The fiction of an age of simplicity and innocence found birth among the Augustan writers in the midst of the complex and luxurious civilization of Rome, as an illustration of the principle enunciated by Professer Raleigh, that 'literature has constantly the double tendency to negative the life around it, as well as to reproduce it. Having inspired Ovid and Vergil, and been recognized by Lucretius, it passed as a literary legacy to Boethius, Dante, and Jean de Meung; it was incorporated by Frezzi in his strange allegorical composition the Quadriregio, and was thrice handled by Chaucer; it was dealt with humorously by Cervantes in Don Quixote, and became the prey of the satirist in the hands of Juvenal, Bertini, and Hall.
It was amidst this burst of patriotism, and with all these valiant comrades, that Joan recommenced the campaign on the 10th of June, 1429, quite resolved to bring the king to Rheims. To complete the deliverance of Orleans, an attack was begun upon the neighboring places, Jargeau, Meung, and Beaugency.
That place fell easily; it is called the bridge of Meung, in the Chronicle, without further description, therefore presumably the fortress was not attacked and they proceeded onward to Beaugency. These towns still shine over the plain, along the line of the Loire, visible as far as the eye will carry over the long levels, the great stream linking one to another like pearls on a thread.
The victor put a knee to the ground before his captive, the vanquished touched him lightly on the shoulder with the sword which he then gave over to him. Suffolk was always the finest gentleman, the most perfect gentle knight of his time. "Now let us go and see the English of Meung," cried Jeanne, unwearying, as soon as this victory was assured.
Not a drunkard in the realm but has ranted my jolly Orison for Master Cotard's Soul when the bottle passed. The King himself hauled me out of Meung gaol last September, swearing that in all France there was not my equal at a ballad. And you have never heard of me!" Once more a fit of coughing choked him mid-course in his indignant chattering.
It is you who set out seven or eight months ago from your country to seek your fortune in the capital?" "Yes, monseigneur." "You came through Meung, where something befell you. I don't very well know what, but still something." "Monseigneur," said d'Artagnan, "this was what happened to me "
The lady with the red cushion produced a great effect for she was very handsome upon the lady with the black hood, who saw in her a rival really to be dreaded; a great effect upon Porthos, who thought her much prettier than the lady with the black hood; a great effect upon d'Artagnan, who recognized in her the lady of Meung, of Calais, and of Dover, whom his persecutor, the man with the scar, had saluted by the name of Milady.
M. Bonacieux, who was ignorant that d'Artagnan had overheard his conversation with the stranger of Meung, related to his young tenant the persecutions of that monster, M. de Laffemas, whom he never ceased to designate, during his account, by the title of the "cardinal's executioner," and expatiated at great length upon the Bastille, the bolts, the wickets, the dungeons, the gratings, the instruments of torture.
Among others, the 'Turba Philosophorum' of the 'Good Trevisan, 'The Remonstance of Nature to the wandering Alchymist, by Jean de Meung; and several others of the best books: but, as I had no right' principles, I did not well know what course to follow. "At last I left my solitude; not to see my former acquaintances, the adepts and operators, but to frequent the society of true philosophers.
The moment was well chosen and might remind D'Artagnan of his start in life at the hostelry of the "Franc-Meunier" at Meung. Some sailors who had been playing at dice had started a quarrel, and were threatening each other furiously.