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From Macmillan's Magazine. çon. "The fair duke," for whom, THE LAST FIGHT OF JOAN OF ARC.
says his retainer Perceval de Cagny, “THE maiden, beyond the nature of Joan would do more than for any other woman, endured to do mighty deeds, man, had been the Maid's companion and travailed sore to save her company in arms from the taking of Jargeau to from loss, remaining in the rear as she the failure at Paris, from May to Septhat was captain, and the most valiant teniber, 1429. They were then sepaof her troop; there where fortune rated by Charles the Seventh and his granted it, for the end of her glory, and favorite La Trémouille. In 1456 the for that the latest time of her bearing duke deposed on oath that Joan had a
This gallant testimony to the knowledge of war, of the handling of valor of Joan of Arc on the fatal day troops, and of artillery, equal to that of beneath the ramparts of Compiègne a captain of thirty years' standing. (May 23rd, 1430) is from the pen of This opinion struck M. Marin with the contemporary George Chastellain, a surprise, and in maturer life he began Burgundian and hostile writer. It may to study the Maid as a strategist and be taken as the text of some remarks tactician. The popular idea of Joan on the last fight of the Maiden, and on (as in Lord Stanhope's essay) regards her character and conduct.
her as simply a brave girl, crying ForJoan has just been declared“ vener- ward ! and herself going foremost. But able " by the Church, a singular com- history acknowledges the military value pliment to a girl of nineteen, but the of her plans, and these Captain Marin first of the three steps towards canon- set about examining in the case of her ization. The Venerable Joan may be- last campaign on the Oise. His books,
the Blessed Joan, and finally however, really treat less of Joan's Saint Joan of Arc. But, by a curious tactics than of her character, and are of accident.one of her most devoted ad- less service to her saintly than to her mirers, Monsieur Paul Marin, captain military reputation. We may examine, of artillery in the French service, has in company with Captain Marin, the recently published some reflections on Maid's last months of active service. Joan's last fight, which may be service- After Easter, 1430, Joan's own desire able to the advocatus diaboli. If that was to go into the Isle of France, and unpopular personage is to pick a hole renew her attack on Paris. For this, in the saintliness of the Maiden, it is at least, we have her own statement at in Captain Marin's works that he will her trial, March 3rd, 1431.?
She was find his inspiration. The captain would asked whether her " counsel” bade her be the last of men to slur the purest of attack La Charité, where she failed for memories, nor does he regard himself lack of supplies. She made no answer as having done so ; he writes in the as to her counsel” or “ voices ; " she interests of historical truth. Never- said that she herself wished to go into theless the advocatus diaboli will take a France, but that the captains told her different view of the matter in hand, it would be better first to attack which amounts to this question : did La Charité.8 Thwarted in her wish, Joan, on one occasion at least, proclaim whether that wish was or was not sug. that by direct promise of St. Catherine gested mystically, Joan made an atshe was commissioned to do a feat in tempt on Pont-l'Evêque, where she was which she failed ; and did she, later, at defeated by the stout resistance of a her trial by the Inquisition, equivocate handful of English, and she made anon this point ? 1
other effort by way of Soissons, in In his first volume Captain Marin which she was frustrated by treachery. tells us how he was impressed in his
2 Quicherat, Procès, i. 109. youth by a remark of the Duc d'Alen- 3 After Easter, 1430, when her “ voices” daily
predicted her capture, the Maid generally accepted 1 See Jeanne d'Arc, Tacticienne et Stratégiste, such plans as the generals preferred, distrusting par Paul Marin, Capitaine d'Artillerie. Paris, her own judgment. So she said in her trial, on
March 14, 1431. LIVING AGE. VOL. II. 103
The object of both movements was to embourg; he was not sold by Joan. cut off the communications of the Duke However, Monstrelet, himself a conof Burgundy by seizing a bridge on the victed robber, says (like the other BurOise, and thus to prevent him from gundians) that Joan cruelly condemned besieging Compiègne. That city, at Franquet to death. The chivalrous the time as large as Orleans, had been highwaymen stood by each other. If a many times besieged and sacked. It knight was to be punished for theft and had yielded amicably to the Maid in murder, the profession of arms was in August, 1429, and the burghers were an ill way. Joan's deposition before determined to be true to their king for her judges as to Franquet d'Arras is a the future. The place was of immense model of straightforward boldness : 2 importauce for the possession of Paris, “ I consented to his death, if he had and Joan hurried to rescue it so soon as deserved it, as by his owu confession she heard of the siege. The question he was a traitor, robber, and mur. is, did she try to animate the citizens derer." by a false tale of a revelation through We can now estimate the impartiality St. Catherine, and, at her trial did she of Moustrelet, a Burgundian routier, quibble in her answers to questions on writing about the foe of pillage and of this matter ?
