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Jeanne d'Arc by Mrs. Oliphant

Part 4 out of 6

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Even when spying through a hole, if the English earl and knight,
indeed permitted himself that strange indulgence, his presence and
inspection must have been almost the only defence of the prisoner. Our
historians all quote, with an admiration almost as misplaced as their
horror of Warwick's "barbarous instincts," the /vrai galant homme/ of
an Englishman who in the midst of the trial cried out "/Brave femme/!"
(it is difficult to translate the words, for /brave/ means more than
brave)--"why was she not English?" However we are not concerned to
defend the English share of the crime. The worst feature of all is
that she never seems to have been visited by any one favourable and
friendly to her, except afterwards, the two or three pitying priests
whose hearts were touched by her great sufferings, though they
remained among her judges, and gave sentence against her. No woman
seems ever to have entered that dreadful prison except those "matrons"
who came officially as has been already said. The ladies de Ligny had
cheered her in her first confinement, the kind women of Abbeville had
not been shut out even from the gloomy fortress of Le Crotoy. But here
no woman ever seems to have been permitted to enter, a fact which must
either be taken to prove the hostility of the population, or the very
vigorous regulations of the prison. Perhaps the barbarous watch set
upon her, the soldiers ever present, may have been a reason for the
absence of any female visitor. At all events it is a very distinct
fact that during the whole period of her trial, five months of misery,
except on the one occasion already referred to, no woman came to
console the unfortunate Maid. She had never before during all her
vicissitudes been without their constant ministrations.

One woman, the only one we ever hear of who was not the partisan and
lover of the Maid, does, however, make herself faintly seen amid the
crowd. Catherine of La Rochelle--the woman who had laid claim to
saintly visitors and voices like those of Jeanne, and who had been for
a time received and fêted at the Court of Charles with vile
satisfaction, as making the loss of the Maid no such great thing--had
by this time been dropped as useless, on the appearance of the
shepherd boy quoted by the Archbishop of Rheims, and had fallen into
the hands of the English: was not she too a witch, and admirably
qualified to give evidence as to the other witch, for whose blood all
around her were thirsting? Catherine was ready to say anything that
was evil of her sister sorceress. "Take care of her," she said; "if
you lose sight of her for one moment, the devil will carry her away."
Perhaps this was the cause of the guard in Jeanne's room, the
ceaseless scrutiny to which she was exposed. The vulgar slanderer was
allowed to escape after this valuable testimony. She comes into
history like a will-o'-the-wisp, one of the marsh lights that mean
nothing but putrescence and decay, and then flickers out again with
her false witness into the wastes of inanity. That she should have
been treated so leniently and Jeanne so cruelly! say the historians.
Reason good: she was nothing, came of nothing, and meant nothing. It
is profane to associate Jeanne's pure and beautiful name with that of
a mountebank. This is the only woman in all her generation, so far as
appears to us, who was not the partisan and devoted friend of the
spotless Maid.

The aspect of that old-world city of Rouen, still so old and
picturesque to the visitor of to-day, though all new since that time
except the churches, is curious and interesting to look back upon. It
must have hummed and rustled with life through every street; not only
with the English troops, and many a Burgundian man-at-arms, swaggering
about, swearing big oaths and filling the air with loud voices,--but
with all the polished bands of the doctors, men first in fame and
learning of the famous University, and beneficed priests of all
classes, canons and deans and bishops, with the countless array that
followed them, the cardinal's tonsured Court in addition, standing by
and taking no share in the business: but all French and English alike,
occupied with one subject, talking of the trial, of the new points
brought out, of the opinions of this doctor and that, of Maître
Nicolas who had presumed on his lawyership to correct the bishop, and
had suffered for it: of the bold canon who ventured to whisper a
suggestion to the prisoner, and who ever since had had the eye of the
governor upon him: of Warwick, keeping a rough shield of protection
around the Maid but himself fiercely impatient of the law's delay,
anxious to burn the witch and be done with her. And Jeanne herself,
the one strange figure that nobody understood; was she a witch? Was
she an angelic messenger? Her answers so simple, so bold, so full of
the spirit and sentiment of truth, must have been reported from one to
another. This is what she said; does that look like a deceiver? could
the devils inspire that steadfastness, that constancy and quiet? or
was it not rather the angels, the saints as she said? Never, we may be
sure, had there been in Rouen a time of so much interest, such a theme
for conversations, such a subject for all thoughts. The eager court
sat with their tonsured heads together, keen to seize every weak
point. Did you observe how she hesitated on this? Let us push that,
we'll get an admission on that point to-morrow. It is impossible to
believe that in such an assembly every man was a partisan, much less
that each one of them was thinking of the fee of the English, the
daily allowance which it was the English habit to make. That were to
imagine a France, base indeed beyond the limits of human baseness. All
the Norman dignitaries of the Church, all the most learned doctors of
the University--no! that is too great a stretch of our faith. The
greater part no doubt believed as an indisputable fact, that Jeanne
was either a witch or an impostor, as we should all probably do now.
And the vertigo of Inquisition gained upon them; they became day by
day more exasperated with her seeming innocence, with what must have
seemed to them the cunning and cleverness, impossible to her age and
sex, of her replies. Who could have kept the girl so cool, so
dauntless, so embarrassing in her straight-forwardness and sincerity?
The saints? the saints were not dialecticians; far more likely the
evil one himself, in whom the Church has always such faith. "He hath a
devil and by Beelzebub casteth out devils." It was all like a play,
only more exciting than any play, and going on endlessly, the
excitement always getting stronger till it became the chief stimulus
and occupation of life.



It was in the chapel of the Castle of Rouen, on the 21st of February,
that the trial of Jeanne was begun. The judges present numbered about
forty, and are carefully classed as doctors in theology, abbots,
canons, doctors in canonical and civil law, with the Bishop of
Beauvais at their head (the archepiscopal see of Rouen being vacant,
as is added: but not that my lord of Beauvais hoped for that
promotion). They were assembled there in all the solemnity of their
priestly and professional robes, the reporters ready with their pens,
the range of dark figures forming a semicircle round the presiding
Bishop, when the officer of the court led in the prisoner, clothed in
her worn and war-stained tunic, like a boy, with her hair cut close as
for the helmet, and her slim figure, no doubt more slim than ever,
after her long imprisonment. She had asked to be allowed to hear mass
before coming to the bar, but this was refused. It was a privilege
which she had never failed to avail herself of in her most triumphant
days. Now the chapel--the sanctuary of God contained for her no sacred
sacrifice, but only those dark benches of priests amid whom she found
no responsive countenance, no look of kindness.

Jeanne was addressed sternly by Cauchon, in an exhortation which it is
sad to think was not in Latin, as it appears in the /Procès/. She was
then required to take the oath on the Scriptures to speak the truth,
and to answer all questions addressed to her. Jeanne had already held
that conversation with L'Oyseleur in the prison which Cauchon and
Warwick had listened to in secret with greedy ears, but which Manchon,
the honest reporter, had refused to take down. Perhaps, therefore, the
Bishop knew that the slim creature before him, half boy half girl, was
not likely to be overawed by his presence or questions; but it cannot
have been but a wonder to the others, all gazing at her, the first men
in Normandy, the most learned in Paris, to hear her voice, /assez
femme/, young and clear, arising in the midst of them, "I know not
what things I may be asked," said Jeanne. "Perhaps you may ask me
questions which I cannot answer." The assembly was startled by this

"Will you swear to answer truly all that concerns the faith, and that
you know?"

"I will swear," said Jeanne, "about my father and mother and what I
have done since coming to France; but concerning my revelations from
God I will answer to no man, except only to Charles my King; I should
not reveal them were you to cut off my head, unless by the secret
counsel of my visions."

The Bishop continued not without gentleness, enjoining her to swear at
least that in everything that touched the faith she would speak truth;
and Jeanne kneeling down crossed her hands upon the book of the
Gospel, or Missal as it is called in the report, and took the required
oath, always under the condition she stated, to answer truly on
everything she knew concerning the faith, except in respect to her

The examination then began with the usual formalities. She was asked
her name (which she said with touching simplicity was Jeannette at
home but Jeanne in France), the names of her father and mother,
godfather and godmothers, the priest who baptised her, the place where
she was born, etc., her age, almost nineteen; her education,
consisting of the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and Credo, which her mother
had taught her.

Here she was asked, a curious interruption to the formal
interrogatory, to say the Pater Noster--the reason of which sudden
demand was that witches and sorcerers were supposed to be unable to
repeat that prayer. As unexpected as the question was Jeanne's reply.
She answered that if the Bishop would hear her in confession she would
say it willingly. She had been refused all the exercises of piety, and
she was speaking to a company of priests.

There is a great dignity of implied protest against this treatment in
such an answer. The request was made a second time with a promise of
selecting two worthy Frenchmen to hear her: but her reply was the
same. She would say the prayer when she made her confession but not
otherwise. She was ready it would seem in proud humility to confess to
any or to all of her enemies, as one whose conscience was clear, and
who had nothing to conceal.

She was then commanded not to attempt to escape from her prison, on
pain of being condemned for heresy, but to this again she demurred at
once. She would not accept the prohibition, but would escape if she
could, so that no man could say that she had broken faith; although
since her capture she had been bound in chains and her feet fastened
with irons. To this, her examiner said that it was necessary so to
secure her in order that she might not escape. "It is true and
certain," she replied, "whatever others may wish, that to every
prisoner it is lawful to escape if he can." It may be remarked, as she
forcibly pointed out afterwards, that she had never given her faith,
never surrendered, but had always retained her freedom of action.

The tribunal thereupon called in the captain in charge of Jeanne's
prison, a gentleman called John Gris in the record, probably John
Grey, along with two soldiers, Bernoit and Talbot, and enjoined them
to guard her securely and not to permit her to talk with any one
without the permission of the court. This was all the business done on
the first day of audience.

On the 22d of February at eight o'clock in the morning, the sitting
was resumed. In the meantime, however, the chapel had been found too
small and too near the outer world, the proceedings being much
interrupted by shouts and noises from without, and probably incommoded
within by the audience which had crowded it the first day. The judges
accordingly assembled in the great hall of the castle; they were
forty-nine in number on the second day, the number being chiefly
swelled by canons of Rouen. After some preliminary business the
accused was once more introduced, and desired again to take the oath.
Jeanne replied that she had done so on the previous day and that this
was enough; upon which there followed a short altercation, which,
however, ended by her consent to swear again that she would answer
truly in all things that concerned the faith. The questioner this day
was Jean Beaupère (/Pulchri patris/, as he is called in the Latin), a
theologian, Master of Arts, Canon of Paris and of Besançon, "one of
the greatest props of the University of Paris," a man holding a number
of important offices, and who afterwards appeared at the Council of
Bâle as the deputy of Normandy. He began by another exhortation to
speak the truth, to which Jeanne replied as before that what she did
say she would say truly, but that she would not answer upon all
subjects. "I have done nothing but by revelation," she said.

These preliminaries on both sides having been gone through, the
examination was resumed. Jeanne informed the court in answer to
Beaupère's question that she had been taught by her mother to sew and
did not fear to compete with any woman in Rouen in these crafts; that
she had once been absent from home when her family were driven out of
their village by fear of the Burgundians, and that she had then lived
for about fifteen days in the house of a woman called La Rousse, at
Neufchâteau; that when she was at home she was occupied in the work of
the house and did not go to the fields with the sheep and other
animals; that she went to confession regularly to the Curé of her own
village, or when he could not hear her, to some other priest, by
permission of the Curé; also that two or three times she had made her
confession to the mendicant friars--this being during her stay in
Neufchâteau (where presumably she was not acquainted with the clergy);
and that she received the sacrament always at Easter. Asked whether
she had communicated at other feasts than Easter, she said briefly
that this was enough. "Go on to the rest," /passez outre/, she added,
and the questioner seems to have been satisfied. Then came the really
vital part of the matter. She proceeded--no direct question on the
point being recorded, though no doubt it was made--to tell how when
she was about thirteen she heard voices from God bidding her to be
good and obedient. The first time she was much afraid. The voice came
about the hour of noon, in summer, in her father's garden. She was
fasting but had not fasted the preceding day. The voice came from the
right, towards the church; and came rarely without a great light. This
light came always from the side whence the voice proceeded, and was a
very bright radiance. When she came into France she still continued to
hear the same voices.

