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THE MONUMENTAL FOUNTAIN
TO HER MEMORY AT DOMREMY.
In 1818, the constituted authorities of the department of Vosges, supported by the duke de Choiseul, peer of France, adopted the resolution that a certain sum of money should be appropriated to render the birth-place of Jeanne d'Arc public property.
The ministers of Louis XVIII., being made acquainted with this determination, very commendably forwarded the design, which was also countenanced by the king himself, who was equally anxious with his subjects for the preservation of the dwelling-place of La Pucelle, and for the erection of a public monument to her memory. And in order to confer a greater degree of éclat upon his royal munificence, his majesty was pleased to order that a structure of a morally useful nature should also be erected, and in consequence a public seminary was founded for the instruction of the young countrywomen of the brave heroine of Domremy. Twelve thousand francs were set apart for the erection of the building, eight thousand were given to endow the school, and the remaining expenses were defrayed from the funds of the department of Vosges.
The humble mansion of La Pucelle, now comprised within the enclosure of the royal school of Domremy, was
formerly screened on the north and south by rustic cottages that formed a part of the same street. In front, it was concealed by the dwelling of M. Gerardin, of which it formed an out-building, separated from it by a narrow yard. Over the doorway of his new residence, the first of which runs in a direct line with that of the school, M. Gerardin senior, by whom it was built, had placed the arched moulding of the cottage of Jeanne d'Arc, and above that a statue of the heroine. Three chambers of small dimensions, converted into a stable and cellar, were all that remained of the residence of the illustrious Jeanne. But such glorious recollections have attached themselves to these ruins, that several strangers of distinction, venerating the spot, have been anxious to procure a fragment of the materials of which they are composed : the beams of the kitchen, and the side supporters of the doorway, bear evident marks of these honourable spoliations, which the architect employed has respected, in the course of his labours, as tending to characterise the venerated spot.
Fully impressed with the importance of preserving to the mansion of Jeanne d'Arc its antique appearance, the artist carefully avoided every thing like useless addition or ornament. He contented himself with unmasking the edifice by demolishing the ruins that encumbered it, restoring to the doorway the arched moulding which had originally belonged to it, and replacing in its former position the chimney-piece removed by M. Gerardin the elder into his new building. The rough-casting necessary for the preservation of the walls, and the repairs of the roofing and flooring, were therefore all the works executed