were so near together that they might know each other's arms. Then the host stood still to take other counsel. And some of the host mounted on good horses and rode forth to skirmish with them and to behold the passage of the river and to see the countenance of their enemies more nearer. And there were heralds of arms sent to the Scots, giving them knowledge, if that they would come and pass the river to fight with them in the plain field, they would draw back from the river and give them sufficient place to arrange their battles either the same day or else the next, as they would choose themselves, or else to let them do likewise and they would come over to them. And when the Scots heard this, they took counsel among themselves, and anon they answered the heralds, how they would do neither the one nor the other, and said, ` Sirs, your king and his lords see well how we be here in this realm and have brent and wasted the country as we have passed through, and if they be displeased therewith, let them amend it when they will, for here we will abide as long as it shall please us.' And as soon as the king of England heard that answer, it was incontinent cried that all the host should lodge there that night without reculing back. And so the host lodged there that night with much pain on the hard ground and stones, always still armed. They had no stakes nor rods to tie withal their horses, nor forage, nor bush to make withal any fire. And when they were thus lodged, then the Scots caused some of their people to keep still the field, whereas they had ordained their battles; and the remnant went to their lodgings, and they made such fires that it was marvel to behold. And between the day and the night they made a marvellous great bruit, with blowing of horns all at once, that it seemed properly that all the devils of hell had been there. Thus these two hosts were lodged that night, the which was Saint Peter's night in the beginning of August' the year of our Lord MCCCXXVII. And the next morning the lords of England heard mass and ranged again their battles as they had done the day before; and the Scots in like wise ordered their
1 St. Peter in Vinculis, 1st August.
battles. Thus both the hosts stood still in battle till it was noon. The Scots made never semblant to come to the English host to fight with them, nor in like wise the Englishmen to them ; for they could not approach together without great damage. There were divers companions a-horseback that passed the river, and some afoot, to scrimmish with the Scots, and in likewise some of the Scots brake out and scrimmished with them; so that there were divers on both parties slain, wounded and taken prisoners. And after that noon was past, the lords of England commanded every man to draw to their lodging, for they saw well the Scots would not fight with them. And in like manner thus they did three days together, and the Scots in like case kept still their mountains. Howbeit there was scrimmishing on both parties, and divers slain and prisoners taken. And every night the Scots made great fires and great bruit with shouting and blowing of horns. The intention of the Englishmen was to hold the Scots there in manner as besieged (for they could not fight with them thereas they were), thinking to have famished them. And the Englishmen knew well by such prisoners as they had taken that the Scots had neither bread, wine nor salt, nor other purveyance, save of beasts they had great plenty, the which they had taken in the country and might eat at their pleasure without bread, which was an evil diet, for they lacked oaten meal to make cakes withal, as is said before;' the which diet some of the Englishmen used when they had need, specially borderers when they make roads into Scotland. And in the morning the fourth clay the Englishmen looked' on the mountain whereas the Scots were, and they could see no creature, for the Scots were departed at midnight. Then was there sent men a-horseback and afoot over the river to know where they were become; and about noon