La Traviata Libretto
English Translation

Cast:
VIOLETTA VALÉRY
FLORA BERVOIX
ANNINA
ALFREDO GERMONT
GIORGIO GERMONT
GASTONE, Viscomte de Letorières
BARON DOUPHOL
MARQUIS D'OBIGNY
DOCTOR GRENVIL
GIUSEPPE
Flora's SERVANT
MESSENGER

CHORUS
ladies and gentlemen, friends of Violetta and Flora, matadors, picadors, gypsies,
servants of Violetta and Flora, masquers, dancers



Prelude

ACT ONE

A room in Violetta's house. Violetta is seated on a sofa talking to the Doctor and other friends, who come and go. Some of the guests turn to meet a group of new arrivals, amongst whom are the Baron and Flora, on the arm of the Marquis.

Introduction

CHORUS I
It's long past the time you were invited,
You're late.

CHORUS II
We've been playing cards at Flora's,
Time flies when one is playing.

VIOLETTA
going to meet them
Flora, my dear friends, the evening
Will be gayer now you're here,
Let's raise our glasses and enjoy ourselves.

FLORA AND THE MARQUIS
Can you be so gay?

VIOLETTA
I must be;
I put my faith in pleasure
As a cure for all my ills.

ALL
Yes, pleasure adds zest to life.

Gaston, Vicomte de Litorières, entering with Alfredo. The servants prepare the table.

GASTON
Alfredo Germont, dear lady,
Is a great admirer of yours
And one of my most valued friends.

VIOLETTA
giving her hand to Alfredo, who kisses it
Thank you, Vicomte, for sharing such a gift.

MARQUIS
My dear Alfredo!

ALFREDO
How are you, Marquis?

GASTON
to Alfredo
Didn't I tell you that friendship
In this house joins hands with pleasure?

The servants, meanwhile, have laid the supper table.

VIOLETTA
to the servants
Is it ready, now?
The servant nods assent.
Sit down, my dear friends
And let's open our hearts to each other ...
You say well, for wine is a friend
That puts secret sorrow to flight!
They sit down with Violetta between Alfredo and Gaston.
Let's open our hearts to each other.

GASTON
softly, to Violetta
Alfredo thinks of nobody but you.

VIOLETTA
You're joking.

GASTON
When you were ill
He came here every day,
Enquiring anxiously about you.

VIOLETTA
Be quiet! I'm nothing to him.

GASTON
I'm telling you the truth.

VIOLETTA
to Alfredo
Is it true, But why should you?
I don't understand.

ALFREDO
with a sigh
Yes, it's true.

VIOLETTA
to Alfredo
I'm very grateful to you.
You never did as much for me, Baron.

BARON
I've only known you a year.

VIOLETTA
He's only known me a few minutes.

FLORA
to the Baron, quietly
You'd have done better to keep quiet.

BARON
to Flora, quietly
This young man annoys me.

FLORA
Why? I find him charming.

GASTON
to Alfred
You haven't so much as opened your mouth, yet.

MARQUIS
to Violetta
It's the lady's privilege to loosen his tongue.

VIOLETTA
pouring a drink for Alfredo
I'll be Hebe, who pours the wine.

ALFREDO
gallantly
May you be
As immortal as she.

ALL
Let's drink!

GASTON
Now, Baron,
Can't find you a verse, a toast
To mark this happy moment?
The Baron shakes his head.
turning to Alfredo

What about you?

ALL
Yes, yes, a drinking song!

ALFREDO
The Muse doesn't smile on me.

GASTON
Command her, Master!

ALFREDO
to Violetta
Would it please you?

VIOLETTA
Yes.

ALFREDO
rising
Yes? You put heart into me.

MARQUIS
Listen, now ...

ALL
Yes, let's hear the singer.

ALFREDO
Let's drink from the joyous chalice
Where beauty flowers ...
Let the fleeting hour
To pleasure's intoxication yield.
Let's drink
To love's sweet tremors -
To those eyes
That pierce the heart.
Let's drink to love - to wine
That warms our kisses.

ALL
Ah! Let's drink to love ? to wine
That warms our kisses.

VIOLETTA
rising
With you I would share
My days of happiness;
Everything is folly in this world
That does not give us pleasure.
Let us enjoy life,
For the pleasures of love are swift and fleeting
As a flower that lives and dies
And can be enjoyed no more.
Let's take our pleasure!
While its ardent,
Brilliant summons lures us on.

ALL
Let's take our pleasure
Of wine and
Singing and mirth
Till the new day
Dawns on us in paradise.

VIOLETTA
to Alfredo
Life is just pleasure.

ALFREDO
to Violetta
But if one still waits for love ...

VIOLETTA
to Alfredo
I know nothing of that ? don't tell me …

ALFREDO
to Violetta
But there lies my fate.

ALL
Let's take our pleasure
Of wine and
Singing and mirth,
Till the new day
Dawns on this paradise of ours.
Music is heard from the other room.
What's that?

VIOLETTA
Would you like to dance now?

ALL
Oh, what a pleasant thought!
We all accept.

VIOLETTA
Let's go then!
The guests move towards the centre door, but Violetta turns suddenly pale.
Oh!

ALL
What's the matter?

VIOLETTA
Nothing, nothing.

She takes a few steps.

