The next day, which was Sunday, Jeanne and her men
returned to Orléans in triumph, and were “nobly
received.” The streets were crowded with people who
were wild with joy at sight of the Maid, and who gave her a
tempestuous welcome. They formed processions and went to
the churches, where “they thanked God and the Virgin Mary
and the Blessed Saints of Paradise for the mercy and honor
which Our Lord had shown to the King and to them all, and
saying that without the Maid such marvels could not have been
To all parts of France the news of the victory of Patay was
carried with incredible quickness, and everywhere the loyal
towns celebrated the event by singing Te Deums, by processions
and prayers, by bonfires and by bell ringings. But the
tidings that brought such rejoicing to the hearts of the French,
caused consternation among the partisans of Burgundy and
England. On Tuesday when Sir John Fastolf and other fugitives
brought the story of the disaster of Patay into Paris, there
was a riot, and many believed that the victorious French were
coming at once to attack the city. Had this been true the
town must have fallen, for the English troops were thoroughly
demoralized. Rank and file were filled with superstitious terror
of the Armagnac Witch, and the Duke of Bedford was at
the end of his resources.
In Orléans the exultation was greatest, for Jeanne was
counted their Maid, and the people expected that their King
would come to greet her and start for his crowning from that
city. Consequently the burghers decorated the streets and
prepared to give him royal welcome, but he did not come. He
was at Sully being entertained by La Trémouille, frittering
away his time in pleasure while a girl fought his battles for him.
Jeanne, therefore, after a few days of rest left Orléans to join
him and to urge his instant departure for Reims. She met
him at St. Bénoit-sur-Loire on his way to Châteauneuf.
Charles was exceedingly gracious, showering her with praise.
“Wonderfully you have wrought, Jeanne,” he said.
“Greatly have you earned our gratitude. What guerdon shall
be yours for these amazing labors?”
“Sire, that you will start at once for Reims to be crowned is
all that I desire.”
“We will go, dear Maid. We promise you, but now you
must rest. Greatly have you endeared yourself to us, and
above all we desire your welfare. Therefore, rest from these
labors to please your King.”
Now Jeanne had just taken three fortified towns, and had
cut a great army to pieces. In smaller towns and fortresses
the citizens had risen and driven their English garrisons out
of the gates upon receipt of the news of Patay, so the golden
lilies floated over the cleared country of the Beauce nearly to
Paris. She had done all this that the Dauphin might safely
march to Reims. She had been told that if the Loire were
cleared the march would be begun, and now he wished further
delay. It was too much for the girl, who longed so ardently to
complete her mission, for she knew that her time was short,
and she burst into tears.
“Jeanne, ma mie, what is it?” asked the monarch, disturbed
by her emotion.
“Ah, gentle Dauphin,” she said brokenly, “you are not King
until the sacred oil shall anoint you. Doubt no longer, but
come to your sacring. The whole realm shall be yours when
you are consecrated.”
“We will go, beloved Maid, and that right soon. But you?
Is there not some gift or boon that you wish other than this?”
“Sire, forgive the Comte de Richemont, and receive him
again at Court, I beseech you. Great aid did he give us at
Beaugency, and at Patay. For the sake of France, Sire, grant
But Charles shook his head. At this moment Alençon and
Dunois drew near and added their pleas to Jeanne’s that the
Constable should be forgiven, but the King was obdurate. So
Richemont, who had helped to administer the greatest blow to
English domination that had ever been given, was rejected
once more. He had remained at Beaugency to await the result
of the embassies, and had even sent two of his own gentlemen
to La Trémouille to plead that he might be allowed to serve
the King in the state of the country. But all his overtures were
refused, so he withdrew to his own estates, and Charles lost a
And Jeanne, to her amazement, for she had given every sign
required of her, found herself opposed by almost incredible difficulties.
The King was plainly reluctant to act, and seemed
averse to taking a decided step of any kind. From every
point of view the march to Reims and the accomplishment of the
great object of her mission was the wisest and most practicable
thing to do. But there were delays and parleyings. Had the
maiden not been sustained by her Voices and her duty to her
country she would have been discouraged.