She was then asked how she could see the light when it was at the
side; to which foolish question Jeanne gave no reply, but "turned to
other matters," saying voluntarily with a soft implied reproof of the
noise around her--that if she were in a wood, that is in a quiet
place, she could hear the voices coming towards her. She added (going
on, one could imagine, in a musing, forgetting the congregation of
sinners about her) that it seemed to her a noble voice, and that she
believed it came from God, and that when she had heard it three times
she knew it was the voice of an angel; the voice always came quite
clearly to her, and she understood it well.

She was then asked what it said to her concerning the salvation of her

She said that it taught her to rule her life well, to go often to
church: and told her that it was necessary that she, Jeanne, should go
to France. The said Jeanne added that she would not be questioned
further concerning the voice, or the manner in which it was made known
to her, but that two or three times in a week it had said to her that
she must go to France; but that her father knew nothing of this. The
voice said to her that she should go to France, until she could endure
it no longer; it said to her that she should raise the siege, which
was set against the city of Orleans. It said also that she must go to
Robert of Baudricourt, in the city of Vaucouleurs, who was captain of
that place, and that he would give her people to go with her; to which
she had answered that she was a poor girl who knew not how to ride,
nor how to conduct war. She then said that she went to her uncle and
told him that she wished to go with him for a little while to his
house, and that she lived there for eight days; she then told her
uncle that she must go to Vaucouleurs, and the said uncle took her
there. Also she went on to say that when she came to the said city of
Vaucouleurs, she recognised Robert of Baudricourt; though she had
never seen him before she knew him by the voice that said to her which
was he. She then told this Robert that it was necessary that she
should go to France, but twice over he refused and repulsed her; the
third time, however, he received her, and gave her certain men to go
with her; the voice had told her that this would be so.

She said also that the Duke of Lorraine sent for her to come to him,
and that she went under a safe conduct granted by him, and told him
that she must go to France. He asked her whether he should recover
from his illness; but she told him that she knew nothing of that, and
she talked very little to him of her journey. She told the Duke that
he ought to send his son and his people with her to take her to
France, and that she would pray God to restore his health; and then
she was taken back to Vaucouleurs. She said also that when she left
Vaucouleurs she wore the dress of a man, without any other arms than a
sword which Robert de Baudricourt had given her; and that she had with
her a chevalier, a squire, and four servants, and that they slept for
the first night at St. Urbain, in the abbey there. She was then asked
by whose advice she wore the dress of a man, but refused to answer.
Finally she said that she charged no man with giving her this advice.

She went on to say that the said Robert de Baudricourt exacted an oath
from those who went with her, that they would conduct her to the end
of her journey well and safely; and that he said, as she left him,
"Go, and let come what will." She also said that she knew well that
God loved the Duke of Orleans, concerning whom she had more
revelations than about any other living man, except him whom she
called her King. She added that it was necessary for her to wear male
attire, and that whoever advised her to do so had given her wise

She then said that she sent a letter to the English before Orleans, in
which she required them to go away, a copy of which letter had been
read to her in Rouen; but there were two or three mistakes, especially
in the words which called upon them to surrender to the Maid instead
of to surrender to the King. (There is no indication why these two
latter statements should have been introduced into the midst of her
narrative of the journey; it may have been in reply to some other
question interjected by another of her examiners: /Passez outre/, as
she herself says. She immediately resumes the simple and
straightforward tale.)

The said Jeanne went on to say that her further journey to him whom
she called her King was without any impediment; and that when she
arrived at the town of St. Catherine de Fierbois she sent news of her
arrival to the town of Chasteau-Chinon where the said King was. She
arrived there herself about noon and went to an inn[1]; and after
dinner went to him whom she called her King, who was in the castle.
She then said that when she entered the chamber where he was, she knew
him among all others, by the revelation of her "voices." She told her
King that she wished to make war against the English.

She was then asked whether when she heard the "voices" in the presence
of the King the light was also seen in that place. She answered as
before: /Passez outre: Transeatis ultra/. "Go on," as we might say,
"to the other questions."

She was asked if she had seen an angel hovering over her King. She
answered: "Spare me; /passez outre/." She added afterwards, however,
that before he put his hand to the work, the King had many beautiful
apparitions and revelations. She was asked what these were. She
answered: "I will not tell you; it is not I who should answer; send to
the King and he will tell you."

She was then asked if her voices had promised her that when she came
to the King he would receive her. She answered that those of her own
party knew that she had been sent from God and that some had heard and
recognised the voices. Further, she said that her King and various
others had heard and seen[2] the voices coming to her--Charles of
Bourbon (Comte de Clermont) and two or three others with him. She then
said that there was no day in which she did not hear that voice; but
that she asked nothing from it except the salvation of her soul.
Besides this, Jeanne confessed that the voice said she should be led
to the town of St. Denis in France, where she wished to remain--that
is after the attack on Paris--but that against her will the lords
forced her to leave it: if she had not been wounded she would not have
gone: but she was wounded in the moats of Paris: however she was
healed in five days. She then said that she had made an assault,
called in French /escarmouche/ (skirmish), upon the town of Paris. She
was asked if it was on a holy day, and said that she believed it was
on a festival. She was then asked if she thought it well done to fight
on a holy day, and answered, "/Passez outre/." Go on to the next

This is a verbatim account of one day of the trial. Most of the
translations which exist give questions as well as answers: but these
are but occasionally given in the original document, and Jeanne's
narrative reads like a calm, continuous statement, only interrupted
now and then by a question, usually a cunning attempt to startle her
with a new subject, and to hurry some admission from her. The great
dignity with which she makes her replies, the occasional flash of high
spirit, the calm determination with which she refuses to be led into
discussion of the subjects which she had from the first moment
reserved, are very remarkable. We have seen her hitherto only in
conflict, in the din of battle and the fatigue, yet exuberant energy,
of rapid journeys. Her circumstances were now very different. She had
been shut up in prison for months, for six weeks at least she had been
in irons, and the air of heaven had not blown upon this daughter of
the fields; her robust yet sensitive maidenhood had been exposed to a
hundred offences, and to the constant society, infecting the very air
about, of the rudest of men; yet so far is her spirit from being
broken that she meets all those potent, grave, and reverend doctors
and ecclesiastics, with the simplicity and freedom of a princess,
answering frankly or holding her peace as seems good to her, afraid of
nothing, keeping her self-possession, all her wits about her as we
say, without panic and without presumption. The trial of Jeanne is
indeed almost more miraculous than her fighting; a girl not yet
nineteen, forsaken of all, without a friend! It is less wonderful that
she should have developed the qualities of a general, of a gunner,
every gift of war--than that in her humiliation and distress she
should thus hold head against all the most subtle intellects in
France, and bear, with but one moment of faltering, a continued cross-
examination of three months, without losing her patience, her heart,
or her courage.


The third day brought a still larger accession of judges, sixty-two of
them taking their places on the benches round the Bishop in the great
hall; and the day began with another and longer altercation between
Cauchon and Jeanne on the subject of the oath again demanded of her.
She maintained her resolution to say nothing of her voices. "We"
according to the record "required of her that she should swear simply
and absolutely without reservation." She would seem to have replied
with impatience, "Let me speak freely:" adding "By my faith you may
ask me many questions which I will not answer": then explaining, "Many
things you may ask me, but I will tell you nothing truly that concerns
my revelations; for you might compel me to say things which I have
sworn not to say; and so I should perjure myself, which you ought not
to wish." This explains several statements which she made later in
respect to her introduction to the King. She repeated emphatically: "I
warn you well, you who call yourselves my judges, that you take a
great responsibility upon you, and that you burden me too much." She
said also that it was enough to have already sworn twice. She was
again asked to swear simply and absolutely, and answered, "It is
enough to have sworn twice," and that all the clerks in Rouen and
Paris could not condemn her unless lawfully; also that of her coming
she would speak the truth but not all the truth; and that the space of
eight days would not be enough to tell all.

"We the said Bishop" (continues the report) "then said to her that she
should ask advice from those present whether she ought to swear or
not. She replied again that of her coming she would speak truly and
not otherwise, nor would it be fit that she should talk at large. We
then told her that it would throw suspicion on what she said if she
did not swear to speak the truth. She answered as before. We repeated
that she must swear precisely and absolutely. She answered that she
would say what she knew, but not all, and that she had come on the
part of God, and appealed to God from whom she came. Again requested
and admonished to swear on pain of every punishment that could be put
on her, again answered '/Passez outre/.' Finally she consented to
swear that she would speak the truth in everything that concerned the

Her examination was then resumed by Beaupère as before, who elicited
from her that she had fasted (he seems to have wished to make out that
the fasting had something to do with her visions) since noon the day
before (it was Lent); and also that she had heard her voices both on
that day and the day before, three times on the previous day, the
first time in the morning when she was asleep, and awakened by them.
Did she kneel and thank them? She thanked them, sitting up in her bed
(to which she was chained, as her questioner knew) and clasping her
hands. She asked them what she was to do, and they told her to answer

It may be remarked here that more frequently as the examination goes
on, part of Jeanne's words are quoted in the first person, as if the
reporters had been specially struck by them, while the bulk of her
evidence goes on more calmly in the third person, the narrative form.
After saying that she was bidden to answer boldly, she seems to have
turned to the Bishop, and to have addressed him individually: "You say
you are my judge; I warn you to take care what you are doing, for I am
sent from God, and you are putting yourself in much peril" (/magno
periculo: gallice/, adds the reporter, /en grant dangier/).

She was then asked if her voices ever changed their meaning, and
answered that she had never heard two speak contrary to each other;
what they had said that day was that she should speak boldly. Asked,
if the voice forbade her to reply to questions asked, she replied; "I
will not answer you. I have revelations touching the King which I will
not tell you." Asked, if the voices forbade her to reveal these
revelations, she answered, "I have not consulted them; give me fifteen
days' delay and I will answer you"; but being again exhorted to reply,
said: "If the voice forbade me to speak, how many times should I tell
you?" Again asked, if she were forbidden to speak, answered, "I
believe I am not forbidden by men"--repeating that she would not
reply, and knew not how far she should reply, for it had not been
revealed to her; but that she believed firmly, as firmly as the
Christian faith, and that God had redeemed us from the pains of hell,
that this voice came from Him.

Questioned concerning the voice, what it appeared to be when it spoke,
if that of an angel, or from God Himself; or if it was the voice of a
saint or of saints (feminine), answered: "The voice comes from God;
and I believe that I should not tell you all I know, for I should
displease these voices if I answered you; and as for this question I
pray you to leave me free." Asked if she thought that to speak the
truth would displease God, she answered, "What the voices say I am to
tell to the King, not to you," adding that during that night they had
said much to her for the good of the King, and that if she could but
let him know she would willingly drink no wine up to Easter (the
reader will remember that her frugal fare consisted of bread dipped in
the wine and water, which is justly called /eau rougie/ in France).
Asked, if she could not induce the voices to speak to her King
directly, she answered that she knew not whether her voices would
consent, unless it were the will of God, and God consented to it,
adding, "They might well reveal it to the King; and with that I should
be content." Asked, if the voices could not communicate with the King
as they did in her presence, she answered, that she did not know
whether this was God's will; and added, that unless it were the will
of God she would not know how to act. Asked, if it was by the advice
of her voices that she attempted to escape from her prison, she
answered, "I have nothing to say to you on that point." Asked, if she
always saw a light when the voices were heard, she answered: "Yes:
that with the sound of the voices light came." Asked if she saw
anything else coming with the voices, answered: "I do not tell you
all. I am not allowed to do so, nor does my oath touch that; the
voices are good and noble, but neither of that will I answer." She was
then asked to give in writing the points on which she would not reply.
Then she was asked if her voices had eyes and ears, and answered, "You
shall not have this either," adding, that it was a saying among
children that men were sometimes hanged for speaking the truth.

