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bear nor suffer it any longer, but they besought and required each other among themselves to be of a peaceable accord, and caused it secretly to be known to the queen their lady, who had been as then at Paris the space of three year, certifying her by writing, that if she could find the means to have any company of men of arms, if it were but to the number of a thousand, and to bring her son and heir with her into England, that then they would all draw to her and obey her and her son Edward, as theywere bound to do of duty. These letters thus sent secretly to her out of England, she shewed them to king Charles her brother, who answered her and said: `Fair sister, God be your aid, your business shall avail much the better. Take of my men and subjects to the number that your friends have written you for, and I consent well to this voyage. I shall cause to be delivered unto you gold and silver as much as shall suffice you.' And in this matter the queen had done so much, what with her prayer, gifts and promises, that many great lords and young knights were of her accord, as to bring her with great strength again into England. Then the queen, as secretly as she could, she ordained for her voyage and made her purveyance; but she could not do it so secretly but sir Hugh Spencer had knowledge thereof. Then he thought to win and withdraw the king of France from her by great gifts, and so sent secret messengers into France with great plenty of gold and silver and rich jewels, and specially to the king and his privy council, and did so much that in short space the king of France and all his privy council were as cold to help the queen in her voyage as they had before great desire to do it. And the king brake all that voyage,. and defended every person in his realm on pain of banishing the same, that none should be so hardy to go with the queen to bring her again into England. And yet the said sir Hugh Spencer advised him of more malice, and bethought him how he might get again the queen into England, to be under the king's danger and his. Then he caused the king to write to the holy father the pope affectuously, desiring him that he would send and write to the king of France, that he should send the queen his wife again into England ; for he will acquit. himself to God and the world, and that it was not his fault that she departed from him, for he would nothing to her but all love and good faith, such as he ought to hold in marriage. Also there were like letters written to the cardinals, devised by many subtle ways, the which all may not be written here. Also he sent gold and silver great plenty to divers cardinals and prelates, such as were most nearest and secretest with the pope, and right sage and able ambassadors were sent on this message; and they led the pope in such wise by their gifts and subtle ways, that he wrote to the king of France that on pain of cursing he should send his sister Isabel into England to the king her husband. These letters were brought to the king of France by the bishop of Saintes, whom the pope sent in that legation. And when the king had read the letters, he caused them to be shewed to the queen his sister, whom he had not seen of long space before, commanding her hastily to avoid his realm, or else he would cause her to avoid with shame.

CHAPTER IX

How that queen Isabel departed from France and entered into the Empire.

WHEN the queen heard this tidings, she knew not what to say nor what advice to take ; for as then the barons of the realm of France were withdrawn from her by the commandment of the king of France, and so she had no comfort nor succour, but all only of her dear cousin sir Robert de Artois ; for he secretly did counsel and comfort her as much as he might, for otherwise he durst not, for the king had defended him. But he knew well that the queen was chased out of England and also out of France for evil will and by envy, which grieved him greatly. Thus was sir Robert de Artois at the queen's commandment ; but be durst not speak nor be known thereof, for he had heard the king



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