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^ 


THE 


HISTORY    OF    FRANCE 


RELATED   FOR   THE   RISING  GENERATION, 


LONDON : 
OILBBBT  AND   RIYINOTON,   FBINTBBR, 
ST.   JOHN'S  SQUARE. 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS. 


PAGE 

Chapter  XIX.  The  Communes  and  the  Third  Estate 1 

XX  The  Hundred  Years'  War.     PhiUp  VI.  and  John  II.      .  49 

XXI.  The  States-General  of  the  Fourteenth  Century        .  .133 

XXIL  The  Hundred  Years' War.     Charles  V 170 

XXni.  The  Hundred  Years'  War.     Charles  VL  and  the  Dukes  of 

Burgundy 227 

XXIV.  The  Hundred  Years'  War.     Charles  VIL  and  Joan  of  Arc 

(U21— 1461) 312 

XXV.  Louis  XL     (1461—1483) 411 

XXVL  The  Wars  in  Italy.— Charles  VIIL    (1483—1498)  .     601 

„       XXVIL  The  Wars  in  Italy.— Louis  XIL     (1498—1515)    .         .         .552 


LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS. 


PAGE 

HeaJ-piece  of  Chapter  XIX 1 

The  Peasants  resolved  to  live  according  to.  their  own  inclinations  and  their 

own  laws - 6 

Insurrection  in  favour  of  the  Commune  at  Carabrai 13 

Bishop  Gaudri  dniggeJ  from  the  Cask 23 

The  Cathedral  of  Laon           . 43 

Tail-piece  of  Chapter  XIX 48 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XX 49 

Van  Artevelde  at  his  Door 65 

"  See  !  See !"  she  cried 83 

Statue  of  James  van  Artevelde 99 

Queen  Philippa  at  the  feet  of  the  King .115 

John  II.,  calle<l  the  Good 123 

"  Father,  ware  right !     Father,  ware  left !" 129 

Tail-piece  of  Chapter  XX.               .                                     132 

Head- piece  of  Chapter  XXI. 133 

Charles  the  Bad,  King  of  Navarre 137 

Stephen  Marcel 145 

The  LouvTe  in  the  Fourteenth  Century  .         .  .         .  .153 

Tbe  Murder  of  the  Marshals.         .........  157 

*'Iii  his  hands  the  Keys  of  the  Gates" 165 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XXII 170 

CiiarlesV 183 

BigFerr6 191 

Bertrand  du  Guesclin 203 

Putting  the  Keys  on  Du  Guesclin's  Bier 223 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XXIII.       .         . 227 

The  Procession  went  over  the  Gates 235 

"Thou  art  betrayed" 247 

Murder  of  the  Duke  of  Orleans                        259 

Death  of  Valentine  de  Milan 267 

John  the  Fearless 273 

Already  distressed         ...........  281 

Charles  VL  and  Odette 295 

"Into  the  River!" 303 


viii  LIST  OF  ILLUSTRATIONS. 

PAGE 

Tail-piece  of  Chapter  XXIII 311 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XXIV 312 

Joan  of  Arc  at  Domr^my 319 

Herself  drew  out  the  Arrow  . 337 

Joan  examined  in  Prison 355 

Philip  the  Good  of  Burgundy 373 

The  Constable  made  his  Entry  on  horsebaok  .  .381 

Jacques  Coeur 305 

Jacques  Coeur's  Hostel  at  Bourges 401 

Agnes  SoreL     Tail-piece  of  Chapter  XXTV 410 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XX  V 411 

Louis  XL  and  Burgesses  waiting  for  News 423 

Charles  the  Rash 435 

Louis  XL  and  Charles  the  Rash  at  Peronne 443 

Philip  de  Commynes 453 

The  Corpse  of  Charles  the  Rash  discovered 473 

Views  of  the  Castle  of  Plessis-les-Tours  .                           483 

Louis  XI 495 

TaU-piece  of  Chapter  XXV 500 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XXVI '.         .501 

Anne  de  Beaujeu 505 

Meeting  between  Charles  VIII.  and  Anne  of  Brittany 523 

Charles  VIIL 533 

Battle  of  Fomovo         ...........  545 

Tail-piece  of  Chapter  XXVI 551 

Head-piece  of  Chapter  XXVII 552 

Louis  XII 555 

Bayard 561 

Battle  of  Agnadello 579 

Cardinal  d'Amboise       ...........  589 

Bayard's  Farewell 605 

Gaston  deFoix 012 

Chaumont  d'Amboise 623 


f*iitt  V**"'* 


H^*- 


^^^ 


CHAPTER  XIX. 


THE  C0>™UNE8  AND  THE  TillBD   ESTATK. 


^HE  history  of  the  Mero\nngians  is  that  of  barbariana 
invading  Gaul  and  Bottling  upon  the  niins  of  tho  Roman 
empire.  The  history  of  the  Carlovingians  is  that  of 
tlio  gi*oate»t  of  tho  barbarians  taking  ui>oii  hiranelf  tiO  resuscitate 
the  Bonuiu  empire,  and  of  ChaHeimigne's  dosccjiidants  dii^puting 
amongst  themselves  for  the  fragments  of  his  fabric,  as  fragile 
as  it  was  grand.  Amidst  this  vast  chaos  and  upon  this  double  rain 
was  formid  tlie  feudal  sy6t4?m,  whicli  by  tmnsformatiou  afk^r  trans- 
formation became  ultimately  France*  Hugh  Ca|>et>  one  of  its 
chieftains,  made  hintself  its  King.  The  Capetians  achievod  the 
French  kingship.  W©  have  traced  its  character  and  progressive 
development  from  the  eleven tli  to  the  fourteenth  century,  through 
tliC  reigns  of  Louis  the  Fat,  of  Philip  Augustus,  of  St*  Louis  and 
of  Philip  the  Handsome,  princes  very  diveri^o  and  very  unequal  in 
merit  but  all  of  them  able  ami  energetic.  This  period  was  likewise 
the  cradle  of  the  French  nation*  That  was  the  time  wWn  it  began 
to  exhibit  itself  in  its  different  elements,  and  to  arise  under 
VOL  u,  B 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE.  [Chap.  XIX, 

monarcliical  rule  fromtlie  midst  of  the  feudal  system.     Its  earliest" 
features  and  its  earliest  efforts  in  the  long  and  laborious  work  of 
its  development  are  now  to  be  set  before  the  reader's  ejres*  ^| 

