« AnteriorContinuar »
appeared evident reason for her accomplishment of what she said. But the doctors found her so honest in appearance, and so sage in her speech, that on delivering their relation the same was taken into great account. Wherefore, and also because it was found that she had truly known the day and the period of the battle of Herrings, as it was proved by the letters of the lord de Baudricourt, he having written the very hour of the same which she had stated unto him, being still at Vaucouleurs; as well as in consequence of her since declaring unto the king in secret, (there being then present his confessor and a few of his chosen counsellors) the performance of a good action which he had done, whereat he was much confounded, since no one could know the same excepting God and himself. It was in consequence resolved, that she should be properly conducted to Poictiers, as well that she might be anew interrogated and prove her perseverance, as also that money might be had to procure for her men, provisions, and artillery, for the victualling of Orleans; the which determination she knew by Divine Grace: for, being then in midway of the route, she said unto many,
“ In the name of God I know full well that I shall have much to do at Poictiers, whither I am being conducted; but Messires will aid me. Wherefore, let us go by the order of God.” For such was her manner of speech.
Being arrived at the said Poictiers, where then the king's parliament was sitting, divers interrogatories were put to her by many doctors and other personages of high estate ; to the which she replied right ably. And more especially unto a Jacobin doctor, who said to her, that if the will of God was that the English should depart, there was no need of arms. To whom Jeanne replied, that she required but few fighting men, and that God would ensure to her the victory: on account of which answer, together with divers others made, and her firmness in maintaining the first promises given, it was by all concluded, that the king ought to place confidence in her, and accord her provisions and men, and send her to Orleans; the which he did accordingly, and besides, he also caused her to be well armed and gave her good horses. And he also willed and commanded that she should have a standard, on the which, at her own desire, was painted and placed by way of device, Jesus Maria, and a Majesty. The king being further desirous of giving her a beautiful sword, she desired that it might please him to send in quest of one, upon the blade whereof was engraven five crosses near unto the handle, the which was at Saint Katherine de Fierbois. Whereat the king was mightily astonished, and inquired of her if she had ever before seen it. Whereto she made answer, that she had not, but that she nevertheless knew it to be there. The king in consequence sent,
and the said sword was there found, together with others, which had been given in ancient times; and it was brought unto the king, who caused her to be dressed and adorned gallantly; and he gave to accompany her, a very valiant and sage gentleman named John Daulon; and for a page and to serve her with honour, he gave her another gentleman named Loys Decontes. In such sort that all these things declared in this same chapter, were enacted at several times, and upon divers days; but I have thus enumerated them for the sake of brevity.
Friday, the eighteenth day of February, the count de Clermont departed from Orleans, stating, that he wanted to go to the king at Chinon, who was then there, and in his company was the lord de la Tour, Messire Loys Deculan, admiral; Messire Regnault de Chartres, archbishop of Rheims and chancellor of France; Messire John de Saint Michel, bishop of Orleans, a native of Scotland; La Hire, and many other knights and esquires of Auvergne, of Bourbonnois and of Scotland, full two thousand combatants, whereat those of Orleans, seeing them depart, were not well contented. But to appease them, he promised that he would succour them with men and with victuals. After the which departure, there only remained within Orleans the Bastard of Orleans, the marshal of Saint Severe, and their people. And the count de Clermont, who after was duke of Bourbon, went away, and the lords and combatants
above named with him, and retired into Blois. And when those of Orleans saw themselves thus left with a small number of men of war, and perceived the power and the siege of the English waxing stronger from day to day, they despatched Poton de Sainctestrailles and other citizens unto Philip duke of Burgundy and Messire John de Luxembourg, count de Ligny, supporting the power of England, and caused them to be entreated and required that they should have care of them; and that for the love of their lord Charles duke of Orleans, being then a prisoner in England, and for the preservation of his lands; to secure which they could not for the present undertake; that it would please them to drive away the war of the English from them, and cause the siege to be raised until some light should be thrown upon the troubles of the kingdom, or that they might receive aid and succour in favour of their relation thus a prisoner.
The following Sunday was a very grand and sharp skirmish, for the English sallied forth from their camp and their bastilles, bearing seven standards, and conducted themselves after such sort, that they chased and caused the French to fall back, who had advanced to, and assailed them in Turpin field, which is the distance of a stone's throw from Orleans. But they were well received with cannons, culverins and other discharges, which were incontinently levelled against them from the city, so thickly, that
they returned in great haste within their camp as well as the bastilles of Saint Lawrence and others in the environs.
The Tuesday following, February the twentysecond, the earl of Suffolk and the lords Talbot and Escalles (Scales) sent by a herald, as a present to the Bastard of Orleans, a dish full of figs, raisins and dates ; praying him at the same time, that he would be pleased to send to the said earl of Suffolk some black Pane * wherewith to line a robe, the which he did most freely, for he sent him some by the same herald, whereat the earl felt much good will towards him.
Friday, the twenty-fifth day of the said month, arrived within Orleans nine horses laden with corn, herrings, and other provisions.
The Sunday immediately following, being the last day of the said month of February, the river increased in such wise, and so greatly, that the French within Orleans firmly believed that the two boulevards constructed by the English on the said river, to the right of Saint Lawrence, as well as that of the Tournelles, were undermined, and beaten down; for it rose as high as the cannoneers on the boulevards, and the current was so strong and so rapid, that it was difficult to believe. But the
* The only explanation to be found of this word is, that it constituted a part of the ancient costume which covered the side from the girdle downwards; being derived from Pannus.