THE BOHEMIAN GIRL

Act Three

A splendid saloon in the castle of Count Arnheim. On the ground floors, a large window at the back opening on the park. On the side, the door of a small cabinet, doors at the back leading into spacious galleries.

(Enter Arline, elegantly dressed for a ball.)

Arline: The past appears to me but a dream, from which I have at length aroused me. Yet my heart recalls enough to convince me it was all reality. When I think of the wandering life I led, my memory will revert to him who twice restored me to a father's arms, and at length to a father's home.

(Count Arnheim enters with Florestein. Arline runs into his arms.)

Count: Every moment you leave me is a moment of unhappiness. I am jealous of whatever divides us, short as may be the interval. On a night of so much joy, when so many friends are to assemble and participate in your father's delight, let me intercede for one you have too much cause to be angry with.

Arline: (averting her head) The very sight of him disturbs me. (To the Count) The wishes of my dear father I would cheerfully comply with, but my repugnance I cannot overcome.

Florestein: (falling on his knee) Fair cousin, let me plead my own cause, and express the ... uh ... sorrow I really feel at having for an instant believed it possible ... in fact, I never in reality ... (Enter a servant.) What the devil do you want at such a critical part of one's conversation? (Servant crosses to the Count.)

Servant: The castle is filling with guests who inquire for your lordship. (Exit.)

Count: (to Arline) Let us hasten to meet them, and afford me the joy of making you known to all.

Arline: Allow me but time to fortify myself for a ceremony I am a stranger to, and I will follow you.

Florestein: That is but reasonable, uncle. I will live in hopes of my cousin's forgiveness, which can alone restore my ... peace of mind. (Aside) I shall positively expire if I don't lead off the first quadrille with her.

(Exeunt Count and Florestein.)

Arline: I am once more left to my thoughts, and all the deep regrets which accompany them; nothing can drive the recollection of Thaddeus from my mind, and the lonely life I led was to me far happier than the constrained one I now pass; and the graceful dress of the Gipsy girl becomes me more than all this gaudy apparel of nobility. (Going round the room to see if anyone is watching.) Now no eye beholds me, I may at least indulge in some remembrance of the past. (She goes to the cabinet O.P. and brings out her gypsy dress.) The sight of this recalls the memory of happy days, and of him who made them happy.

(As she is contemplating the dress, the window at the back suddenly opens, and Devilshoof springs into the apartment.)

Arline: (screaming) Ah! what seek you here with me?

Devilshoof: I have grought with me one who has, undoubtedly, greater powers of persuasion than I can pretend to.

(Here Thaddeus appears at the window, enters the room, and Arline, unable to restrain her feelings, rushes into his arms.)

Thaddeus: In the midst of so much luxury, so much wealth and grandeur, I thought you had forgotten me.

Arline: Forgotten you! Had I nothing else to remind me of you (pointing at her gypsy dress) this would always speak to me of you. Forgotten you!

Thaddeus: The scenes in which you now move, may drive from your memory every trace of the past, and I only come to ask -- to hope -- that you will sometimes think upon me.

(Devilshoof goes up to the window, on the lookout.)

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

Thaddeus
When other lips and other hearts
Their tales of love shall tell,
In language whose excess imparts
The pow'r they feel so well:
There may, perhaps, in such a scene,
Some recollection be
Of days that have as happy been,
And you'll remember me,
and you'll remember, you'll remember me!

When coldness or deceit shall slight
The beauty now they prize,
And deem it but a faded light
Which beams within your eyes;
When hollow hearts shall wear a mask,
'Twill break your own to see:
In such a moment I but ask
That you'll remember me,
that you'll remember, you'll remember me!

(At the end of the song, Arline goes up to Thaddeus, and with great emphasis says:)

Arline: Whatever may be our future lot, nothing should persuade you that I can ever cease to think of, ever cease to love you.

Thaddeus: (overjoyed) My heart is overpowered with happiness. Yet, alas! 'tis but of short duration, for I must leave you now forever.

Arline: Oh, no, no! say not so! I cannot live without you.

Thaddeus: And will you then forsake your home, your kindred, all! and follow me?

