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ACT I

No. 1: Chaunt of the Monks

Midi Symbol MIDI File [16KB, 4' 28"]

SCENE. — A mountain Inn on a picturesque Sicilian pass. A range of mountains, with Etna in the distance. In the middle distance, a Monastery on a steep rocky elevation.

As the curtain rises, a procession of Dominican Monks winds down the set pieces on the stage.

CHAUNT.

Miserere!
Umbra fere,
  Pauper sum diabolus.
Semper dolens —
Nolens, volens,
  Monachus moestissimus!
Quum oramus
Jejunamus —
  Eheu! otiose dens!
Sitiens sumque,
Ac, plerumque,
  Acriter esuriens!

The procession of Monks exit. As they are going off, GIORGIO, a member of the Tamorra Secret Society, appears on the set, and watches them off. As soon as the coast is clear, he comes down, and beckons to the rest of the band, who, headed, by LUIGI, appear from various entrances, and come down mysteriously.

CHORUS OF TAMORRAS

We are members of a Secret Society, (hush!)
  Working by the moon's uncertain disc,
Our motto is "Revenge without Anxiety" —
  That is, without unnecessary risk. (hush!)
We pass our nights on damp straw and squalid hay
  When trade is not particularly brisk, (hush!)
But now and then we take a little holiday,
  And spend our honest earnings in a frisk. (hush!)

GIORGIO.
  Five hundred years ago,
    My ancestor's next door neighbour
      Had a mother whose brother,
By some means or other,
    Incurred three months' hard labour.
CHORUS.
    Three months' hard labour!
GIORGIO.
  This wrongful sentence, though,
    On his head he contrived to do it,
      As it tarnished our 'scutcheon,
Which ne'er had a touch on,
    We swore mankind would rue it!
ALL.
  Yes — yes — yes!
    We swore mankind would rue it!
  Yes — yes — yes!
    We swore mankind would rue it!
     
  So we're members of a Secret Society, (hush!)
    Working by the moon's uncertain disc,
  Our motto is "Revenge without Anxiety" —
    That is, without unnecessary risk.

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