Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc
Chapter 5
IMPRISONMENT AND TRIAL

The news of Joan's capture soon reached Paris, and within a few hours of that event becoming known, the Vicar-General of the Order of the Inquisition sent a letter to the Duke of Burgundy, accompanied by another from the University of Paris, praying that Joan of Arc might be delivered up to the keeping of Mother Church as a sorceress and idolatress. That terrible engine, the Inquisition, had, like some mighty reptile scenting its prey near, slowly unfolded its coils. Whether Bedford had or had not caused these letters to be sent the Duke is not known, but the Regent had both in the Church and the University of Paris the men he wanted—instruments by whom his vengeance could be worked on Joan of Arc; and he had the astuteness to see that in calling in the aid of the Church, and treating Joan of Arc as a heretic and witch, the rules of war could be laid aside. What no civilised body of men could do, namely, kill a prisoner of war, that thing could be done in the name and by the authority of the Church and its holy office; and in the Bishop of Beauvais, the inexorable Cauchon, Bedford had the tool necessary to his hand whereby this dastardly plot could be carried out.

The first move that Bedford now was obliged to take was to secure the victim; and in order to do so the Bishop of Beauvais was applied to. The name of Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, will go down to the latest posterity with the execration of humanity, for the part he played in the tragedy of the worst of judicial murders of which any record exists. Let us give even the devil his due. According to Michelet the Bishop was 'not a man without merit,' although the historian does not say in what Cauchon's merit consisted. Born at Rheims, he had been considered a learned priest when at the University of Paris; but he had the reputation of being a harsh and vindictive opponent to all who disagreed with his views, within or without the Church. He was forced to leave Paris, in 1413, for some misconduct. It was then that Cauchon became a strong partisan of the Duke of Burgundy. It was through the Duke that he obtained the See of Beauvais. The English also favoured Cauchon, and obtained for him a high post in the University of Paris. When the tide of French success reached Beauvais, in 1429, Cauchon was obliged to escape, and found shelter in England. There Winchester received him with cordiality. While in England, Cauchon became a thorough partisan of the English, and the humble servant of the proud Prince-Cardinal. Winchester promised Cauchon preferment, and, when the See of Rouen fell vacant, recommended the Pope to place Cauchon on its throne. The Pope, however, refused his consent, and the Rouen Chapters would hear naught of the Anglicised Bishop. At that time the Church at Rouen was at war with the University of Paris, and did not wish one of the members of that University placed over it.

Joan of Arc's place of capture happened to be in the diocese of Beauvais, and although Cauchon was now only nominally Bishop of Beauvais, he still retained that title. Cauchon now placed himself, body and soul, at the disposal of the English, hoping thereby sooner to obtain the long-coveted Archbishopric of Rouen in exchange for helping his friends to the utmost in his power by furthering their schemes and in ridding them of their prisoner once and for ever. The bait held out by Winchester and Bedford was the Archbishopric of Rouen, and eagerly did Cauchon seize his prey. What added to his zeal was his wish to gratify base feelings of revenge on those who had thrust him out of his Bishopric of Beauvais, and on her without whose deeds he might have still been living in security in his palatial home there.

After a consultation with the leaders of the University of Paris, Cauchon arrived at the Burgundian camp before Compiègne on the 14th of July, and claimed Joan of Arc as prisoner from the keeping of the Duke of Burgundy. Cauchon justified his demand by letters which he had obtained from the doctors of the University, and he made the offer in the name of the child-king of England. The sum handed over for the purchase of the prisoner was 10,000 livres tournois, equivalent to 61,125 francs of French money of to-day—about £2400 sterling. This was the ordinary price in that day for the ransom of any prisoner of high rank. Luxembourg, to his shame and that of his order, consented to the sale on those terms, and Cauchon soon returned with the news of his bargain to his English employers.

The whole transaction sounds more like what one might expect to have occurred amongst an uncivilised nation rather than among a people who prided themselves on their chivalry and their usages of fair-play in matters relating to warfare. That a high dignitary of the Church, and a countryman of Joan of Arc, should have bought her from a prince, the descendant of emperors and kings, also a countryman of the heroic Maid's, for English gold, is bad enough; and that the so-called 'good' Duke of Burgundy should have been a silent spectator of the infamous transaction, brands all the actors as among the most sordid and meanest of individuals. But what is infinitely worse is the fact that no steps appear to have been taken by Charles to rescue the Maid, or to attempt an exchange of her for any other prisoner or prisoners.

Thus Joan of Arc, bound literally hand and foot, was led like a lamb to the shambles, not a hand being raised by those for whom she had done such great and noble deeds.

The University of Paris, whose decisions carried so great a weight in the issue of the trial of the Maid of Orleans, consisted at this period of an ecclesiastical body of doctors; but as far as its attributes consisted it was a body secular, and holding an independent position owing to its many privileges. The University was a political as well as an ecclesiastical body, supreme under the Pope above the whole of the Gallican Church. Although divided into two parties through the war then raging between England and France, its judicature was greatly influenced by the Church. It was a matter of certainty that the Doctors of Theology who sat in the University of Paris, and who were all, or nearly all, French by birth, would favour the English, and give an adverse decision to that of those French ecclesiastics who had examined into Joan's life and character when assembled at Poitiers, and who then considered her to be acting under the influence and with the protection of the Almighty.

As a prisoner, Joan of Arc's behaviour was as modest and courageous as it had been in her days of success and liberty. In the first times of her durance, d'Aulon, who, as we mentioned, had been captured at the same time, appears to have been allowed to remain with her. On his telling her that he feared Compiègne would now probably be taken by the enemy, Joan of Arc said such a thing could not occur, 'For all the places,' she added, 'which the King of Heaven has placed in the keeping of King Charles by my means will never again be retaken by his enemies, at any rate as long as he cares to keep them.'

Although willing to endure for the sake of her beloved country all the cruelty her enemies could inflict upon her, Joan was most anxious to return in order to continue her mission. While in the castle of Beaulieu she made a desperate attempt to escape. She managed to squeeze herself between two beams of wood placed across an opening in her prison, and was on the point of leaving her dungeon tower when one of the jailers caught sight of her, and she was retaken. Probably in consequence of this attempt, Joan of Arc, after an imprisonment of four months at Beaulieu, was transferred thence by Ligny to his castle of Beaurevoir, near the town of Cambrai, a place far removed from the neighbourhood of the war, and consequently more secure than Beaulieu. At Beaurevoir lived the wife and the aunt of Ligny; they showed some attention and compassion to the prisoner. They offered her some of their dresses, and tried to persuade her to quit her male attire. Joan, however, refused: she gave as her reason for not complying with their request that the time had not yet arrived for her to cease wearing the clothes she had worn during the time of her mission. That she had good reason not to don woman's attire even when at Beaurevoir, and keep to her male attire as a protection, is probable, as she was not safe from wanton insult at the hands of the rough soldiery placed about her person. This clinging to her male dress, we shall see, under similar circumstances at Rouen, was the principal indictment made against her by her executioners.

At Beaurevoir Joan of Arc was placed in a chamber at the top of a high tower, whence Ligny thought that no attempt at escape would be made, but Joan of Arc tried once again to recover her liberty. In the course of her trial she told her judges how her voices counselled her not again to make this venture, and of her perplexity whether she should obey them, or, at the risk of her life, escape from the clutches of the English, for at this time she knew that she had been sold to her bitterest foes.

What appears to have determined her decision was hearing that Compiègne was in imminent peril of falling into the hands of the English, and that the inhabitants would be massacred. In her desperation, feeling, like young Arthur, that

'The wall is high; and yet will I leap down:—
Good ground, be pitiful, and hurt me not!...
As good to die, and go, as die, and stay'

she knotted some thongs together and let herself out of a window; but the thongs broke, and she fell from a great height—the tower is supposed to have been no less than sixty feet high. She was found unconscious at its foot, and for several days she was not expected to recover from the injuries she had received. But she was doomed for a far more terrible death.

For several days Joan of Arc took no nourishment. Gradually she revived, and she told her jailers that her beloved Saint Catherine had visited and comforted her; and she also told them that she knew Compiègne would not be taken, and would be free from its enemies before the Feast of Saint Martin.

Beaurevoir is now a ruin: although above the lintel can still be seen the coat-of-arms of the jailer of the Maid, the tower in which she was imprisoned, and from which she so nearly met her death, has been destroyed.

In the month of November of that year (1430), in spite of the entreaties of his wife and aunt, Ligny delivered up his prisoner into the custody of the Duke of Burgundy, from whose keeping she was soon transferred into that of the English.

On the 20th of November the University of Paris sent a message to Cauchon, advising him to bring Joan of Arc before a tribunal. Cauchon, however, waited the arrival of Winchester, bringing with him his great-nephew, Henry VI. Winchester arrived with the boy-king on the 2nd of December. The Cardinal intended the function of the crowning of his great-nephew to be as imposing a ceremony as possible; and he also meant, by defaming the source of the French King's successes, to show the French people that Charles' coronation at Rheims had been brought about by what the Regent Bedford called a 'limb of the evil one.' It was, therefore, Bedford's plan that it should be declared before the world that Joan of Arc was inspired by Satanic agencies, and that consequently the French King's coronation was also due to these agencies. By similar means it would be made clear that all the French victories were owing to the same influence; for were it not, argued the English, they would be proved to have been themselves fighting against and defeated by—not the spirit of evil but—the spirit of righteousness.

Nothing, indeed, could be clearer than Winchester's argument. It was now only necessary that Joan of Arc should be at once placed on her trial as a sorceress and a witch—one who was in league with the evil one; and, when that had been satisfactorily proved, that she should publicly meet with the fate which a merciful Church had, in its infinite wisdom, ordained for such as she. Thus would the English army and people be avenged, and the French King's crown and prerogative suffer an irreparable damage.

From Beaurevoir, Joan of Arc was first taken to the town of Arras, thence to Crotoy, where, about the 21st of November, she was handed over to the English.

A chronicler of that day writes that the English rejoiced as greatly on that occasion as if they had received all the wealth of Lombardy. The Duke of Burgundy had never merited the title of 'Good,' which, somehow or other, has been linked with his name. Had he been the most virtuous of princes of any time, he yet deserves to have his memory branded for the part he then took in the sale of Joan of Arc—a transaction whereof the poor excuse of not losing the benefits of his alliance with the English avails nothing. For this, if nothing else, we reverse the good fame which lying history has accorded him.

In the underground portion of a tower at Crotoy, still to be seen, although the upper part has disappeared, facing the sea, is a door-way, which local tradition points out as that of the dungeon of Joan of Arc. Crotoy, or Le Crotoy, is on the coast of Picardy, a little to the north of Abbeville. In the fifteenth century it was a place of some warlike importance, especially to the English. Its situation near the coast, and the strength of its fortress, made Le Crotoy one of the principal places on the sea line, whence stores and war provender could be carried into France. Le Crotoy had fallen into possession of the English through the marriage of Henry III. with Eleanor of Castille, Countess of Ponthieu, of which Crotoy formed a part. During the hundred years' war, the port could receive vessels of considerable tonnage; and from this point the booty taken by the English could be shipped and sent across the Channel. Now but a few vestiges can be traced of its once strong and ably fortified castle. A few years ago, a statue, representing the Maid of Orleans in the garb of a prisoner, was placed near the ruins of the castle in which she passed most of the month of December, 1430.

At Crotoy, Joan of Arc was permitted to assist at the celebration of the Mass in the chapel of the castle; and while here she received a visit from some of her admirers from Abbeville—a few noble hearts who still remained loyal to the once all-powerful deliveress of their country, now a poor and abandoned prisoner on her road to a long imprisonment and a cruel death! Touched by this mark of sympathy from these Abbeville folk, Joan gave them, on parting from them, her blessing, and asked them to remember her in their prayers. The enlightened clergy and doctors, lay and spiritual, who formed the body known as the University of Paris, preferred that Joan of Arc should be sent to the capital, there to undergo her trial, and wrote to this effect to Bedford, through the name of the boy-king. They also despatched a letter to Cauchon (probably inspired by Bedford), in which they rated him for not bringing the Maid at once to her trial. They told him he was showing a lamentable laxness in not immediately punishing the scandals which had been committed under his jurisdiction against the Christian religion.

Paris was not considered enough of a safe place to take Joan of Arc into; the French lay too near its walls, and the loyalty of its citizens to the English was a doubtful quantity. Besides, it was not convenient that the University of Paris should be allowed the entire direction of the trial. It was well that the University should be made use of; but Cauchon relied on the Inquisition to carry out his and Bedford's plan. Cauchon must be the principal agent and judge, and he felt, with Bedford, that they had a freer hand if the trial were to be at Rouen; therefore Rouen was decided on as the place of trial and punishment. Rouen, also, being in the midst of the English possessions, was perfectly safe from attack, should it occur to any of Joan of Arc's countrymen to attempt a rescue.

At the close of December Joan of Arc was taken across the river Somme, in a boat, to Saint Valery, and thence, strongly guarded, and placed on horseback, she was led along the Normandy coast by Eure and Dieppe to the place of her martyrdom. On arriving at Rouen it was seriously debated by some of her captors whether or not she should be at once put to death. They suggested her being sewn into a sack and thrown into the river! The reason these people gave for summarily disposing of Joan of Arc without form or trial was that, as long as she lived, there was no security for the English in France. As has already been noticed, those who commanded and sided with the English were desirous that Joan of Arc should be first branded as a witch and a sorceress, both by the doctors of the Church and by the State, before being put to death.

Arrived at Rouen, Joan of Arc was immured in the old fortress built by Philip Augustus. One tower alone remains of the seven massive round towers which surrounded the circular castle. Her jailers had the barbarity to place their prisoner in an iron cage, in which she was fastened with iron rings and chains, one at the neck, another at the hands, and a third confining the feet. Joan was thus caged as if she were a wild animal until her trial commenced. After that, she was chained to a miserable truckle bed.

A chronicler of that time, named Macy, tells the following story of an incident which, for the sake of English manhood, one trusts is untrue. Among others who went to see Joan of Arc in her prison came one day the Earl of Warwick, with Lord Stafford and Ligny—Joan's former jailer. The latter told her in a jeering way that he had come to buy her back from the English, provided she promised never again to make war against them.

'You are mocking me,' said Joan of Arc. 'For I know that you have not the power to do that, neither the will.' And she added, 'I know well that these English will kill me, thinking that by doing so they will reconquer the kingdom of France; but even if there were one hundred thousand Godons more in France than there are now, they will never again conquer the kingdom!'

On hearing these words Stafford drew his dagger, and would have struck her had not Warwick prevented the cowardly act.

Cauchon formed his tribunal of the following:—

1. John Graverent, a Dominican priest, D.D., Grand Inquisitor of France. It was he who appointed John Lemaître as judge in the trial of the Maid. The following July this Graverent preached a sermon in Paris, in which he glorified the death of Joan of Arc.

2. John Lemaître, who represented the Inquisition on the trial. He was a Dominican prior. He appears to have been a feeble-minded creature, and a mere tool of Cauchon and Graverent.

3. Martin Bellarme, D.D., another Dominican, and also a member of the Inquisition.

4. John d'Estivet, surnamed 'Bénédicité,' canon of Beauvais and Bayeux, was another of Cauchon's creatures. He acted the part of Procureur-Général during the trial. D'Estivet was a gross and cruel ecclesiastic, and it is somewhat satisfactory to know his end. He was found dead in a muddy ditch soon after Joan of Arc's death. As M. Fabre justly says, 'He perished in his native element.'

