Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc — Volume 1

By Mark Twain

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...PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF

JOAN OF ARC

VOLUME 1 (of 2)

By Mark Twain

Consider this unique and imposing...

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...the Maid.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must
judge...

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...whose name has a
place in profane history. No vestige or suggestion of self-seeking can
be found...

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...biographies in one respect: It is the only story of a
human life which comes to...

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...the mitered French slaves of England who were
her assassins, and upon France who stood idle...

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...English fangs had been bedded in her flesh, and so cowed
had her armies become by...

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...were all good children, just of the ordinary peasant type;
not bright, of course--you would not...

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...this was not known to be so, it was only an opinion. It was
not my...

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...fairies that
lived there; for they liked that, being idle innocent little creatures,
as all fairies are,...

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...youth?

Now the several traditions were as I have said, some believing one and
some another. One...

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...was still far away; but in none of these was
the person in a state of...

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... Ten hundred years, in sooth,
They've nourished you with praise...

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...and fled every which way, with their wee hazel-nut fists in their
eyes and crying; and...

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...through my tears
and break my heart, oh, my God! No, the place was not quite...

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...And it is no little matter,
this thing that you have done. Is being sorry penance...

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...brushed the ashes out of her hair, and helped her scour her face
and neck and...

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...into his head that the sure way and
the only way to rouse her up and...

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...shunned and denied human sympathy and friendship
because salvation was barred against them. She said that...

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...winter's night we were gathered there--it was the winter that for
years afterward they called the...

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...on her shoulder, sitting
up, as those creatures do, and turning a rocky fragment of prehistoric
chestnut-cake...

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...it."

"Let him work for food, then. We are being eaten out of house and home
by...

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...maire was in great form to-night and
at his very best--which pleased the maire exceedingly and...

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...as a guilty stomach; that
in the body of the veriest rascal resides a pure and...

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...away up high,
and set all hearts to thumping and all pulses to leaping; then, before
anybody...

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...and Roland lay dying, all alone,
with his face to the field and to his slain,...

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...in one
direction--down the slope, toward the village.

"It's a black flag."

"A black flag! No--is it?"

"You can...

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...the clamors of the
others, who all burst into a fury over this feature of the...

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...a general gasp. We knew him, you see, for a trusty man.

"Did he believe it?"

The...

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...like us, but an officer--an officer, mind you, with
armor on, and the bars of a...

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...right in front of him--right under his
ax. Then she stopped, and seemed to begin to...

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...long; and he knows me, and likes me. I have fed him
through the bars of...

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...thing! I only wish he would come along now--I'd show you!"

"So do I!" cried Pierre...

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...lay upon our spirits like a physical weight. It was
greatly augmented a couple of years...

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...they could not speak. But Joan was
standing close by, and she looked up in his...

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...the first time we saw wrecked and smoke-blackened
homes, and in the lanes and alleys carcasses...

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...they had got at second hand and by hearsay. It
amuses me now when I recall...

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...cost of their blood. As
for me, I could count myself honored past all deserving if...

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...talks to himself aloud without knowing it, and
none heard it but me. I glanced at...

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...behind to take
care of our Joan and her sister. I shall stay at home, and...

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...made them good when the time came, asking
just that boon of the King and refusing...

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...step at a time:

"Joan, I have been thinking the thing all over last night, and...

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...hopeless?"

"Necessarily. In face of these facts, doubt of it is impossible."

"How can you say that?...

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...she will trample it under foot!" This with
spirit.

"Without soldiers to fight with?"

"The drums will summon...

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...conceit was neighbor,
with but a scarcely measurable interval of time between, to an event
destined to...

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...a little, and
with her arms down and the ends of her fingers lightly laced together...

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...in her face and
bearing. It was almost as if she had been in a trance...

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...it was this that made you
thoughtful and not as you were before. I see it...

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...the
companionship of soldiers. But those weak moments passed; they will not
come again. I am enlisted,...

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...and also a something wholly new and
remarkable in her carriage and in the set of...

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...rough, full of strange
oaths acquired here and there and yonder in the wars and treasured...

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...heard him mutter, "By God's grace, it is a
beautiful creature!" He inspected her critically a...

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...not scold did what
was worse and harder to bear; for they ridiculed her, and mocked...

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...had their trouble for their pains. She was modest,
tranquil, and quite at her ease. She...

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...good to me," Joan said. "I sent and asked him to come
and persuade my mother...

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...words and tears, a pitiful sight to see. And Joan took
one long look back upon...

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...that nobler hunger fed? Day after
day, and still day after day the great tide rose....

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...to perceive depths in her that they had not suspected; and then
her manifest sincerity and...

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...it was. So he brought a
priest with him to exorcise the devil that was in...

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...use of the sword and other arms also.

On the 20th Joan called her small army...

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...forbade that they be told why this limit was named.

All day, the 23d, she glanced...

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...they could, but their
physical miseries were become so sharp by this time that they were
obliged...

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...I was too late, but I
begged so hard that the governor was touched by my...

