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                Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc Book III
                                                                       by Mark Twain copyright 1896
                                                                                            Reviewed by Maurice A. Williams

Found in
Historical Romances
Mark Twain
c. 1994
Penguin Books USA
Joan of Arc Book Three is on pages 839 through 970

For anyone interested in how much fiction and how much historical fact is in Twain’s Joan of Arc, here are page by page notes that I took when researching his book. So many of the events are so easily verified as historical that I began flagging fictional events rather than historical ones.

The following are purely fictional characters invented by Mark Twain:
The Paladin (title for King’s helper) Edmund Aubrey, a childhood friend of Joan’s.
Noel Rainguesson, another childhood friend of Joan’s

Page Comment
839 BOOK III – Trial and Martyrdom

839 Chap I
839 Joan, now a prisoner of the Duke of Burgundy, should be, by military custom, available for release by ransom.
840 After two months (June – July 1430), Joan made an escape in early August, but was soon captured. She was sent to a stronger castle and imprisoned in the tower, sixty feet above the ground. Three months later, she heard that Compiegne was being besieged once more by the Burgundians who boasted that no inhabitant would escape massacre. Joan tried to escape again but fell part of the way to the ground, was badly bruised and was recaptured.
The royalist Count of Vendome came to the rescue of Compiegne and raised the siege. This was a disaster for the Duke of Burgundy, who now was in bad need of money.
841 The English took this opportunity to ransom Joan to English control. They sent Bishop Pierre Cauchon, who was
sympathetic to the English to offer ransom for Joan. She will be tried for heresy at Rouen. In financial straights, the Duke of Burgundy let Cauchon ransom her. Joan was taken to Rouen in December 1430.
842 Cauchon had her (for the first time in her captivity) put into chains and placed in a dungeon.

843 Chap II
843 The fictional Louis de Conte had been wounded and incapacitated until early October when he, once again, went out on sorties. He was wounded again on October 23. Later, on October 25, Noel Rainguesson, one of the fictional defenders of Compiegne against the Burgundian siege escaped the city and came to the room where de Conte was staying. He and de Conte talked about old D’Aulon [D'Aulon is a historical characer. He was Joan's intendant (like an assistant) (Pernoud Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 60)]. In the fictional story, D'Aulon was wounded and captured with Joan and was permitted by the Duke of Burgundy to continue serving Joan until Cauchon got hold of her.
844 Noel tells de Conte that the enemy who captured him tore the banner from the Paladin (the fictional Edmund Aubrey), and the banner now has a place of honor in Orleans. He and de Conte surmise that it will remain there for a thousand years. The translator (Mark Twain), in a footnote, relates that Joan’s banner, swords, armor, etc. was destroyed by the mob during the French revolution.
845 Noel and de Conte decide to travel to Rouen to be where Joan is.
846 Royalist patriots smuggle them through the gates (Rouen is an English held city) and lodge them with Royalist sympathizers within Rouen.

847 Chap III
847 The fictional Louis de Conte, to earn board and keep for himself and the fictional Noel Rainguesson, lands a job as assistant court recorder with the historical Father Manchon, a good priest sympathetic to Joan who has been appointed chief recorder for the trial [True: the priest’s name is Guillaume Manchon, one of three notaries {taker of minutes during the trial} (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 166)]. Louis served with Father Manchon January through February, 1431. Manchon briefed Louis on everything that happened to Joan prior to January. Bishop Cauchon had selected clerics he knew would be critical of Joan, but a few were open-minded, like a high ranking Inquisitor sent from Paris, who said “This court has no power to try this case.” He refused to participate in the trial [I saw that there were two judges to decide the case. All the others were advisors. Cauchon was one; the other was Jean Lemaitre, vicar of the Inquisitor at Rouen. He did not want to meddle in the matter “for the scruple of his conscience.” He distanced himself from active participation as judge, leaving Cauchon as the only participating judge (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 165)].
848 This case had already been tried in a higher court presided over by the Archbishop of Rheims. After some maneuvering by Cauchon, a representative of the English king turned Joan over to Cauchon’s court with this proviso: that if the court failed to condemn her, she is to be given back to the English [I think this is true, but I can’t find historical confirmation of it].
849 Jean of Luxemburg, the Burgundian who had captured Joan, visited her in her cell along with the Earl of Stafford and the Earl of Warwick, and offered to set her free if she promised to no longer fight the English. She refused. The Earl of Stafford then tried to stab her, but was restrained by the Earl of Warwick, who felt Joan must not be martyred be disgraced as a criminal [probably fictional].
850 Cauchon had the court prepare a list of charges, the “proces verbal” (proces d’office), a list of crimes, which turned out to be a list of suspicions and public rumors.
851 Father Nicolas Loyseleur agreed to hear Joan’s confession with Cauchon in the next room listening through a hole in the wall. Mark Twain criticized this treachery by a man of the cloth [True (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 172)].

