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Lord Mount.

This gentleman is seen,
With a maid of seventeen,
A taking of his dolce far niente;
And wonders he'd achieve,
For he asks us to believe
She's his mother—and he's nearly five-and-twenty!

Lord Ch.

Recollect yourself, I pray,
And be careful what you say—
As the ancient Romans said, festina lente.
For I really do not see
How so young a girl could be
The mother of a man of five-and-twenty.

All.

Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

Streph.

My Lord, of evidence I have no dearth—
She is—has been—my mother, from my birth!

Ballad.

In babyhood
Upon her lap I lay,
With infant food
She moistenèd my clay:
Had she withheld
The succour she supplied,
By hunger quelled,
Your Strephon might have died!

Lord Ch. (much moved)

Had that refreshment been denied,
Indeed our Strephon might have died!

All. (much affected)

Had that refreshment been denied,
Indeed our Strephon might have died!

Lord Mount.

But as she's not
His mother, it appears,
Why weep these hot
Unnecessary tears?
And by what laws
Should we, so joyously,
Rejoice, because
Our Strephon didn't die?
Oh, rather let us pipe our eye,
Because our Strephon didn't die!

All.

That's very true—let's pipe our eye
Because our Strephon didn't die!

(All weep. Iolanthe, who has succeeded in hiding her face from Lord Chancellor, escapes unnoticed.)
Phyl.

Go, traitorous one—for ever we must part:
To one of you, my Lords, I give my heart!