She was then asked if she knew herself to be in the grace of God. She
replied: "If I am not so, may God put me in His grace; if I am, may
God keep me in it. I should be the most miserable in the world if I
were not in the grace of God." She said besides, that if she were in a
state of sin she did not believe her voices would come to her, and she
wished that everyone could understand them as she did, adding, that
she was about thirteen when they came to her first.

She was then asked, whether in her childhood she had played with the
other children in the fields, and various other particulars about
Domremy, whether there were any Burgundians there? to which Jeanne
answered boldly that there was one, and that she wished his head might
be cut off, adding piously, "that is, if it pleased God"[3]; she was
also asked whether she had fought along with the other children
against the children of the neighbouring Burgundian village of Maxy
(Maxey sur Meuse): why she hated the Burgundians, and many questions
of this kind, with a close examination about a certain tree near the
village of Domremy, which some called the Tree of the good Ladies, and
others, the Fairies' Tree; and also about a well there, the Fairies'
Well, of which poor patients were said to drink and get well. Jeanne
(no doubt relieved by the simple character of these questions) made
answer freely and without hesitation, in no way denying that she had
danced and sung with the other children, and made garlands for the
image of the Blessed Marie of Domremy; but she did not remember
whether she had ever done so after attaining years of discretion, and
certainly she had never seen a fairy, nor worked any spell by their
means. At the end, after having thus been put off her guard, she was
suddenly asked about her dress (a capital point in the eyes of her
judges): whether she wished to have a woman's dress. Probably she was,
as they hoped, tired, and expecting no such question, for she answered
quickly yet with instant recovery: "Bring me one to go home in and I
will accept it; otherwise no. I prefer this, since it pleases God that
I should wear it." The recollection of Domremy and of the pleasant
fields, must have carried her back to the days when the little Jeanne
was like the rest in her short, full petticoats of crimson stuff, free
of any danger: what could be better to go home in? but she immediately
remembered the obvious and excellent reasons she had for wearing
another costume now. So ended the third day.

In the meantime there had been, we are told, various interruptions
during the examination; perhaps it was then that Nicolas de
Houppeville protested against Bishop Cauchon as a partisan and a
Burgundian, and therefore incapable by law of judging a member of the
opposite party: and had been rudely silenced, and afterwards punished,
as we have already heard. Another kind of opposition less bold had
begun to be remarked, which was that one of the persons present, by
word and sign, whispering suggestions to her, or warning her with his
eyes, was helping the unfortunate prisoner in her defence. Probably
this did little good, "for she was often troubled and hurried in her
answers," we are told; but it was a sign of good-will, at least. When
Frère Isambard, who was the person in question, speaks at a later
period he tells us that "the questions put to Jeanne were too
difficult, subtle, and dangerous, so that the great clerks and learned
men who were present scarcely would have known how to answer them, and
that many in the assembly murmured at them." Perhaps the good Frère
Isambard might have spared himself the trouble; for Jeanne, however
she may have suffered, was probably more able to hold her own than
many of those great clerks, and did so with unfailing courage and
spirit. One of the other judges, Jean Fabry, a bishop, declared
afterwards that "her answers were so good, that for three weeks he
believed that they were inspired." Manchon, the reporter, he who had
refused to take down the private conversation of Jeanne in her prison
with the vile traitor, L'Oyseleur, makes his voice heard also to the
effect that "Monseigneur of Beauvais would have had everything written
as pleased him, and when there was anything that displeased him he
forbade the secretaries to report it as being of no importance for the
trial." On another day a humbler witness still, Massieu, one of the
officers of the court, who had the charge of taking Jeanne daily from
her prison to the hall, and back again, met in the courtyard an
Englishman, who seems to have been a singing man or lay clerk "of the
King's chapel in England," probably attached to Winchester's
ecclesiastical retinue. This man asked him: "What do you think of her
answers? Will she be burned? What will happen?" "Up to this time,"
said Massieu, "I have heard nothing from her that was not honourable
and good. She seems to me a good woman, but how it will all end God
only knows!"

No doubt conversations of this kind were being carried on all over
Rouen. Would she be burned? What would happen? Could any one stand and
answer like that hour after hour and day by day, inspired only by the
devil? There was no popular enthusiasm for her even now. How should
there have been in that partisan province, more English than French?
But a chill doubt began to steal into many minds whether she was so
bad as had been thought, whether indeed she might not after all be
something quite different from what she had been thought? Nature had
begun to work in the agitated place, and even in that black-robed,
eager assembly. If there was a vile L'Oyseleur trying to get her
confidence in private, and so betray her, there was also a kind Frère
Isambard, privately plucking at her sleeve, imploring her to be
cautious, whispering an answer probably not half so wise as her own
natural reply, yet warming her heart with the suggestion of a friend
at hand.

On the fourth day, Jeanne was again required to swear, and replied as
before, that so far as concerned the trial she would answer truly, but
not all she knew. "You ought to be satisfied: I have sworn
sufficiently," she said; and with this her judges seem to have been
content. Beaupère then resumed his questions, but first asked her,
perhaps with a momentary gleam of compassion and a sudden
consciousness of the pallor and weariness of the young prisoner, how
she did. She answered, one can imagine with what tone of indignant
disdain: "You see how I am: I am as well as I can be." He then cross-
examined her closely as to what voices she had heard since her last
appearance in court, but drew from her only the same answer, "The
voice tells me to answer boldly," and that she would tell them as much
as she was permitted by God to tell them, but concerning her
revelations for the King of France she would say nothing except by
permission of her voices.

She was then asked what kind of voices they were which she heard, were
they voices of angels, or of saints (/sancti aut sanctæ/, male or
female saints) or from God Himself? She answered that the voices were
those of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, whose heads were crowned with
beautiful crowns, very rich and precious. "So much as this God allows
me to say. If you doubt send to Poitiers, where I was questioned
before." (It may perhaps be permissible to suppose that the kind
whisperer at her elbow might have suggested the repeated references to
Poitiers that follow, but which are not to be found before: though it
was most natural she should refer to this place where she was examined
at the beginning of her mission.) Asked how she knew which of these
two saints, she answered that she could quite distinguish one from the
other by the manner of their salutation; that she had been led and
guided by them for seven years, and that she knew them because they
had named themselves to her. She was then asked how they were dressed?
and answered: "I cannot tell you; I am not permitted to reveal this;
if you do not believe me send to Poitiers." She said also that at her
coming into France she had revealed these things, but could not now.
She was asked what was the age of her saints, but replied that she was
not permitted to tell. Asked, if both saints spoke at once or one
after the other, she replied: "I have not permission to tell you: but
I always consult them both together." Asked, which had appeared to her
first, and answered: "I do not know which it was; I did know, but have
forgotten. It is written in the register of Poitiers."

"She then said she had much comfort from St. Michael. Again, asked,
which had come first, she replied that it was St. Michael. Asked, if a
long time had passed since she first heard the voice of St. Michael,
answered: "I do not name to you the voice of St. Michael; but his
conversation was of great comfort to me." Asked, again, what voice
came first to her when she was thirteen, answered, that it was St.
Michael whom she saw before her eyes, and that he was not alone, but
accompanied by many angels of Heaven. She said also that she would not
have come into France but by the command of God. Asked, if she saw St.
Michael and the angels really, with her ordinary senses, she answered:
"I saw them with my bodily eyes as I see you, and when they left me I
wept, desiring much that they would take me with them." Asked, what
was the form in which he appeared, she replied: "I cannot answer you;
I am not permitted." Asked, what St. Michael said to her the first
time, she cried, "You shall have no answer to-day." Then went on to
say that her voices told her to reply boldly. Afterwards she said that
she had told her King once all that had been revealed to her; said
also that she was not permitted to say here what St. Michael had said;
but that it would be better to send for a copy of the books which were
at Poitiers than to question her on this subject. Asked, what sign she
had that these were revelations of God, and that it was really St.
Catherine and St. Margaret with whom she talked, she answered: "It is
enough that I tell you they were St. Catherine and St. Margaret:
believe me or not as you will."

Asked how she distinguished the points on which she was allowed to
speak from the others, she answered, that on some points she had asked
permission to speak, and not on others, adding, that she would rather
have been torn by wild horses than to have come to France, unless by
the license of God. Asked how it was that she put on a man's dress,
she answered, that dress appeared to her a small matter, that she did
not adopt that dress by the counsel of any man, and that she neither
put on a dress nor did anything, but according as God, or the angels,
commanded her to do so. Asked, if she knew whether such a command to
assume the dress of a man was lawful, she answered: "All that I did, I
did by the precepts of our Lord; and if I were bidden to wear another
dress I would do so, because it was at the bidding of God." Asked, if
she had done it by the orders of Robert de Baudricourt, answered "No."
Asked, if she thought that she had done well in assuming a man's
dress, answered, that as all she did was by the command of the Lord,
she believed that she had done well, and expected a good guarantee and
good succour. Asked, if in this particular case of assuming the dress
of a man she thought she had done well, answered, that nothing in the
world had made her do it, but the command of God.

She was then asked whether light always accompanied the voices when
they came to her, she answered, with an evident reference to her first
interview with Charles, that there were many lights on every side as
was fit. "It is not only to you that light comes" (or you have not all
the light to yourself,--a curious phrase). Asked, if there was an
angel over the head of the King when she saw him for the first time,
she answered: "By the Blessed Mary, if there were, I know not, I saw
none." Asked, if there was light, she answered: "There were about
three hundred soldiers, and fifty of them held torches, without
counting any spiritual light. And rarely do I have the revelations
without light." Asked, if her King had faith in what she said, she
answered, that he had good signs, and also by his clergy. Asked, what
revelations her King had, she answered: "You shall have nothing from
me this year." Then added that for three weeks she was cross-examined
by the clergy, both in the town of Chinon and at Poitiers, and that
her King had signs concerning her, before he believed in her. And the
clergy of his party had found nothing in her, in respect to her faith,
that was not good. Asked, whether she gone to the church of St.
Catherine of Fierbois, answered: "yes," and that she had there heard
three masses in one day, and from thence went to Chinon; she added
that she had sent a letter thence to the King, in which it was
contained that she sent this to know if she might come to the town in
which the King was; for that she had travelled a hundred and fifty
leagues to come to him and to bring him help, for she knew much good
concerning him. And she thought it was contained in this letter that
she should recognise the King among all the rest.

She said besides, that she had a sword which was given to her at
Vaucouleurs; she said also that, being in Tours or at Chinon, she sent
for a sword which was in the church of St. Catherine of Fierbois
behind the altar, and that when it was found it was rusty. Asked, how
she knew about this sword, she answered, that it was rusty because of
being in the ground, and there were five crosses on it, and that she
knew this sword by her voices, and not by any man's report. She wrote
to the ecclesiastics of the place where it was and asked them for this
sword, and they sent it to her. It was found not much below the ground
behind the altar; she was not sure if it was before or behind the
altar, but wrote that it was behind the altar. And when it was found
the clergy cleaned it and rubbed off the rust, which came off easily;
and it was an armourer of Tours who went to fetch it. The clergy made
a scabbard for it before sending it to the said Jeanne, and they of
Tours made another, so that it had two scabbards, one of crimson
velvet and one of cloth of gold. And she herself procured another of
strong leather. She said also that when she was captured she had not
that sword. Said also that she continued to wear the said sword until
she left St. Denis after the assault on Paris. Asked, what benediction
she made, or if she made any on this sword, she answered, that she
made no benediction, nor knew how to make one, but that she loved the
sword because it had come to her from the Church of the blessed
Catherine whom she loved much. Asked, if she had placed it on the
altar at the village of Coulenges, Les Vineuses, or elsewhere, placing
it there that it might bring good luck, she answered, that she knew
nothing of this. Asked, if she did not pray that the sword might have
good fortune: "It is good to know that I wish all my armour
(/harnesseum meum; gallice, mon harnois/) to be very fortunate."
Asked, where she had left the sword, answered, that she had deposited
a sword and armour at St. Denis, but it was not this sword. She added
that she had it in Lagny: but that she afterwards wore the sword which
had been taken from a Burgundian, which was a good sword for war and
gave good strokes (/gallice, de bonnes bouffes/ and /de bons
torchons/). Said also that to tell where she left it had nothing to do
with the trial, and she would answer nothing.

