A/N I've always liked this play, but I've never liked the way Frederic rejoins the pirates with so little fuss. I understand it was meant as a joke, but it could have been better told. Ruth's rather sudden revelation of the pirates' true natures grates a little, too. It was apparently a standard plot device of the time. In most respects I tried to stay as close to the original as I could.


ACT II

SCENE.–A ruined chapel by moonlight. Ruined Gothic windows at back. MAJOR-GENERAL STANLEY discovered seated pensively, surrounded by his daughters.

CHORUS.

Oh, joy the cheerful tear

That soothes our Father's care;

Thy loving children hear,

Let them thy rapture share.

Our virtuous sister Ma-

-bel has redeemed her pirate boy,

O would that we were a-

-ble to share in her joy!

Enter MABEL.

SOLO – MABEL.

Dear father, why leave your bed

At this untimely hour,

When happy daylight has sped,

To gild some distant bower?

See, heaven has lit her lamp,

The twilight 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 has sped?

CHORUS. Oh, joy the cheerful tear, etc.

FREDERIC enters. The daughters edge away as Mabel goes to him.

MABEL. Oh, Frederic, cannot you, in the calm excellence of your wisdom, reconcile it with your conscience to say something that will relieve my sisters' sorrow?

FRED. I doubt I can, dear Mabel. There is only one of me, and I am pledged, which seems to be the problem.

MABEL. Truly it does.

GIRLS. Truly it is.

FRED. Perhaps it would help if he did not sit, night after night, in this draughty old ruin.

GEN. But I must 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 escutcheon with such an ignoble yet obvious ploy.

FRED. But you forget, sir, you only bought the property a year ago, and the stucco on your baronial castle is scarcely dry.

GEN. 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 besmirched what, I have no doubt, was an unstained escutcheon. (pause) It's also a convenient place from which to plan a wedding, unsurrounded by daughters. Or it was.

FRED. Be comforted that you plan only the one, sir, and not a dozen.

GIRLS. (sadly) Not a dozen.

FRED. 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 spot.

GEN. I thank you for your proffered solace, but it is unavailing. Had I not acted as I did, I would have no weddings to plan at all! 'Nothing but single gentlemen', indeed! I tell you, Frederic, that I would go to their simple-minded chief this very night and boldly fling the truth in his very face, did I not fear that the consequences would be disastrous, oh, most disastrous to myself. At what time does your expedition march against these scoundrels?

FRED. 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!

GEN. Well, 'then' and a wedding after.

GIRLS. (sadly) Just the one.

GEN. Are your devoted followers at hand?

FRED. They are, they only wait my orders.

RECIT – GENERAL.

Then, Frederic, let your escort lion-hearted

Be summoned to receive a General's blessing,

Ere they depart upon their dread adventure.

FRED. Dear, sir, they come.

Enter Police, marching in single file. They form in line, facing audience.

SONG – SERGEANT, with POLICE.

When the foeman bares his steel,

Tarantara! tarantara!

We uncomfortable feel,

Tarantara!

And we find the wisest thing,

Tarantara! tarantara!

Is to slap our chests and sing,

Tarantara!

For when threatened with emeutes,

Tarantara! tarantara!

And your heart is in your boots,

Tarantara!

There is nothing brings it round

Like the trumpet's martial sound,

Like the trumpet's martial sound

ALL. 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!

SERGEANT, with POLICE.

Though to us it's evident,

Tarantara! tarantara!

These attentions are well meant,

Tarantara!

Such expressions don't appear,

Tarantara! tarantara!

Calculated men to cheer,

Tarantara!

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. Go to glory and the grave!

For your foes are fierce and ruthless,

False, unmerciful, and truthless;

Young and tender, old and toothless,

All in vain their mercy crave.

SERG. 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, etc.

ENSEMBLE.

CHORUS OF ALL BUT POLICE/ CHORUS OF POLICE.

Go ye heroes, go to glory, etc./ When the foeman bears his steel, etc.

GEN. Away, away!

POLICE. (without moving) Yes, yes, we go.

GEN. These pirates slay.

POLICE. Tarantara!

GEN. Then do not stay.

POLICE. Tarantara!

GEN. Then why this delay?

POLICE. All right, we go.

Yes, forward on the foe!

GEN. Yes, but you don't go!

POLICE. We go, we go

Yes, forward on the foe!

GEN. Yes, but you don't go!

ALL. At last they really go!

