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Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy
by Steele Mackaye
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PAUL KAUVAR; OR, ANARCHY



STEELE MACKAYE

(1844-1894)

When one realizes the sociological purpose behind Steele Mackaye's "Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy," it is interesting to note how inefficient the old form of drama was to carry anything more than the formal romantic fervour. Compared with John Galsworthy's treatment in "Strife" and "Justice," it makes one glad that realism came and washed away all the obscuring claptrap of that period. Daly, Boucicault, and their generation were held firmly in its grip; they could not get away from it, and they were justified in their loyalty to it by the insistent claim "The Two Orphans" and "The Lady of Lyons" had upon the public. All the more credit, therefore, that Bronson Howard, David Belasco, and James A. Herne escaped it; had the latter completely freed himself of melodrama, his plays would be better known to-day, better capable of revival, because of the true greatness of their simple realistic patches.

But where Mackaye vitalized the old style was in the vigour of his treatment. He loved the large scene, the mob movement; and he worked with a big brush. As Nym Crinkle, the popular New York World dramatic critic of the day, wrote: "Whatever else he may be, [he] is not a 'lisping hawthorne bud'! He doesn't embroider such napkins as the 'Abbe Constantin', and he can't arrange such waxworks as 'Elaine'. He can't stereoscope an emotion, but he can incarnate it if you give him people enough."

Mackaye's mind was large, resourceful, daring—both in the opinions it upheld, and the practical theatrical innovations it introduced into the theatre, like the double stage for the little Madison Square playhouse, in New York, which was the precursor of such modern paraphernalia as came later with the foreign revolving stages. He always stood on the threshold of modernism, advocating those principles which were to fructify in the decades to follow him. Such pioneer spirit was evident in his ardent advocacy of Delsarte methods of acting; his own work as an actor was coloured and influenced by the master whose pupil he became in the early years of his career. When one recalls the methods of Wallack, and his shy approach toward anything which was "natural," it seems very advanced to hear Mackaye echoing the Delsarte philosophy. This advocacy was nowhere better demonstrated than when, at a breakfast given him at the New York Lotos Club, he talked on the rationale of art for two hours, and held spell-bound the attention of Longfellow, Bryant, Louis Agassiz, James J. Fields, E.P. Whipple, Edwin Booth and others. He once said:

A man to be a true actor must not only possess the power to portray vividly the emotions which in any given situation would be natural to himself, but he must study the character of the man whom he impersonates, and then act as that man would act in a like situation.

Mackaye's devotion to Delsarte was manifest in the many practical ways he aided his teacher; he was rewarded by being left most of his master's manuscripts. This passionate interest in the technique of acting not only enriched his own work, but, in 1872, prompted him to open a Delsarte house (the St. James Theatre), and later interested him in a school of acting. Mackaye studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Conservatoire, in Paris, having as an instructor at the latter institution M. Regnier. On his way back to America, Tom Taylor persuaded him to attempt Hamlet in London, at the Crystal Palace. This essayal met with success. It also opened the way for collaboration with Tom Taylor in the writing of "Arkwright's Wife" and "Clancarty," and with Charles Reade of "Jealousy." At this time also he commenced a dramatization of George Eliot's "Silas Marner."

There were no half-way measures about Mackaye; things of the theatre and principles of the theatre caught and held his interest. At the very last of his life, while he was at work on his "Spectatorus," which foreran the American idea of a Hippodrome, and which might have, in years to come, happily housed his son Percy's "Caliban," he was at the same time attempting to combine with it an educational aspect which would lift it above the mere spectacular. The symbolical notes which he handed his son—who was then a mere boy—for the writing of a Chorus, show the profound approach he took to all his work. Such seriousness is one of the consuming traits of Percy, whose sense of humour is probably better developed than that of his father, and whose sway of literary expression is fuller.

For none of Steele Mackaye's dramas were written with any idea of being read. They were all constructed by one fully alive to the theatre and its demands. In view of this, it is surprising how well "Paul Kauvar" flows in type. The minor editorial changes made for this edition by Mr. Percy Mackaye are based on several manuscripts, and the result is the first authentic text of the play. Steele Mackaye was always gripped in fascination by mob psychology, always eager to write of the Reign of Terror. The version here used is the mature one, given its premiere at Buffalo, New York, May 30, 1887. But Mr. Percy Mackaye is authority for the statement that while his father was studying with Delsarte, in Paris, he became enamoured of the Revolution, and there are two manuscripts extant, "The Denouncer" and "The Terror," which indicate that he was chipping away at his theme very early in life. He recast these sketches in the summer of 1875, while at Brattleborough, Vt., where he had a cottage on the Bliss Farm, familiar now to Rudyard Kipling lovers because of the fact that here, too, Kipling wrote, at a later day.

The years 1875 and 1887 are the mileposts between which stretched a long period of successful play-writing by Steele Mackaye. By '75, he had already written "Marriage" (1872), "Arkwright's Wife" (1873) and "Clancarty" (1874). There followed quickly "Rose Michel" (1875, in collaboration), "Queen and Woman" (1876, an adaptation from Hugo), "Won at Last" (1877), "Through the Dark" (1878), "An Iron Will" (1879, later to be called "Hazel Kirke," 1880), "A Fool's Errand" (1881, an adaptation), "Dakolar" (1884), "In Spite of All" (1885), and "Rienzi" (1886). Then came the present play, followed by "A Noble Rogue" (1888) and "Money Mad," modelled after Hugo.

In correspondence with Mr. Percy Mackaye, it is significant to hear him insisting on his father's change in sociological bearing having taken place while writing "Paul Kauvar." Timeliness was given to its initial presentment through the fact that at the moment some Chicago anarchists had been on trial, and were condemned to death. Writing of the incident, William Dean Howells recalls that:

At the house of Judge Pryor, in 1887, several of us came together in sympathy with your father, who was trying—or had vainly tried—to get the United States Supreme Court to grant the Chicago anarchists a new trial. With your father I believed that the men had been convicted on an unjust ruling, and condemned for their opinions, not for a proven crime. I remember your father's wrathful fervour, and the instances he alledged of police brutality. [Letter to Mr. Percy Mackaye.]

In a published interview, Mackaye expressed his concern for the case; but he likewise was reticent about making theatre capital out of it. He is reported to have said:

The play was first called "Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy." Then I thought "Anarchy" would be the best title, and under that I produced it in Buffalo. After its production, the Chicago anarchists were hanged, and, to avoid a possible charge of trading on that event, I went back to my first title. Later, however, the subtitle, "Anarchy," was gradually reduced to smaller lettering and finally dropped.

The success of the play on its first night was a double triumph, for twelve hundred leading citizens had signed an invitation to have it given in Mackaye's native city, and the evening was a kind of public testimony to his position. This was one of the rare instances of an American dramatist receiving such recognition. Mackaye assumed the title-role, and, supporting him were Frederick de Belleville, Eben Plympton, Sidney Drew, Julian Mitchell, May Irwin, and Genevieve Lytton. Commenting on the occasion, the Buffalo Courier said:

It was not as a playwright alone that his friends honour Mr. Mackaye. It may be said of him with strict justice that he is one of the few men of our day who have brought to the much-abused theatre the intelligence, the skill, the learning and the genius that it so much needs in an era of speculators and buffoons. He has always been able and willing to take the pen or the rostrum, whether at Harvard or at Steinway Hall, to expound the principles upon which he has so assiduously worked for the past fifteen years.

Mackaye had chosen his theme in the same spirit that Judge Conrad had selected "Jack Cade." He wished to measure the danger of liberty, but he did so indirectly, for the play does not abound in long philosophical flights of definition and warning. He himself confessed that the subject was defined only once, in these words, spoken by the hero to the woman he loves, when she is pleading with him to flee from France. He silences her by saying:

"I must stay to war with beasts who bring disgrace upon our noble cause. The torch of liberty, which should light mankind to progress, when left in madmen's hands, kindles that blaze of anarchy whose only end is ashes."

This indicates very distinctly that Mackaye's stand for the Chicago anarchists was not due to sympathy with their political monomania, but rather championed justice which, only when rightly used, will stem the tide of overwrought minds. With the execution of these men, he believed the cause of anarchy would be strengthened by the general impression gained of their martyrdom. His attitude was widely discussed, and "Paul Kauvar" became a visible demonstration of anarchy gone mad.

Of the component elements in his play, Mackaye left a full record. It is worth preserving as indication of his motive. In an interview he said:

For many years I have devoted myself to the mechanical, as well as the artistic side of the theatre, in the hope that by improving stage mechanism I might help to develop the artistic ensemble essential to high art results in the theatre. To this end I have made numerous inventions, and designed and built several theatres. [The Madison Square and the Lyceum Theatres.]

In this work I have been almost daily in contact with labourers and mechanics of every kind, and this contact stirred in me a very deep and sincere sympathy with these classes of men. I was led to realize the greatness of obligation under which the whole world is placed by the industry, ability and devotion to duty which characterizes by far the larger portion of the working classes.

At the same time, through relations intimate and confidential, I became conscious that certain foreign ideas—the natural outgrowth of excessive poverty and despotism in the Old World—were insinuating themselves into the hearts and minds of American labourers to an extent perilous to their own prosperity and to the very life of the republic.

In this country political corruption and the grasping spirit of corporations are constantly affording the demagogue or the dreamer opportunity to preach the destruction of civil order with great plausibility, giving scope to reckless theorists who have so often, in the world's history, baffled the endeavours of the rational and patient liberalists of their day.

This excited in me an ardent desire to do what little I could as a dramatist to counteract what seemed to me the poisonous influences of these hidden forces: to write a play which might throw some light on the goal of destruction to which these influences inevitably lead, whenever the agitation between capital and labour accepts the leadership of anarchism.

The time chosen by me was that of the Terror in France, 1793-94, during which the noble fruits of the French Revolution came near to annihilation, thanks to the supremacy, for a time, of a small band of anarchical men who, in the name of liberty, invoked the tyranny of terror.

The hero of my play, Paul Kauvar, has for his prototype Camille Desmoulins, one of the most conspicuous and sincere sons of liberty of his day, who—in spite of his magnificent devotion to freedom—when he dared oppose the Jacobins, was beheaded at the guillotine—a martyr to national, as distinct from personal, liberty.

The typical anarchist in my play is portrayed in Carrac, whose prototype was Thomas Carier, sent into La Vendee as a representative of the Jacobin convention. It was this man who, without process of law, guillotined or destroyed most horribly over one hundred thousand innocent men, women, and children—in the name of liberty. He it was who invented the "republican marriage"—the drowned bodies of whose naked victims dammed the river Loire, and rendered its water pestilential.

