Don Giovanni, or the Stone Guest
After leaving his young wife, Don Elvira, Don Juan rushed to pursue another captivating beauty. He was not at all embarrassed that in the city where he had arrived on her tracks and where he intended to kidnap her, six months earlier the commander had been killed by him – and what to worry if Don Juan killed him in an honest duel and was fully justified by justice. This circumstance was embarrassing to his servant Sganarelle, and not only because the deceased had relatives and friends here – it’s somehow wrong to go back to where you were, if not human, then the divine law was definitely trampled upon. However, Don Juan did not have any business before the law – whether heavenly or earthly.
From time to time Sganarelle found the courage to reproach the master for an unseemly way of life, to remind him that jokes were bad with the sky, but in such a case, in Don Juan’s supply, there were many folding tirades about the diversity of beauty and the decisive impossibility of forever associating oneself with one its manifestation, the sweetness of striving for the goal and the longing for a quiet possession of what has been achieved. When, however, Don Juan was not located to be crucified before a servant, in response to reproaches and warnings, he simply threatened to kill him.
Doña Elvira did not know her treacherous husband well, and so she went after him, and when she found her, she demanded an explanation.
The beauty, for which he rushed this time, Don Juan intended to kidnap during a sea walk, but his plans were prevented by a sudden flurry that overturned them with Sganarelle boat. The master and servant were dragged from the water by peasants who spent time on the shore.
To the endured mortal danger, Don Juan reacted as easily as he easily treated everything in this world: when he had barely had time to dry out, he was already courting a young peasant woman. Then he caught the eye of another, the girlfriend of the same Pierrot, who saved his life, and he set about her, showering with unflattering compliments, assuring him of the honesty and seriousness of his intentions, promising to marry by all means. Even when both passions appeared before him at the same time, Don Juan managed to lead the matter in such a way that both were satisfied. Sganarelle tried to seize the moment and open the truth to the simpletons about his master, but their truth, it seems, was not very interesting.
During this pastime, our hero was found by a familiar robber who warned him that twelve horsemen were wandering around in search of Don Juan. The forces were too unequal and Don Juan decided to go to the trick: Sganarelle offered to change his dress, which did not at all arouse the servant’s delight.
Don Juan and Sganarelle nevertheless changed their clothes, but not in the way the gentleman suggested: he himself was now dressed as a peasant, and the servant was a doctor. The new outfit gave Sganarelle an opportunity to talk about the merits of various doctors and prescription drugs, and then gradually move on to the questions of faith. Here Don Juan laconically formulated his credo, striking even the sighted Sganarelle: the only thing you can believe, he said, is that two times two is four, and twice two is eight.
In the forest, the owner and the servant came across a beggar who promised to pray God for them all his life if they gave him at least a copper penny. Don Juan offered him a golden luidor, but on condition that the beggar changes his rules and blasphemes. The beggar flatly refused. Despite this Don Giovanni gave him a coin and immediately with a sword he rushed headlong to rescue the stranger, who was attacked by three robbers.
Together they quickly dealt with the attackers. From the conversation that began, Don Juan learned that before him was the brother of the daughters of Elvira, Don Carlos. In the forest he fell behind his brother, Don Alonso, along with whom they searched everywhere for Don Juan, to avenge him for the slandered honor of his sister. Don Carlos Don Juan in the face did not know, but his face was familiar to Don Alonso. Don Alonso soon rode up with his small retinue and wanted to end the abuser immediately, but Don Carlos asked his brother for a reprieve – as a gratitude for saving from the robbers.
Continuing his journey along the forest road, the master and servant suddenly saw a magnificent marble building, on closer inspection, which turned out to be the tomb of Don Juan, the commander. The tomb was adorned with a statue of amazing work. In a mockery of the memory of the late Don Juan told Sganarelle to ask the statue of the commander whether he would like to dine with him today. Overpowering shyness, Sganarelle asked this bold question, and the statue nodded in the affirmative. Don Juan did not believe in miracles, but when he repeated the invitation, the statue nodded to him.
The evening of this day, Don Juan spent in his apartment. Sganarelle was strongly impressed by his communication with the stone statue, and he tried to convince his master that this miracle must have been a warning to him, that it was time to rethink… Don Juan asked the servant to shut up.
Throughout the evening, Don Juan was being harassed by various visitors who allegedly conspired against keeping him quietly for dinner. At first the supplier appeared (Don Giovanni owed him a lot), but, resorting to crude flattery, he made sure that the merchant soon retired – nibbling uneasily, but extremely pleased that such an important gentleman accepted him as a friend. Next was the old Don Luis, the father of Don Juan, driven to the extreme of despair by his son’s unkempt behavior. He again, to which he must once again, talked about the glory of his ancestors, spotted by the unworthy deeds of the descendant, about noble virtues, than he only drove boredom into Don Juan and strengthened in conviction that it would be good for fathers to die early, instead of annoying their sons all their lives.
As soon as the door behind Don Luis was shut, the servants reported that Don Juan wished to see some lady under the veil. It was Dona Elvira. She firmly decided to withdraw from the world and for the last time came to him, moving with love, to beg for the sake of all the saints to change her life, for she was revealed that the sins of Don Juan had exhausted the store of heavenly mercy, that perhaps he only had one day to repent and turn away from himself a terrible punishment. The words of the daughters of Elvira forced Sganarelle to burst into tears, and, thanks to an unusual appearance, she caused a very concrete desire from Don Juan.
When Don Juan and Sganarelle finally sat down for dinner, the only guest who was called today was the statue of the commander. The owner did not get rancid and quietly dined with a stone guest. When leaving, the commander invited Don Juan to return the next day. He accepted the invitation.
The next day, old Don Louis was happier than ever: first he heard the news that his son decided to reform and break with the vicious past, and then he met Don Juan himself, and he confirmed that yes, he repented and now begins a new life.
The master’s words were spilled on Sganarelle’s soul, but as soon as the old man had left, Don Juan explained to the servant that all his repentance and correction was nothing more than a ruse. Hypocrisy and pretense are fashionable vice, easily descending for virtue, and therefore it is not a sin to surrender to it.
Insofar as hypocrisy is useful in life, Sganarelle was convinced very soon – when he met with the owner, Don Carlos met and menacingly asked if Don Juan intended to publicly call Don Elvira his wife. Referring to the will of heaven, revealed to him now, when he took the path of righteousness, the pretender claimed that for the salvation of his and her soul they should not resume the marriage union. Don Carlos listened to him and even let him go in peace, leaving, however, the right to somehow honestly duel to achieve final clarity in this matter. Shortly, however, Don Juan had to blaspheme with impunity, referring to the allegedly overheard voice. The sky really showed him a sign – a ghost in the image of a woman under a veil, which menacingly uttered that Don Juan had only one moment to appeal to heavenly mercy. Don Juan was not afraid this time and arrogantly stated that he was not accustomed to such treatment. Then the ghost transformed into a figure of Time with a scythe in his hand, and then disappeared.
When a statue of the Commander appeared before Don Juan and held out his hand for him, he boldly held out his. Sensing the shaking of the stone hand and hearing from the statue of the word about the terrible death awaiting the one who rejected the heavenly mercy, Don Juan felt that he was burning an invisible flame. The earth opened and swallowed it, and from the place where it disappeared, flames burst out.
The death of Don Juan was very much in favor of many, except, perhaps, the long-suffering Sganarelle – who will pay him his salary now?