ALL
Why do you linger?

VIOLETTA
Let's go!
She is obliged to sit down.
Oh, heavens!

ALL
Again!

ALFREDO
Are you ill?

ALL
Heavens! What's the matter?

VIOLETTA
I'm trembling,
She indicates the other room
But go along.
I'll join you in a moment.

ALL
If you say so.

They all go into the other room except Alfredo.

VIOLETTA
getting up to look at herself in the glass
Oh, how pale I am!
She turns and sees Alfredo
You here!

ALFREDO
Do you still feel upset?

VIOLETTA
I'm better now.

ALFREDO
The way you're going on
You'll kill yourself.
You should take more care of your health!

VIOLETTA
How can I?

ALFREDO
Oh, if I only had the right,
I'd be the most watchful guardian
Of your dear life.

VIOLETTA
What a thing to say!
Who cares what happens to me?

ALFREDO
ardently
For no one in the world loves you

VIOLETTA
No one?

ALFREDO
... except for me.

VIOLETTA
laughing
That's true!
I'd forgotten that grand passion.

ALFREDO
You laugh!
But all the same, you have a heart.

VIOLETTA
A heart? Yes, perhaps.
Why do you ask?

ALFREDO
Yet if you had,
You wouldn't make fun of me.

VIOLETTA
Are you really serious?

ALFREDO
I wouldn't deceive you.

VIOLETTA
Then how long have you loved me?

ALFREDO
For more than a year.

One happy day
You flashed lightly into my life;
And since then I've lived
In tremulous possession
Of that unspoken love,
The pulse of the whole world,
Mysterious, unattainable,
The torment and delight of my heart.

VIOLETTA
If that is true, then leave me.
Friendship is all I can offer you.
I don't know how to love,
I couldn't feel so great an emotion.
I'm being honest with you ? sincere …
You should look for someone else,
Then you wouldn't find it hard
To forget me.

GASTON
appearing in the centre doorway
Well now? What the devil are you up to?

VIOLETTA
We're talking nonsense.

GASTON
Ha, ha! Splendid! Go on!

VIOLETTA
to Alfredo
So no more about love.
Is that a promise?

ALFREDO
I'll do as you say. I'll go.

He turns away.

VIOLETTA
So it's come to that already?
She takes a flower from her corsage.
Take this flower.

ALFREDO
Why?

VIOLETTA
So that you can bring it back to me.

ALFREDO
turning back
When?

VIOLETTA
When it's withered.

ALFREDO
You mean ... tomorrow?

VIOLETTA
Very well, tomorrow.

ALFREDO
rapturously taking the flower
I'm happy ...
Oh, so happy!

VIOLETTA
Do you still say you love me?

ALFREDO
about to go
How much, how much I love you!
I'm happy ... oh, so happy!

VIOLETTA
You're going?

ALFREDO
coming back to kiss her hand
I'll go now.

VIOLETTA
Good?bye, then.

ALFREDO
I ask for nothing more.
Good?bye!

He goes out.
All the others come in from the ballroom flushed with dancing.


ALL
The dawn is breaking in the sky
And we must take our leave;
Thank you, dear lady
For such a splendid party.
The town is still a-revelling;
Pleasure rolls on its way.
In slumber we'll store up again
The zest for further joys.

They go out, right.

VIOLETTA
alone
How strange it is … how strange!
Those words are carved upon my heart!
Would a true love bring me misfortune?
What do you think, o my troubled spirit?
No man before kindled a flame like this.
Oh, joy …
I never knew …
To love and to be loved!
Can I disdain this
For a life of sterile pleasure?

Was this the man my heart,
Alone in the crowd,
Delighted many times to paint
In vague, mysterious colours?
This man, so watchful yet retiring,
Who haunted my sick?bed
And turned my fever
Into the burning flame of love!
That love,
The pulse of the whole world,
Mysterious, unattainable,
The torment and delight of my heart.

It's madness! It's empty delirium!
A poor, lonely woman
Abandoned in this teeming desert
They call Paris!
What can I hope? What should I do?
Enjoy myself! Plurge into the vortex
Of pleasure and drown there!
Enjoy myself!

Free and aimless I must flutter
From pleasure to pleasure,
Skimming the surface
Of life's primrose path.
As each day dawns,
As each day dies,
Gaily I turn to the new delights
That make my spirit soar.

ALFREDO
outside the window
Love is the pulse

VIOLETTA
Oh!

ALFREDO
... of the whole world ...

VIOLETTA
Yes! Love!

ALFREDO
Mysterious, unattainable,
The torment and delight of my heart.

VIOLETTA
It's madness!
Pleasure!
Free and aimless, I must flutter … etc.

ACT TWO

A country house near Paris. A ground?floor room.

ALFREDO
enters wearing hunting clothes; putting down his gun
There's no pleasure in life when she's away!
It's three months now since Violetta
Gave up for me her easy, luxurious life
Of love?affairs and expensive parties ...
There she was used to the homage of all
Who were enslaved by her beauty,
But she seems happy here in this
Charming place,
Where she forgets everything for me.
With her beside me, I feel myself reborn,
Revived by the breath of love,
Forgetting the past in present delights.

