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plainly shew the full of his intention and mind. Other answer could they none have, and so they returned again to us to Tournay. And then the day assigned by the earl there came from him to Tournay the lord of Ramseflies, the lord of Gruthuse. sir John Vilain and the provost of Harlebecque ; and there they shewed graciously their lord's will and certain arrest of this war, how the peace might be had between the earl and the town of Gaunt. First, determinately they said, the earl will that every man in the town of Gaunt except prelates of churches and religious, all that be above the age of fifteen year and under the age of sixty, that they all in their shirts, bare-headed and bare-footed, with halters about their necks, avoid the town of Gaunt and so go a twelve mile thence into the plain of Buscampfeld, and there they shall meet the earl of Flanders accompanied with such as it shall please him: and so when he seeth us in that case, holding up our hands and crying for mercy, then he shall have pity and compassion on us, if it please him: but, sirs, I cannot know by the relation of any of his council but that by shameful punition of justice there shall suffer death the most part of the people that shall appear there that day. Now, sirs, consider well if ye will come to peace by this means or not.' When Philip d'Arteveld had spoken these words, it was great pity to see men, women and children weep and wring their hands for love of their fathers, brethren, husbands and neighbours. And after this torment and noise Philip d'Arteveld began again to speak and said: `Peace, sirs, peace !' and incontinent every man was still. Then he began to speak and said `Ah, ye good people of Gaunt, ye be here now assembled the most part, and ye have heard what I have said. Sirs, I see none other remedy but short counsel, for ye know well what necessity we be in for lack of victual: I am sure there be thirty thousand in this town that did eat no bread this fifteen days past. Sirs, of three things we must of necessity do the one. The first is, if ye will let us enclose ourselves in this town and mure up all our gates, and then confess us clean to God and let us enter into the churches and 'minsters, and so let us die for famine repentant of our sins, like martyrs and such people as no man will have mercy of: yet in this estate God shall have mercy of our souls, and it shall be said in every place where it shall be heard, that we be dead valiantly and like true people. Or else secondly let us all, men, women and children, go with halters about our necks, in our shirts, and cry mercy to my lord the earl of Flanders: I think his heart will not be so indurate, as when be seeth us in that estate, but that his heart will mollify and take mercy 0f his people ; and as for myself I will be the first of all to appease his displeasure, I shall present my head and be content to die for them of Gaunt. Or else thirdly let us choose out in this town five or six thousand men of the most able and best appointed, and let us go hastily and assail the earl at Bruges and fight with him; and if we die in this voyage, at the least it shall be honourable and God shall have pity of us and all the world shall say that valiantly and truly we have kept and maintained our quarrel. And in this battle, if God will have pity of us, as anciently he put his puissance into the hands of [Judith, as our fathers tell us, who slew Holofernes that was under] 1 Nabugodonosor, duke and master of his chivalry, by whom the Assyrians were discomfited, then shall we be reputed the most honourable people that hath reigned sith the days of the Romans. Now, sirs, take good heed which of these three ways ye will take, for one of them must ye needs take.' Then such as were next him and had heard him best said : `Ah, sir, all we have our trust in you to counsel us, and, sir, look, as ye counsel us, so shall we follow.' ` By my faith,' quoth Philip, ` then I counsel you, let us go with an army of men against the earl : we shall find him at Bruges, and as soon as he shall know of our coming, he



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