Utopia Limited

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Dialogue following No. 1

Enter Calynx.

Calynx: Good news! Great news! His Majesty's eldest daughter, Princess Zara, who left our shores five years since to go to England--the greatest, the most powerful, the wisest country in the world — has taken a high degree at Girton, and is on her way home again, having achieved a complete mastery over all the elements that have tended to raise that glorious country to her present pre-eminent position among civilized nations!

Salata: Then in a few months Utopia may hope to be completely Anglicized?

Calynx: Absolutely and without a doubt.

Melene: (lazily) We are very well as we are. Life without a care — every want supplied by a kind and fatherly monarch, who, despot though he be, has no other thought than to make his people happy — what have we to gain by the great change that is in store for us?

Salata: What have we to gain? English institutions, English tastes, and oh, English fashions!

Calynx: England has made herself what she is because, in that fa- vored land, every one has to think for himself. Here we have no need to think, because our monarch anticipates all our wants, and our political opinions are formed for us by the journals to which we subscribe. Oh, think how much more brilliant this dialogue would have been, if we had been accustomed to exercise our reflective powers! They say that in England the conversation of the very meanest is a corus- cation of impromptu epigram!

Enter Tarara in a great rage

Walter Passmore as Tarara, 1893
Click on picture to enlarge

Tarara: Lalabalele talala! Callabale lalabalica falahle!

Calynx: (horrified) Stop — stop, I beg! (All the ladies close their ears.)

Tarara: Callamalala galalate! Caritalla lalabalee kallalale poo!

Ladies: Oh, stop him! stop him!

Calynx: My lord, I'm surprised at you. Are you not aware that His Majesty, in his despotic acquiescence with the emphatic wish of his people, has ordered that the Utopian language shall be banished from his court, and that all communications shall henceforward be made in the English tongue?

Tarara: Yes, I'm perfectly aware of it, although — (suddenly presenting an explosive "cracker") Stop — allow me.

Calynx: (pulls it) Now, what's that for?

Tarara: Why, I've recently been appointed Public Exploder to His Majesty, and as I'm constitutionally nervous, I must accus- tom myself by degrees to the startling nature of my duties. Thank you. I was about to say that although, as Public Exploder, I am next in succession to the throne, I nevertheless do my best to fall in with the royal decree. But when I am overmastered by an indignant sense of overwhelming wrong, as I am now, I slip into my native tongue without knowing it. I am told that in the language of that great and pure nation, strong expressions do not exist, consequently when I want to let off steam I have no alternative but to say, "Lalabalele molola lililah kallalale poo!"

Calynx: But what is your grievance?

Tarara: This — by our Constitution we are governed by a Despot who, although in theory absolute — is, in practice, nothing of the kind — being watched day and night by two Wise Men whose duty it is, on his very first lapse from political or social propriety, to denounce him to me, the Public Exploder, and it then becomes my duty to blow up His Majesty with dynamite — allow me. (Presenting a cracker which Calynx pulls.) Thank you — and, as some compensation to my wounded feelings, I reign in his stead.

Calynx: Yes. After many unhappy experiments in the direction of an ideal Republic, it was found that what may be described as a Despotism tempered by Dynamite provides, on the whole, the most satisfactory description of ruler — an autocrat who dares not abuse his autocratic power.

Tarara: That's the theory — but in practice, how does it act? Now, do you ever happen to see the Palace Peeper? (producing a "Society" paper)

Calynx: Never even heard of the journal.

Tarara: I'm not surprised, because His Majesty's agents always buy up the whole edition; but I have an aunt in the publishing department, and she has supplied me with a copy. Well, it actually teems with circumstantially convincing details of the King's abominable immoralities! If this high-class journal may be believed, His Majesty is one of the most Heliogabalian profligates that ever disgraced an autocratic throne! And do these Wise Men denounce him to me? Not a bit of it! They wink at his immoralities! Under the circumstances I really think I am justified in exclaiming "Lalabelele molola lililah kalabalale poo!" (All horrified.) I don't care — the occasion demands it. (Exit Tarara)

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