Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/242

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236 JOAN OF arc's VICTORY at ORLEANS.


She was taken prisoner in a sally from Compiegne, on the 24th of May, and was imprisoned by the Burgundians first at Arras, and then at a place called Crotoy, on the Flemish coast, until November, when, for payment of a large sum of money, she was given up to the English, and taken to Rouen, which then was their main stronghold in France.

"Sorrow it were, and shame to tell, The butchery that there befell."

And the revolting details of the cruelties practiced upon this young girl may be left to those whose duty, as avowed biographers, it is to describe them.* She was tried before an ecclesiastical tribunal on the charge of witchcraft, and on the 30th of May, 1431, she was burned alive in the market-place at Rouen.

I will add but one remark on the character of the truest heroine that the world has ever seen.

If any person can be found in the present age who would join in the scoffs of Voltaire against the Maid of Orleans and the Heavenly Voices by which she believed herself inspired, let him read the life of the wisest and best man that the heathen nations produced. Let him read of the Heavenly Voice by which Socrates believed himself to be constantly attended; which cautioned him on his way from the field of battle at Delium, and which, from his boyhood to the time of his death, visited him with unearthly warnings.† Let the modern reader reflect upon this; and then, unless he is prepared to term Socrates either fool or impostor, let him not dare to deride or vilify Joan of Arc.

  • The whole of the "Proces de Condemnation et de Rehabilitation de

Jeanne D'Arc" has been published in five volumes, by the Societe de L'Histoire de France. All the passages from contemporary chroniclers and poets are added; and the most ample materials are thus given for acquiring full information on a subject which is, to an Englishman, one of painful interest. There is an admirable essay on Joan of Arc in the 138th number of the "Quarterly."

† See Cicero, de Divinatione, lib. i., sec. 41; and see the words of Socrates himself, in Plato, Apol. Soc.: "On f*oi ^eiov ri kcu daifiovtov ylyvertu,

  • 'E^l 6h TovT* lartv U naidoc &oi<iuevov, ^uvri rig yiyvofiiinit «• r. A.