Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

The Life of Joan of Arc
By Anatole France


IN the days when King John was a prisoner in the hands of the English, the townsfolk of Paris, beholding the enemy in the heart of the land, feared lest their city should be besieged. In all haste therefore they proceeded to put it in a state of defence; they surrounded it with trenches and counter trenches. On the side of the University the suburbs were left defenceless; small and remote, they were burned down. But on the right bank the more extensive suburbs well nigh touched the city. One part of them was enclosed by the trenches. When peace was concluded, Charles, Regent of the Realm, undertook to surround the town on the north with an embattled wall, flanked with square towers, with terraces and parapets, with a road round and steps leading up to the ramparts.

In certain places the trench was single, in others double. The work was superintended by Hugues Aubriot, Provost of Paris, to whom was entrusted also the building of the Saint-Antoine bastion, completed under King Charles VI.[137] This new fortifica[Pg ii.55]tion began on the east, near the river, on the rising ground of Les Célestins. Within its circle it enclosed the district of Saint Paul, the Culture Sainte-Catherine, the Temple, Saint-Martin, Les Filles-Dieu, Saint Sauveur, Saint Honoré, Les Quinze Vingts, which hitherto had been in the suburbs and undefended; and it reached the river below the Louvre, which was thus united to the town. There were six gates in the circumvallation, to wit: beginning on the east, the Baudet Gate or Saint-Antoine Gate, the Saint-Avoye or Temple Gate, the Gate of the Painters or of Saint-Denis, the Saint-Martin or Montmartre Gate, the Saint-Honoré Gate and the Gate of the Seine.[138]

The Parisians did not like the English and were sorely grieved by their occupation of the city. The folk murmured when, after the funeral of the late King, Charles VI, the Duke of Bedford had the sword of the King of France borne before him.[139] But what cannot be helped must be endured. The Parisians may have disliked the English; they admired Duke Philip, a prince of comely countenance and the richest[Pg ii.56] potentate of Christendom. As for the little King of Bourges, mean-looking and sad-faced, strongly suspected of treason at Montereau, there was nothing pleasing in him; he was despised and his followers were regarded with fear and horror. For ten years they had been ranging round the town, pillaging, taking prisoners and holding them to ransom. The English and Burgundians indeed did likewise. When, in the August of 1423, Duke Philip came to Paris, his men ravaged all the neighbouring fields, albeit they belonged to friends and allies. But they were only passing through,[140] while the Armagnacs were for ever raiding, eternally stealing all they could lay hands on, setting fire to barns and churches, killing women and children, ravishing maids and nuns, hanging men by the thumbs. In 1420, like devils let loose, they descended upon the village of Champigny and burned at once oats, wheat, sheep, cows, oxen, women and children. Likewise did they and worse still at Croissy.[141] One ecclesiastic said they had caused more Christians to suffer martyrdom than Maximian and Diocletian.[142]

And yet, in the year 1429, there might have been discovered in the city of Paris not a few followers of the Dauphin. Christine de Pisan, who was very loyal to the House of Valois, said: "In Paris there are many wicked. Good are there also and faithful to their King. But they dare not lift up their voices."[143]

[Pg ii.57]

It was common knowledge that in the Parlement and even in the Chapter of Notre-Dame were to be found those who had dealings with the Armagnacs.[144]

On the morrow of their victory at Patay, those terrible Armagnacs had only to march straight on the town to take it. They were expected to enter it one day or the other. In the mind of the Regent it was as if they had already taken it. He went off and shut himself in the Castle of Vincennes with the few men who remained to him.[145] Three days after the discomfiture of the English there was a panic in the town. "The Armagnacs are coming to-night," they said. Meanwhile the Armagnacs were at Orléans awaiting orders to assemble at Gien and to march on Auxerre. At these tidings the Duke of Bedford must have sighed a deep sigh of relief; and straightway he set to work to provide for the defence of Paris and the safety of Normandy.[146]

When the panic was past, the heart of the great town returned to its allegiance, not to the English cause—it had never been English—but to the Burgundian. Its Provost, Messire Simon Morhier, who had made great slaughter of the French at the Battle of the Herrings, remained loyal to the Leopard.[147] The aldermen on the contrary were suspected of[Pg ii.58] inclining a favourable ear to King Charles's proposals. On the 12th of July, the Parisians elected a new town council composed of the most zealous Burgundians they could find in commerce and on change. To be provost of the merchants they appointed the treasurer, Guillaume Sanguin, to whom the Duke of Burgundy owed more then seven thousand livres tournois[148] and who had the Regent's jewels in his keeping.[149] Such an alteration was greatly to the detriment of King Charles, who preferred to win back his good towns by peaceful means rather than by force, and who relied more on negotiations with the citizens than on cannon balls and stones.

