Chapter 1 – Introductory
Section 1 – Recent Studies
The Beatification of Joan of Arc by Pope Pius X five hundred years after her birth has increased or emphasized the fame, which was its cause. Never was a beatification more ardently desired, it has been said; nor more enthusiastically welcomed. The extraordinary popularity of the Maid, strangely deepening and expanding in our day, has stimulated the study of the sources of her history, and inspired the writing of new biographies. They have been produced by believers of various creeds, and by unbelievers in any creed. We do not, of course, refer to lives, which dishonor the fair fame and the extraordinary career of the heroine – compositions so base and baseless, that they cannot arrest attention.
M. Quicherat’s publication, fifty years ago, of the two-fold Process, the documents, namely, regarding the condemnation and the rehabilitation, or justification of Joan, placed in the hands of the student the official reports, which, curiously enough, are the chief sources of her history – curiously; for the condemnation, which occupies the larger place, was grossly unjust and murderously hostile; yet Providence would have it so, that the victim’s answers were written, generally speaking, with substantial correctness.
Since Quicherat’s time many new documents have been discovered, new light has been thrown on the actors in the drama, the fifteenth century has been more profoundly studied, many fancies and fallacies have been dissipated. With regard to these last, it has been proved, for instance, that the so-called double retraction of Joan before her execution cannot be sustained, that she never gave any ground whatsoever for supposing that her mission ended with the crowning of the king at Reims; that this “gentle Dauphin” was in reality a man of blameless life, as Joan clearly thought and said he was, until after she had been withdrawn.
In 1840 the Society of the History of France, entrusted to one of its members, M. Jules Quicherat, the publication of the two Processes. He was a scholar of reputation, the director of the Ecole des Chartes; that is to say, a specialist in paleography, or the deciphering of ancient manuscripts. The publication was continued from 1840 to 1849. The first three volumes were devoted to the Processes – the Condemnation and the Rehabilitation; and in the remaining two volumes M. Quicherat published all other documents known to him and considered by him the sources of the Maid’s history. M. Quicherat came of a family of extreme revolutionary traditions and sentiments. He himself, though an upright and loyal man, and a sincere admirer of Joan of Arc, did not, however, share her faith; nor, it appears, any definite Christian faith at all. This mental condition influenced, unfortunately, his publication of the documentary evidence, and his own writings, retarding the heroine. He recommended the omission of several memoirs, and actually omitted them; because he considered them, as he said, theological or canonical. As a matter of fact, they were of great value, written by men of weight, learning and station. They not only furnish new matter, but they, perhaps chiefly, do justice to Joan’s mission; and if their value be ignored, or underrated, her history becomes a misrepresentation. The authors of the memoirs, men of highest position in Church and State at the time, examined in the most serious manner the mission of Joan. Such were the great prelate Pierre de Versailles, the saintly Cardinal Elie de Bourdeilles, Archbishop Gelu, the intimate friend of Charles VII, the distinguished Dominican Brehal, who were the soul of the Process of Rehabilitation. Of the writings of these men Quicherat gives a few inadequate passages, and occasional insufficient notes, notes, not always laudatory. Nor is the work actually done by M. Quicherat always exact, especially in his publication of the Process of Rehabilitation, which, naturally, is more worthy of respect than the work of the murderous Sanhedrin of Rouen. Quicherat wished to abridge the manuscripts of the second trial or Rehabilitation, but, unfortunately, follows his prejudice in the selection; and omits the more important manuscripts for those of far less value. In fact, Quicherat was the first to attempt to reinstate – to some extent–the unworthy Bishop of Cauchon, leaving the impression that he followed methodically the procedure of the Inquisition; while M. Quicherat depreciates the Process of Rehabilitation. But it is especially in his later work, Apercus Nouveau, that he disfigures the heroine whom he seems to admire. His omissions, his prejudices, his interposition of his own false theories and interpretations do wrong to the noble cause, which he treated. His work is incomplete on many grounds; he should have selected his materials better, and have published them without prejudice. Nor was his judgment infallible with regard to the manuscripts in his hands. For instance, he rejected as not being of original authority the Chronique de la Pucelle, justly valued by his colleague Vallet, and shown by him to have been written by a secretary of Charles VII, Cousinot de Montreuil. Various other documents have since come to light. M. Quicherat himself published the charming composition of the Registrar of La Rochelle. Later came the delightful pages of the Vatican manuscript by Delisle, the Belgian Chronicles, the Chronicle of the Cordeliers, the correspondence of Guistiniani in Morosini – all these were unknown when Quicherat edited his collection. There are many contemporary letters regarding Joan, written by the highest persons at the court of Charles VII; and of these not a few are in course of publication. There have been found various documents of local and general historical value, such as unedited lives of Joan, and an unpublished history of the University of Paris. Much work of investigation and publication remains to be done by scholars with intimate knowledge, historical, political, and religious, of the fifteenth century, who will edit the manuscripts with discretion, and with serious and adequate notes.
The most distinguished and conscientious work hitherto done is, unquestionably, that of Pere Ayroles, S.J.; who, coming fifty years after Quicherat, has spent more than twenty years of life in investigating the true sources of the life of Joan – for him a work of love. The praise of the Bishop of Orleans is not excessive when he calls P. Ayroles “the man best informed regarding Joan of Arc.” His work has been declared by eminent French scholars to be, what it truly is, “an imperishable monument,” of scrupulous authenticity. His fine volumes contain far more matter, and are far more serviceable, than those of M. Quicherat. P. Ayroles’ work is indispensable indeed. He shows, in particular, the nefarious part of the University of Paris, not only in the condemnation of Joan, but in the affairs of the Church at the time – its traitorous, destructive plots for fifty years before and twenty years after the execution of the Maid. No institution ever injured the Church more than did the decadent University of Paris. From its blows the Church has not yet recovered, and probably never will recover. Yet it was the University, which declared itself the Church in the condemnation of the heroine; and it was its officials and doctors, including Cauchon, who compassed her murder, without needing any instigation of Beaufort, Bedford, or Warwick.
In the interminable sessions of condemnation (the first trial), Joan revealed her whole soul and life. At the Rehabilitation, one hundred and twenty witnesses declared under oath, free of the terrors of Rouen, what they themselves had seen and heard. Thus the miraculous life is most luminous, authentic, and incontestable. In the words of Cardinal Pie, we have not only historical but juridical certitude as to the details. Her mission startled Christendom; and so we have a mass of contemporary writings – chronicles, histories, letters, poetry, municipal registers, etc., in France, Italy, Germany, Scotland. All these have been studied by Father Ayroles; and much of the matter has been reproduced.