But all France was rousing, and was beginning to call upon
the King in no uncertain tones. It was said that the Maid
would lead the Dauphin to his crowning if she were allowed;
that after the deeds she had wrought she should be given the
opportunity. La Trémouille recognized a dangerous note in
the general talk, and a Council of War was held in which it was
decided to risk an advance. Gien was chosen as the base for
the army, and Jeanne went to Orléans to bring up the troops
and munitions that were left in that city.
“Sound the trumpet, and mount,” she said to Alençon on the
twenty-fourth of June. “It is time to go to the noble Charles
and start him on his way to be consecrated.”
Which was easier said than done. There were many of the
Councillors who wished to besiege La Charité and other small
towns on the upper Loire, which would have profited nothing;
still others were for a bold move into Normandy to attack the
English at Rouen, where they were strongest. But Jeanne
insisted that the Dauphin should march to Reims. Her Voices
had told her to take him there to be crowned that the people
might know that he was the true King, and to the maiden, sublime
in her faith, that was the thing to do.
It was objected that there were many cities and walled towns
and strongholds well guarded by English and Burgundians in
the way, but she answered:
Worn out finally by the futile arguments and the wasting of
so much precious time, when all hope lay in a quick advance
against the enemy before Bedford could bring over new troops
from England, Jeanne left the Court, and went to her army
which lay in the fields near Gien. There was comfort there,
for the soldiers declared that they would go wherever she
wished to lead them. There were princes of the blood among
the men; great lords, and knights, and squires of high and low
degree. They had come from all parts of loyal France bringing
their companies, eager to serve, for the “great hope of the
good that should come to the country through Jeanne, and they
earnestly desired to serve under her, and to learn her deeds, as
if the matter were God’s doings.” There was little or no pay
for the men, but enthusiasm took the place of money. Jeanne’s
exploits had made her a personage, and not only France but all
Europe was rife with curiosity concerning her, and her deeds.
Many were attracted to the army by her fame, and it was said,
though not openly, for no man was bold enough to speak against
La Trémouille at this time, that if the Favorite would permit it
an army large enough to drive every Englishman out of
France could be raised.
On Monday, the twenty-seventh of June, Jeanne crossed the
River Loire with part of the army, and on Wednesday the
King and his Councillors reluctantly followed her. The
march upon Reims had at last begun.
Fifty miles to the eastward of Gien was the town of Auxerre.
It was under Burgundian allegiance, and if it admitted the
Dauphin, had good reason to fear Burgundy. So its gates
were closed upon the approach of the King and his army.
Jeanne and the captains wished to attack it at once, but the
town sold food to the troops and sent bribes to La Trémouille
to exempt it from assault. The bribes were accepted, though a
mere military demonstration would have opened its gates, and
the army passed on, the town giving some sort of a promise to
submit if Troyes, and Châlons, and Reims should acknowledge
the King. Other smaller strongholds on the road yielded upon
being summoned, and presently Charles and his army were
It was the capital of Champagne, about forty miles to the
northeast of Auxerre. The whole province was greatly excited
by the advance of the royal forces, and those who held for the
English were much alarmed. The cities were not sure of each
other, and each feared to be either the last or the first to open
its gates to the King.
So, during the march toward it, Troyes sent letters to Reims
saying that it had heard that the latter would submit to the
Dauphin, but that its own citizens would do nothing of the sort,
but would uphold the cause of King Henry and the Duke of
Bedford even to the death inclusive.
Now Troyes had reasons for taking this bold stand. It was
the place where the treaty which had given France to England
had been signed; where the French princess, Catherine, was
married to Henry Fifth of England, and where the Dauphin
was disinherited by his mother. The burghers had arrayed
themselves with the Burgundians and the English after the
treaty, and feared now that if Charles were admitted to their
city he would wreak vengeance upon them.
Charles stopped at Saint Phal, within fifteen miles of Troyes,
from which place both he and Jeanne sent the burghers letters.
The King demanded that they should render the obedience they
owed him, and he would make no difficulty about things past for
which they might fear that he should take vengeance; that was
not his will, but that they should govern themselves toward their
sovereign as they ought, and he would forget all and hold them
in good grace.
