;
While sympathy exclaims,
"Free them from your tether —
Play at other games —
Leave them here together."
Kate
Her case may, any day,
Be yours, my dear, or mine.
Let her make her hay
While the sun doth shine.
Let us compromise
(Our hearts are not of leather):
Let us shut our eyes,
And talk about the weather.
Girls
Yes, yes, let's talk about the weather.
Chattering chorus.
How beautifully blue the sky,
The glass is rising very high,
Continue fine I hope it may,
And yet it rained but yesterday.
Tomorrow it may pour again
(I hear the country wants some rain),
Yet people say, I know not why,
That we shall have a warm July.
Enter Mabel and Frederic.
During Mabel's solo the Girls continue chatter pianissimo, but listening eagerly all the time.
Solo — Mabel.
Did ever maiden wake
From dream of homely duty,
To find her daylight break
With such exceeding beauty?
Did ever maiden close
Her eyes on waking sadness,
To dream of such exceeding gladness?
Frederic
Ah, yes! ah, yes! this is exceeding gladness!
Girls
How beautifully blue the sky, etc.
Solo — Frederic.
During this, Girls continue their chatter pianissimo as before, but listening intently all the time.
Did ever pirate roll
His soul in guilty dreaming,
And wake to find that soul
With peace and virtue beaming?
Ensemble
Mabel Frederic Girls
Did ever maiden wake, Did ever pirate loathed, How beautifully blue the sky, etc.
From dream of homely duty Forsake his hideous mission
To find her daylight break To find himself betrothed
With such exceeding beauty! To lady of position!
Recitative — Frederic.
Stay, we must not lose our senses;
Men who stick at no offences
Will anon be here!
Piracy their dreadful trade is;
Pray you, get you hence, young ladies,
While the coast is clear!
Frederic and Mabel retire.
Girls
No, we must not lose our senses,
If they stick at no offences
We should not be here!
Piracy their dreadful trade is —
Nice companions for young ladies!
Let us disappear.
During this chorus the Pirates have entered stealthily, and formed in a semicircle behind the Girls. As the Girls move to go off, each Pirate seizes a Girl. Pirate King seizes Edith and Isabel, Samuel seizes Kate.
Girls
Too late!
Pirates
Ha, ha!
Girls
Too late!
Pirates
Ho, ho!
Ha, ha, ha, ha! Ho,ho, ho, ho!
Ensemble.
Pirates pass in front of Girls. Girls pass in front of Pirates.
Pirates Girls
Here's a first-rate opportunity We have missed our opportunity
To get married with impunity, Of escaping with impunity;
And indulge in the felicity So farewell to the felicity
Of unbounded domesticity. Of our maiden domesticity!
You shall quickly be parsonified, We shall quickly be parsonified,
Conjugally matrimonified, Conjugally matrimonified,
By a doctor of divinity, By a doctor of divinity,
Who resides in this vicinity. Who resides in this vicinity.
All
By a doctor of divinity
Who resides in this vicinity,
By a doctor, a doctor, a doctor,
Of divinity, of divinity.
Recitative — Mabel (coming forward)
Hold, monsters! Ere your pirate caravanserai
Proceed, against our will, to wed us all,
Just bear in mind that we are Wards in Chancery,
And father is a Major-General!
Samuel (cowed)
We'd better pause, or danger may befall,
Their father is a Major-General.
Girls
Yes, yes; he is a Major-General!
The Major-General has entered unnoticed, on rock.
Major-General
Yes, yes, I am a Major-General!
Samuel
For he is a Major-General!
All
He is! Hurrah for the Major-General!
Major-General
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Major-General!
All
It is! Hurrah for the Major-General!
Song — Major-General.
Major-General
I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news —
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.
All
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypote-pote-nuse!
Major-General
I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
All
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
He is the very model of a modern Major-General.
Major-General
I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's;
I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox,
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;
I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes!
Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore.
All
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pina-pinafore!
Major-General
Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,
And tell you every detail of Caractacus's uniform:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
All
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
He is the very model of a modern Major-General.
Major-General
In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin",
When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin,
When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,
And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat",
When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,
When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery;
In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy,
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee.
All
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee,
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee,
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat-a-sat-a-gee!
Major-General
For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.
All
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
He is the very model of a modern Major-General.
Major-General
And now that I've introduced myself, I should like to have some idea of what's going on.
Kate
Oh, Papa — we —
Samuel
Permit me, I'll explain in two words: we propose to marry your daughters.
Major-General
Dear me!
Girls
Against our wills, Papa — against our wills!
Major-General
Oh, but you mustn't do that! May I ask — this is a picturesque uniform, but I'm not familiar with it. What are you?
Pirate King
We are all single gentlemen.
Major-General
Yes, I gathered that — Anything else?
Pirate King
No, nothing else.
Edith
Papa, don't believe them; they are pirates — the famous Pirates of Penzance!
Major-General
The Pirates of Penzance! I have often heard of them.
Mabel
All except this gentleman — (indicating Frederic) — who was a pirate once, but who is out of his indentures to day, and who means to lead a blameless life evermore.
Major-General
But wait a bit. I object to pirates as sons-in-law.
Pirate King
We object to Major-Generals as fathers-in-law. But we waive that point. We do not press it. We look over it.
Major-General
(aside) Hah! an idea! (aloud) And do you mean to say that you would deliberately rob me of these, the sole remaining props of my old age, and leave me to go through the remainder of my life unfriended, unprotected, and alone?
Pirate King
Well, yes, that's the idea.
Major-General
Tell me, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
Pirates (disgusted)
Oh, dash it all!
Pirate King
Here we are again!
Major-General
I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan?
Pirate King
Often!
Major-General
Yes, orphan. Have you ever known what it is to be one?
Pirate King
I say, often.
All (disgusted)
Often, often, often. (Turning away)
Major-General
I don't think we quite understand one another. I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan, and you say "orphan". As I understand you, you are merely repeating the word "orphan" to show that you understand me.
Pirate King
I didn't repeat the word often.
Major-General
Pardon me, you did indeed.
Pirate King
I only repeated it once.
Major-General
True, but you repeated it.
Pirate King
But not often.
Major-General
Stop! I think I see where we are getting confused. When you said "orphan", did you mean "orphan" — a person who has lost his parents, or "often", frequently?
Pirate King
Ah! I beg pardon — I see what you mean — frequently.
Major-General
Ah! you said "often", frequently.
Pirate King
No, only once.
Major-General
(irritated) Exactly — you said "often", frequently, only once.

