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Book By Jules Barbier; Music By J. Offenbach

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Title: The Tales of Hoffmann
       Les contes d'Hoffmann

Author: Book By Jules Barbier; Music By J. Offenbach

Translator: Charles Alfred Byrne

Release Date: May 28, 2005 [EBook #15915]

Language: French and English


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[Transcriber's note: This file contains both the English and French
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NEW VERSION
OF

Les Contes d'Hoffmann
(THE TALES OF HOFFMAN)

OPERA IN FOUR ACTS


With an original and novel first Act and other important changes


Book by JULES BARBIER

MUSIC BY
J. OFFENBACH

New English version by CHARLES ALFRED BYRNE


As performed, for the first time in America at the
MANHATTAN OPERA HOUSE,
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN.


ENGLISH VERSION, 1907, BY STEINWAY & SONS.


CHARLES E. BURDEN, PUBLISHER, STEINWAY HALL
107-109 EAST 14TH STREET
NEW YORK.




DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


HOFFMANN
COUNSELOR LINDORF
COPPELIUS
DAPERTUTTO
DOCTOR MIRACLE
SPALANZANI
CRESPEL
ANDRES
COCHENILLE
FRANTZ
LUTHER
NATHANAEL
HERMANN
STELLA
GIULIETTA
OLYMPIA
ANTONIA
NICKLAUSSE
THE MUSE
A GHOST




ARGUMENT


ACT I.

In the first act, which is really a prologue, Hoffmann, a young poet,
enters the tavern of Luther to meet his companions, and drinks to drown
his sorrows. They think he is in love, but he answers, all that is past,
and tells the story of his three loves.


ACT II. OLYMPIA.

A physician's drawing room. Spalanzani has invited a large company to
witness the accomplishments of his daughter, Olympia. She sings to
general applause, and Hoffmann falls desperately in love with her. As
the guests go to supper, Hoffmann tells her of his passion and thinks he
finds a responsive echo in her. There is dancing, and she waltzes him
off his feet. A Dr. Coppelius comes in to say he has been swindled by
Spalanzani. He slips into Olympia's room, from which a noise of breaking
is heard. Coppelius, out of revenge, has smashed Olympia. She was only
an automaton. Hoffmann is astonished.


ACT III. GIULIETTA.

At Venice, in the house of Giulietta, beloved of Schlemil, who takes the
arrival of Hoffmann very ungraciously. Hoffmann cares nothing for
Giulietta, but she is bribed by Dapertutto to make Hoffmann love her,
and she succeeds by making him believe, that he is her ideal. But as a
proof of his love she wants Hoffmann to get the key of her room away
from Schlemil. Hoffmann demands the key; Schlemil tells him to come and
take it, and they fight. Schlemil is killed. Hoffmann takes the key and
rushes to Giulietta's room, and finding nobody, comes back, only to see
her riding off in her gondola, laughing at him, and with her arms around
another man's neck. Hoffmann is disgusted.


ACT IV. ANTONIA.

Antonia has been told by her father, Crespel, to sing no more. When
Hoffmann, who has long loved her, comes, he wonders why, but he soon
learns by overhearing a conversation between Crespel and an evil person
called Doctor Miracle that Antonia is afflicted with consumption. He
then begs her also not to sing, and she promises him. When Hoffmann
goes, Miracle comes in and tells her it is all nonsense, to sing as much
as she likes; but she will not break her promise to Hoffmann. Miracle
then causes the ghost of Antonia's mother to appear, and to her prayers
the girl yields. Miracle urges her on and on, until she is utterly
exhausted. She falls dying, and her father receives her last breath.
Hoffmann is heartbroken.


EPILOGUE.

A return to the scene of the first act. Hoffmann has told his stories.
His companions leave him. The Muse appears and tells him that she is the
only mistress to follow, the only one who will remain true to him. His
spirit flickers a moment with gratitude. Then his head sinks on the
table, and he sleeps.




The Tales of Hoffmann




ACT I.


(The Tavern of Martin Luther. The interior of a German inn. Tables and
  benches.)


CHORUS of Students.

Drig, drig, drig, master Luther,
    Spark of hades,
Drig, drig, drig, for us more beer,
    For us thy wine,
    Until morning,
    Fill my glass,
    Until morning,
Fill our pewter Mugs!


NATHANAEL.

Luther is a brave man,
    Tire, lan, laire,
T'is to-morrow that we brain him,
    Tire, lan, la!


CHORUS.

    Tire, lon, la!


LUTHER (going from table to table).

  Here, gentlemen, here.


HERMANN.

His cellar is a goodly spot,
    Tire lon, laire,
'Tis tomorrow we devast it,
    Tire lon la!


CHORUS.

  Tire lon la!

(Knocking of glasses.)


LUTHER.

  Here, gentlemen, here.


WILHELM.

His wife is a daughter of Eve,
    Tire lan laire,
'Tis to-morrow we abduct her,
    Tire lon la.


CHORUS.

  Tire lon la!


LUTHER.

  Here, gentlemen, here.


CHORUS.

  Drig, drig, drig, master Luther,
    etc., etc.

(The students sit drinking and smoking.)


NATHANAEL.

And Luther, my goodly vat,
What have you done with our Hoffman.


HERMANN.

T'is your wine poisoned him,
You've killed him faith of Herrmann,
Give us back Hoffmann.


ALL.

  Give us Hoffmann.


LINDORF (aside).

  To the devil, Hoffmann.


NATHANAEL.

Let them bring him to us
Or your last day has dawned.


LUTHER.

  Gentlemen, he comes.

(He opens the door, and Nicklausse is with him.)


ALL.

  Hurrah, 'tis he.


LINDORF (aside).

  Let's watch him.


HOFFMANN (entering with sombre voice).

  Good day, friends.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Good-day.


HOFFMANN.

A chair, a glass,
A pipe...


NICKLAUSSE (mocking).

Pardon, my lord, without displeasing,
I drink, smoke and sit like you... place for two.


CHORUS.

  He's right... place for both of them.

(Hoffmann and Nicklausse sit down, Hoffmann has head in his hands.)


NICKLAUSSE (humming).

  Notte a giorno mal dormire...


HOFFMANN (brusquely).

  Shut up, in devil's name.


NICKLAUSSE (quietly).

  Yes, master.


HERMANN (to Hoffmann).

  Oh, oh, whence comes this ill temper?


NATHANAEL (to Hoffmann).

  It's as if one did not know you.


HERMANN.

  On what thorn have you trod?


HOFFMANN.

Alas, on a dead herb
With the iced breath of the north.


NICKLAUSSE.

And there by this door,
On a drunkard who sleeps.


HOFFMANN.

'Tis true... that rascal, by Jove, I envy him.
A drink. Like him, let's sleep in the gutter.


HERMANN.

  Without pillow.


HOFFMANN.

  The flags.


NATHANAEL.

  Without curtains.


HOFFMANN.

  The sky.


NATHANAEL.

  The rain.


HERMANN.

  Have you a nightmare, Hoffmann?


HOFFMANN.

No, but to-night,
A while since, at the play...


ALL.

  Well?


HOFFMANN.

  I thought to see again...
The deuce... why reopen old wounds?
Life is short. Enjoy it while we can.
We must drink, sing, laugh, as we may,
Left to weep to-morrow!


NATHANAEL.

Then sing the first without asking,
We'll do chorus.


HOFFMANN.

  Agreed!


NATHANAEL.

  Something gay.


HERMANN.

  The song of the Rat!


NATHANAEL.

No, for me, I'm tired of it.
What we want is the legend
Of Klein-Zach...


ALL.

'Tis the legand of Klein-Zach.


HOFFMANN.

Here goes for Klein-Zach!...
Once at the court of Eysenach
A little dwarf called Klein-Zach,
Was covered o'er with a colbac,
And his legs they went clic, clac!
    Clic, clac.
There's Klein-Zach.


CHORUS.

  Crick, crack,
  There's Klein-Zach.


HOFFMANN.

He had a hump in place of stomach,
His webbed feet seemed to burst a sack,
His nose was with tobacco black.
And his head it went crick crack,
    Crick, crack.
There's Klein-Zach.


CHORUS.

    Crick, crack,
There's Klein-Zach.


HOFFMANN.

As for the features on his face.

(He becomes absorbed.)


CHORUS.

  As for the features on his face.


HOFFMANN (very slowly).

  As for the features...

(He rises.)

Oh, her face was charming... I see it,
Fine as the day, running after her,
I, like a fool, left the house paternal,
And fled there'on to woods and vales
Her hair, in sombre rolls,
On her neck threw warm shades,
Her eyes of enveloping azure,
Cast about glances fresh and pure.
And as our car without shock or tremor
Carried our loves and hearts, her vibrant voice and sweet,
To the heav'ns that listened, threw the conq'ring cry,
And the eternal echo resounded in my heart.


NATHANAEL.

Oh strangest brain!
Who are you painting! Klein-Zach?


HOFFMANN.

  I speak of her...


NATHANAEL.

  Who?


HOFFMANN.

Nobody... nothing, my spirit is dullish.
Nothing. Klein-Zach is better, malformed as he is!


CHORUS.

  Flick, flack,
  There's Klein-Zach.


HOFFMANN (throwing away his glass).

Peuh!... this beer is detestable,
Let's light up the punch and drink;
And may the light-headed
Roll under the table.


CHORUS.

And may the light headed
Roll under the table.


CHORUS.

(The lights go out, Luther fires an immense punch bowl.)

Luther is a brave man,
    Tire la laire,
    Tire lan la.
'Tis to-morrow that we poison him,
    Tire lan laire,
    Tire lan la.
His cellar is a goodly spot,
    Tire lan laire.
'Tis to-morrow we will make it hot,
    Tire lan laire,
    Tire lan la.


NICKLAUSSE.

Very good, indeed. At least we are pruned
With reason and practical sense!
Away with languorous hearts.


NATHANAEL.

Let's wager that Hoffmann's in love.


HOFFMANN.

  What then?


NATHANAEL.

You need not blush, I imagine
Our friend Wilhelm who's there,
Burns for Leonor and finds her divine.
Hermann loves Gretchen and I am near ruined
For the Fausta.


HOFFMANN (to Wilhelm).

  Yes, Leonor, thy virtuose.

(To Hermann.)

Yes, Gretchen, thy doll inert, of icy heart.

(to Nathanael.)

And thy Fausta, poor insensate,
The courtezan with front of brass.


NATHANAEL.

  Morose spirit,
Many thanks for Fausta, Gretchen and Leonore!...


HOFFMANN.

  Pish. They are all alike.


NATHANAEL.

Then your mistress is such a treasure
That you despise so much our own?


HOFFMANN.

My mistress, no, no, say rather three
Charming trio of enchantresses.
Who are dividing my days.
Would you like the story of my crazy loves?...


CHORUS.

  Yes, yes!


NICKLAUSSE.

  What are you saying of three mistresses?


HOFFMANN.

  Smoke!...
Before this dead pipe is relighted
You will have comprehended,
You who in this play where my heart was consumed
In good sense took the first prize!

(All the students go to their places.)


CHORUS.

Listen. It is nice to drink,
To the telling of a crazy tale,
While following the fragrant cloud,
That a pipe throws in the air.


HOFFMANN (sitting on corner of table).

  I begin.


CHORUS.

  Silence.


HOFFMANN.

  The name of the first was Olympia...

(The curtain falls as Hoffmann is speaking.)




ACT II.


(A physicians room, richly furnished.)


HOFFMAN (alone).

Come! Courage and confidence;
I become a well of science.
I must turn with the wind that blows,
To deserve the one I love.
I shall know how to find in myself
The stuff of a learned man.
She is there... if I dared.

(He softly lifts the portiere.)


'Tis she!
She sleeps... how beautiful!
Ah! together live... both in the same hope,
The same remembrance
Divide our happiness and our sorrow,
And share the future.
Let, let my flame
Pour in thee the light,
Let your soul but open
To the rays of Love.
Divine hearth! Sun whose ardor penetrates
And comes to kiss us.
Ineffable desire where one's whole being
Melts in a single kiss.
Let, let my flame,
  etc., etc.


(Nicklausse appears.)


NICKLAUSSE.

  By Jove, I felt sure you'd be here.


HOFFMAN (letting portiere fall).

  Chut.


NICKLAUSSE.

Why? 'tis there that breathes
The dove who's now your amorous care,
The beautiful Olympia? Go, my child, admire!


HOFFMAN.

  Yes, I adore her!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Want to know her better.


HOFFMAN.

  The soul one loves is easy to know.


NICKLAUSSE.

  What? by a look... through a window?


HOFFMAN.

  A look is enough to embrace the heavens.


NICKLAUSSE.

  What warmth!... At least she knows that you love her.


HOFFMAN.

  No.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Write her.


HOFFMAN.

  I don't dare.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Poor lamb! Speak to her.


HOFFMAN.

  The dangers are the same.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Then sing, to get out of the scrape.


HOFFMAN.

  Monsieur Spalanzani doesn't like music.


NICKLAUSSE (laughing).

  Yes, I know, all for physics!
A doll with china eyes
Played cleverly with a fan,
Nearby a little cock in brass;
Both sang in unison
In a marvelous way,
Danced, gossiped, seemed to live.


HOFFMAN.

  Beg your pardon. Why this song?


NICKLAUSSE.

The little cock shining and smart,
With a very knowing air,
Three times on himself turned;
By some ingenious wheels,
The doll in rolling its eyes
Sighed and said: "I love you."


