Joan Of Arc
Catherine De Medici
Read More Articles About: Famous Women
Joan Of Arc
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
A. D. 1412-1431
THE MAID OF ORLEANS
The tragic chapter on which we enter is one that reflects eternal glory on womanhood and casts a profound shadow of disgrace on the age of chivalry.
The drama that was played in history, now to be again recorded in these pages, was only possible in an era of dense superstition, remorseless warfare, and rigid ecclesiastical rule. Inasmuch as knights and nobles spent their whole lives in deeds of slaughter, pillage, and devastation, it is not impossible that they looked upon it as a necessity, that, in return to the peaceable husbandmen who supported them, they should strive hard to kill each other and thus decrease the number of such enemies of mankind.
The literature contemporary with the exploits of Joan is meager, and, outside of the records of an ecclesiastical trial for witchcraft which closed the scene, is largely contained in nine very short chronicles of Monstrelet, whose annals begin where those of Froissart cease. But the literature of the period of her justification and national apotheosis is immense, and lovers of the good, the noble, and the heroic have labored with the enthusiasm of genius to supply a pompous appanage of detail concerning the early life and military achievements of the Maid of Orleans.
She should have been called the Maid of Domremy, or the Maid of Rouen. To understand her history, note that she was born at Domremy, reached Charles VII at Chinon, went to Orleans, pursued his enemies to Gergau and the battle of Patay, went to Rheims, went outside Paris, went to Lagny on the Marne, was captured at Compiègne, and was burned at Rouen. She could not read or write. She never looked inside of Paris.
Now, Domremy is a hamlet on the upper Meuse River at the northeastern borders of France, and the Meuse runs out of France into Belgium at Sedan, where Napoleon III surrendered to Bismarck.
Joan's first journey to Chinon was her longest, as Chinon is on the lower Loire River, not much over 150 miles from the Atlantic Ocean (southwest of Paris). Orleans, whither she next went, is up the River Loire wo miles. Her operations thereafter are all in the northeast of France again, far nearer her home. Rheims and Compiègne are on or near streams which flow westward to the suburbs of Paris, and Rouen is on the Seine River, nearly at its mouth in the English Channel, a few miles upstream from Havre. These geographical statements will, we think, tend to make clearer the story of her short, sad and astonishing career.
Human existence, in every age, is made much more dramatic and interesting by the appearance of persons who, through rare or previously unheard of gifts or faculties, arouse the wonder and admiration of their fellows. Joan was one of these. She saw apparitions and heard them speak, showing a double disturbance of her senses; for when the nerves of the eye thus betray their owner, it is not often that the brain cells of the ear are in a like state of interior excitement. She was young and as ignorant of the causes of her subjective sight-seeing as we remain today. She would not have acted logically, or even sanely, had she not believed that spirits had commanded her to hasten to the aid of her King. There was not, at that time, an honest man in the world, who, had he possessed the inborn courage of Joan, would not have proceeded on the lines that she followed, though it is doubtful if many would have displayed so much good sense and singleness of purpose as she evinced.
Joan of Arc is, arguing from these premises, one of the greatest heroines or heroes the world has produced, just as the succeeding century of almost equal barbarity of manners put forth, in Shakespeare, the strongest poetic genius to be found in the whole universe of letters. Now to the details of her career :
Charles VI, an insane or incapable monarch of France, was led to make a treaty with Henry V of England uniting the kingdoms, with Henry as Regent during the incapacity of Charles Henry to marry the daughter of Charles. The dispossessed Dauphin, or Crown Prince of France, Charles (afterwards the Seventh), declared war on the parties to this treaty, and Scotland sent him 7,000 men. Castile sent more men, and Charles at last could reckon 20,000 soldiers, and held the banks of the lower Loire to the sea. The Duke of Burgundy was then a reigning prince, and he joined with England. The Duke of Bedford commanded the English in France.
Then both the King of England and Charles VI of France died suddenly.
The chief places of northern France were all held by the English, who had strengthened their party by keeping the French prelates in office and power, and these unhappy ecclesiastics, as we shall see, labored incessantly in the interest of their new patrons, the invaders. The Dauphin, Charles VII, could not be crowned at Rheims, which was held to be necessary by tradition. Such coronation as could be had took place at Poitiers, south of the Loire, and to nullify its force the Duke of Bedford had the young, or infant, Henry VI, King of England, crowned King of England and France, at Paris, which, considering the treaty and the attitude of the most of the French church, gave to the English claims a strong appearance of validity. For four years the tide went gradually against Charles VII. He did not even control all the provinces south of the Loire. As for those to the north, the French common people had nearly abandoned hope of ever seeing another French King.
Yet the English felt the necessity of taking the great town of Orleans. If they could get that, Southern France would surrender. Therefore, in the autumn of 1428 Lord Salisbury, with 10,000 men, sat down to the siege of Orleans, building towers and works in due form, and making it appear that the capture of the city was only a matter of time. It may be imagined that the news of this, spread by the English in northwestern France, carried gloom into every village whose people had felt the weight of the foreign yoke. We may easily, in our minds, behold the peasant mother, with her child at her knee, in nearly every cottage, praying devoutly to the Saints and Mary for her own King.
At Domremy (now called Domremy-la-Pucellepucelle being the French word for maid) was Joan, i6 years old. Her hamlet lay in the parish of Creux, diocese of Toul, not far from Vaucouleurs, the nearest large town. She had been taught, by the priest, a few things deemed necessary to her very low station the angelic salutation, the symbol of the apostles, and the Lord's prayer. She was of middle size, strong and well made, with open countenance, fine features, rather majestic than delicate, and black hair. When Monstrelet saw her, some time later, he thought her 20 years old. "She had been," he says, "for some time hostler and chambermaid to an inn, and had shown much courage in riding horses to water, and in other feats unusual for young girls to do." In fact, it is fairly certain that she had become an expert rider, and had fought with false lances, imitating all the military movements, evolutions and maneuvers of that warlike day. She was no gentle maid, but a most stout and plucky girl to start with, and the very marvel of her case lies in the fact that with this hoidenish physical nature there was united the profound meditation which usually attaches to a life without hard physical exercise. She heard of the constant defeat of French arms with little resignation, and her recourse to religion was for the purpose of finding some means to aid her King.
At last St. Michael, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine appeared to her, in vision, and commanded her to go the succor of her King, to raise the siege of Orleans, and to drive the oppressors from France. St. Catherine of Alexandria was a young woman who had confronted fifty pagan philosophers and suffered martydom. Her mystic marriage with the Infant Jesus was a painting to be seen in every cathedral, and she was doubtless, at this time, the most popular of the Saints.
