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!
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 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.
Again, good Tom. You are my master yet.
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.
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.
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)
English Libretto or Translation:
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