Front Page Titles (by Subject) DON CARLOS (English language) - Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts
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DON CARLOS (English language) - Giuseppe Verdi, Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts 
Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts (New York: Fred Rullman, 1920). Metropolitan Opera House, Grand Opera, Libretto.
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(The forest of Fontainebleau in winter. At the right a mass of rock forming a sort of shelter. In the distant background the royal palace.)
(A few woodcutters engaged in cutting wood, their wives standing near a large bonfire.Elizabeth of Valoisenters the scene from the left, mounted on a steed led by her pageTheobald.A party of hunters serve as her escort.)
Chorus of Hunters (at right).
Hasten hunters, hasten or the prey will escape us.
Band of Hunters (at left).
But we will overtake them before night envelops the forest.
(Elizabethto the fanfare of trumpets crosses the scene, throwing money to the woodcutters as she passes.—Don Carlosappears at the left, half concealing himself among the trees. The woodcutters and their wives after respectfully saluting the princess take their axes and baskets and disappear through the woodland paths.)
Don Carlos (alone).
Fontainebleau, immense and solitary forest,
Whose gardens, those rose scented bowers, that Eden of splendor
Are less prized by Don Carlos than this rude forest,
Where his Elizabeth has smilingly appeared!
I have left the Iberian soil, have left my court,
Defying the tremendous fury of Philip,
That mingling unknown in the train of the royal ambassador,
I may behold her, my beautiful betrothed—
She who when first seen took her throne in my heart,
She who will ever reign over this doting heart.
I saw her and at her smile
The very ground seemed to shine unto light
As a soul in Paradise
She opened to me a dream of hope.
So much joy destined to me,
Overwhelmed my soul with ecstasy.
Heaven smile upon our affection,
Bless this chaste and holy love—
(Starts to followElizabeth,but checks himself and listens attentively. The sound of a horn is heard in the distance and silence ensues.)
The sound of the horn is silent through the forest,
No longer is heard the clamor of the hunters.
The day is dying. All is silent, and the evening star
Glances in the far-off azure space,
How shall I retrace my steps to the royal palace,
And find my way through this dark wood?
Theobald (from within).
What ho there! body guard. Ho! pages of the King.
What voice resounds in the dark forest?
Ho! woodmen come hither.
Carlos (retiring a little).
Oh! what vision of beauty approaches.
Theobald (in terror).
I cannot find the path. Lady take my arm.
I will support you. The night is dark and gloomy
And you tremble with cold.
Let us go further on.
Ah! fatigue overpowers me.
(Carlosappears and bows toElizabeth.)
(Terrified, toDon Carlos)
Heavens! who art thou?
I am a stranger—a Spaniard
Art thou one of the train of Count Lerma, the Spanish ambassador?
Yes, noble lady. And I will be your protector.
(At the back of the scene).
Oh! What joy! I see
The lights of Fontainebleau
I will hasten to lead you to the royal palace.
Go, and be not anxious for my safety.
I am the betrothed of Don Carlos. I have faith
In Spanish honor. Hasten, page, to the castle!
He (pointing toCarlos) knows how to protect the daughter of thy King.
(Carloswith his hand on his sword takes his position by the side ofElizabeth. Theobaldbows and departs.)
Elizabeth and Carlos.
(Elizabethsits on a rock, and looks atDon Carloswho is standing before her.Don Carlosbreaks a few small branches scattered on the ground and revives the fire).
At my feet! And wherefore?
(Looking at the Queen, kneels).
When in war,
With only the heavens for a covering,
We were wont to feed the cheerful flame.
See! Already the genial fire expands and lightens!
In the field when it burned and crackled thus
We called it the precursor of victory... or of love
So, thou hast left Madrid?
And tonight the treaty of peace will be signed?
And first, will be arranged the details of the marriage of Don Carlos, the son of my King.
Ah! Let us talk of him.
A dark terror invades my heart.
A lonely exile I will be. France I must leave.
Yet would I had his love
Thou shalt see Don Carlos at thy feet
Burning with love. I have faith in his fidelity.
I shall leave France, also my father.
God wills it, I shall leave, I shall have another country.
I shall go contented, and with my heart full of hope.
And Carlo, still loving you, he shall live.
I swear he will love you.
Why does my heart beat with joy?
But what is this?
Carlos (handing her a casket).
As the messenger of the Prince,
I present to you this gift.
A gift from him!
He sends you his faithful picture.
Oh happiness! I shall see him! I hesitate to open it,
And yet I fain would gaze upon his features.
(Opening the portrait and recognizingCarlos.)
Carlos (falling at her feet).
I am Carlos—and I love thee!
With what ardor—with what love
This heart is overflowing!
To his destiny a divine will
Has now bound mine.
A gloomy terror I had in my heart
And till this hour I felt its shadow.
But now that I am beloved, a joy supreme
Possesses my happy soul.
Yes I love thee, I love thee, thee alone I desire—
For thee I will live—for thee I will die.
Love guided me to thee, and brought thee to my side,
And love decrees we both shall be happy.
(The distant booming of a cannon is heard.)
What noise is that?
The cannon sounds.
Auspicious day! ’Tis the signal for the festival.
Don Carlos and Elizabeth.
Yes! thanks to Heaven! The treaty of peace is signed!
(The windows of the palace of Fontainebleau in the distance are suddenly illuminated.)
What splendor! How brilliantly shine the lights of yon palace!
(ClaspingElizabethin his arms).
The horror and gloom of the forest disappears!
All is joy and brightness! All is delight and love!
Elizabeth and Don Carlos.
Heaven at last will see us united heart to heart
In Hymen’s bonds. May Heaven hasten the happy day.
Ah do not fear! Renew thy courage
My own betrothed one!
Angel of love, turn on me
Thy beloved eyes.
If I tremble yet ’tis not from terror,
Already I feel my strength renewed!
To rapture—strange indeed to me
I abandon my joyous heart!
We will renew in loving ecstasy
The oath which binds us;
Our lips have said it—Heaven has heard it
Our hearts confirm the sacred vow—
(Theobaldenters with pages bearing torches. The pages remain in the background.Theobaldalone approachesElizabeth.)
(kneeling and kissing the dress ofElizabeth).
Grant, oh lady, to the faithful messenger
Who now bears thee happy tidings,
One favor—to remain in thy service
And never to leave thee more.
