The Sorcerer: Act I

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Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre, an Elderly Baronet

Alexis, of the Grenadier Guards-His Son

Dr. Daly, Vicar of Ploverleigh

John Wellington Wells, of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers

Lady Sangazure, a Lady of Ancient Lineage

Aline, Her Daughter-betrothed to Alexis

Mrs. Partlet, a Pew-Opener

Constance, her Daughter

Chorus of Villagers

  ACT I - Grounds of Sir Marmaduke's Mansion, Mid-day

SCENE - Exterior of Sir Marmaduke's Elizabethan Mansion, mid-day.


  Ring forth, ye bells,
  With clarion sound-
  Forget your knells,
  For joys abound.
  Forget your notes
  Of mournful lay,
  And from your throats
  Pour joy to-day.

 For to-day young Alexis-young Alexis Pointdextre
 Is betrothed to Aline-to Aline Sangazure,
 And that pride of his sex is-of his sex is to be next her
 At the feast on the green-on the green, oh, be sure!

  Ring forth, ye bells etc.
 (Exeunt the men into house.)

(Enter Mrs. Partlet with Constance, her daughter)


MRS. P.   Constance, my daughter, why this strange depression?
 The village rings with seasonable joy,
 Because the young and amiable Alexis,
 Heir to the great Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre,
 Is plighted to Aline, the only daughter
 Of Annabella, Lady Sangazure.
 You, you alone are sad and out of spirits;
 What is the reason?  Speak, my daughter, speak!

CONST.  Oh, mother, do not ask!  If my complexion
 From red to white should change in quick succession,
 And then from white to red, oh, take no notice!
 If my poor limbs should tremble with emotion,
 Pay no attention, mother-it is nothing!
 If long and deep-drawn sighs I chance to utter,
 Oh, heed them not, their cause must ne'er be known!

Mrs. Partlet motions to Chorus to leave her with Constance.  Exeunt
 ladies of Chorus.


 When he is here,
  I sigh with pleasure-
 When he is gone,
  I sigh with grief.
 My hopeless fear
  No soul can measure-
 His love alone
  Can give my aching heart relief!

 When he is cold,
  I weep for sorrow-
 When he is kind,
  I weep for joy.
 My grief untold
  Knows no to-morrow-
 My woe can find
  No hope, no solace, no alloy!

MRS. P.   Come, tell me all about it!  Do not fear-
 I, too, have loved; but that was long ago!
 Who is the object of your young affections?
CONST.  Hush, mother!  He is here!  (Looking off)

 Enter Dr. Daly.  He is pensive and does not see them

MRS. P.   (amazed)   Our reverend vicar!
CONST.  Oh, pity me, my heart is almost broken!
MRS. P.   My child, be comforted.  To such an union
 I shall not offer any opposition.
 Take him-he's yours!  May you and he be happy!
CONST.  But, mother dear, he is not yours to give!
MRS. P.   That's true, indeed!
CONST.   He might object!
MRS. P.  He might.
 But come-take heart-I'll probe him on the subject.
 Be comforted-leave this affair to me.
  (They withdraw.)


 The air is charged with amatory numbers-
 Soft madrigals, and dreamy lovers' lays.
 Peace, peace, old heart!  Why waken from its slumbers
 The aching memory of the old, old days?


 Time was when Love and I were well acquainted.
 Time was when we walked ever hand in hand.
 A saintly youth, with worldly thought untainted,
 None better-loved than I in all the land!
 Time was, when maidens of the noblest station,
 Forsaking even military men,
 Would gaze upon me, rapt in adoration-
 Ah me, I was a fair young curate then!

 Had I a headache? sighed the maids assembled;
 Had I a cold? welled forth the silent tear;
 Did I look pale? then half a parish trembled;
 And when I coughed all thought the end was near!
 I had no care-no jealous doubts hung o'er me-
 For I was loved beyond all other men.
 Fled gilded dukes and belted earls before me-
 Ah me, I was a pale young curate them!

