The Sorcerer: Act II

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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  

 (Twelve hours are supposed to elapse between Acts I and II)

  ACT II- Grounds of Sir Marmaduke's Mansion, Midnight

Scene-Exterior of Sir Marmaduke's mansion by moonlight.  All the
 peasantry are discovered asleep on the ground, as at the end
 of Act I.

Enter Mr. Wells, on tiptoe, followed by Alexis and Aline. Mr. Wells
 carries a dark lantern.


 'Tis twelve, I think,
  And at this mystic hour
 The magic drink
  Should manifest its power.
 Oh, slumbering forms,
  How little ye have guessed
 That fire that warms
  Each apathetic breast!

ALEXIS.   But stay, my father is not here!

ALINE.  And pray where is my mother dear?

MR. WELLS.  I did not think it meet to see
 A dame of lengthy pedigree,
 A Baronet and K.C.B.
 A Doctor of Divinity,
 And that respectable Q.C.,
 All fast asleep, al-fresco-ly,
 And so I had them taken home
 And put to bed respectably!
 I trust my conduct meets your approbation.

ALEXIS.   Sir, you have acted with discrimination,
 And shown more delicate appreciation
 Than we expect of persons of your station.

MR. WELLS.  But stay-they waken one by one -
 The spell has worked-the deed is done!
 I would suggest that we retire
 While Love, the Housemaid, lights her kitchen

(Exeunt Mr. Wells, Alexis and Aline, on tiptoe, as the villagers
 stretch their arms, yawn, rub their eyes, and sit up.)

MEN.  Why, where be oi, and what be oi a doin',
 A sleepin' out, just when the dews du rise?
GIRLS.  Why, that's the very way your health to ruin,
 And don't seem quite respectable likewise!
MEN (staring at girls).  Eh, that's you!
  Only think o' that now!
GIRLS (coyly).   What may you be at, now?
  Tell me, du!
MEN (admiringly).  Eh, what a nose,
  And eh, what eyes, miss!
  Lips like a rose,
  And cheeks likewise, miss!
GIRLS (coyly).   Oi tell you true,
  Which I've never done, sir,
  Oi loike you
  As I never loiked none, sir!
ALL.   Eh, but oi du loike you!
MEN.   If you'll marry me, I'll dig for you and
  rake for you!
GIRLS.   If you'll marry be, I'll scrub for you
  and bake for you!
MEN.   If you'll marry me, all others I'll
  forsake for you!
ALL.   All this will I du, if you marry
GIRLS.   If you'll marry me, I'll cook for you
  and brew for you!
MEN.   If you'll marry me, I've guineas not a
  few for you!
GIRLS.   If you'll marry me, I'll take you in and
  du for you!
ALL.   All this will I du, if you'll marry me!
  Eh, but I do loike you!

  Country Dance

(At end of dance, enter Constance in tears, leading Notary, who
 carries an ear-trumpet)


 Dear friends, take pity on my lot,
  My cup is not of nectar!
 I long have loved-as who would not?-
  Our kind and reverend rector.
 Long years ago my love began
  So sweetly-yet so sadly-
 But when I saw this plain old man,
 Away my old affection ran-
  I found I loved him madly.

(To Notary)   You very, very plain old man,
  I love, I love you madly!
CHORUS.   You very, very plain old man,
  She loves, she loves you madly!
NOTARY.   I am a very deaf old man,
  And hear you very badly!

CONST.  I know not why I love him so;
  It is enchantment, surely!
 He's dry and snuffy, deaf and slow
  Ill-tempered, weak and poorly!
 He's ugly, and absurdly dressed,
  And sixty-seven nearly,
 He's everything that I detest,
 But if the truth must be confessed,
  I love him very dearly!

(To Notary)   You're everything that I detest,
  But still I love you dearly!

CHORUS.   You've everything that girls detest,
  But still she loves you dearly!

NOTARY.   I caught that line, but for the rest,
  I did not hear it clearly!

(During this verse Aline and Alexis have entered at back


ALEXIS.   Oh joy! oh joy!
  The charm works well,
  And all are now united.

ALINE.  The blind young boy
  Obeys the spell,
  And troth they all have plighted!


