Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT I SCENE XI.

        The HERALD. The same.

CHARLES.
Thy tidings, herald? What thy message! Speak!

HERALD.
Who is it, who for Charles of Valois,
The Count of Pointhieu, in this presence speaks?

DUNOIS.
Unworthy herald! base, insulting knave!
Dost thou presume the monarch of the French
Thus in his own dominions to deny?
Thou art protected by thine office, else----

HERALD.
One king alone is recognized by France,
And he resideth in the English camp.

CHARLES.
Peace, peace, good cousin! Speak thy message, herald!

HERALD.
My noble general laments the blood
Which hath already flowed, and still must flow.
Hence, in the scabbard holding back the sword,
Before by storm the town of Orleans falls,
He offers thee an amicable treaty.

CHARLES.
Proceed!

JOHANNA (stepping forward).
                Permit me, Dauphin, in thy stead,
To parley with this herald.

CHARLES.
                Do so, maid!
Determine thou, for peace, or bloody war.

JOHANNA (to the HERALD).
Who sendeth thee? Who speaketh through thy mouth?

HERALD.
The Earl of Salisbury; the British chief.

JOHANNA.
Herald, 'tis false! The earl speaks not through thee.
Only the living speak, the dead are silent.

HERALD.
The earl is well, and full of lusty strength;
He lives to bring down ruin on your heads.

JOHANNA.
When thou didst quit the British army he lived.
This morn, while gazing from Le Tournelle's tower,
A ball from Orleans struck him to the ground.
Smilest thou that I discern what is remote?
Not to my words give credence; but believe
The witness of thine eyes! his funeral train
Thou shalt encounter as you goest hence!
Now, herald, speak, and do thine errand here.

HERALD.
If what is hidden thou canst thus reveal,
Thou knowest mine errand ere I tell it thee.

JOHANNA.
It boots me not to know it. But do thou
Give ear unto my words! This message bear
In answer to the lords who sent thee here.
Monarch of England, and ye haughty dukes,
Bedford and Gloucester, regents of this realm!
To heaven's high King you are accountable
For all the blood that hath been shed. Restore
The keys of all the cities ta'en by force
In opposition to God's holy law!
The maiden cometh from the King of Heaven
And offers you or peace or bloody war.
Choose ye! for this I say, that you may know it:
To you this beauteous realm is not assigned
By Mary's son;--but God hath given it
To Charles, my lord and Dauphin, who ere long
Will enter Paris with a monarch's pomp,
Attended by the great ones of his realm.
Now, herald, go, and speedily depart,
For ere thou canst attain the British camp
And do thine errand, is the maiden there,
To plant the sign of victory at Orleans.

        [She retires. In the midst of a general movement,
        the curtain falls.]

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 2 SCENE 1 Maid of Orleans

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