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trated the act, or seized the favourable opportunity to inflict the blow.
In whatsoever light we are led to regard this occurrence, it certainly seems to have been one of the retributive dispensations of divine justice : and if the murder of the duke of Orleans had been avenged only by remorse and fear, that of his assassin was expiated by the almost entire ruin of the party of Charles VII. Philip le Bon, successor to Jean sans Peur, was a very potent enemy in a different point of view; Jean had entered upon the scene covered by crimes, whereas Philip was only rendered conspicuous by his virtues. The French estranged themselves from the one because he made war against his prince and his country; and they excused the conduct of the other from the duty that devolved to him of avenging the death of his father. Independent of this, Philip, possessing the military talents of Jean, was soon placed at the head of a more formidable power, by the acquisition of the inheritance of the sovereigns of Brabant and of Hainault.
United with Henry V. and Isabella, having in their hands the ensigns of royalty in the person of Charles VI., the Dauphin became a very feeble enemy. Eight months after the assassination of Jean, Charles VII. was adjudged guilty of the act; he was in consequence disinherited, banished, *
* On the third of January, 1420, the act of banishment (in case
and the hand of his sister Catherine, together with the crown of France, was bestowed upon the king of England.
Fortunately for the Dauphin, Henry was compelled to repair to London; standing in need of money and reinforcements; * besides which, he sought to deprive France of the alliance of the Scots, who had just sent troops to her assistance.
During the absence of Henry, which lasted between four and five months,t the partisans of
of non-appearance within three days) was proclained by sound of trumpet at the marble table against Charles VII., by order of Desmartes, solicitor-general to his father Charles VI., for the alleged murder of the duke of Burgundy.
* Prior to his departure, Henry took several strong places, namely, Sens, Montereau, and Melun; and he also concluded a treaty with the house of Albret, which shielded Guienne from all danger of invasion. The taking of Melun deprived Charles of one of his most experienced and valiant captains, in the person of Barbasan, who had the command of that place, and was not delivered from captivity until 1429, during the expedition to the Isle of France, and subsequent to the affair of Orleans.
† Henry V. took his departure at the end of January, and returned in the month of June. Monstrelet, fol. 303, fixes his return on the eve of Saint Barbe. Villaret, vol. xiv. page 115, erroneously fixes his departure in the year 1421.
This point of history being of some importance, we have carefully examined the acts published by Rymer, which tend to clear up the point. The last instrument executed by Henry in France is dated Rouen, the 30th January 1420, (or 1421, new style), and the first of the council after his departure is of the the Dauphin took courage, especially after the trifling battle at Baugé,* which terminated in favour of the French, not so much on account of the wise plans they had pursued, as of the imprudent conduct of the duke of Clarence, who was general upon that occasion ; after which reverse, several fortresses fell into the hands of the French.
The return, however, of Henry, with subsidies, ammunition, and an army of more than forty thousand men,t put an end to these trifling successes.
8th of February; and on the 12th of the same month is an act of Henry, dated from Westminster. The last acts during his stay in England are dated from Dover, the 9th and 10th of June, and the first after his return to France is dated Rouen, the 17th June; from whence it appears that on the 31st of January, or one of the first days of February, 1420, he quitted France, and returned between the 10th and 16th of June, 1421; having been absent about four months and a half.
* Baugé, which was invested by the English, is about eight leagues east of Angers: the siege was raised after the battle.
According to a document published in Rymer, bearing date the 3d of April, it appears that this conflict took place on the eve of Easter; the words are : Ante diem Paschæ proximo pra-. teritæ. · The French army then proceeded to Normandy, and laid siege to Alençon ; but after the lapse of some days, the earl of Salisbury caused it to be raised; when the French forces retired, partly in the direction of Anjou, and the residue to the territory of Chartrain. (See Monstrelet, i. fol. 303.)
† Hume states, after Monstrelet, twenty-four thousand archers and four thousand cavalry; whereas the latter says, “quatre mille
In a few days he regulated the affairs of the interior ; and then opened the campaign, making himself master of several places, and among others of Meaux, one of the most important in the kingdom, as well for its fortifications as for the situation it occupied upon the Marne, some leagues from Paris ; the supplies for which he was thus enabled to intercept, and render the situation of its garrison precarious. He then took possession of many small towns; the inhabitants of which, for the most part, yielding to the terror excited by his arms and the influence of his genius, freely tendered to him their keys. The duke of Burgundy, on his side, desirous of showing that he was worthy of seconding these efforts of his ally, obtained a victory near Saint Riquier, in Picardy; and thus deprived the adherents of Charles of all that remained to them in the environs of that province. * The allies already began to direct their efforts towards the south of the kingdom,t then the only remaining asylum of
hommes d'armes,” which implies a greater number; Smollett, who had also consulted the same authority, estimates the army of Henry at thirty thousand men.
* From Paris to Boulogne. (See Monstrelet, i. fol. 317.) . In August, 1422, Charles raised the siege of Cosne without awaiting the arrival of the enemy. 'Villaret, vol. xiv. page 153, on the contrary, says, without however mentioning his authority, that Charles was desirous of giving his adversary battle notwithstanding the inequality of their numbers; and that it was with
the Dauphin ; in which direction he had undertaken the siege of Cosne, when suddenly the death of the king of England took place. If the supposition of various writers is true, that Henry died of the attacks of a fistula,* the cure of which disorder was then unknown, Charles and his subjects were certainly indebted for their salvation to the ignorance of that age. It is merely necessary to compare the two rivals and their opposing forces,
difficulty that he was prevailed upon to abandon this courageous, but imprudent resolution, &c. This romantic assertion is, however, destroyed by the uniform testimonies of Saint Remi, 162; Monstrelet, i. fol. 320; Chron. Manuscr. 553; Chron. of France, 328; Pierre Defenin, in the fol. edit. of Juvenal, p. 493 ; and Choisy, 555.
* Villaret, xiv. page 157, follows the statement of the secretary of Henry V., who says that the king died of a pleurisy: an opinion that would not be very feasible unless the disorder was only of a few days' duration ; whereas, on the contrary, we are well informed, that the malady continued for a month at least, because Henry was attacked a short time after his departure with the army, and died on the 31st of August; whereas he did not commence his route until the middle of July. On the 27th of July, as soon as he felt the attack, the duke of Bedford, whom he had sent forward, arrived with a powerful body of troops at Auxerre; from whence he proceeded on the 4th of August to Vezelay, which place had been appointed the general rendezvous of the army of the allies. Rapin and Smollett both speak of a dysentery; without, however, referring to any authority.