Front Page Titles (by Subject) Rigoletto (English langauge) - Rigoletto: An Opera in Four Acts
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Rigoletto (English langauge) - Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto: An Opera in Four Acts 
Rigoletto: An Opera in Four Acts, words by Victor Hugo (New York: Fred Rullman, n.d.). Metropolitan Opera House, Grand Opera, Libretto.
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A Ball-room in the Ducal Palace. Ladies and Gentlemen, Pages and Servants, cross the scene. Music is heard at a distance, and now and then bursts of laughter. Enter theDukeandBorsa.
I am quite resolved to follow to the end
My new adventure with this youthful lady.
You mean the one you meet in going to church?
Yes, in a lonely street, and every day Receives a visit from a dubious man.
But does she know him not?
Yes, every Sunday for the last three months.
Know you where she resides?
No, I think not.
[A group of Ladies and Gentlemen cross the scene.
Behold those charming ladies.
Yes, but Ceprano’s wife excels them all.
Ah! but mind her husband, Duke.
It might be spread about.
What then—no great misfortune.
EnterCount Ceprano,watching at a distance theCountess,who is followed by a Gentleman. Ladies and Lords cross the scene.
(To the Countess, with great politeness.)
You go already, cruel one?
I must obey my husband,
I am obliged to leave.
But you must shine at Court,
As Venus amongst the stars—
Here all must sigh for you.
Already here behold
A victim of your charms.
[The Duke kisses her hand.
EnterRigoletto,who meetsCount Cepranoand Courtiers.
What troubles you, dear Count?
You seem in deepest thought.
[The Count makes a sign of impatience, and follows the Duke.
(To the Courtiers.) The Count is furious! See.
A fine ball!
And even the Duke enjoys well the feast.
Is it not always so? What news is this?
Wine and feasting—dancing and games—
Battles and banquets—for him all’s the same.
Now ’gainst the Countess he tries to lay the siege,
And cares not for the jealousy of her liege.
EnterMarullo,with great anxiety.
Great news! fine news!
Quick, what has happened, say?
You will all be surprised.
Speak on, speak on.
Ah, ah! Rigoletto—
What, has he lost his hump? Is he now straight?
More strange still, the foolish man possesses—
A lover! who can e’er have thought of this?
The hump-back is transformed into a Cupid.
Oh, what a monstrous Cupid! charming Cupid!
Enter theDuke,followed byRigoletto,afterwardsCeprano.
No man can be more vexing than Ceprano.
His wife is a sweet angel.
Steal her away.
’Tis easier said than done.
You think not of the Count.
Have you no prisons?
Well, banish him.
No, no, buffoon.
His head, then.
[Making signs of having it cut off.
What do you mean? this head?—
[Tapping the Count on the shoulder.
Yes, what is it good for?
What can he do with it?
[Unsheathing his sword.
[To the Count.
He makes me laugh.
He is frantic!
Now, buffoon, come here.
You carry your jokes too far,
His sword might reach your heart.
I fear him not. No one will dare to touch.
The favorite of the Duke.
He must be punished.
[Aside to the Courtiers.
And who has not some injuries
To avenge on him.
If you fear not, to-morrow
Come with your swords to me.
[A crowd of dancers invade the scene,
To dance, to feast, to pleasure, Here everything invite,
Look around, does this not seem The palace of delight.
(from without) I must see him.
(looking at the Duke, with pride.)
Yes, Monterone.—My voice
For ever I will raise against your crimes.
(to the Duke, counterfeiting Mon.’s voice.)
I must see him.
You have conspired against our name, my lord,
And we have granted pardon—
What madness now is yours? In this glad hour
To come and claim the honor of your daughter!
(looking at Rig. with contempt.)
A new insult! but your nefarious orgies
I will disturb. Here I will raise my voice
Until the honor of an injured family
Shall be restored.
And even if you were
To sign my death and send me to the block,
My shade will claim revenge!
No more—arrest him.
He is mad!
He is mad!
Be both for ever accursed.
