WAS JOAN BETRAYED?
WHEN we consider how she had been long since treated by her own party, the question seems superfluous. Joan herself never uttered a single word against any one who supported the French cause, no matter how blame-worthy he might have been. If there were Judases around her, she acted toward them as Our Lord did toward His Judas. Two months before her captivity, she had said at Chalons that she feared nothing but treason. She must have had some reason for her word. There is no doubt that the French politicians, who to Joan's policy preferred futile negotiations with the Burgundians, had many persons amongst the latter with whom they kept a good understanding. Tremoille, for instance, had a brother in the opposite camp. The idea of negotiation was not renounced, and it was condemned by Joan by word and act.
How little the friend of La Tremoille, the Chancellor Archbishop of Reims, thought of Joan, is seen from his letter announcing her capture to the people of Reims. Joan, he says, was justly punished for her pride, - her love of fine clothes, and her self-will.
Then he announces the coming of a shepherd boy from the diocese of Mende, who declared the same things as Joan, whom he—the Archbishop—condemned. The French court, or council, disgraced itself by apparently taking up this idiotic creature, until he fell into the hands of fell the English, who drowned him in the Seine.
Very respectable authors, some of them contemporaries, openly accuse La Tremoille and Flavy of having betrayed the Maid at Compiegne—the author of the Abridgment of the Process, the Chronicle of Tournay, Bouchard, Morosini, etc. Flavy was a man of reprobate character; friends and foes declare he had committed more crime than could be imagined in a human being. In ambush he seized a marshal of France, Rieu de Rochefort, and dragged him from prison to prison until he died. By some exalted patronage, he was amnestied for this deed. He wrung money from those whom he was appointed to defend. He murdered his father-in-law and mother-in-law, in order to obtain their property. The outraged wife contracted a criminal alliance with a knight, Messire de Louvain, and both hired a barber to cut Flavy's throat. Because he was slow to die, the wife smothered him. In the registers of the city there is scarcely a word about Joan of Arc. Were the scribes restrained by official fear? As a last, or later, straw, it may be noted that Cauchon visited Compiegne while
negotiating the sale of the Maid. After the death of Regnault de Chartres in 1444, the question of Flavy's guilt came up in the parliament. The accused pleaded sickness as an excuse for not attending. Extracts of the defense are published by Quicherat. Here it is said that all who entered Compiegne with Joan on the morning of the 23rd of May, left the city immediately after her capture. However we may explain the action, or inaction, of the forces in the city, they did nothing to help her as she fled toward the boulevard.