Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven


by M. Guizot

Charles VII & Joan of Arc short biography included in the book A Popular History of France by M. Guizot contains a good overview on the history of France during the reign of Charles VII when Joan of Arc achieved her brilliant successes.

Whilst Charles VI. was dying at Paris, his son Charles, the dauphin, was on his way back from Saintonge to Berry, where he usually resided. On the 24th of October, 1422, at Mehun-sur-Yevre, he heard of his father's death. For six days longer, from the 24th to the 29th of October, he took no style but that of regent, as if he were waiting to see what was going to happen elsewhere in respect of the succession to the throne. It was only when he knew that, on the 27th of October, the parliament of Paris had, not without some little hesitation and ambiguity, recognized "as King of England and of France, Henry VI., son of Henry V. lately deceased," that the dauphin Charles assumed on the 30th of October, in his castle of Mehun-sur-Yevre, the title of king, and repaired to Bourges to inaugurate in the cathedral of that city his reign as Charles VII.

He was twenty years old, and had as yet done nothing to gain for himself, not to say anything of glory, the confidence and hopes of the people. He passed for an indolent and frivolous prince, abandoned to his pleasures only; one whose capacity there was nothing to foreshadow, and of whom France, outside of his own court, scarcely ever thought at all. Some days before his accession he had all but lost his life at Rochelle by the sudden breaking down of the room in the episcopal palace where he was staying; and so little did the country know of what happened to him that, a short time after the accident, messengers sent by some of his partisans had arrived at Bourges to inquire if the prince were still living. At a time when not only the crown of the kingdom, but the existence and independence of the nation, were at stake, Charles had not given any signs of being strongly moved by patriotic feelings. "He was, in person, a handsome prince, and handsome in speech with all persons, and compassionate towards poor folks," says his contemporary Monstrelet; "but he did not readily put on his harness, and he had no heart for war if he could do without it." On ascending the throne, this young prince, so little of the politician and so little of the knight, encountered at the head of his enemies the most able amongst the politicians and warriors of the day in the Duke of Bedford, whom his brother Henry V. had appointed regent of France, and had charged to defend on behalf of his nephew, Henry VI., a child in the cradle, the crown of France, already more than half won. Never did struggle appear more unequal or native king more inferior to foreign pretender.

Sagacious observers, however, would have easily discerned in the cause which appeared the stronger and the better supported many seeds of weakness and danger. When Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, heard at Arras, that Charles VI. was dead, it occurred to him immediately that if he attended the obsequies of the English King of France he would be obliged, French prince as he was, and cousin-german of Charles VI., to yield precedence to John, Duke of Bedford, regent of France, and uncle of the new king, Henry VI. He resolved to hold aloof, and contented himself with sending to Paris chamberlains to make his excuses and supply his place with the regent. On the 11th of November, 1422, the Duke of Bedford followed alone at the funeral of the late king of France, and alone made offering at the mass. Alone he went, but with the sword of state borne before him as regent. The people of Paris cast down their eyes with restrained wrath. "They wept," says a contemporary, "and not without cause, for they knew not whether for a long, long while they would have any king in France." But they did not for long confine themselves to tears. Two poets, partly in Latin and partly in French, Robert Blondel, and Alan Chartier, whilst deploring the public woes, excited the popular feeling. Conspiracies soon followed the songs. One was set on foot at Paris to deliver the city to king Charles VII., but it was stifled ruthlessly; several burgesses were beheaded, and one woman was burned. In several great provincial cities, at Troyes and at Rheims, the same ferment showed itself, and drew down the same severity. William Prieuse, superior of the Carmelites, was accused of propagating sentiments favorable to the dauphin, as the English called Charles VII. Being brought, in spite of the privileges of his gown, before John Cauchon, lieutenant of the captain of Rheims [related probably to Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who nine years afterwards was to sentence Joan of Arc to be burned], he stoutly replied, "Never was English king of France, and never shall be." The country had no mind to believe in the conquest it was undergoing; and the Duke of Burgundy, the most puissant ally of the English, sulkily went on eluding the consequences of the anti-national alliance he had accepted.

Such being the disposition of conquerors and conquered, the war, though still carried on with great spirit, could not, and in fact did not, bring about any decisive result from 1422 to 1429. Towns were alternately taken, lost, and retaken, at one time by the French, at another by the English or Burgundians; petty encounters and even important engagements took place with vicissitudes of success and reverses on both sides. At Crevant-sur-Yonne, on the 31st of July, 1423, and at Verneuil, in Normandy, on the 17th of August, 1424, the French were beaten, and their faithful allies, the Scots, suffered considerable loss. In the latter affair, however, several Norman lords deserted the English flag, refusing to fight against the King of France. On the 26th of September, 1423, at La Gravelle, in Maine, the French were victorious, and Du Guesclin was commemorated in their victory. Anne de Laval, granddaughter of the great Breton warrior, and mistress of a castle hard by the scene of action, sent thither her son, Andrew de Laval, a child twelve years of age, and, as she buckled with her own hands the sword which his ancestor had worn, she said to him, "God make thee as valiant as he whose sword this was!" The boy received the order of knighthood on the field of battle, and became afterwards a marshal of France. Little bands, made up of volunteers, attempted enterprises which the chiefs of the regular armies considered impossible. Stephen de Vignolles, celebrated under the name of La Hire, resolved to succor the town of Montargis, besieged by the English; and young Dunois, the bastard of Orleans, joined him. On arriving, September 5, 1427, beneath the walls of the place, a priest was encountered in their road. La Hire asked him for absolution. The priest told him to confess. "I have no time for that," said La Hire; "I am in a hurry; I have done in the way of sins all that men of war are in the habit of doing." Whereupon, says the chronicler, the chaplain gave him absolution for what it was worth; and La Hire, putting his hands together, said, "God, I pray Thee to do for La Hire this day as much as Thou wouldst have La Hire do for Thee if he were God and Thou wert La Hire." And Montargis was rid of its besiegers. The English determined to become masters of Mont St. Michel au peril de la mer, that abbey built on a rock facing the western coast of Normandy and surrounded every day by the waves of ocean. The thirty-second abbot, Robert Jolivet, promised to give the place up to them, and went to Rouen with that design; but one of his monks, John Enault, being elected vicar-general by the chapter, and supported by some valiant Norman warriors, offered an obstinate resistance for eight years, baffled all the attacks of the English, and retained the abbey in the possession of the King of France. The inhabitants of La Rochelle rendered the same service to the king and to France in a more important case. On the 15th of August, 1427, an English fleet of a hundred and twenty sail, it is said, appeared off their city with invading troops aboard. The Rochellese immediately levied upon themselves an extraordinary tax, and put themselves in a state of defence; troops raised in the neighborhood went and occupied the heights bordering on the coast; and a bold Breton sailor, Bernard de Kercabin, put to sea to meet the enemy, with ships armed as privateers. The attempt of the English seemed to them to offer more danger than chance of success; and they withdrew. Thus Charles VII. kept possession of the only seaport remaining to the crown. Almost everywhere in the midst of a war as indecisive as it was obstinate local patriotism and the spirit of chivalry successfully disputed against foreign supremacy the scattered fragments of the fatherland and the throne.

In order to put an end to this doubtful condition of events and of minds, the Duke of Bedford determined to aim a grand blow at the national party in France and at her king. After Paris and Rouen, Orleans was the most important city in the kingdom; it was as supreme on the banks of the Loire as Paris and Rouen were on those of the Seine. After having obtained from England considerable re-enforcements commanded by leaders of experience, the English commenced, in October, 1428, the siege of Orleans. The approaches to the place were occupied in force, and bastilles closely connected one with another were constructed around the walls. As a set-off, the most valiant warriors of France, La Hire, Dunois, Xaintrailles, and the Marshal La Fayette threw themselves into Orleans, the garrison of which amounted to scarcely twelve hundred men. Several towns, Bourges, Poitiers, and La Rochelle, sent thither money, munitions, and militia; the states-general, assembled at Chinon, voted an extraordinary aid; and Charles VII. called out the regulars and the reserves. Assaults on the one side and sorties on the other were begun with ardor. Besiegers and besieged quite felt that they were engaged in a decisive struggle. The first encounter was unfortunate for the Orleannese. In a fight called the Herring affair, they were unsuccessful in an attempt to carry off a supply of victuals and salt fish which Sir John Falstolf was bringing to the besiegers. Being a little discouraged, they offered the Duke of Burgundy to place their city in his hands, that it might not fall into those of the English; and Philip the Good accepted the offer, but the Duke of Bedford made a formal objection: "He didn't care," he said, "to beat the bushes for another to get the birds." Philip in displeasure withdrew from the siege the small force of Burgundians he had sent. The English remained alone before the place, which was every day harder pressed and more strictly blockaded. The besieged were far from foreseeing what succor was preparing for them.

This very year, on the 6th of January, 1428, at Domremy, a little village in the valley of the Meuse, between Neufchateau and Vaucouleurs, on the edge of the frontier from Champagne to Lorraine, the young daughter of simple tillers of the soil, "of good life and repute, herself a good, simple, gentle girl, no idler, occupied hitherto in sewing or spinning with her mother, or driving afield her parent's sheep, and sometimes, even, when her father's turn came round, keeping for him the whole flock of the commune," was fulfilling her sixteenth year. It was Joan of Arc, whom all her neighbors called Joannette. She was no recluse; she often went with her companions to sing and eat cakes beside the fountain by the gooseberry-bush, under an old beech, which was called the fairy-tree: but dancing she did not like. She was constant at church, she delighted in the sound of the bells, she went often to confession and communion, and she blushed when her fair friends taxed her with being too religious. In 1421, when Joan was hardly nine, a band of Anglo-Burgundians penetrated into her country, and transferred thither the ravages of war. The village of Domremy and the little town of Vaucouleurs were French, and faithful to the French king-ship; and Joan wept to see the lads of her parish returning bruised and bleeding from encounters with the enemy. Her relations and neighbors were one day obliged to take to flight, and at their return they found their houses burned or devastated. Joan wondered whether it could possibly be that God permitted such excesses and disasters. In 1425, on a summer's day, at noon, she was in her father's little garden. She heard a voice calling her, at her right side, in the direction of the church, and a great brightness shone upon her at the same time in the same spot. At first she was frightened, but she recovered herself on finding that "it was a worthy voice;" and, at the second call, she perceived that it was the voice of angels. "I saw them with my bodily eyes," she said, six years later, to her judges at Rouen, "as plainly as I see you; when they departed from me I wept, and would fain have had them take me with them." The apparitions came again and again, and exhorted her "to go to France for to deliver the kingdom." She became dreamy, rapt in constant meditation. "I could endure no longer," said she, at a later period, "and the time went heavily with me as with a woman in travail." She ended by telling everything to her father, who listened to her words anxiously at first, and afterwards wrathfully. He himself one night dreamed that his daughter had followed the king's men-at-arms to France, and from that moment he kept her under strict superintendence. "If I knew of your sister's going," he said to his sons, "I would bid you drown her; and, if you did not do it, I would drown her myself." Joan submitted: there was no leaven of pride in her sublimation, and she did not suppose that her intercourse with celestial voices relieved her from the duty of obeying her parents. Attempts were made to distract her mind. A young man who had courted her was induced to say that he had a promise of marriage from her, and to claim the fulfilment of it. Joan went before the ecclesiastical judge, made affirmation that she had given no promise, and without difficulty gained her cause. Everybody believed and respected her.

In a village hard by Domremy she had an uncle whose wife was near her confinement; she got herself invited to go and nurse her aunt, and thereupon she opened her heart to her uncle, repeating to him a popular saying, which had spread indeed throughout the country: "Is it not said that a woman shall ruin France, and a young maid restore it?" She pressed him to take her to Vaucouleurs to Sire Robert de Baudricourt, captain of the bailiwick, for she wished to go to the dauphin and carry assistance to him. Her uncle gave way, and on the 13th of May, 1428, he did take her to Vaucouleurs. "I come on behalf of my Lord," said she to Sire de Baudricourt, "to bid you send word to the dauphin to keep himself well in hand, and not give battle to his foes, for my Lord will presently give him succor." "Who is thy lord?" asked Baudricourt. "The King of Heaven," answered Joan. Baudricourt set her down for mad, and urged her uncle to take her back to her parents "with a good slap o' the face."

In July, 1428, a fresh invasion of Burgundians occurred at Domremy, and redoubled the popular excitement there. Shortly afterwards, the report touching the siege of Orleans arrived there. Joan, more and more passionately possessed with her idea, returned to Vaucouleurs. "I must go," said she to Sire de Baudricourt, "for to raise the siege of Orleans. I will go, should I have to wear off my legs to the knee." She had returned to Vaucouleurs without taking leave of her parents. "Had I possessed," said she, in 1431, to her judges at Rouen, "a hundred fathers and a hundred mothers, and had I been a king's daughter, I should have gone." Baudricourt, impressed without being convinced, did not oppose her remaining at Vaucouleurs, and sent an account of this singular young girl to Duke Charles of Lorraine, at Nancy, and perhaps even, according to some chronicles, to the king's court. Joan lodged at Vaucouleurs in a wheelwright's house, and passed three weeks there, spinning with her hostess, and dividing her time between work and church. There was much talk in Vaucouleurs of her, and her visions, and her purpose. John of Metz [also called John of Novelompont], a knight serving with Sire de Baudricourt, desired to see her, and went to the wheelwright's. "What do you here, my dear?" said he; "must the king be driven from his kingdom, and we become English?" "I am come hither," answered Joan, "to speak to Robert de Baudricourt, that he may be pleased to take me or have me taken to the king; but he pays no heed to me or my words. However, I must be with the king before the middle of Lent, for none in the world, nor kings, nor dukes, nor daughter of the Scottish king can recover the kingdom of France; there is no help but in me. Assuredly I would far rather be spinning beside my poor mother, for this other is not my condition; but I must go and do the work because my Lord wills that I should do it." "Who is your lord?" "The Lord God." "By my faith," said the knight, seizing Joan's hands, "I will take you to the king, God helping. When will you set out?" "Rather now than to-morrow; rather to-morrow than later." Vaucouleurs was full of the fame and the sayings of Joan. Another knight, Bertrand de Poulengy, offered, as John of Metz had, to be her escort, Duke Charles of Lorraine wished to see her, and sent for her to Nancy. Old and ill as he was, he had deserted the duchess his wife, a virtuous lady, and was leading anything but a regular life. He asked Joan's advice about his health. "I have no power to cure you," said Joan, "but go back to your wife and help me in that for which God ordains me." The duke ordered her four golden crowns, and she returned to Vaucouleurs, thinking of nothing but her departure. There was no want of confidence and good will on the part of the inhabitants of Vaucouleurs in forwarding her preparations. John of Metz, the knight charged to accompany her, asked her if she intended to make the journey in her poor red rustic petticoats. "I would like to don man's clothes," answered Joan. Subscriptions were made to give her a suitable costume. She was supplied with a horse, a coat of mail, a lance, a sword, the complete equipment, indeed, of a man-at-arms; and a king's messenger and an archer formed her train. Baudricourt made them swear to escort her safely, and on the 25th of February, 1429, he bade her farewell, and all he said was, "Away then, Joan, and come what may."

Charles VII. was at that time residing at Chinon, in Touraine. In order to get there Joan had nearly a hundred and fifty leagues to go, in a country occupied here and there by English and Burgundians, and everywhere a theatre of war. She took eleven days to do this journey, often marching by night, never giving up man's dress, disquieted by no difficulty and no danger, and testifying no desire for a halt save to worship God. "Could we hear mass daily," said she to her comrades, "we should do well." They only consented twice, first in the abbey of St. Urban, and again in the principal church of Auxerre. As they were full of respect, though at the same time also of doubt, towards Joan, she never had to defend herself against their familiarities, but she had constantly to dissipate their disquietude touching the reality or the character of her mission. "Fear nothing," she said to them; "God shows me the way I should go; for thereto was I born." On arriving at the village of St. Catherine-de-Fierbois, near Chinon, she heard three masses on the same day, and had a letter written thence to the king, to announce her coming and to ask to see him; she had gone, she said, a hundred and fifty leagues to come and tell him things which would be most useful to him. Charles VII. and his councillors hesitated. The men of war did not like to believe that a little peasant-girl of Lorraine was coming to bring the king a more effectual support than their own. Nevertheless some, and the most heroic amongst them,--Dunois, La Hire, and Xaintrailles,--were moved by what was told of this young girl. The letters of Sire de Baudricourt, though full of doubt, suffered a gleam of something like a serious impression to peep out; and why should not the king receive this young girl whom the captain of Vaucouleurs had thought it a duty to send? It would soon be seen what she was and what she would do. The politicians and courtiers, especially the most trusted of them, George de la Tremoille, the king's favorite, shrugged their shoulders. What could be expected from the dreams of a young peasant-girl of nineteen? Influences of a more private character and more disposed towards sympathy--Yolande of Arragon, for instance, Queen of Sicily and mother-in-law of Charles VII., and perhaps, also, her daughter, the young queen, Mary of Anjou, were urgent for the king to reply to Joan that she might go to Chinon. She was authorized to do so, and, on the 6th of March, 1429, she with her comrades arrived at the royal residence.

At the very first moment two incidents occurred to still further increase the curiosity of which she was the object. Quite close to Chinon some vagabonds, it is said, had prepared an ambuscade for the purpose of despoiling her, her and her train. She passed close by them without the least obstacle. The rumor went that at her approach they were struck motionless, and had been unable to attempt their wicked purpose. Joan was rather tall, well shaped, dark, with a look of composure, animation, and gentleness. A man-at-arms, who met her on her way, thought her pretty, and with an impious oath expressed a coarse sentiment. "Alas!" said Joan, "thou blasphemest thy God, and yet thou art so near thy death!" He drowned himself, it is said, soon after. Already popular feeling was surrounding her marvellous mission with a halo of instantaneous miracles.

