Toto. Poor fellow, I’m sorry he’s so angry, but what can I do? I’ve entirely forgotten what it refers to. Next time I want to remember something, I shall tie two knots – one to remind me that I want to remember something, and the other to remind me what it is I want to remember.
Re-enter JELLY in great excitement.
Jelly. Oh! Your Highness, such news. As I was looking through the great iron gates of the palace just now, what should I see but three great fierce-looking men in sugar-loaf hats trimmed with ribbons, great mysterious-looking cloaks on their shoulders, and guns and daggers and pistols stuck all over them.
Toto. (delighted.) They must be brigands – how delightful. And what did you do?
Jelly. Do! I saw at once that all was lost, so I ran back to the palace for the key, unlocked the gates, and threw myself into their arms, exclaiming, ‘Resistance is useless. I am your prisoner, carry me off to your mountain home.’
Toto. Noble-hearted girl! And what did they do?
Jelly. Why, they said I was a bold-faced thing, and ought to be ashamed of myself. The tall one gave me a tract.
Toto. Eccentric creatures! Did you hear their names?
Jelly. Let me see, the tall one was called Barbar – Barber –
Toto. (excited.) Not Rini? Don’t say it was Rini.
Jelly. Rini it was Barberini.
Toto. It is their blood-stained and desperate chief.
Jelly. He was working a pair of slippers. He said they were for you.
Toto. For me? Send him here at once, don’t lose a moment. (Exit JELLY.) At last I shall see the romantic monster who is the dread of the whole country. What can he want with me? – Perhaps to carry me off – How dreadful but how picturesque!
Enter PRINCE CARAMEL disguised as a brigand. He is followed by JELLY, and looks very mean and pitiful.
Caramel. My heart is in my mouth, but I have committed myself to it, and must go on with it. I have sent Floss and Jacquier to tell my court to disguise themselves as brigands, and await me in the Rocky Pass.
Toto. (coming forward.) Are you really Barberini?
Caramel. I am really Barberini. Ain’t you frightened?
Toto. Not a bit.
Caramel. But I look terrible, don’t I?
Toto. Not so terrible as I expected. I thought there would be more of this sort of thing about you. (striding fiercely about.)
Caramel. Oh, I’m like that sometimes. (strides about stage.)
Toto. That’s more like it. Go on – oh, it’s lovely. Isn’t it, Jelly?
Jelly. It’s beautiful – so noble, so picturesque.
Caramel. (who has been stamping all this time.) Do you wish me to keep this up? It’s rather fatiguing.
Toto. No, not now that I see you can do it, if you like. Come and sit down, and tell me all about yourself.
Caramel. With pleasure. (They sit. JELLY takes up a carbine and looks into it.) Don’t touch that, my dear; never play with firearms, an accident so soon happens. Put it down, there’s a good girl.
Toto. Do what the gentleman tells you, Jelly. And so you are really the ferocious monster I’ve heard so much about? You don’t look so very dreadful either.
Caramel. Oh, that’s my nasty cunning; it disarms people and puts them off their guard. (JELLY has taken up carbine.) Now do leave that gun alone.
Toto. And do you really hide behind trees, and pot travellers as they ride by, and take them prisoners, and make them write for ransom, and send them home a little bit at a time if the ransom don’t come?
Caramel. All this we do, and much more. We are devils of fellows!
Toto. And then at night do you sit round your fires in a cavern, and count your disgraceful gains? And sing choruses, and have bands of bayadères to dance before you?
Caramel. Yes, and we play for tremendous stakes too! We think nothing of threepenny points we devils don’t! (To JELLY, who has taken up the gun again.) Now, once for all, if that girl don’t put down that firearm, I shall go!
Toto. Jelly, you’re making the gentleman nervous. Do be quiet! And where are you going now?
Caramel. I am on my way to join my band in my home. We have a little dance tonight. All the respectable brigands for miles around will be there.
Toto. And you’ll dance in the moonlight, I dare say?
Caramel. Yes, the wild quadrille, the maddening Sir Roger de Coverley. Bless you, we devils don’t care what we dance!
Toto. (suddenly.) I’ll go with you!
Jelly. But your Highness –
Toto. I’ll go with him, and so will you! Now don’t stop to argue the point. When my mind’s made up, all the talk in the world won’t change it.
Jelly. But think for one moment –
Toto. I’ve no occasion to think! I’m my own mistress, and I can do what I like. That’s the beauty of being single! We’ll come for a week just to see how we like it. You have some elderly ladies there to make it respectable?
Caramel. Lots of elderly ladies! Bless you, we devils don’t care how elderly they are!
Toto. Then that decides me. I’ll come. The life will suit me exactly. The dress is picturesque, the occupation is healthy, I’ve plenty of pluck, and absolutely nothing to detain me here. What do you say?
Caramel. My hand on it. (aside.) She’s mine. (Whistles – the stage is filled with BRIGANDS.)
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