THE BOHEMIAN GIRL

Act Two

Twelve years are supposed to elapse between the first and second acts.

SCENE ONE

[Street in Presburg, by moonlight. Tent of the Queen of the Gypsies, large curtains at the back; it is lighted by a lamp. On the opposite side of the stage are houses, one of which, a hotel, is lighted up. Arline is discovered asleep on a tiger's skin; Thaddeus is watching over her.]

(As the curtain rises, a patrol of the city guard marches by, and as soon as they are gone off, Devilshoof and a party of gypsies, wrapped in cloaks, suddenly appear.)

Chorus of Gypsies (men only)
Silence, silence! the lady moon, the lady moon
Is the only witness now awake,
And weary of watching 'chance she soon
To sleep will herself betake!
Silence, silence! from her throne in air
She may look on, for aught we care.
But if she attend unto our behest,
She will go to rest,
yes, she will quietly go to her rest,
quietly go to her rest.

Devilshoof
There's a deed to do whose gains
Will reward the risk and pains....
(The gypsies all draw their daggers, and appear delighted.)
Fie! fie! to a gentleman when you appeal,
You may draw his purse without drawing your steel;
With bows, and politeness, and with great respect,
You may take more than he can at first suspect.
(pointing to the lighted windows of the hotel)
See, see, where in goblets deep
What sense they have, they sleep.
Watch here! till each to his home
Shall reel on his doubtful way.
Watch here! watch here! and the boglet's foam
Will make each an easy prey.

Devilshoof, joined by Gypsies
Silence! this way, this way, this way, this way,
silence, this way, this way,
silence, this way, this way, silence

(As the gypsies retire up the stage, Florestein staggers out of the hotel; he is elegantly dressed, with chain, rings, etc., and a rich medallion round his neck.)

Florestein (drunk)
Wine! wine! if I am heir
To the Count, my uncle's line,
Wine! (hiccup) Wine! (hiccup)
Where's the fellow will dare
To refuse his nephew wine,
to refuse his nephew wine? (hiccup)
That moon there, staring me on my way,
Can't be as modest as people say,
For meet whom she will, and in whatever spot,
She often looks on at what she ought not.

(The gypsies have by this time advanced, and Devilshoof goes politely up to Florestein.)

Devilshoof (to Florestein, bowing)
My ear caught not the clock's last chime,
And might I beg to ask the time?

Florestein
(reels, recovers a little, and after eyeing Devilshoof)
(aside)
If the bottle has prevail'd,
Yet whenever I'm assail'd,
Tho' there may be nothing in it,
I am sober'd in a minute.
(to Devilshoof)
You are really so polite,
(pulling out his watch)
That ... 'tis late into the night
(Devilshoof takes the watch and puts it in his fob)
Might I beg to ask ...

Devilshoof
(taking from Florestein his rings, chain, and the rich medallion)
I am really griev'd to see
Any one in such a state
And gladly will take the greatest care
Of the rings and chains you chance to wear.

Florestein (drawing his sword)
What I thought was politeness, is downright theft,
And at this rate I soon shall have nothing left.

(At a sign from Devilshoof the gypsies instantly surround Florestein, and take every valuable from him.)

Gypsies
Advance with caution, let ev'ry man
Seize on and keep whatever he can,
whatever he can, whatever he can!

(During the chorus, Devilshoof makes off with the medallion, and the others are dividing the rest of the spoil, when a woman appears in the midst of them. She drops her cloak, and is discovered to be their Queen. The gypsies appear stupefied.)

Queen
To him, from whom you stole,
Surrender back the whole.

(The gypsies return the different things to Florestein.)

Florestein
(trembling and looking over the things)
Thanks, Madam, Lady, but might I request
A medallion in diamonds, worth all the rest?

Gypsies
(at a sign from the Queen, who seems to command its restitution)
On our chieftain's share we ne'er encroach,
And he fled with the prize at your approach,
he fled with the prize at your approach.

Queen (to Florestein)
Be your safety my care.

Florestein (trembling)
I'm in precious hands.

Queen (to gypsies)
Follow, and list to your Queen's commands.

Gypsies
We follow, yes, and list, and list unto our Queen's commands,
yes, we list, we list unto our Queen's commands,
yes, we list, we list unto our Queen's commands,
/ yes, we list, we list to our Queen's commands,
| yes, yes, yes, follow!
|
| Queen
\ Come, come, come!

