You are on page 1of 48

COMPACT DISC 1

Ouverture PREMIER ACTE SCNE I Un pavillon donnant sur un magnifique jardin, au milieu duquel se dresse un platane. XERXS (sous le platane) Belle et tendre frondaison de mon cher platane, que le sort vous sourie ; que le tonnerre, la foudre et la tempte noutragent jamais votre prcieuse paix, et que le rapace vent du sud ne vous profane pas. Jamais ombre de la nature ne fut plus aime ni plus tendrement chrie. (Il admire le platane.) SCNE II Arsamne, Elviro (qui parat fatigu), et Romilda dans le pavillon ARSAMNE Nous sommes arrivs, Elviro ELVIRO Je lentends bien. ARSAMNE au domicile ELVIRO Continuez ! ARSAMNE de ma bien-aime. ELVIRO Je suis tout oue. ARSAMNE Oh, si la fortune 1 Ouverture ATTO I SCENA I Belvedere a canto dun bellissimo giardino in mezzo di cui v un platano. SERSE (sotto il pIatano) Frondi tenere, e belle del mio platano amato, per voi risplenda il fato. Tuoni, lampi, e procelle non voltraggino mai la cara pace, n giunga a profanarvi austro rapace. Ombra mai fu di vegetabile cara ed amabile soave pi. (Si tiene ammirando il platano.) SCENA Il Arsamene, Elviro insomnito, e Romilda nel belvedere. Overture ACT ONE SCENE I A summerhouse to one side of a magnificent garden, in the middle of which stands a plane tree. XERXES (under the tree) May fate prove kind to you, tender and beautiful leaves of my beloved plane; and may thunder, lightning and tempest never disturb your precious peace, nor the preying south wind profane you. Never was natures own shade more beloved or sweetly treasured than thine. (He stands and admires the tree.) SCENE II Arsamenes, Elviro, who looks tired, and Romilda in the summerhouse ARSAMENES We have arrived, Elviro ELVIRO I know. ARSAMENES at the abode ELVIRO Yes. ARSAMENES of my beloved. ELVIRO I am all ears. ARSAMENES Oh, if only Fortune

ARSAMENE Siam giunti, Elviro ELVIRO Intendo. ARSAMENE Dove alberga ELVIRO Seguite. ARSAMENE Lidol mio. ELVIRO Dite pure. ARSAMENE Oh, se fortuna

ELVIRO Oui, absolument ARSAMNE Eh toi, o vas-tu ? ELVIRO Je vais mallonger, car je tombe de sommeil. ARSAMNE Reviens immdiatement ! (On entend une brve sinfonia.) Jentends une douce mlodie. ELVIRO Approchons-nous. ARSAMNE Allons. ELVIRO Cest donc ici quhabite Romilda ? ARSAMNE Oui, laisse-moi couter. ELVIRO si peu de distance de la ville. ARSAMNE Tais-toi ! ELVIRO Je vais aller dormir. ARSAMNE Reste ici ! ROMILDA (dans le pavillon) Oh vous ARSAMNE Cest elle, Romilda ! 5

ELVIRO Si, cos ARSAMENE Tu, dove vai? ELVIRO Men vado ad appoggiarmi, ch di sonno io cado. ARSAMENE Vien qui pronto ti dico. (Si ode breve sinfonia.) Sento un soave concento. ELVIRO Andiam vicini. ARSAMENE Andiam. ELVIRO Son di Romilda questi villaggi? ARSAMENE S, lasciami udire! ELVIRO Cos della citt poco discosti. ARSAMENE Non parlar pi! ELVIRO Me nander a dormire. ARSAMENE Non ti partir. ROMILDA (nel belvedere) O voi ARSAMENE Questa Romilda.

ELVIRO Yes, absolutely ARSAMENES And where do you think you are going? ELVIRO Im going to go and lie down, because Im half dead with sleep. ARSAMENES Come back here this instant. (A short symphony is heard.) I hear sweet music. ELVIRO Lets draw a little nearer then. ARSAMENES Let us do so. ELVIRO So, this is where Romilda lives? ARSAMENES Yes. Let me listen. ELVIRO Not too far from the city, either. ARSAMENES Thats enough! ELVIRO I think Ill go and find myself a bed. ARSAMENES Youll stay right here! ROMILDA (in the summerhouse) All you ARSAMENES Thats her, Romilda!

ROMILDA Oh vous qui souffrez ELVIRO Romilda, vraiment ? ARSAMNE Oui, tais-toi ! ELVIRO Qui parle ? Romilda Oh vous qui souffrez cause dune beaut cruelle, voyez Xerxs SCNE III Xerxs et les personnages prcdents XERXS Qui chante mon nom ? Romilda voyez Xerxs, tout enflamm pour un simple tronc rugueux, et lamour duquel ne rpond que le murmure du feuillage ! XERXS Arsamne. ARSAMNE Sire. XERXS Entendez-vous quelque chose ? ARSAMNE Oui, effectivement. XERXS Savez-vous ce que cest ? ARSAMNE Moi ? Non, sire.

ROMILDA O voi, che penate! ELVIRO Romilda, ver? ARSAMENE S, taci. ELVIRO E chi favella? ROMILDA O voi, che penate per cruda belt, un Serse SCENA III Serse e detti. SERSE Qu si canta il mio nome? ROMILDA un Serse mirate, che dun ruvido tronco acceso st; e pur non corrisponde altro al suo amor, che l mormorio i fronde. SERSE Arsamene. ARSAMENE Mio Sire. SERSE Udite? ARSAMENE Udii. SERSE Conoscete chi sia? ARSAMENE lo? No, Signore.

ROMILDA All you who suffer ELVIRO Romilda? Really? ARSAMENES Yes quiet! ELVIRO I havent said a word. Romilda All you who suffer at the hands of cruel beauty, behold Xerxes SCENE III Xerxes and the above XERXES Do I hear my name being sung? ROMILDA behold Xerxes, all afire with passion for a coarse tree trunk, his love answered only by the murmur of the leaves! XERXES Arsamenes! ARSAMENES My lord? XERXES Did you hear that? ARSAMENES Indeed XERXES And do you know who it is? ARSAMENES I do not, my lord.

XERXS Moi si. ARSAMNE (Hlas, je suis dvor de jalousie !) XERXS Que dites-vous ? ARSAMNE Que jaimerais lentendre encore. ROMILDA Foltre et charmant, le ruisseau savoure sa libert. Et travers les prs son onde pure court joyeusement vers la mer. XERXS Cette chanson inspire lme un bel amour. Je veux cette femme ma cour. ARSAMNE (Oh dieux ! Quentends-je !) Sire, cest Romilda, une princesse, et il me semble inconvenant XERXS Ah ! Vous maviez dit ne pas la connatre. Expliquez-vous. ARSAMNE Je ne la connais que de nom. XERXS Et de voix aussi, dirait-on. Si courtisane ne convient, elle sera mon pouse. Lapprouvez-vous ? ARSAMNE Sire, il ne convient pas quun roi lve au trne une femme qui nest pas reine. XERXS Courtisane, cela ne se peut pouse, cela ne sied Rien ne vous est gr. Vos conseils sont durs. Elle sera mes cts sur le trne. Dites-lui que je laime. Je le veux.

SERSE lo, s. ARSAMENE (Ahim, che gelosa maccora!) SERSE Che dite? ARSAMENE Che amerei sentirla ancora. ROMILDA Va godendo vezzoso e bello quel ruscello la libert. E tra lerbe con onde chiare lieto al mare correndo v. SERSE Quel canto a un bellamor lanima sforza. Per mia dama la scelgo. ARSAMENE (Oh Dei, che sento!) Signor, ella Romilda; principessa, ma parmi non convenga SERSE Eh! Mi diceste non conoscerla. Or come? ARSAMENE Sol la conosco al nome. SERSE E al canto ancora. Se dama non convien, sar mia sposa. Lapprovate? ARSAMENE Signor, a un re non lice ergere al trono chi non regina. SERSE Per dama non convien, sposa non lice. Nulla vi piace; rigido il consiglio. Mi sia compagna al soglio. Le direte che lamo, lo cos voglio.

XERXES Well, I do. ARSAMENES (I am consumed with jealousy!) XERXES What are you saying? ARSAMENES That I would love to hear that voice again. ROMILDA Charming and playful, the brook revels in its freedom; and through the meadows with pure ripples it rushes seaward full of joy. XERXES This song enchants my soul with love. I want this woman to join my court. ARSAMENES (Oh gods! What do I hear!) My lord, that is Romilda, a princess, and it seems unfit to me that XERXES Ah! I thought you said you didnt know her. Explain yourself. ARSAMENES I know her only by name. XERXES And by her voice, it would appear. Well, if not a courtesan, she shall be my bride. Do you approve of that? ARSAMENES It is not lawful, sir, that a king should marry a woman who is not of royal blood. XERXES Unfit to be a courtesan not lawful as a bride Nothing pleases you. You are too severe. She shall sit by my side on the throne. Tell her that I love her. That is my wish.

ARSAMNE Moi ? XERXS Oui, vous ! ARSAMNE Je naurais pas la faon de lui parler. XERXS Cherchez-en une. ARSAMNE Mais, sire, si je ne peux pas. XERXS Pourquoi ? ARSAMNE Mais la biensance, et aussi XERXS Trs bien, je lui dirai moi-mme, puisque je parle videmment mieux. Je lui dirai que je laime, sans tre aucunement intimid. Et puisque je dsire quelle soit mienne, je sais ce que je dois faire. (Il sort.) ARSAMNE Tu lui diras que tu laimes, mais elle ne tcoutera pas. La beaut que tu dsires tant sera moi seul. SCNE IV Romilda, Atalante, Arsamne et Elviro ROMILDA Arsamne ! ARSAMNE Oh dieux, Romilda, jai peur que tu condamnes loubli lamour que tu mas si souvent jur !

ARSAMENE lo? SERSE S, voi. ARSAMENE Non ho il modo di parlarle. SERSE Cercatelo. ARSAMENE Ma, Sire, e se non posso SERSE Perch? ARSAMENE Ma la modestia e alfine SERSE Intesi. lo gli el dir, che a parlar meglio appresi. 10 lo le dir che lamo, n mi sgomentar. E perch mia la bramo, so quel che far dovr. (Parte.) ARSAMENE Tu le dirai che lami, ma non tascolter. Quella belt che brami solo di me sar. SCENA IV Romilda, Atalanta, Arsamene ed Elviro. ROMILDA 11 Arsamene. ARSAMENE Romilda, oh Dei! Pavento, che l tuo pi volte a me giurato amore tu non sparga doblio.

ARSAMENES I! XERXES Yes, you! ARSAMENES I wouldnt know how to speak to her. XERXES Then find a way. ARSAMENES But, my lord, if I should fail XERXES Why should you? ARSAMENES Modesty! as well as XERXES Very well. I shall tell her myself, since I am clearly better at it. I shall tell her of my love; I shall not be daunted. And since I desire her to be mine, Ill know how to go about it. (Exit.) ARSAMENES You may well tell her of your love, but she will not listen to you. The beauty that you desire shall be mine alone. SCENE IV Romilda, Atalanta, Arsamenes and Elviro ROMILDA Arsamenes. ARSAMENES Oh heavens, Romilda, I am afraid that you will cast aside the love you have so often sworn to me!

ROMILDA Pourquoi parles-tu ainsi ? ARSAMNE Je ne le sais que trop. Le roi ATALANTE Qui ? Xerxs ? ROMILDA Et que veut-il de moi ? ARSAMNE Il va mettre ta fidlit lpreuve. ATALANTE (Quel bonheur sil pouvait conqurir son cur !) ( Romilda) Il nest de cur que ta beaut ne puisse enflammer. ROMILDA Je ne crains rien. ARSAMNE Jai peur. ATALANTE (Et moi je brle !) Dis-moi, Arsamne, crois-tu que ma sur pourrait jamais te trahir ? ARSAMNE Le chne le plus robuste succombe au tremblement de terre. ROMILDA Mais Romilda est inbranlable. ATALANTE (Ah ! Puisse-t-elle tre infidle !) ROMILDA Mon me ne sera jamais spare de la tienne. ARSAMNE Quel bonheur !

ROMILDA Perch parli cos? ARSAMENE Lo so ben io. Il r ATALANTA Chi? Serse? ROMILDA E che da me richiede? ARSAMENE Tenter la tua fede. ATALANTA (Se pu vincerle il cor, oh me felice!) (a Romilda) Vien acceso ogni cor dal tuo bel sguardo. ROMILDA lo non temo. ARSAMENE lo pavento. ATALANTA (Ed io tuttardo!) Dimmi, Arsamene, e credi che la germana mia tradirti possa? ARSAMENE Crollan le quercie annose a una gran scossa. ROMILDA Ma Romilda resiste. ATALANTA (Ah, fosse infida!) ROMILDA Mai sar lalma mia da te disciolta. ARSAMENE Che diletto!

ROMILDA Whatever makes you say so? ARSAMENES I know it all too well: the king ATALANTA Who? Xerxes? ROMILDA And what should Xerxes want of me? ARSAMENES He is about to tempt your faithfulness. ATALANTA (Oh what bliss if he could conquer her heart.) (to Romilda) All hearts are fired by your beauty. ROMILDA I am not afraid. ARSAMENES I am terrified. ATALANTA (And I am all aflame!) Tell me, Arsamenes, do you believe that my sister could ever betray you? ARSAMENES The hardiest of oaks succumbs to the earthquake. ROMILDA Romilda is unshakable. ATALANTA (Oh, that she were unfaithful!) ROMILDA Never shall my soul be set asunder from yours. ARSAMENES What a relief!

ATALANTE (Quelle douleur !) coute, coute ! (Elle le regarde avec tendresse et coquetterie.) Oui, oui, mon bien-aim, oui, oui, pour toi seul je vis, pour toi je meurs. Jaime les blessures que tu minfliges, mais ma douleur est sans rmission. Ainsi sexclame Romilda, nuit et jour, pour toi je meurs. (Elle sort.) ELVIRO Vite, seigneur, Xerxs arrive. ARSAMNE Cachons-nous ici. (Il se cache avec Elviro.) SCNE V Xerxs et Romilda ; Arsamne et Elviro cachs XERXS Vous, princesse, dehors ? Arsamne a d vous demander de sortir ? ROMILDA Il ne ma pas envoy chercher XERXS Il a d au moins vous parler. ROMILDA Mais, sire XERXS Assez. coutez, Romilda : aujourdhui mme, le destin vous place sur un trne, et lamour vous couronne dun diadme. ROMILDA Je naspire pas ces sommets, je nen suis pas digne.

ATALANTA (Che doglia!) Ascolta, ascolta! (Lo guardo con tenerezza, facendogli molti vezzi.) 12 S, s, mio ben, s, s, io per te vivo sol, io per te moro. Amo che mi fer, e pure al mio gran duol non ho ristoro. Romilda, notte e d va esclamando cos, Io per te moro. (Parte.) ELVIRO 13 Presto, Signor, vien Serse. ARSAMENE Io qui mi celo. (Si nasconde con Elviro.) SCENA V Serse e Romilda; Arsamene ed Elviro nascosti. SERSE 14 Come, qu, Principessa, al ciel sereno? Forse aglinviti dArsamene usciste? ROMILDA Egli non mi chiam. SERSE Parlovvi almeno. ROMILDA Ma, Sire SERSE Basta, udite. Romilda, il fato al trono oggi vi scorge, amor vingemma il serto. ROMILDA Non aspiro tantalto. Io non ho merto.