(At the conclusion of the ballad, Mrs. Partlet comes forward with

 MRS. P.  Good day, reverend sir.
 DR. D.  Ah, good Mrs. Partlet, I am glad to see you.  And
your little daughter, Constance!  Why, she is quite a little
woman, I declare!
 CONST. (aside)  Oh, mother, I cannot speak to him!
 MRS. P.  Yes, reverend sir, she is nearly eighteen, and as
good a girl as ever stepped.  (Aside to Dr. Daly)  Ah, sir, I'm
afraid I shall soon lose her!
 DR. D. (aside to Mrs. Partlet)  Dear me, you pain me very
much.  Is she delicate?
 MRS. P.  Oh no, sir-I don't mean that-but young girls look
to get married.
 DR. D.  Oh, I take you.  To be sure.  But there's plenty of
time for that.  Four or five years hence, Mrs. Partlet, four or
five years hence.  But when the time does come, I shall have much
pleasure in marrying her myself-
 CONST. (aside)  Oh, mother!
 DR. D.  To some strapping young fellow in her own rank of
 CONST. (in tears)  He does not love me!
 MRS. P.  I have often wondered, reverend sir (if you'll
excuse the liberty), that you have never married.
 DR. D. (aside)  Be still, my fluttering heart!
 MRS. P.  A clergyman's wife does so much good in a village.
Besides that, you are not as young as you were, and before very
long you will want somebody to nurse you, and look after your
little comforts.
 DR. D.  Mrs. Partlet, there is much truth in what you say.
I am indeed getting on in years, and a helpmate would cheer my
declining days.  Time was when it might have been; but I have
left it too long-I am an old fogy, now, am I not, my dear?  (to
Constance)-a very old fogy, indeed.  Ha! ha!  No, Mrs. Partlet,
my mind is quite made up.  I shall live and die a solitary old
 CONST.  Oh, mother, mother!  (Sobs on Mrs. Partlet's bosom)
 MRS. P.  Come, come, dear one, don't fret.  At a more
fitting time we will try again-we will try again.
 (Exeunt Mrs. Partlet and Constance.)

 DR. D.  (looking after them)  Poor little girl!  I'm afraid
she has something on her mind.  She is rather comely.  Time was
when this old heart would have throbbed in double-time at the
sight of such a fairy form!  But tush!  I am puling!  Here comes
the young Alexis with his proud and happy father.  Let me dry
this tell-tale tear!

Enter Sir Marmaduke and Alexis


DR. D.  Sir Marmaduke-my dear young friend, Alexis-
 On this most happy, most auspicious plighting-
 Permit me as a true old friend to tender
 My best, my very best congratulations!
SIR M.  Sir, you are most obleeging!
ALEXIS.  Dr. Daly
 My dear old tutor, and my valued pastor,
 I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
 (Spoken through music)
DR. D.  May fortune bless you! may the middle distance
 Of your young life be pleasant as the foreground-
 The joyous foreground! and, when you have reached it,
 May that which now is the far-off horizon
 (But which will then become the middle distance),
 In fruitful promise be exceeded only
 By that which will have opened, in the meantime,
 Into a new and glorious horizon!
SIR M.  Dear Sir, that is an excellent example
 Of an old school of stately compliment
 To which I have, through life, been much addicted.
 Will you obleege me with a copy of it,
 In clerkly manuscript, that I myself
 May use it on appropriate occasions?
DR. D.  Sir, you shall have a fairly-written copy
 Ere Sol has sunk into his western slumbers!
  (Exit Dr. Daly)

 SIR M.  (to Alexis, who is in a reverie)  Come, come, my
son-your fiancee will be here in five minutes.  Rouse yourself
to receive her.
 ALEXIS.  Oh rapture!
 SIR M.  Yes, you are a fortunate young fellow, and I will
not disguise from you that this union with the House of Sangazure
realizes my fondest wishes.  Aline is rich, and she comes of a
sufficiently old family, for she is the seven thousand and
thirty-seventh in direct descent from Helen of Troy.  True, there
was a blot on the escutcheon of that lady-that affair with
Paris-but where is the family, other than my own, in which there
is no flaw?  You are a lucky fellow, sir-a very lucky fellow!
 ALEXIS.  Father, I am welling over with limpid joy!  No
sicklying taint of sorrow overlies the lucid lake of liquid love,
upon which, hand in hand, Aline and I are to float into eternity!
 SIR M.  Alexis, I desire that of your love for this young
lady you do not speak so openly.  You are always singing ballads
in praise of her beauty, and you expect the very menials who wait
behind your chair to chorus your ecstasies.  It is not delicate.
 ALEXIS.  Father, a man who loves as I love-
 SIR M.  Pooh pooh, sir! fifty years ago I madly loved your
future mother-in-law, the Lady Sangazure, and I have reason to
believe that she returned my love.  But were we guilty of the
indelicacy of publicly rushing into each other's arms,

