Libretto list

The Rake's Progress Libretto

ACT I


First Scene

(The garden of the house of Truelove in the field on
a spring afternoon. On the right side of the house, a
fence with an iron gate. Anne and Tom sit together
under a pergola)

Trio

ANNE
The woods are green
and bird and beast at play
for all things keep
this festival of May.
With fragrant odours
and with notes of cheer,
the pious earth
observes the solemn year.

TOM
Now is the season
when the Cyprian Queen
with genial charm
translates our mortal scene,
when swains their nymphs
in fervent arms enfold
and with a kiss restore the Age of Gold.

ANNE, TOM
How sweet within the budding grove
How sweet beside the pliant stream
to walk, to love,
to lie, to dream.

(Truelove leaving the house and remains apart them)

TRUELOVE
Oh may a father's prudent fears
unfounded prove,
and ready vows and loving looks
be all they seem.
In youth we fancy
we are wise,
but time has shown, alas,
too often and too late,
we have not known the hearts
of others or our own.

ANNE
Love tells no lies.

ANNE, TOM
And in love's eyes
we see our future state,
ever happy, ever fair:
sorrow, hate, disdain, despair,
rule not there.
But love alone reigns o'er his own.

Recitative

TRUELOVE
(Truelove is about Ana)
Anne, my dear.

ANNE
Yes, father.

TRUELOVE
Your advice is needed in the kitchen.

(She enters the house)

Tom, I have news for you.
I have spoken on your behalf
to a good friend in the City,
and he offers you a position
in his counting house.

TOM
You are too generous, sir.
You must not think me ungrateful
if I do not immediately accept
what you propose,
but I have other prospects in view.

TRUELOVE
Your reluctance to seek employment
makes me uneasy.

TOM
Be assured,
your daughter shall not marry a poor man.

TRUELOVE
So he be honest,
she may take a poor husband, if she choose.
But I am resolved
she shall never marry a lazy one.

(Truelove enters the house)

TOM
The old fool!

Recitative  
Here I stand, my constitution sound, my frame
not ill-favoured, my wit ready, my heart light.
I play the industrious apprentice in a copybook?
I submit to the drudge's yoke?
I slave through a lifetime to enrich others
and then be thrown away like a gnawed bone? Not I!
Have not grave doctors assured us that good works
are of no avail, for heaven predestines all?
In my fashion, I may profess myself of their party
and herewith entrust myself to Fortune.

Aria

Since it is not by merit
we rise or we fall,
but the favour of Fortune
that governs us all,
why should I labour
for what in the end
she will give me for nothing
if she be my friend?
While if she be not,
why, the wealth I might gain
for a time by my toil
would at last be in vain.
Till I die then, of fever,
or by lightning am struck,
let me live by my wits
and trust to my luck.
My life lies before me,
the world is so wide:
come, wishes, be horses
this beggar shall ride.

(Spoken)

I wish I had money!

(Nick appears behind fence)

Recitative

NICK
Tom Rakewell?

TOM
(surprised)
I...

NICK
I seek Tom Rakewell with a message.
Is this his house?

TOM
No, not his house.
But you have found him straying
in his thoughts and footsteps.
In short...

NICK
You are he?

TOM
(laughing)
Yes, surely.
Tom Rakewell at your service.

NICK
Well, well.
Nick Shadow, sir,
and at your service.
For, surely as you bear your name,
I bear you a bright future.
You recall an uncle, sir?

TOM
An uncle? My parents never mentioned one.

NICK
They quarrelled, I believe, sir.
Yet he...
sir, have you friends?

TOM
More than a friend.
The daughter of this house and ruler of my heart.

NICK
A lover's fancy and a lovely thought.
Then call her.
Indeed, let all who will,
make their joy here of your glad tidings.

(Tom enters the house. Nick comes into the garden.
Tom returns with Anne and Truelove)

Fair lady, gracious gentlemen,
a servant begs your pardon for your time,
but there is much to tell.
Tom Rakewell had an uncle,
one long parted from his native land.
Him I served many years,
served him in the many trades
he served in turn, and all to his profit.
Yes, profit was perpetually his.
It was, indeed: his family, his friend,
his hour of amusement, his life.
But all his brilliant progeny of gold
couldn't caress him when he lay dying.
Sick for his home,
sick for a memory of pleasure or of love,
his thoughts were but of England.
There, at least, he felt, his profit
could be pleasure to an eager youth.
For such, by counting years
upon his fumbling fingers,
he knew that you must be good, sir.
Well, he is dead.
And I am here with this commission:
to tell Tom Rakewell that
an unloved and forgotten uncle
loved and remembered.
You are a rich man.

Quartet

TOM
I wished but once!. I knew that surely my wish
would come true.
That I had but to speak at last
and Fate would smile
when Fortune cast the die.
I knew.

(To Nick)

Yet you, who bring
the faithful end of questioning,
here by a new and grateful master's side.
Be thanked.
And as my Fortune and my guide,
remain, confirm, deny.

NICK
Be thanked, for masterless
should I abide too long, I soon would die.

ANNE
Be thanked, oh God for him!
And may a bride
soon to his vows reply.

TRUELOVE
Be thanked, oh God, and curb his pride,
that Anne may never sigh.

(Tom embraces Anne)

TOM
My Anne, behold,
for doubt had fled our view.
The skies are clear
and every path is true.

ANNE
The joyous fount I see
that brings increase
to fields of promise and the groves of peace.

TOM, ANNE
Oh clement love!

TRUELOVE
My children, may God bless you
even as a father!

NICK
Sir! may Nick address you
a moment in your bliss?.
Even in carefree May
a thriving fortune has its roots of care:
Attorneys crouched
like gardeners to pay,
bowers of paper only seals repair.
We must be off to London.

TOM
They can wait.

TRUELOVE
No, Tom, your man is right.
Things must be done.
The sooner you settle your estate,
the sooner you and Anne can be as one.

ANNE
Father is right, dear Tom.

NICK
A coach in wait is down the road.

