Previous Page

                                ACT II

Scene -- Throne Room in the Palace.  Night.  Fitzbattleaxe discovered,
     singing to Zara.

                  RECITATIVE -- Fitzbattleaxe.

          Oh, Zara, my beloved one, bear with me!
          Ah, do not laugh at my attempted C!
          Repent not, mocking maid, thy girlhood's choice--
          The fervour of my love affects my voice!

                     SONG -- Fitzbattleaxe.

          A tenor, all singers above
               (This doesn't admit of a question),
                    Should keep himself quiet,
                    Attend to his diet
               And carefully nurse his digestion;
          But when he is madly in love
               It's certain to tell on his singing--
                    You can't do the proper chromatics
                    With proper emphatics
               When anguish your bosom is wringing!
          When distracted with worries in plenty,
          And his pulse is a hundred and twenty,
          And his fluttering bosom the slave of mistrust is,
          A tenor can't do himself justice,
               Now observe--(sings a high note),
          You see, I can't do myself justice!
          I could sing if my fervour were mock,
               It's easy enough if you're acting--
                    But when one's emotion
                    Is born of devotion
               You mustn't be over-exacting.
          One ought to be firm as a rock
               To venture a shake in vibrato,
                    When fervour's expected
                    Keep cool and collected
               Or never attempt agitato.
          But, of course, when his tongue is of leather,
          And his lips appear pasted together,
          And his sensitive palate as dry as a crust is,
          A tenor can't do himself justice.
               Now observe--(sings a high note),
          It's no use--I can't do myself justice!

Zara:     Why, Arthur, what does it matter?  When the higher qualities
          of the heart are all that can be desired, the higher notes
          of the voice are matters of comparative insignificance.  Who
          thinks slightingly of the cocoanut because it is husky?  Be-
          sides (demurely), you are not singing for an engagement
          (putting her hand in his), you have that already!

Fitz.:    How good and wise you are!  How unerringly your practiced
          brain winnows the wheat from the chaff--the material from
          the merely incidental!

Zara:     My Girton training, Arthur.  At Girton all is wheat, and
          idle chaff is never heard within its walls!  But tell me, is
          not all working marvelously well?  Have not our Flowers of
          Progress more than justified their name?

Fitz.:    We have indeed done our best.  Captain Corcoran and I have,
          in concert, thoroughly remodeled the sister-services--and
          upon so sound a basis that the South Pacific trembles at the
          name of Utopia!

Zara:     How clever of you!

Fitz.:    Clever?  Not a bit.  It's easy as possible when the Admiral-
          ty and Horse Guards are not there to interfere.  And so with
          the others.  Freed from the trammels imposed upon them by
          idle Acts of Parliament, all have given their natural tal-
          ents full play and introduced reforms which, even in Eng-
          land, were never dreamt of!

Zara:     But perhaps the most beneficent changes of all has been ef-
          fected by Mr. Goldbury, who, discarding the exploded theory
          that some strange magic lies hidden in the number Seven, has
          applied the Limited Liability principle to individuals, and
          every man, woman, and child is now a Company Limited with
          liability restricted to the amount of his declared Capital! 
          There is not a christened baby in Utopia who has not already
          issued his little Prospectus!

Fitz.:    Marvelous is the power of a Civilization which can trans-
          mute, by a word, a Limited Income into an Income Limited.

Zara:     Reform has not stopped here--it has been applied even to the
          costume of our people.  Discarding their own barbaric dress,
          the natives of our land have unanimously adopted the taste-
          ful fashions of England in all their rich entirety.  Scaphio
          and Phantis have undertaken a contract to supply the whole
          of Utopia with clothing designed upon the most approved
          English models--and the first Drawing-Room under the new
          state of things is to be held here this evening.

Fitz.:    But Drawing-Rooms are always held in the afternoon.

Zara:     Ah, we've improved upon that.  We all look so much better by
          candlelight!  And when I tell you, dearest, that my Court
          train has just arrived, you will understand that I am long-
          ing to go and try it on.

Fitz.:    Then we must part?

Zara:     Necessarily, for a time.

Fitz.:    Just as I wanted to tell you, with all the passionate enthu-
          siasm of my nature, how deeply, how devotedly I love you!

Zara:     Hush!  Are these the accents of a heart that really feels? 
          True love does not indulge in declamation--its voice is
          sweet, and soft, and low.  The west wind whispers when he
          woos the poplars!

                    DUET -- Zara and Fitzbattleaxe.

Zara:          Words of love too loudly spoken
                    Ring their own untimely knell;
               Noisy vows are rudely broken,
                    Soft the song of Philomel.
               Whisper sweetly, whisper slowly,
                    Hour by hour and day by day;
               Sweet and low as accents holy
                    Are the notes of lover's lay.

Both:          Sweet and low, etc.

