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Lagny, of which we shall shortly have occasion to speak, (see Chronicle of France, fol. 345, line 2d.) Chartier, p. 41, says in the pays de Berry. The word Marches, generally speaking, signifies frontiers. Upon the present occasion it should be understood as meaning the southern frontiers of Berry, because the cantons of the Marche, which touch the other provinces, were called the Marches of such a particular province. For instance, it was customary to say, the Marches de Limousin. (See Encyc. Dic. Géogr. under the head Marche.)
NOTE 36. Jeanne, towards Easter, was at Mebun, (See Lenglet, vol. i. p. 124. Belleforêt, in the Chronicle of France, fol. 359.) which bad recently surrendered itself up to the king. (See Chartier, 44; Berry, 380; Monstrelet, vol. ii. p. 56.) The intermediato points of the shortest route of the Marches to Mehun are, Bourges, Gien, and Montargis.
N. B. Such historians as Berry, (Chronicle of France, fol. 345,) and Monstrelet, (vol. ii. fols. 56 and 58,) do not at all agree, either among themselves or of theinselves, respecting the dates and regular order of the journeys or expeditions indicated at the above Notes 33 to 37. It has therefore been necessary to have recourse to the method cited on former occasions, in order to find the most probable itinerary of Jeanne d'Arc. We have, however, in this instance, placed greater reliance in Monstrelet than the other historians, because, having been present at the siege of Compiegne, (see idem, fol. 58), he must have brought to his recollection the events preceding the capture of Jeanne, and the more particularly as they took place in the short interval of less than one month.
NOTE 38. See Chartier, 41; Lenglet, vol. i. p. 125, and vol. iii. p. 150; Chronicle of France, 345; Belleforêt, ibid. 352; and Monstrelet, vol. ii. p. 57.
Monstrelet places the recital of the defeat and execution of Franquet after the expeditions to Noyon and the capture of Soissy; but, as we have already observed, there is a want of regularity throughout his work. In the first place, at p. 56, he announces; 1st, that the duke of Burgundy celebrated the festival of Easter at Peronne (Easter fell upon the 16th of April); 2dly, that at the commencement of 1430, (that is to say, after Easter) he repaired with his armed forces to Montdidier, ou il fut aucuns jours, (where he continued some days ;) Sdly, that he besieged Gournay on the Aronde (at six leagues south-west of Noyon) and entered into a speedy treaty with the garrison, in order that he might march to afford succour to a castle, of which the French raised the siege on being made acquainted with his intention; 4thly, that he went to spend eight days at Noyon; 5thly, that he besieged Soissy. Monstrelet then relates, fols. 56 and 57, the attack of Pont L'Eveque, and afterwards the encampment of the duke's villages that were in the vicinity of Compiegne; and lastly, he passes on to the defeat of Franquet, dating the same as having occurred at the beginning of May.
If we calculate the time requisite for the performance of the various marches from Peronne to Montdidier; from thence to Gournay; from Gournay to Noyon; from that town to Soissy; the siege of Gournay, &c.; and if we add thereto the time spent at Montdidier and Noyon, it will be obvious that the duke could not commence the siege until the month of May, after the defeat of Franquet. This particular occurrence being once determined, it is easy to fix, with a degree of certainty, the periods of the final expeditions of Jeanne, and even to
make the historians agree in their several statements, as will appear from the following notes.
N. B. Villaret, xv. p. 7, and those ensuing, has been guilty of numerous errors, as regards these expeditions of Jeanne or of Philip. Among other statements, he places them as having occurred anterior to the landing of Henry VI. at Calais (Saint George's day, which occurred on the 23d of April ..... Monstrelet, vol. ii. fol. 58.) which was prior to the imajor part of these
NOTE 39. The circuitous route by Chateau Thierry was necessary in order to cross the Marne ; and Lenglet (vol. i. p. 128.) conjectures that she passed by Crepy, since be announces that she returned thither from Soissons.
