Page 297

Page 297 (Chronicles of Froissart)

page 297

part. We were as good to go towards Flanders as to Boulogne, for Flanders is a land of conquest, conquered by the puissance of the French king: we cannot bestow our time more honourably, all things considered, than to conquer it again ; and also the earl o� Flanders bath done of late a great despite to men of our country, for without any title of reason he bath banished and chased them out of Bruges and out of all Flanders : it passeth not two year sith that he would have been loath to have done so, but as now he is fain to obey to the pleasure of the French king.' `Wherefore,' quoth the bishop, 'if I may be believed, the first journey that we shall make shall be into Flanders.' ` Sir,' quoth sir Thomas Trivet and sir William Helmon, ' ye shall be well believed : let us ride into that part within this three days, for it is of the land of our enemies.' To this counsel they all agreed, and gave warning each to other.

CHAPTER CCCCXXX How the Englishmen took the town and minster of Gravelines, and how the earl of Flanders sent to speak with them.

AT all this agreement was not sir Hugh Calverley, for he was gone to see a cousin of his, the captain of Guines, called sir John Drayton, and so he was there all day and returned again the next day. Then the bishop sent for him to the castle, for the knights had said to the bishop how they would have the advice of sir Hugh Calverley, or they did anything, because he had most seen and used the war. Then the bishop said to him as ye have heard before, and commanded him to say his advice. Then sir Hugh answered him and said `Sir, ye know well on what condition we be departed out of England : our enterprise toucheth nothing the war between the kings, but all only against the Clementines; for we be soldiers of pope Urban, who bath clean assoiled us from all sin and pain, if we do our power to destroy the Clementines. If we go into Flanders, though the country bath been conquered by the French king and the duke of Burgoyne, yet for all that we should do amiss ; for as I understand, the earl of Flanders and all the Flemings be as good Urbanists as we be. Also, sir, we have not men enow to enter into Flanders ; for they are all ready and used in the war, and they are a great number of people : they have done nothing else but lived_ to war this three or four year, and also it is a strong country to enter into also the Flemings have done us no trespass. But, sir, if we shall ride, let us ride into France: there be our enemies in two manners. The king our lord's war is now open, and also the Frenchmen are good Clementines, contrary to our belief and against our pope. Also, sir, we should abide for our marshal sir William Beauchamp, who should hastily come to us with a good number of men, and the last word that our king said was that he would send him to us. But, sir, my counsel is, if we shall needs ride, let us draw towards Aire or Montreuil: there is none, I think, as yet, that will come against us, and always men will come to us out of Flanders, who bath lost all that they have : they will be glad to go with us in hope to win somewhat again : they bear evil will in their hearts to the Frenchmen, who bath slain in the wars their fathers, brethren, kinsmen and friends.' Sir Hugh could scant speak these words but that the bishop took the matter hot and hasty and said: ` Ah, sir Hugh, ye have so well learned to ride in France, that ye cannot ride into none other place. We cannot better ride to our profit than to enter into the frontier of Flanders by the sea coast, as to the town of Bourbourg, of Dunkirk, of Newport, of Bergues, of Cassel, of Ypres and of Poperinghe : in these said countries, as I am informed by the burgesses of Gaunt, they had never war that grieved them. Let us go thither and refresh us, and abide there for our marshal, if he will come; howbeit, we see not yet but little appearance of his coming.' When sir Hugh Calverley saw that the bishop did take him up so shortly, and he considered well how he was their chief captain and that he was a great man and of great lineag

Page 297 (Chronicles of Froissart)