Supplementary Appendix: Nina, oder Wahnsinn aus Liebe

Nina, ou la folle par amour, comédie en un acte, en prose, mêlée d’ariettes. By Benoît-Joseph Marsollier des Vivetières, music by Nicolas Dalayrac.

The play premiered 15 May 1786 and was published in Paris in 1786. There seem to have been three German translations, including by Johann André as Nina, oder Wahnsinn aus Liebe: eine Operette in einem Aufzuge, music by Nicolas Dalayrac (Cologne 1787); see also Arien und Gesänge aus Nina oder Wahnsinn aus Liebe: Singspiel in e[inem] Aufz[ug], music by Nicolas Dalayrac, trans. by Johann André (Berlin 1790).

Here a fan from the late 1780s made of ivory and paper depicting scenes from the play; the reverse side includes the libretto of the aria “Quand le bien aimé reviendra” (Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum Collection Fund and the Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 1952):


See the following review from The European Magazine and London Review 12 (1787) August, 118–19:

Nina, or the Madness of Love: a Comedy, in Two Acts, translated from the French by the Author of Maria, or the Generous Rustic [George Monck Berkeley], 8vo. 1s. Elliot [London 1787].

Nina, in her present dress, sues to the Hon. Mrs. Hobart for a patroness; and we know not where she could have looked for a more amiable one. The story of this unfortunate maid — so much of it as is connected with the beautiful little drama before us — is affirmed by the author to be no fiction, but an anecdote from real life, to which no alteration has been made but what was necessary to adapt it for the stage.

Indeed, the very recital of poor Nina’s sufferings (to us whether they are imaginary or real it matters not, while they appear natural, and in, at least, the garb of truth) is sufficient to excite a glow of virtuous sensibility in the coldest and most dissolute bosom. —

What, then, must be our feelings when we behold those sufferings brought into dramatic action by the skill of a poet, who — scorning to court applause by the wretched engines of stage-trick and pantomimical mummery — seems to have all the powers of pathos at his command.

The circumstances that gave birth to the piece are not less simple than they are affecting; and thus in the preface are we introduced to the sorrows of the forlorn, the frantic Nina. —

At a village in the neighbourhood of Rouenne in Normandy,” says the author, “Nina contrives to wait her Germeuil, to whom, with the consent of her parents, she had promised her hand. Previous to the celebration of their intended nuptials, he was summoned to Paris.

On the day fixed for his return, Nina repaired to the spot appointed for their interview; but, instead of her lover, found the melancholy tidings of his untimely fate: — Germeuil was no more. Nina, unable to sustain this awful stroke of Providence, lost her senses.

In vain has friendship united efforts with those of time to soothe her sorrows or recall her reason. Nina still expects with anxiety the return of Germeuil, and each revolving day visits the spot appointed for their interview.

In the drama, to mitigate the horrors of the scene, and prevent it from soaring into downright tragedy, Germeiul is represented to be still alive; but in his return, there is an abruptness, and in the consequent recovery of Nina from her phrenzy, there is a precipitation, which, as passing the bounds of probability and nature, should, and with a little management might, have been so happily prevented as to render the conduct of the piece faultless.

With all its blemishes, however, we have not, for a considerable time past, seen a dramatic import from Paris of more intrinsic merit than the little comedie larmoyante of Nina.

See also the contemporary review of Friederike Unzelmann as Nina in Breslau and the review of her 1799 performance of the role in Berlin.

Nina; or, The Love Distracted Maid: A Comedy in One Act
Translated from the French of Marsollier des Vivetières (London 1787)


The celebrity of Nina precludes the necessity of saying any thing in its praise. The translator shall be happy, if he shall be found to have transfused into the English language a portion of that pathetic simplicity which animates the original. At least, the translation which he now offers to the public has the merit of being entire and unmutilated: no deviation whatever has been attempted from the fable or connection of the excellent original, which the translator is well convinced, permits nothing to be added or taken away, without diminishing the pathetic effect which this piece is so admirably calculated to impress on a soul susceptible of feeling.

Dramatis personae

Nina, daughter of the Count, disordered in her mind.
The Count, her Father.
George, the Count’s Foster-Father.
Eliza, Family Confidant, and Nina’s Governess.
Germeuil, Nina’s Lover, supposed dead.
Mathurine, a Country-woman.
Peasants, Old Men, Children, Young Country Girls.

A Comedy in One Act

|1| [The Theatre represents a garden. Under a few trees is placed a bench, before a bar-gate that leads to the highway: at the bottom a narrow path ascending to the village.]

[Nina reposes Unseen.]

[Eliza is on the stage surrounded by some Peasants, at the head of whom is George, foster-father of the Count. Some descend, others are still in the path that leads to the village.]

Scene I.

Eliza. — [to the Peasants] Does the zeal, then, and affection, with which Nina inspires you, continue unabated?

George. Ah! doubt it hot, Miss Eliza — who could help being touched by her melancholy state?

Eliza. She sleeps under those trees; from hence we may easily watch over her, without disturbing her repose.

George. I see her — how calm she is. — the dear child! let us not deprive her of a moment of |2| tranquility, which Heaven has been pleased to afford her.

Chorus of soft music.

Sleep awhile, and may repose
Suspend, sweet maid, thy cruel woes;
May'st thou wake to waiting peace,
And sorrow with thy slumbers cease.

Eliza and George [apart].

Ah! cruel case!
In the flower of her youth,
With a heart full of truth,
In beauty abounding and grace.
Ah! cruel case!
Thus her reason to lose!


Ah! might we cherish still a hope
To see her recover!


Alas! alas! there is no hope,
She ne'er will recover!

The Chorus

What — is there no hope!
No aid — no relief!
Ah, what a pity!
What a grief!
For the Hamlet —
For our chief!
Sleep awhile, &c.