TOM
Well then, if Fortune sow a crop
that wax and pen must cultivate,
let's fly to husbandry
and make it grow.

Recitative

NICK
I'll call the coachman, sir.

TRUELOVE
(To Nick)
Should you not mind,
I'll tell you of his needs.

NICK
Sir, you are kind.

(Truelove and Nick go through the gate of the garden)

Duet

ANNE
Farewell, farewell for now!
My heart is with you,
when you go, however you may fare.

TOM
Wherever, when apart, I may be,
I shall know that you are with me there.

(Truelove and Nick return)

Recitative

NICK
All is ready, sir.

TOM
Tell me, good Shadow:
since, born and bred in indigence,
I am unacquainted with such matters,
what wages you customarily receive?.

NICK
Let us not speak of that, master,
till you know better
what my services are worth.
A year and a day hence,
we will settle our account.
And then, I promise you, you shall pay me
no more and no less than what you yourself
acknowledge to be just.

TOM
A fair offer. 'Tis agreed.
Dear father Truelove,
the very moment my affairs are settled,
I shall send for you and my dearest Anne.
And when she arrives,
all London shall be at her feet.
For all London shall be mine,
and what is mine must of needs at least adore
what I must with all my being worship.

(Tom and Truelove shake hands)

Trio

(Tom speaks low voice)

Laughter and light and all charms that endear,
all that dazzles or dins,
wisdom and wit shall adorn the career of him
who can play and who wins.

ANNE
(speaks low voice)
Heart, you are happy,
yet why should a tear
dim our joyous designs?

TRUELOVE
(speaks low voice)
Fortune so swift
and so easy, I fear,
may only encourage his sins.

(To Tom)

Be well advised.

ANNE
Be always near!

ANNE, TRUELOVE, TOM
Farewell!

(Anne, Tom and Truelove go through
the gate of the garden)

NICK
(To audience)
The progress of a rake begins.

Second Scene  

(London, the Mother Goose's brothel)  

Chorus

RAKES
With air commanding and weapons handy,
we rove in a band
through the streets at night.
Our only notion, to make commotion
and find occasion to provoke a fight.

PROSTITUTES
In triumph glorious,
with trophies curious,
we return victorious
from love's campaigns.
No troops more practised
in Cupid's tactics,
by feint and ambush the day to gain.

RAKES
For what is sweeter to human nature
than to quarrel over nothing at all,
to hear the crashing
of furniture smashing
or heads being bashed
in a tavern brawl?

PROSTITUTES
With darting glances and bold advances
we open fire on young and old.
Surprised by rapture,
their hearts are captured,
and into our laps they pour their gold.

PROSTITUTES&RAKES
A toast to our commanders,
then from their irregulars.
A toast, ladies and gentlemen,
to Venus and to Mars!

Recitative

NICK
Come, Tom.
I would fain have our hostess,
good Mother Goose,
learn how faithfully I have discharged
my duties as a godfather
in preparing you for the delights
to which your newly-found state of manhood
is about to call you.
So tell my Lady-Bishop of the game
what I did vow and promise in thy name.

TOM
One aim in all things to pursue:
my duty to myself to do.

NICK
(To Mother Goose)
Is he not apt?

MOTHER GOOSE
And handsome, too.

NICK
What is thy duty to thyself?

TOM
To shut my ears to prude and preacher
and follow nature as my teacher.

MOTHER GOOSE
What is the secret nature knows?

TOM
What Beauty is and where it grows.

NICK
Canst thou define the beautiful?

TOM
I can.
That source of pleasure to the eyes,
youth owns, wit snatches, money buys,
envy affects to scorn, but lies.
One fatal flaw it has: it dies.

NICK
Exact, my scholar.

MOTHER GOOSE
What is pleasure then?

TOM
The idol of all dreams, the same
whatever shape it wear or name.
Whom flirts imagine as a hat,
old maids believe to be a cat.

MOTHER GOOSE
Bravo!

NICK
One final question: love is...?

TOM
(Aside)
Love!
That precious word is like a fiery coal,
it burns my lips, strikes terror to my soul.

NICK
No answer?
Will my scholar fail me?

TOM
No, no more!.

NICK
Well, well.

MOTHER GOOSE
More wine, love?

TOM
Let me go.

NICK
Are you afraid?

TOM
(Stand up)
Before it is too late.

NICK
Wait.
See!, time is yours!.
The hours obey your pleasure.
Fear not, enjoy!.
You may repent at leisure.

(Tom sit down and drink)

Chorus

PROSTITUTES, RAKES
Soon dawn will glitter
outside the shutter,
and small birds twitter,
but what of that?.
So long as we're able
and wine's on the table,
who cares what?
the troubling day is at?.
While food has flavour
and limbs are shapely
and hearts beat bravely
to fiddle or drum,
our proper employment
is reckless enjoyment.
For too soon the noiseless night will come.

Recitative

NICK
(Stand up)
Sisters of Venus, bothers of Mars,
fellow worshipers in the temple of delight,
it is my privilege to present to you
a stranger to our rites,
who, following our custom,
begs leave to sing you a song
in earnest of his desire to be initiated.
As you see, he is young.
As you shall discover, he is rich.
my master, and,
if he will pardon the liberty,
my friend, Mr. Tom Rakewell.

Aria

TOM
Love, too frequently betrayed
for some plausible desire
or the world's enchanted fire.
Still, thy traitor,
in his sleep renews the vow
he did not keep.
Weeping, he kneels before
thy wounded shade.
Love, my sorrow and my shame,
though thou daily be forgot,
Goddess, oh forget me not.
Lest I perish, oh be nigh,
in my darkest hour
that l, dying, may call upon
thy sacred name.

Chorus

PROSTITUTES
How sad a song!,
but sadness charms.
¡How handsomely he cries!
Come, drown your sorrows in these arms.
Forget it in these eyes, upon these lips,

(Mother Goose takes by the hand to Tom)

MOTHER GOOSE
Away!
Tonight I exercise my elder right
and claim him for my prize.