 "Oh, my adored one!" "Beloved boy!"
 "Ecstatic rapture!" "Unmingled joy!"

which seems to be the modern fashion of love-making?  No! it was
"Madam, I trust you are in the enjoyment of good health"-"Sir,
you are vastly polite, I protest I am mighty well"-and so forth.
Much more delicate-much more respectful.  But see-Aline
approaches-let us retire, that she may compose herself for the
interesting ceremony in which she is to play so important a part.
 (Exeunt Sir Marmaduke and Alexis.)

(Enter Aline on terrace, preceded by Chorus of Girls.)


  With heart and with voice
  Let us welcome this mating:
  To the youth of her choice,
  With a heart palpitating,
  Comes the lovely Aline!

  May their love never cloy!
  May their bliss be unbounded!
  With a halo of joy
  May their lives be surrounded!
  Heaven bless our Aline!


 My kindly friends, I thank you for this greeting
 And as you wish me every earthly joy,
 I trust your wishes may have quick fulfillment!


  Oh, happy young heart!
  Comes thy young lord a-wooing
  With joy in his eyes,
  And pride in his breast-
  Make much of thy prize,
  For he is the best
  That ever came a-suing.
  Yet-yet we must part,
  Young heart!
  Yet-yet we must part!

  Oh, merry young heart,
  Bright are the days of thy wooing!
  But happier far
  The days untried-
  No sorrow can mar,
  When love has tied
  The knot there's no undoing.
  Then, never to part,
  Young heart!
  Then, never to part!

Enter Lady Sangazure


 My child, I join in these congratulations:
 Heed not the tear that dims this aged eye!
 Old memories crowd upon me.  Though I sorrow,
 'Tis for myself, Aline, and not for thee!

Enter Alexis, preceded by Chorus of Men


 With heart and with voice
  Let us welcome this mating;
 To the maid of his choice,
  With a heart palpitating,
  Comes Alexis, the brave!.

(Sir Marmaduke enters.  Lady Sangazure and he exhibit signs of strong
 emotion at the sight of each other which they endeavor to
 repress.  Alexis and Aline rush into each other's arms.)


ALEXIS.   Oh, my adored one!

ALINE.   Beloved boy!

ALEXIS.   Ecstatic rapture!

ALINE.   Unmingled joy!
  (They retire up.)


SIR M.  (with stately courtesy)
 Welcome joy, adieu to sadness!
 As Aurora gilds the day,
 So those eyes, twin orbs of gladness,
 Chase the clouds of care away.
 Irresistible incentive
 Bids me humbly kiss your hand;
 I'm your servant most attentive-
 Most attentive to command!

(Aside with frantic vehemence)
 Wild with adoration!
 Mad with fascination!
 To indulge my lamentation
 No occasion do I miss!
 Goaded to distraction
 By maddening inaction,
 I find some satisfaction
 In apostophe like this:
 "Sangazure immortal,
  "Sangazure divine,
 "Welcome to my portal,
  "Angel, oh be mine!"

(Aloud with much ceremony)
 Irresistible incentive
 Bids me humbly kiss your hand;
 I'm your servant most attentive-
 Most attentive to command!

LADY S.   Sir, I thank you most politely
 For your grateful courtesee;
 Compliment more true and knightly
 Never yet was paid to me!
 Chivalry is an ingredient
 Sadly lacking in our land-
 Sir, I am your most obedient,
 Most obedient to command!

(Aside and with great vehemence)
 Wild with adoration!
 Mad with fascination!
 To indulge my lamentation
 No occasion do I miss!
 Goaded to distraction
 By maddening inaction,
 I find some satisfaction
 In apostophe like this:
 "Marmaduke immortal,
  "Marmaduke divine,
 "Take me to thy portal,
  "Loved one, oh be mine!"

