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Joan of Arc


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Accession No. ^>2^ ^
Class and Book
3 9343 00739887 7

Joan of Arc
M. Boutet de Monvel.

-Y/s> J34-3B

On the 22nd of October, 1422, Charles VI. died, leaving his kingdom with
the hand of his daughter, by the treaty of Troyes, to Henry V., King of England.
War had devastated our country for more than a century, hut our independence
had never been so menaced before.
Masters of Guyenne, allied on one side to the Duke of Burgundy, supported on
the other by the Duke of Brittany, the English held the north and the centre of
France as far as the Loire. Orleans, then besieged, opposed one last obstacle to
their southward march ; but the helpless city was 011 the point of yielding.
The Dauphin, Charles VII., had taken refuge at Bourges; a sorry King,
without an army, without money, without energy. A few courtiers still disputed
among themselves the last favours of the sinking monarchy, but none of them had
the ability to defend it. Across a country stricken by famine, the remains of the
royal army—bands of vagabonds from all quarters, reduced and demoralized by
their recent defeats at Cravant and at VerneuiL—were retreating, incapable of further
Everything was lacking—men, means, even the will to resist. Charles VII.,
despairing of his cause, meditated flying to DauphmA perhaps even across
the mountains to Castille, abandoning his kingdom, ins rights, and his duties.

After the madness of Charles VI.. the indolence of the Dauphin and the
selfishness and incompetence of the nobility, had completed the ruin of the
country, our very race was on the verge of losing its national existence.
At that moment, there rose up, in an obscure village on the borders ol Lor
raine, a little peasant girl. Moved with pity by the distress of the unhappy people
of France, she had felt, deep in her heart, the first quiver of alarm in her mother
land. With her weak hand she picked up the great sword of conquered France,
and, making her tender breast a bulwark against so many miseries, she drew
from the energy of her faith the force to raise the downcast spirits of her people,
and to wrest our land from the victorious English.
“ I come on behalf of our Lord God,’’ she said, “ to save the kingdom of France."
And she added, “It is lor this that I was born.” The holy maid was indeed born
for this ; for this also, basely betrayed to her enemies, she died amidst the horror^
of the most cruel torture, abandoned by the King whom she had crowned and
by the people whom she had saved.
Open this book with reverence, my dear children, in honour of the humble
peasant girl who is the Patroness ol France, who is the Saint of her country as
she was its Martyr. Her history will teach you that in order to conquer you
must believe that you will conquer. Remember this in the day when your
country shall have need of all your courage.
April, 1896.

Joan was born on the 16th of January,
at Dofnremy, a little village of Lorraine
pendent on the bailiwick of Chaumont, which was
held from the Crown of France. Her father’s
name was Jacques d’Arc, her mother’s Isabellette
Romee ; they were honest people, simple labour
ing folk who lived by their toil.
Joan was brought up with her brothers and
sister in a little house which is still to be seen at
Domremy, so close to the church that its garden
touches the graveyard.
The child grew up there, under the eye of God.
- She was a sweet, simple, upright girl. Every
one loved her, for all knew her kind heart, and
that she was the best girl in the village. A brave
worker, she aided her family in their labours; by
day leading the beasts to pasture or sharing the
rough tasks of her father; in the evening spin
ning at her mother’s side and helping her in the
She loved God, and often prayed to Him.

One summer day, when she was thirteen years old,
she heard a voice at midday in her father’s garden. A
great light shone upon her, and the archangel St. Michael
appeared to her. He told her to be a good girl and to go
to church. Then, telling her of the great mercy which
was in store for the Kingdom of France, he announced to
her that she should go to the help of the Dauphin and
bring him to be crowned at Rheims. “ I am only a poor
girl,” she said. “ God will help thee,” answered the
archangel. And the child, overcome, was left weeping.

