An Opera in Three Acts.
Founded upon historical events in the life of Frederick the Second of Prussia, related by Miss Edgeworth, Zimmermann, Latrobe, and other writers.
With the exception of three German Melodies, and the characteristic Introduction
Charles E. Horn.
The Libretto by George P. Morris.
The Scenery by..........Messrs. Hillyard, Wheatley, and Assistants.
The Costumes by...........................................M. Louis.
The Properties and Decorations by.......................M. Dejonge.
The Machinery by........................................M. Speyers.
The Orchestra increased, and the Choruses full and effective.
Leader of the Orchestra and Chorus-Master.................M. Chubb.
The Music produced under the direction of...........Mr. C. E. Horn.
Stage Manager............................................Mr. Barry.
Frederick II. (King of Prussia)....................Mr. Chippendale.
Count Laniska (his Aid-de-Camp, a Pole)................Mr. Manvers.
Albert ( a young Saxon student-at-law)..............Mr. Fredericks.
Karl (a Hungarian, Packer to the Royal Factory).....Mr. C. E. Horn.
Wedgewood (an English Merchant)........................Mr. Placide.
Baron Altenburg (Attorney-General).......................Mr. Barry.
Judge of the Court.......................................Mr. Clark.
Hans (an Innkeeper)....................................Mr. Andrews.
Harold (an old Sergeant of Grenadiers)..................Mr. Seguin.
Corporal of Grenadiers (old man)........................Mr. Fisher.
Jailor of the Castle Spandau...........................Mr. Bellamy.
First General.............................................Mr. King.
Second General..........................................Mr. Gallot.
Staff-Officers, Officers of State, Workmen of the Factory, Citizens,
Advocates, Jurymen, Grenadiers, Peasants, Travellers, Servants,
Countess Laniska.......................................Mrs. Barry.
Frederica (her daughter)..............................Mrs. Knight.
Sophia Mansfield (the Saxon Maid).................Mrs. C. E. Horn.
Gertrude.........................................Miss Mary Taylor.
Ladies of the Court, Factory Gils, Peasants, etc.
Scene -- Berlin and Potsdam.
Time -- Latter part of the reign of Frederick the Great.
The Maid of Saxony. [See Notes]
Inside of a German Inn, on the road to Berlin. Fire and candles nearly extinguished.
Clock in the corner, marking the hour of ten. HANS seated in an arm-chair, asleep.
Music. The curtain rises to the opening symphony. HANS yawns in his sleep.
Ho! Hans!--Why, Hans!--You Hans, I say!
Awake!--here'll be the deuce to pay!
For coming guests get fire and lights,
And help me put the room to rights!
(HANS stretches and yawns)
Hans!--I've no patience with the lout!
What, Hans, on earth are you about?
(Shakes HANS, who yawns again)
Did ever room look so forlorn?
Hans!--Hark! I hear the postman's horn!
(Sounds of a horn in the distance. HANS stretches, yawns, and rises.)
What der tuyvel is der matter,
Dus you chitter-chatter-clatter?
His impudence can not be borne!
What's dat I hear?
The postman's horn!
(Sounds of horn again.)
Whose notes o'er moor and mountain flung--
Are not so noisy as your tongue!
(Horn sounds as though approaching; whips are heard, and the post-coach is supposed
to arrive outside with PASSENGERS. Enter the ATTENDANTS, with portmanteaus,
carpet-bags, etc., and PASSENGERS.)
Rejoice! rejoice! we're safe and sound,
And shelter for the night have found,
Within this snug abode!
The dust may rise, the rain may fall--
Beneath this roof we'll smile at all
The dangers of the road!
Then let the cheerful board be spread;
To supper first, and then to bed,
Till birds their songs begin:
Thus, whether sleeping or awake,
The weary traveller will take
His comfort at his inn.
Rejoice! rejoice! we're safe, etc.
[Exit PASSENGERS and ATTENDANTS
Where in the world are all these people going to, Hans?
To Berlin, to shee der troops. Frederick musters dem to-morrow at der capital. But
why don't you attend to der guest?
Why don't YOU? You are not fit to keep an inn, Hans.
I was not prought up to it; mine pishiness was to keep a paint-shop, and shell der
colors to der artists.
Don't stand here chatting about your fine colors--but look to the guests--
Yaw, yaw, mein fraulein.
Ho! landlord!--Waiters, look to our luggage!
WEDGEWOOD (speaking as he enters.)
If it is convenient.
(Enter ALB'T and WEDGEWOOD in cloaks, briskly.)
This way, gentlemen, this way.
Two bed-chambers, landlord, as soon as possible.
(Gives directions to ATTENDANT, who exits)
Landlady, take care of my coat and stick, and here's something for your pains.
WEDGEWOOD (looking at her.)
What a pretty girl.
Is that ALL, sir?
WEDGEWOOD (aside to GERTRUDE.)
No, that's not all. (Kisses her.) Take this into the bargain, you jade!
Thank you, sir. (Aside.) What a nice, queer old gentleman!
HANS (taking her away passionately.)
What's dat to you? Give me der tings (takes them.) You do noding but ogle mit der
young folks, and flirt mit der old ones!
Oh, you jealous brute! [Exit in a huff.
WEDGEWOOD (noticing her.)
Nice girl that--ODD, too, that she should have married a man old enough to be her
Dat queer chap in der brown vig I'm sure is a gay deceiver, or he would not admire
mine vife so much. I must have mine eyes about me. [Exit.
WEDGEWOOD (noticing HANS and GERTRUDE.)
Odd, very odd, VERY ODD indeed! But, now that we are alone, pray continue the narrative
you commenced in the coach--if it is convenient.
Right willingly. Frederick, after his conquest of Saxony, transported by force
several manufacturers from Dresden to Berlin, where he established a Porcelain Factory--
Separated from their friends, home, and country, these unfortunate people are compelled
to continue their labors for the profit and glory of their conqueror--I know it--go on--
Among those in bondage is Sophia Mansfield--
I have heard of her:--a young, beautiful, and singularly-gifted girl--
Several pieces of her design and modelling were shown to the king, when he was at
Meissen, in Saxony; and he was so struck with their beauty, that he determined to
convey the artist with other prisoners, to his capital--
Where he issued his royal edict, compelling the girls of the factory to marry Prussian
soldiers. Unfeelingly odd!