 Aline & Alexis   Constance  Notary

Oh joy! oh joy!  Oh, bitter joy!   Oh joy! oh joy!
 The charm works well,  No words can tell   No words can tell
 And all are now united!  How my poor heart   My state of mind
The blind young boy  is blighted!  delighted.
 Obeys the spell,   They'll soon employ   They'll soon employ
  A marriage bell,  A marriage bell,
 Their troth they all   To say that we're   To say that we're
 have plighted.   united.   united.
True happiness   I do confess  True happiness
 Reigns everywhere,   A sorrow rare   Reigns everywhere
 And dwells with both   My humbled spirit   And dwells with both
 the sexes.   vexes.  the sexes,
And all will bless   And none will bless   And all will bless
 The thoughtful care  Example rare  Example rare
 Of their beloved   Of their beloved  Of their beloved
 Alexis!  Alexis!   Alexis!
 (All, except Alexis and Aline, exeunt lovingly.)

 ALINE.  How joyful they all seem in their new-found
happiness!  The whole village has paired off in the happiest
manner.  And yet not a match has been made that the hollow world
would not consider ill-advised!
 ALEXIS.  But we are wiser-far wiser-than the world.
Observe the good that will become of these ill-assorted unions.
The miserly wife will check the reckless expenditure of her too
frivolous consort, the wealthy husband will shower innumerable
bonnets on his penniless bride, and the young and lively spouse
will cheer the declining days of her aged partner with comic
songs unceasing!
 ALINE.  What a delightful prospect for him!
 ALEXIS.  But one thing remains to be done, that my happiness
may be complete.  We must drink the philtre ourselves, that I may
be assured of your love for ever and ever.
 ALINE.  Oh, Alexis, do you doubt me?  Is it necessary that
such love as ours should be secured by artificial means?  Oh, no,
no, no!
 ALEXIS.  My dear Aline, time works terrible changes, and I
want to place our love beyond the chance of change.
 ALINE.  Alexis, it is already far beyond that chance.  Have
faith in me, for my love can never, never change!
 ALEXIS.  Then you absolutely refuse?
 ALINE.  I do.  If you cannot trust me, you have no right to
love me-no right to be loved by me.
 ALEXIS.  Enough, Aline, I shall know how to interpret this


 Thou hast the power thy vaunted love
 To sanctify, all doubt above,
  Despite the gathering shade:
 To make that love of thine so sure
 That, come what may, it must endure
  Till time itself shall fade.
  They love is but a flower
  That fades within the hour!
  If such thy love, oh, shame!
  Call it by other name-
  It is not love!

 Thine is the power and thine alone,
 To place me on so proud a throne
  That kings might envy me!
 A priceless throne of love untold,
 More rare than orient pearl and gold.
  But no!  Thou wouldst be free!
  Such love is like the ray
  That dies within the day:
  If such thy love, oh, shame!
  Call it by other name-
  It is not love!

 Enter Dr. Daly.

 DR. D.  (musing)  It is singular-it is very singular.  It
has overthrown all my calculations.  It is distinctly opposed to
the doctrine of averages.  I cannot understand it.
 ALINE.  Dear Dr. Daly, what has puzzled you?
 DR. D.  My dear, this village has not hitherto been addicted
to marrying and giving in marriage.  Hitherto the youths of this
village have not been enterprising, and the maidens have been
distinctly coy.  Judge then of my surprise when I tell you that
the whole village came to me in a body just now, and implored me
to join them in matrimony with as little delay as possible.  Even
your excellent father has hinted to me that before very long it
is not unlikely that he may also change his condition.
 ALINE.  Oh, Alexis-do you hear that?  Are you not
 ALEXIS.  Yes, I confess that a union between your mother and
my father would be a happy circumstance indeed.  (Crossing to Dr.
Daly)  My dear sir-the news that you bring us is very
 DR. D.  Yes-still, in my eyes, it has its melancholy side.  
This universal marrying recalls the happy days-now, alas, gone
forever-when I myself might have-but tush!  I am puling.  I am
too old to marry-and yet, within the last half-hour, I have
greatly yearned for companionship.  I never remarked it before,
but the young maidens of this village are very comely.  So  
likewise are the middle-aged.  Also the elderly.  All are
comely-and (with a deep sigh) all are engaged!
 ALINE.  Here comes your father.

