Jeanne d’Arc
by Mrs. Oliphant

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Public Domain Books

St. Joan of Arc
In French Jeanne d’Arc;
Commonly known as la Pucelle (the Maid) by her contemporaries.

Chapter VII - The Second Period. 1429-1430.

The epic so brief, so exciting, so full of wonder had now reached its climax. Whatever we may think on the question as to whether Jeanne had now reached the limit of her commission, it is at least evident that she had reached the highest point of her triumph, and that her short day of glory and success came to an end in the great act which she had always spoken of as her chief object. She had crowned her King; she had recovered for him one of the richest of his provinces, and established a strong base for further action on his part. She had taught Frenchmen how not to fly before the English, and she had filled those stout-hearted English, who for a time had the Frenchmen in their powerful steel-clad grip, with terror and panic, and taught them how to fly in their turn. This was, from the first, what she had said she was appointed to do, and not one of her promises had been broken. Her career had been a short one, begun in April, ending in July, one brief continuous course of glory. But this triumphant career had come to its conclusion. The messenger of God had done her work; the servant must not desire to be greater than his Lord. There have been heroes in this world whose career has continued a glorious and a happy one to the end. Our hearts follow them in their noble career, but when the strain and pain are over they come into their kingdom and reap their reward the interest fails. We are glad, very glad, that they should live happy ever after, but their happiness does not attract us like their struggle.

It is different with those whose work and whose motives are not those of this world. When they step out of the brilliant lights of triumph into sorrow and suffering, all that is most human in us rises to follow the bleeding feet, our hearts swell with indignation, with sorrow and love, and that instinctive admiration for the noble and pure, which proves that our birthright too is of Heaven, however we may tarnish or even deny that highest pedigree. The chivalrous romance of that age would have made of Jeanne d’Arc the heroine of human story. She would have had a noble lover, say our young Guy de Laval, or some other generous and brilliant Seigneur of France, and after her achievements she would have laid by her sword, and clothed herself with the beautiful garments of the age, and would have grown to be a noble lady in some half regal chateau, to which her name would have given new lustre. The young reader will probably long that it should be so; he will feel it an injustice, a wrong to humanity that so generous a soul should have no reward; it will seem to him almost a personal injury that there should not be a noble chevalier at hand to snatch that devoted Maid out of the danger that threatened her, out of the horrible fate that befell her; and we can imagine a generous boy, and enthusiastic girl, ready to gnash their teeth at the terrible and dishonouring thought that it was by English hands that this noble creature was tied to the stake and perished in the flames. For the last it becomes us[1] to repent, for it was to our everlasting shame; but not more to us than to France who condemned her, who lifted no finger to help her, who raised not even a cry, a protest, against the cruelty and wrong. But for her fate in itself let us not mourn over- much. Had the Maid become a great and honoured lady should not we all have said as Satan says in the Book of Job: Did Jeanne serve God for nought? We should say: See what she made by it. Honour and fame and love and happiness. She did nobly, but nobly has she been rewarded.

But that is not God’s way. The highest saint is born to martyrdom. To serve God for nought is the greatest distinction which He reserves for His chosen. And this was the fate to which the Maid of France was consecrated from the moment she set out upon her mission. She had the supreme glory of accomplishing that which she believed herself to be sent to do, and which I also believe she was sent to do, miraculously, by means undreamed of, and in which no one beforehand could have believed. But when that was done a higher consecration awaited her. She had to drink of the cup of which our Lord drank, and to be baptised with the baptism with which He was baptised. It was involved in every step of the progress that it should be so. And she was herself aware of it, vaguely, at heart, as soon as the object of her mission was attained. What else could have put the thought of dying into the mind of a girl of eighteen in the midst of the adoring crowd, to whom to see her, to touch her, was a benediction? When she went forth from those gates she was going to her execution, though the end was not to be yet. There was still a long struggle before her, lingering and slow, more bitter than death, the preface of discouragement, of disappointment, of failure when she had most hoped to succeed.

