Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/494

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Chapter XVIII

Toward the end of the ten-day interval the University of Paris rendered its decision concerning the Twelve Articles. By this finding, Joan was guilty upon all the counts: she must renounce her errors and make satisfaction, or be abandoned to the secular arm for punishment.

The University's mind was probably already made up before the Articles were laid before it; yet it took it from the fifth to the eighteenth to produce its verdict. I think the delay may have been caused by temporary difficulties concerning two points:

1. As to who the fiends were who were represented in Joan's Voices;

2. As to whether her saints spoke French only.

You understand, the University decided emphatically that it was fiends who spoke in those Voices; it would need to prove that, and it did. It found out who those fiends were, and named them in the verdict: Belial, Satan, and Behemoth. This has always seemed a doubtful thing to me, and not entitled to much credit. I think so for this reason: if the University had actually known it was those three, it would for very consistency's sake have told how it knew it, and not stopped with the mere assertion, since it had made Joan explain how she knew they were not fiends. Does not that seem reasonable? To my mind the University's position was weak, and I will tell you why. It had claimed that Joan's angels were devils in disguise, and we all know that devils do disguise themselves as angels; up to that point the University's position was strong; but you see yourself that it eats its own argument when it turns around and pretends that it can