The Duc de Beaumont portrays a type of the true noblesse of France—proud, fearless, often unjust, never ignoble.

Gouroc depicts the intriguing type of noblesse whose egotism and cruelty engendered the tyranny of the monarchy, and justified its destruction.

The prototype of General Delaroche was the brave and generous Henri de la Rochejacquelin, young leader of the royalists in La Vendee.

By the interplay of these types, I have sought to emphasize what is truly heroic in the struggle which must ensue in all times between men and classes possessed of differing ideas. Especially it is the purpose of my play to remind the American masses, by the history of the past, not to assist foreign influences to repeat that history on this continent in the future.

A sound attitude, and one supported now (1920) daily in the conservative press, whenever I.W.W. and Bolshevist demonstrations shake the country! But "Paul Kauvar" is, to-day, not the kind of drama to drive home the lesson; fashions have changed.

On December 24, 1887, "Paul Kauvar" opened at the New York Standard Theatre, with Joseph Haworth and Annie Robe, and thereafter started on a stage career whose history is long and varied. It reached London, May 12, 1890, under the management of Augustus Harris, at the Drury Lane, with William Terriss and Jessie Millward heading the cast.

Nym Crinkle liked "Paul Kauvar" because of its vigourous masculinity. To him there was in it the "scintillant iron," "the strong arm, ruddy at times with the tongues of promethean fire." It is a big canvas, avowedly romantic. "It is," he wrote, after the play had been running in New York some months, "a work of great propulsive power, of genuine creative ingenuity, of massive dramatic effectiveness." On that account it is well worth the preserving and the reading.



NEW NATIONAL THEATRE.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

W.H. RAPLEY. Manager.

* * * * *

SATURDAY EVENING,... MAY 5th, 1888,

Grand Production for the Benefit of

The Statue of Washington, to be presented by

The United States to the Republic of France, of the latest and greatest New York success.

PAUL KAUVAR, by STEELE MACKAYE.

* * * * *

THIS PERFORMANCE IS GIVEN UNDER THE AUSPICES OF

The President and Mrs. Cleveland,

THE FOLLOWING DISTINGUISHED COMMITTEE OF LADIES:

MRS. NATHAN APPLETON, MRS. SENATOR J.P. JONES, MISS FLORENCE BAYARD, MRS. SENATOR PALMER, MRS. SECRETARY FAIRCHILD, MRS. SECRETARY ENDICOTT, MRS. DON M. DICKINSOX, MRS. JUSTICE FIELD, MRS. SENATOR SHERMAN, MRS. SENATOR STANFORD, MRS. SENATOR HEARST, MRS. SENATOR STOCKBRIDGE, MRS. SENATOR MANDERSON, MRS. SENATOR WALTHALL, MRS. F.M.D. SWEAT, MRS. S.V. WHITE, and MRS. WASHINGTON McLEAN;

And the Following Executive Committee of Ladies and Gentlemen:

MRS. SENATOR JOHN P. JONES, REPRESENTATIVE H.H. BINGHAM, MRS. SENATOR THOMAS W. PALMER, MR. M.P. HANDY, MISS FLORENCE BAYARD, MR. F.A. RICHARDSON, SENATOR W.B. ALLISON, MR. W. STILSON HUTCHINS, SENATOR J.D. CAMERON, MR. D.R. McKEE, SENATOR JOHN T. MORGAN, MR. JAMES R. YOUNG, REPRESENTATIVE J.J. HEMPHILL, MR. W.F. O'BRIEN, and COL. THOMAS P. OCHILTREE.

THIS PROCUTION IS A TRIBUTE TO THE CAUSE FREELY OFFERED BY

MR. HENRY G. MINER,

STEELE MACKAYE,

And the Following Volunteer Cast.

GENTLEMEN:

PAUL KAUVAR STEELE MACKAYE HONORE ALBERT MAXIME, Duc de Beaumont FREDERIC DE BELLEVILLE MARQUIS DE VAUX, alias GOUROC, one of the public accusers of the Revolutionary Tribunal WILTON LACKAYE GENERAL DELAROCHE, Commander of the Royalist Forces in La Vendee NESTOR LENNON GENERAL KLETERRE, Commander of the Republican Forces in La Vendee M.B. SNYDER COL. LA HOGUE, on the staff of General Delaroche LESLIE ALLEN DODOLPHE POTIN, an usher of the Revolutionary Tribunal; afterwards sergeant in the Battalion of the Bonnets Rouges SIDNEY DREW CARRAC, a typical Anarchist and a Republican Representative in La Vendee GEO. FAWCETT BOURDOTTE, a "Sans Culottes" EDWARD COLEMAN GOUJON, a Corporal in the Battalion of the Bonnets Rouges E.M. HURD TABOOZE, an officer of Gens d'Armes J.F. WENTWORTH FIRST ORDERLY E.R. SPENCER SECOND ORDERLY A.S. PALMER FIRST SANS CULOTTES RUFUS WILLIAM SECOND SANS CULOTTES R.S. McBRIDE

LADIES:

DIANE DE BEAUMONT, daughter of the Duke Miss CARRIE TURNER NANETTE POTIN Miss HELEN MAR SCARLOTTE Miss LIZZIE RECHELLE

AND THE FOLLOWING TRAINED AUXILIARIES:

LADIES.

Miss Bunee. Miss Moore. Miss Becks. Miss Marshall. Miss Pierson. Miss Maguire. Miss Forster. Miss Gianetti. Miss Frozar. Miss Hughes. Miss Weltars. Mrs. Hughes. Miss Weeks. Miss Naylor. Miss Lavard. Miss Hearn. Miss Smith. Mrs. Boware. Miss Arnold. Mrs. Lack

GENTLEMEN.

Mart Townsend. Wm. Sharkey. Chas. Belmont. T. Mitchell. Henry Schaffer. Wm. Brown. H. Marks. B. Fisher. W.W. Waters. Geo. Masten. C.M. Mackay. Chas. Nuger. Geo. Turner. Frank Comstock. T. Jarvis. H. Frees. F. Daley. Wm. Chambers. S. Sullivan. J. Smith. F. King. F. Reynolds. E. Russell. Daniel Charles. R. Ryan. S.B. Caruth. J. Godfrey. S. Rosenthal. J. Sheehan. J. Sawyer. G.B. Merton. A. Goldsmith. R. Mansfield. G. Shaffer. P. Berger. Jas. O'Brien. Rufus Williams. C. Bird. J.J. Blake. Wm. Mack. Benj. Blons. H. Hamill. Chas. Marshall. C. Brady. John Kenny. W. Sullivan. H. Gordon. G. Harvey. Ben. Sharwood. F. Medina. M. Brickner. C. King. Al. Young. Ed. Ryerson. L.T. McDermott. J. Macarthy. Chas. Norman. E. Morrison. F. Allen. Geo. Hopper. F. Blake. J. Harris.

* * * * *

Charles Haslam Business Manager of "Paul Kauvar" Company Jere. Stevens Stage Manager Ralph Welles Assistant Stage Manager John Ginsinger Master Mechanic of Miner's Newark Theatre Charles W. Helnert Assistant Master Mechanic of Miner's Newark Theatre Joseph Logan Master Mechanic of "Paul Kauvar" Company Harry Cashion Chief Flyman of H.C. Miner's Newark Theatre Charles Dunlap Master of Properties of Miner's Newark Theatre Ed. Lawrence Master of Properties of "Paul Kauvar" Company A.C.E. Sturgis Chief Electrician of Miner's Newark Theatre William Maston Assistant Electrician of Miner's Newark Theatre Charles L'Orange Musical Director of Miner's Newark Theatre * * * * *

The Tableau of the "Dream" in the First Act represents

"THE TYRANNY OF TERROR."

SCENE—FRANCE. TIME. 1794.

ACT I.—THE TERROR. Scene—The interior of the study of Paul Kauvar.

ACT II.—THE INHUMANITY OF MAN. Scene—Prison of the Conciergerie adjoining the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris.

ACT III.—THE CONFESSION. Scene—The Grand Hall of the Chateau of Delaroche in La Vendee.

ACT IV.—ON PAROLE. Scene—Same as Act III.

Three minutes will elapse between Acts IV. and V.

ACT V.—"'TWIXT LOVE AND HONOR." Scene—Same as Act IV.

The Tableau which concludes this performance, and rivals in power and beauty the famous dream scene of the first act, represents allegorically

"THE CONQUEST OF EVIL."

It is a poetic picture, full of deep thought and careful study. The central figure is that of the Angel of Conquest, with one foot upon the prostrate fiend Anarchy, holding high that irresistible weapon of progress, the Sword of Light. The fiend carries in his hands the Torch and Flag of Anarchy, and with these is about to sink into the Abyss of Darkness.

* * * * *



PAUL KAUVAR;

OR,

ANARCHY

A PLAY IN FIVE ACTS

By STEELE MACKAYE

1915, by Harold Steele Mackaye

1919, by Harold Steele Mackaye

[The Editor wishes to thank Mrs. Steele Mackaye and Mr. Percy Mackaye for their permission to include "Paul Kauvar" in the present Collection. All rights are fully secured, and proceedings will immediately be taken against anyone attempting to infringe them.]



DRAMATIS PERSONAE

MEN.

PAUL KAUVAR, Age 30.—President of the Revolutionary Section of Fraternity. Afterwards Captain on GENERAL KLEBER'S staff.

HENRI DE LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN, Age 22. Commander of the Royalist forces in la Vendee.

GENERAL KLEBER, In command of the Republican forces in la Vendee.

HONORE ALBERT MAXIME, DUC DE BEAUMONT, Age 65. Cousin of LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.

GOUROC, alias MARQUIS DE VAUX, Of the Jacobin Club, and one of the Public Accusers of the Revolutionary Tribunal.

COLONEL LA HOGUE, On the staff of LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.

MARDOCHE, alias the ABBE DE ST. SIMON.

JEAN LITAIS, A peasant of Brittany—formerly a servant of the DUC DE BEAUMONT. Then for a time turnkey in the prison of the Republic.

ARISTIDES, alias DODOLPHE POTIN, An usher of the Revolutionary Tribunal, afterward Sergeant in the Battalion of the Bonnet Rouge.

CARRAC, Republican Representative in Vendee.

GOUJON, Private in the Battalion of the Bonnet Rouge.

BOURDOTTE, Sans Culotte.

TABOOZE, An officer of the gens d'armes.

ORDERLIES, On the Staff of LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.

