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(Enter procession, heralding Mikado, with Kartisha)

CHORUS
Miya sama, miya sama,
On n’m-ma no mayé ni
Pira-Pira sure no wa
Nan gia na
Toko tonyaré tonyaré na?

Duet: Mikado, Katisha

MIKADO
From every kind of man
Obedience I expect;
I’m the Emperor of Japan.

KATISHA
And I’m his daughter-in-law elect!
He’ll marry his son
(He’s only got one)
To his daughter-in-law elect!

MIKADO
My morals have been declared
Particularly correct;

KATISHA
But they’re nothing at all, compared
With those of his daughter-in-law elect!
Bow, bow, To his daughter-in-law elect!

ALL
Bow, bow, to his daughter-in-law elect!

MIKADO
In a fatherly kind of way
I govern each tribe and sect,
All cheerfully own my sway

KATISHA
Except his daughter-in-law elect!
As tough as a bone,
With a will of her own,
Is his daughter-in-law elect!

MIKADO
My nature is love and light.
My freedom from all defect.

KATISHA
Is insignificant quite,
Compared with his daughter-in-law elect!
Bow, bow, to his daughter-in-law elect!

ALL
Bow, bow, to his daughter-in-law elect!

Song: Mikado and chorus

MIKADO
A more humane Mikado never
Did in Japan exist,
To nobody second,
I’m certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.
My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the, crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!
All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud’s waxwork.
The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
And permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window-panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.
My object all sublime, etc.

CHORUS
His object all sublime, etc.

MIKADO
The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I’ve enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and ‘ops’
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.
The billiard sharp whom any one catches,
His doom’s extremely hard:
He’s made to dwell
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that’s always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue,
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!
My object all sublime, etc.

CHORUS
His object all sublime, etc.

(Enter Pooh-Bah, Ko-Ko and Pitti-Sing. All kneel. Pooh-Bah hands a paper to Ko-Ko)

KO-KO
I am honoured in being permitted to welcome your Majesty. I guess the object of your Majesty’s visit, your wishes have been attended to. The execution has taken place.

MIKADO
Oh, you’ve had an execution, have you?

KO-KO
Yes. The Coroner has just handed me his certificate.

POOH-BAH
I am the Coroner.

(Ko-Ko hands certificate to Mikado)

MIKADO
And this is the, certificate of his death.

(Reads)

‘At Titipu, in the presence of the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, Attorney-General, Secretary of State for the Home Department, Lord Mayor and Groom of the Second Floor Front.

POOH-BAH
They were all present, your Majesty.
I counted them myself.

MIKADO
Very good house.
I wish I’d been in time for the performance.

KO-KO
A tough fellow he was, too a man of gigantic strength. His struggles were terrific. It was really a remarkable scene.

MIKADO
Describe it.

Trio and chorus: Ko-Ko, Pitti-Sing, Pooh-Bah.

KO-KO
The criminal cried, as he dropped him down,
In a state of wild alarm
With a frightful, frantic, fearful frown,
I bared my big right arm.
I seized him by his little pig-tail,
And on his knees fell he,
As he squirmed and struggled,
And gurgled and guggled,
I drew my snickersnee!
Oh, never shall I
Forget the cry,
Or the shriek that shrieked he,
As I gnashed my teeth,
When from its sheath
I drew my snickersnee!

CHORUS
We know him well,
He cannot tell
Untrue or groundless tales.
He always tries
To utter lies,
And every time he fails.

PITTI-SING
He shivered and shook as he gave the sign
For the stroke he didn’t deserve;
When all of a sudden his eye met mine,
And it seemed to brace his nerve;
For he nodded his head and kissed his hand,
And he whistled an air, did he,
As the sabre true
Cut cleanly through
His cervical vertebræ!
When a man’s afraid,
A beautiful maid
Is a cheering sight to see;
And it’s oh, I’m glad
That moment sad
Was soothed by sight of me!

CHORUS
Her terrible tale
You can’t assail,
With truth it quite agrees:
Her taste exact
For faultless fact
Amounts to a disease.

POOH-BAH
Now though you’d have said that head was dead
(For its owner dead was he),
It stood on its neck, with a smile well-bred,
And bowed three times to me!
It was none of your impudent off-hand nods,
But as humble as could be;
For it clearly knew
The deference due
To a man of pedigree!
And it’s oh, I vow,
This deathly bow
Was a touching sight to see;
Though trunkless, yet
It couldn’t forget
The deference due to me!

CHORUS
This haughty youth,
He speaks the truth
Whenever he finds it pays:
And in this case
It all took place
Exactly as he says!

(Exeunt Chorus)

MIKADO
All this is very interesting, and I should like to have seen it. But we came about a totally different matter. A year ago my son, the heir to the throne of Japan, bolted from our Imperial Court.

KO-KO
Indeed!
Had he any reason to be dissatisfied with his position?

KATISHA
None whatever. On the contrary, I was going to marry him, yet he fled!

POOH-BAH
I am surprised that he should have fled from one so lovely!

KATISHA
That’s not true.

POOH-BAH
No!

KATISHA
You hold that I am not beautiful because my face is plain. But you know nothing; you are still unenlightened. Learn, then, that it is not in the face alone that beauty is to be sought. My face is unattractive!

POOH-BAH
It is.

KATISHA
But I have a left shoulder-blade that is a miracle of loveliness. People come miles to see it. My right elbow has a fascination that few can resist.

POOH-BAH
Allow me!

KATISHA
It is on view Tuesdays and Fridays, on presentation of visiting card. As for my circulation, it is the largest in the world.

