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|Goldsmith on Joan of Arc.
Written by JulieW
(8/21/2004 1:11 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, It was in this reign that Joan of Arc lived, penned by Carolyn
Wherever Charles( VII of France-JW) attempted to face the enemy he was overthrown; he could scarcely rely on the friends next his person, and his authority was insulted even by his own servants. In this situation nothing but miraculous assistance , or pretended miracles, could save him. To the last expedient he had recourse, and it fully answered his intentions. The French, from a vanquished nation, are suddenly going to be victorious; and the English who had hitherto been deemed invincible, are going every where to be worsted, and, at length, totally driven out of the kingdom.
A gentleman , on the frontiers of Lorraine, whose name was Baudricourt, was the person who first resolved to put this happy imposture into practise. He fixed upon the servant maid of an inn for this purpose, and she was instructed at once to perform the duties of a warrior and a prophetess: this woman was Joan of Arc, the renowned Maid of Orleans; a woman of masculine strength and courage pretending to be but eighteen. But, in reality twenty-seven years old. She equipped herself in the arms and habit of a man, and it was given out that she was inspired; she was brought before the king, examined by the by the doctors of the university and they, either deceived, or willing to assist the imposture, affirmed that her commission was from Heaven. The vulgar, as ready to give credit to inspiration as to witchcraft, easily came into the imposture and acquired new hopes and confidence of success…..
The chain of sucesses of the French (under Charles VII and Jaon of Arc-JW) ,and the dignity which his late coronation gave the French King, now entirely turned the scale in his favour: the English lost the kingdom by the same methods the French had lost it before; while Charles united his forces and proceeded with dispatch, they were quarrelling among themselves, and losing the seasons of success. In the midst of the kings good fortune, however, Joan of Arc, his brave champion, was taken prisoner, as she was protecting the rear of her men in a retreat. The joy of the English upon this occasion is not to be expressed; and the duke of Bedford, their general, thought no method could be so proper as to restore their lost courage, as to prosecute his prisoner for witchcraft. It is a disagreeable reflection upon human nature , that judges almost ever determine on the side of authority: she was found guilty by several bishops and doctors of the university of Paris. She was first condemned as a sorceress and a heretic, and enjoined to live, by way of penance, upon bread and water, and to remain in prison for life: some time after ,under colour of her relapsing, she was publicly burnt for a witch.
So there you have it. One side saw her as a saint and a martyr; the other as an ordinary serving girl,used by the French and who was wrongly executed for being a witch.
All depends who is writing the history, doesn’t it?
Just a small row I would say,among the English.A minor skirmish- the Hundred Years War :-)
Interestingly this is one of the first instances of this word "row" being used to mean a dispoute or argument.The OED cites 1787 as the first time this word entered the English language.
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