WOMEN.

DIANE DE BEAUMONT, Daughter of the Duke.

NANETTE POTIN, Wife of ARISTIDES.

DENISE DUBOIS, Foster-sister of LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN and fiancee of JEAN LITAIS.

Soldiers, Peasants, "Sans Culottes", Turnkeys, &c.

SCENE. France.

TIME. 1794.

Under the title of "ANARCHY," the play was first performed at Buffalo, New York, May 30, 1887, at the Academy of Music. The following was the cast:

PAUL KAUVAR Steele MacKaye. GENERAL LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN Eben Plympton. DUC DE BEAUMONT Frederick de Belleville. MARQUIS DE VAUX, alias GOUROC Henry Lee. ABBE DE ST. SIMON John A. Lane. COLONEL LA HOGUE H.B. Bradley. CARRAC M.B. Snyder. ARISTIDES POTIN Sidney Drew. JEAN LITAIS B.T. Ringgold. GENERAL KLEBER Jerome Stevens. BOURDOTTE Julian Mitchell. GOUJON Edward M. Hurd. DIANE DE BEAUMONT Genevieve Lytton. NANETTE POTIN May Irwin. DENISE Marie Hartley. SCARLOTTE Maud Hosford. ALINE Alice Hamilton.

Cast of the first New York performance, December 24, 1887, the Standard Theatre. The name was changed to "Paul Kauvar".

PAUL KAUVAR Mr. Joseph Haworth. HONORE ALBERT MAXIME Mr. Edwin Varrey. MARQUIS DE VAUX, alias GOUROC Mr. Wilton Lackaye. GENERAL DELAROCHE Mr. Nestor Lennon. THE ABBE DE ST. SIMON Mr. B.F. Horning. GENERAL KLETERRE Mr. Jerome Stevens. COLONEL LA HOGUE Mr. Leslie Allen. DODOLPHE POTIN, alias ARISTIDES Mr. Sidney Drew. CARRAC Mr. George D. Fawcett. BOURDOTTE Mr. Edward Coleman. GOUJON Mr. Edward M. Hurd. TABOOZE Mr. Charles Mitchell. FIRST ORDERLY Mr. E.R. Spencer. SECOND ORDERLY Mr. A.E. Lohman. FIRST SANS CULOTTE Mr. Fred Clifton. SECOND SANS CULOTTE Mr. C.H. Wentworth. DIANE DE BEAUMONT Miss Annie Robe. NANETTE POTIN Miss Louise Rial. SCARLOTTE Miss Lillie Eldridge.



PAUL KAUVAR



ACT I.

TIME. The Terror. 1794.

SCENE. Paris. Study of PAUL KAUVAR'S apartment.

_The decorating is in the classic style of the painter David. Old-fashioned escritoire with chair. Folding doors across corner up stage. Window, with table beneath it. Fireplace, with picture of_ PAUL KAUVAR _over it, and fire on andirons. Doors at the right and left of stage.

At the Rise of Curtain_, NANETTE _crosses to fireplace and shovels ashes into a pail_. POTIN _is heard outside, singing, in loud and discordant tones, "La Marseillaise."_

NANETTE.

[Starting up angrily.]

There's that lazy man of mine, singing, while I work.

[Crosses to folding doors, flings them open and shouts roughly.]

Dodolphe!—Dodolphe Potin!

POTIN.

[Meekly, outside.]

Aye, aye!

NANETTE.

I want you!

POTIN.

[Outside.]

Aye, aye!

NANETTE.

Hurry up!—Do you hear?

POTIN.

[Appearing.]

I could hear your sweet voice if I were deaf as Justice.

NANETTE.

Fool! Justice is blind, not deaf.

POTIN.

True! That's why you always get the better of me, dear. Justice listens too much and looks too little.

NANETTE.

Bah!

[Pointing to pail.]

Take that rubbish to the cellar.

POTIN.

[Crosses, lifts pail, and looks into it.]

Ashes!—Heigho! Every fire has its ashes.

NANETTE.

Aye—and the fire that warms a man's home may burn his house down!—Mark you that, Citizen.

POTIN.

Oh, I see! You mean a wife, who should be a comfort, often proves a curse.

NANETTE.

I mean, Citizen Potin, that in days of revolution, husbands are easily suppressed.

POTIN.

[Starting.]

Take care! A word against the Revolution is treason and sure death.

NANETTE.

Bah! Better death, than a life of terror like that in France to-day.

POTIN.

[Terrified.]

Good heavens, Nanette! Fewer words than these have guillotined our betters! Can you never hold your tongue?

NANETTE.

Never!—while I have a truth to tell.

POTIN.

Tell the truth! Good Lord, that's fatal.

NANETTE.

Aye, for in these noble days of liberty we are only free to lie.

POTIN.

[Turning away in disgust.]

Damn it! I must run or be ruined.

[Starts to go, but, in passing window, recoils with a cry of dismay.]

Sacristie!—See!—See there!

[Points out of window.

NANETTE.

[Contemptuously looking out of window.]

What now?

POTIN.

There goes the Phantom!

NANETTE.

[Starting.]

The dumb girl of the guillotine!

POTIN.

Who glides like a phantom through the streets, without home, friend, or occupation.

NANETTE.

[With horror.]

Except to stand by the scaffold, and count the heads that fall from the guillotine.

POTIN.

They say that calamity overtakes everyone she follows: that it's disaster to stand in her way, and sure death to notice her.

NANETTE.

Aye, even those who think themselves too great to believe in God, have faith in the fatal power of this pale child. My God! look there!

POTIN.

Good Lord!—It's Mademoiselle Diane! She's crossing the street in front of the Phantom.

NANETTE.

Aye!—Go.—Hurry Mademoiselle here, before she has a chance to heed this messenger of misery.

POTIN.

[Going hurriedly.]

Goddess of Reason, save us all!

[Exit.

NANETTE.

Goddess of Reason!—A fine deity for days as mad as these:

[Crossing to mantel and looking at KAUVAR'S picture.]

Ah, Citizen Kauvar!—Patriot!—Revolutionist!—Bold son of Liberty, as you are!—You'd love this age of terror less if it brought death to Mademoiselle Diane.—Yes, I've watched ye, sturdy citizen, and in spite of your stern devotion to the Republic, I suspect you carry another idol in your heart.

DIANE

[Outside, laughing.]

All right, Citizen,—I'll not forget; though the poor crazed girl is not half as harmful as her saner neighbours.

NANETTE.

Ah! Here she comes—Diane Leblanc,—a ray of sunlight in this prison men call Paris.

DIANE.

[Entering with flowers.]

Ah, Nanette! Quick! Water and a vase. See!

NANETTE.

What—flowers?

[Brings vase.

DIANE.

Yes, they bloom even in this reign of terror.

[Putting flowers in vase.]

But you see these fragile beauties are sinless, and therefore know no fear.—Is my father in his room?

NANETTE.

No. He went away an hour ago.

DIANE.

Gone an hour, and not returned? That makes me anxious!—Is Citizen Kauvar at home?

NANETTE.

Not yet! He's been away all night.

DIANE.

Good heavens!—Nanette—can anything have happened?

NANETTE.

Yes, what happens every day. Innocence is slaughtered!

DIANE.

But he—Citizen Kauvar—?

NANETTE.

Has doubtless fought all night to stop the useless flow of noble blood.

DIANE.

Yes, he is brave, merciful.

NANETTE.

Ah! He was one of the fiercest champions of Freedom when the people first arose; but now I think he'd give his life to still the tempest he did so much to rouse.

DIANE.

He will return sad and worn; we must do our best to cheer him when he comes.

NANETTE.

One look—one smile of yours will banish every thought of sorrow from his tired brain.

DIANE.

Hush, Nanette;—you must not talk like that.

A VOICE.

[Outside.]

Nanette!—Diane!

NANETTE.

[Startled.]

What's that?

DIANE.

[Frightened.]

My father!

DUKE.

[Entering wildly.]

My child! Diane!—Where is she?

DIANE.

[Rushing to him.]

Here!—Safe in your dear arms!

DUKE.

[Embracing her.]

Thank God!

[Turning to NANETTE.]

My good Nanette, leave us alone awhile.

NANETTE.

[Going.]

All right, Citizen.

DUKE.

And warn us when anyone is coming.

NANETTE.

[At the door.]

Don't fear! I'll stand good guard.

[Exit.

DIANE.

Father, why are you so moved?

DUKE.

But now, the mob seized some poor young girl they found without protection in the street. I heard of this and fearing for your life, I hurried here in awful agony of mind. Ah! Diane, this dread of peril to you is worse than the worst of deaths to me.

DIANE.

Take heart, dear father! Does not Paul Kauvar, strong and true, stand between us and danger!

DUKE.

Yes; but 'tis hard that I, a peer of France, should owe my daughter's life to a peasant's son—a workman!

DIANE.

A, workman with a brush so potent that the noblest born do honour to his art. What would have been our fate but for his devotion?

DUKE.

He's a plebeian—a Republican! The sense of my obligation to him—the enemy of my race—is almost unendurable. Ah, but for you I should long since have braved the scaffold and buried humiliation in the grave.

NANETTE.

[Hurrying in.]

Take care!—A committee from the Section is on its way upstairs.

DIANE.

[In fear.]

A committee coming here? How strange!

NANETTE.

No, not strange! Treachery is at every door. They are coming. Quick!—To your work!

[The DUKE sits at the desk and pretends to write. DIANE sits at table and takes up sewing. NANETTE dusts. Knock is heard outside. NANETTE answers roughly.]

Come in!

Enter GOUROC, POTIN, GOUJON and two SANS CULOTTES.

GOUROC.

Health and fraternity, Citizens! We come for Paul Kauvar, President of our Section.

NANETTE.

[Gruffly.]

He's not at home.

GOUROC.

Ah, indeed!

[Sitting.]

Then we will await him here.

[All sit in silence.

NANETTE.

[Aside, in irritation.]

Oh, the impudence of these men! How my nails ache to get at their ugly faces! [Crossing.]

How often have I told you that this apartment is not a public office?

POTIN.

But, my precious angel—

NANETTE.

Bah! Religion is abolished, and angels are suppressed! I wish friends were too!

POTIN.

[Laughing.]

Talk of the rack! What is it to a woman's tongue?

NANETTE.

What know you of a woman's tongue?

POTIN.

Enough to damn me, if knowledge were a crime.

NANETTE.

[To GOUROC.]

Come, Citizen, there's no use waiting. President Kauvar don't do business at home; you've no rights here.

GOUROC.

[Rising sternly.]

