Opera Stories from Wagner
By Florence Akin
Public Domain Books
Suddenly Alberich saw the giants.
“Who is this that dares come into my cave?” he cried. “Mimi, get back to your work!”
Then to all the other slaves he called:–
“Get below, every one of you! Crawl into your dingy shafts and dig the gold! Begone, I say! You must obey the master of the ring!”
As soon as the black swarm had crept away, Alberich spoke angrily to Wotan and Loki. “What do you want in here?”
“We just came to see you,” said Wotan. “We hoped you might be glad to have us. We think you must be a very clever man. We have heard a great deal about the wonderful things you can do.”
This pleased Alberich. He grew very proud and began to boast.
“See all this gold of mine!” he said.
“Yes,” answered Loki; “it is the most gold I have ever seen, but what use is it? It does no one any good in here where nothing useful can be bought with it.”
“I am heaping it up,” said Alberich. “Some day, with this same treasure, heaped and hid, I hope to work some wonders. You shall see! I shall be master of the whole wide world! Ha! the smoke of Alberich’s kingdom shall smudge even your flowery mountain-sides and your sparkling rivers. Everybody shall be my slave! Beware of this black Nibelung, I say, for he shall rule the world!”