The Histories of Pliny the Elder

by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens

Greenslade: This is the BBC Light Program.
Secombe: Whop!
Milligan: Oh, no!
Greenslade: History for schools, question 1: How do you spell C-A-T?
Secombe: Cat! Well done!
Greenslade: Question 2: Name two English queens called Elizabeth.
Secombe: Jim.
Greenslade: Question 3: What is the Goon Show's first name and give an example of?
Secombe: That's a trick question, Wallace! So here is a trick answer entitled, 'The Histories of Pliny the Elder'!
Orchestra, Grams: Imperial Roman music bird songs (i.e., wilderness)
Greenslade: And so in the year Ex-El-one-one-one B.C., Julius Caesar set foot on the British shore and was greeted by the natives.
Eccles: Hello!
Caesar: Vini, vidi, vici.
Eccles: Eh?
Caesar: I came, I saw, I conquered!
Eccles: Oh! Fine, fine, well, I'm just going in for a dip, give the old kippers a steam. HaHa!
Caesar: Brutus Moriaritus, seize that Briton and prepare him for a life of slavery.
Moriaritus: Ave sixundu[or six and two?], Caesar. Cah Vey! Here comes another Charlie Brittanicus!
Seagoon: [singing] When you're tramp, tramp, tramping along the high road, when you [inaudible] Hello, folks! Who cares?
Caesar: Gad, he's up early.
Moriaritus: He must be one of the early Britons.
Caesar: Quiet, you fuman centurion. Tell the men to pull the galley ashore quickly.
Moriaritus: Ah, righto, straight away!
Caesar: Ah, good morning!
Seagoon: Howdo, I see your boat's all loaded up [laughs]. Going round the light house?
Moriaritus: You savage English fool! This is the imperial Julius Caesar! We are Romans! Prepare yourself for combatus!
Seagoon: Righto, righto Jack, righto.... I'll go and get our lads together, only being Sunday they'll be in the pubs, you know?
Orchestra: Bloodnok theme.
Bloodnok: Ohhh! So the Romans want to take the field against us, do they?
Seagoon: That's right, Britanicus. They're very keen to have a duel with us you know. And, you never know [laughs], we might win!
Bloodnok: Win? No, we mustn't! We don't want to spoil our record!
Seagoon: Oh... Well, ah, what'll I tell'em, then?
Bloodnok: Well, tell them to put their goal on the edge of the cliffs, that will give their goalie a bit of a rough time, won't it?
Bloodnok and Seagoon: [Laugh together]
Seagoon: You don't care, do you? Right, oh, kick off 2:30 then.
Bloodnok: Splendid, splendid, yes, yes....
Orchestra: Roman epic type music
Greenslade: And so the Britons, in their blue woad, took the field before the might of the Roman Army.
Grams: Chorus [Land of the Free]
Caesar: Brutus Moriaritus, here, what kind of army is this that takes the field in blue jerseys with a ball at their feet?
Moriaritus: Must be some kind of trickus. Look! They're forming up.
Fx: Whistle.
Caesar: That must be their signal to attack.
Moriaritus: Forward, men, advantus!
Fx: Battle Charge sounds on trumpet, Battle sounds
Bloodnok: Ahh! I say there Eccles?: Here, here...
Bloodnok: They're a rough lot, these Romans!
Fx: Whistle.
Bloodnok: Ahhh!
Moriaritus: What? What's this, why have you stopped for?
Seagoon: Rough play, that's what we've stopped for, I'll tell 'ee. By 'eck, every time I come up the wing your outside right swipes at me with a dirty big sword!
Caesar: I say, what is all this hold up about?
Seagoon: Well, rough play, that's what..
Eccles: Yeah, yeah
Seagoon: Well, I mean, and then, and then, Jack, we can't hold with all this javelin practice when the ball's in play! And another thing, you're only allowed eleven men on the field. I've counted 693 of yours so far!