The patriot has unlimited rights, woman. He may dare all—violate all, in his zeal for the Republic.

NANETTE.

Well, then, dare my dusting.

[Strikes brush into her hand and sends dust all over GOUROC.]

GOUROC.

[Moving off, sputtering.]

Who is this, Citizen Potin?

POTIN.

[Proudly.]

My wife, Citizen Gouroc.

GOUROC.

Who taught her manners?

POTIN.

The Goddess of Liberty, a rough and ready teacher.

GOUROC.

Who teaches with sharp tools.

NANETTE.

Aye—tools so sharp they often cut the fools that use them. Mark that.

GOUROC.

[Crossing to DIANE.]

You are the wife of President Kauvar, I suppose?

[DIANE starts up and stares. The DUKE rises and advances with stern hauteur. At sight of GOUROC, he starts, and surveys him with amazement.]

Well, old man, are you mad, or do you know me?

DUKE.

[Significantly.]

I think we have met before.

GOUROC.

Yes, and may meet again. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Citizen Gouroc, of the Jacobin Club, and one of the Public Accusers of the Revolutionary Tribunal.

[DIANE draws close to NANETTE.]

Now, who are you?

DUKE.

I am George Leblanc, private secretary to Paul Kauvar.

GOUROC.

Ah, indeed!—His private secretary? Then I can do my business with you. It is said that two aristocrats in disguise are lurking about this house.

[All start.]

I must communicate with you in secret, Citizen.

[Turning to DIANE.]

Are you the daughter of this old man?

DIANE.

I am his daughter, Diane Leblanc.

GOUROC.

You remain.

[To SANS CULOTTES.]

You, Comrades, wait across the street;

[Exeunt SANS CULOTTES.]

and you, Citizen Potin, take your wife, leave the room, and wait within call. You understand?

POTIN.

I do, Citizen. When the Republic commands, I obey.

[Exit, with NANETTE.

GOUROC.

[Bowing with great politeness.]

Monsieur le Duc de Beaumont.

[DIANE starts.]

DUKE.

[Turning with contempt.]

Monsieur le Marquis de Vaux.

DIANE

[Amazed.]

This—the Marquis de Vaux?

GOUROC.

You are surprised to see me in this garb. I am equally surprised to find you the guests of Citizen Kauvar, President of the Republican Section of Fraternity.

DUKE.

Not quite as strange as discovering the dainty Marquis de Vaux a Public Accuser and the servile slave of the guillotine.

GOUROC.

Reserve your contempt till you understand the meaning of my presence here. I come to warn you against your host.

DIANE.

[Haughtily.]

How, sir! You suspect the loyalty of Monsieur Kauvar?

GOUROC.

What if he has trapped you here only to betray you?

DIANE.

That's impossible, sir! Monsieur Kauvar is the soul of honour and devotion.

DUKE.

Besides, his head is surety for ours. The discovery that he had sheltered us would entail his own death.

GOUROC.

Precisely! And what if the sense of that danger had prompted a denunciation, while there still was some merit in it?

[The DUKE starts. DIANE turns aside with scorn.]

One thing is certain: an anonymous denunciation of you, describing your disguise and your retreat, has been made to our club.

DIANE.

[Clasping her father.]

What!—Discovered and denounced?

GOUROC.

As Public Accuser, the denunciation fell first into my hands. I have risked my life by withholding it from the Tribunal until your safety is assured.

DUKE.

[Giving GOUROC his hand.]

Pardon, Marquis, that I did not realize before the motives of your course.

GOUROC.

Grant me, then, the privilege of saving you.

DUKE.

We will. You belong to our own race; we may trust you.

GOUROC.

Then prepare for sudden and secret flight.

DIANE.

[Starting.]

Flight! Where can we be safer than under our present host's protection?

GOUROC.

Under mine, Mademoiselle. Kauvar is a man of the people. To him such words as loyalty, truth and honour are but empty puffs of air.

DIANE.

[Proudly and passionately.]

On whose lips is there meaning purer, or prouder, than on Paul Kauvar's?

DUKE.

[With haughty surprise.]

Mademoiselle! When you speak so warmly, you forget the distance that separates you from one of his rank.

[Cries in the distance of "To the Guillotine!" with the roll of muffled drums.

DIANE.

[In solemn voice.]

Nay, father, listen!—Do we need more to remind us of the nearness of the protected to the protector?

[The DUKE listens with bowed head. GOUROC goes to window.

DUKE.

[To GOUROC, as drums draw near.]

Is it the patrol?

GOUROC.

[Solemnly.]

No. Tis the guard of the death-cart, with to-day's load for the guillotine.

DIANE.

[Hiding her face.]

This constant agitation is torture.

GOUROC.

You can easily escape it, Mademoiselle. Accept the refuge I offer you.

DUKE.

We will, Marquis, at once. Come to my room, and we will complete our plans.

[To DIANE.]

My child, prepare to leave this house to-night, in haste and in secret.

[Exit with GOUROC.

DIANE.

Fly from this house to-night?—No! I will not go! And yet I must, or tell my father the secret I have kept from him so long.

PAUL.

[Outside.]

I am not at home to anyone. I will not brook intrusion here.

NANETTE.

[Outside.]

I'll keep out all I can.

DIANE.

Paul is coming!—How can I tell him we must part?

[PAUL enters. DIANE turns quickly toward him.

PAUL.

[Absorbed in documents he is carrying. Crossing slowly to desk, he lays the papers down and, turning, sees DIANE.]

Diane! Thank heaven you're alone!

[DIANE checks him by a warning gesture; crosses quickly to the door, listens a moment, then slowly approaches PAUL, looking back anxiously.]

Have you no word of welcome for a very weary friend?

DIANE.

[Throwing herself with nervous impetuosity into his arms.]

Ah, Paul! God bless and keep you!

PAUL.

God blessed me beyond measure, when he made your heart my own.

DIANE.

[Leading him with nervous intensity to a chair.]

Sit here—sit here!

[She sits beside him.]

Let me look at your face, and listen to your voice, while I can—while I can!

PAUL.

How strangely you say this!

DIANE.

Do you remember the old days—before this reign of terror darkened all our lives—the sunny room in my father's chateau, where you taught me to paint the flowers we had gathered—oh! so gaily!—from the quaintest corners of the garden?

PAUL.

Ah! those were ideal days.—You, almost a child—a girl just blooming into womanhood, like those rosebuds in your hair.

DIANE.

Oh, how happy I was!—So happy, earth seemed heaven! So happy, sorrow seemed almost a myth!—I little dreamed that I would ever drink the bitterest dregs of that black cup.—The Revolution rushed upon us—and then, oh then!—

[Hides her face on PAUL'S breast.

PAUL.

Then we parted, I thought forever.

DIANE.

You came no longer. The sunshine lost its smile—the flowers faded.

PAUL.

And yet, amidst the fearful tumult of these distracted times, we met once more.

DIANE.

[Starting up.]

Oh, my God! That meeting! I see the frightful scene again! My father there before me—old—helpless, dragged from his own house by a horde of brutal beasts.—I, shrieking, fighting vainly at his side—amidst their mocking laughs and jeers. Ah! I can hear them now—yes, and high above their hideous jests, rings out a clarion voice—'tis yours—silencing this crowd of curs!—With what sublime audacity you claim my father as your cousin, saving him and me, by the coolness of your courage!—Paul, from that hour you were more than man to me; you were a God, a hero, my father's Saviour!

PAUL.

[Rising.]

Better than all that now—your lover—guardian—husband.

[Embraces her, then staggers.

DIANE.

Paul—what is it?

PAUL.

Nothing,—fatigue from last night's bitter work.

[DIANE brings wine and offers it. He puts it away.]

No—one kiss from you will give me more strength than all the wine in France.

[She kisses him.

DIANE.

Heaven knows you need more than human strength.

PAUL.

Aye, Titan strength, to stem the tide of madness that overflows the mind of France! Ah, Diane! if it were not for your dear love, I fear my mind would falter at the task before me.

DIANE.

Oh, Paul! Why undertake this task?—Why not fly to peace in other lands?

PAUL.

Fly!—Desert France in the hour of her agony?—In the awful travail which gives birth to a new and nobler era for mankind?—No, no! I love you more than life, but my Country—ah, that is mother, sister, wife, and child!

DIANE

But Paul—

PAUL.

Hush, sweetheart, you must not make the struggle harder! The infant age is threatened with miscarriage!—The torch of Liberty, which should light mankind to progress, if left in madmen's hands, kindles that blaze of Anarchy whose only end is ashes.

DIANE.

[Suddenly starting.]

Hush! Listen! What is that?

PAUL.

[After listening.]

Nothing, foolish child.

[He is about to embrace her.

DIANE.

[Turning sadly away.]

Nay, we are too rash! We forget the dangers that environ us.

PAUL.

Would we could forget the weak concealment that makes cowards of us both!—Oh, that something would happen to make us end this living lie!

DIANE.

[Solemnly.]

Perhaps that something has happened, Paul. We have been warned that we're no longer safe beneath this roof.

PAUL.

[Amazed.]

Warned!—By whom?

DIANE.

What matter by whom?—Enough that we've been told the Civil Guard may search the house this very day.

PAUL.

[With sudden resolution.]

I am glad of it. Thank fate that something forces us to tell your father you are mine.

DIANE.

Nay, Paul—I cannot, dare not tell him that!

PAUL.

Then leave the task to me.

DIANE.

'Twould be but to win his curse. You little dream the deathless pride that's rooted in his heart! To wrench out that pride would break the heart that holds it.

PAUL.

[Bitterly.]

Then let it break! I, too, am proud, Diane, proud as all are proud to be who owe their manhood to their God and not to the favour of a king!—If your father scorns the sacred work of heaven's hand, then he is only fit for scorn himself.

DIANE.

Oh, Paul! Be charitable!

PAUL.

Charitable! To what?—Your father's pride in the race from which he springs—the race whose iron rule for centuries stamped shame on honest labour—crowned infamy with honour—made gods of profligates and dogs of workingmen—ruining their wives—insulting their mothers—debasing their daughters, and sowing the seeds of madness in their veins?—Ah, Diane! when I face your father, 'tis not your husband who should blush for his race.

DIANE.

My father's race is mine.—I forgot its glories, and atoned its wrongs in marrying you!—But I love, revere, my father still, and have hoped each day that he would come to love you for your saving care of me—and grow content to take you as a son.

PAUL.

Who knows—perhaps he will.

DIANE.

[Sadly.]

Ah, no! The more you do for me, the more his pride revolts, till now I dare not tell him of our marriage.

