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Countess. "Tis that good-for-nothing Figaro who nas frightened the child with his prognostics. Page. No, indeed, madam; I am only grieved to part from so dear a lady. Weeps. Countess. Nay, but don't weep, don't weep. Come, come, be comforted. A knocking at the chamberdoor.] Who's there?
Count A. [Without.] Open the door, my lady. Countess. Heavens! it is the Count! I am ruined; if he finds the Page here, after receiving Figaro's anonymous letter, I shall be for ever lost. What imprudence!
Count A. [Without.] Why don't you open the door?
Countess. Because-I am alone.
Count A. Alone! Who are you talking to, then? Countess. To you, to be sure.-How could I be so thoughtless? This villainous Figaro!
Page. After the scene of the great chair this morning, he will certainly murder me if he finds me here. Countess. Run into my dressing-room; and, Hannibal, lock the door on the inside.
[Exit Page into the dressing-room. The COUNTESS opens the chamber-door.
Enter Count ALMAVIVA.
Countess. Who should be there?
Count A. That's what I want to know. Countess. It's Susan, I suppose, putting the chairs and tables in their places.
Count 4. What your favourite woman turned housemaid. You told me just now she was in her
Countess. In her room, or my room, it's the same thing.
Count A. Really, my lady, this Susan of your's is a very nimble, convenient kind of person.
Countess. Really, my lord, this Susan of mine turbs your quiet very much.
Countess. I say, do not answer, Susar, I forbid you to speak a word. We shall see whom she'll obey. Count A. But if it is nobody but Susan, what is the reason, madam, of that emotion and perplexity so very evident in your countenance?
Countess. Emotion and perplexity? Ha, ha, ha! Ridiculous!
Count A. Be it as ridiculous as it may, I am determined to be satisfied; and I think present appearances give me a sufficient plea. [Goes to the chamber-door, and calls.] Hollo! Who waits there?
Countess. Do, do, my lord; expose your jealousy to your very servants! Make yourself and me the jest of the whole world.
Count A. Why do you oblige me to it? However, since you will not suffer that door to be quietly opened, will you be pleased to accompany me while I procure an instrument to force it.
Countess. To be sure, my lord, to be sure; if you please.
Count A. I shall lock the chamber-door after me; and, that you may be fully justified, I'll make this other door fast. [Goes to SUSAN's room-door; locks it, and takes the key.] Now, [shewing the key to the COUNTESS] I am sure nobody can get in or out of this room; and the Susan of the dressing room must submit to be confined here till my return.
Countess. This behaviour is greatly to your honour, my lord. [Exeunt. Enter SUSAN from behind the bed; as they go off, she runs to the dressing-room door, and calls. Susan. Hannibal! Hannibal! Open the door; quick, quick, it's I, Susan.
Enter Page, frightened.
Page. Oh! Susan.
Susan. Oh! my poor mistress.
Page. What will become of her?
Susan. What will become of my marriage?
Page. What will become of me?
Susan. Don't stand babbling here; but fly.
Page. The doors are all fast, how can I fly?
Page. Here's a window open. [Runs to the window. Below is a bed of flowers! I'll leap out. Susan. [Screams.] You'll break your neck. Page. Better that, than ruin my dear lady. [Gets upon a table at the window.] Give me one kiss before
Susan. Was there ever such a young-[Page kisses her, and jumps out of the window; SUSAN shrieks at seeing him jump down.] Ah! [Looks out of the window.] He is safe; yonder he runs, as light and as swift as the winds. If that boy does not make some woman's heart ache, one of these days, I'm dis-mistaken. [SUSAN goes in at the dressing room door, but peeps back as she is going to shut it.] And now, my good jealous Count, perhaps I may teach you to break open doors another time. [Locks herself in. Enter Count ALMAVIVA, with a wrenching-iron in one hand, and leading in the COUNTESS with the other. Examines SUSAN's room-door.
