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The Emperor Of The Moon

Adapted by Claire Seelig                                                                           Composed/Music Directed by Conor Alguire

Based on original text by Aphra Behn                                                          Illustrated by Avery Infranco

Directed by Claire Seelig                                                                          Sound Designed by Jacob Garnjost

Assistant Directed by Rose Meehan                                                            

A celebration of Women writers
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The Emperor
of
the Moon-Pt.1 
(Original Illustrations)

 
The Emperor
of
the MooN-Pt. 1
(Director's Cut)

 
                              PROLOGUE

                     (As spoken by The Cast)

Long, and at the vast Experience the industrious Stage

Long and at the vast expense the industrious stage

Has strove to please a dull ungrateful Age:

With Hero's and with Gods we first began,

And thunder'd to you in Heroick Strain.

Some dying Love-sick Queen each Night you injoy'd,

And with Magnificence, at last were cloy'd:

Our Drums and Trumpets frighted all the Women;

Our fighting scar'd the Beaux and Billet Deux Men.

In humbler Comedy, we next appear,

No Fop or Cuckold, but slap-dash we had him here;

We show'd you all, but you malicious grown,

Friends Vices to expose, and hide your own;

Cry, Damn it ―― This is such or such a one.

Yet netled, Plague, What do's the Scribler mean,

With his damn'd Characters, and Plot obscene?

No Woman without Vizard in the Nation,

Can see it twice, and keep her Reputation ―― that's certain

Forgetting ――

That he himself, in every gross Lampoon,

Her lewder Secrets spreads about the Town;

Whilst their feign'd Niceness is but cautious Fear,

Their own Intrigues shou'd be unravel'd here.

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prologue

FLORINDA: Oh! Good day to you! I wasn’t expecting company today. I'm so sorry, but you've caught me at a most inopportune moment, for you see, I'm just now leaving for Naples, to visit my dear uncle and my cousins. But you are so kind to come to see me off! Unless, of course, you'd like to join me on my trip.  I'd love a companion to share the long voyage with, and I'm sure it won't be any trouble. Yes! Please come! You are most welcome.

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My cousins Bellemante and Elaria will be overjoyed to host a visitor, for it is not often they have the chance to share in new company. And it shouldn't prove too difficult to get you past my uncle. He is completely preoccupied with his work, and I’m told he rarely leaves his study as of late. His mind has been overtaken, I’m afraid, by a ridiculous enthusiasm for the moon. He devotes every second of his waking hours to studying, hypothesizing, scribbling illegible notes about the supposed “moon world” and all that inhabit it. It’s dreadful, really. But I cannot delay any longer.

Come along, if that is your will. 

Though I must warn you, my uncle is not the only strange character you will encounter...

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They are an odd bunch, always indulging in dramatics and speaking whimsically as if they fancy themselves literary characters. But, at least they aren’t dull, nor have I ever spent a day there that was without excitement and intrigue. In fact, there is a plot being set at this very moment that is to play out during our stay, and I suspect it will not be lacking in outrageous antics. If that doesn't dismay you, then please, join me! 

Lucky for you, I have been informed of all the goings on through the mountains of notes I've received from my cousins, and will tell you all you need to know before we arrive. 

Come come! We must be quick! Now, make yourself comfortable... 

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The Emperor
of
the Moon-Pt. 2 
(Original Illustrations)

 
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As I mentioned, we are to Naples. Have you been? Oh, it is beautiful. So vibrant and lively, but not always kind. But I digress-my uncle, the county renowned Doctor Baliardo lives there in a grand estate. You may have heard of him. The public only sees my uncle as a scholar, and they hold him in the highest regard yet they don't know of his true madness in his absolute obsession with the moon above all else.  His estate is perched on top of a hill, with big windows that look down on all the town below. He's very rich, my uncle, and he has a large staff of servants to tend to his home, and to look after his daughter Elaria, and our shared cousin, Bellemante. Lovely girls, both full of life, but certainly restless, and completely love-sick from what I can tell from their letters. You see, after studying the moon, the Doctor's highest priority is to keep the girls under close watch, without any possibility of straying from their home. But alas, he's not always successful, for there is only so much you can do to keep young people from lusting after one another. Why I heard that just last night, Elaria's lover came to her window, only to be run off by a troupe of her father's staff. I heard he was beaten, brutally even. I do hope he's okay. I wonder if Elaria has gotten word yet. Oh I can just picture the sweet girl now, sitting with her Governante, that dear lady Mopsophil, listening to the street singers, staring out the window, impatient and agitated. Oh to be young and in love.

A Song

 

I.

A Curse upon that faithless Maid,

Who first her Sexes Liberty betray'd;

Born free as Man to Love and Range,

Till Nobler Nature did to Custom change:

Custom, that dull excuse for fools,

Who think all Vertue to consist in Rules.

II.

From Love our Fetters never sprung,

That smiling God, all Wanton, Gay and young,

Shows by his Wings he cannot be

Confined to a restless Slavery;

But here and there at random roves,

Not fixt to glittering Courts or shady Groves.

III.

Then she that Constancy Profest,

Was but a well dissembler at the best;

And that imaginary sway

She feigned to give, in seeming to obey,

Was but the height of Prudent Art,

To deal with greater Liberty her Heart.

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Act One 

(Scene one)

ELARIA: This does not divert me:

Nor nothing will, till Scaramouch return,

And bring me News of Cinthio.

MOPSOPHIL: Truly I was so sleepy last Night, I know nothing of the adventure, for which you are kept so close a Prisoner to Day, and more strictly guarded than usual.

