E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The Puritans. Elvira, daughter of Lord Walton, a Puritan, is affianced to Lord Arthur Talbot, a Cavalier. On the day of espousals, Lord Arthur aids Henrietta, the widow of Charles I., to escape; and Elvira, thinking him faithless, loses her reason. On his return to England, Lord Arthur explains the circumstances, and the two lovers vow that nothing on earth shall part them more. The vow is scarcely uttered, when Cromwells soldiers enter and arrest Lord Talbot for treason; but as they lead him forth to execution a herald announces the defeat of the Stuarts, and free pardon to all political prisoners, whereupon Lord Arthur is liberated, and marries Elvira. (Bellini: I Puritani; libretto by C. Pepoli.)