ATALANTA (What a pity!) Listen: (She looks at him tenderly and flirtatiously.) Yes, yes! my love, yes, yes, for you alone I live, for you alone I die. I love the man who wounds me, though my suffering is relentless. These are Romildas own words, night and day: For you I die. (Exit.) ELVIRO Quick, my lord, Xerxes is coming. ARSAMENES Ill hide here. (He hides with Elviro.) SCENE V Xerxes and Romilda; Arsamenes and Elviro in hiding XERXES You, my princess, out here in the evening air? Was it at Arsamenes invitation? ROMILDA He did not send for me. XERXES But he spoke to you, at least. ROMILDA In truth, my lord XERXES Stop, enough. Romilda, listen. Today destiny offers you a throne, love crowns you with jewels. ROMILDA I do not aspire to such heights: I am quite unworthy.

XERXS Jen connais bien la raison. Arsamne moffense, mais (Arsamne sort de sa cachette avec Elviro.) ARSAMNE Moi, sire ? Le ciel me prserve de vous offenser ! ROMILDA Il ne savait rien XERXS Silence ! Et vous, quittez ma cour plus vite que le torrent peut vous emporter ! ARSAMNE Je pars, malgr mon innocence. XERXS Si vous promettiez, toutefois, de renoncer Romilda ELVIRO ( loreille de son matre) Eh ! Moi, cest ce que je ferais ! XERXS je suis prt vous pardonner. ARSAMNE Ah a, jamais ! Avec mon dpart steindra mieux votre jalousie. Je vais ma mort, et vous laisse savourer votre libert. (Il sort avec Elviro.) SCNE VI Xerxs et Romilda, qui reste immobile, sans regarder le roi XERXS Belle Romilda, ne dtournez pas votre adorable visage ! coutez-moi, Romilda, je suis amoureux.

SERSE Ne so ben la cagione. Arsamene moffende, ma (Escono Arsamene ed Elviro.) ARSAMENE Io? Sire? Tolga il Ciel, che voffenda. ROMILDA Ei non sapea SERSE Tacete. E voi veloce lunge da questa corte qual torrente volgete il piede! ARSAMENE Andr, bench innocente. SERSE Pure se promettete, lasciar Romilda ELVIRO (allorechio del suo padrone) Eh! dite! io lo far. SERSE posso usarvi pietate. ARSAMENE Oh! Questo no! 15 Meglio in voi col mio partire gelosia sestinguer. Io men vado al mio morire, voi restate in libert. (Parte con Elviro.) SCENA VI Serse e Romilda immobile senza guardar il re.

XERXES I am well aware of the reasons, and Arsamenes offends me with them. However (Arsamenes emerges from his hiding place with Elviro.) ARSAMENES Heaven forbid, my lord, that I should offend you! ROMILDA He knew nothing XERXES Silence! And you, remove yourself from my court, faster than the rushing river! ARSAMENES I go, though I am innocent. XERXES Should you, however, swear to relinquish Romilda ELVIRO (in his masters ear) I say, thats what I would do! XERXES I am willing to show mercy. ARSAMENES Ah! No, never! May this banishment of mine extinguish your jealous rage. I go to meet my death, and leave you to enjoy your freedom. Exit with Elviro.) SCENE VI Xerxes and Romilda, who stands motionless, avoiding the kings gaze XERXES Most beautiful Romilda, oh hide not your beloved features from me. Pay heed to me, Romilda: I am in love.

SERSE 16 Bellissima Romilda, eh, non celate ladorato sembiante! Uditemi, Romilda, io sono amante.

Vous vous taisez toujours ? Dites-moi oui, dites-moi non, ou mme que vous voudriez me voir mort ! Cruelle, qui vous a appris vous taire et vous moquer de moi ? Oh cessez dtre si beaux, chers yeux, toiles bien-aimes ! Oh arrtez de me blesser, que je nai plus jamais vous suivre ! (Il sort.) SCNE VII Romilda seule ROMILDA Je suis froide comme la vipre. Jamais tes mots damour nentacheront mon cur dinfidlit. Pas mme avec une ombre dinfidlit je ne trahirai mon me ; et si malheur arrivait mon bien-aim, que lamour en soit la cause et non la jalousie. (Elle sort.) SCNE VIII Une cour. Amastre dguise en homme, suivie dun cuyer AMASTRE Si mes habits changent, mon cur ne change pas, et mon amour ne vacillera pas. (Elle se retire lcart.) SCNE IX Ariodate, suivi de soldats avec des prisonniers, et des enseignes prises lennemi, et Amastre ARIODATE Nous nous sommes battus avec courage, mes amis, et la victoire est douce ! AMASTRE (Le roi maure est-il donc vaincu ? Quel bonheur !)

E pur tacete ancora? Dite un s, dite un n, dite chio mora.

Yet still you say nothing? Say yes, say no, or say you wish me dead!

17 Di tacere e di schernirmi, ah, crudel, chi tinsegn? Oh, lasciate desser belle, care luci, amate stelle oh, cessate di ferirmi, ch mai pi vi seguir, ah! crudel! (Parte.) SCENA VII Romilda sola. ROMILDA 18 Aspide sono a detti tuoi damore, n vu macchiare dinfedelt il mio core.

Whoever taught you, cruel one, to remain silent and mock me thus? Oh that you were not so enchanting, dear eyes, beloved stars; oh that you would not wound me thus, that I need pursue you no more! (Exit.) SCENE VII Romilda alone ROMILDA I am cold as an asp to your words of love. I shall never taint my heart with unfaithfulness.

19 Nemmen con lombre dinfedelt voglio tradire lanima mia. E se il mio bene suo mal si fa, incolpi amore, non gelosia. (Parte.) SCENA VIII Cortile. Amastre in abito da uomo, seguito da uno scudiere. AMASTRE 20 Se cangio spoglia, non cangio core, ma nellamore sono listessa. (Si ritira in disparte.) SCENA IX Ariodate, seguito da soldati con prigionieri, ed insegne prese a nemici, ed Amastre. ARIODATE 21 Pugnammo, amici, e stette per noi bella vittoria. AMASTRE (Dunque vinto il re moro? O noi felici!)

Not even with a shade of unfaithfulness would I ever betray my soul. And if my beloved causes his own harm, let him blame love, not jealousy. (Exit.) SCENE VIII A courtyard. Amastres disguised as a man, followed by a page AMASTRES Though I change my appearance, I shall never change my heart, for my love will always remain the same. (She withdraws to one side.) SCENE IX Ariodates, followed by soldiers who guard prisoners, and trophies captured in battle; and Amastres ARIODATES How bravely we have fought, my friends, and how sweet is our victory! AMASTRES (Then the Moorish king is conquered? Oh joy!)

ARIODATE Et la gloire de Xerxs crot dheure en heure ! CHUR DE SOLDATS Dj la trompette qui appelait les hommes aux armes sadoucit en suaves accents, et la victoire retentit nos oreilles. SCNE X Xerxs et les personnages prcdents AMASTRE (Voici Xerxs, oh quelle allure, quelle splendeur !) XERXS Ariodate, je vous donne laccolade ! Votre pe apporte toujours la victoire. ARIODATE Notre gloire nest due qu votre nom. XERXS En ddommagement des preuves endures par votre ville, garnison de notre arme dans notre combat contre Athnes, je vous promets que votre fille Romilda aura un poux royal, un homme du sang de Xerxs, un gal de Xerxs ! ARIODATE Ceci dpasse mes rves les plus audacieux. XERXS Allez, vous avez ma parole. ARIODATE Je ne soumettrai jamais ma volont au caprice des astres. Mais ce que dcident les cieux obtiendra toujours mes louanges. CHUR DE SOLDATS Dj la trompette qui appelait les hommes aux armes sadoucit en suaves accents, et la victoire retentit nos oreilles.

ARIODATE Ed accresce di Serse ognor la gloria! CORO DI SOLDATI 22 Gi la tromba, che chiam le schiere allarmi, or si scioglie in dolci carmi, e vittorie a noi rimbomba. SCENA X Serse, e detti AMASTRE 23 (Ecco Serse, o che volto, o che splendore!) SERSE Ariodate, vabbraccio. Il vostro ferro sempre porta vittoria ARIODATE Del vostro nome sol questa la gloria. SERSE In premio de disagi, chora diamo alla vostra citt, che di nostrarmi fatta piazza, a sostener limpresa dAtene; or vi prometto, Romilda, vostra figlia, avr sposo reale, della stirpe di Serse, a Serse eguale. ARIODATE Cos arditi fantasmi nel pensier non ammetto. SERSE Ite, cos prometto. ARIODATE 24 Soggetti al mio volere glastri non voglio, no. Ma quel che fan le sfere, sempre lodar sapr. CORO DI SOLDATI) 25 Gi la tromba, che chiam le schiere allarmi, or si scioglie in dolci carmi, e vittorie a noi rimbomba.

ARIODATES And Xerxes glory swells by the hour! CHORUS OF SOLDIERS Hear the trumpet which summoned the ranks to arms soften its tone with mellow strains, victory resounding in our ears. SCENE X Xerxes, and the above AMASTRES (Xerxes is coming: oh how glorious, how splendid he is!) XERXES Ariodate, I embrace you. Your sword never fails to bring victory. ARIODATES Our glory is owed to your name alone. XERXES In compensation for the hardships endured by your city, which has become our armys garrison in the struggle against Athens, we pledge to you that your daughter Romilda shall have a royal husband: a man of Xerxes own kin, equal to Xerxes! ARIODATES That is beyond my most audacious dreams. XERXES Go; you have our word. ARIODATES I would never expect the stars to submit to my wishes. But I will always accept whatever they think fit. CHORUS OF SOLDIERS Hear the trumpet which summoned the ranks to arms soften its tone with mellow strains, victory resounding in our ears.

10

(Ariodate sort avec les soldats.) SCNE XI Xerxs et Amastre, lcart avec son cuyer XERXS Ces victoires, jen suis sr, sont un bon augure du triomphe de mon amour. AMASTRE (Il parle de moi. Oui, tu as conquis mon cur !) XERXS Comme je suis impatient dtreindre le trsor que jaime ! AMASTRE (Ah, je meurs de joie !) XERXS Mais que diront Amastre et son pre offens de ce mariage et de mon nouvel amour ? AMASTRE (Se moque-t-il de moi ? Le tratre !) XERXS Si ma bien-aime est simple vassale, je peux la rendre de sang royal en lpousant. En fin de compte, le peuple doit respecter la volont dun grand roi. AMASTRE Tu mens. XERXS Qui parle ? Qui tes-vous ? AMASTRE Des voyageurs, sire. XERXS Mais qui traites-tu de menteur ? AMASTRE Mon compagnon, qui soutient que le puissant Euphrate

(Partono Ariodate e i soldati.) SCENA XI Serse, ed Amastre col suo scudiere in disparte. SERSE 26 Queste vittorie, io credo, predicono trionfi anco al mio amore. AMASTRE (Parla di me; hai vinto s, mio core.) SERSE Impaziente io vivo dabbracciar quellamato mio tesoro. AMASTRE (E di gioia non moro?) SERSE Ma pur, che dir Amastre, e loffeso suo padre del mio imeneo, del mio novello amore? AMASTRE (E cos mi schernisce il traditore?) SERSE Bench di regio sangue non sia lidolo mio, una vassalla illustrar possio colle mie nozze. Al fin, crede decenti il voler dun gran rege il mondo. AMASTRE Menti. SERSE Chi parla ol? Chi siete? AMASTRE Forastieri, Signor. SERSE Ma a chi mentita tu desti? AMASTRE Al mio compagno, che sostener volea, che il vasto Eufrate

(Exit Ariodates and soldiers.) SCENE XI Xerxes, and Amastres to one side with her page XERXES These victories, I am certain, are a foretaste of my triumphs in love. AMASTRES (He speaks of me! Yes, you have conquered my heart.) XERXES How I yearn to hold my beloved treasure in my arms. AMASTRES (I shall die with delight!) XERXES And yet what will Amastres, and her outraged father, say to this marriage and to my new love? AMASTRES (Is he rejecting me? The traitor!) XERXES Though the woman I worship is not of royal blood, yet as her husband I may ennoble her. And in the end the world approves the actions of a great king. AMASTRES You lie! XERXES Who said that? Who are you? AMASTRES Strangers, my lord. XERXES And whom did you call a liar? AMASTRES My companion, who claims that the mighty Euphrates

11

et que le pont que vous construisez serait expos aux vents ; mais sur ce je diffre et jai dit : Tu mens. XERXS Vous mavez lair de deux idiots, allez-vous en ! (Amastre sort.) Mon rang me dispense de donner mes raisons mme si lobjet de mes dsirs mobsde. Plus je pense aux flammes de mon cur, plus mon ardeur crot. Cest peine si mon sein peut supporter le feu qui me consume. (Il sort.) SCNE XII Arsamne et Elviro ARSAMNE Prends cette lettre, Elviro, et porte-la Romilda. ELVIRO tes-vous absolument sr ? ARSAMNE Oui, va ! ELVIRO (sur le point de partir, se retourne) Adieu, mais ne voulez-vous rien crire dautre que vous dsirez lui parler ? ARSAMNE Non ! ELVIRO Mais, vous le savez, jai t banni avec vous. Et si on me reconnaissait ? tes-vous absolument sr ? ARSAMNE Va, ne tarde plus !

e che il ponte che fate sarebbe esposto a venti, io per discorso allor diss: tu menti. SERSE Sciocchi mi rassembrate. Ite lontani! (Amastre parte.) Non dee render ragione il mio decoro. Sempre mi torna in mente il ben che adoro. 27 Pi che penso alle fiamme del core, pi lardore crescendo sen va. l mio petto ricetto ben poco di quel foco, che pena mi d. (Parte.) SCENA XII Arsamene ed Elviro. ARSAMENE 28 Eccoti il foglio, Elviro; a Romilda lo porta. ELVIRO Siete pur risoluto? ARSAMENE S, vanne! ELVIRO (in atto di partire, poi ritorna) Io vi saluto. Che parlarle volete, altro non le scrivete? ARSAMENE No! ELVIRO Ma sono, voi sapete, con voi bandito; e se son conosciuto? Siete pur risoluto? ARSAMENE Vanne, non tardar pi!

and that the bridge that you are building will be destroyed by the wind; so I disagreed by saying: You lie! XERXES You sound like fools. Begone! (Exit Amastres.) It is not becoming to my state to explain myself. My beloved returns constantly to my mind. The more I think of the flames in my heart, the more I burn with passion. But my breast can hardly contain the fire that consumes me. (Exit.) SCENE XII Arsamenes and Elviro ARSAMENES Here is the letter, Elviro; deliver it to Romilda. ELVIRO Are you absolutely sure? ARSAMENES Yes go! ELVIRO (about to go, then turns back) As you wish. But dont you want to write anything other than that you wish to speak to her? ARSAMENES No! ELVIRO But, you see, I am banished with you what if they recognise me? Are you absolutely certain? ARSAMENES Just go.

