LEPORELLO: O statua gentilissima
Del gran' Commendatore!..
ON JUAN and LEPORELLO.
Here we'll await the night. Aha, at last
We've reached Madrid. Here are the gates — and soon
I shall be stealing down familiar streets
Moustachios muffled in my cloak, hat tilted
To hide my brows. How's that? Will no one know me?
Of course, it's hard to recognise Don Juan!
There are so many like him!
You'll never say so?
Why, who's to know me?
Sir, the first night watchman,
Or Gypsy slut, or drunken street musician,
Or your own sort, some thrusting caballero,
A sword tucked in his armpit, closely cloaked.
So be it, then! It matters not. I'd rather
Not meet the King, though. Still—what if I do?
There's not a soul I fear in all Madrid.
But when it reaches the King's ears tomorrow:
Don Juan to his capital unsummoned
From exile has returned — what then, I ask you?
What will he do to you?
Why — send me back.
I'm very sure he'll not chop off my head.
I stand not, after all, accused of crimes
Against the state. He banished me in love
So that the relatives of him I slew
Might not molest me.
Well, there you are then,
Why not stay put — and thank him?
I came to dying of boredom there. The people!
The land itself! The sky?.. A pall of smoke.
The women? Why, my foolish Leporello,
I'd not exchange — d'you hear me, stupid fellow? —
The lowest of our Andalusian peasants
For their most dazzling beauties — truly not.
They pleased me to begin with, I admit it,
Because their eyes were blue, their skins were white,
They — modest, with the chasm of novelty!
But soon, the Lord be praised, I realised —
I saw quite clearly there was nothing to them —
No life — a waste of time — like waxen dolls;
But ours now!.. Hey, look there, this place — it seems
Familiar; do you know it?
Of course I know it.
I've reason to remember St. Anthony's.
You left me in that grove to hold the horses,
A tiresome task, believe me! You, good master,
Spent your time here more pleasantly than I did,
I do assure you.
My poor, sad Ineza!
She is no more! How much I loved her once!
Ineza! — that black-eyed wench! I mind me
It took three months to win her, and the devil
I think it was who helped you at the last.
It was July ... at night. A strange enchantment
I found in her sad eyes, in her numb lips.
How strange. You, I remember, Leporello,
Did not admire her. And indeed she was not
A real beauty. It was just the eyes,
The eyes and then — the way she looked... A look
Such as I have not met in any other.
Her voice was quiet and weak — like a sick woman's.
Her husband was a ruthless brute, a villain,
I found that out too late — my poor Ineza!..
What of it, others followed.
That's true, too.
And if we live, there will be others yet.
And now which one are we to visit
In dark Madrid this evening?
Laura, of course!
I shall go straight to greet her.
Come, that's better!
In at the door — and if some other guest
Sits in my place — he'll go out by the window!
As is but fitting. Come now, we are merry,
Dead ladies do not hold our thoughts for long.
Who comes to meet us?
Enter a MONK.
She is on her way here,
But who is this? People of Dona Anna's?
No, our own masters we, and walk here for
But who is it you wait for?
I wait for Dona Anna, who will come
Here to her husband's graveside.
De Solva! What! The wife of the Commander
Killed by... I don't remember whom?
Unscrupulous and most depraved Don Juan.
Oho! Indeed! Don Juan's reputation
Has even found a way to peaceful cloisters
And hermits sing his praises in their cells.
Perhaps you know him?
Know him? Not at all.
Where is he now, though?
He is far away,
Exiled to distant lands.
And a good riddance,
The further off, the better. I would clap
A sack over such rakes and drown them all.
What, what's that you say?
Be quiet: a ruse, Sir...
So it was here they buried the Commander?
Here; and his wife raised him a monument
And comes to visit it each day to pray
For his departed spirit and to weep
Upon the grave.
What an unusual widow!
And not bad-looking?
Woman's beauty should
Not move us hermits. But to lie is sin;
Even a saint of God could not deny
That she is wonderfully beautiful.
The dead man had good reason to be jealous.
He kept his Dona Anna locked away.
Not one of us has even set eyes upon her.
I'd like to have a word with her myself.
Ah no, it is a rule of Dona Anna's
Not to converse with men.
But you, my father?
With me it's quite another thing; my cloth...
But here she comes.
Enter DONA ANNA.
Good Father, unlock the gates.
At once, Senora; I was waiting for you.
DONA ANNA follows the MONK out.
Well, how was she?
Not to be seen at all
Behind the blackness of those widow's weeds.
I only caught a glimpse of a slim heel.
