The Sorcerer

Act I

Mrs. Partlet, a pew opener – one who escorts wealthy parishioners to their pew, in exchange for tips; a poor but worthy person

with clarion sound – clear and shrill (like an ancient trumpet)

Forget your knells – funereal bell-ringing

Forget your notes of mournful lay – song

Pointdextre and Sangazure – surnames that imply high rank: dexter point refers to the top right of a coat of arms, and sangazure is French for “blue blood”

The air is charged with amatory numbers – romantic music

I was a fair young curate then – assistant to a vicar or rector

she is rather comely – good-looking

But tush! I am puling! – tush is a mild expletive; puling is whining

most auspicious plighting – fortunate engagement

Ere Sol has sunk into his western slumbers – Roman name of the sun god

a blot on the escutcheon – a stain on one’s reputation (literally, a mark on the shield of a coat of arms)

may their love never cloy – become tiresome

as Aurora gilds the day – dawn

I find some satisfaction in apostrophe like this – in a speech or poem, an exclamatory address to a person or object

not a navvy dissented – unskilled worker (e.g. a ditch digger)

Philtre – a love potion

Necromancy – magic; particularly, foretelling the future by communicating with the dead

cast you a nativity at a low figure – determine planetary positions at the time of your birth, for an astrological reading

Abudah chests, each containing a patent Hag… with spring complete – in the pseudo-Persian fairy tale by James Ridley, Abudah had a box containing an old woman prophet

Number 70, Simmery Axe – Saint Mary Axe, a Street in the older part of London (Since 2003, at nearby Number 30 Saint Mary Axe, stands the second tallest building in London, a domed glass skyscraper, nicknamed The Gherkin.)

Amulets – objects worn on the person to bring good luck

melt a rich uncle in wax – melt a wax image of someone, to kill them

the resident Djinn – same as genie; supernatural spirit in Arabian mythology

for raising a posthumous shade – ghost

Bogies spectacular – goblins, or bogey men

Tetrapods tragical – a form of verse used by ancient Greek tragedians

‘Lectro-biology – early term for hypnosis

Mystic nosology – study of diseases

Spirit philology – study of language and literature

we are not in the habit of puffing our goods – exaggerating the worth

taking it in the wood …. in pipes and hogsheads for laying down – terms from wine wholesaling; laying down = long-term storing; pipes & hogsheads = large barrels

noisome hags of night – smelly and disgusting

Ye demons fell, with yelp and yell – villainous

now for the gay Sally Lunn – type of tea-cake or bun; usually served with butter and jam

I will go bail for the liquor – I will vouch for it

brewing a jorum of tea – a large drinking vessel

great garner of bliss – storehouse

Act II

I did not think it meet to see – fitting or appropriate

a Baronet and K.C.B. – Knight Commander of the Bath, an order of knighthood

Q.C. – Queen’s Counsel, a high-ranking lawyer; namely the Notary

all fast asleep al-frescoly – outdoors; alfresco is Italian for “in the cool”

I’ve guineas not a few for you – old coin worth one shilling more than a pound

the Blind Young Boy obeys the spell – Cupid

what is this fairy form I see – vision of loveliness

why do you gaze on me with visage lowering – threatening

I often roll down One Tree Hill – hill in Greenwich Park which couples sometimes rolled down together (presumably not a high-class activity)

I sometimes go to Rosherville – a lower class amusement park

full your coffer – strongbox (the expression means to have money)

o’er us has cast its magic fell – sinister, malevolent

a Colonial bishopric – an ecclesiastical district in one of England’s colonies under the jurisdiction of a bishop

must yield up his life to Ahrimanes – in Persian mythology, the personification of evil