She was on the threshold of this second period when she rode out of Rheims all brilliant in the summer weather, her banner faded now, but glorious, her shining armour bearing signs of warfare, her end achieved–yet all the while her heart troubled, uncertain, and full of unrest. And it is impossible not to note that from this time her plans were less defined than before. Up to the coronation she had known exactly what she meant to do, and in spite of all obstructions had done it, keeping her genial humour and her patience, steering her simple way through all the intrigues of the Court, without bitterness and without fear. But now a vague mist seems to fall about the path which was so open and so clear. Paris! Yes, the best policy, the true generalship would have been to march straight upon Paris, to lose no time, to leave as little leisure as possible to the intriguers to resume their old plots. So the generals thought as well as Jeanne: but the courtiers were not of that mind. The weak and foolish notion of falling back upon what they had gained, and of contenting themselves with that, was all they thought of; and the un-French, unpatriotic temper of Paris which wanted no native king, but was content with the foreigner, gave them a certain excuse. We could not even imagine London as being ever, at any time, contented with an alien rule. But Paris evidently was so, and was ready to defend itself to the death against its lawful sovereign. Jeanne had never before been brought face to face with such a complication. It had been a straightforward struggle, each man for his own side, up to this time. But now other things had to be taken into consideration. Here was no faithful Orleans holding out eager arms to its deliverer, but a crafty, self- seeking city, deaf to patriotism, indifferent to freedom, calculating which was most to its profit–and deciding that the stranger, with Philip of Burgundy at his back, was the safer guide. This was enough of itself to make a simple mind pause in astonishment and dismay.

There is no evidence that the supernatural leaders who had shaped the course of the Maid failed her now. She still heard her “voices.” She still held communion with the three saints who, she believed devoutly, came out of Heaven to aid her. The whole question of this supernatural guidance is one which is of course open to discussion. There are many in these days who do not believe in it at all, who believe in the exaltation of Jeanne’s brain, in the excitement of her nerves, in some strange complication of bodily conditions, which made her believe she saw and heard what she did not really see or hear. For our part, we confess frankly that these explanations are no explanation at all so far as we are concerned; we are far more inclined to believe that the Maid spoke truth, she who never told a lie, she who fulfilled all the promises she made in the name of her guides, than that those people are right who tell us on their own authority that such interpositions of Heaven are impossible. Nobody in Jeanne’s day doubted that Heaven did interpose directly in human affairs. The only question was, Was it Heaven in this instance? Was it not rather the evil one? Was it sorcery and witchcraft, or was it the agency of God? The English believed firmly that it was witchcraft; they could not imagine that it was God, the God of battles, who had always been on their side, who now took the courage out of their hearts and taught their feet to fly for the first time. It was the devil, and the Maid herself was a wicked witch. Neither one side nor the other believed that it was from Jeanne’s excited nerves that these great things came. There were plenty of women with excited nerves in France, nerves much more excited than those of Jeanne, who was always reasonable at the height of her inspiration; but to none of them did it happen to mount the breach, to take the city, to drive the enemy–up to that moment invincible,–flying from the field.

But it would seem as if these celestial visitants had no longer a clear and definite message for the Maid. Their words, which she quotes, were now promises of support, vague warnings of trouble to come. “Fear not, for God will stand by you.” She thought they meant that she would be delivered in safety as she had been hitherto, her wounds healing, her sacred person preserved from any profane touch. But yet such promises have always something enigmatical in them, and it might be, as proved to be the case, that they meant rather consolation and strength to endure than deliverance. For the first time the Maid was often sad; she feared nothing, but the shadow was heavy on her heart. Orleans and Rheims had been clear as daylight, her “voices” had said to her “Do this” and she had done it. Now there was no definite direction. She had to judge for herself what was best, and to walk in darkness, hoping that what she did was what she was meant to do, but with no longer any certainty. This of itself was a great change, and one which no doubt she felt to her heart. M. Fabre tells (alone among the biographers of Jeanne) that there were symptoms of danger to her sound and steady mind, in her words and ways during the moment of triumph. Her chaplain Pasquerel wrote a letter in her name to the Hussites, against whom the Pope was then sending crusades, in which “I, the Maid,” threatened, if they were not converted, to come against them and give them the alternative of death or amendment. Quicherat says that to the Count d’Armagnac who had written to her, whether in good faith or bad, to ask which of the three then existent Popes was the real one, she is reported to have answered that she would tell him as soon as the English left her free to do so. But this is a perverted account of what she really did say, and M. Fabre seems to be, like the rest of us, a little confused in his dates: and the documents themselves on which he builds are not of unquestioned authority. These, however, would be but small speck upon the sunshine of her perfect humility and sobriety; if indeed they are to be depended upon as authentic at all.

