Page images
PDF
EPUB

of purchase from Bedford. The former never life. The reports were all in her favour. Tescame, the latter did, speedily enough. Joan was timony as to her purity. goodness, and piety taken in May, and before winter came, she was poured in, and was unwelcome indeed to those sold to the English for ten thousand livres. Bed- who hated her. The greatest secrecy was observed ford cast about for some means to kill her, with. as to the trial. No one was allowed to know out incurring disgrace and odium, for Joan was what was going on. Consequently the historians a prisoner of war and no more. He bethought of the period have little to say on the subject ; hím of the application of the Inquisitors, and but fortunately the judicial record has been foand ready to his hand the Bishop of Beauvais, preserved intact, and by it and other documents who bad lost his diocese through the intervention learned Frenchmen have been enabled to do of Joan.

tardy justice to one of the noblest and best of He was promised the archbishopric of Rouen women. if he should succeed in getting Joan condemned On the 21st of February, 1431, Joan the Maid, to death.

then aged nineteen, began her long and weary While Joan was prisoner at Beaurevoir, before trial by some of the most learned theologians, and she was sold, she won the hearts of the wife of doctors of France. The Bishop of Beauvais was John of Luxembourg and his aunt, the Countess president-he who had forbidden her to be de Ligny. They treated Joan with much kindness ; allowed to attend mass during the last two and knowing what stress her enemies laid upon months,-a terrible deprivation to Joan, who ber wearing male attire, they tried to induce her loved the services of her Church. to wear women's clothing, but she would not. She was examined as to her parentage, child** The time is not come yet,” she said. While hood, mode of life at Domremi, and to all such here she heard that Compiègne was hard pressed questions she answered firmly and without and, shortly after, that she had been sold to the reserve. When the assessors asked of more English. It was too much for her. She seemed sacred things, she sometimes replied, but often to lose control of herself, and, in her mad desire said : “ Pass that over.” They asked her if she to escape, she threw herself from the top of the "were in the grace of God,"—a subtle question, tower where she was allowed to take daily meant to lead her into difficulty. She answered : exercise. She was found insensible, but uninjured “ If I am not, may God bring me into it; if I am, after a fall of sixty feet! She was very ill for may He keep me in it." "Was it God who made days, not only physically but mentally, for she you adopt the dress of a man?” “All that I had disobeyed her voices," she said, and “they have done has been by the command of the blamed her for it;" even while they consoled her Lord.” They asked if she had heard the voices with the news that Compiègne should be de- since her imprisonment. “I heard them yesterlivered. On the 26th of October, the siege was day," she said. “They told me to answer boldly nised, the Comte de Vendôme having taken and God would help me.” One of the assessors three of the forts held by the enemy.

asked if she would return to woman's dress, The University of Paris wished Joan to be and she answered : " Give me one, and I will tried in Paris, but Bedford decided upon Rouen, wear it, if you will let me go home to my mother ; where the Maid was brought in December 1430. otherwise I will not have it.” There was a proTwo months elapsed before the trial was begun.

tection in her masculine dress which she could The shame of Joan's terrible fate is equally not explain to these men. divided between France and England. Of the " Within seven years," said this wonderful forty assessors who condemned her, all but three girl, “ the English shall lose a greater pledge than were French, as were the judge, the recorders, and before Orleans. They shall lose all France." the ushers. The University of Paris and the Asked how she knew this, she said : “ By revelaInquisition sanctioned the proceedings. The tion, and I am very grieved that it is delayed so princes, captains and statesmen who paid the long." assessors were English, and so were the guards, The latter part of the trial was heard before who never left her day or night, and loaded her lawyers, the assessors not being present, though with insult, filling her ears with blasphemous they were forbidden to quit Rouen till the con. utterances. Well might Joan call the English clusion. On the 27th of March the formal accu. " goddams," as she always did. Oaths and curses sation against her was drawn up. In it she was were the most frequent words upon their tongues. accused of being a sorceress, diviner, false pro

