Page:Iolanthe lib.djvu/38

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Leila. Hold! If Iolanthe must die, so must we all; for, as she has sinned, so have we!
Queen. What! (Peers and Fairies kneel to her—Lord Mountararat with Celia; Lord Tolloller with Leila.)
Celia. We are all fairy duchesses, marchionesses, countesses, viscountesses, and baronesses.
Ld. Mount. It's our fault. They couldn't help themselves.
Queen. It seems they have helped themselves, and pretty freely, too! (After a pause.) You have all incurred death; but I can't slaughter the whole company! And yet (unfolding a scroll) the law is clear—every fairy must die who marries a mortal!
Ld. Ch. Allow me, as an old equity draughtsman, to make a suggestion. The subtleties of the legal mind are equal to the emergency. The thing is really quite simple—the insertion of a single word will do it. Let it stand that every fairy shall die who don't marry a mortal, and there you are, out of your difficulty at once!
Queen. We like your humour. Very well! (Altering the MS. in pencil.) Private Willis!
Sentry. (coming forward). Ma'am!
Queen. To save my life, it is necessary that I marry at once. How should you like to be a fairy guardsman?
Sentry. Well, ma'am, I don't think much of the British soldier who wouldn't ill-conwenience himself to save a female in distress.
Queen. You are a brave fellow. You're a fairy from this moment (wings spring from Sentry's shoulders.) And you, my Lords, how say you, Will you join our ranks?

(Fairies kneel to Peers and implore them to do so).

Ld. Mount. (to Ld. Tolloller). Well, now that the Peers are to be recruited entirely from persons of intelligence, I really don't see what use we are, down here.
Leila. None whatever.
Leila. Good! (Wings spring from shoulders of Peers.) Then away we go to Fairyland.



Soon as we may,
Off and away!
We'll commence our journey airy—
Happy are we—
As you can see,
Every one is now a fairy!


Every one is now a fairy!