THE BOHEMIAN GIRL

Act One

[The entire first act is omitted in the Kreuz edition, though parts of it are reinserted elsewhere.]

The chateau and grounds of Count Arnheim, on the Danube, near Presburg. On one side, the principal entrance to the castle; opposite is a statue of the Emperor, above which a party is employed raising the Austrian flag.

(On the rising of the curtain, the retainers of Count Arnheim are discovered preparing for the chase.)

Chorus
Up with the banner, and down with the slave
Who shall dare to dispute the right,
Wherever its folds in their glory wave,
Of the Austrian Eagle's flight,
of the Austrian Eagle's flight,
of the Austrian Eagle's flight.

(After they have fixed the flag, they all come forward.)

Chorus
Its pinion flies
Free in the skies,
As that of the airy king,
Thro' danger fleets
As heart that beats
Beneath his plumed wing.
Its pinion flies, yes,
Free in the skies, yes,
As that of the airy king, yes,
Thro' danger fleets
As heart that beats
Beneath his plumed wing,
beneath his plumed wing,
beneath his plumed wing.

Now the foeman lies low, and the battle-field's won,
We may honor in peace what in war we have done.
The stirring chase, the festive board,
The varied charms which each afford,
Shall day and night, shall day and night beguile,
shall day and night, shall day and night beguile,
shall day and night, shall day and night beguile,
shall day and night beguile, beguile.

(At the end of the chorus, Count Arnheim and Florestein enter from chateau, followed by various neighboring nobles, pages, huntsmen, etc., and his child, Arline, attended by Buda, etc.)

Count
A soldier's life
Has seen of strife
In all its forms so much,
That no gentler theme
The world will deem
A soldier's heart can touch;

A soldier's life
Has seen of strife
In all its forms so much,
That no gentler theme
The world will deem
A soldier's heart can touch,
a soldier's heart, a soldier's heart can touch;
The world will deem no gentler theme
a soldier's heart, a soldier's heart can touch,
a soldier's heart can touch.

Chorus of Hunters
Away to the hill and glen,
away to the hill and glen,
Where the hunter's belted men
With bugles shake the air!

(The Count, after bowing to his friends, sees Arline, and takes her in his arms.)

Count
Ah; who can tell, save he who feels
The care a parent's love reveals,
How dear, fond thing, thou art
To this lone, widow'd heart, to this lone heart!
Ah, who can tell the care, the care a parent's love reveals,
How dear, fond thing, thou art
To this lone, widow'd heart!

/ Hunters and Nobles
| Away to the hill and glen,
| Where the hunter's belted men
| With bugles shake the air!
| with bugles shake the air, the air!
| Hail to the Lord of our soil,
| hail, hail to our Lord,
| hail, hail to our Lord,
| hail, hail to our Lord, hail, hail!
|
| Count
| Away to the hills,
| away to the hills,
| Away to the glen,
| Away, away to the hills,
| away, away to the hills,
| Aaway to the hills, away to the hills,
\ Where bugles shake the air!

/ Hunters and Nobles
| Away to the hill and glen,
| Where the hunter's belted men
| With bugles shake the air!
| with bugles shake the air, the air!
| Away, away
| Now to the hill and glen away, away!
|
| Count
| Away to the hills,
| away to the hills,
| away to the glen,
\ away, away, away!

(During this, a retainer brings down a rifle to Florestein, who puts it away from him. Count Arnheim exit in chateau. Nobles and hunters ascend rocks and exeunt. Arline petitions Buda to let her accompany them, and goes off by a footpath, at side of rocks, with her and Florestein.)

(Enter Thaddeus, breathless and exhausted, in a state of great alarm.)

Thaddeus: A guard of Austrian soldiers are on my track, and I can no longer elude their vigilance. An exile from my wretched country, now a prey to the inveterate invader, my only hope is in some friendly shelter. (Sees the statue of the Emperor.) Ah! that tells me I am here on the very threshold of our enemies!

Thaddeus
Without friends, and without a home,
my country, too! yes, I'm exil'd from thee;
what fate, what fate awaits me here, now!
Pity, Heaven! oh calm my despair.

'Tis sad to leave our Fatherland,
And friends we there lov'd well,
To wander on a stranger strand,
Where friends but seldom dwell;
Yet, hard as are such ills to bear,
And deeply tho' they smart,
Their pangs are light to those who are
The orphans of the heart!