My passionate spirit
And the fire of youth
She tempers with the
Gentle smile of love.
Since the day when she told me
"I want to live, faithful to you alone!"
I have forgotten the world
And lived like one in heaven …

Annina enters in great agitation, dressed for travelling.
Annina, where have you been?

ANNINA
To Paris.

ALFREDO
Who sent you?

ANNINA
My mistress.

ALFREDO
Why?

ANNINA
To sell the horses and carriages
And all her other things.

ALFREDO
What do you mean?

ANNINA
It's very costly living here on our own.

ALFREDO
But why didn't you tell me?

ANNINA
She said I mustn't.

ALFREDO
Mustn't? How much do we need?

ANNINA
A thousand louis.

ALFREDO
All right, you may go ..
I'm going to Paris, myself.
Don't tell your mistress that you talked to me;
There's still time to put things straight.
Go! Go!
Annina goes out.
Oh, my remorse! Oh, disgrace!
And I lived so mistaken!
But the truth, like a flash,
Has broken my base sleep!
For a little while be calm in my breast,
Oh, cry of honour;
In me you shall have a sure avenger;
I shall wash away this infamy.
Oh, shame! Oh, disgrace!
Ah, yes, I shall wash away this infamy!

Alfredo goes out. Violetta enters with some papers in her hand, talking to Annina. Behind them is Giuseppe.

VIOLETTA
Where's Alfredo?

ANNINA
He's just gone to Paris.

VIOLETTA
When's he coming back?

ANNINA
Before it gets dark …
He told me to tell you.

VIOLETTA
It's strange!

GIUSEPPE
presenting her with a letter
This is for you.

VIOLETTA
taking the letter
Very well. In a little while
A man will be coming on business.
Show him in at once.

Annina and Giuseppe go out. Violetta opens the letter.

VIOLETTA
alone, reading
Aha! So Flora's discovered my hiding?place;
She invites me to a dance this evening!
She throws the letter on to the table and sits down.
She'll wait for me in vain.

Giuseppe comes in and approaches Violetta.

GIUSEPPE
There's a gentleman here.

VIOLETTA
It'll be the man I'm expecting.

signing to Giuseppe to show him in

GERMONT
Mademoiselle Valéry?

VIOLETTA
Yes.

GERMONT
I'm Alfredo's father.

VIOLETTA
surprised, invites him to sit down
You are?

GERMONT
sitting down
Yes, I'm the father of that headstrong boy,
Who's rushing to his ruin
Because of his infatuation for you.

VIOLETTA
rising indignantly
I am a woman, Sir,
And this is my house;
Please excuse me if I leave you,
More for your sake than mine.

She turns to go out.

GERMONT
to himself
What manners!
All the same ...

VIOLETTA
returning to her chair
There must be some mistake!

GERMONT
He wants to make over everything to you.

VIOLETTA
He wouldn't dare,
I should refuse.

GERMONT
looking round him
You live luxuriously ...

VIOLETTA
showing him a document
That puzzles a lot of people
But you shall know the truth.

GERMONT
looking at the document
Heavens! What are you telling me?
You're sacrificing
Everything you possess?
Is this how the past reproaches you?

VIOLETTA
with enthusiasm
The past is over. I love Alfredo now,
God has wiped out the past.
He knows of my repentance!

GERMONT
Your feelings do you credit.

VIOLETTA
getting up
How kind your voice sounds now.

GERMONT
I have to ask a sacrifice
Of those noble feelings of yours.

VIOLETTA
No! Don't tell me!
Don't tell me your terrible demand!
I foresaw it … I expected it …
I was too happy!

GERMONT
Alfredo's father
Pleads with you now for the future
Of his two children!

VIOLETTA
His two children?

GERMONT
Yes.
God gave me a daughter
As pure as an angel;
And if Alfredo refuses
To return to the bosom of his family,
The man she loves and who loves her,
The one whose wife she was to be,
Will break the chain
That was to bind them in their happiness.
I pray you not to change the roses of their
Love to flowers of sadness.
Surely your heart will not deny
The prayer I utter now.

VIOLETTA
Ah yes, I understand.
If I left
Alfredo for a time …
It would be a sacrifice, but then ...

GERMONT
That's not what I'm asking.

VIOLETTA
Heavens! What more do you expect?
So much I've offered, already!

GERMONT
But not enough.

VIOLETTA
You want me to leave him
For ever?

GERMONT
It's necessary.

VIOLETTA
Oh, no! Never!
No, never!
You cannot know the kind of passion
- Living, overwhelming -
That burns in my heart!
I have no friends, no family still living.
Alfredo swore,
That I should find them all in him.
How should you know that my life
Is threatened by a fell disease?
That already I see the end is near?
If I parted from Alfredo,
My suffering would be so unbearable
That I would rather die,
Why yes, much rather die!

GERMONT
The sacrifice is heavy,
But hear me out with patience,
You're young and beautiful
And in time …

VIOLETTA
Oh, say no more …
I understand you.
But it's impossible for me ...
I want nothing but to love him!

GERMONT
That may be,
But men are often less faithful.

VIOLETTA
Oh, heavens!

GERMONT
One day, when time
Has put your charms to flight,
Boredom will swiftly rise.
What will happen then? Think!
The gentle balm of affection
Will not be for you,
Because the threads that bound you
Had not been blessed by heaven.

VIOLETTA
It's true!