[To Rig. and the Duke.
To strike the dying lion,
’Tis base—but thou, reptile,
Who dar’st to laugh at an old father’s grief
Malediction fall on thee!
What do I hear!
[Aside. All, except Rig.
Rash man, your evil spirit
Has brought you to disturb this feast,
Your words are vain. Away!
The Duke’s revenge you raise!
No hope for you remains,
This is your fatal day.
[Mon. is lead away by the soldiers, the others follow the Duke.
The end of a Street. House and Garden ofRigoletto,with flight of stairs. EnterRigolettoenveloped in his cloak, and followed bySparafucile,carrying a long sword.
(That man has cursed me.)
Go: I need you not.
I have not spoken! Only I showed myself
There with my dagger, ready to your orders.
You are a thief.
That for a trifle will free you from rivals,
And you have one.
Who is he?
Is not your mistress here?
(What do I hear?) How much have I to pay
To rid me from a man?
A little more.
And when must you be paid?
One half before the deed, The other after.
(O wretch!) And how can you Be sure of the success?
I kill them in the street,
Or e’en in my own house.
I await my man at night;
A single blow—he dies.
But how in your own house?
Nothing can be more easy,
My sister helps me.
She dances in the streets—she is handsome;
And she attracts the man I want—I then—
Without the slightest noise,
This is my trusty weapon!
[Shows his sword.
Can I serve you?
The worse for you.
Perhaps another day.
Sparafucile I am called.
[In the act of going away
But where could I meet you?
At this spot, always at night.
My weapon is my tongue—and his the dagger;
I make the people laugh, he makes them mourn!
We are alike!—That man has cursed me!
Ye men and nature.
’Tis you that made me wicked;
O rage! to be deformed—and a buffoon!
To be condemned to laugh against my will:
To ask in vain the common gift—of tears!
Alas! my master, young,
And full of mirth,
At every moment says,
Now make me laugh, buffoon.
I must do it. Oh! rage.
I hate you all, vile courtiers!
On you, therefore, my tongue delights to dwell;
For you I am depraved—
But here I am not the same;
That man has cursed me! But why this thought
Thus haunts my mind?
What can I have to fear? No, No, ’tis madness.
[He opens and enters.
EnterGildafrom house and throws herself in his arms.
Near to thee alone,
This poor dejected heart returns to joy.
My father dear!
Thou art my only hope;
What else have I on earth except my Gilda?
You sigh! What is the cause o your affliction?
Tell it to your poor daughter
Intrust to me your secrets,
And let me know my family
Ah! thou hast none!
What matters it to thee?
If you object to speak
Of our relations—
Dost thou ever leave this house?
I only go to church.
That’s right, my child.
If you will not reveal your name or rank,
Ah, let me know, at least, who is my mother.
Ah, do not awake, I pray,
A memory so sad;
Of my dejected state
She alone compassion had.
Despised, deformed, and poor,
Through pity, me she loved.
She died—ah, may the earth
Lay lightly on her head—
Thou art my only treasure—
O God! be thou her aid?
Alas, what grief! ah, never
Saw I such bitter tears!
Ah, father, be more calm,
Or you will break my heart.
To me reveal your name;
To me your grief impart.
Why this?—I am thy father,
This is enough for thee.
I might perhaps be hated,
Or be by others feared.
Alas! I have been cursed!
No country, no relations,
No friends, you then possess?
What dost thou say, my love?
Thou art my god, my country,
Thou art the world to me!
If I could see you glad,
I happy, too, would be.
It is three months now, since we here arrived,
And nothing I have seen yet of the city.
I wish to see it now, if you will grant it.
Hast thou ne’er left this house?
(What do I say?)
Nor must thou ever leave it.
(She might be followed, she might be stolen,
And they would laugh at the dishonor
Of a buffoon. O shame!) Ho! there!
[Towards the house.
EnterGiovannafrom the house.
Has no one seen me whilst coming here?
Mind, speak the truth.
That’s well! The door that leads upon the
Ramparts, is it always closed?
