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Pirates of Penzance




SAMUEL (his Lieutenant)

FREDERIC (the Pirate Apprentice)


MABEL, EDITH, KATE, and ISABEL (General Stanley's Daughters)

RUTH (a Pirate Maid of all Work)

Chorus of Pirates, Police, and General Stanley's Daughters

      First produced at the Op‚ra Comique on April 3, 1880

                              ACT I

(Scene.-A rocky seashore on the coast of Cornwall.  In the
distance is a calm sea, on which a schooner is lying at anchor.
Rock L. sloping down to L.C. of stage.  Under these rocks is a
cavern, the entrance to which is seen at first entrance L.  A
natural arch of rock occupies the R.C. of the stage.  As the
curtain rises groups of pirates are discovered -- some drinking,
some playing cards.  SAMUEL, the Pirate Lieutenant, is going from
one group to another, filling the cups from a flask.  FREDERIC is
seated in a despondent attitude at the back of the scene.  RUTH
kneels at his feet.)

                         OPENING CHORUS

ALL:      Pour, O pour the pirate sherry;
               Fill, O fill the pirate glass;
          And, to make us more than merry
               Let the pirate bumper pass.

SAMUEL:   For today our pirate 'prentice
               Rises from indentures freed;
          Strong his arm, and keen his scent is
               He's a pirate now indeed!

ALL:      Here's good luck to Fred'ric's ventures!
          Fred'ric's out of his indentures.

SAMUEL:   Two and twenty, now he's rising,
               And alone he's fit to fly,
          Which we're bent on signalizing
               With unusual revelry.

ALL:      Here's good luck to Fred'ric's ventures!
               Fred'ric's out of his indentures.
          Pour, O pour the pirate sherry;
               Fill, O fill the pirate glass;
          And, to make us more than merry
               Let the pirate bumper pass.

(FREDERIC rises and comes forward with PIRATE KING, who enters)

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
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 White Star 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?  (RUTH rises and comes forward)
FREDERIC: I may not tell you; it would reflect upon my well-loved
RUTH:     Nay, dear master, my mind has long been gnawed by the
          cankering tooth of mystery.  Better have it out at

                          SONG -- RUTH

RUTH:     When Frederic was a little lad he proved so brave and
          His father thought he'd 'prentice him to some career
          I was, alas! his nurs'rymaid, and so it fell to my lot
          To take and bind the promising boy apprentice to a
               pilot --
          A life not bad for a hardy lad, though surely not a
               high lot,
          Though I'm a nurse, you might do worse than make your
               boy a pilot.
          I was a stupid nurs'rymaid, on breakers always
          And I did not catch the word aright, through being hard
               of hearing;
          Mistaking my instructions, which within my brain did
          I took and bound this promising boy apprentice to a
          A sad mistake it was to make and doom him to a vile
          I bound him to a pirate -- you! -- instead of to a
          I soon found out, beyond all doubt, the scope of this
          But I hadn't the face to return to my place, and break
               it to my master.
          A nurs'rymaid is not afraid of what you people call
          So I made up my mind to go as a kind of piratical maid-
          And that is how you find me now, a member of your shy
          Which you wouldn't have found, had he been bound
               apprentice to a pilot.
RUTH:     Oh, pardon!  Frederic, pardon!  (Kneels)
FREDERIC: Rise, sweet one, I have long pardoned you.  (Ruth
RUTH:     The two words were so much alike!
FREDERIC: They were.  They still are, though years have rolled
          over their heads.  But this afternoon my obligation
          ceases.  Individually, I love you all with affection
          unspeakable; but, collectively, I look upon you with a
          disgust that amounts to absolute detestation.  Oh! pity
          me, my beloved friends, for such is my sense of duty
          that, once out of my indentures, I shall feel myself
          bound to devote myself heart and soul to your
ALL:      Poor lad -- poor lad!  (All weep)
KING:     Well, Frederic, if you conscientiously feel that it is
          your duty to destroy us, we cannot blame you for acting
          on that conviction.  Always act in accordance with the
          dictates of your conscience, my boy, and chance the
SAMUEL:   Besides, we can offer you but little temptation to
          remain with us.  We don't seem to make piracy pay.  I'm
          sure I don't know why, but we don't.
FREDERIC: I know why, but, alas! I mustn't tell you; it wouldn't
          be right.
KING:     Why not, my boy?  It's only half-past eleven, and you
          are one of us until the clock strikes twelve.
SAMUEL:   True, and until then you are bound to protect our
ALL:      Hear, hear!
FREDERIC: Well, then, it is my duty, as a pirate, to tell you
          that you are too tender-hearted.  For instance, you
          make a point of never attacking a weaker party than
          yourselves, and when you attack a stronger party you
          invariably get thrashed.
KING:     There is some truth in that.
FREDERIC: Then, again, you make a point of never molesting an
SAMUEL:   Of course:  we are orphans ourselves, and know what it
FREDERIC: Yes, but it has got about, and what is the consequence?
          Every one we capture says he's an orphan.  The last
          three ships we took proved to be manned entirely by
          orphans, and so we had to let them go.  One would think
          that Great Britain's mercantile navy was recruited
          solely from her orphan asylums -- which we know is not
          the case.
SAMUEL:   But, hang it all!  you wouldn't have us absolutely
FREDERIC: There's my difficulty; until twelve o'clock I would,
          after twelve I wouldn't.  Was ever a man placed in so
          delicate a situation?
RUTH:     And Ruth, your own Ruth, whom you love so well, and who
          has won her middle-aged way into your boyish heart,
          what is to become of her?
KING:     Oh, he will take you with him.
FREDERIC: Well, Ruth, I feel some difficulty about you.  It is
          true that I admire you very much, but I have been
          constantly at sea since I was eight years old, and
          yours is the only woman's face I have seen during that
          time.  I think it is a sweet face.
RUTH:     It is -- oh, it is!
FREDERIC: I say I think it is; that is my impression.  But as I
          have never had an opportunity of comparing you with
          other women, it is just possible I may be mistaken.
KING:     True.
FREDERIC: What a terrible thing it would be if I were to marry
          this innocent person, and then find out that she is, on
          the whole, plain!
KING:     Oh, Ruth is very well, very well indeed.
SAMUEL:   Yes, there are the remains of a fine woman about Ruth.
FREDERIC: Do you really think so?
SAMUEL:   I do.
FREDERIC: Then I will not be so selfish as to take her from you.
          In justice to her, and in consideration for you, I will
          leave her behind.  (Hands RUTH to KING)
KING:     No, Frederic, this must not be.  We are rough men, who
          lead a rough life, but we are not so utterly heartless
          as to deprive thee of thy love.  I think I am right in
          saying that there is not one here who would rob thee of
          this inestimable treasure for all the world holds dear.
ALL:      (loudly)  Not one!
KING:     No, I thought there wasn't.  Keep thy love, Frederic,
          keep thy love.  (Hands her back to FREDERIC)
FREDERIC: You're very good, I'm sure.  (Exit RUTH)
KING:     Well, it's the top of the tide, and we must be off.
          Farewell, Frederic.  When your process of extermination
          begins, let our deaths be as swift and painless as you
          can conveniently make them.
FREDERIC: I will!  By the love I have for you, I swear it!  Would
          that you could render this extermination unnecessary by
          accompanying me back to civilization!
KING:     No, Frederic, it cannot be.  I don't think much of our
          profession, but, contrasted with respectability, it is
          comparatively honest.  No, Frederic, I shall live and
          die a Pirate King.

