The Goddess of Reason 19

The Goddess of Reason 19

DE VARDES

 

Not yet,

As far as Vannes I ride beside her coach.

 

YVETTE

 

Oh!

 

MLLE. DE CHÂTEAU-GUI

 

Soon or late, she’ll draw you back to Nantes!

Now will she not?

 

DE VARDES (_smiling_)

 

Perhaps.

 

YVETTE

 

Jesu Maria!

 

SISTER FIDELIS

 

Monsieur, if you must go, oh, rest you sure

Jealously will we guard and spotless keep

The soul you stooped and drew from the foul mire!

Yvette, come make your reverence to your lord!

 

YVETTE

 

I kiss your hand, monseigneur!

 

THE ABBÉ

 

There will be

A storm to-night!

 

COUNT LOUIS

 

Come, come, René de Vardes!

I’d see the courier who brought this news!

 

DE VARDES

 

I’ll follow you, Monsieur le Comte!

 

[_Exeunt_ COUNT LOUIS, _his daughter_, DE L’ORIENT,

THE ABBÉ, _and the Sisters_.

 

YVETTE

 

Wilt thou go?

 

DE VARDES

 

I must.

 

YVETTE

 

Why must thou go?

To-day the kingdom fell! Oh, in the dust

Of old things let it rest for evermore!

Take up the Revolution!

 

[_Lightning._

 

Oh, see!

The flaming sword before the gates of Eden!

Thou’rt safe within the garden! Go not forth.

Go not to Paris! Stay in Nantes, ah, stay!

Wear the tricolour

 

[_Thunder._

 

Hark! It is the voice,

The menacing voice of the Republic!

It threatens thee, it threatens all who pass

That flaming sword, to lift the thing that was

And is not any more! Oh, let it lie!

Thou’lt not to Paris?

 

DE VARDES

 

To-night, Citoyenne!

Ah, thou art skilful at betraying!

 

YVETTE

 

Quoi!

 

_Enter_ SISTER BENEDICTA.

 

SISTER BENEDICTA

 

Monsieur le Baron de Morbec, the page

Of Madame la Marquise de Blanchefôret

Attends

 

YVETTE

 

Name of a name!

 

THE ABBÉ (_appearing in the door behind_ _Sister

Benedicta_)

 

De Vardes, De Vardes!

You gather the furze while the red rose waits!

 

DE VARDES

 

At once, my Sister!

 

(_To_ YVETTE.) Ah, not in anger,

Must thou and I part for this little while!

If I’m in life I will return, be sure,

To Nantes and all this garden loveliness,

Those fruit trees and this fountain!Fare thee well.

The nuns will care for thee; I’ve ordered all.

Too fierce of aspect is the world without!

Here is fair peace, security, and calm;

Here thou art fenced from storm and violence.

Abide thou here until I come again!

 

[_Lightning._

 

YVETTE

 

The flaming sword!

 

DE VARDES

 

Hearest thou not, Yvette,

How sings the lark in Paimpont Wood to-day?

 

YVETTE

 

I hear the dirge of the salt sea!

 

DE VARDES

 

And there,

Seest thou not through yonder trees the stone,

The Druid Stone where thou didst lie in sleep?

 

YVETTE

 

I see a broken fan!

 

DE VARDES

 

Abide thou here

And dream of Paimpont Wood until I come.

I too will dream, I too will dream, Yvette!

 

YVETTE

 

Is not Clarice a lovely name?

 

DE VARDES

 

Why, yes,

A very lovely name.Farewell, farewell!

I’ll see thy face, be sure, this very night,

Upon the road before me as I ride.

 

YVETTE

 

Oh, fare you well beneath the silver moon

As slow you ride beside a lady’s coach,

Discoursing of the dazzling, snowy heights!

I kiss your hand, monseigneur! Fare you well!

 

[THE ABBÉ’S _voice is heard from the doorway_.

 

THE ABBÉ

 

De Vardes! De Vardes!

 

DE VARDES

 

I come!

 

THE ABBÉ

 

The rose awaits!

 

YVETTE

 

It is too much!

 

DE VARDES

 

Farewell, thou spirit of Paimpont!

 

[_Distant music._

 

YVETTE

 

Ah, ah! ‘tis worth all elsethe Marseillaise!

 

DE VARDES

 

My Duchess Jeanne

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