Yes, it has always been so, and always shall.
Oh, woman, watch o’er this flower,
Which I trust unto thy care;
Be thou mindful, it may never
Fall the victim of dark snare.
O, save thou this fragile stem
From the hail and from rain:
As it was to thee confided,
May I receive it back again.
O, be cheerful, my dear father;
Chase your starting tears away;
There, in heaven, is an angel
Who protects us night and day.
There the prayers of my mother
From all danger keeps us free;
Never, never, from your side,
Never distant will I be.
The Duke in disguise arrives in the street.
Some one outside—
[Rigoletto opens the street gate, and whilst he goes out, the Duke slides in, hiding himself behind a tree, and throwing a purse to Giovanna.
He is always suspicious
(to Gilda, returning.)
Has any one ever followed you to church!
If any one here knocks
You must not open.
Not even to the Duke?
Still less to him than others—Child, adieu.
Adieu, my father.
[They embrace; and Rigoletto going out shuts the door after him.
Gilda, Giovanna,theDukein the court yard; afterwardsCepranoandBorsain the street.
Giovanna, I feel remorse.
And for what reason?
I told him not who follows me to church.
And why would you tell this?
Do you dislike that man?
No, no, he is too handsome.
And has the appearance of a rich signor.
’Tis not the riches nor rank I wish;
To me if poor, he’d better prove.
I think of him by day and night;
For him my heart o’erflows with love—
(throwing himself suddenly at the feet of Gilda.)
With love, with love, oh, let me hear it;
Oh, let my soul be rapt in joy.
Giovanna! alas! Is no one here?
[Gio. goes out at a sign from the Duke.
No one defends me? Oh, heavens! no one.
’Tis I, thy lover, that speaks to thee.
I will protect thee ’gainst all worlds.
Oh heaven! what fate has brought you here?
That fate which rules a loving heart.
Thou art my love.
The same affection our souls inflames,
No power our love on earth can sever.
By fate united, by mutual sympathy,
Our bonds of love will last for ever.
My proudest conquest will be thy faith—
My golden throne thy heart so pure;
All else on earth is vain and frail,
True love alone is real and sure.
Love gives to men celestial bliss.
May nothing then our flame abate,
And all will envy my happy fate.
Ah! these indeed are like the words
Which in my dreams I said and heard.
O, let me hear again, I love thee.
You have heard it.
Tell me your name,
Or may I know it not?
This is the place.
[To Bor. from the street.
Is Walter Maldè.
I am a poor student—poor—
A noise of steps outside.
Perhaps my father.
Ah, could I seize the traitor
Who dares disturb my joy
Of being with thee.
And lead him on the ramparts.
Dost thou love me?
For ever, yes, and then—
No more, no more, depart.
Farewell, my hope forever,
My blessing thou shalt be.
Farewell, farewell. Ah! never
I’ll change my love for thee.
[The Duke exit, escorted by Giovanna, and Gilda follows him with her eyes.
Walter Maldè. Sweet name,
Thou art already engraven on my heart.
Dear name! thou first hast fallen
So sweet upon my ear,
Thou shalt for ever be
To me welcome and dear.
My thoughts, all my desires,
Will ever to thee turn,
Yes, even when my ashes
Shall rest within the urn.
[Gilda ascends the terrace with a lantern in her hand.
Marullo, Ceprano, Borsa,Courtiers in masks, and armed, in the street;Gildaon the terrace, entering the house.
She is there.
How beautiful she is!
She is an angel!
Is that the lover
EnterRigoletto,absorbed in thought.
(alone.) Do I return? why?
Hush, to the work. Pay attention all to me.
That man, alas! has cursed me!
It was so dark I could not see.
Who is there?
Hush, Rigoletto is here.
A double chance, we can now kill this man.
No, no, to-morrow we shall have more laughter.
Ah! let me do—
Who is there?
Betray us not, I am—
We just came here to have some fun—
We are going to steal away Ceprano’s wife
(Alas! I wreathe again.) But where to enter?