pillagers. Even he dares not stain his The topic of dates is important. chronicle with the sale of Joan by his Joan says that she made her sortie, in master Jean de Luxembourg. But he which she was captured, on the after was outside Compiègne when Joan was noon of the day when she had entered taken, and should have known the Compiègne at dawn. This promptitude dates. He did not, however, begin his was in accordance with her character, history till ten years after the events. S and her system of striking swiftly. The question of dates may be Her friend, De Cagny, is in the same summed up briefly. The Burgundian tale ; her enemies, the Burgundian chroniclers give Joan two days in Comchroniclers, put the interval of a whole piègne, and lix her capture on May day between her entry into Compiègne 24th. De Cagny also dates it on the and her sally.
same day. But the Duke of Burgundy, The first witness is Enguerran de writing to announce the taking of the Monstrelet, a retainer of that Judas, Maid, an hour after that event, dates Jean de Luxembourg, who sold the lis letter May 23rd. This is concluMaid for ten thousand francs. In or sive, for the other authorities wrote about 1424 Monstrelet himself had many years after the occurrence. Again, robbed on the highway some peaceable William of Worcester gives the date merchants of Abbeville.1 Now just of the Maiden's capture as May 23rd. 4 before the affair of Compiègne, Joan So far, we have reason to trust the had defeated and taken a robber Bur- accuracy of Joan rather than that of gundian chief, Franquet d'Arras. She her enemies. wished to exchange him for a prisoner It is obvious, lowever, that Joan of her own party, but her man died. might have passed two days in ComThe magistrates of Senlis and Lagny piègne, as the Burgundian writers claimed Franquet as, by his own con- allege, yet might have delivered no fession, a traitor, robber, and mur- speech about St. Catherine ; just as she derer. He had a trial of fifteen days, might conceivably have found time for and was executed ; Joan did not inter- such a speech in a single day. To unfere with the course of such justice as derstand the evidence for this speech, he got. In one sense Franquet's posi- and indeed for all the incidents of her tion was that of Joan in English hands. last sally, it is necessary to explain the But he was a robber; she always situation of Compiègue. Here for the stopped pillage. She was sold by Lux
2 Procès, i. 158.
3 Procès, iv. 360, namely after 1440. 1 Quicberat, Procès, iv. 360.
4 Cited by Quicherat, Procès, iv. 475.
first part of the problem we follow Let us now hear what the BurgunQuicherat.1
dian historians have to say as to Joan's Compiègne is on the left bank of the speech in Compiègue before the sally. Oise. A loug, fortified bridge, with a First, Monstrelet, who was present at rampart, connects it with the right Coudun where Joan was taken before bank. The rampart was guarded by a the duke on May 23rd, says — nothing fosse, crossed by a pont dormant, which, at all ! Next we have Lefèvre de SaintI suppose, could not be raised like a Rémi, who was sixty-seven when he bedrawbridge, though there are tales gan to write his “Mémoires ” in 1460, about “raising the drawbridge.” On thirty years after the events; he was the right bank is a meadow, about a king-at-arms of the Burgundian Order mile broad, walled in by la côte de of the Fleece of Gold. M. Quicherat Picardie. The plain beiug flat, and praises his account of the sortie, as often flooded, a causeway leads from among the best and most complete. the bridge across the meadow. Three Lefèvre declares that the Maid was in steeples are in sight, those of Margny Compiègne for two nights and a day, at the end of the causeway, of Clairoix and on the second day publicly antwo miles and a balf distant, and of nounced that she had a revelation from Venette about a mile and a half away St. Catherine, assuring her that she to the left. The Burgundians had a would disconfit the Burgundians. She camp at Margny and another at Clai- had the gates closed, she assembled the roix ; the English lay at Venette; the people, she cried that, “God, through Duke of Burgundy was at Coudun, a St. Catherine, bade her sally out that league away, says Monstrelet. Ac- day, that she would defeat the enemy, cording to M. Quicherat, Joan's plan and capture, slay, or drive in rout the was to carry Margny and then Clairoix, duke and all his men, and that this and finally attack the Duke of Bur- was indubitable. About two o'clock gundy himself. Now it was live in the the Maid sallied forth.” To ourselves evening when Joan rode through the it is plain that, in the opinion of Legate, and past the fatal rampart that fèvre, and of Chastellain (to be quoted guarded the bridge. Captain Marin next), Joan announced the defeat and justly remarks (i. 176), that to attack capture of the duke for that day : Margny was feasible ; it might be sur- " Qu'elle yssist ce jour allencontre de ses prised, and its capture, cutting the ennemis et qu'elle desconfiroit le duc; et Burgundians, was important; to attack seroit prins de sa personne.” That she Clairoix, at three times the distance, should issue forth that day, against her where the troops would have full warn- foes, and that she would defeat the ing, was an absurd