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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Maid Of Orleans: A Tragedy - Act 2
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The Maid Of Orleans: A Tragedy - Act 2 Post by :cathycathy Category :Plays Author :Frederich Schiller Date :May 2012 Read :821

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The Maid Of Orleans: A Tragedy - Act 2

ACT II

(Landscape, bounded by rocks.)


SCENE I.

(TALBOT and LIONEL, English generals, PHILIP, DUKE OF BURGUNDY,
FASTOLFE, and CHATILLON, with soldiers and banners.)


TALBOT.
Here let us make a halt beneath these rocks,
And pitch our camp, in case our scattered troops,
Dispersed in panic fear, again should rally.
Choose trusty sentinels, and guard the heights!
'Tis true the darkness shields us from pursuit,
And sure I am, unless the foe have wings,
We need not fear surprisal. Still 'tis well
To practice caution, for we have to do
With a bold foe, and have sustained defeat.

(FASTOLFE goes out with the soldiers.)

LIONEL.
Defeat! My general, do not speak that word.
It stings me to the quick to think the French
To-day have seen the backs of Englishmen.
Oh, Orleans! Orleans! Grave of England's glory!
Our honor lies upon thy fatal plains
Defeat most ignominious and burlesque!
Who will in future years believe the tale!
The victors of Poictiers and Agincourt,
Cressy's bold heroes, routed by a woman?

BURGUNDY.
That must console us. Not by mortal power,
But by the devil have we been o'erthrown!

TALBOT.
The devil of our own stupidity!
How, Burgundy? Do princes quake and fear
Before the phantom which appals the vulgar?
Credulity is but a sorry cloak
For cowardice. Your people first took flight.

BURGUNDY.
None stood their ground. The flight was general.

TALBOT.
'Tis false! Your wing fled first. You wildly broke
Into our camp, exclaiming: "Hell is loose,
The devil combats on the side of France!"
And thus you brought confusion 'mong our troops.

LIONEL.
You can't deny it. Your wing yielded first.

BURGUNDY.
Because the brunt of battle there commenced.

TALBOT.
The maiden knew the weakness of our camp;
She rightly judged where fear was to be found.

BURGUNDY.
How? Shall the blame of our disaster rest
With Burgundy?

LIONEL.
By heaven! were we alone,
We English, never had we Orleans lost!

BURGUNDY.
No, truly! for ye ne'er had Orleans seen!
Who opened you a way into this realm,
And reached you forth a kind and friendly hand
When you descended on this hostile coast?
Who was it crowned your Henry at Paris,
And unto him subdued the people's hearts?
Had this Burgundian arm not guided you
Into this realm, by heaven you ne'er had seen
The smoke ascending from a single hearth!

LIONEL.
Were conquests with big words effected, duke,
You, doubtless, would have conquered France alone.

BURGUNDY.
The loss of Orleans angers you, and now
You vent your gall on me, your friend and ally.
What lost us Orleans but your avarice?
The city was prepared to yield to me,
Your envy was the sole impediment.

TALBOT.
We did not undertake the siege for you.

BURGUNDY.
How would it stand with you if I withdrew
With all my host?

LIONEL.
We should not be worse off
Than when, at Agincourt, we proved a match
For you and all the banded power of France.

BURGUNDY.
Yet much you stood in need of our alliance;
The regent purchased it at heavy cost.

TALBOT.
Most dearly, with the forfeit of our honor,
At Orleans have we paid for it to-day.

BURGUNDY.
Urge me no further, lords. Ye may repent it!
Did I forsake the banners of my king,
Draw down upon my head the traitor's name,
To be insulted thus by foreigners?
Why am I here to combat against France?
If I must needs endure ingratitude,
Let it come rather from my native king!

TALBOT.
You're in communication with the Dauphin,
We know it well, but we soon shall find means
To guard ourselves 'gainst treason.

BURGUNDY.
Death and hell!
Am I encountered thus? Chatillon, hark!
Let all my troops prepare to quit the camp.
We will retire into our own domain.

(CHATILLON goes out.)

LIONEL.
God speed you there! Never did Britain's fame
More brightly shine than when she stood alone,
Confiding solely in her own good sword.
Let each one fight his battle for himself,
For 'tis eternal truth that English blood
Cannot, with honor, blend with blood of France.