Caesar: All right, I'll send one off.
Seagoon: Righto, carry on.
Fx: Battle sounds resume
Greenslade: The result, Romans: 900, England: 3. War stopped play.
Fx: Marching, whistling Lily Marlene.
Narrator: Like a mighty octopus, the legions of Rome spread across England. For ten years Caesar ruled with an iron hand. Then with a wooden foot, finally with a piece of string. How much of this could Britain take?
Orchestra: Lute music.
Minstrel: Oh, Caesar! I come to sing melodies divine to you!
Caesar: Sing on, proud minstrel.
Minstrel: Thank you. [sings] Oh, Caesar these are noble men, these England green, gentlemen every inch of him, from his feet to his head of the ground...
Caesar: Moriaritus? This man is a bit of a crawler... Why does he follow such a profession, Moriaritus?
Moriaritus: For money, Caesar, he tells me he wants to die rich.
Caesar: And so he shall. Give him this sack of gold and then strangle him.
Moriaritus: Yes, Caesar.
Fx: Strangling sounds.
Moriaritus: I see that ten years in Britain have not changed your imperial Roman outlook, Caesar.
Caesar: True, Moriaritus, always a Roman eye.
Moriaritus: Will you take wine?
Caesar: No, thanks I think I'll take a half of mild and a packet of crisps.
Fx: Crowd sounds
Greenslade: Caesar, Caesar.
Caesar: Oh, it's Stomachus Grossus!
Greenslade: Caesar, there is an angry rabble outside, we have their leader captive.
Caesar: Is he bound?
Greenslade: Of his health I know not, sir.
Caesar: Bring him hither, sir...
Bloodnok: Ohh! Take your hands off me! You want to catch something? Ahh! So you're Julius Caesar, ehh?
Moriaritus: Caesar is all things to all men.
Bloodnok: Oh, it must be hell in there! Senetus, Senetus. Look here, Mr. Caesar, we've just discovered why you're been here ten years, you've conquered us.
Moriaritus: Eh?
Bloodnok: Well, get out, I mean, get out or we shall ban midweek matches and midweek cigarettes as well!
Greenslade: Beware, Brittanicus Bloodnokus, the gods are angry.
Bloodnok: I know, I've just been hit with a rotten tomato. Oh, the birds, the birds...
Moriaritus: Why don't you stop him, Julius Caesar?
Sellers: How can I when I'm playing the part of Bloodnok?
Moriaritus: Now listen... Now listenus. For this rebellion, Bloodnokus, you will be thrown to the wolves!
Bloodnok: Now that team, no, I'm a London man, please, I...
Greenslade: Good Brittanicus, you have one alternative.
Bloodnok: What?
Greenslade: You'll be freed providing you give us four good men for the Coliseum games in Rome.
Bloodnok: Yes! I've got some likely English charlies who would suit you perfectly! They were very successful at the Scottish games.
Moriaritus: Did they do well?
Bloodnok: Very well. They managed to get away with their lives, you know, it's...
Moriaritus: Very well. Deliver those men to Caesar's royal barge at XXI and XXI and a half tomorrow.
Bloodnok: I'll do that, and here is the first one, Maxelsus Geldray
Moriaritus: I hope he does better than...

Max Geldray 'Come On Get Happy' song

Orchestra, Grams: Seagoing music; boat-bound voices in background; ship sounds
Greenslade: And so, some months later, a Roman slave galley drew nigh to Ostia.
Slave Driver: In out... in, out...
Eccles: Make up your mind...
Bluebottle: Have you ever rowed a gallery before, Ecclus?
Eccles: Is that what we're doing?
Bluebottle: Yes.
Eccles: No, I've never done this before.
Slave Driver: Faster, you dogs!
Bluebottle: He wants us dogs to go faster.
Slave Driver: Silence, you scum!
Eccles: He wants us scum to go silent...
Slave Driver: Or do you want a kiss of the lash?