Enter Sir Marmaduke with Mrs. Partlet, arm-in-arm

 ALINE and ALEXIS (aside).  Mrs. Partlet!
 SIR M.  Dr. Daly, give me joy.  Alexis, my dear boy, you
will, I am sure, be pleased to hear that my declining days are
not unlikely to be solaced by the companionship of this good,
virtuous, and amiable woman.
 ALEXIS.  (rather taken aback)  My dear father, this is not
altogether what I expected.  I am certainly taken somewhat by
surprise.  Still it can hardly be necessary to assure you that
any wife of yours is a mother of mine.  (Aside to Aline.) It is
not quite what I could have wished.
 MRS. P. (crossing to Alexis)  Oh, sir, I entreat your
forgiveness.  I am aware that socially I am not everything that
could be desired, nor am I blessed with an abundance of worldly
goods, but I can at least confer on your estimable father the
great and priceless dowry of a true, tender, and lovin' 'art!
 ALEXIS (coldly).  I do not question it.  After all, a
faithful love is the true source of every earthly joy.
 SIR M.  I knew that my boy would not blame his poor father
for acting on the impulse of a heart that has never yet misled
him.  Zorah is not perhaps what the world calls beautiful-
 DR. D.  Still she is comely-distinctly comely.  (Sighs)
 ALINE.  Zorah is very good, and very clean, and honest, and  
quite, quite sober in her habits: and that is worth far more than
beauty, dear Sir Marmaduke.
 DR. D.  Yes; beauty will fade and perish, but personal
cleanliness is practically undying, for it can be renewed
whenever it discovers symptoms of decay.  My dear Sir Marmaduke,
I heartily congratulate you.  (Sighs)



ALEXIS.   I rejoice that it's decided,
  Happy now will be his life,
 For my father is provided
  With a true and tender wife.
 She will tend him, nurse him, mend him,
  Air his linen, dry his tears;
 Bless the thoughtful fate that send him
  Such a wife to soothe his years!

ALINE.  No young giddy thoughtless maiden,
  Full of graces, airs, and jeers-
 But a sober widow, laden
  With the weight of fifty years!

SIR M.  No high-born exacting beauty
  Blazing like a jewelled sun-
 But a wife who'll do her duty,
  As that duty should be done!

MRS. P.   I'm no saucy minx and giddy-
  Hussies such as them abound-
 But a clean and tidy widdy
  Well be-known for miles around!

DR.D.   All the village now have mated,
  All are happy as can be-
 I to live alone am fated:
  No one's left to marry me!

ENSEMBLE.  She will tend him etc.

(Exeunt Sir Marmaduke, Mrs. Partlet, and Aline, with Alexis.  Dr. Daly
 looks after them sentimentally, then exits with a sigh.)

Enter Mr. Wells


 Oh, I have wrought much evil with my spells!
 An ill I can't undo!
 This is too bad of you, J. W. Wells-
 What wrong have they done you?
 And see-another love-lorn lady comes-
 Alas, poor stricken dame!
 A gentle pensiveness her life benumbs-
 And mine, alone, the blame!

Lady Sangazure enters.  She is very melancholy

LADY S.   Alas, ah me! and well-a-day!
 I sigh for love, and well I may,
 For I am very old and grey.
  But stay!

 (Sees Mr. Wells, and becomes fascinated by him.)


LADY S.   What is this fairy form I see before me?
WELLS.  Oh horrible!-She's going to adore me!
 This last catastrophe is overpowering!
LADY S.   Why do you glare at one with visage lowering?
 For pity's sake recoil not thus from me!
WELLS.  My lady leave me-this may never be!


WELLS.  Hate me! I drop my H's-have through life!
LADY S.   Love me! I'll drop them too!
WELLS.  Hate me! I always eat peas with a knife!
LADY S.   Love me! I'll eat like you!
WELLS.  Hate me! I spend the day at Rosherville!
LADY S.   Love me! that joy I'll share!
WELLS.  Hate me! I often roll down One Tree Hill!
LADY S.   Love me! I'll join you there!