CHORUS OF THE INVITED GUESTS.

No, no host, really,
Receives more richly
Through good taste his house shines;
Everything here matches.
No, no host really
Receives more richly.


SPALANZANI.

  You will be satisfied, gentlemen, in a moment.

(He makes sign to Cochenille to follow him and exits with him.)


NICKLAUSSE (to Hoffman).

  At last we shall more nearly see this marvel
Without equal!


HOFFMAN.

  Silence... she is here!

(Enter Spalanzani conducting Olympia.)


SPALANZANI.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I present to you
My daughter Olympia.


THE CHORUS.

    Charming.
She has beautiful eyes!
Her shape is very good!
See how well apparelled!
Nothing is wanting!
She does very well!


HOFFMAN.

  Ah, how adorable she is!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Charming, incomparable!


SPALANZANI (to Olympia).

  What a success is thine!


NICKLAUSSE (taking her all in).

  Really she does very well.


THE CHORUS.

She has beautiful eyes,
Her shape is very good,
See how well apparelled,
Nothing is really wanting;
She does very well.


SPALANZANI.

Ladies and gentlemen, proud of your applause,
And above all anxious
To conquer more,
My daughter obedient to your least caprice
Will, if you please...


NICKLAUSSE (aside).

  Pass to other exercises.


SPALANZANI.

Sing to a grand air, following with the voice,
      Rare talent
The clavichord, the guitar,
Or the harp, at your choice!


COCHENILLE (at the rear).

The harp!


BASS VOICE (in the wings).

The harp!


SPALANZANI.

Very good, Cochenille!
Go quickly and bring my daughter's harp!

(Cochenille exits).


HOFFMAN (aside).

  I shall hear her... oh joy!


NICKLAUSSE (aside).

  Oh, crazy passion!


SPALANZANI (to Olympia).

  Master your emotion, my child!


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.


COCHENILLE (bringing the harp).

  There!


SPALANZANI (sitting beside Olympia).

  Gentlemen, attention!


COCHENILLE.

  Attention!


THE CHORUS.

  Attention!


OLYMPIA (accompanied by Spalanzani).

  The birds in the bushes.
In the heavens the orb of day,
All speaks to the young girl
Of love, of love!
  There!
The pretty song,
  There!
The song of Olympia,
  Ha!


THE CHORUS.

  'Tis the song of Olympia!


OLYMPIA.

All that sings and resounds
Has its sighs in turn,
Moves its heart that trembles
  With love.
  There.
The little song,
  There, there,
  The song of Olympia,
    Ha!


CHORUS.

  'Tis the song of Olympia.


HOFFMAN (to Nicklausse).

  Ah, my friend, what an accent.


NICKLAUSSE.

  What runs!

(Cochenille has taken the harp and all surround Olympia. A servant
  speaks to Spalanzani).

Come gentlemen! your arm to the ladies.
Supper awaits you!


THE CHORUS.

  Supper! That's good...


SPALANZANI.

Unless you would prefer
To dance first.


THE CHORUS (with energy).

No! no! the supper... good thing...
After we'll dance.


SPALANZANI.

  As you please...


HOFFMAN (approaching Olympia).

  Might I dare...


SPALANZANI (interrupting).

She is a bit tired,
Wait for the ball.

(He touches Olympia's shoulder.)


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.


SPALANZANI.

You see. Until then
Will you do me the favor
To keep company with my Olympia?


HOFFMAN.

  Oh happiness!


SPALANZANI (aside, laughing).

  We'll see what kind a story he'll give her.


NICKLAUSSE (to Spalanzani).

  Won't she take supper?


SPALANZANI.

  No.


NICKLAUSSE (aside).

  Poetic soul!

(Spalanzani goes behind Olympia. Noise of a spring is heard. Nicklausse
  turns around.)

  What did you say?


SPALANZANI.

  Nothing, physics! ah, monsieur, physics!

(He conducts Olympia to a chair. Goes out with guests).


COCHENILLE.

  The supper awaits you.


THE CHORUS.

Supper, supper, supper awaits us!
No, really, no host
Receives more richly!

(They go out.)


HOFFMAN.

They are at last gone. Ah, I breathe!
Alone, alone, the two of us (approaching Olympia);
I have so many things to say,
Oh my Olympia! Let me admire you!
With your charming looks let me intoxicate myself.

(He touches her shoulder).


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.


HOFFMAN.

Is it not a dream born of fever?
I thought I heard a sigh escape your lips!

(He again touches her shoulder).


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.


HOFFMAN.

Sweet avowal, pledge of our love,
You are mine, our hearts are united forever!
Ah! understand you, tell me, this eternal joy
Of silent hearts.
Living, with but one soul and with same stroke of wing,
Rush up to heaven!
Let, let, my flame
Show you the light of day!
Let your soul open
To the rays of love.

(He presses Olympia's hand. She rises and walks up and down, then
  exits.)

You escape me?... What have I done.
  You do not answer?...
Speak! Have I wounded you? Ah!
  I'll follow your steps!

(As Hoffmann is about to rush out Nicklausse appears.)


NICKLAUSSE.

Here, by Jove, moderate your zeal!
Do you want us to drink without you?...


HOFFMAN (half crazy).

  Nicklausse, I am beloved by her.
  Loved! By all the gods.


NICKLAUSSE.

By my faith
If you knew what they are saying of your beauty!


HOFFMAN.

  What can they say? What?


NICKLAUSSE.

  That she is dead.


HOFFMAN.

  Great Heavens!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Or is not of this life.


HOFFMAN (exalted).

  Nicklausse! I am beloved by her!
  Loved! By all the gods.


COPPÉLIUS (entering, furious).

Thief! brigand! what a tumble!
Elias is bankrupt!
But I shall find the opportunity
To revenge myself... Robbed!... Me!
  I'll kill somebody.

(Coppelius slips into Olympia's room.)

(Everybody enters.)


SPALANZANI.

  Here come the waltzers.


COCHENILLE.

  Here comes the round dance.


HOFFMAN.

  'Tis the waltz that calls us.


SPALANZANI (to Olympia).

  Take the hand of the gentleman, my child.

(Touching her shoulder.)

  Come.


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.

(Hoffman takes Olympia and they waltz. They disappear on left.)


CHORUS.

  She dances!
  In cadence.
  'Tis marvelous,
  Prodigious,
  Room, room,
  She passes
  Through the air
  Like lightning.


THE VOICE OF HOFFMAN (outside).

  Olympia!


SPALANZANI.

  Stop them!


THE CHORUS.

  Who of us will do it?


NICKLAUSSE.

  She will break his head.

(Hoffman and Olympia re-appear. Nicklausse rushes to stop them.)

  A thousand devils!

(He is violently struck and falls in an arm chair.)


THE CHORUS.

  Patatra!...


SPALANZANI (jumping in).

  Halt!

(He touches Olympia on the shoulder. She stops suddenly. Hoffman,
  exhausted, falls on a sofa).

  There!

  (To Olympia) Enough, enough, my child.


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.


SPALANZANI.

  No more waltzing.


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.


SPALANZANI (to Cochenille).

You, Cochenille,
Take her back.

(He touches Olympia.)


COCHENILLE (pushing Olympia).

  Go on, Go!


OLYMPIA.

  Yes.

  (Going out, slowly, pushed by Cochenille.)

  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!


THE CHORUS.

What can we possibly say?
'Tis an exquisite girl,
She wants in nothing,
She does very well!


NICKLAUSSE (dolorous voice, pointing to Hoffman).

  Is he dead?


SPALANZANI (examining Hoffman).

No! in fact
His eye glass is broken.
He is reviving.


THE CHORUS.

  Poor young man!


COCHENILLE (outside).

  Ah!

(He enters, very agitated.)


SPALANZANI.

  What?


COCHENILLE.

  The man with the glasses... there!


SPALANZANI.

  Mercy! Olympia!...


HOFFMAN.

  Olympia!...

(Sound of breaking springs with much noise).


SPALANZANI.

  Ah, heaven and earth, she is broken!


HOFFMAN.

  Broken!


COPPÉLIUS (entering).

  Ha, ha, ha, ha, yes. Smashed!

(Hoffman rushes out. Spalanzani and Coppélius go at each other,
  fighting.)


SPALANZANI.

  Rascal!


COPPÉLIUS.

  Robber!


SPALANZANI.

  Brigand!


COPPÉLIUS.

  Pagan!


SPALANZANI.

  Bandit!


COPPÉLIUS.

  Pirate!


HOFFMAN (pale and terror stricken).

  An automaton, an automaton.

(He falls into an armchair. General laughter.)


THE CHORUS.

Ha, ha, ha, the bomb has burst,
He loved an automaton.


SPALANZANI (despairingly).

  My automaton.


ALL.

  An automaton,
  Ha, ha, ha, ha!




ACT III.


(In Venice. A gallery, in festival attire, in a palace on the Grand
  Canal.)

(The guests of GIULIETTA are grouped about on cushions.)


Barcarole.


GIULIETTA AND NICKLAUSSE (in the wings).

Oh soft night, oh night of love,
Smile on our bliss serene,
All the stars that shine above
Surround the heaven's queen!
Time it flies without return,
Forgetting our tenderness!
Far from thee I'll ever burn,
In lonely strait and stress.
Passioned zephyrs
Waft your caresses,
Passioned zephyrs
Soft are your kisses.
O soft night, oh night of love,
Smile on our bliss serene;
All the stars that shine above
Surround the heaven's queen.

(Giulietta and Nicklausse enter.)


HOFFMAN.

For me, by Jove, that is not what's enchanting!
At the feet of the beauty who gives us joy
Does pleasure sigh?
No, with laughing mouth no sorrows 'ere descanting.


BACCHIC SONG.

Friends... love tender with terror,
    Error!
Love in noise and wine!
    Divine
That a burning desire
Your heart enflames
In the fevers of pleasure
Consume your soul!
Transports of love,
Last a day
To the devil he who weeps
For two soft eyes,
To us the better bliss
Of joyous cries!
Let's live a day
In heaven.


THE CHORUS.

To the devil whoever weeps
For two soft eyes!
To us the better bliss
Of joyous song
We'll live a day
In Heaven!


HOFFMAN.

The sky lends you its brightness,
    Beauty,
But you hide in hearts of steel,
    Hell!
Bliss of paradise
Where love meets,
Oaths, cursed spirits,
    Dreams of life!
    Oh chastity,
    Oh purity,
      Lies!


THE CHORUS.

To the devil those who weep,
    etc., etc.


SCHLEMIL (entering).

  I see all is joy. Congratulations, madame.


GUILIETTA.

  What! Why, I've wept for you three whole days.


PITICHINACCIO.

  Good.


SCHLEMIL (to Pitichinaccio).

  Microbe!


PITICHINACCIO.

  Hola!


GIULIETTA.

Calm yourselves!
We have a strange poet among us.

(Presenting) Hoffman!


SCHLEMIL (with bad grace).

  Monsieur!


HOFFMAN.

  Monsieur!


GIULIETTA (to Schlemil).

  Smile on us, I beg,
And come take your place
At pharaoh!


THE CHORUS.

  Bravo! To pharaoh!

(Giulietta after having invited all to follow her, goes toward door.
  Hoffman offers his hand to Giulietta. Schlemil comes between.)


SCHLEMIL (taking Giulietta's hand).

  By heavens!


GIULETTA.

  To the game, gentlemen, to the game!


THE CHORUS.

  To the game, the game!

(All go out except Hoffman and Nicklausse.)


NICKLAUSSE.

One word! I have two horses saddled. At the first dream
That Hoffman permits himself, I carry him off.


HOFFMAN.

And what dream ever could be born
By such realities?
Does one love a courtezan?


NICKLAUSSE.

  Yet this Schlemil...


HOFFMAN.
  I am not Schlemil.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Take care, the devil is clever.

DAPERTUTTO (appears at back).


HOFFMAN.

Were it so,
If he makes me love her, may he damn me,
Come!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Let us go.

(They go out.)


DAPERTUTTO (alone).

Yes!... to fight you.
The eyes of Giulietta are a sure weapon,
It needed that Schlemil fail,
Faith of captain and soldier,
You'll do like him.
I will that Giulietta shall use sorcery on you.

(Drawing from his finger a ring with a big sparkling diamond.)

Turn, turn, mirror, where the lark is caught,
Sparkle diamond, fascinate, draw her...
  The lark or the woman
  To this conquering bait
  Comes with wing or with heart;
One leaves her life, the other her soul.
Turn, turn, mirror where the lark is caught.
Sparkle, diamond, fascinate, attract her.

(Giulietta appears and advances fascinated toward the diamond that
  Dapertutto holds towards her.)

  DAPERTUTTO (placing the ring on Giuliettas finger).


GIULIETTA.

  What do you await from your servant?


DAPERTUTTO.

Good, you have divined
At seducing hearts above all others wise,
You have given me
The shade of Schlemil! I vary
My pleasures and I pray you
To get for me to-day
The reflection of Hoffman!


GIULIETTA.

  What! his reflection.


DAPERTUTTO.

  Yes.
His reflection! You doubt
The power of your eyes?


GIULIETTA.

  No.


DAPERTUTTO.

Who knows. Your Hoffman dreams, perhaps better.
(Severely) Yes, I was there, a while back, listening.
(With irony) He defies you...


GIULIETTA.

