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he conquered again that his predecessors had lost in the field armed with their swords in their hands; wherefore he was greatly to be commended. And because he knew well that king Robert of Scotland and all the realm there had made war and had mortal hate to the Englishmen, for those two realms could never love together, therefore to the intent to nourish more love between France and Scotland, the French king thought to send a knight and a secretary of his council to king Robert of Scotland and to the Scots, to speak with them and to advise the country and to know if he might make any good war to England by Scotland. For Evan of Wales in his lifetime had informed him that Scotland was the place in the world whereby England might be most annoyed. And of this purpose the French king had many imaginations, so that at last he ordained a knight, a sage man called sir Peter lord of Bournazel, and said to him: ` Sir, ye shall go and do this message into Scotland and recommend me to the king there and to his barons, and skew him how that we and our realm are ready to do them pleasure and to have a treaty with them as our friends, so that thereby in the season to come we may send people thither, whereby we may have entry into England that way in like manner as our predecessors have had in time past ; and in your going thither and coming homeward I will ye keep such estate as a messenger and commissary of a king should do, on our cost and charge.' `Sir,' quoth the knight, `all shall be as it pleaseth you.' And so he tarried not long after, but when he was ready, departed from Paris and did so much by his journeys that he came to Sluys in Flanders, and there tarried and abode for wind and passage a fifteen days, for the wind was contrary for him. And in the mean season he held a great estate, and well stuffed with vessel of gold and silver throughout his hall as largely as though he had been a little duke or better. His minstrels played before his service daily, and bare a sword 1 garnished with gold and silver, and his men paid well for everything. Of the great estate that this knight kept in his house and in the streets divers of the town had great marvel. The baily of the town beheld it well, who 1 '[11] faisoit porter devant luy tine espee,' etc. was officer there tinder the earl of Flanders, and could keep it no longer secret, wherein he did evil ; for he sent word thereof to the earl, who lay at Bruges, and the duke of Bretayne his cousin with him. And when the earl of Flanders had studied a little on the matter and by the help of the duke of Bretayne, ordained that the knight should be brought to him. The baily returned again to Sluys and came uncourteously to the French knight, for he set his hand on him and rested him in the earl of Flanders' name, whereof the knight had great marvel and said to the baily : `What meaneth this ? I am a messenger and commissary of the French king.' `Sir,' quoth the baily, ` I believe well. Howbeit ye must needs go and speak with the earl of Flanders, for he hath commanded me to bring you to him.' So the knight could make no scuse, but that he and his company were brought to Bruges to the earl. And when he was in the earl's chamber, the earl and the duke stood together leaning out of a.window into the garden-ward. Then the knight kneeled down and said ` Sir, behold here is your prisoner' : of the which word the earl was sore displeased, and said in despite and ire: `What sayest thou, ribbald? that thou art my prisoner, because I have sent to speak with thee? Thy master's servants may right well come and speak with me: but thou bast not well acquitted thyself, sith thou bast been so long at Sluys and knowing me here so near to thee, and yet not come once to see or to speak with me. Thou haddest disdain so to do.' `Sir,' quoth the knight, `saving your displeasure'-then the duke of Bretayne took the words and said `Among you bourders and janglers in the palace of Paris and in the king's chamber ye set by the realm as ye list and play with the king at your pleasure, and do well of evil as ye wil



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