(Exit Queen, holding Florestein, all of a tremble, with one hand, and beckoning the gypsies to follow, with the other.)

(As soon as they have gone off, Arline, who has been awakened by the noise, comes from the tent, followed by Thaddeus.)

Arline: Where have I been wandering in my sleep? and what curious noise awoke me from its pleasant dream? Ah, Thaddeus, would you not like to know my dream? Well, I will tell it you.

[Sheet music for the following aria is available on this site.]

Arline
I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls,
With vassals and serfs at my side,
And of all who assembled within those walls,
That I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches too great to count, could boast
Of a high ancestral name;
But I also dreamt, which pleas'd me most,
That you lov'd me still the same,
that you lov'd me, you lov'd me still the same,
that you lov'd me, you lov'd me still the same,

I dreamt that suitors sought my hand,
That knights upon bended knee,
And with vows no maiden heart could withstand,
They pledg'd their faith to me.
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
Came forth my hand to claim;
But I also dreamt, which charm'd me most,
That you lov'd me still the same,
that you lov'd me, you lov'd me still the same,
that you lov'd me, you lov'd me still the same,
That you loved me still the same.

(At the end of the romance, Thaddeus presses Arline to his heart.)

Arline: And do you love me still?

Thaddeus: More than life itself.

Arline: Yet is there a mystery between our affections and their happiness that I would fain unravel (pointing to her arm). The mark on this arm, which I have seen you so often contemplate, is the key to that mystery. By the love you say you bear me, solve it.

Thaddeus
(taking her hand and pointing to the mark)
The wound upon thine arm,
Whose mark thro' life 'twill be,
In saving thee from greater harm
Was there transfix'd by me.

Arline
By thee?

Thaddeus
Ere on thy gentle head
Thy sixth sun had its radiance shed,
A wild deer, who had lain at bay,
Pursued by hunters cross'd thy way.

Arline
Well?

Thaddeus
By slaying him I rescued thee.

Arline
Yes!

Thaddeus
And in his death-throe's agony,
They tender form, by his antler gor'd,
This humble arm to thy home restor'd.

Arline
Strange feeligns move this breast,
It never knew before,
And bid me here implore
That you reveal, that you reveal the rest.

Thaddeus
The secret of her birth
To me is only known,
The secret of a life whose worth
I prize beyond mine own, beyond mine own.

Arline
The secret of my birth
To him is only known,
The secret of a life whose worth
Perchance he will disown, disown.

/ Arline
| The secret of my birth
| To him is only known,
| The secret of a life whose worth
| Perchance he will disown, he will disown;
| The secret of my birth
| To him is only known,
| The secret of a life whose worth
| Perchance he will disown, he will disown,
| perchance he will, he will disown, he will disown,
| perchance he will, he will disown,
| he will disown, he will disown.
|
| Thaddeus
| The secret of her birth
| To me is only known,
| The secret of a life whose worth
| I prize beyond mine own, beyond mine own;
| The secret of her birth
| To me is only known,
| The secret of a life whose worth
| I prize beyond mine own, beyond mine own,
| I prize beyond, beyond mine own, beyond mine own,
| I prize beyond, beyond mine own,
\ beyond mine own, beyond mine own.

Arline
Speak, tell me, ease my tortur'd heart,
Speak, and that secret, evil or good, evil or good, impart.

Thaddeus
I will tell thee, I will tell thee all,
tho' I lose thee, I lose thee forever.

Arline
Speak, tell me, ease my tortur'd heart.

Thaddeus
I will tell the all, tho' I lose,
tho' I lose thee forever.

[start cut, Kreuz edition]

Arline (with great feeling)
What is the spell hath yet effac'd
The first fond lines that love hath trac'd,
And after years have but imprest
More dep in love's confiding breast?
What is he spell hath yet effac'd
The first fond lines that love hath trac'd,
And after years have but imprest
More deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast?

Thaddeus
And yet few spells have e'er effac'd
The first fond lines that love hath trac'd,
And after years have but imprest
More deep in love's confiding breast!
And yet few spells have e'er effac'd
The first fond lines that love hath trac'd,
And after years have but imprest
More deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast.

Arline
Speak, ease my tortur'd breast.

Thaddeus
I'll tell thee all, though I lose thee forever.

Arline
Speak, speak, speak!

Thaddeus
I will tell thee all.