The day of Jeanne, her time of glory and success, was but a short one –Orleans was delivered on the 8th of May, the coronation of Charles took place on the 17th of July; before the earliest of these dates she had spent nearly two months in an anxious yet hopeful struggle of preparation, before she was permitted to enter upon her career. The time of her discouragement was longer. It was ten months from the day when she rode out of Rheims, the 25th of July, 1429, till the 23d of May, 1430, when she was taken. She had said after the deliverance of Orleans that she had but a year in which to accomplish her work, and at a later period, Easter, 1430, her “voices” told her that “before the St. Jean” she would be in the power of her enemies. Both these statements came true. She rose quickly but fell more slowly, struggling along upon the downward course, unable to carry out what she would, hampered on every hand, and not apparently followed with the same fervour as of old. It is true that the principal cause of all seems to have been the schemes of the Court and the indolence of Charles; but all these hindrances had existed before, and the King and his treacherous advisers had been unwillingly dragged every mile of the way, though every step made had been to Charles’s advantage. But now though the course is still one of victory the Maid no longer seems to be either the chief cause or the immediate leader. Perhaps this may be partly due to the fact that little fighting was necessary, town after town yielding to the King, which reduced the part of Jeanne to that of a spectator; but there is a change of atmosphere and tone which seems to point to something more fundamental than this. The historians are very unwilling to acknowledge, except Michelet who does so without hesitation, that she had herself fixed the term of her commission as ending at Rheims; it is certain that she said many things which bear this meaning, and every fact of her after career seems to us to prove it: but it is also true that her conviction wavered, and other sayings indicate a different belief or hope. She did no wrong in following the profession of arms in which she had made so glorious a beginning; she had many gifts and aptitudes for it of which she was not herself at first aware: but she was no longer the Envoy of God. Enough had been done to arouse the old spirit of France, to break the spell of the English supremacy; it was right and fitting that France should do the rest for herself. Perhaps Jeanne was not herself very clear on this point, and after her first statement of it, became less assured. It is not necessary that the servant should know the designs of the master. It did not after all affect her. Her business was to serve God to the best of her power, not to take the management out of His hands.

The army went forth joyously upon its way, directing itself towards Paris. There was a pilgrimage to make, such as the Kings of France were in the habit of making after their coronation; there were pleasant incidents, the submission of a village, the faint resistance, instantly overcome, of a small town, to make the early days pleasant. Laon and Soissons both surrendered. Senlis and Beauvais received the King’s envoys with joy. The independent captains of the army made little circles about, like parties of pleasure, bringing in another and another little stronghold to the allegiance of the King. When he turned aside, taking as he passed through, without as yet any serious deflection, the road rather to the Loire than to Paris, success still attended him. At Château-Thierry resistance was expected to give zest to the movement of the forces, but that too yielded at once as the others had done. The dates are very vague and it seems difficult to find any mode of reconciling them. Almost all the historians while accusing the King of foolish dilatoriness and confusion of plans give us a description of the undefended state of Paris at the moment, which a sudden stroke on the part of Charles might have carried with little difficulty, during the absence of all the chiefs from the city and the great terror of the inhabitants; but a comparison of dates shows that the Duke of Bedford re-entered Paris with strong reinforcements on the very day on which Charles left Rheims three days only after his coronation, so that he scarcely seems so much to blame as appears. But the general delay, inefficiency, and hesitation existing at headquarters, naturally lead to mistakes of this kind.

