Page 112

Page 112 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 112


duke of Brabant; and so to do they affectuously desired their lord, and shewed him many fair reasons to draw him to that way, so that the burgesses that were on the duke of Brabant's party durst not say the contrary. But then the earl in no wise would consent thereto, but ever he said he would not wed her, whose father had slain his, though he might have half of the whole realm of England. When the Flemings saw that, they said how their lord was too much French and evil counselled, and also said how they would do no good to him, sith he would not believe their counsels. Then they took and put him in courteous prison, and said how he should never depart without he would follow and believe their counsels. Also they said that the earl his father believed and loved too much the Frenchmen ; for if he would a believed them, he should have been the greatest lord in all Christendom, and recovered again Lille, Douay and Bethune, and yet alive. Thus the matter abode a certain space: the king of England lay still at the siege before Calais and kept a great court that Christmas ; and about the beginning of Lent after, came thither out of Gascoyne the earl of Derby, the earl of Pembroke, the earl of Oxford and divers other knights and squires, that had passed the sea with the earl- Thus the earl of Flanders, was long in danger among the Flemings in courteous prison, and it greatly annoyed him. Then at last he said he would believe their counsel ; for he knew well, he said, that he should have more profit there than in any other country. These words rejoiced greatly the Flemings: then they took him out of prison and suffered him to go a-hawking to the river, the which sport the earl loved well; but ever there was good watch laid on him, that he should not steal away from them, and they were charged on their lives to take good heed to him, and also they were such as were favourable to the king of England. They watched him so near, that he could do nothing without their knowledge. This endured so long that at last the earl said that he would gladly have to his wife the king of England's daughter. Then the Flemings sent word thereof to the king and to the queen, and pointed a day that they should come r to Bergues, in the abbey, and to bring their daughter with them, and they would bring thither their lord the earl of Flanders; and there to conclude up the marriage. The king and the queen were glad thereof, and said that the Flemings were good men: so to Bergues between Newport and Gravelines came the most saddest men of the good towns in Flanders, and brought with them the earl their lord in great estate. The king of England and the queen were there ready: the earl courteously inclined to the king and to the queen the king took the earl by the right hand right sweetly, and led him forth, saying: `As for the death of the earl your father, as God help me, the day of the battle of Cressy nor the next day after I never heard word of him that he should be there-' The young earl by semblant made as though he had been content with the king's excuse. Then they fell in communication of the marriage: there were certain articles agreed unto by the king of England and the earl Louis of Flanders, and great amities there was sworn between them to be holden ; and there the earl fianced Isabel the king of England's daughter, and promised to wed her. So that journey brake off, and a new day to be appointed at more leisure : the Flemings returned into Flanders with their lord, and the king of England with the queen went again to the siege of Calais. Thus the matter stood a certain time, and the king and the queen prepared greatly again the marriage for jewels and other things to give away, according to their behaviours. The earl of Flanders daily passed the time at the river, and made semblant that this marriage pleased him greatly ; so the Flemings thought that they were then sure enough of him, so that there was not so great watch made on him as was before. But they knew not well the condition of their lord, for whatsoever countenance he made outward,



Page 112 (Chronicles of Froissart)