(Exit Fitzbattleaxe. Manet Zara.)
King: My daughter! At last we are alone together.
Zara: Yes, and I'm glad we are, for I want to speak to you very
seriously. Do you know this paper?
King: (aside) Da--! (Aloud) Oh yes--I've--I've seen it. Where
in the world did you get this from?
Zara: It was given to me by Lady Sophy--my sisters' governess.
King: (aside) Lady Sophy's an angel, but I do sometimes wish
she'd mind her own business! (Aloud) It's--ha! ha!--it's
Zara: I see nothing humorous in it. I only see that you, the des-
potic King of this country, are made the subject of the most
scandalous insinuations. Why do you permit these things?
King: Well, they appeal to my sense of humor. It's the only
really comic paper in Utopia, and I wouldn't be without it
for the world.
Zara: If it had any literary merit I could understand it.
King: Oh, it has literary merit. Oh, distinctly, it has literary
Zara: My dear father, it's mere ungrammatical twaddle.
King: Oh, it's not ungrammatical. I can't allow that. Unpleas-
antly personal, perhaps, but written with an epigrammatical
point that is very rare nowadays--very rare indeed.
Zara: (looking at cartoon) Why do they represent you with such a
King: (looking at cartoon) Eh? Yes, it is a big one! Why, the
fact is that, in the cartoons of a comic paper, the size of
your nose always varies inversely as the square of your
popularity. It's the rule.
Zara: Then you must be at a tremendous discount just now! I see a
notice of a new piece called "King Tuppence," in which an
English tenor has the audacity to personate you on a public
stage. I can only say that I am surprised that any English
tenor should lend himself to such degrading personalities.
King: Oh, he's not really English. As it happens he's a Utopian,
but he calls himself English.
Zara: Calls himself English?
King: Yes. Bless you, they wouldn't listen to any tenor who
didn't call himself English.
Zara: And you permit this insolent buffoon to caricature you in a
pointless burlesque! My dear father--if you were a free
agent, you would never permit these outrages.
King: (almost in tears) Zara--I--I admit I am not altogether a
free agent. I--I am controlled. I try to make the best of
it, but sometimes I find it very difficult--very difficult
indeed. Nominally a Despot, I am, between ourselves, the
helpless tool of two unscrupulous Wise Men, who insist on my
falling in with all their wishes and threaten to denounce me
for immediate explosion if I remonstrate! (Breaks down
Zara: My poor father! Now listen to me. With a view to remodel-
ling the political and social institutions of Utopia, I have
brought with me six Representatives of the principal causes
that have tended to make England the powerful, happy, and
blameless country which the consensus of European civiliza-
tion has declared it to be. Place yourself unreservedly in
the hands of these gentlemen, and they will reorganize your
country on a footing that will enable you to defy your
persecutors. They are all now washing their hands after
their journey. Shall I introduce them?
King: My dear Zara, how can I thank you? I will consent to any-
thing that will release me from the abominable tyranny of
these two men. (Calling) What ho! Without there! (Enter
Calynx) Summon my Court without an instant's delay!
Enter every one, except the Flowers of Progress.
Although your Royal summons to appear
From courtesy was singularly free,
Obedient to that summons we are here--
What would your Majesty?
RECITATIVE -- King
My worthy people, my beloved daughter
Most thoughtfully has brought with her from England
The types of all the causes that have made
That great and glorious country what it is.
Chorus: Oh, joy unbounded!
Sca., Tar., Phan (aside). Why, what does this mean?
RECITATIVE -- Zara
Attend to me, Utopian populace,
Ye South Pacific island viviparians;
All, in the abstract, types of courtly grace,
Yet, when compared with Britain's glorious race,
But little better than half clothed Barbarians!
Yes! Contrasted when
Are little better than half-clothed barbarians!
Enter all the Flowers of Progress, led by Fitzbattleaxe.