Sophia has yet escaped this tyranny. The OVERSEER, however, has demanded her hand;
but I shall be in time to thwart his purposes.
But, to effect that, you must also thwart the purposes of Frederick himself, who, I
understand, is as stubborn as he is bold.
Count Laniska has won Sophia's affections, and love is a power that can not be
You are on your way to the factory--have you free admission for yourself and friends?
Then we will, with your permission, visit it together. (Aside.) In this disguise,
and under the name of Worrendorf, I may pass unnoticed.
(Re-enter HANS, with trunks, etc, and GERTRUDE.)
It is growing late. After the fatigues of the journey, I need repose.
And so do I. Good-night!
Good-night! [Exit ALBERT; GERTRUDE takes a lighted candle from the table and shows
the way; WEDGEWOOD takes a light.] Do you rise early, friend?
No, mynheer; but mine vife does--
Then tell your wife to knock at my door early in the morning.
HANS (eyeing him and looking suspiciously.)
So ho! I SMOKE you!
Then keep farther off with your confounded pipe, you Dutch abomination.
HANS (lays his finger on his nose.)
And I schmells a rat!
WEDGEWOOD (looking around.)
The devil you do! Where?--
Se I vill knock at yourn door myself--
If it is convenient. (Exit Hans.) A pretty house I have got into!--Smokes me!--smells
a rat!--The FILTHY Dutchman! [Exit.
An open cut wood near Berlin. Tents in the distance. A military outpost. Enter
HAROLD, CORPORAL, and a party of SOLDIERS, in military undress.
The life for me is a soldier's life!
With that what glories come!
The notes of the spirit-stirring fife,
The roll of the battle-drum;
The brilliant array, the bearing high,
The plumed warriors' tramp;
The streaming banners that flout the sky,
The gleaming pomp of the camp.
A soldier's life is the life for me!
With that what glories come!
The notes of the spirit-stirring fife,
The roll of the battle-drum!
So, corporal, at last we are to have a muster of the combined forces of the kingdom.
Yes, the king is never so happy as when he has all his children, as he calls US, about
And plaguy good he takes of his CHILDREN! He looks after our domestic as well as our
public interests! It was a strange whim in old Fritz to offer each of his soldiers
one of the factory girls for a wife!
I wonder the old hero does not marry some of them himself.
He would rather look after his soldiers than meddle with the fancies of the women--and
at his age too!
Nonsense! The king is a boy--a mere boy--of seventy! But he does meddle with the
Say you so?
Ay, and old ones too. It was but the other day that he pensioned a poor widow, whose
only son fell in a skirmish at his side. Heaven bless his old cocked hat!
Yes is it not singular that one so mindful of the rights of old women should compel
the young ones to toil as they do in the factory?
Tush, tush, man!--that's none of your concern, nor mine. What have we to do with state
Right, corporal; and it's not worth while for us to trouble our heads about other
You're a sensible fellow--
Right again; and I would return the compliment if you did not wear such a flashy
watch-riband (looks at it.)
I mean it to be so. What the devil do you wear it for?
To gratify a whim. I like this riband. It was a present from an old sweetheart
of mine. Look what a jaunty air it gives one!--and where's the harm of keeping up
What silly vanity! But let me give you a piece of advice: beware of the scrutiny
of the king--he has an eye like a hawk, old as he is; and if he should happen to spy
Pooh, pooh!--he would not notice such a trifle.--But who comes yonder? That Hungarian
Karl. Let's make way for him.--He's a fellow I don't fancy. What a man to woo and
win Sophia Mansfield!
He'll never win her, woo her as he may. Count Laniska will look to that.
[HAROLD, CORPORAL and party retire into tents.
(Enter KARL, in great agitation.)
By the maid I fondly love!
Illusion!--In soul dejected!
Jealous fears my bosom move.
Dear Sophia!--Hope's deceiver!
Whom I love; but love in vain!
Can I to my rival leave her?
No--the thought distracts my brain!
Love--revenge!--Oh, how I falter!
Passion's throes unman me quite:
Now he leads her to he alter--
How I tremble at the sight!
Hold, tormentors! cease to tear me!
All in vain I gasp for breath!
Hated rival--scorn I bear thee
Which can only end in death!
Karl, what ails you?
Observed! (To HAROLD.) An infirmity I've had from my youth upward. I shall be better
You tremble like one with the ague.
We Hungarians have not your tough constitution, comrade: besides, the weather is
chilly--it freezes me to the bone.
It's the weather within, Karl. Repair to the factory, and sun yourself in the bright
eyes of Sophia Mansfield! That will warm you, especially if Count Laniska happens to
be by to stir up the fire of your jealousy--eh?
You have a sharp wit, which I lack, comrade.
And I've another thing which you lack--COMRADE.
What may that be?
A clear conscience, my old boy!
[Exit HAROLD into tent
Does he suspect? No--sleeping and waking I have concealed this (his arm) damning
evidence of my guilt. The mark of Cain I bear about me is known to none, and the
secret dies with me.--For that young Pole, Sophia scorns me; but let him beware!--My
revenge, though slow, is sure!
(KARL turns to go; but perceiving Count Laniska advancing, he retires to a tent.
Enter LANISKA, who notices KARL in the distance.)
When I behold that lowering brow,
Which indicates the mind within,
I marvel much that woman's vow
A man like that could ever win!
Yet it is said, in rustic bower,
(The fable I have often heard)
A serpent has mysterious power
To captivate a timid bird.
This precept then I sadly trace--
That love's a fluttering thing of air;
And yonder lurks the viper base,
Who would my gentle bird ensnare!
'Twas in the shades of Eden's bower
This fascination had its birth,
And even there possessed the power
To lure the paragon of earth!
(At the conclusion of the song, KARL, is about to retire. LANISKA addresses him.)
Come hither, Karl.
I await upon your leisure, count.
I would have some words with you.
You may not relish the frankness of my manner.
Look you, Count Laniska; I am a plain, blunt, straight-forward, rough-spoken fellow,
and a soldier like yourself. I know my rights; and, knowing, will maintain them. It
was by the king's permission and authority that I chose Sophia Mansfield for my bride--
She has rejected you.
