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.