ELARIA: Cinthio came with Musick last Night under my Window, which my Father hearing sallyed out with his Mirmidons upon him; and clashing of Swords I heard, but what hurt was done, or whether Cinthio were discovered to him, I know not; but the Billet I sent him now by Scaramouch, will occasion me soon intelligence.

MOPSOPHIL: And see Madam where your trusty Roger comes.—You may advance, and fear none but your Friends.

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Scaramouch, the head servant of the household, is always sneaking around behind his master’s back. He has a soft spot for the girls, I think.

SCARAMOUCH: Away and keep the door.
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Constantly peeping around corners, tiptoeing here and there without a moment of relief. Why, the second he has a chance to breathe, put his feet up and relax, those girls come running right back. “Scaramouch! Scaramouch!” Oh, they run him absolutely ragged.

ELARIA: Scaramouch! Oh dear Scaramouch!

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ELARIA: Hast thou been at the Vice-Roys?

SCARAMOUCH: Yes, yes.—

ELARIA:. And hast thou delivered my Letter to his Nephew, Don Cinthio?

 

SCARAMOUCH: Yes, Yes, what should I deliver else?

ELARIA: Well—and how does he?

Still, he never fails to take on a task. He is quite the schemer, Scaramouch. He must get a real thrill out of it all.

SCARAMOUCH: Lord, how shou'd he do? Why, what a Laborious thing it is to be a Pimp?

ELARIA:. Why, well he shou'd do.

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SCARAMOUCH: So he is, as well as a Night adventuring Lover can be,—he has got but one wound, Madam.

ELARIA:. How! wounded say you? Oh Heavens! 'Tis not Mortal?

SCARAMOUCH: Why, I have no great skill,—but they say it may be Dangerous.

ELARIA:. I Die with fear; where is he wounded?

SCARAMOUCH:Why, Madam, he is run—quite thorough the—heart—

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SCARAMOUCH: but the Man may Live, if I please.

ELARIA: Thou please! Torment me not with Riddles.

SCARAMOUCH: Why, Madam, there is a certain cordial Balsam, called a fair Lady; which outwardly applyed to his Bosom, will prove a better cure than all your Weapon-Salve, or Sympathetick Powder, meaning your Ladyship.

ELARIA: Is CINTHIO then not wounded?

SCARAMOUCH: No otherwise than by your fair Eyes, Madam; he got away unseen and unknown.

ELARIA:. Dost know how precious time is, and dost thou Fool it away thus? what said he to my Letter?

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ELARIA: Expressing all the kind concern Love cou'd inspire, for the punishment my Father has inflicted on me, for entertaining him at my Window last Night.

SCARAMOUCH: All this he did.

ELARIA: And for my being confin'd a Prisoner to my Apartment, without the hope or almost possibility of seeing him any more.

SCARAMOUCH: There I think you are a little mistaken, for besides the Plot that I have laid to bring you together all this Night,—there are such Stratagems abrewing, not only to bring you

together, but with your Fathers consent too; Such a Plot, Madam.

ELARIA: Prethee what—

SCARAMOUCH: Such a device!

ELARIA: I'm impatient.

SCARAMOUCH: Such a Conundrum!

ELARIA: Out with it.

SCARAMOUCH: What should he say?

ELARIA:Why a hundred dear, soft things of Love, kiss it as often, and bless me for my goodness.

SCARAMOUCH:Why so he did.

ELARIA: Ask thee a thousand questions of my health after my last nights fright.

SCARAMOUCH:So he did.

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SCARAMOUCH: That were uncivil to be supposed by me; but Lunatick we may call him without breaking the Decorum of good Manners; for he is always travelling to the Moon.

ELARIA: And so Religiously believes there is a World there, that he discourses as gravely of the People, their Government, Institutions, Laws, Manners, Religion and Constitution, as if he had been bred a Machiavel there.

SCARAMOUCH: How came he thus infected first?

 

ELARIA: With reading foolish Books, Lucian's Icaromenippus, The Man in the Moon, with a thousand other ridiculous Volumes too hard to name.

SCARAMOUCH: Ay, this reading of Books is a pernicious thing. I was like to have run Mad once, reading Sir John Mandivel;—but to the business,—

SCARAMOUCH:.\ You must know, Madam, your Father, (my Master, the Doctor,) is a little Whimsical, Romantick, or Don Quick-sottish, or so.—

ELARIA: Or rather Mad.

SCARAMOUCH: I went, as you know, to Don Cinthio's Lodgings, where I found him with his dear Friend Charmante, laying their heads together for a Farce.

ELARIA: A Farce

SCARAMOUCH: Ay a Farce, which shall be called,—

Wherein your Father shall be so impos'd on, as shall bring matters most magnificently about.—

ELARIA: I cannot conceive thee, but the design must be good since CINTHIO and CHARMANTE own it.

SCARAMOUCH: In order to this, CHARMANTE is dressing himself like one of the Caballists of the Rosicrusian Order, and is coming to prepare my credulous Master for the greater imposition. 

ELARIA: But the Farce, where is it to be Acted?

SCARAMOUCH: Here, here, in this very House; I am to order the Decoration, adorn a Stage, and place Scenes proper.

The World in the Moon.

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Oh Scaramouch. Surely he got word from the girls’ lovers without being caught, and still managed to be there for the Doctor without a single stumble. Sly as ever, he probably got it all done before Bellemante got home from church. Ah, how devout she is.

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ELARIA: How can this be done without my Father's knowledge?

SCARAMOUCH: You know the old Apartment next to the great Orchard, which place for several years no body has frequented, there all things shall be Acted proper for our purpose.