852 Chap IV
852 On Tuesday, Feb 20, Father Manchon told Louis that the trial will begin tomorrow morning in the chapel of the fortress and would be public. Bishop Cauchon bragged that “He will lead the vile witch a merry dance and a short one” [I think this is true, but I can’t find historical confirmation of it].
853 Fifty clerics were present to question Joan, who was offered no legal counsel or help. She was seated on a small stool with no back and still in chains. She had been in the dungeon for nearly three-quarters of a year.

855 Chap V
855 Louis, the fictional story-teller, says he will relate honestly what happened and will take the liberty to add his own personal comments that did not get into the official court records. In a footnote, Mark Twain in the guise of the translator confirms that Louis kept his word. His account of the great trial will be found to be in strict and detailed accordance with the sworn facts of history.
856 Now the Great Trial begins. Fifty experts were against a novice; and no one to help the novice. Cauchon immediately asked Joan to swear an oath that she will answer with exact truthfulness all the questions asked her. She refused because, of some of the things she knows, she was told by her voices not to reveal.
857 When it became obvious that Joan would not take the oath, an English soldier was heard to remark: “By God if she were but English, she were not in this place another second. [Probably true, but I can’t find historical documentation of it]. Joan later said: “If I could escape, I would not reproach myself, for I have given no promise. And I shall not.
859 The court retires for the Day.

860 Chap VI
860 Manchon told Louis that Cauchon had some clerks hidden in the courtroom window casement to transcribe the minutes of the trial misrepresenting what Joan answered to make her look guilty. [True (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 171)]. These notaries of the English king deciding not to falsify Joan’s testimony angered Cauchon, but he did not try to do it again [Falsifying Joan’s testimony would have been effective in those days because the only record of what was said is what the notaries put into writing.
861 The trial starts off with Cauchon telling Joan that she is required to take an oath to answer truly all the questions put to her [So much of Mark Twains account of the trial is so easily verified that I from now on will only flag what I think is fictional]. Joan refuses to make the oath because there are some things about her visions of God and the Saints that she was advised to keep secret. Cauchon keeps trying to get Joan to make the oath. She tells him why she cannot.
864 Joan is questioned about her mission to relieve the siege of Orleans and about why she chose to dress in men’s clothing.
866 Mark Twain includes an historical document from the rehabilitation trial, held some years after Joan’s death, about how she was questioned. “When Joan spoke of her apparitions she was interrupted at almost every word. They wearied her with long and multiplied interrogations upon all sorts of things.” This lasted for hours at a time and for day after day.”

868 Chap VII
868 The third session of the court began on February 24, 1431. Cauchon still insisted on Joan swearing an oath to answer all questions; Joan still refusing. Cauchon questioned her about the voices she heard, but she would not answer many of his questions.
871 Cauchon asked Joan point blank if she was in the state of grace. This was a trick question aimed at showing that Joan presumed too much. One of the judges, Jean Leferve, jumped up and cried out: “It is a terrible question! The accused is not obliged to answer it!” Cauchon silenced him and demanded an answer. Joan said: If I be not in the state of grace, I pray God to place me in it; if I am in it, I pray God keep me so.” [This famous and true answer of Joan is still remembered today]. With this very adroit answer, she avoided any trap set against her.
872 Cauchon asked Joan if she like a woman’s dress. She said: “Indeed yes, if I may go from this prison—but here, no.”

873 Chap VIII
873 The next session began on Monday, February 27, 1431. Cauchon ignored the contract limiting the examination to matters set down in the “proces verbal” (proces d’office) and again demanded that Joan make the oath.
877 Mark Twain stated about this day: “Thus closed a weary long sitting, without result. Every device that could be contrived to trap Joan into wrong thinking, wrong doing, or disloyalty to the Church, or sinfulness as a little child at home or later had been tried, and none of them had succeeded.”