5. John de la Fontaine, M.A. He was Conseille d'Instruction during the trial. In the course of it he was threatened by Cauchon for having given some friendly advice to the prisoner, and escaped from Rouen before the conclusion of the trial.

6, 7, 8. William Manchon, William Colles, and Nicolas Taquel, all three recorders. They belonged to the Church. It is to Manchon that we are indebted for a summary of the most interesting account of the trial. We shall find that at the time of Joan's execution this man was horrified at the part he had taken in it. He confesses his horror at having received money for his infamy, but instead of casting his blood-money at the feet of Cauchon, and hanging himself like another Judas, he somewhat naïvely informs us that he laid it out in the purchase of a breviary in order to pray for the soul of the martyr.

9. Massieu, another priest, who acted as the sheriffs officer. He appears to have had feelings of humanity, and attended Joan to the end.

10. Louis de Luxembourg, Bishop of Thérouenne and the Chancellor of France to King Henry VI. This bishop was the go-between of Cauchon and Winchester throughout the trial; but he only appears to have taken part in these occasions during the examinations. It was he who was made Archbishop of Rouen, which post Cauchon had hoped to gain; and it was for this archbishopric that Cauchon had taken the presiding post during the trial.

11. John de Mailly, Bishop of Noyon; he was another staunch auxiliary of Cauchon. In the year 1456, at the trial for the rehabilitation of Joan of Arc's memory, Mailly signed his name among those who condemned the deed he had helped to carry out.

12. Zanon de Castiglione, Bishop of Lisieux. One of the reasons that this man gave for condemning Joan of Arc to the stake was that she was born in too low a rank of life to have been inspired by God. This decision makes one wonder so aristocratic a prelate could demean himself by belonging to a religion which owed its origin to One who had followed the trade of a carpenter.

13. Philibert de Montjeu, Bishop of Coutances.

14. John de Saint Avét, Bishop of Avranches. The latter was the only one of the above Bishops, Dominicans, and members of the French Church who gave his vote against the condemnation of Joan of Arc, although the trial minutes have not recorded the fact.

Besides the above French prelates, were:—

15. John Beaupère, M.A. and D.D., formerly a rector of the University of Paris, also a canon of Besançon. It was he who, with the following five representatives of the University of Paris, took the most prominent part in the cross-questioning of the prisoner.

16. Thomas de Courcelles, a canon of Amiens, of Thérouenne, and of Laon. This person was employed to read the articles of accusation to the prisoner, and was in favour of employing torture to make Joan confess what was required of her by her prosecutors. He was considered one of the shining lights of the University of Paris. He died in 1469, and until the Revolution an engraved slab, on which his virtues and learning were recorded, covered his remains.

17. Gerard Feuillet. He was sent to Paris during the trial in order to lay the twelve articles of accusation before the University, and did not take part in the latter portion of the trial.

18. Nicolas Midi, D.D., a celebrated preacher. He is supposed to have been the author of the twelve articles; and he it was who preached a sermon at the time of the execution of Joan of Arc. Attacked soon after by leprosy, he sufficiently recovered to see Charles VII. enter Paris; and he had the audacity to send the King an address of felicitation in the name of the faculties of the University by whose instrumentality Joan of Arc had been executed.

19. Peter Morice, a doctor of the University and a canon of Rouen. He was one of the most eager to bring Joan to the stake.

20. James de Touraine, also a doctor of the University, was violently hostile to Joan of Arc.

The above six doctors, with Cauchon, were those who had most to do with the proceedings of the trial, and those whose duty it was principally to question the prisoner.

21. Nicolas Loiseleur, M.A., a canon of Rouen; he was the most abject of all the gang of priests and doctors who formed part of this infamous tribunal. It was Loiseleur who, in the disguise of a layman, attempted to worm secrets from Joan, pretending to be her friend and sympathiser. When he found he gained nothing by the subterfuge, he resumed his clerical garb, and succeeded in getting, under the promise of secrecy from his order, a confession from the prisoner. He also introduced spies into the prison who took notes of Joan's words. When the idea was mooted of putting Joan of Arc to the torture, Loiseleur was one of the most urgent for it to be applied. However, on the day of the execution this man, who, strange as it may seem, appears to have had some kind of conscience, or at least to have been able to feel remorse for the base part he had played in the trial of the Maid, implored Joan of Arc's forgiveness. He, however, after the execution, helped Cauchon to spread calumnies regarding their victim. This infamous scoundrel died suddenly at Basle.

22. Raoul Roussel de Vernon, D.C.L., and the canon treasurer of the Cathedral of Rouen. He acted throughout the trial as reporter. In 1443 Roussel became Archbishop of Rouen.

23. Robert Barbier, also a D.C.L., and canon of Rouen Cathedral.

24. Nicolas Coppequesne, also a canon of Rouen Cathedral.

25. Nicolas de Venderès, a canon of Rouen, and Cauchon's chaplain.

26. John Alessée, also a canon of Rouen. This Alessée was greatly moved at the heroine's death, and exclaimed, 'I pray to God my soul may one day be where hers is now.'

27. Raoul Auguy, another canon.

28. William de Baubribosc, also a canon of Rouen.

29. John Brullot, another canon and precentor of Rouen.

30. John Basset, another canon and a M.A.

31. John Brullot, another canon. Besides these were seventeen others, named Caval, Columbel, Cormeilles, Crotoy, Duchemin, Dubesert, Garin, Gastinel, Ledoux, Leroy, Maguerie, Manzier, Morel, Morellet, Pinchon, Saulx, and Pasquier de Vaux, who became Bishop of Meaux, Evreux, and Lisieux. In all, nine-and-twenty canons of Rouen.

After these came a list of mitred abbots, priors, and heads of religious houses: Peter de Crique, Prior of Sigy; William Lebourg, Prior of the College of Saint Lô of Rouen; Peter Migiet, Prior of Longueville.

After these priors came eleven abbots: Durement, Abbot of Fécamp, later Bishop of Coutances; Benel, Abbot of Courcelles; De Conti, Abbot of Sainte Catherine; Dacier, Abbot of Saint Corneille of Compiègne; Frique, Abbot of Bee; Jolivet, Abbot of Saint Michael's Mount in Normandy; Labbé, Abbot of Saint George de Bocherville; Leroux, Abbot of Jumièges; Du Masle, Abbot of Saint Ouen; Moret, Abbot of Préaux; and Theroude, Abbot of Mortemer.

Besides these there were many doctors and assessors from the University of Paris; among the latter lot appears the name of an English priest, William Haiton, a secretary of Henry VI. He and William Alnwick, Bishop of Norwich, Privy Seal to the English King, are the only two names belonging to the English clergy who took part in the trial. The Cardinal of Winchester never once appeared during the proceedings, although he was, together with Cauchon, the prime mover in the business. To complete the list of the other French clergy—French only by birth and nationality indeed—must be added the names of Chatillon, Archdeacon of Evreux; Erard, Canon of Langres, Laon, and Beauvais; Martin Ladvenu, a Dominican priest, one of the few who showed some humanity to the prisoner. It was Ladvenu who heard her confession on the day of her execution, and who after her death testified to her saintliness. Isambard de la Pierre, also a Dominican. Although he voted for her death, de la Pierre showed signs of pity and compassion for his victim, and assisted her at her last moments. Testimony to her pure character was given by him in the time of her rehabilitation. Besides these were Emenyart, Fiexvet, Guerdon, Le Fèvre, Delachambre, and Tiphanie, all of whom, with the exception of the last two, who were doctors of medicine, were members of the University. As we have already stated, out of this vast crowd of ecclesiastics and a few laymen, only two Englishmen took part in the trial. But the immediate guard of the prisoner was composed of English soldiers—namely, of the following: John Gris, an English knight, one of Henry's bodyguard, who was in personal attendance on Joan of Arc; also John Berwoit (?) and William Talbot, subordinator to Gris. These men commanded a set of soldiers called houspilleurs, placed in the cell of the prisoner day and night. According to J. Bellow's pocket dictionary, the term houspilleur is derived from the old French term houspiller—Ang. 'to worry.' And these fellows certainly carried out that meaning of the word.

If anything is needed to prove what an important case the English and those allied to them in France considered that of Joan of Arc, the great number of prelates and doctors assembled to judge her is sufficient to show. The doctors who had been summoned to attend the trial, and who had come to Rouen from Paris, were well paid by Winchester. Some of the receipts are still in existence. The Inquisition and Cauchon also received pay from the English Government.

Besides money, as we have said, Cauchon expected also to receive the Archbishopric of Rouen for his zeal in bringing Joan of Arc to the stake. Cupidity, lust of place and power, and fear of the enemies of the French were the principal motives which influenced these men, whose names should for ever be execrated. In truth, a vulgar greed induced them to destroy one of the noblest creatures that had ever honoured humanity.

The procès-verbal and the minutes of the trial were written in Latin, and translated by Thomas de Courcelles; only a portion of the original translation has been preserved. There were three reporters who took notes during the trial—Manchon, Colles, and Taquel. The notes in Latin, written as the trial proceeded, were collected in the evenings, and translated into French by Manchon.

One difficult question arises—namely, are these notes to be relied on? Manchon appears to have been honest in his writing, but Cauchon was not to be trifled with in what he wished noted, as the following instance will show. A sheriff's officer, named Massieu, was overheard to say that Joan of Arc had done nothing worthy of the death sentence. It was repeated to Cauchon, who threatened to have Massieu drowned. When Isambert de la Pierre advised Joan to submit herself to the Council then holding meetings at Bâle, to which she assented, Cauchon shouted out, 'In the devil's name hold your peace!' On being asked by Manchon whether the prisoner's wish to submit her case to the Council at Bâle should be placed on the minutes of the trial, Cauchon roughly refused. Joan of Arc overhearing this, said, 'You write down what is against my interest, but not what is in my favour.' But we think the truth comes out, on the whole, pretty clearly; and we have in the answers of Joan to her judges, however much these answers may have been altered to suit Cauchon's views and ultimate object, a splendid proof of her presence of mind and courage. This she maintained day after day in the face of that crowd of enemies who left no stone unturned, no subtlety of law or superstition disused, to bring a charge of guilt against her.

No victory of arms that Joan of Arc might have accomplished, had her career continued one bright and unclouded success, could have shown in a grander way the greatness of her character than her answers and her bearing during the entire course of her examinations before her implacable enemies, her judicial murderers.

After holding some preliminary and private meetings, in which Cauchon, with some of the prelates, drew up a series of articles of indictment against the prisoner, the first public sitting of the tribunal took place in the chapel of the castle, in the same building in which Joan was imprisoned.

This was on the 21st of February, 1431. As we have said, from the day of her arrival in Rouen, at the end of December of the previous year, till this 21st day of February, Joan had been kept in an iron cage—a martyrdom of fifty days' daily and nightly torture. During the trial her confinement was less barbarous, but she was kept chained to a wooden bed, and the only wonder is that she did not succumb to this barbarous imprisonment. We shall see that she fell seriously ill, and the English at one time feared she would die a natural death, and defeat their object of having her exposed and destroyed as a witch and a heretic.

On the day before the meeting of the tribunal, Cauchon sent summonses for all the judges to attend. Joan of Arc had meanwhile made two demands, both of which were refused. One was, that an equal number of clergy belonging to the French party should form an equal number in the tribunal to those of the English faction. The other demand was that she should be allowed to hear Mass before appearing before the tribunal.

At eight in the morning of Wednesday, the 21st of February, Cauchon took his seat as presiding judge for the trial about to commence. Beneath him were ranged forty-three assessors—there were ninety-five assessors in all who took part in the trial. On the public days their numbers varied from between forty to sixty.

The prisoner was led into the chapel by the priest Massieu. Cauchon opened the proceedings with the following harangue:—

'This woman,' he said, pointing to Joan of Arc, 'this woman has been seized and apprehended some time back, in the territory of our diocese of Beauvais. Numerous acts injurious to the orthodox faith have been committed by her, not merely in our diocese, but in many other regions. The public voice which accuses her of such crimes has become known throughout Christendom, and quite recently the high and very Christian Prince, our lord the King, has delivered her up and given her in our custody in order that a trial in the cause of religion shall be made, as it seemeth right and proper. For as much in the eyes of public opinion, and owing to certain matters which have come to our knowledge'—(Cauchon here refers to the information that he sought to obtain from Domremy: as nothing could be learnt there but what redounded to Joan of Arc's credit, no further use was made of the information by the Bishop)—'we have, with the assistance of learned doctors in religious and civil law, called you together in order to examine the said Joan, in order that she be examined on matters relating to faith. Therefore,' he continued, 'we desire in this trial that you fill the duty of your office for the preservation and exaltation of the Catholic faith; and, with the Divine assistance of our Lord, we call upon you to expedite these proceedings for the welfare of your consciences, that you speak the plain and honest truth, without subterfuge or concealment, on all questions that will be made you touching the faith. And in the first place we call upon you to take the oath in the form prescribed. Swear, the hands placed on the Gospels, that you will answer the truth in the questions that will be asked you.'

The latter words the Bishop had addressed to Joan; who answered that she knew not on what Cauchon would question her. 'Perhaps,' she said, 'you will ask me things about which I cannot answer you.'

'Will you swear,' said Cauchon, 'to tell the truth respecting the things which will be asked you concerning the faith, and of which you are cognisant?'

'Of all things regarding my family, and what things I have done since coming into France, I will gladly answer; but, as regards the revelation which I have received from God, I have never revealed to any one, except to Charles my King, and I will never reveal these things, even if my head were to be cut off, because my voices have ordered me not to confide these things to any one save the King. But,' she continued, 'in eight days' time I shall know whether or not I may be allowed to tell you about them.'

Cauchon then repeated his question to the prisoner, namely, whether she would answer any questions put to her regarding matters of faith, and the Gospels were placed before her. The prisoner, kneeling, laid her hands upon them, and swore to speak the truth in what was asked her as regarded matters of faith.

'What is your name?' asked Cauchon.

J.—'In my home I was called Jeannette. Since I came to France I was called Joan. I have no surname.'

C.—'Where were you born?'

J.—'At Domremy, near Greux. The principal church is at Greux.'

C.—'What are your parents' names?'

J.—'My father's name is James d'Arc; my mother's, Isabella.'

C.—'Where were you baptized?'

J.—'At Domremy.'

Cauchon then asked her the names of her god-parents, who baptized her, her age (she was about nineteen), and what her education amounted to.

'I have learnt,' Joan said, in answer to the last question, 'from my mother the Paternoster, the Ave Maria, and the Belief. All that I know has been taught me by my mother.'

Cauchon then called upon her to repeat the Lord's Prayer.

In trials for heresy the prisoners had to repeat this prayer before the judges. At the commencement of Joan of Arc's trial the crime of magic was brought against her, but as Cauchon completely failed to find any evidence for such a charge against his prisoner, he altered the charge of magic into one of heresy. It was probably supposed that a heretic would be unable to repeat the prayer and the creed, being under diabolic influence.

Joan of Arc then asked whether she might make her confession before the tribunal. Cauchon refused this request, but told her that he would send some one to whom she might confess. He then warned her that if she were to leave her prison she would be condemned as a heretic. Considering the way she was chained to her cell, it sounds strange that Cauchon should fear her flight.

'I have never,' the Maid said, 'given my promise not to attempt to escape if I can.'