(to Cep.) Where is the key?
(to Rig.) Be not afraid,
We cannot fail.
Here are the keys.
[Gives him the keys received from Cep.
This is his crest.
[Feeling the key.
(I feared in vain.)
[Breathing more freely
The house is there! (I come with you.)
We are disguised.
I must then do the same;
Give me a mask!
Yes, here is one.
You will keep fast the ladder.
[Futs a mask to his face, and after having bound it with a handkerchief, leads him to keep firm a ladder, which they have placed to the terrace.
Never was it so dark.
The handkerchief has made him blind and deaf.
[To his companions.
Hush, hush, let’s take revenge,
When least he thinks of it.
The man that sneers at us,
To-morrow will be our spor
Let’s take his love away,
And we shall laugh at court.
[Some of them go up the terrace, break the window of the first floor, then descend and open the street door to others, who enter and drag away Gilda, who has her mouth tied with a handkerchief. In crossing the scene she loses a scarf.
My father! help!
They have not finished yet. What joke is this?
[Touches his eyes.
A band upon my eyes!
[He snatches off the band and the mask, and by the light of the lantern perceives the scarf, sees the door open, enters and drags out Gio., frightened; he stares at her, and after many efforts to speak, exclaims—
end of the second act.
A room in the Ducal Palace. Doors right and left and one in front. On one side the portrait of the Duke, on the other side that of the Duchess. A table, arm-chair, &c. Enter the Duke, much agitated.
They robbed me of my love!
When! At the moment
A voice within my heart
Did call me back to her!
I found the door wide open; the house deserted.
And where now can that dearest angel be
Who first within my heart
Awoke such flames of love;—
That soul, whose magic charms
Would almost draw me back to virtue’s path?
They tore her from her home;
But he who dared so much shall soon repent.
The grief of my beloved demands revenge.
Methinks I see a tear,
That’s starting to her eyes,
Which ’midst the grief and fear
Of such a sad surprise,
In fond remembrance said
Ah! Walter, lend me aid.
But I was far away;
Thou had’st no help from me.
Yet, willingly my life
I would have lost for thee!
No bliss on earth—no bliss above—
Can equal thy sweet love!
EnterMarullo, Count Ceprano, Borsa,and other Courtiers.
Last night we stole away
The mistress of your jester.
Is she pretty? Where was she them
At her house.
How did this happen?
As we went down a lane,
When day had disappeared,
There, as we had expected,
A lady sweet appeared!
She was your jester’s love;
But soon she ran away.
We thought to bring her here,
When he came in the way.
We come to steal Ceprano’s wife,
Give us your aid, to him we told.
We put a band upon his eyes,
And then the ladder made him hold.
In haste we mounted, and broke the doors,
His lady-love was brought here straight;
When he found out he was deceived,
We left him there to curse his fate.
(What do I hear? She is my love!
Alas! My hopes are now all lost.)
But where can this lady be?
She is here, in your own palace.
(Yes, love now give me aid;
To her I must repair!
I would give up the world
To change to joy her care.
Ah! soon she will discover
My station, rank, and name,
And learn that love makes slaves
’Mongst rich and poor the same.)
[The Duke exit hastily.
The duke is wrapt in thought;
He seems no more the same.
He comes. be silent.
Good morning, Rigoletto.
(They have deceived me!)
What news, Buffoon?
You are, I think,
More troublesome than ever.
Ah! ah! ah!
Ah! where can they have taken my dear child?
[Looking round uneasily.
(Look, how uneasy he appears!)
I am glad to find
The cold air of last night
Has done no harm to you.
A fine affair it was.
I slept all night.
All night? I then have dreamed.
[He walks about, and seeing a handkerchief on the table, observes the mask.
(Look how he spies all things.)
(It is not hers.)
[Throwing it away.
Is the duke still asleen?
Yes, he sleeps still.
Enter a Page of the Duchess.
The duchess is anxious to see the duke.
Was he not here just now?
Yes. but he went to hunt.
Without his suite?
