Re: New Orleans and the Maid of Orleans
- "Innocent tales, widely told through the Lorraine countryside,
of "fairy trees" were accepted without verification and were
distorted. A girl leading men-at-arms, dressed completely like a
man, could not be other than depraved, a monster, a loose creature,
like-the ribald dames who followed the armies."
"Then she was questioned about a certain tree growing near her
village. To which she answered that, fairly near Domrémy, there was
a certain tree called the Ladies' Tree, and others called it the
Fairies' Tree; and near by is a fountain. And she has heard that
people sick of the fever drink of this fountain and seek its water
to restore their health; that, she has seen herself; but she does
not know whether they are cured or not. She said she has heard that
the sick, when they can rise, go to the tree and walk about it. It
is a big tree, a beech, from which they get the fair May, in French
le beau may; and it belongs, it is said, to Pierre de Bourlemont,
knight. She said sometimes she would go playing with the other young
girls, making garlands for Our Lady of Domrémy there; and often she
had heard the old folk say (not those of her family) that the
fairies frequented it. And she heard a certain Jeanne, the wife of
mayor Aubery of Domrémy, her godmother, say that she had seen the
"Near the village of Domrémy stands a certain large and ancient
tree, commonly called ''l'arbre charmine faée de Bourlemont," and
near the tree is a fountain. It is said that round about live evil
spirits, called fairies, with whom those who practice spells are
wont to dance at night, wandering about the tree and the fountain."
On Saturday the 24th day of February, she answered that not far from
Domrémy there is a tree called the Ladies' Tree which some call the
Fairies' Tree, and near it is a fountain. She has heard that the
sick drink of this fountain (she herself has drunk of it) and seek
from its waters the restoration of their health; but she does not
know whether they are cured or not.
Gabriel, and they appeared to her in bodily form. Sometimes also she
saw a great host of angels; and since then, St. Catherine and St.
Margaret have appeared to the said woman who saw them in the flesh.
And every day she sees them and hears their speech; and, when she
embraces and kisses them, she touches them and feels them
physically. She has seen, not only the heads of the said angels and
the saints, but other parts of their bodies, whereof she has not
chosen to speak. And the said St. Catherine and St. Margaret spoke
to her at times by a certain fountain, near a great tree, commonly
called 'The Fairies' Tree'; in the matter of the fountain and of the
tree, the common report is that it is the frequent resort of
witches, that many sick of the fever go to this fountain and tree to
recover their health, although these are situated in an unhallowed
spot. There, and elsewhere, on several occasions, she has adored
them and done them reverence. "