 

SCENE II.

(The same. QUEEN ISABEL, attended by a PAGE.)

ISABEL.
What must I hear? This fatal strife forbear!
What brain-bewildering planet o'er your minds
Sheds dire perplexity? When unity
Alone can save you, will you part in hate,
And, warring 'mong yourselves, prepare your doom?--
I do entreat you, noble duke, recall
Your hasty order. You, renowned Talbot,
Seek to appease an irritated friend!
Come, Lionel, aid me to reconcile
These haughty spirits and establish peace.

LIONEL.
Not I, madame. It is all one to me.
'Tis my belief, when things are misallied,
The sooner they part company the better.

ISABEL.
How? Do the arts of hell, which on the field
Wrought such disastrous ruin, even here
Bewilder and befool us? Who began
This fatal quarrel? Speak! Lord-general!
Your own advantage did you so forget,
As to offend your worthy friend and ally?
What could you do without his powerful arm?
'Twas he who placed your monarch on the throne,
He holds him there, and he can hurl him thence;
His army strengthens you--still more his name.
Were England all her citizens to pour
Upon our coasts, she never o'er this realm
Would gain dominion did she stand alone;
No! France can only be subdued by France!

TALBOT.
A faithful friend we honor as we ought;
Discretion warns us to beware the false.

BURGUNDY.
The liar's brazen front beseemeth him
Who would absolve himself from gratitude.

ISABEL.
How, noble duke? Could you so far renounce
Your princely honor, and your sense of shame,
As clasp the hand of him who slew your sire?
Are you so mad to entertain the thought
Of cordial reconcilement with the Dauphin,
Whom you yourself have hurled to ruin's brink?
His overthrow you have well nigh achieved,
And madly now would you renounce your work?
Here stand your allies. Your salvation lies
In an indissoluble bond with England?

BURGUNDY.
Far is my thought from treaty with the Dauphin;
But the contempt and insolent demeanor
Of haughty England I will not endure.

ISABEL.
Come, noble duke? Excuse a hasty word.
Heavy the grief which bows the general down,
And well you know misfortune makes unjust.
Come! come! embrace; let me this fatal breach
Repair at once, ere it becomes eternal.

TALBOT.
What think you, Burgundy? A noble heart,
By reason vanquished, doth confess its fault.
A wise and prudent word the queen hath spoken;
Come, let my hand with friendly pressure heal
The wound inflicted by my angry tongue.

BURGUNDY.
Discreet the counsel offered by the queen!
My just wrath yieldeth to necessity.

ISABEL.
'Tis well! Now, with a brotherly embrace
Confirm and seal the new-established bond;
And may the winds disperse what hath been spoken.

(BURGUNDY and TALBOT embrace.)

LIONEL
(contemplating the group aside).
Hail to an union by the furies planned!

ISABEL.
Fate hath proved adverse, we have lost a battle,
But do not, therefore, let your courage sink.
The Dauphin, in despair of heavenly aid,
Doth make alliance with the powers of hell;
Vainly his soul he forfeits to the devil,
For hell itself cannot deliver him.
A conquering maiden leads the hostile force;
Yours, I myself will lead; to you I'll stand
In place of maiden or of prophetess.

LIONEL.
Madame, return to Paris! We desire
To war with trusty weapons, not with women.

TALBOT.
GO! go! Since your arrival in the camp,
Fortune hath fled our banners, and our course
Hath still been retrograde. Depart at once!

BURGUNDY.
Your presence here doth scandalize the host.

ISABEL
(looks from one to the other with astonishment).
This, Burgundy, from you? Do you take part
Against me with these thankless English lords?

BURGUNDY.
Go! go! The thought of combating for you
Unnerves the courage of the bravest men.

ISABEL.
I scarce among you have established peace,
And you already form a league against me!

TALBOT.
Go, in God's name. When you have left the camp
No devil will again appal our troops.

ISABEL.
Say, am I not your true confederate?
Are we not banded in a common cause?

TALBOT.
Thank God! your cause of quarrel is not ours.
We combat in an honorable strife.

