The Grand Duke

   

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No. 9: CHORUS & SONG (Rudolph)

"The good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig...
A pattern to professors of monarchical economy"

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(March. Enter the seven Chamberlains of the Grand Duke Rudolph.)

Chamberlains.

The good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig,
Though, in his own opinion, very very big,
In point of fact he’s nothing but a miserable prig
Is the good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

Though quite contemptible, as every one agrees,
We must dissemble if we want our bread and cheese,
So hail him in a chorus, with enthusiasm big,
The good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig!
The good, the good Grand Duke of Pfennig Halbpfennig!

(Enter the Grand Duke Rudolph. He is meanly and miserably dressed in old and patched clothes, but blazes with a profusion of orders and decorations. He is very weak and ill, from low living.)

Rudolph.

A pattern to professors of monarchical autonomy,
I don’t indulge in levity or compromising bonhomie,
But dignified formality, consistent with economy,
Above all other virtues I particularly prize.
I never join in merriment – I don’t see joke or jape any –
I never tolerate familiarity in shape any –
This, joined with an extravagant respect for tuppence-ha’penny,
A keynote to my character sufficiently supplies.
Observe. (To Chamberlains.) My snuff-box!

(The snuff-box is passed with much ceremony from the Junior Chamberlain, through all the others, until it is presented by the Senior Chamberlain to Rudolph,who uses it.)

That incident a keynote to my character supplies.

Walter Passmore as Rudolph
Click on picture to enlarge

I weigh out tea and sugar with precision mathematical –
Instead of beer, a penny each – my orders are emphatical –
(Extravagance unpardonable, any more than that I call),
But, on the other hand, my Ducal dignity to keep –
All Courtly ceremonial – to put it comprehensively –
I rigidly insist upon (but not, I hope, offensively)
Whenever ceremonial can be practised inexpensively –
And, when you come to think of it, it’s really very cheap!
Observe. (To Chamberlains.) My handkerchief!

(Handkerchief is handed by Junior Chamberlain to the next in order, and so on until it reaches Rudolph,who is much inconvenienced by the delay.)

It’s stately and impressive, and it’s really very cheap!

Click on picture to enlarge

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