Part 1 out of 4
Produced by David Starner, Leah Moser and the Online Distributed
PAUL KAUVAR; OR, ANARCHY
[Illustration: STEELE MACKAYE]
When one realizes the sociological purpose behind Steele Mackaye's
"Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy," it is interesting to note how inefficient
the old form of drama was to carry anything more than the formal
romantic fervour. Compared with John Galsworthy's treatment in
"Strife" and "Justice," it makes one glad that realism came and washed
away all the obscuring claptrap of that period. Daly, Boucicault, and
their generation were held firmly in its grip; they could not get
away from it, and they were justified in their loyalty to it by the
insistent claim "The Two Orphans" and "The Lady of Lyons" had upon
the public. All the more credit, therefore, that Bronson Howard, David
Belasco, and James A. Herne escaped it; had the latter completely
freed himself of melodrama, his plays would be better known to-day,
better capable of revival, because of the true greatness of their
simple realistic patches.
But where Mackaye vitalized the old style was in the vigour of his
treatment. He loved the large scene, the mob movement; and he worked
with a big brush. As Nym Crinkle, the popular New York _World_
dramatic critic of the day, wrote: "Whatever else he may be, [he] is
not a 'lisping hawthorne bud'! He doesn't embroider such napkins as
the 'Abbe Constantin', and he can't arrange such waxworks as 'Elaine'.
He can't stereoscope an emotion, but he can incarnate it if you give
him people enough."
Mackaye's mind was large, resourceful, daring--both in the opinions
it upheld, and the practical theatrical innovations it introduced
into the theatre, like the double stage for the little Madison
Square playhouse, in New York, which was the precursor of such modern
paraphernalia as came later with the foreign revolving stages.
He always stood on the threshold of modernism, advocating those
principles which were to fructify in the decades to follow him. Such
pioneer spirit was evident in his ardent advocacy of Delsarte methods
of acting; his own work as an actor was coloured and influenced by the
master whose pupil he became in the early years of his career. When
one recalls the methods of Wallack, and his shy approach toward
anything which was "natural," it seems very advanced to hear Mackaye
echoing the Delsarte philosophy. This advocacy was nowhere better
demonstrated than when, at a breakfast given him at the New York
Lotos Club, he talked on the rationale of art for two hours, and held
spell-bound the attention of Longfellow, Bryant, Louis Agassiz, James
J. Fields, E.P. Whipple, Edwin Booth and others. He once said:
A man to be a true actor must not only possess the power to
portray vividly the emotions which in any given situation
would be natural to himself, but he must study the character
of the man whom he impersonates, and then act as that man
would act in a like situation.
Mackaye's devotion to Delsarte was manifest in the many practical
ways he aided his teacher; he was rewarded by being left most of his
master's manuscripts. This passionate interest in the technique of
acting not only enriched his own work, but, in 1872, prompted him to
open a Delsarte house (the St. James Theatre), and later interested
him in a school of acting. Mackaye studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts
and the Conservatoire, in Paris, having as an instructor at the
latter institution M. Regnier. On his way back to America, Tom Taylor
persuaded him to attempt _Hamlet_ in London, at the Crystal
Palace. This essayal met with success. It also opened the way for
collaboration with Tom Taylor in the writing of "Arkwright's Wife" and
"Clancarty," and with Charles Reade of "Jealousy." At this time also
he commenced a dramatization of George Eliot's "Silas Marner."
There were no half-way measures about Mackaye; things of the theatre
and principles of the theatre caught and held his interest. At the
very last of his life, while he was at work on his "Spectatorus,"
which foreran the American idea of a Hippodrome, and which might have,
in years to come, happily housed his son Percy's "Caliban," he was
at the same time attempting to combine with it an educational aspect
which would lift it above the mere spectacular. The symbolical notes
which he handed his son--who was then a mere boy--for the writing of
a Chorus, show the profound approach he took to all his work. Such
seriousness is one of the consuming traits of Percy, whose sense of
humour is probably better developed than that of his father, and whose
sway of literary expression is fuller.
For none of Steele Mackaye's dramas were written with any idea of
being read. They were all constructed by one fully alive to the
theatre and its demands. In view of this, it is surprising how well
"Paul Kauvar" flows in type. The minor editorial changes made for this
edition by Mr. Percy Mackaye are based on several manuscripts, and
the result is the first authentic text of the play. Steele Mackaye was
always gripped in fascination by mob psychology, always eager to write
of the Reign of Terror. The version here used is the mature one, given
its premiere at Buffalo, New York, May 30, 1887. But Mr. Percy Mackaye
is authority for the statement that while his father was studying with
Delsarte, in Paris, he became enamoured of the Revolution, and there
are two manuscripts extant, "The Denouncer" and "The Terror," which
indicate that he was chipping away at his theme very early in life. He
recast these sketches in the summer of 1875, while at Brattleborough,
Vt., where he had a cottage on the Bliss Farm, familiar now to Rudyard
Kipling lovers because of the fact that here, too, Kipling wrote, at a
The years 1875 and 1887 are the mileposts between which stretched a
long period of successful play-writing by Steele Mackaye. By '75, he
had already written "Marriage" (1872), "Arkwright's Wife" (1873) and
"Clancarty" (1874). There followed quickly "Rose Michel" (1875, in
collaboration), "Queen and Woman" (1876, an adaptation from Hugo),
"Won at Last" (1877), "Through the Dark" (1878), "An Iron Will" (1879,
later to be called "Hazel Kirke," 1880), "A Fool's Errand" (1881, an
adaptation), "Dakolar" (1884), "In Spite of All" (1885), and "Rienzi"
(1886). Then came the present play, followed by "A Noble Rogue" (1888)
and "Money Mad," modelled after Hugo.
