Friedrich Schiller.

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

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DuNois. 'Tis not the fleeting passion of the eye

Attracts me to her. My unconqner'd sense

Had set at nought the fiery shafts of love

Till I beheld this wondrous maiden, sent

By a divine appointment to become

The saviour of this kingdom, and my wife ;

And on the instant in my heart I vow'd Jj

A sacred oath, to bear her home, my bride ^

For she alone who is endowed with strength 'j

Can be the strong man's friend. This glowing heart i

Longs to repose upon a kindred breast.

Which can sustain and comprehend its strength.
Hire. . How dare I venture, Prince, my poor deserts

To measure with your name's heroic fame !

When Count Dunois appeareth in the lists.

Each humbler suitor must forsake the field ;

Still it doth ill become a shepherd maid '.

To stand as consort by your princely side.

The royal current in your veins would scorn

To mix with blood of baser quality.
DuNOis. She, like myself, is holy Nature's child,

A child divine — hence we by birth are equal

She bring dishonour on a prince's hand,

Who is the holy Angel's bride, whose head

Is by a heavenly glory circled round.

Whose radiance far outshineth earthly crowns,

Who seeth lying far beneath her feet

All that is greatest, highest, of this earth ;

For tlirones on thrones, ascending to the stars,

Would fail to reach the height where she abides

In angel majesty !
Hire Our Monarch must decide.


DuNOis. Not SO ! she must

Decide ! Free hath she made this realm of France,
And she herself must freely give her heart.

fliRE. Here comes the King I

Scene II.
Charles, Agnes Sorel, Du Chatel, and Chatillos.

The same
Charles (to Chatillon).

He comes ! My title he will recognise,

And do me homage as his sovereign Liege'
Chatil. Here, in his royal town of Chalons, Sire,

The Duke, my master, will fall dowTi before thee.

— He did command me, as my lord and king,

To give thee greeting. He'll be here anon.
Sorel He comes ! Hail beauteous and auspicious day.

Which bringeth joy, and peace, and reconcilement I
Chatil. The Duke, attended by two hundred knights.

Will hither come ; he at thy feet will kneel ;

But he expecteth not that thou to him

Shouldst yield the cordial greeting of a kinsman.
Chas I long to clasp him to my throbbing heait.
Chatil. The Duke entreats that at this interview,

No word be spoken of the ancient strife !
Chas. . In Lethe be the past for ever sunk !

The smiling future now invites our gaze.
Chatil. All who have combated for Burgundy

Shall be included in the amnesty.
Chas. . So shall my realm be doubled in extent !
Chatil. Queen Isabel, if she consent thereto,

Shall also be included in the peace.
Chas. . She maketh war on me, not I on her.

With her alone it rests to end our quarrel
Chatil. Twelve knights shall answer for thy royal word
Chas. . My word is sacred.
Chatillon. The Archbishop shall

Between you break the ronsecrated host.

As pledge and seal of cordial reconcilement
Chas. . Let my eternal weal be forfeited.

If my hand's friendly grasp belie my heart.

What other surety doth the Duke require ?


Chatillon [glancituj at Du Chatei,).

I see one standing here, ■whose presence, Sire,
Perchance might poison the first interview.

[Do Chatel retires in silence.

Chas. . Depart, Du Chatel, and remain conceal'd
Until the Duke can bear thee in his sight.

[He follows him with his eye, then hastens after
and emhraces him.
True-hearted friend ! Thou -wouldst far more than this
Have done for my repose ! [Exit Du Chatel.

Chatii; This instrument doth name the other poitts.

Charles [to the Archbishop).

Let it be settled. "We agree to all.
We count no price too high to gain a friend.
Go now, Dunois, and with a huadred knights,
Give courteous conduct to the noble Duke.
Let the troops, garlanded ^vith verdant boughs,
Eeceive their comrades \vith a joyous welcome.
Be the whole town arrayed in festal pomp.
And let the bells with joyous peal, proclaim
That France and Burgundy are refujncil'd.