12

ELVIRO Et comment vais-je la livrer ? ARSAMNE Dbrouille-toi. ELVIRO Quelle folie ! Seigneur, seigneur, laissez-moi faire, jai une bonne ide ! Je cours, je vole, je pars et je reviens linstant, mes pieds ont des ailes ! (Il sort.) ARSAMNE Je ne sais si cest lespoir qui me maintient en vie, ou cette amre douleur. Mais cette me gmit depuis que ma t ravie la joie de mon cur. (Il sort.) SCNE XIII Amastre seule AMASTRE Il trahirait la foi promise dune pouse royale, et voudrait que le peuple le respecte ? Non, jamais, car justice et clmence sont les plus grandes qualits dun roi. Mon cur saura se venger de loffense qui ma t faite. Celui qui a provoqu ma colre prouvera ma fureur. (Elle sort.) SCNE XIV Atalante et Romilda ATALANTE Enfin vous pouvez pouser votre Xerxs.

ELVIRO Come glielho da dar? ARSAMENE Pensaci tu. ELVIRO Che stravagante scena! 29 Signor, Signor, lasciate fare a me, io lho pensato bene. Corro, volo, parto, vo e pi presto torner, che se avessi lali al pi! (Elviro parte.) ARSAMENE 30 Non s se sia la speme, che mi sostiene in vita, o laspro mio dolor. S che questalma geme dacch mi fu rapita la gioia del mio cor. (Arsamene parte.) SCENA XIII Amastre sola. AMASTRE 31 Tradir di regia sposa la f promessa? E chiamerallo il mondo un decente voler? No, che dei regi son giustizia e clemenza i pi gran pregi. 32 Sapr delle mie offese ben vendicarsi il cor. Colui che lira accese prover il mio furor. (Amastre parte.) SCENA XIV Atalanta e Romilda ATALANTA 33 Al fin sarete sposa al vostro Serse.

ELVIRO And how am I supposed to deliver it? ARSAMENES You can think about that yourself. ELVIRO What a circus! My lord, my lord, leave it to me, Ive thought it out quite brilliantly! Ill run, Ill fly, Ive packed my sack, and in a flash youll see me back, as fast as if my feet had wings! (Exit.) ARSAMENES Is it hope that keeps me alive, or is it this bitter pain? For certain, this soul has been sighing ever since the joy of my heart was wrenched from me. (Exit.) SCENE XIII Amastres alone AMASTRES And will he then break his promise to his royal bride? And is the world supposed to approve this? Never, for justice and pity are the greatest qualities of a monarch. My heart shall find its vengeance for the offence I have endured. The man who ignited my anger will feel the weight of my fury. (Exit.) SCENE XIV Atalanta and Romilda ATALANTA So you can finally marry your Xerxes.

13

ROMILDA Quoi ? Ce nest certainement pas mon Xerxs. ATALANTE Arsamne non plus. ROMILDA Si, parce que je laime. ATALANTE Non, car il doit maintenant partir en exil. Vous perdez un roi pour un amant perdu. ROMILDA Un amant perdu ? Comment a ? ATALANTE Une autre flamme brle dans son cur. ROMILDA Pour qui ? ATALANTE Vous devez le savoir. ROMILDA Dois-je donc har Arsamne, et accorder toute mon affection au roi ? Quen dtes vous ? ATALANTE Je trouve que ce serait prudent ; et je pourrais alors demander de devenir lpouse dArsamne. ROMILDA Vous laimez donc ATALANTE Non, mais je pourrais laimer. ROMILDA Pourriez-vous vraiment devenir amoureuse si vite ? ATALANTE Je veux essayer.

ROMILDA Che? Mio Serse non . ATALANTA Meno Arsamene. ROMILDA Egli s, perch lamo. ATALANTA Egli n, perch parte esule errante. Perdete un re per un perduto amante. ROMILDA Perduto amante? E come? ATALANTA Ha il core acceso daltre fiamme. ROMILDA Di chi? ATALANTA Ben lo saprete. ROMILDA Dunque odier Arsamene, e al re gli affetti tutti dar; che dite? ATALANTA Allor prudente certo vi chiamer; ed Arsamene in sposo io chieder. ROMILDA E che dunque lamate? ATALANTA No, ma poi lamer. ROMILDA E s tosto potrete render damore i vostri sensi accesi? ATALANTA Mi sforzer.

ROMILDA What are you saying? He is not my Xerxes! ATALANTA Nor is Arsamenes yours. ROMILDA Yes he is, for I love him. ATALANTA No he isnt, for he is now a wandering exile. You are losing a king for a lover youve already lost. Romilda Already lost? What do you mean? ATALANTA Another womans flames light up his heart. ROMILDA Whose? ATALANTA You ought to know. ROMILDA And must I then hate Arsamenes, and give my affection to the king? Is that it? ATALANTA I would consider that wise; and I could then ask to be Arsamenes wife myself. ROMILDA Do you love him? ATALANTA No, but I might soon. ROMILDA And could you really fall in love that quickly? ATALANTA I could try.

14

ROMILDA Ah ! tout est clair maintenant ! Si vous croyez pouvoir me ravir mon idole, vous vous aveuglez, car cest en vain. Jamais vous ne dferez les doux liens destins enchaner ma libert. (Elle sort.) SCNE XV Atalante seule ATALANTE Si lamour ne suffit pas ravir le trsor qui templit de joie et moi de tristesse, je dois user de supercherie. Un petit geste gracieux, un petit sourire aguichant, ou une lueur dans les yeux peuvent ensorceler. La flatterie, les larmes et la ruse sont dautres mthodes toute preuve, et je saurais les employer toutes.

ROMILDA Ah, che pur troppo intesi! 34 Se lidol mio rapir mi vuoi, cangia desio, ch vanit. Quei dolci lacci snodar non puoi che mi legaro la libert. (Romilda parte.) SCENA XV Atalanta solo. ATALANTA 35 Per rapir quel tesoro, che te colma di gioia e me daffani, se amor non basta, adoprer glinganni. 36 Un cenno leggiadretto, un riso vezzosetto, un moto di pupille pu far innamorar. Lusinghe pianti e frodi son anche certi modi, che destano faville, e tutto io li so far.

ROMILDA Ah, it is all too clear now! If you intend to take my love from me, come to your senses, for it is all in vain. You shall never untie the sweet bonds destined to tether my freedom. (Exit.) SCENE XV Atalanta alone ATALANTA If love will not suffice to seize the treasure that fills you with joy and me with distress, I must resort to deceit. A graceful little gesture, a coquettish little smile, or a twinkle in the eye: these should bewitch the man. Flattery, tears and guile are also trusty methods of stoking a fire and Ill try all of these!

COMPACT DISC 2
DEUXIME ACTE SCNE I Une place de la ville avec une loggia. Amastre, puis Elviro [en femme], qui vend des fleurs AMASTRE Ne vous chappez pas, esprances, ne mabandonnez pas encore. ELVIRO Qui veut ces fleurs dun beau jardin, jacinthes, coton, tulipes, jasmin ? Qui pourrait deviner que je suis Elviro ? Mais si le roi dcouvrait la lettre ? ATTO II SCENA I Piazza della citt con loggia. Amastre, e poi Elviro, vendi fiori AMASTRE Speranze mie fermate, non mi lasciate ancor. ELVIRO Ah, chi voler fiora di bella giardina, giacinta, indiana, tulipana, gelsomina? E chi direbbe mai, chio sono Elviro? Ma se del foglio poi sapesse il re? ACT TWO SCENE I A square in the city with an arcade. Amastres, then Elviro [as a woman], selling flowers AMASTRES Stay a while longer, my hopes; do not leave me yet. ELVIRO Who will buy flowers from my pretty garden? Hyacinths, cotton plants, tulips, jasmine! And whoever would have guessed that I am Elviro! But what if the king discovers about the letter?

15

AMASTRE (Que dit-il du roi ?) ELVIRO Je crois quArsamne va se rpandre en larmes et en soupirs, mais qu la fin le roi lpousera. AMASTRE (Le roi lpousera ? Qui ? Ciel, quentends-je ?) ELVIRO Mais Xerxs devrait pouser une dame de sang royal et non une vassale quelconque ; cette femme ne lui fait pas honneur. AMASTRE (Se moquerait-il donc de moi ? Ah, le tratre !) coute, mon ami ELVIRO (tente de schapper) Ah ! Je suis dcouvert ! AMASTRE Arrte, te dis-je ! Pourquoi veux-tu fuir ? ELVIRO Que veux-tu de moi ? Veux-tu des fleurs ? Voici AMASTRE Non ! On dit que Xerxs va se marier aujourdhui, et je veux savoir avec qui. ELVIRO Qui es-tu, dabord ? Et pourquoi veux-tu le savoir ? AMASTRE Un voyageur curieux, et qui aime le roi. ELVIRO Tu me sembles honnte, alors je vais te le dire. Mais garde-le pour toi, hein ! AMASTRE Parle, naie crainte.

AMASTRE (Che parla egli del re?) ELVIRO Credo Arsamene pianti e sospiri al vento sparger; e che per moglie al fin il re lavr. AMASTRE (Il re per moglie? Chi? Cieli, che sento!) ELVIRO Serse per dovrebbe aver per sposa dama di regio sangue, e non vassalla: questa non gli fa onore. AMASTRE (Dunque io sono schernita? Ah, traditore!) Amico ELVIRO (vuol scappar via.) Ah, ci fui colto. AMASTRE Ferma, ol, dico a te; perch scappar? ELVIRO Da mia che cercar? Chi voler fiora comprar? Ma AMASTRE No. Si dice che Serse sar sposo in questo d: vorrei saper di chi? ELVIRO Ma dire tu chi star? E perch dimandar? AMASTRE Viaggiante curioso, e chama il re. ELVIRO Poich ti star buon uom, mi dir a te. Ma tacer, non parlar! AMASTRE Di pur, non dubitar.

AMASTRES (What is he saying about the king?) ELVIRO Well, if you ask me, Arsamenes can shed his tears and sighs to the winds, for in the end the king will have her for his wife. AMASTRES (Wife to the king? Who? Heavens, what do I hear!) ELVIRO Xerxes should really marry a lady with proper royal blood, and not a vassal: this woman doesnt do much for his dignity. AMASTRES (Then I really am rejected? The traitor!) Listen, my friend ELVIRO (tries to escape) Help! Ive been caught out! AMASTRES Stop! You there! There is no need to run away! ELVIRO What do you want from me? Did you want some flowers? Here AMASTRES No! I hear it said that Xerxes will be married today, and I would like to know who to! ELVIRO Who are you, anyway? And why do you want to know? AMASTRES A curious traveller, who is fond of the king. ELVIRO You seem a good enough fellow, so Ill tell you. Keep it to yourself, mind! Not a word AMASTRES You may trust me.

16

ELVIRO Ariodate, seigneur de cette ville et vassal du roi, a une fille nomme Romilda, que le roi veut pouser ; mais tout ce quelle dit est : Sil mpouse, je meurs. AMASTRE Mais Romilda aime-t-elle le roi ? ELVIRO Non, elle aime le frre du roi, Arsamne. AMASTRE Et celui-ci a crit toute sa douleur dans cette lettre ELVIRO Pauvre de moi ! Tu dois tre voyant ! (Il marche de long en large.) Qui veut des fleurs dun beau jardin ? AMASTRE Parle ! ELVIRO Je ne sais rien dautre. (Il continue marcher de long en large.) Tulipes, jasmin ! AMASTRE Mon me afflige a peine supporter cette trahison elle me tue. ELVIRO Qui veut des fleurs ? Fleurs ! AMASTRE Maintenant que vous tes trahies, mes esprances, fuyez, oui, fuyez-moi. Et que dans cette me accable de douleur ne reste que ma fidlit. (Elle sort.)

ELVIRO Ariodate, de chista citt signor, che stare a re vassallo, aver figlia Romilda, e re voler chista sposar; ma chista sempre dir: Se mi sposar, morir. AMASTRE Ma Romilda ama il re? ELVIRO No, ma fratello, chaver nome Arsamene. AMASTRE E questo forse i dolor suoi le scrive? ELVIRO Ahim! Ti star devina? (spasseggiando) Chi voler fiora di bella giardina? AMASTRE Dimmi! ELVIRO Nu saper altro. (spasseggiando) Tulipana, gelsomina! AMASTRE Perch muccida il duolo mancava solo esser tradita ancora. ELVIRO Chi voler fiora, fiora? AMASTRE Or che siete speranze tradite, s, fuggite, fuggite da me. E in questanima oppressa dal duolo resti sola la bella mia f. (Parte.)

ELVIRO Ariodates, a gentleman of this city and vassal to the king, has a daughter called Romilda, and the king wants to marry her; but all she says is: If he marries me, Ill die. AMASTRES But Romilda loves the king? ELVIRO No, she loves his brother, a fellow called Arsamenes. AMASTRES And this fellow has perhaps written to her of his grief? Elviro Mercy on us! You must be a fortune teller! (pacing up and down) Who will buy flowers from my pretty garden? AMASTRES Tell me! ELVIRO Thats all I know! (pacing up and down) Tulips, jasmine! AMASTRES My grief needed only this final betrayal to end my life. ELVIRO Who will buy flowers? Flowers! AMASTRES Now that you are betrayed, my hopes, you may go yes, you may leave me. And let nothing remain in this grieving soul but my own faithfulness. (Exit.)

17

SCNE II Elviro, puis Atalante ELVIRO Ce curieux est parti, ah, quel indiscret ! Au moins je nai pas t assez fou pour lui rvler mon secret. Ah, voici madame Atalante, bien, bien, bien. ATALANTE Je suis destine par lAmour pleurer pour toujours. ELVIRO H ! Qui veut des fleurs dun beau jardin ? Voulez-vous des jacinthes, voulez-vous du jasmin ? ATALANTE H toi, viens ici ! Je veux orner de fleurs les pines de ma douleur. ELVIRO Mais qui suis-je, votre avis ? ATALANTE Je ne sais pas. ELVIRO Regardez-moi bien ! ATALANTE Toi, ici ? Oh, mon pauvre, prends garde Quas-tu l ? ELVIRO Jai une lettre dArsamne pour sa bien-aime Romilda. ATALANTE Donne-la-moi ! ELVIRO La lui donnerez-vous ? ATALANTE Oui ! ELVIRO Mais o est-elle ?

SCENA Il Elviro, poi Atalanta. ELVIRO Quel curioso partito, oh! che indiscreto! Matto non son per dirgli il mio segreto. La Signora Atalanta a me sen viene. Oh! bene, bene, bene! ATALANTA A piangere ognora amor mi destina. ELVIRO Ah! Chi voler fiora di bella giardina? Voler giacinta, voler gelsomina? ATALANTA Ol! Vien qua! Degli aspri miei dolori le acute spine adorner co fiori. ELVIRO Ma mi chi star? ATALANTA Non so. ELVIRO Mi ben guardar. ATALANTA Tu quivi? O sventurato! Guarda bene Che porti? ELVIRO Porto un foglio dArsamene allamata Romilda. ATALANTA A me lo porgi! ELVIRO Glielo darete poi? ATALANTA S! ELVIRO Ma dov?

