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Gladsdale and several of his bravest knights retreated towards the fort, and gained the drawbridge. At that moment (the old chronicler says, 'by the just judgment of God') it was struck by a cannon ball fired from the city, most likely from the ramparts,--the drawbridge broke asunder, Gladsdale and his gallant companions fell into the stream, their armour sunk them at once, and not one was saved. 1

Still the English resisted. Jeanne led on the troops, bidding the men trust in God, and Les Tournelles would be their own. Dunois and all followed. They fought for life or death; there was no retreating. Soon resistance grew weaker, and at last seemed suddenly at an end; for as soon as the English knew that Gladsdale was slain, and that so many of their bravest captains had fallen, they were paralyzed with consternation, and the French took the fort by storm. Only two hundred of its defenders survived the capture.

The stronghold of the enemy was gone. D'Aulon waved the standard of the Maid from its summit. The wounded were removed; and the Maid, still mounted on the war horse which had done her such good service, led the way in triumph to the very gate through which she had passed in the morning, by her own resolute will, to achieve the greatest victory yet won for France. As she had before done, she conducted her people to the house of God; but not now to the Cathedral, but to the church of the Holy

i Mémoires de la Pucelle; Histoire de France.

ENGLISH RAISE THE SIEGE.

139

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Cross, where hundreds of voices united in a Te Deum of thankfulness and praise.

The victory, both by the French and English, was ascribed to Jeanne; but Monstrelet remarks, that in all these engagements she had with her the most experienced and gallant captains, who for the most part had daily served at the siege of Orleans, and that in each attack these had manfully exerted themselves.'! This might be true ; but

' still it was the prestige of Jeanne that disheartened the English and encouraged the French.

The commanders who survived their defeat held a council; and the bells which rang out a glad peal in Orleans for the victory of the Maid must have sounded as a knell to their hopes, since they decided at once to raise the siege and march away to other places still holding to the interest of Henry of England. The morrow, the 8th of May, came with the invigorating influence of a cheerful spring day, when the defeated commenced, before their departure, the work of destruction by setting fire to those forts which were still uninjured—the forts they had themselves raised with infinite labour and cost. But Englishmen could never be wanting in courage, and they decided to risk a battle, though knowing by the vast extent of their losses how inferior they were both in numbers and strength. They formed in regular order, advanced to the walls of Orleans, and challenged the French to renew the struggle in an The sight was not lost on the soldiers or the people within the city, and hastily seizing their arms, they rushed out in vast numbers, elated with the successes of the previous day, and determined to crown them by a final victory. Jeanne learnt their purpose. She was smarting from her wounds; but, hastily springing from her bed, she paused but to put on some slight armour, and with all the speed she could, ran towards her people and stopped them. ‘Hold, for the honour of the day,' she said, 'it is Sunday. If the English will go, let them go; do not interrupt them; their going satisfies me. We have other work than fighting on such a day as this.'

open field.

1 Monstrelet, vol. vi. p. 263; Florent d'Illiers, p. 458.

She caused an extempore altar to be raised at once, under no other canopy than the vaulted heavens, summoned the priests, and in the sight of her own and in that of the retreating army, ordered the Mass to be performed with due solemnity. At the conclusion, Jeanne, still on bended knees, inquired 'If the English had their faces or their backs towards the French ?'

"They have their backs.'

“Let them depart, then,' replied Jeanne, "and let us be thankful for it.'

The English, finding their proffer to combat declined, began their retreat in regular order, but, from want of means to remove them, were obliged to leave behind them their wounded, their sick, and their stores.

Thus, on the seventh day after her entrance into Orleans, the Maid had raised the siege and driven thence

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ANNIVERSARY OF SIEGE OF ORLEANS.

141

the English. This marvellous victory occurred on the 8th of May 1429; and from that time (till the horrors of the first Revolution caused its suspension) the citizens never failed to observe, with all the honours due to her memory, the anniversary of the raising of the siege of Orleans by the maid Joan of Arc.

CHAPTER IX.

Fame of the Maid-goes to Charles at Loches-anxious to conduct

him to Rheims--the Council demur—she persuades Charles declares her Purpose is from God—the Lord Guy de Laval's Account of his Interview with Jeanne-A tedious Delay- Jeanne persists—Suffolk at Jargeau-the Army with Jeanne attack himshe is struck down—her Gallant Bearing- Jargeau takenSuffolk Prisoner-Knights his Captor-Arrival of RichmondBeaugenci yields—Castle of Meung-Battle of Patay—the French victorious—La Trémoille and others jealous of the Maid-She insists on Charles setting out for Rheims—Charles and his Army set out- come before Troyes—the Town yields from Fear of the Maid — Charles enters Troyes — the Holy Ampulla of St. Remy-arrives at Rheims -Splendour of Charles' CoronationJoy of the People-Honours paid to the Maid.

A

LL France resounded with the fame of the

Maid. • It was said,' observes a modern
French historian, 'that God, being wearied with

chastising France, had sent an angel to raise her from the abyss of misery.' But Jeanne did not consider her work done. A second, and in her view a far more important point, was to be accomplished—the anointing with the sacred oil at Rheims. Her earnest mind, her active spirit, would allow her no repose. Though her wound was still painful, there must be no delay; and on

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