[A Page inters. Trumpets sound.
Hark I What importeth that loud trumpet's call ?

Page. . The Duke of Burgundy hath stayed his march. [Exit.

Ddjsois. Up ! forth to meet him !

[Exit with La Hire and Chatillon

Charles (to Sorel).

My Agnes ! thou dost weep ! Even my strength
Doth almost fail me at this interview.
How many victims have been doom'd to fall
Ere we could meet in peace and reconcilement !
But every storm at length suspends its rage,
Day follows on the murkiest night ; and still
When comes the hour, the latest fruits mature !

Archbishop (at the window).

The thronging crowds impede the Duke's advance ;
He scarce can free himself. They lifi him now
From oS" his horse ; they kiss his spurs, his mantle

Chas. . They're a good people, in whom love flames forth
As suddenly as wrath. — In how brief space
They do forget that 'tis this very Duke


Who slew, in fight, their fathei'S and thoir sons ;
The moment sw-allows up the whole of life !
— Be tranquil, Sorel ! E'en thy passionate joy
Perchance might to his conscience prove a thorn.
Nothing should either shame or grieve him here.

Scene ITI.

The Duke of Burgundy, Dunois, La Hire, Chatillon, and
two other Knujhts of the Dukes train. The Duke remains
standing at the door; the King inclines towards him; Bur-
gundy immediately advances, and in the moment ivlien he is
about to throw himself upon his knees, the King receives him
ill his arms.

Chas. You have sui-prised us — it was our intent

To fetch you hither — but your steeds are fleet.

Burg. . They bore me to my duty.

[He embraces Sorel, and kisses her brow
With your leave !
At Arras, niece, it is our privilege,
And no fair damsel may exemption claim.

Chas. . Rumour doth speak your comt the seat of love.
The mart, where all that's beautiful must tarry

Burg. . "We are a traflfic-loving people. Sire ;

Whate'er of costly earth's wide realms produce,
For show and for enjoyment, is displayed
Upon our mart at Bruges ; but above all
There woman's beauty is pre-eminent.

Sorel. More precious far is woman's tinith ; but it
Appeareth not upon the public mart.

Chas Kinsman, 'tis itimour'd to your prejudice,
That woman's fairest virtue you despise.

Burg. The heresy mflicteth on itself

The heaviest penalty. 'Tis well for you.

From your own heart, my King, you leam'd betimes

What a wild life hath late reveal'd to me.

[He perceives the Archbishop, and extends his hand
]\Iost reverend minister of God ! your blessing '
You still are to be found on duty's path,
Where those must walk who would encounter you

AacHB Now let my Master call me when he will ;

2 c


My heart is full, I can with joy depart,
Since that mine eyes have seen this day !
BbRauNDY [to Sorel). 'Tis said

That of your precious stones you robb'd yourself.
Therefrom to forge 'gainst me the tools of war ?
Bear you a soul so martial ? Were you then
So resolute to work my overthrow ?
Well, now our strife is over ; what was lost
Will in due season all be found again.
Even your jewels have return 'd to you.
Against me to make war they were design 'd ;
Receive them from me as a pledge of peace.

[He receives a casket from one of the Attendants,
and presents it to her open. Sorel, embar-
rassed, looks at the King.
Chas. . Receive this present ; 'tis a twofold pledge

Of reconcilement, and of fairest love.
Burgundy [placing a diamond rose in her hair).
Why, is it not the diadem of France ?
With full as glad a spirit I would place
The golden circle on this lovely brow.

[Taking her hand significantly
And count on me if, at some future time.
You should require a friend !

[Agnes Sorel bursts into tears, and steps aside.
The King struggles with his feelings. The
bystanders contemplate the tiro Princes with
Burgundy {after gazing round the circle, throws himself into
the King's arms).

O, rny King !
[At the same moment the three Burgundian
Knights hasten to Dunois, La Hire, and the
Archbishop. They embrace each other. Tlie
two Princes remain for a time speechless tit
each other s arms.
I ccdld renounce you ! I could bear you hate !
Chas . Hush! hush! No further!

