Page 283

Page 283 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 283



Tournay to treat with the Flemings, who wrote to the principal towns of Flanders asking for safe-conduct, to which Philip replied in date October loth, refusing to treat unless the fortresses of Flanders were opened to him. This letter was conveyed to the king of France and his council, who were much offended thereby, and forthwith issued summons to all the realm to assemble at Arras.

CHAPTERS CCCCXI-CCCCXVIII

SUMMAR Y.-Philip d'Arteveld left Oudenarde and came to Bruges, to take order far closing the passages into Flanders. Peter du BOIS was appointed to keep the passage of the river Lys at Commines and Peter de Wintere at Warneton, and all the other bridges were broken. The French after much debate decided to attempt the passage at Commines, but the season and the rains made their advance difficult. At Commines they found the bridge broken and a large force on the other side. While the constable and marshals were in doubt what to do, certain knights crossed the river in boats below Commines, and before nightfall about four hundred men of arms had passed without being perceived by the Felmings. They then approached Commines, but the Flemings did not leave their positions to fight with them. The constable was greatly dismayed for the safety of his men on the other side, and renewed the attempts to pass by the bridge. The Frenchmen on the other side passed the ni ht in the marshes with much discomfort, and in the morning the Flemings coming to fight with them were defeated and forsook the town. So the bridge was repaired and the Frenchmen passed over. Philip d'Arteveld, informed of this, went to Ghent to assemble more men, expecting always to receive aid from England. He met a herald who announced to hint that the alliance was consented to. The French king crossed the river Lys and lodged with his army on the mount of Ypres. The town of Ypres submitted to him, and so did Cassel, Bergues and other towns of western Flanders. The king of France heard of the rebellion of the commons at Paris and in other towns. The French king came to Ypres, and Philip d'Arteveld marched to Courtray with fifty. thousand men. The French army suffered much from the bad weather, and it would have been better for the Felm-ings if they had not come to fight with them, but had remained and forded themselves before Oudenarde.

CHAPTER CCCCXIX

Of the marvels that came to the Flemings in the night, and how they ordained their battle all in one company.


THE Wednesday at night that the battle was the next day, Philip d'Arteveld with all his puissance came and lodged in a fair ground right strong between a dike and a little grove of wood with a strong hedge, so that lightly no man could come well at them, and this was between the hill 1 and Rosebeque, whereas the king lay. The same night Philip d'Arteveld made a supper in his lodging to all his captains right plenteous, for they had provision enough following them, and after supper he said to them: `Fair sirs, ye see well we be here in arms: I hope well to-morrow we shall have some business, for the king, who bath great desire to find us to fight, is lodged at Rosebeque. Now I require you all, keep faith and troth, and be not abashed of anything that ye see or hear, for this that we do is in the upholding of our right ; and let us freely fight to maintain the jurisdictions of Flanders. Admonish your people to do well their devoir, and order them so well and wisely, that by our good order and array we may have the victory of the journey to-morrow. By the grace of God we shall find no lord that dare fight against us in the field, and it shall be more honour for us than though we had comfort of the Englishmen, for if they were in our company, they should have the renown and not we. Also say to your company that they save no person alive, and so thereby we shall live in rest ; for here is with the king all the flower of France, there is none left behind : wherefore I command on pain of death that no man take any prisoner, without it be the

1 ' Le Mont d'Or.




Page 283 (Chronicles of Froissart)