Just in the nick of time the Regent surrendered the town to Duke Philip, not, we may be sure, without many regrets for having recently refused him Orléans. He realised that thus, by returning to its French allegiance, the chief city of the realm would make a more energetic defense against the Dauphin's men. The Parisians' old liking for the magnificent Duke would revive, and so would their old hatred of the disinherited son of Madame Ysabeau. In the Palais de Justice the Duke read the story of his father's death, punctuated with complaints of Armagnac treason and violated treaties; he caused the blood of Montereau[150] to cry to heaven; those who were present swore to be right loyal to him and to the Regent. On the following days the same oath was taken by the regular and secular clergy.[151]

[Pg ii.59]

But the citizens were strengthened in their resistance more by their remembrance of Armagnac cruelty than by their affection for the fair Duke. A rumour ran and was believed by them that Messire Charles of Valois had abandoned to his mercenaries the city and the citizens of all ranks, high and low, men and women, and that he intended to plough up the very ground on which Paris stood. Such a rumour represented him very falsely; on all occasions he was pitiful and debonair; his Council had prudently converted the coronation campaign into an armed and peaceful procession. But the Parisians were incapable of judging sanely when the intentions of the King of France were concerned; and they knew only too well that once their town was taken there would be nothing to prevent the Armagnacs from laying it waste with fire and sword.[152]

One other circumstance intensified their fear and their dislike. When they heard that Friar Richard, to whose sermons they had once listened so devoutly, was riding with the Dauphin's men and with his nimble tongue winning such good towns as Troyes in Champagne, they called down upon him the malediction of God and his Saints. They tore from their caps the pewter medals engraved with the holy name of Jesus, which the good Brother had given them, and in their bitter hatred towards him they returned straightway to the dice, bowls and draughts which they had renounced at his exhortation. With no less horror did the Maid inspire them. It was said that she was acting the prophetess and uttering such words as: "In very deed this or that shall come to pass." "With the Armagnacs is a creature in woman's form.[Pg ii.60] What it is God only knows," they cried. They spoke of her as a woman of ill fame.[153] Among these enemies, there were those who filled them with even greater horror than pagans and Saracens—to wit: a monk and a maid. They all took the cross of Saint Andrew.[154]

While the Dauphin had been away at his coronation an army had come from England into France. The Regent intended it to overrun Normandy. In its march on Rouen he commanded it in person. The defence and ward of Paris he left to Louis of Luxembourg, Bishop of Thérouanne, Chancellor of France for the English, to the Sire de l'Isle-Adam, Marshal of France, Captain of Paris, to two thousand men-at-arms and to the Parisian train-bands. To the last were entrusted the defence of the ramparts and the management of the artillery. They were commanded by twenty-four burgesses, called quarteniers because they represented the twenty-four quarters of the city. From the end of July all danger of a surprise had been guarded against.[155]

On the 10th of August, on Saint-Laurence's Eve, while the Armagnacs were encamped at La Ferté-Milon, the Saint-Martin Gate, flanked by four towers and a double drawbridge, was closed; and all men were forbidden to go to Saint-Laurent, either to the procession or to the fair, as in previous years.[156]

On the 28th of the same month, the royal army[Pg ii.61] occupied Saint-Denys. Henceforth no one dared leave the city, neither for the vintage nor for the gathering of anything in the kitchen gardens, which covered the plain north of the town. Prices immediately went up.[157]

In the early days of September, the quarteniers, each one in his own district, had the trenches set in order and the cannons mounted on walls, gates, and towers. At the command of the aldermen, the hewers of stone for the cannon made thousands of balls.[158]

From My Lord, the Duke of Alençon, the magistrates received letters beginning thus: "To you, Provost of Paris and Provost of the Merchants and Aldermen...." He named them by name and greeted them in eloquent language. These letters were regarded as an artifice intended to render the townsfolk suspicious of the aldermen and to incite one class of the populace against the other. The only answer sent to the Duke was a request that he would not spoil any more paper with such malicious endeavours.[159]