Act I Finale[edit]

Major-General
Oh, men of dark and dismal fate,
Forgot your cruel employ,
Have pity on my lonely state,
I am an orphan boy!
Pirate King and Samuel
An orphan boy?
Major-General
An orphan boy!
Pirates
How sad, an orphan boy.
Major-General
These children whom you see
Are all that I can call my own!
Pirates
Poor fellow!
Major-General
Take them away from me,
And I shall be indeed alone.
Pirates

Poor fellow!

Major-General
If pity you can feel,
Leave me my sole remaining joy —
See, at your feet they kneel;
Your hearts you cannot steel
Against the sad, sad tale of the lonely orphan boy!
Pirates
(sobbing) Poor fellow!
See at our feet they kneel;
Our hearts we cannot steel
Against the sad, sad tale of the lonely orphan boy!
Pirate King and Samuel
The orphan boy!
See at our feet they kneel, etc.
Ensemble
Major-General (aside) Girls (aside) Pirates (aside)
I'm telling a terrible story He is telling a terrible story If he's telling a story
But it doesn't diminish Which will tend to diminish He shall die by a death that
my glory; his glory; is gory,
For they would have taken my Though they would have taken his One of the cruellest
daughters daughters slaughters
Over the billowy waters, Over the billowy waters, That ever were known in these waters;
If I hadn't, in elegant diction, It is easy, in elegant diction, It is easy, in elegant diction,
Indulged in an innocent fiction; To call it an innocent fiction; To call it an innocent fiction;
Which is not in the same But it comes in the same But it comes in the same
category category category
As telling a regular terrible As telling a regular terrible As telling a regular terrible
story. story. story.
Pirate King
Although our dark career
Sometimes involves the crime of stealing,
We rather think that we're
Not altogether void of feeling.
Although we live by strife,
We're always sorry to begin it,
For what, we ask, is life
Without a touch of Poetry in it?
All (kneeling)
Hail, Poetry, thou heav'n-born maid!
Thou gildest e'en the pirate's trade.
Hail, flowing fount of sentiment!
All hail, divine emollient! (All rise.)
Pirate King
You may go, for you're at liberty, our pirate rules protect you,
And honorary members of our band we do elect you!
Samuel
For he is an orphan boy!
Chorus
He is! Hurrah for the orphan boy!
Major-General
And it sometimes is a useful thing
To be an orphan boy.
All
It is! Hurrah for the orphan boy!
Ensemble
Oh, happy day, with joyous glee
We/They will away and married be!
Should it befall auspiciously,
Her/Our sisters all will bridesmaids be!
Ruth enters and comes down to Frederic.
Ruth
Oh, master, hear one word, I do implore you!
Remember Ruth, your Ruth, who kneels before you!
Pirates
Yes, yes, remember Ruth, who kneels before you!
Frederic
Away, you did deceive me!
Pirates (Threatening Ruth)
Away, you did deceive him!
Ruth
Oh, do not leave me!
Pirates
Oh, do not leave her!
Frederic
Away, you grieve me!
Pirates
Away, you grieve him!
Frederic
I wish you'd leave me! (Frederic casts Ruth from him.)
Pirates
We wish you'd leave him!

