Friedrich Schiller.

The works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) online

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And dutiful concern for your fair fame,
Directed me this morning to the Tower,
Where Mary's secretaries, Nau and Curl,
Are now confined as pris'ners, for I wish'd
Once more to put theii- evidence to proof.
On my arrival the lieutenant seem'd
Embarras'd and pei-plex'd ; refus'd to show me
His prisners ; but my threats obtained admittance.
God ! what a sight was there ! With frantic looks
With hair dishevell'd, on his pallet lay
The Scot, like one tonnented by a fuiy.
The miserable man no sooner saw me,
Then at my feet lie fell, and there, with screams,
- Clasping my knees, and writhing like a worm,
Implored, conjured me to acquaint him with
His sov'reign's destiny, for vague reports
Had somehow reach 'd the dungeons of the tow'r.
That she had been condemu'd to suffer death.
When I confirm 'd these tidings, adding too,
That on his evidence she had been doom'd,—
He started wildly up, — caught by the throat
His fellow pris'ner; with the giant strength
Of madn — tore him to the ground, and tried
To stranglt him. No sooner had we sav'd
The wretch from his fierce grapple, than at once
He tum'd his rage against himself, and beat
His breast with savage fists ; then curs'd himself
And his companions to the depths of hell !
His evidence was false ; the fatal letters
To Babingtou, which he had sworn were true,
He now denounc'd as forgeries — for he
Had set down words the Queen had never spokeu
The traitor Nau had led him to this treason.


Then ran he to the casement, threw it wide
With frantic force, and cried into the street
So loud, that all the people gather'd round.
I am the man, Queen Mary's secretary,
The traitor, who accus'd his mistress falsely;
I bore false witness, and am cursed for ever !

Ei.iz. . You said yourself, that he had lost his wits ;
A madman's words prove nothing.

Shrewsbury. Yet this madness

Serves in itself to swell the proof. My Liege,
Let me conjure thee ; be not over hasty ;
Pri'thee, give order for a new inquiiy !

Eliz. . I will, my Lord, because it is your wish.
Not that I can believe my noble peers
Have in this case pronounced a hasty judgment.
To set your mind at rest, the inquiry shall
Be straight renew'd. Well, that 'tis not too late !—
Upon the honour of our royal name
No, not the shadow of a doubt shall rest.
Scene XIV.
Enter Davison.

Eliz. . The sentence. Sir, which I but late entrusted
Unto your keeping ; — where is it ?

Davison {in the utmost astonishment). The sentence !

Elizabeth {more urgent).

Which yesterday I gave into your charge.

Dav. . Into my charge, my Liege !

Elizabeth. The people urged

And baited me to sign it. I perforce
Was driven to yield obedience to their will.
I did so ; did so, on extreme constraint,
And in your hands deposited the paper.
To gain time was my purpose ; you reme er,
What then I told you. Now, the paper, Sir !

Shrew. Restore it, Sir, affairs have changed since theu,
The inquiry must be set on foot anew.

Dav. . Anew ! Eternal mercy !

Elizabeth. Why this pause,

This hesitation? Where, Sir. is the paper?

Dav. . I am undone ! Undone ! My fate is sealed ■

Flizabeth {interrupting him violently).
Let me not fancy. Sir —


Davison. 0, I am lost!

I have it not.
Elizabeth. How? What?

Shrewsbury. 0, God in heav'u 1

Dav. . It is in Burleigh's hands — since yesterday.
Eliz. . Wretch ! Is it thus you have obeyed my ordeft ?

Did I not lay my strict injunction on you

To keep it carefully ?
Davison. No such injunction

Was laid on me, my Liege.
Elizabeth. Give me the lie ?

Opprobrious wretch ! When did I order you

To give the paper into Burleigh's hands ?
Day. . Never expressly in so many words, —
Eliz . And, palteiing villain I dare you then presume

To construe, as you list, my -words — and lay

Your bloody meaning on them? Wo betide you,

If evil come of this officious deed !

Your life shall answer the event to me.

Earl Shrewsbury, you see how my good name

Has been abused !
Shrewsbury. I see ! 0, God in heav'u !

Eliz. . What say you ?
Shrewsbury. If the Knight has dar'd to act

In this, upon his own authority,

Without the knowledge of your majesty,

He must be cited to the Court of Peers

To answer there for subjecting thy name

To the abhorrence of all after time.

Scene XV.
Enter Burleigh.
Burleigh {bowing his knee before the Queen).

Long life and glory to my royal mistress,
And may all enemies of her dominions
£ni like this Stuart.