Jeanne’s letter was to the people, in which she summoned
them to their allegiance in the name of the Sovereign Lord
of all. They must recognize their rightful Lord who was
moving on Paris by way of Reims, with the aid of King Jesus,
she said. If they did not yield the Dauphin none the less would
enter the city.
The letters were received at Troyes on the morning of the
fifth of July, and copies were at once sent to Reims with assurances
that the city would hold out to the death, and begging the
men of Reims to send at once to Burgundy and Bedford for
The royal army meantime camped before the walls for several
days, hoping that the town would surrender. There were a
few sallies which resulted in nothing of importance. The
burghers held off, expecting the same terms would be given them
that were granted Auxerre. After nearly a week the supplies
of the besiegers began to get low. The Dauphin could not
provision his troops at Troyes, and Gien, his base of supplies,
was thirty leagues away. He could not pass on to Reims and
leave the town in his rear, for so strongly garrisoned a place
would be a menace, and the state of the army was becoming
seriously grave. So Charles called a Council to consider what
were best to be done, but Jeanne was not asked to attend.
Regnault Chartres, Archbishop of Reims, was for retreating,
and a number of Councillors were against assaulting the city.
One after another they gave their opinions, some arguing that
if they did not retreat it would be best to leave the hostile
fortress in their rear and press on towards Reims. When it
came the turn of Robert le Macon, the old Chancellor of
Charles VI, he said that the march had been undertaken in
reliance neither upon the number of their troops nor upon the
richness of their treasury, but because the Maid advised them
that such was the will of God. He suggested, therefore, that
she be called to the Council. At this moment Jeanne, becoming
impatient over the long debate, knocked at the door. She
was at once admitted, and the Archbishop of Reims took it upon
himself to explain:
“Jeanne,” said he, “the King and his Council are in great
perplexity to know what they shall do.”
“Shall I be believed if I speak?” asked the maiden, who was
learning from experience that even messages from Heaven may
be set aside by the will of man.
“I can not tell,” replied the King, to whom she addressed
herself; “though if you say things that are reasonable and
profitable I shall certainly believe you.”
“Shall I be believed?” she asked again.
“Yes,” said the King, “according as you speak.”
“Noble Dauphin, order your people to assault the city of
Troyes, and hold no more of these Councils; for in God’s name,
before three days I will bring you into Troyes, by favor or
force, and false Burgundy shall be greatly amazed.”
“Jeanne,” said the Chancellor, “we might well wait if you
could do that in six days.”
“Doubt it not,” spoke Jeanne, addressing the Dauphin only.
“You shall be master of the place, not in six days but to-morrow.”
The Council broke up, and Jeanne began at once to make
preparations for storming the place. The whole army was
set to work during the night, nobles and men-at-arms alike,
to collect any kind of material, faggots, palings, tables, even
doors and windows––anything that could be used to shelter the
men, mount the guns, and fill up the fosse. She worked hard
all night, and the unusual commotion gave notice to the townsfolk
that something out of the ordinary was being done, and
they retired to the churches to pray. In the morning they saw
that arrangements had been made to assault the place, and heard
the Maid’s voice order the attack to begin. At this great fear
of her came upon them, and they had no heart to man battlement
or tower. Whereupon the Bishop of the town and the
citizens threw the gates open and made submission without
firing a shot, sending a committee to Charles to treat for terms
of peace. The King received the envoys graciously, and guaranteed
all the rights of Troyes, promising that the garrison
might depart with their arms and goods, providing the town
were given up to him.
Jeanne of course was obliged to acquiesce in the terms that
her King made, but she was suspicious of the good faith of the
Burgundian garrison, and so stationed herself at the gate to
see them march out. She had been up all night “laboring with
a diligence that not two or three most experienced and renowned
captains could have shown,” and she was weary, but
she would not retire to her tent until she knew how the garrison
complied with the conditions. Her suspicions proved to be well
After a time the English and Burgundian soldiers came
marching through the gates with their horses and armour, and
their property,––property which proved to be French prisoners.
