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    or, The Flowers of Progress

    An Original Comic Opera in Two Acts

    Written by W. S. Gilbert Composed by Arthur Sullivan

    First produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, on Saturday 7th October 1893

    under the personal direction of the authors

    Privately published by Ian C. Bond at 2 Kentisview, Kentisbeare, CULLOMPTON, EX15 2BS. - ? 1996

    Dramatis Personæ


    SCAPHIO and PAHNTIS, Judges of the Utopian Supreme Court

    TARARA, The Public Exploder

    CALYNX, The Utopian Vice-Chamberlain


    LORD DRAMALEIGH, A British Lord Chamberlain


    CAPTAIN SIR EDWARD CORCORAN, K.C.B., of the Royal Navy MR. GOLDBURY, A Company Promoter - afterwards

    Comptroller of the Utopian Household


    MR. BLUSHINGTON, of the County Council

    THE PRINCESS ZARA, Eldest Daughter of King Paramount



    THE LADY SOPHY, Their English Gouvernante

    SALATA, Utopian Maiden

    MELENE, Utopian Maiden

    PHYLLA, Utopian Maiden

    Chorus:- Utopians, First Life Guards, Guards, Nobles, Dancing Girls, etc.

    ACT I. - A Utopian Palm Grove.

    ACT II. - Throne Room in King Paramount's Palace.

    1Act One

    SCENE:- Gardens of KING PARAMOUNT's Palace, showing a picturesque and

    luxuriant Tropical landscape, with the sea in the distance. SALATA, MELENE,

    PHYLLA, and other Maidens discovered, thoroughly enjoying themselves in lotos-eating


    No.1. - CHORUS AND SOLO - (Phylla)

     In lazy languor - motionless,

    We lie and dream of nothingness;

    For visions come

    From Poppydom

    Direct at our command:

    Or, delicate alternative,

    In open idleness we live,

    With lyre and lute

    And silver flute,

    The life of Lazyland!

    SOLO - Phylla

     The song of birds

    In ivied towers;

    The rippling play

    Of waterway;

    The lowing herds;

    The breath of flowers;

    The languid loves

    Of turtle doves -

    These simple joys are all at hand

    Upon thy shores, O Lazyland! Chorus. The song of birds

    In ivied towers;

    The rippling play

    Of waterway;

    Phylla. The lowing herds;

    The breath of flowers;

    The languid loves

    Of turtle doves -

    All. These simple joys are all at hand

    Upon thy shores, O Lazyland!

    Enter CALYNX.

     1Although there is no indication in either Vocal Score or Libretto, the opera commences with

    a short overture based on the drawing-room music from Act Two.

    Page - 1

    Calynx. Good news! Great news! His Majesty's eldest daughter, Princess Zara, who left

    our shores five years since to go to England - the greatest, the most powerful, the

    wisest country in the world (he uncovers at the name of England) - has taken a

    high degree at Girton, and is on her way home again, having achieved a complete

    mastery over all the elements that have tended to raise that great and glorious

    country to her present pre-eminent position among civilized nations! Salata. The in a few months Utopia may hope to be completely Anglicized? Calynx. Absolutely and without a doubt.

    Melene. (lazily.) We are very well as we are. Life without a care - every want supplied by a

    kind and fatherly monarch, who, despot though he be, has no other thought than to

    make his people happy - what have we to gain by the great change that is in store

    for us?

    Salata. What have we to gain? English institutions, English tastes, and oh, English


    Calynx. England has made herself what she is because, in that favoured land, every one has

    to think for himself. Here we have no need to think, because our monarch

    anticipates all our wants, and our political opinions are formed for us by the

    journals to which we subscribe. Oh, think how much more brilliant this dialogue

    would have been, if we had been accustomed to exercise our reflective powers!

    They say that in England the conversation of the very meanest is a coruscation of

    impromptu epigram!

    Enter TARARA in a great rage.

    Tarara. Lalabalele talala! Callabale lalabalica falahle!

    Calynx. (horrified.) Stop - stop, I beg!

    All the ladies close their ears.

    Tarara. Callamalala galalate! Caritalla lalabalee kallalale poo!

    Ladies. Oh, stop him! stop him!

    Calynx. My Lord, I'm surprised at you. Are you not aware that His Majesty, in his despotic

    acquiescence with the emphatic wish of his people, has ordered that the Utopian

    language shall be banished from his court, and that all communications shall

    henceforward be made in the English language?

    Tarara. Yes, I'm perfectly aware of it, although - (suddenly presenting an explosive

    "cracker"). Stop - allow me.

    Calynx. (pulls it). Now, what's that for?

    Page - 2

    Tarara. Why, I've recently been appointed Public Exploder, and as I'm constitutionally

    nervous, I must accustom myself by degrees to the startling nature of my duties.

