Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Extracts from Joan of Arc by Marc Twain

Well, anything to make delay. The King's council advised him against arriving at a decision in our matter  too precipitately. He arrives at a decision too precipitately!  So they sent a committee of priests—always priests—into  Lorraine to inquire into Joan's character and history— a matter which would consume several weeks, of course. You see how fastidious they were. It was as if people should come to put out the fire when a man's house was burning down, and they waited till they could send into another country to find out if he had always kept the Sabbath or not, before letting him try.

So the days poked along, dreary for us young people in some ways, but not in all, for we* had one great anticipation in front of us—we had never seen a king, and now some day we should have that prodigious spectacle to see and to treasure  in our memories all our lives; so we were on the look-out, and always eager and watching for the chance. The others

*We : a small group of mostly young men who have accompanied Joan in her journey from Vaucouleurs to Chinon to meet the King. Among them are two brothers of Joan, Jean and Pierre d'Arc, the narrator, Louis Le Come, childhood friend of Joan (later, her page and secretary), and two members of the nobility, Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy who were touched very early by Joan's determination and purity.

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