Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 5 - Scene 1

  Charles.   Louvel.   Bertha.

  Cha. We need no supplication from a friend:
Thine own desire to pluck her from such fate
Is not more strong than ours. But what devise?

  Lou. In truth, your grace, I know not what to urge.

  Ber. Thou wilt not leave her! Make not one attempt!

  Lou. Pardon, my liege, the vehemence of grief:
Terror will oft, unconscious of offence,
Start forth before respect.

  Ber. Oh! forgive me.

  Cha. Shame on the heart that needs excuse for words
Drawn forth by sudden anguish. Banish fear.
If aught within our power can rescue her,
No matter what the cost, she shall be freed!
Ourself will write to Bedford.

  Lou. But in vain.

  Cha. That shall be proved. The offer we will make,
E'en policy like his may scorn the slighting.
Retire;—rely upon thy monarch's word:—
Doth this not comfort thee?

  Ber. Alas! the hope
Such promise brings burns bright, but quickly dies!

  Cha. And is our honour doubted?

  Ber. No, my liege,
The fault lies here. I would, but cannot smile,
Yet bless thee for the hope which finds no home.

[Exit.

  Cha. Prepare a faithful messenger, and charge
He give the packet into Bedford's hands.
Lose not a moment—this concerns us much.
If by her loss or death our crown we buy,
Would that our brow had never felt its pressure.

[Exit.

  Lou. No; never here must she return. My own
Disgrace or death would be the consequence.
I dread her growing influence with the king,
The evil will of disappointed minds,
Who now exult in her captivity.
Yet hath she borne the glory she has won
With such humility—so well hath won it.
So little love of self hath ever shown;
And with such noble heart distinctions waved,
Which others would have sold a soul to purchase.
No matter—when Ambition wakes, then Justice
And Pity too must sleep. No packet leaves
These walls, nor intercessions reach thee.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 5 SCENE 2 Joan of Arc Play

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