It was really not very long gone by, but it seemed so, because so much had happened since.
"In what shape and form did St. Michael appear?"
"As to that, I have not received permission to speak."
"What did the archangel say to you that first time?"
"I cannot answer you to-day."
Meaning, I think, that she would have to get permission of her Voices first.
Presently, after some more questions as to the revelations which had been conveyed through her to the King, she complained of the unnecessity of all this, and said:
"I will say again, as I have said before many times in these sittings, that I answered all questions of this sort before the court at Poitiers, and I would hat you wold bring here the record of that court and read from that. Prithee, send for that book."
There was no answer. It was a subject that had to be got around and put aside. That book had wisely been gotten out of the way, for it contained things which would be very awkward here.
Among them was a decision that Joan's mission was from God, whereas it was the intention of this inferior court to show that it was from the devil; also a decision permitting Joan to wear male attire, whereas it was the purpose of this court to make the male attire do hurtful work against her.
"How was it that you were moved to come into France--by your own desire?"
"Yes, and by command of God. But that it was His will I would note have come. I would sooner have had my body torn in sunder by horses than come, lacking that."
Beaupere shifted once more to the matter of the male attire, now, and proceeded to make a solemn talk about it. That tried Joan's patience; and presently she interrupted and said:
"It is a trifling thing and of no consequence. And I did not put it on by counsel of any man, but by command of God."
"Robert de Baudricourt did not order you to wear it?"
"Did you think you did well in taking the dress of a man?"
"I did well to do whatsoever thing God commanded me to do."
"But in this particular case do you think you did well in taking the dress of a man?"
"I have done nothing but by command of God."
Beaupere made various attempts to lead her into contradictions of herself; also to put her words and acts in disaccord with the Scriptures. But it was lost time. He did not succeed. He returned to her visions, the light which shone about them, her relations with the King, and so on.
"Was there an angel above the King's head the first time you saw him?"
"By the Blessed Mary!--"
She forced her impatience down, and finished her sentence with tranquillity: "If there was one I did not see it."
"Was there light?"
"There were more than three thousand soldiers there, and five hundred torches, without taking account of spiritual light."
"What made the King believe in the revelations which you brought him?"
"He had signs; also the counsel of the clergy."
"What revelations were made to the King?"
"You will not get that out of me this year."
Presently she added: "During three weeks I was questioned by the clergy at Chinon and Poitiers.
The King had a sign before he would believe; and the clergy were of opinion that my acts were good and not evil."
The subject was dropped now for a while, and Beaupere took up the matter of the miraculous sword of Fierbois to see if he could not find a chance there to fix the crime of sorcery upon Joan.
"How did you know that there was an ancient sword buried in the ground under the rear of the altar of the church of St. Catherine of Fierbois?"
Joan had no concealments to make as to this:
"I knew the sword was there because my Voices told me so; and I sent to ask that it be given to me to carry in the wars. It seemed to me that it was not very deep in the ground. The clergy of the church caused it to be sought for and dug up; and they polished it, and the rust fell easily off from it."
"Were you wearing it when you were taken in battle at CompiŠgne?"
"No. But I wore it constantly until I left St.