Friedrich Schiller.

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

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Raim. . Alas ! the foe !

[The soldiers advance, and perceiving Johanna
fall back in terror.
Isabel. What now obstructs tne march ?

Sold. . May God protect us !
Isabel. Do ye see a spirit ?

How ! Are ye soldiers ? Ye are cowards all !

[She presses forward, but starts back on beholding
the Maiden.
What do I see !

[She collects herself quickly and approaches her
Submit thyself ! Thou art
My prisoner !
Johanna. I am

[Raimond flies in despaii
Isabel {to the soldiers). Lay her in chains !

[The soldiers timidly approach the Maiden ; she
extends her arms and is chained.
Is this the mighty, the terrific one,
Who chased your warriors like a flock of lambs,
Who, powerless now, cannot protect herself?
Doth she work miracles with credulous fools,
And iosn her influence when she meets a man?

[To the Maiden,
Why didst thou leave the armv ? Where 's Dunois,
Thy knight and thy protector


Johanna I am banished.

[Isabel, stepping back astonished.

Isabel. Whatsay'stthou? Thou art banished? By the Dauphin V

JoHAN. Inquire no further ! I am in thy power,
Decide my fate.

Isabel Banish'd, because thou hast

Snatched him from ruin, placed upon his brow
The crown at Rheims, and made him king of France?
Banish'd I Therein I recognise my son!
— Conduct her to the camp, and let the host
Behold the phantom before whom they trembled !
She a magician ? Her sole magic lies
In your delusion and your cowardice !
She is a fool who sacrificed herself
To save her king, and reapeth for her pains
A king's reward — Bear her to Lionel. —-
The fortune of the French I send him bound ;
I'll follow her anon.

Johanna. To Lionel ?

Slay me at once, ere send me unto him.

Isabel {to the soldiers).

Obey your orders, soldiers ! Bear her hence ! {Exit

Scene VI.
Johanna, Soldiers.

Johanna {to the soldiers).

Ye English, suffer not that I escape
Alive out of your hands ! Revenge yourselves !
Unsheath your weapons, plunge them in my heart,
And drag me lifeless to your general's feet !
Remember, it was I, who slew your heroes.
Who never showed compassion, who poured forth
Torrents of English blood, who, from your sons,
Snatclied the sweet pleasure of returning home !
Take now a bloody vengeance ! Murder me !
I now am in your power ; I may perchance
NTot always be so weak.

CoNDUC7:oR OF THE SoLDiERs. Obey the Queen !

Johan. Must I be yet more wretched than I was !
Unpitying Virgin ! Heavy is thy hand !
Hast thou completely thrust me from thy favour f
No God appears, no angel shows himself ;


Closed are Heaven's portals, have ceased.

\She Jolloivs the Soldiers.

Scene VII.

The French Camp.

DuNOis, between the Archbishop and Ddchatel

Abch. . Conquer your sullen indignation. Prince !

Return with us ! Come back unto your King !
In this emergency abandon not
The general cause, when we are sorely pressed,
And stand in need of your heroic arm.

DuNois. Why are ye sorely pressed ? Why doth the foe
Again exalt himself? all was achieved; —
France was triumphant — war was at an end ; —
The savdour you have banished ; you henceforth
May save yourselves ; I'll not again behold
The camp wherein the Maid abideth not.

DucHAT.Thiuk better of it, Prince ! Dismiss us not
With such an answer !

DuNOis. Silence, Duchatel !

You 're hateful to me ; I'll hear nought from you ;
You were the first who doubted of her truth.

Abch. . Who had not wavered on that fatal day,

And been bewildered, when so many signs

Bore evidence againt her ! We were stunned.

Our hearts were crushed beneath the sudden blow.

— Who in that hour of dread could weigh the proofs /

Our calmer judgment now returns to us,

We see the Maid, as when she walked with us,

Nor have we any fault to charge her with.

