and his company into the place before the minster, and there made semblant to defend himself as long as he might endure. But the lord of Vervins departed without order, for he knew well that sir John of Hainault was sore displeased with hits, so that he thought, if he had been taken, that no ransom should have saved his life. And when sir John of Hainault knew that he was departed, that had done so much displeasure in his land of Chimay, he pursued after him; but the lord of Vervins fled fast and found the gate of his town open, and so entered in : and sir John of Hainault pursued him just to the gate with his sword in his hand; but when he saw that he was escaped, he returned again to Aubenton : and his men met certain of the lord Vervin's men, as they followed their master, and there they were slain without mercy. The earl and his company fought sore with them that were by the minster; and there the vidame of Chalons did marvels in arms, and so did two of his sons; but finally they were all slain, there escaped none but such as fled with the lord of Vervins, but all were slain or taken, and a two thousand' men of the 'own, and all the town robbed and pilled, and all the goods sent to Chimay, and the town brent. And after the burning of Aubenton the Hainowes went to Maubert-Fontaine, and incontinent they won it, and robbed and brent the town, and also the town of Aubigny, and Signy the great, and Signy the little,2 and all the hamlets thereabout, the which were more than forty. Then the earl went to Mons, and gave leave to his men of war to depart, and thanked them in such wise, that they were all well content. Then anon after the earl went to make a sure alliance with the king of England, to be the more stronger in his war against the Frenchmen. But first he made his uncle sir John of Hainault chief master and governour of Holland and Zealand: and sir John lay still at Mons and provided for the country, and sent to Valenciennes, to comfort and aid them, the lord Anteing, the lord of Wargny, the lord of Gommegnies and sir Henry of Houffalize ; and WHEN the French king knew how the Hainowes had brent the country of Thierache, taken and slain his knights, and destroyed the good town of Aubenton, then he commanded the duke of Normandy his son that he should make a journey into Hainault, and bring the country into that case that it should never be recovered again. Also the king ordained the earl of l'Isle, Gascon, who was as then with the king at Paris, that he should make a voyage into Gascony as his lieutenant, and to make war to Bordeaux and to Bordelois, and to all the fortresses that held of the king of England. And also the French king enforced his great navy that he had on the sea, and commanded them to keep the bounds of Flanders and not to suffer the king of England to pass over the sea into Flanders, on pain of their lives. And when the French king understood that the Flemings had made homage to the king of England, he sent unto them a prelate under the' colour of the pope, shewing them that if they would return and knowledge themselves to hold of him and of the crown of France, and to forsake the king of England, who had enchanted them, then he said he would pardon them of all their trespasses, and would quit them of the great sum of money that they were bound unto him by obligation o� old time, and also to give them many fair franchises. And the Flemings answered how they thought themselves right well assoiled and quitted in anything that they were bound The fuller text says that the seneschal of Hainault was sent to Maubeuge, the marshal of
Hainault to Quesnoy, and the lord of Potelles to Landrecies. I A better reading is `two hundred.' 2 Signy-l'Abbaye and Signy-le-Petit. the steward of Hainault with a hundred spears to the town of Landrecies;1 and to Bouchain three brethren, Almains, called Conrad ; and to Escaudeuvres sir Gerard Sassegnies ; and into the town of Avesnes the lord of Fauquemont. And thus he did into every fortress on the frontiers of France.
How they of Tournay made a journey into Flanders.