PAMELA GIRAUD

A PLAY IN FIVE ACTS



by Honore de Balzac



Presented for the First Time at Paris at the
Theatre de la Gaite, September 26, 1843






PERSONS OF THE PLAY
PAMELA GIRAUD


ACT I
ACT II
ACT III
ACT IV
ACT V






PERSONS OF THE PLAY

     General de Verby
     Dupre, a lawyer
     Rousseau, a wealthy merchant
     Jules Rousseau, his son
     Joseph Binet
     Giraud, a porter
     Chief of Special Police
     Antoine, servant to the Rousseaus

     Pamela Giraud
     Madame du Brocard, a widow; aunt of Jules Rousseau
     Madame Rousseau
     Madame Giraud
     Justine, chambermaid to Madame Rousseau

     Sheriff
     Magistrate
     Police Officers
     Gendarmes

SCENE: Paris

TIME: During the Napoleonic plots under Louis XVIII. (1815-1824)










PAMELA GIRAUD





ACT I

                              SCENE FIRST

  (Setting is an attic and workshop of an artificial flower-maker. It is
  poorly lighted by means of a candle placed on the work-table. The
  ceiling slopes abruptly at the back allowing space to conceal a man.
  On the right is a door, on the left a fireplace. Pamela is discovered
  at work, and Joseph Binet is seated near her.)

  Pamela, Joseph Binet and later Jules Rousseau.

  Pamela
  Monsieur Joseph Binet!

  Joseph
  Mademoiselle Pamela Giraud!

  Pamela
  I plainly see that you wish me to hate you.

  Joseph
  The idea! What? And this is the beginning of our love—Hate me!

  Pamela
  Oh, come! Let us talk sensibly.

  Joseph
  You do not wish, then, that I should express how much I love you?

  Pamela
  Ah! I may as well tell you plainly, since you compel me to do so, that
  I do not wish to become the wife of an upholsterer's apprentice.

  Joseph
  Is it necessary to become an emperor, or something like that, in order
  to marry a flower-maker?

  Pamela
  No. But it is necessary to be loved, and I don't love you in any way
  whatever.

  Joseph
  In any way! I thought there was only one way of loving.

  Pamela
  So there is, but there are many ways of not loving. You can be my
  friend, without my loving you.

  Joseph
  Oh!

  Pamela
  I can look upon you with indifference—

  Joseph
  Ah!

  Pamela
  You can be odious to me! And at this moment you weary me, which is
  worse!

  Joseph
  I weary her! I who would cut myself into fine pieces to do all that
  she wishes!

  Pamela
  If you would do what I wish, you would not remain here.

  Joseph
  And if I go away—Will you love me a little?

  Pamela
  Yes, for the only time I like you is when you are away!

  Joseph
  And if I never came back?

  Pamela
  I should be delighted.

  Joseph
  Zounds! Why should I, senior apprentice with M. Morel, instead of
  aiming at setting up business for myself, fall in love with this young
  lady? It is folly! It certainly hinders me in my career; and yet I
  dream of her—I am infatuated with her. Suppose my uncle knew it!—But
  she is not the only woman in Paris, and, after all, Mlle. Pamela
  Giraud, who are you that you should be so high and mighty?

  Pamela
  I am the daughter of a poor ruined tailor, now become a porter. I gain
  my own living—if working night and day can be called living—and it
  is with difficulty that I snatch a little holiday to gather lilacs in
  the Pres-Saint-Gervais; and I certainly recognize that the senior
  apprentice of M. Morel is altogether too good for me. I do not wish to
  enter a family which believes that it would thus form a mesalliance.
  The Binets indeed!

  Joseph
  But what has happened to you in the last eight or ten days, my dear
  little pet of a Pamela? Up to ten days ago I used to come and cut out
  your flowers for you, I used to make the stalks for the roses, and the
  hearts for the violets; we used to talk together, we sometimes used to
  go to the play, and have a good cry there—and I was "good Joseph,"
  "my little Joseph"—a Joseph in fact of the right stuff to make your
  husband. All of a sudden—Pshaw! I became of no account.

  Pamela
  Now you must really go away. Here you are neither in the street, nor
  in your own house.

  Joseph
  Very well, I'll be off, mademoiselle—yes, I'll go away! I'll have a
  talk in the porter's lodge with your mother; she does not ask anything
  better than my entrance into the family, not she; she won't change her
  mind!

  Pamela
  All right! Instead of entering her family, enter her lodge, the
  porter's lodge, M. Joseph! Go and talk with my mother, go on!— (Exit
  Joseph.) Perhaps he'll keep their attention so that M. Adolph can get
  up stairs without being seen. Adolph Durand! What a pretty name! There
  is half a romance in it! And what a handsome young man! For the last
  fifteen days he has absolutely persecuted me. I knew that I was rather
  pretty; but I never believed I was all he called me. He must be an
  artist, or a government official! Whatever he is, I can't help liking
  him; he is so aristocratic! But what if his appearance were deceitful,
  and there were anything wrong about him!—For the letter which he has
  just sent me has an air of mystery about it— (She draws a letter from
  her bosom and reads it) "Expect me this evening. I wish to see you
  alone, and, if possible, to enter unnoticed by any one; my life is in
  danger, and oh! if you only knew what a terrible misfortune threatens
  me! Adolph Durand." He writes in pencil. His life is in danger—Ah!
  How anxious I feel!

  Joseph (returning)
  Just as I was going down stairs, I said to myself: "Why should Pamela"

  (Jules' head appears at the window.)

  Pamela
  Ah!

  Joseph
  What's the matter?

  (Jules disappears.)

  Pamela
  I thought I saw—I mean—I thought I heard a sound overhead. Just go
  into the garret. Some one perhaps has hidden there. You are not
  afraid, are you?

  Joseph
  No.

  Pamela
  Very well! Go up and search! Otherwise I shall be frightened for the
  whole night.

  Joseph
  I will go at once. I will climb over the roof if you like.

  (He passes through a narrow door that leads to the garret.)

  Pamela (follows him)
  Be quick! (Jules enters.) Ah! sir, what trouble you are giving me!

  Jules
  It is to save my life, and perhaps you will never regret it. You know
  how much I love you!

  (He kisses her hand.)

  Pamela
  I know that you have told me so; but you treat me—

  Jules
  As my deliverer.

  Pamela
  You wrote to me—and your letter has filled me with trouble—I know
  neither who you are—

  Joseph (from the outer room)
  Mademoiselle, I am in the garret. I have looked over the whole roof.

  Jules
  He is coming back—Where can I hide?

  Pamela
  But you must not stay here!

  Jules
  You wish to ruin me, Pamela!

  Pamela
  Look, hide yourself there!

  (She points to the cranny under the sloping roof.)

  Joseph (returning)
  Are you alone, mademoiselle?

  Pamela
  No; for are not you here?

  Joseph
  I heard something like the voice of a man. The voice came from below.

  Pamela
  Nonsense, more likely it came from above—Look down the staircase—

  Joseph
  Oh! But I am sure—

  Pamela
  Nonsense. Leave me, sir; I wish to be alone.

  Joseph
  Alone, with a man's voice?

  Pamela
  I suppose you don't believe me?

  Joseph
  But I heard it plain enough.

  Pamela
  You heard nothing.

  Joseph
  Ah! Pamela!

  Pamela
  If you prefer to believe the sounds which you say reached your ears,
  rather than the words I speak, you would make a very bad husband. That
  is quite sufficient for me.

  Joseph
  That doesn't prove that I did not hear—

  Pamela
  Since I can't convince you, you can believe what you like. Yes! you
  did hear a voice, the voice of a young man, who is in love with me,
  and who does whatever I wish—He disappears when he is asked, and
  comes when he is wanted. And now what are you waiting for? Do you
  think that while he is here, your presence can be anything but
  disagreeable to us? Go and ask my father and mother what his name is.
  He must have told them when he came up stairs—he, and the voice you
  heard.

  Joseph
  Mlle. Pamela, forgive a poor youth who is mad with love. It is not
  only my heart that I have lost, but my head also, when I think of you.
  I know that you are just as good as you are beautiful, I know that you
  have in your soul more treasures of sweetness than you ever show, and
  so I know that you are right, and were I to hear ten voices, were I to
  see ten men here, I would care nothing about it. But one—

  Pamela
  Well, what of it?

  Joseph
  A single one—that is what wounds me. But I must be off; it seems
  funny that I should have said all that to you. I know quite well that
  there is no one here but you. Till we meet again, Mlle. Pamela; I am
  going—I trust you.

  Pamela (aside)
  He evidently does not feel quite sure.

  Joseph (aside)
  There is some one here! I will run down and tell the whole matter to
  her father and mother. (Aloud) Adieu, Mlle. Pamela. (Exit.)

                               SCENE SECOND

  Pamela and Jules.

  Pamela
  M. Adolph, you see to what you are exposing me. That poor lad is a
  workman, a most kind-hearted fellow; he has an uncle rich enough to
  set him up in business; he wishes to marry me, and in one moment I
  have lost my prospects—and for whom? I do not know you, and from the
  manner in which you imperil the reputation of a young girl who has no
  capital but her good behavior, I conclude that you think you have the
  right to do so. You are rich and you make sport of poor people!

  Jules
  No, my dear Pamela. I know who you are, and I take you at your true
  value. I love you, I am rich, and we will never leave one another. My
  traveling carriage is with a friend, at the gate of St. Denis; we will
  proceed on foot to catch it; I intend embarking for England. You must
  come with me. I cannot explain my intentions now, for the least delay
  may prove fatal to me.

  Pamela
  What do you mean?

  Jules
  You shall see—

  Pamela
  Are you in your right senses, M. Adolph? After having followed me
  about for a month, seen me twice at a dance, written me several
  declarations, such as young men of your sort write to any and every
  woman, you point-blank propose an elopement!

  Jules
  Oh, I beg of you, don't delay an instant! You'll repent of this for
  the rest of your life, and you will see too late what mischief you
  have done.

  Pamela
  But, my dear sir, you can perhaps explain yourself in a couple of
  words.

  Jules
  No,—for the secret is a matter of life and death to several persons.

  Pamela
  If it were only to save your life, whoever you are, I would do a good
  deal; but what assistance could I be to you in your flight! Why do you
  want to take me to England?

  Jules
  What a child you are! No one, of course, would suspect anything of two
  runaway lovers! And, let me tell you, I love you well enough to
  disregard everything else, and even to brave the anger of my parents—
  Once we are married at Gretna Green—

  Pamela
  Oh, mon Dieu! I am quite non-plussed! Here's a handsome young man
  urges you—implores you—and talks of marriage—

  Jules
  They are mounting the staircase—I am lost!—You have betrayed me!—

  Pamela
  M. Adolph, you alarm me! What is going to happen? Wait a moment, I
  will go and see.

  Jules
  In any case, take and keep this twenty thousand francs. It will be
  safer with you than in the hands of the police—I have only half an
  hour longer and all will be over.

  Pamela
  There is nothing to fear—It is only my father and mother.

  Jules
  You have the kindness of an angel. I trust my fate with you. But you
  must know that both of us must leave this house at once; and I swear
  on my honor, that nothing but good shall result to you.

  (He hides again under the roof.)

                               SCENE THIRD

  Pamela, M. Giraud and Mme. Giraud.

  Pamela (who stands in such a way as to prevent her parents from
  entering fully into the room; aside)
  Evidently here is a man in danger—and a man who loves me—two reasons
  why I should be interested in him.

  Mme. Giraud
  How is this, Pamela—you the solace of all our misfortunes, the prop
  of our old age, our only hope!

  Giraud
  A girl brought up on the strictest principles.

  Mme. Giraud
  Keep quiet, Giraud! You don't know what you are talking about.

  Giraud
  Certainly, Madame Giraud.

  Mme. Giraud
  And besides all this, Pamela, your example was cited in all the
  neighborhood as a girl who'd be useful to your parents in their
  declining years!

  Giraud
  And worthy to receive the prize of virtue!

  Pamela
  Then what is the meaning of all these reproaches?

  Mme. Giraud
  Joseph has just told us that you had a man hidden in your room.

  Giraud
  Yes—he heard the voice.

  Mme. Giraud
  Silence, Giraud!—Pamela—pay no attention to your father—

  Pamela
  And do you, mother, pay no attention to Joseph.

  Giraud
  What did I tell you on the stairs, Madame Giraud? Pamela knows how we
  count upon her. She wishes to make a good match as much on our account
  as on her own; her heart bleeds to see us porters, us, the authors of
  her life! She is too sensible to blunder in this matter. Is it not so,
  my child, you would not deceive your father?

  Mme. Giraud
  There is nobody here, is there, my love? For a young working-girl to
  have any one in her room, at ten o'clock at night—well—she runs a
  risk of losing—

  Pamela
  But it seems to me that if I had any one you would have seen him on
  his way up.

  Giraud
  She is right.

  Mme. Giraud
  She does not answer straight out. Please open the door of this room.

  Pamela
  Mother, stop! Do not come in here,—you shall not come in here!—
  Listen to me; as I love you, mother, and you, father, I have nothing
  to reproach myself with!—and I swear to it before God!—Do not in a
  moment withdraw from your daughter the confidence which you have had
  in her for so long a time.

  Mme. Giraud
  But why not tell us?