Like Mohammed, Joan first kept secret her revelation. Then she communicated the facts to her family for facts they undoubtedly were. That is, she had seen and heard. The apparitions and voices, so far as she knew, were in the objective, were outside of her. She also knew they were not human, for in these phenomena of a disordered brain there is a distinct difference between spectral and real things, easily to be noted by the same intellect for seeing of visions is not insanity, as fever patients of these days can testify. She had a basis of fact, so far as she knew, to go upon. All her religious teachings tended to support her own views.
But her parents doubted her sanity. When they heard her plans, they took her to Neuchâtel, in what manner is not known.
The journey only increased her distress. She continued to see the Saints and to hear their voices, imploring her to act. At last, in May, 1429, she persuaded Durant Lappart, her uncle, to accompany her to Governor Baudricourt, a knight, at Vaucouleurs. To the governor she communicated her designs, and commanded him that he should forewarn Charles VII not to attack his enemies at Orleans, because, toward mid-Lent, God would send him succor.
Baudricourt received her coldly. He rebuked her uncle for disturbing him with a maniac, and ordered that the girl should be taken at once to her parents. Yet the journey gave her some importance at Domremy, and a little circle increased whose members thought Baudricourt had erred. She now assumed male attire, and preached her mission as boldly as Mohammed. Her uncle again went with her to the governor, who was still obdurate. But the new cult spread, and, on her third mission, Baudricourt kept her for three weeks in Vaucouleurs and set the priest to the business of discovering what manner of woman she was. She duly confessed, and showed herself in all things an implicit believer, according to accepted standards.
One day the priest, in all the garments of his sacred office, entered her apartment with the governor, the two magnates making a most solemn and impressive appearance. The priest, proceeding to the business of exorcising evil spirits, cried out : "If thou hast any concern with the Arch-enemy of Mankind, depart thou, instantly; but if thou comest on the part of God, thou shalt remain."
To this solemn admonition the girl spiritedly replied, maintaining that her mission was from God. She now told the governor of a defeat the French had sustained on Saturday, the 12th of February, under the walls of Orleans. This was the Battle of the Herrings, because it was in Lent, and the provender was largely of herrings. The English would spread the news of the victory. Joan might have told the news to the governor without alleging any divine attribute, and he might have believed she had it from heaven. It is not likely that Joan lied during her entire career.
Whether human beings give out X rays, or have other means of conveying or inferring thought, it is certain that there is no force more convincing than a pure belief, and the governor seems soon to have come to the opinion that, either as witch or prophetess, Joan could aid the King. She was no idle or passive character, but was every day preaching her mission, until the patriotic people of Vaucouleurs contributed money and fitted her with a suit of male attire and a horse. The governor gave her a sword, sanctioned the journey which the people were now willing she should make, and, so far as the only really responsible person could do, lent his aid to the unheard-of enterprise. He learned that Joan was of unspotted character, and then appointed two honorable guides to attend her on her highly daring adventure across France. These were gentlemen of Champagne Bertrand de Polengi and John de Novellempont. Four servants went along, and Bertrand paid all the expenses of travel, which, of course, were not inconsiderable.
She took no leave of her parents, but set off with the good will of all Vaucouleurs. The dates are inextricbly confused by the historians and romancers, but it is said the journey was made at an unseasonable time in the early part of the year. The band traversed the provinces of Champagne, Burgundy, the Nivernois, Berri and Touraine, making great circuits to shun stations that were held by English troops. "Fear nothing !" she ever said ; "we shall arrive safely at Chinon, and the Dauphin will receive us joyfully." Novellempont was impressed with the exhibitions of her piety and charity. Neither haste, dangers, nor difficulties caused her to neglect her devotions, and a share of her meal was ever offered to the poor. It is likely that she was with two knights, and readily joined their regular proceedings. She always proffered her personal aid to the distressed, and this, too, along with the knights, as they lived under a strict code, and had acknowledged her holy mission.
She now enters the chronicles of Monstrelet at the fifty-eighth chapter of his sixth volume, and becomes clearly historical. Monstrelet remembers it as happening "in the course of this year (1428)."
"She was dressed like a man," says he, "and called herself 'a maiden inspired by the Divine Grace,' and said she was sent to restore King Charles to his kingdom, whence he had been so unjustly driven, and was now reduced to so deplorable a state.
"She remained about two months in the King's house-hold, frequently admonishing him to give her men and support, and that she would repulse his enemies, and exalt his name. The King and the Council, in the meantime, knew not how to act, for they put no great faith in what she said, considering her as one out of her senses. To such noble persons the expressions she used are dangerous to be believed, as well for fear of the anger of the Lord, as for the blasphemous discourses they may occasion in the world.
"After some time, however, she was promised men-at-arms and support. A standard was also given to her, on which she caused to be painted a representation of our Creator. All her conversation was of God, on which account great numbers of those who heard her had faith in what she said, and believed her inspired, as she declared herself to be.
"She was many times examined by learned clerks (clergy) and other prudent persons of rank, to find out her real intentions. But she kept to her purpose, and always replied that, if the King would believe her, she would restore to him his kingdom. In the meantime she did several acts, which shall be hereafter related, that gained her great renown.
"When she alone sought out the person of the King, the Duke of Alencon, the King's marshal, and other captains, were with him, for he had held a great council relative to the siege of Orleans.
"From Chinon the King went to Poitiers, accompanied by the Maid." The Parliamentary University had been driven together by the fortunes of war, and it is possible the Council desired to deliberate further upon raising the fanatical standard they had made.
Monstrelet, whom we are citing in the quoted passages, was finally governor of Cambray, near the region of Joan's birth. What he relates he heard through the enemy's lines, as he was on the side of the Duke of Burgundy, against Charles. He never saw Joan till after she was captured, and then did not pay sufficient attention to what she said to remember her words.
Thus Joan is like Hannibal. The only trustworthy portion of her history comes to posterity from the pen of her enemies. The flattering little details are doubtless the work of devout and patriotic but later hands, gathered out of the confused mists of tradition. The painters and romancers of France, in fact, have created a Joan of Arc without reference to the known facts, consulting the mock humanities and the conventionalities of their time rather than truth and common sense. Great painters, like Ingres, have depicted the Maid in complete steel, yet at the same time in feminine apparel. Such a picture now hangs in the Louvre, in one of the upper galleries and yet Ingres was one of the best painters of his day. Nor is this the only example of the kind in the Louvre.