Oh, and Mopsophil. She has been looking after the girls since they were young, and is always getting them out of trouble. Scaramouch, too.

MOPSOPHIL: Run, Run Scaramouch, my Masters Conjuring for you like Mad below, he calls up all his little Devils with horrid Names, his Microscope, his Horoscope, his Telescope, and all his Scopes.

SCARAMOUCH: Here, here,—I had almost forgot the Letters; here's one for you, and one for Miss Bellemante.

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ELARIA: Thy Eyes are always laughing,

BELLEMANTE.

BELLEMANTE: And so would yours had they been so well imployed as mine, this Morning. I have been at the Chapel, and seen so many Beaus I cou'd not tell which I shou'd look on most, sometimes my heart was charm'd with the gay Blonding, then with the Melancholy Noire, annon the amiable brunet, sometimes the bashful, then again the bold; the little now, anon the lovely tall! In fine, my Dear, I was embarass'd on all sides, I did nothing but deal my heart tout au tour.

ELARIA: Oh there was then no danger, Cousin.

BELLEMANTE: No, but abundance of Pleasure.

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ELARIA: Why, this is better than sighing for Charmante.

BELLEMANTE:That's when he's present only, and makes his Court to me; I can sigh to a Lover, but will never sigh after him,—but Oh the Beaus, the Beaus, Cousin that I saw at Church. but a deuce on't, who shou'd come in and spoil all but my Lover Charmante, so drest, so Gallant, that he drew together all the scatter'd fragments of my heart, confin'd my wandering thoughts, and fixt 'em all on him; Oh how he look'd, how he was dress'd!

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BELLEMANTE'S PASSION SONG

Chivalier, a Chevave Blond,

Plus de Mouche, Plus de Powdre

Pleus de Ribbons et Cannous.

—Oh what a dear ravishing thing is the beginning of an Amour?

ELARIA: Thou'rt still in Tune, when wilt thou be tame, BELLEMANTE?

BELLEMANTE: When I am weary of loving, ELARIA.

ELARIA: To keep up your Humor, here's a Letter from your CHARMANTE.

There’s no question ELARIA and BELLEMANTE gush over every line in every Billet Deux they receive from their beaus.

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BELLEMANTE: reads. [Fades into DON CHARMANTE’s voice.]

Malicious Creature, when wilt thou cease to torment me, and either appear less charming or more kind. I languish when from you, and am wounded when I see you, and yet I am eternally Courting my Pain. CINTHIO and I are contriving how we shall see you to Night. Let us not toil in vain; we ask but your consent; the pleasure will be all ours; 'tis therefore fit we suffer all the fatigue. Grant this, and Love me, if you will save the Life of.

Your CHARMANTE.

—Live then CHARMANTE! Live, as long as Love can last!

Come, come, let's in, and answer their Billet Deux.

[Exeunt]

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Act One

(Scene Two)

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Of course, Elaria and Bellemante have all the time in the world to exchange promiscuous letters with their lovers in the evenings, for that is when Doctor Baliardo is most distracted. They are probably penning their boremes of love now. Oh! How the time has passed so quickly! I can see my uncle’s estate just ahead. And look! Two figures, climbing the hill to the laboratory.

 

Doctor Baliardo and Scaramouch, no doubt. Ahh it is the same sight I’ve seen so many nights before. The Doctor trudging  up to his laboratory, mumbling to himself, his hands full of papers and pipes. Scaramouch following closely behind, the devoted servant he is, lugging up his master’s enormous telescope. Oh, I would swear it is at least twenty feet in length. Usually an absolutely miserable task, I’m sure, but tonight it will be well worth it, for Scaramouch and his fellow schemers will hatch their plot on the Doctor.

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It looks like they’ve made their way into the laboratory now.  Oh, and it’s likely close to time now, for the game to commence. Let’s pause here for a brief moment to watch the device unfold.

 

DOCTOR BALIARDO: SET down the Telescope

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—Let me see, what Hour is it?

SCARAMOUCH: About six a Clock, Sir.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Then 'tis about the Hour, that the great Monarch of the upper World enters into his Closet;  Mount, mount the Telescope.

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It is the same practiced routine each night. The doctor rifles through papers, mumbling calculations to himself, SCARAMOUCH positions the telescope, twisting and turning, shifting here and there

until the moon is in perfect focus for his master’s viewing pleasure...

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Oh look! The DOCTOR takes his stance to gaze.

 

SCARAMOUCH: How, Sir, Peep into the Kings Closet; under favour, Sir, that will be something uncivil.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Uncivil, it were flat Treason if it shou'd be known, but thus unseen, and as wise Politicians shou'd, I take Survey of all: This is the States-man's peeping-hole, thorow which he Steals the secrets of his King, and seems to wink at distance.

 

It’s as though the moment the DOCTOR fixes his eye to the lens, it is stuck there, scribbling down illegible notes, mumbling on about angles and hours, nothing can break his focus.

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Ahh, but someone is approaching now. See a grand figure climbing the hill, and attended by a spritely escort it appears, bounding behind him. Tonight, the DOCTOR has an unexpected visitor.

(knock at the door)

 

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Scaramouch, see to the matter and take care none enter—

SCARAMOUCH: I’ll see to it, sir

Well, a surprise to the DOCTOR, but of course, not to Scaramouch.

 

SCARAMOUCH: Oh, Sir, Sir, here's some strange great Man come to wait on you.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Great Man? from whence?

SCARAMOUCH: Nay, from the Moon World, for ought I know, for he looks not like the People of the lower Orb.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Ha! and that may be: wait on him in.