[Shrewsbury hides his face. — Davison wringt
his hands in despair.
Elizabeth. Speak, my Lord ; did you

From me receive the warrant ?
BuBLEiGH. No, my Queen ;

From Davison.


Elizabeth. And did he in my name

Deliver it?

Burleigh. No, that I cannot say.

Eliz. And dar'd you then to execute the writ

Thus hastily, nor wait to know my pleasure ?

Just was the sentence — we are free from blame

Before the world ; yet it behoved thee not

To intercept our natural clemency.

For this, my Lord, I banish you my presence;

And as this forward will was yours alone

Bear you alone the curse of the misdeed ! [To Dav

For, you. Sir ; who have trait'rously o erstepp'd

The bounds of your commission, and betray 'd

A sacred pledge entrusted to your care,

A more severe tribunal is prepar'd :

Let him be straight conducted to the Tow 'r.

And capital arraignments fiVd against him.

My honest Talbot, you alone have prov'd,

'Mongst all my counsellors, an upright man :

You shall henceforward be my guide — my friend.

Shrew. ! banish not the truest of your friends ;
Nor cast those into prison, who for you
Have acted ; who for you are silent now.
But suffer me, great Queen, to give the seal.
Which, these twelve years, I've borne unworthily.
Back to your royal hands, and take my leave.

Elizabeth {surprised).

No, Shrewsbury ; you surely would not now
Desert me ? No ; not now.

Shrewsbury. Pardon, I am

Too old, and this right hand is grown too stiff
To set the seal upon your later deeds.

Eliz. . Will he forsake me, who has sav'd my life?

Shrew 'Tis little I have done ; — 1 could not save
Your nobler part. Live — govern happily !
Your rival's dead. Henceforth you've nothing more
To fear, — henceforth, to nothing pay regard. [EacU.

Elizabeth {to the Earl of Kent, ivho enters).
Send for the Earl of Leicester.

Kent. He desires

To be excused — he is embark'd for France.

Yhe Curtain irop%



Charles the Seventh, King of

Queen Isabet,, his Alother.

Aghes Sorel.

Philii- the Good, Dulce of Bur-

Earl Dunois, Bastard of Orleans.

La Hire, Duchatel, Fren/:h Officers.
Archbishop of Rheims.
Chatillon, a Burgundian Knight.
Raoul, a Lotfoaringian Knight.
Talbot, the English General.
Lionel, Fastolfe, English Officers.
Montgomery, a Welshman.
Councilloes of Orleans.

An English Herald.

Thibaut D'Aro, a wealthy Country-

Margot, Louison, Johanna, his

Etienne, Claube Marie, Raimokd,

their Suitors.
Bertrand, another Countryman.
Apparition of a Mack Knight.
Charcoal-Burner and His Wife.
Soldiers and People. Officers of the

Crou-n. Bishops, Monks, Marshals,

Magistrates, Courtiers, and other

mute persons in the Coronation



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

Scene I.

Thibaut D'Arc. His three Daughters. Three young
Shepherds, their Suitors.

Thib. . Ay, my good neighbours ! we at least to-day
Are Frenchmen still, free citizens and lords
Of the old soil, which our forefathers till'd.
Who knows whom we to-morrow must obey ?
For England her triumphal banner waves
From eveiy wall ; the bloomiug fields of France
Are trampled down beneath her chargers' hoofs ;
Paris bath yielded to her conquering arms,


And T\-itli 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

Eolls toward these vales, which yet repose in peace

— Therefore, good neighbours, 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 their fires.
In times like these, a husband's faithful breast
Affords the only shelter from the storm.

Louis My father I

Claude Maeie. My Louison !

I^ouisoN [embracing Johanna). My dear sister !

Thib. . 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 !

Mabgot {emhraclng Johanna).

Gladden our father — follow our example !
Let this day see tliree unions ratified !

Thib. . 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 couple retire arm-in-arm



Thibaut, Raimond, Johanna.

Thib Tliy 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
I .AIM. What is the matter ? Why upbraid thy child V
r.HXB Here is this noble youth, the flower and pride
Of all our village ; he hath fix'd oai thee
His fond affections, and for three long years
Has woo"d thee with respectful tenderness ;
But thou dost thnist him back, with cold reserve,
Nor is there one 'mong all our shepherd youths
^Vho 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
Disclos'd its beauty, but I vainly wait
For love's sweet blossom genially to blow.
And ripen joyously to golden fioiit !
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.
Raim. Forbear, good father ! Cease to urge her thus !
A noble tender finiit of heavenly growth
Is my Johanna's love, and time alone
Bringeth the costly to maturity !
Still she delights to range among the hills,
And fears descending from the wild free heath,
To tany 'neath the lowly roofs of men,
Where dwell the narrow cares of humble life.
From the deep vale, with silent wonder, oft
I mark her, when, upon a lofty hill
SmTounded by her flock, erect she stands.
With noble port, and bends her earnest gaze
Down on the small domams of earth. To me
She looketh then, as if from other times
She came, foreboding things of import high.