Enough for you. Your own imagination
Will fill in other details quick as thought;
It can complete a picture like a painter
And 'tis all one to it where to begin —
With brows, or ankles.
I shall make her acquaintance.
Oh, you will!
A fine idea! First you dispatch the husband
And then you pry upon the widow's tears.
No shame at all!
Look, though, the night has fallen!
Before the moonrise overtakes us here,
And turns the darkness into shining dusk
We must be in Madrid.
A Spanish grandee,
And like a common thief he waits for nightfall
And fears the moonrise. What a life — oh Lord!
How long must I be bothering my head
With all his freakish starts? This last's the limit!
A room. Supper at LAURA's.
I'll take my oath, dear Laura, that you never
Before played so divinely as this evening.
How perfectly you understood your part.
A fine interpretation! And such power!
Why yes, it was as though for me
Today there could be no false word or gesture.
I yielded freely to my inspiration.
The words poured forth, not slavishly by rote,
But from the heart — my own words.
And even now your eyes are shining bright,
Your cheeks are glowing, inspiration still
Flames high within you. Laura, do not let it
Grow cold all unadmired; sing to us, Laura,
Sing something new.
Then hand me my guitar.
O brava! brava! Wonderful! Superb!
We thank you, sorceress. You weave your charms
About our hearts. Of all life's pleasures
Music yields pride of place to love alone,
And even love's — a melody ... just look
Even Carlos here is moved, your dourest guest.
What numbers! How they play upon the heartstrings!
Whose are the words, dear Laura, pray?
What's that? Don Juan!
Yes — a trifle written
By my true friend, my reckless, hare-brained lover.
Your damnable Don Juan's a godless rake-hell,
And you — you are a fool!
Have you gone mad?
I'll call my servants now to slit your gullet
Though you were twenty times grandee of Spain.
DON CARLOS Rises.
Go, call them then.
Laura, that's enough,
Don Carlos, don't be angry. She forgot...
What? That Don Juan killed his brother
In fair fight, in a duel? True: the more's
The pity it was not him.
I was a fool
To lose my temper.
Ha! So you admit it.
Let's make it up, then — fool!
I'm sorry, Laura,
Forgive me. But you know I cannot hear
That name unmoved...
But can I help it if
That name is always on my lips, Don Carlos?
Come now, to prove you are no longer angry,
Dear Laura, sing again.
I will — in farewell.
The night has fallen. What shall I sing? Aha!
I have it — listen!
Charming, quite superb!
Good-bye then, gentlemen!
Good-bye, dear Laura.
Exeunt. LAURA halts DON CARLOS.
You, fire-eater, will stay with me.
I like you; you remind me of Don Juan,
The way you swore at me and ground your teeth
Fortunate man! You loved him?
LAURA makes a gesture of assent.
You loved him very much?
Yes, very much.
And do you love him still?
What, now, this minute?
No, I do not. I can't love two at once.
Now it is you I love.
Then tell me, Laura,
How old are you?
I am eighteen years old.
That's very young ... and you will still be young
For five years more, or six. And men will flock
For six years more to bring you gifts and cozen
Your favour with caresses and soft words
And sooth your ear with midnight serenades,
And even slaughter one another for you
At night upon the crossroads. But — when that time
Is past, and when your eyes grow cavernous
And over them the lids are dark and puckered,
When the first few grey hairs gleam in your braids,
And they begin to call you an old woman,
What then — what say you?
Then? What then? Why
Should I think of that? Why do you talk of it?
Or do your thoughts always run on that way?
Come here, open the window. How quiet the sky is!
The warm air hangs so still — and the night smells
Of lemon and of bay, the moon shines bright
Against the deepening blueness of the dark —
And the night-watch calls his long-drawn: sereno!..
And far away — far to the North — in Paris,
It may be that the sky is thick with clouds,
A chilly drizzle falls and the wind blows —
But what is that to us? Come now, Don Carlos,
I order you to smile, now, I command it.
A sound of knocking.
Hey there! Laura!
Who's there? Whose voice is that?
Come, open up...
It could not!.. Oh my God!..
Unlocks the door. Enter DON JUAN.
LAURA flings herself on his neck.
How's this! Don Juan!..
Laura, darling heart!
Who is this here with you, my Laura?
What an unexpected pleasure!
Tomorrow I'll be happy to oblige you...
No! Now — at once!
Don Carlos, that will do!
You are not in the street — you're in my home —
Be good enough to leave us.
DON CARLOS (ignoring her)
I am waiting.
Come, man, you have a sword.
Since you are so
Impatient — as you will.
