Atonement in the Mikado

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!

I remain, as ever,
In your humble and obedient service:
Michael Thomas Augustine Canaris.


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