"Shortly after," continues Monstrelet, "the marshal was ordered to convey provisions and stores, under a strong escort, to the army within Orleans. Joan re-quested to accompany him, and that armor should be given to her, which was done. She then displayed her standard [probably a technical phrase, implying knightly ceremonials] and went to Blois, where the escort was to assemble, and thence to Orleans, always dressed in complete armor. On this expedition many warriors served under her; and when she arrived at Orleans great feasts were made for her, and the garrison and townsmen were delighted at her coming among them."
Thus it seems that Orleans was not completely invested, but rather that Salisbury had made a camp on the Roman pattern, at once threatening to Orleans and capable of strong defense.
Tradition asserts that at Chinon the Maid said to the King, taking him aside, "Does your Majesty recollect, that on All Saints' Day, when you were about to receive the communion, you asked of Jesus Christ, that if you were not the legitimate heir to the throne, to deprive you of the power, or the will, to defend yourself, and, if He were still irritated against France, to let the chastisements which He reserved for your people, fall upon you alone?"
This, it was said, persuaded the King. Another tradition states that when Joan was asked why she always styled the King the Dauphin (Crown Prince), she replied that he would only be really King when he was crowned at Rheims, and after that his affairs would prosper. Also, he must act soon, as her mission would expire in a year.
Furthermore, writers of uncertain authority state that at Poitiers she resided in the house of the attorney-general, whose family became converts; that the Parliament all thought she was a mere visionary at first, but came away from the hearings all of a mind that she should be sent to war as she demanded, to see if God willed it as she said; that they asked for a miracle from her, but she answered them : "I was not sent to give signs at Poitiers, but at the siege of Orleans and at Rheims, where I will show all the world more signs of my mission."
The same line of authorities relate that at Blois, on the way to Orleans, she formed the clergy into a sacred battalion, and made them march at the head of the army under a banner, which was borne by her chaplain, and represented a crucifix. The air responded with their hymns, and the soldiers, filled with enthusiasm, joined in the song. All her soldiers had confessed. It is possible that Joan had heard of the methods of Mohammed, and, imitating him, had raised the standard of a holy war.
The people of America and England, between 1870 and 1880, all saw the power over the multitude of the Evangelist Moody, whose operations were carried on in a time of profound peace. It is therefore to be believed that there resides in human nature an immense store of religious fervor, which may, particularly in time of public danger, be released through the inspiration of persons of extraordinary faith. Doubtless the holy war of Joan was now known to all, and indorsed by thousands or mil-lions, for Moody, at Edinburgh, in one night, converted more unbelievers than could enter the largest public hall of the city.
Beautiful incidents regarding her life have been plentifully recorded by the apocryphal writers as that, on hearing an English soldier apply an opprobrious epithet to her, she burst into tears. This story is improbable for several reasons.
The Bastard of Orleans, then twenty-five years old, who was near her, testified, when he was 55, that all she did bore a supernatural character, in his opinion.
It is stated, also, that she sent to the church at St. Catherine of Fier Bois, for a sword that would be found behind the altar, but it is also stated that she bore a sword from Vaucouleurs.
The arrival of so great a religious character as Joan had already become, was, of course, an event of vast import in Orleans. And in the lines of the enemy we may opine, too, that need was felt of answering holy war with holy war. Joan had unwittingly invaded the pale of the priesthood; she had arrogated to herself all of its sanctity. In all that part of the church which had seen fit to teach that God favored the cause of Henry VI as his anointed servant, Joan must figure as a very pestilent heretic. This was, in fact, the challenge which the logic of her position created. This challenge cost her her life when she fell into their hands; and this, too, very logically, for they argued if God had directed her course, he would have protected rather than overthrown her.
It is further said, on no very good authority, and still it may be true, that Joan dispatched by herald a letter to the King of England, the Duke of Bedford, and Lord Salisbury, commanding the latter to leave Orleans and the former to restore France to her sovereign. The herald was thrown into prison by the enemy. Joan demanded his release, threatening reprisal, when he was released and sent to her with a letter full of reproaches. Then she fastened another letter to an arrow. "English-men," she said, "you have no right to this Kingdom of France. God commands you by rue, Joan, the Maid, to abandon your forts and retire. I would send you my letter in a more civil way, did you not stop my heralds."
We may now again take up the actual historical account, remembering that it is written with a pen that was hostile.
The siege of Orleans had lasted seven months; the English had sixty towers. The convoy came up the River Loire with 7,000 men, Joan evidently in command. "The English attempted to cut off this convoy; but it was well defended by the Maid and those who were with her, and brought with safety to Orleans, to the great joy of the inhabitants, who made good cheer, and were rejoiced at its safe arrival and the coming of the Maid.
"On the morrow, which was a Thursday, Joan rose early, and, addressing herself to some of the principal captains, prevailed on them to arm and follow her for she wished, as she said, to attack the enemy, being fully assured they would be vanquished. These captains and other warriors, surprised at her words, were induced to arm and make an assault on the tower of St. Loup, which was very strong, and garrisoned with three to four hundred Englishmen. They were, notwithstanding the strength of the blockhouse, soon defeated, and all killed or made prisoners, and the fortification was set on fire and demolished.
"The Maid, having accomplished her purpose, returned with the nobles and knights who had followed her to the town of Orleans, where she was greatly feasted and honored by all ranks.
"The ensuing day she again made a sally, with a certain number of combatants, to attack another of the English forts, which was as well garrisoned as the former one, but which was in like manner destroyed by fire, and those within put to the sword. On her return to the town after this second exploit she was more honored and respected than ever.
"On the next day, Saturday, she ordered the tower at the head of the bridge to be attacked. This was strongly fortified, and had within it the flower of the English chivalry and men-at-arms, who defended themselves for a long time with the utmost courage; but it availed them nothing, for by dint of prowess they were overcome, and the greater part put to the sword. On this occasion were slain a valiant English captain named Classendach, the Lord Molins, the Bailiff of Evreux, and many more warriors of great and noble estate.
"The Maid, after this victory, returned to Orleans with the nobles who had accompanied her, and with but little loss of men. Notwithstanding that at these attacks, Joan was, according to common fame, supposed to have been the leader, she had with her all the most expert and gallant captains, who for the most part had daily served at this siege of Orleans. Each of these captains exerted himself manfully at these attacks, so that from six to eight thousand combatants were killed or taken, while the French did not lose more than a hundred men of all ranks."
On this, Monstrelet continues that the English marched out into open field and offered battle, which, being refused by Joan, they raised the siege. Joan was now at once called the Maid of Orleans, because she had raised the siege, as she said God would aid her to do.
Here we have accurate and even ill-willed contemporary testimony that a girl, in the age of chivalry, clad in armor, on her horse, with sword, headed her troops into combat where great lords were slain, and was eager for the fray so long as the saintly direction she had received was in course of fulfillment. There is perhaps no other case of womanly courage well authenticated, that so well deserves the highest tribute of the panegyrist.