ENSEMBLE.

Pray observe the magnanimity

They/We display to lace and dimity!
Never was such opportunity
To get married with impunity,
But they/we give up the felicity
Of unbounded domesticity,
Though a doctor of divinity
Is located in this vicinity
Girls and Major-General go up rocks, while Pirates indulge in a wild dance of delight on stage. The Major-General produces a British flag, and the Pirate King, produces a black flag with skull and crossbones. Enter Ruth, who makes a final appeal to Frederic, who casts her from him.

Act II[edit]

A ruined chapel by moonlight. Ruined Gothic windows at back. Major-General discovered seated pensively, surrounded by his daughters.


Chorus
Oh, dry the glistening tear
That dews that martial cheek;
Thy loving children hear,
In them thy comfort seek.
With sympathetic care
Their arms around thee creep,
For oh, they cannot bear
To see their father weep!
Enter Mabel.
Solo — Mabel.
Dear father, why leave your bed
At this untimely hour,
When happy daylight is dead,
And darksome dangers lower?
See, heaven has lit her lamp,
The twilight hour is past,
And the chilly night air is damp,
And the dews are falling fast!
Dear father, why leave your bed
When happy daylight is dead?
Chorus

LOh, dry the glistening tear, etc.

Frederic enters.
Mabel
Oh, Frederic, cannot you, in the calm excellence of your wisdom, reconcile it with your

|-conscience to say something that will relieve my father's sorrow?

Frederic
I will try, dear Mabel. But why does he sit, night after night, in this draughty old ruin?
Major-General
Why do I sit here? To escape from the pirates' clutches, I described myself as an orphan; and, heaven help me, I am no orphan! I come here to humble myself before the tombs of my ancestors, and to implore their pardon for having brought dishonour on the family escutcheon.
Frederic
But you forget, sir, you only bought the property a year ago, and the stucco on your baronial castle is scarcely dry.
Major-General
Frederic, in this chapel are ancestors: you cannot deny that. With the estate, I bought the chapel and its contents. I don't know whose ancestors they were, but I know whose ancestors they are, and I shudder to think that their descendant by purchase (if I may so describe myself) should have brought disgrace upon what, I have no doubt, was an unstained escutcheon.
Frederic
Be comforted. Had you not acted as you did, these reckless men would assuredly have called in the nearest clergyman, and have married your large family on the spot.
Major-General
I thank you for your proffered solace, but it is unavailing. I assure you, Frederic, that such is the anguish and remorse I feel at the abominable falsehood by

which I escaped these easily deluded pirates, that I would go to their simple-minded chief this very night and confess all, did I not fear that the consequences would be most disastrous to myself. At what time does your expedition march against these scoundrels?