We are perplexed ; — we fear that we have done

A grievous wrong. — The King is penitent,

The Duke remorseful, comfortless La Hire,

And every heart doth shroud itself in wo.

DuNOis. She a deluder ? If celestial truth

Would clothe herself in a corporeal form,

She needs must choose the features of the Maidau.

If purity of heart, faith, innocence,

Dwell anywhere on earth, upon her lips

And in her eyes' clear depths they find their home!

AncH. . May the Almighty, through a miracle.
Shed light upon this awful mystery,


Wliicli baffles human insight. — Howsoe'er

This sad perplexity may be resolved,

One of two grievous sins we have committed !

Either in fight we have availed ourselves

Of hellish arms, or banished hence a saint !

And both call down upon this wretched land

The vengeance and the punishment of Heaven!

Scene VIII.

The same, a Nobleman, afterwards Piaimond
Noble. A shepherd youth inquires after your Highness,

He urgently entreats an interview.

He says, he cometh from the Maiden —
DuNOis. Haste !

Conduct him hither ! He doth come from her I

[The Nobleman opens the door to Eaimonu
DuNOis hastens to meet him.

Where is she? Where s the Maid?
Raimond. Hail ! noble Prince 1

And blessed am 1 that I find with you

This holy man, the shield of the oppressed.

The father of the poor and destitute !
DuNOis. Where is the Maiden?

Arch. Speak, my son, inform us !

PiAiM. . She is cot, sir, a wicked sorceress !

To God and all his saints I make appeal.

An error blinds the people. You've cast forth

God's messenger, you've banished innocence!
DuNois. Where is she ?
RAiiiOND. I accompanied her flight

Towards the wood of Ardennes ; there she hath

Revealed to me her spirit's inmost depths

In torture 111 expire, and will resign

My hopes of everlasting happiness.

If she's not guiltless, sir, of every sin !
DuNOiSj The sun in Heaven is not more pure than she !

Where is she ? Speak !
Raimond. If God hath turned your hearts.

Oh hasten, I entreat you — rescue her —

She is a prisoner in the English camp.
DcNOis. A prisoner say you ?


Archbishop. Poor unfortunate !

Ratm. . There in the forest as we sought for shelter.

We were encounter'd hy Queen Isabel,

Who seized and sent her to the English host.

from a cruel death deliver her

Who hath full many a time deliver'd you !
DuNOis. Sound an alarm ! to arms ! up ! beat the drums.

Fonh to the field ! Let France appear in arms !

The crown and the palladium are at stake !

Our honour is in pledge ! risk blood and life !

She must be rescued ere the day is done !

A watch tower — an opening above



Johanna and Lionel

Fastolfe [entering hastily).

The people can no longer be restrain d

With fury they demand the Maiden's death.

In vain your opposition. Let her die.

And throw her head down from the battlements !

Her blood alone will satisfy the host.

Isabel [coming in).

With ladders they begin to scale the walls.
Appease the angry people ! Will you wait
Till in blind fury they o'erthrow the tower,
And we beneath its ruins are destroy 'd?
Protect her here you cannot. — Give her up !

Lionel Let them storm on ! In fury let them rage '
Firm is this castle, and beneath its ruins
I will be buried ere I yield to them.
— Johanna, answer me ! only be mine,
And I will shield thee 'gainst a world in arms.

Isabel. Are you a man-?

Lionel. Thy friends have cast thee off

To thy ungrateful country thou dost owe
Duty and faith no longer. The false cowards
Who sought thy hand, forsake thee in thy need
They for thy honour venture not the fight,
But I, against my people and 'gainst thine,
Will be thy champion. — Once thou didst C3Jifees

80. X.l



My life was dear to thee : in combat tliei.
I stood before thee as thine enemy, —
Thou hast not now a single friend but me !