blunder; to charge duke, who, for his part, would be taken through the Burgundians at both prisoner; these are clearly meant as places, and assail the duke himself, immediate, not remote, results of the was a very wild project, with a handful sally. If Joan made these predictions, of men, only five or six hundred. Be- she cannot have meant merely to hold lieving, as he does, in Joan's tactics, Margny; and so Captain Marin's praise he supposes that she merely meant to of her strategy is misapplied. He cau take and hold Margny, and so cut the only take refuge in a denial that the Burgundians off from the English. capture was prophesied for that day. With this purpose she moved late in Either M. Marin, therefore, is wrong the day, that the English, in their in his estimate of the Maid's strategy, efforts to rejoin the Burgundians, might or this account of her prophecy is inbe baffled by the dark of night. If correct. The Maid, we conceive, is to Joan bad a larger scheine, she chose catch or kill the duke that day. Now her hour ill, and, we may add, she had any attempt at such a feat, with such a an inadequate force.
force as Joan's, was mere recklessuess,
far beyond her gallant and resolute 1 Apperçus Nouveaux. p. 85; Paris, 1850. charge at Orleans in 1429. The duko
was a league away with all his army ; / went out with her at four in the afterbetween him and her lay Clairoix, noon, five hundred men-at-arns in all. Margny, and the Burgundian detach- This, on the face of it, is absurd. If ments there. The idea was less than all who could carry clubs went out, it is feasible, as Captain Marin perceives.1 odd that Monstrelet says nothing of
The next evidence is that of George such a strange levy en masse. ProbaChastellain. To this accomplished bly the five hundred were men-at-arms, rhetorician Lefèvre sent the memoirs exclusive of the mob. That mob, men which he began in 1460. These Chas- and women, did sally later, after Joan tellain used; he had also Monstrelet was taken, and carried a Burgundian before him ; had he other sources ? redoubt. Quicherat thought he had no personal To our mind, Chastellain writes as a knowledge of Joan's last year. Pon- rhetorician, certainly in his phrase, tus Heuterus (1583) says that Chastel- “ tout ce qui povit porter bastons," and lain claims to have seen Joan several probably in his account of the fantomtimes. Captain Marin reposes great meries about St. Catherine, and the faith in Chastellain, because he is prophecy of taking the duke captive. called elegans et exactus, and because of He has adopted these from Lefèvre, the well-merited praise given to the adding his own decorations, and Lestyle of the official Burgundian histo- fèvre wrote twenty years after Monriographer. Captain Mariu also lays strelet, who wrote ten years after the stress on Chastellain's fine description event, but never said a word of these of “the end of the glory of the Maid” facts. Thus we regard Chastellain's (already quoted) as a proof of his fair- theory of Joan's two days in Com
Now we venture to hold that piègne and his date (May 24th) as the differences between Chastellain's wholly wrong, contradicted both by version and those of Lefèvre and Mon- Joan and by the letter of the Duke of strelet, are mainly differences of style. Burgundy. His tale of a military mob By a curious coincidence the present is peculiarly his own; his fantommeries writer, in an account of Joan's last are an improvement in sarcastic force sally, hit on the same piece of rhetoric on Lefèvre, and that is all. as Chastellain himself, without having On this question of fantommeries read that author. Chastellain was a we now turn to Joan's own evidence, writer aiming of set purpose at a style ; given on March 10th, 1431. As to the the other chroniclers were plain men. value of her evidence, in general, we
Chastellain, then, says that the Maid must remember that she refused to entered Compiègne by night. She her- depone on oath to matters “not conself says that she entered" at the secret nected with the trial, or with the Catlıhour of morning.” He adds, that after olic faith.” Her reasons
were, first having rested there two nights (that of that she had a certain secret in comher entry and the next), the second day mon with the king ; next, that her after she proclaimed certain folles fan- voices and visions were sacred things tommeries (wild spectral foolings). She to her ; even among friends she spoke told the people that, by revelation of of them, as Dunois attests, with a God through St. Catherine, “ He wished blush, and in no detail. Now on the her that very day to take up arms, and king's secret and on her voices Joan go forth to fight the king's enemies, was plied with endless questions, she, English and Burgundians, and that being but a girl, nearly starved (it was without doubt she would discomfit in Lent), and weakened by long capthem, and the Duke of Burgundy tivity in irons. Finally, as to the sewould be taken, and most of his people cret sign which she gave the king, she slain and routed." Then the whole told an obvious parable, or allegory, multitude, “ all who could carry clubs," intentionally mixing up the real event
1 j. 170, 171. “Il parait difficile d'admettre l'ac- at Chinon, in March or April, 1429, complissement de ce trcisième point."