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Off runs SCARAMOUCH to fetch the otherworldly visitor, the DOCTOR still staring through the lens. See the visitor enter now, oh and in a fine, fantastical habit! A convincing disguise. The DOCTOR will never suspect this regal creature to be his niece’s lover, CHARMANTE. Only now does the DOCTOR finally break his gaze to greet his guest. Ahh SCARAMOUCH is selling the plot, bowing like a buffoon before his eminence, before saluting the doctor, and leaving the pair to their private conversation.

 

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CHARMANTE: The Fame of your great Learning, Sir, is known with Joy to the renown'd Society.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Fame, Sir, has done me too much Honour, to bear my Name to the renown'd Caballa.

CHARMANTE: You must not attribute it all to Fame, Sir, they are too learned and wise to take up things from Fame, Sir; our intelligence is by ways more secret and sublime, the Stars, and little Dæmons of the Air inform us all things, past, present, and to come.

CHARMANTE: I hope you do not doubt that Doctrine, Sir, which holds that the Four Elements are Peopl'd with Persons of a Form and Species more Divine than Vulgar Mortals—those of the fiery Regions we call the Salamanders, they beget Kings and Heroes, the lovely Inhabitants of the Water, we call Nymphs. Those of the Earth are Gnomes or Fayries. Those of the Air are Silfs. These, Sir, when in Conjunction with Mortals, beget Immortal Races. Such as the first born Man, which had continu'd so, had the first Man ne'er doated on a Woman.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: I am of that opinion, Sir, Man was not made for Woman.

CHARMANTE: Most certain, Sir, Man was to have been Immortaliz'd by the Love and Conversation of these charming Silfs and Nymphs, and Woman by the Gnomes and Salamanders, and to have stock'd the World with Demy-Gods, such as at this Day inhabit the Empire of the Moon.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Most admirable Philosophy and Reason.—But do these Silfs and Nymphs appear in shapes?

CHARMANTE: Of the most Beautiful of all the Sons and Daughters of the Universe: Imagination it self, Imagination is not half so Charming: and then so soft, so kind! but none but the Caballa and their Families are blest with their Divine Addresses. Were you but once admitted to that Society.—

DOCTOR BALIARDO: Ay, Sir, what Vertues or what Merits can accomplish me for that great Honour?

CHARMANTE: An absolute abstinence from carnal thought, devout and pure of Spirit; free from Sin.

DOCTOR BALIARDO: I dare not boast my Vertues, Sir; Is there no way to try my Purity?

CHARMANTE. Are you very secret.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  'Tis my first Principle, Sir—

CHARMANTE. And one, the most material in our Rosicrusian order. Please you to make a Trial.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  As how, Sir, I beseech you?—

CHARMANTE. If you be throughly purg'd from Vice, the opticks of your sight will be so illuminated, that glancing through this Telescope, you may behold one of these lovely Creatures, of the vast Region of the Air.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Sir, you oblige profoundly.

CHARMANTE. Kneel then, and try your strength of Vertue, Sir.—Keep your Eye fix't and open.

At his visitor’s instruction, see the doctor kneel to peep through the lens.

—Can you discern, Sir?

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Methinks I see a kind of Glorious Cloud drawn up—and now—'tis gone again.

CHARMANTE. Saw you no figure?

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  None.

CHARMANTE. Then make a short Prayer to Alikin, the Spirit of the East; shake off all Earthly thoughts, and look again

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DOCTOR BALIARDO:  —Astonisht, Ravisht with delight, I see a Beauty young and Angel like, leaning upon a Cloud.—

CHARMANTE. Seems she on a Bed, then she's reposing, and you must not gaze—

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Now a Cloud Veils her from me.

CHARMANTE. She saw you peeping then, and drew the Curtain of the Air between.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  I am all Rapture, Sir, at this rare Vision—Is't possible, Sir, that I may ever hope the Conversation of so Divine a Beauty?

CHARMANTE. Most possible, Sir; they will Court you, their whole delight is to Immortalize

Ahh, the DOCTOR turns to pray now, surely anxious to prove his virtue to his moonly guest, and stare upon some wondrous creature. Oh! CHARMANTE is frantic and fumbling for something tucked away in his habit. He’s pulled out a glass plate, that looks to be painted with a picture of a beautiful nymph, reclining on a bed of clouds. The DOCTOR seems to be distracted still, deep in prayer. Watch as Charmente swiftly places the plate at the end of the telescope, and just in time! The DOCTOR looks to be closing his prayer. Ahh and now he’s up, leaning in to try his gaze again as that sneaky CHARMANTE shines a light behind the glass, illuminating it. I wonder what it looks like through that lens

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  But do you imagine Sir, they will fall in Love with an old Mortal?

CHARMANTE. They love not like the Vulgar, 'tis the Immortal Part they doat upon.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  But Sir, I have a Neece and Daughter which I love equally, were it not possible they might be Immortaliz'd?

CHARMANTE. No doubt on't, Sir, if they be Pure and Chast.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  I think they are, and I'll take care to keep 'em so; for I confess Sir, I wou'd fain have a Hero to my Grandson.

CHARMANTE. You never saw the Emperor of the Moon, Sir, the mighty Iredonozar.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Never Sir; his Court I have, but 'twas confusedly too.

CHARMANTE. Refine your Thoughts Sir, by a moments Prayer, and try again.

Well, the DOCTOR is certainly enthralled with the meer descriptions of the otherworldly wonders, as he rushes through his prayer this time. CHARMANTE must be quick.  Oh see! He is switching the glass plate to replace it with one that is adorned with a picture of what looks like the Emperor, Iredonozar. Oh it looks as though he’s already ready to look again, and is returning his eye to the spot! 