                       SONG -- PIRATE KING

KING:     Oh, better far to live and die
          Under the brave black flag I fly,
          Than play a sanctimonious part
          With a pirate head and a pirate heart.
          Away to the cheating world go you,
          Where pirates all are well-to-do;
          But I'll be true to the song I sing,
          And live and die a Pirate King.
               For I am a Pirate King!
          And it is, it is a glorious thing
          To be a Pirate King!
               For I am a Pirate King!
ALL:                You are!
          Hurrah for the Pirate King!
KING:     And it is, it is a glorious thing
          To be a Pirate King.
ALL:                It is!
          Hurrah for the Pirate King!
          Hurrah for the Pirate King!
KING:     When I sally forth to seek my prey
          I help myself in a royal way.
          I sink a few more ships, it's true,
          Than a well-bred monarch ought to do;
          But many a king on a first-class throne,
          If he wants to call his crown his own,
          Must manage somehow to get through
          More dirty work than e'er I do,
               For I am a Pirate King!
          And it is, it is a glorious thing
          To be a Pirate King!
               For I am a Pirate King!
ALL:                You are!
          Hurrah for the Pirate King!
KING:     And it is, it is a glorious thing
          To be a Pirate King.
ALL:                It is!
          Hurrah for the Pirate King!
          Hurrah for the Pirate King!

     (Exeunt all except FREDERIC.  Enter RUTH.)

RUTH:     Oh, take me with you! I cannot live if I am left
FREDERIC: Ruth, I will be quite candid with you.  You are very
          dear to me, as you know, but I must be circumspect.
          You see, you are considerably older than I.  A lad of
          twenty-one usually looks for a wife of seventeen.
RUTH:     A wife of seventeen!  You will find me a wife of a
FREDERIC: No, but I shall find you a wife of forty-seven, and
          that is quite enough. Ruth, tell me candidly and
          without reserve:  compared with other women, how are
RUTH:     I will answer you truthfully, master:  I have a slight
          cold, but otherwise I am quite well.
FREDERIC: I am sorry for your cold, but I was referring rather to
          your personal appearance. Compared with other women,
          are you beautiful?
RUTH:     (bashfully)    I have been told so, dear master.
FREDERIC: Ah, but lately?
RUTH:     Oh, no; years and years ago.
FREDERIC: What do you think of yourself?
RUTH:     It is a delicate question to answer, but I think I am a
          fine woman.
FREDERIC: That is your candid opinion?
RUTH:     Yes, I should be deceiving you if I told you otherwise.
FREDERIC: Thank you, Ruth.  I believe you, for I am sure you
          would not practice on my inexperience.  I wish to do
          the right thing, and if- I say if- you are really a
          fine woman, your age shall be no obstacle to our union!
          (Shakes hands with her.  Chorus of girls heard in the
          distance, "climbing over rocky mountain," etc.)  Hark!
          Surely I hear voices!  Who has ventured to approach our
          all but inaccessible lair? Can it be Custom House?  No,
          it does not sound like Custom House.
RUTH:     (aside)  Confusion!  it is the voices of young girls!
          If he should see them I am lost.
FREDERIC: (looking off)  By all that's marvellous, a bevy of
          beautiful maidens!
RUTH:     (aside)  Lost!  lost!  lost!
FREDERIC: How lovely, how surpassingly lovely is the plainest of
          them!  What grace- what delicacy- what refinement!  And
          Ruth-- Ruth told me she was beautiful!


FREDERIC: Oh, false one, you have deceived me!
RUTH:          I have deceived you?
FREDERIC:           Yes, deceived me!
                                                (Denouncing her.)
FREDERIC: You told me you were fair as gold!
RUTH:     (wildly)  And, master, am I not so?
FREDERIC: And now I see you're plain and old.
RUTH:          I'm sure I'm not a jot so.
FREDERIC: Upon my innocence you play.
RUTH:          I'm not the one to plot so.
FREDERIC: Your face is lined, your hair is grey.
RUTH:          It's gradually got so.
FREDERIC: Faithless woman, to deceive me,
                    I who trusted so!
RUTH:     Master, master, do not leave me!
                    Hear me, ere you go!
               My love without reflecting,
               Oh, do not be rejecting!
     Take a maiden tender, her affection raw and green,
               At very highest rating,
               Has been accumulating
     Summers seventeen, summers seventeen.
               Don't, beloved master,
               Crush me with disaster.
     What is such a dower to the dower I have here?
               My love unabating
               Has been accumulating
     Forty-seven year--forty-seven year!


             RUTH                            FREDERIC
     Don't, beloved master,         Yes, your former master
     Crush me with disaster.        Saves you from disaster.
What is such a dower to the     Your love would be uncomfortably
     dower I have here              fervid, it is clear
     My love unabating              If, as you are stating
     Has been accumulating          It's been accumulating
Forty-seven year, forty-seven   Forty-seven year--forty-seven year!
     year!                      Faithless woman to deceive me, I
                                    who trusted so!
Master, master, do not leave    Faithless woman to deceive me, I
     me, hear me, ere I go!         who trusted so!

          What shall I do?  Before these gentle maidens
          I dare not show in this alarming costume!
          No, no, I must remain in close concealment
          Until I can appear in decent clothing!

(Hides in cave as they enter climbing over the rocks and through
     arched rock)

GIRLS:    Climbing over rocky mountain,
          Skipping rivulet and fountain,
          Passing where the willows quiver,
          Passing where the willows quiver
          By the ever-rolling river,
               Swollen with the summer rain, the summer rain
          Threading long and leafy mazes
          Dotted with unnumbered daisies,
          Dotted, dotted with unnumbered daisies,
          Scaling rough and rugged passes,
          Climb the hardy little lasses,
               Till the bright sea-shore they gain;
          Scaling rough and rugged passes,
          Climb the hardy little lasses,
               Till the bright sea-shore they gain!

EDITH:    Let us gaily tread the measure,
          Make the most of fleeting leisure,
          Hail it as a true ally,
          Though it perish by-and-by.

GIRLS:         Hail it as a true ally,
               Though it perish by-and-by.

EDITH:    Every moment brings a treasure
          Of its own especial pleasure;
          Though the moments quickly die,
          Greet them gaily as they fly,
          Greet them gaily as they fly.

GIRLS:    Though the moments quickly die,
          Greet them gaily as they fly.

KATE:     Far away from toil and care,
          Revelling in fresh sea-air,
          Here we live and reign alone
          In a world that's all our own.
          Here, in this our rocky den,
          Far away from mortal men,
          We'll be queens, and make decrees--
          They may honour them who please.

GIRLS:    We'll be queens, and make decrees--
          They may honour them who please.
          Let us gaily tread the measure, etc.

