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Page 188 (Chronicles of Froissart)

page 188

and in the mean season the other of his company fought still in the fields, as they were sparkled abroad here and there. The Saracens defended themselves as well as they might, for they knew not the country, therefore to fly they thought was for them none avail. Then tidings came to king Henry and to sir Bertram of Guesclin how that king don Peter was fled and withdrawn into the castle of Montiel, and how that the Begue of Villaines had pursued him thither ; and into this castle there was but one passage, before which passage the Begue of Villaines had pight his standard. Of the which tidings king Henry and sir Bertram of Guesclin was right joyous, and so drew to that part in slaying and beating down their enemies like beasts, so that they were weary of killing. This chase endured more than three hours, so that day there was more than fourteen thousand slain and sore hurt : there were but few that were saved, except such as knew the passages of the country. This battle was beside Montiel in Spain the thirteenth day of the month of August the year of our Lord God a thousand three hundred threescore and eight.


How king don Peter was taken and put to death, and so king Henry was again king of Castile : and of the tenour of certain letters touching the French king and the king of England, and of the counsel that was given to king Charles of France to make war to the king of England.

AFTER this discomfiture and that king Henry had obtained the victory, then they laid siege round about the castle of Montiel, wherein was king don Peter. Then king Henry sent for the residue of his company to Toledo, whereas they lay at siege, of the which tidings the earl don Tello and the earl Sancho were right joyful. This castle of Montiel was right strong and able to have held against them all a long space, if it had been purveyed of victual and other things necessary ; but there was not in the castle scant to . Serve four days, whereof king don Peter and his company were sore abashed, for they were so straitly watched day and night, that a bird could not come out of the castle without spying. Then king don Peter, seeing himself thus beset round about with his enemies, and knew no way of peace or concord, was in great imagination. So all perils considered and for default of victual, he was counselled to depart privily at the hour of midnight and twelve persons with him, and so to adventure on. the grace of God, and guides were appointed to bring him in safe-guard. And so about the time of midnight next after the king don Peter and don Ferrant of Castro and twelve other persons with them departed out of the castle. The night was very dark and the Begue of Villaines kept watch without the same night, and a three hundred with him. And as king don Peter and his company issued out of the castle, and went down a high way as privily as they could devise, the Begue of Villaines, who was ever in doubt lest they should scape, the which caused him to make the surer watch, he thought he heard men pass down the high way, and said to them that were about him : ` Sirs, keep you still all privy, for methink I hear folks come in the way. We will go know what they be, and what they seek here at this time of night : peradventure there be some that are coming to revictual the castle.' Then the Begue stept forth with his dagger in his band and came to a man that was near to king don Peter and said, `What art thou ?' and he rushed forth with his horse from him and passed by them. The Begue stept to king don Peter, who was next, and said, ` What art thou ? Shew me thy name, or thou art but dead'; and took him by the bridle, for he thought he should not pass from him as the other did. And when king don Peter saw such a rout of men of war before him and that he could not scape, said: `Sir Begue of Villaines, I am king don Peter of Castile. I yield me to you as a prisoner and put me and my company, the which are but twelve persons, into your hands and pleasure: and, sir, I require you by the way of gentleness to bring me into some safe-gua

Page 188 (Chronicles of Froissart)