 

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  It is too much, too much for mortal Eyes! I see a Monarch seated on a Throne—But seems most sad and pensive.

CHARMANTE. Forbear then, Sir, for now his Love-Fit's on, and then he wou'd be private.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  His Love-Fit, Sir!

CHARMANTE. Ay Sir, the Emperor's in Love with some fair Mortal.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  And can he not Command her?

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HARMANTE. Yes, but her Quality being too mean, he struggles tho' a King, 'twixt Love and Honour.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  It were too much to know the Mortal, Sir?

CHARMANTE. 'Tis yet unknown, Sir, to the Caballists, who now are using all their Arts to find her, and serve his Majesty; but now my great Affair deprives me of you: To morrow Sir, I'll wait on you again; and now I've try'd your Vertue, tell you Wonders.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  I humbly kiss your Hands, most Learned Sir.

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It seems the trick has worked, as the DOCTOR escorts his guest out, fooled by the disguise. 

He starts back down the hill, but don’t I recall he was escorted by some bouncing attendant? Still, he leaves alone, no escort in sight. 

Oh what’s here! Behind the laboratory! Of course, SCARAMOUCH lurking still listening in on the whole exchange. He has that scheming smirk on his face. He must have more to attend to. 

But come, we must keep on. We are almost there now, and they will stay in our sights from the path. 

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SCARAMOUCH: So, so, DON CHARMANTE has plaid his part most exquisitely; I'll in and see how it works in his Pericranium.—Did you call Sir?

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  SCARAMOUCH, I have for thy singular Wit and Honesty, always had a Tenderness for thee above that of a Master to a Servant. Thou hast Vertue and Merit that deserves much.  And I may make thee great,—all I require, is, that thou wilt double thy diligent Care of my Daughter and my Neece, for there are mighty things design'd for them, if we can keep 'em from the sight of Man.

SCARAMOUCH: The sight of Man, Sir!

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Ay, and the very Thoughts of Man.

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SCARAMOUCH: What Antidote is there to be given to a young Wench, against the Disease of Love and Longing?

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Do you your Part, and because I know thee Discreet and very Secret, I will hereafter discover Wonders to thee.—On pain of Life, look to the Girls; that's your Charge.

SCARAMOUCH: Doubt me not, Sir, and I hope your Reverence will reward my faithful Service with MOPSOPHIL, your Daughters Governante, who is Rich, and has long had my Affection, Sir.

HARLEQUIN: Traitor!

Ah! What was that? It came from just there! In those hedges at the far end of the garden. I see a rustle. Oh! And that distinct form gives itself away to be that of CHARMANTE’s attendant, HARLEQUIN. Of course! He and SCARAMOUCH have long been at odds, both fawning over the Governante MOPSOPHIL for many years now.

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Well, I suspect he has overheard SCARAMOUCH making an appeal to the DOCTOR for MOPSOPHIL’s hand.

Oh, I’m sure he’s driven mad! Luckily, it looks like he remains unnoticed.

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DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Set not thy Heart on Transitories, mortal, there are better things in store—besides, I have promis'd her to a Farmer for his Son.—Come in with me, and bring the Telescope.

 

The DOCTOR and SCARAMOUCH are leaving the laboratory now. See them start to venture back down the hill, SCARAMOUCH following closely behind his master, with countless instruments, and of course, the humongous telescope in tow.  They have passed the garden and are nearing the doors to the estate now, and HARLEQUIN is still out of sight. Oh! What timing! His head is popped up now through the hedges there, and oh my does he look positively distraught.

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HARLEQUIN:  My Mistress MOPSOPHIL to marry a Farmers Son! What, am I then forsaken, abandon'd by the false fair One?

—If I have Honour, I must die with Rage;

—It is resolv'd, I'll hang my self—No,—When did I ever hear of a Hero that hang'd himself? no—'tis the Death of Rogues. What if I drown my self?—No,—Useless Dogs and Puppies are drown'd; a Pistol or a Caper on my own Sword wou'd look more nobly, but that I have a natural Aversion to Pain. Besides, it is as Vulgar as Rats-bane, or the sliceing of the Weasand.

 No, I'll die a Death uncommon, and leave behind me an eternal Fame. I have somewhere read in an Author, either Ancient or Modern, of a Man that laugh'd to death.—I am very Ticklish, and am resolv'd—to die that Death.—Oh MOPSOPHIL, my cruel MOPSOPHIL!

Ahh yes, a reaction of absolute hysteria is true to his nature. HARLEQUIN has never been one to keep moderate so well, always for the theatrics and the melodrama. Oh look! He is tickling himself from the soles of his feet to top of his head in an absolutely ridiculous frenzy! It’s quite a sight to see him skipping and leaping, laughing and crying as his fingers dance across every part of his body. Ah yes and now to perform a most tragic death.

 

—And now, farewell the World, fond Love, and mortal Cares

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See as he falls to the ground, gasping for one final breath… and now he is limp. What now? Committed as ever to his act, he’ll wait to be discovered by his rival, I’m sure. Why, he might be lying there still when we wake up in the morning. Oh! But look, SCARAMOUCH approaches from the house now!

 

SCARAMOUCH: HARLEQUIN was left in the Garden, I'll tell him the News of MOPSOPHIL.

 

(tumble)

Ha, whats here? HARLEQUIN Dead!—

Ahh it is the perfect trick! HARLEQUIN can take his rival by surprise!

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HARLEQUIN: Who is't that thus wou'd rob me of my Honour?

SCARAMOUCH: Honour, why I thought thou'dst been dead.

