(1) The dates must of
course be reckoned by the old style.—
This letter was dispatched from Tours, during her pause
CHAPTER IV — THE RELIEF OF ORLEANS. MAY 1-8, 1429.
Next morning there was a council of war among the many leaders now collected within the town. It was the eager desire of Jeanne that an assault should be made at once, in all the enthusiasm of the moment, upon the English towers, without waiting even for the arrival of the little army which she had preceded. But the captains of the defence who had borne the heat and burden of the day, and who might naturally enough be irritated by the enthusiasm with which this stranger had been received, were of a different opinion. I quote here a story, for which I am told there is no foundation whatever, touching a personage who probably never existed, so that the reader may take it as he pleases, with indulgence for the writer’s weakness, or indignation at her credulity. It seems to me, however, to express very naturally a sentiment which must have existed among the many captains who had been fighting unsuccessfully for months in defence of the beleaguered city. A certain Guillaume de Gamache felt himself insulted above all by the suggestion. “What,” he cried, “is the advice of this hussy from the fields (une peronnelle de bas lieu) to be taken against that of a knight and captain! I will fold up my banner and become again a simple soldier. I would rather have a nobleman for my master than a woman whom nobody knows.”