The Goddess of Reason 24

The Goddess of Reason 24

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK

 

D’Alleray is dead;

Bailly is dead; Du Barry is dead.

 

THE CROWD

 

Ha!

 

A WOMAN

 

Ho! ho! The courtesan, she’ll kiss no more!

 

THE CROWD

 

She’ll kiss no more!

 

[_The man with the brush affixes the third placard._

 

THE BRETON

 

And this one, Citizen?

 

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK (_reads_)

 

_The Republic One and Indivisible.

It is Decreed

There is no God. To-day we worship Reason._

 

[_The crowd applauds._

 

A MAN

 

In a red mantle!

 

ANOTHER

 

That’s the Paris Reason!

Our Reason wears blue.

 

A THIRD

 

And oak leaves in her hair.

 

THE BRETON

 

Is Reason truly a woman?

 

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK

 

God knows!

 

A MAN

 

Ha! he says God! God is a word forbid!

 

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK

 

Then Reason knows.

 

A MAN

 

That’s better.

 

[_Singing within. A band of dancers, men and women,

whirl into the square._

 

THE CROWD

 

Carmagnole!

 

THE DANCERS

 

_Dansons la Carmagnole!

Vive le son, vive le son!

Dansons la Carmagnole!

Vive le son du canon!_

 

[_The crowd breaks and joins the dancers. They take

hands and with uncouth and extravagant gestures

circle once or twice around the statue, then with a

long cry exeunt._

 

A WOMAN

 

The great procession forms upon the quai!

 

ANOTHER

 

It winds and winds about and comes this way!

 

[_Exeunt men and women._ GRÉGOIRE _and the man

in the cloak remain_.

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

The priests are gone. It is Reason’s fête day.

 

THE MAN IN THE CLOAK

 

Reason, being a woman, will have her way.

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

Still, Monsieur l’Abbé

 

THE ABBÉ

 

I am known!

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

To serve

Monsieur, I had the honour at Morbec.

 

THE ABBÉ

 

Monsieur le Baron’s seneschal, I think.

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

The same,but I am gaoler now in Nantes.

 

THE ABBÉ

 

That night in June your musket would not fire!

Diable! I’ve played and lost! Well, fellow?

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

Hein?

 

THE ABBÉ

 

The wind blows cold in Nantes, and so I wear

This cloak! So long I’ve looked on fires of hell

I needs must have a hat to shade my eyes!

But now I’ll cock it in the face of all

Cold, wind, darkness, devils, and Republic!

 

GRÉGOIRE

 

I think the citizen has lost his head.

 

THE ABBÉ

 

Ay, and my heart as well. Holà! what’s that?

 

[_A noise without. Clash of steel and excited voices._

 

_Enter_ DE VARDES _and_ FAUQUEMONT DE BUC _pursued by

seven or eight red-capped men armed with pikes_. DE

VARDES _and_ DE BUC _use their swords_.

 

THE RED CAPS

 

Aristocrats! Aristocrats!

 

DE VARDES (_thrusting_)

 

Take that,

Republican!

 

DE BUC (_thrusting_)

 

Out, canaille!

 

THE ABBÉ

 

Here’s wine!

Have at you, brow-bound galley slaves!

 

DE VARDES (_over his shoulder_)

 

Ha! De Barbasan!

 

[_Wounds his adversary._

 

We’re at our last château!

 

THE ABBÉ

 

I’ve shut Voltaire! Here goes the candle out!

 

[_He throws his long cloak over the head of one of

the red caps and makes at another with his dagger._

 

DE VARDES

 

The window splinters!

 

[_He sends the pike flying from a red cap’s hand._

 

Take warning, sans-culottes!

 

THE ABBÉ

 

One, two, three!

 

DE BUC

 

My sword arm!

 

DE VARDES

 

Fight with your left.

I saw you do it at Nanci!

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