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The Siege of Troy
by John O'Keeffe
1795

The
SIEGE OF TROY

OR,

FAMOUS
TROJAN HORSE,

A GRAND HEROIC, SERIO-COMIC, TRAGIC SPECTACLE.

IN TWO PARTS,

WITH A DESCRIPTION

OF

All the Scenery, Machinery, and Movements,

Together with

The Decoration of the Pantomime,

And particularly

THE PANTOMIMIC-ACTION,

SONGS, DUETTS, CHORUSSES, &C.

As performing with unbounded Applause, at the

NEW
AMPHITHEATRE OF ARTS,

WESTMINSTER-BRIDGE,

Under the immediate Direction and Inspection of Mr. Astley, jun.


CHARACTERS.

Menelaus, King of Greece, Mr. Whitmore;

Ulysses, King of Ithaca, Mr. Wallack;

Grecian Officers, Messrs. Fox, Decastro, Taylor, Davis, and Connell;

Paris, a Trojan Prince, Son of King Priamus, Mons. Mercerot;

Officers, Messrs. Lalouette, & Laurent;

Bristle, Mr. Johannot;

Helen, married to Menelaus;
who, by running away with
Paris, occasioned the Trojan War,
Mrs. Mercerot;

Mrs. Bristle, Mrs. Decastro;

AND,

Cassandra, Virgin Daughter of King Priam,
(inspired by the Gods with a true Spirit of Pro-
phecy, yet never believed) Miss Smith;

Priests and Priestesses,

Trojan Warriors, Dancers, and Mob,

Grecian Warriors, &c. &c.

The Evening's Entertainment will be given in the following Order, viz.

1. A Whimsical pantomime, called,
MIRTH AND MAGIC:
Or,
HARLEQUIN'S MEDLEY.

2. VARIOUS EQUESTRIAN EXERCISES,

3. A comic Ballet, called,
CYMON AND IPHIGENIA.

4. A REAL PONY RACE.

5. A musical Entertainment, called,
GABY AND DOLLY.

6. HOREMANSHIP.

7. THE SIEGE OF TROY:

or, FAMOUS TROJAN HORSE.

N.B. The Siege of Troy will be performed
every Evening, until further Notice.

***Nothing under full Price can possibly be
taken.

SIEGE OF TROY, &C.

PART I.

SCENE I.

The Grecian encampment, battering rams,
catapultas, and various other ancient
destructive implements of war, ter-
minating with a view of the
famous City of Troy,
and its powerful
walls.


Menelaus enters, from his tent, expressing great uneasiness at the length of time which Troy has taken, in withstanding a ten years Siege, Ulysses, with other officers enter, and finding Menelaus in a melancholy situation, un-[sic] unfolds his design of introducing A WAR HORSE, &c. This idea the king approves, and embraces Ulysses, with raptures of joy: all swear to perform the project with secrecy and expedition, for which purpose they dispatch a messenger to Troy, with an offer of peace.

QUARTETTO.

VENGEANCE thou'rt our own! now impious Troy
Thy fall draws on; burn, ravish, and destroy:
Age, sex, nor shrine, nor temples, will we save,
All shall be one crimson, and one blazing grave.


SCENE II.

A Palace in Troy.
Paris enters, followed by his officers, attended by the Grecian Messenger, who delivers his credentials. Paris reads, and shews great joy at the contents of the letter, expressive of the Greek's design of raising the siege: then, as an offering to Pallas, for having obtained the Palladium by treachery, they beg to present Paris with a horse, as an atonement for the wrongs committed by them. Paris consults with his officers, who persuade him to agree with the proposals: he embraces them, and dispatches the Grecian messenger with every mark of satisfaction, at the supposed peace with the Greeks.


SCENE III.

An extensive view of the surrounding country of Troy; part of that city's external walls and towers, sally-port, &c. Also the sea, and Port Aulis, where the Grecians harboured their fleet, previous to their encampment before the city.

Bristle, a cobbler, and his wife, after arguing on the retreat of the Grecians, quarrel on the subject, and a battle ensues.