Tradition has her wounded in the throat at the bridge. A yearly celebration was ordered in the Cathedral of Orleans as long as France should exist. There is also account of a letter from Bedford to the King, who calls Joan "a disciple and limb of the fiend, called the Pucelle, who used false enchantments and sorcery, which not only lost a number of your people, but also withdrew the courage of the remainder."
The King, now himself advanced from Loches to Gien, on the river, and summoned Joan, who took a leading place in the Council. It was determined to follow up the success at Orleans, and the army of six or seven thousand men-at-arms, with Joan mentioned as the third leader, advanced to Gergeau, a castle which was soon taken, with other towers "the French always," says Monstrelet specifically, "having the Maid with her standard in front. The whole report of the country now re-sounded with praises of the Maid, and no other warrior was noticed." The English captains sued for leave to retreat from other places on the Loire, because they observed that "the fame of this Maid had turned their good fortune."
But before the Loire was fully surrendered there was to be a battle in open field. The English again marched southward from Paris, and the French put out a vanguard with a main body of nine thousand combatants behind it.
"The Maid was asked by some of the Princes, what she would advise to be done, or if she had any orders to give. She said that she knew full well their ancient enemies, the English, were on their march to fight with them, but, in God's name, advance boldly against them, and assuredly they should be conquered. Some present having asked where they should meet them, she replied : "Ride boldly forward, and you will be conducted to them."
The battle of Patay, near Yenville, was fought June i8, 1429. The English were soon defeated, and 1,800 of their soldiers were left dead on the field. The action was over at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
"All the French captains assembled together, and devoutly and humbly returned thanks to their Creator for the victory.
"On the morrow the French returned to Orleans, and the adjacent parts, with their prisoners. They were everywhere received with the utmost joy, but the Maid especially seemed to have acquired so great renown, it was believed that the King's enemies could not resist her, and by her means he would soon be acknowledged throughout his kingdom. She accompanied the other captains to the King, who was much rejoiced at their success, and gave them a gracious reception."
Monstrelet records the march of the increasing army of Charles VII toward Rheims. "He was always accompanied," says the chronicler, "by the Maid and a preaching friar of the order of St. Augustine, named Richard, who had lately been driven out of Paris for having in his sermons shown himself too favorable to the French party."
City after city opened its gates, and the terms were made very easy. At Chalons (after Troyes) the keys of the city of Rheims were brought to the King, with the pledge of fealty.
"The King made his public entry into Rheims on Friday, the 6th day of July, attended by a noble chivalry; and on the following Sunday he was crowned by the arch-bishop in the Cathedral of Rheims, in presence of all his princes, barons, and knights then with him."
But Monstrelet does not say that Joan stood beside him, nor do we believe that the dates, as here recalled by Monstrelet, are accurate. The King created three knights. Joan is not mentioned at all in this sixty-fifth chapter.
In the next chapter of this, the only contemporary authority on Joan of Arc, we see presented the other side of the holy war that now progressed. The Duke of Bedford advanced with 10,000 soldiers to offer battle to Charles, and sent the following letter :
"We, John of Lancaster, Regent of France, and Duke of Bedford, make known to you, Charles de Valois, who were wont to style yourself Dauphin of Vienne, but at present, without cause, call yourself King, for wrongfully do you make attempts against the crown and dominion of the very high, most excellent and renowned Prince Henry, by the grace of God, true and natural lord of the kingdoms of France and England deceiving the simple people by your telling them you come to give peace and security, which is not the fact, nor can it be done by the means you have pursued, and are now following to seduce and abuse ignorant people, with the aid of superstitions and damnable persons, and a woman of a disorderly and infamous life, and dissolute manners, dressed in the clothes of a man, together with an apostate and seditious mendicant friar, as we have been informed, both of whom are, according to Holy Scripture, abominable in the sight of God,
As we most earnestly and heartily desire a final end to the war, we summon and require of you, if you be a Prince desirous of gaining honor, to take compassion on the poor people, who have, on your account, been so long and so grievously harassed, that an end may be put to their afflictions, by terminating this war. Choose, therefore, in this country of Brie, where we both are, and not very distant from each other, any competent place for us to meet, and, having fixed on a day, appear there with the abandoned woman, the apostate monk, and all your perjured allies, and such force as you may please to bring, when we will, with God's pleasure, personally meet you in the name and as the representative of my lord the King."
The reader must not fail to note that, so far in the history of Joan of Arc, the only original authority outside of common tradition is Monstrelet; that he was an enemy at war with Joan; that the nearest writer this side of Monstrelet is a century away; that impostures were practiced on every side after her death; that given dates are certainly erroneous; that a great religious controversy arose, in which the Church finally took her side, perhaps because the English became Protestants ; that the history of Pere Daniel builds up a structure of eulogy and heroic acts which has no authority, that was not common fame at the time, and how far that was due to hatred of the English cannot be known. Even Domremy is called Droimy by Monstrelet, Dompremy by others, and Dom-pre and Domre by still others.
It seems probable that Joan was treated as if she were a knight, her divine mission being acknowledged by all the French captains.
However, the French of that and succeeding generations were exceedingly ungrateful. We find that Du Hainan, historiographer to Charles IX, speaks thus of her :* "The miracle of this Maid, whether it was in-vented and feigned, or true, raised the courage of the nobles, the people, and the King ; such is the force of religion, and frequently of superstition. For some say that this Joan was a to John, Bastard of Orleans, others to the Sieur Baudricourt, others to Pothon, who, being politic and prudent, and seeing the King at his wits' end, and the people so discouraged by continual wars, be-thought themselves of employing a miracle, made up of a false religion, which of all things in the world is most apt to raise and animate the courage of men, and to make even the most simple believe what is not. And the people were very much disposed to receive such superstitions. They who believe she was a Maid sent from God are not damned ; neither are those who do not believe it. Many believe this last article a heresy, but I shall suspend my belief on either side. These lords, for some days together, instructed her in all she was to answer to the questions which should be put to her by the King and, them, when she should come into his presence (for they themselves were to interrogate her) ; and that she might know the King (whom she had never seen) when she should be brought near him, they made her, every day, look several times on his picture. On the day appointed, in which she was to come to his chamber, it being by their own appointment, they failed not to be there. And when she came in, the first who asked her what she would have, were the Bastard of Orleans and Baudricourt, who asked her what she wanted. She answered, she desired to speak with the King. They showed her one of the other lords who was there, saying that he was the King, but she, being before instructed in everything that was to be said and done to her, and in what she was to say and do, said that he was not the King, and that the King was hid behind the bed (where, indeed, he was), and going to him, she said to him what has been related (that she was Joan the Maid, sent by God, etc.). This feigned and counterfeit invention of religion was of such advantage to the Kingdom that it raised the drooping and dispirited courage of the people from despair. At last she was taken by the English before Compiégne, and carried to Rouen, where she was tried and burnt. Some have been, and will be, displeased at my saying this, and that I deprive our country-men of an opinion which they have so long entertained of this as a sacred and miraculous thing, and that I thus turn it at present into a fable. But I resolved to say this, because it has been discovered to be so by time, which discovers all things. Besides, it is not a thing of that importance that it ought to be believed as an article of faith."
