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CHAPTER CCXXXI

How king don Peter required the prince of Wales to aid him against his brother.

YE have well heard how king don Peter was driven into the castle of Corogne on the sea, and with him his wife, his two daughters, and don Ferrant of Castro with 1 him all only, so that in the mean season that his brother the bastard, by puissance of the men of war that he had got out of France, conquered Castile, and that all the country yielded them to him, as ye have heard before. He was right sore afraid� ' and not well assured in the castle of Corogne, for he doubted greatly his brother the bastard, for he knew well that if he had knowledge of his being there, he would " come with puissance and besiege him. Wherefore he thought he would not abide that peril ; therefore he departed in a night and took a ship, and his wife, his two daughters and don Ferrant of Castro, and all the gold, silver, and jewels that they had: but the wind was to him so contrary that he could not draw from the coast, and so was fain again to enter into the fortress of Corogne. Then the king don Peter demanded of don Ferrant his knight how he should maintain himself, complaining of ' fortune, that was to him so contrary. `Sir,' quoth the knight, 'or ye depart from hence, it were good that ye did send to your cousin the prince of Wales, to know if he would receive you or not, and for pity somewhat to tender your need and necessity ; for divers ways he is bound thereto by reason of the great alliances that the king his father and yours had together. The prince of Wales is so noble and so gentle of blood and of courage, that when he knoweth your tribulation, I think verily he will take thereof great compassion. And if he will aid to set you again in your realm, there is none that can do it so well in all the world, he is so feared, redoubted and beloved with all men of war. And, sir, ye are here in a good strong fortress, to keep a season till ye hear other tidings out of Acquitaine.' To this counsel accorded lightly the king don Peter. Then he wrote letters right piteous and amiable, and a knight with two squires were desired to do this message ; acid so they took on them that journey and entered into. the sea, and sailed so long that they arrived at Bayonne, the which city held of the king of England. Then they demanded tidings of the prince, and it was skewed them how that he was at Bordeaux. Then they took their horses and rode so long that they came to Bordeaux, and there took their lodging, and anon after they went to the abbey of Saint Andrew's, where the prince was. And there these messengers skewed how they were come out of Castile and were Spaniards and messengers from king don Peter of Castile: and when the prince knew thereof, he said he would see them and know what they would have. And so they came and kneeled down and saluted him according to their usage, and recommended the king their master to him and delivered their letters. The prince took up the messengers and received their letters, and opened and read them at good leisure, wherein he found how piteously king don Peter wrote, signifying to him all his poverty and mischief, and how that his brother the bastard, by puissance and by the great amities that he had purchased, first of the pope, of the French king and of the king of Aragon, and by the help of the companions, had put him out from the heritage of the realm of Castile : wherefore he desired the prince for God's sake and by the way of pity that he would intend to provide for him some counsel and remedy, wherein he should achieve grace of God and of all the world ; for it is not the right way of a true Christian king to disinherit a rightful heir and to enherit by puissance of tyranny a bastard. And the prince, who was a valiant knight and a sage, closed the letters in his hands and said to the messengers ` Sirs, ye be right welcome to me from my cousin the king of Castile : ye shall tarry a space here with us, and ere ye depart, ye shall have an answer.' Then the princes knights, who knew right well what they had to do



Page 156 (Chronicles of Froissart)