Jeanne D'Arc: her life and death eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 397 pages of information about Jeanne D'Arc.
the same place where the soul of that woman is at this moment”; which indeed is not very different from the authorised saying of Pierre Morice in the prison.  Guillaume Manchon, the reporter, he who wrote superba responsio on his margin, and had written down every word of her long examination—­his occupation for three months,—­says that he “never wept so much for anything that happened to himself, and that for a whole month he could not recover his calm.”  This man adds a very characteristic touch, to wit, that “with part of the pay which he had for the trial, he bought a missal, that he might have a reason for praying for her.”  Jean Tressat, “secretary to the King of England” (whatever that office may have been), went home from the execution crying out, “We are all lost, for we have burned a saint.”  A priest, afterwards bishop, Jean Fabry, “did not believe that there was any man who could restrain his tears.”

The modern historians speak of the mockeries of the English, but none are visible in the record.  Indeed, the part of the English in it is extraordinarily diminished on investigation; they are the supposed inspirers of the whole proceedings; they are believed to be continually pushing on the inquisitors; still more, they are supposed to have bought all that large tribunal, the sixty or seventy judges, among whom were the most learned and esteemed Doctors in France; but of none of this is there any proof given.  That they were anxious to procure Jeanne’s condemnation and death, is very certain.  Not one among them believed in her sacred mission, almost all considered her a sorceress, the most dangerous of evil influences, a witch who had brought shame and loss to England by her incantations and evil spells.  On that point there could be no doubt whatever.  She alone had stopped the progress of the invaders, and broken the charm of their invariable success.  But all that she had done had been in favour of Charles, who made no attempt to serve or help her, and who had thwarted her plans, and hindered her work so long as it was possible to do so, even when she was performing miracles for his sake.  And Alencon, Dunois, La Hire, where were they and all the knights?  Two of them at least were at Louvins, within a day’s march, but never made a step to rescue her.  We need not ask where were the statesmen and clergy on the French side, for they were unfeignedly glad to have the burden of condemning her taken from their hands.  No one in her own country said a word or struck a blow for Jeanne.  As for the suborning of the University of Paris en masse, and all its best members in particular, that is a general baseness in which it is impossible to believe.  There is no appearance even of any particular pressure put upon the judges.  Jean de la Fontaine disappeared, we are told, and no one ever knew what became of him:  but it was from Cauchon he fled.  And nothing seems to have happened to the monks who attended the Maid to the scaffold, nor to the others who sobbed about the pile.  On the other side, the Doctors who condemned her were in no way persecuted or troubled by the French authorities when the King came to his own.  There was at the time a universal tacit consent in France to all that was done at Rouen on the 31st of May, 1431.

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Jeanne D'Arc: her life and death from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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