On her arrival at Chinon she at first lodged with an honest family near the castle. For three days longer there was a deliberation in the council as to whether the king ought to receive her. But there was bad news from Orleans. There were no more troops to send thither, and there was no money forthcoming: the king's treasurer, it was said, had but four crowns in the chest. If Orleans were taken, the king would perhaps be reduced to seeking a refuge in Spain or in Scotland. Joan promised to set Orleans free. The Orleannese themselves were clamorous for her; Dunois kept up their spirits with the expectation of this marvellous assistance. It was decided that the king should receive her. She had assigned to her for residence an apartment in the tower of the Coudray, a block of quarters adjoining the royal mansion, and she was committed to the charge of William Bellier, an officer of the king's household, whose wife was a woman of great piety and excellent fame. On the 9th of March, 1429, Joan was at last introduced into the king's presence by the Count of Vendome, high steward, in the great hall on the first story, a portion of the wall and the fireplace being still visible in the present day. It was evening, candle-light; and nearly three hundred knights were present. Charles kept himself a little aloof, amidst a group of warriors and courtiers more richly dressed than he. According to some chroniclers, Joan had demanded that "she should not be deceived, and should have pointed out to her him to whom she was to speak;" others affirm that she went straight to the king, whom she had never seen, "accosting him humbly and simply, like a poor little shepherdess," says an eye-witness, and, according to another account, "making the usual bends and reverences as if she had been brought up at court." Whatever may have been her outward behavior, "Gentle dauphin," she said to the king (for she did not think it right to call him king so long as he was not crowned), "my name is Joan the maid; the King of Heaven sendeth you word by me that you shall be anointed and crowned in the city of Rheims, and shall be lieutenant of the King of Heaven, who is King of France. It is God's pleasure that our enemies the English should depart to their own country; if they depart no evil will come to them, and the kingdom is sure to continue yours." Charles was impressed without being convinced, as so many others had been before, or were, as he was, on that very day. He saw Joan again several times. She did not delude herself as to the doubts he still entertained. "Gentle dauphin," she said to him one day, "why do you not believe me? I say unto you that God hath compassion on you, your kingdom, and your people; St. Louis and Charlemagne are kneeling before Him, making prayer for you, and I will say unto you, so please you, a thing which will give you to understand that you ought to believe me." Charles gave her audience on this occasion in the presence, according to some accounts, of four witnesses, the most trusted of his intimates, who swore to reveal nothing, and, according to others, completely alone. "What she said to him there is none who knows," wrote Alan Chartier, a short time after [in July, 1429], "but it is quite certain that he was all radiant with joy thereat as at a revelation from the Holy Spirit." M. Wallop, after a scrupulous sifting of evidence, has given the following exposition of this mysterious interview. "Sire de Boisy," he says, "who was in his youth one of the gentlemen of the bed-chamber on the most familiar terms with Charles VII., told Peter Sala, giving the king himself as his authority for the story, that one day, at the period of his greatest adversity, the prince, vainly looking for a remedy against so many troubles, entered in the morning, alone, into his oratory, and there, without uttering a word aloud, made prayer to God from the depths of his heart that if he were the true heir, issue of the house of France (and a doubt was possible with such a queen as Isabel of Bavaria), and the kingdom ought justly to be his, God would be pleased to keep and defend it for him; if not, to give him grace to escape without death or imprisonment, and find safety in Spain or in Scotland, where he intended in the last resort to seek a refuge. This prayer, known to God alone, the Maid recalled to the mind of Charles VII.; and thus is explained the joy which, as the witnesses say, he testified, whilst none at that time knew the cause. Joan by this revelation not only caused the king to believe in her; she caused him to believe in himself and his right and title: though she never spoke in that way as of her own motion to the king, it was always a superior power speaking by her voice, 'I tell thee on behalf of my Lord that thou art true heir of France, and son of the king.'" (Jeanne d'Arc, by M. Wallon, t. i. p. 32.)

Whether Charles VII. were or were not convinced by this interview of Joan's divine mission, he clearly saw that many of those about him had little or no faith in it, and that other proofs were required to upset their doubts. He resolved to go to Poitiers, where his council, the parliament, and several learned members of the University of Paris were in session, and have Joan put to the strictest examination. When she learned her destination, she said, "In the name of God, I know that I shall have tough work there, but my Lord will help me. Let us go, then, for God's sake." On her arrival at Poitiers, on the 11th of March, 1429, she was placed in one of the most respectable families in the town, that of John Rabuteau, advocate-general in parliament. The Archbishop of Rheims, Reginald de Chartres, Chancellor of France, five bishops, the king's councillors, several learned doctors, and amongst others Father Seguin, an austere and harsh Dominican, repaired thither to question her. When she saw them come in, she went and sat down at the end of the bench, and asked them what they wanted with her. For two hours they set themselves to the task of showing her, "by fair and gentle arguments," that she was not entitled to belief. "Joan," said William Aimery, professor of theology, "you ask for men-at-arms, and you say that it is God's pleasure that the English should leave the kingdom of France, and depart to their own land; if so, there is no need of men-at-arms, for God's pleasure alone can discomfit them, and force them to return to their homes." "In the name of God," answered Joan, "the men-at-arms will do battle, and God will give them victory." Master William did not urge his point. The Dominican, Seguin, "a very sour man," says the chronicle, asked Joan what language the voices spoke to her. "Better than yours," answered Joan. The doctor spoke the Limousine dialect. "Do you believe in God?" he asked, ill-humoredly. "More than you do," retorted Joan, offended. "Well," rejoined the monk, "God forbids belief in you without some sign tending thereto: I shall not give the king advice to trust men-at-arms to you, and put them in peril on your simple word." "In the name of God," said Joan, "I am not come to Poitiers to show signs; take me to Orleans, and I will give you signs of what I am sent for. Let me have ever so few men-at-arms given me, and I will go to Orleans;" then, addressing another of the examiners, Master Peter of Versailles, who was afterwards Bishop of Meaux, she said, "I know nor A nor B; but in our Lord's book there is more than in your books; I come on behalf of the King of Heaven to cause the siege of Orleans to be raised, and to take the king to Rheims, that he may be crowned and anointed there." The examination was prolonged for a fortnight, not without symptoms of impatience on the part of Joan. At the end of it, she said to one of the doctors, John Erault, "Have you paper and ink? Write what I shall say to you." And she dictated a form of letter which became, some weeks later, the manifesto addressed in a more developed shape by her from Orleans to the English, calling upon them to raise the siege and put a stop to the war. The chief of those piously and patriotically heroic phrases were as follows:

"Jesus Maria,

"King of England, account to the King of Heaven for His blood royal. Give up to the Maid the keys of all the good towns you have taken by force. She is come from God to avenge the blood royal, and quite ready to make peace, if you will render proper account. If you do not so I am a war-chief; in whatsoever place I shall fall in with your folks in France, if they be not willing to obey, I shall make them get thence, whether they will or not; and if they be willing to obey, I will receive them to mercy. . . . The Maid cometh from the King of Heaven as His representative, to thrust you out of France; she doth promise and certify you that she will make therein such mighty haha [great tumult], that for a thousand years hitherto in France was never the like. . . . Duke of Bedford, who call yourself regent of France, the Maid doth pray you and request you not to bring destruction on yourself; if you do not justice towards her, she will do the finest deed ever done in Christendom.

"Writ on Tuesday in the great week." [Easter week, March, 1429]. Subscribed: "Hearken to the news from God and the


At the end of their examination, the doctors decided in Joan's favor. Two of them, the Bishop of Castres, Gerard Machet, the king's confessor, and Master John Erault, recognized the divine nature of her mission. She was, they said, the virgin foretold in the ancient prophecies, notably in those of Merlin; and the most exacting amongst them approved of the king's having neither accepted nor rejected, with levity, the promises made by Joan; "after a grave inquiry there had been discovered in her," they said, "nought but goodness, humility, devotion, honesty, simplicity. Before Orleans she professes to be going to show her sign; so she must be taken to Orleans, for to give her up without any appearance on her part of evil would be to fight against the Holy Spirit, and to become unworthy of aid from God." After the doctors' examination came that of the women. Three of the greatest ladies in France, Yolande of Arragon, Queen of Sicily; the Countess of Gaucourt, wife of the Governor of Orleans; and Joan de Mortemer, wife of Robert le Macon, Baron of Troves, were charged to examine Joan as to her life as a woman. They found therein nothing but truth, virtue, and modesty; "she spoke to them with such sweetness and grace," says the chronicle, "that she drew tears from their eyes;" and she excused herself to them for the dress she wore, and for which the sternest doctors had not dreamed of reproaching her. "It is more decent," said the Archbishop of Embrun, "to do such things in man's dress, since they must be done along with men." The men of intelligence at court bowed down before this village-saint, who was coming to bring to the king in his peril assistance from God; the most valiant men of war were moved by the confident outbursts of her patriotic courage; and the people everywhere welcomed her with faith and enthusiasm. Joan had as yet only just appeared, and already she was the heaven-sent interpretress of the nation's feeling, the hope of the people of France.

Charles no longer hesitated. Joan was treated, according to her own expression in her letter to the English, "as a war-chief;" there were assigned to her a squire, a page, two heralds, a chaplain, Brother Pasquerel, of the order of the hermit-brotherhood of St. Augustin, varlets, and serving-folks. A complete suit of armor was made to fit her. Her two guides, John of Metz and Bertrand of Poulengy, had not quitted her; and the king continued them in her train. Her sword he wished to be supplied by himself; she asked for one marked with five crosses; it would be found, she said, behind the altar in the chapel of St. Catherine-de-Fierbois, where she had halted on her arrival at Chinon; and there, indeed, it was found. She had a white banner made, studded with lilies, bearing the representation of God seated upon the clouds, and holding in His hand the globe of the world. Above were the words "Jesu Maria," and below were two angels, on their knees in adoration. Joan was fond of her sword, as she said two years afterwards at her trial, but she was forty times more fond of her banner, which was, in her eyes, the sign of her commission and the pledge of victory. On the completion of the preparations she demanded the immediate departure of the expedition. Orleans was crying for succor; Dunois was sending messenger after messenger; and Joan was in a greater hurry than anybody else.

More than a month elapsed before her anxieties were satisfied. During this interval we find Charles VII. and Joan of Arc at Chatelherault, at Poitiers, at Tours, at Florent-les-Saumur, at Chinon, and at Blois, going to and fro through all that country to push forward the expedition resolved upon, and to remove the obstacles it encountered. Through a haze of vague indications a glimpse is caught of the struggle which was commencing between the partisans and the adversaries of Joan, and in favor of or in opposition to the impulse she was communicating to the war of nationality. Charles VII.'s mother-in-law, Yolande of Arragon, Queen of Sicily, and the young Duke of Alencon, whose father had been killed at the battle of Agincourt, were at the head of Joan's partisans. Yolande gave money and took a great deal of trouble in order to promote the expedition which was to go and succor Orleans. The Duke of Alencon, hardly twenty years of age, was the only one amongst the princes of the house of Valois who had given Joan a kind reception on her arrival, and who, together with the brave La Hire, said that he would follow her whithersoever she pleased to lead him. Joan, in her gratitude, called him the handsome duke, and exhibited towards him amity and confidence.

But, side by side with these friends, she had an adversary in the king's favorite, George de la Tremoille, an ambitious courtier, jealous of any one who seemed within the range of the king's favor, and opposed to a vigorous prosecution of the war, since it hampered him in the policy he wished to keep up towards the Duke of Burgundy. To the ill will of La Tremoille was added that of the majority of courtiers enlisted in the following of the powerful favorite, and that of warriors irritated at the importance acquired at their expense by a rustic and fantastic little adventuress. Here was the source of the enmities and intrigues which stood in the way of all Joan's demands, rendered her successes more tardy, difficult, and incomplete, and were one day to cost her more dearly still.

At the end of about five weeks the expedition was in readiness. It was a heavy convoy of revictualment, protected by a body of ten or twelve thousand men, commanded by Marshal de Boussac, and numbering amongst them Xaintrailles and La Hire. The march began on the 27th of April, 1429. Joan had caused the removal of all women of bad character, and had recommended her comrades to confess. She took the communion in the open air, before their eyes; and a company of priests, headed by her chaplain, Pasquerel, led the way whilst chanting sacred hymns. Great was the surprise amongst the men-at-arms, many had words of mockery on their lips. It was the time when La Hire used to say, "If God were a soldier, He would turn robber." Nevertheless, respect got the better of habit; the most honorable were really touched; the coarsest considered themselves bound to show restraint. On the 29th of April they arrived before Orleans. But, in consequence of the road they had followed, the Loire was between the army and the town; the expeditionary corps had to be split in two; the troops were obliged to go and feel for the bridge of Blois in order to 'cross the river; and Joan was vexed and surprised. Dunois, arrived from Orleans in a little boat, urged her to enter the town that same evening. "Are you the bastard of Orleans?" asked she, when he accosted her. "Yes; and I am rejoiced at your coming." "Was it you who gave counsel for making me come hither by this side of the river, and not the direct way, over yonder where Talbot and the English were?" "Yes; such was the opinion of the wisest captains." "In the name of God, the counsel of my Lord is wiser than yours; you thought to deceive me, and you have deceived yourselves, for I am bringing you the best succor that ever had knight, or town, or city, and that is the good will of God, and succor from the King of Heaven; not assuredly for love of me, it is from God only that it proceeds." It was a great trial for Joan to separate from her comrades, "so well prepared, penitent, and well disposed; in their company," said she, "I should not fear the whole power of the English." She was afraid that disorder might set in amongst the troops, and that they might break up, instead of fulfilling her mission. Dunois was urgent for her to go herself at once into Orleans, with such portion of the convoy as boats might be able to transport thither without delay. "Orleans," said he, "would count it for nought, if they received the victuals without the Maid." Joan decided to go: the captains of her division promised to rejoin her at Orleans; she left them her chaplain, Pasquerel, the priests who accompanied him, and the banner around which she was accustomed to muster them; and she herself, with Dunois, La Hire, and two hundred men-at-arms, crossed the river at the same time with a part of the supplies.

The same day, at eight P. M., she entered the city, on horseback, completely armed, preceded by her own banner, and having beside her Dunois, and behind her the captains of the garrison and several of the most distinguished burgesses of Orleans who had gone out to meet her. The population, one and all, rushed thronging round her, carrying torches, and greeting her arrival "with joy as great as if they had seen God come down amongst them. They felt," says the Journal of the Siege, "all of them recomforted and as it were disbesieged by the divine virtue which they had been told existed in this simple maid." In their anxiety to approach her, to touch her, one of their lighted torches set fire to her banner. Joan disengaged herself with her horse as cleverly as it could have been done by the most skilful horseman, and herself extinguished the flame. The crowd attended her to the church whither she desired to go first of all to render thanks to God, and then to the house of John Boucher, the Duke of Orleans's treasurer, where she was received together with her two brothers and the two gentlemen who had been her guides from Vaucouleurs. The treasurer's wife was one of the most virtuous city dames in Orleans, and from this night forth her daughter Charlotte had Joan for her bedfellow. A splendid supper had been prepared for her; but she would merely dip some slices of bread in wine and water. Neither her enthusiasm nor her success, the two greatest tempters to pride in mankind, made any change in her modesty and simplicity.

The very day after her arrival she would have liked to go and attack the English in their bastilles, within which they kept themselves shut up. La Hire was pretty much of her opinion; but Dunois and the captains of the garrison thought they ought to await the coming of the troops which had gone to cross the Loire at Blois, and the supports which several French garrisons in the neighborhood had received orders to forward to Orleans. Joan insisted. Sire de Gamaches, one of the officers present, could not contain himself. "Since ear is given," said he, "to the advice of a wench of low degree rather than to that of a knight like me, I will not bandy more words; when the time comes, it shall be my sword that will speak; I shall fall, perhaps, but the king and my own honor demand it; henceforth I give up my banner and am nothing more than a poor esquire. I prefer to have for master a noble man rather than a girl who has heretofore been, perhaps, I know not what." He furled his banner and handed it to Dunois. Dunois, as sensible as he was brave, would not give heed either to the choler of Gamaches or to the insistence of Joan; and, thanks to his intervention, they were reconciled on being induced to think better, respectively, of giving up the banner and ordering an immediate attack. Dunois went to Blois to hurry the movements of the division which had repaired thither; and his presence there was highly necessary, since Joan's enemies, especially the chancellor Regnault, were nearly carrying a decision that no such re-enforcement should be sent to Orleans. Dunois frustrated this purpose, and led back to Orleans, by way of Beauce, the troops concentrated at Blois. On the 4th of May, as soon as it was known that he was coming, Joan, La Hire, and the principal leaders of the city as well as of the garrison, went to meet him, and re-entered Orleans with him and his troops, passing between the bastilles of the English, who made not even an attempt to oppose them. "That is the sorceress yonder," said some of the besiegers; others asked if it were quite so clear that her power, did not come to her from on high; and their commander, the Earl of Suffolk, being himself, perhaps, uncertain, did not like to risk it: doubt produced terror, and terror inactivity. The convoy from Blois entered Orleans, preceded by Brother Pasquerel and the priests.

Joan, whilst she was awaiting it, sent the English captains a fresh summons to withdraw conformably with the letter which she had already addressed to them from Blois, and the principal clauses of which were just now quoted here. They replied with coarse insults, calling her strumpet and cow-girl, and threatening to burn her when they caught her. She was very much moved by their insults, insomuch as to weep; but calling God to witness her innocence, she found herself comforted, and expressed it by saying, "I have had news from my Lord." The English had detained the first herald she had sent them; and when she would have sent them a second to demand his comrade back, he was afraid. "In the name of God," said Joan, "they will do no harm nor to thee nor to him; thou shalt tell Talbot to arm, and I too will arm; let him show himself in front of the city; if he can take me, let him burn me; if I discomfit him, let him raise the siege, and let the English get them gone to their own country." The second herald appeared to be far from reassured; but Dunois charged him to say that the English prisoners should answer for what was done to the heralds from the Maid. The two heralds were sent back. Joan made up her mind to iterate in person to the English the warnings she had given them in her letter. She mounted upon one of the bastions of Orleans, opposite the English bastille called Tournelles, and there, at the top of her voice, she repeated her counsel to them to be gone; else, woe and shame would come upon them. The commandant of the bastille, Sir William Gladesdale [called by Joan and the French chroniclers Glacidas], answered with the usual insults, telling her to go back and mind her cows, and alluding to the French as miscreants. "You lie," cried Joan, "and in spite of you soon shall ye depart hence; many of your people shall be slain; but as for you, you shall not see it."

