Ihc iittlc Iragcdics

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Russian iitcraturc and Ihought
Ga·y Saal Mo·soo, se·ies eái:o·
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Ihc iittlc Iragcdics
xirxx·nrr rusuxi·
I·aosla:eá, «i:/ C·i:ical Essays, ly Naocy R. .oáe·soo
Yalc Uni·crsity Ircss t Kcw La·cn and iondon
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copyright ¸ :ooo by Yalc Uni·crsity
All rights rcscr·cd.
Ihis book nay not bc rcproduccd, in wholc or in part, including illustrations, in any
íorn (bcyond that copying pcrnittcd by scctions .o; and .o: oí thc U.s. copyright
iawand cxccpt by rc·icwcrs íor thc public prcss), without writtcn pcrnission íron
thc publishcrs.
icsigncd by Rcbccca Gibb.
sct in Fournicr typc by Iscng Iníornation systcns.
Irintcd in thc Unitcd statcs oí Ancrica.
iibrary oí congrcss cataloging-in-Iublication iata
Iushkin, Alcksandr scrgcc·ich, .;,,–.:,;.
[Malcn’kic tragcdii. English|
Ihc littlc tragcdics / Alcxandcr Iushkin , translatcd, with critical cssays, by Kancy K.
Andcrson.
p. cn. — (Russian litcraturc and thought)
Includcs bibliographical rcícrcnccs and indcx.
isr· o-,oo-o:o:,-, (cloth : alk. papcr)—isr· o-,oo-o:o:;-. (pbk. : alk. papcr)
.. Iushkin, Alcksandr scrgcc·ich, .;,,–.:,;—Iranslations into English. I. Iitlc.
II. scrics. III. Andcrson, Kancy K.
ro,,¡; .x: :ooo
:,..;:`, :.—dc:.
,,–o¡c¡.c
A cataloguc rccord íor this book is a·ailablc íron thc British iibrary.
Ihc papcr in this book nccts thc guidclincs íor pcrnancncc and durability oí thc
connittcc on Iroduction Guidclincs íor Book iongc·ity oí thc council on iibrary
Rcsourccs.
.o , : ; c , ¡ , : .
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contcnts
Acknowlcdgncnts ·ii
Introduction .
Ihc iittlc Iragcdics in English: An Approach .o
·ur ii ··ir ·rxorni rs
I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,;
Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i ,,
I/e S:ooe Gaes: cc
. Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae ,,
cri ·i cxi rs sxss
Ihc scduction oí Iowcr: I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: .o;
Bctrayal oí a calling: Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i .,.
Ihc Vcight oí thc Iast: I/e S:ooe Gaes: .,c
sur·i·al and Mcnory: . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae .::
conncntary .,:
Kotcs :.,
sclcct Bibliography ::.
Indcx ::,
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Acknowlcdgncnts
i wouin ii xr to cxprcss ny gratitudc to Robcrt i. ]ackson oí Yalc
Uni·crsity íor his continuing ad·icc and cncouragcncnt during thc
proccss oí writing this book, and to caryl Encrson oí Irinccton Uni-
·crsity íor hcr scnsiti·c rcading oí, and ·aluablc corrcctions to, thc
translations.
Ihc illustrations arc by Vladinir Fa·orsky íron a so·ict cdition oí
thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’
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Introduction
so íar I’·c bccn rcading nothing but Iushkin and an drunk
with rapturc, c·cry day I disco·cr soncthing ncw.
Iyoáo· Dos:oe·s/y io a le::e· :o /is «ife, .c ,.·) )aly .·-,
i r o·r xs xrn a Russian to nanc Russia’s grcatcst writcr, thc un-
hcsitating rcply would bc not iostoc·sky or Iolstoy but Iushkin. Yct
an English-spcaking rcadcr who is not a sla·ist probably knows littlc
oí Iushkin’s work bcyond Ea¸eoe Coe¸io—ií, indccd, hc or shc rcc-
ognizcs thc nanc oí Iushkin at all. Ihus, a translation oí Iushkin’s
‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ to thc English-spcaking public rcquircs a ícw words
placing thc work in its contcxt.
Ihc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ is thc nanc traditionally gi·cn to thc col-
lcction oí Iushkin’s íour short dranas in ·crsc, I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:,
Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i, I/e S:ooe Gaes:, and . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae.
1
Ihcsc íour dranas wcrc nc·cr publishcdtogcthcr inIushkin’s liíctinc:
indccd, I/e S:ooe Gaes: was not printcd until aítcr his dcath. Kc·cr-
.
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. Io:·oáac:ioo
thclcss, thc íour plays clcarly arc unitcd, not only by thcir connon
origin, but by thcir sinilar íorn and thcncs.
Ihc plays wcrc writtcn in circunstanccs that thcnscl·cs wcrc
highly dranatic. In .:,o, Iushkin was thirty-onc ycars old and rc-
gardcd hinsclí as ha·ing outli·cd his first youth and rcachcd thc tinc
to scttlc down. Lc had bcconc cngagcd to a young wonan oí grcat
bcauty and (by thc nobility’s standards) littlc noncy, Katalya Goncha-
ro·a. At lcast hc hopcd hc was cngagcd to hcr, íor Katalya’s nothcr
unscntincntally rcgardcd thc narriagc oí hcr nost cligiblc daughtcr
as thc ncans oí scttling hcr íanily’s financial íuturc in thc bcst possiblc
nanncr, and was conducting thc narriagc ncgotiations accordingly.
Iushkin’s status as a writcr was oí littlc hclp, sincc in thc Russia oí
.:,o litcraturc was rcgardcd norc as a gcntlcnanly hobby than a pro-
ícssion, which was rcflcctcd in writcrs’ pay. In addition, Iushkin, likc
nost adult sons oí thc Russian nobility, had not distinguishcd hinsclí
by his thriít, and thc rcsulting quarrcls with his íathcr had donc noth-
ing to inpro·c his financial position. But Iushkin’s willingncss to takc
on thc adult obligation oí narriagc plcascd his íathcr, and to inpro·c
his position in thc narriagc ncgotiations, his íathcr ga·c hina sharc oí
thc íanily propcrtyoí thc ·illagc oí Boldino, in thc pro·incc oí Kizhny
Ko·gorod. At thc bcginning oí scptcnbcr .:,o, Iushkin arri·cd at
Boldino, both to takc posscssion and to find a placc íar cnough íron
his potcntial nothcr-in-law so that hc could naintain his cnotional
cquilibriunand conccntratc on his writing. Lc had also disco·crcd, cn
routc íron Moscow, that hc was going to bc c·cn norc isolatcd in thc
country than hc had thought: cholcra had brokcn out thcrc, and offi-
cials at post-horsc stations along thc way wcrc cncouraging tra·clcrs
to turn back. In .:,o, cholcra was a nystcrious, untrcatablc, sonc-
tincs íatal discasc, but thc on-again, off-again wcdding ncgotiations
had dri·cn Iushkin to such a statc oí cxaspcration and íury that thc
risk actually appcalcd to hin, and hc prcsscd onward.
Ihus in thc autunn oí .:,o, Iushkin’s past way oí liíc clcarly was
coning to an cnd, whcrcas his íuturc—assuning hc li·cd to scc it
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Io:·oáac:ioo ,
—was thoroughly unprcdictablc, and in thc solitudc oí thc Russian
countrysidc, with dirt roads washcd out by thc autunn rains and tra·cl
íurthcr rcstrictcd by quarantincs, hc had plcnty oí tinc íor rcflcction.
Ihc rcsult was an cxtraordinary burst oí crcati·ity, an artistic sun-
nation oí c·crything that hc had thought and cxpcricnccd. In thc
thrcc nonths that Iushkin spcnt at Boldino, hc wrotc thc final canto oí
Ea¸eoe Coe¸io, along with two scctions not includcd in thc final ·cr-
sion oí that work (onc on Cncgin’s tra·cls and at lcast thc bcginning oí
a politically unpublishablc ‘‘canto X’’), I/e Li::le Hoase io Roloooa, a
hunorous anccdotc in octa·cs, two nock íolk talcs in ·crsc, I/e S:o·y
of :/e I·ies: aoá His Ho·/oao Baláa and I/e S:o·y of :/e S/e-Bea·,
sonc thirty lyric pocns, ranging íronpolcnics to clcgics, I/e Iales of
Bel/io, fi·c short storics which wcrc Iushkin’s first conplctcd works
oí prosc fiction, along with an inconplctc story, His:o·y of :/e 1illa¸e
of Go·ya//ioo, and íour plays now rcícrrcd to as thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’
Ihc conplction datc oí cach play is writtcn on its nanuscript: I/e
Mise·ly Roi¸/: is datcd :, Cctobcr .:,o, Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i :c Cctobcr,
I/e S:ooe Gaes: ¡ Ko·cnbcr, and .Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae : Ko·cn-
bcr. Bchind this cxtraordinarily short tinc oí conposition, howc·cr,
lay sc·cral ycars oí rcflcction. An undatcd jotting oí Iushkin’s lists
tcn possiblc subjccts íor plays, anong thcn I/e Mise·, Mo¸a·: aoá
Salie·i, and Doo )aao, judging íron othcr notcs on thc sanc shcct oí
papcr, this was probably writtcn in .::c. Fron Iushkin’s biography,
onc can scc why thcsc thrcc subjccts not only would ha·c appcalcd to
hin originally, but would ha·c staycd in his thoughts o·cr thc íollow-
ing ycars. Iushkin’s financial dcpcndcncc upon his noncy-conscious
íathcr had nadc hin awarc oí thc paradoxical rclationship oí noncy
and pcrsonal írccdon: too littlc noncy, and onc’s írccdon oí action
was hcnncd by cxtcrnal constraints, too nuch intcrcst in noncy, and
onc’s inncr írccdon was lost—an insight that was to find cxprcssion
in I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:. Iushkin’s prolongcd quarrcls with untalcntcd
but officially ía·orcd ‘‘patriotic’’ writcrs had shown hin thc dcpth oí
nalicc that could bc rcachcd by proícssional cn·y, and such cn·y was
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, Io:·oáac:ioo
to íorn thc starting point íor Iushkin’s crcation oí salicri, although
salicri is no norc a ‘‘sinplc’’ cn·icr than thc Baron is a ‘‘sinplc’’ niscr.
As íor ion ]uan, Iushkin hinsclí had a rcputation in his youth as a
ladics’ nan, and kcpt what hc callcd a ‘‘ion ]uan list’’ oí his ícnalc
conqucsts. As thc narriagc ncgotiations with Katalya Goncharo·a’s
nothcr draggcd on, Iushkin dc·clopcd a ncw idca oí ion ]uan, as
thc íorncr wonanizcr who at last íalls in lo·c with a ‘‘good’’ wonan
and who dcsircs hcr cxclusi·c íaithíulncss so passionatcly that hc íccls
jcalous c·cn oí hcr dcad husband. iona Anna bcconcs a young and
bcautiíul widow, still íccling affcction toward thc ncnory oí thc hus-
band whon shc narricd at hcr nothcr’s connand, but not rcady to
bc íaithíul to that ncnory íor thc rcst oí hcr liíc—thc ·cry position
in which Iushkin, with horror, inagincd a widowcd Katalya onc day
finding hcrsclí.
2
Anna Akhnato·a has suggcstcd that it was thc in-
tcnscly pcrsonal naturc oí I/e S:ooe Gaes: that nadc Iushkin dccidc
against publishing it in his liíctinc. . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae, as its
abscncc íron Iushkin’s jotting shows, has a diffcrcnt origin íron thc
othcr thrcc plays. It is a translation, with significant nodifications by
Iushkin, oí a sccnc íron a nuch longcr work, I/e Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae,
writtcn by a ninor English contcnporary oí Iushkin’s, ]ohn Vilson.
Iushkin’s copy oí this work, which hc took to Boldino with hin, was
publishcd in .::,, it no doubt c·okcd ncnorics oí Iushkin’s ·isit to
thc caucasus in that ycar, during which hc witncsscd an outbrcak oí
thc plaguc in Erzrun, thc capital oí Arncnia. Ihc cholcra cpidcnic
raging in thc countrysidc around Boldino in .:,o nadc thc topic c·cn
norc grinly appropriatc.
But thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ arc not ncrcly artistic transíornations oí
Iushkin’s own pcrsonal cxpcricncc. Ihcy also rcflcct his intcrcst in thc
potcntial oí drana as a ncans oí cxploring hunan passions. Each oí
thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ has a protagonist oí such cxccptional giíts and
strcngth oí charactcr that hc doninatcs all thc pcoplc and circun-
stanccs surrounding hin. Ihc intcrnal psychological conflict oí this
ccntral charactcr, who íaccs a crucial choicc bctwccn opposing altcr-
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Io:·oáac:ioo ¯
nati·cs, thus bcconcs thc kcy plot clcncnt.Ihis is nost ob·ious in I/e
Mise·ly Roi¸/:, whcrc thc conflict oí thc ccntral charactcr is sunna-
rizcd in its ·cry titlc, and in .Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae, whcrc Valsing-
han uscs his doninant position as chairnan to turn thc ícast into an
ongoing discussion oí thc issuc that obscsscs hin, thc rclation oí thc
li·ing and thc dcad. In Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i this kcy plot clcncnt assuncs
an uncxpcctcd íorn: thc gcnius Mozart appcars as a sccondary figurc,
whilc thc play is doninatcd by thc inncr drana oí thc lcsscr conposcr
salicri, who is torn bctwccn his lo·c oí Mozart’s nusic and thc anbi-
tion and cn·y that nakcs hin scntcncc Mozart to dcath. In I/e S:ooe
Gaes:, thc conflict in·ol·cs two cxtrcnc typcs oí rclationship bctwccn
a nan and a wonan: onc cnphasizing thc bcauty and ccstasy oí thc
noncnt, with no cxpcctation bcyond that, thc othcr cnphasizing thc
constancy oí lo·c, throughout liíc and c·cn bcyond thc gra·c.
Iassion, choicc, conscqucnccs—thcsc wcrc thc issucs to which, at
a crucial noncnt in his own liíc, Iushkin’s thoughts and inagination
turncd. Frcc will and íatc, íor hin, wcrc not oppositcs. Rathcr, thcy
wcrc organically linkcd, jointly cxprcssing what Iushkin saw as thc
grcat noral law: thc lawoí Kcncsis, that a gi·cn choicc carrics a par-
ticular payncnt or rcward as its inc·itablc rcsult, that ‘‘as a nan sows,
so shall hc rcap.’’ Vhat unitcs thc íour protagonists oí thc ‘‘littlc tragc-
dics’’ is that cachoí thcnis inpcllcdbya doninatingpassionto·iolatc
thc noral law, and, as thc pcnaltyíor that ·iolation, loscs thc·crything
hc sought to gain. Ihc Baron loscs both his knightly honor and his
hoardcd trcasurc, which, as hc has íorcsccn with horror, will pass to his
spcndthriít son. salicri nurdcrs Mozart in thc nanc oí Art, only to íacc
thc gnawing suspicion that hc, thc would-bc gcnius, is in íact no bcttcr
than thc connon crowd. ion ]uan, who was rcady to ganblc his liíc
íor iona Anna’s lo·c, loscs both hcr and his liíc. Valsinghan, who
chcrishcs his latc wiíc’s inagc oí hinas ‘‘proud and írcc,’’ displays that
pridc and írccdon in an inhunan nanncr and is íorccd to acknowl-
cdgc that hc is ashancd bcíorc ‘‘hcr innortal cycs.’’ Ihc consistcnt
affirnation oí thc rctribution that occurs whcn noral law is ·iolatcd
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c Io:·oáac:ioo
by a dcstructi·c passion—a rctribution that transccnds all thc diffcr-
cnccs in thc ccnturics, culturcs, and indi·idual charactcrs dcpictcd in
cach play—c·okcs two lincs that Iushkin had writtcn ycars bcíorc in
I/e Gy¡sies.
И всюду страсти роковые,
И от судеб защити нет.
[And c·crywhcrc arc íatal passions,
Against thc Fatcs thcrc’s no dcícnsc.|
Ihis cnphasis on thc íatcíul choicc oí a ccntral figurc is thc kcy to
not only thc plot, but thc structurc oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’ E·crything
that could distract attcntion íron thc íundancntal clcncnt is swcpt
away. Ihc nunbcr oí charactcrs is rcduccd to a nininun: indccd, in
Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i thc titlc charactcrs arc thc only two spcaking parts.
Morco·cr, thc nonccntral charactcrs do not cxist indcpcndcntly, thcy
arc dcfincdbythcir rclationshiptothc ccntral charactcr, cithcr as oppo-
sitcs (as Mozart is to salicri, or as Mary’s song is toValsinghan’s song)
or as ‘‘doublcs’’ (as thc ]cwish noncylcndcr and thc iukc both ccho
aspccts oí thc Baron’s pcrsonality, or as iaura is a ícnalc countcrpart
to ion ]uan). Ihc action is likcwisc rcduccd to thc nost csscntial clc-
ncnts. In contrast to a traditional play, in which thc largcst part oí thc
drana is spcnt in dc·cloping thc conflict or plot conplication which
is rcsol·cd only at thc cnd, cach oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ starts, so to
spcak, at thc bcginning oí thc fiíth act, at thc noncnt whcn a prccxist-
ing unstablc situation is at thc point oí bcconing a crisis, and no·cs
swiítly and incxorably to its catastrophic clinax.
Ihc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ contain a nunbcr oí sccncs that arc so in-
tcnscly dranatic that thcy dcnand to bc sccn and hcard, rathcr than
ncrcly rcad: thc Baron’s nonologuc inI/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:, or thc c·cr-
dccpcning horror oí thc con·crsation bctwccn thc nurdcrcr and his
·ictinin thc sccond sccnc oí Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i, or thc tanglc oí wari-
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Io:·oáac:ioo -
ncss and attraction, passion and calculation, bctwccn ion ]uan and
iona Anna in thc last sccnc oí I/e S:ooe Gaes:. But dcspitc thc ob·i-
ously dranatic naturc oí thc plays, thcy prcscnt scrious problcns in
production. Ihrcc oí thc íour plays contain nusic that is to bc pcr-
íorncd by a charactcr, and although it could bc argucd that iaura’s
songs in I/e S:ooe Gaes: arc cpisodic and not íundancntally diffcr-
cnt in thcir dranatic íunction íron thc songs that occur in so nany oí
shakcspcarc’s plays, thc pcríornanccs by Mozart in Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i
and thc songs oí Mary and Valsinghan in . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae
arc as inportant in thc plays as thc spokcn dialoguc. Ko lcss than thc
words, this nusic is an cxprcssion oí thc dccpcst ícclings, thc world-
·icw, oí thc pcríorncr, and is pcrcci·cd as such by thc othcr char-
actcrs, who rcspond to it accordingly. And yct Iushkin pro·idcs no
practical dircctions íor thc nusic. Ihc piccc that Mozart plays in thc
first sccnc is not c·cn idcntificd. Lis pcríornancc in thc sccond is dc-
scribcd only as bcing íron thc Re¸aieo, that is, onc nan is playing on
a piano (and possibly also singing) a sclcction íron a work which is
scorcdíor íour ·oiccs, chorus, andorchcstra, whilc prcscr·ingthc naj-
csty oí thc original—a transcription problcn worthy oí iiszt. Mary’s
and Valsinghan’s songs arc both ncrc lyrics not sct to any nclody,
although thc choicc oí nusic would bc a crucial íactor in thc songs’
cffcct.
Ihc dcgrcc towhich Iushkin lcít such a ·ital production ícaturc un-
dclincatcd raiscs thc qucstion: did thc author cn·ision thc plays bcing
stagcd, and ií so, how: Cnc altcrnati·c nay bc rulcd out inncdi-
atcly: as an a·id thcatcrgocr who had had nany occasions to obscr·c
audicncc bcha·ior, Iushkin cannot ha·c rcgardcd thc ‘‘littlc tragc-
dics’’ as stagcablc in a con·cntional conncrcial thcatcr. It has oítcn
bccn pointcd out that no conncrcial playwright would statc an in-
portant thcnc oí thc play in its ·cry first two lincs, as Iushkin docs
with salicri’s nonologuc (‘‘Ihcy say thcrc’s no justicc hcrc on carth, /
But thcrc’s no justicc highcr up, cithcr’’). iuring thc first fi·c nin-
utcs latcconcrs will still bc arri·ing and pcoplc still gctting scttlcd in
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· Io:·oáac:ioo
thcir scats, and thc playwright nust adjust thc wcight oí thc opcning
lincs accordingly. But what nakcs thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ unstagcablc in
a con·cntional thcatcr is not just onc or anothcr spccific problcn, but
thc ·cry naturc oí thc plays. Bccausc thcy arc strippcd so conplctcly
to thcir csscntials, not only c·cry word but c·cry brcath, c·cry íacial
cxprcssion, acquircs a rclati·c inportancc íar grcatcr than in a con·cn-
tional play. And in proportion, thc ordinary problcns which rcgularly
dininish thc pcrccption oí a ncnbcr oí a play’s audicncc—a cough-
ing spcctator, a poor scat—bcconc íar norc scriously danaging to
thc work’s rcccption.
Ihc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ thus nust ha·c bccn intcndcd íor a snall audi-
cncc in an intinatc sctting, a dranatic cqui·alcnt oí chanbcr nusic.
Ihc chanbcr nusic analogy also suggcsts onc way in which Iush-
kin night ha·c inagincd thc plays bcing pcríorncd. chanbcr nusic
was oítcn writtcn to bc playcd not only by proícssional nusicians, but
also by giítcd anatcurs (Bcctho·cn’s Archdukc Irio and schubcrt’s
‘‘Irout’’ Çuintct, to ncntion two wcll-known cxanplcs, both contain
parts dcsigncd to bc playcd by thc patrons who had connissioncd
thc works). Ihc norc culti·atcd ncnbcrs oí thc Russian aristocracy,
which produccd giítcd anatcurs in nany artistic ficlds, would ccr-
tainly ha·c bccn capablc oí participating in such a ‘‘chanbcr thcatcr.’’
Indccd, in thc .:,os, thc young and as-yct-unknown poct Alcxandcr
Blok courtcd his íuturc wiíc, iyubo· Mcndclcyc·a, during thc ana-
tcur thcatricals that wcrc stagcd in thc sunncr at hcr íanily’s cstatc,
whcrc a con·crtcd barn was cquippcd with a stagc, íootlights, and
bcnchcs íor thc spcctators, íanily íricnds would long rcncnbcr Blok’s
pcríornancc as Lanlct to Mcndclcyc·a’s Cphclia. In .:,,, in honor
oí thc ccntcnnial oí Iushkin’s birth, this littlc thcatcr stagcd sccncs
íron Bo·is Goáaoo·, I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:, and I/e S:ooe Gaes:. It nay
wcll bc that thc bcst ninctccnth-ccntury pcríornanccs oí thc ‘‘littlc
tragcdics’’ occurrcd in prcciscly such pri·atc scttings and ha·c now
·anishcd without tracc, sa·c íor a diary cntry or a linc in a ycllowing
lcttcr.
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Io:·oáac:ioo ,
Low thcn should thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ bc stagcd íor an audicncc
today: An cxpcrincntal thcatcr is, oí coursc, onc option, but gi·cn thc
snall nunbcr oí such thcatcrs, a norc acccssiblc íorunwould bc dcsir-
ablc. Ihc twcnticth ccntury has in íact pro·idcd such a ncdiun—filn.
Ihc intinacy oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ is prcciscly suitcd to a ncdiun
capablc oí closc-up shots and oí continually positioning thc audicncc
at thc bcst possiblc ·icwing anglc—a ncdiun that, in addition, has
traditionally intcgratcd drana with nusic. Indccd, thc ‘‘littlc tragc-
dics’’ sccn so nuch bcttcr adaptcd to filn than to li·c thcatcr that onc
is tcnptcd to suggcst that thc rcason Iushkin lcít crucial aspccts oí
thc pcríornancc undcscribcd in his nanuscript is bccausc hc rcalizcd
that hc was pushing bcyond thc staging capabilitics oí his day, crc-
atingworks that wouldrcquirc twcnticth- or c·cntwcnty-first-ccntury
tcchnology to producc thcir íull cffcct.
E·cn as unstagcd scripts, howc·cr, thc íour plays ha·c long bccn
rccognizcd as anong thc grcatcst works oí Russia’s grcatcst writcr.
iostoc·sky was íascinatcd by thc inagc oí thc niscrly knight: in an
articlc datcd .:c., ‘‘Ictcrsburg ircans in Vcrsc and Irosc,’’ hc cxplic-
itly acknowlcdgcd its influcncc on his carly short story ‘‘Mr. Irokhar-
chin’’, íourtccn ycars latcr hc crcatcd Arkady iolgoruky, thc ccntral
charactcr oí I/e .áolesceo:, an cnbittcrcd youth prcoccupicd with
thoughts oí gaining wcalth and powcr (what hc calls ‘‘thc idca oí Roth-
schild’’) who has lcarncd thc Baron’s nonologuc by hcart and rcgards
it as rcprcscnting thc grcatcst idca Iushkin c·cr cxprcsscd. For i. s.
Mirsky, author oí pcrhaps thc dcfiniti·c onc-·olunc history oí Rus-
sian litcraturc in thc English languagc, I/e S:ooe Gaes: is onc oí two
works (thc othcr bcingI/e B·oo¸e Ho·seoao) jointly‘‘clainingthc first
placc in Russian poctry.’’
3
Vithout proícssing to ri·al thc pcrícction
oí Iushkin’s ·crsc—a task bcíorc which thc boldcst translator would
quail—I hopc, nc·crthclcss, that this translation will at last nakc thc
‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ rcadily acccssiblc to English spcakcrs, and thus hclp
to gi·c thcsc íour cxtraordinary plays thc rccognition thcy dcscr·c as
nastcrpicccs not ncrcly oí Russian, but oí world litcraturc.
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Ihc iittlc Iragcdics in English:
An Approach
·o·r or rus uxi ·’ s worx is so wcll known to English spcakcrs
as it should bc, but thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ arc particularly undcrrcprc-
scntcd. In contrast to, íor cxanplc, Ea¸eoe Coe¸io, oí which sc·cral
íairly good translations arc a·ailablc in English, translations oí thc
‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ arc ícwand írcqucntly do not includc all íour plays.
1
Ihc rcason translators largcly a·oid thcsc works, I bclic·c, is bccausc
oí thc difficulty in handling what in nodcrn English litcraturc is a con-
plctcly disuscd gcnrc, thc drana in blank ·crsc. I. s. Eliot, who stro·c
to rc·i·c thc íorn in his plays (Ma·áe· io :/e Ca:/eá·al, I/e Iaoily
Reaoioo, I/e Coc/:ail Ia·:y), has dcscribcd thc problcns hc cncoun-
tcrcd in writing a ·crsc drana in two cssays, Ioe:·y aoá D·aoa and
.c
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ ..
I/e Masic of Ioe:·y. Ihcsc cssays ha·c a nunbcr oí ·aluablc insights
to offcr thc would-bc translator oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’
Ioe:·y aoá D·aoa addrcsscs thc qucstions oí whcthcr and how
poctry could bc uscd in a nodcrn English play:
Vhcthcr wc usc prosc or ·crsc on thc stagc, thcy arc both but
ncans to an cnd. Ihc diffcrcncc, íron onc point oí ·icw, is not
so grcat as wc night think. In thosc prosc plays which sur·i·c,
which arc rcad and produccd on thc stagc by latcr gcncrations,
thc prosc which thc charactcrs spcak is as rcnotc, íor thc bcst
part, íron thc ·ocabulary, syntax and rhythn oí our ordinary
spccch—with its íunbling íor words, its constant rccoursc to
approxination, its disordcr and its unfinishcd scntcnccs—as
·crsc is. iikc ·crsc, it has bccn writtcn, and rcwrittcn. . . . I
ncan to draw a triplc distinction: bctwccn prosc, and ·crsc,
and our ordinary spccch which is nostly bclow thc lc·cl oí
cithcr ·crsc or prosc. so ií you look at it this way, it will appcar
that prosc, on thc stagc, is as artificial as ·crsc: or altcrnati·cly,
that ·crsc can bc as natural as prosc.
2
Ihus, íor Eliot, thc appropriatc languagc íor a play is not that which
is nost likc how wc spcak, but that which is nost likc how wc would
spcak ií wc could do so. It is idcalizcd languagc, but to bc dranatically
con·incing, it nust bc an idcalization oí thc actual spccch oí its tinc.
Morco·cr, bccausc nost oí liíc is takcnupwithwhat wc rc·calinglycall
prosaic nattcrs, in nost cascs thc appropriatc languagc íor thc action
oí a play will bc cithcr prosc or, ií it is ·crsc, ·crsc that has no par-
ticularly grcat ncrit as poctry. Ioctry should bc uscd ‘‘only . . . whcn
thc dranatic situation has rcachcd such a point oí intcnsity that poctry
bcconcs thc natural uttcrancc, bccausc thcn it is thc only languagc in
which thc cnotions can bc cxprcsscd at all.’’
3
Cnc sccs thc logic oí this arguncnt by considcring thc diffcrcncc
bctwccn poctryand prosc. Ioctry nay bc dcscribcd as a cross bctwccn
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.. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
prosc and nusic. Both prosc and nusic c·okc cnotion, but in diffcrcnt
ways. Irosc c·okcs an cnotion in a particular contcxt, nusic c·okcs
cnotion dircctly, without spcciíying thc circunstancc that gi·cs risc
to thc cnotion. In prosc, a pcrson nay bc joyous bccausc hc has íallcn
in lo·c, or achic·cd a long-sought goal, or sinply sccn a chcrry trcc in
bloon, but in any casc, thcrc is a statcd causc íor joy. Music con·cys
only thc joy itsclí, although an indi·idual hcarcr nay associatc a par-
ticular piccc oí nusic with a spccific joyous c·cnt. Ioctry, to thc cxtcnt
that it is akin to prosc, c·okcs an cnotion íor a statcd rcason, but to thc
cxtcnt that it is akintonusic, it c·okcs a norc intcnsc cnotionthancan
bc cxplaincd sinply by pointing to thc statcd rcason. Vhcn conparcd
to prosc, poctry has an cnotional surchargc. It was this surchargc oí
which icrnonto· was thinking whcn hc wrotc:
Есть речи—значенье
Темно иль ничтожно,
Но им без волненья
Внимать невозможно.
[Ihcrc arc spccchcs whosc ncaning is obscurc or oí no inport,
but it is inpossiblc to hcar thcn without bcing no·cd.|
Ihis cnotional surchargc cxplains why nonpocts traditionally try to
writc poctry at noncnts oí grcat cnotional intcnsity, such as dur-
ing first lo·c or in wartinc: thcy instincti·cly rcalizc that this is thc
íorn capablc oí acconnodating thc grcatcst cnotional contcnt. Ihis
is also why in works likc shakcspcarc’s tragcdics or Iushkin’s Bo·is
Goáaoo·, whcrc prosc and poctry arc nixcd, thc prosc is uscd íor thc
norc ‘‘c·cryday’’ spccch oí thc charactcrs, whcrcas thc grcat sctpiccc
nonologucs—thc cnotional pcaks oí thc work—arc in poctry.
It íollows, thcn, that a work likc any oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ in
which a purc cnotional pcak is sustaincd íor thc cntirc lcngth oí thc
work, can only bc writtcn in—and translatcd as—poctry. But ha·ing
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .,
rcachcd this conclusion, thc translator thcn cncountcrs a problcnthus
dcscribcd by Eliot in I/e Masic of Ioe:·y.
Ihc history oí blank ·crsc illustratcs two intcrcsting and
rclatcd points: thc dcpcndcncc upon spccch and thc striking
diffcrcncc, in what is prosodically thc sanc íorn, bctwccn dra-
natic blank ·crsc and blank ·crsc cnploycd íor cpical, philo-
sophical, ncditati·c and idyllic purposcs. Ihc dcpcndcncc oí
·crsc upon spccch is nuch norc dircct in dranatic poctry than
in any othcr. In nost kinds oí poctry, thc ncccssity íor its rc-
ninding us oí contcnporary spccch is rcduccd by thc latitudc
allowcd íor pcrsonal idiosyncrasy. . . . But in dranatic ·crsc
thc poct is spcaking in onc charactcr aítcr anothcr, through thc
ncdiun oí a conpany oí actors traincd by a prduccr, and oí
diffcrcnt actors and diffcrcnt produccrs at diffcrcnt tincs: his
idion nust bc conprchcnsi·c oí all thc ·oiccs, but prcscnt at
a dccpcr lc·cl than is ncccssary whcn thc poct spcaks only íor
hinsclí. sonc oí shakcspcarc’s latcr ·crsc is ·cry claboratc and
pcculiar: but it rcnains thc languagc, not oí onc pcrson, but oí
a world oí pcrsons. . . . By thc tinc oí Ctway dranatic blank
·crsc has bcconc artificial and at bcst rcninisccnt, and whcn
wc gct to thc ·crsc plays by ninctccnth ccntury pocts, oí which
thc grcatcst is probably I/e Ceoci, it is difficult to prcscr·c any
illusion oí rcality. Kcarly all thc grcatcr pocts oí thc last ccn-
tury tricd thcir hands at ·crsc plays. Ihcsc plays, which ícw
pcoplc rcad norc than oncc, arc trcatcd with rcspcct as finc
poctry, and thcir insipidity is usually attributcd to thc íact that
thc authors, though grcat pocts, wcrc anatcurs in thc thcatrc.
But c·cn ií thc pocts had had grcatcr natural giíts íor thc thc-
atrc, or had toilcd to acquirc thc craít, thcir plays would ha·c
bccn just as incffccti·c, unlcss thcir thcatrical talcnt had shown
thcn thc ncccssity íor a diffcrcnt kind oí ·crsification. It is not
prinarily lack oí plot, or lack oí action and suspcnsc, or in-
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., I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
pcrícct rcalization oí charactcr, or lack oí anything oí what
is callcd ‘‘thcatrc,’’ that nakcs thcsc plays so liíclcss: it is pri-
narily that thcir rhythn oí spccch is soncthing that wc cannot
associatc with any hunan bcing cxccpt a poctry rcadcr.
4
Eliot docs not proícss to bc ablc to cxplain íully why it was that
although blank ·crsc was propcrly rootcd in thc spccch oí socicty as
a wholc, and thus capablc oí bcing bclic·ably uscd in a drana with a
widc rangc oí charactcrs, in thc tinc oí shakcspcarc, it had lost such
roots by thc tinc oí Browning and Icnnyson. But hc docs suggcst that
a najor íactor was thc influcncc oí Milton:
I should not carc to ad·ancc any onc rcason why prosc
canc to supcrscdc ·crsc in thc thcatrc. But I íccl surc that onc
rcason why blank ·crsc cannot bc cnploycd now in thc drana
is that so nuch non-dranatic poctry, and grcat non-dranatic
poctry, has bccn writtcn in it in thc last thrcc hundrcd ycars. . . .
Ií wc can inaginc, as a flight oí íancy, Milton coning bcíorc
shakcspcarc, shakcspcarc would ha·c had to disco·cr quitc
a diffcrcnt ncdiun íron that which hc uscd and pcrícctcd.
Milton handlcd blank ·crsc in a way which no onc has c·cr ap-
proachcd or will c·cr approach: and in so doing did norc than
anyonc or anything clsc to nakc it inpossiblc íor thc drana:
though wc nay also bclic·c that dranatic blank ·crsc had cx-
haustcd its rcsourccs, and had no íuturc in any c·cnt. Indccd,
Milton alnost nadc blank ·crsc inpossiblc íor any purposc
íor a couplc oí gcncrations. It was thc prccursors oí Vords-
worth—Ihonson, Young, cowpcr—who nadc thc first cfforts
to rcscuc it íron thc dcgradation to which thc cightccnth-
ccntury initators oí Milton had rcduccd it.
5
Eliot, thcn, sccs Milton as a cosnic íorcc cxcrting a gra·itational ficld
so powcríul that íor a tinc all English blank ·crsc—both lyric and dra-
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .¯
natic—is íorccd into orbit around hin. By thc tinc oí Vordsworth,
lyric blank ·crsc had libcratcd itsclí íron his o·crpowcring cffcct and
rcconncctcd itsclí to thc connon spokcn languagc oí its day. But dra-
natic blank ·crsc—pcrhaps alrcady wcakcncd by othcr, subtlc íac-
tors—nc·cr achic·cd a sinilar libcration and rcconncction. And yct
such a conncction with thc spokcn languagc oí its day is nost ·ital
prcciscly in dranatic poctry, with its rcquircncnt that a rangc oí char-
actcrs spcak in a nanncr appropriatc to thcir naturcs.
Applying Eliot’s insights, onc can scc why English translations oí
thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ arc so ícwand oítcn only partially succcssíul. Ihc
translator is on thc horns oí a dilcnna: ií a translation is in prosc, thc
addcd cnotional cffcct associatcd with a poctic translation is lost, ií
a translation is in blank ·crsc, thc distancc bctwccn thc cadcncc oí
dranatic blank ·crsc and that oí thc nodcrn English languagc is so
grcat that thc rcadcr or listcncr finds it inpossiblc to bclic·c that such
a spccch is an outpouring oí thc spcakcr’s hcart.
Vhat, thcn, is a would-bc translator to do: I ha·c no thcorctical
solution to offcr, but I do ha·c an cnpirical onc. I ha·c attcnptcd
to translatc thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ into languagc that, first, is ·i·id and
nodcrn cnough to sound crcdiblc to a rcadcr or listcncr and cngagc thc
cnotions, and thcn to nakc that languagc as nusical as it can possibly
bc nadc bcíorc losing its crcdibility. Ihc rcsult turncd out to bc what
night bc callcda ‘‘scni-nctrical’’ translation: its lincs ha·c a strongbut
not in·ariablc tcndcncy to bc di·isiblc into two-syllablc ícct, and thcir
a·cragc lcngth is around tcn syllablcs, although indi·idual lincs nay
·ary íronsix to íourtccn syllablcs. Although it is not Iushkin’s ianbic
pcntanctcr, it is hauntcd by thc ghost oí that nctcr. But this suggcsti·c
sinilarity—sonctincs quitc striking, sonctincs nuch íaintcr—was
not what I consciously sct out to producc, I ncrcly wantcd a languagc
that was as conpclling as possiblc. Intcnsity, norc than anything clsc,
is what thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ arc about. Ihc rcadcr or listcncr should
bc on thc cdgc oí his scat during thcn. E·cry ncans I could find to
con·cy this intcnsity I ha·c uscd, any íorn or dc·icc which dinin-
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.c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
ishcs it I ha·c a·oidcd. My principlc has bccn that cnunciatcd by A. K.
Iolstoy in his translation oí Gocthc’s Die B·aa: ·oo Ro·io:/ and citcd
appro·ingly by Korncy chuko·sky in his study oí translation:
I an trying . . . as nuch as is possiblc, to bc íaithíul to thc
original, but only whcn fidclity or cxactncss docs not danagc
thc artistic inprcssion, and, without hcsitating íor a ninutc,
I an dc·iating íron a litcral translation ií that nay producc a
diffcrcnt inprcssion in Russian than in Gcrnan.
I think that it’s not ncccssary to translatc thc words and
sonctincs not c·cn thc ncaning, thc inportant thing is, onc
has to con·cy thc inprcssion.
Ihc rcadcr oí thc translation has to bc transportcd into thc
sanc sphcrc in which thc rcadcr oí thc original finds hinsclí,
thc translation has to act on thc sanc ncr·cs.
6
chuko·sky cxplicitly cxtcnds this principlc to translating into a dií-
ícrcnt nctcr whcn thc original nctcr is culturally inappropriatc in thc
targct languagc:
Into what nctcr, íor cxanplc, should icrnonto·’s poctry
bc translatcd by Uzbcks, sincc íor thcn thc ianbic tctranctcr
is an cxoticisn, soncthing conplctcly íorcign to thcir systcn
oí poctics: In this casc, cquirhythnic translation would bc
unthinkablc, bccausc thc rich, subtlc and conplcx poctic tra-
dition oí thc Uzbcks has no placc íor ianbic tctranctcr, and
thc Uzbcks, who o·cr nany ccnturics ha·c accunulatcd cnor-
nous poctic cxpcricncc, pcrcci·c a Europcan ·crsc íorn in a
conplctcly diffcrcnt nanncr than wc do. Vhcn it canc to, íor
cxanplc, translating icrnonto·’s ‘‘Ladji Abrck’’ into Uzbck,
two outstanding Uzbck pocts, Gaíur Gulian and shcikh-zadc,
didn’t c·cn try to translatc it into thc sanc nctcr, bccausc to
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .-
an Uzbck’s car that is not cqui·alcnt to thc inprcssion which
that sanc ianb produccs on a Russian car. Ihus Gaíur Gulian
translatcd icrnonto·’s ianbic tctranctcr into a thirtccn-
syllablc ‘‘barnak’’ linc (that is, into syllabic ·crsc), and shcikh-
zadc into a ninc-syllablc ‘‘barnak’’ linc, and ·icwcd against thc
traditional background oí Uzbck poctry, this is thc cqui·alcnt
oí ianbic tctranctcr.
7
Cn thc strcngth oí chuko·sky’s arguncnt alonc, c·cn without rc-
gard íor thc particular problcnprcscntcd bydranatic blank ·crsc, onc
could nakc a casc íor a ‘‘scni-nctrical’’ rathcr than strictly nctrical
translation oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’ contcnporary poctry in English
has no·cd so íar toward írcc ·crsc (still a rarity in Russian) that a
strictly nctrical translation sounds ‘‘datcd’’ or ‘‘bookish’’ to a nod-
crn English spcakcr in thc way that thc original docs not to a nodcrn
Russian spcakcr.
Mctrics, howc·cr, arc not thc only problcncncountcrcd in con·cy-
ing an adcquatc inprcssion oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’ Ihc ·ocabulary,
too, nccds to bc sufficicntly contcnporary and íorccíul. Io gi·c an
cxanplc: thc Baron’s sccond-sccnc nonologuc in I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:
bcgins in Russian with thc words:
Как молодой повеса ждет свиданья
С какой-нибудь развратницей лукавой
Иль дурой, им обманутой, так я
Весь день минуты ждал, когда сойду
В подвал мой тайный, к верным сундукам.
In A. F. B. clark’s translation this bcconcs:
As sonc young scapcgracc bidcs thc trysting hour
Vith sonc corrupt cnchantrcss or pcrchancc
sonc íoolish girl scduccd by hin, so I
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.· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
All day abidc thc tinc whcn I shall conc
iown to ny sccrct ·ault and trusty chcsts.
In Kaboko·’s translation this rcads:
]ust as a nad young ícllow írcts awaiting
his rcndcz-·ous with sonc c·asi·c harlot,
or with thc goosc scduccd by hin, thus I
ha·c drcant all day oí coning down at last
in ·aultcd dinncss to ny sccrct chcsts.
And in Eugcnc M. Kaydcn’s translation:
As a young scanp who waits thc trysting hour
Vith sonc intriguing harlot or littlc íool
Lc has scduccd, thus I await daylong
And drcan oí going down at last into
Ihis ·aultcd darkncss to ny sccrct chcsts.
clark’s ‘‘As sonc young scapcgracc bidcs thc trysting hour,’’ although
undcrstandablc on thc printcd pagc, has partcd conpany with any-
thing bclic·ablc as spokcn English. It sinply slidcs by without catch-
ing on anything, without c·cr cngaging cithcr onc’s car or onc’s cno-
tions. Kaydcn, too, clcarly is not hcaring his own translation, or hc
would not introducc linc brcaks in placcs whcrc thcy inappropriatcly
split what should bc a singlc thought—‘‘littlc íool /Lc has scduccd’’
and ‘‘into/Ihis ·aultcd darkncss.’’ Kaboko·’s tcxt is thc onc wc can
nost rcadily inaginc in a spokcn ·oicc—with thc significant pro·iso
that it should bc a British uppcr-class ·oicc. Lis rcndcring oí дура
as ‘‘goosc’’ is a particularly striking touch, suggcsting thc disnissi·c
contcnpt that a nalc aristocrat night íccl in contcnplating a crcdu-
lous scr·ant girl, just as ‘‘nad young ícllow,’’ with its conbination oí
ccnsurc and jo·iality, suggcsts a gcntlcnan dcploring, but not scri-
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .,
ously alarncd by, thc traditional pri·ilcgc oí wcll-born youth to sow
wild oats. And whilc thc ·ocabularics oí both Kaboko· and Kaydcn
arc on thc wholc norc rccognizably nodcrn than that oí clark, this
docs not ncan thcy a·oid archaisns altogcthcr. Indccd, onc choicc
nadc by both oí thcn is worsc than any singlc word in clark—that
is, thc translation oí развратницей as ‘‘harlot,’’ a word so totally out-
datcd in English, and so strongly snclling oí hcllfirc prcachcrs quoting
thc King ]ancs Biblc, that any attcnpt actually to usc it as a tcrn oí
contcnpt is likcly to producc a snickcr instcad. Each oí thc thrcc trans-
lators has his own idca oí how to dcal with лукавой, which dcscribcs
sonconc shrcwd cnough always to knowwhcrc thc nain chancc is and
unscrupulous cnough always to grab íor it: in Bo·is Goáaoo·, a boyar
rcsponds to a particularly rcalpolitik spccch oí shuisky’s by calling
hina лукавый царедворец—a Machia·cllian courticr, thc linc oí thc
iord’s Iraycr which in English is ‘‘dcli·cr us íronc·il,’’ in church sla-
·onic is избави нас от лукаваго. Kaboko·’s ‘‘c·asi·c harlot’’ is íar too
wcak, clark’s ‘‘corrupt cnchantrcss’’ is closcr, and Kaydcn’s ‘‘intrigu-
ing harlot’’ closcr still. Finally, all thrcc translators nakc a significant
onission íron Iushkin’s tcxt. In clark thc Baron ‘‘all day abidc(s) thc
tinc’’ whcn hc will go down to his trcasurc ·aults, in Kaboko· hc ‘‘has
drcant all day oí coning down’’, in Kaydcn hc ‘‘await(s) daylong/
And drcan(s) oí going down’’, but in Iushkin hc весь день минуты
ждал—all day hc has bccn waiting íor thc ninutc to go down. Ihis
word ‘‘ninutc’’ con·cys thc ·iolcncc oí thc cnotional shiít that occurs
as thc Baron dcsccnds to thc ·ault: suddcnly, aítcr all that tinc wait-
ing, that tinc which clapscs ncaninglcssly, without wcight or signifi-
cancc—suddcnly thcrc bursts upon hin that suprcnc ninutc whcn it
bcconcs possiblc to consunnatc his dcsirc.
Ihus, whilc it is possiblc to íorna gcncral inprcssion oí thc Baron’s
words íron any oí thc thrcc translations, nonc oí thcn con·cys thc
cnotional intcnsityoí thc spcakcr’s inagcry.Iogct at this intcnsity, thc
translator nust go, as it wcrc, bchind thc words oí thc original work, to
rcach thc ícclings and inagcs oí which thc words arc an cnbodincnt,
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.c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
and thcn find thcwords that a spcakcr oí anothcr languagcwould usc to
cnbody thosc sanc ícclings and inagcs. Vhat is thc ccntral inagc oí
thc Baron’s opcning lincs: A tawdry, purcly physical affair bctwccn a
nanwho—as icporclloinI/e S:ooe Gaes: wouldsay—has hadplcnty
oí woncn and will ha·c plcnty norc, and a wonan who c·okcs such
contcnpt in thc spcakcr’s nind that thc only rcal qucstion is whcthcr
shc is norc dcíccti·c in norals or in brains. Modcrn English ccrtainly
has words íor that inagc, but thcy arc not words that stand on dignity:
iikc a young skirt-chascr who waits íor whcn
Lc’ll ncct his binbo—sonc tranp on thc nakc,
Cr sonc íool hc’s snowcd—that’s howall day
I wait íor thc ninutc whcn I go down
Into ny sccrct ·ault, to ny íaithíul chcsts.
Cnc night objcct that such languagc, whilc íorccíul cnough, is too
coarsc to bc spokcn bya noblcnan. But thc languagc is jarring bccausc
thc inagc is jarring. Ihc Baron hinsclí, as his grcat nonologuc rc-
·cals, is proíoundly awarc oí thc shancíulncss oí his passion íor gold.
Ihc Baron íccls too passionatcly, and is too honcst with hinsclí, to try
to find dignificd words íor what hc knows is wrong.
Fron this cxanplc, sonconc night junp to thc conclusion that
whcn I urgc that thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ bc translatcd into bclic·ablc
spokcn languagc, I an thinking oí what is traditionally rcícrrcd to
as ‘‘low’’ stylc. Ihis is not thc casc. Ihc appropriatcncss oí a stylc—
‘‘high,’’ ‘‘low,’’ or anything in bctwccn—is thc rcsult oí thc subjcct
bcing addrcsscd and thc addrcsscr’s attitudc toward it. Vhat charac-
tcrizcs bclic·ablc spokcn languagc is ncithcr subjcct nor attitudc, but
cadcncc. A ·crbal crcation can bc dcscribcd as bclic·ablc spokcn lan-
guagc whcn, c·cn ií it is cncountcrcd on a printcd pagc, thc rcadcr can
hcar it (so to spcak) in his ‘‘nind’s car,’’ can íccl thc pacc oí dcli·cry
slowing or quickcning, can rccognizc thc pausc íor cnphasis, thc sud-
dcn cxplosion oí cnotion, thc ironic asidc. It is cntircly possiblc íor
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ ..
a work to bc high in stylc and yct ha·c thc unnistakablc cadcncc oí
spokcn languagc—thc ob·ious cxanplc, íor an Ancrican, bcing iin-
coln’s Gcttysburg Addrcss or sccond Inaugural Addrcss. It is truc that
(íor rcasons both too lcngthyand too contro·crsial to discuss hcrc) thc
high stylc has largclydisappcarcd íroncontcnporary spokcn English.
Ihus, whcn a passagc in thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ clcarly calls íor thc high
stylc, thc bcst thc translator can do is to takc thc cadcncc oí a noncon-
tcnporary cxanplc and rcno·c any too-ob·ious archaisns—to ain
íor a stylc which is ncgati·cly contcnporary (not acti·cly jarring to
contcnporarics) rathcr than positi·cly so (rccognizablc by contcnpo-
rarics as thcir own).
Ihis problcnoí translating high stylc occurs throughout I/e S:ooe
Gaes:. Ihc play draws hca·ily on thc íact that it is sct in sixtccnth-
ccntury spain. Undcrgirding its structurc is thc wholc sct oí inagcs
that that tinc and placc autonatically bring to nind: on thc onc sidc,
thc stcrn nilitancc oí thc countcr-Rcíornation, thc conbination oí
palacc and nonastcry that was thc Escurial, thc powcr and tcrror oí El
Grcco’s distortcd saints undcr a storny sky, on thc othcr sidc, thc pas-
sion all thc norc rccklcss íor bcing íorbiddcn, thc nighttinc scrcnadc,
thc rosc droppcd íron thc balcony, thc sccrct nccting. It is a world
oí lo·c and dcath, thc rcd and thc black, a largcr-than-liíc world. And
its inhabitants, naturally cnough, spcak a languagc that to us sccns
thc wildcst cxtra·agancc. Io iona Anna it is not rcally surprising that
an unknown nan should throw hinsclí on his knccs bcíorc hcr and
answcr hcr qucstion, ‘‘Vhat do you want:’’ (‘‘чего вы требуете:’’)
with thc spccch:
Смерть.
О пусть умру сейчас у ваших ног,
Пусть бедный прах мой здесь же похоронят
Не подле праха, милого для вас,
Не тут—не близко—дале где-нибудь,
Там—у дверей—у самого порога,
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.. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
Чтоб камня моего могли коснуться
Вы легкою ногой или одеждой,
Когда сюда, на этот гордый гроб,
Пойдете кудри наклонять и плакать.
Io find a sinilar dcgrcc oí cxtra·agancc in English poctry, onc would
ha·c to go back sc·cral ccnturics—say, to Mar·cll’s ‘‘Io Lis coy Mis-
trcss’’:
Lad wc but world cnough, and tinc,
Ihis coyncss, iady, wcrc no crinc.
Vc would sit down and think which way
Io walk and pass our long lo·c’s day . . .
An hundrcd ycars should go to praisc
Ihinc cycs and on thy íorchcad gazc,
Iwo hundrcd to adorc cach brcast,
But thirty thousand to thc rcst,
An agc at lcast to c·cry part,
And thc last agc should show your hcart,
For, iady, you dcscr·c this statc,
Kor would I lo·c at lowcr ratc . . .
Io bc surc, Mar·cll is not an idcal nodcl íor ion ]uan’s spccchcs,
bccausc unlikc ion ]uan, hc has a pcrícct scnsc oí linguistic balancc:
hc can sinultancously usc thc nost cxtra·agant languagc and snilc at
his own cxtra·agancc, and this contradiction not onlydocs not dcstroy
his litcrary artificc, but cnhanccs our plcasurc in it as wc rccognizc thc
skill in·ol·cd. In this scnsc oí balancc, thc charactcr who is nost likc
Mar·cll is thc First Gucst at iaura’s suppcr, with his ability to turn a
pcrícctly nanncrcd conplincnt íor iaura’s song:
Благодарим, волшебница. Ты сердце
Чаруешь нам. Из наслаждений жизни
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .,
Одной любви музыка уступает,
Но и любовь мелодия . . .