Hoffman? 'tis well!... From this day
I'll make him my plaything.

(Hoffman enters.)


DAPERTUTTO.

  'Tis he!

(Dapertutto goes out. Hoffman intends to do the same.)


GIULIETTA (to Hoffman).

  You leave me.


HOFFMAN (mockingly).

  I have lost everything.


GIULIETTA.

What? you too...
Ah, you do me wrong.
Without pity, without mercy,
Go!... Go!...


HOFFMAN.

Your tears betrayed you.
Ah! I love you... even at the price of my life.


GIULIETTA.

Ah, unfortunate, but you do not know
That an hour, a moment, may prove fatal?
That my love will cost your life if you remain?
That Schlemil, this night, may strike you in my arms?
  Listen to my prayer;
  My life is wholly yours.
Everywhere I promise to accompany your steps.


HOFFMAN.

Ye gods with what bliss ye fire my heart?
Like a concert divine your voice does move me;
With a fire soft yet burning my being is devoured;
Your glances in mine have spent their flame,
Like radiant stars
And I feel, my well beloved,
Pass your perfumed breath
On my lips and on my eyes.


GIULIETTA.

Yet, to-day, strengthen my courage
By leaving me something of you!


HOFFMAN.

  What do you mean?


GIULIETTA.
  Listen and don't laugh at me.

(She takes Hoffman in her arms and finds a mirror.)

What I want is your faithful image,
To reproduce your features, your look, your visage,
The reflection that I see above me bend.


HOFFMAN.
  My reflection? What folly!


GIULIETTA.

  No! for it can detach itself
From the polished glass
And come quite whole in my heart to hide.


HOFFMAN.

  In your heart?


GIULIETTA.

In my heart. 'Tis I who beg thee,
Hoffman, give me my wish.


HOFFMAN.

  My reflection?


GIULIETTA.

Your reflection. Yes, wisdom or folly,
I await, I demand.

(Ensemble.)


HOFFMAN.

Ecstasy, unappeased bliss,
Strange and soft terror,
My reflection, my soul, my life
To you, always to you!


GIULIETTA.

If your presence I lose,
I would keep of you
Your reflection, your soul, your life;
Dear one, give them me.


GIULIETTA (suddenly).

  Schlemil!

(Schlemil enters followed by Nicklausse, Dapertutto, Pittichinaccio and
  others.)


SCHLEMIL.

I was sure of it! Together!
Come, gentlemen, come,
'Tis for Hoffman, it seems to me
That we are abandoned.

(Ironic laughter.)


HOFFMAN.

  Monsieur!


GIULIETTA (to Hoffman).

  Silence!

  (Aside) I love you, he has my key.


PITICHINACCIO (to Schlemil).

  Let us kill him.


SCHLEMIL.

  Patience!


DAPERTUTTO (to Hoffman).

  How pale you are!


HOFFMAN.

  Me!


DAPERTUTTO (showing him a mirror).

  See rather.


HOFFMAN (amazed).

  Heavens!


GIULIETTA.

Listen, gentlemen,
Here come the gondolas,
The hour of barcaroles
And of farewells!

(Schlemil conducts the guests out. Giulietta goes away throwing a look
  at Hoffman. Dapertutto remains. Nicklausse goes toward Hoffman.)


NICKLAUSSE.

  Are you coming?


HOFFMAN.

  Not yet.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Why? Very well. I understand, Good-by.

  (Aside). But I'll watch over him.

(He goes out.)


SCHLEMIL.

  What do you wait for?



HOFFMAN.

  That you give me a certain key I've sworn to have.


SCHLEMIL.

  You shall have this key, sir, only with my life.


HOFFMAN.

  Then I shall have one and the other.


SCHLEMIL.

  That remains to be seen. On guard!


DAPERTUTTO.

  You have no sword (presenting his own). Take mine!


HOFFMAN.

  Thank you.


CHORUS (in the wings).

Sweet night, oh night of love,
Smile on our bliss serene
When the stars that shine above
Greet the heaven'ly Queen.

(Hoffman and Schlemil fight. Schlemil falls mortally wounded. Hoffman
  bends and takes the key from around his neck. He rushes to Giulietta's
  room. Giulietta appears in a gondola.)


HOFFMAN (coming back).

  No one.


GIULIETTA (laughing).

  Ha, ha, ha!

(Hoffmann is in a stupor looking at Giulietta.)


DAPERTUTTO (to Giulietta).

  What will you do with him now?


GIULIETTA.

  I'll turn him over to you.


PITICHINACCIO (entering the gondola)

  Dear angel.

(Giulietta takes him in her arms.)


HOFFMAN (comprehending the infamy of Giulietta).

  Vile wretch!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Hoffman! Hoffman--the police!

(Nicklausse drags Hoffmann away. Giulietta and Pitichinaccia laugh.)




ACT IV.


(At Munich at CRESPEL'S. A room furnished in a bizarre fashion.)


ANTONIA (alone. She is seated at the clavichord).

She has fled, the dove
She has fled far from thee!

(She stops and rises.)

Ah memory too sweet, image too cruel!
Alas at my knees I hear, I see him!
She has fled, the dove.
She has fled far from thee;
She is faithful ever,
And she keeps her troth.
Beloved, my voice calls thee,
All my heart is thine.

(She approaches the clavichord again.)

Dear flower but now open,
In pity answer me,
Thou that knowest if still he loves me,
If he keeps his troth.
Beloved my voice implores thee.
May thy heart come to me.

(She falls in a chair.)


CRESPEL (entering suddenly).

Unhappy child, beloved daughter,
You promised to no longer sing.


ANTONIA.

My mother in me lived again;
My heart while singing thought it heard her.


CRESPEL.

There is my torment. Thy loved mother
Left thee her voice. Vain regrets!
Through thee I hear her. No, no, I beg...


ANTONIA (sadly).

  Your Antonia will sing no more!

(She goes out slowly.)


CRESPEL (alone).

Despair! A little while again
I saw those spots of fire
Mark her face. God!
Must I lose her I adore?
Ah, that Hoffman... 'tis he
Who put in her heart this craze. I fled
Far as Munich...

(Enter Frantz.)


CRESPEL.

  You, Frantz, open to nobody.


FRANTZ (false exit).

  You think so...


CRESPEL.

  Where are you going?


FRANTZ.

I'm going to see if anybody rang.
As you said...


CRESPEL.

I said, Open to nobody.
(Shouting) To nobody! This time do you hear?


FRANTZ.

  Good Heavens! we're not all of us deaf?


CRESPEL.

  All right! The devil take you!


FRANTZ.

  Yes, sir, the key is in the door.


CRESPEL.

  Idiot! donkey!


FRANTZ.

  Its agreed then.


CRESPEL.

  Morbleu!

(He exits quickly.)


FRANTZ (alone).

Well! What! angry always!
Strange, peevish, exacting!
One would think that one pleased him
For his money...
Day and night I'm on all fours,
At the least sign I'm silent;
It is just as if I sang!
But no, if I sang,
His contempt he'd have to modify.
I sing alone sometimes,
But singing isn't easy!
Tra la, la, tra, la la!
Still it isn't voice that I lack, I think,
Tra la la, tra la la,
No, 'tis the method.
Of course one can't have everything.
I sing pretty badly,
But dance agreeably,
And I do not flatter myself;
Dancing shows off my advantages.
'Tis my one great attraction,
But dancing isn't easy.
Tra la la, tra la la.

(He dances and stops.)

With women the shape of my leg
Would do me no harm,
Tra la la, tra la la!

(He falls.)

No, 'tis the method.

(Hoffman enters followed by Nicklausse.)


HOFFMAN.

Frantz! This is it. (touches Frantz on shoulder.)

Up, my friend.


FRANTZ.

Hey, who's there? (rises, surprised.)

Monsieur Hoffman!


HOFFMAN.

  Myself. Well, Antonia?


FRANTZ.

  He's gone out, sir.


HOFFMAN (laughing).

Ha, ha, deafer yet
Than last year...


FRANTZ.

Monsieur honors me,
I am very well, thanks to heaven.


HOFFMAN.

  Antonia! I must see her.


FRANTZ.

Very well! what a joy
For monsieur Crespel! (He goes out.)


HOFFMAN (sitting before the clavichord).

  'Tis a song of love
  That flies away,
  Sad or gay;
  It takes its turn...


ANTONIA (entering suddenly).

  Hoffman!...


HOFFMAN (receiving her in his arms).

  Antonia!


NICKLAUSSE (aside).

  I am one too many, good night.

(He exits.)


ANTONIA.

  Ah, I well knew that you loved me still.


HOFFMAN.

My heart told me that I was regretted,
But why were we separated?


ANTONIA.

  I do not know.

(Ensemble.)


HOFFMAN.

I have happiness in my heart;
To-morrow you'll be my wife
    Happy couple.
The future shall be ours!
To love let's be faithful,
That her eternal chains,
    Keep our hearts
Conquerors even against time!


ANTONIA.

I have joy in my heart!
To-morrow I'll be your wife,
    Happy couple,
The future is ours!
Each day new songs,
Your genius opens its wings,
My conquering song
Is the echo of your heart.


HOFFMAN (smiling).

Still, oh my affianced,
Shall I speak my thought?
That, spite of myself, troubles me,
Music inspires a little jealousy,
You love it too much!


ANTONIA (smiling).

See the strange fantasy!
Did I love you for it, or it for you?
For you are not going to forbid me
To sing, as did my father.


HOFFMAN.

  What say you?


ANTONIA.

Yes, my father at present imposes the virtue
Of silence.


HOFFMAN (aside).

  'Tis strange... can it be?...


ANTONIA (drawing him to the clavichord).

Come here as before;
Listen, and you'll see if I've lost my voice.


HOFFMAN.

  How your eye lights up, your hand trembles.


ANTONIA (making him sit down).

  Here, the soft song of love we sang together.

(She sings.)

  'Tis a song of love
  That flies off
  Sad or joyful,
  Turn by turn,
  'Tis a song of love,
  The new rose
  Smiles on the Spring.
  Ah! how long will it be
  That it lives?


TOGETHER.

  'Tis a song of love
  That flies off, etc., etc.


HOFFMAN.

  A ray of flame
  Matches thy beauty.
  Will you see the summer?
  Flower of the soul.


TOGETHER.

  'Tis a song of love, etc., etc.

(Antonia puts her hand to her heart.)


HOFFMAN.

  Why, what is the matter?


ANTONIA (doing same again).

  Nothing.


HOFFMAN (listening).

  Chut.


ANTONIA.

  Heavens, my father! Come, come...

(She goes out.)


HOFFMAN.

  No! I must know the last word of this mystery.

(He hides. Crespel appears.)


CRESPEL (looking about him).

No, nothing. I thought Hoffman was here.
May he go to the devil!


HOFFMAN (aside).

  Many thanks!


FRANTZ (entering).

  Sir.


CRESPEL.

  What?


FRANTZ.

  Doctor Miracle.


CRESPEL.

Infamous scoundrel,
Quickly close the door.


FRANTZ.

  Yes, sir, the doctor...


CRESPEL.

He, doctor? No, on my soul,
A grave digger, an assassin!
Who would kill my daughter after my wife.
I hear the jingle of his golden vials,
From me let him be chased.

(Miracle suddenly appears. Frantz runs away.)


MIRACLE.

  Ha, ha, ha, ha!


CRESPEL.

Well, here I am! 'tis me.
This good monsieur Crespel, I like him,
But where is he?


CRESPEL (stopping him).

  Morbleu!


MIRACLE.

Ha, ha, ha, ha!
I sought for your Antonia.
Well, this trouble she inherited
From her mother? Still progressing, dear girl.
We'll cure her. Take me to her.


CRESPEL.

To assassinate her... If you make one step
I'll throw you out of the window.


MIRACLE.

There now softly, I do not wish to
Displease you.

(He advances a chair.)


CRESPEL.

  What do you, traitor?


MIRACLE.

To minimize the danger,
One must know it.
Let me question her.


CRESPEL AND HOFFMAN.

  Terror penetrates me.

(Ensemble.)

(Miracle, his hand extended toward Antonia's room.)

To my conquering power,
Give way with good grace.
Near me without terror
Come take your place.


CRESPEL AND HOFFMAN.

With fright and with horror
All my being is cold;
A strange terror
Chains me to this place.
    I'm afraid.


CRESPEL (seating himself).

  Come, speak and be brief.

(Miracle continues his magnetic passes. The door of Antonia's room opens
  slowly. Miracle indicates that he takes Antonia's hand and leads her
  to a chair.)


MIRACLE.

  Please sit there.


CRESPEL.

  I am seated.


MIRACLE (paying no attention).

  How old are you, please?


CRESPEL.

  Who, me?


MIRACLE.

  I am speaking to your child.


HOFFMAN (aside).

  Antonia.


MIRACLE.

  What age (he listens). Twenty!


CRESPEL.

  What?


MIRACLE.

  The Spring of life.

(He appears to feel the pulse.)

  Let me see your hand!...


CRESPEL.

  The hand.


MIRACLE (pulling out his watch).

  Chut! let me count.


HOFFMAN (aside).

  God! am I the plaything of a dream? Is it a ghost?


MIRACLE.

  The pulse is unequal and fast, bad symptom. Sing.


CRESPEL (rising).

  No, no, don't speak... don't have her sing.

(The voice of Antonia is heard.)


MIRACLE.