(Directing him by a sign to rise).
It is granted.
I salute your Majesty, as Queen, and Spouse of Philip II.
No, no, I am engaged to the Infante by my father’s will.
To the Spanish Monarch. Henry has destined you.
You are Queen.
Don Carlos (aside).
A chill runs through my heart.
The abyss is opening before me
And you permit it, oh, Heaven!
(Heard first in the distance and gradually approaching).
With festal songs and joyful strains
Salute this happy day!
Peace beams above us, happy days are ours
While Heaven unites two loving hearts
Glory and honor to the beauteous lady!
To her who on the morrow mounts the throne,
And gives her hand, a gentle loving spouse,
To Philip, King of Spain.
All is darkness.
To misery I am condemned.
The golden dream is vanished;
Vanished forever from my broken heart!
Ah! from my heart it has vanished.
Chorus (entering on the scene)...
With festal songs and joyful strains,
Salute this happy day...
Peace beams above us, happy days are ours;
While Heaven unites two loving hearts!
The fatal hour has come.
Against the merciless fate
Easier shall be the battle
Oh! Poor me, poor me.
Our souls are condemned,
Never again shall we find
So much love, so much love.
The fatal hour has come;
My life was a happy one—
Hard and sad it now seems.
All is ended, all is ended!
To bitter sorrow
Our souls are condemned.
So much love, now ended.
Count of Lerma.
The glorious King of France, the Great Henry
To the Monarch of Spain and India
Desires to give the hand of Elizabeth, his daughter.
This union shall be a tie of friendship.
But Philip wants to leave you full liberty;
Would you accept the hand of my King, who is hoping?
Chorus of Women.
Accept, Elizabeth, the hand that the King offers you,
Pity, pity, at last we shall have peace, pity for us!
Count of Lerma.
What do you answer?
Elizabeth (with dying voice).
It is the supreme agony, I feel as if I were dying.
God in Heaven shall bless you.
Shall your friendly fate be faithful.
Don Carlos (aside).
I feel as if I were dying,
It is the supreme agony.
Festal hymns gladly resound,
And greet the glad day.
Peace brings happy moments.
Two loving hearts, Heaven has united.
To such cruel sorrow this soul is condemned.
What sorrow! What pain!
We shall never, never again find such love.
Glory, Honor. Glory, Queen!
(Elizabethis being conducted by the count to the litter. The procession starts.Don Carlosremains alone and sad.)
Poor me, poor me!
Chorus (in the distance).
Carlos (with despair).
The fatal hour has come!
And life to me but now so blessed,
Gloomy and dark appears.
The golden dream so beautiful, is fled!
Oh! Destiny! Cruel, cruel destiny!
end of act i.
(The cloister of the convent of San Giusto. On the right an illuminated chapel, in which is seen, through a gilt railing, the tomb of Charles V. On the left, a door leading to the exterior. At back, the inner door of the cloister. A garden with lofty cypress trees. Daybreak.)
Chorus of Monks (in the chapel).
Charles a mighty Emperor once,
Is naught but dust and ashes now;
His haughty soul now suppliant sues
Before his Maker’s throne.
(Kneeling and praying before the tomb).
Vain man! He strove the world to rule,
Forgetting Him who thron’d on high,
Unto the stars their course assigns.
His pride was great, his fault, alas, was impious!
Charles, that mighty Emperor once,
Is naught but dust and ashes now,
His haughty soul now suppliant sues,
Before his Heav’nly Maker’s throne.
For God alone is great—if He doth will,
The heavens and earth alike do bow,
O Father, who thine elect dost ever spare,
Have mercy on the sinful man,
May grace and pardon on his soul descend!
For God alone is great, He alone is great.
Oh! God! Thy fury do not descend on his soul.
God alone is great. He alone is great!
(The day slowly downs.Carlos,wan and haggard, is seen wandering beneath the vaulted cloister. He pauses to listen and uncovers his head. A bell is heard. The Chorus of Monks issues from the chapel, crosses the stage, and is lost in the corridors of the cloister.)
Don Carlos and The Monk.
’Mid the cloisters of St. Just, where my great ancestor,
The mighty Charles, weary of glory and of pomp,
His days did end, I now do seek the calm
For which my tortured heart so vainly sighs;
But e’en amid the cloister’s gloom,
Naught can dispel the thought of her
So cruelly torn from me!
(Rising and approachingCarlos).
The woes of this world follow us,
E’en ’mid the cloister’s sacred shade;
In Heaven alone the troubled heart
Can peace enjoy.
(The Monkslowly and solemnly withdraws, passing in front ofCarlos.)
Carlos (drawing back in alarm).
That voice! An icy chill my heart pervades!
Oh, terror! I dreamed the mighty Emperor to see,
Shrouding his purple robes and panoply of gold
Beneath the monkish garb—
’Tis said that in these cloisters he at times appears!
(Without—his voice gradually becoming more and more distant).
In heaven alone the troubled heart
True peace can find!
That voice . . . my heart trembles . .
O terror! O terror!
It is he, he, the Infante.
Oh, my Rodrigo.
Is it you whom I am embracing?
Oh, my prince, my lord.
Heaven is sending you to me in my sorrow.
Oh, beloved prince!
The hour is come; the Flemish people call on thee!
Assist them, ’tis thy duty—be thou their saviour.
What is’t I see! Whence this deadly pallor?
A mournful fire doth gleam within thine eyes!
Thou sayest naught—thou sighest, thou’rt sad at heart!
(With an outbreak of tenderness.)
Oh, Carlos! Let me share with thee thy woe!
My saviour, my brother, my faithful friend!
Let me weep on thy breast!
Pour into my heart thy cruel torture
Thy soul shall not be closed to me, Speak!
Dost thou wish it? My sorrow thou shalt know.
And what horrible pain has pierced my heart,
I love. . . a mad love—Elizabeth.
All powerful Heaven!
Thou art deadly pale, thine eye doth seek the ground:
Ah! Woe is me! E’en thou, Rodrigo, dost desert me!
Nay, Rodrigo loves thee still;
Before Heaven, I swear it!
Thou’rt unhappy! Of naught else think I!
O my Rodrigo!
Say, has the King thy secret yet discovered?
Crave then, leave of him to set out for Flanders;
Curb thou thy throbbing heart—the effort is well worthy of thee
And learn, amid a hapless people,
How a good king should rule.
