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being the state of feeling on both sides, Joan's ardour impelled her to take advantage of it. Under her banner, and cheered by her presence, the besieged marched to the attack of the English forts one after another. The first carried was that of St. Loup, to the east of Orleans. It was valiantly defended by the English, who, when attacked, fought desperately ; but the soldiers of the Pucelle were invincible. On the following day, the 6th of May, Joan, after another summons to the English, signed “Jhesus Maria and Jehanne La Pucelle,” renewed the attack upon the other forts. The French being compelled to make a momentary retreat, the English took courage, and pursued their enemies: whereupon Joan, throwing herself into a boat, crossed the river, and her appearance was sufficient to frighten the English from the open field. Behind their ramparts they were still, however, formidable; and the attack led by Joan against the works to the south of the city is the most memorable achievement of the siege. After cheering on her people for some time, she had seized a scaling-ladder, when an English arrow struck her between the breast and shoulder, and threw her into the fosse. When her followers took her aside, she showed at first some feminine weakness, and wept ; but seeing that her standard was in danger, she forgot her wound, and ran back to seize it. The French at the same time pressed hard upon the enemy, whose strong hold was carried by assault. The English commander, Gladesdall, or Glacidas, as Joan called him, perished with his bravest soldiers in the Loire. The English now determined to raise the siege, and Sunday being the day of their departure, Joan forbade her soldiers to molest their retreat. Thus in one week from her arrival at Orleans was the beleaguered city relieved of its dreaded foe, and the Pucelle, henceforth called the Maid of Orleans, had redeemed the most incredible and important of her promises. No sooner was Orleans freed from the enemy, than Joan returned to the court, to entreat Charles to place forces at her disposal, that she might reduce the towns between the Loire and Rheims, where she proposed to have him speedily crowned. Her projects were opposed by the minister and warriors of the court, who considered it more politic to drive the English from Normandy than to harass the Burgundians, or make sacrifices for the idle ceremony of a coronation; but her earnest solicitations prevailed, and early in June she attacked the English at Jargeau. They made a desperate resistance, and drove the French before them till the appearance of Joan chilled the stout hearts of the English soldiers. One of the Poles was killed, and another, with Suffolk the commander of the town, was taken prisoner. This success was followed by a victory at Patay, in which the English were beaten by a charge of Joan, and the gallant Talbot himself taken prisoner. No force seemed able to withstand the Maid of Orleans. The strong town of Troyes, which might have repulsed the weak and starving army of the French, was terrified into surrender by the sight of her banner; and Rheims itself followed the example. In the middle of July, only three months after Joan had come to the relief of the sinking party of Charles, this prince was crowned in the cathedral consecrated to this ceremony, in the midst of the dominions of his enemies. Well might an age even more advanced than the fifteenth century believe, that superhuman interference manifested itself in the deeds of Joan. Some historians relate that, immediately after the coronation, the Maid of Orleans expressed to the king her wish to retire to her family at Domremy; but there is little proof of such a resolution on her part. In September of the same year, we find her holding a command in the royal army, which had taken possession of St. Denis, where she hung up her arms in the cathedral. Soon after, the French generals compelled her to join in an attack upon Paris, in which they were repulsed with great loss, and Joan herself was pierced through the thigh with an
arrow. It was the first time that a force in which she served had suffered defeat. Charles immediately retired once more to the Loire, and there are few records of Joan's exploits during the winter. About this time a royal edict was issued ennobling her family, and the district of Domremy was declared free from all tax or tribute. In the ensuing spring, the English and Burgundians formed the siege of Compiègne ; and Joan threw herself into the town to preserve it, as she had before saved Orleans, from their assaults. She had not been many hours in it when she headed a sally against the Burgundian quarters, in which she was taken by some officers, who gave her up to the Burgundian commander, John of Luxemburg. Her capture appears, from the records of the Parisian parliament, to have taken place on the 23rd of May, 1430.
135.--THE MALD OF ORLEANS. SouTHEY,
CROWNING THE RING.
The morn was fair
The mission'd maid
Then placed on Charles's brow the crown of France,
One moment, quickly scanning all the past,
“King of France:”
King of France 1
A tyrant on the blood-cemented throne
Thus the Maid
136.--THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF THE MALD OF ORLEANS.
