Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 1 - Scene 6
English Camp

  Earls of Suffolk,   Warwick,   Arlington,   John Talbot.

  Suf. Our work is near its end. Yon city's fall
Completes our triumph and ensures repose.

  John T. Alas!

  War. How! does this cause sorrow?

  John T. Yes, truly.

  War. And why? To me the prospect is most welcome.

  John T. Because, upon a course of glorious years,
In tented fields, you proudly may revert;
But I——

  Suf. Thou'rt spared from sights that might have shocked
Thy wiser manhood. War is a noble game,
But full of much humanity deplores.

  John T. But I was never born for dull, still paths;
The trumpet's clang, and the loud din of battle
Suit me.

  Arl. Pity such taste cannot be humoured.
With scarce a raw recruit to man his ranks,
The flower of French nobility with us
Conjoined—

  John T. Shame on them all! I do despise them.

  Suf. Despise! thou dost forget thee.

  Arl. Their shame, forsooth?

  John T. Are not their arms against their country turned
In aid of foreign foes? Are they not traitors;
Aye, traitors to the land they help to fetter?
These fields may haply drink my heart's life-blood;
But as I hope for glory, ere I die,
(The winding sheet I crave,) I would prefer
To clasp in friendliness the hand which slew me
In brave defence of its own rights and laws;
Than the false caitiff's, fighting by my side,
Those rights, those laws to crush beneath our feet.

  War. Talbot an advocate for Charles!

  John T. Not so.
Yet there is something here that pleads for him.
His mother's hatred drives him from a throne,
Whilst my fond mother's parting kiss still glows
Upon my brow; and when I heard what tears
He shed, when told his father was no more,
I mingled mine with his; and his bereavement
Making my own, I honoured him for all
The grief he show'd, and felt him nobler foe.

Enter   Officer.

  Offi. My lord, breathless I haste.

  Suf. Speak on. What news?

  Offi. A champion for France is on her way.

  Suf. A female too! Charles is indeed beset,
To have recourse to aid like this. To arms!
We'll plant the royal standard on those walls
To give her greeting.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 1 SCENE 7 Joan of Arc Play

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