heartily as ye do now to us, then every man will say, we have a king of high enterprise and of noble will and courage.' 'By my faith,' quoth the king, `fair uncles, I would we should be ready to-morrow next to go to that journey ; for from henceforth the greatest pleasure that I desire is to go into Flanders to abate the pride of the Flemings.' Of the which words the two dukes had great joy. Then came to them the duke of Bourbon, and they shewed him all the matter, as ye have heard before, and of the great desire that the king had to go into Flanders, whereof the duke of Bourbon had great joy. Thus the matter hanged in this estate ; and the king and his uncles wrote letters to the lords of the council of France, desiring them to come at a day assigned to Compiegne, to a parliament that should be there holden for certain business of the realm of France; and so every man obeyed, as it was reason, and the king was right glad of that tidings. His mind was so sore thereof, that no man could set him therefrom, and the king said ofttimes that there was too great delays made in the matter: for he said that he thought, if one should enterprise a great matter, it should not be long delayed, for in the delay the enemies take advice to their advantage : and also when the perils of war was laid to him, then would he answer and say: `Yea, he that never enterpriseth, little or nothing achieveth.' Thus the young king ofttimes devised 1 with the knights and squires of his chamber.
Now shall I skew you a dream that fortuned to the king in the same season, while he lay at Senlis, by occasion of which dream he ordained the device of the flying hart, as I was then informed.
IT fortuned while the king lay at Senlis, on a night, as he lay in his bed asleep, he had a vision. It seemed to him properly that he was in the city of Arras, whereas he had never been before, and with him all the chivalry of the realm of France; and he
1 'Se devisoit,' ' conversed': so often elsewhere in this translation.
thought that thither came to him the earl of Flanders and did set on his fist a fair falcon pelerin, saying to him thus : ` Sir, I give you this falcon for the best that ever I saw, the best flying and beater down of fowls.' Of which present the king thought he had great joy and said: `Fair cousin, I thank you.' And therewith he thought he regarded the constable of France, sir Oliver Clisson, and said unto him: `Sir Oliver, let us two go into the fields to prove this gentle falcon that my cousin of Flanders hath given me.' And then he thought the constable answered him and said : `Sir, let us go when it pleaseth you' : and so then he thought that they took their horses, they two alone, and went into the fields and found plenty of herons to fly at. Then the king said : `Constable, let the falcon fly, and we shall see how she will chase her game.' Then the constable cast off the falcon, and she mounted so high into the air that they could scant see her, and the king thought she took her way straight into Flanders. Then the king said: ` Let us ride after my bird ; I would not lose her' : and so he thought they rode after, till they came to a great marish and to a thick wood. Then the king said: `Let us light afoot, for we cannot pass this wood a-horseback': and so they alighted, and then he thought that varlets came to them and took their horses. And so the king and the constable entered in the wood with great pain, and travelled so long that they came to a fair great laund, and there the king thought he saw his falcon chasing herons and fighting with them and they with him: and it seemed to the king that his falcon chased so the herons that at last he lost the sight of her, wherewith he thought he was sore displeased; seeing that he could not follow his hawk; and thought he said to the constable : ' Ali, I fear me I shall lose my falcon, whereof I am sorry, and I have no lure nor nothing else, wherewith to call her again.' And at this point the king thought that there appeared suddenly before him a great hart with wings and inclined himself before him, whereof he had great joy and thought how he said to the constable : 'Sir, abide you here, and I will mount on this hart and so follow my falcon.' And so the king thought he mounted on this flying hart, and how the