George. You promised to acquaint them with the cause of this calamity.

Eliza. True, my dear George, and I am now going to perform my promise.

|3| George. Being his Honour’s foster-father, I had learnt something of the matter, that I have not concealed from them — But it is of you, Miss Eliza, that they wish to be informed of all the particulars; and, as for my part, I’m certain that I shall not hear the recital without emotion.

Eliza. Come near all of you, and attend. [They form a circle about her, and listen with the greatest atttention.] You know the noble birth and riches of Nina’s father. Germeuil, educated with Nina, could not behold without loving her. Her heart was formed tender — Germeuil was endowed with every accomplishment — his passion was repaid. The Count, father of Nina, saw with pleasure the rising flame; he even flattered Germeuil with the hopes of being bless’d with Nina’s hand. The day was fixed. A rival meanwhile, richer and more powerful, presents himself, and the Count had the weakness to break his engagements. Nina was afflicted — Germeuil driven to despair — the Count continued inflexible. Germeuil was disgracefully dismissed. I endeavoured to intercede for him — silence was imposed upon me, and I mingle my tears with those of my young mistress.

George. Is it true, then, that my son could be guilty of such an action? I can hardly believe it — he has always pasted for so good a father, for so sincere a friend — But, I beg your pardon, I shall interrupt you no more.

Eliza. Germeuil begged at least to bid his Nina a final farewell, and I did not think myself bound to deny him this feeble consolation. — We met in the park — Already we heard the voice cf Germeuil, but we distinguished also that of his rival — Their explanation was vehement — Swords glitter — Germeuil gave a cry — falls — and we saw his blood flow. — Nina dropt down insensible — I ran to the Castle to demand assistance — There they carried |4| her dying, and when she opened her eyes, the first object that offered itself was her father, holding by the hand the murderer of Germeuil, and commanding her to regard him as her spouse. — Nina, mute with terror and indignation, could resist no longer the dreadful combat which she felt; she wished to speak, and words were wanting to her grief — she tried to weep, and the tears dried in her eyes! Her features change — her reason is disturbed — a devouring fever, a frightful delirium seizes on all her faculties — The presence of her father, and that of the odious rival, augment still more the disorder — every succour was employed that art could give — They succeeded in restoring her to life, but her reason, alas! they cannot restore! Her father, repentant, despairing, unable to sustain this spectacle, left with me the dear charge; and Nina, more interesting, and more respectable than ever, exhibits to all that behold her a deplorable victim of love, and of paternal severity.

George. And Germeuil! —

Eliza. The report of his death reached even to us — but by that time Nina had entirely lost every recollection of the fatal event. — The idea of Germeuil — the tender, the faithful Germeuil — an idea so long dear to her heart, is the only one that is not now effaced from her memory — the only one that occupies her still — she believes him on the point of returning from a journey. You see that bench almost facing the road, there every day she waits for him — cold, heat, rain, nor all the tempest of heaven, can deter her from coming. There she sits holding in her hand a nosegay which she gathered for him — The expected hour passes — she wipes away a tear, and departs with the deceitful hope of seeing him to-morrow.

[Contemporary illustration: Louise Dugazon as Nina in the arbor with her nosegay, awaiting Germeuil (by J.F. Janinet after C.-J.-B. Hoin):]


George. But her father! —

|5| Eliza. Abandoned to grief and remorse, he writes me that he can no longer bear to live without the sight of his daughter. — He returns — but, alas! all the consolation we can offer him, is to mingle our tears with his!

George. Poor Nina!

A Peasant. How good she is!

Another Peasant. How generous!

George. Too much so — and we came to tell you — But here comes my Lord — let us retire.

Eliza. Yes, perhaps he may wish to speak with me alone. [They go.]

Scene II.

The Count and Eliza

The Count. My dear Eliza, I hasten here a prey to the most excruciating anxiety — Speak — what am I to expect?

Eliza. You find us not more happy than before your departure.

The Count. I have nothing more to enquire. — She is at present . . . —

Eliza. In this copse.

The Count. Heavens! and if she should perceive me!

Eliza. Fear nothing — sie is overpowered by sleep, and I am going to wait beside her the moment of her waking.

The Count. Run — and return that instant to give me notice.


Scene III.

The Count solus.

Lovely and unhappy child — could you but hear the sentiments of remorse with which your wretched state inspires a repentant parent!

O my Nina — darling child!
Could'st thou conceive thy father's woes!
Must one repented moment rob
My wretched soul for ever of repose!
Already Love and Hymen
Had formed for Nina the fortunate chain;
At her feet her fond lover depicted his pain.
Her silence expressive — her embarrass'd air,
And sweet smile of innocence,
In spite of her art, the fond secret declare.
In their bliss I was going to share:
Their bliss I have blasted —
I her father! — I his friend!

O! remembrance — most distressing!
O! affliction ne'er to end!
To gnawing grief perpetual prey —
Why should I on earth remain?
Come, come, 0 Death! and close my pain!
To gnawing grief perpetual prey —
Why should I on earth remain?

Scene IV.

George and The Count.

George [and some old men of the village]. Pardon, my Lord —

The Count. Ah! — Is it you, my dear George?

George. Yes, my Lord, it is I; — we are the |7| notables — the elders of the village. — But we disturb you, perhaps?

The Count. [with vivacity] Never, my friends – especially if you come to give me an opportunity of doing you a service.

George. Thanks to your goodness, and that of Miss Nina — we want for nothing — she is so generous! — For you must know, my Lord, that she now recognizes nobody but the poor — and that she has forgot every thing — except the habit of being bountiful and kind!

The Count. [with vivacity] Is she then still susceptible of this pleasure? — What joy do you not cause me! — Ah! — it is the first I have tasted for a great while!