Bluebottle: No, thanks, I just had some cocoa.
Eccles: Oh, look, they're bringing a new slave from the reserve.
Bluebottle: Goody!
Seagoon: Let me go, you devil, how dare you? Take your hands off me! Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. How dare you chain me to this oar? I shall write to the Times about this! In print!
Flowerdew:: Shut up, you! It was perfectly quiet until you came along! You're not the only man chained to the oars, you know...
Seagoon: [shouting] Now listen to me, all of you!
Flowerdew: All of me is listening to you.
Seagoon: I am the Welsh Chieftan Caracticus Seagoon! [tries again] Caracticus. I for one will never surrender to the might of Rome! I'll fight them up hill and down and Mrs Dale.
Eccles: Wait a minute, how did they take you prisoner then?
Seagoon: I was in the bath. The one day a year they could catch me with my socks off.
Eccles: Must have been hell in there...
Bluebottle: What are you going to do then, Caracticus? How can we file through these chains?
Seagoon: How? How?
Bluebottle: Yes.
Seagoon: This evening I received a cake from a friend, and guess what's inside?
Bluebottle: You mean there's...
Seagoon: Yes! Raisins!
Slave Driver: Stop that talking in the back there!
Bluebottle: It wasn't me, sir! It was Harold Prock!
Seagoon: I don't think they want to know that.
Fx: Whip cracking!
Bluebottle: Waahey! You flicked my knee!
Grams: Sea-going sounds
Sailor: ...from the BBC out of here...
Greenslade: That night, the galley docked at Ostia and the slaves were put up for auction.
Auctioneer: [Clears throat] All right, come on now, what am I bid for these three British-type slaves? Ecclus, a lovely piece of property, believed to be descended from his father. No bids? Come on, anybody now.
Seagoon: Three dinars!
Auctioneer: You fool you're up for sale as well!
Seagoon: Oh!
Auctioneer: There you are, a chap with initiative. All right then, what about this last one? A pair of genuine English knees with a hat attached called Bluebottlus. Can tie knots, rub two sticks together, and kill his grandmother.
Promoter: I'll bid 10,000 dinars the three.
Auctioneer: Sold!
Promoter: This way lads, I've seen 'im, I've seen 'im!
Seagoon: I say, this is dashed decent of you to buy us. Who are you?
Promoter: Me? I do all the bookings for the Coliseum. I've seen 'em, I've seen 'em, I've seen 'em.
Seagoon: So you've seen them, eh? The Coliseum? Could you get us a couple of tickets?
Promoter: You won't need any.
Seagoon: Oh, what's on?
Promoter: You are.
Seagoon: Am I?
Promoter: Yeah, tonight, tonight.
Seagoon: Better get the old hobson's choice going then hadn't I? [Sings: We'll keep a welcome in...] - I've done the Palladium, you know?
Promoter: You've got a lovely voice for...
Seagoon: [ the hillsides, mee mee mee, oowa oowa oowa ooooooh]
Promoter: Lovely, lovely! Lovely! Now try shouting 'help'.
Seagoon: [clears throat] HEEEEELLLLPPPP!
Promoter: Marvelous! That'll come in very useful.
Orchestra: New act music
Promoter: Right, now, you wait in there, boys, I'll tell you when it's your turn to go on, it'll be all right...
Fx: closes door behind him
Seagoon: I say, what a wonderful agent that fellow is! My first night in Rome and I've got a booking already! [laughs] Well, now, let's have a look at the program!
Eccles: Oh! It's a good program.
Seagoon: Yes.
Bluebottle: What is the top of the bill?
Seagoon: Oh, it's got a lovely opening act, let me see now, 'Captive East Finchley boy scout will fight four starving lions.'
Bluebottle: Oh... I do not like this lion game...
Voice: All right, baby.
Bluebottle: Let me out of here...
Fx: Rattles door
Seagoon: You coward, Bluebottle! Face it like a man!