Brother, I’ll follow thee.
(The sound of a bell is heard).
Listen! The gates of the holy sanctuary are about to open!
Hither Philip and the Queen will come!
Strengthen my weakening spirit,
Serene still shines thy heavenly star!
May Heaven bless me with the virtue of strength
Carlos and Rodrigo.
O Lord, into our souls,
Love and Hope Thou did’st infuse;
Vouchsafe Thou in our hearts to kindle
The love of liberty!
Together we now swear to live.
Together we will die!
Grant that in heaven, as on earth,
We ever may united be!
(Philip,conductingElizabeth,now appears, surrounded by Monks.)
Rodrigo (toDon Carlos).
Oh, terror! At the mere sight of her I tremble!
(Rodrigohas retreated a few paces fromCarlos,who bows mournfully and thoughtfully before the King, struggling to overcome his emotion. On seeingCarlos, Elizabethstarts. The King and Queen advance, and approach the chapel wherein is situated the tomb of Charles V., in front of whichPhilipkneels for a few moments with his head uncovered; he then proceeds on his way with the Queen.)
Charles that mighty Emperor once,
Is naught but dust and ashes now,
His haughty soul now suppliant sues
Before his heavenly Maker’s throne.
God alone is great.
She is his bride!
Lost! Lost to me forever! Oh, heaven!
Come! At my side thy heart will stronger be!
Ah! The peace, the pardon is coming from Heaven.
God alone is great!
Don Carlos and Rodrigo.
We shall live together, and die together!
It shall be the extreme breath,
It shall be one shout, Liberty!
(A smiling landscape situated near the Gate of the Convent of St. Just. A fountain, mossy banks, etc. Plantations of orange trees, pines, etc. In the horizon are seen the blue mountains of Estremadura. At the back, to the right, the door of the Convent, which is approached by a flight of steps.)
(ThePrincess of Eboli, Theobald,theCountess of Aremberg,Ladies of the Queen, Pages, etc. The ladies are sitting on grass banks around the fountain; a Page is playing on a mandolin.)
Chorus of Ladies.
Under the thick, immense fir,
Which gives shade and quiet
Mild defense to the sacred abode,
Let us seek shelter in the shade
From the fierce rays,
That fall upon us from the sky.
Amid these walls the Queen of Spain,
Alone can penetrate.
What say ye, maidens—till day declining,
Shall we the time with song beguile?
Thy wish, O Princess, thou well know’st is ours;
Sing on, we’ll listen to thy strain.
Hand me thy mandolin.
Unite we then, in song, our voices;
We’ll sing the Saracenic song they call “The Veil.”
To Love they say it is propitious!
Theobald and Chorus.
the song of the veil.
(ThePageaccompanies it on the mandolin.)
In the lovely garden of a moorish dwelling,
’Mid the shade and perfume,
Of the laurel blossoms,
Stood the fair Almea closely veiled, alone,
Lost in contemplation of a star unknown.
Mohammed, Moorish king, to the garden came.
Said to her, “I love thee, O charming lady,
Come, the king invites thee,
Realm and throne to share.
For the queen ambitious no more do I care. Ah! Ah!
Eboli and Theobald.
Weave then your veils,
O maidens coy,
Whilst in the heavens
The sun shines bright.
But dearer, far dearer to love is a veil,
When the pale stars do glimmer on high!
(Elizabethissues from the Convent).
Chorus of Ladies.
Some secret sorrow at her heart
(Seating herself near the fountain).
A joyous song did meet mine ear.
Alas! Flown are the days when my young heart
Their merriment could share!
(Rodrigoappears at back,Theobaldadvances towards him, speaks to him aside for a few moments, and then returns to the Queen, presentingRodrigo.)
The Marquis of Posa, grandee of Spain.
Rodrigo (Bowing to the Queen).
Lady, while in Paris, your august mother,
Did entrust to me a letter for your majesty.
(Rodrigohands the letter to the Queen, and quickly gives her a note, then shows the real letter to the ladies.)
(Read, lady! Read, in mercy’s name!)
Behold the royal seal, the fleur-de-lis of gold.
(Elizabeth,astounded, continues for a moment motionless, whileRodrigoapproaches the Princess ofEboli.)
Pray tell us of the court of France,
The centre of all that’s elegant and refined!
They talk now of a grand forthcoming tournay,
In which they say the king will take a share.
Elizabeth (looking at letter, aside).
No! I dare not open—if I but I read a line,
I do betray the kingly honor.
The dames of France ’tis said surpass us all,
In elegance and grace.
Ah! why do I tremble?
In you alone we see combined,
Both grace and beauty.
’Tis said that at the royal fêtes,
The noble dames of France so beauteous seem.
That naught of mortal mould can equal them.
My soul is pure.
And heaven doth read my heart!
And yet the loveliest dame of all,
Is not among them.
At the court balls methinks one now may wear
Silks, embroidered o’er with gold.
Elizabeth (aside, reading note.)
“By the memories that unite us,
By the recollection of a past so dear,
Confide, I pray you, in him who bears this letter.—Carlos.”
It matters little what is worn.
When grace and loveliness like yours do wear it.
Grateful am I—crave now a favor of the Queen!
I do accept thy offer,—though not for myself the boon
My trembling limbs do scarce fulfil their office!
Who, worthier than thyself, could owe a favor to the Queen!
Say, now, who?
Carlo, sole joy of our affection.
Dwells here in grief from all apart.
No one doth know how this dejection
Withers the bloom of his young heart.
On you alone, lies hope in his sorrow.
That peace and vigor shall come from thee.
Grant him the boon once more to see thee.
Let him return, and saved he’ll be!
Poor me, I can hardly stand this,
Great God, to see him again, were to die.
Love has he, love for me?
Why does he hide it from me?
Grant him to see thee again,
If he returns, he shall be safe,
If he returns, Carlo shall be saved!
(With dignity and firmness toTheobald,who has drawn near).
Haste thee! I am prepared to see my son!
Eboli (aside, agitated).
Perchance he’ll now reveal the secret of his heart!
(Rodrigotakes Princess ofEboliby the hand and retires with her, conversing meanwhile aside.)
Elizabeth and Carlos.
