Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/235

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


gently in reply to their acclamations and addresses. She told them to fear God, and trust in Him for safety from the fury of their enemies. She first went to the principal church, where Te Deum was chanted; and then she took up her abode at the house of Jacques Bourgier, one of the principal citizens, and whose wife was a matron of good repute. She refused to attend a splendid banquet which had been provided for her, and passed nearly all her time in prayer.

When it was known by the English that the Maid was in Orleans, their minds were not less occupied about her than were the minds of those in the city; but it was in a very different spirit. The English believed in her supernatural mission as firmly as the French did, but they thought her a sorceress who had come to overthrow them by her enchantments. An old prophecy, which told that a damsel from Lorraine was to save France, had long been current, an known and applied to Joan by foreigners as well as by the natives. For months the English had heard of the coming Maid, and the tales of miracles which she was said to have wrought had been listened to by the rough yeomen of the English camp with anxious curiosity and secret awe. She had sent a herald to the English generals before she marched for Orleans, and he had summoned the English generals in the name of the Most High to give up to the Maid, who was sent by Heaven, the keys of the French cities which they had wrongfully taken; and he also solemnly adjured the English troops, whether archers, or men of the companies of war, or gentlemen, or others, who were before the city of Orleans, to depart thence to their homes, under peril of being visited by the judgment of God. On her arrival in Orleans, Joan sent another similar message; but the English scoffed at her from their towers, and threatened to burn her heralds. She determined, before she shed the blood of the besiegers, to repeat the warning with her own voice; and accordingly, she mounted one of the boulevards of the town, which was within hearing of the Tourelles, and thence she spoke to the English, and bade them depart, otherwise they would meet with shame and woe. Sir William Gladsdale (whom the French call Glacidas) commanded the English post at the Tourelles, and he and another English officer replied by bidding her go home and keep her cows, and by ribald jests, that brought tears of shame and indignation