What has that to do with the matter? Women are often perverse, and not always the
best judges of their own welfare; and you know she MUST be mine--
Yes, MUST. I have the king's promise, and Frederick was never known to break his word.
You surely will not marry her against her will?
Why not? Sophia is the only woman I ever loved: and now that I have her sure, think
you I will resign her?
And think you the king will force an angel into the arms of a monster? He can not be
so great a tyrant--
Yes. Man was created to cherish woman, not to oppress her; and he is the worst of
tyrants who would injure that sex whom heave ordains it his duty to protect.
Apply you this to the king?
To the king, or to any HE in Christendom, who would use his power to oppress the
unfortunate! But come, sir, we will not dispute about a hasty word--we have higher
duties to perform.
True, count; we oppose our weapons to the enemies of our country, not the bosoms of
our friends. I say OUR country; for, although you were born in Poland, and I in
Hungary, Frederick has made Prussia almost as dear to us as our native land, TYRANT
though he may be.--But we will not quarrel about a single captive, when the king has
placed so many at the disposal of those who fight his battles. [Trumpet sounds without.
(Enter HAROLD with dispatches.)
HAROLD (to COUNT.)
Dispatches from the king. (Aside.) And a letter from Sophia Mansfield. [Exit.
(The COUNT receives and examines the dispatches; kisses SOPHIA's letter, and puts it
into his bosom. KARL does not notice it.)
DUET--COUNT AND KARL.
'Tis a soldier's rigid duty
Orders strictly to obey;
Let not, then the smile of beauty
Lure us from the camp away.
In our country's cause united,
Gallantly we'll take the field;
But, the victory won, delighted
Singly to the fair we yield!
Soldiers who have ne'er retreated,
Beauty's tear will sure beguile;
Hearts that armies ne'er defeated,
Love can conquer with a smile.
Who would strive to live in story,
Did not woman's hand prepare
Amaranthine wreaths of glory
Which the valiant proudly wear?
[Exit the COUNT. KARL follows, menacing him.
An apartment in the Chateau of the COUNTESS. Enter the COUNTESS and FREDERICA.
Your morning ride, Frederica, was full of romance--the hose of your groom, you say,
Yes, dear mother, and darted off at a racing pace; my own also became unmanageable,
and I lost my presence of mind. I should have been thrown, if not killed, had not
a gentleman rushed to my assistance.
Who was he?
I do not know.
Was he alone?
There was an elderly person with him, who seemed to be a foreigner.
But HE was young, of course?
Yes, mother, and handsome as an Adonis.
You have not fallen in love with this stranger, surely? You are not old enough, and
this is only your first season, Frederica.
Love has all seasons for his own, dear mother. Listen!
SONG--FREDERICA. [This song was not written for the opera; but was introduced by the
The spring-time of love is both happy and gay,
For Joy sprinkles blossoms and balm in our way;
the sky, earth, and ocean, in beauty repose,
And all the bright future is couleur de rose!
The summer of love is the bloom of the heart,
When hill, grove, and valley their music impart;
And the pure glow of heaven is seen in fond eyes,
As lakes show the rainbow that's hung in the skies!
The autumn of love is the season of cheer--
Life's mild Indian summer, the smile of the year--
Which comes when the golden-ripe harvest is stored,
And yields its own blessing, repose, and reward.
The winter of love is the beam that we win,
While the storm howls without, from the sunshine within.
Love's reign is eternal--the heart is his throne,
And he has all season of life for his own.
Silly, thoughtless girl!--What strangers are these coming up the avenue?
FREDERICA (looking out.)
As I live, the elderly person I told you of, and the young gentleman who risked his
life to save mine!
(Enter WEDGEWOOD and ALBERT.)
Have I the honor of addressing the Countess Laniska? (Aside.) Flounces, frills,
filagrees, and furbelows, but she's superlatively odd!
I am the countess, sir.
WEDGEWOOD (presenting letters.)
Will your ladyship be pleased to receive these letters of introduction--if quite
COUNTESS (receiving letters and looking at them.)
Mr. Wedgewood, from Esturia and London; and--
WEDGEWOOD (introducing ALBERT.)
Mr. Albert Worrendorf.
COUNTESS (introducing FREDERICA.)
My daughter Frederica.
The angel we met by accident this morning!
FREDERICA (to ALBERT.)
We have seen each other before, Mr. Worrendorf.
To my great happiness, madam.
(ALBERT and FREDERICA converse apart.)
COUNTESS (to WEDGEWOOD.)
It was very kind in my correspondent, Mr. Wedgewood, to introduce a gentleman of your
celebrity to my chateau.
You do me honor, madam. We Englishmen are plain-spoken people. We are not unlike
our earthenware--delf and common clay mixed together. If our outsides are sometimes
rough, all within is smooth and polished as the best of work. It is the purest
spirit, which, like the finest china, lets the light shine through it. (Aside.)
Not a bad compliment to myself, and metaphorically odd!
Your reply reminds me of the object of your visit. The Prussians are very proud of
the manufactory which has claimed the attention of the king.
Oh, how I long to see the great Frederick!
You will like him, I am confident.
I don't know that. I don't at all fancy his edict.--What! marry a parcel of handsome,
innocent, industrious girls to his great whiskered horse-guards, whether they will
or no? It's a piece of moral turpitude--an insult to common sense--and infamously
Have a care, Mr. Wedgewood--have a care how you talk about the king. He possesses
a sort of magical ubiquity--and is here, there, and every where at the same moment.
How does he manage that?
He wanders about in secrecy and disguise--enters all kinds of mansions--and often
over-hears conversations that were never intended for the court. By this means, it
is said, he gathers information from every nook and corner of his kingdom.
Strange kind of hocus-pocus work for a monarch!--Peripatetically odd!
I have been told that he knows more of the character and condition of his subjects
and soldiers than they do themselves.
And he never knows of a wrong done among his people that he does not instantly
redress--though it often puzzles them to learn how he arrives at his knowledge of
the facts. Many think him a wizard.
And not without reason, madam. Never before have I heard of such a compound of
sagacity, courage, and eccentricity. Oh, I am all in a glow to see and converse
with the jolly old boy!