George. She heaps her bounties incessantly upon us! — Miss Eliza furnishes her with the means, and forbids us to refuse — Nevertheless, my Lord, we have our scruples.

The Count. Scruple to receive from her! — Ah! think, my dear friend, that you would so deprive me of the only means now in my power to procure her a happy moment! — Accept, accept every thing! — Heaven hears with complaisance the prayers of honest indigence! — There address your vows — May they be heard — and our trifling bounties will be richly repaid!

George. [with vivacity and affection] We do nothing else, my Lord! — There is not a child this high, nor an old man on the brink of the grave, that does not pray night and day to see your sorrows at an end.

The Count. I thank you — But while Eliza stays by my daughter, do you, who see her every day, talk to me of Nina — of her health! — I am told that that is perfectly re-established.



Yes — bid each gloomy thought retreat;
Chace each idle fear away:
Forbid it Heaven! — the dawning day
Should weep so fair a rose's fate.
One moment is her mind at peace,
Pleasure brightens up each face —
Our sanguine hopes suppose her well,
Let us run, my Lord, to tell —
Cry each man, and maid, and child,
As they skip with rapture wild!
But, alas! our joys are brief —
For soon returns her cruel grief!
Nina weeps! — and instantly
Tears bedim each downcast eye.

The Count. [to the old men] How does she pass her time? Tell me all, to the most trifling particulars! — Without doubt, she walks abroad often?

George. All day long!

The Count. Alone?

George. For the most part.

The Count. Her deportment sad? — Her aspect overcast?

George. O yes! — and eyes —that give one pain to look at! — But yet, in the same instant, if she meets in her way a poor person — an old man — one of us, in short — her features brighten up, and she assumes an air of satisfaction!

The Count. She assumes an air of satisfaction? Ah! — Be you always in her way. — Talks she sometimes of her father?

George. Alas! — One day some-body mentioned you before her — Tears burst instantly from her eyes — a sudden paleness —

The Count. My friends — never mention me more.

|9| George. [aside] Now he is to be pitied!

The Count. Heaven punishes me severely.

George. Heaven will at length relent.

The Count. Nina loves me no longer!

George. She will yet love you.

The Count. I dare not flatter myself — but would she at least suffer me beside her!

George. She will suffer you! She will love you! She will even yet recover! — Hope, my Lord, hope every thing!

The Count. No — no — no!

George. At least, if we cannot sweeten your sorrows, we will share them with you.

Scene V.

Eliza, with the former Personages.

Eliza. [running] She comes! Her head reclined — her eyes fixed — her nosegay in her hand — She wants to be alone — let us not cross her inclination.

The Count. I submit to all — But promise me that I shall see her! — that I shall hear her!

Eliza. Concealed under these trees, you may see her at your ease. — Seated on that bench, she often chaunts songs which she composes, and which she soon forgets; — often also she gathers round her a groupe of country girls, caresses them with tenderness, and is happy to find her kindness repaid with affection.

George. You will judge, my Lord, whether that costs them any thing.

The Count. Here she comes! Lead me away — I could not resist the temptation of pressing her to my heart.


Scene VI

[Nina enters — her hair unpowdered, curled carelessly and without order; she is dressed in a white robe — she holds a nosegay in her hand – her steps are unequal — she stops — she sighs — and sits down silent on the bench, her face turned to the bar-gate.]

[Claude Hoin, Portrait en pied de mademoiselle Dugazon dans le rôle de Nina” (n.d.):]



Nina. [after a short silence] The hour is now come which should bring Germeuil — he will come — to-day — this evening — he promised me! — And where can he be so happy as with her whom he loves — and by whom he is so tenderly beloved? — These flowers for him — this heart for him — and he does not come! — Oh! how tedious are the days! — How sad the face of Nature! — I exist no more! — No. I shall not taste life till I see him beside me! — And he does not come! — They hinder him, perhaps! — Who? — 1 don’t know. — What they — the wicked! — How ill I am! — Here — there — every where! — But if Germeuil should return — oh! then all would be well!

[The following is the best-known aria from the play. Here in a recording by Joan Sutherland in the original French version; lyrics by Marsollier des Vivetières, music by Nicolas Dalayrac. See also the supplementary appendix with the libretto and piano accompaniment. Illustration: Louise Dugazon singing the lines from that aria, “Hush! hush! he calls! — Alas! alas! / The well-beloved calls not me!” (Jean-François Janinet, Mme Dugazon dans le rôle de Nina de la ‘Folle par amour’ (1786) (Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris).]



When to Nina — hapless maid!
The well-beloved shall return;
Sprightly spring shall strait appear,
And gladden'd Nature cease to mourn.
But tho' I look with longing eye,
Alas! my love I can't espy!

List'ning to his tender tale —
Charm'd syrens of the groves,
Ye will learn, more sweetly trill'd,
To warble forth your little loves.
I listen — but, alas! in vain!
I hear not my beloved's strain.

|11| Echo oft my plaintive note,
To pity wakes thee in the grot:
He comes — perhaps his earnest voice
Requires the much-lov'd maid of thee!
Hush! hush! he calls! — Alas! alas!
The well-beloved calls not me!

Scene VII.

Nina. [to Eliza, who approaches her gently] Ah! Is it you, Goody? I always forget your other name.

Eliza. Eliza.

Nina. I like the first better.

Eliza. [with affection] And I too.

Nina. Well then, Goody, he does not come!

Eliza. Without doubt, some insuperable obstacle —

Nina. Oh, yes! — If I knew where I might find him — Do you think he is a great way from this?

Eliza. [confused and sighing] A great way!

Nina. Does that afflict you too?

Eliza. [with tenderness] Oh, yes, very much! Your little friends are here.

Nina. [with gaiety] So much the better — so much the better — let them come.