He has discovered much of first class value, as the Letters of Justiniani in Morosini, and the correspondence of Archbishop Gelu. He has translated the memoirs of the Rehabilitation; collected and arranged many documents neglected or misplaced in injudicious collections; thrown a flood of light on the authors and actors in the scene; and justly estimated the value of printed books. His purpose has been fully achieved – to dissipate the fallacies and fancies of those who have misrepresented the Maid and her mission. He has made fully understood the examination and proofs of her mission before the officials of Charles VII; and shows Joan in her true surroundings, amidst the hostility of a court bishop or two, of faithless politicians, and of military captains. And, finally, he has proved the falsity of the Acts added by the unjust judge Cauchon to the pretended abjuration of Joan in the cemetery of Rouen. Not in vain does he name the first large volume of the five- Jeanne before the Church of her Time; for there he manifests her surrounded by the enthusiastic loyalty of the real Church of France. He reveals her, too, in the wider import of her frustrated mission, which was far other than the mere expulsion of the English soldiers and king from the soil of France. The scrupulous exactitude the indefatigable research of Pere Ayreks, have won him the title given in the Acts of the Process of Beatification – “the historian par excellence of Joan of Arc.”
Section, 2 – Joan, Her Own Historian
Jean Hordal, professor of law at the University of Pont-a-Mousson, in his Latin history of his glorious relative Joan, cites, in 1612, the names, and gives extracts from the works, of some one hundred and fifty authors who had written of the warrior Maid. These were historians, theologians, lawyers, poets, physicians. Among them are illustrious names, eminent in knowledge. But Joan was her own best historian. Without a friend, without counsel or aid of any kind save from heaven, the frank and simple-hearted peasant maiden reveals her whole life and soul before the unjust judges, who eagerly sought in the most obscure events and details of her short life the proofs of evil, in order to condemn her to death by fire. This is unique in human history. Nothing could be more luminous. And by a strange and benignant disposition of Providence, the scribe who wrote the questions and answers was honest; and, except perhaps in a few important instances, substantially correct.
From the beginning, Joan was a sign to be contradicted. The plotting courtiers were never quite in favor of her; the captains chafed under her leadership and success. The “gentle Dauphin,” whose cause she so chivalrously sustained, did not venture, or did not see his way, to adopt her bold program. The chronicles of her career were written by friends and foes.
The latter did not, and logically could not, accept her mission as supernatural; yet they portray substantially the great warrior figure, and admit her triumphs and popular fame. So, in a later time, in the really extraordinary revival of the memory and honor of Joan; in the great chorus of praise of Catholic, Protestant, and unbeliever; in the multitudinous biographies issuing from the press All are in fairly unanimous accord in exalting the virtues and exploits of La Pucelle.
Section 3 – The Church and Joan
It may be well, before approaching the actual career of Joan, to indicate some of the unjustifiable theories, or statements, made in her regard. One of these regards her relation with the Church in which she so fondly believed, and which she so devotedly obeyed. The light slur has frequently been uttered that the Church burned Joan. Again, that she was an illustrious example of free thought; of the right, as it is called, of the individual conscience to follow its own way, independently of an authoritative creed proclaimed from without. Such careless or prejudicial declarations are unjust to religion and injurious to the heroine of France. To the Catholic Church Joan’s allegiance never wavered. She began her mission with its solemn approval in the assembly at Poitiers. Throughout her whole career, nothing was more touching than the practice of her faith. To the Church and its Head she constantly professed entire submission. Even in the dark day of her condemnation and death, she pitifully implored that the Sacraments should be given her. And she died with the prayerful confidence of her childhood, appealing to the Pope from Caiaphas-like Cauchon. Pseudo-theologians, “who impudently called themselves the Church;” a band of traitorous partisans; foes of their king, their country, and the Church – such were the members of the Sanhedrin of Rouen. The University of Paris did not represent the Church of France, although it certainly influenced its destinies. The University and its party were notorious for their efforts to destroy the Divine organization and prerogatives of the Church; they were the authors and defenders of schism; the creatures of anti-popes, the fathers of Gallicanism. Rome denounced unhesitatingly he condemnation of Joan as soon as it could; that is, as soon as Charles VII began to move in the matter. And without this Roman Rehabilitation, the Maid would have remained a heroine of legend. Nothing was more imperatively demanded than this second sentence, which corrected the evidence and falsifications of Rouen; and, from the irrefragable testimony of those who had known Joan in childhood, in camp, and in her trial, presented her to the world forever in a light too resplendent to be obscured.
Chapter 2 – The Mission of Joan
Section 1 – General View
The appalling condition of France in the days of Joan of Arc is a matter of history; there was question of the existence of the nation. It had been chief amongst the Christian countries from the time of Charlemagne. Historically, through these ages, it had been the defender of the Church, and the heart of Christendom; and was so considered by European, and even by infidel, public opinion. There was question of preserving this France of Charlemagne and the Crusaders.
The assertions and life of Joan of Arc, show that she was far more than a patriot; or, if we wish, that she was a patriot of the truest and highest kind, who sought, not only the liberation of her native land from oppression, but, much more, its spiritual good, its moral and religious reformation. She was sent, she said, for the suffering and the poor, because of “the pity, which was in France.” She came to remove the cause of this by restoring the rightful king and driving out the invader. But she aimed at far more. Her reformation of a profligate and cruel army, her infusing of the spirit of faith and religious practice amongst the people, her re-uniting of selfish and dissident leaders for the common good – all this was much nobler and far more difficult than the expulsion of the English. Her desire to unite England and France, her inspiring of all Christendom in a time of dire public need, the conviction of the Christian nations as to what her vocation really was, her own attestation, with the support it had in her actual achievements, proved that Christendom, after France, would have followed her, to do, as she said, a fairer deed than ever had been seen in European history. Here we have the need and the possibility, the power and the assurance, of success. Caiaphas, Herod, and Pilate, came together against her, and made her great mission fail.
Section 2 – The Supernatural in the Mission of Joan
To treat Joan’s life as Renan does the Gospels is a violation of fact. To declare her life and work a natural phenomenon produced by the circumstances of the time is a direct contradiction of her own testimony and of the innumerable witnesses of her phenomenal deeds. We have unquestioned chronicles, judicial registers, letters, official documents civil and ecclesiastical, slow deliberate judgments of the chief minds of her age and country, the testimony of acquaintances of her younger and of her maturer years, the word of friend and foe, to discredit the light fancy of men, who, without hesitation or embarrassment, explain away everything.. Her stainless and most cautious sanctity of life, the prophecies so frequent on her lips, the superhuman work which she performed, all lead up to the culminating point of her mission, the proclamation upon which she insisted, that there was no cure for war-born France save in the union of her people under the sovereignty of the Christ “who loved the Franks.”