KATE:     What a picturesque spot! I wonder where we are!
EDITH:    And I wonder where Papa is.  We have left him ever so
          far behind.
ISABEL:   Oh, he will be here presently! Remember poor Papa is
          not as young as we are, and we came over a rather
          difficult country.
KATE:     But how thoroughly delightful it is to be so entirely
          alone! Why, in all probability we are the first human
          beings who ever set foot on this enchanting spot.
ISABEL:   Except the mermaids--it's the very place for mermaids.
KATE:     Who are only human beings down to the waist--
EDITH:    And who can't be said strictly to set foot anywhere.
          Tails they may, but feet they cannot.
KATE:     But what shall we do until Papa and the servants arrive
          with the luncheon?
EDITH:    We are quite alone, and the sea is as smooth as glass.
          Suppose we take off our shoes and stockings and paddle?
ALL:      Yes, yes!  The very thing!  (They prepare to carry, out
          the suggestion. They have all taken off one shoe, when
          FREDERIC comes forward from cave.)

FREDERIC: (recitative).  Stop, ladies, pray!
GIRLS:    (Hopping on one foot)    A man!
FREDERIC:                I had intended
          Not to intrude myself upon your notice
          In this effective but alarming costume;
          But under these peculiar circumstances,
          It is my bounden duty to inform you
          That your proceedings will not be unwitnessed!
EDITH:    But who are you, sir?  Speak!  (All hopping)
FREDERIC:                I am a pirate!
GIRLS:    (recoiling, hopping)     A pirate!  Horror!
FREDERIC:                Ladies, do not shun me!
          This evening I renounce my vile profession;
          And, to that end, O pure and peerless maidens!
          Oh, blushing buds of ever-blooming beauty!
          I, sore at heart, implore your kind assistance.
EDITH:    How pitiful his tale!
KATE:          How rare his beauty
GIRLS:    How pitiful his tale!  How rare his beauty!


          Oh, is there not one maiden breast
               Which does not feel the moral beauty
          Of making worldly interest
               Subordinate to sense of duty?

          Who would not give up willingly
               All matrimonial ambition,
          To rescue such a one as I
               From his unfortunate position?
                    From his position,
               To rescue such an one as I
                    From his unfortunate position?

GIRLS:    Alas!  there's not one maiden breast
               Which seems to feel the moral beauty
          Of making worldly interest
               Subordinate to sense of duty!

FREDERIC: Oh, is there not one maiden here
               Whose homely face and bad complexion
          Have caused all hope to disappear
               Of ever winning man's affection?
          Of such a one, if such there be,
               I swear by Heaven's arch above you,
          If you will cast your eyes on me,
               However plain you be, I'll love you,
               However plain you be,
          If you will cast your eyes on me,
               However plain you be I'll love you,
               I'll love you, I'll love, I'll love you!

GIRLS:    Alas! there's not one maiden here
               Whose homely face and bad complexion
          Have caused all hope to disappear
               Of ever winning man's affection!

FREDERIC: (in despair)  Not one?
GIRLS:                   No, no-- not one!
FREDERIC: Not one?
GIRLS:                   No, no!
MABEL:    (enters through arch)         Yes, one!
                    Yes, one!
GIRLS:    'Tis Mabel!
MABEL:         Yes, 'tis Mabel!


          Oh, sisters, deaf to pity's name,
                         For shame!
          It's true that he has gone astray,
                         But pray
          Is that a reason good and true
                         Why you
          Should all be deaf to pity's name?

GIRLS:    (aside):  The question is, had he not been
               A thing of beauty,
          Would she be swayed by quite as keen
               A sense of duty?

MABEL:    For shame, for shame, for shame!


MABEL:    Poor wand'ring one!
          Though thou hast surely strayed,
               Take heart of grace,
               Thy steps retrace,
          Poor wand'ring one!
          Poor wand'ring one!
          If such poor love as mine
               Can help thee find
               True peace of mind-
          Why, take it, it is thine!

GIRLS:    Take heart, no danger low'rs;
          Take any heart but ours!

MABEL:    Take heart, fair days will shine;
          Take any heart--take mine!

GIRLS:    Take heart; no danger low'rs;
          Take any heart-but ours!

MABEL:    Take heart, fair days will shine;
          Take any heart--take mine!
          Poor wand'ring one!, etc.

(MABEL and FREDERIC go to mouth of cave and converse.  EDITH
     beckons her sisters, who form a semicircle around her.)


          What ought we to do,
               Gentle sisters, say?
          Propriety, we know,
               Says we ought to stay;
          While sympathy exclaims,
               "Free them from your tether--
          Play at other games--
               Leave them here together."


          Her case may, any day,
               Be yours, my dear, or mine.
          Let her make her hay
               While the sun doth shine.
          Let us compromise
               (Our hearts are not of leather):
          Let us shut our eyes
               And talk about the weather.

GIRLS:    Yes, yes, let's talk about the weather.

                        Chattering chorus

          How beautifully blue the sky,
          The glass is rising very high,
          Continue fine I hope it may,
          And yet it rained but yesterday.
          To-morrow it may pour again
          (I hear the country wants some rain),
          Yet people say, I know not why,
          That we shall have a warm July.
          To-morrow it may pour again
          (I hear the country wants some rain),
          Yet people say, I know not why,
          That we shall have a warm July.

                    Enter MABEL and FREDERIC

[During MABEL's solo the GIRLS continue chatter pianissimo, but
     listening eagerly all the time.


          Did ever maiden wake
               From dream of homely duty,
          To find her daylight break
               With such exceeding beauty?
          Did ever maiden close
               Her eyes on waking sadness,
          To dream of such exceeding gladness?

FREDERIC: Ah, yes!  ah, yes! this is exceeding gladness
GIRLS:    How beautifully blue the sky, etc.


[During this, GIRLS continue their chatter pianissimo as before,
     but listening intently all the time.

          Did ever pirate roll
               His soul in guilty dreaming,
          And wake to find that soul
               With peace and virtue beaming?


      FREDERIC                MABEL                  GIRLS
Did ever pirate       Did ever maiden wake   How beautifully blue
     loathed          From dream of homely        the sky, etc.
Forsake his hideous        duty,              
     mission          To find her daylight
To find himself            break
     betrothed        With such exceeding
To lady of position?       beauty?


          Stay, we must not lose our senses;
               Men who stick at no offences
                    Will anon be here!
          Piracy their dreadful trade is;
               Pray you, get you hence, young ladies,
                    While the coast is clear
                                      (FREDERIC and MABEL retire)

GIRLS:    No, we must not lose our senses,
          If they stick at no offences
               We should not be here!
          Piracy their dreadful trade is--
          Nice companions for young ladies!
               Let us disap--.

(During this chorus the PIRATES have entered stealthily, and
     formed in a semicircle behind the GIRLS.  As the GIRLS move
     to go off, each PIRATE seizes a GIRL.  KING seizes EDITH and
     ISABEL, SAMUEL seizes KATE.)

GIRLS:    Too late!
PIRATES:       Ha, ha!
GIRLS:              Too late!
PIRATES:                 Ho, ho!
          Ha, ha, ha, ha!  Ho, ho, ho, ho!


(Pirates pass in front of        (Girls pass in front of
     Girls.)                          Pirates.)
            PIRATES                            GIRLS
Here's a first-rate opportunity  We have missed our opportunity
To get married with impunity,    Of escaping with impunity;
And indulge in the felicity      So farewell to the felicity
Of unbounded domesticity.        Of our maiden domesticity!
You shall quickly be             We shall quickly be
     parsonified,                     parsonified,
Conjugally matrimonified,        Conjugally matrimonified,
By a doctor of divinity          By a doctor of divinity,
Who is located in this           Who is located in this
     vicinity.                       vicinity.
By a doctor of divinity,         By a doctor of divinity,
Who resides in this vicinity,    Who resides in this vicinity,
By a doctor, a doctor, a doctor  By a doctor, a doctor, a doctor
     of divinity, of divinity.        of divinity, of divinity.


