Page 262

Page 262 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 262

CHAPTER CCCLXXXVII

How two valiant men of Gaunt were slain by Peter du Bois and by Philip d'Arteveld.

And of the rebellion at Paris against the French king. IT is said most commonly, 'If it be as he doth, it is as he saith.' 1 Peter du Bois, who thought himself not well assured of his life and had his spies about to hear every new tidings ; and such as had been at this said treaty had reported in the town how that this treaty was brought, about by Gilbert Grutere and Simon Btte. And when Peter du Bois understood it, he was mad in his mind therefor, and took the matter to himself and said : ` If any be corrected for this war, yet I shall not be the first, for the matter shall riot go all as they ween. Shall they that have been at this treaty rule everything as they list? Mayhap nay; I purpose not yet to die : I think the war hath not endured so long as it shall do: as yet such as were my good masters, John Lyon and William Craffort, their deaths is not yet well revenged. If the matters be now in trouble, yet I will bring them into more trouble.' And so he did : I shall shew you how. The same proper evening that the council should have been the next day in the council-hall, there to hear reported the treaty that was taken at Harlebecque, Peter du Bois came the same evening to Philip d'Arteveld's house and found him in his chamber, lying in a window musing and studying. And the first word he spake he said: `Philip d'Arteveld, hear you any tidings?' ` Nay truly,' quoth he, `but that I hear say our men are returned from the council at Harlebecque, and to-morrow we shall hear in the hall what tidings they have brought.' ` That is true,' quoth Peter, `but I know already what ways they have taken and purpose to take ; for such as have been there hath shewed it to some of my friends. Certainly, Philip, the treaty that they have made and would make lieth on the jeopardy of our heads ; for if there be peace taken between the earl and this town, know for truth that you and I and the lord of


1 The original is, `S'il est qui fait, il est qui dit,' ` Where there is one to do, there is one to tell.'

Herselle and all such captains as have aided us in this war shall be the first that shall die, and the rich men shall go quit they will bring us into danger and go themselves free, and this was ever the opinion of John Lyon my master. Always the earl hath these marmosets about him, as Gilbert Mahew and his brethren and the provost of Harlebecque, who is of the lineage of the alderman of the mean crafts,' who fled away with them. We ought wisely to look on this matter and to see what were best to do.' Philip answered and said: ` Peter, I shall shew you my mind. Let us give knowledge of this to all our aldermen and captains, that they be to-morrow all ready apparelled in the market-place, and then let us two enter into the hall with a hundred with us, to hear the content of the treaty ; and then let me alone, so ye will avow my deed and abide puissantly by me for without we be feared among the commons, it is nothing.' And so they agreed. Then Peter du Bois departed and sent to all rulers and captains under him, commanding them and all their men to be ready in the morning in the market-place to hear tidings. They all obeyed, they durst do none otherwise, and also they were ever ready to do evil. The next morning about the hour of nine the mayor and aldermen and rich men of the town came into the market-place and entered into the hall, and thither came they that had been at the treaty at Harlebecque. Then thither came Peter du Bois and Philip d'Arteveld and such of their sect, well accompanied. And when they were all assembled and set, such as would sit, then the lord of Herselle was missed, for he was not there ; and so he was sent for, but he excused himself, because he was sick and not well at ease. `Say what ye will,' quoth Peter du Bois, `for I am herein his stead : here be enow ; let us hear what theywill say that hath been at Harlebecque.' Then there rose up two of the notablest men of the company, Gilbert Grutere and Simon Bette, and one of them said : ` Lords of Gaunt, we have been at the parliament at Harlebecque and have had much pain and travail, and also so had the good men of Brabant, of Liege and of Hainault, to

1 `And the provost of Harlebecque, who is of their lineage, and the dean of the small crafts.'




Page 262 (Chronicles of Froissart)