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French king, but. I pass it briefly because nothing was done. Thus the prince, the Gascons and Englishmen tarried still at Bordeaux till it was Lent in great mirth and revel, and spent foolishly the gold and silver that they had won. In England also there was great joy when they heard tidings of the battle of Poitiers, of the discomfiting of the Frenchmen and taking of the king great solemnities were made in all churches and great fires and wakes throughout all England. The knights and squires, such as were come home from that journey, were much made of and praised more than other.

CHAPTER CLXX

How the three estates of France assembled together at Paris after the battle of Poitiers.

THE same season that the battle of Poitiers was, the duke of Lancaster was in the county of Evreux and on the marches of Cotentin, and with him the lord Philip of Navarre and the lord Godfrey of Harcourt. They made war in Normandy and had done all that season in the title of the king of Navarre, whom the French king held in prison. These lords did all that they might to have been at the journey of Poitiers with the prince, but they could not, for all the passages on the river of Loire were so well kept that they might not pass : but when they heard how the prince had taken the French king at the battle of Poitiers, they were glad and brake up their journey, because the duke of Lancaster and sir Philip of Navarre would go into England, and so they did ; and they sent sir Godfrey of Harcourt to Saint- Saviour's-le-Viconte to keep there frontier war.1 Now let us speak of the French king's three sons, Charles, Louis and John, who were returned from the besynes at Poitiers. They were right young of age and of counsel ; in them was but small recovery, nor there was none of them that would take on him the governance of the realm of r `Tenir frontiers.' The word `frontiers' means `line of battle' or `fortress' (in the face of the enemy), and hence the meaning `boundary.' The expressions `faire frontiers' or `tenir frontiee' are used of opposing or making war against an enemy. France. Also the lords, knights and squires, such as fled from the battle, were so hated and blamed of the commons of the realm, that scant they durst abide in any good town. Then all the prelates of holy Church being in France, bishops, abbots, and all other noble lords and knights, and the provost of the merchants, the burgesses of Paris, and the counsels of other good towns, they all assembled at Paris, and there they would ordain how the realm should be governed till the king were delivered out of prison. Also they would know furthermore what was become of the great treasure that had been levied in the realm by dimes, maltotes, subsidies, forging of moneys, and in all other extortions, whereby the people hath been overlaid and troubled, and the soldiers evil paid, and the realm evil kept and defended : but of all this there were none that could give account. Then they agreed that the prelates should choose out twelve persons among them, who should have power by them and by all the clergy to ordain and to advise all things convenable to be done ; and the lords and knights to choose other twelve among them of their most sagest and discreet persons, to determine all causes ; and the burgesses to choose other twelve for the commons: the which six and thirty persons should oftentimes meet at Paris and there to commune and ordain for all causes of the realm, and every matter to be brought to them : and to these three estates all other prelates, lords and commons should obey. So these persons were chosen out, but in the beginning there were divers in this election that the duke of Normandy was not content withal, nor his council. First these three estates defended evermore forging of money: also they required the duke of Normandy that he would arrest the chancellor of the king his father, the lord Robert of Lorris, and the lord Simon of Bucy, and divers other masters of the counts and other councillors of the king's, to the intent that they might make a true account of



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