SCENE II Elviro, then Atalanta Elviro That inquisitive fools gone. How indiscreet he was! At least I wasnt so stupid as to give away my secret. Oh good, good, good: here comes the lady Atalanta. ATALANTA I am destined by love to shed tears forever. ELVIRO Who will buy flowers from my pretty garden? Would you like hyacinths? Some jasmine? ATALANTA You there! Come here! I shall adorn the sharp thorns of my anguish with flowers. ELVIRO Excuse me, and who might I be? ATALANTA I do not know. Elviro Well, look carefully! ATALANTA You, here? Oh, you poor man! Do be careful! And what do you have there? ELVIRO I have a note from Arsamenes for his sweetheart Romilda. ATALANTA Give it to me! ELVIRO Will you give it to her? ATALANTA Yes! ELVIRO Where is she?

18

ATALANTE Elle est chez elle, elle crit au roi. ELVIRO Au roi ? Mais que lui crit-elle ? ATALANTE Que ses espoirs et sa vie dpendent de lui. ELVIRO Et Arsamne ? ATALANTE Elle se souvient peine de lui. ELVIRO Ah, tigresse infidle, cruelle vipre ! ATALANTE Va-ten, le roi arrive. ELVIRO Ah ! Qui veut des fleurs dun beau jardin ? (Il sort prcipitamment.) SCNE III Xerxs et Atalante, qui lit la lettre dArsamne ATALANTE (Cette lettre devrait me rendre heureuse.) XERXS Cest un tourment trop dur dadorer une cruelle beaut. (Il aperoit Atalante, qui fait semblant de lire.) Me direz-vous, Atalante, les secrets de cette lettre ? Sagit-il damour ? ATALANTE Certes, mais des plus tranges. XERXS Je nen suis que plus curieux.

ATALANTA Sta nelle stanze sue scrivendo al re. ELVIRO Al re? Ma che gli scrive? ATALANTA Che in lui spera, in lui vive. ELVIRO E dArsamene? ATALANTA Punto non si sovviene. ELVIRO Ah! Tigre infedele! Cerasta crudele! ATALANTA Parti, il re savvicina. ELVIRO Ah! Chi voler fiora di bella giardina? (Va via in fretta.) SCENA III Serse ed Atalanta, che legge il foglio dArsamene. ATALANTA (Con questo foglio mi far contenta.)

ATALANTA She is in her rooms, writing to the king. ELVIRO To the king ? What is she writing ? ATALANTA That her hopes, indeed her life, lie with him. ELVIRO But what about Arsamenes? ATALANTA She can barely remember him. ELVIRO Oh, the faithless tigress, the vicious viper! ATALANTA Go now, the king is coming. ELVIRO Ah! Who will buy flowers from my pretty garden? (He hurries away). SCENE III Xerxes and Atalanta, who is reading Arsamenes letter ATALANTA (This letter should bring me happiness.) XERXES It is too harsh a torment to adore so cruel a beauty. (He sees Atalanta, who is pretending to read.) Will you share, Atalanta, the mysteries of that letter? Might they be of love? ATALANTA They are indeed, my lord, but most peculiar. XERXES I am even more curious to know.

SERSE 10 E tormento troppo fiero, ladorar cruda belt. (Vede Atalanta, che finge di leggere.) 11 Di quel foglio, Atalanta, lice saper gli arcani? Saran forse amorosi? ATALANTA ver, ma strani. SERSE Son pi curioso.

19

ATALANTE Mais XERXS Mais quoi ? ATALANTE Je crains Me pardonnez-vous ? XERXS Oui ! ATALANTE Lisez-la vous-mme. (Elle lui donne la lettre. Xerxs regarde la signature. (Amour, dcoche pour moi une de tes flches !) XERXS Cest Arsamne qui crit. ATALANTE Cest vrai ! XERXS (lisant tout bas) qui crit Arsamne ? ATALANTE moi. XERXS vous ? ATALANTE Cela vous choque-t-il ? XERXS Je ny comprends rien : naime-t-il pas Romilda ? ATALANTE Non, seigneur, elle laime beaucoup, mais lui pour lapaiser feint de laimer, afin quelle ne contrarie pas notre amour. XERXS Etrange affaire, mais comme elle rjouit mon cur !

ATALANTA Ma SERSE Ma che? ATALANTA Io temo Mi perdonate? SERSE S. ATALANTA Dunque leggete. (Serse prende la lettera e guarda la firma.) (Deh! Seconda linganno, o ignudo arciero!) SERSE Scrive Arsamene. ATALANTA vero! SERSE (legge basso) A chi scrive Arsamene? ATALANTA A me. SERSE A voi? ATALANTA Vi sdegnate? SERSE Stupisco. Ma segli ama Romilda? ATALANTA No, Signor: ella ben lama, ma lui finge damarla, affinch quieta non sturbi il nostro amore. SERSE Strana avventura! Godi s, mio core!

ATALANTA But XERXES But what? ATALANTA I fear that oh do forgive me, my lord Xerxes I do. ATALANTA Please read it. (Xerxes takes the letter and looks at the signature.) (Oh Love, help my enterprise!) XERXES It is written by Arsamenes. ATALANTA Yes, it is from him. XERXES (reading the letter) To whom is Arsamenes writing? ATALANTA To me. Xerxes To you? Atalanta Does it offend you? XERXES I am bewildered: does he not love Romilda? ATALANTA No, my lord: she loves him dearly, but he only pretends to love her, to keep her from interfering with our own love. XERXES A strange scheme! But what joy this brings me!

20

ATALANTE Je vous supplie donc, sire, si vous le trouvez bon, de le faire mien dans des noces publiques. XERXS Je ferai en sorte, belle dame, quil devienne vtre ou la proie de ma colre. ATALANTE Il vous dira que lamour pour moi na pas touch son cur. Mais ne le croyez pas, il fait seulement semblant. XERXS Laissez-moi la lettre comme preuve. ATALANTE (Ruse subtile, si a marche !) XERXS Vous pouvez disposer. ATALANTE Mais noubliez pas. XERXS Quoi ? ATALANTE Il dira quil ne maime pas, quil na jamais langui pour moi. Mais ne le croyez pas, non, il fera seulement semblant. (Elle sort.) SCNE IV Xerxs et Romilda XERXS Pauvre Romilda trahie ! (Il lui donne la lettre dArsamne.) Voici, lisez, et dites-moi si Arsamne mrite votre amour. ROMILDA Je lis.

ATALANTA Dunque vi prego, o Re, se lapprovate, che pubblico imeneo lo faccia mio. SERSE Bella, far, che sia o vostro sposo, o preda allira mia. ATALANTA 12 Dir, che amor per me piagato il cor non gli ha. Ma non gli date f, chegli fingendo v. SERSE 13 Voi quel foglio lasciate a me per prova. ATALANTA (Bella frode, se giova.) SERSE ltene pure! ATALANTA Ma vi ricordo SERSE E che? ATALANTA 14 Dir che non m am, che mai per me langu. Ma non credete, n, che finger cos. (Parte.) SCENA IV Serse e Romilda. SERSE 15 Ingannata Romilda! (Le d la lettera dArsamene.) Ecco, leggete, dite poi, se Arsamene amar dovete. ROMILDA Leggo.

ATALANTA I beseech you, my lord: if you approve, let him be mine by public marriage. XERXES I shall ensure, fair Atalanta, that he becomes either your husband, or prey to my fury. ATALANTA He will tell you that Love has not wounded his heart on my account. But do not believe him, for he is simply pretending. XERXES Leave me the note as proof. ATALANTA (A fine ruse, if it works!) XERXES You may go. ATALANTA Do not forget, however XERXES What? ATALANTA He will tell you that he never loved me, that he never pined for me. But do not believe it no! for he will pretend just so! (Exit.) SCENE IV Xerxes and Romilda XERXES How you are deceived, Romilda! (He gives her Arsamenes letter.) Here, read this and then tell me if Arsamenes deserves your love. ROMILDA I will, my lord.

21

XERXS Ntes-vous pas indigne ? ROMILDA qui crit-il ? XERXS sa chre Atalante, comme vous le savez, je ne mens pas. ROMILDA (Oh supplice, ne me tue pas !) XERXS Quallez-vous faire ? ROMILDA Je vais pleurer jusqu la fin de mes jours. XERXS Laimerez-vous toujours ? ROMILDA Oui, toujours. XERXS Et pourtant il vous trahit. ROMILDA Un sort impitoyable en a dcid ainsi. XERXS Mme sil vous trahit sans aucune piti ? ROMILDA Je laimerai. XERXS Laimerez-vous toujours ? ROMILDA Oui, toujours. XERXS Si vous brlez damour pour qui vous ddaigne, je devrais vous ddaigner aussi, mais ne sais comment.

SERSE N vi sdegnate? ROMILDA A chi scrive? SERSE Alla sua cara Atalanta, sapete gi, io non mento. ROMILDA (Non muccider tormento!) SERSE Che farete? ROMILDA Piangendo ognor vivr. SERSE 16 Lamerete? ROMILDA Lamer. SERSE E pur sempre vi trad? ROMILDA Lempia sorte vuol cos. SERSE Se ben fiero vingann? ROMILDA Lamer. SERSE Lamerete? ROMILDA Lamer. SERSE 17 Se bramate damar chi vi sdegna, vu sdegnarvi, ma come non s.

XERXES Are you not outraged? ROMILDA To whom is he writing? XERXES To his beloved Atalanta. You know I am telling the truth. ROMILDA (Oh torture, do not kill me!) XERXES What will you do now? ROMILDA I shall weep for the rest of my days. XERXES Will you still love him? ROMILDA I shall. XERXES Yet you are betrayed. ROMILDA Pitiless fate decrees it. XERXES And if he proudly rejects you? ROMILDA I shall still love him. XERXES Will you still love him? ROMILDA I shall. XERXES If you still love the man who rejects you, I too should reject you, but know not how.

22

Votre colre, cruelle, me le conseille, jessaie dobir mais mon me ne le peut. (Il sort.) SCNE V Romilda seule ROMILDA Laimerai-je toujours ? Ah, si ctait faux ! Mon amant me trahit, ma sur me trompe ! Savourez ma peine Cruelle ! Menteur ! Laimerai-je toujours ? Ah, si ctait faux ! Mais vous qui mentendez dlirer, voulez-vous savoir le nom de limpitoyable furie qui mtreint ? La jalousie est le tyran qui tourmente mon me. Elle pntre mon sein de son venin et me condamne un implacable supplice. (Elle sort.) SCNE VI Amastre, sur le point de se donner la mort, et Elviro AMASTRE Puisque la douleur ne me tue pas, que ce poignard me tue. ELVIRO (la retenant) Hol, que faites-vous ? Rflchissez, et croyez-moi si vous voulez : on ne vit que pour bien manger et bien boire. AMASTRE Jai dcid : avant de mourir, jirai trouver ce cruel pour lui dire : Devant toi, me perfide, se tient une femme trahie. Viens, tue-moi, je te pardonne.

La vostrira, crudel, me linsegna; tento farlo, e questalma non pu. (Parte.) SCENA V Romilda sola. ROMILDA 18 Lamer? Non fia vero. Amante traditor! Sorella infida! Godete di mie pene. Barbara, menzognero! Lamer? Non fia vero. Ma voi, che delirante me ascoltate, forse saper bramate la mia furia crudele ora chi sia? 19 gelosa quella tiranna, che tanto affanna lanima mia. Del suo veleno masperse il seno, e mi condanna a pena ria. (Parte.) SCENA VI Amastre in atto duccidersi, ed Elviro. AMASTRE 20 Giacch il duol non muccide, muccida questo ferro. ELVIRO (la trattiene) Ohib, che fate? Pensate, e poi, se mi volete credere, vivete sol per ben mangiar e bevere. AMASTRE Via su, pria di morire a quellalma crudel corriamo a dire: 21 Anima infida, tradita io sono. Vien, tu muccida, io ti perdono.

Your anger, cruel one, is urging me to do so: I try to obey, but my soul will not respond. (Exit.) SCENE V Romilda alone ROMILDA Will I still love him? Oh, that it were untrue! My lover betrays me, and my sister deceives me! How you must relish my suffering Barbarous woman! Treacherous man! Will I still love him? Oh, that it were untrue! But all you who hear my frenzy, do you wish to know the name of the ravening fury that grips me? The tyrant that so afflicts my soul is jealousy herself. She injects her venom in my breast and condemns me to implacable agony. (Exit.) SCENE VI Amastres, on the point of killing herself, and Elviro AMASTRES Since grief will not kill me, may this sword bring my end. ELVIRO (restrains her) How now! What are you doing? Listen here, if youll take my advice: live, if only for the sake of wine and a good dinner. AMASTRES I have made up my mind: before I die, I shall find that cruel man and tell him: Before you, oh faithless soul, stands a wronged woman. Come, then, kill me; I forgive you.

23

(Elle sort, furieuse.) SCNE VII Elviro, puis Arsamne ELVIRO Il est fou furieux ! ARSAMNE Elviro ELVIRO Vous ici, seigneur ? Fuyons ! ARSAMNE Que ta dit Romilda ? ELVIRO Jai donn la lettre Atalante, et elle ma dit que votre Romilda aimait le roi, et quelle tait en train de lui crire ! ARSAMNE Oh, monstre hideux de la plus odieuse trahison ! Tu as d mal comprendre ? Parle-moi ELVIRO Je vous lai dit, elle aime le roi et lui crit. Que voulez-vous de plus ? ARSAMNE Peut-tre plaisantait-elle ? ELVIRO Hlas, elle tait sincre ! ARSAMNE Oh, cur plus sauvage encore que le tigre cruel ! Celle-l mme qui, si fidle, languissait pour moi, nest plus mienne, et jai perdu mon cur. Oh ciel, que faites-vous ? Ne savez-vous pas que quiconque coupable dune telle faute mrite votre implacable courroux ? (Ils sortent.)

(Parte infuriata.) SCENA VII Elviro, poi Arsamene. ELVIRO 22 pazzo aff. ARSAMENE Elviro ELVIRO Voi qui, Signor? Fuggiamo! ARSAMENE Che ti disse Romilda? ELVIRO Ad Atalanta diedi il foglio, e mi disse che la vostra Romilda amava il re, che stava a lui scrivendo. ARSAMENE Di nera infedeltate o mostro orrendo! Ma, non bene intendesti? Parla a me ELVIRO Vho detto gi, chama e che scrive al re. Che volete di pi? ARSAMENE Forse scherzo? ELVIRO Ohib, ohib! Parl troppo da vero! ARSAMENE O di tigre crudel core pi fiero! 23 Quella che tutta f per me languia damore, n che pi mia non , perduto ho il core. Che pensa il Ciel, che fa? Non sa col suo rigore punir chi reo sen va di tanto errore. (Partono.)

