Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/544

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different to the fact that her good name was under a damning blot put there by the priest because of the deeds which she had done in saving him and his scepter; indifferent to the fact that France was ashamed, and longed to have the Deliverer's fair fame restored. Indifferent all that time. Then he suddenly changed and was anxious to have justice for poor Joan himself. Why? Had he become grateful at last? Had remorse attacked his hard heart? No, he had a better reason—a better one for his sort of man. This better reason was that, now that the English had been finally expelled from the country, they were beginning to call attention to the fact that this King had gotten his crown by the hands of a person proven by the priests to have been in league with Satan and burned for it by them as a sorceress—therefore, of what value or authority was such a Kingship as that? Of no value at all; no nation could afford to allow such a king to remain on the throne.

It was high time to stir now, and the King did it. That is how Charles VII. came to be smitten with anxiety to have justice done the memory of his benefactress.

He appealed to the Pope, and the Pope appointed a great commission of churchmen to examine into the facts of Joan's life and award judgment. The Commission sat at Paris, at Domremy, at Rouen, at Orleans, and at several other places, and continued its work during several months. It examined the records of Joan's trials, it examined the Bastard of Orleans, and the Duke d'Alençon, and D'Aulon, and Pasquerel, and Courcelles, and Isambard de la Pierre, and Manchon, and me, and many others whose names I have made familiar to you; also they examined more than a hundred witnesses whose names are less familiar to you—the friends of Joan in Domremy, Vaucouleurs, Orleans, and other places, and a number of judges and other people who had assisted at the Rouen trials, the abjuration, and the martyrdom. And out of this exhaustive examination Joan's character and history came spotless and perfect, and this verdict was placed upon record, to remain forever.