Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 1 - Scene 1

  Alençon. Xaintrailles.

  Alençon. Welcome again to freedom!
France may rejoice, since thou in arms once more
Art seen for her.

  Xaint. In arms to little purpose.
Our cause is lost, my lord. Orleans, our best,
Last hope, must fall, and shortly. But I have sought thee,
Eager to know, to learn,—

  Alen. What wouldst thou know?

  Xaint. This strange report! this damsel, who, 'tis said,
Is hither come to work such wondrous feats—
Whence doth she spring?

  Alen. From Domremie; her birth
Not less obscure than this her native village.

  Xaint. How introduced?

  Alen. She first besought from Baudricour
An escort to the Dauphin; but in vain.
At length, her suit oft urged, fair character,
And lofty words prevailed with him.

  Xaint. The prince
Will ne'er demean himself to listen to her?

  Alen. A drowning man will catch, and eagerly,
At weeds uprooted by the storm that wrecked him.
She comes to-day, by order from himself,
Before the council.

  Xaint. Hast seen her?

  Alen. I have.

  Xaint. Describe her: is she young?

  Alen. Of that sweet age
When girlish smiles assume the dignity
Which conscious womanhood doth first confer:
The rose just blushing to the full.

  Xaint. Rustic,
No doubt, and ignorant.

  Alen. Her soul hath stamped her manner
Simple, yet dignified—lofty, yet meek.

  Xaint. Ta'en captive—grown poetic.

  Alen. Age like mine
Has little thought of love or poesy;
But yet there is a charm where loveliness
Meets virtue, which it were a shame to slight.
The snow which crowns the old man's head should make
His reason cool, yet need not chill his heart.
But come—the council must be now assembled.

  Xaint. One question more—is Richemont here?

  Alen. Not he,
Nor e'en desired. The hate the Dauphin bears him
Continues undiminished.

  Xaint. Yet the world
Believes them cordial friends; that with the rank
He craved, the constable of France has lost
All that disgust the Earl of Richemont felt.

  Alen. Charles never will forgive the insult shown
To them he valued most. Du Châtel first,
Then Louvel he required should be dismissed
His service and the council—price of friendship.
The first his interest in his master's sank,
But Louvel's firm adherence to his post,
Bringing Camouse's death.

  Xaint. Camouse's death!

  Alen. Ay, 'twas a bloody deed: but more anon,
This maid absorbs all thought.

  Xaint. Let's hasten then:
My curiosity is all awake—
And more, I bear an answer from the regent,
Which to the prince and council I must show.

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