879 Chap IX
879 The next session was on Thursday, March 1, 1431. Fifty-eight judges were present [Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 165 reports that there were two principle judges and all the rest were advisors to the two judges]. Cauchon tried to trap Joan again by asking which pope does she consider to be the true pope [At that time three bishops claimed to be pope] Joan’s answer was her question “Are there two?” One of the ablest priests in that body (of judges and advisors) spoke out loud: “By God, that was a master stroke!”
880 Cauchon produced copies of letters between her and the Count of Armagnac. He asked her: “Is it true that the Count of Armagnac asked you which of the three popes he ought to obey?” She said he did, but she did not have time to answer him then. But she volunteered to Cauchon that “as for me, I hold that we are bound to obey our Lord the pope who is in Rome.” Cauchon then produced a copy of Joan’s first military letter to English warning them to retire from Orleans. Joan said she does acknowledge it, but there are errors in it, errors that make her seem too important. She did not say “Deliver up to the maid.” She said “Deliver up to the King.” And she did not call herself Commander-in-chief. She thinks maybe her secretary misheard her (Joan could not read or write). In Twain’s novel her secretary is the fictional Louis de Conte, who is sitting in the courtroom. Joan did not look at Louis to spare him embarrassment. Louis confides to the reader that he deliberately changed her words because she really was commander-in-chief and the king had really no recognizable authority at that time. [Joan's letter warning the English still exists (Pernoud Her Story, pps. 33-34.)]
881 Cauchon then asked Joan if she repented of dictating that letter of warning to the English. Joan said No! Whereupon she then warned the court “that before seven years a disaster will smite the English, oh many fold greater than the fall of Orleans and then soon after, they will lose all France.” Mark Twain remarks (through Louis de Conte) that this all came true. Within five years Paris fell (in 1436) and twenty years later all of France but one city (Calais) came under French rule [True (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p.187) and the text of her letter is in (Pernoud, Her Story, p. 33), but I could not find a reference that Cauchon questioned her about the letter].
883 Cauchon later tried to implicate Joan in consorting with sprits at L’Arbre Fee de Bourlement to implicate her in witchcraft [True (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 174 and 178). I wondered why Mark Twain mentioned so much detail about fairy ladies in Book One. He knew before he wrote her biography that Cauchon would try to prove witchcraft through this].
887 Cauchon questioned Joan about whether the voices told her she would be delivered from them. She thought: Yes! But she did not know how or when. I personally think she was promised deliverance, but did not guess that it would be through martyrdom. I think Twain alludes to the same conclusion here.
888 Cauchon questioned Joan again about the “sign” given to the King. Joan refused to say much about it. Cauchon tried to get her to say it was a miraculous image of a crown settling upon the Dauphin’s head. Joan sort of said that the Dauphin did receive a crown—at Rheims.

890 Chap X
890 Saturday March 3, 1431, the court reconvened. They wanted to make a short trial leading to a quick verdict, so they pressed Joan hard on some points they wanted her to confess, especially getting her to swear to God that she would answer all questions put to her. Joan was too alert for that and so this day was very stormy.
891 They harassed her about the male clothes, her standard (having magical powers),
892 about painting being made of her, about masses said in her honor, about people worshipping her, children being sponsored in baptism by her, children being miraculously healed by her, etc.
893 Did she try to commit secede when she jumped from the tower of Beaurevoir in her escape attempt?
894 Did she not say thet she would rather die than be delivered into the hands of the English? Joan said Yes! Her exact words were: “I would rather that my soul be returned unto God than that I should fall into the hands of the English.” It was now insinuated that she when she came to, after jumping from the tower, she was angry and blasphemed the name of God. Joan said: “It is not true. I have never cursed!”

895 Chap XI
895 Cauchon was losing; Joan was winning. So Cauchon resorted to dismissing most of the judges and retaining only a handful, those few that would be easily controlled by him. This took five days to select the judges, and Cauchon decided to no longer hold a public trial.
896 A week later, on March 10, 1431, the private trial began. Joan appeared in court looking tired and week. They had harassed her in prison. They continued to question her about: Does God “hate” the English?
897 Did you hang garlands at The L’Arbre Ree de Bourlemount in honor of Sts. Catherine and Margaret? Did you kneel before the images of Catherine and Margaret? They were surprised that she told nobody about her mission and left home even without telling her parents. The asked her if it was right that to go with out her parents leave. “Isn’t it written that one must honor his father and mother?”
899 They questioned her about her banner being placed in the church where Louis VII was crowned. Her answer “It has borne the burden; it has earned the honor.” This answer was discussed by Twain in a footnote and is historically correct.