The trial lasted four months. As a prelimiuary phetess, invocator of evil spirits, a magician, a every inquiry was made as to Joan's previous disturber of the peace, and of scandalously putting

on the dress of man. The questions in the rest of ing voice, " I will sulmit to the Church." Toch the examination were founded on these accusa- Joan ! she knew she had always submitted to the tions. Her judges found that nothing said by Church, and she may have thought there could be Joan was likely to criminate her, so, on the 9th little harm involved in saying words so gool as of May, they had recourse to torture, in order to these. Who can be band upon her, only ninemake her deny her mission and thus destroy teen as she was, and life, as it were, but opening men's belief in her. When Joan was told what before her, for this weakness of a moment? was wanted of her, and with what she was The form of recantation was read to her, and threatened, she said: “ You may tear me limb she repeated it like a child, smiling at the from limb, and send the soul out of my body, but long words and her own stumbles over then. I will tell you nothing more ; and if I did speak Joan could neither rend nor write, and bad no differently in the torture, I would afterwards tell acquaintance with long words. She probably you that you had forced me so to speak." In spite knew little of the sense they conveyed. A of illness (for she liad had a fever in the prison) document was given her to sign and still and the weary strain of the four months' trial, smiling, with hopes of life and liberty shining Joan's spirit was still unsubdued. ller judges, withir her, she made a mark upon the paper. whether moved by her bravery, or afraid of Who shall tell what dreams of quiet Domremi killing her, would not put her to the torture that danced through her mind as she scrawled the day, and when a few days later they put it to the great “O” upon the paper ? Thoughts of her vote, a large majority was against administering mother and father, the village friends, Hagviette, it. On the 23rd of May, Joan was told that her Guillemette, and Mengette, perhaps. She had trial was ended, and that on the following day seen none of them for so long. They dared not she was to appear before the tribunal to receive visit her in prison, for she was in the bands of the sentence.

enemies of France. Little did she know what LAST DAYS.

she was signing. Her enemies had substituted

for the abjuration a confession of all the crimes On the 24th of May, Joan was led forth to be imputed to her, and it was to this that Joan, preached to in public in the churchyard of the smiling and almost gay again, was putting her Abbey of St. Ouen, and either publicly to abjure clumsy mark. her sacred mission or to receive sentence. She When she got back to prison she was told that was led through crowds of English and French, she was pardoned on condition that she never all anxious to behold the marvellous Maid who put on man's attire again, but that she was to be had been so powerful against the former, and for kept in prison all her life, and fed on bread and the latter. The English greeted her with groans water only. Thus quickly faded her hopes of and execrations, but many of the French were liberty. Her unmanly judges insisted on ber silent, pitying her in her youth and forlornness, changing her clothes for those of a woman in and remembering all she bad done for France. their presence. She was then chained to a block Two scaffolds hall been erected, one for Joan, the as before, and fire gaolers—three constantly in other for the Bishop of Beauvais and some of the her prison, day and night, and two outside the assessors. The sermon was prcached by one door-were placed to guard her. Erard, who stood on the platform with Joan. A few days later Joan was found in man's She let pass all that he said against herself, but clothing again, and of this ber judges were soon when lie called her king schismatic and heretical, informed. Her gaolers had taken the woman's she, faithful to the faithless and ungrateful clothing from her, and left her the choice between Charles, said : “ By my faith, sir, my king is a man's attire or none. Thus was Joan tricked into good Christian." After the sermon a form of disobedience. There are hints of darker insult, recantation was handed her, and she was asked to repelled by the gentle, modest girl, and of ber abjure. Some of those about her, anxious for bruised face and distress and tears. Death most her escape, advised her to agree. Joan was firm; have been a merciful release from a prison so full and the Bishop's voice was soon heard reading of horrors as was that of the brare rescuer of the sentence of death. The executioner was really, France. waiting for her. She looked at him and at the Joan now recanted ber ahjuration, and said English soldiers, thirsting to see her die. The she had abjured “from fear of the fire." The poor girl, faltering, weak with long imprison. Bishop assembled the assessors at a hst Council, ment and illness, lonely, forsaken, abandoned by and all were unanimous that she had relapsed. all who should have helped her, said in a quiver- Joan was ordered to appear the next morning in the old market-place at Rouen to hear her of the French nation ; and in 1453, with the sur. sentence. Two monks were sent to her cell to rendering of Bordeaux, the last of the conquests apprise her of her approaching fate. Human of triumphant France, peace, freedom, and indeWeakness again assailed poor Joan. “I had pendence were restored throughout the country. mther be beheaded seven times than burnt," she The work begun by Joan completed, people reSaul, and her shrieks and sobs filled the prison. membered her propbecy, and began to think that Just then the Bishop of Beauvais entered, some kind of justice should be done to her and Joan turned to him : “ My death lies at memory. your door," she said. “For your injustice to Joan's father had died of a broken heart after me I summon YOU before God.” The Bishop his daughter's death, but her mother still lived, trembled.