BURGUNDY.
A father's bloody murder I avenge.
Stern filial duty consecrates my arms.

TALBOT.
Confess at once. Your conduct towards the Dauphin
Is an offence alike to God and man.

ISABEL.
Curses blast him and his posterity!
The shameless son who sins against his mother!

BURGUNDY.
Ay! to avenge a husband and a father!

ISABEL.
To judge his mother's conduct he presumed!

LIONEL.
That was, indeed, irreverent in a son!

ISABEL.
And me, forsooth, he banished from the realm.

TALBOT.
Urged to the measure by the public voice.

ISABEL.
A curse light on him if I e'er forgive him!
Rather than see him on his father's throne----

TALBOT.
His mother's honor you would sacrifice!

ISABEL.
Your feeble natures cannot comprehend
The vengeance of an outraged mother's heart.
Who pleasures me, I love; who wrongs, I hate.
If he who wrongs me chance to be my son,
All the more worthy is he of my hate.
The life I gave I will again take back
From him who doth, with ruthless violence,
The bosom rend which bore and nourished him.
Ye, who do thus make war upon the Dauphin,
What rightful cause have ye to plunder him?
What crime hath he committed against you?
What insult are you called on to avenge?
Ambition, paltry envy, goad you on;
I have a right to hate him--he's my son.

TALBOT.
He feels his mother in her dire revenge!

ISABEL.
Mean hypocrites! I hate you and despise.
Together with the world, you cheat yourselves!
With robber-hands you English seek to clutch
This realm of France, where you have no just right,
Nor equitable claim, to so much earth
As could be covered by your charger's hoof.
--This duke, too, whom the people style the Good,
Doth to a foreign lord, his country's foe,
For gold betray the birthland of his sires.
And yet is justice ever on your tongue.
--Hypocrisy I scorn. Such as I am,
So let the world behold me!

BURGUNDY.
It is true!
Your reputation you have well maintained.

ISABEL.
I've passions and warm blood, and as a queen
Came to this realm to live, and not to seem.
Should I have lingered out a joyless life
Because the curse of adverse destiny
To a mad consort joined my blooming youth?
More than my life I prize my liberty.
And who assails me here----But why should I
Stoop to dispute with you about my rights?
Your sluggish blood flows slowly in your veins!
Strangers to pleasure, ye know only rage!
This duke, too--who, throughout his whole career,
Hath wavered to and fro, 'twixt good and ill--
Can neither love or hate with his whole heart.
--I go to Melun. Let this gentleman,

(Pointing to LIONEL.)

Who doth my fancy please, attend me there,
To cheer my solitude, and you may work
Your own good pleasure! I'll inquire no more
Concerning the Burgundians or the English.

(She beckons to her PAGE, and is about to retire.)

LIONEL.
Rely upon us, we will send to Melun
The fairest youths whom we in battle take.

(Coming back.)

ISABEL.
Skilful your arm to wield the sword of death,
The French alone can round the polished phrase.

(She goes out.)

 

SCENE III.

(TALBOT, BURGUNDY, LIONEL.)

TALBOT.
Heavens! What a woman!

LIONEL.
Now, brave generals,
Your counsel! Shall we prosecute our flight,
Or turn, and with a bold and sudden stroke
Wipe out the foul dishonor of to-day?

BURGUNDY.
We are too weak, our soldiers are dispersed,
The recent terror still unnerves the host.

TALBOT.
Blind terror, sudden impulse of a moment,
Alone occasioned our disastrous rout.
This phantom of the terror-stricken brain,
More closely viewed will vanish into air.
My counsel, therefore, is, at break of day,
To lead the army back, across the stream,
To meet the enemy.

BURGUNDY.
Consider well----

LIONEL.
Your pardon! Here is nothing to consider
What we have lost we must at once retrieve,
Or look to be eternally disgraced.

TALBOT.
It is resolved. To-morrow morn we fight,
This dread-inspiring phantom to destroy,
Which thus doth blind and terrify the host
Let us in fight encounter this she-devil.
If she oppose her person to our sword,
Trust me, she never will molest us more;
If she avoid our stroke--and be assured
She will not stand the hazard of a battle--
Then is the dire enchantment at an end?