PROSTITUTES, RAKES
The sun is bright, the grass is green.
Lanterloo, lanterloo.
The king is courting his young queen.
lanterloo my lady.

MEN
They go a walking. What do they see?

WOMEN
An almanac in a walnut tree.
They go a riding,
whom do they meet?

MEN
Three scarecrows and a pair of feet.
What will she do when they sit at table?

WOMEN
Eat as much as she is able.
What will he do when they lie in bed?
Lanterloo, lanterloo.

MEN
Draw his sword and chop off her head.

MEN, WOMEN
Lanterloo, my lady.

NICK
(Hike the cup)
Sweet dreams, my master.
Dreams may lie, but dream.
For when you wake, you die.

Third Scene

(The same of first scene. Anne leaves her house.
It's night)

ANNE
No word from Tom.
Has love no voice?
Can love not keep a May-time vow in cities?
Fades it as the rose cut for a rich display?
Forgot!
But no! To weep is not enough.
He needs my help.
Love hears, love knows,
Love answers him
across the silent miles and goes.

Aria

Quietly, night, oh! find him and caress.
And may thou quiet find his heart,
although it be unkind. nor may its beat confess,
although I weep, it knows of loneliness.
Guide me, oh! moon, chastely
when I depart.
And warmly be the same
he watches without grief or shame.
It can not be thou art a colder moon
upon a colder heart.

TRUELOVE
(Into the house)
Anne!

Recitative

ANNE
My father!
Can I desert him and his devotion
for a love who has deserted me?

(She returns)

No.
My father has strength of purpose,
while Tom is weak and needs
the comfort of a helping hand.
Oh God! protect dear Tom,
support my father and
strengthen my resolve.

Aria

I go to him.
Love can not falter, can not desert.
Though it be shunned, or be forgotten,
though it be hurt., if love be love,
it will not alter.
Should I see my love in need,
it shall not matter what he may be.

(She goes through the gate of the garden)



ACT II


First Scene

(Tom' house in London)

Aria

TOM
Vary the song,
oh London, change!.
Disband your notes and let them range.
Let rumour scream,
let folly purr,
let tone desert the flatterer.
Let harmony no more obey
the strident choristers of prey.
Yet...all your music can not fill
the gap that in my heart is still.

Recitative

Oh, nature,
green unnatural mother,
how I have followed
where you led.
Is it for this I left the country?
No ploughman is more a slave
to sun, moon, and season
than a gentleman to the clock of fashion.
City!
What Caesar could have imagined
the curious viands I have tasted!.
They choke me.
Let Oporto and Provence
keep all their precious wines.
I would as soon be dry
and wrinkled as a raisin
as ever taste another.
Cards! Living pictures!
And, dear God, the matrons
with marriageable girls!.
Cover their charms a little,
you well-bred bawds,
or your goods will catch their death
of the rheum long before they learn
of the green sickness.
The others, too,
with their more candid charms.
Pah!
Who's honest, chaste, or kind?
One, only one, and of her I dare not think.

(He stands up)

Up, nature, up!
The hunt is on,
thy pack is in full cry!
They smell the blood upon the bracing air.
On, on, on!
Through every street and mansion,
for every candle in this capital of light
attends thy appetising progress
and burns in honour at thy shrine.

Aria

Always the quarry
that I stalk fades, or evades me.
And I walk an endless hall of chandeliers
in light that blinds, in light that sears,
reflected from a million smiles.
All empty as the country miles
of silly wood and senseless park.
And only in my heart… the dark.

(He sits down)

I wish I were happy.

(Nick comes into the room)

Recitative

NICK
Master, are you alone?

TOM
And sick at heart. What is it?

NICK
(He shows the poster)
Do you know this lady?

NICK
Baba the Turk!
I have not visited St. Giles' fair as yet.
They say brave warriors who
never flinched at the sound of musketry
have swooned after a mere glimpse of her.
Is such a thing possible in nature?

NICK
Two noted physicians have sworn
that she is no impostor.
Would you go see her?

TOM
Nick, I know that manner of yours.
You have some scheme afoot.
Come, sir, out with it!

NICK
Consider her picture.

TOM
Would you see me turned to stone?

NICK
Do you desire her?

TOM
Like the gout or the falling sickness.

NICK
Are you obliged to her?

TOM
Heaven forbid.

NICK
Then marry her.

TOM
Have you taken leave of your senses?

NICK
I was never saner.
Come, master,
observe the host of mankind.
How are they? wretched.
Why? because they are not free.
Why? because the giddy multitude are driven
by the unpredictable "Must" of their pleasures.
And the sober few are bound
by the inflexible "Ought"
of their duty.
Between which slaveries
there is nothing to choose.
Would you be happy?
then learn to act freely.
Would you act freely?
then learn to ignore those twin tyrants
of appetite and conscience.
Therefore, I counsel you, master:
Take Baba the Turk to wife.
Consider her picture once more,
and, as you do so,
reflect upon my words.

Aria

In youth the panting slave
pursues the fair evasive dame.
Then, caught in colder fetters,
woos wealth, office, or a name.
Till, old, dishonoured,
sick, downcast
and failing in his wits,
in virtue's narrow cell at last
the withered bondsman sits.
That man alone his fate fulfills.
For he alone, for he alone is free
who chooses what to will,
and wills his choice as destiny.
No eye his future can foretell,
no law his past explain,
whom neither passion
may compel,
nor reason can restrain.
Well?

Duet

TOM
My tale shall be told
both by young and by old.

NICK
Come, master, prepare
your fate to dare.

TOM
A favourite narration
throughout the nation,
remembered by all,
in cottage and hall,
with song and laughter for ever after.

NICK
Perfumed, well-dressed,
and looking your best,
a bachelor of fashion,
eyes hinting at passion.
Your carriage young
and upon your tongue
the gallant speeches that Cupid teaches.

TOM
For tongues will not tire around the fire.
Oh! sitting at meat, the tale to repeat
of the wooing and wedding,
likewise the bedding of Baba,
that masterwork whom nature created
to be celebrated for her features dire.