JoHAN. Thou art my people's enemy and mine.
Between us there can be no fellowship.
Thee I can never love, but if thy heart
Cherish affection for me, let it bring
A blessing on my people. — Lead thy troops
Far from the borders of my Fatherland ;
Give up the keys of all the captui^ed towns,
Restore the booty, set the captives free.
Send hostages the compact to confirm.
And peace I offer thee in my King's name.

Isabel. Wilt thou, a captive, dictate laws to us ?

JoHAN It must be done ; 'tis useless to delay.
Never, oh never, will this land endure
The English yoke ; sooner will France become
A mighty sepulchre for England's hosts.
Fallen in battle are your bravest chiefs.
Think how you may achieve a safe retreat;
Your fame is forfeited, your power is lost.

Isabel. Can you endure her raving insolence ?

Scene X.
A Captain enters hastily.

Capt. Haste, general ! Prepare the host for battle!
The French with flying banners come this way.
Their shining weapons glitter in the vale.

Johanna [tvith enthusiasm).

My people come this way ! Proud England, nc v,
Forth in the field ! now boldly must you fight I

Fastol. Deluded woman, moderate your joy !
You will not see the issue of this day.

J CHAN. My friends will win the fight and I shall die !
The gallant heroes need my arm no more.

Lionel. These dastard enemies I scorn ! They have
In twenty battles fled before our arms.
Ere this heroic Maiden fought for them !
All the whole nation 1 despise, save one.
And this one they have banish 'd. — Come, Fastolfe,
We soon will give them such another day


As that of Poictiers, and of Agincourt.

Do you remain within the fortress, Queen,

And guard the Maiden till the fight is o'er.

I leave for your protection fifty knights.
Fastol. How ! general, shall we march against the foe

And leave this raging fui^ in our rear ?
J CHAN What! can a fetter "d woman frighten thee ?
Lionel. Promise, Johanna, not to free thyself '
JoHAN. To free myself is now my only wish.
Isabel. Bind her with triple chains ! I pledge my life

That she shall not escape.

[She is bound with heavy chains
Lionel [to Johanna). Thou will'st it so !

Thou dost compel us ! still it rests with thee I

Renounce the French, — the English banner bear.

And thou art free, and these rude savage men

Who now desire thy blood shall do thy will !
Fastolfe {urgently).

Away, away, my general !
Johanna. Spare thy words !

The French are drawing near. — Defend thyself I

[Trumpets sound, IjIONel hastens forth
Fastol. You know your duty. Queen ! if Fate declares

Against us, should you see our people fly —
Isabel {showing a dagger).

Fear not ! She shall not live to see our fall.
Fastolfe [to Johanna).

Thou knowest what awaits thee, now implore

A blessing on the weapons of thy people ! [Exit

Scene XI.
Isabel, Johanna, Soldiers.
Johan. Ay ! that I will ! no power can hinder me.

Hark to that sound, the war march of my people !

How its triumphant notes inspire my heart!

Ruin to England ! victory to France !

Up, valiant countrymen! The Maid is near:

She cannot, as of yore, before you bear

Her banner — she is bound with heavj'^ chains ^

But freely from her prison soars her soul.

Upon the pinions of your battle song.


Isabel (to a Soldier).

Ascend the watch-tower Tnhich commands the field,

And thence report the progress of the fight.

[Soldier ascends
JoHAN Courage, my people ! 'Tis the final struggle —

Another victory, and the foe lies low I
Isabel. What see'st thou ?
Soldier. They 're already in close fight.

A furious warrior, on a Barbary steed,

In tigers skin, leads forward the gens d'armes.
JoHAN. That's Count Dunois! on, gallant warrior!

Conquest goes with thee.
Soldier. The Burgundian duke

Attacks the bridge
Isabel. Would that ten hostile spearn

Might his perfidious heart transfix, the traitor !
Sold. . Lord Fastolfe gallantly opposes him.

Now they dismount — they combat man to man.