Count A. Very true, madam; so much, that I'm determined to see her. [He goes to the dressing-room door, and calls.] Susan, Susan! If Susan you are, come forth!
Countess. Very well, my lord, very well. Would you have the girl come out half undressed? She's trying on one of my left-off dresses. To disturb female privacy in this manner, my lord, is not to be endured.
Count A. Yes, everything is as I left it. We now shall come at the truth. Do you still persist in forcing me to break open this door? I am determined to see who's within.
During this altercation, SUSAN comes out of her own room, perceives what is passing, and, after Countess. Let me beg, my lord, you'll have a mo listening long enough to know how to act, slips, ment's patience; hear me only, and you shall satisfy unseen by both, behind the curtains of the bed. your utmost curiosity. Let me entreat you to be asCount A. Well, if she can't come out, she can an-sured, that however appearances may condemn me, uter at least. Calls.] Susan! answer me, Susan! no injury was intended to your honour.
Count A. Then there is a man?
Count A. Let's see this child.-What child?
Count A. The Page! This d-nable Page again.
Countess. Do not let the disorder in which you will see him
Count A. The disorder! the disorder!
Susan. What, undressed, my lord?
Enter FIGARO in a hurry; he stops on seeing the
Fig. They told me, my lady was indisposed: I ran to inquire, and am very happy to find there was
Countess. We were going to dress him in women's nothing in it. clothes for our evening's diversion.
Count A. I'll rack him! I'll-I'll make him a terrible example of an injured husband's wrath. Countess. [Kneels.] Hold! my lord, hold!-Have pity on his youth, his infancy
Count A. What? Intercede for him to me? [Runs to the dressing-room door.] Come forth, I say, once more. I'll rack him, I'll stab him, I'll—
[While the COUNT is speaking, SUSAN unlocks the dressing-room door, and bolts out upon him, Susan. I'll rack him! I'll stab him! I'll-Ha, ha, ha!
The COUNTESS hearing SUSAN's voice, recovers
Count A. [After looking first at SUSAN, and then
Countess. I? My lord
Count A. But, perhaps, she wasn't alone.
Countess. And broken his neck!
Count A. Kneels to the COUNTESS.] You see my
Count A. Hush! [Kisses SUSAN's hand.] Remember the garden to-night. [Turns to the COUNTESS.]
My dear Rosina!—
Countess. No, no, my lord; I am no longer that Rosina whom you formerly loved with such affection: I am now nothing but the poor Countess of Almaviva a neglected wife, not a beloved mistress.
Count A. Nay, do not make my humiliation too severe. But, wherefore have you been thus mysterious on this occasion?
Countess. That I might not betray that headlong thoughtless Figaro.
Count A. What, he wrote the anonymous billet, then?
Countess. But it was done, my lord, before I knew
Count A. You are very attentive.
Fig. It is my duty to be so, my lord. [Turn t SUSAN.] Come, come, my charmer, prepare for the ceremony; go to your bridemaids.
Count A. But who is to take care of the Countess in the meantime?
Fig. Take care of her, my lord! My lady seems very well.
Count A. Who is to guard her from the gallant. who was to profit by my absence?
[SUSAN and the COUNTESS make signs to FIGARO.
Fig. The jest is ended! And it's all over!
Count A. Ay, say.
Fig. I-I-I wish I could say as much of my marriage.
Count A. And who wrote the pretty letter?
Count 4. If I did not know thou liest, I could read it in thy face.
Fig. Indeed, my lord? Then it's my face that lies, not I.
Countess. Psha! Figaro, why should you endeayour to conceal anything, when I tell you we have
lord of the letter, which made him suspect that Has-
Fig. Well, well; since my lord will have it so, and my lady will have it so, and you all will have at So, why then so let it be.
Count A. Still at his wiles.
Countess. Why, my lord, would you oblige him to speak truth, so much against his inclination?