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Soon nothing was talked of at Vaucouleurs but the young
girl who went about saying openly that she would save the
kingdom, that some one must take her to the Dauphin, that God
willed it. “ I will go,” she said, ‘‘if I have to wear my legs
down to the knees.”
The simple-hearted people, moved by her faith, believed in
her. A squire, Jean de .Metz, influenced by the confidence of
the populace, offered to take her to Chinon, where Charles VII.
was. The poor folks, adding their mites together, raised the
money to clothe and arm the little peasant girl. They bought
her a horse, and on the appointed day she set out with a small
escort. “ Go, and take the consequences!” Baudricourt threw
after her. “God keep you!” cried the multitude; and the
women wept as they saw h r go.

The English and Burgundian party held the inter
vening country, and the little troop was obliged to
pass over bridges occupied by the enemy. They had
to travel by night, and hide through the day. Joan’s
companions, alarmed, spokeofreturningtoVaucouleurs.
“ Fear nothing,” said she. “ God is leading me, and
my brothers from Paradise tell me what I ought to do.”
So, on the twelfth day, Joan arrived at Chinon
with her companions. From the hamlet of St. Ca
therine she had addressed a letter to the King,
announcing her coming.
The court of Cnarles VII. was far from being of
one mind as to the reception that ought to be given
her. La Tremouille, ' e favourite of the moment,
jealously guarding the ascendency he had a&|iured
over the indolent spirit of his master, had decided
to keep away any influence which might stirJhim out
of his torpor. For two days the council ■ debated
whether the King should receive the inspire! girl.
u u ■

At that moment, news came
from Orleans so disquieting that
the partisans of Joan carried their
point that the last chance of saving
it should not be neglected. One
evening, by the light of fifty
torches, Joan was brought into
the great hall of the castle, crowded
with all the nobles of the Court.
She had never seen the King.
Charles VII., not to attract her
attention, wore a costume less
splendid than that of his courtiers.
At the first glance she singled him
out, and knelt before him. “God
give you a happy life, gentle Dau
phin!” she said, “I am not the
King,” he answered; “yonder is
the King.” And he pointed out
one of his nobles.
“You are he, gentle prince,
and no other. The King of Heaven
sends word to you by me that you
shall be anointed and crowned.”
And, coming to the object of her
mission, she told him that she was
sent by God to aid and succour
him ; she demanded some troops,
promising to raise the siege of
Orleans, and to bring him to
The King hesitated. The girl
might be a sorceress. He sent her
to Poitiers, to have her examined
by learned men and ecclesiastics.

For three weeks they tormented her with insidious questions. “There is
more in God’s book than in yours : I do not know my ABC, but I come
from the King of Heaven.” When they objected that God had no need of
men-at-arms to deliver France, she drew herself up quickly : “The soldiers
will fight, but God will give the victory.” There, as at Vaucouleurs, the
people declared in her favour. They held her to be holy and inspired. The
learned and powerful were forced to yield to the enthusiasm of the multitude.

The troops gathered at Blois. Joan arrived there,
followed by the Duke of Alengon, the Marshal de
Boussac, the Sire de Rais, La Hire and Xaintrailles.
On her banner she had embroidered the image of
God and the names Jesus, Mary. She counselled her
soldiers to put their consciences in order, and to
confess their sins before going into battle. On Thurs
day, the 28th of April, the little army moved. Joan
led the march, her banner flying, to the strains of
the hymn “ Come Holy Ghost.'’ She wished to march
straight to Orleans, but the leaders thought it more
prudent to go by the left bank of the Loire.

The army and its convoy arrived at Checy,
two leagues above Orleans. When it came to
passing the Loire, there were not enough boats.
They transported Joan to the other bank with
a part of her escort and the provision-train. The
rest of the troops had to go back to Blois, and
return to Orleans by the Beauce.

Joan said to Dunois, who came to meet her, “ I bring you
the best of help, that of the King of Heaven. It comes not
from me, but from God himself, who, at the prayers of
St. Louis and of Charlemagne, has had pity on the town of
Orleans. ”
At eight in the evening, Joan entered Orleans. The people
crowded to meet her. She passed by torchlight through the
city, in the midst of a throng so dense that she could scarcely
force her way. Men, women and children wished to get near
her and at least to touch her horse, showing “as great joy as
if they had seen God descend among them.” They felt Strength
ened, says the journal of the siege, and as if relieved from
attack by the divine power of the simple maid. Joan spoke
kindly to them, promising to deliver them.