Dunois, the very day of his return to Orleans, after dinner, went to call upon Joan, and told her that he had heard on his way that Sir John Falstolf, the same who on the 12th of the previous February had beaten the French in the Herring affair, was about to arrive with re-enforcements and supplies for the besiegers. "Bastard, bastard," said Joan, "in the name of God I command thee, as soon as thou shalt know of this Pascot's coming, to have me warned of it, for, should he pass without my knowing of it, I promise thee that I will have thy head cut off." Dunois assured her that she should be warned. Joan was tired with the day's excitement; she threw herself upon her bed to sleep, but unsuccessfully; all at once she said to Sire Daulon, her esquire, "My counsel doth tell me to go against the English; but I know not whether against their bastilles or against this Fascot. I must arm." Her esquire was beginning to arm her when she heard it shouted in the street that the enemy were at that moment doing great damage to the French. "My God," said she, "the blood of our people is running on the ground; why was I not awakened sooner? Ah! it was ill done! . . . My arms! My arms! my horse!" Leaving behind her esquire, who was not yet armed, she went down. Her page was playing at the door: "Ah! naughty boy," said she, "not to come and tell me that the blood of France was being shed! Come! quick! my horse!" It was brought to her; she bade them hand down to her by the window her banner, which she had left behind, and, without any further waiting, she departed and went to the Burgundy gate, whence the noise seemed to come. Seeing on her way one of the townsmen passing who was being carried off wounded, she said, "Alas! I never see a Frenchman's blood but my hair stands up on my head!" It was some of the Orleannese themselves who, without consulting their chiefs, had made a sortie and attacked the Bastille St. Loup, the strongest held by the English on this side. The French had been repulsed, and were falling back in flight when Joan came up, and soon after her Dunois and a throng of men-at-arms who had been warned of the danger. The fugitives returned to the assault; the battle was renewed with ardor; the bastille of St. Loup, notwithstanding energetic resistance on the part of the English who manned it, was taken; and all its defenders were put to the sword before Talbot and the main body of the besiegers could come up to their assistance. Joan showed sorrow that so many people should have died unconfessed; and she herself was the means of saving some who had disguised themselves as priests in gowns which they had taken from the church of St. Loup. Great was the joy in Orleans, and the enthusiasm for Joan was more lively than ever. "Her voices had warned her," they said, "and apprised her that there was a battle; and then she had found by herself alone and without any guide the way to the Burgundy gate." Men-at-arms and burgesses all demanded that the attack upon the English hastilles should be resumed; but the next day, the 5th of May, was Ascension-day. Joan advocated lions repose on this holy festival, and the general feeling was in accord with her own. She recommended her comrades to fulfil their religious duties, and she herself received the communion. The chiefs of the besieged resolved to begin on the morrow a combined attack upon the English bastilles which surrounded the palace; but Joan was not in their counsels. "Tell me what you have resolved," she said to them; "I can keep this and greater secrets." Dunois made her acquainted with the plan adopted, of which she fully approved; and on the morrow, the 6th of May, a fierce struggle began again all round Orleans. For two days the bastilles erected by the besiegers against the place were repeatedly attacked by the besieged. On the first day Joan was slightly wounded in the foot. Some disagreement arose between her and Sire de Gaucourt, governor of Orleans, as to continuing the struggle; and John Boucher, her host, tried to keep her back the second day. "Stay and dine with us," said he, "to eat that shad which has just been brought." "Keep it for supper," said Joan; "I will come back this evening and bring you some goddamns (Englishman) or other to eat his share;" and she sallied forth, eager to return to the assault. On arriving at the Burgundy gate she found it closed; the governor would not allow any sortie thereby to attack on that side. "Ah! naughty man," said Joan, "you are wrong; whether you will or no, our men-at-arms shall go and win on this day as they have already won." The gate was forced; and men-at-arms and burgesses rushed out from all quarters to attack the bastille of Tournelles, the strongest of the English works. It was ten o'clock in the morning; the passive and active powers of both parties were concentrated on this point; and for a moment the French appeared weary and downcast. Joan took a scaling-ladder, set it against the rampart, and was the first to mount. There came an arrow and struck her between neck and shoulder, and she fell. Sire de Gamaches, who had but lately displayed so much temper towards her, found her where she lay. "Take my horse," said he, "and bear no malice: I was wrong; I had formed a false idea of you." "Yes," said Joan, "and bear no malice: I never saw a more accomplished knight." She was taken away and had her armor removed. The arrow, it is said, stood out almost half-a-foot behind. There was an instant of faintness and tears; but she prayed and felt her strength renewed, and pulled out the arrow with her own hand.

Some one proposed to her to charm the wound by means of cabalistic words; but "I would rather die," she said, "than so sin against the will of God. I know full well that I must die some day; but I know nor where nor when nor how. If, without sin, my wound may be healed, I am right willing." A dressing of oil and lard was applied to the wound; and she retired apart into a vineyard, and was continually in prayer. Fatigue and discouragement were overcoming the French; and the captains ordered the retreat to be sounded. Joan begged Dunois to wait a while. "My God," said she, "we shall soon be inside. Give your people a little rest; eat and drink." She resumed her arms and remounted her horse; her banner floated in the air; the French took fresh courage; the English, who thought Joan half dead, were seized with surprise and fear; and one of their principal leaders, Sir William Gladesdale, made up his mind to abandon the outwork which he had hitherto so well kept, and retire within the bastille itself. Joan perceived his movement. "Yield thee," she shouted to him from afar; "yield thee to the King of Heaven! Ah! Glacidas, thou hast basely insulted me; but I have great pity on the souls of thee and thine." The Englishman continued his retreat. Whilst he was passing over the drawbridge which reached from the out-work to the bastille, a shot from the side of Orleans broke down the bridge; Gladesdale fell into the water and was drowned, together with many of his comrades; the French got into the bastille without any fresh fighting; and Joan re-entered Orleans amidst the joy and acclamations of the people. The bells rang all through the night, and the Te Deum was chanted. The day of combat was about to be succeeded by the day of deliverance.

On the morrow, the 8th of May, 1429, at daybreak, the English leaders drew up their troops close to the very moats of the city, and seemed to offer battle to the French. Many of the Orleannese leaders would have liked to accept this challenge; but Joan got up from her bed, where she was resting because of her wound, put on a light suit of armor, and ran to the city gates. "For the love and honor of holy Sunday," said she to the assembled warriors, "do not be the first to attack, and make to them no demand; it is God's good will and pleasure that they be allowed to get them gone if they be minded to go away; if they attack you, defend yourselves boldly; you will be the masters." She caused an altar to be raised; thanksgivings were sung, and mass was celebrated. "See!" said Joan; "are the English turning to you their faces, or verily their backs?" They had commenced their retreat in good order, with standards flying. "Let them go: my Lord willeth not that there be any fighting to-day; you shall have them another time." The good words spoken by Joan were not so preventive but that many men set off to pursue the English, and cut off stragglers and baggage. Their bastilles were found to be full of victual and munitions; and they had abandoned their sick and many of their prisoners. The siege of Orleans was raised.

The day but one after this deliverance, Joan set out to go and rejoin the king, and prosecute her work at his side. She fell in with him on the 13th of May, at Tours, moved forward to meet him, with her banner in her hand and her head uncovered, and bending down over her charger's neck, made him a deep obeisance. Charles took off his cap, held out his hand to her, and, "as it seemed to many," says a contemporary chronicler, "he would fain have kissed her, for the joy that he felt." But the king's joy was not enough for Joan. She urged him to march with her against enemies who were flying, so to speak, from themselves, and to start without delay for Rheims, where he would be crowned. "I shall hardly last more than a year," said she; "we must think about working right well this year, for there is much to do." Hesitation was natural to Charles, even in the hour of victory. His favorite, La Tremoille, and his chancellor, the Archbishop of Rheims, opposed Joan's entreaties with all the objections that could be devised under the inspiration of their ill will: there were neither troops nor money in hand for so great a journey; and council after council was held for the purpose of doing nothing. Joan, in her impatience, went one day to Loches, without previous notice, and tapped softly at the door of the king's privy chamber (chambre de re- trait). He bade her enter. She fell upon her knees, saying, "Gentle dauphin, hold not so many and such long councils, but rather come to Rheims, and there assume your crown; I am much pricked to take you thither." "Joan," said the Bishop of Castres, Christopher d'Harcourt, the king's confessor, "cannot you tell the king what pricketh you?" "Ah! I see," replied Joan, with some embarrassment: "well, I will tell you. I had set me to prayer, according to my wont, and I was making complaint for that you would not believe what I said; then the voice came and said unto me, 'Go, go, my daughter; I will be a help to thee; go.' When this voice comes to me, I feel marvellously rejoiced; I would that it might endure forever." She was eager and overcome.

Joan and her voices were not alone in urging the king to shake off his doubts and his indolence. In church, and court, and army, allies were not wanting to the pious and valiant maid. In a written document dated the 14th of May, six days after the siege of Orleans was raised, the most Christian doctor of the age, as Gerson was called, sifted the question whether it were possible, whether it were a duty, to believe in the Maid. "Even if (which God forbid)," said he, "she should be mistaken in her hope and ours, it would not necessarily follow that what she does comes of the evil spirit, and not of God, but that rather our ingratitude was to blame. Let the party which hath a just cause take care how, by incredulity or injustice, it rendereth useless the divine succor so miraculously manifested, for God, without any change of counsel, changeth the upshot according to deserts." Great lords and simple gentlemen, old and young warriors, were eager to go and join Joan for the salvation of the king and of France. The constable, De Richemont, banished from the court through the jealous hatred of George la Tremoille, made a pressing application there, followed by a body of men-at-arms; and, when the king refused to see him, he resolved, though continuing in disgrace, to take an active part in the war. The young Duke of Alencon, who had been a prisoner with the English since the battle of Agincourt, hurried on the payment of his ransom in order to accompany Joan as lieutenant-general of the king in the little army which was forming. His wife, the duchess, was in grief about it. "We have just spent great sums," said she, "in buying him back from the English; if he would take my advice, he would stay at home." "Madame," said Joan, "I will bring him back to you safe and sound, nay, even in better contentment than at present; be not afraid." And on this promise the duchess took heart. Du Guesciin's widow, Joan de Laval, was still living; and she had two grandsons, Guy and Andrew de Laval, who were amongst the most zealous of those taking service in the army destined to march on Rheims. The king, to all appearance, desired to keep them near his person. "God forbid that I should do so," wrote Guy de Laval, on the 8th of June, 1429, to those most dread dames, his grandmother and his mother; "my brother says, as also my lord the Duke d'Alencon, that a good riddance of bad rubbish would he be who should stay at home." And he describes his first interview with the Maid as follows: "The king had sent for her to come and meet him at Selles-en-Berry. Some say that it was for my sake, in order that I might see her. She gave right good cheer (a kind reception) to my brother and myself; and after we had dismounted at Selles I went to see her in her quarters. She ordered wine, and told me that she would soon have me drinking some at Paris. It seems a thing divine to look on her and listen to her. I saw her mount on horseback, armed all in white armor, save her head, and with a little axe in her hand, on a great black charger, which, at the door of her quarters, was very restive, and would not let her mount. Then said she, 'Lead him to the cross,' which was in front of the neighboring church, on the road. There she mounted him without his moving, and as if he were tied up; and turning towards the door of the church, which was very nigh at hand, she said, in quite a womanly voice, 'You, priests and church-men, make procession and prayers to God.' Then she resumed her road, saying, 'Push forward, push forward.' She told me that three days before my arrival she had sent you, dear grand-mother, a little golden ring, but that it was a very small matter, and she would have liked to send you something better, having regard to your estimation."

It was amidst this burst of patriotism, and with all these valiant comrades, that Joan recommenced the campaign on the 10th of June, 1429, quite resolved to bring the king to Rheims. To complete the deliverance of Orleans, an attack was begun upon the neighboring places, Jargeau, Meung, and Beaugency. Before Jargeau, on the 12th of June, although it was Sunday, Joan had the trumpets sounded for the assault. The Duke d'Alencon thought it was too soon. "Ah!" said Joan, "be not doubtful; it is the hour pleasing to God; work ye, and God will work." And she added, familiarly, "Art thou afeard, gentle duke? Knowest thou not that I have promised thy wife to take thee back safe and sound?" The assault began; and Joan soon had occasion to keep her promise. The Duke d'Alencon was watching the assault from an exposed spot, and Joan remarked a piece pointed at this spot. "Get you hence," said she to the duke; "yonder is a piece which will slay you." The Duke moved, and a moment afterwards Sire de Lude was killed at the self-same place by a shot from the said piece. Jargeau was taken. Before Beaugency a serious incident took place. The constable, De Richemont, came up with a force of twelve hundred men. When he was crossing to Loudun, Charles VII., swayed as ever by the jealous La Tremoille, had word sent to him to withdraw, and that if he advanced he would be attacked. "What I am doing in the matter," said the constable, "is for the good of the king and the realm; if anybody comes to attack me, we shall see." When he had joined the army before Beaugency, the Duke d'Alencon was much troubled. The king's orders were precise, and Joan herself hesitated. But news came that Talbot and the English were approaching. "Now," said Joan, "we must think no more of anything but helping one another." She rode forward to meet the constable, and saluted him courteously. "Joan," said he, "I was told that you meant to attack me; I know not whether you come from God or not; if you are from God, I fear you not at all, for God knows my good will; if you are from the devil, I fear you still less." He remained, and Beaugency was taken. The English army came up. Sir John Falstolf had joined Talbot. Some disquietude showed itself amongst the French, so roughly handled for some time past in pitched battles. "Ah! fair constable," said Joan to Richemont, "you are not come by my orders, but you are right welcome." The Duke d'Alencon consulted Joan as to what was to be done. "It will be well to have horses," was suggested by those about her. She asked her neighbors, "Have you good spurs?" "Ha!" cried they, "must we fly, then?"

"No, surely," replied Joan: "but there will be need to ride boldly; we shall give a good account of the English, and our spurs will serve us famously in pursuing them." The battle began on the 18th of June, at Patay, between Orleans and Chateaudun. By Joan's advice, the French attacked. "In the name of God," said she, "we must fight. Though the English were suspended from the clouds, we should have them, for God hath sent us to punish them. The gentle king shall have to-day the greatest victory he has ever had; my counsel hath told me they are ours." The English lost heart, in their turn; the battle was short, and the victory brilliant; Lord Talbot and the most part of the English captains remained prisoners. "Lord Talbot," said the Duke d'Alencon to him, "this is not what you expected this morning." "It is the fortune of war," answered Talbot, with the cool dignity of an old warrior. Joan's immediate return to Orleans was a triumph; but even triumph has its embarrassments and perils. She demanded the speedy march of the army upon Rheims, that the king might be crowned there without delay; but objections were raised on all sides, the objections of the timid and those of the jealous. "By reason of Joan the Maid," says a contemporary chronicler, "so many folks came from all parts unto the king for to serve him at their own expense, that La Tremoille and others of the council were much wroth thereat, through anxiety for their own persons." Joan, impatient and irritated at so much hesitation and intrigue, took upon herself to act as if the decision belonged to her. On the 25th of June she wrote to the inhabitants of Tournai, "Loyal Frenchmen, I do pray and require you to be all ready to come to the coronation of the gentle King Charles, at Rheims, where we shall shortly be, and to come and meet us when ye shall learn that we are approaching." Two days afterwards, on the 27th of June, she left Gien, where the court was, and went to take up her quarters in the open country with the troops. There was nothing for it but to follow her. On the 29th of June, the king, the court (including La Tremoille), and the army, about twelve thousand strong, set out on the march for Rheims. Other obstacles were encountered on the road. In most of the towns the inhabitants, even the royalists, feared to compromise themselves by openly pronouncing against the English and the Duke of Burgundy. Those of Auxerre demanded a truce, offering provisions, and promising to do as those of Troyes, Chalons, and Rheims should do. At Troyes the difficulty was greater still. There was in it a garrison of five or six hundred English and Burgundians, who had the burgesses under their thumbs. All attempts at accommodation failed. There was great perplexity in the royal camp; there were neither provisions enough for a long stay before Troyes, nor batteries and siege trains to carry it by force. There was talk of turning back. One of the king's councillors, Robert le Macon, proposed that Joan should be summoned to the council. It was at her instance that the expedition had been undertaken; she had great influence amongst the army and the populace; the idea ought not to be given up without consulting her. Whilst he was speaking, Joan came knocking at the door; she was told to come in; and the chancellor, the Archbishop of Rheims, put the question to her. Joan, turning to the king, asked him if he would believe her. "Speak," said the king; "if you say what is reasonable and tends to profit, readily will you be believed." "Gentle king of France," said Joan, "if you be willing to abide here before your town of Troyes, it shall be at your disposal within two days, by love or by force; make no doubt of it." "Joan," replied the chancellor, "whoever could be certain of having it within six days might well wait for it; but say you true?" Joan repeated her assertion; and it was decided to wait. Joan mounted her horse, and, with her banner in her hand, she went through the camp, giving orders everywhere to prepare for the assault. She had her own tent pitched close to the ditch, "doing more," says a contemporary, "than two of the ablest captains would have done." On the next day, July 10, all was ready. Joan had the fascines thrown into the ditches, and was shouting out, "Assault!" when the inhabitants of Troyes, burgesses and men-at-arms, came demanding permission to capitulate. The conditions were easy. The inhabitants obtained for themselves and their property such guarantees as they desired; and the strangers were allowed to go out with what belonged to them. On the morrow, July 11, the king entered Troyes with all his captains, and at his side the Maid carrying her banner. All the difficulties of the journey were surmounted. On the 15th of July the Bishop of Chalons brought the keys of his town to the king, who took up his quarters there. Joan found there four or five of her own villagers, who had hastened up to see the young girl of Domremy in all her glory. She received them with a satisfaction in which familiarity was blended with gravity. To one of them, her godfather, she gave a red cap which she had worn; to another, who had been a Burgundian, she said, "I fear but one thing--treachery." In the Duke d'Alencon's presence she repeated to the king, "Make good use of my time, for I shall hardly last longer than a year." On the 16th of July King Charles entered Rheims, and the ceremony of his coronation was fixed for the morrow.

It was solemn and emotional, as are all old national traditions which recur after a forced suspension. Joan rode between Dunois and the Archbishop of Rheims, chancellor of France. The air resounded with the Te Deum sung with all their hearts by clergy and crowd. "In God's name," said Joan to Dunois, "here is a good people and a devout when I die, I should much like it to be in these parts." "Joan," inquired Dunois, "know you when you will die, and in what place?" "I know not," said she, "for I am at the will of God." Then she added, "I have accomplished that which my Lord commanded me, to raise the siege of Orleans and have the gentle king crowned. I would like it well if it should please him to send me back to my father and mother, to keep their sheep and their cattle, and do that which was my wont." "When the said lords," says the chronicler, an eye-witness, "heard these words of Joan, who, with eyes towards heaven, gave thanks to God, they the more believed that it was somewhat sent from God, and not otherwise."

Historians, and even contemporaries, have given much discussion to the question whether Joan of Arc, according to her first ideas, had really limited her design to the raising of the siege of Orleans and the coronation of Charles VII. at Rheims. She had said so herself several times, just as she had to Dunois at Rheims on the 17th of July, 1429; but she sometimes also spoke of more vast and varied projects, as, for instance, driving the English completely out of France, and withdrawing from his long captivity Charles, Duke of Orleans. He had been a prisoner in London ever since the battle of Agincourt, and was popular in his day, as he has continued to be in French history, on the double ground of having been the father of Louis XII. and one of the most charming poets in the ancient literature of France. The Duke d'Alencon, who was so high in the regard of Joan, attributed to her more expressly this quadruple design: "She said," according to him, "that she had four duties; to get rid of the English, to have the king anointed and crowned, to deliver Duke Charles of Orleans, and to raise the siege laid by the English to Orleans." One is inclined to believe that Joan's language to Dunois at Rheims in the hour of Charles VII.'s coronation more accurately expressed her first idea; the two other notions occurred to her naturally in proportion as her hopes as well as her power kept growing greater with success. But however lofty and daring her soul may have been, she had a simple and not at all a fantastic mind. She may have foreseen the complete expulsion of the English, and may have desired the deliverance of the Duke of Orleans, without having in the first instance premeditated anything more than she said to Dunois during the king's coronation at Rheims, which was looked upon by her as the triumph of the national cause.