(Enter Count LANISKA.)
COUNTESS (introducing him.)
My son, the Count Laniska, will present you to his majesty.
WEDGEWOOD (bowing to COUNT.)
If it is convenient. (Aside.) Most martially and uniformly odd! (To LANISKA.)
But, first, I should like to have a glimpse at the factory.
I shall be happy to show it to you. There is one extraordinary subject connected
with it, that will surprise you both--a young girl of singular talent and beauty--
Ah, brother! upon your favorite theme again. That young girl occupies more of your
thoughts than all he porcelain in these dominions.
FREDERICA (observing the COUNT looks thoughtful.)
Why, what's the matter with you, brother?
He is no doubt studying the mixture of different kinds of clay, and contriving a
furnace that will not destroy it by too much heat. Ingeniously odd!
You are mistaken, sir. I was thinking at what time I should have the pleasure of
waiting upon you.
I will be at your service as soon as I have had time to adjust my outward and refresh
my inward man.--Necessarily odd! (Seeing the COUNTESS about to retire.) Madam,
allow me (takes her hand)--If it is convenient.
[Exit WEDGEWOOD and COUNTESS.
FREDERICA (to COUNT.)
Now, brother, that the countess has retired, pray favor us with your confidence. You
need not mind Mr. Worrendorf--I have told him all about Sophia Mansfield--I love
that poor girl myself, not less for her misfortunes than her genius.
I love her too--
Oh, dear! what's the matter with me? My head turns round--I am ready to drop!
COUNT (with emotion.)
You love her! Wherefore?
She is my countrywoman, and for that I love her.
Well, gentlemen, I must say this is very gallant of you both, to be praising one
lady so highly when there is another in the room. (Aside.) Oh, dear me, how near
I came to betraying myself!
Your pardon, my dear madam. When I look at you, I almost forget there is another
woman in the world. (Kisses FREDERICA's hand, who turns away with evident
confusion.)--But for the present I must leave you, to join Mr. Wedgewood. [Exit.
COUNT (noticing them.)
(Aside.) So, so, Frederica--fairly caught, I perceive! (To Frederica.) Ah, sister,
sister! as in all things else, there is a destiny in love.
DUET--LANSIKA and FREDERICA.
From my fate there's no retreating--
Love commands, and I obey;
How with joy my heart is beating
At the fortunes of to-day!
Life is filled with strange romances--
Love is blind, the poets say;
When he comes unsought, the chance is
Of his own accord he'll stay.
Love can ne'er be forced to tarry;
Chain him--he'll the bonds remove:
Paired, not matched, too many marry--
All should wed alone for love.
Let him on the bridal-even
Trim his lamp with constant ray;
And the flame will light to heaven,
When the world shall fade away!
The whole depth of the stage is made use of in this scene, which represents an open
country. A Camp and Soldiers at a distance. Music. Enter HANS, GERTRUDE, and
Peasantry: Lads and Lasses dancing.
CHORUS of PEASANTS.
Lads and lasses, trip away
to the cheerful roundelay!
At the sound of tambourine,
Care is banished from the scene,
And a happy train we bound,
To the pipe and tabour's sound.
Merrily, merrily trip away,
'Tis a nation's holiday!
Merrily, merrily, merrilie,
Bound with sprits light and free!
Let's be jocund while we may;
And dance the happy hours away!
When the gleaming line shall come,
To the sound of trump and drum;
Headed by advancing steeds,
Whom the king in person leads--
Let us hail him in his state,
For the king's both good and great!
Merrily, merrily trip away,
'Tis a nation's holiday!
Merrily, merrily, merrilie,
Bound with sprits light and free!
Let's be jocund while we may;
And dance the happy hours away!
(Immediately after chorus, a grand march is commenced in he distance, which becomes
more and more distinct as the troops advance. The PEASANTS form in groups. HANS
speaks during the first part of the march.)
Here we are, Gertrude, many miles from our own village--and all for vat? To please
you--(aside) and to shell a few color to der artishes, vich I pring along mit me for
der purpose; but I need not tell her dat.--Here, stand aside, and don't be looking
after de sholders!
(GERTRUDE and HANS stand aside. Grand march. Enter a corps of Grenadiers and other
troops, who form on the right of the stage. Roll of drums. The troops present arms.
Enter FREDERICK, in a furious passion, followed by general and staff Officers, and
Count LANISKA. The KING acknowledges the salute, lifts his hat, and puts it on again
furiously. HAROLD and Corporal are in the ranks of the Grenadiers. Throughout the
scene the KING speaks hurriedly.)
How comes it there is such a lack of discipline in your division? Disband THAT
regiment at once, and draft a few of the men from the right wing into other regiments
ordered for immediate service! The sooner THEY are shot the better!
Yes, sire. [Exit.
Generals--most of you have served the greater part of your lives with me. We have
grown gray-headed in the service of our country, and we therefore know best ourselves
the dangers, difficulties, and glory in which we have shared. While we maintain the
discipline of the army, we may defy any power that Europe can march against us--relax
that, and we become an easy prey to the spoiler.
Your majesty shall have no cause of complain in the future.
Make sure of that!--Soldiers, I rely in my operations entirely upon your well-known
zeal in my service, and I shall acknowledge it with gratitude as long as I live;
but at the same time I require of you that you look upon it as your most sacred
duty to show kindness and mercy to all prisoners that the fortunes of war may throw
in your power.
That duty, sire, you have taught us all our lives.
KING (taking snuff.)
Good!--Have any of my grenadiers anything to say to me before the parade is dismissed?
HAROLD (recovering arms.)
Speak out, Harold!
The grenadiers have noticed with deep regret that you fatigue yourself of late too
much with the cares of the army. We protest against it--
Zounds and fury!--Here's rebellion! YOU protest against it?
We do. You are getting to be an old man--a very old man--and are too much afoot.
I can do as I like about it, I suppose?
Certainly not; and you will, therefore, in future, be good enough to use your carriage
more and your legs less.
What do the grenadiers FEAR?
We fear nothing but the loss of your health, the loss of your life, or the loss of
your favor, sire.
Don't you fear the loss of my temper at your bluntness--eh, old comrade?