GERMONT
Ah, why not, then, abandon
So tempting a dream?

VIOLETTA
It's true!

GERMONT
Be the consoling angel
Of my family!
Violetta, only think,
You still have time for that.
My child, it's God who inspires
The words this father speaks.

VIOLETTA
in great grief
So, for the wretched woman
Who's fallen once,
The hope of rising is for ever gone!
Though God should show His mercy,
Man will never forgive her.
to Germont, weeping
Say to your daughter, pure as she is and fair,
That there's a victim of misfortune
Whose one ray of happiness
Before she dies
Is a sacrifice made for her.

GERMONT
Weep, unhappy girl, weep!
I see the sacrifice I ask
Is the greatest one of all,
In my own heart I feel your sorrow;
Have courage, and your generous
Heart will conquer!

VIOLETTA
Tell me what I must do.

GERMONT
Say you don't love him.

VIOLETTA
He won't believe me.

GERMONT
Then leave him.

VIOLETTA
He would follow me.

GERMONT
Then ...

VIOLETTA
As your daughter now embrace me,
So you may give me strength.
embracing Germont
Soon he will be restored to you,
But more unhappy than words can tell.
You must be there
To comfort him.

She indicates the garden.
She goes to the writing-table.


GERMONT
What are you doing?

VIOLETTA
If I told you,
You would oppose me.

GERMONT
You are generous indeed!
And what can I do for you?
What can I do for you who are so generous?

VIOLETTA
turning to him
I shall soon die!
And he'll not curse
My memory
If someone tell him
How much I suffered.

GERMONT
No, generous girl, you must live,
You must be happy,
For one day
Heaven will repay you for these tears.

VIOLETTA
Let him know the sacrifice
I made of the love
That will be his
Till I draw my last breath.

GERMONT
Your sacrifice shall be rewarded,
And in days to come
You will be proud
Of so great a love.
Yes!

VIOLETTA
Someone is coming, you must go now.

GERMONT
I thank you from my heart!

VIOLETTA
Go now.
They embrace
We may not meet again.

VIOLETTA AND GERMONT
May you be happy! Farewell!

Germont goes to the door.

VIOLETTA
weeping
Let him know the sacrifice
I made of the love ...

GERMONT
at the door
Yes! Yes!

VIOLETTA
That will be his for ever ...
Her tears stifle the words.
Farewell!

GERMONT
Farewell!

VIOLETTA AND GERMONT
May you be happy! Farewell!

Germont goes through the door into the garden.

VIOLETTA
sitting down to write
Heaven, give me strength!

She rings a bell.

ANNINA
You want me?

VIOLETTA
Yes,
Deliver this note yourself ...

ANNINA
surprised at the name on the note
Oh!

VIOLETTA
Hush! Go at once.
Annina goes out.
And now a note to him.
What shall I say?
Who will give me the courage to say it?

She writes and seals the letter.
Alfredo comes in.


ALFREDO
What are you doing?

VIOLETTA
hiding the letter
Nothing.

ALFREDO
You were writing?

VIOLETTA
confused
Yes ... no ...

ALFREDO
Why are you so confused?
Who were you writing to?

VIOLETTA
To you.

ALFREDO
Give me the letter.

VIOLETTA
No, later.

ALFREDO
I'm sorry,
There's something worrying me.

VIOLETTA
getting up
What is it?

ALFREDO
My father's arrived ...

VIOLETTA
Have you seen him?

ALFREDO
No,
But he left me an angry letter.
I shall wait for him.
He'll love you when he sees you.

VIOLETTA
in great agitation
Don't let him find me here ...
Let me go ...
You can calm him down ...
near to tears
I'll throw myself at his feet,
He won't want to part us any more.
We shall be happy,
Because you love me, Alfredo,
Don't you?

ALFREDO
So very much, but why are you crying?

VIOLETTA
I felt like crying
But I'm better now.
controlling herself
You see ... I'm smiling ... you see?
I'm all right now ...
I'm smiling.
I shall be there amongst the flowers,
Always near to you.
Love me, Alfredo,
Love me as I love you! Farewell!

She runs out into the garden.

ALFREDO
Her love for me
Is her whole life!
He sits down and picks up a book, reads for a mo ment, then gets up and looks at the clock above the fireplace.
It's late, perhaps my father
Won't come back today.

GIUSEPPE
entering hurriedly
Madame has gone,
There was a carriage waiting,
It's on its way to Paris now.
Annina went on ahead.

ALFREDO
I know, don't agitate yourself.

GIUSEPPE
to himself
What does it mean?

He goes out.

ALFREDO
I expect she's gone to hurry up the sale
Of her things,
But Annina will stop her.
His father is seen in the distance, crossing the garden.
There's someone in the garden?
Who is it?

He turns to go out.

MESSENGER
at the door
Monsieur Germont?

ALFREDO
Yes.

MESSENGER
A lady in a carriage,
A little way from here,
Gave me this note for you.

He gives Alfredo a letter, receives a tip and goes out.

ALFREDO
From Violetta! Why am I so disturbed?
Perhaps she suggests my joining her?
I'm afraid! Oh, heaven! Give me courage!
He opens the letter and reads.
“Alfredo, when you get this note …”
He cries out.
Ah!
He finds himself in his father's arms.
My father!