Exeunt Police. MABEL tears herself from FREDERIC and exit, followed by her sisters, consoling her. The MAJOR-GENERAL and others follow. FREDERIC remains alone.

RECITATIVE – FREDERIC.

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, armed.

KING. Young Frederic! (Covering him with pistol.)

FRED. Who calls?

KING. Your late commander!

RUTH. And I, your little Ruth! (Covering him with pistol.)

FRED. 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!

FRED. 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 quip and quibble quaint.

But all in vain the quips we heard,

We lay and sobbed upon the rocks,

Until to somebody occurred

A startling paradox.

FRED. A paradox?

RUTH. (laughing) A paradox!

A most ingenious paradox!

We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,

But none to beat this paradox!

ALL. A paradox, a paradox, etc.

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.

FRED. (interested) That paradox?

KING. (laughing) That paradox!

That most ingenious paradox!

We've quips and quibbles heard in flocks,

But none to beat that paradox!

ALL. A paradox, a paradox, etc.

CHANT – KING.

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 twenty.

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. and KING. Ha! ha! ha! ha!

Ho! ho! ho! ho!

FRED. Dear me!

Let's see! (counting on fingers)

Yes, yes; with yours my figures do agree!

ALL. Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! ho!

FRED. (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, reckoning by my natal day,

I am a little boy of five!

RUTH and KING.He is a little boy of five! 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 laughter.

FRED. 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.

FRED. My comrades?

KING. (rises) I'm afraid you don't appreciate the delicacy of your position: You were apprenticed to us –

FRED. 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.

FRED. Going by birthdays I was a babe at the breast when that contract was drawn up, so you will pardon me if I don't hold it to be binding.

KING. Oh.

RUTH. (counting on her fingers) Not for another ten years, anyway.

FRED. Not to mention that you yourself freed me from this contract but a few days ago. That error was yours, not mine, and you are in honor bound by it.

RUTH. Oh.

KING. This isn't going as I thought it would.

RUTH. No it isn't.

FRED. (draws sword) And so I fear I must begin my process of elimination rather earlier than I would have liked.

KING pulls out his gun, Ruth draws her sword.

RUTH. Have a care, Frederic! Our guns may not be loaded but our swords surely are!

KING lowers his gun. Frederic slaps Ruth's sword with his blade. Ruth drops her sword and flees. Frederic holds his sword to the King's chest.

FRED. As I love you, sir, I shall make your death as quick and painless as I possibly can.

MAN. (offstage) Hold, gentlemen, 'pon the arrival of Her Majesty's Lord Botanical, Sir Thomas Copperbottom.

Enter Sir Thomas, an elderly man of military bearing, holding a bouquet instead of a sword.

KING. So he is the Lord Botanical?

FRED. He is.

Hurrah for the Lord Botanical.

THOM. And it is, it is a glorious thing to be the Lord Botanical.

FRED. It is! Hurrah for the Lord Botanical, hurrah for the Lord Botanical.

SONG – SIR THOMAS.

When I was a lad I marched a piece,

In some British Expeditions to the Nearer East,

I turned out so proficient at the Art of War,

That I studied every detail of their herbal lore.

FRED and KING. He studied every detail of their herbal lore.

THOM. I studied all their flora so carefullee,

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Nursery,

FRED and KING. He studied, etc.

FRED. Well?

THOM. Well what? I've only got one verse, the Office of the Queen's Nursery is not exactly high up in the pantheon of British Government. Even so, when we were informed that there was to be some number and degree of conflicts on these premises, a wedding included, it fell to me to dispatch the Florist General to deploy his forces to contain the situation.

FRED. (eagerly) And who is that?

THOM. I am. It's not a big office, lad.

FRED. Then you are well come, sir, as I was just about to put an end to the career of this first and most dastardly of scoundrels.

Thom lays his bouquet upon Fred's sword and pushes it down.

THOM. You'll do no such thing, lad. I'll not have these hallowed and sanctified grounds soiled by the taint of this person's blood.

FRED. Hallowed and sanctified?

THOM. The crypt of the house of Stanley? How could it be anything else?

FRED. I don't think you understand...

THOM. Nonsense, lad, I understand well enough. You'll just have to give them their deaths in battle, however little they deserve it. Come away, lad. (to KING) Begone, ruffian.

Thom and Fred move to one side of the crypt, Ruth rejoins King at the other.

RUTH. The crypt of the house of Stanley?

KING. Didn't General Stanley claim to be an orphan?

RUTH. Frequently.

