Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Play
by J.A. Sargant


In laying this Play before the public some apology is perhaps due. Sensible that it cannot compete with many of the productions of the present day, the author yet pleads for such exemption only from severe criticism, as true humility, and a respect for the opinions of an enlightened and intellectual age, may entitle her to. She has not aimed at any display of originality, nor has she been deceived by a presumptuous estimation of her powers, to attempt that which she may not have more ability than leisure and opportunity to accomplish. Unlike those who write for amusement, or by profession, or in the consciousness of their talents, to gain for themselves competence or fame, her pen is exercised only to soothe anxiety, to refresh exhausted energy, and to vary the monotony of seclusion. She would not, however, be thought indifferent to the praise or censure of her contemporaries. Far from it. No exertion, compatible with higher duties, would be thought too severe to obtain the former, nor any degree of patient labour too lengthened to avoid the latter. She is, however, so circumstanced as to preclude such a dedication of her time, and therefore is it that she ventures to ask for that indulgence which, in another case, she would have deemed it unjustifiable to claim or to expect.

But whilst all attempt at originality is disclaimed, imitation of any one, or assistance from any one is equally disavowed. This play was written before the late productions, which bear the same title, made their appearance. Its defects therefore are its own; its merits—if happily it possess any—are its own also; and standing thus entirely upon its native ground, it is respectfully submitted to the judgment of the public.

J. A. S.

Clapton Square,
          May, 1840.

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