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...waved the compliment aside with his hand
and said, with complacency:

"It is nothing. I have them...

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...me to speak my mind about his faults,
and I am willing he shall speak his...

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...from Domremy to see the
crowds and the general show, for I hadn't ever had any...

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...I prefer to stand."





Chapter 4 Joan Leads Us Through the Enemy

WE WERE called to quarters...

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...why
Joan continued to be alert, vigorous, and confident while the strongest
men in the company were...

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...could help him. We had
no more conspiracies.

This night was harassed with ambuscades, but we got...

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...service.
Where was she camped?"

"In the forest, not more than a league from here."

"Good! I was...

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...allow the bridge to stand?"

It made me shiver to hear her.

The officer considered awhile, then...

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...belonged to the Virgin
of Vaucouleurs; but he must have been delayed seriously, for when we
resumed...

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...as well as she knew herself, and as her later history revealed
her to us, we...

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...him at once, and I wrote it. In it she
said she had come a hundred...

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...that night in the fog, when the Paladin took his
horse's ears for hostile lances and...

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...too
far. You will see me attack a live one if you are not careful."

"Meaning me,...

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...were half-way to Chinon we happened upon yet one more squad
of enemies. They burst suddenly...

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...meek slaves of those reptiles,
and watch their mouths and their actions, acting as they act,...

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...And so he lifts his frosty mustache and scoffs."

"When God fights it is but small...

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...of throwing away everything
and flying to some foreign land. The commissioners say there is a
spell...

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...their dignity to the base
function of ambassadors to her in her plebeian tavern, that they...

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...me for reminding you again--but I have no message to send
to any one."

The King's messengers...

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...and trusty soldier and perfect
him for his post; now we were beginning to feel that...

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...our memories all our lives; so we
were on the lookout, and always eager and watching...

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...a poem, she was a
dream, she was a spirit when she was clothed in that.

She...

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...others were fixed upon Joan in a gaze of wonder which
was half worship, and which...

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...and he muttered in grief and indignation:

"Ah, it is a shame to use her so....

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...than
ever they themselves had been, with all their practice and experience.

As for our two knights,...

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...if they have said more, tell it me--I will
believe."

"They have resolved that doubt, and I...

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...fate and bore it with a dreary patience, counting
the slow hours and the dull days...

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...better one, with more casualties
on the enemy's side each time, and more general wreck and...

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...and
their pretty daughter were flying here and there and yonder among the
tables and doing their...

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...naturally
follow that and reward it as by a law.

The people sat down and began to...

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...governor spoke
of him as a youth without name or ancestry, but "destined to achieve
both"; the...

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...me forbear, so by that error he
escaped with his life.

"Then she turned her about and...

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...say was this--and they said
it:

"Your Highness says her Voices have revealed to you, by her...

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...her a present of a great black
war-steed.

Every day the commission of bishops came and questioned...

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...house, but instead of examining the cat's teeth and claws, they only
concerned themselves to find...

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...this: that I am come by command of
the Lord of Heaven to deliver Orleans from...

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..."By God, the child has said true. He willed that Goliath should be
slain, and He...

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...ancient and illustrious authority of the Roman Church.
She was well-nigh smothered; but at last she...

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...and that the King may and
ought to accept the succor she offers; for to repel...

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...the good luck came sweeping in. Never mind about
the smaller waves, let us come to...

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...and all those others,
veterans of old renown, illustrious masters of the trade of war. These
were...

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...to Joan to be chief of her
household, and commanded her to appoint the rest of...

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...massed,
hoping for a glimpse of the new General, and when they got it, they went
wild;...

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...should be
dressed in a noble livery, and the news would go to the village, and
those...

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...a number of
domestics. Now she looked around and said:

"But where is the Paladin?"

The Sieur Bertrand...

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...couldn't be in earnest, but I see you are. If you can
make me understand this...

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...of the
whole of them combined, and probably the father of most of them. She
places him...

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...with the glories of the sunset;
plumed and sashed and iron-clad for war, he was a...

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...his own, not borrowed.
He did it with his great fists. As he moved along swearing...

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...said that all those loose
women must pack out of the place at once, she wouldn't...

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...come easy. Now don't look downhearted like that. Soon you won't
mind it."

La Hire tried to...

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...before, but his pride and confidence in it
knew no limits now. He said:

"Two or three...

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...La Hire as he would do by you if you
were La Hire and he were...

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...Florent d'Illiers, and Poton de Saintrailles.

Each in his degree was tough, and there were three...

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...is insane--it is blunder No.
1; it is what might have been expected of this child...

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...were on our
side of the river and forcing access to the bridge which it guarded...

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...to play with.

Presently God did take the blunder in hand, and by His grace the...

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...in her hand
the sacred sword of Fierbois. You should have seen Orleans then. What
a picture...

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...sit down and wait until there was an army to
work with.

Next morning, Saturday, April 30,...

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...him by the Maid. If you believe not
the news sent by God through the Maid,...

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...their
attention to Dunois now, but he had balked Joan once, with unpleasant
results to himself, and...