She asked to be taken to a church, wishing before all things to give
thanks to God.
When an old man said to her, speaking of the English : “My daughter,
they are strong and well-entrenched, and it will be a hard matter to get rid
of them.” She answered : “ Nothing is impossible to the power of God.”
And in fact her confidence infected everyone around her. The people
of Orleans, so lately timid and discouraged, now excited by her presence
to the pitch of fanaticism, wished to throw themselves on the enemy
and to carry their works by assault. Dunois, fearing a check, decided
to wait for reinforcements before beginning the attack. In the mean
time, Joan summoned llie English to depart and return to their, own
country, but they answered her with insults.

All the while no news came from Blois. Dunois, uneasy, went to
hasten the coming of assistance, and he was just in time. The Arch
bishop of Rheims, Regnault de Chartres, the King’s Chancellor, revers
ing the decision arrived at, was about to send the troops back to their
quarters. Dunois obtained permission to lead them to Orleans.
On the morning of Wednesday, the 4th of May, surrounded by all
the clergy of the city and followed by a great part of the population,
Joan left Orleans. She advanced in a long procession through the
English lines, heading the little army of Dunois, who passed, under the
protection of the priests and of a girl, without the English venturing
to attack them.

On the same day, Joan was resting, but woke up
with a start. “Oh, my God!” she cried, “the blood of
our men is flowing. That is not well done ! Why did
no one wake me? Quick, my arms, my horse!” Aided
by the women of the house, she armed herself rapidly,
leaped into the saddle, and galloped off, her standard in
her hand, making straight for ,ti|e Burgundy gate.

The following Sunday, the English were drawn up in order
of battle on the right bank of the river. Joan forbade any attack
to be made on them. When Mass had been celebrated, she said
to those about her : “ Look and see if the English have their faces
towards us, or their backs.” And as she heard that they were
retiring in the direction of Meung, she said : “In the name of God,
if they are going, let them go. It is not the pleasure of our Lord
God that you should fight them to-day. You shall have them
another time.” So Orleans, besieged for eight months, was deli
vered in four days.

V/ .-V : L ; /
The news of the
deliverance of Orleans
spread far and wide,
attesting in the sight of
all the divinity of
Joan’s mission.
The holy maid,with
drawing from the grati
tude of the people of
Orleans, returned hastily to Chinon. She desired, profiting by the enthusiasm stirred up around her, to go at once to Rheims,
taking the King with her to be crowned. He received her with great honours, but refused to follow her He accepted the devo
tion of the heroic girl, but did not intend that her generous efforts should trouble the base indolence of hi^.royal existence.
It was decided that Joan should go to attack the places still held by the English on the banks of the L
2 4
k iW

On the iith of June, the French occupied the
suburbs of Jargeau. The next day at dawn, Joan
gave the signal for battle. The Duke of Alengon
wished to delay the assault. “ On, gentle Duke,’’ she
cried, “to the attack! Doubt not, this is the hour of
God’s pleasure. Work, and He will work with you ! ”
She herself mounted the scaling-ladder ; she was
thrown down by a stone which struck her on the head,
^ut she rose crying to her men “Up, up, friends!
The English are ours already!” The ramparts were
scaled, and the English, pursued as far as the town
bridge, were taken or killed. Suffolk was made pri
soner. On the 15th, the French gained possession of
the bridge of Meung; on the 16th they laid siege to
Beaugency : and on the 17th the town surrendered.

