Perducas d'Albret and divers other; and the chief captain of this enterprise was made the lord John of Bourbon earl of Marche, to countervenge I the death of his cousin the queen of Spain, and was in all things ruled and counselled by the advice of sir Bertram of Guesclin, for the earl of Marche was as then a jolly young lusty knight; and also the lord Antony of Beaujeu went forth in that viage, and divers other good knights, as sir Arnold d'Audrehem, marshal of France, the Begue of Villaines, the lord d'Antoing in Hainault, the lord of Briffeuil, sir John Neuville, sir Gauvain of Bailleul, sir John of Berguettes, the Allemant of Saint-Venant and divers other, the which I cannot name. And so all these lords and other advanced forth in the viage and made their assembly in Languedoc and at Montpellier and thereabout, and so passed all to Narbonne, to go toward Perpignan and so to enter on that side into the realm of Aragon. These men of war were to the number of thirty thousand, and there were the chief captains of the companions, as sir Robert Briquet, sir John Creswey, Naudan of Bageran, l'Amit, the little Meschin, the bourg Camus, the bourg de Lesparre, Batillier, Espiote, Aymenion d'Artigue, Perrot of Savoy and divers other, all of accord and of one alliance, having great' desire to put king don Peter out of the realm of Castile and to make king the earl of Asturge, his brother Henry the bastard. And when these men of arms should enter into the realm of Aragon, to do their enterprise the more privily they sent to king don Peter to blind him by their message: but he was already well informed of their intents and how they were coming on him into the realm of Castile ; but he set nothing thereby, but assembled his people to resist against them and to fight with them at the entry of his realm. Their message was desiring him to open the straits of his country and to give free passage to the pilgrims of God, who had enterprised by great devotion to go into the realm of Granade, to revenge the death and passion of our Lord Jesu Christ and to destroy the infidels and to exalt the Christian faith. The king don Peter at these tidings did nothing but laugh, and said he would do nothing at their desire, nor obey in any
1 A correction of `counterwyne.'
point to such a rascal company. And when these knights and other men of arms knew the will and answer of king don Peter, whereby they reputed him right orgulous and presumptuous, and made all the haste they might to advance, to do him all the hurt they could. So they all passed through the realm of Aragon, where they found the passages ready open for them, and victual and everything ready apparelled and at a meetly price ; for the king of Aragon had great joy of their coming, trusting then by their means to conquer again from the king of Castile all his lands, that king don Peter had before taken from him by force : and then these men of war passed the great river that departeth Castile and Aragon, and so they entered into the realm of Spain : and when they had conquered towns, cities and castles, straits, ports and passages, the which the king don Peter had taken from the king of Aragon, then sir Bertram and his company delivered them to the king of Aragon on the condition that always from thenceforth he should aid and comfort Henry the bastard against don Peter. Tidings came to the king of Castile how that the Frenchmen, Bretons, Englishmen, Normans, Picards and Burgoynians were entered into his' realm and were as then passed the great river departing Castile and Aragon, and how they had won again all on that side the river, the which cost him much pain and trouble or he won it first. Then he was right sore displeased and said: 'Well, all shall not go so as they ween it shall.' Then he made a special commandment throughout all his realm, in giving knowledge to them that his letters and messengers were sent unto, that they should without delay come to him, to the intent to fight with the men of war that were entered into his realm of Castile. There were but a few that obeyed his commandment, and when he had thought to have had a great assembly of men of war, he was deceived, for few or none came to him ; for his lords and knights of Spain forsook and refused him and turned to his brother the bastard : wherefore he was fain to fly, or else he had been taken, he was so sore behated with his enemies and also with. his own men, so that none abode about him except one true knight called Ferrant