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No. 12: Recitative (Ultrice) and Ballad (Teresa with Alfredo)

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ULTRICE.
  Oh luck unequalled that I happened here to be!
This charm makes all mankind what they appear to be!
    I play Alfredo’s wife — of course in jest we are —
Best say that when as Duke and Duchess dressed we are,
  We drink the doctored wine — what is the end to be?
We both become at once what we pretend to be!
    This label makes a metamorphosis again —
I rather think the conjuror won’t see this again!
    [sees TERESA.
    But soft — I am observed!
     
TERESA (coming down).
  Here is her Grace! (bowing.)
    Your most obedient.
  How is your Grace’s health this morning?
ULTRICE.
  Keep in your place
    Or some expedient
  Shall be devised to check your scorning!
    Bid you good day, miss!
Out of my way, miss!
  When duchesses order you, always obey, miss! [Exit ULTRICE.
     
TERESA.
  Alfredo hers? If that is her opinion
She little knows the power of my dominion!

BALLAD

TERESA.
  When man in love-sick passion lingers,
A maid can twist him round her fingers:
      A word from me
        Of eloquent,
      Yet maidenly,
        Encouragement —
      A faint recall —
        A dainty hint
      That, after all,
        I’m not a flint —
  And such permissible pretenses
Will put to flight his seven senses.
    Then, as he cries, “My own, for ever!
No power on earth our lives shall sever!”
  I’ll answer him, with laugh provoking,
      “Upon my word,
You’re too absurd!
  Why, bless my heart, I’m only joking!
    Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
  Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! I’m only, only joking!
      Upon my word,
You’re too absurd!
  Why, bless my heart, I’m only joking!
    Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
  Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! I’m only, only joking!
Why, bless my heart, I’m only joking!”

ALFREDO enters unperceived. He overhears the following verse.

  And should that fail — it doesn’t often —
His heart by other means I’ll soften:
      With eyes that stream,
        And tears that sob,
      In joy supreme,
        I’ll make it throb —
      I’ll vow his scorn
        My heart will break,
      And all forlorn
        For his sweet sake —
  Which more than life itself I cherish —
I’ll constant live and constant perish!
    Then, as he cries, “My dearest treasure,
Adored beyond all earthly measure!”
  I’ll answer him (my triumph cloaking),
      “Upon my word,
You’re too absurd —
  Get up, you goose, I’m only joking!
   
Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
  Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! You goose, I’m only joking!
      Upon my word,
You’re too absurd —
  Get up, you goose, I’m only joking!
    Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
  Get up, you goose, I’m only joking!"

ALFREDO (coming forward).
  Ah, cruel one!
TERESA. Alfredo!
ALFREDO. Madam, good morning! (Going.)

DUET — TERESA and ALFREDO.

TERESA.
  Oh, whither, whither, whither, do you speed you?
    Oh, hither, hither, hither, hither hie?
ALFREDO.
  Another — nother — nother time I’ll heed you,
    I’ve other, other, other fish to fry.
(aside).   To punish her I’ll try,
I’ll soften by-and-by.
(aloud). My lady, I am sorry, but I’ve other fish to fry!
   
TERESA (aside).
    There’s a twinkle in his eye,
He’ll soften by-and-by.
(aloud). I’m very, very sorry that you’ve other fish to fry.
     
BOTH.
    I’m very, very, very, very sorry
  That you've other fish, you've other fish to fry!
TERESA.
  A merry, merry, merry maid invites you,
    Who’s very, very, very short of sense.
ALFREDO.
  It’s flirti-flirt-flirtiness incites you,
    Imperti-perti-perti-pertinence!
(aside).   Of taking some offence,
I’m making a pretense,
  I’ll punish her imperti-perti-perti-pertinence!
   
TERESA (aside).
    He thinks me very dense,
I see through his pretense,
(aloud). Oh, pardon my imperti-perti-perti-pertinence!
     
BOTH.
    I’m very, very, very, very sorry
  That you've other fish, you've other fish to fry!

TERESA.
  Now, listen to me, dear,
    ’Twas waywardness wilful
  (In which, as you see, dear,
    I’m not very skillful)
  That makes you so tearful;
Take heart, and be cheerful,
   

No mischief is done, dear—
'Twas only in fun, dear!

     
ALFREDO.
  Now, listen to me, love —
    My sentiments store them;
  When maidens like thee, love,
    On hearts that adore them
  Unfeelingly trample,
They always give ample
    Occasion for scorning —
I bid you good morning!
     
TERESA.
  ’Twas only in fun, dear!
ALFREDO.
    I pray you take warning.
TERESA.
  No mischief is done, dear!
ALFREDO.
    I bid you good morning!

ENSEMBLE.

ALFREDO (aside). TERESA (furiously).
  She was only in fun —   I was only in fun,
  No mischief is done;   But the mischief is done;
    Of taking offence     Of taking offence
    I am making pretense.     It is not a pretense.
(aloud). I bid you good morning!   For he bids me good morning!
    She was only in fun —     I was only in fun,
    No mischief is done;     But the mischief is done;
    Of taking offence     Of taking offence
    I am making pretense.     It is not a pretense.
  For he bids me good morning!
(aloud). I bid you good morning!     He bids me good morning!
      [Exit ALFREDO.

TERESA (recit.)
  Duped! Rejected! Do I wake or dream?
By him rejected? Oh, the shame of it!
Rather than this I’ll overwhelm him with
The torrent of my passion — make him think My brain is tottering for the love of him;
And when at last he yields to my protesting,
I’ll say, “Ha! ha! poor fool — I was only jesting!”
     
    [Exit TERESA.

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