KO-KO
And yet he fled!

MIKADO
And is now masquerading in this town, disguised as a Second Trombone.

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
A Second Trombone!

MIKADO
Yes; would it be troubling you too much if I asked you to-produce him? He goes by the name of...

KATISHA
Nanki-Poo.

MIKADO
Nanki-Poo.

KO-KO
It’s quite easy. That is, it’s rather difficult. In point of fact, he’s gone abroad!

MIKADO
Gone abroad! His address.

KO-KO
Knightsbridge!

KATISHA
(who is reading certificate of death)
Ha!

MIKADO
What’s the matter?

KATISHA
See here his name: Nanki-Poo, beheaded this morning.
Oh, where shall I find another?
Where shall I find another?

(Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah and Pitti-Sing fall on their knees)

MIKADO
(looking at paper)
Dear, dear, dear! this is very tiresome.

(To Ko-Ko)

My poor fellow, in your, anxiety to carry out my wishes you have beheaded the heir to the throne of Japan!

KO-KO
I beg to offer an unqualified apology.

POOH-BAH
I desire to associate myself with
that expression of regret.

PITTI-SING
We really hadn’t the least notion...

MIKADO
Of course you hadn’t. How could you? Come, come, my good fellow, don’t distress yourself, it was no fault of yours. If a man of exalted rank chooses to disguise himself as a Second Trombone, he must take the consequences. It really distresses me to see you take on so. I’ve no doubt he thoroughly deserved all he got.

(They rise.)

KO-KO
We are infinitely obliged to your Majesty.

PITTI-SING
Much obliged, your Majesty.

POOH-BAH
Very much obliged your Majesty.

MIKADO
Obliged? not a bit. Don’t mention it.
How could you tell?

POOH-BAH
No, of course we couldn’t tell
who the gentleman really was.

PITTI-SING
It wasn’t written on his forehead, you know.

KO-KO
It might have been on his pocket-handkerchief, but Japanese don’t use pocket-handkerchiefs! Ha! ha! ha!

MIKADO
Ha! ha! ha!

(To Katisha)

I forget the punishment for compassing the death of the Heir Apparent.

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Punishment.

(They drop down on their knees again.)

MIKADO
Yes. Something lingering, with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Something of that sort. I think boiling oil occurs in it, but I’m not sure. I know it’s something humorous, but lingering, with either boiling oil or melted lead. Come, come, don’t fret. I’m not a bit angry.

KO-KO
(in abject terror)
If your Majesty will accept our assurance, we had no idea...

MIKADO
Of course.

PITTI-SING
I knew nothing about it.

POOH-BAH
I wasn’t there.

MIKADO
That’s the pathetic part of it. Unfortunately, the fool of an Act says ‘compassing the death of the Heir Apparent. ’ There’s not a word about a mistake...

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
No!

MIKADO
Or not knowing...

KO-KO
No!

MIKADO
Or having no notion...

PITTI-SING
No!

MIKADO
Or not being there...

POOH-BAH
No!

MIKADO
There should be, of course.

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Yes!

MIKADO
But there isn’t.

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Oh!

MIKADO
That’s the slovenly way in which these acts are always drawn. However, cheer up, it’ll be all right. I’ll have it altered next session. Now, let’s see about your execution. Will after luncheon suit you? Can you wait till then?

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Oh, yes! we can wait till then!

MIKADO
Then we’ll make it after luncheon.

POOH-BAH
I don’t want any lunch.

MIKADO
I’m really very sorry for you all, but it’s an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.

MIKADO
See how the Fates their gifts allot,
For A is happy B is not.
Yet B is worthy, I dare say,
Of more prosperity than A!

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
Is B more worthy?

KATISHA
I should say
He’s worth a great deal more than A.

Ensemble

Yet A is happy!
Oh, so happy!
Laughing, Ha! ha!
Chaffing, Ha! ha!
Nectar quaffing, Ha! ha! ha!
Ever joyous, ever gay,
Happy, undeserving A!

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
If I were Fortune, which I’m not,
B should enjoy A’s happy lot,
And A should die in miserie.
That is, assuming I am B.

MIKADO, KATISHA
But should A perish?

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
That should he
(Of course, assuming I am B).

Ensemble

B should be happy!
Oh, so happy!
Laughing, Ha! ha!
Chaffing, Ha! ha!
Nectar quaffing, Ha! ha! ha!
But condemned to die is he,
Wretched meritorious B!

(Exeunt Mikado and Katisha)

KO-KO
Well, a nice mess you’ve got us into, with your nodding head and the deference due to a man of pedigree!

POOH-BAH
Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.

PITTI-SING
Corroborative detail indeed!
Corroborative fiddlestick!

KO-KO
And you’re just as bad as he is with your cock-and-a-bull stories about catching his eye and his whistling an air. But that’s so like you! You must put in your oar!

POOH-BAH
But how about your big right arm?

PITTI-SING
Yes, and your snickersnee!

KO-KO
Well, well, never mind that now. There’s only one thing to be done. Nanki-Poo hasn’t started yet. He must come to life again at once.

(Enter Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum prepared for journey)

Here he comes. Here, Nanki-Poo,
I’ve good news for you, you’re reprieved.

NANKI-POO
Oh, but it’s too late. I’m a dead man,
and I’m off for my honeymoon.

KO-KO
Nonsense! A terrible thing has just happened.
It seems you’re the son of the Mikado.

NANKI-POO
Yes, but that happened some time ago.

KO-KO
Is this a time for airy persiflage?
Your father is here, and with Katisha!