'Tis sad to leave our Fatherland,
And friends we there lov'd well,
To wander on a stranger strand,
Where friends but seldom dwell;
where friends, where friends,
where friends but seldom dwell, but seldom dwell.

Oh! if there were one gentle eye
To weep when I might grieve,
One bosom to receive the sigh
Which sorrow oft will heave;
One heart the ways of life to cheer,
Tho' rugged, tho' rugged they might be,
No language, no language can express, how dear
That heart would be to me, would be to me!
O Heav'n, O Heav'n!

[start optional cut]
'Tis sad to leave our Fatherland,
And friends we there lov'd well,
To wander on a stranger strand,
Where friends but seldom dwell;
Yet, hard as are such ills to bear,
And deeply tho' they smart,
Their pangs are light to those who are
The orphans of the heart!
[end optional cut]

'Tis hard to leave our Fatherland ...
And friends we there loved well,
To wander on a stranger strand,
Where friends but seldom dwell,
where friends but seldom dwell,
where friends but seldom dwell,
where friends but seldom dwell, where friends,
where friends but seldom dwell!

(At the end of song, a troop of Gipsies, headed by Devilshoof, their leader, suddenly appear and are about to seize and rob Thaddeus, but presuming by his dress that he is a soldier, they stop and examine him.)

[In the Kreuz edition, the following chorus is reinserted into act two.]

Chorus of Gypsies, with Devilshoof
In the Gipsy's life you read
The life that all would like to lead,
In the Gipsy's life you read
The life that all would like to lead,
Sometimes underroof, and sometimes thrown
Where the wild wolf makes his lair,
where the wolf makes his lair,
where the wolf makes his lair;

For he who's no home to call his own,
Will find, will find a home somewhere,
For he who's no home to call his own,
Will find a home somewhere,
will find a hom, find a home somewhere,
For he who's no home, no home to call his own,
Will find a home somewhere, ah! ah!

'Tis the maxim bold of man,
What's another's prize to claim,
Then to keep, then to keep all he can,
We Gipsies do the same;
Thus a habit once, 'tis custom grown,
yes, 'tis a custom grown,
Ev'ry man will take care,
ev'ry man will take care,
If he has no home to call his own,
To find, to find a home somewhere,
If he has no home to call his own,
To find a home somewhere,
to find a home somewhere,
yes, if he has no home to call his own,
To find a home somewhere, ah! ah!

[end reinsertion, Kreuz edition]

Thaddeus: (aside) The sight of these wanderers has inspired me with a project. (to Devilshoof) Your manner and habit please me. I should like to join your band. I am young, strong, and have, I hope, plenty of courage.

Devilshoof: Who are you?

Thaddeus: One without money, without home, and without hope.

Devilshoof: You're just the fellow for us, then!

Gipsy: (who is on the lookout on rock) Soldiers are coming this way.

Thaddeus: 'Tis I they are in search of.

Devilshoof: Indeed! then they'll be cunning if they find you.

(In a moment they strip the soldier's dress off Thaddeus, and as they are putting a Gipsy's frock, etc., over him, a roll of parchment, with seal attached, falls at the feet of Devilshoof, who seizes it.)

Devilshoof: What's this?

Thaddeus: My commission! It is the only thing I possess on earth, and I will never part with it.

(He snatches it, conceals it in his bosom, and has just time to mix himself with the Gypsies, when a body of the Emperor's soldiers enter in pursuit.)

Officer: (scrutinizing Gypsies) Have you seen anyone pass this way ... any stranger?

Devilshoof: No one ... stay ... yes, a young Polish soldier ran by just now, and passed up those rocks.

Officer: That's he ... thanks, friend! Forward!

(Exeunt soldiers up rocks.)

Devilshoof
Comrade, your hand,
We understand, we understand
Each other in a breath.
(shaking his hand)
This grasp secures
Its owner yours
In life, in life, and until death,
This grasp secures
Its owner yours
In life, and until death,
This grasp secures
Its owner yours
In life, and until death,
In life, in life, and until death,
yes, until death.

