The Pirates of Penzance


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Dialogue following No. 1

FREDERIC rises and comes forward with PIRATE KING, who enters.

Jones Hewson as The Pirate King (1901)
Click on picture to enlarge

King. Yes, Frederic, from to-day you rank as a full-blown member of our band.

All. Hurrah!

Frederic. My friends, I thank you all, from my heart, for your kindly wishes. Would that I could repay them as they deserve!

King. What do you mean?

Frederic.To-day I am out of my indentures, and to-day I leave you for ever.

King. But this is quite unaccountable; a keener hand at scuttling a Cunarder or cutting out a P. & O. never shipped a handspike.

Frederic. Yes, I have done my best for you. And why? It was my duty under my indentures, and I am the slave of duty. As a child I was regularly apprenticed to your band. It was through an error -- no matter, the mistake was ours, not yours, and I was in honour bound by it.

Samuel. An error? What error?

Frederic. I may not tell you; it would reflect upon my well-loved Ruth.

RUTH rises and comes forward.

Ruth. Nay, dear master, my mind has long been gnawed by the cankering tooth of mystery. Better have it out at once.

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