No, sire; we know you like it.
I do indeed. You are in the right, my brave compatriots--for my advanced age and
increasing infirmities admonish me that I shall be under the necessity of following
your advice. But on the day of battle, you shall see me on horseback--ON HORSEBACK--and
in the thickest of the fight! (Crosses the stage, as a BURGOMASTER enters, kneels,
and presents a petition.) What have we here?
Sire--the common council has imprisoned a citizen, upon an accusation that he has
sinned against heaven, the king, and the right worshipful the common council. We
humbly beg to know what Your Majesty's pleasure is with regard to the punishment
of so unparalleled and atrocious an offender?
If the prisoner has sinned against heaven, and is not a fool or a madman, he will
make his peace with it without delay. This is a Power (taking off his hat--all the
characters make their obeisance) that kings themselves must bow to in reverential
awe. (Resumes his hat.)
But he has also sinned against your high and mighty majesty--
Tush, tush, man!
On my official veracity, sire.
Well, well, for that I pardon him--
And he has likewise sinned against the right worshipful the common council.
It is most veritable, Your Majesty!
Well, for that terrible and enormous offence, it becomes my solemn duty to make an
example of so abominable a culprit and to punish him in a must exemplary manner.
Yes, Your Majesty--
Send him to the Castle of Spandau, to be imprisoned--
For at least--
Half an hour (PEASANTRY laugh;)--and afterward he is at liberty to go to the devil
his own way; and the right worshipful the common council may go with him, if they
(Exit BURGOMASTER. As he goes out, shrugging his shoulders, all the PEASANTRY laugh,
until checked by a look from the KING, who crosses the stage to the Grenadiers, and
addresses the CORPORAL, who has his watch-riband suspended.)
Corporal! (He advances and recovers arms.)
I have often noticed you in the field. You are a brave soldier--and a prudent one,
too, to have saved enough from your pay to buy yourself a watch.
HAROLD (aside to CORPORAL.)
You remember what I told you about a hawk's eye.
Brave I flatter myself I am; but as to my watch, it is of little signification.
KING (Seizing and pulling out a bullet fastened to the CORPORAL's watch-riband.)
Why, this is not a watch!--It's a bullet!
It's the only watch I have, Your Majesty; but I have not worn it entirely out of
What have you worn it for, then? It does not show you the time of day!
No; bit it clearly shows me the death I am to die in your Majesty's service.
Well said, my brave fellow! And, that you may likewise see the hour among the twelve
in which you ARE to die, I will give you my watch. Take it, and wear it for my sake
corporal. (The KING gives the CORPORAL his watch.)
CORPORAL (with emotion.)
It will also teach me that at any moment Your Majesty may command my life.
And the lives of us all. Long live the King!
(Flourish of drums. The KING acknowledges the salute.)
KING (to Grenadiers.)
You, my brave fellows, are my own guards. I can rely upon YOU. There is no want of
discipline here--eh, General? Notwithstanding all my annoyances, I am the happiest
king in Christendom!
(Grenadiers and all the characters)
All hail the king!--Long live the king!
Our hope in peace and war!
With his renown let Prussia ring--
Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!
He is the pillar of the state!
Our sword and buckler he!
Heaven give to Frederick the Great
(The GRENADIERS cheer. The OFFICERS close about the KING. Flourish and tableau.
The act-drop descends on the picture.)
End of the First Act.
Discovered. The stage represents a large apartment without the usual side-entrances.
On the left hand is a row of long, old-fashioned windows, with painting-screens
so arranged as to let the light fall obliquely on the tables beneath; at which
the FACTORY GIRLS are seated, employed in painting various articles of porcelain.
SOPHIA MANSFIELD is seated at the table nearest the audience. On the right are
separate tables, at which GIRLS are employed mixing and grinding colors. In the
center of the stage is a small platform, on which a number of painted vases, ready
for the oven, are placed. KARL is engaged in examining them. At the rear of the
stage is the entrance to the room--a large open door--on each side of which are
rows of shelves, filled with vases, bowls, plates, jars, mantel ornaments, and
the like, put there to dry. The whole representing the painting-room of the Royal
Porcelain Factory. Through the doors the furnaces are seen, on which the porcelain
is placed to set the colors, and which several WORKMEN are attending. The curtain
rises slowly to the music.
Home, home, home--
Dear, lost home!
Though here we pine in slavery,
Our hearts are all in Saxony,
Our girlhood's happy home!
Land of the free and bold,
To hopeless bondage sold!
While abject toil and fear
Enchain thy daughters here,
We yearn for thee,
For freedom, love, and home!
(The GIRLS attempt to waltz to the music; but, overcome by their feelings, they resume
Home, home, home--
Dear, lost home!
Though cares oppress us fearfully,
We exiles carol cheerfully
Of girlhood's happy home!
Beneath our native sky,
The hours went swiftly by;
While on a foreign soil,
Our youth consumes in toil!
We yearn for thee,
For freedom, love, and home!
(The GIRLS attempt to waltz, as before, etc.)
Home, home, home, etc.
(The WORKMEN and the GIRLS resume their tasks.)
(Enter Count LANISKA, ALBERT, and WEDGEWOOD.)
WEDGEWOOD (looking around, and speaking enthusiastically as he enters.)
Admirable, upon my word! Every department better than the last, and this the best
of all! Never saw anything like it. The colors brilliant--the designs exquisitely
classical--"a place for everything, and everything in its place!"
Whatever His Majesty constructs, whether a fortress or a factory, is perfect in all
Yet look around, and read your monarch's history in the eyes of these prisoners of
war. Observe that picture of melancholy (pointing to SOPHIA, who, during the scene,
has been leaning dejectedly on her hand.--KARL standing by her side.) How reluctantly
she pursues her task! Our English manufacturers work in quite another manner, for
they are free!
And are free men or free women never indisposed?--or do you Englishmen blame your
king whenever any of his subjects turn pale? The woman at whom you are looking is
The fie upon your inhumanity for making a poor, sick girl work when she seems scarcely
able to hold up her head! (Aside.) I don't half like that fellow. Villainously odd.
ALBERT (to SOPHIA.)