[Cur thanks, cnchantrcss. Vith your spclls
You charn our hcarts. Anong liíc’s plcasurcs
Music yiclds to nonc sa·c lo·c,
But lo·c itsclí is nclody . . .|
Cnc rcalizcs just íron this bcautiíul and yct uttcrly inpcrsonal spccch
that thc First Gucst will go honc saícly that night, will pay a íashion-
ablc court to iaura or sonc othcr cclcbratcd actrcss or danccr íor a ícw
ycars, thcn will narry and scttlc down, and in his old agc will horriíy
and dclight his grandchildrcn by tclling thcnhowhc pcrsonally kncw
that lcgcndary rcprobatc, ion ]uan.
But by subtracting Mar·cll’s scnsc oí balancc—that scnsc which
ncccssarilynakcs a charactcr not a protagonist but ncrclya First Gucst
—whilc kccping Mar·cll’s scnsc oí cxtra·agancc, and using thc rcsult
not so nuch as a litcral nodcl íor translation but as soncthing which
was constantly and suggcsti·cly prcscnt whilc I was translating, as ií it
wcrc background nusic, I arri·cd at this ·crsion oí ion ]uan’s spccch:
ionaAnna: Vcll: Vhat: Vhat do you want:
ion ]uan: Io dic.
Ch, lct nc dic this ninutc, at your ícct.
ict ny poor dust bc buricd in this placc,
Kot by thc dust which is so dcar to you,
Kor anywhcrc ncarby—sonc distancc off,
Ihcrc—by thc gatcs—at thc ·cry cntrancc,
so whcn you conc, ny gra·cstonc night bc brushcd
By your light íoot or by your drcss’s hcn
Vhcn you nakc your way to that proud gra·c
Io lay your ringlcts on it and to wccp.
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., I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
Cnc cannot point to any singlc dctail in this translation that would bc
out oí placc in contcnporary spokcn English, and yct thc spccch as
a wholc has a dccidcdly ‘‘high,’’ rhctorical tonc—an ccho, I hopc, oí
that ‘‘courtly íorcign gracc’’ with whichIcnnyson inagincd sixtccnth-
ccntury spaniards spcaking.
In rclying on thc contcnporary spokcn languagc as thc basis íor
a translation oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ I ha·c íollowcd Iushkin’s own
practicc as a translator. Cnc oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ .Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e
Ila¸ae, is a nodificd translation by Iushkin oí a singlc sccnc íron a
nuch longcr English work, ]ohnVilson’s Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae. Ihrough-
out this translation, Iushkin rc·iscs Vilson’s stylc into a nuch lcss
claboratc and norc natural onc (asidc íron any actual changcs in
ncaning). Ihus, in Vilson, Valsinghan calls íor Mary to sing in this
nanncr:
swcct Mary Gray! Ihou hast a sil·cr ·oicc,
And wildly to thy nati·c nclodics
can tunc its flutc-likc brcath—sing us a song . . .
In Iushkin this bcconcs:
Твой голос, милая, выводит звуки
Родимых песен с диким совершенством,
Спой, Мэри . . .
which I ha·c translatcd as:
Your ·oicc, ny dcar, brings íorth thc songs
Cí your nati·c land with rudc pcrícction:
sing, Mary . . .
In Vilson, iouisa gi·cs this account oí hcr íainting:
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .¯
I sawa horrid dcnon in ny drcan!
Vith sablc ·isagc and whitc-glaring cycs,
Lc bcckon’d on nc to asccnd a cart
Fillcd with dcad bodics . . .
In Iushkin this bcconcs:
Ужасный демон
Приснился мне: весь черный, белоглазный . . .
Он звал меня в свою тележку. В ней
Лежали мертвые . . .
which I ha·c translatcd as:
I drcancd I saw
A hidcous dcnon, black all o·cr, with whitc cycs . . .
Lc callcd nc to his wagon. iying in it
Vcrc thc dcad . . .
In Vilson, Valsinghan’s rcply to thc pricst bcgins:
Vhy can’st thou hithcr to disturb nc thus:
I nay not, nust not go! Lcrc an I hcld
By hopclcssncss in dark íuturity,
By dirc rcncnbrancc oí thc past—by hatrcd
And dccp contcnpt oí ny own worthlcss sclí . . .
In Iushkin this bcconcs:
Зачем приходишь ты
Меня тревожить: Не могу, не должен
Я за тобой идти: я здесь удержан
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.c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
Отчаяньем, воспоминаньем страшным,
Сознаньем беззаконья моего . . .
which I ha·c translatcd as:
Vhy ha·c you conc hcrc
Io troublc nc: I cannot, I nust not
Followaítcr you: I an bound hcrc
By dcspair, by tcrriblc rcncnbrancc,
By thc knowlcdgc oí ny lawlcssncss . . .
In conparing Iushkin and Vilson, anothcr aspcct oí Iushkin’s
ability as an author and translator spccifically oí dranatic poctry
shouldbc notcd. For a drana inpoctry tosuccccd, it nust bc succcssíul
both as poctry and as drana: that is, not only nust thc indi·idual lincs
bc good as poctry, but thcy nust bc psychologically appropriatc to thc
charactcr by whon thcy arc spokcn. Vilson nakcs no cffort whatso-
c·cr to gi·c any oí his charactcrs a rccognizably indi·idual ·oicc. Iart
oí this, no doubt, was sinply thc rcsult oí thc o·crall dcsign oí his
work, which night bc dcscribcd as a ncditation on thc horrors oí thc
Ilaguc and thc consolations oí íaith. I/e Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae has only
thc slcndcrcst oí narrati·c thrcads, and with its constantly changing
sccncs, it sccns as dizzyingly o·crcrowdcd with figurcs as a Brucghcl
painting oí a ·illagc wcdding—although, in ·icw oí thc grotcsquc
trcatncnt oí its subjcct, a Las: )aá¸oeo: by Licronynus Bosch night
bc a norc appropriatc conparison. In this swccping ·icwoí thc agony
oí a grcat city, it is pcrhaps undcrstandablc that Vilson docs not cx-
pcnd too nuch cncrgy on crcating indi·idually rccognizablc charac-
tcrs. Vhat is surprising is that in contrast to thc ncdic·al paintings
oí thc iancc oí icath, whcrc king and burghcr, bishop and pcasant,
noblcwonan and nun arc all rcadily distinguishablc, Vilson’s charac-
tcrs do not c·cn ha·c ·oiccs appropriatc to thcir social position. A
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .-
sailor, a pricst, a ·illagc girl, c·cn thc inc·itablc conic gra·cdiggcr,
all spcak in thc sanc nanncr.
Unlikc Vilson, Iushkin as an author oí dranatic poctry was ·cry
conscious oí thc nccdíor charactcrs tospcaka languagc suitcdtothcn-
scl·cs. iuring thc sccond halí oí ]uly .::,, whcn hc was working on
Bo·is Goáaoo·, hcwrotc onthis topic toK. K. Rac·sky: ‘‘Vcrisinilitudc
in thc situations and truthíulncss in thc dialoguc—that’s thc rcal rulc
oí tragcdy. I ha·cn’t rcad caldcrón or iopc dc Vcga, but what a nan
that shakcspcarc is! I can’t gct o·cr it. Low puny thc ‘tragic’ Byron
looks ncxt to hin. . . . Rcad shakcspcarc, hc’s nc·cr aíraid to conpro-
nisc his charactcrs, hc lcts thcn spcak with all thc rangc and sprcad
oí liíc, bccausc hc knows that hc can gi·c thcn thcir own indi·idual
languagc whcn thc tinc and placc calls íor it.’’
8
In kccping with this
conccrn íor indi·idual charactcr and languagc, thc spcaking parts oí
.Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae arc soindi·idualizcdthat onc couldconposc
inaginary biographics íor thcn: thc ‘‘young nan,’’ no doubt a gcntlc-
nan’s son, onc who has spcnt tinc at Cxíord or canbridgc, who could
quotc Bcn ]onson and discuss thc latcst play, Mary, thc ·illagc girl who
lcít honc íor thc cxcitcncnt and opportunitics oí thc big city, only to
bc scduccd and abandoncd, and thcn to íall into thc only way a·ailablc
íor a wonan with a danagcd rcputation to support hcrsclí, iouisa, thc
cynical prostitutc, born into and thoroughly at honc in thc crininal
undcrworld oí iondon’s sluns, that now-lost world whosc ncnory
sur·i·cs in I/e Be¸¸a·’s C¡e·a or Logarth’s paintings, thc pricst whosc
words, as thcy brcak into thc rc·cls, rcsound likc thundcr íron thc
hills, likc thc unrccordcd scrnon oí an unknown ]onathan Edwards,
andfinallyValsinghanhinsclí, nowat oncc touchcdandcondcsccnd-
ing in his rcsponsc to Mary’s song, now using iouisa’s íainting as thc
occasion to draw a philosophical lcsson on hunan naturc (‘‘thc crucl
arc wcakcr than thc tcndcr’’), now proudly and ficrccly dcfiant in his
‘‘Lynn to thc Ilaguc’’—and bcncath all oí thcsc íaccts, at last rc·cal-
inghinsclí as a dcspairingnan tryingto bra·c out a loss that hc cannot
acccpt.
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.· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
Ihis ·i·idncss oí charactcrization can scr·c as a guidc to thc trans-
lator, by suggcsting what typc oí languagc would bc uscd by such a
charactcr ií hc or shc wcrc spcaking not Russian but nodcrn English.
As an cxanplc, considcr iouisa’s spccch:
Не в моде
Теперь такие песни! Но все же есть
Еще простые души: рады таять
От женских слез и слепо верят им.
Она уверена, что взор слезливый
Ее неотразим—а если б то же
О смехе думала своем, то верно,
Все б улыбалась. Вальсингам хвалил
Крикливых северных красавиц: вот
Она и расстоналась. Ненавижу
Волос шотландских этих желтизну.
Vhcn I wcnt to translatc thc spccch as a wholc, it sccncd to rcsist
ny cfforts, but two spccific dctails alnost at oncc lcapt into nind—
‘‘passc’’ íor ‘‘не в моде’’ and ‘‘jaundicc-ycllow hair’’ íor ‘‘волос . . .
желтизну.’’ Ihc first oí thcsc two translations could bc cxplaincd quitc
sinply, as rcplacing a Gallicisn in Russian, with its inplicit clain to
Frcnch sophistication, with a sinilar Gallicisn in English. But whcrc
did thc ‘‘jaundicc-ycllowhair’’ conc íron: It didn’t sccnto bc ncrcly
a nonnati·c spcakcr’s coníusion oí желтизна (ycllowncss, sallowncss)
with желтуха (jaundicc), sonchowit íclt too strong, too con·incingly
right, particularly in·icwoí thc rcsistancc I íclt íronall thc othcr lincs.
Aítcr sonc thought, it canc to nc that thc problcn with translating
this spccch lay in its cynicisn. Rcal thoroughgoing cynicisn—as op-
poscd to thc sort that is a dcícnsc íor a woundcd scnsiti·ity—is onc oí
nost difficult cnotions to handlc in poctry, bccausc cynicisn dcadcns
thc inagination whilc poctry hcightcns it. Ihcrc is, howc·cr, a solu-
tion íor this acsthctic problcn in ccrtain aspccts oí popular culturc,
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ .,
such as thc hard-boilcd dctccti·c no·cl or filn noir: to usc inagcry
that con·cys not only corruption but cxaggcratcd corruption, so that
tcdious cnptincss is rcplaccd by ncnorably jarring garishncss. Ihis
was what thc ‘‘jaundicc-ycllow hair’’ was tclling nc: that thc way to
gi·c iouisa anEnglish, or norc cxactlya :othccnturyAncrican, ·oicc
was to allow hcr to sound likc a tough broad talking to a pri·atc cyc:
Kow thosc songs
Arc hopclcssly passc. But thcrc arc still
sonc íools who likc to nclt whcn woncn cry,
Vho’ll swallow it hook, linc, and sinkcr.
shc’s dccidcd that hcr tcaríul look
can’t bc rcsistcd—ií that’s what shc thought
About hcr laugh, no doubt wc’d scc hcr
Grinning all thc tinc. Valsinghan likcd
Ihc wccpy northcrn bcautics—so oí coursc
shc’s got to noan and groan. I can’t stand
Ihc jaundicc-ycllow hair oí thcsc scotch girls.
As this cxanplc rcninds us, just as thc translator nust always bcar in
nind thc charactcristics oí thc languagc íron which thc work is bcing
translatcd—its history, its litcraturc, its rcgistcrs oí ·ocabulary and
stylc—thc translator nust bcar in nind thc sanc charactcristics íor thc
languagc into which thc work is bcing translatcd. A targct languagc
is not a linguistic blank slatc. Ií thc translator knows thc litcraturc oí
thc targct languagc wcll and is skillíul in c·oking its associations, thc
rcadcr oí thc translation is norc likcly to pcrcci·c thc work as ‘‘natu-
ral,’’ graccíul, and inc·itablc, rathcr than bcing distractcd by dc·iccs
which, although fitting and acccptablc in thc original languagc, arc not
in thc spirit oí thc targct languagc. Aparticularly intcrcsting challcngc
oí this typc occurs whcn translating thc two songs in . Ieas: Da·-
io¸ :/e Ila¸ae, whcrc it is ncccssary to nakc thc songs bclic·ablc as
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,c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
English pocns, which ncans that thc rcadcr or listcncr has to pcrcci·c
thcn as fitting within thc history and traditions oí English poctry.
sincc Mary’s song is dcscribcd by Valsinghan as a scottish íolk
song, it was to thc Bordcr ballads that I turncd as a possiblc nodcl
íor how hcr song night sound in English.
9
Ihc subjcct oí Mary’s song
is not a typical onc íor a ballad, but thc tcrriblc inagcs oí its sccond
and third stanzas arc no grinncr than ‘‘Ihc Iwa corbics,’’ and thc
proniscd constancy oí ]cnny no grcatcr than that oí ‘‘Ihc Kut-Brown
Maid.’’ In tcrns oí nctrics, howc·cr, thcrc is an inportant diffcrcncc:
a traditional English ballad is significantly lcss tightly structurcd than
thc Russian ·crsion oí Mary’s song. Ihc stanzas oí Iushkin’s tcxt ha·c
thc rhync schcnc alal, by contrast, a ballad typically has thc rhync
schcnc alcl. Ihc nctcr oí Iushkin’s tcxt is trochaic tctranctcr, with a
pcrícctly rcgular altcrnation bctwccn cight-syllablc and sc·cn-syllablc
lincs (thc last unacccntcd syllablc droppcd). Both ianbic and trochaic
tctranctcr arc nornal English ballad nctcrs, but thcrc arc oítcn slight
nctrical inpcrícctions in sonc ·crscs, which a singcr no doubt con-
pcnsatcd íor by cithcr doubling or onitting a notc as thc nccd arosc.
In tcrns oí both rhync schcnc and nctcr, ny translation adhcrcd to
thc lcss íornal poctics oí thc English ballad.
But as a draít English ·crsion cncrgcd, I bccanc norc and norc
awarc oí a pronounccd diffcrcncc bctwccn Mary’s song and thc tradi-
tional ballad. Ihc old ballads, with thcir storics oí ·iolcnt ícuds and
illicit lo·c, wcrc in a scnsc thc tabloids oí thcir day. Vhcn thcir nar-
rati·c rcachcs a highly dranatic point, thcy sustain thc tcrror as long
as possiblc: think how nany stanzas it takcs bcíorc sir Iatrick spcns’s
dooncd ship actually sinks, or bcíorc thc condcnncd Young Vatcrs
actually rcachcs thc gallows. A ballad-nakcr, prcscntcd with thc na-
tcrial oí Mary’s song, would bc unablc to rcsist dcscribing ]cnny’s
dcathbcd agony, thc lancntations oí hcr íanily, Ednund’s collapsing
íron gricí at hcr íuncral—all oí which would so strongly cnphasizc
thc suffcrings oí thc scparatcd lo·crs as to o·crshadow what should
bc thc clinax oí thc song, its final two lincs: ‘‘And ]cnny will bc truc
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ ,.
to Ednund/E’cn in hcr placc anong thc blcst!’’ A ballad-nakcr, likc
a Baroquc artist, rc·clcd in thc dctails with rclati·cly littlc conccrn
about how cach part fittcd into or affcctcd thc wholc. Ihc crcator oí
]cnny’s song, by contrast, subordinatcs thc dctails to thc o·crall artis-
tic cffcct. Ihus, an English countcrpart to Mary’s song would ha·c to
bc thought oí as thc work oí sonc ninor poct who, whilc rcspcct-
ing thc old tradition oí popular song, nc·crthclcss was producing a
consciously shapcd and cditcd initation oí it. Ihis suggcstion oí lit-
crary affcction íor thc traditional country way oí thought and liíc lcd
nc to thc ‘‘scntincntalist’’ pocts, to Goldsnith and cowpcr and Gray,
and accordingly, although thc rhythnic structurc oí ny translation oí
Mary’s song is that oí a ballad, thc ·ocabulary choscn was intcndcd to
c·okc, not íolk spccch, but thc stylc oí languagc uscd in thc pocns oí
thc prc-Ronantics. At bcst, I hopcd that ny translation night call to
nind a distant, lcss philosophical cousin oí Gray’s ‘‘Elcgy in a country
churchyard’’, at lcast, that it would ha·c a rccognizablc affinity with
thc rclati·cly latc and norc litcrarily sclí-conscious ballads, such as
‘‘Barbara Allcn’’ or ‘‘Ihc Bailiff’s iaughtcr oí Islington.’’
Forning an idca oí what Valsinghan’s song night ha·c bccn likc
in English was lcss difficult. Ihc song, in Russian, consists oí six-linc
stanzas with a rhync schcnc aalclc. In Russian, as in English, a six-
linc stanza is nuch lcss connon than a íour-linc onc. Ihc rclati·c
rarity oí this typc oí stanza suggcstcd a dclibcratc choicc on Iushkin’s
part, onc that I íclt could and should bc obscr·cd also in translation.
As íor nctcr, thc Russian ·crsion is in ianbic tctranctcr, a nctcr that
is also connon in English and transícrs casily to it. In kccping with
thc pocn’s naturc as a ringing rhctorical pronounccncnt, in thc origi-
nal ·crsion a pausc could logically occur (or a singcr takc a brcath)
at thc cnd oí any linc in a stanza, and thcrc only, thcrc arc no cn-
janbncnts. I tricd to prcscr·c thc rcsulting syntax, with its tcrscncss
and íorccíulncss, as nuch as possiblc. Bcyond that, to gct sonc idca
oí what a pocn likc Valsinghan’s night ha·c bccn likc in English, I
turncd to thosc pocts who cclcbratcd a soncwhat sinilar thcnc, thc
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,. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/
glory oí waríarc and dangcr. Ihis lcd nc to such now-íorgottcn latcr
cightccnth-ccntury pocns as Villian snyth’s ‘‘Ihc soldicr’’:
Ihcn, soldicr! conc fill high thc winc,
For wc rcck not oí tonorrow,
Bc ours today and wc rcsign
All thc rcst to thc íools oí sorrow.
Gay bc thc hour till wc bcat to arns—
Ihcn, conradc, icath or Glory,
’Iis Victory in all hcr charns,
Cr ’tis Fanc in thc world’s bright story
or Ihonas Csbcrt Mordaunt’s
sound, sound thc clarion, fill thc fiíc!
Ihroughout thc scnsual world proclain,
Cnc crowdcd hour oí glorious liíc
Is worth an agc without a nanc.
such lyrics ha·c a charactcristic ·ocabulary that conbincs thc sinplc
and straightíorward with ob·iously litcrary phrascs (‘‘wc rcck not,’’
‘‘sound thc clarion’’), I ha·c tricd to gi·c Valsinghan’s this sanc stylc
oí languagc. And ií thc rcsult turns out to bc lcss satisíactory than
I hopcd, I can always takc rcíugc in thc íact that it was, aítcr all, an
anatcur’s cffort—thc first pocnValsinghan c·cr wrotc.
Ihc usc oí a flcxiblc rathcr than strict nctcr, which allows Iushkin’s
lincs to bc translatcd in a nanncr rcflccting thc cadcnccs oí contcn-
porary English and thus gi·cs thc spccchcs oí his charactcrs cnotional
·crisinilitudc, thc choicc oí anEnglish·ocabularyandstylc oí cxprcs-
sion íor cach charactcr which is suitcd to that charactcr’s background
and psychology, and thc usc oí appropriatc parts oí thc English litcrary
tradition as a suggcsti·c starting point íor dc·cloping such a charactcr-
fitting stylc oí cxprcssion—thcsc arc thc principlcs that I ha·c rclicd
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies io Eo¸lis/ ,,
upon in ny approach to translating thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’ Ihcsc prin-
ciplcs grcw dircctly out oí ny own cxpcricncc in rcading thc ‘‘littlc
tragcdics’’ in thc original Russian: tinc and again I íclt that I could pcr-
cci·c thc charactcrs thcnscl·cs—thc toncs oí thcir ·oiccs, thcir íacial
cxprcssions, thcir gcsturcs—and irrcsistibly I íclt thc dcsirc to try to
cxprcss that pcrccption in English. Ihc work rcsulting íron this in-
pulsc is thus an intcrprctation oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’—intcrprctation
not ncrcly in thc scnsc oí a translation íron onc languagc to anothcr,
but also in thc scnsc in which an actor intcrprcts a rolc. It rcprcscnts
ny undcrstanding oí, and tributc to, a nastcrpiccc whosc dcpths can
long bc cxplorcd, but nc·cr cxhaustcd.
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I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
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Ihc Miscrly Knight
(sccncs íron chcnstonc’s tragiconcdy I/e Co·e:oas Roi¸/:)
s c r ·r i
Albcrt: Ko nattcr what it costs, I shall appcar
At thc tournancnt. show nc ny hclnct, ]ohn.
( )o/o ¸i·es /io :/e /eloe:.)
It’s picrccd through, spoilcd. It can’t possibly
Bc rcpaircd. I’ll ha·c to gct a ncwonc.
Vhat a hit! Ihat danncd count iclorgc!
]ohn: And you paid hin back and thcn sonc:
Vhcn you knockcd hin íron his saddlc,
Lc lay a wholc day as ií dcad—and probably
Lasn’t rcco·crcd yct.
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,· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Albcrt: still, hc lost nothing by it,
Lis brcastplatc oí Vcnctian stccl is wholc, .c
And his chcst’s his own, it costs hin nothing,
Lc won’t bc buying hinsclí anothcr.
Vhy didn’t I strip hin oí his hclnct thcn!
I would ha·c, too, ií I hadn’t bccn ashancd
In íront oí ladics and thc iukc. ianncd count!
Bcttcr ií hc had picrccd ny hcad.
And I nccd clothcs as wcll. iast tinc
Vhcn all thc knights worc satin and ·cl·ct,
I alonc oí all at thc iukc’s tablc
Vorc a coat-oí-nail. I cxcuscd nysclí thcn .c
By saying I’d just happcncd on thc tourncy.
But what will I say now: Ch, this po·crty!
Low ·ilc, how it dcgradcs onc’s hcart!
Vhcn iclorgc with his hca·y lancc
Iicrccd ny hcln and gallopcd on past,
And I barchcadcd turncd and spurrcd
My Enir, flcw likc a whirlwind
And flung thc count sonc twcnty paccs
iikc a pagc boy, whcn all thc ladics
Rosc íron thcir scats, whcn clotild hcrsclí, ,c
Vho’d co·crcd hcr cycs, couldn’t hclp but shout,
And thc hcralds paid honor to ny blow—
Ko onc thcn thought about thc rcason
For ny ·alor and ny wondrous strcngth!
I was scizcd by íury at ny danagcd hclnct,
Vhat’s to blanc íor ny hcroisn:—niscrlincss.
Iah! It’s not difficult to catch it hcrc
Undcr thc sanc rooí as ny íathcr.
Low’s ny poor Enir:
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,,
]ohn: still linping,
You can’t ridc hin íor sonc tinc yct. ,c
Albcrt: Ihcrc’s nothing íor it, thcn: I’ll buy thc bay.
Ihcy’rc not asking nuch íor hin.
]ohn: Kot nuch, but wc don’t ha·c thc noncy.
Albcrt: Vhat’s that good-íor-nothing solonon say:
]ohn: Lc says that hc can’t loan you
Any norc noncy without collatcral.
Albcrt: collatcral! whcrc’d I gct collatcral, thc dc·il!
]ohn: Ihat’s what I told hin.
Albcrt: Vhat’d hc say:
]ohn: Groancd and wafflcd.
Albcrt: Ihcn you should’·c told hin ny íathcr’s
Rich as a ]cw hinsclí, and sooncr or latcr ¯c
I’ll inhcrit c·crything.
]ohn: Ihat’s what I said.
Albcrt: Vhat’d hc say:
]ohn: Vafflcd and groancd.
Albcrt: Vhat a ncss!
]ohn: Lc was going to conc hinsclí.
Albcrt: Vcll, thank God.
I won’t lct hin out without a ranson.
(Rooc/ a: :/e áoo·.)
Vho’s thcrc:
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,c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
(I/e )e« eo:e·s.)
]cw: Your hunblc scr·ant.
Albcrt: Ah, íricnd!
You danncd ]cw, honorablc solonon,
conc o·cr hcrc, so—you, I hcar,
ion’t bclic·c in crcdit.
]cw: Ah, ncrciíul knight,
I swcar to you: I’d bc glad . . . truly, I can’t.
Vhcrc would I gct noncy: I’·c ruincd nysclí cc
Ihrough ny zcal íor always hclping knights.
Ko onc rcpays. I wantcd to ask you
Ií you couldn’t gi·c nc c·cn just part . . .
Albcrt: Robbcr!
Ií I had any noncy, would I bc
Fooling around with you: Enough,
ion’t bc stubborn, ny dcar solonon,
Gi·c nc sonc gold. scnd nc a hundrcd picccs
Bcíorc I ha·c you scarchcd.
]cw: A hundrcd!
Ií only I had a hundrcd gold picccs!
Albcrt: iistcn:
Arcn’t you ashancd not to hclp -c
Your íricnds:
]cw: I swcar to you . . .
Albcrt: Enough, cnough.
You dcnand collatcral: what rubbish!
Vhat collatcral should I gi·c you:—a pig’s skin:
Ií I had anything I could offcr, long ago
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,.
I’d ha·c sold it. Cr is thc word oí a knight
Vorth so littlc to you, you dog:
]cw: Your word,
so long as you shall li·c, is worth a grcat dcal.
All thc trcasurc chcsts oí Flcnish ncrchants
It will opcn likc a nagic wand.
But whcn it’s gi·cn to nc, a lowly ]cw, ·c
And should—God íorbid—you dic, thcn
In ny hands it will bc oí no norc ·aluc
Ihan thc kcy to a caskct flung into thc occan.
Albcrt: can ny íathcr possibly outli·c nc:
]cw: Vho knows: Cur days arc nunbcrcd by Anothcr,
iast night a youth was hcalthy, now hc’s dcad
And thcrc you scc íour gray-haircd ncn
carrying his coffin on thcir stoopcd shouldcrs.
Ihc Baron’s in good hcalth. God willing, tcn ycars, twcnty,
E·cn twcnty-fi·c or thirty hc could li·c. ,c
Albcrt: You’rc lying, ]cw, bcsidcs, in thirty ycars,
I’ll bc pushing fiíty, and thcn what usc
Vill I ha·c íor thc noncy:
]cw: Moncy:—Moncy
Is always, whatc·cr our agc, uscíul to us,
But a young nan sccs it as a scr·ant
And docsn’t hcsitatc to scnd it íar and widc.
An old nan sccs it as a trusty íricnd
And guards it as thc applc oí his cyc.
Albcrt: Ch, íor ny íathcr noncy’s not a scr·ant
Cr a íricnd, but a nastcr, hc hinsclí scr·cs it. .cc
And scr·cs it—how: likc an Algcrian sla·c,
iikc a dog on a chain. A kcnncl with no hcat
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,. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Is his honc, hc drinks watcr, cats dry crusts,
Lc nc·cr slccps at night, just runs and barks.
And thc gold lics thcrc rcsting pcaccíully
In thc chcsts. Enough! sonc day
It’ll scr·c nc and íorgct what rcsting is.
]cw: Ycs, at thc Baron’s íuncral
Morc noncy than tcars will bc pourcd íorth.
May God scnd you your inhcritancc soon! ..c
Albcrt: Ancn!
]cw: But pcrhaps . . .
Albcrt: Vhat:
]cw: It occurrcd to nc thcrc is
A ccrtain ncans . . .
Albcrt: Vhat ncans:
]cw: Ihis:
Ihcrc is an old nan whon I know,
A ]cw, a poor apothccary . . .
Albcrt: A usurcr
iikc yoursclí, or c·cn a bit norc honcst:
]cw: Ko, sir, Iobias has a diffcrcnt tradc—
Lc nixcs drops—it’s rcally anazing
Vhat an cffcct thcy ha·c.
Albcrt: Vcll, so:
]cw: Ihcy go in a glass oí watcr—thrcc drops will do,
Ihcrc’s no tastc, no color, nothing you’d noticc, ..c
A nan won’t suffcr any indigcstion
Cr nausca, or any pain—but hc’ll dic.
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,,
Albcrt: Your old nan dcals in poison.
]cw: Ycs,
Ioison too.
Albcrt: And so: Instcad oí loaning noncy,
You’rc offcring nc two hundrcd ·ials oí poison,
At onc gold piccc pcr ·ial. Is that it:
]cw: You’rc plcascd to ha·c your jokc at ny cxpcnsc—
Ko, I ncant . . . pcrhaps you . . . wcll, I thought
Ihc Baron’s tinc had conc to dic.
Albcrt: Vhat! Ioison ny íathcr! You darc íacc a son . . . .,c
]ohn! scizc hin. You darc say this to nc! . . .
Gct this straight, you ]cwish hcart,
You dog, you snakc, I’ll ha·c you hangcd
Ihis instant at thc castlc gatc.
]cw: I’n guilty!
La·c ncrcy: I was joking.
Albcrt: ]ohn, bring a ropc.
]cw: I . . . I was joking. I’·c brought you noncy.
Albcrt: Cut, dog!
(I/e )e« lea·es.)
Ihis is what ny íathcr’s niscrlincss
Las brought nc to! Io ha·c a ]cwdarc
Iroposc that to nc! Bring nc a glass oí winc,
I’n shaking likc a lcaí. . . . But I still nccd noncy. .,c
]ohn, go catch up with that danncd ]cw
And takc his gold. And bring thc inkwcll hcrc.
I’ll gi·c hin a rcccipt, thc crook—but don’t
Bring that ]udas in hcrc. . . . Ko, wait.
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,, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Lis gold picccs will stink oí poison,
iikc his kinsnan’s sil·cr did. . . .
I askcd íor winc.
]ohn: Vc don’t ha·c any winc,
Kot a drop.
Albcrt: Vhat about thc giít
Ihat Raynond scnt nc íron spain:
]ohn: Ycstcrday I took thc last bottlc .¯c
Io thc sick blacksnith.
Albcrt: Ycs, I rcncnbcr, I know. . . .
Gi·c nc watcr thcn. Vhat a danncd liíc!
Ko, it’s scttlcd—I’ll go and scck ny rights
Fron thc iukc, lct hin nakc ny íathcr
support nc likc his son, not likc sonc nousc
Born undcr a floorboard.
s c r ·r i i
Baron: iikc a young skirt-chascr who waits íor whcn
Lc’ll ncct his binbo—sonc tranp on thc nakc,
Cr sonc íool hc’s snowcd—that’s howall day
I wait íor thc ninutc I go down .cc
Into ny sccrct ·ault, to thc íaithíul chcsts.
Ioday’s a happy day! Kow I can opcn
Ihc sixth chcst (thc onc that’s not íull yct)
And pour in a handíul oí pilcd-up gold.
Kot nuch, it sccns, but littlc by littlc
Ihc trcasurc grows. Cncc I rcad
About a king who ordcrcd his ncn
Io bring, cach onc, a handíul oí carth,
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,¯
And a nighty hill rosc up—and thc king
could gazc down ncrrily íron that hcight .-c
Upon thc ·allcys, co·crcd with whitc tcnts,
And on thc sca, whcrc ships wcrc sailing.
Ihus I, bringing ny poor handíuls onc by onc,
Bcaring ny accustoncd tributc to ny ·ault,
La·c built up ny hill—and íron its hcight
I can gazc on all that’s in ny powcr.
Vhat’s not in ny powcr: Fron hcrc,
iikc a dcnon I can rulc thc world.
Ií I just want it—palaccs will spring up,
Into ny splcndid gardcns thcrc will dancc .·c
A conpany oí playíul nynphs,
Ihc Muscs too will bring nc tributc,
Frcc gcnius will bcconc ny sla·c,
And ·irtuc and unslccping toil
Vill ncckly look to nc íor thcir rcward.
]ust lct nc whistlc—bloodstaincd ·illainy
Cbcdicntly and tinidly will crawl to nc
And lick ny hand, and pccr into ny cycs,
iooking íor a sign oí ny will thcrc.
Io nc all things subnit, and I—to nonc, .,c
I stand abo·c dcsirc, I an caln,
I know ny night, this knowlcdgc
Is cnough íor nc. . . .
(Loo/s a: /is ¸olá.)
It sccns likc littlc cnough,
But how nuch hunan carc and woc,
Low nany lics, tcars, praycrs, and curscs
It stands íor—what a hca·y load!
Ihcrc’s onc old doubloon—right hcrc. Kow
Ihc widow’s gi·cn it to nc, but first
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,c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
shc knclt with hcr thrcc childrcn at ny window
For halí a day, howling all thc tinc. .cc
It raincd, and stoppcd, and startcd again,
Ihc íakcr, shc didn’t budgc, I could, oí coursc,
La·c chascd hcr off, but soncthing told nc
Ihat shc’d brought nc what hcr husband owcd,
And wouldn’t want to find hcrsclí in jail ncxt day.
And this onc:—I got this onc íronIhibault—
Vhcrc’d hc gct it íron, thc lazy chcat:
stolc it, nost likcly, or, who knows,
Cn thc highway, in thc woods, at night. . . .
Ií all thc blood, swcat, and tcars oncc shcd ..c
For all that’s storcd in hcrc, could now pour íorth
Fron thc carth’s bowcls in onc suddcn gush,
Ihcrc’d bc a sccond Flood—and I would suffocatc
Insidc ny íaithíul ·ault. But cnough.
(He ¸oes :o o¡eo :/e c/es:.)
E·cry singlc tinc, whcn I start to opcn
A chcst, I íccl íc·crish and trcnblc.
Kot íron ícar (no! what should I ícar:
I ha·c ny sword, ny tcnpcrcd bladc
Vill answcr íor thc gold), but íron sonc scnsc,
Mystcrious and drcad, which grips ny hcart. . . . ..c
ioctors assurc us that thcrc arc pcoplc
Vho find plcasurc in connitting nurdcr.
Vhcn I put thc kcy into thc lock, thcn
I íccl what such a onc nust íccl, plunging
Lis kniíc into a ·ictin: plcasurc
And horror nixcd in onc.
(C¡eos :/e c/es:.)
My bliss!
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,-
(D·o¡s :/e coios io.)
Ihcrc, now you’·c roancd cnough throughout thc world,
scr·ing thc passions and nccds oí ncn,
slccp now, thc slccp oí strcngth and pcacc,
As thc gods slccp in íar-off hca·cns. . . . .,c
Ioday I want to gi·c nysclí a ícast:
I’ll light a candlc in íront oí cach chcst
And opcn all oí thcn, and I’ll stand
Anid thcn all, looking at thc glittcring pilcs.
(He li¸/:s caoáles aoá o¡eos :/e c/es:s ooe af:e· aoo:/e·.)
I an a king! . . . Vhat an cnchanting glittcr!
Cbcying nc, ny rcaln indccd is nighty,
It holds ny joy, ny honor, and ny glory!
I an a king . . . but who will íollow nc,
Vho will takc this powcr: My hcir!
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[To view this image, refer to
the print version of this title.]



,· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
A boy who throws noncy around likc nad, .,c
Vith his hcllraising íricnds out íor a good tinc!
Ko sooncr than I’·c dicd, hc! Lc’ll conc hcrc
Into thcsc pcaccíul and long-silcnt ·aults,
Vith a pack oí grccdy courticrs at his hccls.
Aítcr stcaling thc kcys íron ny dcad body,
Lc’ll laugh as hc throws opcn all thc chcsts.
And all ny trcasurcs will flowout
And pour through thc holcs oí satin pockcts.
Lc’ll brcak into bits thc sacrcd ·csscls,
ict dirt drink up thc coronation oil— .¯c
Lc’ll squandcr it. . . . And by what right:
La·c I rcally acquircd all this íor nothing,
Cr just íor play, as ií I wcrc a ganblcr
Rolling thc dicc and and raking in ny pilcs:
Vho knows how nuch bittcr sclí-rcstraint,
Vhat passions chokcd back, what wcary thoughts,
Vhat carcs day aítcr day, what slccplcss nights
All this cost nc: Cr will ny son say
Ihat ny hcart’s long o·crgrown with noss,
Ihat I íccl no dcsirc, that c·cn ny conscicncc .cc
Kc·cr gnawcd at nc, ny conscicncc,
Ihat bcast with claws that tcar ny hcart—ny conscicncc,
Ihat gucst I didn’t in·itc, a wcarying conpanion,
Ihat harsh dcnanding crcditor, that witch
Vho nakcs thc noon hidc and who troublcs gra·cs,
Making thcn gi·c up thcir dcad: . . .
Ko, first suffcr through piling up your own wcalth,
And thcn lct’s scc ií sonc unhappy nan
Vill conc and squandcr what you got by blood.
Ch, ií only I could hidc this ·ault íron all .-c
Unworthy cycs! Ch, ií íron ny gra·c
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ,,
I could arisc, a ghostly watchnan,
And sit upon thc chcst, and guard ny trcasurcs
Against thc li·ing, as I guard thcn now!
s c r ·r i i i
(Io :/e ¡alace.)
Albcrt: Bclic·c nc, ny lord, I ha·c long bornc
Ihc shanc oí bittcr po·crty. Vcrc ny nccd not grcat,
You would not ha·c hcard ny conplaint.
iukc: I do bclic·c you, a noblc knight
such as yoursclí, would not accusc his íathcr
Unlcss his nccd was grcat. Fcw ncn arc so corrupt . . . .·c
ion’t ícar, I’ll urgc your íathcr to act honorably,
But I’ll do it in pri·atc, without scandal.
I cxpcct hin soon. It’s a long tinc sincc I’·c sccn hin.
Lc and ny grandíathcr wcrc íricnds. I rcncnbcr,
Vhcn I was just a boy still, how
Lc’d liít nc up and scat nc on his stccd
And put his hca·y hclnct on nc—it co·crcd nc
As ií it wcrc a church bcll.
(Loo/s oa: :/e «ioáo«.)
Vho’s that:
Is it hc:
Albcrt: Ycs, ny lord.
iukc: Vait
In that chanbcr. I will call you. .,c
(.lle·: exi:s, eo:e· :/e Ba·oo.)
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¯c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Baron,
I an glad to scc you wcll and in good spirits.
Baron: I an happy, ny lord, that I had thc strcngth
Io conc into your prcscncc at your connand.
iukc: You’·c bccn away a long tinc, baron,
A long tinc. io you rcncnbcr nc:
Baron: I, ny lord:
I scc you as ií it wcrc now. Ch, you wcrc
A boy with spirit. Ihc latc dukc
Uscd to say to nc: Ihilip (hc always callcd
Mc Ihilip), what do you think: Eh:
Iwcnty ycars íron now, íor surc, thc two oí us, ,cc
Vc’ll bc nothing conparcd to that kid . . .
Io you, that is . . .
iukc: Vc’ll now rcncw
Cur acquaintancc. You ha·c íorgottcn ny court.
Baron: I’n an old nan now, ny lord, what should
I do at court: You’rc young, you lo·c
Iournancnts and íêtcs. But íor such things I
An no longcd suitcd. Ií God scnds war, thcn I
An rcady to clinb whcczing onto ny horsc,
I’ll still find strcngth cnough to draw
My old sword íor you with a trcnbling arn. ,.c
iukc: Baron, your dc·otion is wcll known to us,
You wcrc ny grandíathcr’s íricnd, ny íathcr
Estccncd you. And I ha·c always considcrcd you
A loyal and bra·c knight—but lct’s sit down.
Baron, do you ha·c any childrcn:
Baron: Cnc son.
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ¯.
iukc: Vhy don’t I scc hin ncar nc:
You’rc wcary oí thc court, but it would bcfit hin,
At his agc and with his rank, to bc ncar nc.
Baron: My son dislikcs a noisy íashionablc liíc,
Lc’s unsociablc and gloony by naturc— ,.c
All day hc wandcrs thc íorcsts round thc castlc
iikc a young dccr.
iukc: It’s not good íor hin
Io bc so unsociablc. Vc’ll soon tcach hin
About gaicty, about balls and tournancnts.
scnd hin to nc, pro·idc your son
Vith an cstatc fitting to his rank . . .
You’rc írowning, arc you wcary íron thc road,
Icrhaps:
Baron: My iord, I an not wcary,
But you’·c cnbarrasscd nc. I would rathcr
Kot ha·c adnittcd it to you, but you ,,c
La·c íorccd nc to say about ny son
soncthing I wantcd to hidc íron you.
Lc, ny iord, unhappily is not worthy
Cí cithcr your ía·or or your attcntion.
Lc’s spcnding his youth in rowdincss,
Engaging in low ·iccs . . .
iukc: Ihat, Baron,
Is bccausc hc’s alonc. solitudc
And idlcncss dcstroy young pcoplc.
scnd hin to us: hc’ll íorgct
Labits that arosc up-country. ,,c
Baron: Forgi·c nc, but, truly, ny lord,
I cannot conscnt to that . . .
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¯. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
iukc: Vhy thcn:
Baron: sparc an old nan . . .
iukc: I connand: tcll nc thc rcason
For your rcíusal.
Baron: I’n angcrcd at
My son.
iukc: Vhy:
Baron: For his wickcd crinc.
iukc: And what, tcll nc, was that:
Baron: sparc nc, iukc . . .
iukc: Ihis is ·cry strangc,
Cr arc you ashancd oí hin:
Baron: Ycs . . . ashancd . . .
iukc: But what did hc do: ,¯c
Baron: Lc . . . hc ncant
Io nurdcr nc.
iukc: Murdcr! I’ll hand hin o·cr
Io justicc as a íoul ·illain.
Baron: I won’t sct out to pro·c it, but I know
Ihat ny dcath is what hc’s thirsting íor,
And I know that hc’s nadc an attcnpt
At . . .
iukc: Vhat:
Baron: Robbing nc.
(.lle·: la·s:s io:o :/e ·ooo.)
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I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: ¯,
Albcrt: Baron, you’rc lying.
iukc: (Io :/e soo.)
Lowdarc you: . . .
Baron: You’rc hcrc! You darc íacc nc! . . .
You can say a thing likc that to your íathcr! . . .
I’n lying! And in thc prcscncc oí our lord! . . .
Io nc . . . or an I no longcr a knight: ,cc
Albcrt: You’rc a liar.
Baron: And lightning hasn’t struck hin, rightcous God!
Ihcn takc this, and lct thc sword judgc bctwccn us!
(He flio¸s /is ¸aao:le:, /is soo /as:ily ¡ic/s i: a¡.)
Albcrt: My thanks. Lcrc’s ny first giít íron ny íathcr.
iukc: Vhat did I scc: Vhat’s this—and in ny prcscncc:
A son acccptcd thc challcngc oí his old íathcr!
In what tincs ha·c I takcn upon nysclí
Ihc ducal chain! silcncc: You, nadnan,
And you, tigcr cub! Enough.
(Io :/e soo.)
Gi·c it up,
Land nc that gauntlct.
(He :a/es i:.)
Albcrt: (.siáe.)
A pity.
iukc: Low hc plungcd his claws into it!—thc nonstcr! ,-c
Go: do not darc appcar in ny prcscncc
Until that tinc whcn I nysclí
shall scnd íor you.
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¯, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
(.lle·: exi:s.)
You, unhappy old nan,
Arc you not ashancd . . .
Baron: Forgi·c nc, ny lord,
I cannot stand . . . My knccs arc gi·ing way . . .
It’s stifling! . . . stifling! . . . Vhcrc arc thc kcys:
My kcys, kcys! . . .
iukc: Lc’s dcad. God!
A tcrriblc agc, tcrriblc hcarts!
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Mozart and salicri
s c r ·r i
(. ·ooo.)
salicri: Ihcy say thcrc’s no justicc hcrc on carth,
But thcrc’s no justicc highcr up, cithcr. Io nc
Ihat’s as clcar and sinplc as do-rc-ni.
I was born with a lo·c íor art,
Vhcn I was a child, whcn up on high
Ihc organ’s notcs cchocd in our old church,
I listcncd and was spcllbound—I wcpt,
swcct tcars flowcd against ny will.
¯¯
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¯c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Early I rcíuscd all idlc anuscncnts,
Io knowanything othcr than nusic was .c
Latcíul to nc, stubbornly and proudly
I dcnicd all clsc and ga·c nysclí up
Io nusic alonc. Ihc first stcps wcrc hard
And thc first path was tcdious. I o·crcanc
My carly difficultics. I ga·c craít
Its placc as thc íoundation stonc oí art,
I nadc nysclí a craítsnan, ny fingcrs
Acquircd obcdicnt, cold dcxtcrity
And ny car, accuracy. I killcd sounds,
iisscctcd nusic likc a corpsc. I put harnony .c
Io thc tcst oí algcbra. Cnly aítcr that,
Expcricnccd in ny studics, did I darc
Allow nysclí thc luxury oí crcati·c drcans.
I bcgan crcating, but silcntly, in sccrct,
Kot daring c·cn to think yct oí glory.
Cítcn, aítcr sitting silcntly in ny ccll
Iwo or thrcc days, íorgctting slccp and íood,
Aítcr thc tastc oí ccstasy and tcars oí inspiration,
I burncd ny work and watchcd coldly
As ny idca and thc sounds I had brought íorth ,c
Blazcd up, thcn ·anishcd with a puff oí snokc.
Vhat an I saying: Vhcn thc grcat Gluck
Appcarcd and rc·calcd to us ncw nystcrics
(iccp and capti·ating nystcrics),
iidn’t I abandon c·crything I’d known bcíorc,
E·crything I’d lo·cd and bclic·cd so ícr·cntly,
And didn’t I sct out boldly aítcr hin
Vithout a nurnur, likc onc who’s lost his path
And is dircctcd to go anothcr way:
By conccntratcd, constant cffort ,c
Finally in thc unboundcd rcaln oí art
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Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i ¯-
I achic·cd a high placc. Glory
snilcd on nc, in pcoplc’s hcarts
I íound thc harnonics that I’d crcatcd.
I was happy: I pcaccíully cnjoycd
My work, succcss, rcnown, as wcll as
Ihc works and thc succcsscs oí ny íricnds,
My collcagucs in thc niraclcs oí art.
Ko! I nc·cr oncc íclt cn·y thcn,
Ko, nc·cr!—not c·cn whcn Iiccini ¯c
icarncd to charn thc sa·agc Iaris audicncc,
Kot c·cn whcn I hcard íor thc first tinc
Ihc opcning chords oí I¡/i¸eoia.
Vho will say that proud salicri
Vas c·cr a contcnptiblc cn·icr,
A snakc troddcn powcrlcss undcríoot,
icít halí-ali·c to bitc thc dirt and dust:
Ko onc! . . . But now—I say it nysclí—now
I an an cn·icr. I íccl cn·y, dccp,
Iorncnting cn·y. Ch hca·cn! cc
Vhcrc is rightncss, whcn thc sacrcd giít,
Innortal gcnius, concs not as rcward
For ardcnt lo·c and sclí-rcnunciation,
iabor, zcal, diligcncc, and praycrs—
But bcstows its radiant halo on a nadnan
Vho idly strolls through liíc: Ch, Mozart, Mozart!
Mozart: Aha! You saw nc! And I wantcd
Io gi·c you a surprisc anuscncnt.
salicri: You’rc hcrc!—Vhcn’d you gct hcrc:
Mozart: ]ust now.
I was walking hcrc, coning to show you soncthing, -c
And as I wcnt by a ta·crn, suddcnly
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¯· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
I hcard a fiddlc. . . . Ko, ny íricnd salicri,
You’·c nc·cr hcard anything íunnicr
In all your liíc. . . . Ihis blind fiddlcr in thc ta·crn
Vas sawing away at ‘‘Voi chc sapctc.’’ splcndid!
I couldn’t rcsist, I brought thc fiddlcr hcrc
so I could trcat you to his art.
conc in!
(.o olá llioá oao «i:/ a ·iolio eo:e·s.)
Ilay sonc Mozart íor us!
(I/e fiáále· ¡lays ao a·ia f·oo ion Gio·anni,
Mo¸a·: laa¸/s.)
salicri: And you can laugh:
Mozart: Ch, salicri!
Rcally you don’t laugh at that: ·c
salicri: Ko.
I don’t find it íunny whcn sonc worthlcss daubcr
Makcs sncars and drips on Raphacl’s Madonna,
I don’t find it íunny whcn sonc ·ulgar shownan
Rccls off a parody that dishonors iantc.
Bc off, old nan.
Mozart: Vait: hcrc’s soncthing íor you,
irink to ny hcalth.
(I/e olá oao exi:s.)
Right now, salicri,
You’rc not in a good nood. I’ll conc scc you
Anothcr tinc.
salicri: Vhat’d you bring nc:
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Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i ¯,
Mozart: Ch, nothing—just a triflc. iatc last night
My insonnia torncntcd nc, ,c
And two or thrcc idcas crosscd ny nind.
Ioday I skctchcd thcn out. I wantcd
Io find out what you thought, but right now
You don’t íccl likc hcaring nc.
salicri: Ch, Mozart, Mozart!
Vhcn don’t I íccl likc hcaring you: sit down,
I’n listcning.
Mozart: (.: :/e ¡iaoo.)
Inaginc sonconc—who:
Vcll, say nysclí—only a littlc youngcr,
In lo·c—not all that dccply, but a littlc—
I’n with a prctty girl, or with a íricnd—say you,
I’n in good spirits—]ust thcn, a ghostly ·ision, .cc
A suddcn gloon, or soncthing oí that sort . . .
Vcll, listcn.
(He ¡lays.)
salicri: You wcrc coning to nc with that
And you could stop off at a ta·crn
And listcn to a blind fiddlcr!—My God!
Mozart, you’rc not worthy oí yoursclí.
Mozart: Vhat, it’s good:
salicri: Vhat dcpth!
Vhat boldncss and what just proportion!
You, Mozart, arc a god, and you yoursclí don’t know it,
I know it, I know.
Mozart: Bah! rcally: wcll, naybc . . .
But ny di·incncss is hungry. ..c
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cc I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
salicri: iistcn: lct’s ha·c dinncr togcthcr
At thc sign oí thc Goldcn iion.
Mozart: Ií you want,
I’d bc glad to. ict nc run honc first
Io tcll ny wiíc shc shouldn’t wait íor nc
For dinncr.
(He exi:s.)
salicri: I’ll bc cxpccting you, rcncnbcr!
Ko! I cannot sct nysclí against
My dcstiny—I an thc onc who’s choscn
Io stop hin—or clsc wc all will pcrish,
All oí us, pricsts and scr·itors oí nusic,
Kot only I with ny cnpty glory . . . ..c
Vhat is thc usc ií Mozart li·cs
And c·cn achic·cs still grcatcr hcights:
Vhat hc docs—will hc clc·atc Art: Ko,
It will íall again whcn hc has ·anishcd,
Ko hcir oí his will rcnain anong us.
Vhat usc is hc: Appcaring likc an angcl,
Lc brings us a ícwoí Lca·cn’s songs,
And thcn, oncc hc’s rouscd a winglcss dcsirc
In us, childrcn oí dust, hc flics away!
Fly away thcn! And thc sooncr, thc bcttcr! .,c
Lcrc is thc poison, ny Izora’s final giít.
For cightccn ycars I’·c carricd it with nc—
And oítcn in that tinc I ha·c íound liíc
An unbcarablc wound, and oítcn I ha·c sat
At tablc with a hccdlcss cncny,
And, ycs, I hcard thc whispcr oí tcnptation
But I didn’t yicld, although I an no coward,
Although I íccl an injury dccply,
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Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i c.
Although I lo·c liíc littlc. still I waitcd.
Vhcn thc thirst íor dcath torncntcd nc, .,c
Vhy dic:—I thought: it nay bc, liíc
Vill bring nc uncxpcctcd giíts,
Rapturc, it nay bc, will conc to nc
In a crcati·c night oí inspiration,
It nay bc sonc ncw Laydn will bring íorth
Grcatncss—and I will rcjoicc in it . . .
