between you and us, wherefore we must forbear : but though it be so, that ye be as now besieged, yet be not discomforted, for God knoweth and so doth all other good towns, that ye be in the right of this war, wherefore all your business shall achieve the better.' Thus they of Liege sent to them of Gaunt to comfort them. The earl of Flanders, who had thus besieged the town of Gaunt on the side towards Bruges and toward Courtray, but as toward Brussels the earl could not come nor lay his siege because of the great rivers, that is to say the river of Lys and the river of l'Escault : and I say unto you, all things considered, Gaunt is one of the most strongest towns of the world, for it behoveth more than two hundred thousand men to besiege it round and to stop from it all the rivers and passages, and also that the hosts lie near together, for else they could not comfort one another because of the rivers, and also there is much people in the town of Gaunt ; they were in those days men of defence a fourscore thousand men able to bear harness between sixty year and fifteen. And when the earl had lain at this siege the space of a month, and that his men and the Hase his son and his marshal had made many a scrimmish with them of Gaunt, and some day won and some day lost, as the adventures of war falleth, then the earl was counselled on a day to send them of Bruges, of Ypres and of Poperinghe to scrimmish with the Gauntois at a place called the long bridge ; for it was thought that if they might win that place, it should be a great advantage and profit for them, for then they should enter into the Four Crafts 1 and thereby approach near to Gaunt. And so there was ordained sir Jesse Halewyn to be chief captain of that enterprise ; and so when they were come to this passage, they found it not disgarnished, but well provided for with a great number of men of Gaunt; there was Peter du Bois, Peter de Wintere and Ralph de Herselle. There began a sore scrimmish: there was shooting of guns and crossbows on both parties, whereby divers were
1 This is the district called `les Quatre-Metiers,' lying on the north side of Ghent and including the townships of Assenede, Bouchaute, Hulst and Axel.
slain and wounded; and right well the Gauntois did acquit themselves, for they reculed their enemies and won by force the goldsmiths' banner of Bruges, and there it was cast down into the water ; and there were of the goldsmiths and other a great number slain and hurt, and specially sir Jesse Halewyn was there slain, which was great damage; and so the other returned again without doing any more: so the Gauntois bare themselves valiantly.
CHAPS. CCCLXXVII, CCCLXXVIII
SUMMARY.-The men of Ghent took Alost, Termonde and Grammont during the siege, and at length the earl of Flanders raised the siege and retired to Bruges. In April of the next year he assembled his host to the number of about 20,000 men, and shortly after they met a body of 6000 Gauntois under Ralph de Herselle in the fields near Nivele. A battle ensued, in. which the Gauntois fought well, but were outnumbered and compelled to retreat to Nivele. Many took refuge in the punster, where Ralph de Herselle was slain, and by order of the earl of Flanders the minster was set on fire and many of those within were burnt. Peter du Bois, who had another army in the neighbourhood, was unable to come to the rescue and retired to Ghent, for which he was much blamed, but excused himself. The earl of Flanders retired to Bruges and sent his people home, and those of Ghent issued forth to Courtray and returned. Arnold de Clerck with twelve hundred of the while hoods was sent to Gavre to annoy the garrison of Oudenarde. Some of these he slew by an ambush and others at the abbey of Eham, where they had taken refuge.
How the white hoods and their captain were slain, and how Philip d'Arteveld was chosen captain of Gaunt.
WHEN the knights and squires that were within Oudenarde understood that Arnold Clerck and the white hoods to the number