What if your willingness to die to save her father had convinced Diane that you were innocent, and had taught her a deeper love for you?
Ah! Then life would be worth living once again!—Can you have heard from her—seen her?
You can see her for yourself—save your own life—and bring boundless joy to hers.
Espouse our cause!
What!—Betray my country?
No.—Redeem your country!—Desert the side of those who bring disgrace upon your native land—of fiends, who drown her soil in blood!—blood bred from the noblest heroes of her history.
Heroes who debauched our women, and enslaved our men!—Libertines who let harlots reign in France! Despots whose arrogant descendants are crushed to-day beneath their fathers’ sins!
What, sir! You, a soldier, justify these Jacobins—anarchists like Carrac, who slaughter hundreds of defenceless women every day, and even outrage little children?
Anarchists are monsters your race bred when it brutalized their mothers.
Enough, sir! I see that I must leave you to your fate.
But Diane, my wife! Give me one word of her.
Yes. You shall know that she believes you innocent, is sick with grief and desolation in thinking you are dead.
You have seen her, then?
Yes—here, within an hour.
She is here now, within call—?
[LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN makes sign of assent. PAUL kneels at his feet.]
My God! In pity’s name, let me see her once again.
And so re-open the old wounds?—re-awaken hope, but to deepen her despair?
No, no! You’re right. I will not purchase joy at the cost of pain to her!—Call your guards. I die happy, knowing she’ll remember me with love.