The Gondoliers

   

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Dialogue following No. 20


Enter Marco and Giuseppe.

Duke. Ah! Their Majesties. Your Majesty! (Bows with great ceremony.)

Marco. The Duke of Plaza-Toro, I believe?

Duke. The same. (Marco and Giuseppe offer to shake hands with him. The Duke bows ceremoniously. They endeavour to imitate him.) Allow me to present —

Giuseppe. The young lady one of us married?

Marco and Giuseppe offer to shake hands with her. Casilda curtsies formally. They endeavour to imitate her.

Casilda. Gentlemen, I am the most obedient servant of one of you. (Aside.) Oh, Luiz!

Duke. I am now about to address myself to the gentleman whom my daughter married; the other may allow his attention to wander if he likes, for what I am about to say does not concern him. Sir, you will find in this young lady a combination of excellences which you would search for in vain in any young lady who had not the good fortune to be my daughter. There is some little doubt as to which of you is the gentleman I am addressing, and which is the gentleman who is allowing his attention to wander; but when that doubt is solved, I shall say (still addressing the attentive gentleman), "Take her, and may she make you happier than her mother has made me."

Duchess. Sir!

Duke. If possible. And now there is a little matter to which I think I am entitled to take exception. I come here in state with Her Grace the Duchess and Her Majesty my daughter, and what do I find? Do I find, for instance, a guard of honour to receive me? No!

Henry Lytton as The Duke and Rowena Ronald as Casilda, 1932

Marco & Giuseppe. No.

Duke. The town illuminated? No!

Marco & Giuseppe. No.

Duke. Refreshment provided? No!

Marco & Giuseppe. No.

Duke. A Royal salute fired? No!

Marco & Giuseppe. No.

Duke. Triumphal arches erected? No!

Marco & Giuseppe. No.

Duke. The bells set ringing?

Marco & Giuseppe. No.

Duke. Yes — one — the Visitors', and I rang it myself. It is not enough! It is not enough!

Giuseppe. Upon my honour, I'm very sorry; but you see, I was brought up in a gondola, and my ideas of politeness are confined to taking off my cap to my passengers when they tip me.

Duchess. That's all very well in its way, but it is not enough.

Giuseppe. I'll take off anything else in reason.

Duke. But a Royal Salute to my daughter--it costs so little.

Casilda. Papa, I don't want a salute.

Giuseppe. My dear sir, as soon as we know which of us is entitled to take that liberty she shall have as many salutes as she likes.

Marco. As for guards of honour and triumphal arches, you don't know our people — they wouldn't stand it.
Giuseppe. They are very off-hand with us — very off-hand indeed.

Duke. Oh, but you mustn't allow that — you must keep them in proper discipline, you must impress your Court with your importance. You want deportment — carriage —

Giuseppe. We've got a carriage.

Duke. Manner — dignity. There must be a good deal of this sort of thing — (business) — and a little of this sort of thing — (business) — and possibly just a soupçon of this sort of thing! — (business) — and so on. Oh, it's very useful, and most effective. Just attend to me. You are a King — I am a subject. Very good —

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