In the destruction of La Pucelle, the English had a zealous and cruel coadjutor in the person of Pierre Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais. Urged on by the duke of Bedford and the earl of Warwick, he conducted the whole process. The doctors of the University of Paris were no less ardent; they were, to all appearance, the chief movers in the whole proceeding. After passing six months in the prisons of Beaurevoir, Arras, and Crotoy, Joan was conveyed to Rouen, where the young king Henry, and all the members of the English government then were. She was confined in the great tower of the castle, an iron cage was formed to hold her, and chains were placed on her feet. The English archers who were her guards heaped insults upon her, and sometimes even attempted to offer her violence. Nor was it the common men only who treated her with harshness and cruelty. The Lord of Luxembourg, whose prisoner she had been, passing through Rouen, visited her in prison, accompanied by the earls of Warwick and Strafford. “Joan,” said he in jest, “I am come to ransom thee; but thou must promise never to take up arms against us.” “Ab my God you are making sport of me,” said she, “you have neither the will nor the power to ransom me. I know that the English will kill me, hoping to get possession of the kingdom of France after my death ; but, were there a hundred thousand more Goddems than there are now, they would never get this kingdom.” Enraged at these words, the earl of Strafford drew his sword to strike her, and was only prevented by the interference of the earl of Warwick. At this time there was no Archbishop at Rouen. In order that the bishop of Beauvais might be the judge of La Pucelle, who had been taken in his diocese, it was necessary that territory and jurisdiction should be granted him by the Chapter of Rouen. King Henry, at the request of this bishop, and of the University of Paris, then commanded by letters patent, that the woman called La Pucelle should be given up to the said bishop, to be examined and proceeded against by him, under an engagement to release the aforesaid if she were not charged and convicted of that which was imputed to her. The English, however, would never consent to place her in the archbishop's prison, which was where she ought to have been confined. Joan herself, as well as some doctors, observed this violation of justice, but the bishop of Beauvais cared little for it. There were few ecclesiastics so zealous in the cause of the English, or so furious against Joan, as Pierre Cauchon. This bishop however, vehement though he was, wished to take the precaution of gathering around him as many learned and able men as he could collect. His violence and the threats of the English brought forward many weak men, who acted from fear and servility; and others, but very few, who, like himself, were the cruel and active allies of the English council. Jean Lemaitre, vicar of the inquisitor-general of the kingdom, was amongst tae former. He made every effort to avoid taking part in the iniquities which he saw preparing against the unfortunate Joan. He alleged that, as the bishop of Beauvais was acting as though on his own territory, the Friar of the diocese of Rouen
ought not to take cognizance of the proceedings. A special commission from the Inquisitor-general was required to gain him over. It was not easy to give to such an affair the appearance of justice, and to satisfy the English whilst at the same time following the procedure of law and custom; for it was cornmonly reported that Joan was a holy person ; who having fought bravely against the English and the Burgundians, had been taken in war, and against whom no other accusation could be made. This process was, therefore, a succession of falsehoods, of snares laid to criminate her, of continual violations of the law, with the hypocritical pretence of desiring to follow its rules. The first proceeding was the admission into her prison of a priest named Nicolas l'Oiseleur, who pretended to be a native of Lorraine, and a secret partisan of the French king. He made every effort to obtain her confidence. In the meantime the bishop of Beauvais and the earl of Warwick, concealed near, listened to what she said. The notaries whom they had brought to report her words, were ashamed to do so, they said they would write down what she said before the tribunal, but that this was an act of dishonesty. Besides what could Joan say that she was not ready to repeat before all the world. This priest Nicolas afterwards became her confessor, and during the trial, continually prompted her with replies which might injure her. The bishop and the friar of the Inquisitor were the only judges who were entitled to pronounce sentence. The doctors who had been assembled, to the number of nearly a hundred, served them merely as counsel and assessors. A canon of Beauvais, named Estivet, fulfilled the office of proctor, which properly belongs to the king's attorney. Next to the bishop, this man was the most violent against the accused. He abused her unceasingly, and was highly enraged with those who desired that the rules of justice should be adhered to. There was also a commissioned-examining-councillor to put the preliminary questions. Inquiries had been instituted at Domremy, Joan's native place. As the result was favourable to her, it was suppressed, and no communication on the subject was made to the doctors. At the commencement of the proceedings, Joan underwent six consecutive examinations before this numerous council. In them she appeared even more courageous, and more to be marvelled at, than when fighting the enemies of her country. This poor girl, whose whole learning consisted in her Pater and her Ave, was never disconcerted for a single instant. The brutal treatment she received caused her neither fear nor anger. She was not allowed counsel; but her sincerity and good sense defeated all the strategems employed to render her replies such as might expose her to a suspicion of heresy or magic. Her answers were often so beautiful, as to petrify the doctors with astonishment. On being asked if she knew herself to be in the grace of God, “It is no light matter,” said she, “to answer such a question.” “Yes,” interrupted Jean Fabri, one of the assessors, “it is a great question, and the accused is not bound to reply to it.” “You had better be silent!” cried the bishop, in a fury. “If I have not God's grace,” she replied, “may He grant it me; and if I have, may He continue it to me.” She said further: “If it was not for the grace of God, I should not know how to act by myself.” At another time, when questioned concerning her standard: “I carried it instead of a lance,” said she, “to avoid killing any one. I have neverkilled any one.” And then, when asked what virtue she attributed to this banner: “I said, go boldly among the English, and I went myself.” The coronation at Rheims was mentioned, during which she had held her standard near the altar. “It was with me in hardship and danger, and it was but fair,” said she, “that it should be with me in honour.” Concerning her visions, she repeated all that she had formerly said at Poitiers