[start cut, Kreuz edition]

Thaddeus (to Arline)
Through the world wilt thou fly, love,
From the world with me?
Wilt thou Fortune's frowns defy, love,
As I will for thee?

Arline (to Thaddeus)
Through the world I would fly, love,
/ From the world with thee,
| Could I hush a father's sigh, love,
| That would heave for me;
|
| Thaddeus
| From the world wilt thou fly,
| from the world with me?
| Wilt fly from the world with me,
| wilt fly, fly, love, with me?
|
| Devilshoof
| (coming down; to Thaddeus)
\ Come, come,
/ all the world hither fly,
| Now, come away with me,
| Never let a lover's sigh
| Ruin bring on thee, ruin bring on thee!
|
| Thaddeus
| Come, my love, come, fly with me,
| come, wilt thou Fortune's frowns defy, love,
| as I will, as I will, love, for thee?
|
| Arline
| Through the world I would fly,
| From the world with thee,
\ ah yes, for thee;

Devilshoof
Come away, come away, come away, come away,
/ come away, come, come, come, away, come away,
|
| Thaddeus
| Come away, come away, come, fly, love, with me,
|
| Arline
\ could I hush, could I hus a father's sigh,

Devilshoof (going toward the window)
Come away, come away, come away, come away,
/ come away, come, come, come, away, come away,
| come, come, come, come, come away, away!
|
| Thaddeus
| come away, come away, come, fly, love, with me,
| come, come, fly, fly, love, fly, love, with me!
|
| Arline
| that would heave, that would heave, that would heave for me
\ ah, yes, that would heave, my love, for me!

Devilshoof (still looking out)
A moment more, and your doom is cast!

Arline (aside)
The hopes that were brightest, the dreams of the past,
In the fullness of promise recede,
And render the prospect dark indeed.

Devilshoof
Escape is hopeless!

Arline (pointing to the cabinet)
Enter here,
Where detection we need not fear,
where detection we need not fear!
/ Through the world I would fly, love,
| From the world with thee.
| Could I hush a father's sigh,
| That would heave for me,
| that would heave for me,
| for me, for me, yes, for me!
|
| Thaddeus
| Through the world wilt thou fly, love,
| From the world with me?
| Wilt thou Fortune's frowns defy,
| As I will for thee, as I will for thee,
| for thee, for thee, yes, for thee?
|
| Devilshoof
| All the world hither fly, now,
| Come away with me,
| Never let a lover's sigh
| Ruin bring on thee, ruin bring on thee,
\ on thee, on thee, come, away!

[end cut, Kreuz edition]

(Thaddeus has barely time to take refuge in the cabinet, and Devilshoof to escape by the window, when the great doors are thrown open, and a brilliant assemblage enters, led by Count Arnheim, Florestein, etc. The Count takes Arline's hand and present her to the company.)

Count: Welcome, welcome all. Share with me all the joy I feel while I present my loved and long-lost daughter.

Chorus of Guests
Welcome the present, oh ponder not
On the days departed now,
Welcome the present, oh ponder not
On the days departed now,
Let the cares that were theirs be forgot,
And 'ras'd from pleasure's, from pleasure's brow;
Never mind Time nor what he has done,
If he the present will smile upon.

Florestein
(Seeing the gypsy dress on a chair, and taking it up)
This garment is not fit to grace,
At such a moment, such a place;
And 'twere best to hide the prize
(pointing to the cabinet)
In this recess from his lordship's eyes.

Arline
(whose attention has been riveted on the cabinet, and seeing Florestein go near it)
That room and its treasure belong to me,
And from all intrusion must sacred be.

Chorus of Guests
Welcome the present, oh ponder not
On the days departed now,
Welcome the present, oh ponder not
On the days departed now,

(A confused murmur is heard at the back of the stage.)

Guests
What sound breaks in upon the ear,
Checking young joy's career?

Queen
(closely veiled, enters the apartment and goes up to Count Arnheim)
Heed the warning voice!
Wail, and not rejoice!
The foe to thy rest
Is one thou lov'st best.

(She lets her veil fall, and is discovered to be the Queen of the Gypsies.)

Count
Who, and what art thou? Let me know
Whom dost thou deem my foe?

