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says she was only fourteen, and gives the saints who bore the message to her-St. Michael, commander of the heavy militia, St. Catharine, and St. Margaret, who recompensed her for her assiduous worship of them. The English writers suppress as far as they can all mention of her–Hardynge entirely, Fabyan nearly so : he only says (599-601) she “feigned being with child, and when the contrary was known, was judged and burnt.” Others pursue the same line, and give her the names of witch, sorcerer, &c., beggar's brat, person sent by Satan to spread unbelief, "of so foule a face that no man could discover her,” to which her chastity is imputed in Hall (iii. 148, 158).
It must be observed that the mystery which hangs over the Maid's history is not easily unravelled by any of the systems which have been or may be formed. But it is very possible that her own story may only have amounted to enthusiasm and heated imagination from her solitary life and constant vigils and prayers in chapels and hermitages; while the Court of Charles may, after adopting her, have added false stories to her true ones or her honest delusions. The four alleged miracles were, the battle of the Herrings, the discovering the King, the telling of the sword at St. Catharine de Fierbois, and the knowledge of Charles's prayer. The first may have been a mere accident, and her words may have been only a general affirmance that Charles's affairs were at that moment growing more desperate; and afterwards, when the news of the battle came, fought at the same time with her assertion, the latter may have been fancied to have been more specific.—As to the second, the King, by some accounts, wąs surrounded with a crowd ; but others say, five or six persons. It is easy to suppose that a quick eye might have seen something peculiar in him, or in the manner of the others towards him.—Then, touching the third, the sword may have been known to some one, though not generally, and that person may have told her of it.—St. Catharine de Fierbois was situated near Tours, in the province adjoining Orléanais, and was in possession of Charles, and she had been in the church on her way to Chinon.—The prayer alone remains, and this may have been added, or at least altered; for it is to be observed that the only part of it which could not very naturally have been guessed is the plan of retiring to Spain or to Scotland, and even that may have been talked of while Charles's affairs were so desperate that we are told he knew not which way to turn or what course to follow in the conflict of his council's opinions—that he retired into his cabinet and wept, and that he even spoke, and openly spoke, of retreating into Dauphiné and leaving Orleans and all the rest of the country to the enemy. It must have been the consequence of the Maid's promotion to a command, and of her first success, that everything was exaggerated and many things were invented respecting her, partly by the policy of the leaders in Charles's party, partly also by the love of the marvellous, always strong in the vulgar.
It is to be observed that the bulk of the older French historians never doubt of the Maid's miraculous performances. Mezeray (ii. 10) gives, as we have seen, the very names of the angels who aided her; and P. Daniel (vii. 56), though somewhat more measured in his faith, plainly tells us that they who are scared by the bare name of a miracle will find it hard to account for all the facts which are attested by such a body of authority.
The account of the Maid's conference with Charles given by Langlet (Hist. de la Pucelle) from the MS. in the Bib. du Roi has been followed in the text. It is to be observed, liowever, that others give a different version, representing her only to have declared him the true heir of the crown, which he conceived coincided with his secret prayer for divine aid if he were the true heir. M. Barante (Ducs de Bourg., Phil. le Bon, liv. 3) and Sismondi (Hist. des Franç., xiii.) adopt this account. It seems difficult to understand how Charles should have annexed any such condition precedent to his prayer ; because of his being the true heir, but for the loss of the crown by the treaty, there could be no doubt.
The story of news coming to Baudricourt of the battle of Rouverais after the Maid had told him of a defeat the day it happened, is a mere fiction. She left her home either on the
12th or 13th on her journey to Chinon ; and as the battle was fought on the 12th, no account of it could possibly have reached the Meuse for several days after she had set out.
Note LVIII.-P. 269.
