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 stage.
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 curse.
I mean, Citizen Potin, that in days of revolution, husbands are easily suppressed.
Take care! A word against the Revolution is treason and sure death.