She said also that her brothers had everything that belonged to her,
her horses, swords, and everything, and that she believed they were
worth in all about 12,000 francs. She was also asked whether when she
was at Orleans she had a standard, and what colour it was; answered,
that she had a standard, the field of which was sown with lilies, and
on it was a figure of the world with angels on each side. It was
white, and made of a stuff called boucassin, upon which was written
the name /Jhesus Maria/, so that all might see, and it was fringed
with silk. Asked, if the name /Jhesus Maria/ was written above or
below or at the side, she answered, "At the side." Asked, if she loved
her sword or standard best, she answered, that she loved her standard
best. Asked, why she had that picture on the standard, she answered:
"I have sufficiently told you that I did nothing but by the command of
God." She added that she herself carried her standard when in battle
that she might not hurt anyone, and said that she had never killed any

Asked, how many men her King gave her when she began her work,
answered, from ten to twelve[4] thousand men, and that she attacked
first the bastile of St. Loup at Orleans, and afterwards that of the
bridge. Asked, from which bastile it was that her men were driven
back, she answered, that she did not remember; adding, that she had
been sure that she could raise the siege at Orleans, for it had been
so revealed to her; and that she told this to her King before it
occurred. Asked, whether, when she made assault, she told her men that
all the arrows, stones, cannon-balls, etc., would be intercepted by
her, she answered no--that more than a hundred were wounded: that what
she had said to her people was that they should have no doubts, for
they should certainly raise the siege of Orleans. She said also that
in attacking the bastile of the bridge she herself was wounded by an
arrow in the neck, and was much comforted by St. Catherine, and was
healed in fifteen days; but that she never gave up riding and working
all that time. Asked, if she knew that she would be wounded, she
answered, that she knew it well and had told her King, but that,
notwithstanding, she went about her business. It was revealed to her
by the voices of her two saints, the blessed Catherine and the blessed
Margaret. She said besides, that she was the first to place a scaling
ladder on the bastile of the bridge, and as she raised it she was
struck in the neck.

She was then asked why she did not treat with the Captain of Jargeau;
she answered that the lords of her party had replied to the English,
who had asked for a truce of fifteen days, that they could not have
it, but that they might retire, they and their horses at once; she had
said for her part that if they retired in their doublets and tunics
their lives should be spared, otherwise the city would be taken by
storm. Asked, if she had consulted with her counsel, that is with her
voices, whether the truce should be granted or not, she answered, that
she did not remember.

It will be remarked, as the slow examination goes on day after day,
that Jeanne, becoming at moments impatient, sometimes gives a rough
answer, and at other times plays a little with her questioner as if in
contempt. "By the Blessed Mary, I know not!" is evidently an outburst
of impatience at the exhausting, exasperating folly of some of these
questions, and this will be further visible in future sittings. It
seems very likely that the reference to Poitiers, which was an
excellent suggestion, commending itself to her invariable good sense,
came from the kind priest who tried to serve her as he best could; but
there are other answers a little incoherent, which look as if Frère
Isambard, if it were he, had confused her in her own response without
conveying anything better to her mind, especially on the occasions
when she refuses to reply, and then does so, abandoning her ground at
once. Her patience and steadiness are quite extraordinary however even
in the less self-collected moments. Thus end the proceedings of the
fourth day.


The fifth day began with the usual dispute about the oath, Jeanne
still retaining her reservation with the greatest firmness. She seems,
however, at the end, to have repeated her oath to answer everything
that had to do with the trial--"And as much as I say I will say as if
I were before the Pope of Rome." These words must have given the
Magister Beaupère an admirable occasion for introducing one of the
things charged against her for which there was actual proof--her
letter to the Comte d'Armagnac in respect to the Pope. He seized upon
it evidently with eagerness, and asked her which she held to be the
true Pope. To this she answered quietly, "Are there two?"--the most
confusing reply.[5]

She was asked if she had received letters from the Comte d'Armagnac,
asking to know which of the three existing Popes he ought to obey; she
answered that she had his letter, and had replied to it, saying among
other things that when she was in Paris and at rest she would answer
him; and added that she was on the point of mounting her horse when
she gave that reply. The copy of the letter and the reply being read
to her she was asked if that was what she had said; to which she
replied that she had answered his letter in part, not in full. Asked,
if she knew the counsels of the King of Kings so as to be able to say
which the count should obey, she answered, that she knew nothing.
Asked, if she was in doubt as to which the count ought to obey, she
replied that she knew not which to bid him obey; but that she, the
said Jeanne, held and believed that we ought to obey our Pope who was
in Rome; that as for what he asked, that she should tell him which God
desired him to obey, she had said she knew nothing; but she sent much
to him which was not put in writing. And as for herself she believed
in the Lord Pope of Rome. Asked, whether in respect to the three
pontiffs she had received counsel, she answered, that she had neither
written nor made to be written anything about the three pontiffs. And
this she swore on her oath. Asked, if she were in the habit of putting
on her letters the name /Jhesus Maria/ with a cross, answered, that
she did so sometimes but not always, and that sometimes she put a
cross to shew that these letters were not to be taken seriously (as
likely to fall into the enemy's hands).

Some questions were then put to her about her letters to the Duke of
Bedford and to the English King, and copies were read to her to which
she objected on some small points, but mistakenly it would seem, as
that she had summoned them to surrender to the King, while the scribe
had put "surrender to the Maid." She said, however, that they were
her letters, and that she held by them. She added that before seven
years the English would lose more than they had lost at Orleans,[6]
and that their cause would be lost in France; she said also that the
said English should have greater disasters than they had yet had in
France, and that God would give greater victories to France. Asked,
how she knew this, she replied: "I know it by the revelations made to
me, and that it will happen in seven years, and I might well be angry
that it is deferred so long." Asked, when this would happen, she said
that she knew neither the day nor the hour.

She was tormented a little further as to the dates, whether this would
happen before the St. Jean, or before the St. Martin in winter, but
made no answer except that before the St. Martin in winter they should
see many things, and it might be that the English should fail; as a
matter of fact Paris opened its gates to Charles VII. within the seven
years specified, so that Jeanne's prophecy may be held to have been

We then come once more to a long and profitless interrogatory upon her
saints, in which the crowd of judges forgot their dignity and
overwhelmed her with a flood of often very foolish, and sometimes
worse than foolish questions.

Asked, how she knew the future, she answered that she knew it by St.
Catherine and St. Margaret; asked, if St. Gabriel was with St. Michael
when he came to her, she answered, that she could not remember. Asked,
if she saw them always in the same dress, answered yes, and they were
crowned very richly. Of their other garments she could not speak; she
knew nothing of their tunics. Asked, how she knew whether they were
men or women, answered, that she knew well by their voices which
revealed them to her; and that she knew nothing save by revelation and
the precepts of God. Asked, what appearances she saw, she answered,
that she saw faces. Asked, if these saints had hair, she answered, "It
is good to know." Asked, if there was anything between their crowns
and their hair, answered, no. Asked, if their hair was long and
hanging down, answered, "I know nothing about it." She also said that
their voices were beautiful sweet, and humble, and that she understood
them well. Asked, how they could speak when they had no bodies, she
answered, "I refer it to God." She repeated that the voices were
beautiful, humble, and sweet, and that they could speak French. Asked,
if St. Margaret did not speak English, answered: "How could she speak
English when she was not on the English side?"

This would seem to infer that the St. Margaret referred to was not the
legendary St. Margaret of the dragon, but St. Margaret of Scotland,
well known in France from the long connection between those two
countries, and a popular mediæval saint. She would naturally have
spoken English, being a Saxon, but also quite naturally would have
been against the English, as a Scottish queen; but of these
refinements it is very unlikely that Jeanne knew anything, and her
prompt and somewhat sharp reply evidently cut the inquiry short. The
next question was, did they wear gold rings in their ears or
elsewhere, these crowned saints; to which she answered a little
contemptuously, "I know nothing about it." She was then asked if she
herself had rings: on which "turning to us the aforesaid Bishop, she
said, 'You have one of mine; give it back to me.' She then said that
the Burgundians had her other ring, and asked of us if we had the ring
to shew it to her. Asked, who gave her this ring, answered, her father
or her mother, and that the name /Jhesus Maria/ was written upon it,
but that she knew not who put it there, nor even whether there was a
stone in the ring; it was given to her in the village of Domremy. She
added that her brother gave her another ring which we had, and said
that she desired that it might be given to the Church."

A sudden change was now made in the cross-examination according to the
methods of that operation, throwing her back without warning upon the
village superstitions of Domremy, the magic tree and fountain. Many of
the questions which follow are so trivial and are so evidently
instinct with evil meaning, that it seems a wrong to Beaupère to
impute the whole of the interrogatory to him; other questions were
evidently interposed by the excited assembly.

Asked, if St. Catherine and St. Margaret talked with her under the
tree of which mention had been made above, she answered, "I know
nothing about it." Asked, if the saints were seen at the fountain near
the tree, answered yes, that she had heard them there; but what her
saints promised to her, there or elsewhere, she answered, that nothing
was promised except by permission from God. Asked, what promises were
made to her, she answered, "This has nothing at all to do with your
trial," but added, that among other things they said to her that her
King should be restored to his kingdom, and that his adversaries
should be destroyed. She said also that they promised to take her, the
said Jeanne, to Paradise, as she had asked them to do. Asked, if she
had any other promises, she said there was one promise that had
nothing to do with the trial, but that in three months she would tell
them what that other promise was. Asked, if the voices told her she
would be set free from her prison in three months, she answered: "This
does not concern your trial; nor do I know when I shall be set free."
And she added that those who wished to send her out of this world
might well go before her. Asked, if her council did not tell her when
she should be set free from her present prison, answered: "Ask me this
in three months' time; I can promise you as much as that"--but added:
"You may ask those present, on their oaths, if this has anything to do
with the trial."

Startled by this suggestion, the judges seem to have held a hurried
consultation among themselves to see whether these matters did really
touch the trial; the result apparently decided them to return again to
the question of the local superstitions of Domremy, the only point on
which there seemed a chance of breaking down the extraordinarily just
and steadfast intelligence of the girl who stood before them. After
this pause she resumed, apparently not in answer to any question.

"I have well told you that there were things you should not know, and
some time I must needs be set free. But I must have permission if I
speak; therefore I will ask to have delay in this." Asked, if her
voices forbade her to speak the truth, she said: "Do you expect me to
tell you things that concern the King of France? There is a great deal
here that has nothing to do with the trial." She said also that she
knew that her King should enjoy the kingdom of France, as well as she
knew that they were there before her in judgment. She added that she
would have been dead but for the revelations which comforted her
daily. She was then asked what she had done with her mandragora
(mandrake)? she answered that she had no mandragora, nor had ever had.
She had heard say that near her village there was one, but had never
seen it. She had heard say that it was a dangerous thing, and that it
was wicked to keep it; but knew nothing of its use. Asked, in what
place this mandrake was, and what she had heard of it? she said that
she had heard that it grew under the tree of which mention has been
made, but did not know the place; she said also that she had heard
that above the mandragora was a hazel tree. Asked, what she heard was
done with the mandragora, answered, that she had heard that it brought
money, but did not believe it; and added that her voices had never
told her anything about it.

Asked, what was the appearance of St. Michael when she saw him first,
she answered, that she saw no crown, and knew nothing of his dress.
Asked, if he was naked, she answered, "Do you think God has nothing to
clothe him with?" Asked, if he had hair, she answered, "Why should it
have been cut?" She said further that she had not seen the blessed
Michael since she left the castle of Crotoy, nor did she see him
often. At last she said that she knew not whether he had hair or not.
Asked, whether he carried scales, she answered, "I know nothing of
it," but added that she had much joy in seeing him, and she knew when
she saw him that she was not in a state of sin. She also said that St.
Catherine and St. Margaret often made her confess to them, and said
that if she had been in a state of sin it was without knowing it. She
was then asked whether, when she confessed, she believed herself to be
in a state of mortal sin; she answered, that she knew not whether she
had been in that state, but did not believe she had done the works of
sin. "It would not have pleased God," she said, "that I should have
been so; nor would it have pleased Him that I should have done the
works of sin by which my soul should have been burdened."