Burgundy. I this English King

Could crown ! Swear fealty to this foreigner !
And you, my Sovereign, into ruin jilunge !


Chas . Forget it ! Eveiy thing's forgiven now

This single moment doth obliterate al) .'

'Twas a malignant star ! A destiny !
Burgundy (grasps his htnid).

Believe me, Sire, I'll make amends for all.

Your bitter sorrow 1 will compensate ;

You shall receive your kingdom back entire,

A solitary village shall not fail !
Chas. We are united. Now 1 fear no foe.
Burg. . Trust me, it was not with a joyous spirit

That I bore arms against you. Did you know -

wherefore sent you not this messenger?

[Pointing to Sorei.

1 must have yielded to her gentle tears.

— Henceforth, since breast to breast we have embraced,
No power of hell again shall sever us!
My erring course ends here. His Sovereign's heart
Is the ti'ue resting place for Burgundy.
.ytciiBiSHOP {steps between them).

Ye are united, Piinces ! France doth rise
A renovated phoenix from its ashes.
Th' auspicious future greets us with a smile.
The country's bleeding wounds will heal again,
The villages, the desolated towns,
Rise in new splendour from their ruin'd heaps.
The fields array themselves in beauteous green —
But those who, victims of your quarrel, fell.
The dead, rise not again ; the bitter tears,
Caused by your strife, remain for ever wept !
One generation hath been doom'd to wo,
On their descendants dawns a brighter day.
The gladness of the son wakes not the sire.
This the dire fruitage of your brother-strife !
Oh, Princes! learn from hence to pause with ■
Ere from its scabbard ye unsheath the sword.
The man of power lets loose the god of war.
But not, obedient, as from fields of air
Returns the falcon to the sportsman's hand.
Doth the wild deity obey the call
Of mortal voice ; nor will the Saviour's hand
A second time forth issue from the clouds.

C C !i



lact m.

Burg. . Sire ! an angel walketli by your side.

— Where is she ? Why do I behold her not ?

Chas. . Where is Johanna? Wherefore faileth she
To grace the festival we owe to her ?

Archb. She loves not, Sire, the idless of the court,

And when the heavenly mandate calls her not
Forth to the world's observance, she retires,
And doth avoid the notice of the crowd !
Doubtless, unless the welfare of the realm
Claims her regard, she communes with her God,
For still a blessing on her steps attends.

Scene IV.
The same.

Johanna enters.

She is dad in armour-, and wears a garland
in her hair.

Chas. . Thou comest as a priestess deck'd, Johanna,
To consecrate the union form'd by thee !

BuKG. How dreadful was the Maiden in the fight !
How lovely circled by the beams of peace !
— My word, Johanna, have I now fulfill 'd?
Art thou contented ? Have I thine applause ?

Johan. The greatest favour thou hast shown thyself.
Array 'd in blessed light thou shinest now,
Who didst erewhile with bloody ominous ray.
Hang like a moon of terror in the heavens.

[Looking round
Many brave knights I find assembled here.
And joys glad radiance beams in every eye ;
One mourner, one alone I have encounter'd,
He must conceal himself, where all rejoice.

Burg. . And who is conscious of such heavy guilt,
That of our favour he must needs despair ?

Johan May he approach? Oh tell me that he may, —
Complete thy merit. Void the reconcilement
That frees not the whole heart. A drop of hate
Remaining in the cup of joy, converts
The blessed draught to poison. — Let there be
No deed so stain'd with blood, that Burgundy
Cannot forgive it on this day of joy!


B0RG. . Ha ! now I understand !

Johanna. And thoult forgive ?

Thou wilt indeed forgive ? — Come in, Duchatel !

[She opens the door and leads in Duchatel. u'k)
remains standing at a distance.

The Duke is reconciled to all his foes,

And he is so to thee.

[Duchatel approaches a few steps nearer, and
tries to read the countenance of the Duke.
Burgundy. What makest thou

Of me, Johanna? Know'st thou what thou askest ?
JoHAN. A gracious sovereign throws his portals wide.