  Pamela (aside)
  Impossible! If they were to see this young man every one would soon
  know all about it.

  Giraud (interrupting her)
  We are your father and mother, and we must see!

  Pamela
  For the first time in my life, I refuse to obey you!—But you force me
  to it!—These lodgings are rented by me from the earnings of my work!
  I am of age and mistress of my own actions.

  Mme. Giraud
  Oh, Pamela! Can this be you, on whom we have placed all our hopes?

  Giraud
  You will ruin yourself!—and I shall remain a porter to the end of my
  days.

  Pamela
  You needn't be afraid of that! Well—I admit that there is some one
  here; but silence! You must go down stairs again to your lodge. You
  must tell Joseph that he does not know what he is talking about, that
  you have searched everywhere, that there is no one in my lodging; you
  must send him away—then you shall see this young man; you shall learn
  what I purpose doing. But you must keep everything the most profound
  secret.

  Giraud
  Unhappy girl! What do you take us for? (He sees the banknotes on the
  table.) Ah! what is this? Banknotes!

  Mme. Giraud
  Banknotes! (She recoils from Pamela.) Pamela, where did you get them?

  Pamela
  I will tell you when I write.

  Giraud
  When you write! She must be going to elope!

                               SCENE FOURTH

  The same persons, and Joseph Binet.

  Joseph (entering)
  I was quite sure that there was something wrong about him!—He is a
  ringleader of thieves! The gendarmes, the magistrate, all the
  excitement she showed mean something—and now the house is surrounded!

  Jules (appearing)
  I am lost!

  Pamela
  I have done all that I could!

  Giraud
  And you, sir, who are you?

  Joseph
  Are you a—?

  Mme. Giraud
  Speak!

  Jules
  But for this idiot, I would have escaped! You will now have the ruin
  of an innocent man on your consciences.

  Pamela
  M. Adolph, are you innocent?

  Jules
  I am!

  Pamela
  What shall we do? (Pointing to the dormer window.)  You can elude
  their pursuit that way out.

  (She opens the dormer window and finds the police agents on the roof
  outside.)

  Jules
  It is too late. All you can do is to confirm my statement. You must
  declare that I am your daughter's lover; that I have asked you to give
  her in marriage to me; that I am of age; that my name is Adolph
  Durand, son of a rich business man of Marseilles.

  Giraud
  He offers her lawful love and wealth!—Young man, I willingly take you
  under my protection.

                               SCENE FIFTH

  The same persons, a sheriff, a police officer and gendarmes.

  Giraud
  Sir, what right have you to enter an occupied dwelling—the domicile
  of a peaceable young girl?

  Joseph
  Yes, what right have you—?

  The sheriff
  Young man, don't you worry about our right!—A few moments ago you
  were very friendly and slowed us where the unknown might be found, but
  now you have suddenly changed your tune.

  Pamela
  Bit what are you looking for? What do you want?

  The sheriff
  You seem to be well aware that we are looking for somebody.

  Giraud
  Sir, my daughter has no one with her but her future husband, M.—

  The sheriff
  Rousseau.

  Pamela
  M. Adolph Durand.

  Giraud
  Rousseau I don't know.—The gentleman I refer to is M. Adolph Durand.

  Mme. Giraud
  Son of a respectable merchant of Marseilles.

  Joseph
  Ah! you have been deceiving me! Ah!—That is the secret of your
  coldness, and he is—

  The sheriff (to the officer of the police)
  This does not seem to be the man?

  The officer
  Oh, yes, I am sure of it! (to the gendarmes) Carry out my orders.

  Jules
  Monsieur, I am the victim of some mistake; my name is not Jules
  Rousseau.

  The officer
  Oh! but you know his first name, which none of us has as yet
  mentioned.

  Jules
  But I heard some one say it. Here are my papers, which are perfectly
  correct.

  The sheriff
  Let me see them, please.

  Giraud
  Gentlemen, I assure you and declare to you—

  The officer
  If you go on in this way, and wish to make us believe that this
  gentleman is Adolph Durand, son of a merchant of—

  Mme. Giraud
  Of Marseilles—

  The officer
  You may all be arrested as his accomplices, locked up in jail this
  evening, and implicated in an affair from which you will not easily
  get off. Have you any regard for the safety of your neck?

  Giraud
  A great deal!

  The officer
  Very well! Hold your tongue, then.

  Mme. Giraud
  Do hold your tongue, Giraud!

  Pamela
  Merciful heaven! Why did I not believe him at once!

  The sheriff (to his agents)
  Search the gentleman!

  (The agent takes out Jules' pocket handkerchief.)

  The officer
  It is marked with a J and an R. My dear sir, you are not very clever!

  Joseph
  What can he have done? Have you anything to do with it, mademoiselle?

  Pamela
  You are the sole cause of the trouble. Never speak to me again!

  The officer
  Monsieur, here we have the check for your dinner—you dined at the
  Palais Royal. While you were there you wrote a letter in pencil. One
  of your friends brought the letter here. His name was M. Adolph
  Durand, and he lent you his passport. We are certain of your identity;
  you are M. Jules Rousseau.

  Joseph
  The son of the rich M. Rousseau, whose house we are furnishing?

  The sheriff
  Hold your tongue!

  The officer
  You must come with us.

  Jules
  Certainly, monsieur. (To Giraud and his wife) Forgive the annoyance I
  have caused you—and you, Pamela, do not forget me! If you do not see
  me again, you may keep what I gave into your hands, and may it bring
  you happiness!

  Giraud
  O Lord!

  Pamela
  Poor Adolph!

  The sheriff (to his agents)
  Remain here. We are going to search this attic, and question every one
  of these people.

  Joseph (with a gesture of horror)
  Ah!—she prefers a criminal to me!

  (Jules is put in charge of the agents.)

  Curtain to the First Act.





ACT II

                               SCENE FIRST

  (The setting is a drawing-room in the Rousseau mansion. Antoine is
  looking through the newspapers.)

  Antoine and Justine.

  Justine
  Well, Antoine, have you read the papers?

  Antoine
  I am reading them. Isn't it a pity that we servants cannot learn,
  excepting through the papers, what is going on in the trial of M.
  Jules?

  Justine
  And yet the master and mistress and Mme. du Brocard, their sister,
  know nothing. M. Jules has been for three months—in—what do they
  call it?—in close confinement.

  Antoine
  The arrest of the young man has evidently attracted great attention—

  Justine
  It seems absurd to think that a young man who had nothing to do but
  amuse himself, who would some day inherit his aunt's income of twenty
  thousand francs, and his father's and mother's fortune, which is quite
  double that amount, should be mixed up in a conspiracy!

  Antoine
  I admire him for it, for they were plotting to bring back the emperor!
  You may cause my throat to be cut if you like. We are alone here—you
  don't belong to the police; long live the emperor! say I.

  Justine
  For mercy's sake, hold your tongue, you old fool!—If any one heard
  you, you would get us all arrested.

  Antoine
  I am not afraid of that, thank God! The answers I made to the
  magistrate were non-committal; I never compromised M. Jules, like the
  traitors who informed against him.

  Justine
  Mme. du Brocard with all her immense savings ought to be able to buy
  him off.

  Antoine
  Oh, nonsense! Since the escape of Lavalette such a thing is
  impossible! They have become extremely particular at the gates of the
  prison, and they were never particularly accommodating. M. Jules will
  have to take his dose you see; he will be a martyr. I shall go and see
  him executed.

  (Some one rings. Exit Antoine.)

  Justine
  We will go and see him! When one has known a condemned man I don't see
  how they can have the heart to—As for me I shall go to the Court of
  Assizes. I feel, poor boy, I owe him that!

                               SCENE SECOND

  Dupre, Antoine and Justine.

  Antoine (aside, as he ushers in Dupre)
  Ah! The lawyer. (Aloud) Justine, go and tell madame that Monsieur
  Dupre is waiting. (Aside) The lawyer is a hard nut to crack, I'm
  thinking. (Aloud) Sir, is there any hope of saving our poor M. Jules?

  Dupre
  I perceive that you are very fond of your young master?

  Antoine
  Naturally enough!

  Dupre
  What would you do to save him?

  Antoine
  Anything, sir!

  Dupre
  That means nothing.

  Antoine
  Nothing?—I will give whatever evidence you like.

  Dupre
  If you are caught in contradicting yourself and convicted of perjury,
  do you know what you run the risk of?

  Antoine
  No, sir.

  Dupre
  The galleys.

  Antoine
  That is rather severe, sir.

  Dupre
  You would prefer to serve him without compromising yourself?

  Antoine
  Is there any other way?

  Dupre
  No.

  Antoine
  Well! I'll run the risk of the galleys.

  Dupre (aside)
  What devotion is here!

  Antoine
  My master would be sure to settle a pension on me.

  Justine
  Here is madame.

                               SCENE THIRD

  The same persons and Madame Rousseau.

  Mme. Rousseau (to Dupre)
  Ah! Monsieur, we have been impatiently expecting this visit. (To
  Antoine) Antoine! Quick, inform my husband. (To Dupre) Sir, I trust in
  your efforts, alone.

  Dupre
  You may be sure, madame, that I shall employ every energy—

  Mme. Rousseau
  Oh! Thank you! But of course Jules is not guilty. To think of him as a
  conspirator! Poor child, how could any one suspect him, who trembles
  before me at the slightest reproach—me, his mother! Ah, monsieur,
  promise that you will restore him to me!

  Rousseau (entering the room)
  (To Antoine) Yes, carry the letter to General de Verby. I shall wait
  for him here. (To Dupre) I am glad to see you, my dear M. Dupre—

  Dupre
  The battle will doubtless begin to-morrow; to-day preparations are
  being made, and the indictment drawn.

  Rousseau
  Has my poor Jules made any admissions?

  Dupre
  He has denied everything, and has played to perfection the part of an
  innocent man; but we are not able to oppose any testimony to that
  which is being brought against him.

  Rousseau
  Ah! Monsieur, save my son, and the half of my fortune shall be yours!

  Dupre
  If I had every half of a fortune that has been promised to me, I
  should be too rich for anything.

  Rousseau
  Do you question the extent of my gratitude?

  Dupre
  We will wait till the result of the trial is known, sir.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Take pity on a poor mother!

  Dupre
  Madame, I swear to you nothing so much excites my curiosity and my
  sympathy, as a genuine sentiment. And at Paris sincerity is so rare
  that I cannot be indifferent to the grief of a family threatened with
  the loss of an only son. You may therefore rely upon me.

  Rousseau
  Ah! Monsieur!

                               SCENE FOURTH

  The same persons, General de Verby and Madame du Brocard.

  Mme. du Brocard (showing in De Verby)
  Come in, my dear general.

  De Verby (bowing to Rousseau)
  Monsieur—I simply came to learn—

  Rousseau (presenting Dupre to De Verby)
  General, M. Dupre.

  (Dupre and De Verby exchange bows.)

  Dupre (aside, while De Verby talks with Rousseau)
  He is general of the antechamber, holding the place merely through the
  influence of his brother, the lord chamberlain; he doesn't seem to me
  to have come here without some object.

  De Verby (to Dupre)
  I understand, sir, that you are engaged for the defence of M. Jules
  Rousseau in this deplorable affair—

  Dupre
  Yes, sir, it is a deplorable affair, for the real culprits are not in
  prison; thus it is that justice rages fiercely against the rank and
  file, but the chiefs are always passed by. You are General Vicomte de
  Verby, I presume?

  De Verby
  Simple General Verby—I do not take the title—my opinions of course.
  —Doubtless you are acquainted with the evidence in this case?

  Dupre
  I have been in communication with the accused only for the last three
  days.

  De Verby
  And what do you think of the affair?

  All
  Yes, tell us.

  Dupre
  According to my experience of the law courts, I believe it possible to
  obtain important revelations by offering commutation of sentence to
  the condemned.

  De Verby
  The accused are all men of honor.

  Rousseau
  But—

  Dupre
  Characters sometime change at the prospect of the scaffold, especially
  when there is much at stake.

  De Verby (aside)
  A conspiracy ought not to be entered upon excepting with penniless
  accomplices.

  Dupre
  I shall induce my client to tell everything.

  Rousseau
  Of course.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Certainly.

  Mme. Rousseau
  He ought to do so.

  De Verby (anxiously)
  I presume there is no other way of escape for him?

  Dupre
  None whatever; it can be proved that he was of the number of those who
  had begun to put in execution the plot.

  De Verby
  I would rather lose my head than my honor.

  Dupre
  I should consider which of the two was worth more.

  De Verby
  You have your views in the matter.

  Rousseau
  Those are mine.

  Dupre
  And they are the opinions of the majority. I have seen many things
  done by men to escape the scaffold. There are people who push others
  to the front, who risk nothing, and yet reap all the fruits of
  success. Have such men any honor? Can one feel any obligation towards
  them?

  De Verby
  No, they are contemptible wretches.

  Dupre (aside)
  He has well said it. This is the fellow who has ruined poor Jules! I
  must keep my eye on him.

                               SCENE FIFTH

  The same persons, Antoine and Jules (the latter led in by police
  agents.)

  Antoine
  Sir, a carriage stopped at the door. Several men got out. M. Jules is
  with them; they are bringing him in.

  M. and Mme. Rousseau
  My son!

  Mme. du Brocard
  My nephew!

