Virginibus Puerisque




A Second-Rate Farce
Dedicated with all possible respect
and admiration to the D—cc—n
M—g C—y C–mm–tee


And the sin I impute to each frustrate ghost
Is the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin,
Though the issue in sight was a Vice, I say
You of the Virtue, we issue join
How goes it? De te fabula.


The Statue and the Bust.





Scene – Exterior of the I—a Office on a remarkably
shady day. Enter chorus of Indignant Speculators, too
angry to be particular about their rhymes, singing—


Who shall restore us the leaves
That the Huqster hath eaten,
Or who shall arraign us the thieves
To be properly beaten?

Where is the grim guillotine—
The sawdust and platter—
For W–ts–n? Too long hath he been
A joy to his hatter!

We are sold and we feel it acutely,
A scorn and a hissing.
The Heathen hath had us astutely—
Our eye–teeth are missing!

Let no man survive to record
The way we were snaffled!
Let the paid share be turned to a sword—
Its drop to a scaffold.

Echo of a voice from H–d–r–b–d, con brio

'Tis oh for a day of the days that are dead
And a dead and a done with land,
For a tusker trained and a budmash brained
At the wave of a Monarch's hand!

Yea, a hathi rnusth, and a spirt of dust,
A trumpet shrill and loud—
A kick and a thud and a gout of blood,
And the deep drawn breath of the crowd.

'Twere ended then in the sight of men,
The lie and the loss and the theft:
They might pluck the wrong or the right from the long
Keen tusks sent in to the heft.

Semi-chorus of venerables from nowhere in particular

Gently does the trick, my lad, gently does the trick,
To the moral hide, my lad, suit the moral stick;
Bulls in China-shops are bad,
Gently does the trick, my lad,
Yes, we own, it's awful sad,
But
Gently does the trick!

Easy on the trawl, my lad—easy on the trawl!
You may smash expensive nets with too great a haul.
What's the use of damning eyes?
Drop the personalities,
Will you kindly summarize
And
Easy on the trawl!

Chorus of C–m–tee in conclave assembled:

Tenderly, ah! tenderly, oh!
Water the lightning and muffle the thunder!
pp) Somebody whisper to Henry: 'Lie low.'
Somebody bund up Apollo—the Bunder.
Tenderly, ah! tenderly, oh!
Over the pimples triumphant we go!

Indignant Speculators to staccato accomp. of kicks on
door panels and with British pronunciation.


'More light,' quoth dying Goethe,
And We demand the same;
For why should You be shirty
If They are not to blame?

C–mm—tee from behind closed
doors, to hymn tune.


More light is sometimes trying,
And You have clean forgot
That Goethe lay a-dying
While We are on the spot!
C–mm—ttee emerge in guise of nigger minstrels,
their faces extensively blackened, supported by a précis-writer
on £70 a year, and the Consciousness of Rectitude.
Topical song by President, tambo and steps:
When you sit by chance on a hornet's nest,
And they're all there—very much there.
To leave 'em alone is by far the best,
For they're all there—very much there!
The friends and the relatives come to see,
And Sheol wakes in the old oak tree,
And Deuce knows what the end may be
There—very much there!

Chorus

We're all there-very much there!
O koorong with the whole affair,
It's dicky in front and it's dicky behind.
But we'll get inside and pull down the blind,
And the rude little boys will please not to stare
When we're all there—very much there

Solo, banjo and bones,' S–r R–ch—d T—mple, to very careful
walk–round of C–mm–tee


Right foot! lef' foot! Hop light Loo,
Here am a fuss—dcre am a muss!
What am a nig to do?
Down de middle an' back again—
Keep de sugar out o' de rain,
Mind de aigs upon de floor an'—hop light, Loo!

(chorus and complete break–down

Hop light, Loo! Here's a how–de–do!
Razors am a flyin' in de air!
Sot de cream behind de do'
Or de storm'll turn it sho',
Trim de lamp a little low,
Massa likes to hab it so—
Listen to de thunder in de mawnin'!

Solo, H——y L———Ch–re in pink shirt.

Down in Demerara when we roll de sugar keg,
Every darkey hoppin' on a gummilastic leg,
Massa Trufle James an ' me, Massa Monkey Dick,
Keep de bar'! a rollin to de Lee–vee!

Chorus

Keep de bar' a rollin'slow,
Tech him lightly wif your toe,
'R else you're sure to bust de show—
Nurse de bar'! a rollin' to de Lee–vee!

Chorus of Venerables, more insistently:

Bring not grey hairs with sorrow down to Woking—
Stir not, touch not, ask not, see not. Be wise
Ye know not what or whom ye are invoking.
Shut down the trap and ... simply summarize!

The C–mm–tee summarize with the help of précis writer:

We find it so—exactly thus
According as you was,
Henceforward this peculiar biz
Is obviously because:
The subject and the predicate
Are generally plain,
But major premisses are facts
Not easy to retain
Observe the rule that seems to hint
But really does not mean,
Avoid all fuss, be warned by us
And keep your fingers clean.

(The voices die into silence. W–ts–n, A—l, H—q and
the Others study the Report with tears of envy)

W–ts–n, solo in character:
Claude Duval rode over the heath,
Over the heath when the moon was low,
He emptied a shoehorn o'Nantes beneath
The gibbet that creaks when the night–winds blow.
'You in the chains there, ready to fall,
Give me your blessing!' quoth Claude Duval.

Claude Duval rode over the heath,
Over the heath to the Liverpool Mail,
Guard in the bucket armed to the teeth
Pointed the blunderbuss—turning pale.
'Dog eat dog were a terrible sin—
What would they say at the Black Bull Inn?'

Dick the driver must bully and brag,
Bully and brag for the sake of the coach,
Claude Duval has taken the swag—
Cool as a lawyer and sound as a roach.
Deftly he opens the mail–bags all:
'Look to your priming', says Claude Duval.

Claude Duval has galloped away,
Galloped away in the night of the years;
But Claude Duval of the present day
He is the gentleman everyone fears:
Justice is silent and Truth sings small
Under the pistol of Claude Duval.

Voice of President of C–mm—tee from the flies. Cadenza.
Expostulatzione:


I live on Table Mountain and my name is Truthful James,
I am not versed in rigging shares or any sinful games;
l hope you'll take our penny–farthing version of the 'shine'
That broke up that society upon the Deccan Mine.

(The Stage darkens gradually to Gounod's 'Funeral March of a Marionette')



CURTAIN