"I will tell willingly whatever I have permission from God to reveal."
SUNDAY and Monday Joan had a quiet time in her chains, and on Tuesday her sweet patient countenance was once more turned to Bishop Cauchon in the courtroom as he again tried to make her swear to tell the truth in everything on which she would be questioned.
Joan as on the three previous days of trial steadily refused to take such an oath, reserving to herself silence on matters relating to the king, and such as did not concern the trial. She would tell the truth on those things she might speak of but she would not promise to tell all she knew. The effort to make her turn spy on her party, on the king of France, and his council, and to satisfy the curiosity of her questioners as to the appearance and conversation of her Voices, was made again and again but without finding Joan asleep or afraid.
This day there were but fifty-four judges present with the Bishop, instead of the sixty-two of the preceding day.
She was at once and several times commanded to take the oath to speak the truth on all, which should be asked of her. But she held out that she had already sworn to answer truthfully on everything concerning the trial. To that oath she would keep and would take no other.
Then the fire opened on the gentle little woman sitting all alone with fifty-four pairs of eyes bent intently and not kindly on her, and as many ears listening for words from her that would give them an excuse to condemn her as a bad Catholic.
Beaupere was given the privilege of questioning her and began by asking politely, " How are you, to-day?"
"You can see for yourself how I am. I am as well as can be."
"Do you fast everyday this Lent?"
"Is that in the case?" and as he nodded assent-
"Well, yes! I have fasted every day during this Lent."
"Have you heard your Voices since Saturday?"
"Yes! truly, many times."
"Did you hear them last Saturday in the hall while you were being examined?"
"That is not in the case "—every head nodded yes, it was a question they all wanted to ask.
"Very well, then—yes! I did hear them—but up to the moment I returned to my prison, I heard nothing that I may repeat to you!"
"What did it say to you in your room?"
"It said to me ‘Answer boldly!’ I take council with my Voice about what you ask me. I will tell willingly whatever I have permission from God to reveal."
"What did your Voice last say to you?"
"I asked counsel about certain things that you had asked me."
"Did it give you counsel?"
"On some points, yes; on others you may ask me for an answer that I shall not give, not having had leave. For, if I answered without leave I should no longer have my Voices as warrant. When I have permission from Our Savior I shall not fear to speak, because I shall have warrant."
"This Voice that speaks to you, is it that of an angel, or of a saint, or from God direct?"
"It is the Voice of St Catherine and of St Margaret. Their faces are adorned with beautiful crowns, very rich and precious. To tell you this I have leave from Our Lord. If you doubt this send to Poitiers where I was examined before."
"How do you know if these were the two Saints? How do you distinguish them?"
"I know quite well it is they; and I can easily distinguish one from the other. It is seven years now since they have undertaken to guide me. I know them well because they were named to me."
"Are these two Saints dressed in the same stuff?"
"I will tell you no more on this point just now. I have not leave to reveal it."
"Are they of the same age?"
"I have not leave to say."
"Which of them appeared to you first?"
"I did not distinguish them at first. -- I have also received comfort from St. Michael."
"What was the first Voice came to you when you were about thirteen?"
"It was St. Michael; I saw him before my eyes; he was not alone but quite surrounded by angels."
"Did you see St. Michael and these angels bodily and in reality?"
"I saw them with my bodily eyes as well as I see you; when they went from me I wept. I should have liked to be taken away with them."
"And what was St. Michael like?"
"I am not yet free to tell you."
"What did St. Michael say to you this first time?"
"You will have no more about it from me to-day. Once I told the king all that had been revealed to me, because it concerned him; but I am no longer free to speak of all St. Michael said to me."
Turning to Beaupere she said:
"I wish you could get a copy of the book of the trial at Poitiers, if it please God."
"What sign do you give that you have this revelation from God, and that it is Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret who talks with you?"
"I have told you that it is they; believe me if you will."
"How can you make sure of distinguishing such things as you are free to tell from those which are forbidden?"
"On some points I have asked leave. On others I have obtained it. I would have been torn asunder by four horses rather than have come into France without God's leave."
"Was it God who prescribed for you the dress of a man?"
"What concerns this dress is a small thing —less than nothing. I did not take it by the advice of any man in the world. I did not take this dress nor do anything but by the command of Our Lord and of the Angels."
"Did it appear to you that this command to take man's dress was lawful?"
"All that I have done is by Our Lord's command. If I had been told to take some other, I should have done it, because it would have been His command."
Some cross-questioning followed, trying to shake her testimony, that it was by no man's advice she took man's dress, and then Beaupere came back to the King of France:
"Why was your King able to put faith in your words?"
"He had good signs, and the clergy bore me witness."
What revelations has your King had?"
"You will not have them from me this year. During three weeks I was closely questioned by the clergy at Chinon and Poitiers. Before he was willing to believe me, the King had a sign of my mission, and the clergy of my party were of opinion that there was nothing but good in my mission."
