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Or the case of FREDERICK in Gibert&Sullivan's PIRATES OF PENZANCE -- He was born in 1856 and wouldn't be 21 until 1940 :|
For some ridiculous reason, to which, however, I've no desire to be disloyal,
Some person in authority, I don't know who, very likely the Astronomer Royal,
Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February, twenty-eight days as
a rule are plenty,
One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and twenty.
Through some singular coincidence -I shouldn't be surprised if it were owing to the
agency of an ill-natured fairy -
You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born in leap-year, on the
twenty-ninth of February;
And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you'll easily discover,
That though you've lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by birthdays, you're only five
and a little bit over!
RUTH. and KING. Ha! ha! ha! ha!
Ho! ho! ho! ho!
FRED. Dear me!
Let's see! (counting on fingers)
Yes, yes; with yours my figures do agree!
ALL. Ha! ha! ha! ho! ho! ho! ho!
FRED. (more amused than any) How quaint the ways of Paradox!
At common sense she gaily mocks!
Though counting in the usual way,
Years twenty-one I've been alive,
Yet, reckoning by my natal day,
I am a little boy of five!
RUTH and KING. He is a little boy of five! Ha! ha! ha!
ALL. A paradox, a paradox,
A most ingenious paradox!
Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!, etc....
All is prepared, your gallant crew await you.
My Frederic in tears? It cannot be
That lion-heart quails at the coming conflict?
FRED. No, Mabel, no. A terrible disclosure
Has just been made. Mabel, my dearly-loved one,
I bound myself to serve the pirate captain
Until I reached my one-and-twentieth birthday ?
MABEL. But you are twenty-one?
FRED. I've just discovered
That I was born in leap-year, and that birthday
Will not be reached by me till nineteen forty!
MABEL. Oh, horrible! catastrophe appalling!
FRED. And so, farewell!"