GERMONT
My son!
I know how much you suffer!
But don't give way to tears,
Rather become your father's
Pride and joy again.
Alfredo, in despair, sits down near the table with his face in his hands.
What has vanished from your heart
The dear sea and soil of Provence?
What has dimmed from your eyes
The bright sunshine of your native country?
Even in sorrow,
Remember you were happy there,
There alone can peace
Shine on you again.
It was God who brought me here!
You do not know

What pain your old father has suffered!
With you away
His home has been desolate indeed.
But if in finding you again
My hopes are not in vain,
If the voice of honour
Is not silent for you,
God has heard me!
He embraces Alfredo.
What, no response to your father's love?

ALFREDO
A thousand serpents devour my breast.
repulsing his father
Leave me.

GERMONT
Leave you?

ALFREDO
resolutely
Oh, revenge!

GERMONT
No more delay.
Let us go, hurry.

ALFREDO
Ah, it was Douphol!

GERMONT
Are you listening to me?

ALFREDO
No!

GERMONT
Then I have found you in vain?
No, you will not hear reproaches;
Let us cover the past with oblivion:
Love which has guided me to you
Can forgive everything.
Come, see again with me
Your dear ones rejoicing;
Do not deny such joy
To those who have suffered till now.
Hasten to console a father and a sister.

ALFREDO
Ah!
Freeing himself, he sees Flora's letter on the table.
He reads is hastily and exclaims.

She's gone to the party!
I'll have my own back for that!

He rushes out.

GERMONT
What's that you say? Stop!

Germont follows.

A brilliantly lighted, richly furnished room in Flora's house. A door at the back and one on each side. Downstage right is a table where guests are playing cards; on the left another table decked with flowers, where refreshments are set out. There are chairs and a sofa.

Flora, the Marquis, the Doctor and other guests come in left, talking together.


FLORA
There'll be maskers
To liven up the evening;
The young vicomte at their head.
And I've invited Violetta and Alfredo …

MARQUIS
Hadn't you heard that
Violetta and Germont have parted?

DOCTOR AND FLORA
Is it true?

MARQUIS
She'll coming with the baron.

DOCTOR
But I saw them only yesterday!
They seemed happy enough.

There is a sound of new arrivals, off right.

FLORA
Hush! Do you hear?

ALL
moving right
Our friends are coming.

A crowd of guests wearing masks and gypsy costumes enter right.

GYPSY GIRLS
We are gypsies,
Come from a distant land;
We can read the future
In anybody's hand.
We're in touch with the stars;
Nothing is hidden from us,
All the happenings of the future
We can reveal to you.

A GROUP OF GYPSIES
Let's see;
looking at Flora's hand
You, Madame, Have several rivals.

ANOTHER GROUP OF GYPSIES
looking at the Marquis's hand
You, Marquis,
Are no model of faithfulness.

FLORA
to the Marquis
Are you at your games again?
Believe me, I shall make you pay!

MARQUIS
to Flora
What the deuce do you mean?
It's an utter falsehood!

FLORA
The fox may change his skin,
But he doesn't forget his tricks.
My dear Marquis, you be careful,
Or you may be sorry for it.

ALL
Come along, let's draw a veil
Over what is past and gone;
What is done can't be undone,
Let us welcome what's to come.

Flora and the Marquis press each other's hands.

Gaston comes in right, with a lively band of guests in masks, dressed as Spanish bullfighters and picadors.


GASTON AND THE BULLFIGHTERS
We're matadors from Madrid,
The heroes of the bull?ring,
We've come to enjoy the fun
That Paris makes over the fatted ox;
There's a tale we can tell, if you'll listen,
And would like to know how we can love!

FLORA, THE DOCTOR, THE MARQUIS, CHORUS OF LADIES
Yes, yes, you splendid fellows, tell us!
We are eager to hear you!

GASTON AND THE BULLFIGHTERS
Then listen.
There's a matador of Biscay,
The bold and handsome Piquillo;
Strong of arm and proud of aspect,
He's the lord of the arena.
With an Andalusian maiden
He fell violently in love
But the saucy little beauty
Challenged her admiring swain:
"Let me see you bring to earth
Five bulls in a single day,
And if you return in triumph,
You shall have my heart and hand."
"I accept!" said the bullfighter
And he hurried to the fight;
All five bulls the conquering hero
Stretched lifeless upon the sand.

FLORA, THE DOCTOR, THE MARQUIS, CHORUS OF LADIES
Bravo, bravo, brave bullfighter,
You have shown yourself a hero,
And have proved to the maiden
The kind of love yours is.

GASTON AND THE BULLFIGHTERS
Midst the cheering he went back
To the girl of his heart,
And eagerly embraced his prize
In the strong arms of love.

FLORA, THE DOCTOR, THE MARQUIS, CHORUS OF LADIES
With feats like this, bullfighters
Know how to win the fair.

GASTON AND THE BULLFIGHTERS
But here our hearts are gentler,
We make do with fun and games!

ALL
Yes, lively friends, first let us try
The temper of fickle fortune;
Let us open the lists
To the bold gamester.

The men take off their masks. Some move around and some get ready for gambling. Alfredo enters.

ALL
Alfredo! You!

ALFREDO
Yes, my friends.

FLORA
Where's Violetta?

ALFREDO
I don't know.