There they walked, a band of men previously taken, each
one representing so much money in ransom. The poor fellows
cast appealing, piteous glances at their victorious fellow countrymen
as they passed. Jeanne uttered an exclamation, and
stopped the march.
“In God’s name,” she cried, “they shall not have them.”
But some of the captains explained to her that under the
terms of the capitulation the prisoners were property, and the
soldiers were justified in taking them away, though it had not
occurred to the King or his Councillors that any such thing
would happen when the terms were given. But the Maid
would not hear of letting the Frenchmen be carried away.
“They shall not have them,” she said again. “The thing
would be monstrous. I will see the Dauphin.”
Which she did at once, and to such good purpose that the
monarch was obliged to ransom the men from their captors,
paying for each one a reasonable sum. French prisoners had
been too plentiful in the wars to be worth much.
Troyes was full of doubt, terror and ill-will toward the Maid,
and Jeanne felt it plainly when she entered the town to prepare
for the reception of the King. At Orléans, at Blois, at Tours,
at Gien, at all other places where she had been the people
thronged about her with enthusiasm. Here they regarded her
as a sorceress, and sent a certain Friar Richard to confront
her. Friar Richard was a Franciscan who had created a great
stir in Paris and Champagne by preaching fervid, emotional
sermons, warning people of the coming of Anti-Christ, and
urging them to forsake their sins, and to prepare for eternity.
As he drew near to the Maid, he crossed himself devoutly, making
the sign of the cross in the air, and sprinkling holy water
before him to exorcise the evil spirit in the girl. Brother
Richard was devout, but he wasn’t going to run any risk.
Jeanne laughed gayly. She had become accustomed to being
“Come on boldly,” she cried. “I shall not fly away.”
Upon this the good man fell upon his knees before her, and
the Maid, to show that she was no holier than he, knelt also.
They had some conversation together, and thereafter the friar
was one of her most devoted adherents.
The day after the surrender Charles entered the city in
splendor, and went at once to the cathedral, where he received
the oaths of loyalty of the burghers. The day following the
troops marched on to Châlons, but met with no resistance. All
opposition to the King’s advance had collapsed, and eagerly the
towns opened their gates to him. After all, he was French,
and it was natural for Frenchmen to turn to their rightful King
and believe in him in spite of the English. And so with ever
increasing army Charles marched in triumph towards Reims.
Châlons, Troyes, and other places that had made submission
wrote to Reims immediately advising that town to do likewise
as Charles was a “sweet, gracious, pitiful and compassionate
prince, of noble demeanor and high understanding, and had
shown clearly and prudently the reasons for which he had
come to them.”
Reims laughed the messages to scorn, and vowed to resist
to the death. They had recalled the captain of their garrison,
who was at Château-Thierry, but they limited his escort to fifty
horsemen, for which reason the captain very properly declined
to come, saying that he could not attempt to hold the city with
fewer than three hundred men. So when Charles reached
Sept-Saulx, a fortress within four leagues of Reims, it sent out
representatives to him to offer its full and entire obedience, in
token of which the envoys presented the King with the keys of
It was finished. The march to Reims, which has been called
“The Bloodless March,” was ended. The wonderful and victorious
campaign with all its lists of towns taken had lasted but
six weeks, almost every day of which was distinguished by some
victory. The King and his Councillors had been fearful of
the result, but the Maid had carried them through in triumph.
Every promise which she had made had been fulfilled. There
was nothing now between Charles, the discredited Dauphin of
three months agone, and the sacred ceremonial which drew
with it every “tradition and assurance of an ancient and lawful
throne.” Some time later when the Regent wished to make the
same march with young Henry of England to crown him at
Reims the Duke of Burgundy advised against the attempt,
stating that it was too difficult and perilous to imitate.
On the morning of Saturday, July sixteenth, the Archbishop,
Regnault de Chartres, who had been kept out of his city by the
Burgundians, entered it to make preparations to receive his
royal master. In the afternoon the King, with Jeanne riding
by his side, his Councillors, the princes and nobles, the captains,
and a great train of soldiers, and citizens of neighboring places
entered in state. The streets were thronged with people who
cheered lustily at sight of the monarch, crying “Noël! Noël! ”
but who struggled and shouldered each other in the natural
curiosity to catch glimpses of the wonderful Maid with her
shining armour and fair sweet face.