HARLEQUIN: Why so I was, and the most agreeably dead.—

SCARAMOUCH: I came to bemoan with thee, the mutual loss of our Mistress.

HARLEQUIN: I know it Sir, I know it, and that thou'rt as false as she: Was't not a Covenant between us, that neither shou'd take advantage of the other, but both shou'd have fair Play, and yet you basely went to undermine me, and ask her of the Doctor; but since she's gone, I scorn to quarrel for her—But let's like loving Brothers, hand in hand, leap from some Precipice into the Sea.

SCARAMOUCH. What, and spoil all my Cloths? I thank you for that; no, I have a newer way: you know I lodge four pair of Stairs high, let's ascend thither, and after saying our Prayers.—

HARLEQUIN: —Prayers! I never heard of a dying Hero that ever pray'd.

SCARAMOUCH: Well, I'll not stand with you for a Trifle—Being come up, I'll open the Casement, take you by the Heels, and fling you out into the Street,—after which, you have no more to do, but to come up and throw me down in my turn.

HARLEQUIN: The Achievement's great and new; but now I think on't, I'm resolv'd to hear my Sentence from the mouth of the perfidious Trollop, for yet I cannot credit it.

I'll to the lady, tho' I venture banging,

To be undeceiv'd, 'tis hardly worth the hanging.

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Act One

(Scene 3)

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I’m sure those scoundrels don’t leave satisfied tonight, not without a word or so with MOPSOPHIL. What luck in our timing to arrive just now.  Oh, I’m sure it will be something to behold! Come now, let’s in and see to my cousins. Oh the estate does not look so well as it once did, but still grand. And those windows! Absolutely enchanting. But not a single room is lit that I can see. I do hope they haven’t all gone to bed and forgotten about my visit. Oh, what’s here? A light, in that far window. That’s BELLEMANTE’s chamber, if my memory serves me well. But that figure, vague as it is, is unmistakable. Not that of my fair cousin, but a scheming SCARAMOUCH. 

SCARAMOUCH: SO, I have got rid of my Rival, and shall here get an Opportunity to speak with MOPSOPHIL, for hither she must come anon, to lay the young Ladies Night-things in order; I'll hide my self in some Corner till she come.

Oh! He scurries to the other end of the chamber. I wonder what he is plotting. Ah, his candle’s out and I cannot see a thing. A shame! It would have been quite the show, to be sure. Ah! What’s here? The DOCTOR’s telescope, just at the garden gate! I suppose SCARAMOUCH forgot to bring it in after his scuffle with HARLEQUIN. Maybe it could serve us here, if we put it toward the chamber window, with a light to see more. Let’s try. Oh! I am brilliant! Still dim, but I can distinguish all now.  Oh look! Another figure is at the chamber door now! HARLEQUIN there, if my eyes serve me. 

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HARLEQUIN: So, I made my Rival believe I was gone, and hid my self, till I got this Opportunity to steal to MOPSOPHIL's Apartment, which must be hereabouts, for from these Windows she us'd to entertain my Love.

 

SCARAMOUCH: Ha, I hear a soft Tread,—if it were MOPSOPHIL's, she wou'd not come by Dark.

(bump table noise)

HARLEQUIN: What was that?—a Table,—There I may obscure my self.—

 

SCARAMOUCH: 'Tis a Mans Voice.—If it shou'd be my Master the Doctor, now I were a dead Man;—he can't see me,—and I'll put my self into such a Posture, that if he feel me, he shall as soon take me for a Church Spout as a Man.

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HARLEQUIN: So, I made my Rival believe I was gone, and hid my self, till I got this Opportunity to steal to MOPSOPHIL's Apartment, which must be hereabouts, for from these Windows she us'd to entertain my Love.

 

SCARAMOUCH: Ha, I hear a soft Tread,—if it were MOPSOPHIL's, she wou'd not come by Dark.

(bump table noise)

HARLEQUIN: What was that?—a Table,—There I may obscure my self.—

 

Oh my, if only they could see! Only steps between them! Oh! Why, that SCARAMOUCH must be suspicious, trying to augment himself. Oh look at him in that  ridiculous posture, his Arms a-kimbo, his Knees wide open, his Back-side almost touching the Ground, his Mouth stretched wide, and his Eyes staring.

 

HARLEQUIN looks foolish reaching through the pitch black, groping for the table.

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SCARAMOUCH: 'Tis a Mans Voice.—If it shou'd be my Master the Doctor, now I were a dead Man;—he can't see me,—and I'll put my self into such a Posture, that if he feel me, he shall as soon take me for a Church Spout as a Man.

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Oh! His hand just thrust into Scaramouch’s gaping mouth! Oh, he looks like he’s in utter anguish, holding back his screams. SCARAMOUCH must have chomped down hard on his rival’s fingers.

 

HARLEQUIN: Ha, what's this? all Mouth, with twenty Rows of Teeth.—Now dare not I cry out, least the Doctor shou'd come, find me here, and kill me.—I'll try if it be mortal.—

Oh my! HARLEQUIN with a dagger now! And so close to piercing SCARAMOUCH!

Ah, thank goodness. SCARAMOUCH must have felt the tip and recoiled, releasing HARLEQUIN’s hand from his bite. Oh, SCARAMOUCH looks shaken by the encounter.

SCARAMOUCH: Who the Devil can this be? 

 

Oh, he looks to have slipped out of the chamber just now. But HARLEQUIN remains, still groping blindly for the table. What a ridiculous sight!

