Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/238

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

232 JOAN OF arc's victory

arrow out with her own hands. Some of the soldiers who stood by wished to stanch the blood by saying a charm over the wound; but she forbade them, saying that she did not wish to be cured by unhallowed means. She had the wound dressed with a little oil, and then bidding her confessor come to her, she betook herself to prayer.

In the mean while, the English in the bulwark of the Tourelles had repulsed the oft-renewed efforts of the French to scale the wall. Dunois, who commanded the assailants, was at last discouraged, and gave orders for a retreat to be sounded. Joan sent for him and the other generals, and implored them not to despair. "By my God," she said to them, "you shall soon enter in there. Do not doubt it. When you see my banner wave again up to the wall, to your arms again! the fort is yours. For the present, rest a little, and take some food and drink." "They did so," says the old chronicler of the siege,* "for they obeyed her marvelously." The faintness caused by her wound had now passed off, and she headed the French in another rush against the bulwark. The English, who had thought her slain, were alarmed at her reappearance, while the French pressed furiously and fanatically forward. A Biscayan soldier was carrying Joan's banner. She had told the troops that directly the banner touched the wall, they should enter. The Biscayan waved the banner forward from the edge of the fosse, and touched the wall with it; and then all the French host swarmed madly up the ladders that now were raised in all directions against the English fort. At this crisis, the efforts of the English garrison were distracted by an attack from another quarter. The French troops who had been left in Orleans had placed some planks over the broken arch of the bridge, and advanced across them to the assault of the Tourelles on the northern side. Gladsdale resolved to withdraw his men from the landward bulwark, and concentrate his whole force in the Tourelles themselves. He was passing for this purpose across the draw-bridge that connected the Tourelles and the tete-du-pont, when Joan, who by this time had scaled the wall of the bulwark, called out to him, "Surrender! surrender to the King of Heaven! Ah, Glacidas, you have foully wronged the with your words, but I have great pity on your soul and the souls of your men." The Englishman, disdainful of her summons, was strid-

  • "Journal du Siege d'Orleans," p. 87.