In correspondence with Mr. Percy Mackaye, it is significant to hear
him insisting on his father's change in sociological bearing having
taken place while writing "Paul Kauvar." Timeliness was given to its
initial presentment through the fact that at the moment some Chicago
anarchists had been on trial, and were condemned to death. Writing of
the incident, William Dean Howells recalls that:
At the house of Judge Pryor, in 1887, several of us came
together in sympathy with your father, who was trying--or had
vainly tried--to get the United States Supreme Court to
grant the Chicago anarchists a new trial. With your father I
believed that the men had been convicted on an unjust ruling,
and condemned for their opinions, not for a proven crime. I
remember your father's wrathful fervour, and the instances he
alledged of police brutality. [Letter to Mr. Percy Mackaye.]
In a published interview, Mackaye expressed his concern for the case;
but he likewise was reticent about making theatre capital out of it.
He is reported to have said:
The play was first called "Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy." Then I
thought "Anarchy" would be the best title, and under that
I produced it in Buffalo. After its production, the Chicago
anarchists were hanged, and, to avoid a possible charge of
trading on that event, I went back to my first title. Later,
however, the subtitle, "Anarchy," was gradually reduced to
smaller lettering and finally dropped.
The success of the play on its first night was a double triumph, for
twelve hundred leading citizens had signed an invitation to have it
given in Mackaye's native city, and the evening was a kind of public
testimony to his position. This was one of the rare instances of an
American dramatist receiving such recognition. Mackaye assumed the
title-role, and, supporting him were Frederick de Belleville, Eben
Plympton, Sidney Drew, Julian Mitchell, May Irwin, and Genevieve
Lytton. Commenting on the occasion, the Buffalo _Courier_ said:
It was not as a playwright alone that his friends honour Mr.
Mackaye. It may be said of him with strict justice that he
is one of the few men of our day who have brought to the
much-abused theatre the intelligence, the skill, the learning
and the genius that it so much needs in an era of speculators
and buffoons. He has always been able and willing to take the
pen or the rostrum, whether at Harvard or at Steinway Hall, to
expound the principles upon which he has so assiduously worked
for the past fifteen years.
Mackaye had chosen his theme in the same spirit that Judge Conrad had
selected "Jack Cade." He wished to measure the danger of liberty,
but he did so indirectly, for the play does not abound in long
philosophical flights of definition and warning. He himself confessed
that the subject was defined only once, in these words, spoken by the
hero to the woman he loves, when she is pleading with him to flee from
France. He silences her by saying:
"I must stay to war with beasts who bring disgrace upon our
noble cause. The torch of liberty, which should light mankind
to progress, when left in madmen's hands, kindles that blaze
of anarchy whose only end is ashes."
This indicates very distinctly that Mackaye's stand for the Chicago
anarchists was not due to sympathy with their political monomania, but
rather championed justice which, only when rightly used, will stem
the tide of overwrought minds. With the execution of these men, he
believed the cause of anarchy would be strengthened by the general
impression gained of their martyrdom. His attitude was widely
discussed, and "Paul Kauvar" became a visible demonstration of anarchy
Of the component elements in his play, Mackaye left a full record. It
is worth preserving as indication of his motive. In an interview he
For many years I have devoted myself to the mechanical, as
well as the artistic side of the theatre, in the hope that by
improving stage mechanism I might help to develop the artistic
ensemble essential to high art results in the theatre. To this
end I have made numerous inventions, and designed and
built several theatres. [The Madison Square and the Lyceum
In this work I have been almost daily in contact with
labourers and mechanics of every kind, and this contact
stirred in me a very deep and sincere sympathy with these
classes of men. I was led to realize the greatness of
obligation under which the whole world is placed by the
industry, ability and devotion to duty which characterizes by
far the larger portion of the working classes.
At the same time, through relations intimate and confidential,
I became conscious that certain foreign ideas--the natural
outgrowth of excessive poverty and despotism in the Old
World--were insinuating themselves into the hearts and minds
of American labourers to an extent perilous to their own
prosperity and to the very life of the republic.
In this country political corruption and the grasping spirit
of corporations are constantly affording the demagogue or the
dreamer opportunity to preach the destruction of civil order
with great plausibility, giving scope to reckless theorists
who have so often, in the world's history, baffled the
endeavours of the rational and patient liberalists of their
This excited in me an ardent desire to do what little I could
as a dramatist to counteract what seemed to me the poisonous
influences of these hidden forces: to write a play which might
throw some light on the goal of destruction to which these
influences inevitably lead, whenever the agitation between
capital and labour accepts the leadership of anarchism.
The time chosen by me was that of the Terror in France,
1793-94, during which the noble fruits of the French
Revolution came near to annihilation, thanks to the supremacy,
for a time, of a small band of anarchical men who, in the name
of liberty, invoked the tyranny of terror.
The hero of my play, _Paul Kauvar_, has for his prototype
Camille Desmoulins, one of the most conspicuous and sincere
sons of liberty of his day, who--in spite of his magnificent
devotion to freedom--when he dared oppose the Jacobins, was
beheaded at the guillotine--a martyr to national, as distinct
from personal, liberty.