ALL
How unimpassioned! Bravo!
Now, let's have a game!

Violetta enters on the arm of the Baron.

FLORA
Here's the one we've been waiting for.

VIOLETTA
I couldn't refuse such a lovely invitation.

FLORA
I'm grateful to you too, Baron,
For consenting to come.

BARON
softly to Violetta
Germont is here! Do you see?

VIOLETTA
to herself
Heavens! So he is!
softly to the Baron
Yes, I see him.

BARON
sombrely
Not a word
From you to Alfredo,
Not a word!

VIOLETTA
to herself
Ah, why did I come?
It was rash of me!
Heaven, Have mercy on me!

Flora makes Violetta sit beside her on a sofa. The Doctor approaches them; the Marquis talks to the Baron. Gaston cuts the cards; Alfredo and the other stake their money, Guests pass to and fro.

FLORA
Sit down with me
And tell me about this new turn of events.

Flora and Violetta talk together.

ALFREDO
Four!

GASTON
You've won again.

ALFREDO
Unlucky in love,
Lucky at cards …

He stakes again and wins.

ALL
He's winning all the time!

ALFREDO
Oh, I shall win tonight
And return happily
To the country
To spend my winnings.

FLORA
Alone?

ALFREDO
Oh no, with her who was with me there,
Until she ran away from me.

VIOLETTA
to herself
Dear God!

GASTON
to Alfredo, pointing to Violetta
Spare her feelings.

BARON
to Alfredo angrily
Monsieur!

VIOLETTA
softly to the Baron
Remain calm, or I leave you.

ALFREDO
Did you speak to me, Baron?

BARON
ironically
You're so favoured by fortune
That I'm tempted to try my luck …

ALFREDO
with equal irony
Really? I'll take you on.

VIOLETTA
to herself
Ah! I feel like death!
Great heaven,
Have pity on me!

BARON
staking his money
A hundred louis on the right ...

ALFREDO
pushing over his stake
And a hundred on the left ...

GASTON
cutting
An ace ... a knave ...
to Alfredo
You win!

BARON
Will you double?

ALFREDO
Double it is!

GASTON
cutting
A four ... a seven ...

ALL
Again!

ALFREDO
Then I'm the winner.

ALL
Bravo! Alfredo has all the luck.

FLORA
The Baron's going to pay for that stay in
the country … I can see that!

ALFREDO
to the Baron
Shall we go on?

A servant enters.

SERVANT
Supper is served.

FLORA
Let's go!

ALL
Let's go.

VIOLETTA
to herself
What's going to happen? I feel like death!
Great heaven,
Have pity on me!

ALFREDO
to the Baron
If you'd like to go on?

BARON
We can't now;
I'll have my revenge later.

ALFREDO
At any game you like.

BARON
Let's follow our friends ... later …

ALFREDO
I'll be at your service.
Moving upstage
Let's go.

BARON
as they go out
Let's go.

Everybody goes out, the stage is empty for a few moments.

VIOLETTA
returns in a state of great agitation, followed by Alfredo
I've asked him to follow me.
Will he come? Will he heed me?
I think he'll come, for his terrible hatred
Moves him more than my words …

ALFREDO
You called me? What do you want?

VIOLETTA
You must go,
You're in danger!

ALFREDO
Ah, I see, but that's enough,
So you think I'm a coward?

VIOLETTA
No, never!

ALFREDO
What are you afraid of?

VIOLETTA
The Baron frightens me.

ALFREDO
It's a question of life and death between us.
If I kill him,
You'll lose lover and protector
At a single blow.
Doesn't such a fate terrify you?

VIOLETTA
But if he should be the killer?
That's the only thought
That puts the fear of death into me,

ALFREDO
My death? What do you care about that?

VIOLETTA
Please go, go at once!

ALFREDO
I'll go if you will swear
That wherever I go,
You'll follow me ...

VIOLETTA
No, never!

ALFREDO
No, never!

VIOLETTA
Go, you are wicked!
Forget a name that's without honour!
Go, leave me this minute.
I've made a solemn vow
To fly from you.

ALFREDO
Who to? Tell me, who could make you?

VIOLETTA
One who had every right.

ALFREDO
Was is Douphol?

VIOLETTA
with great force
Yes!

ALFREDO
Then you love him?

VIOLETTA
Yes ... I love him ...

ALFREDO
running to the door and shouting
Come here, all of you!

The rest of the company rush in.

ALL
You called us? What do you want?

ALFREDO
pointing to Violetta, who leans feebly against a table
You know this lady?

ALL
You mean Violetta?

ALFREDO
But you don't know what she's done.

VIOLETTA
Oh, don't!

ALL
No.

ALFREDO
For me this woman lost all she possessed.
I was blind,
A wretched coward,
I accepted it all.
But it's time now for me
To clear myself from debt.
I call you all to witness here
That I've paid her back!

Contemptuously, he throws his winnings at Violetta'sfeet. She swoons in Flora's arms. Alfredo's father arrives suddenly.

ALL
What you have done is shameful!
So to strike down a tender heart!
You have insulted a woman!
Get out of here!
We've no use for you!
We've no use for such as you!
Go!

GERMONT
dignified in his anger
A man who offends a woman, even in anger,
Merits nothing but scorn.
Where is my son?
I see him no more
In you, Alfredo,
No more in you.

