Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 2 - Scene 2

  Richemont.   Valancour.

  Riche. Pass on to Rheims!
E'en through the heart of Bedford's army!
What rashness!

  Val. 'Tis by order of the maid.

  Riche. What folly next, is son as father mad?
Thou canst not mean it.

  Val. 'Tis fact, my lord.
She must behold the crown plac'd on his head.

  Riche. Eternal curses light upon her own.
Thwarted in all my views, fortune but mocks,
Instead of crowning me. These rival states
Should from my fiat take their destiny.
Nor care I whether Charles or Bedford win,
So either make a step for my ascent.

  Val. Yet both have slighted—

  Riche. Me!—'tis false as hell.
They may appear to show me some neglect,
And why? Both fear me, both are jealous of me.
What else could instigate the wary Bedford
To waive my offer to command his host?
What too but envy influences Charles?

  Val. The dauphin's heart is warm—he may feel sore.

  Riche. At what? That I should cause his myrmidons
To shed their forfeit blood! his fav'rites banish?
Yet little have I gained—his present minion
Provokes my stronger hate, and worse contempt.

  Val. But you will grace the fête with your high presence.

  Riche. No: let them play the part of fools without me.
His majesty of Bourges doth well to merge
His title, erst bestowed on him, for one
Still more absurd in folly.

  Val. Think, my lord—
With reverence—

  Riche. Peace! I see the issue.
My own name tarnished by severe defeat
On Beuvron's plains, my promises proved empty,
While hers, though most extravagant, fulfilled,
The fools will honour her, o'erlook myself;
Or worse, most odious contrast may be made
Betwixt successful rashness on her part,
And baffled skill on mine. Not Heaven itself
Shall force me to such chance.

  Val. If fortune's tide
Have met a turn, no matter by what means,
Would it be well to stand aloof, and miss
The way to honour? Will not thy absence
Rather awake impertinent remark,—
Be deemed his will?

  Riche. There's reason in thy words;
And more, so prodigal is he, so reckless,
New honours he may heap on her, and plead
Omission on my part as his excuse.
I'll spare him that pretence.—Prepare for Baugenci.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 2 SCENE 3 Joan of Arc Play

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