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Siegfried: Page 593
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Mime: (scratching his head: #41/#123 frag vari:) Well, keep it then and ward the bright ring well! You be its lord: (#107 vari voc?:) but keep on calling me brother (:#107 vari voc?)! (#41/#123 frag vari) (#105 vari:) I’ll give it to you in return for my Tarnhelm’s delightful toy: it befits us both that we share the spoils in this way (:#41; :#105 vari). (He rubs his hands confidingly.)

 

Alberich: (with mocking laughter: #7?: [as heard in S.2.1 expressing Alberich’s rage at Wotan’s presence at Fafner’s cave Neidhoehle]; #?: [possible hint of Wotan’s remark: “Was it your own, what you stole from the watery depths?,” and/or Alberich’s remark: “You upbraid me, you crook, for the wrong you so fondly desired?,” both from R.4?]) I? Share with you? And the tarnhelm too? How sly you are (:#?; :#?)! I’d never sleep safe from your snares!

 

Mime: (beside himself: #41?:; [[ #130>>: ]]) Not even exchange it? And not share either? [[ #130 >>: ]] I’m to go empty-handed, quite unrewarded (:#41?)? (screeching) Will you leave me nothing (:#130)?

 

Alberich: (#45:) Nothing at all, not even a nail shall you take from me (:#45)!

 

Mime: (in utmost fury: #41?:; [[ #130 vari >>: ]] Neither ring nor Tarnhelm shall profit you aught! I’ll share no more, but Siegfried and his warrior’s sword I’ll call on to help me against you: the swift-footed hero will sort you out, dear brother (:#41?; :#130 vari)!

As Mime flew his trial balloon of negotiation with Alberich we heard #123, which reminds us that while Siegfried was re-forging Nothung, Mime was cooking a soup for Siegfried whose ulterior purpose was to put him to sleep so Mime could murder him and win the Ring and its power for his craven purposes. In other words, while pretending to negotiate with Alberich Mime’s mind is still on his plan to have Siegfried secure Alberich’s Ring for him. Accordingly, Alberich’s intuitive suspicion of his brother’s motives (which Alberich can be assured are like his own) is expressed in his assertion that if he gave Mime the Tarnhelm in exchange for the Ring Alberich would never sleep safe. Here again we have the theme that in sleep the power of Alberich’s waking consciousness is liable to be subverted by the involuntary unconscious, the dreaming through which man’s most base and egoistic motives were sublimated into religious belief and the beauty of art.

Alberich’s unwillingness to accept Mime’s offer to grant Alberich Alberich’s own Ring in exchange for letting Mime keep the Tarnhelm echoes the unwillingness of Fafner to share the Ring with Fasolt. On the surface, this merely expresses the Ring curse, that all will desire to possess the Ring (at others’ expense), but none will gain happiness or dependable advantage from possessing it.

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