The great point was that Paris itself was by no means disposed to receive the King. Strange as it seems to say so Paris was bitterly, fiercely English at that extraordinary moment, a fact which ought to be taken into account as the most important in the whole matter. There was no answering enthusiasm in the capital of France to form an auxiliary force behind its ramparts and encourage the besiegers outside. The populace perhaps might be indifferent: at the best it had no feeling on the subject; but there was no welcome awaiting the King. During the time of Bedford’s absence the city felt itself to have “no lord"–/ceux de Paris avoit grand peur car nul seigneur n’ y avoit. It was believed that Charles would put all the inhabitants to the sword, and their desperation of feeling was rather that which leads to a wild and hopeless defence than to submission. The Duke of Bedford, governing in the name of the infant Henry VI. Of England, was their seigneur, instead of their natural sovereign. It is a fact which to us seems scarcely credible, but it was certainly true. There seems to have been no feeling even, on the subject, no general shame as of a national betrayal; nothing of the kind. Paris was English, holding by the English kings who had never lost a certain hold on France, and thinking no shame of its party. It was a hostile town, the chief of the English possessions. In the Journal du Bourgeois de Paris–who was no bourgeois but a distinguished member of that university which held the Maid and all her ways in horror–Jeanne the deliverer, the incarnation of patriotism and of France is spoken of as “a creature in the form of a woman.” How extraordinary is this evidence of a state of affairs in which it is almost impossible to believe! Paris is France nowadays to many people, though no doubt this is but a superficial judgment; but in the early part of the fifteenth century, she was frankly English, not by compulsion even, but by habit and policy. Perhaps the delays, the hesitation, the terrors of Charles and his counsellors are thus rendered more excusable than by any other explanation.

In the meantime it is almost impossible to follow the wanderings of this vacillating army without a map. If the reader should trace its movements, he would see what a stumbling and devious course it took as of a man blundering in the dark. From Rheims to Soissons the way was clear; then there came a sudden move southward to Château-Thierry from which indeed there was still a straight line to Paris but which still more clearly indicated the highroad leading to the Orleannais, the faithful districts of the Loire. This retrograde movement was not made without a great outcry from the generals. Their opinion was that the King ought to press on to conquer everything while the English forces were still depressed and discouraged. In their mind this deflection towards the south was an abandonment at once of honour and safety. An unimportant check on the way, however, gave an argument to the leaders of the army, and Charles permitted himself to be dragged back. They then made their way by La Ferté-Milon, Crépy, and Daumartin, and on this road the English troops which had been led out from Paris by Bedford to intercept them came twice within fighting distance of the French army. The English, as all the French historians are eager to inform us, invariably entrenched themselves in their positions, surrounding their lines with sharp-pointed posts by which the equally invariable rush of the French could be broken. But the French on these occasions were too wise to repeat the impetuous charge which had ruined them at Crécy and Agincourt, and the consequence was that the two forces remained within sight of each other, with a few skirmishes going on at the flanks, but without any serious encounter.

It will be more satisfactory, however, to copy the following itineraire of Charles’s movements from the Chronicle of Perceval de Cagny who was a member of the household of the Duc d’Alençon, and probably present, certainly at all events bound to have the best and most correct information. He informs us that the King left Rheims on Thursday the 21st of July, and dined, supped, and lay at the Abbey of St. Nanuol that night, where were brought to him the keys of the city of Laon. He then set out on le voyage à venir devant Paris.

“And on Saturday the 23d of the same month the King dined, supped and lay at Soissons, and was there received the most honourably that the churchmen, burghers and other people of the town were capable of: for they had all great fear because of the destruction of the town which had been taken by the Burgundians and made to rebel against the King.

“Friday the 29th day of July the King and his company were all day before Château-Thierry in order of battle, hoping that the Duke of Bedford would appear to fight. The place surrendered at the hour of vespers, and the King lodged there till Monday the first of August. On that day the King lay at Monmirail in Brie.