Oy! Oy! Oh, Juan!..
Casts herself on the bed.
DON CARLOS falls.
Get up! It's over, Laura.
What has happened?
You've killed him! Wonderful! In my apartment!
Now what am I to do, you rake-hell devil?
Where can I dump the body?
Wait — perhaps
He's still alive.
LAURA (examining the corpse)
Alive indeed! Look, damn you,
Straight to the heart — you wouldn't miss, not you!
A neat, three-cornered wound — no blood at all,
And he's not breathing — well?
What could I do?
He brought it on himself.
Ah, Juan, Juan,
It's very tiresome. Always up to mischief —
And always not your fault... Where did you come from?
Have you been back long?
I have just arrived.
And secretly at that — without a pardon...
And straight away you thought about your Laura!
That was well done, I must admit. But no,
I don't believe you! You just happened to be
Passing and saw my house.
Oh no, my Laura,
Ask Leporello. I am putting up
Outside the town in an accursed venta.
I braved Madrid for Laura.
But stop!., before the dead!.. Where can we put him?
Why, leave him there — before the dawn I'll take him
Beneath my cloak and carry him away
And lay him on the crossroads.
Good, but take
Good care that no one recognises you.
How well it was you came no earlier than
You did! Some friends of yours were with me here.
We had just finished supper, and they but gone
A moment since. What if you should have met them?
Come, tell me, Laura, have you loved him long?
Why, who? You must be raving.
Tell me how many times you have betrayed me
While I have been away.
And you, you scamp?
Tell me ... but no, we'll have just this out — but — after!
The Commander's Statue.
So — all is for the best: since I was careless
Enough to kill Don Carlos I've been hiding
Dressed as a humble hermit here, where daily
I see my charming widow and, it seems,
Myself go not unnoticed. Up till now
We've kept each other at a civil distance;
Today I'll speak with her: the time is ripe.
How to begin? "I make so bold..." or, no!
"Senora..." bah! I had best not rehearse
But say the first thing that comes to my mind,
Even as I improvise my songs of love...
The poor Commander is quite dull without her.
What an Olympian they've made of him!
What shoulders! What a Hercules he looks!
Whereas the dead man was but short and weedy...
Here, had he stood on tiptoe, he could not
Have touched his own nose with one fingertip.
And when we met behind th' Escurial,
Pinpointed on my sword he ceased to struggle
Light as a grasshopper — yet he was
Both proud and brave — a man of sternest spirit...
Ah! Here she comes.
Enter DONA ANNA.
Again he's here! Good father,
I have disturbed you at your meditations —
It is I should ask forgiveness
Of you, Senora. Do not I inhibit
The free expression of your pious sorrow?
No, father, for my sorrow is within me,
And in your presence my poor prayers may rise
In all humility to heaven — pray join
Your voice with mine in common supplication.
Me, me to pray with you! Ah, Dona Anna!
I am not worthy of so great an honour,
I would not dare to move these sinful lips
In repetition of your holy prayers,
And only from the distance, reverently,
I watch you as you quietly kneel down
And lay your black head on the pallid marble
Your hair all flowing loose — some angel, then,
You seem, come secretly to this poor grave,
But in my troubled heart no prayer wells up
At such a moment. Silent, marvelling,
I stand and think — how happy he whose marble,
Cold tomb is warmed by her live breath divine
And watered by her tender, loving tears...
What a — strange way you speak!
How so, Senora?
I... You forget.
What? That I am an humble,
Unworthy hermit? That my sinful voice
Should not ring out so loudly in this place?
It seemed to me ... I did not understand.
Alas, I see; you know it all now, all!
What do I know?
Why, that I am no monk —
Forgive me! At your feet I beg forgiveness...
Ah God! Get up, get up... Who are you, then?
Unhappy victim of a hopeless passion.
Oh Heaven! Even here, beside this grave!
Leave me at once.
One moment, Dona Anna.
What if someone should come!
The grid is locked. Grant me one moment!
Well? What? What would you ask of me?
If only I could die now at your feet
Then my poor body might be buried here,
Not near that one you love, not here, not even
Close by, but somewhere further from the tomb.
There — by the doors — beneath the very threshold,
That you might touch the stone slab with your feet
Or brush it lightly with your garment's hem,
When you come here to visit this proud grave
And bow your trembling curls, and weep.
You are demented.
Is it then a sign
Of madness, Dona Anna, to crave death?