She was then asked what sign she gave to the King that she came to him
from God; she answered: "I have told you always that nothing should
draw this from me.[7] Ask me no more." Asked, if she had not sworn to
reveal what was asked of her touching the trial, answered, "I have
told you that I will tell you nothing that was for our King; and of
this which belongs to him I will not speak." Asked, if she knew the
sign which she gave to the King, she answered: "You shall know nothing
from me." When it was said to her that this did concern the trial, she
answered, "Of that which I have promised to keep secret I shall tell
you nothing"; and further she said, "I promised in that place and I
could not tell you without perjuring myself." Asked, to whom she
promised? answered, that she had promised to Saints Catherine and
Margaret, and this was shown to the King. She also said she had
promised it to these two saints, because they had required it of her.
And the same Jeanne had done this at their request. "Too many people
would have asked me concerning it, if I had not promised to the
aforesaid saints." She was then asked, when she showed this sign to
the King if there were others with him; she answered, that to her
there was no one near him, even though many people might have been
present. (As a matter of fact the sign was given to Charles when he
talked with the Maid apart in a recess, the great hall being full of
the Court and followers; so that this was strictly true.) Asked
further, if she saw a crown over the head of her King when she showed
him this sign, but replied: "I cannot answer you without perjury."
Asked further if her King had a crown when he was at Rheims, answered,
that in her opinion her King had a crown which he found at Rheims, but
a very fine one was afterwards brought for him. He did this to hasten
matters, at the desire of the city of Rheims; but if he had been more
certain, he could have had a crown a thousand times richer. (All this
is very obscure.)

Asked, if she had seen this crown, she answered: "I could not tell you
without perjury, but I heard that it was a very rich one." It was then
determined to conclude for this day.

On the sixth day there was again the same questions about the oath,
ending in the usual way. And the cross-examination was at once

She was asked if she would say whether St. Michael had wings, and what
bodies and members had St. Catherine and St. Margaret; and she
answered, "I have told you what I know, and will make no other reply";
she said, moreover, that when she saw St. Michael and St. Catherine
and St. Margaret, she knew at once that they were saints of Paradise.
Asked, if she saw anything more than their faces, she answered: "I
have told you all I know of them: and I would rather have had my head
taken off than tell you all I know." She then said that in whatever
concerned the trial she would speak freely. Asked, if she believed
that St. Michael and St. Gabriel had natural heads, she answered: "I
saw them with my eyes and I believe that they are, as firmly as I
believe that God is." Asked, if she believed that God made them in the
form in which she saw them, she answered, "Yes." Asked, if she
believed that God had created them in the same form from the
beginning, answered: "You shall have no more for the present, except
what I have already said."

This subject was then dropped, and the examiner made another leap
forward to a different part of her life. "Did you know by revelation
that you should break prison?" he said. To this Jeanne answered
indignantly: "This has nothing to do with your trial. Would you have
me speak against myself?"

Again questioned what her "voices" had said to her in respect to her
attempts at escape, she again answered: "This has nothing to do with
the trial; I go back to the trial. If all your questions were about
that, I should tell you all." She said besides, on her faith, that she
knew neither the day nor the hour when she should escape. She was then
asked what the voices said to her generally, and answered: "In truth,
they tell me I shall be freed, but neither the day nor the hour; and
that I ought to speak boldly, and with a glad countenance." She was
then asked whether, when first she saw her King, he asked her whether
it was by revelation that she had assumed the dress of a man? she
replied: "I have answered this. I cannot recollect whether he asked
me. But it is written in the book at Poitiers." Asked, whether the
doctors who examined her there, some for a month, some for three
weeks, had asked her about her change of dress; she answered: "I don't
remember; but I know they asked me when I assumed the dress of a man,
and I told them it was in the town of Vaucouleurs." Asked, whether
these doctors had inquired whether it was her voices which had made
her take that dress, answered, "I don't remember." Asked if her Queen
wished her to change her dress when she first saw her, answered, "I
don't remember." Asked if her King, Queen, and all of her party did
not ask her to lay aside the dress of a man, she answered, "This has
nothing to do with the trial." Asked, if the same was not requested of
her in the castle of Beaurevoir, she answered: "It is true. And I
replied that I could not lay it aside without the permission of God."
She said further that the demoiselle of Luxembourg (aunt of Jeanne's
captor, and a very old woman) and the lady of Beaurevoir offered her a
woman's dress, or stuff to make one, and begged her to wear it; but
she replied that she had not yet the permission of our Lord, and that
it was not yet time. Asked, if M. Jean de Pressy and others at Arras
had offered her a woman's dress, she answered, "He and others have
often asked it of me." Asked, if she thought she would have done wrong
in putting on a woman's dress, she answered, that it was better to
obey her sovereign Lord, that is, God; she said also that if she had
done it, she would rather have done it at the request of these two
ladies than of any other in France, except her Queen. Asked, if, when
God revealed to her that she should change her dress, it was by the
voice of St. Michael, St. Catherine, or St. Margaret, she answered,
"You shall hear no more about it." Asked, when the King first employed
her, and her standard was made, whether the men-at-arms and others who
took part in the war did not have flags imitated from hers? she
answered, "It is well to know that the lords retained their own arms";
she also added that her brothers-in-arms made such pennons as pleased
them. Asked, how these were made, if they were of linen or cloth,
answered, that they were of white satin, some of them with lilies;
that she had but two or three lances in her own company--but that in
the rest of the army some carried pennons like hers, but only to
distinguish them from others. Asked, if the banners were often
renewed, answered: "I know not; when the staff was broken it was
renewed." Asked, if she had not said that the pennons copied from hers
were fortunate, answered, that she had said, "Go in boldly among the
English"; and that she had done the same herself. Asked, if she said
that they should have good luck if they bore the banners well,
answered, that she had told them what would happen, and what should
still happen. Asked, if she had caused holy water to be sprinkled on
the pennons when they were new, she answered, "That has nothing to do
with the trial"; but added that if she did so sprinkle them she was
not instructed to answer that question now. Asked, if the others put
/Jhesus Maria/ upon their pennons, she answered: "By my faith, I know
nothing about it." Asked, if she had ever carried or caused to be
carried in a procession round a church or altar the linen of which the
pennons were made, answered no, that she had never seen anything of
the kind done.

Asked, when she was before Jargeau, what it was that she wore behind
her helmet, and if she had not something round it, she answered: "By
my faith, there was nothing." Asked, if she knew a certain Brother
Richard, she answered: "I never saw him till I was before Troyes."
Asked, what cheer Brother Richard made to her, answered, that she
thought the people of Troyes had sent him to her, doubting whether she
had come on the part of God, and that as he approached her he made the
sign of the cross, and sprinkled holy water; she said to him: "Come on
boldly; I shall not fly away." Asked, if she had seen, or had caused
to be made, any images or pictures of herself, she answered, that at
Arras she had seen a picture in the hands of a Scot, where she was
represented fully armed, kneeling on one knee, and presenting a letter
to the King; but that she had never caused any image or picture of
herself to be made. Asked concerning a table in the house of her host,
upon which were painted three women, with /Justice, Peace, Union/
inscribed beneath, answered, that she knew nothing of it. Asked, if
she knew that those of her party caused masses and prayers to be made
in her honour, she answered, that she knew not; and if they did so, it
was not by any command of hers; but that if they did so, her opinion
was that they did no wrong. Asked, if those of her party firmly
believed that she was sent from God, she answered: "I know not whether
they believed it; but even if they did not believe it, I am none the
less sent on the part of God." Asked, whether she thought that to
believe that she was sent from god was a worthy faith, she answered,
that if they believed that she was sent from God they were not
mistaken. Asked, if she knew what her party meant by kissing her feet
and hands and her garments, answered, that many people did it, but
that her hands were kissed as little as she could help it. The poor
people, however, came to her of their own free will, because she never
oppressed them, but protected them as far as was in her power. Asked,
what reverence the people of Troyes made to her, she answered, "None
at all," and added that she believed Brother Richard came into Troyes
with her army, but that she had not seen him coming in. Asked, if he
had not preached at the gates when she came, answered, that she
scarcely paused there at all, and knew nothing of any sermon. Asked,
how long she was at Rheims, and answered, four or five days. Asked,
whether she baptised (stood godmother to) children there, she
answered: To one at Troyes, but did not remember any at Rheims or at
Château-Thierry; but there were two at St. Denis; and willingly she
called the boys "Charles," in honour of her King, and the girls
"Jeanne," according to what their mothers wished. Asked, if the good
women of the town did not touch with their rings the rings she wore,
she answered, that many women touched her hands and her rings; but she
did not know why they did it. Asked, what she did with the gloves in
which her King was consecrated, she answered that "Gloves were
distributed to the knights and nobles that came there"; and there was
one who lost his; but she did not say that she would find it for him.
Also she said that her standard was in the church at Rheims, and she
believed near the altar, and she herself had carried it for a short
time, but did not know whether Brother Richard had held it.

She was then asked if she communicated and went to confession often
while moving about the country, and if she received the sacrament in
her male costume; to which she answered "yes, but without her arms";
she was then questioned about a horse belonging to the Bishop of
Senlis, which had not suited her, a matter completely without
importance. The inference intended was that it was taken from him
without being paid for; but there was no evidence that the Maid knew
anything about it. We then come to the incident of Lagny.

She was asked how old the child was which she saw at Lagny, and
answered, three days; it hed been brought to Lagny to the Church of
Nôtre Dame, and she was told that all the maids in Lagny were before
our Lady praying for it, and she also wished to go and pray God and
our Lady that its life might come back; and she went, and prayed with
the rest. And finally life appeared; it yawned three times, and was
baptised and buried in consecrated ground. It had given no sign of
life for three days and was black as her coat, but when it yawned its
colour began to come back. She was there with the other maids on her
knees before our Lady to make her prayer.

The reader must understand that this was no special appeal to Jeanne's
miraculous power, but a custom of that intense and tender charity with
which the Church of Rome corrects her dogmatism upon questions of
salvation. A child unbaptised could not be buried in consecrated
ground, and was subject to all the sorrows of the unredeemed; but who
could doubt that the priest would be easily persuaded by some wavering
of the tapers on the altar upon the little dead face, some flicker of
his own compassionate eyelids, that sufficient life had come back to
permit the holy rite to be administered? The whole little scene is
affecting in the extreme, the young creatures all kneeling, fervently
appealing to the Maiden-mother, the priest ready to take instant
advantage of any possible flicker, the Maid of France, no conspicuous
figure, but weeping and praying among the rest. There was no thought
here of the raising of the dead--the prayer was for breath enough only
to allow of the holy observance, the blessed water, the last
possibility of human love and effort.

Jeanne was then questioned concerning Catherine of La Rochelle, the
supposed prophetess, who had been played against her by La Tremouille
and his follows, and narrated how she had watched two nights to see
the mysterious lady clothed in cloth of gold who was said to appear to
Catherine, but had not seen her, and that she had advised the woman to
return to her husband and children. Catherine's mission was to go
through the "good towns" with heralds and trumpets to call upon those
who had money or treasure of any kind to give it to the King, and she
professed to have a supernatural knowledge where such money was
hidden. [No doubt La Tremouille must have thought that to get money,
which was so scarce, in such a simple way, was worth trying at least.
But Jeanne's opinion was that it was folly, and that there was nothing
in it; an opinion fully verified. Catherine's advice had been that
Jeanne should go to the Duke of Burgundy to make peace; but Jeanne had
answered that no peace could be made save at the end of the lance.]