(Aloud with much ceremony)
 Chivalry is an ingredient
 Sadly lacking in our land;
 Sir, I am your most obedient,
 Most obedient to command!

(During this the Notary has entered, with marriage contract.)


 All is prepared for sealing and for signing,
 The contract has been drafted as agreed;
 Approach the table, oh, ye lovers pining,
 With hand and seal come execute the deed!

(Alexis and Aline advance and sign, Alexis supported by Sir Marmaduke,
 Aline by her Mother.)


 See they sign, without a quiver, it-
 Then to seal proceed.
 They deliver it-they deliver it
 As their Act and Deed!
ALEXIS.  I deliver it-I deliver it
  As my Act and Deed!.
ALINE.   I deliver it-I deliver it.
  As my Act and Deed!

CHORUS.   With heart and with voice
 Let us welcome this mating;
 Leave them here to rejoice,
 With true love palpitating,
  Alexis the brave,
  And the lovely Aline!
 (Exeunt all but Alexis and Aline.)

 ALEXIS.  At last we are alone!  My darling, you are now
irrevocably betrothed to me.  Are you not very, very happy?
 ALINE.  Oh, Alexis, can you doubt it?  Do I not love you
beyond all on earth, and am I not beloved in return?  Is not true
love, faithfully given and faithfully returned, the source of
every earthly joy?
 ALEXIS.  Of that there can be no doubt.  Oh, that the world
could be persuaded of the truth of that maxim!  Oh, that the
world would break down the artificial barriers of rank, wealth,
education, age, beauty, habits, taste, and temper, and recognize
the glorious principle, that in marriage alone is to be found the
panacea for every ill!
 ALINE.  Continue to preach that sweet doctrine, and you will
succeed, oh, evangel of true happiness!
 ALEXIS.  I hope so, but as yet the cause progresses but
slowly.  Still I have made some converts to the principle, that
men and women should be coupled in matrimony without distinction
of rank.  I have lectured on the subject at Mechanics'
Institutes, and the mechanics were unanimous in favour of my
views.  I have preached in workhouses, beershops, and Lunatic
Asylums, and I have been received with enthusiasm.  I have
addressed navvies on the advantages that would accrue to them if
they married wealthy ladies of rank, and not a navvy dissented!
 ALINE.  Noble fellows!  And yet there are those who hold
that the uneducated classes are not open to argument!  And what
do the countesses say?
 ALEXIS.  Why, at present, it can't be denied, the
aristocracy hold aloof.
 ALINE.  Ah, the working man is the true Intelligence after
 ALEXIS.  He is a noble creature when he is quite sober.
Yes, Aline, true happiness comes of true love, and true love
should be independent of external influences.  It should live
upon itself and by itself-in itself love should live for love


 Love feeds on many kinds of food, I know,
 Some love for rank, some for duty:
 Some give their hearts away for empty show,
 And others for youth and beauty.
 To love for money all the world is prone:
 Some love themselves, and live all lonely:
 Give me the love that loves for love alone-
 I love that love-I love it only!

 What man for any other joy can thirst,
 Whose loving wife adores him duly?
 Want, misery, and care may do their worst,
 If loving woman loves you truly.
 A lover's thoughts are ever with his own-
 None truly loved is ever lonely:
 Give me the love that loves for love alone-
 I love that love-I love it only!