[COUNT and COUNTESS retire, talking familiarly. Susan. Hast thou seen the Page?
Fig. Yes, yes; you have shook his young joints for him among you.
Enter ANTONIO, the gardener, half drunk. Ant. My lord,-my good lord.-if so be as your lordship will not have the goodness to have these windows nailed up, I shall never have a nosegay fit to give to my lady. They break all my pots, and spoil my flowers; for they not only throw other rubbish out of the windows, as they used to do, but they have just now tossed out a man.
Count A. A man!
[The COUNT's suspicions all verse. Ant. In white stockings.
[COUNTESS and SUSAN discover their fean, and make signs to FIGARO to assist them, if posable. Count A. Where is the man?
Ant. That's what I want to know, my lord. I wish
I could find him. I'm your lordship's gardener; this is a petition from the poor poacher in prison. I and though I say it, a better gardener is not to be never presented it to your lordship, because I know found in all Spain; but if chamber-maids are per-you have affairs much more serious on your hands, mitted to toss men out of the window, to save their own reputation, what is to become of mine? Fig. Oh, fie! What, sotting so soon in a morning. Ant. No; this is only the remains of last night. Count A. On with your story, sir. What of the man? What followed?
Ant. I followed him myself, my lord, as fast as I could; but somehow, I unluckily happened to make a false step, and came with such a confounded whirl against the garden gate, that I—I quite for-forgot my errand.
Count A. And should you know this man again? Ant. To be sure I should, my lord; if I had seen his face, that is.
Count A. Either speak more clearly, rascal, or I'll send you packing
Ant. Send me packing, my lord? Oh! no; if your lordship has not enough-enough-[points to his forehead-to know when you have a good gardener; I warrant I know when I have a good place. Fig. There is no occasion, my lord, for all this mystery. It was I that jumped out of the window into the garden.
Count A. You?
Fig. My own self, my lord.
Count A. Jump out of a one-pair of stairs window, and run the risk of breaking your neck?
Fig. The ground was soft, my lord.
Ant. And his neck is in no danger of being broken that way.
Fig. To be sure, I hurt my right leg a little in the fall; just here at the ancle. I feel it still.
Count A. But what reason had you to jump out of the window?
Fig. You had received my letter, my lord, (since I must own it,) and were come somewhat sooner than I expected, in a dreadful passion, in search of a man. Ant. If it was you, you have grown plaguy fast within this half hour, to my thinking. The man that I saw did not seem so tall as you, by the head and shoulders.
Fig. Psha! Does not one always double one's self up when one takes a leap?
Ant. It seemed a great deal more like the Page. Count A. The Page!
Fig. Oh yes, to be sure, the Page has galloped back from Seville, horse and all, to leap out of the window!
Aut. No, no, my lord; I saw no such thing.-I'll take my oath, I saw no horse leap out of the window. Count A. Drunkard! Boody!
[The COUNT seizes ANTONIO, and flings him on the bed.
Fig. Come, come, let us go, and prepare for our sports. [They are all going. Ant. Well, since it was you, as I am an honest man, I ought to return you this paper which dropped out of your pocket, as you fell.
than the complaints of such half-starved rascals. Ah!-Hem! This-this-no, this is an inventory of your lordship's sword-knots, ruffs, ruffles, and roses. Must take care of this.
[Endeavours to gain time, and keeps glancing and hemming to SUSAN and the COUNTESS to look at the paper and to give him a hint. Count A. It is neither this, nor this, nor that, nor t'other, that you have in your hand, but what I hold here in mine, that I want to know the contents of. [Holds out the paper, in action, as he speaks; the COUNTESS catches a sight of it.
Countess. Aside to SUSAN.] 'Tis the commission. Susan. [Aside to FIGARO.] The Page's commision. Count A. Well, sir; so you know nothing of the
Ant. There, my lord says you know nothing of the matter.