NANKI-POO
My father! And with Katisha!

KO-KO
Yes, he wants you particularly.

POOH-BAH
So does she.

YUM-YUM
Oh, but he’s married now.

KO-KO
But, bless my heart! what has that to do with it?

NANKI-POO
Katisha claims me in marriage, but I can’t marry her because I’m married already. Consequently she will insist on my execution, and if I’m executed, my wife will have to be buried alive.

YUM-YUM
You see our difficulty.

KO-KO
Yes. I don’t know what’s to be done.

NANKI-POO
There’s one chance for you. If you could persuade Katisha to marry you, she would have no further claim on me, and in that case I could come to life without any fear of being put to death.

KO-KO
I marry Katisha!

YUM-YUM
I really think it’s the only course.

KO-KO
But, my good girl, have you seen her?
She’s something appalling!

PITTI-SING
Ah! that’s only her face. She has a left elbow which people come miles to see!

POOH-BAH
I am told that her right heel is much admired by connoisseurs.

KO-KO
My good sir, I decline to pin my heart upon any lady’s right heel.

NANKI-POO
It comes to this:
While Katisha is single, I prefer to be a disembodied spirit. When Katisha is married, existence will be as welcome as the flowers in spring.

NANKI-POO
The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Breathe promise of merry sunshine
As we merrily dance and we sing,
Tra la,
We welcome the hope that they bring,
Tra la.
Of a summer of roses and wine.
And that’s what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
Tra la la la la la, etc.

ALL
Tra la la la, etc.

KO-KO
The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Having nothing to do with the case.
I’ve got to take under my wing, Tra la,
A most unattractive old thing,
Tra la,
With a caricature of a face,
And that’s what I mean when I say, or I sing,
‘Oh, bother the flowers that bloom in the spring.’
Tra la la la la la, etc.

ALL
Tra la la la, Tra la la la, etc.

(Dance and exeunt Nanki-Poo, Yum-Yum, Pooh-Bah, Pitti-Sing, and Ko-Ko.)

(Enter Katisha)

Recitative and song

KATISHA
Alone, and yet alive! Oh, sepulchre!
My soul is still my body’s prisoner!
Remote the peace that Death alone can give.
My doom, to wait! my punishment, to live!

Song

Hearts do not break!
They sting and ache
For old love’s sake,
But do not die,
Though with each breath
They long for death
As witnesseth
The living I!
Oh, living I!
Come, tell me why,
When hope is gone,
Dost thou stay on?
Why linger here,
Where all is drear?
Oh, living I!
Come, tell me why,
When hope is gone,
Dost thou stay on?
May not a cheated maiden die?

KO-KO
(entering and approaching her timidly)
Katisha!

KATISHA
The miscreant who robbed me of my love!
But vengeance pursues. They are heating the cauldron!

KO-KO
Katisha, behold a suppliant at your feet!
Katisha, mercy!

KATISHA
Mercy? Had you mercy on him? See here, you! You have slain my love. He did not love me, but he would have loved me in time. I am an acquired taste only the educated palate can appreciate me. I was educating his palate when he left me. Well, he is dead, and where shall I find another? It takes years to train a man to love me. Am I to go through the weary round again, and, at the same time,. implore mercy for you who robbed me of my prey, I mean my pupil, just as his education was on the point of completion? Oh, where shall I find another?

KO-KO
(suddenly, and with great vehemence)
Here! Here!

KATISHA
What!

KO-KO
(with intense passion)
Katisha, for years I have loved you with a white-hot passion that is slowly but surely consuming my very vitals! Ah, shrink not from me! If there is aught of woman’s mercy in your heart, turn not away from a love-sick suppliant whose every fibre thrills at your tiniest touch! True it is that, under a poor mask of disgust, I have endeavoured to conceal a passion whose inner fires are broiling the soul within me! But the fire will not be smothered, it defies all attempts at extinction, and, breaking forth, all the more eagerly for its long restraint, it declares itself in words that will not be weighed, that cannot be schooled, that should not be too severely criticized. Katisha, I dare not hope for your love, but I will not live without it! Darling!

KATISHA
You, whose hands still reek with the blood of my betrothed, dare to address words of passion to the woman you have so foully wronged!

KO-KO
I do. Accept my love, or I perish on the spot!

KATISHA
Go to! Who knows so well as I that no one ever yet died of a broken heart!

KO-KO
You know not what you say. Listen!

Song

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
And. I said to him, "Dicky-bird, why do you sit
"Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow’?"
"Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?" I cried,
"Or a rather tough worm in your little inside?"
With a shake of his poor little head, he replied,
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
He slapped at his chest, as. he sat on that bough,
Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
And a cold perspiration bespangled his brow,
Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!
He sobbed and he sighed, and a gurgle he gave,
Then he plunged himself into the billowy wave,
And an echo arose from the suicide’s grave
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
Now I feel just as sure as I’m sure that my name
Isn’t Willow, titwillow, titwillow,
That ‘twas blighted affection that made him exclaim,
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
And if you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did, and you will know why,
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die,
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’

(During this song Katusha has been greatly affected, and at the end is almost in tears.)

KATISHA
(whimpering)
Did he really die of love?

KO-KO
He really did.

KATISHA
All on account of a cruel little hen?

KO-KO
Yes.

KATISHA
Poor little chap!

KO-KO
It’s an affecting tale, and quite true.
I knew the bird intimately.

KATISHA
Did you? He must have been very fond of her.

KO-KO
His devotion was something extraordinary.

KATISHA
(still whimpering)
Poor little chap!
And, and if I refuse you, will you go and do the same?