Vhcn I ícastcd with a hatcd gucst,
It nay bc—I thought—a still worsc íoc
Awaits nc, an injury still worsc, it nay bc,
Vill strikc nc down íron sonc proud hcight— .¯c
Ihcn you won’t bc in ·ain, Izora’s giít.
And I was right! At last I’·c íound
My cncny, and at last a ncw Laydn
Vondrously has cnrapturcd nc!
Kow it’s tinc! chcrishcd giít oí lo·c,
For you to go today into íricndship’s cup.
s c r ·r i i
(. ¡·i·a:e ·ooo io a :a·e·o, a ¡iaoo.
Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i a·e a: :/e :alle.)
salicri: Vhy arc you gloony today:
Mozart: Mc: Kot at all!
salicri: surcly, Mozart, soncthing has upsct you:
Ihc íood is good, thc winc is splcndid,
And you sit silcntly and írown. .cc
Mozart: I nust adnit,
My Re¸aieo is troubling nc.
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c. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
salicri: Ah!
You’·c bccn working on a rcquicn: For long:
Mozart: Ycs, long, about thrcc wccks. But a strangc thing . . .
La·cn’t I told you:
salicri: Ko.
Mozart: Ihcn listcn.
Ihrcc wccks ago, onc night I canc honc
iatc. Ihcy told nc soncbody’d conc by
And askcd íor nc. Vhy—I don’t know,
But all night I thought: who could it bc:
And what was I to hin: Ihc ncxt day
Ihc sanc nan canc and didn’t find nc in. .-c
Ihc day aítcr I was playing on thc floor
Vith ny littlc boy. sonconc callcd nc,
I wcnt out. A nan drcsscd all in black
Grcctcd nc rcspcctíully, ordcrcd íron nc
A rcquicn, and ·anishcd. I sat down
And bcgan to writc at oncc—and sincc thcn
My black nan’s nc·cr conc back to ny housc,
And I’n glad, I’d hatc to ha·c to part
Vith ny work, although thc Re¸aieo
Alrcady is conplctc. But ncanwhilc I . . . .·c
salicri: Vhat:
Mozart: I’n cnbarrasscd to adnit this . . .
salicri: Vhat:
Mozart: iay and night ny black nan won’t
ica·c nc alonc. E·crywhcrc I go
Lc íollows likc a shadow. E·cn now,
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Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i c,
It sccns to nc, hc’s sitting with us
As a third.
salicri: Rubbish! Vhat childish ícar is this:
irop this usclcss brooding. Bcaunarchais
Uscd to tcll nc, ‘‘Brothcr salicri, listcn:
Vhcn black thoughts conc to troublc you,
Iop thc cork on a bottlc oí chanpagnc, .,c
Cr rcrcad I/e Ma··ia¸e of Ii¸a·o.’’
Mozart: Good! Bcaunarchais was aítcr all your íricnd,
You wrotc thc nusic íor his Ia·a·a,
A splcndid thing. Ihcrc’s a notií in it . . .
I’n always singing it whcn I an happy . . .
ia la la la. . . . Ah, is it truc, salicri,
Ihat Bcaunarchais poisoncd sonconc:
salicri: I don’t think so, hc was too nuch a buffoon
For such a craít.
Mozart: Lc’s a gcnius,
iikc you and nc. And gcnius and crinc .cc
Arc two things that don’t conbinc. Isn’t that truc:
salicri: You think so:
(Ioa·s :/e ¡oisoo io:o Mo¸a·:’s ¸lass.)
Vcll thcn, drink.
Mozart: Io your
Lcalth, ny íricnd, and to thc íaithíul union
Ihat binds togcthcr Mozart and salicri,
Iwo sons oí harnony.
(He á·io/s.)
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c, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
salicri: stop,
stop, stop! . . . You drank it . . . without nc:
Mozart: (Iosses /is oa¡/io oo :/e :alle.)
I’·c had cnough.
(Goes :o :/e ¡iaoo.)
salicri, listcn to
My Re¸aieo.
(He ¡lays.)
You’rc wccping:
salicri: Ihcsc tcars
Arc thc first I’·c shcd—íron pain and plcasurc,
As ií I had íulfillcd a burdcning duty, ..c
As ií thc surgcon’s kniíc had cut íron nc
Ihc part that suffcrcd! Fricnd Mozart, thcsc tcars . . .
ion’t noticc thcn. continuc, still nakc hastc
Io fill ny soul with sounds . . .
Mozart: Ií only c·cryonc could íccl thc powcr
Cí harnony likc you! but no, íor thcn
Ihc world could not cxist, no onc would want
Io spcnd tinc taking carc oí liíc’s low nccds,
All would bc gi·cn o·cr to írcc art.
Vc arc but ícw, wc choscn, happy idlcrs ..c
Vho look disdainíully at pctty uscíulncss
And íorn a pricsthood scr·ing only bcauty.
Isn’t that so: But now I íccl unwcll.
soncthing wcighs nc down, I want to slccp.
Farcwcll!
salicri: Until wc ncct again.
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Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i c¯
(.looe.)
You will slccp
A long tinc, Mozart! But is hc rcally right
And an I not a gcnius: Gcnius and crinc
Arc two things that don’t conbinc. Ihat’s not truc:
Vhat oí Michclangclo: or is that just a íablc
Cí thc stupid, scnsclcss crowd—and it was not .,c
A nurdcrcr who dcsigncd thc Vatican:
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[To view this image, refer to
the print version of this title.]



Ihc stonc Gucst
icporcllo: C statua gcntilissina
icl gran’ conncndatorc! . . .
. . . Ah, Iadronc!
Doo Gio·aooi
s c r ·r i
ion ]uan: Vc’ll wait íor nightíall hcrc. At long last
Vc’·c rcachcd thc walls oí Madrid! soon
I’ll bc dashing through thc wcll-known strccts,
My capc co·cring ny chin and ny hat, ny cycs.
Vhat do you think: could I bc rccognizcd:
icporcllo: Ch ycah, it’s tough to rccognizc ion ]uan!
Ihcrc’s a swarn oí ncn likc hin!
ion ]uan: Arc you kidding:
Vho’s going to rccognizc nc:
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: c-
icporcllo: Ihc first watchnan,
sonc gypsy girl or drunkcn strcct-nusician,
Cr onc oí your own kind, sonc swaggcring lord .c
Vith a sword at his sidc and wcaring a capc.
ion ]uan: so what ií thcy do know nc—so long as
I don’t ncct thc king hinsclí. But still,
I’n not aíraid oí anyonc in Madrid.
icporcllo: And tonorrow word will rcach thc king
Ihat ion ]uan ·iolatcd his cxilc
And showcd up in Madrid—what do you think
Lc’ll do to you thcn:
ion ]uan: scnd nc back.
Lc’s hardly going to cut off ny hcad.
Aítcr all, I’n not a statc crininal. .c
Lc scnt nc away although hc lo·cs nc,
Io kccp nc out oí rcach oí thc íanily
Cí thc nan I killcd . . .
icporcllo: Ihat’s just it!
You should ha·c staycd thcrc—out oí rcach.
ion ]uan: Your hunblc scr·ant! I was on thc point
Cí dying oí borcdon thcrc. Vhat pcoplc,
Vhat a country! E·cn thc sky’s just snokc.
And thc woncn: ict nc tcll you soncthing,
My íoolish icporcllo: I wouldn’t tradc
Ihc lowlicst pcasant girl thcrc is in Andalusia ,c
For thc íorcnost oí thcir bcautics—that’s thc truth.
Ch, at first I was intrigucd by thcn—
By thcir bluc cycs and thcir íair conplcxions,
Ihcir nodcsty, and nost oí all, thcir no·clty,
But, thank God, soon I saw through thcn—
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c· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
It’s a sin to c·cn flirt with woncn such as that—
Ihcy’rc not ali·c, thcy’rc nothing but wax dolls,
But our woncn! . . . Vait a ninutc, wc know
Ihis placc alrcady, do you rccall it:
icporcllo: Lowcould I not know it: ycs, I rcncnbcr ,c
Ihc Monastcry oí st. Anthony. Vc’d ridc hcrc
And I’d hold thc horscs o·cr thcrc in thc gro·c.
A danncd bad job, lct nc tcll you. You
spcnt your tinc hcrc a lot norc plcasantly
Ihan I did, bclic·c nc.
ion ]uan: (Ieosi·ely)
Ioor Incz!
shc’s gonc now! how I lo·cd hcr!
icporcllo: Incz!—thc black-cycd onc. . . . Kow I rcncnbcr,
For thrcc nonths you wcrc paying court
Io hcr, it was all thc dc·il could do to hclp.
ion ]uan: ]uly it was . . . at night. I íound strangc plcasurc ¯c
In gazing at hcr sorrowíul cycs
And dcath-palc lips. It’s strangc.
You apparcntly didn’t think shc was
A bcauty. And in íact, thcrc wasn’t
Much bcautiíul about hcr. Lcr cycs,
]ust hcr cycs. And hcr glancc . . . I’·c nc·cr sccn
Anothcr glancc likc that. And hcr ·oicc
Vas quict, íccblc—likc a sick wonan’s—
Lcr husband was a worthlcss wrctch, and stcrn—
I íound that out too latc—Ioor Incz! . . . cc
icporcllo: Vcll, so, aítcr hcr canc othcrs.
ion ]uan: Iruc.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: c,
icporcllo: And whilc wc’rc still ali·c, thcrc’ll bc still norc.
ion ]uan: Also truc.
icporcllo: so what wonan in Madrid
Arc wc going to go aítcr:
ion ]uan: Ch, iaura!
I’ll hcad straight íor hcr housc.
icporcllo: Ihat’s it.
ion ]uan: I’ll walkright throughhcr door—andií thcrc’s conpany,
I’ll in·itc hin to nakc his cxit through thc window.
icporcllo: Cí coursc. And now wc’·c chccrcd right up.
icad woncn don’t troublc us íor long.
Vho’s that coning toward us: -c
(. ooo/ eo:e·s.)
Monk: shc’s coning
Kow. Vho’s this: Arc you iona Anna’s pcoplc:
icporcllo: Ko, wc’rc gcntlcncn, our own nastcrs,
Cut strolling hcrc.
ion ]uan: Vhon arc you cxpccting:
Monk: iona Anna should bc coning to ·isit
Lcr husband’s gra·c.
ion ]uan: iona Anna
ic sol·a! Ihc wiíc oí thc knight-connandcr
Killcd by . . . I íorgot his nanc:
Monk: Ihc shanclcss,
Godlcss profligatc, ion ]uan.
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-c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
icporcllo: Vhat do you think oí that: ion ]uan’s íanc
Las pcnctratcd c·cn a pcaccíul nonastcry, ·c
Ihc anchoritcs sing his praiscs.
Monk: You know hin, pcrhaps:
icporcllo: Us: Kot at all.
so whcrc’s hc now:
Monk: Ko longcr hcrc,
Lc’s in cxilc íar away.
icporcllo: Ihank God.
Ihc íarthcr, thc bcttcr. Vould all such profligatcs
Vcrc scwn up in a sack and thrown into thc sca!
ion ]uan: Vhat nonscnsc arc you talking:
icporcllo: Çuict: it’s on purposc . . .
ion ]uan: so this is whcrc thc knight-connandcr’s buricd:
Monk: Ycs, his wiíc sct up a nonuncnt íor hin,
And c·cry day without íail shc concs hcrc ,c
Io say praycrs íor thc soul oí thc dcpartcd
And to wccp.
ion ]uan: Vhat strangc kind oí widow’s this:
And not bad-looking:
Monk: Vc anchoritcs nust not
Bc tcnptcd by thc lo·clincss oí woncn,
But lying is a sin, a saint hinsclí could not
iook unno·cd upon hcr wondrous bcauty.
ion ]uan: Ihcrc’s thc rcason hcr husband was so jcalous.
iona Anna always was kcpt lockcd up insidc,
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: -.
Konc oí us ha·c c·cr so nuch as sccn hcr.
Vould that I could spcak with hcr. .cc
Monk: Ch, iona Anna nc·cr says a word
Io a nan.
ion ]uan: Kot c·cn to you, Fathcr:
Monk: Ihat’s diffcrcnt, I’n a nonk.
Ihcrc shc is.
(Dooa .ooa eo:e·s.)
iona Anna: Fathcr, opcn thc gatc.
Monk: coning, scnora, I was cxpccting you.
(Dooa .ooa follo«s :/e ooo/.)
icporcllo: so, what’s shc likc:
ion ]uan: You can’t scc anything
Undcr hcr black ·cil and widow’s wccds.
I caught onc glinpsc oí a narrow hccl.
icporcllo: For you, that’s cnough. Your inagination
Vill fill in all thc blank spots in a ninutc, ..c
It works íastcr than a portrait paintcr
And you don’t carc what it bcgins with,
A íorchcad or a íoot.
ion ]uan: iistcn, icporcllo,
I’n going to ncct hcr.
icporcllo: Ihat’s just what wc nccd!
Vhat ncxt! Lc’s bunpcd off thc husband
And now hc wants to scc thc widow’s tcars.
shanclcss!
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-. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
ion ]uan: But it’s alrcady gottcn dark.
Bcíorc thc noon can risc abo·c our hcads
And turn thc darkncss into shining dusk,
Vc’ll go into Madrid. ..c
icporcllo: A spanish grandcc
Vho waits íor dark and ícars thc noon, likc a thicí—
God! iann this liíc. Low nuch longcr
Vill I ha·c to drag aítcr hin: I’n worn out.
s c r ·r i i
(. ·ooo. Diooe· a: Laa·a’s.)
First Gucst: I swcar, iaura, that you’·c nc·cr actcd
Vith such pcrícction as you did today.
Low wcll you undcrstood your charactcr!
sccond Gucst: Low powcríully you dc·clopcd your rolc!
Ihird Gucst: And with what art!
iaura: Ycs, today c·cry word,
E·cry gcsturc canc out wcll íor nc.
I ga·c nysclí up írccly to inspiration. .,c
Ihc words pourcd out as ií thcy wcrc brought íorth,
Kot by sla·ish ncnory, but by thc hcart . . .
First Gucst: Iruc.
E·cn now your cycs arc shining yct,
Your chccks still burn, thc ccstasy
Las not gonc íron you. iaura, do not lct
It cool and dic in silcncc, sing, iaura,
sing soncthing.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: -,
iaura: Gi·c nc ny guitar.
(S/e sio¸s.)
All: Ch, bra·a! bra·a! Vondcríul! splcndid!
First Gucst: Cur thanks, cnchantrcss. Vith your spclls
You charn our hcarts. Anong liíc’s plcasurcs .,c
Music yiclds to nonc sa·c lo·c,
But lo·c itsclí is nclody . . . look:
E·cn carlos is no·cd, your gloony gucst.
sccond Gucst: Vhat sounds! Low nuch soul thcrc is in thcn!
Vhosc wrotc thc lyrics, iaura:
iaura: ion ]uan.
ion carlos: Vhat: ion ]uan:
iaura: It was writtcn by
My íaithíul íricnd and ficklc lo·cr.
ion carlos: Your ion ]uan’s a godlcss scoundrcl,
And you, you’rc a íool.
iaura: La·c you gonc nad:
I’ll ha·c ny scr·ants cut your throat .¯c
Ihis ninutc, spanish grandcc or no.
ion carlos: (Rises.)
call thcn thcn.
First Gucst: iaura, stop,
ion carlos, don’t gct angry. shc íorgot . . .
iaura: Vhat: Ihat ]uan killcd his brothcr
Lonorably in a ducl: Iruc, it’s a pity
It wasn’t hin.
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-, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
ion carlos: I’n íoolish to gct angry.
iaura: Aha! You say yoursclí you’rc íoolish.
so lct’s nakc up.
ion carlos: It’s ny íault, iaura,
Forgi·c nc. But still you know: that nanc
Is onc I cannot hcar indiffcrcntly . . . .cc
iaura: Is it ny íault, that constantly
Ihat nanc kccps coning to ny tonguc:
Gucst: Vcll, to show that you’rc no longcr angry,
iaura, sing anothcr song.
iaura: Ycs, as a íarcwcll,
It’s tinc íor you to go, it’s night. Vhat shall I sing:
Ah, listcn.
(Sio¸s.)
All: iclightíul, splcndid!
iaura: Good night now, gcntlcncn.
Gucsts: Good night, iaura.
(I/ey lea·e. Laa·a s:o¡s Doo Ca·los.)
iaura: You, nadnan! You stay hcrc with nc,
You’·c caught ny íancy, you rcnindcd nc
Cí ion ]uan, thc way you scoldcd nc .-c
And clcnchcd your tccth and gnashcd thcn.
ion carlos: iucky nan!
You lo·cd hin thcn.
(Laa·a ooás.)
Vcry nuch:
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: -¯
iaura: Vcry nuch.
ion carlos: io you lo·c hin now:
iaura: Ihis ninutc:
Ko, I don’t. I can’t lo·c two at oncc.
Right now it’s you I lo·c.
ion carlos: Icll nc, iaura,
Lowold arc you:
iaura: Eightccn.
ion carlos: You’rc young now . . . and you’ll still bc young
For fi·c or six norc ycars. You’ll draw
Ihc ncn around you six norc ycars,
Io pay you court and gi·c you prcscnts, .·c
Io sing you scrcnadcs at night,
And íor your sakc to kill cach othcr
In darkncss at thc crossroads. But whcn
Ihc tinc concs that your cycs ha·c sunk,
Ihcir lids grown wrinklcd and discolorcd,
And your hair is strcakcd with gray,
And ncn start calling you ‘‘old wonan,’’
Ihcn—what will you say:
iaura: Ihcn: Vhy should
I think oí that: Vhat talk is this:
Cr do you always ha·c such thoughts: .,c
conc to thc balcony. Lowcaln thc sky is,
Ihc air is warn and still, thc night is íragrant
Vith sccnts oí linc and laurcl, thc noon
shincs radiant in thc dccp dark bluc,
And thc watchnan crics, ‘‘A-a-all’s wcll!’’ . . .
And íar off, to thc north—in Iaris—
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-c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Icrhaps thc sky is gray with clouds,
cold rain is íalling, thc wind howls.
But what is that to us: iook, carlos,
I’n ordcring you to snilc . . . .cc
Ihcrc you go!
ion carlos: swcct dcnon!
(. /ooc/.)
ion ]uan: Lcy! iaura!
iaura: Vho’s thcrc: Vhosc ·oicc is that:
ion ]uan: Cpcn up . . .
iaura: can it bc! . . . Ch God! . . .
(S/e o¡eos :/e áoo·, Doo )aao eo:e·s.)
ion ]uan: Good c·cning . . .
iaura: ion ]uan!
(Laa·a flio¸s /e·self a¡oo /is oec/.)
ion carlos: Vhat! ion ]uan! . . .
ion ]uan: iaura, ny lo·c! . . .
(He /isses /e·.)
Vho’s hcrc with you, ny iaura:
ion carlos: I,
ion carlos.
ion ]uan: An uncxpcctcd nccting!
Ionorrow I’ll bc at your scr·icc.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: --
ion carlos: Ko!
Kow—right now.
iaura: ion carlos, stop it!
Ihis isn’t a public placc—you’rc in ny housc—
Kindly lca·c. ..c
ion carlos: (No: /ea·io¸ /e·.)
I’n waiting. Vcll, conc on,
I scc you’·c got your sword.
ion ]uan: Ií you’rc
so inpaticnt, as you wish.
(I/ey fi¸/:.)
iaura: Ch! Ch! ]uan!
(S/e :/·o« /e·self oo :/e leá.)
(Doo Ca·los falls.)
ion ]uan: Gct up, iaura, it’s all o·cr.
iaura: Vhat’s this:
Killcd: Ihat’s grcat! And in ny roon!
so what do I do now, you shanclcss dc·il:
Lowdo I gct rid oí hin:
ion ]uan: Maybc
Lc’s still ali·c.
iaura: Ycah, right! iook, you danncd íool,
You stuck hin through thc hcart—straight through,
Ihcrc’s no blood coning out írona thrcc-corncrcd wound,
And hc’s not brcathing—what’s that ncan: ..c
ion ]uan: so
Vhat could I do: Lc askcd íor it.
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iaura: Eh, ion ]uan,
Vhat a nuisancc. Up to your old tricks,
But nc·cr guilty. . . . Vhcrc did you conc íron:
La·c you bccn hcrc long:
ion ]uan: I just got hcrc,
And on thc quict—I’n not pardoncd.
iaura: And straightaway you thought oí iaura:
All’s wcll that cnds wcll. Ihat’s cnough,
I don’t bclic·c it. You wcrc passing by
And chanccd to scc ny housc.
ion ]uan: Ko, iaura,
Ask icporcllo. I’n staying outsidc thc city .,c
In a hcllholc oí an inn. It was ny iaura
I canc to find in Madrid.
(He /isses /e·.)
iaura: My lo·c!
stop! . . . with thc dcad nan thcrc! . . . what about hin:
ion ]uan: ica·c hin thcrc: bcíorc thc dawn concs, carly,
I’ll carry hin out bcncath ny cloak
And lca·c hin at thc crossroads.
iaura: ]ust
Bc carcíul no onc sccs you.
Low lucky you wcrc that you didn’t conc
A ninutc carlicr! Your íricnds
Vcrc dining hcrc with nc. Ihcy just .,c
Lad lcít thc housc. Vhat ií you’d nct thcn!
ion ]uan: iaura, did you lo·c hin long:
iaura: Vho: You nust bc ra·ing.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: -,
ion ]uan: Icll thc truth,
Low nany tincs ha·c you chcatcd on nc
Vhilc I was gonc:
iaura: Vhat about you, skirt-chascr:
ion ]uan: Icll nc. . . . Ko, wc’ll talk latcr.
s c r ·r i i i
(Mooaoeo: :o :/e /oi¸/:-coooaoáe·.)
ion ]uan: All turns out íor thc bcst: aítcr killing
ion carlos uncxpcctcdly, I’·c hiddcn hcrc
ircsscd as a hunblc nonk—and c·cry day
I scc ny charning widow, and shc, .¯c
It sccns to nc, has noticcd. Until now
Vc’·c hcld back íron cach othcr, but today
I’ll say soncthing to hcr, it’s tinc.
Low should I start: ‘‘Ií I nay bc so bold’’ . . . or no:
‘‘scnora’’ . . . bah! Vhatc·cr concs to nind,
Ihat’s what I’ll say, without rchcarsing,
An inpro·iscr oí thc song oí lo·c . . .
shc should alrcady bc hcrc. Vithout hcr,
I think, thc knight-connandcr nust bc borcd.
Vhat a giant hc’s bccn nadc into hcrc! .cc
Vhat shouldcrs! Vhat a Lcrculcs!
Ihc nan hinsclí was snall and puny,
Ií hc wcrc hcrc and stood on tiptoc,
Lis fingcrtip couldn’t rcach to his own nosc.
Vhcn wc wcnt out bcyond thc Escurial,
Lc stuck hinsclí upon ny sword and dicd
iikc a dragonfly upon a pin—but still
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·c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Lc was proud and bold, and stcrn oí spirit . . .
Ah! thcrc shc is.
(Eo:e· Dooa .ooa.)
iona Anna: Lc’s hcrc again. Fathcr,
I ha·c disturbcd you in your ncditations— .-c
Forgi·c nc.
ion ]uan: I should ask íorgi·cncss
Cí you, scnora. Icrhaps ny prcscncc stops you
Fron írccly pouring out your sorrow.
iona Anna: Ko, Fathcr, ny sorrow stays within,
Vhcn you arc hcrc, ny praycrs can risc
Io hca·cn pcaccíully—I ask
Ihat you join your ·oicc with thcn.
ion ]uan: I, I to pray with you, iona Anna!
such a portion I ha·c not dcscr·cd.
I would not darc allow ny siníul lips .·c
Io rcpcat thc holy uttcrancc oí your praycr—
I only watch you íron aíar with rc·crcncc,
And whcn your hcad is quictly bowcd down,
Black trcsscs spilling on thc narblc’s whitcncss—
Ihcn it sccns to nc an angcl concs
Io honor this gra·c with a sccrct ·isit,
And in ny troublcd hcart I cannot find
Ihc words to pray. I nar·cl thcn in silcncc
And think—happy nan, whosc cold narblc
Is warncd by hcr cclcstial brcathing .,c
And sprinklcd with hcr tcars oí lo·c.
iona Anna: Vhat words—how strangc!
ion ]uan: scnora:
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ·.
iona Anna: I . . . you íorgct yoursclí.
ion ]uan: Vhat: Ihat I
An an unworthy nonk: Ihat, sinncr that I an,
My ·oicc should not rcsound so loudly hcrc:
iona Anna: I thought . . . I didn’t undcrstand . . .
ion ]uan: I scc: you know it all, you knowalrcady!
iona Anna: Vhat do I know:
ion ]uan: It’s truc, I’n not a nonk—
I bcg íorgi·cncss, knccling at your ícct.
iona Anna: Ch God! Gct up, gct up. . . . Vho arc you: ,cc
ion ]uan: An unlucky nan, ·ictin oí a hopclcss passion.
iona Anna: Ch, ny God! And hcrc, right by thc gra·c!
ica·c now!
ion ]uan: ]ust a ninutc, iona Anna,
A singlc ninutc!
iona Anna: Ií sonconc canc in! . . .
ion ]uan: Ihc gatc is lockcd. A singlc ninutc!
iona Anna: Vcll: Vhat: Vhat do you want:
ion ]uan: Io dic.
Ch, lct nc dic this ninutc, at your ícct,
ict ny poor dust bc buricd in this placc,
Kot by thc dust which is so dcar to you,
Kor anywhcrc ncarby—sonc distancc off, ,.c
Ihcrc—by thc gatcs—at thc ·cry cntrancc,
so whcn you conc, ny gra·cstonc night bc brushcd
By your light íoot or by your drcss’s hcn
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·. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Vhcn you nakc your way to that proud gra·c
Io lay your ringlcts on it and to wccp.
iona Anna: You’·c gonc nad.
ion ]uan: Io dcsirc onc’s cnd—
Rcally, iona Anna, docs that show nadncss:
Ií I wcrc a nadnan, I would wish
Io stay anong thc li·ing, íor I’d hopc
My tcndcr lo·c could touch your hcart, ,.c
Ií I wcrc a nadnan, I would spcnd
My nights in song bcncath your balcony,
Rousing you íron slccp with scrcnadcs,
I would not ha·c hiddcn nysclí, but rathcr
Vould try to ha·c you scc nc c·crywhcrc,
Ií I wcrc a nadnan, I would not
La·c suffcrcd in silcncc . . .
iona Anna: Ihis is what
You call silcncc:
ion ]uan: chancc, iona Anna,
chancc carricd nc away. Cthcrwisc
You’d nc·cr ha·c known ny gric·ous sccrct. ,,c
iona Anna: And ha·c you lo·cd nc a long tinc:
ion ]uan: A long tinc or no—I cannot say nysclí,
I know but this, that only sincc that tinc
La·c I undcrstood a singlc instant’s ·aluc
And known what thc word happincss ncans.
iona Anna: ica·c nc—you’rc a dangcrous nan.
ion ]uan: iangcrous! Low:
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ·,
iona Anna: I’n írightcncd hcaring you.
ion ]uan: I shall bc silcnt thcn, but do not dri·c away
Cnc whosc only joy is sccing you.
I chcrish no prcsunptuous hopcs, ,,c
I ask no sign oí ía·or íron you, but still
I nust scc you, so long as I an dooncd
Io li·c.
iona Anna: ica·c—this is not thc placc
For such words and such nadncss. Ionorrow
conc to ny housc. Ií you will swcar
Io show thc sanc rcspcct to nc as now,
I’ll rccci·c you, but aítcr night íalls, latc—
I ha·cn’t sccn anyonc sincc thc day
Ihat I was widowcd . . .
ion ]uan: Angcl iona Anna!
May God coníort you as nuch as you today ,¯c
La·c coníortcd onc suffcring and unhappy.
iona Anna: Kow lca·c nc.
ion ]uan: Cnc ninutc longcr.
iona Anna: Ko, thcn clcarly I nust go. . . . Bcsidcs, ny praycrs
La·c conplctcly slippcd ny nind. You distractcd nc
Vith worldly spccchcs, to which ny cars
La·c long bccn unaccustoncd.—Ionorrow
I will rccci·c you.
ion ]uan: I still don’t darc bclic·c it,
I don’t darc gi·c nysclí up to this happincss . . .
Ionorrow I’ll bc sccing you!—and not hcrc
And not in sccrct! ,cc
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·, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
iona Anna: Ycs, tonorrow, tonorrow.
Vhat’s your nanc:
ion ]uan: iicgo dc cal·ado.
iona Anna: Farcwcll thcn, ion iicgo.
(S/e exi:s.)
ion ]uan: icporcllo!
(Le¡o·ello eo:e·s.)
icporcllo: Vhat can I do íor you:
ion ]uan: icar icporcllo!
I’n happy! . . . ‘‘Ionorrow, at night, latc . . .’’
My icporcllo, tonorrow’s it—gct rcady . . .
I’n happy as a child!
icporcllo: You spokc
Vith iona Anna: And pcrhaps shc
said a kindly word or two to you,
Cr you ga·c hcr your blcssing.
ion ]uan: Ko, icporcllo, no! A rcndcz·ous, ,-c
shc nancd thc tinc and placc.
icporcllo: Kot rcally!
Ch widows, you’rc all thc sanc.
ion ]uan: I’n happy!
I could sing, I’n rcady to cnbracc thc wholc world.
icporcllo: And thc knight-connandcr: Vhat’ll hc ha·c to say:
ion ]uan: Vhat do you think—hc’s going to bc jcalous:
Kot likcly, hc’s a rcasonablc nan
And probably has coolcd off sonc aítcr dying.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ·¯
icporcllo: Ko, look at his statuc.
ion ]uan: Vhat about it:
icporcllo: It sccns as ií it’s looking at you
Angrily. ,·c
ion ]uan: icporcllo, go up to it,
Rcqucst it to bc so kind as to pay a ·isit
Io nc—or no—to iona Anna, tonorrow.
icporcllo: In·itc thc statuc to ·isit! Vhy:
ion ]uan: Irobably not
so wc can ha·c a plcasant con·crsation—
Ask thc statuc to conc to iona Anna’s
Ionorrow latc at night to stand
And watch thc door.
icporcllo: You want to jokc,
Ihink who you’rc joking with!
ion ]uan: io it.
icporcllo: But . . .
ion ]uan: Kow.
icporcllo: Most glorious and handsonc statuc!
My lord ion ]uan rcspcctíully rcqucsts ,,c
Ihc plcasurc oí your conpany. . . . My God, I can’t,
I’n too aíraid.
ion ]uan: coward! I’ll show you!
icporcllo: All right.
My lord ion ]uan rcqucsts you to conc
Ionorrow latc at night to your wiíc’s housc
Io watch thc door . . .
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·c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
(I/e s:a:ae ooás i:s /eaá :o s/o« a¸·eeoeo:.)
Aicc!
ion ]uan: Vhat is it:
icporcllo: Aicc, aicc! . . .
Aicc, aicc . . . I’n going to dic!
ion ]uan: Vhat’s happcncd to you:
icporcllo: (Kodding his hcad)
Ihc statuc . . . aicc! . . .
ion ]uan: You’rc nodding your hcad!
icporcllo: Ko,
Kot nc, it!
ion ]uan: Vhat nonscnsc arc you talking!
icporcllo: Go yoursclí.
ion ]uan: so watch nc, good-íor-nothing.
I rcqucst, knight-connandcr, that you pay ,cc
A ·isit to your widow, whcrc I’ll bc tonorrow,
And stand guard at thc door. Vcll: Arc you coning:
(I/e s:a:ae ooás a¸aio.)
Ch God!
icporcllo: scc: I told you that . . .
ion ]uan: ict’s go.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ·-
s c r ·r i v
(Dooa .ooa’s c/aole·. Doo )aao aoá Dooa .ooa.)
iona Anna: I ha·c rccci·cd you, ion iicgo, but
I ícar it will bc wcarisonc to you
Io hcar ny sorrowíul words: a poor widow,
I always an rcncnbcring ny loss. My tcars
And snilcs arc ninglcd, likc thc nonth oí April.
Vhy arc you silcnt:
ion ]uan: I’n spccchlcss with joy,
Ihinking to nysclí that I an alonc ,.c
Vith thc lo·cly iona Anna. Lcrc—not thcrc,
Kot by thc gra·c oí that happy dcpartcd onc—
And I scc you now no longcr on your knccs
Bcíorc your narblc spousc.
iona Anna: ion iicgo,
so you’rc jcalous. My husband torncnts you
E·cn in his gra·c:
ion ]uan: I shouldn’t bc jcalous.
It was you who chosc hin.
iona Anna: Ko, ny nothcr
Crdcrcd nc to narry ion Al·aro.
Vc wcrc poor, and ion Al·aro rich.
ion ]uan: Lappy nan! Lc laid his cnpty trcasurcs ,.c
At thc ícct oí a goddcss, and íor that
Lc tastcd hca·cnly bliss! Ch, ií only
I’d known you thcn, how rapturously
My rank, ny wcalth, c·crything I had,
I’d ha·c gi·cn íor onc ía·orablc glancc.
I would ha·c bccn a sla·c to your sacrcd will,
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·· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Your c·cry whin I would ha·c closcly studicd,
Io íulfill it in ad·ancc, so that your liíc
Vould ha·c bccn cnchantncnt nc·cr-cnding.
Alas!—Fatc dccrccd othcrwisc íor nc. ,,c
iona Anna: iicgo, stop it, whcn I listcn to you,
I connit a sin—I nustn’t lo·c you,
A widow should bc íaithíul to thc gra·c.
Ií only you kncw how nuch ion Al·aro
io·cd nc! Ch, surcly ion Al·aro
Vouldn’t ha·c rccci·cd an cnanourcd lady
Ií hc’d bccn widowcd.—Lc’d ha·c bccn íaithíul
Io spousal lo·c.
ion ]uan: io not torncnt ny hcart,
iona Anna, by this ctcrnal ncntioning
Cí your husband. You’·c punishcd nc cnough, ,,c
Ihough pcrhaps thc punishncnt’s dcscr·cd.
iona Anna: For what:
Ihcrc arc no holy bonds uniting you
Io any othcr—isn’t that so: Vhcn you lo·c nc,
You do no wrong to nc or in Lca·cn’s cycs.
ion ]uan: Io you! God!
iona Anna: can you indccd bc guilty
Ioward nc: Icll nc, oí what.
ion ]uan: Ko!
Ko, nc·cr.
iona Anna: iicgo, what docs this ncan:
You’·c donc nc a wrong: Low, tcll nc.
ion ]uan: Ko! Kot íor anything!
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ·,
iona Anna: iicgo, this is strangc:
I’n asking you, I ordcr. ,¯c
ion ]uan: Ko, no.
iona Anna: Ah! so this is your obcdicncc to ny will!
Vhat was it you said to nc just now:
Ihat you would gladly bc ny sla·c.
I’n gctting angry, iicgo: answcr nc,
Vhat is thc wrong you’·c donc nc:
ion ]uan: I don’t darc—
Ií I tcll, you’ll bcgin to hatc nc.
iona Anna: Ko, no. I íorgi·c you in ad·ancc,
But I wish to know . . .
ion ]uan: ion’t scck to know
My tcrriblc and bloody sccrct.
iona Anna: A tcrriblc sccrct! You’rc torncnting nc. ,cc
I can’t bcar not to know—what is it:
And howcould you ha·c injurcd nc:
I didn’t know you—I ha·c no cncnics
And nc·cr had any. My husband’s killcr
Is thc only onc.
ion ]uan: (Io /ioself.)
Kow it’s nakc or brcak.
Icll nc, would you know ion ]uan,
Ihat wrctchcd nan:
iona Anna: Ko, in all ny liíc
I’·c nc·cr sccn hin.
ion ]uan: In your hcart
io you nursc hatc íor hin:
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,c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
iona Anna: As honor dcnands.
But you’rc trying to distract nc ,-c
Fron ny qucstion, ion iicgo—
I ordcr . . .
ion ]uan: Vhat ií you should chancc
Io ncct ion ]uan:
iona Anna: I’d plungc ny daggcr
Into thc ·illain’s hcart.
ion ]uan: iona Anna,
Vhcrc’s your daggcr: Lcrc’s ny brcast.
iona Anna: iicgo!
Vhat arc you saying:
ion ]uan: I an not iicgo, I an ]uan.
iona Anna: Ch God! Ko, it can’t bc truc, I don’t bclic·c it.
ion ]uan: I’n ion ]uan.
iona Anna: It’s a lic.
ion ]uan: I killcd
Your husband, and I don’t rcgrct it—
And thcrc’s no rcpcntancc in nc. ,·c
iona Anna: Vhat an I hcaring: Ko, it can’t bc, no.
ion ]uan: I’n ion ]uan, and I’n in lo·c with you.
iona Anna: (Iallio¸.)
Vhcrc an I: . . . Vhcrc an I: I íccl íaint.
ion ]uan: Ch God!
Vhat’s happcncd to hcr: Vhat’s happcncd, iona Anna:
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ,.
Vakc up, wakc up, opcn your cycs, look: your iicgo,
Your sla·c is at your ícct.
iona Anna: ica·c nc alonc!
(Hea/ly.)
Ch, you’rc ny cncny—you took away íron nc
E·crything I c·cr . . .
ion ]uan: io·cly bcing!
I’n rcady to gi·c c·crything in atoncncnt,
At your ícct I wait to hcar your ordcr, ,,c
connand—I’ll dic, connand—and thcn I’ll brcathc
For only you . . .
iona Anna: so this is ion ]uan . . .
ion ]uan: Ko doubt hc’s bccn dcscribcd to you
As a crininal, a nonstcr. iona Anna,
Ihc storics, it nay bc, arc partly truc,
My wcary conscicncc, nay bc, bcars thc burdcn
Cí a hca·y load oí c·il. Indccd, I ha·c
iong íollowcd willingly thc path oí ·icc,
But sincc thc noncnt whcn I first saw you,
It sccns to nc that I ha·c bccn rcborn. ¯cc
In lo·ing you, I’·c conc to lo·c thc good,
And hunbly, íor thc first tinc in ny liíc,
I bcnd ny trcnbling knccs bcíorc it.
iona Anna: Ch, ion ]uan is cloqucnt—I know,
I’·c hcard that, hc’s a cunning tcnptcr.
Ihcy say you’rc a godlcss profligatc,
A ·cry dc·il. Low nany poor woncn
La·c you ruincd:
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,. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
ion ]uan: Kot a singlc onc oí thcn
iid I lo·c till now.
iona Anna: And I should bclic·c
Ihat ion ]uan rcally lo·cs íor thc first tinc, ¯.c
Ihat hc docsn’t want to add nc to his ·ictins!
ion ]uan: supposc that I had ncant to dccci·c you,
Vould I adnit, would I ha·c said that nanc
Vhich you can’t bcar c·cn to hcar ncntioncd:
Vhat kind oí plot or cunning docs that show:
iona Anna: Vho knows you:—But howcould you conc hcrc:
You could bc rccognizcd in this housc,
And thcn thcrc’d bc no cscaping dcath.
ion ]uan: Vhat’s dcath: For onc swcct instant togcthcr
Villingly I’d gi·c up ny liíc. ¯.c
iona Anna: But how
can you lca·c this housc, rccklcss nan:
ion ]uan: And you conccrn yoursclí about thc liíc
Cí poor ]uan! so thcrc is no hatc
Vithin your hca·cnly soul, iona Anna:
iona Anna: Ah, ií only I could hatc you!
But all thc sanc wc ha·c to part.
ion ]uan: Vhcn will wc ncct again:
iona Anna: I don’t know.
sonctinc.
ion ]uan: Ionorrow:
iona Anna: Ihcn whcrc:
ion ]uan: Lcrc.
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I/e S:ooe Gaes: ,,
iona Anna: Ch ion ]uan, how wcak oí hcart I an.
ion ]uan: scal your pardon with a pcaccíul kiss. ¯,c
iona Anna: It’s tinc now, go.
ion ]uan: A singlc kiss, cold, pcaccíul . . .
iona Anna: Low inportunatc you arc! Vcll, thcrc it is.
Vhat’s that noisc outsidc: . . . Ch, hidc, ion ]uan.
ion ]uan: Farcwcll till our ncxt nccting, ny bclo·cd.
(He ¸oes oa: aoá ·aos lac/ io.)
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,, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Ah! . . .
iona Anna: Vhat’s happcncd: Ah! . . .
(I/e s:a:ae of :/e /oi¸/:-coooaoáe· eo:e·s.
Dooa .ooa falls.)
statuc: You badc nc, I ha·c
conc.
ion ]uan: God in Lca·cn! iona Anna!
statuc: ica·c hcr,
All is finishcd. You quakc, ion ]uan.
ion ]uan: I:—no. I bid you conc, I’n glad to scc you.
statuc: Gi·c nc your hand.
ion ]uan: Lcrc . . . oh, it’s hca·y,
Ihc stony grip oí his right hand! ¯,c
ica·c nc alonc, lct go—lct go oí nc . . .
I an undonc—it’s finishcd—iona Anna!
(I/ey áesceoá.)
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A Fcast iuring thc Ilaguc
(FronVilson’s tragcdy I/e Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae)
(.s:·ee:. .:alle, se:. .oaole· of oeo aoá «ooeo feas:io¸.)
Young Man: Mr. chairnan! I call to nind
sonconc whon wc all know wcll,
A nan whosc jokcs and íunny storics,
Vitty rctorts and obscr·ations,
so biting in thcir nock ponposity,
La·c cnli·cncd our tablc talk
And dri·cn away thc gloon that now
Ihc plaguc, our gucst, is shcdding
C·cr thc nost brilliant ninds.
Iwo days ago our laughtcr crowncd .c

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,c I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Lis storics, it isn’t possiblc
Ihat in our ncrry ícasting wc should
Forgct ]ackson. Lcrc’s his chair,
sitting cnpty, as ií waiting íor
A good conpanion—but hc’s gonc away
Io a cold lodging undcrground . . .
Although that tonguc oí wondrous cloqucncc
Las not yct íallcn silcnt in thc gra·c,
But nany oí us still li·c, and wc
La·c no causc to bc gric·ing. so .c
I proposc wc drink a toast to hin
Vith glasscs clinking and with shouts
As ií hc wcrc ali·c.
chairnan: Lc was thc first
Cí our group to go. In silcncc
Vc’ll drink to honor hin.
Young Man: so bc it!
(.ll á·io/ sileo:ly.)
chairnan: Your ·oicc, ny dcar, brings íorth thc songs
Cí your nati·c land with rudc pcrícction,
sing, Mary, soncthing sad and haunting,
Io nakc us turn again to our ncrrynaking
Vith a wildcr spirit, likc onc who is scizcd ,c
And carricd away by sonc uncarthly ·ision.
Mary: (sings.)
Kot so long ago our ·illagc
Lad íair íanc thc country round.
Ihc church was íull oí íolk on sunday
Vhcn thc stccplc bcll would sound.
In thc schoolroon childrcn’s ·oiccs
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. Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae ,-
Rcad thcir lcssons truc and clcar.
In thc ficld thc sicklcs glittcrcd,
And thc scythc nowcd down thc car.
Kow thc church is nutc and cnpty, ,c
Vccds within thc schoolyard grow,
Ko rcapcr cuts thc whitcncd grain,
Io thc woods no huntsncn go.
iikc a burncd, abandoncd honcstcad
silcntly our ·illagc stands.
Ihc only bustlc’s in thc gra·cyard—
It has work íor c·cry hand!
For thc dcad arc carricd out
Io burials that nc·cr ccasc,
Ihc li·ing pray in ícar and trcnbling, ¯c
‘‘Io thcir souls, C iord, gi·c pcacc.’’
Ihcrc’s hardly roon íor all thc gra·cs:
Cncc cach onc its spacc could kccp,
Kow thcy’rc huddlcd all togcthcr
iikc a flock oí írightcncd shccp.
Ií ny springtinc too is blightcd,
Ií thc gra·c ny lot nust bc,
You whon I ha·c lo·cd so long,
Vhosc lo·c was always joy to nc—
Ch, conc not ncar thcn to your ]cnny, cc
Ko last kiss on hcr palc lips lay,
Vatch, but watch you íron aíar off
Vhcn thcy bcar hcr corpsc away!
Ihcn lca·c bchind our strickcn ·illagc!
Find yoursclí sonc placc apart
Vhcrc thcsc torncnts nay bc lightcncd,
And thcrc casc your wcary hcart.
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,· I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Vhcn thc plaguc cnds—thcn conc ·isit
Vhcrc ny poor dust íound its rcst,
And ]cnny will bc truc to Ednund -c
E’cn in hcr placc anong thc blcst!
chairnan: Ihank you, nclancholy Mary,
Ihank you íor that plainti·c song!
In carlicr days thc plaguc, it’s clcar,
Visitcd your nati·c hills and dalcs
And noans oí sorrow thcn wcrc hcard
Along thosc brooks and strcans which now
Flow so pcaccíul and so ncrry
Ihrough your land’s rudc paradisc.
Ihat gloony ycar, in which thcrc ícll so nany ·c
Anong thc bra·c, thc bcautiíul and good,
Las hardly lcít a tracc, cxccpt thc ncnory
Cí sinplc shcphcrds, singing an old song,
A sad and swcct onc. . . . Kothing clsc
can no·c us so anid our ncrrynaking
As such a lingcring, hcart-rcpcatcd sound!
Mary: Ch, ií only I had nc·cr sung
Io anyonc outsidc ny parcnts’ croít!
Low thcy lo·cd to listcn to thcir Mary,
It sccns to nc that I can hcar nysclí ,c
singing in thc housc whcrc I was born.
My ·oicc was swcctcr thcn—it was
Ihc ·oicc oí innoccncc . . .
iouisa: Kow thosc songs
Arc hopclcssly passc. But thcrc arc still
sonc íools who likc to nclt whcn woncn cry,
Vho’ll swallow it hook, linc, and sinkcr.
shc’s dccidcd that hcr tcaríul look
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. Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae ,,
can’t bc rcsistcd—ií that’s what shc thought
About hcr laugh, no doubt wc’d scc hcr
Grinning all thc tinc. Valsinghan likcd .cc
Ihc wccpy northcrn bcautics—so oí coursc
shc’s got to noan and groan. I can’t stand
Ihc jaundicc-ycllow hair oí thcsc scotch girls.
chairnan: iistcn. I hcar thc crcak oí whccls!
(. «a¸oo filleá «i:/ loáies ¡asses. . llac/ oao is á·i·io¸.)
Ah! iouisa’s íaintcd, judging íron hcr words,
I’d thought shc had a nannish hcart.
But so it is: thc crucl arc wcakcr than thc tcndcr,
And ícar still li·cs in souls worn out by passions.
Mary, dash watcr in hcr íacc. shc’s coning to.
Mary: sistcr oí ny shanc and sorrow, ..c
ican upon ny brcast.
iouisa: (Re·i·io¸)
I drcancd I saw
A hidcous dcnon, black all o·cr, with whitc cycs . . .
Lc callcd nc to his wagon. iying in it
Vcrc thc dcad—and thcy wcrc nuttcring
In sonc hidcous, unknown languagc.
Icll nc: was it aítcr all a drcan:
iid thc wagon pass:
Young Man: Vcll, iouisa,
chccr up—although thc strcct’s all ours,
An untraffickcd hiding-placc íron dcath
Vhcrc our rc·cls arc disturbcd by no onc, ..c
still, you nust know: that black wagon
Las thc right to go to any placc.
Vc ha·c to lct it through! But listcn:
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.cc I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Valsinghan, to cut off all thcsc quarrcls
And clcar away thcsc ícnalc íainting fits,
sing us a song—a bold and li·cly song,
Ko lancntation oí thc scottish Musc—
A rowdy song, a song in Bacchus’s nodc,
Cnc inspircd by íoaning goblcts!
chairnan: I don’t knowonc likc that—hcrc’s what I’ll sing: .,c
A hynn in honor oí thc Ilaguc. I wrotc it
iatc last night, aítcr wc had partcd.
I íound I had a strangc poctic inpulsc
For thc first tinc in ny liíc! so listcn:
My harsh ·oicc will bcfit thc song.
ManyVoiccs: A hynn in honor oí thc Ilaguc! ict’s hcar it!
A hynn in honor oí thc Ilaguc! splcndid! Bra·o!
chairnan: (sings.)
Vhcn Vintcr in his boistcrous night
icads his lcgions íorth to fight,
Attacking us with icc and snow, .,c
Vc’rc rcady íor hin—wc gathcr ncar
Bcsidc thc crackling firc’s warn glow,
And thcrc wc ícast and kccp good chccr.
Kow Icstilcncc, that quccn oí drcad,
In triunph ridcs anong thc dcad.
And as hcr ·ictins’ ranks incrcasc
Each day, cach night hcr burial spadc
Knocks at our windows without ccasc . . .
Vhat can wc do: Vhcrc look íor aid:
Cld Man Vintcr wc’·c bcat back, .¯c
Ihat’s how wc’ll ncct thc Ilaguc’s attack!
Vc’ll light thc firc and fill thc cup
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. Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae .c.
And pass it round—a ncrry sccnc!
And aítcr wc ha·c all drunk up,
Vc’ll sing: All hail to thcc, drcad quccn!
Ihcrc’s rapturc in thc bullcts’ flight
And on thc nountain’s trcachcrous hcight,
And on a ship’s dcck íar íron land
Vhcn skics growdark and wa·cs swcll high,
And in sahara’s blowing sand, .cc
And whcn thc pcstilcncc is nigh.
All, all that thrcatcns to dcstroy
Fills nortal hcarts with sccrct joy
Bcyond our powcr to cxplain—
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[To view this image, refer to
the print version of this title.]



.c. I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Icrhaps it bodcs ctcrnal liíc!
And blcst is hc who can attain
Ihat ccstasy in storn and striíc!
so—íor thc Ilaguc a hcarty chccr!
Ihc gra·c’s dark docsn’t nakc us ícar,
Ií icath calls us—wc’ll answcr coldly. .-c
Vc’ll join in quaffing íron thc kcg,
Rosc-naidcns’ sccnts wc drink in boldly,
sccnts, it nay bc—íull oí thc Ilaguc!
Iricst: A godlcss ícast, bcfitting godlcss nadncn!
Your ícasting and your shanclcss songs
Mock at and proíanc thc gloony pcacc
sprcad c·crywhcrc by dcath and dcsolation!
Anidst thc horror oí thc nourníul burials,
Anidst palc íaccs I pray at thc gra·cyard,
And your hatcíul shouts and crics oí rc·clry .·c
iisturb thc silcncc oí thc tonb—bccausc oí you,
Ihc carth itsclí trcnblcs o·cr thc dcad bodics!
Ií thc praycrs oí so nany rc·crcnd ncn and woncn
Lad not consccratcd thc connon gra·cpit,
I would ha·c thought that dc·ils c·cn now
Vcrc torturing sonc ruincd, godlcss soul,
iaughing as thcy draggcd it to outcr darkncss.
sc·cral Voiccs: Lc talks about Lcll likc a rcal cxpcrt!
Gct going, old nan! Lit thc road!
Iricst: I adjurc you by thc holy blood .,c
Cí thc sa·ior crucificd íor us:
Lalt this nonstrous ícast, ií c·cr
You hopc to ncct again in Lca·cn
Ihc souls oí thosc whon you ha·c lost.
Go, cach oí you, to your honcs!
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. Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae .c,
chairnan: Cur honcs
Arc sorrowíul—youth lo·cs gaicty.
Iricst: Is that you, Valsinghan: Arc you thc sanc nan
Vho just thrcc wccks ago droppcd to your knccs,
Enbracing your nothcr’s body as you wcpt,
And howling bcat your fists upon hcr gra·c: .cc
Cr do you think shc isn’t crying now,
shcdding bittcr tcars in Lca·cn itsclí,
Io scc hcr son caught up in rc·cling
At a shanclcss ícast, to hcar your ·oicc
singing likc onc posscsscd, anidst
Loly praycrs and dccp-íclt sighs:
Follow nc!
chairnan: Vhy ha·c you conc hcrc
Io troublc nc: I cannot, I nust not
Followaítcr you: I an bound hcrc
By dcspair, by tcrriblc rcncnbrancc, ..c
By thc knowlcdgc oí ny lawlcssncss,
And by horror oí that dcad cnptincss
Vhich grccts nc now in ny own housc—
And by thc no·clty oí thcsc íurious rc·cls,
And by thc blcsscd poison oí this cup,
And by thc carcsscs—God íorgi·c nc—
Cí a bcing, ruincd, but still dcar . . .
My nothcr’s shadc will not call nc away
Fron hcrc—it’s too latc—I hcar your ·oicc
calling nc—I rccognizc your stri·ing ..c
Io sa·c nc. . . . Cld nan, go in pcacc,
But accurscd nay hc bc who íollows you!
ManyVoiccs: Bra·o, bra·o! Mr. chairnan!
Ihcrc’s a scrnon íor you! Iakc a hikc!
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.c, I/e Li::le I·a¸eáies
Iricst: Matilda’s purc soul calls you!
chairnan: (stands.)
swcar to nc, liíting your palc
And withcrcd hand to Lca·cn, to lca·c
Ihat nanc íorc·cr silcnccd in thc gra·c!