NICK
Shadow will guide, seek your bride.
On Baba the Turk, your charms work.
What deed is as great as
this gorgon to mate?
All will admire Tom Rakewell, Esquire.

TOM
My heart beats faster.
Come, come Shadow.

NICK
Come, master, and do not falter,

TOM, NICK
To Hymen's altar!
Ye powers, inspire Tom Rakewell Esquire!

Second Scene

(Outside Tom's home. It's getting dark.
Anne comes in)

Recitative

ANNE
How strange!
Although the heart for love dares everything,
the hand draws back and
finds no spring of courage.
London! alone!
seems all that it can say.
Oh heart, be stronger.
That which this coward hand
wishes beyond all bravery,
the touch of his,
may bring its daring to a close, unneeded,
and love be all your bounty.

Aria
 
No step in fear shall wander
nor in weakness delay.
Hear thou or not,
merciful heaven,
ease thou or not my way.
A love that is sworn,
sworn before thee can plunder hell of its prey!

Recitative

(It's getting dark. Some servants come in
with several presents)

What can this mean?
A ball? a journey? a dream?
How evil in the purple dark they seem!.
Loot from dead fingers!. Living mockery!.
I tremble, tremble with no reason.

(surprised)

Lights!

(Tom go out from his home)

'Tis he!

(Anne walks to Tom)

TOM
(Confused)
Anne! here!

ANNE
And Tom, such splendour!

TOM
Leave pretences, Anne. Ask me! accuse me!

ANNE
Tom, no.

TOM
Denounce me to the world and go.

ANNE
Tom, no!

TOM
Return to your home, forget in your senses
what, senseless, you pursue.

ANNE
Do you return?

TOM
I!

ANNE
Then how shall I go?

TOM
You must!

(Aside)

Oh wilful powers, pummel to dust
and drive into the void one thought: return!.

ANNE
(Aside)
Assist me, heaven, since love
I must to calm his raging heart,
his eyes that burn.

TOM
Listen to me, for I know London well.
Here virtue is a day coquette,
for what night hides,
it can forget.
And virtue is, till gallants talk,
and tell!.
Oh Anne!
That is the air we breathe.
Go home!
'Tis wisdom here to be afraid.

ANNE
How should I fear,
who have your aid
and all my love for you beside, dear Tom.

TOM
My aid? My aid!
London has done all that it can with me.
Unworthy am l, less than weak.
Go back!

ANNE
Let worthiness.
So you still love, reside in that.

TOM
Oh Anne!

(Baba appears)

BABA
(Exasperate)
My love, am I to remain in here forever?
You know that I am not in the habit
of stepping from my sedan unaided.
Nor shall I wait, unmoved, much longer!
Finish, if you please,
whatever business is detaining you with this person!

ANNE
(surprised)
Tom? What...?

TOM
My wife, Anne.

ANNE
Your wife?
I see. Then it is I who was unworthy.

(She's going away . Aside)

Trio
Could it then have been known?
When spring was love and love took all our ken.
That I and I alone and on the frozen ground
should see love dead?

TOM
(Aside)
It is done, it is done.
I turn away, yet should I turn again,
the arbour would be gone
upon that forsworn ground
the birds lie dead

BABA
Who is it pray, he prefers to me
on our wedding day?

TOM
Oh bury the heart there deeper
upon its only bridal bed.
And should it dreaming, ask when
shall I awaken once again I say: never.
We shall this wintry promise keep.
Obey thy exile, honour sleep...

ANNE
Oh promise the heart to winter
swear it bound, to nothing live and you shall wed.
But should you vow to love,
Oh then see that you shall not feel again never
lest you, you alone, your promise keep
walk the long aisle and walking, weep...

BABA
A family friend?
An ancient flame?
I'm quite perplexed.
And, more, I confess,
than a little vexed.
Enough is enough!
Baba is not used to be so abused.
Heavens above!
Will you permit me to sit
in this conveyance forever?

ANNE&TOM
... forever.

BABA
I have not run away, dear heart.
Baba is still waiting patiently for her gallant.

(Tom walks to Baba)

TOM
I am with you, dear wife.

BABA
Who was that girl, my life?

TOM
Only a milkmaid, pet,
to whom I was in debt.

(Tom and Baba are going into your home)

VOICES
Baba is here!

PEOPLE
Baba the Turk, Baba the Turk,
before you retire
show thyself once,
Oh grant us our desire!

(Baba takes off the veil showing a black beard)

PEOPLE
Ah, Baba! Baba! Ah!

(Tom and Baba enters)

Third Scene

(The same room of first scene of second act with some
birds, minerals, glasses, animals to stuff...Tom and
Baba are sitting having a breakfast)

Aria
 
BABA
As I was saying
both brothers wore moustaches,
but Sir John was taller.
They gave me the musical glasses
in Vienna, no, it must have been Milan.
Because of the donkeys.
Vienna was the Chinese fan.
Or was it the bottle of water
from the river Jordan?
I'm certain, at least,
it was Vienna and Lord Gordon.
I get so confused about all my travels.
The snuff boxes came from Paris
and the fulminous gravels
from a cardinal who admired me
vastly in Rome.
You're not eating, my love.
Count Moldau gave me the gnome
and Prince Obolovsky
the little statues of the twelve apostles,
which I like best of my treasures
except my fossils.
Oh, I must tell Bridget
never not to touch the mummies.
I'll dust them myself.
She can do the waxwork dummies.
Of course, I love my birds,
especially my great auk.
But the moths will get in them.
My love,
What's the matter?, why don't you talk?

TOM
Nothing.

BABA
Speak to me!

TOM
Why?

(Baba stands up and embraced him)

BABA
Come, sweet, come.
Why so glum?.
Smile at Baba who, loving, smiles at you.
Do not frown, husband dear

TOM
(Pushing her back)
Sit down!