KO-KO
At once.

KATISHA
No, no, you mustn’t! Anything but that!

(Falls on his breast.)

Oh, I’m a silly little goose!

KO-KO
(making a wry face)
You are!

KATISHA
And you won’t hate me because I’m just a little teeny weeny wee bit bloodthirsty, will you?

KO-KO
Hate you? Oh, Katisha!
Is there not beauty even in bloodthirstiness?

KATISHA
My idea exactly.

Duet: Katisha and Ko-Ko.

KATISHA
There is beauty in the bellow of the blast,
There is grandeur in the growling of the gale,
There is eloquent outpouring
When the lion is a-roaring,
And the tiger is a-lashing of his tail!

KO-KO
Yes, I like to see a tiger
From the Congo or the Niger,
And especially when lashing of his tail!

KATISHA
Volcanoes have a splendour that is grim,
And earthquakes only terrify the dolts,
But to him who’s scientific
There is nothing that’s terrific
In the falling of a flight of thunderbolts!

KO-KO
Yes, in spite of all my meekness,
If I have a little weakness,
It’s a passion fora flight of thunderbolts!

BOTH
If that is so,
Sing derry down derry!
It’s evident, very,
Our tastes are one.
Away we’ll go,
And merrily marry,
Nor tardily tarry
Till day is done!

KO-KO
There is beauty in extreme old age.
Do you fancy you are elderly enough?
Information I’m requesting
On a subject interesting:
Is a maiden all the better when she’s tough?

KATISHA
Throughout this wide dominion
It’s the general opinion
That she’ll last a good deaf longer when she’s tough.

KO-KO
Are you old enough to marry, do you think?
Won’t you wait until you’re eighty in the shade?
There’s a fascination frantic
In a ruin that’s romantic;
Do you think you are sufficiently decayed?

KATISHA
To the matter that you mention
I have given some attention,
And I think I am sufficiently decayed.

BOTH
If that is so,
Sing derry down derry!
It’s evident, very,
Our tastes are one!
Away we’ll go.
And merrily marry,
Nor tardily tarry
Till day is done!

(Exeunt together)

(Flourish. Enter the Mikado, attended by Pish-Tush and Court.)

MIKADO
Now then, we’ve had a capital lunch, and we’re quite ready. Have all the painful preparations been made?

PISH-TUSH
Your Majesty, all is prepared.

MIKADO
Then produce the unfortunate gentleman and his two well-meaning but misguided accomplices.

(Enter Ko-Ko, Katisha, Pooh-Bah and Pitti-Sing. They throw themselves at the Mikado’s feet.)

KATISHA
Mercy! Mercy for Ko-Ko!
Mercy for Pitti-Sing!
Mercy even for Pooh-Bah!

MIKADO
I beg your pardon,
I don’t think I quite caught that remark.

POOH-BAH
Mercy even for Pooh-Bah.

KATISHA
Mercy!
My husband that was to have been is dead,
and I have just married this miserable object.

MIKADO
Oh! You’ve not been long about it!

KO-KO
We were married before the Registrar.

POOH-BAH
I am the Registrar.

MIKADO
I see. But my difficulty is that,
as you have slain the Heir Apparent...

(Enter Nanki-Poo, and Yum-Yum. They kneel)

NANKI-POO
The Heir Apparent is not slain.

MIKADO
Bless my heart, my son!

YUM-YUM
And your daughter-in-law elected!

KATISHA
(seizing Ko-Ko)
Traitor, you have deceived me!

MIKADO
Yes, you are entitled to a little explanation, but I think he will give it better whole than in pieces.

KO-KO
Your Majesty, it’s like this:
It is true that I stated that I had killed Nanki-Poo.

MIKADO
Yes, with most affecting particulars.

POOH-BAH
Merely corroborative detail intended
to give artistic verisimilitude to a bald and...

KO-KO
Will you refrain from putting in your oar?

(To Mikado)

It’s like this: When your Majesty says, ‘Let a thing be done,’ it’s as good as done, practically, it is done, because your Majesty’s will is law. Your Majesty says, ‘Kill a gentleman,’ and a gentleman is told off to be killed. Consequently, that gentleman is as good as dead, practically, he is dead, and if he is dead, why not say so?

MIKADO
I see. Nothing could possibly be more satisfactory!

Finale

PITTI-SING
For he’s gone and married Yum-Yum...

ALL
Yum-Yum!

PITTI-SING
Your anger pray bury,
For all will merry,
I think you had better succumb...

ALL
Cumb, cumb!

PITTI-SING
And join our expressions of glee!

KO-KO
On this subject I pray you be dumb.

ALL
Dumb, dumb!

KO-KO
Your notions, though many,
Are not worth a penny,
The word for your guidance is ‘Mum’.

ALL
Mum, mum!

KO-KO
You’ve a very good bargain in me.

ALL
On this subject we pray you be dumb.
Dumb- dumb!
We think you had better succumb.
Cumb, cumb!
You’ll find there are many
Who’ll wed fora penny,
There are lots of good fish in the sea.

YUM-YUM, NANKI-POO
The threatened cloud has passed away,
And brightly shines the dawning day;
What though the night may come too soon,
We’ve years and years of afternoon!

ALL
Then let the throng
Our joy advance,
With laughing song
And merry dance,
With joyous shout and ringing cheer,
Inaugurate our new career!
Then let the throng, etc.
(Enter procession, heralding Mikado, with Kartisha)

CHORUS
Miya sama, miya sama,
On n’m-ma no mayé ni
Pira-Pira sure no wa
Nan gia na
Toko tonyaré tonyaré na?