(She leaves in a frenzy.) SCENE VII Elviro, then Arsamenes ELVIRO Hes completely mad! ARSAMENES Elviro ELVIRO You here, my lord? Lets disappear! ARSAMENES What did Romilda tell you? ELVIRO I gave the letter to Atalanta, and she told me that your Romilda was in love with the king, and that she was just then writing to him! ARSAMENES Oh traitor of the blackest dye! But you must have misunderstood Tell me! ELVIRO Ive told you: she loves the king and shes writing to him. What more do you want? ARSAMENES Perhaps she was teasing! ELVIRO Oh dear, no. She was telling the truth. ARSAMENES Oh heart more savage than the cruel tiger! The very woman who pined for me, so unswervingly truthful, is no longer mine and my heart is lost. What will you do now, ye heavens? Do you not know that anyone guilty of such transgression deserves your implacable rage? (Exeunt.)

24

SCNE VIII Un pont de bateaux reliant lAsie et lEurope, avec le camp de Xerxs le long du rivage asiatique. Xerxs, Ariodate et un Chur de marins

SCENA VIII Ponte costrutto sopra vascelli in mezzo al mare, e che congiunge lAsia collEuropa, sopra il lido dellAsia accampamento di Serse. Serse, Ariodate e coro di marinari. CORO DI MARINARI 24 La virtute sol potea giunger lAsia allaltra riva. Viva Serse, viva, viva! SERSE 25 Ariodate. ARIODATE Signore. SERSE Del mare ad onta e sin del vento infido seppi giunger ancor Sesto ad Abido. Tu vanne pronto ad ordinar le schiere. ARIODATE Ubbidir. SERSE Pria della terza aurora di passar in Europa il mio volere. ARIODATE Per essempio dei regi i tuoi gloriosi pregi con caratteri dor la fama scriva. (Parte.) CORO DI MARINARI La virtute sol potea giunger lAsia allaltra riva. Viva Serse, viva, viva! SCENA IX Arsamene e Serse. ARSAMENE 26 Per dar fine alla mia pena, chi mi svena per piet?

SCENE VIII A pontoon stretching across several ships, linking Asia with Europe. Along the Asian shore is Xerxes camp. Xerxes, Ariodates and a chorus of sailors

CHUR DE MARINS Seul le gnie pouvait joindre la rive dAsie lautre rive. Vive Xerxs, vive Xerxs ! XERXS Ariodate ! ARIODATE Sire. XERXS Vois comme malgr la houle et le vent redoutable, jai reli Sestos et Abydos. Rassemble les soldats immdiatement. ARIODATE Je suis ton service. XERXS Mon dessein est de passer en Europe dici trois jours. ARIODATE Que la renomme inscrive en lettres dor, en exemple pour tous les rois, ta glorieuse valeur. (Il sort.) CHUR DE MARINS Seul le gnie pouvait joindre la rive dAsie lautre rive. Vive Xerxs, vive Xerxs ! SCNE IX Arsamne et Xerxs ARSAMNE Qui par piti mouvrira les veines pour mettre fin ma douleur ?

CHORUS OF SAILORS Genius alone could have joined Asias shore with yonder bank. Long live Xerxes, hurrah, hurrah! XERXES Ariodates! ARIODATES My lord. XERXES See how in spite of the swell and the fearsome wind I have linked Sestos with Abydos. Go and assemble the ranks immediately. ARIODATES I am your servant. XERXES My plan is to cross into Europe within three days. ARIODATES May fame inscribe in golden letters your glorious worth as an example to all kings. (Exit.) CHORUS OF SAILORS Nothing but genius could have joined Asias shore with yonder bank. Long live Xerxes, hurrah, hurrah! SCENE IX Arsamenes and Xerxes ARSAMENES Oh, that some kind soul might kill me, and put an end to my suffering!

25

XERXS Arsamne, o allez-vous ? ARSAMNE Boire les eaux du Lth, pour oublier que vous tes mon frre. XERXS Assez de cette indignation ARSAMNE et de votre tyrannie. XERXS Je veux que vous pousiez celle que vous aimez. ARSAMNE Vous moquez-vous encore de moi ? XERXS Je sais qui est lobjet de votre flamme. Jai lu votre lettre. Votre silence est vain. ARSAMNE (Ah, Romilda lui a-t-elle vraiment montr ma lettre ?) Le moment est-il venu davouer quelque chose que vous savez dj ? XERXS Vous laurez pour pouse. ARSAMNE Permettez-moi de vous baiser la main. XERXS Laimez-vous tant ? ARSAMNE Plus que moi-mme. XERXS Pourquoi ne lavoir pas dit plus tt ? Nous trouverons tous deux le bonheur le mme jour : moi comme poux de Romilda ARSAMNE Et moi ?

SERSE 27 Arsamene, ove andate? ARSAMENE A ber londa di Lete, sol per scordarmi, che fratello mi siete. SERSE Cessi lo sdegno ARSAMENE E in voi la tirannia. SERSE Voglio sposarvi al bel che vinnamora. ARSAMENE E mi schernite ancora? SERSE So di qual fiamma ardete. Lessi le vostre note, invan tacete. ARSAMENE (Ah! Che Romilda, o Dei! mostr il mio foglio!) Ed or che lo confesso, e che gi lo sapete? SERSE Per consorte lavrete. ARSAMENE Ora lasciate chio vi baci la man. SERSE Tanto lamate? ARSAMENE Pi che lanima mia. SERSE Che nol diceste pria? Lieti saremo ambo o in un stesso d. Io sposo di Romilda ARSAMENE Ed io di chi?

XERXES Arsamenes, where are you going? ARSAMENES To drink the waters of Lethe, and forget that you are my brother. XERXES Enough of this indignation ARSAMENES And enough of your tyranny. XERXES I want you to marry the woman you love. ARSAMENES Do you mock me still? XERXES I know whom you love so passionately: I have read your letter. Your silence is in vain. ARSAMENES (Oh heavens, has Romilda shown him my letter?) And must I now confess my love when you know of it already? XERXES You shall have her for your bride. ARSAMENES Allow me to kiss your hand! XERXES Do you love her so very dearly? ARSAMENES More than my own life. XERXES Why did you not say so before? We shall both find happiness on the same day: I as Romildas husband ARSAMENES And I ?

26

XERXS DAtalante. ARSAMNE Pensez-vous pouvoir me tromper ainsi ? XERXS Je sais que vous aimez Atalante. ARSAMNE Jaime Romilda. XERXS Oh, assez de ce jeu ! ARSAMNE Vous ne maccordez donc pas Romilda ? XERXS Je sais que vous ne voulez pas delle. ARSAMNE Si, je la veux, et je laurai. Et si le ciel ne me sourit pas, jinvoquerai les monstres infmes et les ombres hideuses du Cocyte. (Il sort.) SCNE X Atalante et Xerxs ATALANTE Je mincline devant vous, roi souverain. XERXS Arsamne se dfend dtre amoureux de vous, et demeure rsolument fidle Romilda. Il est vident quil ne vous aime pas, et vous mettriez un terme vos souffrances en cessant de laimer. ATALANTE Vous me dites de ne pas laimer mais vous ne dites pas si je le peux. Les toiles sont trop belles que le Ciel a donnes son visage.

SERSE DAtalanta. ARSAMENE E cos voi mingannate? SERSE So che Atalanta amate. ARSAMENE Amo Romilda. SERSE Eh, non fingete pi! ARSAMENE Dunque Romilda a me non concedete? SERSE Lo s; non la volete. ARSAMENE 28 S, la voglio, e la otterr! E se il Ciel per me non splende, gli empie mostri e lombre orrende di Cocito invocher. (Parte.) SCENA X Atalanta e Serse. ATALANTA 29 Vinchino, eccelso Re. SERSE Neg Arsamene dessere vostro amante, e per Romilda sol egli costante. Dunque da ver non vama; e voi lasciate di soffrir tante pene e non lamate. ATALANTA 30 Voi mi dite, che non lami ma non dite se potr. Troppo belle son le stelle, chal suo volto in Ciel don.

XERXES As Atalantas. ARSAMENES Do you think you can deceive me like this? XERXES I know you love Atalanta. ARSAMENES I love Romilda! XERXES Oh, enough of this pretence! ARSAMENES So you will not grant me Romilda? XERXES I know you do not want her. ARSAMENES I want her, and I shall have her! And if the heavens will not shine upon me, I shall invoke the vile monsters and hideous shades of Cocitus. (Exit.) SCENE X Atalanta and Xerxes ATALANTA I bow to you, great king. XERXES Arsamenes denies that he is in love with you and appears resolutely true to Romilda. He clearly does not love you, and you might ease your suffering by not loving him. ATALANTA You tell me not to love him, but you do not tell me how. Far too lovely are the eyes heaven gave his handsome face.

27

Les chanes sont trop serres qui me lient damour. (Elle sort.) XERXS La douleur serait supportable si amour et dsamour taient toujours affaire de volont. Le cur, tout en souffrant, vit despoir et de crainte, sans jamais savoir si lamour apportera du plaisir. Quand jinterroge lespoir, sa rponse est oui ; puis je me tourne vers le doute : sa crainte glace me fait sentir quil dit non. (Il sort.) SCNE XI Elviro seul ELVIRO Pauvre de moi, jai perdu mon matre ! Et cest de ma faute en plus, quel fou je suis ! En fait, il ma perdu. Je me demande sil a travers ce pont Non, je ne le vois pas l-bas. Mais comme ces nuages obscurcissent le ciel ! coutez le fracas des vagues et le sifflement du vent ! Et il fait si noir ! Il me faut partir en vitesse Le pont se disloque. Courage : fuyons ! Mon temprament ne saccorde pas avec llment aquatique ! Le seul endroit que jaimerais habiter est le doux empire liquide de mon cher Bacchus. Leau rend hypochondriaque, tandis quun bon vin me catapulte la tte dans le zodiaque ! (Il sort.)

Troppo stretti sono quei legami onde amor mincaten. (Parte.) SERSE 31 Saria lieve ogni doglia, se potesse un amante amar e disamar sempre a sua voglia. 32 Il core spera e teme penando ognor cos, se goder in amore saper ancor non pu. Lo chieggio alla mia speme, ella mi dice, s, ma poi freddo timore sento che dice, no. (Parte.) SCENA XI Elviro solo. ELVIRO 33 Me infelice, ho smarrito il mio padrone! Ma mi confesso reo; son pazzo aff. Egli ha smarrito me. Forse per questo ponte ei se ne and; no, chio nol veggo, no Ma qual adombra il ciel nubilo oscuro? Sento che londe fremono, sento che laria sibila; son restato alloscuro; voglio partir in fretta. Si spezza il ponte, a te, fa cor, gambetta. Perch nemico al mio temperamento lacquoso elemento. 34 Del mio caro Bacco amabile nellimpero suo potabile amo solo dabitar. Lacqua rende ipocondriaco; il buon vin sin nel zodiaco la mia testa fa inalzar. (Parte.)

Far too tight are the bonds that tether me with love. (Exit.) XERXES How bearable pain would be, if a lover could only fall in and out of love at his leisure. All the while suffering, the heart lives in hope and fear, never knowing whether love will bring any pleasure. When I question hope, her reply is yes; then I turn to doubt: her icy word is no. (Exit.) SCENE XI Elviro alone ELVIRO Wretch that I am! Ive lost my master! And its my fault, too, what a fool! Well, actually, hes lost me. I wonder if hes gone across this bridge. No, I cant see him there. My word, though, look at those black clouds! Listen to those waves crashing and the wind howling. Its got quite dark! I think Ill be off, and with all speed, for if the bridge breaks up, its best to be well clear. My temperament is no friend to such watery elements! The only land Id choose to live in is the drinkable empire of my dear, sweet Bacchus. Water makes a man a hypochondriac, but a decent wine sends my head soaring into the heavens! (Exit.)

28

SCNE XII Un lieu retir aux abords de la ville. Xerxs dun ct, Amastre de lautre XERXS La jalousie est un grand tourment, AMASTRE Mon cur bless le sait bien, XERXS je suis ddaign pour un autre, AMASTRE je suis trahie pour une autre, XERXS et ma foi a t trahie. AMASTRE et mon me a t bafoue. XERXS, AMASTRE La jalousie est un grand tourment. XERXS Sort cruel ! AMASTRE Astres impitoyables ! XERXS Oh cruelle Romilda ! AMASTRE Insensible Xerxs ! XERXS Qui parle ? AMASTRE Une me afflige. XERXS Et qui es-tu ? AMASTRE Un homme qui vous a servi la guerre, et a t bless.

SCENA XII Luogo di ritiro, contigua alla citt. Serse da una parte, e Amastre dallaltra. SERSE 35 Gran pena gelosia! AMASTRE Lo sa il mio cor piagato. SERSE Per altri io son sprezzato AMASTRE Per altri anchio tradita SERSE e la mia f tradita. AMASTRE schernita lalma mia. SERSE, AMASTRE Gran pena gelosia! SERSE 36 Aspra sorte! AMASTRE Empie stelle! SERSE O Romilda crudel! AMASTRE Serse rubelle! SERSE Chi parla? AMASTRE Un infelice. SERSE E chi sei tu? AMASTRE Un che vi serv in guerra, e fui ferito.

SCENE XII A secluded place near the city. Xerxes on one side, Amastres on the other XERXES Jealousy is an unbearable torment: AMASTRES My wounded heart knows well, XERXES I am spurned for another man, AMASTRES I am betrayed for another woman, XERXES and my hopes have been betrayed. AMASTRES and my soul has been scorned. XERXES, AMASTRES Jealousy is an unbearable torment. XERXES Oh bitter fate! AMASTRES Oh pitiless stars! XERXES Oh heartless Romilda! AMASTRES Oh callous Xerxes! XERXES Who goes there? AMASTRES A desolate soul. XERXES And who are you? AMASTRES One who served you in war, and was wounded.

29

XERXS Veux-tu me servir encore ? AMASTRE Je vais y rflchir. XERXS Pourquoi ? AMASTRE Parce que je ne veux pas servir sans rcompense. XERXS Quoi ? Tu me trouves ingrat ? AMASTRE Je me trouve tromp. XERXS (apercevant Romilda qui approche) (Voici ma bien-aime.) Va-ten ; nous discuterons plus tard. Jai une affaire importante a rgler. Reviens me voir dans un moment. AMASTRE Je reviendrai pour te punir, tratre ! (Elle se retire lcart.) SCNE XIII Xerxs et Romilda ; Amastre part XERXS Romilda, me laisserez-vous vraiment pleurer en vain ternellement ? Que dites-vous ? Rpondez-moi ! ROMILDA Un cur content vaut davantage que toutes les richesses du monde. Un seul amour heureux vaut davantage que cent coups de chance. XERXS Je demande que vous mettiez fin mon immense souffrance.