LIONEL.
So be it! And to me, my general, leave
This easy, bloodless combat, for I hope
Alive to take this ghost, and in my arms,
Before the Bastard's eyes--her paramour--
To bear her over to the English camp,
To be the sport and mockery of the host.

BURGUNDY.
Make not too sure.

TALBOT.
If she encounter me,
I shall not give her such a soft embrace.
Come now, exhausted nature to restore
Through gentle sleep. At daybreak we set forth.

(They go out.)

 


SCENE IV.

(JOHANNA with her banner, in a helmet and breastplate,
otherwise attired as a woman. DUNOIS, LA HIRE, knights
and soldiers appear above upon the rocky path, pass
silently over, and appear immediately after on the scene.)

JOHANNA
(to the knights who surround her while the
procession continues above).

The wall is scaled and we are in the camp!
Now fling aside the mantle of still night,
Which hitherto hath veiled your silent march,
And your dread presence to the foe proclaim.
By your loud battle-cry--God and the maiden!

ALL
(exclaim aloud, amidst the loud clang of arms).
God and the maiden!

(Drums and trumpets.)


SENTINELS
(behind the scene).
The foe! The foe! The foe!

JOHANNA.
Ho! torches here. Hurl fire into the tents!
Let the devouring flames augment the horror,
While threatening death doth compass them around!

(Soldiers hasten on, she is about to follow.)

DUNOIS
(holding her back).
Thy part thou hast accomplished now, Johanna!
Into the camp thou hast conducted us,
The foe thou hast delivered in our hands,
Now from the rush of war remain apart!
The bloody consummation leave to us.

LA HIRE.
Point out the path of conquest to the host;
Before us, in pure hand, the banner bear.
But wield the fatal weapon not thyself;
Tempt not the treacherous god of battle, for
He rageth blindly, and he spareth not.

JOHANNA.
Who dares impede my progress? Who presume
The spirit to control which guideth me?
Still must the arrow wing its destined flight!
Where danger is, there must Johanna be;
Nor now, nor here, am I foredoomed to fall;
Our monarch's royal brow I first must see
Invested with the round of sovereignty.
No hostile power can rob me of my life,
Till I've accomplished the commands of God.

(She goes out.)

LA HIRE.
Come, let us follow after her, Dunois,
And let our valiant bosoms be her shield!

(Exit.)

 

SCENE V.

(ENGLISH SOLDIERS hurry over the stage.
Afterwards TALBOT.)


1 SOLDIER.
The maiden in the camp!

2 SOLDIER.
Impossible!
It cannot be! How came she in the camp?

3 SOLDIER.
Why, through the air! The devil aided her!

4 AND 5 SOLDIERS.
Fly! fly! We are dead men!

TALBOT
(enters).
They heed me not! They stay not at my call!
The sacred bands of discipline are loosed!
As hell had poured her damned legions forth,
A wild, distracting impulse whirls along,
In one mad throng, the cowardly and brave.
I cannot rally e'en the smallest troop
To form a bulwark gainst the hostile flood,
Whose raging billows press into our camp!
Do I alone retain my sober senses,
While all around in wild delirium rave?
To fly before these weak, degenerate Frenchmen
Whom we in twenty battles have overthrown?
Who is she then--the irresistible--
The dread-inspiring goddess, who doth turn
At once the tide of battle, and transform
The lions bold a herd of timid deer?
A juggling minx, who plays the well-learned part
Of heroine, thus to appal the brave?
A woman snatch from me all martial fame?

SOLDIER
(rushing in).
The maiden comes! Fly, general, fly! fly!

TALBOT
(strikes him down).
Fly thou, thyself, to hell! This sword shall pierce
Who talks to me of fear, or coward flight!

(He goes out.)

 

SCENE VI.

(The prospect opens. The English camp is seen in flames.
Drums, flight, and pursuit. After a while MONTGOMERY enters.)