LADY S.   Love me!  My prejudices I will drop!
WELLS.  Hate me! that's not enough!
LADY S.  Love me!  I'll come and help you in the shop!
WELLS.  Hate me! the life is rough!
LADY S.   Love me! my grammar I will all forswear!
WELLS.  Hate me! abjure my lot!
LADY S.   Love me! I'll stick sunflowers in my hair!
WELLS.  Hate me! they'll suit you not!


 At what I am going to say be not enraged-
 I may not love you-for I am engaged!
LADY S. (horrified).   Engaged!
WELLS.   Engaged!
 To a maiden fair,
 With bright brown hair,
  And a sweet and simple smile,
 Who waits for me
 By the sounding sea,
  On a South Pacific isle.
WELLS (aside).  A lie!  No maiden waits me there!
LADY S. (mournfully).  She has bright brown hair;
WELLS (aside).  A lie!  No maiden smiles on me!
LADY S. (mournfully).  By the sounding sea!



Oh agony, rage, despair!   Oh, agony, rage, despair!
The maiden has bright brown hair,  Oh, where will this end-oh, where?
 And mine is as white as snow!  I should like very much to know!
False man, it will be your fault,  It will certainly be my fault,
If I go to my family vault,  If she goes to her family vault,
 And bury my life-long woe!   To bury her life-long woe!

BOTH.   The family vault-the family vault.
 It will certainly be (your/my) fault.
 If (I go/she goes) to (my/her) family vault,
  To bury (my/her) life-long woe!

(Exit Lady Sangazure, in great anguish, accompanied by Mr. Wells.)

Enter Aline, Recitative

 Alexis!  Doubt me not, my loved one!  See,
 Thine uttered will is sovereign law to me!
 All fear-all thought of ill I cast away!
 It is my darling's will, and I obey!
  (She drinks the philtre.)

 The fearful deed is done,
  My love is near!
 I go to meet my own
  In trembling fear!
 If o'er us aught of ill
  Should cast a shade,
 It was my darling's will,
  And I obeyed!

(As Aline is going off, she meets Dr. Daly, entering pensively.  He
 is playing on a flageolet.  Under the influence of the spell
 she at once becomes strangely fascinated by him, and
 exhibits every symptom of being hopelessly in love with


 Oh, my voice is sad and low
 And with timid step I go-
 For with load of love o'er laden
 I enquire of every maiden,
 "Will you wed me, little lady?
 Will you share my cottage shady?"
  Little lady answers "No!
  Thank you for your kindly proffer-
  Good your heart, and full your coffer;
  Yet I must decline your offer-
  I'm engaged to So-and-so!"
  So-and-so! (flageolet solo)
  She's engaged to So-and-so!
 What a rogue young hearts to pillage;
 What a worker on Love's tillage!
 Every maiden in the village
  Is engaged to So-and-so!
  So-and-so! (flageolet solo)
  All engaged to So-and-so!

(At the end of the song Dr. Daly sees Aline, and, under the
 influence of the potion, falls in love with her.)


 Oh, joyous boon! oh, mad delight;
 Oh, sun and moon! oh, day and night!
  Rejoice, rejoice with me!
 Proclaim our joy, ye birds above-
 Yet brooklets, murmur forth our love,
  In choral ecstasy:
ALINE.  Oh, joyous boon!
DR. D.   Oh, mad delight!
ALINE.  Oh, sun and moon!
DR. D.   Oh, day and night!
BOTH.   Ye birds, and brooks, and fruitful trees,
 With choral joy, delight the breeze-
  Rejoice, rejoice with me!

Enter Alexis

 ALEXIS (with rapture).  Aline my only love, my happiness!
The philtre-you have tasted it?
 ALINE (with confusion).  Yes!  Yes!
 ALEXIS.  Oh, joy, mine, mine for ever, and for aye!
  (Embraces her.)
 ALINE.  Alexis, don't do that-you must not!

  (Dr. Daly interposes between them)

 ALEXIS (amazed).  Why?