She was then asked about the siege of La Charité; she answered, that
she had made an assault: but had not sprinkled holy water, or caused
it to be sprinkled. Asked, why she did not enter the city as she had
the command of God to do so, she replied: "Who told you that I was
commanded to enter?" Asked, if she had not had the advice of her
voices, she answered, that she had desired to go into France (meaning
towards Paris), but the generals had told her that it was better to go
first to La Charité. She was then asked if she had been long in the
tower of Beaurevoir; answered, that she was there about four months,
and that when she heard the English come she was angry and much
troubled. Her voices forbade her several times to attempt to escape;
but at last, in the doubt she had of the English she threw herself
down, commending herself to God and to our Lady, and was much hurt.
But after she had done this the voice of St. Catherine said to her not
to be afraid, that she should be healed, and that Compiègne would be

Also she said that she prayed always for the relief of Compiègne with
her council. Asked, what she said after she had thrown herself down,
she answered, that some said that she was dead; and as soon as the
Burgundians saw that she was not dead, they told her that she had
thrown herself down. Asked, if she had said that she would rather die
than fall into the hands of the English, she answered, that she would
much rather have rendered her soul to God than have fallen into the
hands of the English. Asked, if she was not in a great rage, and if
she did not blaspheme the name of God, she answered, that she never
said evil of any saint, and that it was not her custom to swear. Asked
respecting Soissons, when the captain had surrendered the town,
whether she had not cursed God, and said that if she had gotten hold
of the captain, she would have cut him into four pieces; she answered,
that she never swore by any saint, and that those who said so had not
understood her.


At this point the public trial of Jeanne came to a sudden end. Either
the feeling produced in the town, and even among the judges, by her
undeviating, simple, and dignified testimony had begun to be more than
her persecutors had calculated upon; or else they hoped to make
shorter work with her when deprived of the free air of publicity, the
sight no doubt of some sympathetic faces, and the consciousness of
being still able to vindicate her cause and to maintain her faith
before men. Two or three fierce Inquisitors within her cell, and the
Bishop, that man without heart or pity at their head, might still tear
admissions from her weariness, which a certain sympathetic atmosphere
in a large auditory, swept by waves of natural feeling, would
strengthen her to keep back. The Bishop made a proclamation that in
order not to vex and tire his learned associates he would have the
minutes of the previous sittings reduced into form, and submitted to
them for judgment, while he himself carried on apart what further
interrogatory was necessary. We are told that he was warned by a
counsellor of the town that secret examinations without witnesses or
advocate on the prisoner's side, were illegal; but Monseigneur de
Beauvais was well aware that anything would be legal which effected
his purpose, and that once Jeanne was disposed of, the legality or
illegality of the proceedings would be of small importance. I have
thought it right to give to the best of my power a literal translation
of these examinations, notwithstanding their great length; as, except
in one book, now out of print and very difficult to procure, no such
detailed translation,[8] so far as I am aware, exists; and it seems to
me that, even at the risk of fatiguing the reader (always capable of
skipping at his pleasure), it is better to unfold the complete scene
with all its tedium and badgering, which brings out by every touch the
extraordinary self-command, valour, and sense of this wonderful Maid,
the youngest, perhaps, and most ignorant of the assembly, yet meeting
all with a modest and unabashed countenance, true, pure, and natural,
--a far greater miracle in her simplicity and noble steadfastness than
even in the wonders she had done.
[1] She was in reality detained two days, which fact, no doubt, she
judged to be an unimportant detail.

[2] Probably meaning, had been present when the voices came to her and
had perceived her state of listening and abstraction.

[3] This was her special friend, Gerard of Epinal--her /compère/ and
gossip; was it jesting beguiled by some childish recollection, or
mock threat of youthful days that she said this?

[4] An answer evidently given in the vagueness of imperfect knowledge,
meaning a very great number.

[5] Quicherat gives a note on this subject to point out that there was
really was but one Pope at this moment, the question having been
settled by the abdication of Clement VIII., Benedict XIV. being a
mere impostor. We cannot believe, however, that this historical
cutting of the knot could be known to Jeanne. She probably felt
only, with her fine instinct, that there could be but one Pope,
and that to be deceived on such a matter ought to have been a
thing impossible to all those priests and learned men; as a matter
of fact the three claimants, on account of whom the Comte
d'Armagnac had appealed to her, were no longer existing at the
time he wrote.

[6] She meant Paris, which was lost by the English, according to her
prophecy within the time named.

[7] It should here be noted that Jeanne's sign to the King being, as
he afterwards declared, the answer to his most private devotions
and the final setting at rest of a doubt which might have injured
him much had it been known that he entertained it--it would have
been dishonourable on her part and a great wrong to him had she
revealed it.

[8] The translation of M. Fabre is now, I believe, reprinted, but it
is not satisfactory.


LENT, 1431.

It must not be forgotten, in the history of this strange trial, that
the prisoner was brought from the other side of France expressly that
she might be among a people who were not of her own party, and who had
no natural sympathies with her, but a hereditary connection with
England, which engaged all its partialities on that side. For this
purpose it was that the /venue/, the town expected the coming of the
Witch, and all the dark revelations that might be extracted from her,
her spells, and the details of that contract with the devil which was
so entrancing to the popular imagination, with excitement and
eagerness. Such a /Cause Célèbre/ had never taken place among them
before; and everybody no doubt looked forward to the pleasure of
seeing it proved that it was not by the will of Heaven, but by some
monstrous combination of black arts, that such an extraordinary result
as the defeat of the invincible English soldiers had been brought
about. The litigious and logical Normans no doubt looked forward to it
as to the most interesting entertainment, ending in the complete
vindication of their own side and the exposure of the nefarious arms
used by their adversaries.

But when the proceedings had been opened, and in place of some dark-
browed and termagant sorceress, with the mark of every evil passion in
her face, there appeared before the spectators crowding into every
available corner, the slim, youthful figure--was it boy or girl?--the
serene and luminous countenance of the Maid, the flower of youth
raising its whiteness and innocence in the midst of all those black-
robed, subtle Doctors, it is impossible but that the very first glance
must have given a shock and thrill of amazement and doubt to what may
be called the lay spectators, those who had no especial bias more than
common report, and whose credit or interest were not involved in
bringing this unlikely criminal to condemnation. "A girl! Like our own
Jeanne at home," might many a father have said, dismayed and
confounded. She had, they all say, those eyes of innocence which it is
so impossible not to believe, and that virginal voice, /assez femme/,
which a sentimental Frenchman insists upon as belonging only to the
spotless. At all events she had the bearing of honesty, purity, and
truth. She was not afraid though all the powers of hell--or was it
only of the Church and the Law?--were arrayed against her: no guilty
mystery to be discovered, was in her countenance. But it must have
been plain to the keen and not too charitable Normans that such
semblances are not always to be trusted, and that the devil himself
even, on occasion, can take upon himself the appearance of an angel of
light; so that after the first shock of wonder they no doubt settled
themselves to listen, believing that soon they would have their
imaginations fed with tales of horror, and would discover the hoofs
and the horns and unveil with triumph the lurking demon. The French
historians never take into consideration the fact that it was the
belief of Rouen and Normandy, as well as of any similar town or
province in England, that the child Henry VI. was lawful king, and
that whatever was on the other side was a hateful adversary, to be
brought to such disaster and shame as was possible, without mercy and
without delay.

But after a few days of the examination which we have just reported,
public opinion was greatly staggered, and knew not how to turn.
Gradually the conviction must have been forced upon every mind which
had any candour left, that Jeanne, at that dreadful bar, with the
stake in sight, and all the learning of Paris--the entire power of one
great national and half of another, all England and half France
against--(many more than half France, for the other part had abandoned
her cause),--showed nothing of the demon, but all--if not of the
angel, yet of the Maid, the emblem of perfection to that rude world,
though often so barbarously handled. It might almost be said of the
age, notwithstanding its immorality and rampant viciousness, that in
its eyes a true virgin could do no harm. And hers was one if ever such
a thing existed on earth. The talk in the streets began to take a very
different tone. Massieu the clerical sheriff's officer saw nothing in
her answers that was not good and right. Out of the midst of the crowd
of listeners would burst an occasional cry of "Well said!" An
Englishman, even a knight, overcome by his feelings, cried out: "Why
was not she English, this brave girl!" All these were ominous sounds.
Still more ominous was the utterance of Maître Jean Lohier, a lawyer
of Rouen, who declared loudly that the trial was not a legal trial for
the reasons which follow:

"In the first place because it was not in the form of an ordinary
trial; secondly, because it was not held in a public court, and those
present had not full and complete freedom to say what was their full
and unbiassed opinion; thirdly, because there was question of the
honour of the King of France of whose party Jeanne was, without
calling him, or any one for him; fourthly, because neither libel nor
articles were produced, and this woman who was only an uninstructed
girl, had no advocate to answer for her before so many Masters and
Doctors, on such grave matters, and especially those which touched
upon the revelations of which she spoke; therefore it seemed to him
that the trial was worth nothing. For these things Monseigneur de
Beauvais was very indignant against the said Maître Lohier, saying:
'Here is Lohier who is going to make a fine fuss about our trial; he
calumniates us all, and tells the world it is of no good. If one were
to go by him, one would have to begin everything over again, and all
that has been done would be of no use.' Monseigneur de Beauvais said
besides: 'It is easy to see on which foot he halts [/de quel pied il
cloche/]. By St. John, we shall do nothing of the kind; we shall go on
with our trial as we have begun it.'"

A day or two later Manchon, the Clerk of the Court (he who refused to
take down Jeanne's conversation with her Judas), met this same lawyer
Lohier at church, and asked him, as no doubt every man asked every
other whom he met, how did he think the trial was going? to which
Lohier answered: "You see the manner in which they proceed; they will
take her, if they can, in her words--that is to say, the assertions in
which she says /I know for certain/, things that concern her
apparitions. If she would say, 'It seems to me' instead of 'I know for
certain,' I do not see how any man could condemn her. It appears that
they proceed against her rather from hate than from any other cause,
and for this reason I shall not remain here. I will have nothing to do
with it." This I think shows very clearly that Lohier, like the bulk
of the population, by no means thought at first that it was "from
hate" that the trial proceeded, but honestly believed that he had been
called to try Jeanne as a professor of the black arts; and that he had
discovered from her own testimony that she was not so, and that the
motive of the trial was entirely a different one from that of justice;
one in fact with which an honest man could have nothing to do.

It is very significant also that the number of judges present in court
on the sixth day, the last of the public examination, was only thirty-
eight, as against the sixty-two of the second day, which seems to
prove that a general disgust and alarm was growing in the minds of
those most closely concerned. Warwick and the soldiers, impatient of
all such business, striding in noisily from time to time to give a
careless glance at the proceedings, might not stay long enough to
share the impression--or might, who can say? Their business was to get
this pestilent woman, even if by chance she might be an innocent
fanatic, cleared off the face of the earth and out of their way.

After the sixth day, however, it would seem that the Bishop and his
tools had taken fright at the progress of public opinion. Before
dismissing the court on that occasion, Cauchon made an address to the
disturbed and anxious judges, informing them that he would not tire
them out with prolonged sittings, but that a few specially chosen
assistants would now examine into what further details were necessary.
In the meantime all would be put in writing; so that they might think
it over and deliberate within themselves, so as to be able each to
make a report either to himself, the Bishop, or to some one deputed by
him. The assessors, thus thrown out of work, were however forbidden to
leave Rouen without the Bishop's permission--probably because of the
threat of Lohier. Repeated meetings were held in Cauchon's house to
arrange the details of the proceedings to follow; and during this time
it was perhaps hoped that any excitement outside would quiet down. The
Bishop himself had in the meantime other work in hand. He had to
receive certain important visitors, one of them the man who held the
appointment of Chancellor of France on the English side, and who was
well acquainted with the mind of his masters. We have no information
whatever whether Cauchon ever himself wavered, or allowed the
possibility of acquitting Jeanne to enter his mind; but he must have
seen that it was of the last necessity to know what would satisfy the
English chiefs. No doubt he was confirmed and strengthened in the
conviction that by hook or by crook her condemnation must be
accomplished, by the conversation of these illustrious visitors. To
save Jeanne was impossible he must have been told. No English soldier
would strike a blow while she lived. England itself, the whole
country, trembled at her name. Till she was got rid of nothing could
be done.