See her face brightens, her eyes are on fire;
She carries her hand to her beating heart.

(He follows Antonia with his gestures. The door of her room closes
  quickly.)


CRESPEL.

  What is he saying?


MIRACLE (rising).

It would be a pity truly
To leave to death so fine a prey!


CRESPEL.

  Shut up!


MIRACLE.

If you will accept my help,
If you would save her days,
I have there certain vials I keep in reserve.

(He takes vials from pocket which he makes sound like castanets.)


CRESPEL.

  Shut up!


MIRACLE.

  Of which you should.


CRESPEL.

Shut up! Heaven preserve me
From listening to your advice, miserable assassin.


MIRACLE.

  Of which you should, each morning...

(Ensemble.)


MIRACLE.

Why, yes, I hear you.
A while ago, an instant
These vials, poor father,
You will be then, I hope,
    Satisfied.


CRESPEL.

Be off, be off, be off!
Out of this house, Satan,
Beware of the anger
And the sorrow of a father.
    Be off!


HOFFMAN (aside).

From the death that awaits thee
I shall know, poor child,
How tear thee away, I hope!
Laugh in vain at a father,
    Satan!


MIRACLE (continuing with same coolness).

  Of which you should...


CRESPEL.

  Be off!


MIRACLE.

  Each morning...


CRESPEL.

  Be off!

(He pushes Miracle out and closes the door.)

  Ah, he's outside and my door is closed!
  We are at last alone,
  My beloved girl!


MIRACLE (walking through the wall).

  Of which you should each morning...


CRESPEL.

Ah, wretch,
Come, come, may the waves engulf thee!
  We'll see if the devil
  Will get thee out.


CRESPEL.

  Be off, be off, be off!
      etc., etc.


HOFFMAN (aside).

  From the death that awaits thee,
      etc., etc.


MIRACLE.

  Of which you should...


CRESPEL.

  Get out!


MIRACLE.

  Each morning...


CRESPEL.

  Get out!

(They disappear together.)


HOFFMAN (coming down).

To sing no more! How obtain from her
Such a sacrifice?


ANTONIA (appearing).

  Well? What did my father say?


HOFFMAN.

Ask me nothing;
Later you'll know all; a new road
Opens for us, my Antonia!...
To follow my steps dismiss from your memory
These dreams of future success and glory
That your heart to mine confided.


ANTONIA.

  But yourself!


HOFFMAN.

Love calls to both of us,
All that is not you is nothing in my life.


ANTONIA.

  Very well! Here is my hand!


HOFFMAN.

Ah dear Antonia, shall I appreciate
What you do for me? (He kisses her hands.)

Your father will perhaps return.
I leave you... until to-morrow.


ANTONIA.

  Until to-morrow.

(Hoffman goes out.)


ANTONIA (opening one of the doors).

Of my father easily he has become the accomplice,
But come, regrets are superfluous,
I promised him. I shall sing no more.

(She falls in a chair.)


MIRACLE (appearing suddenly behind her.)

You will sing no more. Do you know what a sacrifice?
He imposes on your youth, and have you measured it?
Grace, beauty, talent, sacred gift;
All these blessings that heaven gave for your share,
Must they be hid in the shadow of a household?
Have you not heard, in a proud dream,
Like unto a forest by the wind moving,
Like a soft shiver of the pressing crowd
That murmurs your name and follows you with its eyes?
There is the ardent joy and the eternal festival,
That the flower of your years is about to abandon,
For the middle class pleasures where they would enchain you,
And the squalling children who will give you less beauty!


ANTONIA (without turning round).

Ah, what is this voice that troubles my spirit?
Is it Hell that speaks or Heaven that warns me?
No! happiness is not there, oh cursed voice,
And against my pride my love has armed me;
Glory is not worth the happy shade whence invites me
The house of my beloved.


MIRACLE.

What loves can now be yours,
Hoffman sacrifices you to his brutality,
He only loves in you your beauty,
And for him as for the others.
Soon will come the time of infidelity.

(He disappears.)


ANTONIA (rising).

No, do not tempt me! go away,
Demon! I will no longer listen.
I have sworn to be his, my beloved awaits me,
I'm no longer my own and I can't take myself back;
And a few moments since, on his heart adored
What eternal love did he not pledge me;
Who will save me from the demon, from myself?
My mother, my mother, I love her.

(She falls weeping on the clavichord.)


MIRACLE (re-appears behind Antonia)

Your mother? Dare you invoke her?
Your mother? But is it not she?
Who speaks by my voice ingrate, and recalls to you
The splendor of the name that you would abdicate?

(The portrait lights up and becomes animated.)

  Listen!


THE VOICE.

  Antonia!


ANTONIA.

Heavens!... my mother, my mother!


THE GHOST.

Dear child whom I call,
As I used to do,
'Tis your mother, 'tis she,
Listen to her voice.


ANTONIA.

  Mother!


MIRACLE.

  Yes, yes, 'tis her voice, do you hear?
Her voice, best counselor,
Who leaves you a talent the world has lost!


THE GHOST.

  Antonia!


MIRACLE.

Listen! She seems to live aagin,
And the distant public by its bravos fills her bliss.


ANTONIA.

  Mother!


GHOST.

  Antonia!


MIRACLE.

  Join with her.


ANTONIA.

  Yes, her soul calls me
As before;
'Tis my mother, 'tis she
I hear her voice.


THE GHOST.

Dear child whom I call
As I used to do;
'Tis your mother, 'tis she;
List to her voice.


ANTONIA.

  No, enough, I cannot!


MIRACLE.

  Again.


ANTONIA.

  I will sing no more.


MIRACLE.

  Again.


ANTONIA.

  What ardor draws and devours me?


MIRACLE.

  Again! Why stop?


ANTONIA (out of breath).

I give way to a transport that maddens,
What flame is it dazzles my eyes
A single moment to live,
And my soul flies to Heaven.


THE GHOST.

  Dear child whom I call,
      etc., etc.


ANTONIA.

  'Tis my mother, 'tis she,
      etc., etc.


ANTONIA.

  Ah!

(She falls dying on the sofa. Miracle sinks in the earth uttering a peal
  of laughter.)


CRESPEL (running in).

My child... my daughter... Antonia!.


ANTONIA (expiring).

My father! Listen, 'tis my mother
Who calls me. And he... has returned...
'Tis a song of love,
Flies away,
Sad or joyful...

(She dies.)


CRESPEL.

No... a single word... just one... my child... speak!
Come, speak! Execrable death!
No! pity, mercy... go away!


HOFFMAN (coming hurriedly).

  Why these cries?


CRESPEL.

Hoffman!... ah wretch!
'Tis you who killed her!...


HOFFMAN (rushing to Antonia).

  Antonia!


CRESPEL (beside himself).

Blood to color her cheek. A weapon.
A knife!...

(He seizes a knife and attacks Hoffman.)


NICKLAUSSE (entering and stopping Crespel).

  Unhappy man!


HOFFMAN (to Nicklausse).

Quick! give the alarm;
A doctor... a doctor!...


MIRACLE (appearing).

  Present!

(He feels Antonia's pulse.)

  Dead!


CRESPEL (crazy).

  Ah, God, my child, my daughter!


HOFFMAN (despairingly).

  Antonia!




EPILOGUE.

(Same scene as First Act. The various personages are in the same
  positions they were in at the end of First Act.)


HOFFMANN.

There is the story
Of my loves,
And the memory
In my heart will always remain.


CHORUS.

  Bravo, bravo, Hoffmann.


HOFFMANN.

Ah, I am mad. For us the craze divine,
The spirits of alcohol, of beer and of wine,
For us intoxication,
Chaos where we forget.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Ah, I understand, three dramas in a drama, Olympia...


HOFFMANN.

  Smashed!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Antonia...


HOFFMANN.

  Dead!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Giulietta...


HOFFMANN.

Oh, for her, the last verse of the song of Klein-Zach.
When he drank too much gin or rack,
You ought to have seen the two tails at his back,
Like lilies in a lac,
The monster made a sound of flick flack,
    Flic, flac,
    There's Klein-Zach.


CHORUS.

    Flick flack,
    There's Klein-Zach.


CHORUS.

Light up the punch, drunk we'll get;
And may the weakest
Roll under the table;
Luther was a goodly man,
Tire lan laire, tire lan la,
    etc., etc.

(The students tumultuously go in the next room. Hoffmann remains as if
  in a stupor.)


THE MUSE (appearing in an aureole of light).

And I? I, the faithful friend,
Whose hand wiped thy tears?
By whom thy latent sorrow
Exhales in heavenly dreams?
Am I nothing? May the tempest
Of passion pass away in thee!
The man is no more; the poet revives
I love thee Hoffmann! be mine!
Let the ashes of thy heart fire thy genius,
Whose serenity smiles on thy sorrows.
The Muse will soften thy blessed sufferings.
One is great by love but greater by tears.

(She disappears.)


HOFFMANN (alone).

Oh God! what ecstasy embraces my soul,
Like a concert divine Thy voice hath moved me,
With soft and burning fire my being is devoured,
Thy glances in mine have suffused their flame,
Like radiant stars.
And I feel, beloved Muse,
Thy perfumed breath flutter
On my lips and on my eyes!

(He falls face on table.)


STELLA (approaching slowly).

  Hoffmann? asleep...


NICKLAUSSE.

  No, dead drunk. Too late, madame.


LINDORF.

  Corbleu!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Oh, here is the counselor, Lindorf, who awaits you.

(Stella keeps her eyes on Hoffmann and throws a flower at his feet as
  she goes out with Lindorf.)


THE END.






NEW VERSION
OF

Les Contes d'Hoffmann
(THE TALES OF HOFFMAN)

OPERA IN FOUR ACTS


With an original and novel first Act and other important changes


Book by JULES BARBIER

MUSIC BY
J. OFFENBACH

New English version by CHARLES ALFRED BYRNE


As performed, for the first time in America at the
MANHATTAN OPERA HOUSE,
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN.


ENGLISH VERSION, 1907, BY STEINWAY & SONS.


CHARLES E. BURDEN, PUBLISHER, STEINWAY HALL
107-109 EAST 14TH STREET
NEW YORK.




DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


HOFFMANN
COUNSELOR LINDORF
COPPELIUS
DAPERTUTTO
DOCTOR MIRACLE
SPALANZANI
CRESPEL
ANDRES
COCHENILLE
FRANTZ
LUTHER
NATHANAEL
HERMANN
STELLA
GIULIETTA
OLYMPIA
ANTONIA
NICKLAUSSE
THE MUSE
A GHOST




Les Contes d'Hoffmann




PREMIER ACTE.


LA TAVERNE DE MAITRE LUTHER


CHOEUR DES ETUDIANTS.

Drig! drig! drig! maître Luther,
    Tison d'enfer,
Drig! drig! drig! à nous ta bière,
    A nous ton vin,
    Jusqu'au matin
    Remplis mon verre,
    Jusqu'au matin
  Remplis les pots d'étain!


NATHANAEL.

Luther est un brave homme;
    Tire lan laire!
C'est demain qu'on l'assomme;
    Tire lan la!


LE CHOEUR.

    Tire lan la!


LUTHER (allant de table en table).

Voilà, messieurs, voilà!


HERMANN.

Sa cave est d'un bon drille;
    Tire lan laire!
C'est demain qu'on la pille
    Tire lan la!


LE CHOEUR.

    Tire lan la!

(Bruit de gobelets.)


LUTHER.

Voilà, messieurs, voilà!


WILHELM.

Sa femme est fille d' Eve;
    Tire lan laire:
C'est demain qu'on l'enlève;
    Tire lan la!


LE CHOEUR.

    Tire lan la!


LUTHER.

Voilà, messieurs, voilà!


LE CHOEUR.

Drig! drig! drig! maître Luther
    etc., etc.

(Les étudiants s'assoient, boivent et fument dans tous les coins.)


NATHANAEL.

Vive Dieu! mes amis, la belle créature!
    Comme au chef-d' [oe]uvre de Mozart
Elle prête l'accent d'une voix ferme et sûre!
    C'est la grâce de la nature,
    Et c'est le triomphe de l'art!
    Que mon premier toast soit pour elle!
Je bois à la Stella!


TOUS.

  Vivat! à la Stella!


NATHANIEL.

Comment Hoffmann n'est-il pas là
Eh! Luther!... ma grosse tonne!
Qu'as-tu fait de notre Hoffmann


HERMANN.

C'est ton vin qui l'empoisonne!
Tu l'as tué, foi d'Hermann!


TOUS.

  Rends-nous Hoffmann!


LINDORF (á part).

  Au diable Hoffmann!


NATHANAEL.

Morbleu! qu'on nous l'apporte
Ou ton dernier jour a lui!


LUTHER.

Messieurs, il ouvre la porte,
Et Niklausse est avec lui!


TOUS.

  Vivat! c'est lui!


LINDORF (à part).

  Veillons sur lui.


HOFFMANN (entrant d'un air sombre).

  Bonjour, amis!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Bonjour!


HOFFMANN.

Un tabouret! un verre!
Une pipe!...


NICKLAUSSE (railleur).

Pardon, seigneur!...sans vous déplaire,
Je bois, fume et m'assieds comme vous!... part à deux!


LE CHOEUR.

C'est juste!... Place à tous les deux!

(Hoffmann et Nicklausse s'assoient; Hoffmann se prend la tête entre les
  mains.)


NICKLAUSSE (fredonnant).