900 Chap XII
900 Cauchon then dug at an old wound about Joan being sued for breech of matrimony by making it seem that it was Joan who brought suit against the fictional Paladin. I didn’t see historical evidence that was really brought up by Cauchon, but there was an historical case where some man did bring up a case against Joan. She defended the case herself so effectively that it case was dismissed [I saw this in Pernoud, but I forgot where].
901 The court asked Joan how she planned to obtain the release of the exiled Duke of Orleans. She said “I would have taken English prisoners enough in France for his ransom; and failing that, I would have invaded England and brought him out by force.” I found partial historical confirmation: Joan did say “I should have taken enough Englishmen to have him brought back.” [(Pernoud, Her Story, p. 147)].
902 They questioned her again about her voices, Joan said her voices promised her a great victory. They said “Submit yourself to whatever comes; do not grieve for your martyrdom; from it you will ascend to the Kingdom of Paradise.”
903 about whether she could commit a mortal sin now that her voices told her she will be saved, They asked: “Will you submit to the determination of the Church all your words and deeds, whether good or bad?” Joan’s answer showed that she recognized a distinct line of separation between the Church’s authority over her as a subject member and her mission that was given her by God. Here Mark Twain shows his evenhandedness in recognizing Joan’s fidelity to the Catholic Church when he has ample opportunity to really bash the Church for what Bishop Cauchon is doing to Joan.
904 will she submit herself to the decision of the Church?
905 to the decision of the pope? She said: “Take me to the Pope. I will answer to everything that I ought to.” This was a master stroke. She had appealed to the Pope. Cauchon ignored this and hurried the trial quickly to an end.

906 Chap XIII
906 The second trial in prison is over with no definite results. One day during it, a lawyer of Normandy, Maitre Lohier, happened to be in Rouen. Cauchon showed him the proces and asked his opinion of the trial. Lohier said the whole trial was null and void for four reasons. One: It was secret and full freedom of speech was not possible. Two: The trial touched the honor of the King of France, and neither he nor his representative was invited to defend the king. Three: The charges were not communicated to the accused. Four: The accused was forced to defend herself without benefit of counsel [True a Jean Lohier vehemently opposed the trial (Pernoud, Her Story, p. 129 and Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 200)].
907 The next day Cauchon revised the process and came up. It was decided that Joan must answer squarely to each article. He also permitted Joan to choose one of his advisors to be her advisor.
912 This third trail ended at last with no positive result for Cauchon. Isambard de la Pierre asked Joan if she would be willing to have her case go before the higher council of Basel. Joan said yes! But Cauchon forbad it (It would have been a valid appeal that had to be acknowledged) but Cauchon forbade it.
913 Manchon asked Cauchon if he should enter Joan’s wiliness to go to Basel into the minutes. Cauchon said “No.” Joan said: “Ah, you set down everything that is against me, but you will not set down what is for me.” [Joan did say this, but I forgot where I saw it in Pernoud}.

914 Chapter XIV
914 On March 29, Joan became ill. She thought she got sick on some carp Cauchon sent her. They sent for doctors because they did not want her to die a natural death; they wanted her condemned and disgraced by an Ecclesial trial. Cauchon condensed the process into twelve articles. They question her again about men’s wear. Mark Twain mentions that Joan already has high Catholic authority for wearing men’s attire: that of the Archbishop of Rheims and the tribunal of Poiters.
915 Manchon was brave enough to write in the margins that some of the articles claimed the exact opposite of what Joan said [True (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 196)]. Joan remained ill for two weeks [She really became ill from something, possibly eating the carp]. When she finally appeared in court, she appeared weakened and sad.
918 Cauchon seized upon this to warn Joan to submit to her judges and answer all questions truthfully or be abandoned as though she were a pagan. Mark Twain describes what he thinks this threat is doing to Joan. I’m surprised he is so open to the image the Catholic Church has of its mission. He even mentioned the souls in purgatory without the slightest criticism of the Church’s understanding of its mission. He did severely criticize Cauchon and the judges and the advisors as being unfaithful to their office (all were priests or bishops), but he did criticize the Church of the Pope.

