About Modified Rapture

Sturgeon’s Law reminds us that 90% of everything is crap.

This blog is about the other 10%.

The blog’s title comes from a line in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado. Our young hero, Nanki-Poo, has just discovered that his beloved Yum-Yum returns his affections but must marry someone else. Martyn Green tells the story:

[The] original line was just “Oh, rapture!” However, during rehearsals, Mr. Durward Lely, the Nanki-Poo, was inclined to be a little too rapturous for Gilbert’s taste, and Gilbert had him go over the line time and again. The tempers of both were wearing thin. Gilbert eventually exploded: “‘Rapture’ — yes, Mr. Lely, definitely ‘rapture’ — but modified rapture, please!”

Lely was also seething by this time. The scene was begun again:

“But you do not love him?” speaks Lely.

“Alas, no!” replies Miss Leonora Braham, his Yum-Yum.

Lely flung discretion to the four winds. “Oh, modified rapture!” he declaimed.

Gilbert gasped with astonishment and then collapsed in his seat. Lely was equally astonished at this, and even more so when Gilbert, having recovered himself, said: “Modified rapture, indeed! Oh, very good. But don’t speak the ‘Oh,’ Mr. Lely. Just leave it ‘modified rapture.’”

The blog is run by SarahS, whose official and no-nonsense website can be found here.

SarahS may be contacted thusly.

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