Fig. Keep off, and don't come to whisper me. He pushes ANTONIO out at the chamber door. Oh! lord, lord! Pretending to recollect himself. Wha a stupid fool I am! I declare it's the commission of that poor youth, Hannibal! which I, like a blockhead, forgot to return him; he'll be quite unhappy about it, poor boy.
Count A. And how came you by it?
Count A. Why did he give it you?
Count A. To what?
Fig. To get
Count A. To get what? It wants nothing. Countess. [Aside to SUSAN.] It wants the seal. Susan. [Aside to FIGARO.] It wants the seal. Fig Oh my lord, what it wants, to be sure, is a mere trifle.
Count A. What trifle?
Fig. You know, my lord, when you make out a commission, it's customary toCount A. To what?
Fig. To affix your lordship's seal. Count A. Looks at the commission, and finds the seal is wanting.] The devil and all his imps!
[Exit at the chamber door. Fig. Are you going, my lord, without giving orders for our wedding? 1 Exit, following the Count. Susan. What shall we do now, madam? The Page is too much frightened ever to be employed in a second plot.
Countess. No more plots of Figaro's inventing! You see into what danger I've been brought by his fine concerted letter. Still, however, I wish I could convict my false husband of his infidelity to his face. Ha! a happy thought strikes me. I'll meet him in the garden, instead of you; and then nobody will be exposed but himself. But you must not mention one word of this, Susan, to anybody. Susan. Except Figaro!
Count A. Snatches the paper; the COUNTESS, Countess. No, not even to Figaro; he'll spoil my FIGARO, and SUSAN are all surprised and embar-design, by mixing some plot of his own with it. rassed. Now, if it were you, you doubtless can tell Susan. Your project's a charming one, madam; what this paper contains, [keeps the paper behind his and I shall yet have my Figaro. back as he faces FIGARO] and how it happened to come into your pocket?
Fig. Oh my lord, I've such quantities of papers. [Searches his pockets and pulls out a great many. No, it is not this.-Hem!-This is a double love-letter from Marcelina, in seven pages.-Hem!-Hem! It would do a man's heart good to read it.-Hem! And
going to be the representative of the Countess, I am determined to give thee one kiss for thyself, and a hundred for thy beauteous lady. [The COUNTES draws back to avoid being kissed by the Page; the
SCENE I.-The Garden of the castle. Two Pavilions, COUNT advances into her place; the Page, taking the
one on each side of the stage.
COUNT's hand, perceives he is discovered, and sudden y
Enter AGNES, with a little basket of refreshments in retreats, crying in an under voice.] Oh! the devil! The Count again!
Agnes. Now for that good-natured, merry little Hannibal; he hasn't half learnt me my part yet. Poor thing, he has had nothing to eat since he came; and the cross good-for-nothing cook would not give me a morsel for him; so I was obliged to ask the butler for some cakes and oranges. It cost me a good kiss on the cheek; but I know who'll repay it. Hannibal! Hannibal! He's not there, sure. Oh! dear, and here's somebody coming!
[Exit. into the pavilion on the left.
Enter FIGARO, disguised in a roquelaure, with
Fig. I was mistaken; 'twas Agnes. What o'clock
Ped. Almost near the moon's rising.
Basil. What a gloomy night! We look like so many conspirators.
Fig. You understand, gentlemen, why you come hither; it is to be witnesses of the conduct of the virtuous bride I am soon to espouse, and of the honourable lord who has graciously bestowed her on me. You'll see my suspicions are not without cause. Basil. Ay; and I shall be up with my lord now, for not employing me in this assignation.
[BASIL and PEDRO retire. Fig. No, my worthy lord and master, you have not got her yet. What, because you're a great man, you fancy yourself a great genius! But as little a man as I may, perhaps, be revenged on you. Oh!
[Hearing a noise, he wraps himself up in his
Enter softly, the COUNTESS and SUSAN, both veiled.