The typical anarchist in my play is portrayed in _Carrac_,
whose prototype was Thomas Carier, sent into La Vendee as a
representative of the Jacobin convention. It was this man who,
without process of law, guillotined or destroyed most
horribly over one hundred thousand innocent men, women, and
children--in the name of liberty. He it was who invented
the "republican marriage"--the drowned bodies of whose
naked victims dammed the river Loire, and rendered its water
The _Duc de Beaumont_ portrays a type of the true noblesse of
France--proud, fearless, often unjust, never ignoble.
_Gouroc_ depicts the intriguing type of noblesse whose egotism
and cruelty engendered the tyranny of the monarchy, and
justified its destruction.
The prototype of General Delaroche was the brave and generous
_Henri de la Rochejacquelin_, young leader of the royalists in
By the interplay of these types, I have sought to emphasize
what is truly heroic in the struggle which must ensue in all
times between men and classes possessed of differing ideas.
Especially it is the purpose of my play to remind the American
masses, by the history of the past, not to assist foreign
influences to repeat that history on this continent in the
A sound attitude, and one supported now (1920) daily in the
conservative press, whenever I.W.W. and Bolshevist demonstrations
shake the country! But "Paul Kauvar" is, to-day, not the kind of drama
to drive home the lesson; fashions have changed.
On December 24, 1887, "Paul Kauvar" opened at the New York Standard
Theatre, with Joseph Haworth and Annie Robe, and thereafter started
on a stage career whose history is long and varied. It reached London,
May 12, 1890, under the management of Augustus Harris, at the Drury
Lane, with William Terriss and Jessie Millward heading the cast.
Nym Crinkle liked "Paul Kauvar" because of its vigourous masculinity.
To him there was in it the "scintillant iron," "the strong arm, ruddy
at times with the tongues of promethean fire." It is a big canvas,
avowedly romantic. "It is," he wrote, after the play had been running
in New York some months, "a work of great propulsive power, of genuine
creative ingenuity, of massive dramatic effectiveness." On that
account it is well worth the preserving and the reading.
NEW NATIONAL THEATRE.
W.H. RAPLEY. Manager.
* * * * *
SATURDAY EVENING,... MAY 5th, 1888,
Grand Production for the Benefit of
The Statue of Washington,
to be presented by
The United States to the Republic of France,
of the latest and greatest New York success.
PAUL KAUVAR, by STEELE MACKAYE.
* * * * *
THIS PERFORMANCE IS GIVEN UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
=The President and Mrs. Cleveland=,
THE FOLLOWING DISTINGUISHED COMMITTEE OF LADIES:
MRS. NATHAN APPLETON, MRS. SENATOR J.P. JONES,
MISS FLORENCE BAYARD, MRS. SENATOR PALMER,
MRS. SECRETARY FAIRCHILD, MRS. SECRETARY ENDICOTT,
MRS. DON M. DICKINSOX, MRS. JUSTICE FIELD,
MRS. SENATOR SHERMAN, MRS. SENATOR STANFORD,
MRS. SENATOR HEARST, MRS. SENATOR STOCKBRIDGE,
MRS. SENATOR MANDERSON, MRS. SENATOR WALTHALL,
MRS. F.M.D. SWEAT, MRS. S.V. WHITE,
and MRS. WASHINGTON McLEAN;
And the Following Executive Committee of Ladies and Gentlemen:
MRS. SENATOR JOHN P. JONES, REPRESENTATIVE H.H. BINGHAM,
MRS. SENATOR THOMAS W. PALMER, MR. M.P. HANDY,
MISS FLORENCE BAYARD, MR. F.A. RICHARDSON,
SENATOR W.B. ALLISON, MR. W. STILSON HUTCHINS,
SENATOR J.D. CAMERON, MR. D.R. McKEE,
SENATOR JOHN T. MORGAN, MR. JAMES R. YOUNG,
REPRESENTATIVE J.J. HEMPHILL, MR. W.F. O'BRIEN,
and COL. THOMAS P. OCHILTREE.
THIS PROCUTION IS A TRIBUTE TO THE CAUSE FREELY OFFERED BY
=MR. HENRY G. MINER=,
And the Following Volunteer Cast.
PAUL KAUVAR STEELE MACKAYE
HONORE ALBERT MAXIME, Duc de Beaumont FREDERIC DE BELLEVILLE
MARQUIS DE VAUX, alias GOUROC, one of the public accusers of the Revolutionary
Tribunal WILTON LACKAYE
GENERAL DELAROCHE, Commander of the Royalist Forces in La Vendee NESTOR LENNON
GENERAL KLETERRE, Commander of the Republican Forces in La Vendee M.B. SNYDER
COL. LA HOGUE, on the staff of General Delaroche LESLIE ALLEN
DODOLPHE POTIN, an usher of the Revolutionary Tribunal; afterwards sergeant in the
Battalion of the Bonnets Rouges SIDNEY DREW
CARRAC, a typical Anarchist and a Republican Representative in La Vendee GEO. FAWCETT
BOURDOTTE, a "Sans Culottes" EDWARD COLEMAN
GOUJON, a Corporal in the Battalion of the Bonnets Rouges E.M. HURD
TABOOZE, an officer of Gens d'Armes J.F. WENTWORTH
FIRST ORDERLY E.R. SPENCER
SECOND ORDERLY A.S. PALMER
FIRST SANS CULOTTES RUFUS WILLIAM
SECOND SANS CULOTTES R.S. McBRIDE
DIANE DE BEAUMONT, daughter of the Duke Miss CARRIE TURNER
NANETTE POTIN Miss HELEN MAR
SCARLOTTE Miss LIZZIE RECHELLE
AND THE FOLLOWING TRAINED AUXILIARIES:
Miss Bunee. Miss Moore. Miss Becks. Miss Marshall.