PAUL.

Diane—listen. The time has come when you must choose between us. I staked my life in saving yours, and his! He loves but little if he hesitates to keep the precious life I saved unmarred by sorrow.

DIANE. Well, then, so be it! Have your will! But oh, seek first his blessing for our love, before you tell him of our secret marriage.

PAUL.

My love for you will teach me tenderness for him. Go now and send him here.

[Kissing her.]

Courage! All may yet be well.

[Exit DIANE. PAUL sits at desk wearily.]

Hateful humiliation!—to stoop in pleading for that already mine! But patience, Paul Kauvar; he is the father of the woman you adore.

DUKE.

[Entering and advancing to PAUL.]

One word before we part, good friend. I thought to leave this house without farewell, but I cannot be so cruel. I have learned that this is no longer a safe retreat. I am forced to seek one safer.

PAUL.

And where will you find one, Monsieur?

DUKE. I shall best serve you by keeping that a secret.

PAUL.

And does your daughter go with you?

DUKE.

Could you think that I would leave her here?

PAUL.

Certainly, Monsieur. If to stay seemed less perilous than to go. Why not let me replace you for awhile?

DUKE.

You guard my daughter here alone?

PAUL.

In my character of cousin to Diane Leblanc, gossip has already united us by even a closer tie.

DUKE.

To my infinite annoyance, sir.

PAUL.

Monsieur le Duc, in times like these, Madame Kauvar would be far safer than Mademoiselle de Beaumont.

DUKE.

[With quiet hauteur.]

There are some means of safety forbidden to my rank, sir.—Pardon me if I must say that what you suggest is one of them.

PAUL.

What if I dared to love your daughter, to hope that you would grant me the right to guard her as my wife?

DUKE.

Seriously?

PAUL.

Seriously!

DUKE.

[Shrugging his shoulders.]

This is another of the many insanities of the times.

PAUL.

[Haughtily.]

Suppose I had reason to believe that your daughter would consent?

DUKE.

[Sternly.]

One moment, Monsieur! Your first proposition involves but madness,—your last implies dishonour.

PAUL.

[Indignantly.]

Dishonour!

[Checking himself.]

Monsieur, honesty is honoured now, even though it be not allied to an empty title. Tis not a crest, but character, that measures manhood in this modern age. Therefore I do not fear to tell you—

[DUKE turns quickly. PAUL hesitates.]

that I love your daughter.

DUKE.

[With terrible contempt.]

And you take this time to declare it! When you have burdened me with obligations that leave me powerless at your feet?—when I must see in the demand for the daughter's hand, a possible bargain for the father's life.

[PAUL turns fiercely. The DUKE checks him.]

No more, sir! Happily I have two securities against dishonour: my child's sense of what is due to herself—my own scorn of life purchased at such a price.

PAUL.

Perhaps your daughter may not deem the protection of my name so great a degradation as yourself.—Dare you put her to the test?

DUKE.

What test can you propose?

PAUL.

[Seating himself at desk and writing.]

Here is a pass procured at the risk of my life.—I fill it out for George Leblanc.—It will convey you, alone, safely beyond our borders. Here is another. I make this out for George Leblanc and Diane his daughter. This will enable both of you to escape.—These passes have the signatures of the chief of police; I countersign them, thus—a double surety for you, a double risk for me.—Now, Monsieur, either one of these passes is yours, as your daughter may decide, if you will offer her the choice of remaining under my protection, or of leaving France with you.

DUKE.

[Striking a bell.]

The choice is at her will.

[Enter NANETTE.]

Send my daughter here at once.

[Exit NANETTE.

PAUL.

One word, Monsieur. These passes are at stake, and my life as well. I promise to be bound by the decision of your daughter.—If she decides to remain, you promise to go and leave her here with me?

DUKE. I promise this on one condition. I pledge my honour to put the alternative fairly before her. You must pledge yours to use no word to influence her choice.

PAUL.

I pledge myself to silence.

DIANE.

[Entering pale and anxious.]

You sent for me, Father?

DUKE.

I did. Listen, child. I am about to leave France. By my side there is peril—here is safety. Answer frankly: will you follow me, or remain here under the protection of Monsieur Kauvar?

DIANE.

[Aside.]

What can this mean? He could not ask this if he knew the truth.

[Aloud.]

Father, I do not understand.—What shall I say?

DUKE.

What your heart prompts, child.

[Turning away.]

Nay, do not hesitate; I will not influence your choice even with a look.

DIANE.

If I shrink from danger, if I stay here, what becomes of you?

DUKE.

I go alone.

DIANE.

Alone to meet your peril?—Then, by the bond of a daughter's duty, my place is at my father's side.

[PAUL staggers. The DUKE retires quietly to desk. DIANE speaks aside to PAUL.]

Remember he is old, with none but me to comfort his last days.

PAUL.

[With stern self-control.]

Monsieur, the double pass for George Leblanc and Diane his daughter has been fairly won.

[Hands the pass to the DUKE, bows coldly, and leaves the room without a look at DIANE, who falls into a chair and hides her face.

DUKE.

[Looking suspiciously at DIANE.]

Could there be warrant for his strange presumption? If so, this separation is none too soon.

[Enter GOUROC.]

Ah, Marquis, congratulate us. We are now released from all need of burdening even you.—See! Here is a pass which opens the doors of our prison. We fly to-night to Vendee, where we hope you may soon rejoin us, and our cousin Rochejacquelein.

GOUROC.

[Aside.]

The devil!—

[Aloud.]

You are fortunate, Duke. Alas that I cannot go with you!

DUKE.

Well, come, Diane; time flies. We must prepare for our escape.

[Going with DIANE.]

Au revoir, Marquis.

GOUROC.

Au revoir, Monsieur le Duc, and bon voyage, Mademoiselle de Beaumont.

[Exeunt the DUKE and DIANE. GOUROC changes to a fierce and hurried manner.]

Ah!—Not so fast, dear Duke! You're not out of France yet. This sudden flight destroys all my plans. Again this girl, the heiress of ten millions, will get beyond my reach.—No!—death, dishonour—nothing shall snatch her from me now!—Aye, but how to prevent it?

[Reflecting.]

The Duke has not many years to live, and in these ticklish times old men's days are easily shortened. He dead, his daughter's at my mercy.

[With sudden triumph.]

I have it!—I see the way to place her wholly in my grip!—A brilliant move and easy to execute!—Kauvar knows nothing of my rank!

[Rings bell, goes to desk and begins to look at papers.]

Yes, these are what I need to guarantee my triumph!

[Enter POTIN.]

Have you any blank warrants?

POTIN.

I have!—I keep them always handy, especially for the petticoat sex.

[Giving them.]

I say, Comrade, I hope it's a she-man this time, for there's nothing like this—[Making sign across throat] to stop the wag of a woman's tongue.

GOUROC.

Go.—Remain in the ante-room.—I may want you to summon a guard.

POTIN.

[Going.]

All right, Citizen! I'm always ready at the call of the Republic.

[Exit.

GOUROC.

Good!—Now to secure my victory!—But where can I find Kauvar?

[Starts for door. KAUVAR enters, absorbed in thought, without seeing GOUROC, who watches him.]

He's just in time! Fate conspires with me for success.

[PAUL seats himself at desk and buries his face in his arms.—GOUROC goes over quietly and touches him on the shoulder.

PAUL.

[Starting up in dismay]

You here, Gouroc!

GOUROC.

I am, old friend,—though you seem scarce glad to see me.

PAUL.

Pardon, Comrade; you find me at a moment when my mind's absorbed with many cares.

GOUROC.

I understand;—in times like these perplexity pursues the patriot. I would not now intrude, dear friend, if duty did not force me.

PAUL.

[With sudden suspicion.]

Duty! And what duty can bring you here?

GOUROC. I have important warrants for your signature.

PAUL.

[Sitting again, with a sigh of relief.]

Another time.—I cannot sign them now.

GOUROC.

[Firmly.]

Friend, the business of the Republic is sacred; it cannot be postponed.

PAUL.

[Wearily.]

Well, well!—What are these warrants?

[Takes up pen carelessly.

GOUROC.

[Calling off papers, as he gives them to PAUL to sign.]

Warrants for the arrest of Catherine Cler—

[PAUL signs.]

Maxime Berton—

[PAUL signs.]

Marie Legrand—

[PAUL signs.]

And this blank warrant for a suspected party, whose name that fool Potin has registered so badly that I must get him to decipher it before I can fill it in.

[PAUL signs mechanically.]

[Aside.]

Tis done!—And she is mine!

[Aloud.]

Shall you be at the club to-night, friend?

PAUL.

[Shortly.]

No!

[Night comes on.

GOUROC.

What excuse shall I offer the fraternity?

PAUL.

Say I am busy—busy—[Striking his breast.] breaking the heart of a traitor to France!

GOUROC.

[Going.]

A welcome message.—I sha'n't forget it.

[Exit.

PAUL.

Wife gone!—Home desolated!—Naught left but the haunting memory of joy forever lost!—Ah, I am weary, heart-broken—helpless!

[He sinks into the chair at desk, and buries his face in his arms. Slowly the light dims to darkness. At back, the stage is transformed into a TABLEAU OF KAUVAR'S DREAM OF ANARCHY.

_Mysterious music accompanies the Dream, which consists of a tableau of the guillotine in the Place de la Revolution, in Paris, by moonlight.

Here is seen the scaffold, with its ghastly paraphernalia, surrounded by ferocious SANS CULOTTES, and GENS D'ARMES. Amidst them is an old hag.

The death-cart, with its load of victims, is seen in the foreground—the entrance to the garden with the palace of the Tuilleries in the background.

The HEADSMAN stands ready, near the knife of the guillotine.

From the death-cart DIANE glides on and slowly goes up the scaffold steps.

As she reaches the top, she is seized roughly by the_ HEADSMAN.

At this moment PAUL starts with a cry of agony from his chair—and at his shriek, the whole Tableau of the Dream instantly disappears.

PAUL.

[Starting up wildly.]

No, no!—My life for hers!—My life for hers!

[Waking, as the Dream disappears, he looks about dazed and bewildered; then bursts into hysterical laughter.]

A dream!—Thank God, a dream!—Only a horrible dream!

[Suddenly stops short in horror.]

How dark and still the house is. My God!—Something has happened!—What is it?

[Shrieks with terror.]

Diane!—Diane!

NANETTE.

[Entering with lamp.]

What's the matter?

PAUL.

Diane—Mademoiselle Diane, where is she?

DIANE.

[Appearing, dressed to go away.]