Ch, ií only I could hidc this sight
Fron hcr innortal cycs! Cncc .,c
shc thought nc purc, proud, írcc—
And íound paradisc in ny cnbracc . . .
Vhcrc an I: Loly child oí light! I scc
You thcrc, whcrc ny íallcn spirit
Vill nc·cr rcach . . .
Vonan’s Voicc: Lc’s gonc nad—
Lc’s ra·ing about his buricd wiíc!
Iricst: ict’s go, lct’s go . . .
chairnan: Fathcr, íor God’s sakc
ica·c nc!
Iricst: God sa·c you!
Farcwcll, ny son.
(He exi:s. I/e feas: coo:ioaes. I/e C/ai·oao ·eoaios,
¡lao¸eá io áee¡ coo:eo¡la:ioo.)
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Ihc scduction oí Iowcr: I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:
·ur ·urxr or inncr conflict that doninatcs all thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’
is c·idcnt in thc ·cry titlc oí thc first oí thcn, I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:. Ira-
ditionally, thc niscr thinks oí nothing but holding on to and incrcasing
his hoard oí noncy. Kothing distracts hin íron his own sclí-intcrcst,
which hc undcrstands in thc narrowcst possiblc tcrns. By contrast, in
thcory ií not in practicc, a knight was a suprcncly disintcrcstcd figurc,
sonconc who applicd his strcngth, not to ad·ancing hinsclí, but to
dcícnding worthy causcs or protccting thc wcak. In his cycs, sclfish-
ncss or cowardicc or lack oí intcgrity was not ncrclya sin, it was a stain
upon his knightly honor. Yct in practicc, thc substancc oí honor was all
too rcadily rcplaccd by thc ncrc showoí it: thc honor oí bcing adnircd
and dcícrrcd to by othcrs, an honor conícrrcd by rank, wcalth, and
.c-
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powcr. And íronthis dcbascd conccpt oí honor as rcsting upon wcalth
and powcr, it was only a short stcp to thc nakcd pursuit oí wcalth and
powcr íor thcir own sakc, with no rcgard íor justicc.
Bcaring this in nind, onc can scc that I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: has thc
nost schcnatic charactcrizationoí all thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics.’’ Asidc íron
thc ninor figurc oí Albcrt’s scr·ant, cach oí thc sccondary charactcrs
rcprcscnts onc oí thcsc attitudcs toward knightly honor.Ihc iukc, thc
ícudal lord, is associatcd with thc chi·alrous idcal, with sclí-rcstraint
and thc scr·icc oí justicc, Albcrt is associatcd with thc conccpt oí
purclycxtcrnal honor, honor that dcpcnds on what othcrs think oí hin,
and is all too awarc oí hownuch that dcpcnds on noncy, and thc ]cw-
ish noncylcndcr solonon lays no clain to honor at all, but is írankly
and solcly intcrcstcd in noncy, whatc·cr hc nay ha·c to do to obtain
it. Ihc play’s ccntral charactcr, thc Baron, has within hinaspccts oí all
thrcc oí thcsc sccondary rolcs: hc is unscrupulous in anassing gold but
is gcnuincly torncntcd by his awarcncss oí his unjust acts, hc dcsircs
to bc rcgardcd as a loyal knight and an honorablc nan whilc acting in
a way that his lord and his socicty cannot condonc. Lis gold has gi·cn
hin thc ·ision oí a powcr that is thc oppositc oí knightly—a powcr
without rcstraint, without justicc—and his anbi·alcncc toward this
·ision, which at oncc attracts and appalls hin, will ultinatcly pro·c
catastrophic to hin.
A rcadcr cncountcring I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: íor thc first tinc night
pardonably think during its first sccnc that thc titlc rcícrrcd to Albcrt.
Lis obscssionwithnoncybcconcs clcar inthc·cryfirst lincs, inwhich
hc ·oiccs his íury at thc tournancnt opponcnt who danagcd his hcl-
nct, and thus rcquircd hin to go to thc cxpcnsc oí rcplacing it. Lis
·alct suggcsts that hc has íairly rcpaid this offcnsc by gra·cly wound-
ing his opponcnt, but íor Albcrt physical injury ncans nothing con-
parcd to noncy:
still, hc lost nothing by it,
Lis brcastplatc oí Vcnctian stccl is wholc,
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I/e Seáac:ioo of Io«e· .c,
And his chcst’s his own, it costs hin nothing,
Lc won’t bc buying hinsclí anothcr.
Ihis is not ncrc callousncss toward an cncny, íor Albcrt spcaks oí
his own physical saícty with thc sanc contcnpt—rathcr than ha·c
an opponcnt danagc his hclnct, it would bc ‘‘bcttcr ií hc had picrccd
ny hcad.’’
But, as Albcrt’s nonologuc quickly nakcs clcar, it is not noncy
itsclí that hc cra·cs. Rathcr, hc sccs noncy as a ncccssary ncans to
thc cnd which hc truly dcsircs: thc rccognition and adniration oí thc
court íor his distinction as a knight. Ihus, whcn Albcrt dcícats count
iclorgc inthc tournancnt, thc lawoí arns gi·cs Albcrt thc right cithcr
to clain thc dcícatcd nan’s horsc and arnor, or to nanc a pricc íor
thcir ranson. Albcrt gi·cs up this right—not, howc·cr, out oí nag-
naninity, as would bc truly chi·alrous, but sinply out oí a dcsirc to
appcar nagnaninous ‘‘in íront oí ladics and thc iukc.’’ Vhcn Albcrt
concs to thc ducal court without thc luxurious clothcs that his ícllow
noblcncn arc wcaring, thc codc oí chi·alry would tcll hin that gcntlc
birth and conduct arc thc truc ncasurc oí worth, that a wcalthy churl
is still a churl, and a poor knight still a knight. Instcad, Albcrt is gallcd
by what hc sccs as his disrcputably poor appcarancc, and trics to nakc
up íor it with thc unchi·alrous tactic oí a lic, and worsc yct, a lic to
his honorcd lord. Cnc suspccts that his gcncrosity to thc sick black-
snith, to whon hc scnds his last bottlc oí winc, is oí a piccc with his
gcncrosity to his dcícatcd opponcnt—a way oí gctting talkcd about.
It is significant that in Iushkin’s nanuscript thc original word ncan-
ing ‘‘nillcr’’ is rcplaccd by onc ncaning ‘‘snith’’
1
—a skillíul arnorcr,
unlikc a nillcr, would conc into contact with nany noblcncn, and his
words oí praisc would bc likcly to rcach thc dcsircd audicncc.
Albcrt is caught in a paradox: to nakc thc spcctacular, attcntion-
gctting gcsturcs that will win hinthc rcputation and cstccnhc cra·cs,
hc nccds noncy, but with his linitcd financial rcsourccs, naking such
gcsturcs c·cn occasionally íorccs hin to bc prcoccupicd with thcir
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cost—and conccrn o·cr noncy is soncthing that thc socicty hcwishcs
to inprcss rcgards as ignoblc. Lc is painíully awarc oí this paradox:
Vhcn iclorgc with his hca·y lancc
Iicrccd ny hcln and gallopcd on past,
And I barchcadcd turncd and spurrcd
My Enir, flcw likc a whirlwind
And flung thc count sonc twcnty paccs
iikc a pagc boy, whcn all thc ladics
Rosc íron thcir scats, whcn clotild hcrsclí,
Vho’d co·crcd hcr cycs, couldn’t hclp but shout,
And thc hcralds paid honors to ny blow—
Ko onc thcn thought about thc rcason
For ny ·alor and ny wondrous strcngth!
I was scizcd by íury at ny danagcd hclnct,
Vhat’s to blanc íor ny hcroisn:—niscrlincss.
Albcrt thus sccs hinsclí as a nanwhohas bccnuníairly put ina íalsc
position, dcpri·cd oí thc honor to which hc is rightíully cntitlcd. As
a knight, hc nccds a ncw hclnct and a sound horsc, ha·ing nadc thc
public gcsturc oí rcnouncing his dcícatcd opponcnt’s arns and horsc,
hc nust obtain thc ncccssary noncy in sonc othcr nanncr. Ihc only
ncthod hc can conc up with is onc that c·cn íurthcr dccpcns his scnsc
oí írustration and unjust injury: thc ignoninious cxpcdicnt oí dcaling
with a ]cwish noncylcndcr. Albcrt is so blindcd by his íury, so con-
·inccd that it is sinply his right to ha·c thc noncy hc dcsircs, that it
nc·cr crosscs his nind that a noncylcndcr is in thc busincss in ordcr to
nakc noncy, and is not likcly to wclconc a would-bc borrowcr whosc
ability to rcpay is doubtíul. Ií proniscs—rcdccnablc at sonc ·aguc
and indcfinitc íuturc—arcn’t good cnough íor solonon, thrcats will
ha·c to bc uscd instcad. Indccd, gi·cn Albcrt’s statc oí ·iolcnt cxas-
pcration, c·cn whcn hc docs nanagc to rcncnbcr íor a noncnt that it
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would bc prudcnt to bc politc to solonon, his attcnptcd snilc at oncc
bcconcs a ·icious snccr:
Albcrt: Vho’s thcrc:
]cw: Your hunblc scr·ant.
Albcrt: Ah, íricnd!
You danncd ]cw, honorablc solonon,
conc o·cr hcrc, so—you, I hcar,
ion’t bclic·c in crcdit.
]cw: Ah, ncrciíul knight,
I swcar to you: I’d bc glad . . . truly, I can’t.
Vhcrc would I gct noncy: I’·c ruincd nysclí
Ihrough ny zcal íor always hclping knights.
Ko onc rcpays. I wantcd to ask you
Ií you couldn’t gi·c nc c·cn just part . . .
Albcrt: Robbcr!
Ií I had any noncy, would I bc
Fooling around with you: Enough,
ion’t bc stubborn, ny dcar solonon,
Gi·c nc sonc gold. scnd nc a hundrcd picccs
Bcíorc I ha·c you scarchcd.
Vhilc Albcrt is prcoccupicd by cstccn and status, clcarly no con-
sidcration could bc íurthcr íron his intcrlocutor’s nind. As a practi-
tioncr oí a dcspiscd rcligion (]udaisn) and as a ncnbcr oí a dcspiscd
proícssion (noncylcnding), solonon has alrcady íorícitcd any clain
to rcspcct íron sonconc oí Albcrt’s social position. And hc has no
conccrn about dcbasing hinsclí íurthcr (as Albcrt would scc it) by rc-
sponding to Albcrt’s thrcats, not with sclí-asscrtion, but with a whin-
ing, all-too-ob·iously ncndacious tonc.
Kc·crthclcss, Albcrt’s contcnpt íor solonon is not altogcthcr jus-
tificd. It would not cross Albcrt’s nind, but solonon clcarly has cour-
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agc, c·cn ií not a knightly kind. In dcaling with lords such as Albcrt—
and solonon’s spccch indicatcs that hc has such dcalings rcgularly
—thc possibility that thcy night not rcpay hin is thc lcast oí his dan-
gcrs. Albcrt’s thrcats to scizc hin and ha·c hin scarchcd, or c·cn to
ha·c hin hangcd at thc castlc gatcs, arc not ncrc cnpty words, both
oí thcn know that no ícudal lord would wastc nuch cffort on punish-
ing a noblcnan accuscd oí nothing norc scrious than using ·iolcncc
against a ]cw. And, in contrast to Albcrt’s inpctuousncss, solonon
has thc potcntially ·aluablc qualitics—uníortunatcly put to ill usc—
oí íorcsight and paticncc in concci·ing and carrying out a plan. sincc
wc ha·c alrcady lcarncd c·cn bcíorc hc appcars on stagc that solonon
has rcíuscd to loan Albcrt any norc noncy, thc qucstion ariscs: why
docs hc thcn conc in pcrson to Albcrt: Ihc only logical cxplanation
is that hc has conc solcly in ordcr to proposc to Albcrt that thc lattcr
poison his íathcr—a typc oí proposal that onc cannot scnd through
scr·ants or intcrncdiarics. Ignoring Albcrt’s abusc, solonon stcadily
stccrs thcir con·crsation in thc appropriatc dircction: hc links his rc-
íusal to lcnd to Albcrt o·cr conccrn about whcn, or c·cn ií, Albcrt will
inhcrit his íathcr’s noncy, hc listcns willingly to Albcrt’s cxprcssion
oí scorn and contcnpt íor his íathcr, cxprcsscs thc wish that Albcrt
inhcrit soon, and gcts Albcrt’s opcn appro·al oí this wish. Cnly thcn,
with thc ground wcll-prcparcd, docs hc say, as ií offhandcdly: ‘‘It oc-
currcd to nc thcrc is /Accrtain ncans . . .’’ La·ingthus gottcn Albcrt’s
attcntion, solonon still procccds cautiously, ncthodically: hc knows
a ccrtain apothccary, this apothccary sclls drops, thcsc drops ha·c a
particular cffcct. Vith cach scntcncc, hc takcs onc norc cautious stcp
across what nay yct pro·c to bc thin icc. Cnly whcn Albcrt conplctcly
íails to graspwhat is bcing suggcstcd to hindocs solonon finally statc
his purposc, in a still-·cilcd but nc·crthclcss unnistakablc íorn:
Albcrt: And so: Instcad oí loaning noncy,
You’rc offcring nc two hundrcd ·ials oí poison,
At onc gold piccc pcr ·ial. Is that it:
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]cw: You’rc plcascd to ha·c your jokc at ny cxpcnsc—
Ko, I ncant . . . pcrhaps you . . . wcll, I thought
Ihc Baron’s tinc had conc to dic.
solononis apparcntlyobli·ious tothc ironyinthc contrast bctwccnhis
carlicr pious obscr·ation that a nan’s days arc nunbcrcd by Anothcr
and his currcnt proposal that hc, or rathcr Albcrt, takc stcps to nunbcr
thc Baron’s days. Ihc noncylcndcr’s attitudc is rcninisccnt oí thc tra-
ditional inagc oí thc nafioso: picty and rcspcctability arc both good
things, but busincss is busincss, ií you ha·c to kill soncbody to nakc
noncy, you kill hin, thcrc’s no point in bcing scntincntal about it.
such an attitudc lca·cs solonon unprcparcd to dcal with a nan likc
Albcrt, íor whon thc prinary conccrn is not noncy, but his bizarrc
scnsc oí honor—an honor bascd not upon his own inncr scntincnts,
but upon a constant awarcncss oí what typc oí conduct is appro·cd or
disappro·cd oí by socicty. Albcrt íccls no guilt about hating his íathcr
or wishing íor his íathcr’s dcath, but hc knows that in socicty’s cycs
parricidc is onc oí thc nost horriblc crincs possiblc, and that thc nan
who connits it has lost any clain to rcspcct. Indccd, Albcrt íccls dis-
honorcd sinply by thc íact that a dcspiscd ]cwnadc such a proposal to
hin, just as a noblcwonan’s rcputation would bc danagcd by thc in-
appropriatc íaniliarityoí a pcasant c·cnií shc rcpudiatcdhis ad·anccs.
Ihis thrcat to Albcrt’s sclí-inagc and sclí-cstccn causcs hin to losc
what littlc sclí-control hc has: hc thrcatcns to ha·c solonon hangcd
and dri·cs hinout, ignoring solonon’s placatoryoffcr oí noncy—thc
·cry offcr which Albcrt would gladly ha·c takcn a ícwninutcs carlicr.
E·cn whcn Albcrt rcco·crs cnough sclí-posscssion to rcncnbcr that
hc is still íacing thc sanc nonctary problcns that originally nadc hin
turn to solonon, c·cn whcn hc cxpcricnccs a noncnt oí rcgrct íor not
ha·ing takcn thc noncy which was offcrcd, hc nc·crthclcss íccls that it
has nowbcconc inpossiblc íor hinto takc anything íronsolonon—
his noncy has bcconc blood noncy, taintcd, dishonoring anyonc who
acccpts it:
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Io ha·c a ]cwdarc
Iroposc that to nc! Bring nc a glass oí winc,
I’n shaking likc a lcaí. . .But I still nccd noncy.
]ohn, go catch up with that danncd ]cw
And takc his gold. And bring thc inkwcll hcrc.
I’ll gi·c hin a rcccipt, thc crook—but don’t
Bring that ]udas in hcrc. . . . Ko, wait.
Lis gold picccs will stink oí poison,
iikc his kinsnan’s sil·cr did . . .
Kowdcpri·cd c·cn oí thc assistancc oí a noncylcndcr, Albcrt takcs
a dcspcratc dccision: to swallow thc huniliation oí rc·caling his po·-
crty to his ícudal lord thc iukc, in rcturn íor thc iukc’s ordcr to his
íathcr to support hin in a nanncr fitting to his social position.
Ihis cntirc first sccnc is a nodcl oí dranatic cconony: in lcss than
.co lincs, Iushkin has dclincatcd two ncnorablc charactcrs, Albcrt
and solonon, laid thc groundwork íor thc dccisi·c conírontation oí
thc third sccnc, and cstablishcd thc as-yct-unsccn Baron as a prcscncc
in our ninds. Lis cxtraordinary niscrlincss has alrcady c·okcd con-
ncnts íron both solonon and Albcrt, cach oí whon cxplains it in a
charactcristic nanncr. Ihc uninaginati·c solonon—cxprcssing hin-
sclí in a pro·crbial stylc worthy oí his Biblical nancsakc—sccs it as
ncrcly a financial cxprcssion oí thc prudcncc natural to thc old, as
rashncss is to thc young:
. . . Moncy
Is always, whatc·cr our agc, uscíul to us,
But a young nan sccs it as a scr·ant
And docsn’t hcsitatc to scnd it íar and widc.
An old nan sccs it as a trusty íricnd
And guards it as thc applc oí his cyc.
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By contrast, Albcrt, with his pridc in his knightly rank and his con-
sciousncss oí its prcrogati·cs, sccs his íathcr’s niscrlincss as thc rcsult
oí thc sanc contcnptiblc ncanncss oí spirit, thc sanc innatc scr·ility,
which to a ncdic·al lord would bc thc natural trait oí pcasants or
worsc:
Ch, íor ny íathcr noncy’s not a scr·ant
Cr a íricnd, but a nastcr, hc hinsclí scr·cs it.
And scr·cs it—how: likc an Algcrian sla·c,
iikc a dog on a chain. A kcnncl with no hcat
Is his honc, hc drinks watcr, cats dry crusts,
Lc nc·cr slccps at night, just runs and barks.
And thc gold lics thcrc rcsting pcaccíully
In thc chcsts . . .
Cur first sight oí thc Baron, howc·cr, quickly cstablishcs how scri-
ously linitcd both solonon’s and Albcrt’s cxplanations oí his noti·cs
arc. In contrast to solonon’s asscssncnt, thc Baron’s first words rc-
·cal not an old nan’s cxccss oí caution, but an uncontrollcd passion
íor noncy which hc hinsclí conparcs to a scxual cra·ing:
iikc a young skirt-chascr who waits íor whcn
Lc’ll ncct his binbo—sonc tranp on thc nakc,
Cr sonc íool hc’s snowcd—that’s howall day
I wait íor thc ninutc I go down
Into ny sccrct ·ault, to thc íaithíul chcsts.
But in contrast to thc uncontrollcd cnotions oí his son, thc Baron’s
passion is íocuscd ncthodically and unwa·cringly on his singlc goal,
day aítcr day and ycar aítcr ycar. Ihc actions which, takcn indi·idu-
ally, Albcrt sccs as ncan and pctty, arc sccn by thc Baron as snall parts
oí an o·crall stratcgy—a stratcgy which, so íar íron bcing scr·ilc,
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couldbc concci·cdandcarricdthroughonly bya nanoí cxtraordinary
willpowcr and anbition:
Ioday’s a happy day! Kow I can opcn
Ihc sixth chcst (thc onc that’s not íull yct)
And pour in a handíul oí pilcd-up gold.
Kot nuch, it sccns, but littlc by littlc
Ihc trcasurc grows. Cncc I rcad
About a king who ordcrcd his ncn
Io bring, cach onc, a handíul oí carth,
And a nighty hill rosc up—and thc king
could gazc down ncrrily íron that hcight
Upon thc ·allcys, co·crcd with whitc tcnts,
And on thc sca, whcrc ships wcrc sailing.
Ihus I, bringing ny poor handíuls onc by onc,
Bcaring ny accustoncd tributc to ny ·ault,
La·c built up ny hill—and íron its hcight
I can gazc on all that’s in ny powcr.
Vhat’s not in ny powcr: Fron hcrc,
iikc a dcnon I can rulc thc world.
Iowcr without linits, powcr without justicc: this is thc idca that has
scizcd thc Baron’s inagination. Albcrt’s callous sclí-prcoccupation, so
strikingly shown in thc first sccnc, appcars positi·cly childish and tri-
fling conparcd to thc Baron’s dcnand íor powcr. Albcrt’s anbition is
sinply to gain thc rcspcct oí thosc around hin by his prc-cnincncc as
a knight, a rolc that is cncouragcd by thc structurc oí his socicty and
would bc cntircly within his rcach wcrc it not íor his financial difficul-
tics. By contrast, thc Baron’s anbition is to achic·c a prc-cnincncc so
·ast and nultiíacctcd that Albcrt could not c·cn drcan oí it. Vhilc
Albcrt would bc satisficd ncrcly to bc ablc to appcar at thc iukc’s ícast
in silk and satin likc thc othcr courticrs, thc Baron starts by inagining
hinsclí in luxury worthy oí a iouis XIV:
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Ií I just want it—palaccs will spring up,
Into ny splcndid gardcns thcrc will dancc
A conpany oí playíul nynphs . . .
But thc con·cntional trappings oí ncrc wcalth—c·cn thc wcalth oí a
nonarch—arc not cnough íor thc Baron. Lc wants powcr, and powcr
is ncasurcd by thc grcatncss oí what it has subducd. Ihus his thoughts
turn to art, which has long claincd thc right to pass its own scntcncc oí
praisc or blanc upon thc grcat ncn oí its tinc. Ihis powcr, which has
naintaincd its indcpcndcncc and its grcatncss íor so nany ccnturics,
now nust also yicld to thc Baron:
Ihc Muscs too will bring nc tributc,
Frcc gcnius will bcconc ny sla·c . . .
And c·cn this is not cnough to satisíy his hungcr íor powcr. iikc
a proto-Kictzschcan supcrnan, thc Baron inagincs hinsclí ‘‘bcyond
good and c·il.’’ Ihc rulcs oí norality will ha·c no clainon hin, rathcr
·irtuc and ·icc will bc cqually subjcct to hin, and hc will choosc bc-
twccn thcnas hc plcascs. Indccd, so conplctc will his control o·cr c·il
bc, so doglikc its dc·otion to hin, that hc will nc·cr ha·c to actually
pcríornan c·il dccd, or c·cn to gi·c a connand that it bc pcríorncd,
rathcr, his unspokcn wish will bc anticipatcd:
. . . ·irtuc and unslccping toil
Vill ncckly look to nc íor thcir rcward.
]ust lct nc whistlc—bloodstaincd ·illainy
Cbcdicntly and tinidly will crawl to nc
And lick ny hand, and pccr into ny cycs,
iooking íor a sign oí ny will thcrc . . .
Vhilc thc Baron takcs plcasurc in tclling hinsclí what hc could
do, hc nc·cr actually docs (or trics to do) any oí it. Ií hc did so, oí
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coursc, hc would quickly cncountcr thc constraints oí thc rcal world,
whcrc palaccs takc ycars to build no nattcr hownany laborcrs onc can
hirc, and whcrc no nattcr howcarcíully thc official court historics arc
conpilcd, a Iacitus is likcly to appcar. Ihc ncccssary condition oí thc
Baron’s absolutc suprcnacy is that it should cxist only in his inagi-
nation. But so íar íron acknowlcdging this as a linitation, thc Baron
con·inccs hinsclí that this is actually a strcngth—hc is abo·c intcr-
csting hinsclí in all thosc grubby affairs that occupy ncrc ordinary
nortals:
I stand abo·c dcsirc, I an caln,
I know ny night, this knowlcdgc
Is cnough íor nc . . .
Ihc only rcal acti·ity which hc conccrns hinsclí with, thc only
dcsirc to which hc will adnit, is thc accunulation oí norc gold—thc
íoundation oí his powcr. It is no wondcr that hc sccs hinsclí as ruling
‘‘likc a dcnon’’, íor likc a dcnon, hc has rcjcctcd c·cn thc slightcst
clain oí lo·c or conpassion. Kot only docs hc ha·c no gcnuinc con-
ccrn íor othcrs, unlikc his son, hc docs not c·cn íccl thc nccd to nakc a
prctcnsc oí such conccrn. Albcrt with his ·anity would ha·c íorgi·cn
a widow’s dcbt, ií not out oí gcnuinc pity, at lcast as a display oí nag-
naninity, thc Baron only congratulatcs hinsclí íor not bcing íoolcd
by what hc sccs as hcr shan dcspair. Albcrt would scc hinsclí as dis-
honorcd íor acccpting solonon’s noncy aítcr hcaring solonon’s pro-
posal that hc poison his íathcr, thc Baron íccls no shanc o·cr thc crinc
which hc assuncs Ihibault has connittcd in ordcr to gct noncy to
pay his dcbt. Indccd, thc Baron docs not try in any way to downplayor
rationalizc thc suffcring hc has causcd, and ií anything cxaggcratcs it:
Ií all thc blood, swcat, and tcars oncc shcd
For all that’s storcd in hcrc, could now pour íorth
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Fron thc carth’s bowcls in onc suddcn gush,
Ihcrc’d bc a sccond Flood—and I would suffocatc
Insidc ny íaithíul ·ault. But cnough.
Ihc Baron’s systcnatically unscrupulous and inhunan pursuit oí
wcalth is rcninisccnt oí solonon, but his ncntal statc is íar diffcrcnt
íron that oí thc ]cwish noncylcndcr. solonon, as wc ha·c sccn, is
not so nuch innoral as anoral, noral considcrations sinply ha·c no
ncaning to hin. Ihc Baron, as a knight, knows what justicc is, and is
wcll awarc oí thc innorality oí his actions, but thc dcsirc íor powcr,
and thc a·aricc to which it has gi·cn risc, has bcconc such an irrcsist-
iblc lurc íor hin that hc willingly docs what hc knows is wrong:
E·cry singlc tinc, whcn I start to opcn
A chcst, I íccl íc·crish and trcnblc.
Kot íron ícar (no! what should I ícar:
I ha·c ny sword, ny tcnpcrcd bladc
Vill answcr íor thc gold), but íron sonc scnsc,
Mystcrious and drcad, which grips ny hcart . . .
ioctors assurc us that thcrc arc pcoplc
Vho find plcasurc in connitting nurdcr.
Vhcn I put thc kcy into thc lock, thcn
I íccl what such a onc nust íccl, plunging
Lis kniíc into a ·ictin, plcasurc
And horror nixcd in onc.
Gi·cn thc Baron’s carlicr conparison oí hinsclí to a nan in an illicit
scxual liaison, onc docs not ha·c to bc a Frcudian to notc thc suggcs-
ti·cncss oí thc inagcry oí a kcy inscrtcd into a lock or a kniíc plungcd
intoa body. Andthc Baron’s inscrtionoí thc kcyc·okcs a cryoí ccstatic
consunnation—‘‘My bliss!’’—íollowcd by a rclcasc oí tcnsion:
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Ihcrc, now you’·c roancd cnough throughout thc world,
scr·ing thc passions and nccds oí ncn,
slccp now, thc slccp oí strcngth and pcacc . . .
Ihc quasi-scxual dincnsion oí thc rclationship bctwccn thc Baron and
his gold is rciníorccd by thc parallcl languagc uscd in this play to dc-
scribc thc Baron’s passion íor his gold and in I/e S:ooe Gaes: to dc-
scribc thc passion oí thc knight-connandcr íor iona Anna. ]ust as
thc Baroncarcíullylocks his goldintohis chcsts andguards thc kcys, so
ion ]uan notcs that ‘‘iona Anna always was kcpt lockcd up insidc, /
Konc oí us ha·c c·cr so nuch as sccn hcr.’’ Ihc Baron wishcs that
. . . íron ny gra·c
I could arisc, a ghostly watchnan,
And sit upon thc chcst, and guard ny trcasurcs
Against thc li·ing . . .
which is prcciscly what ion ]uan challcngcs thc dcad knight-
connandcr to do: to ‘‘stand guard at thc door’’ in ordcr to prc·cnt his
trcasurcd iona Anna íronbcing stolcn íronhinbya li·ing nan. But
whilc thc knight-connandcr has a rightíul clain upon thc loyalty oí
iona Anna, thc Baron has no rightíul clain to gold which hc hinsclí
rcalizcs was obtaincd unjustly: nctaphorically spcaking, it is not a wiíc
but cithcr a ‘‘tranp’’ or a ‘‘íool,’’ a scductrcss or a scduccd wonan.
Lowc·cr, thcrc is a significant diffcrcncc bctwccna physical passion
and a passion oí thc inagination such as thc Baron’s: whilc a physi-
cal passion could bc at lcast tcnporarily satcd by posscssion íor thc
Baron, posscssion oí his gold docs not satisíy his dcsirc, but inflancs
it íurthcr. La·ing cxpcricnccd thc rapturc oí opcning onc chcst, hc
wants an c·cn grcatcr rapturc: hc opcns all six at oncc. E·cn thcn, his
prcscnt cnjoyncnt is not cnough íor hin, hc nust inaginc it continu-
ing into thc indcfinitc íuturc. And thcrc is whcrc his inagination runs
up against a rudc chcck. Ihc Baron nay boast that ‘‘Io nc all things
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subnit, and I—to nonc,’’ but hc knows that thcrc is still onc íorcc norc
powcríul than hc—dcath. Ihc Baron ícars dcath, not in thc way onc
night ha·c cxpcctcd a ncdic·al nan to do, not as thc tinc whcn hc
nust pay íor his sins. Rathcr, hc has so thoroughly idcntificd his ·cry
liíc with thc acquisition and hoarding oí his trcasurc that hc ícars dcath
as thc íorcc that will turn his trcasurc o·cr to his hcir, who will spcnd
it. In thc Baron’s íc·crcd inagination, thc pcrícctly nornal and law-
íul phcnoncnon oí an hcir taking posscssion oí his cstatc bcconcs thc
cqui·alcnt oí barbarians pillaging a conqucrcd cnpirc:
Aítcr stcaling thc kcys íron ny dcad body,
Lc’ll laugh as hc throws opcn all thc chcsts.
And all ny trcasurcs will flowout
And pour through thc holcs oí satin pockcts.
Lc’ll brcak into bits thc sacrcd ·csscls,
ict dirt drink up thc coronation oil—
Lc’ll squandcr it. . . . And by what right:
Gi·cn thc ncans by which thc Baron hinsclí acquircd his íortunc,
thc logical qucstion would bc, ‘‘By what right do yoa posscss it:’’ But
to thc Baron, ‘‘right’’ no longcr ncans law or justicc, as it would ha·c
whcn hc was a knight at thc iukc’s court, now it ncans powcr. In thc
Baron’s cycs, thc onc who has thc ‘‘right’’ to posscss is thc onc who has
thc grcatcst and nost unconqucrablc will to posscss. And clcarly this is
thc Baron, who has shown his strcngth oí will not only in his ·oluntary
acccptancc oí thc physical and ncntal pri·ations—‘‘Vhat carcs day
aítcr day, what slccplcss nights’’—at which his son snccrs, but through
his prolongcd cndurancc oí what can only bc callcd sclí-inflictcd spiri-
tual suffcring. In thc Baron’s dcnonically pcr·crsc logic, thc torncnts
oí conscicncc hc cxpcricnccs, thc ·cry torncnts that should showthat
his a·aricc is wrong, instcad bcconc thc grounds íor asscrting that his
posscssion is ‘‘right’’:
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. . . Cr will ny son say
Ihat ny hcart’s long o·crgrown with noss,
Ihat I íccl no dcsirc, that c·cn ny conscicncc
Kc·cr gnawcd at nc, ny conscicncc,
Ihat bcast with claws that tcar ny hcart—ny conscicncc,
Ihat gucst I didn’t in·itc, a wcarying conpanion,
Ihat harsh dcnanding crcditor, that witch
Vho nakcs thc noon hidc and who troublcs gra·cs,
Making thcn gi·c up thcir dcad: . . .
Ko, first suffcr through piling up your own wcalth,
And thcn lct’s scc ií sonc unhappy nan
Vill conc and squandcr what you got by blood.
In this cxtraordinary passagc, wc scc thc íull shakcspcarcan najcsty
oí thc Baron’s naturc. Ircciscly bccausc hc docs ha·c a powcríul con-
sciousncss oí justicc, and bccausc hc dclibcratcly corrupts hinsclí by
ignoring that consciousncss, hc is an inncasurably grcatcr and at thc
sanc tinc íar norc tcrriíying figurc than a ncrc connon crininal likc
solonon: ‘‘iilics that ícstcr sncll íar worsc than wccds.’’ As thc Baron
gi·cs hinsclí up to his obscssion, thc powcr oí his spirit grows c·cr
grcatcr, but its íocus bcconc c·cr narrowcr, until thc only íorn oí
cxistcncc hc can inaginc or dcsirc c·cn aítcr dcath is not Lca·cn, but
ncrcly a continuation oí thc prcscnt:
. . . oh, ií íron ny gra·c
I could arisc, a ghostly watchnan,
And sit upon thc chcst, and guard ny trcasurcs
Against thc li·ing, as I guard thcn now!
]ust as thc first sccnc closcs with Albcrt’s rcsolution to íorcc his
íathcr to gi·c up sonc noncy to hin, so thc sccond closcs with thc
Baron’s rcsolution to do c·crything within hunan powcr—and indccd
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norc, ií hc could—not to gi·c up any oí his noncy to his son. clcarly,
thc two arc on a collision coursc, and as thc third sccnc opcns, this
collision is innincnt:
Albcrt: Bclic·c nc, ny lord, I ha·c long bornc
Ihc shanc oí bittcr po·crty. Vcrc ny nccd not grcat,
You would not ha·c hcard ny conplaint.
iukc: I do bclic·c you: a noblc knight
such as yoursclí, would not accusc his íathcr
Unlcss his nccd was grcat. Fcw ncn arc so corrupt . . .
ion’t ícar, I’ll urgc your íathcr to act honorably,
But I’ll do it in pri·atc, without scandal.
I cxpcct hin soon. It’s a long tinc sincc I’·c sccn hin.
Lc and ny grandíathcr wcrc íricnds. I rcncnbcr,
Vhcn I was just a boy still, how
Lc’d liít nc up and sct nc on his stccd
And put his hca·y hclnct on nc—it co·crcd nc
As ií it wcrc a church bcll.
(Loo/s oa: :/e «ioáo«.)
Vho’s that:
Is it hc:
Ihc iukc thus nakcs his appcarancc as an idcal knightly figurc:
sonconc who is cngagcd in thc disintcrcstcd pursuit oí justicc, sonc-
oncwhois prcparcdtoscckthc right andtoupholdit. Andíronhis first
spccch, wc rccognizc thc iukc as a diffcrcnt charactcr íronthc prc·i-
ous najor spcakcrs: Albcrt, solonon, and thc Baron. All thrcc oí thcn
arc prcoccupicd with thcnscl·cs, thcir own schcncs, dcsircs, and an-
bitions, íor all thrcc, othcr pcoplc arc cxpcndablc. Ihc iukc, by con-
trast, is gcnuincly intcrcstcd in othcr hunan bcings. Lc obscr·cs thcir
naturcs and actions, and sccks to undcrstand thcn. And hc is capablc
oí putting hinsclí in anothcr’s position, oí sparing anothcr’s ícclings.
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Cnc suspccts that any oí thc othcr thrcc najor charactcrs, ií thcy c·cn
wcrc capablc oí consciously rccognizing this trait oí thc iukc’s, would
ncrcly disniss it as a wcakncss, and yct thc iukc, who can hardly bc
norc than fi·c or tcn ycars oldcr than Albcrt, radiatcs a caln, confidcnt
authority. Lc has no doubt that hc can issuc a politc but firnconnand
to a baron who was alrcady a powcríul nan whcn hc hinsclí was yct a
child and ha·c that connand obcycd. Indccd, hc is so confidcnt that
hc can c·cn afford to laugh at hinsclí—soncthing it is inpossiblc to
inaginc any oí thc othcr charactcrs doing—as hc picturcs hinsclí as
thc baron nust ha·c sccn hin, an cxcitcd snall boy in a ludicrously
o·crsizcd adult hclnct. Lc is, in short, a typc which wc rccognizc íron
thc iukc oí Vicnna in Measa·e fo· Measa·e, íron thc rightíul iukc
in .s Ioa Li/e I:, and c·cn íron Lcnry in Rio¸ Heo·y 1. thc idcal
Rcnaissancc rulcr, at oncc affablc and connanding, gcnuincly synpa-
thctic toward his subjccts, yct always awarc oí thc rcsponsibilitics oí
officc that scparatc hin íron thcn. significantly, thc iukc spcaks oí
his insignia oí officc as not a coronct, but a chain: hc nay not sinply
do what hc wishcs, but nust rcstrain hinsclí. A subjcct nay gi·c in to
his passions, a rulcr nay not.
icspitc thc inprcssi·cncss oí such a figurc as thc iukc, onc still
wondcrs whcthcr hc is a natch íor thc ficrcc, anbitious, obscsscd nan
whon wc saw in thc sccond sccnc. And thcn, to our astonishncnt, wc
scc—not thc Baron wc know, but a ncck, sclí-dcprccating, pathcti-
cally loyal old nan:
I’n an old nan now, ny lord, what should
I do at court: You’rc young, you lo·c
Iournancnts and íêtcs. But íor such things I
An no longcr suitcd. Ií God scnds war, thcn I
An rcady to clinb whcczing onto ny horsc,
I’ll still find strcngth cnough to draw
My old sword íor you with a trcnbling arn.
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Cí coursc thcrc is an clcncnt oí dclibcratc cunning in thc Baron’s
spccch, an attcnpt to dcflcct any suggcstion that hc takc part in thc
luxurious—and cxpcnsi·c—liíc oí thc court. Yct thc surprisc rcnains:
could onc ha·c inagincd thc Baron oí thc sccond sccnc, who boastcd
oí ruling thc world likc a dcnon, spcaking to anyonc in so dcícrcntial
a nanncr: But whcn hc is outsidc thc isolatcd and unrcal world oí his
trcasurc ·ault, in thc atnosphcrc oí thc court hc rcncnbcrs íron his
youth, so caught up in his ncnorics oí his íricndship with thc íorncr
iukc that hc rcícrs to his currcnt lord as ‘‘that kid’’ and thcn hastily
corrccts his lack oí rc·crcncc to ‘‘you, that is’’—at such a noncnt
his pcrsonality to sonc dcgrcc rc·crts to thc knight that hc was in his
youth. In contrast to Albcrt, who thinks oí fighting as soncthing that
onc docs in onc’s own intcrcst, íor thc sakc oí onc’s glory and rcputa-
tion, thc Baron proícsscs a gcnuincly knightly willingncss to cndurc
hardship and dangcr with no rcward to hinsclí, sinply out oí loyalty
to his lord.
Ihc Baron thus is caught in a dilcnna: as a niscr, hcwants to rcíusc
any connand that in·ol·cs spcnding noncy, but as a knight that hc
cannot concci·c oí dcíying his lord dircctly. so hc trics to c·adc thc
iukc’s urging that hc scnd his son to court bydc·ising onc cxcusc aítcr
anothcr as to why his son is unfit íor such an honor. And hcrc is whcrc
wc scc thc íull powcr oí thc iukc’s paticncc: thc iukc calnly acccpts
at íacc ·aluc cach oí thc Baron’s cxcuscs dcspitc thc íact that, sincc hc
is acquaintcd with Albcrt, hc alrcady knows that thcsc cxcuscs arc lics,
and by taking thc Baron’s words at íacc ·aluc and discrcditing thcn
on thcir own tcrns, thc iukc politcly but incxorably íorccs thc Baron
into a corncr. Ihc Baron, rcalizing that no story that hc can conc up
with will bc capablc oí withstanding thc iukc’s judicious rcsponsc,
trics to takc rcíugc in silcncc or short, uniníornati·c statcncnts. Ihis
tactic, howc·cr, docs not discouragc thc iron paticncc oí thc iukc,
and finally, unablc to think oí any othcr way to justiíy hinsclí bcíorc
his unyiclding qucstioncr, thc Baron dcspcratcly flings an accusation
at his son which hc knows to bc íalsc:
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iukc: I connand: tcll nc thc rcason
For your rcíusal.
Baron: I’n angcrcd at
My son.
iukc: Vhy:
Baron: For his wickcd crinc.
iukc: And what, tcll nc, was that:
Baron: sparc nc, iukc . . .
iukc: Ihis is ·cry strangc,
Cr arc you ashancd oí hin:
Baron: Ycs . . . ashancd . . .
iukc: But what did hc do:
Baron: Lc . . . hc ncant
Io nurdcr nc.
Ihc iukc continucs with his tactic oí taking thc Baron’s words at íacc
·aluc:
iukc: Murdcr! I’ll hand hin o·cr
Io justicc as a íoul ·illain.
Ihis rcsponsc alarns thc Baron, who knows that any in·cstigation
would pro·c his chargc to bc uníoundcd. Unablc to withdraw his
words, which would rcquirc hin to adnit opcnly that hc has licd to
his lord, and cqually unablc to stand by thcn, hc trics to hcdgc his
statcncnt whilc still naking it as danaging to his son as possiblc:
Baron: I won’t sct out to pro·c it, but I know
Ihat ny dcath is what hc’s thirsting íor,
And I know that hc’s nadc an attcnpt
At . . .
iukc: Vhat:
Baron: Robbing nc.
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suddcnly thc iukc’s carcíul, ncthodical in·cstigation is shattcrcd
by Albcrt’s bursting into thc roonwith thc cry, ‘‘Baron, you’rc lying.’’
Up to this point c·crything has bccn going in Albcrt’s ía·or: his íathcr
has gi·cn such a tanglc oí inplausiblc, sclí-contradictory, and ob·i-
ously stanncrcd cxcuscs that any inpartial listcncr would bc inclincd
tothinkthc Baronnust bc inthcwrong.Vhcthcr thc hothcadcdAlbcrt
is capablc oí rccognizing this, or whcthcr hc sinply is íorcing hinsclí
to obcy thc iukc’s connand, hc has nanagcd to kccp silcnt through
all his íathcr’s lics, c·cn through an accusation oí intcndcd nurdcr. But
as wc ha·c sccn, íor Albcrt thc ícar that his po·crty will causc hin to
bc dishonorcd is an obscssion, and thc Baron’s accusation oí attcnptcd
thcít touchcs upon cxactly this obscssion and rouscs his son to uncon-
trollablc and c·cn sclí-dcstructi·c íury. Albcrt’s carlicr ragc at count
iclorgc, who had unwittingly touchcd Albcrt’s ícar oí po·crty-causcd
dishonor, lcd hin to scck rc·cngc c·cn ií hc had to risk jousting with-
out a hclnct to do it. Kow Albcrt risks thc conscqucnccs oí ignoring
his lord’s connand, rathcr than allow an accusation rclating to thc
crucial issuc oí noncy and honor to go unanswcrcd.
Ií thc iukc’s angcr at Albcrt’s outburst is prcdictablc, what is sur-
prising is thc Baron’s rcsponsc:
You’rc hcrc! You darc íacc nc! . . .
You can say a thing likc that to your íathcr! . . .
I’n lying! and in thc prcscncc oí our lord! . . .
Io nc . . . or an I no longcr a knight:
Vc ha·c alrcady hcard this tonc oí incohcrcnt, whitc-hot indignation
o·cr insultcd honor: it is cxactly thc sanc tonc as Albcrt’s rcsponsc to
solonon’s proposal that hc poison his íathcr. Albcrt is gcnuincly sur-
priscd by solonon’s suggcstion, hc nc·cr bothcrs to ask whcthcr his
own dcnigration oí his íathcr, his opcnlycxprcsscd wish íor his íathcr’s
dcath, night ha·c cncouragcd solonon’s linc oí thought. Albcrt, in
his own sclí-inagc, is an honorablc nan, and an honorablc nan docs
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not cncouragc suggcstions oí parricidc, thcrcíorc, in Albcrt’s nind,
hc cannot ha·c cncouragcd solonon. Ihc Baron takcs this sanc sclí-
dclusional logic c·cn íurthcr. Ihc íact that hc has no c·idcncc íor his
accusations against his son—c·cn thc íact that thc Baron hinsclí docs
not bclic·c thcn, or hc would ha·c nadc thcn at oncc, instcad oí first
trying a nunbcr oí ob·iously flinsy sclí-justifications—docs not stop
hin íron bcing gcnuincly íurious whcn his son accuscs hin oí lying.
iikc Albcrt, hc knows that it is against knightly honor íor hinto ha·c
licd, hc still íccls that hc is a knight, thcrcíorc, íacts or no íacts, what-
c·cr hc says cannot bc a lic. Iragically, hc docs not rcalizc that thc
only possiblc rcsponsc to his qucstion ‘‘An I no longcr a knight:’’ is
‘‘Ko, not any longcr.’’ Ií thcrc wcrc any doubt on this point, it ·anishcs
whcn thc Baron nakcs a proposal that any truc knight would find as
grotcsquc as it is appalling: a ducl with his own son.
Albcrt, as willing as his íathcr to scttlc thc qucstion oí which oí
thcsc two anbitious ncn will doninatc thc othcr, hastcns to pick up
thc Baron’s gauntlct. But at this noncnt, whcn both lawand connon
dcccncyarc on thc point oí collapsc, thc iukc rcasscrts thcir authority:
Vhat did I scc: Vhat’s this—and in ny prcscncc:
A son acccptcd thc challcngc oí his old íathcr!
In what tincs ha·c I takcn upon nysclí
Ihc ducal chain! silcncc: you, nadnan,
And you, tigcr cub! Enough.
Ihc iukc pronounccs scntcncc first upon Albcrt. In his blind passion,
Albcrt has dcstroycd thc ·cry rcputation íor which hc stro·c so jcal-
ously, and thus thc iukc’s ·crdict ncrcly confirns what Albcrt has
brought upon hinsclí through his own action: banishncnt íron thc
court, that is, íron thc conpany oí honorablc and rcspcctcd knights.
Ihc iukc, nc·crthclcss, is not ncrcly incarnatc justicc: as hc turns
to thc disgraccd Baron, hc rcncnbcrs thc knight who oncc, so nany
ycars ago, was a snall boy’s hcro, and onc can inaginc thc gricí, norc
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I/e Seáac:ioo of Io«e· ..,
than indignation, in his ·oicc, as hc quictly asks, ‘‘You, unhappy old
nan, /Arc you not ashancd . . .’’
But whcrc hunan justicc night pausc, a highcr justicc docs not. In
challcnging his son to a ducl, thc Baron has cxplicitly in·okcd ‘‘righ-
tcous God,’’ Vho, a ncdic·al nan would ha·c bclic·cd, rc·calcd Lis
judgncnt in a ducl, upholding thc innoccnt and striking down thc
guilty. Ihc Baron knows how nattcrs nust stand íor hin in such a
judgncnt: by his own adnission, hc is an opprcssor oí widows and
orphans, a profitccr íronrobbcry and nurdcr. iikc Lcrnann in Iush-
kin’s short story ‘‘Ihc Çuccn oí spadcs,’’ thc Baron is suddcnly ícllcd
by what can bc sccn as cithcr a supcrnatural intcr·cntion or thc burdcn
oí a guilty conscicncc. Earlicr, as hc acknowlcdgcd thc hunan suffcr-
ing his trcasurc rcprcscntcd, thc Baron inagincd thc possibility oí ‘‘a
sccond Flood’’—an act oí di·inc rctribution—in which hc would dic,
choking and gasping íor air, trappcd in his own ·ault. Kow, as hc is
truly dying, onc hcars his inability to brcathc, his scntcnccs collapsing
into gasping íragncnts:
It’s stifling! . . . stifling! . . . Vhcrc arc thc kcys:
My kcys, kcys!
Lc indccd dics trappcd in his ·ault, not physically but spiritually: in
thc last noncnt oí his liíc, whcn thc knight hc oncc was would ha·c
thought about rcpcntancc or thc statc oí his soul, all thc Baron can
think about is thc gold hc has pilcd up so dctcrnincdlyand—as is now
clcar—so íutilcly. ]ust as hc íorcsaw, all his anbition has bccn brought
to naught by thc onc powcr hc acknowlcdgcd as grcatcr than his own:
nortality.
conírontcd with such a consuningpassion as thc Baron’s, thc play’s
·oicc oí rcason, thc iukc, can do nothing but hclplcssly cxclain: ‘‘A
tcrriblc agc, tcrriblc hcarts!’’ Yct this singlc, stunncd linc carrics in
it a ncnorablc balancc. Ihc ‘‘tcrriblc agc’’ cchocs thc iukc’s carlicr
words, ‘‘In what tincs ha·c I takcn upon nysclí /Ihc ducal chain!’’
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Ihc íorcc that has dishonorcd Albcrt and dcstroycd thc Baron—thc
dcsirc íor wcalth and rcputation without a charactcr worthy oí thcn,
lcading in its logical cxtrcnc to thc dcnand íor powcr without any
noral linitations—is rccognizcd as not just an indi·idual corruption,
but a social onc. Kc·crthclcss, thc iukc docs not rcgard hunan bcings
as thc passi·c ·ictins oí socicty, hclplcss to rcsist thc constraints oí
circunstancc. Ihc Baron has thc írccdon to choosc his actions, and
hc uscs that írccdon to nakc choiccs that dcstroycd his own bcttcr
naturc—thc choiccs oí a ‘‘tcrriblc hcart.’’ Ihc csscntial powcr oí thc
‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ thc sourcc oí thcir ability to c·okc gricí as wcll as
horror, lics inprccisclythat rccognition: cachplayis thc storyoí a grcat
and giítcd figurc who could a·oid his own sclí-ruin, and who instcad
írccly chooscs it.
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Bctrayal oí a calling: Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i
·ur rio· or Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i was suggcstcd to Iushkin by a pcr-
sistcnt though uníoundcd runor that Mozart dicd as thc rcsult oí poi-
son adninistcrcd by a ri·al conposcr, Antonio salicri. In an undatcd
notc, apparcntly íron .:,:, Iushkin wrotc: ‘‘At thc prcnicrc oí Doo
Gio·aooi, whcn thc wholc thcatcr, fillcd with astoundcd nusic lo·crs,
was hushcd, intoxicatcd by Mozart’s harnonics, a whistlc [oí dcrision|
was hcard—c·cryonc turncd in indignation, and thc cclcbratcd salicri
stalkcd out oí thc hall—in a íury, consuncd by cn·y. . . . Ihc cn·icr
who could whistlc at Doo Gio·aooi could poison its crcator.’’
1
Ihis
notc suggcsts that Iushkin’s bclicí in salicri’s guilt was not so nuch
thc approach oí a historian as that oí a psychological no·clist. Yct this
point oí ·icw prcscnts its own challcngc. Fron his own position in
.,.
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thc litcrary world, Iushkin kncwall too wcll thc cn·y and hatrcd that
gcnius can arousc in a hack. But salicri was no hack, hc was onc oí
thc nost pronincnt conposcrs oí his day, a nan oí sufficicnt artistic
staturc that such librcttists as ia Iontc (Mozart’s librcttist íor both Le
oo¸¸e ái Ii¸a·o and Doo Gio·aooi ) and Bcaunarchais wcrc willing to
work with hin. Low could such a conposcr, a nan íor whon nusic
was onc oí thc nost inportant things in his liíc, bring hinsclí to nur-
dcr onc oí thc grcatcst figurcs in thc history oí Europcan nusic: Low
would hc pcrcci·c and justiíy such an action, and how would it affcct
hin: Ihcsc arc thc qucstions undcrlying Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i.
Fronthc play’s opcning, salicri appcars as anisolatcdfigurc, at odds
not only with thc con·cntional wisdonoí his world, but with thc uni-
·crsc itsclí, as hc spcaks thrcc oí thc nost cxplosi·c lincs with which
any drana has c·cr opcncd:
Ihcy say thcrc’s no justicc hcrc on carth,
But thcrc’s no justicc highcr up, cithcr. Io nc
Ihat’s as clcar and sinplc as do-rc-ni.
spokcn bya nan oí thc cightccnth ccntury, such words c·okc thc chal-
lcngc to God oí thc radical Enlightcnncnt. Lowc·cr, thcsc words arc
born, not íron thc study oí philosophy or socicty or history, but íron
thc torncnt oí a liíc di·idcd against itsclí, a liíc story hc pours out in
his nonologuc. Fronsalicri’s point oí ·icw, hc is prcscnting a nassi·c
indictncnt against Lca·cn itsclí. But íronan outsidcr’s point oí ·icw,
hc is chronicling an inncr strugglc bctwccn an artistic ·ocation and
an anbition dcstructi·c to that ·ocation. Cí thc ·ocation itsclí, salicri
allows no doubt:
I was born with a lo·c íor art,
Vhcn I was a child, whcn up on high
Ihc organ’s notcs cchocd in our old church,
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,,
I listcncd and was spcllbound—I wcpt,
swcct tcars flowcd against ny will.
