of his country to receive the pilgrims of God. The king of Hungary was glad thereof, and said how he was all ready. In like wise the French king sent to the king of Cyprus and also to the king of Sicily and to the Venetians. In like manner they answered that they were ready to obey, and the Genoways and all they on the river of Genes.' And also the king sent the great prior of France to the isle of Rhodes to prepare all things necessary in those quarters, and they of the Rhodes accorded with the Venetians to provide things necessary in the isle of Crete, the which was under their seignory. Briefly, every country was ready prepared to receive the pilgrims of God. There were more than three hundred thousand persons that took on them the cross to go in this noble voyage over the sea.
How king Edward was counselled to make war against the French king.
IN this season, when this croisey was in great forwardness, for there was no speaking but thereof, sir Robert of Artois was as then in England, banished out of France, and was ever about king Edward and always he counselled him to defy the French king, who kept his heritages from him wrongfully: of the which matter the king oftentimes counselled with them of his secret council, for gladly he would have had his right, an if he wist bow; and also he thought that if he should demand his right and it refused, what he might do then to amend it ; for if he should then sit still and do not his devoir to recover his right, he should be more blamed than before. Yet he thought it were better to speak not thereof, for he saw well that by the puissance of his realm it would be hard for him to subdue the great realm of France, without help of some other great lords either of the Empire or in other places for his money. The king oftentimes desired counsel of his chief and special friends and councillors. Finally, his councillors answered him and
1 That is, the Riviera of Genoa.
said, ` Sir, the matter is so weighty and of so high an enterprise, that we dare not speak therein, nor give you any counsel. But, sir, this we would counsel you to do send sufficient messengers, well informed of your intention, to the earl of Hainault, whose daughter ye have married, and to sir John of Hainault his brother, who bath valiantly served you at all times ; and desire them by way of love that they would counsel you in this matter : for they know better what pertaineth to such a matter than we do. And, sir, if they agree to your intent, then will they counsel you what friends ye may best make.' The king was content with this answer, and desired the bishop of Lincoln to take on him this message, and with him two bannerets and two doctors. They made them ready and took shipping and arrived at Dunkirk, and rode through Flanders till they came to Valenciennes, where they found the earl lying in his bed sick of the gout, and with him sir John his brother. They were greatly feasted, and declared the cause of their coming, and skewed all the reasons and doubts that the king their master had made. Then the earl said, 'As help me God, if the king's mind might be brought to pass, I would be right glad thereof: for I had rather the wealth of him that bath married my daughter than of him that never did nothing for me, though I have married his sister ; and also he did let the marriage of the young duke of Brabant, who should have married one of my daughters : wherefore I shall not fail to aid my dear and wellbeloved son the king of England. I shall give him counsel and aid to the best of my power, and so shall do John my brother, who bath served him or this. Howbeit he must have more help than ours ; for Hainault is but a small country as to the regard of the realm of France, and England is far off to aid us.' Then the bishop said, ` Sir, we thank you in our master's behalf of the comfort that ye give us : sir, we desire you to give our master counsel, what friends he were best to labour unto to aid him.' ` Surely,' said the earl, ` I cannot devise a more puissa