« AnteriorContinuar »
whom he caused to be proclaimed at Paris. He defeated the French fleet near Southampton, and made himself master of Cotoi, entered Paris at the head of his army, and beat the duke d’Alençon, having thus rendered himself conqueror of France. He died at Rouen, 1435, where a sumptuous monument was erected to his memory, which one of the courtiers of Charles VIII. advised that monarch to destroy, who, we are informed, made the following reply: “ No; let him rest in peace now dead, who, while living, made all Frenchmen tremble.” It is to be regretted that the duke of Bedford, as renowned in the field as consummate in the cabinet, should have completely tarnished his fame by pursuing a line of conduct towards the youthful and heroic Jeanne d'Arc, which would have degraded the most ignoble of the human race. We cannot account for the conduct of this nobleman towards La Pucelle, whom destiny had placed in his power; she nobly combated to emancipate her country from a foreign yoke, and whatsoever might have been the effect produced on vulgar minds from the idea of her supernatural mission, it is scarcely to be believed that the regent of France gave credit to the tales of sorcery and infernal agency attributed to the Maid of Orleans; in which case his mind could only have been swayed by the basest of all human passions; the gratification of a dark and cowardly revenge towards an heroic victim whom fate had placed at his mercy.
Page 51. And upon the same day was a smart skirmish
delivered by the pages of the French and those of the English between the two islands of Saint Lawrence, they
having no shields excepting small wicker baskets, &c. Nothing can more forcibly display the rooted animosity that subsisted between the French and the English in the neighbourhood of Orleans, than the hostile ren. counters described in this and the ensuing pages of our Diary, from which it appears, that the youth of either country harboured a hatred as implacable as that wherewith the bosoms of veteran soldiers were inspired.
Page 55. To the which would not acquiesce in any sort,
to either of them, the duke of Bedford. Upon the duke of Burgundy making the above application to the regent, Dubreton, at page 102, states as follows:
“ The duke of Bedford, puffed up with his victories and the prosperity of his king, having already begun to despise the duke of Burgundy with proud and brutal insolence, made this answer, “That having beaten the bushes, it was not just that any one else should possess the birds. The duke of Burgundy, offended and incensed to the quick at these words replete with ostentation and disdain, forthwith sent by his herald a command to all such as owed him obedience, forthwith to quit the English camp, under pain of death.”
Page 59. And in consequence she gave orders that all the
men at war should confess themselves, and that they should leave behind them all their silly women, and
their baggage, fc. Whether Jeanne ever wielded her sword, we cannot take upon ourselves to determine; the following very curious extract will, however, afford sufficient proof of the rooted animosity entertained by the Maid of Arc towards females who pursued a vicious course of life; and, as the annotator has never before found this incident quoted, which is handed down by a contemporary writer, it may not prove uninteresting to the lovers of historical facts.
“ Et pourcé quen la compaignie avoit plusiers femmes diffamées, qui empeschoiēt aucuns gens d'armes d'aller avant, la dicte Jehanne la Pucelle feist crier qu'elles s'en departissent. Apres le cry fait chascun se meit à aller avant. Et pourcé que la dicte Jehanne, qui estoit à cheval, en rencontra deux ou trois en sa voye, elle tira son espée pour les batre, et frappa sur l'une d'elles du plat de son espée si grand coup qu'elle rõpit sa dicte espee, dont le roy fut fort deplaisant quant il le sceut, et luy dist qu'elle devoit prendre ung baston pour les frapper, sans habandonner sa dicte espée, qui luy avoit revelée de par Dieu.”— Annales de France, par Maistre Nicole Gille Contreroleur du Tresor de Louis XI.
" And as there were in the company several women of loose morals, who prevented the men at arms from advancing, the said maiden Jeanne, in an elevated voice, commanded them to begone. After this exclamation, every one prepared to march forward ; and as Jeanne, who was on horseback, met two or three of these females on the road, she drew her sword to strike them, and beat one with the flat side of her weapon with such lusty strokes, that she broke her said sword, which caused the king great displeasure when he heard it, who said to her, that she ought to have taken a stick to beat them, and not the sword which had been revealed to her by God.”
This sword was the same which the above author announces in the following manner during the interview of Jeanne with Charles VII., at Chinon.
“ Apres ces choses, ladicte Jehanne pria au roy qu'il luy envoyast querir par ung de ses armuriers une espée qui luy avoit esté denoncée estre en certain lieu en l'eglise Saincte Katherine de Fierboys, en laquelle avoit pour empraincte de chascun costé trois fleur-de-lys, et estoit entres plusieurs autres espées rouillées. Si luy demanda le roy si elle avoit autres fois este en la dicte eglise de Saincte Katherine, laquelle dit que non, et qu'elle le sçavoit par revelation diviné, et qu'avec d'icelle espée elle devoit expeller ses ennemys, et le mener sacrer a Reims. . Si y envoya le roy ung de ses sommeliers d'armeures, qui la trouva au lieu, et ainsi que la dicte Jehanne le luy avoit dit, et la luy 'apporta.”
“ After these things, the said Jeanne begged that the king would send one of his armourers to fetch a sword which had been announced to her in a certain place in the
church of St. Katherine de Fierboys, upon both sides of which was the print of three fleur-de-lys, and the which was among many other rusty swords. The king then asked her whether she had before been in the said church of St. Katherine, who answered no; for that she knew it by divine revelation, and that with the said sword she was to expel his enemies, and conduct him to be crowned at Rheims. So the king sent one of his purveyors of arms, who found it at the place mentioned by the said Jeanne, and brought it unto her.”
After this statement, it is not to be wondered at, that the king should express his displeasure at the sacred weapon in question being broken on the back of a prostitute by the person to whom it was apparently delegated for such ostensible purposes.
Page 60. The which (Jeanne) came on the part of our Lord,
to victual and strengthen the city, and cause the siege to be raised, whereat those of Orleans were mightily
comforted. In the Recueil Historique sur Jeanne d'Arc, by M. Chaussard, vol. i. p. 20, we find that “ Jeanne était attendue avec impatience dans cette ville ; les habitans, réduits à la dernière extrémité, étaient instruits qu'il avait passé à Gien, une fille qui se disait envoyée de Dieu, pour les délivrer. L'effet que cette nouvelle avait produit fut si grand, que le comte de Dunois, qu'on appelait alors le Bâtard d'Orléans, et qui commandait dans la ville, avait envoyé à Charles VII., le sieur de Villers, sénéchal de Beaucaire, et le sieur de Tollay devenu depuis bailli de