Duet: Mikado, Katisha

MIKADO
From every kind of man
Obedience I expect;
I’m the Emperor of Japan.

KATISHA
And I’m his daughter-in-law elect!
He’ll marry his son
(He’s only got one)
To his daughter-in-law elect!

MIKADO
My morals have been declared
Particularly correct;

KATISHA
But they’re nothing at all, compared
With those of his daughter-in-law elect!
Bow, bow, To his daughter-in-law elect!

ALL
Bow, bow, to his daughter-in-law elect!

MIKADO
In a fatherly kind of way
I govern each tribe and sect,
All cheerfully own my sway

KATISHA
Except his daughter-in-law elect!
As tough as a bone,
With a will of her own,
Is his daughter-in-law elect!

MIKADO
My nature is love and light.
My freedom from all defect.

KATISHA
Is insignificant quite,
Compared with his daughter-in-law elect!
Bow, bow, to his daughter-in-law elect!

ALL
Bow, bow, to his daughter-in-law elect!

Song: Mikado and chorus

MIKADO
A more humane Mikado never
Did in Japan exist,
To nobody second,
I’m certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.
My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the, crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!
All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud’s waxwork.
The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
And permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window-panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.
My object all sublime, etc.

CHORUS
His object all sublime, etc.

MIKADO
The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I’ve enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and ‘ops’
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.
The billiard sharp whom any one catches,
His doom’s extremely hard:
He’s made to dwell
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that’s always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue,
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!
My object all sublime, etc.

CHORUS
His object all sublime, etc.

(Enter Pooh-Bah, Ko-Ko and Pitti-Sing. All kneel. Pooh-Bah hands a paper to Ko-Ko)

KO-KO
I am honoured in being permitted to welcome your Majesty. I guess the object of your Majesty’s visit, your wishes have been attended to. The execution has taken place.

MIKADO
Oh, you’ve had an execution, have you?

KO-KO
Yes. The Coroner has just handed me his certificate.

POOH-BAH
I am the Coroner.

(Ko-Ko hands certificate to Mikado)

MIKADO
And this is the, certificate of his death.

(Reads)

‘At Titipu, in the presence of the Lord Chancellor, Lord Chief Justice, Attorney-General, Secretary of State for the Home Department, Lord Mayor and Groom of the Second Floor Front.

POOH-BAH
They were all present, your Majesty.
I counted them myself.

MIKADO
Very good house.
I wish I’d been in time for the performance.

KO-KO
A tough fellow he was, too a man of gigantic strength. His struggles were terrific. It was really a remarkable scene.

MIKADO
Describe it.

Trio and chorus: Ko-Ko, Pitti-Sing, Pooh-Bah.

KO-KO
The criminal cried, as he dropped him down,
In a state of wild alarm
With a frightful, frantic, fearful frown,
I bared my big right arm.
I seized him by his little pig-tail,
And on his knees fell he,
As he squirmed and struggled,
And gurgled and guggled,
I drew my snickersnee!
Oh, never shall I
Forget the cry,
Or the shriek that shrieked he,
As I gnashed my teeth,
When from its sheath
I drew my snickersnee!

CHORUS
We know him well,
He cannot tell
Untrue or groundless tales.
He always tries
To utter lies,
And every time he fails.

PITTI-SING
He shivered and shook as he gave the sign
For the stroke he didn’t deserve;
When all of a sudden his eye met mine,
And it seemed to brace his nerve;
For he nodded his head and kissed his hand,
And he whistled an air, did he,
As the sabre true
Cut cleanly through
His cervical vertebræ!
When a man’s afraid,
A beautiful maid
Is a cheering sight to see;
And it’s oh, I’m glad
That moment sad
Was soothed by sight of me!

CHORUS
Her terrible tale
You can’t assail,
With truth it quite agrees:
Her taste exact
For faultless fact
Amounts to a disease.

POOH-BAH
Now though you’d have said that head was dead
(For its owner dead was he),
It stood on its neck, with a smile well-bred,
And bowed three times to me!
It was none of your impudent off-hand nods,
But as humble as could be;
For it clearly knew
The deference due
To a man of pedigree!
And it’s oh, I vow,
This deathly bow
Was a touching sight to see;
Though trunkless, yet
It couldn’t forget
The deference due to me!

CHORUS
This haughty youth,
He speaks the truth
Whenever he finds it pays:
And in this case
It all took place
Exactly as he says!

(Exeunt Chorus)

MIKADO
All this is very interesting, and I should like to have seen it. But we came about a totally different matter. A year ago my son, the heir to the throne of Japan, bolted from our Imperial Court.

KO-KO
Indeed!
Had he any reason to be dissatisfied with his position?

KATISHA
None whatever. On the contrary, I was going to marry him, yet he fled!

POOH-BAH
I am surprised that he should have fled from one so lovely!

KATISHA
That’s not true.

POOH-BAH
No!

KATISHA
You hold that I am not beautiful because my face is plain. But you know nothing; you are still unenlightened. Learn, then, that it is not in the face alone that beauty is to be sought. My face is unattractive!

POOH-BAH
It is.

KATISHA
But I have a left shoulder-blade that is a miracle of loveliness. People come miles to see it. My right elbow has a fascination that few can resist.

POOH-BAH
Allow me!

KATISHA
It is on view Tuesdays and Fridays, on presentation of visiting card. As for my circulation, it is the largest in the world.

KO-KO
And yet he fled!

MIKADO
And is now masquerading in this town, disguised as a Second Trombone.

