Page:Iolanthe lib.djvu/25

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25

Shake in their shoes!
Shake in their shoes!
Strephon makes them shake in their shoes!

Enter Peers from Westminster Hall.

Chorus of Peers.

Strephon's a Member of Parliament!
Running a-muck at all abuses.
His unqualified assent
Somehow nobody now refuses.
Whigs and Tories
Dim their glories,
Giving an ear to all his stories—
Carrying every Bill he may wish:
Here's a pretty kettle of fish!
Kettle of fish—
Kettle of fish—
Here's a pretty kettle of fish!

Enter Lord Mountararat and Lord Tolloller from Westminster Hall.

Celia. You seem annoyed.
Ld. Mount. Annoyed! I should think so! Why this ridiculous protégé of yours is playing the deuce with everything! To-night is the second reading of his Bill to throw the Peerage open to Competitive Examination!
Ld. Toll. And he'll carry it, too!
Ld. Mount. Carry it? Of course he will! He's a Parliamentary Pickford—he carries everything!
Leila. Yes. If you please, that's our fault!
Ld. Mount. The deuce it is!
Celia. Yes; we influence the members, and compel them to vote just as he wishes them to.
Leila. It's our system. It shortens the debates.
Ld. Toll. Well, but think what it all means. I don't so much mind for myself, but with a House of Peers with no grandfathers worth mentioning, the country must go to the dogs !
Leila. I suppose it must!
Ld. Mount. I don't want to say a word against brains—I've a great respect for brains—I often wish I had some myself—but with a House of Peers composed exclusively of people of intellect, what's to become of the House of Commons?
Leila. I never thought of that!
Ld. Mount. This comes of women interfering in politics. It so happens that if there is an institution in Great Britain which is not susceptible of any improvement at all, it is the House of Peers!