ALFREDO
to himself
What have I done? Yes, I despise myself!
Jealous madness, love deceived,
Ravaged my soul, destroyed my reason.
How can I ever gain her pardon?
I would have left her, but I couldn't;
I came here to vent my anger,
But now I've done so, wretch that I am,
I feel nothing but a deep remorse!

FLORA, GASTON, THE DOCTOR, THE MARQUIS, THE CHORUS
to Violetta
Yes, you have suffered,
But take heart!
Each one of us has shared your pain;
Friends are about you to dry the tears
You have shed.

GERMONT
to himself
Alone I know the true devotion
This poor girl hides within her breast;
I know her faithful heart
That's vowed so cruelly to silence.

BARON
softly to Alfredo
Your deadly insult to this lady
Offends us all, but such an outrage
Shall not go unavenged!
I shall find a way to humble your pride!

ALFREDO
Alas, what have I done?
What have I done?
How can I ever
Gain her pardon?

VIOLETTA
coming to herself
Alfredo, how should you understand
All the love that's in my heart?
How should you know that I have proved it,
Even at the price of your contempt?
But the time will come when you will know,
When you'll admit how much I loved you.
God save you then from all remorse!
Even after death I shall still love you.

Germont leads his son away with him; the Baron follows. Flora and the Doctor take Violetta into the other room as the rest of the company disperses.

ACT THREE

Violetta's bedroom. Violetta is asleep on the bed; Annina, seated near the fireplace, is dozing.

Prelude

VIOLETTA
sitting up
Annina!

ANNINA
waking in confusion
Did you call me?

VIOLETTA
Were you asleep? Poor Annina!

ANNINA
Forgive me!

VIOLETTA
Give me a sip of water.
Annina does so.
Look and see if it's daylight.

ANNINA
It's seven o'clock.

VIOLETTA
Let's have a little light.

ANNINA
drawing the curtains and looking out
Dr. Grenvil ...

VIOLETTA
What a good friend he is!
I must get up, help me.
She rises but falls back, then, with Annina's help, moves slowly over to the couch. The Doctor arrives in time to help her.
How kind you are!
To think of me so early!

DOCTOR
feeling her pulses
How do you feel?

VIOLETTA
Weak in body,
But tranquil of soul.
A good priest came yesterday
To comfort me.
Religion's a great solace when one's ill.

DOCTOR
And last night?

VIOLETTA
I slept soundly.

DOCTOR
Then we must take heart,
Convalescence is not far away.

VIOLETTA
Doctors are allowed
A pious fib.

DOCTOR
taking her hand
Good?bye, I'll see you later.

VIOLETTA
Don't forget me.

ANNINA
softly, as she goes to the door with the Doctor
How is she, Monsieur?

DOCTOR
The illness only gives her
A few hours.

He goes out.

ANNINA
to Violetta
Take courage, now!

VIOLETTA
Is it a holiday?

ANNINA
It's the carnival, Paris is running wild.

VIOLETTA
God knows how many poor souls are
Suffering while the people enjoy themselves!
How much have we left in the drawer?

pointing to the chest?of?drawers

ANNINA
opening it and counting
Twenty louis.

VIOLETTA
Take ten
And give them to the poor.

ANNINA
You won't have much left.

VIOLETTA
As much as I shall need …
Go and see if there are any letters for me.

ANNINA
What about you?

VIOLETTA
Nothing will happen to me …
But please hurry.
Annina goes out. Violetta draws a letter from her breast and reads it in a low voice, speaking in time to the music.
"You kept your promise ...
The duel took place.
The Baron was wounded,
But is getting better ...
Alfredo is abroad.
I have told him of your sacrifice.
He is coming back to ask your pardon …
I shall come too.
Take care of yourself ...
You deserve a better future.
Georges Germont .-
sadly
It's too late!
getting up
I wait and wait, but they never come!
She looks at herself in the glass.
How changed I am!
But the Doctor still urges me to hope!
With such a disease
All hope is dead!

Farewell, happy dreams of by?gone days;
The roses in my cheeks already are faded.
Even Alfredo's love is lacking,
To comfort and uphold my weary spirit.
Oh, comfort, sustain an erring soul,
And may God pardon and make her his own!
Ah, all is over,
All is over now.

MASKED CHORUS
offstage
Make way for the quadruped,
Lord of the feast,
His head is wreathed about
With flowers and vineleaves.
Make way for the gentlest
Of all horned beasts.
Greet him with
Horns and pipes.
People of Paris, give way
To the Fat Ox's triumph.
Not Asia nor Africa
Ever saw a finer;
He's the pride and boast
Of every butcher.
Lively masqueraders,
Crazy young boys,
Hail him, all of you,
With music and song!

Annina hurries back.

ANNINA
hesitating
Madame ...

VIOLETTA
What's happened?

ANNINA
You do feel better today,
Don't you?

VIOLETTA
Yes, but why?

ANNINA
Will you promise to keep calm?

VIOLETTA
What are you trying to tell me?

ANNINA
I must warn you of a joy you don't expect.

VIOLETTA
Did you say joy?

ANNINA
nodding her head
Yes, Madame.