The  two  words  inscribed  at  the  head  of  this  chapter,  the 
Commmws  and  the  Third-Estate,  are  verbal  expressions  for  the  two 
great  facts  at  that  time  revealing  that  the  French  nation  was  in 
labour  of  formation.  Closely  connected  one  with  the  other  and 
tending  towards  the  same  end,  these  two  facts  are,  nevertheless^ 
very  diverse,  and  even  when  they  have  not  been  confounded,  thej 
have  not  been  with  sufficient  clearness  distinguished  and  charac- 
terized, each  of  them  apart.  They  are  diverse  both  in  thei 
chronological  date  and  their  social  importance.  The  Co^mnune 
are  the  first  to  appear  in  history.  They  appear  there  as  local  facts, 
isolated  one  from  another,  often  very  different  in  point  of  origin 
though  analogous  in  their  aim,  and  in  every  case  neither  assuming 
nor  pretending  to  assume  any  place  in  the  government  of  the  State. 
Local  interests  and  rights,  the  special  affairs  of  certain  populations 
agglomerated  in  certain  spots,  are  the  only  objects,  the  only 
province  of  the  communes.  With  this  purely  municipal  and 
individual  character  they  come  to  their  birth,  their  confirraation 
and  their  development  from  the  eleventh  to  the  fourteenth  century; 
and  at  .the  end  of  two  centuries  they  enter  upon  their  decline,  they 
occupy  far  less  room  and  make  far  less  noise  in  history.  It  iflH 
exactly  then  that  the  Third  E.^fafe  comes  to  the  front,  and  uplifts" 
itself  as  a  general  fact,  a  national  element,  a  political  power.  It  is 
the  successor,  not  the  contemporary,  of  the  Communes  ;  they  con- 
tributed much  towards,  but  did  not  suffice  for  its  formation ;  iifl 
drew  upon  other  resources,  and  was  developed  under  other 
influences  than  those  which  gave  existence  to  the  communes.  It 
has  subsisted,  it  has  gone  on  growing  throughout  the  whole  course 
of  French  history;  and  at  the  end  of  five  centuries,  in  1789,  when 
the  Commmnes  had  for  a  long  while  sunk  into  languish raent  and 
political  insignificance,  at  the  moment  at  which  France  was  electing 
her  CamtUueni  Assmibhj^  the  Abb^Sifeyes,  a  man  of  powerful  rathei 
than  scrupulous  mind,  could  say,  "  WTiat  is  the  Thini  Estate  i 
Every  thing,  \VTiat  has  it  hitherto  been  in  the  body  politic! 
Nothing.     Wliat  does  it  demand  ?     To  be  something/* 


Chap,  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE.  S 

These  words  contained  three  grave  errors.     In  the  course  of 
government  anterior  to  1789,  so  far  was  the  third  estate  from  being 
nothings  that  it  had  been  every  day  becoming  gi*eater  and  stronger. 
What  was  demanded  for  it  in  1789  by  M.  Sieyes  and  his  friends 
was  not  that  it  might  become  something  but  that  it  should  be  every 
thing.     That  was  a  desire  beyond  its  right  and  its  strength;  and 
the   very   Revohition,  which   was   its   own  victory^  proved  this. 
Whatever  may  have  been  the  weaknesses  and  faults  of  its  foes, 
the  third  estate  had  a  terrible  struggle  to  conquer  them ;  and  the 
struggle  was  so  violent  and  so  obstinate  that  the  third  estate  was 
broken  up  therein,  and  had  to  pay  dearly  for  its  triumph.     At 
first  it  obtained  thereby  despotism  instead  of  liberty ;  and  when 
liberty  returned,  the  third  estate  found  itself  confronted  by  twofold 
hostility,  that  of  its  foes  under  the  old  regimen  and  that  of  the 
absolute  democracy  which  claimed  in  its  turn  to  be  every  thing* 
Outrageous  claims  bring  about  intractable  opposition   and  excite 
unbridled  ambition.     What  there  was  in  the  words  of  the  Abb^ 
Silyes  in  1789  was  not  the  verity  of  history ;  it  was  a  lying  pro- 
gramme of  revolution. 

We  have  anticipated  dates  in  order  to  properly  chai^acterize  and 
explain  the  facts  as  they  present  themselves,  by  giving  a  glimpse 
of  their  scope  and  their  attainment*  Now  that  we  have  clearly 
marked  the  profound  difference  between  the  third  estate  and  the 
communes,  we  will  return  to  the  communes  alone,  which  had  the 
priority  in  respect  of  time.  We  will  trace  the  origin  and  the  com* 
position  of  the  third  estate,  when  we  reach  the  period  at  which  it 
became  one  of  the  gre^t  performers  in  the  history  of  France  by 
reason  of  the  place  it  assumed  and  the  part  it  played  in  the  States- 
general  of  the  kingdom  p 

In  dealing  with  the  formation  of  the  communes  from  the  eleventh 
to  the  fourt43enth  century  the  majority  of  the  French  historians, 
even  M.  Thierry,  the  most  original  and  clearsighted  of  them  all, 
often  entitle  this  event  the  co7mmmal  revohition.  This  expression 
hardly  gives  a  correct  idea  of  the  fact  to  which  it  is  applied.  The 
word  remlnU&n^  in  the  sense  or  at  least  the  aspect  given  to  it 
amongst  us  by  contemporary  events,  points  to  the  overthrow  of 
a  certain  regimen   and  of  the  ideas  and  authority  predominant 

B  2 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XJX 


thereunder,  etkI  the  systematic  Gleyation  in  their  stead  of  a 
regimen  essential Ij  different  in  principle  and  in  fact.  The  revo- 
Jutions  of  our  day  substitute  or  would  fain  substitute  a  republic 
for  B  monarchy,  democracy  for  aristocracy,  political  liberty  for 
absolute  power.  The  struggles  which  from  the  eleventh  to  the 
foin'teenth  century  gave  existence  to  so  many  communes  had  no 
^ucli  profound  character ;  the  populations  did  not  pretend  to  any 
^ndamental  overthrow  of  the  regimen  they  attacked ;  they  con- 
spired togt^ther,  they  swore  itujether^  as  the  phrase  is  according  ta 
the  documents  of  the  time^ — they  rose  to  extricate  themselves  from 
the  outrageous  oppression  and  misery  they  were  enduring,  but 
not  to  abolish  feudal  sovereignty  and  to  change  the  personality  of 
their  masters,  \Vlien  they  succeeded  they  obtained  those  treat-ies 
of  peace  called  oharters^  which  brought  about  in  the  pondition 
of  the  insurgents  salutary  changes  accompanied  by  more  or  less 
effectual  guarantees-  When  they  failed  or  when  the  charters 
were  violated,  the  result  was  violent  reactions,  mutual  excesses ; 
the  relations  between  the  populations  and  their  lords  were  t^em- 
pestuous  and  full  of  vicissitude ;  but  at  bottoni  neither  the  political 
regimen  nor  the  social  systc^m  of  the  communes  were  altered. 
And  so  there  were,  at  many  spots  without  any  connexion  between 
them,  local  revolts  and  civil  wars,  but  no  oomnmnal  revolution* 

