Scene: A Palace in Cloudland. MORAL TEXT-BOOK COMMITTEE discovered at a round table, singing. Moralists we, From over the sea, From the land where philosophers plenty be From the land that produced no Kants with a K, But many Cants with a C. Where the Hodmadod crawls in its shell confined, The Symbol exalted of Fetterless Mind, And Arithmetic sits on her throne of pride As Theology personified. We have fished in the Lake, And the Worm wouldn't bite. Our preachers have covered The Pit from our sight. By the wisdom of Comte We have learned to devise Our own little roofs, and Dispense with the skies. The Gods and the Godlings On dust-laden shelves Repose for a sign. We are all Gods ourselves! (Confidentialissimo) And so we come here With gum-pot and shear Devoid of convictions, but blessed with long faces, From every land's vext Book To clip out a text-book Which gives us religion on natural bases . PRESIDENT (solo, tremolo) In Afric's sunny clime the slave Assuages both catarrh and grief By blowing of his nose upon The Moral Pocket-handkerchief. His fetich grins beneath the tree A skull, three rags, an ostrich-feather; He turns aside to us who give Good texts and textile goods together. Ber-etheren, ere ye stain the pen, Think of that joyous Afrikander; What saith the Chief of Married Men? Sauce for the goose will suit the gander.] (Flourish of silver trumpets) In the name of the Great God Fudge, I charge ye take good heed To weigh and sift and sniff and judge The merits of every creed, That no man may your wage begrudge, That your fame may be great indeed. Who have gotten a God at the Government's nod In the land where the deities breed. The COMMITTEE fall to their labours. The INDIAN PANTHEON rises behind them in red fire. CHORUS OF THE INDIAN PANTHEON We be the Gods of the East, Older than all Rulers of Greatest and Least, Rulers of Mourning and Feast, Rulers of Man and of Beast. How shall we fall Whose feet are made firm on men's necks— Whose hands hold their heart-strings in thrall? SEMICHORUS Over the strife of the schools Low the day burns; Back as the kine to the pools Each one returns To the life that he knows, where the altar-flame glows, and the tulsi is trimmed in the urns. CHORUS Will they gape for the husks that ye proffer, Or move to your song? And we—have we nothing to offer Who held them so long In the cloud of the incense, the clash of the cymbal, the blare Of the conch and the gong? PRESIDENT (jubilantissimo) We'll get the text-book ready as quickly as we can For the Ary-for the Ary- for the Ary-an! SECRETARY I'll go and hunt the Vedas while you play with the Ko-ran" For the Ary- for the Ary- for the Ary-an! DUET AND DANCE Oh, isn't it nice to root out Vice, and usher Virtue in! And isn't it sad a cultured lad should stumble into sin! We'd like to have him moral; but, oh, where shall we begin With the Ary- with the Ary- with the Ary-an? CHORUS OF COMMITTEE Help the Ary- help the Ary- help the Ary-an! Three-and-thirty million Gods don't improve a man! Wait till we have forced our potted morals in a can Down the Ary- down the Ary- down the Ary-an! PRESIDENT (patter-song with piccolo accompaniment) Take a little Rabelais—just a garlic hint; Out of Locke and Bacon steal something fit to print. Grind em down with Butler, add morsels of Voltaire; Don't forget the `Precious Fools sketched by Molière! Robert Elsmere, Mallock, Hume, Gibbon (on his knees). Knock the Ten Commandments out if they fail to please; Substitute the Penal Code—sections underlined. There you have a perfect book to form the infant mind! (Encore verses may be introduced here according to the taste of the singer or the educational policy of the Government of India.) AERIAL CHORUS OF INVISIBLES (Stringed instruments only) (Con spirito) The kine went forth to the clover In the flush of the morning-tide, But long ere the day was over They suffered from pains inside (Retard) They laid them down in the clover They swelled and they bust and they died. Now was it the fault of the clover That tenders its bloom to the bees? And how did the kine come over From the scant, dry grass of the leas, To eat and to burst in the clover That never had injured the bees? (Con molt. ezp.) They had opened the gates to the clover, They said it would fatten the kine; But never a man could discover It was wrong for cattle to dine On the windy and wine-red clover, Too fair—too free—and too fine. (his)] The COMMITTEE conclude their labours, and produce Moral Text-Book wrapped in a white handkerchief. CHORUS Now whoso sneers At our paste and shears May go, if he can, to the Deuce! We have built for the Pagan A first-class Dagon For strictly official use. [(They dance round the M. TB. with appropriate gestures.)] CHORUS OF ADMIRING ARYAVARTAS (organ, plagal cadence) When Dagon was builded of old By the Demons who wrought in a day, His forehead was brazen, his belly was gold, And his throne was the red river-clay [And the tempest dissolved it away—] But our masters are wiser than they. (Trumpets) For when Dagon was builded anew, By the breath of their order they made him; By the froth of their ink-pots they stayed him, In cut-paper frills they arrayed him, The subtle, the supple, the new, Who is greater than scourges or rods An olla podrida Of Faiths and Fifth-Reader, The Friend of all Possible Gods! [COMMITTEE (scattering text-books abroad) It s bound in cloth and it's one rupee, And a very good thing you ll find it. It may almost pass for—what you please, If nobody gets behind it. (Grand general walk-round of COMMITTEE Bundles of M.T.B. their arms; hats over one eye.) We don't know anything about it at all, But here s the book you see; So we'll supply the school and cry: `Are you there Mor-al-i-tee? (Kick-dance in order of Seniority) (f)We don't care anything about it at all, For devil a faith have we; But we'll all look sly and gaily cry: `Are you there mor-al-i-tee?" BOUQUETS, BLUE-FIRE, GENERAL REFORMATION AND CURTAIN.