  Dupre
  Yes, I see what it is—doubtless a search-warrant. They wish to look
  over his papers.

  Antoine
  Here he is.

  (Jules appears in the centre, followed by the police and a magistrate;
  he rushes up to his mother.)

  Jules
  O mother! My good mother! (He embraces his mother.) Ah! I see you once
  more! (To Mme. du Brocard) Dear aunt!

  Mme. Rousseau
  My poor child! Come! Come—close to me; they will not dare— (To the
  police, who approach her) Leave him, leave him here!

  Rousseau (rushing towards the police)
  Be kind enough—

  Dupre (to the magistrate)
  Monsieur!

  Jules
  My dear mother, calm yourself! I shall soon be free; yes, be quite
  sure of that, and we will not part again.

  Antoine (to Rousseau)
  Sir, they wish to visit M. Jules's room.

  Rousseau (to the magistrate)
  In a moment, monsieur. I will go with you myself. (To Dupre, pointing
  to Jules) Do not leave him!

  (He goes out conducting the magistrate, who makes a sign to the police
  to keep guard on Jules.)

  Jules (seizing the hand of De Verby)
  Ah, general! (To Dupre) And how good and generous of you, M. Dupre, to
  come here and comfort my mother. (In a low voice) Ah! conceal from her
  my danger. (Aloud, looking at his mother) Tell her the truth. Tell her
  that she has nothing to fear.

  Dupre
  I will tell her that it is in her power to save you.

  Mme. Rousseau
  In my power?

  Mme. du Brocard
  How can that be?

  Dupre (to Mme. Rousseau)
  By imploring him to disclose the names of those who have led him on.

  De Verby (to Dupre)
  Monsieur!

  Mme. Rousseau
  Yes, and you ought to do it. I, your mother, demand it of you.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Oh, certainly! My nephew shall tell everything. He has been led on by
  people who now abandon him to his fate, and he in his turn ought—

  De Verby (in a low voice to Dupre)
  What, sir! Would you advise your client to betray—?

  Dupre (quickly)
  Whom?

  De Verby (in a troubled voice)
  But—can't we find some other method? M. Jules knows what a man of
  high spirit owes to himself.

  Dupre (aside)
  He is the man—I felt sure of it!

  Jules (to his mother and aunt)
  Never, though I should die for it—never will I compromise any one
  else.

  (De Verby shows his pleasure at this declaration.)

  Mme. Rousseau
  Ah! my God! (Looking at the police.) And there is no chance of our
  helping him to escape here!

  Mme. du Brocard
  No! that is out of the question.

  Antoine (coming into the room)
  M. Jules, they are asking for you.

  Jules
  I am coming!

  Mme. Rousseau
  Ah! I cannot let you go.

  (She turns to the police with a supplicating look.)

  Mme. du Brocard (to Dupre, who scrutinizes De Verby)
  M. Dupre, I have thought that it would be a good thing—

  Dupre (interrupting her)
  Later, madame, later.

  (He leads her to Jules, who goes out with his mother, followed by the
  agents.)

                               SCENE SIXTH

  Dupre and De Verby.

  De Verby (aside)
  These people have hit upon a lawyer who is rich, without ambition—and
  eccentric.

  Dupre (crossing the stage and gazing at De Verby, aside)
  Now is my time to learn your secret. (Aloud) You are very much
  interested in my client, monsieur?

  De Verby
  Very much indeed.

  Dupre
  I have yet to understand what motive could have led him, young, rich
  and devoted to pleasure as he is, to implicate himself in a
  conspiracy—

  De Verby
  The passion for glory.

  Dupre
  Don't talk in that way to a lawyer who for twenty years has practiced
  in the courts; who has studied men and affairs well enough to know
  that the finest motives are only assumed as a disguise for trumpery
  passions, and has never yet met a man whose heart was free from the
  calculations of self-interest.

  De Verby
  Do you ever take up a case without charging anything?

  Dupre
  I often do so; but I never act contrary to my convictions.

  De Verby
  I understand that you are rich?

  Dupre
  I have some fortune. Without it, in the world as at present
  constituted, I should be on the straight road for the poor-house.

  De Verby
  It is then from conviction, I suppose, that you have undertaken the
  defence of young Rousseau?

  Dupre
  Certainly. I believe him to be the dupe of others in a higher station,
  and I like those who allow themselves to be duped from generous
  motives and not from self-interest; for in these times the dupe is
  often as greedy after gain as the man who exploits him.

  De Verby
  You belong, I perceive, to the sect of misanthropes.

  Dupre
  I do not care enough for mankind to hate them, for I have never yet
  met any one I could love. I am contented with studying my fellow-men;
  for I see that they are all engaged in playing each, with more or less
  success, his own little comedy. I have no illusion about anything, it
  is true, but I smile at it all like a spectator who sits in a theatre
  to be amused. One thing I never do; I hiss at nothing; for I have not
  sufficient feeling about things for that.

  De Verby (aside)
  How is it possible to influence such a man? (Aloud) Nevertheless,
  monsieur, you must sometimes need the services of others?

  Dupre
  Never!

  De Verby
  But you are sometimes sick?

  Dupre
  Then I like to be alone. Moreover, at Paris, anything can be bought,
  even attendance on the sick; believe me I live because it is my duty
  to do so. I have tested everything—charity, friendship, unselfish
  devotion. Those who have received benefits have disgusted me with the
  doing of kindnesses. Certain philanthropists have made me feel a
  loathing for charity. And of all humbugs that of sentiment is the most
  hateful.

  De Verby
  And what of patriotism, monsieur?

  Dupre
  That is a very trifling matter, since the cry of humanity has been
  raised.

  De Verby (somewhat discouraged)
  And so you take Jules Rousseau for a young enthusiast?

  Dupre
  No, sir, nothing of the sort. He presents a problem which I have to
  solve, and with your assistance I shall reach the solution. (De Verby
  changes countenance.) Come, let us speak candidly. I believe that you
  know something about all this.

  De Verby
  What do you mean, sir?

  Dupre
  You can save the young man.

  De Verby
  I? What can I do?

  Dupre
  You can give testimony which Antoine will corroborate—

  De Verby
  I have reasons for not appearing as a witness.

  Dupre
  Just so. You are one of the conspirators!

  De Verby
  Monsieur!

  Dupre
  It is you who have led on this poor boy.

  De Verby
  Monsieur, this language—!

  Dupre
  Don't attempt to deceive me, but tell me how you managed to gain this
  bad influence over him? He is rich, he is in need of nothing.

  De Verby
  Listen!—If you say another word—

  Dupre
  Oh! my life is of no consideration with me!

  De Verby
  Sir, you know very well that Jules will get off; and that if he does
  not behave properly, he will lose, through your fault, the chance of
  marriage with my niece, and thus the succession to the title of my
  brother, the Lord Chamberlain.

  Dupre
  Ah, that's what he was after, then! He's like all the rest of the
  schemers. Now consider, sir, what I am going to propose to you. You
  have powerful friends, and it is your duty—

  De Verby
  My duty! I do not understand you, sir.

  Dupre
  You have been able to effect his ruin, and can you not bring about his
  release? (Aside) I have him there.

  De Verby
  I shall give my best consideration to the matter.

  Dupre
  Don't consider for a moment that you can escape me.

  De Verby
  A general who fears no danger can have no fear of a lawyer—

  Dupre
  As you will!

  (Exit De Verby, who jostles against Joseph.)

                              SCENE SEVENTH

  Dupre and Joseph Binet.

  Joseph
  I heard only yesterday, monsieur, that you were engaged for the
  defence of M. Jules Rousseau; I have been to your place, and have
  waited for you until I could wait no later. This morning I found that
  you had left your home, and as I am working for this house, a happy
  inspiration sent me here. I thought you would be coming here, and I
  waited for you—

  Dupre
  What do you want with me?

  Joseph
  I am Joseph Binet.

  Dupre
  Well, proceed.

  Joseph
  Let me say without offence, sir, that I have fourteen hundred francs
  of my own—quite my own!—earned sou by sou. I am a journeyman
  upholsterer, and my uncle, Du Mouchel, a retired wine merchant, has
  plenty of the metal.

  Dupre
  Speak out openly! What is the meaning of this mysterious preamble?

  Joseph
  Fourteen hundred francs is of course a mere trifle, and they say that
  lawyers have to be well paid, and that it is because they are well
  paid that there are so many of them. I should have done better if I
  had been a lawyer—then she would have married me!

  Dupre
  Are you crazy?

  Joseph
  Not at all. I have here my fourteen hundred francs; take them, sir—no
  humbug! They are yours.

  Dupre
  And on what condition?

  Joseph
  You must save M. Jules—I mean, of course, from death—and you must
  have him transported. I don't want him to be put to death; but he must
  go abroad. He is rich, and he will enjoy himself. But save his life.
  Procure a sentence of simple transportation, say for fifteen years,
  and my fourteen hundred francs are yours. I will give them to you
  gladly, and I will moreover make you an office chair below the market
  price. There now!

  Dupre
  What is your object in speaking to me in this way?

  Joseph
  My object? I want to marry Pamela. I want to have my little Pamela.

  Dupre
  Pamela?

  Joseph
  Pamela Giraud.

  Dupre
  What connection has Pamela Giraud with Jules Rousseau?

  Joseph
  Well I never! Why! I thought that advocates were paid for learning and
  knowing everything. But you don't seem to know anything, sir. I am not
  surprised that there are those who say advocates are know-nothings.
  But I should like to have back my fourteen hundred francs. Pamela is
  accused, that is to say, she accuses me of having betrayed his head to
  the executioner, and you will understand that if after all he escapes,
  and is transported, I can marry, can wed Pamela; and as the
  transported man will not be in France, I need fear no disturbance in
  my home. Get him fifteen years; that is nothing; fifteen years for
  traveling and I shall have time to see my children grow up, and my
  wife old enough—you understand—

  Dupre (aside)
  He is candid, at any rate—Those who make their calculations aloud and
  in such evident excitement are not the worst of people.

  Joseph
  I say! Do you know the proverb—"A lawyer who talks to himself is like
  a pastry cook who eats his own wares,"—eh, sir?

  Dupre
  I understand you to say that Pamela is in love with M. Jules?

  Joseph
  Ah! I see, you understand matters.

  Dupre
  They used frequently to meet I suppose?

  Joseph
  Far too frequently! Oh! if I had only known it, I would have put a
  stop to it!

  Dupre
  Is she pretty?

  Joseph
  Who?—Pamela?—My eye! My Pamela! She is as pretty as the Apollo
  Belvidere!

  Dupre
  Keep your fourteen hundred francs, my friend, and if you have courage,
  you and your Pamela, you will be able to help me in effecting his
  deliverance; for the question is absolutely whether we must let him go
  to the scaffold, or save him from it.

  Joseph
  I beg you, sir, do not think of saying one word to Pamela; she is in
  despair.

  Dupre
  Nevertheless you must bring it about that I see her this morning.

  Joseph
  I will send word to her through her parents.

  Dupre
  Ah! she has a father and mother living then? (Aside) This will cost a
  lot of money. (Aloud) Who are they?

  Joseph
  They are respectable porters.

  Dupre
  That is good.

  Joseph
  Old Giraud is a ruined tailor.

  Dupre
  Very well, go and inform them of my intended visit, and above all
  things preserve the utmost secrecy, or M. Jules will be sacrificed.

  Joseph
  I shall be dumb.

  Dupre
  And let it be thought that we have never met.

  Joseph
  We have never seen each other.

  Dupre
  Now go.

  Joseph
  I am going.

  (He mistakes the door.)

  Dupre
  This is the way.

  Joseph
  This is the way, great advocate—but let me give you a bit of advice—
  a slight taste of transportation will not do him any harm; in fact, it
  will teach him to leave the government in peace. (Exit.)

                               SCENE EIGHTH

  Rousseau, Madame Rousseau, Madame du Brocard (attended by Justine) and
  Dupre.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Poor child! What courage he shows!

  Dupre
  I hope to save him for you, madame; but it cannot be done without
  making great sacrifices.

  Rousseau
  Sir, the half of our fortune is at your disposal.

  Mme. du Brocard
  And the half of mine.

  Dupre
  It is always the half of some fortune or other. I am going to try to
  do my duty—afterwards, you must do yours; we shall have to make great
  efforts. You, madame, must rouse yourself, for I have great hopes.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Ah! sir, what can you mean?

  Dupre
  A little time ago, your son was a ruined man; at the present moment, I
  believe he can be saved.

  Mme. Rousseau
  What must we do?

  Mme. du Brocard
  What do you ask?

  Rousseau
  You may be sure we will do as you require.

  Dupre
  I feel certain you will. This is my plan which will undoubtedly
  succeed with the jury. Your son had an intrigue with a certain
  working-girl, Pamela Giraud, the daughter of a porter.

  Mme. du Brocard
  What low people!

  Dupre
  Yet you will have to humble yourselves to them. Your son was always
  with this young girl, and in this point lies the sole hope of his
  deliverance. The very evening on which the public prosecutor avers
  that he attended a meeting of the conspirators, he was possibly
  visiting her. If this is a fact, if she declares that he remained with
  her that night, if her father and her mother, if the rival of Jules
  confirm the testimony—we shall then have ground for hope. When the
  choice has to be made between a sentence of guilty and an alibi, the
  jury prefers the alibi.