Thaddeus
The scenes and days to me
Which seem'd so blest to be,
No time can e'er restore,
no time can e'er restore;
The scenes and days, the days to me
Which seem'd so blest, so blest to be,
No time can e'er restore,
no time can e'er restore,
no time can e'er restore
no time can e'er restore.

Gypsies
In the Gipsy's life you read
The life that all would like to lead,
In the Gipsy's life you read
The life that all would like to lead.

Thaddeus
My wants are few.

Devilshoof
Wnat we ne'er knew
But what, but what we could supply.

Thaddeus
Then, what is worse,
I have no purse!

Devilshoof
We nothing, nothing have to buy.

Thaddeus
My heart, my heart 'twill wring.

Devilshoof
That is a thing
In which we never deal.

Thaddeus
But all I need, but all I need ...

Devilshoof
'Twere best, indeed,
To borrow, beg, or steal.

Thaddeus
My heart 'twill wring,
my heart 'twill wring!

Devilshoof
That is a thing
In which, in which we never deal!

Gypsies
In the Gipsy's life you read
The life that all would like to lead,
that all would lead, that all would lead.

/ Thaddeus
| The scenes and days to me
| Which seem'd so blest to be,
| No time can e'er restore,
| no time can e'er restore;
| The scenes and days to me
| Which seem'd so blest to be,
| No time can e'er restore,
| no time can e'er restore,
| no time can e'er restore,
|
| Devilshoof
| Comrade, your hand,
| We understand, we understand
| Each other in a breath,
| This grasp secures
| Its owner yours
| In life, and until death!
| Then rest you here while we explore,
| And see what luck, what luck there is in store;
| Then rest you here while we explore,
\ And see what luck there is in store,

/ Gypsies
| In the Gipsy's life you read
| The life that all would like to lead,
| the life, the life, the life,
| the life that all would like to lead,
| to lead, yes, all would like to lead,
| would like to lead, yes, all would like,
| would like to lead, would like to lead.
|
| Devilshoof
| Then rest you here while we explore
| What luck, what luck there is in store;
| Now rest you here while we explore
| What luck, what luck there is in store,
| yes, rest here, rest here while we explore
| What luck, what luck there is in store,
| what luck, what luck there is in store,
| Now rest you here while we explore
| What luck, what luck there is in store,
| what luck's in store.
|
| Thaddeus
| No time can e'er restore,
| no time can e'er restore,
| no time can e'er restore, no,
| no time, no time, no time can e'er restore,
| can e'er restore, can e'er restore,
| no time, no time can e'er restore,
\ can e'er restore.

(All exeunt.)

(Loud shouts and alarms ar heard, which become more and more distinct, when a body of huntsmen are seen to cross a chasm in the rocks which is bridged by a fallen tree, etc., and exeunt by the path on which Arline, etc., went off.)

(Alarms continue, when Florestein rushes in, apparently frightened to death.)

Florestein
Is no succor near at hand?
For my intellect so reels,
I am doubtful if I stand
On my head or on my heels;
No gentleman, it's very clear,
Such a shock should ever know;
When I once become a peer,
They shall not treat me so;
No gentleman, it's very clear,
Such a shock should ever know;
When I once become a peer,
They shall not treat me so,
no, they shall not treat me so!

Then let every vassal arm,
For my thanks he well deserves,
Who from this state, this state of alarm
Will protect my shatter'd nerves!
To think that one unus'd to fear
Such a fright should ever know!
When I once become a peer,
They shall not treat me so!
No gentleman, it's very clear,
Such a shock should ever know;
When I once become a peer,
They shall not treat me so,
no, they shall not treat me so,
no, they shall not treat me so!

(At the end of song, Thaddeus and peasantry rush in, the latter evincing the greatest alarm and terror.)

Thaddeus: What means this alarm?

Peasant: The Count's child and her attendant have been attacked by an infuriated animal, and are probably killed ere this!

Thaddeus: What do I hear?

(He perceives the rifle that Florestein has left on the stage, utters an exclamation, seizes it, runs up the rocks, aims, fires, and instantly rushes off. The discharge of the rifle, and the alarm of the peasantry, bring Count Arnheim and his party to the spot. Devilshoof enters at one side, at the same time, watching.)

Count: Whence proceed these sounds of fear, and where is my darling child?

(All maintain a painful silence, when Thaddeus rushes in, conveying Arline, who is wounded in the arm, and seems faint.)