MONTGOMERY (alone).
Where shall I flee? Foes all around and death! Lo! here
The furious general, who with threatening sword, prevents
Escape, and drives us back into the jaws of death.
The dreadful maiden there--the terrible--who like
Devouring flame, destruction spreads; while all around
Appears no bush wherein to hide--no sheltering cave!
Oh, would that o'er the sea I never had come here!
Me miserable--empty dreams deluded me--
Cheap glory to achieve on Gallia's martial fields.
And I am guided by malignant destiny
Into this murderous flight. Oh, were I far, far hence.
Still in my peaceful home, on Severn's flowery banks,
Where in my father's house, in sorrow and in tears,
I left my mother and my fair young bride.

(JOHANNA appears in the distance.)

Wo's me! What do I see! The dreadful form appears!
Arrayed in lurid light, she from the raging fire
Issues, as from the jaws of hell, a midnight ghost.
Where shall I go? where flee? Already from afar
She seizes on me with her eye of fire, and flings
Her fatal and unerring coil, whose magic folds
With ever-tightening pressure, bind my feet and make
Escape impossible! Howe'er my heart rebels,
I am compelled to follow with my gaze that form
Of dread!

(JOHANNA advances towards him some steps;
and again remains standing.)

She comes! I will not passively await
Her furious onset! Imploringly I'll clasp
Her knees! I'll sue to her for life. She is a woman.
I may perchance to pity move her by my tears!

(While he is on the point of approaching her she draws near.)

 

SCENE VII.

(JOHANNA, MONTGOMERY.)

JOHANNA.
Prepare to die! A British mother bore thee!

MONTGOMERY (falls at her feet).
Fall back, terrific one! Forbear to strike
An unprotected foe! My sword and shield
I've flung aside, and supplicating fall
Defenceless at thy feet. A ransom take!
Extinguish not the precious light of life!
With fair possessions crowned, my father dwells
In Wales' fair land, where among verdant meads
The winding Severn rolls his silver tide,
And fifty villages confess his sway.
With heavy gold he will redeem his son,
When he shall hear I'm in the camp of France.

JHANNA.
Deluded mortal! to destruction doomed!
Thou'rt fallen in the maiden's hand, from which
Redemption or deliverance there is none.
Had adverse fortune given thee a prey
To the fierce tiger or the crocodile--
Hadst robbed the lion mother of her brood--
Compassion thou might'st hope to find and pity;
But to encounter me is certain death.
For my dread compact with the spirit realm--
The stern inviolable--bindeth me,
To slay each living thing whom battle's God,
Full charged with doom, delivers to my sword.

MONTGOMERY.
Thy speech is fearful, but thy look is mild;
Not dreadful art thou to contemplate near;
My heart is drawn towards thy lovely form.
Oh! by the mildness of thy gentle sex,
Attend my prayer. Compassionate my youth.

JOHANNA.
Name me not woman! Speak not of my sex!
Like to the bodiless spirits, who know naught
Of earth's humanities, I own no sex;
Beneath this vest of steel there beats no heart.

MONTGOMERY.
Oh! by love's sacred, all-pervading power,
To whom all hearts yield homage, I conjure thee.
At home I left behind a gentle bride,
Beauteous as thou, and rich in blooming grace:
Weeping she waiteth her betrothed's return.
Oh! if thyself dost ever hope to love,
If in thy love thou hopest to be happy,
Then ruthless sever not two gentle hearts,
Together linked in love's most holy bond!

JOHANNA.
Thou dost appeal to earthly, unknown gods,
To whom I yield no homage. Of love's bond,
By which thou dost conjure me, I know naught
Nor ever will I know his empty service.
Defend thy life, for death doth summon thee.

MONTGOMERY.
Take pity on my sorrowing parents, whom
I left at home. Doubtless thou, too, hast left
Parents, who feel disquietude for thee.

JOHANNA.
Unhappy man! thou dost remember me
How many mothers of this land your arms
Have rendered childless and disconsolate;
How many gentle children fatherless;
How many fair young brides dejected widows!
Let England's mothers now be taught despair,
And learn to weep the bitter tear oft shed
By the bereaved and sorrowing wives of France.

MONTGOMERY.
'Tis hard in foreign lands to die unwept.