On the 18th of June, Joan met near Patay the English
army under Talbot and Falstaff.
“ We must fight them, in God’s name,” she said. “ If they
were hung to the clouds, we should have them, because God
sends us to chastise them. Our noble King shall to-day have the
greatest victory yet!” She wished to join the vanguard, but
they restrained her. La Hire was charged to attack the English
and keep them back, to give the French troops time to come up;
but his onset was so impetuous that everything gave way before
him. When Jeanne rode up with her men-at-arms, the English
were retiring in disorder. Their retreat became a flight, and
Talbot was captured.
“ You did not think, this morning,” said the Duke of Alengon
to him, “that this would happen.” “It is the fortune of war, ’
Talbot answered.

The English lost 4,000 killed and 200 captured. No mercy
was shown except to those who could pay a ransom ; the rest
were put to death without pity.
One of them was struck so brutally that Joan leaped from
her horse to help him. She raised the poor man’s head, brought
a priest to him, and helped him in his dying. Her heart was as
full of pity for the English wounded as for her own partisans.
For the rest, she constantly exposed herself to blows, and
was often wounded, but would never use her sword ; her standard
was her only weapon.

The English and Burgundian soldiers
who formed the garrison at Troyes stipu
lated that they should be allowed to leave
the town with all their possessions. Now
these consisted principally of French pri
soners. In drawing up the capitulation,
nothing had been said about these unfor
tunates. But as the English left the town,
dragging their captives with ropes round
their necks, Joan threw herself across
their path. “In God's name,” she cried,
“you shall not take them away.” She
forced them to deliver the prisoners to her,
and the King to pay their ransom.

On the 16th of July, the King entered the town of Rheims at
the head of his troops. The next day the ceremony of coronation
took place in the Cathedral, before a great concourse of all
ranks. Joan stood behind the King, with her standard in her
hand. When Charles VII. had received the holy unction and

the crown from the Archbishop, Regnault de Chartres,
Joan threw herself at his feet clasping his knees and
weeping hot tears. “O gentle Sire,” she said, “now
is accomplished the pleasure of God, who willed that I
should bring you to your city of Rheims, to receive the
holy anointing which shows that you are truly King, and
that to you must belong the kingdom of France.” “All
those who saw her at that moment,” says the old chro
nicle, “believed more than ever that it was a thing come
from God.” “Oh the good, loyal people!” cried the
holy maid, as she saw the enthusiasm of the crowd. “ If
I must die, I should be most happy to be buried here.”

Nothing was so touching
as the attachment of the
common people to Joan. It
was a contest among them to
kiss her hands or her clothes,
or only to touch her. They
brought little children to her
that she might bless them ;
beads and images for her to
sanctify by the touch of her
hand. And the humble girl
put away graciously these
marks of adoration, rallying
the poor folks sweetly on their
blind belief in her power. Rut
she asked at what time the
children of the poor went to
communion, so that she might
communicate with them. Her
pity was ready for all who
suffered, but her special ten
derness was for children and
tor the lowly. She felt her-
| self their sister, knowing that
she was born of one of them.
Later on, when they reproach
her with permitting this ado
ration of the multitude, she
will answer simply, “Many
people were glad to see me,
and they kissed my hands
when 1 could not help it; but
the poor folks came freely to
me because 1 never did any
thing to hurt them.’’

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But Joan could not
resign herself to the inac
tion which they wished
to impose upon her. Left
without support at the
siege of La Charite, she
understood that she must
henceforth look for no aid
from Charles VII. At the
end of March, 1430, with
out taking leave of the
King, she went to Lagny
to rejoin the French par
tisans who were skirmish
ing with the English.
Now during Easter-
week, after she had heard
Mass and received com
munion in the church of
St. James at Compiegne,
she withdrew and wept,
leaning against a pillar of
the church. She said to
some of the townsfolk and
children who surrounded
her : “ My children and
dear friends, I tell you that
they have sold and be
trayed me, and that I shall
soon be delivered up to
death. I beg you to pray
for me, for I shall have no
more power to save the
King or the Kingdom of

