The Grand Duke

   

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Dialogue following No. 28


Ludwig. My good sir, it’s no use your saying that I can’t revive the Law, in face of the fact that I have revived it.

Rudolph. You didn’t revive it! You couldn’t revive it! You – you are an impostor, sir – a tuppenny rogue, sir! You – you never were, and in all human probability never will be – Grand Duke of Pfennig Anything!

All. What!!!

Rudolph. Never – never, never! (aside) Oh, my internal economy!

Ludwig. That’s absurd, you know. I fought the Grand Duke. He drew a King, and I drew an Ace. He perished in inconceivable agonies on the spot. Now, as that’s settled, we’ll go on with the wedding.

Rudolph. It – it isn’t settled. You – you can’t. I – I – (to Notary) Oh, tell him – tell him! I can’t!

Notary. Well, the fact is, there’s been a little mistake here. On reference to the Act that regulates Statutory Duels, I find it is expressly laid down that the Ace shall count invariably as lowest!

All. As lowest!

Rudolph. (breathlessly) As lowest – lowest – lowest! So you’re the ghoest – ghoest – ghoest! (aside) Oh, what is the matter with me inside here!

Ernest. Well, Julia, as it seems that the Law hasn’t been revived – and as, consequently, I shall come to life in about three minutes – (consulting his watch)

Julia. My objection falls to the ground. (resignedly) Very well!

Princess. And am I to understand that I was on the point of marrying a dead man without knowing it? (To Rudolph, who revives.) Oh, my love, what a narrow escape I’ve had!

Rudolph. Oh – you are the Princess of Monte Carlo, and you’ve turned up just in time! Well, you’re an attractive little girl, you know, but you’re as poor as a rat!

Prince. Pardon me – there you mistake. Accept her dowry – with a father’s blessing! (Gives him a small Roulette board, then flirts with Baroness.)

Rudolph. Why, what do you call this?

Princess. It’s my little Wheel of Fortune. I’ll tell you about it. (They retire up conversing.)

Lisa. That’s all very well, but what is to become of me? (to Ludwig) If you’re a dead man – (Clock strikes three.)

Ludwig. But I’m not. Time’s up – the Act has expired – I’ve come to life – the parson is still in attendance, and we’ll all be married directly.

All. Hurrah!

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