Famous Men of The Middle Ages, стр. 32
The French soldiers were jubilant at the victory and called Joan the "Maid of Orleans." By this name she is known in history. Her fame spread everywhere, and the English as well as the French thought she had more than human power.
She led the French in several other battles, and again and again her troops were victorious.
At last the English were driven far to the north of France . Then Charles, urged by Joan, went to Rheims with twelve thousand soldiers, and there, with splendid ceremonies, was crowned king. Joan holding her white banner, stood near Charles during the coronation.
When the ceremony was finished, she knelt at his feet and said, "O King, the will of God is done and my mission is over! Let me now go home to my parents."
But the king urged her to stay a while longer, as France was not entirely freed from the English. Joan consented, but she said, "I hear the heavenly voices no more and I am afraid."
However she took part in an attack upon the army of the Duke of Burgundy, but was taken prisoner by him. For a large sum of money the duke delivered her into the hands of the English, who put her in prison in Rouen . She lay in prison for a year, and finally was charged with sorcery and brought to trial. It was said that she was under the influence of the Evil One. She declared to her judges her innocence of the charge and said, "God has always been my guide in all that I have done. The devil has never had power over me."
Her trial was long and tiresome. At its close she was doomed to be burned at the stake.
So in the market-place at Rouen the English soldiers fastened her to a stake surrounded by a great pile of fagots.
A soldier put into her hands a rough cross, which he had made from a stick that he held. She thanked him and pressed it to her bosom. Then a good priest, standing near the stake, read to her the prayers for the dying, and another mounted the fagots and held towards her a crucifix, which she clasped with both hands and kissed. When the cruel flames burst out around her, the noble girl uttered the word "Jesus, " and expired.
A statue of her now stands on the spot where she suffered.
Among all the men of her time none did nobler work than Joan. And hence it is that we put the story of her life among the stories of the lives of the great MEN of the Middle Ages, although she was only a simple peasant girl.
Gutenberg Lived from 1400-1468
While Joan of Arc was busy rescuing France from the English, another wonderful worker was busy in Germany . This was John Gutenberg, who was born in Mainz .
The Germans — and most other people — think that he was the inventor of the art of printing with movable types. And so in the cities of Dresden and Mainz his countrymen have put up statues in his memory.
Gutenberg's father was a man of good family. Very likely the boy was taught to read. But the books from which he learned were not like ours; they were written by hand. A better name for them than books is "manuscripts, " which means "hand-writings."
While Gutenberg was growing up a new way of making books came into use, which was a great deal better than copying by hand. It was what is called block-printing. The printer first cut a block of hard wood the size of the page that he was going to print. Then he cut out every word of the written page upon the smooth face of his block. This had to be very carefully done. When it was finished the printer had to cut away the wood from the sides of every letter. This left the letters raised, as the letters are in books now printed for the blind.
The block was now ready to be used. The letters were inked, paper was laid upon them and pressed down.
With blocks the printer could make copies of a book a great deal faster than a man could write them by hand. But the making of the blocks took a long time, and each block would print only one page.
Gutenberg enjoyed reading the manuscripts and block books that his parents and their wealthy friends had; and he often said it was a pity that only rich people could own books. Finally he determined to contrive some easy and quick way of printing.
He did a great deal of his work in secret, for he thought it was much better that his neighbors should know nothing of what he was doing.
So he looked for a workshop where no one would be likely to find him. He was now living in Strasburg, and there was in that city a ruined old building where, long before his time, a number of monks had lived. There was one room of the building which needed only a little repairing to make it fit to be used. So Gutenberg got the right to repair that room and use it as his workshop.
All his neighbors wondered what became of him when he left home in the early morning, and where he had been when they saw him coming back late in the twilight. Some felt sure that he must be a wizard, and that he had meetings somewhere with the devil, and that the devil was helping him to do some strange business.
Gutenberg did not care much what people had to say, and in his quiet room he patiently tried one experiment after another, often feeling very sad and discouraged day after day because his experiments did not succeed.
At last the time came when he had no money left. He went back to his old home, Mainz , and there met a rich goldsmith named Fust (or Faust).
Gutenberg told him how hard he had tried in Strasburg to find some way of making books cheaply, and how he had now no more money to carry on his experiments. Fust became greatly interested and gave Gutenberg what money he needed. But as the experiments did not at first succeed Fust lost patience. He quarreled with Gutenberg and said that he was doing nothing but spending money. At last he brought suit against him in the court, and the judge decided in favor of Fust. So everything in the world that Gutenberg had, even the tools with which he worked, came into Fust's possession.
But though he had lost his tools, Gutenberg had not lost his courage. And he had not lost all his friends. One of them had money, and he bought Gutenberg a new set of tools and hired a workshop for him. And now at last Gutenberg's hopes were fulfilled. First of all it is thought that he made types of hard wood. Each type was a little block with a single letter at one end. Such types were a great deal better than block letters. The block letters were fixed. They could not be taken out of the words of which they were parts. The new types were movable so they could be set up to print one page, then taken apart and set up again and again to print any number of pages.
But type made of wood did not always print the letters clearly and distinctly, so Gutenberg gave up wood types and tried metal types. Soon a Latin Bible was printed. It was in two volumes, each of which had three hundred pages, while each of the pages had forty-two lines. The letters were sharp and clear. They had been printed from movable types of metal.