There was of course great exaggeration in all this, for the English
had fought desperately enough in her presence except on the one
occasion of Patay, notwithstanding all the early prestige of Jeanne.
But at all events it was made perfectly clear that the foregoing
conclusion must be carried out, and that Jeanne must die: and, not
only so, but she must die with opprobrium and disgrace as a witch,
which almost everybody out of Rouen now believed her to be. The public
examination which lasted six days was concluded on the third of March,
1430. On the following days, the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh,
eighth, and ninth of March, meetings were held, as we have said, in
the Bishop's house to consider what it would be well to do next, at
one of which a select company of Inquisitors was chosen to carry on
the examination in private. These were Jean de la Fontaine, a lawyer
learned in canon law; Jean Beaupère, already her interrogator; Nicolas
Midi, a Doctor in Theology; Pierre Morice, Canon of Rouen and
Ambassador from the English King to the Council of Bâle; Thomas de
Courcelles, the learned and excellent young Doctor already described;
Nicolas l'Oyseleur, the traitor, also already sufficiently referred
to; and Manchon, the honest Clerk of the court: the names of Gerard
Feuillet, also a distinguished man, and Jean Fecardo, an advocate, are
likewise also mentioned. They seem to have served in their turn, three
or four at a time. This private session began on the 10th of March, a
week after the conclusion of the public trial, and was held in the
prison chamber inhabited by the Maid.

We shall not attempt to follow literally those private examinations,
which would take a great deal more space than we have at our command,
and would be fatiguing to the reader from the constant and prolonged
repetitions; we shall therefore quote only such parts as are new or so
greatly enlarged from Jeanne's original statements as to seem so. At
the first day's examination in her prison she was questioned about
Compiègne and her various proceedings before reaching that place.[1]
She was asked, for one thing, if her voices had bidden her make the
sally in which she was taken; to which she answered that had she known
the time she was to be taken she would not have gone out, unless upon
the express command of the saints. She was then asked about her
standard, her arms, and her horses, and replied that she had no coat-
of-arms, but her brothers had, who also had all her money, from ten to
twelve thousand francs, which was "no great treasure to make war
upon," besides five chargers, and about seven other horses, all from
the King. The examiners then came to their principal object, and
having lulled her mind with these trifles, turned suddenly to a
subject on which they still hoped she might commit herself, the sign
which had proved her good faith to the King. It is scarcely possible
to avoid the feeling, grave as all the circumstances were, that a
little /malice/, a glance of mischievous pleasure, kindled in Jeanne's
eye. She had refused to enter into further explanations again and
again. She had warned them that she would give them no true light on
the subjects that concerned the King. Now she would seem to have had
sudden recourse to the mystification that is dear to youth, to have
tossed her young head and said: "/Have then your own way/"; and
forthwith proceeded to romance, according to the indications given her
of what was wanted, without thought of preserving any appearance of
reality. Most probably indeed, her air and tone would make it apparent
to her persistent questioners how complete a fable, or at least
parable, it was.

Asked, what sign she gave to the King, she replied that it was a
beautiful and honourable sign, very creditable and very good, and rich
above all. Asked, if it still lasted; answered, "It would be good to
know; it will last a thousand years and more if well guarded," adding
that it was in the treasure of the King. Asked, if it was of gold or
silver or of precious stones, or in the form of a crown; answered: "I
will tell you nothing more; but no man could devise a thing so rich as
this sign; but the sign that is necessary for you is that God should
deliver me out of your hands, and that is what He will do." She also
said that when she had to go to the King it was said by her voices:
"Go boldly; and when you are before the King he will have a sign which
will make him receive and believe in you." Asked, what reverence she
made when the sign came to the King, and if it came from God;
answered, that she had thanked God for having delivered her from the
priests of her own party who had argued against her, and that she had
knelt down several times; she also said that an angel from God, and
not from another, brought the sign to the King; and she had thanked
the Lord many times; she added that the priests ceased to argue
against when they had seen that sign. Asked, if the clergy of her
party (/de par delà/) saw the above sign; answered yes, that her King
if he were satisfied; and he answered yes. And afterwards she went to
a little chapel close by, and heard them say that after she was gone
more than three hundred people saw the said sign. She said besides
that for love of her, and that they should give up questioning her,
God permitted those of her party to see the sign. Asked, if the King
and she made reverence to the angel when he brought the sign; answered
yes, for herself, that she knelt down and took off her hood.

What Jeanne meant by this strange romance can only, I think be
explained by this hypothesis. She was "dazed and bewildered," say some
of the historians, evidently not knowing how to interpret so strange
an interruption to her narrative; but there is no other sign of
bewilderment; her mind was always clear and her intelligence complete.
Granting that the whole story was boldly ironical, its object is very
apparent. Honour forbade her to betray the King's secret, and she had
expressly said she would not do so. But her story seems to say--/since
you will insist that there was a sign, though I have told you I could
give you no information, have it your own way; you shall have a sign
and one of the very best; it delivered me from the priests of my own
party (de par delà)/. Jeanne was no milk-sop; she was bold enough to
send a winged shaft to the confusion of the priests of the other side
who had tormented her in the same way. One can imagine a lurking smile
at the corner of her mouth. Let them take it since they would have it.
And we may well believe there was that in her eye, and in the details
heaped up so lightly to form the miraculous tale, which left little
doubt in the minds of the questioners, of the spirit in which she
spoke: though to us who only read the record the effect is of a more
bewildering kind.

Two days after, on Monday, the 12th of March, the Inquisitors began by
several additional questions concerning the angel who brought the sign
to the King; was it the same whom she first saw, or another? She
answered that it was the same, and no other was wanted. Asked, if this
angel had not deceived her since she had been taken prisoner;
BEST THAT SHE SHOULD BE TAKEN. Asked, if the angel had not failed her;
answered, "How could he have failed me, when he comforts me every
day?" This comfort is what she understands to come through St.
Catherine and St. Margaret. Asked, whether she called them, or they
came without being called, she answered, that they often came without
being called, and if they did not come soon enough, she asked our
Saviour to send them. Asked, if St. Denis had ever appeared to her;
answered, not that she knew. Asked, if when she promised to our Lord
to remain a virgin she spoke to Him; answered, that it ought to be
enough to speak to those who were sent by Him that is to say, St.
Catherine and St. Margaret. Asked, what induced her to summon a man to
Toul, in respect to marriage; answered, "I did not summon him; it was
he who summoned me"; and that on that occasion she had sworn before
the judge to speak the truth, which was that she had not made him any
promise. She also said that the first time she had heard the voices
she made a vow of virginity so long as it pleased God, being then
about the age of thirteen.

It was the object of the judges by these questions to prove that,
according to a fable which had obtained some credit, Jeanne during her
visit to La Rousse, the village inn-keeper at Neufchâteau, had acted
as servant in the house and tarnished her good fame--so that her
betrothed had refused to marry her: and that he had been brought
before the Bishop's court at Toul for his breach of promise, as we
should say. Exactly the reverse was the case, as the reader will

Jeanne was further asked, if she had spoken of her visions to her curé
or to any ecclesiastic: and answered no, but only to Robert de
Baudricourt and to her King; but added that she was not bidden by her
voices to conceal them, but feared to reveal them lest the Burgundians
should hear of them and prevent her going. And especially she had much
doubt of her father, lest he should hinder her from going. Asked, if
she thought she did well to go away without the permission of her
father and mother, when it is certain we ought to honour our father
and mother; answered, that in every other thing she had fully obeyed
him, except in respect to her departure; but she had written to them,
and they had pardoned her. Asked, if when she left her father and
mother she did not think it was a sin; answered, that her voices were
quite willing that she should tell them, if it were not for the pain
it would have given them; but as for herself, she would not have told
them for any consideration; also that her voices left her to do as she
pleased, to tell or not.


Having gone so far the reverend fathers went to dinner, and Jeanne we
hope had her piece of bread and her /eau rougie/. In the afternoon
these indefatigable questioners returned, and the first few questions
throw a fuller light on the troubled cottage at Domremy, out of which
this wonderful maiden came like a being of another kind.

She was questioned as to the dreams of her father; and answered, that
while she was still at home her mother told her several times that her
father said he had dreamt that Jeanne his daughter had gone away with
the troopers, that her father and mother took great care of her and
held her in great subjection: and she obeyed them in every point
except that of her affair at Toul in respect to marriage. She also
said that her mother had told her what her father had said to her
brothers: "If I could think that the thing would happen of which I
have dreamed, I wish she might be drowned first; and if you would not
do it, I would drown her with my own hands"; and that he nearly lost
his senses when she went to Vaucouleurs.

How profound is this little village tragedy! The suspicious, stern,
and unhopeful peasant, never sure even that the most transparent and
pure may not be capable of infamy, distracted with that horror of
personal degradation which is involved in family disgrace, cruel in
the intensity of his pride and fear of shame! He has been revealed to
us in many lands, always one of the most impressive of human pictures,
with no trust of love in him but an overwhelming faith in every
vicious possibility. If there is no evidence to prove that, even at
the moment when Jeanne was supreme, when he was induced to go to
Rheims to see the coronation, Jacques d'Arc was still dark,
unresponsive, never more sure than any of the Inquisitors that his
daughter was not a witch, or worse, a shameless creature linked to the
captains and the splendid personages about her by very different ties
from those which appeared--there is at least not a word to prove that
he had changed his mind. She does not add anything to soften the
description here given. The sudden appearance of this dark remorseless
figure, looking on from his village, who probably in all Domremy--when
Domremy got to hear the news--would be the only person who would in
his desperation almost applaud that stake and devouring flame, is too
startling for words.

The end of this day's examination was remarkable also for a sudden
light upon the method she had intended to adopt in respect to the Duke
of Orleans, then in prison in England, whom it was one of her most
cherished hopes to deliver.

Asked, how she meant to rescue the Duc d'Orléans: she answered, that
by that time she hoped to have taken English prisoners enough to
exchange for him: and if she had not taken enough she should have
crossed the sea, in power, to search for him in England. Asked, if St.
Catherine and St. Margaret had told her absolutely and without
condition that she should take enough prisoners to exchange for the
Duc d'Orléans, who was in England, or otherwise, that she should cross
the sea to fetch him and bring him back within three years; she
answered yes: and that she had told the King and had begged him to
permit her to make prisoners. She said further that if she had lasted
three years without hindrance, she should have delivered him.
Otherwise she said she had not thought of so long a time as three
years, although it should have been more than one; but she did not at
present recollect exactly.

There is a curious story existing, though we do not remember whence it
comes and there is not a scrap of evidence for it, which suggests a
rumour that Jeanne was not the child of the d'Arc family at all, but
in fact an abandoned and illegitimate child of the Queen, Isabel of
Bavaria, and that her real father was the murdered Duc d'Orléans. This
suggestion might explain the ease with which she fell into the way of
Courts, a sort of air /à la Princesse/ which certainly was about her,
and her especial devotion to Orleans, both to the city and the duke. A
shadow of a supposed child of our own Queen Mary has also appeared in
history, quite without warrant or likelihood. It is a little
conventional and well worn even in the way of romance, yet there are
certain fanciful suggestions in the thought.

After the above, Jeanne was again questioned and at great length upon
the sign given to the King, upon the angel who brought it, the manner
of his coming and going, the persons who saw him, those who saw the
crown bestowed upon the King, and so on, in the most minute detail.
That the purpose of the sign was that "they should give up arguing and
so let her proceed on her mission," she repeated again and again; but
here is a curious additional note.

She was asked how the King and the people with him were convinced that
it was an angel; and answered, that the King knew it by the
instruction of the ecclesiastics who were there, and also by the sign
of the crown. Asked, how the ecclesiastics (/gens d'église/) knew it
was an angel she answered, "By their knowledge [science], and because
they were priests."

Was this the keenest irony, or was it the wandering of a weary mind?
We cannot tell; but if the latter, it was the only occasion on which
Jeanne's mind wandered; and there was method and meaning in the
strange tale.