Bluebottle: Yes, well, look at the encore there: 'Caracticus Seagoon will be strangled by a gorilla...'
Seagoon: Gulp!, AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHH! Let me out! You can't do this to me, I'm a British subject, I shall write to the Times about this! Help! Let me out! HEEELLLPPP!
Flowerdew: Oh, shut up, it was perfectly quiet until you came along!
Seagoon: It's all right for you, you're a sailor and sailors don't care...
Flowerdew: [Girly scream]
Seagoon: Now, don't panic everybody! I've got a plan. We'll overpower the guards.
Flowerdew: Yes!
Eccles: Right, I'll take my boots off.
Seagoon: I don't think they want to know that...
Greenslade: [inaudible at stage rear]
Seagoon: Good [laughs] Now, we'll get the keys and make our way down to the Tiber.
Eccles: What's the Tiber?
Seagoon: Half past niner.
Bloodnok: That's what we want?
Seagoon: I don't wish to know that!
Cast: Ad libs and corpsing, with 'shhhhings', sounds like they lost it at this point!
Seagoon:I say look here!
Sellers: I say, I say.
Seagoon: Kindly leave this prison.
Sellers: Hello, boys and girls.
Seagoon: Shhh! Here comes the guard now!
Fx: Door is unlocked, opens
Eccles: Take that!
Fx: Womp
Guard: Ohh!
Seagoon: Right! Run for it!
Fx: Running
Greenslade: Dear listeners, I thought you might like to know that the groan of pain you heard just now was not done by a Roman soldier, but by me, and I thought I did it jolly well! I'm sure you all feel the better for knowing that! Thank you. And now, Ray Ellingbaum.

Ray Ellington 'You made me love you' ...segues into... 'This can't be love'

Orchestra: Roman music
Greenslade: Through the catacombs our heroes managed to reach the great water pipe that runs under the Via Apia, known, of course, in the Army as the famous Ap-ya-Pipe.
Seagoon: All right, lads, I think we are safe now.
Eccles: Oh, oh, wait a minute, look, there's a manhole cover right above us.
Seagoon: Shine the beam of this candle on it.
Eccles: Right.
Seagoon: I'll push it off. Eccles? Stand on my shoulders and pull me up.
Eccles: Okay [straining] I'd like to see'em do this on television.
All: Straining sounds from all
Bluebottle: Can I put the mangehole cover back on now? Otherwise, if it rains, the hole will get wet.
Seagoon: No, leave it open, we don't want to lose the place, shhh! Behind those bushes! Someone's coming! Quick!
Fx: Running, splash
Little Jim: He's fallen in the water.
Seagoon: Little Jim! Little Jim! Little Jim!
Bluebottle: Little Jim!
Seagoon: Little Jim! Little Jim!
Little Jim: [babbles]
Seagoon: Thank you again!
Little Jim: Yes.
Hannibal (Willium): Oh, oh help me, oh!
Seagoon: Grab my hand and foot, ear, nose and teeth - Hup!
Hannibal (Willium): Oh, I didn't see that hole, you know? You don't see'em on the corners, you know?
Seagoon: Are you a Roman?
Hannibal (Willium): No, mate, in the gloaming, I... My name's Hannibal. You see any elephants running down the road?
Seagoon: Elephants? You must be General Hannibal of Carthage!
Hannibal (Willium): No, mate, I'm William Hannibal. I looks after the elephants at the Coliseum there. I'm a Battersea slave, mate, there.
Seagoon: How did you get captured?
Hannibal (Willium): Oh, you're a lovely little boy.
Little Jim: Get away from me, man.
Hannibal (Willium): Well, it were my Saturday off, you see, and I was taking the dog for a pool and this Roman fellow come up and said 'Take you 'at off!' see? Like that, and I does, and he says, 'that's a nasty lump on your bonse,' and I said, 'where?' and he said, 'there' and pointed it out with a dirty great club. Ohh, mate, oh! When I come to, I feel me nut and he was right! There was a dirty big lump on it, but it was too late by then, you see, I was carrying buckets for the elephants at the Coliseum.