Buda: (falling at the Count's feet) We were pursued by the wild deer they were chasing, and, but for the bravery of this young man (pointing to Thaddeus), the life of your child would have been sacrificed.

Count: (clasping his child in his arms) Praised be Providence! ehr life is saved, for she is all that renders mine happy. (Looking at her arm, then addressing Buda) Let her wound have every attention, though it presents no sign of danger.

(Buda goes into the castle with Arline, and Count Arnheim advances to Thaddeus.)

Count: Stranger, accept the hand of one who, however different from you in station, can never sufficiently thank you for the service you have rendered him.

Devilshoof: (aside) First to serve, and then be thanked by the persecutor of his country. The fellow's mad!

Count: I trust you will remain, and join the festivities we are about to indulge in; and 'twill gratify me to hear how I can be useful to you.

Thaddeus: I thanks your lordship; but ...

Count: (to the nobles) Pray, my friends, join your entreaties to mine.

(Here the nobles all surround the Count and Thaddeus; and Florestein, coming up to him, says ...)

Florestein: I am extremely obliged to you for not shooting me as well as my little cousin ... and I beg you'll ... uh ... stay .... (aside) A very common sort of personage, apparently.

Thaddeus: (to the Count) Be it as your lordship wishes.

Count: Then be seated, friends, and let the fete begin.

(They all seat themselves at the tables which have previuosly been laid opposite the Castle. Thaddeus takes his seat at the farther end, Florestein occupying a prominent position. WHen they are seated, a variety of dances are intorduced, during which Buda is seen at one of the windows holding on her knee the child, whose arm is bound up. At the termination of the dancing, the Count rises.)

Count: (rising) I ask you to pledge but once, and that is, to the health and long life to your Emperor.

(Here the guests fill their glasses, rise, and turning toward the statue of the emperor, drink, while the peasantry surround it respectfully. Thaddeus alone keeps his seat, on perceiving which, Florestein goes up to the Count and points it out to him.)

Florestein: Your new acquaintance, my dear uncle, is not overburdened with politeness or loyalty, for he neither fills his glass, nor fulfills your wishes.

Count: (filling a glass and going up to Thaddeus) I challenge you to empty this to the health of our Emperor.

Thaddeus: (taking the glass) I accept the challenge, and thus I empty the goblet.

(He goes up to the statue and throws down the glass with the utmost contempt. A general burst of indignation follows. The guests, who rise, draw their swords, and rush toward Thaddeus.)

Chorus of Guests
Down with the daring slave,
Who disputes, who disputes the right
Of a people's light,
And would their anger brave.

Count
(to the nobles and guests, interposing between them and Thaddeus)
Although 'tis vain to mask
The rage such act demands,
Forgive me if I ask
His pardon at your hands;
If from your wrath I venture to have craved
The life of one, my more than life who saved.
(to Thaddeus)
Stranger, I answer not
One moment for your life;
Quit, while you may, a spot
Where you have rais'd a strife.
Your longer presence will more excite,
(throwing a purse of gold to Thaddeus)
And this will service you did me requite!

(Devilshoof rushes in.)

Devilshoof (taking the hand of Thaddeus)
Where's the hand will dare to touch
A hair of him I prize so much?
(to Count)
The pulse of pride you boast,
Within, within me beats as high;
You and your titled host,
Proud lord, proud lord, I do defy!

Florestein
(aside, with a glass in one hand, and a leg of a bird in the other)
Upon my life, 'tis most unpleasant,
Just as one had attack'd a pheasant.

(Thaddeus, who has taken up the purse, and seeing himself and Devilshoof surrounded by the nobles and guests, throws the purse at the Count's feet.)

Thaddeus: Take back your gold, and learn to know
One above aught you can bestow.

Guests
Down with the daring slave,
Who would our fury brave,
Down with the slave, down with the slave
who would, who would our fury brave.

(Devilshoof, defending Thaddeus, retreats, pressed upon by the nobles, guests, etc., when the count orders a party of his retainers to divide them; they seize Devilshoof, and take him toward the castle.)

Devilshoof
Stand back; ye craven things!
He who obstructs our path
Upon his rashness brings
The vengeance of of my wrath!