'Have you anything to complain about?' asked the Bishop; and Joan then said how cruelly she was fastened by chains round her body and her feet. Probably, had she then promised not to escape from prison, this severity would have been relaxed, but Joan of Arc had not the spirit to stoop to her persecutors; she would not give her word not to get free if she could. 'The hope of escape is allowed to every prisoner,' she bravely said.

At the close of the sitting, John Gris, the English knight who had the chief charge over the prisoner, with the two soldiers Berwoit and Talbot, were called, and took an oath not to allow the prisoner to see any one without Cauchon's permission, and to strictly guard the prisoner. And with that the first day's trial ended.

Manchon, in his minutes on the day's proceedings, says that shouts and interruptions interfered with the reporters and their notes, and that Joan of Arc was repeatedly interrupted. Cauchon had placed some of his clerks behind the tapestry in the depth of a window of the chapel, whose duty it was to make a garbled copy of Joan of Arc's answers to suit the Bishop.

Possibly finding the chapel of the castle too small for the number of people present at the trial, the next meeting of the judges was held in a different place, more suitable—namely, in the great hall of the castle. That second day's trial took place on the 22nd of February. The tribunal consisted of Cauchon and forty-seven assessors.

Cauchon commenced the proceedings by introducing John Lemaître, vicar of the Inquisition, to the judges, after which Joan was brought into the hall—a splendid chamber used on happier occasions for festivities and Court pageants.

Cauchon again commanded the prisoner to take the oath, as on the first day's trial. She said that she had already once sworn to speak nothing but the truth, and that that should suffice. Cauchon still insisted, and again Joan replied that as far as any question was put to her regarding faith and religion she had promised to answer, but that she could not promise more, and Cauchon failed to get anything more from her.

The Bishop then applied to one of the doctors of theology to examine and cross-question the prisoner. This man's name was Beaupère.

B.—'In the first place, Joan, I will exhort you to tell the truth, as you have sworn to do, on all that I may have to ask you.'

J.—'You may ask me questions on which I shall be able to answer you, and on others about which I cannot. If you were well informed about me you should wish me out of your power. All that I have done has been the work of revelation.'

B.—'How old were you when you left your home?'

J.—'I do not exactly know.'

B.—'Did you learn any trade at home?'

J.—'Yes, to sew and to spin, and for that I am not afraid to be matched by any woman in Rouen?'

B.—'Did you not once leave your father's house before you left it altogether?'

J.—'We left for fear of the Burgundians, and I once left my father's house and went to Neufchâteau in Lorraine, to visit a woman named La Rousse, where I remained for fifteen days.'

B.—'What was your occupation when at home?'

J.—'When I was with my father I looked after the household affairs, and I went but seldom with the sheep and cattle to the fields.'

B.—'Did you make your confession every year?'

J.—'Yes, to my curate, and when he was prevented hearing it, to another priest, with my curate's permission. I think on two or three occasions I have confessed to mendicant friars. That happened at Neufchâteau. I took the Communion at Easter.'

B.—'Have you received the Eucharist at other festivals besides that of Easter?'

Joan of Arc said that what she had already told regarding this question was sufficient.

'Passez outre' is the term she used, not an easy one to translate. Perhaps 'that will suffice' is like it.

Beaupère now began questioning Joan of Arc regarding 'her voices,' and one can imagine how eagerly this portion of the prisoner's examination must have been listened to by all present.

'When did you first hear the voices?' asked Beaupère.

'I was thirteen,' answered Joan, 'when I first heard a voice coming from God to help me to live well. That first time I was much alarmed. The voice came to me about mid-day; it was in the summer, and I was in my father's garden.'

'Had you been fasting?' asked Beaupère.

J.—'Yes, I had been fasting.'

B.—'Had you fasted on the day before?'

J.—'No, I had not.'

B.—'From what direction did the voices come?'

J.—'I heard the voice coming from my right—from towards the church.'

B.—'Was the voice accompanied with a bright light?'

J.—'Seldom did I hear it without seeing a bright light. The light came from the same side as did the voice, and it was generally very brilliant. When I came into France I often heard the voices very loud.'

B.—'How could you see the light when you say it was at the side?'

To this question Joan gave no direct answer, but she said that when she was in a wood she would hear the voices coming towards her.

'What,' next asked Beaupère, 'what did you think this voice which manifested itself to you sounded like?'

J.—'It seemed to me a very noble voice, and I think it was sent to me by God. When I heard it for the third time I recognised it as being the voice of an angel.'

B.—'Could you understand it?'

J.—'It was always quite clear, and I could easily understand it.'

B.—'What advice did it give you regarding the salvation of your soul?'

J.—'It told me to conduct myself well, and to attend the services of the Church regularly; and it told me that it was necessary that I should go to France.'

B.—'In what manner of form did the voice appear?'

J.—'As to that I will give you no answer.'

B.—'Did that voice solicit you often?'

J.—'It said to me two or three times a week, "Leave your village and go to France."'

B.—'Did your father know of your departure?'

J.—'He knew nothing about it. The voice said, "Go to France," so I could not remain at home any longer.'

B.—'What else did it say to you?'

J.—'It told me that I should raise the siege of Orleans.'

B.—'Was that all?'

J.—'The same voice told me to go to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudricourt, captain of that place, and that he would give me soldiers to accompany me on my journey; and I answered it, that I was a poor girl who did not know how to ride, neither how to fight.'

B.—'What did you do then?'

J.—'I went to my uncle, and told him that I wished to remain with him for some time, and I lived with him eight days. I then told him that I must go to Vaucouleurs, and he took me there. When I arrived there I recognised Robert de Baudricourt, although it was the first time that I saw him.'

B.—'How, then, did you recognise him?'

J.—'I knew him through my voices. They said to me, "This is the man," and I said to him, "I must go to France." Twice he refused to listen to me. The third time he received me. The voices had told me this would happen.'

B.—'Had you not some business with the Duke of Lorraine?'

J.—'The Duke ordered that I should be brought to him. I went and said to him, "I must go to France." The Duke asked me how he should recover his health. I told him I knew nothing about that.'

B.—'Did you speak much to him about your journey?'

J.—'I told him very little about it. But I asked him to allow his son, with some soldiers, to go to France with me, and that I should pray God to cure him. I had gone to him with a safe conduct. After leaving him I returned to Vaucouleurs.'

B.—'How were you dressed when you left Vaucouleurs?'

J.—'When I left Vaucouleurs I wore a man's dress. I had on a sword which Robert de Baudricourt had given me, without any other arms. I was accompanied by a knight, a squire, and four servants. We went to the town of Saint Urban, and I passed that night in the abbey. On the way, we passed through the town of Auxerre, where I attended mass in the principal church. At that time I heard my voices often, with that one of which I have already spoken.'

B.—'Tell me, now, by whose advice did you come to wear the dress of a man?'

Joan of Arc refused to answer, in spite of being repeatedly told to do so.

B.—'What did Baudricourt say to you when you left?'

J.—'He made them who went with me promise to take charge of me, and as I left he said, "Go, and let come what may!"' (Advienne que pourra!)

B.—'What do you know regarding the Duke of Orleans, now a prisoner in England?'

J.—'I know that God protects the Duke of Orleans, and I have had more revelations about the Duke than about any other person in the world, with the exception of the King.'

She was now again asked as to who it was who had advised her to wear male attire. She said it was necessary that she should dress in that manner.

'Did your voice tell you so?' was asked her.

'I believe my voice gave me good advice,' she answered.

B.—'What did you do on arriving at Orleans?'

J.—'I sent a letter to the English before Orleans. In it I told them to depart; a copy of this letter has been read to me here in Rouen. There are two or three sentences in that copy which were not in my letter. For instance, "Give back to the Maiden" should read, "Give back to the King." Also these words, "Troop for troop" and "Commander-in-chief," which were not in my letters.'

In this Joan of Arc was mistaken, M. Fabre points out in his Life of the Maid of Orleans, the text being the same both in the original and in the copy of the letter.

B.—'When at Chinon, could you see as often as you wished him you call your King?'

J.—'I used to go whenever I wished to see my King. When I arrived at the village of Sainte Catherine de Fierbois, I sent a messenger to Chinon to the King. We arrived about mid-day at Chinon, and lodged at an inn. After dinner I went to see the King at the castle.'

Either here Joan of Arc, or the reporter, which is more likely, makes a slip, as she did not see Charles till two days after her arrival at Chinon.

B.—'Who pointed out the King to you?'

J.—'When I entered the chamber I recognised the King from among all the others, my voices having revealed him to me. I told the King that I wished to go and make war on the English.'

B.—'When your voices revealed your King to you, were they accompanied by any light?'

Joan made no answer.

B.—'Did you see any angel above the figure of the King?'

'Spare me such questions,' pleaded Joan; but the Inquisitor was not to be so easily put off, and repeated the question again and again, until Joan said that the King had also seen visions and heard revelations.

'What were these revelations?' asked the priest.

This Joan refused to answer, and told Beaupère that he might, if he liked, send to Charles and ask him.

'Did you expect the King to see you?' then asked the priest.

Her answer was that the voice had promised her that the King would soon see her after her arrival.

'And why,' asked Beaupère, 'did he receive you?'

'Those on my side,' said Joan, 'knew well that I was sent by God; they have known and acknowledged that voice.'

'Who?' asked Beaupère.

'The King and others,' answered Joan, 'have heard the voices coming to me. Charles of Bourbon also, and two or three others.'

(The Charles of Bourbon was the Count of Clermont.)

'Did you often hear that voice?' asked the priest.

'Not a day passes that I do not hear it,' Joan replied.

'What do you ask of it?' inquired Beaupère.

'I have never,' answered Joan, 'asked for any recompense, except the salvation of my soul.'

'Did the voice always encourage you to follow the army?'

'The voice told me to remain at Saint Denis. I wished to remain, but against my will the knights obliged me to leave. I would have remained had I had my free-will.'

'When were you wounded?' asked Beaupère.

'I was wounded,' Joan answered, 'in the moat before Paris, having gone there from Saint Denis. At the end of five days I recovered.'

'What did you attempt to do against Paris?'

Joan answered that she had made one skirmish (escarmouche) in front of Paris.

'Was it on a feast day?' asked the priest.

'It was,' replied Joan. And on being asked if she considered it right to make an attack on such a day, she refused to answer.

It is plain that the gist of those questions made by Beaupère was to try and make Joan of Arc avow that her voices had given her evil counsel. On the following day the same tactics were pursued.

The third meeting of the tribunal was held on the 24th of February, in the same chamber. Sixty-two assessors were present. Again Cauchon commenced by admonishing Joan to tell the truth on all subjects asked her, and again she protested that as far as her revelations were concerned she could give no answers. On Cauchon insisting, she said, 'Take care what you, who are my judge, undertake, for you take a terrible responsibility on yourself, and you presume too far. It is enough,' she added, 'that I have already twice taken the oath.'

Upon her saying this, Cauchon lost all control, and he stormed and threatened her with instant condemnation if she refused to take the oath.

'All the clergy in Paris and Rouen could not condemn me,' was the proud answer, 'if they had not the right to do so.' But, as on the previous occasions, she said she would willingly answer all questions relating to her deeds since leaving her home, but that it would take many days for her to tell them all. Wearied with the persistence and threats of her arch-tormentor, Cauchon, Joan said that she had been sent by God and wished to return to God. 'I have nothing more to do here,' she added.

Beaupère was again ordered to cross-examine the prisoner.

He began by asking her when she had last eaten.

'Not since yesterday at mid-day,' she said. (It was then Lent.)

Beaupère then began again to question her regarding the voice. When had she last heard it?

'On the previous day,' Joan said, 'and also on that day too.'

'At what o'clock of the day before?'

Thrice she had heard the voice in the morning, and once at the hour of Vespers, and again when the Ave Maria was being sung.

'What were you doing,' asked Beaupère, 'when the voices called you?'

'I was sleeping,' answered Joan, 'and the voice awoke me.'

'Did it awake you by touching your arm?'

'The voice awoke me without its touching me.'

'Was it in your room?'

'Not that I know, but it was in the castle.'

'Did you acknowledge it by kneeling?'

'I acknowledged its presence by sitting up and clasping my hands. I had begged for its help.'

'And what did it say to you?'

'It told me to answer boldly.'

'Tell us more clearly what it said to you.'

'I asked its advice in what I should answer, and bade it ask the Saviour for counsel. And the voice said, "Answer boldly; God will help you."'

'Had it said anything to you before you interrupted it?'

'Some words it had said which I did not clearly comprehend; but when fully awake I understood it to tell me to answer boldly.' Then, emboldened as it seemed by the recollection of that voice, she turned to Cauchon and exclaimed, 'You, Bishop, you tell me that you are my judge—have a care how you act, for in truth I am sent by God, and your position is one of great peril.'

Then Beaupère broke in again, and asked Joan of Arc if the voice had ever altered its advice, and whether it had told Joan not to answer all the questions that would be put to her.

'I cannot answer you about that,' said Joan. 'I have revelations of matters concerning the King which I shall not reveal.'

The Maid then asked whether she might wait for fifteen days, in order that, by that time, she might know whether she might, or might not, answer questions relating to this point.

The priest then asked whether she knew that the voice came from God.

'Yes,' she answered, 'and by this order—that,' she continued, 'I believe as firmly as I believe the Christian religion, and that God has saved us from the pains of hell.'

She was then asked if the voice was that of a male or of a female.

'It is a voice sent by God,' she only deigned to say to this.

Joan again asked for an interval of fifteen days, in order that she might better be able in that time to know how much she might reveal to her judges relating to her voices.

On being asked whether she believed the Almighty would be displeased at her telling the whole truth, she said that she had been ordered by the voices to reveal certain things to the King, and not to her judges; that her voices had told her that very night many things for the good of the King which he alone was to know.

But, asked Beaupère, could she not prevail on the voices to visit the King?

'I know not if the voices would consent,' she answered.

'But why,' then asked Beaupère, 'does the voice not speak to the King now, as it did formerly, when you were with him?'

'I know not if it be the wish of God,' Joan answered: 'without the grace of God I should be able to do nothing.'

This remark, most innocent to our comprehension, was afterwards made use of as a weapon to accuse the prisoner of the charge of heresy.

Later on in the day Beaupère asked Joan if the voice had form and features. This the prisoner refused to answer.

'There is a saying among children,' she said, 'that one is sometimes hanged for speaking the truth.'

On being asked by Beaupère if she was sure of being in a state of grace—a question to which he had carefully led up, and whereby Cauchon hoped to entrap her into a statement which might be used in the accusation of heresy he was now framing against Joan of Arc—her answer even disarmed the Bishop.

'If I am not, may God place me in it; if I am already, may He keep me in it.'

When that test question had been put to the prisoner, one of the judges, guessing the object of its being made, expostulated, to Cauchon's rage—who roughly bade him hold his peace.

To that triumphant reply Joan of Arc added these words: 'If I am not in God's grace I should be the most unhappy being in the world, and I do not think, were I living in sin, that my voices would come to me. Would,' she cried, 'that every one could hear them as well as I do myself!'

Beaupère then asked her about her childhood, and when she had first heard the voices. Asked if there were many people at Domremy in favour of the Burgundians, she said she only knew of one individual. Then came a string of questions about the fairy-well, the haunted oak-tree. All these questions Joan fully answered. She had never, she said, seen a fairy, nor had she heard the prophecy about the oak wood from which a maid was to come and deliver France. When asked if she would leave off wearing man's clothes, she said she would not, as it was the will of Heaven for her to wear them.