KING. No, a person who has lost their parents.

RUTH. That too.

KING. Am I to understand that, to save his contemptible life, he dared to practise on our credulous simplicity? (Ruth nods.) Our revenge shall be swift and terrible. We will go and collect our band and attack Tremorden Castle this very night.

RUTH. But stay –

KING. Not a word! He is doomed!

TRIO.

KING and RUTH.

Away, away! my heart's on fire;

I burn, this base deception to repay.

This very night my vengeance dire

Shall glut itself in gore. Away, away!

FREDERIC(to Thom)

Belay, belay! ere I expire –

I wish my duty hard to do today!

My heart is filled with fervent fire,

It burns me to the core. Today, today!

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,

Tonight the traitor dies.

ALL. Yes, yes! tonight the traitor dies!

RUTH. Tonight he dies!

KING. Yes, or early tomorrow.

FRED. His men likewise?

THOM. They will all die in sorrow.

KING. The one soft spot –

RUTH. In their natures they cherish –

FRED. And on that spot –

THOM. Your dishonor shall perish!

RUTH and KING. Tonight he dies, yes or early tomorrow.

FRED and THOM. His men likewise, they will all die in sorrow.

RUTH and KING The one soft spot in their natures they cherish

FRED and THOM. And in that spot your/my dishonour shall perish!

ALL Away, away. Away!

Tonight the traitor dies/scoundrels die !

Away, away tonight, tonight, tonight!

The traitor dies/scoundrels die tonight! Away!

Exeunt King and Ruth. Enter MABEL.

RECITATIVE. – MABEL.

All is prepared, your gallant crew await you.

My Frederic in pain? It cannot be

That lion-heart quails at the coming conflict?

FRED. No, Mabel, no. A terrible urgency

Has seized me. Mabel, my dearly-loved one,

I loathe to let you see my new condition.

I want to do, what once I did from duty.

MABEL. But your duty's to me

FRED. I've just discovered

Within my breast an ember, and my duty's

Stoked that anger so, it burns me wholly!

MABEL. Oh, horrible! catastrophe appalling!

FRED. Unworthy, I!

MABEL. No, no! Ah, Frederic, hear me.

DUET. – MABEL and FREDERIC.

MABEL. Stay, Frederic, stay!

Your head beneath my palm,

My words shall be your balm

Your soul once more to calm.

Stay, Frederic, stay!

FRED. Pray, Mabel, pray!

Though I've a grown man's ire,

It shall not be a pyre,

For all I most desire,

I must away.

DUET. – MABEL and FREDERIC.

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".

FRED. 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."

FRED. When duty's done and my wrath conquered be,

I'll then return, and claim you – I declare it!

MABEL. It seems so long!

FRED. 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!

ENSEMBLE.

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.

FREDERIC rushes to window and leaps out.

THOM. Ho, You are brave! Oh, family descent,

How great its charm, its sway how excellent!

MABEL. Come one and all, undaunted men in blue,

A crisis, now, affairs are coming to!

Enter Police, marching in single file.

SERG. Though in body and in mind,

POLICE. Tarantara! tarantara!

SERG. We are timidly inclined,

POLICE Tarantara!

SERG. And anything but blind –

POLICE. Tarantara! tarantara!

SERG. To the danger that's behind.

POLICE. Tarantara!

SERG. Yet, when the danger's near,

POLICE. Tarantara! tarantara!

SERG. We manage to appear –

POLICE. Tarantara!

SERG. As insensible to fear

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 gone to wage war upon his old associates.

POLICE. He has acted rashly!

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. He has done his duty. I will do mine. Go ye and do yours.

Exit MABEL.

POLICE. Right oh!

SERG. This is perplexing.

POLICE. We cannot understand it at all.

THOM. 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.

SERG. No matter. Our course is clear: we must do our best to capture these pirates, and young Frederic, alone.

THOM (brandishes his bouquet). Not alone.

SERG. 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!

SERG. It is too late now!

POLICE. It is!

SONG – SERGEANT.

SERG. When a felon's not engaged in his employment –

POLICE. His employment,

SERG. Or maturing his felonious little plans –

POLICE. Little plans,

SERG. His capacity for innocent enjoyment –

POLICE. 'Cent enjoyment

SERG. Is just as great as any honest man's –

POLICE. Honest man's.

SERG. Our feelings we with difficulty smother –

POLICE. 'Culty smother

SERG. When constabulary duty's to be done –

POLICE. To be done.

