The Marx Brothers
COURT RECEPTION AT VERSAILLES
A Footman enters.
Footman The Empress!
Napoleon As you were.
Josephine Napoleon, did you hurt yourself? You told me you would be in Egypt tonight. You promised me the Pyramids and Sphinx.
Napoleon That remains to be seen, but where are my faithful advisers, François, Alphonse and Gaston? Josephine, the whole thing Sphinx.
Josephine Do you wish their advice?
Napoleon Of course I do.
always wrong. Let me think.
Josephine How often have I asked you not to use that horrible snuff?
Napoleon Josephine, snuff.
Footman Alphonse, First
Footman François, Second Gentleman-in-Waiting.
Napoleon This devotion to me is touching, but it's not touching me. I must be quarantined - irritating - fills me with schmerkase.
Footman Gaston, Third
Napoleon Well, they are all taking the detour. Over there, Gas! Emperor of the world, what is there left for me to conquer?
Alphonse Go to the North Pole - Africa.
François Go to the end of the world.
Napoleon What, Napoleon in Russia, and leave my Josephine alone with the Court?
Josephine Napoleon, how can
doubt my love?
There is a lot of heavy lipping going on around here, but somehow or
other I got shoved out of it. Forgive me, my Queen. I don't doubt your
love. When I look into your big blue eyes, I know that you are true to
the Army. I only hope it remains a standing Army. Fortunately France
has no Navy, but then every man has qualms. Even an Emperor.
Josephine Ah! Ah! Napoleon.
Napoleon But I must not tarry. I must be off. Josephine, if I leave you here with these three snakes - chiselers - I must be off. I must be off to make Russia safe for sinus trouble. To make Russia safe for the five-year plan. That's how I bought this furniture.
Josephine Napoleon, when you go, all France is with you.
Napoleon Yes, and the last time I came home all France was with you, and a slice of Italy too.
François He means me.
Napoleon Oh, it's you.
Josephine Napoleon, fight as you never fought before. Don't forget your flannels.
shall not fire until I see the whites of their eggs, and you can lay to
that. There's a good yolk, Josephine, when one wears flannels, one
can't forget. Alphonse . . . François . . . well, it's still breathing.
He took a crack at it. I'll leave my Josephine in your arms. My honor
François and Alphonse Safe!
you are going to get on, I'm going to get off. Get me a reservation for
tomorrow night. It is like a free lunch counter. Three jolly
wouldpeckers. Can you play . . . (to Harpo) Hey,
wait until I'm
through. Hereafter, gentlemen, the line forms on the right. Farewell,
my Queen. Beyond the Alps lies more Alps, and the Lord 'Alps those that
'Alps themselves. Vive la France!
AlphonseDarling, I'll be
François Josie, I'll be
or half back.
Alphonse Why are you crying?
Josephine I thought you were never coming.
Alphonse I thought Napoleon was never going.
Josephine Are you sure he has gone?
Alphonse Yes, he just kissed me goodbye.
Josephine Me, too.
Josephine Alphonse! Hide!
Napoleon Ten seconds I've
gone, and she is still vertical, and no one is here. Ah! She loves me.
Isn't she beautiful?
Josephine Alfred, bring champagne.
Napoleon Get me a bologna sandwich. Never mind the bologna. Never mind the bread. Just bring the check. Get me a wine brick.
Josephine Oh! It's you. I thought you were at the front.
Napoleon I was, but nobody answered the bell, so I came around here.
Josephine Well, what are you looking for?
Napoleon My sword. I lost my sword.
Josephine There it is, dear, just where you left it.
Napoleon How stupid of you. Why didn't you tell me? Look at that point. I wish you wouldn't open sardines with my sword. I am beginning to smell like a delicatessen. My infantry is beginning to smell like the Cavalry. Farewell, my Queen, farewell. I'm going any minute now, farewell. It's ten cents a dance. I run on the hour and the half hour. Get a load of this footwork. Get me while I'm hot, Josie.
Josephine Napoleon, remember, I expect you to return home victorious.
just is cause. We cannot lose. I am fighting for France, Liberty, and
those three snakes hiding behind the curtain. Farewell, vis-a-vis Fifi
D'Orsay. If my laundry comes, send it general delivery, care of Russia,
and count it -- I was a sock short last week. My brassiere was missing
too. The last time I had to use my mashie and you might sew on a button
hither and yon. Hither is not bad, but yon is terrible. Farewell, my
Queen. Vive la France.
Josephine Alphonse, hide!
François Josie, has he gone?
François Anybody. Ah! Josie, you are so beautiful.
