Then you will be my wife?
When he and I are free.
Your father shall be saved!—I go to perfect all my plans.
[Kissing her hand.]
From this moment I am yours—body, mind and soul!
When he has saved my father—death shall deliver me.
POTIN enters cautiously, with various things hidden under his clothes, giving him a grotesque appearance.
Now, O Fate, is your chance to protect a patriot! If I can only get away,—I shall escape perjury in Court, and tongue-lashing from my wife!—Now to run!—To run for Vendee! Better the awful thunder of masculine war than the piercing tenderness of a woman’s tongue!
[Starting to run of, he begins to sing—to the tune of the Marseillaise chorus:]
To leave—to leave my wife!—
[Rushing in and stopping him.]
Hold, Citizen Potin!
Oh, Republic, I am lost!
Dodolphe—you’re up to mischief! Speak out—what’s up?
Patience, gentle lamb!
Don’t lamb me, sir!
[Twisting him round.]
What’s this mean?
[Pulling breeches from under his coat.]
[Pulling cap from his breast.]
Ye gods, what’s this?
[Pulling hose from his pockets.]
By heaven! A woman’s hose!
[Shaking hose in his face.]
What does this mean?
Nothing, precious love! This is my uniform;—I
have recruited for
Yes: The safety of France demands it. I go to preserve the Republic! France beckons—while Victory extends her arms, panting to embrace my noble form!
[Putting his head under her arm.]
Let Victory try it if she dare!