Frederic
At eleven, and before midnight I hope to have atoned for my involuntary association with the pestilent scourges by sweeping them from the face of the earth — and then, dear Mabel, you will be mine!
Major-General
Are your devoted followers at hand?
Frederic
They are, they only wait my orders.
Recitative — Major-General.
Then, Frederic, let your escort lion-hearted
Be summoned to receive a General's blessing,
Ere they depart upon their dread adventure.
Frederic
Dear, sir, they come.
Enter Police, marching in single file. They form in line, facing audience.
Song — Sergeant, with Police.
When the foeman bares his steel,
Tarantara! tarantara!
We uncomfortable feel,
Tarantara!
And we find the wisest thing,
Tarantara! tarantara!
Is to slap our chests and sing,
Tarantara!
For when threatened with emeutes,
Tarantara! tarantara!
And your heart is in your boots,
Tarantara!
There is nothing brings it round
Like the trumpet's martial sound,
Like the trumpet's martial sound
All
Tarantara! tarantara!, etc.
Mabel
Go, ye heroes, go to glory,
Though you die in combat gory,
Ye shall live in song and story.
Go to immortality!
Go to death, and go to slaughter;
Die, and every Cornish daughter
With her tears your grave shall water.
Go, ye heroes, go and die!
Girls
Go, ye heroes, go and die!
Sergeant, with Police.
Though to us it's evident,
Tarantara! tarantara!
These attentions are well meant,
Tarantara!
Such expressions don't appear,
Tarantara! tarantara!
Calculated men to cheer,
Tarantara!
Who are going to meet their fate
In a highly nervous state.
Tarantara! tarantara! tarantara!
Still to us it's evident
These attentions are well meant.
Tarantara! tarantara! tarantara!
Edith
Go and do your best endeavour,
And before all links we sever,
We will say farewell for ever.
Go to glory and the grave!
Girls
Go to glory and the grave!
For your foes are fierce and ruthless,
False, unmerciful, and truthless;
Young and tender, old and toothless,
All in vain their mercy crave.
Sergeant
We observe too great a stress,
On the risks that on us press,
And of reference a lack
To our chance of coming back.
Still, perhaps it would be wise
Not to carp or criticise,
For it's very evident
These attentions are well meant.
Police
Yes, it's very evident
These attentions are well meant, etc.
Ensemble
Chorus of all but Police Chorus of Police
Go ye heroes, go to glory, etc. When the foeman bears his steel, etc.
Major-General
Away, away!
Police
(without moving) Yes, yes, we go.
Major-General
These pirates slay.
Police.
Tarantara!
Major-General
Then do not stay.
Police
Tarantara!
Major-General
Then why this delay?
Police
All right, we go.
Yes, forward on the foe!
Major-General
Yes, but you don't go!
Police
We go, we go
Yes, forward on the foe!
Major-General
Yes, but you don't go!
All
At last they really go!
Exeunt Police. Mabel tears herself from Frederic and exit, followed by her sisters, consoling her. The Major-General and others follow. Frederic remains alone.
Recitative — Frederic.
Now for the pirates' lair! Oh, joy unbounded!
Oh, sweet relief! Oh, rapture unexampled!
At last I may atone, in some slight measure,
For the repeated acts of theft and pillage
Which, at a sense of duty's stern dictation,
I, circumstance's victim, have been guilty!
Pirate King and Ruth appear, armed.
Pirate King
Young Frederic! (Covering him with pistol)
Frederic
Who calls?
Pirate King
Your late commander!
Ruth
And I, your little Ruth! (Covering him with pistol)
Frederic
Oh, mad intruders,
How dare ye face me? Know ye not, oh rash ones,
That I have doomed you to extermination?
Pirate King and Ruth hold a pistol to each ear.
Pirate King
Have mercy on us! hear us, ere you slaughter!
Frederic
I do not think I ought to listen to you.
Yet, mercy should alloy our stern resentment,
And so I will be merciful — say on!
Trio — Ruth, Pirate King, and Frederic.
Ruth
When you had left our pirate fold,
We tried to raise our spirits faint,
According to our custom old,
With quip and quibble quaint.
But all in vain the quips we heard,
We lay and sobbed upon the rocks,
Until to somebody occurred
A startling paradox.
Frederic
A paradox?
Ruth (laughing)
A paradox!
A most ingenious paradox!
We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,
But none to beat this paradox!
All
A paradox, a paradox, etc.
