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and valiant captains, and at their head the regent Bedford, who constituted the very soul of the enterprise, and had not lost any portion of that energy or skill for which he had been so justly famed upon all former occasions.
Charles, as we have before stated, had no treasures, except for his favourites and his mistresses; the number of his troops scarcely amounted to one third of the forces led on by the allies, and they were neither well equipped nor disciplined. Every exertion, however, one might imagine, would have been made to compensate for this want of numerical strength, by activity and wisdom in the measures
How widely different to this was the conduct adopted by the politic Bedford, since in consulting the treasury of Charters, preserved in France, we find a multitude of gifts, in rentals, lands, and titles, accorded to the various English generals and our allies; namely, to Warwick (Register 173, No. 220; Reg. 174, Nos. 188 and 196.) to Salisbury, (Reg. 173, No. 645.) to Talbot, (Reg. 174, No. 150; Reg. 175, No. 317.) to Fastolf, (Reg. 172, No. 345; Reg. 175, Nos. 203 and 287.) to Arundel, Reg. 175, Nos. 365 and 366.) to Suffolk, (Reg. 172, No. 571.) and to Luremburg, (Reg. 172. No. 9. Reg. 173, Nos. 646 and 686, &c.)
It is certainly a fact, that these donations did not cost much, because they consisted of confiscations on the possessions of the adherents of Charles; nor did the Regent forget himself in the distribution of such gifts. See the Registers 172, No. 487 and 518; Reg. 173, No. 319; Reg. 174, No. 330; and Reg. 175, No. 69.
resorted to Such, however, was not the case ; Charles, showed himself still more unworthy of his station, constantly yielding to those pursuits which had uniformly debased his character. Instead of marshalling his forces in order for battle, and toiling to complete the preparations for an excursion or a siege, he was studiously bent on making arrangements for some ball or festivity. * It is uniformly allowed, that the presence of a monarch doubles the force of his troops; whereas all that could be obtained of Charles at the commencement of the siege of Orleans, the capture of which place might have produced his immediate ruin, was, his attending at the distance of thirty leagues. Experienced generals, it will be allowed on all hands, are essential to ensure the success of military operations; yet at the period in question, Charles had deprived himself of the assistance of Richemont,
• In the Encyclopédie, Dict. d'Histoire, under the article Vignoles, as well as in other histories, we find that upon La Hire's repairing to Charles VII. in order to communicate an affair of the greatest importance, the king displayed to that brave 'captain the preparations for a sumptuous feast, at the same time demanding of the warrior what he thought of the gaudy scene; to which La Hire inade answer : “ Je pense qu'on ne sauroit perdre son royaume plus gaiement."
N. B. In Richer's manuscripts, note 1st, No. 28, page 107, this anecdote is likewise given, from Egnatius and the chancellor De l'Hôpital; the occurrence having taken place during the hottest period of the siege of Orleans.
whom he sacrificed to the caprice of his new favourite La Trimouille, refusing his services, and causing the gates of his cities to be closed against him as if he had been an enemy. The same disorders prevailed in the administration of public affairs : in every department the same overbearing insolence and rapacity were shown. The ignorance of the ministers and the courtiers was manifest upon all occasions, and a state of discord prevailed among the public functionaries of every description. The French, wearied with supporting the yoke of such a vicious and impotent set of panders, had lost all affection and esteem for their prince, for whom they only retained some portion of fidelity, on account of the hatred which they bore to the dominion of the English.
The vast disproportion that existed between the two powers, in every point of view, was dered conspicuous in the opening of the campaign of 1428, which, fortunately for Charles, did not take place until the month of July. While the Burgundians were occupied in taking some places still subject to Charles on the borders of Champaigne and of Lorraine, the English, in the short lapse of two months, became masters of more
* According to Monstrelet, vol. ii. fol. 37, the earl of Salisbury did not cross the channel until after the festival of Saint John.
than fifteen towns. They subdued the whole territory of the Orleanais north of the Loire, as well as some small places to the south,* necessary in order to invest the capital of that province, which might be considered the only boulevard of the empire of Charles VII.
One half of the royal army, and nearly all the most courageous captains, t shut themselves up within the city (we need scarcely remark, that such was not the post suited to La Trimouille, and other courtly parasites); where they were nobly seconded by the brave inhabitants, more enraged than the generality of the French against their opponents, on account of the assassination of their
* From a variety of historians, we learn that among other places northward, were, Nogent-le-Roi, Nogent-le-Rotrou, Jenville, Mehun-sur-Loire, Beaugenci, Marchenoir, Chartres, Rambouillet, Rochefort, Pethivier, Puiset, Châteauneuf; and to the south, Gergeau, Sully, and La Ferte-Hubert. All the cities upon the river Loire, as far as Blois, and all those of Beauce, except Châteaudun, belonged to the English, says Chartier:
† From the commencement of the siege there were present at Orleans, Xaintrailles and his brother Guitry, Villars, and Lachapelle. Gaucourt was governor of the city; but he was in fact of little service, having broken his arm on the 21st of October, when on his way to give directions for the defence of the Tournelles.
These captains were joined on the 25th of October, by Dunois, Saint Severe, Beuil, Chabanes, Chaumont, and La Hire. (See Tripaut, 4, 5, & 8.)
ancient duke, which still remained unpunished, while the abettor of the crime found protection among the English.
Having brought our Summary, occupying a space of forty-eight years, (from 1380 to 1428,) to the period when the English laid siege to the city of Orleans, we shall now proceed to give some account of Jeanne d'Arc from her birth to the day when she joined the garrison of that city. This we conceive to be required as a preliminary to the introduction of the Diary of the Siege; the raising of which was certainly due to the perseverance and magnanimity of the heroine of our pages.