Joan’s professed mission was to have Charles VII rule his kingdom under the Christian law; or, in other words, she proclaimed “her Lord” the true king of her country; His social and political sovereignty was the ideal she proposed and toward which she strove. And what she proclaimed and desired for France, she would propose to all the Christian nations, then beginning to feel its need in face of national and religious dissentions, and of purely human or pagan “reasons of state,” instead of reasons of Christianity.
This is, of course, the Christian ideal and program, the reason of the Incarnation. Joan only insisted on it; and she insists on nothing more constantly and emphatically. It is “her Lord” who sends her. She is entirely sure of His presence and of His assistance. She acts and commands in His Name. To Him she attributes her victories and all her gifts and graces.
His kingly name and title are ever on her lips as in her heart. To the hard old soldier, Baudricourt, she says at her first visit “The kingdom does not belong to the Dauphin; it belongs to my Lord. However, my Lord wishes that the Dauphin be made king, and hold his kingdom in trust. He will be made king in spite of all his enemies; and it is I who will conduct him to receive his anointing.” The Dauphin will be
crowned, but by the aid and disposition of Heaven, and at the appointed time. The kingdom is given him to defend. In less than fifteen months the impossible thing was done. The king was crowned, and the tide of utter defeat turned to glorious victory.
Again, to the noble and gallant Jean de Metz she said, “Neither king, nor duke, nor the daughter of the king of Scotland (promised then to the French king’s son), can recover the kingdom; in me alone will France be saved. So my Lord wills, although it is not a deed to be hoped for from one of my condition; and I would far prefer to remain spinning beside my mother. He (her Lord) wishes it, and I must do it.” Arriving at Chinon she immediately announced all this to the king. The noble-hearted Duke d’Alencon was present at the long interview, with the unworthy La Tremoille. Joan requested the king to offer up his kingdom to the true Sovereign, the King of kings; and promised that His Divine Majesty would do for Charles VII the great things which He had done for his predecessors. She asked, moreover, “many other things,” which d’Alencon had forgotten. It was, finally, in obedience to this heavenly command of vassalage, that Charles consented to be led to his coronation, before the eyes of astonished France and of the world, by the hand of a peasant girl, one of the most lowly of his subjects. All this was meant by Joan when she said her banner was dearer to her than her sword. With the banner she led the soldiers to victory. When it touches the fortress wall she said, the English will be quickly vanquished. Her banner represented her heavenly mission and the sovereignty of Christ, whose name it bore. Hence she held it displayed, majestically and symbolically at the coronation. What could prove her words better than that she, a child, should lead the hitherto humiliated and powerless king through the midst of a hostile land to be crowned at Reims?
The reforms demanded by Joan at the court of Charles VII are mentioned, in part at least, by the chroniclers – a general amnesty for all the dissentient French partisans; the administration of kindly justice to the poor and to the rich; reparation for past crimes; the practice of religion, beginning with the king and court (these noble personages Joan made go to Confession and exhorted to Holy Communion) ; the reformation of the soldiery and of communal administration; finally, obedience to the commands which Joan would receive from “her Lord.” Such was the program of the Maid–the Gospel applied to the government and the morals of the people of lianas. How the Maid greatens in this vision of her! And how different she is from the peasant girl of free thought, who dreamed dreams and was stimulated to military surprise by the sight of a village raid perpetrated by some robber captain! She bore no hatred to the English; but requested them to depart without bloodshed; and over their dead and dying she wept with all the tender pity of a woman. It is a profanation to reduce Joan to the stature of a mere patriot. Such was not the view of Christendom, astounded at her exploits and virtues. Warriors thronged to her banner, even from beyond the limits of France, foreshadowing a crusade. What would have been her fame if she had been allowed to take Paris? What enthusiasm and confidence she would have aroused if she had expelled the English completely and rapidly, as she proposed to do? Such victorious exploits would have given the noble-hearted Joan an opportunity of leading a united Christendom in a campaign far greater than that of the Loire.
Section 3 – Her Prophecies
The author who believes little in the existence or possibility of prophecy or miracle, and the outright unbeliever, will always try to explain in a natural manner the manifested foreknowledge and the apparently superhuman deeds of Joan of Arc. Such explaining away often becomes trivial, and often entirely ridiculous.
Before referring to the prophecies of the Maid, it is well to premise that prophecy is not necessary a permanent gift, and that by its nature it is limited. In it is embraced the knowledge of secrets. Its purpose – and nothing is more evident in the history of religion – is to manifest Divine Providence, to prepare the minds of men for coming events, to turn aside evils, to conciliate public esteem, to show Divine approval and mission – all things of supreme consequence, if not of absolute necessity, when there is question of an envoy of God, with great and supernatural things to be accomplished. Provided the person favored with prophecy is also distinguished by heroicity of virtue, that is, practices the Christian virtues habitually in a heroic manner, or with heroic perfection, this gift is a great indication of sanctity, and is one of the chief grounds of canonization.
Minimizing in the matter of prophecy is unjust to Joan of Arc. As a matter of clear fact, she had the gift of prophecy in a rare degree; the gift was astonishing, every frequent, and indubitable. To accept this statement it is necessary only to read her life frankly and attentively. In fact beyond the frontiers of France, she was probably considered a prophetess even more than a warrior. At Domremy, before beginning her career, and at Vaucouleurs when imploring the aid of Baudricourt, she prophesied in the most definite manner, that, before one year had elapsed, she would cause the king to be crowned; that she would do so in spite of his enemies – and they were many and irresistibly powerful – that at mid-Lent Divine assistance (through her) would come. On February 12th she announced the defeat of Rouvray at the moment it occurred one hundred leagues away. This it was that finally decided Baudricourt to help her. The guides and guard feared to undertake the dangerous journey from Vaucouleurs to Chinon. Joan foretold they would meet no serious obstacle – a thing, which seemed miraculous enough. At Chinon she recognized the king whom she had never seen, even though he had disguised himself amidst the courtiers – however the light critics seek to deny the fact. She made known to Charles her knowledge of his supreme secret never revealed to any one, and uttered only to Heaven in a mental prayer. Other prophecies on that same occasion are recorded. To revictual (to re-supply with food VF) Orleans in siege seemed a sheer impossibility. We shall do it at our ease, said Joan, without one Englishman coming out of his entrenchments (fortifications VF). The indication and description of her sword; the prompt deliverance of Orleans, with a hundred accompanying prophecies, of the crossing of the river, the foretelling of her wound, of the safety of her herald, the death of Glasdale, of the total fight of the English before five days, of the taking of the Tourelles after one assault and her return by the bridge; her knowledge, too, of the secret council of the captains, and the losses at Fort Saint Loup – such and so constant was the prophesying of Joan. At Jargeau, foretelling the victory she inspired the assault against the advice of the captains; and although hurled from the scaling ladder by a large stone, she immediately spring up and took the town by storm. During the investment of Jargeau she saved the life of d’Alencon by warning him to remove from where he was standing; directly afterwards, another, taking his place, was slain. She had foretold also, to the tearful wife of this young nobleman that she would bring him back safe and sound. She foretold in a picturesque manner, but exactly, the extraordinary victory of Patay, urging her soldiers to press on boldly. The prediction of the coronation at Reims was one of the most extraordinary of all. On her way thither, she told the military council, which was about to turn back from Troyes, that, if the matter were left to her, the city would surrender in two or three days, as happened. The people of Reims, she said, would come forth spontaneously to meet the king. In the most desperate and hopeless moments she predicted the capture of Saint Pierre-le-Moustier. She foreknew the frustration of her mission, but assured that it would be accomplished after her death. Paris fell in 1436; the Duke of Orleans was released in 1440; Normandy and Guienne returned to their allegiance in 1450.
The prophecies of Joan were not always fulfilled, because they were frustrated by disloyalty or opposition. Her program was not followed; her own efforts were hindered; and hence it would have been a miracle if the deeds which she alone could do had been done without her. If such a thing indeed happened, her mission and her genius would have been of little avail. Historically speaking, when Joan was unhindered, all went well; when betrayed or set aside, things usually failed. And nothing could have been better or more admirable than this choice of a peasant girl to create and lead the armies of France, to the humiliation of a criminal and traitorous nobility.
Section 4 – Joan’s Pre-eminent Sanctity
One of the great promoters of the beatification of Joan and of the revival of popular enthusiasm in her fame, Cardinal Pie, Bishop of Poitiers, called her “the largest and completes, type of religion” – in the sense, namely, not only of personal Christian perfection, but, moreover, of confirmation of Christian morality and dogma by her life, and of the manifestation of Divine intervention in her great career. This is the important view of Joan; not the minutiae, sometimes despicable, of some biographers. Not the inspiring story of her brilliant campaigns; not the touching drama of her martyrdom; but the far higher and more important aspect of her life and mission – the re-establishment of the Christian constitution of states, justice, charity, piety, Christian law, and Christian ideals, such is the complete view of Joan, as of all saints, as of “her Lord” Himself.
In the brief span of her mortal course what contrasts of life, duty and occupation! From the pious solitude of her native village, from the utter simplicity and snowy innocence of her child life, she passed to court and camp, and there became the central figure. But she is ever the same- “simple as any peasant girl save in things of war.”She who loved her little companions, Mengette and Hauviette, at Domremy; who plied busily the distaff and needle, and led the placid animals to the village pasture, now speaks to king and nobles with an ease, confidence, and grace equal to their own. She loves the conversation of men of war. She mounts the war-horse and wields the lance in a manner, which fascinates the proud old soldiers. She sways the royal council, prophesies victory, marshals the lawless but now reformed veterans, inspires them with a sense of all-conquering courage, and in bold attack and hard siege leads them to irresistible victory. And in all this strangest transformation; her prayers and tears are as assiduous as in her native fields assiduous as in her native fields or village church; her angelic modesty more noticeable, noticed, and revered; her absolute detachment from any personal interest, unparalleled.
What Christian virtue could have burned more brightly than it did in the heart Joan, her sublime faith, her nearness to Heaven, her warm charity to all? Not an aspect of religion which was not seen in her – reverence for Divine worship and all things sacred, constant reception of the Sacraments, fear of offending God, or failing in creed or law. Her stainless modesty seems miraculous. It extinguishes the flame of desire in the hearts of her hard-fighting soldier-companions, as, fully armed, she sleeps beside them on the field. Yet no timid and cautious virgin ever took more precautions as to her female companions, when possible, and as to her place of rest. Her courtesy is as delicate and exquisite as that of a princess, and not unmingled with charming humor. Her fortitude is unequaled by the hardiest warrior of the royal army. Baudricourt will not abash her, nor the counsels of the captains dissuade, nor the- unparalleled dangers of journey, march, or desperate attack, ever make her feel a thrill of terror. She will weep over the dead, and for a moment when she is wounded; but this only shows she never lost the tenderness of the maiden. Her sobriety was so great that even at the close of the hard-fought day, she eats but a little bread steeped in wine. The people everywhere are intimately acquainted with all this; and so they venerate her as a saint, and kiss the stirrup of her saddle and the hem of her robe, and ask her to touch their rosaries. But she laughingly returns them with the gay word, that it will do just as much good if they touch them themselves.
Section 5 – Joan’s Military Genius
The transformation of Joan of Arc is unique. From a simple peasant maiden, she becomes, at the age of seventeen years, an accomplished captain of resistless leadership, a perfect horse woman, an intrepid soldier, a consummate general, inspiring the foe with terror. She performs magnificent exploits, with, as became a great commander, lightning rapidity. Armies flee, castles fall, cities open their gates. Perfidy alone – this was, she said, the only thing she feared – stays her victorious advance. She never mounted a horse until leaving Vaucouleurs to go to the king. A few days after, she so charmed d’Alencon in presence of the king by the skill with which she rode her horse and managed her lance, that he gave her a present of a warhorse. She now was much pleased with armor, and asked the king for good horses and arms.
D’Alencon, who was all nominal commander-in-chief of her army, said, “In all things, excepting war, she was simple as any young girl. But in war she was most expert, either in wielding the lance, or massing the army and preparing the battle. She made excellent use of artillery; and it was a subject of admiration for all to see her military skill and intuition. One would have thought her a captain of twenty or thirty years’ experience; and especially in the arrangement of the artillery, she was excellent on this point. “Her hostess at Bourges, Dame de Bouligny, said Joan seemed to know absolutely nothing beyond matters of war. Her simplicity and innocence were noticed by all, and very much increased the veneration she received. The Chevalier Thermes, who fought beside her, testified that in the leading of an army, in arranging the line of battle, in animating the combatants, there was no captain so skillful in the whole world even though he had passed his life in the art of war.
Her summons to surrender terrified the stubborn English veterans – the facts are undoubted. Recruiting became difficult, desertions frequent. In four months they lost the conquests of ten years. The Duke of Bedford sums up the cities – Reims, Troyes, Chalons, etc. Napoleon did nothing better in the same length of time, everything considered. The counsel of the chief s was often opposed to hers; but she swept them with her. In fact, she found it much harder to overcome the resistance of the leaders, lay and clerical, with whom she was allied, than to vanquish the English.
The opposition in the royal party to Joan is almost incredible. In her brief military career of about thirteen months, she was practically supreme in the leadership of the army for less than two months. During this short space, Orleans was delivered in nine days, after a siege of at least six months; Patay was won, and the campaign of the Loire completed in six days. From June 29th, 1429, to May 23rd, 1430, she was only tolerated, and had never sufficient help. She accompanied the army to Reims although the surrender of Troyes is due to her. It is still more manifest that she was merely tolerated in the campaign of the Ile-de-France. The failure at Paris was the work of Charles VII and his council. On the Haute Loire, in a series of sieges, she was placed under others; but the credit of taking Saint-Pierre-le-Moustier falls to her. In her last campaign she had only a few hundred men, and even then she was opposed and hindered up to her capture at Compiegne. Yet all this time she was full of activity, intelligence, and energy. In the beginning she quickly overcame the intrigues of the court at Chinon. The army of “old brigands” (Armagnac), pillagers and dissolute, was changed in a few days. Captains, proud, skeptical, and debauched, followed the peasant child. Etienne de Vignoles – called, from his brusque character, La Hire, an old Burgundian word for the snarl of a dog – practiced and praised pillage. Gaucourt, a man of fifty-seven years, was a distinguished leader. Such, too, was de Gontant; such, Sainte-Severe. The people and common soldiers’ worshiped Joan, and the captains obeyed. Dunois, the true, noble, and gallant soldier, was, twenty-five years after, still under the fascination of the warrior Maid. La Hire alone tried to release Joan at Rouen; but he was taken by the English, and soon escaped.
The military trials of Joan are thus summed up by General Canonge – bravery, example, humor and repartee, skill, foresight, grasp of the situation, activity and rapidity, astonishing endurance, extreme sobriety, horsemanship, used of arms, audacious and stubborn attack, ardor and prudence, humanity, knowledge of men and of the heart.
Chapter 3 – Christendom at the Time of Joan of Arc
Section 1 – General View
Joan was born almost at the close of the Great Schism of the West. This deplorable division of Western Christendom was due, at least indirectly, to Philip IV (le Bel) of France; who, making the Papacy practically an appendage of the French crown, aimed at making himself the arbiter of the Christian world. The great international power of the Pope, who was long the acknowledged judge and peacemaker of the Catholic nations, the defender of the oppressed, the educator and restrainer of kings, was defied and broken by Philip le Bel, and was never regained. The ill-omened monarch really began the Hundred Years’ War with England, which brought his country more than once to the very verge of destruction.
The Great Schism was the work of the French Cardinals, preponderant in the conclave and Roman Court since the days of Avignon. They desired to continue dominant, and make the Papacy French. In the very year of Joan’s birth there were three Papal claimants, one having been added by the Council of Pisa in 1409.
In 1417 Pope Martin V was elected, and the schism was over, ostensibly at least, and as far as the Head of the Church was concerned. But the effects have never quite ceased; the Papacy has never regained its prestige. The contesting claimants of the tiara, lacking authority, and wishing to conciliate the great to their respective causes, were unable to restrain the pretensions and abuses of kings and nobles. Of the antipope Clement VI, one of his adherents wrote: “He has so subjected the clergy to the great ones of the world, that each one of these seems to be Pope more than the Pope himself.” The powerful seized the Church benefices and dignities, and bestowed them on their favorites. These things were allowed by Popes in order to restrain the great from open schism. And thus it came to pass by degrees, that, “in the most Christian Kingdom and under the most Christian King, lay and married folk were heard to speak of ‘my benefice, my abbey, my monks’; no wonder that the abbeys and the monks became discredited.” Heresy, which had never since the time of Clovis f ound a home in Europe, was now acclimatized, and showed its character and consequences in the fearful excesses of the Hussites. In the following century Luther and others would divide Western Christianity probably forever. Even after the election of Martin V, the false Benedict XIII was still sustained by the ambition of Alfonso of Arragon, and by Count Armagnac. Pope Martin died on February 20th, 1431, as the trial of Rouen was beginning; and it is proved that Joan had never heard the name of his successor, Eugene IV.
The evil genius of Mahometanism had long been menacing and enslaving the Christian nations. In 1415, Mahomet, penetrating as far as Salzburg, had carried away thirty thousand prisoners. Adrianople had been their second capital since 1360. The threat of a sultan to make his horses feed on the altar of Saint Peter’s was by no means rash. The last emperors of Constantinople, with scarcely more than the city in their possession, gave, in their abasement, their daughters to the sultans, and followed them to war, even against the cities that wished to remain faithful. All Christian civilization had perished in Asia and Africa before the sword of Islam, which threatened Italy, torn by internecine war, and was still maintained in Spain through the dissensions of the Christians. There was sore need of a Godfrey de Bouillon, of a Charlemagne. Was the remedy promised by Joan of Arc when she spoke of a deed to be done more wonderful than had yet been seen in Christendom?
The time was pregnant, with great events. The discovery of new worlds, begun by Portugal, was soon to reach its climax in the possession of America. The age of printing was about to dawn. Meanwhile, Gallicanism, formulated and carried into practice by Philip le Bel, menaced, in the Councils of Constance and Basle, under the inspiration and support of the University of Paris, the very existence of the constitution of historic Christianity. The all-dominant mediaeval Papacy lost its international power; and the long discord of France with the center of Christendom was begun or emphasized.
Section 2 – England and France
England and France should have united for the defense of Christendom; instead, there was waged between them the War of a Hundred Years. As long as England was under English rule, the two nations were friendly. The invasion of William of Normandy was the root of the trouble, which reached its climax under Henry Plantagenet of the House of Anjou. The hostility between the two nations has never been since quite extinguished. The Hundred Years’ War was caused by Philip le Bel, and continued by his posterity. Philip’s three sons, each king for a short time, died early. But, previously, and during the reign of their father-in-law, Philip le Bel, the three wives of the royal sons were seized and convicted of adultery, or connivance threat – probably after the manner of the Templars-their husbands doing nothing in their defense. One was done to death, more or less slowly, in prison; another was divorced and imprisoned, and died soon after her inclosure in a cloister. The third, having been imprisoned, was finally released.
This was one of the many atrocious “affaires,” not always without shedding of blood, which happened in the days of this king, who was the murderer of the Templar Knights, as well as of Pope Boniface VIII. The “horrible scandal,” as Lavisse calls it in his History, was as obscure as the other horrible “affaires”; but during it, many men and women were tortured, and many suffered death. Historians have thought it probable that the sanguinary drama was really hatched by Isabelle, daughter of Philip le Bel and wife of Edward II of England. Her English title, given by the poet Gray, is notorious as well as deserved – the “She-wolf of France.” She became the mistress of Sir Roger Mortimer and murderess of her husband.
Philip le Bel seized the Duchy of Guienne by duplicity (as is generally admitted) from Edward I; and war began in 1294. This was the real beginning of the Hundred Years’ War. Peace was made in 1303. Edward II married Isabelle, the daughter of Philip; and Guienne was restored. This arrangement led to frightful calamities; and the independence of France was twice imperiled. In 1338, Edward III, whose claim to the French throne rested on his mother Isabelle (contrary to the Salic Law), contested the crown with Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois, who was the brother of Philip le Bel. The defeat of the French at Slugs (1340) and at Crecy (1346) by Edward III, and at Poitiers (1356) by the “Black Prince,” who made King John of France prisoner, extended and assured the dominion of England over a great part of the conquered country. Charles V of France and Du Guesclin, however, recovered nearly all the English had taken, save Calais and Bordeaux. Henry V, of the usurping House of Lancaster, renewed the claim to France; and defeated Charles VI at Agincourt in 1415. By the treaty of Troyes in 1420 the whole of France was ceded to Henry V, who entered Paris some months after, and died the following year at the age of thirty-four. Two months after him died the unfortunate French Monarch, Charles VI. His son, now eighteen years old, the “gentle Dauphin” of Joan of Arc, and afterwards, through her, King Charles VII of France, was now the rival claimant to the French throne, against the infant son of Henry V of the House of Lancaster.
Section 3 – Dissensions of the French Princes
It has been remarked that France created three claimants to the Papal throne, and now she was torn to pieces by three contending parties – French, Burgundian, and English. To sustain the schism in the Church she set one cardinal against another; now her royal princes shocked humanity by their murderous feuds. Her Gallicanism, which aimed at destroying the organization of the Church, saw its counterpart in the unparalleled excesses of the Parisian.
Charles VI was called to the throne in 1380 at the age of twelve, under regents (his uncles) and tutors who robbed the treasury. When he became mad (intermittently) in 1392, the first peer of the realm, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, sought the chief post. After his death in 1404, his son, John the Fearless, had the same ambition. To secure his influence, he gave one of his daughters to the Dauphin Louis, Duke of Guienne; and his son Philip was married to Michelle, daughter of the king. The rival of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, was his first cousin, Louis, Duke of Orleans, the brother of the king. Louis was nearer to the throne, and claimed the right of regency. He was handsome, talented, fond of pleasure, and a favorite of Queen Isabeau, the ill-reputed wife of Charles VI. The bitterest hostility raged between the rival cousins. John accused Louis of imposing excessive taxation, and of wasting the public revenues. In 1407 the uncles of these two princes reunited them, even under the seal of Holy Communion received together. Three days after, on November 23rd, Louis was murdered in rue Barbette, in the evening, as he came from the quarters of the queen. John avowed the murder and retired from public view, but soon returned. In his name, John Petit, a great doctor of the University of Paris, and a great opponent of Papal prerogatives, justified and glorified the crime in a public discourse. Valentine de Milan, widow of Louis, vainly seeking justice, died of grief at Blois, on December 4th, 1408, recommending her sons to avenge their father. Her sons were Charles, Duke ‘of Orleans, eighteen years old, father of the future Louis XII; John, Count of Angou-leme, uncle of Francis I; and the Count des Venus, who died childless. With these was her husband’s illegitimate son, the gallant and noble-hearted soldier afterwards called Count Dunois, but now named in the unabashed speech of the time the Bastard of Orleans. This courteous, loyal, and princely leader, the soul of the defense of Orleans, was the glorious and most faithful companion of Joan of Are; after her death he retook Normandy and Guienne from the English.
In 1410 the Duke of Orleans wedded the daughter of Count d’Armagnac; and hence we have the murderous party-cry of Armagnac, as we have the equally murderous cry of Burgundy; both parties were almost equally traitorous, and both called in the invader from overseas. The federation formed by Count d’Armagnac was chiefly composed of royal princes. The most important matter was to obtain possession of the king and of the city of Paris. After atrocious ravages, in which the peasants were the chief victims, the peace of Bicetre was concluded on November 2nd, 1410; the leaders on both sides agreeing to quit Paris. The governor of the city was, however, really the lieutenant of Burgundy. In 1411 the Armagnac party began the civil war anew with the fury of wild beasts. They tortured the peasants to extort money, they outraged the women, and burnt the, country where they passed. The most horrible sacrileges caused them no scruple. They were excommunicated, and the feeble king offered protection to all who would slay them. The Parisian mob, inflamed by the Burgundians, inaugurated a reign of terror, said to have been more terrible than that of the later French Revolution. The Armagnacs then did what the Burgundians had done, and handed over their country to England by the treaty of the 8th of May, 1412. For John of Burgundy had raised an army of one hundred thousand men in Picardy, Flanders, and Hainault; and devastating the country as cruelly as did the Armagnac party, had gone secretly to, Calais to seek an alliance between one of his daughters and the heir of the English crown. Strengthened by seven thousand English recruits, he repelled his opponents, and sent his allies to live on the country as they returned to Calais. The Duke of Clarence, in accordance with the stipulations of the treaty with the Armagnacs, landed in France, and the second stage of the Hundred Years’ War began. In the same year that the two French parties were betraying their country to England, Joan of Arc, was born. Seventeen years later, on the date of the traitorous treaty, she began to roll back at Orleans the tide of the invasion.
Henry V, after the first troubles of his reign, demanded the hand of Princess Catherine of France, with several provinces as her dowry. Refused, he landed at Harfleur on August 14, 1415; and took it after six weeks. Agincourt followed on the 25th of October. The Duke of Burgundy, in an interview with Henry V and the Emperor Sigismund agreed to the partition of France, while his soldiers spared nothing in their ravages on both banks of the Somme. He himself laid waste the environs of Paris, invaded Beauce, and getting possession of the queen, instituted a form of government at Troyes. The efforts of Pope Martin V were fruitless for the union of the French parties. The horrors of the Burgundians, masters of Paris, in 1418, surpassed beyond measure all that had preceded, while John of Burgundy and Queen Isabeau entered the city in triumph. The legates of the Pope in vain appealed to the English king to make peace; but the two cousins, Burgundy and the Dauphin, came together, not without suspicion, to be reconciled at Montereau. During their interview on the middle of the bridge, John the Fearless was struck dead, after his career of crime, by one of the followers of the Dauphin. What was the cause, no one can say – whether a sudden altercation, or an attempt to seize the Dauphin, or malice aforethought. It has never been proved that the Dauphin had instigated the deed. Joan of Are, afterwards deplored the murder; and it was said figuratively, though not quite truly, that by the wound of the cleft skull, long after visible, the English entered France. At the date of the fatal interview of Montereau, the Dauphin was seventeen years of age; and Joan of Are, eight.
Immediately the ardently partisan University of Paris called for vengeance, and the Burgundians, its close allies, more enraged than ever, now led by Philip, son of John the Fearless, made closer their alliance with the English. To them the unworthy queen also appealed for revenge. A treaty recognizing Henry V as King of France was ratified at Paris, and proclaimed at Troyes, at that time practically the Burgundian capital, on Henry’s arrival there on May 20th, 1420. The demented king, Charles VI, was made to declare that Henry, to whom he gave his daughter Catherine, was his beloved son and heir, and regent of France while awaiting the crown. Paris was governed by the English, and its parliament proscribed the Dauphin Charles, as did his unnatural mother. There was a revival of patriotism amongst the French; some provinces, like Languedoc, returned to the national allegiance; and Thomas, Duke of Clarence, the brother of Henry V, was slain at the French victory of Bauge, March 22nd, 1421. On hearing this news, Henry landed again in France, took Meaux after a six months’ siege, but died on the 30th of August, at Vincennes, at the age of thirty-four. Charles VI, his insane father-in-law, followed him to the grave on the 22nd of October. John, Duke of Bedford, brother of Henry, was at the time regent of France; and after a treaty of friendship with the Duke of Brittany and his brother Richmond, or Richemont, wedded a sister of the Duke of Burgundy. Richemont married another. The Dauphin Charles was unable to make headway against the skillful politician and soldier Bedford, whose successes were crowned by the victory of Verneuil, August 17th, 1424, a day almost as disastrous for France as was Agincourt. The national party struggled in its decomposition for five years more, until Joan the warrior Maid rolled back the tide of English victory.
Chapter 4 – Charles VII
The king whom Joan of Are caused to be crowned at Reims has been the subject of much contemptuous speech. Nothing is easier than to reproach the monarch who abandoned to her fate the heroine to whom he owed his throne. Not without reason is he condemned for his disorderly life. To this is added ridicule because of his supposed personal appearance, his neglect of his royal functions, his lack of soldierly vigor. All this is not quite just.
Charles was born February 22nd, 1403. His two brothers, elder than he, died young and left no issue, though married. Owing to the unfortunate custom of the time, he was affianced at the age of eleven to a near relative, a child two years younger, Marie of Anjou; and because of his dissolute mother, passed into the family of his future mother-in-law, Yolande, an Arragonese princess, styled Queen of Sicily. He was married in April, 1422. He had won back Languedoc to his allegiance, but after the defeat of Verneuil, his party was terror stricken, and continued to disintegrate in every sense until the coming of Joan of Arc. Many of the princes went over to the English side, others retired to their own principalities as independent rulers; others extorted portions of the Dauphin’s domains. His revenues were robbed; even former friends calumniated him; scarcely one of his own obeyed him. A saying was current, that in France any one might take what he could hold. The Dauphin’s house lacked necessaries, as did he and the queen, in matters of food and clothing. Things grew steadily worse. But, according to the testimony of Archbishop Gelu, his friend and counselor, the prince’s patience and confidence failed, and he relied much on prayer and alms.
Yolande now negotiated the appointment of Arthur, Duke of Richemont, as Constable. He had inclined to the English side with his brother, the Duke of Brittany; but he loved them little. His rule in the name of the Dauphin was a tyrannical one, and equivalent to the latter’s abdication. Richemont appointed Giac, a ruffian, as first chamberlain. Amongst other crimes, Giac had murdered in a manner not to be described his pregnant wife in order to marry a handsome and wealthy widow. The Bishop of Poitiers protested against the robbery of the treasury; and Giac proposed to throw him into the river; but another chief counselor of the Dauphin imprisoned the Bishop, nor could the prince obtain his release until he paid a ransom of a thousand crowns. Personal encounters occurred at the very door of the Dauphin’s apartment. At last Richemont took Giac and drowned him. Such crimes in his presence caused the unfortunate prince to utter loud cries of anguish.
The Constable next put Tremoille over the royal household against the royal protest. This traitorous scoundrel continually blocked the enterprises of Joan of Arc; and, in the end, probably betrayed her. He was eighteen years older than the Dauphin, over whom he ruled for six years, until, at last, taken from his bed in the king’s castle of Chinon, he was stabbed, though not to death, and hurled from power. A favorite of Jean sans Peur, he married, in cold-blooded calculation, the Countess of Auvergne, widow of a royal prince, and ten years older than himself. He quickly got possession of her towns and fortresses, abandoned her in poverty, and when she died in 1423, his henchmen ravaged Auvergne in the name of the Burgundian cause. Tremoille was believed, with great probability, to have instigated the murder of Giac, in order to marry his widow; which he did five months later. He turned the Dauphin against Richemont, whose promises and administration had failed, and bought off for a large sum taken from the royal treasury the assassins employed by Richemont to kill him. The funds of the Dauphin disappeared rapidly under the hands of Tremoille, while he advanced to the prince sums at an enormous interest. He alienated portions of the royal domain, prevented taxation on his own estates, collected money on all merchandise passing his castles, employed common brigands in order to share their profits, and obtained from the unfortunate Dauphin letters of amnesty for all his misdeeds. The prince was reduced to misery so, extreme, that he pawned his mirror, after his cincture and helmet, and was in debt to his servants and tradesmen.
Early training and later misfortune had made Charles religious, pious, and moral. There is no serious authority to contradict the proofs of his piety and morality at this early epoch. The flippant historians who say that Charles used to pray for hours and go to confession daily in the midst of his excesses are in opposition with the chroniclers who knew the matter best – Gelu, Duclerc, Brehal, etc. His latest and best historian, de Beaucourt, accepts and sustains this view. The scandalous disorders of the last twenty years of his life had not yet been foreshadowed. Nor would Joan of Arc, who reproached the Duke of Lorraine as a prophetess, have gone to the court stained by the presence of the Sorel concubine. According to Beaucourt, it was only in 1442 or 1443 that Charles began his disorderly course; all his early years are illustrated with good deeds. His faith, piety, and sufferings were the cause of the laudatory titles bestowed on him by Joan of Are, and of her touching loyalty. In her last hour, under the shadow of death in the cemetery of Rouen, the friendless Maid interrupted with virile courage the unworthy preacher who blackened unjustly the fair fame of her “gentle Dauphin.”
Chapter 5 – Condition of the People
Berruyar, Bishop of Mans, a contemporary, wrote of the time when Joan of Are appeared, that France was a land of brigands, in which it was vain to appeal for justice. The war was conducted by razzias, (raids) the people of the invaded territory being dragged to the fortresses of lawless adventurers or brigand nobles – true dens of thieves – where, if not ransomed, they died of outrages to which they were subjected. The armies of the royal cause were composed of adventurers of many nations, drawn together by the hope of pillage. The Scots were numerous, and of such a reputation, that their annihilation at the battle of Verneuil was considered by the people a compensation for defeat. The Irish, who were many in the armies of England, enjoyed no better fame. The Lombards and other Italians were noted for leaving the battle to load themselves with booty. The Normans, fallen under English sway, complained to the king of the wholesale burnings of his soldiers; but received the answer, that such was the usage of war. De Morvilliers, president of the parliament of Paris under English rule, used to pierce the tongues of those who spoke against his manner of administration. The Armagnacs, or party of the French king, were no better than the Burgundians, and often worse. One military highwayman of their side, a Spanish adventurer named Rodrigo, left his name as a synonym for brutality. Yet, because useful to his party, he was able to marry an illegitimate daughter of the royal House of Bourbon, and became brother-in-law of the Count de Clermont. Another ruffian – samples these! – in the French cause, the Bastard of Vars, hung up on a tree as many as a hundred at a time who could not obtain their release by ransom. Finally, he was hung himself, also, in the midst of what he called the bunches of grapes. Outrages on women reached such a point of brutal baseness, that parents and husbands were forced to witness them. The lawlessness of the mercenaries was such that towns, even of their own party, refused, on the advice of their Bishops also, to admit them. Normandy, particularly, when taken by the English, was infested by brigands as by wolves. The English massacred them without pity (for they were especially hated by the brigands), and offered a reward for their capture or murder, just as is offered for the extermination of wild beasts. It is related, that in one year as many as ten thousand of these outlaws or their harborers were decapitated or hanged. Centuries did not suffice to obliterate the traces of such evils. The open country was so deserted that wolves entered at night into the streets of Paris. In this capital itself homes were abandoned by thousands. From the Loire to the Seine, says the contemporary Bishop Bassin, from the Seine to the Somme, the peasants were slain or driven away. Lands remained uncultivated year after year. He makes a long and fearful list, not at all complete, of desert provinces. A handful of people remained in towns which had contained several thousands; and the forests gained on the hitherto fertile fields so the saying ran, “The .English brought the woods to France.”
Meanwhile the English invaders pushed on their campaign. Montague, Earl of Salisbury, reputed the ablest English commander after Warwick, landed in France in 1428, ravaged the Beauce country and the neighborhood of Orleans, and laid siege to this city. He was killed however; and the command devolved on the Earl of Suffolk. To deepen the hopelessness of the French cause, an English convoy of supplies, chiefly herrings, it appears, because of Lent, defeated at Rouvray, on February 12th, 1429, a French army thrice its size, and with the advantage of choosing its own position. Then it was that the despairing Dauphin thought of abandoning the contest, and of fleeing even beyond the borders of France. North of the Loire, nothing remained to him but the fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy and the devoted city of Tourney. In this dark hour Joan of Arc took the field. Her prophetic announcement of the disaster of Rouvray on the day on which it occurred finally decided the captain of Vaucouleurs to accept her story and her mission; so he gave her armor and a guard, and sent her, “come what may,” to the Dauphin at Chinon.
Chapter 6 – Joan’s Early Years
Section 1 – Her Birthplace
“I was born at Domremy,” said Joan to her judges at Rouen, “which forms one village with Greux; the principal church is at Greux.” The little village of three hundred souls, running along the highway and the placid Meuse, is still as small and poor as it was in the days of the Maid. The church beside which she lived is there yet, though changed; and portions of her cottage are built into the present house. The stream still flows beside it into the river but the cemetery, then by the cottage and church, has been transferred beyond the village. The fountain at which Joan and her childish companions used to drink has been identified. Near it stood the “fair May-tree;” and above still spreads the thick wood of oaks and other trees, the famous Bois Chenu.
The Meuse was the boundary between the Duchy of Lorraine to the east, and of Champagne to the west. Champagne, like Lorraine, followed the cause of Burgundy, which was on its southern border; hence Archbishop Gelu wrote to Charles VII, as if in warning, that Joan came from the country of Lorraine and Burgundy.
In fact the Lorraine country was considered to extend far beyond the limits of the actual duchy. For, in this broad sense, Barrois, Neufchateau, Vaucouleurs, and other territories, including even a part of Champagne, were in Lorraine land. Strictly speaking, however, and, especially, speaking politically and geographically, neither border of the Meuse belonged either to Lorraine or Champagne. The eastern side belonged to the principality of the Bishop of Toul, whose diocesan Joan was; and the western side, up to Domremy, belonged to the duchy of Bar. The little stream which separated the house of Joan, on the north, from the rest of the village, to the south, was the boundary between the Barrois ground and that of the castle of Vaucouleurs. This castellany (area) was the immediate property of the crown of France. This is clear from the document by which Charles VII, at the request of Joan, exempted from taxation Domremy and Greux. A few.years ago there was found in the archive Vaucouleurs an authentic copy of the act by which, at the instance of the Bishop of Toul, the castle and its dependencies were ceded to the king of France.
Greux, which formed one parish with Do