The chapter of Notre-Dame ordered masses to be said for the salvation of the people. On the 5th of September, three canons were authorised to make arrangements for the defence of the monastery. Those in charge of the sacristy took measures to hide the relics and the treasure of the cathedral from the Armagnac soldiers. For two hundred golden saluts[160] they sold the body of Saint Denys; but they kept the foot, which was of silver, the head and the crown.[161]

[Pg ii.62]

On Wednesday, the 7th of September, the Eve of the Virgin's Nativity, there was a procession to Sainte-Geneviève-du-Mont with the object of counteracting the evil of the times and allaying the animosity of the enemy. In it walked the canons of the Palace, bearing the True Cross.[162]

That very day the army of the Duke of Alençon and of the Maid was skirmishing beneath the walls. It retreated in the evening; and on that night the townsfolk slept in peace, for on the morrow Christians celebrated the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin.[163]

It was a great festival and a very ancient one. Its origin is described in the following manner. There was a certain holy man, who passed his life in meditation. On a day he called to mind that for many years, on the 8th of September, he had heard marvellous angelic music in the air, and he prayed to God to reveal to him the reason for this concert of instruments and of celestial voices. He was vouchsafed the answer that it was the anniversary of the birth of the glorious Virgin Mary; and he received the command to instruct the faithful in order that[Pg ii.63] they on that solemn day might join their voices to the angelic chorus. The matter was reported to the Sovereign Pontiff and the other heads of the Church, who, after having prayed, fasted and consulted the witnesses and traditions of the Church, decreed that henceforth that day, the 8th of September, should be universally consecrated to the celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary.[164]

That day were read at mass the words of the prophet Isaiah: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

The people of Paris thought that even the Armagnacs would do no work on so high a festival and would keep the third commandment.

On this Thursday, the 8th of September, about eight o'clock in the morning, the Maid, the Dukes of Alençon and of Bourbon, the Marshals of Boussac and of Rais, the Count of Vendôme, the Lords of Laval, of Albret and of Gaucourt, who with their men, to the number of ten thousand and more, had encamped in the village of La Chapelle, half-way along the road from Saint-Denys to Paris, set out on the march. At the hour of high mass, between eleven and twelve o'clock, they reached the height of Les Moulins, at the foot of which the Swine Market was held.[165] Here there was a gibbet. Fifty-six years earlier, a woman of saintly life according to the[Pg ii.64] people, but according to the holy inquisitors, a heretic and a Turlupine, had been burned alive on that very market-place.[166]

Wherefore did the King's men appear first before the northern walls, those of Charles V, which were the strongest? It is impossible to tell. A few days earlier they had thrown a bridge across the River above Paris,[167] which looks as if they intended to attack the old fortification and get into the city from the University side. Did they mean to carry out the two attacks simultaneously? It is probable. Did they renounce the project of their own accord or against their will? We cannot tell.

Beneath the walls of Charles V they assembled a quantity of artillery, cannons, culverins, mortars; and in hand-carts they brought fagots to fill up the trenches, hurdles to bridge them over and seven hundred ladders: very elaborate material for the siege, despite their having, as we shall see, forgotten what was most necessary.[168] They came not therefore to skirmish nor to do great feats of arms. They came to attempt in broad daylight the escalading and the storming of the greatest, the most illustrious, and the most populous town of the realm; an undertaking of vast importance, proposed doubtless and[Pg ii.65] decided in the royal council and with the knowledge of the King, who can have been neither indifferent nor hostile to it.[169] Charles of Valois wanted to retake Paris. It remains to be seen whether for the accomplishment of his desire he depended merely on men-at-arms and ladders.

It would seem that the Maid had not been told of the resolutions taken.[170] She was never consulted and was seldom informed of what had been decided. But she was as sure of entering the town that day as of going to Paradise when she died. For more than three years her Voices had been drumming the attack on Paris in her ears.[171] But the astonishing point is that, saint as she was, she should have consented to arm and fight on the day of the Nativity. It was contrary to her action on the 5th of May, Ascension Day, and inconsistent with what she had said on the 8th of the same month: "As ye love and honour the Sacred Sabbath do not begin the battle."[172]