Admitting every guest, excluding none ;

As freely as the firmament the world,

So mercy must encircle friend and foe.

Impartially the sun pours forth his beams

Through all the regions of infinity ;

The heaven's reviving dew falls every where.

And brings refreshment to each thirsty plant ;

"N\Tiate'er is good, and cometh from on high,

Is vmiversal, and ■sN'ithout reserve ;

But in the heart's recesses darkness dwells !
Burg. . Oh, she can mould me to her wish ; my heart

Is in her forming hand like melted wax.

— Duchatel, I forgive thee — come, embrace me !

Shade of my sire! oh, not with wrathful eye

Behold me clasp the hand that shed thy blood.

Ye death-gods, reckon not to my account,

That my dread oath of vengeance I abjure.

With you, in yon drear realm of endless night,

There beats no human heart, and all remains

Eternal, stedfast, and immoveable.

Here in the light of day 'tis otherwise.

Man, living feeling man, is aye the sport

Of the oermast'ring present.
Charles (to Johanna). Lofty maid!

What owe 1 not to thee ! How truly now

Hast thou fulfill'd thy word, — how rapidly

Reversed my destiny ! Thou hast appeased

My friends, ard in xhe dust o'erwhelm'd my foes;


From foreign yoke redeem'd my cities. — Thou
Hast all achieved. — Speak, how can I reward thee ?

J OH AN Sire, in prosperity be still humane,

As in misfortune thou hast ever been ;

— And on the height of greatness ne'er forget

The value of a friend in times of need ;

Thou hast approved it in adversity.

Refuse not to the lowest of thj'^ people

The claims of justice and humanity,

For thy deliv'rer from the fold was call'd.

Beneath thy royal sceptre, thou shalt gather

The realm entire of France. Thou shalt becomt

The root and ancestor of mighty kings ;

Succeeding monarchs, in their regal state,

Shall those outshine, who fill'd the throne before

Thy stock, in majesty shall bloom so long

As it stands rooted in the people's love.

Pride only can achieve its overthrow,

And from the lowly station, whence to-day

God summon'd thy deliv'rer, ruin dire

Obscurely threats thy crime-polluted sons!

Burg. Exalted maid ! Possessed with sacred fire I
If thou canst look into the gulf of time,
Speak also of my race ! Shall coming years
With ampler honours crown my princely line ?

JoHAN High as the throne, thou, Burgundy, hast built
Thy seat of power, and thy aspiring heart
Would raise still higher, even to the clouds,
The lofty edifice. — But from on high
A hand omnipotent shall check its rise.
Fear thou not hence the downfall of thy house !
Its glory in a maiden shall survive ;
Upon her breast shall sceptre-bearing kings.
The people's shepherds, bloom. Their ample sway
Shall o'er two realms extend, they shall ordain
Laws to control the known world, and the new,
Wliich God still veils behind the pathless waves

Cha8. O, if the Spirit doth reveal it, speak ;

Shall this alliance which we now renew
In distant ages still unite our sons ?


Johanna (after a pause).

Sovereigns and kings ! disunion shun with dread !
Wake not contention from the mui'ky cave
Where he doth lie asleep, for once aroused
He cannot soon be quel I'd ! He doth beget
An iron brood, a ruthless progeny;
Wildly the sweeping conflagration spreads.
— Be satisfied ! Seek not to question further I
In the glad present let 3'our hearts rejoice,
The future let me shroud !

SoRRL. , Exalted maid !

Thou canst explore my heart, thou readest there
If after worldly greatness it aspires,
To me too give a joyous oracle.

JoHAN. Of empires only I discern the doom ;
In thine own bosom lies thy destiny !

DuNOis. What, holy maid, will be thy destiny ?

Doubtless, for thee, who art belov'd of Heaven,
The fairest earthly happiness shall bloom,
For thou art pure and holy.

Johanna Happiness

Ahideth yonder, with our God, in Heaven.

Chas. Thy fortune be henceforth thy Monarch's care !
For I will glorify thy name in France,
And the remotest age shall call thee blest.
Thus I fulfil my word. — Kneel down !