The fourth day of the trial was the 27th of February. Fifty-three judges were present. The usual attempt to make Joan take the oath was made to the prisoner by Cauchon, and she was again cross-examined by Beaupère. Again questioned as to her voices, she said that without their permission she could not say what they said to her relating to the King.

Asked if the voices came to her direct from God, or through some intermediary channel, she answered, 'The voices are those of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret; they wear beautiful crowns—of this I may speak, for they allow me to do so.' If, she added, her words were doubted, they might send to Poitiers, where she had already been questioned on the same subject.

'How do you distinguish one from the other?' asked Beaupère.

'By the manner in which they salute me,' Joan answered.

'How long have they been in communication with you?'

'I have been under their protection seven years,' was the answer.

Joan had referred to the succour which she had received from Saint Michel. On being asked which of these saints was the first to appear to her, she said it was the last named. She had seen him, she said, as clearly as she saw Beaupère, and that he was not by himself, but in a company of angels. When he left her she felt miserable, and longed to have been taken with the flight of angels.

When Beaupère asked her if it was her own idea to come into France, Joan replied in the affirmative, and also that she would sooner have been torn to pieces by horses than have come without the will of God.

'Does He,' asked the priest, 'tell you not to wear the man's dress? and had not Baudricourt,' he added, 'wished she should dress as a man?'

She said it was not by man's but by God's orders that she wore the dress of a man.

The questions again turned upon the vision and the voice.

Had an angel appeared above the head of the King at Chinon?

She answered that when she entered the King's presence, three hundred soldiers stood in the hall, and fifty torches burnt in the great hall of the castle, and that without counting the spiritual light within.

She was then asked respecting her examination before the clergy at Poitiers.

'They believed,' Joan answered, 'that there was nothing in me against matters of religion.'

Then Beaupère asked the prisoner if she had visited Sainte Catherine de Fierbois.

'Yes,' she answered; 'I heard mass there twice in one day, on my way to Chinon.'

'How did you communicate your message to the King?'

'I sent a letter asking him if I might be allowed to see him. That I had come one hundred and fifty miles to bring him assistance, and that I had much to do for him. I think,' she added, 'that I also said I should know him amongst all those who might be present.'

'Did you then wear a sword?' asked Beaupère.

'I had one that I had taken at Vaucouleurs.'

'Had you not another one as well?'

'Yes; I had sent to the church of Fierbois, either from Troyes or Chinon, for a sword from the back of the altar of Sainte Catherine. It was found, much rusted.'

'How did you know there was a sword there?'

'Through my voices. I asked in a letter that the sword should be given me, and the clergy sent me it. It lay underground—I am not certain whether at the front or at the back of the altar. It was cleaned by the people belonging to the church. They had a scabbard made for me; also one was made at Tours—one of velvet, the other of black cloth. I had also a third one for the Fierbois sword made of very strong leather.'

'Were you wearing that sword,' asked Beaupère, 'when you were captured?'

'No, I had not one then; I used to wear it constantly up to the time that I left Saint Denis, after the assault on Paris.'

'What benediction did you bestow on that sword?'

'None,' said Joan; and she added, on being questioned as to her feeling about the sword, that she had a particular liking for it, from its having been found in the Church of Sainte Catherine, her favourite saint.

Then Beaupère inquired whether Joan was not in the habit of placing this sword on the altar, in order to bring it good luck.

Joan answered in the negative.

'But then,' the priest asked, 'had she not prayed that it might bring her good fortune?'

'It is enough to know,' answered Joan, 'that I wished my armour might bring me good fortune.'

'What had become of the Fierbois sword?' asked the priest.

'I offered up at Saint Denis,' answered Joan, 'a sword and some armour, but not the Fierbois sword.'

'Had you it when at Lagny?' asked Beaupère.

'Yes,' answered the prisoner.

But between the time passed at Lagny and Compiègne she wore another sword, taken from a Burgundian soldier, which she said was a good weapon, able to deal shrewd blows. But she would not satisfy Beaupère's curiosity as to what had become of the sword of Fierbois: 'That,' she said, 'has nothing to do with the trial.'

Beaupère next inquired as to what had become of Joan of Arc's goods.

She said her brother had her horses and her goods; she said she believed the latter amounted to some twelve thousand écus.

'Had you not,' asked the priest, 'when you went to Orleans, a banner or pennon? Of what colour was that?'

'My banner had a field all covered with fleurs-de-lis. In it was represented the world, with angels on either side. It was white, made of white cloth, of a kind called coucassin. On it was written Jesu Maria. It was bordered with silk.'

'Which were you fondest of?' asked Beaupère,—'your banner or your sword?'

'I loved my banner,' was the answer, 'forty times as much as I did my sword.'

'Who painted your banner?'

This Joan would not say.

'Who bore your flag?' asked the priest.

Joan of Arc said she carried it herself when charging the enemy, 'in order,' she added, 'to avoid killing any one. I never killed any one,' she said.

'How many soldiers did the King give you,' asked the priest, 'when he gave you a command?'

'Between ten and twelve thousand men,' answered Joan.

Then Beaupère questioned her regarding the relief of Orleans, and he was told by the Maid that she first went to the redoubt of Saint Loup by the bridge.

'Did you expect,' was the next question, 'that you would be able to raise the siege?'

'Yes,' she was certain, Joan answered, from a revelation which she had received, and of which she had told the King before making the expedition.

'At the time of the assault,' asked Beaupère, 'did you not tell your soldiers that you alone would receive all the arrows, bolts, and stones discharged by the cannon and culverins?'

'No,' she answered, 'there were over a hundred wounded; but,' she added, 'I said to my people, "Be assured that you will raise the siege."'

'Were you wounded?' asked the priest.

'I was wounded,' Joan answered, 'at the assault of the fortress on the bridge. I was struck and wounded by an arrow or a dart; but I received much comfort from Saint Catherine, and I recovered in less than fifteen days. I recovered, and in spite of the wound I did not give up riding or working.'

'Did you know beforehand that you would be wounded?' asked Beaupère.

'Yes,' was the answer; 'and I had told my King I should be wounded. My saints had told me of it.'

'In what manner were you wounded?' he asked.

'I was,' she answered, 'the first to raise a ladder against the fortress at the bridge. While raising the ladder I was struck by the bolt.'

'Why,' now asked the priest, 'did you not come to terms with the English captains at Jargeau?'

'The knights about me,' she answered, 'told the English that they could not have a truce of fifteen days, which they wanted; but that they and their horses must leave the place at once.'

'And what did you say?'

'I told them that if they left the place with their side arms (petites cottes) their lives would be spared. If not, that Jargeau would be stormed.'

'Had you then consulted your voices to know whether you should accord them that delay or not?'

Joan did not remember.

Here closed the fourth day's trial.

The fifth day of the trial took place on the 1st of March. Fifty-eight judges were present.

The opening proceedings were the same as on the former occasions, and Joan of Arc again professed her willingness to answer all questions put to her regarding her deeds as readily as if she were in the presence of the Pope of Rome himself; but, as formerly, she gave no promise of revealing what her voices had told her.

Beaupère caught immediately at the opportunity of her having spoken of the Pope to lay a pitfall in her path: Which Pope did she believe the authentic one—he at Avignon or the one in Rome?

'Are there two?' she asked. This was an awkward question to those bishops and doctors of the faith who had for so long a time encouraged the schism in the Church.

Beaupère evaded the question, and asked her if it were true that she had received a letter from the Count of Armagnac asking her which of the two Popes he was bound to obey.

A copy of this letter was produced, as well as the one sent by Joan of Arc in reply.

When she sent her answer, the Maid said, she was about to mount her horse, and had told him she would be able better to answer his question when at rest in Paris or elsewhere. The copy of her letter which was now read, Joan said, did not quite agree with that she had sent to Armagnac.

'She had not,' Joan added, 'said in her letter that what she knew was by the inspiration of Heaven.'

Again pressed as to which of the two Popes she believed the true one, she said that the one then in Rome was to her that one.

Questioned regarding her letter to the English before Orleans, she acknowledged the accurateness of the copy produced, with the exception of a slight mistake. She retracted nothing regarding this letter, and declared that the English would, ere seven years were passed from that time, give a more striking proof of their loss of power in France than that which they had shown before Orleans. This prediction was literally carried out when, in 1436, Paris opened its gates to Charles VII., the loss of the capital being shortly after followed by the loss of all the other English conquests, with the exception of the town of Calais—the gains of a century of war being snatched from them in a score of years.

'They will meet,' said Joan of Arc, 'with greater reverses than have yet befallen them.'

When she was asked what made her speak thus, she answered that these things had been revealed to her. The examination again turned upon her voices and apparitions.

'Do they always appear to you in the same dress? Always in the same form, and richly crowned?'

Similar foolish questions were then put to her. Had the saints long hair? She did not know. And what language did they converse in with her?

'Their language,' she replied, 'is good and beautiful.'

'What sort of voices were theirs?'

'They speak to me in soft and beautiful French voices,' she said.

'Does not Saint Margaret speak in English?'

'How should she,' was the answer, 'when she is not on the side of the English?'

'Do they wear ear-rings?'

This Joan could not say; but the idiotic question reminded the prisoner that Cauchon had taken a ring from her. She had worn two—one had been taken by the Burgundians when she was captured, the other by the Bishop. The former had been given her by her parents, the latter by one of her brothers. This ring she asked Cauchon to give the Church.

'Had she not,' she was asked, 'made use of these rings to heal the sick?'

She had never done so.

It is very easy throughout all these questionings to see how eager Cauchon and the other judges were to find some acknowledgment from the lips of Joan of Arc, upon which they could found a charge of heresy against her. Her visions were distorted by them into a proof of infernal agency; even the harmless superstitions of her village home did not escape being turned into idolatrous and infernal matters of belief.

Had not her saints, questioned the Bishop, appeared to her beneath the haunted oak of Domremy?—and what had they promised her besides the re-establishment of Charles upon the throne?

'They promised,' she answered, 'to take me with them to Paradise, which I had prayed them to do.'

'Nothing more?' queried Cauchon.

'If they made me another promise,' Joan replied, 'I am not at liberty to say what that promise is till three months are past.'

'Did they say that you would be free in three months' time?'

That question remained unanswered, but before those three months had passed, the heroine had been delivered by death from all earthly sufferings.

She was again minutely questioned regarding the superstitions of her country. Was there not growing there a certain fabulous plant, called Mandragora? Joan of Arc knew nothing regarding such a plant—had never seen it, and did not know the use of it. Again the apparitions were brought forward.

'What was Saint Michel like? Was he clothed?'

'Do you think,' was the answer to this question, which could only have occurred to a foul-minded priest, 'do you think that God cannot clothe him?'

Other absurd questions followed—as to his hair; long or short? Had he a pair of scales with him? As before, Joan of Arc answered these futile, and sometimes indecent, questions with her wonderful patience. At one moment she could not help exclaiming how supremely happy the sight of her saints made her; it seemed as if a sudden vision of her beloved saints had been vouchsafed her in the midst of that crowd of persecuting priests.

She was again told to tell what the sign or secret was which she had revealed to the King on first seeing him at Chinon; but about this she was firm as adamant, and refused to give any information. To reveal that sign or secret would, she felt, be not only a breach of confidence and disloyalty between her and her King, but a crime to divulge a sacred secret, which Charles kept sealed in his breast, and which she was determined to utter to no one, and least of all to his enemies.

'I have already said,' she told her judges, 'that you will have nothing from me about that. Go and ask the King!'

Then followed questions as to the fashion of the crown that the King had worn at Rheims: which brought the fifth day of the trial to a close.

The sixth and last day's public examination took place on the 3rd of March, forty-two judges present. The long series of questions were nearly all relating to the appearance of the saints. Both questions and answers were nearly the same as on the previous occasions, and little more information was got from the prisoner.

After these, the subject of her dress—what she then wore, and what she had worn—was entered upon.

'When you came to the King,' she was asked, 'did he not inquire if your change in dress was owing to a revelation or not?'

'I have already answered,' said Joan, 'that I do not remember if he asked me. This evidence was made known when I was at Poitiers.'

'And the doctors who examined you,' asked Beaupère, 'at Poitiers, did they not want to know regarding your being dressed in man's clothes?'

'I don't remember,' she answered; 'but they asked me when I had first begun to wear man's dress, and I told them that it was when I was at Vaucouleurs.'

She was then asked whether the Queen had not asked her to leave off wearing male clothes. She answered that that had nothing to do with the trial.

'But,' next inquired Beaupère, 'when you were at the castle of Beaurevoir, did not the ladies there ask you to do so?'

'Yes,' was the answer, 'and they offered to give me a woman's dress. But the time had not yet come.' She would, she added, have yielded sooner to the wishes of those ladies than to those of any other, the Queen excepted.

The subject of the flags and banners used by her during her campaigns was now entered on.

Had her standards not been copied by the men-at-arms?

'They did so at their pleasures,' she answered.

'Of what material was the banner made? If the poles were broken, were they renewed?'

'They were,' she answered, 'when broken.'

'Did you not,' asked Beaupère, 'say that the flags made like your banners were of good augury?'

'What I said,' answered Joan, 'to my soldiers was, that they should attack the enemy with boldness.'

'Did you not sprinkle holy water on the banners?'

To this question Joan refused to answer.

Next she was questioned about a certain Friar Richard, the preaching friar who had seen her at Troyes. She answered that he came to her making the sign of the Cross, and that she told him to come up to her without fear.

She was asked if it was true that she had pictures painted of herself in the likeness of a saint.

'When at Arras,' she answered, 'she had seen a portrait of herself, in which she was represented kneeling before the King and presenting him with a letter.'

'But was there not a picture of you,' asked Beaupère, 'in your host's house at Orleans?'

Joan of Arc knew nothing regarding such a picture.

'Did you not know,' was the next question put, 'that your partisans had prayers and masses said in your honour?'

'If they did so,' she answered, 'it was not by my wish; but if they prayed for me,' she added, 'there was no harm in so doing.'

She was then asked what her opinion was regarding the people who kissed her hands and her feet, and even her clothes. She answered that, inasmuch as she could, she prevented them doing so; but she acknowledged that the poor people flocked eagerly around her, and that she gave them all the assistance in her power.

She was next asked if she had not stood sponsor to some children baptized at Rheims.

'Not at Rheims,' she said; but she had for one child at Troyes. She had also stood sponsor for two children at Saint Denis, and she had gladly had the boy christened by the name of Charles in honour of the King, and the girl Joan, as it pleased their mothers.

'Did the women not touch your rings and charms?'

'Many,' she answered, 'were wont to touch both my hands and my rings; but I know not with what intention.'

'Did she not receive the sacrament and confess herself as she passed through the country?'

'Often,' she answered.

'And did you,' asked the priest, 'receive the sacrament in your male attire?'

'Yes,' she said; 'but not, if I recollect right, when wearing my armour.'

This confession of having received the Eucharist in her male dress was made one of the accusations of sacrilege by Joan of Arc's judges.

She was next questioned about a horse she had bought from the Bishop of Senlis, and ridden in battle.

The next point related to the supposed miraculous resurrection—a very temporary one however—of an infant three days old at Lagny. When Joan was in that place, this child appeared to have died, and was put before the image of the Virgin, in front of which some young women were kneeling. Joan of Arc joined them in their prayers, upon which it was noticed that the supposed dead infant gave some signs of life; he or she was baptized, and soon after expired. Joan of Arc had never for a moment supposed that it was owing to her presence and her prayers that this miracle had occurred.