(Baba weeps)  

Aria

BABA
Scorned! abused! neglected! baited!
Wretched me!
Why is this?
I can see.
I know who is your bliss,
your love, your life.
While l, your loving wife,
lie not!, ... am hated.
Young, demure, delightful, clever!
Is she not? not as l.
That is what I know you sigh.
Then sigh, then cry!
For she your wife shall never,
shall never be. Oh, no, never!
¡ne...!

(Tom stands up and knocks her)

TOM
My heart is cold. I can not weep.
One remedy is left me: sleep.

(Tom knocks over sofa and sleeps. Nick appears
with a estrange machine)

NICK
Fa, la, la

TOM
(Dreaming)
Oh, I wish it were true!

NICK
Awake?

TOM
(Waking up)
Who's there?

NICK
Your Shadow, master.

TOM
You!
Oh Nick, I've had the strangest dream. I thought...
Can I know what I was never taught?
Or fancy objects I have never seen?
I had devised a marvellous machine,
an engine that converted stones to bread,
whereby all peoples were for nothing fed.
I saw all want abolished by my skill,
and earth become an Eden of goodwill.

(Nick shows the fantastic machine)

NICK
Did your machine look anything like this?

TOM
I must be still asleep. That is my dream!

NICK
How does it work?

TOM
I need a stone.

NICK
Try this.

TOM
I place it here. I turn the wheel,
and then: the bread!

NICK
Be certain. Taste!

TOM
(Tom eats bread
Oh miracle!
Oh may I not, forgiven all my past
for one good deed, deserve dear Anne at last?

Duet
Thanks to this excellent device,
man shall re-enter paradise
from which he was once driven.
Secure from need, the cause of crime,
the world shall for the second time
be similar to heaven.

NICK
(Looking to the audience)
A word to all my friends,
where're you sit,
the men of sense, in boxes or the pit.
My master is a fool as you can see,
but you may do good business with me.

TOM
When, to his infinite relief,
toil, hunger, poverty, and grief
have vanished like a dream,
this engine Adam shall excite
to hallelujahs of delight
and ecstasy extreme.

NICK
(Looking to the audience)
The idle and the poor
will give good money for this toy,
be sure.
For, so it please,
there's no fantastic lie
you can not make
men swallow if you try.

TOM
Omnipotent when armed with this,
in secular abundant bliss...
He'll ascend to win
the throne of nature and begin
his everlasting reign.

NICK
(Looking to the audience)
So, know your proper interest.
Here's your chance. Invest!.
Come, friends, praise the folly
that pays dividends.

Recitative

(To Tom)

Forgive me, master,
for intruding upon your transports,
but your dream is still
a long way from fulfillment.
Here is the machine, it is true,
but it must be manufactured
in great quantities.
It must be advertised, it must be sold.
We shall need money and advice.
We shall need partners, merchants of probity
and reputation in the City.

TOM
Alas, good Shadow!
your admonitions are only too just
and they chill my spirit.
For who am l, who am become
a byword for extravagance and folly,
to approach such men?
Is this dream, too, this noble vision,
to prove as empty as the rest?
What shall I do?

NICK
Have no fear, master.
Leave such matters to me.
Indeed I've spoken to several notable
citizens concerning your invention,
and they are as eager to see it as you to show.

TOM
Ingenious Shadow!
How could I live without you?
I cannot wait!
Let's visit them immediately!

(They beginning to push the machine)

NICK
Should you not tell
the good news to your wife.

TOM
My wife? I have not wife
I bury her.



ACT III


First Scene

(Baba and Tom's room, dirty and untidy. Baba
remains seated, immobile and dirty)

Chorus

RESPECTABLE CITIZENS
THE FIRST GROUP
What curious phenomena are up today for sale!

THE SECOND GROUP
What manner of remarkables!

THE THIRD GROUP
What squalor!

THE FIRST GROUP
What detail!

THE FOURTH GROUP
(Coming into the room)
I'm so glad I did not miss the auction!

THE SECOND GROUP
So am I!

THE THIRD GROUP
I can't begin admiring.

THE FOURTH GROUP
Oh fantastic!

ALL
Let us buy!

VOICES
(Out side)
Ruin, disaster, shame!

CROWD
(Looking to the people)
Blasted, so many hopes of gain!
Hundreds of sober merchants are insane.
Widows have sold
their mourning clothes to eat.
Herds of pale orphans forage in the street.
Many a duchess, divested of gems,
has crossed the dread Styx by way of the Thames.
Oh stricken, take heart in placing the blame.
Rakewell, Rakewell. Ruin, disaster, shame!.

(The crow breaks up)
(Anne comes into the room)  

ANNE
Do you know where Tom Rakewell is?

THE FIRST GROUP
America. He fled.

THE SECOND GROUP
Spontaneous combustion caught him hurrying.
He's dead.

ANNE
Do you know what's become of him?

THE THIRD GROUP
How should we?

THE FOURTH GROUP
He's Methodist.

THE THIRD GROUP
He's Papist.

THE FOURTH GROUP
He's converting Jewry.

ANNE
Can no one tell me where he is?

CROWD
We're certain he's in debt.
They're after him and they will catch him yet.

ANNE
(Aside)
I'll seek him in the house myself.

(She goes out)

THE FIRST AND THE SECOND GROUP
I wonder at her quest.

THE THIRD AND THE FOURTH GROUP
She's probably some silly girl,
he ruined like the rest.

(The door opened. Sellem comes into the room with
his servants. They bring a platform)

SELLEM
Aha!

CROWD
He's here, the auctioneer.

SELLEM
(To the servants)
No! Over there!
Be quick. Take care.

CROWD
(Each other)
Your bids prepare.
Be quick!. Take care!.

(Sellem stands up over platform)

Recitative

SELLEM
Ladies, both fair and gracious, gentlemen:
Be al I welcome to this miracle of,
this most widely heralded of,
this, I am sure you follow me,
"nec plus ultra" of auctions.
Truly there is a divine balance in nature.
A thousand lose
that a thousand may gain.
And you, who are the fortunate,
are not so only in yourselves,
but also in being nature's missionaries.
You are her instruments
for the restoration of that order
we al I so worship.
And it is granted to,
ah, so few of us, to serve.

