[Entering with GUARD.]
Citizen Potin, you are wanted as a witness.
Caught!—From the frying-pan into the fire!
We shall meet again, my dear.
Don’t remind me now; I’m sick enough already.
[Enter PAUL KAUVAR. POTIN starts at sight of him, and speaks to the GUARD.]
I’m ready; show the way.
Stop!—Thank heaven I have found you! Tell me, who ordered the Duke’s arrest?
What I know of, that I’ll tell only to the Court.
[Turning to NANETTE, who is going.]
Nanette, one word.
What word can an honest woman speak that you would care to hear?
Justice!—I want that word, and all it signifies.
[Mob howls outside.
Listen! Go to them—they’ll give you justice, aye, and glory, for you betrayed the innocent—to glut their appetite for blood.
That’s a lie—a vile, infamous, monstrous lie!
Is it a lie that you signed the warrant for the Duke’s arrest?
My name was forged.
I know your hand too well to be deceived. I’ve seen the warrant; it bears your name, and written by yourself.
Then it was obtained by some strange trick! I’ve tried to learn the truth, but no one will tell me who took the warrant to the office of the Guard.
I wish I could believe you.
[Forcing her to face him.]
And so you shall!—Do I look like the vilest of mankind?
No; in looks you’re lucky!
Would any man conspire to kill the wife he adores?