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Steele MacKaye
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about Representative Plays by American Dramatists.

GOUROC.

[Looking at order.]

Correct.—­There is his cell.

OFFICER.

[Reading from paper at the door of DUKE’S cell.]

Honore Albert Maxime, heretofore Duc de Beaumont, you are called for trial for your life.  In the name of the law, stand forth!

The DUKE appears with DIANE clinging to him, followed by NANETTE.

DUKE.

I am ready.

[The GUARDS surround him.

OFFICER.

[To DIANE.]

Young woman, free your father; he must follow me alone.

DIANE.

If he is guilty, then I am guilty.  I have shared his prison; I claim the right to share his scaffold.

OFFICER.

You are not called, and cannot go with him.

DUKE.

Courage, child!  Remember who you are, and scorn to show these miscreants what you feel.

[Putting her gently from his breast.]

We shall meet again.—­

[Turning to OFFICER.]

Lead on, sir.

[The GUARDS go off with the DUKE.—­DIANE falls into a chair near table, overcome.  NANETTE approaches her; GOUROC waves her back.

GOUROC.

[Pointing to cell.]

Wait there, till you’re wanted.

[NANETTE goes out sullenly.  GOUROC draws near to DIANE.]

At last I’m free to crave your pardon for the part I’m forced to play in these dark days of tragedy.—­Say you’ll forgive me.

DIANE.

I have nothing to forgive, sir.—­You did not betray my father, and if you dare to feel for such as we, then it is for the Republic to pardon your secret treachery.

GOUROC.

Always cruel, Mademoiselle.  If you knew the truth, you could not wound me with your scorn.

DIANE.

[Going.]

If my face offends you, I will go.

GOUROC.

Stay, and be just.—­I am the slave of a great purpose.  I am fast securing the ruin of the Republic.  My affected zeal but masks the well-aimed blows I strike at the enemies of our order.—­Before many weeks have past, Robespierre will go to the scaffold, the Jacobins be ruined, and the Republic crushed.—­To this great end I am content to suffer anything, even your contempt, if need be.

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