(1) She was in reality
detained two days, which fact, no
doubt, she judged to be an unimportant detail.
(2) Probably meaning,
had been present when the voices came
to her and had perceived her state of listening and
(3) This was her special friend, Gerard of Epinal—her compere and gossip; was it jesting beguiled by some childish recollection, or mock threat of youthful days that she said this?
(4) An answer evidently
given in the vagueness of imperfect
knowledge, meaning a very great number.
(5) Quicherat gives a note on this subject to point out that there was really was but one Pope at this moment, the question having been settled by the abdication of Clement VIII., Benedict XIV. being a mere impostor. We cannot believe, however, that this historical cutting of the knot could be known to Jeanne. She probably felt only, with her fine instinct, that there could be but one Pope, and that to be deceived on such a matter ought to have been a thing impossible to all those priests and learned men; as a matter of fact the three claimants, on account of whom the Comte d’Armagnac had appealed to her, were no longer existing at the time he wrote.
(6) She meant Paris,
which was lost by the English,
according to her prophecy within the time named.
(7) It should here be noted that Jeanne’s sign to the King being, as he afterwards declared, the answer to his most private devotions and the final setting at rest of a doubt which might have injured him much had it been known that he entertained it—it would have been dishonourable on her part and a great wrong to him had she revealed it.
(8) The translation
of M. Fabre is now, I believe,
reprinted, but it is not satisfactory.
It must not be forgotten, in the history of this strange trial, that the prisoner was brought from the other side of France expressly that she might be among a people who were not of her own party, and who had no natural sympathies with her, but a hereditary connection with England, which engaged all its partialities on that side. For this purpose it was that the venue, the town expected the coming of the Witch, and all the dark revelations that might be extracted from her, her spells, and the details of that contract with the devil which was so entrancing to the popular imagination, with excitement and eagerness. Such a Cause Celebre had never taken place among them before; and everybody no doubt looked forward to the pleasure of seeing it proved that it was not by the will of Heaven, but by some monstrous combination of black arts, that such an extraordinary result as the defeat of the invincible English soldiers had been brought about. The litigious and logical Normans no doubt looked forward to it as to the most interesting entertainment, ending in the complete vindication of their own side and the exposure of the nefarious arms used by their adversaries.