You may leave the prisoner with me.
And so, Mardoche, you have been tried and condemned.
Yes. Accused by beasts, tried by fools, and condemned by assassins.
And of what were you accused?
I was a quiet cobbler; I made shoes for Jacobins that pinched their toes, so I was accused of sympathy with aristocrats.
Is this all the cry they raised against you?
No. I was never heard to swear, so I was watched—and was seen upon my knees. As piety is poison to the Republic, I was accused of being a priest! I was searched, and these were found upon me.
[Showing a crucifix and rosary.]
This was enough. I was immediately condemned to die.
A fine fool you were, to be caught with such baubles
in your bosom.
Had you forgotten old mother Dupaix?
The old woman who never gossiped, wore clean linen, and kept four cats?
The same—who was therefore accused of being a Duchess in disguise, and sent to the guillotine.
Moral:—In this age of reason, death to him who prays!
Or keeps four cats! But cheer up, Citizen; I have a crumb of comfort for you yet. In your cell someone is waiting impatiently to see you.
Great heavens! Of what do they accuse her?
Nothing. She is here by my care to bid you farewell.—Listen and understand.—You are going to die, and leave your sister in poverty amidst the perils of the Republic.—What would you be willing to do to provide her with an independence?
I would do anything. I can do nothing.
You are mistaken. If you choose, before you die, you can place in her hands 10,000 francs.