[He draws his sword and touches her with it

And rise
A noble ! I, thy Monarch, from the dust
Of thy mean birth exalt thee. — In the grave
Thy fathers I ennoble — thou shalt bear
Upon thy shield the fleur-de-lis, and be
Of equal lineage with the best in France.
Only the royal blood of Valois shall
Be nobler than thine o\\'n ! The highest peer
Shall feel himself exalted by thy hand ;
To wed thee nobly, maid, shall be my care.

DuNOls [advancivg).

My heart made choice of her when she was owl?
The recent honour which encircles her,
Neither exalts her merit, nor my love.


Here in my sovereign's presence, and before
This holy bishop, maid, I tender thee
My hand, and take thee as my princely wife,
If thou esteem me worthy to be thine.

Chas. . Resistless maiden ! wonder thou dost add

To wonder ! Yes, I now believe that nought's
Impossible to thee. Thou hast subdued
This haughty heart, which still hath scoff 'd till now»
At Love's omnipotence.

La Hire [advancing). If I have read

Aright Johanna's soul, her modest heart's
Her fairest jewel. — She deserveth well
The homage of the great, but her desires
Soar not so high. — She striveth not to reach
A giddy eminence ; an honest heart's
True love contents her, and the quiet lot
Which with this hand I humbly proffer her.

Chas. Thou too, La Hire ! two brave competitors, —
Peers in heroic virtue and renown !
— Wilt thou, who hast appeased mine enemies,
My realms united, part my dearest friends ?
One only can possess her ; I esteem
Each to be justly worthy such a prize.
Speak, maid ! thy heart alone must here decide.

SoREL. The noble maiden is surprised, her cheek
Is crimson'd over with a modest blush.
Let her have leisure to consult her heart,
And in confiding friendship to unseal
Her long-closed bosom. Now the hour is comf
When, vdxh a sister's love, I also may
Approach the maid severe, and offer her
This silent faithful breast. — Permit us women
Alone to weigh this womanly affair ;
Do you await the issue.

Charles {about to retire) Be it so !

ToHAN. No, Sire, not so ! the crimson on my cheek
Is not the blush of bashful modesty.
Nought have I for this noble lady's ear
Which in this presence I may not proclaim.
The choice of these brave knights much honours me,
But I did not forsake my shepherd-walks,

80. lY.]



To chase vain worldly splendour, nor array
My tender frame in panoply of war,
To twine the bridal garland in my hair.
Far other labour is assign 'd to me.
Which a pure maiden can alone achieve
I am the soldier of the Lord of Hosts,
And to no mortal man can I be wife.

Archb. To be a fond companion unto man

Is woman bom — when nature she obeys.
Most wisely she fulfils high Heaven's decree !
When his behest who call'd thee to the field
Shall be accomplish'd, thou'lt resign thine arma,
And once again rejoin the softer sex,
Whose gentle nature thou dost now forego,
And which from war's stern duties is exempt.

JoHAN Most reverend Sir ! as yet 1 cannot say
What work the Spirit will enjoin on me.
But when the time comes round, his guiding voice
Will not be mute, and it I will obey.
Now he commands me to complete my task,
My royal Master's brow is still uncro\vn'd,
Still unanointed is his sacred head ;
My Sovereign cannot yet be call'd a king.

Chas. . We are advancing on the way to Kheims.

JoHAN. Let us not linger, for the enemy

Is planning how to intercept thy course :

I will conduct thee through the midst of them !

DuNOis. And when thy holy mission is fulfill'd.

When we in triumph shall have enter'd Rheims,
Wilt thou not then permit me, sacred maid —

JoHAN. If Heaven ordain that, from the strife of death,
Cro^\^l'd with the wreath of conquest, I return.
My task will be accomplish'd — and tlie maid
Hath, thenceforth, in the palace nought to do.

Ohables [taking her hand).