It seems probable that these preposterous statements of the writers for the Valois and Bourbon Kings were made with a view of clearing the fame of Charles VII, an ancestor, from the charge of base ingratitude which lies against him. The knight, Baudricourt, we know from Monstrelet, who lived in Northeastern France, was at Vaucouleurs and could not easily reach the King. Joan, too, like the friar, Richard, or Whitefield, or Moody, was a powerful evangelist. The fact that she could not read or write signified nothing at all. It was unknightly to be learned. To act was everything. Only the clergy were allowed honorably to be men of contemplation. She, by herself, raised the courage, first of Vaucouleurs, then of Chinon, then of Orleans; then, instantly, on fulfillment of her predictions, the gates of cities flew open and her King marched peacefully to Rheims. There, it seems probable, her mission as she viewed it, ended. The girl hostler knew not further what to do.
Charles VII set out with his army, receiving the keys of various towns on the way to Paris. The Bishops fled to Paris and sought protection with the English particularly the prelate at Beauvais, named Cauchon. The two large armies met before Charles reached Senlis, at Mount Epiloy, near the town of Baron. The army of Charles was far the larger. "The Maid was also there," says Monstrelet, "but perpetually changing her resolutions. Sometimes she was eager for the combat; at other times not."
The two armies, for forty-eight hours, lay before each other, the soldiers of each side wrought to great heat, and giving no quarter in the skirmishes. About 300 were killed in the sporadic attacks, but the armies separated without coming together in a general engagement. The campaign, however, was still favoring Charles, and four strong castles came over to him. The town of Compiègne also sent in its submission, and Charles at once went east-ward again, and lodged in the royal palace of that place. Compiègne is on the River Oise, near Soissons. The Oise runs into the Seine in the northern suburbs of (modern) Paris. Even Senlis, very near to Paris, and all the towns of the Oise, Marne, and upper Seine now came to terms. Charles, expecting that the Duke of Burgundy would soon make a treaty, as he already had made a truce, marched to St. Denis, a northern suburb of (modern) Paris, and quartered his men even on Montmartre, a high hill, within the walls of (modern) Paris.
The Paris of those days was mostly on the islands in the Seine, and in the Latin Quarter of today.
"The Maid," says Monstrelet, "was with him, and in high reputation, and daily pressed the King and Princes to make an attack on Paris."
On "the 12th day of the month" the French King drew up his army in battle array between Montmartre and Paris. His center was possibly where the Grand Opera now stands.
"His Princes, lords, and the Maid were with him." The van marched to the gate of St. Honoré, which would probably be near the intersection of the Rue Royale and the Rue St. Honoré, not far from the Place of Concord. Ladders, fascines, ditch-implements and all were provided, and a bloody fight of four hours set up. The lords and knights who led the attack on the gate are named. "Numbers were killed and wounded by the cannon and culverines from the ramparts. Among the last was the Maid, who was very dangerously hurt. She remained the whole of the day behind a small hillock, until vespers, when Guichard de Thiembronne came to seek her."
The King, who had perhaps thought the city of Paris might be betrayed into his hands, sorrowfully withdrew to Senlis, to care for his wounded, and thus the moral empire of the Maid, if she had really swayed the Council, was seriously impaired. Shortly afterward the King withdrew with his court to Tours, on the Loire, thus practically giving comfort to the English, who now made more and more of the Duke (practically the King) of Burgundy, and gradually repossessed themselves of many of the strong places that had recently fallen into French control. The year 1429 closes with a long series of events that betray the poor fighting qualities of Charles. Nevertheless, two or three very strong places were taken by storm. It seems that Joan no longer remained in the King's Council, for, some time after Easter, in 1430, when Burgundy was again at war with France, according to truce, which had expired, we have the following paragraph, where for the first time Joan is named foremost among the captains :
"It happened on a certain day that those in Compiègne, namely, Joan the Maid, Sir James de Chabannes, Sir Theolde de Valperghue, Sir Regnault de Fontaines, Paton de Santrailles, and others of the French captains, accompanied by 2,000 combatants, came to Pont l'Éveque (Bishop's Bridge) between daybreak and sunrise." About thirty were killed on each side. The French retreated to Compiègne, whence they had come. Thus, twice it was seen that the Maid was not invincible.
At the beginning of the month of May (1430) a valiant man-at-arms named Franquet of Arras, attached to the Duke of Burgundy, was overthrown and taken. He had made an excursion with about 300 combatants toward Lagny-on-the-Marne, but, on his return, was met by Joan the Maid and 400 French. Franquet and his men attacked them valiantly several times, and, by means of his archers, whom he had dismounted, made so vigorous a resistance that the Maid, finding they gained nothing, sent hastily for succor from the garrisons of Lagny and other castles under the dominion of King Charles. They came in great numbers with culverines, cross-bows, and other war-like instruments, so that in the end the Burgundians, after doing great mischief to the enemy's cavalry, were conquered, and the better part of them put to the sword.
"The Maid even caused Franquet to be beheaded, whose death was exceedingly lamented by his party for he was a man of most valiant conduct."
Père Daniel, of course, makes it out that Franquet was a robber, pure and simple, who was tried and hanged after the battle. Monstrelet's language "by his party' is cautious.
No doubt ought to remain in the mind of the reader, who is fairly conversant with the customs of those times, that Joan was a warrior, in mail, who gave and took. Tears, blushes, refusal to shed blood, and a general Pauland-Virginia atmosphere have been foolishly assembled around her memory in order to comport with the sentimental needs of the French in the eighteenth century. At Lagny-on-the-Marne, through old Monstrelet's pen, we see her in the most heroic attitude of woman since Boadicea with her flaming eyes sent terror into the hearts of Roman legionaries.