920 Chap XV
920 Two weeks went by. It is now May 2, 1431. Cauchon and the sixty-two minor judges and the guards and recorders with him as Joan walked into the courtroom.
922 They told Joan that if she does not submit, she will be pronounced a heretic and burned at the stake. Joan said: “I will not say otherwise than I have said already; and if I saw the fire before me, I would say it again” [True Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 210].

924 Chap XVI
924 Graffiti began to appear ridiculing Cauchon.
925 On May 9, 1431, Manchon and Louis de Conte were summoned to go to one of the towers. Cauchon was there, and a rack was in the room along with the executioners to try to get answers from her under torture. Joan presently came in.
926 Cauchon said: “There is the rack, and there are its ministers! You will reveal all now, or be put to the torture. Speak!” Joan said: “I will tell you nothing more than I have told you; no, not even if you tear the limbs from my body. And even if in my pain I did say something otherwise, I would always say afterwards that it was the torture that spoke and not I” [True Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 206].
927 This confounded the Judges. They realized that if she did “speak,” she would retract it afterwards, and, if she died on the rack, they would not have a chance to convict her of her own words, and the English would be outraged that she escaped.
928 After a few days, the judges voted. Two of the twelve were agreed with Cauchon that she should be put to the torture; the other ten argued that they should not chance the torture.

929 Chap XVII
929 Ten days later the professors from the University of Paris were still weighing the discussion of the twelve articles. In this chapter, Mark Twain tells the reader his take on the career of Joan of Arc through the fictional character Louis de Conte. From these last chapters in this book, he explains his feelings probably more than an author intent merely telling the story of Joan of Arc. I think this is OK. Mark Twain is not noted for being open to religion, especially a religion based on a revelation from God, most especially on a religion with an organized clergy that shepherds the faithful in their approach to God. It is very obvious that Mark Twain has no criticism of the presumption of the Catholic Church that they serve that role. In fact Mark Twain several times shows how this shepherding has benefited Joan and the French people. I’m very surprised at this. Mark Twain said he rests his career on Joan of Arc. It is his best work. I really think it is. Today when his memory is being darkened by the scandals of his last years, and the bitterness of his criticisms of God and religion are being brought to the attention of the whole world, I think what he had to say about Joan of Arc and her religion very much counteracts all the negative things he said about God and religion in his other writings. Also, I saw in Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 237 these words from an historian: “It is a curious circumstance that most of Joan’s judges were at the head of a faction that wanted to make the pope submit to conciliar authority. I remember learning about that movement in school. These clergy wanted to abolish the role of pope as supreme head of the Church and substitute a majority vote of a council of bishops as the supreme guiding light in the church (so I think these men judging Joan were not very interested in preserving the main tradition of the Church). The Catholic Church in the time of Joan of Arc was in serious trouble. The pope’s seat in Rome was transferred to France. Two, then three, bishops claimed to be pope, the Church in Rome was besieged by the Colonna, betrayed by the papal troops, already dealing with major departures from the fold (the Hussites), and soon to experience the Protestant Reformation. I don’t know why God intervened in human affairs in such a spectacular way by using Joan of Arc, but most likely (I think), God wanted to insure that the Church continued its mission as God had planned. The Catholic Church is alive and strong today (but beset by other problems). I think the Catholic Church might not have survived had France fell under English rule so soon before the Reformation. That’s my opinion.

932 Chap XVIII
932 Finally the professors from the University of Paris rendered their decision. Joan was guilty on all twelve counts. She must renounce her errors and make satisfaction, or be abandoned to the secular arm for punishment. Her voices were judged to be the fallen angels Belial, Satan, and Behemoth.
933 On May 19, 1431, a court of fifty judges discussed Joan’s fate. A few wanted her delivered right away to the secular arm (the political government rather than the ecclesial government) for punishment. The rest wanted her to be admonished first so she had a chance to repent.
934 They asked Joan: “Prisoner at the bar, have you anything further to say?” Joan said: “No!” “Then the debate is closed. Tomorrow the sentence will be pronounced. Remove the prisoner!”