    Thank you. I was about to say that although, as Public Exploder, I am next in

    succession to the throne, I nevertheless do my best to fall in with the royal decree.

    But when I am over-mastered by an indignant sense of overwhelming wrong, as I

    am now, I slip into my native tongue without knowing it. I am told that in the

    language of that great and pure nation, strong expressions do not exist,

    consequently when I want to let off steam I have no alternative but to say,

    "Lalabalele molola lililah kallalale poo!"

    Calynx. But what is your grievance?

    Tarara. This - by our constitution we are governed by a Despot who, although in theory,

    absolute - is, in practice, nothing of the kind - being watched night and day by two

    Wise Men whose duty it is, on his very first lapse from political or social propriety,

    to denounce him to me, the Public Exploder - allow me (presenting a cracker

    which CALYNX pulls) thank you - and it then becomes my duty to blow up His

    Majesty with dynamite, and, as some compensation for my wounded feelings, I

    reign in his stead.

    Calynx. Yes. After many unhappy experiments in the direction of an ideal Republic, it was

    found that what may be described as a Despotism tempered by Dynamite provides,

    on the whole, the most satisfactory description of ruler - an autocrat who dares not

    abuse his autocratic powers.

    Tarara. That's the theory - but in practice, how does it act? Now, do you ever happen to

    see the Palace Peeper? (producing a newspaper).

    Calynx. Never even heard of the journal.

    Tarara. I'm not surprised, because His Majesty's agents always buy up the whole edition;

    but I have an aunt in the publishing department and she has supplied me with a

    copy. Well, it actually teems with circumstantially convincing details of the King's

    abominable immoralities! If this high-class journal is to be believed, His Majesty is

    one of the most Heliogabalian profligates that ever disgraced an autocratic throne!

    And do these Wise Men denounce him to me? Not a bit of it! They wink at his

    immoralities! Under the circumstances I really think I am justified in exclaiming

    "Lalabalele molola lililah kalabalele poo!" (all horrified.) I don't care - I don't 2 - the occasion demands it. "Lalabalele molola lililah kalabalele poo!" care

    Exit TARARA.

    March. Enter Guards, escorting SCAPHIO and PHANTIS.

     2The passages shown in blue in this speech are traditional additions which do not appear in any edition of the libretto.

    Page - 3

    No.2. - CHORUS

     O make way for the Wise Men!

    The are prizemen -

    Double-first in the world's university!

    For though lovely this island,

    (Which is my land,)

    She has no one to match them in her city.

    They're the pride of Utopia -


    Is each in his mental fertility.

    O they never make blunder,

    And no wonder,

    For they're triumphs of infallibility!

    No.2a. - DUET - (Scaphio and Phantis) with Chorus Sca. In every mental lore,

    Phan. - tal lore,

    Sca. (The statement smacks of vanity), Phan. We claim to rank before Sca. - before

    Phan. The wisest of humanity. Sca. As gifts of head and heart Phan. - and heart

    Sca. We're wasted on "utility," Phan. We're "cast" to play a part Sca. - a part

    Phan. Of great responsibility. Sca. Our duty is to spy

    Phan. - to spy

    Sca. Upon our King's illicities, Phan. And keep a watchful eye Sca. - ful eye

    Phan On all his eccentricities.

    Page - 4

    Both. If ever a trick he tries - he tries

    That savours of rascality,

    At our decree he dies - he dies

    Without the least formality. Sca. We fear no rude rebuff,

    Phan. - rebuff,

    Sca. Or newspaper publicity,

    Phan. Our word is quite enough, Sca. - enough,

    Phan. The rest is electricity. Sca. A pound of dynamite

    Phan. - amite

    Sca. Explodes in his auriculars; Phan. It's not a pleasant sight -

    3 Sca. - sant sight -

    Phan. We'll spare you the particulars. Sca. It's force all men confess, Phan. - confess,

    Sca. The King needs no admonishing - Phan. We may say its success

    Sca. - success

    Phan. Is something quite astonishing. Both. Our despot it imbues - imbues

    With virtues quite delectable:

    He minds his P's and Q's, - and Q's, -

    And keeps himself respectable. Sca. Of a tyrant polite

    Phan. He's a paragon quite.

    Sca. He's as modest and mild

     3This is sometimes sung as "You're right!"

    Page - 5

Phan. In his ways as a child;

    Sca. And no one e'er met

    With an autocrat, yet,

    Phan. So delightfully bland

    To the least in the land!

    Both. So delightfully bland

    To the least in the land!

    So bland!

    So bland!

    Chorus. O make way for the Wise Men!

    The are prizemen -

    Double-first in the world's university!

    For though lovely this island,

    (Which is my land,) 4 She has no one to match them in her city.

    They're the pride of Utopia -


    Is each in his mental fertility.