Our people and the troops of Burgundy.
Isabel. Behold'st thou not the Dauphin ? See'st thou not

The royal banner wave ?
Soldier. A cloud of dust

Shrouds every thing. I can distinguish nought
JoHAN. Had he my eyes, or stood I there aloft.

The smallest speck would not elude my gaze !

The wild fowl I can number on the wing,

And mark the falcon in his towerin» flight.


Sold. . There is a fearful tumult near the trench ;

The chiefs, it seems, the nobles, combat there.
Isabel. Still doth our banner wave ?
Soldier. It proudly floats.

JoHAN. Could I look through the loopholes of the wall,

I with my glance the battle would control !
Sold. Alas ! W^hat do I see ! Our general 's

Surrounded by the foe !
Isabel [points the dafjger at Johanna). Die. v/retch !
Soldier (qtiickh/). He s free !

The gallant Fastolfe in the rear attacks

The enemv — he breaks their serried ranks.
Isabel {withdrawinrj the dagrfer).

There spoke thy angel 1



Soldier Victory ! They fly '.

Isabel. Who fly?

Soldier. The French and the Burgundians fly;

The field is cover'd o'er with fugitives.
JoHAN. My God ! Thou wilt not thus abandon me !
Sold. . Yonder they lead a sorely wounded knight ;
The people rush to aid him — he 's a prince.
Isabel. One of our country, or a son of France ?
Sold. They loose his helmet— it is Count Dunoia
Johanna {seizes her fetters with convulsive violence).
And I am nothing but a fetter'd woman !
SoiJ). . Look yonder ! Who the azure mantle wears,

Border'd with gold ?
Johanna. That is my Lord, the King.

Sold His horse is restive, plunges, rears, and falls —
He struggles hard to extricate himself —

[Johanna accompanies these words with passionate
Our ti-oops are pressing on in full career,
They near him, reach him— they surround him now
Johan. Oh, have the heavens above no angels morel
Isabel {Jaughing scornfully).

Now is the time, Deliverer — now deliver !
Johanna [throics herself upon her knees, and prays with pas-
sionate violence).
Hear me, O God, in my extremity !
In fervent supplication up to Thee,
Up to thy heaven above, I send my soul.
The fragile texture of a spider's web,
As a ship's cable, thou canst render strong ;
Easy it is to thine omnipotence
To change these fetters into spiders' webs —
Command it, and these massy chains shall fall,
And these thick walls be rent. Thou, Lord, cf old
Didst strengthen Samson, when, enchain'd and blind,
He bore the bitter scorn of his proud foes.
Trusting in thee, he seized with mighty power
The pillars of his prison, bow'd himself,
And overthrew the structure.
Soldier. Triumph!

Isabel. How ?


Sold. . The King is ta'en !

JoHAi^NA [sprinfjing up). Then God be gracious to me !

[She seizes her chains violently with both hands,
and breaks them asunder. At the same moment
rushing upon the nearest soldier, she seizes his
sword and hurries out. All gaze after her,
transfixed with astonishment.

Scene XTI.
The same, without Johanna.
IsABEi, {after a long pause).

How was it ? Did I dream ? Where is she gone ?

How did she break these ponderous iron chains ?

A world could not have made me credit it,

If I had not beheld it with these eyes.
So-LDiEB {from the tower).

How ? Hath she wings ? Hath the wind borne her
down ?
Isabel. Is she below?
Soldier. She strides amidst the fight:

Her course outspeeds my sight — Now she is here —

Mow there — I see her everywhere at once !

— She separates the troops — all yield to her ;

The scatter'd French collect — they form anew !

— Alas ! what do I see ! Our people cast

Their weapons to the ground, our banners sink —
Isabel What ! Will she snatch from us the victory ?
Sold. . She presses forward, right towards tlie Iving.