My poor girl, what is the matter with you. The overseer says that, since you came
here, you have done nothing worthy of your pencil. Yet this charming piece (pointing
to an ornament on her painting)--which was brought from Saxony is of your design--is
Yes, sir, it was my misfortune to paint it. If the king had never seen or liked it,
I should now be--
In Saxony; but forget that country, and you may be happy in this.
I can not forget it!--I can not forget everybody that I ever loved. Ask not a Saxon
woman to forget her country!
Whom do you love in Saxony now?
Whom do I NOT love in Saxony? I have a brother there, whom I have not seen since
childhood. He was at college when I was carried off from the cottage in which we
both were born. He is ignorant of my fate. (She regards ALBERT with great attention,
and examines his features minutely.)
Why do you gaze upon me so intently?
I know not why, sir; but you seemed even now a dear heart-cherished one, whom I have
wished for long and anxiously.
Think me that one, and trust me.
I will--for there's a cherub nestling in my heart which whispers, "You are here to
save me!" (ALBERT leads her to her task, which she resumes in great dejection of
WEDGEWOOD (to KARL.)
Is that poor girl often thus?
She sits as you see her, like one stupefied, half the day.
The cause of this--if it is convenient?
She has fallen to the lot of a soldier (glancing at SOPHIA)--who swears, if she delays
another day to MARRY HIM, that he will complain to the king.
COUNT (turning furiously upon KARL.)
Wretch! (seizes him.)
KARL (throwing him off.)
This insult will cost you dear! Your scorn for the king's commands--
I had forgotten. (Releases him.) You are a mere instrument in the hands of a tyrant!
That word again!--
SOPHIA (running between them, and throwing herself at the feet of LANISKA.)
Save me! save me! You CAN save me! You are a powerful lord, and can speak to the
king! Save me from this detested marriage.
KARL (aside to SOPHIA.)
Are you mad?
COUNT (raising SOPHIA, who clings to him, and shrinks from KARL.)
I will do so, or perish in the attempt!
Ah! say you so? Then the king shall know HIS enemy and MINE! [Exit.
WEDGEWOOD (noticing KARL go off.)
Whew! There's mischief brewing! If that black-muzzled rascal is not hatching trouble
for us all, I'll never trust my seven senses again! I wonder they permit such a
bear to go at large in a garden like this--he'll root up the flowers as well as
(Trumpet sounds without, and a buzz and hum as if of a distant crowd; the noise comes
near the Factory.)
What's afoot now, I wonder?
Some new freak, no doubt, of this eccentric monarch. (Noises.)
WEDGEWOOD (looking out.)
The town is all astir (noise louder)--humming and buzzing like a hive of bees! (Noise,
and distant shouts.) And yonder comes a fussy little burgomaster with a proclamation,
and a crowd of noisy citizens at his heels--odd! [Noise and shouts increase.
(Sophia and the other GIRLS and the WORKMEN leave their occupations, as if anxious
to learn the cause of the uproar. When the buzzing, huzzaing, and noise reach the
Factory, loud sound of the trumpet.)
Make way there, good people--make way there for the royal herald! (The BURGOMASTER
bustles in with the HERALD--the crowd following and surrounding him--noises.) Stand
back (using his wand)--stand back, you idle, ragged tatterdemalions, and pay all
due reverence to the constituted authorities! (laughter)--for know all men by
these presents (very pompously,) that I represent the king! (laughter.)
What a figure for the part! (laughter.)
BURGOMASTER (smartly striking with his wand one who laughs louder than the rest.)
Take that, and let it teach you better manners in future, you scarecrow!--Now draw
near, good people, and be dumb! Lend me all your ears!--
You have ears enough already for any two-legged animal--
While I, by virtue of my office as a magistrate, publish this important document!
(SOPHIA comes forward.)
Now for it!
BURGOMASTER (hitting him smartly over the head.)
You will, will you?--Hish! This paper is big with information to the whole realm;
but more especially to the daughters of Saxony. (SOPHIA and the GIRLS of the Factory,
by looks and actions, evince great interest in the reading of the paper.)
Hish! (To HERALD.) Now proceed in regular order, and according to ancient form and
usage, to read the royal proclamation!--Hish! (Hands paper to HERALD.)
"By the grace of God, we, Frederick the Second, King of Prussia, hereby make known
that he will give freedom--"
SOPHIA (eagerly aside.)
Freedom? (Listens with anxiety.)
"And a reward of five hundred crowns to the ARTIST who shall produce the most
beautifully designed and highly-finished enameled porcelain vase of Berlin china;
and permit her to marry whomsoever she shall think proper."
SOPHIA (aside and joyfully.)
Her I aright? (The GIRLS of the Factory show great joy at this.)
"The ARTIST's name shall be inscribed upon the vase, which shall be called 'The Prussian
Oh, happy, happy news!
"Signed at the Sans Souci--
"By the King."
HA-z-z-a-a-h-a-a-a-a! (Amid the shouts and general joy of the GIRLS, the BURGOMASTER
bustles out, using his wand frequently, and speaking all the while; the HERALD
following, and the CITIZENS buzzing and huzzaing as before.) Silence you nondescript
villains!--Silence, I say! You stun me with your uproar! (Loud shout.--Passionately.)
Oh, shut your ugly mugs! (Strikes them.)
Mugs! I like that. He's in the crockery-trade, like myself.
SOPHIA (with joy.)
This proclamation has animated me with new life and energy. I feel like one inspired!
What mean you?
To become a competitor for the prize.
You will have many opponents.
I heed them not.
All will be zeal throughout the manufactory.
So much the greater need for my perseverance.
Some will be excited with the hope of gaining their liberty.
Oh, blessed hope!
Some stimulated by the crowns.--Not at all odd.--It would be odd if they were not!
But none have so strong a motive for exertion as I have.
COUNT (with enthusiasm.)
Nobly resolved! I will assist you with every faculty I possess.
ALBERT (with the same feeling.)
WEDGEWOOD (with the same.)
And all!--If it is convenient.
Then doubt not my success. (Exit LANISKA, ALBERT, and, WEDGEWOOD.) Oh, how my
heart bounds with the thoughts of once more seeing Saxony! Its mountains, torrents,
vineyards, are all before me now! And then our native songs!--They steal into my
heart and melt it.