Scene VIII

[Some young girls and little children come running forward. Eliza carries a basket with bread, fruits and some small presents.]

Nina. Good day, my little friends, good day! You are very careful of me — don’t abandon me — don’t grow tired of your goodness — There is a pleasure in pitying the wretched. — Well, then, I am here — I wait for him! — But tell me, did you remember to pray Heaven for his speedy return

|12| The young Girls. Yes — yes!

Nina. I’ll wager now — that you don’t remember his name.

A little Girl. Germeuil!

Another. [in a lower voice, with finesse and feeling] The well beloved!

Nina. [with joy] The well-beloved — Yes! Oh! you know it well — you do! — Hold there — [she gives her her ring]

The little Girl. A diamond!

Nina [with regret] Yes — that’s all.

The little Girl. This simple ring —

Nina. No, I cannot — You don’t then know who it was that gave it me? And when he returns — what would he say to see me without it! He is a-coming — and I have made a song, which you shall hear. — Ah! I have forgot it — but what of that — I shall always find something to say to him, which I shall never forget. — Germeuil! Is it thee? — Then I’m happy. Ah! — that is it! — And you also promised me to say something to him — What will you say to him?

Eliza. They will sing what you taught them.

Nina. [surprized and sad] What I taught them! — I forgot every thing — recall it then to my memory; and for once I shall listen so attentively, that I shall not forget it more.

The young Girls.

Germeuil, my love, when far from thee,
How did thy Nina pine.

Nina. [with vivacity — stopping them] No — no! hear how I say it [she repeats it more feelingly].

Germeuil, my love, &c.

The young Girls.

But now that thou art me beside,
What bliss, can equal mine!

|13| Nina. Mind me. — But now, &c. [here her head turns, and she continues wildly, and without connections]

Yes, beside thee —
Happy me! 
Thrice unhappy — 
Far from thee
My swain I see.
What happiness!
He loves me!
O what bliss!
Ah! fly'st thou me?
Thou'rt no more he!
And can I live?
Unhappy maid!
O Heavens above!
Grant me thine aid —
He was my love!
Ah! might the light of my lov'd swain,
One moment bless these longing eyes!
For here [pointing to her heart] Germeuil did
always reign —
And then when poor Nina dies —

[She supports herself on the shoulders of one of her companions, who testify their grief.]

The four Girls and Eliza in Chorus.

Dies! — The horrid word recall!
Live, Nina, live! — Live Nina for us all!

Nina. [returning to herself with much soul] Eliza! — Yes, she will live for you — for thee — and for Germeuil! [with naivity] — But you weep! — Ah! don’t weep for me! — I enjoyed a moment’s happiness — I thought I saw him!

Eliza. [aside] I see the Count cannot resist the desire of speaking to his daughter.


Scene IX

The Count and George, with the preceding persons.

The Count. [to George] Let us approach — she sees me — she seems to view me without fear!

George. Ah! without doubt she does not recognise you.

[The Count sighs and advances — Nina fixes
her eyes upon him for some time, and expresses
a slight movement of uneasiness.

Nina. [hiding herself behind her Goody] Goody, let us go.

Eliza. Why?

Nina. I see a man there — let us go!

Eliza. You will afflict him.

Nina. Afflict him? — What I! — Do you think so? — I’ll stay then, for I would not afflict any body. — Who is he?

Eliza. [embarrassed] It is a traveller.

Nina. [trying to recall her ideas] A traveller!

Eliza. He comes to ask hospitality of us.

Nina. He does well — Did you thank him? I dare not speak to him — he overawes me! — Do you speak to him. [The Count retires] He retires — Could he fear me? — Sir! Sir! advance — don’t be afraid of a poor girl! — ‘Tis Nina! — Every body knows her, and pities her condition! — Will you stay with us?

The Count. Yes — if my presence be not troublesome to you.

Nina. He spoke — and I don’t know why, my heart quivered!

The Count. [alarmed — aside] Heavens! — Must I ever —

|15| Nina. I am composed — pardon me — a certain fear in seeing you! — You must excuse my situation — were you informed of the cause, I’m sure your soul would sympathize.

The Count. [choaked with grief’] Your affliction can affect nobody more than I.

Nina. You sigh! — Have you too cause of grief?

The Count. Oh — very great!

Nina. [quick and with life] I will weep with you. Pray what do you here? [with feeling] Do you wait for any body?

[During this scene, Eliza with the little
Girls are at the bottom of the Theatre.

The Count. I come to seek my daughter.

Nina. Have you a daughter? — You love her — do you not — You make her happy?

The Count. It is the object of all my wishes.

Nina. May Heaven protect; and console you! Yes — make her happy — never afflict her — and, above all, if she loves, beware of crossing her in the choice of her heart, for that causes a grievous — — [resting, on the close, with an air of the most profound grief]

The Count. I know it!

Nina. [dolefully] Oh, no, no! — you cannot know it!

The Count. [aside] What torment!

Nina. Look at me, Sir — I was happy formerly, before Germeuil went awav — but now, I sigh without ceasing; — I afflict all the world — I lie at the mercy of strangers — I have no parent — no protector!

The Count. [briskly] Have you not a father?

Nina. [astonished, and trying to recollect herself] A father! What I! — No, no, never! — Ah! if I had had a father, he’d have protected me — he’d have united me with Germeuil — and poor Nina |16| would not now pass lonely the ling’ring hours, vainly waiting for her love, and fatiguing, with incessant complaints, the pity of all that approach her.

The Count. [in despair] Nina! — you stab me to the soul!

Nina. What then have I said? No more of these piteous looks, good stranger — Dismiss that melancholy air — be gay. — May no eye but Nina’s be moistened with a tear! [she reclines her head and falls into a deep reverie]

The Count. [in a movement of tenderness] My dear! [aside] Why can’t I say daughter! — But, alas! I dare not yet pronounce that sweet name! [while he speaks, Nina retires pensive and sad, and fits down on the bench — her eyes fixed on the bar-gate.]

