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with the town, he departed from the town as privily as he might and went to a fair house that he had without Gaunt, and there abode and feigned himself sick, so that none spake with him but his own men and daily he heard tidings out of Gaunt, for he had left behind him the most part of his goods and his wife and his children still in the town. Thus he dissimuled for a season.

CHAPTER CCCLI

How twelve burgesses of Gaunt were sent to the earl of Flanders, and how in the same season the white hats pilled and brent the fair castle of Andrehen.1

THE good men in Gaunt, and rich and notable merchants, who had within the town their wives, children and merchandise and their heritages, both within the town and without, and had to live by right honourably without danger, they were not well at their ease in their hearts to see the business in Gaunt. They knew well they had sore forfeited against the earl their lord, and thought well how he would provide therein some remedy and that they should be fain to make amends of their trespasses now or else another time, and they to put themselves in the earl's mercy ; wherefore they thought it better to do it betimes rather than too late. Then they took counsel together to see how they might use themselves to the profit and honour both of them and of the town. To this council was called John Lyon and the captains of the white hats, or else they durst not have done it. There were many words, and divers purposes devised : finally they were all of one accord that they of the council should chose twelve notable persons and send them to the earl, requiring him of mercy for the death of his baily, whom they had slain, and so by that means if they might have peace, they would be glad, so that all might be comprised in the peace and nothing else demanded of the earl's part. Then these burgesses were chosen that should go on this viage, and always John Lyon said , It is good to be in favour with our lord 1 Wondelghem, about three miles to the north of Ghent. and prince.' Howbeit, he would the contrary, and thought and said to himself that the matter was not yet thereas he would bring it unto. So these burgesses departed and went to Male beside Bruges to the earl, who at their first coming made a cruel and a fell countenance against them of Gaunt. These twelve burgesses made a pitiful complaint before the earl and required him, holding up of all their hands, that he would have mercy on them, and excused themselves of the death of the baily, both them of the law and the notable persons of the town, and said: `Right dear sir, accord so to us that we may bring peace with us to the town of Gaunt, the which loveth you so well: and, sir, we promise you that in time to come this outrage shall be so greatly recompensed on them that bath done it and caused it to be done, so that ye shall be content and that it shall be to all other towns ensample.' These twelve burgesses made so humble requests, that the earl somewhat refrained his ire, and by means of other that was made to him that he accorded and ordained articles of the peace. And the earl pardoned all his evil will that he had against them of Gaunt by the amends that should be made. But then there came to them other new tidings, as I shall shew you hereafter. John Lyon, who was at Gaunt, thought all contrary to that he had said in the council, how that it was good to be in favour with their lord. He knew in certainty that he had so much trespassed against the earl, that his peace should never be made with him, and if he had any peace granted him he thought it should be but dissimulation and that it should cost him his life at last. So therefore he thought he had rather be shamed than to be in peril and in adventure of his life every clay. I shall shew you what he did. While the counsels of the town were with the earl for peace, he assembled together all the white hats and of all the crafts in Gaunt such as were of his accord, and so came to his purpose by a subtle means, and then said to them all: `Sirs, ye know well how we have displeased ou



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