MABEL:    (coming forward)  Hold, monsters!  Ere your pirate
               Proceed, against our will, to wed us all,
          Just bear in mind that we are Wards in Chancery,
               And father is a Major-General!

SAMUEL:   (cowed)  We'd better pause, or danger may befall,
                    Their father is a Major-General.

GIRLS:    Yes, yes; he is a Major-General!

(The MAJOR-GENERAL has entered unnoticed, on the rock)

GENERAL:  Yes, yes, I am a Major-General!
SAMUEL:   For he is a Major-General!
ALL:      He is!  Hurrah for the Major-General!
GENERAL:  And it is, it is a glorious thing
          To be a Major-General!
ALL:      It is!  Hurrah for the Major-General!
          Hurrah for the Major-General!


          I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
          I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights
          From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
          I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters
          I understand equations, both the simple and
          About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
          With many cheerful facts about the square of the

ALL:      With many cheerful facts, etc.

GENERAL:  I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
          I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
          In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

ALL:      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

GENERAL:  I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir
          I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for
          I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
          In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;
          I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and
          I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of
          Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's
               din afore,
          And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense

ALL:      And whistle all the airs, etc.

GENERAL:  Then I can write a washing bill in
               Babylonic cuneiform,
          And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform:
          In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

ALL:      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

GENERAL:  In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and
          When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin,
          When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more
               wary at,
          And when I know precisely what is meant by
          When I have learnt what progress has been made in
               modern gunnery,
          When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery-
          In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy,
          You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee.

ALL:      You'll say a better Major-General, etc.

GENERAL:  For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and
          Has only been brought down to the beginning of the
          But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

ALL:      But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
          He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

GENERAL:  And now that I've introduced myself, I should like to
          have some idea of what's going on.
KATE:     Oh, Papa--  we---
SAMUEL:   Permit me, I'll explain in two words:  we propose to
          marry your daughters.
GENERAL:  Dear me!
GIRLS:    Against our wills, Papa--against our wills!
GENERAL:  Oh, but you mustn't do that!  May I ask--  this is a
          picturesque uniform, but I'm not familiar with it.
          What are you?
KING:     We are all single gentlemen.
GENERAL:  Yes, I gathered that.  Anything else?
KING:     No, nothing else.
EDITH:    Papa, don't believe them; they are pirates--  the
          famous Pirates of Penzance!
GENERAL:  The Pirates of Penzance!  I have often heard of them.
MABEL:    All except this gentleman (indicating FREDERIC), who
          was a pirate once, but who is out of his indentures to-
          day, and who means to lead a blameless life evermore.
GENERAL:  But wait a bit.  I object to pirates as sons-in-law.
KING:     We object to major-generals as fathers-in-law.  But we
          waive that point. We do not press it. We look over it.
GENERAL:  (aside)  Hah! an idea!  (aloud)  And do you mean to say
          that you would deliberately rob me of these, the sole
          remaining props of my old age, and leave me to go
          through the remainder of my life unfriended,
          unprotected, and alone?
KING:     Well, yes, that's the idea.
GENERAL:  Tell me, have you ever known what it is to be an
PIRATES:  (disgusted)  Oh, dash it all!
KING:     Here we are again!
GENERAL:  I ask you, have you ever known what it is to be an
KING:     Often!
GENERAL:  Yes, orphan.  Have you ever known what it is to be one?
KING:     I say, often.
ALL:      (disgusted)  Often, often, often.  (Turning away)
GENERAL:  I don't think we quite understand one another.  I ask
          you, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan,
          and you say "orphan". As I understand you, you are
          merely repeating the word "orphan" to show that you
          understand me.
KING:     I didn't repeat the word often.
GENERAL:  Pardon me, you did indeed.
KING:     I only repeated it once.
GENERAL:  True, but you repeated it.
KING:     But not often.
GENERAL:  Stop!  I think I see where we are getting confused.
          When you said "orphan", did you mean "orphan",a person
          who has lost his parents, or "often", frequently?
KING:     Ah! I beg pardon--  I see what you mean -- frequently.
GENERAL:  Ah! you said "often", frequently.
KING:     No, only once.
GENERAL:  (irritated)  Exactly--  you said "often", frequently,
          only once.

                              FINALE OF ACT I

GENERAL:  Oh, men of dark and dismal fate,
               Forgo your cruel employ,
          Have pity on my lonely state,
               I am an orphan boy!
KING/SAMUEL:        An orphan boy?
GENERAL:            An orphan boy!
PIRATES:       How sad, an orphan boy.

GENERAL:  These children whom you see
               Are all that I can call my own!
PIRATES:                 Poor fellow!
GENERAL:  Take them away from me,
               And I shall be indeed alone.
PIRATES:                 Poor fellow!
GENERAL:  If pity you can feel,
               Leave me my sole remaining joy--
          See, at your feet they kneel;
          Your hearts you cannot steel
     Against the sad, sad tale of the lonely orphan boy!
PIRATES:  (sobbing)      Poor fellow!
          See at our feet they kneel;
          Our hearts we cannot steel
     Against the sad, sad tale of the lonely orphan boy!
SAMUEL:   The orphan boy!
add KING:                The orphan boy!
          See at our feet they kneel;
          Our hearts we cannot steel
     Against the tale of the lonely orphan boy!
PIRATES:                 Poor fellow!


    GENERAL (aside)           GIRLS (aside)           PIRATES (aside)
I'm telling a terrible   He is telling a terrible If he's telling a
     story                    story,                   terrible story
But it doesn't diminish  Which will tend to       He shall die by a death
     my glory;                diminish his             that is gory
For they would have           glory;              Yes, one of the
     taken my daughters  Though they would have        cruellest
Over the billowy waters,      taken his                slaughters
                              daughters           That ever were known in
                         Over the billowy waters,      these waters;
If I hadn't, in elegant  It is easy, in elegant   It is easy, in elegant
     diction,                 diction.                 diction,
Indulged in an innocent  To call it an innocent   To call it an innocent
     fiction,                 fiction,                 fiction
Which is not in the same But it comes in the same But it comes in the same
     category                 category                 category
As a regular terrible    As telling a regular     As telling a regular
     story.                   terrible story.          terrible story.

KING:     Although our dark career
               Sometimes involves the crime of stealing,
          We rather think that we're
               Not altogether void of feeling.
          Although we live by strife,
               We're always sorry to begin it,
          For what, we ask, is life
               Without a touch of Poetry in it?
                                                      (all kneel)

ALL:      Hail, Poetry, thou heav'n-born maid!
               Thou gildest e'en the pirate's trade.
          Hail, flowing fount of sentiment!
               All hail, all hail, divine emollient!
                                                       (all rise)

KING:     You may go, for you're at liberty, our pirate rules
               protect you,
          And honorary members of our band we do elect you!
SAMUEL:   For he is an orphan boy!
CHORUS:   He is!  Hurrah for the orphan boy!
GENERAL:  And it sometimes is a useful thing
               To be an orphan boy.
CHORUS:   It is!  Hurrah for the orphan boy!
          Hurrah for the orphan boy!
ENSEMBLE: Oh, happy day, with joyous glee
          They will away and married be!
          Should it befall auspiciously,
          Her (Our) sisters all will bridesmaids be!