'But,' asked Beaupère, 'was it not the common talk of the town of Lagny that you had performed this miracle, and had been the means of restoring the infant to life?'

'I did not inquire,' she said.

She was then asked about the woman, Catherine de la Rochelle, whom, it may be remembered, Joan had discovered to be a vulgar impostor, and whom she had tried to dissuade from making people believe that she could discover hidden treasures, advising her to return to her husband and her children.

Next she was asked why she had tried to escape from her prison tower at Beaurevoir. She said that she had made the attempt, although against the warning of her voices, which had counselled her to have patience—but that Saint Catherine had comforted her after her fall from the tower, telling her that she would recover, and also that Compiègne would not be taken.

It was tried to prove that in order not to fall into the hands of the enemy she intended committing suicide. To this accusation she answered:—

'I have already said that I would sooner give up my soul into God's keeping, than fall into the hands of the English.'

And with this ended the sixth and last public day of the heroine's trial.

Joan of Arc's judges had found nothing to attach guilt to her in any of her replies; but as she had been condemned before the farce was enacted of trying her, her innocence could not save her life. As Michelet observes, Joan of Arc's answers may have had some effect in touching the hearts of even such men as were her judges; and it was perhaps on this account that Cauchon thought it more prudent to continue holding the trial with only a few, and those few picked men, of whose sympathies, characters, and feelings he was sure. The Bishop's ostensible reason in having the trial henceforth carried on in private was in order 'not to tire the others.' A most thoughtful and tender-hearted Bishop! The details of the trial were now placed in the hands of two judges and two witnesses. Cauchon now felt he had a free hand. On the 12th of March he had obtained the permission of the Grand Inquisitor of the Holy Office in France to make use of the services of his Vicar-General—his name, as has already been said, was John Lemaître.

The first of the long series of secret interrogations was held in Joan of Arc's prison—probably in the principal tower—on the 10th of March.

John de la Fontaine questioned the prisoner as follows:—

'When you went to Compiègne from which place did you start?'

'From Crespy-en-Valois.'

'When you arrived at Compiègne did many days elapse before you made the sortie?'

'I arrived secretly at an early hour of the morning, and entered the town so that the enemy could not be aware of my arrival, and the same day, in the evening, I made the sortie in which I was captured.'

'Were the bells of the church rung on the occasion of your arrival?'

'If they were, it was not by my command. I had not given it a thought.'

'Did you not order them to be rung?'

'I have no recollection of having done so.'

'Did you make the sortie by the command of your voices?'

'Last Easter, when in the trenches of Melun, the voices of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret told me I should be taken prisoner before St. John's Day; but that I was to keep a brave heart, and take all that befell me with patience, and that in the end God would come to my aid.'

'Since then, did your voices tell you that you would be taken?'

'Yes, often; nearly every day; and I implored my voices that when I was taken I might then die, and not suffer a long imprisonment: and the voices said, "Be without fear, for these things must happen." But they did not tell me the time when I should be taken, for had I known that I should not have made that sortie.'

'Did you not question them about the time in which you would be taken?'

'I often inquired; but they never told me.'

'Did your voices cause you to make that sortie, and not tell you the manner by which you would be captured?'

'Had I known the hour of my capture I should not have gone out voluntarily; but had my voices ordered me to go and I had known, then would I have gone all the same, whatever might have happened.'

'When you made the sally did you pass over the bridge at Compiègne?'

'I passed over the bridge and along the redoubt; and I charged with my soldiers against John de Luxembourg's men. Twice were they driven back as far as the quarters of the Burgundians; the third time half as far. While so engaged the English arrived, and cut off our communications. While returning towards the bridge, I was taken in the meadows on the side nearest to Picardy.'

'Upon your banner, the one you carried, was not a picture painted representing the world and two angels? What was the significance of that?'

'My saints told me to carry that banner boldly.'

'Did you not also bear arms and a shield?'

'Not I; but the King gave my brothers a coat-of-arms; a shield with a blue ground, on which were two fleurs-de-lis of gold, and a sword between.'

'Did you make a present to your brothers of those arms?'

'They were given my brothers by the King, without any request made by me.'

'What kind of horse were you riding when you were captured?'

'I was mounted on a demi-coursier.'

'Who had given you that horse?'

'My King,' answered Joan of Arc; and she went on to tell them how she had had fine horses purchased by the King for her use; she also gave them an account of her few possessions.

There is, indeed, so much repetition in the questions and answers during these long examinations, that it would be a weariness to the reader did one minutely re-write them as they appear in the chronicle. We shall therefore confine ourselves to the principal and most important facts and statements which bear most prominently on our heroine's career, and on the answers most characteristic made by her.

The remainder of that first day's trial in the prison consisted nearly entirely of trying to elicit from Joan of Arc what was the special sign or secret that she had revealed to the King at Chinon. She, however, gave them no further information than in saying that the sign was a beautiful and honoured mark of Divine favour. For hours she was urged to tell of what this special sign or token consisted—whether of precious stones, gold, or silver. Joan, who apparently was wearied out by the pertinacity of her inquisitors, seems to have allowed herself to mix with the reality the fabulous, and described that an angel had appeared to Charles bringing him a crown of matchless beauty. She seems, poor creature, half dazed and bewildered by her sufferings and her tormentors, to have mixed up in her mind and in her replies the actual event of the King's coronation at Rheims with her angelic visions and voices; for to her one must have appeared as real and actual as the other.

Nine examinations in the prison tower of Rouen were undergone by Joan of Arc:—Once on the 10th of March; twice on the 12th, and again on the 13th; twice on the 14th; again on the 15th; and twice more on the 17th. In all these successive trials, nothing of importance was obtained by the judges from the prisoner. Both answers and questions were similar to those which have already been recorded during the days of her examinations in public. Throughout all this trying process of a week's long and minute cross-questioning, the heroine maintained the same firmness, and answered with the same simple dignity as on the former occasions. Two of her answers may be justly called sublime. When during the course of the seventh day's trial, she was asked what doctrine Saint Michel had inspired her with, she answered:—

'The pity that I have for the Kingdom of France!'

And again, when at the close of the last day's examination she was asked why she had taken such special care that her banner should be carried and held near the King during the ceremony of the coronation, she answered:—

'If it had been in the travail it was right that it should be in the place of greatest honour.' ('Il avait été à la peine; c'était bien raison qu'il fut à l'honneur!')

Glorious words, worthy of her who spoke them! They bear with them an heroic ring, and reveal by one sublime expression the very soul and spirit of Joan of Arc!

Little as the secret interrogations had revealed to Joan of Arc's examiners regarding the mysterious sign they were so eager to wrest from her, Cauchon had succeeded in inveigling his victim into making statements he considered could be used in a charge of heresy against her.

When bidden to say if she would be ready to submit herself regarding all her actions to the determination of the Church, she answered that she loved the Church, and was ready to obey its doctrines as far as lay in her power; and on being asked to which Church she alluded, whether to the Church Militant or to the Church Triumphant, she replied, 'I have been sent to France by God and the Virgin Mary, and by the saints of the Church Victorious from above, and to that Church I submit myself, and all that I have done or may have to do!'

This answer did not satisfy Cauchon, and he again inquired to which Church she submitted; but Joan had already answered, and would say no more—and on this Cauchon fixed his accusation of heresy against the heroine. Having failed throughout the trial to get Joan to say anything incriminating regarding Charles VII. or anything which might tend to injure him in the minds of his subjects, Cauchon had Joan questioned as to what she thought respecting the murder of the Duke of Orleans by Charles.

'It was a great misfortune for the kingdom of France,' was her answer.

Could the wariest statesman have better parried that question? Not on one single occasion during the long series of questions that Joan of Arc was made to undergo, without any counsel or help, and with some of the subtlest brains in the country eager to involve her in damaging statements and to entangle her in saying something which might be taken up as injurious to Charles—that mean prince, who made so much by her devotion to him and his cause, and in return for that devotion had not taken a step towards attempting her deliverance—not at any time did she drop one word or let an expression escape her which could cause any uneasiness to the King, who had proved himself so utterly unworthy of such a subject, or to the men about the King's person, some of whom, if not actually guilty of having given her over to her enemies, at any rate had allowed her to be kept during all those long months a close prisoner, without protest or any sign of sympathy.

When the judges asked Joan if she were as willing to answer the questions put to her, standing in the presence of the Pope, as she had done in the presence of the Bishop of Beauvais, she replied that she would willingly do so. The idea of referring her case to the Pope was not at all what Cauchon wished to enter her mind; and when he found that John de la Fontaine and two monks had visited the prisoner and advised her to submit herself to Rome, he was furious, and threatened them with condign punishment. They only escaped the Bishop's anger by taking flight from Rouen. It was not too soon for Cauchon's object that the trial was now conducted with closed doors. Joan of Arc's courage, firmness, and simplicity, accompanied by her transparent truth and pure fervent belief in her mission, impressed even her judges—and much more so those who had attended the public days of her trial as spectators. Now and again, after one of her straightforward and brave answers, which would expose and lay bare the malicious intention of the question, voices were heard to say in the great hall, 'Well spoken, Joan!' and an English knight was overheard to declare that, for his part, he regretted that such a courageous maid had not been born an Englishwoman. A reaction in favour of the heroine might have set in, and, as we have already said, it was for fear of this that Cauchon caused the trial in future to be held in private. It is clear from the previous narrative that the prisoner had no one to advise her, no one to support her. At the commencement of the trial she asked to be allowed counsel, but Cauchon refused this most just demand. Among the crowd of doctors and clergy it was impossible but that, now and again, some feeling of interest, even of sympathy, should gain a few of these men, who, in spite of their education and surroundings, were human beings after all. But whenever such feeling was shown, Cauchon, ever on the watch, sternly repressed its manifestation. The name of Isambard de la Pierre should be remembered for good; for he, although one of the creatures of the detestable Inquisition, showed humanity to Cauchon's victim. During the examinations it was the wont of Isambard to place himself as near as possible to Joan of Arc, and by nudging her, or by some sign, he attempted to help her and advise her in her answers to the questions of the judges. Cauchon's evil eye, however, at length detected Isambard's conduct, and he informed Warwick of it. Soon after, Isambard was confronted by Warwick, and the latter, with many abusive words, threatened to have him drowned in the Seine if he dared assist Joan of Arc.

Though the Maid's treatment in the dungeon of the castle was not, after the beginning of the trial, so barbarous as in the first days after her arrival at Rouen, when she was treated like a caged wild animal, the poor prisoner was watched day and night by three soldiers, who, one must fear, outraged every sense of humanity in their treatment of Joan. The very term houspiller proves that they were set apart to embitter the prisoner's already too cruel state. Although Joan of Arc never herself disclosed the abominable fact, the reason for retaining and continuing to wear her male dress was that it served her as a protection from these ruffians. Chained to a heavy wooden beam, her sufferings must have been at times almost beyond endurance; but in this long torture, which was only to terminate in the flaming death, her wonderful constancy and heaven-inspired spirit never failed. Had she given way to a kind of despair, as happened shortly before her final release—for only a few moments indeed—her jailers would not have neglected to record such weakness as a sign that her heavenly agencies had failed, if not forsaken her utterly. What appears to have constituted the greatest privation to Joan of Arc during her imprisonment was not being allowed the consolation of receiving the rites of the religion she so fervently believed. During the days on which the public examinations were held in the hall of the castle, she was wont to be led from her dungeon by a passage leading to the place of judgment: the castle chapel was passed in traversing this passage. One day while going by the chapel door she asked one of the sheriffs, Massieu, whether the Eucharist was then exposed within the chapel, and, if so, whether she might be permitted to kneel before the entrance. The man was humane enough to allow her to do so, but this coming to the knowledge of one of Cauchon's familiars, the sheriff was told if he allowed the prisoner again to kneel before the chapel door that he would be thrown into prison—'and,' added Cauchon, 'in a prison where no light of sun or moon should appear!'

But perhaps among so many instances of cruelty and bigotry, the most infamous act of all the many in this tragedy was that performed by the Canon Nicolas Loiseleur, a creature of Cauchon, as false, as cruel, and as unscrupulous as his master and patron. This reverend scoundrel had, at the beginning of the trial, by his feigned sympathy for the prisoner, wormed himself into Joan of Arc's confidence. He told her that he, too, came from near her home, that he in his heart of hearts belonged to the French side, that he was a prisoner on account of his known devotion to Charles and to France, and many other such lies. This Judas—half in the character of a layman, half in that of a confessor, and wholly as a sympathetic friend and a fellow-sufferer—paid the prisoner long visits, disguised both as priest and layman, as the part suited the day's action best. Loiseleur actually used the means of extracting information from Joan of Arc under the seal of confession, to be afterwards employed against her by Cauchon. While these conversations and confessions took place, Warwick and Cauchon would be concealed in a part of the dungeon from which they could overhear what passed between the two—one of whom worthily might be called an angel, the other truthfully a devil. With the Bishop and knight—whose conduct as regards Joan of Arc deeply tarnished an otherwise high character—were seated clerks, who wrote down what passed in these meetings. The clerks, to their credit, are said to have at first refused to comply with doing such dirty work.

Cauchon gained but little by this infamy. Nothing of any importance could be constructed out of the prisoner's confidence and confessions; but Cauchon was, through Loiseleur, enabled to tender such advice to Joan as made her answers coincide more closely with his wishes than they otherwise could have done; especially those relating to the Church Triumphant and Militant.

When his crime had borne fruit, Loiseleur, like another Judas, was overwhelmed with an intolerable remorse; and, although he obtained his victim's pardon, his end appears to have been as sudden as that of Judas, if not also self-inflicted. By a lawyer named John Lohier, whom he consulted during the course of the trial, Cauchon was not so well served as he had been by Loiseleur. This Lohier, who was a Norman and seems to have been a worthy man, had the courage to tell Cauchon that inasmuch as Joan of Arc was being tried in secret and without benefit of counsel, the proceedings were null and worthless. Like all who showed any interest for the prisoner, Lohier was threatened by Cauchon with imprisonment, but he escaped and found refuge in Rome.

On Passion Sunday, the 18th of March, Cauchon held a meeting of a dozen of the lawyers, including the Vice-Inquisitor, and asked them to give their opinion on some of the answers of Joan of Arc. He held a second and similar consistory on the 22nd of that month, at which it was decided to shape into the form of a series of articles the chief heads of accusation. This, when made out, was to be submitted to the prisoner. On the 24th, the Bishop, accompanied by the Vice-Inquisitor and some others, proceeded to the dungeon in which Joan of Arc was kept. The day was Palm Sunday, and the great French historian Michelet has, with his accustomed skill and bright, vivid word-painting, in his short but incomparable Life of the heroine not only of France but of humanity, reminded his readers with what a longing Joan of Arc must, on that festival of joy and triumph, have yearned for the privilege 'to breathe once again the fresh air of heaven.' Daughter of the fields, born on the border of the woods, she who had always lived under the open sky had to pass Easter Day in a dark dungeon tower. To her the great succour which the Church invokes upon that day did not reach—her prison door did not fly open.

It may be recalled that on Palm Sunday the morning prayer in the office of the Roman Church contains these words: 'Deus in adjutorium meum intende.' For her, however, no earthly gate was to be thrown open wide. The gate through which she was to pass from suffering and death into life eternal and peace everlasting—(per angusta ad augusta)—was, however, not far distant. But she had still to wait awhile amid the ever-darkening shadows.

