It was enough, however, that she should think of death and of the sweetness of it, after her work accomplished, in the very moment of her height of triumph—to show something of a new leaven working in her virgin soul.
One characteristic reward, however, Jeanne did receive. Her father and uncle were lodged at the public cost as benefactors of the kingdom, as may still be seen by the inscription on the old inn in the great Place at Rheims; and when Jacques d’Arc left the city he carried with him a patent—better than one of nobility which, however, came to the family later—of exemption for the villages of Domremy and Greux of all taxes and tributes; “an exemption maintained and confirmed up to the Revolution, in favour of the said Maid, native of that parish, in which are her relations.” “In the register of the Exchequer,” says M. Blaze de Bury, “at the name of the parish of Greux and Domremy, the place for the receipt is blank, with these words as explanation: a cause de la Pucelle, on account of the Maid.” There could not have been a more delightful reward or one more after her own heart. It would be a graceful act of the France of to-day, which has so warmly revived the name and image of her maiden deliverer, to renew so touching a distinction to her native place.
We are told that Jeanne parted with her father and uncle with tears, longing that she might return with them and go back to her mother who would rejoice to see her again. This was no doubt quite true, though it might be equally true that she could not have gone back. Did not the father return, a little sullen, grasping the present he had himself received, not sure still that it was not disreputable to have a daughter who wore coat armour and rode by the side of the King, a position certainly not proper for maidens of humble birth? The dazzled peasants turned their backs upon her while she was thus at the height of glory, and never, so far as appears, saw her face again.