True it is that afterwards, at Montepilloy, she had engaged in a skirmish on the Day of the Assumption, and thus scandalized the masters of the University. She acted according to the counsel of her Voices and her decisions depended on the vaguest murmurings in her ear. Nothing is more inconstant and more contradictory than the inspirations of such visionaries, who are but the playthings of their dreams. What is certain at least is that Jeanne now as always was[Pg ii.66] convinced that she was doing right and committing no sin.[173] Arrayed on the height of Les Moulins, in front of Paris with its grey fortifications, the French had immediately before them the outermost of the trenches, dry and narrow, some sixteen or seventeen feet deep, separated by a mound from the second trench, nearly one hundred feet broad, deep and filled with water which lapped the walls of the city. Quite close, on their right, the road to Roule led up to the Saint Honoré Gate, also called the Gate of the Blind because it was near the Hospital of Les Quinze Vingts.[174] It opened beneath a castlet flanked by turrets, and for an advanced defence it had a bulwark surrounded by wooden barriers, like those of Orléans.[175]

The Parisians did not expect to be attacked on a feast day.[176] And yet the ramparts were by no means deserted, and on the walls standards could be seen waving, and especially a great white banner with a Saint Andrew's cross in silver gilt.[177]

The French arrayed themselves slightly behind the Moulin hill, which was to protect them from the stream of lead and stones beginning to be discharged from the artillery on the ramparts. There they ranged their mortars, their culverins and their[Pg ii.67] cannon, ready to fire on the city walls. In this position, which commanded the widest stretch of the fortifications, was the main body of the army. Led by Messire de Saint-Vallier a knight of Dauphiné, several captains and men-at-arms approached the Saint Honoré Gate and set fire to the barriers. As the garrison of the gate had withdrawn within the fortification, and as the enemy was not seen to be coming out by any other exit, the Maréchal de Rais' company advanced with fagots, bundles and ladders right up to the ramparts. The Maid rode at the head of her company. They halted between the Saint-Denys and the Saint-Honoré Gates, but nearer the latter, and went down into the first trench, which was not difficult to cross. But on the mound they found themselves exposed to bolts and arrows which rained straight down from the walls.[178] As at Orléans, and at Les Tourelles, Jeanne had given her banner to a man of valour to hold.

When she reached the top of the mound, she cried out to the folk in Paris: "Surrender the town to the King of France."[179]

The Burgundians heard her saying also: "In Jesus' name surrender to us speedily. For if ye yield not before nightfall, we shall enter by force, whether ye will or no, and ye shall all be put to death without mercy."[180]

On the mound she remained, sounding the great dyke with her lance and marvelling to find it so full and so deep. And yet for eleven days she and her men-at-arms had been reconnoitring round the walls and seeking the most favourable point of[Pg ii.68] attack. That she should not have known how to plan an attack was quite natural. But what is to be thought of the men-at-arms, who were there on the mound, taken by surprise, as baffled as she, and all aghast at finding so much water close to the Seine when the River was in flood? To be able to reconnoitre the defences of a fortress was surely the a b c of the trade of war. Captains and soldiers of fortune never risked advancing against a fortification without knowing first whether there were water, morass or briars, and arming themselves accordingly with siege train suitable to the occasion. When the water of the moat was deep they launched leather boats carried on horses' backs.[181] The men-at-arms of the Maréchal de Rais and my Lord of Alençon were more ignorant than the meanest adventurers. What would the doughty La Hire have thought of them? Such gross ineptitude and ignorance appeared so incredible that it was supposed that those fighting men knew the depth of the moat but concealed it from the Maid, desiring her discomfiture.[182] In such a case, while entrapping the damsel they were themselves entrapped, for there they stayed moving neither backwards nor forwards.

Certain among them idly threw fagots into the moat. Meanwhile the defenders assailed by flights of arrows, disappeared one after the other.[183] But[Pg ii.69] towards four o'clock in the afternoon, the citizens arrived in crowds. The cannon of the Saint-Denys Gate thundered. Arrows and abuse flew between those above and those below. The hours passed, the sun was sinking. The Maid never ceased sounding the moat with the staff of her lance and crying out to the Parisians to surrender.

"There, wanton! There, minx!" cried a Burgundian.