She reaches him — she bears him from the tight —

Lord Fastolfe falls — the general is ta'en !
Isabel. I 'II hear no more. Come down !
Sold. . Fly, Queen ! you will be taken by siirprise.

Arm'd soldiers are advancing tow'rds the tower.

[He comes down
i%haE\. (draicing her sword).

Then fight, ye cowards

F 5 2


Scene XIII.

La Hibe, with soldiers. At his entrance the people of On
Queen lay down their arms.

La Hire {approaching her resjjectfully).

Queen, submit yourself—
Your knights have yielded — to resist is vain !
— Accept my proffer 'd services. Command
Where you would be conducted
Isabel. Every place

The same, where I encounter not the Dauphin.

[She resigns her sword, and follows him with tliA

The Scene changes to the battle field

Scene XIV.

Soldiers with flying banners occupy the background. Before
them the King and the Duke of Buegundy appear, bearing
Johanna in their arms; she is mortally wounded, and ap-
parently lifeless. They advance slowly to the front of tlia
stage. Agnes Sorel rushes in.
SoREL (throning herself on the bosom of the King).

You 're free — you live — I have you back again !
King. . Yes, I am free — I am so at this price !

[Pointing to JoHA.f na
Sorel. Johanna! — God! she's dying !
Burgundy. She is gone !

An angel passeth hence ! See, how she lies,
Easy and tranquil, like a sleeping child !
The peace of Heaven around her features plays
The breath of life no longer heaves her breast.
But vital warmth still lingers in her hand.
King. . She 's gone ! — She never will awaken more,

Her eye will gaze no more on earthly things.
She soars on high, a spirit glorified.
She seeth not our grief, our penitence,
Sorel. Her eyes unclose — she lives !
Burgundy (in astonishment). Can she return

Back from the grave, triumphant e'en o'er death ?
She riseth up ! She stand eth !


Johanna (standing up, and looking round). Where am 1 V
Burg. . With thine own people, Maiden — with thy friends !
Sing. . Supported by thy friend, and by thy King.
Johanna [ajter looking at him fixedly for some time).
No ! I am not a soi'ceresa ! Indeed
I am not one.
King. Thou 'rt holy, as an angel ;

A cloud of error dimm'd our mental sight.
Ji HANNA [gazing round her with a joyful smile).

And am I really, then, among my friends,
And am no more rejected and despised ?
They curse me not — kindly they look on me !
— Yes, all around me now seems clear again !
That is my King ! — the banners these of France !
My banner I behold not — where is it ?
Without my banner I dare not appear;
To me it was confided by my Lord,
And I before his throne must lay it down ;
I there may show it, for I bore it truly
King {averting his face).

Give her the banner !

[It is given to her She stands quite unsupported
the banner in her hand. The heaven is ilht'
mined by a rosy light.
JoHAN See you the rainbow yonder in the air ?

Its golden portals Heaven doth wide unfold.
Amid the angel choir she radiant stands,
The eternal Son she claspeth to her breast,
Her arms she stretcheth forth to me in love.
How is it with me ? Light clouds bear me up —
My ponderous mail becomes a wdnged robe ;
I mount — I fly — back rolls the dwindling earth —
Brief is the sorrow — endless is the joy !

\Her banner falls, and she sinks lifeless on the
ground. All remain for some time in speech-
less sorrow Upon a signal from the King, all
the banners are gently placed over her, so that
she is entirely enncealed by them.




A Poetical work must vindicate itself : — if the execution be defective, little
aid can be derived from commentaries.

On these grounds, I might safely leave the Chorus to be its own advocate,
if we had ever seen it presented in an appropriate manner. But it must be
remembered that a dramatic composition first assumes the character of a
whole by means ol representation on the stage. The Poet supplies only the
words, to which, in a lyrical tragedy, music and rhythmical motion are essential
accessories. It follows, then, that if the Chojus is deprived of accompaniments
appealing so powerfully to the senses, it will appear a superfluity in the
economy of the drama — a mere hindrance to the development of the plot — de-
structive to the illusion of the scene, and wearisome to the spectators.