(Carlosappears, led byTheobald. Rodrigospeaks aside toTheobald,who enters the convent.Carlosslowly approachesElizabeth,and bows reverently without once daring to raise his eyes.Elizabeth,scarcely able to master her emotion, bidsCarlosapproach.RodrigoandEboliinterchange signs with the Ladies, who withdraw, and gradually disappear among the trees. The Countess of Aremberg and two of the Ladies of Honor remain standing at a short distance. The Countess and the two Ladies cross from shrub to shrub, pluck flowers, and withdraw.)
I come to crave a favor from my Queen!
She who in the royal heart the first place now doth hold
Alone this favor can obtain for me!
(Gradually increasing in animation).
The air I now do breathe is fatal to me!
My tortured breast it does oppress,
Like to the recollection of a fearful woe!
’Tis meet that I go hence. Obtain me leave
To travel hence to Flanders!
By that name call me not!
Call me as thou wert wont!
(Elizabethis about to withdraw.Carlossuppliantly entreats her to remain.)
Ah! woe is me! I know not what to do!
Ah! pity me! my sufferings are great.
One day of happiness alone was granted me,
And soon, alas! it fled!
(RodrigoandEbolicross the stage, conversing aside.)
Prince, if Philip will my prayer but hear,
To Flanders, ere to-morrow’s sun shall set,
As its vice-regent thou shalt quickly hie.
(RodrigoandEbolihave now disappeared.Elizabethmakes a gesture of farewell toDon Carlo,and is about to withdraw.)
Heavens! and has she not a word, a single sigh,
For the lorn wretch who, exiled, leaves the land!
Why do I never hear
Pity in thy heart?
Oh! This soul is oppressed!
In my heart, in my heart, there is coldness
Insane, I cried, I prayed in my delirium
I have turned to the cold marble of the tomb!
Elizabeth (greatly agitated).
Ah! why accuse my heart of coldness!
My silence you should better understand.
Duty’s bright ray before mine eye hath gleamed.
And guided by its light, I’ll on!
My trust I place in God and in mine innocence
Carlos (in despairing accents.)
O treasure lost to me for ever!
The light—the brightness of my life hath fled!
Speak! speak! that I may hear thee once again!
Thy words do cause me more than mortal happiness!
All merciful Heaven! may this true heart
Its woes forget and calm once more enjoy;
Carlos farewell—at thy side
This earth a paradise had seemed!
What voice from heaven of love now speaks?
Elizabeth! Yes, ’tis thou, adored one!
O terror! delusion wild is this!
I see thee at my side once more, as on that day!
Ah! all is now bright once more—
The forest its gay green again assumes!
He is dying Oh, Heavens! he is dying.
Oh! My treasure, is it thou, my sweet love?
Great God, just Heaven!
Don Carlos (reviving).
To my tomb, to the slumber of the tomb
Why take me away, unmerciful Heaven?
Oh, Carlos, oh, Carlos!
Under my foot, shall the abyss open
And may my body by lightning be struck,
I love thee, I love thee, Elizabeth,
(Takes her in his arms.)
To me the world has vanished!
Elizabeth (disengaging herself).
Complete thy work—go, slay thy father!
And with his blood besmeared.
Then lead thy mother to the altar!
Carlos (retreating in alarm).
Ah! woe is me! accurs’d am I!
(He rushes out desperately.)
(Falling on her knees).
Heaven has kept watch o’er us!
(Philip II., Elizabeth, Theobald,theCountess of Aremberg, Rodrigo, Eboli, Chorus, Pages,entering in succession.)
(Entering precipitately from the cloister).
Why find I thus the Queen alone!
What! not a single lady at thy side!
Ignor’st thou thus my royal rule?
Which of thy ladies should have been with thee!
(TheCountess of Arembergissues trembling from the crowd and stands before the King.)
(To the Countess.)
Countess, to-morrow you’ll to France return.
(The Countessbursts into tears. All contemplate the Queen in surprise.)
And doth he thus insult the Queen!
Ah! weep not, dear companion, ah! do not weep.
Let sorrow hence depart.
From Spain thou art now banished,
But not from this fond heart,
With thee, my life’s bright morning
Was passed in joyous glee.
To our dear home returning,
My heart will follow thee, ah!
Take heart, O kindly soul,
Thy grief assuage.
What, in my very presence,
The airs of injured worth she dares assume!
(The Queen mournfully tears herself away from the Countess, and withdraws, learning on thePrincess of Eboli.She is followed by the Chorus.)
(Rodrigokneels, then approaches the King and covers his head without embarrassment.)
(ToRodrigowho is about to leave)
Why hast thou not yet asked to be admitted?
I know how to reward
All my defenders;
Thou hast served, I know,
Faithful to my crown.
What can I ever hope from the favor of the King?
Sir, I am satisfied, the law shields me.
I love a noble spirit.
Audacity I forgive . . . not always . . .
Thou hast left the business of war;
A man such as thee, a soldier of high lineage,
Can he remain idle?
When Spain shall be in need of a sword,
An avenging hand, worthy of its honor,
Readily will mine shine, stained with blood!
I know It . . . . . . but for thee . . . . . . what can I do?
Nothing! No . . . . . . nothing for me! But for others . . . . . .
What dost thou mean? . . . . . . For others? . . . . . .
I shall speak, Sir, if I do not vex thee!
Sir, from Flanders I have come,
That country once so beautiful,
Now deprived of every light
And like a tomb, is full of horrors!
The orphan without a home,
Goes crying through the streets;
Everything is destroyed by fire,
Banished is pity!
To the eyes it seems
The river is glowing red with running blood;
The mother’s cry is echoing
For the sons who have expired!
Ah! blessed is the Lord,
That has spared me to narrate
This cruel agony,
So it shall be known by the King
Only through bloodshed, could I get the peace of the world
Horrible, horrible peace! It is the peace of the dead!
Oh King! May it never be said in history!
That thou wert like Nero!
This is the peace thou givest the world?
Such gift awakens terror, untold horror!
The priest an executioner, every soldier a bandit!
The people moan, and die unheard,
And in thine large and desolate empire,
Thou hearest everyone curse Philip, yes, curse him!
Like a redeeming God, the entire globe restore,
Raise thyself to a sublime height, above any other King!
For thou shalt the world gladden, give liberty!
Oh! strange dreamer!
Thy thoughts would change, if the heart of man
Thou knew, as Philip knows it!
Do not fear!
Say no more! naught has the King heard . . . . . .
