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be lost ; for little and little daily the franchises be taken away and ancient privileges, and yet there is no man dare speak against it.' Gilbert Mahew and the ruler of the mean crafts,' who was of Gilbert's party, heard with their own ears daily such words and knew well how they did rise by John Lyon; but they durst not remedy it, for John Lyon had sowed throughout the town the white hats, and given them to such companions hardy and outrageous, in such wise that none durst assail them: and also John Lyon went never alone; 'for whensoever that he went out of his house, he had ever with him a two or three hundred white hats about him: nor he never went abroad in the town without it had been for a great cause, for be was greatly desired to have his counsel on the incidents that fell within Gaunt and without concerning the franchise of the town and liberties thereof. And when he was in council, then be would skew a general word to the people: he spake in so fair rhetoric and by so great craft, that such as heard him were greatly rejoiced of his language and would say all with one voice that all was true that he said. By great prudence John Lyon said to the people : ' Sirs, I say not that we should hurt or minish any part of my lord the earl's inheritance ; for though we would, we cannot, for reason and justice would not suffer us: nor that we should seek any craft or incident whereby we should be in his displeasure or indignation; for we ought always to be in love and favour with our prince and lord: and my lord the earl of Flanders is our good lord and a right high prince, feared and renowned, and always bath kept us in peace and prosperity; the which things we ought to know, and to suffer the more largely: more bound we are thereto than if he had travailed us or displeased us or made war or hated us and to have put to his pain to have our goods. But howsoever it be, at this present time he is evil counselled or informed against us and against the franchises of the good town of Gaunt, in that they of Bruges be more in his favour than we. It appeareth well by the pioneers of Bruges, that, he being there, they came to take away our heritage and to take away the river, whereby our town of Gaunt should be destroyed. 1 ' Le doyen des menus mestiers.' And also he would have made a castle at Deynse against us, to bring us in danger and to make us weaker; and I know well how they in Bruges had promised him in time past ten or twelve thousand franks yearly, to have to them the easement of the river of Lys. Therefore I counsel, let this good town of Gaunt send to the earl some sad and discreet personages to show him boldly all these matters, as well touching the burgess of Gaunt in prison in Eccloo, the which his baily will not deliver, as all other matters, wherewith the good town of Gaunt is not content. And also, these matters heard, then let it be shewed him also that he nor his council think that we be so dull or dead, but that, if need be, we may (if we list) make resistance thereagainst: and so, his answer once heard, then the good town of Gaunt may take advice to punish the trespass on them that shall be found culpable against them.' And when John Lyon had shewed all these words to the people in the marketplace, every man said, 'He saith well,' and then went home to their own houses. At these words thus spoken by John Lyon Gilbert Mahew was not present, for be doubted the white hats, but his brother Stenuart was there always. He prophesied of time to come, and when he was returned to his brother, he said : ' I have always said, and say yet again, how that John Lyon shall destroy us all. Cursed be the hour that ye had not let me alone ; for an I bad slain him, he should never have overcome us nor come so lightly up: and now it is not in our puissance, nor we dare not annoy nor grieve him : he is as now more greater in the town than the earl.' Gilbert answered and said : ' Hold thy peace, fool ; for when I will, with the earl's puissance all the white hats shall be cast down; and such there be that beareth them now, that her



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