Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/476

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is, to set down what might be useful to Cauchon, and leave out the rest.

The sight of Joan gave me a shock. Why, she was but a shadow! It was difficult for me to realize that this frail little creature with the sad face and drooping form was the same Joan of Arc that I had so often seen, all fire and enthusiasm, charging through a hail of death and the lightning and thunder of the guns at the head of her battalions. It wrung my heart to see her looking like this.

But Cauchon was not touched. He made another of those conscienceless speeches of his, all dripping with hypocrisy and guile. He told Joan that among her answers had been some which had seemed to endanger religion; and as she was ignorant and without knowledge of the Scriptures, he had brought some good and wise men to instruct her, if she desired it. Said he, "We are churchmen, and disposed by our good will as well as by our vocation to procure for you the salvation of your soul and your body, in every way in our power, just as we would do the like for our nearest kin or for ourselves. In this we but follow the example of Holy Church, who never closes the refuge of her bosom against any that are willing to return."

Joan thanked him for these sayings and said:

"I seem to be in danger of death from this malady; if it be the pleasure of God that I die here, I beg that I may be heard in confession and also receive my Saviour; and that I may be buried in consecrated ground."

Cauchon thought he saw his opportunity at last; this weakened body had the fear of an unblessed death before it and the pains of hell to follow. This stubborn spirit would surrender now. So he spoke out and said—

"Then if you want the Sacraments, you must do as all good Catholics do, and submit to the Church."

He was eager for her answer; but when it came there was no surrender in it, she still stood to her guns. She turned her head away and said wearily—

"I have nothing more to say."