UTOPIA LIMITED OR THE FLOWERS OF PROGRESS Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan Libretto by William S. Gilbert DRAMATIS PERSONAE King Paramount, the First (King of Utopia) Scaphio and Phantis (Judges of the Utopian Supreme Court) Tarara (The Public Exploder) Calynx (The Utopian Vice-Chamberlain) Imported Flowers of Progress: Lord Dramaleigh (a British Lord Chamberlain) Captain Fitzbattleaxe (First Life Guards) Captain Sir Edward Corcoran, K.C.B. (of the Royal Navy) Mr. Goldbury (a company promoter; afterwards Comptroller of the Utopian Household) Sir Bailey Barre, Q.C., M.P. Mr. Blushington (of the County Council) The Princess Zara (eldest daughter of King Paramount) The Princesses Nekaya and Kalyba (her Younger Sisters) The Lady Sophy (their English Gouvernante) Utopian Maidens: Salata Melene Phylla
A Utopian Palm Grove
Throne Room in King Paramount's Palace
First produced at the Savoy Theatre on October 7, 1893.
ACT I. OPENING CHORUS. In lazy languor--motionless, We lie and dream of nothingness; For visions come From Poppydom Direct at our command: Or, delicate alternative, In open idleness we live, With lyre and lute And silver flute, The life of Lazyland. SOLO - Phylla. The song of birds In ivied towers; The rippling play Of waterway; The lowing herds; The breath of flowers; The languid loves Of turtle doves-- These simply joys are all at hand Upon thy shores, O Lazyland! (Enter Calynx) Calynx: Good news! Great news! His Majesty's eldest daughter, Princess Zara, who left our shores five years since to go to England--the greatest, the most powerful, the wisest country in the world--has taken a high degree at Girton, and is on her way home again, having achieved a complete mastery over all the elements that have tended to raise that glorious country to her present pre-eminent position among civilized nations! Salata: Then in a few months Utopia may hope to be completely Angli- cized? Calynx: Absolutely and without a doubt. Melene: (lazily) We are very well as we are. Life without a care--every want supplied by a kind and fatherly monarch, who, despot though he be, has no other thought than to make his people happy--what have we to gain by the great change that is in store for us? Salata: What have we to gain? English institutions, English tastes, and oh, English fashions! Calynx: England has made herself what she is because, in that fa- vored land, every one has to think for himself. Here we have no need to think, because our monarch anticipates all our wants, and our political opinions are formed for us by the journals to which we subscribe. Oh, think how much more brilliant this dialogue would have been, if we had been accustomed to exercise our reflective powers! They say that in England the conversation of the very meanest is a corus- cation of impromptu epigram! (Enter Tarara in a great rage) Tarara: Lalabalele talala! Callabale lalabalica falahle! Calynx: (horrified) Stop--stop, I beg! (All the ladies close their ears.) Tarara: Callamalala galalate! Caritalla lalabalee kallalale poo! Ladies: Oh, stop him! stop him! Calynx: My lord, I'm surprised at you. Are you not aware that His Majesty, in his despotic acquiescence with the emphatic wish of his people, has ordered that the Utopian language shall be banished from his court, and that all communications shall henceforward be made in the English tongue? Tarara: Yes, I'm perfectly aware of it, although--(suddenly present- ing an explosive "cracker"). Stop--allow me. Calynx: (pulls it). Now, what's that for? Tarara: Why, I've recently been appointed Public Exploder to His Majesty, and as I'm constitutionally nervous, I must accus- tom myself by degrees to the startling nature of my duties. Thank you. I was about to say that although, as Public Exploder, I am next in succession to the throne, I neverthe- less do my best to fall in with the royal decree. But when I am overmastered by an indignant sense of overwhelming wrong, as I am now, I slip into my native tongue without knowing it. I am told that in the language of that great and pure nation, strong expressions do not exist, conse- quently when I want to let off steam I have no alternative but to say, "Lalabalele molola lililah kallalale poo!" Calynx: But what is your grievance? Tarara: This--by our Constitution we are governed by a Despot who, although in theory absolute--is, in practice, nothing of the kind--being watched day and night by two Wise Men whose duty it is, on his very first lapse from political or social propriety, to denounce him to me, the Public Exploder, and it then becomes my duty to blow up His Majesty with dynamite--allow me. (Presenting a cracker which Calynx pulls.) Thank you--and, as some compensation to my wounded feelings, I reign in his stead. Calynx: Yes. After many unhappy experiments in the direction of an ideal Republic, it was found that what may be described as a Despotism tempered by Dynamite provides, on the whole, the most satisfactory description of ruler--an autocrat who dares not abuse his autocratic power. Tarara: That's the theory--but in practice, how does it act? Now, do you ever happen to see the Palace Peeper? (producing a "Society" paper). Calynx: Never even heard of the journal. Tarara: I'm not surprised, because His Majesty's agents always buy up the whole edition; but I have an aunt in the publishing department, and she has supplied me with a copy. Well, it actually teems with circumstantially convincing details of the King's abominable immoralities! If this high-class journal may be believed, His Majesty is one of the most Heliogabalian profligates that ever disgraced an autocratic throne! And do these Wise Men denounce him to me? Not a bit of it! They wink at his immoralities! Under the cir- cumstances I really think I am justified in exclaiming "Lalabelele molola lililah kalabalale poo!" (All horri- fied.) I don't care--the occasion demands it. (Exit Tarara) (March. Enter Guard, escorting Scaphio and Phantis.) CHORUS. O make way for the Wise Men! They are the prizemen-- Double-first in the world's university! For though lovely this island (Which is my land), She has no one to match them in her city. They're the pride of Utopia-- Cornucopia Is each his mental fertility. O they make no blunder, And no wonder, For they're triumphs of infallibility. DUET -- Scaphio and Phantis. In every mental lore (The statement smacks of vanity) We claim to rank before The wisest of humanity. As gifts of head and heart We wasted on "utility," We're "cast" to play a part Of great responsibility. Our duty is to spy Upon our King's illicites, And keep a watchful eye On all his eccentricities. If ever a trick he tries That savours of rascality, At our decree he dies Without the least formality. We fear no rude rebuff, Or newspaper publicity; Our word is quite enough, The rest is electricity. A pound of dynamite Explodes in his auriculars; It's not a pleasant sight-- We'll spare you the particulars. Its force all men confess, The King needs no admonishing-- We may say its success Is something quite astonishing. Our despot it imbues With virtues quite delectable, He minds his P's and Q's,-- And keeps himself respectable. Of a tyrant polite He's paragon quite. He's as modest and mild In his ways as a child; And no one ever met With an autocrat yet, So delightfully bland To the least in the land! So make way for the wise men, etc. (Exeunt all but Scaphio and Phantis. Phantis is pensive.)