  Mme. Rousseau (aside)
  Ah! sir, you bring back life to me.

  Rousseau
  Sir, we owe you a debt of eternal gratitude.

  Dupre (looking at them)
  What sum of money must I offer to the daughter, to the father and to
  the mother?

  Mme. du Brocard
  Are they poor?

  Dupre
  They are, but the matter concerns their honor.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Oh, she is only a working-girl!

  Dupre (ironically)
  It ought to be done very cheaply.

  Rousseau
  What do you think?

  Dupre
  I think that you are bargaining for the life of your son.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Well, M. Dupre, I suppose you may go as high as—

  Mme. Rousseau
  As high as—

  Dupre
  As high as—

  Rousseau
  Upon my word, I don't understand why you hesitate—and you must offer,
  sir, whatever sum you consider suitable.

  Dupre
  Just so, you leave it to my discretion. But what compensation do you
  offer her if she restores your son to you at the sacrifice of her
  honor? For possibly he has made love to her.

  Mme. Rousseau
  He shall marry her. I come from the people myself, and I am no
  marchioness.

  Mme. du Brocard
  What do you mean by that? You are forgetting Mlle. de Verby.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Sister, my son's life must be saved.

  Dupre (aside)
  Here we have the beginning of a comedy and the last which I wish to
  see; but I must keep them to their word. (Aloud) Perhaps it would be
  well if you secretly paid a visit to the young girl.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Oh, yes, I should like to go to see her—to implore her— (she rings)
  Justine! Antoine! Quick! Order the carriage! At once—

  Antoine
  Yes, madame.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Sister, will you go with me? Ah, Jules my poor son!

  Mme. du Brocard
  They are bringing him back.

                               SCENE NINTH

  The same persons, Jules (brought in by the police), and later De
  Verby.

  Jules (kissing his mother)
  O mother!—I will not say good-bye; I shall be back very soon.

  (Rousseau and Mme. du Brocard embrace Jules.)

  De Verby (going up to Dupre)
  I will do, monsieur, what you have asked of me. One of my friends, M.
  Adolph Durand, who facilitated the flight of our dear Jules, will
  testify that his friend was altogether taken up with a grisette, whom
  he loved passionately, and with whom he was taking measures to elope.

  Dupre
  That is enough; success now depends upon the way we set about things.

  The magistrate (to Jules)
  We must be going, monsieur.

  Jules
  I will follow you. Be of good courage, mother!

  (He bids farewell to Rousseau and Dupre; De Verby signs to him to be
  cautious.)

  Mme. Rousseau (to Jules, as he is being led away)
  Jules! Jules! Do not give up hope—we are going to save you!

  (The police lead Jules away.)

  Curtain to the Second Act.





ACT III

                               SCENE FIRST

  (The stage represents the room of Pamela.)

  Pamela, Giraud and Madame Giraud.

  (Pamela is standing near her mother, who is knitting; Giraud is at
  work at a table on the left.)

  Mme. Giraud
  The fact of the matter is this, my poor daughter; I do not mean to
  reproach you, but you are the cause of all our trouble.

  Giraud
  No doubt about it! We came to Paris because in the country tailoring
  is no sort of a business, and we had some ambition for you, our
  Pamela, such a sweet, pretty little thing as you were. We said to each
  other: "We will go into service; I will work at my trade; we will give
  a good position to our child; and as she will be good, industrious and
  pretty, we can take care of our old age by marrying her well."

  Pamela
  O father!

  Mme. Giraud
  Half of our plans were already carried out.

  Giraud
  Yes, certainly. We had a good position; you made as fine flowers as
  any gardener could grow; and Joseph Binet, your neighbor, was to be
  the husband of our choice.

  Mme. Giraud
  Instead of all this, the scandal which has arisen in the house has
  caused the landlord to dismiss us; the talk of the neighborhood was
  incessant, for the young man was arrested in your room.

  Pamela
  And yet I have been guilty of nothing!

  Giraud
  Come, now, we know that well enough! Do you think if it were otherwise
  that we would stay near you? And that I would embrace you? After all,
  Pamela, there is nothing like a father and a mother! And when the
  whole world is against you, if a girl can look into her parents' face
  without a blush it is enough.

                               SCENE SECOND

  The same persons and Joseph Binet.

  Mme. Giraud
  Well, well! Here is Joseph Binet.

  Pamela
  M. Binet, what are you doing here? But for your want of common-sense,
  M. Jules would not have been found here.

  Joseph
  I am come to tell you about him.

  Pamela
  What! Really? Well, let us hear, Joseph.

  Joseph
  Ah! you won't send me away now, will you? I have seen his lawyer, and
  I have offered him all that I possess if he would get him off!

  Pamela
  Do you mean it?

  Joseph
  Yes. Would you be satisfied if he was merely transported?

  Pamela
  Ah! you are a good fellow, Joseph, and I see that you love me! Let us
  be friends.

  Joseph (aside)
  I have good hopes that we shall be.

  (A knock at the door is heard.)

                               SCENE THIRD

  The preceding, M. de Verby and Madame du Brocard.

  Mme. Giraud (opening the door)
  There are some people here!

  Giraud
  A lady and a gentleman.

  Joseph
  What did you say?

  (Pamela rises from her seat and takes a step toward M. de Verby, who
  bows to her.)

  Mme. du Brocard
  Is this Mlle. Pamela Giraud?

  Pamela
  It is, madame.

  De Verby
  Forgive us, mademoiselle, for presenting ourselves without previous
  announcement—

  Pamela
  There is no harm done. May I know the object of this visit?

  Mme. du Brocard
  And you, good people, are her father and mother?

  Mme. Giraud
  Yes, madame.

  Joseph
  She calls them good people—she must be one of the swells.

  Pamela
  Will you please be seated.

  (Mme. Giraud offers them seats.)

  Joseph (to Giraud)
  My eye! The gentleman has on the ribbon of the Legion of Honor! He
  belongs to high society.

  Giraud (looking at De Verby)
  By my faith, that's true!

  Mme. du Brocard
  I am the aunt of M. Jules Rousseau.

  Pamela
  You, madame? Then this gentleman must be his father?

  Mme. du Brocard
  He is merely a friend of the family. We are come, mademoiselle, to ask
  a favor of you. (Looking at Binet with embarrassment.) Your brother?

  Giraud
  No, madame, just a neighbor of ours.

  Mme. du Brocard (to Pamela)
  Send him away.

  Joseph (aside)
  Send him away, indeed. I'd like to know what right she has—

  (Pamela makes a sign to Joseph.)

  Giraud (to Joseph)
  My friend, you had better leave us. It seems this is a private matter.

  Joseph
  Very well. (Exit.)

                               SCENE FOURTH

  The same persons excepting Binet.

  Mme. du Brocard (to Pamela)
  You are acquainted with my nephew. I do not intend to reproach you.
  Your parents alone have the right.

  Mme. Giraud
  But, thank God, they have no reason.

  Giraud
  It is your nephew who has caused all this talk about her, but she is
  blameless!

  De Verby (interrupting him)
  But suppose that we wish her to be guilty?

  Pamela
  What do you mean, sir?

  Giraud and Mme. Giraud
  To think of it!

  Mme. du Brocard (seizing De Verby's meaning)
  Yes, suppose, to save the life of a poor young man—

  De Verby
  It were necessary to declare that M. Jules Rousseau spent nearly the
  whole night of the twenty-fourth of August here with you?

  Pamela
  Ah! sir!

  De Verby (to Giraud and his wife)
  Yes, suppose it were necessary to testify against your daughter, by
  alleging this?

  Mme. Giraud
  I would never say such a thing.

  Giraud
  What! Insult my child! Sir, I have had all possible troubles. I was
  once a tailor, now I am reduced to nothing. I am a porter! But I have
  remained a father. My daughter is our sole treasure, the glory of our
  old age, and you ask us to dishonor her?

  Mme. du Brocard
  Pray listen to me, sir.

  Giraud
  No, madame, I will listen to nothing. My daughter is the hope of my
  gray hairs.

  Pamela
  Calm yourself, father, I implore you.

  Mme. Giraud
  Keep quite, Giraud! Do let this lady and gentleman speak!

  Mme. du Brocard
  A family in deep affliction implores you to save them.

  Pamela (aside)
  Poor Jules!

  De Verby (in a low voice to Pamela)
  His fate is in your hands.

  Mme. Giraud
  We are respectable people and know what it is for parents, for a
  mother, to be in despair. But what you ask is out of the question.

  (Pamela puts a handkerchief to her eyes.)

  Giraud
  We must stop this! You see the girl is in tears.

  Mme. Giraud
  She has done nothing but weep for several days.

  Giraud
  I know my daughter; she would be capable of going and making the
  declaration they ask, in spite of us.

  Mme. Giraud
  Yes,—for you must see, she loves him, she loves your nephew! And to
  save his life—Well! Well! I would have done as much in her place.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Have compassion on us!

  De Verby
  Grant this request of ours—

  Mme. du Brocard (to Pamela)
  If it is true that you love Jules—

  Mme. Giraud (leading Giraud up to Pamela)
  Did you hear that? Well! Listen to me. She is in love with this youth.
  It is quite certain that he also is in love with her. If she should
  make a sacrifice like that, as a return, he ought to marry her.

  Pamela (with vehemence)
  Never! (Aside) These people would not wish it, not they.

  De Verby (to Mme. du Brocard)
  They are consulting about it.

  Mme. du Brocard (in a low voice to De Verby)
  It will be absolutely necessary for us to make a sacrifice. We must
  appeal to their interest. It is the only plan!

  De Verby
  In venturing to ask of you so great a sacrifice, we are quite aware of
  the claims that you will have on our gratitude. The family of Jules,
  who might have blamed you on account of your relations with him, are,
  on the contrary, anxious to discharge the obligations which bind them
  to you.

  Mme. Giraud
  Ah! Did I not tell you so?

  Pamela
  Can it be possible that Jules—

  De Verby
  I am authorized to make a promise to you.

  Pamela (with emotion)
  Oh!

  De Verby
  Tell me, how much do you ask for the sacrifice required of you?

  Pamela (in consternation)
  What do you mean? How much—I ask—for saving Jules? What do you take
  me for?

  Mme. du Brocard
  Ah! Mademoiselle!

  De Verby
  You misunderstand me.

  Pamela
  No, it is you who misunderstand us! You are come here, to the house of
  poor people, and you are quite unaware of what you ask from them. You,
  madame, ought to know that whatever be the rank or the education of a
  woman, her honor is her sole treasure! And that which you in your own
  families guard with so much care, with so much reverence, you actually
  believe that people here, living in an attic, would be willing to
  sell! And you have said to yourselves: "Let us offer them money! We
  need just now the sacrifice of a working-girl's honor!"

  Giraud
  That is excellent! I recognize my own blood there.

  Mme. du Brocard
  My dear child, do not be offended! Money is money, after all.

  De Verby (addressing Giraud)
  Undoubtedly! And six thousand francs for a solid annual income as a
  price of—a—

  Pamela
  As the price of a lie! For I must out with it. But thank God I haven't
  yet lost my self-respect! Good-bye, sir.

  (Pamela makes a low bow to Mme. du Brocard, then goes into her bed-
  chamber.)

  De Verby
  What is to be done?

  Mme. du Brocard
  I am quite nonplussed.

  Giraud
  I quite admit that an income of six thousand francs is no trifle, but
  our daughter has a high spirit, you see; she takes after me—

  Mme. Giraud
  And she will never yield.

                               SCENE FIFTH

  The same persons, Joseph Binet, Dupre and Mme. Rousseau.

  Joseph
  This way, sir. This way, madame. (Dupre and Mme. Rousseau enter.)
  These are the father and mother of Pamela Giraud!

  Dupre (to De Verby)
  I am very sorry, sir, that you have got here before me!

  Mme. Rousseau
  My sister has doubtless told you, madame, the sacrifice which we
  expect your daughter to make for us. Only an angel would make it.

  Joseph
  What sacrifice?

  Mme. Giraud
  It is no business of yours.

  De Verby
  We have just had an interview with Mlle. Pamela—

  Mme. du Brocard
  She has refused!

  Mme. Rousseau
  Oh, heavens!

  Dupre
  Refused what?

  Mme. du Brocard
  An income of six thousand francs.

  Dupre
  I could have wagered on it. To think of offering money!

  Mme. du Brocard
  But it was the only way—

  Dupre
  To spoil everything. (To Mme. Giraud) Madame, kindly tell your
  daughter that the counsel of M. Jules Rousseau is here and desires to
  see her.

  Mme. Giraud
  Oh, as for that you will gain nothing.

  Giraud
  Either from her or from us.

  Joseph
  But what is it they want?

  Giraud
  Hold your tongue.

  Mme. du Brocard (to Mme. Giraud)
  Madame, offer her—

  Dupre
  Now, Mme. du Brocard, I must beg you— (To Mme. Giraud) It is in the
  name of the mother of Jules that I ask of you permission to see your
  daughter.

  Mme. Giraud
  It will be of no use at all, sir! And to think that they point-blank
  offered her money when the young man a little time before had spoken
  of marrying her!

  Mme. Rousseau (with excitement)
  Well, why not?

