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Saint Joan de Bernard Shaw : Jeanne d’Arc préfère le bûcher à la prison !

Jeanne d'Arc Milla Jovovic

Rouen, 30 mai 1431. Afin d’éviter le bûcher, déjà dressé sur la grand’place, Jeanne d’Arc signe l’aveu préparé par le Tribunal ecclésiastique. Mais lorsqu’elle apprend que ses juges l’ont trompée et lui réservent la prison à vie, la jeune femme déchire le document et clame son amour de la liberté au nez et à la barbe de ces faux serviteurs de Dieu. (Le dernier paragraphe a été adapté en monologue. Une traduction en français suit le texte original en anglais.)

Version originale

THE INQUISITOR. We declare thee by this act set free from the danger of excommunication in which thou stoodest. [He throws the paper down to the table].

JOAN. I thank you.

THE INQUISITOR. But because thou has sinned most presumptuously against God and the Holy Church, and that thou mayst repent thy errors in solitary contemplation, and be shielded from all temptation to return to them, we, for the good of thy soul, and for a penance that may wipe out thy sins and bring thee finally unspotted to the throne of grace, do condemn thee to eat the bread of sorrow and drink the water of affliction to the end of thy earthly days in perpetual imprisonment.

JOAN. [rising in consternation and terrible anger] Perpetual imprisonment! Am I not then to be set free? Give me that writing. [She rushes to the table; snatches up the paper; and tears it into fragments] Light your fire: do you think I dread it as much as the life of a rat in a hole? My voices were right. Yes: they told me you were fools [the word gives great offence], and that I was not to listen to your fine words nor trust to your charity. You promised me my life; but you lied [indignant exclamations]. You think that life is nothing but not being stone dead. It is not the bread and water I fear: I can live on bread: when have I asked for more? It is no hardship to drink water if the water be clean. Bread has no sorrow for me, and water no affliction. But to shut me from the light of the sky and the sight of the fields and flowers; to chain my feet so that I can never again ride with the soldiers nor climb the hills; to make me breathe foul damp darkness, and keep from me everything that brings me back to the love of God when your wickedness and foolishness tempt me to hate Him: all this is worse than the furnace in the Bible that was heated seven times. I could do without my warhorse; I could drag about in a skirt; I could let the banners and the trumpets and the knights and soldiers pass me and leave me behind as they leave the other women, if only I could still hear the wind in the trees, the larks in the sunshine, the young lambs crying through the healthy frost, and the blessed blessed church bells that send my angel voices floating to me on the wind. But without these things I cannot live; and by your wanting to take them away from me, or from any human creature, I know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of God.

Version française

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Sainte Jeanne (Saint Joan) de George Bernard Shaw. Extrait de la Scène 6. N’oubliez pas qu’il est impossible de travailler un texte sans l’œuvre complète. Vous pouvez acheter le livre en ligne et le récupérer dans la librairie la plus proche via ce lien Place des Libraires : Sainte JeanneBernard Shaw

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