  Notte a giorno mad dormire...


HOFFMANN (brusquement).

  Tais-toi, par le diable!...


NICKLAUSSE (tranquillement).

  Oui, mon maître.


HERMANN (à Hoffmann).

  Oh! oh! d'où vient cet air fâché?


NATHANAEL (à Hoffmann).

  C'est à ne pas te reconnaître.


HERMANN.

  Sur quelle herbe as-tu donc marché?


HOFFMANN.

Hélas! sur une herbe morte
Au souffle glacé du nord!...


NICKLAUSSE.

Et là, près de cette porte,
Sur un ivrogne qui dort!


HOFFMANN.

C'est vrai!... Ce coquin-là, pardieu! m'a fait envie!
A boire!... et, comme lui, couchons dans le ruisseau.


HERMANN.

  Sans oreiller?


HOFFMANN.

  La pierre!


NATHANAEL.

  Et sans rideau?


HOFFMANN.

  Le ciel!


NATHANAEL.

  Sans couvre-pied?


HOFFMANN.

  La pluie!


HERMANN.

  As-tu le cauchemar, Hoffmann?


HOFFMANN.

Non, mais ce soir,
Tout à l'heure, au théâtre...


TOUS.

Eh bien?


HOFFMANN.

J'ai cru revoir...
Baste!... à quoi bon rouvrir une vieille blessure?
La vie est courte!... Il faut l'égayer en chemin.
Il faut boire, chanter et rire à l'aventure,
Sauf à pleurer demain!


NATHANAEL.

Chante donc le premier, sans qu'on te le demande;
Nous ferons chorus.


HOFFMANN.

  Soit!


NATHANAEL.

  Quelque chose de gai!


HERMANN

  La chanson du Rat!


NATHANAEL.

Non! moi, j'en suis fatigué.
Ce qu'il nous faut, c'est la légende
De Klein-Zach?...


TOUS.

  C'est la légende de Klein-Zach!


HOFFMANN.

Va pour Klein-Zach!
Il était une fois à la cour d'Eysenach
Un petit avorton qui se nommait Klein-Zach!
Il était coiffé d'un colbac,
Et ses jambes faisaient clic, clac!
    Clic, clac!
Voilà Klein-Zach!


LE CHOEUR

  Clic, clac!...
  Voilà Klein-Zach!


HOFFMANN.

Il avait une bosse en guise d'estomac;
Ses pieds ramifiés semblaient sortir d'un sac,
Son nez était noir de tabac,
Et sa tête faisait cric, crac,
    Cric, crac,
Voilà Klein-Zach.


LE CHOEUR.

  Cric, crac,
  Voilà Klein-Zach!


HOFFMANN.

  Quant aux traits de sa figure...

(Il semble s'absorber peu à peu dans son rêve).


LE CHOEUR.

  Quant aux traits de sa figure?...


HOFFMANN (très lentement).

  Quant aux traits de sa figure..

(Il se lève.)

Ah! sa figure était charmante!... Je la vois,
Belle comme le jour où, courant après elle,
Je quittai comme un fou la maison paternelle
Et m'enfuis à travers les vallons et les bois!
Ses cheveux en torsades sombres
Sur son col élégant jetaient leurs chaudes ombres.
Ses yeux, enveloppés d'azur,
Promenaient autour d'elle un regard frais et pur
Et, comme notre char emportait sans secousse
Nos coeurs et nos amours, sa voix vibrante et douce
Aux cieux qui l'écoutaient jetait ce chant vainqueur
Dont l'éternel écho résonne dans mon coeur!


NATHANAEL.

O bizarre cervelle!
Qui diable peins-tu là! Klein-Zach?...


HOFFMANN.

  Je parle d'elle.


NATHANAEL.

  Qui?


HOFFMANN (sortant de son rêve).

Non! personne!... rien! mon esprit se troublait!
Rien... Et Klein-Zach vaut mieux, tout difforme qu'il est!...


LE CHOEUR.

  Flic, flac!
  Voilà Klein-Zach!


HOFFMANN (jetant son verre).

Peuh!... cette bière est détestable!
Allumons le punch! grisons-nous!
Et que les plus fous
Roulent sous la table.


LE CHOEUR.

Et que les plus fous
Roulent sous la table!

(On éteint les lumières. Luther allume un immense bol de punch.)

Luther est un brave homme,
    Tire lan laire,
    Tire lan la,
C'est demain qu'on l'assomme,
    Tire lan laire,
    Tire lan la,
Sa cave est d'un bon drille.
    Tire lan laire
    Tire lan la,
C'est demain qu'on la pille,
    Tire lan laire,
    Tire lan la.


NICKLAUSSE.

A la bonne heure, au moins! voilà que l'on se pique
De raison et de sens pratique!
Peste soit des coeurs langoureux!


NATHANAEL.

Gageons qu'Hoffmann est amoureux!


HOFFMANN.

Après?...


NATHANAEL.

Il ne faut pas en rougir, j'imagine.
Notre ami Wilhelm que voilà
Brûle pour Léonor et la trouve divine;
Hermann aime Gretchen; et moi je me ruine
    Pour la Fausta!


HOFFMANN (à Wilhelm).

  Oui, Léonor, ta virtuose!...

(A Hermann.)

  Oui, Gretchen, ta poupée inerte, au coeur glacé!

(A Nathanael.)

Et ta Fausta, pauvre insensé!...
La courtisane au front d'airain!


NATHANAEL.

Esprit morose,
Grand merci pour Fausta, Gretchen et Léonor!...
  Baste! autant celles-là que d'autres!


NATHANAEL.

Ta maîtresse est donc un trésor
Que tu méprises tant les nôtres?


HOFFMANN.

(Haut.)

Ma maîtresse?...Non pas! dites mieux, trois maîtresses,
Trio charmant d'enchanteresses
Que se partagèrent mes jours!
Voulez-vous le récit de ces folles amours?...


LE CHOEUR.

  Oui, oui!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Que parles-tu de trois maîtresses?


HOFFMANN.

Fume!...
Avant que cette pipe éteinte se rallume
Tu m'auras sans doute compris,
O toi qui dans ce drame où mon coeur se consume
Du bon sens emportas le prix!

(Tous les étudiants vont reprendre leurs places.)


LE CHOEUR.

Ecoutons! il est doux de boire
Au récit d'une folle histoire,
En suivant le nuage clair
Que la pipe jette dans l'air!


HOFFMANN (s'asseyant sur le coin d'une table).

  Je commence.


LE CHOEUR.

  Silence!


HOFFMANN.

  Le nom de la première était Olympia!

(Le rideau tombe, pendant qu'Hoffmann parle à tous les étudiants
  attentifs.)




ACTE II


(Un riche cabinet de physician.)


HOFFMAN (seul).

Allons courage et confiance
Je deviens un puit de science
Il faut tourner selon le vent
Pour mériter celle que j'aime.
Je saurai trouver en moi-même
L'étoffe d'un savant
Elle est là, si j'osais.

(Il soulève la portière.)

  C'est elle!
Elle sommeille! Qu'elle est belle!
Ah! vivre deux! N'avoir qu'une même espérance
  Un même souvenir!
Partager le bonheur, partager la souffrance,
  Partager l'avenir!
Laisse, laisse ma flamme
Verser en toi le jour!
Laisse éclore ton âme
Aux rayons de l'amour!
Foyer divin! Soleil dont l'ardeur nous penêtre
Et nous vient embraser!
Ineffable désir ou l'on sent tout son être
Se fondre en un baiser.
Laisse, laisse ma flamme
Verser en toi le jour!
Laisse éclore ton âme
Aux rayons de l'amour!
Foyer divin! Soleil dont l'ardeur nous pénêtre,
Et nous vient embraser!
Ineffable désir où l'on sent tout son être
Se fondre en un baiser.
Laisse laisse ma flamme
Verser en toi le jour!
Laisse éclore ton âme
Aux rayons de l'amour!

(Nicklausse parait.)


NICKLAUSSE.

Pardieu... j'étais bien sur de te trouver ici!


HOFFMAN (laissant retomber la portière).

  Chut!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Pourquoi?... c'est là que respire
La colombe qui fait ton amoureux souci.
La belle Olympia... Va, mon enfant! admire!


HOFFMAN.

  Oui, je l'adore!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Attends à la connaître mieux.


HOFFMAN.

  L'âme qu'on aime est aisé a connaître!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Quoi d'un regard?... par la fenêtre?


HOFFMAN.

Il suffit d'un regard pour embrasser les cieux!


NICKLAUSSE.

Qu'elle chaleur! Au moins sait--elle que tu l'aimes?


HOFFMAN.

  Non!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Ecris lui!


HOFFMAN.

  Je n'ose pas.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Pauvre agneau! Parle-lui.


HOFFMAN.

  Les dangers sont les mêmes.


NICKLAUSSE.

Alors chante morbleu! pour sortir d'un tel pas!


HOFFMAN.

Monsieur Spalanzani n'aime pas la musique.


NICKLAUSSE (riant).

Oui, je sais, tout pour le physique!
Une poupée aux yeux d'email
Jouait au mieux de l'eventail
Aupres d'un petit coq en cuire;
Tous deux chantaient à l'unison
D'une merveilleuse facon,
Dansaient, caquetaient, semblaient vivre.


HOFFMAN.

  Plait-il? Pourquoi cette chanson?


NICKLAUSSE.

Le petit coq luisant et vif,
Avec un air rèbarbatif,
Tournait par trois sur lui-même;
Par un rouage ingenieux,
La poupée, en roulant les yeux
Soupirait et disait: "Je t'aime"!


LE CHOEUR DES INVITES.

Non, aucun hôte, vraiment,
Ne recoit plus richement!
Par le gout, sa maison brille!
Tout s'y trouve réuni.


SPALANZANI.

  Vous serez satisfaits, messieurs.

(Il fait signe a Cochenille et sort.)


NICKLAUSSE (a Hoffman).

  Enfin nous allons voir de près cette merveille.
  Sans pareille!


HOFFMAN.

  Silence! la voici.

(Entrée de Spalanzani conduisant Olympia.)


SPALANZANI.

Mesdames et messieurs je vous présente
Ma fille Olypmia.


LE CHOEUR.

Charmante!
Elle à de très beaux yeux!
Sa taille est fort bien prise!
Voyez comme elle est mise!
Il ne lui manque rien!
Elle est très bien!


HOFFMAN.

  Ah qu'elle est adorable!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Charmante, incomparable!


SPALANZANI (a Olympia).

  Quel succès est le tien.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Vraiment elle est très bien.


LE CHOEUR.

Elle à de beaux yeux
Sa taille est fort bien prise
Voyez comme elle est mise
Il ne lui manque rien
Vraiment elle est très bien.


SPALANZANI.

Mesdames et messieurs, fière de vos bravos.
Et surtout impatiente
D'en conquerir de nouveaux
Ma fille, obéissant à vos moindres caprices,
Va, s'il vous plait...


NICKLAUSSE (à part).

  Passer a d'autres exercices.


SPALANZANI.

Vous chanter un grand air, en suivant de la voix,
Talent rare
Le clavecin, la guitare,
Qu la harpe, à votre choix!


COCHENNILLE (au fond du théâtre).

  La harpe!


UNE VOIX DE BASSE.

(Dans la coulisse.)

  La harpe!


SPALANZANI.

  Fort bien. Cochenille!
Va vite nous chercher la harpe de ma fille!

(Cochenille sort.)


HOFFMAN (a part).

  Je vais l'entendre... oh joie!


NICKLAUSSE (a part).

  O folle passion!


SPALANZANI (a Olympia).

  Maitrise ton émotion, mon enfant!


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.


COCHENILLE (avec la harpe).

  Voila!


SPALANZANI (s'asseyant auprès d'Olympia).

  Messieurs, attention!


COCHENILLE.

  Attention!


LE CHOEUR.

  Attention!


OLYMPIA (accompagné par Spalanzani).

Les oiseaux dans la charmille,
Dans les cieux l'astre du jour,
Tout parle a la jeune fille
    D'amour, d'amour,
      Voilà!
La chanson gentille
      Voilà!
La chanson d'Olympia,
      Ha!


LE CHOEUR.

  C'est la chanson d'Olympia!


OLYMPIA.

Tout ce qui chante et résonne
Et soupire tour à tour,
Emeut son coeur qui frissonne
      D'amour!
      Voilà!
La chanson mignonne
      Voilà voilà
La chanson d'Olympia.
      Ha!


LE CHOEUR.

  C'est la chanson d'Olympia.


HOFFMAN (a Nicklausse).

  Ah! mon ami, quel accent.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Quelles gammes!...

(Tout le monde s'empresse autour d'Olympia. Un laquais s'addresse a
  Spalanzani).


SPALANZANI.

  Allons, messieurs! la main aux dames...
  Le souper nous attend.


LE CHOEUR.

  Le souper! bon cela...


SPALANZANI.

  A moins qu'on ne préfère.
  Danser d'abord!...


LE CHOEUR (avec energie).

  Non, non, le souper! bonne affaire ensuite on dansera.


SPALANZANI.

  Comme il vous plaira!


HOFFMAN (s'approchant d'Olympia).

  Oserai-je?


SPALANZANI (intervenant).

  Elle est un peu lasse; attendez le bal.

(Il touche l'épaule d'Olympia.)


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.


SPALANZANI.

Vous voyez, jusque là
Voulez vous me faire la grâce
De tenir compagnie à mon Olympia?


