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Page 287 (Chronicles of Froissart)

page 287

on our enemies, how they were discomfited at the battle of Bruges by reason that we held ourselves close together. Let us beware that we open not: every man bear his weapon right before him and interlace your staves over your arms, one within another, whereby they shall not enter upon us: 1 and let us go a good pace by leisure, and nother turn on the left hand nor on the right, and shoot our guns all at once and shoot with our cross-bows, and thus we shall abash our enemies.' When Philip d'Arteveld had thus ordered his men and set his battle in array and shewed them what they should do, then he made out a wing of part of his men, such as he best trusted,2 and by him was his page with his courser, to whom he said: 'Go thy way with my horse behind yonder bush, and when thou seest the Frenchmen fly, then bring me my horse and cry my cry; then men will give thee room, to the intent that I may follow in the chase with the foremost.' The page did as he was commanded. Then he set beside him on a wing forty archers Englishmen, whom he had in wages. Now behold if Philip ordered himself well or not. I think, and so did many such, as were expert in battles, that he did not well nor wisely in one thing, and that was when he departed in the morning out of the strong place that he was in ; for it is to be thought that the Frenchmen would never have sought them there to have fought with them, for they could not have done it without great damage: but like fools they thought to skew themselves valiant and little fearing their enemies, and so they were served thereafter.


The manner of the battle of Rosebeque, and how the Flemings were discomfited by the counsel of the three foresaid knights, who had aviewed all their behaving.

So these three foresaid knights returned to the king and to the battles, the which were
1 `Let each bear his staff straight before him, and interlace your arms, so that none may enter in among you.'
2 'He set himself on a wing formed of those of his men in whom he had most trust.'

ready in good array as they ought to be: for there were many noble and wise men and well expert in arms both in the vaward and in the rearguard and in the king's battle, and they knew right well what ought to bg done, for there was the flower of all the good chivalry of the world. So thus every man gave these three knights way to come to the king: the lord Clisson spake first, inclining his body to the king, doing off his hat, and said: ` Sir, be merry: yonder people be all yours; our varlets shall beat them.' ` Constable,' quoth the king, `God grant it : let us go forward then in the name of God and Saint Denis.' Then such knights as were appointed to attend on the king's body were set in good order ; and there the king made many new knights, and so did every lord in his own battle, and divers banners were new raised up. Then it was ordained, that when they should join to fight, that the king's battle with the Oriflamme of France should be in the forefront, and the vaward should pass by aside on a wing on the one side of the king, and the rearward to pass by a little on the other side of the king, so that all three battles might at once close about the Flemings' battle, who came close together all in one battle. So the arearward were shewed of this appointment, the earl of Eu, the earl of Blois, the earl of Saint Pol, the earl of Harcourt, the lord of Chatillon and the lord Fere were chief of that ward, and before the earl of Blois there was made banneret the young lord of Havreth : r sir Thomas Diest and sir James Havreth, bastard, were made knights : there were made the same day by the report of the heralds four hundred threescore and seven knights. And so then the three knights departed from the king and went into the vaward, whereas their rooms were. Then incontinent the Oriflamme was displayed, that sir Peter of Villiers did bear, and some say, as they have found written, that it was never before seen displayed against Christian men. But then in that voyage there was great question made whether it should be displayed or not; howbeit, divers reasons considered, finally it was determined to be displayed as then, because the Flemings
1 `And there on that day before the earl of Blois the young lord of Havreth raised his banner.'

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