Miss Pierson. Miss Maguire. Miss Forster. Miss Gianetti.
Miss Frozar. Miss Hughes. Miss Weltars. Mrs. Hughes.
Miss Weeks. Miss Naylor. Miss Lavard. Miss Hearn.
Miss Smith. Mrs. Boware. Miss Arnold. Mrs. Lack
Mart Townsend. Wm. Sharkey. Chas. Belmont. T. Mitchell.
Henry Schaffer. Wm. Brown. H. Marks. B. Fisher.
W.W. Waters. Geo. Masten. C.M. Mackay. Chas. Nuger.
Geo. Turner. Frank Comstock. T. Jarvis. H. Frees.
F. Daley. Wm. Chambers. S. Sullivan. J. Smith.
F. King. F. Reynolds. E. Russell. Daniel Charles.
R. Ryan. S.B. Caruth. J. Godfrey. S. Rosenthal.
J. Sheehan. J. Sawyer. G.B. Merton. A. Goldsmith.
R. Mansfield. G. Shaffer. P. Berger. Jas. O'Brien.
Rufus Williams. C. Bird. J.J. Blake. Wm. Mack.
Benj. Blons. H. Hamill. Chas. Marshall. C. Brady.
John Kenny. W. Sullivan. H. Gordon. G. Harvey.
Ben. Sharwood. F. Medina. M. Brickner. C. King.
Al. Young. Ed. Ryerson. L.T. McDermott. J. Macarthy.
Chas. Norman. E. Morrison. F. Allen.
Geo. Hopper. F. Blake. J. Harris.
* * * * *
Charles Haslam Business Manager of "Paul Kauvar" Company
Jere. Stevens Stage Manager
Ralph Welles Assistant Stage Manager
John Ginsinger Master Mechanic of Miner's Newark Theatre
Charles W. Helnert Assistant Master Mechanic of Miner's Newark Theatre
Joseph Logan Master Mechanic of "Paul Kauvar" Company
Harry Cashion Chief Flyman of H.C. Miner's Newark Theatre
Charles Dunlap Master of Properties of Miner's Newark Theatre
Ed. Lawrence Master of Properties of "Paul Kauvar" Company
A.C.E. Sturgis Chief Electrician of Miner's Newark Theatre
William Maston Assistant Electrician of Miner's Newark Theatre
Charles L'Orange Musical Director of Miner's Newark Theatre
* * * * *
The Tableau of the "Dream" in the First Act represents
"THE TYRANNY OF TERROR."
SCENE--FRANCE. TIME. 1794.
ACT I.--THE TERROR. Scene--The interior of the study of Paul Kauvar.
ACT II.--THE INHUMANITY OF MAN. Scene--Prison of the Conciergerie
adjoining the Revolutionary Tribunal in Paris.
ACT III.--THE CONFESSION. Scene--The Grand Hall of the Chateau of
Delaroche in La Vendee.
ACT IV.--ON PAROLE. Scene--Same as Act III.
Three minutes will elapse between Acts IV. and V.
ACT V.--"'TWIXT LOVE AND HONOR." Scene--Same as Act IV.
The Tableau which concludes this performance, and rivals in power
and beauty the famous dream scene of the first act, represents
"THE CONQUEST OF EVIL."
It is a poetic picture, full of deep thought and careful study. The
central figure is that of the Angel of Conquest, with one foot upon
the prostrate fiend Anarchy, holding high that irresistible weapon of
progress, the Sword of Light. The fiend carries in his hands the Torch
and Flag of Anarchy, and with these is about to sink into the Abyss of
* * * * *
_A PLAY IN FIVE ACTS_
_By_ STEELE MACKAYE
1915, by Harold Steele Mackaye
1919, by Harold Steele Mackaye
[The Editor wishes to thank Mrs. Steele Mackaye and Mr. Percy
Mackaye for their permission to include "Paul Kauvar" in the present
Collection. All rights are fully secured, and proceedings will
immediately be taken against anyone attempting to infringe them.]
PAUL KAUVAR, _Age 30.--President of the Revolutionary Section of
Fraternity. Afterwards Captain on_ GENERAL KLEBER'S _staff_.
HENRI DE LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN, _Age 22. Commander of the Royalist forces
in la Vendee_.
GENERAL KLEBER, _In command of the Republican forces in la Vendee_.
HONORE ALBERT MAXIME, DUC DE BEAUMONT, _Age 65. Cousin of_ LA
GOUROC, _alias_ MARQUIS DE VAUX, _Of the Jacobin Club, and one of the
Public Accusers of the Revolutionary Tribunal_.
COLONEL LA HOGUE, _On the staff of_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.
MARDOCHE, _alias the_ ABBE DE ST. SIMON.
JEAN LITAIS, _A peasant of Brittany--formerly a servant of the_ DUC DE
BEAUMONT. _Then for a time turnkey in the prison of the Republic_.
ARISTIDES, _alias_ DODOLPHE POTIN, _An usher of the Revolutionary
Tribunal, afterward Sergeant in the Battalion of the Bonnet Rouge_.
CARRAC, _Republican Representative in Vendee_.