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
A Second Trombone!

MIKADO
Yes; would it be troubling you too much if I asked you to-produce him? He goes by the name of...

KATISHA
Nanki-Poo.

MIKADO
Nanki-Poo.

KO-KO
It’s quite easy. That is, it’s rather difficult. In point of fact, he’s gone abroad!

MIKADO
Gone abroad! His address.

KO-KO
Knightsbridge!

KATISHA
(who is reading certificate of death)
Ha!

MIKADO
What’s the matter?

KATISHA
See here his name: Nanki-Poo, beheaded this morning.
Oh, where shall I find another?
Where shall I find another?

(Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah and Pitti-Sing fall on their knees)

MIKADO
(looking at paper)
Dear, dear, dear! this is very tiresome.

(To Ko-Ko)

My poor fellow, in your, anxiety to carry out my wishes you have beheaded the heir to the throne of Japan!

KO-KO
I beg to offer an unqualified apology.

POOH-BAH
I desire to associate myself with
that expression of regret.

PITTI-SING
We really hadn’t the least notion...

MIKADO
Of course you hadn’t. How could you? Come, come, my good fellow, don’t distress yourself, it was no fault of yours. If a man of exalted rank chooses to disguise himself as a Second Trombone, he must take the consequences. It really distresses me to see you take on so. I’ve no doubt he thoroughly deserved all he got.

(They rise.)

KO-KO
We are infinitely obliged to your Majesty.

PITTI-SING
Much obliged, your Majesty.

POOH-BAH
Very much obliged your Majesty.

MIKADO
Obliged? not a bit. Don’t mention it.
How could you tell?

POOH-BAH
No, of course we couldn’t tell
who the gentleman really was.

PITTI-SING
It wasn’t written on his forehead, you know.

KO-KO
It might have been on his pocket-handkerchief, but Japanese don’t use pocket-handkerchiefs! Ha! ha! ha!

MIKADO
Ha! ha! ha!

(To Katisha)

I forget the punishment for compassing the death of the Heir Apparent.

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Punishment.

(They drop down on their knees again.)

MIKADO
Yes. Something lingering, with boiling oil in it, I fancy. Something of that sort. I think boiling oil occurs in it, but I’m not sure. I know it’s something humorous, but lingering, with either boiling oil or melted lead. Come, come, don’t fret. I’m not a bit angry.

KO-KO
(in abject terror)
If your Majesty will accept our assurance, we had no idea...

MIKADO
Of course.

PITTI-SING
I knew nothing about it.

POOH-BAH
I wasn’t there.

MIKADO
That’s the pathetic part of it. Unfortunately, the fool of an Act says ‘compassing the death of the Heir Apparent. ’ There’s not a word about a mistake...

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
No!

MIKADO
Or not knowing...

KO-KO
No!

MIKADO
Or having no notion...

PITTI-SING
No!

MIKADO
Or not being there...

POOH-BAH
No!

MIKADO
There should be, of course.

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Yes!

MIKADO
But there isn’t.

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Oh!

MIKADO
That’s the slovenly way in which these acts are always drawn. However, cheer up, it’ll be all right. I’ll have it altered next session. Now, let’s see about your execution. Will after luncheon suit you? Can you wait till then?

KO-KO, PITTI-SING, POOH-BAH
Oh, yes! we can wait till then!

MIKADO
Then we’ll make it after luncheon.

POOH-BAH
I don’t want any lunch.

MIKADO
I’m really very sorry for you all, but it’s an unjust world, and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances.

MIKADO
See how the Fates their gifts allot,
For A is happy B is not.
Yet B is worthy, I dare say,
Of more prosperity than A!

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
Is B more worthy?

KATISHA
I should say
He’s worth a great deal more than A.

Ensemble

Yet A is happy!
Oh, so happy!
Laughing, Ha! ha!
Chaffing, Ha! ha!
Nectar quaffing, Ha! ha! ha!
Ever joyous, ever gay,
Happy, undeserving A!

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
If I were Fortune, which I’m not,
B should enjoy A’s happy lot,
And A should die in miserie.
That is, assuming I am B.

MIKADO, KATISHA
But should A perish?

KO-KO, POOH-BAH, PITTI-SING
That should he
(Of course, assuming I am B).

Ensemble

B should be happy!
Oh, so happy!
Laughing, Ha! ha!
Chaffing, Ha! ha!
Nectar quaffing, Ha! ha! ha!
But condemned to die is he,
Wretched meritorious B!

(Exeunt Mikado and Katisha)

KO-KO
Well, a nice mess you’ve got us into, with your nodding head and the deference due to a man of pedigree!

POOH-BAH
Merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.

PITTI-SING
Corroborative detail indeed!
Corroborative fiddlestick!

KO-KO
And you’re just as bad as he is with your cock-and-a-bull stories about catching his eye and his whistling an air. But that’s so like you! You must put in your oar!

POOH-BAH
But how about your big right arm?

PITTI-SING
Yes, and your snickersnee!

KO-KO
Well, well, never mind that now. There’s only one thing to be done. Nanki-Poo hasn’t started yet. He must come to life again at once.

(Enter Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum prepared for journey)

Here he comes. Here, Nanki-Poo,
I’ve good news for you, you’re reprieved.

NANKI-POO
Oh, but it’s too late. I’m a dead man,
and I’m off for my honeymoon.

KO-KO
Nonsense! A terrible thing has just happened.
It seems you’re the son of the Mikado.

NANKI-POO
Yes, but that happened some time ago.

KO-KO
Is this a time for airy persiflage?
Your father is here, and with Katisha!