HOFFMAN.

  O bonheur!


SPALANZANI (à part, riant).

  Nous verrons ce qu'il lui chantera.


NICKLAUSSE (a Spalanzani).

  Elle ne soupe pas.


SPALANZANI.

  Non!


NICKLAUSSE (à part).

  Ame poetique!

(Spalanzani passe derrière Olympia. On entend le bruit d'un ressort.)

  Plaît-il?


SPALANZANI.

  Rien! la physique! ah monsieur, la physique!

(Il conduit Olympia à un fauteuil et sort avec les invites.)


COCHENILLE.

  Le souper vous attend.


LE CHOEUR (avec enthousiasm).

Le souper, le souper, le souper nous attend!
Non, aucun hôte vraiment,
Ne reçoit plus richement!


HOFFMAN.

Ils se sout éloignes enfin! Ah je respire!
Seuls, seuls, tous deux!

(S'approchant d'Olympia.)

Oue j'ai de choses à te dire,
O mon Olympia! Laisse moi t'admirer!
De ton regard charmant laisse moi m'enivrer.

(Il touche légèrement l'épaule d'Olympia.)


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.


HOFFMAN.

N'est--ce pas un rêve enfanté par la fièvre?
J'ai cru voir un soupir s'échapper de ta lèvre!

(Il touche de nouveau l'épaule d'Olympia.)


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.


HOFFMAN.

  Doux aveu, gage de nos amours,
Tu m'appartieus, nos coeurs sont unis pour toujours!
Ah comprends-tu, dis moi, cette joie éternelle
Des coeurs silencieux?
Vivants, n'être qu'une âme, et du même coup d'aile
Nous élancer aux cieux!
Laisse, laisse ma flamme
Verser en toi le jour!
Laisse éclore ton âme
Aux rayons de l'amour!

(Il presse la main d'Olympia. Celle ci se léve, parcourt la scène et
  sort.)

Tu me fuis? qu'ai je fait? Tu ne me réponds pas.
Parle! t'ai-je irritee? ah je suivrai tes pas!

(Hoffman s'élance, Nicklausse parait.)


NICKLAUSSE.

Eh morbleu, modére ton zèle!
Veux-tu qu'on se grise sans toi?...


HOFFMAN (avec ivresse).

Nicklausse! Je suis aimé d'elle!
Aimié!... Dieu puissant.


NICKLAUSSE.

Par ma foi
Si tu savais ce qu'on dit de ta belle!


HOFFMAN.

Qu'en peut on dire? Quoi?


NICKLAUSSE.

Qu'elle est morte.


HOFFMAN.

  Juste ciel!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Ou ne fut pas en vie.


HOFFMAN.

Nicklausse! je suis aimé d'elle
Aimé! Dieu puissant.

(Il sort. Nicklausse le suit.)


COPPELIUS (entrant, furieaux).

Voleur! brigand! quelle déroute!
Elias à fait banqueroute!
Va, je saurai trouver le moment opportun
Pour me venger... Volé! moi!... Je tuerai quelqu'un.

(Coppélius se glisse dans la chambre d'Olympia.)

(Entre tout-le-monde.)


SPALANZANI.

  Voici les valseurs.


COCHENILLE.

  Voici la ritournelle.


HOFFMAN.

  C'est la valse qui nous appelle.


SPALANZANI (à Olympia).

Prends la main de monsieur, mon enfant.

(Lui touchant l'épaule.)

Allons!


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.

(Hoffman enlace la taille d'Olympia et ils disparaissent a gauche.)


LE CHOEUR.

  Elle danse!
  En cadence!
  C'est merveilleux!
  Prodigieux!
  Place, place!
  Elle passe
  Elle fend l'air
  Comme un éclair.


LA VOIX D'HOFFMAN (dans la coulisse).

  Olympia!


SPALANZANI.

  Qu'on les arrête!


LE CHOEUR.

  Qui de nous les arrêtera?


NICKLAUSSE.

Elle va lui casser la tête!...

(Hoffman et Olympia reparaissent et redescendent.)

(Nicklausse s'elance pour les arrétèr.)

Eh, mille diables!...

(Il est violemment bausculé et tombe sur un fauteuil.)


LE CHOEUR.

  Patatra!


SPALANZANI (s'élancant).

  Halte là!

(Il touche Olympia à l'épaule. Elle s'arrête subitement. Hoffman étourdi
  tombe sur un canapé.)


SPALANZANI.

  Voilà!

(à Olympia.)

  Assez, assez, ma fille.


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.


SPALANZANI.

  Il ne faut plus valser.


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.


SPALANZANI (a Cochenille).

  Toi Cochenille,
  Reconduis-la.

(Il touche Olympia.)


COCHENILLE (poussant Olympia).

  Va donc. Va!


OLYMPIA.

  Oui.

(En sortant, poussé par Cochenille.)

  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!


LE CHOEUR.

Que voulez vous qu'on dise?
C'est une fille exquise,
Il ne lui manque rien, Elle est très bien!


NICKLAUSSE (d'une voix dolente, en montrant Hoffman.)

  Est-il mort?


SPALANZANI (examinant Hoffman).

Non, en somme, Son lorgnon seul est en débris
Il reprend ses esprits.


LE CHOEUR.

  Pauvre jeune homme!


COCHENILLE (dans la coulisse)

  Ah!

(Il entre, la figure bouleversée.)


SPALANZANI.

  Quoi?


COCHENILLE.

  L'homme aux lunettes ... là.


SPALANZANI.

  Miséricorde! Olympia!


HOFFMAN.

  Olympia!

(On entend un bruit de réssorts qui se brisent avec fracas.)


SPALANZANI.

  Ah! terre et cieux! Elle est cassée!


HOFFMAN.

  Cassée!


COPPELIUS (entrant).

Ha, ha, ha, ha, oui, Fracasseé.

(Hoffman s'élance et disparaît. Spalanzani et Coppélius se jettent l'un
sur l'autre.)


SPALANZANI.

  Gredin!


COPPÉLIUS.

  Voleur!


SPALANZANI.

  Brigand!


COPPÉLIUS.

  Païen.


SPALANZANI.

  Bandit.


COPPELIUS.

  Pirate!


HOFFMAN (pale et épouvanté).

  Un automate! Un automate!

(Il tombe sur un fauteuil. Eclat de rire général.)


LE CHOEUR.

Ha, ha, ha, la bombe éclate
Il aimait un automate!


SPALANZANI (avec désespoir).

  Mon automate!


TOUS.

  Un automate!
  Ha, ha ha, ha!




TROISIEME ACTE.


(A Venise. Galerie en fête dans un palais donnant sur le grand canal.
  Les hôtes de Giuletta sont groupés sur des coussins.)


Barcarole


GIULETTA ET NICKLAUSSE (dans la coulisse.)

Belle nuit, o nuit d'amour,
Souris a nos ivresses,
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
O belle nuit d'amour!
Le temps fuit et sans retour
Emporte nos tendresses!
Loin de cet heureux sejour,
Le temps fuit sans retour
Zephyrs embrasés
Versez nous vos caresses;
Zephyrs embrasés
Donnez nous vos baisers.
Belle nuit, o nuit d'amour,
Souris à nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
O belle nuit d'amour.

(Giuletta et Nicklausse entrent en scène.)


HOFFMAN.

Et moi, ce n'est pas là, pardieu, ce qui m'enchante!
Aux pieds de la beauté qui nous vient enivrer
Le plaisir doit il soupirer?
Non! Le rire à la bouche écoutez comme il chante!


CHANT BACCHIQUE.

Amis! l'amour tendre et rêveur,
      Erreur!
L'amour dans le bruit et le vin!
      Divin!
Que d'un brûlant désir
Votre coeur s'enflamme
Aux fièvres du plaisir
Consumez votre âme
Transports d'amour,
Durez un jour!
Au diable celui qui pleure
Pour deux beaux yeux
A nous l'ivresse meilleure
Des chants joyeux!
Vivons une heure
Dans les cieux!


LE CHOEUR.

Au diable celui qui pleure,
Pour deux beaux yeux!
A nous l'ivresse meilleure
Des chants joyeaux
Vivons une heure
Dans les cieux!


HOFFMAN.

Le ciel te prête sa clarté,
    Beauté.
Mais vous chachez ô coeurs de fer,
    L'enfer!
Bonheur du paradis
Où l'amour convie,
Serments, espoirs maudits,
Rêves de la vie!
    O chastetés,
    O puretés,
      Mentez!


LE CHOEUR.

  Au diable celui qui pleure,
    etc., etc.


SCHLEMIL (entrant en scène).

Je vois qu'en est en fête. A merveille, madame.


GIULIETTA.

  Comment! Mais je vous ai pleuré trois grands jours.


PITICHINACCIO.

  Dame.


SCHLEMIL (a Pitichinaccio).

  Avorton!


PITICHINACCIO.

  Hola!


GIULIETTA.

Calmez vous!
Nous avous un poèté étranger parmi
  Nous.

(Présentant Hoffman.)

  Hoffman!


SCHLEMIL (de mauvaise grace.)

  Monsieur!


HOFFMAN (ironique).

  Monsieur!


GIULIETTA (a Schlemil).

Souriez nous, de grâce,
Et venez prendre place
Au pharaon!


LE CHOEUR.

  Vivat! au pharaon!

(Giulietta après avoir invité tout le monde a la suivre se dirige vers
la porte. Hoffman offre sa main à Giulietta. Schlemil intervient
vivement.)


SCHLEMIL (prenant la main de Giulietta).

  Morbleu!


GIULIETTA.

  Au jeu, messieurs, au jeu.


LE CHOEUR.

  Au jeu, au jeu.

(Tout le monde sort moins Nicklausse et Hoffman.)


NICKLAUSSE.

Un mot! J'ai deux chevaux sellés; au premier rêve
Dont se laisse affoler mon Hoffman, je l'enlève.


HOFFMAN.

Et quelles rêves, jamais, pourraient être enfantés
Par de telles realités?
Aime-t-on une courtisane?


NICKLAUSSE.

  Ce Schlemil, cependant...


HOFFMAN.

  Je ne suis pas Schlemil.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Prends y garde, le diable est malin.

(Dapertutto parait au fond.)


HOFFMAN.

Le fut-il,
S'il me la fait aimer, je consens qu'il me damne
Allons!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Allons!

(Ils sortent.)


DAPERTUTTO (seul).

Allez... pour te livrer combat
Les yeux de Giulietta sont une arme certaine.
Il a fallu que Schlemil succombat!
Foi de diable et de capitaine!
Tu feras comme lui.
Je veux que Giulietta t'ensorcelle au jourd'hui.

(Tirant de son doigt une bague ou brille un gros diamant.)

Tourne, tourne, miroir où se prend l'alouette,
Scintille, diamant, fascine, attire la...
L'alouette ou la femme
A cet appât vainqueur
Vont de l'aile ou du coeur;
L'une y laisse sa vie l'autre y perd son âme,
Tourne tourne miroir ou se prend l'alouette.
Scintille diamant, fascine, attire-la.

(Giulietta parait et s'avance, fascinée vers le diamant que Dapertutto
  tend vers elle.)


DAPERTUTTO (passant la bagne au doit Giulietta.)

  Cher ange.


GIULIETTA.

  Q'attendez-vous de votre servante?


DAPERTUTTO.

Bien, tu m'as deviné,
A séduire les coeurs entre toutes savante,
Tu m'as déjà donné
L'ombre de Schlemil! Je varie
Mes plaisirs et te prie
De m'avoir aujourd hui
Le reflet d'Hoffman!


GIULETTA.

  Quoi! son reflet!


DAPERTUTTO.

Oui!
Son reflet... tu doutes
De la puissance de tes yeux?


GIULETTA.

  Non.


DAPERTUTTO.

Qui sait? Ton Hoffman rêve peut être mieux.

(avec dureté).

Oui, j'étais la, tout a l'heure, aux écoutes,
Il te défie...


GIULETTA.

Hoffman?... c'est bien!... dés aujourd'hui
J'en ferai mon jouet.

(Hoffman entre.)


DAPERTUTTO.

  C'est lui!

(Dapertutto sort. Hoffman fait mine de s'eloigner.)


GIULIETTA (à Hoffman).

  Vous me quittez?


HOFFMAN (railleur).

  J'ai tout perdu.


GIULIETTA.

Quoi... vous aussi!...
Ah! vous me faites injure
Sans pitié, ni merci
Partez... partez!...


HOFFMAN.

Tes larmes t'ont trahie.
Ah je t'aime... fut-ce au prix de ma vie.


GIULIETTA.

Ah malheureux, mais tu ne sais donc pas
Qu'une heure, qu'un moment, peuvent t'être funestes?
Que mon amour te perd a jamais si tu restes?
Ne repousse pas ma prière
Ma vie est à toi toute entière.
Partont je te promets d'accompagner tes pas.


HOFFMAN.

O Dieu de quelle ivresses embrases tu mon âme?
Comme un concert divin ta voix me pénêtre;
D'un feu doux et brulant mon être est dévoré;
Tes regards dans les miens ont épanché leur flamme
Comme des astres radieux
Et je seus, ô mon bien aimée,
Passer ton haleine embaumée
Sur mes lèvres et sur mes yeux.


GIULIETTA.

Aujourd'hui cependant affermis mon courage.
En me laissant quelque chose de toi!


HOFFMAN.

