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Paris !' was again the cry of the French; but Charles was restrained by his counsellors when there was every prospect of success. He moved in another direction, and on the 18th fixed his quarters at Compiègne, the town having answered the summons to surrender 'to the King and to the Maid,' by sending the keys to them.

Beauvais also submitted, after having driven from its gates the Bishop Peter Cauchon, of infamous reputation, who, with violence both of word and deed, had endeavoured to make the inhabitants refuse admission to the King. Cauchon never forgave the indignity he now received, and treasured in his dark and evil mind a purpose

of vengeance we shall too soon have occasion to relate against the innocent and heroic Jeanne.

Notwithstanding the interference of Bedford, Burgundy at this period seemed disposed to come to a peaceable settlement of his long quarrel with Charles. But the Bishop of Tournai, a man of no character, with great force of argument, in which he was an adept, prevailed with the Duke to observe the oath he had taken to Henry. Charles, it seemed, had offended the Bishop by sending two Masters of Arts, with promise of reward for their exertions, to admonish the burghers of Tournai to prove loyal to him. The Masters of Arts were so well received, that, what with presents and being feasted by the inhabitants, one of them found himself so very comfortable, that he declined going away when his learned brother thought it time to depart. True, he weekly harangued in favour of Charles; but at FURTHER PROPOSALS FOR PEACE.


length the establishment made for him was found to be so costly, that the people of Tournai began to think that so much feasting, and such an expense for cooks and dishes, was more prejudicial to their purses than the eloquence of the orator was likely to further the interests of the King; and they got him away as fast as they could, by stopping the allowance for his entertainment. 1

Again did the Duke of Burgundy send an envoy with a proposal to consider terms for a general peace. But it had really no satisfactory object in view for France: it was little more than a pretence to gain a breathing time for England to recover herself; and that, says Monstrelet, “at this period, was to gain everything.'

Jeanne's clear intellect made her at once detect the real object of this proposal. She was grieved to see the King so little disposed to avail himself of the means which God had manifestly placed within his power. patience was exhausted, and after five days of irresolution on the part of the King and his counsellors, she could no longer brook delay; and on the morning of the 23d of August said to Alençon : Fair Duke, cause your captains and your men to arm, for, by my Martin, I will go forth, and see Paris nearer than I have yet seen it.'

She was obeyed. Alençon, Dunois, and the choice spirits of the army, without waiting to ask leave of the

1 Monstrelet, vol. vi.

King, mounted and followed the standard of the Maid. She entered St. Denis without striking a blow, the citizens, as soon as she appeared, sending her the keys. Such were the effects of a vigorous determination. Charles affairs were not now desperate ; they could be retrieved, would he but summon up an active spirit. But at this period he seemed satisfied with having been crowned at Rheims, and more desirous to lead an easy life than to recover his kingdom ; and it must be confessed that the chivalrous men who supported his cause were not so much carried on by a motive of personal affection, as they were by the wish to see one native-born, and not a foreigner, King of France.

At this very time, whilst Charles lingered and sighed to go back to the south, the most important fortresses in Normandy were being won from the English by the gallant French Captains La Hire and others, and above all, by the shamefully misused Constable, Arthur Earl of Richmond. Can there be a more striking instance of the cold, thankless nature of Charles, than the fact, that when La Hire took by storm Château Gaillard, he found in one of the dungeons the brave Barbasan, once the defender of Melun on behalf of the King,' who for nine years had languished in chains, without Charles having offered to ransom or restore him to liberty ? Yet such was the heroism of Barbasan, — devoted, perhaps, more to his country than to his ungrateful master,—that no sooner was he set OBSTACLES TO HER ENTERING PARIS.

1 Monstrelet, vol. v. p. 230.


free, than, with all the vivacity of a French spirit, he enrolled himself in the army of the King. Richmond also continued to act with like energy, took many places from the enemy, menaced Evreux, and by his efforts raised a large body of Normans, who longed to cast off the English yoke.

But fair as the prospect was for France, it was overcast by the foul fiend Jealousy. La Trémoille felt he was looked upon as nothing by the side of the Maid and her party. Even Charles could hardly stomach being obliged to a shepherd-girl for the saving of Orleans and the recovery of a crown ; and many of the obstacles that started up to impede the course of her animating spirit, had their root in bitterness and pride. But Jeanne never swerved from her purpose. She could not rest satisfied with the unopposed possession of St. Denis. Paris was before her, and she longed to master it.

Day after day, hour after hour on her horse, sometimes attended only by D'Aulon, she was reconnoitring the city from gate to gate, to ascertain which would be the best point for an assault. Nothing, however, could be done without the King. Paris was the capital of France, and it must not be taken, now that he was present with the army, without his consent. Many within the walls were friendly to him; but Burgundians formed the garrison, and the citizens were neither bold nor warlike. The Armagnac Ministry, or rather faction, had grievously oppressed them whilst Charles was Dauphin, and they feared that, if the French prevailed, the dreaded faction might come again into power.

But Jeanne, Alençon, and Dunois had no fears, except those which it was impossible not to entertain for the perverseness and indecision of the King and his counsellors, particularly La Trémoille. Paris they resolved to take; but then Charles must come and sanction the bold deed. Messenger after messenger did they despatch to him; but he was now at Senlis, a very pleasant

; spot, and he liked not to be disturbed. At length, on the ist of September, Alençon went in person: 'Sire, only show yourself before the walls of Paris, and we will compel the gates to open to you.'

"Well then, Alençon, I will come tomorrow.'

The morrow came; a fine autumn sun (cheering every eye and enlivening every heart) rose and set, but no Charles appeared. The disappointment was terrible ; for when Alençon returned from the King, he had found Jeanne, as he left her, watching the towers and steeples of Paris, and impatient to pass

within the walls. “Paris must be ours,' she said ; 'a more than human power commands it, and it must be obeyed.'

At last, on the 7th of September, Charles came from Senlis, but only as far as St. Denis. Jeanne was overwhelmed with joy; the army caught the spirit of her heroic feelings, and shouted, 'She will take the King into Paris-to-morrow, to-morrow; let us forward to the assault!'? The voices of Jeanne (as she afterwards stated)

1 Mémoires de la Pucelle, p. 178.

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