Queen
Think not my warning wild,
'Tis thy refound child!
She loves a youth of the tribe I sway,
And braves the world's reproof;
List to the words I say:
He is now conceal'd beneath thy roof!

Count
Base wretch, thou liest!

Queen
Thy faith I begrudge!
Open that door, and thyself be judge!

(The Count rushes to the door of the cabinet; Arline in vain opposes.)

Count
Stand not across my path!

/ Arline
| Thrown thus across thy path,
| Let me abide thy wrath, thy wrath!
|
| Count
| Brave not a father's wrath!
\ Brave not a father's wrath!

(The Count pushes Arline aside, opens the door, and Thaddeus appears; the Count reels back, and everyone seems panic-stricken.)

Thaddeus
Though ev'ry hope be fled,
Which seem'd so bright, which seem'd so bright before,
The vengeance I would scorn to dread,
Which they on me can pour,
which they on me can pour, can pour.

/ Count (to Arline)
| To shame and feeling dead, to feeling dead,
| Now hopeless to deplore,
| The thunder bursting o'er my head
| Had not surpris'd me more,
| had not surpris'd me more.
|
| Thaddeus
| Though hope be fled, forever fled,
| Which seem'd so bright, which seem'd so bright before,
\ which seem'd so bright, which seem'd so bright,

[start cut, Kreuz edition]

/ Arline
| (horror-stricken on seeing the Queen)
| To all but vengeance dead,
| She stands mine eyes, she stands mine eyes before,
| Its thunders waiting on my head
| In all her hate to pour,
| in all her hate to pour, to pour,
|
| Thaddeus
| The vengeance I would scorn, yes, I would scorn,
| the vengeance, yes, I would scorn,
| Which they on me can pour, on me can pour,
| yes, I would scorn
|
| Count
| To feeling dead, to feeling dead, to feeling dead,
| Now hopeless to deplore, now hopeless to deplore,
\ now hopeless to deplore

/ Queen
| (maliciously eyeing Arline)
| All other feelings dead,
| Revenge can hope, revenge can hope restore,
| Its thunders on her daring head
| I only live to pour, I only live to pour, to pour, yes!
|
| Florestein (to Arline)
| And this is why she said,
| I must not touch, I must not touch the door;
| It clearly would have been ill-bred,
| For rivals are a bore, for rivals are a bore,
| a bore, a great bore!
|
| Arline
| in all her hate vengeance to pour.
| To all but vengeance dead,
| She stands mine eyes before, before, yes!
|
| Thaddeus
| the vengeance which on me,
| yes, they can pour, which they on me can pour,
| which they on me can pour, on me can pour!
|
| Count
| to feeling dead, to feeling dead,
| 'twere hopleess now,
| yes, to deplore, 'twere hopeless now,
| the thunder had not surpris'd,
\ surpris'd me more, great power!

[end cut, Kreuz edition]

/ Chorus of Guests
| Although to feeling dead,
| Her sorrow we deplore, yes, we deplore
| The thunder bursting o'er our head
| Had not surprised us more,
| had not surpris'd, surpris'd us more,
| had not surpris'd, surpris'd us more,
|
| Arline
| To all but vengeance dead,
| She stands mine eyes, she stands mine eyes before,
| Its thunders waiting on my head
| She only lives to pour,
| she only lives, she lives to pour,
| she only lives, she lives to pour,
|
| Queen
| All other feelings dead,
| Revenge can hope, revenge can hope restore,
| Its thunders on her daring head
| I only live to pour,
| I only live to pour, to pour,
| I only live, I live to pour,
|
| Thaddeus
| Tho' hope, yes, tho' ev'ry hope be fled,
| which seem'd so bright,
| which seem'd so bright before,
| The vengeance I would scorn to dread,
| Which they on me can pour,
| which they on me can pour, can pour,
| which they on me can pour, can pour,
|
| Count
| To shame and feeling dead,
| now hopeless, hopeless, hopeless to deplore,
| The thunder bursting o'er my head
| Had not surprised me more,
| had not surpris'd, surpris'd me more,
| had not surpris'd, surpris'd me more,
|
| Florestein
| And this is why she said,
| I must not touch, I must not touch the door,
| It clearly would have been ill-bred,
| For rivals are a bore,
| for rivals are a bore, a bore,
\ for rivals are a bore, a bore!