'If,' said Cauchon to Joan, 'you will cease to wear this man's dress, and dress as you would do were you back in your home, you shall be allowed to hear Mass.'

But Joan could not be prevailed on to consent to abandon the costume, which, as we have said, proved her safeguard against the brutality of her jailers.

By the 26th of March the articles were drawn up and ready, and were approved of in a meeting held by Cauchon in his own house. And on these articles, or rather heads of articles, the further trial of the prisoner was to be carried on.

The examination took place on the days following in a chamber next to the great hall in the castle. Nine judges, besides Cauchon, attended. The Bishop ordered Joan to answer categorically all the accusations on which she was arraigned; if she refused to do so, or remained silent beyond a given time, he threatened her with excommunication. He went on to declare that all her judges were men of high position, well versed in all matters appertaining to Church and State; and he had the audacity to qualify them—and probably included himself among them—as being benins et pitoyables, having no wish to inflict corporal punishment upon Joan, but filled only with the pious desire of leading her into the way of truth and salvation. 'Seeing that,' he continued, 'she was not sufficiently versed in such weighty matters as those they had now to deal with, they in their pitifulness and benignity, would allow her to choose among the learned doctors present, one or more to aid her with counsel and advice.'

The Bishop had probably guessed that by this time Joan of Arc would have ceased to care for the benefit of counsel, having had to do without it till now; and his asking her whether she wished for it was merely made in order to appear as an act of judicial indulgence on his part—perhaps, also, what Lohier had urged regarding the illegality of trying his prisoner without giving her the help of counsel may have influenced him.

In a few simple words Joan of Arc thanked the Bishop and the others for the offer, of which she, however, declined to avail herself. She added that she felt no need now of having any human counsel, for that she had that of her Lord to aid her.

Thomas de Courcelles next proceeded to read the articles contained in the act of accusation. These were so long that they occupied the remainder of that and the next day's sitting. This first series of articles—for there were forty more to follow—consisted of thirty heads, and forms one of the most glaring examples of what the human mind is capable of inventing when thoroughly steeped in bigotry, stupidity, and cruelty. The Bishop of Beauvais may have been congratulated on producing the most momentous mass of accusation, intended to destroy the life and reputation of a peerless and perfect woman and to blast the career of his native sovereign: it only redounded to the Bishop's everlasting shame and infamy.

We will spare the reader a detailed summary of these articles—articles which have the lie so palpably and strongly writ all over them, that we can but hesitate whether to be more surprised or disgusted that even such a man as Cauchon could dare to bring them into court.

The preamble of the articles gave the gist of what was to follow, and showed up the true spirit of Joan's 'benign and merciful judges.' It consisted of one long string of abuse, in which the terms 'sorceress,' 'false prophet,' 'a practiser of magic,' and 'devilish arts,' were freely used. Joan of Arc was declared in this preamble to be 'abominable in the eyes of God and man'; a violator of all laws—divine, ecclesiastical and natural. To sum up all the epithets, she was termed 'heretical, or, at any rate, strongly suspected of being so.' This accusation, the most awful that those cruel times held, must have sounded to all those men present as the heroine's knell of doom.

Then followed the thirty articles of accusation. Never, indeed, had a short but well filled career, bright with glorious deeds, undertaken for King and fatherland—never had such a life (for no life ever approached that of the Maid's) been so ludicrously, so violently and wilfully misrepresented. Her most innocent words and actions were turned into accusations of sorcery, witchcraft, vice, and every kind of wickedness. Her harmless and pure youth was made to appear a childhood of sorcery and idolatrous superstition; she was accused in her earliest years of having trafficked with evil spirits: it was alleged that she had consorted with witches; that she had frequented places where spirits and fairies best loved to congregate; that she had taken part in sacrilegious dancing; that she had suspended wreaths on the trees in honour of these rural spirits; that she had carried hidden about her person a plant called Mandragora, hoping by it to obtain good luck; that she had left her parents against their will to go to Neufchâteau, and lived in that place among a debauched set of people: that in consequence of all these wicked acts, a youth who intended marrying her had not done so. Then, having left not a stage or an act of her innocent girlhood unblasted, and covered with the slime of the Bishop's reptile-like imagination, her acts when with the King were reviewed. She had promised Charles to slay all the English in France; her cruelty and love of bloodshed were insatiable; she had influenced Charles by acts of magic; her banners and her rings were bewitched; she was schismatic, and doubted as to which was the right Pope; and, in spite of this, she had the wickedness to inform the Earl of Armagnac which of the two Popes he was to believe the genuine. Of all this long tissue of crimes laid to her charge, that of wearing a man's dress was made the most heinous; for the Almighty had made it a crime abominable to Himself, that woman should wear man's dress. Now, not only had the prisoner committed this sin, but she had added to it by affirming that she did so by the wish of God—she had done even worse; for did she not refuse when at the castle of Beaurevoir to wear woman's dress, also when at Arras, and even now in Rouen? So obstinate was she in her wickedness that she had refused to comply with the Bishop's wish that she should leave off these clothes, although he had told her she would be allowed to assist at the offices of the Church if she would consent to do so.

To all these accusations, at the end of each paragraph, Cauchon bade Courcelles, who read the accusations, to pause, and would then ask the prisoner what answer she had to make to that accusation. Joan of Arc contented herself by simply denying the alleged crime, or else she referred to the answers she had made to the same, or similar questions, during the former days when under examination. Some of her replies were, as they often had been during those trials, grand in their simplicity. For instance, when asked a difficult and even perplexing question relating to her belief in the Church Militant, she said:—'I believe that the Holy Father, the Bishops, and other clergy, are here for the protection of the Christian faith, and to punish those who deserve it. As to my acts,' she continued, 'I submit them to the Church in Heaven, to God, to the Holy Virgin, and the Saints in Paradise. I have not failed,' she proudly added, 'in the Christian religion; nor will I ever do so.'

When repeatedly questioned about the change of costume, and of its importance regarding her being allowed to attend Mass or not, she said: 'In the eyes of the Saviour the dress of those who receive the Sacrament can have no importance.'

On the day after, the 28th of March, the same chamber was used for the trial, and the same indictments were entered on. That almost interminable series of accusations numbered some seventy charges. On that day, Joan of Arc appears to have ceased to deny at any length the string of false evidence brought against her; she generally replied that she had already answered as to the crimes laid to her charge, or simply said, 'I refer myself to my Saviour.' Two of her answers are worth recording: the first, when accused of having been guilty not only of discarding the proper dress of her sex, but also of having acted the part of a man, she said: 'As to women's occupation there are plenty of them to occupy themselves with such things'; and to the second question, when taunted with having carried out her mission with violence and slaughter, she answered: 'I implored at the commencement of my mission that peace might be made, while, at the same time, I declared that if that was not agreed to, I was willing to fight.' When she was accused of having made war on the Burgundians and the English alike, she made the distinguishing difference between them by saying:—'As to the Duke of Burgundy, I wrote to him, and asked him through his envoys that peace should be made between him and my King. As regards the English, the only peace that could be made with them is when they have returned to England.' The Maid's natural modesty and simplicity are apparent in a circumstance which occurred in one of those long days of searching examination and cross-questioning. When the sentence she had used, and which had been noted down in the minutes of an early day of the trial, was read as follows: 'All that I have done has been done by the advice of my Saviour,' she stopped the clerk, and said that it should stand thus: 'All that I have done well has been done by the advice of my Saviour.' When she was asked by what form of words she prayed to her Saints to come to her assistance, she repeated the following prayer:—'Very blessed God, in honour of your holy Passion, I beseech you, if you love me, that you will reveal to me what I am to answer these Churchmen. I know concerning the dress the reason for which I have adopted it, but I know not in what manner I am to discard it. For this thing I beseech you to tell me what to do.' And she added that after this prayer her voices were soon heard.

On the 31st of March, Cauchon, accompanied by the Vice-Inquisitor and some other of the judges, had an interview with the prisoner. They again inquired of Joan of Arc whether she submitted herself wholly and entirely into the hands of the Church Militant. She answered that if such were her Saviour's wish she was quite willing to do so. The accusations were now set forth afresh, in twelve chief heads or articles, under which the series of calumnies was summarised before they should be submitted to the University of Paris. These twelve heads, which formed the foundation of Joan of Arc's condemnation, were never shown her; and she had therefore no chance of contradicting any of the grossly false charges of which they were full. Like the trial itself, these articles were merely a sham invented for the purpose of throwing dust in the eyes of the people, who by these, it was hoped, would be persuaded that the law of the Church and State had been acted up to. The heads of these articles were as follows:—

First—A woman pretends to have had communication with Saints from her thirteenth year; and she affirms that they have counselled her to dress in male attire; she affirms that she has found her salvation, and refuses to submit herself to the Church.

Second—She affirms that, through a sign, she persuaded the King to believe in her; and that accompanied by an angel she placed a crown upon his head.

Third—She affirms her companionship with Saint Michel and other Saints.

Fourth—She affirms certain things will occur by the revelation obtained by her from certain Saints.

Fifth—She affirms that her wearing a man's dress is done by her through the will of God; she has sinned by receiving the Sacrament in that garb, which she says she would sooner die than quit wearing.

Sixth—She admits having written letters signed with the names of Jesus and Mary and with the sign of a cross. That, also, she admits having threatened death to those who would not obey her; and she affirms that all she has done has been accomplished by the Divine will.

Seventh—She gives a false account of her journey to Vaucouleurs and to Chinon.

Eighth—She also gives an untrue account of her attempt to kill herself at Beaurevoir, sooner than fall into the power of the English.

Ninth—And also gives false statements of her assurance of salvation, provided she remains a maid, and of never having committed any sin.

Tenth—And also of her pretending that Saints Catherine and Margaret speak to her in French, and not in English, as they do not belong to the latter side.

Eleventh—She admits the adoration of her Saints; her disobedience to her parents; and of saying that if the evil one were to appear in the likeness of Saint Michel she would know it was not the Saint.

Twelfth—Admits that she refuses to submit to the Church Militant, and this in spite of being told that all faithful members of the Church must, by the article 'Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam,' comply with and submit to the commands of the Church Militant, and principally in all things which pertain to sacred doctrines and the ecclesiastical sanctions.

This was the substance of the twelve articles which Cauchon laid before the doctors of theology and law in Paris. No one knew better than the Bishop how false these were; Manchon himself had been so impressed with their utter fraudulence that he had inserted in their margin, under the date of the 4th of April, the statement that in many instances the facts alleged were entirely at variance with the declarations of the prisoner. Cauchon despatched the articles to Paris on the following day, April the 5th. M. Wallon, in his admirable and exhaustive history of Joan of Arc, has remarked that all her deeds were in these twelve articles travestied from acts of piety or patriotism into acts of superstition and rebellion against God and His Church. 'What,' asks M. Wallon, 'had her accusers to reproach her with? Her visions? None of her judges could declare these were impossible, for then they would declare themselves unbelievers in the history of all the saints, which is full of such visions. They might deny them if they pleased, but it required all the wilful blindness of passion to affirm, once such things were articles of belief, that they came from Satanic influence.' As regards Joan of Arc's costume, she had on several occasions answered with sufficient clearness, and every person might have made a like answer, that there is no hard and fast law laid down by the Church relating to the costume that may be worn by members of the Church. Nay more, it was notorious that one of the female saints of the Church (Sainte Marine) had always worn a man's dress. The question as to her dress had been gone into thoroughly during Joan of Arc's examination by the Churchmen and laymen at Poitiers; that which the Church had not blamed at Poitiers could not therefore be a sin in Rouen. By the same token, how was it possible for Joan to believe that what had not been disapproved of by the Archbishop at Rheims should be considered a criminal offence by the Bishop of Beauvais? As regards the question of her submission to the Church, Joan of Arc replied, when asked if she would submit to its will, in these words: 'You speak to me of the "Church Militant" and of the "Church Triumphant." I do not understand the signification of those terms; but I wish to submit myself to the Church as all good Christians should do.' What more could be required of her than this entire submission to the Church? She had made that answer to the doctors and clergy at Poitiers, and it had entirely satisfied those men. What Joan of Arc had a clear right not to do was to submit herself to her arch-enemy the Bishop of Beauvais. When she asked what Cauchon and his judges called the 'Church Militant,' she was told it consisted of the Pope and the prelates below him. She thereupon exclaimed she would willingly appear before him, but that she would not submit to the judgment of her enemies, and particularly not to Cauchon. 'In saying this,' adds M. Wallon, 'she displayed her usual courageous spirit. How eagerly had she,' he remarks (when told that if she would submit herself to the Council then sitting at Bâle, where she would find some judges of her party among the English), 'appealed to be allowed to bring her case before that Council; and it will be remembered how Cauchon cursed the lawyer who had brought forward the suggestion during the trial.' On that occasion escaped from the prisoner's lips the cry which showed how well she knew the unscrupulousness of her judges. On learning that her wish to appeal to the Council of Bâle by Cauchon's order was not to appear in that day's report of the trial, she said, 'You write down what is against me, but you will not write what is favourable to me.' Along with the twelve articles, Cauchon enclosed a letter to the lawyers in Paris asking for their opinion on what he calls the facts submitted to them, 'whether they do not appear to be contrary to the orthodox faith, to the Scriptures, and to the Church of Rome, and whether the learned members of the Church and doctors do not consider such things as stated in these articles as scandalous, dangerous to civil order, injurious and adverse to public morals.' In every way Cauchon's letter was worthy of its author.

On the 12th of April a meeting under the presidency of Erard Emenyart, consisting of a score of lawyers and clergy, was held in the chapel of the archiepiscopal palace. At this meeting, with scarcely a dissentient voice, it was voted that Joan of Arc had by her deeds and her expressed opinions proved herself schismatical and strongly tainted with heresy. A second meeting took place in the same building on the following day, attended by some more Church functionaries. Some of these suggested that the prisoner should be promptly handed over to the secular arm—if she refuses still to renounce her errors—and if she acknowledges them, her fate will then be to be imprisoned for life, and given for nourishment 'the bread of sorrows and the water of anguish.' Eleven advocates—all belonging to Rouen—however, added the following clause, that the latter should be her punishment, 'provided that her revelations do not come from God.' But with the fear of Cauchon before them, they added to this clause that the revelations coming from such a source seems hardly probable, and they appeal to the bachelors in theology to set them right on that head. The Bishop of Lisieux, who had already given as his reason for not believing that Joan of Arc's mission could be Heaven-inspired the fact of the low station from which she came, now repeated the same absurdity on this occasion. There were others who preferred delaying their verdict until the decision arrived at by the University of Paris had been made known. A number of the Churchmen belonging to the Chapter of the Cathedral of Rouen hesitated, divided between two opinions, for and against the Maid, and of these only twenty put in an appearance when summoned by Cauchon to meet on the 13th of April. They were threatened and bullied by the Bishop to come in stronger numbers on the next day, when they attended to the number of thirty-one, but could not be prevailed on to give a definite opinion until the answer arrived from the University—which ultimatum Cauchon had to take with as much grace as he could. While these things were taking place, Joan of Arc fell ill—worn out probably by her long and harsh imprisonment, by the mental as well as physical torment she must have undergone during those weeks of cross-questioning and endless browbeating. Her jailers were more alarmed about her condition than she was herself, for were she to die a natural death, half the moral effect her enemies counted on obtaining by giving her the death of a sorceress and heretic would be lost. Doctors were sent for—sent by the Cardinal of Winchester and Warwick. When asked what ailed her she said that her illness had commenced after eating a fish that had been sent her by the Bishop of Beauvais. Warwick is said to have had the brutality to tell the doctors that her life must be saved at all hazards, for she had to die by the hands of the executioners. The doctors ordered her to be bled, and her naturally strong constitution soon restored her to health. During the days of the weakness following her illness, Cauchon, thinking probably that more might be then wrung from her than when well, came to see her. This was on the 18th of April. He went to the dungeon accompanied by the Vice-Inquisitor and half-a-dozen judges, and the following charitable exhortation, as the chronicler styles it, took place.