 ALINE.  Oh, Alexis, those are noble principles!
 ALEXIS.  Yes, Aline, and I am going to take a desperate step
in support of them.  Have you ever heard of the firm of J. W.
Wells & Co., the old-established Family Sorcerers in St. Mary
 ALINE.  I have seen their advertisement.
 ALEXIS.  They have invented a philtre, which, if report may
be believed, is simply infallible.  I intend to distribute it
through the village, and within half-an-hour of my doing so there
will not be an adult in the place who will not have learnt the
secret of pure and lasting happiness.  What do you say to that?
 ALINE.  Well, dear, of course a filter is a very useful
thing in a house; but still I don't quite see that it is the sort
of thing that places its possessor on the very pinnacle of
earthly joy.
 ALEXIS.  Aline, you misunderstand me.  I didn't say a
filter-I said a philtre.
 ALINE (alarmed).  You don't mean a love-potion?
 ALEXIS.  On the contrary-I do mean a love potion.
 ALINE.  Oh, Alexis!  I don't think it would be right.  I
don't indeed.  And then-a real magician!  Oh, it would be
downright wicked.
 ALEXIS.  Aline, is it, or is it not, a laudable object to
steep the whole village up to its lips in love, and to couple
them in matrimony without distinction of age, rank, or fortune?
 ALINE.  Unquestionably, but-
 ALEXIS.  Then unpleasant as it must be to have recourse to
supernatural aid, I must nevertheless pocket my aversion, in
deference to the great and good end I have in view.  (Calling)

(Enter a Page from tent)

 PAGE.  Yes, sir.
 ALEXIS.  Is Mr. Wells there?
 PAGE.  He's in the tent, sir-refreshing.
 ALEXIS.  Ask him to be so good as to step this way.
 PAGE.  Yes, sir.   (Exit Page)
 ALINE.  Oh, but, Alexis!  A real Sorcerer!  Oh, I shall be
frightened to death!
 ALEXIS.  I trust my Aline will not yield to fear while the
strong right arm of her Alexis is here to protect her.
 ALINE.  It's nonsense, dear, to talk of your protecting me
with your strong right arm, in face of the fact that this Family
Sorcerer could change me into a guinea-pig before you could turn
 ALEXIS.  He could change you into a guinea-pig, no doubt,
but it is most unlikely that he would take such a liberty.  It's
a most respectable firm, and I am sure he would never be guilty
of so untradesmanlike an act.

(Enter Mr. Wells from tent)

 WELLS.  Good day, sir.  (Aline much terrified.)
 ALEXIS.  Good day-I believe you are a Sorcerer.
 WELLS.  Yes, sir, we practice Necromancy in all its
branches.  We've a choice assortment of wishing-caps,
divining-rods, amulets, charms, and counter-charms.  We can cast
you a nativity at a low figure, and we have a horoscope at
three-and-six that we can guarantee.  Our Abudah chests, each
containing a patent Hag who comes out and prophesies disasters,
with spring complete, are strongly recommended.  Our Aladdin
lamps are very chaste, and our Prophetic Tablets, foretelling
everything-from a change of Ministry down to a rise in
Unified-are much enquired for.  Our penny Curse-one of the
cheapest things in the trade-is considered infallible.  We have
some very superior Blessings, too, but they're very little asked
for.  We've only sold one since Christmas-to a gentleman who
bought it to send to his mother-in-law-but it turned out that he
was afflicted in the head, and it's been returned on our hands.
But our sale of penny Curses, especially on Saturday nights, is
tremendous.  We can't turn 'em out fast enough.


 Oh! my name is John Wellington Wells,
 I'm a dealer in magic and spells,
 In blessings and curses
 And ever-filled purses,
 In prophecies, witches, and knells.
 If you want a proud foe to "make tracks"-
 If you'd melt a rich uncle in wax-
 You've but to look in
 On the resident Djinn,
 Number seventy, Simmery Axe!

 We've a first-class assortment of magic;
 And for raising a posthumous shade
 With effects that are comic or tragic,
 There's no cheaper house in the trade.
 Love-philtre-we've quantities of it;
 And for knowledge if any one burns,
 We keep an extremely small prophet, a prophet
 Who brings us unbounded returns:

 For he can prophesy
 With a wink of his eye,
 Peep with security
 Into futurity,
 Sum up your history,
 Clear up a mystery,
 Humour proclivity
 For a nativity-for a nativity;
 With mirrors so magical,
 Tetrapods tragical,
 Bogies spectacular,
 Answers oracular,
 Facts astronomical,
 Solemn or comical,
 And, if you want it, he
 Makes a reduction on taking a quantity!

 If any one anything lacks,
 He'll find it all ready in stacks,
  If he'll only look in
  On the resident Djinn,
 Number seventy, Simmery Axe!