     (RUTH enters and comes down to FREDERIC)

RUTH:     Oh, master, hear one word, I do implore you!
          Remember Ruth, your Ruth, who kneels before you!
PIRATES:  Yes, yes, remember Ruth, who kneels before you!
FREDERIC: Away, you did deceive me!
PIRATES:  (Threatening RUTH)  Away, you did deceive him!
RUTH:     Oh, do not leave me!
PIRATES:  Oh, do not leave her!
FREDERIC: Away, you grieve me!
PIRATES:  Away, you grieve him!
FREDERIC: I wish you'd leave me!  (FREDERIC casts RUTH from him)
PIRATES:  We wish you'd leave him!


                MEN                           WOMEN
Pray observe the magnanimity     Pray observe the magnanimity
We display to lace and dimity!   They display to lace and
Never was such opportunity       Never was such opportunity
To get married with impunity,    To get married with impunity,
But we give up the felicity      But they give up the felicity
Of unbounded domesticity,        Of unbounded domesticity,
Though a doctor of divinity      Though a doctor of divinity
Is located in this vicinity.     Is located in this vicinity.
(GIRLS and MAJOR-GENERAL go up rocks, while PIRATES indulge in a
     wild dance of delight on stage.  The MAJOR-GENERAL produces
     a British flag, and the PIRATE KING, in arched rock,
     produces a black flag with skull and crossbones.  Enter
     RUTH, who makes a final appeal to FREDERIC, who casts her
     from him.)

                                  END OF ACT I

                                    ACT II

(Scene.-A ruined chapel by moonlight.  Aisles C., R. and L.,
     divided by pillars and arches, ruined Gothic windows at
     back.  MAJOR-GENERAL STANLEY discovered seated R.C.
     pensively, surrounded by his daughters.)


          Oh, dry the glist'ning tear
               That dews that martial cheek,
          Thy loving children hear,
               In them thy comfort seek.
          With sympathetic care
               Their arms around thee creep,
          For oh, they cannot bear
               To see their father weep!

     (Enter MABEL)


          Dear father, why leave your bed
               At this untimely hour,
          When happy daylight is dead,
               And darksome dangers low'r?
          See, heav'n has lit her lamp,
               The midnight hour is past,
          And the chilly night-air is damp,
               And the dews are falling fast!
          Dear father, why leave your bed
               When happy daylight is dead?

GIRLS:    Oh, dry the glist'ning tear, etc.

     (FREDERIC enters)

MABEL:    Oh, Frederic, cannot you, in the calm excellence of
          your wisdom, reconcile it with your conscience to say
          something that will relieve my father's sorrow?
FREDERIC: I will try, dear Mabel.  But why does he sit, night
          after night, in this draughty old ruin?
GENERAL:  Why do I sit here?  To escape from the pirates'
          clutches, I described myself as an orphan; and, heaven
          help me, I am no orphan!  I come here to humble myself
          before the tombs of my ancestors, and to implore their
          pardon for having brought dishonour on the family
FREDERIC: But you forget, sir, you only bought the property a
          year ago, and the stucco on your baronial castle is
          scarcely dry.
GENERAL:  Frederic, in this chapel are ancestors: you cannot deny
          that.  With the estate, I bought the chapel and its
          contents.  I don't know whose ancestors they were, but
          I know whose ancestors they are, and I shudder to think
          that their descendant by purchase (if I may so describe
          myself) should have brought disgrace upon what, I have
          no doubt, was an unstained escutcheon.
FREDERIC: Be comforted.  Had you not acted as you did, these
          reckless men would assuredly have called in the nearest
          clergyman, and have married your large family on the
GENERAL:  I thank you for your proffered solace, but it is
          unavailing.  I assure you, Frederic, that such is the
          anguish and remorse I feel at the abominable falsehood
          by which I escaped these easily deluded pirates, that I
          would go to their simple-minded chief this very night
          and confess all, did I not fear that the consequences
          would be most disastrous to myself.  At what time does
          your expedition march against these scoundrels?
FREDERIC: At eleven, and before midnight I hope to have atoned
          for my involuntary association with the pestilent
          scourges by sweeping them from the face of the earth--
          and then, dear Mabel, you will be mine!
GENERAL:  Are your devoted followers at hand?
FREDERIC: They are, they only wait my orders.


          Then, Frederic, let your escort lion-hearted
          Be summoned to receive a gen'ral's blessing,
          Ere they depart upon their dread adventure.

FREDERIC: Dear, sir, they come.

(Enter POLICE, marching in single file. They form in line, facing


     When the foeman bares his steel,
                    Tarantara!  tarantara!
     We uncomfortable feel,
     And we find the wisest thing,
                    Tarantara!  tarantara!
     Is to slap our chests and sing,
     For when threatened with ‚meutes,
                    Tarantara! tarantara!
     And your heart is in your boots,
     There is nothing brings it round
     Like the trumpet's martial sound,
     Like the trumpet's martial sound
                    Tarantara! tarantara!, etc.

MABEL:    Go, ye heroes, go to glory,
          Though you die in combat gory,
          Ye shall live in song and story.
               Go to immortality!
          Go to death, and go to slaughter;
          Die, and every Cornish daughter
          With her tears your grave shall water.
               Go, ye heroes, go and die!

GIRLS:    Go, ye heroes, go and die!  Go, ye heroes, go and die!

POLICE:   Though to us it's evident,
                    Tarantara!  tarantara!
          These attentions are well meant,
          Such expressions don't appear,
                    Tarantara!  tarantara!
          Calculated men to cheer
          Who are going to meet their fate
          In a highly nervous state.
                    Tarantara! tarantara! tarantara!
          Still to us it's evident
          These attentions are well meant.
                    Tarantara! tarantara! tarantara!

EDITH:    Go and do your best endeavour,
          And before all links we sever,
          We will say farewell for-ever.
               Go to glory and the grave!

GIRLS:    For your foes are fierce and ruthless,
          False, unmerciful, and truthless;
          Young and tender, old and toothless,
               All in vain their mercy crave.

SERGEANT: We observe too great a stress,
          On the risks that on us press,
          And of reference a lack
          To our chance of coming back.
          Still, perhaps it would be wise
          Not to carp or criticise,
          For it's very evident
          These attentions are well meant.

POLICE:   Yes, it's very evident
          These attentions are well meant,
          Evident, yes, well meant, evident
          Ah, yes, well meant!


     Chorus of all but Police                  Chorus of Police
Go and do your best endeavour,        Such expressions don't appear,
And before all links we sever                    Tarantara, tarantara!
We will say farewell for ever.        Calculated men to cheer,
     Go to glory and the grave!                  Tarantara!
For your foes and fierce and          Who are going to their fate,
     ruthless,                                   Tarantara, tarantara!
False, unmerciful, and                In a highly nervous state--
     truthless.                                  Tarantara!
Young and tender, old and             We observe too great a stress,
     toothless,                                  Tarantara, tarantara!
All in vain their mercy crave.        On the risks that on us press,
                                      And of reference a lack,
                                                 Tarantara, tarantara!
                                      To our chance of coming back,

GENERAL:  Away, away!
POLICE:   (without moving)    Yes, yes, we go.
GENERAL:  These pirates slay.
POLICE:             Tarantara!
GENERAL:  Then do not stay.
POLICE:             Tarantara!
GENERAL:  Then why this delay?
POLICE:             All right, we go.
ALL:      Yes, forward on the foe!
          Yes, forward on the foe!
GENERAL:  Yes, but you don't go!
POLICE:             We go, we go
ALL:      Yes, forward on the foe!
          Yes, forward on the foe!
GENERAL:  Yes, but you don't go!
POLICE:             We go, we go
ALL:      At last they go!
          At last they really go!