The last military act of the great heroine is to be now recorded. We have here, possibly, the only authentic statement by any man remaining, that he ever saw her. It does not seem that Monstrelet himself credited her divine mission, as, indeed, he could not do so and respect his own priests, who daily anathematized her as a heretic :
"It happened that about 5 o'clock in the afternoon of Ascension eve, the Maid, Pothon, and other valiant French captains, having with them five to six hundred combatants, horse and foot, sallied out of Compiègne by the gate of the bridge leading to Mondidier, with the intent to attack the post of Sir Baudo de Noielle, at the end of the causeway of Marigny.
"In this encounter the Lord de Crequi was dangerously wounded in the face. After some time the French, perceiving their enemies multiply so fast on them, retreated toward Compiègne, leaving the Maid, who had remained to cover the rear, being anxious to bring back the (common) men with little loss. But the Burgundians, knowing that reinforcements were coming to them from all quarters, pursued them with redoubled vigor, and charged them on the plain.
"In the conclusion, as I was told, the Maid was dragged from her horse by an archer, near to whom was the Bastard de Vendôme, and to him she surrendered and pledged her faith. He lost no time in carrying her to Marigny, and put her under a secure guard.
"The French re-entered Compiègne, doleful and vexed at their losses, more especially for the capture of Joan ; while, on the contrary, the English (allies of Burgundy, encamped near by) were rejoiced, and more pleased than if they had taken 500 other combatants, for they dreaded no other leader or captain so much as they had hitherto feared the Maid.
"The Duke of Burgundy came soon after from Condors to the meadows before Compiègne, where he drew up his army, together with the English, and the troops from their different quarters, making a handsome appearance, and with shoutings and huzzas expressed their joy at the capture of the Maid.
"After this, the Duke went to the lodgings where she was confined, and spoke some words to her; but what they were I do not now recollect, although I was present.
"The Duke and the army returned to their quarters, leaving the Maid under the guard of Sir John de Luxembourg (commander-in-chief), who shortly after sent her, under a strong escort, to the castle of Beaulieu, and thence, to that of Beaurevoir, where she remained, as you shall hear, a prisoner for a long time."
These castles stood between the Meuse and the Rhine, in the northeast of France.
We must now for a short time re-enter the uncertain field of tradition, trusting to Père Daniel, Du Haillan, and the later historians.
According to these, the King had ennobled Joan, her father, mother, and three brothers, giving them the name of Du Lys instead of D'Arc, and exempting their home from all taxes. It is certain that a medal was struck in her honor.
A Te Deum was sung in Paris on her capture. Three days later Friar Martin, Vicar General of the Inquisition, asked that the prisoner be surrendered to the Holy Office as one "vehemently suspected of many crimes savoring of heresy, crimes which could neither be concealed nor overlooked without good and proper reparation."
A letter was sent by the churchmen to John of Luxemburg (Earl of Ligny), which contained these words (in Latin) : "You have employed your noble power in apprehending this woman, by whose means the honor of God has been offended beyond measure and the Church too greatly dishonored; for, through her, idolatry, errors, false doctrine, and other inestimable evils have taken root in this Kingdom. But the taking of her would be of little consequence, if she were not made to give satisfaction for the offense by her perpetrated against our gentle Creator, his Faith, and his Holy Church, and for her other in-numerable misdeeds ; and if this woman should be suffered to escape, the Divine Majesty would be intolerably offended."
The University of Paris (English, at Paris) demanded that Joan be delivered to Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, in whose diocese it was declared she was taken. The reader will recall how this prelate had once fled before her.
The Duke of Bedford purchased the prisoner from Luxemburg for $50,000. An annuity of $1,500 a year was settled on the Bastard of Vendome, who had received her surrender. A strong escort of English soldiers marched with her to Rouen, which is near Havre, not far from the English Channel.
Those appointed by the Church to try the cause were Cauchon and five other prelates of France, who had gone over to the Duke of Bedford, the Vicar General of the Inquisition, the Cardinal of Winchester, and about fifty Doctors of the Canon Law. The first session was held at Rouen, February 21, 1431.
The only notice Monstrelet takes of the Maid after her capture is made after her death, and, as the matter is authentic, it would be advisable that the reader should first peruse it. This document is valuable in showing the deep and verbose hypocrisy of the age. Let us premise it with a statement that an armed band of French set out from Beauvais, and "with them was a very young shepherd's boy, who was desirous to raise his name in the same way that the Maid had done :"
"Joan the Maid had sentence of death passed on her in the city of Rouen, information of which was sent by the King of England to the Duke of Burgundy, a copy of whose letter now follows :
" `MOST DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED UNCLE : The fervent love we know you bear, as a true Catholic, to our Holy Mother, the Church, and your zeal for the exaltation of the faith, induces us to signify to you by writing, that in honor of the above, an act has lately taken place at Rouen which will tend, as we hope, to the strengthening of the Catholic faith, and the extirpation of pestilential heresies.
" 'It is well known, from common report and otherwise, that the woman. erroneously called the Maid, has, for upward of two years, contrary to the divine law, and to the decency becoming her sex, worn the dress of a man, a thing abominable before God; and in this state she joined our adversary and yours (Charles), giving him, as well as those of his party, churchmen and nobles, to understand that she was sent as a messenger from Heaven, and presumptuously vaunting that she had personal and visible communication with St. Michael, and with a multitude of angels and saints in Paradise, such as St. Catherine and St. Margaret. By these falsehoods, and by promising future victories, she has estranged the minds of persons of both sexes from the truth, and induced them to the belief of dangerous errors.
" She clothed herself in armor, also, assisted by knights and esquires, and raised a banner on which, through excess of pride and presumption, she demanded to bear the noble and excellent arms of France, which in part she obtained. These she displayed at many conflicts and sieges, and they consisted of a shield having two fleurs-de-lis on a field azure, with a pointed sword surmounted with crown proper.
" 'In this state she took the field with large companies of men-at-arms and archers to exercise her inhuman cruelties by shedding Christian blood and stirring up seditions and rebellion of the common people. She encouraged perjuries, superstitions, and false doctrines, by permitting herself to be reverenced as a holy woman, and in various other manners that would be too long to detail, but which have greatly scandalized all Christendom, wherever they have been known.
" 'But Divine Mercy having taken pity on a loyal people, and being no longer willing to suffer them to remain under such vain errors and credulities, permitted that this woman should be made prisoner by your army, besieging Compiègne, and through your affection she was transferred to our power.
" 'On this being known, she was claimed by the Bishop in whose diocese she had been taken; and as she had been guilty of the highest treason to the Divine Majesty, we delivered her up to be tried and punished by the usual ecclesiastical judges, not only from respect to our Holy Mother, the Church, whose ordinances we shall ever prefer to our own, but also for the exaltation of our faith.