GOUJON, _Private in the Battalion of the Bonnet Rouge_.
BOURDOTTE, _Sans Culotte_.
TABOOZE, _An officer of the gens d'armes_.
ORDERLIES, _On the Staff of_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.
DIANE DE BEAUMONT, _Daughter of the Duke_.
NANETTE POTIN, _Wife of_ ARISTIDES.
DENISE DUBOIS, _Foster-sister of_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN _and fiancee of_
_Soldiers, Peasants, "Sans Culottes", Turnkeys, &c_.
Under the title of "ANARCHY," the play was first performed at Buffalo,
New York, May 30, 1887, at the Academy of Music. The following was the
PAUL KAUVAR Steele MacKaye.
GENERAL LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN Eben Plympton.
DUC DE BEAUMONT Frederick de Belleville.
MARQUIS DE VAUX, _alias_ GOUROC Henry Lee.
ABBE DE ST. SIMON John A. Lane.
COLONEL LA HOGUE H.B. Bradley.
CARRAC M.B. Snyder.
ARISTIDES POTIN Sidney Drew.
JEAN LITAIS B.T. Ringgold.
GENERAL KLEBER Jerome Stevens.
BOURDOTTE Julian Mitchell.
GOUJON Edward M. Hurd.
DIANE DE BEAUMONT Genevieve Lytton.
NANETTE POTIN May Irwin.
DENISE Marie Hartley.
SCARLOTTE Maud Hosford.
ALINE Alice Hamilton.
Cast of the first New York performance, December 24, 1887, the
Standard Theatre. The name was changed to "Paul Kauvar".
PAUL KAUVAR Mr. Joseph Haworth.
HONORE ALBERT MAXIME Mr. Edwin Varrey.
MARQUIS DE VAUX, _alias_ GOUROC Mr. Wilton Lackaye.
GENERAL DELAROCHE Mr. Nestor Lennon.
THE ABBE DE ST. SIMON Mr. B.F. Horning.
GENERAL KLETERRE Mr. Jerome Stevens.
COLONEL LA HOGUE Mr. Leslie Allen.
DODOLPHE POTIN, _alias_ ARISTIDES Mr. Sidney Drew.
CARRAC Mr. George D. Fawcett.
BOURDOTTE Mr. Edward Coleman.
GOUJON Mr. Edward M. Hurd.
TABOOZE Mr. Charles Mitchell.
FIRST ORDERLY Mr. E.R. Spencer.
SECOND ORDERLY Mr. A.E. Lohman.
FIRST SANS CULOTTE Mr. Fred Clifton.
SECOND SANS CULOTTE Mr. C.H. Wentworth.
DIANE DE BEAUMONT Miss Annie Robe.
NANETTE POTIN Miss Louise Rial.
SCARLOTTE Miss Lillie Eldridge.
TIME. _The Terror_. 1794.
SCENE. _Paris. Study of_ PAUL KAUVAR'S _apartment_.
_The decorating is in the classic style of the painter David.
Old-fashioned escritoire with chair. Folding doors across corner up
stage. Window, with table beneath it. Fireplace, with picture of_ PAUL
KAUVAR _over it, and fire on andirons. Doors at the right and left of
At the Rise of Curtain_, NANETTE _crosses to fireplace and shovels
ashes into a pail_. POTIN _is heard outside, singing, in loud and
discordant tones, "La Marseillaise."_
[_Starting up angrily_.]
There's that lazy man of mine, singing, while I work.
[_Crosses to folding doors, flings them open and shouts roughly_.]
I want you!
Hurry up!--Do you hear?
I could hear your sweet voice if I were deaf as Justice.
Fool! Justice is blind, not deaf.
True! That's why you always get the better of me, dear. Justice
listens too much and looks too little.
[_Pointing to pail_.]
Take that rubbish to the cellar.
[_Crosses, lifts pail, and looks into it_.]
Ashes!--Heigho! Every fire has its ashes.
Aye--and the fire that warms a man's home may burn his house
down!--Mark you that, Citizen.
Oh, I see! You mean a wife, who should be a comfort, often proves a
I mean, Citizen Potin, that in days of revolution, husbands are easily
Take care! A word against the Revolution is treason and sure death.
Bah! Better death, than a life of terror like that in France to-day.
Good heavens, Nanette! Fewer words than these have guillotined our
betters! Can you never hold your tongue?
Never!--while I have a truth to tell.
Tell the truth! Good Lord, that's fatal.
Aye, for in these noble days of liberty we are only free to lie.
[_Turning away in disgust_.]
Damn it! I must run or be ruined.
[_Starts to go, but, in passing window, recoils with a cry of
[_Points out of window_.
[_Contemptuously looking out of window_.]
There goes the Phantom!
The dumb girl of the guillotine!
Who glides like a phantom through the streets, without home, friend,
Except to stand by the scaffold, and count the heads that fall from
They say that calamity overtakes everyone she follows: that it's
disaster to stand in her way, and sure death to notice her.
Aye, even those who think themselves too great to believe in God, have
faith in the fatal power of this pale child. My God! look there!
Good Lord!--It's Mademoiselle Diane! She's crossing the street in
front of the Phantom.
Aye!--Go.--Hurry Mademoiselle here, before she has a chance to heed
this messenger of misery.
Goddess of Reason, save us all!
Goddess of Reason!--A fine deity for days as mad as these:
[_Crossing to mantel and looking at_ KAUVAR'S _picture_.]