However that may be, when Orleans was relieved, and Charles VII. crowned, the situation, posture, and part of Joan underwent a change. She no longer manifested the same confidence in herself and her designs. She no longer exercised over those in whose midst she lived the same authority. She continued to carry on war, but at hap-hazard, sometimes with and sometimes without success, just like La Hire and Dunois; never discouraged, never satisfied, and never looking upon her-self as triumphant. After the coronation, her advice was to march at once upon Paris, in order to take up a fixed position in it, as being the political centre of the realm of which Rheims was the religious. Nothing of the sort was done. Charles and La Tremoille once more began their course of hesitation, tergiversation, and changes of tactics and residence without doing anything of a public and decisive character. They negotiated with the Duke of Burgundy, in the hope of detaching him from the English cause; and they even concluded with him a secret, local, and temporary truce. From the 20th of July to the 23d of August Joan followed the king whithersoever he went, to Chateau-Thierry, to Senlis, to Blois, to Provins, and to Compigne, as devoted as ever, but without having her former power. She was still active, but not from inspiration and to obey her voices, simply to promote the royal policy. She wrote the Duke of Burgundy a letter full of dignity and patriotism, which had no more effect than the negotiations of La Tremoille. During this fruitless labor amongst the French the Duke of Bedford sent for five thousand men from England, who came and settled themselves at Paris. One division of this army had a white standard, in the middle of which was depicted a distaff full of cotton; a half-filled spindle was hanging to the distaff; and the field, studded with empty spindles, bore this inscription: "Now, fair one, come!" Insult to Joan was accompanied by redoubled war against France. Joan, saddened and wearied by the position of things, attempted to escape from it by a bold stroke. On the 23d of August, 1429, she set out from Compiegne with the Duke d'Alencon and "a fair company of men-at-arms;" and suddenly went and occupied St. Denis, with the view of attacking Paris. Charles VII. felt himself obliged to quit Compiegne likewise, "and went, greatly against the grain," says a contemporary chronicler, "as far as into the town of Senlis." The attack on Paris began vigorously. Joan, with the Duke d'Alencon, pitched her camp at La Chapelle. Charles took up his abode in the abbey of St. Denis. The municipal corporation of Paris received letters with the arms of the Duke d'Alencon, which called upon them to recognize the king's authority, and promised a general amnesty. The assault was delivered on the 8th of September. Joan was severely wounded, but she insisted upon remaining where she was. Night came, and the troops had not entered the breach which had been opened in the morning. Joan was still calling out to persevere. The Duke d'Alencon himself begged her, but in vain, to retire. La Tremoille gave orders to retreat; and some knights came up, set Joan on horse-back, and led her back, against her will, to La Chapelle. "By my martin" (staff of command), said she, "the place would have been taken." One hope still remained. In concert with the Duke d'Alencon she had caused a flying bridge to be thrown across the Seine opposite St. Denis. The next day but one she sent her vanguard in this direction; she intended to return thereby to the siege; but, by the king's order, the bridge had been cut adrift. St. Denis fell once more into the hands of the English. Before leaving, Joan left there, on the tomb of St. Denis, her complete suit of armor and a sword she had lately obtained possession of at the St. Honore gate of Paris, as trophy of war.

From the 13th of September, 1429, to the 24th of May, 1430, she continued to lead the same life of efforts ever equally valiant and equally ineffectual. She failed in an attempt upon Laemir. Charite-sur-Loire, undertaken, for all that appears, with the sole design of recovering an important town in the possession of the enemy. The English evacuated Paris, and left the keeping of it to the Duke of Burgundy, no doubt to test his fidelity. On the 13th of Aprils 1430, at the expiration of the truce he had concluded, Philip the Good resumed hostilities against Charles VII. Joan of Arc once more plunged into them with her wonted zeal. Ile-de-France and Picardy became the theatre of war. Compiegne was regarded as the gate of the road between these two provinces; and the Duke of Burgundy attached much importance to holding the key of it. The authority of Charles VII. was recognized there; and a young knight of Compiegne, William de Flavy, held the command there as lieutenant of La Tremoille, who had got himself appointed captain of the town. La Tremoille attempted to treat with the Duke of Burgundy for the cession of Compiegne; but the inhabitants were strenuously opposed to it. "They were," they said, "the king's most humble subjects, and they desired to serve him with body and substance; but as for trusting themselves to the lord Duke of Burgundy, they could not do it; they were resolved to suffer destruction, themselves and their wives and children, rather than be exposed to the tender mercies of the said duke." Meanwhile Joan of Arc, after several warlike expeditions in the neighborhood, re-entered Compiegne, and was received there with a popular expression of satisfaction. "She was presented," says a local chronicler, with three hogsheads of wine, a present which was large and exceeding costly, and which showed the estimate formed of this maiden's worth." Joan manifested the profound distrust with which she was inspired of the Duke of Burgundy. There is no peace possible with him," she said, "save at the point of the lance." She had quarters at the house of the king's attorney, Le Boucher, and shared the bed of his wife, Mary. "She often made the said Mary rise from her bed to go and warn the said attorney to be on his guard against several acts of Burgundian treachery." At this period, again, she said she was often warned by her voices of what must happen to her; she expected to be taken prisoner before St. John's or Midsummer-day (June 24); on what day and hour she did not know; she had received no instructions as to sorties from the place; but she had constantly been told that she would be taken, and she was distrustful of the captains who were in command there. She was, nevertheless, not the less bold and enterprising. On the 20th of May, 1430, the Duke of Burgundy came and laid siege to Compiegne. Joan was away on an expedition to Crepy in Valois, with a small band of three or four hundred brave comrades. On the 24th of May, the eve of Ascension-day, she learned that Compiegne was being besieged, and she resolved to re-enter it. She was reminded that her force was a very weak one to cut its way through the besiegers' camp. "By my martin," said she, "we are enough; I will go see my friends in Compiegne." She arrived about daybreak without hinderance, and penetrated into the town; and repaired immediately to the parish church of St. Jacques to perform her devotions on the eve of so great a festival. Many persons, attracted by her presence, and amongst others "from a hundred to six-score children," thronged to the church. After hearing mass, and herself taking the communion, Joan said to those who surrounded her, "My children and dear friends, I notify you that I am sold and betrayed, and that I shall shortly be delivered over to death; I beseech you, pray God for me." When evening came, she was not the less eager to take part in a sortie with her usual comrades and a troop of about five hundred men. William de Flavy, commandant of the place, got ready some boats on the Oise to assist the return of the troops. All the town-gates were closed, save the bridge-gate. The sortie was unsuccessful. Being severely repulsed and all but hemmed in, the majority of the soldiers shouted to Joan, "Try to quickly regain the town, or we are lost." "Silence," said Joan; "it only rests with you to throw the enemy into confusion; think only of striking at them." Her words and her bravery were in vain; the infantry flung themselves into the boats, and regained the town, and Joan and her brave comrades covered their retreat. The Burgundians were coming up in mass upon Compiegne, and Flavy gave orders to pull up the draw-bridge and let down the portcullis. Joan and some of her following lingered outside, still fighting. She wore a rich surcoat and a red sash, and all the efforts of the Burgundians were directed against her. Twenty men thronged round her horse; and a Picard archer, "a tough fellow and mighty sour," seized her by her dress, and flung her on the ground. All, at once, called on her to surrender. "Yield you to me," said one of them; "pledge your faith to me; I am a gentleman." It was an archer of the bastard of Wandonne, one of the lieutenants of John of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny. "I have pledged my faith to one other than you," said Joan, "and to Him I will keep my oath." The archer took her and conducted her to Count John, whose prisoner she became.

Was she betrayed and delivered up, as she had predicted? Did William de Flavy purposely have the drawbridge raised and the portcullis lowered before she could get back into Compiegne? He was suspected of it at the time, and many historians have indorsed the suspicion. But there is nothing to prove it. That La Tremoille, prime minister of Charles VII., and Reginald de Chartres, Archbishop of Rheims, had an antipathy to Joan of Arc, and did all they could on every occasion to compromise her and destroy her influence, and that they were glad to see her a prisoner, is as certain as anything can be. On announcing her capture to the inhabitants of Rheims, the arch-bishop said, "She would not listen to counsel, and did everything according to her pleasure." But there is a long distance between such expressions and a premeditated plot to deliver to the enemy the young heroine who had just raised the siege of Orleans and brought the king to be crowned at Rheims. History must not, without proof, impute crimes so odious and so shameful to even the most depraved of men.

However that may be, Joan remained for six months the prisoner of John of Luxembourg, who, to make his possession of her secure, sent her, under good escort, successively to his two castles of Beaulieu and Beaurevoir, one in the Vermandois and the other in the Cambresis. Twice, in July and in October, 1430, Joan attempted, unsuccessfully, to escape. The second time she carried despair and hardihood so far as to throw herself down from the platform of her prison. She was picked up cruelly bruised, but without any fracture or wound of importance. Her fame, her youth, her virtue, her courage, made her, even in her prison and in the very family of her custodian, two warm and powerful friends. John of Luxembourg had with him his wife, Joan of Bethune, and his aunt, Joan of Luxembourg, godmother of Charles VII. They both of them took a tender interest in the prisoner; and they often went to see her, and left nothing undone to mitigate the annoyances of a prison. One thing only shocked them about her--her man's clothes. "They offered her," as Joan herself said, when questioned upon this subject at a later period during her trial, "a woman's dress, or stuff to make it to her liking, and requested her to wear it; but she answered that she had not leave from our Lord, and that it was not yet time for it." John of Luxembourg's aunt was full of years and reverenced as a saint. Hearing that the English were tempting her nephew by the offer of a sum of money to give up his prisoner to them, she conjured him in her will, dated September 10, 1430, not to sully by such an act the honor of his name. But Count John was neither rich nor scrupulous; and pretexts were not wanting to aid his cupidity and his weakness. Joan had been taken at Compiegne on the 23d of May, in the evening; and the news arrived in Paris on the 25th of May, in the morning. On the morrow, the 26th, the registrar of the University, in the name and under the seal of the inquisition of France, wrote a citation to the Duke of Burgundy "to the end that the Maid should be delivered up to appear before the said inquisitor, and to respond to the good counsel, favor, and aid of the good doctors and masters of the University of Paris." Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, had been the prime mover in this step. Some weeks later, on the 14th of July, seeing that no reply arrived from the Duke of Burgundy, he caused a renewal of the same demands to be made on the part of the University in more urgent terms, and he added, in his own name, that Joan, having been taken at Compiegne, in his own diocese, belonged to him as judge spiritual. He further asserted that "according to the law, usage, and custom of France, every prisoner of war, even were it king, dauphin, or other prince, might be redeemed in the name of the King of England in consideration of an indemnity of ten thousand livres granted to the capturer." Nothing was more opposed to the common law of nations and to the feudal spirit, often grasping, but noble at bottom. For four months still, John of Luxembourg hesitated; but his aunt, Joan, died at Boulogne, on the 13th of November, and Joan of Arc had no longer near him this powerful intercessor. The King of England transmitted to the keeping of his coffers at Rouen, in golden coin, English money, the sum of ten thousand livres. John of Luxembourg yielded to the temptation. On the 21st of November, 1430, Joan of Arc was handed over to the King of England, and the same day the University of Paris, through its rector, Hebert, besought that sovereign, as King of France, "to order that this woman be brought to their city for to be shortly placed in the hands of the justice of the Church, that is, of our honored lord, the Bishop and Count of Beauvais, and also of the ordained inquisitor in France, in order that her trial may be conducted officially and securely."

It was not to Paris, but to Rouen, the real capital of the English in France, that Joan was taken. She arrived there on the 23d of December, 1430. On the 3d of January, 1431, an order from Henry VI., King of England, placed her in the hands of the Bishop of Beauvais, Peter Cauchon. Some days afterwards, Count John of Luxembourg, accompanied by his brother, the English chancellor, by his esquire, and by two English lords, Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and Humphrey, Earl of Stafford, the King of England's constable in France, entered the prison. Had John of Luxembourg come out of sheer curiosity, or to relieve himself of certain scruples by offering Joan a chance for her life? "Joan," said he, "I am come hither to put you to ransom, and to treat for the price of your deliverance; only give us your promise here to no more bear arms against us." "In God's name," answered Joan, "are you making a mock of me, captain? Ransom me! You have neither the will nor the power; no, you have neither." The count persisted. "I know well," said Joan, "that these English will put me to death; but were they a hundred thousand more Goddams than have already been in France, they shall never have the kingdom."

At this patriotic burst on the heroine's part, the Earl of Stafford half drew his dagger from the sheath as if to strike Joan, but the Earl of Warwick held him back. The visitors went out from the prison and handed over Joan to the judges.

The court of Rouen was promptly formed, but not without opposition and difficulty. Though Joan had lost somewhat of her greatness and importance by going beyond her main object, and by showing recklessness, unattended by success, on small occasions, she still remained the true, heroic representative of the feelings and wishes of the nation. When she was removed from Beaurevoir to Rouen, all the places at which she stopped were like so many luminous points for the illustration of her popularity. At Arras, a Scot showed her a portrait of her which he wore, an outward sign of the devoted worship of her lieges. At Amiens, the chancellor of the cathedral gave her audience at confession and administered to her the eucharist. At Abbeville, ladies of distinction went five leagues to pay her a visit; they were glad to have had the happiness of seeing her so firm and resigned to the will of Our Lord; they wished her all the favors of heaven, and then wept affectionately on taking leave of her. Joan, touched by their sympathy and open heartedness, said, "Ah! what a good people is this! Would to God I might be so happy, when my days are ended, as to be buried in these parts!"

When the Bishop of Beauvais, installed at Rouen, set about forming his court of justice, the majority of the members he appointed amongst the clergy or the University of Paris obeyed the summons without hesitation. Some few would have refused; but their wishes were overruled. The Abbot of Jumieges, Nicholas de Houppeville, maintained that the trial was not legal. The Bishop of Beauvais, he said, belonged to the party which declared itself hostile to the Maid; and, besides, he made himself judge in a case already decided by his metropolitan, the Archbishop of Rheims, of whom Beauvais was holden, and who had approved of Joan's conduct. The bishop summoned before him the recalcitrant, who refused to appear, saying that he was under no official jurisdiction but that of Rouen. He was arrested and thrown into prison, by order of the bishop, whose authority he denied. There was some talk of banishing him, and even of throwing him into the river; but the influence of his brethren saved him. The sub-inquisitor himself allowed the trial in which he was to be one of the judges to begin without him; and he only put in an appearance at the express order of the inquisitor-general, and on a confidential hint that he would be in danger of his life if he persisted in his refusal. The court being thus constituted, Joan, after it had been put in possession of the evidence already collected, was cited, on the 20th of February, 1431, to appear on the morrow, the 21st, before her judges assembled in the chapel of Rouen Castle.

The trial lasted from the 21st of February to the 30th of May, 1431. The court held forty sittings, mostly in the chapel of the castle, some in Joan's very prison. On her arrival there, she had been put in an iron cage; afterwards she was kept no longer in the cage, but in a dark room in a tower of the castle, wearing irons upon her feet, fastened by a chain to a large piece of wood, and guarded night and day by four or five "soldiers of low grade." She complained of being thus chained; but the bishop told her that her former attempts at escape demanded this precaution. "It is true," said Joan, as truthful as heroic, "I did wish and I still wish to escape from prison, as is the right of every prisoner." At her examination, the bishop required her to take an oath to tell the truth about everything as to which she should be questioned." "I know not what you mean to question me about; perchance you may ask me things I would not tell you; touching my revelations, for instance, you might ask me to tell something I have sworn not to tell; thus I should be perjured, which you ought not to desire." The bishop insisted upon an oath absolute and with-out condition. "You are too hard on me," said Joan; I do not like to take an oath to tell the truth save as to matters which concern the faith." The bishop called upon her to swear on pain of being held guilty of the things imputed to her.

"Go on to something else," said she. And this was the answer she made to all questions which seemed to her to be a violation of her right to be silent. Wearied and hurt at these imperious demands, she one day said, "I come on God's business, and I have nought to do here; send me back to God, from whom I come." "Are you sure you are in God's grace?" asked the bishop. "If I be not," answered Joan, "please God to bring me to it; and if I be, please God to keep me in it!" The bishop himself remained dumbfounded.

There is no object in following through all its sittings and all its twistings this odious and shameful trial, in which the judges' prejudiced servility and scientific subtlety were employed for three months to wear out the courage or overreach the understanding of a young girl of nineteen, who refused at one time to lie, and at another to enter into discussion with them, and made no defence beyond holding her tongue or appealing to God who had spoken to her and dictated to her that which she had done. In order to force her from her silence or bring her to submit to the Church instead of appealing from it to God, it was proposed to employ the last means of all, torture. On the 9th of May the bishop had Joan brought into the great tower of Rouen Castle; the instruments of torture were displayed before her eyes; and the executioners were ready to fulfil their office, "for to bring her back," said the bishop, "into the ways of truth, in order to insure the salvation of her soul and body, so gravely endangered by erroneous inventions." "Verily," answered Joan, "if you should have to tear me limb from limb, and separate soul from body, I should not tell you aught else; and if I were to tell you aught else, I should afterwards still tell you that you had made me tell it by force." The idea of torture was given up. It was resolved to display all the armory of science in order to subdue the mind of this young girl, whose conscience was not to be subjugated. The chapter of Rouen declared that in consequence of her public refusal to submit herself to the decision of the Church as to her deeds and her statements, Joan deserved to be declared a heretic. The University of Paris, to which had been handed in the twelve heads of accusation resulting from Joan's statements and examinations, replied that "if, having been charitably admonished, she would not make reparation and return to union with the Catholic faith, she must be left to the secular judges to undergo punishment for her crime." Armed with these documents the Bishop of Beauvais had Joan brought up, on the 23d of May, in a hall adjoining her prison, and, after having addressed to her a long exhortation, "Joan," said he, "if in the dominions of your king, when you were at large in them, a knight or any other, born under his rule and allegiance to him, had risen up, saying, 'I will not obey the king or submit to his officers,' would you not have said that he ought to be condemned? What then will you say of yourself, you who were born in the faith of Christ and became by baptism a daughter of the Church and spouse of Jesus Christ, if you obey not the officers of Christ, that is, the prelates of the Church?" Joan listened modestly to this admonition, and confined herself to answering, "As to my deeds and sayings, what I said of them at the trial I do hold to and mean to abide by." "Think you that you are not bound to submit your sayings and deeds to the Church militant or to any other than God?" "The course that I always mentioned and pursued at the trial I mean to maintain as to that. If I were at the stake, and saw the torch lighted, and the executioner ready to set fire to the fagots, even if I were in the midst of the flames, I should not say aught else, and I should uphold that which I said at the trial even unto death."