with the scene of the coronation at
Rheims three months later. This in- | ceptum de exeundo, she had no other nocent, and indeed open allegory she monition about the sally,” except the later confessed to as a mere parable, if constant warning of her capture. Nevwe may trust Martin L’Advenu, the ertheless, in the judges' summary of priest who heard her last coufession. her guilt, they declare that at ComWhen set face to face with the rack, piègne she made promises and predicshe announced that they might tear tions, saying that she
“ knew by her limb from limb, but she would not revelation many things that never ocspeak, or, if she did, she would in- curred." 2 stantly contradict whatever might be Are we to accept the word of Joan, wrung from her. In her trial, whien or the word of her murderers ? Probvexed with these endless questions, ably they had some gossip to go on. she kept replying, “Do you wish me There was no confronting or crossto perjure myself ? " To reveal the examination of witnesses. Into Comking's secret would have been to re- piègne the judges could hardly send veal his doubts of his own legitimacy, persons to collect evidence. Can the and not one word on this point was evidence have been that of her master wrung from Joan. For herself, she of the household, D'Aulon, of her "openly laid bare her conscience," brother, or of Pothon le Bourguignon, says Quicherat, made a clean breast of who were all taken with her ? It is to it, as we have seen in her reply about be noted that Jean de Mailly, Bishop the death of Franquet d'Arras. This of Noyon, and Jean Dacier, Abbé of is a brief account of Joan as a witness, Saint Corneille, priests of the English necessary for the understanding of her party, were in Compiègne, it is said, at evidence about Compiègne. Does she the time of Joan's sortie, and afterconfess to any fantonimeries there? wards sat among her judges. They The fact is that she never was asked if may have told a distorted tale to her she made a speech at Compiègne. discredit.3
She was asked on March 10th,“ Did Captain Marin inclines to think that you make your sally by advice of your Chastellain is correct with his fantom
voices'?” Her answer, if not cate- meries, whether his theory of a two gorical, is touching. “In Easter week days' stay in Compiègne is right or not jast, she stauding above the fosse of (ii. 58). If Joan was daily told by Melun, her voices, the voices of St. spiritual voices that she would be Catherine and St. Margaret, told her taken, is it likely, the captain asks, that she would be taken prisoner be- that she would have run the risk ? He fore the feast of St. John, and that so thinks it improbable ; he underrates it must be, and she was not to be Joan's courage. Captain Marin never amazed, but bear it with good will, and notices, we think, in this connection a that God would be her aid." And piece of coincident evidence. In the later,
many a time, and almost daily,'' height of her triumph, between the she had the same message, but she rescue of Orleans and the crowning at knew not the day or the hour. Had Rheims, in the summer of 1429, the she known that day and that hour, she Duc d'Alençon sometimes heard Joan said, she would not have gone to Com- tell the king that “she would last but piègue. Asked whether she would one year, or little more, and therefore have gone had the voices bidden her he must employ her while he might. and told her also that she would be D'Alençon gave this evidence on oath taken, she said that she would not have in 1456. Now Joan's year was over in gone gladly, but assuredly she would Easter week, 1430 ; there remained the have gone,
would have obeyed, what-“ little more.” In Easter week her ever might happen.” On that evil day
2 Procès, i. 298. of Compiègne, non habuit aliud pre
3 Sorel, La Prise de Jeanne d'Arc, p. 179. Paris,
1889. 1 Procès, 1. 400.
• Procès, ii. 99.