Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/451

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381


"My suit of silver mail and a sword."

"Did you put them there in order that they might be adored?"

"No. It was but an act of devotion. And it is the custom of men of war who have been wounded to make such offering there. I had been wounded before Paris."

Nothing appealed to those stony hearts, those dull imaginations—not even this pretty picture, so simply drawn, of the wounded girl-soldier hanging her toy harness there in curious companionship with the grim and dusty iron mail of the historic defenders of France. No, there was nothing in it for them; nothing, unless evil and injury for that innocent creature could be gotten out of it somehow.

"Which aided most—you the Standard, or the Standard you?"

"Whether it was the Standard or whether it was I, is nothing—the victories came from God."

"But did you base your hopes of victory in yourself or in your Standard?"

"In neither. In God, and not otherwise."

"Was not your Standard waved around the King's head at the Coronation?"

"No. It was not."

"Why was it that your Standard had place at the crowning of the King in the Cathedral of Rheims, rather than those of the other captains?"

Then, soft and low, came that touching speech which will live as long as language lives, and pass into all tongues, and move all gentle hearts wheresoever it shall come, down to the latest day:

"It had borne the burden, it had earned the honor." [1]

  1. What she said has been many times translated, but never with success. There is a haunting pathos about the original which eludes all efforts to convey it into our tongue. It is as subtle as an odor, and escapes in the transmission. Her words were these:
    "Il avait été a la peine, c'etait bien raison qu'il fut a l'honneur."
    Monseigneur Ricard, Honorary Vicar-General to the Archbishop of Aix,finely speaks of it (Jeanne d'Arc la Vénérable, page 197) as "that sublime reply, enduring in the history of celebrated sayings like the cry of a French and Christian soul wounded unto death in its patriotism and its faith."—Translator.