" 'We were unwilling that the officers of our secular justice should take cognizance of the crime, although it was perfectly lawful for us so to do, considering the great mischiefs, murders, and detestable cruelties she has committed against our sovereignty and on a loyal and obedient people.
'The Bishop having called to his aid in this matter the Vicar of the Inquisitor of Errors and Heresies in the Faith, with many able doctors in theology and in the canon law, commenced with much solemnity and gravity the trial of the said Joan. After these judges had for several days interrogated her on her crimes, and had maturely considered her confessions and answers, they sent them for the opinion of our beloved daughter, the University of Paris, where they all determined that this Joan was superstitious, a sorceress of the devil, a blasphemer of God and of his saints, a schismatic, and guilty of many errors against the faith of Jesus Christ.
" 'To recall her to the universal faith of our Holy Church, to purge her from her pernicious errors and to save her soul from perpetual damnation, and to_ induce her to return to the way of truth, she was long and frequently charitably preached to; but that dangerous and obstinate spirit of pride and presumption, which is always endeavoring to prevent the unity and safety of Christians, held the said Joan so fast bound that no arguments or exhortations could soften the hardness of her heart, so that she boasted that all she had done was meritorious, and that it had been done by the command of God and the aforesaid holy virgins, who had personally appeared to her. But what was worse, she refused to acknowledge any power on earth but God and his saints, denying the authority of our Holy Father the Pope, and of the General Councils of the Universal Church Militant.
" 'The ecclesiastical judges, witnessing her obstinacy and hardness of heart, had her brought forth before the people, who, with the clergy, were assembled in great numbers, when she was again preached to by an able divine. Having been plainly warned of the doctrines of our holy religion, and the consequences of heresies and erroneous opinions concerning it to the welfare of man-kind, she was charitably admonished to make her peace with the Church, and renounce her errors, but she remained as obstinate as before.
" 'The judges, having considered her conduct, proceeded to pronounce sentence upon her, according to the heinousness of her crimes; but before it was read, her courage seemed to fail her, and she said she was willing to return to the Church. This was learned with pleasure by the judges, clergy, and spectators, who received her kindly, hoping by this means to preserve her soul from perdition.
" 'She now submitted herself to the ordinances of the Church, and publicly renounced and abjured her detestable crimes, signing with her own hand the schedule of her recantation and abjuration. Thus was our merciful Mother, the Church, rejoiced at the sinner doing penance, anxious to recover the lost sheep that had wandered in the desert. Joan was ordered to perform her penance in close confinement.
" 'But these good dispositions did not last long, for her presumptuous pride seemed to have acquired greater force than before, and she relapsed with the utmost obstinacy into all those errors which she had publicly renounced. For this cause, and that she might not contaminate the sound members of our holy communion, she was again publicly preached to ; and, proving obstinate, she was delivered over to the secular arm, who instantly condemned her to be burnt.
" 'Seeing her end approach, she fully acknowledged and confessed that the spirits which had appeared to her were often lying and wicked ones, that the promises they had made to set her at liberty were false, and that she had been deceived and mocked by them.
" 'She was publicly led to the Old Market-place in Rouen, and there burnt in the presence of the people.' "
"This notice of her sentence and execution," says Monstrelet and it is all he ever says afterward "was sent by the King of England to the Duke of Burgundy, that it might be published by him for the information of his subjects, that all may henceforward be advised not to put faith in such or similar errors as had governed the heart of the Maid."
This is the brief of the case made against Joan by a political (not a spiritual) branch of the French Church. It is probable that Charles, having carried on a holy war, did not dare to intervene when the Church offered this scapegoat to him. To have defied the Rouen tribunal would have been a religious step of the direst danger to his throne.
Let us now return to the Latin minutes of the trial, fragments of which have come down to us. These are probably sufficiently true to be worthy of perusal. Joan is now before her accusers and judges.
This numerous body of men, in a warlike age, was too ignorant to be aware even of its essential cowardice. Before the judges, in iron chains, manacles, gyves, and bands, was a girl, a knight, who, but unloose her and arm all alike with swords, could slay this roomful as a butcher might slaughter his sheep. In her turn, this girl, holding within her heavy irons so much potential courage and heroism, was so devout that she believed (contrary to the statements of the English letter) that these fathers before her held not only some authority over her soul after death, but that she owed them duty and reverence in life. She believed what their priests had taught her; her mental experiences, peculiar and astonishing as they had been, were developed out of the ministrations of the Church. ' Cauchon, the ousted Bishop of Beauvais, charged her to repeat the Lord's prayer.
Answer : I will do so if you will hear it in confession. (This would exclude him as a judge.)
She was charged not to escape.
A. Were I to escape, you could not accuse me of breaking my word, since I never pledged it to you.
Q. Do you swear to tell the truth about everything on which you shall be questioned? A. I have not heard the questions. You might ask me to tell something I have sworn not to tell, thus I should be perjured, which you ought not to desire.
Q. Do you swear? A. You are too hard on me.
Q. Swear, or be held guilty of the things imputed. A. Go on to something else, then. I come on God's business, and I have naught to do here. Send me back to God, from whom I came.
Q. Are you sure you are in God's grace? A. If I be not, please God to bring me to it; if I be, please God to keep me in it.
Q. Has Charles had visions like yours? A. Send to ask him.
Q. Ought you to have attacked Paris on a festival day? A. Certainly such solemn days should be respected, but for that error it is for my confessor to give absolution.
To Cauchon You call yourself my judge, but beware how you discharge the heavy task you have imposed on yourself (sought so freely).
Q. Did the saints, in their conversations with you, announce the descent of the English? A. The English had come before I had any revelations.
Q. Have you desired to fight the Burgundians? A. I was always anxious to see my King recover his dominions.
Q. Have these celestial spirits given you the hopes you seem to have of escape. A. That has no concern with my trial.
Q. Did you raise a child from the dead? A. The child, being thought to be dead, was carried to church, where it was found to be still alive, and was baptized.
Q. Did you change your banner often ? Had it been consecrated? Why were the names Jesus and Mary embroidered upon it? Did you ascribe any good fortune to it? Did you so teach your soldiers? A. I only changed my standard when it was torn. I never caused it to be consecrated with any particular ceremonies. It was by the priests that I was taught to place, not only on my standard, but on the letters that I sent, the names of our Savior and His Mother. I called to my troops to rush boldly into the midst of the English, and set them the example myself if that was good fortune in the banner.
Q. Why did you have the standard in your hand at the coronation of Charles, at Rheims? A. It was but just that, having gone with nie into dangers, it should go also into a glorious place.
Q. What is the difference between the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant? A. I shall be ready to submit to the church.
Friar Isambard (a judge). Why do you not appeal to the Pope? A. I do.