The Report of Bedford to the King is dated 20th of (hetober. 1428, and it distinctly speaks of the Maid, “a disciple amet lyme of the fiende called the Pucelle, by her fals enchantments and sorceries” having caused the disasters of the army (Rym. t. 408). Even if the 20th of October be not she date, still it is in 1428, and the year began then in March. It is dated before the Maid had been in Charles's camp and court, for the battle of the Herrings was on the 12th of February, and that day she was at Vaucouleurs, urging Baudricourt to give her an introduction to Charles. All the books make the battle on the 12th of February, 1428-29, that is 1429 New Style. P. Daniel (vii. 51); Stow, (369, cap. xv.); "L'Art de vérifier les Dates' (i. 614); to say nothing of Hume (ch. xx.) and Lingard (iii, 408). Hall makes it 6 Henry VI., i.e. February 1428 (iii. 146); and Monstrel, (tom. ii., fol. xxx. xxxiv.), never to be trusted as to dates, makes it 1428 also, and gives that as the yenr of the Maid's appearance and exploits. Now it is clear that 1429 was the year, and therefore Bedford could not have sent the report the year before. It is, however, possible that Rymer has misdated that document. It may have been written and sent in 1429, and not 1428. But there will still remain the extreme improbability that a person of Bedford's decided and manly character should have ordered the siege, and, at all events, assented to it, while he commanded the army in person, and should, after it failed, have said he could not tell by what advice it had been undertaken.
However, it appears that the date in Rymer is wrong. In Rot. Par. (v. 435) we have the Duke's account of what he had written. He says “not long agoo,” this being in June 1434, and he cites the words exactly as given in Rymer (x. 408). He also states, as from that former paper, that the losses which he particularized were all owing to the panic created by the Maid's services, " and their lacke of sadde (wise) beleve” and their “ unlevefull (unlawful) doubte that thei hadde of a disciple and lyme of the feende called the Pucille, that used fals enchauntements and sorcerie.”
Since this note was written there has been published (at least in a separate form') the very able and interesting historical essay of Lord Mahon, “ Joan of Arc.” Allowance being made for the leaning of an author towards his heroine, there appears no reason to question the correctness of the view which his Lordship takes of the whole subject. It may, however, be doubted if he has sufficiently kept in mind the strong bias under which the testimony was given on the proceedings of the Revision, both from the persons examined and from the current of public feeling then setting in against the original trial, in which the prejudice was all the other way. This renders it difficult for the historical inquirer to find his way among the conflicting statements. The vast number of the works which have at different times been published either upon the Maid or upon the period to which her history belongs, does not inuch relieve him. M. Chaussard has enumerated above four hundred
It seems to be now admitted that the story so long current, and which almost all accounts had adopted from Monstrelet, of her having for a length of time been servant at an inn and employed in the stables, is either groundless, or at least much exaggerated. Nevertheless Lord M., who with Barante and Sismondi gives it up, is not perhaps quite justified in ascribing it to the Burgundian prejudices of Monstrelet. The arguments of Dacier (referred to Note XLVII. supra) seem to disprove the opinion entertained by others, as well as his Lordship, that Monstrelet belonged to the Burgundian party. It is to be further observed, that some explanation is required of the Maid's remarkable address in the use of armour, and especially of her perfect horsemanship ; and the judicious M. Petitot, as Lord M. admits,
It had appeared in the Quarterly Review.
considers it as certain that for some time at least she had acted as servant at an inn (Col. de Mém., viü. 242, 243.) His Lordship reduces this period to fifteen days, which would in no wise account for her expertness.
Upon the subject of her communication to Charles respecting his secret thoughts, Lord M. follows M. Barante and M. Sismondi, who do not mention her having made any allusion to Charles's intended retirement from France in consequence of his distressed condition.
There can be no doubt that his Lordship is right in treating with contempt the exaggerations of the French writers who dwell upon the Maid's talents in council and in the field. Indeed nothing can be more absurd, or more in plain contradiction to the whole facts, especially the entire disregard of her by Charles's officers and advisers in every one respect except her enthusiasm, her courage, and her character, which they turned to account.
His Lordship also very judiciously represents her behaviour upon the condemnation and at the scaffold to have been very different from the description given by fanciful writers and enthusiasts. That she should have been both shocked, dismayed, and terrified, was most natural, and can in no way lessen our pity and our indignation. Voltaire's remark, too, is perfectly just, that this demeanour was quite consistent with her great and unvaried courage in the field. (Mel. Hist., iii. 265.)
An absurd error in translating Bedford's letter is made by some French writers. M. Barante (Ducs de Bourg., Phil. le Bon, liv. 3) translates “ lyme of the feende”—“ limon de l'enfer” (femme née du limon de l'enfer). M. Sismondi (Hist. des Franç., xiii. 146) gives it accurately—“ membre du diable.”
Note LIX.-p. 297. No notice is taken in the text of the most unaccountable of all the singular circumstances connected with the Maid's historythe attempt to prove that she did not suffer at Rouen, another having been substituted in her place, because npon the whole it