SERSE Vuoi tornar a servirmi? AMASTRE Ci penser. SERSE Perch? AMASTRE Perch non vu servir senza merc. SERSE Che? Mi trovasti ingrato? AMASTRE Son rimasto ingannato. SERSE (vede Romilda, che viene.) (Ma sen viene il mio ben.) Scostati; appresso noi parIerem. Tengo un affar chimporta. Ritorni a me in brevi ore. AMASTRE (Torner per tua pena, o traditore!) (Si ritira in disparte.) SCENA XIII Serse, Romilda ed Amastre in disparte. SERSE 37 Romilda, e sar ver, che sempre in vano pianger mi lascierete? Che dite? Rispondete! ROMILDA 38 Val pi contento core, che quanto il mondo aduna. Pi vale un ben damore, che cento di fortuna. SERSE 39 Vu, chabbian fine i miei dolori immensi.

XERXES Do you wish to serve again? AMASTRES I shall think about it. XERXES How so? AMASTRES I will not serve without a reward. XERXES What? You found me ungrateful? AMASTRES I found myself deceived. XERXES (sees Romilda approaching) (Here comes my beloved.) Leave me now; we shall talk later. I have important business to deal with. Come back to me soon. AMASTRES (I shall return to punish you, you traitor!) (She withdraws to one side.) SCENE XIII Xerxes and Romilda, and Amastres to one side XERXES Can it really be, Romilda, that I must weep hopelessly forever? What say you? Answer me! ROMILDA A happy heart is worth more than the riches of the whole world. A single bounteous love is worth more than a hundred turns of good fortune. XERXES I demand an end to my great suffering.

30

ROMILDA Laissez-moi y rflchir. XERXS Non, donnez-moi votre main droite ! AMASTRE H ! Attention, le roi vous trompe ! XERXS Comment ose-t-il ! Hol ! Quon le conduise dans un sombre cachot. AMASTRE Je me tuerai avant. (Elle tire son pe et la brandit pour se dfendre.) XERXS Fcheuse tmrit ! trange contretemps ! (Il sort furieux. Les gardes attaquent Amastre, qui se dfend.) ROMILDA (Quelle chance !) (aux gardes) H, arrtez ! Et vous, brave guerrier, dposez votre pe ! Allez, Xerxs approuvera mon ordre. (Les gardes partent.) SCNE XIV Romilda et Amastre AMASTRE Je vous sais ternellement gr de mon sort, de ma vie, de mon existence mme. ROMILDA Allez, partez sans tarder, car si le roi revenait Dites-moi seulement : quaviez-vous contrarier la volont du roi ?

ROMILDA Lasciate, chio ci pensi. SERSE No, datemi la destra! AMASTRE OI! Fermate, chil re vinganna! SERSE Chardimento questo? Ol, condotto sia in oscura prigion. AMASTRE Morir pria! (Si mette in difesa colla spada in mano.) SERSE Temerit importuna! Strano disturbo! (Parte sdegnato. Le guardie attaccano Amastre che si difende.) ROMILDA (O mia buona fortuna!) (a soldati) Cessate, ol! E voi, prode guerriero, riponete quel brando. Ite; approver Serse il mio commando. (Le guardie partono.) SCENA XIV Romilda ed Amastre. AMASTRE 40 La fortuna, la vita, e lesser mio in eterno obligate. ROMILDA Ite, non vi fermate. Che se venisse il re! Ditemi solo, che vindusse del re a sturbar le voglie?

ROMILDA Allow me to think it over. XERXES No, give me your right hand! AMASTRES Ho there! Beware, the king deceives you! XERXES How dare he? Ho! Let him be taken to the darkest dungeon! AMASTRES I shall die first! (She draws her sword and raises it in defence.) XERXES Troublesome but daring. Quite remarkable! (He leaves in a fury. The guards set upon Amastres, who defends herself.) ROMILDA (What good fortune!) (to the guards) Stop there! And you too, brave warrior, put up your sword. You may leave us; Xerxes will approve my command. (The guards leave.) SCENE XIV Romilda and Amastres AMASTRES I am eternally grateful to you for my fate, my life, my very existence. ROMILDA Begone! Do not linger, for the king may return. But tell me one thing: what made you oppose the wishes of the king?

31

AMASTRE Il veut vous obliger lpouser, alors quune autre flamme brle en votre sein. ROMILDA Partez ! (Amastre sort.) Celle qui cde la fureur des astres perfides naime pas vraiment. Ma fidlit triomphe en amour au mpris dun destin sans piti.

AMASTRE Perch vi vuol sforzar dessergli moglie, e fiamme pi gradite vardono il sen. ROMILDA Partite. (Amastre parte.) 41 Chi cede al furore di stelle rubelle, amante non . Trionfa in amore del fato spietato linvitta mia f.

AMASTRES He is forcing you to marry him, whilst another flame glows in your breast. ROMILDA Begone! (Exit Amastres.) The lover who bows to the fury of treacherous fate cannot know the meaning of love. My faith is strong, and triumphs in love, scorning pitiless destiny.

COMPACT DISC 3
TROISIME ACTE Sinfonia SCNE I Une galerie. Arsamne, Romilda et Elviro ARSAMNE Les excuses sont vaines ROMILDA Oui, tu as crit Atalante. ARSAMNE Elviro parlera ! ROMILDA Oui, Atalante le dira ROMILDA, ARSAMNE Oh quel amer tourment ! ROMILDA Voici Atalante ! SCNE II Atalante et les personnages prcdents ATALANTE (Ah ! ma supercherie a t dcouverte ! Que faire ?) 1 ATTO III Sinfonia SCENA I Galleria. Arsamene, Romilda, Elviro. ARSAMENE Sono vani i pretesti ROMILDA S, ad Atalanta scrivesti. ARSAMENE Elviro parler. ROMILDA S, Atalanta dir ROMILDA, ARSAMENE Oh amare pene! ROMILDA Ecco Atalanta viene! SCENA II Atalanta e detti. ATALANTA (Ahi! Scoperto linganno! E che far?) ACT THREE Sinfonia SCENE I A gallery. Arsamenes, Romilda and Elviro ARSAMENES Your excuses are in vain ROMILDA You wrote to Atalanta. ARSAMENES Elviro will talk! ROMILDA Atalanta will tell you ROMILDA, ARSAMENES Oh what bitter torment! ROMILDA See, Atalanta is coming! SCENE II Atalanta, and the above ATALANTA (My ploy has been uncovered! What shall I do?)

32

ELVIRO Cest un vilain tour ! Jai de la fivre, et ma voix ( Atalante) Sil vous plat, Madame, dites-leur ce que vous mavez dit. ATALANTE Jai dit que Romilda aime le roi et lui crivait. ARSAMNE Que voulez-vous de plus ? ROMILDA Vous nous trompez donc ? ATALANTE Doucement, ne vous fchez pas ! Jai dit a pour faire partir le serviteur, parce quil voulait vous parler. ROMILDA Continuez, je vous coute. ATALANTE Xerxs est arriv soudain et a pris la lettre. ( Arsamne) Pour vous aider, jai dit : elle mest adresse, jai feint dtre lamante et jai bern le roi. ARSAMNE Que dites-vous de cela, Romilda ? ROMILDA Que dites-vous de cela, Arsamne ? ARSAMNE Que je vous adore ! ROMILDA Que vous tes mon bien-aim ! (Ils streignent.) Quoi que vous fassiez, Atalante, vous ne marracherez jamais mon cher Arsamne ! ATALANTE Non, non, je ne vais pas mourir de ton mpris, non, non ;

ELVIRO Brutti imbroglio son questi! Ho la febbre, e la voce (ad Atalanta) Deh, Signora, dite per carit quel che diceste a me. ATALANTA Dissi: Romilda scrive, ed ama il re. ARSAMENE Che volete di pi? ROMILDA Dunque ingannate? ATALANTA Piano, non vadirate! Dissi cos, per far partire il servo, che voleva parlarvi. ROMILDA Seguite pur, son pronta ad ascoltarvi. ATALANTA Serse mi sopragiunse, e prese il foglio. (ad Arsamene) Io per levarvi dissi: scritto a me; mi finsi amante, ed ho ingannato il re. ARSAMENE Or che dite, Romilda? ROMILDA Or che dite, Arsamene? ARSAMENE Che vadoro ROMILDA Che siete il caro bene! (Si abbracciano.) Fate Atalanta pur, quanto sapete, Arsamene il mio ben non mi torrete. ATALANTA No, no, se tu mi sprezzi, morir non vu.

ELVIRO These tricks arent very fair! Ive caught a fever, and my voice (to Atalanta) Come, my lady, please tell them what you said to me. ATALANTA I said that Romilda loved the king and was writing to him. ARSAMENES What more do you want? ROMILDA Are you deceiving both of us? ATALANTA Please, please! Keep your temper! I said it to make the servant go away, because he wanted to speak to you. ROMILDA Go on: I am listening. ATALANTA Then Xerxes appeared and took the letter. (to Arsamenes) So, to help you I said it was to me; I pretended to be your lover and misled the king. ARSAMENES What do you say to that, Romilda? ROMILDA What do you say to that, Arsamenes? ARSAMENES That I adore you! ROMILDA That you are my dearest love! (They embrace.) Do whatever you will, Atalanta, you will never take my beloved from me! ATALANTA Oh no, no, I will not die on account of your contempt.

33

je peux changer mon apparence et trouver ailleurs un autre amant. (Atalante sort.) SCNE III Romilda, Arsamne, Elviro, puis Xerxs ROMILDA ( Arsamne) Voici ma main droite en signe de fidlit. ELVIRO Xerxs arrive, Xerxs arrive. ARSAMNE Oh, quelle calamit ! ELVIRO Je vous attendrai en dehors des murs de la ville. (Il sort en courant.) ROMILDA Cachez-vous. ARSAMNE (se cache) Oh sort maudit ! XERXS Romilda, quest-ce qui vous a incit rendre la libert ce guerrier ? ROMILDA Son courage. XERXS Vous avez tous les droits : mon rgne et mon cur sont vous, vous tes ma reine. ROMILDA Sire, aspirer de tels sommets serait ma ruine. XERXS Oh, ne mconduisez plus. ROMILDA Je vous conduirai toujours.

Fo certi vezzi col mio sembiante, chun altro amante trovar sapr. (Atalanta parte.) SCENA III Romilda, Arsamene, Elviro, e poi Serse. ROMILDA (ad Arsamene) Ecco in segno di f la destra amica. ELVIRO Ecco Serse, ecco Serse ARSAMENE Oh, che sciagura! ELVIRO Ed io vaspettar fuor delle mura. (Corre via.) ROMILDA Nascondetevi! ARSAMENE (si nasconde, e Serse entra.) Oh sorte! SERSE Che vi mosse, Romilda, a quel guerriero donar la libertate? ROMILDA Il suo valore. SERSE Tutto potete, vostro il regno, e il core. Gi siete mia regina. ROMILDA Signor, volo tantalto gran rovina. SERSE Deh, non negate pi. ROMILDA Negar sempre.

My looks I can soon alter and find a lover elsewhere. (Exit.) SCENE III Romilda, Arsamenes, Elviro, and then Xerxes ROMILDA (to Arsamenes) Take my right hand as a token of my fidelity. ELVIRO Xerxes is coming, Xerxes is coming! ARSAMENES Oh, misfortune! ELVIRO Ill be waiting for you outside the city walls. (He hurries off.) ROMILDA Hide yourself! ARSAMENES (hides) Oh, cruel fate! XERXES Romilda, what moved you to grant that warrior his freedom? ROMILDA His valour, sir. XERXES So be it: my kingdom and my heart are yours, and you are already my queen. ROMILDA My lord, to aspire to such heights would spell my ruin. XERXES Oh, deny me no longer! ROMILDA I will deny you for ever.

34

XERXS Jobtiens toujours ce que je veux me comprenez-vous, Romilda ? ROMILDA (Ah ! Que va-t-il faire ?) XERXS Je ne partirai que si dabord assez, quen dites-vous ? ROMILDA Quil vous faut le consentement de mon pre. XERXS Cela va de soi. Et ensuite ? ROMILDA Jobirai mon roi. XERXS Je vais lui demander de ce pas, dbordant de joie. ROMILDA Pendant que je me noie dans mes larmes. XERXS Je pars, astres charmants, assurer ma flicit, et puis, beaux yeux, vous je reviendrai. Mon cur amoureux est un papillon attir par votre lumire, un phnix renaissant, les plumes embrases. (Il sort.) SCNE IV Arsamne et Romilda ARSAMNE Jobirai mon roi. Oh, quel pur amour, quelle belle fidlit ! ROMILDA dfaillante, soutenue par ses dames de compagnie Hlas, je meurs !

SERSE Franger io ben sapr Intendete, Romilda? ROMILDA (Ahi! Che far?) SERSE Non partir, se pria basta che dite? ROMILDA Che del mio genitor ci vuol lassenso. SERSE E poi che dubbio v? ROMILDA Ubbidir il mio re. SERSE Vado a chiederlo, e intanto mi stillo in gioia. ROMILDA Ed io mi struggo in pianto. SERSE Per rendermi beato parto, vezzose stelle, e poi, pupille belle, a voi ritorner. Farfalla al vostro lume il core innamorato ardendo le sue piume fenice io scorger. (Serse parte.) SCENA IV Arsamene, Romilda. ARSAMENE Ubbidir al mio re? Oh, che limpido amor! Che bella f! ROMILDA (mezza svenuta vien, sostenuto dalle sue damigelle) Ahi, chio mi moro!

XERXES I always get my own way Do you understand, Romilda? ROMILDA (Ah! What does he mean?) XERXES I shall not leave, before enough! What do you say? ROMILDA That you would need my fathers consent. XERXES And after that? ROMILDA Then I shall obey my king. XERXES I shall go and ask him now, and rejoice in my fortune! ROMILDA Whilst I drown in my tears. XERXES I leave you, oh graceful stars, to secure my bliss; and then, most beautiful eyes, to you I shall return. My yearning heart is like a moth captivated by your light, and if my wings are scorched like a phoenix I shall rise again. (Exit.) SCENE IV Arsamenes and Romilda ARSAMENES Then I shall obey my king. A love most pure, an exemplary faithfulness! ROMILDA (swooning, supported by her ladies) Ah! I am dying!

35

ARSAMNE Romilda ? ROMILDA Arrtez ! ARSAMNE Romilda ? ROMILDA Partez, partez, le roi Xerxs me rappellera mon amour quand il me tuera. ARSAMNE Vous me dtestez donc tant ? ROMILDA Je vous adore tant ! Adieu, je vous quitte, adieu ! ARSAMNE Je vous fuis ROMILDA Et o allez-vous, idole de ma vie ? ARSAMNE L o memmne un sort cruel. Et vous ? ROMILDA la mort. ARSAMNE Allons ! Vous voulez dire au trne qui vous est promis. ROMILDA Je vous quitte, adieu, vous ne me reverrez plus. (Les dames de compagnie lemmnent en la soutenant.) ARSAMNE Amour, amour, tyran, tu es sans piti pour moi, tu es trop cruel de me faire souffrir ainsi.