Eliza. [in a low voice to the Count] She hears you no more.

Nina. [with a wandering look] Tears! tears! continually! — I will go! — Oh, no, no! — Because to-morrow — he — here [she smiles wildly] to-morrow, [she sighs] to-morrow! — [she falls into a fit of profound sadness.]

Eliza. She is now plunged in a profound reverie, from which we often find it difficult to rouse her. I will now send to give notice to the shepherd, who only waits the signal, to begin playing those airs which seldom fail to awake Nina from her melancholy mood. Do you, meanwhile, endeavour to calm your agitation.

The Count. [retiring] Was there ever so unhappy a father! [the sound of the pipe is heard, the shepherd appears at the top of the road, and tunes his pipe — the little girls are with him]

Nina. Ah, Goody, it is the shepherd that plays!

Eliza. Yes — the daily task is over, and the cottagers meet for amusement.

|17| Nina. [with the earnestness of a child] Hear, hear, then! [the air continues — Nina listens with an innocent joy, and marks the measure.]

Eliza. Let us go with him to the village; we will call together those for whom your presents are intended.

Nina. Have we still something left to give them?

Eliza. Without doubt.

Nina. Let us run. [reassuming a melancholy air, and fixing her eyes on the bench] Must I then go without Germeuil! — without giving him the nosegay which I gathered for him! [she leaves it on the bench, with the most moving expression] Farewell — flowers, trees, birds — daily spectators of my sorrow! — And thou bench, so often wet with my tears, farewell — I will return to see you soon! [She goes, and is seen ascending the path which the shepherd took, accompanied by the young girls.]

The Count. [advancing, to Eliza] Follow her.

Eliza. I would not seem to watch her too strictly, that vexes her; but I take care to join her the moment my presence becomes desirable.

The Count. How much am I obliged!

Eliza. Not at all — I am led by my heart, and by the attachment with which she inspires me — I go to rejoin her.

Scene X.

The Count, solus.

Every word that escaped her, touching me or Germeuil, pierced me to the heart! — Alas! without him, the return of her reason would only be a change of misery! — But what is going forward in that alley leading to the park? The domestics assembled |18| — my guards — a young man in the midst of them! — He struggles! — Would they be guilty of any violence? — Here comes George, running.

Scene XI.

George and the Count.

George. [out of breath] Ah! my Lord — Ah! my son — I come to inform you —

The Count. You are all in agitation — What’s the matter?

George. You cannot imagine it!

The Count. You increase my uneasiness!

George. Germeuil!

The Count. What then?

George. He is not dead!

The Count. Germeuil!

George. I can hardly believe mine own eyes!

The Count. Have you seen him?

George. He is here!

The Count. You are deceived.

George. I have seen him — I’m sure ’tis he!

The Count. But by what prodigy — and why in the park?

George. Scarcely was he arrived, when he sought to seduce the gardeners — he begged them to let him enter the park — he wanted only, he said to see Miss, and to speak with Eliza. That appeared to them suspicious — Finding that he could not gain them, he thought to have passed, unperceived, over the wall — He was watched and surrounded — he resisted. — As good luck would have it, I happened to be there — I recollected Germeuil — I desired them to prevent his escape; and knowing the pleasure that this would give you — I felt no longer the weight of years — I ran instantly, and find myself unspeakably happy in accelerating a |19| moment — the joy which this must carry to your heart.

The Count. Oh, my friend, what happy news! What! — Has Heaven then preserved him, and brought him back to us! — Conduct him hither — and, above all, beware of telling him —

George. I have strictly forbid [sic] them — But here he is.

The Count. Leave us.

Scene XII.

The preceding persons — Germeuil — pale —
his hair dishevelled — bare headed — surrounded by gardeners and domestics.

Germeuil. [to those that conduct him] Where do you conduct me? You know not to what a bitter enemy you deliver me up!

George. My Lord, the Count is good.

Germeuil. He is cruel and unjust.

The Count. No — I come —

Germeuil. To insult my affliction!

The Count. To partake of it — my son.

Germeuil. His son!

The Count. Can you refuse that dear name? Come to my arms!

Duet. — Germeuil.

What phantom's this my fancy charms?
Am I! What I! within your arms?

The Count.

No phantom 'tis thy fancy charms —
My son, I press thee in my arms:
Some Angel sure conducts you here,
A father's bleeding heart to chear.



Some angel sure conducts me here.
A father's bleeding heart to chear.

The Count.

No phantom 'tis thy fancy charms, &c.


What phantom's this my fancy charms?
Am I! What I! within your arms?

Germeuil. What aileth thee — my father?

The Count. Alas! — Nina!

Germeuil. What! — Is no more!

The Count. No, no — Nina lives!


She lives! — Me to your heart you press! 
O joyful day! 0 day of bliss!

The Count.

My son — thee to my heart I press!
O joyful day! O day of bliss!
But, oh! I tremble to impart —
The tidings sure will pierce your heart.


She lives! — What evil should I fear?
Alas! I'm then no longer dear?

The Count.

No — for thee alone she sighs!


If to her I still be dear —
Ah! no misfortune Germeuil has to fear.

The Count.

Yes — there is still a misfortune to fear.



You approve my tender claim —
She is faithful to my flame:
Ah! no misfortune Germeuil has to fear.


She lives — and to her still I'm dear —
Ah! no misfortune Germeuil has to fear.

The Count.

If I speak, thy heart I tear — 
Ah! how thou'lt tremble the tidings to hear.

The Count. You are going to see Nina.

Germeuil. I burn for the moment!

The Count. Fear it, rather.

Germeuil. And yet you tell me that she loves, me!

