Page:Iolanthe lib.djvu/32

This page has been validated.


You're a regular wreck, with a crick in your neck, and no wonder you snore, for your head's on the floor, and you've needles and pins from your soles to your shins, and your flesh is a-creep, for your left leg's asleep, and you've cramp in your toes, and a fly on your nose, and some fluff in your lung, and a feverish tongue, and a thirst that's intense, and a general sense that you haven't been sleeping in clover;
But the darkness has passed, and it's daylight at last, and the night has been long—ditto ditto my song—and thank goodness they're both of them over!

(Lord Chancellor falls exhausted on a seat.)

Lords Mountararat and Tolloller come forward.

Ld. Mount. I am much distressed to see your Lordship in this condition.
Ld. Ch. Ah, my Lords, it is seldom that a Lord Chancellor has reason to envy the position of another, but I am free to confess that I would rather be two Earls engaged to Phyllis than any other half-dozen noblemen upon the face of the globe!
Ld. Toll. (without enthusiasm). Yes. It's an enviable position when you're the only one.
Ld. Mount. Oh yes, no doubt—most enviable. At the same time, seeing you thus, we naturally say to ourselves, "This is very sad. His Lordship is constitutionally as blithe as a bird—he trills upon the bench like a thing of song and gladness. His series of judgments in F sharp, given andante in six-eight time, are among the most remarkable effects ever produced in a Court of Chancery. He is, perhaps, the only living instance of a judge whose decrees have received the honour of a double encore. How can we bring ourselves to do that which will deprive the Court of Chancery of one of its most attractive features?"
Ld. Ch. I feel the force of your remarks, but I am here in two capacities, and they clash, my lord, they clash! I deeply grieve to say that in declining to entertain my last application, I presumed to address myself in terms which render it impossible for me ever to apply to myself again. It was a most painful scene, my lord—most painful!
Ld. Toll. This is what it is to have two capacities! Let us be thankful that we are persons of no capacity whatever.
Ld. Mount. Come, come. Remember you are a very just and kindly old gentleman, and you need have no hesitation in approaching yourself, so that you do so respectfully and with a proper show of deference.
Ld. Ch. Do you really think so? Well, I will nerve myself to another effort, and, if that fails, I resign myself to my fate!

Trio—Lord Chancellor, Lords Mountararat and Tolloller

Ld. Mount.

If you go in
You're sure to win—
Yours will be the charming maidie:
Be your law
The ancient saw,
"Faint heart never won fair lady!"