  Mme. Giraud (with vehemence)
  How was that, madame?

  Dupre (seizing the hand of Mme. Giraud)
  Come, come! Bring me your daughter.

  (Exit Mme. Giraud.)

  De Verby and Mme. du Brocard
  You have then made up your mind?

  Dupre
  It is not I, but madame who has made up her mind.

  De Verby (questioning Mme. du Brocard)
  What has she promised?

  Dupre (seeing that Joseph is listening)
  Be silent, general; stay for a moment, I beg you, with these ladies.
  Here she comes. Now leave us alone, if you please.

  (Pamela is brought in by her mother. She makes a curtsey to Mme.
  Rousseau, who gazes at her with emotion; then Dupre leads all but
  Pamela into the other room; Joseph remains behind.)

  Joseph (aside)
  I wonder what they mean. They all talk of a sacrifice! And old Giraud
  won't say a word to me! Well, I can bide my time. I promised the
  advocate that I would give him my fourteen hundred francs, but before
  I do so, I would like to see how he acts with regard to me.

  Dupre (going up to Joseph)
  Joseph Binet, you must leave the room.

  Joseph
  And not hear what you say about me?

  Dupre
  You must go away.

  Joseph (aside)
  It is evident that they are concealing something from me. (To Dupre) I
  have prepared her mind; she is much taken with the idea of
  transportation. Stick to that point.

  Dupre
  All right! But you must leave the room.

  Joseph (aside)
  Leave the room! Oh, indeed! Not I.

  (Joseph makes as if he had withdrawn, but, quietly returning, hides
  himself in a closet.)

  Dupre (to Pamela)
  You have consented to see me, and I thank you for it. I know exactly
  what has recently taken place here, and I am not going to address you
  in the same way as you have been recently addressed.

  Pamela
  Your very presence assures me of that, sir.

  Dupre
  You are in love with this fine young man, this Joseph?

  Pamela
  I am aware, sir, that advocates are like confessors!

  Dupre
  My child, they have to be just as safe confidants. You may tell me
  everything without reserve.

  Pamela
  Well, sir, I did love him; that is to say, I thought I loved him, and
  I would very willingly have become his wife. I thought that with his
  energy Joseph would have made a good business, and that we could lead
  together a life of toil. When prosperity came, we would have taken
  with us my father and my mother; it was all very clear—it would have
  been a united family!

  Dupre (aside)
  The appearance of this young girl is in her favor! Let us see whether
  she is sincere or not. (Aloud) What are you thinking about?

  Pamela
  I was thinking about these past days, which seemed to me so happy in
  comparison with the present. A fortnight ago my head was turned by the
  sight of M. Jules; I fell in love with him, as young girls do fall in
  love, as I have seen other young girls fall in love with young men—
  with a love which would endure everything for those they loved! I used
  to say to myself: shall I ever be like that? Well, at this moment I do
  not know anything that I would not endure for M. Jules. A few moments
  ago they offered me money,—they, from whom I expected such nobleness,
  such greatness; and I was disgusted! Money! I have plenty of it, sir!
  I have twenty thousand francs! They are here, they are yours! That is
  to say, they are his! I have kept them to use in my efforts to save
  him, for I have betrayed him, because I doubted him, while he was so
  confident, so sure of me—and I was so distrustful of him!

  Dupre
  And he gave you twenty thousand francs?

  Pamela
  Ah, sir! He entrusted them with me. Here they are. I shall return them
  to his family, if he dies; but he shall not die! Tell me? Is it not
  so? You ought to know.

  Dupre
  My dear child, bear in mind that your whole life, perhaps your
  happiness, depend upon the truthfulness of your answers. Answer me as
  if you stood in the presence of God.

  Pamela
  I will.

  Dupre
  You have never loved any one before?

  Pamela
  Never!

  Dupre
  You seem to be afraid! Come, I am terrifying you. You are not giving
  me your confidence.

  Pamela
  Oh, yes I am, sir; I swear I am! Since we have been in Paris, I have
  never left my mother, and I have thought of nothing but my work and my
  duty. I was alarmed and thrown into confusion a few moments ago, sir,
  but you inspire me with confidence, and I can tell you everything.
  Well, I acknowledge it,—I am in love with Jules; he is the only one I
  love, and I would follow him to the end of the world! You told me to
  speak as in the presence of God.

  Dupre
  Well, it is to your heart that I am going to appeal. Do for me what
  you have refused to do for others. Tell me the truth! You alone have
  the power to save him before the face of justice! You love him,
  Pamela; I understand what it would cost you to—

  Pamela
  To avow my love for him? Would that be sufficient to save him?

  Dupre
  I will answer for that!

  Pamela
  Well?

  Dupre
  My child!

  Pamela
  Well—he is saved.

  Dupre (earnestly)
  But—you will be compromised—

  Pamela
  But after all it is for him.

  Dupre (aside)
  I never expected it, but I shall not die without having seen with my
  own eyes an example of beautiful and noble candor, destitute alike of
  self-interest and designing reserve. (Aloud) Pamela, you are a good
  and generous girl.

  Pamela
  To act this way consoles me for many little miseries of life.

  Dupre
  My child, that is not everything! You are true as steel, you are high-
  spirited. But in order to succeed it is necessary to have assurance—
  determination—

  Pamela
  Oh, sir! You shall see!

  Dupre
  Do not be over-anxious. Dare to confess everything. Be brave! Imagine
  that you are before the Court of Assizes, the presiding judge, the
  public prosecutor, the prisoner at the bar, and me, his advocate; the
  jury is on one side. The big court-room is filled with people. Do not
  be alarmed.

  Pamela
  You needn't fear for me.

  Dupre
  A court officer brings you in; you have given your name and surname!
  Then the presiding judge asks you "How long have you known the
  prisoner, Rousseau?"—What would you answer?

  Pamela
  The truth!—I met him about a month before his arrest at the Ile
  d'Amour, Belleville.

  Dupre
  Who were with him?

  Pamela
  I noticed no one but him.

  Dupre
  Did you hear them talk politics?

  Pamela (in astonishment)
  Oh, sir! The judges must be aware that politics are matters of
  indifference at the Ile d'Amour.

  Dupre
  Very good, my child! But you must tell them all you know about Jules
  Rousseau.

  Pamela
  Of course. I shall still speak the truth, and repeat my testimony
  before the police justice. I knew nothing of the conspiracy, and was
  infinitely surprised when he was arrested in my room; the proof of
  which is that I feared M. Jules was a thief and afterwards apologized
  for my suspicion.

  Dupre
  You must acknowledge that from the time of your first acquaintance
  with this young man, he constantly came to see you. You must declare—

  Pamela
  I shall stick to the truth—He never left me alone! He came to see me
  for love, I received him from friendship, and I resisted him from a
  sense of duty—

  Dupre
  And at last?

  Pamela (anxiously)
  At last?

  Dupre
  You are trembling! Take care! Just now you promised me to tell the
  truth!

  Pamela (aside)
  The truth! Oh my God!

  Dupre
  I also am interested in this young man; but I recoil from a possible
  imposture. If he is guilty, my duty bids me defend him, if he is
  innocent, his cause shall be mine. Yes, without doubt, Pamela, I am
  about to demand from you a great sacrifice, but he needs it. The
  visits which Jules made to you were in the evening, and without the
  knowledge of your parents.

  Pamela
  Why no! never!

  Dupre
  How is this? For in that case there would be no hope for him.

  Pamela (aside)
  No hope for him! Then either he or I must be ruined. (Aloud) Sir, do
  not be alarmed; I felt a little fear because the real danger was not
  before my eyes. But when I shall stand before the judges!—when once I
  shall see him, see Jules—and feel that his safety depends upon me—

  Dupre
  That is good, very good. But what is most necessary to be made known
  is that on the evening of the twenty-fourth, he came here. If that is
  once understood, I shall be successful in saving him; otherwise, I can
  answer for nothing. He is lost!

  Pamela (murmuring, greatly agitated)
  Lost!—Jules lost!—No, no, no!—Better that my own good name be lost!
  (Aloud) Yes, he came here on the twenty-fourth. (Aside) God forgive
  me! (Aloud) It was my saint's day—my name is Louise Pamela—and he
  was kind enough to bring me a bouquet, without the knowledge of my
  father or mother; he came in the evening, late. Ah! you need have no
  fear, sir—you see I shall tell all. (Aside) And all is a lie!

  Dupre
  He will be saved! (Rousseau appears) Ah! sir! (running to the door of
  the room) Come all of you and thank your deliverer!

                               SCENE SIXTH

  Rousseau, De Verby, Madame du Brocard, Giraud, Madame Giraud, Dupre,
  and later Joseph Binet.

  All
  Does she consent?

  Rousseau
  You have saved my son. I shall never forget it.

  Mme. du Brocard
  You have put us under eternal obligations, my child.

  Rousseau
  My fortune shall be at your disposal.

  Dupre
  I will not say anything to you, my child! We shall meet again!

  Joseph (coming out of the closet)
  One moment! One moment! I have heard everything—and do you believe
  that I am going to put up with that? I was here in concealment all the
  time. And do you think I am going to let Pamela, whom I have loved and
  have wished to make my wife, say all that? (To Dupre) This is the way
  you are going to earn my fourteen hundred francs, eh! Well, I shall go
  to court myself and testify that the whole thing is a lie.

  All
  Great heaven!

  Dupre
  You miserable wretch!

  De Verby
  If you say a single word—

  Joseph
  Oh, I am not afraid!

  De Verby (to Rousseau and Mme. du Brocard)
  He shall never go to court! If necessary, I will have him shadowed,
  and I will put men on the watch to prevent him from entering.

  Joseph
  I'd just like to see you try it!

  (Enter a sheriff's officer, who goes up to Dupre.)

  Dupre
  What do you want?

  The sheriff's officer
  I am the court officer of the Assizes—Mlle. Pamela Giraud! (Pamela
  comes forward.) In virtue of discretionary authority of the presiding
  judge, you are summoned to appear before him to-morrow at ten o'clock.

  Joseph (to De Verby)
  I will go also.

  The officer
  The porter has told me that you have here a gentleman called Joseph
  Binet.

  Joseph
  Here I am!

  The officer
  Please take your summons.

  Joseph
  I told you that I would go!

  (The officer withdraws; every one is alarmed at the threats of Binet.
  Dupre tries to speak to him and reason with him, but he steals away.)

  Curtain to the Third Act.





ACT IV

                               SCENE FIRST

  (The stage represents Madame du Brocard's salon, from which can be
  seen the Court of Assizes.)

  Madame du Brocard, Madame Rousseau, Rousseau, Joseph Binet, Dupre and
  Justine.

  (Dupre is seated reading his note-book.)

  Mme. Rousseau
  M. Dupre!

  Dupre
  Yes, madame, the court adjourned after the speech of the prosecuting
  attorney. And I came over to reassure you personally.

  Mme. du Brocard
  I told you, sister, that some one was sure to come and keep us
  informed of things. In my house, here, which is so close to the court
  house, we are in a favorable position for learning all that goes on at
  the trial. Ah, M. Dupre! How can we thank you enough! You spoke
  superbly! (To Justine) Justine, bring in something to drink—Quick!

  Rousseau
  Sir, your speech— (To his wife) He was magnificent.

  Dupre
  Sir,—

  Joseph (in tears)
  Yes, you were magnificent, magnificent!

  Dupre
  I am not the person you ought to thank, but that child, that Pamela,
  who showed such astonishing courage.

  Joseph
  And didn't I do well?

  Mme. Rousseau
  And he (pointing to Binet), did he carry out the threat he made to us?

  Dupre
  No, he took your side.

  Joseph
  It was your fault! But for you—Ah!—Well—I reached the court house,
  having made up my mind to mix up everything; but when I saw all the
  people, the judge, the jury, the crowd, and the terrible silence, I
  trembled! Nevertheless I screwed up my courage. When I was questioned,
  I was just about to answer, when my glance met the eyes of Mlle.
  Pamela, which were filled with tears—I felt as if my tongue was
  bound. And on the other side I saw M. Jules—a handsome youth, his
  fine face conspicuous among them all. His expression was as tranquil
  as if he had been a mere spectator. That knocked me out! "Don't be
  afraid," said the judge to me. I was absolutely beside myself! I was
  afraid of making some mistake; and then I had sworn to keep to the
  truth; and then M. Dupre fixed his eye on me. I can't tell you what
  that eye seemed to say to me—My tongue seemed twisted up. I broke out
  into a sweat—my heart beat hard—and I began to cry, like a fool. You
  were magnificent. And then in a moment it was all over. He made me do
  exactly what he wanted. This is the way I lied: I said that on the
  evening of the twenty-fourth I unexpectedly came to Pamela's room and
  found M. Jules there—Yes, at Pamela's, the girl whom I was going to
  marry, whom I still love—and our marriage will be the talk of the
  whole neighborhood. Never mind, he's a great lawyer! Never mind! (To
  Justine) Give me something to drink, will you?

  Rousseau, Mme. Rousseau, Mme. du Brocard (To Joseph)
  Dear friend! You showed yourself a fine fellow!

  Dupre
  The energy shown by Pamela makes me hopeful. I trembled for a moment
  while she was giving evidence; the prosecuting attorney pressed her
  very hard and seemed to doubt her veracity; she grew pale and I
  thought she was going to faint.