Fig. [Aside.] Oh! no; she'll not take cold to-
Enter the Page.
Page. [Seeing the COUNTESS. Is that Agnes yonder? [He approaches her.] No. Surely, it's Susan: it must be Susan. [Comes up and takes hold of the COUNTESS's hand.] Ah! my dear Susan. Countess. Let me go. In a feigned voice.
Page. Come, Susan, Susan, don't be so coy.-I know it isn't Figaro you're waiting for, it is my lord the Count. What, didn't I hear this morning when I was behind the great chair?
Susan. [Aside. The babbling little villain!
Enter Count ALMAVIVA.
Count A. Is not that somebody with Susan ? Advances close up to them, and draws back in a fury.] "Tis that infernal Page again.
[Susan keeps out of the way, silently laughing Page. 'Tis in vain to say no.-Since thou art
[Erit Page into the pavilion on the left. Whe this passes, FIGARO has advanced to drise the Page from SUSAN, as he supposet. Count A. [Thinking he speaks to the Page.] Since you are so fond of kissing, take that.
[Strikes FIGARO Fig. I've paid for listening. [SUSAN laught Count A. [Hears her laugh.] What, do such sala tations make the impudent rascal laugh? Fig. [Aside.] It would be strange, if he should cry this time.
[COUNT and COUNTESS approach each other. Count A. But let us not lose the precious moments, my charming Susan! Let these kisses speak my passion! Kisses the COUNTESS Fig. [Aside.] Oh, oh, oh! Count A. Why dost thou tremble? Countess. [Continuing her feigned voice.] Because I am afraid
Count A. Thou seemest to have a cold. [Taker tha Countess's hand between his own, and kisses it. What a sweet, delicate, angel's hand! How smooth and soft! How long and small the fingers! What piesthe Countess's hand. sure in the touch! Ah! how different is this from
Countess. [Sighing.] And yet you loved her ace better acquaintance, have made the marriage state Count A. Yes, yes,-1 did so; but three years so respectable-Besides, wives think to ensure out fidelity by being always wives: whereas they should
Count A. Our mistresses. I hope, thou'lt not for get this lesson.
Countess. Oh no, indeed; not I.
Count A. Are there echoes here?
Count A. And now, my sweet Susan, receive the portion I promised thee. [Gives her a purse, and puts a ring upon her finger.] And continue likewise to wear this ring for my sake.
Countess. Susan accepts your favours.
Fig. [Aside.] Was there ever so faithless a hussy!
The Countess pretends to be afraid.] Come, come,
Count A. Why not? There are no spirits.
Count 4. Who goes there?
Fig. A man.
Count A. [Aside to the Countess.] It's Figaro.
Fig. [Desperate.] They're gone in. [Walk] Let
fine suspicions. (Susan advances and mimics the vast Susan. [Aside.] Thou shalt pay presently for these of the Countess." Who is that?
Fig. [Aside.] 'Tis the Countess. What lucky chance conducted you hither, madam? You know not what scenes are this moment transacting.
Susan. Oh yes, but I do, Figaro.
Fig. What, that the Count and my virtuous bride are this moment in yonder pavilion, madam? Susan. [Aside] Very well, my gentleman! I know more than thou dost.
Fig. And will you not be revenged?
Susan. Oh! yes; we always have our revenge in our own power.
Fig. [Aside.] What does she mean? Perhaps, what I suspect. That would be a glorious retaliation! To Susan.] There is no means but one, madam, of revenging such wrongs; and that now presents itself. Susan. [Aside ] What does the good-for-nothing fellow mean? Does it, Figaro ?
Fig. Pardon my presumption, madam; on any other occasion, the respect I bear your ladyship would keep me silent; but on the present, I dare encounter all. [Falls on his knees.] Oh! excuse, forgive me, madam. Let not the precious moments slip! Grant me your hand.
