Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 5 - Scene 2
An Apartment in the Keep at Rouen

  Bedford.   Beauvais.

  Beau. But good, my lord, the interest of the state—
Justice demands.

  Bed. I question not the policy—
No, nor justice of the step: be it so;
It is enough for me, my word is pledged.

  Beau. But pledged to whom? a guilty, low-born woman.

  Bed. Whether to monarch or to slave, all one,
'Tis pledged, and I'll not break it. Honour fled
From common breasts, must shelter in the noblest.

  Beau. (Aside. Proud, haughty prince!) Why generous by halves?
Why not then grant her all,—ease, liberty,
With means again to lord it over those
Whose path 'tis outrage she should dare to cross?
Richemont hath offered well, and reasoned wisely.

  Bed. And wouldst thou move me to a coward's deed
To soothe his wounded vanity? Shame on 't!
Talk of ambition, love of fame, revenge,
Aye, e'en of avarice, and call them selfish,
Prodigal of life, cruel; why vanity,
That vice of little minds, out-tops them all!
Cold, selfish, marble-hearted vanity!
Whose god is self, whose greedy appetite,
Fed still on self, is gorged but never full.
Never again shall she behold the light
Of sun. I promised life on one condition—
That she be never clad in armour more.
That condition honoured—she shall live.

  Beau. Broken?

  Bed. She shall die.

[Exit.

  Beau. Then hast thou sealed her doom. Richemont
I thank thee for the hint.

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