Page 195

Page 195 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 195


together to Poitou, to see if they could get any prey: and so he called up the watchman, the which made him to sound his horn. And so the Englishmen, who were on the other side of the fortress, hearing the watch blow and great noise in the place, feared lest they had been spied by some spies, for they knew nothing that the said Frenchmen were on the other side to have entered into the place. Therefore they withdrew back again out of the dikes and said : ` Let us go hence for this night, for we have failed of our purpose.' And so they remounted on their horses and returned whole together to Chauvigny on the river of Creuse, a two leagues thence. Then the Poitevins demanded of sir John Chandos if he would command them any further service. He answered and said `Sirs, return home again when it please you in the name of God, and as for this day I will abide still here in this town.' So there departed the knights of Poitou and some of England to the number of two hundred spears. Then sir John Chandos went into a house and caused to be made a good fire and there was still with him sir Thomas Percy and his company, seneschal of Rochelle, who said to sir John Chandos Sir, is it your intent to tarry here all this day ?' ` Yea truly, sir,' quoth he ; ` why demand you ?' ` Sir, the cause I desire you is, sith ye will not stir this day, to give me leave and I will ride some way with my company, to see if I can find any adventure.' 'Go your way, sir, in the name of God,' quoth sir John Chandos. And so departed sir Thomas Percy with a thirty spears in his company, and so passed the bridge at Chauvigny and took the long way that led to Poitiers : and sir John Chandos abode still behind, full of displeasure in that he had failed of his purpose ; and so stood in a kitchen warming him by the fire, and his servants jangled with him to the intent to bring him out of his melancholy. His servants had prepared for him a place to rest him : then he demanded if it were near day, and therewith there came a man into the house and came before him and said `Sir, I have brought you tidings.' ` What be they? tell me.' ` Sir, surely the Frenchmen be riding abroad.' `How knowest thou that?' ` Sir,' said he, ` I departed from Saint - Salvin with them.' `What way be they ridden ?' `Sir, I cannot tell you the certainty, but surely they took the highway to Poitiers.' 'What Frenchmen be they, canst thou tell me?' `Sir, it is sir Louts of Saint-Julian and Charuel the Breton.' `Well,' quoth sir John Chandos, ` I care not. I have no list this night to ride forth. They may hap to be encountered, though I be not there.' And so he tarried there still a certain space in a great study; and at last, when he had well advised himself, he said: `Whatsoever I have said herebefore, I trow it be good that I ride forth. I must return to Poitiers, and anon it will be day.' `That is true, sir,' quoth the knights about him. Then he said: `Make ready, for I will ride forth' : and so they did, and mounted on their horses and departed and took the right way to Poitiers coasting the river, and the Frenchmen the same time were not past a league before him in the same way, thinking to pass the river at the bridge of Lussac. There the Englishmen had knowledge how they were in the track of the Frenchmen, for the Frenchmen's horses cried and brayed because of the English horses that were before them with sir Thomas Percy.' And anon it was fair light day, for in the beginning of January the mornings be soon light, and when the Frenchmen and Bretons were within a league of the bridge, they perceived on the other side of the bridge sir Thomas Percy and his company, and he likewise perceived the Frenchmen and rode as fast as he might to get the advantage of the bridge, and said : ` Behold yonder Frenchmen be a great number against us : therefore let us take the advantage of the bridge.' And when sir Louis and Charnel saw the Englishmen make such haste to get the bridge, they did in like wise ; howbeit, the Eng

1 This is quite wrong, but the French text is largely responsible for the er



Page 195 (Chronicles of Froissart)