Susan. [Gives him a slap on the face.] Take it. Fig. I have it, I think. The devil! This is the day of stripes.
Susan. Susan gives it thee! [As a soon as Figaro hears it is Susan, he laughs very heartily all the while she beats him.] And that, and that, and that for thy insolence; and that for thy jealousy, and that for thy infidelity.
Fig. Oh! happy Figaro. Take thy revenge, my dear, kind, good angel; never did man or martyr suffer with such ecstacy.
Count A. Come forth, madam! [Enters the pavi lion on the left.] Come forth, I say, shew yourself. |[Drags out the Page, still speaking, and not looking at him till he brings him to the rest of the company.] All. The Page!
Count A. Again, and again, and everlastingly, this d-d diabolical Page! You shall find, however, he was not alone.
Page. Ah! no. My lot would have been hard indeed, then.
Count A. Enter, Pedro, and drag the guilty wretch before her judge.
Ped. Come, madam, you must come out; I must not let you go, since my lord knows you are here. Susan. Don't tell me of your ecstacy! How durst[Pedro goes into the pavilion on the left, and brings out you, you good-for-nothing, base, false-hearted man, make love to me, supposing me the Countess? But I'll be revenged.
Fig. Talk not of revenge, my love; but tell me what blest angel sent thee hither; and how
Susan. Know, to thy confusion, that I and my lady, coming here to catch one fox, have entrapped two. Fig. But who has entrapped the other poor fox? Susun. Why, his own wife.
Fig. His wife! Go, hang thyself, Figaro, for wanting the wit to divine this plot! And has all this intriguing been only about his own wife, after all? Count A. Advances.] Susan! Susan!
All. Agnes! Ha, ha, ha!
Count A. I'll find her, I warrant. Where is this daughter of infamy, who thus evades my just fury? Enter SUSAN, with her fan before her face, from the pavilion on the left.
Here she comes, at last; proving her own shame, and my dishonour. Susan kneels to him, still hiding her face.]
All. Pardon, pardon, gracious lord!
Count A. No, no, no! [They all kneel.] No, no! Were the whole world to kneel, I would be deaf.
Fig. [Aside to Susan.] There's my lord. A thought Enter the COUNTESS, from the pavilion on the right, strikes me. Pr'ythee second me, Susan. [Speaks in a feigned voice, and kisses Susan's hand. ] Ah, madam, let us not longer converse of love, but enjoy its
Count A. What's here? A man on his knees to the Countess! Feels for his sword. Figaro and Susan still laughing.] And I unarmed!
Fig. Quickly, then, madam, let us repair the wrong which love this morning suffered by the impertinent intrusion of your lord.
Count A. This is not to be borne. [Darts between them, seizes Figaro by the collar, while Susan escapes.] Villain!
Fig. [Pretends amazement.] My lord! Count A. How, rascal! And, is it you? Holloa! Holloa! Who hears me? Where are my people? Lights, lights!
and kneels to the Count, whose back is turned to her.
Countess. Let me, my lord, make one of the number. [Susan drops her fan; the Count hears the voice of the Coatess, looks round, and suddenly conceives the whole trick they have been playing him.]
Count A. And is it you, madam?
Countess. [Inclines herself, in token of affirmation.] Count 4. [Returning her bow with great confusion.] Ah! Yes, yes! A generous pardon, though unmerited. Countess. Were you in my place, you would exclaim, No, no, no! but I grant it, without a single stipulation.
Susan. And I.
Fig. And I. There are echoes here.
Count A. I perceive, I perceive—I have been rightly
Countess. Here, Susan, here is the purse and ring Enter Servants with flambeaux. PEDRO and BASIL which my lord gave thee. He will remember thy
sweet delicate fingers, so long and so small. Susan. Thank your lordship. Here, Figaro, |Gives
Count A. [To the Servants.] Guard all the pes him the purse.] sages, and seize this fellow.
Fig. It was devilish hard to get at.