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Oh! It looks like he’s  finally found his way under the table. He must be waiting for MOPSOPHIL. Oh look! A light! Is that her that enters now? Ah, but no! It’s Bellemante, with a book and pen in hand. Oh my! She is moving to the table to write! Oh, HARLEQUIN must be cautious not to be caught here. 

 

BELLEMANTE:  I am in a Belle Humor for Poetry to Night,—I'll make some Boremes on Love.

Out of a great Curiosity,—A Shepherd did demand of me. —No, no,—A Shepherd this implor'd of me.—No, no. I’ll write anew.

Ay, ay, so it shall go.—Tell me, said he,— Can you Resign?—Resign, ay,—what shall Rhime to Resign?—Tell me, said he,—

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Oh! And she’s up again, pacing about the room now. She must be stuck, searching for a rhyme. But look! That meddling

 

HARLEQUIN is peeping out from his hiding spot, reaching for the pen now. 

HARLEQUIN: (whispering) Ah! I have one that will do well…


 

He looks to be scribbling a line down now. Oh, he must be quick, or BELLEMANTE will surely catch him. Ah, she’s returning to the book now! But it looks like the trickster has already concealed himself again, that lucky Devil. I wonder what line he put.

Ah, she’s returning to the book now! But it looks like the trickster has already concealed himself again, that lucky Devil. I wonder what line he put.

 

BELLEMANTE: Ay, Ay,—So it shall be,—Tell me, said he, my BELLEMANTE;—Will you be kind to your CHARMANTE?

—Ha,—Heav'ns! What's this? I am amaz'd!

—And yet I'll venture once more.—

— I blush'd, and veil'd my wishing Eyes.

—Wishing Eyes—

She is up again! Oh! her back has barely turned, but that nimble HARLEQUIN is already scribbling again.

 

HARLEQUIN:—And answer'd only with my Sighs.

How quickly he writes! Already hidden again. Oh, what will BELLEMANTE think of the enchanted Boremes? Ah, she’s returned to read again!

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BELLEMANTE:  —Ha,—What is this? Witchcraft or some Divinity of Love? some Cupid sure invisible.—

Once more I'll try the Charm.—

 

—Cou'd I a better way my Love impart?

—Impart—


HARLEQUIN:—And without speaking, tell him all my Heart.

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BELLEMANTE:  —'Tis here again, but where's the Hand that writ it?

 

—The little Deity that will be seen

But only in his Miracles. It cannot be a Devil,

For here's no Sin nor Mischief in all this.

 

Oh she must be baffled by HARLEQUIN’s ruse. But still, she looks to be enjoying the spell! Oh, another enters now. CHARMANTE! Oh, those two have more passion between them than e’re I’ve seen. Surely there will be fire if he reads the lines.

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BELLEMANTE is not so swift, trying to hide the book from her lover. But he takes it now, with that charming, taunting smirk on his face. Oh, what will he say to the Boremes?

CHARMANTE Reads.

Out of a great Curiosity,

A Shepherd this implor'd of me;

Tell me, said he, my BELLEMANTE,

Will you be kind to your CHARMANTE?

I blush'd, and veil'd my wishing Eyes,

And answer'd only with my Sighs.

Cou'd I a better way my Love impart;

And without speaking, tell him all my Heart?

CHARMANTE. Whose is this different Character?

BELLEMANTE:  'Tis yours for ought I know.

CHARMANTE. Away, my Name was put here for a blind. What Rhiming Fop have you been clubbing Wit withal?

BELLEMANTE:  Ah, mon Dieu!—

 

CHARMANTE Jealous!

CHARMANTE. Have I not cause?—Who writ these Boremes?

BELLEMANTE:  Some kind assisting Deity, for ought I know.

CHARMANTE. Some kind assisting Coxcomb, that I know, The Ink's yet wet, the Spark is near I find.—

BELLEMANTE:  Ah, Mal-heureus! How was I mistaken in this Man?

CHARMANTE. Mistaken! What, did you take me for, an easie Fool to be impos'd upon?—One that wou'd be cuckolded by every feather'd Fool; Who wou'd doat upon a fond She-Fop?—A vain conceited Amorous Cocquet.

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Oh, CHARMANTE is enraged! See him searching the chamber for the unknown poet. Ah, but BELLEMANTE has her tricks too, pulling him close now to distract him from his jealousy, and it looks to be working. But look! SCARAMOUCH in haste comes to interrupt the moment. He looks distraught.

SCARAMOUCH: Oh Madam! hide your Lover, or we are all undone.

CHARMANTE. I will not hide, till I know the thing that made the Verses.


DOCTOR BALIARDO:  BELLEMANTE, Neece,—BELLEMANTE.

Oh my, how their faces have turned! They’re scattered now, in complete panic! Ah and now I see the reason! The DOCTOR is climbing the stairs to the chamber!


SCARAMOUCH: She's coming Sir.—Where, where shall I hide him?—Oh, the Closet's open!

Oh! SCARAMOUCH is dragging a squirming CHARMANTE across the room! What is his plan this time? Ah! The closet! Oh he is quicker than HARLEQUIN even, managing to thrust the DON into the closet and slam the door shut, just as the DOCTOR enters.

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DOCTOR BALIARDO:  Oh Neece! Ill Luck, Ill Luck, I must leave you to night; my Brother the Advocate is sick, and has sent for me; 'tis three long Leagues, and dark as 'tis, I must go.—They say he's dying. *Here, take my Keys, and go into my Study, and look over all my Papers, and bring me all those concern my Brother and me. —Come SCARAMOUCH, and get me ready for my Journey, and on your Life, let not a Door be open'd till my Return.