Seagoon: But we are English-type slaves, too, would you care to join us?
Hannibal (Willium): Why? Are you coming apart?
Seagoon: What's the year?
Hannibal (Willium): 49 BC
Seagoon: That proves how old that gag is! That proves how old that gag is.
Milligan: Yeah
Seagoon: That proves how old that gag is.
Milligan: Blows raspberry!
Milligan: [inaudible] white paper now.
Seagoon: [laughing, sighs]
Eccles: That proves how old you are, too, ha-ha-ha.
Fx: Splash
Little Jim: He's fallen in the water ducky.
Seagoon: Now you can put the lid on.
Hannibal (Willium): I tell you what, mate, a lot of our lads joined... joined an escaped gladiola called, um, Sprarticus from Prodigal. He comes only from Prodigal, Sparticus, you know?
Seagoon: Where is he?
Hannibal (Willium): He's hiding in the old top of in vesi nubrius
Seagoon: Let's to him!
Fx: New act music
Voices: [inaudible]
Guard: Halt, halt! Who goes there? Who, who goes there?
Seagoon: [shouting] Escaped English slaves!
Guard: Advance and be recognized! Recogniiiized!
Seagoon: I am Caracticus Seagoon. I come from Wales.
Guard: I can see you don't come from sardines, Jim.
Milligan: [through laughter] Lovely! Thank you.
Greenslade: Hoo-ray! Hoo-ray!
Guard: I'll take you to Sparticus the Gladiola. Follow me.
Fx: walking, knocking on door.
Guard: I'll knock.
Bloodnok: Ohhh! Oh, just a minute, oh! Don't come in, please! I'm just changing my knees. Ohh! Quite right.
Fx: Door opens
Bloodnok: Now - AhhOhh! Ohh! Ohh!
Seagoon: Brittanicus Bloodnokus! How did you get to Italy?
Bloodnok: Ask the writers, I've no idea.
Guard: He has no ideeeah.
Bloodnok: Yes.
Seagoon: You are Sparticus?
Bloodnok: Yesus, I was forced to change me name, you see? I fell out with Caesar.
Seagoon: You, you fell out with Caesar?
Bloodnok: Yesus!
Seagoon: How did that happenus?
Bloodnok: We were in a chariot and we hit a bump in the road, it was... Ohhh!
Eccles: It was me!
Seagoon: Come now
Bloodnok: It went 'ohhh!'
Seagoon: Come now! I want the trith, and nothing but the troth!
Bloodnok: Well, the trith is - how can I put it? - You know that saying 'Caesar's wife is above suspicion'?
Seagoon: Yes?
Bloodnok: Well, I put an end to all that rubbish! Oh! Oh, me little beauty, oh!
Seagoon: Are we safe here?
Guard: Are we safe?
Bloodnok: My dear lad, we are actually inside the crater of an extinct volcano.
Seagoon: Thank heaven! He he he Safe at last! Ha Ha
Fx: Rumbling sound
Seagoon: I say, chaps?What? I say, look, look, look!
Bloodnok: Oh, ohhhh!
Fx: explosions, from volcano, screaming
Greenslade: Next week History for Schools tells the story of The Last Days of Pompei.
Secombe: Well, is that the lot for the old series, eh, Wal?
Greenslade: Yep.
Secombe: Right. Round the back for the old brandy there!
Fx: footsteps
Orchestra: End theme
Greenslade: That was the last of the present series of the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray, and the orchestra Larry Stevens, announcer Wallace Greenslade. Bobby Jay has been on the mixing panel, and the special effects were supplied by Ian Cooke and Ron Belshay. The production was by Pat Dixon.
Orchestra: Run out music

Original Transcription by Debby Stark
Corrections, additions and HTML by Kurt Adkins: