Daulac: An Historical Tragedy of French Canada in Five Acts

By Wilfred Campbell


 DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

DAULAC, the Hero of the Long Sault.
DESJARDINS, a scheming notary.
THE SIEUR D’ELENE, uncle to Daulac.
MAISONNEUEVE, Governor of Montreal.
FILLET, a French innkeeper.
A King’s Officer.
PORNAC, servant to Daulac.
PIOTR, servant to Desjardins.
Seventeen Young Men of Montreal.
HELÈNE, niece to D’Elene.
FANCHON, her maid.
A Mother Superior.
Nuns, women and girls.

Men, old and young; priests, soldiers, Indians and servants.


DAULAC.
_____

ACT I. SCENE I.

    PLACE—A chateau in France.

    TIME—Night in Autumn. The wind howls loud out of doors and rain beats at window, right.

    SCENE—A room in the chateau, showing a curtained entrance to bedroom at middle back, in the apartments of the SIEUR D’ELENE. Furniture quaint and old, with rich decorations; doors to left and right, chairs and sofa.

Enter, from middle back, the SIEUR D’ELENE, a feeble old gentleman,     wearing a rich dressing-gown and walking slowly with a cane. He is slight     and stooped. He hobbles to a window and looks out.

     D’EL. This night is like my spirit, filled with age
And haunting voices calling from the past.
All the world is bleak with age and woe,
And I am feeble, like a candle lowered
Into its socket. Only regret and longing,
Only regret and longing dwell with me,
Dwell with me.     
                                   [Drops into chair.

Enter, at left, HELÈNE, his niece, a beautiful young girl. She comes in quietly           and looks at him.

     HEL. Poor uncle!      (clasps her hands)      Poor uncle!
Of late he broods alone in solitude [Page 129],
And seems to avoid me. Some haunting, saddening thought
Weighs down his spirit.
          [Goes forward and places her hand on his shoulder.
Uncle, do you know me? Your Helène.
     D'EL. (shakes his head) Nay, nothing, now, save winter, age and death.
                    [She goes round and sits at his feet on a stool.
     HEL. Uncle, uncle, I am your own Helène!
     D’EL. (strokes her hair feebly) Yes, yes, my child, your hair is like a raven’s,
But mine is bleached like winter’s wasted snows.
You are all I have left, all I have left.
     HEL. Uncle, I love you, you know I love you well.
Would comfort your age; let me share you sorrow.
     D'EL. Look up, my child; your face to-night brings back
That sweet look which filled your angel mother's,
My dead child-sister. I never loved another.
She used to sit as you sit by me now,
But she is gone. Soon I will follow, too.
     HEL. O uncle, put this gloomy spirit by.
It wrings my heart to know you suffer pain.
Smile on you Helène, tell her you are happy,
                              [Rises and puts her arm around his neck.
And she will laugh and then be happy, too.
               [Sits again and takes his hand in both of hers.
     D’EL. Sorrow, child, Sorrow is Age’s sister.
The autumn bleak that beats at yonder pane
Is fit alone to echo back my heart.
Speak not to me of gladness. Close around
Stand all the ghosts of this grim, ancient house
To tell me it is ended. Never child of mine
Will laugh athwart its rooftree. Nevermore
Henceforth devote alone to gloom and woe.
Happiness and smiling great these walls [Page 130],
     HEL. O uncle, uncle, you were not always thus.
And in this atmosphere of sombre gloom
I, too, grow old and sad. Oh, why not send,
Oh, why not send for Daulac?
     D’EL. (trying to rise, in great agitation) Daulac!
Daulac! Speak no more of Daulac!
     HEL. (frightened) O uncle, uncle, what has Daulac done?
     D’EL. He is the root of all my heart’s disease,
The bitter cause of all my spirit’s winter.
Ingrate and viper, warmed at this old heart!
     HEL. Uncle!
     D’EL. Nay, girl, speak not his name, if you would keep
The only love that holds me to the living.
     HEL. What mean you by these dread and awful words?
Daulac! What has Daulac done? Your words
Fill me with fear and anguish.
     D’EL. (gazing at her sadly) So, girl, you love this Daulac?
     HEL. He is my cousin, we have lived together
As girl and boy. He is all nobleness—
Believe me, uncle—he is all nobleness,
So much that woman would desire in man,
So much, so much, I cannot help but love him.
                                                            [Hides face and sobs.
     D’EL. Yea, curse him, curse him. Every word you speak
Makes him the graver sinner in my sight.
(aside) I cannot reveal all to so pure a soul.
This sweet girl-nature, like a limpid brook,
This trusting spirit he has played with. Now,
He is no heir of mine. I cut him off.
I will not weaken. This poor girl’s confession
But binds my will the firmer. Helène!
     HEL. (looking up) Yes, uncle!
     D’EL. Desjardins comes to-night; some business,
Some special business. I would be alone [Page 131].
I’ll need two witnesses, so leave you two
Servants within hearing should I ring.
Now say good night, my child.

     HEL. O uncle, I dread to leave you in this mood.
Heaven keep you, my more than father, yet
Forgive me if I say it once again,
Be kind to Daulac.           [Tries to put her arms about him.
     D’EL. Child, I love you, but you go too far.
Nay, nay, not Daulac. I cannot tell you all.
I have resolved. Kiss me, my child. Good night, good night.
     HEL. (aside, going out) O Heaven, be with us. I am sore afraid
Some terrible business fatal unto Daulac
Doth happen here to-night.                                     [Exit.
     D’EL. (rises) Ha, I am old, my fingers are but bones,
My legs but tottering crutches, and my soul
But shrunken, wasted water. But my will
Is firm, is firm! This ingrate Daulac, yea,
I’ll disinherit, disinherit him.
The girl shall have it all, shall have it all.
                                                             [Totters to window.
O mad, lone night, in all your haunting voices,
What hope bring you to me?
Only death, only death, only death!
I will go in. The girl shall have it all!
                                  [Totters to door at middle back.

Enter DESJARDINS, a notary, cloaked and with a sword.

     DES. This is a night, a fit and proper night
For projects such as mine. Would such were ever,
All seasons Autumn, every night like this.
            [Goes to window, draws blind and looks out. Rain and gust blows                                 against window.
Ha, ha, it meets me, gives my spirit greeting!
Cruelty to cruelty, ice to ice,
So storms it at my heart, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! [Page 132]
How! Storm! beat gust. Sweep out and wreck this world.
Murder the hateful memories o’ summer,
The gaudy splendors of the nauseous year.
She loves me not, I am not lovely to her,
So wreck all beauty, lay all sweetness low.
Ha, ha, do your work as I’ll do mine.      [Leaves window.
Murder, murder, ’tis a serious thought;
One to be well considered. Perchance the greatest
Of all the arts, were it but deftly done.
Heh, heh, Desjardins, Desjardins,
No bungling, or this serious business were
Better undone than badly! But a weak old man—
’Twould almost seem a single puff of air
Would blow the spark from such a heap of ashes.
Ha!                                                    [Gets behind a curtain.

Re-enter the SIEUR D’ELENE.

     D’EL. I will to be, to bed. Why comes he not?
                                              [Goes slowly to the window.
Oh, such a night! the world is aged like me,
Blown by the storms of a too rugged fate.
I’ll to bed, to bed. Why comes he not?
                                              [DESJARDINS steps forward.
     DES. I have come.
     D’EL. Oh, ’tis you, Desjardins, O Desjardins, ’tis an awful night, an awful                     night!
     DES. Here is the will.
     D’EL. Ready so soon?
     DES. Yea, ready to sign. Did you not expect me?
     D’EL. Yea, I will sign it, I will sign it.
     DES. Need I read it?
     D’EL. Nay, I am tired. Doth it fill all the conditions?
     DES. Yea.
     D’EL. Leaves it all to my niece?
     DES. Yea, of a certainty [Page 133].
     D’EL. Then give it me, I will sign it. O Daulac,
Daulac, you might have loved me better!
     DES. Have you the witnesses ready?
     D’EL. Yea, the two servants.
     DES. Then call them in.
                       [D’ELENE rings a bell; two servants enter.
     DES. (to servants) This is your master’s will, do you understand?
     Servants. We do.
     D’EL. Where will I sign, Desjardins?
     DES. Here.
               [D’ELENE signs the will with a trembling hand; servants affix their                               marks. Exeunt servants.
     DES. (aside) ’Tis done, ’tis done!
(to D’ELENE) You are weary, I had better go.
     D’EL. Yea, Desjardins, I in truth am weary,
But my mind runs still on Daulac. Tell me, now,
Think you truly, would you not relent?
     D’EL. Nay, I am strong, I am strong.
     DES. Well, then, good night, good night, and may you rest.             [Exit.
     D’EL. Good night, Desjardins. Desjardins! wait, Desjardins.
Oh, he hath gone, and he hath taken the will.
I’ll see to-morrow, ’chance I’ll change that will.
O Daulac, Daulac, my dearer than son!
I’m strong, I’m strong. He’s right; to bed, to bed!
           [Goes slowly behind the curtain. After a slight interval the room grows                        darker. Re-enter DESJARDINS. The storm still continues, with                        patter and gust at the window [Page 134].
     DES. Well, well; well, well, this is a serious matter!
Well done or not at all, that is the dixit.
         [Peers out of the window, then comes back and goes behind the curtain,                    then steals out again.
He sleeps like any cradled nine months’ child.
Curse these old men, they ever grow so healthy.
He just stirred once, and mumbled in his dreams
That cursed name Daulac! How I hate it!
He’ll repent him, will he? Not this side of Hades.
                                              [Lays his sword on the table.
My grandsire was an armorer at Cologne;
My father knew his passes, though a notary,
And I know mine. I’m but a notary,
No lordly soldier with a martial bearing,
Yet often in the middle of our practice,
When, blade to blade and watchful eye to eye,
I taught Daulac those defter under-strokes,
Hath this same devil prompted me to kill him.
Not yet, not yet; but be my work to-night
To put yon senile babbler out o’ sight.
He’d burn that will, would he? He’d make a new one?
Nay, nay; nay, nay, he shall not make a new one!
               Takes up sword, then lays it back on the table.
Nay, not that way, it leaves too red a witness.
’Twill keep for cursed Daulac when his fate
Meets my necessities. There’s a cleverer way.
Not thus, not thus; we lop off youthful trees
But pluck the old ones upward by the roots.
Weeds choke out blossoms; ergo, I’m weed.
I’ll choke out this old blossom, thus, aye thus!
           [Clenches his fingers as if strangling something, and steals out into the                   bedroom; after an interval returns, dragging the body of D’ELENE,                   drops it on the carpet and steps back from it.
Ha, ha! ’tis done! ’tis done! He never stirred,
To cry or groan, or call out “cruel murder!”
But went out voiceless in a single gasp [Page 135];
As snuff a candle, thus his light went out.
Ha! I’m an artist! From a whimpering ancient,
A poor, worn bundle of human sighs and groans,
I’ve made yon wondrous silence now before me.
Rage, storm! howl, night! crack you mad cheeks in twain.
You cannot wake him! He is marbling now
Into that long, last, kind serenity.
Blow, night! rage, storm! he hath long past thy terrors.
Billow the oceans, batten the ruined lands,
Terrorize monarchs, make heroes quake i’ their beds,
But he’s invicible! Nay, you cannot shake him.
All else is puerile, naught is great but death.
Ha, ha! ’tis done! I stay here over long,
Too filled with pride in mine own handiwork.
Now life! now life! For I’ve a life to live,
Though but a notary. Halloo! halloo! help! help!
Your master is dead! Rascals, wake up! your master
Has ta’en a fit! Help! help! before he is mortal!
He’d change that will, would he? he’d change that will!
Ha, ha; ha, ha! Now, Daulac, I have matched you!
           [Servants rush in, calling. HELÈNE runs in and falls in grief on                                D’ELENE’S body. Exit DESJARDINS on other side [Page 136].

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT II. SCENE I.

PLACE—Front of an inn in a forest.

TIME—Some days after Act I.

Enter, from left, FILLET, a short, stout inn-keeper, carrying a table too big for         him. He places it.

     FIL. Here! (hurries out left and returns with a chair, places it at right of table)              Here, for the gentleman, one louis. (hurries out again, returns with                          another chair, places it at left) This for the lord, two louis d’or, ha!

Enter DESJARDINS, booted and spurred, with sword, and whip in hand.

     DES. Not yet?
     FIL. Nay, master.
     DES. Master?
     FIL. (bowing) Sir!
     DES. Sir?
     FIL. Sieur!
     DES. (more angry) Sieur?
     FIL. (almost touching the ground) My lord! (aside) Nothing!
     DES. Wine, quick!
     FIL. Yea, sire! (goes out bowing behind and yelling within) One bottle for his                majesty the devil!
     DES. Scoundrel!                                       [Exit FILLET.
The devil was ever notary to a fool [Page 137],
And I’m the devil. This dead dotard uncle
And orphan niece were waxen in my hands;
And now to trap this Daulac in my snare.
How I do hate him only heaven doth know,
Or fitter hell, for am I not the devil?
His luck against my cunning, chance for chance,
I’ll match him yet. Why doth not Piotr come?

Enter PIOTR running, at right, breathless; falls, clutching his breast, at                          DESJARDINS’ feet. As he runs he knocks over FILLET, who enters at                same time, spilling wine. FILLET looks around in disgust.

     DES. Quick, knave, quick! the letter!
     PIO. (fumbling in his breast) Here, master, here!
     DES. (opening quickly and reading) Ha, ha! ’tis done, ’tis done, the letter de cachet.
It means his banishment and deep disgrace.
(to PIOTR) Who gave you this letter?
     PIO. The Duke’s own man, master.
     DES. And when do the officers arrive?
     PIO. To-morrow. Master, I faint!
     DES. Wine, quick, wine.           [Goes on reading letter.
     FIL. (who has been sighing over the decanter) Yea, sire, yea.                                                                                                          [Exit shaking his fist at PIOTR.
(calling) Once more bottle for his majesty the devil!

Re-enter with wine; PIOTR takes it at a gulp.

     FIL. Thou mindest me of a cowhard’s lanthorn.
     PIO. Why?
     FIL. Thou art so transparent! Say, (aside) be he thy master, boy?                                                                   [Pointing at DESJARDINS.
     PIO. Yea, old firkin-sides.
     FIL. Then art thou damned indeed.                       [Exit at left.
     PIO. Yea, not like thee, but for my leanness.
     DES. (coming to center) Doth he not come yet? [Page 138]
     PIO. Who, master, who?
     DES. Why, who else but Daulac?
     PIO. Not yet, master.
     DES. Not yet! Not yet! A soldier should be prompter.
A like gallant is this to win his lady.
Had I his fortune-given mask of form,
His mock-heroic ways, his poet face,
I would not dally all my days at Paris,
But with quick siege and sans all ceremonie
I’d win her to my liking. Heaven, earth, hell!
How I do hate him!
     PIO. Say, master!
     DES. Well, rascal?
     PIO. Old firkin-sides taketh thee for the devil.
     DES. What think you?
     PIO. Naught, seeing if it be so I be damned.
     DES. Like you my form?
     PIO. May he never come in worse.
     DES. Look here, master Piotr, a word with you:
I’ve half suspicioned you these many days;
Indeed, I chose you for a rogue’s whip-lash.
Now, hearken, rascal: if you at my bidding
But crack anon to suit my spirit’s will,
Your fortune’s made; but if you do but fail me,—
You’ll meet the very devil.
     PIO. Yea, master, I understand. I am the lash, you snap me, and someone else gets hurt. Ha, ha, that’s it!
     DES. Yea, you’ve caught it. But, to change the subject, how does the sprightly Fanchon?
     PIO. (in amazement) Ah, master! How knew you I love Fanchon?
     DES. Am I not the devil?
     PIO. But she would no more have me than Mademoiselle would give a thought to you.
     DES. Fiends of hell! What did you say, rascal [Page 139]?
     PIO. (aside) Now the bung is out of the barrel! (to DESJARDINS) I—I did but remark that she won’t do the love business with me. She prefers a basket paunch to a bean pole, and so favors that fool, Pornac.
     DES. So that’s the trouble, is it?
     PIO. Yea, master. That’s what makes me so thin; that she likes me not for my leanness but makes me the leaner, so that her distaste but aggravates the disease, so to speak.
     DES. Oh, that’s nothing.
     PIO. Nothing, master? Nothing? Yea, that’s me, or what I will be if this wasting of affections and flesh keeps on. Nothing!
     DES. I but meant, rascal, that it is all right.
     PIO. Oh, it is all right, is it? (counting on his fingers) That’s me, or I am no logician.
     DES. I mean to say, fool, that she shall marry you.
     PIO. Master, master, say that again. Marry me—who?
     DES. Fanchon.
     PIO. Fanchon? Look here, master. You may be the devil, and his uncle to boot, but you can’t move a maid’s mind, let alone Fanchon’s. Why, master, she keeps me dancing to her changes like a turkey on hot irons. Nay, nay, master.
     DES. Pshaw, she’s but a woman! Changeable as the moon
On moving water. Truthful as the lie
That trembles on the breathings of a slander.
Keep you courage, man, do my bidding,
And leave the maid to me.
     PIO. But, master, she loves Pornac.
     DES. Love? She’ll love you just as well.
I know a woman.
     PIO. Well, if you do, then all that I can say is, you’re devilishly more devilish than the devil. (aside) But I have my doubts [Page 140].
     DES. Fanchon is like her mistress. She will go
Which way the other. That’s the way she’s blown.

Love’s not in this. Mad’moiselle’s uncle dead,
She’s by my schemes the mistress of his fortunes,
And Daulac by the same brave fact a pauper.
     PIO. A pauper? The Sieur Daulac a pauper?
     DES. What else? ’Twas I drew up his uncle’s will.
What would you call that man who stands therein
Sans land, sans houses, monies, destitute?
     PIO. A pauper, master. Ergo, he has nothing, therefore he is nothing. That’s like me.
     DES. Well, such is Daulac.
     PIO. And, master, you did this?
     DES. Yea.
     PIO. Then—you—are—the—devil!
     DES. Now, hearken, sirrah, that you know my power,
Remember I am your master and dread mine anger.
Now, next to win the mistress. When that happens,
Be you but with me, you shall have the maid.
Do you mark me, sirrah? Now go. Send me yon
Barrel-paunch.
     PIO. Yea, I mark you. (aside) But be you devil or no,
I much misdoubt me if you do know Fanchon.
I like this not, I like it not, I smell murder
Or something deeper here. I’ll watch this devil
Whom fate hath made my master.           [Goes out calling.
Firkin-sides, firkin-sides!

Re-enter the Landlord.

     FIL. (bowing low) Yea, your majesty.
     DES. Whom do you take me for? The devil?
     FIL. Who else?
     DES. Look you here, scoundrel, do you know this name?
                                                                      [Whispers in his ear.
     FIL. (retreats, trembling with fear. PIOTR comes in listening) Nay, your majesty, not here, he comes not here [Page 141]!
     DES. Yea, and to-night.
     FIL. To waylay this lord? Then this means murder.
     PIO. (aside) Yea, so say I. Monsieur Daulac, you are more than dead if I do not save you.                                                               [Exit.
     DES. Now, villain, this will pay you.        [Gives a purse.
     FIL. (going out) But murder, murder, murder.
Oh, murder!                                                [Counts gold.
     DES. Ha, ha, I’ll have him sure. All cannot fail.
I’ll slay him here to-night, or missing that,
The officer from Paris comes to-morrow
With letter de cachet wheedled from the King,
Banishing Daulac from these shores forever.
Ha, ha! the duke doth hate him for that lunge
He gave him in that secret midnight duel.
So gains his vengeance granting my poor prayers.
This last disgrace will wreck him; meanwhile I
Will come back here to-night in cloak and mask
And see if fate dare give him to my blade.
With these two villains to aid me I may do it.
Ha, ha! Why, here he comes at last, at last.
Damn him! Damn him! How I hate his face!

Enter DAULAC, booted and spurred, with sword and military cloak.

     DAUL. Desjardins, Desjardins!
     DES. Welcome, Daulac, mine own noble friend. This is a meeting.                                                                  [Grasps and wrings his hand.
     DAUL. Welcome, Desjardins, wisdom’s counselor,
The brother-confessor to my many follies.
The cynic chider, he who hath forgiven
More in mine acts than ever Heaven can.—
O my friend, had I one thousandth part
Of all the wisdom under your brain’s roof,
I would not be the reckless soul I am.
Well, well! Heaven ne’er made two single souls alike.
You’d laugh, Desjardins, did you hear my follies.
I’ve fought six duels, old comrade; ponder that— [Page 142]
And come off in them all without a scratch,
Save in the first, and that was but a prick,
Healed up in a week—and all for you
I know not, save that chivalry wanes at court,
And men will slander women in my presence.
     DES. I heard you pinked the Duke?
     DAUL. (starting) You heard that?
     DES. Ha, ha! a rumor, but ’tis a dangerous business.
     DAUL. When a man insults a woman, be he King,
                                                                          [Lifts his hat.
He answers to my sword.
     DES. (taking snuff) Ha, ha! Yea, yea, brave, brave, but dangerous.
(aside) As you will find.
     DAUL. O Desjardins, think me not all lightness;
Amid the court I sickened of its follies.
It’s shallow conceits and hollow mock of worth,
Where arrogance and cringing joined in one,
Janus-like, in every soul I met,
Till all my spirit in a ferment burned.
     DES. For paths of glory?
     DAUL. Yea, friend, you read me right. Some day, somewhere,
I know not where, only in dreams that come,
I will loose my spirit battling on some field
For France and glory.
But tell me, mine old friend,
How be it that I meet you on my way?
     DES. I came to meet you.
     DAUL. To meet me! That was kind. God bless you, friend!      [Wrings his                          hand again.
And how is Helène?
     DES. She is well.
     DAUL. And happy?
     DES. As her circumstances grant.
     DAUL. And my uncle [Page 143]?
     DES. He—is—well.
     DAUL. Poor uncle, I have often grieved him sore,
And now I’ll grieve him sorer: I can never
Give up in life the great career of arms
To settle down to humdrum country life,
And, beating my sword into a gentle ploughshare ,
Play me the squire of vineyards. Nay, Desjardins,
For I was born a soldier. In my cradle
My spirit must have run on war’s alarms
And drained its ardors from my mother’s breast.
Yea, you have known it, Desjardins, my true friend,
And now it had but one sole rival thought.
     DES. And that?
     DAUL. My love for Helène.
     DES. (aside) Curse him! does he dare to prate of that?
     DAUL. Yesterday in Paris the Sieur de Condé,
Who sails anon to try his soldier’s fortunes
In those new lands discovered by Champlain,
Did bid me share his perils, and perchance
The glory or death that fate will grant him there.
     DES. (aside) This is my chance. (to DAULAC) You agreed?
     DAUL. Nay, I did neither say him yea nor nay.
     DES. And why?
     DAUL. My love for Helène drew me hitherward,
And bound my feet to France’s holy shores,
While glory pointed promising toward the West.
But Helène conquered.
     DES. (aside) S’death, I’ll crush him now!
     DAUL. And then I thought me of my poor old uncle,
How he would grieve; I could not break his heart.
     DES. (aside) Now the dagger goes home.
(to DAULAC, solemnly) ’Twill break no more.
     DAUL. What, what! did you not say he was well [Page 144]?
     DES. Yea, well, indeed, for Daulac, he is dead.
     DAUL. (rising) My uncle dead! My God! When did he die?
     DES. Four days ago.
     DAUL. And—
     DES. Was buried yesterday.
     DAUL. And Helène?
     DES. Is heiress to all his fortune.
     DES. Great heavens, Desjardins, what doth all this mean?
     DES. It means but this: your uncle for some time
Has marked your course in anger, and at last,
Thinking you unworthy of his trust
Willed all his wealth to Mad’moiselle Helène,
Cutting you off without one single louis.
     DAUL. Then I am ruined!
     DES. Yea, ruined.
     DAUL. And this is why—
     DES. I came to meet you.
     DAUL. To break it to me, ere I saw Helène.
(taking DESJARDIN’S hand) Thank you, friend. God knows I need a friend.
In this hard hour. Not that I grudge the wealth.
Heaven is witness, I joy for Helène’s sake.
She in her pure and simple womanhood
Is fitter trustee to that splendid wealth
Than such a spirit as I, but O great God!
That he, the uncle that I have always loved,
Should die without forgiving, nay, with thoughts
Unmerited by my worst and wildest follies;
Should think me so unoworthy of his love,—
’Tis this unmans me.
     DES. You know me, Daulac, one sans aspirations,
Believing only what my reason holds,
Deeming not overmuch those attributes
Of love, hope, glory, friendship, as men mouth them [Page 145],
Save as poor ebullitions of the moment,
Gendered in foolish souls that know not life
And its gray, stern realities, and would not
Be o’erhard on you in this bitter hour,
Save to remind you, you have one thing left
’Mid all this wreck of earthly hope and fortune,
Which is—
     DAUL. Mine honor. I would die for it.
     DES. Then you must die to love.
     DAUL. O Desjardins, this worst final stroke!
     DES. You are a man of honor. She is rich
And you a pauper.
     DAUL. Yea, you are right, so infinitely removed
Is Helène from my hopes that Ind to Ind
Were nearer. O inexorable fate,
Thou mockest me, miserable! I will go and die.
     DES. Daulac, methought thou wert at least a man.
     DAUL. I am a man; for that dread reason I
Do suffer all the torments of the damned.
Man, man, cannot you see I am shut out
From all I love best? It is easy seen
That you have never loved. O Desjardins,
Your coldly calculating nature views
This life as but a problem to be solved
Like an equation. He hat never suffered
Who never loved.
     DES. (aside) I never love? Yea, I can hate, too.
(to DAULAC) You wrong me in your heat of suffereing, Daulac.
Heaven knows I meant but for the best.
I thought you strong, but see I was mistaken.
There is a way: forget this barrier fate
Hath built between you; go to her, and if
She truly loves you nought can come between
Your mutual happiness.
     DAUL. And lose mine honor? [Page 146]
     DES. Yea, what is honor but a thing to prate of,
But never practiced in this material world?
     DAUL. Never, Desjardins! Since this one short hour
Helène is dead to Daulac. Whoe’er may hope
To win her happy, Daulac never can.
Nay, brightest honor, thou captain of my spirit,
Beloved of heaven and worshipped of holy men,
Without thee love were never love at all,
But life’s poor semblance.
     DES. I did but plead for your own happiness;
But now you’ve forsworn love for glory’s sake,
What is your purpose?
     DAUL. There’s but one pathway in this world for him
Whom love that banished, that which leads to death.
I have decided; this new western world
Will coffin Daulac from his many woes.
     DES. Then you go to Canada?
DAUL. It is my object, if such as I can hold
A living interest.
     DES. (aside) ’Twas an easy victory. I’m rid of him.
(to DAULAC) But will you send no message to your cousin? No farewell?
     DAUL. Farewell to Helène? Desjardins, I cannot go
Before I see her pure, sweet face again.
This much I owe to nature, come what will.
     DES. (aside) He’ll weaken, will he? be a man of straw.
For all his protestations? Never, Daulac!
You have too good a foe to forfeit now
Your boasted honor.
(to DAULAC) Do you not fear that in this tender meeting
(Man is but flesh and woman over-loving)
That his same honor boasted now so loud
May not get worsted?
     DAUL. Never, Desjardins!
     DES. (aside) Ha, ha! We’ll see! The devil is sceptic [Page 147],
Or else this world were all an innocent place.
(to DAULAC) Do you return with me?
     DAUL. Nay, friend, forgive me my weak human nature.
Leave me a space to wrestle with my sorrow,
And I will follow.
     DES. (aside) Now I’ll see the poison work this side,
I’ll go prepare the lady, till the rift
In this sweet lute spills all the music out.
Piotr, Piotr!                                                  [Exit, calling out.
     PIO. (outside) I’m coming, master.
     DAUL. Now must I make the soldier shame the man,
And in one short hour change this throbbing nature
Into the semblance of a heartless stone.
O Helène, next to Heaven thou wert to me.
I placed you in that niche in my heart’s temple
Where blessed thoughts and sacred only dwell.
Tear out this bleeding heart with these two hands,
And still its beat forever. O great Heaven!
Let not one single tender sigh of hers,
One last sweet glance of sorrow, melt my soul
From out this marble semblance of a man.
I’ll go to her, but I will go as stone,
All passion dead as I am dead to her.
          [Sinks his head on table. The stage grows darker.

Re-enter PIOTR, rushing in.

     PIO. Danger, danger! Draw and guard yourself!
          [Rolls under the table. DAULAC leaps to his feet and draws. Enter two                          assassins,with DESJARDINS cloaked and masked. They all attack                     DAULAC. He fights the three.
     DES. Ha, ha, ha!
     PIO. (under the table) Murder! murder!
     FIL. (at side, calling) Murder! thieves! murder!
          [They fight harder. DAULAC kills one, then wounds the second, fighting                     his way out [Page 148].
     DES. Damn him! damn him! he still lives, still lives!
But wait! The letter de cachet! ha, ha, ha!
I’ll have him yet! I’ll have him yet!

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT II. SCENE 2.

PLACE—A room in the Chateau. FANCHON at work.

     FAN. Well, if I’m not the most bewildered girl!
Two lovers are mine, but which of them to choose
I know me not, for if I choose this one
The other suffers. If I say Pornac,
I pity Piotr. If I choose Piotr,
I think of Pornac. Ten times a day I try
To choose in this wise, counting on my fingers:
Piotr, Pornac, Pornac, Piotr,
Pornac, the odds have it. It is Pornac.
But when I favor Pornac it is Piotr.
Heigho, heigho! What is a maid to do
When man, poor, silly man, doth come to woo?
Nor is there much to choose betwixt the two.
Pornac is stout and ruddy, full of mirth,
But too familiar; doth not reverence enough.
Piotr is lean and tall, but much too backward.
I hate a roisterer, but I dread a muff.
If one were only what the other is not,
The other only what the—(starts) Ha, what’s that?

Enter PIOTR.

     PIO. Fanchon!
     FAN. Sir, you here?
     PIO. Yea—that is, I think so—that is—I’ll go and see.
                                                                                [Turns to go.
     FAN. Noodle! [Page 149]
     PIO. Nay, but, Fanchon—(aside) She ever mocks me thus.
     FAN. Nay, noodle. Say, why are you always going?
     PIO. I know not, save that I am always coming.
     FAN. Well, solemn sir, what do you want of me?
     PIO. I came—I came—to—to see what you were doing.
     FAN. Well, I was at a poor business,
Balancing two peas within a pod.
     PIO. Ah!
     FAN. And I found them, just like two peas,
Too much alike.
     PIO. Well, I must go.
     FAN. Don’t be in a hurry. What’s the news?
     PIO. Fanchon, there is only one bit of news for me to tell you, and—and—when I see you it all flies out o’ doors and leaves me.
     FAN. Ah!                          [Toys with her apron.
     PIO. Fanchon!
     FAN. What?
     PIO. I—I—I have come to—to—ah—protect you.
     FAN. You? to protect me? For heaven’s sake, from what? You protect me? Then heaven help me! [Rises.
     PIO. Stay, O Fanchon, stay. Oh, stay! Oh, do!
Oh stay forever!
     FAN. Nay, ’twould be too tiring, but I will consider.
     PIO. Dear girl!
     FAN. But on one condition.
     PIO. Any condition and all conditions, but name them.
     FAN. ’Tis but one.                          [Toys with her apron.
     PIO. Name it, angel, but only say you’ll stay.
     FAN. Don’t angel me! Yes, I will stay, if you—if you—
     PIO. Speak, Fanchon, speak!
     FAN. Well, I will stay if you do—go away.
     PIO. (rising) The devil! I am a poor fool [Page 150].
     FAN. Yea, now you speak the truth.
(puts handkerchief to her face) Oh, my!
     PIO. Fanchon, what aileth thee?
     FAN. (trying not to laugh) I—I—I (mocking PIOTR) think I’ve got something in                my eye.
     PIO. What, what? not a cinder? (aside) I’m sure it’s not a man.
     FAN. Yea. (aside) And if you’re a man you’ll try to take it out. (moves over to his side; he edges from her) Don’t move, sir. Now, take this, then. (twists handkerchief into a point) Do you see it?
                                                  [Placing her face near his.
     PIO. Nay, I see it not.
     FAN. (aside) Dolt! Idiot! (to PIOTR) Place your hand on my shoulder, thus. Come nearer and look again.
     PIO. (uneasily) Nay, I am near; I tell thee,
Fanchon, thou art mistaken. There is nought.
     FAN. I tell thee I am not mistaken. (aside) Idiot! Can he not see beyond his nose? (rising in anger) I must go in.
     PIO. Yea, so must I. I will come again.
     FAN. Nay, nay, never! Stay away, away,
I tell thee, thou lean—lean gawk!
     PIO. Well, well, I have angered her!                     [Exit.
     FAN. (stamping her foot) Fool! Idiot! Dolt! Not to see, not to see! Here comes the other; free enough, but not so welcome.

Enter PORNAC.

     POR. Ha, ha, my Fanchon!
[Runs to kiss her; she eludes him. He chases her round the table; she stops.
     FAN. Sir!      [He turns to catch her; she slaps his face.
Take that—and that!
     POR. Why, Fanchon, ’tis not your wont to greet me thus [Page 151]!
     FAN. Well, it will be in future, thou bloated freedom!
Learn to keep thy place.
     POR. When? Ha, ha! what’s up? what’s up? what’s up?           [Exit.
     FAN. If this had but the other’s person, the other this one’s spirit, betwixt them they might be a fairsome man. If ever a girl were burdened it be me!

Enter HELÈNE, dressed in mourning garb; slowly seats herself at the table in           an attitude of grief. FANCHON approaches her.

     FAN. Mistress, it grieves me much to see you thus.
     HEL. O Fanchon, Fanchon, I fear my heart is broken!
     FAN. Nay, lady, speak not thus; temper your grief
To what is fitting. Nature never intended
That youth should spend itself in useless grieving.
Men cannot live forever; your poor uncle,
My honored master, had passed the allotted age.
This is not natural.
     HEL. You wrong me, Fanchon. Heaven knows my woe,
Though it be deep and natural, I feel
Hath cast its weight on Heaven for my uncle.
     FAN. Then why this grief, these tears, this air of woe?
O my mistress, forgive your simple Fanchon,
If in her love she fear that you may weaken,
By too much grief and sad, uncertain vapors,
That dignity, that presence which is yours
As heiress, mistress of this high estate.
Madam, forgive these words, for Fanchon loves you.
     HEL. O Fanchon, ’tis this very terrible wealth,
This heirship, that is now my present curse.
Oh, why did Heaven bring me on this earth
To stand betwixt a noble man and all
That should be his by birth and heritance.
     FAN. Mistress, the Sieur Daulac, that is a man!
     HEL. O Fanchon, I do fear ’twill break my heart [Page 152].
     FAN. It was a wondrous madness in your uncle
To use him thus; it passes my poor reason,
Unless, perchance, it was—forgive me, madam!
     HEL. Whom?
     FAN. That notary.
     HEL. What notary?
     FAN. What but one who creeps into a room
With his two sinister eyes before he enters,
Whose hand is like a dead man’s at the touch,
Whose glance a poison, whose whole attitude
A cringing arrogance. There is something, madam,
About that man that makes the spirit sick
To look upon him.
     HEL. Who is this notary you rail against?
     FAN. M. Desjardins.
     HEL. Fanchon! How dare you? He, my uncle’s friend,
So grave and wise and thoughtful for his years,
Whose slow precision and whose cynic smile
Are rooted deep in duty.
     FAN. Forgive me, madam, if my woman’s heart
In love for you outran the menial bounds;
But though you grieve you, I would warn you, madam,
Against that man.
     HEL. Fanchon, another slander such as this,
And we are parted. Tongue shall never speak
Nor mind conceive, by any consent of mine,
That heart unloyal which my uncle trusted.
     FAN. Forgive me, madam, punish your poor Fanchon,
Do anything but drive me from your presence.
For all her faults, her rude outspoken thought,
Your Fanchon loves you.
     HEL. My almost sister, you are now forgiven.
If you’ve a heart, oh, pity your poor mistress
In her mad sorrow, you who know her secret.
And is it crime in me, a simple maid,
To open my heart to you, a sister woman,
And say to you and Heaven how I love him [Page 153]?
Nay, I were not woman, nature had made me
Distort, unnatural, did I not feel
A pride amid my blushes at his name.
And now, O life, O terrible, cruel fate,
Thou put’st a barrier ’twixt us, this dread hate
That he must hold for me who, like some thief,
Some bold brute robber, now hath come between
Him and his heritage. Yet, could he know,
I’d walk a beggar ’neath the stars this night,
Yea, live in rags and own a menial’s fate,
To know him mine. O Daulac, Daulac!
(a sound without) Go, Fanchon, straight, and see if he doth come.
I’ll cure this matter, this shall never stand!
O uncle, uncle, could you be so cruel?
They’ll see that I’ve a mind, though but a woman.
A nunnery is my hope, mine only hope.
I’ll die a maid that he may have this wealth.
[Looks toward the door.
He comes, he comes! How can I meet this man
Whom I have wronged, and yet do love so true?
Oh, he’ll have justice, or I am no woman!

Enter DESJARDINS.

Welcome, sir, though you are over late.
(seeing DESJARDINS) Oh, ’tis you!
     DES. Yea, mademoiselle, ’tis but the courier;
The king comes after.
     HEL. The Sieur Daulac is slow in coming, sir.
     DES. Yea, mademoiselle, we ever travel slow
To that we dread approaching.
     HEL. You have informed him of his uncle’s death?
     DES. Yea, mademoiselle, and of his disinheritance.
     HEL. (starts) And how took he it?
     DES. Not well, my lady; who ever welcomed the sun
That ushered in the hangman?
     HEL. Desjardins, as my uncle’s trusted friend [Page 154],
As Daulac’s friend, as mine, I bid you hearken:
I have a way to mend this cruel matter.
     DES. (aside) As Daulac’s friend; yea, as Daulac’s friend,
She has a way. Confound these obstinate women,
She shall not find a way, I’ll stop all roads
That lead to Daulac’s fortune.
(to HELÈNE) A way, madam? So interest in our noble,
Impoverished friend has made of you a lawyer?
     HEL. Yea, I renounce this fortune, all these lands;
They are not mine, but his by truest right.
     DES. And you?
     HEL. My heart leans toward a cloister; I a nun,
All this would pass to Daulac.
     DES. (aside) A pretty simpleton, a charming fool!
Well, by my soul, who can count on a woman
When sentiment enters with a handsome man?
She a nun? Not if I confess her.
(to HELÈNE) Mademoiselle, your feelings wrong the dead.
To him who fathered, loved you all these years,
Owe you no duty? That he is scarce cold,
The coffined clay scarce rounded on his grave,
Ere you would tumble his wisdom to the ground
And scatter his wishes to the winds of heaven.
And all for what?
     HEL. For justice!
     DES. Justice? (aside) If this same cousin were wry and shrunk of limb would he get justice? Heaven protect the ugly that goes as man when woman dons the ermine.
     HEL. Monsieur Desjardins, you know I loved my uncle
And reverence his memory; but this will,
This monstrous will—I cannot yet believe
It was his love, his wisdom ordered it—
I will not take the cruel advantage it gives
And ravage Sieur Daulac of his rights;
And you—you think this cruel indenture just,
That cheats your friend?
     DES. Lady, methinks your feelings wrong the dead [Page 155].
     HEL. Nay, never reverence for the holiest dead
Dare bid me wrong the living.
     DES. Mademoiselle,
I have not right of feeling in this matter,
I’m but in this the humble notary,
The slave that pens just what the hand hath willed,
But I would be full lacking in that sense
Of what I owe your uncle and mine honor
Did I refuse, because my feelings urged,
To do my duty in this present case.
Aspirations are for your soldiers, lady;
Not for the common, plodding, parchment drudge,
The notary. But, being the notary, I
Must point to you the duty which is yours.
This will is plain, no matter who has feelings;
You are besides, a ward and under age;
So did you folly wish to squander all,
You could not do it.
     HEL. O Heaven!
     DES. Yea. Further, as the humble notary,
I must speak plainly.
     HEL. Speak! I bid you.
     DES. You are my ward for one full year from this,
Under this will, and therefore ’tis my duty
To tender you advice: I long have known
The love you bear for Daulac.
     HEL. Monsieur Desjardins, you presume!
     DES. Lady, ’tis but the notary.
     HEL. Go on, sir, but be careful.
     DES. Well, this same love—forgive the notary, lady—
How know you ’tis returned?
     HEL. Monsieur! this from you?
     DES. ’Tis but the notary, lady. True, he hurts,
’Tis but the bungling surgeon at the best;
But let me warn you; young, impressionable,
Susceptible to all that charms in man,
What know you of men’s ways, their arts to please [Page 156]
Where smiles are easy spent and broken hearts
Too quick forgotten? Now, if I know Daulac
As man knows man from boyhood up to youth,
His one true love, his mistress, is his sword.
     HEL. Sir, this is cruel.
     DES. Cruel, lady; so is the shining lance
That wounds to save the sufferer. If your love
Hath gone such lengths, you might even buy him,
I will not nay it; but you must acknowledge,
If love be like a magnet, we have seen
But little of this Daulac of late.
     HEL. Enough, sir, notary or no,
You speak me not as father would dare speak.
     DES. Forgive me, lady, I but do my duty.
     HEL. Pardon me, sir, but methinks that in
The notary you outrage the man.
     DES. The man, madam, the man is ever outraged
In this poor, shifty, cringing, scheming world,
Where none so free that he may love his neighbor.
Adieu, I hurt you, madam, I will withdraw;
You look for braver company.
(aside) The mine is lit, I’ve touched her woman’s pride.
Ha! Daulac, Daulac, come and conquer now!
     HEL. Nay, good Desjardins, stay and be my friend.
Fear not for Helène D’Arno, she will ne’er
Let foolish feeling wrong her sense of duty
To those she loves and her own womanhood.
     DES. I will return with Daulac, madam, should you wish.
     HEL. I do wish it, sir, if you will come.
                                                                 [Exit DESJARDINS.
They think I have no pride! wait; they shall see,
Rather than buy a lover I will die
A single maid. Now to be ice and snow
And frigid, stately dignity to this lover
Who came so tardily that ruin and death [Page 157]
Showed him the roadway. He shall never know
The foolish thoughts that I have squandered on him.

Enter DAULAC and DESJARDINS.

O woman’s pride, help me to be proud,
Imperious, cold and just; but melting never!
                                  [DAULAC advances and kisses her hand.
     DAUL. Helène!
     HEL. Daulac, my cousin!
     DAUL. (aside) Cousin?
     HEL. I never thought I should have met you thus.
     DAUL. Nor I, but all are mortal; my poor uncle,
God knows I hold nought towards his memory
Save truest sorrow. Heaven is my witness,
He might have taken all away from me,
Had he but left his pardon.
     HEL. O God! O God! Cousin, my heart is broken.
I you have wronged, heaven knoweth, all unwittingly.
Had I the power to give you what is yours,
I’d rather die than leave things as they stand.
     DAUL. Helène, my cousin, if poor words of mine
Can ease your sorrow, carry to your grave
That Daulac’s thoughts of you were thoughts of blessing.
Adieu, Helène, the playmate of my youth,
When I am far perchance you will remember.
     HEL. Wherefore away? Is this not yet your home?
     DAUL. Sweet cousin, to-morrow I leave these shores forever.
     HEL. (aside) Heaven help me, Heaven help me now!
(to DESJARDINS) Cruel sir, cruel sir, you had not told me this!
     DES. Not even the notary, believe me, madam,
Were surgeon to such a wound.
     DAUL. Sweet cousin, you who always bade me courage
When only in hope I waged me deeds of glory
Will you not bid me Godspeed even now [Page 158]?
     HEL. Sir, I, a soldier’s daughter, cannot say
To you, a soldier, any word but Godspeed.
But is there not assistance I can give you?
Monies, credit, all are at your service.
     DAUL. Helène, I am a soldier; my poor sword
And sense of honor are my sole fortune now.
If you would of the riches of your heart
But loan anon a single kindly thought,
A tear, perchance a prayer sent up to God,
For Daulac in his wanderings, he’d be your debtor
Deeper a thousand times than if you showered
The wealth of Ind upon him.
     HEL. You have my prayers, my wishes. (aside) Oh, help me God!
     DAUL. Farewell, Helène, God keep you. Fare you well.
                                                                    [Kisses her hand.
     DES. (aside) Why come they not? Why come they not?

Enter an Officer of the King and two attendants.

     Officer. Mademoiselle, your pardon. (to DAULAC) I would speak
With the Sieur Daulac.
     DAUL. Speak, I am he.
     Officer. Pardon, lady, this most painful business,
But I do bear an order from the King,
Monsieur Daulac, asking for your sword.
     DAUL. The King! My sword! My God! what new misfortune?
     DES. (aside) Ha, ha, ha!
     Officer. Here is the order, sir, commanding that you be cashiered and banished.
     DAUL. Cashiered and banished?
     Officer. Yea, to America.
     DAUL. Banished, cashiered, ruined!
                                                            [Clutching at his heart. [Page 159]
What unseen hand hath done this? What malignant influence looms about me?
     DES. (taking his hand) This land, at least, is yours until the end.
     HEL. Daulac, Desjardins, what doth all this mean?
Disinherited, cashiered, banished! Farewell, hope!
     Officer. Yea, further, sir, your sword. You are my prisoner while on these shores.
     DAUL. Not that, not that disgrace!
     Officer. Men, arrest your prisoner!
     DAUL. Nay, I’m a noble. Whate’er his reason be,
The King can do no wrong. I go with you.
My gentle cousin, a long, a long farewell!
                                               [Goes out with bowed head.
     DES. And now ’tis time for the notary to go, too.    [Exit.
     HEL. Daulca, Daulac, I love you! O my God!
I might have saved him! What have I not lost?
And all for woman’s pride [Page 160]!

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT III. SCENE 1.

PLACE—Montreal, Canada.

TIME—One year later.

SCENE—A room in an inn.

Enter DESJARDINS.

     DES. Well, here’s a pretty pass, to let this woman
Slip through my hands like this: first ’twas Daulac,
Now ’tis the Church has got her. Nothing suits
But she must come to Canada like the rest
Of those poor fools who, lacking misery,
Would seek it in these savage-haunted wastes.
She tells her beads and sighs ’tis Heaven draws her,
But I have my suspicions it is Daulac.
That man, that man! Have I not cause to hate him?
Since his departure she hath never smiled,
But mopes and prays to Heaven. Business, business
She will have none of. I have noticed, too,
She has grown half-suspicious of myself,
And such a scornful icicle hath grown
That all my cunning, all my arrogance
Hath not sufficed to make me hint my love.
Nay, Desjardins, caution, perseverance,
These are your arms to fight with, you are but
A plodding notary, but Hell’s my pledge,
I’ll have her yet, and avenge myself on him
If I’ve to win the poles to ’complish this;
No seas, no rimless oceans shall prevent,
No savage hordes of earth’s most desolate waste
Will daunt my vengeance; say she yea or nay,
I’ll go with her [Page 161].

Enter PIOTR.

     DES. Well, what have you discovered?
     PIO. Daulac is here, master, in this very inn.

     DES. What are his prospects?
     PIO. They say he is the governor of an island.
     DES. And Pornac?
     PIO. Is here, too.
     DES. Does Daulac know of the Lady Helène’s arrival?
     PIO. Nay, master, not by me.
     DES. Nor through you, rascal?
     PIO. Am I not narrow enough?
     DES. Scarcely for my purposes.
     PIO. (aside) Then will I be wide for some one else’s.
     DES. Have you carried my orders?
     PIO. Yea, master.
     DES. Then watch and bring the Governor to this room.
We have a meeting here which, when ’tis ended,
Will settle this same Daulac.
     PIO. But Fanchon, master, when shall I have her?
     DES. I tell you, do my work, and when ’tis ended
You shall have your Fanchon, and for my part
I wish you well of her.
     PIO. (aside) You wish me well; then I am cursed, indeed!
(to DESJARDINS) But when, O master, when?
DES. Go to the devil!
PIO. I’m gone there now.
(aside) I do his work, but me he never pays,
save in fine promises;
“To-morrow it will be fine, next day ’twill shine,”
Doth never help the growth of grass to-day.
This working for the devil is unlucky.
If this goes on I’ll choose another master.                [Exit.
     DES. (rings bell; enter waiter) Wine! [Page 162]
     Servant. How much, my lord?
     DES. Two bottles, quick, of your best.
     Servant. Yea, my lord.                                            [Exit.
     DES. So Daulac is governor. If he knows
She has given her money to the Church,
And that she’s here, then all my schemes are foiled.
He’ll win her in the face of all my plans.
Nay, he’ll die first, if it comes to that.
I’ll kill him—but of that more anon.
I’ll trap him first, this dreamer, in his dreams.
I’ll seethe him in the milk of his own glory,
Or I’m no notary; get him from my path,
She soon will tire of this religious waste,
And back in France, I’ll trust my skill to win her.

Enter PIOTR, followed by MAISONNEUEVE, the Governor.

     Governor. You are the gentleman who sent this letter?
     DES. Yea, sir, and at your service; and, methinks,
One who can give assistance to you now,
And this poor colony. Be seated, sir, and pardon
My sending for you to this common inn,
But matters of state know not of the conventions.

Enter Servant, with wine.

     Governor. How can you aid? My very coming here
In answer to this letter you have sent
Shows my extremity. Necessity knows no custom.
If I have read your letter aright, you have
Some business to disclose.
     DES. Some wine, my lord?
     Governor. Thanks, monsieur.                          [Drinks.
     DES. Well, now to business. Coming to this point,
I understand this colony is decimated
And slowly wasted by two insidious foes,
Disease and the savages.
     Governor. From the first we are recovering; but
The savages, I fear, will be our doom [Page 163].
Daily we hear the fearful war-whoop sounding,
Nightly my people are butchered in their beds,
Till hope is wasted; and, I fear, ere long
France’s lilies will wither from this coast.
     DES. Have you no plan to tide this terrible fate?
     Governor. I see no way; and now a fearful rumor
Hath reached me that a thousand Iroquois
Do purpose besieging us in this our hold.
And do they enter here and see our weakness,
Then we are lost.
     DES. Have you no soldiers?
     Governor. A few, such as they are; but what are they without a leader?
     DES. This is my cure. ’Tis a leader you want.
If you are with me, I do know your man.
     Governor. You offer, sir? You are yourself that man?
     DES. Nay, nay, my lord, I’m not so tired of life.
Like you, mosieur, I am a man of peace;
But love naught better than setting others fighting.
The man you want must be s reckless devil,
Full of the vapors, moon-sick like a lover,
Who yearns for danger as young ducks for water.
Just such a man I know to fill your wants,
Ripe like an apple, ready now to drop
Into your basket do you promise glory.
     Governor. Who is this man?
     DES. Do you know of one Daulac?
     Governor. Not the Sieur Daulac, he who owns an island,
A seigneury far up the river shore?
     DES. The very man.
     Governor. They say he plays the hermit with one man
And a few Hurons whom he hath befriended.
     DES. He is your man. If you would save your trade,
Your Church, your very Governorship itself,
You’d better use him.                                    [Exeunt both. [Page 164]

Enter DAULAC and PORNAC. DAULAC sits at a table.

     POR. This room is yours to-night, the inn is full.
To-morrow you can have a better one.

     DAUL. ’Tis well enough; what more does soldier want?
A place to eat and sleep and wake and think,
But not to die in.
     POR. You have not eaten, master?
     DAUL. I want nothing.
                              [Leans his head on his hand and sighs.
     POR. (aside) My poor master, he groweth daily worse;
Love-sick at heart, this life is killing him.
There is no murdering here, save taking of scalps,
And that the howling, painted pathens do.
Oh, saints betide that ever we came here!
This land of peace will be the death of him.
     DAUL. Look here, Pornac, I saw the priest this even;
This marriage market goeth on to-morrow.
Are you still minded in the same opinion
As to this wiving business? Are you sure
You have got cured of Fanchon?
     POR. Fanchon, master! Fanchon is an angel,
And ever will have first place in my heart,
But she is absent, and upon her place
There sits a fear that we may never meet,
And a more fearful fear that every night
My scalp-lock will be shriven from my head,
So that each morn I find it there in wonder.
Now, for to medicine this same fear of mine,
I have prescribed unto myself a wife.
     DAUL. Ha, ha, Pornac, ’tis a strange protection.
     POR. Not if you know it; she will either keep away savages,
Or fear o’ them by her company; fears, like troubles,
Should hunt in couples, master; or else my fear of her
Will drive out fear of them, so it’s all the same [Page 165].
     DAUL. But a woman, Pornac, a woman is to be protected,
Not a protection.
     POR. Not so, master. Barring their fear of mice, gray hairs
And wrinkles, I often think they out-courage men.
     DAUL. Then you are sure of happiness, Pornac, without Fanchon?
     POR. If Fanchon were here I would love her truly;
But Fanchon absent is another matter.
Nay, nay, I will risk it, ’tis the way of nature.
     DAUL. Well, Pornac, have your will; remember tomorrow,
The Jesuits’ church. Now go, I’d be alone.      [Exit PORNAC.
My interest in that poor fellow’s affairs
Doth make me for a moment half forget
Mine own poor miseries, but once alone
They all come crowding back a thousandfold
To torture my spirit. O Helène, Helène,
Fair spirit of the past, your memory
Fills all my heart to-night. Glory’s touch
Is dimming fast; this is no soldier’s land.
The men seem ever palsied with a fear
Like Damocles’ sword that hangs above them,
Just waiting to descend. The Indian,
Though cruel in his instincts, I admire;
He is a worthy foe, dreading nor death
Nor torture. Yet meseems the men
I see around me are not dead to honor.
Were they but once aroused, had I the chance,—
’Tis maddening to daily have to hear
Of families butchered, fields despiled, and men
Carried away to fates of horrid death.
(a knocking) Ha, who is that? Come in.

Enter DESJARDINS.

What? Good Heaven! ’tis Desjardins!
     DES. Yea, Daulac, ’tis I [Page 166].
     DAUL. When did you arrive?
     DES. In the last ship.
     DAUL. And—and—I fear to ask you, Desjardins, but how is Helène?
     DES. Oh, she is well.
     DAUL. And happy?
     DES. As any other mad woman.
     DAUL. What mean you?
     DES. She talks of giving her property to the Church.
     DAUL. Then I may hope, Desjardins, I may hope.
     DES. (aside) Curse him, he would hope yet, would he?
(to DAULAC) Nay, Daulac, she is dead to you.
     DAUL. Has she entered a cloister?
     DES. Daulac, be a man, and think no more of Helène,
She is dead to you , but think of glory.
     DAUL. Of glory?
     DES. You know the state of this poor colony?
     DAUL. Yea, indeed, but even now I chafed
At mine own weakness to better its condition.
     DES. Why not act then?
     DAUL. Who am I, a single unknown man?
Had I a commission!—
     DES. I bring you that commission, or rather the man
Who alone can grant it.
     DAUL. Who?
     DES. The Governor; he awaits you.
     DAUL. Where?
     DES. Here in this inn, presiding o’er a council
Suddenly called to settle this grave matter.
                                                                         [Both go out.
     DAUL. God bless you, Desjardins, ever my true friend, my noble friend.                                                                                  [Goes out first.
     DES. (going out behind) Yea, we will see [Page 167].

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT III. SCENE 2.

     PLACE—Montreal.

     SCENE—Interior of a convent. Night. HELÈNE is discovered kneeling in prayer. Procession of nuns pass in middle back past entrance, going to prayers. Music in distance. When nuns have passed, chanting heard in chapel at back. HELÈNE slowly rises and advances to centre.

     HEL. Heaven protect me, keep my maiden thoughts
In troth to him I love. Oh, guide me, Thou
Who guidest all poor stumbling human feet
To paths of peace.
                   
[Pauses in meditation, then sinks into a seat.

FANCHON rushes in, screaming, and falls sobbing at her feet.

     FAN. Mademoiselle, mademoiselle, save me! save me!

Enter a Nun.

     Nun. Mademoiselle, this girl is disobedient.
’Tis the law of the colony, she must present
Herself within the marriage mart to-morrow;
And, now, do what we can, she doth protest.

     HEL. Leave her to me, she is over-wrought.     [Exit Nun.
     FAN. O mistress, save me! I would rather die
Than stand there in that place and be the barter
Of any yokel who may fancy me.
Are women cattle, that they treat us thus?
     HEL. Fanchon, compose yourself, you are distraught.
You overrate the dangers of this course [Page 168].
To shame the woman is not required of you.
There is no reason under Heaven why,
If some good youth should seek your hand to-morrow,
You should not accept him.
     FAN. Yea, my lady, well you know there is one.
My love for—for—
     HEL. Pornac?
     FAN. Yea.
     HEL. Fanchon!
     FAN. I cannot help it, mistress; ask me else,
But this I cannot.
     HEL. But you have promised, Fanchon. By deceit
You won your passage; ’tis against the law,
Your coming save for purposes of marriage.
     FAN. How about your own position, madam?
     HEL. Fanchon!
     FAN. Forgive me, lady, but when you speak me thus
You lose your Fanchon. I am but a woman
Who, like the she-wolf battling for her cubs,
Defends her love. Is love but for the mighty?
Believe me, madam, wherever woman is woman
Love is but love; there are no golden barriers;
This world is common when you touch the heart.
My only object was to be with you;
I could not let you travel forth alone.
If I lied, madam, it was because I loved you.
     HEL. Then you love Pornac to such extremity?
     FAN. That I will have none other.
     HEL. Then, Fanchon, none shall have you, trust to me.
Do what I tell you, go with me to-morrow,
And stand this ordeal that unmaids you so,
I’ll stand your side, and, hap no miracle,
Though all the world should clamor nay upon it,
I’ll keep you single.
     FAN. Heaven bless you, mademoiselle, Heaven bless you [Page 169]!
     HEL. I have my sorrow, Fanchon, as you know;
Though in the public eye we’re deemed but barter,

Enter Nun, who stands apart.

The willing slaves of easy circumstance,
Yet to a real woman who hath loved,
And proved that love, no holdy sacrament
Can be more sacred than that worship of hers.
Good night, Fanchon, pray to Heaven in peace.
Believe me true, there’s a divinity
Encloses in a golden mercy those
Who dwell in aspiration. Good night, Fanchon,
And trust in God.
                              [Kisses her. Exit FANCHON with Nun.
How the true, simple love of yon poor maid
Doth touch my spirit to tears and makes us equal!
How that strong throb of womanhood in her
Doth make her great and raise her to a majesty
A sceptred queen might envy! Oh, we women
Have but one nature. Wisdom may outwit us,
Truth slander us, Philosophy prove us shallow,
But first and last and always we have Love.

Enter the Mother Superior. A chant rises in chapel at back.

     Mother Superior. My daughter, are you rested?
     HEL. Yea, madam, in body, but not in my heart;
Sought these shores to cure a greivous wound,
But here it bleeds even more.
     M.S. My daughter, trust in Heaven; forget these longings
What make you earth’s and keep your heart from God.
You have a sorrow, it brought you to these shores,
Forget it in the work He’d have you do.
My heart yearns toward you, you who are alone
Amid these savage wastes where cruel men,
More savage than the savage, wage their wars
For what earth gives them. You are ill protected [Page 170].
Come, be my daughter; at the feet of God
Lay down your ahces, your longings and your fears.
Look how the tender Mother looks upon you,
Sorrowful for your sorrow. Gaze, my child
She calls ou from your sorrow to her peace.
     HEL. You half persuade me, did I think it right,
But I have something here within my heart
That mocks her peace.
     M.S. My daughter!
     HEL. Nay, ’tis not evil, but as strong an influence
To keep me from her and this holy life,
For it is love.                                                                 [Weeps.
     M.S. Love, my child, this life is built of love,
Is moulded on it. In your love for others
You do perfect your own. Hearken to yon sounds
Of Heaven’s praise. Turn your heart to Heaven,
And be my daughter.
     HEL. I know not what is best, your spirit calls me
One way to peace; my heart is torn the other.
O mother, pray for me!
          [Suddenly shots are fired outside, a war-whoop rises.
                    There is a terrible uproar, and the nuns all crowd forward in terror.
     All. The savages! the savages!
     M.S. Hush, my children, put your trust in God!
He will protect you. Do not shame our cloister
By these poor terrors. Back unto your prayers!
          [The firing rises louder, and war-whoops shrill and hideous are heard.                     The nuns huddle together and shriek.
     M.S. Where is Sister Marie?
     A Nun. Out! She went to see a dying woman.
     M.S. Not out in all this? Why did I not know?
We must, we must find her!
          [There is a knocking heard at the door, and a woodman and a priest                        come in, carrying the nun in a dying condition. [Page 171]

     M.S. O my child, my child, my noble child!
     MARIE. Yea, mother, poor Marie, going back to God!
(tries to smile) Moisten my lips, mother, it will all
Soon be over. They did not get him, though.
     Priest. It was a little lad, a poor wee lamb,
That she was bringing home, when they attacked her.
She fought for him; we came scarce in time
But to die with her, when the Sieur Daulac
Rescued us all, but not before this saint
Had got her death!
     HEL. (aside) Daulac!
     MARIE. Father! Mother! I die. O Christ, receive me!
          [Dies. The procession of nuns forms, headed by the stretcher with the                          body, and passes out into chapel chanting the Miserere.
     HEL. Daulac! out there! in all the danger!
     M.S. (coming back) My child, this rude interruption must not break
My pleading with you. Yon poor soul is in Heaven.
Yours is yet unsaved.                     [Chanting dies away.
     HEL. Mother, I cannot, cannot, cannot answer now [Page 172].

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT III. SCENE 3.

     PLACE—Interior of a drinking room in the same inn, Montreal. Several young men and an old man discovered drinking in somber silence.

Enter an Old Man who sits down at a table and calls for wine, rapping his stick on the table.

     Old Man. A stoup of wine, good wine, for I can pay for it. My son Jacques is a good son, none better, so I can pay for it.
          [A waiter brings in the wine; the other old man looks up with a                                         disconsolate sigh.
     Old Man. Well, good neighbor, why don’t you drink, man? Why so down? Hast the megrums, neighbor?
     2nd Old Man. Who can drink and be merry, with this cursed state o’ things? Grim murder fills the air. There is scarce a man of us but hath lost a son or a brother. Who can drink at such a time?
     Old Man. Tut, tut, man! life is life, an’ let death come as it will, let it find us merry. Drink, drink, I say! That’s my Jacques’ creed; live and let live, nohap who may die. So here, a drink all round.
     2nd Old Man. Nay, nay!
     Old Man. You will not, hey? Here, come, be merry! Here, let’s drink a health: let it be my son’s. A jollier lad and a better son ne’er was begotten. (all sit silent) Then you will not, cowards? Then I’ll drink it alone. Here’s to one who is no coward!
          [Rises with cup in his hand. Just then a bell tolls; he sits down suddenly.
     2nd Old Man. There goes another. Where will this end? Twenty bodies brought in yesterday; sixteen to-day. Where will this end [Page 173]?
     Old Man. Just so long as you are cowards. Yea, I will drink!
          [A man comes in suddenly and, seeing the old man, starts back, then                     whispers to a man near the door; a hurried whisper goes round the                     room. All gaze in horror at the 1st Old Man.
     A Young Man. They are bringing him here; for God’s sake get the old man out!
     Another. Can we not stop them?
     Another. ’Tis too late now, they are at the door.
     Old Man. Will you not drink, cowards?
     All. Nay, nay.
          [The door opens. Enter four men, carrying a stretcher, with the face                               covered.
     Old Man. (starts back) Ha, who is it?
I will drink; men must die. So here is Jacques’ health!
     All. Nay, nay.
     2nd Old Man. Nay, for Heaven’s sake, ay! For your own son?
     Old Man. My son? My—Jacques? You lie! Jacques, Jacques? (goes near corpse) Jacques?
     A Young Man. Nay, old man! nay, old man, I will.
                                                                   [Pulls off cloth.
     Old Man. Jacques! O my God!
                                        [Falls on the body in terrible grief.

Enter DAULAC and the Governor, followed by DESJARDINS.

     Governor. Another instance of this terrible condition.
     DAUL. (going forward) Good father, who is this?
     Old Man. My son, sir, my son! I did but drink his health, and now they say he’s dead! O God, dead! He who was so merry, sir, so merry, and so good to this poor, foolish old father! Jacques, speak, speak! ’tis your father! O God!
     DAUL. God father, he died a soldier’s death [Page 174].
     Old Man. Jacques a soldier! Nay, sir, Jacques was a woodman. I was a soldier, but he was brave, sir, Jacques!
     Governor. Some one take him home.
     Old Man. Nay, nay, I will stay with Jacques.
     DAUL. (aside) This breaks my heart.
(to Old Man) Good father, I did know your son; he was brave and noble, though scarce more than a boy. Such a one as I would choose for brother had I choice.
Old Man. nay, sir, you are a great lord, and poor Jacques but a woodman.
     DAUL. Nay, father, but a soldier like yourself,
And my sole lordship this god, faithful sword.
Could I have saved your son I would have done it,
But he is dead.
     Old Man. O sir, you are a good and noble man. Oh, do not mock me, say he is not dead.
     DAUL. (aside) This goes beyond the natural; my heart bleads.
(to the crowd of young men) Is there a man here who will follow me? I swear this must be ended though I die. Will no man follow me?
          [The young men one by one rise and crowd around him, drawing their                          swords.
     All. We will.
     DAUL. To death?
     All. To death!
     DAUL. Swear it!
          [Holds up cross of his sword; each man comes in turn and kneels before                     it, kissing the symbol.
     Governor. (aside to DESJARDINS) This man is mad! Sixteen men to go against eight hundred Iroquois. I’d have given him a good company had he but waited. If ever a man courted death this one does. He is mad!
     DES. No madder than you or I. But ’tis his bent,
And they his friends that let him follow it.
Perchance this man was born for this. Who knows [Page 175]?
See how they crowd around him, and how each
Did volunteer the moment he convinced them.
A natural general this, I warn you, Governor,
Don’t now disown him.
     Governor. But such an army! Were it not he loks
So noble, in his face such hero valor,
I’d laugh at the whole matter. Such an army!
A tanner, two shoemakers and a clerk;
Three squires fresh from the anvil, and the rest
Woodcutters, idlers, sans the thing they need,
A knowledge of warcraft. If their madness last,
They are all dead men.
     DES. What matter a thousand lives if you but save
The colony. If this man be mad,
’Tis not our matter.
     Governor. ’Tis gone beyond me now, but ’tis a pity,
He is so noble it doth seem like murder.
     DES. And if it be, what else is any war
But licensed murder? You will hang a man
For but one thousandth part of what a nation
Does in the name of glory.
     Governor. Well, well, I save my fort; but who are you?
     DES. Oh, me? oh, I’m—I’m just a notary.
     Governor. I will speak; this man is mad.
     DES. Nay, nay, not so, not so, ’tis you are mad.
     Governor. (to DAULAC) Are you mad, sir? These men are not soldiers.
     DAUL. Monsieur le Gouverneur,
It is not soldiers now New France doth need,
But men [Page 176]!

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT 1V. SCENE 1.

     PLACE—Near the Jesuits’ Church, Montreal.

     SCENE—The marriage market.

Enter a company of young men, followed by a company of old men who are                     lame, halt decrepit.

     Young Men (singing)

Good-bye to single life,
     Now longer we are free;
The King says we must marry,
     So married we must be.


     Old Men (singing)

Good-bye to single life,
     No longer we are free;
The King says we must marry,
     So married we must be.

     Young Men (in derision) Ha, ha, ha!
     Old Men (sourly) Ha, ha, ha!
     1st Young Man. Heaven help the women.
     1st Old Man. Mere boys, mere boys!
     Young Men. Ha, ha, ha!
     Young Men. (singing)


We who are young and careless
     Will sup with Mistress Sorrow;
Amid the cares of wedded life
     We’ll bid gay youth good morrow.
          Good-bye, gay youth,
          We’ll age in sooth
     Before a week to-morrow [Page 177].

     Old Men (in chorus) Mere boys!
                                                  [Old men now march past.
     Old Men. We who are young and careless, etc.
     Young Men. Ha, ha, ha!
     1st Old Man. Who ha, ha’s me? I’m of age!
     1st Young Man. Yea, you’ll qualify!
     1st Old Man. Am I not sound? Have I the rickets? The spavin? The rheumatics? Nay, who says I can’t marry?
     2nd Young Man. well done, young Lothario. How old are you, youngster?
     2nd Old Man. He is old enough to keep a wife, which same I much doubt thou art.
     2nd Young Man. Who consulted you, sprightly Winter?
     2nd Old Man. (in a rage) Winter! Winter! I’ll winter thee could I get at thee.
     3rd Young Man. Worry him not; he hath cut his wisdom teeth.
     2nd Young Man. Cut his wisdom teeth? They have cut him long ago and left him in the lurch.

Enter a short man with one arm and a wooden leg.

     Short Man. Is there a widow left, or are they all gone?
I want to get a widow.
     1st Old Man. Widows? Hem! too old, too old!
     Short Man. You believe that extremes should meet, hey?
But is there a widow? I must have a widow.
                                                                      [Hobbles out.
          [A bell rings. A young girl goes past with a pensive air. Two more go past                     with a self-conscious air and a toss of the head. A couple of fat                          widows now go past with a languishing look at the young men. Two                     sour old maids come next, with a look of scorn for the old men, who                     shout in derision.
     Old Maids. One leg in the grave, the old wretches [Page 178]!
     1st Old Man. You needn’t fear, ladies; your age protects you.
     Old Maids. Horrid!                                    [Exeunt both.
          [A bell rings. Exeunt young men and old men, all singing, “Good-bye to                     youth,” etc., etc., the most decrepit brining up the rear. Enter                               suddenly, running, a callow youth.
     Callow Youth. Are they all gone? all gone? Jean! Finette! Marie! Are they all gone? I’ve got the stove and a wash-tub, and I’ll soon be rich. Oh, they’ll all be gone, the girls, they’ll be all gone!                    [Runs out.

Enter PIOTR and PORNAC by different ways, both in a hurry. They run against each other; both fall.

     POR. Ha! ’tis thou, scum!
     PIO. Rat!
     POR. (rising) Don’t rat me!
     PIO. I’ll teach thee to scum me!
     POR. Yardstick! beanpole!
     PIO. Potbelly! Swine!
     Both. (edging off) Ha, ha!
     POR. (disdainfully) I would spare thy terrors, coward.
     PIO. (the same) I scorn to vantage by thy tremblings, craven.     
                                                       [Exeunt both in a hurry by different ways.
          [Rise inner curtain, men and women discovered ranged on separate                          sides of the room. A bell rings. Enter an official, who hammers with                     a baton on a table.
     Officer. I declare the market open.      [Reads from a list.
Number one: Jeanne Pierrtte, stand forward.
          [An old maid comes forward. Officer continues reading.
Jeanne Pierrotte, spinster, over forty.
     JEANNE. It’s a lie [Page 179]!
     Officer. But a fair housekeeper, though sharp-tempered.
     1st Old Man. Too old!
     Other Old Men. (in chorus) Too old, too old!
     Officer. This woman has a good dowry in gold.
     1st Old Man. Ha, ha! she is not so formidable.
Fair one, would you consider my youth and loveliness?
     Old Maid. Dotard, marry a scarecrow? Not me.
     1st Young Man. ’Tis a tidy sum. Sweet angel, would you consider?
     Old Maid. O sir, spare my blushes.
     1st Young Man. Don’t mention them. (aside) They’re spare enough. Is it a match?
     Old Maid. I’m yours.                     [Faints in his arms.
     1st Young Man. (supporting her out) Now for the dowry.
     Officer. (reading) Marie Denoit, widow, small dowry,
Fair looking, healthy.           [A fat widow stands forward.
     1st Old Man. Madam, can we do business?
     Fat Widow. Well, I should say not.
     1st Old Man. Madam, I have a friend here who will speak me better in your eyes.
     Fat Widow. What friend?
     1st Old Man. In this bag. (shakes bag, making gold clink) Hear him speak, madam!
     Fat Widow. It doth sound kindly. Is there much?
     1st Old Man. More than much. What is your mind?
     Fat Widow. I will consider.
     1st Old Man. Then you are won.
     Fat Widow. Have you had experience?
     1st Old Man. Much, madam, I have buried my fifth.
     Fat Widow. Then I will be your sixth!
                              [Exeunt both, Fat Widow, carrying bag. [Page 180]
     Officer. (rapping with baton) These be all the dowries. I now declare the marriage market open for general arrangement.
          [Men and women pair off in earnest consultation. The short man with a                     wooden leg limps by with a young girl.
     Short Man. I have a cow and a field of corn, and will soon be rich.
     Girl. But I would as life marry a deal table.
     Short Man. Consider now, I would make you happy.
     Girl. With that leg and that arm? Never!
          [Turns to leave him; he tries to kneel to her, but falls over and cannot get                     up. An old maid tries to help him, but he waves her off with strong                     objection. He escapes and leaves the old maid alone. Just then                          the callow youth rushes in.
     Callow Youth. Are they all gone, all gone? Are the girls all gone? (starts on seeing the old maid) Yea, I knew it, I knew it. [Turns to go out.
     Old Maid. Nay, there is one, there is one! Oh, leave me not!
     Callow Youth. Oh, thunders, no!
                                    [Rushes out followed by Old Maid.

Enter PIOTR and PORNAC by different doors. Enter the Mother Superior,                HELÈNE and FANCHON. PIOTR and PORNAC both start and fall on                their knees before FANCHON.

     Both. O Fanchon!
     FAN. I cannot marry you both.
     POR. Then choose.
     PIO. Yea, choose.
     FAN. Then I will have Pornac.
     POR. (squeezing her hand) Angel!
                                                    [Exit PORNAC and FANCHON. [Page 181]

     PIO. Well, I am a fool! ’Tis the devil’s wages.      [Exit.

Enter DAULAC and DESJARDINS by different doors.

     DAUL. Pornac, Pornac! (sees HELÈNE) O Helène!
     HEL. Daulac!
     DAUL. This is happiness!                [Kisses her hand.
     HEL. Daulac, could I tell you how I have wronged you!
     DAUL. And I have wronged myself by losing you! O Helène, I have loved you!
     HEL. Have loved me?
     DAUL. And do now, as merciful Heaven knows, Helène.
                                                            [Folds her in his arms.
     Mother Superior. Stay, stay, sir; this maiden is in my charge.
     DES. And you, sir, wed to glory!
     DAUL. But Heaven says nay, for love hath conquered both. Helène, my love, would you marry me had I but one hour to live?
     HEL. Daulac, I would rather die with you than live without you.
     DAUL. Then you are mind, and you shall be my wife.
By Heaven I swear it!
     DES. (aside) Fiends of hell, he shall not! He shall not, for I also swear it! [Page 182]

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT IV. SCENE 2.

Enter DESJARDINS with a letter in his hand.

     DES. I am still triumphant. Peal out, bells!
Blow, blatant music! I have that about me
Will spill this melody in the middle tune.

Enter HELÈNE, veiled, leaning on DAULAC’S arm.

     DAUL. Helène, my wife at last, sweet welcome home.
                                                                           [Kisses her.
     HEL. My husband!
     DES. (coming forward) Madam, I would congratulate you.
     HEL. Thank-you, Desjardins.
     DES. (to DAULAC) And you.
     DAUL. (takes DESJARDINS’ hand, still holding HELÈNE’S) Thank you, old                friend, this is true happiness:
The woman I love my bride; the life-long friend,
The man I honored, joining in my happiness.
My heart’s too full for utterance.
     HEL. Yea, thank you, Desjardins, this kind hour
Seems too much filled with blessing. I will go
And supplicate Heaven that its joy may last.
     DES. (detaining her) Yea, madam, happiness is all at most
Anticipation. Scarcely do we lift
The cup we dreamed of to our thirsting lips,
Than some cruel fate, with rude, arresting hand,
Doth dash it from us. Madam, you do well
To doubt its reality.
     HEL. Sir, you are pale. Daulac, my husband, I will go and pray.
          [Goes to a prie-dieu at one side and kneels with her back to them. [Page 183]
     DAUL. Desjardins, by your manner and your looks,
You bring some desperate business.
     DES. (giving him letter) Forgive my intruding on an hour like this,
This ravaging a bridegroom from his bride,
But the occasion urges. (aside) Now we’ll know
How he doth like the issue of his promise.
     DAUL. (opens letter and reads slowly in gradually growing horror and                          amazement) Great Heaven! from the Governor!
     DES. Yea, did you not expect it?
     DAUL. (reads) “The Iroquois are forming in large numbers on the Upper Ottawa. Your plan to proceed to Long Sault and stop their progress is now necessary, if to be attempted at all. The young men await you in the Church of the Jesuits, ready to take the oath you suggested and proceed at once to the Long Sault. If you now have any doubts as to the wisdom of your proceeding, I would advise you to await further developments, but there is no doubt that the Colony of New France was never in so great a danger.—Faithfully yours, Maisonneuve, Governer.”
My God! my God!
     DES. Then you repent your proposal?
     DAUL. O Desjardins, so soon, so soon!
     DES. Then you will not go?
     DAUL. Can you not feel for this, mine agony?
The woman I have loved so many years,
To have to leave her at the altar steps
To go to death.
     DES. How many have loved as truly all their lives
Never to get that far, and yet men say
There’s a God in Heaven.
     DAUL. O Desjardins, think me not a craven
If in this hour I’m but a suffering man,
Hounded by fate into so cruel a corner
That seems me man was never cornered so.
Look on her, Desjardins, kneeling like a spirit [Page 184]
New shrived for Heaven, praying that Heaven to keep
In hallowed bonds her golden happiness,
Breathing on innocent lips, whose every breath
Is but an incense of divinity,
Over and over the hallowed name of wife.
And all the while you stand like some grim fate
Urging on me to kill those very prayers
And, playing the robber, wreck that happiness.
     DES. Be careful, or she will hear you.
     DAUL. Hear? She cannot hear us. So hallowed is this love
In woman’s innocence on her wedding night,
That, believe me, Desjardins, she is deaf to earth;
She is so far away, her heart’s in heaven.
     DES. Yea, ’tis a veritable pity
To spoil so rare a picture, but meanwhile
The Governor waits. You are a soldier, sir.
There are two roads, they will not go together:
Glory or love, which will you choose to-night?
The occasion waits.
     DAUL. Then it shall wait no longer, I have chosen!
     DES. Ha! now which? Have I studied this man
Full half a lifetime to discover now
Some unseen flaw in all that open nature
That yet may defeat my hopings? Oh, this minute,
It seems the longest I have ever lived.
Speak, Daulac, speak and break my heart or lift me up to heaven.
     DAUL. Desjardins, have you loved me all these years
And not yet know me? Have we been such friends
That even a doubt in this supremest hour
Should pain you with a single shuddering fear
Lest I should wreck on such a shoal as this?
O Desjardins, Desjardins!
     DES. Then you choose glory?
     DAUL. Nay, I choose love.
     DES. Oh, I am mated by this paper man,
This poor stuffed idol, even my suspicions [Page 185],
Mine evil instincts that would dare impugn
The very angels of heaven, did not dream
This froth of honor would blwo on the wind,
This fountain of glory fall at the first spout!
O human wisdom, poor, weak, servile wit,
Not I discard you. I will go a fool!
I am checkmated (aside) by the very weakness
I thought to play on.
     DAUL. Desjardins, Desjardins, you have read me wrong!
     DES. Would to mischief I could read you right!
     DAUL. Upon this night, this holiest night on earth
To me that fate e’er brings to erring man,
Would you say “Glory”? what is glory, I say,
To him who loves? If you would have my answer,
(pointing to HELÈNE) There is my glory. All of earth’s wide dreams,
all majesties, all vistas of my youth,
are concentrated on her rose-red lips
when she speaks that word “husband”!
                                                       Nay, Desjardins,
The bitter struggle in my heart to-night
Is ’twixt love and love, the human love
That which doth bid me stay, the higher love
That would not let me make her soul a bait
To trap mine honor. The higher love doth conquer.
I have chosen. Give me but a moment
To bid farewell.
     DES. (aside) Then I have conquered!
     DAUL. Helène!
                      [She starts. He goes to her and raises her.
Helène, my love, I must leave you now.
     HEL. When? now? But you will come to me soon?
     DAUL. Yea, my love, forgive this parting now.
     HEL. Before you go, let me say that one word,
It is so sweet, you know, to woman’s heart,
“My husband!”
     DAUL. My wife, my wife! (kissing her)           [Exit. [Page 186]
     DES. I grieve to part you from so new a husband.
     HEL. (as if waking from a dream) Did you speak?
          [Suddenly she sees the letter which DAULAC has dropped.
That letter! what means it?
          [Goes to pick it up, but DESJARDINS intercepts her.
Sir, give me that letter.
     DES. I cannot, madam.
     HEL. Was it not to my husband?
     DES. It was, madam.
     HEL. Then I must see it. Am I not his wife?
     DES. He would not have you see it.
     HEL. Sir, you insult me with your reasons. They must be
Cruel ones would keep the knowledge of
Her husband’s absence from his new-wed wife.
Sir, I demand it, I must have that letter.
     DES. Madam, did it never strike your fears
That in your husband’s love you had a rival?
     HEL. Sir!
     DES. Nay, madam, you mistake; ’tis no woman.
     HEL. (stamping with her foot) What mean you,
You insult me with enigma.
     DES. I mean that Daulac, who loves you so well,
Loves glory more.
     HEL. Glory? What mean you? I scarce understand.
     DES. If you will come with me and trust my word,
I will show whereof I mean.
     HEL. Go with you, sire? Nay, I will not leave here
Till my husband comes.
     DES. Then you will have it, madam!      [Gives her the letter.
Read your letter.
     HEL. (reads the letter) O cruel Heaven! Daulac! Daulac!
                                                  [Falls fainting to the ground.
     DES. O God, I have killed her! I who love her so [Page 187]!
Helène! Helène! She moves not. Dare I kiss her?
Just one light kiss, I will but touch the dews
Or her sweet lips! Nay, nay, I dare not now.
He! he! Love her! He knows not of love!
Ha, she revives! Helène!
     HEL. Sir, did you speak? Where am I? Daulac! Oh!
(rises) Now I remember. Have I fainted? Nay,
you need not help me; I will go with you.
     DES. Are you recovered?
     HEL. I am a soldier’s daughter. It was a weakness,
A foolish weakness that doth shame us women.
Give me that letter. Thank you. We will go.
     DES. Are you prepared?
     HEL. Have I not said it?
                                       [Points to the door. Exeunt both.

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT IV. SCENE 3.

     PLACE—A gallery or alcove of the Jesuits’ church. The interior of the church is seen in the background.

     TIME—The same night.

Enter priests and acolytes. Music and changing is heard in the distance. Enter           DAULAC and the seventeen young men. They all kneel. The Priest                comes forward. Enter DESJARDINS AND HELÈNE in the shadow                     foreground. HELÈNE sees DAULAC kneeling.

     HEL. (starts) My husband!
     DES. Yea, madam, see his face; his features rapt
On deeds of glory, battle’s rugged perils [Page 188],
Have lost the lover-look that gazed in thine
But these short moments since. Gaze thou and see
How far away is Daulac’s heart from love.
So far is he, that yon sweet hour ago,
Yon lover-kiss still trembling on thy lips,
To him were never given.
     HEL. Nay, cruel man, see, even now he prays.
My name upon his lips looks up to God.
Let me go to him!
     DES. ’Twere sacrilege, the grossest sacrilege!
You would not stay him. Did he love you true,
He’d die before he’d ever use you thus.
     HEL. He loves me yet! O God! he loves me yet!
     DES. And yet upon his very wedding night,
Yea, from the shadow of the altar itself,
He’d go to this.
     HEL. I’ll not believe, though all the fiends of hell
Do jabber it in mine ears but Daulac loves me.
          [The Priest in the distance administers the oath to DAULAC.
Priest. My son, your heart is consecrate to god.
Sacred to this purpose, alienate,
By this dread oath from all that dwells in life,
From father, mother, brother, sister, wife.
     HEL. (starts forward with a cry) Daulac, O Daulac!
     DES. (pulling her back) Nay, madam, are you mad?
     HEL. I tell you, let me go! He is my husband!
          [DAULAC sinks once more in prayer. The Priest administers the oath to                the others in turn. Then the priests, soldiers all file out of the church.
     HEL. O God! O God!
     DES. Are you satisfied?
     HEL. He loves me still! I cannot but believe
You are some wizard, some horrible conjurer,
Who with an evil dream doth visit mine eyes [Page 189].
I’ll not believe upon my wedding night
That I’m forsaken. God would not permit.
     DES. By all that’s holy, all that’s pure and true,
That Daulac to whom a little hour ago
You promised wifehood is dead to earth and you.
Think not of him, O Helène; in this hour,
Hour of my triumph, turn your eyes on me,
I who have loved you, not as yonder shadow,
But as a man, a soul of flesh and blood,
Whose very fancies tingle at your name.
Who all these years has plotted, waited, schemed
To get you; would go to nether hell
And suffer all the agonies of the damned
To catch one little smile of kind regard,
One token of your love.
     HEL. Daulac! Heaven! I am going mad!

     DES. Nay, nay, repulse me not. O sweetest of women,
Give me but one small crumb of all you’ve wasted
On that cold statue. I will make you happy.
We will go back to France. Nay, say it not!
Don’t curse me, Helène!
     HEL. Back, insulter! Leave me, monster! Go!
     DES. Yea, name me monster, name me what you will.
Am I that monster? Why? Because I love
You womanly, sweet perfections, your true self.
Nay, rather, he who having gained such a prize,
And envied of earth and heaven, should so prove
Trebly a monster as to cast it off.
O Helène, Helène! Had it been my fate
Like yonder Daulac, to have won your heart,
Not all glory, all the honor prized,
Had come between us.
     HEL. Man, or rather devil, let me pass!
     DES. Madam, be I devil, or what you like,
I am not lightly scorned. Beware my hate.
Your noble Daulac is no longer yours
This very night, devoted to New France [Page 190],
The victim of his folly and my wiles,
He goes to death.
     HEL. O Heaven, Heaven, save him! Daulac!
                                                                 [Falls in dead faint.
     DES. So let her lie. Yon lovely drift of snow
That froze my hopes. Why did fate make it so,
That she, all Spring to Daulac, to me all Winter.
O angel perfections, hair and curved mouth,
Sweet eyes all hidden, splendid pulsing breast,
Be fate but kindly, I will melt you yet.
Meantime I take this memory of your splendors.
                              [Slips her wedding ring from off her finger.
Now I must go. I’ll haunt him till I know
That he is dead. I’ll brave the painted storm
To see him ended, he whom I do hate.                               [Exit.

Enter Mother Superior.

     HEL. (rises) Madam, where am I? Yea, now I remember.
It all comes back. Oh, tell me, tell me true,
Is this a dream, a hideous midnight dream?
Or is he dead to me?
     M.S. Yea, my child, Daulac is dead to thee.
     HEL. Dead? dead? to me? Then tell me, holy mother,
What god would have me do.
     M.S. Submit to Heaven, my child.
     HEL. Nay, he’s my husband still. I’ll go to him.

                                 Enter DAULAC.

Daulac!                                                  [Flies to his arms.
     DAUL. (kissing her brow) Then you know all?
     HEL. Yea, all.
     DAUL. My poor, poor love!
This life is not all harvest, some must lose
Where others garner. Had I stayed with you,
The agonies of butchered women and children [Page 191]
At night and morn had ever come between
Our holiest love. God asks this sacrifice,
That, loving you, my bride, my sweet Helène,
I go to death.
     HEL. Yea, Daulac, it is fated, but once more
Take me into your arms and kiss my lips,
And call me wife.
     DAUL. O my love, my wife!
     HEL. My husband, farewell!
     DAUL. We will meet in heaven!
     HEL. Soon. (exit DAULAC) O Daulac, Daulac!

Enter FANCHON.

     FAN. O my mistress!
     HEL. O Fanchon!
Did ever heaven ask so much of woman?
And, o my Fanchon, that horrible Desjardins,
He—he—made love to me!
     FAN. Oh, I have know him long; he is a devil
     HEL. I kept this fact from Daulac; I would never
In this dread hour prevent him in his duty,
But I’ve a duty I do owe to him.
     FAN. Yea, madam, to retire and pray for him.
     HEL. Nay, he shall have my prayers, yea, even now
With every breath goes up a call to Heaven.
But I’m a soldier’s daughter: where he dies,
I am his wife, I’m going to die with him [Page 192].

CURTAIN.
_____

ACT V. SCENE I.

     PLACE—The Long Sault, a sheltered spot near the fort.

     TIME—Night.

Enter HELÈNE and FANCHON.

     FAN. O madam, stay not in this terrible place.
Death creeps about us, looks us in the face.
Oh, stay not, this is death.
     HEL. Yea, all life, too; back, back, the way you came,
Or this same death you prate of in his net
Will mesh another victim!
     FAN. O noble lady, what is this poor longing,
This love of life and heat and moving sound,
That makes us cowards to the crowding dark?
I sorrow to leave you, yet I dread to die.
     HEL. Quick! Haste, or ’tis too late. Fear not for me!
Quick! Kiss me, Fanchon; now good-bye, good-bye!
     FAN. Forgive me, madam, that I love to live.
     HEL. Go! Go! May you be happy, happy as I.
     FAN. O madam!
     HEL. Farewell!
               [HELÈNE pushes her out; she goes out sobbing.
Oh, now I’ve reached my zenith as a plotter;
Could I but make a noise I’d like to sing,
Or lilt and dance around, like any child.
’Tis strange, with death about me like a wall,
there creeps across me this fantastic mood;
but I could laugh and sing and cry by turns,
For I am his, he cannot send me back.
Yea, I will die first. O you foolish world [Page 193]!
Little you know what woman will do for man;
’Tis said by shallow-pate philosophers
That there be nothing equals woman’s wit,
That renders woman so unconquerable.
’Tis something ’twixt her two breasts panted deep,
Pulsating her whole being, called the heart,
And be she guided thus, what menaces
The dreams of subtlest intellect crumbles down
To airy nothings at her constant will.
O stars! That rise and know me true to him,
Ere you do set, will see us die together!
          [Footsteps heard. She gazes swiftly about her and glides into a shadowy                     corner. An Indian war-cry is heard in the distance.

Enter DAULAC with cloak and sword.

     DAUL. Another dawn will usher our souls to Heaven.

Enter DESJARDINS disguised as a Huron Chief.

     DES. Ha, ha, ha!
     DAUL. Avaunt, Fiend!
     DES. (advancing into the light and opening his blanket)
          Know you me not?
     DAUL. ’Tis you Desjardins? Methought you were the Huron
In paint and feathers hidden from my ken,
But now you laughed as harshly as the fiend
When he mocks mortals ushered into hell.
     DES. ’Tis well said, ha, ha, ha!
     DAUL. What mean you? Why this coming in a mask,
When you, by joining in our open act,
Had shared our glory? I had not dreamed you martial,
But rather subtle, wise and full of cares,
A friend to moor to in the deeps of life;
But now I greet you sudden built about
With unsuspected virtues. Welcome, friend,
A soldier hand I give you in this breach [Page 194],
Where ere another sunrise we will sleep
To save our loved New France.
     DES. Nay, nay, not yet until you know the truth!
     DAUL. The truth?
     DES. I am no soldier full of oaths and follies,—
Glory I crave not, knowing its poor lease;
Country I own not save where I may thrive.
I’m not so drunk with patriotic dreams
To snuff my candle in such breach as this.
Nay, Daulac, you are wrong; on other matters,
’Twixt me and thee, I come to thee to-night.
     DAUL. What mean you, Desjardins? why this sinister mask?
     DES. Are you a dauntless spirit?
     DAUL. Whatever Daulac’s faults, and he hath many,
No mortal ever turned him where he faced!
     DES. Then know the truth: this is the true Desjardins;
The other was the mask.
     DAUL. The mask?
     DES. Yea, the mask. Thou need’st all thy bravery,
Whereof in pride thou boastest thyself possessed.
’Tis easy dreaming; full many hearts are brave
When glory and achievement lie ahead,
Like splendid hills, topped by more splendid sunset,
Making a crown of memory o’er their deeds,
Where immortality lights them to their rest.
But when in starless midnight, all unwitnessed,
The sharp encounter runs, with shaking shame,
And hideous Obloquy and dead men’s bones,
Then who is brave, who glory-hearted then,
When cruel death camps round the ebbing hours,
Bidding to silence?
Ha, ha, with thee it is another matter,
Yea, ’tis a sterner road to travel then.
     DAUL. I know not if thou art mine olden friend,
Who counseled me oft upon my youthful follies,
Or whether thou art some fiend, in my last hours [Page 195]
Sent hither in shape of him to shake my spirit;
But man or devil, I do say to thee,
Thou canst not daunt me.
     DES. Wait, wait, speak not so fast, my noble soldier;
Desjardins’ vengeance hath not burned in vain.
Wait, wait, thou gilded idol, blinded fook,
Till thou hast met the master of thy fate,
Then thou wilt tremble!
     DAUL. Desjardins, chance before the dawn I die,
But tell me that dread sin I sinned against you,
That makes you such a devil in this hour?
     DES. Ha, ha! ’twill take some time, but could I spread
This hour of agony over many years,
For bitter ages, I would die anew,
To see you suffer as you will to-night.
You think you are a hero, you who are
A poor tricked creature, taken in my cunning.
You ask how you have sinned. In your whole being!
You crossed my nature since your earliest years.
All that you had I lacked, I speak it plain,
And hated you with an instinctive hate.
You little knew the hell that walked your side,
The enemy that crept into your life,
That probed your very weakness, searched your follies,
Studied the deep recesses of your nature,
To take you in this final trap at last.
Had I not reason? What you had I envied,
The form, the spirit, the charm that dazzles men
And leadeth women as the magnetic needle
Is drawn to either pole. Had I not reason?
You had what my soul lacked!
     DAUL. Great God! Great God! Can such a nature be?
     DES. Great God? What hat a God to do with thee?
You cheat your spirit with a vain conceit
That Deity hath guided all these years
Your being to this one great act of glory,
This splendid deed of high heroic valor,
Wherein through death you hand your memory down [Page 196],
Immortal and resplendent to all days.
But know the truth: ’twas I, not He, who guided
Your poor fool-nature, blinded, to this pass,
Where men will laugh to scorn the self-built hero,
Taken at odds in his won childish dreams,
Aping in play the demi-gods of Greece,
Uselessly ending, in fountain spout of glory,
A self-marred life he did not dare to live.
     DAUL. There is a something in your very voice
That freezes my being. Now thousand thirsting tongues
Of angry, eager steel poised at my heart
To drink its fountains had power to wake the dread
My spirit feels to know that all these years
Your soul has been so near me. Of a truth,
We live next door to beings all our days,
Quaff social beakers at the self-same inn,
Tread the same streets with similar joys and cares,
Share the same roof, yea, even board and bed,
From eager youth to pining, palsied age,
To part as strangers at the very end.
Yea, sooth, it is indeed a wondrous world.
But to be shown long after many years,
The path you treaded nightly cunningly hid
A precipice to gulf you at the end,
Is not a thousandth part so dire and dread
As this unmasking of a hidden hate.
God knows I am a poor slow-minded man,
Following one impulse all my days:
If I have had the folly to dream of fame
Beyond my merit, Heaven hath rebuked me daily.
I know not of your subtle sophistries
That seek below the surface to confound
The simple-minded, who have only duty
To light them on to what is best in living;
I may not ken your wisdom, mayhap I am
O’er-blinded by my passions to achieve,
Treading the path of those who went before;
But I know this—that in my poorer insight
The simple following of those noble voices [Page 197]
Who point in lofty dreams to aid our fellows,
Is greater far than all the deep intrigue
Builded of all the sophistries of hell.
I am a simple soldier without wisdom,
Save that which serves for valor; without knowledge,
Save what a man should know; but I am certain
What I have done is right in eye of God,
And my best instincts: —though I die to-night,
This sleeping world, this mighty-brooding mystery,
That dreams in awe of its own majesty;
Those wondrous rolling orbs that light each other
Along the endless ways of outer space;
All tell me I am right and whisper comfort.
     DES. Ha, ha! this demi-god, he is above me,
Out of my reach, my envy cannot touch him.
Wait, wait, till I do tumble his soul to earth!
(to DAULAC) Wait, wait, my Daulac, how about my Helène?
     DAUL. She is an angel, far beyond your hate,
Or my poor love.
     DES. Beyond your love, perchance, but not my hate.
Have you never in your innocence dreamed
The one supremest reason why I hate you
Is that I love Helène?
     DAUL. You—love—Helène?
     DES. And why not? May the moth not love the star?
The bat bathe in the moonlight with the eagle?
Yea, I have loved her, secret, all these years.
’Twas I who separated you in France,
Drove you out here, trapped you into this corner;
And now I tell you, petted fool of Heaven,
I am your master, I will wed her yet.
     DAUL. O God in heaven, tell me is it true
That yonder devil is not flesh and blood,
But some grim phantom?

     DES. Yea, more; to teach you what a patch your honor,
When ’tis too late to mend it; would you know it,
She’s not all yours [Page 198]!
     DAUL. Devil, your life shall answer, pollute not
That angel memory by such hellish slander.
Though I be sworn to Heaven a million times,
I am yet a man!                                         [Draws sword.
     DES. Ha, ha, ha, ha! I fear you not!
You are too great a soul to trample a gnat
That stings like me; know you your marriage ring?
                                                                [Holds the ring up.
     DAUL. Great God! It is! It is her wedding ring!
What mist is this that creeps before my spirit?
Nay! Nay! I am forsworn! By earth and Heaven,
She is as pure as that same Heaven itself, —
And you a liar!
     DES. (starting back) I am a liar, aye. Ha, ha; ha, ha!
What proof have you that I am what you say?
Yea, die in doubt. Here is your wedding ring.
You trusted Heaven! Where is your wife to say
I am a liar?
                              [HELÈNE comes out and confronts him.
     HEL. That Heaven you slander takes you at your word,
And I am here.
     DES. Great God! Curses! Curses! I am beaten,
Yea, beaten, beaten, at the very last, and by the woman!
     DAUL. Helène!
     HEL. (rushing into his arms) Yea, Daulac, Helène, come to die with you.
     DAUL. My love! My angel love!
                                   [A gun is fired. HELÈNE screams.
     HEL. Daulac, I die! I die!
     DAUL. (supporting her to a heap of fir) O God! she is shot!
     HEL. Kiss me, my love, I could not live without you.
     DAUL. O Helène! Tell me that you do not suffer.
     HEL. Nay, Daulac, I die happy in your arms.      [Dies. [Page 199]
     DAUL. (laying her gently down) Dead! Oh, dead!
O universe of love so soon extinguished!
(turning to DESJARDINS and drawing his sword) Now, Devil, to settle with you.
     DES. Yea, yea; this is the work I’d fain be at.
(draws) Now, vengeance, vengeance, match with Daulac’s fate!
     DAUL. Desjardins, though it be my latest hour on earth,
I could not die till I had finished you!
          [They fight long and hard. DESJARDINS wounds DAULAC.
     DES. Ha, ha! mine, mine!
     DAUL. No, by the stars of heaven, no! Take that—aye, that!
          [Runs DESJARDINS through. DESJARDINS falls and lies on ground,                          gasping. He tries to get up, then crawls toward HELÈNE’S body.
     DES. Yea, mine! Yea, mine! in death! in death!
     DAUL. Back, back!                                         [Prevents him.
     DES. Curse you! curse you!                                       [Dies.
          [A loud war-whoop rises, and Indians with raised hatchets rush in from all                     sides. DAULAC lifts HELÈNE’S body and, placing his foot against                     DESJARDINS’ body, turns, takes sword in hand and confronts                          them. They all start back in tableau.
     DAUL. O loved New France, my own beloved New France,
I die, I die for thee!

CURTAIN.