ARSAMENE Romilda ? ROMILDA Vi fermate. ARSAMENE Romilda? ROMILDA Andate, andate Serse il re sovvenirmi potr, quando muccider. ARSAMENE Tanto modiate? ROMILDA Tanto vadoro! Addio, vi lascio, addio! ARSAMENE Vi fuggo ROMILDA E dove andate, idolo mio? ARSAMENE Dove vuoi fiera sorte. E voi dove? ROMILDA Alla morte. ARSAMENE Eh! Dite al trono che promesso vi fu. ROMILDA Vi lascio, addio, non mi vedrete pi. (Le damigelle la conducono via sostenendola.)

ARSAMENES Romilda? ROMILDA Stop! ARSAMENES Romilda? ROMILDA Go now: Xerxes the king will bring me comfort by killing me. ARSAMENES Is that how much you loathe me? ROMILDA That is how much I love you! Farewell! ARSAMENES Then I shall go. ROMILDA Oh my darling, where to? ARSAMENES Wherever a barbarous destiny will take me. And you? ROMILDA To my death. ARSAMENES Come, come! You mean to the throne that is promised you. ROMILDA I am leaving you, farewell; you will see me no more. (Still supporting her, her ladies lead her away.)

ARSAMENE Amor, tiranno Amor, per me non hai piet, farmi languir ognor troppa crudelt.

ARSAMENES Love, oh love, you tyrant, how pitiless you are. You are far too cruel to let me languish like this.

36

Aucun cur ne peut endurer une telle souffrance, soulage mon tourment, ou rends-moi la libert ! (Il sort.) SCNE V Un bosquet. Xerxs et Ariodate XERXS Comme je lai dj laiss entendre, un homme de mon sang est destin, avec votre consentement, devenir lpoux de Romilda. ARIODATE Cest trop dhonneur ! Et XERXS tes-vous daccord ? Donnez-vous votre consentement ? ARIODATE Mon seul dsir est de vous obir. XERXS Alors coutez : prochainement arrivera votre domicile une personne dun rang gal au mien, et de mon sang. Faites en sorte que votre fille laccepte pour poux. ARIODATE De votre sang ? Et mest-il familier ? XERXS Autant que Xerxs ! (Il sort.) ARIODATE Ce ne peut tre quArsamne. Qui aurait pu esprer des dieux de lamour un si beau dnouement ?

Un core, un petto sol tanto soffrir non sa, o cangia tempre al duol, o dammi libert! (Parte) SCENA V Boschetto. Serse ed Ariodate. SERSE Come gi vi accennammo sposo oso del nostro sangue, a piacer vostro destiniamo a Romilda.

No heart or breast can endure such relentless suffering: then grant relief from this torment, or give me back my freedom. (Exit.) SCENE V A grove. Xerxes and Ariodates XERXES As we have already said, a man of our kin, with your consent, is destined to become Romildas husband.

ARIODATE Alto lonore! E SERSE Lapprovate? Assentite?

ARIODATES The honour is overwhelming! And XERXES Do you approve? Do you give your consent?

ARIODATE Bramo sol dubbidirvi. SERSE Dunque udite: verr tra poco nelle vostre stanze persona eguale a noi, del nostro sangue: fate che vostra figlia per su sposo laccetti.

ARIODATES My sole desire is to obey you. XERXES Then pay heed: a person of equal rank to us, and of our own blood will shortly arrive at your residence. Ensure that your daughter accepts him as her husband.

ARIODATE Del vostro sangue? E cos noto a me? SERSE Quanto Serse. (Parte.) ARIODATE Arsamene, altri non . 10 Del Ciel damore sorte s bella chi mai sper!

ARIODATES Of your own blood? And familiar to me? XERXES As familiar as Xerxes! (Exit.) ARIODATES It has to be Arsamenes! Who ever wished for so happy an outcome from the sphere of love!

37

Quelle toile brillerait davantage pour ma gloire ? (Il sort.) SCNE VI Romilda sortant, indigne ROMILDA Je refuse la couronne de Xerxs ! Et dites Xerxs en lui rendant son cadeau que ma foi est promise un autre. (Elle se trouve soudain face face avec Xerxs.) SCNE VII Xerxs et Romilda XERXS Arrtez, mon pouse, ma reine ! ROMILDA Que dites-vous ? Hlas, ne mappelez pas ainsi ! XERXS Pourquoi ? ROMILDA Parce que vous souillez la dignit royale XERXS Comment ? ROMILDA coutez-moi ! Arsamne ma aim XERXS Fcheux dbut. ROMILDA Il a t modeste et fidle XERXS Assez !

Per mio splendore qual fu la stella, che lampeggi! (Parte.) SCENA VI Romilda, che esce sdegnata. ROMILDA 11 Il suo serto rifiuto, e dite a Serse in riportargli il dono, che fida amante ad altri sposa io sono. (Vuol partire, ed incontra Serse.) SCENA VII Serse e Romilda. SERSE 12 Fermatevi, mia sposa e mia regina! ROMILDA Che dite? Ohim! Cos non mi chiamate! SERSE Perch? ROMILDA Perch oscurate il decoro real SERSE Come? ROMILDA Ascoltate. Arsamene mam SERSE Principio infausto. ROMILDA F modesto e fedel. SERSE Basta!

What star was it that glowed so brightly for my greater glory? (Exit.) SCENE VI Romilda leaving, full of indignation ROMILDA I spurn Xerxes crown! And when you return his gift, tell him that I am faithfully betrothed to another. (She comes face to face with Xerxes.) SCENE VII Xerxes and Romilda XERXES Stop, my bride and queen! ROMILDA What are you saying? Oh, do not call me that! XERXES Why not? ROMILDA You bring a blemish to your crown. XERXES How so? ROMILDA Pay heed to me! Arsamenes has been my lover XERXES An inauspicious start! ROMILDA He was discreet and loyal. XERXES Enough!

38

ROMILDA Il ma servie et adore en silence. XERXS Ah ! Vous me tuez ! ROMILDA Mais enfin, audacieusement XERXS Quoi ? ROMILDA Je nose pas, sire ; je rougis, et ne peux le dire. Je vais partir et vous lcrire. XERXS Non, non, continuez ! ROMILDA Je ne sais si ce fut audace ou chance XERXS Ah ! Je ny tiens plus ! ROMILDA Il approcha ses lvres XERXS De ? ROMILDA Des miennes, et et et XERXS Et vous a embrasse, cest cela ? Dites-le ! ROMILDA Exactement ! XERXS Vous mentez pour viter de mpouser. Mais vrai ou non, il sera puni pour sa faute. (aux gardes) Hol ! Courez immdiatement aprs Arsamne et tuez-le !

ROMILDA Servimmi tacito adoratore. SERSE Ah, muccidete! ROMILDA Ma ardito al fin SERSE Che? ROMILDA Non ardisco, o Sire, marrossisco, Signor, non lo dir. Parto e lo scriver. SERSE N, n, seguite! ROMILDA Non s se ardire o se fortuna fu SERSE Ah, che non posso pi! ROMIILDA Le sue labbra accost SERSE Dove? ROMILDA Alle mie, E e e SERSE E vi baci, non ? Ditelo! ROMILDA Appunto. SERSE Per fuggir le mie nozze, ora mentite. Ma siasi ver o no: delle sue colpe abbia il castigo. (alle guardie) Ol, pronti volate, Arsamene uccidete!

ROMILDA He served me and adored me with modesty. XERXES Ah! You are killing me! ROMILDA But eventually, he grew more bold XERXES What? ROMILDA I dare not, my lord! I am blushing, and cannot tell you. Let me go and I shall write it to you. XERXES No, no, continue! ROMILDA Whether by audacity or fate, I do not know XERXES Ah! I can bear this no longer! ROMILDA He drew his lips close XERXES To ? ROMILDA To mine, and and and XERXES And he kissed you, did he not? Say it! ROMILDA In truth. XERXES You are lying to avoid marrying me. But whether it is true or not, he shall be punished for his transgression. (to his guards) Guards ho! Fly this instant to Arsamenes and slay him!

39

cause de ce baiser, vous serez veuve dabord, puis mon pouse. (Il sort, furieux.) ROMILDA Mon roi, mon poux, oui ! Oh amer tourment ! Arrtez, et que vive mon cher Arsamne ! SCNE VIII Romilda et Amastre, une lettre la main ROMILDA Brave guerrier AMASTRE Madame ROMILDA Aidez-moi ! Si votre sein abrite une me courtoise et pieuse, coutez ma prire. AMASTRE Vous devez me donner des ordres et non des prires. Je me souviens que vous mavez dlivr des chanes de ce roi cruel et ingrat. ROMILDA Le plus ingrat des rois, en effet ! Il a donn lordre de tuer Arsamne. Je mets maintenant toute ma confiance en vous. Allez sa recherche et prvenez-le de cette sentence inique. AMASTRE Je vais vous servir immdiatement, et je vous prie de faire parvenir au roi cette lettre de moi. ROMILDA Je vais la faire envoyer tout de suite. (Oh, quelle douleur !) (Elle sort.) AMASTRE Je suis la cause de ma propre souffrance

Vedova di quel bacio, poi sposa mia sarete. (Parte sdegnato.) ROMILDA Mio re, mio sposo, s! Oh amare pene! Fermate, e viva il caro mio Arsamene! SCENA VIII Romilda ed Amastre con lettera alla mano. ROMILDA 13 Prode guerrier AMASTRE Signora ROMILDA A me venite! Se nel petto nudrite alma cortese e pia, le mie preghiere udite! AMASTRE Commandi, e non preghiere a me porger dovete. lo mi sovvengo, che toglieste il mio pi da lacci di quellempio ingrato re. ROMILDA Ingratissimo appunto! Egli comanda che Arsamene succida. In voi il mio cor si fida; cercatelo, e per voi nota gli sia questa sentenza ria. AMASTRE Vado pronto a servirvi, ed io vi priego di far recare al re questo mio foglio. ROMILDA Volo per ispedirlo. (Oh, mio cordoglio!) (Romilda parte.) AMASTRE 14 Cagion son io del mio dolore

You shall first become the widow of that kiss, and then my bride! (Exit in a fury.) ROMILDA Be then my king and husband! Oh, the bitter pain! But hold your peace, and let my Arsamenes live! SCENE VIII Romilda and Amastres, who is holding a letter ROMILDA Brave warrior AMASTRES My lady ROMILDA Come to my help! If your breast holds a kindly and pious soul, hear my prayer! AMASTRES You should command me and not beseech me. I remember well how you freed me from the chains of that depraved and black-hearted king. ROMILDA The blackest of hearts, indeed! He has ordered that Arsamenes be put to death. I now place my trust in you: seek him and tell him of this wicked sentence. AMASTRES I shall serve you without delay. And I ask you that you convey this letter of mine to the king. ROMILDA I shall have it delivered this instant. (Oh, what torment!) (Exit.) AMASTRES I am the cause of my own suffering,

40

et je sais pourquoi. Mon cur aime un tratre avec trop damour, trop de fidlit. (Elle sort.) SCNE IX Arsamne et Romilda ARSAMNE Infidle Romilda, pensez-vous encore moi ? ROMILDA Romilda vous adore et pense constamment vous. ARSAMNE Cest pour hter mon dpart, et non pour sauver celui qui vous aime, que vous me dites que Xerxs veut ma mort. ROMILDA Tu outrages trop ma fidlit, me cruelle, cur ingrat ! ARSAMNE Tu trompes trop ma fidlit, me cruelle, cur ingrat ! ROMILDA Une tyrannique piti assaille mon cur amoureux. ARSAMNE Ce nest pas la piti mrite par mon cur amoureux. (Ils sortent chacun de leur ct.) SCNE X Une grande salle illumine. Au fond, une image du soleil avec, devant, un autel, sur lequel brle un feu. Un chur de prtres entoure limage du soleil. CHUR DE PRTRES Ce que veut Jupiter, lhomme ne saurait empcher.

e s perch. Ama il cor mio un traditore con troppo amore, con troppa f. (Amastre parte.) SCENA IX Arsamene e Romilda. ARSAMENE 15 Romilda infida, e di me pensa ancora? ROMILDA Romilda, che vi adora di voi pensa ad ognora. ARSAMENE Per spronarrli a partire, non per salvar chi vama, dite che Serse brama il mio morire. ROMILDA 16 Troppo oltraggi la mia fede, alma fiera, core ingrato! ARSAMENE Troppo inganni la mia fede, alma fiera, core ingrato! ROMILDA tiranna la mercede, che riceve il mio petto innamorato. ARSAMENE Non questa la mercede, che si deve al mio petto innamorato. (Partono per diverse parte.) SCENA X Gran salone con illuminazione; nel fondo del quale ve il simulacro del sole con ara dinanzi, e sopravi foco acceso. Coro di ministri allintorno del simulacro. CORO DI MINISTRI 17 Ci che Giove destin, impedir luomo non sa.

and the reason I know well: my heart loves a traitor with too much devotion, with too much faith. (Exit.) SCENE IX Arsamenes and Romilda ARSAMENES Is the faithless Romilda still thinking of me? ROMILDA Romilda adores you and thinks of you incessantly. ARSAMENES You tell me of Xerxes sentence to spur my departure, not to save the man who loves you. ROMILDA You insult my loyalty beyond measure, merciless soul, ungrateful heart! ARSAMENES You deceive my loyalty beyond measure, merciless soul, ungrateful heart! ROMILDA A mercy most tyrannical confronts my loving breast! ARSAMENES This is not the mercy deserved by my enraptured breast! (They exit in opposite directions.) SCENE X A grand and brightly-lit hall. In the background, an image of the sun and an altar, on which a fire is burning. A chorus of priests around the image. CHORUS OF PRIESTS What has been destined by Jupiter cannot be hindered by man.

41

(Ariodate, Romilda et Arsamne entrent au fond.)

(Ariodate, Romilda ed Arsamene dal fondo della scena.)

(Ariodates, Romilda and Arsamenes appear from the back of the stage.) ARIODATES Here is the bridegroom! Just as I had foreseen destiny smiles upon me. ARSAMENES Merciless soul! ROMILDA Ungrateful heart! ARSAMENES, ROMILDA You insult my loyalty beyond measure! ARIODATES I know why you have come, my lord, and you overwhelm me with honour. ROMILDA (about to leave) Ah! Father! ARIODATES Romilda! Do not go! ARSAMENES What did you mean, Ariodates? ARIODATES That I grant you my daughter, to be your humble servant and wife, as the king himself has commanded me. ARSAMENES Xerxes decreed this? ARIODATES To myself. ROMILDA (What do I hear?) ARIODATES Are you not here to take her for your wife? ARSAMENES I desire nothing else.

ARIODATE Voici le mari ! Comme je lavais prsag, le destin me sourit. ARSAMNE Ame cruelle ! ROMILDA Cur ingrat ! ARSAMNE, ROMILDA Tu outrages trop ma fidlit ! ARIODATE Je sais pourquoi vous tes venu, seigneur, et je suis confus de tant dhonneur. ROMILDA (sur le point de partir) Ah, mon pre ! ARIODATE Romilda, ne partez pas ! ARSAMNE Ariodate, que dites-vous ? ARIODATE Que je vous accorde ma fille pour pouse et humble servante, comme me la ordonn le roi. ARSAMNE Xerxs la ordonn ? ARIODATE moi-mme. ROMILDA (Quentends-je ?) ARIODATE Ntes-vous pas ici pour la prendre pour pouse ? ARSAMNE Je ne dsire rien dautre.