 He can raise you hosts
  Of ghosts,
 And that without reflectors;
  And creepy things
  With wings,
 And gaunt and grisly spectres.
 He can fill you crowds
  Of shrouds,
 And horrify you vastly;
  He can rack your brains
  With chains,
 And gibberings grim and ghastly.

  And then, if you plan it, he
  Changes organity,
  With an urbanity,
  Full of Satanity,
  Vexes humanity
  With an inanity
  Fatal to vanity-
 Driving your foes to the verge of insanity!

  Barring tautology,
  In demonology,
  Mystic nosology,
  Spirit philology,
  High-class astrology,
  Such is his knowledge, he
 Isn't the man to require an apology!

 My name is John Wellington Wells,
 I'm a dealer in magic and spells,
 In blessings and curses
 And ever-filled purses,
 In prophecies, witches, and knells.

 If any one anything lacks,
 He'll find it all ready in stacks,
 If he'll only look in
 On the resident Djinn,
 Number seventy, Simmery Axe!

 ALEXIS.  I have sent for you to consult you on a very
important matter.  I believe you advertise a Patent Oxy-Hydrogen
Love-at-first-sight Philtre?
 WELLS.  Sir, it is our leading article.  (Producing a
 ALEXIS.  Now I want to know if you can confidently guarantee
it as possessing all the qualities you claim for it in your
 WELLS.  Sir, we are not in the habit of puffing our goods.  
Ours is an old-established house with a large family connection,
and every assurance held out in the advertisement is fully
realized.  (Hurt)
 ALINE.  (aside)  Oh, Alexis, don't offend him!  He'll change
us into something dreadful-I know he will!
 ALEXIS.  I am anxious from purely philanthropical motives to
distribute this philtre, secretly, among the inhabitants of this
village.  I shall of course require a quantity.  How do you sell
 WELLS.  In buying a quantity, sir, we should strongly advise
your taking it in the wood, and drawing it off as you happen to
want it.  We have it in four-and-a-half and nine gallon
casks-also in pipes and hogsheads for laying down, and we deduct
10 per cent from prompt cash.
 ALEXIS.  I should mention that I am a Member of the Army and
Navy Stores.
 WELLS.  In that case we deduct 25 percent.
 ALEXIS.  Aline, the villagers will assemble to carouse in a
few minutes.  Go and fetch the tea-pot.
 ALINE.  But, Alexis-
 ALEXIS.  My dear, you must obey me, if you please.  Go and
fetch the teapot.
 ALINE (going). I'm sure Dr. Daly would disapprove of it!
  (Exit Aline.)
 ALEXIS.  And how soon does it take effect?
 WELLS.  In twelve hours.  Whoever drinks of it loses
consciousness for that period, and on waking falls in love, as a
matter of course, with the first lady he meets who has also
tasted it, and his affection is at once returned.  One trial will
prove the fact.

Enter Aline with large tea-pot

 ALEXIS.  Good: then, Mr. Wells, I shall feel obliged if you
will at once pour as much philtre into this teapot as will
suffice to affect the whole village.
 ALINE.  But bless me, Alexis, many of the villagers are
married people!
 WELLS.  Madam, this philtre is compounded on the strictest
principles.  On married people it has no effect whatever.  But
are you quite sure that you have nerve enough to carry you
through the fearful ordeal?
 ALEXIS.  In the good cause I fear nothing.
 WELLS.  Very good, then, we will proceed at once to the
The stage grows dark.


WELLS.  Sprites of earth and air-
  Fiends of flame and fire-
  Demon souls,
  Come here in shoals,
 This dreaded deed inspire!
  Appear, appear, appear.

MALE VOICES.   Good master, we are here!

WELLS.  Noisome hags of night-
  Imps of deadly shade-
  Pallid ghosts,
  Arise in hosts,
 And lend me all your aid.
  Appear, appear, appear!

FEMALE VOICES.   Good master, we are here!

ALEXIS (aside).  Hark, they assemble,
  These fiends of the night!
ALINE (aside).   Oh Alexis, I tremble,
  Seek safety in flight!


 Let us fly to a far-off land,
  Where peace and plenty dwell-
 Where the sigh of the silver strand
  Is echoed in every shell
 To the joy that land will give,
  On the wings of Love we'll fly;
 In innocence, there to live-
  In innocence there to die!


