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MODEL IN PLASTER, BY GOIS THE YOUNGER.
JOAN OF ARC, surnamed the Maid of Orleans, was born in 1412 at Dom-remi, near Vancouleurs in Lorraine; her father was a common peasant, called James d'Arc. At the age of 17, while servant at an inn, she believed that the angel St. Michael, the protector of France, had ordered her to succour the city of Orleans, then closely pressed by the English, under the great Duke of Bedford, and predicted that, one day or other, she should procure the coronation of the king, Charles VII. at Rheims. This vision, while it elevated her mind, naturally strong and courageous, determined her to present herself to the king, who was then at Chinon. The valour and extraordinary enthusiasm that seemed to inspire this young girl astonished the king, and surprised the whole court. He resolved to avail himself of this unexpected, and almost supernatural aid, for the relief of Orleans, the last place capable of opposing the invasion of the English.
Joan of Arc communicated to the army the confidence and heroic valour with which she was animated. Clothed in the habit of a man, armed as a soldier, led by skilful officers, she undertook to relieve the place. She then approached the town, threw in provisions, and entered it in triumph. In the attack of one of the forts, she was wounded by an arrow; but it did not prevent her advancing. "It will cost me", she said, "a little blood, but
these wretches shall not escape the vengeance of Heaven," and immediately mounted upon the enemies trenches, and with her own hand planted there the standard of France. The siege of Orleans was soon after raised.
The first object of her mission being fulfilled she was desirous of accomplishing the second. She marched towards Rheims, and caused the king to be crowned on the 17th of July, 1429, assisting at the ceremony with the standard in her hand. Charles, sensible of the eminent services of this heroine, ennobled her family, gave it the name of du Lys, and added to it a considerable domain to support the distinction. But the good fortune of Joan of Arc soon forsook her. She was wounded at the attack on Paris, and taken in a sortie at the siege of Compeigne. This reverse immediately removed the astonishment and veneration with which her countrymen and her enemies even were penetrated. Excited to jealousy by the terror she had inspired, they sought a pretext to destroy her; and following the superstitious ideas generally prevalent in the fifteenth century, and in direct violation of the rights of war, condemned her to death, in 1431, as a sorceress, impostor, and idolater, desirous of the effusion of human blood. This extraordinary female appeared at the stake with the same intrepidity she displayed on the walls of Orleans, and was burnt at Rouen, on the 30th of May, in the same year.
From a medal that was struck in honour of this heroine, after the coronation of the king at Rheims, we learn that she took for her device a hand bearing a sword, with the words, Consilio firmata Dei. Her exploits have given birth to two poems, one by Chapelain, the other by Vol
The model in plaster of the statue of Joan of Arc, by M. Gois the younger, met with considerable applause during its exhibition. The attitude is admirable, and the costume is well preserved: the plinth is ornamented with three basso relievos, representing the heroine armed by Charles VII. the coronation of the prince, and her memorable but unmerited death.