SONG.

COBBLER.

I.

With my lapstone and sharp awl, I get my daily bread,
Tweedle tweedle dum, and tweedle tweedle dee;
Which in comfort I should eat, if my wife was but dead;
With my row dow derry dow,
Laugh and we'll be merry now.
Fal deral de ree.

II.

Her tongue is always going, like the clapper of a mill;
Tweedle, &c.
For, from break of day till night, Oh! it never does lie still:
With her row dow, &c.

III.

Instead of getting better, every day she does get worse;
Tweedle, &c.
I wish her at the Devil, for to me she is a curse:
With a row dow, &c.

IV.

If I could but get rid of her, it would be no great loss;
Tweedle, &c.
So of this I'll make an end, and go see the Trojan horse:
With my row dow, &c.


SCENE IV.

The Temple of Diana, with four statues, representing Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, and Mars. In the center is Diana in her chariot, drawn by white hinds.

A grand procession of priests, and priestesses, Trojan warriors, dancers, &c. &c. An offering at Diana's shrine, n c0nseqhence of the Greeks returning from before the walls of Troy.

GRAND CHORUS.

By PRIESTS and PRIESTESSES, WARRIORS, &c.

Fair Cynthia, sov'reign Queen of light,
With all thy starry train, so bright,
Where the Celestial glories shine;
To thee, to thee,
We bend the knee;
Our joys of triumph, thine:
Our foes have run,
Our fears are done;
The Greeks are flown, and Troy's our own.

After the offering to Diana, a dance of female Trojans takes place, which is interrupted by the arrival of a messenger from Cassandra, who wishes to come from her place of confinement (detained there as a lunatic) to expound a prophecy. Paris, after some deliberation, complies with the request: the messenger retires, and, soon after, returns with Cassandra, who deplores her situation, in consequence of being treated as one deranged in mind: she informs Paris of the approaching danger of Troy. Paris the Priests, Priestesses, &c. shew every mark of disbelief, which enrages, Cassandra, who, seizing her wand from her attendant, invokes the Gods: informs Paris that she has the power to perform a miracle, and determines that instant to put it to the test, then leave him to judge of the truth of her prophecy. Cassandra strikes the figures of the Gods which change from gold to black marble. Paris and the rest are seized with horror! The actions displayed by the various groups, expressive of fear, hope, and revenge, forms the most lively and interesting picture of the various passions that agitate the human breast, which it is possible to convey through the medium of scenic effect.


SCENE V.

Outside view of the fortifications of Troy, &c.

Various Trojans are seen going to welcome the arrival of the great horse.

SONG (Bristle)

I.

Be silent, my neighbours, and listen to me,
For if you keep wrangling you'll never agree;
If I'm wrong, put somebody else in my stead,
Nobody's worth nothing without they've a head.
Derry down, &c.

II.

At night, when we go to our four-penny club,
To smoke our tobacco and tipple our bub,
The chairman cries silence,--no more's to be said,
Which proves, that nobody can do with no head.
Derry down, &c.

III.

Let the head and the body unanimous be,
For the body and head should ne'er disagree;
The head of the body should ne'er be in dread,
‘Tis a very bad body would cut off the head.
Derry down, &c.

IV.

And now I am come to the end of my song,
As a body of people let no one do wrong;
The way to keep enemies always in dread,
Mae the subjects the body, the sov'reign the head.
Derry down, &c.


SCENE VI.

The scene opens, and discovers six pieces of paintings, representing a street of magnificent buildings in Troy, with the Trojan horse in the center, adorned with all the trappings and furniture of a War Horse, decorate with rich gildings, plumes of feathers, and other suitable ornaments: under his feet is discovered Sinon, mangled and in chains.

The Trojans are seen surveying the horse, whose wonderful appearnace astonishes the spectators: several of them comment upon his porportion, &c, and then retire to finish the day in festivity.

Ulysses opens the trap door, which is so admirably contrived that the keenest eye cannot observe it, descends, and reconnoitres the city; but being interrupted by the approach of the Trojans, ascends with speed, and closes the door after him.

