Page 060

Page 60 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 60


so began to shoot and to run on the Englishmen. And as soon as sir Waflard saw the manner, he had no list to ride any further, but returned as soon as he might and gat himself out of the press; and the two earls fell in the hands of their enemies like fishes in a net, for they were closed round about in a narrow strait passage among hedges, bushes and dikes, so that they could scape no manner of way forward nor backward. So when they saw that they were so hardly bestad, they alighted afoot and defended themselves as well as they might, and did hurt divers of them of Lille : but finally their defence could not avail them, for ever new fresh men of war came on them. So there they were taken by force, and with them a young squire of Limousin, nephew to pope Clement, called Raymond, who after that he was yielded prisoner was slain for covetise of his fair harness and fresh apparel. These two earls were set in prison in the hall of. Lille and after sent to the French king, who promised to them of Lille a great reward for the good service that they had done him. And when Jaques d'Arteveld, who was at Pont de Fer, knew those tidings, he was sore displeased, and so ceased his enterprise for that time and -returned again to Gaunt.

CHAPTERS XLVII-XLIX

SUMMARY.-The duke of Normandy invaded Hainault at Easter, 1340. He burnt many villages, but failed to take an v fortresses except the castle of Escaudeuvres, which was surrendered to him with great suspicion of treason.

The county of Hainault suffered much from the garrisons of Lille and Douay. Meanwhile the earl was gone to England and then to the emperor Louis of Bavaria. Sir John of Hainault asked far aid from the earl of Brabant and from Jaques d'Arteveld.

The duke of Normandy laid siege to Thun-l'Evesque. The earl of Hainault came to relieve it, and the duke of Normandy sent word to king Philip at Peronne. Philip sent twelve hundred spears, serving himself with them `as a soldier,' Mat is, taking no command, because he had taken oath not to levy war on the Empire. The earl of Hainault received an addition of sixty thousand Flemings to his army, and offered battle, which the French refused.


CHAPTER L

Of the battle on the sea before Sluys in Flanders between the king of England and the Frenchmen.

Now let us leave somewhat to speak of the earl of Hainault and of the duke of Normandy, and speak of the king of England, who was on the sea to the intent to arrive in Flanders, and so into Hainault, to make war against the Frenchmen. This was on Midsummer-even in the year of our Lord MCCCXL., all the English fleet was departed out of the river of Thames and took the way to Sluys. And the same time between Blankenberghe and Sluys on the sea was sir Hugh Quieret, sir Peter Behuchet and Barbevaire, and more than sixscore great vessels, beside other ; and they were of Normans, bidaus, Genoways and Picards about the -number of forty thousand: there they were laid by the French king to defend the king of England's passage. The king of England and his came sailing till he came before Sluys: and when he saw so great a number of ships that their masts seemed to be like a great wood, he demanded of the master of his ship what people he thought they were. He answered and said, `Sir, I think they be Normans laid here by the French king, and bath done great displeasure in England, brent your town of Hampton and taken your great ship the Christofer.' ' Ah,' quoth the king, ` I have long desired to fight with the Frenchmen, and now shall I fight with some of them by the grace of God and Saint George ; for truly they have done me so many displeasures, that I shall be revenged, an I may.' Then the king set all his ships in order, the greatest before, well furnished with archers, and ever between two ships of archers he had one ship with men of arms ; and then he made another battle to lie aloof, with archers, to comfort ever them that were most weary, if need were. And there were a great number of countesses, ladies, knights' wives and other damosels, that were going to see the




Page 60 (Chronicles of Froissart)