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MAR. A gentle district visitor!
DES. You are orderly, methodical, neat; you have your emotions well under control.
MAR. I have! (Wildly). Master, when I think of all you have done for me, I fall at your feet. I embrace your ankles. I hug your knees! (Doing so.)
DES. Hush. This is not well. This is calculated to provoke remark. Be composed, I beg!
MAR. Ah! you are angry with poor little Mad Margaret! DES. No, not angry; but a district visitor should learn to eschew melodrama. Visit the poor, by all means, and give them tea and barley-water, but don’t do it as if you were administering a bowl of deadly nightshade. It upsets them. Then when you nurse sick people, and find them not as well as could be expected, why go into hysterics?
MAR. Why not?
DES. Because it’s too jumpy for a sick-room. MAR. How strange! Oh, Master! Master!–how shall I express the all-absorbing gratitude that–(about to throw herself at his feet).
DES. Now! (Warningly).
MAR. Yes, I know, dear–it shan’t occur again. (He is seated–she sits on the ground by him.) Shall I tell you one of poor Mad Margaret’s odd thoughts? Well, then, when I am lying awake at night, and the pale moonlight streams through the latticed casement, strange fancies crowd upon my poor mad brain, and I sometimes think that if we could hit upon some word for you to use whenever I am about to relapse–some word that teems with hidden meaning–like “Basingstoke”–it might recall me to my saner self. For, after all, I am only Mad Margaret! Daft Meg! Poor Meg! He! he! he!
DES. Poor child, she wanders! But soft–some one comes–Margaret–pray recollect yourself–Basingstoke, I beg! Margaret, if you don’t Basingstoke at once, I shall be seriously angry.
MAR. (recovering herself). Basingstoke it is! DES. Then make it so.

(Enter Robin. He starts on seeing them.)

ROB. Despard! And his young wife! This visit is unexpected.
MAR. Shall I fly at him? Shall I tear him limb from limb? Shall I rend him asunder? Say but the word and– DES. Basingstoke!
MAR. (suddenly demure). Basingstoke it is! DES. (aside). Then make it so. (Aloud.) My brother–I call you brother still, despite your horrible profligacy–we have come to urge you to abandon the evil courses to which you have committed yourself, and at any cost to become a pure and blameless ratepayer.
ROB. But I’ve done no wrong yet. MAR. (wildly). No wrong! He has done no wrong! Did you hear that!
DES. Basingstoke!
MAR. (recovering herself). Basingstoke it is! DES. My brother–I still call you brother, you observe–you forget that you have been, in the eye of the law, a Bad Baronet of Ruddigore for ten years–and you are therefore responsible–in the eye of the law–for all the misdeeds committed by the unhappy gentleman who occupied your place.
ROB. I see! Bless my heart, I never thought of that! Was I very bad?
DES. Awful. Wasn’t he? (To Margaret). ROB. And I’ve been going on like this for how long? DES. Ten years! Think of all the atrocities you have committed–by attorney as it were–during that period. Remember how you trifled with this poor child’s affections–how you raised her hopes on high (don’t cry, my love–Basingstoke, you know), only to trample them in the dust when they were at the very zenith of their fullness. Oh fie, sir, fie–she trusted you! ROB. Did she? What a scoundrel I must have been! There, there–don’t cry, my dear (to Margaret, who is sobbing on Robin’s breast), it’s all right now. Birmingham, you know–Birmingham– MAR. (sobbing). It’s Ba–Ba–Basingstoke! ROB. Basingstoke! Of course it is–Basingstoke. MAR. Then make it so!
ROB. There, there–it’s all right–he’s married you now–that is, I’ve married you (turning to Despard)–I say, which of us has married her?
DES. Oh, I’ve married her.
ROB. (aside). Oh, I’m glad of that. (To Margaret.) Yes, he’s married you now (passing her over to Despard), and anything more disreputable than my conduct seems to have been I’ve never even heard of. But my mind is made up–I will defy my ancestors. I will refuse to obey their behests, thus, by courting death, atone in some degree for the infamy of my career! MAR. I knew it–I knew it–God bless
DES. Basingstoke!
MAR. Basingstoke it is! (Recovers herself.)