The object of this expedition was to succour Soissy (or Pont à Soisy, or Choisy on the Oise), which was besieged by the duke of Burgundy, and situated between the Aisne and the Oise, very near their junction. It was requisite to cross the Aisne at Soissons ; of which the governor refused a passage, (see Lenglet, ibid. ; Chronicle of France, fol. 345.) which compelled Jeanne to return to Crepy in order to compass a passage at Cornpiegne, and annoy at least the convoys of the besiegers. (See the following note).
Remy, at $81, says, that Jeanne was received at Soissons, at least to pass the night there, and that she afterwards went to Compiegne.
NOTE 40. Although Monstrelet, (fols. 56 and 57), alone speaks of this expedition, we do not hesitate to give it insertion at this place, for the reasons alleged in notes 37 and 38, as well as because it was necessary the French should attempt it, in order if possible to effect the raising of the siege of Soissy, a most important post, which would have made them masters of the courses of
the rivers Oise and Aisne, above Compiegne, and would have equally placed an impediment to the enterprises which Philip might have formed in regard to that city, or such places as Ligny, situated to the south of the Aisne. Philip, well aware of the necessity there was to become possessed of this place, had adopted measures in order that the garrison of Compiegne should not intercept the transport of provisions, (see Monstrelet, ibid.) procured from Montdidier, Noyon, and other cities of Picardy; and which got to him, as it appears, by the bridge or pont of Pont L'Eveque, situated about six hundred toises to the south of Noyon, and defended by a detachment of the English army. He had in consequence stationed a detachment of troops in the suburbs of Noyon, for the purpose of yielding assistance to the English in case of aggression.
The sequel justified his foresight; for Jeanne d'Arc, Chabanne, Xantrailles, &c. with two thousand men, marched to attack the English at Compiegne, and they were upon the point of forcing them, when the Burgundians, posted at Noyon, flew to their aid, placing the French between two fires, and compelling them to fall back upon Compiegne.
This expedition confers the greater honour upon the magnanimity of Jeanne, as she thereby exposed herself to be cut off by the Burgundian forces charged with the blockade of Gournay. But, if her effort in this instance had been crowned by success, the whole plan of the campaign of Philip would have proved abortive.
NOTE 41. This departure of Jeanne from Compiegne, on the very eve of a siege, appears rather singular at the first glance. But so long as Soissy was not taken, it was difficult to ascertain for a certainty what were the projects of Philip. On passing through Soissons, which place had been just sold to him by Bournel, its governor; (Berry, 381; and Chronicle of France, 345), he might have marched upon Lagny, which his party had already endea
voured, several times, to take from Charles VII. Independent of this, Jeanne's expedition to Lagny explains one of her answers, (see Belleforêt in the Chronicle, fol. 352.) where she states that the tribunal of Lagny employed fifteen days in the process of Franquet. Otherwise, had she not marched back to Lagny after the journey to Noyon, it would have been impossible that she could have returned at the termination of the process. In short, Chartier, at p. 42, and the Chronicle of France, fol. 345, state positively, that she quitted Lagny for Compiegne, when she had learned that the latter city was already un peu à l'estroit, (a little straitened.)
NOTE 42. See the termination of the preceding note; and, as regards the route, the commencement of Note 39.
After what has already been observed at the conclusion of Note 41, Jeanne was perhaps necessitated to give the enemy Lattle, in order to effect her entrance into Compiegne. On the very day of her arrival (Villaret, xv. 18.) she made the sortie at which she was captured, as, during the retreat, she gallantly closed in person the arrière guard.
It may not be amiss once more to remark how necessary it is to compare the calendars, in order to facilitate the study of ancient history; for, if an implicit reliance were placed upon the old calendar, as these journeys began at the end of February, 1428, and did not conclude until the twenty-fourth of May, 1430, the reader would be led to infer that they occupied a space of twenty-seven months, instead of fifteen.