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Dialogue following No. 7


Enter Lord Tolloller.

Lord Tolloller. And now, my Lords, to the business of the day.

Lord Chancellor. By all means. Phyllis, who is a Ward of Court, has so powerfully affected your Lordships, that you have appealed to me in a body to give her to whichever one of you she may think proper to select, and a noble Lord has just gone to her cottage to request her immediate attendance. It would be idle to deny that I, myself, have the misfortune to be singularly attracted by this young person. My regard for her is rapidly undermining my constitution. Three months ago I was a stout man. I need say no more. If I could reconcile it with my duty, I should unhesitatingly award her to myself, for I can conscientiously say that I know no man who is so well fitted to render her exceptionally happy.

Peers. Hear, hear!

Lord Chancellor. But such an award would be open to misconstruction, and therefore, at whatever personal inconvenience, I waive my claim.

Lord Tolloller. My Lord, I desire, on the part of this House, to express its sincere sympathy with your Lordship's most painful position.

Lord Chancellor. I thank your Lordships. The feelings of a Lord Chancellor who is in love with a Ward of Court are not to be envied. What is his position? Can he give his own consent to his own marriage with his own Ward? Can he marry his own Ward without his own consent? And if he marries his own Ward without his own consent, can he commit himself for contempt of his own Court? And if he commit himself for contempt of his own Court, can he appear by counsel before himself, to move for arrest of his own judgment? Ah, my Lords, it is indeed painful to have to sit upon a woolsack which is stuffed with such thorns as these!

Enter Lord Mountararat.

Lord Mountararat. My Lord, I have much pleasure in announcing that I have succeeded in inducing the young person to present herself at the Bar of this House

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