Dost thou not understand.
That for the moment he cannot be seen.
(who has paid great attention to the dialogue, suddenly exclaims—)
Ah! then she is here, she is with the duke.
The lady you have stolen
Last night from my own roof.
You are delirious.
But I shall rescue her. She must be there.
If you have lost your mistress,
’Tis not within these walls you have to search.
Ah! give me back my daughter.
Ah! yes, my daughter, of your action now
No, no, you cannot laugh!
She is there, give back to me my child.
[Rig. runs toward the door, but all prevent his passage.
Impious courtiers, race of cowards,
For what price my child you sold?
For gain no crime your hand restrains;
To me my child is more than gold.
Give her back, or, though disarmed,
Against your life I’ll raise my hand;
Naught on earth a father fears
When he his children doth defend
Cowards, open at least that door.
[Rig. goes again to the door, but he is prevented from opening it.
Alas! you come against me all;
Well, I weep—Marullo—yield,
I know you have a gentle heart,
Tell me where she is concealed.
Speak—she is there. You are all mute.
Give back the daughter to the old man:
My friends, my lords, have pity on me,
It costs you nothing to grant this boon;
But all my hopes in her I see.
EnterGilda,who throws herself into the arms of her father.
My dear Gilda!
My lords, she is my only child!
Oh, fear no more! It was only for jest
I cried, but now I laugh—Why dost thou weep?
The fear—the shame—oh father!
Alas! what dost thou say?
I cannot speak in presence of so many.
[To the Courtiers, in an imperious manner.
Away, depart from here!
And if the Duke should dare to approach this room,
Tell him he must not come, that I am here.
[Throws himself upon a chair.
With children and with fools
We must sometimes seem to yield:
Let us go, but what he does
We shall spy herein concealed.
[Exeunt from the door in front, shutting it behind them.
Now speak, we are alone.
Now, Heaven, give me aid!
Each Sunday, whilst I went
To church, my prayers to say,
A youth of heavenly beauty
Did follow on our way;
And if our lips were silent,
The eyes betray’d our hearts.
In secret, only yesterday,
He came to me at night;
I am a student—poor—
Much moved, he said to me,
And ardently repeated,
I am in love with thee.
He left me then; my heart
With brighter hopes did beat,
When suddenly appeared
Those men who took me away,
And brought me to this place,
Half fai ting, in dismay.
Ah, speak no more my angel!
(Now all I understand—
Upon my head alone
I asked thy curse, O Heaven
I begged that she may rise
The moment I should die—
Ah! often by the scaffold
The altar raised we see!
Now all for e’er is lost,
No hope remains to me!)
Ah, weep, my child, and let thy tears
Upon my bosom fall.
My father, your dear words
Forever my grief consoles.
I must settle some affairs,
And then forever we will leave this place.
One day has changed our fate.
Enter a Herald, andCount Monterone,who crosses the stage in the midst of Guards.
Open the door, the Count must pass to prison.
[To the guards.
Since thou hast been in vain accursed by me,
Since yet no sword has entered in thy breast,
And happy thou must live—
No, no, old man, I shall avenge your wrongs.
Ah, yes! I shall have vengeance,
It is my only wish.
The hour is not far distant
That will thy ruin strike.
Upon thy head my fury
Will fall, then, thunder-like.
Oh, father! what sad joy
Is sparkling in your eyes?
Ah! spare him; to us also
Heaven will its mercy show.
In spite of his deceit,
My heart for him doth beat.
end of the third act.
A desert spot on the banks of the river Mincio.GildaandRigolettoin the road.Sparafucilein the Inn, cleaning his leather belt.
And dost thou love him still?
Yet thou hast had
Sufficient time to overcome this passion.
Weak is woman’s heart;
But I will have revenge.
Oh, mercy, father!
Couldst thou not then forget him?
I cannot say. He loves me
Thou must then see.
[He leads her to the door, and tells her to look through a crevice.
A man is there.
But wait awhile.
The Duke, dressed as a private officer, enters the inn.