(Exeunt POLICE.  MABEL tears herself from FREDERIC and exits,
     followed by her sisters, consoling her.  The MAJOR-GENERAL
     and others follow the POLICE off.  FREDERIC remains alone.)


          Now for the pirates' lair!  Oh, joy unbounded!
          Oh, sweet relief!  Oh, rapture unexampled!
          At last I may atone, in some slight measure,
          For the repeated acts of theft and pillage
          Which, at a sense of duty's stern dictation,
          I, circumstance's victim, have been guilty!

     (PIRATE KING and RUTH appear at the window, armed.)

KING:     Young Frederic!  (Covering him with pistol)
FREDERIC:      Who calls?
KING:                    Your late commander!
RUTH:     And I, your little Ruth!  (Covering him with pistol)
FREDERIC:                Oh, mad intruders,
          How dare ye face me?  Know ye not, oh rash ones,
          That I have doomed you to extermination?

   (KING and RUTH hold a pistol to each ear)

KING:     Have mercy on us!  hear us, ere you slaughter!
FREDERIC: I do not think I ought to listen to you.
          Yet, mercy should alloy our stern resentment,
          And so I will be merciful--  say on!

                 TRIO--RUTH, KING, and FREDERIC

RUTH:     When you had left our pirate fold,
               We tried to raise our spirits faint,
          According to our custom old,
               With quips and quibbles quaint.
          But all in vain the quips we heard,
               We lay and sobbed upon the rocks,
          Until to somebody occurred
               A startling paradox.
FREDERIC:           A paradox?
KING:     (laughing)     A paradox!
RUTH:     A most ingenious paradox!
          We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,
          But none to beat this paradox!
               A paradox, a paradox,
               A most ingenious paradox!
               Ha! ha! ha! ha!  Ha! ha! ha! ha!
KING:     We knew your taste for curious quips,
               For cranks and contradictions queer;
          And with the laughter on our lips,
               We wished you there to hear.
          We said, "If we could tell it him,
               How Frederic would the joke enjoy!"
          And so we've risked both life and limb
               To tell it to our boy.
FREDERIC: (interested).  That paradox?  That paradox?
KING and RUTH: (laughing)     That most ingenious paradox!
          We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,
          But none to beat this paradox!
               A paradox, a paradox,
               A most ingenious paradox!
               Ha! ha! ha! ha!  Ho! ho! ho! ho!


For some ridiculous reason, to which, however, I've no desire to
     be disloyal,
Some person in authority, I don't know who, very likely the
     Astronomer Royal,
Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February,
     twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty,
One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and-
Through some singular coincidence-- I shouldn't be surprised if
     it were owing to the agency of an ill-natured fairy--
You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born
     in leap-year, on the twenty-ninth of February;
And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you'll easily discover,
That though you've lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by
     birthdays, you're only five and a little bit over!
RUTH:     Ha! ha! ha! ha!
KING:          Ho! ho! ho! ho!
FREDERIC: Dear me!
          Let's see!  (counting on fingers)
          Yes, yes; with yours my figures do agree!
ALL: Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! ho!
FREDERIC: (more amused than any)  How quaint the ways of Paradox!
          At common sense she gaily mocks!
          Though counting in the usual way,
          Years twenty-one I've been alive,
          Yet, reck'ning by my natal day,
          Yet, reck'ning by my natal day,
          I am a little boy of five!
RUTH/KING:     He is a little boy of five!
               Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
ALL:      A paradox, a paradox,
          A most ingenious paradox!
          Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! , etc.

(RUTH and KING throw themselves back on seats, exhausted with

FREDERIC: Upon my word, this is most curious--  most absurdly
          whimsical. Five-and-a-quarter!  No one would think it
          to look at me!
RUTH:     You are glad now, I'll be bound, that you spared us.
          You would never have forgiven yourself when you
          discovered that you had killed two of your comrades.
FREDERIC: My comrades?
KING:     (rises)  I'm afraid you don't appreciate the delicacy
          of your position:   You were apprenticed to us--
FREDERIC: Until I reached my twenty-first year.
KING:     No, until you reached your twenty-first birthday
          (producing document), and, going by birthdays, you are
          as yet only five-and-a-quarter.
FREDERIC: You don't mean to say you are going to hold me to that?
KING:     No, we merely remind you of the fact, and leave the
          rest to your sense of duty.
RUTH:     Your sense of duty!
FREDERIC: (wildly)  Don't put it on that footing!  As I was
          merciful to you just now, be merciful to me!  I implore
          you not to insist on the letter of your bond just as
          the cup of happiness is at my lips!
RUTH:     We insist on nothing; we content ourselves with
          pointing out to you your duty.
KING:     Your duty!
FREDERIC: (after a pause)  Well, you have appealed to my sense of
          duty, and my duty is only too clear.  I abhor your
          infamous calling; I shudder at the thought that I have
          ever been mixed up with it; but duty is before all --
          at any price I will do my duty.
KING:     Bravely spoken!  Come, you are one of us once more.
FREDERIC: Lead on, I follow.  (Suddenly)  Oh, horror!
KING/RUTH:     What is the matter?
FREDERIC: Ought I to tell you?  No, no, I cannot do it; and yet,
          as one of your band--
KING:     Speak out, I charge you by that sense of
          conscientiousness to which we have never yet appealed
          in vain.
FREDERIC: General Stanley, the father of my Mabel--
KING/RUTH:     Yes, yes!
FREDERIC: He escaped from you on the plea that he was an orphan?
KING:     He did.
FREDERIC: It breaks my heart to betray the honoured father of the
          girl I adore, but as your apprentice I have no
          alternative.  It is my duty to tell you that General
          Stanley is no orphan!
KING/RUTH:     What!
FREDERIC: More than that, he never was one!
KING:     Am I to understand that, to save his contemptible life,
          he dared to practice on our credulous simplicity?
          (FREDERIC nods as he weeps)  Our revenge shall be swift
          and terrible.  We will go and collect our band and
          attack Tremorden Castle this very night.
FREDERIC: But stay--
KING:     Not a word!  He is doomed!


          KING and RUTH:                           FREDERIC
Away, away! my heart's on fire;       Away, away! ere I expire--
     I burn, this base deception to        I find my duty hard to do to-
           repay.                                day!
This very night my vengeance dire     My heart is filled with anguish dire,
     Shall glut itself in gore.            It strikes me to the core.
           Away, away!                           Away, away!

KING:          With falsehood foul
          He tricked us of our brides.
               Let vengeance howl;
          The Pirate so decides.
               Our nature stern
          He softened with his lies,
               And, in return,
          To-night the traitor dies.

ALL:      Yes, yes!  to-night the traitor dies!
          Yes, yes!  to-night the traitor dies!

