The Sorcerer: Act I

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

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.

  CHORUS OF VILLAGERS

  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)

  RECITATIVE

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.

  ARIA--CONSTANCE

  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.)

  RECITATIVE--DR. DALY

  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?

BALLAD

  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,
 
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

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"The Sorcerer: Act I" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/41330/the-sorcerer:-act-i>.

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