Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT I SCENE VI.

        CHARLES, SOREL, DUCHATEL.

CHARLES.
Is, then, the sceptre such a peerless treasure?
Is it so hard to loose it from our grasp?
Believe me, 'tis more galling to endure
The domineering rule of these proud vassals.
To be dependent on their will and pleasure
Is, to a noble heart, more bitter far
Than to submit to fate.
        [To DUCHATEL, who still lingers.
                Duchatel, go,
And do what I commanded.

DUCHATEL (throws himself at the KING'S feet).
                Oh, my king!

CHARLES.
No more! Thou'st heard my absolute resolve!

DUCHATEL.
Sire, with the Duke of Burgundy make peace!
'Tis the sole outlet from destruction left!

CHARLES.
Thou giv'st this counsel, and thy blood alone
Can ratify this peace.

DUCHATEL.
                Here is my head.
I oft have risked it for thee in the fight,
And with a joyful spirit I, for thee,
Would lay it down upon the block of death.
Conciliate the duke! Deliver me
To the full measure of his wrath, and let
My flowing blood appease the ancient hate.

CHARLES (looks at him for some time in silence, and with deep emotion).
Can it be true? Am I, then, sunk so low,
That even friends, who read my inmost heart,
Point out for my escape the path of shame?
Yes, now I recognize my abject fall.
My honor is no more confided in.

DUCHATEL.
Reflect----

CHARLES.
                Be silent, and incense me not!
Had I ten realms, on which to turn my back,
With my friend's life I would not purchase them.
Do what I have commanded. Hence, and see
My equipage embarked.

DUCHATEL.
                'Twill speedily
Be done.

        [He stands up and retires. AGNES SOREL weeps passionately.]

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 1 SCENE 7 Maid of Orleans

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