NANKI-POO
My father! And with Katisha!

KO-KO
Yes, he wants you particularly.

POOH-BAH
So does she.

YUM-YUM
Oh, but he’s married now.

KO-KO
But, bless my heart! what has that to do with it?

NANKI-POO
Katisha claims me in marriage, but I can’t marry her because I’m married already. Consequently she will insist on my execution, and if I’m executed, my wife will have to be buried alive.

YUM-YUM
You see our difficulty.

KO-KO
Yes. I don’t know what’s to be done.

NANKI-POO
There’s one chance for you. If you could persuade Katisha to marry you, she would have no further claim on me, and in that case I could come to life without any fear of being put to death.

KO-KO
I marry Katisha!

YUM-YUM
I really think it’s the only course.

KO-KO
But, my good girl, have you seen her?
She’s something appalling!

PITTI-SING
Ah! that’s only her face. She has a left elbow which people come miles to see!

POOH-BAH
I am told that her right heel is much admired by connoisseurs.

KO-KO
My good sir, I decline to pin my heart upon any lady’s right heel.

NANKI-POO
It comes to this:
While Katisha is single, I prefer to be a disembodied spirit. When Katisha is married, existence will be as welcome as the flowers in spring.

NANKI-POO
The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Breathe promise of merry sunshine
As we merrily dance and we sing,
Tra la,
We welcome the hope that they bring,
Tra la.
Of a summer of roses and wine.
And that’s what we mean when we say that a thing
Is welcome as flowers that bloom in the spring.
Tra la la la la la, etc.

ALL
Tra la la la, etc.

KO-KO
The flowers that bloom in the spring,
Tra la,
Having nothing to do with the case.
I’ve got to take under my wing, Tra la,
A most unattractive old thing,
Tra la,
With a caricature of a face,
And that’s what I mean when I say, or I sing,
‘Oh, bother the flowers that bloom in the spring.’
Tra la la la la la, etc.

ALL
Tra la la la, Tra la la la, etc.

(Dance and exeunt Nanki-Poo, Yum-Yum, Pooh-Bah, Pitti-Sing, and Ko-Ko.)

(Enter Katisha)

Recitative and song

KATISHA
Alone, and yet alive! Oh, sepulchre!
My soul is still my body’s prisoner!
Remote the peace that Death alone can give.
My doom, to wait! my punishment, to live!

Song

Hearts do not break!
They sting and ache
For old love’s sake,
But do not die,
Though with each breath
They long for death
As witnesseth
The living I!
Oh, living I!
Come, tell me why,
When hope is gone,
Dost thou stay on?
Why linger here,
Where all is drear?
Oh, living I!
Come, tell me why,
When hope is gone,
Dost thou stay on?
May not a cheated maiden die?

KO-KO
(entering and approaching her timidly)
Katisha!

KATISHA
The miscreant who robbed me of my love!
But vengeance pursues. They are heating the cauldron!

KO-KO
Katisha, behold a suppliant at your feet!
Katisha, mercy!

KATISHA
Mercy? Had you mercy on him? See here, you! You have slain my love. He did not love me, but he would have loved me in time. I am an acquired taste only the educated palate can appreciate me. I was educating his palate when he left me. Well, he is dead, and where shall I find another? It takes years to train a man to love me. Am I to go through the weary round again, and, at the same time,. implore mercy for you who robbed me of my prey, I mean my pupil, just as his education was on the point of completion? Oh, where shall I find another?

KO-KO
(suddenly, and with great vehemence)
Here! Here!

KATISHA
What!

KO-KO
(with intense passion)
Katisha, for years I have loved you with a white-hot passion that is slowly but surely consuming my very vitals! Ah, shrink not from me! If there is aught of woman’s mercy in your heart, turn not away from a love-sick suppliant whose every fibre thrills at your tiniest touch! True it is that, under a poor mask of disgust, I have endeavoured to conceal a passion whose inner fires are broiling the soul within me! But the fire will not be smothered, it defies all attempts at extinction, and, breaking forth, all the more eagerly for its long restraint, it declares itself in words that will not be weighed, that cannot be schooled, that should not be too severely criticized. Katisha, I dare not hope for your love, but I will not live without it! Darling!

KATISHA
You, whose hands still reek with the blood of my betrothed, dare to address words of passion to the woman you have so foully wronged!

KO-KO
I do. Accept my love, or I perish on the spot!

KATISHA
Go to! Who knows so well as I that no one ever yet died of a broken heart!

KO-KO
You know not what you say. Listen!

Song

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
And. I said to him, "Dicky-bird, why do you sit
"Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow’?"
"Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?" I cried,
"Or a rather tough worm in your little inside?"
With a shake of his poor little head, he replied,
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
He slapped at his chest, as. he sat on that bough,
Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
And a cold perspiration bespangled his brow,
Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!
He sobbed and he sighed, and a gurgle he gave,
Then he plunged himself into the billowy wave,
And an echo arose from the suicide’s grave
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
Now I feel just as sure as I’m sure that my name
Isn’t Willow, titwillow, titwillow,
That ‘twas blighted affection that made him exclaim,
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’
And if you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did, and you will know why,
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die,
‘Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!’

(During this song Katusha has been greatly affected, and at the end is almost in tears.)

KATISHA
(whimpering)
Did he really die of love?

KO-KO
He really did.

KATISHA
All on account of a cruel little hen?

KO-KO
Yes.

KATISHA
Poor little chap!

KO-KO
It’s an affecting tale, and quite true.
I knew the bird intimately.