    O they never make blunder,

    And no wonder,

    For they're triumphs of infallibility!

    Exeunt all but SCAPHIO and PHANTIS. PHANTIS is pensive.

    Sca. Phantis, you are not in your customary exuberant spirits. What is wrong?

    5Phan. Nothing - nothing - a little passing anxiety, that's all.

    Sca. Why, what have we to be anxious about? Are not all our little secret commercial

    ventures doing tremendously? Our time bargains, our betting-office, our cheap

    wine business, our Army clothing concern, our Matrimonial agency, our

    Advertising office, our Roulette tables, our Exchange and Mart? Phan. Hush - pray be careful! If it should ever be known that these are our speculations,

    and that we have compelled the King to place his Royal authority and influence at

    our disposal for their advancement, we should be ruined!

    Sca. As for our Society paper - why its circulation has increased ten-fold since we

    compelled His Majesty to contribute every week a couple of pages of disreputable

    attacks on his own moral character! As to our theatre, why since we insisted on

    his writing a grossly personal Comic Opera, in which he is held up, nightly, to the

    scorn and contempt of overwhelming thousands, we have played to double prices.

     4Although not shown in the score, this passage is sometimes included to allow time for the chorus to exit by repeating bars 9 - 20 on page 10 of the vocal score. 5The following speeches typed in blue were pruned by Gilbert during the rehearsal period and then dropped altogether soon after the opening night.

    Page - 6

    Phan. Your keen commercial instincts have been invaluable to us; but my anxiety has

    nothing to do with our unacknowledged business ventures. Scaphio, I think you

    once told me that you had never loved?

    Sca. Never! I have often marvelled at the fairy influence which weaves its rosy web

    about the faculties of the greatest and wisest of our race; but I thank Heaven I have

    never been subjected to its singular fascination. For, O Phantis! there is that within

    me that tells me that when my time does come, the convulsion will be tremendous!

    When I love, it will be with the fervour of sixty-six years! But I have an ideal - a

    semi-transparent Being, filled with an inorganic pink jelly - and I have never yet

    seen a woman who approaches within measurable distance of it. All are opaque -

    opaque - opaque!

    Phan. Keep that ideal firmly before you, and love not until you find her. Though but

    fifty-five, I am an old campaigner in the battle-fields of Love; and, believe me, it is

    better to be as you are, heart-free and happy, than I am - eternally racked with

    doubting agonies! Scaphio, the Princess Zara returns from England to-day! Sca. My poor boy, I see it all.

    Phan. Oh! Scaphio, she is so beautiful. Ah! you smile, for you have never seen her. She

    sailed for England three months before you took office.

    Sca. Now tell me, is your affection requited?

    Phan. I do not know - I am not sure. Sometimes I think it is, and then come these

    torturing doubts! I feel sure she does not regard me with complete indifference,

    for she could never look at me without having to go to bed with a sick headache. Sca. That is surely something. Come, take heart, boy! you are young and beautiful.

    What more could maiden want?

    Phan. Ah! Scaphio, remember, she returns from a land where every youth is as a young

    Greek god, and where such poor beauty as I can boast is seen at every turn. Sca. Be of good cheer! Marry her, boy, if so your fancy wills, and be sure that love will


    Phan. (overjoyed). Then you will assist me in this?

    Sca. Why, surely! Silly one, what have you to fear? We have but to say the word, and

    her father must consent. Is he not our very slave? Come, take heart. I cannot

    bear to see you sad.

    Phan. Now I may hope, indeed! Scaphio, you have placed me on the very pinnacle of

    human joy!

    No.3. - DUET - with Dance - (Scaphio and Phantis)

    Sca. Let all your doubts take wing -

    Our influence is great.

    If Paramount our King

    Page - 7

    Presumes to hesitate,

    Put on the screw,

    And caution him

    That he will rue

    Disaster grim

    That must ensue

    To life and limb,

    Should he pooh-pooh

    This harmless whim. Phan. This harmless whim, Sca. This harmless whim, Phan. This harmless whim, Sca. This harmless whim. Both. It is as I/you say, a harmless whim,

    A harmless whim. Phan. (dancing). Observe this dance

    Which I employ,

    When I, by chance,

    Go mad with joy.

    What sentiment

    Does this express?

    What sentiment

    Does this express?

    PHANTIS continues his dance while SCAPHIO vainly endeavours to discover it's


     Supreme content

    And happiness!

    Both. Of course it does,

    Of course it does -

    Supreme content and happiness!

    Of course it does,

    Of course it does -

    It's happiness!

    Phan. Your friendly aid conferred,

    I need no longer pine.

    I've but to speak the word,

    And lo! the maid is mine!

    I do not choose

    To be denied.

    Or wish to lose

    A lovely bride -

    Page - 8

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