Pirate King
We knew your taste for curious quips,
For cranks and contradictions queer;
And with the laughter on our lips,
We wished you there to hear.
We said, "If we could tell it him,
How Frederic would the joke enjoy!"
And so we've risked both life and limb
To tell it to our boy.
Frederic (interested)
That paradox?
Pirate King (laughing)
That most ingenious paradox!
We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,
But none to beat that paradox!
All
A paradox, a paradox, etc.
Chant — Pirate King
For some ridiculous reason, to which, however, I've no desire to be disloyal,
Some person in authority, I don't know who, very likely the Astronomer Royal,
Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February, twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty,
One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and twenty.
Through some singular coincidence — I shouldn't be surprised if it were owing to the agency of an ill-natured fairy —
You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born in leap-year, on the twenty-ninth of February;
And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you'll easily discover,
That though you've lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by birthdays, you're only five and a little bit over!
Ruth and Pirate King
Ha! ha! ha! ha!
Ho! ho! ho! ho!
Frederic
Dear me!
Let's see! (counting on fingers)
Yes, yes; with yours my figures do agree!
All
Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! ho!
Frederic (more amused than any)
How quaint the ways of Paradox!
At common sense she gaily mocks!
Though counting in the usual way,
Years twenty-one I've been alive,
Yet, reckoning by my natal day,
I am a little boy of five!
Ruth and Pirate King
He is a little boy of five!
Ha! ha! ha!
All
A paradox, a paradox,
A most ingenious paradox!
Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!, etc.
Ruth and Pirate King throw themselves back on seats, exhausted with laughter.
Frederic
Upon my word, this is most curious — most absurdly whimsical. Five-and-a-quarter! No one would think it to look at me!
Ruth
You are glad now, I'll be bound, that you spared us. You would never have forgiven yourself when you discovered that you had killed two of your comrades.
Frederic
My comrades?
Pirate King (rises)
I'm afraid you don't appreciate the delicacy of your position: You were apprenticed to us —
Frederic
Until I reached my twenty-first year.
Pirate King
No, until you reached your twenty-first birthday (producing document), and, going by birthdays, you are as yet only five-and-a-quarter.
Frederic
You don't mean to say you are going to hold me to that?
Pirate King
No, we merely remind you of the fact, and leave the rest to your sense of duty.
Ruth
Your sense of duty!
Frederic (wildly)
Don't put it on that footing! As I was merciful to you just now, be merciful to me! I implore you not to insist on the letter of your bond just as the cup of happiness is at my lips!
Ruth
We insist on nothing; we content ourselves with pointing out to you your duty.
Pirate King
Your duty!
Frederic (after a pause)
Well, you have appealed to my sense of duty, and my duty is only too clear. I abhor your infamous calling; I shudder at the thought that I have ever been mixed up with it; but duty is before all — at any price I will do my duty.
Pirate King
Bravely spoken! Come, you are one of us once more.
Frederic
Lead on, I follow. (suddenly) Oh, horror!
Ruth and Pirate King
What is the matter?
Frederic
Ought I to tell you? No, no, I cannot do it; and yet, as one of your band —
Pirate King
Speak out, I charge you by that sense of conscientiousness to which we have never yet appealed in vain.
Frederic
General Stanley, the father of my Mabel —
Ruth and Pirate King
Yes, yes!
Frederic
He escaped from you on the plea that he was an orphan?
Pirate King
He did.
Frederic
It breaks my heart to betray the honoured father of the girl I adore, but as your apprentice I have no alternative. It is my duty to tell you that General Stanley is no orphan!
Ruth and Pirate King
What!
Frederic
More than that, he never was one!
Pirate King
Am I to understand that, to save his contemptible life, he dared to practise on our credulous simplicity? ('Frederic nods as he weeps) Our revenge shall be swift

