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and promised them to send to the earl of Flanders and to do so much as to make their peace, saying unto them: `Ah, ye good men of Gaunt, if the country of Liege were as near to you as Brabant is, or Hainault, ye should be otherwise comforted by us than ye be by them, to maintain your franchise. Howbeit, we shall aid you as much as we may: we will that ye that be merchants and use merchandise may go and come through the country, as it is reason, to the sum of five or six hundred carts laded with corn, so that the owners of the corn may be truly paid therefor. They will suffer our merchandise to pass through Brabant, they and we are at a peace, and though it be so that Brussels be closed, we know it well it is more for fear than for any evil will, for they have of you great compassion ; but the duke of Brabant and the duchess at the desire of their cousin the earl of Flanders inclineth rather to his part than to yours, as it is reason, for always great lords will hold each with other.' Of these offers and love that the Liegeois offered to the Gauntois they were thereof greatly rejoiced and thanked them heartily, and said how of such people and friends the Gauntois had great need. Francis Ackerman and the burgesses of Gaunt that were in the city of Liege took leave of the masters of Liege, who ordained certain men to go with them into the country to get them chares ; and so in two days they had a six hundred charged with corn, whereof they had most need. And so they went forth with their carriage and passed between Louvain and Brussels; and when Francis Ackerman came to his company, he shewed them the love and courtesy that they of Liege had offered them and offereth yet to do, and moreover he said how he would go to Brussels to speak with the duchess of Brabant and to desire her to find some means how the good town of Gaunt might have peace with the earl of Flanders. And so he sent unto her to know her pleasure, and she was content that he should come and speak with her, and so he went to Brussels. The same time the duke of Brabant was at Luxembourg, and so this Francis and three with him 1 entered into Brussels, and so came to the duchess to her lodging at `Lui troisieme,' `and two with him.' Codeberg. The duchess had part of her council about her : then Francis Ackerman kneeled down before her and said ` Right honourable and dear lady, through your benign grace may it please you to have pity and compassion of them of Gaunt, who can come to no mercy with the earl of Flanders by no means. Right dear lady, if by your means ye could cause my lord the earl to descend to some reason and to have pity of these poor men of Gaunt, ye should do herein a great alms-deed, and, madam, they of Liege would gladly help thereto to the best of their powers.' Then the lady answered right humbly and said how that the dissension between her cousin the earl and them of Gaunt displeased her right greatly, and how that long or that time she would gladly there had been a peace between them, if she could have found any means how: but also she said ` Ah, ye sirs of Gaunt, ye have so ofttimes displeased him and have holden so marvellous opinions against him, which hath caused him to sustain still his displeasure against you. Howbeit, for God's sake and for pity I shall employ me herein to do the best I can. I shall send to him desiring that he will come to Tournay, and there shall be my council, and do you so much that ye may have there the council of Hainault and of Liege, as ye say they will.' `Yea truly, madam,' guoth he, 'so they have promised us.' `Well,' quoth the duchess, `and ye shall see that I shall do the best I can.' `Madam,' quoth they, `God reward you both bodily and ghostly.' And so took their leave and departed from Brussels, and so came to their company and chariots, who tarried for them, and then they did so much that they came to their town of Gaunt. When the tidings came to Gaunt that their men were returned and had brought with them more than six hundred chares with victual, they were right joyful. Howbeit, all that they brough



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