Twenty-five years ago, Iolanthe was banished by the Fairy Queen for
CELIA. Ah, it’s all very well, but since our Queen banished Iolanthe, fairy revels have not been what they were!
LEILA. Iolanthe was the life and soul of Fairyland. Why, she wrote all our songs and arranged all our dances! We sing her songs and we trip her measures, but we don’t enjoy ourselves!
FLETA. To think that five-and-twenty years have elapsed since she was banished! What could she have done to have deserved so terrible a punishment?
LEILA. Something awful! She married a mortal!
FLETA. Oh! Is it injudicious to marry a mortal?
LEILA. Injudicious? It strikes at the root of the whole fairy system! By our laws, the fairy who marries a mortal dies!
CELIA. But Iolanthe didn’t die!
(Enter FAIRY QUEEN.)
QUEEN. No, because your Queen, who loved her with a surpassing love, commuted her