The following transcript was made by Debby Stark (
[as of Oct, 1994]), with fixed adobe abode in Albuquerque, New
Mexico. Corrections and particularly additions of new material
will be welcomed. Errors made in transcription are probably the
fault of the transcriber but may also be due to the quality of the

note: some notes are found in []. If word/phrase not understood
it may be designated [?] or surrounded by brackets with a "?".


The Histories of Pliny the Elder
Air date: 28-3-57
Script by: Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens

Greenslade: This is the BBC Light Program.
Secombe?: Whopp!
Milligan?: Oh, no![?]
Greenslade: History for schools, question 1: How do you spell C-A-
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"!
FX: 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 ladies.
Eccles: Hello!
Caesar: Vini, vidi, vinci.
Eccles: Eh?
Caesar: I came, I saw, I conquered!
Eccles: Oh! Fine, fine, well, I'm just going in for a dip,
give me old gippers in a steam. [laughs; exist,
singing inaudibly]
Caesar: Brutus Moriaritus, seize that Britan and prepare him
for a life of slavery.
Moriaritus: Ave sixundu[or six and two?], Caesar. Cah Vey! Here
comes another Charlie Britanicus!
Seagoon: [sings:] When you're tramp, tramp, tramping along the
high road, when you [inaudible] Hello, folks! Who
Caesar: Gad, he's up early.
Moriaritus: Must be one of the early Britains.
Caesar: Quiet, you human[?] centurion. Tell the men to pull
the galley ashore quickly.
Moriaritus: [exits, mumbling to self]
Caesar: Ah, good morning!
Seagoon: Hiyo, I see your boat's all loaded up [laughs]. Going
[on the light house ?]?
Moriaritus: You savage English fool! This is the imperial Julius
Caesar! We are Romans! Prepare yourself for combatus!
Seagoon: Right, all right, oh, right, oh.... I'll go and get
our lads together, only being Sunday they'll be in the
pubs, you know?
FX: Major music
Major: 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!
Major: Win? No, we mustn't! We don't want to spoil our
Seagoon: Oh... Well, ah, what'll I tell'em, then?
Major: Well, tell them to put their goal on the edge of the
cliffs, that will give their goallee a bit of a rough
time, won't it?
Both: [laugh]
Seagoon: You don't care, do you? Right, oh, kick off 2:30
Major: Splendid, splendid, yes, yes....
FX: Roman music
Greenslade: And so the Britons, in their blue woad, took the field
before the might of the Roman Army.
FX: cheering
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
FX: whistle.
Caesar: That must be their signal to attack.
Moriaritus: Forward, men, to battlus!
FX: charging, fighting sounds
Major: Ahh! I say there
Eccles?: Here, here...
Major: They're a rough lot, these Romans!
FX: Whistle.
Major: Ahhh!
Moriaritus: What? What's this, why have stopped for?
Seagoon: Rough play, that's what we've stopped for, I'll tell
them[?]. Why, every time I come up the wing your
outside right swipes at me with a dirty big sword!
Caesar: [approaching] 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 do
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: Right [carry on?].
FX: resume play/fighting
Greenslade: The result, Romans: 900, England: 3. War stopped play.
FX: Marching, whistling Lily Marlene. Marching continues
in background of following monologue.
Voice: 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?
FX: 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 nobel men,
[inaudible], gentlemen every inch of him, from his
feet to his head [inaudible, singing off to the
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 [inaudible] 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...
Major: 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.
Major: Oh, it must be hell in there! [Senecus, Senecus?]
Look here, Mr. Caesar, we've just discovered why
you're been here ten years, you've conquered us.
Eccles?: Eh?
Major: Well, get out, I mean, get out or we shall ban mid-
week matches - and mid-week cigarettes as well!
Greenslade: Beware, Britanicus Bloodnockus, the gods are angry.
Major: 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?
Major/Sellers: How can I when I'm playing the part of Bloodnok?
Moriaritus: Now listen... Now listenus. For this rebellion,
Bloodnockus, you will be thrown to the wolves!
Major: Now that team, no, I'm a London man, please, I...
Greenslade: Good Britanicus, you have one alternative.
Major: What?
Greenslade: You'll be freed providing you give us four good men
for the Coliseum games in Rome.
Major: 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?
Major: 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 XXII and XXII and a half tomorrow.
Major: I'll do that, and here is the first one, Maxelsus
Moriaritus: I hope he does better than--
Musical interlude starts immediately with "Come On Get Happy" song
FX: Seagoing music; boat-bound voices in background; ship
Greenslade: And so, some months later, a Roman slave galley drew
nigh to Ostia.
Slave Driver: In oar, 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
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! [inaudible]
Gay Rower: 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!
Rower: 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: That 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: [secret] This evening I received a cake from a friend,
and guess what's inside?
Bluebottle: You mean there's...
Seagoon: Yes! Raisins!
Seagoon/Eccles/Bluebottle: [inaudible]
Slave Driver: Stop that talking in the back there!
Bluebottle: It wasn't me, sir! It was Harold Prox!
Seagoon: [I don't think?] they want to know that.
Greenslade?: [inaudible]
FX: lash lashing
Bluebottle: [screams] You flicked my knee!
FX: Sea-going sounds
Voice: [inaudible] 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!
Auctioneers: 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 Bluebottleus. Can