Ah! my father!
Two things I want, and then—
A room and wine.
This is the life he leads.
(A handsome youth, indeed!)
[Spa. goes out.
The women are unsettled
As feathers in the wind,
Each moment change their mind.
In tears, or even smiles,
Yes, woman’s lovely face,
For ever us beguiles!
The man that is so mad
To trust a woman’s heart
For ever must be sad.
But still there is no bliss,
Upon this earth compared
To that of a sweet kiss!
[Spa. enters with a bottle and two glasses, which he places on the table. He then beats the ceiling twice with the hilt of his sword. At this signal a pretty young girl, dressed as a gypsy, descends the stairs. The Duke rushes to embrace her, but she avoids him. Meanwhile Spa having gone out upon the road, says aside to Rig.:—
Your man is there. Must he now live or die?
Wait awhile, and you shall know my will
[Spa. goes slowly away.
GildaandRigolettoon the road.Magdalenand the Duke in the Inn.
If I remember well, my pretty girl,
I have seen your face before.
I tried to find your house,
At length I see you here.
Believe that from that time
I loved you to despair.
And others, score by score,
Do you forget them now?
To tell the truth, good sir,
You are a gay deceiver.
Yes, yes, just so.
Leave me, rude man.
Eh! eh! what noise!
And you be kind,
And do not scream so loud,
For wisdom ever lies
In pleasure and in love.
What pretty hands! how white!
[He takes her by the hand
You like to laugh at me.
I know I am not pretty.
Sir, you are drunk—
Yes, drunk of love for you.
And can you be so unkind,
As thus to laugh at me.
I do not joke—I wish to marry you.
If so, give me your word of honor.
You are a charming girl!
Well then, is this not yet enough?
The cruel traitor!
Lovely woman, of your charms
At your feet the victim see,
But one word, and changed to joy
All my sorrows soon will be.
Yes, be assured, my lady sweet,
This fond heart for you doth beat.
Do you take me for a fool,
To think your words are true;
Full well I know what they mean,
I give them their right value,
Jokes like these I often hear,
But I laugh at them, dear sir.
Thus my heart he did deceive,
Thus the traitor spoke to me.
All my joys, my hopes are gone,
Now my wretched doom I see.
O heavens! what a cruel fate!
I love the man I ought to hate.
Hush! thy sorrows are all vain,
That he deceived thou art now sure—
Hush! it now belongs to me
Dreadful vengeance to procure.
Your death only can assuage.
Hear me, at once go home, and take what gold
Thou want. Then dress thyself in male attire.
All is prepared. Mount on the swiftest horse
And hasten to Verona.
To-morrow I shall join thee.
I cannot now.
[Gilda goes out.
Sparafucile, Rigoletto, DukeandMagdalen.
You said twenty crowns. Here are now ten.
After the deed I shall give you the rest.
Is he still here?
I shall return
At midnight hour.
Your aid I don’t require;
I can alone throw him into the river.
No, no, I wish to throw him in myself.
Be it so. What is his name?
His name is Crime, and Punishment is mine.
[Exit Rig. It becomes dark, and thunders.
The storm approaches. Good.
The night will be darker.
[Trying to take hold of her.
Wait! my brother
Well! what’s this?
(Entering.) And we shall have some rain.
So much the better.
I shall stop here; you can sleep the stable
Below, or where you like.
Ah, no, depart!
How! in such weather!
Twenty crowns of gold! (To Mag.) I shall be happy
[To the Duke.
To offer you my room; and if you like,
I will show it to you.
[He takes a light, and goes toward the staircase.
With pleasure; yes, let’s go.
[Whispers a word to Mag., and follows Spa.
Unfortunate young man; so good, so kind!
Oh, Heaven! what a night!
(Having gone up stairs, and seeing the window without shutters.)
Here one must sleep quite in the open air.
Well, well; good night!
May God protect you, sir.
I feel that I shall sleep; I am so tired.