Ah, Citizen Kauvar!--Patriot!--Revolutionist!--Bold son of Liberty,
as you are!--You'd love this age of terror less if it brought death
to Mademoiselle Diane.--Yes, I've watched ye, sturdy citizen, and
in spite of your stern devotion to the Republic, I suspect you carry
another idol in your heart.
All right, Citizen,--I'll not forget; though the poor crazed girl is
not half as harmful as her saner neighbours.
Ah! Here she comes--Diane Leblanc,--a ray of sunlight in this prison
men call Paris.
[_Entering with flowers_.]
Ah, Nanette! Quick! Water and a vase. See!
Yes, they bloom even in this reign of terror.
[_Putting flowers in vase_.]
But you see these fragile beauties are sinless, and therefore know no
fear.--Is my father in his room?
No. He went away an hour ago.
Gone an hour, and not returned? That makes me anxious!--Is Citizen
Kauvar at home?
Not yet! He's been away all night.
Good heavens!--Nanette--can anything have happened?
Yes, what happens every day. Innocence is slaughtered!
But he--Citizen Kauvar--?
Has doubtless fought all night to stop the useless flow of noble
Yes, he is brave, merciful.
Ah! He was one of the fiercest champions of Freedom when the people
first arose; but now I think he'd give his life to still the tempest
he did so much to rouse.
He will return sad and worn; we must do our best to cheer him when he
One look--one smile of yours will banish every thought of sorrow from
his tired brain.
Hush, Nanette;--you must not talk like that.
My child! Diane!--Where is she?
[_Rushing to him_.]
Here!--Safe in your dear arms!
[_Turning to NANETTE_.]
My good Nanette, leave us alone awhile.
All right, Citizen.
And warn us when anyone is coming.
[_At the door_.]
Don't fear! I'll stand good guard.
Father, why are you so moved?
But now, the mob seized some poor young girl they found without
protection in the street. I heard of this and fearing for your life, I
hurried here in awful agony of mind. Ah! Diane, this dread of peril to
you is worse than the worst of deaths to me.
Take heart, dear father! Does not Paul Kauvar, strong and true, stand
between us and danger!
Yes; but 'tis hard that I, a peer of France, should owe my daughter's
life to a peasant's son--a workman!
A, workman with a brush so potent that the noblest born do honour to
his art. What would have been our fate but for his devotion?
He's a plebeian--a Republican! The sense of my obligation to him--the
enemy of my race--is almost unendurable. Ah, but for you I should long
since have braved the scaffold and buried humiliation in the grave.
Take care!--A committee from the Section is on its way upstairs.
A committee coming here? How strange!
No, not strange! Treachery is at every door. They are coming.
Quick!--To your work!
[_The_ DUKE _sits at the desk and pretends to write_. DIANE _sits at
table and takes up sewing_. NANETTE _dusts. Knock is heard outside_.
NANETTE _answers roughly_.]
_Enter_ GOUROC, POTIN, GOUJON _and two_ SANS CULOTTES.
Health and fraternity, Citizens! We come for Paul Kauvar, President of
He's not at home.
Then we will await him here.
[_All sit in silence_.
[_Aside, in irritation_.]
Oh, the impudence of these men! How my nails ache to get at their ugly
How often have I told you that this apartment is not a public office?
But, my precious angel--
Bah! Religion is abolished, and angels are suppressed! I wish friends
Talk of the rack! What is it to a woman's tongue?
What know you of a woman's tongue?
Enough to damn me, if knowledge were a crime.
Come, Citizen, there's no use waiting. President Kauvar don't do
business at home; you've no rights here.
The patriot has unlimited rights, woman. He may dare all--violate all,
in his zeal for the Republic.
Well, then, dare my dusting.
[_Strikes brush into her hand and sends dust all over_ GOUROC.]
[_Moving off, sputtering_.]
Who is this, Citizen Potin?
My wife, Citizen Gouroc.
Who taught her manners?
The Goddess of Liberty, a rough and ready teacher.
Who teaches with sharp tools.
Aye--tools so sharp they often cut the fools that use them. Mark that.
[_Crossing to_ DIANE.]
You are the wife of President Kauvar, I suppose?
[DIANE _starts up and stares. The_ DUKE _rises and advances with
stern hauteur. At sight of_ GOUROC, _he starts, and surveys him with
Well, old man, are you mad, or do you know me?
I think we have met before.
Yes, and may meet again. Permit me to introduce myself. I am Citizen
Gouroc, of the Jacobin Club, and one of the Public Accusers of the
[DIANE _draws close to_ NANETTE.]
Now, who are you?
I am George Leblanc, private secretary to Paul Kauvar.
Ah, indeed!--His private secretary? Then I can do my business with
you. It is said that two aristocrats in disguise are lurking about
I must communicate with you in secret, Citizen.
[_Turning to_ DIANE.]
Are you the daughter of this old man?
I am his daughter, Diane Leblanc.
[_To_ SANS CULOTTES.]
You, Comrades, wait across the street;
[_Exeunt_ SANS CULOTTES.]
and you, Citizen Potin, take your wife, leave the room, and wait
within call. You understand?
I do, Citizen. When the Republic commands, I obey.
[_Exit, with_ NANETTE.
[_Bowing with great politeness_.]
Monsieur le Duc de Beaumont.
[_Turning with contempt_.]
Monsieur le Marquis de Vaux.
This--the Marquis de Vaux?
