Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Part 8

HER APPEAL TO BAUDRICOURT

The scheme of Joan was to go to the neighbouring town of Vaucouleurs, reveal her visions to the governor, Robert de Baudricourt, a zealous adherent of Charles, and entreat his aid and protection for enabling her to reach the King's presence. From her parents she was well aware that she could expect no encouragement. Her first step, therefore, was, on the plea of a few days' visit, to repair to the house of her uncle Durand Laxart, who lived at the village of Petit Burey, between Domremy and Vaucouleurs. To him she then imparted all her inspirations and intentions. The astonishment of the honest villager may be easily imagined. But the energy and earnestness of Joan wrought so powerfiilly on his mind as to convince him of the truth of her mission, and be undertook to go in her place to Vaucoulerurs, and do her bidding with the Sire de Baudricourt. His promises of divine deliverance by the hands of a peasant-girl were, however, received by the stern old warrior with the utmost contempt and derision : "Box your niece's ears well," said he, " and send her home to her father."*

* Collection des Memoires, vol. viii, p. 246..

Far from being disconcerted at her uncle's ill success, the Maid immediately set out herself for yaucouleurs in company with Laxart. It was with some difficulty that she could obtain admission to the Governor, or a patient hearing from him even when admitted to his presence. Baudricourt, unmoved by her eloquence, continued to set at nought her promises and her requests. But Joan now displayed that energy and strength of will which so seldom fail to triumph where success is possible. She resolved to remain at Vaucouleurs, again aad again appealing to the Governor, and conjuring him not to neglect the voice of God, who spoke through her, and passing the rest of her time in fervent prayers at the church. Once she went back for a little time with her uncle to his village, but she soon induced him to return ; another time she had determined to begin with him and on foot her journey of one hundred and fifty leagues to the French Court. On further reflection, however, she felt unwilling to proceed without at least a letter from Baudricourt. At length he consented to write, and refer the question of her journey to the decision of King Charles.

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