SONG AND CHORUS.
SOPHIA and FACTORY GIRLS.
Sky, stream, moorland, and mountain,
Tree, cot, spire, and dome,
Breeze, bird, vineyard, and fountain,
Kindred, friends, country, and home!--
Home, home, home, home!--
These are the blessings of home!
(The FACTORY-GIRLS now waltz cheerfully to the music.)
Hope how fondly I cherish,
Dear land, to see thee once more!
O Fate! let me not perish
Far from my own native shore!
Home, home, home, home!--
Saxony, Liberty's home!
(The GIRLS waltz as before, etc.)
Those who freedom inherit,
Bow not to Tyranny's throne;
Then, friends, in a kind spirit,
Judge of my love by your own.
Home, home, home, home!--
The land of the heart is our home!
(They all waltz with great spirit until the scene closes.)
A Street in Berlin. Enter FREDERICK in a cloak--KARL following.
Those who have the command of motives, and know their power, have also the command
of all that the arts, or what is called a genius for the arts, can produce. The
human mind and human ingenuity are much the same in Italy, England, and Prussia.
Then why should not we have a Prussian as well as a Wedgewood or a Barbarini vase?
We shall see. I do not understand mon metier de roi, if I can not call forth talents
where I know them to exist. (To KARL.) And so the count denounced me for a tyrant,
did he, Karl?
He did, Your Majesty.
He's a mere stripling; and I permit boys and fools to speak of me as they list. But
I am no tyrant, Karl! He might have spared me that. (Musingly.) Tyrant!--
It rankles deeply.
KING (recovering from his meditation.)
Youth and inexperience--to say nothing of love--pshaw!--which is the root of all
folly--shall be his apology this time: but let him beware how he offends again--
It moves him as I intended.
No, I am no tyrant. I should not be branded with such a title!
Branded, Your Majesty?
What has happened, Karl? You are as pale as ashes! What mystery is here? I am to
Your Majesty was ever kind; and if I might--
Might! You may. Speak freely to your sovereign--your friend--and tell me what it
is that weighs upon your mind.
Dared these lips my sad story impart,
What relief it would give to my heart!
Though the scenes of past years as they rise,
Bring the dews of remorse to my eyes,
Yet, oh hear me, and ever conceal
What in agony now I reveal!--
Speak freely, Karl--
And behold, while I throw off the mask!
Ah, no, no, no, no, no--
I shrink in despair from the task!
In the page of my life there appears
A sad passage that's written in tears!
Could but that be erased, I would give
All the remnant of days I may live:
yet the cause of the cloud on my brow
I have never disclosed until now--
Say on, Karl--
Here behold!--It is branded in flame!
Ah, no, no, no, no, no--
I shrink in despair from my shame! [KARL rushes out.
There's a mystery about that fellow that I can not understand.--Whom have we here?
Oh, the English traveller who is in such a good humor with my manufactory, and who
has such strange notions respecting me. Good--good!
[Draws his cloak about him and retires.
I begin to perceive that I shall get into some confounded scrape if I stay here much
longer, and so will my young friend Mr. Worrendorf, who has made me his confidant:
but mum's the word! (Seeing the KING, who is in the act of taking snuff.) Ah, use
snuff, my old boy?--Odd!--Thank you for a pinch. (Takes a pinch sans ceremonie, and
without the King's consent. FREDERICK shuts the box angrily. WEDGEWOOD starts back
in astonishment.--Aside.) Wonder who the old-fashioned brown jug can be! I'll take
him by the handle and pour him out, and see what's in him.
Like the snuff?
Yes (snuffs)--it's decent blackguard (snuffs)--quite decent.
Taste it again.
Don't care if I do. (Helps himself.)
Perhaps you will also do me the favor to accept the box?
WEDGEWOOD (taking the box.)
If it is convenient. What am I to infer from this?
That you and I cannot take snuff out of the same box. MY box is not large enough
You don't say so! "Not large enough for two?" (Looks at the box.) Damn me if
I don't think it large enough for a dozen, unless they took snuff with a shovel!
(Aside.) Who in the name of all that's magnanimous can this old three-cornered
cocked-hatted cockolorum be?
You were overheard to say but now that you would like to see the king?
Overheard? (Aside.) Ah, that's the way they do everything here. A man can't sneeze
without some one of the four winds of heaven reporting it to His Majesty! There is
no such thing as a secret in the whole kingdom! How do the women get along, I wonder?
(To FREDERICK.) "Like to see the king?" Certainly I should.
That box will procure you an audience. Present it at the palace.
Look you here, my jolly old cock, none of your jokes--none of your tricks upon
travellers, if you please. What do you mean?
That I am appreciated at court.
Oh, there's no standing on this! (To FREDERICK.) Do you intend to say that you
are personally acquainted with Frederick the Great?
I know him, I believe, better than any subject in his realm. He is my most intimate
Well, then, if that be the case, all that I have to say is, that he is not over and
above nice in his choice of companions.--What an odd old file!
Look you here, Mr. Wedgewood--
Yes--I know you well enough. You are an Englishman by birth--a crockery-merchant
by trade--a gentleman from inclination--and an odd sort of character from habit.
Without knowing anything more about it than the man in the moon, you have condemned
the policy of the king, who is aware of all you have said and done since your arrival
Oh, I'll get out of this infernal country as fast as my legs can carry me! The king
is all ears, like a field of corn; and all eyes, like a potato-patch!
What alarms you?
Everything. It's all over with me! I'm an earthen teapot with the spout knocked
You, sir, like too many others, are entirely mistaken in the character of Frederick.
You will understand him better when we meet again (going.)
But, before you go, pray receive your box again!--(the KING looks at him sternly--
WEDGEWOOD is greatly alarmed)--if--it--is--convenient!
Not now. When next we confer, remember me.--Farewell! [Exit.
Remember you? I think I shall. Once seen, never forgotten. What a deep old screw!
The king commands your presence at the chateau of the countess.
The devil he does! (Looks at the box.) What's here? As I live, the royal arms!
