« AnteriorContinuar »
testified on all sides, bestowing marvellous praises on their valiant defenders, and especially, and above all, unto Jeanne la Pucelle, who remained during this night, as well as the lords, captains, and men at war with her, in the midst of the fields, as well to guard the Tournelles so valiantly conquered, as to ascertain whether the English, on the side of Saint Lawrence, would not issue forth, desirous of succộuring or of avenging their companions. But they testified no such wish: wherefore upon the ensuing morning, being the Sunday, and the seventh day of May, this same year one thousand four hundred twenty and nine, they retired from their bastille, as did also the English of Saint Povair, and of other parts, and raising the siege, placed themselves in battle array. Therefore the Pucelle, the marshal of Saint Severe and of Rays, the lord de Graville, the baron de Coulouces, Messire Fleurent d'Illiers, the lord de Corraze, the lord de Sainctes Trailles, La Hire, Alain Giron, Jamet du Tilloy, and many other valiant men at war and citizens, sallied forth from Orleans in great power, and placed and ranged themselves in order of battle before them. And in such manner they were very near the one unto the other, during the space of one hour, without touching each other. Which the French endured most uneasily, in obedience to the will of la Pucelle, who commanded and ordered them from the very commencement, that for the love and in honour of the Saint Sunday, they would not begin the battle nor assail the English. But that in case the English should attack them, that they should defend themselves nobly and with hardihood, and that they should have no fear, for that they would be the masters. At the end of the hour did the Englishmen set forward, and proceeded on their way, well arranged and in good order, unto Meung on the Loire; and raised and entirely abandoned the siege, which they had carried on before Orleans, from the twelfth day of October one thousand four hundred twenty and eight, until this same day. Nevertheless, did they not go away nor carry in safety all their chattels; for an host from the city pursued them, and assailed the rear of their army in manifold assaults, in such sort, that they obtained from them several bombs, large cannons, bows, cross-bows, and other artillery. And upon this same day, an English Augustin confessor, belonging to the lord Talbot, had in his keeping a French prisoner, a very valiant man at arms of the name of Le Bourg de Bar, who was chained by the feet. And in the same manner he conducted him like the other English, holding him up by the arm the length of the way, because he could not otherwise proceed in consequence of his irons. The which, perceiving that he loitered very far behind, and well knowing, as being subtle in feats of war, that the English were going never to return, constrained by force this same Augustin, to convey him upon his shoulders even
unto Orleans, so that he escaped the payment of his ransom; and therefore by means of this Augustin, was much known concerning the proceedings of the adversaries; for he was in very familiar friendship with Talbot. In another direction entered into Orleans the Pucelle, with other lords and men at arms, to the very great exultation of all the clergy and of the people, who altogether humbly returned thanks unto our Lord, who well merited praises, for the very great help and the victories which he had accorded and sent to them against the English, the ancient enemies of this kingdom. And when the period after mid-day had arrived, Messire Fleurent d'Illiers took leave of the lords and captains and other men at arms, as well as of the citizens of the city; and in company with bis men of war conducted thither by him did he return unto Chasteaudun, of the which place he was captain, carrying back with him great praise and renown for the valiant feats of arms achieved by himself and his followers in the defence and the succour of Orleans. And upon the following day, in like manner, departed the Pucelle, and with her the lord de Rays, the baron de Colouces, and many other knights, esquires, and men at war, and proceeded towards the king to convey unto him the news of this noble affair, and also to lead him to put himself on his route, in order to be crowned and consecrated at Rheims, even as our Lord had commanded her. But previous to this
she took her leave of those of Orleans, who all wept with joy, and right humbly thanked her, and offered up themselves and their goods unto her as well as their wishes; for the which, she thanked them most benignly, and then undertook the performance of her most saintly journey. For she had done and accomplished the first feat, which was to raise the siege of Orleans; during the which were enacted these manifold noble deeds of arms, skirmishings, and assaults, and then were found and used innumerable engines, novelties, and subtilties of war, and more than for a long period antecedent had been practised before any other city, town, nor castle of this kingdom; as was stated by all the personages knowing therein as well French as Englishmen, and who were there present to construct and to witness them. Upon this same day, and on the following also, were performed right beautiful and solemn processions by the fathers of the church, lords, captains, men at war, and citizens, being and residing within Orleans, and they visited the churches in mighty great devotion. And truly at the beginning, and before the laying of the siege, the citizens would not permit the men at war to enter into their city, mis. doubting that they would pillage or too much maltreat them; nevertheless did they after suffer to enter as many as chose to come, when they had learned that they knew how to defend and right valiantly maintain them against their enemies, there
fore they were very united in the defence of the city; and in consequence divided them between themselves in their hotels, and nourished them with such things as God gave to them, just as familiarly as if they had been their own children.
A short time after, the Bastard of Orleans, the marshal of Saint Severe, the lord de Graville, the lord de Courraze, Poton de Sainctes Trailles, and divers other knights, esquires, and men at war, a part of whom carrying javelins, had come from Bourges, Tours, Angiers, Blois, and other good cities of this kingdom, departed from Orleans, and went unto Jargeau, where they performed several skirmishes, which lasted upwards of three hours, to ascertain if they could besiege the place; who then found that they could accomplish nothing there, on account of the water, which was risen high and had filled up the fosses : and on this account did they return in safety. But the English sustained much injury; for a very valorous knight of England, called Messire Henry Bisset, then captain of the city, was there killed, whereat they performed great mourning.
While these skirmishings were taking place, in such sort acted the Pucelle, that she arrived where the king was; before whom, as soon as she beheld him, she kneeled herself down with much gentleness, and embracing him round the legs, said unto him :
" Gentil Dauphin, come and receive your corona