The Count. You have then heard nothing of her since that unhappy combat?

Germeuil. I was carried dying to a friend’s house — Persuaded that Nina was the spouse of my rival, I little regarded what became of me — but after some time recovered, in my own despite, of my wound. — Crucified with love and anxiety — cursing the day that restored me to life — collecting my remaining force, I deceived the vigilance of my friend — I ran here — I wanted to see Nina, to tell her that I loved her still, and expire at her feet.

The Count. The report of your death spread abroad — and Nina —

Germeuil. [with joy] Was affected by it? — What happiness!

The Count. What do you say? — Struck by a blow so unexpected — her reason —

Germeuil. Heav’ns! — Nina!

The Count. It is but too true!

|22| Germeuil. [with fury] Monster! — the deed is thine! — it was thy inflexible severity! — And do I come to witness! — Inhuman father!

The Count. Ah! my son — do not overwhelm me! — Think how wretched I am already!

Germeuil. Pardon the excess of my despair — it is frightful.

The Count. Think then what mine must be — since you are innocent.

Germeuil. I dare ask no more questions.

The Count. Her reason is quite disordered — she knows nobody.

Germeuil. Will she not even recognize her Germeuil?

The Count. I fear it — but you will hear her speaking incessantly of thee.

Germeuil. [with melting joy] Of me? — Heavens!

The Count. On that bench she waits every day for thee.

Germeuil. [advancing to the bench with animation]. On that bench?

The Count. And there she calls thee.

Germeuil. [with joy] Does me still remember my name?

The Count. It is the only one that she has not forgot. — She composes a nosegay for thee, and then leaves it there.

Germeuil. [running to take it up] I observe it — She gathered it then for me? — And where is she at present? — Let us run, my father — let us run.

The Count. Stop — and restrain your impatience — I must first go to Eliza — it is necessary to preacquaint her, and to hear her advice. I will return instantly to communicate what she says — Remain here I beg of you — nay, I’ll even venture to command you.

Scene XIII.

Germeuil, alone.

What a revolution in my fate! — But also what a fearful event! — I had need to he alone in this first moment — I was ill able to support her presence. — Nina! — Unhappy Nina! — A thousand tender recollections! — How dear to me is this place!


Here then it is, that every day,
Nina comes to weep her fate —
And ev'ry day, upon that seat,
Fondly hopes with me to meet.
This waving shade — those warblers sweet —
And this dear nosegay, meant for me —
And each object that I see —
In my ravish'd soul renew,
the sweetest moments e'er I knew.


[He approaches the bench.]

There — ever — ever there! — What a pleasing charm draws me there!

[He sits down.]

Seated here, my soul on fire,
Feels all the force of fond desire;
And seems in am'rous exstacy,
Nina, to converse with thee.

[With vivacity — he rises up.]

Grant me Love one favour more —
For sure to leave thus incomplete
Thy fairest work, were most unmeet —
Ah! Nina to herself restore!
This favour grant, O Love! — I ask no more.


Scene XIV.

The Count and Germeuil.

The Count. Eliza astonished, confounded, and ravished — knows not what to advise us — She fears — she hopes! — But Nina comes.

Germeuil. [observing her descend] I perceive her — What disorder in her eyes! — Ah, my father!

The Count. Let us retire — you will accustom yourself by degrees to this melancholy sight. — When your agitation is composed, you will make your appearance — you must arrive by that road — you will enter by the bar-gate, and when you are with her, your prudence will suggest what you ought to do, in order to restore her reason, without risking her life.

Germeuil. [not daring to look at Nina] Ah, let us fly!

Scene XV

[Nina enters — holding by one hand a child, and by the other an old man — she is surrounded by the inhabitants of the village, of different ages, who are all adorned with her gifts.]

Let us join in Nina's praise,
Let us sing with grateful heart;
She delights our griefs to ease,
From her never shall we part.


Your cares, my friends, so kind —
Soothe the sorrows of my heart;
Why my slender gifts remind,
Still love your Nina, and ne'er from her part.


The Chorus resumes.

Let us join in Nina's praise,
Let us sing with grateful heart;
She delights our griefs to ease,
From her never shall we part.


Still love your Nina, and ne'er from her part.


Hold — it strikes my mind, 
Relief you'll shortly find.


It also strikes my mind,
You'll shortly cease to mourn.

[Here Germeuil appears in the road which is shut up by the bar-gate, in such a manner as to be seen by the audience.]


Your love will soon return.


Your love will soon return.


The chearing thought!

The other two.

In eight days — to-morrow —
Perhaps this very day.


Ah! I see you love me dearly,
Since you seek to soothe my sorrow.


The two aged Persons.

Yes — And Heaven, less severe,
Will hear at length our fervent prayer.


Yes — to-day you'll cease to mourn —
The well-beloved will return.

[The Chorus ended, Germeuil appears in the road; the Count follows him — Eliza observes them from the eminence — The peasants return slowly to the village, expressing a lively interest in what is going on.]

Nina. [to them all] Adieu — adieu — adieu — to-morrow we’ll — [in this instant Germeuil, pushing open the bar-gate, meets her in front — she stops in the middle of her phrase, and shrieks] Ah! — [she stands motioness — puts her hand to her head — then to her heart — joins both hands in a manner the most expressive — repeats some broken words — and sets off with the greatest rapidity.]

The Count. Where goes she?

Germeuil. She seems to have felt —

The Count. Yes — but don’t let us flatter ourselves.

[Eliza is seen in the road that leads to the village — runs towards her — takes her by the hand — brings her hastily, and places her opposite Germeuil.]

Nina. [with much action] Do you see?

Eliza. [affecting not to know what she means] Well!

Nina. [with impatience] Do you see him, I say?

Eliza. [coldly] Yes — It is he whom you wait for.

Nina. It is he, do you say? — It is he — I dare not helieve it! — But do you not deceive me? — See |27| how sad he looks! — Ah! — if it were Germeuil, could he be afflicted in the presence of his Nina? If it were Germeuil, would Nina suffer still; would she still be unhappy?

Germeuil. [choaked with grief] Heavens, how I’m moved! —

Nina. His voice? — Did you hear his voice? — Ah! ah! my head! a pain, a mist before mine eyes! for pity’s sake, leave me not in this uncertainty! —

Eliza. [warmly, and with joy] It is indeed he!

Germeuil. [with hope] It is thy lover!

The Count. [with hope] It is thy father!

[At this name Nina starts with terror.]

Nina. Thy father, did he say? My father! It is he; he comes! Heavens! what would he have with me? How can I obey him? Where shall I go? Save me, save me from his fury. — You answer me not; you are no longer those with whom I talked but just now. Why have you deceived me? — What a mischief they have done me! Germeuil is not come. — No — he will never come more! What place is this? [she walks with a terrifying gesticulation] Where have they led me? — All these people — leave me; — begone — begone — Where do they go? [in a voice of despair] Whoever you are, take, compassion upon me. [she falls into the arms of Eliza.]

Germeuil. She is senseless.

Eliza. She hardly breathes.

The Count. [in despair] Ah! it is then I? —

Germeuil. It is thy Germeuil, Nina! thy Germeuil in despair!

Nina. [coming to herself but still with a wandering air] Thou didst mention Germeuil! Dost |28| thou know him? Hast thou seen him? — For pity’s sake calm me — restore me to myself — [she places Germeuil’s hand on her forehead] Fix mine ideas — Thy visage is so engaging. — Stay by my side — thou inspirest me with confidence. — There — but just now a stone, a piece of ice — at present a pleasing warmth, a blissful renovation in beholding thee! — I’m restrained by their presence — I have so many things to say to thee.

Germeuil. [with joy] To me!

Nina. Without doubt. Tell me what he does; what he thinks where thou didst leave him; and why he does not come?

Germeuil. [with joy] But —

Nina. Thou seekest for an answer — Wouldst thou also deceive me?

Germeuil. I’m incapable of it.

Nina. I believe it. Answer me then.

Germeuil. But suppose he should appear before you.

Nina. You! I say thee; do so too, pray thee.

Germeuil. Well then! if he should appear before thee — thou wouldst not recognize him, perhaps.

Nina. Ere that would come to pass, Nina must have lost her senses indeed!

Germeuil. [aside] Alas! — at least, if his features are effaced from your memory, his heart! —

Nina. [with vivacity] Ah! yes, his heart! for what mortal had ever a heart like his? Tell me, does he still love me?

Germeuil. More than ever he adores his Nina!

[Eliza expresses, by a sign, that Nina is much calmer, and goes to find the Count, who is seen at a distance, and who observes with Eliza what passes.]

|29| Nina. More than ever! well then! that’s the very thing as to which they would never give me an answer; they were all deaf and dumb. And dost thou know all that has happened — our love, our happiness, our hardships?

Germeuil. [with the most impassioned expression] Yes, it is all engraven here —

Nina. There — thou’rt in the right; for it is by that only that one can know. — and thou’lt relate to me every thing that happened to us, for one of my greatest griefs is to have forgot it all.

Germeuil. Thou didst love him, then?

Nina. He asks me that! does not all the world know it?



Ah! what joy, my tender friend,
Thrilling thro' my soul I feel.

Nina. [with surprise.]

Me he calls his tender friend!
He talks to me just like Germeuil.


I swear to thee, till life shall end,
I'll call thee so, just like Germeuil.


In very truth I can't tell why,
I'm pleas'd that thus he talks to me.


Oft he told thee — "I love thee."



And oft he heard the same from me.


Thou toldst him "I love thee."


I told him "I love thee."


And still unchang'd to day,
You say the same.


The same.


Ah! tell me so — — for him.

Nina. [more tenderly.]

I love thee.


And now for me.

Nina. [more tenderly]

I love thee, I love thee.


Ah! what joy my tender friend!
Thrilling thro' my soul I feel!


Wilt thou a promise make to me?


I promise thee, with all my heart.



Thou from me wilt ne'er depart?


I will ever 'bide by thee.


All day long?


All day long.


Eve and morning?


Eve and morning.


To-morrow, and again to-morrow?
Recite this promise once again.


With thee I'll 'bide while breath I retain.


For ever?


For ever.


O! for us twain,
A happy day!
The day that thus conjoins us.
Thou from me wilt never stray, 
I with thee will ever stay,
And only death disjoins us.



With thee I shall not cease to cry.


Mine shall it be your tears to dry.

Nina. And how shall I call thee, pray?

Germeuil. [tenderly] Thy friend — Thou may’st call me so with confidence.

Nina. My friend! Yes; I will call thee my friend! [with vivacity and surprize] but who gave thee this nosegay?

Germeuil. I found it upon that bench.

Nina. Upon that bench! dost thou know that I made it for him?

Germeuil. [offering it] Wilt thou take it back?

Nina. No, I cannot; nay, methinks, to view thee, causes in my bosom a sensation not less sweet than what I felt while I gathered it for him — But you promised to tell me — forget nothing, not even the smallest circumstance — for the smallest circumstance must be interesting.

Germeuil. [delighted.] Ah! without doubt!

Nina. Begin.

Germeuil. [aside] Cruel and delicious situation!

Nina. I’m all attention.

Germeuil. The first day he saw thee, he loved thee.

Nina. [with gratitude and joy] The first day!

Germeuil. It was long before he dared to tell his love.

Nina. And yet it was so sweet to hear!

Germeuil. His eyes alone expressed his soul.

