divers houses and robbed them. The fray anon was known in the town, and the lords within armed them and their company and issued out at another gate. They were a six banners and a two hundred men of arms and a six hundred footmen, and they came by a secret way on the Flemings, who were busy to rob and pill the town of Arques near to Saint-Omer's. There they were spread abroad without captain or good order: then the Frenchmen came on them in good order of battle, their banners displayed, crying, ` Clermont ! the Dolphin of Auvergne ! ' wherewith the Flemings were abashed and beaten down by heaps; and the chase of them endured two leagues, and there were slain a four thousand and eight hundred,' and a four hundred taken prisoners and led to Saint-Omer's. And such as fled and scaped returned to the host and shewed their companions their adventure : and at last tidings thereof came to their captains, sir Robert d'Artois and sir Henry of Flanders, who said it was well employed, for they went forth without commandment or captain. And the same night, or it was midnight, the Flemings lying in their tents asleep, suddenly generally among them all there fell such a fear in their hearts, that they rose in great haste and with such pain, that they thought not to be dislodged time enough. They beat down their own tents and pavilions and trussed all their carriages, and so fled away, not, abiding one for another, without keeping of any right way. When these tidings came to their two captains, they rose hastily and made great fires, and took torches and mounted on their horses, and so came to these Flemings and said : ` Sirs, what aileth you ? Do you want anything? Why do you thus fly away? Be you not well assured? Return in the name of God ! Ye be to blame thus to fly, and no man chase you.' But for all their words every man fled the next way to their own houses. And when these lords saw none other remedy, they trussed all their harness in waggons and returned to the host before Tournay, and there shewed the adventure of the Flemings, whereof every man had marvel : some said they were overcome with fantasies.
1 The better reading is, `of the three thousand there were slain eighteen hundred.'
How the siege before Tournay was broken up by reason of a truce.
This siege endured a long season, the space of eleven weeks three days less; and all that season the lady Jane of Valois, sister to the French king and mother to the earl of Hainault, travailed greatly, what on the one part and on the other, to have a respite and a peace between the parties, so that they might depart without battle. And divers times she kneeled at the feet of the French king in that behalf, and also made great labour to the lords of the Empire, and specially to the duke of Brabant and to the duke of Juliers, who had her daughter in marriage, and also to sir John of Hainault. So much the good lady procured with the aid and counsel of Louis d'Agimont, who was well beloved with both parties, that it was granted that each party should send four sufficient persons to treat on some good way to accord the parties, and a truce for three days : these appointers should meet in a little chapel standing in the fields called Esplechin. At the day appointed these persons met, and the good lady with them of the French party there was Charles king of Bohemia, Charles earl d'Alencon brother to the French king, and the bishop of Liege; the earl of Flanders and the earl of Armagnac. Of the English party there was the duke of Brabant, the bishop of Lincoln, the duke of Gueldres, the duke of Juliers and sir John of Hainault. And when they were all met, they made each to other great salutations and good cheer, and then entered into their treaty. And all that day they communed on divers ways of accord, and always the good lady of Valois was among them, desiring affectuously all the parties, that they would do their labour to make a peace. Howbeit the first day passed without anything doing, and so they returned and promised to meet again the next day ; the wh