(Applause)

Let us proceed at once.
Lots one and two:
al I objects in the categories
animal, vegetable, and mineral.

Aria

Who hears me,
knows me a man with value.

(He shows an stuffed animal)

Look at this! What is it? Wit and profit!
No one could fail to conquer, fail to charm,
who had it by to watch.
And who couldn't be a nimble planner
having this before him. Bid!

(He shows an stuffed fishes)

Bid to get them!

(The crow begins the bid: ¡one, two, three, five...)

Get them, hurry!
La! Come bid!
Hmm! Come buy!
-One
Aha! The auk.
Witty, lovely, wealthy.
Poof! Go high!
-Two
La! Some more!
-Three
Whee! Come on!
-Five
Aha! The pike!
-seven!
seven
-eleven!
eleven
-fourteen!
fourteen
-nineteen!
nineteen
-twenty!
twenty
-twenty-three!
twenty-three
Going at twenty-three,
going, going! gone.

CROWD
Hurrah!

SELLEM
(He shows a marble statue)
Behold it, Roman, moral.
The man who has it, has it forever, yes!

(He shows a palm)

And holy, curing the body,
soul and spirit, a gift of God!

(He shows some things)

And not to mention this or the other,
more and more, and, so help me, more!
Then bid!
Oh get them, Hurry!
La! Come bid!
Hmm! Come buy!
-Four!
Aha! The bust!
Feel them, life eternal.
Poof! Go high!
-Six!
La! Some more!
-Nine!
Hmm! Come on!
-Ten!
Aha! The palm!
-Fifteen!
Fifteen!
-And a half!
And a half!
-Three quarters!
Three quarters!
-Sixteen!
Sixteen!
-Seventeen!
Seventeen!
Going, going, gone.

CROWD
Hurrah!

SELLEM
Wonderful, yes, yes.
And now, for the truly adventurous,
an unknown object draws us near.

(He goes up Baba)

A cake? An organ?
Golden apple tree?
A block of copal?
Mint of alchemy?
Oracle? Pillar?
Octopus?
Who'll see?
Be brave!
Perhaps an angel will appear.
La! Come bid!
-Ten!
Hmm! Come buy!
-Twenty!
-Twenty-five!
Aha! The it!
-Twenty-one!
-Twenty-two!
This may be salvation!.
-Twenty-three!
-Twenty-five
Poof! Go high!
-Twenty-six!
-Twenty-seven!
La! Some more!
-Twenty-three!
-Twenty-five!
Hmm! Come on!
-Twenty-six
-Twenty-eight
Aha! The what!
-Fifty!
Fifty!
-Fifty-five!
Fifty-five!
-Sixty!
sixty!
-Sixty-one!
sixty-one!
-Sixty-two!
sixty-two!
Seventy! Ninety!
Going at ninety!
Going at a hundred!
Going, going, gone!

(Baba says the last syllable of the last scene)

BABA
¡...ever!

(She begins to clean oneself)

Sold! annoyed! I've caught you thieving!
If you dare touch a thing
then beware my reckoning.
Be off, be gone, desist:
I, Baba, must insist upon your leaving.

CROWD
It's Baba, his wife. It passes believing.

(Nick´s and Tom's voices are listened out of scene)

TOM, NICK
Old wives for sale!
Stale wives, prim wives,
silly and grim wives!
Old wives for sale!

SELLEM, CROWD
Now...what was that?

BABA
(Aside)
The pigs of plunder!

(Anne comes into the room and she goes to windows)

ANNE
Was that his voice?

SELLEM, CROWD
What next, I wonder?

BABA
The milkmaid haunts me.

ANNE
(From the windows)
Gone!

BABA
All I possessed seems gone.
Well, well.

(To Anne)

My dear!

ANNE
His wife!

BABA
His jest, no matter now.
Come here, my child, to Baba.

(Anne goes to Baba)

SELLEM
Ladies, the sale,
if you could go out.

BABA
Robber! Don't interrupt!

RESPECTABLE CITIZENS
(To Sellem)
Don't interrupt or rail.

VOICE
A scene like this is better than a sale.

Duet

BABA
(To Anne)
You love him, seek to set him right.
He's but a shuttle-headed lad.
Not quite a gentleman,
nor quite completely vanquished
by the bad.
Who knows what care and love might do?
But good or bad,
I know he still loves you.

ANNE
He loves me still!
Then I alone in weeping doubt
have been untrue.
Oh hope, endear my love.
Atone, grace whatever may ensue. Enlighten,

SELLEM, FIRST GROUP
He loves her.

THE SECOND GROUP
Who?

SELLEM, FIRST GROUP
That isn't known.

THE SECOND GROUP
He loves her still.

SELLEM, FIRST GROUP
The tale is sad, if true.

BABA
So find him and his man beware!
I may have made a bad mistake,
yet I can tell who in that pair
is poisoned victim and who snake!
Then go!

ANNE
But where shall you...?

BABA
My dear, a gifted lady
never need have fear.
I shall go back and grace the stage
where manner rules and wealth attends.
Can I deny my time its rage?
My self-indulgent intermezzo ends.

ANNE
Can I for him all love engage and yet
believe her happy when love ends?

CROWD
She will go back.
Her view is sage. That's life.
We came to buy. See how it ends.

SELLEM
Money farewell. Who'll buy?.
The auction ends.

TOM'S AND NICK'S VOICES
If boys had wings
and girls had stings
and gold fell from the sky,
if new-laid eggs
wore wooden legs
I should not laugh or cry.

ANNE
It's Tom, I know!

BABA
The two, then go!

SELLEM, CROWD
The thief, below!
Then go to him!.
His crime was grave.

ANNE
I go to him.
Oh love, be brave, be strong for him and save.

(To Baba)

May God bless you.

BABA
They're after him.
Be swift, be true.

BABA, SELLEM, CROWD
Be swift if you want time enough to save.

