is the best advice that I can give you : if any other think any other way better, let him speak.' The king said : `Thus shall it be done' then the two marshals rode from battle to battle and chose out a three hundred knights and squires of the most expert men of arms of all the host, every man well armed and horsed. Also it was ordained that the battles of Almains should abide still on horseback to comfort the marshals, if need were, whereof the earl of Sarrebruck, the earl of Nidau and the earl of Nassau were captains. King John of France was there armed, and twenty other in his apparel and he did put the guiding of his eldest son to the lord of Saint-Venant, the lord of Landas and the lord Thibault of Vaudenay ; and the lord Arnold of Cervolles, called the archpriest,l was armed in the armour of the young earl of Alencon.
How the cardinal of Perigord treated to make agreement between the French king and the prince before the battle of Poitiers.
WHEN the French king's battles was ordered and every lord under his banner among their own men, then it was commanded that every man should cut their spears to a five foot long and every man to put off their spurs. Thus as they were ready to approach, the cardinal of Perigord2 came in great haste to the king. He came the same morning from Poitiers; he kneeled down to the king and held up his hands and desired him for God's sake a little to abstain setting forward till he had spoken with him : then he said : ` Sir, ye have here all the flower of your realm against a handful of Englishmen as to regard your company,' and, sir, if ye may have them accorded to you without battle, it shall be more profitable and honourable to have them by that manner rather than to adventure so noble chivalry as ye have here present. Sir, I require you
1 Arnaud de Cervolles, one of the most celebrated adventurers of the 14th century, called the archpriest because though a layman he possessed the ecclesiastical fief of Velines.
2 Talleyrand de Perigord.
3 The meaning is, ` Ye have here all the flower of your realm against a handful of people, for so the Englishmen are as compared with your company.'
in the name of God and humility that I may, ride to the prince and shew him what danger ye have him in.' The king said : `It pleaseth me well, but return again shortly.' The cardinal departed and diligently he rode to the prince, who was among his men afoot : then the cardinal alighted and came to the prince, who received him courteously. Then the cardinal after his salutation made he said : ` Certainly, fair son, if you and your council advise justly the puissance of the French king, ye will suffer me to treat to make a peace between you, an I may.' The prince, who was young and lusty, said ` Sir, the honour of me and of my people saved, I would gladly fall to any reasonable way.' Then the cardinal said : ` Sir, ye say well, and I shall accord you, an I can ; for it should be great pity if so many noblemen and other as be here on both parties should come together by battle.' Then the cardinal rode again to the king and said ` Sir, ye need not to make any great haste to fight with your enemies, for they cannot fly from you though they would, they be in such a ground: wherefore, sir, I require you forbear for this day till to-morrow the sunrising.' The king was loath to agree thereto, for some of his council would not consent to it ; but finally the cardinal shewed such reasons, that the king accorded that respite and in the same place there was pight up a pavilion of red silk fresh and rich, and gave leave for that day every man to draw to their lodgings except the constable's and marshals' battles. That Sunday all the day the cardinal travailed in riding from the one host to the other gladly to agree them : but the French king would not agree without he might have four of the principallest of the Englishmen at his pleasure, and the prince and all the other to yield themselves simply : howbeit there were many great offers made. The prince offered to render into the king's hands all that ever he had won in that voyage, towns and castles, and to quit all prisoners that he or any of his men had taken in that season, and also to swear not to be armed against the French king in seven year after; but the king and his council would none thereof: the uttermost that he would do was, that the prince and a hundred of his knights should yield themselves into the king's prison ; otherwise he