935 Chap XIX
965 Mark Twain (through Louis de Conte) surmise how the judges plan to have Joan convict herself through her own actions. If she abjures, they will not be able to have her burned at the stake. The plan works out in the next few chapters.

939 Chap XX
939 In the morning Louis de Conte was in his official post (as recorder) on a platform raised to the height of a man in the churchyard under the eves of St. Ouen’s church. On the platform were some of the judges, some lawyers, some important persons. Abreast it was a larger platform and on it were Cauchon, a prince of England, the Cardinal bishop of Winchester, and others. Twenty feet in front of the platforms was the stake and a large pile of wood.
942 One of the judges told Joan: “It is to you, Joan that I speak, and I tell you that your King is schismatic and a heretic.” Joan replies: “By my faith, sir! I make bold to say and swear, on pain of death, that he is the most noble Christian of all Christians, and the best lover of the faith and the Church!”
943 After a member of the court ordered Joan to submit to the judges as representatives of the Church. Joan said: “As to that matter, I have answered to my judges before. I have told them to report all that I have said and done to our Holy Father the Pope—to whom, and to God first, I appeal.” Since she appealed to the pope, the court should have sent her to a higher court to be tried under the pope’s auspices. Instead, they tried to get her to abjure.
944 Joan did not know what “abjure” meant. She was told she shall abjure immediately or be burnt.
945 Joan is weakening being so close to being burnt. Cauchon began reading the official sentence of death. Joan caved in and said: “I submit.” They immediately showed her a sheet of paper with six lines of text on it for her to make her mark (she could not read or write), but, for her signature, the page had many lines. A secretary of the English king placed his hand over her hand and wrote "Jehanne." The crime was accomplished. She had signed. Mark Twain criticizes the miscarriage of justice.
946 Cauchon the sentenced her to perpetual imprisonment. This was not what Joan expected. She was told she would eventually be released to go home. She said: “now you men of the Church, take me to your prison, and leave me no longer in the hands of the English.” Cauchon said: Take her to the prison whence she came!”

947 Chap XXI
947 Everybody was surprised to see Joan moving away alive and whole instead of being burned. Some cleric with sympathies for the English shook his hand at Cauchon and shouted “By God, you are a traitor!” The Earl of Warwick lost his temper, but one of Cauchon’s party whispered into his ear: “Give yourself no uneasiness, my lord, we shall soon have her again.”
947 Cauchon and others followed Joan to her cell and warned her that she had promised to put on woman’s clothes. If she does not she will be burned. Weakened and dazed, she put on the clothes. This went according to Cauchon’s plan. Joan had submitted and promised to wear woman’s clothes. She had if fact put them on, and she had been warned that to resume men’s clothes would indicate that she had relapsed to being a relapsed heretic and, for that, she would be burned. Cauchon also made sure her imprisonment would be worse that before [Mark Twain has Louis de Conte say: “Do not ask me to enlarge upon it. I will not do it” [Actually (Pernoud, Herself and Her Witnesses, p. 132) states that the historical Martin Ladvenu testified that he heard from Joan’s own mouth that an English lord had entered her cell and tried to take her by force”].

950 Chap XXII
950 The following Sunday, the fictional Louis de Conte and his friend Noel heard someone shouting: “Joan of Arc has relapsed! The witch’s time has come!” That afternoon Louis and Manchon got a summons from Cauchon to go to Joan’s dungeon.
951 The report was true. Joan was sitting there in her chains, clothed again in her male attire.
952 What happened is that the previous night when Joan fell asleep, one of the guards stole her female apparel and put her male attire in its place. Cauchon’s victory was complete. He stood before her and looked down at her . . . “this poor ruined creature, who had won so lofty a place for him in the service of the meek and merciful Jesus, Savior of the world, Lord of the Universe . . .” I’m surprised Mark Twain would write this.
953 When she awoke Sunday morning, she asked for her woman’s attire. The guards refused. She protested, and said she was forbidden to wear male attire, but the guards continued to refuse. Finally to preserve her modesty, she put on the male attire.
954 She had some confrontations with Cauchon about what they promised her and what they expected from her. Finally she told Cauchon: “My voices told me I did very wrong to confess that what I had done was not done well.” She sighed and said: “But it was the fear of the fire that made me do so.” Manchon wrote in the margin “Responsio Mortifera” [True Pernoud, Her Story, p. 133].

