Now arrived Dunois from the city, and plunged through the battle on his foam-flecked horse and galloped up to Joan, saluting, and uttering handsome compliments as he came. He waved his hand toward the distant walls of the city, where a multitude of flags were flaunting gaily in the wind, and said the populace were up there observing her fortunate performance and rejoicing over it, and added that she and the forces would have a great reception now.
“Now? Hardly now, Bastard. Not yet!”
“Why not yet? Is there more to be done?”
“More, Bastard? We have but begun! We will take this fortress.”
“Ah, you can’t be serious! We can’t take this place; let me urge you not to make the attempt; it is too desperate. Let me order the forces back.”
Joan’s heart was overflowing with the joys and enthusiasms of war, and it made her impatient to hear such talk. She cried out:
“Bastard, Bastard, will ye play always with these English? Now verily I tell you we will not budge until this place is ours. We will carry it by storm. Sound the charge!”
“Ah, my General—”
“Waste no more time, man—let the bugles sound the assault!” and we saw that strange deep light in her eye which we named the battle-light, and learned to know so well in later fields.
The martial notes pealed out, the troops answered with a yell, and down they came against that formidable work, whose outlines were lost in its own cannon-smoke, and whose sides were spouting flame and thunder.
We suffered repulse after repulse, but Joan was here and there and everywhere encouraging the men, and she kept them to their work. During three hours the tide ebbed and flowed, flowed and ebbed; but at last La Hire, who was now come, made a final and resistless charge, and the bastille St. Loup was ours. We gutted it, taking all its stores and artillery, and then destroyed it.”
Mark Twain, from “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc“, 1896Subscribe Share on Facebook