[He puts down his hat and his sword, and throws himself on the bed, and soon falls asleep. Mag. down stairs stands sentry near the table, and Spa. finishes the bottle left by the Duke. They both remain some time in silence, and apparently in deep thought.
He is, indeed, an amiable young man.
Oh, yes, I gain twenty crowns.
Twenty crowns! ’Tis little; he is worth much more.
Go up—and if he sleeps, bring down his sword.
(Goes up, and admiring him, exclaims.)
It is a pity—he is so handsome!
EnterGildafrom the road, disguised as a man, and slowly advancing toward the Inn, whilstSparafuciledrinks. It lightens and thunders.
Alas! I lose my reason.
Love overcomes me. Father, pardon.
What a dreadful night! What will become of me?
[Mag. having come down, has placed the Duke’s sword on the table.
Who has spoken?
[Looking through the crevices of the door.
Away, disturb me not.
[Searching in a cupboard.
That youth is as handsome as Apollo; I love him,
And he loves me. Ah! kill him not!
(Listening.) O heavens!
Mend soon that sack.
The handsome youth, Apollo, when killed by me,
I must throw in the river.
O heavens! what house is this?
You still may earn your money,
And spare his life.
That is not easy.
Listen, a plan I will disclose to you.
From the buffoon you have received ten crowns;
He will return here soon with the remainder;
Kill him, and you will take the other ten,
Then you will get the price you would have earned.
Kill the buffoon! What nonsense have you said?
Am I a thief? Have I ever lost my honor?
Is there a client that I have betrayed?
I must not break my faith. This man has paid.
What do I hear? My father!
I pray for him.
He must die.
No; I shall tell him to fly.
Now, let me, do.
We must save him.
Should any one come here before midnight,
I shall kill him instead.
The night is dark, the thunder roars,
No one will pass this way.
Oh, what temptation, to die for this cruel man.
To die, O father! Heavens! have pity on me!
[It strikes half-past eleven.
Still half an hour.
Await, my brother.
That woman weeps, and shall I not help him?
Ah! it he no more feels love for me,
I’ll give my life to save his own.
[Knocking at the door.
It is the wind.
One knocks, I say.
It is strange!
Who is there?
Have pity upon a stranger
Grant him asylum for the night
This night will be long!
[Spa. searches at the sideboard.
So near to death, and yet so young!
O heaven! pardon these impious men,
And thou, my father, excuse thy child,
May happy live the man I save.
Now hasten, quick, perform the deed,
To save one life I take another.
Well, I am ready. Now open the door,
To save the crowns is all my care.
[Spa. hides himself behind the door with a dagger. Mag. opens the door, then runs to shut the arch in front, and whilst Gilda enters, Spa. shuts the door behind her, and everything remains buried in silence and darkness.
Rigolettoadvances from the road enveloped in his cloak. The violence of the storm is diminished, only now and then the lightning is to be seen and the thunder heard.
At last the time of my revenge approaches.
For thirty days I waited this fatal hour
In tears most bitter,
Under the mask of a buffoon. That door
[Examining the house.
Is shut—’Tis not the hour yet.
What a dreadful night is this!
In heaven a storm,
On earth a homicide—
I feel myself yet great.
It is midnight.
[It strikes twelve.
Who is there?
[On the point of entering.
[Re-enters, and comes out again, dragging a sack.
Your man is here, quite dead.
Oh, joy! a light!
Rigoletto,and afterward theDuke.
He is here—he is dead. Oh yes! I would see him!
But why? ’Tis he. Here are his spurs. The crowd
Can now look well at me.
I am the Jester, and he is the Duke
Lying now at my feet.
I am at last revenged!
The wave shall be his grave,
A sack his shroud.
[He tries to drag the sack towards the shore when he hears the distant voice of the Duke, who crosses the scene.
What voice? Am I deceived?
No, no!—’tis he—’tis he!
Ho, there! Thou demon!
[Towards the house
But who can be in this sack instead of him?
[He cuts the sack
A human body! I tremble.
My daughter! Heaven my Gilda!
[He falls despairingly at the side at his daughter.]