and terrible. We will go and collect our band and attack Tremorden Castle this very night.

Frederic
But stay —
Pirate King
Not a word! He is doomed!
Trio.
Ruth and Pirate King Frederic
Away, away! my heart's on fire; Away, away! ere I expire —
I burn, this base deception to repay. I find my duty hard to do today!
This very night my vengeance dire My heart is filled with anguish dire,
Shall glut itself in gore. Away, away! It strikes me to the core. Away, away!
Pirate King
With falsehood foul
He tricked us of our brides.
Let venge;ance howl;
The Pirate so decides.
Our nature stern
He softened with his lies,
And, in return,
Tonight the traitor dies.
All
Yes, yes! tonight the traitor dies!
Ruth
Tonight he dies!
Pirate King
Yes, or early tomorrow.
Frederic
His girls likewise?
Ruth
They will welter in sorrow.
Pirate King
The one soft spot —
Ruth
In their natures they cherish —
Frederic
And all who plot —
Pirate King
To abuse it shall perish!
All
Tonight he dies, etc.
Exeunt Pirate King and Ruth. Enter Mabel.
Recitative — Mabel.
All is prepared, your gallant crew await you.
My Frederic in tears? It cannot be
That lion-heart quails at the coming conflict?
Frederic
No, Mabel, no. A terrible disclosure
Has just been made. Mabel, my dearly-loved one,
I bound myself to serve the pirate captain
Until I reached my one-and-twentieth birthday —
Mabel
But you are twenty-one?
Frederic
I've just discovered
That I was born in leap-year, and that birthday
Will not be reached by me till nineteen forty!
Mabel
Oh, horrible! catastrophe appalling!
Frederic
And so, farewell!
Mabel
No, no! Ah, Frederic, hear me.
Stay, Frederic, stay!
They have no legal claim,
No shadow of a shame
Will fall upon thy name.
Stay, Frederic, stay!
Frederic
Nay, Mabel, nay!
Tonight I quit these walls,
The thought my soul appalls,
But when stern Duty calls,
I must obey.
Duet — Mabel and Frederic.
Ah, leave me not to pine
Alone and desolate;
No fate seemed fair as mine,
No happiness so great!
And Nature, day by day,
Has sung in accents clear
This joyous roundelay,
"He loves thee — he is here.
Fa-la, la-la, Fa-la, la-la".
Frederic
Ah, must I leave thee here
In endless night to dream,
Where joy is dark and drear,
And sorrow all supreme —
Where nature, day by day,
Will sing, in altered tone,
This weary roundelay,
"He loves thee — he is gone.
Fa-la, la-la, Fa-la, la-la."
Frederic
In 1940 I of age shall be,
I'll then return, and claim you — I declare it!
Mabel
It seems so long!
Frederic
Swear that, till then, you will be true to me.
Mabel
Yes, I'll be strong!
By all the Stanleys dead and gone, I swear it!
Ensemble
Oh, here is love, and here is truth,
And here is food for joyous laughter:
He/She will be faithful to his/her sooth
Till we are wed, and even after.
Frederic rushes to window and leaps out.
Mabel
(almost fainting) No, I'll be brave! Oh, family descent,
How great thy charm, thy sway how excellent!
Come one and all, undaunted men in blue,
A crisis, now, affairs are coming to!
Enter Police, marching in single file.
Sergeant
Though in body and in mind,
Police
Tarantara! tarantara!
Sergeant
We are timidly inclined,
Police
Tarantara!
Sergeant
And anything but blind —
Police
Tarantara! tarantara!
Sergeant
To the danger that's behind.
Police
Tarantara!
Sergeant
Yet, when the danger's near,
Police.
Tarantara! tarantara!
Sergeant
We manage to appear —
Police
Tarantara!
Sergeant
As insensible to fear
As anybody here.
Police
Tarantara! tarantara!, etc.
Mabel
Sergeant, approach! Young Frederic was to have led you to death and glory.
Police
That is not a pleasant way of putting it.
Mabel
No matter; he will not so lead you, for he has allied himself once more with his old associates.
Police
He has acted shamefully!
Mabel
You speak falsely. You know nothing about it. He has acted nobly.
Police
He has acted nobly!
Mabel
Dearly as I loved him before, his heroic sacrifice to his sense of duty has endeared him to me tenfold. He has done his duty. I will do mine. Go ye and do yours.
Exit Mabel.
Police
Right oh!
Sergeant
This is perplexing.
Police
We cannot understand it at all.
Sergeant
Still, as he is actuated by a sense of duty —
Police

That makes a difference, of course. At the same time, we repeat, we cannot understand it at all.

