Charles VII, who had been idle in his youth and dubbed the Indolent, became Charles the Victorious in later years, driving the English mainly out of France. After the death of his favorite mistress, Agnes Sorel, the queen, Marie d'Anjou, influenced him to recall the Constable Richemont, on whose account Jeanne had suffered rebuke, as mentioned in the text. Richemont, a capable and vigorous soldier, carrying out Jeanne's initiative, practically cleared France of the English. Within six years from the death of Jeanne he captured Paris, thus fulfilling one of her most remarkable predictions.
Normandy rises to greet Dunois, her old companion-at-arms; he takes Rouen, without striking a blow, and Charles makes his triumphal entrance November 10, 1449. In 1453 nothing remains of Henry V's conquests in France save Calais.
In his declining years Charles was unhappy, despite his great fortune in reconquering his kingdom. Perhaps he suffered from remorse on account of her who had freed the country from the body-of-death
under, which it lay, had crowned him, and pointed the way to triumph. I believe his conscience was heavily charged with the fate of Jeanne. About ten years after her death he visited Orleans to do honor to her memory. The reversal of her sentence, the rehabilitation of her good fame and memory, her place in history, were to the same purpose. I think Charles was more sincere in these reparations than has been allowed, but the reproach of ingratitude will always rest upon him. His son, who became afterward Louis XI—more able, more insane than himself—gave Charles much trouble in his later years, making alliance with his enemies, etc. Are not wives, even of a lower station, sometimes thus avenged upon their husbands? Marie d'Anjou had given Charles a bitterer pill than himself. . . . The king died in 1461, starved, some writers hold, from a fear of being poisoned by his son.
Cauchon survived his illustrious victim ten years (1442) and therefore was spared the agony, which the Rehabilitation would have caused him. To be sure, there was enough coming to him without that! He was old, disappointed, embittered, neglected, but he managed to hang on to his bishopric of Lisieux. He had a house at Rouen, where he died quite unexpectedly while he was having his beard trimmed—an unceremonious exit! The house still stands, much as he knew it. I have lingered there, striving to call up an image of the short, sturdy bishop bulking in and out; unloved by any one, regarded by all with a repugnant deference mingled with fear, going along
stiffly enough, neither revoking nor repenting his conduct to the end. Oddly enough, he cherished a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin and built a lovely chapel in her honor, his artistic taste being singularly pure for the time. Cauchon left a great part of his fortune to the poor and to religious foundations. He was buried in the cathedral church and had a fine marble tomb to himself, his effigy lying thereon, with miter and cross. But in 1793 the revolutionists, remembering him, destroyed the tomb and scattered his bones in ignominy. God forgive me, but I should like to have had a kick at them myself!
Like Cauchon, his ecclesiastical superior and deeply involved friend, Regnault de Chartres, did not live to witness the Rehabilitation. He died full of churchly honors, easier to secure in those days than treasures in heaven, and, so far as we may know, without remorse for his treatment of Jeanne d'Arc. The punishment of this bad man seems to lie in the fact that the villainy which he thought to have so shrewdly concealed has long been laid open to the world. In certain respects of character I regard this man as more detestable than Cauchon. Opprobrium ad suam memoriam!
We are pleased to record that La Tremoille, after long impunity, got something like his dues, but very much less than we should have awarded him. Two years after Jeanne's passing he was attacked in his house by some French noblemen, receiving a sword-
cut on the hand and a dagger-thrust in the belly. He was carried away prisoner and held for an immense ransom—thus retorting upon him his own practices. This business finished La Tremoille at court, where he was never more to find himself persona grata to the king, being replaced by his old rival Richemont -- a direct inspiration from Jeanne, I should hazard!
Bedford and Warwick both died untimely. in the chateau of Bouvreuil, where they had long imprisoned and tortured Jeanne before committing her to death. They had broken against her as against the sword of Gideon.
Dunois took a principal part in carrying out the initiative of La Pucelle toward clearing France of the foreign invader, and especially in recapturing Rouen. He became grand chamberlain of France, was at odds for a time with Louis X I, but finally reconciled himself to that crafty monarch, and thereafter served him faithfully to the end. At the Rehabilitation of Jeanne he gave loyal testimony in her favor, a little shaded perhaps by the royal motive to disavow responsibility for her after the coronation at Reims—from which time we trace the "letting down" and abandonment of the Maid. Dunois died in 1468.
Philip of Burgundy, miscalled the Good, one of the principal agents of Jeanne's undoing, abandoned his English allies when the tide had turned unmistakably against them, and made his peace with Charles VII in the treaty of Arras, getting better
terms than he deserved. But his house, erected upon so many treasons and ill doings, was doomed to perish under his son and successor Charles the Bold (le Temeraire), after whose death Burgundy proper was incorporated into the Kingdom of France. Philip died in 1467, expecting to be remembered for his order of the Golden Fleece and similar flummery long since forgotten of the world. But he has a lasting title to remembrance along with Bedford, Regnault de Chartres, Winchester, Cauchon, et al., in the order of the assassins of Jeanne d'Arc!
La Hire (Etienne de Vignolles), the bold Gascon "rough rider," who had fought in all Jeanne's greater battles and especially signalized himself at Patay, died peacefully in his bed at Montauban, 1443. "La Hire" is a nickname, the word in old French meaning "anger" and thereby signifying his impetuous disposition.
Xaintrailles, his worthy comrade and fellow-soldier of the Maid, survived him many years. It was his happy lot to finish the work, which he had begun under Jeanne d'Arc. In 1451 he was made a marshal of France. He died in 1468.
Jean, duc d'Alencon, cousin of Charles VII, fellow-soldier with Jeanne d'Arc and her one friend of the court who remained faithful to the end, lived to rejoice and share in the rehabilitation of her glorious memory. He died in 1476, and lives forever in association with her name and fame.
The ending of other persons more or less important in this narrative has been noticed in the text. But Gilles de Rais must have a chapter to himself.