DUETT. (Ulysses and Officer)
[PRIOR TO ASCENDING.

ULYSSES.

Now the glorious work draws near;
But soldiers hark! hark! hark! I hear [A noise is heard
The foe, the foe at hand.

OFFICER, from inside of the horse.

Say, shall we now descend?

ULYSSES.

Not yet, not het, my friend;
Both ULYSSES, OFFICER.
The foe's at hand, beware.
OFFICER.
Then why do you stand there?

ULYSSES.

I come, I come, thy caution's just;
In me confide, and safely trust:
Since fate ordains it so,
To hide, to hide,
To hide, to hide I go.
[Ascends the horse's side.

Several Trojans are seen returning from their rejoicings.

Ulysses, finding all clear, appears a second time, and while the Trojans are drowned in wine, the Grecians, who lie concealed within the WAR HORSE, descend, with every necessary instrument of destruction: they retire to various parts of the city, in order to accomplish their design, at a proper signal being given; first receiving their instructions from their general.

ULYSSES, and OFFICERS.

CHORUS.

Come lads descend, the coast is clear;
The foe destroy, with axe and spear:
Heap piles of fire through each street,
And sheath your swords in all you meet.
When this is done, the Trojans slain,
This night will crown our ten years pain.


SCENE VII.

Distant country, with various pleasing views.

The Trojan rabble keeping it up, Bristle captain of the gang.

SONG (Bristle.)

I.

Egad we are merry with drinking of sherry,
And toasting prince Paris, that brave boy:
We our glasses did trim quite up to the brim,
And drank to the lad that did save Troy.
Fal lal lal, &c.

II.

Then home let's be jogging, and take t'other noggin,
Be drunk both without and within doors;
Like hearty good fellows, we'll burn burn the bellows,
And throw the whole house out of windows.
Fal lal lal, &c.


SCENE VIII.

A general and extensive view of the internal part of Troy.

The time being come, and the signal given, the Grecians execute their well-planned project; and while unsuspecting Trojans are buried in wine and sleep, Ulysses and his party seize the gates of the city, let in the covering army, who enter with shouts, that seem to rend the skies, breaking open houses, putting all to the sword, without sparing age or sex; the confusion becomes general; palaces and other magnificent buildings fall a sacrifice to the fury of the flames.

Helen is discovered in a tower, surrounded with fire, and no mode of escaping inevitable death.

The dreadful clashing of swords and shields, together with the conquest and destruction of Troy, terminate this grand spectacle; of which dismal catastrophe, the poet gives the following emphatical description:--

"Who can the dreadful horrors of that night
"Declare? with equal tears whose woes recite:
"The old City falls, potent so many years;
"In ev'ry street slaughter in heaps appears;
"Bodies and houses, sacred temples thrown!
"Nor did the Trojans suffer death alone;
"The vanquished, their courages recall,
"And now the Grecian conquerors do fall!
"From tow'ring battlements, with melted lead,
"In burning showers they scall'd the victors dead!
"Pull down, themselves, their lofty spires, and throw
"The massy stones, and crush the daring foe!
"In all parts cruel grief, in all parts fear,
"And death in various shapes was every where!"

GRAND CHORUS.

SINCE mighty Troy in ashes lies,
Let's raise our triumph to the skies!
For future ages shall relate
The Grecians fame, the Trojans fate!
Nor e'er shall hoary Time destroy
The page that tells the Siege of Troy!


REMARKS.

PERHAPS no subject ever afforded a greater scope for the painter's pencil, or the ingenuity of the machinist, in point of stage-effect, than the Famous SIEGE OF TROY; nor has the composer had a less field for his musical abilities. It will be seen, that the performers in general have each their share of business in this splendid and heroic spectacle, and are not wanting in pantomimic action, to convey a proper idea of the nature of the siege, as well as the credulity of the besieged, in admitting within their walls the grand Trojan War Horse, which contained five hundred Grecian soldiers, properly equipped for battle, &c. within its body.


The pantomime will be given every evening till further notice.


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