I should be mad indeed had I desired
To live, for then I must have lived in hope
That my most tender love might touch your heart;
Had I been a madman, I'd have spent
Whole nights beneath your balcony, and kept
You from your sleep with serenades and music;
I would not have disguised myself, but rather
Have sought t'intrude myself upon your notice;
If I had been a madman, I would not
Have suffered thus in silence.
Would you say
That this was suffering in silence?
Chance, pure chance
Led me to break in — were it not for that
You never would have known of my sad secret.
And have you loved me long?
Long, or not long,
I do not know myself; I only know
That only since then have I felt the value
Of this ephemeral life, only since then
Found out what the word "happiness" might mean.
Leave me at once — you are a dangerous man.
I — dangerous! How?
I fear to listen to you.
I say no more; but order not away
One whose whole joy in life is to behold you.
I nourish no brash, overweening hopes,
I ask for nothing, only I must continue
To see you, if indeed I am condemned
To go on living.
Go — this is no place
For speeches such as these, for such wild ravings.
Tomorrow you may come to me. But swear
To hold me in no less respect and honour.
I shall receive you — later — in the evening —
I have seen no one since the day when I
Angel, Dona Anna!
God give you comfort, even as you today
Have comforted this poor, unhappy sufferer.
But leave me now alone.
One moment more.
Indeed, I see that I shall have to leave.
Moreover, I have lost the mind for prayer.
You have distracted me with worldly speeches.
It's long, aye, very long since I heard such.
Tomorrow you may come...
I cannot yet believe
In my good fortune, dare not yet rejoice.
I shall see you tomorrow! And not here,
Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow.
What is your name?
Diego de Calvado.
Good-bye then, Don Diego.
What can I do for you?
I'm happy! Late — tomorrow evening...
Good fellow, make you ready ... tomorrow...
I'm happy as a child!
Can you have spoken
To Dona Anna? Perhaps she cast you
A kindly word or two, or could it be
You've given her your blessing, holy father?
No, Leporello, no! A rendezvous,
I have a rendezvous!
Well, I'll be...
O widows, you are all alike!
I could embrace the whole wide world and sing.
But what will the Commander have to say?
You think he might be jealous? Surely not,
He is a reasonable man and has
Had time to cool his hot blood underground.
No; just look at his statue.
Well, what of it?
It seems to me his eyes are fixed on you
Really? Then, good Leporello,
Go beg the honour of his company
At my — oh no! — at Doha Anna's house.
Invite a statue! Why!
To pass the time in idle conversation!
Step forward, bid the statue come stand sentry
At Dona Anna's door late in the evening,
You have strange tastes in jest.
Think who he is!
Most glorious and honourable of statues!
My master here, Don Juan, humbly begs
You to attend... I swear I cannot say it.
I am afraid.
Poltroon! Take care!
All right then.
My master here, Don Juan, does invite you
Tomorrow late to stand before the doors
Of your good lady's home...
The statue nods its head in consent.
Ay, ay!.. I'm dying!
What's the matter with you?
LEPORELLO (nodding his head)
The statue... Ay!..
No, not I, It bowed its head!
What drivel you do talk!
Go see yourself.
Then watch me, worthless lout.
(To the statue)
Commander, I invite you to your widow's
Home, where I too shall be — tomorrow night.
To mount guard at her doors. What? Will you come?
The statue nods again.
I told you...
Let's go out of here.
DONA ANNA's room.
DON JUAN and DONA ANNA.
I have received you, Don Diego, but I fear
That my sad conversation will but bore you.
A grieving widow I, who cannot but remember
Her loss each moment. And my smiles are mingled
And mixed with tears like April. Tell me why
Do you say nothing?
Indeed, my joy's too deep
For words ... to know myself alone at last
With beauteous Dona Anna, here — not there,
Not by the graveside of the happy dead,
To see you so, and not upon your knees
Before a marble husband.
So you are jealous — can it be my husband
Torments you even from the grave?
No right. You chose him.
No, it was my mother
Who bade me give my hand to Don Alvar,
For we were poor, and Don Alvar was rich.
Fortunate man! He brought his empty treasures
And laid them at a Goddess' feet, for which
He was rewarded by divine delight! If only
I had but met you sooner — with what joy
I would have offered rank and fortune — all,
For but one sweet look of encouragement!
A slave, I would have held your least wish sacred
And studied all your whims to satisfy them
Before you knew yourself what you were lacking,
To make your life uninterrupted magic...
Alas for me that this was not to be.
Diego, say no more: it is a sin
For me to listen, for I may not love you.
A widow should keep faith beyond the grave.
If you but knew — my husband loved me so!
