This opera was written when Bellini had established a name for himself with Norma and La Sonnambula and had just moved to Paris. The libretto is by Count Carlo Pepoli after the play Roundheads and Cavaliers by Lancelot and Xavier. In it, Elvira, a Roundhead, learns from her uncle Giorgio her father Lord Walton has agreed to let her marry her sweetheart Arturo She is overjoyed, though Riccardo, who also loved her, is distraught. However, Queen Henrietta Maria, a Royalist, is a miserable prisoner of Walton. In the chaos of the wedding preparation, Arturo, Elvira and Riccardo disguise her in Elvira's wedding veil and smuggle her out of the castle. The escape is discovered and Arturo is declared a traitor. He is chased through a furious storm, but Riccardo and Giorgio help him escape and he finds Elvira in a wooded garden. He explains why he had to flee, but her cries of fear and the approaching army bring guards who arrest Arturo. He is saved moments before his execution by Cromwell's declaration of amnesty and all ends happily.
This is the Schirmer edition of the Libretto in the original Italian with an English translation by William Weaver.