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No. 25: Scene
(Nita, Ultrice, Pietro, Alfredo, Elviono, Bartolo and Chorus)

Midi Symbol MIDI File [57KB, 6' 46"]

Enter all the Chorus of Girls, running. ALFREDO comes out of the monastery and joins ULTRICE. He is followed by all the monks. Enter, also, PIETRO, BARTOLO, and NITA, the two last still as clockwork figures.

GIRLS.
  Oh, please you not to go away
Until you've seen the clockwork play.
Two figures carry on the plot,
And one's a man — the other's not.
They're full of complicated springs,
And weights, and wheels, and catgut strings –
You wind 'em up, just in the back,
With cracky, cracky, cracky, crack –
Then all the wheels, revolving quick,
Go ticky, ticky, ticky, tick –
And then the figures eat and drink,
And walk and talk, and wink and think,
And quarrel, just like lovers twain,
And kiss and make it up again.
MEN.
  It's very true, and very quaint –
The one's a man, the other ain't.
You wind 'em up, just in the back,
With cracky, cracky, cracky, crack –
ALL.
  And all the wheels, revolving quick,
Go ticky, ticky, ticky, tick.

GIRLS. MEN.
  It's very true –    
      it's very quaint –
  The one's a man –    
      the other ain't!
  It's very true – it's very quaint –    
  The one's a man – the other ain't!   The one's a man – the other ain't!

During this, PIETRO has been dusting and arranging the figures, who have entered, jerkily, into the spirit of the chorus.

PIETRO (coming forward).
  May it please your Graces –
    These are figures two,
  Who, in port and paces,
    Show you something new.
  Note their human faces,
    And the things they do;
  We've reserved front places –
(recognizing them).
    Hallo! Why, it's you!
(to the others).
  Alfredo and Ultrice! Peasants two!
   
ELVINO.
  Why let me look! Upon my word, it's true!
No Duke and Duchess they, but peasants two!

ALL.
      Oh!
  What do you mean by this sheer audacity?
    What do you mean by this ill-timed joke?
  How do you dare defy veracity?

ALFREDO. Spare your unrestrained loquacity,
    Listen while we the truth uncloak.
  At 'Vino's base design –
ULTRICE.   The Duke and Duchess aping –
ALFREDO. We drank the cursed wine,
ULTRICE.   For which we all were gaping.
ALFREDO. Then all at once we fell
ULTRICE.   Into the wizard's clutches,
ALFREDO. Who changed us, strange to tell,
BOTH.   To genuine Duke and Duchess.
CHORUS.     But –
ALFREDO. Don't ask for further details – cease your chatter;
ULTRICE. We've told you all we know about the matter.
[Exeunt ALFREDO and ULTRICE.
CHORUS. We may as well restrain our useless chatter;
They've told us all they know about the matter!
PIETRO (despondingly).
  There's only one thing to be done,
    Destroy the antidote by fierce ignition,
  And thereby bring back everyone
    To his (or her) original condition!
CHORUS.     Hurrah!
MEN. Sandal and robe we gladly lose,
    Here is an end to our calling clerical.
GIRLS. Now they may marry whenever they choose,
    All of us are with joy hysterical.
BARTOLO and NITA. We shall be human, body and limb,
  Happy to think our state is curable.
PIETRO. I shall be free from these tortures grim;
    They're getting exceedingly unendurable!
CHORUS. Sandal and robe we gladly lose,
    Here is an end to their/our calling clerical.
  Now they/we may marry whenever they choose,
    All of us are with joy hysterical.
      Hurrah!
[PIETRO feels for pocket-book.
  Quick, quick – the antidote!         [He can't find it.
    How horrified you look!
PIETRO. I had it in this coat –
    Safe in my pocket-book.       [Feeling for it.
  The truth I must admit,
Some thief has stolen it!
CHORUS.   Oh, horror!
(threateningly to PIETRO.)
  Accursed sorcerer!
    Thou demon-leagued traitor!
  Ill-omened harbinger!
    Low-born equivocator!
  This is a hideous plot
    To rob us of our senses –
  Restore us on the spot,
    Or dread the consequences!
PIETRO.1     Have pity!
  It's bad enough for you, no doubt you'll say,
    But it's much worse for me – the truth I'm stating –
      Have pity!
  If I can't find the antidote today
    I die in agonies excruciating!
  Commencing with a gentle pain
    Scarce worth a question,
  It grows apace, till you complain
    Of indigestion.
  Then follows an internal fire
    That scorns emulsions,
  Until, ere nightfall, you expire
    In fierce convulsions!
CHORUS. Accursed sorcerer!
    Thou demon-leagued traitor!
  Ill-omened harbinger!
    Low-born equivocator!
  This is a hideous plot
    To rob us of our senses –
  Restore us on the spot,
    Or dread the consequences!
  Restore us on the spot,
    Or dread the consequences!

Exeunt all except PIETRO, BARTOLO, and NITA.


1. Pietro's lines and the reprise of the chorus are omitted from the libretto in Gilbert's Original Plays, Third Series.

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