On May 23rd, at Crespy, she learned that the town of Com-
picgnc was closely surrounded by the English and Burgundians.
She went thither with four hundred men, and entered the town on
the 24th at daybreak. Then, taking with her a part ofthe garrison,
she attacked the Burgundians. But the English came upon her,
and the French gave back. “ Think of nothing but striking them !”
cried Joan. “Their defeat lies in your hands.” But she was
carried away by her retreating men. When they came under the
".ills of Compiegne, they found the drawbridge raised and the
portcullis let down. Joan, however, with her back against the
bank ot the moat, still defended herself. A whole troop rushed

upon her, and cried to her to surrender. “ I have sworn
and given my faith to Another,” answered the brave
girl, “ and I will keep my oath to Him.” But her resist
ance was in vain. Held by her flowing garments, she
was dragged from her horse and captured. From the
walls of the town the Sire de Flavy, Governor of Com-
piegne, saw her taken, but did nothing to bring her aid.

Joan was taken to Margny, amid the joyful shouts of her foes. The English
and Burgundians, even to the Duke of Burgundy himself, crowded to see the
witch, and found themselves in the presence of a girl of eighteen. She was the
prisoner of Jean de Luxembourg, a penniless gentleman, who only cared to make
a good profit from his prize. The King of France made no offer to ransom her.

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She still had one support, that of her Saints. They alone had
not forsaken her. She received counsel continually from her
heavenly voices; St. Margaret and St. Catherine appeared to her
in the silence of the night, and comforted her with kind words.
When Bishop Cauchon asked her what they said, she answered :
“ They woke me up; I clasped my hands and asked them to
counsel me. They told me to ask our Lord.” “And what more
did they tell you?” “To answer you boldly.” And as the
Bishop plied her with questions : “ I cannot tell you all. I fear
more to say anything that might displease them than I do to
answer you.”

One day Stafford and Warwick came to see her, with Jean de Luxembourg. As the latter jestingly said that he came to
propose her ransom if she would promise never to bear arms against the English, she answered : “ In God’s name, you are
mocking me, for 1 know that the English will put me to death, hoping after I am gone to win the kingdom of France ; but if
they were a hundred thousand more, they
should not have the kingdom.” The Earl
of Stafford, enraged, threw himself upon
her, and would have killed her had not the
bystanders intervened.
i ' _ ,
ft - (

Joan, treated as a heretic, was deprived of the
consolations of religion. The sacraments were
denied her. Returning from her examination, and
passing with her escort before the closed door of
a chapel, she asked the monk at her side whether
the body of Christ lay within, begging him to let
her kneel for a moment and pray. He consented ;
but Cauchon, hearing of it, threatened him with
the direst punishment if such athingoccured again.

However, the trial went too slowly to please the English.
“Judges, you are not earning your pay!” they cried to the
members of the tribunal. “ I came to the King of France,”
said Joan, “ on the part of God, the Virgin Mary, the Saints,
and the Church triumphant in Heaven. To that Church I
submit myself, my works, all that I have done or shall do.
You say that you are my judges; take good heed what you do,
for truly I am sent by God, and you put yourselves in great
peril.” The saintly heroine was condemned as a relapsed
heretic, apostate and idolater, to be burnt in the Market-Place
of Rouen. “ Bishop, I die through you ! ” she said to Cauchon.

On the 3oth of May, Joan confessed and received communion.
Then she was conducted to the place of execution. When she reached
the foot of the scaffold, she knelt down and invoked God, the Virgin, and
the Saints. Then, turning to the Bishop, the judges, and her enemies,
she begged them devoutly to have Masses said for her soul. She mounted
the pile, begged for a cross, and died with the name of Jesus on her lips.
All were weeping, even the executioners and the judges. “We are lost!
We have burned a saint,” cried the English, as they fled from the place.

Ocannecl bu...
o O 0 O O
prr«.,r«..»«.» anse^S'nag,

Unless this book is returned on or before the last date
stamped below a fine will be charged. Fairness to other
borrowers makes enforcement of this rule necessary.
h2V5 6

j B J3U3B
Boutst de Monvel.
Joan of Arc.