The Goddess of Reason 23

The Goddess of Reason 23

YVETTE

 

You lie.

 

SÉRAPHINE (_angrily_)

 

Saint Yves! I lie! Do I? O Seigneur Dieu!

This is Yvette, the herd girl of Morbec!

This is Yvette, the daughter of Yvonne!

This is that same Yvette who swore one day

That rather would she meet the blight of hell

Than take one favour from a seigneur’s hand!

Once you were hungry! Go you hungry now?

You went in rags. Where is your ragged gown?

Barefootwhat’s that about that throat of thine?

I swear it is a jewel!and we pine

For bread, we women of the Revolution!

 

[YVETTE _unclasps the jewel from her neck and lets

it fall_.

 

I lie, do I? Diable! Just prove I lie!

This night we make a little noise in Nantes

Shall show Aristocrats who is in danger!

Lalain will speak and all the bells will ring,

And Angélique will deck herself in red!

Steal through yon door, be of us evermore!

I lie, do I? Then show me that I lie!

 

YVETTE

 

In Nantes where do you lodge?

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

With Angélique

Under the Lanterne, Sign of the Hour Glass.

 

VOICES

 

Nanon! Nanon! You are missing the sights!

 

[_Distant music._

 

OTHER VOICES

 

_Allons, enfants de la patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrivé!_

 

NANON

 

Come, come away!

 

[SÉRAPHINE _unbars the door in the wall. It swings

open_.

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

Faith! One can see the Loire!

‘Tis fine to walk beside it ‘neath the moon!

 

YVETTE

 

Oh!

 

VOICES

 

_Tremblez, tyrans! et vous perfides_,

 

NANON

 

Away! Away!

 

YVETTE

 

I’ll goI’ll go with you.

Ye fruit trees and thou fountain, fare ye well!

 

[_Exeunt_ YVETTE, SÉRAPHINE, NANON. _The door

swings to. Lightning and thunder._ SISTER FIDELIS

_appears in the convent door_.

 

VOICES (_dying away_)

 

_Aux armes, Citoyens!

Formez vos bataillons!_

 

_CURTAIN_

 

[Illustration]

 

[Illustration]

 

 

 

 

_ACT III_

 

 

_A square in Nantes. On the left the deep porch of a church with

pillars. To the right and in the background, a perspective of

streets with tall, many-windowed houses. Opposite the church a

great plaster statue of Liberty. Over the church door is written

in white lettering: “The Republic One and Indivisible. Liberty,

Equality, Fraternity or Death. National Property.” A distant view

of the Loire. Men and women in holiday garb, wearing liberty caps

and great tricoloured cockades, cross and recross the square.

Life, movement, colour. Red the dominant note. It is the year

1794._

 

_Hoarse voices within. Hawkers of Revolutionary journals cross the

square._

 

A HAWKER

 

_Le Journal des Jacobins!_

 

ANOTHER

 

_Le Discours

De la Lanterne!_

 

_Enter_ GRÉGOIRE.

 

A THIRD

 

_L’Orateur du Peuple!_

 

A FOURTH

 

_Le père Duchesne! Le Père Duchesne!_

 

GRÉGOIRE (_stopping him_)

 

Here!

 

[_He buys a paper._

 

And what to-day says Père Duchesne?

 

THE HAWKER

 

He says

That Paris envies Nantes her Carrier!

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

Humph!

 

A HAWKER

 

_La Bouche de Fer!_

 

ANOTHER

 

_Les Actes des Apôtres!_

 

A CITIZEN

 

I’ll buy the _Actes_.

 

ANOTHER

 

I’ll buy the _Bouche de Fer_.

 

[_Enter a man with a long brush and a pot of paste.

He proceeds to cover the wooden base of the Statue

of Liberty with placards._

 

THE CROWD

 

The placards! The placards!

 

A BRETON SAILOR

 

I cannot read!

 

[_He catches by the arm a man in a long cloak, with

a broad hat pulled low over his face._

 

Prithee, Citizen, what says the placard?

 

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK

 

It says Duport is dead; Biron is dead;

Barnave is dead.

 

THE CROWD

 

Ha, ha! Biron! Barnave!

 

A MAN

 

Through the little window they’ve looked at last!

_À bas les Aristocrats! Vive la Guillotine!_

 

ANOTHER

 

Ah, here in Nantes we drown them in the Loire!

 

THE CROWD

 

_Vive Carrier! Vive Lambertye! Vive Lalain!_

 

[_The man with the brush affixes a second placard._

 

THE BRETON

 

And this, Citizen?

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