Page 231

Page 231 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 231


off their heads, and none shall have mercy.' The burgesses, who were full sorry of these tidings, because they were not culpable of that deed, they began to excuse them ; but there was none excuse would serve, for the earl was so sore displeased, that he would not hear them speak, and so made them to avoid his presence : and they took their horses to return to Gaunt, and shewed how well they had sped and had great peace and appointment,' an this castle had not been brent ; and also they shewed how the earl greatly menaced them and sent them word how they should never have peace with him, till he had as many of the town at his pleasure as he list to have. The good people of the town saw well how the matter went but evil for them and how the white hats had caused all ; but there was none so hardy that durst speak it. The earl of Flanders went from Male to Lille, and all his household; and then he sent for all his lords and knights of Flanders, such as held of him, to have their counsel how he might do in all his businesses and how to be revenged of them of Gaunt, who had done him so many despites. All the gentlemen of Flanders sware to him to be good and true, as they ought to be to their lord, without any mean ; 2 wherefore the earl was greatly rejoiced. Then he sent men to all his castles, to Termonde, Rupelmonde, Alost, Gavre, Oudenarde, and all about he made great provision.

CHAPTER CCCLII

Of the death of John Lyon, and of other captains that the Gauntois made ; and of the good towns in Flanders, that allied themselves to Gaunt.3

JOHN LYON was greatly rejoiced, when he saw that the earl of Flanders would take no peace with them of Gaunt, seeing he could come to no peace, and he had then put the town of Gaunt so forward in war, that they must needs then, whether they would or not, continue the war. Then he said openly t 'Sirs, ye may see and understand

1 'Had come to peace and accommodation.

' 2 ' Sans nul moyen' ; that is, without reserve.

3 The events that follow are given very much out of chronological order.

how our lord the earl of Flanders provideth himself against us and will have no peace with us. Therefore I counsel you for the best that, or we be more grieved or oppressed, let us know what towns in Flanders will take our part. I dare answer for them of the town of Grammont, that they will not be against us, but take our part, and in like wise so will they of Courtray, for they be within our franchise and Courtray is our chamber ; but behold here them of Bruges, who be great and proud, for by them all this matter was first moved. It is good that we go to them so strong, that other by fairness or by rigour we may bring them to our accord.' They all said: 'It were good it were so.' Then by process of time all such as should go in this journey were made ready, and so departed from Gaunt about a nine or ten thousand men, and had with them great carriages, and so lay the first night at Deynse and the next morning theyapproached Bruges, and so came within a little league thereof. Then they arranged themselves in the fields and set themselves in order of battle, and their carriages behind them. Then John Lyon ordained that a certain of the rulers of divers crafts should go to Bruges and to know their intents. And so they went to Bruges and found the gates fast shut and well kept, and there they shewed the intent wherefore they were come thither. The keepers said they would go gladly and skew their minds to the borough-masters and chief rulers' of their town, and so they did. Then the rulers answered : 'Go and shew them how we will go to council and take advice in this matter.' So they returned and shewed their answer; and when John Lyon heard that answer, he said : 'Advance forward to Bruges. If we abide till they take counsel, we shall not enter but with much pain. It is better that we assail them or they take counsel, whereby they shall be suddenly taken.' This purpose was kept, and so the Gauntois came to the barriers and dikes of Bruges, John Lyon with the foremost mounted on a black c



Page 231 (Chronicles of Froissart)