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Maid of Orleans   By: (1759-1805)

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By Frederich Schiller

Translated by Anna Swanwick


CHARLES THE SEVENTH, King of France. QUEEN ISABEL, his Mother. AGNES SOREL. PHILIP THE GOOD, Duke of Burgundy. EARL DUNOIS, Bastard of Orleans. LA HIRE, DUCRATEL, French Offers. ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS. CRATILLON, A Burgundian Knight. RAOUL, a Lotharingian Knight. TALBOT, the English General, LIONEL, FASTOLFE, English Officers. MONTGOMERY, a Welshman. COUNCILLORS OF ORLEANS. AN ENGLISH HERALD. THIBAUT D'ARC, a wealthy Countryman. MARGOT, LOUISON, JOHANNA, his Daughters. ETIENNE, CLAUDE MARIE, RAIMOND, their Suitors. BERTRAND, another Countryman. APPARITION OF A BLACK KNIGHT. CHARCOAL BURNER AND HIS WIFE. Soldiers and People, Officers of the Crown, Bishops, Monks, Marshals, Magistrates, Courtiers, and other mute persons in the Coronation Procession.


A rural District. To the right, a Chapel with an Image of the Virgin; to the left, an ancient Oak.


THIBAUT D'ARC. His Three Daughters. Three young Shepherds, their Suitors.

THIBAUT. Ay, my good neighbors! we at least to day Are Frenchmen still, free citizens and lords Of the old soil which our forefathers tilled. Who knows whom we to morrow must obey? For England her triumphal banner waves From every wall: the blooming fields of France Are trampled down beneath her chargers' hoofs; Paris hath yielded to her conquering arms, And with the ancient crown of Dagobert Adorns the scion of a foreign race. Our king's descendant, disinherited, Must steal in secret through his own domain; While his first peer and nearest relative Contends against him in the hostile ranks; Ay, his unnatural mother leads them on. Around us towns and peaceful hamlets burn. Near and more near the devastating fire Rolls toward these vales, which yet repose in peace. Therefore, good neighbors, I have now resolved, While God still grants us safety, to provide For my three daughters; for 'midst war's alarms Women require protection, and true love Hath power to render lighter every load. [To the first Shepherd. Come, Etienne! You seek my Margot's hand. Fields lying side by side and loving hearts Promise a happy union! [To the second. Claude! You're silent, And my Louison looks upon the ground? How, shall I separate two loving hearts Because you have no wealth to offer me? Who now has wealth? Our barns and homes afford Spoil to the foe, and fuel to the fires. In times like these a husband's faithful breast Affords the only shelter from the storm.

LOUISON. My father!


LOUISON (embracing JOHANNA). My dear sister!

THIBAUT. I give to each a yard, a stall and herd, And also thirty acres; and as God Gave me his blessing, so I give you mine!

MARGOT (embracing JOHANNA). Gladden our father follow our example! Let this day see three unions ratified!

THIBAUT. Now go; make all things ready; for the morn Shall see the wedding. Let our village friends Be all assembled for the festival.

[The two couples retire arm in arm.



THIBAUT. Thy sisters, Joan, will soon be happy brides; I see them gladly; they rejoice my age; But thou, my youngest, giv'st me grief and pain.

RAIMOND. What is the matter? Why upbraid thy child?

THIBAUT. Here is this noble youth, the flower and pride Of all our village; he hath fixed on thee His fond affections, and for three long years Has wooed thee with respectful tenderness; But thou dost thrust him back with cold reserve. Nor is there one 'mong all our shepherd youths Who e'er can win a gracious smile from thee. I see thee blooming in thy youthful prime; Thy spring it is, the joyous time of hope; Thy person, like a tender flower, hath now Disclosed its beauty, but I vainly wait For love's sweet blossom genially to blow, And ripen joyously to golden fruit! Oh, that must ever grieve me, and betrays Some sad deficiency in nature's work! The heart I like not which, severe and cold, Expands not in the genial years of youth... Continue reading book >>

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