According to the laws, ideas, and practices of the time the legal question was decided. Joan, declared heretic and rebellious by the Church, was liable to have sentence pronounced against her; but she had persisted in her statements, she had shown no submission. Although she appeared to be quite forgotten, and was quite neglected by the king whose coronation she had effected, by his councillors, and even by the brave warriors at whose side she had fought, the public exhibited a lively interest in her; accounts of the scenes which took place at her trial were inquired after with curiosity. Amongst the very judges who prosecuted her, many were troubled in spirit, and wished that Joan, by an abjuration of her statements, would herself put them at ease and relieve them from pronouncing against her the most severe penalty. What means were employed to arrive at this end? Did she really, and with full knowledge of what she was about, come round to the adjuration which there was so much anxiety to obtain from her? It is difficult to solve this historical problem with exactness and certainty. More than once, during the examinations and the conversations which took place at that time between Joan and her judges, she maintained her firm posture and her first statements. One of those who were exhorting her to yield said to her one day, "Thy king is a heretic and a schismatic." Joan could not brook this insult to her king. "By my faith," said she, "full well dare I both say and swear that he is the noblest Christian of all Christians, and the truest lover of the faith and the Church." "Make her hold her tongue," said the usher to the preacher, who was disconcerted at having provoked such language. Another day, when Joan was being urged to submit to the Church, brother Isambard de la Pierre, a Dominican, who was interested in her, spoke to her about the council, at the same time explaining to her its province in the church. It was the very time when that of Bale had been convoked. "Ah!" said Joan, "I would fain surrender and submit myself to the council of Bale." The Bishop of Beauvais trembled at the idea of this appeal. "Hold your tongue in the devil's name!" said he to the monk. Another of the judges, William Erard, asked Joan menacingly, "Will you abjure those reprobate words and deeds of yours?" "I leave it to the universal Church whether I ought to abjure or not." "That is not enough: you shall abjure at once or you shall burn." Joan shuddered. "I would rather sign than burn," she said. There was put before her a form of abjuration, whereby, disavowing her revelations and visions from heaven, she confessed her errors in matters of faith, and renounced them humbly. At the bottom of the document she made the mark of a cross. Doubts have arisen as to the genuineness of this long and diffuse deed in the form in which it has been published in the trial-papers. Twenty-four years later, in 1455, during the trial undertaken for the rehabilitation of Joan, several of those who had been present at the trial at which she was condemned, amongst others the usher Massieu and the registrar Taquel, declared that the form of abjuration read out at that time to Joan and signed by her contained only seven or eight lines of big writing; and according to another witness of the scene it was an Englishman, John Calot, secretary of Henry VI., King of England, who, as soon as Joan had yielded, drew from his sleeve a little paper which he gave to her to sign, and, dissatisfied with the mark she had made, held her hand and guided it so that she might put down her name, every letter. However that may be, as soon as Joan's abjuration had thus been obtained, the court issued on the 24th of May, 1431, a definitive decree, whereby, after some long and severe strictures in the preamble, it condemned Joan to perpetual imprisonment, "with the bread of affliction and the water of affliction, in order that she might deplore the errors and faults she had committed, and relapse into them no more henceforth."

The Church might be satisfied; but the King of England, his councillors and his officers, were not. It was Joan living, even though a prisoner, that they feared. They were animated towards her by the two ruthless passions of vengeance and fear. When it was known that she would escape with her life, murmurs broke out amongst the crowd of enemies present at the trial. Stones were thrown at the judges. One of the Cardinal of Winchester's chaplains, who happened to be close to the Bishop of Beauvais, called him traitor. "You lie," said the bishop. And the bishop was right; the chaplain did lie; the bishop had no intention of betraying his masters. The Earl of Warwick complained to him of the inadequacy of the sentence. "Never you mind, my lord," said one of Peter Cauchon's confidants; "we will have her up again." After the passing of her sentence Joan had said to those about her, "Come, now, you churchmen amongst you, lead me off to your own prisons, and let me be no more in the hands of the English." "Lead her to where you took her," said the bishop; and she was conducted to the castle prison. She had been told by some of the judges who went to see her after her sentence, that she would have to give up her man's dress and resume her woman's clothing, as the Church ordained. She was rejoiced thereat; forthwith, accordingly, resumed her woman's clothes, and had her hair properly cut, which up to that time she used to wear clipped round like a man's. When she was taken back to prison, the man's dress which she had worn was put in a sack in the same room in which she was confined, and she remained in custody at the said place in the hands of five Englishmen, of whom three staid by night in the room and two outside at the door. "And he who speaks [John Massieu, a priest, the same who in 1431 had been present as usher of the court at the trial in which Joan was condemned] knows for certain that at night she had her legs ironed in such sort that she could not stir from the spot. When the next Sunday morning, which was Trinity Sunday, had come, and she should have got up, according to what she herself told to him who speaks, she said to her English guards, 'Uniron me; I will get up.' Then one of then took away her woman's clothes; they emptied the sack in which was her man's dress, and pitched the said dress to her, saying, 'Get up, then,' and they put her woman's clothes in the same sack. And according to what she told me she only clad herself in her man's dress after saying, 'You know it is forbidden me; I certainly will not take it.' Nevertheless they would not allow her any other; insomuch that the dispute lasted to the hour of noon. Finally, from corporeal necessity, Joan was constrained to get up and take the dress."

The official documents drawn up during the condemnation-trial contain quite a different account. "On the 28th of May," it is there said, "eight of the judges who had taken part in the sentence [their names are given in the document, t. i. p. 454] betook themselves to Joan's prison, and seeing her clad in man's dress, 'which she had but just given up according to our order that she should resume woman's clothes, we asked her when and for what cause she had resumed this dress, and who had prevailed on her to do so. Joan answered that it was of her own will, without any constraint from any one, and because she preferred that dress to woman's clothes. To our question as to why she had made this change, she answered, that, being surrounded by men, man's dress was more suitable for her than woman's. She also said that she had resumed it because there had been made to her, but not kept, a promise that she should go to mass, receive the body of Christ, and be set free from her fetters. She added that if this promise were kept, she would be good, and would do what was the will of the Church. As we had heard some persons say that she persisted in her errors as to the pretended revelations which she had but lately renounced, we asked whether she had since Thursday last heard the voices of St. Catherine and St. Margaret; and she answered, Yes. To our question as to what the saints had said she answered, that God had testified to her by their voices great pity for the great treason she had committed in abjuring for the sake of saving her life, and that by so doing she had damned herself. She said that all she had thus done last Thursday in abjuring her visions and revelations she had done through fear of the stake, and that all her abjuration was contrary to the truth. She added that she did not herself comprehend what was contained in the form of abjuration she had been made to sign, and that she would rather do penance once for all by dying to maintain the truth than remain any longer a prisoner, being all the while a traitress to it."

We will not stop to examine whether these two accounts, though very different, are not fundamentally reconcilable, and whether Joan resumed man's dress of her own desire or was constrained to do so by the soldiers on guard over her, and perhaps to escape from their insults. The important points in the incident are the burst of remorse which Joan felt for her weakness and her striking retractation of the abjuration which had been wrung from her. So soon as the news was noised abroad, her enemies cried, "She has relapsed!" This was exactly what they had hoped for when, on learning that she had been sentenced only to perpetual imprisonment, they had said, "Never you mind; we will have her up again." "Farewell, farewell, my lord," said the Bishop of Beauvais to the Earl of Warwick, whom he met shortly after Joan's retractation; and in his words there was plainly an expression of satisfaction, and not a mere phrase of politeness. On the 29th of May the tribunal met again. Forty judges took part in the deliberation; Joan was unanimously declared a case of relapse, was found guilty, and cited to appear next day, the 30th, on the Vieux-Marche to hear sentence pronounced, and then undergo the punishment of the stake.

When, on the 30th of May, in the morning, the Dominican brother Martin Ladvenu was charged to announce her sentence to Joan, she gave way at first to grief and terror. "Alas!" she cried, "am I to be so horribly and cruelly treated that this my body, full pure and perfect and never defiled, must to-day be consumed and reduced to ashes! Ah! I would seven times rather be beheaded than burned!" The Bishop of Beauvais at this moment came up. "Bishop," said Joan, "you are the cause of my death; if you had put me in the prisons of the Church and in the hands of fit and proper ecclesiastical warders, this had never happened; I appeal from you to the presence of God." One of the doctors who had sat in judgment upon her, Peter Maurice, went to see her, and spoke to her with sympathy. "Master Peter," said she to him, "where shall I be to-night?" "Have you not good hope in God?" asked the doctor. "O! yes," she answered; "by the grace of God I shall be in paradise." Being left alone with the Dominican, Martin Ladvenu, she confessed and asked to communicate. The monk applied to the Bishop of Beauvais to know what he was to do. "Tell brother Martin," was the answer, "to give her the eucharist and all she asks for." At nine o'clock, having resumed her woman's dress, Joan was dragged from prison and driven to the Vieux- Marche. From seven to eight hundred soldiers escorted the car and prohibited all approach to it on the part of the crowd, which encumbered the road and the vicinities; but a man forced a passage and flung himself towards Joan. It was a canon of Rouen, Nicholas Loiseleur, whom the Bishop of Beauvais had placed near her, and who had abused the confidence she had shown him. Beside himself with despair, he wished to ask pardon of her; but the English soldiers drove him back with violence and with the epithet of traitor, and but for the intervention of the Earl of Warwick his life would have been in danger. Joan wept and prayed; and the crowd, afar off, wept and prayed with her. On arriving at the place, she listened in silence to a sermon by one of the doctors of the court, who ended by saying, "Joan, go in peace; the Church can no longer defend thee; she gives thee over to the secular arm." The laic judges, Raoul Bouteillier, baillie of Rouen, and his lieutenant, Peter Daron, were alone qualified to pronounce sentence of death; but no time was given them. The priest Massieu was still continuing his exhortations to Joan, but "How now! priest," was the cry from amidst the soldiery, "are you going to make us dine here?" "Away with her! Away with her!" said the baillie to the guards; and to the executioner, "Do thy duty." When she came to the stake, Joan knelt down completely absorbed in prayer. She had begged Massieu to get her a cross; and an Englishman present made one out of a little stick, and handed it to the French heroine, who took it, kissed it, and laid it on her breast. She begged brother Isambard de la Pierre to go and fetch the cross from the church of St. Sauveur, the chief door of which opened on the Vieux-Marche, and to hold it "upright before her eyes till the coming of death, in order," she said, "that the cross whereon God hung might, as long as she lived, be continually in her sight;" and her wishes were fulfilled. She wept over her country and the spectators as well as over herself. "Rouen, Rouen," she cried, "is it here that I must die? Shalt thou be my last resting-place? I fear greatly thou wilt have to suffer for my death." It is said that the aged Cardinal of Winchester and the Bishop of Beauvais himself could not stifle their emotion--and, peradventure, their tears. The executioner set fire to the fagots. When Joan perceived the flames rising, she urged her confessor, the Dominican brother, Martin Ladvenu, to go down, at the same time asking him to keep holding the cross up high in front of her, that she might never cease to see it. The same monk, when questioned four and twenty years later, at the rehabilitation trial, as to the last sentiments and the last words of Joan, said that to the very latest moment she had affirmed that her voices were heavenly, that they had not deluded her, and that the revelations she had received came from God. When she had ceased to live, two of her judges, John Alespie, canon of Rouen, and Peter Maurice, doctor of theology, cried out, "Would that my soul were where I believe the soul of that woman is!" And Tressart, secretary to King Henry VI., said sorrowfully, on returning from the place of execution, "We are all lost; we have burned a saint."

A saint indeed in faith and in destiny. Never was human creature more heroically confident in, and devoted to, inspiration coming from God, a commission received from God. Joan of Arc sought nothing of all that happened to her and of all she did, nor exploit, nor power, nor glory. "It was not her condition," as she used to say, to be a warrior, to get her king crowned, and to deliver her country from the foreigner. Everything came to her from on high, and she accepted everything without hesitation, without discussion, without calculation, as we should say in our times. She believed in God, and obeyed Him. God was not to her an idea, a hope, a flash of human imagination, or a problem of human science; He was the Creator of the world, the Saviour of mankind through Jesus Christ, the Being of beings, ever present, ever in action, sole legitimate sovereign of man whom He has made intelligent and free, the real and true God whom we are painfully searching for in our own day, and whom we shall never find again until we cease pretending to do without Him and putting ourselves in His place. Meanwhile one fact may be mentioned which does honor to our epoch and gives us hope for our future. Four centuries have rolled by since Joan of Arc, that modest and heroic servant of God, made a sacrifice of herself for France. For four and twenty years after her death, France and the king appeared to think no more of her. However, in 1455, remorse came upon Charles VII. and upon France. Nearly all the provinces, all the towns, were freed from the foreigner, and shame was felt that nothing was said, nothing done, for the young girl who had saved everything. At Rouen, especially, where the sacrifice was completed, a cry for reparation arose. It was timidly demanded from the spiritual power which had sentenced and delivered over Joan as a heretic to the stake. Pope Calixtus III. entertained the request preferred, not by the King of France, but in the name of Isabel Romee, Joan's mother, and her whole family. Regular proceedings were commenced and followed up for the rehabilitation of the martyr; and, on the 7th of July, 1456, a decree of the court assembled at Rouen quashed the sentence of 1431, together with all its consequences, and ordered "a general procession and solemn sermon at St. Ouen Place and the Vieux- Marche," where the said maid had been cruelly and horribly burned; besides the planting of a cross of honor (crucis honestee) on the Vieux-Marche, the judges reserving the official notice to be given of their decision "throughout the cities and notable places of the realm." The city of Orleans responded to this appeal by raising on the bridge over the Loire a group in bronze representing Joan of Arc on her knees before Our Lady between two angels. This monument, which was broken during the religious wars of the sixteenth century and repaired shortly afterwards, was removed in the eighteenth century, and, Joan of Arc then received a fresh insult; the poetry of a cynic was devoted to the task of diverting a licentious public at the expense of the saint whom, three centuries before, fanatical hatred had brought to the stake. In 1792 the council of the commune of Orleans, "considering that the monument in bronze did not represent the heroine's services, and did not by any sign call to mind the struggle against the English," ordered it to be melted down and cast into cannons, of which "one should bear the name of Joan of Arc." It is in our time that the city of Orleans and its distinguished bishop, Mgr. Dupanloup, have at last paid Joan homage worthy of her, not only by erecting to her a new statue, but by recalling her again to the memory of France with her true features, and in her grand character. Neither French nor any other history offers a like example of a modest little soul, with a faith so pure and efficacious, resting on divine inspiration and patriotic hope.

During the trial of Joan of Arc the war between France and England, without being discontinued, had been somewhat slack: the curiosity and the passions of men were concentrated upon the scenes at Rouen. After the execution of Joan the war resumed its course, though without any great events. By way of a step towards solution, the Duke of Bedford, in November, 1431, escorted to Paris King Henry VI., scarcely ten years old, and had him crowned at Notre-Dame. The ceremony was distinguished for pomp, but not for warmth. The Duke of Burgundy was not present; it was an Englishman, the Cardinal-bishop of Winchester, who anointed the young Englander King of France; the Bishop of Paris complained of it as a violation of his rights; the parliament, the university, and the municipal body had not even seats reserved at the royal banquet; Paris was melancholy, and day by day more deserted by the native inhabitants; grass was growing in the court-yards of the great mansions; the students were leaving the great school of Paris, to which the Duke of Bedford at Caen, and Charles VII. himself at Poitiers, were attempting to raise up rivals; and silence reigned in the Latin quarter. The child-king was considered unintelligent, and ungraceful, and ungracious. When, on the day after Christmas, he started on his way back to Rouen, and from Rouen to England, he did not confer on Paris "any of the boons expected, either by releasing prisoners or by putting an end to black-mails, gabels, and wicked imposts." The burgesses were astonished, and grumbled; and the old queen, Isabel of Bavaria, who was still living at the hostel of St. Paul, wept, it is said, for vexation, at seeing from one of her windows her grandson's royal procession go by.

Though war was going on all the while, attempts were made to negotiate; and in March, 1433, a conference was opened at Seineport, near Corbeil. Everybody in France desired peace. Philip the Good himself began to feel the necessity of it. Burgundy was almost as discontented and troubled as Ile-de-France. There was grumbling at Dijon as there was conspiracy at Paris. The English gave fresh cause for national irritation. They showed an inclination to canton themselves in Normandy, and abandon the other French provinces to the hazards and sufferings of a desultory war. Anne of Burgundy, the Duke of Bedford's wife and Philip the Good's sister, died. The English duke speedily married again without even giving any notice to the French prince. Every family tie between the two persons was broken; and the negotiations as well as the war remained without result.

An incident at court caused a change in the situation, and gave the government of Charles a different character. His favorite, George de la Tremoille, had become almost as unpopular amongst the royal family as in the country in general. He could not manage a war, and he frustrated attempts at peace. The Queen of Sicily, Yolande d'Aragon, her daughter, Mary d'Anjou, Queen of France, and her son, Louis, Count of Maine, who all three desired peace, set themselves to work to overthrow the favorite. In June, 1433, four young lords, one of whom, Sire de Beuil, was La Tremoille's own nephew, introduced themselves unexpectedly into his room at the castle of Coudray, near Chinon, where Charles VII. was. La Tremoille showed an intention of resisting, and received a sword-thrust. He was made to resign all his offices, and was sent under strict guard to the castle of Alontresor, the property of his nephew, Sire de Beuil. The conspirators had concerted measures with La Tremoille's rival, the constable De Richemont, Arthur of Brittany, a man distinguished in war, who had lately gone to help Joan of Arc, and who was known to be a friend of peace at the same time that he was firmly devoted to the national cause. He was called away from his castle of Parthenay, and set at the head of the government as well as of the army. Charles VII. at first showed anger at his favorite's downfall. He asked if Richemont was present, and was told no: where-upon he seemed to grow calmer. Before long he did more; he became resigned, and, continuing all the while to give La Tremoille occasional proofs of his former favor, he fully accepted De Richemont's influence and the new direction which the constable imposed upon his government.

War was continued nearly everywhere, with alternations of success and reverse which deprived none of the parties of hope without giving victory to any. Peace, however, was more and more the general desire. Scarcely had one attempt at pacification failed when another was begun. The constable De Richemont's return to power led to fresh overtures. He was a states-man as well as a warrior; and his inclinations were known at Dijon and London, as well as at Chinon. The advisers of King Henry VI. proposed to open a conference, on the 15th of October, 1433, at Calais. They had, they said, a prisoner in England, confined there ever since the battle of Agincourt, Duke Charles of Orleans, who was sincerely desirous of peace, in spite of his family enmity towards the Duke of Burgundy. He was considered a very proper person to promote the negotiations, although he sought in poetry, which was destined to bring lustre to his name, a refuge from politics which made his life a burden. He, one day meeting the Duke of Burgundy's two ambassadors at the Earl of Suffolk's, Henry VI.'s prime minister, went up to them, affectionately took their hands, and, when they inquired after his health, said, "My body is well, my soul is sick; I am dying with vexation at passing my best days a prisoner, without any one to think of me." The ambassadors said that people would be indebted to him for the benefit of peace, for he was known to be laboring for it. "My Lord of Suffolk," said he, "can tell you that I never cease to urge it upon the king and his council; but I am as useless here as the sword never drawn from the scabbard. I must see my relatives and friends in France; they will not treat, surely, without having consulted with me. If peace depended upon me, though I were doomed to die seven days after swearing it, that would cause me no regret. however, what matters it what I say? I am not master in anything at all; next to the two kings, it is the Duke of Burgundy and the Duke of Brittany who have most power. Will you not come and call upon me?" he added, pressing the hand of one of the ambassadors. "They will see you before they go," said the Earl of Suffolk, in a tone which made it plain that no private conversation would be permitted between them. And, indeed, the Earl of Suffolk's barber went alone to wait upon the ambassadors in order to tell them that, if the Duke of Burgundy desired it, the Duke of Orleans would write to him. "I will undertake," he added, "to bring you his letter." There was evident mistrust; and it was explained to the Burgundian ambassadors by the Earl of Warwick's remark, "Your duke never once came to see our king during his stay in France. The Duke of Bedford used similar language to them. Why," said he, "does my brother the Duke of Burgundy give way to evil imaginings against me? There is not a prince in the world, after my king, whom I esteem so much. The ill-will which seems to exist between us spoils the king's affairs and his own too. But tell him that I am not the less disposed to serve him."

