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lady of Bar between Gravelines and Dunkirk, as I was informed. And a three leagues in the way there stood the town of Mardyck, a great village on the sea side unclosed, and thither came some of the Englishmen and scrimmished. And so thus came to Gravelines sir John Villain and sir John du Moulin for the earl of Flanders by a safe-conduct that he had attained from the bishop, or he came from Bourbourg. Then they came to the bishop of Norwich, who made to them by semblant right good cheer. He had with him at dinner the same day all the lords of the host; for he knew well the earl's knights should come to him the same time, and his mind was how he would that they should find them all together. Then these two knights began to speak and said : `Sir, we be sent hither to you from the earl of Flanders our lord.' `What lord?' quoth the bishop. They answered again and said ` From the earl : there is none other lord of Flanders.' ` By the good Lord,' quoth the bishop, `we take for the lord of Flanders the French king or else the duke of Burgoyne, our enemies, for by puissance but late they have conquered all the country.' , Sir,' quoth the knights, `saving your displeasure, the land was at Tournay clearly rendered again and put into the hands and governing of the earl of Flanders, who hath sent us to you, desiring you that we two, who have pension of the king of England, may have a safe-conduct to go into England to speak with the king, to know the cause why without any defiance he maketh war against the earl and his country of Flanders.' `Sirs,' quoth the bishop, 'we shall take advice and answer you to-morrow.' So thus they went to their lodging and left the Englishmen in council; and so all that day they took counsel together, and concluded as ye shall hear.

CHAPTER CCCCXXXI

The answer that the bishop of Norwich made to the knights of Flanders , and of the assembly that they of Cassel and of the country about made against the Englishmen.

ALL things considered and regarded, they said they would grant no safe-conduct to them to go into England, for it was too far off; for or they could return again, the country would be sore stirred and greatly fortified, and also the earl should by that time send word thereof to the French king and to the duke of Burgoyne, whereby they might come with such number of people against them that they should not be able to resist them nor to fight with them. So on this determination they rested. Then it was demanded among them what answer they should make to the knights of Flanders the next day. Then sir Hugh Calverley was commanded to speak and to give his advice. Then he said thus to the bishop : ` Sir, ye are our chief captain: sir, ye may say to them how ye be in the land of the duchess of Bar, who is Clementine, and how for Urban ye make war and for nobody else; and offer them that if this land with the churches and abbeys will become good Urbanists, and to ride with you and to bring you through the country, ye will then cause all your company to pass through the country peaceably and to pay for all that they shall take but as touching to give them safe-conduct to go into England, ye will not grant thereto in no wise; for ye may say that your war toucheth nothing the war of England nor of France, but that we be soldiers of pope Urban. Sir, as I think, this answer should suffice.' Every man agreed well to this, and especially the bishop, who had mind of nothing that was said but to fight and to war on the country. Thus the matter abode all night, and in the morning after mass the two said knights of the earl's, desiring to have an answer, came to the bishop's lodging and abode there till he came out to go to mass. And so then they stepped forth before him, and there he made them good cheer by semblant, and devised with them a little of other matters, to delay the time till his knights were come about him : and when they were all assembled together, then the bishop said to them : ` Sirs, ye tarry for an answer and ye shall have it on the request that ye make for the earl of Flanders. I s




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