KATISHA
Did you? He must have been very fond of her.

KO-KO
His devotion was something extraordinary.

KATISHA
(still whimpering)
Poor little chap!
And, and if I refuse you, will you go and do the same?

KO-KO
At once.

KATISHA
No, no, you mustn’t! Anything but that!

(Falls on his breast.)

Oh, I’m a silly little goose!

KO-KO
(making a wry face)
You are!

KATISHA
And you won’t hate me because I’m just a little teeny weeny wee bit bloodthirsty, will you?

KO-KO
Hate you? Oh, Katisha!
Is there not beauty even in bloodthirstiness?

KATISHA
My idea exactly.

Duet: Katisha and Ko-Ko.

KATISHA
There is beauty in the bellow of the blast,
There is grandeur in the growling of the gale,
There is eloquent outpouring
When the lion is a-roaring,
And the tiger is a-lashing of his tail!

KO-KO
Yes, I like to see a tiger
From the Congo or the Niger,
And especially when lashing of his tail!

KATISHA
Volcanoes have a splendour that is grim,
And earthquakes only terrify the dolts,
But to him who’s scientific
There is nothing that’s terrific
In the falling of a flight of thunderbolts!

KO-KO
Yes, in spite of all my meekness,
If I have a little weakness,
It’s a passion fora flight of thunderbolts!

BOTH
If that is so,
Sing derry down derry!
It’s evident, very,
Our tastes are one.
Away we’ll go,
And merrily marry,
Nor tardily tarry
Till day is done!

KO-KO
There is beauty in extreme old age.
Do you fancy you are elderly enough?
Information I’m requesting
On a subject interesting:
Is a maiden all the better when she’s tough?

KATISHA
Throughout this wide dominion
It’s the general opinion
That she’ll last a good deaf longer when she’s tough.

KO-KO
Are you old enough to marry, do you think?
Won’t you wait until you’re eighty in the shade?
There’s a fascination frantic
In a ruin that’s romantic;
Do you think you are sufficiently decayed?

KATISHA
To the matter that you mention
I have given some attention,
And I think I am sufficiently decayed.

BOTH
If that is so,
Sing derry down derry!
It’s evident, very,
Our tastes are one!
Away we’ll go.
And merrily marry,
Nor tardily tarry
Till day is done!

(Exeunt together)

(Flourish. Enter the Mikado, attended by Pish-Tush and Court.)

MIKADO
Now then, we’ve had a capital lunch, and we’re quite ready. Have all the painful preparations been made?

PISH-TUSH
Your Majesty, all is prepared.

MIKADO
Then produce the unfortunate gentleman and his two well-meaning but misguided accomplices.

(Enter Ko-Ko, Katisha, Pooh-Bah and Pitti-Sing. They throw themselves at the Mikado’s feet.)

KATISHA
Mercy! Mercy for Ko-Ko!
Mercy for Pitti-Sing!
Mercy even for Pooh-Bah!

MIKADO
I beg your pardon,
I don’t think I quite caught that remark.

POOH-BAH
Mercy even for Pooh-Bah.

KATISHA
Mercy!
My husband that was to have been is dead,
and I have just married this miserable object.

MIKADO
Oh! You’ve not been long about it!

KO-KO
We were married before the Registrar.

POOH-BAH
I am the Registrar.

MIKADO
I see. But my difficulty is that,
as you have slain the Heir Apparent...

(Enter Nanki-Poo, and Yum-Yum. They kneel)

NANKI-POO
The Heir Apparent is not slain.

MIKADO
Bless my heart, my son!

YUM-YUM
And your daughter-in-law elected!

KATISHA
(seizing Ko-Ko)
Traitor, you have deceived me!

MIKADO
Yes, you are entitled to a little explanation, but I think he will give it better whole than in pieces.

KO-KO
Your Majesty, it’s like this:
It is true that I stated that I had killed Nanki-Poo.

MIKADO
Yes, with most affecting particulars.

POOH-BAH
Merely corroborative detail intended
to give artistic verisimilitude to a bald and...

KO-KO
Will you refrain from putting in your oar?

(To Mikado)

It’s like this: When your Majesty says, ‘Let a thing be done,’ it’s as good as done, practically, it is done, because your Majesty’s will is law. Your Majesty says, ‘Kill a gentleman,’ and a gentleman is told off to be killed. Consequently, that gentleman is as good as dead, practically, he is dead, and if he is dead, why not say so?

MIKADO
I see. Nothing could possibly be more satisfactory!

Finale

PITTI-SING
For he’s gone and married Yum-Yum...

ALL
Yum-Yum!

PITTI-SING
Your anger pray bury,
For all will merry,
I think you had better succumb...

ALL
Cumb, cumb!

PITTI-SING
And join our expressions of glee!

KO-KO
On this subject I pray you be dumb.

ALL
Dumb, dumb!

KO-KO
Your notions, though many,
Are not worth a penny,
The word for your guidance is ‘Mum’.

ALL
Mum, mum!

KO-KO
You’ve a very good bargain in me.

ALL
On this subject we pray you be dumb.
Dumb- dumb!
We think you had better succumb.
Cumb, cumb!
You’ll find there are many
Who’ll wed fora penny,
There are lots of good fish in the sea.

YUM-YUM, NANKI-POO
The threatened cloud has passed away,
And brightly shines the dawning day;
What though the night may come too soon,
We’ve years and years of afternoon!

ALL
Then let the throng
Our joy advance,
With laughing song
And merry dance,
With joyous shout and ringing cheer,
Inaugurate our new career!
Then let the throng, etc.



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