small flourish

Angélique. Lorena Gale. 1999.


Act II, Scene 8.

All voices in unison. April 10, 1734.

(shovelling hot coals into a bucket)

My raging heart,
Wey a hey a
Is filled with pain,
Wey a hey a
My César's frost,
Wey a hey a
is searing me,
Wey a hey a.

My blood flows hot,
Wey a hey a
My breath blows cold,
Wey a hey a
Memories of his love,
Wey a hey a
Still burn in me,
Wey a hey.


She ululates.

CÉSAR enters with a cigar, matches and cigar
scissors. He takes the bucket from MANON
and prepares the cigar for smoking.

I smile. I grin. I keep my eyes averted. "Oui,
Monsieur." "Non, Monsieur." "Right away,
Monsieur." I do whatever I have to do to "just
get along." It's survival in the white man's
world. And I get by. Why fight what I can't
change? But don't think that makes me any
less a man.

Don't look at me too closely. You'll see the
smile is on my lips, not in my eyes which see
everything. And though my head is bent, my
backbone's strong. My shoulders broad and
powerful. And these hands could crush a
windpipe just like an autumn leaf. But I don't
fight. I'll do whatever I gotta do to "just get

Claude thinks that he can beat me with a
word. Cause in this world where white is
might a word is all it takes to silence. But I
am a patient man. I'll wait it out. And when
the time is right. (handing the cigar to Ignace
and lighting a match)
I'll strike!

He hands the cigar to GAMELIN, who takes
a light from CÉSAR. He puffs on the cigar a
bit, with satisfaction, before speaking. CESAR
puts the pail beside him.

Women have no place in business. Their minds
can't seem to get around their emotions. And
there is no room in business for emotion. I let
Thérèse have her way. But she will sell. (he
Eventually, she'll have to sell. (he flicks
his ash into the bucket)


THÉRÈSE enters with a candle and slowly
makes her way across the stage occasionally
stopping and looking behind her, as if she is
being pursued by something which isn't there.

(stopping) Who's there? Angélique? (silence)
There are too many noises in this house. Creaks
and bumps. Sounds I can't identify. Hear that?
(she stops, listens, whispers) Angélique? (she
This is my house! I know this house.
I love this house. But everything sounds
strange to me. Cats cry each night. Dogs howl.
Horses stamp their feet. They sense it too. (she
Who's there? Angélique? (pause) Les
Lutins. Yes. Goblins. They're back. I didn't
think they could stray so far from farms. But
yes! Les Lutins. That makes sense. (she
Yes. Goblins. I can deal with goblins.
Goblins and Angélique. Both, I can be rid of.

She takes the bucket and hands it to
CLAUDE, who enters with an oil lamp.

I'm going to be somebody someday. You think
I'm going to be hauling buckets and shovelling
horseshit all my life? Not me. I'll be as big as
Francheville one day. Bigger. You see, I am. I
am more than... I am more than this!

ln New France, I'll never be more than peasant
scum who signed five years of his life away
for some new clothes, a few bags of grain and a
stony piece of land that may never bear fruit.
But in New England or farther south, there's
no telling what a man could make of himself!
Yes. There's money to be made in the colonies.
And, you know what... ?

He puts the bucket down and gives
ANGÉLIQUE a passionate kiss.

I'm going to make me some.


Love. I had almost forgotten it felt like...


He exits leaving the pail with ANGÉLIQUE.

How long can I wait? Each minute brings me
closer to a living death. And I'm alive. I am

His touches burn, sear, scorch, igniting fire
deep inside where pain and ice had been. And
I feel... heat, life, force, power, black and

She envies that. Cold, passionless bitch! Just
like her bastard husband. Both sucking.
Sucking life. Denying life.

No! I am not a chair, a sack of grain or a calf
to be fattened and sold for slaughter! I am
alive. And loved. And I can't wait... any

Smoke begins to fill the stage.

Fire !




Pandemonium breaks out. Church bells
ringing, people shouting, panicking. The
actors run around and organize themselves
into a line in which buckets pass from person
to person. ANGÉLIQUE is at the end of the
line. Buckets pass swiftly and desperately from
person to person. CLAUDE enters, picking his
teeth. Watches silently for a moment.
ANGÉLIQUE turns to grab another bucket,


sees CLAUDE and, instead, grabs CLAUDE's



They run. The line continues to battle the
flames which mount higher and higher. They
turn and speak rapidly.

The fire was set at the St. Paul Street house of
her mistress, in the evening of April 10, 1734.

The flames travelled quickly from one house to
another and, later, to the Hotel Dieu, where the
neighbours had started to transport their
furniture and belongings.

The convent and the church were destroyed.

This was the third time the Hotel Dieu had
been engulfed by flames.

By the time the fire died, 46 homes would be

Source: Gale, Lorena, "Angélique," Playwrights Canada Press, Toronto: 1999.

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