François But, Josie, I am just starting.
Josephine But remember, I'm an Empress.
François Well, you don't Empress me very much. Why don't you marry me?
Josephine What about Napoleon?
François I'll marry him too. He's got money. He's the guy I'm really after.
Josephine Why, that's bigamy.
François Yes, and it's bigamy too.
Josephine Please play. I
Napoleon I passed a groundhog coming in here, Farewell, my Queen, farewell.
Josephine Napoleon, now what's wrong?
Napoleon I lost my sword. I had a swell chance to stab one of those Russians. It was right near the gates of Moscow. If I find my sword, I Moscow and get him. He promised to wait, but you can't depend on those Greasers. He was a Russian Serf. It Serfs me right. I'm sorry now Lincoln freed the Serfs, if that's the way they're going to act. I am getting disgusted with the whole war. If it rains tomorrow, I think I'll stay in bed. What are your plans, babe? The only thing that keeps me going is your devotion; it keeps me coming back too, I guess. It's women like you that make men like me like women like you. I guess I said something that time. Jo, you're as true as a three-dollar cornet, and believe me, that's nothing to blow about, and if you don't like it, you can trumpet. Where's my sword? Without my sword I'm a second lieutenant -- letter carrier. I'm always holding the bag. I'll be an elevator starter by the time you get through with me. Ah! There's my sword. I wish you wouldn't open sardines with my sword. Oh, no, we had that, didn't we? Looks like I'm off again. The Russians are in full retreat, and I'm right in front of them.
Josephine Ah! Darling, when you're away at night, I do nothing but toss and turn.
don't mind the turning, but cut out the tossing. There has been a lot
of talk about that lately. Farewell, my Queen. Caesar had his Brutus,
Charles the First his Cromwell, and I've got rhythm - last two weeks in
Josephine Gaston! I thought
were never coming. Won't you please play for me?
Napoleon Farewell, my
farewell. One last kiss before I go.
Josephine Napoleon, dear, I
thought you had gone away.
guess that's what Studebaker means by free feeling. I was detained. My
horse overslept. My horse had his valves ground. When a fella needs a
friend. I lost my sword and rubbers. I was in the midst of furious
Josephine Napoleon, that's
wonderful uniform you are wearing.
Josephine, you haven't got my horse under there, have you? Have you
shifted your ballast, or is it my astigmatism? Where's my sword?
Josephine Here they are.
those your feet? Maybe you better go to war and I'll stay here. You're
getting an awful pair of gondolas, Josephine. They must have crossed
you with an elephant. You are getting an awful pair of dogs, Josie. Oh!
You are breaking them in for me? I wish you wouldn't wear them around
the house. You know what happened to Empress Catherine of Russia. Well,
she was headstrong and footstrong too, and they had to send for the
Josephine Oh, dear. I feel
faint. I must have music, sweet music. The harp.
Napoleon (from behind couch) Josephine, it's me, the head man.
Josephine Not yet.
Napoleon Not yet, what? Josephine, it's me.
Josephine I can't see you.
Napoleon You never could.
Josephine Don't be so fresh.
Napoleon I can't help it. I'm wrapped in cellophane.
Josephine François, will you keep quiet? Do you want Alphonse to hear you?
Napoleon Women! Don't try to wool the pull over my eyes. Women! Who's been here?
Josephine I have.
Napoleon Remember, you can fool some of the people all of the time, some of the people all of the time, all of the - oh! The hell with that. I just made that up. Lincoln copped it from me. Someone has been here. Ah! He's a harp.
Josephine 'Tis my harp, and I was practicing.
don't want you practicing with a harp. That's why I built the English
Channel. Deep stuff. Don't you think that your perfidiousness is
apparent to me? Do you think you can stand there and make a schlemiel
out of Napoleon? Do you think it's fun being Napoleon? How would you
like to be Napoleon and stand like this for one hundred and fifty years
-- a hundred and sixty? Someone has been here. I'm going to
investigate. I'll smoke out these Siberian jackrabbits.
Josephine I love but you.
Napoleon They say a man's home is his castle. Mine must be the Pennsylvania Station. Come out, come out, wherever you are.
Josephine Napoleon, no one has been here, no one is here.
Napoleon Why, if I thought
was I'd . . .
Josephine No, my hay fever.
Napoleon How many statics
you got? Officer of the guard, remove the swine.
Josephine Napoleon, what are you going to do to them?
Napoleon Look at them down
in the courtyard. The firing squad will soon give you my answer.
"The Groucho Phile", Groucho Marx and Hector Arce, 1976.