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Enter Lady Sophy -- an English lady of mature years and extreme gravity
     of demeanour and dress.  She carries a lecturer's wand in her
     hand.  She is led on by the King, who expresses great regard and
     admiration for her.

                    RECITATIVE -- Lady Sophy

               This morning we propose to illustrate
               A course of maiden courtship, from the start
               To the triumphant matrimonial finish.

(Through the following song the two Princesses illustrate in gesture
     the description given by Lady Sophy.)

                          SONG -- Lady Sophy

                         Bold-faced ranger
                         (Perfect stranger)
               Meets two well-behaved young ladies.
                         He's attractive,
                         Young and active--
               Each a little bit afraid is.
                         Youth advances,
                         At his glances
               To their danger they awaken;
                         They repel him
                         As they tell him
               He is very much mistaken.
               Though they speak to him politely,
               Please observe they're sneering slightly,
               Just to show he's acting vainly.
               This is Virtue saying plainly
                         "Go away, young bachelor,
                         We are not what you take us for!"
               When addressed impertinently,
               English ladies answer gently,
                         "Go away, young bachelor,
                         We are not what you take us for!"

                         As he gazes,
                         Hat he raises,
               Enters into conversation.
                         Makes excuses--
                         This produces
               Interesting agitation.
                         He, with daring,
               Give his card--his rank discloses
                         Little heeding
                         This proceeding,
               They turn up their little noses.
               Pray observe this lesson vital--
               When a man of rank and title
               His position first discloses,
               Always cock your little noses.
                         When at home, let all the class
                         Try this in the looking glass.
               English girls of well bred notions,
               Shun all unrehearsed emotions.
                         English girls of highest class
                         Practice them before the glass.

                         His intentions
                         Then he mentions.
               Something definite to go on--
                         Makes recitals
                         Of his titles,
               Hints at settlements, and so on.
                         Smiling sweetly,
                         They, discreetly,
               Ask for further evidences:
                         Thus invited,
                         He, delighted,
               Gives the usual references:
               This is business. Each is fluttered
               When the offer's fairly uttered.
               "Which of them has his affection?"
               He declines to make selection.
                         Do they quarrel for his dross?
                         Not a bit of it--they toss!
               Please observe this cogent moral--
               English ladies never quarrel.
                         When a doubt they come across,
                         English ladies always toss.

                    RECITATIVE -- Lady Sophy

               The lecture's ended. In ten minute's space
               'Twill be repeated in the market-place!

                     (Exit Lady Sophy, followed by Nekaya and Kalyba.)

Chorus:        Quaff the nectar--cull the roses--
                    Bashful girls will soon be plenty!
               Maid who thus at fifteen poses
                    Ought to be divine at twenty!

                                                (Exeunt all but KING.)

King:     I requested Scaphio and Phantis to be so good as to favor me
          with an audience this morning.  (Enter SCAPHIO and PHANTIS.) 
          Oh, here they are!

Scaphio:  Your Majesty wished to speak with us, I believe.  You--you
          needn't keep your crown on, on our account, you know.

King:     I beg your pardon.  (Removes it.)  I always forget that! 
          Odd, the notion of a King not being allowed to wear one of
          his own crowns in the presence of two of his own subjects.

Phantis:  Yes--bizarre, is it not?

King:     Most quaint.  But then it's a quaint world.

Phantis:  Teems with quiet fun.  I often think what a lucky thing it
          is that you are blessed with such a keen sense of humor!

King:     Do you know, I find it invaluable.  Do what I will, I cannot
          help looking at the humorous side of things--for, properly
          considered, everything has its humorous side--even the
          Palace Peeper (producing it).  See here--"Another Royal
          Scandal," by Junius Junior.  "How long is this to last?" by
          Senex Senior.  "Ribald Royalty," by Mercury Major.  "Where
          is the Public Exploder?" by Mephistopheles Minor.  When I
          reflect that all these outrageous attacks on my morality are
          written by me, at your command--well, it's one of the funni-
          est things that have come within the scope of my experience.

Scaphio:  Besides, apart from that, they have a quiet humor of their
          own which is simply irresistible.

King:     (gratified)  Not bad, I think.  Biting, trenchant
          sarcasm--the rapier, not the bludgeon--that's my line.  But
          then it's so easy--I'm such a good subject--a bad King but a
          good Subject--ha! ha!--a capital heading for next week's
          leading article!  (makes a note)  And then the stinging
          little paragraphs about our Royal goings-on with our Royal
          Second Housemaid--delicately sub-acid, are they not?