/ Arline
| its thunders waiting, waiting on my head
| in all her hate to pour, in all her hate to pour,
| its thunders waiting, waiting on my head
| in all her hate to pour, in all her hate to pour,
|
| Queen
| its thunders waiting on her daring head to pour,
| its thunders on her daring head I live to pour,
| its thunders waiting on her daring head to pour,
| its thunders on her daring head I live to pour,
|
| Thaddeus
| the vengeance I would scorn, yes, I would scorn,
| which they on me can pour, which they on me can pour,
| the vengeance I would scorn, yes, I would scorn,
| which they on me can pour, which they on me can pour,
|
| Count
| the thunder bursting, bursting o'er my head,
| had not surpris'd, had not surpris'd, surpris'd me more,
| the thunder bursting, bursting o'er my head,
| had not surpris'd, had not surpris'd, surpris'd me more,
|
| Florestein
| It clearly would have been, have been ill-bred,
| For rivals are a bore, yes, rivals are a bore,
| It clearly would have been, have been ill-bred,
\ For rivals are a bore, yes, rivals are a bore,

/ Arline
| in all her hate, in all her hate to pour, to pour.
|
| Queen
| I live to pour, I live to pour, I live to pour.
|
| Thaddeus
| which they can pour, which they can pour, which they can pour.
|
| Count
| surpris'd me more, surpris'd me more, surpris'd me more.
|
| Florestein
| they are a bore, they are a bore, they are a bore!
|
| Guests
| surpris'd, surpris'd, surpris'd us more,
\ surpris'd us more.

Count
(advancing to Thaddeus)
Leave the place thy polluting step hath cross'd!
Depart, or thou art lost!

Thaddeus
(casting a sorrowful look on Arline as he is about to go)
To threats I should contemn,
For thy dear sake I yield.

Arline (summoning resolution)
The bursting torrest I will stem,
And him I live for shield.

(She takes Thaddeus by the hand and goes to the Count, then turns to the company.)

Arline
Break not the only tie, the only tie
That bids my heart, my heart rejoice,
For whom contented I would die,
The husband of my choice,
the husband of my choice!

Count
(rushing between them and drawing his sword)
(to Thaddeus)
Depart, ere my thirsty weapon stains
These walls with the glood of thy recreant veins!
(to Arline)
False thing! belov'd too long, too well,
Brave not the madness thou canst not quell!

Queen
(seizing Thaddeus by the arm)
List to the warning voice that calls thee!
Fly from the peril which enthralls thee!
(darting a furious look at Arline as she passes her)
Weep rivers! weep rivers! for ages pine!
He shall never, never be thine!

(As the Queen is dragging Thaddeus toward the window, Arline stops him.)

Arline (to the assembly)
Your pardon, if I seek
With my father alone to speak.

(Exeunt omnes at the large doors beside the windows, which close upon them; the Queen is seen to pass out of the window.)

Arline
(falling at the Count's feet)
See at your feet a suppliant one,
Whose place should be your heart!
Behold the only living thing
To which she had to cling;
Who sav'd her life, watch'd o'er her years
With all the fondness faith endears,
And her affections won;
Rend not such ties apart!

Count
Child! Arline! wilt thou? darest thou heap
A stain thine afterlife will e'er weep
On these hairs, by thee and sorrow bleach'd,
On this heart, dishonor never reach'd?

Arline
(rising and seeking refuge in the arms of Thaddeus)
Whatever the danger, the ruin, the strife,
It must fall; united we are for life!

Count (with rage)
United! united! and wouldst thou link my name
In a chain of such disgrace?
My rank, my very blood defame,
With a blot no time can efface?
The child of my heart, of my house the pride,
An outcast, an outcast Gipsy's bride!
The child of my heart, of my house the pride,
An outcast Gipsy's bride!

Thaddeus
(breaking from her, and going up with great dignity to the Count)
Proud lord, altho' this head proscrib'd
Should fall by the weapons thy wealth hath brib'd,
Altho' in revealing the name I bear,
The home I shall see no more,
The land which to thee, in its deep despair,
The deadliest hatred bore;
I may fall, as have fallen the bravest of foes,
the bravest of foes,
'Twere better like them to die,
And in honor'd earth to lie,
Than hear, unresented, reproaches like those.