Here!

PAUL.

[Makes a spontaneous movement toward her, then checks himself and turns to NANETTE.]

Leave us!

[NANETTE goes silently away. PAUL speaks to DIANE hoarsely.]

Where are you going?

DIANE.

I am going to do my duty—follow the father who would die without my care.

PAUL.

[After a pause.]

Yes, I remember now.—You are right.—You will be safer out of France.—The dream! The dream!

DIANE.

What dream?

PAUL.

No matter! I am resigned now! Yes, resigned—resigned—resigned!

[Sinks sobbing into chair.

DIANE.

No, no, Paul!—I cannot endure this!—I will stay! I will stay!

PAUL.

[Starting up.]

No! You must not! I dare not keep you here.—I fear the worst!

DIANE.

What do you mean?

PAUL.

Don't ask me. I do not know myself. But you—when you are gone—you will not forget me?

DIANE.

Not while memory lasts!

PAUL.

And I—perhaps I—some day—shall be free to seek you.

DIANE.

God grant that day is near!

PAUL.

And we—when we meet again, will you find courage to acknowledge who I am?

DIANE.

Nay—if you desire it—I'll prove my deathless love before I go.—I'll tell my father all.

PAUL.

No, never!—Never till I've won a name that even your proud father is forced to honour. Meantime, I ask but this—your love and trust, while I have life to strive.

DIANE.

You shall have it!—Yes, through sunshine and shadow, I will love and trust you to the end.

[They embrace.

DUKE.

[Outside.]

Nanette, the coach is ready: be quick, bear our baggage to the door.

[PAUL and DIANE separate quickly. Entering, the DUKE glances suspiciously at the two, then advances to PAUL.]

Paul Kauvar, let us not part in bitterness. I owe you much; I grieve to see you suffer. Courage! Believe me, I never honoured you as I do now.

[Extends his hand. PAUL turns away.]

Will you not take my hand?

PAUL.

No, Monsieur. Not until you think it worthy to guide and guard your daughter, as my wife.

DUKE.

[Starts haughtily, then turns to DIANE.]

Come, child! Tis time that we were gone.

DIANE.

[Crossing and extending her hand to PAUL.]

Farewell!

PAUL.

[Taking her hand, speaks aside to her.]

Remember, love and trust.

DIANE.

Forever!

[PAUL kisses her hand. She comes slowly to her father, keeping her eyes in anguish on PAUL.

[The DUKE leads her toward the folding doors which are suddenly thrown open, disclosing a platoon of GUARDS. DIANE shrieks, the DUKE starts back, PAUL turns in horror. TABOOZE advances into the room.

TABOOZE.

In the name of the Republic, I arrest Honore Albert Maxime, heretofore Duc de Beaumont.

DIANE.

[Clasping the DUKE.]

Father!

PAUL.

[Sternly.]

What does this mean?—Whose name is on that warrant?

TABOOZE.

[With surprise.]

Why, your own, Citizen.

[PAUL recoils, stunned.

DUKE.

What! Betrayed by you?

DIANE.

No, no! It is not true!

[Snatching the paper, looking, then with a cry.]

Great heaven!—It is!—His name and hand!

[She sinks down in despair.

PAUL.

[Passionately, to the DUKE.]

I betray you!—I, Paul Kauvar.—Tis false!

[To DIANE.]

You at least will not believe this lie.

DUKE.

[Interposing.]

Silence! Better death to her than the pollution of another word from you!

PAUL.

But my God!—You do not know.—She is—

DIANE.

[Starting up wildly.]

Stop!—I forbid you to say more!

CURTAIN.



ACT II.

SCENE. Interior of the Prison of the Republic. A room with cells.—Entrance to outer corridor. Table with chairs near it.—As curtain rises, howls of a Mob are heard outside.

POTIN.

[Entering in the midst of the howls, then clapping his hands to his ears.]

Oh, that I were deaf! Then I'd escape the shriek of my wife, and the roar of this cursed tribunal condemning poor devils to death.

[Renewed howls.]

Aye, that's right! Howl on, hyenas! I could howl, too, yesterday, as well as the worst of ye. But I can't now; no, not since the arrest of the poor old Duke. There he lies, in yonder cell, and here am I quartered as a witness against him—and that villain Gouroc has done all this!

[Enter GOUROC quietly in the background.]

Curse him! He rules me with a rod of red-hot iron! I wish I had him here now! By the gods! I'd take courage for once; I'd tackle him with my tongue—like my wife. I'd say—

GOUROC.

[Advancing coolly.]

Well, Citizen,—you'd say—?

POTIN.

[Aside, startled.]

The devil take you!

GOUROC.

What would you say?

POTIN.

Nothing!—anything!—everything!

GOUROC.

That's lucky!—I have much for you to say before the day is done. The trial of the Duke will soon begin. When asked who gave you the order for the Duke's arrest, you must swear that it was Paul Kauvar who did so.

POTIN.

Why, Lord help me! 'Twas you who gave me the order, and forced me to carry it, too.

GOUROC.

Possibly; but, in spite of that, my name must not be mentioned in the affair, to any one, do you hear?

POTIN.

Alas, I do!

GOUROC.

And will swear as I command?

POTIN.

[With sudden resolution.]

Never!

GOUROC.

Do you care to save your head?

POTIN.

Of course! What could I do without it?

GOUROC.

If you refuse to attest as I have dictated, I will declare you guilty of treason in trying to conceal the presence of the Duke in Paris. Such a declaration from me is sure perdition to you. How say you now: will you swear?

POTIN.

[Wilting.]

I will swear.

GOUROC.

You are wise.

[Going.]

Within an hour, the trial comes on. Be at hand, or—

[Making a sign across his throat.]

There's nothing like this to quiet a traitor's tongue.

[Exit.

POTIN.

[Looking after him.]

To lie living, and be a coward—or to lie dead, and be a corpse; that's the riddle.—No! I'll be neither a coward nor a corpse. I'll run away!—run like a brave man, enlist in the army of Vendee, and so escape damnation, and my wife.

[Starts off.]

Liberty, lend thy wings that I may fly—

[NANETTE appears.]

Ye gods!—Fate is false again!

NANETTE.

Ha! It's you, is it?

POTIN.

No, it was me; but now you're here, I'm nobody.

NANETTE.

Where's the Duke?

POTIN

[Pointing.]

In that cell.

NANETTE.

And I believe 'twas you betrayed him!

POTIN.

[Indignantly.]

That's a lie!

NANETTE.

Well said! Short and sharp, like the truth.

[She pats POTIN on the back. He turns away.]

Bravo!—But one moment! Do you know who did betray him?

[POTIN shakes his head mournfully.]

You do know! I can see by the wag of your head you know, and I mean to make you tell me!—But I can't stop now; I'm here to see Mam'selle Diane; where is she?

POTIN.

[Pointing to cell.]

There—with her father.

NANETTE.

I'll be back soon, and then I'll give you a piece of my mind.

POTIN.

Give me peace if you like, dear, but keep the mind for yourself; you've none to spare.

NANETTE.

Woe to you when next we meet!

[She flounces out.

POTIN.

Yes, it's woe to me whene'er we meet!—But now to fly; I've no time to lose; between my wife and Gouroc, I shall go cracked. So here's for liberty, and Vendee!

[Exit into his room.

Enter GOUROC, followed by GUARDS escorting MARDOCHE.

GOUROC.

[To GUARDS.]

You may leave the prisoner with me.

[Exit GUARDS.]

And so, Mardoche, you have been tried and condemned.

MARDOCHE.

Yes. Accused by beasts, tried by fools, and condemned by assassins.

GOUROC.

And of what were you accused?

MARDOCHE.

I was a quiet cobbler; I made shoes for Jacobins that pinched their toes, so I was accused of sympathy with aristocrats.

GOUROC.

Is this all the cry they raised against you?

MARDOCHE.

No. I was never heard to swear, so I was watched—and was seen upon my knees. As piety is poison to the Republic, I was accused of being a priest! I was searched, and these were found upon me.

[Showing a crucifix and rosary.]

This was enough. I was immediately condemned to die.

GOUROC.

A fine fool you were, to be caught with such baubles in your bosom. Had you forgotten old mother Dupaix?

MARDOCHE.

The old woman who never gossiped, wore clean linen, and kept four cats?

GOUROC.

The same—who was therefore accused of being a Duchess in disguise, and sent to the guillotine.

MARDOCHE.

Moral:—In this age of reason, death to him who prays!

GOUROC.

Or keeps four cats! But cheer up, Citizen; I have a crumb of comfort for you yet. In your cell someone is waiting impatiently to see you.

MARDOCHE.

Who?

GOUROC.

Your sister.

MARDOCHE.

Great heavens! Of what do they accuse her?

GOUROC.

Nothing. She is here by my care to bid you farewell.—Listen and understand.—You are going to die, and leave your sister in poverty amidst the perils of the Republic.—What would you be willing to do to provide her with an independence?

MARDOCHE.

I would do anything. I can do nothing.

GOUROC.

You are mistaken. If you choose, before you die, you can place in her hands 10,000 francs.

MARDOCHE.

How?

GOUROC.

By helping me to save another man's life.

MARDOCHE.

I do not understand.

GOUROC.

The Due de Beaumont has been discovered, and is about to be condemned. For reasons of my own, I wish to save his life. There is but one way. You, who are destined to die soon, must be disguised as the Duke, answer to his name, and go to the scaffold in his stead. Consent to do this—and you shall place in your sister's hands 10,000 francs in gold.

MARDOCHE.

What! That Jacobin of Jacobins, Gouroc, asks a cobbler to save a Duke—?

GOUROC.

Why not? The Republic is poor, the Duke is rich. He has been condemned for our glory. But if his secret escape will bring us gold, why not crown the Republic with riches as well as fame? Is not this Patriotism?

MARDOCHE.

Yes, Patriotism to-day! Yesterday and to-morrow—Jesuitism.

GOUROC.

Well, your answer. Will you save the Duke?

MARDOCHE.

[After a pause.]

I will.

GOUROC.

Good! In your cell you'll find everything for your disguise.

MARDOCHE.

[As howls are heard outside.]

Listen.—That is the voice of fraternity shrieking for fratricide!

GOUROC.

By heaven! No cobbler talks as you do!—Who are you? What are you?

MARDOCHE.

A victim—to present madness! An atonement—for past wrongs! A pledge for future progress!—The Abbe de St. Simon.

GOUROC.

Ha! As I suspected.

[SOLDIERS are heard approaching.]

Take care!—Hurry to your cell; they are coming for the Duke.