tie knots, rub two sticks together, and kill his
Promoter: I'll bid 10,000 dinars the three.
Seller: Sold!
Promoter: It's my lads, I've seen them, I've seen them!
Seagoon: I say, this is dashed decent of you to buy us. Who are
Promoter: Me? I do all the bookings for the Coliseum. I've seen
them, I've seen them, I've seen them.
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: Tonight.
Seagoon: [laughs] Better get the old [Hobson's choice?] going,
hadn't I? [We wish to welcome you?] - I've done the
Palladium, you know?
Promoter: You've got a lovely voice for--
Seagoon: [sings] In the hillsides, me-me-me--Ohhh!
Promoter: Lovely, lovely! Lovely! Now try shouting "help".
Seagoon: [clears throat] HEEEEELLLLPPPP!
Promoter: Marvelous! That'll come in very useful.
FX: scene-changing 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: [after a beat, screams] 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!
Gay Rower: Oh, shut up, it was perfectly quiet until you came
Seagoon: It's all right for you, you're a sailor and sailors
don't care--
Gay Rower?: [screams in horror]
Seagoon: Now, don't panic everybody! I've got a plan. We'll
overpower the guards.
Bluebottle: Yes!
Eccles: Right, I'll take my boots off.
Seagoon: I don't think they want to know that...
Greenslade?: [inaudible]
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 niber.
Voice: That's what [we want?]?
Seagoon: I do consider this - please!
Several: [inaudible] [with "shhhhs"]
Voice: I say, I say.
Seagoon: Kindly leave this prison.
Voice: Hello, boys and girls.
Seagoon: Shhh! Here comes the guard now!
FX: Door is unlocked, opens
Voice: Take that!
FX: Womp
Guard: Ohh!
Seagoon: Right! Run for it!
FX: Running
Greenslade: Thank you. And now, Ray Ellingbaum.
Ellington sings melody, including "You made me love you," "This
can't be love"
FX: Roman music
Greenslade: Through the catacombs our heroes managed to reach the
great water pipe that runs under the Via Apia, knowm,
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
FX: Straining sounds from all
Bluebottle: Can I put the manshole cover back on now? Otherwise,
if it rains, the hole will get wet.
Seagoon: No, leave it open, we don't want to loose 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: Oh, oh help me, oh!
Seagoon: Grab my hand and foot, ear, nose and teeth - Hup!
Hannibal: 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: No, mate, in the gloman, I... My name's Hannibal. You
see any elephants running down the road?
Seagoon: Elephants? You must be General Hannibal of Carthage!
Hannibal: No, mate, I'm William Hannibal. I looks after the
elephants at the Coliseum there. I'm a practicing
slave, mate, there.
Seagoon: How did you get captured?
Hannibal: Oh, you're a lovely little boy.
Little Jim: Get away from me, man.
Hannibal: Well, it were my Saturday off, you see, and I was
taking the dog for a pull 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
bumps," and I said, "where?" and he said, "there" and
pointed it out with a dirty great club. Ohh, me! When
I come to I feel my 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
Seagoon: But we are English-type slaves, too, would you care to
join us?
Hannibal: Why? [carefully:] Are you coming apart?
Seagoon: What's the year?
Hannibal: 49 BC
Seagoon: That proves how old that _gag_ is! That proves how old
_that_ gag is.
Voice: Yeah
Seagoon: That _proves_ how old that gag.
FX: various
Voice: [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 again.
Seagoon: Now you can put the lid on.
Hannibal: I tell you what, mate: a lot of our lads joined...
joined an escaped gladiola called, um, Sparticus from
Prodigal. He comes only from Prodigal, Sparticus, you
Seagoon: Where is he?
Hannibal: He's hiding in the old top of bris in ruberis.
Seagoon: Let's to him!
FX: new scene music
Voices: [inaudible]
Guard: Halt, halt! Who goes there? Who, who goes there?
Seagoon: [shouting] Escaped English slaves!
Guard: Advance and be recognized! [musically] Recogniiiized!
Seagoon: I am Caracticus Seagoon. I come from Wales.
Guard: I can see you don't come from sardines, Jim.
Voice: [through laughter] Lovely! Thank you.
Guard: Hoo-ray! Hoo-ray! I'll take you to Sparticus the
Gladiola. Follow me.
FX: walking, knocking on door.
Guard: I'll knock.
Major: Ohhh! Oh, just a minute, oh! Don't come in, please!
I'm just changing my knees. Ohh! Quite right. [opens
door] Now - AhhOhh! Ohh! Ohh!
Seagoon: Britanicus Bloodnockus! How did you get to Italy?
Major: Ask the writers, I've no idea.
Guard: He has no ideeeah.
Major: Yes.
Seagoon: _You_ are Sparticus?
Major: Yesus, I was forced to change me name, you see? I fell
out with Caesar.
Seagoon: You, you fell out with Caesar?
Major: Yesus!
Seagoon: How did that happenus?
Major: We were in a chariot and we hit a bump in the road, it
was - Ohhh!
Eccles: It was me!
Seagoon: Come now
Major: It went "ohhh!"
Seagoon: Come now! I want the trith, and nothing but the troth!
Major: Well, the trith is - how can I put it? - You know that
saying "Caesar's wife is above suspicion"?
Seagoon: Yes?
Major: Well, I put an end to all that rubbish! Oh! Oh, the
little beauty, oh!
Seagoon: Are we safe here?
Little Jim?: [inaudible] safe?
Major: My dear lad, we are actually inside the crater of an
extinct volcano.
Seagoon: Thank heaven! Safe at last!
FX: rumbling sound
Seagoon: I say, chaps?
Voice: What?
Seagoon: I say, look, look, look!
Major: Oh, ohhhh!
FX: explosions, from volcano, screaming
Greenslade: Next week History for Schools tells the story of The
Last Days of Pompei.
Voice: Well, is that the lot for the old series, eh, Walt?
Greenslade: Yep.
Voice: Right. [inaudible] the old brandy[?] there.
FX: footsteps
[End music]
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
conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and
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.