To do justice to the Chorus, more especially if our aims in Poetry be of
a grand and elevated character, we must transport ourselves from the actual
to a possible stage. It is the privilege of Art to furnish for itself whatever
is requisite, and the accidental deficiency of auxiliaries ought not to confine
the plastic imacination of the Poet. He aspires to whatever is most dignified,
he labours to realize the ideal in his own mind — though in the execution of his
purpose he must needs accommodate himself to circumstances.

The assertion so commonly made, that the Public degrades Art, is not well
founded. It is the artist that brings the Public to the level of his own con-
ceptions ; and, in every age in which A rt has gone to decay, it has fallen
through its professors. The People need feeling alone, and feeling they
possess They take their station before the curtain with an unvoiced long-
ing, with a multifarious capacity. They brintj with them an aptitude for
what is highest — they derive the greatest pleasure from what is judicious and
true ; and if, with these powers of appreciation, they deign to be satisfied
with inferior productions, still, if tliey have once tasted what is excellent,
they will, in the end, insist on having it supplied to them.

It is sometimes objected that the Poet may labour according to an Ideal —
that the critic maj' judge fmm ideas, but that mere executive art is subject
10 contingencies, and depends fur effect on the occasion. Managers will be
obstinate ; actors are bent on display — the audience is inattentive and un-
ruly. Their object is relaxation, and they are disappointed if mental exertion
oe required, when they expected only amusement. But if the Tlieatre be
made instrumental towards higlier objects, the pleasure of the sprctiitor will
not be increased, but ennobled. It will be a diversion, but a poetical
cne. All Art is dedicated to pleasure, and there can be no higher and worthier
and than to make men happy. The true Art i-s that wjiicii provides tlie


highest degree of pleasure ; and this consists in the abandooment ©f the
spirit to the free play of all its faculties.

Every one expects from the imaginative arts a certain emancipation from
the oounds of reality: we are willins to give a scope to Fancy, and
recreate ourselves with the possible. The man who expects it the least
will nevertheless forget his ordinary pursuits, his every-day existence ana
individuality, and experience delight from uncommon incidents : — if he be
of a serious turn of mind, he will acknowledge on the stage that moral
government of the world which he fails to discover in real life. But be is,
at the same time, perfectly aware that all is an empty show, and that, in a
true sense, he is feeding only on dreams. When he returns from the theatre
to the world of realities, he is again compressed n-ithin its narrow bounds;
he is its denizen as before — for it remains what it was, and in him nothing
has been changed. What, then, has he gained beyond a momentary illusive
pleasure which vanished with the occasion ]

It is because a passing recreation is alone desired, that a mere show of
truth is thought sufficient. I mean that probability or vraisemblance
which is so highly esteemed, but which the commonest workers are able
to substitute for the true.

Art has for its object not merely to afford a transient pleasure, to excite
to a momentary dream of liberty ; its aim is to make us absolutely free ; and this
it accomplishes by awakening, exercising, and perfecting in us a power to remove
to an objective distance the sensible world ; (which otherwise only burdens us as
rugged matter, and presses us down with a brute influence ;) to transform it
into the free working of our spirit, and thus acquire a dominion over the ma-
terial by means of ideas. For the very reason also that true Art requires some-
what of the oVjjective and real, it is not satisfied with a show ot truth. It rearj
its ideal edifice on Truth itself — on the solid and deep foundations of Nature.

But how Art can be at once altogether ideal, yet in the strictest sen.'e
real ; — how it can entirely leave the actual, and yet harmonize with Nature,
is a problem to the multitude : — and hence the distorted views which prevai.
in regard to poetical and plastic works ; for to ordinary judgments these twc
requisites seem to counteract each other.

It is commonly supposed that one may be attained by the sacrifice of the

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 28 of 37)