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go down, at the same time asking him to keep holding the cross up high in front of her, that she might never cease to see it. The same monk, when questioned fourand-twenty years later, at the rehabilitation trial, as to the last sentiments and the last words of Joan, said that to the very latest moment she had affirmed that her voices were heavenly; that they had not deluded her; and that the revelations she had received came from God. When 7 she had ceased to live, two of her judges-John Alespée, canon of Rouen, and Peter Maurice, doctor of theologycried out, “Would that my soul were where I believe the soul of that woman is !” And Tressart, secretary to King Henry VI, said sorrowfully, on returning from the place of execution : “We are all lost; we have burned a saint!"
A saint indeed in faith and in destiny. Never was 8 human creature more heroically confident in and devoted to inspiration coming from God-a commission received from God. Joan of Arc sought nothing of all that happened to her and of all she did, nor exploit, nor power, nor glory. ,
“ It was not her condition,” as she used to say, to be a warrior, to get her king crowned, and to deliver her country from the foreigner. Everything came to her from on high, and she accepted everything without hesitation, without discussion, without calculation, as we should say in our times. She bclieved in God, and 9 obeyed him. God was not to her an idea, a hope, a flash of human imagination, or a problem of human science. He was the Creator of the world; the Saviour of mankind through Jesus Christ; the Being of beings, ever present, ever in action; sole legitimate Sovereign of man, whom he has made intelligent and free; the real and true God whom we are painfully searching for in our own day, and whom we shall never find again until we cease pretending to do without him and putting ourselves in his
10 place. Meanwhile, one fact may be mentioned which
does honor to our epoch and gives us hope for our future. Four centuries have rolled by since Joan of Arc, that modest and heroic servant of God, made a sacrifice of herself for France. For four-and-twenty years after her death, France and the King appeared to think no more of her. However, in 1455, remorse came upon Charles VII and upon France. Nearly all the provinces, all the towns, were freed from the foreigner, and shame was felt that nothing was said, nothing done, for the young girl who had saved everything. At Rouen especially, where the sacrifice was completed, a cry for reparation arose. It was timidly demanded from the spiritual power which
had sentenced and delivered over Joan as a heretic to the 11 stake. Pope Calixtus III entertained the request pre
ferred, not by the King of France, but in the name of Isabel Romée, Joan's mother, and her whole family. Regular proceedings were commenced and followed up for the rehabilitation of the martyr, and on the 7th of July, 1456, a decree of the court assembled at Rouen quashed the sentence of 1431 together with all its consequences, and ordered “a general procession and solemn sermon at St. Ouen Place and the Vieux-Marché, where the said maid had been cruelly and horribly burned, besides the planting of a cross of honor (crucis honestoe) on the Vieux-Marché, the judges reserving the official notice to be given of their decision throughout the cities and notable places of the realm.” The city of Orleans responded to this appeal by raising on the bridge over the Loire a group in bronze representing Joan of Arc on her knees before Our Lady between two angels. This monument, which was broken during the religious wars of the sixteenth century and repaired shortly afterward, was removed in the eighteenth century, and Joan of Arc then
received a fresh insult; the poetry of a cynic was devoted to the task of diverting a licentious public at the expense of the saint whom, three centuries before, fanatical hatred had brought to the stake. In 1792 the council of the 12 commune of Orleans, “considering that the monument in bronze did not represent the heroine's services, and did not by any sign call to mind the struggle against the English,” ordered it to be melted down and cast into cannons, of which “ one should bear the name of Joan of Arc."
It is in our time that the city of Orleans and its distinguished Bishop, Mgr. Dupanloup, have at last paid Joan homage worthy of her, not only by erecting to her a new statue, but by recalling her again to the memory of France with her true features and in her grand character. Neither French nor any other history offers a like example of a modest little soul, with a faith so pure and efficacious, resting on divine inspiration and patriotic hope.
CHARACTER OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
HISTORY OF FRANCE.
This short sketch of the Middle Ages, by Guizot, should be compared with Pearson's elaborate essay on the same subject.
It has been remarked that the Middle Ages were, in 1 point of fact, one of the most brutal, most ruffianly epochs in history, one of those wherein we encounter most crimes and violence; wherein the public peace was most incessantly troubled, and wherein the greatest licentiousness in morals prevailed. Nevertheless it can not be denied that side by side with these gross and barbarous morals, this social disorder, there existed knightly morality and
knightly poetry. We have moral records confronting ruffianly deeds; and the contrast is shocking, but real. It is exactly this contrast which makes the great and fundamental characteristic of the Middle Ages. Let us turn our eyes toward other communities, toward the earliest stages, for instance, of Greek society, toward that heroic age of which Homer's poems are the faithful reflection. 2 There is nothing there like the contrasts by which we are struck in the Middle Ages. We do not see that, at the period and among the people of the Homeric poems, there was abroad in the air or had penetrated into the imaginations of men any idea more lofty or more pure than their every day actions; the heroes of Homer seem to have no misgiving about their brutishness, their ferocity, their greed, their egotism; there is nothing in their souls superior to the deeds of their lives. In the France of the Middle Ages, on the contrary, though practically crimes and disorders, moral and social evils abound, yet men have in their souls and their imaginations loftier and purer instincts and desires; their notions of virtue and their ideas of justice are very superior to the practice pursued around them and among themselves; a certain moral ideal hovers above this low and tumultuous community, and attracts the notice and obtains the regard of 3 men in whose life it is but very faintly reflected. The
Christian religion undoubtedly is, if not the only, at any rate the principal, cause of this great fact; for its particular characteristic is to arouse among men a lofty moral ambition by keeping constantly before their eyes a type infinitely beyond the reach of human nature, and yet profoundly sympathetic with it. To Christianity it was that the Middle Ages owed knighthood, that institution which, in the midst of anarchy and barbarism, gave a poetical and moral beauty to the period. It was feudal knight
hood and Christianity together which produced the two great and glorious events of those times, the Norman conquest of England and the Crusades.
THE CRUSADES.-PREACHING OF PETER THE HER
MIT.-ENTHUSIASM OF THE CRUSADERS.
GUIZOT'S “HISTORY OF FRANCE."
(See note on the Crusades, extracts from Gibbon.) In 1095, after the preaching errantry of Peter the 1 Hermit, Pope Urban II was at Clermont, in Auvergne, presiding at the grand council, at which thirteen archbishops and two hundred and five bishops or abbots were met together, with so many princes and lay-lords, that “about the middle of the month of November the towns and the villages of the neighborhood were full of people, and divers were constrained to have their tents and pavilions set up amid the fields and meadows, notwithstanding that the season and the country were cold to an extreme.” The first nine sessions of the council were devoted to the affairs of the Church in the West; but at the tenth, Jerusalem and the Christians of the East became the subject of deliberation. The Pope went out of the church wherein the council was assembled and mounted a platform erected upon a vast open space in the midst of the throng. Peter the Hermit, standing at 2 his side, spoke first, and told the story of his sojourn at Jerusalem, all he had seen of the miseries and humiliations of the Christians, and all he himself had suffered there, for he had been made to pay tribute for admission into the Holy City, and for gazing upon the spectacle of