Nina. [uneasy] And mine? — —

Germeuil. They spoke — he then confess’d his tender flame.

Nina. His tender flame! yes, yes, I remember.

|33| Gemeuil. From that moment he talk’d to thee every day of nothing but his love.

Nina. [happy in the recollection] Every day! — I remember that too.

Germeuil. He discoursed with thee of the flattering hopes he entertained of becoming one day thy spouse.

Nina. Spouse! the sweet name! I gave it him in advance.

Germeuil. Often he came with Eliza and thee to converse under this bower.

Nina. Oh! this bower, how dearly do I love it!

Germeuil. There his hand locked in thine.

Nina. [recollecting herself with joy] His hand locked in mine — ‘Tis very true.

Germeuil. [with a most expressive look] With such impassion’d tenderness he view’d thee!

Nina. Oh! thou dost imitate him well!

[During this scene the Count and Eliza advance; the Count is at the greater distance, wishing, and yet not daring to approach; in his every gesture hope is depicted. Eliza stands near Nina. The inhabitants of the village appear at the bottom of the theatre, and are concealed behind the trees, in such a manner as to see, without being too much exposed to view.]

Germeuil. Thou wert soften’d.

Nina. As I am at present.

Germeuil. Thou heard’st him without displeasure.

Nina. And who could be displeased with him?

Germeuil. One day — —

Nina. [observing Eliza, with vivacity and feeling] Goody! he knows all, he knows all.

Germeuil. [continuing] One day thy father — [the Count]

|34|Nina. [sad] Hold there — I remember no longer.

Germeuil. [with much life] He approved the passion of Germeuil.

Nina. [recovering her serenity] Ah! yes, yes.

Germeuil. He even gave him leave to present thee a ring, the pledge of his faith.

Nina. [with vivacity] Here it is, I have never quitted it — never!

Germeuil. [tenderly] Eliza was with thee.

Nina. [almost recollecting the circumstances] Eliza there! — Eliza! approach — Germeuil was here — [observing the Count] Approach also, I’m no longer afraid: Thee! you! she! ah! [she respires, or draws in her breath] at present, methinks, I have nothing more to wish. [An expressive pantomime takes place between the Count, Germeuil, and Eliza. The peasants approach and surround the bench, but still keeping behind the trees]

Germeuil. [with joy] Heavens!

The Count. [aside] What a moment!

Nina. Continue then my friend.

Germeuil. Thy soul seemed satisfied and pleas’d, and Germeuil had every reason to indulge the most inchanting hopes — That appeared to be the moment decisive of his fate — encouraged by the presence of Eliza, by a look from thy father, O my Nina, I gave thee, for the first time, the sacred name of spouse.

Nina. [astonish’d, unable to express her sensations, and letting her head drop on Germeuil’s shoulder] My Goody!

Germeuil. I dared to press thee to my heart, and hearing nothing now but the voice of love, I placed my burning lips — [he gives her a kiss]

Nina. Heavens! the blessed remembrance! what I feel now is beyond expression! [she hides her face between the palms of her hands; after a pause] |35| What a dream! — What a waking! — a new day — my father! — ’tis you!

All advancing. Yes, it is Germeuil, it is thy father!

Nina. What happiness! how I fear! my father! pardon me, I die at your feet.

The Count. My daughter! take courage, all is changed.

Germeuil. All except the heart of Germeuil.

Nina. Germeuil loves me! — Germeuil lives, still!

The Count. And Nina shall be happy.

Nina. Happy! — [the Count supporting her, and lifting one hand to heaven] Yes, almighty God! bear witness to my promise.

Germeuil. [with joined hands] Hear my prayer!

Nina. [seeing them both in the above attitudes, falls upon her knees] Render their Nina, worthy of them!

The Count. [raising her up] My daughter!

George. — Eliza. My mistress!

Nina. ‘Tis Eliza, ’tis George, [the peasants approach] I recognize them all. Their softened joyous air — But who knows whether this cruel malady!

The Count. [with life] It was occasioned by the loss of him whom you loved, a like misfortune, you have no longer reason to fear, since to-day joins you with Germeuil for ever.

Nina. Ah! My father! my friend! —

The Count. [with the greatest joy] ‘Tis now indeed that you recognize me!

Germeuil. Nina, thou art mine for life.

Nina. [pressing their hands against her heart] What a calm! What sweet joy! — incircled by these dear souls — Yes, I feel it, I have now nothing to fear.



The Peasants.

How melting the sight!
What unlook'd for delight!
With rapture love at last,
Rewards their sorrows past.

The Count, Nina, Germeuil.

O fortunate day,
What unlook'd for delight,
With rapture love at last,
Rewards our [their] sorrows past.


O what a happy day!
My mistress dear!


'Tis now indeed my mistress dear!
The Heavens my fervent prayers hear.


See my father and my love —
Yes, I press them to my breast.

The Count.

Thus my child by thee caress'd,
What have I to wish for more.


My spouse — my fairest, best,
How my heart with bliss runs o'er.

[George presenting the rest of the villagers, who descend]

On this happy, happy day,
See how ev'ry face is gay;


In the joy of such a pair,
All the village haste to share.


On this happy, &c.


My kind friends!
[To the little girls]
My little friends, whom much I love,
To reward your cares so kind,
Henceforward ever shall you prove,
That Nina bears a grateful mind,
On Nina now with reason blest.
Your friendship deeper is imprest.

The little Girls.

What tho' our friendship, true and kind,
Tried your sorrows to beguile,
Nina tender and distrest,
Nina now with reason blest,
Repays its richly with a smile.


To day let ev'ry sorrow cease,
Let all be friendship, love and peace.

Germeuil and the Count.

What tongue my happiness can tell.


Now, indeed, I find I'm well!



Webpage presentation © 2014 Doug Stott