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advisable to follow, and which on trial was found to have been judicious; laying, therefore, her private inclinations aside, or rather sacrificing them to the general good, she determined to send her on to Le Conquet, where she would be useful, -not only in tending the wounded, but in many other ways.
No art which human ingenuity could contrive, no effort human valour dared venture on, was unattempted by the Countess in defence of Hennebon :this last forlorn hope which now remained to her of final success against her enemies.
A messenger, dispatched by the Count of Artois immediately after the ceremony of the Heron Voro, had arrived : informing her of the preparations Edward was making. This served to inspirit her anew.—Daily was she clothed in the armour which she, for the first time, put on at Rennes; and, mounted on her high-spirited destrier, almost hourly was she employed in galloping up and down the town, through every street, and from post to post, inciting the troops to a renewal of exertion, by promising them that the speedy arrival of the English would release them from their troubles.
Had the royal troops been the only ones she had to contend with, the valour of the heroie Countess might have been successful; but, unluckily for her, external enemies were even less to be feared than private foes.
The Bishop of Leon — brother to Hervé, , Seigneur de Leon, who had betrayed Nantes, was at Hennebon, and had for some time past been tampering in an underhand manner with the soldiers, and at last succeeded in making them resolve to surrender.
The Countess, who at last discovered the intrigue which was going forward, hastened immediately into the very midst of the conspirators, hoping thus by her presence to confound and crush the plot which they were forming. But the enemy had made such advances—the soldiery was so dispirited, and the Bishop so eloquent in pourtraying the risk they ran by a longer delay, and the small chance there was of receiving succour from the English, that Jeanne found herself constrained to promise,
that unless they arrived within the space of three days, she would capitulate, and surrender the town to the Duke.
The three days expired. The troops become clamorous for the accomplishment of the promise made to them: every thing threatened mutiny, unless their requests should be granted.
The Countess, wondering what could occasion the long delay of her allies—boiling with anger and disdain against the Bishop-distracted with apprehensions—in despair, and yet-spite of despair, and, as it were, unconsciously--still clinging to hope, mounted upon the roof of the highest turret, and leaning on one of its crenellated battlements, whence she could command an immense extent of ocean, kept gazing to the utmost stretch of vision towards that reach of land, which is called the Point de Penmack, and the Isle de Jeneaux,—the direction in which the English ought, if they came at all, to appear.
She could perceive nothing but sea and air. Still she gazed on.-In the calm madness of despair she gazed. *
• Jesu Maria !-what is
'Tis they!” Straining her sight to the uttermost, whilst leaning over the battlements, as if to approach herself more nearly to the object of her attention, she observed, upon the extreme verge of the welkin, a light-coloured mass of something
-she could not surely distinguish which, it might be--of canvas, bearing her deliverers on the glad wind towards her, or it might be only a silver cloud arising from the ocean to mock her with false hopes, but whichever of these it should eventually prove to be, the object increased in bigness. * *
“Friends, friends-our gallant friends!—the brave and generous English. No terms! no surrender, victory!"
She strode along the platform and sought the the doorway. Already were the conspirators assembled in the court beneath, and debating, which of their number should ascend to demand, and if refused, violently possess themselves of the keys hanging at her girdle. Already had Hervé de Leon, between whom and his brother a convention had been made, advanced his troops
beneath the walls, in full expectancy of receiving the promised prize.
Suddenly, she was heard descending the stairs. At the next instant the clangor of her iron rowels striking against the pavement, and of her sword and buckler swinging from side to side, and beating against her massive armour at each quick stride she made, resounded through the lofty hall as she approached.
The gate leading into the ballium, was ajar, but yet so sufficiently closed, as to hide her from the view of those who were on its opposite side. Fixing both hands upon it, and exerting her utmost strength, she flung its bivalves open, and stood before her craven and rebellious vassals.
“ Cowards !” *
She rested a few moments to look around her; and then descending till nearly on a level with the ground, she called out:
“ Factious wretches! Told I you not that succour would arrive? Whenever found ye me deceive you? In less than two hours hence,