One  of  the  earliest  facts  of  this  kind  which  have  been  set  forth 
with  some  detail  in  history  clearly  shows  their  primitive  character : 
a  fact  tlie  more  remarkable  in  that  the  revolt  described  by  the 
chroniclers  originated  and  i^n  its  course  in  the  country  among 
peasants  with  a  view  of  recovering  complete  independence  and  not 
amongst  an  urban  population  with  a  view  of  resulting  in  the  erec- 
tion of  a  commune.  Towards  the  end  of  the  tenth  century,  under 
Richard  IL,  duke  of  Normandy,  called  the  Good,  and  whilst  the 
good  Ki/uj  Robert  was  reigning  in  France,  "In  sevei'al  countships 
of  Normandy,"  says  William  of  Jumi%e,  *'all  the  peasants,  assom^ 
blihg  in  their  conventicles,  resolved  to  live  according  to  their  in- 
clinations and  their  own  laws,  as  well  in  the  interior  of  the  forests 
as  along  the  rivers,  and  to  reck  naught  of  any  est-ablished  right. 
To  carry  out  this  purpose  these  mobs  of  madmen  chose  each  two 
deputies,  who  were  to  form  at  some  central  point  an  aseerably 


\ 


CmAF.  XIXO  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIED  ESTATE. 


cliargied  to  see  to  tUe  execution  of  theu^  decrees.  As  soon  as  the  duke 
{fiicUaitl  II,)  was  intbrmed  thereof^  bo  sent  a  largo  body  of  men-ut-^ 
iS  to  repress  tUia  uudaciDusness  of  tbe  cuuiitry  districts  and  to 
ter  tbis  rustic  assemblage.  In  execution  of  bis  orders,  the  depu- 
tiea  of  the  peasants  and  many  other  rebels  were  forthwith  arrested, 
their  feet  and  hands  were  cut  off,  and  they  were  sent  away  thus  mu- 
tilated to  theii'  homes,  in  order  to  deter  their  like  from  such  enter- 
prisee  and  to  make  them  wiser,  for  fear  of  worse.  After  this  experience 
tbe  peasants  left  off  their  meetings  and  returned  to  their  plouglis.'^ 
It  was  about  eighty  years  after  the  event  when  the  monk  WilKara 
af  Jumti^ge  told  the  story  of  this  insurrection  of  peasants  so  long 
Ulterior,  and  yet  Eo  similar  to  that  which  more  than  three  ceutmnes 
afterwards  broke  out  in  nearly  the  whole  of  Northern  France,  and 
which  was  called  the  Jcicquery*  Less  than  a  century  after 
William  of  Juniifcge  a  Norman  poet,  Robert  Wace,  told  the  same 
story  in  his  Mommiee  of  Rmi,  a  history  in  verse  of  RoUo  and  the 
fiist  dukes  of  Normandy:  **The  lords  do  us  naught  but  ill,'*  he 
tziakea  the  Norman  peasants  say :  "  with  them  we  have  nor  gain 
nor  profit  from  our  labours ;  every  day  is  for  us  a  day  of  suffering, 
of  travail  and  of  fatigue ;  every  day  our  beasts  are  taken  from  u^ 
ioT  forced  labour  and  services  .  .  -  ,  why  put  up  witli  all  this  evit, 
and  why  not  get  quit  of  travail  ?  Are  not  we  men  even  as  they 
are  r  Have  we  not  the  same  stature,  the  same  limbs,  the  same 
atoength — for  suffering?  Bind  we  ourselves  by  oath;  swear  we 
to  aid  one  another ;  and  if  they  be  minded  to  make  war  on  us  have 
we  not  for  every  knight  thirty  or  foi  ty  young  peasants  ready  and 
willing  to  fight  with  club  or  boar^spear  or  aiTOW  or  axe  or  stones  if 
tbey  ha%*e  not  arms  ?  Learn  we  to  resist  the  knights,  and  we  shall 
be  free  to  hew  down  trees,  to  hunt  game,  and  to  fish  after  our  fashion, 
and  we  shall  work  our  will  on  flood  and  in  field  and  wood," 

These  two  passages  have  already  been  quoted  in  Chapter  xiv-  of 
this  history  in  the  course  of  describing  the  general  condition  of 
France  under  the  Gapetians  before  the  crusades,  and  they  are 
agatn  brought  forward  here  because  they  express  and  paint  to  the 
Ufe  the  chief  cause  which  from  the  end  of  tbe  teuth  century  led  to 
io  many  insurix'ctions  amongst  the  rural  as  well  as  urban  popula- 
tions and  brought  about  the  establishment  of  so  many  communes. 


6 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XIT. 


We  saytlie  chief  cause  only,  because  oppression  and  insurrection 
were  not  the  sole  origin  of  the  communes.  Evil,  moral  and  raate- 
Tialj  abounds  in  human  communities,  but  it  never  has  the  sole  do- 
minion there;  force  never  di^ves  justice  into  utter  banishment^  and 
the  ruffianly  violence  of  the  strong  never  stifles  in  all  hearts  every 
sympathy /op  the  weak.  Two  causes,  quite  distinct  from  feudal 
oppression,  viz.  Roman  traditions  and  Christian  Bentiments,  had 
their  share  in  the  formation  of  the  communes  and  in  the  beneficial 
results  thereof. 

The  Roman  municipal  regimen,  which  is  described  in  M,  Guizot's 
Eiisais  BUT  rHistoire  de  Prance  (1st  Essay,  pp.  1 — i4),  did  not  every 
where  perish  with  the  empire;  it  kept  its  footing  in  a  great  number 
of  towns,  especially  in  those  of  Southern  Gaid,  Marseilles^  ArleSj 
Nisraes,  Narbonnej  Toulouse^  &c.  At  Aries  the  municipality 
actually  bore  the  name  of  commune  {communitas)^  Toulouse  gave 
her  municipal  magistrates  the  name  of  Capiiouh^  after  the  Capitol 
of  Rome,  and  in  the  greater  part  of  the  other  towns  in  the  South 
they  wei*e  called  CanmU.s,  After  the  great  invasion  of  barbarians 
from  the  seventh  to  the  end  of  the  eleventh  century,  the  existence 
of  these  Roman  mimicipalities  appears  but  rarely  and  confusedly 
in  history ;  but  in  this  there  is  notliing  pecuHar  to  the  towns  and 
the  municipal  regimen,  for  confusion  and  obscurity  were  at  that 
time  universal,  and  the  nascent  feudal  system  was  plunged  therein 
as  well  as  the  dying  little  municipal  systems  were.  Many  Roman 
municipahties  were  still  subsisting  without  influencing  any  event 
of  at  all  a  general  kind  and  without  leaving  any  trace ;  and  as  the 
feudal  system  grew  and  grew  they  still  went  on  in  the  midst  of 
universal  darkness  and  anarchy*  They  had  penetrated  into  the 
north  of  Gaul  in  fewer  numbers  and  with  a  weaker  organization 
than  in  the  south,  but  still  keeping  their  footing  and  vaunting 
themselves  on  their  Roman  origin  in  the  face  of  their  barbaric 
conquerors.  The  inhabitants  of  Rheims  remembered  with  prido 
tliat  their  mimicipal  magistracy  and  its  jurisdiction  were  antarior 
to  Clovis,  dating  as  they  did  from  before  the  days  of  St.  Remigius, 
the  apostle  of  the  Franks-  The  burghers  of  Metz  boasted  of  having 
enjoyed  civil  rights  before  there  was  any  district  of  Lorraine : 
**  Lorraine,"  said  they,  **  is  young,  and  Metz  is  old."     The   city 