The King, the Maid, and the heads of the expedition were to
be lodged in the palace of the Archbishop, which was near the
great cathedral, but as the procession made its way thither
Jeanne uttered a cry of joy; for, gazing at her half fearfully
from the crowd were her father, Jacques D’Arc, and her uncle,
Durand Lassois. The King turned to her.
“What is it, ma mie?” he asked.
“My father, my dear father, is standing there among the
people,” she cried, waving her hand at the two rustics. “And
with him stands my uncle, Durand Lassois: he who took me to
Vaucouleurs, you remember?”
“I remember, Jeanne. We must see and speak with them
both,” said the monarch graciously. “Bring them to us later.”
With another wave of her hand at the two the maiden
passed on. In the evening Charles was led to a platform which
had been erected before the cathedral, and there, amid the red
glare of bonfires, flaming torches, the ringing of bells and the
acclaiming shouts of the assembled people he was shown to the
multitude by the peers of France, with the traditional proclamation:
“Here is your King whom we, peers of France, crown as
King and Sovereign Lord. And if there is a soul here who has
any objection to make, let him speak and we will answer him.
And to-morrow he shall be consecrated by the grace of the Holy
Spirit if you have nothing to say against it.”
But the people shouted, “Noël! Noël! Noël! ” in a frenzy
of delight, and so this preliminary ceremony was concluded.
There was feasting in the palace of the Archbishop that night.
But Jeanne slipped away from it all and made her way quickly
to the little inn called The Zebra, in front of the cathedral,
which was kept by Alice Moreau, a widow, where she would
find her father and uncle. To her delight her brothers had
come hither also, and when Jeanne entered Jacques was standing
with an arm around each, his usually undemonstrative face
beaming with gladness, for they had been telling him of Jeanne
and her exploits. He started toward her as she came through
the door, then stopped suddenly and stood gazing at her with
doubt and hesitation, but Jeanne flung herself upon him with
the abandonment of a child.
“Father!” she cried. “Dear, dear father! I did not hope
for this. Oh! how glad I am to see you.”
Jacques could not utter a word for a moment, but held her
close, close as though he would never let her go. When at
last he spoke it was with choked and trembling accents.
“And do you forgive me, my little one? All the harshness
and severity that I showed you? My child, I did not know,
I did not understand––”
Jeanne smiled at him through her tears.
“How could you understand, father? I did not either for a
long time. But it is over now. My mission will be ended to-morrow
when the Dauphin is crowned. And then I am going
back home with you to mother. Dear mother! how is she?”
“Well, Jeanne; but longs for you always.”
“And I for her,” said Jeanne, tearfully. “I shall never
leave you again, father. I shall be glad to get back.”
At this Durand interposed:
“You won’t be contented there, Jeanne. Just think how set
you were to get away. And now you have done everything
you wanted to do. And it was I that helped you to do it.”
“Yes, Uncle Durand; and the King wishes to see you to
thank you for it.”
“The King?” exclaimed Lassois, almost dumbfounded by
this news. “Why, Jeanne, you don’t mean that he wants to
“Yes, I do,” said Jeanne, laughing. “He says that by helping
me to go to Messire Robert you have done more for the
country than any other man in France.”
Durand could scarcely contain himself at this, and beamed
delightedly. Presently he said, wistfully:
“Don’t you ever get afraid in battle, Jeanne? I heard that
you were wounded once. I should think that you would be so
afraid that you’d run away as soon as the guns began to shoot
and the arrows to fly.”
“I do not fear wounds or battle,” she told him. “I fear only––treachery;”
and a shadow crossed her face.
It was a happy family party there at the little inn. There
was wonder and admiration in the regard which the simple
peasants bestowed upon the maiden, but there was love also,
and the weary girl, longing for home and rest since her mission
was so nearly completed, gave herself up to its blessed consolation.
Far into the night she talked, and then she left them;
for the morrow would bring the coronation, and there was much
to be done.