Thib. 'Tis that precisely wMch displeases me !
She shuns her sisters' gay companionship ;
Seeks out the desert mountains, leaves her couch
Before the crowing of the morning cock,
And in the dreaded hour, when men are wont
Confidingly to seek their fellow-men.
She, like the solitary biixl, creeps forth,
And in the fearful spirit-realm of night,
To yon crossway repairs, and there alone
Holds secret commune with the mountain wind.
Wherefore this place precisely doth she choose i"
Why hither always doth she drive her flock ?
For hours together I have seen her sit
In dreamy musing neath the Druid tree,
Which every happy creature shuns with awe.
For 'tis not holy there ; an evil spirit
Hath since the fearful pagan days of old
Beneath its branches fix"d his dread abode.
The oldest of our villagers relate
Strange tales of hon-or of the Druid tree ;
Mysterious voices of unearthly sound
From its unhallowd shade oft meet the ear.
Myself, when in the gloomy twilight hour
My path once chanc'd to lead me near this tree.
Beheld a spectral figure sitting there,
Which slowly from its long and ample robe
Stretch 'd forth its wither'd hand, and beckon'd me
But on I went with speed, nor look'd behind,
And to the care of God consign'd my soul.

Raimond {pointing to the image of the Virgin).
Yon holy image of the Virgin blest,
Whose presence heavenly peace diifuseth round.
Not Satan's work, leadeth thy daughter here.

TniB. . No ! not in vain hath it in fearful dreams
And apparitions strange reveal'd itself.
For three successive nights I have beheld
Johanna sitting on the throne at Kheims,
A sparkling diadem of seven stars
Upon her brow, the sceptre in her hand,
From which three lilies sprung, and I, her sire.

(aj, n._ THE MAID OF ORLEANS. 333

With her two sisters, and the noble peers.
The earls, archbishops, and the King himself,
Bow'd down before her. In my humble home,
How could this splendour enter my poor brain ?
Oh, 'tis the prelude to some fearful fall !
This warning dream, in picturd show, reveals
The vain and sinful longing of her heart.
She looks with shame upon her lowly birth.
Because with richer beauty God hath grac'd
Her form, and dower'd her with wondrous gifts
Above the other maidens of this vale.
She in her heart indulges sinful pride.
And pride it is, through which the angels fell,
By which the fiend of Hell seduces man.

Rajh. . Who cheiishes a purer, humbler mind

Than doth thy pious daughter? Does she not
With cheerful spirit work her sisters' will ?
She is more highly gifted far than they,
Yet, like a servant maiden, it is she
Who silently performs the humblest tasks.
Beneath her guiding hands prosperity
Atttendeth still thy harvests and thy flocks ;
And aroimd all she does there ceaseless flows
A blessing, rare and unaccountable.

Thib. . Ay truly ! Unaccountable indeed !

Sad horror at this blessing seizes me !

— But now no more ; henceforth I will be silent.

Shall I accuse my own beloved child ?

I can do nought but warn and pray for her

Yet warn I must. — shun the Druid tree !

Stay not alone, and in the midnight hour

Break not the gi'ound for roots, no drinks prepareit

No characters inscribe upon the sand !

'Tis easy to unlock the realm of spirits ;

Listening each sound, beneath a film of earth

They lie in wait, ready to rush aloft.

Stay not alone, for in the wilderness

The pnuce of darkness tempted e'eu our Lord


Scene III.

Thibaut, Eaimond, Johanna.

Brrtrand enters, a helmet in his hand.

Raim Hush ! here is Bertrand coming back from town,
What bears he in his hand ?

Bertrand. You look at me

With wondering gaze ; no doubt you are surprised
To see this martial helm !

Thibaut. We are indeed !

Come, tell us how you came by it ? Why bring
This fearful omen to our peaceful vale?

[Johanna, who has remained indifferent dxiring the
tivo previous scenes, becomes attentive, and steps

Bert. . I scarce can tell you how I came by it.