Cbaf,  xix:]  the  communes  and  the  third  estate.         9 

of  Boiirgea  was  on©  of  the  most  complete  examples  of  siicces- 
sive  transformations  and  denominations  attained  by  a  Roman 
municipality  from  the  sixtli  to  the  tlilrU'^enth  century  under  the 
ifero\'ingiaii8,  the  CarloTngianSi  and  the  earliest  Capoiiau»,  At 
the  time  of  the  invasioa  it  had  arenas,  an  amphitheatre,  and  all 
tliat  charact'Orizcd  a  Roman  city*  In  the  seventh  oontury,  th^ 
author  of  the  life  of  St,  Estadiola,  born  at  Bourges,  says  that  **  she 
waa  the  child  of  iUustrious  parents  who,  as  worldly  diginty  ia 
accounted,  were  notable  by  reason  of  iiemitori4d  rank;  and  Gregory 
of  Tours  quotes  a  judgment  delivered  by  the  pmwtpah  {/m>/*on«) 
of  the  city  of  Bourges.  Coins  of  the  time  of  Charles  the  Bald  are 
struck  with  the  name  of  the  city  of  Bourges  and  its  inhabitants 
(Biluruje^)^  In  1107,  under  PhiUp  L,  the  members  of  the  muni- 
cipal body  of  Bourges  are  named  pra^Vhammes.  in  two  chart-ers, 
one  of  Louis  the  Young,  in  1145,  and  the  other  of  Philip  AuguBtus, 
in  1218,  the  old  stmatars  of  Bourges  have  the  name  at  one 
time  of  bom  twmme^j  at  another  of  hannm  of  the  city.  Under 
different  names,  in  accordance  with  changes  of  languagt^,  the 
Boman   municipal   regimen   held  on   and  adapted   itself  to   new 

rfal  conditions. 

In  our  own  day  there  has  been  far  too  much  inclination  to  dispute, 
and  M*  Augustin  Thierry  has,  in  M.  Gui350t*a  opinion,  made  far  too 
little  of,  the  active  and  effective  part  played  by  the  kingship  in  the 
formation  and  protection  of  the  French  communes.  Not  only  did 
the  kings,  m  we  shall  presently  see,  often  interpose  as  mediators 
in  the  quarrels  of  the  communes  witli  their  laic  or  ecclesiastical 
lortis,  but  many  amongst  them  assumed  in  their  own  domains  and  to 
the  profit  of  the  communes  an  intelligtmt  and  beneficial  initiativD, 
The  city  of  Orleans  was  a  happy  example  of  this.  It  was  of 
mncient  data,  and  had  prospered  under  the  Boman  empire ;  never- 
theless the  continuance  of  the  Roman  municijml  regimen  does  not 
appear  there  clearly  as  wo  have  just  seen  that  it  did  in  the  case  of 
Bourges ;  it  is  chiefly  from  the  middle  ages  and  their  kings  that 
Orleans  held  its  municipal  franchises  and  its  privileges;  they  never 
nised  it  to  a  commune^  propt^rly  so  called,  by  a  charter  sworn  to  and 
guaranteed  by  independent  institutions,  but  they  set  honestly  to 
work  to   prevent  local  oppression,  to  reform  abuses,  and   make 


•10 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[CflAP.XIX 


justice  prtjvail  there.  From  1051  to  1281  there  are  to  be  found  io 
the  Eei'iteil  den  ortkmnance^  dm  row  seven  important  charters  relating 
to  Orleans.  In  1051,  at  the  deniaud  of  the  people  of  Orleans  and 
its  bishopj  who  appears  in  the  charter  as  the  head  of  the  people, 
the  defender  of  the  citify  Henry  I,  secures  to  the  inhabitants  of 
Orlejins  freedom  of  labour  and  of  going  to  and  fro  during  the 
vinfeiges,  and  interdicts  his  agents  from  exacting  any  Uiing  upon 
the  entry  of  wines.  From  1137  to  1178,  during  ihe  administratioii 
of  Suger,  Louis  the  Young  in  four  successive  ordinances  gives,  in 
respect  of  Orleans,  precisG  guarantees  for  freedom  of  trade,  security 
of  person  and  propertyj  and  the  internal  peace  of  the  city ;  and  in 
1183  Philip  Augustus  exempts  from  all  talHage,  that  is,  from  all 
liersonal  impost,  the  present  and  future  inhabitants  of  Orleans,  and 
grants  them  divers  privileges,  amongst  others  that  of  not  going  to 
law-courts  farther  from  their  homes  than  Etampos.  In  1281  Pliilip 
the  Bold  renews  and  confirms  the  concessions  of  Philip  Augustus* 
Orleans  was  not,  within  the  royal  domain,  the  only  city  where 
the  kings  of  that  period  were  careful  to  favour  the  progress  of 
the  population,  of  wealth  and  of  security;  several  other  cities  and 
even  less  considerable  burghs  obtained  similar  favour  ;  and  in  1 165 
X»ouis  the  youDg,  probably  in  confirmation  of  an  act  of  Ids  father 
Louis  the  Fat,  granted  to  the  little  town  of  Lorris,  in  Qatinais 
(now-a-days  chief  place  of  a  canton  in  the  department  of  the  Loiret)^ 
a  clxarter,  full  of  detail,  which  regulated  its  interior  regimen  in 
financial,  commercial  Judicial,  and  miHtary  matters,  and  secured  to 
all  its  inhabitants  good  conditions  in  resiiect  of  civil  hfe.  Thiii 
charter  was  in  the  course  of  the  twelfth  century  regai'ded  as  so 
favourable  that  it  was  demanded  by  a  great  number  of  toinis  and 
Imrghsi  the  king  was  asked  for  tJte  custoins  of  Lornif  (c&ihH^iw- 
iudines  - Lauraciejisc^)^  and  in  the  space  of  fifty  years  they  were 
granted  to  seven  towns,  some  of  them  a  considerable  distance  from 
Orleanness.  The  towns  wliich  obtained  them  did  not  become  by 
this  qualification  communes  properly  so  called  in  the  special  and 
liistorical  sense  of  the  word ;  they  had  no  jurisdiction  of  their  own, 
no  independent  magistracy;  they  had  not  their  own  government 
in  tlicir  hands ;  the  king's  officers,  provosts,  bailiffs,  or  others,  were 
the  only  persons  who  exercised  there  a  real  and  decisive  power- 


I 


Cbap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


II 


But  the  king's  promises  to  the  inhabitants^  the  rights  which  he\ 
authorized  them  to  claim  fVora  him,  and  the  rules  which  he  imposed 
upon  his  oificers  in  their  goveruraeut,  were  not  concessions  which 
were  of  no  value  or  which  remained  without  fruit.  As  we  follow 
in  tlie  conrse  of  our  history  the  towns  which,  without  having  been 
raised  to  communes  properly  so  called,  had  obtained  advantsagee  of 
that  kind,  we  see  them  developing  and  growing  in  population  and 
Health,  and  sticking  more  and  more  closely  to  tliat  kingship  from 
wliich  they  had  received  their  privilogesj  and  which,  for  all  its 
imperfect  observance  and  even  frequent  violation  of  promises,  was 
neveHhelesa  accessible  to  complaint,  repressed  from  time  to  time 
the  misbehaviour  of  its  officers,  renewed  at  need  and  even  extended 
privileges,  and,  in  a  word,  promoted  in  its  administration  the  pro- 
gross  of  civilization  and  the  counsels  of  reason,  and  thus  attached 
the  burghers  to  itself  without  recognizing  on.  their  side  those 
positive  rights  and  those  guarantees  of  administrative  indepen- 
dence which  are  in  a  perfectly  and  solidly  constructed  social  fabric 
the  foundation  of  political  Hberty< 

Nor  was  it  the  kings  alone  who  in  the  middle  ages  listened  to 
the  oounsels  of  reason,  and  recognized  in  their  behaviour  towards 
their  towns  the  rights  of  justice.  Many  bishops  had  become  the 
feudal  lords  of  the  episcopal  city  ;  and  the  Christian  spirit  enlight- 
ened and  animated  many  amongst  them  just  as  the  monarchical 
^irit  sometimes  enlightened  and  guided  the  kings «  Troubles  had 
amen  in  the  town  of  Carabrai  between  the  bishops  and  the  people, 
**  There  was  amongst  the  members  of  the  metropolitan  clergy,'* 
aays  M.  Augustine  Thierry,  *'  a  certain  Bandri  do  Sarchftin\nlle,  a 
native  of  Artois,  who  bad  the  title  of  chaplain  of  the  bishoprick 
He  was  a  man  of  high  character  and  of  wise  and  reflecting  mind. 
He  did  not  share  the  violent  aversion  felt  by  most  of  his  order  for 
^8  intititution  of  communes.  He  saw  in  this  institution  a  sort  of 
neoessity  beneath  which  it  would  be  inevitable  sooner  or  later, 
willy  nilly,  to  bow,  and  he  thought  it  was  better  to  siu-render  to 
the  wishes  of  the  citizens  than  to  shed  blood  in  order  to  postpone 
for  awhUe  an  unavoidable  revolution.  Iij  1098  he  was  elected 
bishop  of  Noyon,  He  found  this  town  in  the  same  state  in  which 
he  had  seen  that  of  Cambrai*     The  burghers  were  at  daily  logger^ 


12 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XIX. 


heads  with  the  metropolitan  clergy,  and  the  registers  of  the  ChtircTi 
conta^ined  a  host  of  documents  entitled  *  Peace  made  between  us 
and  the  burghers  of  Noyon/  But  no  reconciliation  was  lasting; 
the  truce  was  soon  broken,  either  by  the  clergy  or  by  the  citizens 
who  were  the  more  touchy  in  that  they  had  less  security  for  their 
persons  and  their  property.  The  new  bishop  thought  that  tl 
establishment  of  a  commune  sworn  to  by  both  the  rival  parties' 
might  become  a  sort  of  compact  of  alliance  between  them,  and  lie 
set  about  reiilizing  this  noble  idea  before  the  word  cmnmune  had 
served  at  Noyon  as  the  rallying  cry  of  popular  insmrection.  Of 
his  own  mere  motion  he  convoked  in  assembly  all  the  in  habi  taints 
of  the  town,  clergy,  knights,  tiBders,  and  craftsmen.  He  pi 
sen  ted  them  with  a  charter  which  constituted  the  body  of  burghers' 
an  association  for  ever  under  magistrates  called  jun/nimi  like 
those  of  Cambrai,  '  Whosoever,*  said  the  charter,  '  shall  desire 
to  enter  this  commune  shall  not  be  able  to  be  received  as  a  member 
of  it  by  a  single  individual,  but  only  in  the  presence  of  the  jury- 
men. The  sum  of  money  he  shall  then  give  shall  be  employed  for 
the  benefit  of  the  town,  and  not  for  the  private  advantage  of  any 
one  whatsoever.  If  the  commune  be  outraged,  all  those  who  have 
sworn  to  it  shall  be  bound  to  march  to  its  defence,  and  none  shall 
be  empowered  to  remain  at  home  unless  he  be  infirm  or  sick^  or  so 
poor  that  he  must  needs  be  himself  the  watcher  of  his  own  wife 
and  children  lying  sick.  If  any  one  have  wounded  or  slain  any 
one  on  the  territory  of  the  commune  the  jurymen  shall  take 
vengeance  therefor.'  "  " 

The  other  articles  guarantee  to  the  members  of  the  conimun© 
of  Noyon  the  complete  ownership  of  their  property,  and  the  right  of 
not  being  handed  over  to  justice  save  before  their  own  municipal 
magistrates.  The  bishop  first  swore  to  this  charter,  and  the 
inhabitants  of  every  condition  took  the  same  oath  afl^r  liir 
In  virtue  of  his  pontifical  authority  he  pronounced  the  anathema^ 
and  all  the  curses  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament,  against  who- 
ever should  in  time  to  come  dare  to  dissolve  the  commune  or 
infringe  its  regulations.  Furthermore,  in  order  to  give  this  nei 
pact  a  stronger  warranty,  Baudri  requested  the  king  of  France^' 
Louis  the  Fat,  to  corroborate  it,  as  they  used  to  say  at  the  time» 