  Que veux tu dire?


GIULIETTA.

Ecoute et ne ris pas de moi.

(Elle enlace Hoffman et prend un miroir.)

Ce que je veux c'est ta fidèle image
Qui reproduit tes traits ton regard ton visage,
Le reflet que tu vois sur le mien se pencher.


HOFFMAN.

  Quoi! mon reflet? quelle folie!


GIULIETTA.

Non! car il peut se détacher,
Le la glace polie.
Pour venir tout entier dans mon coeur se cacher.


HOFFMAN.

Dans ton coeur?


GIULIETTA.

Dans mon coeur. C'est moi qui t'en supplies,
Hoffman, comble mes voeux!


HOFFMAN.

  Mon reflet?


GIULIETTA.

Ton reflet. Oui sagesse on folie,
Je l'attends, je le veux!


HOFFMAN.

Extase, ivresse, inassouvie,
Mon reflet, mon âme et ma vie à toi, toujours à toi!


GIULIETTA.

Si ta présence m'est ravie,
Je veux garder de toi
Ton reflet, ton âme et ta vie
Ami, donne les moi!


GIULIETTA (vivement).

  Schlemil!

(Schlemil entre suivi de Nicklausse. Dappertutto, Pittichinaccio et
  autres.)


SCHLEMIL.

J'en étais sûr! Ensemble!
Venez, messieurs, venez,
C'est pour Hoffman à ce qu'il semble,
Que nous sommes abandonnés.

(Rires ironiques.)


HOFFMAN (presque parlé).

  Monsieur!


GIULIETTA (à Hoffman).

  Silence!

(bas) Je t'aime, il a ma clef.


PITTICHINACCIO (a Schlemil).

  Tuons le.


SCHLEMIL.

  Patience!


DAPPERTUTTO (à Hoffman).

  Comme vous êtes pâle.


HOFFMAN.

  Moi!


DAPERTUTTO (lui présentant le miroir.)

  Voyez plutôt!


HOFFMAN (stupéfait, se regardant).

  Ciel!


GIULIETTA.

Ecoutez, messieurs,
Voici les gondoles,
L'heure des barcarolles
Et celle des adieux!

(Schlemil reconduit les invités. Giulietta sort, jetant un regard à
  Hoffman. Dapertutto reste au fond de la scène. Nicklausse revient à
  Hoffman.)


NICKLAUSSE.

  Viens tu?


HOFFMAN.

  Pas encore.


NICKLAUSSE.

Pourquoi? Bien, je comprends, adieu!

(a part.) Mais je veille sur toi.

(Il sort.)


SCHLEMIL.

  Qu'attendez vous, monsieur?


HOFFMAN.

  Que vous me donniez certaine clef que j'ai juré d'avoir.


SCHLEMIL.

  Vous n'aurez cette clef monsieur qu'avec ma vie.


HOFFMAN.

J'aurai donc l'une ou l'autre.


SCHLEMIL.

  C'est ce qu'il faut voir! En garde!


DAPERTUTTO.

Vous n'avez pas d'épée (lui présentant le sien).

Prenez la mienne!


HOFFMAN.

  Merci!


CHOEUR (dans la coulisse).

Belle nuit, o nuit d'amour!
Souris a nos ivresses
Nuit plus douce que le jour,
O belle nuit d'amour!

(Hoffman et Schlemil se battent. Schlemil est blessé à mort et tombe.
  Hoffman se penche et lui prend la clef pendue à son cou et s'élance dans
  l'appartment de Giulietta qui parait dans une gondole.)


HOFFMAN.

  Personne!


GIULIETTA (riant).

  Ha, ha, ha!


(Hoffman regarde Giulietta avec stupeur.)


DAPERTUTTO (a Giulietta).

Qu'en fais tu maintenant?


GIULIETTA.

  Je te l'abandonne.


PITICHINACCIO (entre dans la gondole).

  Cher ange.

(Giulietta le prend lans ses bras.)


HOFFMAN (comprenant l'infamie de Giulietta).

  Misérable!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Hoffman! Hoffman! les sbires!

(Nicklausse entraine Hoffman. Giulietta et Dapertutto rient.)




ACTE IV.


(A Munich chez Crespel. Une chambre bizarrement meublee.)


ANTONIA (seule. Elle est devant le clavecin et chante).

Elle à fui, la tourterelle,
Elle à fui loin de toi!

(Elle s'arrête et se lève.)

Ah souvenir trop doux! image trop cruelle!
Hélas à mes genoux, je l'entends, je le vois,
Elle à fui, la tourterelle,
Elle à fui loin de toi!
Mais elle est toujours fidèle
Et te garde sa foi.
Bien aime, ma voix t'appelle,
Tout mon coeur est à toi.

(Elle se rapproche du clavecin.)

Chère fleur qui vient d'eclore
Par pitié reponds moi,
Toi qui sais s'il m'aime encore,
S'il me garde sa foi!...
Bien aime ma voix t'implore,
Que ton coeur vienne à moi!

(Elle se laisse tomber sur une chaise.)


CRESPEL (entrant brusquement).

Malheureuse enfant, fille bien aimèe
Tu m'avis promis de ne plus chanter.


ANTONIA.

Ma mère s'était en moi ranimée;
Mon coeur en chantant croyait l'écouter.


CRESPEL.

C'est la mon tourment. Ta mère chérie
T'a légué sa voix, regrets superflus!
Par toi je l'entends. Non...non...je t'en prie.


ANTONIA (tristement).

  Votre Antonia ne chantera plus!

(Elle sort lentement.)


CRESPEL (seul).

Désespoir! Tout a l'heure encore
Je voyais ces taches de feu
Colorer son visage, Dieu!
Perdrai-je l'enfant que j'adore?
Ah, c'est Hoffman, c'est lui
Qui jeta dans son coeur ces ivresses...
  J'ai fui.
Jusqu'à Munich...

(Entre Frantz.)


CRESPEL.

Toi Frantz n'ouvre a personne.


FRANTZ.

  Vous croyez...


CRESPEL.

  Où vas tu?


FRANTZ.

Je vais voir si l'on sonne
Comme vous avez dit...


CRESPEL.

J'ai dit n'ouvre a personne!

(criant.) A personne! entends tu, cette fois?


FRANTZ.

Eh, mon Dieu, je ne suis pas sourd!


CRESPEL.

Bien! que le diable t'emporte!...


FRANTZ.

Oui monsieur, la clef est sur la porte.


CRESPEL.

  Bêlitre! Ane bâté!


FRANTZ.

  C'est convenu.


CRESPEL.

  Morbleu!

(Il sort. Frantz descend.)


FRANTZ (seul).

Eh bien! Quoi, toujours en colère!
Bizarre, quinteux, exigeant!
Ah, l'on a du mal a lui plaire
Pour son argent...
Jour et nuit je me mets en quatre,
Au moindre signe je me tais
C'est tout comme si je chantais!...
Encore non, si je chantais,
De ses mépris il lui faudrait rabattre.
Je chante seul quelque fois;
Mais chanter n'est pas commode!
Tra la la! tra la la!
Ce n'est pourtant pas la voix,
Qui me fait défaut, je crois...
Tra la la! Tra la la!
Non c'est la méthode.
Dame! on a pas tout en partage.
Je chante pitoyablement;
Mais je danse agréablement,
Je me le dis sans compliment,
Corbleu la danse est à mon avantage,
C'est là mon plus grand attrait,
Et danser n'est pas commode.
Tra la la! Tra la la!

(Il danse. Il s'arrête.)

Près des femmes le jarret
N'est pas ce qui me nuirait,
Tra la la! Tra la la!

(Hoffman entre suivi de Nicklausse.)


HOFFMAN.

  Frantz! C'est lui...

(Touchant l'épaule de Frantz.)

  Debout l'ami.


FRANTZ.

  Hein qui va la (il se relève) Monsieur Hoffman!


HOFFMAN.

  Moi-même! Eh bien, Antonia?


FRANTZ.

  Il est sorti, monsieur.


HOFFMAN (riant).

  Ha, ha, plus sourd encore que l'au passe?


FRANTZ.

  Monsieur m'honore. Je me porte bien, grâce au ciel.


HOFFMAN.

  Antonia! Va, fais que je la voie!


FRANTZ.

Très bien... Quel joie
Pour Monsieur Crespel (Il sort.)


HOFFMAN (s'asseyant devant le clavecin).

C'est une chanson d'amour
Qui s'envole,
Triste ou folle
Tour à tour!...


ANTONIA (entrant précipitamment).

  Hoffman!


HOFFMAN (recevant Antonia dans ses bras).

  Antonia.


NICKLAUSSE (à part).

  Je suis de trop; bonsoir.

(Il sort.)


ANTONIA.

  Ah! Je savais bien que tu m'aimais encore.


HOFFMAN.

Mon coeur m'avait bien dit que j'étais regretté
Mais pour quoi nous a-t-on séparés?


ANTONIA.

  Je l'ignore.


HOFFMAN.

Ah j'ai le bonheur dans l'âme!
Demain tu seras ma femme.
Heureux epoux
L'avenir est à nous!
A l'amour soyons fidèles
Que ses chaines éternelles
Gardent nos coeurs,
Du temps même vainqueurs!


ANTONIA.

Ah j'ai le bonheur dans l'âme!
Demain je serai ta femme.
Heureux époux,
L'avenir est a nous!
Chaque jour, chansons nouvelles!
Ton génie ouvre ses ailes!
Mon chant vainqueur
Est l'echo de ton coeur!


HOFFMAN (souriant).

Pourtant, ô ma fiancée,
Te dirai-je une pensée
Qui me trouble malgre moi?
La musique m'inspire un peu de jalousie,
Tu l'aimes trop!


ANTONIA (souriant).

Voyez l'étrange fantaisie!
T'aimé-je donc pour elle, ou elle pour toi?
Car toi, tu ne vas pas sans doute me défendre
De chanter, comme a fait mon père?


HOFFMAN.

  Que dis tu?


ANTONIA.

Qui, mon père à présent, m'impose la vertu
Du silence (vivement) Veux tu m'entendre?


HOFFMAN (a part).

C'est étrange!... Est-ce que...


ANTONIA (l'entrainant).

Viens là comme autrefois.
Ecoute, et tu verras si j'ai perdu ma voix.


HOFFMAN.

Comme ton [oe]il s'anime et comme ta main tremble.


ANTONIA (le faisant s'asseoir devant le clavecin).

Tiens ce doux chant d'amour que nous chantions ensemble.

(Elle Chante.)

C'est une chanson d'amour
  Qui s'envole
Triste ou folle
Tour a tour;
C'est une chanson d'amour.
La rose nouvelle,
Sourit au printemps.
Las! combien de temps
Vivra-t-elle?


ENSEMBLE.

C'est une chanson d'amour,
Qui s'envole,
Triste ou folle,
Tour a tour,
C'est une chanson d'amour.


HOFFMAN.

Un rayon de flamme
Pare ta beauté,
Verras tu l'été,
Fleur de l'âme?


ENSEMBLE.

C'est une chanson d'amour,
  etc.

(Antonia, porte la main à son coeur et semble défaillir.)


HOFFMAN.

  Qu'as tu donc?


ANTONIA.

  Rien.


HOFFMAN (écoutant).

  Chut!


ANTONIA.

  Ciel mon père, Viens, viens!

(Elle sort.)


HOFFMAN.

  Non, je saurai le mot de ce mystère.

(Il se cache. Crespel parait.)


CRESPEL (regardant autour de lui).

Non, rien. J'ai cru qu'Hoffman était ici.
Puisse-t-il être au diable!


HOFFMAN (a part).

  Grand merci!


FRANTZ (entrant, a Crespel).

  Monsieur!


CRESPEL.

  Quoi?


FRANTZ.

  Le docteur Miracle.


CRESPEL.

  Drôle infâme, ferme vite la porte.


FRANTZ.

  Oui, Monsieur, medicin.


CRESPEL.

  Lui, medicin? Non, sur mon âme,
Un fossoyeur, un assassin!
Qui me tuerait ma fille après ma femme,
J'entends le cliquetis de ses flacons dans l'air.
Loin de moi qu'on le chasse.

(Miracle parait subitement. Frantz se sauve.)


MIRACLE.

  Ha, ha, ha, ha!


CRESPEL.

  Enfin!


MIRACLE.

Eh bien, me voilà, c'est moi-même.
Ce bon monsieur Crespel, je l'aime!
Ou donc est-il?


CRESPEL (l'arrêtant).

  Morbleu!


MIRACLE.

Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Je cherchais votre Antonia!
Eh bien! ce mal qu'elle hérita,
De sa mère toujours en progrès? chère belle,
Nous la guérirons. Menez moi chez elle.


CRESPEL.

Pour l'assassiner? Si tu fais un pas,
Je te jette par la fenetre.


MIRACLE.

Eh la! tout doux. Je ne veux pas
Vous desplaire.

(Il avance un fauteuil.)


CRESPEL.

  Que fais tu, traitre?


MIRACLE.

Pour conjurer le danger,
Il faut le connaître,
Laissez moi l'interroger.


CRESPEL et HOFFMAN.

  L'effroi me pénètre.

(Miracle la main tendue vers la chambre d'Antonia.)

A mon pouvoir vainqueur.
Cède de bonne grâce!...
Près de moi sans terreur,
Viens ici prendre place,
    Viens.


CRESPEL et HOFFMAN.