In March, 1435, the Duke of Burgundy went to Paris, taking with him his third wife, Isabel of Portugal, and a magnificent following. There were seen, moreover, in his train, a hundred wagons laden with artillery, armor, salted provisions, cheeses, and wines of Burgundy. There was once more joy in Paris, and the duke received the most affectionate welcome. The university was represented before him, and made him a great speech on the necessity of peace. Two days afterwards a deputation from the city dames of Paris waited upon the Duchess of Burgundy, and implored her to use her influence for the re-establishment of peace. She answered, "My good friends, it is the thing I desire most of all in the world; I pray for it night and day to the Lord our God, for I believe that we all have great need of it, and I know for certain that my lord and husband has the greatest willingness to give up to that purpose his person and his substance." At the bottom of his soul Duke Philip's decision was already taken. He had but lately discussed the condition of France with the constable, De Richemont, and Duke Charles of Bourbon, his brother-in-law, whom he had summoned to Nevers with that design. Being convinced of the necessity for peace, he spoke of it to the King of England's advisers whom he found in Paris, and who dared not show absolute opposition to it. It was agreed that in the month of July a general, and, more properly speaking, a European conference should meet at Arras, that the legates of Pope Eugenius IV. should be invited to it, and that consultation should be held thereat as to the means of putting an end to the sufferings of the two kingdoms.

Towards the end of July, accordingly, whilst the war was being prosecuted with redoubled ardor on both sides at the very gates of Paris, there arrived at Arras the pope's legates and the ambassadors of the Emperor Sigismund, of the Kings of Castile, Aragon, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, Cyprus, Poland, and Denmark, and of the Dukes of Brittany and Milan. The university of Paris and many of the good towns of France, Flanders, and even Holland, had sent their deputies thither. Many bishops were there in person. The Bishop of Liege came thither with a magnificent train, mounted, says the chroniclers, on two hundred white horses. The Duke of Burgundy made his entrance on the 30th of July, escorted by three hundred archers wearing his livery. All the lords who happened to be in the city went to meet him at a league's distance, except the cardinal-legates of the pope, who confined themselves to sending their people. Two days afterwards arrived the ambassadors of the King of France, having at their head the Duke of Bourbon and the constable De Richemont, together with several of the greatest French lords, and a retinue of four or five hundred persons. Duke Philip, forewarned of their coming, issued from the city with all the princes and lords who happened to be there. The English alone refused to accompany him, wondering at his showing such great honor to the ambassadors of their common enemy. Philip went forward a mile to meet his two brothers-in-law, the Duke of Bourbon and the Count de Richemont, embraced them affectionately, and turned back with them into Arras, amidst the joy and acclamations of the populace. Last of all arrived the Duchess of Burgundy, magnificently dressed, and bringing with her her young son, the Count of Charolais, who was hereafter to be Charles the Rash. The Duke of Bourbon, the constable De Richemont, and all the lords were on horseback around her litter; but the English, who had gone, like the others, to meet her, were unwilling, on turning back to Arras, to form a part of her retinue with the French.

Grand as was the sight, it was not superior in grandeur to the event on the eve of accomplishment. The question was whether France should remain a great nation, in full possession of itself and of its independence under a French king, or whether the King of England should, in London and with the title of King of France, have France in his possession and under his government. Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, was called upon to solve this problem of the future, that is to say, to decide upon the fate of his lineage and his country.

As soon as the conference was opened, and no matter what attempts were made to veil or adjourn the question, it was put nakedly. The English, instead of peace, began by proposing a long truce, and the marriage of Henry VI. with a daughter of King Charles. The French ambassadors refused, absolutely, to negotiate on this basis; they desired a definitive peace; and their conditions were, that the King and people of England making an end of this situation, so full of clanger for the whole royal house, and of suffering for the people. Nevertheless, the duke showed strong scruples. The treaties he had sworn to, the promises he had made, threw him into a constant fever of anxiety; he would not have any one able to say that he had in any respect forfeited his honor. He asked for three consultations, one with the Italian doctors connected with the pope's legates, another with English doctors, and another with French doctors. He was granted all three, though they were more calculated to furnish him with arguments, each on their own side, than to dissipate his doubts, if he had any real ones. The legates ended by solemnly saying to him, "We do conjure you, by the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the authority of our holy father, the pope, of the holy council assembled at Bale, and of the universal Church, to renounce that spirit of vengeance whereby you are moved against King Charles in memory of the late Duke John, your father; nothing can render you more pleasing in the eyes of God, or further augment your fame in this world." For three days Duke Philip remained still undecided; but he heard that the Duke of Bedford, regent of France on behalf of the English, who was his brother-in-law, had just died at Rouen, on the 14th of September. He was, besides the late King of England, Henry V., the only English-man who had received promises from the duke, and who lived in intimacy with him. Ten days afterwards, on the 21th of September, the queen, Isabel of Bavaria, also died at Paris; and thus another of the principal causes of shame to the French kingship, and misfortune to France, disappeared from the stage of the world. Duke Philip felt himself more free and more at rest in his mind, if not rightfully, at any rate so far as political and worldly expedience was concerned. He declared his readiness to accept the proposals which had been communicated to him by the ambassadors of Charles VII.; and on the 21st of September, 1435, peace was signed at Arras between France and Burgundy, without any care for what England might say or do.

There was great and general joy in France. It was peace, and national reconciliation as well; Dauphinizers and Burgundians embraced in the streets; the Burgundians were delighted at being able to call themselves Frenchmen. Charles VII. convoked the states-general at Tours, to consecrate this alliance. On his knees, upon the bare stone, before the Archbishop of Crete, who had just celebrated mass, the king laid his hands upon the Gospels, and swore the peace, saying that "It was his duty to imitate the King of kings, our divine Saviour, who had brought peace amongst men." At the chancellor's order, the princes and great lords, one after the other, took the oath; the nobles and the people of the third estate swore the peace all together, with cries of "Long live the king! Long live the Duke of Burgundy!" "With this hand," said Sire de Lannoy, "I have thrice sworn peace during this war; but I call God to witness that, for my part, this time it shall be kept, and that never will I break it (the peace)." Charles VII., in his emotion, seized the hands of Duke Philip's ambassadors, saying, "For a long while I have languished for this happy day; we must thank God for it." And the Te Deum was intoned with enthusiasm.

Peace was really made amongst Frenchmen; and, in spite of many internal difficulties and quarrels, it was not broken as long as Charles VII. and Duke Philip the Good were living. But the war with the English went on incessantly. They still possessed several of the finest provinces of France; and the treaty of Arras, which had weakened them very much on the Continent, had likewise made them very angry. For twenty-six years, from 1435 to 1461, hostilities continued between the two kingdoms, at one time actively and at another slackly, with occasional suspension by truce, but without any formal termination. There is no use in recounting the details of their monotonous and barren history. Governments and people often persist in maintaining their quarrels and inflicting mutual injuries by the instrumentality of events, acts, and actors that deserve nothing but oblivion. There is no intention here of dwelling upon any events or persons save such as have, for good or for evil, to its glory or its sorrow, exercised a considerable influence upon the condition and fortune of France.

The peace of Arras brought back to the service of France and her king the constable De Richemont, Arthur of Brittany, whom the jealousy of George de la Tremoille and the distrustful indolence of Charles VII. had so long kept out of it. By a somewhat rare privilege, he was in reality, there is reason to suppose, superior to the name he has left behind him in history; and it is only justice to reproduce here the portrait given of him by one of his contemporaries who observed him closely and knew him well. "Never a man of his time," says William Gruet, "loved justice more than he, or took more pains to do it according to his ability. Never was prince more humble, more charitable, more compassionate, more liberal, less avaricious, or more open-handed in a good fashion and without prodigality. He was a proper man, chaste and brave as prince can be; and there was none of his time of better conduct than lie in conducting a great battle, or a great siege, and all sorts of approaches in all sorts of ways. Every day, once at least in the four and twenty hours, his conversation was of war, and he took more pleasure in it than in aught else. Above all things he loved men of valor and good renown, and he more than any other loved and supported the people, and freely did good to poor mendicants and others of God's poor."

Nearly all the deeds of Richemont, from the time that he became powerful again, confirm the truth of this portrait. His first thought and his first labor were to restore Paris to France and to the king. The unhappy city in subjection to the English was the very image of devastation and ruin. "The wolves prowled about it by night, and there were in it," says an eye-witness, "twenty-four thousand houses empty." The Duke of Bedford, in order to get rid of these public tokens of misery, attempted to supply the Parisians with bread and amusements (panem et circenses); but their very diversions were ghastly and melancholy. In 1425, there was painted in the sepulchre of the Innocents a picture called the Dance of Death: Death, grinning with fleshless jaws, was represented taking by the hand all estates of the population in their turn, and making them dance. In the Hotel Armagnac, confiscated, as so many others were, from its owner, a show was exhibited to amuse the people. "Four blind men, armed with staves, were shut up with a pig in a little paddock. They had to see whether they could kill the said pig, and when they thought they were belaboring it most they were belaboring one another." The constable resolved to put a stop to this deplorable state of things in the capital of France. In April, 1433, when he had just ordered for himself apartments at St. Denis, he heard that the English had just got in there and plundered the church. He at once gave orders to march. The Burgundians, who made up nearly all his troop, demanded their pay, and would not mount. Richemont gave them his bond; and the march was begun to St. Denis. "You know the country?" said the constable to Marshal Isle-Adam. "Yes, my lord," answered the other; "and by my faith, in the position held by the English, you would do nothing to harm or annoy them, though you had ten thousand fighting men." "Ah! but we will," replied Richemont; "God will help us. Keep pressing forward to support the skirmishers." And he occupied St. Denis, and drove out the English. The population of Paris, being informed of this success, were greatly moved and encouraged. One brave burgess of Paris, Michel Laillier, master of the exchequer, notified to the constable, it is said, that they were ready and quite able to open one of the gates to him, provided that an engagement were entered into in the king's name for a general amnesty and the prevention of all disorder. The constable, on the king's behalf, entered into the required engagement, and presented himself the next day, the 13th of April, with a picked force before the St. Michel gate. The enterprise was discovered. A man posted on the wall made signs to them with his hat, crying out, "Go to the other gate; there's no opening this; work is going on for you in the Market-quarter." The picked force followed the course of the ramparts up to the St. Jacques gate. "Who goes there?" demanded some burghers who had the guard of it. "Some of the constable's people." He himself came up on his big charger, with satisfaction and courtesy in his mien. Some little time was required for opening the gate; a long ladder was let down; and Marshal Isle-Adam was the first to mount, and planted on the wall the standard of France. The fastenings of the drawbridge were burst, and when it was let down, the constable made his entry on horseback, riding calmly down St. Jacques Street, in the midst of a joyous and comforted crowd. "My good friends," he said to them, "the good King Charles, and I on his behalf, do thank you a hundred thousand times for yielding up to him so quietly the chief city of his kingdom. If there be amongst you any, of whatsoever condition he may be, who hath offended against my lord 'the king, all is forgiven, in the case both of the absent and the present."

Then he caused it to be proclaimed by sound of trumpet throughout the streets that none of his people should be so bold, on pain of hanging, as to take up quarters in the house of any burgher against his will, or to use any reproach whatever, or do the least displeasure to any. At sight of the public joy, the English had retired to the Bastille, where the constable was disposed to besiege them. "My lord," said the burghers to him, "they will surrender; do not reject their offer; it is so far a fine thing enough to have thus recovered Paris; often, on the contrary, many constables and many marshals have been driven out of it. Take contentedly what God hath granted you." The burghers' prediction was not unverified. The English sallied out of the Bastille by the gate which opened on the fields, and went and took boat in the rear of the Louvre. Next day abundance of provisions arrived in Paris; and the gates were opened to the country folks. The populace freely manifested their joy at being rid of the English. "It was plain to see," was the saving, "that they were not in France to remain; not one of them had been seen to sow a field with corn or build a house; they destroyed their quarters without a thought of repairing them; they had not restored, peradventure, a single fireplace. There was only their regent, the Duke of Bedford, who was fond of building and making the poor people work; he would have liked peace; but the nature of those English is to be always at war with their neighbors, and accordingly they all made a bad end; thank God there have already died in France more than seventy thousand of them."

Up to the taking of Paris by the constable the Duke of Burgundy had kept himself in reserve, and had maintained a tacit neutrality towards England; he had merely been making, without noisy demonstration, preparations for an enterprise in which he, as Count of Flanders, was very much interested. The success of Richemont inspired him with a hope, and perhaps with a jealous desire, of showing his power and his patriotism as a Frenchman by making war, in his turn, upon the English, from whom he had by the treaty of Arras effected only a pacific separation. In June, 1436, he went and besieged Calais. This was attacking England at one of the points she was bent upon defending most obstinately. Philip had reckoned on the energetic cooperation of the cities of Flanders, and at the first blush the Flemings did display a strong inclination to support him in his enterprise. "When the English," they said, "know that my lords of Ghent are on the way to attack them with all their might they will not await us; they will leave the city and flee away to England." Neither the Flemings nor Philip had correctly estimated the importance which was attached in London to the possession of Calais. When the Duke of Gloucester, lord-protector of England, found this possession threatened, he sent a herald to defy the Duke of Burgundy and declare to him that, if he did not wait for battle beneath the walls of Calais, Humphrey of Gloucester would go after him even into his own dominions. "Tell your lord that he will not need to take so much trouble, and that he will find me here," answered Philip proudly. His pride was over-confident. Whether it were only a people's fickleness or intelligent appreciation of their own commercial interests in their relations with England, the Flemings grew speedily disgusted with the siege of Calais, complained of the tardiness in arrival of the fleet which Philip had despatched thither to close the port against English vessels, and, after having suffered several reverses by sorties of the English garrison, they ended by retiring with such precipitation that they abandoned part of their supplies and artillery. Philip, according to the expression of M. Henri Martin, was reduced to covering their retreat with his cavalry; and then he went away sorrowfully to Lille, to advise about the means of defending his Flemish lordships exposed to the reprisals of the English.

Thus the fortune of Burgundy was tottering whilst that of France was recovering itself. The constable's easy occupation of Paris led the majority of the small places in the neighborhood, St. Denis, Chevreuse, Marcoussis, and Montlhery to decide either upon spontaneous surrender or allowing themselves to be taken after no great resistance. Charles VII., on his way through France to Lyon, in Dauphiny, Languedoc, Auvergne, and along the Loire, recovered several other towns, for instance, Chateau- Landon, Nemours, and Charny. He laid siege in person to Montereau, an important military post with which a recent and sinister reminiscence was connected. A great change now made itself apparent in the king's behavior and disposition. He showed activity and vigilance, and was ready to expose himself without any care for fatigue or danger. On the day of the assault (10th of October, 1437) he went down into the trenches, remained there in water up to his waist, mounted the scaling- ladder sword in hand, and was one of the first assailants who penetrated over the top of the walls right into the place. After the surrender of the castle as well as the town of Montereau, he marched on Paris, and made his solemn re-entry there on the 12th of November, 1437, for the first time since in 1418 Tanneguy-Duchatel had carried him away, whilst still a child, wrapped in his bed-clothes. Charles was received and entertained as became a recovered and a victorious king; but he passed only three weeks there, and went away once more, on the 3d of December, to go and resume at Orleans first, and then at Bourges, the serious cares of government. It is said to have been at this royal entry into Paris that Agnes Sorel or Soreau, who was soon to have the name of Queen of Beauty, and to assume in French history an almost glorious though illegitimate position, appeared with brilliancy in the train of the queen, Mary of Anjou, to whom the king had appointed her a maid of honor. It is a question whether she did not even then exercise over Charles VII. that influence, serviceable alike to the honor of the king and of France, which was to inspire Francis I., a century later, with this gallant quatrain:

         "If to win back poor captive France be aught,
             More honor, gentle Agnes, is thy weed,
          Than ere was due to deeds of virtue wrought
             By cloistered nun or pious hermit-breed."

It is worth while perhaps to remark that in 1437 Agnes Sorel was already twenty-seven.

One of the best informed, most impartial, and most sensible historians of that epoch, James Duclercq, merely says on this subject, King Charles, before he had peace with Duke Philip of Burgundy, led a right holy life and said his canonical hours. But after peace was made with the duke, though the king continued to serve God, he joined himself unto a young woman who was afterwards called Fair Agnes.

Nothing is gained by ignoring good even when it is found in company with evil, and there is no intention here of disputing the share of influence exercised by Agnes Sorel upon Charles VII.'s regeneration in politics and war after the treaty of Arras. Nevertheless, in spite of the king's successes at Montereau and during his passage through Central and Northern France, the condition of the country was still so bad in 1440, the disorder was so great, and the king so powerless to apply a remedy, that Richemont, disconsolate, was tempted to rid and disburden himself from the government of France and between the rivers [Seine and Loire, no doubt] and to go or send to the king for that purpose. But one day the prior of the Carthusians at Paris called on the constable and found him in his private chapel. "What need you, fair father?" asked Richemont. The prior answered that he wished to speak with my lord the constable. Richemont replied that it was he himself. "Pardon me, my lord," said the prior, "I did not know you; I wish to speak to you, if you please." "Gladly," said Richemont. "Well, my lord, you yesterday held counsel and considered about disburdening yourself from the government and office you hold hereabouts." "How know you that? Who told you?" "My lord, I do not know it through any person of your council, and do not put yourself out to learn who told me, for it was one of my brethren. My lord, do not do this thing; and be not troubled, for God will help you." "Ah! fair father, how can that be? The king has no mind to aid me or grant me men or money; and the men-at-arms hate me because I have justice done on them, and they have no mind to obey me." "My lord, they will do what you desire; and the king will give you orders to go and lay siege to Meaux, and will send you men and money." "Ah! fair father, Meaux is so strong! How can it be done? The King of England was there for nine months before it." "My lord, be not you troubled; you will not be there so long; keep having good hope in God and He will help you. Be ever humble and grow not proud; you will take Meaux ere long; your men will grow proud; they will then have somewhat to suffer; but you will come out of it to your honor."