Cauchon: In the devil's name, be silent. (To the secretary) : Erase all that.
Joan. Ah, you write down all that tells against me; but you will suffer nothing that is in my favor to be written.
(Many fathers asking questions at once.) To them, Joan. One at a time, good fathers, if you please.
Q. Did the saints who appeared to you wear earrings or rings? A. You took one ring from me. Pray return it.
Q. Were these saints naked or dressed? A. Do you suppose God has not wherewithal to clothe them?
Q. Did you see any fairies? A. I never saw any.
Q. What do you think of them? A. I have heard there are fairies, but I da not believe they exist.
William Marchan, one of the secretaries, made oath that he was deposed by Cauchon because he had refused to falsify the answers of the Maid.
A juror withdrew, declaring that the life of the prisoner was being made to depend on a grammatical distinction, since if the Maid, instead of affirming that she had believed the apparitions she had seen to be real, had said that they appeared to be real, she never could have been condemned.
Luxemburg, the lord of Beaurevoir, who had sold her, came to see her trial. He told her he had come to treat for her ransom.
Joan. You have neither the ability nor the inclination. These Englishmen will kill me, hoping to conquer France. But 100,000 more than are here now could not succeed.
The trial, discussions, and appeals to Paris dragged from February 21 to May 30, 1431.
On the 9th of May Joan was carried to the torture-chamber of Rouen castle.
Cauchon The executioners are now prepared to fulfill their office, in order to bring you back into the ways of truth, in order to insure the salvation of your soul and body, so gravely endangered by inventions.
Joan Verily, if you should tear me limb from limb, soul from body, I should tell you nothing more. If I should tell more, I would afterward still tell you that you had made me tell it by force.
She was not tortured, for fear of killing her before she could be publicly burned.
The jury found seventy charges true. These were reduced to twelve, which are named in the King's letter.
The record of the trial was read to the prisoner, who pointed out many absolute falsehoods in the work of the secretaries. None of these falsifications were corrected.
The university sustained the jury, and on the 24th of May she was taken to a churchyard, and a defamatory sermon was preached against her. She was counseled to abjure, and, on the advice of her friends, put her mark to a Latin paper, which she supposed had regard wholly to her dress, and she willingly removed her male attire.
But even then she publicly rebuked a slight put on her King by the preacher, and thus angered the mob.
She was thereupon condemned "to perpetual imprisonment, with the bread of affliction and the water of affliction, in order that she might deplore the faults and errors she had committed, and relapse into them no more henceforth."
Stones were thrown at the judges, so eager was the mob to have Joan's life.
Joan Come now, you churchmen amongst you, lead me to your own prisons, so I may escape the English. Cauchon Lead her to where you got her.
Joan was taken back to the English prison and told to dress as a woman, which she was glad to do. The soldiers, by patient persecution, compelled her to put on her man's dress again, which was considered a relapse.
Forty judges met again on the 29th. She was cited for the 30th on a charge of relapse, and to hear sentence of death at the stake.
Seeing that the soldiers had betrayed her, she gave way to grief and terror, and charged Cauchon that in a humane prison it could not have happened. Him she blamed alone.
"Ah," she cried, "I would seven times rather be be-headed than burned." Then later she said : "By the grace of God I shall be in Paradise tonight."
At 9 o'clock a. m., May 30, 1431, in woman's dress, on a car, with soldiers all about, Joan rode to the Old Market-place. A spy of Cauchon threw himself on the soldiers, hoping to reach her and obtain pardon for swearing away her life.
Joan wept on the car.
At the funeral pyre, which was built high, a long defamatory sermon was again preached. The soldiers cried "How, now, priest, are you going to make us dine here?"
Joan knelt at the stake and begged for a cross. An attendant improvised one. She kissed it, and laid it on her breast. She begged her friend Isambard to fetch the crucifix from the church opposite, and hold it up, "in or-der that the cross whereon God hung might be continually in her sight, till the coming of death."
As the flames rose, she begged her confessor to go down off the scaffold, fearing he would be burned.
As he went down he heard her affirm that the voices she heard were heavenly, and she believed they had come from God. Her final demeanor dispirited the mob, and many went away fearing they had burned a saint. Her ashes were thrown into the Seine.
The monstrous moral wrong done to a French woman by ignoble Frenchmen at the command of foreigners, rested on France for twenty-four years. France was free, as she had foretold.
Pope Calixtus III, in the name of Isabel Romee, Joan's mother, and her family, and with consent of the King, ordered a new court at Rouen, to review the cause. At this court the testimonies of 112 witnesses favorable to the heroine were received. The sentence of 1431 was publicly burned and revoked.
A general procession and solemn sermons at the churchyard, where the first sentence was passed, and at the Old Market-place, were ordered, "where the said Maid had been cruelly and horridly burned." On the Old Market-place a cross of honor was planted, and official notice of the reestablishment of her memory was posted at all notable places in the realm.
The city of Orleans erected a monument, which has had many vicissitudes (all patriotic), but stands at last higher and finer than ever.
The people believed that an early and unhappy death came upon all the judges who had declared against Joan of Arc. When the court of review was held at Rouen, the perfidious Cauchon had been dead for twelve years. Those few judges who survived were shunned as men who had slain a saint as men over whom was suspended the most awful judgment of heaven.
On the ruins of the chapel where Joan heard the voices, Claude de Lys and others, nephews of Joan, were said to have built a chapel that bore her name. In the invasion of Gustavus Adolphus it was destroyed.
In 1880 the Bishop of Saint-Die began the erection of a considerable stone church on the site of the ruins of the chapel, which is some distance out of Domremy. As the church rose, its plans were enlarged and a steeple 185 feet high was built.
In the meantime, Pope Leo XIII beatified Joan of Arc, and she formally became an ecclesiastical saint, as she had long been a real saint in the hearts of the people. On the calendar of her church she now appears along with Saints Margaret and Catherine, whom she once trustingly adored.
The sculptor Allar executed a famous group, showing Joan in marble, surrounded and overtopped by the three figures in bronze of St. Michael and Saints Marguerite and Catherine. This group was dedicated on the porch of the church in 1894, and 30,000 pilgrims attended. Upon this the Pope raised the church to the rank of basilica.
This is a summary narration of matters pertaining authentically to Joan of Arc. In ages of faith her name must be written foremost in all earth's records. Through ages of patriotism, her example has stirred nations to throes and agonies that brought liberty to slaves and death to tyrants. In ages of science, she will doubtless be viewed, through the clear medium of an intelligent admiration, as an honest human being whose lion-heart though held in the tender leashes of her gentle sex, was yet as strong as Richard's.