956 Chap XXIII
956 In this chapter, Joan sends a message to Louis de Conte through Manchon, fictional, of course.
957 Joan wants Louis to write to her mother and tell her that she knows there will be no rescue, for “that this night – and it is the third time in the twelve-month, and is final – she (Joan) has seen the Vision of the Tree.” Manchon, himself, wrote a couple of verses of a song Joan sang as: “And in the exile wander’ring we / Shall fainting yearn for glimpses of thee / O rise upon our sight.” From these words Louis knew that there was no hope that Joan would escape alive. Mark Twain, I think, added this to further develop his story line. I could not find any historical text to support it. Louis write Joan’s mother with the same pen he used to write her warnings to the English. Then he broke the pen, “for the pen that had served Joan of Arc could not serve any other that would come after her in this earth without abasement.” Here it is evident the regard Mark Twain held for Joan of Arc.
958 The next day, May 29, 1413, Cauchon summoned his advisors. Forty-two came and pronounced Joan a relapsed heretic.
959 Martin Ladvenu came to Joan’s dungeon to prepare her for death by fire. Joan said: “Oh, I knew it, I knew it.” She sprang to her feet and began to sob.
960 Ladvenu heard her confession. Joan asked for the Eucharist. Ladvenu asked Cauchon. Since Joan was ex-communicated, she was no longer entitled to the sacraments (my words).
961 Cauchon said “Give Joan whatever she wished.” Mark Twain continues describing (very reverently) how Joan received the Eucharist. “The Eucharist was brought now to that poor soul that had yearned for it with such unutterable longing all these desolate months. It was a solemn moment. . . . And when the lights and other accompaniments of the Sacrament passed by, coming to Joan in the prison, all those multitudes kneeled own and began to pray for her, and many wept; and when the solemn ceremony of the communion began in Joan’s cell, out of the distance a moving sound was borne moaning to our ears – it was those multitudes chanting the litany for a departing soul.”

962 Chap XXIV
962 At nine O’clock in the morning, Joan of Arc sat in a cart to be taken to the stake. She work a mitre-shaped hat that said “Heretic, Relapsed, Apostate, Idolater”
963 As Joan was escorted to the stake, Loyseleur approached and begged her to forgive him. Joan did forgive him. This was one of the last times she spoke before being condemned to the stake.An ecclesiastic named Nicholas Midi preached a sermon then said: “Joan, the Church can no longer protect you. Go in peace!” Joan, weeping, knelt and began to pray.
964 Cauchon said to the executioner: “Take her! Do your duty!”
966 Joan was fastened to the stake and the fire lit.

967 Conclusion
967 Mark Twain then has Louis de Conte relate what happened to members of Joan’s family and her friends.
970 Thus ends Mark Twain’s marvelous and respectful account of Joan of Arc. His last sentence reads: “Love, Mercy, Charity, Fortitude, War, Peace, Poetry, Music—these may be symbolized as any shall prefer: by figures of any sex and of any age; but a slender girl in her first young bloom, with a martyr’s crown upon her head, and in her hand the sword that severed her country’s bonds—shall not this, and no other, stand for PATRIOTISM through all the ages until time shall end?”
Mark Twain was not a Christian believer, so I can imagine his pathos as he tried to understand why God would allow these things happen to Joan, and I really respect his fidelity to Joan and her memory. Life is a lot more complicated than any of us think. Joan was sent by God to rescue her people. The religious leaders of her people took exception to her mission, condemned her and turned her over to the secular authorities to be executed. Jesus Christ was sent by God to rescue all of us. The religious leaders in authority at the time took exception to his mission and turned him over to the secular authorities to be executed. There is a lot more to being a martyr than meets the eye.
Today, five hundred-eighty years after her martyrdom, I can imagine Joan's joy and her closeness to God because of her martyrdom, and I can imagine that Mark Twain now sees her mission in a much different perspective that he did one-hundred years ago.

Thus ends “Joan of Arc, Book III".

Maurice A. Williams

Joan of Arc: By Herself and Her Witnesses, 1990, Regine Pernoud (Author)

Joan of Arc: Her Story, 1999, Regine Pernoud, Marie-Veronique Clin (Authors), Jeremy duQuesnay (Translator)

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