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How the earl of Flanders was at Lille, and how Oudenarde was besieged by the Gauntois and Flemings.
WHEN Philip d'Arteveld heard his messenger speak and report how they of the garrison of Oudenarde set nothing by him, then he sware that, whatsoever it cost him or the country of Flanders, he would nothing intend till he had taken that town and cast it down to the earth, he was so sore displeased. He thought this to do had been well in his puissance, seeing that allFlanders was inclined to him. When he had sojourned a six days at Courtray and had renewed their law and had taken fealty and homage of them, as though he had been earl of Flanders, then he returned to Gaunt, and there he was met with procession with so great joy that the earl their natural lord was never so honourably received. The people worshipped him like their god, because he gave the counsel whereby their town recovered their estate and puissance ; for it could not be esteemed the great riches and wealth that came daily to them by water and by land from Bruges, from Damme and from Sluys, and the loaf of bread that in three weeks together was worth an old groat was then worth but four mites, and the wine that was worth twentyfour groats was then valued but at two groats. As then everything in Gaunt was better cheap than at Tournay or at Valenciennes. Philip d'Arteveld then kept a great stable of good horses like a great prince, and he was as well stuffed in all thing in his house as though he had been earl of Flanders, and better than the earl was appointed at Lille : and also he had through all Flanders his officers, bailiffs, constables, receivers and other, who daily brought him substance, whereby he maintained his estate; and he ware scarlet gowns furred with miniver, like as the duke of Brabant or earl of Hainault did : also he had his chamber of account to pay and to reckon for everything, as the earl had. And he gave divers suppers and banquets to ladies and damosels in like manner as the earl had done before, and spared nother gold nor silver for his pleasure. And he wrote and called himself' Philip d'Arteveld, the Regard and overlooker of Flanders.' 1 The earl of Flanders being at Lille had much to think on when he saw his country so sore rebelled against him, and could not see that he. was of puissance as of himself ever to recover it again : for all the towns were in unity and of one accord against him, the which he could never fordo but by great force and puissance ; for all the country spake no more of him nor did him no more honour nor would not know him for their lord, no more than he had never been so. Then the alliance that he had with the duke of Burgoyne, who had married his daughter the lady Margaret, by whom the duke had two fair sons, this alliance stood the earl as then in good stead: it was happy also then for him that king Charles was dead and that the young king as then was under the governing of his uncle the duke of Burgoyne, who might lead the king at his pleasure; and also the king was young and had good will to the war, wherefore it was the less mastery to stir him thereto, and the earl hoped that the duke of Burgoyne would soon set him thereon, if he would shew him bow he is bound to aid his men, when their men will rebel against them. But some thought that if king Charles had lived still till that time, that he would have done nothing ; and if he had, men supposed that he would thereby [have] annexed the county of Flanders to the crown of France ; for the earl of Flanders was not so well in his grace that he would have clone anything for him, without he had known well why. Now let us leave to speak of these devices, till time be that we return thereto again ; but let us shew how the earl of Flanders, being at Lille after the great loss that he had at Bruges, he understood how sir Thierry d'Anvaing and sir Florent de Heule kept still the town of Oudenarde and had kept it ever sith the besynes before Bruges, and knew well that these knights were not able to resist against the puissance of Flanders,
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