“Tuesday the 2d of August he passed the night in the town of Provins, and had the best possible reception there, and remained till the Friday following, the 5th August. Sunday the 7th the King lay at the town of Coulommièrs in Brie. Wednesday the 10th he lay at La Ferté- Milon, Thursday at Crespy in Valois–Friday at Laigny-le-Sec. The following Saturday the 13th the King held the field near Dammartin-en- Gouelle, for the whole day looking out for the English: but they came not.

“On Sunday the 14th August the Maid, the Duc d’Alençon, the Count de Vendosme, the Marshals and other captains accompanied by six or seven thousand combatants were at the hour of vespers lodged in the fields near Montépilloy, nearly two leagues from the town of Senlis–The Duke of Bedford and other English captains with between eight and ten thousand English lying half a league from Senlis between our people and the said city on a little stream, in a village called Notre Dame de la Victoire. That evening our people skirmished with the English near to their camp and in this skirmish were people taken on each side, and of the English Captain d’Orbec and ten or twelve others, and people wounded on both sides: when night fell each retired to their own quarters.”

The same writer records an appeal in the true tone of chivalry addressed to the English by Jeanne and Alençon desiring them to come out from their entrenchments and fight: and promising to withdraw to a sufficient distance to permit the enemy to place himself in the open field. The French troops had first “put themselves in the best state of conscience that could possibly be, hearing mass at an early hour and then to horse.” But the English would not come out. Jeanne, with her standard in her hand rode up to the English entrenchments, and some one says (not de Cagny) struck the posts with her banner, challenging the force within to come out and fight; while they on their side waved at the French in defiance, a standard copied from that of Jeanne, on which was depicted a distaff and spindle. But neither host approached any nearer. Finally, Charles made his way to Compiègne.

At Château-Thierry there was concluded an arrangement with Philip of Burgundy for a truce of fifteen days, before the end of which time the Duke undertook to deliver Paris peaceably to the French. That this was simply to gain time and that no idea of giving up Paris had ever been entertained is evident; perhaps Charles was not even deceived. He, no more than Philip, had any desire to encounter the dangers of such a siege. But he was able at least to silence the clamours of the army and the representations of the persistent Maid by this truce. To wait for fifteen days and receive the prize without a blow struck, would not that be best? The counsellors of the King held thus a strong position, though the delay made the hearts of the warriors sick.

The figure of Jeanne appears during these marchings and counter- marchings like that of any other general, pursuing a skilful but not unusual plan of campaign. That she did well and bravely there can be no doubt, and there is a characteristic touch which we recognise, in the fact that she and all of her company “put themselves in the best state of conscience that could be,” before they took to horse; but the skirmishes and repulses are such as Alençon himself might have made. “She made much diligence,” the same chronicler tells us, “to reduce and place many towns in the obedience of the King,” but so did many others with like success. We hear no more her vigorous knock at the door of the council chamber if the discussion there was too long or the proceedings too secret. Her appearances are those of a general among many other generals, no longer with any special certainty in her movements as of a person inspired. We are reminded of a story told of a previous period, after the fight at Patay, when blazing forth in the indignation of her youthful purity at the sight of one of the camp followers, a degraded woman with some soldiers, she struck the wanton with the flat of her sword, driving her forth from the camp, where was no longer that chastened army of awed and reverent soldiers making their confession on the eve of every battle, whom she had led to Orleans. The sword she used on this occasion, was, it is said, the miraculous sword which had been found under the high altar of St. Catharine at Fierbois; but at the touch of the unclean the maiden brand broke in two. If this was an allegory[2] to show that the work of that weapon was over, and the common sword of the soldier enough for the warfare that remained, it could not be more clearly realised than in the history of this campaign. The only touch of our real Maid in her own distinct person comes to us in a letter written in a field on that same wavering road to Paris, dated as early as the 5th of August and addressed to the good people of Rheims, some of whom had evidently written to her to ask what was the meaning of the delay, and whether she had given up the cause of the country. There is a terse determination in its brief, indignant sentences which is a relief to the reader weary of the wavering and purposeless campaign:

“Dear and good friends, good and loyal Frenchmen of the town of Rheims. Jeanne, the Maid, sends you news of her. It is true that the King has made a truce of fifteen days with the Duke of Burgundy, who promises to render peaceably the city of Paris in that time. Do not, however, be surprised if I enter there sooner, for I like not truces so made, and know not whether I will keep them, but if I keep them, it will be only because of the honour of the King.”

