|Gilbert and Sullivan|
Dialogue following No. 9.
Dr. Fiddle advances.
Glide, Dr. Fiddle, glide!
Pray do not skip! Toes more turned out, and eyes
Turned up, to show the whites; the body bent:
Humility combined with grace -- that's it.
Remember that position, sir, and mine!
The elocutionist, Professor Bunn,
Has not arrived yet; but some stranger left
This note for you. (Hands note.)
Enter Molly and Murphy at back.
(glancing at it) Anonymous! Ah, well,
In these days men who cannot sign their names
Can make their mark!
(reads) "The Lord Lieutenant's warned that the rebel Terence O'Brian is in the neighbourhood - his secret meeting place is Carrig-Cleena. The writer has been force against his will into joining the rebel society, and will be much obliged by the Lord Lieutenant exterminating same at as early date as possible."
(aside) What's that?
Dr. Fiddle, you
Forget yourself! This letter is not bosh;
Go, send a messenger for extra troops,
And we'll exterminate these rebels: point
Exit Dr. Fiddle, Lord Lieutenant and Countess critically watching him.
(to Murphy) There's been a double-faced traitor somewhere. Do ye hear, Pat?
I do, Molly. I wish it was in my heart to tell ye that I can see as well!
If ye could, would I be holdin' your hand?
That's it. Ye would not.
What have we here?
From his appearance I
Should say an impecunious performer
Upon the violin.
Not at all, your honour. It's a poor fiddler I am.
Bow, when the Lord Lieutenant speaks.
Bow thus. (Showing him)
Are you in need of alms?
No, eyes, you honour, seein' he's blind.
"Alms" with an "l" -- Bow! -- were the alms I meant.
Arms with an el-bow were the arms I meant. Come, Pat, it's not the Lord Lieutenant I want to be splittin' straws with.
Kiss hands when you retire.
Murphy kisses his hand to the Countess.
He kissed his hand
He's blind, ma'am. He wouldn't have done it else. Come, Pat. I'll show ye to your door.
Stay -- an idea!
That make a two to-day!
(to Murphy) Do you perform upon the bagpipes, knave?
Do I? Molly, darlin', fly into my cabin like the angel without with wings that ye are, and bring the pipes. His Lordship will not ask of me twice when he's heard me once.
He hands fiddle to Molly, who exits into cottage.
I ask because I fancy it would lend
(If possible) additional effect
And dignity to my appearance, if
My comings and my goings were announced
By bagpipes, played a little in advance
Of where I walk.
It might attract a crowd.
It might. So, if I pay a pound a week
To this poor man to pipe in front of me
Whenever I leave home till I return,
I shall, I think, successfully combine
Cheap charity with much advertisement -
The soul of up-to-date philanthropy;
Charity which, though it begin at home,
Is seen and heard for miles.
An excellent idea!
It is that! A pound a week! It's an offer of marriage I see peepin' out o' that offer as soon as I get my eyesight, which I'll find somehow by this time to-morrow, if I go blind in the search.
Enter Molly with pipes.
I'm at your service and in it, Lord Lieutenant, darlin', from this moment.
(aside) You! Is it you that has turned the traitor? Oh, I wouldn't have believed it!
(Turns slowly and exit.)
But ye do, mighty quick! Ah, Molly, if ye knew everything, ye would understand more.
Come, now, prepare to pipe.
(entering) Papa! Papa!
Oh! is it true the soldiers have been summoned
To make a raid on Carrig-Cleena, and
To catch and hang the rebels?
Yes, my chuck!
They will parade at sunset, here. And I
Shall then address them, as I love to do,
A few soul-stirring words.
And so shall I.
(to Murphy) Prepare to pipe some proud appropriate air
Indicative of victory.
Molly, Molly, you've filled my heart with emptiness!
Murphy begins to play a doleful air.
I have no ear for music, but is that
Indicative of victory? It sounds to me
Like groans and moans -
It's the groans and moans of the vanquished that ye hear, your honour: how can ye have a victory without a defeat at all?
Exit playing, being led by Chaplain and followed by Lord Lieutenant and Countess.
At sunset! How can I warn him? Oh, what shall I do?
| | |
Page Modified 28 September 2004