And planting his cross-bow in the ground with his foot, he shot an arrow which split one of her greaves and wounded her in the thigh. Another Burgundian took aim at the Maid's standard-bearer and wounded him in the foot. The wounded man raised his visor to see whence the arrow came and straightway received another between the eyes. The Maid and the Duke of Alençon sorely regretted the loss of this man-at-arms.[184]

After she had been wounded, Jeanne cried all the more loudly that the walls must be reached and the city taken. She was placed out of reach of the arrows in the shelter of a breast-work. There she urged the men-at-arms to throw fagots into the water and make a bridge. About ten or eleven o'clock in the evening, the Sire de la Trémouille charged the combatants to retreat. The Maid would not leave the place. She was doubtless listening to her Saints and beholding celestial hosts around her. The Duke of Alençon sent for her. The aged Sire de Gaucourt[185] carried her off with the aid of a captain of Picardy, one[Pg ii.70] Guichard Bournel, who did not please her on that day, and who by his treachery six months later, was to please her still less.[186] Had she not been wounded she would have resisted more strongly.[187] She yielded regretfully, saying: "In God's name! the city might have been taken."[188]

They put her on horseback; and thus she was able to follow the army. The rumour ran that she had been shot in both thighs; in sooth her wound was but slight.[189]

The French returned to La Chapelle, whence they had set out in the morning. They carried their wounded on some of the carts which they had used for the transport of fagots and ladders. In the hands of the enemy they left three hundred hand-carts, six hundred and sixty ladders, four thousand hurdles and large fagots, of which they had used but a small number.[190] Their retreat must have been somewhat hurried, seeing that, when they came to the Barn of Les Mathurins, near The Swine Market, they forsook their baggage and set fire to it. With horror it was related that, like pagans of Rome, they had cast their dead into the flames.[191] Nevertheless the Parisians dared not pursue them. In those days men-at-arms who knew their trade never retreated without laying[Pg ii.71] some snare for the enemy. Consequently the King's men posted a considerable company in ambush by the roadside, to lie in wait for the light troops who should come in pursuit of the retreating army.[192] It was precisely such an ambuscade that the Parisians feared; wherefore they permitted the Armagnacs to regain their camp at La Chapelle-Saint-Denys unmolested.[193]

If we regard only the military tactics of the day, there is no doubt that the French had blundered and had lacked energy. But it was not on military tactics that the greatest reliance had been placed. Those who conducted the war, the King and his council, certainly expected to enter Paris that day. But how? As they had entered Châlons, as they had entered Reims, as they had entered all the King's good towns from Troyes to Compiègne. King Charles had shown himself determined to recover his towns by means of the townsfolk; towards Paris he acted as he had acted towards his other towns.

During the coronation march, he had entered into communication with the bishops and burgesses of the cities of Champagne; and like communications he had entered into in Paris.[194] He had dealings with the monks and notably with the Carmelites of Melun, whose Prior, Brother Pierre d'Allée, was working in his interest.[195] For some time paid agents had been watching for an opportunity of throwing the city into disorder and of bringing in the enemy in a moment of panic and confusion. During the assault they were[Pg ii.72] working for him in the streets. In the afternoon, on both sides of the bridges, were heard cries of "Let every man look to his own safety! The enemy has entered! All is lost!" Such of the citizens as were listening to the sermon hastened to shut themselves in their houses. And others who were out of doors sought refuge in the churches. But the tumult was quelled. Wise men, like the clerk of the Parlement, believed that it was but a feigned attack, and that Charles of Valois looked to recover the town not so much by force of arms as by a movement of the populace.[196]

Certain monks who were acting in Paris as the King's spies, went out to him at Saint-Denys and informed him that the attempt had failed. According to them it had very nearly succeeded.[197]

The Sire de la Trémouille is said to have commanded the retreat, for fear of a massacre. Indeed, once the French had entered they were quite capable of slaughtering the townsfolk and razing the city to the ground.[198]

On the morrow, Friday the 9th, the Maid, rising with the dawn, despite her wound, asked the Duke of Alençon to have the call to arms sounded; for she was strongly determined to return to the walls of Paris, swearing not to leave them until the city should be taken.[199] Meanwhile the French captains sent a herald to Paris, charged to ask for a safe conduct for the removing of the bodies of the dead left behind in great numbers.[200]

[Pg ii.73]

Notwithstanding that they had suffered cruel hurt, after a retreat unmolested it is true, but none the less disastrous and involving the loss of all their siege train, several of the leaders were, like the Maid, inclined to attempt a new assault. Others would not hear of it. While they were disputing, they beheld a baron coming towards them and with him fifty nobles; it was the Sire de Montmorency, the first Christian peer of France, that is the first among the ancient vassals of the bishop of Paris. He was transferring his allegiance from the Cross of St. Andrew to the Flowers-de-luce.[201] His coming filled the King's men with courage and a desire to return to the city. The army was on its way back, when the Count of Clermont and the Duke of Bar were sent to arrest the march by order of the King, and to take the Maid back to Saint-Denys.[202]

