Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

immediately apprized of her arrival, and the object of her journey; but the only answer La Pucelle received was a second refusal to send her to the king. Notwithstanding this, however, she was admitted to the presence of Baudricourt, to whom she announced, “That she came on the part of the Lord; who, through her, advised the Dauphin to conduct himself virtuously; that he had not given the battle to his enemies, because the Lord would accord him succour towards the middle of Lent." Jeanne stated, that the kingdom did not belong to the Dauphin, but to the Almighty; that nevertheless the Lord was willing that he should become king, and receive the realm as a deposit; adding, that in spite of his enemies he should become king, and that she would conduct him to be crowned. Robert then made inquiry respecting this Lord to whom she so constantly alluded, when Jeanne replied, “ that it was the King of heaven :" upon which, Baudricourt, not knowing whether to regard the whole as a cheat, or if the young girl was deranged in her mind, would listen to no further statements, and so dismissed Jeanne without acceding to any thing she required.

La Pucelle was sensibly touched at this ill success; but she had recourse to her accustomed consolation, repairing to confess and giving herself up to prayer; a great portion of her time being spent in the chapel of Saint Mary, at Vaucouleurs, where she

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

prostrated herself with the greatest humility before the image of the Virgin.

The uniform tenour of Jeanne's discourse was, that she must proceed to the presence of the Dauphin ; and such was her impatience, that she with difficulty submitted to the long delays that occurred ere she found means of compassing her intention. “ It is absolutely necessary that I should go thither,” she incessantly cried, “ for so wills my Lord. It is on the part of the King of heaven that this mission is confided to me; and were it necessary that I should repair thither on my knees, I would go.” She exhorted all those whom she saw to conduct her to the Dauphin, adding, that it was for his special benefit.

At length public opinion, which was pronounced in favour of Jeanne from the incessant conversations and reiterated promises she made, began to produce some impression even on the mind of the lord de Baudricourt. Agitated by opposing interests and passions, he adopted a measure conformable to the prejudices of that period; and accompanied by the curate of Vaucouleurs, proceeded to the apartment of Jeanne, when the priest, carrying his stole, spread it out before the young girl, by way of an exorcism.*

* Lenglet, vol. i. p. 22, states that the priest thus addressed Jeanne : “If you come in behalf of the enemy of men, begone

At the sight of this priestly ornament, Jeanne
humbly fell upon her knees before the curate, in
token of respect to his sacred calling; after which
she replied to all the interrogatories put to her by
the governor, who, though unwilling to take any
thing upon himself, conceived the affair of sufficient
importance to warrant his addressing the king upon
the subject.

Durand Laxart was under the necessity of return-
ing home, and he conducted his niece to the village
of Petit Burey. We are not informed from history
whether Jacques d'Arc, at this period, had any
knowledge of the journey undertaken by his
daughter : it is, however, most probable that he
was ignorant of the fact, since he permitted her to
reside peaceably with her uncle.

Jeanne had completely succeeded in convincing Laxart of the truth of her mission, so that his faith was by no means shaken by the difficulties he had to surmount; and at the beginning of Lent, in the same year, he again consented to accompany his niece to Vaucouleurs. Seeing how many impediments prevented the accomplishment of her

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

from our presence; but if it is upon the part of God, then remain.”
See the depositions of Catherine, wife of Henri the blacksmith, at
whose house Jeanne resided at Vaucouleurs, which statements
were delivered during the revisal on Saturday, January 31, 1456.

views, Jeanne adopted the resolution of setting forward on foot, accompanied by her uncle and another individual named Jacques Alain, who offered to follow her, for the fulfilment of the mission wherewith she conceived herself to be charged. But while on her route, Jeanne called to mind that it would not be decorous thus to depart, and she therefore retraced her steps to Vaucouleurs.

Jean Novelompont, surnamed of Metz, a gentleman of some consideration in that country, happening to call at the house of Jeanne's hostess, and doubtless perceiving that, although clad in mean red attire, the young maid carried something in her appearance far above the common, made inquiry respecting the business that had led her to Vaucouleurs : “ I am come,” said she, “ to request of Robert de Baudricourt, that he will cause me to be conducted to the king, either by himself or

some other person: but he does not concern himself either about me or my representations. And yet it is absolutely necessary that I should see the king before the middle of Lent, even if I am compelled to wear my legs to the very knees in the journey. For no living creature, nor kings, nor dukes, nor the daughter of the king of Scotland, nor any others, can retake the kingdom of France, since there is no succour for him save through myself; though I should much better like to remain at home spinning by the side of my poor

mother; for such is not a work fitted for me : * yet I must go and do it, for such is the will of the Lord.“And who is your Lord ?inquired Jean de Metz: " It is God,” was Jeanne's reply. Forcibly struck with the words of the girl, and placing his hand within hers, he declared upon his faith that he would escort her to the king; and then demanded when she wished to set forwards : " Rather to-day than to-morrow,” she made answer : he further requested to know if she was desirous of proceeding in the clothes she then wore, to which she replied, she would willingly accept of man's apparel, which he caused to be brought, and Jeanne immediately dressed herself in the same.

Bertrand de Poulengy, who had been present at the interview between Jeanne d'Arc and the lord de Baudricourt, speedily followed the example of Jean de Metz, being anxious to share the honour of conducting the maid on her journey. Jeanne, however, still wished to procure the sanction of Baudricourt, in proportion as the fame of her alleged mission increased throughout the country.

Charles, duke of Lorraine, weakened by a malady which baffled the art of medicine, was desirous of seeing Jeanne d'Arc for the purpose of consulting her; wherefore Laxart accompanied La Pucelle upon

* This deposition was made by Jean de Novelompont, gentleman, a resident of Vaucouleurs, on Saturday, January 31, 1456.

« AnteriorContinuar »