I 


I 

I 


ft 


I 


ft 


JChap.  XIX]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE.  IS 

Bis  approbation  and  by  the  great  seal  of  the  crown.  The 
fcixig  consented  to  this  request  of  the  bishop^  and  that  was  all  the 
part  taken  by  Louis  the  Fat  in  the  establishment  of  the  commnntf 
of  Noyon.  The  king*s  charter  is  not  preserved,  but,  under  the 
date  of  1108,  there  is  extant  one  of  the  bishop's  own,  which  may 
serve  to  snbstantiat©  the  account  given  :— 

"  Bandri,  by  the  grace  of  God  bishop  of  Noyon,  to  all  those  who 
do  persevere  and  go  on  in  the  faith  : 

"Most  dear  brethren,  we  learn  by  the  example  and  words  of  the 
holy  Fathers,  that  all  good  things  ought  to  be  committed  to 
writing  for  fear  lest  hereafter  they  come  to  bo  forgotten*  Know 
then  aU  Christians  present  and  to  come,  that  I  have  formed  at 
Noyon  a  commune,  constituted  by  the  counsel  and  in  an  assembly 
of  clergy,  knights,  and  burghers;  that  I  have  confirmed  it  by  oath, 
by  pontifical  authority  and  by  the  bond  of  anathema,  and  that 
I  have  prevailed  upon  our  lord  King  Louis  to  grant  this  commune 
and  corroborate  it  with  the  king's  seal.  This  establishment  formed 
by  me,  sworn  to  by  a  great  number  of  persons,  and  granted  by  the 
ting,  let  none  be  so  bold  as  to  destroy  or  alter ;  I  give  warning 
thereof,  6n  behalf  of  God  and  myself,  and  I  forbid  it  in  the 
name  of  pontifical  authority.  Whosoever  shall  transgress  and  violate 
the  present  law,  bo  subjected  to  excommunication  ;  and  whosoever, 
oa  the  contrary,  shall  faithfully  keep  it,  be  preserved  for  ever 
amongst  those  who  dwell  in  the  house  of  the  Lord/* 

Tliis  good  example  was  not  without  fruit.  The  communal 
a*giraen  was  established  in  several  towns,  notably  at  St,  Quentin 
and  at  Soissons,  without  trouble  or  violence,  and  with  one  accord 
amongst  the  laic  and  ecclesiastical  lords  and  the  inhabitants , 

W0  arrive  now  at  the  third  and  chief  source  of  the  communes, 
at  the  case  of  those  which  met  feudal  oppression  with  energetic 
retistance,  and  which  after  all  the  sufferings,  vicissitudes  and 
outrages,  on  both  sides,  of  a  prolonged  struggle  ended  by  win- 
ning a  veritable  administrative  and,  to  a  certain  extent,  political 
independence*  The  number  of  communes  thus  formed  from  the 
eleventh  to  the  thirteenth  century  was  great,  and  we  have  a 
^tailed  history  of  the  fortunes  of  several  amongst  them,  0am- 
brai,  Beauvais,  Laon,  Amiens,  Rheims,  Btampes,  Vezelay,  &c.     To 


la 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap,  XIX. 


give  a  correct  and  vivid  picture  of  them  we  will  ctoose  the  com- 
mune of  Laon  which  was  one  of  those  whose  fortunes  were  most 
chequered  as  well  as  most  tragic^  and  which  after  more  than  two 
centuries  of  a  very  tempestuous  existence  was  sentenced  to  complete 
abolition,  first  by  Philip  the  Handsome j  then  bj  Philip  the  Long  and 
Charles  the  Handsome,  and,  finally,  by  Philip  of  Valois,  **  for  certain 
misdeeds  and  excesses  notorious,  enormous,  and  detestable,  and  on 
full  deUberation  of  our  council/*  The  early  portion  of  the  histoiy 
connected  with  the  commune  of  Laon  has  been  narrated  for  us  by 
Guibert,  an  abbot  of  Nogent-sous-Coucy,  in  the  diocese  of  Laon,  a 
cont-emporarj  wi*iter,  sprightly  and  bold.  **  In  all  that  I  have 
written  and  am  still  writing/'  says  he,  "  I  dismiss  all  men  from 
my  mind,  caring  not  a  whit  about  pleasing  any  body*  I  have 
taken  my  side  in  the  opinions  of  the  worlJ,  and  with  calmness 
and  indifference  on  my  own  account  I  expect  to  be  exposed  to  all 
sorts  of  language,  to  be  as  it  were  beaten  with  rods,  I  proceed 
with  my  task,  being  fully  purposed  to  bear  with  equanimity  the 
judgments  of  all  who  come  snarling  after  me/* 

Laon  was  at  the  end  of  the  eleventh  century  one  of  the  most 
important  towns  in  the  kingdom  of  France,  It  was  fuU  of 
rich  and  industrious  inhabitants;  the  neighbouring  people  came 
thither  for  provisions  or  diversion  ;  and  such  concourse  led  to  the 
greatest  disturbances.  ''  The  nobles  and  their  servitors,"  saya 
M.  Augustin Thierry,  "sword  in  hand,  committed  robbery  upon 
the  burghers ;  the  streets  of  the  town  were  not  safe  by  night  or 
even  by  day,  and  none  could  go  out  without  running  a  risk  of 
being  stopped  and  robbed  or  killed.  The  burghers  in  their  turn 
committed  violence  upon  the  peasants,  who  came  to  buy  or  soil  at 
the  market  of  the  town,"  "  Let  me  give  as  example,"  says 
GuibertofNogent,"a  single  fact,  which  had  it  taken  place  amongst 
the  Barbarians  or  the  Scythians,  would  assuredly  have  been  con- 
sidered the  height  of  wickedness,  in  the  judgment  even  of  those 
who  recognize  no  law.  On  Saturday  the  inhabitants  of  the 
country *places  used  to  leave  their  fields,  and  come  from  all  sides 
to  Laon  to  get  provisions  at  the  market.  The  townsfolk  used 
then  to  go  round  the  place  carrying  in  baskets  or  bowls  or 
otherwise  samples  of  vegetables  or  grain  or  any  other  article,  as  if 


Chap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNKS  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


17 


\ 


they  ^shed  to  sell.  They  would  offer  them  to  the  first  peasant 
who  was  iQ  search  of  such  things  to  buy  ;  he  would  promise  to  pay 
the  price  ag:*eed  upon ;  and  then  the  seller  would  say  to  the  buyer, 
*  Come  with  me  to  my  house  to  see  and  examine  the  whole  of  the 
articles  I  am  selling  you.'  The  other  would  go ;  and  then,  when 
they  came  to  the  bin  containing  the  goods,  the  honest  seller  would 
takeoff  and  hold  up  the  lid,  saying  to  the  buyer,  '  St^^p  hither,  and 
put  your  head  or  arms  into  the  bin  to  make  quite  sure  that  it  is 
all  exactly  the  same  goods  as  I  showed  you  outside/  And  then 
when  the  other,  jumping  on  to  the  edge  of  the  bin,  remained 
k'auing  on  his  bellj,  with  his  head  and  slioiddera  hanging  down, 
the  worthy  seller,  who  kept  in  the  roar,  would  hoist  up  the 
thoughtless  rustic  by  the  foefc,  push  him  suddenly  into  the  bin, 
aod,  clapping  on  the  lid  as  be  fell,  keep  him  shut  up  in  this  safe 
prison  until  he  had  bought  himself  out." 