ALINE.  Alas! that lovers thus should meet:
  Oh, pity, pity me!
 Oh, charge me not with cold deceit;
  Oh, pity, pity me!
 You bade me drink-with trembling awe
 I drank, and, by the potion's law,
 I loved the very first I saw!
  Oh, pity, pity, me!

DR. D.  My dear young friend, consoled be-
  We pity, pity you.
 In this I'm not an agent free-
  We pity, pity you.
 Some most extraordinary spell
 O'er us has cast its magic fell-
 The consequence I need not tell.
  We pity, pity you.


 Some most extraordinary spell
 O'er (us/them) has cast its magic fell-
 The consequence (we/they) need not tell.
 (We/They) pity, pity (thee!/me).

ALEXIS (furiously).  False one, begone-I spurn thee,
  To thy new lover turn thee!
  Thy perfidy all men shall know,
ALINE (wildly).  I could not help it!
ALEXIS (calling off).  Come one, come all!
DR. D.   We could not help it!
ALEXIS (calling off).  Obey my call!
ALINE (wildly).  I could not help it!
ALEXIS (calling off).  Come hither, run!
DR. D.   We could not help it!
ALEXIS (calling off).  Come, every one!

Enter all the characters except Lady Sangazure and Mr. Wells


 Oh, what is the matter, and what is the clatter?
 He's glowering at her, and threatens a blow!
 Oh, why does he batter the girl he did flatter?
 And why does the latter recoil from him so?


 Prepare for sad surprises-
 My love Aline despises!
 No thought of sorrow shames her-
 Another lover claims her!
 Be his, false girl, for better or for worse-
 But, ere you leave me, may a lover's curse-

 DR. D. (coming forward).  Hold!  Be just.  This poor child
drank the philtre at your instance.  She hurried off to meet
you-but, most unhappily, she met me instead.  As you had
administered the potion to both of us, the result was inevitable.
But fear nothing from me-I will be no man's rival.  I shall quit
the country at once-and bury my sorrow in the congenial gloom of
a Colonial Bishopric.
 ALEXIS.  My excellent old friend!  (Taking his hand-then
turning to Mr. Wells, who has entered with Lady Sangazure.)  Oh, Mr.
Wells, what, what is to be done?
 WELLS.  I do not know-and yet-there is one means by which  
this spell may be removed.
 ALEXIS.  Name it-oh, name it!
 WELLS.  Or you or I must yield up his life to Ahrimanes.  I
would rather it were you.  I should have no hesitation in
sacrificing my own life to spare yours, but we take stock next
week, and it would not be fair on the Co.
 ALEXIS.  True.  Well, I am ready!
 ALINE.  No, no-Alexis-it must not be!  Mr. Wells, if he
must die that all may be restored to their old loves, what is to
become of me?  I should be left out in the cold, with no love to
be restored to!
 WELLS.  True-I did not think of that.  (To the others)  My  
friends, I appeal to you, and I will leave the decision in your


WELLS.   Or I or he
  Must die!
  Which shall it be?
SIR M.   Die thou!
  Thou art the cause of all offending!
DR. D.   Die thou!
  Yield to this decree unbending!
ALL.   Die thou!
WELLS.  So be it!  I submit!  My fate is sealed.
 To public execration thus I yield!

 (Falls on trap)

 Be happy all-leave me to my despair-
 I go-it matters not with whom-or where!


(All quit their present partners, and rejoin their old lovers.
 Sir Marmaduke leaves Mrs. Partlet, and goes to Lady Sangazure.
 Aline leaves Dr. Daly, and goes to Alexis.  Dr. Daly leaves
 Aline, and goes to Constance.  Notary leaves Constance, and goes
 to Mrs. Partlet.  All the Chorus makes a corresponding change.)


GENTLEMEN.   Oh, my adored one!
LADIES.  Unmingled joy!
GENTLEMEN.   Ecstatic rapture!
LADIES.  Beloved boy!

  (They embrace)

SIR M.  Come to my mansion, all of you!  At least
 We'll crown our rapture with another feast!



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

CHORUS.   Now to the banquet, etc.


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

CHORUS.  Now for the tea, etc.

 (General Dance)

(During the symphony Mr. Wells sinks through the trap, amid red


© William Schwenck Gilbert