Philippe de Valois
nicknamed Le Bon
Duke of Burgundy
Foxy and handsome son and heir of Jean Sans Peur, the sinister and ambitious Duke of Burgundy. A true Lovelace in the sense of Louis D’Orléans: he decorated with eighteen illegitimate children his nursery. And broke the heart of Jacqueline D’Hainault.
After the assassination of his father, he allied himself with the English and continued the embittered civil war against the Armagnacs. He was the man who captured and sold Joan of Arc to the English.
But Henry VI’s mental illness and the weakness of the English government changed his mind: Philippe returned to King Charles VII. After that, his splendid Court served most of all as a refuge for them, with Charles’ discontent French noblemen.
An excerpt from Schiller’s drama, The Jungfrau von Orléans, where Joan commands Philippe to reconcile:
O she can command me as she wishes,
My heart is soft wax in her hands.
– Embrace me, Du Chatel; I forgive you.
Spirit of my father, don’t be angry with me if I,
In friendship, grasp the hand which killed you.
You gods of death, do not hold it against me,
That I break my terrible vow of vengeance.
Down there in your eternal night
No heart beats any more; there all is eternal,
Everything stands immovably firm – but
Up above, here in the sunlight it is otherwise.
The human being is, lively in feeling,
The easy prey of the mighty moment.