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d'Arc, addressing Charles VII. “Ce ne suis-je pas qui suis Roi, Jehanne; It is not I who am the king, Jeanne," answered the monarch, at the same time pointing out a lord of his retinue, to which he added : “ Voici le Roi : Here is the king.” “ En mon Dieu, By my God,” answered Jeanne, “ gentil Prince, cestes vous et non aultre ; Handsome prince, it is you and no other." Charles, finding it was useless to dissemble any longer, felt more disposed to listen to the maid, who thus continued: “ Très noble seigneur Dauphin, Right noble lord Dauphin, je viens et suis envoyée de la part de Dieu pour porter secours à vous et à votre royaume, et vous mande le Roi des cieur
par moi, que vous serez sacré et couronné en la ville de Rheims malgré vos ennemis, que sa volonté est
should be done and said, as well as what she was to do and say, stated that it was not the king, and that he was hid in the alcove, containing the bed. This feigned invention, and appearance of religion, was of such profit to the kingdom that it raised the courage, lost and beaten down by despair
Wherefore the king caused horses and arms to be given to her, and an army with a number of great captains, in company of whom she carried succour to those of Orleans." It is extraordinary that Du Haillan, the writer of this account, who was historiographer of France, should have made these statements; as every other narrative concurs in affirming, that at the period of Jeanne's introduction to Charles VII., the Bastard of Orleans in person commanded the garrison of that city, while Baudricourt continued at Vaucouleurs, nearly a hundred and fifty leagues from Chinon.
qu'ils se retirent en leur pays, et vous laissent paisible possesseur de votre royaume comme étant le vrai, unique, et légitime héritier de France, fils de roi : I come and am sent on the part of God to bring succour to you and to your kingdom; and the King of heaven through me makes known, that you shall be anointed and crowned in the city of Rheims in spite of your enemies; that his will is that they retire into their country and leave you peaceable
your kingdom, as being the true, only, and legitimate heir of France, son of a king."
Charles VII, then took Jeanne aside, and conversed with her in private for a considerable time; during which intercourse, it appears, she stated circumstances that completely secured his good opinion. Contemporary authors differ very much in regard to this secret said to have existed between the king and La Pucelle. N. Sala, a writer of that period, states, that Charles VII., finding his affairs in a most desperate condition, one morning repaired alone to his oratory, and there offered up an internal prayer, devoutly supplicating the Almighty, that in case he was the lineal descendant of the noble house of France, and that the kingdom belonged to him of right, it would please him to guard and defend the same as his patrimony, or, at worst, that the Lord would accord him grace, so as to elude his enemies, save him from imprisonment or death, and permit him to escape into Spain
or Scotland, which powers had uniformly continued brothers in arms, and friends and allies of the kings of France.* This prayer Sala states to have been
The mysterious circumstance here alluded to, is thus detailed: “ The king, having taken Jeanne aside, demanded that she would give him some assurance in order to dispel every doubt from his mind. Sire,' said Jeanne,' were I to communicate secrets known only to God and yourself, would you then believe in my celestial mission ?' To which Charles having replied in the affirmative, La Pucelle continued : “Sire, do you not call to mind, that upon the last day of All Saints, being alone in your private oratory at the chapel of Loches, you there supplicated God respecting three things :—first, that if you were not the true heir of the kingdom of France, it would so please bim to deprive you of the means of continuing the war which is productive of so many evils: secondly, that if the sufferings of the people are inflicted on account of your sins, that you alone may be punished: and lastly, if they arise from the iniquity of your subjects, it would please the Almighty to pardon them.' The king, very much astonished at this answer, recollected that Jeanne bad spoken the truth, and consequently was led to infer that her knowledge of his secret must have originated in divine rerelation.”
M. Luchet, at page 30, &c. states, that more reflections than one may be made upon this passage; and that contemporary authors do not allude to it. During the trial of Jeanne, when she was made to repeat all that she had said to the king, no mention occurs of this secret; while Charles VII, was absent from Loches on All Saints' day, the time indicated by Jeanne. “ The king,” continues M. Luchet, “ was by no means devout; and it appears very improbable that after the lapse of six months,
mentioned to the monarch by Jeanne d'Arc for the purpose of proving the reality of her mission. If La Pucelle is reproached for having afterwards stated to her almoner, that when she had replied to a variety of questions put to her by the king, she added, “ Je te dis de la part de Messire que tu es vrai héritier de France et fils de Roi ; et il m'envoie à toi pour te conduire à Rheims, afin que tu y reçoives ton couronnement et ton sacre si tu le veux : I tell thee on the part of Messire (the Lord) that thou art the true heir of France and son of the king; and he hath sent me to conduct thee to Rheims, in order that thou mayest be crowned and anointed if such be thy will :" it may easily be conjectured why Charles VII. and Jeanne d'Arc attached so much importance to the concealment of the secret that existed between them. Had this fact been known, it would have confirmed the doubts entertained by the Burgundians and the English in regard to the legitimacy of the king's birth; a doubt
he should remember what he said to God, when at the same time he forgot that he was absent from his oratory at Loches. It might be imagined, that the monarch would have confided in other promises of La Pucelle after this; but he did not; for Jeanne was sent to Poitiers, where the parliament was then sitting, in order to be examined; as if the interrogatories of judges and doctors of the university could tend to increase his confidence in a privileged person with whom Heaven had deigned to hold secret communication."
which they sedulously strove to promulgate, and which originated in the profligate course of life pursued by his mother queen Isabella, to which we have so frequently adverted in the course of our summary:
The king, having ended his discourse with Jeanne, advanced towards his courtiers, and stated, that the young girl had communicated to him certain secret affairs, which led him to place in her the greatest confidence.*
Charles VII. then deemed it expedient to commit Jeanne d'Arc to the care of Guillaume Bellier,
* Notwithstanding the favourable opinion which Jeanne had gained in the mind of the king, a very opposite sentiment prevailed among the princes and captains of the court, who conceived themselves dishonoured in yielding obedience to a mere country girl, devoid of experience and of education. It was in consequence represented to Charles that he would become the sport of Europe and the ridicule of the English, for relying upon the promises of a bewildered girl, as there did not exist a doubt but the French would be defeated by the enemy; that it was disgraceful in the extreme for a nation to be led by such a fanatic, and particularly the French people, who had never suffered a female to mount the throne; and that by permitting this girl to head the armies, the pretensions of Catherine of France, then queen of England, who aspired to the French crown, would be sanctioned. Such was the resolution of the council, which consisted of all the great and distinguished personages in the retinue of Charles VII.-Lenglet, vol. i.
pages 31, 32.