'We have come,' began Cauchon, 'to you with charitable and amiable intentions, to console you in your sickness. You will remember, Joan, how you have been questioned on various matters relating to the faith, and you know the answers you made. Knowing your ignorance relating to such matters, we are willing to send learned and well-versed men in such matters.' Then turning to the lawyers and others present, the Bishop continued: 'We exhort you to give Joan profitable counsel on the obligations which appertain to the true doctrine of the faith, and to the furtherance of the safety and welfare of her body and soul. 'Joan,' continued Cauchon, 'if there be any one else you wish to consult in this matter, we are ready to send for such in order that they may aid you. We are men of the Church, ever ready to aid those in need of advice good for the soul as well as the body, and ready to benefit you or any of your own kith, or ourselves. We should gladly give you daily such to advise you. In a word, we are ready, under the circumstances, to aid you, as does the Church itself, ever ready to help all such who will willingly come to her. But beware to act against our advice and exhortation. For if you still should refuse to submit yourself to us, we shall abandon you. Judge then of the peril you lie in in that case. It is this peril which we hope to prevent you from falling into with all our strength and all our affection.'

To this Mephistophelean address Joan of Arc made the following reply: 'I render you my best thanks for what you have said respecting the salvation of my soul; and it seems to me, seeing the illness I am now suffering, that I am in danger of dying. If this is to happen, God's will be done. I will only ask you to allow me to confess, and to partake of the Blessed Sacrament, and that my body may be laid in holy ground.'

Cauchon replied as follows: 'If you wish to receive the Sacraments of the Church you must confess yourself like a good Catholic, and you must also submit yourself to the Church. If you persevere in not doing so, you cannot obtain what you desire, except that for Penitence, which we are always ready to administer.'

Joan wearily said to this: 'I have then nothing more to say.'

The Bishop, however, had no wish that the interview should end thus, and continued: 'The greater your danger of now dying is, the greater reason have you to amend your life; if you do not submit yourself to the Church, then you will not obtain the privilege of a Catholic to its Sacraments.'

To this she answered: 'If I die here in prison, I trust my body will be placed in consecrated earth. If you refuse me this favour, I can but appeal to my Saviour!'

'You said,' quoth Cauchon, 'during the trial that if you had done or said anything that was against our Christian faith you could not support it!'

'I refer myself,' said Joan, 'to the answer I then made, and to our Lord!'

'You said,' continued the Bishop, 'that you had received many revelations both from God and from the saints. Suppose, then, that now some worthy person were to appear, declaring that they had received a revelation from God about your deeds, would you believe that person?'

To this the prisoner replied: 'There is not a Christian on earth, who, coming to me and saying that he came by such revelation, I should not know whether to believe or not, for I should know whether he were true or false by Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret.'

'But,' said Cauchon, 'do you imagine then that God is not able to reveal to some one besides yourself things that you may be ignorant about?'

Joan answered: 'Without a sign, I should not believe man or woman.'

Then Cauchon asked Joan if she believed in the holy Scriptures?

'You know that I do,' she answered.

Then the Bishop again returned to the question whether or not the prisoner consented to submit herself to the Church Militant, by which the Church Temporal should be understood.

Now, as before, Joan of Arc's answer was unchanged.

'Whatever,' she said, 'may happen to me, I shall neither do nor say anything further than that I have already declared during the trial.'

In vain all the venerable doctors present exhorted the prisoner to make her submission; they quoted Scripture, chapter and verse, to her (Matt. xviii.), without obtaining any more success than the Bishop had done.

As they were leaving the prison one of these 'venerable doctors' hissed to Joan: 'If you refuse to submit to the Church, the Church will abandon you as if you were a Saracen.'

To this Joan of Arc replied: 'I am a good Christian—a Christian born and baptized—and a Christian I shall die.'

Before Cauchon left his victim he made one further attempt to obtain a decided answer from Joan of Arc, this time making use of a bait which he thought must catch her—namely, permission to receive the Communion: 'As,' he said, 'you desire the Eucharist, will you, if you are allowed to do so, submit yourself to the Church?'

To this offer Joan answered: 'As to that submission I can give no other answer than that I have already given you. I love God; Him I serve, as a good Christian should. Were I able I would help the Church with all my strength.'

'But,' said Cauchon, 'if we were to order a grand procession to restore your health, then would you not submit yourself?'

'I only request,' she answered, 'that the Church and all good Catholics will pray for me.'

Some of the judges had suggested that, in a more public place than in her prison, Joan of Arc should be again admonished relating to the crimes of which she was accused; and Cauchon accordingly summoned a public meeting of the judges for the 2nd of May, to be held in a chamber near the Great Hall.

On that day sixty-two judges were present. Cauchon took care that the actual charges contained in the twelve articles which had been sent to the University should not be read in the presence of the prisoner, and told her that she had only been summoned in order to receive another admonition before a larger assemblage than had as yet met.

In his opening allocution he told his audience that the private admonition had been unattended with good results, that Joan had refused to submit herself to the Church, and that he had accordingly invited to the present meeting a learned doctor of theology, namely, John de Chatillon, archdeacon of Evreux, whose eloquence he doubted not would have a beneficial effect upon the stubbornness of the prisoner.

On Joan being led into the room, the Bishop admonished her to listen to what Chatillon would now lay before her, and to agree to what he would advise. If she would not do so, he added, she would place herself in jeopardy, both as to her body and as to her soul.

Chatillon then took up his parable, which was to the effect that all faithful Christians must conform to the tenets of the Church; and that he trusted she would do so to all that the doctors lay and spiritual there present expected her.

The Archdeacon held a digest of his sermon in his hand. Seeing this, Joan of Arc requested him to read his book, after which, she said, she would make her answer.

The speech, or sermon, that he then delivered was an exhaustive examination of the twelve articles, brought under six heads, but much altered and garbled.

In the first place, he admonished her of not having given a full account of her apparitions to the Church through her judges; secondly, he told her of her culpability in insisting on retaining her male attire; thirdly, of her wickedness in asserting that she committed no crime in retaining that dress; fourthly, her sin in holding as true revelations that could only lead the people into error; fifthly, that she had, owing to these revelations, done deeds displeasing to the Divine will; and lastly, that she was committing a sin in treating the apparitions as holy, when she was not certain whether they did not come from evil spirits. When Chatillon said that by not conforming to the article 'Sanctam Ecclesiam,' she placed herself in the power of the Church to condemn her to the flames, and to be burnt as a heretic, she answered boldly:

'I will not say aught else than that I have already spoken; and were I even to see the fire I should say the same!'

After this answer in the minutes of that day's trial is written by the clerk in the margin of the vellum:

'Superba responsio!'

That was a testimony of admiration which neither the fears of persecution nor of superstition could prevent from appearing.

Nothing more was to be obtained from the prisoner's lips than this declaration, either by private or public examinations. This being so, Cauchon bethought him what further cruelty could be employed to force the prisoner to give way, and the barbarous scheme of torture was decided on.

The only portion of the old castle of Rouen that has survived Time, war, revolutions, and rebuilding (although partially restored), is a massive high tower, built of white stone, called the Tower of Joan of Arc. This is not the tower of the castle which contained the heroine's dungeon, but it has always been traditionally regarded as that in which, on the 9th of May, Joan of Arc was led to where her judges intended, by fear or by the infliction of bodily torment, to oblige her to make the confession which she had so steadily and for so long a time refused. The lower portion of this tower only is ancient, for from about its centre to the top is a restoration.

The chamber to which Joan of Arc was led, and where the instruments of torture and the executioners were waiting, is probably that on the ground floor, and is but little changed from what it was on that May morning in the year of grace 1431.

In that dark stone chamber with its groined roof, besides the prisoner, were present Cauchon, with the Vice-Inquisitor, the Abbot of Saint Corneille of Compiègne, William Erard, Andrew Marguerie, Nicolas de Venderès, John Massieu, William Haiton, Aubert Morel, and the infamous Loiseleur. Ranged round the circular walls were placed the instruments of torture, and men skilled in their use were ready at hand.

'Joan,' said Cauchon, who had now dropped his hypocritical semblance of sympathy, which he had assumed when interrogating the prisoner in her cell, 'I command you to tell the truth. In your examination many and various points have been touched on, about which you refused to answer, or, when you did so, answered untruthfully. Of this we have certain proof. These points will now be read to you.'

What was then read was probably a summary of the articles of impeachment.

Cauchon then continued: 'If, Joan, you now refuse to speak the truth, you will be put to the torture. You see before you the instruments which are prepared, and by them stand the executioners, who are ready to do their office at our command. You will be tortured in order that you may be led into the way of truth, and for the salvation of your body and soul, which you by your lies have exposed to so great a peril.'

It was at this terrible juncture that Joan showed her indomitable spirit more clearly than at any moment since her capture. In front of her lay the rack upon which, at a signal from Cauchon, her limbs would be wrenched asunder; but her reply, as given in the minutes written by the clerk who was present, bears the ring of a courage superior to all the terrors which confronted her.

'Even,' she said, 'if you tear me limb from limb, and even if you kill me, I will not tell you anything further. And even were I forced to do so, I should afterwards declare that it was only because of the torture that I had spoken differently.'

That was an answer which sums up the whole folly and crime of obtaining evidence by means of torture, and recalls Galileo's famous phrase when in a somewhat similar situation.

Cauchon then again ordered Joan to tell them of her revelations, and asked her if she had again sought counsel from her voices.

She had, answered Joan.

'And have they,' asked the Bishop, 'foretold what will now happen?'

'I asked them,' answered Joan of Arc, 'if I should be burnt, and they answered: "Abide by your Lord and He will aid you."'

There is little more than the above recorded of what took place, but it is probable that Joan, who had as yet hardly recovered from her illness, was, from fear of her dying under the torture, not subjected to it. At any rate, that additional horror was not to be laid on the consciences of the already heavily burthened judges of the Maid.

It appears, however, that these men had not altogether given up the idea of carrying out this barbarity, so congenial to such a man as Cauchon and to his friend the Inquisitor; for a meeting was summoned by Cauchon at his house three days after Joan had been brought face to face with the torture apparatus, at which the question was discussed as to whether it should not after all be used.

Thirteen judges met the Bishop and the Inquisitor to discuss the question. Of these the following were against applying torture: Maîtres Roussel, Venderès, Marguerie, Erard, Barbier, Gastinel, Coppequesne, Ledoux, De la Pierre, Haiton, and Lemaîstre. One of these, Erard, remarked that it was unnecessary to torture the prisoner seeing that, as he expressed it, 'they had already sufficient evidence to condemn her to death without putting her to torment.' But Morel de Courcelles, and Loiseleur were in favour that it should be made use of. Surely the names of these men deserve to be held in execration, and placed by the side of Cauchon's in the historic pillory of everlasting infamy.

TOUR COUDRAY-CHINON in Joan of Arc book by Gower
ST. OUEN - ROUEN

Meanwhile the University of Paris were deliberating upon their answer to the twelve articles. This body met on the 29th of April, within the convent of Saint Bernard. The ancient building, in which the University held many notable conclaves when even Popes were judged by the doctors of Paris, still exists, but it has been transformed into an oil warehouse. John de Troyes, senior of the Faculty of Theology, was the spokesman, and read the >decisions of the faculty on each of the twelve articles. It is unnecessary to go through the long verbiage of abuse and blasphemy with which these theologians thought it their duty to bespatter Joan of Arc.

On every head these reverend seigneurs condemned her. After De Troyes had finished his reading of the opinions and the judgment, Guérold de Boissel read the deliberations of the Faculty of Decrees upon the six points of accusation. 'If this woman,' so ran the rede, 'was in her right mind when she made affirmation of the propositions contained in the twelve articles, one may say in the manner of counsel and of doctrine, and to speak charitably, first, that she is schismatic in separating herself from obedience to the Church; secondly, that she is out of the pale of the law in contradicting the article "Unam Sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam"; thirdly, apostate, for having cut short her hair, which was given her by God to hide her head with, and also in having abandoned the dress of a woman for that of a man; fourthly, vicious and a soothsayer, for saying, without showing miracles, that she is sent by God, as was Moses and John the Baptist; fifthly, rebel to the faith, by remaining under the anathema framed by the canons of the Church, and by not receiving the Sacraments of the Church at the season set apart by the Church, in order not to have to cease wearing the dress of a man; and, sixthly, blasphemous in saying that she knows she will be received into Paradise. Therefore, if after being charitably warned she refuses to re-enter the Catholic faith, and thereby give satisfaction, she shall be given over to the secular judges, and meet with the punishment due to her crimes.'

And the University of Paris in solemn conclave ratified the above judgment. The University also sent Cauchon a letter of commendation, in which he was held up to the general admiration as a faithful pastor, zealous in good works, on whom the University trusted that the Almighty would, on the day of His manifestation, bestow an imperishable crown of glory.

Such were the sentiments of the most erudite, most pious, and most eminent school of learning existing in the capital of France. On the 19th of May Cauchon summoned yet another gathering of Joan's judges in the archiepiscopal palace at Rouen. Fifty of them attended. After some discussion, during which a few of the learned men present expressed their opinion that Joan of Arc should be at once handed over to the secular arm, it was decided that the prisoner should again be brought before them to be what they were pleased to call 'charitably admonished.' Accordingly, four days after, on the 23rd of May, in a chamber near Joan of Arc's dungeon, another meeting was held. On this occasion a canon of Rouen, named Peter Morice, was ordered to question the prisoner.

He commenced by delivering a long lecture, in which he recapitulated the twelve articles, and wound up his oration by imploring Joan to submit herself to the Church Militant, and threatening her with the loss of body and soul in this world and the next if she still refused to do so.

Joan of Arc was as unmoved and as firm when thus threatened as she had been when placed before the instruments of torture, and she replied:—

'If I were to see the fire itself, the stake, and the executioner ready to light the pile, and were I in the midst of the flames, I should not say anything else than what I have already spoken during the trial, and this is my determination, even unto my death!'

There is some probability for believing that, during the following evening after this last meeting of Joan of Arc and her judges, Loiseleur gained admittance to the prisoner, and, under the disguise of a friendly and sympathetic priest, promised Joan that if she would conform to the wishes of the judges, she should be taken out of the prison she now lay in and the custody of the English, and transferred to prisons belonging to the Church.

Poor Joan's chief desire was that she might be set free from the hands of the English. Be this as it may, there is no authority given for this idea of Loiseleur having probed her on this point; and Wallon, in his history of the Maid, makes no allusion to such an interview, and only states that John Beaupère went in the morning of the 24th to the prison, and he was soon followed there by Nicolas Loiseleur, who vehemently urged on Joan to comply with the demands which the judges had made.

