caused four faggots to be set afire and cast a-high out of the town, in tokening to them that lay at the siege how their siege should be raised. The Thursday tidings came to the lord of Herselle how that their tomparty were discomfited and Philip d'Arteveld slain ; and as soon as these tidings were known, they dislodged and took their way to Gaunt and left behind them the most part of their provision ; but they within Oudenarde knew nothing thereof till the next morning; and when they knew thereof, they issued out and brought in great pillage that they found hidden thereabout.' The same Thursday at night tidings came to Bruges of the discomfiture of the battle, whereof they were greatly abashed and said: 'Lo, we may now see our own destruction. If the Bretons come hither and enter into our town, we shall all be pilled and slain, for they will have of us no mercy.' Then the burgesses and their wives took all their best jewels and riches and put it into ships to save it, to send it by water into Holland and into Zealand in this case they were four days, so that they left no dish nor cup of silver in all Bruges, but all was put into ships for doubt of the Bretons. When Peter du Bois, who lay there sore wounded with the hurts that he took at the passage of Commines, understood the discomfiture of his company and how that Philip d'Arteveld was dead and slain, and how the people of Bruges were so abashed, then he was in no surety of himself, and so determined to depart and to go to Gaunt, for he thought that they of Gaunt would also be sore abashed, and so made a litter to be dressed for him, for he could not ride. Ye may know well, when these tidings came to Gaunt of the loss of their men and of the death of Philip d'Arteveld, they were so sore discomfited, that if the Frenchmen had come thither the day of the battle or the next day after or the Saturday after, or ever that Peter du Bois came thither, they would have suffered them to have entered into the town without any resistance, to have done what they had list. But the Frenchmen
1 `Great pillage of knives and baggage-carts and provisions, concealed (mute.) thus round about there.' These last words, in which there is probably some corruption, are not found in the best text, where we also read ' tents' for `knives.'
took no heed thereto : they thought right well to be lords thereof at their pleasure, seeing that Philip d'Arteveld was dead; they thought surely that the people of Gaunt would have yielded them to the king's mercy : howbeit, they did not so, for they alone made greater war than ever they did before, as ye shall hear after in this history. On the Friday the king dislodged from Rosebeque because of the air of the dead bodies, and he was counselled to go to Courtray to refresh him there. The Hase and divers other knights and squires, such as knew the country, leapt on their horses and galloped straight to Courtray and entered into the town, for there was made no defence against them. The burgesses and their wives and all other men, women and children entered into cellars and into the churches to fly from the death, so that it was pity to see it. Such as entered first into Courtray had great profit by pillage, and so then after there entered the Frenchmen and Bretons, and every man took up their lodging as they came ; and the king entered the first day of December. Then there was a new persecution made in the town on the Flemings, such as were hidden about ; for as they were found out they were slain, for there was no man taken to mercy. The Frenchmen and they of that town hated each other mortally because of a battle that was once fought before Courtray, whereas sir Robert Artois and a great part of the flower of France were slain. It was shewed the king how that there was in Courtray in the church of our Lady a chapel, wherein were five hundred gilt spurs pertaining of old time to the lords and knights of France, such as had been slain at the said battle of Courtray, the which was in the year of our Lord God a thousand three hundred and two, and they of Courtray once a year made thereof, a great triumph and solemnity. Wherefore the king said it should be dearly bought ; and so it was after, for at his departing he set the town afire, to the intent that it should be known ever after how that the French king had been there. And anon after that the king [was] thus come to Courtray, there came thither a fifty spears from the garrison of Oudenarde with sir Daniel of Halewyn to see the king, who