The good prior was right. Meaux was taken; and when the constable went to tell the news at Paris the king made him "great cheer." There was a continuance of war to the north of the Loire; and amidst many alternations of successes and reverses the national cause made great way there. Charles resolved, in 1442, to undertake an expedition to the south of the Loire, in Aquitaine, where the English were still dominant; and he was successful. He took from the English Tartas, Saint-Sever, Marmande, La Reole, Blaye, and Bourg-sur-Mer. Their ally, Count John d'Armagnac, submitted to the King of France. These successes cost Charles VII. the brave La Hire, who died at Montauban of his wounds. On returning to Normandy, where he had left Dunois, Charles, in 1443, conducted a prosperous campaign there. The English leaders were getting weary of a war without any definite issue; and they had proposals made to Charles for a truce, accompanied with a demand on the part of their young king, Henry VI., for the hand of a French princess, Margaret of Anjou, daughter of King Rena, who wore the three crowns of Naples, Sicily, and Jerusalem, without possessing any one of the kingdoms. The truce and the marriage were concluded at Tours, in 1444. Neither of the arrangements was popular in England; the English people, who had only a far-off touch of suffering from the war, considered that their government made too many concessions to France. In France, too, there was some murmuring; the king, it was said, did not press his advantages with sufficient vigor; everybody was in a hurry to see all Aquitaine reconquered. "But a joy that was boundless and impossible to describe," says Thomas Bazin, the most intelligent of the contemporary historians, "spread abroad through the whole population of the Gauls. Having been a prey for so long to incessant terrors, and shut up within the walls of their towns like convicts in a prison, they rejoiced like people restored to freedom after a long and bitter slavery. Companies of both sexes were seen going forth into the country and visiting temples or oratories dedicated to the saints, to pay the vows which they had made in their distress. One fact especially was admirable and the work of God Himself: before the truce so violent had been the hatred between the two sides, both men-at-arms and people, that none, whether soldier or burgher, could without risk to life go out and pass from one place to another unless under the protection of a safe-conduct. But, so soon as the truce was proclaimed, every one went and came at pleasure, in full liberty and security, whether in the same district or in districts under divided rule; and even those who, before the proclamation of the truce, seemed to take no pleasure in anything but a savage outpouring of human blood, now took delight in the sweets of peace, and passed the days in holiday-making and dancing with enemies who but lately had been as bloodthirsty as themselves."

But for all their rejoicing at the peace, the French, king, lords, and commons, had war still in their hearts; national feelings were waking up afresh; the successes of late years had revived their hopes; and the civil dissensions which were at that time disturbing England let favorable chances peep out. Charles VII. and his advisers employed the leisure afforded by the truce in preparing for a renewal of the struggle. They were the first to begin it again; and from 1449 to 1451 it was pursued by the French king and nation with ever-increasing ardor, and with obstinate courage by the veteran English warriors astounded at no longer being victorious. Normandy and Aquitaine, which was beginning to be called Guyenne only, were throughout this period the constant and the chief theatre of war. Amongst the greatest number of fights and incidents which distinguished the three campaigns in those two provinces, the recapture of Rouen by Dunois in October, 1449, the battle of Formigny, won near Bayeux on the 15th of April, 1450, by the constable De Richemont, and the twofold capitulation of Bordeaux, first on the 28th of June, 1451, and next on the 9th of October, 1453, in order to submit to Charles VII., are the only events to which a place in history is due, for those were the days on which the question was solved touching the independence of the nation and the kingship in France. The Duke of Somerset and Lord Talbot were commanding in Rouen when Dunois presented himself beneath its walls, in hopes that the inhabitants would open the gates to him. Some burgesses, indeed, had him apprised of a certain point in the walls at which they might be able to favor the entry of the French. Dunois, at the same time making a feint of attacking in another quarter, arrived at the spot indicated with four thousand men. The archers drew up before the wall; the men-at-arms dismounted; the burgesses gave the signal, and the planting of scaling-ladders began; but when hardly as many as fifty or sixty men had reached the top of the wall the banner and troops of Talbot were seen advancing. He had been warned in time and had taken his measures. The assailants were repulsed; and Charles VII., who was just arriving at the camp, seeing the abortiveness of the attempt, went back to Pont-de-l'Arehe. But the English had no long joy of their success. They were too weak to make any effectual resistance, and they had no hope of any aid from England. Their leaders authorized the burgesses to demand of the king a safe-conduct in order to treat. The conditions offered by Charles were agreeable to the burgesses, but not to the English; and when the archbishop read them out in the hall of the mansion-house, Somerset and Talbot witnessed an outburst of joy which revealed to them all their peril. Fagots and benches at once began to rain down from the windows; the English shut themselves up precipitately in the castle, in the gate-towers, and in the great tower of the bridge; and the burgesses armed themselves and took possession during the night of the streets and the walls. Dunois, having received notice, arrived in force at the Martainville gate. The inhabitants begged him to march into the city as many men as he pleased. "It shall be as you will," said Dunois. Three hundred men-at-arms and archers seemed sufficient. Charles VII returned before Rouen; the English asked leave to withdraw without loss of life or kit; and "on condition," said the king "that they take nothing on the march without paying." "We have not the wherewithal," they answered; and the king gave them a hundred francs. Negotiations were recommenced. The king required that Harfleur and all the places in the district of Caux should be given up to him. "Ah! as for Harfleur, that cannot be," said the Duke of Somerset; "it is the first town which surrendered to our glorious king, Henry V., thirty-five years ago." There was further parley. The French consented to give up the demand for Harfleur; but they required that Talbot should remain as a hostage until the conditions were fulfilled. The English protested. At last, however, they yielded, and undertook to pay fifty thousand golden crowns to settle all accounts which they owed to the tradesmen in the city, and to give up all places in the district of Caen except Harfleur. The Duchess of Somerset and Lord Talbot remained as hostages; and on the 10th of November, 1449, Charles entered Rouen in state, with the character of a victor who knew how to use victory with moderation.

The battle of Formigny was at first very doubtful. In order to get from Valognes to Bayeux and Caen the English had to cross at the mouth of the Vire great sands which were passable only at low tide. A weak body of French under command of the Count de Clermont had orders to cut them off from this passage. The English, however, succeeded in forcing it; but just as they were taking position, with the village of Formigny to cover their rear, the constable De Richemont was seen coming up with three thousand men in fine order. The English were already strongly intrenched, when the battle began. "Let us go and look close in their faces, admiral," said the constable to Sire de Coetivi. "I doubt whether they will leave their intrenchments," replied the admiral. "I vow to God that with His grace they will not abide in them," rejoined the constable; and he gave orders for the most vigorous assault. It lasted nearly three hours; the English were forced to fly at three points, and lost thirty-seven hundred men; several of their leaders were made prisoners; those who were left retired in good order; Bayeux, Avranches, Caen, Falaise, and Cherbourg fell one after the other into the hands of Charles VII.; and by the end of August, 1450, the whole of Normandy had been completely won back by France.

The conquest of Guyenne, which was undertaken immediately after that of Normandy, was at the outset more easy and more speedy. Amongst the lords of Southern France several hearty patriots, such as John of Blois, Count of Perigord, and Arnold Amanieu, Sire d'Albret, of their own accord began the strife, and on the 1st of November, 1450, inflicted a somewhat severe reverse upon the English, near Blanquefort. In the spring of the following year Charles VII. authorized the Count of Armagnac to take the field, and sent Dunois to assume the command-in-chief. An army of twenty thousand men mustered under his orders; and, in the course of May, 1451, some of the principal places of Guyenne, such as St. Emillon, Blaye, Fronsac, Bourg-en-Mer, Libourne, and Dax were taken by assault or capitulated. Bordeaux and Bayonne held out for some weeks; but, on the 12th of June, a treaty concluded between the Bordelese and Dunois secured to the three estates of the district the liberties and privileges which they had enjoyed under English supremacy; and it was further stipulated that, if by the 24th of June the city had not been succored by English forces, the estates of Guyenne should recognize the sovereignty of King Charles. When the 24th of June came, a herald went up to one of the towers of the castle and shouted, "Succor from the King of England for them of Bordeaux!!" None replied to this appeal; so Bordeaux surrendered, and on the 29th of June Dunois took possession of it in the name of the King of France. The siege of Bayonne, which was begun on the 6th of August, came to an end on the 20th by means of a similar treaty. Guyenne was thus completely won. But the English still had a considerable following there. They had held it for three centuries; and they had always treated it well in respect of local liberties, agriculture, and commerce. Charles VII., on recovering it, was less wise. He determined to establish there forthwith the taxes, the laws, and the whole regimen of Northern France; and the Bordelese were as prompt in protesting against these measures as the king was in employing them. In August, 1452, a deputation from the three estates of the province waited upon Charles at Bourges, but did not obtain their demands. On their return to Bordeaux an insurrection was organized; and Peter de Montferrand, Sire de Lesparre, repaired to London and proposed to the English government to resume possession of Guyenne. On the 22d of October, 1452, Talbot appeared before Bordeaux with a body of five thousand men; the inhabitants opened their gates to him; and he installed himself there as lieutenant of the King of England, Henry VI. Nearly all the places in the neighborhood, with the exception of Bourg and Blaye, returned beneath the sway of the English; considerable reenforcements were sent to Talbot from England; and at the same time an English fleet threatened the coast of Normandy. But Charles VII. was no longer the blind and indolent king he had been in his youth. Nor can the prompt and effectual energy he displayed in 1453 be any longer attributed to the influence of Agnes Sorel, for she died on the 9th of February, 1450. Charles left Richemont and Dunois to hold Normandy; and, in the early days of spring, moved in person to the south of France with a strong army and the principal Gascon lords who two years previously had brought Guyenne back under his power. On the 2d of June, 1453, he opened the campaign at St. Jean-d'Angely. Several places surrendered to him as soon as he appeared before their walls; and on the 13th of July he laid siege to Castillon, on the Dordogne, which had shortly before fallen into the hands of the English. The Bordelese grew alarmed and urged Talbot to oppose the advance of the French. "We may very well let them come nearer yet," said the old warrior, then eighty years of age; "rest assured that, if it please God, I will fulfil my promise when I see that the time and the hour have come."

On the night between the 16th and 17th of July, however, Talbot set out with his troops to raise the siege of Castillon. He marched all night and came suddenly in the early morning upon the French archers, quartered in an abbey, who formed the advanced guard of their army, which was strongly intrenched before the place. A panic set in amongst this small body, and some of them took to flight. "Ha! you would desert me then?" said Sire de Rouault, who was in command of them; "have I not promised you to live and die with you?" They thereupon rallied and managed to join the camp. Talbot, content for the time with this petty success, sent for a chaplain to come and say mass; and, whilst waiting for an opportunity to resume the fight, he permitted the tapping of some casks of wine which had been found in the abbey, and his men set themselves to drinking. A countryman of those parts came hurrying up, and said to Talbot, "My lord, the French are deserting their park and taking to flight; now or never is the hour for fulfilling your promise." Talbot arose and left the mass, shouting, "Never may I hear mass again if I put not to rout the French who are in yonder park." When he arrived in front of the Frenchmen's intrenchment, "My lord," said Sir Thomas Cunningham, an aged gentleman who had for a long time past been his standard-bearer, "they have made a false report to you; observe the depth of the ditch and the faces of yonder men; they don't look like retreating; my opinion is, that for the present we should turn back; the country is for us, we have no lack of provisions, and with a little patience we shall starve out the French." Talbot flew into a passion, gave Sir Thomas a sword-cut across the face, had his banner planted on the edge of the ditch, and began the attack. The banner was torn down and Sir Thomas Cunningham killed. "Dismount!" shouted Talbot to his men-at-arms, English and Gascon. The French camp was defended by a more than usually strong artillery; a body of Bretons, held in reserve, advanced to sustain the shock of the English; and a shot from a culverin struck Talbot, who was already wounded in the face, shattered his thigh, and brought him to the ground. Lord Lisle, his son, flew to him to raise him. "Let me be," said Talbot; "the day is the enemies'; it will be no shame for thee to fly, for this is thy first battle." But the son remained with his father, and was slain at his side. The defeat of the English was complete. Talbot's body, pierced with wounds, was left on the field of battle. He was so disfigured that, when the dead were removed, he was not recognized. Notice, however, was taken of an old man wearing a cuirass covered with red velvet; this, it was presumed, was he; and he was placed upon a shield and carried into the camp. An English herald came with a request that he might look for Lord' Talbot's body. "Would you know him?" he was asked. "Take me to see him," joyfully answered the poor servant, thinking that his master was a prisoner and alive. When he saw him, he hesitated to identify him; he knelt down, put his finger in the mouth of the corpse, and recognized Talbot by the loss of a molar tooth. Throwing off immediately his coat-of-arms with the colors and bearings of Talbot, "Ah! my lord and master," he cried, "can this be verily you? May God forgive your sins! For forty years and more I have been your officer-at-arms and worn your livery, and thus I give it back to you!" And he covered with his coat-of-arms the stark-stripped body of the old hero.

The English being beaten and Talbot dead, Castillon surrendered; and at unequal intervals Libourne, St. Emillon, Chateau-Neuf de Medoc, Blanquefort, St. Macaire, Cadillac, &c., followed the example. At the commencement of October, 1453, Bordeaux alone was still holding out. The promoters of the insurrection which had been concerted with the English, amongst others Sires de Duras and de Lesparre, protracted the resistance rather in their own self-defence than in response to the wishes of the population; the king's artillery threatened the place by land, and by sea a king's fleet from Rochelle and the ports of Brittany blockaded the Gironde. "The majority of the king's officers," says the contemporary historian, Thomas Basin, "advised him to punish by at least the destruction of their walls the Bordelese who had recalled the English to their city; but Charles, more merciful and more soft-hearted, refused." He confined himself to withdrawing from Bordeaux her municipal privileges, which, however, she soon partially recovered, and to imposing upon her a fine of a hundred thousand gold crowns, afterwards reduced to thirty thousand; he caused to be built at the expense of the city two fortresses, the Fort of the Ila and the Castle of Trompette, to keep in check so bold and fickle a population; and an amnesty was proclaimed for all but twenty specified persons, who were banished. On these conditions the capitulation was concluded and signed on the 17th of October; the English re-embarked; and Charles, without entering Bordeaux, returned to Touraine. The English had no longer any possession in France but Calais and Guines; the Hundred Years' War was over.

And to whom was the glory?

Charles VII. himself decided the question. When in 1455, twenty-four years after the death of Joan of Are, he at Rome and at Rouen prosecuted her claims for restoration of character and did for her fame and her memory all that was still possible, he was but relieving his conscience from a load of ingratitude and remorse which in general weighs but lightly upon men, and especially upon kings; and he was discharging towards the Maid of Domremy the debt due by France and the French kingship when he thus proclaimed that to Joan above all they owed their deliverance and their independence. Before men and before God Charles was justified in so thinking; the moral are not the sole, but they are the most powerful forces which decide the fates of people; and Joan had roused the feelings of the soul, and given to the struggles between France and England its religious and national character. At Rheims, when she repaired thither for the king's coronation, she said of her own banner, "It has a right to the honor, for it has been at the pains." She, first amongst all, had a right to the glory, for she had been the first to contribute to the success.

Next to Joan of Arc, the constable De Richemont was the most effective and the most glorious amongst the liberators of France and of the king. He was a strict and stern warrior, unscrupulous and pitiless towards his enemies, especially towards such as he despised, severe in regard to himself, dignified in his manners, never guilty of swearing himself and punishing swearing as a breach of discipline amongst the troops placed under his orders. Like a true patriot and royalist, he had more at heart his duty towards France and the king than he had his own personal interests. He was fond of war, and conducted it bravely and skilfully, without rashness, but without timidity: "Wherever the constable is," said Charles VII., "there I am free from anxiety; he will do all that is possible!" He set his title and office of constable of France above his rank as a great lord; and when, after the death of his brother, Duke Peter II., he himself became Duke of Brittany, he always had the constable's sword carried before him, saying, "I wish to honor in my old age a function which did me honor in my youth." His good services were not confined to the wars of his time; he was one of the principal reformers of the military system in France by the substitution of regular troops for feudal service. He has not obtained, it is to be feared, in the history of the fifteenth century, the place which properly belongs to him.

Dunois, La Hire, Xaintrailles, and Marshals De Boussac and De La Fayette were, under Charles VII., brilliant warriors and useful servants of the king and of Fiance; but, in spite of their knightly renown, it is questionable if they can be reckoned, like the constable De Richemont, amongst the liberators of national independence. There are degrees of glory, and it is the duty of history not to distribute it too readily and as it were by handfuls.

Besides all these warriors, we meet, under the sway of Charles VII., at first in a humble capacity and afterwards at his court, in his diplomatic service and sometimes in his closest confidence, a man of quite a different origin and quite another profession, but one who nevertheless acquired by peaceful toil great riches and great influence, both brought to a melancholy termination by a conviction and a consequent ruin from which at the approach of old age he was still striving to recover by means of fresh ventures. Jacques Coeur was born at Bourges at the close of the fourteenth century. His father was a furrier, already sufficiently well established and sufficiently rich to allow of his son's marrying, in 1418, the provost's daughter of his own city. Some years afterwards Jacques Coeur underwent a troublesome trial for infraction of the rules touching the coinage of money; but thanks to a commutation of the penalty, graciously accorded by Charles VII., he got off with a fine, and from that time forward directed all his energies towards commerce. In 1432 a squire in the service of the Duke of Burgundy was travelling in the Holy Land, and met him at Damascus in company with several Venetians, Genoese, Florentine, and Catalan traders with whom he was doing business. "He was," says his contemporary, Thomas Basin, "a man unlettered and of plebeian family, but of great and ingenious mind, well versed in the practical affairs of that age. He was the first in all France to build and man ships which transported to Africa and the East woollen stuffs and other produce of the kingdom, penetrated as far as Egypt, and brought back with them silken stuffs and all manner of spices, which they distributed not only in France, but in Catalonia and the neighboring countries, whereas heretofore it was by means of the Venetians, the Genoese, or the Barcelonese that such supplies found their way into France."

Jacques Coeur, temporarily established at Montpellier, became a great and a celebrated merchant. In 1433 Charles VII. put into his hands the direction of the mint at Paris, and began to take his advice as to the administration of the crown's finances. In 1440 he was appointed moneyman to the king, ennobled together with his wife and children, commissioned soon afterwards to draw up new regulations for the manufacture of cloth at Bourges, and invested on his own private account with numerous commercial privileges. He had already at this period, it was said, three hundred manufacturing hands in his employment, and he was working at the same time silver, lead, and copper mines situated in the environs of Tarare and Lyons. Between 1442 and 1446 he had one of his nephews sent as ambassador to Egypt, and obtained for the French consuls in the Levant the same advantages as were enjoyed by those of the most favored nations. Not only his favor in the eyes of the king, but his administrative and even his political appointments, went on constantly increasing. Between 1444 and 1446 the king several times named him one of his commissioners to the estates of Languedoc and for the installation of the new parliament of Toulouse. In 1446 he formed one of an embassy sent to Italy to try and acquire for France the possession of Genoa, which was harassed by civil dissensions. In 1447 he received from Charles VII. a still more important commission, to bring about an arrangement between the two popes elected, one under the name of Felix V., and the other under that of Nicholas V.; and he was successful. His immense wealth greatly contributed to his influence. M. Pierre Clement [Jacques Coeur et Charles WE, ou la France au quinzieme siecle; t. ii., pp. 1-46] has given a list of thirty-two estates and lordships which Jacques Coeur had bought either in Berry or in the neighboring provinces. He possessed, besides, four mansions and two hostels at Lyons; mansions at Beaucaire, at Beziers, at St. Pourcain, at Marseilles, and at Montpellier; and he had built, for his own residence, at Bourges, the celebrated hostel which still exists as an admirable model of Gothic and national art in the fifteenth century, attempting combination with the art of Italian renaissance.

