Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 4 - Scene 2
Palace

  Alençon.   Du Nois.

  Alen. Met in good time! If I may augur right,
The maid, our nation's pride, will need, ere long,
Support from her best friends.

  Du N. What hath she done?

  Alen. Awoke the bitter malice of the base,
Who dare not emulate a noble deed,
And feel its just reward their own reproach.

  Du N. That she is envied can provoke no wonder;
Nothing may shine without attendant shade:
But that she yielded to receive such honour,
This indeed surprises me.

  Alen. It need not.
Hardly the point was gained, if gained at all:
Still she entreats permission to depart,
Lowly as when she left her native vale.

  Du N. And what is there in this to waken malice?
Whose heart is large enough to envy it?

  Alen. You do forget, no words give more offence
Than those which mark the speaker's higher worth.
Her noble sentiments this day expressed,
Have wrought her many foes; nor does the fête,
Proposed this eve, yield greater satisfaction.

  Du N. The news I bring must break upon these joys:
I seek the king, and must not pause a moment!

[Exeunt.

Enter   Valancour.

  Val. He here! and wherefore come? To own his love,
No doubt, since now in rank she equals him.
There's madness in the thought! Accursed chance!
Why did I slight the counsel Richemont gave,
Withheld by paltry fears of blighted honour!
Shall I turn villain? disappoint his hopes?
I want the resolution to be base,
Yet have not courage to be just.

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