Fron thosc tcars a passion íor nusic is born, a passion which, likc
a jcalous lo·c, cxcludcs c·crything clsc íron salicri’s liíc:
Early I rcíuscd all idlc anuscncnts,
Io knowanything othcr than nusic was
Latcíul to nc, stubbornly and proudly
I dcnicd all clsc and ga·c nysclí up
Io nusic alonc.
Yct, though hc spcaks oí ‘‘lo·c oí art,’’ thc tonc oí salicri’s words is
not lo·ing but dcícnsi·c, wrathíul. Cnc íccls that hc sccs hinsclí as
a sort oí loncly Cld Icstancnt prophct whosc íaithíulncss to his onc
truc God—nusic—is constantly bcing assailcd by thc idolatcrs sur-
rounding hin. Vhat tcnptation is it that hc is rcsisting so firnly: Lc
tclls us oí his trials:
Ihc first stcps wcrc hard
And thc first path was tcdious. I o·crcanc
My carly difficultics. I ga·c craít
Its placc as thc íoundation stonc oí art,
I nadc nysclí a craítsnan, ny fingcrs
Acquircd obcdicnt, cold dcxtcrity
And ny car, accuracy. I killcd sounds,
iisscctcd nusic likc a corpsc. I put harnony
Io thc tcst oí algcbra.
Bizarrc as it sccns, thc tcnptation, thc obstaclc in salicri’s way, is—
salicri. As thc inagcs oí disscction and nathcnatics rcnind us, salicri
is indccd a nan oí thc Enlightcnncnt, a nan oí rcason. crcati·ity, hc
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is con·inccd, nust ha·c rulcs, natural laws, no lcss than biology or
chcnistry. All hc has to do is to disco·cr thc laws, to undcrstand how
thcy work, and thcn hc can apply thcn, thcn hc will bc thc nusician
hc drcans oí bcing. But in conccntrating so cxclusi·cly on what is ac-
ccssiblc to rcason, on ncthod and systcn, salicri is doing ·iolcncc to
thc ·cry cnotion that first nadc hina nusician, thc irrational inpulsc
that cxprcsscd itsclí in his childhood tcars. It is this dctcrnination to
gain powcr by subjccting li·ing intuition to thc dcad hand oí an all-
cnconpassing systcn that gi·cs salicri his spiritual kinship with such
iostoc·skian hcrocs as Raskolniko· and I·an Karanazo·, a kinship
pointcd out by Rassadin.
2
And just how íar salicri is willing to go in
such subjcction hc nakcs tcrriíyingly clcar:
Cítcn, aítcr sitting silcntly in ny ccll
Iwo or thrcc days, íorgctting slccp and íood,
Aítcr thc tastc oí ccstasy and tcars oí inspiration,
I burncd ny work and watchcd coldly
As ny idca and thc sounds I had brought íorth
Blazcd up, thcn ·anishcd with a puff oí snokc.
Lcrc wc scc thc two salicris, thc child o·crconc by bcauty and
thc dctcrnincd nastcr oí thc systcn, at war with cach othcr. Kcithcr
salicri is a strangcr to sacrificc, but íor thc first onc, sacrificc is not a
conscious, painíul gritting oí tccth, but soncthing hc docs willingly,
c·cn unconsciously: hc ‘‘íorgcts’’ to cat and slccp, so caught up is hc
in his inspiration. Ihc work is so intinatcly a part oí his bcing that
hc spcaks, not ncrcly oí thc sounds hc crcatcd, but thc sounds hc
‘‘brought íorth’’—to which hc ga·c birth. Vhcthcr in thc cycs oí a
critic his work is a good onc or is flawcd, or whcthcr aítcr anothcr
twcnty ycars oí cxpcricncc and dc·clopncnt salicri hinsclí would rc-
gard it as good or flawcd, is at that noncnt irrclc·ant. Vhat is in-
portant is that salicri hinsclí rcalizcs that hc has cxprcsscd thc idca
hc lo·cs, his inspiration, as bcst hc can within thc linits oí his cxpcri-
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,¯
cncc and ability. Lc has gi·cn hinsclí conplctcly. And in rcsponsc,
how docs thc ‘‘othcr’’ salicri trcat this work: ‘‘I burncd ny work and
watchcd coldly . . .’’ Cnc would ha·c thought that ií salicri had wcpt
to hcar thc church organ, hc would ha·c wcpt tcars oí blood to scc his
work dcstroycd. Instcad hc ‘‘watchcd coldly’’—as ií it wcrc not c·cn
his. In thc ·icw oí his rclcntlcss logic, this carly work was ncrcly thc
cxpcrincnt oí a bcginncr, ‘‘not daring yct c·cn to think oí glory,’’ and
as such has no right to sur·i·c. Low its crcator happcns to íccl about
his own work is conplctcly bcsidc thc point:
. . .Vhcn thc grcat Gluck
Appcarcd and rc·calcd to us ncw nystcrics
(iccp and capti·ating nystcrics),
iidn’t I abandon c·crything I’d known bcíorc,
E·crything I’d lo·cd and bclic·cd so ícr·cntly,
And didn’t I sct out boldly aítcr hin
Vithout a nurnur, likc onc who’s lost his path
And is dircctcd to go anothcr way:
Uncxpcctcdly, thc two salicris, thc salicri oí thc artistic inpulsc
and thc salicri oí thc systcn, sccn to cntcr into an unlikcly alliancc.
It is salicri thc artist who hunbly rccognizcs Gluck as a grcatcr artist
than hinsclí, thc rc·calcr oí ‘‘dccp and capti·ating nystcrics.’’ But it is
salicri thc rationalist who scizcs on this rccognition and dcduccs íron
it that thc path to glory is sinply to íollow in Gluck’s íootstcps. Ironi-
cally, ií salicri could ha·c carricd out this plan, it would ha·c bccn a
íailurc c·cn in a purcly carccrist scnsc: why should thc public want a
copy oí Gluck, whcn it alrcady had thc original: It has bccn said that
thc rulc íor a succcssíul scqucl is that it should bc likc thc original, but
diffcrcnt. In thc sanc way, onc suspccts that thc sourcc oí salicri’s suc-
ccss is prcciscly that whilc dclibcratcly initating conposcrs grcatcr
than hinsclí, hc is still cnough oí an artist that hc unconsciously intro-
duccs sonc touch oí his own inspiration. salicri hinsclí, oí coursc,
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docs not rcalizc this. Rathcr, hc sccs c·crything that hc achic·cs as
ncrcly what hc has carncd through his work and study:
By conccntratcd, constant cffort
Finally in thc unboundcd rcaln oí art
I achic·cd a high placc. Glory
snilcd on nc, in pcoplc’s hcarts
I íound thc harnonics that I’d crcatcd.
I was happy . . .
At this stagc, as salicri points out, hc íccls no rcscntncnt toward
his norc succcssíul collcagucs. Lc sccs thcnas li·ing in thc sanc typc
oí world, opcrating undcr thc sanc sort oí rulcs, as hc docs, hc has
c·cry confidcncc that with norc cffort, norc study, grcatcr nastcry,
hc can hopc to cqual thcn. Indccd, salicri indignantly rcpudiatcs thc
·cry idca that hc could cn·y Gluck or Iiccini on thc grounds that such
cn·y would bc an insult to his own abilitics and dignity:
Ko! I nc·cr oncc íclt cn·y thcn,
Ko, nc·cr!—not c·cn whcn Iiccini
icarncd to charn thc sa·agc Iaris audicncc,
Kot c·cn whcn I hcard íor thc first tinc
Ihc opcning chords oí I¡/i¸eoia.
Vho will say that proud salicri
Vas c·cr a contcnptiblc cn·icr,
A snakc troddcn powcrlcss undcríoot,
icít halí-ali·c to bitc thc dirt and dust:
Ihc íull nagnitudc oí salicri’s anbition, and thus thc dcpth oí his hor-
ror at thc thought oí its íailurc, is rc·calcd in thc cxtraordinarily íorcc-
íulncss and dctail oí thc nctaphor hc uscs to dcpict his huniliation.
surcly it is no accidcnt that, in thc inagc oí thc scrpcnt, hc c·okcs thc
downíall oí thc grcatcst oí all anbitions—that oí iuciícr hinsclí.
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,-
But now, íor thc first tinc, salicri is íorccd into thc huniliating con-
ícssion that thcrc is sonconc hc cn·ics, sonconc who hc rcalizcs can
do what hc cannot. As hc sccs it, c·crything which hc has workcd so
hard íor, c·crything which hc should ha·c rightíully carncd, has un-
íairly bccn gi·cn to anothcr who did nothing to dcscr·c it. ]ust as thc
Baron in I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/: crics out at thc thought oí his trcasurc
bcing inhcritcd by his idlc son:
Ko, first suffcr through piling up your own wcalth,
And thcn lct’s scc ií sonc unhappy nan
Vill conc and squandcr what you got by blood . . .
so too salicri is iníuriatcd at thc thought that thc idlcr Mozart has ac-
quircd with no cffort thc trcasurc hc hinsclí nost dcsircs:
. . . But now—I say it nysclí—now
I an an cn·icr. I íccl cn·y, dccp,
Iorncnting cn·y. Ch hca·cn!
Vhcrc is rightncss, whcn thc sacrcd giít,
Innortal gcnius, concs not as rcward
For ardcnt lo·c and sclí-rcnunciation,
iabor, zcal, diligcncc, and praycrs—
But bcstows its radiant halo on a nadnan
Vho idly strolls through liíc: Ch, Mozart, Mozart!
And it is just at this noncnt, as salicri conícsscs his own bafflcd,
íurious, inpotcnt huniliation, that hc hcars a íaniliar ·oicc: ‘‘Aha! You
saw nc! And I wantcd/Io gi·c you a surprisc anuscncnt.’’ Mozart,
hcaring his nanc spokcn, has conplctcly nisundcrstood salicri’s no-
ti·c. Lc bclic·cs that salicri sccs hin, is addrcssing hin in grcct-
ing, whcrcas cxactly thc rc·crsc is thc casc: salicri would nc·cr ha·c
said such words as hc had just spokcn ií hc kncw that his ri·al wcrc
thcrc. Cnc can inaginc salicri turning with a start and blurting out:
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‘‘You’rc hcrc!—Vhcn’d you gct hcrc:’’ Lc could not bc lcss intcrcstcd
in Mozart’s ‘‘surprisc’’ or c·cn his prcscncc, cxccpt to try to find thc
answcr to a qucstion hc docs not darc put dircctly: how nuch oí that
huniliating conícssion did you o·crhcar:
such ·crbal cross-purposcs, such a íailurc on thc part oí cach nan
to grasp or corrcctly prcdict thc rcsponsc oí thc othcr, charactcrizcs
thc intcrchangcs oí Mozart and salicri throughout thc sccnc. Mozart’s
‘‘surprisc’’—thc pcríornancc oí thc blind fiddlcr—arouscs in salicri,
not thc laughtcr Mozart cxpcctcd, but indignation. Mozart’s own pcr-
íornancc, coning on thc hccls oí what salicri rcgards as his display oí
·ulgarity, thcn astounds—and appalls—salicri:
You wcrc coning to nc with that
And you could stop off at a ta·crn
And listcn to a blind fiddlcr!—My God!
And thc ccstatic praiscs oí Mozart with which salicri íollows this cx-
clanation arc clcarly not what Mozart hinsclí cxpcctcd, as shown by
thc awkwardncss oí his rcply: ‘‘Bah! rcally: wcll, naybc . . .’’ It is as
ií thc two ncn arc spcaking not to but past cach othcr, cngagcd in a
dialoguc oí thc dcaí.
Ihrough thcsc constant íailurcs to find a connon languagc, thc
crucial diffcrcnccs in thc two ncn’s undcrstanding oí art arc rc·calcd.
salicri’s rcsponsc to thc unintcndcd parody rcsulting íron thc blind
fiddlcr’s incpt pcríornancc is not sinply an cxprcssion oí dislikc íor
cntcrtainncnt gcarcd to thc low tastc oí thc crowd. Ihc rcal sourcc oí
salicri’s angcr, as will bcconc clcar in his sccond nonologuc, is that hc
sccs art nuch as thc Baron sccs his gold—as a trcasurc to bc guardcd,
kcpt íron dcsccration by irrc·crcnt or prodigal hands, whcthcr thc
thrcat to it is as tri·ial as thc onc poscd by a poor blind fiddlcr, or as
grcat as thc onc that, in salicri’s opinion, Mozart hinsclí rcprcscnts.
For Mozart, by contrast, art can bc írccly ‘‘spcnt’’, thcrc is no dangcr
that it will bc uscd up, or that thc ·aluc it contains will bc lost or dc-
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,,
bascd. Lc is not thc guardian oí art, bccausc hc knows that art nccds
no guardian: that aítcr thc incpt, thc ·ulgar, and thc ncrccnary ha·c
donc thcir worst, art will still rcnain. And with this consciousncss, hc
can afford to laugh at an unintcndcd parody.
But Mozart’s laughtcr gocs dccpcr than this, as shown by his dc-
scription oí thc piccc hc plays íor salicri:
Inaginc sonconc—who:
Vcll, say nysclí—only a littlc youngcr—
In lo·c—not all that dccply, but a littlc—
I’n with a prctty girl, or with a íricnd—say you,
I’n in good spirits—]ust thcn a ghostly ·ision,
A suddcn gloon, or soncthing oí that sort . . .
In light oí thc sccond sccnc oí thc play, wc rcalizc that thcsc words
oí Mozart’s dcscribc prcciscly thc position hc hinsclí is in at thc no-
ncnt hc spcaks thcn. Ihc gaicty oí his past—thc tinc whcn hc was
‘‘a littlc youngcr’’—alrcady draws to its cnd, his path has bccn crosscd
by a dark shadow, ‘‘a ghostly ·ision.’’ Ihc black nan has alrcady conc
to his housc, thc Re¸aieo has alrcady bccn connissioncd. And so,
as Mozart passcs thc ta·crn, as hc hcars thc nusic hc crcatcd in his
carlicr days oí joy, as hc is grcctcd by thc noisc and thc laughtcr oí
thc crowd, hc íccls thc irrcsistiblc urgc to participatc in that gaicty onc
last tinc: ‘‘Ihis thou pcrcci·’st which nakcs thy lo·c norc strong, /
Io lo·c that wcll which thou nust lca·c crc long.’’ Mozart’s laughtcr at
that noncnt is a laughtcr oí íarcwcll. Vhat thc blind fiddlcr’s playing
ncans to Mozart at that noncnt cannot bc con·cycd to salicri, not
only bccausc oí salicri’s own linitations, but bccausc a ncrc rcpro-
duction oí that playing would not con·cy to anyonc thc significancc it
assuncs íor Mozart. Ihat significancc concs through only in Mozart’s
own work. And salicri thc artist, to his crcdit, rccognizcs that hc has
hcard soncthing cxtraordinary:
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Vhat dcpth!
Vhat boldncss and what just proportion!
You, Mozart, arc a god, and you yoursclí don’t know it . . .
‘‘You arc a god’’: thcsc words again undcrscorc thc gulí bctwccn
Mozart and salicri. Ihc inagc oí thc artist as inspircd by a god, or as
thc scr·ant oí a god, is onc oí thc oldcst idcas in Vcstcrn art. Iush-
kin paid his own tributc to it in sc·cral works, notably thc pocn ‘‘Ihc
Ioct’’ (‘‘Пока не требует поэта . . .’’). But íor Iushkin, thc glory bc-
longs to thc god and not to thc scr·ant. Indccd, whcn thc scr·ant is not
bcing guidcd by thc god, hc nay bc not ncrcly no grcatcr than othcrs,
but c·cn inícrior to thcn (‘‘И меж детей ничтожных мира, /Быть
может, всех ничтожней он’’). For salicri, thc artist is hinsclí a god
rathcr than a nan, lct alonc an unworthy nan (ничтожный). In placc
oí Lca·cn (which has pro·cn to bc ‘‘unjust’’ and is thus discrcditcd),
salicri, thc nan oí thc Enlightcnncnt, puts nan’s own will, dcpcn-
dcnt on no outsidc inspiration, rclying on its own rcsourccs to scalc thc
hcights. so ·ast a clain disconccrts Mozart, who pronptly disowns it
by pointing to his own all-too-hunan linitations: ‘‘ny di·incncss is
hungry.’’
Cnc can only inaginc what huniliation ‘‘proud salicri’’ nust suffcr
at that noncnt: it is painíul cnough that, carricd away íor an instant
by his own rapturc, hc has in·oluntarily gi·cn his ri·al such an acco-
ladc as hc has drcancd oí all his adult liíc, and drcancd oí in ·ain, but
how nuch norc painíul it nust bc that that ri·al, in rcturn, brushcs
thc prizc asidc as ií it wcrc nothing. In that instant, thc plot íorns in
salicri’s nind: ‘‘iistcn, lct’s ha·c dinncr togcthcr . . .’’ And as soon as
Mozart is out oí carshot, salicri inncdiatcly trics to o·crconc his hu-
niliation by an inpassioncd asscrtion that hc, too, posscsscs a rolc oí
cnornous significancc, indccd, that hc is thc choscn onc oí history:
Ko! I cannot sct nysclí against
My dcstiny—I an thc onc who’s choscn
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,.
Io stop hin—or clsc wc all will pcrish,
All oí us, pricsts and scr·itors oí nusic,
Kot only nysclí with ny cnpty glory . . .
Ihis outburst narks a íatal shiít in salicri’s hostility toward Mozart.
Bcíorc, salicri only conplaincd oí thc ‘‘uníairncss’’ oí Mozart’s gct-
ting íor írcc what hc, salicri, had to put in ycars oí labor to achic·c.
Kow salicri íully rcalizcs that thcrc is no way that hc can c·cr cqual
Mozart’s achic·cncnts. Mozart is sinply too grcat a phcnoncnon to
bc caught within thc ncshcs oí salicri’s systcn: what Mozart docs, no
nattcr hownuch onc analyzcs it, still has a nystcry at thc corc, it will
nc·cr bc íully graspablc and rcproduciblc. It cannot bc harncsscd and
put to usc by othcr nusicians—and what is not uscíul, íor salicri’s En-
lightcnncnt ncntality, has no right to cxist. Furthcr, sincc salicri has
conc to idcntiíy his systcn with art itsclí, that ncans that Mozart is
not an artist, but rathcr a íorcc outsidc oí art, c·cn hostilc to art:
Vhat is thc usc ií Mozart li·cs
And c·cn achic·cs still grcatcr hcights:
Vhat hc docs—will hc clc·atc Art: Ko,
It will íall again whcn hc has ·anishcd,
Ko hcir oí his will rcnain anong us.
Vhat usc is hc: Appcaring likc an angcl,
Lc brings us a ícwoí Lca·cn’s songs,
And thcn, oncc hc’s rouscd a winglcss dcsirc
In us, childrcn oí dust, hc flics away!
Fly away thcn! And thc sooncr, thc bcttcr!
E·cn now, as salicri contcnplatcs Mozart’s dcath, salicri’s own ar-
tistic naturc, his irrcsistiblc lo·c íor Mozart, still concs through: hc
sccs Mozart as nolcss thananangcl, bringingthc nusic oí Lca·cnitsclí
to ncrc nortals. such words gi·c onc a glinpsc oí what thc rclation-
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ship bctwccn Mozart and salicri could ha·c bccn. Iushkin’s Mozart,
aítcr all, is ncithcr an angcl nor a saint oí thc wildcrncss: hc is a nan
·cry nuch cngagcd in thc li·cs oí thosc around hin, a nan who stops
in at ta·crns, who tclls his wiíc not to cxpcct hiníor suppcr, who plays
on thc floor with his littlc boy. so nuch has bccn said about thc dangcrs
oí salicri’s asccticisn, its risk oí losing touch with hunan rcality, that
it takcs an cffort to rcalizc that Mozart’s sociability also has a potcntial
·ulncrability: with so nuch oí his liíc connittcd to pcoplc who likc or
c·cn lo·c hin, but who as nonnusicians arc incapablc oí apprcciating
thc inportancc oí his art, hc hinsclí is in dangcr oí ha·ing his ·icws
colorcd by thcirs, oí tri·ializing his work, oí trcating it as ncrcly a
plcasant di·crsion or a way to nakc noncy. Ihis is onc tcnptation to
which salicri is innunc: with his inpassioncd, c·cn ·iolcnt rcsponsc
to nusic, hc cannot acccpt an art oí anything lcss than naxinal cx-
prcssi·cncss. Lis grcatcst tcrn oí praisc is ‘‘dcpth’’: hc adnircs Gluck
íor rc·caling ‘‘dccp and capti·ating nystcrics’’, thc first ccstatic words
hc uttcrs about Mozart’s work arc, ‘‘Vhat dcpth! Vhat boldncss!’’ and
only aítcr that, as a sccondary ncrit, docs hc notc thc work’s clas-
sicisn—‘‘what just proportion!’’ Mozart rccognizcs salicri’s uncon-
pronising, naxinalist approach to art: that is why hc trusts salicri’s
artistic judgncnt norc than his own, why aítcr skctching out his idcas
hc concs to salicri to ask ií thcyarc good. salicri’s artistic naturc nccds
Mozart, but Mozart also nccds salicri—not as a conposcr, but as a
listcncr. Ihc tragcdy is that to salicri in his pridc thc rolc oí listcncr ap-
pcars a contcnptibly sccondary onc: thc angclic nusic arouscs in hin
not sinply joyand gratitudc but ‘‘winglcss dcsirc’’—thc dcsirc hinsclí
to asccnd Lca·cn, a dcsirc which hc knows cannot bc gratificd. And
ií it cannot, thcn lct c·cn thc joy oí thc nusic bc gonc, so long as thc
torncnt oí uníulfillablc anbition is rclic·cd:
Fly away thcn! And thc sooncr thc bcttcr!
Lcrc is thc poison, ny Izora’s final giít . . .
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,,
Vhat a proíoundly disturbing inagc: this nc·cr-cxplaincd Izora,
sccningly thc only hunan bcing whon thc isolatcd salicri lo·cd not
íor art’s sakc but sinply íor hcrsclí, and thc last giít shc ga·c hin
was—poison. Vhoc·cr shc was, howc·cr thcy partcd, shc sccns to
ha·c undcrstood hinall toowcll. For salicri’s consuning anbition has
itsclí pro·cd to bc a poison, onc which has dcstroycd both his own
inncr pcacc and his rclations with othcrs, so that it sccns to hinthat it
would bc a snall stcp to conplctc physically thc ruin that has alrcady
occurrcd spiritually. But just as in his first nonologuc salicri boasts oí
thc sclí-nastcry hc showcd in his study oí nusic, so again hc takcs
pridc in thc sclí-nastcry that stoppcd hin íron using thc poison:
For cightccn ycars I’·c carricd it with nc—
And oítcn in that tinc I ha·c íound liíc
An unbcarablc wound, and oítcn I ha·c sat
At tablc with a hccdlcss cncny.
And, ycs, I hcard thc whispcr oí tcnptation
But I didn’t yicld, although I an no coward,
Although I íccl an injury dccply,
Although I lo·c liíc littlc. still I waitcd.
And thcn, uttcrly uncxpcctcdly, likc I·an Karanazo·, ícrocious, cn-
bittcrcd, bclic·ing in nothing and yct still passionatcly lo·ing thc
‘‘thc sticky littlc grccn lca·cs,’’ salicri suddcnly rcncnbcrs his lo·c
oí nusic:
Vhcn thc thirst íor dcath torncntcd nc,
Vhy dic:—I thought: it nay bc, liíc
Vill bring nc uncxpcctcd giíts,
Rapturc, it nay bc, will conc to nc
In a crcati·c night oí inspiration,
It nay bc sonc ncw Laydn will bring íorth
Grcatncss—and I will rcjoicc in it . . .
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But just as suddcnly as thc radiancc appcars, it disappcars, darkcncd
by salicri’s dcstructi·c pridc. Ihc sanc rcpcatcd ‘‘it nay bc’’ that had
bccn a phrasc oí hopc and inspiration now bcconcs only a thrcat oí
yct grcatcr huniliation, and thus grcatcr agony. And ií salicri is not to
bc thc powcrlcss scrpcnt oí his first nonologuc, hclplcssly troddcn in
thc dust, hc nust at lcast rctain thc ability to rc·cngc hinsclí on his
torncntor:
Vhcn I ícastcd with a hatcd gucst,
It nay bc—I thought—a still worsc íoc
Awaits nc, an injury still worsc, it nay bc,
Vill strikc nc down íron sonc proud hcight—
Ihcn you won’t bc in ·ain, Izora’s giít.
But íron salicri’s point oí ·icw, thcrc could bc no injury worsc than
to thrcatcn to o·crthrow his systcn, on which hc rcsts his hopcs oí
bcconing a grcat nusician. Ihc onc tinc whcn cithcr his pridc nust
bc dcstroycd, or hc nust usc his long-hoardcd wcapon, is at hand:
And I was right! At last I’·c íound
My cncny, and at last a ncw Laydn
Vondrously has cnrapturcd nc!
Kow it’s tinc! chcrishcd giít oí lo·c,
For you to go today into íricndship’s cup.
Ihroughout thc nonologuc salicri’s dctcrnination to kill Mozart
has bccn clcar, but thcsc lincs introducc an additional possibility: a
nurdcr-suicidc. Ihc hopc oí finding a ncw Laydn, aítcr all, is what
has prc·cntcd salicri íron killing hinsclí. Kow that that hopc has
bccn íulfillcd—only to bc lost soon, oncc and íor all, by Mozart’s
dcath—salicri’s own noti·c íor continuing to li·c collapscs. And, as
V. Vatsuro points out, in Iushkin’s lyric pocns, thc tcrns ‘‘thc íricndly
cup’’ (чаша дружеская) and ‘‘thc round-robin cup’’ (чаша круговая)
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,¯
arc uscd intcrchangcably to rcícr to a custonby which, as a gcsturc oí
íricndship, a singlc cup would bc passcd around thc tablc íor c·cryonc
to drink íronin turn, and whilc thc norc natural placc íor this custon
would bc at a íull-scalc banquct, it could also bc obscr·cd by only two
pcoplc.
4
Ihis possibility oí suicidc is so obliqucly statcd, in contrast
to thc brutal dircctncss oí thc plot against Mozart, that salicri night
not consciously bc awarc oí it. Kc·crthclcss, salicri’s languagc clcarly
rcflccts his rcalization, ií only subconscious, that Mozart’s liíc and his
own cxistcncc as an artist arc intcrrclatcd, that to dcstroy onc in thc
nanc oí his systcn is also to dcstroy thc othcr.
Ihc sccond sccnc, in thc ta·crn, opcns with what appcars to bc a
rc·crsal oí thc rolcs oí Mozart and salicri: it is salicri thc ascctic who
praiscs thc íood and particularly thc winc, it is Mozart who disrcgards
thcn. Instcad, Mozart is prcoccupicd—not prinarily with his own in-
pcnding dcath, although hc is acutcly awarc oí that, but with his last
crcati·c cffort, his final and grcatcst artistic asccnt. Fronthc ·cry no-
ncnt whcn hc hcars that an unknown nan has conc to his housc and
askcd íor hin, Mozart scnscs that this is a turning point in his íatc,
and lics awakc anxiously wondcring what it ncans: ‘‘But all night I
thought: who could it bc:/And what was I to hin:’’ And yct whcn
Mozart actually nccts this oninous figurc, and is told that thcrc is still
an artistic task íor hin to pcríorn, Mozart docs not allow hinsclí any
íurthcr anxicty, but inncdiatcly gi·cs hinsclí up to his work:
I wcnt out. A nan drcsscd all in black
Grcctcd nc rcspcctíully, ordcrcd íron nc
A rcquicn, and ·anishcd. I sat down
And bcgan to writc at oncc . . .
All oí this happcncd ‘‘thrcc wccks ago’’—bcíorc salicri had íorncd
his nurdcrous intcnt. And suddcnly wc rcalizc that salicri, who is so
confidcnt that it is his dccision, his will, that controls thc coursc oí
c·cnts, is in íact ncrcly an agcnt. Bchind hin, allowing hin to act,
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stands Fatc.Ihc sanc Lighcr Vill that incxplicably grantcd Mozart his
suprcnc artistry (unjustly, salicri would say) is nowjust as incxplicably
sctting a tcrn to his liíc. And Mozart rccognizcs it:
. . . sincc thcn
My black nan’s nc·cr conc back to ny housc,
And I’n glad, I’d hatc to ha·c to part
Vith ny work, although thc Re¸aieo
Alrcady is conplctc . . .
Vhydocs Mozart spcak oí parting with his work: Aítcr all, hc is not
in thc position oí a paintcr or sculptor, who nust physically part with
thcir own crcations. Vhat a conposcr or a writcr produccs is an idca,
which hc docs not losc sinply bccausc it is thcn writtcn down, as thc
bookscllcr in Iushkin’s ‘‘ABookscllcr Ialking with a Ioct’’ (‘‘Разговор
книгопродавца с поэтом’’) points out, sclling your nanuscript
docsn’t ncan sclling your inspiration. Mozart is parting with his work
bccausc thc Re¸aieo was his last work not just chronologically, but
tclcologically: all that hcwas callcdupontodoinhis liíctinc is nowfin-
ishcd, and hc knows it. Lcncc thc apparcnt inconsistcncy oí Mozart’s
rcícrring to thc Re¸aieo as ‘‘conplctc,’’ whcrcas in íact thc Re¸aieo is
not conplctc, and was finishcd by Mozart’s pupil sussnayr. In Iush-
kin’s nythological rathcr thanhistorical approach, thc Re¸aieois con-
plctc bccausc it ought to bc conplctc, thc íact is adjustcd to fit what
íor Iushkin is thc grcatcr truth—that thc artist dics not at a randon
noncnt, not bccausc oí thc spitc oí lcsscr ncn or bccausc oí casual
c·cnts whichcouldcquallywcll ha·c happcncddiffcrcntly, but bccausc
thc noncnt oí Fatc arri·cs: his work is donc, his tinc has conc. And
Mozart acccpts this with thc sanc hunility with which hc acccptcd his
giít itsclí: although hc spcaks oí bcing continuously íollowcd by thc
black nan, hc nc·cr cxprcsscs ícar oí this nan. such a íccling is ncrcly
ascribcd to hin by salicri, in a typical nisundcrstanding:
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,-
. . . Vhat childish ícar is this:
irop this usclcss brooding. Bcaunarchais
Uscd to tcll nc, ‘‘Brothcr salicri, listcn,
Vhcn black thoughts conc to troublc you,
Iop thc cork on a bottlc oí chanpagnc,
Cr rcrcad I/e Ma··ia¸e of Ii¸a·o.’’
Aítcr thc sinplicity and truthíulncss oí Mozart’s words, this spccch
has so íalsc a ring as to bc grating: can onc rcally inaginc salicri pop-
ping thc cork on a bottlc oí chanpagnc: salicri’s noti·c is all too
clcar: incapablc oí undcrstanding thc spiritual proccss going on within
Mozart, but awarc that Mozart is conscious that dcath is ncar, salicri
can only assunc that his intcndcd ·ictin has sonchow bcconc suspi-
cious. so salicri trics to distract thosc suspicions, to say soncthing hc
thinks will appcal to thc nan whon hc has dcscribcd as ‘‘idly strolling
through liíc.’’ And íor a noncnt, salicri’s words do indccd call back
Mozart’s ncnory oí his past liíc. But that ncnory is alnost innc-
datcly o·crwhclncd by his acutc consciousncss oí thc prcscnt íatcíul
noncnt, so that his thoughts abruptly shiít íronncrrincnt to an ago-
nizcd qucstion:
Good! Bcaunarchais was aítcr all your íricnd,
You wrotc thc nusic íor his Ia·a·a,
A splcndid thing. Ihcrc’s a notií in it . . .
I always think oí it whcn I an happy . . .
ia la la la. . . . Ah, is it truc, salicri,
Ihat Bcaunarchais poisoncd sonconc:
salicri’s answcr, ‘‘I don’t think so, hc was too nuch a buffoon/For
such a craít,’’ suggcsts that hc, likc Raskolniko·, is suddcnly o·crconc
by thc tcnptation to say soncthing pointing to his own guilt at thc
·cry noncnt whcn his conscious plan was to try to look innoccnt. For
ií a good scnsc oí hunor nakcs onc unqualificd to bc a poisoncr, thcn
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salicri con·crscly would ccrtainly sccnto bc wcll qualificd íor thc job,
and salicri’s dcscription oí poisoning as a ‘‘craít’’ (ремесло) suggcsts
his carlicr dcscription oí hinsclí as a ‘‘craítsnan’’ (ремесленник). Yct
Mozart ignorcs thcsc warning signs—not sinply bccausc oí his nai·c
trustíulncss, as sonc critics ha·c asscrtcd, but bccausc hc is prcoccu-
picdwitha nuchlargcr qucstion, onc that salicri has not addrcsscd. Lc
is not ncrclyasking whcthcr a spccific indi·idual, Bcaunarchais, con-
nittcd a grcat crinc, but whcthcr it is possiblc íor a gcnuincly inspircd
figurc—whcthcr Bcaunarchais, or salicri, or hinsclí—to connit a
grcat crinc. And hc concs to thc conclusion that it is not:
Lc’s a gcnius,
iikc you and nc. And gcnius and crinc
Arc two things that don’t conbinc. Isn’t that truc:
Vith thcsc words, Mozart is ablc to íacc dcath with cquaninity: his
liíc has bccn wcll spcnt. Iushkin, looking back on his own liíc in ‘‘My
Cwn Monuncnt I’·c Built, Kot Madc by Any Land’’ (‘‘Я памятник
себе воздвиг нерукотворный’’), would onc day sun up his artistic
achic·cncnt in noral tcrns:
И долго буду тем любезен я народу,
Что чувства добрые я лирой пробуждал,
Что в мой жестокий век восславил я Свободу
И милость к падшим призывал.
[My ncnory will bc lo·cd anong thc pcoplc long,
Bccausc kind ícclings wcrc by ny lyrc awakcncd,
Bccausc in ny crucl agc, I praiscd Frccdon in ny song
And ncrcy to thosc íorsakcn.|
sinilarly, Mozart, approaching dcath and looking back on his liíc, is
ablc to say that hc has bccn a truc artist, and thus on thc sidc oí right.
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .,,
For whatc·cr thc indi·idual íaults oí an artist nay ha·c bccn, art itsclí
has always sought harnony and ncaning c·cn in liíc’s tcrrors and
crucltics, has always pointcd to soncthing crucial to hunan liíc that
is abo·c ncrc grccd and sclfishncss.
such an opposition bctwccn art and sclí-aggrandizcncnt is a clcar
ií unintcndcd challcngc to salicri, íor whon art has bcconc prcciscly
his íorn oí asscrting suprcnacy. And hc takcs up thc challcngc:
You think so:
(Ioa·s :/e ¡oisoo io:o Mo¸a·:’s ¸lass.)
Vcll thcn, drink.
salicri is in·iting Mozart to stakc his liíc on his bclicís: íor ií (as Mozart
has said) salicri is a gcnius, and ií ‘‘gcnius and crinc/Arc two things
that don’t conbinc,’’ thcn Mozart would bc ablc to drink in conplctc
saícty. Ihc aggrcssi·cncss oí salicri’s rcsponsc is cnphasizcd by Iush-
kin’s stagc dircction, ‘‘Бросает яд’’—‘‘throws thc poison’’ or ‘‘flings
thc poison’’—soncthing that is difficult to cn·ision bcing pcríorncd
litcrally, but that at lcast cnphasizcs that salicri’s gcsturc has nonc oí
thc íurti·cncss that onc night cxpcct oí a poisoncr, but is pcríorncd
boldly, in a barcly conccalcd nanncr. And Mozart takcs up thc in·ita-
tion unhcsitatingly: hc liíts thc glass and pronounccs a toast:
Io your
Lcalth, ny íricnd, and to thc íaithíul union
Ihat binds togcthcr Mozart and salicri,
Iwo sons oí harnony.
Ihc irony oí thc ·ictin cxtolling his íricndship with his nurdcrcr,
thc contrast bctwccn thc gcncrosity oí thc onc and thc nalignancc
oí thc othcr, is alrcady so grcat as to bc alnost unbcarablc. Yct what
íollows it is íar norc wrcnching: Mozart gi·cs onc oí thc nost cxtraor-
dinary pri·ilcgcs in thc history oí nusic—thc honor oí bcing an audi-
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cncc oí onc at his last pcríornancc, which is also thc only pcríornancc
hc will c·cr gi·c oí his Re¸aieo—to thc ·cry nan who has ·owcd to
stop hin íron crcating any norc nusic. Again, it nust bc rcpcatcd
that this intcnscly tragic situation is not ncrcly thc rcsult oí nai·ctc
on Mozart’s part. Ihc salicri to whon hc is spcaking and íor whon
hc is playing, thc salicri whon hc ranks with Bcaunarchais and hin-
sclí as a gcnius, c·cn (who would ha·c thought it:) thc salicri whosc
tunc Mozart rcgularly thinks oí «/eo /e is /a¡¡y—this salicri, salicri
thc artist, has as rcal an cxistcncc as salicri thc brooding, anbitious
rationalist-nurdcrcr. Indccd, thc strugglc bctwccnthc twosalicris is at
that noncnt so c·cnly natchcd that at thc crucial noncnt, as Mozart
liíts thc cup to drink, salicri alnost aborts thc ·cry crinc hc has so
carcíully planncd, crying out, ‘‘stop, stop, stop!’’ In so tcrsc a play,
such a thrccíold rcpctition undcrscorcs its significancc. Ihcrc is only
onc way that linc could bc dcli·crcd: in an outburst oí uncontrollablc
agony. But thc dccd is donc, salicri sccs that his outcry has affcctcd
nothing, and hc gi·cs a tcrriblc sigh oí nixcd horror and rclicí: ‘‘You
drank it.’’ And thcn hc rcncnbcrs his carlicr plan to cscapc his own
horror at his dccd, by using ‘‘íricndship’s cup’’ íor not ncrcly a nurdcr
but a nurdcr-suicidc, and rcalizcs that c·cn that cscapc íron his own
inncr striíc is no longcr opcn to hin. Mozart has dcficd his cxpcctations
and thwartcd hin onc last tinc, and hc can only add rcproachíully:
‘‘. . . without nc:’’
But thcrc arc a ícw noncnts lcít bcíorc hc will truly bc ‘‘without’’
Mozart, íor thcrc is still thc pcríornancc oí thc Re¸aieo. Anid thc tcr-
riblc disharnony oí his own soul, salicri still trics to cling to this last
onc oí ‘‘Lca·cn’s songs,’’ this last ·ision oí harnony:
Ihcsc tcars
Arc thc first I’·c shcd—íron pain and plcasurc,
As ií I had íulfillcd a burdcning duty,
As ií thc surgcon’s kniíc had cut íron nc
Ihc part that suffcrcd! Fricnd Mozart, thcsc tcars . . .
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .¯.
ion’t noticc thcn. continuc, still nakc hastc
Io fill ny soul with sounds . . .
salicri’s agony and rclicí spring íron thc sanc causc: that thc ratio-
nalist, thc nastcr oí thc systcn, thc nurdcrcr, within hin has finally
gaincd a dccisi·c ·ictory o·cr thc artist within—a rclicí bccausc it
finally cnds his inncr striíc, but an agony bccausc part oí hinsclí has
bccn dcstroycd. Ihus hc spcaks oí his tcars at that noncnt as his first:
his carlicr tcars as a child, at thc noncnt oí disco·cring his artistic
·ocation, ha·c bccn oblitcratcd íron his ncnory, just as that ·oca-
tion itsclí has bccn crushcd in his soul. Fron salicri’s carly dcstruc-
tion oí his bclo·cd first works, to his abandonncnt oí ‘‘c·crything I’d
known bcíorc, /E·crything I’d lo·cd and bclic·cd so ícr·cntly’’ whcn
hc bccanc a disciplc oí Gluck, to his poisoning thc ·cry conposcr
whon hc lo·cs abo·c all othcrs and hails as thc ‘‘ncw Laydn’’—it all
íorns a singlc trajcctory, which finally rcachcs its logical cnd: spiritual
sclí-dcstruction. salicri nay plcad íor thc nusic to go on, but Mozart
answcrs his plca with words, not with continucd playing. Music as a
sourcc oí ncaning, oí spiritual liíc, íor salicri has conc to an cnd.
struck by salicri’s cnotion, Mozart rcplics:
Ií only c·cryonc could íccl thc powcr
Cí harnony likc you! but no, íor thcn
Ihc world could not cxist, no onc would want
Io spcnd tinc taking carc oí liíc’s low nccds,
All would bc gi·cn o·cr to írcc art.
Vc arc but ícw, wc choscn, happy idlcrs
Vho look disdainíully at pctty uscíulncss
And íorn a pricsthood scr·ing only bcauty.
Isn’t that so:
Ihis spccch has bccn disdaincd by critics as con·cntional and unin-
spircd. It is truc that ií it wcrc a írccstanding lyric rathcr than part
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oí a drana, it would bc closc to thc gratingly supcrior tonc that nars
such Iushkinian lyrics as ‘‘Io thc Ioct’’ (‘‘Поет! не дорожи любовию
народой . . .’’) or ‘‘Ihc Ioct and thc crowd’’ (‘‘Поет и толпа’’). Ihc
íorcc oí this spccch concs íron its contcxt, as a rcsponsc to salicri’s
passionatc outcry, and as an outcry itsclí, though lcss passionatc than
wistíul: ‘‘Ií only c·cryonc could íccl thc powcr . . .’’ Ihcsc arc unnis-
takably thcwords oí a nan who knows what it is to suffcr cstrangcncnt
íron othcrs. Vc arc accustoncd to thinking oí Mozart as an casily ac-
ccssiblc conposcr, and indccd thcrc arc arias oí his which could bc
(and probably ha·c bccn) playcd by a fiddlcr in a ta·crn. But wc íorgct
that a nunbcr oí his conpositions sinplyo·crwhclncd his contcnpo-
rarics, and wcrc adnircd byonly thc cognosccnti. Iushkin’s Mozart—
likc Iushkin hinsclí—kncw what it was to put his hcart into a work
and to find no synpathctic audicncc. Mozart can tcll hinsclí that nost
pcoplc spcnd nost oí thcir tinc on thc busincss oí naking a li·ing
and thus cannot bc cxpcctcd to apprcciatc nusic as an artist docs, or
that his isolation is a íorn oí honor, narking hin as onc oí thc choscn
ícw. But thcsc words íail to ha·c powcr prcciscly bccausc thcy arc at-
tcnpts to dcal rationally, logically, with a spontancously arising nccd
íor spiritual kinship, a nccdsostrongthat aítcr dcli·cringthcsc proudly
indcpcndcnt and c·cn dognatic scntcnccs, Mozart inncdiatcly sccks
his intcrlocutor’s agrccncnt, adding, ‘‘Isn’t that so:’’
Mozart’s willingncss to appcal to salicri as an cqual, as a nan who
can undcrstand hin, nakcs onc rcalizc not ncrcly howtcrriblc salicri’s
crinc is, but, íronMozart’s point oí ·icw, howincxplicablc, howtragi-
cally unncccssary. ‘‘Ií only c·cryonc could íccl thc powcr . . .’’ For
Mozart, artistryor nonartistry rcduccs itsclí to a singlc issuc: thc dcpth
andconnitncnt oí onc’s rcsponsc tobcauty.Ihcwholc qucstionoí ar-
tistic ranking, oí supcriorityand inícriority, that obscsscs salicri ncans
nothing to Mozart. Ií onc could inaginc Mozart and salicri with thc
sanc pcrsonalitics, but with thcir dcgrccs oí nusical ability rc·crscd,
not only would a nusically inícrior Mozart not nurdcr a nusically su-
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Be:·ayal of a Callio¸ .¯,
pcrior salicri, but thc ·cry idca that such a supcriority was a painíul
huniliation to othcrs would not cross thc lcsscr nusician’s nind. Io
‘‘íccl thc powcr oí harnony’’ strongly cnough, to rcspond to and crc-
atc as nuch bcauty as onc can, with as nuch skill and lo·c as onc can
bring to thc work—it is that, not onc’s spccific lc·cl oí achic·cncnts,
which in Mozart’s ·icw nakcs onc an artist.
For Mozart, as íor salicri, to bc an artist is to bc part oí a pricst-
hood. But onc cntcrs this pricsthood not, as salicri inagincs, through
thc ncrit oí onc’s own hard work (indccd, thc rcal hard work is donc by
thosc ‘‘taking carc oí liíc’s low nccds,’’ in whosc cycs artists arc pri·i-
lcgcd ‘‘idlcrs’’). Rathcr, this ‘‘pricstly’’ status concs íron thc choicc
onc nakcs: to lo·c bcauty norc or to lo·c soncthing clsc norc, sonc-
thing clsc that íalls undcr thc gcncral hcading ‘‘uscíulncss’’ (польза).
For thc crowd in ‘‘Ihc Ioct and thc crowd,’’ thc ‘‘uscíulncss’’ (польза)
thcy dcnand is noral instruction. In anothcr contcxt, onc could casily
inaginc an ccononic bcncfit as bcing thc critcrion oí ‘‘uscíulncss’’ that
is to bc prcícrrcd to bcauty. For salicri, ‘‘uscíulncss’’ inplics suitability
íor incorporation into a nusical tradition that can bc studicd and cnu-
latcd, and thc rccognition that Mozart’s nusic is ininitablc lcads hin
to ask, ‘‘Vhat is thc usc (пользы) ií Mozart li·cs. . . . Vhat usc is
hc:’’ Ihc inportant point is not what spccific goal is undcrstood as
‘‘uscíul,’’ but rathcr what choicc will bc nadc whcn this goal concs
into conflict with thc dcsirc íor bcauty, íor no onc can scr·c two nas-
tcrs. Cnly thosc who arc willing stcadíastly to rcjcct othcr goals and
scr·c bcauty first arc truc ncnbcrs oí thc ‘‘pricsthood’’—a dcnand
stcrn cnough, Mozart rcalizcs, that ícw will bc ablc to achic·c it. Cnc
night ha·c thought that ií anyonc could achic·c it, it would bc thc as-
cctic, singlc-nindcd salicri. But onc who íccls littlc attraction to thc
pctty sins oí thc flcsh nay bc all thc norc ·ulncrablc to thc sins oí thc
nind and spirit, to anbition and cn·y. Io thcsc grcat sins has salicri
íallcn prcy, whilc Mozart, dcspitc his willingncss to triflc with distrac-
tions that salicri would nc·cr ha·c noticcd, nc·crthclcss could say that
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hc had nc·cr scriously allowcd thcn to intcrícrc with his art—a íact
which c·cn salicri would adnit. Mozart has bccn íaithíul litcrally unto
dcath, and now, ha·ing conplctcd and pcríorncd what hc knows is
his final work, at last hc is o·crconc by thc cxhaustion oí his last cffort
and thc c·cr-incrcasing ncarncss oí dcath:
But now I íccl unwcll,
soncthing wcighs nc down, I want to slccp.
Farcwcll!
Ihis final linc (in Russian, прощай же) is cxtraordinary. In kccping
with Mozart’s rccognition oí his own inpcnding íatc, it is not thc ordi-
nary ‘‘good-byc’’ onc would usc with a pcrson whon onc cxpcctcd to
scc again in thc nornal coursc oí c·cnts, it is uscd only whcn onc cx-
pccts a prolongcd scparation, pcrhaps a pcrnancnt onc. But norc than
that, it has a sccondary ncaning oí ‘‘íorgi·c nc.’’ Ihc ·ictin, ha·ing
finishcd all thc othcr tasks rcnaining to hin on carth, pcríorns a last
onc—hc asks íorgi·cncss oí his own nurdcrcr.
Against this final act oí hunility salicri hardcns his hcart. Rathcr
than answcr in thc sanc way, hc rcplics with a con·cntional good-
byc—‘‘Until wc ncct again’’ (До свиданья). Lis rcsponsc is purcly
that oí thc nurdcrcr prctcnding that nothing is aniss, autonatically
lying lcst thc snallcst dctail bctray hin. Lc has undcrstood so littlc
oí all that Mozart has said to hin that hc still rcgards Mozart’s intu-
iti·c prccognition oí dcath ncrcly as a suspicion oí hin that hc nust
disarn. Cnc can alnost hcar his nalicious sign oí rclicí and plcasurc
at (as hc thinks) ha·ing succcssíully gullcd his ·ictin, as hc says aítcr
Mozart’s dcparturc, ‘‘You will slccp/A long tinc, Mozart!’’
But onc thing Mozart said has pcnctratcd, and disturbs salicri:
But is hc rcally right
And an I not a gcnius: Gcnius and crinc
Arc two things that don’t conbinc.
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Lc quickly rcachcs íor a rationalization—‘‘Ihat’s not truc: /Vhat oí
Michclangclo:’’—rccalling a lcgcnd that Michclangclo had killcd a
nan in ordcr to obscr·c thc appropriatc cxprcssion íor a painting oí
thc dying christ. But at thc ·cry noncnt hc offcrs this cxcusc, salicri
hinsclí suspccts its flinsincss: ‘‘or is that just a íablc/Cí thc stupid,
scnsclcss crowd (толпы) . . . :’’
Io bc onc oí thc ‘‘crowd,’’ not to bc a gcnius—this, íor salicri, is a
íatc worsc than dcath. But thc ncans on which salicri countcd to raisc
hinsclí abo·c thc crowd—thc pursuit oí a nusical ‘‘systcn’’ and his
willingncss to sacrificc anything, or anyonc, thrcatcning it—pro·cs to
bc prcciscly what brings hin down to thc crowd’s lc·cl. Ihc logical
inplication oí Mozart’s final spccch is that salicri’s hostility toward thc
artist-‘‘idlcr’’ and his prcícrcncc íor ‘‘uscíulncss’’ rathcr than bcauty
put hinon thc sidc oí thc ‘‘scnsclcss crowd’’ rathcr than that oí thc art-
ist. salicri hinsclí, in his final lincs, bcgins to rccognizc this sinilarity:
hc has acccptcd a story that Mozart would inncdiatcly ha·c rcjcctcd
(as hc rcjcctcd thc story oí Bcaunarchais thc poisoncr), and that only
thc crowd would bclic·c.
salicri did not drink íron thc poisoncd cup. Kc·crthclcss, hc has
connittcd a nurdcr-suicidc, not physically but spiritually. In dcstroy-
ing Mozart, hc has also dcstroycd his own artistic sclí, thc sourcc oí
his inncr powcr. Ahcad oí hin thcrc still lics a long liíc—but a liíc oí
cnpty ycars, dc·oid oí ncaning, its corc shattcrcd. Gcnius and crinc
ha·c indccd pro·cn to bc two things that don’t conbinc—and by his
actions salicri has nadc his choicc oncc and íor all bctwccn thcn.
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Ihc Vcight oí thc Iast: I/e S:ooe Gaes:
·ur s ·o·r ours · has arouscd íar norc contro·crsy, cxprcsscd
in norc cxtrcnc tcrns, than any othcr oí Iushkin’s dranatic works.
As ií to ccho iona Anna’s qucstion to ion ]uan—‘‘Vho knows
you:’’—radically diffcrcnt intcrprctations oí his charactcr ha·c bccn
offcrcd. For Blagoy, ion ]uan is a ‘‘Mozartcan’’ figurc, radiant and
liíc-lo·ing, boldly challcnging thc gloony, dcath-hauntcd world oí
ncdic·al spain:
ii·ing, turbulcnt, triunphant liíc, pcrsonificd in thc figurc
oí ion ]uan, is constantly o·crshadowcd by a ‘‘gloony ·ision’’
—thc pcrsistcntly arising spcctcr oí dcath. . . . But liíc not
only constantly appcars in thc play sidc by sidc with dcath.
.¯c
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iiíc issucs a challcngc to dcath . . . cspccially in ion ]uan’s
in·itation to thc statuc oí thc knight-connandcr to guard his
rcndcz·ous with iona Anna. And throughout thc play liíc
triunphs. Cnly at thc ·cry cnd docs dcath pro·c to bc thc
·ictor, and c·cn thcn, as in Mozart’s opcra, it docs not ha·c
thc powcr to brcak ion ]uan’s spirit.
1
Ustyuzhanin sinilarly asscrts: ‘‘Ihc dcad and soullcss world could not
íorgi·c ion ]uan prcciscly íor his li·c hunan íccling. . . . Ihc Baron
[in I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:| pcrishcd bccausc hc had ceaseá to bc a hunan
bcing, thc sanc ‘iron agc’ a·cngcs itsclí on ion ]uan bccausc thc hu-
nan bcing in hin had a«a/eoeá.’’
2
Rassadin, in his study oí Iushkin’s
plays, ga·c thc chaptcr on I/e S:ooe Gaes: thc blunt titlc ‘‘Iunish-
ncnt Vithout crinc.’’
3
All thrcc critics takc it íor grantcd that ion
]uan’s proícssion oí a spccial lo·c íor iona Anna is indccd truthíul.