In  1100  the  bishopric  of  Laon  had  been  two  years  vacant.  It 
was  sought  after  and  ol>tained  for  a  sum  of  money,  say  contempo- 
raries, by  Gaudri,  a  Norman  by  birth,  referendary  of  Henry  I*, 
king  of  England,  and  one  of  tliose  Churchmen  who,  according 
to  M,  Augustin  ThieiTy's  expression,  '*  had  gone  iu  the  train 
of  William  the  Bastard  to  seek  their  fortunes  amongst  the  EngHsh 
by  seizing  the  property  of  the  vanquished/*  It  appears  that 
thenceforth  the  life  of  Gaudri  had  been  scarcely  edifying ;  he  had, 
it  is  said,  the  tastes  and  habits  of  a.  soldier ;  he  was  hasty  and 
arrogant,  and  he  Uked  beyond  every  thing  to  talk  of  fighting  and 
bunting,  of  arms,  of  horses,  and  of  hounds.  When  he  was  re- 
piirtog  with  a  numerous  following  to  Rome,  to  ask  for  con- 
finiiation  of  his  election,  he  met  at  Langres  Pope  Pascal  II.,como 
to  France  to  keep  the  festival  of  Christmas  at  the  abljey  of 
Cluny,  The  pope  had  no  doubt  heard,  something  about  the  in- 
different reputation  of  the  new  bishop  foi",  the  very  day  after 
his  arrival  at  Langres,  he  held  a  conference  with  the  ecclesias- 
tics who  had  accompanied  Gaudri  and  pMed  them  with  questions 
concerning  him.  "  He  asked  us  first/'  says  Guibert  of  Nogent, 
who  was  in  the  train,  **  why  we  had  chosen  a  man  who  was 
unknown  to  us-  As  none  of  the  priests,  some  of  whom  did  not 
know  even  the  first  rudiments   of  the  Latm  language,  made  any 

c 


18 


HISTOHY   OF   FRANOR 


[CHAr,  XIX. 


answer  to  this  qLiestion,  he  turned  to  the  abbots.  I  was  seated 
between  my  two  colloagues*  As  they  likewise  kept  silence,  I 
began  to  be  urged,  riglitand  left,  to  speak*  I  was  oae  of  those 
whom  this  election  had  displeased;  but  with  culpable  timidity  I 
had  yielded  to  the  authority  of  my  superiors  in  dignity.  With  tlie 
bash  fulness  of  youth  I  could  only  with  great  difficulty  and  much 
blusliing  prevail  upon  myself  to  open  my  mouth.  The  discussion 
was  carried  on  not  in  our  mother- tongue  but  in  the  language 
of  scholars.  I  therefore,  though  with  great  confusion  of  niind 
and  face,  betook  myself  to  speaking  in  a  manner  to  tickle  tho 
palate  of  hira  who  was  questioning  us,  wrapping  up  in  artfully 
arranged  form  of  speech  esipresBions  which  wei'o  soft^*ned  down, 
but  were  not  entirely  reraovGd  from  the  truth.  I  said  that  wo  did 
not  know,  it  was  true,  to  tho  extent  of  having  been  fainihar  by 
sight  and  intercourse  with  him,  the  man  of  whom  we  had  made 
choice,  but  that  we  had  received  favourable  reports  of  his  integrity. 
The  pope  strove  to  confound  my  arguments  by  this  quotation  from 
the  Gos{)el :  "  He  that  hath  seen  giveth  testimony/*  But  as  he 
did  not  expHcitly  raise  tlie  objection  that  Gauilri  had  been  elected 
by^  desii^  of  the  court,  all  subtle  subterfuge  on  any  such  point 
became  useless ;  so  I  gave  it  up,  and  confessed  that  I  could  say 
nothing  in  opposition  to  the  pontiff *s  words;  which  pleased  him 
very  muchj  for  he  had  less  scholarship  than  would  have  become 
his  high  office.  Cleiirly  perceiving,  however,  that  all  the  phrases 
I  had  jiiled  up  in  defence  of  our  election  had  but  little  weight,  I 
launched  out  afterwards  upon  the  urgent  straits  wherein  oui'  Cliurch 
was  placed,  and  on  this  subject  I  gave  myself  the  more  rein  in 
proportion  as  tho  person  elected  was  unfitted  for  the  functions 
of  the  ei»iseopate.** 

Gaudri  was  iudtHnl  very  scantily  fitted  for  the  office  of  bishop, 
an  tht^  Unvn  of  Imoii  was  nut  slow  to  perceive.  Scarcely  had  he 
been  installed  when  ho  committ^^d  strange  outmges.  He  had  a 
inan*8  eyes  put  out  on  suspicion  of  connivance  with  his  enemies ; 
and  he  t^ilerated  the  murder  of  another  in  the  metropohtan  church. 
In  imitation  of  rich  crusaders  on  their  return  from  the  East  he  kept 
a  blaek  slave,  whom  he  employed  upon  his  deeds  of  vengeance. 
The  biiiTghers  bogun  to  be  disquieted,  and  to  wax  wroth.     During 


CsAe.  XrX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THHID  ESTATE. 