While Jeanne and her army thus played with the unmoving English, advancing and retiring, attempting every means of drawing them out, the enemy took advantage of one of these seeming withdrawals to march out of their camp suddenly and return to Paris, which all this time had been lying comparatively defenceless, had the French made their attack sooner. At the same time Charles moved on to Compiègne where he gave himself up to fresh intrigues with Philip of Burgundy, this time for a truce to last till Christmas. The Maid was grievously troubled by this step, moult marrie, and by the new period of delay and negotiation on which the Court had entered. Paris was not given up, nor was there any appearance that it ever would be, and to all the generals as well as to the Maid it was very evident that this was the next step to be taken. Some of the leaders wearied with inaction had pushed on to Normandy where four great fortresses–greatest of all the immense and mysterious stronghold on the high cliffs of the Seine, that imposing Château Gaillard which Richard Cœur-de-lion had built, the ruins of which, white and mystic, still dominate, like some Titanic ghost, above the course of the river–had yielded to them. So great was the danger of Normandy, the most securely English of all French provinces, that Bedford had again been drawn out of Paris to defend it. Here then was another opportunity to seize the capital. But Charles could not be induced to move. He found many ways of amusing himself at Compiègne, and the new treaty was being hatched with Burgundy which gave an excuse for doing nothing. The pause which wearied them all out, both captains and soldiers, at last became more than flesh and blood could bear.

Jeanne once more was driven to take the initiative. Already on one occasion she had forced the hand of the lingering Court, and resumed the campaign of her own accord, an impatient movement which had been perfectly successful. No doubt again the army itself was becoming demoralised, and showing symptoms of falling to pieces. One day she sent for Alençon in haste during the absence of the ambassadors at Arras. “Beau duc,” she cried, “prepare your troops and the other captains. En mon Dieu, par mon martin,[3] I will see Paris nearer than I have yet seen it.” She had seen the towers from afar as she wandered over the country in Charles’s lingering train. Her sudden resolution struck like fire upon the impatient band. They set out at once, Alençon and the Maid at the head of their division of the army, and all rejoiced to get to horse again, to push their way through every obstacle. They started on the 23d August, nearly a month after the departure from Rheims, a month entirely lost, though full of events, lost without remedy so far as Paris was concerned. At Senlis they made a pause, perhaps to await the King, who, it was hoped, would have been constrained to follow; then carrying with them all the forces that could be spared from that town, they spurred on to St. Denis where they arrived on the 27th: St. Denis, the other sacred town of France, the place of the tomb, as Rheims was the place of the crown.

The royalty of France was Jeanne’s passion. I do not say the King, which might be capable of malinterpretation, but the kings, the monarchy, the anointed of the Lord, by whom France was represented, embodied and made into a living thing. She had loved Rheims, its associations, its triumphs, the rejoicing of its citizens. These had been the accompaniments of her own highest victory. She came to St. Denis in a different mood, her heart hot with disappointment and the thwarting of all her plans. From whatever cause it might spring, it was clear that she was no longer buoyed up by that certainty which only a little while before had carried her through every danger and over every obstacle. But to have reached St. Denis at least was something. It was a place doubly sacred, consecrated to that royal House for which she would so willingly have given her life. And at last she was within sight of Paris, the greatest prize of all. Up to this time she had known in actual warfare nothing but victory. If her heart for the first time wavered and feared, there was still no certain reason that, de par Dieu, she might not win the day again.

At St. Denis there was once more a cruel delay. Nearly a fortnight passed and there was no news of the King. The Maid employed the time in skirmishes and reconnoissances, but does not seem to have ventured on an attack without the sanction of Charles, whom Alençon, finally, going back on two several occasions, succeeded in setting in motion. Charles had remained at Compiègne to carry out his treaty with Burgundy, and the last thing he desired was this attack; but when he could resist no longer he moved on reluctantly to St. Denis, where his arrival was hailed with great delight. This was not until the 5th of September, and the army, wrought up to a high pitch of excitement and expectation, was eager for the fight. “There was no one of whatever condition, who did not say, ’She will lead the King into Paris, if he will let her,’” says the chronicler.

In the meantime the authorities in Paris were at work, strengthening its fortifications, frightening the populace with threats of the vengeance of Charles, persuading every citizen of the danger of submission.

The Bourgeois tells us that letters came from “les Arminoz,” that is, the party of the King, sealed with the seal of the Duc d’Alençon, and addressed to the heads of the city guilds and municipality inviting their co-operation as Frenchmen. “But,” adds the Parisian, “it was easy to see through their meaning, and an answer was returned that they need not throw away their paper as no attention was paid to it.” There is no sign at all that any national feeling existed to respond to such an appeal. Paris–its courts of law, Parliaments (salaried by Bedford), University, Church–every department, was English in the first place, Burgundian in the second, dependent on English support and money. There was no French party existing. The Maid was to them an evil sorceress, a creature in the form of a woman, exercising the blackest arts. Perhaps there was even a breath of consciousness in the air that Charles himself had no desire for the fall of the city. He had left the Parisians full time to make every preparation, he had held back as long as was possible. His favour was all on the side of his enemies; for his own forces and their leaders, and especially for the Maid, he had nothing but discouragement, distrust, and auguries of evil.

Nevertheless, these oppositions came to an end, and Jeanne, though less ready and eager for the assault, found herself under the walls of Paris at last.

[1] “The English, not US,” says Mr. Andrew Lang: and it is pleasant to a Scot to know that this is true. England and Scotland were then twain, and the Scots fought in the ranks of our auld Ally. But for the present age the distinction lasts no longer, and to the writer of an English book on English soil it would be ungenerous to take the advantage.

[2] It is taken as a miraculous sign by another chronicler, Jean Chartier, who tells us that when this fact came to the knowledge of the King the sword was given by him to the workmen to be re- founded–"but they could not do it, nor put the pieces together again: which is a great proof (/grant approbation) that the sword came to her divinely. And it is notorious that since the breaking of that sword, the said Jeanne neither prospered in arms to the profit of the King nor otherwise as she had done before.”

[3] “It was her oath,” adds the chronicler; no one is quite sure what it means, but Quicherat is of opinion that it was her baton, her stick or staff. Perceval de Cagny puts in this exclamation in almost all the speeches of the Maid. It must have struck him as a curious adjuration. Perhaps it explains why La Hire, unable to do without something to swear by, was permitted by Jeanne in their frank and humorous camaraderie to swear by his stick, the same rustic oath.


Preface  •  Chapter I - France in the Fifteenth Century. 1412-1423.  •  Chapter II - Domremy and Vaucouleurs. 1424-1429.  •  Chapter III - Before the King. Feb.-April, 1429.  •  Chapter IV - The Relief of Orleans. May 1-8, 1429.  •  Chapter V - The Campaign of the Loire. June, July, 1429.  •  Chapter VI - The Coronation. July 17, 1429.  •  Chapter VII - The Second Period. 1429-1430.  •  Chapter VIII - Defeat and Discouragement. Autumn, 1429.  •  Chapter IX - Compiègne. 1430.  •  Chapter X - The Captive. May, 1430-Jan., 1431.  •  Chapter XI - The Judges. 1431.  •  Chapter XII - Before the Trial. Lent, 1431.  •  Chapter XIII - The Public Examination. February, 1431.  •  Chapter XIV - The Examination in Prison. Lent, 1431.  •  Chapter XV - Re-Examination. March-May, 1431.  •  Chapter XVI - The Abjuration. May 24, 1431.  •  Chapter XVIII - The Sacrifice. May 31, 1431.  •  Chapter XVIII - After.