Page 066

Page 66 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 66


that part came the lord Beaujeu himself to defend it, for he feared none of the other sides. He had in his hand a great glaive, sharp and well steeled, and above the blade there was a sharp hook of steel, that when he gave his stroke, the hook should take hold ; and look, on whom that it fastened, he came to him or else fell in the water: by that means the same day he cast into the water more than twelve, at that gate the assault was fiercest. The earl of Hainault, who was on the other side, knew nothing of that assault : he was arranged along the river side of l'Escault and devised how they might get out of the river the piles by force or by subtilty ; for then they might come just to the walls. They ordained to make a ship and a great engine to draw out the piles, each one after other : their carpenters were set awork and the engine made in a ship ; and the same day they of Valenciennes raised on their side a great engine and did cast in stones, so that it sore troubled them within. Thus the first day passed and the night in assailing and devising how they might grieve them in the fortress ; the next day they went to assault on all parts ; and the third day the ship was ready and the engine to draw out the piles, and then did set awork to draw them out; but there were so many and such labour in the doing, or they could draw out one, that they were weary of that craft, and the lords would they had never begun it, and so commanded to cease their work. On the other part within Mortagne there was a cunning master in malting of engines, who saw well how the engine of Valenciennes did greatly grieve them. He raised an engine in the castle, the which was not very great, but he trimmed it to a point ; r and he cast therewith but three times ; the first stone fell a twelve foot from the engine without, the second fell nearer, and the third stone hit so even that it brake clean asunder the shaft of the engine without. Then the soldiers of Mortagne made a great shout. So thus the Hainowes could get nothing there. Then the earl said how he would withdraw and go again to the siege of Tournay : and so they did, and they of Valenciennes returned to their town. 1 ' L'attempra bien et a point': that is, he adjusted it to a nicety.

CHAPTERS LX, LXI

SUMMARY.-The earl of Hainault appointed the men of Valenciennes to meet him before Saint-Amand. When they arrived, they attacked the fortress without success and were mocked by those within, who said, 'Go away and drink your good ale!" They departed and next day the earl came from Tournay and took the town by battering down part of the abbey walls. Another day the earl entered France and burnt the abbey of Marchiennes. Meanwhile the sieg e of Tournay continued, and some said the duke of Brabant allowed victuals to pass into the town. lit an attack on the French camp by certain knights of Almaine and Hainault the lord Charles of Montmorency was taken prisoner.

CHAPTER LXII

How the Flemings were before Saint-Omer's during the siege.

Now let us show of an adventure that fell to the Flemings, of the which company there were captains sir Robert d'Artois and sir Henry of Flanders. They were in number a forty thousand, what of the towns of Ypres, Poperinghe, Messines, Cassel and of the chatelainy of Bergues ; all these Flemings lay in the vale of Cassel in tents and pavilions, to counter - garrison the French garrisons, that the French king had laid at Saint-Omer's, at Aire, at SaintVenant and in other towns and fortresses thereabout. And in Saint-Omer's there was the earl Dolphin of Auvergne, the lord of Chalencon, the lord of Montaigu, the lord of Rochfort, the viscount of Thouars, and divers other knights of Auvergne and Limousin. And in Aire and Saint-Venant there were also many soldiers, and oftentimes they issued out and skirmished with the Flemings. On a day four thousand' went to the suburbs of Saint-Omer's and brake down 1' Allez boire vostre god-ale, allez !' a scoffing allusion to their alliance with the English. 2 That is, of the Flemings; but the better reading is '



Page 66 (Chronicles of Froissart)