  Joseph
  And what must my feelings have been?

  Dupre
  Her self-sacrifice was wonderful. You don't realize all that she has
  undergone for you; I, myself even, was deceived by her; she was her
  own accuser, yet all the time was innocent. Only one moment did she
  falter; but darting a rapid glance at Jules, she suddenly rallied, a
  blush took the place of pallor on her countenance, and we felt that
  she had saved her lover; in spite of the risk she was running, she
  repeated once more before all those people the story of her own
  disgrace, and then fell weeping into the arms of her mother.

  Joseph
  Yes, she is a fine girl.

  Dupre
  But I must leave you; the summing up of the judge will come this
  afternoon.

  Rousseau
  You must be going then.

  Dupre
  One moment! Do not forget Pamela! That young girl has compromised her
  own honor for you and for him.

  Joseph
  As for me, I don't ask anything, but I have been led to expect—

  Mme. du Brocard, Mme. Rousseau
  We can never pay our debt of gratitude to you.

  Dupre
  Very good; come, gentlemen, we must be starting.

  (Exeunt Dupre and Rousseau.)

                               SCENE SECOND

  The same persons excepting Dupre and Rousseau.

  Mme. du Brocard (stopping Joseph on his way out)
  Listen to me!

  Joseph
  What can I do for you?

  Mme. du Brocard
  You see in what a state of anxiety we are; don't fail to let us know
  the least turn in our favor which the trial makes.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Yes, keep us well informed on the whole business.

  Joseph
  You may rest assured of that—But look here, I needn't leave the court
  house to do that, I intend to see everything, and to hear everything.
  But do you see that window there? My seat is just under it; you watch
  that window, and it if he is declared innocent you will see me wave my
  handkerchief.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Do not forget to do so.

  Joseph
  No danger of that; I am a poor chap, but I know what a mother's heart
  is! I am interested in this case, and for you, and for Pamela, I have
  said a lot of things! But when you are fond of people you'll do
  anything, and then I have been promised something—you may count upon
  me. (Exit.)

                               SCENE THIRD

  The same persons excepting Joseph.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Justine, open this window, and wait for the signal which the young man
  has promised to give—Ah! but suppose my boy were condemned!

  Mme. du Brocard
  M. Dupre has spoken very hopefully about matters.

  Mme. Rousseau
  But with regard to this good girl, this admirable Pamela—what must we
  do for her?

  Mme. du Brocard
  We ought to do something to make her happy! I acknowledge that this
  young person is a succor sent from heaven! Only a noble heart could
  make the sacrifice that she has made! She deserves a fortune for it!
  Thirty thousand francs! That is what she ought to have. Jules owes his
  life to her. (Aside) Poor boy, will his life be saved?

  (Mme. du Brocard looks toward the window.)

  Mme. Rousseau
  Well, Justine, do you see anything?

  Justine
  Nothing, madame.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Nothing yet! Yes, you are right, sister, it is only the heart that can
  prompt such noble actions. I do not know what you and my husband would
  think about it, but if we considered what was right, and had full
  regard to the happiness of Jules, apart from the brilliant prospect of
  an alliance with the family of De Verby, if my son loved her and she
  loved my son—it seems to me reasonable—

  Mme. du Brocard and Justine
  No! No!

  Mme. Rousseau
  Oh, sister! Say yes! Has she not well deserved it? But there is some
  one coming.

  (The two women remain in their seats with clasped hands.)

                               SCENE FOURTH

  The same persons and De Verby.

  Justine
  M. le General de Verby!

  Mme. Rousseau and Mme. du Brocard
  Ah!

  De Verby
  Everything is going on well! My presence was no longer necessary, so I
  return to you. There are great hopes of your son's acquittal. The
  charge of the presiding judge is decidedly in his favor.

  Mme. Rousseau (joyfully)
  Thank God!

  De Verby
  Jules has behaved admirably! My brother the Comte de Verby is very
  much interested in his favor. My niece looks upon him as a hero, and I
  know courage and honorable conduct when I see them. When once this
  affair has been settled, we will hasten the marriage.

  Mme. Rousseau
  We ought to tell you, sir, that we have made certain promises to this
  young girl.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Never mind that, sister.

  De Verby
  Doubtless the young girl deserves some recompense, and I suppose you
  will give her fifteen or twenty thousand francs,—that is due her.

  Mme. du Brocard
  You see, sister, that M. de Verby is a noble and generous man, and
  since he has fixed upon this sum, I think it will be sufficient.

  Justine
  M. Rousseau!

  Mme. du Brocard
  O brother!

  Mme. Rousseau
  Dear husband!

                               SCENE FIFTH

  The same persons and Rousseau.

  De Verby (to Rousseau)
  Have you good news?

  Mme. Rousseau
  Is he acquitted?

  Rousseau
  No, but it is rumored that he is going to be; the jury are in
  consultation; I couldn't stay there any longer; I couldn't stand the
  suspense; I told Antoine to hurry here as soon as the verdict is
  given.

  Mme. Rousseau
  We shall learn what the verdict is from this window; we have agreed
  upon a signal to be given by that youth, Joseph Binet.

  Rousseau
  Ah! keep a good look out, Justine.

  Mme. Rousseau
  And how is Jules? What a trying time it must be for him!

  Rousseau
  Not at all! The unfortunate boy astonishes me by his coolness. Such
  courage as he has is worthy of a better cause than that of conspiracy.
  To think of his having put us in such a position! But for this I might
  have been appointed President of the Chamber of Commerce.

  De Verby
  You forget that, after all, his marriage with a member of my family
  will make some amends for his trouble.

  Rousseau (struck by a sudden thought)
  Ah, general! When I left the court room, Jules stood surrounded by his
  friends, among whom were M. Dupre and the young girl Pamela. Your
  niece and Madame de Verby must have noticed it, and I hope that you
  will try to explain matters to them.

  (While Rousseau speaks with the general the ladies are watching for
  the signal.)

  De Verby
  Rest assured of that! I will take care that Jules appears as white as
  snow! It is of very great importance to explain this affair of the
  working-girl, otherwise the Comtesse de Verby might oppose the
  marriage. We must explain away this apparent amour, and she must be
  made to understand that the girl's evidence was a piece of self-
  sacrifice for which she had been paid.

  Rousseau
  I certainly intend to do my duty towards that young girl. I shall give
  her eight or ten thousand francs. It seems to me that that will be
  liberal, very liberal!

  Mme. Rousseau (while Mme. du Brocard tries to restrain her)
  Ah, sir, but what of her honor?

  Rousseau
  Well, I suppose that some one will marry her.

                               SCENE SIXTH

  The same persons and Joseph.

  Joseph (dashing in)
  Monsieur! Madame! Give me some cologne or something, I beg you!

  All
  Whatever can be the matter?

  Joseph
  M. Antoine, your footman, is bringing Pamela here.

  Rousseau
  Has anything happened?

  Joseph
  When she saw the jury come in to give their verdict she was taken ill!
  Her father and mother, who were in the crowd at the other end of the
  court, couldn't stir. I cried out, and the presiding judge made them
  put me out of court!

  Mme. Rousseau
  But Jules! My son! What did the jury say?

  Joseph
  I know nothing! I had no eyes except for Pamela. As for your son, I
  suppose he is all right, but first with me comes Pamela—

  De Verby
  But you must have seen how the jury looked!

  Joseph
  Oh, yes! The foreman of the jury looked so gloomy—so severe—that I
  am quite persuaded— (He shudders.)

  Mme. Rousseau
  My poor Jules!

  Joseph
  Here comes Antoine and Mlle. Pamela.

                              SCENE SEVENTH

  The same persons, Antoine and Pamela.

  (They lead Pamela to a seat and give her smelling salts.)

  Mme. du Brocard
  My dear child!

  Mme. Rousseau
  My daughter!

  Rousseau
  Mademoiselle!

  Pamela
  I couldn't stand it any longer, the excitement was too great—and the
  suspense was so cruel. I tried to brace up my courage by the calmness
  of M. Jules while the jury was deliberating; the smile which he wore
  made me share his presentiment of coming release! But I was chilled to
  the heart when I looked at the pale, impassive countenance of M.
  Dupre!—And then, the sound of the bell that announced the return of
  the jury, and the murmur of anxiety that ran through the court—I was
  quite overcome!—A cold sweat suffused my cheek and I fainted.

  Joseph
  As for me, I shouted out, and they threw me into the street.

  De Verby (to Rousseau)
  If by mischance—

  Rousseau
  Sir!

  De Verby (to Rousseau and the women)
  If it should be necessary to appeal the case (pointing to Pamela),
  could we count upon her?

  Mme. Rousseau
  On her? To the end; I am sure of that.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Pamela!

  Rousseau
  Tell me, you who have shown yourself so good, so generous,—if we
  should still have need of your unselfish aid, would you be ready?

  Pamela
  Quite ready, sir! I have but one object, one single thought!—and that
  is, to save M. Jules!

  Joseph (aside)
  She loves him, she loves him!

  Rousseau
  Ah! all that I have is at your disposal.

  (A murmur and cries are heard; general alarm.)

  All
  What a noise they are making! Listen to their shouts!

  (Pamela totters to her feet. Joseph runs to the window, where Justine
  is watching.)

  Joseph
  There's a crowd of people rushing down the steps of the court,—they
  are coming here!

  Justine and Joseph
  It is M. Jules!

  Rousseau and Mme. Rousseau
  My son!

  Mme. du Brocard and Pamela
  Jules!

  (They rush forward to Jules.)

  De Verby
  He is acquitted!

                               SCENE EIGHTH

  The same persons and Jules (brought in by his mother and his aunt and
  followed by his friends).

  (Jules flings himself into the arms of his mother; he does not at
  first see Pamela, who is seated in a corner near Joseph.)

  Jules
  O mother! Dear aunt! And my father! Here I am, restored to liberty
  again! (To General de Verby and the friends who have come with him)
  Let me thank you, general, and you, my friends, for your kind
  sympathy.

  (After general handshaking the friends depart.)

  Mme. Rousseau
  And so my son has at last come back to me! It seems too good to be
  true.

  Joseph (to Pamela)
  Well, and what of you? He hasn't said a word to you, and you are the
  only one he hasn't seen.

  Pamela
  Silence, Joseph, silence!

  (Pamela retires to the end of the stage.)

  De Verby
  Not only have you been acquitted, but you have also gained a high
  place in the esteem of those who are interested in the affair! You
  have exhibited both courage and discretion, such as have gratified us
  all.

  Rousseau
  Everybody has behaved well. Antoine, you have done nobly; you will end
  your life in this house.

  Mme. Rousseau (to Jules)
  Let me express my gratitude to M. Adolph Durand.

  (Jules presents his friend.)

  Jules
  Yes, but my real deliverer, my guardian angel is poor Pamela! How well
  she understood my situation and her own also! What self-sacrifice she
  showed! Can I ever forget her emotion, her terror!—and then she
  fainted! (Mme. Rousseau, who has been thinking of nothing else but her
  son, now looks around for Pamela, sees her, and brings her up to
  Jules.) Ah, Pamela! Pamela! My gratitude to you shall be eternal!

  Pamela
  Ah, M. Jules! How happy I feel.

  Jules
  We will never part again? Will we, mother? She shall be your daughter!

  De Verby (to Rousseau with vehemence)
  My sister and my niece are expecting an answer; you will have to
  exercise your authority, sir. This young man seems to have a lively
  and romantic imagination. He is in danger of missing his career
  through a too scrupulous sense of honor, and a generosity which is
  tinged with folly!

  Rousseau (in embarrassment)
  The fact is—

  De Verby
  But I have your word.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Speak out, brother!

  Jules
  Mother, do you answer them, and show yourself on my side?

  Rousseau (taking Jules by the hand)
  Jules! I shall never forget the service which this young girl has done
  us. I understand the promptings of your gratitude; but as you are
  aware the Comte de Verby has our promise; it is not right that you
  should lightly sacrifice your future! You are not wanting in energy,
  you have given sufficient proof of that! A young conspirator should be
  quite able to extricate himself from such an affair as this.

  De Verby (to Jules)
  Undoubtedly! And our future diplomat will have a splendid chance.

  Rousseau
  Moreover my wishes in the matter—

  Jules
  O father!

  Dupre (appearing)
  Jules, I still have to take up your defence.

  Pamela and Joseph
  M. Dupre!

  Jules
  My friend!

  Mme. du Brocard
  It is the lawyer.

  Dupre
  I see! I am no longer "my dear Monsieur Dupre"!

  Mme. du Brocard
  Oh, you are always that! But before paying our debt of gratitude to
  you, we have to think about this young girl.

  Dupre (coldly)
  I beg your pardon, madame.

  De Verby
  This man is going to spoil everything.

  Dupre (to Rousseau)
  I heard all you said. It transcends all I have ever experienced. I
  could not have believed that ingratitude could follow so soon on the
  acceptance of a benefit. Rich as you are, rich as your son will be,
  what fairer task have you to perform than that of satisfying your
  conscience? In saving Jules, this girl has brought disgrace upon
  herself! Can it be possible that the fortune which you have so
  honorably gained should have killed in your heart every generous
  sentiment, and that self-interest alone— (He sees Mme. du Brocard
  making signs to her brother.) Ah! that is right, madame! It is you
  that give the tone in this household! And I forgot while I was
  pleading to this gentleman, that you would be at his elbow when I was
  no longer here.

