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lodging betimes on the mount SaintQuentin in good order of battle : and they of Saint-Quentin's might well see them, howbeit they had no desire to issue out of their town. The foreriders came running to the barriers skirmishing, and the host tarried still on the mount till the next day. Then the lords took counsel what way they should draw, and by the advice of the duke of Brabant they took the way to Thierache, for that way their provision came daily to them, and were determined that if king Philip did follow them, as they supposed he would do, that then they would abide him in the plain field and give him battle. Thus they went forth in three great battles: the marshals and the Almains had the first, the king of England in the middleward, and the duke of Brabant in the rearward. Thus they rode forth, brenning and pilling the country, a three or four leagues a day, and ever took their lodging betimes. And a company of Englishmen and Almains passed the river of Somme by the abbey of Vermand, and wasted the country all about : another company, whereof sir John of Hainault, the lord of Fauquemont and sir Arnold of Baquehem were chief, rode to Origny-Saint-Benoiste, a good town, but it was but easily closed incontinent it was taken by assault and robbed, and an abbey of ladies violated, and the town brent. Then they departed and rode toward Guise and Ribemont, and the king of England lodged at Boheries, and there tarried a day, and his men ran abroad and destroyed the country. Then the king tooktheway to the Flamen-gerie,1 to come to Leschelle in Thierache , and the marshals and the bishop of Lincoln with a five hundred spears passed the river of Oise and entered into Laonnois, toward the land of the lord of Coney, and brent Saint-Gobain and the town of Marle, and on a night lodged in the valley beside Laon: and the next day they drew again to their host, for they knew by some of their prisoners that the French king was come to Saint-Quentin's with a hundred thousand men, and there to pass the river of Somme. So these lords in their returning brent a good town called Crecy and

1 La Flamengerie, dep. Aisne. divers other towns and hamlets thereabout. Now let us speak of sir John of Hainault and his company, who were a five hundred spears. He came to Guise and brent all the town and beat down the mills: and within the fortress was the lady Jane, his own daughter, wife to the earl of Blois called Louis: she desired her father to spare the heritage of the earl his son-inlaw, but for all that sir John of Hainault would not spare his enterprise. And so then he returned again to the king, who was lodged in the abbey of Fervaques, and ever his people ran over the country. And the lord of Fauquemont with a hundred spears came to Nouvion in Thierache, a great town ; and the men of the town were fled into a great wood and had all their goods with them, and had fortified the wood with felling of timber about them. The Almains rode thither, and there met with them sir Arnold of Baquehem and his company, and so there they assailed them in the wood, who defended them as well as they might ; but finally they were conquered and put to flight; and there were slain and sore hurt more than forty, and lost all that they had. Thus the country was over-ridden, for they did what they list. CHAPTER XL How the king of England and the French king took day of journey to fight together. THE king of England departed from Fervaques and went to Montreuil, and there lodged a night, and the next day he went to the Flamengerie and made all his men to lodge near about him, whereof he had more than forty thousand and there he was counselled to abide king Philip and to fight with him. The French King departed from SaintQuentin's, and daily men came to him from all parts, and so came to Buironfosse. There the king tarried, and said how he would not go thence till he had fought with the king of England and with his allies, seeing they were within two leagues together. And when the earl of Hainault, who was at Quesnoy ready purveyed of




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