Nothing had been neglected to give the greatest solemnity to the cruel farce which Cauchon had prepared to be now enacted—a solemnity by which the Bishop hoped to degrade Joan of Arc in the eyes of the people. It was that of obliging the prisoner to make a public apology and recantation of all her deeds—a declaration in fact to be made by her in the eyes of the whole world that all she had undertaken and accomplished had been through and by the aid of evil spirits.

By this stroke the Bishop hoped to show to France that its heroine, instead of being a sainted and holy maid sent by God to deliver her country from the invader, was, by her own open and public confession, proved to be an emanation from Satan—a being abhorrent in the eyes of God and man. By this device, Cauchon hoped also to deal a blow to Charles, for when once it became known that his servant and saviour was a creature in league with the fiends, all the works done through her influence, and by her prowess, including his coronation, would also be proved to have been accomplished by the powers of darkness, and therefore deeds abhorrent to all good Catholics throughout his realm.

The place chosen for the stage on which Joan of Arc was to abjure before the eyes of Rouen—and through Rouen the rest of France—her deeds and her words, was the cemetery in front of that most beautiful of all Gothic fanes—the Church of Saint Ouen.

Adjacent to its southern wall the exquisitely carved portal named the Marmousets, then as now rich in statuary of royal and imperial benefactors of the Church, looks down upon what is the entrance to a fair public garden. In the fifteenth century this space was used as a place of burial.

Here, arranged with a view to dramatic effect, were placed two huge wooden scaffolds, or rather platforms, which faced one another. Upon one of these sat the Bishop of Beauvais in state. He had on his right hand the Prince Cardinal of Winchester, great-uncle of the child-king Henry VI., with other notabilities of the Church; the Bishops of Norwich, of Noyon, and of Thérouenne; the Vice-Inquisitor, eight abbots, and a large number of friars and doctors, clerical and lay—in fact all those who had attended the trials of the Maid of Orleans during the two preceding months. Upon the opposite platform stood Joan of Arc, a crowd of lawyers and priests about her. Here, too, stood Loiseleur close by the prisoner; he never ceased urging her to conform to the commands of the clergy about her.

A vast throng of the town's-people gathered below, and the place was all in a turmoil. A seething mob had followed the Maid from her prison to the cemetery, which, already full, now held with difficulty the fresh press of people who accompanied Joan of Arc and her guards to the purlieus of the Church of Saint Ouen.

William Erard had been appointed by Cauchon to preach in this 'terrible comedy,' as Michelet calls this farce of the Maid's abjuration. For text the monk selected the fifteenth chapter of Saint John's gospel: 'The branch,' etc. Erard showed in his discourse how Joan had fallen from one sin into another, till she had at length separated herself from the Church. To a long string of abuse about herself Joan of Arc listened with perfect patience; but the preacher, not content with hurling his invectives at the prisoner, began to attack her King for having listened to Joan's advice, by which conduct the King had, Erard said, also incurred the crime of heresy.

This attack on Charles roused the indignation of the Maid. Turning on the monk, without a moment's thought of her own situation, and the fresh danger she exposed herself to, the noble girl exclaimed: 'By my faith, and with all respect to you, I dare to affirm on my peril that the King of this realm is the noblest of Christians, and no one has greater love for the Faith and Church than my King!'

'Silence her!' shrieked the preacher, beside himself with rage at finding that these few words from the lips of Joan of Arc had destroyed all the effect of his eloquence on that vast crowd, whose sympathy must have been now strongly shown towards the glorious victim before them.

Again summoned to submit to the Church, Joan said: 'I have answered on that point already to my judges. I call upon them to send an account of all my actions to the Holy Father at Rome, to whom after God I submit myself.'

This was not what Cauchon wished his victim to express, for one of the charges that he had made against her was her refusal to submit to the Pope. He therefore changed the subject, and asked Joan of Arc whether she acknowledged that there were any things evil among those deeds she had committed or said.

'As to my deeds and sayings,' she answered, 'I have done them by the command of God.'

'Then you admit,' said the Bishop, 'that the King and others have sometimes urged you to act as you have done?'

'As to my words and actions,' she answered, 'I make no one, and particularly not the King, responsible. If any wrong has been committed, it is I who am to blame, and not another.'

'But,' said Cauchon, 'those acts and words of yours which have been found evil by the judges, will you recant them?'

'I submit them,' said Joan, 'to God and our Holy Father the Pope.'

'The bishops,' continued Cauchon, 'are the judges in their dioceses, therefore you must submit to the Church as your judges have determined that you shall do.'

Joan still refused, and the Bishop then began to read the sentence condemning her to death as a heretic.

Now arose a great uproar among the clergy and others on the platforms and among the crowd beneath. Loiseleur and Massieu urged her to abjure; the former promising that if she consented she would, after abjuring, be taken from her English jailers and placed in keeping of the clergy. In the midst of the hubbub Erard produced a parchment scroll, on which, he told Joan, were written the different accusations against her, which she had only to sign with her mark to be saved. All about this abjuration was a mesh of confusion to the mind of Joan. Massieu told her she need but make a mark on the parchment before her to be delivered: if not—and he pointed down to a grim figure near the foot of the stage they were on, where stood the headsman with cart and assistants, ready to draw her to the stake.

'Abjure!' cried Erard and Massieu, 'or you will be taken and burnt.'

Even Joan of Arc's courage failed at that sight, and all the woman in her nature asserted itself.

'Do what I tell you,' cried Loiseleur; 'abjure and put on woman's dress, and all will yet be well.'

The text of the abjuration was then hurriedly read, Joan of Arc following it, and repeating the words, the sense of which she had no time to understand. She spoke the words, it is said, as one in a dream. Some said she did this mockingly, for she was observed to smile once or twice; but the poor soul's spirit was crushed, and doubtless the whole scene was to her like an evil dream—the poor broken-down body could not discriminate what words she was forced to repeat. A troubled, horrible dream must that have seemed to the hapless maiden, standing on that scaffold, with all the shouting mob about, and all her deadly enemies at hand. She made her mark on the parchment—a little cross—and the deed was done.

In the recantation, or abjuration, thus obtained from Joan of Arc, the twelve articles were included, with all their abuse set down. Thus was Joan obliged by her signature to declare that all her visions and voices were false and from evil spirits; also that she had been guilty of transgressing laws divine in having worn her hair cut short and the dress of a man; also in having caused bloodshed; also in having idolatrously invoked evil spirits; also in having treated God and His sacraments with contempt; and, besides all this, of having acted schismatically, and of having fallen foul of the Church: all of which crimes and errors she now abjured, and humbly submitted herself to the will of the Church and its ordinances. She promised with her abjuration not to relapse, and called on Saint Peter, the Pope, as well as the Bishop of Beauvais and other of her judges, to keep her word.

Not content with having inveigled Joan of Arc into signing this farrago of blasphemous nonsense, her judges, it seems, added fraud to their crime by reading to the prisoner a different recantation from that to which they had forced her to sign her mark. The one she marked contained only six lines, and it did not take longer to read these few lines, an eye-witness afterwards asserted, than it does to repeat the 'Paternoster'; whereas the one produced after the ceremony of the abjuration filled several sides. But in an act of such infamy as this of having cheated Joan of Arc not only into signing a recantation of her life-work, but of confessing to her existence having been one long series of superstitious and criminal workings with the spirits of evil, it matters very little whether she signed a longer or a shorter list of falsehoods invented by her persecuting judges.

While these things were taking place upon the platform on which Joan was bullied into signing this abjuration, the English and their faction in the crowd below began to fear that their victim would escape them; they had not grasped the astuteness of the French prelate, who was ready to hand his prisoner over to them directly he had obtained this recantation from her hand. Cauchon was, however, obliged to keep them waiting until he had got that by which he hoped to destroy Joan of Arc's fame, and at the same time, and by the same deed, to retain in his possession a formidable weapon by which he thought to weaken the cause of the French monarch.

Cauchon may well have felt on that afternoon that what he had done for the English cause merited as his reward the coveted archbishopric of Rouen. There remained but one further act for him to play in this drama before he quitted his platform. Rising from among his brother bishops he read a list of the crimes committed by the prisoner, and announced that, as Joan had now, owing to her abjuration of her sins, re-entered into the fold of the Church, she was absolved by him from her excommunication. However, he added, as she had sinned so grievously against God and the Church, he, for the sake of her soul's welfare, condemned her to perpetual imprisonment—'to the water of sorrow, and the bread of anguish,' so that she might repent of her faults, and cease ever to commit any more.

Then, in spite of the promises made to her of being placed in the charge of the clergy, Cauchon ordered that Joan should be taken back to her former prison.

Warwick is said to have displayed anger at this termination of the proceedings. Observing this, one of the judges pacified him by assuring him that Joan should not be allowed to escape her fate: 'Do not fear, my lord,' he said; 'you will catch her yet.'

That evening the Vice-Inquisitor, accompanied by Loiseleur, Thomas de Courcelles, Isambard de la Pierre, and a few other of the judges who had taken part in the proceedings that day at Saint Ouen, visited the prisoner. Their object in going to her was to insist upon her changing her man's dress, with which demand she now had to comply. That occurred on Thursday night, and on the Sunday following a rumour was spread abroad that Joan of Arc had discarded the woman's dress, and had again put on male dress.

Although, during the last days of the heroine's life, it is most difficult to gather anything authentic as to her treatment in the prison, we are led to understand, by the least untrustworthy testimony, that what happened in the interval between Thursday night and the following Sunday was as follows.

The soldiers placed in charge of Joan after her recantation and her return to the prison had rendered her existence a long martyrdom; and there is reason to believe that on her discarding her man's dress these ruffians attempted to violate the prisoner: so, sooner than suffer this, although she knew that to return to her former dress would be equivalent to meeting certain death, she did not hesitate to save her maidenhood at the exposure of her life.

Michelet, in his history of the Maid, quotes from the deposition of one of the officials—Massieu, who saw much of Joan of Arc in those last days—the statement that on the morning of Trinity Sunday, on waking, she asked the soldiers to leave her alone for a few moments while she dressed; that one of the men removed her woman's clothes, and in place substituted the dress of a man; and that, in order not to be naked, she was obliged to put on the latter.

Be this as it may, on the following morning, Cauchon, followed by several of his creatures, returned to the prison, in order that he might see and show to others that his victim had been entrapped at last. 'We have come,' he said to the prisoner, 'to find out the state of your soul, and we find you, in despite of our command, and despite of your promise to renounce this man's dress, again thus attired. Tell us the reason why you have dared again to wear these clothes.'

Joan's answer was that she preferred that dress to the other, and that, being placed among men, it was better that she should wear it than the dress of a woman. Although not placed in the judicial record of this interview, Manchon adds in his account of the proceedings on that day, that Joan of Arc also said that she had returned to wearing her male attire, feeling safer when in that dress than when she was dressed in woman's clothes. This seems to us an evident avowal that she had to resist the brutality of the men placed over her in the dungeon. Massieu also adds to Manchon's testimony that he knew Joan was unable to protect herself against attempts made to violate her. Her legs were chained to the wood with which her pallet bed was framed, and this chain was again fixed to a large beam about six feet long, and locked with a padlock; so that the poor creature could hardly move. To the above testimony of these two men, Isambard de la Pierre adds his. He states that when Cauchon came to the Maid's dungeon she bore all the traces of having undergone a violent struggle, 'being all in tears, and so bruised and outraged (outrageé) that he (Isambard) could not help feeling pity for her.'

But the strongest testimony of all is that of the priest, Martin Ladvenu, who heard her confession on the eve of her death, and he confirms Isambard's statement entirely. He even adds that not only had Joan of Arc to suffer from the brutality of the soldiery placed about her, but that a millourt d'Angleterre had acted as shamefully as these men towards her.

Although Michelet and other French writers have naturally not allowed this 'Millourt' (which, by the way, is quite as correct a form of spelling that title as the better known 'Milor') to escape the branding he deserves for his attempted villainy, it is but fair to add that Isambard de la Pierre, as well as Manchon, qualify his conduct as that not of a would-be violator, but of a tempter—a not inconsiderable difference in the scale of infamy.

To return to Cauchon and Joan of Arc.

'But,' said the Bishop, 'are you not aware you have now no right to wear such a dress?'

Joan answered that she had been misled into believing that if she wore the woman's dress she would be allowed to hear Mass and to communicate, and to be, she added, 'delivered from these chains.'

'But,' replied Cauchon, 'have you not abjured, and promised never to take to wearing this dress again?'

'I would prefer to die,' she answered, 'than to remain on a prisoner here. But if I were allowed to go to the Mass, and these chains were taken off me, and if I was placed in some other prison where some woman could be near me, then I should do all that is required of me by the Church.'

In all Joan of Arc's answers it should be noticed that she never, in spite of the terrible sufferings she endured, and the gross barbarities inflicted on her, in any single instance ever made any complaint of her treatment. There is something superhuman in this utter absence of any shade of vindictiveness, when one thinks that, by a few words, she might have saved herself from much of what she had to suffer. Never once did she blame even those who had deceived, insulted, and ill-treated her; her life was one beautiful example, full of divine charity and forgiveness.

Cauchon, to make doubly sure of completing his work, then asked Joan: 'Have you, since last Thursday, heard the voices of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?'

'Yes,' she answered.

'And,' continued the Bishop, 'what did they say?'

'They told me of the great sorrow they felt for the great treason to which I have been led, by my abjuring and revoking my deeds in order to save my life, and that by so doing I have lost my soul.'

On the margin of the original document of the MSS. of this examination, written in the prison, the original of which is in the National Library in Paris, we find alongside of this answer of Joan of Arc's the following words: 'Responsio mortifera.' Indeed it was an answer of deadliest import; for Joan in asserting that her voices had again spoken to her, and in saying that she had committed a mortal sin by recanting her deeds, had thrown away the only plank of safety left her.

It seems to us evident, however, that Joan of Arc was now quite eager and willing to meet the worst that her enemies could inflict upon her: death itself must now have seemed more tolerable than the daily death she was undergoing in her prison.

'Did your voices urge you to resist giving way about the recantation?' questioned the Bishop.

'My voices,' Joan said, 'told me as I stood on the platform before the people that I should answer the preacher with boldness.'

'Did he not,' said Cauchon, 'speak the truth?'

'No,' she answered, 'he was a false preacher; and he accused me of having done things which I never did.'

'But,' then said Cauchon, 'do you mean to tell us that you still persist in saying that you have been sent by God?'

To which Joan replied that that was still her belief.

'Then,' continued the Bishop, 'you deny that to which you swore on oath only last Thursday?'

'My voices,' said Joan, 'have told me since then that I had committed a bad deed in saying that I had not done the things which I have done!'

'Then,' continued the Bishop, with eagerness, 'you retract your abjuration?'

'It was,' said Joan of Arc, 'from the fear of being burnt that I retracted what I had done; but I never intended to deny or revoke my voices.'

'But then,' said Cauchon, 'are you now no longer afraid of being burnt?'

'I had rather die than endure any longer what I have now to undergo.'

And with these broken-hearted words of the sufferer ended this long mockery of a trial, so patiently endured during three weariful months by the martyr Maid.

On quitting the prison, Cauchon met Lord Warwick among some Englishmen in the outer court of the castle. They were clamouring that the execution of Joan of Arc should be soon carried out. The Bishop accosted the Earl with a smile of triumph, and said to him in English:—

'You can dine now with a good appetite. We have caught her at last!'

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