# 'And so ad infinitum' (The Life of the Insects)

For other English-language translations of this work, see The Insect Play.
‘And so ad infinitum’ (The Life of the Insects)  (1924)
, translated by Paul Selver

(The Life of the Insects)

An Entomological Review, in Three Acts
a Prologue and an Epilogue

BY

The authorized translation from the Czech
by Paul Selver

FREELY ADAPTED FOR THE ENGLISH STAGE
BY NIGEL PLAYFAIR AND CLIFFORD BAX

So, Naturalists observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that on him prey;
And these have smaller still to bite ’em,

HUMPHREY MILFORD
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
LONDONEDINBURGHGLASGOWCOPENHAGEN
NEW YORKTORONTOMELBOURNECAPE TOWN

First Published 1923
Second Impression 1924

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN

SCENES

PAGE

 Prologue: In the Woods .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          . 5
 Act I: The Butterflies .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          . 8
 Act II: Creepers and Crawlers .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          . 24
 Act III: The Ants .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          . 24
 Epilogue: Death and Life .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          .          . 63

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

(In the order of their appearance)

 A Tramp A Lepidopterist Clytie ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ Butterflies Otto Felix Iris Victor A Chrysalis Mr. Beetle Mrs. Beetle Another Beetle Ichneumon Fly His Daughter Mr. Cricket Mrs. Cricket A Parasite Other Creepers and Crawlers The Blind Timekeeper ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ Ants The Chief Engineer The Second Engineer An Inventor A Messenger A Signal Officer A Journalist A Philanthropist The Commander-in-Chief of the Yellows, &c. First ${\displaystyle \scriptstyle {\left.{\begin{matrix}\ \\\\\ \\\ \ \end{matrix}}\right\}\,}}$ Moths Second Third First Snail Second Snail A Woodcutter A Woman School Children
This work is a translation and has a separate copyright status to the applicable copyright protections of the original content.
Original: This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927. The author died in 1948, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works. This work was published before January 1, 1927 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 51 years or less since publication.