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Dialogue following No. 12

Enter Iolanthe.

Strephon. Oh, Phyllis, Phyllis! To be taken from you just as I was on the point of making you my own! Oh, it's too much — it's too much!

Iolanthe. (to Strephon, who is in tears) My son in tears — and on his wedding day!

Strephon. My wedding day! Oh, mother, weep with me, for the Law has interposed between us, and the Lord Chancellor has separated us for ever!

Iolanthe. The Lord Chancellor! (aside) Oh, if he did but know!

Strephon. (overhearing her) If he did but know what?

Iolanthe. No matter! The Lord Chancellor has no power over you. Remember you are half a fairy. You can defy him — down to the waist.

Strephon. Yes, but from the waist downwards he can commit me to prison for years! Of what avail is it that my body is free, if my legs are working out seven years' penal servitude?

Iolanthe. True. But take heart — our Queen has promised you her special protection. I'll go to her and lay your peculiar case before her.

Strephon. My beloved mother! how can I repay the debt I owe you?

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