Ah, Don Alvar would never, I am certain,
Have entertained some poor, enamoured lady,
Had he been widowed — he would have been true
To nuptial ties.
Do not torment my heart
By constantly recalling, Doha Anna,
Your husband's name. Spare me this punishment.
Though I may well deserve it.
Why? Deserve it?
You are not bound like me by sacred ties
To anyone — is it not so? And by
Your love you injure neither me, not heaven.
Not injure you! Oh God!
Have you then done me
Some injury? Confess, what was it?
But, Diego, what's the matter?
You've wronged me in some way? In what? Pray tell me.
Not for the world.
Diego, this is strange.
I beg you, I command you.
No, oh no.
So this is how you would obey my will!
What was it you were telling me just now?
How gladly you'd have served me as a slave?
I shall be angry, Don Diego. Answer
What is your guilt before me? Say!
I dare not,
I would not have you hate me — and you will.
No, no. Already you have my forgiveness,
But I will know...
Ah, do not wish to know
So horrible, so murderous a secret.
So horrible! But you say so on purpose
To torture me with curiosity — what is it?
How could you injure me? I did not know you.
And as for enemies — I have none now
Nor ever have had. With the sole exception
Of him who slew my husband.
DON JUAN (to himself)
Here it comes!
Now tell me: the unfortunate Don Juan —
Do you know him?
Why no, I've never set eyes
Upon the man.
But in your heart do you
Nurse enmity towards him?
As a duty!
Obliged by honour. But you try to turn
The conversation. Don Diego, Sir —
Now, I demand...
What would you do if you
Should meet Don Juan?
I'd plunge my dagger
Into the villain's heart.
Then, Dona Anna,
Where is your knife? My heart is here.
I am not Diego, I am Juan.
Oh Heavens! No, it cannot be, I will not
I am Don Juan.
Your husband: I have no regrets for what I did
Nor is there in my soul the least remorse.
Must I believe mine ears? No, no, it cannot be.
I am Don Juan, and I love you.
DONA ANNA (falling)
Where am I?.. Where am I? I'm faint...
What's wrong with her? What is it, Dona Anna? Good God!
Get up, get up, wake up, come to Diego,
Your slave is at your feet.
Leave me alone.
Ah, you're my enemy, and you have robbed me
Of all, that in this life...
My dearest love!
I will redeem this blow with all I have.
See, at your feet I wait your last command.
Speak — and I die; speak — and I shall live on
For you alone...
So this is that Don Juan...
Who was described to you — am I not right? —
As an inhuman villain, Doha Anna!
It may be that repute in part speaks sooth,
There is, perhaps, much evil weighing on
My weary conscience. For instance, it is true
That I was long apprenticed to debauch
But — so it seems to me — since I first saw you
I've been as one regenerate, reborn.
In loving you I fell in love with virtue.
For the first time my trembling knees I bend
In humble reverence before it here.
Ah, that Don Juan is eloquent I know.
I've heard about it, he's a skilled seducer.
They say you are a godless debauchee.
You are a demon. Say, how many women
Have you seduced and ruined?
I never loved one
So, I am to believe
Don Juan is in love for the first time
And I am more to him than a fresh victim.
If I had wanted to deceive you, would I
Have told you who I was, pronounced that name
Which must offend your ears? Where do you see
Cold-blooded strategy in that — or cunning?
With you there is no telling... But how could you
Come here: here where you might be recognised
And nothing then could save you from your death?
And what is death? For one sweet hour of love
I'd give my life without a murmur.
Will you escape from here, you reckless hothead?
DON JUAN (kissing her hands)
And you can take thought for poor Juan's life!
Can that mean, Doha Anna, that you bear me
No hatred in your mild, angelic soul?
If only I could hate you — as I should!
But it is time for you and me to part.
When shall we meet again?
I do not know.
Sometime, no doubt.
Ah, how infirm, how frail my heart, Don Juan.
A kiss of peace in token of forgiveness.
Enough, now go.
Just one, so cold, so peaceful...
There's no contenting you! Come, there you are.
What is that knocking?.. Oh, Don Juan, hide!
Farewell, until we meet again, dear heart.
Exit and comes running back.
What is it? Ah!
Enter the COMMANDER'S STATUE;
DONA ANNA faints.
You called and I have come.
Oh God! Oh, Dona Anna!
Leave her be,
This is the end. Don Juan, you are trembling.
I? No. I did invite you and you're welcome.
Give me your hand.
Here, take it... Ah, how hard
The grip of his stone fingers! Enough, enough,
Leave me alone, let go, let go my hand...
I die — this is the end — ah, Dona Anna!