M. Clement, in his table of Jacques Coeur's wealth does not count either the mines which he worked at various spots in France, nor the vast capital, unknown, which he turned to profit in his commercial enterprises; but, on the other hand, he names, with certain et ceteras, forty-two court-personages, or king's officers, indebted to Jacques Coeur for large or small sums he had lent them. We will quote but two instances of Jacques Coeur's financial connection, not with courtiers, however, but with the royal family and the king himself. Margaret of Scotland, wife of the dauphin, who became Louis XI., wrote with her own hand, on the 20th of July, 1445, "We, Margaret, dauphiness of Viennois, do acknowledge to have received from Master Stephen Petit, secretary of my lord the king, and receiver-general of his finances for Languedoc and Guienne, two thousand livres of Tours, to us given by my said lord, and to us advanced by the hands of Jacques Coeur, his moneyman, we being but lately in Lorraine, for to get silken stuff and sables to make robes for our person." In 1449, when Charles VII. determined to drive the English from Normandy, his treasury was exhausted, and he had recourse to Jacques Coeur. "Sir," said the trader to the king, "what I have is yours," and lent him two hundred thousand crowns; "the effect of which was," says Jacques Duclercq, "that during, this conquest, all the men-at-arms of the King of France, and all those who were in his service, were paid their wages month by month."

An original document, dated 1450, which exists in the "cabinet des titres" of the National Library, bears upon it a receipt for sixty thousand livres from Jacques Coeur to the king's receiver-general in Normandy, "in restitution of the like sum lent by me in ready money to the said lord in the month of August last past, on occasion of the surrendering to his authority of the towns and castle of Cherbourg, at that time held by the English, the ancient enemies of this realm." It was probably a partial repayment of the two hundred thousand crowns lent by Jacques Coeur to the king at this juncture, according to all the contemporary chroniclers.

Enormous and unexpected wealth excites envy and suspicion at the same time that it confers influence; and the envious before long become enemies. Sullen murmurs against Jacques Coeur were raised in the king's own circle; and the way in which he had begun to make his fortune--the coinage of questionable money--furnished some specious ground for them. There is too general an inclination amongst potentates of the earth to give an easy ear to reasons, good or bad, for dispensing with the gratitude and respect otherwise due to those who serve them. Charles VII., after having long been the patron and debtor of Jacques Coeur, all at once, in 1451, shared the suspicions aroused against him. To accusations of grave abuses and malversations in money matters was added one of even more importance. Agnes Sorel had died eighteen months previously (February 9, 1450); and on her death-bed she had appointed Jacques Coeur one of the three executors of her will. In July, 1451, Jacques was at Taillebourg, in Guyenne, whence he wrote to his wife that "he was in as good case and was as well with the king as ever he had been, whatever anybody might say." Indeed, on the 22d of July Charles VII. granted him a "sum of seven hundred and seventy-two livres of Tours to help him to keep up his condition and to be more honorably equipped for his service;" and, nevertheless, on the 31st of July, on the information of two persons of the court, who accused Jacques Coeur of having poisoned Agnes Sorel, Charles ordered his arrest and the seizure of his goods, on which he immediately levied a hundred thousand crowns for the purposes of the war. Commissioners extraordinary, taken from amongst the king's grand council, were charged to try him; and Charles VII. declared, it is said, that "if the said moneyman were not found liable to the charge of having poisoned or caused to be poisoned Agnes Sorel, he threw up and forgave all the other cases against him." The accusation of poisoning was soon acknowledged to be false, and the two informers were condemned as calumniators; but the trial was, nevertheless, proceeded with. Jacques Coeur was accused "of having sold arms to the infidels, of having coined light crowns, of having pressed on board of his vessels, at Montpellier, several individuals, of whom one had thrown himself into the sea from desperation, and lastly of having appropriated to himself presents made to the king, in several towns of Languedoc, and of having practised in that country frequent exaction, to the prejudice of the king as well as of his subjects." After twenty-two months of imprisonment, Jacques Coeur, on the 29th of May, 1453, was convicted, in the king's name, on divers charges, of which several entailed a capital penalty; but "whereas Pope Nicholas V. had issued a rescript and made request in favor of Jacques Coeur, and regard also being had to services received from him," Charles VII. spared his life, "on condition that he should pay to the king a hundred thousand crowns by way of restitution, three hundred thousand by way of fine, and should be kept in prison until the whole claim was satisfied;" and the decree ended as follows: "We have declared and do declare all the goods of the said Jacques Coeur confiscated to us, and we have banished and do banish this Jacques Coeur forever from this realm, reserving thereanent our own good pleasure."

After having spent nearly three years more in prison, transported from dungeon to dungeon, Jacques Coeur, thanks to the faithful and zealous affection of a few friends, managed to escape from Beaucaire, to embark at Nice and to reach Rome, where Pope Nicholas V. welcomed him with tokens of lively interest. Nicholas died shortly afterwards, just when he was preparing an expedition against the Turks. His successor, Calixtus III., carried out his design, and equipped a fleet of sixteen galleys. This fleet required a commander of energy, resolution, and celebrity. Jacques Coeur had lived and fought with Dunois, Xaintrailles, La Hire, and the most valiant French captains; he was known and popular in Italy and the Levant; and the pope appointed him captain-general of the expedition. Charles VII.'s moneyman, ruined, convicted, and banished from France, sailed away at the head of the pope's squadron and of some Catalan pirates to carry help against the Turks to Rhodes, Chios, Lesbos, Lemnos, and the whole Grecian archipelago. On arriving at Chios, in November, 1456, he fell ill there, and perceiving his end approaching, he wrote to his king "to commend to him his children, and to beg that, considering the great wealth and honors he had in his time enjoyed in the king's service, it might be the king's good pleasure to give something to his children, in order that they, even those of them who were secular, might be able to live honestly, without coming to want." He died at Chits on the 25th of November, 1456, and, according to the historian John d'Auton, who had probably lived in the society of Jacques Coeur's children, "he remained interred in the church of the Cordeliers in that island, at the centre of the choir."

We have felt bound to represent with some detail the active and energetic life, prosperous for a long while and afterwards so grievous and hazardous up to its very last day, of this great French merchant at the close of the middle ages, who was the first to extend afar in Europe, Africa, and Asia the commercial relations of France, and, after the example of the great Italian merchants, to make an attempt to combine politics with commerce, and to promote at one and the same time the material interests of his country and the influence of his government. There can be no doubt but that Jacques Coeur was unscrupulous and frequently visionary as a man of business; but, at the same time, he was inventive, able, and bold, and, whilst pushing his own fortunes to the utmost, he contributed a great deal to develop, in the ways of peace, the commercial, industrial, diplomatic, and artistic enterprise of France. In his relations towards his king, Jacques Coeur was to Charles VII. a servant often over-adventurous, slippery, and compromising, but often also useful, full of resource, efficient, and devoted in the hour of difficulty. Charles VII. was to Jacques Coeur a selfish and ungrateful patron, who contemptuously deserted the man whose brains he had sucked, and ruined him pitilessly after having himself contributed to enrich him unscrupulously.

We have now reached the end of events under this long reign; all that remains is to run over the substantial results of Charles VII.'s government, and the melancholy imbroglios of his latter years with his son, the turbulent, tricky, and wickedly able born-conspirator, who was to succeed him under the name of Louis XI.

One fact is at the outset to be remarked upon; it at the first blush appears singular, but it admits of easy explanation. In the first nineteen years of his reign, from 1423 to 1442, Charles VII. very frequently convoked the states-general, at one time of Northern France, or Langue d'oil, at another of Southern France, or Langue d'oc. Twenty-four such assemblies took place during this period at Bourges, at Selles in Berry, at Le Puy in Velay, at Mean-sur-Yevre, at Chinon, at Sully-sur-Loire, at Tours, at Orleans, at Nevers, at Carcassonne, and at different spots in Languedoc. It was the time of the great war between France on the one side and England and Burgundy allied on the other, the time of intrigues incessantly recurring at court, and the time likewise of carelessness and indolence on the part of Charles VII., more devoted to his pleasures than regardful of his government. He had incessant need of states-general to supply him with money and men, and support him through the difficulties of his position. But when, dating from the peace of Arras (September 21, 1435), Charles VII., having become reconciled with the Duke of Burgundy, was deliverer from civil war, and was at grips with none but England alone already half beaten by the divine inspiration, the triumph, and the martyrdom of Joan of Arc, his posture and his behavior underwent a rare transformation. Without ceasing to be coldly selfish and scandalously licentious king he became practical, hard-working, statesman-like king, jealous and disposed to govern by himself, but at the same time watchful and skilful in availing himself of the able advisers who, whether it were by a happy accident or by his own choice, were grouped around him. "He had his days and hours for dealing with all sorts of men, one hour with the clergy, another with the nobles, another with foreigners, another with mechanical folks, armorers, and gunners; and in respect of all these persons he had a full remembrance of their cases and their appointed day. On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday he worked with the chancellor, and got through all claims connected with justice. On Wednesday he first of all gave audience to the marshals, captains, and men of war. On the same day he held a council of finance, independently of another council which was also held on the same subject every Friday." It was by such assiduous toil that Charles VII., in concert with his advisers, was able to take in hand and accomplish, in the military, financial, and judicial system of the realm, those bold and at the same time prudent reforms which wrested the country from the state of disorder, pillage, and general insecurity to which it had been a prey, and commenced the era of that great monarchical administration, which, in spite of many troubles and vicissitudes, was destined to be, during more than three centuries, the government of France. The constable De Richemont and marshal De la Fayette were, in respect of military matters, Charles VII.'s principal advisers; and it was by their counsel and with their co-operation that he substituted for feudal service and for the bands of wandering mercenaries (routiers), mustered and maintained by hap-hazard, a permanent army, regularly levied, provided for, paid, and commanded, and charged with the duty of keeping order at home, and at the same time subserving abroad the interests and policy of the state. In connection with, and as a natural consequence of this military system, Charles VII., on his own sole authority, established certain permanent imposts with the object of making up any deficiency in the royal treasury, whilst waiting for a vote of such taxes extraordinary as might be demanded of the states-general. Jacques Coeur, the two brothers Bureau, Martin Gouge, Michel Lailler, William Cousinot, and many other councillors, of burgher origin, labored zealously to establish this administrative system, so prompt and freed from all independent discussion. Weary of wars, irregularities, and sufferings, France, in the fifteenth century, asked for nothing but peace and security; and so soon as the kingship showed that it had an intention and was in a condition to provide her with them, the nation took little or no trouble about political guarantees which as yet it knew neither how to establish nor how to exercise; its right to them was not disputed in principle, they were merely permitted to fall into desuetude; and Charles VII., who during the first half of his reign had twenty-four times assembled the states-general to ask them for taxes and soldiers, was able in the second to raise personally both soldiers and taxes without drawing forth any complaint hardly, save from his contemporary historian, the Bishop of Lisieux, Thomas Basin, who said, "Into such misery and servitude is fallen the realm of France, heretofore so noble and free, that all the inhabitants are openly declared by the generals of finance and their clerks taxable at the will of the king, without anybody's daring to murmur or even ask for mercy." There is at every juncture, and in all ages of the world, a certain amount, though varying very much, of good order, justice, and security, without which men cannot get on; and when they lack it, either through the fault of those who govern them or through their own fault, they seek after it with the blind eyes of passion, and are ready to accept it, no matter what power may procure it for them, or what price it may cost them. Charles VII. was a prince neither to be respected nor to be loved, and during many years his reign had not been a prosperous one; but "he re-quickened justice, which had been a long while dead," says a chronicler devoted to the Duke of Burgundy; "he put an end to the tyrannies and exactions of the men-at-arms, and out of an infinity of murderers and robbers he formed men of resolution and honest life; he made regular paths in murderous woods and forests, all roads safe, all towns peaceful, all nationalities of his kingdom tranquil; he chastised the evil and honored the good, and he was sparing of human blood."

Let it be added, in accordance with contemporary testimony, that at the same time that he established an all but arbitrary rule in military and financial matters, Charles VII. took care that "practical justice, in the case of every individual, was promptly rendered to poor as well as rich, to small as well as great; he forbade all trafficking in the offices of the magistracy, and every time that a place became vacant in a parliament he made no nomination to it, save on the presentations of the court."

Questions of military, financial, and judicial organization were not the only ones which occupied the government of Charles VII. He attacked also ecclesiastical questions, which were at that period a subject of passionate discussion in Christian Europe amongst the councils of the Church and in the closets of princes. The celebrated ordinance, known by the name of Pragmatic Sanction, which Charles VII. issued at Bourges on the 7th of July, 1438, with the concurrence of a grand national council, laic and ecclesiastical, was directed towards the carrying out, in the internal regulations of the French Church, and in the relations either of the State with the Church in France, or of the Church of France with the papacy, of reforms long since desired or dreaded by the different powers and interests. It would be impossible to touch here upon these difficult and delicate questions without going far beyond the limits imposed upon the writer of this history. All that can be said is, that there was no lack of a religious spirit, or of a liberal spirit, in the Pragmatic Sanction of Charles VII., and that the majority of the measures contained in it were adopted with the approbation of the greater part of the French clergy, as well as of educated laymen in France.

In whatever light it is regarded, the government of Charles VII. in the latter part of his reign brought him not only in France, but throughout Europe, a great deal of fame and power. When he had driven the English out of his kingdom, he was called Charles the Victorious; and when he had introduced into the internal regulations of the state so many important and effective reforms, he was called Charles the Well-served. "The sense he had by nature," says his historian Chastellain, "had been increased to twice as much again, in his straitened fortunes, by long constraint and perilous dangers, which sharpened his wits perforce." "He is the king of kings," was said of him by the Doge of Venice, Francis Foscari, a good judge of policy; "there is no doing without him."

Nevertheless, at the close, so influential and so tranquil, of his reign, Charles VII. was, in his individual and private life, the most desolate, the most harassed, and the most unhappy man in his kingdom. In 1442 and 1450 he had lost the two women who had been, respectively, the most devoted and most useful, and the most delightful and dearest to him, his mother-in-law, Yolande of Arragon, Queen of Sicily, and his favorite, Agnes Sorel. His avowed intimacy with Agnes, and even, independently of her and after her death, the scandalous licentiousness of his morals, had justly offended his virtuous wife, Mary of Anjou, the only lady of the royal establishment who survived him. She had brought him twelve children, and the eldest, the dauphin Louis, after having from his very youth behaved in a factious, harebrained, turbulent way towards the king his father, had become at one time an open rebel, at another a venomous conspirator and a dangerous enemy. At his birth in 1423, he had been named Louis in remembrance of his ancestor, St. Louis, and in hopes that he would resemble him. In 1440, at seventeen years of age, he allied himself with the great lords, who were displeased with the new military system established by Charles VII., and allowed himself to be drawn by them into the transient rebellion known by the name of Praguery. When the king, having put it down, refused to receive the rebels to favor, the dauphin said to his father, "My lord, I must go back with them, then; for so I promised them." "Louis," replied the king, "the gates are open, and if they are not high enough I will have sixteen or twenty fathom of wall knocked down for you, that you may go whither it seems best to you." Charles VII. had made his son marry Margaret Stuart of Scotland, that charming princess who was so smitten with the language and literature of France that, coming one day upon the poet Alan Chartier asleep upon a bench, she kissed him on the forehead in the presence of her mightily astonished train, for he was very ugly. The dauphin rendered his wife so wretched that she died in 1445, at the age of one and twenty, with these words upon her lips: "O! fie on life! Speak to me no more of it!" In 1449, just when the king his father was taking up arms to drive the English out of Normandy, the dauphin Louis, who was now living entirely in Dauphiny, concluded at Briancon a secret league with the Duke of Savoy "against the ministers of the King of France, his enemies." In 1456, in order to escape from the perils brought upon him by the plots which he, in the heart of Dauphiny, was incessantly hatching against his father, Louis fled from Grenoble and went to take refuge in Brussels with the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, who willingly received him, at the same time excusing himself to Charles VII. "on the ground of the respect he owed to the son of his suzerain," and putting at the disposal of Louis, "his guest," a pension of thirty-six thousand livres. "He has received the fox at his court," said Charles: "he will soon see what will become of his chickens." But the pleasantries of the king did not chase away the sorrows of the father. "Mine enemies have full trust in me," said Charles, "but my son will have none. If he had but once spoken with me, he would have known full well that he ought to have neither doubts nor fears. On my royal word, if he will but come to me, when he has opened his heart and learned my intentions, he may go away again whithersoever it seems good to him." Charles, in his old age and his sorrow, forgot how distrustful and how fearful he himself had been. "It is ever your pleasure," wrote one of his councillors to him in a burst of frankness, "to be shut up in castles, wretched places, and all sorts of little closets, without showing yourself and listening to the complaints of your poor people." Charles VII. had shown scarcely more confidence to his son than to his people. Louis yielded neither to words, nor to sorrows of which proofs were reaching him nearly every day. He remained impassive at the Duke of Burgundy's, where he seemed to be waiting with scandalous indifference for the news of his father's death. Charles sank into a state of profound melancholy and general distrust. He had his doctor, Adam Fumee, put in prison; persuaded himself that his son had wished, and was still wishing, to poison him; and refused to take any kind of nourishment. No representation, no solicitation, could win him from his depression and obstinacy. It was in vain that Charles, Duke of Berry, his favorite child, offered to first taste the food set before him. It was in vain that his servants "represented to him with tears," says Bossuet, "what madness it was to cause his own death for fear of dying; when at last he would have made an effort to eat, it was too late, and he must die." On the 2nd of July, 1461, he asked what day it was, and was told that it was St. Magdalen's day. "Ah!" said he, "I do laud my God, and thank Him for that it hath pleased Him that the most sinful man in the world should die on the sinful woman's day! Dampmartin," said he to the count of that name, who was leaning over his bed, "I do beseech you that after my death you will serve so far as you can the little lord, my son Charles." He called his confessor, received the sacraments, gave orders that he should be buried at St. Denis beside the king his father, and expired. No more than his son Louis, though for different reasons, was his wife, Queen Mary of Anjou, at his side. She was living at Chinon, whither she had removed a long while before by order of the king her husband. Thus, deserted by them of his own household, and disgusted with his own life, died that king of whom a contemporary chronicler, whilst recommending his soul to God, re-marked, "When he was alive, he was a right wise and valiant lord, and he left his kingdom united, and in good case as to justice and tranquillity."

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