Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT III SCENE II.

        CHARLES, AGNES, SOREL, DUCHATEL, and CHATILLON.
        The same.

CHARLES (to CHATILLON).
He comes! My title he will recognize,
And do me homage as his sovereign liege?

CHATILLON.
Here, in his royal town of Chalons, sire,
The duke, my master, will fall down before thee.
He did command me, as my lord and king,
To give thee greeting. He'll be here anon.

SOREL.
He comes! Hail beauteous and auspicious day,
Which bringeth joy, and peace, and reconcilement!

CHATILLON.
The duke, attended by two hundred knights,
Will hither come; he at thy feet will kneel;
But he expecteth not that thou to him
Should yield the cordial greeting of a kinsman.

CHARLES.
I long to clasp him to my throbbing heart.

CHATILLON.
The duke entreats that at this interview,
No word be spoken of the ancient strife!

CHARLES.
In Lethe be the past forever sunk!
The smiling future now invites our gaze.

CHATILLON.
All who have combated for Burgundy
Shall be included in the amnesty.

CHARLES.
So shall my realm be doubled in extent!

CHATILLON.
Queen Isabel, if she consent thereto,
Shall also be included in the peace.

CHARLES.
She maketh war on me, not I on her.
With her alone it rests to end our quarrel.

CHATILLON.
Twelve knights shall answer for thy royal word.

CHARLES.
My word is sacred.

CHATILLON.
                The archbishop shall
Between you break the consecrated host,
As pledge and seal of cordial reconcilement.

CHARLES.
Let my eternal weal be forfeited,
If my hand's friendly grasp belie my heart.
What other surety doth the duke require?

CHATILLON (glancing at DUCHATEL).
I see one standing here, whose presence, sire,
Perchance might poison the first interview.

        [DUCHATEL retires in silence.]

CHARLES.
Depart, Duchatel, and remain concealed
Until the duke can bear thee in his sight.

[He follows him with his eye, then hastens after
and embraces him.

True-hearted friend! Thou wouldst far more than this
Have done for my repose!
        [Exit DUCHATEL.]

CHATILLON.
This instrument doth name the other points.

CHARLES (to the ARCHBISHOP).
Let it be settled. We agree to all.
We count no price too high to gain a friend.
Go now, Dunois, and with a hundred knights,
Give courteous conduct to the noble duke.
Let the troops, garlanded with verdant boughs,
Receive their comrades with a joyous welcome.
Be the whole town arrayed in festive pomp,
And let the bells with joyous peal, proclaim
That France and Burgundy are reconciled.

        [A PAGE enters. Trumpets sound.]

Hark! What importeth that loud trumpet's call?

PAGE.
The Duke of Burgundy hath stayed his march.

        [Exit.]

DUNOIS.
Up! forth to meet him!

        [Exit with LA HIRE and CHATILLON.]

CHARLES (to SOREL).
My Agnes! thou dost weep! Even my strength
Doth almost fail me at this interview.
How many victims have been doomed to fall
Ere we could meet in peace and reconcilement!
But every storm at length suspends its rage,
Day follows on the murkiest night; and still
When comes the hour, the latest fruits mature!

ARCHBISHOP (at the window).
The thronging crowds impede the duke's advance;
He scarce can free himself. They lift him now
From off his horse; they kiss his spurs, his mantle.

CHARLES.
They're a good people, in whom love flames forth
As suddenly as wrath. In how brief space
They do forget that 'tis this very duke
Who slew, in fight, their fathers and their sons;
The moment swallows up the whole of life!
Be tranquil, Sorel. E'en thy passionate joy
Perchance might to his conscience prove a thorn.
Nothing should either shame or grieve him here.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 3 SCENE 3 Maid of Orleans

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