Do not fear!
But . . . guard thyself against the Inquisitor!
What? . . . . . . Sir! . . . . . .
Thou remainest in my royal presence
And naught hast thou yet asked the King?
I want thee near me!
No! sir! what I am, I wish to remain!
Thou art too haughty!
Has thine glance dared to penetrate my threshold?
From my head burdened by my crown,
Thou canst see the anguish and grief!
Look at my kingdom!
Trouble surrounds it, unfortunate parent!
Still more unfortunate spouse!
Sir! What sayest thou? . . . . . .
The Queen . . . a suspicion troubles me . . . . . . my son! . . . . . .
Fearless and pure is his soul!
Philip (with much pain).
Naught under the sky can replace
The contentment he took from me!
(Rodrigoalarmed, looks atPhilip,without answering.)
Their destiny I entrust to thee!
Search into that heart, that a foolish love is reaping!
Always permitted art thou to see the Queen!
Thou who alone art a man, among the human multitude,
I trust myself to thy loyalty!
(Aside, with great joy)
An aurora unexpectedly in Heaven!
In thy hand!
His heart has revealed that which no one could seek!
May peace return to me some day!
Oh! what a divine dream!
Oh! glorious hope!
Beware of the great Inquisitor!
(The King gives his hand toRodrigo,who kneels and kisses it.)
(The curtain falls rapidly.)
end of the second act.
(The Queen’s Gardens at Madrid. An enclosed grove. At back, beneath a verdant arch, a statue, with a fountain. Night.)
Chorusbehind the scenes, thenElizabeth, Eboliand theQueen’sladies. During theChorus,masked gallants are seen passing, followed byCavaliers.Ballet of theQueen.
In the gardens of the Queen,
’Neath the laurel tree, by the fountain’s side.”
’Tis midnight! methinks I hear
The murmur of the neighboring fountain.
Elizabeth! my own heart’s treasure,
O come! O come!
(Ebolienters, veiled and disguised).
(ToEboli,whom he believes to be the Queen.)
Is’t thou, my own heart’s idol,
Who ’midst the flowers dost appear?
Is’t thou? My enraptured soul
Its grief forgets.
O thou! my only source of happiness,
At last I may address thee!
O thou! the cause of all mine anguish,
Is’t thou! my life, my only love!
How ardent is his love—no bliss can mine exceed!
Loved, loved am I!
The universe let us forget, thee alone, dear, I desire!
I think no longer of the past, nor of the future!
I love thee, I love thee!
May love . . . . . thy heart . . . . . to my heart, . . . . . .
Thy heart . . . . . . forever unite!
The universe let us forget, life, heaven itself!
I love thee, I love thee.
Oh! joy supreme!
(Removes the mask.)
Carlos (dismayed, aside).
Heaven! ’tis not the Queen!
Alas! What sudden thought hath rendered thee thus pale and speechless?
Thy tongue is silent! Some spectre sure
Hath risen betwixt us!
Doubt’st thou the heart that beats for thee alone?
Know’st thou not the myriad perils that surround thee?
O’er thy devoted head the thunder cloud
May of a sudden burst, and fell thee to the earth!
Right well I know the ills that do environ me;
O’er this devoted head indeed, the thunder cloud
May of a sudden burst, and fell me to the earth!
I heard thy father and Di Posa
Speak earnestly respecting thee.
But I can save thee—for I love thee!
What mystery doth this portend?
An angel’s heart indeed is thine!
But ne’er can I thy love return;
We’ll deem we’ve dreamt a wondrous dream,
On this bright summer night, amid these fragrant groves.
A dream! Oh, heaven! The burning words
Were to another’s ear addressed!
What lightning flash the mystery illumes!
Thou lov’st the Queen!—
Don Carlos (astounded).
What has he said? He is delirious, do not trust him . . . . . .
He is infatuated!
I in his heart have read his love, and now I know . . . . . .
It was a folly.
What does it mean?
I know all!
What does it mean, unhappy woman?
Beware! I am . . . . . .
I am aware that thou art friendly with the King.
I am an enemy, formidable, and powerful;
I know thy power, thou knowest not mine!
What meanest thou?
(Deeply and in a low voice toRodrigo.)
From my power vainly thou stealest,
Thy fate is in this hand.
Thou must speak, and reveal to us
Whatever intent has drawn thee here.
I feel like a revengeful tiger,
Who has been wounded in the heart
The fury of Heaven shall fall upon thee,
Protector of the innocents!
I have been foolish! Oh cruel destiny!
A mother’s name I have stained!
God only knows
If I am innocent.
Ah! my heart thou hast pierced,
This offense calls for revenge,
From my power vainly thou stealest,
Thy fate is in this hand.
Thou must speak, and reveal to us
Whatever intent has drawn thee here.
And I . . . that trembled in her presence!
She wished these foolish news
Of celestial power to disguise her heart,
To sip with pleasure the cup of love.
Ah! to my belief she has been bold!
(Drawing out his dagger).
Thow wilt die here.
(Holding him back).
The venom still drops from those cursed lips!
Don Carlos (toRodrigo).
Rodrigo, restrain thy heart!
Why dost thou delay in striking?
No . . .
Do not delay!
Why dost thou delay?
(Throwing away the dagger).
I still have hope!
God shall inspire me.
Tremble, tremble, recreant son,
Soon my vengeance thou shalt know.
Tremble! lest the very earth
Should yawn to engulf thee!
She all doth know! Ah, woe is me!
My tortured heart all strength hath lost.
She all doth know! Would that the earth
Would yawn indeed, and straight engulf me!
Breathe not a word; respect his grief,
Or dread the wrath of outraged heaven!
Breathe not a word, lest straight the earth
Should yawn to engulf thee!
Carlos, shouldst thou perchance important letters have,
Or papers that aught of secret do contain,
Confide them unto me.
Don Carlos (hesitating).
To thee! the favorite of the King!
Dost thou suspect me, then?
No; my only hope art thou.
This heart that e’er has loved thee
Can ne’er be closed against thee.
In thee all confidence I place;
These papers I now hand to thee.
Thou safely may’st confide in me.
My every hope in thee is centred!
(They fall into each other’s arms.)