RUTH:     To-night he dies!
KING:          Yes, or early to-morrow.
FREDERIC: His girls likewise?
RUTH:          They will welter in sorrow.
KING:     The one soft spot
RUTH:          In their natures they cherish--
FREDERIC: And all who plot
KING:          To abuse it shall perish!
ALL:      To-night he dies, etc.

(Exeunt KING and RUTH.  FREDERIC throws himself on a stone in
     blank despair.  Enter MABEL.)


          All is prepared, your gallant crew await you.
          My Frederic in tears?  It cannot be
          That lion-heart quails at the coming conflict?

FREDERIC: No, Mabel, no.
          A terrible disclosure
          Has just been made.
          Mabel, my dearly-loved one,
          I bound myself to serve the pirate captain
          Until I reached my one-and-twentieth birthday--
MABEL:    But you are twenty-one?
FREDERIC:                I've just discovered
          That I was born in leap-year, and that birthday
          Will not be reached by me till nineteen forty!
MABEL:    Oh, horrible!  catastrophe appalling!
FREDERIC: And so, farewell!
MABEL:         No, no!
          Ah, Frederic, hear me.

                        DUET--MABEL and FREDERIC

MABEL:    Stay, Fred'ric, stay!
               They have no legal claim,
               No shadow of a shame
               Will fall upon thy name.
          Stay, Frederic, stay!

FREDERIC: Nay, Mabel, nay!
               To-night I quit these walls,
               The thought my soul appalls,
               But when stern Duty calls,
          I must obey.

MABEL:    Stay, Fred'ric, stay!
FREDERIC:      Nay, Mabel, nay!
MABEL:    They have no claim--
FREDERIC:      But Duty's name.
               The thought my soul appalls,
               But when stern Duty calls,
MABEL:    Stay, Fred'ric, stay!
FREDERIC:      I must obey.


          Ah, leave me not to pine
               Alone and desolate;
          No fate seemed fair as mine,
               No happiness so great!
          And Nature, day by day,
               Has sung in accents clear
          This joyous roundelay,
               "He loves thee-- he is here.
                    Fa-la, la-la,
                    Fa-la, la-la.
               He loves thee-- he is here.
                    Fa-la, la-la, Fa-la."

FREDERIC: Ah, must I leave thee here
               In endless night to dream,
          Where joy is dark and drear,
               And sorrow all supreme--
          Where nature, day by day,
               Will sing, in altered tone,
          This weary roundelay,
               "He loves thee-- he is gone.
                    Fa-la, la-la,
                    Fa-la, la-la.
               He loves thee-- he is gone.
                    Fa-la, la-la, Fa-la."

FREDERIC: In 1940 I of age shall be,
          I'll then return, and claim you--I declare it!
MABEL:              It seems so long!
FREDERIC: Swear that, till then, you will be true to me.
MABEL:              Yes, I'll be strong!
          By all the Stanleys dead and gone, I swear it!


          Oh, here is love, and here is truth,
               And here is food for joyous laughter:
          He (she) will be faithful to his (her) sooth
               Till we are wed, and even after.
                    Oh, here is love, etc.

     (FREDERIC rushes to window and leaps out)

MABEL:    (almost fainting)  No, I am brave!  Oh, family descent,
          How great thy charm, thy sway how excellent!
          Come one and all, undaunted men in blue,
          A crisis, now, affairs are coming to!

     (Enter POLICE, marching in single file)

SERGEANT:      Though in body and in mind
POLICE:                  Tarantara!  tarantara!
SERGEANT:      We are timidly inclined,
POLICE:                  Tarantara!
SERGEANT:      And anything but blind
POLICE:                  Tarantara!  tarantara!
SERGEANT:      To the danger that's behind,
POLICE:                  Tarantara!
SERGEANT:      Yet, when the danger's near,
POLICE:                  Tarantara! tarantara!
SERGEANT:      We manage to appear
POLICE:                  Tarantara!
SERGEANT:      As insensible to fear
               As anybody here,
               As anybody here.
POLICE:                  Tarantara! tarantara!, etc.

MABEL:    Sergeant, approach!  Young Frederic was to have led you
          to death and glory.
POLICE:   That is not a pleasant way of putting it.
MABEL:    No matter; he will not so lead you, for he has allied
          himself once more with his old associates.
POLICE:   He has acted shamefully!
MABEL:    You speak falsely.  You know nothing about it.  He has
          acted nobly.
POLICE:   He has acted nobly!
MABEL:    Dearly as I loved him before, his heroic sacrifice to
          his sense of duty has endeared him to me tenfold; but
          if it was his duty to constitute himself my foe, it is
          likewise my duty to regard him in that light.  He has
          done his duty.  I will do mine.  Go ye and do yours.
                                                     (Exit MABEL)
POLICE:   Right oh!
SERGEANT: This is perplexing.
POLICE:   We cannot understand it at all.
SERGEANT: Still, as he is actuated by a sense of duty--
POLICE:   That makes a difference, of course.  At the same time,
          we repeat, we cannot understand it at all.
SERGEANT: No matter.  Our course is clear:  we must do our best
          to capture these pirates alone.  It is most distressing
          to us to be the agents whereby our erring fellow-
          creatures are deprived of that liberty which is so dear
          to us all-- but we should have thought of that before
          we joined the force.
POLICE:   We should!
SERGEANT: It is too late now!
POLICE:   It is!

                             SOLO AND CHORUS

SERGEANT: When a felon's not engaged in his employment
POLICE:                  His employment
SERGEANT: Or maturing his felonious little plans,
POLICE:                  Little plans,
SERGEANT: His capacity for innocent enjoyment
POLICE:                  'Cent enjoyment
SERGEANT: Is just as great as any honest man's.
POLICE:                  Honest man's.
SERGEANT: Our feelings we with difficulty smother
POLICE:                  'Culty smother
SERGEANT: When constabulary duty's to be done.
POLICE:                  To be done.
SERGEANT: Ah, take one consideration with another,
POLICE:                  With another,
SERGEANT: A policeman's lot is not a happy one.
ALL:           Ah, when constabulary duty's to be done, to be
               A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one.
SERGEANT: When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling
POLICE:                  Not a-burgling
SERGEANT: When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime,
POLICE:                  'Pied in crime,
SERGEANT: He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling
POLICE:                  Brook a-gurgling
SERGEANT: And listen to the merry village chime.
POLICE:                  Village chime.
SERGEANT: When the coster's finished jumping on his mother,
POLICE:                  On his mother,
SERGEANT: He loves to lie a-basking in the sun.
POLICE:                  In the sun.
SERGEANT: Ah, take one consideration with another,
POLICE:                  With another,
SERGEANT: A policeman's lot is not a happy one.
ALL:           Ah, when constabulary duty's to be done, to be
               A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one.

     (Chorus of Pirates without, in the distance)

          A rollicking band of pirates we,
          Who, tired of tossing on the sea,
          Are trying their hand at a burglaree,
               With weapons grim and gory.

SERGEANT: Hush, hush!  I hear them on the manor poaching,
          With stealthy step the pirates are approaching.

              (Chorus of Pirates, resumed nearer.)

          We are not coming for plate or gold;
          A story General Stanley's told;
          We seek a penalty fifty-fold,
               For General Stanley's story.

