Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/161

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127


"He helps who help themselves. The sons of France will fight the battles, but He will give the victory!"

You could see a light of admiration sweep the house from face to face like a ray from the sun. Even the Dominican himself looked pleased, to see his master-stroke so neatly parried, and I heard a venerable bishop mutter, in the phrasing common to priest and people in that robust time, "By God, the child has said true. He willed that Goliath should be slain, and He sent a child like this to do it!"

Another day, when the inquisition had dragged along until everybody looked drowsy and tired but Joan, Brother Séguin, professor of theology at the University of Poitiers, who was a sour and sarcastic man, fell to plying Joan with all sorts of nagging questions in his bastard Limousin French—for he was from Limoges. Finally he said—

"How is it that you understand those angels? What language did they speak?"

"French."

"In-deed! How pleasant to know that our language is so honored! Good French?"

"Yes—perfect."

"Perfect, eh? Well, certainly you ought to know. It was even better than your own, eh?"

"As to that, I—I believe I cannot say," said she, and was going on, but stopped. Then she added, almost as if she were saying it to herself, "Still, it was an improvement on yours!"

I knew there was a chuckle back of her eyes, for all their innocence. Everybody shouted. Brother Séguin was nettled, and asked brusquely—

"Do you believe in God?"

Joan answered with an irritating nonchalance—

"Oh, well, yes—better than you, it is likely."

Brother Séguin lost his patience, and heaped sarcasm after sarcasm upon her, and finally burst out in angry earnest, exclaiming—

"Very well, I can tell you this, you whose believe in God is