By contrast, scclcy sccs ion ]uan as ‘‘a nixturc oí child-likc artist and
pcr·crsc, conpulsi·c ncurotic’’ who is charactcrizcd by a ‘‘hcadlong
pursuit oí his own cnds in total disrcgard oí thc ícclings and intcr-
csts oí othcrs’’ and argucs that ion ]uan’s pursuit oí iona Anna is,
in íact, just onc norc scduction.
4
Grcgg sccs ion ]uan as bcing ‘‘in
thc proccss oí íalling sinccrcly, c·cn ·irtuously, in lo·c’’ with iona
Anna and rcgards ion ]uan’s challcngc to thc statuc as noti·atcd
principally by a lo·cr’s jcalousy, but adds, ‘‘Insolcncc, cruclty, and a
dcsirc íor sclí-punishncnt nay also bc in·ol·cd.’’
5
Kcponnyashchy,
whilc conccding that ion ]uan is ‘‘charning . . . spontancous as a
child . . . talcntcd [and| cloqucnt,’’ nc·crthclcss condcnns ion ]uan
as uncqui·ocally as Blagoy praiscs hin:
ion ]uan strodc to his radiant zcnith along a shancíul path
(likc thc Baron and salicri—aítcr all, thcy also thought that
thcy wcrc pursuing loíty goals) . . . ·iolating at c·cry stcp not
so nuch di·inc as hunan laws, subordinating c·crything clsc
to his ‘‘I want.’’ Ihc scrics oí ‘‘crincs’’ oí ion ]uan is crowncd
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.¯· C·i:ical Essays
by his in·itation to thc knight-connandcr. Rcgardlcss oí what
thc connandcr nay ha·c bccn, ion ]uan is gibing at, nock-
ing, dcgrading a nan—albcit a dcad nan—and insulting his
widow. Ihis cannot bc íorgi·cn.
6
Ihus Iushkin, in thc third oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ has sct us a nys-
tcry that, o·cr a ccntury and a halí latcr, wc still cannot íccl wc ha·c
truly graspcd. Kc·crthclcss, critics continuc to nakc thc cffort. Vhat
íollows is onc possiblc intcrprctation oí thc play, thc intcrprctation I
find to bc thc nost consistcnt with thc tcxt and thc nost conpclling.
In turning to thc lcgcnd oí ion ]uan as a subjcct, Iushkin was
placing hinsclí in what was alrcady a long litcrary and dranatic tradi-
tion. By thc cnd oí thc cightccnth ccntury, its íounding work—Iirso
dc Molina’s El la·laáo· áe Se·illa y coo·iáaáo áe ¡ie:·a (Ihc Mockcr
oí sc·illc and thc stonc Gucst)—had inspircd two works oí gcnius,
Molièrc’s Le fes:io áe ¡ie··e (Ihc stonc Gucst) and Mozart’s Doo Gio-
·aooi, as wcll as a host oí lcsscr initators. Cnc oí thcn, a prc-Molièrc
Le fes:io áe ¡ie··e by Villicrs, was apparcntly known to Iushkin, cithcr
dircctly or through a Russian or Iolish translation.
7
Anong Iushkin’s
contcnporarics, Byron had takcn up thc subjcct oí ion ]uan, although
thc spcctacular plot twists and Europc-widc scopc oí his narrati·c
pocn suggcsts íar lcss thc traditional story oí profligacy and rctribu-
tion than a rc-inagining oí how Voltairc’s candidc night ha·c íarcd
had hc posscsscd cxtraordinary scx appcal. closcr to thc traditional
íorn oí thc lcgcnd, Loffnann wrotc a ncditation on Mozart’s Doo
Gio·aooi in thc íorn oí a short story in which it is supcrnaturally rc-
·calcd to thc narrator that it was iona Anna’s truc dcstiny, tragically
thwartcd, to bc thc final and rcdcnpti·c lo·c oí ion Gio·anni—an
intcrprctation that, it has bccn suggcstcd, nay ha·c affcctcd Iushkin’s
conccpt oí iona Anna.
Iushkin rctains thc basic plot oí thc lcgcnd: thc rolc oí ion ]uan
as a notoriously succcssíul scduccr and thc horror oí all right-nindcd
citizcns, his dcfiant in·itation to thc statuc oí thc knight-connandcr
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I/e Hei¸/: of :/e Ias: .¯,
whon hc has killcd in a ducl, thc statuc’s appcarancc in rcsponsc, and
thcir joint dcsccnt into thc othcr world. But within this írancwork
Iushkin crcatcs a uniquc ion ]uan. For Molièrc and Mozart, ion ]uan
is a dclibcratc, aggrcssi·c challcngcr oí thc laws oí Godandnan. Iush-
kin’s ion ]uan docsn’t acti·cly dcíy thc law: hc sinply acts as ií it will
go away ií hc docsn’t noticc it.
As thc play bcgins, wc scc ion ]uan rcturning íron cxilc (in a nod
to Byron, sccningly íron England)—and why is hc rcturning: Bc-
causc hc was borcd thcrc, and, in particular, bccausc thc local woncn
wcrc boring. Ihat, íor hin, is rcason cnough to shrug off a royal con-
nand and risk thc conscqucnccs. Cr, rathcr, hc cannot c·cn inaginc
that thcrc will bc conscqucnccs: aítcr all, nobody will rccognizc hin,
or, ií soncbody docs rccognizc hin, hc surcly won’t ha·c thc bad luck
to run into thc king hinsclí, or, ií thc king docs hcar about his rcturn,
surcly thc worst that will happcn to hin is that hc’ll bc cxilcd again—
so what: ]ust as onc is about to disniss this ion ]uan as a thorough-
going lightwcight, suddcnly wc scc an cntircly diffcrcnt sidc oí hin.
Lc rcncnbcrs whcn hc was in this sanc placc bcíorc, with a past lo·c:
ion ]uan: (Ieosi·ely)
Ioor Incz!
shc’s gonc now! how I lo·cd hcr!
icporcllo: Incz!—thc black-cycd onc. . . . Kow I rcncnbcr,
For thrcc nonths you wcrc paying court
Io hcr, it was all thc dc·il could do to hclp.
ion ]uan: ]uly it was . . . at night. I íound strangc plcasurc
In gazing at hcr sorrowíul cycs
And dcath-palc lips. It’s strangc,
You apparcntly didn’t think shc was
A bcauty. And in íact, thcrc wasn’t
Much bcautiíul about hcr. Lcr cycs,
]ust hcr cycs. And hcr glancc . . . I’·c nc·cr sccn
Anothcr glancc likc that. And hcr ·oicc
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.cc C·i:ical Essays
Vas quict, íccblc—likc a sick wonan’s—
Lcr husband was a worthlcss wrctch, and stcrn—
I íound that out too latc—Ioor Incz! . . .
so ion ]uan, who is so hccdlcss oí a conscqucncc tonorrowií it intcr-
ícrcs with his plcasurc today, is aítcr all capablc, whcn a wonan docs
not inncdiatcly acccpt his suit, oí courting hcr assiduously íor thrcc
nonths. And Incz, this hcroinc out oí Edgar Allan Ioc, with hcr pallor
and hcr haunting black cycs, with hcr dclicacy, so suggcsti·c oí carly
doon, and thc final hint that shc nct a tragic cnd—is this a wonan
whon onc would ha·c thought would attract ion ]uan, who had just
bccn singing thc praiscs oí thc ficry, carthy, ·ital woncn oí Andalusia:
such an attraction suggcsts a dcpth in ion ]uan that hc hinsclí docs
not undcrstand: hc can only rcpcat: ‘‘I íound strangc plcasurc. . . . It’s
strangc.’’
But ií this passagc points to thc possibility oí gcnuinc cnotional
dcpth in ion ]uan, it also indicatcs a disturbing irrcsponsibility about
thc conscqucnccs oí his passions. Lis last two lincs suggcst that thc
jcalousy oí hcr ‘‘stcrn’’ husband (ion ]uan latcr uscs cxactly thc sanc
cpithct íor thc notoriously jcalous knight-connandcr) nadc hcr liíc
niscrablc or c·cncauscdor hastcncdhcr dcath. surcly, duringthc thrcc
nonths bcíorc Incz surrcndcrcd to hin, ion ]uan could ha·c takcn a
noncnt to think about what night happcn to hcr ií it bccanc known
or suspcctcd that shc had connittcd adultcry. Instcad, hc sinply takcs
thc position that hc could not ha·c bccn cxpcctcd to íorcscc thc con-
scqucnccs: ‘‘I íound that out too latc . . .’’ Kc·crthclcss, thc ncnory
oí Incz is a rcproach to both nastcr and scr·ant, and both arc all too
willing to push it away quickly:
icporcllo: Vcll, so, aítcr hcr canc othcrs.
ion ]uan: Iruc.
icporcllo: And whilc wc’rc still ali·c, thcrc’ll bc still norc.
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I/e Hei¸/: of :/e Ias: .c.
ion ]uan: Also truc.
icporcllo: so what wonan in Madrid
Arc wc going to go aítcr:
ion ]uan: Ch, iaura!
I’ll hcad straight íor hcr housc.
icporcllo: Ihat’s it.
ion ]uan: I’ll walkright throughhcr door—andií thcrc’s conpany,
I’ll in·itc hin to nakc his cxit through thc window.
icporcllo: Cí coursc. And now wc’·c chccrcd right up.
icad woncn don’t troublc us íor long.
At this noncnt ion ]uan and icporcllo arc intcrruptcd by thc cn-
trancc oí a nonk. Ihrough this intcrlocutor wc lcarn Iushkin’s ·cr-
sion oí ion ]uan’s past, which diffcrs significantly íron Molièrc’s and
Mozart’s trcatncnt oí thc rolc oí iona Anna. Lcrc shc is not thc
daughtcr oí thc slain knight-connandcr, but his young widow, and
whatc·cr was thc causc oí thc íatal ducl bctwccn ion ]uan and thc
knight-connandcr, it was not in dcícnsc oí iona Anna’s honor, bc-
causc ion ]uan has nc·cr sccn hcr. In this dialoguc, wc again scc ion
]uan’s uttcr absorption with liíc in thc prcscnt: told that thc dcad nan’s
widowconcs c·cry day to wccp at his tonb, ion ]uan rcplics, ‘‘Vhat
strangc kind oí widow’s this:/And not bad-looking:’’ In ion ]uan’s
·icw, it is inconcci·ablc that a wonan could continuc to nourn so
long o·cr a nan who is gonc—unlcss, oí coursc, shc is so lancntably
unattracti·c that shc could not hopc to find a ncw lo·cr. Ihc nonk’s
rcíutation oí this possibility is onc oí Iushkin’s littlc nastcrpicccs oí
charactcrization:
Vc anchoritcs nust not
Bc tcnptcd by thc lo·clincss oí woncn,
But lying is a sin: a saint hinsclí could not
iook unno·cd upon hcr wondrous bcauty.
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.c. C·i:ical Essays
Cnc can just scc thc good íathcr, ha·ing dcli·crcd this scntincnt with
cycs piously rollcd hca·cnward and just thc right anount oí unctuous-
ncss, pausingtocngagc íor a noncnt ina lcss-than-holythought about
iona Anna, rathcr likc Friar Iuck dc·outly crossing hinsclí bcíorc
taking a good chonp out oí his capon.
such praiscs, íollowcd by a bricí, tantalizing glinpsc oí a hca·ily
·cilcd iona Anna, lcad ion ]uan to an inpulsi·c dccision: ‘‘iistcn,
icporcllo, /I’n going to ncct hcr.’’ icporcllo is appallcd at thc ·cry
thought:
Ihat’s just what wc nccd!
Vhat ncxt! Lc’s bunpcd off thc husband
And now hc wants to scc thc widow’s tcars!
shanclcss!
But icporcllo rcads altogcthcr too nuch dclibcratc nalicc into thc ac-
tions oí his nastcr. For ion ]uan, thc nattcr is sinplc: iona Anna is
bcautiíul, shc is nystcrious, what is norc natural than that hc should
wishtoncct hcr: Ihc íact that hc happcns tobc thc nanwhokillcdhcr
husband is sinply irrclc·ant to hin—so why should it ncan anything
to hcr: Lowc·cr, no sooncr has ion ]uan nadc this dccision than hc
apparcntly drops it in ía·or oí onc which can bc norc inncdiatcly
carricd out: thc noncnt has conc, aítcr sunsct and bcíorc noonrisc,
whcn hc cntcr thc city in thc rclati·c saícty oí darkncss, and hc scizcs
his chancc.
Ihc sccnc thcn shiíts to iaura’s rcsidcncc. In contrast to iona
Anna, whosc narriagc was arrangcd by hcr nothcr and who spcnt hcr
narricd liíc ‘‘always kcpt lockcd up insidc,’’ iaura is a írcc wonan: írcc
to li·c in hcr own lodgings, írcc to carn hcr own li·ing as an actrcss,
írcc to choosc íron anong hcr nalc adnircrs thc onc, or oncs, who
will rccci·c hcr ía·ors, íor as long or as short a tinc as shc plcascs.
Frccdon, spontancity, is also thc crcdo oí hcr artistic liíc, whcn praiscd
by hcr gucsts íor a brilliant pcríornancc, shc rcplics:
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I/e Hei¸/: of :/e Ias: .c,
Ycs, today c·cry word,
E·cry gcsturc canc out wcll íor nc.
I ga·c nysclí up írccly to inspiration,
Ihc words pourcd out as ií thcy wcrc brought íorth,
Kot by sla·ish ncnory, but by thc hcart . . .
iaura insists upon hcr conplctc írccdon oí action to such a dcgrcc
that shc sinply takcs no rcsponsibility íor how hcr words or dccds aí-
ícct othcrs. Vhcn onc oí hcr gucsts bcconcs angry at hcr íor cxprcss-
ing hcr adniration íor ion ]uan, thc nan who killcd his brothcr, shc
rcplics: ‘‘Is it ny íault, that constantly/Ihat nanc kccps coning to
ny tonguc:’’ as ií shc could not control what shc said—unlikcly íor a
proícssional actrcss.
Along with unlinitcd írccdonand spontancity, iaura ·alucs intcn-
sity: o·crlooking all thc adnircrs who ha·c donc nothing but pay hcr
con·cntional conplincnts, shc chooscs as hcr ía·oritc thc only onc
who has darcd to rcbukc and c·cn insult hcr. For hcr, his angcr is thc
prooí oí a passionatc naturc, and thus attracti·c:
You, nadnan! You stay hcrc with nc,
You’·c caught ny íancy, you rcnindcd nc
Cí ion ]uan, thc way you scoldcd nc
And clcnchcd your tccth and gnashcd thcn.
Ihis is thc sccond tinc that iaura has in·okcd ion ]uan, prc·iously
shc had sung a song íor which hc had writtcn thc lyrics. Lcr rclation-
shiptohcr ‘‘íaithíul íricndandficklc lo·cr’’ is bascdnot solclyonscxual
attraction (although that ccrtainly cxists), but on a rccognition oí thc
sinilarity oí thcir ·alucs. For what nakcs ion ]uan hcroic—or, ií onc
prcícrs, antihcroic—is prcciscly thc strcngth oí his passions and his
couragcous rcíusal to acccpt any linitation on his írccdon and spon-
tancity. Io achic·c his dcsirc hc is willing to risk any conscqucncc,
whcthcr it bc dcath in a ducl or condcnnation by lawand public opin-
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ion. Lc is not only a grandcc by blood, sonconc whosc íacc would bc
known to thc king hinsclí, hc is also a grandcc in spirit, a figurc so
conpclling and ncnorablc that thc ·cry idca that hc could disguisc
hinsclí strikcs icporcllo as ludicrous.
But such powcr, which is adnirablc whcn it is acconpanicd by a
scnsc oí noral rcsponsibility, rcadily bcconcs dcstructi·c whcn it is
not—a point alrcady suggcstcd by ion ]uan’s rccollcction oí Incz’s
tragic íatc.Vc arc again rcnindcd oí his dcstructi·c sidc, as a nan who
has killcd anothcr and acknowlcdgcs no guilt o·cr it, in thc sccnc with
iaura, whcn hcr adnircr ion carlos is idcntificd as thc brothcr oí a
nan killcd by ion ]uan in a ducl. Vhcthcr or not carlos is thc brothcr
oí thc knight-connandcr (thc point is unclcar), ccrtainly thc ‘‘gloony
gucst’’ in this sccnc plays a rolc rcninisccnt oí thc ‘‘stonc gucst’’ oí thc
lcgcnd, by warning this ícnalc ion ]uan oí thc conscqucnccs ií shc
docs not rcpcnt. Ihc law oí noral conscqucnccs that ion carlos in-
·okcs, howc·cr, is not that oí ncdic·al catholicisn, with its thrcat oí
supcrnatural intcr·cntion or thc flancs oí hcll, but that oí thc ancicnt
Grccks, that charactcr is íatc and that onc cnjoys or cndurcs thc rcsults
oí what onc has choscn to bcconc:
You’rc young now . . . and you’ll still bc young
For fi·c or six norc ycars. You’ll draw
Ihc ncn around you six norc ycars,
Io pay you court and gi·c you prcscnts,
Io sing you scrcnadcs at night,
And íor your sakc to kill cach othcr
In darkncss at thc crossroads. But whcn
Ihc tinc concs that your cycs ha·c sunk,
Ihcir lids grown wrinklcd and discolorcd,
And your hair is strcakcd with gray,
And ncn start calling you ‘‘old wonan,’’
Ihcn—what will you say:
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Fronthcsc words, onc can picturc iaura’s íatc as bcing ·cry nuch likc
that oí thc cldcrly countcss in ‘‘Ihc Çuccn oí spadcs.’’ Ihc count-
css, too, was a grcat bcauty in hcr youth, ‘‘la Vcnus nosco·itc’’ whosc
dcnands and capriccs wcrc indulgcd by hcr nany adnircrs, but whcn
tinc had dininishcd hcr bcauty and habit intcnsificd hcr uttcr sclí-
ccntcrcdncss, shc prcdictablycnds upall but íorgottcnbythc·crybcau
nondc that had oncc cclcbratcd hcr.
]ust as ion ]uan rcíuscs to considcr thc possiblc unwclconc con-
scqucnccs oí his unlawíul rcturn to Madrid, or oí his courtship oí Incz,
so iaura rcíuscs to considcr thc all-too-likcly íuturc that ion carlos
points out to hcr:
Ihcn: Vhy should
I think oí that: Vhat talk is this:
Cr do you always ha·c such thoughts:
conc to thc balcony. Lowcaln thc sky is,
Ihc air is warn and still, thc night is íragrant
Vith sccnts oí linc and laurcl, thc noon
shincs radiant in thc dccp dark bluc,
And thc watchnan crics, ‘‘A-a-all’s wcll!’’ . . .
And íar off, to thc north—in Iaris—
Icrhaps thc sky is gray with clouds,
cold rain is íalling, thc wind howls.
But what is that to us: iook, carlos,
I’n ordcring you to snilc . . .
Ihcrc you go!
Unqucstionably iaura’s rcsponsc is bcautiíul as poctry, but it is also an
c·asion. Ihc bcauty oí hcr words is not surprising, according to iona
Anna, public opinion also dcscribcs ion ]uan as ‘‘cloqucnt.’’ Ihc dan-
gcr is that hc uscs his cloqucncc in thc causc oí scduction. And what
iaura is doing is also unqucstionably scduction—lcading ion carlos
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away íron what hc hinsclí knows to bc right, as indicatcd by his rc-
sponsc oí conbincd condcnnation and attraction: ‘‘swcct dcnon!’’
And thus ion carlos, thc spokcsnan íor thc law oí noral consc-
qucnccs, hinsclí bcconcs an cxanplc oí it. Lc is awarc oí thc ‘‘dc-
nonic,’’ dcstructi·c naturc oí iaura’s attracti·cncss, yct hc chooscs to
stay with hcr. Ihc rcsults oí so choosing against his own bcttcr judg-
ncnt bcconc inncdiatcly ob·ious with thc cntrancc oí ion ]uan. In
onc scnsc, íron ion carlos’s point oí ·icw, it hardly nattcrs that thc
nan who cntcrs to stakc his own conpcting clain on iaura’s ía·or is
ion ]uan. Any nan who nadc such an cntrancc, at such a tinc, would
inc·itably pro·okc a ducl, duclling, as ion carlos has alrcady pointcd
out, is part oí thc potcntial cost oí bcing onc oí iaura’s adnircrs. Ihc
only rcal diffcrcncc nadc by thc íact that thc ri·al is ion ]uan rathcr
than sonconc clsc is that whilc ion ]uan is rcady to offcr thc usual
courtcsics oí thc duclling codc rcgarding tinc and placc (‘‘Ionorrow
I’ll bc at your scr·icc’’), ion carlos’s hatrcd oí this nan lcads hin
to nakc thc socially inappropriatc dcnand oí a fight on thc spot, in
iaura’s roon. Ihis dcnand rc·cals thc thc ultinatcly shallowand sclí-
ish naturc oí ion carlos’s attraction to iaura: not only docs hc not
try to sparc hcr thc sight oí possiblc bloodshcd, but hc disrcgards thc
dangcr oí lcgal conscqucnccs to hcr ií sonconc is injurcd or killcd
in hcr apartncnt. Lis lack oí any rcal conccrn íor iaura, howc·cr, is
norc than natchcd by hcr lack oí any rcal conccrn, not only íor hin,
but c·cn íor his succcssíul ri·al. iaura’s first rcsponsc to ion ]uan’s
announccncnt oí his ·ictory—‘‘Gct up, iaura, it’s all o·cr’’—is not
rclicí that thc ion ]uan (whosc praiscs shc was just proclaining only
a ícw ninutcs bcíorc) is still ali·c, but angcr at thc ncss hc’s gottcn
hcr into:
Vhat’s this:
Killcd: Ihat’s grcat! And in ny roon!
so what do I do now, you shanclcss dc·il:
Lowdo I gct rid oí hin:
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ion ]uan again shows his irrcsponsibility by rcsponding with thc
suggcstion that naybc ion carlos isn’t dcad aítcr all—a suggcstion
so sclí-c·idcntly contrary to thc íacts that it only cncouragcs iaura’s
angcr. Forccd to adnit that hc has killcd his ri·al, ion ]uan sinply
shrugs: ‘‘Vhat could I do: Lc askcd íor it.’’ For iaura, who is cqually
irrcsponsiblc, such an answcr is norc cndcaring than cxaspcrating, and
hcr angcr drops to a grunblc, a rcproach norc appropriatc to sonconc
who had playcd a bad practical jokc than sonconc who has just killcd
a nan:
Eh, ion ]uan,
Vhat a nuisancc. Up to your old tricks,
But nc·cr guilty . . .
Yct ion ]uan’s clain oí ‘‘not guilty’’ is inncdiatcly undcrcut by thc
intcrchangc bctwccn hinsclí and iaura which íollows, as hc tclls hcr
what wc alrcady know: that hc canc to Madrid dclibcratcly, dcspitc
his knowlcdgc that thc rclati·cs oí his prc·ious ·ictinwould still want
rc·cngc against hin, and that hc spccifically canc to scck out iaura,
dcspitc his knowlcdgc that shcwas not thc typc oí wonan to pinc away
íor an abscnt lo·cr. Grantcd, hc did not know what thc spccific rcsult
oí his actions would bc, but hc nc·crthclcss chosc a linc oí conduct
that ncccssarily in·ol·cd thc risk oí a ·iolcnt conírontation.
ion carlos’s íatc thus is thc rcsult oí thc charactcrs and choiccs oí
all thrcc pcrsons in·ol·cdinthc sccnc—anc·cnt that, ií not inc·itablc,
was ccrtainly íorcsccablc. Morc than that, it is a íorcshadowing oí ion
]uan’s own íatc. Each nan is attractcd to a wonan whon his bcttcr
judgncnt (had hc listcncd to it) would ha·c tcll hinto stayaway íron,
and at thc noncnt whcn cach onc has just bcgun to cnjoy hcr ía·or,
hc is dcstroycd by a figurc out oí thc wonan’s past who rccncrgcs as a
ronantic ri·al. ion ]uan, indccd, spcaks to iaura as ií hc had a clain
upon hcr fidclity: ‘‘Low nany tincs ha·c you chcatcd on nc/Vhilc
I was gonc:’’ shc, oí coursc, rcíuscs to yicld hcr írccdon, rctorting,
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‘‘Vhat about you, skirt-chascr:’’ But hcr ·cry rcsponsc rcaffirns thc
bond bctwccn thcn: shc is his bccausc shc is likc hin. ion ]uan agrccs
to put off thc discussion oí thcir past actions until ‘‘latcr,’’ a ‘‘latcr’’
that, onc can bc surc, will nc·cr conc unlcss it is con·cnicnt to both
oí thcn. For thc noncnt, all that thcy want is to gi·c thcnscl·cs up
to thcir passion—a passion that apparcntly is not c·cn disturbcd by
thc prcscncc oí ion carlos’s body, which ion ]uan docs not plan to
rcno·c until hc hinsclí has to lca·c, just bcíorc it gcts light.
But c·cn ion ]uan, íor all his rccklcssncss, rcalizcs that aítcr this
additional killing hc can no longcr íollow his original plan oí cntcring
Madrid as ií nothing wcrc wrong. Ihis, howc·cr, is no norc allowcd
to stand in thc way oí his prc·iously arouscd intcrcst in iona Anna
than is thc ninor dctail (íron his point oí ·icw) that hc is hcr hus-
band’s killcr. Instcad, hc sinultancously c·adcs thc lawand pronotcs
his courtship by disguising hinsclí as a nonk in thc nonastcry whcrc
thc knight-connandcr is buricd. Lc is obli·ious to both thc ludicrous
sidc oí thc situation (ion ]uan as a nonk!) and thc blasphcnous onc
(a laynan rcprcscnting hinsclí as ií hc wcrc in holy ordcrs and try-
ing to scducc a wonan in a catholic ccnctcry, i.c., on consccratcd
ground). All that conccrns hin is whcthcr his stratagcn will work.
And although it has startcd off pronisingly—‘‘c·cry day/I scc ny
charning widow, and shc, /It sccns to nc, has noticcd’’—onc aspcct
oí this budding rclationship disturbs hin:
shc should alrcady bc hcrc. Vithout hcr,
I think, thc knight-connandcr nust bc borcd.
Vhat a giant hc’s bccn nadc into hcrc!
Vhat shouldcrs! Vhat a Lcrculcs!
Ihc nan hinsclí was snall and puny,
Ií hc wcrc hcrc and stood on tiptoc,
Lis fingcrtip couldn’t rcach to his own nosc.
Vhcn wc wcnt out bcyond thc Escurial,
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Lc stuck hinsclí upon ny sword and dicd
iikc a dragonfly upon a pin—but still
Lc was proud and bold, and stcrn oí spirit . . .
Ihis is a ncw tonc in ion ]uan’s ·oicc: hc spcaks oí thc knight-
connandcr, not with thc courtcsy it bcfits a grandcc to show to an
cncnyoí cqual rank, but nockingly, snccringly, c·cn·ulgarly. clcarly,
soncthing has stung ion ]uan, thc thought oí thc knight-connandcr
in sonc way uncontrollably ranklcs hin. Lc rc·cals why in thc words,
‘‘Vithout hcr, /I think, thc knight-connandcr nust bc borcd.’’ ion
]uan rcgards thc statuc as ií it wcrc thc knight-connandcr hinsclí, a
still-li·ing clainant oí iona Anna’s affcction. Ihc íact that thc statuc
is o·crsizcd fittingly cxprcsscs thc way in which iona Anna’s husband
has conc to occupya largcr placc in ion ]uan’s consciousncss in dcath
than hc c·cr did whilc ali·c. ion ]uan trics to dininish his ri·al (litcr-
ally and figurati·cly) by nockcry, but so íar íron succccding in doing
so, his disrcspcct strikcs c·cn hin as cxccssi·c—a scnsc which íorccs
hinto nakc unwilling ancnds in thc grudging tributc oí thc final linc.
significantly, this is thc first tinc ion ]uan has cxprcsscd jcalousy
oí a ri·al. Lc has no apparcnt conccrn about iaura’s othcr lo·crs, pro-
·idcd that thcy arc willing to ‘‘nakc thcir cxit through thc window’’ as
soon as hc arri·cs. Ihc thought oí Incz’s husband rouscs hin to indig-
nation, but not to jcalousy. Bycontrast, although hc has not yct spokcn
a singlc word to iona Anna, hc alrcady rcgards hinsclí as ha·ing a
clain on hcr cxclusi·c íaithíulncss, to thc point that hc is jcalous c·cn
oí hcr attcntion to hcr husband’s gra·c. such an unprcccdcntcd íccling
on ion ]uan’s part gi·cs substancc to his latcr clainto iona Anna that
his lo·c íor hcr is diffcrcnt íronhis ícclings íor all thc othcr woncn hc
has known. icspitc all thc c·idcncc oí his own past to thc contrary,
no doubt ion ]uan bclic·cs it whcn hc tclls iona Anna that hc is prc-
parcd now to bc cxclusi·cly íaithíul to onc wonan: ‘‘connand, and
thcn I’ll brcathc/For only you.’’
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Ihis sanc notií oí lo·c íor iona Anna conbincd with jcalousy
toward hcr past spontancously rccncrgcs in ion ]uan’s inpro·iscd
rcsponsc to iona Anna’s in·itation to hin to pray with hcr:
I only watch you íron aíar with rc·crcncc,
And whcn your hcad is quictly bowcd down,
Black trcsscs spilling on thc narblc’s whitcncss—
Ihcn it sccns to nc an angcl concs
Io honor this gra·c with a sccrct ·isit,
And in ny troublcd hcart I cannot find
Ihc words to pray. I nar·cl thcn in silcncc
And think—happy nan, whosc cold narblc
Is warncd by hcr cclcstial brcathing
And sprinklcd with hcr tcars oí lo·c.
Iaradoxically, it is prcciscly this jcalousy that hclps ion ]uan to ap-
proachiona Anna. For iona Anna, too, is still cxtrcnclyconscious oí
thc hold oí thc past upon thc prcscnt, oí what shc sccs as hcr husband’s
clainupon hcr íaithíulncss c·cn aítcr his dcath. shc is, it would sccn,
not a conplctclyinconsolablcwidow: shc is not abo·c noticingthat thc
sanc young and handsonc nonk has bccn in thc ccnctcry c·cry day.
Indccd, shc is so intcrcstcd in spcaking to hinthat shc starts with a dc-
cidcdly clunsy opcning linc, asking íorgi·cncss íor disturbing hin in
his (prcsuncd) ncditations—and thcrcby, oí coursc, disturbing hin
all thc norc. Kc·crthclcss, shc stri·cs to prcscr·c thc inagc that shc
prcscnts to hcrsclí and to thc world oí an unwa·cringly íaithíul widow.
shc can cngagc a handsonc nonk in con·crsation and at thc sanc tinc
rcgard hcrsclí as íaithíul to hcr husband, bccausc shc is ncrcly asking
thc nonk to join hcr in praycrs íor hcr husband’s soul. And hcr rcaction
whcn ion ]uan conícsscs that hc is not a nonk, and that hc is in lo·c
with hcr, shows íar lcss indignation cithcr at thc íact that a suitor darcd
to approach hcr at all whilc shc was in nourning, or that hc rcsortcd
to a dcccption to do it, than ícar oí scandal: ‘‘And hcrc, right by thc
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gra·c! . . . Ií sonconc canc in!’’ ion ]uan’s jcalousy oí thc knight-
connandcr rcassurcs hcr that shc indccd is íaithíul and is pcrcci·cd as
such. And ion ]uan, urgcd on by his gcnuinc consciousncss oí ri·alry
with thc dcad nan, is inspircd to thc ·crbal cxtra·agancc oí a poct-
inpro·iscr upon thc thcnc that shc has sct: to proícss to rcgard hcr
as unapproachably íaithíul to hcr latc husband whilc at thc sanc tinc
paying a dctcrnincd courtship to hcr. Ihus hc dcclarcs hinsclí ‘‘an
unlucky nan, ·ictinoí a hopclcss passion,’’ in contrast to that ‘‘happy
nan’’ at whosc tonb shc wccps, hc spcaks oí dcath and burial as thc
only way oí obtaining any ía·or íronhcr, c·cn so littlc as thc touch oí
hcr íoot upon his gra·c, in contrast to thc attcntion that shc la·ishcs
upon thc knight-connandcr’s tonb, hc asscrts that only ií hc wcrc
nad would hc ha·c any hopc that his lo·c would touch hcr hcart.
such dcclarations arc soncthing that a dc·out and dutiíul young
wonan likc iona Anna has nc·cr bccn taught about and docs not
know how to rcspond to. clcarly, a wonan who asks a qucstion likc,
‘‘And ha·c you lo·cd nc a long tinc:’’ is not unwilling to hcar a pro-
ícssion oí lo·c, but upon rccci·ing an appropriatcly inpassioncd rc-
sponsc, shc is írightcncd. Vithout brcaking off this suddcnly cstab-
lishcd rclationship, shc trics to cxcrt sonc control o·cr it:
ica·c—this is not thc placc
For such words and such nadncss. Ionorrow
conc to ny housc. Ií you will swcar
Io show thc sanc rcspcct to nc as now,
I’ll rccci·c you, but aítcr night íalls, latc—
I ha·cn’t sccn anyonc sincc thc day
Ihat I was widowcd . . .
Cnc cannot hclp but bc struck by iona Anna’s action: in a culturc
whcrc any rcspcctablc wonan would bc carcíully chapcroncd, shc in-
·itcs a nan whon shc barcly knows to hcr housc alonc, latc at night,
confidcnt that dcspitc thc conpronising naturc oí thc situation and
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thc ob·ious tcnptation it pro·idcs, hc will show hcr ‘‘rcspcct’’ and rc-
gard hcr as in·iolablc. Unlcss onc assuncs, as icporcllo docs, that shc’s
a conplctc hypocritc (‘‘Ch widows, you’rc all thc sanc’’), thc only
possiblc cxplanations íor such astonishing conduct sccn to bc cithcr
that shc is so uttcrly nai·c, so uníaniliar with thc powcr oí scxual pas-
sion, that shc docsn’t rcalizc what shc nay bc gctting into, or that shc
is sinply too wcak a charactcr, too casily doninatcd, to bc ablc to dc-
cisi·cly rcíusc a nan as dctcrnincd as ion ]uan. Iruc, no sooncr docs
shc nakc this pronisc than shc bcconcs írightcncd by thc position hcr
unaskcd-íor suitor has put hcr in, and trics to gct rid oí hinby wa·ing
hcr picty in his íacc, but at thc sanc tinc, shc docsn’t want to rctract
hcr offcr:
iona Anna: Kow lca·c nc.
ion ]uan: Cnc ninutc longcr.
iona Anna: Ko, thcn clcarly I nust go. . . . Bcsidcs, ny praycrs
La·c conplctcly slippcd ny nind. You distractcd nc
Vith worldly spccchcs, to which ny cars
La·c long bccn unaccustoncd.—Ionorrow
I will rccci·c you.
snall wondcr that such a nan oí thc world as ion ]uan, cithcr not
undcrstanding or brushing asidc iona Anna’s scruplcs, rccci·cs hcr
offcr in a rathcr diffcrcnt spirit than shc would rcgard it as ha·ing bccn
nadc, and boasts to icporcllo oí ha·ing obtaincd a ‘‘rcndcz·ous.’’
In rcply, icporcllo—c·idcntly as con·inccd oí thc knight-con-
nandcr’s ‘‘prcscncc’’ in thc íornoí his statuc as his nastcr is—rcplics,
‘‘And thc knight-connandcr: Vhat’ll hc ha·c to say:’’ ion ]uan rc-
assuncs his carlicr tonc oí scoffing at his ri·al:
Vhat do you think—hc’s going to bc jcalous:
Kot likcly, hc’s a rcasonablc nan
And probably has coolcd off sonc aítcr dying
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Ihcsc words ha·c a particularly jarring ring coning íron thc nan rc-
sponsiblc íor that dcath. But thc nan whon ion ]uan hinsclí had
to acknowlcdgc as ‘‘proud and bold, and stcrn oí spirit’’ cannot bc
disnisscd so casily. icporcllo pcrsists in his ícar oí thc knight-con-
nandcr, insisting that thc statuc looks angry. At this point, whcn ion
]uan is passionatcly cxcitcd at thc thought that iona Anna is alnost
his, hc íccls that hc has bccn rcnindcd quitc cnough oí thc obstaclc
that thc thought oí hcr dcad husband prcscnts. Vith charactcristic in-
pulsi·cncss and audacity, ion ]uan dccidcs to brcak thc hold that in
spitc oí hinsclí thc statuc has gaincd o·cr his inagination, by yiclding
to that hold and thcrcby, as hc anticipatcs, dcnonstrating its ncaning-
lcssncss. Lc will trcat thc statuc as ií it truly wcrc a li·ing bcing, his
ri·al, and issuc it a challcngc: to stop hiníronclaining iona Anna as
his own. And whcn, as hc cxpccts, thc statuc íails to do any such thing,
hc will ha·c dcnonstratcd to hinsclí oncc and íor all that it is ncrcly
a liíclcss, powcrlcss objcct, that thc spirit oí thc knight-connandcr
cannot stand in thc way oí his íuturc happincss.
icporcllo, who has no norc couragc than onc would cxpcct íron
sonconc holdingthc traditionally unhcroic position oí ·alct, takcs this
challcngc at íacc ·aluc: supposc thc statuc rcally docs conc: An in-
íuriatcd husband is, no doubt, soncthing icporcllo has sccn ion ]uan
dcal with bcíorc, but what dcícnsc is thcrc against thc spirit oí a dcad
nan, inhabiting a body nadc not oí flcsh and blood, but oí stonc: In
an attcnpt to protcct hinsclí against whatc·cr rctribution thc statuc
nay cxact, icporcllo carcíully addrcsscs it in as courtcous a nanncr
as possiblc, thus naking a wondcríully inappropriatc contrast with thc
studicdly insulting ncssagc hc has bccn ordcrcd to con·cy:
Most glorious and handsonc statuc!
My lord ion ]uan rcspcctíully rcqucsts
Ihc plcaurc oí your conpany. . . . My God, I can’t,
I’n too aíraid.
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Cnly thc íact that thc scr·ant is norc aíraid oí thc rcal and tangiblc
thrcats nadc by his nastcr than oí a ·aguc and potcntial supcrnatural
dangcr induccs hin to con·cy thc in·itation to thc statuc at all, and
whcn it confirns his drcad by naking an actual rcsponsc—nodding its
hcad—hc collapscs in shricks oí tcrror.
Ií, c·cn bcíorc icporcllo’s outcry, ion ]uan was alrcady angcrcd
by thc sccningly incxplicablc powcr oí this dcad nan who sonchow
could not bc íorgottcn, icporcllo’s tcrrificd acknowlcdgncnt oí that
powcr dri·cs ion ]uan to an cxtrcnc oí dctcrnincd íury. Brushing
his scr·ant asidc, ion ]uan stcps up to thc statuc and issucs his chal-
lcngc, not in thc grandcc-to-grandcc tonc hc uscd with ion carlos
(‘‘Ionorrow I’ll bc at your scr·icc’’), but with thc snccr oí a tccnagc
boy naking a darc:
I rcqucst, knight-connandcr, that you pay
A ·isit to your widow, whcrc I’ll bc tonorrow,
And stand guard at thc door. Vcll: Arc you coning:
Ihc statuc’s nod in rcsponsc staggcrs ion ]uan íor a noncnt, and hc
crics, ‘‘Ch God!’’ But thcn hc rcgains his sclí-posscssion sufficicntly to
rcsunc his usual ncthod oí dcaling with unwclconc occurrcnccs—
by ignoring thcn. Lc tclls icporcllo sinply, ‘‘ict’s go,’’ and oncc thcy
no longcr ha·c thc rcnindcr oí thc statuc’s prcscncc in íront oí thcn,
not a word will bc spokcn about thc cxtraordinary sign thcy ha·c both
witncsscd.
Low is it possiblc that a nan who had rccci·cd such a warning
would go through with his plan to win iona Anna: In this lics thc
csscncc oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’: cach onc is an cxanination oí thc typc
oí singlc-nindcd, sclí-willcd passion that blinds a pcrson, so that thc
warnings oí rcason and conscicncc arc cqually powcrlcss, and thc path
oí sclí-dcstruction is dclibcratclychoscn. ion ]uan’s passion íor iona
Anna, his dctcrnination to nakc hcr his own, is so grcat that no thrcat,
not c·cn a supcrnatural onc, will kccp hin íron thc rcndcz·ous.
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Initially, ion ]uan and iona Anna takc up positions unchangcd
íron thc day bcíorc: iona Anna is clcarly plcascd to listcn to thc
adoring spccchcs oí ‘‘ion iicgo,’’ but still dctcrnincdly naintains hcr
íaithíulncss to hcr dcad husband, ion ]uan is still lcít to thc unsat-
isíactory rolc oí ri·al with ‘‘that happy dcpartcd onc’’ who won what
hcr ncw suitor can only drcan oí. Vhcn iona Anna cxplains that hcr
narriagc to thc wcalthy ion Al·arowas arrangcd by hcr nothcr, ion
]uan rcplics:
Lappy nan! hc laid his cnpty trcasurcs
At thc ícct oí a goddcss, and íor that
Lc tastcd hca·cnly bliss! Ch, ií only
I’d known you thcn, how rapturously
My rank, ny wcalth, c·crything I had,
I’d ha·c gi·cn íor onc ía·orablc glancc.
I would ha·c bccn a sla·c to your sacrcd will,
Your c·cry whin I would ha·c closcly studicd,
Io íulfill it in ad·ancc, so that your liíc
Vould ha·c bccn cnchantncnt nc·cr-cnding.
Alas!—Fatc dccrccd othcrwisc íor nc.
Cnc can inaginc thc appcal such words would ha·c to a wonan likc
iona Anna, whosc wholc liíc has bccn arrangcd, first by hcr nothcr
and thcn by hcr husband, and who has nc·cr bccn in a situation whcrc
hcr own will was paranount. Lis suggcstion that a ncwworld oí scxual
and pcrsonal írccdon could bc opcn to hcr is dccply cnticing and at
thc sanc tinc proíoundly contrary to hcr strong scnsc oí propricty.
Lcr rcply, although noninally addrcsscd to ‘‘ion iicgo,’’ is in íact an
cxhortation to hcrsclí, an attcnpt to o·crconc thc tcnptation poscd
by hcr suitor, not only by in·oking hcr duty, but also by arguing to
hcrsclí that no ncw lo·cr could offcr hcr norc than hcr dc·otcd hus-
band had:
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iicgo, stop it, whcn I listcn to you,
I connit a sin—I nustn’t lo·c you,
A widow nust bc íaithíul to thc gra·c.
Ií only you kncw how nuch ion Al·aro
io·cd nc! Ch, surcly ion Al·aro
Vouldn’t ha·c rccci·cd an cnanourcd lady
Ií hc’d bccn widowcd.—Lc’d ha·c bccn íaithíul
Io spousal lo·c.
Again and again ion ]uan concs up against thc sancwall: iona Anna
is attractcd to hin, shc has all but íallcn in lo·c with hin—and yct
always his dcad ri·al, thc knight-connandcr, stands in thc way.
In rcsponsc, ion ]uan boldly dccidcs to go íor all or nothing, to
íorcc iona Anna to choosc bctwccn thcn. so íar, ion ]uan’s incog-
nito as ‘‘iicgo’’ has allowcd iona Anna to fincssc thc issuc oí which
nan, hcr dcad husband or hcr ncw would-bc lo·cr, has hcr ultinatc
loyalty. But ií shc knows that hcr suitor is also hcr husband’s killcr, thcn
inc·itably shc nust dccidc whcrc hcr loyalty lics. such a rc·clation,
oí coursc, cannot sinply bc blurtcd out. Instcad, ion ]uan nakcs his
first no·c with a carcíully calculatcd ‘‘slip,’’ by adding to his rccurring
statcncnts oí jcalousy a ncw thcnc, that oí guilt:
io not torncnt ny hcart,
iona Anna, by this ctcrnal ncntioning
Cí your husband. You’·c punishcd nc cnough,
Ihough pcrhaps thc punishncnt’s dcscr·cd.
Ihc first thing that iona Anna ícars in rcsponsc to this ·aguc adnis-
sion oí guilt—a rcflcction, no doubt, oí hcr own uncasy conscicncc—
is that ‘‘iicgo’’ is bcing uníaithíul:
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Ihcrc arc no holy bonds uniting you
Io any othcr—isn’t that so: Vhcn you lo·c nc,
You do no wrong to nc or in Lca·cn’s cycs.
ion ]uan’s rcply—‘‘Io you! God!’’—inplicitly dcclarcs that his guilt
is not that oí adultcry (a ‘‘wrong . . . in Lca·cn’s cycs’’). Yct by rcíusing
to confidc in iona Anna, by suggcsting that thcrc is sonc circun-
stancc that could part thcn, ion ]uan arouscs iona Anna’s ícar oí
losing this ncwadnircr. shc thus trics to hold on to hinbyconnitting
hcrsclí to hin norc dccply: shc proniscs ‘‘iicgo’’ that, ií hc will tcll
hcr thc truth, shc will íorgi·c hin anything in ad·ancc. Lowc·cr, shc
nakcs this pronisc thoughtlcssly, supposing that in íact thcrc is littlc
to íorgi·c:
And howcould you ha·c injurcd nc:
I didn’t know you—I ha·c no cncnics
And nc·cr had any. My husband’s killcr
Is thc only onc.
ion ]uan, thoroughly in connand oí thc wholc con·crsation and rcc-
ognizing this as thc crucial noncnt, takcs ad·antagc oí his incognito
to probc iona Anna’s ícclings towards hcr husband’s killcr:
ion ]uan: In your hcart
io you nursc hatc íor hin:
iona Anna: As honor dcnands.
But you’rc trying to distract nc
Fron ny qucstion, ion iicgo—
I ordcr . . .
ion ]uan: Vhat ií you should chancc
Io ncct ion ]uan:
iona Anna: I’d plungc ny daggcr
Into thc ·illain’s hcart.
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such purcly abstract hatc íor a nan whon iona Anna has nc·cr nct,
noti·atcd sinply by social con·cntion (what ‘‘honor dcnands’’), is
clcarly no norc than a rhctorical thrcat, and ion ]uan unhcsitatingly
calls iona Anna’s bluff: ‘‘iona Anna, /Vhcrc’s your daggcr: Lcrc’s
ny brcast.’’
iona Anna is stunncd by this adnission, paralyzcd by thc suddcn-
ncss with which shc is placcd bctwccn unwclconc altcrnati·cs: cithcr
to rcjcct thc suitor who has alrcady gaincd so powcríul a hold on hcr
ícclings, or to condonc thc dcath oí hcr husband. And ion ]uan, play-
ing winncr takcs all, íorccs thc choicc on hcr as bluntly as possiblc, by
dcnying any nitigating circunstanccs íor his actions:
I killcd
Your husband, and I don’t rcgrct it—
And thcrc’s no rcpcntancc in nc.
Cnly whcn iona Anna íaints docs ion ]uan rcalizc that hc has pushcd
hcr too hard, and trics to rcsunc his carlicr pcrsona: ‘‘your iicgo/
Your sla·c is at your ícct.’’ Rc·crsing his dcfiancc oí noral ccnsurc,
his abscncc oí rcpcntancc, hc now prcscnts hinsclí as a nan ncwly
conscious oí thc c·il hc has donc and rcady to rcíorn:
Ko doubt you’·c hcard hin spokcn oí
As a crininal, a nonstcr. iona Anna,
Ihc storics, it nay bc, arc partly truc,
My wcary conscicncc, nay bc, bcars thc burdcn
Cí a hca·y load oí c·il. Indccd, I ha·c
iong íollowcd willingly thc path oí ·icc,
But sincc thc noncnt whcn I first saw you,
It sccns to nc that I ha·c bccn rcborn.
In lo·ing you, I’·c conc to lo·c thc good,
And hunbly, íor thc first tinc in ny liíc,
I bcnd ny trcnbling knccs bcíorc it.
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At this point iona Anna nakcs thc nistakc (to bc íollowcd by gcn-
crations oí litcrarycritics) oí allowing ion ]uan’s words to scr·c as thc
springboard íor an arguncnt o·cr whcthcr his clainto bc con·crtcd to
·irtuc, ‘‘rcborn,’’ is gcnuinc or ncrclya scduccr’s ploy, and whcthcr his
lo·c íor iona Anna ncans norc tohinthananyoí his othcr ronanccs.
such a discussion, howc·cr, obscurcs thc íundancntal issuc. For all his
proícsscd dc·otion to ·irtuc, ion ]uan still íails to acknowlcdgc onc
oí thc nost basic laws oí thc noral uni·crsc: that liíc is not a bank-
ruptcy court in which onc can ha·c all onc’s dcbts íorgi·cn and start
again with a clcan slatc, that no nattcr how sinccrcly onc rcpcnts oí
onc’s wrongdoing, thc conscqucnccs oí that wrongdoing nc·crthclcss
nust bc bornc. It is this rcalization whih undcrlics ‘‘Rcncnbrancc’’
(‘‘Воспоминание’’), a pocn writtcn by Iushkin two ycars bcíorc thc
‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ which cnds with thc lincs:
Rclcntlcss Mcnory will wordlcssly unwind
Lcr long, long scroll íor ny inspcction,
Vith loathing I pcrusc thc rccord oí ny ycars,
I cxccratc, I quail and íaltcr,
I uttcr bittcr plaints, and hotly flow ny tcars,
But thosc sad lincs I cannot altcr.
8
It would bc possiblc íor ion ]uan to rcpcnt thc knight-connandcr’s
dcath (although, by his own adnission, hc docs not), and íor iona
Anna to íorgi·c hin. But thc dcath itsclí is an unchangcablc íact, and
no nattcr how sinccrcly or ‘‘·irtuously’’ ion ]uan nay lo·c iona
Anna or iona Anna nay lo·c hin, thcrc is a norally inpassiblc barricr
bctwccn a killcr and thc widowoí his ·ictin.
For a noncnt, iona Anna rcalizcs this, as shc tclls ion ]uan, ‘‘Ah,
ií only I could hatc you! /But all thc sanc wc ha·c to part.’’ But no
sooncr docs shc say this than, likc ion carlos, dcspitc hcr own knowl-
cdgc oí thc dangcr and dishonor oí hcr actions, shc allows hcrsclí to
surrcndcr to thc lurc oí thc ‘‘swcct dcnon.’’ shc offcrs no rcsistancc to
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ion ]uan’s straightíorward dcnand (it can hardly bc callcd a rcqucst)
íor anothcr rcndcz·ous thc íollowing night, bcyond nurnuring, ‘‘Ch
ion ]uan, how wcak oí hcart I an.’’ ion ]uan, taking ad·antagc oí
hcr willingncss to yicld, pushcs ahcad, asking íor a kiss to ‘‘scal your
pardon.’’ iona Anna, wcll awarc that it is not cxactly christian íor-
gi·cncss that hc is sccking, still docs not rcíusc hin, but only trics to
c·adc his rcqucst—‘‘It’s tinc now, go.’’ In rcsponsc, ion ]uan trics
to prcscnt what hc is asking íor, not as thc noncntous dccision oí
rcjccting hcr dcad husband in ía·or oí thc nan who killcd hin, but
as soncthing so tri·ial that it would hardly bc worth ncntioning: ‘‘A
singlc kiss, cold, pcaccíul . . .’’ And iona Anna oncc again gi·cs in—
indccd, shc now picks up ion ]uan’s trick oí laying thc blanc íor hcr
own choiccs on othcrs, spcaking as ií hc had sonchow íorccd hcr to
gi·c hin a kiss: ‘‘Low inportunatc you arc! Vcll, thcrc it is.’’
At this noncnt, it appcars, ion ]uan is triunphant. Ihc noral law
that actions ha·c conscqucnccs, it sccns, has bccn o·crconc through
his dctcrnination to ‘‘íorgct’’ thc past, and his ability to pcrsuadc iona
Anna to do likcwisc. And thcn, at thc ·cry instant oí ion ]uan’s tri-
unph, thc banishcd past rcasscrts its powcr: thc statuc oí thc knight-
connandcr cntcrs.
Ihis is thc crucial noncnt oí thc play, as indicatcd by its ·cry titlc,
which is not Doo )aao, but I/e S:ooe Gaes:. Fron thc noncnt oí its
cntrancc, thc statuc is a conplctcly doninating prcscncc, incapablc
oí bcing rcsistcd and indiffcrcnt to any rcsponsc ion ]uan nay offcr.
ion ]uan’s conccrn íor thc íallcn iona Anna is disnisscd with thc
abrupt connand, ‘‘ica·c hcr’’ (thc Russian is just as tcrsc and jar-
ring: ‘‘Брось ее’’). ion ]uan, to his crcdit, initially rcsponds coura-
gcously to thc statuc’s appcarancc, írccly obcying its connand, ‘‘Gi·c
nc your hand,’’ but his bra·cry has no cffcct on thc coursc oí action.
