Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

THE MAID OF ORLEANS PLAY
by Friedrich Schiller

ACT III SCENE X.

        LIONEL, JOHANNA.

LIONEL.
Accursed one, prepare thee for the fight!
Not both of us shall quit this field alive.
Thou hast destroyed the bravest of our host
The noble Talbot hath his mighty soul
Breathed forth upon my bosom. I'll avenge
The hero, or participate his doom.
And wouldst thou know who brings thee glory now,
Whether he live or die,--I'm Lionel,
The sole survivor of the English chiefs,
And still unconquered is this valiant arm.

        [He rushes upon her; after a short combat she strikes
        the sword out of his hand.]

Perfidious fortune!

        [He wrestles with her. JOHANNA seizes him by the crest
        and tears open his helmet; his face is thus exposed;
        at the same time she draws her sword with her right hand.]

JOHANNA.
                Suffer, what thou soughtest!
The Virgin sacrifices thee through me!

        [At this moment she gazes in his face. His aspect
        softens her, she remains motionless and slowly lets
        her arm sink.

LIONEL.
Why linger, why withhold the stroke of death?
My glory thou hast taken--take my life!
I want no mercy, I am in thy power.

        [She makes him a sign with her hand to fly.]

How! shall I fly and owe my life to thee?
No, I would rather die.

JOHANNA (with averted face).
        I will not know
That ever thou didst owe thy life to me.

LIONEL.
I hate alike thee and thy proffered gift.
I want no mercy--kill thine enemy
Who loathes and would have slain thee.

JOHANNA.
                Slay me, then,
And fly!

LIONEL.
                Ha! What is this?

JOHANNA (hiding her face).
                Woe's me!

LIONEL (approaching her).
        'Tis said
Thou killest all the English whom thy sword
Subdues in battle--why spare me alone?

JOHANNA (raises her sword with a rapid movement as if to strike him,
        but lets it fall quickly when she gazes on his face).
Oh, Holy Virgin!

LIONEL.
                Wherefore namest thou
The Holy Virgin? she knows naught of thee;
Heaven hath no part in thee.

JOHANNA (in the greatest anxiety).
                What have I done?
Alas! I've broke my vow!

        [She wrings her hands in despair.]

LIONEL (looks at her with sympathy and approaches her).
                Unhappy maid!
I pity thee! Thy sorrow touches me;
Thou hast shown mercy unto me alone,
My hatred yielded unto sympathy!
Who art thou, and whence comest thou?

JOHANNA.
                Away!

LIONEL.
Thy youth, thy beauty, move my soul to pity!
Thy look sinks in my heart. I fain would save thee!
How may I do so? tell me. Come! oh, come!
Renounce this fearful league--throw down these arms!

JOHANNA.
I am unworthy now to carry them!

LIONEL.
Then throw them from thee--quick! come, follow me!

JOHANNA (with horror).
How! follow thee!

LIONEL.
        Thou may'st be saved. Oh, come!
I will deliver thee, but linger not.
Strange sorrow for thy sake doth seize my heart,
Unspeakable desire to rescue thee----

        [He seizes her arm.]

JOHANNA.
The Bastard comes! 'Tis they! They seek for me!
If they should find thee----

LIONEL.
                I'll defend thee, maid.

JOHANNA.
I die if thou shouldst perish by their hands!

LIONEL.
Am I then dear to thee?

JOHANNA.
                Ye heavenly powers!

LIONEL.
Shall I again behold thee--hear from thee?

JOHANNA.
No! never!

LIONEL.
        Thus this sword I seize in pledge
That I again behold thee!

        [He snatches her sword.]

JOHANNA.
                Madman, hold!
Thou darest?

LIONEL.
Now I yield to force--again
I'll see thee!
        [He retires.]

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 3 SCENE 11 Maid of Orleans

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