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Page 285 (Chronicles of Froissart)

page 285

was ordered, their carriage, women and varlets ; and Philip d'Arteveld had his page by him on a good courser, worth to a great lord five hundred florins. He had him not by him to the intent to fly away or to steal from his company, but it was the greater thereby to shew his estate,' and to mount on him, if need were, to follow the chase of the Frenchmen. He had of the town of Gaunt about a nine thousand men well armed, whom he kept ever about his sown person ; for he had more trust in them than in any other. And he and they with their banners were in the foremost front, and they of Alost and Grammont next them, and then they of Courtray, of Bruges, of Damme, of Sluys and of [the] Franc, who were armed the most part with malles and chapeaus of steel and hocquetons and gauntlets of steel and baleine, each of them bearing a stake tipped with iron. These towns had difference in arms and liveries, to know one company from another: some had coats of yellow and blue, some with black bands on red coats, some bordered with white on blue coats, some planted with green and blue, some lozenged with white and black, some quartered white and red, some all blue and one quarter red, some red cut upon white,2 and their banners according to their crafts with great holmesses hanging at their girdles. So thus they tarried for the daylight, which was near approaching. Now I shall shew you the order of the Frenchmen.


How the constable and admiral of France and the bastard of Langres went to see the Flemings, and how they fortified themselves.

THE French king and the lords about him knew right well how the Flemings ap

1 ` But for state and for grandeur.'
2 The heraldic terms are loosely rendered by the translator. It should be: ` Some had coats of yellow and of blue, some had a black band (bende) on a red coat, some chevrons of white on blue coats, some had green and blue in pales (plantez), some a less lozenged with white and black, some had coats quartered of white and red, some all blue with one quarter red, some cut with red above and white below.' The better text has `paletes' for `plantes,' and after it this: `some had coats lozenged of blue and red, some a fess chequered white and black.'

proached near to them, and saw well there was no remedy but battle, for there was no motion made of treaty of peace. The Wednesday there was a cry made in the town of Ypres, that all manner of people as men of war should draw to the field to the king and to do as they ought to do. Every man obeyed the king's commandment, as reason was, and drew to the field, except such varlets as were commanded to keep their masters' horses : howbeit, in the vaward they had many horses for the adventurers and to discover the fields. Thus this Wednesday the Frenchmen kept the fields near unto Rosebeque, and at night the king made a supper to his three uncles and to the constable of France and to the lord of Coucy and to other great lords strangers of Brabant, of Hainault, of Holland, of Zealand, of Almaine, of Lorraine and of Savoy, who were come thither to serve the king, whereof he thankened them greatly. The same night the earl of Flanders kept the watch, and with him a six hundred spears and twelve hundred men of other persons of war. And after supper, when these lords were departed, the constable abode still to speak with the king and his uncles. It was ordained by the king's council that the constable of France, sir Oliver of Clisson, should leave his office for the next day, because it was thought that they should have battle, and that the lord of Coney should occupy the office for that time, and sir Oliver to be about the king's person and so, when he would have taken leave of the king, the king said to him right sweetly and amiably: `Sir constable, we would that ye render up your office into our hands for this night and to-morrow all day: we have ordained another to occupy the room, and we will that ye abide about our person.' Of these words the constable had great marvel, and answered and said `Right dear sir, I know well I cannot have so great honour as to aid to keep your person ; but, sir, this should be right displeasant to all my company and to all them of the vaward. If they have not me in their company, peradventure they may lose more thereby than win. Sir, I say it not because I should think myself so valiant, that for lack of me they should not do well ; but, sir, saving the correction of your

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