JOHANNA.
Who called you over to this foreign land,
To waste the blooming culture of our fields,
To chase the peasant from his household hearth,
And in our cities' peaceful sanctuary
To hurl the direful thunderbolt of war?
In the delusion of your hearts ye thought
To plunge in servitude the freeborn French,
And to attach their fair and goodly realm,
Like a small boat, to your proud English bark!
Ye fools! The royal arms of France are hung
Fast by the throne of God; and ye as soon
From the bright wain of heaven might snatch a star
As rend a single village from this realm,
Which shall remain inviolate forever!
The day of vengeance is at length arrived;
Not living shall ye measure back the sea,
The sacred sea--the boundary set by God
Betwixt our hostile nations--and the which
Ye ventured impiously to overpass.

MONTGOMERY (lets go her hands).
Oh, I must die! I feel the grasp of death!

JOHANNA.
Die, friend! Why tremble at the approach of death?
Of mortals the irrevocable doom?
Look upon me! I'm born a shepherd maid;
This hand, accustomed to the peaceful crook,
Is all unused to wield the sword of death.
Yet, snatched away from childhood's peaceful haunts,
From the fond love of father and of sisters,
Urged by no idle dream of earthly glory,
But heaven-appointed to achieve your ruin,
Like a destroying angel I must roam,
Spreading dire havoc around me, and at length
Myself must fall a sacrifice to death!
Never again shall I behold my home!
Still, many of your people I must slay,
Still, many widows make, but I at length
Myself shall perish, and fulfil my doom.
Now thine fulfil. Arise! resume thy sword,
And let us fight for the sweet prize of life.

MONTGOMERY (stands up).
Now, if thou art a mortal like myself,
Can weapons wound thee, it may be assigned
To this good arm to end my country's woe,
Thee sending, sorceress, to the depths of hell.
In God's most gracious hands I leave my fate.
Accursed one! to thine assistance call
The fiends of hell! Now combat for thy life!

(He seizes his sword and shield, and rushes upon her;
martial music is heard in the distance. After a short
conflict MONTGOMERY falls.)

 

SCENE VIII.

JOHANNA (alone).
To death thy foot did bear thee--fare thee well!

(She steps away from him and remains absorbed in thought.)

Virgin, thou workest mightily in me!
My feeble arm thou dost endue with strength,
And steep'st my woman's heart in cruelty.
In pity melts the soul and the hand trembles,
As it did violate some sacred fane,
To mar the goodly person of the foe.
Once I did shudder at the polished sheath,
But when 'tis needed, I'm possessed with strength,
And as it were itself a thing of life,
The fatal weapon, in my trembling grasp,
Self-swayed, inflicteth the unerring stroke.

 

SCENE IX.

(A KNIGHT with closed visor, JOHANNA.)

KNIGHT.
Accursed one! thy hour of death has come!
Long have I sought thee on the battle-field,
Fatal delusion! get thee back to hell,
Whence thou didst issue forth.

JOHANNA.
Say, who art thou,
Whom his bad genius sendeth in my way?
Princely thy port, no Briton dost thou seem,
For the Burgundian colors stripe thy shield,
Before the which my sword inclines its point.

KNIGHT.
Vile castaway! Thou all unworthy art
To fall beneath a prince's noble hand.
The hangman's axe should thy accursed head
Cleave from thy trunk, unfit for such vile use
The royal Duke of Burgundy's brave sword.

JOHANNA.
Art thou indeed that noble duke himself?

KNIGHT (raises his visor).
I'm he, vile creature, tremble and despair!
The arts of hell shall not protect thee more.
Thou hast till now weak dastards overcome;
Now thou dost meet a man.

 

SCENE X.

(DUNOIS and LA HIRE. The same.)

DUNOIS.
Hold, Burgundy!
Turn! combat now with men, and not with maids.

LA HIRE.
We will defend the holy prophetess;
First must thy weapon penetrate this breast.

BURGUNDY.
I fear not this seducing Circe; no,
Nor you, whom she hath changed so shamefully!
Oh, blush, Dunois! and do thou blush, La Hire
To stoop thy valor to these hellish arts--
To be shield-bearer to a sorceress!
Come one--come all! He only who despairs
Of heaven's protection seeks the aid of hell.

(They prepare for combat, JOHANNA steps between.)

JOHANNA.
Forbear!

BURGUNDY.
Dost tremble for thy lover? Thus
Before thine eyes he shall----

(He makes a thrust at DUNOIS.)

