The Goddess of Reason 23
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?
Barefoot—what’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
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!
In Nantes where do you lodge?
Under the Lanterne, Sign of the Hour Glass.
Nanon! Nanon! You are missing the sights!
_Allons, enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!_
Come, come away!
[SÉRAPHINE _unbars the door in the wall. It swings
Faith! One can see the Loire!
‘Tis fine to walk beside it ‘neath the moon!
_Tremblez, tyrans! et vous perfides_,—
I’ll go—I’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!_
_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
_Hoarse voices within. Hawkers of Revolutionary journals cross the
_Le Journal des Jacobins!_
De la Lanterne!_
_L’Orateur du Peuple!_
_Le père Duchesne! Le Père Duchesne!_
GRÉGOIRE (_stopping him_)
[_He buys a paper._
And what to-day says Père Duchesne?
That Paris envies Nantes her Carrier!
_La Bouche de Fer!_
_Les Actes des Apôtres!_
I’ll buy the _Actes_.
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 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.
Ha, ha! Biron! Barnave!
Through the little window they’ve looked at last!
_À bas les Aristocrats! Vive la Guillotine!_
Ah, here in Nantes we drown them in the Loire!
_Vive Carrier! Vive Lambertye! Vive Lalain!_
[_The man with the brush affixes a second placard._
And this, Citizen?