Guests
Down with the slave! down with the slave!
Seize him and bind him, and there let him find
Escape from those walls better men have confin'd,
there let him find an escape from those walls better men have confin'd!

Devilshoof (as they are dragging him off)
Tho' mesh'd by numbers in the yoke
Of one by all abhor'd,
Yet tremble, worthless lord,
At the vengeance you provoke!

Guests
Down with the slave, down with the slave,
down with the slave,
the slave who would our fury brave,
the slave who would our fury brave;
down with the slave, down with the slave
who would our fury brave,
down with the slave, down with the slave,
down with the slave, down with the slave!

(Devilshoof is dragged off into the castle; the Count, nobles, etc., reseat themselves, when other dances are introduced, and the festival contiues. Buda is seen to leave the window at which she has been seated with Arline, and she enters and converses with the Count. In the midst of the most joyous movements of the dane, Devilshoof is seen descending from the roof of the castle, until he reaches the window of Arline's chamber, into which he enters, and seizing Arline, continues his descent and steals off toward the rocks in the rear. Buda then enters the castle, and in a minute afterward the festivities are interrupted by violent shrieking; the window is thrown open, and Buda, pale, and with disheveled hair, signified by gestures that Arline has disappeared.)

Guests
What sounds break on the ear?
what sounds break on the ear?
What looks of wild despair
A grief as wild impart!

Count
My child! my child! that word alone
With agonizing tone,
my child! that word alone
Bursts in upon my heart!

(Count and nobles dash into the castle. A general movement of all ... some are seen at the window of Arline's chamber signifying that she is gone.)

Guests
Be ev'ry hand prepar'd
Thei liege lord's halls to guard,
And with devotion's bond,
All ties, all ties beyond

Florestein
(kneeling, and appearing greatly alarmed)
Ah! what with dancing, screaming, fighting,
One really is a shocking plight in;
It puzzles quite one's wit
To find a place to pick a bit.

(The Count rushes from the castle, dragging Buda and followed by nobles. Buda, trembling, falls on her knees.)

Count
Wretch! monster! give me back the treasure of my soul,
the treasure of my soul!
Go, all, the spoiler's footsteps track,
That treasur'd prize who stole;
Go, all, the spoiler's footsteps track,
That treasur'd prize who stole.

But no! vain hope, unless we pray to Him
Who healeth all sorrow, with suppliant limb.

Count, joined by Chorus
Thou, who in might supreme,
Thou, who in might supreme
O'er the fate of all reignest,
o'er the fate of all reignest,
Thou, who hope's palest beam
In the mourner sustainest,
Vouchsafe to lend an ear
To the grief of the wailer,
Cut short the dark career
Of the ruthless assailer,
of the ruthless assailer,
Cut short the dark career, the dark career
Of the ruthless assailer,
Cut short the dark career
Of the ruthless assailer.

(During the prayer, Devilshoof is seen climbing up the rocks with Arline in his arms.)

(At the most animated part of the chorus [which follows], bodies of gentry, retainers, servants, etc., are seen rushing toward the rocks, and over every part, in pursuit of Devilshoof, who, perceiving his situation, knocks away, the moment he has crossed it, the trunk of the tree which serves as a bridge between the two rocks, and thus bars their passage. Count Arnheim in his distraction is about to throw himself into the gulf ... he is held back by attendants, into whose arms he falls senseless. Some are in attitude of prayer ... others menace Devilshoof, who, folding Arline in his large cloack, disappears in the depths of the forest.

Chorus
Follow, follow with heart and with arm,
Follow, follow and shelter from harm
The pride of Arnheim's line,
the pride of Arnheim's line!
Follow, follow with heart and with arm,
Follow, follow and shelter from harm
The pride of Arnheim's line,
Where all its hopes entwine.
Follow, follow, follow, follow,
follow, follow, follow, follow!

Follow, follow with heart and with arm,
Follow, follow and shelter from harm
The pride of Arnheim's line,
Where all its hopes entwine.
Follow, follow, follow with heart and with arm,
Follow and save the pride of Arnheim's line.
Follow, follow, follow with heart and with arm,
Follow and save the pride of Arnheim's line.
Where all its hopes, its hopes entwine.

[End of Act I.]


The Bohemian Girl: Index | Characters | Act I | Act II, scene 1 2 3 4 | Act III | Notes

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February 19, 1999