MARDOCHE.

And my sister—?

GOUROC.

You shall have the money at your parting.

MARDOCHE.

Thus my death will bring her more than all the years I might have lived to love her. [Exit.

OFFICER.

[Entering, followed by GUARDS, and presenting paper to GOUROC.]

An order for the person of Duc de Beaumont.

GOUROC.

[Looking at order.]

Correct.—There is his cell.

OFFICER.

[Reading from paper at the door of DUKE'S cell.]

Honore Albert Maxime, heretofore Duc de Beaumont, you are called for trial for your life. In the name of the law, stand forth!

The DUKE appears with DIANE clinging to him, followed by NANETTE.

DUKE.

I am ready.

[The GUARDS surround him.

OFFICER.

[To DIANE.]

Young woman, free your father; he must follow me alone.

DIANE.

If he is guilty, then I am guilty. I have shared his prison; I claim the right to share his scaffold.

OFFICER.

You are not called, and cannot go with him.

DUKE.

Courage, child! Remember who you are, and scorn to show these miscreants what you feel.

[Putting her gently from his breast.]

We shall meet again.—

[Turning to OFFICER.]

Lead on, sir.

[The GUARDS go off with the DUKE.—DIANE falls into a chair near table, overcome. NANETTE approaches her; GOUROC waves her back.

GOUROC.

[Pointing to cell.]

Wait there, till you're wanted.

[NANETTE goes out sullenly. GOUROC draws near to DIANE.]

At last I'm free to crave your pardon for the part I'm forced to play in these dark days of tragedy.—Say you'll forgive me.

DIANE.

I have nothing to forgive, sir.—You did not betray my father, and if you dare to feel for such as we, then it is for the Republic to pardon your secret treachery.

GOUROC.

Always cruel, Mademoiselle. If you knew the truth, you could not wound me with your scorn.

DIANE.

[Going.]

If my face offends you, I will go.

GOUROC.

Stay, and be just.—I am the slave of a great purpose. I am fast securing the ruin of the Republic. My affected zeal but masks the well-aimed blows I strike at the enemies of our order.—Before many weeks have past, Robespierre will go to the scaffold, the Jacobins be ruined, and the Republic crushed.—To this great end I am content to suffer anything, even your contempt, if need be.

DIANE.

Yes, I despise all blows dealt in darkness.

GOUROC.

Even though those very blows could save your father's life?

DIANE.

[Turning and staring at him.]

Save my father's life?

GOUROC.

Yes; I hold it in my power to set your father free, and escape with both of you to Vendee.—Say but the word and it is done.

DIANE.

Tell me the word that I may speak it quickly.

GOUROC.

You know the past.—My one wild dream was to win you as my wife. Revolution came; I lost you in the chaos of the times; and when at last I found you, a traitor had nearly caused your death.

DIANE.

[In anguish.]

No more, sir! No more!

GOUROC.

But I can save you yet.

DIANE.

Save my father! That is all I ask.

GOUROC.

To save his life I must imperil my own. I am willing to do this, but—

DIANE.

[Scornfully.]

You must have your price!

GOUROC.

Yes—that price, the right to save and guard you as my wife. One word of hope, and I am your slave forever.

DIANE.

Such a word would be cruelty to you, and crime in me.

[She starts to go.

GOUROC.

[Seizing DIANE'S hand.]

Hear me, I beg—beseech—

[A bell tolls.]

Nay—I command!—Listen!

A VOICE.

[Calls slowly in the distance.]

Hubert, Marquis de Ferrand,—Comte de Vigny,—Duc de Beaumont——

[DIANE turns in horror.

GOUROC.

Your father is called for trial! That means certain death.

DIANE.

[Kneeling.]

Save him!—I will pay the price with everything I have.

GOUROC

I may hope?

DIANE.

Yes! Take hope from my despair.

GOUROC.

Then you will be my wife?

DIANE.

When he and I are free.

GOUROC.

Your father shall be saved!—I go to perfect all my plans.

[Kissing her hand.]

From this moment I am yours—body, mind and soul!

[Exit hurriedly.

DIANE.

When he has saved my father—death shall deliver me.

[Exit.

POTIN enters cautiously, with various things hidden under his clothes, giving him a grotesque appearance.

POTIN.

Now, O Fate, is your chance to protect a patriot! If I can only get away,—I shall escape perjury in Court, and tongue-lashing from my wife!—Now to run!—To run for Vendee! Better the awful thunder of masculine war than the piercing tenderness of a woman's tongue!

[Starting to run of, he begins to sing—to the tune of the Marseillaise chorus:]

To leave—to leave my wife!—

NANETTE.

[Rushing in and stopping him.]

Hold, Citizen Potin!

POTIN.

[Wilting.]

Oh, Republic, I am lost!

NANETTE.

Dodolphe—you're up to mischief! Speak out—what's up?

POTIN.

Patience, gentle lamb!

NANETTE.

Don't lamb me, sir!

[Twisting him round.]

What's this mean?

[Tapping him.]

Porpoise!

[Pulling breeches from under his coat.]

Culottes!

[Pulling cap from his breast.]

Ye gods, what's this?

[Pulling hose from his pockets.]

By heaven! A woman's hose!

[Shaking hose in his face.]

What does this mean?

POTIN.

Nothing, precious love! This is my uniform;—I have recruited for Vendee.

NANETTE.

You—a soldier?

POTIN.

[Posing.]

Yes: The safety of France demands it. I go to preserve the Republic! France beckons—while Victory extends her arms, panting to embrace my noble form!

NANETTE.

Embrace ye?

[Putting his head under her arm.]

Let Victory try it if she dare!

TURNKEY.

[Entering with GUARD.]

Citizen Potin, you are wanted as a witness.

POTIN.

Caught!—From the frying-pan into the fire!

NANETTE.

We shall meet again, my dear.

POTIN.

Don't remind me now; I'm sick enough already.

[Enter PAUL KAUVAR. POTIN starts at sight of him, and speaks to the GUARD.]

I'm ready; show the way.

PAUL.

[To POTIN.]

Stop!—Thank heaven I have found you! Tell me, who ordered the Duke's arrest?

POTIN.

[Sullenly.]

What I know of, that I'll tell only to the Court.

[Exit.

PAUL.

[Turning to NANETTE, who is going.]

Nanette, one word.

NANETTE.

What word can an honest woman speak that you would care to hear?

PAUL.

Justice!—I want that word, and all it signifies.

[Mob howls outside.

NANETTE.

Listen! Go to them—they'll give you justice, aye, and glory, for you betrayed the innocent—to glut their appetite for blood.

PAUL.

That's a lie—a vile, infamous, monstrous lie!

NANETTE.

Is it a lie that you signed the warrant for the Duke's arrest?

PAUL.

My name was forged.

NANETTE.

I know your hand too well to be deceived. I've seen the warrant; it bears your name, and written by yourself.

PAUL.

Then it was obtained by some strange trick! I've tried to learn the truth, but no one will tell me who took the warrant to the office of the Guard.

NANETTE.

I wish I could believe you.

PAUL.

[Forcing her to face him.]

And so you shall!—Do I look like the vilest of mankind?

NANETTE.

No; in looks you're lucky!

PAUL.

Would any man conspire to kill the wife he adores?

NANETTE.

Why ask that?

PAUL.

Because Diane de Beaumont is my wife.

NANETTE.

Your wife?

PAUL.

Yes! For me to betray her father would be to break her heart! Pain to her is the anguish of the damned to me! Can you not see that I am—I must be innocent?

NANETTE.

In these days the fairest faces mask the foulest souls! Looks and words prove nothing! Evidence alone will clear you of this crime.

PAUL.

That—I have not been able to obtain.

NANETTE.

Then get it quickly before it is too late.

PAUL.

Where is Diane—my wife?

NANETTE.

[Pointing.]

There!—Praying for the father she believes you betrayed.

PAUL.

No, she cannot! By the light of her own love she sees the innocence of mine.

NANETTE.

Then love is lunacy!

PAUL.

Send her here to me!

NANETTE.

She will not come.

PAUL.

I'll stake my life she will!

NANETTE.

You shall see.

[Exit.

JEAN LITAIS enters, watching PAUL intently.

PAUL.

Two things at any cost I must accomplish! First, prove my innocence of treachery, and save her father from the guillotine.

JEAN.

[Advancing.]

For that I came to help you.

PAUL.

Who are you?

JEAN.

Look well and you will see.

PAUL.

I've seen your face before, but have forgotten where we met.

JEAN.

I am Jean Litais. Six months ago, I was accused, and about to be condemned. You saw—took pity—spoke in my behalf—and by your eloquence saved my life! So now the life you saved, and all its service, is yours to use, or forfeit as you please! A lion freed a mouse—the mouse now comes to serve the lion.

PAUL.

I do not understand.

JEAN.

I am turnkey here, though once a servant of the Duke's. You love his daughter; I can help her father to escape.

PAUL.

How?

JEAN.

[Crossing to the door.]

This opens on a staircase leading to the river. Here's the key. I have a boat below. To-night I'll creep up the stairs and knock three times. Open, then, this door—and you'll find deliverance for those you love.

PAUL.

[Taking the key.]

How can I repay this deed?

JEAN.

Trust me—that is all.

PAUL.

[Extending his hand.]

I will—I do!

JEAN.

[Kissing PAUL'S hand.]

I'm yours in life or death.

[Goes to door.]

Till to-night!

[Exit.

PAUL.

[Alone.]

Saved!—Thank God!—Their freedom in my hand!—

[Pausing.]

And yet she does not come.—Can it be that she believes me guilty—esteems me lower than the foulest worm?

[Enter DIANE.]

No, no,—I was right!

[Going toward her.]

I knew you'd come.

DIANE.

[Checking him.]

Stop!—Let me look at you and say farewell.

PAUL.

Then you really think me guilty?

DIANE.

If an angel had accused you, I would say it was a lie.

PAUL.

Diane! Diane!—My loyal wife!

[He embraces her.

DIANE.

[Shrinking from him.]

No, no! I am not worthy of your love! I must save my father's life, no matter what it costs me.

PAUL.

Courage, dear heart! I hold here salvation for you both.

DIANE.

You?

PAUL.

Yes! This very night your father shall fly with us to England.

DIANE.

Ah! Then I am free! I need owe him nothing!

PAUL.

Owe whom nothing?

[The tramp of SOLDIERS is heard outside.

DIANE.

Hark!—The Guard!—Take care!

Enter the DUKE, with GUARD and POTIN.

DUKE.

[Contemptuously to PAUL.]