[end cut, Kreuz edition]

Arline and Thaddeus together
Ah! What is the spell hath yet effac'd
The first fond lines that love hath trac'd,
And after years have but imprest
More dep in love's confiding breast?
What is he spell hath yet effac'd
The first fond lines that love hath trac'd,
And after years have but imprest
More deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast, confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast, confiding breast,
more deep in love's confiding breast,
in love's confiding breast, in love's confiding breast!

(At the end of the duet, Thaddeus throws himself, in an ecstasy, at the feet of Arline, and is bathing her hand with kisses, when the back curtains of the tent are withdrawn, and the Queen appears, pale and trembling with passion.She advances toward Arline, and pointing to Thaddeus ...)

Queen: And dare you aspire to the love of him who possesses the heart of your queen?

Arline: I possess his heart, and will yield the possession to no one. He is the savior of my life, and the only friend I have in all the tribe: he has sworn how much he loves me.

Queen: Loves you?

Arline: Yes; let him speak for himself, and choose between us.

Queen: Be it so.

(Thaddeus, who has been anxiously watching the two, here runs and embraces Arline. She surveys the Queen with an air of triumph.)

Arline: (to the Queen) I made no idle boast. (then to Thaddeus) Summon our comrades hither.

(The Queen is standing in the center, while Thaddeus calls the gypsies together, who enter on all sides and surround the Queen, and appear to ask what is going on.)

(Trumpet sounds twice.)

Arline
Listen, while I relate
The hope of a Gipsy's fate;
I am lov'd by one, by one I love
All other hearts above,
And the sole delight to me
(taking the hand of Thaddeus)
Is with him united to be, yes!

Chorus of Gypsies
Happy and light of heart are those
Who in each other one faith repose,
who in each other one faith repose.

Devilshoof
(aside, maliciously pointing at the Queen)
A rival's hate you may better tell
By her rage than by her tears,
And it perchance may be as well
To set them both, to set them both by the ears.
(to the Queen)
As Queen of our tribe, 'tis yours by right,
The hands of those you rule to unite.

Gypsies
(to the Queen, who draws back and hestitates)
In love and truth by thee
Their hands united be.

Queen
(haughtily advancing, and taking the hands of Arline and Thaddeus)
Hand to hand, heart to heart,
Who shall those I've united part?
who shall those I have mated part?
By the spell of my sway,
(joining their hands)
Part them who may.

Gypsies
Happy and light of heart are those, yes,
happy and light of heart are those
Who in each other faith repose,
happy and light are those
who in each other faith repose,
happy and light, and light of heart are those
who faith repose, in each other faith repose, ah!
happy and light of heart are those
who in each other faith repose,
happy and light of heart are those
who in each other faith repose,
who in each other faith, one faith repose,
happy, yes, happy and light of heart are those
who in each other faith repose,
happy and light, who faith repose,
who in each other faith repose, who faith repose.

(The gypsies lie down, assuming picturesque attitudes. The Queen comes forward.)

[begin cut, Kreuz edition]

Queen
O would that I had died ere now,
For then I had not felt
The bitter pang, the crushing blow,
Thy cruel words have dealt!
I've but one solace, heaven grant
It cheer me to the last!
'Tis sad, fond mem'ry, faithful still
To bliss forever past,
'Tis sad, fond mem'ry, faithful still
To bliss forever past,
'Tis sad, fond mem'ry, faithful still
To bliss forever past.

But no! but no! not one poor ray
Of comfort will be mine;
No gleam of hope, however faint,
Will thro' my sorrow shine!
That sorrow is so sharp, so great,
Its pow'r so deep, so vast,
That even the memory will it crush
That even the memory will it crush
That even the memory will it crush
Of bliss forever past.

[end cut, Kreuz edition]

(During this scene the stage has been growing somewhat lighter. A gypsy enters.)

Gypsy: Morning is beginning to dawn, and crowds of people are already flocking toward the fair: the sports begin with daylight.

Queen: Summon the rest of the tribe, and meet me forthwith in the public square. (To Devilshoof) Do you remain to bear my further orders.

(Exeunt Thaddeus and Arline, hand in hand, followed by the other gypsies repeating chorus.)

[In the Kreuz edition, the abbreviated version of the gypsy chorus which follows is replaced by the full version from act one.]

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,
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,

[End replacement, Kreuz edition]

[In the Kreuz edition, the chorus leaves the stage and the Queen sings the following aria. This aria is not included in the original.]

