Page 173

Page 173 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 173


CHAPTER CCXXXVII

How the prince commanded his people to be ready to fight, and how king Henry ordained his battles ; and how they fought fiercely together, and of the comfort that king Henry did to his people.

THUS, as ye have heard, king Henry and sir Bertram of Guesclin devised together of divers matters and left talking of the prince's letter : for it was king Henry's intention to have battle, and so intended to order his field and people. The earl don Tello and his brother sir Sancho were greatly renowned in their host for the journey that they had made before, as ye have heard. The prince the Friday the second day of April dislodged from Logrono and advanced forward arranged in battle ready to fight, for he knew well that king Henry was not far thence. And so that day he advanced two leagues, and at three of the day he came before Navaret and there took his lodging. Then the prince sent forth his currours to aview his enemies and to know where they were lodged, and then they departed from the host and rode so forward that they saw all their enemies' host, who were lodged before Nazres.1 So they brought report thereof to the prince, and in the evening the prince caused secretly to be shewed through all the host that at the first sowning of the trumpets every man to apparel himself, and at the second to be armed, and at the third to leap a-horseback and to follow the marshals' banners with the pennon of Saint George, and that none on pain of death advance before them without he be commanded so to do. In like manner as the prince had done the same Friday in sending out his currours, so did king Henry on his part, to know where the prince was lodged. And when he had true report thereof, then the king called sir Bertram of Guesclin and took counsel and advice how to persevere. Then they caused their people to sup and after to go to rest, to be the more fresher, and at the hour of midnight to be ready apparelled and to draw to the field and to ordain their

1 The translator says, `who were also lodged before Navaret,' but this is part of the same confusion as was noted before. battles, for he knew well the next clay he should have battle. So that night the Spaniards took their ease and rest, for they had well wherewith so to do, as plenty of victuals and other things ; and the Englishmen had great default, therefore they had great desire to fight, other to win or to lose all. After midnight the trumpets sounded in king Henry's host. Then every man made him ready. At the second blast they drew out of their lodgings and ordered three battles. The first had sir Bertram of Guesclin, lord Robert of Roquebertin and the earl Dune of Aragon; and there were all the strangers, as well of France as of other countries, and there were two barons of Hainault, the lord d'Antoing and sir Alard lord of Briffeuil: there was also the Begue of Villaines, the Begue of Villiers, sir John of Berguettes, sir Gawain of Bailleul, the Alemant of Saint-Venant, who was there made knight, and divers other of France, Aragon and Provence and of the marches thereabout. There was well in that battle four thousand knights and squires well armed and dressed after the usage of France. The second battle had the earl don Tello and his brother the earl Sancho, and in that battle with the genetours there were fifteen thousand afoot and t a-horseback, and they drew them a little aback on the left hand of the first battle. The third battle and the greatest of all governed king Henry himself; and in his company there were a seven thousand horsemen and threescore thousand afoot, with the cross-bows : so in all three battles he was a fourscore and six thousand a-horseback and afoot. Then king Henry leapt on a. strong mule after the usage of the country and rode from battle to battle, right sweetly praying every man that day to employ himself to defend and keep their honour, and so he shewed himself so cheerfully that every man was joyful to behold him. Then he went again to his own battle, and by that time it was daylight, and then about the sun-rising he



Page 173 (Chronicles of Froissart)