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both sexes ? “ He was,” says our authority, "of a stature above that of the present race of men; his hair was short and curly, approaching black in colour; the upper lip was covered with a little hair .....
.., he was formed as our persons will appear when we are translated to eternity; and,” (I scarcely know whether I ought to proceed,)“ that he had in a part of the body that shall be nameless, the form of a nose similar to that upon our faces, which proved a source of delicious odours and perfumes. From thence also was to issue forth the whole race of men, of whom he possessed in himself every principle: for there existed a yessel in his belly wherein sprang up little eggs, and another vessel full of a divine liquor which gave fecundity to those eggs; and when the man became heated with the love of God, the strong desire he felt that other creatures besides himself should exist to praise, adore, and love the Divine Majesty, caused the liquor to flow over, in consequence of the fire created by the love of God, upon one or more of these eggs, with inconceivable ecstacies; and the egg, thus rendered fruitful, some time after issued forth by the canal from the body of the man in form of an egg; and then, little by little, extended until it produced a perfect human form.” This may well be said to have derogated from common sense, but never from the dignity of the book of Genesis.
• Jeanne, thou hast stated thy knowledge of angels and saints, by the excellent advice, comfort, and doctrine which they gave thee; and it is thy belief that Saint Michael appeared to thee, and thou sayest that their
acts and sayings are good; and that thou believest this as firmly as thou hast faith in Jesus Christ.
“In respect to this article, the clerks say that these things are not sufficient to prove a knowledge of the said angels and saints, and that thou hast given eredence too easily, and affirmed with temerity; and that in saying that thou believest in those things as firmly as in Jesus Christ, thou errest in the faith.”
To this third charge, accusing La Pucelle of believing in her revelations and apparitions as firmly as in the Christian faith, she might have replied, that the doctrine of these celestial beings did not contradict the light of the faith; and, by the firm persuasion she entertained of holding converse with heavenly spirits, she naturally teasoned thus. And since we only know what we believe through the medium of men, and she believed herself to be expressly enlightened by emissaries from the Divinity, where could be the harm of believing as firmly in a Saint Gabriel and a Saint Mary, as in the doctrine of a parish priest? It ought to have been proved to her that she should not have had revelations, instead of blaming her for having given credence to those which she thought she had witnessed.
“ Jeanne, thou hast stated a certitude of knowing events that will occur in future, that thou hast discerned hidden things, and recognised persons whom thou hast never before seen, and all this through the intervention of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret.
“ In regard to this article, the doctors affirm that it contains presumptuous superstition and divination, and conveys a vain and boasting assertion."
In this charge Jeanne is blamed for superstition and vain boasting, in having stated that she had divined the past and foreknown the future. She was very fortunate in her predictions; since what she had foretold came to pass within that century. The French and English courts employed men and women whose only occupation consisted in detailing to the credulous and the curious every remarkable event which had characterised their lives. These persons, however, were not accused of “superstition,” neither were they doomed to the stake under the plea of “ vain boasting."
“ Jeanne, thou hast stated that, by command of the Almighty, thou hast constantly adopted the dress of a man; that thy hair was cropped short above thine ears, without leaving any thing to demonstrate thy being a woman; and that thou hast, thus accoutred, several times received the body of our Lord; insomuch so that thou hast sundry times been admonished to cast it off, which thou hast constantly refused to do, stating that thou wouldst prefer death to leaving off the said attire, unless it were by the command of God. And that if thou wert still in the same apparel with the king and those of thy country, it would be one of the most fortunate events that could occur to the kingdom of France: and thou hast also said, that for a thousand things thou wouldst not make
oath to discontinue for ever the said dress and accoutrements. And that, in advancing those things, thou affirmest to have acted well, and by the command of God.
“ In respect to these several points, the clerks affirm that thou blamest God, and contemnest him in his sacraments; that thou transgressest the divine law, the holy Scriptures, and the canonic ordinances ; that thou art tainted and savourest ill in the faith; that thy boastings are vain, and render thee suspected of idolatry; and that thou urgest thyself never more to wear the habiliments of thy sex in imitation of the custom of the Gentiles and the Saracens."
The wearing men's attire is, in this charge, adduced as a crime; from whence it is inferred, that La Pucelle was tainted and savoured ill in the faith, and was suspected of idolatry. Wherein does the connexion between heresy and the vestments of a man consist? In what can the Almighty be offended whether a human being is clothed or naked? or whether he adopts a pair of short clothes or a petticoat? What connexion is there between idolatry and the mode of dressing? Can it be said that Jeanne d'Arc thereby disturbed the order of society? But the king and his confessors quietly permitted the indulgence of this singular whim for the space of two years; nor were the people scandalized at it. It will perhaps be said, that in the book of Deuteronomy such a custom is accounted an abomination ; - it may be so. According to the law of Moses, various inconveniences might result from indulging such a fancy. In the same code it is deemed a heinous sin to partake of certain meats; yet,
according to the new law, men are permitted to eat of that very food.
Sixth. “ Jeanne, thou hast stated having frequently affixed to thy letters the two names of Jesus, Maria, and the sign of the cross, thereby tending to demonstrate to those whom thou didst address, that they were not to act according to thy words. And in other letters thou hast made boastings of what thou wouldst do to such as did not obey thee; and that it would be manifest by thy blows who had the best right. And thou hast frequently avouched that thou hast done nothing but by revelation and the command of the Lord.
“Respecting this article, the clerks declare that thou art a murderess, and guilty of cruelty, seeking the effu. sion of human blood, seditious, provoking to tyranny, blaspheming God, his commandments and his revelations."
Under the above head Jeanne d'Arc is considered criminal for having used the names of Jesus, Maria, and traced a cross upon her letters ; —let the reader pronounce upon the unjustness of this imputation. She is also adjudged as “ cruel, and a murderess, desirous of spilling human blood,” for writing to an enemy, “ that it would be manifest by blows who had the best right.” It is hard to determine whether such a charge should be attributed to the blind superstition of the times, or to a malice the most outrageous of which the history of mankind can furnish an example.