Page:Iolanthe lib.djvu/15

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My learned profession I'll never disgrace
By taking a fee with a grin on my face,
When I haven't been there to attend to the case,
(Said I to myself—said I!)

In other professions in which men engage,
(Said I to myself—said I,)
The Army, the Navy, the Church, and the Stage,
(Said I to myself—said I,)
Professional licence, if carried too far,
Your chance of promotion will certainly mar—
And I fancy the rule might apply to the Bar,
(Said I to myself—said I!).

[Exit Lord Chancellor.

To Strephon, who is in tears, enter Iolanthe.

Streph. Oh, Phyllis, Phyllis! To be taken from you just as I was on the point of making you my own! Oh, it's too much—it is too much!
Iol. My son in tears—and on his wedding day!
Streph. My wedding day! Oh, mother, weep with me, for the Law has interposed between us, and the Lord Chancellor has separated us for ever!
Iol. The Lord Chancellor! (aside.) Oh, if he did but know!
Streph. (overhearing her.) If he did but know what?
Iol. No matter! The Lord Chancellor has no power over you. Remember you are half a fairy. You can defy him—down to the waist.
Streph. Yes, but from the waist downwards he can commit me to prison for years! Of what avail is it that my body is free, if my legs are working out seven years penal servitude?
Iol. True. But take heart—our Queen has promised you her special protection. I'll go to her and lay your peculiar case before her.
Streph. My beloved mother! How can I repay the debt I owe you?



(As it commences, the Peers appear at the back, advancing unseen and on tiptoe. Mountararat and Tolloller lead Phyllis, between them, who listens in horror to what she hears).

Streph. (to Iolanthe.)

When darkly looms the day,
And all is dull and grey,
To chase the gloom away
On thee I'll call!

Phyl. (speaking aside to Mount.)

What was that?

Mount. (aside to Phyllis).

I think I heard him say,
That on a rainy day,
To while the time away,
On her he'd call!


We think we heard him say, &c.