Utopia Limited

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Dialogue following No. 25


Flourish. Enter King, his three daughters, Lady Sophy, and the Flowers of Progress.

King: What means this most unmannerly irruption?
Is this your gratitude for boons conferred?
Scaphio: Boons? Bah! A fico for such boons, say we!
These boons have brought Utopia to a standstill!
Our pride and boast — the Army and the Navy —
Have both been reconstructed and remodeled
Upon so irresistible a basis
That all the neighbouring nations have disarmed —
And War's impossible! Your County Councillor
Has passed such drastic Sanitary laws
That all doctors dwindle, starve, and die!
The laws, remodeled by Sir Bailey Barre,
Have quite extinguished crime and litigation:
The lawyers starve, and all the jails are let
As model lodgings for the working-classes!
In short — Utopia, swamped by dull Prosperity,
Demands that these detested Flowers of Progress
Be sent about their business, and affairs
Restored to their original complexion!

King: (to Zara) My daughter, this is a very unpleasant state of things. What is to be done?

Zara: I don't know — I don't understand it. We must have omitted something.

King: Omitted something? Yes, that's all very well, but —

Sir Bailey Barre whispers to Zara.

Zara: (suddenly) Of course! Now I remember! Why, I had forgotten the most essential element of all!

King: And that is? —

Zara: Government by Party! Introduce that great and glorious element — at once the bulwark and foundation of England's greatness — and all will be well! No political measures will endure, because one Party will assuredly undo all that the other Party has done; and while grouse is to be shot, and foxes worried to death, the legislative action of the country will be at a standstill. Then there will be sickness in plenty, endless lawsuits, crowded jails, interminable confusion in the Army and Navy, and, in short, general and unexampled prosperity!

All: Ulahlica! Ulahlica!

Phantis: (aside) Baffled!

Scaphio: But an hour will come!

King: Your hour has come already — away with them, and let them wait my will! (Scaphio and Phantis are led off in custody.) From this moment Government by Party is adopted, with all its attendant blessings; and henceforward Utopia will no longer be a Monarchy Limited, but, what is a great deal better, a Limited Monarchy!

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