Vhcn his couragc íails and hc trics to withdraw his hand, crying,
‘‘ica·c nc alonc, lct go—lct go oí nc,’’ his words arc ignorcd. In con-
trast to Mozart’s conncndatorc, whosc final unhccdcd dcnand íor
ion ]uan’s rcpcntancc clcarly rcflccts a christian outlook, thc spccch
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I/e Hei¸/: of :/e Ias: .·.
and actions oí Iushkin’s knight-connandcr suggcst thc inpassi·c-
ncss and incxorability oí an agcnt oí Fatc.
Ihc íatc which thc statuc rcprcscnts, howc·cr, is not a randononc,
but thc ·cry íatc which ion ]uan hinsclí in·itcd: ‘‘You badc nc, I
ha·c conc.’’ As thc niscrly knight is dcstroycd by thc sinultancous
dcnands oí two inconpatiblc dcsircs—his all-consuning passion íor
gold and his wish to bc rcspcctcd as a knight—so, too, ion ]uan bc-
concs thc ·ictinoí his own inpossiblc dcnands. Unwa·cringly, íron
thc play’s bcginning until its cnd, ion ]uan clains thc right to íor-
gct thc past, to ignorc unwclconc circunstanccs, to bc cxcnpt íron
thc conscqucnccs oí his actions. At thc sanc tinc, oncc hc has íallcn
in lo·c with iona Anna, hc lays clain to hcr cxclusi·c fidclity, and
proícsscs thc sanc fidclity in rcturn. But fidclity ncans that a choicc,
oncc nadc, will bc adhcrcd to, whatc·cr its conscqucnccs. Indccd,
iona Anna asscrts that fidclity should bc unaffcctcd c·cn by dcath:
‘‘A widow should bc íaithíul to thc gra·c.’’ Ihis cxtrcnc ·icw con-
tains a kcrncl oí truth: a rcnarricd widow (or widowcr) who docs not
prcscr·c thc ncnory oí thc íorncr spousc, but rathcr trics to dcny or
oblitcratc it, is in cffcct connitting an act oí posthunous bctrayal. It
is prcciscly such a bctrayal into which ion ]uan wishcs to lurc iona
Anna, íor only by dcnying hcr husband’s ncnory could shc acccpt his
killcr as hcr lo·cr. ion ]uan still rcíuscs to acccpt rcsponsibility íor
his own past action by acknowlcdging that hc can ha·c no rightíul
clain upon iona Anna, but hc docs íccl guilt and uncasc about thc
insult that his planncd scduction will inflict upon thc ncnory oí thc
knight-connandcr. Lis in·itation to thc statuc is thus an act oí bra-
·ado, an attcnpt to silcncc his own qualns. But instcad oí cscaping his
guilt, hc is dcstroycd by it. For, as studcnts oí history and psychology
both know, whcn a dcnicd and buricd past is again acknowlcdgcd and
sunnoncd, it nay wcll turn out, likc thc dcad knight-connandcr, to
posscss a powcr grcatcr than that oí thc li·ing.
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sur·i·al and Mcnory:
. Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae
o·r i s ·rxr·rn to say that . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae could bc
norc dcscripti·cly cntitlcd . Dela:e Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae. Its charactcrs
do not sinply gi·c thcnscl·cs up to rc·clry as a ncans oí íorgctting
about thcir own dangcr, likc thc storytcllcrs oí Boccaccio’s Decaoe·oo.
Rathcr, thcir thoughts constantly rcturn to a singlc qucstion: what is
thc rcsponsc oí an indi·idual to a catastrophc that has cn·clopcd thc
connunity as a wholc but hc or shc pcrsonally has so íar cscapcd: Is it
possiblc to sa·c oncsclí by turning onc’s back on thc dooncd connu-
nity, or docs onc’s own hunanity dcnand solidarity with othcr hunan
bcings c·cn in thcir agony: And what bond—ií any—rcnains bc-
twccn thc sa·cd and thc lost, thc li·ing and thc dcad: Ihc ·cry inagc
.·.
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .·,
oí a ícast during thc Ilaguc poscs this qucstion: íor a ícast, a con-
nunal ncal, rcflccts thc hunan nccd íor socicty, and yct this snall
socicty that is ícasting is acting as ií thc suffcrings oí thc largcr socicty
around it do not cxist. Ihis contrast bctwccn thc solidarity oí thc rc·-
clcrs in thcir snall group—organizcd, likc a socicty, with a rccognizcd
authority—and thcir indiffcrcncc to thc largcr socicty is undcrscorcd
by thc ·cry first words oí Ieas:.
Mr. chairnan! I call to nind
sonconc whon wc all know wcll,
A nan whosc jokcs and íunny storics,
Vitty rctorts and obscr·ations,
so biting in thcir nock ponposity,
La·c cnli·cncd our tablc talk
And dri·cn away thc gloon which now
Ihc plaguc, our gucst, is shcdding
C·cr thc nost brilliant ninds.
Fron this spccch alonc onc can íorn a ncntal picturc oí thc spcakcr,
who significantly is not gi·cn a nanc, but is known only as ‘‘thc young
nan’’: a nan íor whon a ‘‘ícast’’ ncans not just cating and drink-
ing, but nost oí all conpanionship, intcllcctual gaicty, a scnsc oí írcc-
don—in short, a young nan not so diffcrcnt íron Iushkin and his
íricnds in thcir first youth. Is it so surprising that such a nan wants to
li·c, wants to íorgct about thc dangcr around hin: But dcspitc thcir
bcst cfforts, thc snall socicty oí thc rc·clcrs in íact cannot isolatc itsclí
íron thc suffcrings around it:
Iwo days ago our laughtcr crowncd
Lis storics, it isn’t possiblc
Ihat in our ncrry ícasting wc should
Forgct ]ackson. Lcrc’s his chair,
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.·, C·i:ical Essays
sitting cnpty, as ií waiting íor
A good conpanion—but hc’s gonc away
Io a cold lodging undcrground . . .
Ihus thc qucstion thc play bcconcs pcrsonalizcd: what link is thcrc
bctwccn thc saíc and thc suffcring, thc quick and thc dcad, whcn thosc
who arc strickcn includc not ncrcly ícllowcitizcns or casual acquain-
tanccs, but onc’s own íricnds and íanily, thosc towhononc is closcst:
Lcrc is whcrc thc ‘‘young nan’s’’ lo·c oí liíc and joy curdlcs into an
ugly cgotisn. Lc has no norc rcal conccrn íor his ícllow rc·clcrs than
hc has íor thc largcr socicty. Lis íricnds arc inportant to hin only in-
soíar as thcy can distract his attcntion íron thc onc thing that rcally
írightcns hin, thc possibility oí his own dcath. icspitc his praisc oí
]ackson, thc ‘‘young nan’’ is so littlc no·cd by ]ackson’s dcath that hc
can proposc to ha·c thc ícast go on without thc slightcst acknowlcdg-
ncnt that anything is diffcrcnt:
But nany oí us still li·c, and wc
La·c no causc to bc gric·ing. so
I proposc wc drink a toast to hin
Vith glasscs clinking and with shouts
As ií hc wcrc ali·c.
Bycontrast, íor thc chairnan, thc rc·clcrs íorna gcnuinc socicty, not
ncrcly a randon collcction oí indi·iduals, and thc loss oí onc oí thcn
is ncaningíul to thcn all:
Lc was thc first
Cí our group to go. In silcncc
Vc’ll drink to honor hin.
such a spirit, oí coursc, ií cxtcndcd bcyond ‘‘our group’’ to socicty as
a wholc, would rcsult in thc brcakup oí thc ‘‘ícast.’’ Io prc·cnt such a
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .·¯
brcakup, thc chairnan has to justiíy his willingncss to pausc íor such
a noncnt oí solcnn rcncnbrancc in a nanncr that thc ‘‘ícastcrs’’ will
acccpt. Lcc docs this by asscrting that a noncnt oí gricí, íar íron
burdcning thcn, will ncrcly cnhancc thcir subscqucnt cnjoyncnt:
sing, Mary, soncthing sad and haunting,
Io nakc us turn again to our ncrrynaking
Vith a wildcr spirit . . .
Mary’s song again brings to thc íorc thc qucstion oí connunal
catastrophc and indi·idual rcsponsc. Ihc ballad opcns by c·oking thc
now-·anishcd happincss oí a snall scottish ·illagc. In this sinplc but
rcassuringly íaniliar placc, thcrc is no such thing as an isolatcd indi-
·idual. E·crything is ‘‘wc’’: our church, our childrcn, our ficlds. And
in thc disastcr oí thc two íollowing stanzas, c·crything is still ‘‘wc.’’
E·cry íornoí íaniliar acti·ity, c·cry prc-Ilaguc institution, has bccn
cqually dcstroycd. Ihc wholc connunity—li·ing and dcad alikc—
has con·crgcd on thc gra·cyard, all thc li·ing arc gathcrcd thcrc to
bury and honor thcir dcad, sur·i·ors pray not íor thcnscl·cs but íor
thc souls oí thc dcad, and through thcir praycrs arc still unitcd with
thosc whon thcy ha·c lost, thc dcad c·cn physically bcconc a con-
nunity, as thc filling-up oí thc gra·cyard ncans that cach ncw gra·c
nust bc dug closcr to its ncighbors.
Kot until aítcr thc third oí thc song’s fi·c stanzas docs its narrator
c·cn cncrgc as a scparatc indi·idual, an ‘‘I’’, and shc docs so only to
rcalizc with calndignity that thcrc is no rcason why shc should cscapc
thc connon íatc: ‘‘Ií ny springtinc too is blightcd, /Ií thc gra·c ny
lot nust bc.’’ In hcr own nind shc is alrcady anong thc dcad, alrcady
sccs hcr own íuncral, and yct shc spcaks oí it without a word oí lancnt
or oí ícar íor hcrsclí. Yct thc lc·cl tonc oí hcr ·oicc is not that oí onc
nunbcd by connunity tragcdy or rcady to rcsign íron liíc. shc lo·cs
liíc, shc wants it passionatcly—but íor hcr bclo·cd Ednund, not hcr-
sclí. It is hc who nust acti·cly try to sa·c his liíc, who nust takc thc
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prccautions that onc íccls shc would not bothcr to takc: hc who nust
stay away whcn shc is strickcn, nust not approach too closcly to hcr
body, nust lca·c thc ·illagc in scarch oí soncwhcrc saícr. such sccn-
ing disrcspcct to hcr will in íact bc íulfilling hcr suprcnc wish: that hc
li·c on whcn shc cannot, íor his liíc, his wcll-bcing, is norc inpor-
tant to hcr than hcr own is. Indccd, just as hcr dcath agony is ncrcly
a part oí thc agony oí hcr ·illagc, so Ednund’s liíc and hcr liíc will bc
indissolubly unitcd:
Vhcn thc plaguc cnds—thcn conc ·isit
Vhcrc ny poor dust íound its rcst,
And ]cnny will bc truc to Ednund
E’cn in hcr placc anong thc blcst!
As Valsinghan points out in his rcsponsc, this song is itsclí a tcs-
tinony to thc indissolublc bond bctwccn thc li·ing and thc dcad, as
íolk tradition tcnaciously prcscr·cs thc ncnory oí an agony oí which
all physical traccs ha·c long sincc ·anishcd. such an cxanplc oí soli-
darity with and íaithíulncss to thc dcad can hardly bc wclconc to thc
rc·clcrs. Ihus Valsinghan’s rcsponsc trics to rcíutc Mary’s song by
cnphasizing thc discontinuity bctwccn ‘‘carlicr days’’ and thc prcscnt.
Lc spcaks oí thc diffcrcncc bctwccnthc íorncr agonyoí ‘‘thcn’’ andthc
natural bcautyand pcaccíulncss oí ‘‘now’’ (although thcrc is, oí coursc,
no rcason to assunc that what Iushkin would clscwhcrc call ‘‘indiffcr-
cnt Katurc’’ was any lcss bcautiíul in thc plaguc ycar) and downplays
thc significancc oí íolk ncnory as nuch as possiblc:
In carlicr days thc plaguc, it’s clcar,
Visitcd your nati·c hills and dalcs
And noans oí sorrow thcn wcrc hcard
Along thosc brooks and strcans which now
Flow so pcaccíul and so ncrry
Ihrough your land’s rudc paradisc.
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .·-
Ihat gloony ycar, in which thcrc ícll so nany
Anong thc bra·c, thc bcautiíul and good,
Las hardly lcít a tracc, cxccpt thc ncnory
Cí sinplc shcphcrds, singing an old song,
A sad and swcct onc . . .
Valsinghan’s nixturc oí adniration and condcsccnsion toward thc
song is worthy oí an aristocrat in a Iaris salon in .;;o toying with
íashionablc Rousscauisn: it’s ·cry swcct, oí coursc, and unqucstion-
ably touching, but sophisticatcd pcoplc likc ourscl·cs rcally can’t bc
cxpcctcd to rcgard it as anything norc than a bricí di·crsion.
Mary, by contrast, takcs thc song conplctcly scriously. ]ust as its
lyrics point to a rcal historical c·cnt, so whcn shc sings it, shc thinks
oí hcr own past, just as it spcaks oí thc constancy oí lo·c—thc lo·c oí
nan and wonan—so shc rcncnbcrs thc constancy oí thc lo·c oí hcr
own parcnts:
Ch, ií only I had nc·cr sung
Io anyonc outsidc ny parcnts’ croít!
Low thcy lo·cd to listcn to thcir Mary,
It sccns to nc that I can hcar nysclí
singing in thc housc whcrc I was born.
My ·oicc was swcctcr thcn—it was
Ihc ·oicc oí innoccncc . . .
But, unlikc thc ]cnny oí thc song, Mary has brokcn íaith with thosc
who lo·cd hcr. shc too is onc oí thc rc·clcrs at thc tablc. shc can
still bc no·cd, c·cn proíoundly no·cd, by thc inagc oí íaithíul, sclí-
abncgating lo·c dcpictcd in thc song. But shc íccls it as an inpossiblc
idcal. Bctwccn hcr past and hcr prcscnt sclí shc íccls an irrcncdiablc
gap, an unbridgcablc discontinuity: nowan urban prostitutc, shc can-
not lo·c as shc oncc could whcn shc was an innoccnt ·illagc girl.
In an cffccti·c dranatic contrast, Mary, thc prostitutc with thc hcart
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oí gold, is answcrcd by thc cynical, jadcd prostitutc iouisa. Iicking
up thc thcnc statcd by thc ‘‘young nan’’—‘‘nany oí us still li·c, and
wc/La·c no causc to bc gric·ing’’—iouisa takcs it íor grantcd that
thc purposc oí liíc is to cnjoy oncsclí as bcst onc nay. Ko nattcr what
thc circunstanccs nay bc, thc only pcoplc who gric·c, or c·cn bclic·c
in anothcr’s gricí, arc cithcr íools or shanning:
. . . But thcrc arc still
sonc íools who likc to nclt whcn woncn cry,
Vho’ll swallow it hook, linc, and sinkcr.
shc’s dccidcd that hcr tcaríul look
can’t bc rcsistcd—ií that’s what shc thought
About hcr laugh, no doubt wc’d scc hcr
Grinning all thc tinc . . .
Cnc night think that iouisa’s sclfishncss would nakc hcr cnotionally
strongcr than Mary’s hopclcss ycarning íor íaithíul lo·c. Aítcr all, as
thc anxicty oí ]cnny íor Ednund undcrscorcs, to lo·c anothcr ncans
to nakc oncsclí ·ulncrablc, to ícar íor that pcrson—sowouldn’t a pcr-
son who carcs about no onc cxccpt hcrsclí bc bcttcr cquippcd to íacc a
catastrophc: But thc rc·crsc pro·cs to bc thc casc: whcn thc rc·clcrs
arc conírontcd by a cart oí bodics bcing haulcd to a connon gra·c,
iouisc is o·crconc by tcrror and íaints. By contrast, Mary—no lcss
thrcatcncd with dcath than iouisc—is ablc to lay asidc whatc·cr ícar
thc sight c·okcs in hcr in ordcr to coníort thc distrcss oí thc ·cry
wonan who only a noncnt bcíorc had snccrcd at hcr:
sistcr oí ny shanc and sorrow,
ican upon ny brcast.
In thcsc ícw words oí natchlcss hunility and sinplicity, Mary rccog-
nizcs thc bond bctwccn iouisa’s suffcrings and hcr own. For iouisa,
bycontrast, what nakcs thc suffcring rcprcscntcd by thc dcath cart tcr-
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .·,
riíying is its alicnncss. shc pcrcci·cs its dri·cr as inhunan, thc plaguc
·ictins as inconprchcnsiblc, pcrhaps unrcal:
I drcancd I saw
A hidcous dcnon, black all o·cr, with whitc cycs . . .
Lc callcd nc to his wagon. iying in it
Vcrc thc dcad—and thcy wcrc nuttcring
In sonc hidcous, unknown languagc.
Icll nc: was it aítcr all a drcan:
iid thc cart pass:
It is worth noting that in Vilson it is thc dri·cr who nuttcrs in an un-
known languagc, in Iushkin it is thc dcad who do so—a changc that,
in all likclihood, is thc rcsult oí a grannatical nisundcrstanding on
Iushkin’s part. Kc·crthclcss, this is an inspircd nisundcrstanding: íor
iouisa to pcrcci·c thc dcad as spcaking a languagc unknown to thc
li·ing cnphasizcs hcr inability, unlikc Mary, to scc thc li·ing and thc
dcad as onc connunity.
At this point, thc floor is again takcn by thc first spcakcr oí thc play,
thc ‘‘young nan,’’ and thcrc is an apparcnt rcpctition oí its opcning
situation. Ihc ‘‘young nan’’ calls íor ncrrincnt, which is to bc dcn-
onstratcd by a spccific action (thc conpany drinking noisily, Valsing-
han singing a drinking song). Valsinghan answcrs with a nodificd
countcrproposal (íor thc conpany to drink in silcncc, íor Valsinghan
to sing a hynn to thc Ilaguc). Ihc accoladcs with whichValsinghan’s
proposcd hynn is rccci·cd sccn to suggcst that thc rc·clcrs arc íol-
lowing thc sanc logic that Valsinghan íollowcd in rcqucsting Mary’s
song: thcy assunc that thc contcnplation oí suffcring in an artistic
work will, by íorcc oí contrast, hcightcn thcir cnjoyncnt oí thcir own
saícty.
Ihis parallclisnin thc circunstanccs lcading up to cach song natu-
rally suggcsts a conparison bctwccn thc songs thcnscl·cs. such a
conparison rc·cals a nunbcr oí sinilaritics bctwccn thc songs, and
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cach oí thcsc sinilaritics, in turn, points to an undcrlying dissinilarity.
Both songs (ií wc acccpt Valsinghan’s conncnts on thc gcncsis oí
Mary’s song as corrcct) arc a dircct rcsponsc to actual cxpcricncc oí thc
Ilaguc. But Mary’s songis a íolksong, rcflcctinga connunal ncnory,
whcrcas Valsinghan’s song is thc work oí an indi·idual, gcncratcd
íron thc proíound cffcct oí a pcrsonal crisis: as hc notcs, it is thc first
tinc hc has c·cr writtcn a pocn. Both Mary’s song and Valsinghan’s
song opcn with thc inagc oí a ‘‘wc’’, but whilc Mary’s ‘‘wc’’ is that oí a
snall, tightly knit ·illagc,Valsinghan’s ‘‘wc’’ is ncrcly that oí a group
oí drinking conpanions, not ncccssarily any norc closcly bound cno-
tionally than thc rc·clcrs at Valsinghan’s own tablc. In both songs,
thc ‘‘wc’’ oí thc initial stanzas íorns a background against which a ccn-
tral thcnc is playcd out. In Mary’s song, howc·cr, thc ccntral thcnc
is also a ‘‘wc,’’ a snallcr, but c·cn norc intinatc onc: thc two lo·crs,
Ednund and ]cnny. By contrast, in Valsinghan’s song, this ccntral
scction bcconcs conplctcly abstract and philosophical:
Ihcrc’s rapturc in thc bullcts’ flight
And on thc nountain’s trcachcrous hcight,
And on a ship’s dcck íar íron land
Vhcn skics growdark and wa·cs swcll high,
And in sahara’s blowing sand,
And whcn thc pcstilcncc is nigh.
All, all that thrcatcns to dcstroy
Fills nortal hcarts with sccrct joy
Bcyond our powcr to cxplain—
Icrhaps it bodcs ctcrnal liíc!
And blcst is hc who can attain
Ihat ccstasy in storn and striíc!
Ihcsc stanzas showthc supcriorityoí Valsinghantohis ícllowrc·-
clcrs, thc supcriority which thcy thcnscl·cs acknowlcdgc in naking
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hin thcir chairnan. Ihcy arc aíraid oí dcath, hc is not. Indccd, to hin
thc ncarncss oí dcath is an cxpcricncc that sharpcns thc cdgc oí liíc,
which intcnsifics onc’s joy in li·ing. Ihis can bc an adnirablc trait—in
thc right circunstanccs. But critics who adnirc it inValsinghano·cr-
look thc pricc hc has paid to achic·c it. Lunan bcings arc capablc oí
finding a kind oí joy in situations oí grcat dangcr—but only whcn thc
dangcr is to thcnscl·cs. Ko onc has c·cr íound joy in thc knowlcdgc
that sonconc bclo·cd is in dangcr. Lcctor docs not íccl drcad bcíorc
thc battlc, but Andronachc docs.
Ihis conccrn íor anothcr, which is thc ·cry hcart oí Mary’s song,
is conplctcly nissing íron Valsinghan’s. In its placc is a titanic iso-
lation oí spirit, a pridc in onc’s own strcngth and a dclight in natch-
ing that strcngth against thc grcatcst opponcnts, against thc clcncnts,
against dcath itsclí. It is a song such as Raskolniko· night ha·c writ-
tcn ií hc had bccn, not a studcnt in st. Ictcrsburg, but a cossack on
horscback or thc captain oí a sailing ship. Cnc rccalls Raskolniko·’s
sclí-nocking dcscription oí his logic as ‘‘acsthctically flawcd’’ whcn hc
rcalizcs that no onc cxccpt hinsclí would cquatc thc battlc oí Ioulon
and thc nurdcr oí an old wonan. Valsinghan’s logic is also ‘‘acs-
thctically flawcd’’—no onc cxccpt hinsclí would cquatc thc Ilaguc
with thc othcr dangcrs that hc ncntions. such c·cnts as a battlc, or
a galc at sca, or a sandstorn arc all widcly rccognizcd as ha·ing that
quality which Burkc callcd ‘‘thc sublinc’’ and Ycats ‘‘a tcrriblc bcauty.’’
But thc Ilaguc has nc·cr arouscd any rcaction cxccpt rcpugnancc and
horror. Ihc rcason íor this acsthctic distinction is that thc Ilaguc is
cncountcrcd in a diffcrcnt way than thcsc othcr dangcrs. Var tradi-
tionally is thought oí as soncthing that ncn (and thc rarc wonan) cn-
gagc in ·oluntarily: íor thc sakc oí thcir country, or thcir rcligion, or,
likc Loncr’s hcrocs, sinply íor glory. sinilarly, scaíarcrs or tra·clcrs
to rcnotc and dangcrous placcs such as nountains and dcscrts wcrc
thought oí as willingly acccpting thc dangcrs in·ol·cd, and it was this
·oluntary conscnt that crcatcd thc pcrccption oí hcroisn. Arctic cx-
plorcrs who chosc to go to thc polar rcgions wcrc sccn as hcroic, nati·c
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pcoplcs who íaccd thc sanc difficult cn·ironncnt but not by choicc
wcrc not.
But it is prcciscly this clcncnt oí ·oluntaryacccptancc oí risk which
is nissing in thc Ilaguc. Its dangcr íalls inpartially on thc cldcrly,
young adults, and childrcn, and on ncn and woncn cqually, it nakcs
no distinction bctwccn conbatant and ci·ilian, or bctwccn thc bra·c
and thc cowardly. Its particular horror lics in its indiscrininacy. (sini-
larly, as nodcrn waríarc has nadc dcath incrcasingly indiscrininatc
through thc usc oí wcapons oí nass dcstruction and thc widcsprcad
targcting oí ci·ilian populations, war has lost nuch oí its traditional
glanor and has conc to bc rcgardcd norc in thc way thc Ilaguc is rc-
gardcd.) Ihus, whcn Valsinghan proclains, ‘‘so—íor thc Ilaguc a
hcarty chccr!’’ what hc is actually saying is, ‘‘Ihc pricc oí ny ha·ing
thc satisíaction oí dcnonstrating ny couragc in thc íacc oí possiblc
dcath is that othcrs, who arc not intcrcstcd in any such satisíaction and
who wish to li·c, nust suffcr and dic, and I acccpt that pricc.’’
1
It is nowondcr that thc pricst whocntcrs at that noncnt rcsponds to
such a dcclaration with horror: ‘‘Agodlcss ícast, bcfitting godlcss nad-
ncn!’’ Ihc pricst, although hc spcaks in tcrns oí traditional christian
doctrinc, is lcss conccrncd about thc rclationship bctwccn God and
nan than thc rclationship bctwccn nan and nan. Ihc ícast inplicitly
dcnics thc nccd íor God by disrupting íuncral scr·iccs and thc praycrs
íor thc dcad, but thc offcnsc which thc pricst strcsscs is disrcgard not
oí God, but oí thc gricí and suffcring oí thc hunan nourncrs:
Your ícasting and your shanclcss songs
Mock at and proíanc thc gloony pcacc
sprcad c·crywhcrc by dcath and dcsolation!
Anidst thc horror oí thc nourníul burials,
Anidst palc íaccs I pray at thc gra·cyard,
And your hatcíul shouts and crics oí rc·clry
iisturb thc silcncc oí thc tonb—bccausc oí you,
Ihc carth itsclí trcnblcs o·cr thc dcad bodics!
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .,,
Mcrrincnt in such circunstanccs, thc pricst gocs on, is likc thc ncrri-
ncnt oí dcnons who opcnly rcjoicc in thc suffcrings oí a danncd soul.
And just as godlcssncss and dcnonisnarc associatcd by thc pricst with
indiffcrcncc to othcrs’ suffcring, so sal·ation is associatcd with hunan
solidarity, with thc prcscr·ation oí cnotional tics bcyond c·cn dcath:
whcn thc pricst urgcs thc rc·clcrs to dispcrsc, hc docs not sinply say,
‘‘ií c·cr you hopc to cntcr Lca·cn,’’ but ‘‘ií c·cr /You hopc to ncct
again in Lca·cn/Ihc souls oí thosc whon you ha·c lost.’’
Ihc rc·clcrs’ rcsponsc shows that thcy arc csscntially a crowd oí
pcoplc cach likc thc ‘‘young nan,’’ totally prcoccupicd with thcir own
pcrsonal ícar and thcir dcsirc to scizc any distraction íron that ícar,
so that thcy rcíusc c·cn to show any grasp oí thc cthical issuc which
thc pricst is raising, instcad, thcy ncrcly try to hoot hin away. Cnly
Valsinghan is willing to coníront thc issuc and to cngagc in a gcnu-
inc dialoguc with thc pricst, c·cn ií hc concs down firnly against thc
pricst’s call íor solidarity with thc suffcrcrs by his dcclaration, ‘‘youth
lo·cs gaicty.’’
Rccognizing that hc cannot rcach thc thoughtlcss crowd, thc pricst
turns all his attcntion to Valsinghan, addrcssing to hin spccifically
thc sanc ncssagc that was gi·cn in Mary’s song, thc sur·i·al oí lo·c
aítcr dcath and thc continucd conccrn oí thc dcad íor thc li·ing:
Is that you, Valsinghan: Arc you thc sanc nan
Vho just thrcc wccks ago droppcd to your knccs,
Enbracing your nothcr’s body as you wcpt,
And howling bcat your fists upon hcr gra·c:
Cr do you think shc isn’t crying now,
shcdding bittcr tcars in Lca·cn itsclí,
Io scc hcr son caught up in rc·cling
At a shanclcss ícast, to hcar your ·oicc
singing likc onc posscsscd, anidst
Loly praycrs and dccp-íclt sighs:
Follow nc!
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Ihc pricst’s rcíusal to gi·c up, his sclflcss dctcrnination to hclp
Valsinghan, cnablcs thc chairnan to rccognizcs in thc pricst what hc
has bccn unablc to find in any oí his shallow ícllow rc·clcrs: sonconc
capablc oí undcrstanding an inncr agony born, not oí sinplc physical
ícar, but oí spiritual dcsolation. Finding at last an cqual, sonconc to
whon hc can spcak, Valsinghan pours out his hcart in sonc oí thc
nost cxtraordinary lincs in thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ lincs whosc conbi-
nation oí bcauty and dc·astation oí spirit looks íorward to Blok:
Vhy ha·c you conc hcrc
Io troublc nc: I cannot, I nust not
Followaítcr you: I an bound hcrc
By dcspair, by tcrriblc rcncnbrancc,
By thc knowlcdgc oí ny lawlcssncss,
And by thc horror oí that dcad cnptincss
Vhich grccts nc now in ny own housc—
And by thc no·clty oí thcsc íurious rc·cls,
And by thc blcsscd poison oí this cup,
And by thc carcsscs—God íorgi·c nc—
Cí a bcing, ruincd, but still dcar . . .
My nothcr’s shadc will not call nc away
Fron hcrc—it’s too latc—I hcar your ·oicc
calling nc—I rccognizc your stri·ing
Io sa·c nc. . . . Cld nan, go in pcacc,
But accurscd nay hc bc who íollows you!
Valsinghan acknowlcdgcs thc justicc oí thc pricst’s accusation
against thc rc·clcrs. Lc sccs hinsclí as ‘‘lawlcss,’’ outsidc hunan so-
cicty. Lis ·ocabulary cchocs thc pricst’s chargc oí dcnonisn. Lc dc-
scribcs thc rc·cls as бешеных веселий, and whilc бешеный nay
ncan sinply ‘‘rabid, íurious,’’ its ctynological ncaning is ‘‘posscsscd
by a dcnon (бес).’’ Lis rcícrcncc to ‘‘thc blcsscd poison oí this cup’’
brings thc ícast ·cryclosc to a blasphcnous parodyoí thc connunion
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .,¯
scr·icc (thc adjccti·c I ha·c translatcd as ‘‘blcsscd,’’ благодатным,
has a strong association with thc rccci·ing oí gracc, it is thc cpithct
uscd aítcr thc words ‘‘Радуйся Дево’’—‘‘Rcjoicc, C Virgin’’—in thc
church sla·onic ·crsion oí thc .·e Ma·ia). And his opcning words to
thc pricst, ‘‘Vhy ha·cyou conc hcrc/Io troublc nc:’’ conbincd with
his final adjuration to thc pricst to lca·c hin alonc ‘‘in God’s nanc’’
(‘‘Зачем приходишь ты/Меня тревожить: . . . Отец мой, ради
Бога, /Оставь меня’’) ccho thc dcnon’s words to christ in Mark ,:;:
‘‘Vhat ha·c You to do with nc . . . : I adjurc You by God, do not tor-
ncnt nc’’ (‘‘Что Тебе до меня. . . : ЗаклинаюТебя Богом, не мучь
меня’’).
But whilc Valsinghan rccognizcs thc corrcctncss oí thc pricst’s
diagnosis, hc disputcs thc offcrcd curc. For hin, thc ncnory oí thosc
who ha·c lo·cd hinis not a coníort, but a torncnt, a ‘‘tcrriblc rcncn-
brancc’’, thc honc that rcninds hin oí thcn fills hin with ‘‘horror.’’
Ihc ‘‘no·clty’’ oí thc ícast, its brcak with thc past, is what draws hin
to it. And his rcaction is not, as onc night think, bccausc hc docs not
bclic·c in thc innortality oí thc soul, and thus wishcs to put bchind
hin a loss that hc rcgards as irrcco·crablc. Lc is cntircly willing to
grant thc pricst’s asscrtion that his nothcr’s soul sunnons hin away
íron thc ícast, but hc will not go.
Vhy docs Valsinghan rcact to thc ncnory oí his past in this íash-
ion: Ihc playdocs not gi·c us a dircct answcr, but its structurc pcrnits
us to gucss. Valsinghan is a couragcous nan, but his couragc is thc
couragc oí action, oí challcnging and dcíying an cncny. As Mary’s
song shows, this is not thc only typc oí couragc thcrc is, thc calnncss
with which ]cnny contcnplatcs hcr own dcath rcninds us that cndur-
ing thc inc·itablc with gracc is also a íorn oí couragc. In a situation
whcrc this couragc oí cndurancc is rcquircd, it nay indccd pro·c truc,
as Valsinghan rcnarks apropos oí iouisa’s íainting, that ‘‘thc crucl
arc wcakcr than thc tcndcr.’’ Ircciscly bccausc hc is so proud oí his
own powcr, oí his own acti·c couragc, Valsinghan cannot withstand
a blowwhich can only bc cndurcd, not íought—thc loss oí thosc closc
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to hin. Ihc pricst’s qucstion whcn rcninding Valsinghan oí his par-
oxysn oí gricí at his nothcr’s dcath—‘‘Arc you thc sanc nan/Vho
just thrcc wccks ago droppcd to your knccs . . . :’’—is not sinply a
rhctorical onc, Valsinghan is at thc ícast prcciscly bccausc hc docs
not want to bc ‘‘thc sanc nan,’’ docs not want to bc hunblcd by so
crushing a sorrow. But thc only way that hc can írcc hinsclí íron that
pain is by dissociating hinsclí íron his ncnorics oí thc dcad. Ihus
his first rcsponsc to thc pricst’s cxhortation, ‘‘Matilda’s purc soul calls
you!’’ is a íurious dcnand íor íorgctíulncss: hc riscs íronthc tablc and
crics out
swcar to nc, liíting your palc
And withcrcd hand to Lca·cn, to lca·c
Ihat nanc íorc·cr silcnccd in thc gra·c!
But in trying to dcny or dcstroy his ncnorics oí thosc whonhc lo·cs,
Valsinghan is also dcstroying his own capability íor lo·c, íor hunan
synpathy, and thc barrcn Iitanisn oí thc ‘‘Lynn to thc Ilaguc’’ is
thc rcsult. Lc is íully awarc oí thc spiritual danagc hc has inflictcd
upon hinsclí, as indicatcd by thc rcst oí his rcsponsc to thc ncntion
oí Matilda:
Ch, ií only I could hidc this sight
Fron hcr innortal cycs! Cncc
shc thought nc purc, proud, írcc—
And íound paradisc in ny cnbracc . . .
Vhcrc an I: Loly child oí light! I scc
You thcrc, whcrc ny íallcn spirit
Vill nc·cr rcach . . .
Ihis passagc illuninatcs his carlicr affcctionatc rcícrcncc to Mary—
‘‘a bcing, ruincd, but still dcar’’—an affcction bascd on Valsinghan’s
pcrccption oí thcir sinilarity. iikc Mary, Valsinghan sccs his liíc as
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Sa··i·al aoá Meoo·y .,-
brokcn apart, with an innoccnt, idyllic past that is scparatcd by an in-
passiblc gulí íron thc corruptcd prcscnt.
But is this actually thc casc: Valsinghan spcaks oí his ruin in cx-
plicitly christian tcrns—his wiíc, in Lca·cn, has bcconc a ‘‘child oí
light’’ inacccssiblc to his ‘‘íallcn spirit’’—and yct thc spokcsnan íor
christianity, thc pricst, clcarly docs not rcgard Valsinghan as irrc-
co·crably lost. Instcad, thc pricst calls upon Valsinghan to sa·c hin-
sclí by rcpcnting, in thc original scnantic scnsc oí that word—to turn
asidc, to changc his coursc. Vhat Valsinghan nccds, and what thc
pricst sunnons hinto, is not thc sclfish, hollow‘‘rc·clry’’ oí thc ícast,
but circunstanccs in which thc wounds oí his spirit can hcal cnough
íor hin to bc ablc to rccognizc his ncnorics oí thosc whon hc has
lo·cd and lost not as a torncnt, but as a blcssing—thc ‘‘sonc placc
apart’’ whcrc ]cnny bids Ednund to ‘‘casc your wcary hcart’’ bcíorc
rcturning to thcir ·illagc to ·isit hcr gra·c.
2
In his proud dcfiancc, his
unwillingncss to acccpt loss and subnit to gricí, Valsinghan dclib-
cratcly rcíuscs this possibility and rcjccts thc sal·ation offcrcd by thc
pricst with thc dctcrnincd cry, ‘‘Fathcr, íor God’s sakc/ica·c nc!’’
Valsinghanchooscs to rcnain at thc ícast. Instcad oí ‘‘dcad cnpti-
ncss . . . in ny own housc,’’ hc chooscs thc conpanionship oí thc tablc.
And yct thc socicty oí thc rc·clcrs is only a shcll, a tra·csty, oí a truc
socicty, oí gcnuinc hunan solidarity. Ihat solidarity concs at thc cost
oí bcaring loss and gricí, oí rcnaining íaithíul to thc ncnory oí thc
dcad. It is a cost that Valsinghan rccognizcs, but is not willing to
pay. ‘‘Lc who has not, c·cn what littlc hc has will bc takcn íron hin’’:
c·cn thc shan socicty oí thc tablc is not lcít íor Valsinghan. Lis con-
sciousncss scts hin apart íron his ícllow rc·clcrs, c·cn as thcy ha·c
sct thcnscl·cs apart íron thc largcr socicty. Ihc ícast gocs on around
hin, but hc is no longcr a part oí it. ‘‘Ihc chairnan rcnains, plungcd
in dccp contcnplation.’’
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conncntary
·ur ‘‘ xxcro’’ problcns in·ol·cd in translating thc ‘‘littlc tragc-
dics,’’ such as nctrics or finding thc right tonc íor a charactcr’s spccch,
ha·c bccn discusscd abo·c. In addition, howc·cr, thcrc arc a nunbcr
oí ‘‘nicro’’ problcns—that is, difficultics in translating an indi·idual
word or phrasc, whcthcr bccausc thc Russian has o·crtoncs not rc-
produciblc in English, or bccausc thcrc arc altcrnati·c translations íor
cach oí which a casc could bc nadc, or bccausc a·oiding a construc-
tion which would bc clunsy in English rcquircd taking sonc libcrty in
translation. Vhat íollows is a list oí what I considcrcd thc nost intcr-
csting or challcnging ‘‘nicro’’ problcns, along with an cxplanation
why a particular solution was choscn.
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Coooeo:a·y .,,
·ur xi srris x·i ou·
‘‘chcnstonc’’ is gcncrally prcsuncd to rcícr to thc cightccnth-ccntury
Englishpoct Villianshcnstonc, who, howc·cr, didnot writc anywork
cntitlcd I/e Co·e:oas Roi¸/: (although sonc idcas that arc cchocd in
Iushkin’s play can bc íound in shcnstonc’s pocn ‘‘Econony’’). Ihc
subtitlc is a dclibcratc nystification on Iushkin’s part, apparcntly in-
tcndcd to cnphasizc thc purcly fictional naturc oí thc work and thus
discouragc spcculation about any rcal-liíc nodcls íor its charactcrs.
Ihis titlc is usually translatcd as I/e Co·e:oas Roi¸/:, on thc as-
sunption that it was intcndcd to corrcspond cxactly to thc English
titlc oí thc fictitious ‘‘chcnstonc’’ work. In íact, any Russian-English
dictionary will translatc thc adjccti·c скупой as ‘‘stingy, niscrly’’ and
скупость (thc noun uscd by Albcrt in lincs ,c and .,c) as ‘‘stingincss,
niscrlincss.’’ Morco·cr, niscrlincss andco·ctousncss arc distinctlydií-
ícrcnt qualitics. Miscrlincss inplics a grcat dcsirc to acquirc noncy,
and an c·cn grcatcr dcsirc not to part with it. co·ctousncss inplics
a dcsirc to acquirc soncthing to which anothcr has a rightíul clain:
‘‘Ihou shalt not co·ct thy ncighbor’s wiíc, nor his nanscr·ant, nor
his naidscr·ant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything clsc that bclongs
to hin.’’ A niscr could quitc possibly also bc a co·ctcr, in thc scnsc
oí wanting to add anothcr’s rightíul wcalth to his own hoard, but a
co·ctcr could just as wcll bc a spcndthriít. clcarly, thc doninant char-
actcristic oí thc baron is niscrlincss, not co·ctousncss, and thc titlc
should rcflcct this.
Ihis raiscs thc qucstion: why did Iushkin idcntiíy thc noncxistcnt
work that supposcdly scr·cd as a basis íor his play as I/e Co·e:oas
Roi¸/: rathcr than I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:: Cnc possibility, oí coursc, is
that Iushkin sinply nadc a nistakc in his English. Lowc·cr, thcrc
is also a norc intcrcsting possibility: that aítcr ha·ing crcatcd a non-
cxistcnt English work to distancc hinsclí íron inputations that his
play was bascd on rcal liíc, hc thcn wishcd to distancc hinsclí as wcll
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.cc Coooeo:a·y
íron thc noncxistcnt English work. Lcncc thc spclling oí thc author’s
nanc as chcnston (or chcnstonc)—which suggcsts, but is not thc
sanc as, Villian shcnstonc—and thc dcscription oí this work as a
‘‘tragiconcdy,’’ whcrcas Iushkin’s work is clcarly a tragcdy. substi-
tuting ‘‘co·ctous’’ íor ‘‘niscrly’’ in thc titlc oí this noncxistcnt work
would thcn bc anothcr way oí producing this closc-but-not-thc-sanc
cffcct.
iinc :: ]ohn: Iushkin—likc shakcspcarc, who did not hcsitatc to
nix ianishnancs likc Lanlct andGcrtrudcwiththc iatinnanc Iolo-
nius and thc Grcck (!) iacrtcs—sccns to ha·c bccn littlc conccrncd
about thc cthnic consistcncy oí his charactcrs’ nancs. Albcrt has a
saxon nanc, but Iushkin’s spclling oí it, with thc final ‘‘t’’ droppcd,
suggcsts that it should bc pronounccd as ií it wcrc Frcnch. Ihc nancs
oí thc othcr ncnbcrs oí thc nobility ncntioncd in thc play arc spcllcd
(in translitcration íron thc Russian) as iclorzh, clotilda, Rcnon, and
Filip. Iniatinlcttcrs thcscwouldprcsunablybc iclorgc, clotild, Ray-
nond, and Ihilip (or Ihilippc), suggcsting a ·agucly Franco-Gcrnan
location. Ihc scr·ant, howc·cr, is gi·cn thc unnistakably Russian
nanc I·an. Ihc nost logical cxplanation would sccnto bc that, gi·cn
thc rclati·cly insignificant position oí this scr·ant in tcrns oí both his
social status and his rolc in thc play, Iushkin sinply dccidcd to gi·c
hina nanc which íronthc point oí ·icwoí a Russian was as ordinary
as possiblc. Iurning I·an into ]ohn prcscr·cd this ‘‘c·crynan’’ quality
oí his nanc in English.
iinc :.. ‘‘Ch, this po·crty!’’: thc Russian is Обедность, бедность!
which would translatc litcrally as, ‘‘C po·crty, po·crty!’’: not sonc-
thing that I could inaginc an English spcakcr saying. Kc·crthclcss, thc
rcpctition docs cnphasizc thc dcgrcc oí Albcrt’s írustration.
iinc ,;. ‘‘Iah! It’s not difficult to catch it hcrc’’: thc Russian is Да!
заразаться здесь не трудно ею, which would litcrally translatc as
‘‘Ycs! It’s not difficult . . .’’ But Albcrt’s ‘‘da’’ is spokcn not prinarily to
show agrccncnt with anything prc·iously said, but sinply as an cx-
prcssion oí contcnpt: its cxplosi·c sound (particularlyas thc first word
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Coooeo:a·y .c.
in a scntcncc) is norc inportant to his ncaning than its dictionary
dcfinition.
iinc ¡:. ‘‘Groancdandwafflcd.’’ thc Russianis Кряхтет да жмется,
which A. F. B. clark translatcs as ‘‘Lc sighcd and shruggcd.’’ Ihc dií-
ícrcncc lics in how hard onc inagincs ]ohn prcsscd íor thc loan. Ií
]ohn ncrcly con·cycd his nastcr’s rcqucst, solonon would prcsun-
ably ha·c gi·cn hin thc cqui·alcnt oí a coolly politc, ‘‘Gcc, I’d likc
to hclp, but I can’t’’—in which casc ‘‘sighcd and shruggcd’’ would bc
nost accuratc. Ií ]ohn had rcally bccn dcnanding about it, solonon
would probably ha·c íclt hinsclí pushcd into a corncr, unwilling to say
ycs and not daring to say no—in which casc hc would ha·c ‘‘groancd
and wafflcd.’’ Gi·cn Albcrt’s hot-hcadcdncss, which could ccrtainly
takc itsclí out on a scr·ant who had íailcd to gct a dcsircd loan íor hin,
it sccncd likcly to nc that ]ohn prcsscd solonon hard.
iinc .:¡. ‘‘Ioison too’’: thc Russian is: ‘‘Твой старичок торгует
ядом.’’ ‘‘Да—иядом.’’ Ihc ‘‘и’’ oí ‘‘иядом’’ is bcing uscd as a conccs-
sion, a íornoí dc-cnphasis: ‘‘Vcll, ycs, it is poison.’’ My cffort to con-
·cy this dc-cnphasis by ‘‘Ioison too’’ (as ií that wcrc a nornal part oí
conncrcc) was suggcstcd by thc litcral dcfinition oí ‘‘и’’ as ‘‘and, also.’’
iinc :oo. ‘‘howling all thc tinc’’: thc Russian ·crb is воя, which
ncans cithcr ‘‘howling’’ (uscd to dcscribc thc sound oí dogs or wol·cs)
or ‘‘wailing.’’ Ihc íorncr translation sccncd to nc norc in kccping
with thc Baron’s conplctc lack oí synpathy íor his pctitioncr.
iinc :.,. ‘‘I wouldsuffocatc’’: thc Russianis я захлебнулся б, whcrc
thc ·crb litcrally rcícrs to choking on swallowcd íood, or by cxtcn-
sion, to inability to gct cnough air (Kaboko· translatcs it as ‘‘. . . and
with a spluttcr/I’d pcrish in ny trusty ·aults’’). Ihc picturc it calls up
thus is not onc oí drowning, but oí thc Baron trappcd in his ·ault by
floodwatcrs outsidc, and dying as thc air insidc bcconcs cxhaustcd.
iinc :.:. ‘‘tcnpcrcd bladc’’: thc Russian is честной булат. Aбулат
is a sword nadc oí ianascus stccl, highly prizcd during thc Middlc
Agcs, thc adjccti·al íorn булатный is a standard poctic cpithct íor a
sword. My translation is ncant to indicatc both thc tcchnical supcri-
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.c. Coooeo:a·y
ority oí thc wcapon in qucstion and thc archaic, clc·atcd quality oí thc
languagc in which it is dcscribcd.
iinc :¡.. ‘‘Vith his hcllraising íricnds out íor a good tinc’’: thc
Russian is Развратников разгульных собеседник, norc litcrally
soncthing likc ‘‘A conpanion oí wild/loosc/dcbauchcd libcrtincs/
profligatcs’’—a norc cxplicit scxual rcícrcncc thannysuggcsti·c ‘‘out
íor a good tinc.’’ Ihc Baron’s croticizcd ·icw oí his gold is cchocd in
his ícar that it will íall into thc hands oí a scxual prcdator.
xozxr· x·n sxii rri
iinc ,. ‘‘clcar and sinplc as do-rc-ni’’: thc Russian is ясно, как
простая гамма, litcrally ‘‘clcar as a sinplc scalc.’’ Lowc·cr, whilc thc
Russianгамма is anob·iouslytcchnical tcrnwhosc rcícrcncc tonusic
is ob·ious, thc English word ‘‘scalc’’ has sc·cral possiblc ncanings, oí
which thc nusical onc is not ncccssarily thc first to occur to a rcadcr’s
or listcncr. substituting ‘‘do-rc-ni’’ íor ‘‘scalc’’ nadc thc nusical rcícr-
cncc ob·ious and at thc sanc tinc (courtcsy oí Rodgcrs and Lanncr-
stcin) conprchcnsiblc c·cn to thc nonnusical. Ihc potcntial coníu-
sion o·cr thc English word ‘‘scalc’’ has bccn notcd by othcr translators
who, howc·cr, ha·c not íully sol·cd thc problcn. Kaboko· translatcs
it as ‘‘plain as sc·cn sinplc notcs,’’ which, ií onc docs not know thc
undcrlying Russian, is soncwhat pcrplcxing: why should sc·cn notcs
bc plaincr than, say, íour or fi·c: A clcarcr ·crsion is gi·cn by R. M.
Lcwitt, who translatcs this linc as ‘‘sinplc as thc scalc oí c.’’ Ihis
nakcs thc nusical rcícrcncc conplctcly ob·ious, but it can bc prop-
crly apprcciatcd only by sonconc who rcalizcs that c is thc sinplcst
scalc to play on a piano (sincc it is thc only onc which docs not rcquirc
thc usc oí black kcys).
iinc cc. ‘‘Vho idly strolls through liíc’’: thc Russian is Гуляки
праздного, litcrally, ‘‘an idlc strollcr.’’ Ihc noun гуляки is íron thc
sanc root as thc ·crb гулять, ‘‘to go íor a walk/stroll,’’ or by cxtcn-
sion, ‘‘to ha·c a good tinc’’ (with an inplication oí partying or boistcr-
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Coooeo:a·y .c,
ousncss). Ihc adjccti·c праздного is rclatcd to праздник, ‘‘holiday,
ícsti·al’’—a day whcn no work is donc. Ihis notií oí Mozart’s ‘‘idlc-
ncss’’ will rcappcar in linc ::o, whcn Mozart dcscribcs artists as ‘‘happy
idlcrs’’—in Russian, счастливцев праздных.
iinc ..o. ‘‘ny di·incncss is hungry’’: thc Russian божество is a
pcrícctly nornal grannatical íorn ncaning ‘‘godhcad’’ or ‘‘di·inity.’’
Lowc·cr, thc grannatical inappropriatcncss oí ‘‘di·incncss’’ (along
with its suggcstion oí a pun on thc titlc ‘‘Lighncss’’) sccncd to nc
norc cxprcssi·c oí thc playíullydcflatingnaturc oí Mozart’s statcncnt.
iinc .:c: ‘‘Appcaring likc an angcl’’: thc Russian is Как некий
херувим, litcrally, ‘‘iikc a chcrub.’’ Ihis, howc·cr, riskcd c·oking thc
popular (and conplctcly un-scriptural) inagc oí a chcrub as a chubby-
chcckcd littlc child, whilc salicri’s spccch nakcs it clcar that hc is cn-
·isioning thc najcsty oí a hca·cnly ncsscngcr.
iinc .,:: ‘‘soncthing has upsct you:’’: thc Russian is Ты . . . чем-
нибудь расстроен:—a qucstion with o·crtoncs that cannot bc con-
·cycd in English. Ihc prinary ncaning oí расстроен is indccd ‘‘up-
sct,’’ but bcaring in nind salicri’s habit oí cxprcssing hinsclí in nusical
tcrns, it is worth noting that it has a sccondary ncaning ‘‘out oí tunc.’’
It also cchocs salicri’s carlicr thcnc oí thc apparcnt discrcpancy bc-
twccn Mozart’s pcrsonality and his nusic, sincc salicri has praiscd thc
lattcr íor its ‘‘just proportion’’ (стройность).
iinc .;¡: ‘‘Grcctcd nc rcspcctíully’’: thc Russian is Учтиво
поклонившись. Ihc Russian ·crb поклониться litcrally ncans ‘‘to
bow,’’ but is rcgularly uscd in thc figurati·c scnsc ‘‘to grcct’’—a natu-
ral cnough cxtcnsion in a culturc whcrc bowing was a nornal ncthod
oí grccting sonconc. Io a nodcrn-day Ancrican, howc·cr, bowing
is a soncwhat cxotic custon. As a rcsult, ií this linc wcrc translatcd
as ‘‘Bowcd to nc rcspcctíully,’’ it would tcnd to catch thc rcadcr’s or
listcncr’s attcntion—clcarly not what Iushkin wantcd, sincc in thc
Russian it is a subordinatc clausc. Iranslating it as thc unrcnarkablc
‘‘Grcctcd nc rcspcctíully’’ kccps thc narrati·c írcc oí this potcntial
noncntary distraction.
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.c, Coooeo:a·y
iincs .::–.:,. ‘‘iay and night ny black nan won’t /ica·c nc
alonc’’: thc Russian is Мне день иночь покоя не дает/Мойчерный
человек, whcrc черный человек can ncan cithcr ‘‘nan (drcsscd) in
black’’ or ‘‘black nan.’’ Mozart’s scnsc that this черный человек is
íollowing hin‘‘likc a shadow’’ indicatcs that his inagination has trans-
íorncd thc actual figurc oí thc black-garbcd nan who connissioncd
thc Re¸aieo into a íar norc disturbing nctaphysical figurc, a pcrsoni-
fication oí thc ‘‘ghostly ·ision’’ oí linc .oo, and accordingly I ha·c uscd
thc oninously suggcsti·c translation ‘‘black nan.’’
iinc .,:. ‘‘too nuch a buffoon’’: thc Russian is слишком был
смешон, litcrally, ‘‘was too íunny [a nan|’’ or ‘‘was too droll [a nan|.’’