Sergeant
No matter. Our course is clear: we must do our best to capture these pirates alone. It is most distressing to us to be the agents whereby our erring fellow-creatures are deprived of that liberty which is so dear to us all — but we should have thought of that before we joined the force.
Police
We should!
ergeant
It is too late now!
Police
It is!
Song — Sergeant.
Sergeant
When a felon's not engaged in his employment —
Police
His employment,
Sergeant
Or maturing his felonious little plans —
Police
Little plans,
Sergeant
His capacity for innocent enjoyment —
Police
'Cent enjoyment
Sergeant
Is just as great as any honest man's —
Police
Honest man's.
Sergeant
Our feelings we with difficulty smother —
Police
'Culty smother
Sergeant
When constabulary duty's to be done —
Police
To be done.
Sergeant
Ah, take one consideration with another —
Police
With another,
Sergeant
A policeman's lot is not a happy one.
Police
Ah, when constabulary duty's to be done, to be done,
A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one.
Sergeant
When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling —
Police
Not a-burgling.
Sergeant
When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime —
Police
'Pied in crime,
Sergeant
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling —
Police
Brook a-gurgling,
Sergeant
And listen to the merry village chime —
Police
Village chime.
Sergeant
When the coster's finished jumping on his mother —
Police
On his mother,
Sergeant
He loves to lie a-basking in the sun —
Police
In the sun.
Sergeant
Ah, take one consideration with another —
Police
With another,
Sergeant
A policeman's lot is not a happy one.
Police
Ah, when constabulary duty's to be done, to be done,
A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one.

(pianissimo)

