S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
[The celebrated French heroine, commonly but erroneously called Joan of Arc. Michelet describes her as the third daughter of a laborer, Jacques Darc; and Henri Martin follows “Les nouvelles Recherches sur la Famille et le Nom de Jeanne Darc” by Vireville, and the custom of writers before the sixteenth century, by returning to the ancient name of Darc; born about 1411; burned to death at Rouen, May 31, 1431.]
My brothers of paradise tell me to go.
Jeanne Darc imbibed from infancy the principles of the Orleanists, or supporters of Charles VII., against the English and the Burgundians, near the latter of whom her birthplace, Domremy in Lorraine, was situated. From her thirteenth year she claimed to hear voices calling upon her to save France; until in February, 1429, she left home, in obedience to the heavenly voices, and presented herself with a small guard before the king, or the dauphin as she called him previous to his coronation. Convinced of her sincerity, Charles gave her a force, with which she entered Orleans, the siege of which she compelled the English to raise. After gaining several battles, and acquiring many cities to the French cause, she accompanied the king to Rheims, where he was crowned. The following spring she was captured, and handed over by the Burgundians to the English for trial as a sorceress. When asked by her judges why she bore her banner by the side of the king’s at Rheims, she replied, “It shared the pain, reason enough that it should partake of the honor” (Il avoit ésté à la peine, c’estoit bien raison qu’il fust à l’honneur).” Being asked if she knew what it was to be in a state of grace, she said, “If I am not in it, may God put me in it; and if I am in it, may God keep me in it!” (Si je n’y suis, Dieu m’y mette; et si j’y suis, Dieu m’y maintienne!) Finally, when condemned to death at the stake, she showed no abject clinging to life, but rejoiced that her work was done: “My voices have not deceived me,” was her consolation, as she thought of the visions on the hill side of Domremy. Her last word, as her spirit took its flight,—as some said, in the form of a white dove,—was “Jesus!”—O’REILLY: Les deux Procès de Jeanne Darc.Gambetta said at a great meeting in Paris, Feb. 1, 1878, which celebrated under the presidency of Victor Hugo the centenary of Voltaire’s death: “For myself, I feel sufficiently broad to be at once the devotee of Jeanne Darc, and the disciple and admirer of Voltaire.”