Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there
you will find it.
It took six thousand years to produce her; her like will not be seen
in the earth again in fifty thousand.
She is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race
has ever produced.
1895 poster from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Privately, I myself never had a high opinion of Joan's Voices -- I mean in
some respects -- but that they were devils I do not believe. I think they were
saints, holy & pure & well meaning, but with the saint's natural incapacity
for business. Whatever a saint is, he is not clever. There are acres of history
to prove it. ... The voices meant Joan nothing but good, & I am sure they
did the very best they could with their equipment; but I also feel sure that
if they had let her alone her matters would sometimes have gone much better.
Remember, these things I have been saying are privacies -- let them go no further;
for I have no more desire to be damned than another.
- unpublished passage from Joan of Arc manuscript, quoted in Mark Twain: A Literary Life by Everett Emerson, pp. 211-212
For more on Joan of Arc see Ben D. Kennedy's site:
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