On Saturday the 10th, at daybreak, the Duke of Alençon, with a few knights, appeared on the bank above the city, where a bridge had been thrown over the Seine some days earlier. The Maid, always eager for danger, accompanied the venturesome warriors. But the night before, the King had prudently caused the bridge to be taken down, and the little band had to retrace its steps.[203] It was not that the King had renounced the idea of taking Paris. He was thinking more than ever of the recovery of his great town;[Pg ii.74] but he intended to regain it without an assault, by means of the compliance of certain burgesses.

At this same place of Saint-Denys there happened to Jeanne a misadventure, which would seem to have impressed her comrades and possibly to have lessened their faith in her good luck in war. As was customary, women of ill-fame followed the army in great numbers; each man had his own; they were called amiètes.[204] Jeanne could not tolerate them because they caused disorder, but more especially because their sinful lives filled her with horror. At that very time, stories like the following were circulated far and wide, and spread even into Germany.

There was a certain man in the camp, who had with him his amiète. She rode in armour in order not to be recognised. Now the Maid said to the nobles and captains: "There is a woman with our men." They replied that they knew of none. Whereupon the Maid assembled the army, and, approaching the woman said: "This is she."

Then addressing the wench: "Thou art of Gien and thou art big with child. Were it not so I would put thee to death. Thou hast already let one child die and thou shalt not do the same for this one."

When the Maid had thus spoken, servants took the wench and conveyed her to her own home. There they kept her under watch and ward until she was delivered of her child. And she confessed that what the Maid had said was true.

After which, the Maid again said: "There are women in the camp." Whereupon two wantons, who did not belong to the army, and had already been dismissed from it, hearing these words, rode off on horseback. But the Maid hastened after them cry[Pg ii.75]ing: "Ye foolish women, I have forbidden you to come into my company." And she drew her sword and struck one of them on the head, so sore that she died.[205]

The tale was true; Jeanne could not suffer these wenches. Every time she met one she gave chase to her. This was precisely what she did at Gien, when she saw women of ill-fame awaiting the King's men.[206] At Château-Thierry, she espied an amiète riding behind a man-at-arms, and, running after her, sword in hand, she came up with her, and without striking, bade her henceforth avoid the society of men-at-arms. "If thou wilt not," she added, "I shall do thee hurt."[207]

At Saint-Denys, being accompanied by the Duke of Alençon, Jeanne pursued another of these wantons. This time she was not content with remonstrances and threats. She broke her sword over her.[208] Was it Saint Catherine's sword? So it was believed, and doubtless not without reason.[209] In those days men's minds were full of the romantic stories of Joyeuse and Durandal. It would appear that Jeanne, when she lost her sword, lost her power. A slight variation of the story was told afterwards, and it was related how the King, when he was acquainted with the matter of the broken sword, was displeased and said to the Maid: "You should have taken a stick to strike withal and should not have risked the sword you received from divine hands."[210] It was told like[Pg ii.76]wise how the sword had been given to an armourer for him to join the pieces together, and that he could not, wherein lay a proof that the sword was enchanted.[211]

Before his departure, the King appointed the Count of Clermont commander of the district with several lieutenants: the Lords of Culant, Boussac, Loré, and Foucault. He constituted joint lieutenants-general the Counts of Clermont and of Vendôme, the lords Regnault de Chartres, Christophe d'Harcourt and Jean Tudert. Regnault de Chartres established himself in the town of Senlis, the lieutenant's headquarters. Having thus disposed, the King quitted Saint-Denys on the 13th of September.[212] The Maid followed him against her will notwithstanding that she had the permission of her Voices to do so.[213] She offered her armour to the image of Our Lady and to the precious body of Saint Denys.[214] This armour was white, that is to say devoid of armorial bearings.[215] She was thus following the custom of men-at-arms, who, after they had received a wound, if they did not die of it, offered their armour to Our Lady and the Saints as a token of thanksgiving. Wherefore, in those warlike days, chapels, like that of Notre-Dame[Pg ii.77] de Fierbois, often presented the appearance of arsenals. To her armour the Maid added a sword which she had won before Paris.[216]


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