Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jeanne's first letter to the English, spring 1429

╬ Jesus Maria

King of England and you, the Duke of Bedford, who declare that you are the regent of the realm of France; and you, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and you, Sir John Talbot, and you Thomas Lord Scales, who say you are the lieutenants of this Bedford, render an account to the King of Heaven! Give up to the Maid, who is sent by God, the King of Heaven, the keys of the cities you have seized and violated in France. She has come here, by God's order, to reinstate the royal line. She is fully prepared to offer peace, if you are willing to give satisfaction, provided you agree to vacate France, settle the claims for the damage you have done, and repay the sums of money you have taken during all the years you have occupied this realm.

To you, archers, fellow soldiers, men of gentle birth, and all others, who are in front of the city of Orléans, by God's order go home to your own country. Unless you do, be prepared for further orders from the Maid who in a short time is going into action. You will suffer very heavy damage.

King of England, I am a military commander and unless you accept my counsel, this I will assure you: in whatever region of France I find your troops I will give battle and chase them and make them flee this country whether they want to or not. If they do not obey I will have them all slain. I have been sent here by command of God, the King of Heaven, to combat them and boot them body for body entirely out of France. If they obey willingly, I will show them mercy. And for you, do not make up your mind to remain here, for God, the King of Heaven and Son of the Virgin Mary, has given you no authority over this kingdom of France. Charles, the rightful heir, will have this authority. God, the King of Heaven, wills it! The Maid has revealed to him that before long he will take possession of Paris in good and glorious company.

If you are reluctant to believe this communication by the command of God and the order of the Maid, I caution you: in whatever place we encounter you, we will give battle and strike you down. There were will make such an uproar the like of which has not been heard in France for a thousand years. Have a firm faith in this. The King of Heaven will give such power to the Maid that neither you nor your armies will know how to injure her or the troops she commands. When it comes to might, we will see who has the better right!

Duke of Bedford, who now carry on the siege of Orléans, the Maid implores you not to force her to destroy you. If you do give satisfaction to her, you may yet live to see the French perform the most brilliant exploit ever turned to the account of Christianity.

If you wish to restore peace, I pray you to make reply in the city of Orléans which I hope to reach in a short time. If you do not act in this wise, you will ever bethink you of your heavy loss.

Written this Tuesday of Holy Week

No comments:

Post a Comment