  Mme. du Brocard
  We have pledged our word to the Count and Countess of Verby! Mlle.
  Pamela, whose friend I shall be all my life, did not effect the
  deliverance of my nephew on the understanding that she should blight
  his prospects.

  Rousseau
  There ought to be some basis of equality in a union by marriage. My
  son will some day have an income of eighty thousand francs.

  Joseph (aside)
  That suits me to a T. I shall marry her now. But this fellow here, he
  talks more like a Jewish money-changer than a father.

  De Verby (to Dupre)
  I think, sir, that your talent and character are such as to claim our
  highest admiration and esteem. The Rousseau family will always
  preserve your name in grateful memory; but these private discussions
  must be carried on without witnesses from outside. M. Rousseau has
  given me his word and I keep him to his promise! (To Jules) Come, my
  young friend, come to my brother's house; my niece is expecting you.
  To-morrow we will sign the marriage contract.

  (Pamela falls senseless on her chair.)

  Joseph
  Ah, what have you done! Mlle. Pamela!

  Dupre and Jules (darting towards her)
  Good heavens!

  De Verby (taking Jules by the hand)
  Come—come—

  Dupre
  Stop a moment! I should have been glad to think that I was not the
  only protector that was left her! But listen, the matter is not yet
  ended! Pamela will certainly be arrested as a false witness! (Seizes
  the hand of De Verby.) And you will all be ruined.

  (Dupre leads off Pamela.)

  Joseph (hiding behind a sofa)
  Don't tell anybody that I am here!

  Curtain to the Fourth Act.





ACT V

                               SCENE FIRST

  (The stage setting represents the private study in Dupre's house. On
  one side is a bookcase, on the other a desk. On the left is a window
  hung with heavy, sweeping silk curtains.)

  Dupre, Pamela, Giraud and Madame Giraud.

  (Pamela is seated on a chair reading; her mother is standing in front
  of her; Giraud is examining the pictures on the wall; Dupre is
  striding up and down the room.)

  Dupre (stopping, addresses Giraud)
  Did you take your usual precautions in coming here this morning?

  Giraud
  You may rest assured of that, sir; when I come here I walk with my
  head turned backwards! I know well enough that the least want of
  caution quickly results in misfortune. Your heart, my daughter, has
  led you astray this time; perjury is a terrible thing and I am afraid
  you are in a serious mess.

  Mme. Giraud
  I agree with you. You must be very careful, Giraud, for if any one
  were to follow you and discover that our poor daughter was here in
  concealment, through the generosity of M. Dupre—

  Dupre
  Come now, enough of that! (He continues to stride hastily about the
  room.) What ingratitude! The Rousseau family are ignorant of what
  steps I have taken. They believe that Pamela has been arrested, and
  none of them trouble their heads about it! They have sent Jules off to
  Brussels; De Verby is in the country; and Rousseau carries on his
  business at the Bourse as if nothing else was worth living for. Money,
  ambition, are their sole objects. The higher feelings count for
  nothing! They all worship the golden calf. Money makes them dance
  round their idol; the sight of it blinds them.

  (Pamela has been watching him, she rises and approaches him.)

  Pamela
  M. Dupre, you are agitated, you seem unwell. I fear it is on my
  account.

  Dupre
  Have you not shared my disgust at the hateful want of feeling
  manifested by this family, who, as soon as their son is acquitted,
  throw you aside as a mere tool that has served their purpose?

  Pamela
  But what can we do about it, sir?

  Dupre
  Dear child, does your heart feel no bitterness against them?

  Pamela
  No, sir! I am happier than any of them; for I feel that I have done a
  good deed.

  Mme. Giraud (embracing Pamela)
  My poor dear daughter!

  Giraud
  This is the happiest moment of my life.

  Dupre (addressing Pamela)
  Mademoiselle, you are a noble girl! No one has better ground for
  saying it than I, for it was I who came to you imploring you to speak
  the truth; and pure and honorable as you are, you have compromised
  your character for the sake of another. And now they repulse you and
  treat you with contempt; but I look upon you with hearty admiration—
  you shall yet be happy, for I will make full reparation to you!
  Pamela, I am forty-eight years old. I have some reputation, and a
  fortune. I have spent my life as an honest man, and will finish it as
  such; will you be my wife?

  Pamela (much moved)
  I, sir?

  Giraud
  His wife! Our daughter his wife! What do you say to that, Mme. Giraud?

  Mme. Giraud
  Can it be possible?

  Dupre
  Why should you wonder at this? Let us have no idle phrases. Put the
  question to your own heart—and answer yes or no—Will you be my wife?

  Pamela
  You are a great man, sir, and I owe everything to you. Do you really
  wish to add to the debt? Ah! my gratitude—!

  Dupre
  Don't let me hear you use that word,—it spoils everything! The world
  is something that I despise! And I render to it no account of my
  conduct, my hatred or my love. From the moment I saw your courage and
  your resignation—I loved you. Try to love me in return!

  Pamela
  Ah, sir, indeed I will!

  Mme. Giraud
  Could any one help loving you?

  Giraud
  Sir, I am only a poor porter. I repeat it, I am nothing but a porter.
  You love our daughter, you have told her so. Forgive me—my eyes are
  full of tears—and that checks my utterance. (He wipes his eyes.)
  Well, well, you do right to love her! It proves that you have brains!
  For Pamela—there are a great many landowners' children who are her
  inferiors. But it is humiliating for her to have parents such as us.

  Pamela
  O father!

  Giraud
  You are a leader among men! Well, I and my wife, we will go and hide
  ourselves somewhere far into the country! And on Sunday, at the hour
  of mass, you will say, "They are praying to God for us!"

  (Pamela kisses her parents.)

  Dupre
  You are good people, and to think that such as you have neither title
  nor fortune! And if you are pining for your country home, you shall
  return there and live there in happiness and tranquillity, and I will
  make provision for you.

  Giraud and Mme. Giraud
  Oh! our gratitude—

  Dupre
  That word again—I should like to cut it out of the dictionary!
  Meanwhile I intend to take you both with me into the country, so set
  about packing up.

  Giraud
  Sir!

  Dupre
  Well, what is it?

  Giraud
  Poor Joseph Binet is also in danger. He does not know that we are all
  here. But three days ago, he came to see your servant and seemed
  scared almost to death, and he is hidden here, as in a sanctuary, up
  in the attic.

  Dupre
  Call him down-stairs.

  Giraud
  He will not come, sir; he is too much afraid of being arrested—they
  pass him up food through a hole in the ceiling!

  Dupre
  He will soon be at liberty, I hope. I am expecting a letter which will
  relieve all your minds.

  Giraud
  At once?

  Dupre
  I expect the letter this evening.

  Giraud (to his wife)
  I am going to make my way cautiously to the house.

  (Madame Giraud accompanies him, and gives him advice. Pamela arises to
  follow her.)

  Dupre (restraining Pamela)
  You are not in love with this Binet, are you?

  Pamela
  Oh, never!

  Dupre
  And the other?

  Pamela (struggling with her feelings)
  I shall love none but you!

  (Pamela starts to leave the room. A noise is heard in the antechamber.
  Jules appears.)

                               SCENE SECOND

  Pamela, Dupre and Jules.

  Jules (to the servants)
  Let me pass! I tell you—I must speak to him at once! (Noticing Dupre)
  Ah, sir! What has become of Pamela? Is she at liberty? Is she safe?

  Pamela (stopping at the door)
  Jules!

  Jules
  Good heavens! You here?

  Dupre
  And you, sir, I thought you were at Brussels?

  Jules
  Yes, they sent me away against my will, and I yielded to them! Reared
  as I have been in obedience, I still tremble before my family! But I
  carried away with me the memory of what I had left behind! It has
  taken me six months to realize the situation, and I now acknowledge
  that I risked my life in order to obtain the hand of Mlle. de Verby,
  that I might gratify the ambition of my family, or, if you like, might
  honor my own vanity. I hoped some day to be a man of title, I, the son
  of a rich stock-broker! Then I met Pamela, and I fell in love with
  her! The rest you know! What was a mere sentiment has now become a
  duty, and every hour that has kept me from her I have felt that
  obedience to my family was rank cowardice; and while they believe I am
  far away, I have returned! You told me she had been arrested—and to
  think that I should run away (to both of them) without coming to see
  you, who had been my deliverer, and will be hers also.

  Dupre (looking at them)
  Good! Very good! He is an honorable fellow after all.

  Pamela (aside, drying her tears)
  Thank God for that!

  Dupre
  What do you expect to do? What are your plans?

  Jules
  What are my plans? To unite my fortune with hers. If necessary, to
  forfeit everything for her, and under God's protection to say to her,
  "Pamela, will you be mine?"

  Dupre
  The deuce you say! But there is a slight difficulty in the way—for I
  am going to marry her myself.

  Jules (in great astonishment)
  You?

  Dupre
  Yes, I! (Pamela casts down her eyes.) I have no family to oppose my
  wishes.

  Jules
  I will win over mine.

  Dupre
  They will send you off to Brussels again.

  Jules
  I must run and find my mother; my courage has returned! Were I to
  forfeit the favor of my father, were my aunt to cut me off with a sou,
  I would stand my ground. If I did otherwise, I should be destitute of
  self-respect, I should prove myself a soulless coward.—After that, is
  there any hope for me?

  Dupre
  Do you ask such a question of me?

  Jules
  Pamela, answer, I implore you!

  Pamela (to Dupre)
  I have given you my word, sir.

                               SCENE THIRD

  The same persons and a servant.

  (The servant hands a card to Dupre.)

  Dupre (looking at the card with great surprise)
  How is this? (To Jules) Do you know where M. de Verby is?

  Jules
  He is in Normandy, staying with his brother, Comte de Verby.

  Dupre (looking at the card)
  Very good. Now you had better go and find your mother.

  Jules
  But you promise me?

  Dupre
  I promise nothing.

  Jules
  Good-bye, Pamela! (Aside, as he goes out) I will come back soon.

  Dupre (turning towards Pamela, after the departure of Jules)
  Must he come back again?

  Pamela (with great emotion, throwing herself into his arms)
  Ah! sir! (Exit.)

  Dupre (looking after her and wiping away a tear)
  Gratitude, forsooth! (Opening a narrow secret door.) Come in, general;
  come in!

                               SCENE FOURTH

  Dupre and De Verby.

  Dupre
  Strange, sir, to find you here, when every one believes that you are
  fifty leagues away from Paris.

  De Verby
  I arrived this morning.

  Dupre
  Without doubt some powerful motive brought you here?

  De Verby
  No selfish motive; but I couldn't remain wholly indifferent to the
  affairs of others! You may prove useful to me.

  Dupre
  I shall be only too happy to have an opportunity of serving you.

  Du Verby
  M. Dupre, the circumstances under which we have become acquainted have
  put me in a position fully to appreciate your value. You occupy the
  first place among the men whose talents and character claim my
  attention.

  Dupre
  Ah! sir, you compel me to say that you, a veteran of the Empire, have
  always seemed to me by your loyalty and your independence to be a
  fitting representative of that glorious epoch. (Aside) I hope I have
  paid him back in full.

  De Verby
  I suppose I may rely upon you for assistance?

  Dupre
  Certainly.

  De Verby
  I would like to ask for some information with regard to young Pamela
  Giraud.

  Dupre
  I felt sure that was your object.

  De Verby
  The Rousseau family have behaved abominably.

  Dupre
  Would you have behaved any better?

  De Verby
  I intend to espouse her cause! Since her arrest as a perjurer, how do
  things go on?

  Dupre
  That can have very little interest for you.

  De Verby
  That may be true, but—

  Dupre (aside)
  He is trying to make me talk in order to find out whether he is likely
  to be compromised in the case. (Aloud) General de Verby, there are
  some men who cannot be seen through, either in their plans or in their
  thoughts; the actions and events which they give rise to alone reveal
  and explain such men. These are the strong men. I humbly beg that you
  will pardon my frankness when I say that I don't look upon you as
  being one of them.

  De Verby
  Sir! What language to use to me! You are a singular man!

  Dupre
  More than that! I believe that I am an original man! Listen to me. You
  throw out hints to me, and you think that as a future ambassador you
  can try on me your diplomatic methods; but you have chosen the wrong
  man and I am going to tell you something, which you will take no
  pleasure in learning. You are ambitious, but you are also prudent, and
  you have taken the lead in a certain conspiracy. The plot failed, and
  without worrying yourself about those whom you had pushed to the
  front, and who eagerly strove for success, you have yourself sneaked
  out of the way. As a political renegade you have proved your
  independence by burning incense to the new dynasty! And you expect as
  a reward to be made ambassador to Turin! In a month's time you will
  receive your credentials; meanwhile Pamela is arrested, you have been
  seen at her house, you may possibly be compromised by her trial for
  perjury! Then you rush to me, trembling with the fear of being
  unmasked, of losing the promotion which has caused you so many efforts
  to attain! You come to me with an air of obsequiousness, and with the
  words of flattery, expecting to make me your dupe, and thus to show
  your sincerity! Well, you have sufficient reason for alarm—Pamela is
  in the hands of justice, and she has told all.

