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RP3 04r

brought in. 

THE DAUPHIN
 
Yes, I wish it. Have her enter right away.
 
LA TRÉMOUILLE, softly, turning towards Regnault.

 

 Soon we'll be rid of this maid who's so annoyed us. I'm tired of hearing her spoken of.He exits, then reenters almost immediately, having issued his orders. The King descends from the throne and the Duke of Alençon takes his place.

LA TRÉMOUILLE, to the Duke of Alençon.

I've given the order to have her come in by herself, with no instruction on the ceremonies in use at royal courts. Is she going to be embarrassed in front of your supposed highness!...

Joan of Arc enters alone, with her sword and her unfurled banner. Coming forward with assurance, she makes all the proper obeissances before the King, whom she recognizes without ever having seen him.

CHARLES VII

I am not the king, why do you salute me thus?

THE DUKE OF ALENÇON

I am the king and you must render honors to me. But first, what is your name?

JOAN, with assurance.

Duke of Alençon, you are not the king, and it is to him that I have a mission to speak. (She turns to Charles VII.)  

 

 

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RP3 04v

 By my God, gentle Prince, it is you and no other I have come to succor. I am called Joan the Maid. I assure you, on the part of the King of Heaven, that you will be consecrated and crowned at Reims, and you will be the lieutenant of the King of Heaven who is also King of France!... 

CHARLES VII 

I cannot give credence to your words. If God wished to save the kingdom, He would not have left it so long in this extrem­ity where we find it.

JOAN

Gentle Dauphin, why do you not believe me? I tell you God has had pity on you, your kingdom, your people, because Saint Louis and Charlemagne are kneeling before Him and pray­ing for you.

CHARLES VII

But how do you know these things of which you speak?

JOAN

By my voices.

LA TRÉMOUILLE

Would you not like to explain, here in the presence of the King, how these voices speak to you?

JOAN, to Charles VII.

Gentle Prince, if you wish it, I am ready to speak.

 

                      

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RP3 05r

 

CHARLES VII

Yes, I wish it. Tell us in detail how the voices came to teach you when you were at Domremy.

JOAN, to an inspired tune. (Poetry of Alexander Soumet, 1846.)

From the age of thirteen, alongside the Church,
Gentle Dauphin, I have many times heard
Holy voices come through the branches
And these voices said to me — dear memory!
That in order to have unchangeable peace always
One must stay pure, and great clarity
Came at the same time and from the same source.
I have anticipated this moment with great joy
One loves to see happen what God sends us!
Sometimes the voices were intimidating to me,
But always their wise counsel has guided me well.
One day — I still tremble with ecstasy and fright!...
One day as I prayed to God for France and the king,
I hung fresh boughs in the village church
— And do you believe?... I saw them shine
And in the air moving across the old wall
Came Saint Michael in an azure cloak.
His hand was holding the flaming sword;
His great gold-spangled white wings
            

 

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RP3 05v

 

Spread in an arc; and on his blessed brow
There shone a ray of infinite happiness.
His luminous flight I saw unveiled,
Making clouds of stars as it passed.
It shone in my eyes, which were delighted,
Like a sapphire fallen from the height of the firmament.
The lilies that Solomon loved in their glory
Had a brilliance less pure than his silk robe;
The air was less light than his floating hair
And his voice resembled the whisper of spring
When it flows in the morning under flowery branches
Of sweet almond trees, our prairie bouquets....
— I contemplated a long time, dumbstruck with happiness,
The angel who came on the part of the Lord
And, seeing him fly to eternal places,
I said to him, weeping: — Take me under your wings!...

CHARLES VII

Is this the only Heavenly visitation you have received? I see nothing in this of your mission to save the kingdom.

JOAN

By my God, gentle Prince, I assure you that, since this first visit, I have received others every day. Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret have appeared to me and have comforted me, for I often wept after

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RP3 06r

Saint Michael ordered me to go and com­mand the army.

THE DUKE OF ALENÇON

You say your voices have revealed to you that God wants to deliver the people of France from the misery into which they have fallen. If that's the case, God, who is All-Powerful, does not need the help of soldiers. 

JOAN

With my God, the soldiers will fight, and God will give them no] victory.

THE DUKE OF ALENÇON

But what gives you such assurance, after the rejections you have already endured?

JOAN

When something torments me, for example when peoplewill not believe what I say, I retire apart and I pray.....When Ihave prayed, I hear a voice say to me: — "Daughter of God!... go,go.... I will come to your aid.... go.....and when this voicecomes to me I am so comforted, so joyful, it is marvelous!...

Joan gazes fixedly at Heaven as if lost in ecstasy.

THE DUKE OF ALENÇON, to the Dauphin.

This girl moves me, to the bottom of my soul....Truly, Ibelieve in her mission... How inspired the tone when she speaks of her voices, would not  

 

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