ROB. My eyes are fully open to my awful situation– I shall go at once to Roderic and make him an oration. I shall tell him I’ve recovered my forgotten moral senses, And I don’t care twopence-halfpenny for any consequences. Now I do not want to perish by the sword or by the dagger, But a martyr may indulge a little pardonable swagger, And a word or two of compliment my vanity would flatter, But I’ve got to die tomorrow, so it really doesn’t matter!

DES. So it really doesn’t matter–

MAR. So it really doesn’t matter–

ALL. So it really doesn’t matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

MAR. If were not a little mad and generally silly I should give you my advice upon the subject, willy-nilly; I should show you in a moment how to grapple with the question,
And you’d really be astonished at the force of my suggestion.
On the subject I shall write you a most valuable letter, Full of excellent suggestions when I feel a little better, But at present I’m afraid I am as mad as any hatter, So I’ll keep ’em to myself, for my opinion doesn’t matter!

DES. Her opinion doesn’t matter–

ROB. Her opinion doesn’t matter–

ALL. Her opinion doesn’t matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

DES. If I had been so lucky as to have a steady brother Who could talk to me as we are talking now to one another– Who could give me good advice when he discovered I was erring
(Which is just the very favour which on you I am conferring),
My story would have made a rather interesting idyll, And I might have lived and died a very decent indiwiddle. This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter Isn’t generally heard, and if it is it doesn’t matter!

ROB. If it is it doesn’t matter–

MAR. If it is it doesn’t matter–

ALL. If it is it doesn’t matter, matter, matter, matter, matter!

(Exeunt Despard and Margaret.)

(Enter Adam.)

ADAM (guiltily). Master–the deed is done! ROB. What deed?
ADAM. She is here–alone, unprotected– ROB. Who?
ADAM. The maiden. I’ve carried her off–I had a hard task, for she fought like a tiger-cat!
ROB. Great heaven, I had forgotten her! I had hoped to have died unspotted by crime, but I am foiled again–and by a tiger-cat! Produce her–and leave us!

(Adam introduces Dame Hannah, very much excited, and exits.)

ROB. Dame Hannah! This is–this is not what I expected. HAN. Well, sir, and what would you with me? Oh, you have begun bravely–bravely indeed! Unappalled by the calm dignity of blameless womanhood, your minion has torn me from my spotless home, and dragged me, blindfold and shrieking, through hedges, over stiles, and across a very difficult country, and left me, helpless and trembling, at your mercy! Yet not helpless, coward sir, for approach one step–nay, but the twentieth part of one poor inch–and this poniard (produces a very small dagger) shall teach ye what it is to lay unholy hands on old Stephen Trusty’s daughter!
ROB. Madam, I am extremely sorry for this. It is not at all what I intended–anything more correct–more deeply respectful than my intentions towards you, it would be impossible for any one–however particular–to desire. HAN. Bah, I am not to be tricked by smooth words, hypocrite! But be warned in time, for there are, without, a hundred gallant hearts whose trusty blades would hack him limb from limb who dared to lay unholy hands on old Stephen Trusty’s daughter!
ROB. And this is what it is to embark upon a career of unlicensed pleasure!

(Dame Hannah, who has taken a formidable dagger from one of the armed figures, throws her small dagger to Robin.)

HAN. Harkye, miscreant, you have secured me, and I am your poor prisoner; but if you think I cannot take care of myself you are very much mistaken. Now then, it’s one to one, and let the best man win!

(Making for him.)

ROB. (in an agony of terror). Don’t! don’t look at me like that! I can’t bear it! Roderic! Uncle! Save me!

(Sir Roderic enters, from his picture. He comes down the stage.)

