Page 191

Page 191 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 191


Sir, we be messengers sent by our lord the French king, to whom we must needs obey, as your subjects ought to obey you wherefore, sir, it behoveth us to do his commandment ; and, sir, whatsoever ye will give us in charge to say, we shall shew it to the king our prince and lord.' ` Nay,' quoth the prince, `sirs, I am not displeased with you, but with them that sent you hither; and the king your master is not well counselled to compoin himself with our subjects, or to make himself judge where he bath nothing to do nor no manner of right. For it shall be well shewed that at the rendering and putting in possession of the king my father into the duchy of Acquitaine, he quitted all manner of resorts for all they that bath caused this appeal to be had against me bath none other resort of right but into the court of England, before the king my dear father ; and or it shall be otherwise, I ensure you it shall cost a hundred thousand men's lives.' And therewith the prince departed and went to another chamber and left them still there. Then knights of England came to them and said: ` Sirs, ye may depart when ye list to your lodging; ye have right well accomplished your message, but look for none other answer than ye have had.' Then the knight and the clerk departed and went to their lodging and so dined ; and after dinner they trussed and mounted a-horseback and departed from Bordeaux and took the way to Toulouse-ward, to the intent to shew the duke of Anjou how they had sped. The prince was sore displeased with this' appeal and so were all the knights about him, and they counselled the prince that the two French messengers should have been slain for their labour ; but the prince charged them the contrary: howbeit, he had against them many a sore imagination, and when it was shewed him how they were departed without any other licence and that they were ridden toward Toulouse, then he called to him sir Thomas Felton and the seneschal of Rouergue, sir Richard of Pontchardon, sir Thomas Percy and his chancellor the bishop of Bade: then the prince demanded of them if the French messengers had any safe-conduct of him or not, and they answered they knew of none that they had. 'No,' said the prince and shook his head and said, 'It is not con venient that they should thus lightly depart out of our country and to make their janglings to the duke of Anjou, who loveth us but a little. He will be glad that they have thus summoned us in our own house. I trow, all things considered, they be rather messengers of mine own subjects, as the earl of Armagnac, the lord d'Albret, the earl of Perigord and the earls of Comminges and Caraman, than of the French king's. Therefore because of the great despite that they have done to us, we would they were overtaken and put in prison.' Of the which all the prince's council was right joyous and said: `Sir, we fear ye have tarried too long from this purpose.' Incontinent the seneschal of Agenois was commanded to take with him sir William the monk,' a right good knight of England, and that they should ride after to stop the messengers. And so they departed, and followed so long after them, that at last they overtook them in the land of Agenois, and they arrested them and made another occasion than the prince's commandment ; for in their arresting they spake no word of the prince, but said how their host, whereas they lay last, complained on them for a horse that he said they had changed. The knight and the clerk had great marvel of that tidings and excused themselves, but their excuse could not avail, but so they were brought into the city of Agen and put in prison. And they let some of their pages depart, and they went by the city of Toulouse and recorded to the duke ' of Anjou all the whole matter, whereof he was nothing displeased, for he thought well that thereby should begin war and hatred, and so he prepared covertly therefor. These tidings came to the French king, for the pages went and recounted all the whole matter to him, as they had heard and seen: of the which the king was sore displeased and took



Page 191 (Chronicles of Froissart)