ARIODATE 18 Ecco lo sposo! Io ben ne fui presago, quanto marride il fato. ARSAMENE Alma fiera! ROMILDA Cor ingrato! ARSAMENE E ROMILDA Troppo oltraggi la mia fede! ARIODATE A colmarmi donore, Signor, so che veniste. ROMILDA (in atto di partire) Ah! Il genitore! ARIODATE Romilda, non partite! ARSAMENE Ariodate, che dite? ARIODATE Che a voi do la mia figlia per serva umile e sposa, come mimpose il re. ARSAMENE Serse limpose? ARIODATE A me stesso. ROMILDA (Che ascolto?) ARIODATE E voi veniste per prenderla in consorte? ARSAMENE Altro non bramo.

42

ROMILDA (Oh flicit ! Oh heureuse fortune !) ARIODATE Romilda, acceptez-vous ? ROMILDA Oui, mon pre et seigneur ! ARIODATE Joignez alors vos mains droites. ROMILDA, ARSAMNE Et que nos curs ne fassent quun ! ARIODATE Htons-nous maintenant vers Xerxs pour lui rendre grce dun si grand honneur. (Ils sortent tous les trois.) CHUR DE PRTRES Ceux quaffligeait le malheur partent maintenant pleins de joie et de bonheur. SCNE XI Xerxs, puis Ariodate XERXS Voici Ariodate. Il est temps de lui rvler que cest moi qui dsire Romilda. Me voici, Ariodate ! ARIODATE Invincible seigneur, je mincline devant vous XERXS Que dites-vous de cela ? Le mari dont je vous ai parl ARIODATE Cest un grand honneur ! XERXS Romilda en sera-t-elle heureuse ?

ROMILDA (Oh, me beata! Oh sorte!) ARIODATE Romilda, acconsentite? ROMILDA S, mio padre e Signore. ARIODATE Stringete omai le destre ROMILDA, ARSAMENE E in uno il core! ARIODATE Ora corriamo a Serse per render grazie dun si grande onore. (Partono tutti tre.) CORO DI MINISTRI 19 Chi infelice si trov, pien di gioia or lieto va. SCENA XI Serse, poi Ariodate. SERSE 20 Se ne viene Ariodate. tempo omai di scoprir, che son io, che Romilda desio. Eccomi, Ariodate. ARIODATE Invito Sire, vinchino SERSE Or che vi sembra? Lo sposo egual vi dissi ARIODATE un alto onore. SERSE Romilda vaga ne sar paga?

ROMILDA (Oh bliss! Oh fortune!) ARIODATES Do you accept, Romilda? ROMILDA Yes, my father and lord. ARIODATES Then join your hands. ROMILDA, ARSAMENES And our hearts too, as one! ARIODATES Let us now hasten to Xerxes and thank him for so high an honour. (Exeunt.) CHORUS OF PRIESTS Those afflicted with unhappiness now leave blessed with joy and contentment. SCENE XI Xerxes, then Ariodates XERXES Here comes Ariodates. The time has come to reveal to him that it is I who want to marry Romilda. Here I am, Ariodates! ARIODATES Oh my great lord, I bow before you. XERXES What say you to this? The husband I mentioned ARIODATES The honour is great! XERXES Will fair Romilda be happy with the choice?

43

ARIODATE Elle ne dsire rien dautre. XERXS Mais pourquoi ne vient-elle pas ? O est-elle ? ARIODATE Avec le mari. XERXS Comment ? ARIODATE Avec le mari, sire. XERXS Quel mari ? Hlas ! ARIODATE Celui que vous avez ordonn. XERXS Quai-je ordonn ? Quoi ? ARIODATE Votre gal, de votre sang, il sest prsent mon domicile XERXS Et ils sont maris ? ARIODATE Certainement. XERXS Tratre ! Perfide ! Indigne ! ARIODATE Mon roi ? XERXS Tu mas trahi ! Et tu as laudace de mappeler ton roi ! (Un page apporte une lettre Xerxs, et lui parle tout bas.) Une lettre de Romilda ? La perfide ! Elle croit pouvoir apaiser mon indignation avec les charmes de son encre !

ARIODATE Non brama pi. SERSE Ma perch mai non viene? Dov? ARIODATE Collo sposo. SERSE Come? ARIODATE Collo sposo, Signor. SERSE Che sposo? Ahim! ARIODATE Come imponeste SERSE Che vimposi? Che? ARIODATE Eguale a voi, del vostro sangue, e venne nelle mie stanze SERSE E sono sposi? ARIODATE Sono. SERSE Empio! Perfido! Indegno! ARIODATE Mio Re? SERSE Tu mhai tradito, e per tuo re tenti chiamarmi, ardito! (Un paggio porta una lettera a Serse, e gli parla basso.) Romilda a me linvia? Perfida donna! Crede co inchiostri rei incantar follemente i sdegni miei?

ARIODATES She yearns for nothing more. XERXES But why does she not come? Where is she? ARIODATES With her new husband. XERXES I beg your pardon? ARIODATES With her new husband, my lord. XERXES What husband? Oh woe! ARIODATES The one you decreed. XERXES I decreed? What? ARIODATES Of your standing and of your own kin, who would come to my residence XERXES And they are married? ARIODATES Indeed. XERXES Treacherous, perfidious, worthless wretch! ARIODATES My king? XERXES You have betrayed me! And you have the audacity still to call me your king! (A page brings him a letter and speaks to him.) From Romilda? Oh, the perfidious woman! Does she think she can appease my wrath with the charms of her pen?

44

ARIODATE (Pourquoi le ciel ne me fait-il pas mourir ?) XERXS Lis ! (Il donne la lettre Ariodate, qui la lit.) Eh bien ? ARIODATE Amant ingrat ! XERXS Comment ! Elle mappelle ingrat ! Comment ose-t-elle ? ARIODATE Je suis venue ici pour tre vtre. XERXS Et elle en pouse un autre ? ARIODATE Jai dcouvert que vous mavez rejete. XERXS Oh, lettre perfide ! ARIODATE Je pars, mais le ciel punira votre faute. XERXS La faute de tavoir aime ! ARIODATE Je pleurerai jusqu mon dernier souffle, Amastre. XERXS Quoi ? ARIODATE Cette lettre nest pas de Romilda. (Xerxs prend la lettre, furieux, et regarde la signature.)

ARIODATE (Perch non moro, o Ciel!) SERSE Leggi! (D la lettera ad Ariodate, che legge.) Che fai? ARIODATE Ingratissimo amante! SERSE Come? Ingrato mi chiama? E tanto ella osa? ARIODATE Venni per esser vostra. SERSE E altrui si sposa? ARIODATE Trovai che mi sprezzate. SERSE Oh, note scellerate! ARIODATE Parto, ma il Ciel punir vostre colpe. SERSE Colpe daverti amato. ARIODATE Io pianger sino allultimo fiato. Amastre. SERSE Che? ARIODATE Non di Romilda il foglio. (Serse prende con sdegno la lettera e guarda la firma.)

ARIODATES (Why does the ground not swallow me up?) XERXES Read it! (Hands the letter to Ariodates, who opens it.) Well? ARIODATES Oh most thankless lover! XERXES What! Does she call me thankless? How dare she? ARIODATES I came here to become yours. XERXES And she marries someone else? ARIODATES And found that you had scorned me. XERXES Oh, venomous letter! ARIODATES I leave, but heaven will punish your offence. XERXES The offence of having loved you! ARIODATES I shall weep till my dying breath. Amastres. XERXES What? ARIODATES The letters not from Romilda. (Incensed, Xerxes takes the letter and looks at the signature.) XERXES Amastres! Get out of my sight, you wretch. What more could happen to increase my pain? (Ariodates withdraws to one side.)

XERXS Amastre ! Va, loigne-toi, indigne crature ! Quavais-je besoin dautres ennuis ! (Ariodate se retire lcart.)

SERSE Amastre! Vanne, e ti allontana, indegno! Non mancava altro tedio in tanto sdegno! (Ariodate si ritira in disparte.)

45

Sauvages furies des abmes hideux, touffez-moi de votre venin ! Que le monde seffondre, que le soleil soit clips par ma colre, et que mon cur expire enfin ! (En partant, indign, il se trouve face face avec Arsamne, Romilda, Amastre, Atalante et Elviro.) SCNE FINALE Tous XERXS Perfides ! Vous osez encore vous prsenter devant moi ? ARIODATE Quelle fureur ! ARSAMNE Paix ! Humblement vos pieds XERXS Vous vous moquez de moi ! ARSAMNE Comment, sire ? XERXS Tu mas enlev Romilda ! ARSAMNE Sur votre ordre. ARIODATE Cest vrai ROMILDA Je le confirme. XERXS Et quand ? Tmraires excuses ! (Il tire son pe.) Perce donc de cette lame le sein de cette infidle ! ARSAMNE La plonger dans le cur de ma propre pouse ? Je la plongerais plutt dans le tien !

21 Crude furie deglorridi abissi, aspergetemi datro veleno! Crolli il mondo, e l sole seclissi a questira, che spira il mio seno! (Nel partire sdegnato, gli si fanno innanzi Arsamene, Romilda, Amastre, Atalanta ed Elviro). SCENA ULTIMA Tutti SERSE 22 Perfidi! E ancor osate venirmi innanzi? ARIODATE Che furor! ARSAMENE Cessate! Umili al vostro pi SERSE Sol per schernirmi! ARSAMENE Come, Signor? SERSE Tu mhai Romilda tolta! ARSAMENE Fu per vostro commando. ARIODATE ver ROMILDA Confermo. SERSE E quando? Temerari pretesti! (Tira la spada.) Questo ferro a quellempia in seno immergi! ARSAMENE Chio sveni la mia sposa? Svener pria il tuo core!

You savage Furies from the hideous abysses, inspire me with your venom! Let the world turn to ash and the sun be eclipsed by my anger, till my heart bursts with fury! (As he leaves in a fury he is confronted by Arsamenes, Romilda, Amastres, Atalanta and Elviro.) FINAL SCENE All XERXES Perfidious creatures! You dare still cross my path? ARIODATES What fury! ARSAMENES Peace, my lord! Humbly at your feet, we XERXES You come to insult me! ARSAMENES How so, my lord? XERXES You have taken Romilda from me! ARSAMENES By your own command. ARIODATES It is true ROMILDA I vouch for it. XERXES And when? This is all pretence! (drawing his sword) Plunge this sword into the heart of the traitress! ARSAMENES I, kill my own wife? I would sooner cut open your heart!

46

AMASTRE ( Xerxs) Donnez-la-moi, sire ! XERXS Et qui es-tu, toi qui me harcles sans arrt ? AMASTRE Quelquun qui cherche une juste vengeance. Ne voulez-vous pas quun cur fourbe soit perc par quelquun qui ladore encore ? XERXS Oui ! AMASTRE Et qui arrache ce cur ? XERXS Oui ! AMASTRE (saisit lpe de la main de Xerxs et la lui appuie sur la poitrine) Meurs alors, ingrat et tratre ! Voici Amastre trahie, et toujours fidle, et toi, impitoyable et injuste, tu la mprises ainsi ! XERXS Tuez-moi, oui ! AMASTRE (tourne lpe contre elle-mme) Cest ainsi que je meurs. XERXS Arrtez ! Je me repens maintenant. AMASTRE Et tu va maimer de nouveau ? XERXS Oui, mais je suis indigne de ta piti. AMASTRE Aime-moi quand mme, trs cher, je te pardonne. (Ils sembrassent.) ELVIRO Jen suis tout tremblant !

AMASTRE (a Serse) Datelo a me, Signore! SERSE E che sei tu, chognor sempre mi sturbi? AMASTRE Uno che cerca far giusta vendetta. Volete che si sveni un alma che tradi, chi pur ladora? SERSE S. AMASTRE E si squarci quel core? SERSE S. AMASTRE (gli rapisce a forza il ferro, presentadoglielo al petto) Mori dunque, ingrato e traditore! Ecco Amastre tradita, e ognor fedele, e tu spietato e rio la disprezzi cos?

AMASTRES (to Xerxes) Hand it to me, my lord! XERXES And who are you, with your relentless pestering? AMASTRES One who seeks rightful revenge. Do you wish me to pierce that heart that has repaid true love with treachery? XERXES Yes! AMASTRES And cut it to pieces? XERXES Yes! AMASTRES (snatches the sword from Xerxes hand and offers it to his breast) Then die, you shameless traitor! Before you stands Amastres, betrayed yet ever loyal. But so pitiless and iniquitous are you, that still you show her scorn! XERXES So be it: kill me! AMASTRES (turning the blade on herself) I am the one who should die. XERXES Stop! Now I repent AMASTRES And will you love me once again? XERXES Yes, but I am unworthy of your mercy. AMASTRES Then love me, my dearest, for I forgive you. (They embrace.) ELVIRO I am all a-tremble!

SERSE Uccidetemi s! AMASTRE (volge il ferro contro di s.) Morir deggio. SERSE Fermate! Ora mi pento AMASTRE E torni a amarmi? SERSE S, ma di tua pietate indegno sono. AMASTRE Amami pur, o caro, io ti perdono! (Si abbracciano.) ELVIRO Sono tutto tremante.

47

ARIODATE Toutes les souffrances se sont vanouies. ARSAMNE Je respire, et je suis tout abasourdi. ROMILDA Je suis console. ATALANTE Et je chercherai ailleurs un autre amant. XERXS Amis, pardonnez ma fureur passe et rjouissez-vous de votre amour ! ROMILDA ( Arsamne) Que tu es cher mon me, que tu es doux mon cur ; je suis la palme que tu porteras comme trophe de notre amour. TOUS La paix revient en nous et la joie sourit en nos curs ; pour remporter la palme sunissent honneur et amour. FIN
Traduction : Elisabeth Rhodes

ARIODATE Or sparve il duolo. ARSAMENE Io respiro, e stupisco. ROMILDA Io mi consolo. ATALANTA Ed io cercher altrove un altro amante. SERSE Amici, compatite i miei furori, e godete felici i vostri amori. ROMILDA (ad Arsamene) 23 Caro voi siete allalma, dolce voi siete al cor. Son della vostra palma fatta trofeo damor! TUTTI 24 Ritorna a noi la calma riede la gioia al cor, Per riportar la palma suniro amore e onor! FINE

ARIODATES See how all affliction has vanished. ARSAMENES I breathe again, but Im amazed. ROMILDA Oh, what relief. ATALANTA And I shall seek another lover elsewhere. XERXES Forgive my past ill humour, good friends, and take joy in your love! ROMILDA (to Arsamenes) How dear you are to my soul. How sweet you are to my heart. I am the palm that you shall bear as a trophy of our love. ALL Calm and peace return to us; joy smiles in our hearts. And, to bear away the palm, honour and joy have united. THE END
Translation: Fabio Perselli/Virgin Classics With thanks to BMG Classics for their assistance in securing libretto translations

48