ROD. What is the matter? Have you carried her off? ROB. I have–she is there–look at her–she terrifies me! ROD. (looking at Hannah). Little Nannikin! HAN. (amazed). Roddy-doddy!
ROD. My own old love! Why, how came you here? HAN. This brute–he carried me off! Bodily! But I’ll show him! (about to rush at Robin).
ROD. Stop! (To Rob.) What do you mean by carrying off this lady? Are you aware that once upon a time she was engaged to be married to me? I’m very angry–very angry indeed. ROB. Now I hope this will be a lesson to you in future not to–
ROD. Hold your tongue, sir.
ROB. Yes, uncle.
ROD. Have you given him any encouragement? HAN. (to Rob.). Have I given you any encouragement? Frankly now, have I?
ROB. No. Frankly, you have not. Anything more scrupulously correct than your conduct, it would be impossible to desire.
ROD. You go away.
ROB. Yes, uncle. (Exit Robin.) ROD. This is a strange meeting after so many years! HAN. Very. I thought you were dead.
ROD. I am. I died ten years ago. HAN. And are you pretty comfortable?
ROD. Pretty well–that is–yes, pretty well. HAN. You don’t deserve to be, for I loved you all the while, dear; and it made me dreadfully unhappy to hear of all your goings-on, you bad, bad boy!


There grew a little flower
‘Neath a great oak tree:
When the tempest ‘gan to lower Little heeded she:
No need had she to cower,
For she dreaded not its power– She was happy in the bower
Of her great oak tree!
Sing hey,
Let the tears fall free
For the pretty little flower
And the great oak tree!

BOTH. Sing hey,
Lackaday! etc.

When she found that he was fickle, Was that great oak tree,
She was in a pretty pickle,
As she well might be–
But his gallantries were mickle, For Death followed with his sickle, And her tears began to trickle
For her great oak tree!
Sing hey,
Lackaday! etc.

BOTH. Sing hey,
Lackaday! etc.

Said she, “He loved me never,
Did that great oak tree,
But I’m neither rich nor clever, And so why should he?
But though fate our fortunes sever, To be constant I’ll endeavour,
Aye, for ever and for ever,
To my great oak tree!’
Sing hey,
Lackaday! etc.

BOTH. Sing hey,
Lackaday! etc.

(Falls weeping on Sir Roderic’s bosom.)

(Enter Robin, excitedly, followed by all the characters and Chorus of Bridesmaids.)

ROB. Stop a bit–both of you.
ROD. This intrusion is unmannerly. HAN. I’m surprised at you.
ROB. I can’t stop to apologize–an idea has just occurred to me. A Baronet of Ruddigore can only die through refusing to commit his daily crime.
ROD. No doubt.
ROB. Therefore, to refuse to commit a daily crime is tantamount to suicide!
ROD. It would seem so.
ROB. But suicide is, itself, a crime–and so, by your own showing, you ought never to have died at all! ROD. I see–I understand! Then I’m practically alive! ROB. Undoubtedly! (Sir Roderic embraces Dame Hannah.) Rose, when you believed that I was a simple farmer, I believe you loved me?
ROSE. Madly, passionately!
ROB. But when I became a bad baronet, you very properly loved Richard instead?
ROSE. Passionately, madly!
ROB. But if I should turn out not to be a bad baronet after all, how would you love me then?
ROSE. Madly, passionately!
ROB. As before?
ROSE. Why, of course.
ROB. My darling! (They embrace.) RICH. Here, I say, belay!
ROSE. Oh, sir, belay, if it’s absolutely necessary! ROB. Belay? Certainly not!


ROB. Having been a wicked baronet a week Once again a modest livelihood I seek. Agricultural employment
Is to me a keen enjoyment, For I’m naturally diffident and meek!

ROSE. When a man has been a naughty baronet, And expresses deep repentance and regret, You should help him, if you’re able, Like the mousie in the fable,
That’s the teaching of my Book of Etiquette.

CHORUS. That’s the teaching in her Book of Etiquette.