SERG. Ah, take one consideration with another –

POLICE. With another,

SERG. A policeman's lot is not a happy one.

POLICE. Ah, when constabulary duty's to be done, to be done,

A policeman's lot is not a happy one, happy one.

SERG. When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling –

POLICE. Not a-burgling.

SERG. When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime –

POLICE. 'Pied in crime,

SERG. He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling –

POLICE. Brook a-gurgling,

SERG. And listen to the merry village chime –

POLICE. Village chime.

SERG. When the coster's finished jumping on his mother –

POLICE. On his mother,

SERG. He loves to lie a-basking in the sun –

POLICE. In the sun.

SERG. Ah, take one consideration with another –

POLICE. With another,

SERG. A policeman's lot is not a happy one.

POLICE. Ah, when constabulary duty's to be done, to be done,

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.

THOM. 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.

THOM. They come in force, with stealthy stride,

The obvious course is now – to hide.

Police follow Lord Thomas into hiding. As they do so, the Pirates are seen appearing at ruined windows. They enter cautiously, and come down stage.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. (pianissimo) 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. (pianissimo) Tarantara, tarantara!

SAM. (distributing implements to various members of the gang)

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.

Enter KING, and RUTH.

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

POLICE. (pianissimo) Tarantara! tarantara!

RECITATIVE.

KING. Hush, hush! not a word; I see a light inside!

The Major-General comes, so quickly hide!

PIRATES. Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!

Pirates conceal themselves. Exeunt KING, SAMUEL, and RUTH.

POLICE. Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!

GEN. (entering in dressing-gown, carrying a light)

Yes, yes, the Major-General comes!

SOLO – GENERAL.

Tormented with the muffled sound

Of daughters half a score,

Where one a plighted match had found,

The others unasked for.

The man who hears his children weep

No peace at all enjoys;

And as I lay, no chance of sleep,

I thought I heard a noise.

MEN. He thought he heard a noise – ha! ha!

GEN. 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.

BALLAD – GENERAL.

Sighing softly to the river

Comes the loving breeze,

Setting nature all a-quiver,

Rustling through the trees.

MEN. Through the trees.

GEN. 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.

River, river, little river,

May thy loving prosper ever!

Heaven speed thee, poplar tree,

May thy wooing happy be.

GEN. 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!

GEN. 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.

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 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 dressed?

Dear father is, and always was, the most methodical of men!

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 dressed?

EnterKING, and SAMUEL.

KING. Forward, my men, and seize that General there!

They seize the GENERAL.

GIRLS. The pirates! the pirates! Oh, despair!

PIRATES. (springing up) Yes, we're the pirates, so despair!

FRED. (springing up) Yes, I have you, pirates, so despair!

GEN. Frederic here! Oh, joy! Oh. rapture!

Summon your men and effect their capture!

MABEL. Frederic, save us!

FRED. Beautiful Mabel,

Four pirates draw swords against Frederic

I will when I can, as soon as I'm able.

PIRATES. He would if he could, but 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 General 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 concealed!

GIRLS. Oh, rapture!

POLICE. So to Constabulary, you will yield!

GIRLS. Oh, rapture!

A struggle ensues between Pirates and Police, Eventually the Police are overcome and fall prostrate, the Pirates standing over them with drawn swords. Lord Thomas holds Frederic off to one side.

CHORUS OF PIRATES AND POLICE

We/You triumph now, for well we trow

Your/Our mortal career's cut short;

No pirate band will take its stand

At the Central Criminal Court.

Lord Thomas helps the Sergeant rise, whispers in his ear.

SERG. 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.

SERG. 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.

GEN. Away with them, and place them at the bar!

Enter RUTH.

THOM. One moment! I will tell you who they are.

Lord Thomas claps King on shoulder.

My son has played this game for far too long;

His crew are noblemen who have gone wrong.

ALL. They are all noblemen who have gone wrong.

GEN. No Englishman unmoved that statement hears,

Because, with all our faults, we love our House of Peers.

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.

Ruth walks around, trying to hand out business cards. All the new couples refuse, the ladies politely, the pirates in horror. Only Lord Thomas takes one.

THOM. A nursery maid, eh? Perhaps I can use you, back at the Office.

PIRATES Take her. She's yours!

FINALE.

MABEL (to Fred) Poor wandering one!

Though ye have nearly strayed,

Take heart of grace,

Your steps retrace,

Poor wandering one!

(to all)

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