that they beat down, and how the war began between them and the Gauntois right cruel and without pity.
THE hearing speaking of the treating of this process may well be marvelled, for the marvellous matter therein. Some giveth the right of the war, the which was at that time great and cruel in Flanders, to them of Gaunt, saying how they had a good and a just cause to make war : but I cannot see that as yet, for I could never see nor understand but that the earl loved ever peace rather than war, reserving always his highness and honour. Did he not at their desire deliver their burgess out of his prison of Eccloo? and yet for all that they slew his baily. And then he again pardoned them that great outrage to the intent to have kept them in peace; and over that again on a day they moved all the country of Flanders against him and slew in the town of Ypres five of his knights, and went and assailed and beseiged Oudenarde and did their pain to have destroyed it, and yet again they had of the earl peace. But for all that, they would make none amends for the death of Roger d'Auterive, the which his lineage oftentimes desired ; wherefore they somewhat revenged the death of their cousin on a certain mariners, by whom all this war and mischief was begun. Was this yet any reasonable cause why they should beat down the walls of Oudenarde ? I think, and so did many other, that it was none occasion so to do. They said the earl was rather in their debt than they in his, and that he should make them amends for that that had been done to their mariners, or ever they would deliver again Oudenarde. The earl, who was at Lille, and his council with him, was right sore displeased in that they kept Oudenarde, and wilt not well how to get it again, and so repented him of the peace that he had given to the Gauntois ; and he wrote oftentimes to them commanding them to deliver up Oudenarde, or else he would make them so cruel war, that it should be ever had in remembrance. They of Gaunt would in no wise avow the deed ; for if they had, they had broken the peace. Finally certain good people of Gaunt and rich men, who would have nothing by their wills but peace, went so between in this matter, as John Faucille, Gilbert Grutere, sir Simon Bette and divers other, that the twelfth day [of March] they of Gaunt being in the town of Oudenarde returned again to Gaunt and delivered the town to the earl's servants ; and to appease the earl's displeasure John Pruniaux was banished Gaunt and all Flanders, because by his advice the commons had taken Oudenarde, without knowledge of the substance of the town of Gaunt. And on the other part the earl banished out of all Flanders sir Philip of Masmines, sir Oliver d'Auterive, the Gallois of Masmines, the bastard of Windingues and all those that were cause of the maiming of the mariners burgesses of Gaunt, without knowledgeof the earl ; and so by the reason of these banishings both parties were appeased. So John Pruniaux forsook the country of Flanders and when to Ath in Brabant and there dwelled ; and sir Philip of Masmines went to Valenciennes in the county of Hainault, but when they of Gaunt knew thereof, they did so much to the provost of Valenciennes, called John Partit, who in fair manner caused the said knight to depart thence; and so he departed with his good-will and went to Warlaing beside Douay and there tarried till he heard other tidings ; and the other knights and squires voided Flanders and went into Brabant. And as soon as the earl had again pos. session of Oudenarde, he set workmen awork and new repaired the town better than ever it was before, both walls, gates and dikes. The Gauntois knew well how the earl new fortified Oudenarde, but they made no semblance thereof, because they would no fault should be found in them, as in breaking of the peace ; but the fools and outrageous people said among themselves ` Let the earl alone in his work, for though he make Oudenarde of steel, yet it cannot endure against us if we list.' For all this peace thus in Flanders, they of Gaunt were ever in suspect wit