You are surprised to see me in this garb. I am equally surprised to
find you the guests of Citizen Kauvar, President of the Republican
Section of Fraternity.
Not quite as strange as discovering the dainty Marquis de Vaux a
Public Accuser and the servile slave of the guillotine.
Reserve your contempt till you understand the meaning of my presence
here. I come to warn you against your host.
How, sir! You suspect the loyalty of Monsieur Kauvar?
What if he has trapped you here only to betray you?
That's impossible, sir! Monsieur Kauvar is the soul of honour and
Besides, his head is surety for ours. The discovery that he had
sheltered us would entail his own death.
Precisely! And what if the sense of that danger had prompted a
denunciation, while there still was some merit in it?
[_The_ DUKE _starts_. DIANE _turns aside with scorn_.]
One thing is certain: an anonymous denunciation of you, describing
your disguise and your retreat, has been made to our club.
[_Clasping her father_.]
What!--Discovered and denounced?
As Public Accuser, the denunciation fell first into my hands. I have
risked my life by withholding it from the Tribunal until your safety
[_Giving_ GOUROC _his hand_.]
Pardon, Marquis, that I did not realize before the motives of your
Grant me, then, the privilege of saving you.
We will. You belong to our own race; we may trust you.
Then prepare for sudden and secret flight.
Flight! Where can we be safer than under our present host's
Under mine, Mademoiselle. Kauvar is a man of the people. To him such
words as loyalty, truth and honour are but empty puffs of air.
[_Proudly and passionately_.]
On whose lips is there meaning purer, or prouder, than on Paul
[_With haughty surprise_.]
Mademoiselle! When you speak so warmly, you forget the distance that
separates you from one of his rank.
[_Cries in the distance of_ "To the Guillotine!" _with the roll of
[_In solemn voice_.]
Nay, father, listen!--Do we need more to remind us of the nearness of
the protected to the protector?
[_The_ DUKE _listens with bowed head_. GOUROC _goes to window_.
[_To_ GOUROC, _as drums draw near_.]
Is it the patrol?
No. Tis the guard of the death-cart, with to-day's load for the
[_Hiding her face_.]
This constant agitation is torture.
You can easily escape it, Mademoiselle. Accept the refuge I offer you.
We will, Marquis, at once. Come to my room, and we will complete our
My child, prepare to leave this house to-night, in haste and in
[_Exit with_ GOUROC.
Fly from this house to-night?--No! I will not go! And yet I must, or
tell my father the secret I have kept from him so long.
I am not at home to anyone. I will not brook intrusion here.
I'll keep out all I can.
Paul is coming!--How can I tell him we must part?
[PAUL _enters_. DIANE _turns quickly toward him_.
[_Absorbed in documents he is carrying. Crossing slowly to desk, he
lays the papers down and, turning, sees_ DIANE.]
Diane! Thank heaven you're alone!
[DIANE _checks him by a warning gesture; crosses quickly to the
door, listens a moment, then slowly approaches_ PAUL, _looking back
Have you no word of welcome for a very weary friend?
[_Throwing herself with nervous impetuosity into his arms_.]
Ah, Paul! God bless and keep you!
God blessed me beyond measure, when he made your heart my own.
[_Leading him with nervous intensity to a chair_.]
Sit here--sit here!
[_She sits beside him_.]
Let me look at your face, and listen to your voice, while I can--while
How strangely you say this!
Do you remember the old days--before this reign of terror darkened all
our lives--the sunny room in my father's chateau, where you taught
me to paint the flowers we had gathered--oh! so gaily!--from the
quaintest corners of the garden?
Ah! those were ideal days.--You, almost a child--a girl just blooming
into womanhood, like those rosebuds in your hair.
Oh, how happy I was!--So happy, earth seemed heaven! So happy, sorrow
seemed almost a myth!--I little dreamed that I would ever drink the
bitterest dregs of that black cup.--The Revolution rushed upon us--and
then, oh then!--
[_Hides her face on_ PAUL'S _breast_.
Then we parted, I thought forever.
You came no longer. The sunshine lost its smile--the flowers faded.
And yet, amidst the fearful tumult of these distracted times, we met
Oh, my God! That meeting! I see the frightful scene again! My father
there before me--old--helpless, dragged from his own house by a horde
of brutal beasts.--I, shrieking, fighting vainly at his side--amidst
their mocking laughs and jeers. Ah! I can hear them now--yes, and
high above their hideous jests, rings out a clarion voice--'tis
yours--silencing this crowd of curs!--With what sublime audacity you
claim my father as your cousin, saving him and me, by the coolness of
your courage!--Paul, from that hour you were more than man to me; you
were a God, a hero, my father's Saviour!
Better than all that now--your lover--guardian--husband.
[_Embraces her, then staggers_.
Paul--what is it?
Nothing,--fatigue from last night's bitter work.
[DIANE _brings wine and offers it. He puts it away_.]
No--one kiss from you will give me more strength than all the wine in
[_She kisses him_.
Heaven knows you need more than human strength.
Aye, Titan strength, to stem the tide of madness that overflows the
mind of France! Ah, Diane! if it were not for your dear love, I fear
my mind would falter at the task before me.
Oh, Paul! Why undertake this task?--Why not fly to peace in other
Fly!--Desert France in the hour of her agony?--In the awful travail
which gives birth to a new and nobler era for mankind?--No, no! I love
you more than life, but my Country--ah, that is mother, sister, wife,
Hush, sweetheart, you must not make the struggle harder! The infant
age is threatened with miscarriage!--The torch of Liberty, which
should light mankind to progress, if left in madmen's hands, kindles
that blaze of Anarchy whose only end is ashes.