Queen
'Tis gone, the past was all a dream,
The light of life is o'er;
The hope that once so bright did seem
Now shines for me no more,
now shines for me no more.
Ah! foolish heart, without a thought,
In joy that didst believe,
Nor knew, what many a tale has taught,
Love smiles but to deceive,
love smiles, love smiles to deceive,
love smiles to deceive.

No more I'll join the dance and song,
Or mingle with the gay,
And, happy as the day is long,
Beguile the hours away,
beguile the hours away.
I'll seek me out some silent spot
In solitude to grieve,
And learn, what many a tale has taught,
Love smiles but to deceive,
love smiles, love smiles to deceive,
love smiles to deceive.

[end replacement aria, Kreuz edition]

Queen
This is they deed! seek not t'assuage
My jealous fear, a rival's rage!

Devilshoof
I neither fear, I neither fear, nor seek to calm.

Queen (aside to Devilshoof)
Revenge is the wounded bosom's balm.
That jewel with which thou hast dared to deck
Thy foredoom'd neck,
Answer me ... where didst thou get it? where?

Devilshoof
'Twas entrusted to my care.

Queen
This very night, on this very spot,
Thy soul for once its fears forgot,
A drunken galliard who cross'd thy way
Became thy prey.

Devilshoof (aside)
Fiend-born! t'were vain to fly
The glance of her searching eye!

Queen
Down on they knees, the gem restore,
E'en in thy shame amaz'd
Or long years of sin shall deplore
The storm which thou hast rais'd.

Devilshoof (aside)
It best might be the prize to restore,
Much as I seem amaz'd,
Or hereafter I may deplore
The storm which I have rais'd.
(kneeling and presenting the medallion to the Queen)
Queen, I obey.

Queen
'Tis the wisest thing
Thy miscreant heart could do.
(She takes the medallion.)

Devilshoof (aside)
Who from my grasp such prize could wring,
The doing it may rue.

Queen
Depart, and join the rest.

Devilshoof
I will do thy high behest.
/ (aside)
| The wrongs we forgive not and cannot forget,
| Will vengeance more sharply whet,
| the wrongs we forgive not and cannot foret,
| will vengeance more sharply whet,
|
| Queen
| Now depart, and join the rest,
\ now depart and join the rest!

Queen and Devilshoof together
(separately, aside)
The wrongs we forgive not and cannot forget,
will vengeance more sharply whet.
the wrongs we forgive not and cannot forget,
will vengeance more sharply whet.
yes, will our vengeance more sharply whet,
will vengeance sharply whet,
yes, will our vengeance sharply whet,
will vengeance sharply whet,
will vengeance more sharply whet!

/ Devilshoof (continuing)
| more sharply whet!
|
| Queen
\ Begone!

(Exeunt Queen and Devilshoof at opposite sides.)

SCENE TWO

[This entire scene is omitted in the Kreuz edition.]

[Another street in Presburg. Daylight.]

Chorus of Gypsies (behind the scenes)
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.

(Enter Arline, in a fanciful dress, followed by a troop of gypsies. She has a tambourine in her hand.)

Arline
Come with the Gipsy bride,
And repair
To the fair,
Where the mazy dance
Will the hours entrance!

Arline and Gypsies
Come with the Gipsy bride,
And repair
To the fair,
Where the mazy dance
Will the hours entrance!

Arline
Come with the Gipsy bride,
Where souls as light preside!
Life can give nothing beyond
One heart you know to be fond,
Wealth with its hoards cannot buy
The peace content can supply,
Wealth with its hoards cannot buy
The peace content can supply,
And rank in its halls cannot find
The calm of a happy mind,
And rank in its halls cannot find
The calm of a happy mind.

Come with the Gipsy bride,
And repair
To the fair,
Where the mazy dance
Will the hours entrance!

Arline and Gypsies
Come with the Gipsy bride,
And repair
To the fair,
Where the mazy dance
Will the hours entrance!

Arline
Love is the first thing to clasp,
But if he escape your grasp,
Friendship will then be at hand,
In the young rogue's place to stand,
Hope will then be nothing loath
To point out the way to both,
Hope will then be nothing loath
To point out the way to both.

Come with the Gipsy bride,
And repair
To the fair,
Where the mazy dance
Will the hours entrance!

Arline and Gypsies
Come with the Gipsy bride,
And repair
To the fair,
Where the mazy dance
Will the hours entrance!

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.


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

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February 19, 1999