Scaphio:  My dear King, in that kind of thing no one can hold a candle
          to you.

Phantis:  But the crowning joke is the Comic Opera you've written for
          us--"King Tuppence, or A Good Deal Less than Half a Sover-
          eign"--in which the celebrated English tenor, Mr. Wilkinson,
          burlesques your personal appearance and gives grotesque
          imitations of your Royal peculiarities.  It's immense!

King:     Ye--es--That's what I wanted to speak to you about.  Now
          I've not the least doubt but that even that has its humorous
          side too--if one could only see it.  As a rule I'm pretty
          quick at detecting latent humor--but I confess I do not
          quite see where it comes in, in this particular instance. 
          It's so horribly personal!

Scaphio:  Personal?  Yes, of course it's personal--but consider the
          antithetical humor of the situation.

King:     Yes.  I--I don't think I've quite grasped that.

Scaphio:  No?  You surprise me.  Why, consider.  During the day thou-
          sands tremble at your frown, during the night (from 8 to 11)
          thousands roar at it.  During the day your most arbitrary
          pronouncements are received by your subjects with abject
          submission--during the night, they shout with joy at your
          most terrible decrees.  It's not every monarch who enjoys
          the privilege of undoing by night all the despotic absurdi-
          ties he's committed during the day.

King:     Of course!  Now I see it!  Thank you very much.  I was sure
          it had its humorous side, and it was very dull of me not to
          have seen it before.  But, as I said just now, it's a quaint

Phantis:  Teems with quiet fun.

King:     Yes.  Properly considered, what a farce life is, to be sure!

                             SONG -- King.

          First you're born--and I'll be bound you
          Find a dozen strangers round you.
          "Hallo," cries the new-born baby,
          "Where's my parents? which may they be?"
               Awkward silence--no reply--
               Puzzled baby wonders why!
          Father rises, bows politely--
          Mother smiles (but not too brightly)--
          Doctor mumbles like a dumb thing--
          Nurse is busy mixing something.--
               Every symptom tends to show
               You're decidedly de trop--

All:                Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho!
                         Time's teetotum,
                              If you spin it,
                         Gives it quotum
                              Once a minute.
                         I'll go bail
                         You hit the nail,
                         And if you fail,
                              The deuce is in it!

King:     You grow up and you discover
          What it is to be a lover.
          Some young lady is selected--
          Poor, perhaps, but well-connected.
               Whom you hail (for Love is blind)
               As the Queen of fairy kind.
          Though she's plain--perhaps unsightly,
          Makes her face up--laces tightly,
          In her form your fancy traces
          All the gifts of all the graces.
               Rivals none the maiden woo,
               So you take her and she takes you.

All:      Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho!
               Joke beginning,
                    Never ceases
               Till your inning
                    Time releases,
               On your way
               You blindly stray,
               And day by day 
                    The joke increases!

King:     Ten years later--Time progresses--
          Sours your temper--thins your tresses;
          Fancy, then, her chain relaxes;
          Rates are facts and so are taxes.
               Fairy Queen's no longer young--
               Fairy Queen has got a tongue.
          Twins have probably intruded--
          Quite unbidden--just as you did--
          They're a source of care and trouble--
          Just as you were--only double.
               Comes at last the final stroke--
               Time has had its little joke!

All:      Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho!
               Daily driven
                    (Wife as drover)
               Ill you've thriven--
                    Ne'er in clover;
               Lastly, when
               Three-score and ten
               (And not till then),
                    The joke is over!
          Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho! ho!
               Then--and then
                    The joke is over!

                                         (Exeunt Scaphio and Phantis.)

King:     (putting on his crown again)  It's all very well.  I always
          like to look on the humorous side of things; but I do not
          think I ought to be required to write libels on my own moral
          character.  Naturally, I see the joke of it--anybody
          would--but Zara's coming home today; she's no longer a
          child, and I confess I should not like her to see my
          Opera--though it's uncommonly well written; and I should be
          sorry if the Palace Peeper got into her hands--though it's
          certainly smart--very smart indeed.  It is almost a pity
          that I have to buy up the whole edition, because it's really
          too good to be lost.  And Lady Sophy--that blameless type of
          perfect womanhood!  Great Heavens, what would she say if the
          Second Housemaid business happened to meet her pure blue
          eye! (Enter Lady Sophy)