Although thc dcrisi·c o·crtonc oí ‘‘buffoon’’ is not prcscnt in thc Rus-
sian, it sccncd to nc to cxprcss thc attitudc toward hunor that onc
would cxpcct írona nan as dcadly scrious (litcrally dcadly) as salicri.
iinc :o,. ‘‘tothc íaithíul union’’: thc Russianis за искреннийсоюз.
Ihc nornal ncaning oí искренний is ‘‘sinccrc, candid,’’ which pain-
íully undcrscorcs salicri’s act oí trcachcry. But whcn rcícrring to a
union that links two pcoplc, thc natural trait to cnphasizc would bc its
strcngth oí connitncnt. Kaboko·, apparcntly rccognizing this prob-
lcn, tricd to includc both thc actual and thc logicallycxpcctcd cpithct:
‘‘thc írank and loyal brothcrhood.’’ Uníortunatcly íor his translation,
‘‘írank’’ has conc to bc associatcd with unwclconc sinccrity—tclling
thc truth at a tinc, or in a nanncr, which would not pronotc ‘‘brothcr-
hood’’—but thc pcrccption that thc onc cpithct искренний should
con·cy thc doublc ncaning oí intcgrity and loyalty is a corrcct onc.
I chosc ‘‘íaithíul’’ as thc bcst singlc word I could think oí to conbinc
thcsc conccpts.
iinc :.o. ‘‘As ií I had íulfillcd a burdcning duty’’: thc Russian is Как
будто тяжкийсовершил я долг. Ihc word долг ncans ‘‘dcbt’’ as wcll
as ‘‘duty’’ (both arc things which arc ‘‘owcd’’), so that thcorctically
this linc could bc translatcd as ‘‘As ií I had paid off a hca·y dcbt.’’ But
gi·cn salicri’s conccpt oí hinsclí as a nan with a nission—thc onc
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choscn by dcstiny to stop Mozart—it sccns psychologically íar norc
plausiblc íor hin to scc hinsclí as pcríorning his duty.
iinc :::. ‘‘Ihat’s not truc’’: thc Russian is Неправда. Ihc Russian
word правда ncans both ‘‘truth’’ and ‘‘justicc.’’ It is thc word that
salicri uscs in thc first two lincs oí thc play: ‘‘Ihcy say thcrc’s no jus-
ticc [нет правды| hcrc on carth/But thcrc’s no justicc [правды нет|
highcr up, cithcr.’’ As it turns out, c·cn whcn conírontcd with правда,
salicri pro·cs unablc to rccognizc it dccisi·cly, to distinguish bctwccn
right and wrong.
iincs ::,–:,.. ‘‘Vhat oí Michclangclo:’’: ‘‘[Iushkin’s oldcr con-
tcnporary| Karanzin statcd in his Le::e·s of a RassiaoI·a·elle·, ‘Vhcn
tourists arc shown Michclangclo’s painting oí thc crucifixion, thcy’rc
always told that supposcdly thc artist, in ordcr to bc ablc to prcscnt
thc dying christ rcalistically, killcd thc nan who scr·cd as his nodcl,
but this story is totally unbclic·ablc.’ Ihc [cightccnth-ccntury| Frcnch
poct [Antoinc-Marin| ic Micrrc, who rccountcd this lcgcnd in onc oí
his works, addcd thc obscr·ation: ‘I cannot possibly bclic·c that crinc
and gcnius can bc conbincd.’ ’’ K. V. Koloso·a (cd.), Boláios/aya oseo’
(Moscow: Molodaya g·ardiya, .,::), p. :c,. (Iranslation ninc)
·ur s·o·r ours·
iinc .o. ‘‘swaggcring lord’’: thc Russian is нахальный кавалер.
Нахальство is thc sort oí unshakablc bclicí in onc’s own right against
c·crybody clsc, no nattcr what thc situation, that lca·cs onlookcrs
iníuriatcd and at thc sanc tinc cxpcricncing a ccrtain grudging adni-
ration (thc bcst translation night bc ‘‘chutzpah’’). In thc contcxt oí a
noblcnantakinganc·cningstroll througha capital city, ‘‘swaggcring’’
sccncd to nc thc bcst cxprcssion oí this sclí-assurcd, out-oí-ny-way
approach to othcrs.
iincs .c–.;. ‘‘ion ]uan ·iolatcd his cxilc/And showcd up in
Madrid’’: thc Russianis ДонГуаниз ссылкисамовольно/ВМадрит
явился, litcrally ‘‘ion ]uan oí his own sclí-will arri·cd in Madrid íron
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.cc Coooeo:a·y
cxilc.’’ In thc inncdiatc contcxt oí thc king’s rcaction, rcícrring to
ion ]uan’s rcturn ‘‘oí his own sclí-will’’ cnphasizcs thc dclibcratc and
crininal disrcgard oí thc royal will. My translation ‘‘·iolatcd his cxilc’’
was intcndcd to suggcst statutory languagc and thus point to thc lcgal
dangcr oí ion ]uan’s position. In thc largcr contcxt oí thc play, how-
c·cr, this phrasc has an additional significancc that is lost in transla-
tion: although ion ]uan’s constant clainis that hc is dri·cn by chancc
or did not plan what happcncd, thc wholc plot is sct in notion by his
‘‘sclí-willcd’’ choicc oí rcturning to Madrid.
iinc ¡,. ‘‘A danncd bad job’’: thc Russian is Проклятая . . .
должность. In ·icw oí ion ]uan’s íatc, it is worth noting thc rc-
pcatcd usagc oí thc adjccti·c проклятый, ‘‘danncd’’ (in thc thcologi-
cal scnsc), ‘‘accurscd,’’ which shows up also in linc .::, ‘‘iann this
liíc’’ (norc litcrally, ‘‘A danncd liíc’’—Проклятое житье), linc :.;,
‘‘iook, you danncd íool’’ (гляли, проклятый), and linc :,., ‘‘In a
hcllholc oí an inn’’ (В проклятой венте).
iinc ..,. ‘‘Lc’s bunpcd off thc husband’’: thc Russian is Мужа
повалил, whcrc повалил ncans soncthing likc ‘‘brought down’’ or
‘‘knockcd o·cr.’’ ‘‘Bunpcd off’’ was thc closcst I could gct to this
strongly physical inagc.
iincs .,.–.,:. ‘‘as ií thcy wcrc brought íorth/Kot íron sla·ish
ncnory’’: thc Russian ·crb is рождала, ‘‘ga·c birth to’’—iaura uscs
thc sanc inagcry oí crcati·c inspiration as birth as docs salicri in his
first nonologuc.
iinc .;.. ‘‘iucky nan’’: thc Russian is счастливец—thc sanc word
uscd by ion ]uan to dcscribc thc knight-connandcr in lincs ¡.: and
¡:o. Ihc adjccti·c счастливый can ncan cithcr ‘‘happy’’ or ‘‘lucky’’,
I ha·c choscn whichc·cr soundcd norc natural in English in a gi·cn
contcxt.
iinc :¡¡. ‘‘Low nany tincs ha·c you chcatcd on nc’’: thc Russian
·crb изменяла, ‘‘bctraycd,’’ is thc onc nornally uscd íor a spousc who
connits adultcry.
iinc ,oc. ‘‘Vhat do you want:’’: thc Russian is чего вы требуете,
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Coooeo:a·y .c-
litcrally, ‘‘what do you dcnand’’—suggcsting that iona Anna is al-
rcady awarc oí a conpclling powcr in ion ]uan’s addrcsscs to hcr.
iinc ,c,. ‘‘Vhat can I do íor you:’’: thc Russian is Что вамугодно,
a standard phrasc oí politcncss and scr·icc. coning íron icporcllo,
who is rcgularly insolcnt to his nastcr (inc·itably so, sincc no scr·ant
with any scnsc oí dccorun or propricty would takc a position with
ion ]uan), this linc would bc appropriatcly dcli·crcd with an ironic
o·crpolitcncss.
iinc ¡::. ‘‘io·cly bcing!’’: thc Russian is Милое созданье, scc thc
notc on . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae, linc :.;, bclow.
iincs ,,:–,,,. ‘‘Lowinportunatcyou arc! . . . Ch, hidc, ion ]uan’’:
in Russian, Какойтынеотвязчивый! . . . о скройся, ДонГуан. iona
Anna has shiítcd íronaddrcssing ion ]uan as ‘‘вы’’ (thc íornal ‘‘you,’’
cqui·alcnt to thc Frcnch ‘‘·ous’’ or thc Gcrnan ‘‘sic’’) to addrcssing
hin as ‘‘ты’’ (thc intinatc ‘‘you,’’ cqui·alcnt to thc Frcnch ‘‘tu’’ or thc
Gcrnan ‘‘iu’’). Ihis ·crbal shiít is c·cn norc oí a surrcndcr to ion
]uan than hcr kiss, sincc in ninctccnth-ccntury Russia, a wonan would
addrcss a ncrc suitor as ‘‘вы’’, ‘‘ты’’ would inply thc cxistcncc or an-
ticipation oí a scxual rclationship.
iinc ,¡o. ‘‘Ihc stony grip oí his right hand’’: thc Russian is
Пожатье каменной его десницы, ‘‘thc grip oí his stonc right hand.’’
Десница or десная (right hand) is an archaic íorn typically uscd to
rcícr to di·inc action: десница провидения (thc hand oí Iro·idcncc),
овцы о десную, козлища о шую (‘‘thc shccp on thc right hand,
thc goats on thc lcít’’—rcícrring to God’s di·ision oí hunanity into
thc rightcous and unrightcous at thc iast ]udgncnt, as dcscribcd in
Matthcw :,:,.–¡c). Ihus thc usc oí thc word десница to rcícr to thc
hand that drags ion ]uan to his doonsuggcsts thc supcrnatural naturc
oí thc rctribution in·ol·cd.
iinc ,¡.. ‘‘ict go—lct go oí nc’’: thc Russian is пусти, пусти мне
руку, litcrally, ‘‘lct go, lct go oí ny hand.’’ I ha·c onittcd thc word
‘‘hand’’ bccausc it is contcxtually ob·ious that it is ion ]uan’s hand
that thc statuc is holding on to, bccausc including thcword would ccho
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.c· Coooeo:a·y
thc word ‘‘hand’’ in a way which docs not occur in thc original, which
distinguishcs ‘‘десницы’’ uscd in thc linc bcíorc and ‘‘руку’’ uscd hcrc,
andbccausc ‘‘lct go, lct gooí nyhand’’ is acccntuallyclunsy(lct gó, lct
góoí ny hánd) conparcdto‘‘lct go, lct gooí nc’’ (lct gó, lct góoí nc).
x rrxs· nuri ·o ·ur rixour
Gi·cn thc abscncc oí articlcs in Russian, thc first problcn íor a trans-
lator oí this play is whcthcr its titlc, Пир во время чумы, should bc
translatcd as . Ieas: io Iioe of Ila¸ae or . Ieas: io :/e Iioe of :/e
Ila¸ae. Ihc íorncr translation inplics an ‘‘outsidc’’ or ‘‘God’s-cyc’’
·icw oí thc Ilaguc as a rccurring and unsurprising phcnoncnon in
hunan history (as a praycr to bc rcad ‘‘in tinc oí war’’ inplics thc cx-
pcctation that such a praycr will bc nccdcd by succcssi·c gcncrations).
‘‘Ihc tinc oí thc Ilaguc,’’ by contrast, suggcsts how it would bc sccn
by a pcrson li·ing through it: thcrc was a nornal tinc, and thcn a
·iolcnt disruption, and thcn—íor thc sur·i·ors—soncthing likc nor-
nality again, this disruption was ‘‘thc Ilaguc,’’ as sur·i·ors oí a war
would spcak oí it as ‘‘thc war.’’ sincc Iushkin’s play cnphasizcs, not
thc phcnoncnon oí Ilaguc as it has affcctcd hunan bcings through-
out history, but thc rcsponsc oí a nunbcr oí indi·iduals to thc dcadly
thrcat which has disruptcd thcir íorncr li·cs, thc appropriatc choicc
would bc with articlcs—. Ieas: io :/e Iioe of :/e Ila¸ae. Ihis phrasc,
howc·cr, is clunsy sounding in English, and thc substitution . Ieas:
Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae naturally suggcsts itsclí (as it did, íor cxanplc, to
Mirsky in his . His:o·y of Rassiao Li:e·a:a·e).
iincs .;–.:. ‘‘Although that tonguc oí wondrous cloqucncc/Las
not yct íallcn silcnt in thc gra·c’’: thc Russian is Хотя красноречи-
вейший язык/Не умолкал еще во прахе гроба. Ihcsc lincs sccn
to ha·c causcd sonc coníusion anong translators: Vcrth nakcs thcn
rcad, ‘‘But nark you, his nost cloqucncc discourscs /continucd al-
nost to thc ·cry last,’’ whilc Kaboko· gi·cs, ‘‘Ihough nc·cr was so
cloqucnt a tonguc/dooncd to kccp still in a dccaying caskct.’’ Ihc
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Coooeo:a·y .c,
sourcc oí thc problcn cncrgcs whcn conparing Iushkin’s tcxt with
Vilson’s.Vilsonrcads: ‘‘Lis chair stands /Enptyat your right hand—
as ií cxpccting/Ihat jo·ial wassailcr—but hc is gonc/Into cold nar-
rowquartcrs.Vcll, I dccn/Ihc gra·c did nc·cr silcncc with its dust /
Atonguc norc cloqucnt, but sincc ’tis so, /And storc oí boon conpan-
ions yct sur·i·c, /Ihcrc is no rcason to bc sorrowíul.’’ Iushkin’s trans-
lation rc·crscs Vilson’s inagc—thc dust oí thc gra·c has oo: silcnccd
thc dcad nan’s cloqucnt tonguc. Ihis rc·crsal is in kccping with thc
doninant issuc oí Iushkin’s play, thc thcnc oí thc continuing connu-
nion bctwccn thc li·ing and thc dcad. As a rcsult oí this rc·crsal, whilc
Vilson’s lincs íorn a continuous cxposition, Iushkin’s lincs .;–.: arc
disjoincd íron thc oncs which íollow thcn. Vcrth and Kaboko· ap-
parcntly íclt this disjunction and, not rcalizing its largcr significancc,
tricd to find translations which would snooth it o·cr.
iinc :;. ‘‘with rudc pcrícction’’: thc Russian is с диким
совершенством, whcrc дикий litcrally ncans ‘‘wild,’’ natural, uncul-
ti·atcd—cnphasizing thc ‘‘priniti·c’’ qualityoí thc pcríornancc, and
thus its appropriatcncss to íolk nusic. Ihc usc oí ‘‘rudc’’ in thc sonc-
what paradoxical-sounding translations both in this linc and in linc ;,
(‘‘rudc paradisc’’—дикий рай) is intcndcd to suggcst Valsinghan’s
conbination oí attraction to and skcpticisn towards thc ‘‘noblc sa·-
agc’’ clichc oí scottish rural liíc.
iincs .o¡–.o, (stagc dircction). ‘‘A black nan is dri·ing’’: thc Rus-
sian is Негр управляет ею. Негр is a cognatc oí ‘‘Kcgro,’’ but in kccp-
ing with connon usagc, I ha·c translatcd it as ‘‘black nan.’’ It nust,
howc·cr, bc undcrstood that this ‘‘black nan’’ is a nan with black skin,
as opposcd to thc ‘‘black nan’’ (nan drcsscd in black, черныйчеловек
oí Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i.
iincs ..:–..,. ‘‘although thc strcct’s all ours, /An untraffickcd
hiding-placc íron dcath’’: thc Russian is хотя улица вся наша /
Безмолвное убежнище от смерти, litcrally, ‘‘althoughall our strcct /
Is a silcnt rcíugc íron dcath.’’ Безмолвное, howc·cr, ncans ‘‘silcnt’’
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..c Coooeo:a·y
in thc spccific scnsc oí ‘‘lacking thc sound oí hunan ·oiccs’’—íor an
urban strcct, a proíoundly abnornal and disturbing condition. ‘‘An
untraffickcd hiding-placc’’ rcflccts this inplication oí plaguc-strickcn
dcsolation.
iincs .,c–.c.. Ihc íourth stanza oí Valsinghan’s song: thc Rus-
sian is Есть упоение в бою, /И бездны мрачной на краю, /И в
разъяренномокеане, /Средь грозных волн и бурной тьмы, /Ив
аравийское урагане, /Ив дуновении Чумы. which translatcs litcr-
ally as: ‘‘Ihcrc is intoxication in battlc, /And on thc cdgc oí a gloony
abyss, /And on thc iníuriatcd occan/Anong thrcatcning wa·cs and
storny darkncss /And in thc Arabian hurricanc/And in thc brcath
oí thc Ilaguc.’’ In linc .,;, íor thc sakc oí rhync (‘‘flight/hcight’’) I
ha·c changcd thc obscr·cr’s pcrspccti·c slightly, sincc Valsinghan’s
lyrics suggcst an obscr·cr standing on thc cdgc oí a clifflooking down,
rathcr than atop a nountain, but thc scnsc oí a ·ast spacc opcn bc-
ncath thc obscr·cr is thc sanc. In linc .co, in rccognition oí thc íact
that Arabia no longcr c·okcs thc sanc cxotic and íorbiddcn aura that
it would ha·c had íor a Europcan in .:,o, I ha·c no·cd thc ‘‘Arabian
hurricanc’’—norc pcdantically, a sandstorn—to thc unqucstionably
ícarsonc tcrrain oí thc sahara.
iinc .cc. ‘‘And blcst is hc’’: thc Russian is И счастлив тот, whcrc
счастлив would norc accuratcly bc translatcd as ‘‘happy’’ (unlikc
‘‘blcst,’’ it has no thcological o·crtonc).
iinc .::. ‘‘to outcr darkncss’’: thc original is в тьму кромешную,
an ccho oí thc church sla·onic Gospcls, I ha·c uscd thc cqui·alcnt
phrasc íron thc King ]ancs Vcrsion (Matt. :::.,).
iinc :.;. ‘‘Cí a bcing, ruincd, but still dcar’’: thc Russian is Поги-
бшего, но милого созданья, ‘‘oí a lost but dcar crcaturc.’’ Lowc·cr,
‘‘crcaturc’’ has an o·crtonc oí contcnpt in English, particularly whcn
applicd to a prostitutc, which Iushkin clcarly did not intcnd to ha·c
in thc Russian, sincc thc sanc phrasc (Милое созданье) is uscd by
ion ]uan in addrcssing iona Anna. Ihus in both cascs I ha·c trans-
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Coooeo:a·y ...
latcd созданье as ‘‘bcing.’’ Милое suggcsts soncthing which c·okcs
lo·c or is worthy oí bcing lo·cd, thc word ‘‘dcar,’’ uscd hcrc, would bc
a standard translation. In I/e S:ooe Gaes:, howc·cr, ‘‘dcar’’ sccncd a
distinctly wcak cpithct íor an inpassioncd lo·c spccch, and so, by an
cxtcnsion oí thc idca oí lo·cablcncss, I translatcd it as ‘‘lo·cly.’’
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Kotcs
i ··ronuc·i o·
.. Ihc phrasc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ was uscd by Iushkin in a lcttcr to I.A.
Ilctnc· datcd , icccnbcr .:,o, in which Iushkin, whilc cnuncrating thc
works hc had writtcn at Boldino, dcscribcs thc íour plays as ‘‘sc·cral dranatic
sccncs, or littlc tragcdics’’ (‘‘несколько драматических сцен, или
маленьких трагедий’’).
:. In a lcttcr to Mnc. Goncharo·a datcd , April .:,o, Iushkin wrotc, ‘‘Cnly
habit and long intinacy could cnablc nc to gain thc affcction oí Mllc. your
daughtcr, I nay hopc that shc will bcconc attachcd to nc o·cr tinc, but I
ha·c nothing to offcr that would plcasc hcr, ií shc conscnts to gi·c nc hcr
hand, I would rcgard it only as pro·ing thc tranquil indiffcrcncc oí hcr hcart.
But surroundcd by adniration, honagcs, tcnptations, will hcr tranquillity
cndurc: Icoplc will tcll hcr that only an unhappy íatc prc·cntcd hcr íron
..,
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.., No:es :o Ia¸es ,–.c
naking anothcr natch, norc cqual, norc brilliant, norc worthy oí hcr—
thosc conncnts will pcrhaps bc sinccrc, and ccrtainly shc will think thcn so.
Vill shc not ha·c rcgrcts: Vill shc not scc nc as an obstaclc, a íraudulcnt
abductor: Vill shc not conc to dctcst nc: God is ny witncss that I an rcady
to dic íor hcr, but to ha·c to dic and lca·c hcr a dazzling widow, írcc to
choosc a ncw husband thc ncxt day—that idca is hcll.’’ (In thc original
Frcnch: ‘‘i’habitudc ct unc longuc intinitc pourraicnt sculcs nc íairc gagncr
l’affcction dc M-llc ·otrc fillc, jc puis cspcrcr nc l’attachcr à la longuc, nais jc
n’ai ricn pour lui plairc, si cllc conscnt à nc donncr sa nain, jc n’y ·crrai quc
la prcu·c dc la tranquillc indiffcrcncc dc son cocur. Mais cntourcc
d’adniration, d’honnagcs, dc scductions, ccttc tranquillitc lui durcra-t-cllc:
Cn lui dira qu’un nalhcurcux sort l’a scul cnpêchcc dc íorncr d’autrcs licns
plus cgaux, plus brillants, plus digncs d’cllc,—pcut-êtrc ccs propos scront-ils
sincèrcs, nais à coup sûr cllc lcs croira tcls. K’aura-t-cllc pas dcs rcgrcts: nc
nc rcgardcra-t-cllc pas connc un obstaclc, connc un ra·isscur íraudulcux:
nc nc prcndcra-t-cllc pas cn a·crsion: iicu n’cst tcnoin quc jc suis prêt à
nourir pour cllc, nais dc·oir nourir pour la laisscr ·cu·c brillantc ct librc dc
choisir dcnain un nou·cau nari—ccttc idcc—c’cst l’cnícr.’’)
,. i. s. Mirsky, . His:o·y of Rassiao Li:e·a:a·e f·oo I:s Be¸iooio¸s :o .,cc
(KcwYork: Vintagc Books, .,,:), p. .o..
·ur ‘‘ ii ··ir ·rxorni rs’’ i · r·oii s u: .o .¡¡·oac/
.. Ihc publishcd translations oí thc ‘‘littlc tragcdics’’ with which I an íaniliar
arc Eugcnc M. Kaydcn’s translation oí all íour plays (Ycllow springs, Chio:
Antioch Ircss, .,c,), A. F. B. clark’s I/e Co·e:oas Roi¸/:, Mo¸a·: aoá
Salie·i, and I/e S:ooe Gaes: in I/e Ho·/s of .lexaoáe· Ias//io. Ly·ics,
Na··a:i·e Ioeos, Iol/ Iales, Ilays, I·ose, cditcd and with an introduction by
A·rahnYarnolinsky (KcwYork: Randon Lousc, .,,c), Vladinir Kaboko·’s
translation oí thc Baron’s sccond-sccnc nonologuc íron I/e Co·e:oas Roi¸/:
and thc conplctc tcxts oí . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae and Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i,
printcd in I/·ee Rassiao Ioe:s. Selec:ioos f·oo Ias//io, Le·ooo:o· aoá
Iya:c/e· (Koríolk, conn.: Kcw iircctions, .,¡¡), ]ancs E. Falcn’s
translations oí Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i and I/e S:ooe Gaes: in I/e Ias//io )oa·oal,
·ols. . (.,,,) and : (.,,¡) rcspccti·cly, R. M. Lcwitt’s Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i
(Kottinghan: Uni·crsity collcgc, .,,:), and Alcxandcr Vcrth’s . Ieas: io :/e
Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae in Sla·ooic Re·ie«, c, no. .c (]unc .,:;).
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No:es :o Ia¸es ..–.- ..¯
:. I. s. Eliot, Ioe:·y aoá D·aoa (iondon: Fabcr & Fabcr i., .,,.), pp. .:–.,.
,. Ibid., p. .,.
¡. Eliot, I/e Masic of Ioe:·y (Glasgow: ]ackson, son & conpany, .,¡:), pp.
.,–:..
,. Ibid., pp. :.–::.
c. In thc original Russian:
‘‘Я стараюсь. . .насколько возможно, быть верным
оригиналу, но только там, где верность или точность не вредит
художественному впечатлению, и, ни минутыне колеблясь, я
отделяюсь от подстрочности, если это может дать на русском
языке другое впечатление, чем по-немецки.
‘‘Я думаю, что не следует переводить слова и даже иногда
смысл, а главное, надо передавать впечатление.
‘‘Необходимо, чтобычитатель перевода переносился быв ту
же сферу, в которой находится читатель оригинала, и чтобы
перевод действовал на те же нервы.’’ Kornci chuko·skii, 1yso/oe
is/ass:·o (Moscow: so·ctskii pisatcl’, .,::), p. :..
;. In thc original Russian: ‘‘Каким размером, например, переводить
узбеками стихотворения Лермонтова, если четырехстопный
ямб для них эксотика, совершенно чуждая их стиховому
мышлению: Тут никакая эквиритмия немыслима, потому что в
богатой, утонченной и сложной поэтической традиции узбеков
четырехстопному ямбу нет места, и узбеки, которые в течение
многих столетий накопили огромный поэтический опыт,
воспринимают европейскуюформу стиха совершенно иначе,
чем мы. Когда пришлось, например, перевести на узбекский
язык лермонтовского ‘Хаджи Абрека,’ два замечательных
узбекских поэта, Гафур Гулям и Шейх-заде, даже и не пытался
передать его тем же размером. Ибо для узбекского уха это не
было эквивалентом того впечатления, которое тот же ямб
доставляет нашему русскому уху. Поэтому Гафур Гулям перевел
четырехстопный лермонтовский ямб тринадцатисложным
‘бармаком’ (то есть силлабическим размером), а Шейх-заде—
девятисложным ‘бармаком,’ и на традиционном фоне
узбекской поэзии это и является эквивалентом
четырехстопного ямба.’’ Ibid., p. ;;.
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..c No:es :o Ia¸es .-–.,c
:. In thc original Frcnch: ‘‘ia ·raiscnblancc dcs situations ct la ·critc du
dialoguc—·oilà la ·critablc règlc dc la tragcdic. (]c n’ai pas lu caldcron ni
Vcga) nais qucl honnc quc cc sch.·akcspcarc>! jc n’cn rc·icns pas. connc
Byron lc tragiquc cst ncsquin dc·ant lui! . . . iiscz sch.·akcspcarc>, il nc
craint janais dc conproncttrc son pcrsonnagc, il lc íait parlcr a·cc tout
l’abandon dc la ·ic, car il cst sûr cn tcnps ct licu dc lui íairc trou·cr lc
langagc dc son caractèrc.’’
,. All oí thc ballads ncntioncd in thc íollowing discussion arc wcll-known
oncs that ha·c bccn rcprintcd nany tincs. Cnc book that con·cnicntly
contains all oí thcn is I/e Cxfo·á Boo/ of Ballaás, cd. Arthur Çuillcr-couch
(Cxíord: clarcndon Ircss, .,:;).
·ur srnuc·i o· or rowrr: I/e Mise·ly Roi¸/:
.. A. G. Gukaso·a, Boláios/ii ¡e·ioá · :·o·c/es:·e Ias//ioa (Moscow:
Iros·cshchcnic, .,;,), p. :..
rr·rxsxi or x cxiii ·o: Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i
.. In thc original Russian: ‘‘В первое представление Дон Жуана,
в то время когда весь театр, полный изумленных знатоков,
безмольвно упивался гармонией Моцарта, раздался свист—все
обратились с негодованием, и знаменитый Сальери вышел из
залы—в бешенстве, снедаемый завистью. . . Завистник,
который мог освистать Д.〈он〉 Ж.〈 уана〉, мог отравить его
творца.’’ A. s. Iushkin, Iolooe sol·aoie soc/ioeoii (Moscow: Voskrcscnic,
.,,¡–.,,;), ·. .., p. :.:. Iushkin appcars to ha·c bccn nislcd by an
inaccuratc sccondary sourcc. Ihc world prcnicrc oí Doo Gio·aooi (in Iraguc)
was indccd rccci·cd with grcat cnthusiasn, but salicri was not in Iraguc at
thc tinc. It is cntircly possiblc that hc attcndcd thc Vicnna (court) prcnicrc
oí thc work, but its rcccption at Vicnna was dccidcdly nixcd, so that thc
dranatic incidcnt oí onc hccklcr against thc wholc housc could not ha·c
happcncd.
:. s. V. Rassadin, D·aoa:a·¸ Ias//io. Ioe:i/a. Iáei. E·olia:siia (Moscow:
Iskusst·o, .,;;), p. .:¡.
,. For a discussion oí this ‘‘iuciícrian’’ inagcry, scc Robcrt iouis ]ackson,
‘‘Miltonic Inagcry and icsign in Iuškin’s Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i. Ihc Russian
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No:es :o Ia¸es .,¯–.¯· ..-
satan,’’ in .oe·icao Coo:·ila:ioos :o :/e Se·eo:/ Io:e·oa:iooal Coo¸·ess of
Sla·is:s, cd. Victor Icrras (Ihc Laguc, .,;,), pp. :c.–:;o.
¡. V. Vatsuro, in ‘‘Mo¸a·: i Sal’e·i,’’ :·a¸eáiia Ias//ioa. D·i¸/eoie ·o ··eoeoi,
Iushkin · XX ·ckc, III (Moscow: Kaslcdic, .,;;), p. ;:o.
·ur wri ou· or ·ur rxs·: I/e S:ooe Gaes:
.. In thc original Russian: ‘‘Живая, кипучая, торжествующая жизнь,
олицетворенная в образе Дон Гуана, все время омрачается
‘виденьем гробовым’—неотступно возникающим призраком
смерти . . . Но жизнь не только все время дается в пьесе рядом,
бок о бок со смертью. Жизнь бросает вызов смерти . . . в
особенности,—в приглашении Дон Гуаном статуи командора
охранять его любовнуювстречу с Доной Анной. Ина всем
протяжении пьесыжизнь торжествует. Только в самом конце
смерть оказывается победительницей, но и тут она, как в опере
Моцарта, не в силах сломить дух Дон Гуана.’’ i. i. Blagoi,
I·o·c/es/ii ¡a:’ Ias//ioa. .·.c–.·,c (Moscow: so·ctskii pisatcl’, .,c;),
p. c,:.
:. In thc original Russian: ‘‘Именно живого человеческого чувства
не может простить Дон Гуану мертвый и бездушный
мир . . . Барон погиб оттого, что перестал быть человеком,
теперь же ‘жестокий век’ мстит Дон Гуану за то, что в нем
пробудился человеком.’’ i. Ustiuzhanin, Maleo’/ie :·a¸eáii .. S. Ias//ioa
(Moscow: Khudozhcst·cnnaya litcratura, .,;¡), pp. ::, :,, italics in original.
,. ‘‘Наказание без преступления.’’ In: s. V. Rassadin, D·aoa:a·¸
Ias//io. Ioe:i/a. Iáei. E·olia:siia. Moscow: Iskusst·o, .,;;.
¡. Frank scclcy, ‘‘Ihc Iroblcn oí Raoeooy¡ Gos:’,’’ Sla·ooic aoá Eas:
Ea·o¡eao Re·ie«, ¡. (.,c,), pp. ,c:, ,,¡.
,. Richard Grcgg, ‘‘Ihc Eudacnonic Ihcnc in Iuškin’s ‘iittlc Iragcdics,’ ’’
.lexaoáe· Iaš/io. . Syo¡osiao oo :/e .-¯:/ .ooi·e·sa·y of His Bi·:/, cd.
Andrcj Kodjak and Kiril Iarano·sky (KcwYork: KcwYork Uni·crsity Ircss,
.,;c), pp. .:,, .,¡.
c. In thc original Russian: ‘‘К своему светлому зениту Дон Гуан шел
порочным путем (как Барон и Сальери—ведь они тоже думали,
что преследуют высокие цели), шел . . . на каждому шагу
нарушая не столько божеские, сколько человеческие законы,
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..· No:es :o Ia¸es .¯·–.,.
подчиняя все своему ‘я хочу’. Цепь ‘преступлений’ Дон Гуана
завершилась приглашением Командора. Каков быни был
Командор, поступок Дон Гуана—глумление, издевательство,
унижение человека, пусть мертвого, и оскорбление его вдовы.
Простить этого нельзя.’’ V. Kcponniashchii, ‘‘C nalcn’kikh
tragcdiiakh,’’ Maleo’/ie :·a¸eáii (Moscow: Iskusst·o, .,c;), pp. ;,–;c.
;. charlcs corbct, ‘‘i’originalitc du Coo·i·e áe ¡ie··e dc Iouchkinc,’’ Re·ae áe
li::é·a:a·e coo¡a·eé, :,, no. . (.,,,), pp. ,:–,¡, points out two sinilaritics
bctwccn Villicrs’s play and Iushkin’s: thc plot dc·icc oí ion ]uan’s disguising
hinsclí as a nonk, and thc ncntion oí thc knight-connandcr’s nanc as ion
Al·aro (a nanc that occurs in no prc-Iushkin ·crsion cxccpt Villicrs’s).
Iushkin night indcpcndcntly ha·c conc up with thc idca oí a clcrical
disguisc, but it sccns highly unlikcly that purc chancc would lcad hin to pick
cxactly thc sanc íairly unconnon christian nanc íor his
knight-connandcr.
:. Ihis translation is gi·cn in Valtcr Arndt, Ias//io I/·eefolá. Na··a:i·e,
Ly·ic, Ioleoic aoá Rilalá 1e·se, I/e C·i¸ioals «i:/ Lioea· aoá Me:·ic
I·aosla:ioos (KcwYork: E. I. iutton, .,;:), p. ,:. Ihc Russian original is:
‘‘Воспоминание безмолвно предо мной/Свой длинный
развивает свиток, /Ис отвращением читая жизнь мою, /Я
трепещу и проклинаю, /Игорько жалуюсь, и горько слезы
лью, /Но строк печальных не смываю.’’
survi vxi x·n xrxors: . Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae
.. It is worth conparing Valsinghan’s attitudc toward thc Ilaguc with that
dcscribcd in Iushkin’s pocn ‘‘Ihc Lcro’’ (‘‘Герой’’), which was also writtcn
at Boldino in .:,o. In ‘‘Ihc Lcro,’’ which takcs thc íorn oí a dialoguc
bctwccn a poct and his íricnd, thc poct says that, out oí all oí Kapolcon’s acts,
thc onc that nost capti·atcs his inagination is thc lcgcnd that during his
Middlc Eastcrn canpaign, thc íuturc cnpcror ·isitcd his plaguc-strickcn
soldicrs in a ficld hospital and unhcsitatingly touchcd thcir hands—a dcgrcc
oí ícarlcssncss worthy oí Valsinghan’s hynn. But what nakcs this gcsturc
hcroic, in thc poct’s cycs, is not ncrcly thc dcgrcc oí ícarlcssncss it shows,
but thc íact that it was pcríorncd to gi·c coníort and couragc to thc
dcspcratcly sick ncn. It is this conpassion, thc poct asscrts, which nakcs thc
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No:e :o Ia¸e .,- ..,
diffcrcncc bctwccn a hcro and a tyrant. By contrast, conpassion íor thc
strickcn is conplctcly lacking in Valsinghan’s ícarlcssncss.
:. Ihc conncction bctwccn Valsinghan and thc bcrca·cd Ednund is rightly
nadc by ionald iocwcn, ‘‘iisguiscd as Iranslation: Rcligion and Rc-
crcation in Iushkin’s . Ieas: io Iioe of Ila¸ae,’’ Sla·ic aoá Eas: Ea·o¡eao
)oa·oal, ¡o, no. . (.,,c), pp. ,o–,..
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sclcct Bibliography
Akhnato·a, Anna. ‘‘Raoeooyi ¸os:’ Iushkina (Iushkin’s I/e S:ooe Gaes:).’’
Soc/ioeoiia, cd. G. I. stru·c and B. A. Fillipo·. Vol. :. Munich:
Intcr-ianguagc iibrary Associatcs, .,c:.
Alcxandro·, Vladinir E. ‘‘corrclations in Iushkin’s Maleo’/ie :·a¸eáii.’’
Caoaáiao Sla·ooic Ia¡e·s, :o (.,;:): .;c–.,,.
Baylcy, ]ohn. Ias//io. . Coo¡a·a:i·e Coooeo:a·y. canbridgc: canbridgc
Uni·crsity Ircss, .,;..
Bidncy, Martin. ‘‘Ihinking about God and Mozart: thc salicris oí Iuškin and
Ictcr shaffcr.’’ Sla·ic aoá Eas: Ea·o¡eao )oa·oal, ,o, no. : (.,:c): .:,–.,,.
Blagoi, i. i. I·o·c/es/ii ¡a:’ Ias//ioa. .·.c–.·,c (Ias//io’s .·:is:ic Ia:/,
.·.c- .·,c). Moscow: so·ctskii pisatcl’, .,c;.
chuko·skii, Kornci. 1yso/oe is/ass:·o. Moscow: so·ctskii pisatcl’, .,::.
(A·ailablc in English as I/e .·: of I·aosla:ioo. Ro·oei C/a/o·s/y’s
...
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‘‘. Hi¸/ .·:.’’ Ir. and cd. iaurcn G. icighton. Knox·illc: Uni·crsity oí
Icnncsscc Ircss, .,:¡.)
corbct, charlcs. ‘‘i’originalitc du Coo·i·e áe ¡ie··e dc Iouchkinc.’’ Re·ae áe
Li::é·a:a·e Coo¡a·ée, :,, no. . (.,,,): ¡:–;..
iarskii, i. Maleo’/iia :·a¸eáii Ias//ioa (Ias//io’s ‘‘Li::le I·a¸eáies’’ ).
Moscow, .,.,.
iurylin, s. K. Ias//io oa s:seoe ,S:a¸io¸ Ias//io’s Ilays). Moscow:
Izdatcl’st·o Akadcnii nauk sssR, .,,..
Eliot, I. s. I/e Masic of Ioe:·y. I/e I/i·á H. I. Re· Meoo·ial Lec:a·e
Deli·e·eá io :/e Uoi·e·si:y of Glas¸o« .,:/ Iel·aa·y .,,.. Glasgow:
]ackson, son & conpany, .,¡:.
-. Ioe:·y aoá D·aoa. I/e I/eoáo·e S¡eoce· Meoo·ial Lec:a·e, Ha··a·á
Uoi·e·si:y, No·eole· .., .,¯c. iondon: Fabcr & Fabcr, .,,..
Ernako·, I. i. E:iaáy ¡o ¡si//olo¸ii :·o·c/es:·a .. S. Ias//ioa. C¡y:
o·¸aoic/es/o¸o ¡ooioaoiia ‘‘Dooi/ · Roloooe,’’ ‘‘I·o·o/a’’ i oaleo’/i//
:·a¸eáii (S:aáies io :/e .·:is:ic Isyc/olo¸y of .. S. Ias//io. Io«a·ás ao
C·¸aoic Uoáe·s:aoáio¸ of ‘‘I/e Li::le Hoase io Roloooa,’’ ‘‘I/e I·o¡/e:,’’
aoá :/e Li::le I·a¸eáies). Isikhologichcskaia i psikhoanalitichcskaia
bibliotcka pod. rcd. proí. I. i. Ernako·a. Moscow, .,:,.
Gifford, L. ‘‘Iuškin’s Ieas: io Iioe of Ila¸ae and Its Criginal.’’ .oe·icao
Sla·ic aoá Eas: Ea·o¡eao Re·ie«, ; (.,¡,): ,;–¡c.
Grcgg, Richard. ‘‘Ihc Eudacnonic Ihcnc in Iuškin’s ‘iittlc Iragcdics.’ ’’ In
.lexaoáe· Iaš/io. . Syo¡osiao oo :/e .-¯:/ .ooi·e·sa·y of His Bi·:/, cd.
Andrcj Kodjak and Kiril Iarano·sky. KcwYork: KcwYork Uni·crsity
Ircss, .,;c.
-. ‘‘Iushkin and shcnstonc: Ihc casc Rcopcncd.’’ Coo¡a·a:i·e
Li:e·a:a·e, .;, no. : (spring .,c,): .o,–..c.
Gukaso·a, A. G. Boláios/ii ¡e·ioá · :·o·c/es:·e Ias//ioa (Ias//io’s Boláioo
Ie·ioá). Moscow: Iros·cshchcnic, .,;,.
]ackson, Robcrt i. ‘‘Miltonic Inagcry and icsign in Iuškin’s Mo¸a·: aoá
Salie·i. Ihc Russian satan.’’ .oe·icao Coo:·ila:ioos :o :/e Se·eo:/
Io:e·oa:iooal Coo¸·ess of Sla·is:s, cd. Victor Icrras. Vol. :. Ihc Laguc:
Mouton, .,;,.
-. ‘‘Moral-Ihilosophical subtcxt in Iushkin’s Raoeooyi ¸os:’.’’
Scaoáo-Sla·ica, ,, (.,:,): .;–:¡.
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¡o, no. . (.,,c): ¡,–c:.
Mirsky, i. s. . His:o·y of Rassiao Li:e·a:a·e f·oo I:s Be¸iooio¸s :o .·cc. Kcw
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Kcponniashchii, V. s., conp. ‘‘Mo¸a·: i Sal’e·i,’’ :·a¸eáiia Ias//ioa. D·i¸/eoie
·o ··eoeoi ,Ias//io’s I·a¸eáy ‘‘Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i’’. Mo·eoeo: io Iioe).
Iushkin · XX ·ckc, III. Moscow: Kaslcdic, .,;;. A chronologically
arrangcd collcction oí c, studics oí thc play writtcn by pronincnt Russian
scholars, bcginning in thc nid-ninctccnth ccntury and cnding in
thc .,,os.
-. ‘‘C nalcn’kikh tragcdiiakh’’ (Ihc ‘iittlc Iragcdics’). In: Alcxandcr
Iushkin, Maleo’/ie :·a¸eáii. Moscow: Iskusst·o, .,c;.
Iushkin, Alcxandcr. Boláios/aia oseo’. S:i//o:·o·eoiia, ¡oeoy, oaleo’/ie
:·a¸eáii, ¡o·es:i, s/a¸/i, ¡is’oa, /·i:ic/es/ie s:a:’i, oa¡isaooye .. S.
Ias//ioyo · sele Boláioo La/oiaoo·s/o¸o ae¸áa Ni¸/e¸o·oás/oi ¸ale·oii
oseo’ia .·,c ¸oáa ,I/e Boláioo .a:aoo. Ly·ic aoá Na··a:i·e Ioeos, ‘‘Li::le
I·a¸eáies,’’ S/o·: S:o·ies, Iol/ Iales, Le::e·s, aoá C·i:ical .·:icles H·i::eo ly
.. S. Ias//io io Boláioo . . . io .a:aoo .·,c). Ed. K. V. Koloso·a.
Moscow: Molodaia g·ardiia, .,::.
-. ‘‘A Fcast in thc city oí thc Ilaguc.’’ Irans. Alcxandcr Vcrth.
Sla·ooic Re·ie«, c, no. .c (]unc .,:;): .;–.:¡.
-. Li::le I·a¸eáies. Iranslatcd íron thc Russian by Eugcnc M. Kaydcn,
illustratcd by Vladinir Fa·orsky. Ycllow springs, Chio: Antioch
Ircss, .,c,.
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no. : (.,,,): :::–:¡,.
-. Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i. Irans. R. M. Lcwitt. Iranslations íron thc
Russian, I. Kottinghan: Uni·crsity collcgc, .,,:.
-Iolooe sol·aoie soc/ioeoii. Ioo 1II, D·aoa:ic/es/ie ¡·oi¸·eáeoiia
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Moscow: Akadcniia nauk, .,,,. Ko othcr ·olunc oí this sct was c·cr
publishcd.
-. Iolooe sol·aoie soc/ioeoii ,Coo¡le:e Ho·/s). Ed. V. i.
Bonch-Bruc·ich. Moscow: Voskrcscnic, .,,¡–.,,;.
-. Ias//io I/·eefolá. Na··a:i·e, Ly·ic, Ioleoic, aoá Rilalá 1e·se, I/e
C·i¸ioals «i:/ Lioea· aoá Me:·ic I·aosla:ioos ly Hal:e· .·oá:. KcwYork:
E. I. iutton, .,;:.
-. ‘‘Ihc stonc Gucst.’’ Irans. ]ancs E. Falcn. I/e Ias//io )oa·oal, :–,
(.,,¡- .,,,): ,,–.:,.
-. I/·ee Rassiao Ioe:s. Selec:ioos f·oo Ias//io, Le·ooo:o·, aoá
Iya:c/e·, io Ne« I·aosla:ioos ly 1laáioi· Nalo/o·. Ihc Iocts oí thc Ycar.
Koríolk, conn.: Kcw iircctions, .,¡¡.
-. I/e Ho·/s of .lexaoáe· Ias//io. Ly·ics, Na··a:i·e Ioeos, Iol/
Iales, Ilays, I·ose. sclcctcd and cditcd, with an introduction, by A·rahn
Yarnolinsky. KcwYork: Randon Lousc, .,,c.
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D·aoa:a·¸y. Ioe:ics, Iáeas, E·ola:ioo). Moscow: Iskusst·o, .,;;.
scclcy, Frank. ‘‘Ihc Iroblcn oí Raoeooy¡ Gos:’.’’ Sla·ooic aoá Eas: Ea·o¡eao
Re·ie«, ¡. (.,c,): ,¡c–,c;.
Icrras, Victor. ‘‘Iuškin’s Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae and Its Criginal: A
structural conírontation.’’ In .lexaoáe· Iaš/io. . Syo¡osiao oo :/e .-¯:/
.ooi·e·sa·y of His Bi·:/, cd. Andrcj Kodjak and Kiril Iarano·sky. Kcw
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Iragcdics’ and Molièrc). Ias//io. 1·eoeooi/ ¡as//ios/oi /oooissii. Ion ..
Moscow: Izdatcl’st·o Akadcnii nauk, .,,c–.,¡..
Ustiuzhanin, i. Maleo’/ie :·a¸eáii .. S. Ias//ioa ,Ias//io’s ‘Li::le
I·a¸eáies’). Moscow: Khudozhcst·cnnaia litcratura, .,;¡.
Vilson, ]ohn. I/e Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae. Edinburgh: Irintcd by G. Ransay and
conpany íor A. constablc and conpany, .:.c.
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Indcx
Akhnato·a, Anna: on I/e S:ooe
Gaes:, ¡
Blagoy, i.: on I/e S:ooe Gaes:,
.,c–,;
Blok, Alcxandcr, :, .,¡
Byron, Gcorgc Gordon, iord Byron:
and lcgcnd oí ion ]uan, .,:, .,,,
Iushkin on dranatic poctry oí, :;
chuko·sky, Korncy: on translating
poctry, .c–.;
Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae, I/e, by ]ohn Vil-
son: as inspiration íor . Ieas:
Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae, ¡, changcs
nadc in Iushkin’s translation,
.:,, :o,, charactcrization con-
parcd to Iushkin’s, :c–:;, stylc oí
languagc conparcd to Iushkin’s,
:¡–:c
clark, A. F. B.: as translator oí ‘‘littlc
tragcdics,’’ .;–.:, .,, :o.
iostoc·sky, Fyodor: adniration oí
Iushkin, ., ,, I·an Karanazo·
(I/e B·o:/e·s Ra·aoa¸o·) and
..¯
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..c Ioáex
iostoc·sky, Fyodor (continucd)
‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ .,¡, .¡,, Raskol-
niko· (C·ioe aoá Iaois/oeo:) and
‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ .,¡, .¡;, .,.
Eliot, I. s.: on drana in ·crsc, .o–..,
.,–.,
Grcgg, Richard: on I/e S:ooe Gaes:,
.,;
Lcwitt, R. M.: as translator oí Mo¸a·:
aoá Salie·i, :o:
Loffnann, E. I. A.: and lcgcnd oí
ion ]uan, .,:
Karanzin, Kikolai: on lcgcnd oí
Michclangclo as nurdcrcr, :o,
Kaydcn, Eugcnc M.: as translator oí
‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ .:–.,
ic Micnnc, Antoinc-Marin: on
gcnius and crinc, :o,
icrnonto·, Mikhail, .:, .c, .;
Mar·cll, Andrcw, ::
Michclangclo. See Karanzin, Kikolai
Molièrc, ]can Baptistc Ioquclin: and
lcgcnd oí ion ]uan, .,:, .,,, .c.
Mordaunt, Ihonas Csbcrt, ,:
Mozart, Volígang Anadcus: Doo
Gio·aooi, .,:, .,;, .,:, .,,, .c.,
.:o, :.c, Re¸aieo lcít unfinishcd,
.¡c
Kaboko·, Vladinir: as translator oí
‘‘littlc tragcdics,’’ .:–.,, :o., :o:,
:o¡, :o:–,
Kcponnyashchy, V.: on I/e S:ooe
Gaes:, .,;–:
Iushkin, Alcxandcr: pcrsonal cir-
cunstanccs whcn writing ‘‘littlc
tragcdics,’’ :, ,, ¡, :.,–.¡
—works (othcr than thc ‘‘littlc tragc-
dics’’): ‘‘A Bookscllcr Ialking
with a Ioct,’’ .¡c, Bo·is Goáaoo·,
.:, .,, :;, Ea¸eoe Coe¸io, ., ,,
.o, I/e Gy¡sies, c, ‘‘Ihc Lcro,’’
:.:–.,, His:o·y of :/e 1illa¸e of
Go·ya//ioo, ,, I/e Li::le Hoase
io Roloooa, ,, ‘‘My Cwn Monu-
ncnt I’·c Built, Kot Madc by Any
Land,’’ .¡:, notc on salicri, .,.,
:.c, ‘‘Ihc Ioct,’’ .¡o, ‘‘Ihc Ioct
and thc crowd,’’ .,:, .,,, I/e
¸aeeo of S¡aáes, .:,, .c,, ‘‘Rc-
ncnbrancc,’’ .;,, I/e S:o·y of :/e
I·ies: aoá His Ho·/oao Baláa, ,,
I/e S:o·y of :/e S/e-Bea·, ,, I/e
Iales of Bel/io, ,, ‘‘Io thc Ioct,’’
.,:
Rassadin, s.: conparcs Iushkin’s
salicri to iostoc·sky’s charactcrs,
.,¡, on I/e S:ooe Gaes:, .,;
salicri, Antonio: allcgcd bcha·ior
at prcnicrc oí Doo Gio·aooi, .,.,
:.c, status in .:th ccntury nusical
world, .,:
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Ioáex ..-
scclcy, Frank: on I/e S:ooe Gaes:,
.,;
shakcspcarc, Villian: charactcrs oí,
conparcd to thc iukc (in I/e
Mise·ly Roi¸/:), .:¡, Iushkin’s
adniration íor as dranatist, :;
shcnstonc, Villian, .,,
snyth, Villian, ,:
Iirso dc Molina: and lcgcnd oí ion
]uan, .,:
Iolstoy, A. K.: on translating
Gocthc, .c
Ustyuzhanin, i.: on I/e S:ooe Gaes:,
.,;
Vatsuro, V.: on Mo¸a·: aoá Salie·i,
.¡¡–,
Villicrs, claudc icschanps, sicur dc:
and lcgcnd oí ion ]uan, .,:, :.:
Vcrth, Alcxandcr: as translator oí .
Ieas: Da·io¸ :/e Ila¸ae, :o:–,
Vilson, ]ohn. scc Ci:y of :/e Ila¸ae.
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Cthcr ·oluncs in thc Russian iitcraturc and Ihought scrics
See No E·il. Li:e·a·y Co·e·-a¡s O Disco·e·ies of :/e
So·ie: Cao¡ Ex¡e·ieoce
iariusz Iolczyk
1ie«s f·oo :/e C:/e· S/o·e. Essays oo He·¸eo, C/e//o·, O Ba//:io
Ailccn M. Kclly
Ias//io’s His:o·ical Ioa¸ioa:ioo
s·ctlana E·dokino·a
Re·eaáio¸ Rassiao Ioe:·y
Editcd by stcphanic sandlcr
Lile·:y, E¸aali:y, aoá :/e Ma·/e:
Essays by B. K. chichcrin
Editcd and Iranslatcd by G. M. Lanburg
Io«a·á .oo:/e· S/o·e. Rassiao I/io/e·s Be:«eeo Necessi:y aoá C/aoce
Ailccn M. Kclly
Dos:oe·s/y aoá Solo·ie·. I/e .·: of Io:e¸·al 1isioo
Marina Kostalc·sky
.l·ao Ie·:¸ aoá :/e Ioe:ics of C·ioe
catharinc Ihcincr Kcponnyashchy
Uo:ioely I/oa¸/:s. Essays oo Re·ola:ioo, Cal:a·e,
aoá :/e Bols/e·i/s, .,.-–.,.·
Maxin Gorky
. 1oice f·oo :/e C/o·as
AbranIcrtz (Andrci sinya·sky)
S:·olls «i:/ Ias//io
AbranIcrtz (Andrci sinya·sky)
.,.c Dia·y
Isaac Babcl
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