‘Did your voices urge you to resist giving way about the recantation?’ questioned the Bishop.
‘My voices,’ Joan said, ’told me as I stood on the platform before the people that I should answer the preacher with boldness.’
‘Did he not,’ said Cauchon, ‘speak the truth?’
‘No,’ she answered, ’he was a false preacher; and he accused me of having done things which I never did.’
‘But,’ then said Cauchon, ’do you mean to tell us that you still persist in saying that you have been sent by God?’
To which Joan replied that that was still her belief.
‘Then,’ continued the Bishop, ’you deny that to which you swore on oath only last Thursday?’
‘My voices,’ said Joan, ’have told me since then that I had committed a bad deed in saying that I had not done the things which I have done!’
‘Then,’ continued the Bishop, with eagerness, ’you retract your abjuration?’
‘It was,’ said Joan of Arc, ’from the fear of being burnt that I retracted what I had done; but I never intended to deny or revoke my voices.’
‘But then,’ said Cauchon, ’are you now no longer afraid of being burnt?’
‘I had rather die than endure any longer what I have now to undergo.’
And with these broken-hearted words of the sufferer ended this long mockery of a trial, so patiently endured during three weariful months by the martyr Maid.
On quitting the prison, Cauchon met Lord Warwick among some Englishmen in the outer court of the castle. They were clamouring that the execution of Joan of Arc should be soon carried out. The Bishop accosted the Earl with a smile of triumph, and said to him in English:—
‘You can dine now with a good appetite. We have caught her at last!’
The next day, the 29th of May, Cauchon summoned a large number of prelates and doctors—forty-two in all—to meet him at the archiepiscopal chapel, where he recounted to them all the circumstances of his late interview with the prisoner. He told them how he had found Joan, in spite of her abjuration, again dressed as a man, and of her having reaffirmed all that she had so recently abjured regarding her voices and apparitions. When he had concluded, Cauchon took the opinion of those around him. Without one dissentient voice, they all affirmed that she should be handed over to the secular arm—i.e., burnt. The deliberation had not taken long, and, after thanking the company, the Bishop made out a formal order by which Joan was summoned at eight o’clock on the next morning to the old market-place, there to be delivered into the hands of the civil judge, and by him to be handed over to those of the executioners. ’We conclude,’ said the Bishop, as he dismissed the meeting, ’that Joan shall be treated as a relapsed heretic, for this appears to us right and proper in the sight of law and justice.’