Page:Trial by Jury lib.djvu/15

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Scene.A Court of Justice. The Bench faces the audience, and extends along the back of the Court. The Judge's desk c., with canopy overhead, Jury box r., Counsel's seats l.
Barristers, Attorneys, Jurymen and Public discovered.


Hark, the hour of ten is sounding:
Hearts with anxious fears are bounding,
Hall of justice crowds surrounding,
Breathing hope and fear—
For to-day in this arena,
Summoned by a stern subpoena,
Edwin, sued by Angelina,
Shortly will appear.

Enter Usher.


Now, Jurymen, hear my advice—
All kinds of vulgar prejudice
I pray you set aside:
With stern judicial frame of mind,
From bias free of every kind,
This trial must be tried!


From bias free of every kind.
This trial must be tried.

(During Chorus, Usher sings fortissimo, "Silence in Court!")


Oh, listen to the plaintiff's case:
Observe the features of her face—
The broken-hearted bride.
Condole with her distress of mind:
From bias free of every kind.
This trial must be tried!


From bias free, &c.


And when amid the plaintiff's shrieks,
The ruffianly defendant speaks—
Upon the other side;
What he may say you needn't mind—
From bias free of every kind.
This trial must be tried!


From bias free, &c.

Enter Defendant l.


Is this the Court of the Exchequer?


It is!

Defendant (aside).

Be firm, be firm, my pecker,
Your evil star's in the ascendant!


Who are you?


I'm the Defendant!

Chorus of Jurymen (shaking their fists).

Monster, dread our damages.
We're the jury,
Dread our fury!


Hear me, hear me, if you please,
These are very strange proceedings—
For permit me to remark
On the merits of my pleadings,
You're at present in the dark.

(Defendant beckons to Jurymenthey leave the box and gather round him as they sing the following):—

That's a very true remark—
On the merits of his pleadings,
We're entirely in the dark!
Ha! ha!— ho! ho!


When first my old, old love I knew,
My bosom welled with joy:
My riches at her feet I threw—
I was a love-sick boy!
No terms seemed too extravagant
Upon her to employ—
I used to mope, and sigh, and pant,
Just like a love-sick boy!

But joy incessant palls the sense;
And love unchanged will cloy,
And she became a bore intense
Unto her love-sick boy!
With fitful glimmer burnt my flame,
And I grew cold and coy,
At last, one morning, I became
Another's love-sick boy.

Chorus of Jurymen (advancing stealthily).

Oh, I was like that when a lad!
A shocking young scamp of a rover,
I behaved like a regular cad;
But that sort of thing is all over.
I am now a respectable chap
And shine with a virtue resplendent,
And, therefore, I haven't a rap
Of sympathy with the defendant!
He shall treat us with awe,
If there isn't a flaw,
Singing so merrily—Trial-la-law!
Singing so merrily—Trial-la-law!

(They enter the jury-box.)

Recit.—Usher (on Bench).

Silence in Court, and all attention lend.
Behold your Judge! In due submission bend!

Enter Judge on bench.


All hail great Judge!
To your bright rays,
We never grudge
Ecstatic praise.
All hail!
May each decree
As statute rank,
And never be
Reversed in Banc.
All hail !


For these kind words accept my thanks, I pray,
A Breach of Promise we've to try to-day.
But firstly, if the time you'll not begrudge,
I'll tell you how I came to be a Judge.


He'll tell us how he came to be a Judge.


Let me speak.


Let him speak.