D'epouvante et d'horreur
Tout mon être se glace,
Une étrange terreur
M'enchaîne à cete place.
    J'ai peur.


CRESPEL (s'asseyant).

  Allons, parle et sois bref.

(Miracle continue ses gestes magnétiques. La porte de la chambre
  d'Antonia s'ouvre lentement. Miracle indique qu'il prend la main
  d'Antonia invisible, et qu'il la fait asseoir.)


MIRACLE (s'asseyant).

  Voulez vous vous asseoir là.


CRESPEL.

  Je suis assis.


MIRACLE (sans répondre).

  Quel age avez vous, je vous prie?


CRESPEL.

  Qui, moi?


MIRACLE.

  Je parle à votre enfant.


HOFFMAN (a part).

  Antonia?


MIRACLE.

  Quel âge?... (il écoute) Vingt ans.


CRESPEL.

  Hein?


MIRACLE.

  Le printemps de la vie.

(Il fait le geste de tâter le pouls.)

  Voyons la main!...


CRESPEL.

  La main.


MIRACLE (tirant sa montre).

  Chut, laissez moi compter.


HOFFMAN (à part).

  Dieu! suis-je jouet d'un rêve? Est-ce un fantôme?


MIRACLE.

Le pouls est inégal et vif, mauvais symptôme.
Chantez!...


CRESPEL (se levant).

  Non, non, tais-toi!... ne la fais pas chanter!

(La voix d'Antonia se fait entendre.)


MIRACLE.

Voyez, son front s'anime, et son regard flamboie,
Elle porte la main à son coeur agité.

(Il semble suivre Antonia du geste. La porte de la chambre se referme
  brusquement.)


CRESPEL.

  Que dit il?


MIRACLE (se levant).

Il serait dommage en vérité,
De laisser à la mort si belle proie!


CRESPEL.

  Tais-toi!


MIRACLE.

Si vous voulez accepter mon secours,
Si vous voulez sauver ses jours,
J'ai la certains flacons que je tiens en réserve.

(Il tire plusieurs flacons de sa poche et les fait sonner comme des
  castagnettes.)


CRESPEL.

  Tais toi!


MIRACLE.

  Dont il faudrait...


CRESPEL.

Tais-toi! Dieu me préserve
D'écouter tes conseils misérable assassin!...


MIRACLE.

Dont il faudrait chaque matin...
Eh! oui, je vous entends,
Tout a l'heure, a l'instant!
Des flacons, pauvre père,
Vous en serez, j'espère.
    Content!


CRESPEL.

Va-t-en, va-t-en, va-t-en!
Hors de chez moi, Satan!
Redoute la colère,
Et la douleur d'un père,
    Va-t-en!


HOFFMAN (à part).

A la mort qui t'attend,
Je saurai, pauvre enfant,
T'arracher, je l'espère!
Tu ris en vain d'un père,
    Satan!


MIRACLE (avec le même flegme.)

  Dont il faudrait...


CRESPEL.

  Va-t-en!


MIRACLE.

  Chaque matin...


CRESPEL.

  Va-t-en!

(Il pousse Miracle dehors et la reforme la porte sur lui.)

Ah! le voilà dehors et ma porte est fermée!
Nous sommes seuls enfin,
Ma fille bien aimée!


MIRACLE (rentrant par la muraille).

  Dont il faudrait chaque matin...


CRESPEL.

Ah misérable,
Viens, viens!... les flots puissent--ils t'engloutir.
Nous verrons si le diable.
T'en fera sortir!...


CRESPEL.

Va-t-en, va-t-en, va-t-en!
    Hors de, etc, etc.


HOFFMAN.

A la mort qui t'attend,
Je saurai, etc., etc.


MIRACLE.

  Dont il faudrait...


CRESPEL.

  Va-t-en!...


MIRACLE.

  Chaque matin...


CRESPEL.

  Va-t'en.

(Ils disparaissent ensemble.)


HOFFMAN (seul).

Ne plus chanter! hélas. Comment obtenir d'elle
Un pareil sacrifice?


ANTONIA (parait).

  Eh bien, mon père qu'a-t-il dit?


HOFFMAN.

Ne me demand rien,
Plus tard tu sauras tout; une route nouvelle
S'auvre à nous, mon Antonia!...
Pour y suivre mes pas, chasse de ta mémoire,
C'est rêves d'avenir, de succés et de gloire,
Que ton coeur au mien confia.


ANTONIA.

  Mais toi même?


HOFFMAN.

L'amour tous les deux nous convie,
Tout ce qui n'est pas toi n'est plus rien dans ma vie.


ANTONIA.

Tiens donc! voici ma main!


HOFFMAN.

Ah, chère Antonia! Pourrai-je reconnaître?
Ce que tu fais pour moi?

(Il lui baise les mains.)

Ton père va peut-être
Revenir, je te quitte... à demain!


ANTONIA.

  A demain!

(Hoffman sort.)


ANTONIA (allant ouvrir une porte.)

De mon père aisément il s'est fait le complice!
Allons, les pleurs sont superflus,
Je l'ai promis, je ne chanterai plus.

(Elle se laisse tomber sur un fauteuil.)


MIRACLE (surgissant derrière elle.)

Tu ne chanteras plus. Sais tu quel sacrifice,
S'impose ta jeunesse et l'as tu mesuré?
La grâce, le talent, don sacré,
Tous ces biens que le ciel t'a livrés en partage,
Faut il les enfouir dans l'ombre d'un ménage
N'as tu pas entendu, dans un rêve orgueilleux,
Ainsi qu'une forêt par le vent balancée,
Ce doux fremissement de la foule pressée
Qui murmure ton nom et te suit des yeux?
Voilà l'ardente joie et la fête éternelle
Que tes vingt ans en fleur sont près d'abandonner,
Pour les plaisirs bourgeois ou l'ou veut t'enchainer
Et des marmots d'enfants qui te rendront moins belle!


ANTONIA (sans se retourner).

Ah, qu'elle est cette voix qui me trouble l'esprit?
Est-ce l'enfer qui parle ou Dieu qui m'avertit?
Non non ce n'est pas là le bonheur, voix mandite,
Et contre mon orgeuil, mon amour s'est armé,
La gloire ne vaut pas l'ombre heureuse ou m'invite
La maison de mon bien aimé.


MIRACLE.

Quels amours sont donc les vôtres?
Hoffman te sacrifie a sa brutalité;
Il n'aime en toi que ta beauté,
Et pour lui, comme pour les autres
Viendra bientôt le temps de l'infidélité.

(Il disparait.)


ANTONIA (se levant).

Non, ne me tente plus! Va-t-en,
Démon! Je ne veux plus t'entendre.
J'ai juré d'être à lui, mon bien aimé m'attend,
Je ne m'appartiens plus et ne puis me reprendre.
Et tout à l'houre encor, sur son coeur adoré,
Quel amour eternal ne m'a-t-il pas juré...
Ah qui me sauvera du démon, de moi-même?...
Ma mère! ô ma mère, je l'aime!...


MIRACLE (reparait).

Ta mère! oses tu l'invoquer?...
Ta mère? Mais n'est-ce pas elle
Qui parle par ma voix, ingrate, et te rappelle,
La splendeur de son nom que tu veux abdiquer?

(Le portrait s'éclaire et semble s'animer. C'est le fantôme de la mère.)

  Ecoute!


LA VOIX.

  Antonia!


ANTONIA.

  Dieu, ma mère, ma mère!


LE FANTOME.

Cher enfant, que j'appelle
Comme autrefois,
C'est ta mère c'est elle,
Entends sa voix!


ANTONIA.

  C'est elle.


MIRACLE.

Oui, c'est sa voix, l'entends tu?
Sa voix, meilleure conseillère,
Qui te lègue un talent que le monde a perdu!


LE FANTOME.

  Antonia!


MIRACLE.

Ecoute elle semble revivre
Et le public lointain de ses bravos l'enivre!


ANTONIA (se levant).

  Ma mère!


LE FANTOME.

  Antonia!


MIRACLE.

Reprends donc avec elle!...

(Il saisit un violon et accompagne avec fureur.)


ANTONIA.

Oui, son âme m'appelle
Comme autrefois!
C'est ma mère c'est elle
J'entends sa voix!


LE FANTOME.

Cher enfant, que j'appelle
Comme autrefois!
C'est ta mère c'est elle!
Entends sa voix!


ANTONIA.

  Non! assez... je succombe!


MIRACLE.

  Encore!


ANTONIA.

  Je ne veux plus chanter.


MIRACLE.

  Encore!


ANTONIA.

  Qu'elle ardeur m'entraine et me dévore?


MIRACLE.

  Encore! Pourquoi t'arrêter?


ANTONIA (haletante).

Je cède au transport qui m'enivre!
Quelle flamme éblouit mes yeux!...
Un seul moment encore a vivre,
Et mon âme s'envole aux cieux!


LE FANTOME.

Cher enfant que j'appelle,
    etc.


ANTONIA.

C'est ma mère c'est elle,
    etc.


ANTONIA.

  Ah!

(Elle vient, tomber mourante sur le canapé. Miracle s'engloutit dans la
  terre, en poussant un éclat de rire. Le Fantôme disparait.)


CRESPEL (accourant).

  Mon enfant!... ma fille!... Antonia!


ANTONIA (expirante).

Mon père
Ecoutez c'est ma mère,
Qui m'appelle! Et lui... de retour...
C'est une chanson d'amour...
Qui s'envole
Triste ou folle...

(Elle meurt.)


CRESPEL.

Non! un seul mot! un seul! ma fille, parle moi.
Mais parle donc! Mort exécrable!
Non! pitié! grâce! Eloigne toi!...


HOFFMAN (entrant précipitamment).

  Pourquoi ces cris?


CRESPEL.

  Hoffman! ah, miserable!
C'est toi qui l'as tuée!...


HOFFMAN (courant à Antonia).

  Antonia!...


CRESPEL (avec égarement).

Du sang
Pour colorer sa joue!...
Une arme, un couteau!

(Il saisit un coutean et s'élance sur Hoffman.)


NICKLAUSSE (entrant et arrêtant Crespel).

  Malheureux!


HOFFMAN (a Nicklausse).

  Vite donne l'alarme, un médecin, un médecin!


MIRACLE (paraissant).

  Présent!
  Il tate le pouls d'Antonia.
      Morte!


CRESPEL (éperdu).

  Ah, mon Dieu, mon enfant ma fille!


HOFFMAN (avec desespoir).

  Antonia!




EPILOGUE.


(Même décoration qu'au premier acte.)

(On retrouve tous les personnages dans la situation où on les a laissés
  à la fin du premier acte.)


HOFFMANN.

Voilà quelle fut l'histoire
    Des mes amours
    Dont la mémoire
En mon coeur restera toujours.


LE CHOEUR.

  Bravo, bravo, Hoffmann.


HOFFMANN.

Ah, je suis fou!... A nous le vertige divin
Des esprits de l'alcool, de la bièrre et du vin
A nous l'ivresse et la folie
Le nèant par qui l'on oublie.


NICKLAUSSE.

  Ah! je comprends! trois drames dans un drame Olympia?


HOFFMANN.

  Fracassée!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Antonia.


HOFFMANN.

Ah pour elle le dernier couplet de la chanson de Klein-Zach!
Quand il avait but de genièvre et de rack
If fallait voir flotter les pans de son frac
Comme des herbes dans un lac
Le monstre faisait flic flac
    Flic flac,
Voilà Klein-Zach.


LE CHOEUR.

  Flic flac,
  Voilà Klein-Zach.


LE CHOEUR.

Allumons le punch!... grisons-nous!
Et que les plus fous
Roulent sous la table.
Luther est un brave homme,
Tire lan laire, tire lan la!
    etc., etc.

(Les étudiants entrent en tumulte dans la salle voisine. Hoffmann reste
  comme frappé de stupeur.)


LA MUSE (paraissant).

Et moi? Moi, la fidèle amie
Dont la main essuya tes yeux?
Par qui la douleur endormie
S'exhale en rêve dans les cieux?
Ne suis-je rien? Que la tempête
Des passions s'apaise en toi!
L'homme n'est plus; renais poète!
Je t'aime, Hoffmann! appartiens-moi!
Des cendres de ton coeur réchauffe ton génie.
Dans la sérénité souris à tes douleurs,
La Muse adoucira ta souffrance bénie,
On est grand par l'amour et plus grand par les pleurs!

(Elle disparaît.)


HOFFMANN (seul).

O Dieu! de quelle ivresse embrases-tu mon âme,
Comme un concert divin ta voix m'a pénétré,
D'un feu doux et brûlant mon être est dévoré,
Tes regards dans les miens ont épanché leur flamme,
Comme des astres radieux.
Et je sens, ô Muse aimée,
Passer ton baleine embaumée
Sur mes lèvres et sur mes yeux!

(Il tombe, le visage sur une table.)

(HOFFMANN, STELLA, LINDORF, NICKLAUSSE, Les Etudiants.)


STELLA (allant vers Hoffmann.)

  Hoffmann endormi!...


NICKLAUSSE.

  Non!... ivre-mort!... Trop tard, madame!


LINDORF.

  Corbleu!


NICKLAUSSE.

  Tenez, voilà le conseiller Lindorf qui vous attend.

(Stella s'appuie sur le bras de Lindorf, s'arrête pour regarder
  Hoffmann, détache une fleur de son bouquet et la jette à ses pieds.)


FIN





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