Fitz:          Let the conqueror, flushed with glory,
                    Bid his noisy clarions bray;
               Lovers tell their artless story
                    In a whispered virelay.
               False is he whose vows alluring
                    Make the listening echoes ring;
               Sweet and low when all-enduring
                    Are the songs that lovers sing!

Both:          Sweet and low, etc.

       (Exit Zara. Enter King dressed as Field-Marshal.)

King:     To a Monarch who has been accustomed to the uncontrolled use
          of his limbs, the costume of a British Field-Marshal is,
          perhaps, at first, a little cramping.  Are you sure that
          this is all right?  It's not a practical joke, is it?  No
          one has a keener sense of humor than I have, but the First
          Statutory Cabinet Council of Utopia Limited must be conduct-
          ed with dignity and impressiveness.  Now, where are the
          other five who signed the Articles of Association?

Fitz.:    Sir, they are here.

(Enter Lord Dramaleigh, Captain Corcoran, Sir Bailey Barre, Mr. Blushington, and
     Mr. Goldbury from different entrances.)

King:     Oh!  (Addressing them)  Gentlemen, our daughter holds her
          first Drawing-Room in half an hour, and we shall have time
          to make our half-yearly report in the interval.  I am neces-
          sarily unfamiliar with the forms of an English Cabinet
          Council--perhaps the Lord Chamberlain will kindly put us in
          the way of doing the thing properly, and with due regard to
          the solemnity of the occasion.

Lord D.:  Certainly--nothing simpler.  Kindly bring your chairs
          forward--His Majesty will, of course, preside.

(They range their chairs across stage like Christy Minstrels.  King
     sits center, Lord Dramaleigh on his left, Mr. Goldbury on his right,
     Captain Corcoran left of Lord Dramaleigh, Captain Fitzbattleaxe right of
     Mr. Goldbury, Mr. Blushington extreme right, Sir Bailey Barre extreme

King:     Like this?

Lord D.:  Like this.

King:     We take your word for it that this is all right.  You are
          not making fun of us?  This is in accordance with the prac-
          tice at the Court of St. James's?

Lord D.:  Well, it is in accordance with the practice at the Court of
          St. James's Hall.

King:     Oh! it seems odd, but never mind.

                             SONG -- King.

          Society has quite forsaken all her wicked courses.
          Which empties our police courts, and abolishes divorces.

Chorus:   Divorce is nearly obsolete in England.

King:     No tolerance we show to undeserving rank and splendour;
          For the higher his position is, the greater the offender.

Chorus:   That's maxim that is prevalent in England.

King:     No peeress at our drawing-room before the Presence passes
          Who wouldn't be accepted by the lower middle-classes.
          Each shady dame, whatever be her rank, is bowed out neatly.

Chorus:   In short, this happy country has been Anglicized completely
          Is really is surprising
          What a thorough Anglicizing
     We have brought about--Utopia's quite another land;
          In her enterprising movements,
           She is England--with improvements,
     Which we dutifully offer to our mother-land!

King:     Our city we have beautified--we've done it willy-nilly--
          And all that isn't Belgrave Square is Strand and Piccadilly.

Chorus:        We haven't any slummeries in England!

King:     The chamberlain our native stage has purged beyond a ques-
          Of "risky" situation and indelicate suggestion;
          No piece is tolerated if it's costumed indiscreetly--

Chorus:        In short this happy country has been Anglicized com-
                    It really is surprising, etc.

King:     Our peerage we've remodelled on an intellectual basis,
          Which certainly is rough on our hereditary races--

Chorus:        We are going to remodel it in England.

King:     The Brewers and the Cotton Lords no longer seek admission,
          And literary merit meets with proper recognition--

Chorus:        As literary merit does in England!

King:     Who knows but we may count among our intellectual chickens
          Like you, an Earl of Thackery and p'r'aps a Duke of
          Lord Fildes and Viscount Millais (when they come) we'll 
               welcome sweetly--

Chorus:   In short, this happy country has been Anglicized completely!
          It really is surprising, etc.

        (At the end all rise and replace their chairs.)

King:     Now, then for our first Drawing-Room.  Where are the Prin-
          cesses?  What an extraordinary thing it is that since Euro-
          pean looking-glasses have been supplied to the Royal bed-
          rooms my daughters are invariably late!

Lord D.:  Sir, their Royal Highnesses await your pleasure in the

King:     Oh.  Then request them to do us the favor to enter at once.

(Enter all the Royal Household, including (besides the Lord Chamber-
     lain) the Vice-Chamberlain, the Master of the Horse, the Master
     of the Buckhounds, the Lord High Treasurer, the Lord Steward, the
     Comptroller of the Household, the Lord-in-Waiting, the Field
     Officer in Brigade Waiting, the Gold and Silver Stick, and the
     Gentlemen Ushers.  Then enter the three Princesses (their trains
     carried by Pages of Honor), Lady Sophy, and the