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rior force, the ranks of the French were broken and routed. The Scotch, who fought gallantly, were the last to yield. Stuart was taken covered with wounds, and with the loss of

Saintrailles and four hundred of the noblest of the French became prisoners, whilst twelve hundred menat-arms, principally Scotch, were left dead on the fatal field.

This terrible disaster had the usual effect of a defeat on those who rely on themselves and their cause certain to command a victory; they became disheartened. One defeat followed upon another faster even than the messengers could journey to announce them to the unfortunate Charles. That of Crevant was of ill augury indeed. The news came on the 4th of July, to cast a shadow over the gleam of joy that brightened the Court of Bourges, for on the same day the young Queen Marie of Anjou had given birth to a son—a Dauphin who lived, as Louis xl., to be King of France.

'If,' says the French historian, they were sorrowful at Bourges, they were not more joyous at Paris.' The Duke of Bedford was inaugurating feasts and public rejoicings for the victory achieved over the French. But the citizens showed no sympathy in such displays; for they afforded no real relief to the people, whose sufferings had been brought upon them by the distracted state of the country and the perpetual strife of arms. half depopulated. Thousands of houses were empty or

· Henri Martin, vol. vi. p. 96.

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Paris was ORIGIN OF THE DANCE OF DEATH.'

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falling The grass grew between the stones in the streets ; the wolves came up by the river, and entered the city by night; and the minds of men, struck by such misery, fancied they saw in Paris a new Babylon about to become the resort of beasts of prey.'

The historian, to whom we have often referred, mentions so curious a circumstance connected with the desolate state of the Parisians at this period, that it must be briefly noticed. Paris, that could not find heart to share in the fêtes of its English master, gave itself a diversion more in harmony with its desolation. This was the far-famed ‘Danse Macabre,' or Fête of the Dance of Death."

It seems that the Parisians for six or seven months, commencing at the season of Lent, amused themselves by getting up a performance in the midst of the sepulchres of the cemetery of the Innocents. This was a most lugubrious melodrama, wherein all estates of men, from the Pope with the triple crown, kings, great lords and ladies, and persons of all ranks down to the lowest beggars, entered in their turns to dance, would they or would they not, with the leader-Death-that terrible power being personified by a human skeleton. "The ancients,' observed M. Michelet, who veiled or concealed with flowers all the miseries incidental to human nature, and who disguised under black wings and a robe spangled with stars the phantom of

1 Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris; and Monstrelet, vol. v.

* The subject has become well known to us by Holbein's ‘Dance of Death.'

death, would have been repelled by this sinister allegory as a frightful derision of humanity. But Christianity, consistently with its principles of humility, and with that anathema it has launched against the body subject to decay, affected the images of decomposition in order to show the degradation of the earthly estate, and to contrast it with the life that is superior and imperishable. What was so extraordinary in the Danse Macabre, was the suppression of the contrast: the religious sentiment was forgotten, and there remained only the image of the physical destruction. The morality of the piece rested on the equality of all men, not in the sight of God, but in respect to the worm of the sepulchre.'1

| Henri Martin, vol. vi. p. 96.

CHAPTER III.

France on the Verge of Ruin-Charles sends to Scotland for Help

Brief Notice of James 1. of Scotland-his Genius and Romantic Fortunes-Duke of Milan sends Aid to Charles--the CondottieriBedford takes Ivri-Buchan Constable of France—the French jealous of the Scotch-Condottieri disagree-great Confusionall command-none obey-a Boy chosen Commander-Verneuil taken — Bedford challenges the Lord Douglas — the BattleDouglas killed-Army of Charles defeated—Bedford enters Paris in Triumph-New Sources of Disturbance in England and Burgundy-Jacqueline of Bavaria-leaves her Husband, Duke of Brabant-Pope Martin v. refuses her Divorce-appeals to the rival Pope-Benedict XIII. grants it-Contests arising from Jacqueline marrying the Duke of Gloucester.

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T must be admitted that the lugubrious spectacle

for which the Parisian had so great a fancy, was but too much in harmony with the suffer

ings throughout the land. France was brought to the verge of ruin by the quarrel of its two masters. The English showed no feeling for the natives; but there was, and is, in the French character a wonderful buoyancy to resist or rise superior to disaster. Many true French spirits once more started up with renewed energy, and many of the clergy did their best to further it. Foreigners likewise were sought after and gave their aid. The Bishop

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of Rheims had been sent to Scotland by the Council of Charles, with large promises of honour and reward, to secure the assistance of that warlike country; and most readily did the nobles and their followers respond to the call to arms. By hundreds they left the rugged mountains and sterile plains of Caledonia, to seek the verdant lands, the vineyards, and more genial clime of France, with a view to build up their own fortunes by restoring a native prince to the throne of his inheritance.

The vast emigration of the Scotch alarmed the English Governments both of London and Paris; and in order, if possible, to check it, they restored to liberty the unfortunate James 1., the young King of Scotland, who for more than twenty years had been detained a prisoner in England. As this Prince in after years became closely connected with Charles, by his daughter Margaret becoming the wife of Louis the Dauphin, and was one of by far the most remarkable characters in the fifteenth century, we may pause to give some brief notice of him.

It would be out of place here to refer to the long and miserable wars between England and Scotland, more than to say that James fell into the hands of the English when only thirteen years old, whilst endeavouring to escape from the designs formed against his life by his ambitious uncle, who governed his kingdom during his minority. James was held in honourable captivity; and after being immured in the Tower of London and other strongholds, was at last confined in Windsor Castle. In 1417, Henry v., for poli

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