Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENE II. - Don Carlos: Opera in Four Acts
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SCENE II. - 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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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?