« PreviousContinue »
banner. The same horse took the bridle in the teeth and brought him through all the currourse of the Englishmen, and as he would have returned again, he fell in a great dike and was sore hurt, and had been there dead, and his page had not been, who followed him through all the battles and saw where his master lay in the dike, and had none other let?? but for his horse, for the Englishmen would not issue out of their battle for taking of any prisoner. Then the page alighted and relieved his master: then he went not back again the same way that they came, there was too many in his way.
This battle between Broye and Cressy this Saturday was right cruel and fell, and many a feat of arms done that came not to my knowledge. In the night divers knights and squires lost their masters, and sometimes came on the Englishmen, who received them in such wise that they were ever nigh slain; for there was none taken to mercy nor to ransom, for so the Englishmen were determined.
In the morning the day of the battle certain Frenchmen and Almains perforce opened the archers of the prince's battle and came and fought with the men of arms hand to hand. Then the second battle of the Englishmen came to succor the prince's battle, the which was time, for they had as then much ado; and they with the prince sent a messenger to the king, who was on a little windmill hill. Then the knight said to the king: "Sir, the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Oxford, Sir Raynold Cobham and other, such as be about the prince your son, are fiercely fought withal and are sore handled; wherefore they desire you that you and your battle will come and aid them; for if the Frenchmen increase, as they doubt they will, your son and they shall have much ado.” Then the king said: “Is my son dead or hurt or on the earth felled?” “No, sir,” quoth the knight, “but he is hardly matched; wherefore he hath need of your aid.” “Well,” said the king, “return to him and to them that sent you hither, and say to them that they send no more to me for any adventure that falleth, as long as my son is alive: and also say to them that they suffer him this day to win his spurs; for if God be pleased, I will this journey be his and the honor thereof, and to them that be about him.” Then the knight returned again to them and showed the king's words, the which greatly encouraged them.
16. Currours were couriers or messengers. 17. Let meant hindrance.
Sir Godfrey of Harcourt18 would gladly that the Earl of Harcourt his brother might have been saved; for he heard say by them that saw his banner how that he was there in the field on the French party: but Sir Godfrey could not come to him betimes, for he was slain or he could come at him, and so was also the Earl of Aumale, his nephew. In another place the Earl of Alençon and the Earl of Flanders fought valiantly, every lord under his wn banner; but finally they could not resist against the puissance of the Englishmen, and so there they were also slain, and divers other knights and squires. Also the Earl Louis of Blois, nephew to the French king, and the Duke of Lorraine fought under their banners, but at last they were closed in among a company of Englishmen and Welshmen, and there were slain for all their prowess.
18. Sir Godfrey of Harcourt was an exiled French noble who rendered much aid to the English King.
In the evening the French king, who had left about him no more than a three-score persons, one and other, whereof Sir John of Hainault was one, who had remounted once the king, for his horse was slain with an arrow, then he said to the king: “Sir, depart hence, for it is time; lose not yourself wilfully: if ye have loss at this time, ye shall recover it again another season.” And so he took the king's horse by the bridle and led him away in a manner perforce. Then the king rode till he came to the castle of Broye. The gate was closed, because it was by that time dark: then the king called the captain, who came to the walls and said: “Who is that calleth there this time of night?” Then the king said: “Open your gate quickly, for this is the fortune of France." The captain knew then it was the king, and opened the gate and let down the bridge.
Then the king entered, and he had with him but five barons, Sir John of Hainault, Sir Charles of Montmorency, the Lord of Beaujeu, the Lord d'Aubigny and the Lord of Montsault. The king would not tarry there, but drank and departed thence about midnight, and so rode by such guides as knew the country till he came in the morning to Amiens, and there he rested.
This Saturday the Englishmen never departed from their battles for chasing of any man, but kept still their field, and ever defended themselves against all such as came to assail them. This battle ended about evensong time.
How the next day after the battle the Englishmen
discomfited divers Frenchmen
they made great fires and lighted up torches and candles, because it was very dark. Then the king avaled down from the little hill whereas he stood; and of all that day till then his helm came never on his head. Then he went with all his battle to his son the prince and embraced him in his arms and kissed him, and said: “Fair son, God give you good perseverance; ye are my good son, thus ye have acquitted you nobly: ye are worthy to keep a realm.” The prince inclined himself to the earth, honoring the king his father.
This night they thanked God for their good adventure and made no boast thereof, for the king would that no man should be proud or make boast, but every man humbly to thank God. On the Sunday in the morning there was such a mist, that a man might not see the breadth of an acre of land from him. Then there departed from the host by the commandment of the king and marshals five hundred spears and two thousand archers, to see if they might see any Frenchmen gathered again together in any place.
The same morning out of Abbeville and SaintRiquiers in Ponthieu the commons of Rouen and of Beauvais issued out of their towns, not knowing of the discomfiture the day before. They met with the Englishmen weeningo they had been Frenchmen, and when the Englishmen saw them, they set on them freshly, and there was a sore battle; but at last the Frenchmen fled and kept none array. There were slain in the ways and in hedges and bushes more than seven thousand, and if the day had been clear there had never a one scaped. Anon after, another company of Frenchmen were met by the Englishmen, the Archbishop of Rouen and the great Prior of France, who also knew nothing of the discomfiture the day before; for they heard that the French king should have fought the same Sunday, and they were going thitherward.
19. To arale was an old synonym for to descend.
When they met with the Englishmen, there was a great battle, for they were a great number, but they could not endure against the Englishmen; for they were nigh all slain, few escaped; the two lords were slain. This morning the Englishmen met with divers Frenchmen that had lost their way on the Saturday and had lain all night in the fields, and wist not where the king was nor the captains. They were all slain, as many as were met with; and it was showed me that of the commons and men afoot of the cities and good towns of France there was slain four times as many as were slain the Saturday in the great battle.
20. Weening here means imagining.