Imágenes de páginas

Tournelles, La Pucelle, seizing the banner and brandishing it aloft, exclaimed, “Ah! to my standard, to my standard !when she rushed precipitately to the brink of the fosse. The French, feeling invigorated by the conduct of Jeanne, returned to the assault, and began once more to scale the walls; the attack proved most determined, and the English opposed the impetuosity of their foes with equal valour.

Those warriors who had remained within Orleans for the purpose of guarding the city, could not resist the impulse they felt of joining their companions in arms. Actuated by this sentiment, they flew for the purpose of placing the enemy between two fires, but they were stopped by an impediment which appeared at first to be unsurmountable. Several arches of the bridge had been broken down, and it was absolutely necessary to pass that structure to effect the end required. The Orleanese for this purpose dragged some joists to the spot, and by this means formed a kind of flying bridge from one ruined pier to the other. Upon these weak timbers, amidst a shower of bullets, javelins, and arrows, the determined warriors ventured; and, flourishing their swords, passed the river and rushed to the assault. In vain did the English oppose a courage, the result of despair, to the efforts of their daring assailants;

the boulevard north of the Tournelles was carried, and at the same time that to the south likewise fell into the power of La Pucelle.

A universal panic now spread itself amongst the English, who conceived that angels from on high contended for the French. Even the haughty and daring Glasdale, who had uniformly displayed his contempt for Jeanne d'Arc, and had reviled her in the most bitter and sarcastic terms, could not help feeling intimidated. The heroine hailed him aloud to surrender;* but he continued deaf to her cries, seeking, with the rest of the troops, to fly from the boulevard of the Tournelles, and gain the interior of the fort. The bridge which kept up this communication was struck by a bomb, at the moment when the English who followed Glasdale strove to effect their passage: the arch gave way with a tremendous crash, and every person upon it was overwhelmed in immediate destruction. Jeanne d'Arc, banishing from her mind every thought of resentment towards her brave but taunting foe, caused the body of Glasdale to be taken from the river and restored to the English, in order that it might be buried with those honours which were due to his warlike achievements.*

* At this juncture Jeanne cried out to Glasdale, who was then in the tower, and most inveterately abusing her, “ Classidas, Classidas, (Glasdale), rens ti au Roi des cieur; tu m'as appelé P- et j'ai grand pitié de ton ame et de celle des tiens. Glasdale, Glasdale, yield thyself up to the King of heaven; thou hast called me and I have great pity for thy soul and those of thine." - Chaussurd, vol. i. p. 29.

Jeanne d'Arc, after this final exploit, returned to the city over the bridge, as she had predicted on sallying forth to combat in the morning. She was hailed with enthusiasm ; the populace in crowds rushed into the churches to render thanks to Heaven, and made the arches echo with their chants of praise.

Jeanne could not refrain from shedding tears at witnessing the death of so many human creatures, whose souls, she conceived, were in greater danger than their bodies; and above all she mourned for the commander, Glasdale, who had heaped such injuries upon her. The French generals, namely, the duke d'Alençon and the count Dunois, at a subsequent period, candidly confessed that this fort seemed to have been taken by a species of miracle, as it was found, upon examination, to have been so strongly fortified. — Deposition of Count Dunois. Lenglet, vol. i. On returning to her dwelling, Daulon procured the attendance of a surgeon, when the wound Jeanne had received was again dressed, and she partook of a very simple repast. The English, completely paralyzed at their sanguinary overthrow, resolved on raising the siege.* La Pucelle, being informed that preparations were adopting for that purpose, quitted her bed, and, having accoutred herself in light armour, left the city with all the captains of the garrison. After ranging the French in battle array, at a small distance from the English, she commanded, as it was Sunday, that no hostile operations should take place ; wherefore, if it was the wish of the enemy to retreat, the will of the Lord was they should depart unmolested. Jeanne caused a table to be brought, whereon she spread many religious ornaments, and then prostrated herself, with all the army and the citizens of Orleans, before this altar, which was placed in the open field that separated the city from the enemy. Two masses were performed in succession, and, at the conclusion of the second, Jeanne inquired if the English had their faces turned towards the French. Being answered in the negative, and told that their faces were directed towards Meun, she exclaimed: En mon Dieu, ils s'en vont, laissez-les partir, et allons rendre grace à Dieu: By my God, they are going ; suffer them to depart, and let us go and offer

page 72.

Speaking of this attack of the Tournelles, Luchet says, “ More than two hundred English perished on that occasion, the honour of which is not, however, accorded to La Pucelle, but to Saint Aignan and Saint Euverte, who received public thanks, by the performance of solemn processions. It is astonishing that the wound of Jeanne d'Arc excited so little notice, and that the populace, notwithstanding that event, yielded themselves up entirely to devotion."-Luchet, p. 17.

*“The siege was raised,” says Luchet; " and, according to both ancient and modern authors, it was to La Pucelle that the city was indebted. Is it likely that if the people had eatertained such an idea, they would have bestowed no mark of gratitude on their deliverer? The populace celebrate a procession in honour of Saint Aignan and Saint Euverte, at whose intercession they conceive the victory had been obtained; and yet they do nothing for the heroine, who is regarded as a heavenly emissary despatched to repel the

From the period of her being wounded, nothing more is said respecting her. No author makes mention of the measures pursued to effect her cure. Such a stroke from an arrow above the breast, however, must have inflicted a wound of no very trifling consequence."-- Luchet, p. 18.


prayers to God.”

All the bastilles were rased to the ground, and La Pucelle, with her escort, returned to the city, where the whole population renewed their contrite prayers to Heaven. After this a solemn procession of the .ecclesiastics paraded the streets and ramparts of Orleans, making the air resound with hymns and canticles. This ceremony, which took place on the eighth of May, was regularly repeated every succeeding year until the stormy period of the revolution, when it was discontinued. In 1803 the procession was renewed, and has since been continued, according to the ancient forms adopted on this memorable occasion.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »