“You, men of England, who have no right in this kingdom of France, the King of Heaven orders and commands you by me, Jeanne the Maid, that you quit your strong places, and return to your own country; if you do not I will cause you such an overthrow as shall be remembered for all time. I write to you for the third (The first letter was sent on March 22nd, 1429: of the second nothing is known.) and last time, and shall write to you no more.”
“Jhesus Maria, JEHANNE LA PUCELLE.”
“I would have sent you this letter in a more suitable manner, but you keep back my heralds: you have kept my herald Guyenne; I pray you to send him back, and I will send you some of your people who have been taken at the Fort of Saint Loup, for all were not killed there.”
As soon as this letter was written, Jeanne took an arrow, on the point of which she fastened this letter with a thread, and ordered an archer to shoot this arrow towards the English, crying out, “Read! here is news!” The English received the arrow with this letter, which they read. After having read it they began to cry out with all their power: ” It is news sent to us from the . . . of the Armagnacs!” At these words Jeanne began to cry, shedding many tears, and prayed the God of Heaven to come to her aid. Soon she appeared to be consoled, having had, as she said, news from her Lord. In the evening after supper, she ordered me to rise earlier than I had done on Ascension Day, because she wished to confess very early in the morning: and this she did.
The next day, Friday, I rose very early; confessed her, and sang Mass before her and all her followers: she then started with them at once for the attack, which lasted from morning to evening. On this day the Fort of the Augustins was taken, after a great assault. Jeanne, who was accustomed to fast every Friday, could not do so on that day because she was too troubled, and she took supper. After this supper there came to her a noble and valiant captain, whose name I do not remember. He told her that all the captains were assembled in Council; that they had taken into consideration the small number of their forces in comparison with the large forces of the English, and the abundant grace which God had granted them in the success already obtained: “The town is full of supplies; we could keep it well while we await fresh succor, which the King could send us; it does not seem,” he ended by saying, “expedient to the Council that the army should go forth tomorrow.” ” You have been to your Counsel,” Jeanne answered him, “and I have been to mine; and believe me the Counsel of God will be accomplished and will succeed; yours on the contrary will perish.” And addressing herself to me who was near her: “Rise tomorrow morning even earlier than you did today; do your best; keep always near me; for tomorrow I shall have yet more to do, and much greater things; tomorrow blood shall flow from my body, above the breast.”
On the Saturday, therefore, very early in the morning I rose and celebrated Mass ; then Jeanne went to the attack of the Bridge Fort, in which was the Englishman, Clasdas. (Glasdale.) The attack lasted from morning to sunset without interruption. At this assault, after dinner, Jeanne, as she had predicted, was struck by an arrow above the breast. When she felt herself wounded, she was afraid, and wept; but she was soon comforted, as she said. Some of the soldiers seeing her severely wounded wished to “charm ” her; but she would not, saying: “I would rather die than do a thing which I know to be a sin; I know well that I must die one day, but I know not when, nor in what manner, nor on what day; if my wound may be healed without sin, I shall be glad enough to be cured.” Oil of olive and lard were applied to the wound. After the dressing, she confessed herself to me, weeping and lamenting. Then she returned in all haste to the attack, crying: “Clasdas! Clasdas! yield thee, yield thee to the King of Heaven! You called me a harlot but I have great pity for your soul, and for your people.” At this moment Clasdas, fully armed from head to foot, fell into the Loire, where he was drowned. Jeanne, moved to pity at this sight, began to weep for the soul of Clasdas, and for all the others who, in great number, were drowned, at the same time as he. On this day, all the English who were on the other side of the bridge were taken and killed. The next day which was a Sunday before sunrise all the English who were still in the plains around Orleans grouped themselves together, and came to the foot of the trenches of the town. From thence they departed for Meung-sur-Loire, where they remained for several days. On this Sunday (8th May. The commemoration of the relief of Orleans was made a national festival by Louis XI. and confirmed by Richelieu. This day is still kept in the town with great rejoicing and religious processions : it has been celebrated, excepting during the Revolution, ever since the relief of the city.) there was in Orleans a solemn procession and a sermon. It was then decided to go and seek the King; and Jeanne went thither. The English entrenched themselves in Jargeau, which was soon taken by assault. Finally, they were entirely defeated at Patay.
I often heard her say of her work that it was her mission; and when people said to her: “Never have such things been seen as these deeds of yours. In no book can one read of such things,” she answered: “My Lord has a book in which no Clerk has ever read, how perfect so ever he may be in clerkship!”
In war and in camp, when there was not enough provision, she would never eat stolen food. I firmly believe she was sent from God on account of her good works, and her many virtues. Even on the poor English soldiers she had so much compassion that, when she saw them dying or wounded, she had them confessed. So much did she fear God, that for nothing in the world would she displease Him. When she was wounded in the shoulder by an arrow-which went through from one side to the other-some spoke of “charming” her, promising in this manner to cure her on the spot. She replied that it would be a sin, and that she would rather die than offend God by such enchantments.
I marvel much that such great Clerks as those who caused her death at Rouen should have dared such a crime as to put to death so poor and simple a Christian, cruelly and without cause-sufficient at least for [the penalty of] death: they might have kept her in prison or elsewhere; but she had so displeased them that they were her mortal enemies; and thus, it seems, they assumed the responsibility of an unjust court. Her actions and her deeds are all perfectly known to our Lord the King and to the Duke d’Alencon,who knew certain secrets which they might declare if they would.
As for me I know no more than what I have said, unless it be that many times Jeanne expressed to me a desire that, if she were to die, the King would build a Chapel, where the souls of those who had died in defense of the kingdom might be prayed for.
(The examination of d’Aulon, who served Jeanne d’Arc as Steward, and who, at the time of being examined, was Seneschal of Beaucaire, is the only evidence preserved in the original French.)
And first, Deponent said that, twenty years ago or thereabouts, the King being in the town of Poitiers, he [d’Aulon] was told that the said Maid, who was from the country of Lorraine, had been brought to the said Lord by two gentlemen, the same being of the company of Messire Robert de Baudricourt, Knight-the one named Bertrand; the other Jean de Metz-.and presented [to the King]; to see whom (the said Maid) the Deponent visited the said town of Poitiers ;
That, after the presentation, the Maid spoke privately to our Lord the King, and told him several secret things-what, he [the Deponent] knew not: saving that, shortly after, the King sent to fetch some of the people of his Council, among whom was the Deponent. He [the King] then informed them that the Maid had told him she was sent from God to help him to recover his kingdom, which at that time was for the most part occupied by his ancient enemies, the English;
That, after these words had been declared to the people of his Council by the King, it was agreed to interrogate the Maid-who, at that time, was of the age of sixteen years or thereabouts upon sundry points touching the Faith;
That, to do this, the King sent for certain Masters in Theology, Jurists, and other expert people, who should well and diligently examine her on these points;
That he was present at the said Council when the Masters made their report on what they had found in the Maid; at which it was publicly said by one of them, that they did not see, know, or recognize in the Maid anything, excepting only whatever should be in a good Christian and true Catholic: and for such they held her, and it was their opinion that she was very worthy;
Also that, the report being made to the said King by the Masters, the Maid was then handed over to the Queen of Sicily, the mother’ of our Sovereign Lady the Queen, and to certain ladies with her, by whom the Maid was seen, visited, and privately looked at and examined; and after examination made by these matrons, the lady stated to the King that she and the other ladies found most surely that this was indeed a true Maid.. ;
That he was present when the lady made her report;
That, these things being heard, and considering the great goodness in the Maid, and that God had sent her to him, as she had said, it was by the King concluded in his Council that henceforward he would make use of her help in his wars, inasmuch as for this she had been sent;
That, it was then decided she should be sent to the city of Orleans, at that time besieged by the enemy;
That, for this end people were given for her own service, and others to conduct her;
That, the guard and conduct of the same was appointed by our Lord the King;
Also that, for the safety of her body the King caused to be made armor fit for the Maid’s body, and, this done, appointed a certain number of men-at-arms for the same [Maid] and for those of her company, to lead and conduct them safely to the City of Orleans;
That, immediately afterwards, he [the Deponent] took the road with them, following in this direction;
That, as soon as it came to the knowledge of my Lord Dunois then called the Bastard of Orleans, who was in the city of Orleans in order to keep and guard it from the enemy that the Maid was coming that way, he assembled together a certain number of men of war to meet her, such as La Hire and others. And to do this, and more safely to lead and conduct her to the city, this Lord and his followers placed themselves in a boat, and went to meet her by the river Loire, about a quarter of a league distant, and there found her;
That, the Maid and the Deponent immediately entered the boat, while the remainder of her soldiers turned back toward Blois. And, with the Lord Dunois and his followers, they entered the city sure and safe; in which [city] the Lord Dunois lodged her well and comfortably in the house of one of the principal burghers of the city, who had married one of the principal women thereof;
That, after the said Lord Dunois, La Hire, and certain other captains of the party of our Lord the King, had conferred with the Maid as to what was expedient to do for the guardianship, keeping, and defense of the city, and also by what means the enemy could be best harassed, it was between them agreed and concluded to be necessary that a certain number of men-at-arms of their party, then near Blois, should be sent for and brought. To put this into execution, and to fetch them to the city, were appointed the Lord Dunois and the Deponent, and certain other captains, with their followers, who sent to the country of Blois to bring the same;
That, as soon as they were ready to depart and bring those who were in the country of Blois, and that this came to the notice of the Maid, immediately she mounted her horse, and, together with La Hire and a certain number of her followers, she went out into the fields to keep the enemy from doing them injury. And, in order to do this, the Maid placed herself with her followers between the army of the enemy and the city of Orleans; and so wrought, that, -thanks to God! notwithstanding the great power and number of the soldiers in the army of the enemy, the Lord Dunois and the Deponent, with all their followers, passed through, and safely went their way: and in the same way returned the Maid and her followers to the city;
That, as soon as she knew of the coming of the aforesaid, and that they brought with them those whom they had gone to fetch for the reinforcement of the city, immediately the Maid mounted her horse and, with a party of her followers, went to meet them, to support and succor them, if there were need of it;
That, in the sight and knowledge of the enemies, the Maid, Dunois, Marshal La Hire, and the Deponent, with their followers, entered the city without any opposition whatsoever;
Moreover, that, the same day, after dinner, came the said Lord Dunois to the lodging of the Maid where she and the Deponent had dined together. And, in speaking to her, Dunois told her that he knew, of a truth, from people of worth, that one named Fastolf, captain of the enemy, would shortly join the enemy at the siege, not only to give them help and reinforce them, but also to victual them, and that he was then at Vinville. At which words the Maid much rejoiced so it seemed to the Deponent-and said to my Lord Dunois these or suchlike words: “Bastard, Bastard, in the Name of God I command you that, so soon as you know of the coming of the said Fastolf, you will let me know; for, if he pass without my knowing, I promise you I will have your head.” To which replied the Lord Dunois, that of this he had no fear, for he would certainly let her know;
That, after these words, the Deponent being tired and overdone, placed himself on a couch in the chamber of the Maid, to rest himself a little, and also the Maid placed herself with her hostess on another bed in the same way, to sleep and rest; but, as the Deponent was beginning to take his rest, suddenly the Maid, though asleep, arose from her bed and, making a great noise, awoke him. And then the Deponent asked of her what she wanted; to which she answered: “En Nom De’! my Counsel has told me that I should attack the English; but I know not if I should attack their Bastille or go against Fastolf, who would victual them”; on which the Deponent immediately rose, and, as soon as he could, armed the Maid;
That, as soon as he had armed her, they heard a great noise and cry made by those of the city, saying that the enemy were doing much harm to the French. Then the Deponent armed himself, and, while he was so doing, without his knowledge, the Maid left the room, and went forth into the street. Here she found a page, on horseback, who at once dismounted from the horse; and immediately she mounted thereon, and, as straight and as speedily as she could, she took her way direct to the Burgundy Gate, where was the greatest noise;
That, the Deponent immediately followed the Maid; but, go as quickly as he might, she was already at the gate;
That, as they were coming to the gate, they saw being carried away one of the people of the city, who was terribly wounded; and then the Maid asked of those carrying him who this man was. They replied that he was a Frenchman. Then she said she had never seen French blood without feeling her hair stand on end;
That, at the same time, the Maid, the Deponent, and many other men of war of their company, went out from the city to help the French, and to harass the enemy to the best of their power; but, as soon as they were outside the city, the Deponent was told that never had there been seen so many men-at-arms of their side as were now there;
That, after this passage, they took their road towards a very strong fort of the enemy, called the Fort of Saint Loup, which was at once attacked by the French, and, with very little loss to them, was taken by assault; and all the enemy within were killed or taken: and the fort remained in the hands of the French;
That, this being done, the Maid and those of her company returned into the city of Orleans, where they refreshed themselves and rested that day;
That, next day, the Maid and her people, considering the great victory obtained by them the day before over their enemies, sallied from the town in good order, to attack another fort in front of the city, called the Fort of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc: for which purpose, seeing that they could not get there by land because their enemies had made another very strong fort, at the foot of the bridge of the city, so that it was impossible for them to cross [the bridge]-it was decided among them to pass over to a certain island in the river Loire, and there to assemble their entire army: and, in order to take the Fort of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc and to cross to the other arm of the river Loire, two boats were brought, of which a bridge was made, for the attack of the fort;
That, this done, they went to the fort, which they found quite deserted; for the English who were therein, so soon as they perceived the coming of the French, went away, retreating to another stronger and greater fort, called the Fort of the Augustins;
That, seeing the French were not powerful enough to take the fort, it was decided they should return without doing anything further;
That, in order to return and cross more safely, the most notable and Valiant of the party of the French were ordered to remain behind, in order to keep the enemy from troubling them on their return; and for this were appointed Messires de Gaucourt, de Villars, then Seneschal of Beaucaire, and the Deponent;
That, while the French were returning from the Fort of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc to the island, the Maid and La Hire both crossed over, each with a horse, in a boat from the other side of the island; and on these horses they mounted as soon as they had crossed, each with lance in hand. As soon as they saw that the enemy was making a sally from the fort to rush upon their people, immediately the Maid and La Hire, who were always in the front to protect them, couched their lances and were the first to attack the enemy; others then followed and began to attack the English, in such wise that they forcibly constrained them to retreat and enter the Fort of the Augustins;
And, while this was going on, the Deponent, being in guard of a passage with others appointed and ordered thereto among whom was a very valiant man-at-arms of the country of Spain, named Alphonse de Partada saw passing before them another man-at-arms of their company, a tall man, big and well armed, to whom, because he was about to pass on, the Deponent remarked that he ought to remain there for a time, with the others, and make resistance to the enemy, should need arise and he immediately replied that he would do nothing [of the kind]. Then Alphonse said he also would remain with the others, and that there were many as valiant men as he who would remain willingly; who answered Alphonse, that it would not be he. Upon which there were between them certain proud words, so much that they decided to go, both of them, the one and the other, against the enemy; and then it would be seen which was the more valiant, and which of the two would best do his duty. And, taking one another by the hand, at the greatest pace they could, they went towards the fort of the enemy, and so to the foot of the palisade;
That, as they reached the palisade of the fort, the Deponent saw within the palisade a tall, strong and powerful Englishman, armed at all points, who so resisted them that they could not enter. Then the Deponent showed the Englishman to a man named Maître Jean the Cannoneer, telling him to shoot at the Englishman; for he was doing much harm and injury to those who wished to approach the fort. This Maître Jean did; for, as soon as he saw him, he aimed a shot at him, so that he fell dead to the ground; then the two men-at-arms won the passage, by which all the others of their company crossed, and entered the fort, which most fiercely and with great persistence they assailed on all sides, so that within a short time they won it and took it by assault. There were killed or taken the greater part of the enemy; and those who were able to save themselves retreated into the Fort of Tourelles, at the foot of the bridge. Thus, the Maid and those who were with her obtained victory over the enemy that day. And the great battle was won; and the Lords and their people with the Maid remained before the same [fort] all that night;
Moreover, that, the next day, in the morning, the Maid sent to fetch all the lords and captains before the captured fort, to consult as to what more should be done; by the advice of whom it was concluded and resolved to attack this day a great Boulevard, which the English had made, before the Fort of Tourelles, and that it was expedient to gain it before doing anything else. To do and put this into execution, the Maid, the captain, and their people, on this day, very early in the morning, went from one place to the other, before the Boulevard, and on this they made the assault from all sides, making every effort to take it, in such manner that they were before the Boulevard from morning till sunset without being able to take it or gain it. And the lords and captains who were with her, seeing that they could not well gain it this day, considering the hour, which was late, and that all were very tired and worn out, it was agreed amongst them to sound the retreat for the army; which was done; and, at sound of the trumpet call, each one retreated for that day. In making this retreat, because the Deponent, who was carrying the standard of the Maid, and holding it upright before the Boulevard, became fatigued and worn-out, he gave the standard to one named La Basque, who was of the following of De Villars; and because the Deponent knew La Basque to be a valiant man, and feared that, by reason of the retreat, evil would ensue, and that the fort and Boulevard would remain in the hands of the enemy, he had an idea that, if the standard were pushed to the front, from the great affection which he knew the soldiers had for it they might for this reason gain the Boulevard. Then the Deponent asked La Basque, if he were to enter and go to the foot of the Boulevard, would he follow him; who said and promised that he would ; then the Deponent entered the trench, and went up to the foot of the sides of the Boulevard, covering himself with his shield for fear of the stones, and left his companion on the other side, believing he would follow him step by step. But when the Maid saw her standard in the hand of La Basque, and because she believed she had lost it, as he who bore it had gone into the trench, the Maid came and took the standard by the end in such wise that he could not hold it, crying, “Ha! my standard! my standard!” and shook the standard in such wise that the Deponent thought that, in so doing, the others might imagine she was making some sign to them; then the Deponent cried: ” La Basque, is this what you promise me?” Then La Basque so pulled at the standard that he dragged it from the hand of the Maid; and, this being done, he went to the Deponent and brought the standard. On this account all the army of the Maid assembled together and rallied again, and, with great fierceness, assailed the Boulevard, so that, shortly after, the Boulevard and the fort were taken by them, and abandoned by the enemy, the French [on their return] entering the city of Orleans by the bridge;
And the Deponent said that, on this very day, he had heard it spoken by the Maid: “In God’s Name, we shall enter the town this night by the bridge.” This done, the Maid and her followers returned into the town of Orleans, in which the Deponent had her [wound] dressed, for she had been wounded by an arrow in the assault ;
Also that, next day, all the English still remaining before the town on the other side of the Fort of Tourelles, raised the siege and retreated, being discomfited and in confusion. Thus, by the help of God and the Maid, was the city delivered from the hands of the enemy;
Moreover, that, some time after the return from the consecration of the King, he [the King] was advised by his Council – then at Mehun-sur-Yevre-that it was most necessary to recover the town of La Charité, which was held by the enemy; but that first must be taken the town of Saint Pierre le Moustier, which likewise was held by the enemy;
That, to do this and to collect men, the Maid went to the town of Bourges, in which she assembled her forces; and from thence, with a certain number of men-at-arms, of whom Lord d’Elbret was the head, she went to besiege the town of Saint Pierre le Moustier;
That, after the Maid and her followers had made siege against the town for some time, an assault was ordered to be made against the town; and so it was done, and those who were there did their best to take it; but, on account of the great number of people in the town, the great strength thereof and also the great resistance made by those within, the French were compelled and forced to retreat, for the reasons aforesaid ; and at that time, the Deponent was wounded by a shot in the heel, so that without crutches he could neither keep up nor walk: he noticed that the Maid was left accompanied by very few of her own people and others; and the Deponent, fearing that trouble would follow therefrom, mounted a horse, and went immediately to her aid, asking her what she was doing there alone and why she did not retreat like the others. She, after taking her helmet [“salade”] from her head, replied that she was not alone, and that she had yet in her company fifty thousand of her people, and that she would not leave until she had taken the town;
And the Deponent said that, at that time whatever she might say-she had not with her more than four or five men, and this he knows most certainly, and many others also, who in like manner saw her; for which cause he told her again that she must leave that place, and retire as the others did. And then she told him to have faggots and hurdles brought to make a bridge over the trenches of the town, in order that they might approach it the better. And as she said these words to him, she cried in a loud voice: “Every one to the faggots and hurdles, to make the bridge!” which was immediately after done and prepared, at which the Deponent did much marvel, for immediately the town was taken by assault, without very great resistance;
That, all the deeds of the Maid seemed to him to be more divine and miraculous than otherwise, and that it was not possible for so young a Maid to do such things without the Will and Guidance of Our Lord;
Also that, for the space of a whole year, by command of our Lord the King, he remained in the company of the Maid, during which time he neither saw nor knew of anything in her which should not be in a good Christian; and he has always seen and known her to be of very good life and modest conversation in all and every one of her acts;
Also that, he knew the Maid to be most devout; that she showed herself very reverent in hearing the Divine Service of our Lord, which she would constantly hear, that is to say, High Mass, on solemn days, wherever she was, with the Hours following; and on other days Low Mass; and that she was accustomed to hear Mass daily if it were possible;
That, many times he saw and knew that she confessed herself and received Our Lord, and did all that belongs to a good Christian to do, and that, never when lie was conversing with her, did he hear her swear, blaspheme, or perjure the Name of Our Lord, nor the Saints, for whatever cause or occasion it might be;
And that, in his opinion, she was a good Christian, and must have been inspired; for she loved everything that a good Christian ought to love, and especially she loved a good honest man [“bon prudhomme”] whom she knew to be of chaste life; . . . Also that, when the Maid had anything to do for the conduct of war, she told the Deponent that her Counsel had advised her what she ought to do ;
That, he asked her who was the Counsel, and that she replied there were three Counselors, of whom one always remained with her; another went away, but came often, to visit her; and the third was he with whom the two others consulted. And it happened that, one time, among others, the Deponent prayed and besought her that she would show him the Counsel; to whom she replied that he was not worthy, nor of sufficient virtue to see them: and upon this the Deponent desisted from speaking or asking her further about them;
And the Deponent firmly believes as aforesaid, that, considering the deeds, actions and great leadership of the Maid, she was full of all the virtue which might or should be in a good Christian;
And thus he has deposed, as is above written, without love, favor, hate, or suborning, but for the truth, and as he knew it to be in the Maid.
I knew nothing of Jeanne until I saw her in prison, in the Castle of Beaurevoir, where she was detained for and in the name of the Count de Ligny; then I saw her often and many times talked with her: she would allow no familiarity, but repelled such with all her power; she was indeed of modest bearing, both in words and deeds.
She was taken to the Castle of Rouen, where she was placed in a prison facing the fields. While she was there, in this prison, came the Count de Ligny, on whom I was in attendance. The Count de Ligny desired to see Jeanne, and came to visit her, in company of the Earls of Warwick and Stafford, the present Chancellor of England, then Bishop of Thérouanne, the brother (Louis de Luxembourg.) of the Count de Ligny, and myself. He said to her: “Jeanne, I have come to ransom you, if you will promise never again to bear arms against us.” She answered: “In God’s Name, you mock me, for I know well that you have neither the will nor the power;” this she repeated often, because the Count persisted in his statement. “I know well,” she ended by saying, “that the English will do me to death, thinking after my death to gain the kingdom of France; but if they were a hundred thousand more ‘godons’ (“Godon,” or “goddam,” a common term for the English in the Middle Ages and to the present day.) than they are at present, they would not have the kingdom.” Indignant at these words, the Earl of Stafford half drew his dagger to kill her, but the Earl of Warwick withheld him.
After this, while I was still at Rouen, Jeanne was taken to the Place St. Ouen, where a sermon was preached to her by Maitre NicolasMidi, (An error; the first sermon was by Erard.) who, amongst other things, said, in my hearing: “Jeanne, we have great compassion for thee; it behooves thee to revoke what you have said, or we must give thee up to the secular judges.” She answered, that she had done no evil, that she believed in the Twelve Articles of the Faith and in the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue; adding, that she referred herself to the Court of Rome, and that she wished to believe all things in which Holy Church believed. Notwithstanding this, they pressed her much to recant, to which she answered: “You take much pains to seduce me;” and, to escape danger, she said at last that she was content to do all they required. Then a Secretary of the King of England there present, named Lawrence Calot, drew from his pocket a little written schedule, which he handed to Jeanne to sign. She replied that she could neither read nor write. Notwithstanding this Lawrence Calot, the Secretary, handed Jeanne the schedule and a pen to sign it; and by way of derision Jeanne made some sort of round mark. Then Lawrence Calot took her hand with the pen and caused her to make some sort of signature, what, I cannot remember. I believe her to be in Paradise.