I had procur'd some tools at Vaucouleurs ;
A crowd was gather'd in the market-place.
For fugitives were just arriv'd in haste
From Orleans, bringing most disastrous news.
In tumult all the town together flock'd,
And as I forc'd a passage through the crowds,
A brown Bohemian woman, with this helm,
Approach 'd me, eyed me narrowly, and said :
" Fellow, you seek a helm ; I know it well.
Take this one! For a trifle it is yours."
" Go with it to the soldiers," I replied,
" I am a husbandman, and want no helm."
She would not cease, however, and went on :
" None knoweth if he may not want a helm.
A roof of metal for the head just now
Is of more value than a house of stone."
Thus she pursued me closely through the streets.
Still offering the helm, which I refused.
I mark'd it well, and saw that it was bright.
And fair and worthy of a knightly head;
And when in doubt I weigh'd it in my hand.
The strangeness of the incident revolving,
The woman disappear'd, for suddenly
The rushing crowd had carried her away.


And 1 was left, the lielmet in my hand.

Johanna {attempting eagerly to seize it).
Give me the helmet !

fJERTRAND. Why, what boots it you?

It is not suited to a maiden's head.

Johanna (seizing it from him).

Mine is the helmet — it belongs to me !

Thib. . What whim is this ?

Raimond. Nay, let her have her way I

This warlike ornament becomes her well,
For in her bosom beats a manly heart.
Remember how she once subdued the wolf.
The savage monster which destroyed our herds,
And fiU'd the neighb'ring shepherds with dismay.
She all alone — the lion-hearted maid —
Fought with the wolf, and from him snatch'd the

Which he was bearing in his bloody jaws.
How brave soe'er the head this helm adorn'd.
It caanot grace a worthier one than hers !

TniBAUT {to Bertrand).

Relate what new disasters have occurred.
What tidmgs brought the fugitives ?

Bertsand. May God

Have pity on our land, and save the King !
In two great battles we have lost the day ;
Oui* foes are station'd in the heart of France,
Far as the river Loire our lands are theirs —
Now their whole force they have combined, and lay
Close siege to Orleans.

Thibaut. God protect the King !

BiinT. . Artillery is brought from every side.

And as the dusky squadrons of the bees
Swarm round the hive upon a summer day,
As clouds of locusts from the sultry air
Descend and shroud the countiy round for miles,
So doth the cloud of war, o'er Orleans' fields.
Pour forth its many-nationed multitudes,
Whose varied speech, in wild confusion blent.
With strange and hollow murmurs fills the air.
}'or Burgundy, the mighty potentate,


Conducts his motley host ; the Hennegarians,
The meu of Liege and of Luxemburg,
The people of Namur, and those -^ho dwell
In fair Brabant; the wealthy men of Ghent,
Who boast their velvets, and their costly silks;
The Zealanders, whose cleanly towns appear
Emerging from the ocean ; Hollanders
Who milk the lowing herds ; men from Utrecht
And even from West Friesland's distant realm,
Who look towards the ice-pole — all combine,
Beneath the banner of the powerful duke,
Together to accomplish Orleans' fall.

TiiiB. . Oh the unblest, the lamentable strife.

Which turns the arms of France against itself I

<3ert. . E'en she, the Mother-Queen, proud Isabel —
Bavaria's haughty princess — may be seen,
AiTay'd in armour, riding through the camp ;
With poisonous words of u'ony she fires
The hostile troops to fury 'gainst her son.
Whom she hath clasp'd to her maternal breast

Xhib. . A curse upon her, and may God prepare
For her a death like haughty Jezebel's !

3ebt. . The fearful Sal'sbmy conducts the siege,
The town-destroyer ; with him Lionel,
The brother of the lion ; Talbot, too,
Who, with his murd'rous weapon, moweth down
The people in the battle : they have sworn,
With ruthless insolence, to doom to shame
The hapless maidens, and to sacrifice
All who the sword have wielded, with the sword.
Four lofty watch-towers, to o'ertop the town,
They have uprear'd; Earl Sal'sbury from on high
Casteth abroad his cruel, murd'rous glance,
And marks the rapid wanderers in the streets.
Thousands of cannon balls, of pond'rous weight,
Are liurl'd into the city. Churches lie
In ruin'd heaps, and Notre Dames royal tower
Begins at length to bow its lofty head.
They also* have form'd powder-vaults below.
And thus, above a subterranean hell,
The timid city eveiy hour expects.


'Midst crashing thunder, to break forth in flames.
[Johanna liste)is iiitli close atteiUion, and places the
helmet on Jier head.