  De Verby
  What then is to be done?

  Dupre
  I have one suggestion to make: Write to Jules that you release him
  from his engagement, and the Mlle. de Verby withdraws her promise to
  be his wife.

  De Verby
  Is that your advice?

  Dupre
  You find that the Rousseau family have behaved abominably, and you
  ought to despise them!

  De Verby
  But you know—engagements of this sort—

  Dupre
  I'll tell you what I know; I know that your private fortune is not
  equal to the position which you aspire to. Mme. du Brocard, whose
  wealth is equal to her pride, ought to come to your assistance, if
  this alliance—

  De Verby
  Sir! How dare you to affront my dignity in this way?

  Dupre
  Whether what I say be true or false, do what I tell you! If you agree,
  I will endeavor to save you from being compromised. But write—or get
  out of the difficulty the best way you can. But stay, I hear some
  clients coming.

  De Verby
  I don't want to see anybody! Everybody, even the Rousseau family,
  believes that I have left the city.

  A servant (announcing a visitor)
  Madame du Brocard!

  De Verby
  Oh, heavens!

  (De Verby rushes into an office on the right.)

                               SCENE FIFTH

  Dupre and Madame du Brocard.

  (Madame du Brocard enters, her face hidden by a heavy black veil which
  she cautiously raises.)

  Mme. du Brocard
  I have been here several times without being lucky enough to find you
  in. We are quite alone here?

  Dupre (smiling)
  Quite alone!

  Mme. du Brocard
  And so this harrowing affair has broken out afresh?

  Dupre
  It has, unhappily!

  Mme. du Brocard
  That wretched young man! If I had not superintended his education, I
  would disinherit him! My life at present is not worth living. Is it
  possible that I, whose conduct and principles have won the esteem of
  all, should be involved in all this trouble? And yet on this occasion
  the only thing that gives me any anxiety is my conduct towards the
  Girauds!

  Dupre
  I can well believe it, for it was you who led astray and who induced
  Pamela to act as she did!

  Mme. du Brocard
  I feel, sir, that it is always a mistake to associate with people of a
  certain class—say, with a Bonapartist—a man who has neither
  conscience nor heart.

  (De Verby, who has been listening, shrinks back with a gesture of
  rage.)

  Dupre
  You always seemed to have such a high opinion of him!

  Mme. du Brocard
  His family was highly thought of! And the prospect of this brilliant
  marriage! I always dreamt of a distinguished future for my nephew.

  Dupre
  But you are forgetting the general's affection for you, his
  unselfishness.

  Mme. du Brocard
  His affection! His unselfishness! The general does not possess a sou,
  and I had promised him a hundred thousand francs, when once the
  marriage contract was signed.

  Dupre (coughs loudly, as he turns in the direction of De Verby)
  Oh! indeed!

  Mme. du Brocard
  I am come to you secretly, and in confidence, in spite of all that has
  been said by this M. de Verby, who avers that you are a half-rate
  lawyer! He has said the most frightful things about you, and I come
  now to beg that you will extricate me from this difficulty. I will
  give you whatever money you demand.

  Dupre
  What I wish above all is that you promise to let your nephew marry
  whom he chooses, and give him the fortune you had designed for him, in
  case he married Mlle. de Verby.

  Mme. du Brocard
  One moment; you said, whom he pleased?

  Dupre
  Give me your answer!

  Mme. du Brocard
  But I ought to know.

  Dupre
  Very well then, you must extricate yourself without my assistance.

  Mme. du Brocard
  You are taking advantage of my situation! Ah! some one is coming.

  Dupre (looking towards the newcomers)
  It is some of your own family!

  Mme. du Brocard (peering cautiously)
  It is my brother-in-law Rousseau—What is he up to now? He swore to me
  that he would keep quiet!

  Dupre
  You also took an oath. In fact, there has been a great deal of
  swearing in your family lately.

  Mme. du Brocard
  I hope I shall be able to hear what he has to say!

  (Rousseau appears with his wife. Mme. du Brocard conceals herself
  behind the curtain.)

  Dupre (looking at her)
  Very good! But if these two want to hide themselves, I don't know
  where I shall put them!

                               SCENE SIXTH

  Dupre, Rousseau and Madame Rousseau.

  Rousseau
  Sir, we are at our wits' end—Madame du Brocard, my sister-in-law,
  came this morning and told us all sorts of stories.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Sir, I am in the most serious alarm.

  Dupre (offering her a seat)
  Pray be seated, madame.

  Rousseau
  If all she says be true, my son is still in difficulties.

  Dupre
  I pity you; I do indeed!

  Rousseau
  It seems as if I should never get free! This unfortunate affair has
  lasted for six months, and it seems to have cut ten years off my life.
  I have been forced to neglect the most magnificent speculations,
  financial combinations of absolute certitude, and to let them pass
  into the hands of others. And then came the trial! But when I thought
  the affair was all over, I have been compelled once more to leave my
  business, and to spend my precious time in these interviews and
  solicitations.

  Dupre
  I pity you; I do indeed!

  Mme. Rousseau
  Meanwhile it is impossible for me—

  Rousseau
  It is all your fault, and that of your family. Mme. du Brocard, who at
  first used always to call me "my dear Rousseau"—because I had a few
  hundred thousand crowns—

  Dupre
  Such a sum is a fine varnish for a man.

  Rousseau
  From pride and ambition, she threw herself at the head of M. de Verby.
  (De Verby and Mme. du Brocard listen.) Pretty couple they are! Two
  charming characters, one a military lobbyist, and the other an old
  hypocritical devotee!

  (The two withdraw their heads quickly.)

  Mme. Rousseau
  Sir, she is my sister!

  Dupre
  Really, you are going too far!

  Rousseau
  You do not know them! Sir, I address you once again, there is sure to
  be a new trial. What has become of that girl?

  Dupre
  That girl is to be my wife, sir.

  Rousseau and Mme. Rousseau
  Your wife!

  De Verby and Mme. du Brocard
  His wife!

  Dupre
  Yes, I shall marry her as soon as she regains her liberty—that is,
  provided she doesn't become the wife of your son!

  Rousseau
  The wife of my son!—

  Mme. Rousseau
  What did he say?

  Dupre
  What is the matter? Does that astonish you? You're bound to entertain
  this proposal—and I demand that you do so.

  Rousseau (ironically)
  Ah! M. Dupre, I don't care a brass button about my son's union with
  Mlle. de Verby—the niece of a disreputable man! It was that fool of a
  Madame du Brocard who tried to bring about this grand match. But to
  come down to a daughter of a porter—

  Dupre
  Her father is no longer that, sir!

  Rousseau
  What do you mean?

  Dupre
  He lost his place through your son, and he intends returning to the
  country, to live on the money— (Rousseau listens attentively) on the
  money which you have promised to give him.

  Rousseau
  Ah! you are joking!

  Dupre
  On the contrary, I am quite serious. Your son will marry their
  daughter—and you will provide a pension for the old people.

  Rousseau
  Sir—

                              SCENE SEVENTH

  The same persons and Joseph (coming in pale and faint).

  Joseph
  M. Dupre, M. Dupre, save me!

  All three
  What has happened? What is the matter?

  Joseph
  Soldiers! Mounted soldiers are coming to arrest me!

  Dupre
  Hold your tongue! Hold your tongue! (Everybody seems alarmed. Dupre
  looks with anxiety towards the room where Pamela is. To Joseph) To
  arrest you?

  Joseph
  I saw one of them. Don't you hear him? He is coming up-stairs. Hide
  me!

  (Joseph tries to hide himself in the small room, from which De Verby
  comes out with a cry.)

  De Verby
  Ah!

  (Joseph gets behind the curtain and Mme. du Brocard rushes forth with
  a shriek.)

  Mme. du Brocard
  Oh, heavens!

  Mme. Rousseau
  My sister!

  Rousseau
  M. de Verby!

  (The door opens.)

  Joseph (falling exhausted over a chair)
  We are all nabbed.

  The servant (entering, to Dupre)
  A message from the Keeper of the Seals.

  Joseph
  The Keeper of the Seals! That must be about me!

  Dupre (advancing with a serious face and addressing the four others)
  I shall now leave you all four face to face—you whose mutual love and
  esteem is so great. Ponder well all I have said to you; she who
  sacrificed all for you, has been despised and humiliated, both for you
  and by you. It is yours to make full reparation to her—to make it
  to-day—this very instant—in this very room. And then, we can take
  measures by which all can obtain deliverance, if indeed you are worth
  the trouble it will cost me.

  (Exit Dupre.)

                               SCENE EIGHTH

  The same persons with the exception of Dupre.

  (They stand looking awkwardly at each other for a moment.)

  Joseph (going up to them)
  We are a nice lot of people. (To De Verby) I should like to know when
  we are put in prison, whether you are going to look out for me, for my
  pocket is as light as my heart is heavy. (De Verby turns his back on
  him. To Rousseau) You know well enough that I was promised something
  for my services. (Rousseau withdraws from him without answering. To
  Mme. du Brocard) Tell me now, wasn't something promised to me?

  Mme. du Brocard
  We will see about that later.

  Mme. Rousseau
  But what do you fear? What are you doing in this place? Were you
  pursued by any one?

  Joseph
  Not at all. I have been four days in this house, hidden like so much
  vermin in the garret. I came here because the old Giraud people were
  not to be found in their quarters. They have been carried off
  somewhere. Pamela has also disappeared—she is doubtless in hiding. I
  had no particular desire to run any risk; I admit that I lied to the
  judge. If I am condemned I will obtain my freedom by making a few
  startling revelations; I will tell on everybody!—

  De Verby (with energy)
  It must be done!

  (De Verby sits at the table and writes.)

  Mme. du Brocard
  O Jules, Jules! Wretched child, you are the cause of all this!

  Mme. Rousseau (to her husband)
  You see, this lawyer has got you all in his power! You will have to
  agree to his terms.

  (De Verby rises from the table. Mme. du Brocard takes his place and
  begins to write.)

  Mme. Rousseau (to her husband)
  My dear, I implore you!

  Rousseau (with decision)
  By heavens! I shall promise to this devil of a lawyer all that he asks
  of me; but Jules is at Brussels.

  (The door opens, Joseph cries out in alarm, but it is Dupre who
  enters.)

                               SCENE NINTH

  The same persons and Dupre.

  Dupre
  How is this?

  (Mme du Brocard hands him the letter she has been writing; De Verby
  hands him his; and it is passed over to Rousseau who reads it with
  astonishment; De Verby casts a furious glance at Dupre and the
  Rousseau family, and dashes out of the room.)

  Dupre (to Rousseau)
  And what decision have you made, sir?

  Rousseau
  I shall let my son do exactly what he wants in the matter.

  Mme. Rousseau
  Dear husband!

  Dupre (aside)
  He thinks that Jules is out of town.

  Rousseau
  At present Jules is at Brussels, and he must return at once.

  Dupre
  That is perfectly fair! It is quite clear that I can't demand anything
  at the moment of you, so long as he is away; to do so would be absurd.

  Rousseau
  Certainly! We can settle matters later.

  Dupre
  Yes, as soon as he returns.

  Rousseau
  Oh! as soon as he returns. (Aside) I will take pretty good care that
  he remains where he is.

  Dupre (going towards the door on the left)
  Come in, young man, and thank your family, who have given their full
  consent to your marriage.

  Mme. Rousseau
  It is Jules!

  Mme. du Brocard
  It is my nephew!

  Jules
  Can it be possible?

  Dupre (darting towards another room)
  And you, Pamela, my child, my daughter!—embrace your husband.

  (Jules rushes towards her.)

  Mme. du Brocard (to Rousseau)
  How has all this come about?

  Dupre
  Pamela never was arrested. There is no likelihood of her ever being. I
  haven't a title of nobility. I am not the brother of a peer of France,
  but still I have some influence. The self-sacrifice of this poor girl
  has aroused the sympathy of the government—the indictment has been
  quashed. The Keeper of the Seals has sent me word of this by an
  orderly on horseback, whom this simpleton took for a regiment of
  soldiers in pursuit of him.

  Joseph
  It is very hard to see plainly through a garret window.

  Mme. du Brocard
  Sir, you have caught me by surprise; I take back my promise.

  Dupre
  But I still have possession of your latter. Do you wish to have a
  lawsuit about it? Very well, I will appear against you on the other
  side.

  Giraud and Mme. Giraud (entering and approaching Dupre)
  M. Dupre!

  Dupre
  Are you satisfied with me?

  (In the meantime Jules and Mme. Rousseau have been imploring Rousseau
  to yield his consent; he hesitates, but at last kisses Pamela on the
  forehead. Dupre approaches Rousseau and, seeing him kiss Pamela,
  wrings his hand.)

  Dupre
  You have done well, sir. (Then turning to Jules) Will you make her
  happy?

  Jules
  Ah, my friend, you need not ask!

  (Pamela kisses the hand of Dupre.)

  Joseph (to Dupre)
  What a fool I have been! Well, he is going to marry her, and I am
  actually glad for them! But am I not to get something out of all this?

  Dupre
  Certainly, you shall have all the fees that come to me from the
  lawsuit.

  Joseph
  You may count on my gratitude.

  Dupre
  That will be receipt in full!

  Final curtain.