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The Rhinegold: Page 171
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[R.2: L]

Loge now, in a narrative justly famous, describes how in his striving to find a substitute for Freia which the Giants would accept as payment for building Valhalla, he found that none among the living will forsake love and woman’s worth. In other words, it was impossible for him to honor his promise to redeem Freia from the Giants’ claim:

Fafner: (#26a:) No more delay! Pay up quickly (:#26a)!

 

Fasolt: The wage is long overdue.

 

Wotan: (turning sharply to Loge, insistently: #33a? or #33b ascending?) Now listen, you stubborn creature! Keep your promised word! Where have you been roaming?

 

Loge: Ingratitude ever is loge’s wage. For your sake alone, I looked all around me, stormily scouring the ends of the earth (#37 vari?:) seeking a ransom for Freia that the giants might approve (:37 vari?). I sought in vain and see full well: in the whole wide world there’s naught so rare as to strike mankind as a worthy ransom [[ #37: ]] for woman’s delights and worth (:#37). (all express astonishment and various forms of consternation) ([[ #38 ]]; #24) Wherever there’s life and breath in water, earth and air, I asked a good deal, enquired of all, where the lifeforce moves and seedbuds stir: what might man deem mightier (#24) (#37:) than woman’s delights and worth (:#37)? But wherever there’s life and breath, my inquisitive skill was laughed to scorn: in water, earth and air none will relinquish love and woman. – (general agitation: #24) Only one man I saw (#12) who forswore love’s delights: for the sake of red gold he forwent women’s favours. (#16?:) The Rhine’s fair children (#5:) complained to me of their plight [“Noth”] (:#16?): the Nibelung, Night-Alberich, (#4:) wooed in vain for the nixies’ favours; the thief robbed (#12) the Rhinegold then in revenge (:#4): (#19:) it seems to him now the rarest jewel (:#19), (#37?:) greater than woman’s grace (:#37?). (#13>#41:) For the glittering toy that was torn from the deep the daughters’ lament rang out (:#13>#41): to you, Wotan, they now appeal to call the thief to account (with increasing warmth: #12) and give back the gold to the waters, to remain their own (#12) forever. – (All show signs of approval: #16?, [with emphasis on #15?]) (#33b:) To tell you this I promised the maidens: now Loge has kept his word (:#33b).

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