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circulated detailed accounts of the assassination at Montereau, by which he also gained the advantage of rendering more difficult any accommodation of Philip with one notoriously accused as the murderer of his father. He obtained from England a timely supply of 4000 men under the Cardinal; and, leaving a moderate garrison at Paris, he marched to Melun with an army of 12,000 men. Charles met him there and offered battle, but the advantage not being sufficiently clear on the English side to authorise risking it, the offer was declined. Bedford having chiefly desired to show his force, retired towards Paris, and Charles, against the Maid's earnest remonstrances, retired in the opposite direction. Bedford again marched as if to meet him; and always chose his position so as to leave no possibility of an attack. In these and other marches of a like description, his object was closely to watch his adversary, and avail himself with his unbroken force of any error, any false move he might make—without giving the least opportunity of himself becoming the assailant—for he well knew that a defeat must prove far more fatal to the English than it could be to the French.
At this juncture, had Charles been able to press the war against Picardy, in all likelihood Amiens, Abbeville, indeed the whole province would have fallen. But he was about to attempt a negotiation of the utmost importance—nothing less than effecting a reconcilement with the Burgundian, who was then amicably disposed, and who must have been at once driven back into hostility, if such a conquest had been made in the vicinity of his own states of Artois. Bedford, however, was alarmed by the exposed state of Picardy, and hastened thither with all the troops he could spare from Paris, whither Charles immediately marched, took the suburb of St. Denys, and laid siege to the fort of the Gate St. Honore. In reconnoitering and sounding the ditch there, the Maid was wounded; nor do any authorities express a doubt that the officers treacherously withheld from her the knowledge they possessed of its depth. St. Denys was then retaken, and Charles, after showing during the attack an indo
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lence which was alleged to partake of timidity, marched back towards Melun.
His negotiation with Philip now proceeded so favourably that a personal interview took place, and everything seemed on the point of being arranged. But the fortune of Bedford again prevailed, or rather the ascendant which he possessed over the Burgundian, and the contrivances he resorted to for retaining him in his interest, were an overmatch for any means which Charles had of detaching him. He was induced to visit Paris at this critical juncture. Every engine was there set to work for regaining his entire confidence. The priests were set on him to dwell unceasingly upon the tragedy of Montereau, and warn him against ever being knit in the bonds of fellowship with its actors. The commanders whom he had sent with some supplies to the English army were promoted to distinguished stations.
Bedford pressed upon Philip the Regency itself, refused by him on Henry's decease, and induced him to accept it for some months, that is, until the following Easter. He further promised him Champagne and Brie, to be holden as fiefs of the English Crown. To the Duke of Brittany he promised Poictiers: and though all men clearly saw that these promises cost him nothing, inasmuch as they extended only to dominions which were in Charles's possession, yet both the Burgundian and the Breton princes were mightily affected by them, and the negotiation with Charles was reduced to a truce from September to Christmas, and regarded only the province of Picardy.
At this time it happened that the good feeling towards Bedford in Paris became considerably lessened by the successes of Charles, and the want of supplies both in men and money so often promised from England. The emissaries of Charles failed not to work upon the discontent which they saw increasing in every direction. The Regent had notice of communications observed to be maintained between the capital and Charles's head quarters. He had all travellers carefully watched, and a friar being stopped and searched was found to be the bearer of treasonable intelligence. A clue was thus obtained to the conspiracy which had been formed; many arrests were made; a great number of executions followed; and, though terror was thus struck into the adherents of Charles, the odium which such severity excited
against Bedford had an unfavourable effect upon his cause.
While these things were passing in the capital, the disturbed state of the country tempted the Duke of Savoy to make a treaty with the Prince of Orange for seizing upon an important portion of the French territory between the Alps and the Rhone. The Duke was to have Grenoble and the mountainous portion of Dauphine; the Prince was to have Vienne and the adjoining district.1 But Gaucourt, who commanded for Charles in those parts, suspecting the design of the two confederates, made a sudden attack on the Prince of Orange with a body of nobles whom he induced to take the field mounted, and a still more efficient band of those freebooters who were then the terror of the country. The unexpected movement proved perfectly successful. Possession was taken of the whole principality, and the Prince himself only escaped by dashing into the river and swimming across that rapid torrent. The good offices of the Pope and King of Sicily (Count of Provence) restored peace between the parties, and Charles gave the Prince back his dominions on condition of his serving against the English.
But by far the most important event to either party during this campaign happened at the siege of Compiegne, which Suffolk and Arundel formed with a considerable portion of the English army. The Maid having headed a sortie with 600 men, and being pressed by the Burgundians who opposed her, was compelled to retreat towards the gates, but not before she had performed prodigies of valour. She continued from time to time facing about and encouraging her men to make head against their pursuers; but, overpowered by numbers, she was forced to fly in order to regain the town; her horse fell; she was thrown to the ground; and being surrounded she surrendered to Lionel, a bastard of Vendome. It is by some authors affirmed, that the jealousy of the French captains, which continually broke out, showed itself fatally on this occasion; for Guillaume Flavey, the commandant of the place, is said to have closed the gates and prevented her when pursued from reaching the shelter she sought. Certainly the treatment she received afterwards at the hands of those whose cause she had rescued from destruction, would justify any such suspicion as rests upon Flavey's May 23, memory. But whatever opinion we may 1430. form on this point, there is no doubt that Vendome the captain, under sanction of the barbarous practices adopted in those days of chivalry, sold his prize to John de Luxemburgh; and he soon after, likewise for a price, made her over to the English.1 They, regarding her fall as the most signal success that could attend their arms, caused it to be celebrated as a victory by a solemn Te Deum
1 These Princes apparently resolved to possess themselves of what now forms the great department of the Isere, having half a million of inhabitants.