(Anne lets go)

TOM, NICK
Who cares a fig for Tory or Whig?
Not l, not l...

BABA
(To Sellem)
You! Summon my carriage!

(Sellem goes to the door)

(To the crowd )

Out of my way!
The next time you see Baba you shall pay!

(She goes)

CROWD
We've never been through such a hectic day!

Second Scene

(It's night. A cemetery with a empty grave)
(Tom and Nick come in. Nick carries a little sack)

Duet

TOM
How dark, and dreadful is this place!.
Why have you led me here?
There's something, Shadow, in your face
that fills my soul with fear.

NICK
A year and a day, have passed away
since first to you I came.
All things you bid, I duly did
and now my wages claim.

TOM
Shadow!, Good Shadow!
Be patient.
I am beggared, as you know.
But promise when I am rich again
to pay you, to pay you all I owe.

NICK
'Tis not your money but your soul
which I this night require.
Look in my eyes and recognise
whom, fool, you chose to hire.

(He points to grave)

Behold your waiting grave!
Behold!

(He takes out a steel, a gun...)

Steel, halter,
poison, gun.
Make no excuse,
your exit choose.
Tom Rakewell's race is run.

TOM
Oh let the wild hills cover me
or the abounding wave.

NICK
The sins you did may not be hid.
Think not your soul to save.

TOM
Oh why did an uncle I never knew
select me for his heir?

NICK
It pleases well the damned in hell
to bring another there.
Midnight is come.
By rope or gun
or medicine or knife,
on the stroke of twelve
you shall slay yourself,
for forfeit is your life.

(It's hearing the stroke clock)

Count one, count two,
count three, count four,
count five,

TOM
Have mercy!

NICK
count six, count seven,

TOM
Have mercy on me, heaven!

NICK
count eight,

TOM
Too late!

NICK
No. Wait.

(He makes a face and the clock stops)

Recitative

Very well, then.
My dear and good Tom,
perhaps you impose a bit
upon our friendship.
But Nick, as you know,
is a gentleman at heart,
forgives your dilatoriness
and suggests a game.

TOM
A game?

NICK
A game of chance to finally decide your fate.
Have you a pack of cards?

TOM
(He takes out a pack of cards)
All that remains me
of this world and for the next.

NICK
You jest. Fine, fine.
Good spirits make a game go well.
I shall explain.
The rules are simple and the outcome simpler still.
Nick will cut three cards.
If you can name them, you are free.

(He points to mortal instruments)

If not, you choose the path to follow me.
You understand?

(Tom nods)

Let us begin.

Duet

Well, then.

TOM
My heart is wild with fear.
My throat is dry.

NICK
Come, try!

TOM
I can not think.
I dare, I dare not wish.

NICK
Let wish be thought
and think on one to name.
You wish in all your fear
to rule the game,
instead of Shadow.

TOM
(Aside)
Anne!

(To Nick)

My fear departs.
I name the Queen of Hearts.

NICK
(He shows the card)
The Queen of Hearts.

(It's hearing one stroke clock)

You see, it's quite a simple game.

(To audience)

To win at once in love or cards is dull.
The gentleman loves sport, for sport is rare.
The positive appalls him:
He plays the pence of hope
to yield the guineas of despair.

(To Tom)

Again, good Tom.
You are my master yet.

(Nick shuffles)

TOM
What shall I trust in now?
How throw the die to win,
to win my soul back for myself?

NICK
Come, try!.
Was Fortune not your mistress once?
Be fair. Give her at least a second chance
to bare the hand of Shadow.

(Suddenly, the spade falls down noisily)

TOM
(Scary)
The deuce!

(He looks at the spade)

She lights the shades and shows the two of spades.

NICK
(angry)
The two of spades

(It's hearing another stroke clock)

Congratulations.
The goddess still is faithful.
But we have one more, you know, the very last.
Think for a while, my Tom. I would not
want your last of chances thoughtless.
I am, you may often have observed,
really compassionate.
Think on your hopes.

TOM
Oh God! What hopes have I?

(Nick, furtively, picks up the Queen of Hearts)

NICK
(To audience)
The simpler the trick, the simpler the deceit.
And there is no return.
I've taught him well. And repetition palls him.
The Queen of Hearts again
shall be for him the Queen of Hell.

(Nick shuffles)

Rouse yourself, Tom.
Your travail soon will end.
Come, try!

TOM
(Aside)
Now in his words I find no aid.
Will Fortune give another sign?

NICK
(Aside)
Now in my words he'll find no aid.
And Fortune gives no other sign.

(To Tom)

Afraid, love-lucky Tom?
Come, try!

TOM
Dear God, a track of cloven hooves

NICK
The knavish goats are back
to crop the spring's return.

TOM
Return and love!
The banished words torment.

NICK
You cannot now repent.

TOM
Return, Oh love!

ANNE'S VOICE
(Out of scene)
A love that is sworn before Thee
can plunder hell of its prey.

TOM
I wish for nothing else.
Love, first and last,
assume eternal reign.
Renew my life,
oh Queen of Hearts again!

(It's hearing the twelfth stroke clock.
Tom faints)

NICK
I burn! I freeze!
In shame I hear
my famished legions roar:
My own delay lost me my prey
and damns myself the more.
Defeated, mocked,
again I sink in ice and flame to lie.
But Heaven's will I'll hate and till
eternity defy.

(He looks at Tom)

Your sins, my foe,
before I go, give me some power to pain:

(He makes a magic face)

To reason blind
shall be your mind.
Henceforth be you insane!

(He goes down the grave)
(It's dawning. Tom wakes up and sings)

TOM
With roses crowned, I sit on ground.
Adonis is my name.
The only dear of Venus fair:
Me thinks it is no shame.

Third Scene

(A mental hospital in London)
(Tom is with a blind man with a violin, a cripple
soldier, a man with a telescope and three old witches.
On the wall, a straw mattress)

Aria

TOM
Prepare yourselves, ye heroic shades.
Wash you and make you clean.
Anoint your limbs with oil,
put on your wedding garments
and crown your heads with flowers.
Let music strike.
Venus, queen of love,
will visit her unworthy Adonis.