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...rich and wonderful beyond anything merely earthly. They
spoke all the languages--they had no need of...

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...to die, for pure enjoyment. She didn't laugh
loud--we, of course, wished she would--but kept in...

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...of Orleans"--would reveal that, as it seemed to me. It
pictured this pure and dainty white...

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...company that way,
whereas sixteen was just right, and could be done over again if desired.
The...

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...in
earnest, but I was. I said that to have them know that I was the...

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...played on him, so he came back. When he approached
the door he heard Noel ranting...

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...in the air and swabbing again and wringing it out.
Hear? You couldn't hear yourself think....

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...deserter from the
fortress called the "Augustins," who said that the English were going to
send me...

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...position at the side of the road with
her staff, and the battalions swung by with...

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...was down. He lifted it when he heard that soft friendly
voice, and there was a...

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...said:

"It was this way, my angel. My mother died, then my three little
children, one after...

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...than mere gravity--and she said:

"Well, it shall be as you will. What are you called?"

The...

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...nations do. When they love a great and noble
thing, they embody it--they want it so...

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...split the world with his bray, and I fell out
of the saddle. Sir Bertrand grabbed...

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...the south shore; so she
meant to go over there and storm the forts which held...

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...I think. All of you
have learned how to behave in hot hand-to-hand engagements, and you
don't...

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...had ever been found
yet who was willing to confront them and find out what their...

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...and down
this lane Joan went skimming like a bird, crying, "Forward, French
hearts--follow me!" and we...

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...knights commanded us to
face outward around Joan, which we did, and then there was work...

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...saw
that strange deep light in her eye which we named the battle-light, and
learned to know...

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...about, and was on everybody's lips. The Holy Maid
of Vaucouleurs was a forgotten title; the...

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...unoccupied for nobody knew how
many years, because of its evil repute.

This was a large room,...

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...minute--two minutes--three minutes of this, then we heard a long deep
groan, and everybody sprang up...

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...to believe that you have
lost your wits?" She turned to Dunois, and said, "Bastard, you...

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...I would!--and moreover that I will! You have my orders--here and
now. We will move upon...

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...crossed the five in strong force, and a tedious long job it was, for
the boats...

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...strong enough now. We had a long and tough piece of
work before us, but we...

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...must send a courier to Domremy
with a letter for our old Pere Fronte to read...

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...said Catherine, resignedly, "if they told you--But are you sure it
was they?--quite sure?"

"Yes, quite. It...

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...about Joan's neck and squandered
endearments upon her the least of which would have made me...

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...prevents him from
souring. To set that little trap for Catherine was as good and effective
a...

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...France Decided

WE WERE up at dawn, and after mass we started. In the hall we...

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...take the Tourelles."

It would not be possible for any to describe how those few words...

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...great bastille. Its rear
communicated with the bastille by a drawbridge, under which ran a
swift and...

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...skull that carried it had learned
its manners and would offend the French no more. He...

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...were at once eager
for another assault on the boulevard. Joan rode straight to the fosse
where...

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...siege of
Orleans!

The seven months' beleaguerment was ended, the thing which the first
generals of France had...

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...his English forces evacuated
their bastilles and marched away, not stopping to burn, destroy, or
carry off...

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...let "unbelief,
ingratitude, or other injustice" hinder or impair the divine help sent
through her. One might...

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...that Charles acquitted himself very
well for the most part, on that occasion--very much better than...

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...Joan was. God knows the reason for this, it is hidden
from men. As for me,...

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...head, and La Tremouille, being asked for an opinion,
eagerly furnished it:

"Sire, all prudence is against...

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...to it--nothing. Give me the one reward I ask, the dearest
of all rewards, the highest...

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...the good blow which you have struck
for the lilies of France; and they, and the...

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...me in military functions and state
ceremonies, but when it comes to civil ones and society...

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...you take a condition which
is present all the time, and the results of that condition...

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...decided, nothing done. The army
was full of zeal, but it was also hungry. It got...

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...more time; we must bestir ourselves."

The King objected that he could not venture toward Rheims...

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...bloom and beauty and grace, and such an incarnation of
pluck and life and go! she...

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...count was dying to go, too, but the King held him back for
the present. But...

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...I am grown
so old, so old; but it, oh, it is as fresh and young...

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...thousand picked English veterans
behind them, and at their head the great Earl of Suffolk and...

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...energy--a restrained
conflagration! What would you do with it? Hold it down and let it
smolder and...

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...soldiers, and only remembered that we
were boys and girls and full of animal spirits and...

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...of it all under a rolling firmament of smoke--a firmament
through which veiled vacancies appeared for...

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...was "Work! stick to it; keep on
working!" for in war she never knew what indolence...

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...riddle as that, there being no
precedent for it, nothing in history to compare it with...

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...side hammering away with all its
might; and it was splendid for smoke and noise, and...

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...the
famous cannoneer, Jean le Lorrain, and said:

"Train your gun--kill me this demon."

He did it with...

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...hurt. We took
them with us and marched into Orleans next day through the usual tempest
of...