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Harcourt rode out on the one side with five hundred men of arms and thirteen1 hundred archers; and by adventure he encountered a great number of burgesses of Amiens ahorseback, who were riding by the king's commandment to Paris. They were quickly assailed and they defended themselves valiantly, for they were a great number and well armed: there were four knights of Amiens their captains. This skirmish dured long: at the first meeting many were overthrown on both parts ; but finally the burgesses were taken and nigh all slain, and the Englishmen took all their carriages and harness. They were well stuffed, for they were going to the French king well appointed, because they had not seen him a great season before. There were slain in the field a twelve hundred. Then the king of England entered into the country of Beauvoisis, brenning and exiling the plain country, and lodged at a fair abbey and a rich called Saint-Messien 2 near to Beauvais : there the king tarried a night and in the morning departed. And when he was on his way he looked behind him and saw the abbey a-fire : he caused incontinent twenty of them to be hanged that set the fire there, for he had commanded before on pain of death none to violate any church nor to bren any abbey. Then the king passed by the city of Beauvais without any assault giving, for because he would not trouble his people nor waste his artillery. And so that day he took his lodging betime in a little town called Milly. The two marshals came so near to Beauvais, that they made assault and skirmish at the barriers in three places, the which assault endured a long space ; but the town within was so well defended by the means of the bishop, who was there within, that finally the Englishmen departed, and brent clean hard to the gates all the suburbs, and then at night they came into the king's field. The next day the king departed, brenning and wasting all before him, and at night lodged in a good village called Grandvilliers. The next day the king passed by Dargies : there was none to defend the

1 A better reading is ' twelve.'

2 Commonly called Saint-Lucien, but SaintMaximianus (Messien) is also associated with the place.

castle, wherefore it was soon taken and brent. Then they went forth destroying the country all about, and so came to the castle of Poix, where there was a good town and two castles. There was nobody in them but two fair damosels, daughters to the lord of Poix ; they were soon taken, and had been violated, an two English knights had not been, sir John Chandos and sir Basset ; they defended them and brought them to the king, who for his honour made them good cheer and demanded of them whither they would fainest go. They said, 'To Corbie,' and the king caused them to be brought thither without peril. That night the king lodged in the town of Poix. They of the town and of the castles spake that night with the marshals of the host, to save them and their town from brenning, and they to pay a certain sum of florins the next day as soon as the host was departed. This was granted them, and in the morning the king departed with all his host except a certain that were left there to receive the money that they of the town had promised to pay. When they of the town saw the host depart and but a few left behind, then they said they would pay never a penny, and so ran out and set on the Englishmen, who defended themselves as well as they might and sent after the host for succour. When sir Raynold Cobham and sir Thomas Holland, who had the rule of the rearguard, heard thereof, they returned and cried, ' Treason, treason ! ' and so came again to Poix-ward and found their companions still fighting with them of the town. Then anon they of the town were nigh all slain, and the town brent, and the two castles beaten down. Then they returned to the king's host, who was as then at Airaines and there lodged, and had commanded all manner of men on pain of death to do no hurt to no town of Arsyn,1 for there the king was minded to lie a day or two to take advice how he might pass the riv

Page 98 (Chronicles of Froissart)