POLICE:   They seek a penalty
PIRATES:            Fifty-fold!
          We seek a penalty
POLICE:             Fifty-fold!
ALL:      They (We) seek a penalty fifty-fold,
               For General Stanley's story.
SERGEANT: They come in force, with stealthy stride,
          Our obvious course is now--to hide.
POLICE:             Tarantara!  Tarantara!  etc.

(Police conceal themselves in aisle. As they do so, the Pirates,
     with RUTH and FREDERIC, are seen appearing at ruined window.
     They enter cautiously, and come down stage on tiptoe.
     SAMUEL is laden with burglarious tools and pistols, etc.)

                    CHORUS--PIRATES (very loud)

          With cat-like tread,
               Upon our prey we steal;
          In silence dread,
               Our cautious way we feel.
          No sound at all!
               We never speak a word;
          A fly's foot-fall
               Would be distinctly heard--
POLICE:   (softly)       Tarantara, tarantara!
PIRATES:  So stealthily the pirate creeps,
          While all the household soundly sleeps.
          Come, friends, who plough the sea,
               Truce to navigation;
               Take another station;
          Let's vary piracee
          With a little burglaree!
POLICE:   (softly)       Tarantara, tarantara!
SAMUEL:   (distributing implements to various members of the
          Here's your crowbar and your centrebit,
          Your life-preserver--you may want to hit!
          Your silent matches, your dark lantern seize,
          Take your file and your skeletonic keys.
POLICE:   Tarantara!
PIRATES:       With cat-like tread
POLICE:   Tarantara!
PIRATES:       in silence dread,

          (Enter KING, FREDERIC and RUTH)

ALL (fortissimo).   With cat-like tread, etc.


FREDERIC: Hush, hush!  not a word; I see a light inside!
          The Major-Gen'ral comes, so quickly hide!
PIRATES:       Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!

                        (Exeunt KING, FREDERIC, SAMUEL, and RUTH)

POLICE:        Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!
GENERAL:  (entering in dressing-gown, carrying a light)
               Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!


               Tormented with the anguish dread
                    Of falsehood unatoned,
               I lay upon my sleepless bed,
                    And tossed and turned and groaned.
               The man who finds his conscience ache
                    No peace at all enjoys;
               And as I lay in bed awake,
                    I thought I heard a noise.
MEN:      He thought he heard a noise--  ha! ha!
GENERAL:            No, all is still
                    In dale, on hill;
               My mind is set at ease--
                    So still the scene,
                    It must have been
               The sighing of the breeze.


          Sighing softly to the river
               Comes the loving breeze,
          Setting nature all a-quiver,
               Rustling through the trees.
MEN:                     Through the trees.
GENERAL:  And the brook, in rippling measure,
               Laughs for very love,
          While the poplars, in their pleasure,
               Wave their arms above.
MEN:      Yes, the trees, for very love,
          Wave their leafy arms above.
ALL:      River, river, little river,
          May thy loving prosper ever!
          Heaven speed thee, poplar tree,
          May thy wooing happy be.
GENERAL:  Yet, the breeze is but a rover,
               When he wings away,
          Brook and poplar mourn a lover
               Sighing ,"Well-a-day!"
MEN:                          Well-a-day!
GENERAL:  Ah!  the doing and undoing,
               That the rogue could tell!
          When the breeze is out a-wooing,
               Who can woo so well?

MEN:      Shocking tales the rogue could tell,
          Nobody can woo so well.
ALL:           Pretty brook, thy dream is over,
               For thy love is but a rover;
          Sad the lot of poplar trees,
          Courted by a fickle breeze!

(Enter the MAJOR-GENERAL's daughters, led by MABEL, all in white
     peignoirs and night-caps, and carrying lighted candles.)

GIRLS:    Now what is this, and what is that, and why does father
               leave his rest
          At such a time of night as this, so very incompletely
          Dear father is, and always was, the most methodical of
          It's his invariable rule to go to bed at half-past ten.
          What strange occurrence can it be that calls dear
               father from his rest
          At such a time of night as this, so very incompletely

     (Enter KING, SAMUEL, and FREDERIC)

KING:     Forward, my men, and seize that General there!  His
          life is over.  (They seize the GENERAL)
GIRLS:    The pirates!  the pirates!  Oh, despair!
PIRATES:  (springing up)  Yes, we're the pirates, so despair!
GENERAL:  Frederic here!  Oh, joy!  Oh. rapture!
          Summon your men and effect their capture!
MABEL:    Frederic, save us!
FREDERIC:                Beautiful Mabel,
          I would if I could, but I am not able.
PIRATES:  He's telling the truth, he is not able.
KING:     With base deceit
               You worked upon our feelings!
          Revenge is sweet,
               And flavours all our dealings!
          With courage rare
               And resolution manly,
          For death prepare,
               Unhappy Gen'ral Stanley.

MABEL:    (wildly)  Is he to die, unshriven, unannealed?
GIRLS:                        Oh, spare him!
MABEL:    Will no one in his cause a weapon wield?
GIRLS:                        Oh, spare him!
POLICE:   (springing up)  Yes, we are here, though hitherto
GIRLS:                        Oh, rapture!
POLICE:   So to Constabulary, pirates yield!
GIRLS:                        Oh, rapture!

(A struggle ensues between Pirates and Police, RUTH tackling the
     SERGEANT.  Eventually the Police are overcome and fall
     prostrate, the Pirates standing over them with drawn


              PIRATES                               POLICE
We triumph now, for well we           You triumph now, for well we
     trow                                  trow
Your mortal career's cut short;       Our mortal career's cut short;
No pirate band will take its          No pirate band will take its
     stand                                 stand
At the Central Criminal Court.        At the Central Criminal Court.
SERGEANT: To gain a brief advantage you've contrived,
          But your proud triumph will not be long-lived
KING:     Don't say you are orphans, for we know that game.
SERGEANT: On your allegiance we've a stronger claim.
          We charge you yield, we charge you yield,
          In Queen Victoria's name!
KING:     (baffled)  You do?
POLICE:                       We do!
          We charge you yield,
          In Queen Victoria's name!

            (PIRATES kneel, POLICE stand over them triumphantly.)

KING:     We yield at once, with humbled mien,
          Because, with all our faults, we love our Queen.
POLICE:   Yes, yes, with all their faults, they love their Queen.
ALL:      Yes, yes, with all their faults, they love their Queen.

(POLICE, holding PIRATES by the collar, take out handkerchiefs
     and weep.)

GENERAL:  Away with them, and place them at the bar!

                           (Enter RUTH)

RUTH:     One moment!  let me tell you who they are.
          They are no members of the common throng;
          They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.
ALL:      They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.
GENERAL:  No Englishman unmoved that statement hears,
          Because, with all our faults, we love our House of
               Peers.                                 (All kneel)
          I pray you, pardon me, ex-Pirate King!
          Peers will be peers, and youth will have its fling.
          Resume your ranks and legislative duties,
          And take my daughters, all of whom are beauties.

                FINALE--MABEL, EDITH and ENSEMBLE

               Poor wandering ones!
                    Though ye have surely strayed,
                    Take heart of grace,
                    Your steps retrace,
               Poor wandering ones!
               Poor wandering ones!
                    If such poor love as ours
                    Can help you find
                    True peace of mind,
               Why, take it, it is yours!

ALL: Poor wandering ones! etc.

                              END OF OPERA