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was the viscount Beaumont and the lord Baudwyn d'Annequin, master of the crossbows, and with them were Frenchmen, Picards and Normans, as sir Oudart of Renty, sir Enguerrand of Eudin, sir Louis of Haveskerke and divers other good knights and squires : the third battle had the archpriest and the Burgoynians, and with him the lord of Chalon, the lord Beaujeu, the lord John of Vienne and divers other, and this battle was assigned to assemble against the bascle of Mareuil and his rout : and the battle which was the rear-guard were all Gascons, whereof sir Aymenion of Pommiers, the lord soudic of Latrau, the lord Perducas d'Albret and the lord Petiton of Curton were sovereign captains. Then these Gascon knights advised well the behaving of the captal and how his standard was set on a bush and kept with a certain number: then they said that it behoved them, when their battles were assembled together, that they should endeavour themselves to conquer the captal's standard, saying how if they might get it their enemies should be soon discomfited. Also these Gascons avised them on another ordinance, the which was to them that day right profitable. The lords of France were a long space together in council how they should maintain themselves, for they saw well that their enemies had a great advantage : then the Gascons spake a word, the which was well heard; they said: `Sirs, we know well that the captal is as worthy a knight as can be found in any land, for as long as he is able to fight, he shall do us great damage. Let us ordain thirty a-horseback of the best men of arms that be in our company, and let the thirty take heed to nothing but to address themselves to the captal, while we intend to conquer his standard, and by the might of their horses let them break the press, so that they may come to the captal, and then take him and carry him out of the field, for without that be done we shall have no end of our battle :' for if he may be taken by this means, the journey shall be ours, his people will be so sore abashed of his taking.' Then the knights of France and of Bretayne accorded lightly to that device, and said it was good counsel and so they would do. Then among them they
1 Or rather, `carry him out of the field and not wait for the end of the battle.' chose out thirty of the best men of arms among them, and mounted on thirty of the best horses in all the company, and they drew them aside in the field well determined of that they should do, and all the residue tarried in the field afoot in good array.
When they of France had well ordered their battles and that every man knew what he should do, then there was a communing among them what should be their cry that day and to what banner they should draw to; and so they were determined to cry `Our Lady of Auxerre !' and to make their captain that day the earl of Auxerre. But the earl would in no wise agree thereto, to take that charge on him, but excused himself right graciously, saying, ` Lords, I thank you of the honour that ye would put me to, but surely as for me I will not thereof, for I am over young to have such a charge or honour, for this is the first journey that ever I was at, therefore ye shall take another. Here be many good knights, as sir Bertram of Guesclin, the archpriest, the master of the cross-bows, the lord Louis of Chalon, the lord Aymenion of Pommiers and sir Oudart of Renty ; these have been in many great journeys and they know how to order such a matter better than I can, therefore I pray you hold me excused.' Then the knights regarded each other and said to him: ` Ah, noble earl of Auxerre, ye are the greatest among us both of land and lineage, therefore of right ye ought to be our head.' `Certainly, sirs,' quoth he, ' ye say as it pleaseth you,' but this day I shall be as one of your companions, and shall live and die and bide mine aventure with you, but as for the sovereignty, surely I will none thereof.' Then they beheld each other and advised whom they might make chief captain. Then they were avised that the best knight in all their company
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