It was the tradition that coronations should take place on
Sunday, so that there was little sleep in Reims that night.
Everything had to be prepared; decorations for the cathedral
and town, and provisions for the ceremonial. Many of the
necessary articles were at Saint Denis, in the hands of the
English, and the treasury of the cathedral had to be ransacked
to find fitting vessels. All night the work of preparation went
on. And all night long rejoicing crowds filled the streets and
the great square before the cathedral, where the Dauphin kept
vigil, as was the custom of the Sovereign the night before
At dawn of day the town began to fill with visitors, great
personages and small ones, to attend the rites, and to render
homage. All France seemed to pour into the place; for the
people were to have their rightful king, and French hearts were
joyful. It mattered not after this who should be crowned––Henry
of England, or another––there would be but one King
of France, Charles the Seventh, he who was anointed with the
sacred oil in the city of Reims, where all kings of France had
been crowned since the time of Clovis. Charles had been
crowned after a fashion at Bourges, but in the eyes of the nation
he was not King until the oil from the mystic ampoule
brought down from Heaven by a dove to Saint Remi was
poured upon his brow. Jeanne, a daughter of the people, understood
this better than the politicians who tried to thwart her
design of leading Charles to his sacring, deeming it a piece of
childish folly. After the crowning, when the increased prestige
and loyalty which it brought to Charles was seen, its significance
was understood not only by the politicians but by the
Regent Bedford. It was a decided advantage which this girl
of the people gained over the English claimant by her quickness
in taking the Dauphin to be crowned.
The ceremonies were to begin at nine o’clock, Sunday morning,
July the seventeenth, and long before that hour the ancient
cathedral was filled to overflowing with nobles and men-at-arms,
and dignitaries both civic and ecclesiastic, richly and
gayly attired in gorgeous stuffs: cloth of gold, cloth of silver,
brocades of crimson and azure, and silks dyed in all the colors
of the rainbow, mingled with sheen of glittering spears and
shining armour: a brilliant gathering. Charles the Dauphin
waited at the foot of the high altar, garbed in a robe of cerulean
blue over which was scattered the golden fleur-de-lis. Outside
the cathedral the streets were thronged with people in
holiday attire, wearing leaden medals which bore an effigy of
Jeanne. After the coronation the King too had thirteen gold
medals struck in honour of the Maid, which bore her device, a
hand holding a sword, and the inscription, Consilio firmata Dei.
(Strong in the Counsel of God.) These and a vase of silver
were among the gifts which he bestowed on the Chapter of
Suddenly there was a blare of trumpets, and from the palace
of the Archbishop there issued a wonderful procession. Four
peers of France,––the Maréchal de Boussac, Gravile, de Rais,
Admiral de Culent,––armed and accoutred, and a great company
with banners floating rode through the streets to the old
Abbey of St. Remi––which had been consecrated in the eleventh
century––to bring from its shrine, where it was strictly guarded
by the monks, the Sainte Ampoule, the holy and sacred vial
which held the oil sent from Heaven for the sacring of Clovis.
The noble messengers were the hostages of this sacred charge,
and kneeling they bound themselves by an oath never to lose
sight of it by day or night, till it was restored to its appointed
This vow having been taken, the Abbot of St. Remi, in his
richest robes, appeared surrounded by his monks, carrying the
treasure in his hands; and under a splendid canopy, blazing in
the sunshine with cloth of gold, marched toward the cathedral
under escort of the noble hostages. Into the cathedral rode the
cavalcade through the great west door. Their coming was
proclaimed by chimes of bells, and blare of trumpets, and
chanting of hymns until a mighty volume of sound rolled and
swelled through the vaulted domes of the ancient building.
Straight up to the entrance of the choir they rode, and there the
Abbot gave over the sacred Chrism to the Archbishop. Then
began the long and imposing ceremonies of the coronation.
There were prayers, and anthems, and sermons, but at length
the king-at-arms, standing upon the steps of the altar, called
upon the twelve peers of France to come and serve their King.