(Count Arnheim and Arline betray symptoms of astonishment, yet great anxiety.)

Thaddeus
Start not, but listen!
When the fair land of Poland was plough'd by the hoof
Of the ruthless invader, when Might,
With steel to the bosom, and flame to the roof,
Completed her triumph o'er Right,
In that moment of danger, when Freedom invok'd
All the fetterless sons of her pride,
In a phalanx as dauntless as Freedom e'er yok'd,
I fought and I bled by her side.

My birth is noble, unstained my crest
As is thine own: let this attest!
My birth is noble, unstained my crest
As is thine own: let this attest!

(Takes his commission, seen in Act I, from his bosom, and gives it to the Count, who stands fixed and bewildered.)

[start cut, Kreuz edition]

Pity for one in childhood torn
From kindred with whom she dwelt,
Ripen'd in after-years to love,
The fondest that heart hath felt,
Has made me, thus far, faith renew
With outlaws chance first link'd me to.
As a foe, on this head let your hatred be pil'd,
But despise not one who hath so lov'd your child.
As a foe, on this head let your hatred be pil'd,
But despise not one who hath so lov'd your child,
despise not one who hath so lov'd your child.

[end cut, Kreuz edition]

Count (greatly moved)
The feuds of a nation's strife,
The party storms of life,
Should never their sorrows impart
To the calmer scenes of the heart.
By this hand let thine hold
Till the blood in its veins be cold!

(Thaddeus, moved to tears, is about to fall at the Count's feet, who checks him.)

Not at mine; be that homage paid at hers,
Who the firmest affection on thee confers,
who the firmest affection on thee confers,
who the firmest affection on thee confers.

Arline, Thaddeus and Count together
Let not the heart for sorrows grieve,
With which the bosom hath ceas'd to heave,
Let us not think of the tempest past,
If we reach the haven at last;
Let not the heart for sorrows grieve,
With which the bosom hath ceas'd to heave,
If we reach the haven, the haven at last,
if we reach the haven at last, the haven at last.

(During the trio, the wan figure of the Queen has been seen at the window in the back, and at the end of it, as Thaddeus is about to embrace Arline, the Queen, in a transport of rage, points him out to a gypsy by her side, who is in the act of firing at him, when Devilshoof, who has tracked their steps, averts the gypsy's aim, and by a rapid movement turns the musket toward the Queen. It goes off, and she falls.)

Count: Guard every portal ... summon each guest and friend ... and this festive scene suspend.

(This distant sound of joyous instruments heard in the saloons, which the intelligence of the catastrophe is supposed to have reached, ceases, and crowds of nobles, ladies, guests, etc., pour in at each door.)

(Arline rushes into the arms of Thaddeus, and then passes over to the Count.)

Arline
Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow
In my heart instills!
Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow my heart instills!
Bliss unfelt, unfelt before,
Hope without, without alloy,
Speak with raptur'd, raptur'd tone
Of my heart the joy! Ah!

Chorus
Oh bliss, oh bliss unfelt, unfelt before,

Arline and Chorus
Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow my heart,
my heart instills!

[start cut, Kreuz edition]

Chorus
Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow
In my heart instills!
Bliss unfelt before,
Hope without alloy, without alloy!

Arline
Ah! Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow my heart,
my heart instills!
Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow my heart instills!
Bliss unfelt, unfelt before,
Hope without, without alloy,
Speak with raptur'd, raptur'd tone
Of my heart the joy! Ah!

Chorus
Oh bliss, oh bliss unfelt, unfelt before,

Arline and Chorus
Oh, what full delight
Thro' my bosom thrills,
And a wilder glow my heart,
my heart instills!

[end cut, Kreuz edition]

Chorus
Bliss unfelt before, hope without alloy,
/ hope without, yes, without alloy,
| bliss unfelt before, hope without alloy,
| hope without, yes, without alloy,
| oh what delight, of what delight, oh what delight!
|
| Arline
| Ah, bliss!
| Oh, what oh what delight,
\ oh what delight, oh what delight!

[End of the opera.]


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

Go back to libretto/texts index.


February 19, 1999