Shows B

immediately to Laine when she enters, now richly dressed in fine robes. Philip is enchanted by Laine’s beauty. She explains that a holy man is responsible for the miracle, but her parents have forbidden her from saying any more. Philip insists that he loves her. She suspects that his attentions are fleeting but says that she loves him in return. Laine’s elderly parents, Simon and Joan, arrive at the castle, seeking to join their daughter. The Devil tells Philip that he will get rid of them, and he leads them away. He has guards beat them and drive them from the castle. Doubting Philip’s honour, Laine asks to leave, but Philip locks the doors. Laine begs to be released, saying that she no longer wishes to be beautiful. Philip relents, and she rushes out. Encouraged by the Devil, Saida follows her, hoping to acquire Laine’s magical beauty. Knights en route to battle arrive at Philip’s castle for a brief rest, but Philip refuses to greet them. Guntran is disgusted at Philip’s lack of interest, recalling heroic deeds of Philip’s youth. The knights urge Philip to join the battle, and when he refuses, Guntran names Philip as a coward. Stirred by this, Philip changes his mind and says that he will join the battle after all. Scene 2 Back in the weaver’s home, Joan and Simon have escaped the ruffians that chased them from Philip’s castle. Laine returns. She is still in her rich clothes, but she has decided to relinquish the stone that has made her beautiful. She removes it from her neck, throws it on the ground, and hurries into her bedchamber. Joan and Simon debate what to do with the stone. Joan fears that it brings evil to those to wear it, but she puts the stone around Simon’s neck. He is transformed into a handsome, younger man. Saida and the Devil arrive, looking for the stone. When they see Simon, the Devil realizes what has happened. He encourages Saida to seduce him, so that she may gain the stone for herself. Scene 3 In an open field near the Gate of Mirlemont, the Devil interrogates Jacqueline, whom he has directed to spy on Simon and Saida. She says that she observed the two of them walking arm in arm in a meadow, with Saida trying desperately, but unsuccessfully, to coax the secret from him. When Saida arrives, the Devil encourages her to take Simon to the castle and continue her seduction. While Simon and Saida are together, they encounter Joan and Laine, but he will have nothing to do with them. To the sound of trumpets, Philip enters, dressed for battle. He announces that he has wearied of beauty, and is going to war. Joan and Laine beg Philip to intercede with Saida, whom they believe has abducted Simon. Philip dismisses their tale as gossip, and does not recognize Laine, who is once again ugly and crippled. The townsfolk raise Philip on their shoulders, and they go off to battle, leaving Laine trampled and senseless. Act III Scene 1 On a terrace in the castle, with the voice of Laine heard singing dolefully in the distance, Saida enters with Simon. He is enchanted with her, but he is still unwilling to confess the secret. When he hears Laine singing again, he is overcome with guilt. A servant announces that Philip has been victorious in battle. Simon presumes that he will be expelled from the castle, but Saida promises to keep him there. At last, Simon tells her the secret of the stone. The Devil enters with Jacqueline. He frets that Saida needs to extract the stone from Simon before Lord Philip returns. In the meantime, he orders Jacqueline to sing a song. When she admits that she is in love with him, he dismisses her from service, saying that she is no longer of any use. Saida comes in and stands boldly facing the Devil; having taken the stone from Simon, she is now restored to youthful beauty. After she sings a triumphant aria, Simon follows, once again a bent old man. She crassly orders him to leave, and the Devil threatens him with a charge of witchcraft should he complain. Philip and Guntran return from the war. Philip has fought heroically, but has lost his eyesight, and is now blind. Although Saida is now the most beautiful maid in Mirlemont, he is unable to see her. Laine’s voice is heard once again outside, and Philip asks to speak with her. Saida warns that she is a cripple once again, but