Hush! Listen! What is that?
Nothing, foolish child.
[_He is about to embrace her_.
[_Turning sadly away_.]
Nay, we are too rash! We forget the dangers that environ us.
Would we could forget the weak concealment that makes cowards of us
both!--Oh, that something would happen to make us end this living lie!
Perhaps that something has happened, Paul. We have been warned that
we're no longer safe beneath this roof.
What matter by whom?--Enough that we've been told the Civil Guard may
search the house this very day.
[_With sudden resolution_.]
I am glad of it. Thank fate that something forces us to tell your
father you are mine.
Nay, Paul--I cannot, dare not tell him that!
Then leave the task to me.
'Twould be but to win his curse. You little dream the deathless pride
that's rooted in his heart! To wrench out that pride would break the
heart that holds it.
Then let it break! I, too, am proud, Diane, proud as all are proud
to be who owe their manhood to their God and not to the favour of a
king!--If your father scorns the sacred work of heaven's hand, then he
is only fit for scorn himself.
Oh, Paul! Be charitable!
Charitable! To what?--Your father's pride in the race from which
he springs--the race whose iron rule for centuries stamped shame on
honest labour--crowned infamy with honour--made gods of profligates
and dogs of workingmen--ruining their wives--insulting their
mothers--debasing their daughters, and sowing the seeds of madness
in their veins?--Ah, Diane! when I face your father, 'tis not your
husband who should blush for his race.
My father's race is mine.--I forgot its glories, and atoned its wrongs
in marrying you!--But I love, revere, my father still, and have
hoped each day that he would come to love you for your saving care of
me--and grow content to take you as a son.
Who knows--perhaps he will.
Ah, no! The more you do for me, the more his pride revolts, till now I
dare not tell him of our marriage.
Diane--listen. The time has come when you must choose between us. I
staked my life in saving yours, and his! He loves but little if he
hesitates to keep the precious life I saved unmarred by sorrow.
DIANE. Well, then, so be it! Have your will! But oh, seek first his
blessing for our love, before you tell him of our secret marriage.
My love for you will teach me tenderness for him. Go now and send him
Courage! All may yet be well.
[_Exit_ DIANE. PAUL _sits at desk wearily_.]
Hateful humiliation!--to stoop in pleading for that already mine! But
patience, Paul Kauvar; he is the father of the woman you adore.
[_Entering and advancing to_ PAUL.]
One word before we part, good friend. I thought to leave this house
without farewell, but I cannot be so cruel. I have learned that this
is no longer a safe retreat. I am forced to seek one safer.
And where will you find one, Monsieur?
DUKE. I shall best serve you by keeping that a secret.
And does your daughter go with you?
Could you think that I would leave her here?
Certainly, Monsieur. If to stay seemed less perilous than to go. Why
not let me replace you for awhile?
You guard my daughter here alone?
In my character of cousin to Diane Leblanc, gossip has already united
us by even a closer tie.
To my infinite annoyance, sir.
Monsieur le Duc, in times like these, Madame Kauvar would be far safer
than Mademoiselle de Beaumont.
[_With quiet hauteur_.]
There are some means of safety forbidden to my rank, sir.--Pardon me
if I must say that what you suggest is one of them.
What if I dared to love your daughter, to hope that you would grant me
the right to guard her as my wife?
[_Shrugging his shoulders_.]
This is another of the many insanities of the times.
Suppose I had reason to believe that your daughter would consent?
One moment, Monsieur! Your first proposition involves but
madness,--your last implies dishonour.
Monsieur, honesty is honoured now, even though it be not allied to an
empty title. Tis not a crest, but character, that measures manhood in
this modern age. Therefore I do not fear to tell you--
[DUKE _turns quickly_. PAUL _hesitates_.]
that I love your daughter.
[_With terrible contempt_.]
And you take this time to declare it! When you have burdened me with
obligations that leave me powerless at your feet?--when I must see
in the demand for the daughter's hand, a possible bargain for the
[PAUL _turns fiercely. The_ DUKE _checks him_.]
No more, sir! Happily I have two securities against dishonour:
my child's sense of what is due to herself--my own scorn of life
purchased at such a price.
Perhaps your daughter may not deem the protection of my name so great
a degradation as yourself.--Dare you put her to the test?
What test can you propose?
[_Seating himself at desk and writing_.]
Here is a pass procured at the risk of my life.--I fill it out for
George Leblanc.--It will convey you, alone, safely beyond our borders.
Here is another. I make this out for George Leblanc and Diane his
daughter. This will enable both of you to escape.--These passes have
the signatures of the chief of police; I countersign them, thus--a
double surety for you, a double risk for me.--Now, Monsieur, either
one of these passes is yours, as your daughter may decide, if you will
offer her the choice of remaining under my protection, or of leaving
France with you.
[_Striking a bell_.]
The choice is at her will.
Send my daughter here at once.
One word, Monsieur. These passes are at stake, and my life as well. I
promise to be bound by the decision of your daughter.--If she decides
to remain, you promise to go and leave her here with me?
DUKE. I promise this on one condition. I pledge my honour to put the
alternative fairly before her. You must pledge yours to use no word to
influence her choice.
I pledge myself to silence.
[_Entering pale and anxious_.]
You sent for me, Father?