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superintendent of his household, and lieutenant governor of Chinon, whose wife was a woman of singular piety, and renowned for her praiseworthy actions. La Pucelle was permitted to present herself at court, and attend the celebration of mass in the Chapel Royal; she also accompanied the king on his excursions of pleasure ; and the duke of Alençon, astonished to see the skill and graceful manner with which she conducted her palfrey, made her a present of a horse.* Every succeeding day increased the astonishment and admiration La Pucelle excited by her conduct, her conversation, and her
No sooner had the duke d'Alençon learnt the arrival of Jeanne at Chinon, than he forthwith repaired to St. Florent, and on the following day saw her pass by : “ Une lance à la main, qu'elle portait et faisait mouvoir avec beaucoup de grace, et alors il lui fit don d'un beau cheval : Bearing a lance in her hand, which she carried and wielded with much grace, and then he made her a present of a fine horse."
In addition to this, a"contemporary historian, speaking of Jeanne's equestrian prowess, states : A principio ætatis suæ .... pascendo pecora • sæpius cursum exercebat ; et modo huc atque illuc illi frequens cursus erat; et aliquando currendo hastam ut fortis eques manu capiebat, et arborum Iruncos percutiebat, &c. See Phillipe de Bergame in Hordal, page 40, who, according to Moreri, under the head Foresti, was born in 1434.
The duke of Alençon was not at Chinon when Jeanne was presented, for the first time, to the king. Upon his arrival some days after, on entering the royal chamber, Jeanne demanded who he was, to which the king replied : “ the duke of
exemplary manners. Jamet de Tilloy and Villars had been despatched to the court by the count Dunois, who then acted as the intrepid defender of Orleans, for the purpose of verifying what was reported concerning this extraordinary female, and to ascertain if any reliance might be placed on the succours she had promised. These
Alençon." “ You are right welcome," said La Pucelle: “the more princes of the blood there are, the more will our affairs prosper.” The following day Jeanne was present at the king's mass, and on perceiving the duke she made a lowly reverence. At the conclusion of the ceremony Charles summoned her to his apartment, from whence he dismissed all the courtiers except the duke of Alençon and La Trimouille. Upon this occasion Jeanne proposed several things to the king, and among others advised him to offer up his kingdom to God, who would restore it to bim in the same state bis predecessors had enjoyed it.-Lenglet, vol. i. pp. 43 and 44.
The beauty of Jeanne d'Arc, according to the deposition of the duke of Alençon, was of no ordinary kind; and accompanied by such extreme modesty, that her very look cooled any lascivious desires in the beholder. Jeanne, in order to avoid any surprise either during her journeys or when with the army, never slept without wearing a part of her martial attire, and care was taken to lodge her in the cities and towns with women of the most spotless reputation.---Lenglet, vol. i. p. 46.
M. Luchet, at page 11, speaking of the peculiar effect excited by the glance of Jeanne, says, “it is a singular proof of her beauty that she should cool desire in the beholder; but,” adds he, “whether handsome or ugly is nothing to the purpose, and her scrupulous attention to decency is still of less consequence."
individuals returned to Orleans, and there gave an account of every thing they had witnessed at Chinon.*
Measures were now adopted in order to proceed in the examinations to which it was thought proper La Pucelle should be subjected; and, to give more
celebrity to these sittings, it was determined they , should be held at Poitiers,t in presence of the
king, the parliament, and an assembly of theologians. Jeanne d'Arc was interrogated, and answered with an
. On receiving this intelligence, Dunois, according to his deposition at the process of the revisal, made the 22d of February, 1426, caused the citizens of Orleans to be assembled, and related to them all that his emissaries had beard and seen. This recital elevated the public mind; every one made his own comment; and some individuals went so far as to assert that several ecclesiastics had beheld an angel behind Jeanne d'Arc, who conducted her steps. The first use which count Dunois made of the celebrity of La Pucellé showed his sound policy, and was a lively indication of the result of Jeanne's interference.
† Jeanne was conducted to Poitiers, whither the king repaired for the express purpose of subjecting her to fresh interrogatories. During her residence in the above city she inhabited the house of the advocate-general, whose wife invited many young and elderly devout women to keep her company, and scrupulously examine whether or not she would belie any of her former assertions. Her conduct was uniformly found correct, and her conversation most exemplary, although she was allowed to speak and to act as she thought proper.—Lenglet, vol. i. page 47.
admirable presence of mind to all the litigious questions that were put to her. Among other points it was observed to her, that if, according to her assertion, the Lord was desirous of rescuing France from its calamities, men at arms were quite unnecessary; to which Jeanne replied, without being in the least disconcerted : “ En mon Dieu, les gens d'armes batailleront, et Dieu donnera la victoire : In the name of God, the men at arms will fight, and God will give the victory.” On being pressed to give some certain proofs respecting her divine mission,* she made this dignified reply : “Je ne suis pas venue à Poitiers pour faire des signes ; mais conduisez-moi à Orléans, et je vous montrerai des signes pourquoi je suis envoyée: I am not come to Poitiers to perform miracles; but conduct me to Orleans, and I will then give you proofs wherefore I am sent.” Brother Seguin, a doctor of Limousin, who is styled in one of the old chronicles, “ un bien aigre homme - a very captious man,” having demanded of Jeanne d'Arc, in what language she was addressed by her supernatural agents ? she replied with peculiar vivacity: “ Meilleur
le vôtre-Better than yours."
• M. Luchet, at page 12, makes this sensible remark : “ that Jeanne d'Arc, upon the present occasion, had only to prove the revelation stated to have been made by her to Baudricourt respecting the defeat of the French at the battle of Herrings, and then her judges must have remained mute.”
Do you believe in God? then demanded the monk : “ Mieux que vous-Better than you,” was Jeanne's reply.
Quotations were very frequently made to her from sacred writers, for the purpose of invalidating her mission, when she contented herself by remarking : “ Il y a ès livre de Messire (Pieu), plus que ès vostres : There is more in the book of God than in yours.” As the interrogatories were prolonged, Jeanne remarked : “ Il est temps et besoin d'agir: It is time, and there is a necessity for action.” La Pucelle concluded by announcing to the assembly the several events which were subsequently realized: the overthrow of the English and the raising of the siege of Orleans; the coronation of the king at Rheims; the reduction of Paris to the obedience of Charles VII.; and the return of the duke of Orleans from England, where he had been detained captive ever since the memorable battle of Azincourt.
After many sittings, the assembly of the doctors at length came to a decision that the king might lawfully accept the services of La Pucelle. It would appear from what is stated by Edmond Richer, who wrote the history of Jeanne d'Arc, that the parliament were less propitious ; but none of the original documents which might afford a satisfactory conclusion are now extant. Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy, who had