JOHANNA.
Dunois, forbear!
Part them, La Hire! no blood of France must flow:
Not hostile weapons must this strife decide,
Above the stars 'tis otherwise decreed.
Fall back! I say. Attend and venerate
The Spirit which hath seized, which speaks through me!

DUNOIS.
Why, maiden, now hold back my upraised arm?
Why check the just decision of the sword?
My weapon pants to deal the fatal blow
Which shall avenge and heal the woes of France.

(She places herself in the midst and separates the parties.)

JOHANNA.
Fall back, Dunois! Stand where thou art, La Hire!
Somewhat I have to say to Burgundy.

(When all is quiet.)

What wouldst thou, Burgundy? Who is the foe
Whom eagerly thy murderous glances seek?
This prince is, like thyself, a son of France,--
This hero is thy countryman, thy friend;
I am a daughter of thy fatherland.
We all, whom thou art eager to destroy,
Are of thy friends;--our longing arms prepare
To clasp, our bending knees to honor thee.
Our sword 'gainst thee is pointless, and that face
E'en in a hostile helm is dear to us,
For there we trace the features of our king.

BURGUNDY.
What, syren! wilt thou with seducing words
Allure thy victim? Cunning sorceress,
Me thou deludest not. Mine ears are closed
Against thy treacherous words; and vainly dart
Thy fiery glances 'gainst this mail of proof.
To arms, Dunois!
With weapons let us fight, and not with words.

DUNOIS.
First words, then weapons, Burgundy! Do words
With dread inspire thee? 'Tis a coward's fear,
And the betrayer of an evil cause.

JOHANNA.
'Tis not imperious necessity
Which throws us at thy feet! We do not come
As suppliants before thee. Look around!
The English tents are level with the ground,
And all the field is covered with your slain.
Hark! the war-trumpets of the French resound;
God hath decided--ours the victory!
Our new-culled laurel garland with our friend
We fain would share. Come, noble fugitive!
Oh, come where justice and where victory dwell!
Even I, the messenger of heaven, extend
A sister's hand to thee. I fain would save
And draw thee over to our righteous cause!
Heaven hath declared for France! Angelic powers,
Unseen by thee, do battle for our king;
With lilies are the holy ones adorned,
Pure as this radiant banner is our cause;
Its blessed symbol is the queen of heaven.

BURGUNDY.
Falsehood's fallacious words are full of guile,
But hers are pure and simple as a child's.
If evil spirits borrow this disguise,
They copy innocence triumphantly.
I'll hear no more. To arms, Dunois! to arms!
Mine ear, I feel, is weaker than mine arm.

JOHANNA.
You call me an enchantress, and accuse
Of hellish arts. Is it the work of hell
To heal dissension and to foster peace?
Comes holy concord from the depths below?
Say, what is holy, innocent, and good,
If not to combat for our fatherland?
Since when hath nature been so self-opposed
That heaven forsakes the just and righteous cause,
While hell protects it? If my words are true,
Whence could I draw them but from heaven above?
Who ever sought me in my shepherd-walks,
To teach the humble maid affairs of state?
I ne'er have stood with princes, to these lips
Unknown the arts of eloquence. Yet now,
When I have need of it to touch thy heart,
Insight and varied knowledge I possess;
The fate of empires and the doom of kings
Lie clearly spread before my childish mind,
And words of thunder issue from my mouth.

BURGUNDY
(greatly moved, looks at her with emotion and astonishment).
How is it with me? Doth some heavenly power
Thus strangely stir my spirit's inmost depths?
This pure, this gentle creature cannot lie!
No, if enchantment blinds me, 'tis from heaven.
My spirit tells me she is sent from God.

JOHANNA.
Oh, he is moved! I have not prayed in vain,
Wrath's thunder-cloud dissolves in gentle tears,
And leaves his brow, while mercy's golden beams
Break from his eyes and gently promise peace.
Away with arms, now clasp him to your hearts,
He weeps--he's conquered, he is ours once more!

(Her sword and banner fall; she hastens to him with
outstretched arms, and embraces him in great agitation.
LA HIRE and DUNOIS throw down their swords, and hasten
also to embrace him.)

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