Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant

Act 5 - Scene 7
Street in Rouen

  Officer.   Soldiers.

  Off. Place upon every gate a double guard.
Let none have egress: line the leading streets,
And death to him who dares to quit his post.

[Exit.

Enter   Du Nois,   Xaintrailles, &c.

  Du N. Now mark me! that we may escape detection,
We must divide our fifty into tens,
And mingle in the train.

  Xaint. Where rendezvous?

  Du N. By yonder church. The narrow turn must break
In part the line. Upon the signal given
Rush through the guards, promptly secure the maid,
And whilst confusion reigns we'll force a passage
To the eastern gate. I have already gained it.

  Xaint. The time?

  Du N. The first deep toll of yonder bell.

  Xaint. Enough! all hearts are in the cause.

[Exeunt.

Another part of the Street in front of the Prison.

Enter   Spectators.

  First Spectator. What crowds collect! each avenue is filled,
And every street appears a solid mass:
E'en to the topmost ridge each house is crammed
With earnest gazers; not an eye but turns
Towards the black prison-walls; yet 'tis an hour
Ere the gates open for the sad procession.
Are scenes of death and agony so pleasant
That such a throng of eager witnesses
Should press to view them?

  Second Spec. Such a death is new,
And thoughts of men are differently moved.
Some deem the maid condemned a tool of hell,
And some a chosen instrument of Heaven.
Fain would they see which will assert its claim;
Whether the fiend will leave her to her fate,
Or some great miracle be worked to save her.

Enter several of   Du Nois' Friends.

  First Voice. What sound is that?

  Second Voice. It is the abbey bell.
None can mistake its toll.

  Third Voice. It cannot be;
'Tis not the hour.

Enter   Xaintrailles.

  Xaint. The governor suspecting
Treason perchance, or some attempt at rescue,
Has changed both hour and route. The walls are manned,
And every part is thronged with bristling spears.

[The Procession partly seen in the distance.

Enter   Du Nois.

  Du N. Lose not an instant, or the maid is lost!
Hurry down yonder avenue: by this
We meet you at the church.

[Exeunt.

RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS       Continue to ACT 5 SCENE 8 Joan of Arc Play

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