(A large square in front of Nostra Donna d’Atocha. To the right a Church, which is approached by a lofty flight of steps—to the left a Palace; at back another flight of steps leading down to a lower square, in the midst of which rises a funeral pile, the top of which alone is visible. Lofty edifices and distant hills are seen in the distance. The bells are ringing a joyous peal. An immense crowd, with difficulty kept back by the Halbardiers, rushes upon the stage.)
Chorus of People,theChorus of Monkswho lead in the condemned.
Chorus of People.
The joyous day at last hath dawned,
Honor to our most mighty King;
Implicit trust his people place in him,
The world is prostrate at his feet!
Our love will everywhere attend him,
No, never shall that love decrease,
His bright name is the pride of Spain,
His fame will through all ages live!
(A funeral march is heard.)
Chorus of Monks.
(Who cross the stage leading those condemned by the Holy Office).
The day hath dawned, the day of terror!
The tremendous day, the funeral day.
They shall die, they shall die,
Just is the punishment of the Immortal!
But pardon will e’en malediction follow,
If the unhappy sinner but repent
At the last hour!
(Rodrigo, Count de Lerma, Elizabeth, Theobald, Pages, Ladies, Noblemen of the Court, Royal Heralds.—March.—The procession issuing from the palace, including all the corporations of the State, the entire court, the Deputies from all the provinces of the empire, the Grandees of Spain, etc. In the midst of them is seenRodrigo.TheQueenappears, surrounded by the ladies of honor.TheobaldcarriesElizabeth’strain.Pages,etc. The procession draws up in front of the flight of steps leading up to the church).
Chorus of People.
Honor to the King! He shall live in eternity!
The Royal Herald and The Populace.
(In front of the church, the door of which is as yet shut).
The portals of the holy edifice are closed!
Oh mansion of the Lord, thy gates now open.
Time honored sanctuary,
To us our King restore!
(The doors of the church are now thrown open, and disclosePhilipwith the crown on his head, advancing beneath a palanquin, surrounded by Monks. The Noblemen bow low, the populace, etc., kneel. The Grandees remain with their heads covered).
Oh people! while placing on my head this crown,
Unto heaven that gave it me I swear,
All heretics with fire and sword to extirpate.
Glory to Philip! glory to be Heaven!
(All silently bow down.Philipdescends the steps of the temple, and after takingElizabeth’shand, is about to proceed on his way.)
(The six Flemish deputies, dressed in brown, with torn garments, suddenly appear, headed byDon Carlos,and throw themselves atPhilip’sfeet.)
Carlos here! Oh Heaven!
What motive urges him to this?
What men are these whom prostrate now I see before me?
Envoys are they from Flanders and Brabant,
Thy son doth now present them to the King!
The fatal hour, we trust, hath not yet knelled,
For the thrice wretched Flemings.
A hapless nation now implores thee,
That it may not, for aye, in bondage groan!
If thy softened heart hath suppliant sued,
For peace and mercy ’neath yon sacred dome,
Take pity on us! save our native land!
Oh King, have mercy, for thou hadst thy power from heaven!
To heaven ye were faithless,
Faithless were ye to your King.
Flemings I look on ye as naught save rebels!
Guards! remove them from my presence!
Carlos, Elizabeth, Rodrigo, Theobald and the Populace.
Extend o’er them, Oh King, thy fostering hand,
Have pity on the suffering race,
In its death throes it now doth lie,
It soon, alas! must breathe its last.
Ah! they are infidels,
They have no faith in God,
Rebellious people are they,
They deserve the King’s punishment,
Save our land, Oh, King!
’Tis time, Oh King, the Flemish land should live!
Weary am I of dragging on an obscure life,
Unheeded, here in Spain.
If God so will it, thy diadem may one day grace my brow;
Prepare thou, then, a worthy ruler for these Spanish realms,
By meanwhile yielding Flanders and Brabant to me!
Rash boy; and dar’st thou ask so great a boon!
Think’st thou that I, with mine own hand,
Will yield to thee the steel,
That shall dispatch the King!
Heaven alone our hearts can read,
And heaven alone can judge between us.
Alas, he is lost!
(Drawing his sword).
By heaven, I swear,
Oh Flemish people, I’ll thy saviour be!
He hath drawn his sword, and in the King’s own presence!
The infant sure hath lost his reason!
What ho, there, guards! disarm him straight!
Ye nobles, who my throne sustain,
His weapon take from him!
How’s this! doth no one stir?
We’ll see who dares this mandate to obey!
Who will confront this sword of mine?
(The Notables of Spain draw back in the presence ofDon Carlos.TheKingin a rage takes the sword of the Commander of the Guards, who is standing near him).
Rodrigo (toDon Carlos).
Give me thy sword.
Oh heaven! thou! Rodrigo!
(Don Carlosyields up his sword toRodrigo,who, with a bow, presents it to theKing.)
What, he! Posa!
Marquis! thou’rt now a Duke!
We’ll onward to the fêtes!
(TheKingpursues his way, leading theQueenby the hand, the Court follows them. They all take their places on the seats reserved for them, by the auto-da-fé).
Chorus of People.
The joyous day hath dawned.
All honor to our King;
All faith in him his subjects have,
The world lies prostrate at his feet!
Chorus of Monks.
The day hath dawned,
The day of wrath!
A Voice from Above.
Ye troubled souls, to heaven now wing your flight,
Haste ye to enjoy eternal peace!
(Aside, whilst the fire is kindling).
Can’st thou suffer this, Oh heaven?
Wilt thou not these flames extinguish?
For in thy sacred name this fire is kindled!
The tremendous day, the deathly day!
And in the name of God
The overwhelmed are kindling!
Philip, Six FriarsandChorus.
Glory to heaven!
Oh heaven! canst thou endure all this!
(The flames are seen to arise from the stake).
end of the third act.
(TheKing’slibrary in Madrid. TheKingis absorbed in deep thought, and is leaning on a table full of papers, with two torches burning low. Dawn creeps through the window panes.)
Philip (as if dreaming).
She never loved me!
No, that heart so close to mine,
It has no love for me!
I can see her yet
Sadly looking down upon my snow white hair
The day she came here from France.
No, she has no love for me!
Where am I? Those torches are burning low!
The dawn is brightening my veranda . . .
It is daybreak.
Slowly my days are passing by!
Oh God! my languished eyes crave for sleep.
I shall sleep only in my royal mantle,
When my doom day has come,
I shall sleep under a black vault,
There in the graves of Escurial.
