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No. 20: Scene (Arrostino, Pietro and Chorus)

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Enter from monastery a procession of Tamorras, now transformed into Dominican
Monks, chaunting from black-letter volumes;
ARROSTINO as the Prior.

CHAUNT.

CHORUS.
  Time there was when earthly joy
Gave our senses full employ;
In those days, for ever gone,
Bless us, how we carried on!
    Clinking glasses —
Lovely lasses —
Revel hearty —
Picnic party —
Gay donzella —
Tarantella!
TENORS.
    Gay donzella —
BASSES.
    Tarantella!
ALL.
  In those days, for ever gone,
Bless us, how we carried on!
(confidentially to audience).
  It's a most unaccountable thing —
    An hour ago, as banditti,
  We played like young lovers in spring,
    The mischief in village and city;
  But since we got merry and mellow
On the wine of that conjuring fellow,
    Transmogrified we're
Into friars austere,
  Unwashed and unpleasantly yellow!
    Whatever you say or you sing,
It's a most unaccountable thing!

Enter Chorus of Girls, from various entrances.

GIRLS.
  After a weary search
    Hiding, at last, we find you;
  Leaving us in the lurch
    Isn't good breeding, mind you.
  Offer apologee —
    We shall want some persuading;
  When do you think you'll be
    Tired of masquerading?
CONTRALTO SOLO.
  This jocular monkish pretence,
    Though all very well in its way;
  Is likely to pall on the sense,
    If kept up all night and all day.
SOPRANO SOLO.
  At an overdrawn joke or take-in,
    However amusing, we scoff,
  So many know when to begin,
    So very few when to leave off.
ALL.
  So many know when to begin,
    So very few when to leave off.

During this, the Girls have been endeavouring to induce the Monks to pay them
attention. The
Monks, however, have kept their eyes studiously on their books.

ARROSTINO.
  These blandishments I pray you curb,
    Nor think us churls — nor think us churls;
  Our pious calm do not disturb,
    Now there's good girls — now there's good girls!
  Though our emotions, as you see,
    We try to freeze — we try to freeze!
  We don't, as yet, pretend to be
    St. Anthonies — St. Anthonies;
  So go along, nor think us churls,
Now there's good girls — now there's good girls!

SOPRANOS.
    Ah, cruel ones!
  Time was, your love was stronger!
ALL.
    Ah, cruel ones!
  You love us then no longer.

(confidentially to Girls).
  It's a most unaccountable thing —
    An hour ago, as banditti,
  We played like young lovers in spring,
    The mischief in village and city;
  But since we got merry and mellow
On the wine of that conjuring fellow,
    Transmogrified we're
Into friars austere,
  Unwashed and unpleasantly yellow!
ALL.
    Transmogrified we're/here
Into friars austere,
  Unwashed and unpleasantly yellow!
    Whatever you say or you sing,
It's a most unaccountable thing!

Enter PIETRO, still very ill.

ALL (seeing him).
      Ah!
What does this mean — what have you done?
Do not attempt away to run
    Nor questions try to parry.
ALTOS.
  The men to whom we were betrothed
SOPRANOS.
  We find as holy friars clothed,
ALL GIRLS.
    Who mustn't ever marry!
ALL.
    Who mustn't ever marry!

PIETRO.
  Now I'll explain,
    (If calm you'll be)
      As well I can
  Though I'm in pain
    And ought to see
      A medical man.

ALL.
  This man, it's plain,
    As well as we,
      Is under a ban.
  If he's in pain
    He ought to see
      A medical man.

GIRLS. MEN.
  If he's in pain      
        If he's in pain
  It is as plain      
        It is as plain
  As plain can be      
        As plain can be
  He ought to see      
        He ought to see
  A medical, medical,   A medical, medical,
    medical, medical, medical, medical man!     medical, medical, medical, medical man!
        If he's in pain
  If he's in pain      
        It is as plain
  It is as plain      
        As plain can be
  As plain can be      
        He ought to see
  He ought to see      
  A medical, medical,   A medical, medical,
    medical, medical, medical, medical man!     medical, medical, medical, medical man!

PIETRO. My worthy friends, the wine you chose to drink
Makes every one what he pretends to be;
You personated monks, and monks you are,
And will be monks until the spell's removed.
ALL.   Oh, horror!
  Oh, horror and despair unprecedented!
GIRLS. But how long must they wait — to dreary cell,
To life-long celibacy sternly vowed?
MEN.   Yes, say — how long?
PIETRO. Have patience, for I hold the antidote,
[Producing pocket-book.
  And in an hour or two, or thereabouts,
The spell shall be removed, and you may wed
As quickly and as often as you please!
[Exit PIETRO.
ALL.   Oh, rapture!
  Oh, rapture, joy, and bliss unprecedented!

GIRLS (dancing).
  An hour! 'twill rapidly pass,
    Our freedom we then shall recover;
  Each lover will welcome his lass —
    Each lass will return to her lover!
  The bells for our wedding will chime,
    Delight in each bosom implanting,
  So, gentlemen, in the mean time,
    Proceed, if you please, with your chaunting!
  So pray, proceed, if you please with your chaunting!

GIRLS. MEN.
  An hour! 'twill rapidly pass,   Time there was when
    Our freedom we then shall recover;       earthly joy
  Each lover will welcome his lass —   Gave our sen-
    Each lass will return to her lover!       ses full employ;
  The bells for our wedding will chime,   Earthly plea-
    Delight in each bosom implanting,       sures that allure
  So, gentlemen, in the mean time,   For an hour
    Proceed, if you please, with your chaunting!       we abjure,
  So pray, proceed, if you please with your chaunting!   For an hour we abjure
        Earthly pleasures that allure,
        For an hour we abjure!

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