(Conceals the box from HAROLD.) Oh, the thing's plain enough. That fellow has
stolen this box; and for fear of being found out, he has put it off on me! It's
all up!--I've been bamboozled by the nefarious old monster of iniquity! But I'll
after him straight, and have him JUGGED. If I don't, they'll make not bones of
JUGGING me!--If it is convenient. [Exit in a flurry.
How he trembles! He's frightened out of his senses--Fear? What is it? A word not
to be found in the articles of war--a soldier's only vocabulary!
Fiery Mars, thy votary hear!
Weave for me a wreath of glory!
When I rest upon my bier,
Let my memory live in story!
Aid my sword in time of war!
In my country's cause I wield it--
Only with the breath I draw,
Will I to the foeman yield it!
SOPHIA MANSFIELD's apartments in the Porcelain Factory. Enter SOPHIA.
'Tis done. My vase is finished, and in the possession of the overseer. How is it
with me? Although my fortunes are suspended by a single thread, an unaccustomed
buoyancy pervades my bosom. Are these emotions precursors of victory, or has the
love of Laniska given me a new existence, and tinged the world once more with hues
of paradise? How new and fresh and strange are all he things here about my heart!
This is his gift--a simple flower! He said it is an emblem of love. It is not so.
Love does not perish thus!--Love can not be a flower.
Ah! Love is not a garden-flower,
That shoots from out the cultured earth;
That needs the sunbeam and the shower,
Before it wakens into birth:
It owns a richer soil and seed,
And woman's heart supplies them both,
Where it will spring, without a weed,
Consummate in its growth.
These leaves will perish when away
From either genial sun or shower;
Not so will wither and decay
Celestial Love's perennial flower.
'Tis our companion countless miles,
Through weal or woe in after years;
And though it flourishes in smiles,
It blooms as fresh in tears!
My dear Sophia, I am overjoyed to learn that you have completed your vase.
Thanks, dear madam. Is it true that the works of the different competitors are to
be exhibited at the fete of the countess, and that the decision is to be there made?
It is--and the countess insists upon your being present.
I am an unknown girl, madam; and if I decline the invitation, I beseech you take it
--But I will take it amiss, and so will the count and countess, whose messenger I
am, and who insisted upon my bringing you to the chateau at once.
Well, madam, since you will have it so--
Oh, you'll be delighted. Only think of the concentrated attractions of "the court,
the camp, the grove!" Oh, they're too much for any mortal woman to withstand!
DUET--SOPHIA and FREDERICA
The king, the princes of the court,
With lords and ladies bright,
Will in their dazzling state resort
To this grand fete to-night:
The merry-hearted and the proud
Will mingle in the glittering crowd,
Who glide with Fashion's sparkling stream
Where one I love will shine supreme!--
La ra la, la ra la, la la la, etc.
The cavaliers of Italy,
The gay gallants of France,
With Spain and England's chivalry,
Will join the merry dance.
The court of Love--the camp of Mars,
Fair Prussian dames, "earth-treading stars,"
To music's strain will float in light,
Where one I love will beam to-night!--
La ra la, la ra la, la la la, etc.
Discovered. Grand Saloon in the Chateau of the COUNTESS LANISKA, arranged for a
Fete. The scene opens with dancing and waltzing by the CHARACTERS, and discovers
the KING and retinue, LORDS and LADIES of the Court, foreign AMBASSADORS and ATTACHES,
the COUNTESS LANISKA, ALBERT, WEDGEWOOD, KARL, GIRLS of the Factory, etc., etc.
The CHARACTERS are variously grouped during the dance; and while all are observing
the KING, who, with KARL at his side, is attentively examining the Vases, which
are placed on stands on one side of the stage, the COUNT LANISKA enters, conducting,
in SOPHIA and FREDERICA. After the dance, the KING speaks.
The hour has arrived which is to decide the fate of the competitors. (All the
CHARACTERS express by their looks and actions the utmost anxiety as to the result,
and draw near to the KING.)
KARL (to KING.)
The inscription upon this vase is in the handwriting of the Count Laniska.
And it is a death-warrant!
Subjects and children: we have reason to be proud of an art that redounds to the
honor and glory of Prussia. Where all have deserved well, all shall be well remembered.
(The GIRLS of the Factory manifest great joy at these words, and turn to congratulate
each other. SOPHIA and LANISKA stand apart, and watch every action of the KING,
while the other CHARACTERS appear greatly interested in SOPHIA.) This vase, however,
I select from the rest, as the most beautiful of them all. (SOPHIA clasps her hands
in great agitation.) Let this be known to after ages as "THE PRUSSIAN VASE;" and
let the name here inscribed (looks at and points to the name on the vase) be chronicled
throughout these realms. (Takes SOPHIA by the hand.) Sophia Mansfield is the artist
and she is free! (SOPHIA, overcome by her feelings, falls on the bosom of FREDERICA.)
The Saxon maid is free--
Victoria! victoria! etc.
My heart will break with gratitude!
And mine with joy!
It will be of brief duration.
KING (who has regarded SOPHIA with great interest.)
Let the dance proceed.
(A merry dance and waltz by the CHARACTERS, at the termination of which a tableau
is formed. The utmost merriment and hilarity mark the action of the scene. At the
conclusion of the dance, the KING, who has been occupied in carefully examining the
Vase, wipes it with his handkerchief, which becomes stained with the paint. KARL
draws his attention to the inscription.)
Behold, my liege!--
Ha! What words are these? (Reads.) "To Frederick the Great Tyrant"--Treachery!--
(KARL immediately seizes the Vase, and carries it off, without the inscription being
seen by any but the KING.) Break off the sports!
COUNTESS (greatly astonished.)
What means Your Gracious Majesty?
(Who has taken out his tablets, and written on them in great haste--does not regard
her, and speaks furiously.)--Let all the doors be closed! Such base ingratitude
shall not go unpunished!--Give over your mirth! Ho! My guards! (Drums immediately
sound.) My guards!
(Presto! Enter HAROLD, CORPORAL, and GRENADIERS, in great haste. The KING hands
HAROLD his orders, and rushes out in a towering passion. Enter WEDGEWOOD. All the
guests are thrown into great confusion. Re-enter KARL.)
Count Laniska, stand forth!
What is your business with me, Harold?
You are our prisoner.
Now I triumph!
Under whose orders do you act?
Those of the king.
What of her?