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Pirates of Penzance, The

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THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE

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

SONG — RUTH

RUTH: When Frederic was a little lad he proved so brave and
daring,
His father thought he'd 'prentice him to some career
seafaring.
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
steering,
And I did not catch the word aright, through being hard
of hearing;
Mistaking my instructions, which within my brain did
gyrate,
I took and bound this promising boy apprentice to a
pirate.
A sad mistake it was to make and doom him to a vile
lot.
I bound him to a pirate — you! — instead of to a
pilot.
I soon found out, beyond all doubt, the scope of this
disaster,
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
work,
So I made up my mind to go as a kind of piratical maid-
of-all-work.
And that is how you find me now, a member of your shy
lot,
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
rises)
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
extermination!
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
consequences.
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
interests.
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
orphan!
SAMUEL: Of course: we are orphans ourselves, and know what it
is.
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
merciless?
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
behind.
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
thousand!
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
you?
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!

RECITATIVE

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!

ENSEMBLE

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!

RECIT—FREDERIC

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!

SONG—FREDERIC

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!

RECIT—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!

SONG—MABEL

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.)

EDITH

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."

KATE

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.

SOLO—MABEL

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.

SOLO—FREDERIC

.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?

ENSEMBLE

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?

RECIT—FREDERIC

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!

ENSEMBLE

(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.

RECIT

MABEL: (coming forward) Hold, monsters! Ere your pirate
caravanserai
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!

SONG—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
historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters
mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and
quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the
hypotenuse.

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
Caradoc's;
I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for
paradox,
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
Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of
Aristophanes!
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
Pinafore.

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
"ravelin",
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
"commissariat",
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
adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the
century;
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
orphan?
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
orphan?
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!

ENSEMBLE

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!

ENSEMBLE

MEN WOMEN

Pray observe the magnanimity Pray observe the magnanimity
We display to lace and dimity! They display to lace and
dimity!
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

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