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Gerald Stone <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 28 May 2009 18:40:50 -0700
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"'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 afterward that it was the torture that
spoke, and not I....'

Consider the depth, the wisdom of that answer, coming from an ignorant
girl. Why, there were not six men in the world who had ever reflected that
words forced out of a person by horrible tortures were not necessarily
words of verity and truth, yet this unlettered peasant-girl put her finger
upon that flaw with an unerring instinct. I had always supposed that
torture brought out the truth-everybody supposed it; and when Joan came
out with these simple common-sense words they seemed to flood the place
with light."

--Samuel L. Clemens, writing as the Sieur du Conte, Personal Recollections
of Joan of Arc

(For those of you who haven't read his Joan of Arc--spare yourselves; this
is the only memorable paragraph in it.)

--Gerald Stone
Editor, Regional Oral History Office
The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
Opinion my own, no connection with the Mark Twain Papers and Project