There were vacant places to be supplied, both among the temporal
and the spiritual peers, but Alençon, Clermont, Vendôme,
Guy de Laval, La Trémouille and Maillé filled them.
Among the clerical peers the Archbishop of Reims, the Bishops
of Châlons and Laon were present; the others were supplied.
In the absence of Richemont, the Constable of France, d’Albret
held the Sword of State. D’Alençon, in place of “false Burgundy,”
dubbed Charles a knight; then the Archbishop raised
the holy flask and anointed the Dauphin upon the brow, upon
his shoulders, within the joints of his arms and the palms of his
hands, slits being cut and embroidered in his robe to this use.
All was done according to ancient custom, the Dauphin kneeling
the while. Administering the oath the Archbishop then
took the crown and held it high above the monarch’s head; the
twelve peers of the realm, closing in, held it firm; then gently it
was lowered upon the brows of the kneeling prince.
“Arise, Charles, King of France,” cried the prelate in a loud
voice. And, as Charles was lifted high in the throne chair by
the peers that all might see, he cried again: “Behold your
As Charles the Seventh, King of France, faced his people a
mighty shout of “Noël! Noël! Noël!” came from the assembly,
while crash of chimes, chanting voices, and music of instruments
rolled through the arches, until the vaulted heights
answered again and again.
Throughout the ceremony, close to Charles upon the steps of
the altar stood Jeanne with her standard in her hand. “It had
borne the burden, it should share the glory,” she said afterwards.
“And a right fair thing it was to see the goodly manners
of the King and the Maid. She who was in truth the
cause of the crowning of the King and of all the assembly.”
Pale with emotion Jeanne had stood watching every step of
the ceremonial with intentness. When at last it was ended she
could control herself no longer. Stepping forward she fell at
the feet of the newly crowned monarch, embracing his knees,
and weeping for joy.
“Gentle King, now is the pleasure of God fulfilled––whose
will it was that I should raise the siege of Orléans, and lead
you to this city of Reims to receive your consecration. Now
has He shown that you are the true King, and that the kingdom
of France belongs to you alone.”
Soft, and low, and broken came the words. They pierced
all hearts, and “right great pity came upon all those who saw
her, and many wept.”
Many wept. The girl was so young, so fair, so slight, yet
what great deeds had she not wrought? In three months she
had given France a king, and to the King, a country. In spite
of obstacles that would seem incredible were they not a part of
recorded history she had accomplished her mission. A great
soul in which intense zeal was wedded to intense purpose had
wrought marvels, and changed the destiny of a nation.
Many wept, and the King too was moved. Perhaps at that
moment he felt more gratitude towards the maiden than ever
before or afterward. Lifting her, he said:
“You have brought us to our crowning, beloved Maid.
Speak, and whatsoever grace you ask it shall be granted.”
Again Jeanne fell upon her knees.
“Most noble King, out of your grace I beseech you to grant
that the taxes of my village be remitted. Its people are poor,
and it brings great hardship upon them to pay.”
“Is that all, Jeanne?”
“Then in consideration of the great, high, notable, and profitable
service which this, our beloved Jeanne the Maid, has rendered
and daily renders us in the recovery of our Kingdom, in
her favour and at her request, we therefore decree that Domremy,
the native village of Jeanne D’Arc, Deliverer of France,
be forever exempt from taxation.”
Again the people shouted fervently. They recognized the
justice of the grant, and wondered only that she asked so little.
“Noël! Noël! Noël!”
For centuries the privilege lasted, and against the names of
Domremy and Greux, its adjoining village, in the tax gatherer’s
book was written:
“Domremy ..Rien-La Pucelle,” “Nothing––For the
sake of the Maid.”
She had gained a kingdom, yet all she asked in return was
that the taxes of her poor oppressed village might be remitted.
She wished for nothing for herself. Not the least of the girl’s
great qualities was her unselfishness.
 Noël ––an exclamation of joyful acclamation.
 M. Blaze de Bury.
 Journal du Siège.
 Journal du Siège.
 “Noël ”––a word of acclaim––“hurrah!”
RETURN TO TABLE OF CONTENTS                          CONTINUE to CHAPTER 23 Warrior Maid