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How king Edward took on him to bear the arms of France and the name, to be called king thereof.

WHEN that king Edward was departed from the Flamengerie and came into Brabant and went straight to Brussels, the duke of Gueldres, the marquis of Juliers, the marquis of Brandebourg, the earl of Mons, sir John of Hainault, the lord of Fauquemont, and all the lords of the Empire, such as had been at that journey, brought him thither to take advice and counsel what should be done more in the matter that they had begun. And to have expedition in the cause they ordained a parliament to be holden at the town of Brussels, and thither to come was desired Jaques d'Arteveld of Gaunt, who came thither with a great company, and all the counsels of the good towns of Flanders. There the king of England was sore desired of all his allies of the Empire that he should require them of Flanders to aid and to maintain his war, and to defy the French king and to go with him whereas he would have them ; and in their so doing he to promise them to recover Lille, Douay and Bethune. This request was well heard of the Flemings, and thereupon they desired to take counsel among themselves: and so they took counsel at good leisure, and then they said to the king : ` Sir, or this time ye have made to us request in this behalf: sir, if we might well do this, saving your honour and to save ourselves, we would gladly do this; but, sir, we be bound by faith and oath and on the sum of two millions of florins in the pope's chamber, that we may make nor move no war against the king of France, whosoever it be, on pain to lose the said sum and beside that to run in the sentence of cursing. But, sir, if ye will take on you the arms of France and quarter them with the arms of England and call yourself king of France, as ye ought to be of right, then we will take you for rightful king of France and demand of you quittance of our bonds, and so ye to give us pardon thereof as king of France : by this means we shall be assured and dispensed withal, and so then we will go with you whithersoever ye will have us.' Then the king took counsel, for he thought it was a sore matter to take on him the arms of France and the name, and as then had conquered nothing thereof, nor could not tell what should fall thereof, nor whether he should conquer it or not ; and on the other side, loth he was to refuse the comfort and aid of the Flemings, who might do him more aid than any other. So the king took counsel of the lords of the Empire and of the lord Robert d'Artois and with other of his special friends; so that finally, the good and the evil weighed, he answered to the Flemings that if they would swear and seal to this accord, and to promise to maintain his war, how he would do all this with a good will, and promised to get them again Lille, Douay and Bethune : and all they answered how they were content. Then there was a day assigned to meet at Gaunt, at which day the king was there, and the most part of the said lords, and all the counsels generally in Flanders. And so then all these said matters were rehearsed, sworn and sealed ; and the king quartered the arms of France with England, . and from thenceforth took on him the name of the king of France, and so continued till he left it again by composition, as ye shall hear after in this book. And so at this council they determined that the next summer after they would make great war into France, promising to besiege the city of Tournay; whereof the Flemings were joyful, for they thought to be strong enough to get it, and that once gotten, they believed shortly after to win again Lille, Donny and Bethune, with the appurtenances pertaining or holden of the earl of Flanders. Thus every man departed and went home: the king of England went to Antwerp, and the queen abode still at Gaunt and .was oftentimes visited by Jaques d'Arteveld and by other lords, ladies and damosels of Gaunt. The king left in Flanders the earl of Salisbury and the earl of Suffolk :1 they went to Ypres and there kept a great garrison and

Page 54 (Chronicles of Froissart)