and had striven hard to have the sentence proShe was allowed to receive the sacrament, and, nounced upon Joan set aside. The city of greatly comforted by it, she was calm when the Orleans gave Isabeau Romée a pension, all of time came to go forth.

which, with a great part of her little property, * At nine o'clock on the 30th of May, 1431, she she spent in trying to stir up the authorities to left the prison clothed in a woman's long gown, do justice to the memory of Joan. and wearing a mitre with the words, " HERETIC, In February 1450, letters patent were issued RELAPSED, APOSTATE, and IDOLATRESS upon it by the Crown, constituting a commission to in large letters. When she reached the scaffold inquire and report into all the circumstances of there was another long sermon to listen to. At the trial and death of Joan of Arc. The consent its conclusion Joan prayed long, fervently, and of the Pope was obtained; but it was nearly five aloud. All about her wept, even Beauvais. She years before this second process began. On the forgave her enemies, prayed for the King, and 7th of November, 1455, Joan's aged mother, then asked for a cross. An English soldier broke leaning on the arm of the son who had fought his staff and made her a rough cross from it. by Joan in the campaign of the Loirc, entered She kissed it and put it in her bosom, but begged the cathedral of Notre Dame at Paris, followed some one to bring her the crucifix from a church by a train of clergy, lawyers, nobles, and women hard by, and" to hold it lifted up straight before of high dgree. Isabeau formally openedl the her eyes to the last steps of death, that the

proceedings by demanding that justice should be cross on which God had hung might, as long as done to the memory of her daughter Jeannc. she lived, be continually before her eyes.” When The proceedings were then removed to Rouen, as it was brought she embraced it with tears, pray- the fittest place to rehabilitate the memory of the ing to God, St. Michael, and St. Catherine.

poor girl and noble heroine who had there so She was then taken to the pile, and fastened unjustly suffered death. There were a hundred high upon it, so that her death agony might be and twenty witnesses in all, and every one of prolonged. When first the flames reached her them, without exception, testified to the truth, she shrieked with terror and pain, and cried out sincerity, and piety of her character. for holy water ; but soon she became her calm, On the 7th of July, 1436, in the great hall of grand, heroic self. Weakness fell away from her the Archbishop's Palace at Rouen, the final as death approached. When she saw that the

sentence was pronounced. The twelve articles tlames came near the priest who was holding up that had been drawn up against her at the the cross before her eyes,she bade him good-bye, former trial were declared to be false and calum. and told him to stand further off, but adding, nious, and condemned to be torn from the * Lift the cross higher that I may see it!" He records and publicly destroyed. The whole trial could still hear her speak. She said : “Jesus ! and judgment were now pronounced to be false Jesus! Mary! My voices! My voices !” No more and calumnious, and thus null and void ; and it shrieks of terror. No more groans of pain. She was further declared that neither Joan nor any cried out triumphantly : “My voices have not of her relatives had incurred any shadow of deceived me—they were from God;" and with disgrace. one great cry, " Jesus !" her head fell upon her By order of the Commissioners this new judge breast, and Joan was free.

ment was publicly read in all the cities of So ended her martyrdom. Thus closed the life France. It was read on the spot where she had of this wonderful girl.

suffered death, and a stone cross was raised there

to her memory. The people of Orleans esta. AFTERWARDS.

blished a yearly religious festival in her honour, In 1449, Normandy again became the property | and took care of Joan's mother, now called

Isabelle du Lis, until her death, which happened this record (and we cannot blame his scepticism) two years after the reversal of the sentence. The until the next year, 1688, when he happened to Duke of Orleans gave a grant of land to Joan's dine with a Monsieur des Armoises, who after two brothers, in recognition of her services. All the entertainment gave him the keys of the over France crosses, monuments, and statues were family library, where, to his surprise and delight, erected to the memory of the heroine of Orleans. he stumbled on a marraige contract between

Thus, after twenty-five years, tardy but full · Robert des Armoises, knight, and Jeanne d'Arcy, justice was done to the memory of this wonderful called “Maid of Orleans.' This confirmation girl, who united so many womanly qualities with of the Metz record satisfied him. the gifts of a superior mind, and added to them a “Monsieur Delepierre then refers to some docu. high courage and daring surpassing that of even ments found at Orleans in 1740, which contain the bravest men.

charges under the years 1435 and 1436 for money

given to a messenger who brought letters from HISTORIC DOUBTS.