You here, traitor?

DIANE.

[Aside to the DUKE.]

You must not call him that. He did not betray. The proof is this—that he has come to save you.

DUKE.

And so make my debt to him a means of reaching you;—but I would not accept my life from hands unclean with treachery.

PAUL.

There's not a drop of traitor's blood within my veins!

DUKE.

Yet you signed the warrant for my arrest.

PAUL

Then another hand than mine—unknown to me—filled in your name.

DUKE.

Plausible trickster!—We have here double proof that you are guilty.

[Enter GOUROC in background.]

The evidence of the man to whom you gave the warrant, commanding him to take it to the Guard.

PAUL.

There's no such man alive—or dead!

DUKE.

Potin, advance.

[POTIN comes forward sullenly.]

Repeat what you swore in court.—From whom did you receive the warrant for my arrest?

POTIN.

[After a struggle.]

I received it from—

[Hesitates.

GOUROC.

[Aside to POTIN.]

Take care!—If I denounce—you die!

DUKE.

Well, sir, we are waiting.

POTIN.

[Desperately.]

I received it—[Pointing at PAUL.] from him.

[PAUL recoils with horror. DIANE, with cry of agony, hides her face upon her father's breast.

PAUL.

[Crossing to POTIN.]

Potin, look at me.—On your word hangs the honour of your old and steadfast friend! Look in my eyes, and, in the name of your own salvation, speak nothing but the truth.

DUKE.

[Sternly.]

'Tis useless to intimidate the witness. He will not prove himself a perjurer, and condemn himself to death, even to please so dear a friend as you.

PAUL.

My God!—There is some wicked plot!

DUKE.

Yes—and you're the plotter.

[PAUL falls prostrate into chair near table. Supporting DIANE to the door of his cell, the DUKE pauses and speaks.]

Paul Kauvar, we shall never meet again.—Remember my last words.—Beggars, thieves, assassins may escape perdition; but neither here, nor hereafter, is there any hope for Judas.

[Exit, supporting DIANE.

[NANETTE follows the DUKE off. POTIN goes into the opposite cell. GOUROC crosses to PAUL.

GOUROC.

How's this, old Comrade? I thought you were antique in the mastery of your emotions.—A man of iron—firm as flint!

PAUL.

Agony is fire that melts the mettle of the hardest man.

GOUROC.

But why should you—a Jacobin—care for this old Duke?

PAUL.

I loved his daughter—she became my wife.

GOUROC.

[Starting.]

What! Diane de Beaumont is your wife?

PAUL.

Yes—has been my wife in secret—for six months.

GOUROC.

[Aside.]

So I have a double task! To save her—and kill her husband.

[Aloud.]

The same old story, Comrade, and as usual a woman mars the plot! You were a patriot, till love enmeshed you in his magic web; then you became the weakest of mankind—a husband. I am sorry, very sorry; but Paul—my friend—if I can serve you now, I beg of you command me.

PAUL.

Yes, you can serve me. You have been my friend—be more!

GOUROC.

Your sorrow seems so deep, I swear I think I'd serve it—even at the cost of conscience! Speak then, without fear.

PAUL.

Help me to save the father of my wife!—See! This key opens yonder door; to-night, at any moment, you may hear three knocks.—That signal will be given by a man who will conduct you safely out of France.

GOUROC.

A man that you can trust?

PAUL.

To the death.—I saved his life.

GOUROC.

But suppose the Duke is called before the signal comes!—I must go and find some man to take his place.

GOUROC starts to go. PAUL'S face lights with a sudden resolution.

PAUL.

Stop! The man is found.

GOUROC.

Who is he?

PAUL.

The man they call a traitor—Paul Kauvar.

GOUROC.

[Suppressing a smile of surprise.]

You?

PAUL.

Yes. When safely out of France, tell them of my fate. My death may convince them I loved too deeply to betray.

[A bell begins to toll.

A VOICE.

[In the distance.]

Hubert, Marquis de Ferrand,—Mardoche, alias the Abbe de St. Simon—

GOUROC.

They're calling the condemned; there's not an instant to be lost.

[Crossing to cell.]

In this cell there hangs an old man's coat and wig, kept here to disguise the spies connected with the prison. Luckily they'll serve your purpose well.

[Opening cell door.]

Quick!—Get ready to answer when the Duke is called.

PAUL.

Tell my wife I died for love of her, and honour.

[Exit.

GOUROC.

[In exultation.]

Thank luck!—This man's death clears my path, and saves the money I meant to pay the Abbe.

Enter DIANE and NANETTE.

DIANE.

Where is he? I must see him once again!—Paul! Paul!

[Starting at sight of GOUROC.]

Who's there?

GOUROC.

Tis I! Here to save your father.

THE VOICE.

[Outside.]

Comte de Vigny,—Andre de la Roche—

GOUROC.

That's the last call of the condemned.—Your father's name stands next upon the roll.

DIANE.

Save him!—Save him!

GOUROC.

Obey me instantly, or all is lost; hide quickly in this cell! Trust to me and wait.

DIANE.

[Going with NANETTE into a cell.]

God deal with you as you now deal with me!

[Exit.

Tramp of GUARDS outside.

GOUROC.

[Crossing to cell and calling.]

Kauvar!—Be quick!—stand ready. By heaven!—A close shave!

OFFICER and GUARDS enter.

OFFICER.

[Advancing.]

Honore Albert Maxime, Duc de Beaumont, you are called to the guillotine.

[PAUL comes forth in silence.]

Fall in.—Forward, march!

[As the GUARDS start with PAUL, DIANE rushes in with a cry of agony.

DIANE.

Father!—Father!—We have been deceived!

[DIANE rushes into PAUL'S arms; he embraces her passionately. GUARDS force them apart and go out with PAUL.]

[Held back by GOUROC and NANETTE, DIANE shrieks.]

Father—father!

DUKE.

[Entering.]

Diane!—What is it?

DIANE.

[Turning in amazement and joy.]

What!—You are there?

GOUROC.

Yes, saved by me.

DIANE.

And he—? Who was he they dragged away?

GOUROC.

A man condemned to die—whom I disguised—to take your father's place.

DIANE.

[Falling on her knees.]

O God! Spare this man all pain in death—and give him life eternal!

CURTAIN.



ACT III.

SCENE. Headquarters of Royalists in Vendee. Interior of hall in old chateau. Fireplace; large doorways with staircase leading to terrace, overlooking Granville; Faubourg de Calvaire in middle ground. Doors from hall. Bay window with large table covered with papers, maps, etc. Charts near table and fireplace.

DISCOVERED: SENTINEL on terrace; LA HOGUE seated at the table busy with papers.

At rise of curtain—drums and fifes heard in distance.

DENISE enters, goes to terrace, gazes anxiously, then turns and crosses quickly to LA HOGUE.

DENISE.

[Shouting loudly.]

Monsieur La Hogue!

LA HOGUE.

[Gruffly.]

Well?

DENISE.

Do you hear?

LA HOGUE.

[Impatiently.]

Hear what?

DENISE.

The drums and piccolos yonder.

LA HOGUE.

[Listening.]

I can hear nothing.

[Drums, etc., sound more loud.

DENISE.

But listen now, it grows louder—up from Ville d'Avranches.

LA HOGUE.

[Starting up.]

D'Avranches?—Ha! Re-inforcements for the Kings' army! None too soon!

[Drums, etc., cease.]

[Enter an ORDERLY, who presents papers. LA HOGUE takes papers, reads, and exclaims.] The Count de Parame with recruits!

[To the ORDERLY.]

Tell your Colonel to report here instantly! General de la Rochejacquelein [Enter LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.] is indignant at his delay, and—

LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.

[To LA HOGUE.]

Gently, old friend! La Rochejacquelein will speak for himself.

[To ORDERLY.]

Ask the Count to honour me with his presence here as speedily as possible.

[Exit ORDERLY.]

Now these re-inforcements have arrived, we'll give these rebels battle.

LA HOGUE.

At last, thank God! And we're ready for the fight.

[Pointing.]

In the Faubourg de Calvaire there's hardly a house but harbours a detachment of our men.

LA ROCHE.

With that village in our hands we'll bring Granville town to terms. To-night we will assault the place at every point.

LA HOGUE.

[Reverently.]

And God in mercy aid King Louis' men!

LA ROCHE and DENISE. [Together.]

Amen!

LA ROCHE.

[To LA HOGUE.]

Await the Count upon the terrace, and take him to my private room. But no roughness to the Colonel—try to be charming for a change.

LA HOGUE.

Bah! Leave charmers to women,—only fighters win at war!

[Exit.

LA ROCHE.

[To DENISE.]

How long since you have heard from Jean Litais?

DENISE.

Not since he, my lover, went to Paris to aid the Duc de Beaumont to escape.

LA ROCHE.

This fiendish reign of terror has prevented me from hearing of the Duke till now.

DENISE.

And you have heard—?

LA ROCHE.

The worst of news! Among some papers captured in a skirmish, I found this journal, [Producing paper.] printed at Paris some three months ago. It contains a list of those beheaded the preceding day.—See this name I've underlined.

DENISE.

[Reading.]

"The Duc de Beaumont."

Enter a MAN from panel in wall up stage.

LA ROCHE.

Guillotined at night, upon the tenth of last October.

DENISE.

My God! If Jean has failed to save the Duke, he must be dead himself!

THE MAN.

[Advancing.]

Not yet!

LA ROCHE.

[Turning quickly.]

Who's this?

DENISE.

It's Jean!—

[Rushing into his arms.]

My Jean returned!

LA ROCHE.

Litais!—Is it really you?

JEAN.

Every bit of me, my lord.

DENISE.

Thank heaven!

LA ROCHE.

How did you pass the guard?

JEAN.

Faith, I know every corner of the old chateau. No guard could bar my way while I'd such news to bring! The Duke and his daughter are here—in the park.

LA ROCHE.

Alive and safe—?

JEAN.

As you are!—Grant me a guard to bring them through our lines.

LA ROCHE.

[Strikes a bell.]

[Enter ORDERLY, who salutes.]

See that Monsieur and his friends have safe passage through our lines.

ORDERLY crosses stage and stands at door.

JEAN.

In an instant we'll return.—Come, Denise; you shall see your old master once again.

DENISE.

And never let you leave my side while I have life to love you.

[Exeunt DENISE, JEAN and ORDERLY, who salutes GUARD before departing. Tumult in distance.]

LA HOGUE.

[Entering.]

The Count is here and anxious for the fight.

[LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN, listening, pays no attention. LA HOGUE speaks impatiently.]

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