All. Well – what’s the news? How is the election going?
Ernest. Oh, it’s a certainty – a practical certainty! Two of the candidates have been arrested for debt, and the third is a baby in arms – so, if you keep your promises, and vote solid, I’m cocksure of election!
Olga. Trust to us. But you remember the conditions?
Ernest. Yes – all of you shall be provided for, for life. Every man shall be ennobled – every lady shall have unlimited credit at the Court Milliner’s, and all salaries shall be paid weekly in advance!
Gretchen. Oh, it’s quite clear he knows how to rule a Grand Duchy!
Ernest. Rule a Grand Duchy? Why, my good girl, for ten years past I’ve ruled a theatrical company! A man who can do that can rule anything!
–W.S. Gilbert The Grand Duke. Act I. 1896