Chorus of Pirates without, in the distance.
A rollicking band of pirates we,
Who, tired of tossing on the sea,
Are trying their hand at a burglaree,
With weapons grim and gory.
Sergeant
Hush, hush! I hear them on the manor poaching,
With stealthy step the pirates are approaching.
Chorus of Pirates, resumed nearer
We are not coming for plate or gold —
A story General Stanley's told —
We seek a penalty fifty-fold,
For Genera(entering in dressing-gown, carrying a light)l Stanley's story.
Police
They seek a penalty
Pirates
Fifty-fold!
We seek a penalty
Police
Fifty-fold!
All
They/We seek a penalty fifty-fold,
For General Stanley's story.
Sergeant
They come in force, with stealthy stride,
Our obvious course is now — to hide.
Police conceal themselves. As they do so, the Pirates are seen appearing at ruined windows. They enter cautiously, and come down stage. Samuel is laden with burglarious tools and pistols, etc.
Chorus — Pirates (very loud)
With cat-like tread,
Upon our prey we steal;
In silence dread,
Our cautious way we feel.
No sound at all,
We never speak a word,
A fly's foot-fall
Would be distinctly heard —
Police (pianissimo)
Tarantara, tarantara!
Pirates
So stealthily the pirate creeps,
While all the household soundly sleeps.
Come, friends, who plough the sea,
Truce to navigation;
Take another station;
Let's vary piracee
With a little burglaree!
Police (pianissimo)
Tarantara, tarantara!
Samuel (distributing implements to various members of the gang)
Here's your crowbar and your centrebit,
Your life-preserver — you may want to hit!
Your silent matches, your dark lantern seize,
Take your file and your skeletonic keys.
Enter Pirate King, Frederic and Ruth.
Pirates (fortissimo)
With cat-like tread, etc.
Police (pianissimo)
Tarantara! tarantara!
Recitative.
Frederic
Hush, hush! not a word; I see a light inside!
The Major-General comes, so quickly hide!
Pirates
Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!
Pirates conceal themselves. Exeunt Pirate King, Frederic, Samuel, and Ruth.
Police
Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!
Major-General (entering in dressing-gown, carrying a light)
Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!
Solo — Major-General.
Tormented with the anguish dread
Of falsehood unatoned,
I lay upon my sleepless bed,
And tossed and turned and groaned.
The man who finds his conscience ache
No peace at all enjoys;
And as I lay in bed awake,
I thought I heard a noise.
Men
He thought he heard a noise — ha! ha!
Major-General
No, all is still
In dale, on hill;
My mind is set at ease —
So still the scene,
It must have been
The sighing of the breeze.
Ballad — Major-General.
Sighing softly to the river
Comes the loving breeze,
Setting nature all a-quiver,
Rustling through the trees.
Men
Through the trees.
Major-General
And the brook, in rippling measure,
Laughs for very love,
While the poplars, in their pleasure,
Wave their arms above.
Men
Yes, the trees, for very love,
Wave their leafy arms above.
River, river, little river,
May thy loving prosper ever!
Heaven speed thee, poplar tree,
May thy wooing happy be.
Major-General(springing up)
Yet, the breeze is but a rover,
When he wings away,
Brook and poplar mourn a lover
Sighing, "Well-a-day!"
Men
Well-a-day!
Major-General
Ah! the doing and undoing,
That the rogue could tell!
When the breeze is out a-wooing,
Who can woo so well?
Men
Shocking tales the rogue could tell,
Nobody can woo so well.
Pretty brook, thy dream is over,
For thy love is but a rover;
Sad the lot of poplar trees,
Courted by a fickle breeze!
Enter the General's daughters, led by Mabel, all in white peignoirs and night-caps, and carrying lighted candles.
Girls
Now what is this, and what is that, and why does father leave his rest
At such a time of night as this, so very incompletely dressed?
Dear father is, and always was, the most methodical of men!
It's his invariable rule to go to bed at half-past ten.
What strange occurrence can it be that calls dear father from his rest
At such a time of night as this, so very incompletely dressed?
Enter Pirate King, Samuel, and Frederic.
Pirate King
Forward, my men, and seize that General there!
They seize the Major-General.
Girls
The pirates! the pirates! Oh, despair!
Pirates (springing up)
Yes, we're the pirates, so despair!
Major-General
Frederic here! Oh, joy! Oh. rapture!
Summon your men and effect their capture!
Mabel
Frederic, save us!
Frederic
Beautiful Mabel,
I would if I could, but I am not able.
Pirates
He's telling the truth, he is not able.
Pirate King
With base deceit
You worked upon our feelings!
Revenge is sweet,
And flavours all our dealings!
With courage rare
And resolution manly,
For death prepare,
Unhappy General Stanley.
Mabel (wildly)
Is he to die, unshriven — unannealed?
Girls
Oh, spare him!
Mabel
Will no one in his cause a weapon wield?
Girls
Oh, spare him!
Police (springing up)
Yes, we are here, though hitherto concealed!
Girls
Oh, rapture!
Police
So to Constabulary, pirates yield!
Girls
Oh, rapture!
A struggle ensues between Pirates and Police, Eventually the Police are overcome and fall prostrate, the Pirates standing over them with drawn swords.
Chorus or Pirates and Police
We/You triumph now, for well we trow
Your/Our mortal career's cut short;
No pirate band will take its stand
At the Central Criminal Court.
Sergeant
To gain a brief advantage you've contrived,
But your proud triumph will not be long-lived.
Pirate King
Don't say you are orphans, for we know that game.
Sergeant
On your allegiance we've a stronger claim —
We charge you yield, we charge you yield,
In Queen Victoria's name!
Pirate King (baffled)
You do?
Police
We do!
We charge you yield,
In Queen Victoria's name!
Pirates kneel, Police stand over them triumphantly.
Pirate King
We yield at once, with humbled mien,
Because, with all our faults, we love our Queen.
Police
Yes, yes, with all their faults, they love their Queen.
All
Yes, yes, with all their faults, they love their Queen.
Police holding Pirates by the collar, take out handkerchiefs and weep.
Major-General
Away with them, and place them at the bar!
Enter Ruth
Ruth
One moment! let me tell you who they are.
They are no members of the common throng;
They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.
All
They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.
Major-General
No Englishman unmoved that statement hears,
Because, with all our faults, we love our House of Peers.
I pray you, pardon me, ex-Pirate King!
Peers will be peers, and youth will have its fling.
Resume your ranks and legislative duties,
And take my daughters, all of whom are beauties.

Act II Finale[edit]

Poor wandering ones!
Though ye have surely strayed,
Take heart of grace,
Your steps retrace,
Poor wandering ones!
Poor wandering ones!
If such poor love as ours
Can help you find
True peace of mind,
Why, take it, it is yours!
All
Poor wandering ones! etc.


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.