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 royalty of France was Jeanne’s passion.  I do not say the King, which might be capable of malinterpretation, but the kings, the monarchy, the anointed of the Lord, by whom France was represented, embodied and made into a living thing.  She had loved Rheims, its associations, its triumphs, the rejoicing of its citizens.  These had been the accompaniments of her own highest victory.  She came to St. Denis in a different mood, her heart hot with disappointment and the thwarting of all her plans.  From whatever cause it might spring, it was clear that she was no longer buoyed up by that certainty which only a little while before had carried her through every danger and over every obstacle.  But to have reached St. Denis at least was something.  It was a place doubly sacred, consecrated to that royal House for which she would so willingly have given her life.  And at last she was within sight of Paris, the greatest prize of all.  Up to this time she had known in actual warfare nothing but victory.  If her heart for the first time wavered and feared, there was still no certain reason that, de par Dieu, she might not win the day again.

At St. Denis there was once more a cruel delay.  Nearly a fortnight passed and there was no news of the King.  The Maid employed the time in skirmishes and reconnoissances, but does not seem to have ventured on an attack without the sanction of Charles, whom Alencon, finally, going back on two several occasions, succeeded in setting in motion.  Charles had remained at Compiegne to carry out his treaty with Burgundy, and the last thing he desired was this attack; but when he could resist no longer he moved on reluctantly to St. Denis, where his arrival was hailed with great delight.  This was not until the 5th of September, and the army, wrought up to a high pitch of excitement and expectation, was eager for the fight.  “There was no one of whatever condition, who did not say, ‘She will lead the King into Paris, if he will let her,’” says the chronicler.

In the meantime the authorities in Paris were at work, strengthening its fortifications, frightening the populace with threats of the vengeance of Charles, persuading every citizen of the danger of submission.

The Bourgeois tells us that letters came from “les Arminoz,” that is, the party of the King, sealed with the seal of the Duc d’Alencon, and addressed to the heads of the city guilds and municipality inviting their co-operation as Frenchmen.  “But,” adds the Parisian, “it was easy to see through their meaning, and an answer was returned that they need not throw away their paper as no attention was paid to it.”  There is no sign at all that any national feeling existed to respond to such an appeal.  Paris—­its courts of law, Parliaments (salaried by Bedford), University, Church—­every department, was English in the first place, Burgundian in the second, dependent on English support and money.  There was no French party existing.  The Maid was to

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