  Too late-too late
  It may not be!
  That happy fate
  Is not for (me/thee)!


  Too late-too late,
  That may not be!
  That happy fate,
  Is not for thee!


 Now shrivelled hags, with poison bags,
 Discharge your loathsome loads!
 Spit flame and fire, unholy choir!
 Belch forth your venom, toads!
 Ye demons fell, with yelp and yell,
 Shed curses far afield-
 Ye fiends of night, your filthy blight
 In noisome plenty yield!

WELLS  (pouring phial into tea-pot-flash)
  Number One!
CHORUS   It is done!
WELLS  (same business)   Number Two! (flash)
CHORUS   One too few!
WELLS  Number Three! (flash)
CHORUS   Set us free!
  Set us free-our work is done
  Ha! ha! ha!
  Set us free-our course is run!
  Ha! ha! ha!


 Let us fly to a far-off land,
  Where peace and plenty dwell-
 Where the sigh of the silver strand
  Is echoed in every shell.


 Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

(Stage grows light.  Mr. Wells beckons villagers.  Enter villagers
 and all the dramatis personae, dancing joyously.  Mrs.
 Partlet and Mr. Wells then distribute tea-cups.)


 Now to the banquet we press;
  Now for the eggs, the ham;
 Now for the mustard and cress,
  Now for the strawberry jam!

 Now for the tea of our host,
  Now for the rollicking bun,
 Now for the muffin and toast,
  Now for the gay Sally Lunn!

WOMEN.  The eggs and the ham, and the strawberry jam!

MEN.  The rollicking bun, and the gay Sally Lunn!
 The rollicking, rollicking bun!


 Be happy all-the feast is spread before ye;
 Fear nothing, but enjoy yourselves, I pray!
 Eat, aye, and drink-be merry, I implore ye,
 For once let thoughtless Folly rule the day.


 Eat, drink, and be gay,
  Banish all worry and sorrow,
 Laugh gaily to-day,
  Weep, if you're sorry, to-morrow!
 Come, pass the cup around-
  I will go bail for the liquor;
 It's strong, I'll be bound,
  For it was brewed by the vicar!


  None so knowing as he
  At brewing a jorum of tea,
  Ha! ha!
  A pretty stiff jorum of tea.


  See-see-they drink-
  All thoughts unheeding,
  The tea-cups clink,
  They are exceeding!
  Their hearts will melt
  In half-an-hour-
  Then will be felt
  The potions power!

(During this verse Constance has brought a small tea-pot, kettle,
 caddy, and cosy to Dr. Daly.  He makes tea scientifically.)

 BRINDISI, 2nd Verse-DR. DALY (with the tea-pot)

 Pain, trouble, and care,
  Misery, heart-ache, and worry,
 Quick, out of your lair!
  Get you gone in a hurry!
 Toil, sorrow, and plot,
  Fly away quicker and quicker-
 Three spoons in the pot-
  That is the brew of your vicar!


 None so cunning as he
 At brewing a jorum of tea,
  Ha! ha!
 A pretty stiff jorum of tea!


 Oh love, true love-unworldly, abiding!
 Source of all pleasure-true fountain of joy,-
 Oh love, true love-divinely confiding,
 Exquisite treasure that knows no alloy,-
 Oh love, true love, rich harvest of gladness,
 Peace-bearing tillage-great garner of bliss,-
 Oh love, true love, look down on our sadness -
 Dwell in this village-oh, hear us in this!

(It becomes evident by the strange conduct of the characters that
 the charm is working.  All rub their eyes, and stagger about
 the stage as if under the influence of a narcotic.)


Oh, marvellous illusion!   A marvellous illusion!
 Oh, terrible surprise!   A terrible surprise
What is this strange confusion   Excites a strange confusion
 That veils my aching eyes?   Within their aching eyes-
I must regain my senses,   They must regain their senses,
 Restoring Reason's law,  Restoring Reason's law,
Or fearful inferences  Or fearful inferences
 Society will draw!   Society will draw!

(Those who have partaken of the philtre struggle in vain against
 its effects, and, at the end of the chorus, fall insensible
 on the stage.)

© William Schwenck Gilbert