The DOCTOR looks to be fumbling for something. Oh, he must be scattered, dropping loose keys on the floor without notice. But look now, he hands one to BELLEMANTE, and summons her and SCARAMOUCH to follow him out of the chamber. Oh the two schemers look terrified, leaving BELLEMANTE’s concealed lover alone in the chamber.

 

Why, they aren’t even aware that HARLEQUIN is still lurking there. Oh, I wish them luck.

Oh but yet another enters now! Who could it be?

HARLEQUIN: Ha! MOPSOPHIL, and alone!

MOPSOPHIL. Well, 'tis a delicious thing to be Rich; what a World of Lovers it invites: I have one for every Hand, and the Favorite for my Lips.

HARLEQUIN: Ay, him wou'd I be glad to know.

MOPSOPHIL. But of all my Lovers, I am for the Farmers Son, because he keeps a Calash—and I'll swear a Coach is the most agreeable thing about a man.

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HARLEQUIN: Ho, ho!

MOPSOPHIL. Ah me,—What's that?

HARLEQUIN: The Ghost of a poor Lover, dwindl'd into a Hey-ho.

 

Oh! HARLEQUIN has come out of hiding, startling his mistress! And oh! SCARAMOUCH enters again, enraged at the sight it seems! Oh, and now  MOPSOHPHIL scurries away again! I’m sure she does not want to be caught in a duel.

 

SCARAMOUCH: Ha, my Rival and my Mistress!—

Is this done like a Man of Honour, Monsieur HARLEQUIN, To take Advantages to injure me?

HARLEQUIN: All advantages are lawful in Love and War.

SCARAMOUCH: 'Twas contrary to our League and Covenant; therefore I defy thee as a Traitor.

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SCARAMOUCH: 'Twas contrary to our League and Covenant; therefore I defy thee as a Traitor.

HARLEQUIN: I scorn to fight with thee, because I once call'd thee Brother.

SCARAMOUCH: Then thou art a Coward.

HARLEQUIN: Coward, nay, then I am provok'd, come on—

SCARAMOUCH: Pardon me, Sir, I gave the Coward, and you ought to strike.

Oh, and now  MOPSOHPHIL scurries away again! I’m sure she does not want to be caught in a duel.Oh look! The rivals draw their weapons now! SCARAMOUCH lunges first, but oh! He cannot catch that all-too-agile HARLEQUIN, leaping about, dodging each strike as SCARAMOUCH chases him about the room. SCARAMOUCH will tire soon at this rate. Surely he’ll give up soon.

—If you be for dancing, Sir, I have my Weapons for all occasions.

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Oh! What’s here? SCARAMOUCH lays down his sword, and draws another weapon! But what? He puts it to his own mouth? It looks to be…Do my eyes deceive me? A flute? SCARAMOUCH playing a tune now, And HARLEQUIN dancing? What happened to the scuffle? An odd pair indeed. But their faces have softened now, giddy and frolicking about to the delightful tune together, as if there was never a rift between them.

(Little song here)

 

HARLEQUIN: He my Bone Ame—Is not this better than Duelling?

SCARAMOUCH: But not altogether so Heroick, Sir. Well, for the future, let us have fair Play; no Tricks to undermine each other, but which of us is chosen to be the happy one, the other shall be content.

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ELARIA:  Cousin BELLEMANTE, Cousin.

 

SCARAMOUCH: 'Slife, let's be gone, lest we be seen in the Ladies Apartment

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What now? The two are panicked again, and SCARAMOUCH shoves HARLEQUIN behind the door to conceal him. Another approaching? Ah! My cousin ELARIA flies into the room! Oh surely they’ll be caught! But what? HARLEQUIN already disappeared? How has he managed to sneak out already? But SCARAMOUCH is not so lucky, as ELARIA catches him now in the ladies chamber.

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ELARIA:  How now, how came you here?—

 

SCARAMOUCH: I came to tell you, Madam, my Master's just taking Mule to go his Journey to Night, and that DON CINTHIO is in the Street, for a lucky moment to enter in.

ELARIA:  But what if any one by my Fathers Order, or he himself, shou'd by some chance surprise us?

SCARAMOUCH: I'll go see if the old Gentleman be gone, and return with your Lover.

 

ELARIA:  I tremble, but know not whether 'tis with Fear or Joy.

Oh! SCARAMOUCH must have talked his way out of trouble again, running off to another scheme, I’m sure. But now, another comes? Who can this be joining the pandemonium? Oh! It is CINTHIO, with his arms outstretched to embrace his lover. But she does not look so enthused. 

CINTHIO. My dear ELARIA—

—Ha,—shun my Arms, ELARIA!

ELARIA:  Heavens! Why did you come so soon?

CINTHIO. Is it too soon, when ere 'tis safe, ELARIA?

ELARIA: . I die with fear—Met you not SCARAMOUCH? He went to bid you wait a while; What shall I do?

CINTHIO. Why this Concern? none of the House has seen me. I saw your Father taking Myool.

ELARIA:  Sure you mistake, methinks I hear his Voice.

DOCTOR BALIARDO:  —My Key—The Key of my Laboratory.—Why, Knave SCARAMOUCH, where are you?—

ELARIA:  Do you hear that, Sir?—Oh, I'm undone! Where shall I hide you?—

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Another must be coming now to catch them, as ELARIA looks frantically about the room for a place to conceal her forbidden lover.

—Ha,—my Cousins Closet's open,—

 

Oh! She’s shutting him in the closet, not knowing CHARMANTE is hiding there!

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Oh she is swift, blowing out her candle just as her father enters, and managing to sneak behind him and steal out without notice. Brilliant! Oh, well done ELARIA! But now my uncle seems to be searching for something, squinting at the