If the royal sceptre could give me
The power to read each heart,
As God alone can only see!
If the Prince sleeps, watchful is the traitor;
The King loses his sceptre, the consort, the honor!
(Goes back to deep thought.)
Philip and the Grand Inquisitor.
The Grand Inquisitor!
(TheGrand Inquisitor,blind and ninety years of age; he is supported by two Dominican friars.)
Am I in the presence of the King?
Thou art. I’ve summoned thee, father;
In grievous doubt am I.
Carlo a source of bitter sorrow is to me!
Rebellious is he ’gainst my wills, nay, e’en hath he
Taken arms against me!
What mode of punishment select ye?
An extreme one.
Deign but to name it.
Flight, or the headsman’s axe.
If I my son to death condemn,
Wilt thou absolution give me?
The empire’s peace of far more moment is
Than a base rebel’s life.
Can I as Christian sacrifice my son for the world?
To win back the love of God . . . he sacrificed his.
Dost thou give power to such a severe law?
Wherever it shall have power, it had it on the Calvary.
Nature, love, how can I conceal them?
All will be concealed, to exalt faith
Hath the King naught else to say to me?
’Tis I, then, sire, who in my turn will speak to thee;
Throughout the Spanish land ne’er hath heresy ruled;
But there exists a man who fain would sap
The very foundations of the sacred edifice!
The King’s familiar friend and faithful comrade is it,
Who, like a demon, now doth urge him to his ruin;
The treason of young Carlos, which hath so incensed thee,
Compared to this man’s, is but a childish jest;
And I, the grand inquisitor, who so oft have raised
My powerful hand against ignoble offenders,
Must I, I say, for the world’s great ones,
Forget the duties of mine office?
Should I o’erlook
This arch traitor and—the King?
To aid me in the troublous times wherein we live,
Throughout my court, a friend, a loyal heart,
I long but vainly sought—at length, I found one.
And wherefore need’st thou one?
Why art thou honor’d with the name of King,
If thou dost own an equal?
Priest, no more!
The innovating spirit has taken root in thee;
With thy weak hand thou think’st to rend
The holy bonds, acknowledged
Where’er the empire of the Holy Roman Church extends.
Return unto thy duty, the Church is e’er prepared,
Unto a penitent sinner pardon to extend;
I now demand that thou shalt yield unto me
This Signor di Posa.
O King, were I not here with thee this day,
’Neath thine own royal roof,
Before high heaven I swear, that ere another sun should set,
I would arraign thee before the tribunal
Of the Holy inquisition!
Priest, beware! too long have I endured
This haughty speech of thine.
Then why invoke the shade of Samuel?
Two Kings have I already given to this powerful empire,
Would’st thou, insensate, the labor of my life destroy?
Why am I here? What would the King of me?
(He is about to withdraw.)
My father, let peace once more exist between us.
Peace, say’st thou?
Forget, then, what hath passed, I do conjure thee.
(At the door on going out).
Must then the throne, for aye, before the altar bow?
Elizabeth, Eboli, RodrigoandPhilip.
(Entering, and throwing herself at theKing’sfeet).
Justice, sire, I implore,
I’ve faith in the King’s loyalty.
Unworthily am I treated in this thy court,
Outraged am I by unknown, worthless enemies!
The casket wherein my precious jewels I kept,
With other matters, e’en yet dearer to me,
Hath been most shamefully taken from me.
Justice do I claim from thy dread sovereign power!
(The King slowly rises, approaches the table, takes from it a casket, and presents it to the Queen.)
Methinks the object of thy search is here!
Wilt please to open it?
(Elizabethby a gesture refuses.)
Be it so; I then myself will open it!
(Breaking open the casket).
With fear I die!
The portrait of Don Carlos!
Why art thou speechless?
Among thy jewels?
What? Thou darest confess all to me?
Yes I dare! yes!
As thou well knowest, once I have been
To your son betrothed!
And now I humbly belong to God,
I am as immaculate as a lily!
And now the honor of Elizabeth is doubted!
They doubt me. . . and he who insults me is the King!
Thou speakest too boldly!
Thou thinkest me weak, and seem to mistrust me;
The weakness in me can change to violence.
Thou wilt tremble then, for me!
What is my error?
Perjury! since thou hast disgraced me,
Thou hast betrayed me,
I swear it, I swear it, before God!
I will shed blood!
I pity thee!. . .
Ah! the pity of an adulterous consort!
(Throwing open the doors at back).
Attend to the Queen!
(Terrified on beholding the fainting Queen).
Oh, heaven! what is’t I see!
(The King, after a moment’s hesitation, withdraws.Rodrigofollows him with a resolute gesture.Eboliremains with the Queen.)
(Throwing herself atElizabeth’sfeet).
Pardon! in mercy pardon a repentant sinner!
Thou, at my feet! what hast thou done?
Ah! my remorse is killing me!
My tortured heart with grief is wrung!
Angel from heaven, thou good and pious Queen,
Learn thou to know the fiend
Thou’st nurtured in thy bosom!
’Twas I who robbed thee of thy casket.
Yes, I! ’Twas I who did accuse thee!
Love to fury wrought,
The hate I learned to feel for thee,
The cruel jealousy that racked my heart,
All, all combined to make me hate thee!
I loved Don Carlos, who my love did spurn!
You have loved him!. . . Rise!
No, no, have pity! another fault!
Restore to me the cross!
I entreat thee to leave Court tomorrow!
Thou canst either choose death, or exile!
Eboli (with despair).
Ah! I shall never see. . .
Ah! I shall never see again the Queen!
Oh beauty! thou fatal gift,
By fortune, in vindictive mood, conceded me.
Oh beauty! thou who mak’st our sex so haughty and so vain—
Beauty, I curse thee!
Ye bitter tears flow on apace!
No hope is left, all joy hath flown!
My crime’s so base, so horrible!
Naught can e’er my sin atone!
Oh, Queen beloved, I sacrificed thee
To the revolt of this wild heart,
In a lone cloister from earth secluded,
I may hide my sorrow apart!
Oh, heaven! and Carlos! tomorrow he’ll be dragged to execution!
One day alone is left me. Ah, what bright thought flashes o’er me!
Thanks be to heaven! I yet may save him!