RICH. If you ask me why I do not pipe my eye, Like an honest British sailor, I reply, That with Zorah for my missis, There’ll be bread and cheese and kisses, Which is just the sort of ration I enjye!

CHORUS. Which is just the sort of ration you enjye!

DES. and MAR. Prompted by a keen desire to evoke All the blessed calm of matrimony’s yoke, We shall toddle off tomorrow,
From this scene of sin and sorrow, For to settle in the town of Basingstoke!

ALL. For happy the lily
That’s kissed by the bee; And, sipping tranquilly,
Quite happy is he;
And happy the filly
That neighs in her pride; But happier than any,
A pound to a penny,
A lover is, when he
Embraces his bride!



Libretto by William S. Gilbert Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan


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

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

ACT II– Grounds of Sir Marmaduke’s Mansion, Midnight
Act I.

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!

CON. 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


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 Constance.)

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 life.
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 bachelor.
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!
ALEX. 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, exclaiming–

“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 me 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 service 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!
ALEX. I deliver it–I deliver it As my Act and Deed!.
ALINE. I deliver it–I deliver it. As my Act and Deed!

CHO. 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 all!
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 alone!


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 Axe?
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) Hercules.

(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 round.
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! Oh!

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 phial.) ALEXIS Now I want to know if you can confidently guarantee it as possessing all the qualities you claim for it in your advertisement?
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 it?
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 villages 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 Incantation.
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.)



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!

ALEX. 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.

ALEX. 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 fire!

(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 me!
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. Oh!

(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 unobserved.)


ALEX 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 refusal.


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 delighted? 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 gratifying.
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! And 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? MR. W. 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! MR. W. My lady leave me–this may never be!


MR. W. Hate me! I drop my H’s–have through life! LADY S. Love me! I’ll drop them too! MR. W. Hate me! I always eat peas with a knife! LADY S. Love me! I’ll eat like you! MR. W. Hate me! I spend the day at Rosherville! LADY S. Love me! that joy I’ll share! MR. W. 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! MR. W. Hate me! that’s not enough!
LADY S. Love me! I’ll come and help you in the shop! MR. W. Hate me! the life is rough!
LADY S. Love me! my grammar I will all forswear! MR. W. Hate me! abjure my lot!
LADY S. Love me! I’ll stick sunflowers in my hair! MR. W. 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!
MR. W. 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. MR. W. (aside) A lie! No maiden waits me there! LADY S. (mournfully) She has bright brown hair; MR. W. (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 may 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 him.)


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!
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 engage to So-and-so! 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, pit 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 hands.


MR. W. 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!
MR. W. 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 fire.)





Libretto by William S. Gilbert Music by Arthur S. Sullivan



Jupiter, Aged Diety
Apollo, Aged Diety
Mars, Aged Diety
Diana, Aged Diety



ACT I – Ruined Temple on the Summit of Mount Olympus

ACT II – The same Scene, with the Ruins Restored


[Scene–The ruins of the The Temple of the Gods, on summit of Mount Olympus. Picturesque shattered columns, overgrown with ivy, etc. R. and L. with entrances to temple (ruined) R. Fallen columns on the stage. Three broken pillars 2 R.E. At the back of stage is the approach from the summit of the mountain. This should be “practicable” to enable large numbers of people to ascend and descend. In the distance are the summits of adjacent mountains. At first all this is concealed by a thick fog, which clears presently. Enter (through fog) Chorus of Stars coming off duty as fatigued with their night’s work]

CHO. Through the night, the constellations, Have given light from various stations. When midnight gloom falls on all nations, We will resume our occupations.

SOLO. Our light, it’s true, is not worth mention; What can we do to gain attention.
When night and noon with vulgar glaring A great big moon is always flaring.

[During chorus, enter Diana, an elderly goddess. She is carefully wrapped up in cloaks, shawls, etc. A hood is over her head, a respirator in her mouth, and galoshes on her feet. During the chorus, she takes these things off and discovers herself dressed