She was further questioned whether it was by the advice of her voices
that she attacked La Charité, and afterwards Paris, her two points of
failure; the purpose of her examiners clearly being to convince her
that those voices had deceived her. To both questions she answered no.
To Paris she went at the request of gentlemen who wished to make a
skirmish, or assault of arms (/vaillance d'armes/); but she intended
to go farther, and to pass the moats; that is, to force the fighting
and make the skirmish into a serious assault; the same was the case
before La Charité. She was asked whether she had no revelation
concerning Pont l'Evêque, and said that since it was revealed to her
at Melun that she should be taken, she had had more recourse to the
will of the captains than to her own; but she did not tell them that
it was revealed to her that she should be taken. Asked, if she thought
it was well done to attack Paris on the day of the Nativity of our
Lady, which was a festival of the Church; she answered, that it was
always well to keep the festivals of our Lady: and in her conscience
it seemed to her that it was and always would be a good thing to keep
the feasts of our Lady, from one end to the other.

In the afternoon the examiners returned to the attempt at escape or
suicide--they seemed to have preferred the latter explanation--made at
Beaurevoir; and as Jeanne expresses herself with more freedom as to
her personal motives in these prison examinations and opens her heart
more freely, there is much here which we give in full.

She was asked first what was the cause of her leap from the tower of
Beaurevoir. She answered that she had heard that all the people of
Compiègne, down to the age of seven, were to be put to the sword, and
that she would rather die than live after such a destruction of good
people; this was one of the reasons; the other was that she knew that
she was sold to the English and that she would rather die than fall
into the hands of the English, her enemies. Asked, if she made that
leap by the command of her voices; answered, that St. Catherine said
to her almost every day that she was not to leap, for that God would
help her, and also the people of Compiègne: and she, Jeanne, said to
St. Catherine that since God intended to help the people of Compiègne
she would fain be there. And St. Catherine said: "You must take it in
good part, but you will not be delivered till you have seen the King
of the English." And she, Jeanne, answered: "Truly I do not wish to
see him. I would rather die than fall into the hands of the English."
Asked, if she had said to St. Catherine and St. Margaret, "Will God
leave the good people of Compiègne to die so cruelly?" answered, that
she did not say "so cruelly," but said it in this way: "Will God leave
these good people of Compiègne to die, who have been and are so loyal
to their lord?" She added that after she fell there were two or three
days that she would not eat; and that she was so hurt by the leap that
she could not eat; but all the time she was comforted by St.
Catherine, who told her to confess and ask pardon of God for that act,
and that without doubt the people of Compiègne would have succour
before Martinmas. And then she took pains to recover and began to eat,
and shortly was healed.

Asked, whether, when she threw herself down, she wished to kill
herself, she answered no; but that in throwing herself down she
commended herself to God, and hoped by means of that leap to escape
and to avoid being delivered to the English. Asked, if, when she
recovered the power of speech, she had denied and blasphemed God and
the saints, as had been reported; answered, that she remembered
nothing of the kind, and that, as far as she knew, she had never
denied and blasphemed God and His saints there nor anywhere else, and
did not confess that she had done so, having no recollection of it.
Asked, if she would like to see the information taken on the spot,
answered: "I refer myself to God, and not another, and to a good
confession." Asked, if her voices ever desired delay for their
replies; answered, that St. Catherine always answered her at once, but
sometimes she, Jeanne, could not hear because of the tumult round her
(/turbacion des personnes/) and the noise of her guards; but that when
she asked anything of St. Catherine, sometimes she, and sometimes St.
Margaret asked of our Lord, and then by the command of our Lord an
answer was given to her. Asked, if, when they came, there was always
light accompanying them, and if she did not see that light when she
heard the voice in the castle without knowing whether it was in her
chamber or not: answered, that there was never a day that they did not
come into the castle, and that they never came without light: and that
time she heard the voice, but did not remember whether she saw the
light, or whether she saw St. Catherine. Also she said she had asked
from her voices three things: one, her release: the other, that God
would help the French, and keep the town faithful: and the other the
salvation of her soul. Afterwards she asked that she might have a copy
of these questions and her answers if she were to be taken to Paris,
that she may give them to the people in Paris, and say to them, "This
is how I was questioned in Rouen, and here are my replies," that she
might not be exhausted by so many questions.

Asked, what she meant when she said that Monseigneur de Beauvais put
himself in danger by bringing her to trial, and why Monseigneur de
Beauvais more than others, she answered, that this was and is what she
said to Monseigneur de Beauvais: "You say that you are my judge. I
know not whether you are so; but take care that you judge well, or you
will put yourself in great danger. I warn you, so that if our Lord
should chastise you for it, I may have done my duty in warning you."
Asked, what was that danger? she answered, that St. Catherine had said
that she should have succour, but that she knew not whether this meant
that she would be delivered from prison, or that, when she was before
the tribunal, there might come trouble by which she should be
delivered; she thought, however, it would be the one or the other. And
all the more that her voices told her that she would be delivered by a
great victory; and afterwards they said to her: "Take everything
cheerfully, do not be disturbed by this martyrdom: thou shalt thence
come at last to the kingdom of Heaven." And this the voices said
simply and absolutely--that is to say, without fail; she explained
that she called It martyrdom because of all the pain and adversity
that she had suffered in prison; and she knew not whether she might
have still more to suffer, but waited upon our Lord. She was then
asked whether, since her voices had said that she should go to
Paradise, she felt assured that she should be saved and not damned in
hell; she answered, that she believed firmly what her voices said
about her being saved, as firmly as if she were so already. And when
it was said to her that this answer was of great weight, she answered
that she herself held it as a great treasure.

We have said that Jeanne's answers to the Inquisitors in prison had a
more familiar form than in the public examination; which seem to prove
that they were not unkind to her, further, at least, than by the
persistence and tediousness of their questions. The Bishop for one
thing was seldom present; the sittings were frequently presided over
by the Deputy Inquisitor, who had made great efforts to be free of the
business altogether, and had but very recently been forced into it; so
that we may at least imagine, as he was so reluctant, that he did what
he could to soften the proceedings. Jean de la Fontaine, too, was a
milder man than her former questioners, and in so small an assembly
she could not be disturbed and interrupted by Frère Isambard's well-
meant signs and whispers. She speaks at length and with a self-
disclosure which seems to have little that was painful in it, like one
matured into a kind of age by long weariness and trouble, who regards
the panorama of her life passing before her with almost a pensive
pleasure. And it is clear that Jeanne's ear, still so young and keen,
notwithstanding that attitude of mind, was still intent upon sounds
from without, and that Jeanne's heart still expected a sudden assault,
a great victory for France, which should open her prison doors--or
even a rising in the very judgment hall to deliver her. How could they
keep still outside, Dunois, Alençon, La Hire, the mighty men of
valour, while they knew that she was being racked and tortured within?
She who could not bear to be out of the conflict to serve her friends
at Compiègne, even when succour from on high had been promised, how
was it possible that these gallant knights could live and let her die,
their gentle comrade, their dauntless leader? In those long hours,
amid the noise of the guards within and the garrison around, how she
must have thought, over and over again, where were they? when were
they coming? how often imagined that a louder clang of arms than
usual, a rush of hasty feet, meant that they were here!

But honour and love kept Jeanne's lips closed. Not a word did she say
that could discredit King, or party, or friends; not a reproach to
those who had abandoned her. She still looked for the great victory in
which Monseigneur, if he did not take care, might run the risk of
being roughly handled, or of a sudden tumult in his own very court
that would pitch him form his guilty seat. It was but the fourteenth
of March still, and there were six weary weeks to come. She did not
know the hour or the day, but yet she believed that this great
deliverance was on its way.

And there was a great deliverance to come: but not of this kind. The
voices of God--how can we deny it?--are often, though in a loftier
sense, like those fantastic voices that keep the word of promise to
the ear but break it to the heart. They promised her a great victory:
and she had it, and also the fullest deliverance: but only by the
stake and the fire, which were not less dreadful to Jeanne than to any
other girl of her age. They did not speak to deceive her, but she was
deceived; they kept their promise, but not as she understood it.
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having
seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them."
Jeanne too was persuaded of them, but was not to receive them--except
in the other way.

On the afternoon of the same day (it was still Lent, and Jeanne
fasted, whatever our priests may have done), she was again closely
questioned on the subject, this time, of Franquet d'Arras, who, as has
been above narrated, was taken by her in the course of some
indiscriminate fighting in the north. She was asked if it was not
mortal sin to take a man as prisoner of war and then give him up to be
executed. There was evidently no perception of similarities in the
minds of the judges, for this was precisely what had been done in the
case of Jeanne herself; but even she does not seem to have been struck
by the fact. Their object, apparently, was by proving that she was in
a state of sin, to prove also that her voices were of no authority, as
being unable to discover so simple a principle as this.

When they spoke to her of "one named Franquet d'Arras, who was
executed at Lagny," she answered that she consented to his death, as
he deserved it, for he had confessed to being a murderer, a thief, and
a traitor. She said that his trial lasted fifteen days, the Bailli de
Senlis and the law officers of Lagny being the judges; and she added
that she had wished to have Franquet, to exchange him for a man of
Paris, Seigneur de Lours (corrected, innkeeper at the sign of l'Ours);
but when she heard that this man was dead, and when the Bailli told
her that she would go very much against justice if she set Franquet
free, she said to the Bailli: "Since my man is dead whom I wished to
deliver, do with this one whatever justice demands." Asked, if she
took the money or allowed it to be taken by him who had taken
Franquet, she answered, that she was not a money changer or a
treasurer of France, to deal with money.

She was then reminded that having assaulted Paris on a holy day,
having taken the horse of Monseigneur de Senlis, having thrown herself
down from the tower of Beaurevoir, having consented to the death of
Franquet d'Arras, and being still dressed in the costume of a man, did
she not think that she must be in a state of mortal sin? She answered
to the first question about Paris: "I do not think I was guilty of
mortal sin, and if I have sinned it is to God that I would make it
known, and in confession to God by the priest." To the second
question, concerning the horse of Senlis, she answered, that she
believed firmly that there was not mortal sin in this, seeing it was
valued, and the Bishop had due notice of it, and at all events it was
sent back to the Seigneur de la Trémouille to give it back to
Monseigneur de Senlis. The said horse was of no use to her; and, on
the other hand, she did not wish to keep it because she heard that the
Bishop was displeased that his horse should have been taken. And as
for the tower of Beaurevoir: "I did it not to destroy myself, but in
the hope of saving myself and of going to the aid of the good people
who were in need." But after having done it, she had confessed her
sin, and asked pardon of our Lord, and had pardon of Him. And she
allowed that it was not right to have made that leap, but that she did

The next day an important question was introduced, the only one as yet
which Jeanne does not seem to have been able to answer with
understanding. On points of fact or in respect to her visions she was
always quite clear, but questions concerning the Church were beyond
her knowledge. It is only indeed after some time has elapsed that we
perceive why such a question was introduced.

After admonitions made to her she was required, if she had done
anything contrary to the faith, to submit herself to the decision of
the Church. She replied, that her answers had all been heard and seen
by clerks, and that they could say whether there was anything in them
against the faith: and that if they would point out to her where any
error was, afterwards she would tell them what was said by her
counsellors. At all events if there was anything against the faith
which our Lord had commanded, she would not sustain it, and would be
very sorry to go against that. Here it was shown to her that there was
a Church militant and a Church triumphant, and she was asked if she
knew the difference between them. She was also required to put herself
under the jurisdiction of the Church, in respect to what she had done,
whether it was good or evil, but replied, "I will answer no more on
this point for the present."

Having thrown in this tentative question which she did not understand,
they returned to the question of her dress, which holds such an
important place in the entire interrogatory. If she were allowed to
hear mass as she wished, having been all this time deprived of
religious ordinances, did not she think it would be more honest and
befitting that she should go in the dress of a woman? To this she
replied vaguely, that she would much rather go to mass in the dress of
a woman than to retain her male costume and not to hear mass; and that
if she were certified that she should hear mass, she would be there in

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