MADMEN
Madmen's words are all untrue.
She will never come to you.

TOM
She gave me her promise.

Recitative

MADMEN
Madness cancels every vow.
She will never keep it now.

TOM
Come quickly, Venus, or I die.

Chorus

MADMEN
(Dancing)
Leave all love and hope behind.
Out of sight is out of mind
in these caverns of the dead.
In the city overhead
former lover, former foe
to their works and pleasures go
nor consider who beneath
weep and howl and gnash their teeth.
Down in hell as up in heaven
no hands are in marriage given,
nor is honour or degree
known in our society.
Banker, beggar, whore, and wit
in a common darkness sit.
Seasons, fashions, never change,
all is stale yet all is strange.
All are foes and none are friends
in a night that never ends.

(It's listening the lock sound)

Hark! Minos comes, who cruel is and strong.
Beware! Away!
His whip is keen and long!

(All the people runs. Anne comes with a guardian)

Recitative

GUARDIAN
(He points to Tom)
There he is.
Have no fear. He is not dangerous.

ANNE
Tom!

(Tom doesn't knows Anne)

GUARDIAN
He believes that he is Adonis
and will answer to no other name.
Humour him in that,
and you will find him easy to manage.
So, as you desire, I'll leave you.

ANNE
(She gives him a coin)
You are kind.

GUARDIAN
(He goes out)
I thank you, lady.

ANNE
(To Tom)
Adonis.

Aria

TOM
(He stands up)
Venus! My queen! My bride!
At last. I have waited for thee so long,
till I almost believed those madmen
who blasphemed against thy honour.
They are rebuked.
Mount, Venus, mount thy throne.

(Anne sits down on the straw mattress. Tom kneels
down)

Oh merciful goddess!,
hear the confession of my sins.

Duet

In a foolish dream, in a gloomy labyrinth,
I hunted shadows, disdaining thy true love.
Forgive thy servant, who repents his madness.
Forgive Adonis and he shall faithful prove.

ANNE
What should I forgive? Thy ravishing penitence
blesses me, dear heart, and brightens all the past.
Kiss me, Adonis, the wild boar is vanquished.

TOM
Embrace me, Venus: I've come home at last!

ANNE, TOM
Rejoice, beloved: In these fields of Elysium,
space can not alter, nor time our love abate.
Here has no words for absence or estrangement,
nor now a notion of ''almost'' or ''too late.''

Recitative

TOM
I am exceeding weary.
Immortal queen, permit thy mortal bridegroom
to lay his head upon thy breast.
The heavens are merciful and all is well.
Sing, my beloved, sing me to sleep.

Cradle Song

ANNE
Gently, little boat
across the ocean float,
the crystal waves dividing.
The sun in the west
is going to rest.
Glide toward the islands of the blessed.

MADMEN
What voice is this?
What heavenly strains
bring solace to tormented brains?

ANNE
Orchards greenly grace
that undisturbed place.
The weary soul recalling
to slumber and dream,
while many a stream
falls descanting on a child-like theme.

MADMEN
Oh sacred music of the spheres!
Where are our rages and our fears?

ANNE
Lion, lamb, and deer,
untouched by greed or fear
about the woods are straying.
And quietly now the blossoming bough
sway above the fair, unclouded brow.

MADMEN
Sing on! Forever sing!
Release our frantic souls and bring us peace.

(Truelove and the guardian come in)

Recitative

TRUELOVE
Anne, my dear,
the tale is ended now.
Come home.

ANNE
Yes, Father.

(To Tom)

Tom, my vow holds ever,
but it is no longer I you need.
Sleep well, my dearest dear, good-bye.

Duet

Every wearied body must
late or soon return to dust.
In this earthly city we shall not meet again,
love, yet never think that I forget.

TRUELOVE
God is merciful and just,
set the frantic spirit free.
God ordains what ought to be,
but a father's eyes are wet.

(Anne, the guardian and Truelove go out, Tom
wakes up)

Recitative

TOM
Where art thou, Venus? Venus? where art thou?
The flowers open to the sun.
The birds renew their song.
It is spring.
The bridal couch is prepared.
Come quickly, beloved, and we will celebrate
the holy rites of love.

(He shouts)

Holla! Achilles! Helen!
Eurydice, Orpheus, Persephone!
All my courtiers. Holla!

(The madmen appear)

Where is my Venus?,
why have you stolen her while I slept?.
Madmen! where have you hidden her?

MADMEN
Venus? stolen?
hidden? where?
Madman! no one has been here.

TOM
My heart breaks,
I feel the chill of death's approaching wing.
Orpheus! strike from thy lyre
a swan-like music.
And weep, ye nymphs
and shepherds of these Stygian fields,
weep for Adonis, the beautiful, the young.
Weep for Adonis, whom Venus loved.

(He falls to the ground)

CHORUS MOURNERS
Mourn for Adonis, ever young.
Venus dear,
weep, tread softly
round his bier.

EPILOGUE

(Baba, Tom, Nick, Anne and Troulove come in.
The men aren't wig and Baba beard)

ALL
Good people, just a moment.
Though our story now is ended,
there's a moral to draw
from what you saw
since the curtain first ascended.

ANNE
Not every rake is rescued
at the last by love and beauty.
Not every man is given an Anne
to take the place of duty.

BABA
Let Baba warn the ladies:
you will find out soon or later
that, good or bad, all men are mad,
all they say or do is theatre.

TOM
Beware young men who fancy
you are Virgil or Julius Caesar,
lest when you wake you be only a rake.

TRUELOVE
I heartily agree, sir.

NICK
Day in, day out, poor Shadow
must do as he is bidden.
Many insist I do not exist.
At times I wish I didn't.

ALL
So let us sing as one.
At all times, in all lands
beneath the moon and sun,
this proverb has proved true
since Eve went out with Adam:
For idle hands and hearts and minds
the devil finds works that to do.
He has a work for you,
for you and also for you.