Jehanne la Pucelle,' and to Jehan de Lils (that Of late some doubt has been thrown on the being the title by which her brothers had been account given by historians of the fate of Joan ennobled), to help him in returning to his of Arc. In an able article published in House- sister.' There is a third entry, To Jehanne Dar. hold Words some twenty years ago, the follow- moises, as a present made to her on August 1st, ing curious particulars are recorded :

1439, after the deliberation of the Council of * A few old records exist at Metz and Orleans, this city, for the services rendered by her at the which tend to prove that she was alive long siege, 210 livres.' after the period of her martyrdom; and a short “As a last documentary evidence, there is a time ago these were collected and made the petition from her brother, previous to his being most of by Monsieur Delepierre, in an interest- ennobled in 1415,-a date contradicted by the ing tract entitled Doute Historique (Historic Orleans charge which was made in 1436. This Doubt). When are we to take up again a fact petition represents that he had left his native in history and say to ourselves, . This is settled place to join the King's service in company with beyond all doubt ?' He begins by quoting the his sister Jeanne la Pucelle, with whom, ap to authority of the Père Vignier, an eminent the time of her absence, and since then till the antiquarian of the seventeenth century. This present, he had risked his life.' intestigator, while examining the archives at "Monsieur Delepierre also urges that at the Metz in the year 1687, found an entry to the time of Joan's reputed execution in the year effect, that on the 29th of May, 1436, “La Pucelle 1431, there was a common talk that she was not Jehanne, who had been in France,' came to that dead, but that the English had put another town, and

on the same day came her two victim in her place. Thus the chronicle of brothers, one of whom was a knight, and called Metz, after relating the story of her imprison. himself Messire Pierre, and the other Petit ment, trial, and burning, concludes, " Ainsi qu'on Jehan, an esquire,' who thought she had been le raconte, car depuis la contraire à été proueé' dead, but as soon as they saw her they recog. (As they relate, for the contrary has since been nised her, as she did them. The document goes prored). on to state that on the next day they took her - He regards the period which elapsed between to Boguelon, and procured for her a horse, a pair her condemnation and execution, and the extraof lergings, a cap, and a sworil, and the said ordinary precautions which were taken to conceal Pucelle managed the horse very well, and said her as calling for some explanation. He notices many things to the Sieur Nicole. so that he felt that several women who assumed the name of sure this was she who had been in France : and the Maid of Orleans were tried and punished as she was identified by many sizns as La Pucelle impostors, while no proceedings were taken Jehanne de France who had consecrated Charles against this Jeanne des Armoises, or De Her. at Rheims. After going to Cologne and many moise or Darmoises. In conclusion, he considers other places, where she was lcokel upon as the that these various facts are only explicable on genuine Maid, she reached Erlon, where she was the supposition that some young woman was married to Monsieur de Hermoise, a knight:' substituted for her at the burning pyre of Rouen, and soon after this “the said Sieur de Hermoise and that she continued a captive until the death and bis wife La Pucelle came and lived in Metz of the Duke of Bedford in 1435, when she was in the house which belonged to the said Sieur.' released from prison, and returned to pass many * The Père Vignier did not set much value on more years in the world."

C. E. H.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

CONTENTS.
Birth and Baptism-Childhood's Promise-Her First Flirtation-Early Levity Rebuked-Elizabeth under Arrest-Love's

Aftermath-Roger Ascham-His Plan of Teaching Influence over Elizabeth-Sunshine and storin-From Puritan to
Catholic-Sent to the Tower-Released–Prisoner at Woodstock-A Triumph on the Thames-Freedom at Hatfield-
At Hampton Coust-Accession to the Throne-The Coronation-Elizabeth as a Statesman-The Last of the Tudors-
Lary, Queen of Scots-The Armada-The Elizabethan Court-Her Last Days.

AT

BIRTH AND BAPTISM.

queen of the baughty lord that broke the T the palace of Greenwich, on the 7th of bonds of Rome," gave birth to a daughter. The September, 1533, the young and giddy child received the auspicious name of her grand

« PreviousContinue »