VIOLETTA
Alfredo! You've seen him!
He's coming! Oh, hurry!
Annina nodds in confirmation, goes to open the door. Violetta goes to the door.
Alfredo!
Alfredo appears, pale with emotion, and they fall into each other's arms.
Alfredo, beloved!
Oh, what joy!

ALFREDO
Oh, my Violetta!
Oh, what joy!
How much to blame I am,
But now, dearest, I know everything!

VIOLETTA
I only know I have you back!

ALFREDO
Judge how much I love you
From the beating of my heart!
I can live no longer without you!

VIOLETTA
That you find me still alive
Means that sorrow cannot kill.

ALFREDO
Forget the pain, beloved,
Forgive me and my father.

VIOLETTA
That I should pardon you
When I'm the one to blame?
But it was love that made me so.

ALFREDO AND VIOLETTA
Not man or devil, my angel,
Shall ever part you from me again.

ALFREDO
We'll leave Paris, my dearest,
Together we'll go through life.
In reward for your past sorrows,
You'll bloom into health again.
Breath of life, sunshine you'll be to me,
All the years to come will smile on us.

VIOLETTA
We'll leave Paris, my dearest,
Together we'll go through life.

ALFREDO
Yes.

VIOLETTA
In reward for past sorrows,
I shall bloom into health again.
Breath of life, sunshine you'll be to me,
All the years to come will smile on us.
Ah, no more!
Let's go to church, Alfredo,
And give thanks for your return.

She falters.

ALFREDO
You've gone pale!

VIOLETTA
It's nothing.
A joy so sudden is overwhelming,
When one has been sad at heart.

She falls, exhausted, into a chair.

ALFREDO
supporting her in alarm
God in heaven! Violetta!

VIOLETTA
It's the way the illness takes me!
Just weakness!
I'm all right now.
See! I'm smiling.

ALFREDO
sadly
How cruel fate is!

VIOLETTA
It was nothing!
Annina, help me to dress.

ALFREDO
Not now! Wait a little ...

VIOLETTA
No! I want to go out.
Annina brings Violetta's clothes, which she tries to put on, but nearly falls from weakness.
Oh, heaven! I can't!

She falls back on the chair.

ALFREDO
To see her like this!
to Annina
Go and get the Doctor!

VIOLETTA
to Annina
Tell him Alfredo is back,
Back in my arms,
Tell him I want to live again!
Annina goes out.
But if you haven't saved me by coming back,
No one on earth can do it.
getting up impetuously
Ah, God in heaven!
That I should die so young,
After so much suffering!
To die so near the dawn
After the long night of tears!
It was only an illusion,
My hope and my belief!
My heart, so long believing
Was constant all in vain!

ALFREDO
Breath of my life
And beating of my heart,
My soul's only delight!
Let me mingle
My tears with yours!
But more than ever, believe me
I need your true devotion.
So do not close your heart
To all hope.

VIOLETTA
Oh, Alfredo, how sad an ending
To our love and my life!

ALFREDO
Oh, Violetta, your sadness
Is worse to me than death!

GERMONT
enters with Annina and the Doctor
Ah, Violetta!

VIOLETTA
You, Monsieur?

ALFREDO
Father!

VIOLETTA
You didn't forget me?

GERMONT
I come as I promised,
To embrace you as a daughter,
Most generous girl!

VIOLETTA
Alas, you come too late!
They embrace
But I'm grateful, all the same.
You see, Dr. Grenvil, I die in the arms
Of those I hold dearest in all the world.

GERMONT
Whatever are you telling me?
looking at her
Heaven help us! It's true!

ALFREDO
You see how it is with her, Father?

GERMONT
Say no more, don't torture me,
Remorse seizes my soul,
Her every word strikes me like lightning!
Violetta opens a drawer and takes out a medallion.
Rash old fool that I was,
Only now do I see
What I've done!

VIOLETTA
Come closer,
Alfredo, mv beloved,
Take this picture of me
In happier days gone by
As a remembrance of her
Who loved you truly.

ALFREDO
Don't talk to me of dying,
You must live on, beloved;
God would not bring on me
So dreadful a misfortune …

GERMONT
Dear, sublime victim
Of a desperate love,
Forgive me for the
Torment inflicted on your fair heart.

VIOLETTA
If some gentle maiden
In the springtime of her life
Should give to you her heart,
Let her be your wife, for such is my wish.
Give her this picture
And tell her it's the gift of one
Who from heaven, amongst the angels,
Prays always for her and for you.

ANNINA, GERMONT, THE DOCTOR
As long as I have tears to shed,
I shall weep for you.
Fly to the regions of the blest,
For God calls you to Him!

ALFREDO
Death cannot
Divide you
From me son soon!
Live, or a single coffin
Shall enclose me with you!

VIOLETTA
reviving
How strange!

ANNINA, ALFREDO, GERMONT, THE DOCTOR
What?

VIOLETTA
speaking
The spasms of pain have ceased!
I feel reborn in me the strength
That once was mine!
I feel I'm coming back to life!
Oh, joy!

She falls back on the sofa.

ANNINA, GERMONT, THE DOCTOR
Oh, heavens! She is dying!

ALFREDO
Violetta?

ANNINA, GERMONT
Oh, God, she needs help!

THE DOCTOR
after feeling her pulse
She is dead!

ANNINA, ALFREDO, GERMONT
Oh, my grief!