The Goddess of Reason 25

The Goddess of Reason 25

 VOICES (_within_)

 

_Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira!

Les Aristocrats à la Lanterne!_

 

DE VARDES

 

_O Richard, O mon Roi,

L’univers t’abandonne!_

 

[_A howl from the mob._

 

THE MOB

 

Aristocrats!

 

GRÉGOIRE (_from the statue_)

 

Desperate!

 

[_The red caps_, DE VARDES, THE ABBÉ, _and_ DE BUC

_fight across the stage and exeunt_. GRÉGOIRE _follows

them_.

 

VOICES (_within_)

 

_Ça ira!_

 

_Enter women and children of the Revolution._

 

A WOMAN

 

Upon the church steps I will take my stand!

 

ANOTHER

 

I have brought my knitting.

 

A THIRD

 

And I.

 

A FOURTH

 

And I.

 

ALL (_singing_)

 

_We are the tricoteuses!

Dyed wool we knit while rumbles by the cart.

Knit! knit! all knitting in the sun._

 

_We are the tricoteuses!

Red wool we knit while soul and body part.

Knit! knit! the knitting now is done!_

 

[_They seat themselves upon the church steps._

 

A CHILD

 

Maman! Maman! how many carts will pass?

 

A WOMAN

 

None, sweeting, none! It is a holiday.

 

_Enter_ CÉLESTE, ANGÉLIQUE, _and_ NANON.

 

NANON

 

It was the very night of the great storm

From those dull convent walls she ran away!

 

CÉLESTE

 

Two years agone

 

ANGÉLIQUE

 

Would she had stayed!

 

NANON

 

Ah, then,

You had been Goddess, Angélique!

 

ANGÉLIQUE

 

The witch!

With her dark skin and with her purple flower!

Let her beware! I know a thing or two!

 

CÉLESTE

 

_I_ know who comes from Paris back to Nantes!

This morning on the quai I saw him!

 

NANON (_eagerly_)

 

Is’t

That ci-devant, that black Aristocrat,

De Vardes?

 

CÉLESTE

 

The man your brother loves? The same.

 

NANON

 

I spit upon his name!

 

CÉLESTE

 

Denounced!

 

NANON

 

The set of sun

Will see him so, or my name’s not Nanon!

 

CÉLESTE

 

The Loirethe Loire will close above his head!

 

_Enter_ SÉRAPHINE.

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

Whose head?

 

NANON

 

The Citizen Vardes.

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

Monseigneur!

He’s in the prison of La Force at Paris!

One truly told me soHe’s not in Nantes.

 

NANON

 

And if he were

 

SÉRAPHINE (_stammering_)

 

Whywhy

 

NANON

 

And if he were,

You would not give him up! I know you well!

I know you, Séraphine!

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

And if you do,

You know no ill of me, Citoyenne!

 

CÉLESTE

 

Yvette

Would not give him up either.

 

ANGÉLIQUE

 

No, i’ faith!

I’ll take my oath on that!

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

Your oath, lint-locks!

It’s worth a deal, your oath! _Your_ mind I know!

You would be Goddess, you and not Yvette!

 

ANGÉLIQUE

 

Let her beware!

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

Yvette! She’s coming now!

Bright as the star that’s highest in the night!

And all the men have turned astronomers!

Faith! ‘tis easy work to worship Reason,

When Reason is a woman, and that fair!

 

ANGÉLIQUE

 

I’ve seen her gather seaweed on the shore!

 

SÉRAPHINE

 

And now she gathers hearts in her two hands.

 

ANGÉLIQUE

 

Oh! oh!

 

NANON

 

Would that my brother hated her!

Disdainful prude!

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