Thi3. . But where were then our Jieroes? Where the swords
Of Saintrailles, and La Hire, and brave Duuois,
Of France the bulwark, that the haughty foe
With such impetuous force thus onward rushed ?
Where is the King ? Can he supinely see
His kingdom's peril, and his cities' fall ?

Bebt. The King at Chinon holds his court; he lacks
Soldiers to keep the field. Of what avail
The leader's courage, and the hero's arm.
When pallid fear doth paralyze the host?
A sudden panic, as if sent from God,
Unnerves the coux'age of the bravest men
In vain the summons of the Iving resounds
As when the howling of the woK is heard,
The sheep in terror gather side by side.
So Frenchmen, careless of their ancient fame,
Seek only now the shelter of the towns.
One knight alone, I have been told, has brought
A feeble company, and joins the King
With sixteen banners.

JoEANNA iquickhj). What's the hero's name?

Beiit. . 'Tis Baudricour. But much I fear the Imight
Will not be able to elude the foe,
Who track him closely with two numerous hosts.

JoHAN. . Where halts the knight? Pray tell me, if you know

Bert. . About a one day's march from Vaucouleurs.

Thibaut [to Johanna).

"\Vhy, what is that to thee ? Thou dost inquire
Concerning matters which become thee not.

Bert. . The foe being now so strong, and from the King
No safety to be hoped, at Vaucouleurs
They have with unanimity resolved
To yield them to the Duke of Burgundy.
Thus we avoid a foreign yoke, and still
Continue by our ancient royal line;
Ay, to the ancient cro^^^l we may fall back
Siiould France and Burgundy be reconcil'd.


Johanna (as if inspired).

Speak not of treaty ! Speak not of surrender '
The Saviour comes, he arms him for the fight
The fortunes of tlie foe before the walls
Of Orleans shall be wreck'd ! Hi=; hour is come,
He now is ready for the reaper's hand,
And with her sickle will the maid appear,
And mow to earth the harvest of his pride.
She from the heavens wUl tear his glory down,
Which he had hung aloft, among the stars ;
Despair not! Fly not! for ere yonder corn
Assumes its golden hue, or ere the moon
Displays her perfect orb, no English horse
Shall drink the rolling waters of the Loire.
Bert. Alas ! no miracle will happen now !
JoHAN. Yes, there shall yet be one — a snow-white dove
Shall fly, and with the eagle's boldness, tear
The birds of prey, which rend her Fatherland.
She shall o'erthrow this haughty Burgundy,
Betrayer of the kingdom; Talbot, too,
The hundred-handed, heaven-defying scourge ;
This Sal'sbury, who violates our fanes.
And all these island robbers shall she drive
Before her like a flock of timid lambs.
The Lord ^\ill be with her, the God of battle ;
A weak and trembling creature he will choose.
And through a tender maid proclaim his power.
For he is the Almighty !
TiiiBAUT. What strange power

Hath seized the maiden?
PiAiMOND. Doubtless 'tis the helm

Which doth inspire her with such martial thoughts
Look at your daughter. Mark her flashing eye.
Her glowing cheek, which kindles as with fire !
JoHAN This realm shall fall ! This ancient land of fame.
The fairest that, in his majestic course,
Th' eternal sun surveys — this paradise.
Which, as the apple of his eye, God loves —
Endure the fetters of a foreign yoke?
— Here were the heathen scattered, and the erase


And holy image first were planted here ;
Here rest Saint Louis' ashes, and from hence
The troops went forth, who set Jerusalem free.
Berteand (m astonishment).

Hark how she speaks ! Why, whence can she obtain
This glorious revelation ? — Father Arc !
A wondrous daughter God hath given you !
JoHAN. We shall no longer serve a native prince !

The King, who never dies, shall pass away —

The guardian of the sacred plough, who fills

The earth with plenty, who protects our herds,

Who frees the bondmen from captivity,

Who gathers all his cities round his throne —

Who aids the helpless, and appals the base.

Who en\-ies no one, for he reigns supreme;

Who is a mortal, yet an angel too,

Dispensing mercy on the hostile' earth.

For the King's throne, which glitters o'er with gold,

Affords a shelter for the destitute ; —

Power and compassion meet together there.

The guilty tremble, but the just draw near.

And with the guardian lion fearless sport !

The stranger king, who cometh from afar.

Whose fathers' sacred ashes do not lie

Interr'd among us ; can he love our land ?

Who was not young among our youth, whose heart

Respondeth not to our familiar words.

Can he be as a father to our sons ?

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 21 of 37)