It is the Spirit's voice impels thee now ;
Love in thy bosom, Heaven-inspir'd, is mute;
'Twill not be ever so ; believe me, maid !
Our weapons will rejiose, and victory
Will by the hand lead forward gentle peace



[aoi in-

Joy will return again to eveiy breast,

And softer feelings wake in eveiy heart, —

They will awaken also in thy breast,

And tears of gentle longing thou vd\t weep,

Such as thine eye hath never shed before ;

— This heart, which Heaven now occupies alone,

Will fondly open to an earthly friend —

Thousands thou hast till now redeem'd and blessd

Thou wilt at length conclude by blessing one !

JoHAN. Art weaiy, Dauphin, of the heavenly vision.
That thou its vessel wouldst annihilate ?
The holy maiden, sent to thee by God,
Degrade, reducing her to common dust ?
Ye blind of heart ! ye of little faith !
Gods glory shines around you , to your gaze
He doUi reveal his wonders, and ye see
Nought but a woman in me. Dai'e a woman
In iron panoply array herself.
And boldly mingle in the strife of men ?
Wo, wo is me ! if e'er my hand should wield
The avenging sword of God, and my vain heart
Cherish affection to a mortal man !
'Twere better for me I had ne'er been bom !
Henceforth no more of this, unless ye would
Provoke the Spirit's wrath who in me dwells I
The eye of man, regarding me with love.
To me is horror and profanity.

Chas. . l'"orbear ! It is in vain to urge her further.

JoHAN. Command the ti'umpets of the war to sound I
This stillness doth perplex and harass me ;
An inward im[>ulse drives me from repose,
It still impels me to achieve my work.
And sternly beckons me to meet my doom.

Scene V.

A Krdght, entering hastily.

Chas. What tidings? Speak !

Knight The foe has cross 'd the Manie.

And marshalleth his army for the fight.


Johanna (insjnred).

Battle and tumult ! Now my soul is free.
Arm, warriors, arm ! while I prepare the troops.

[She (foes out
Chas. . Follow, La Hire ! E'en at the gates of Rheims

They will compel us to dispute the crown !
Duxois. No genuine courage prompts them. This essay

Is the last effort of enraged despair.
Chas. . I do not urge you, Duke. To-day's the time

To compensate the errors of the past.
BcRG. . You shall be satisfied with me.
Charles. Myself

Will march before you on the path of fame ;
Here, with my royal town of Rheims in view,
1"11 fight, and gallantly achieve the crowTi.
Thy knight, my Agnes, bids thee now farewell !
Agnes [embracing him).

I do not weep, I do not tremble for thee ;

My faith, unshaken, cleaveth unto God !

Heaven, were we doom'd to failure, had not given

So many gracious pledges of success !

My heart doth whisper me that, victory-crown 'd,

In conquer'd Rheims, I shall embrace my King.

[Trumpets sound icith a spirited tone , and whih
the scene is changing, pass into a wild martial
strain. When the scene opens, the orchestra
joins in, accompanied by warlike instruments
behind the scene.

Scene VI.

The Scene changes to an open country, skirted rcith trees
During the music. Soldiers are seen retreating hastily aero
the back-ground.

Talbot, leaning on Fastolfe, and accompanied by Soldier

Soon after, Lionel.
Talbot. Here lay me dowTi, beneath these trees, and then

Betake you back, with speed, unto the fight ;

I need no aid to die.
Fastolfe. Oh woful day! [Lionei enters

Behold what sight awaits you, Lionel !


Here lies our General, \Toun(.led unto death.

Lionel. Now, God forbid I My noble Lord, arise !

No moment this to falter and to sink.
, Yield not to death. By your all-powerful will,

I Command your ebbing spirit still to live.

Talbot. In vain ! The day of destiny is come,

Which will oerthrow the English power in France.
In desperate combat I have vainly risk'd
The remnant of our force to ward it off.
Struck by the thunderbolt I prostrate lie,
Never to rise again. — Eheims now is lost.
Hasten to succour Paris !

Lionel. Paris is vdth the Dauphin reconcil'd ;

A courier even now hath brought the news.

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 25 of 37)