"Have you been to St. Catherine de Fierbois?"
"Yes. I heard there three Masses in one day. Afterwards I went to the Castle of Chinon, whence I sent letters to the King, to know if I should be allowed to see him, saying that I
had traveled a hundred and fifty leagues to come to his help, and that I knew many things good for him."
"I think I remember there was in my letter a remark that I should recognize him among all others."
"I had a sword that I had received at Vaucouleurs; whilst I was at Tours or at Chinon I sent to seek for a sword which was in the Church of St. Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; it was found there at once; the sword was in the ground and rusty; upon it were five crosses (possibly a Jerusalem cross, bearing out the legend that it was a Crusader's sword). I wrote to the priests of this place, that it might please them 'to let me have this sword, and they sent it to me. It was under the earth, not very deeply buried, behind the altar as it seemed to me, but I do not know exactly if it was before or behind the altar. As soon as it was found the priests rubbed it and the rust fell off at once without effort. It was an armorer of Tours who went to look for it. The priests of Fierbois made me a present of a scabbard; those of Tours of another; the one was of crimson velvet; the other of cloth of gold. I had a third made of leather, very strong. When I was taken prisoner I did not have this sword.
I always bore this sword of Fierbois from the time I got it, up to my departure from Saint Denis after the attack on Paris."
"What blessing did you invoke or have invoked on this sword?"
"I neither blessed it nor had it blessed; I should not have known how to set about it I cared very much for this sword because it had come from the Church of Saint Catherine, whom I love so much."
"Have you sometimes prayed that your sword might be fortunate?"
"It is good to know that I wished my armor might have good fortune."
"Had you your sword when you were taken prisoner?"
"No! I had one which had been taken from a Burgundian."
"Where was the sword of Fierbois left?"
"I offered at Saint Denis a sword and armor, but it was not this sword. I had that at Lagny; from Lagny to Compiegne I bore the sword of the Burgundian; it was a good sword for fighting—very good for giving stout buffets and hard clouts. To tell what became of the other sword does not concern this case, and I will not tell it now. My brothers have all my goods—my horses, my sword, so far as I know, and the rest, which are worth more than twelve thousand crowns."
"Had you a standard at Orleans, and what color was it?"
"I had a banner, the field of which was sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted on it with an angel at each side. It was white, of the white cloth called 'bocasin', and above were the words 'Jesus, Maria'; it was fringed with silk."
"Which did you care most for, your banner or your sword?"
"Better, forty times better, my banner than my sword."
"Who caused you to get this painting done upon your banner?"
"I have told you often enough I have had nothing done but by the command of God. It was I myself who carried this banner, when I attacked the enemy, so that I might kill no one. I never killed any one."
"What force did your King give you when he set you to work?"
"He gave me ten or twelve thousand men. First, I went to Orleans, to the fortress of St. Loup, and afterwards to that of the bridge. I was quite certain of raising the siege of Orleans. I had revelation of it. I told it to the King before going there."
"Did you tell your people before going to the assault, that only you would receive the arrows, stones and cross bolts thrown by the machines and cannons?"
"No! A hundred and even more of my people were wounded. I had said to them: "Be fearless and you will raise the siege!' Then, in the attack on the bridge fortress I was wounded by a cross-bolt in the neck; but I had great comfort from Saint Catherine and was healed in less than a fortnight. I did not interrupt for this either my riding or my work. I knew I should be wounded. I had told the King so, but that, not-with- standing, I should go on with my work."
"This had been revealed to me by the Voices of my two Saints--the blessed Catherine and the blessed Margaret. It was I who first planted a ladder against the bridge fortress, and it was in raising this ladder that I was wounded."
"Why did you not accept the treaty with the Captain of Jargeau?"
"It was the Lords of my party who answered the English that they should not have the fortnight's delay which they asked, telling them to retire at once, they and their horses. As for me, I told the English at Jargeau to retire if they wished with their doublets and their lives, if not they would be taken by assault."
"Had you revelation from your Voices whether it was right or not to give this fortnight's delay?"
"I do not remember."
"At this point," say the records, "the rest of- the inquiry hath been postponed until Thursday at the same place."
It had been a long and tiresome sitting, for between the questions often there were pauses for consultation (not by the accused with her counsel, for she had none visible) and there was much referring to the record of Joan's previous day's testimony to find something weak or contradictory in her statements. Sorcery must be somehow fastened on her sword, witchcraft on her banner, and presumption and impiety on herself.
Joan was fasting and tired and ought to be frightened by such overpowering and hostile surroundings. Fifty-two Canon Law proficients ought to be able to trap a country girl who "did not know A from B."
Joan went back to her cell less anxious and tired than they were, however, for God and His Saints went with her.