(The prison ofDon Carlos.An obscure dungeon, in which a few articles of court furniture have been hastily introduced. At back an iron grating, which separates the prison from a court-yard that overlooks it. A stone staircase leads into the court-yard from the upper stories of the edifice.Carlosis seated, his head resting on his hand, buried in thought.Rodrigoenters and speaks aside to some of the officials, who immediately withdraw. He mournfully contemplatesCarlos.At a movement on the part ofRodrigo, Carloslooks up.)
’Tis I, my Carlos!
(Extending his hand).
Oh Rodrigo, grateful am I
That thou dost seek thy Carlos,
E’en in this dungeon!
Thou said’st aright! my very strength forsakes me.
My love for Elizabeth tortures, aye, destroys me!
For the living naught can I do more! But thou,
Thou yet may’st save the oppressed, and end their woes!
Ah, ’tis meet thou learn the love I bear thee!
Leave thou at once this hideous tomb!
Happy am I that I once more embrace thee!
Carlos, I’ve saved thee!
What say’st thou?
Rodrigo (with emotion).
And now, we must for ever part!
(Don Carlosremains motionless, and contemplatesRodrigoin silent stupefaction).
For me life’s bright days are ended,
We must part to meet no more,
’Till rejoined in heaven again,
Where the faithful peacê obtain.
From thine eyes the tears are starting,
Why, ah! why dost thou sadly weep for me,
Cheer thy heart, cheer thy heart, the breath departing,
The breath departing yields him joy,
Ah, yields him joy who dies for thee.
Don Carlos (trembling).
Why talk’st thou of dying?
List! for time grows short indeed;
The avenging thunder on myself I’ve turned,
No longer art thou the dread monarch’s rival.
’Tis I, who am deemed, of Flemish discord, the promoter.
Thou! but who will e’er believe—
The proofs are incontestible!
Thy secret papers, found in my possession,
Of the rebellion are undoubted evidence.
On this head a price is already set!
(Two men are now seen descending the prison staircase: one of them is dressed in the garb of the Holy Office, the other is armed with an arquebuse. They stop for a moment and point out to one anotherDon CarlosandRodrigo,by whom they are unseen).
I’ll to the King thy stratagem reveal!
Ah, no! live thou for Flanders’ sake,
Reserve thyself for the great work, which thou, I feel,
Art destined to accomplish.
The golden age will, ’neath thy rule, return,
Destined art thou to reign!
Fated am I to die for thee!
(The bearer of the arquebuse now takes aim atRodrigoand fires.)
Don Carlos (stupefied).
Heavens! he’s done to death! but by whose hand?
Rodrigo (mortally wounded).
The vengeance of a King is seldom long delayed!
(Falls into the arms ofDon Carlos).
Oh Carlos, list!—thy mother at St. Just,
To-morrow will expect thee—she knows all;
Ah! the earth doth totter ’neath my feet—
Thy hand, Oh Carlos!
Joyous I die, for unto Spain I have secured
A saviour. Ah! forget not—thy—dear friend!
Ah! do not forget me!
Thou shouldst have ruled, and I should have died for thee.
Ah! I feel faint. . .give me thine hand. . .
Ah! save Flanders...Carlos, farewell, Ah! ah!
(Rodrigodies.Don Carlosfalls, in despair, on the body ofRodrigo).
(The Cloisters of the Convent of St. Just, as in Act II.—Night—Moonlight—Elizabethenters slowly, absorbed in thought; she approaches the tomb of Charles V., and kneels down before it.)
Thou who didst know the vanities of the world
Will enjoy repose in the tomb,
If heaven still weeps,
Weep for my sorrow,
And carry me weeping to the throne of God.
Carlos will come hither! Yes! May he never forget . . .
That I have vowed to watch o’er his days.
Whatever destiny may follow him, glory will await him.
As for me, my happy days are over!
Farewell, farewell, ye golden dreams, lost hopes!
The bond is broken, and light has turned to darkness!
Farewell, farewell, still youthful years!
Full of sorrows and pains.
The desire of my heart, is the peace of the tomb!
Ye who have known the vanities of the world
Will enjoy the repose in the tomb,
If heaven still weeps, weep for my sorrow,
And carry my tears to the throne of God!
Don Carlos, Elizabeth
One word—one word alone!
To Heaven I recommend the exiled wanderer.
Of thee, naught ask I save that thou
The sad past forget!
Aye! stout of heart I’ll be,
But hapless love the living sufferer kills,
E’en before death o’ertakes him!
Nay! think thou of Rodrigo!
How nobler far the end for which his life
May his soul be raised to a sublime and lofty elevation,
There never was a King so good, and noble as he,
On this earth!
The flowers of immortality will gladden his soul.
A beauteous dream was mine, but soon it vanished;
Now, in my woe, a funeral pile I see,
The flames of which do tower unto heaven;
The rivers run with blood, the fields are desolate.
The wretched people their hands extend
Tow’rds me, as to their saviour in their day of trouble.
To him I shall go happily, as a failure, or as conqueror,
Applause, or tears, I will have from thy good heart!
Elizabeth! thy heart doth beat ’gainst mine!
But virtue, honor, give me hero’s strength.
And now that all is o’er, and I mine hand
From thine withdraw—thou weep’st!
I weep, but do admire thee.
The soul’s bright tears are these—
The tears that women shed for heroes!
Elizabeth and Don Carlos.
But in heaven we shall see each other in a better world,
The hour of our future Eternity is ringing;
And up there so close to God we shall find . . .
The desired happiness, long sought on earth!
Farewell for ever! Farewell!
(Seizing the Queen by the arm).
Yes! for aye farewell! a double sacrifice is needed!
I, too, a duty must perform!
The Principal Inquisitor.
The Holy Office
Will do its duty likewise!
The Principal Inquisitor.
(To the Familiars of the Holy Prayer, pointing toDon Carlos).
Guards! . . .
God will avenge me!
His hand will surely o’erthrow
This tribunal of blood!
(AsDon Carlosretreats, defending himself, he approaches the tomb of Charles V. The doors open. AFriarappears, takesDon Carlosto his bosom and wraps him in his cloak.)
The sorrows of earth
Follow us in the cloister;
Heaven only can calm
The storms of the heart.
It is Carlo’s voice! . . .
Four Familiars of the Holy Prayer.
It is Carlo V.!
(Carlo V. drags into the cloisterDon Carloswho has lost his way.)
end of the opera.