19 


I 


a  trip  the  bishop  made  to  England,  they  offered  a  great  deal  of 
money  to  the  clergy  and  knights  who  ruled  in  his  absence,  if  they 
wduJd  consent   to    recogiiize  by  a  genuine  Act  the  right  of  the 
DOinmonalty  of  the  inhabitants  to  bo  governed  by  authorities  of 
their  own  choice,     "The  clergy  and  knights/'  says  a  contemporary 
chronicler,  **  came  to  an  agreement  with  the  common  folk  in  hopes 
of  enriching  tliemselyos  in  a  speedy  and  easy  fashion,"    A  commune 
wa^  therefore    set   up  and    proclaimed   at  Laon,  on  the    model 
of  that     of  Noyon,  and    invested   with  effective  powers.      The 
bishop,    on    his   return,   was    very    wroth,    and  for  some    days 
abstained  from  re-entering  the  town.     But  the   burghers   acted 
srifch  him  as    they  had  with   his   olergy   and  the  knights  :    they 
offered  him  so  large  a  sum  of  money  that  ''  it  was  enough/*  says 
Guibert  of  Nogent,   "  to  appease  the  tempest  of  his  words.'*     He 
iccepted  the  communCj  and  swore  to  respect  its      The  burghers 
flrished  to  have  a  higher  warranty  ;  so  they  sent  to  Paris  to  King 
Louis  the  Fata  deputation  laden  with  rich  presents.    **  The  king/' 
says  the  chronicler,  **  won  over  by  this  plebeian  bounty,  confirmed 
the  oomraune  by  his  own  oath/'   and  the  deputation  took  back  to 
Laon  their  charter  sealed  with  the  great  seal  of  the  crown,  and 
aogmented  by  two  articles  to  the  following  purport ;  "  The  folks  of 
Laon  shaU  not  be  liable  to  be  forced  to  law  away  from  their  town ; 
if  the  king  have  a  suit  against  any  one  amongst  them  justice  shall 
be  done  him  in  the  episcopal  court.     For  these  advantages  and 
others  fiurther  gninted  to  the  aforesaid  inhabitants  by  the  king's 
manificence  the  folks  of  the  commune  hq-ve  covenanted  to  give  the 
kingj  besides  the  old  plenary  court  dues,  and  man-and-horse  dues 
[ium  paid  for  exemption  from  active  service  in  case  of  war],  three 
lodgings  a  year,  if  he  come  to  the  town,  and,  if  he  do  not  comei  they 
will  pay  him  instead  twenty  livi^es  for  each  lodging/' 

For  three  years  the  town  of  Laon  was  satisfied  and  tranquil ;  the 
burghers  were  happy  in  the  security  they  enjoyed  and  proud  of 
the  Uberty  they  had  won.  But  in  1112  the  knights,  the  clergy  of 
the  metropolitan  church  and  the  bishop  himself  had  spent  the 
money  they  had  received,  and  keenly  regretted  the  power  they  had 
lost;  and  they  meditated  reducing  to  the  old  condition  the  serfs 
<mancipatod  fi-om  the  yoke.    The  bishop  invited  King  Lo^is  the  Fat 


20 


mSTOEY  OF   FEANCE. 


[Chai.  XIX. 


to  come  to  Laon  for  the  keeping  of  Holy  Week,  calculating  upon  his 
presence  for  the  intimidation  of  tlie  burghers.  *^  But  the  burghers 
who  were  in  fear  of  riiin,"  says  Guibert  of  Nogent,  "  promised 
the  King  and  those  about  him  400  lirres  or  morOj  I  am  not  quite 
flure  which ;  whilst  the  bishop  and  the  grandees^  on  their  side, 
urged  the  monarch  to  come  to  an  understanding  with  them,  and 
engaged  to  pay  him  700  livres.  King  Louis  was  so  striking  in 
person  that  he  seemed  made  expressly  for  the  majesty  of  tha 
throne ;  he  was  courageous  in  war,  a  foe  to  all  slowness  in  business, 
and  stout-hearted  in  adversity;  sound,  however,  as  he  was  on 
every  other  point,  he  was  hardly  praiseworthy  in  this  one  respect 
that  he  opened  too  readily  both  heart  and  ear  to  vile  fellows 
corrupted  by  avarice.  This  vice  was  a  fruitful  source  of  hurt  as 
well  as  blame  to  himself,  to  say  nothing  of  unhappiness  to  many. 
The  cupidity  of  this  prince  always  caused  him  to  incline  towards 
those  who  promised  him  most.  All  Ms  own  oaths  and  those  of 
the  bishops  and  the  grandees  were  consequently  violated.'*  The 
charter  sealed  with  the  king's  seal  was  annulled ;  and  on  the  part  of 
the  king  and  the  bishop  an  order  was  issued  to  all  the  magistrates 
of  the  commune  to  cease  from  their  functions,  to  give  up  the  seal 
and  banner  of  the  town,  and  to  no  longer  ring  the  belfry-chiraea 
which  rang  out  the  opening  and  closing  of  their  audiences-  But 
at  this  proclamation  so  violent  was  the  uproar  in  the  town,  that 
the  king^  who  had  hitherto  lodged  in  a  private  hotel,  thought  it 
prudent  to  leave,  and  go  to  pass  the  night  in  the  episcopal  palace, 
which  was  surrounded  by  strong  walls*  Not  content  with  this 
precaution,  and  probably  a  little  ashamed  of  what  he  had  done,  he 
left  Laon  the  nest  morning  at  daybreak,  with  aU  his  train,  without 
waiting  for  the  festival  of  Easter,  for  the  celebration  of  wluch  he 
had  luidertakeii  his  journey. 

All  the  day  after  his  departure  the  shops  of  the  tradespeople 
and  the  houses  of  the  innkeepers  were  kept  closed;  no  sort  of 
article  was  offered  for  sale ;  every  body  remained  shut  up  at  home- 
But  when  tliere  is  wrath  at  tlio  bottom  of  m^n^s  eouls,  the  silence 
and  stupor  of  the  first  paroxysm  aie  of  short  duration.  Next  day 
a  rumour  spread  that  the  bishop  and  the  grandees  were  busy  "  in 
calculating  the  fortunes  of  all  the  citizens,  in  order  to  demand  that. 


Chap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


21 


I 


to  supply  the  som  promised  to  tlie   King,  eacli  should  paj   on 
account  of  the  dcstructioB  of  the  commune  as  much  as  each  had 
given  for  its  establishment."     In  a  fit  of  violent  indiguation  the 
burghers  assembled ;  and  forty  of  them  bound  themselves  by  oath, 
for  life  or  death,  to  kiU  the  bishop  and  all  those  grandees  who  had 
laboured  for  the  ruin  of  the  commune.     The  archdeacon,  Anselra, 
a  good  sort  of  man,  of  obscm^e  birth,  who  heartily  disapproved  of 
the  bishop's  perjury,  went  nevertheless  and   warned  him,   quite 
priyately   and  without   betraying    any  one,  of  the   danger  that 
threatened  him,  urging  him  not  to  leave  his  house,  and  particularly 
not   to    accompany  the    procession    on    Easter-day.     ^*  Pooh ! " 
answered  the  bishop,   **  /  die  by  the  hands   of  such  fellows  I  *' 
Next  day,   nevertheless,   he   did  not  appear  at  matins   and   did 
sot  set  foot  within  the  church ;  but  when  the  hour  for  the  pro- 
cession  came,   fearing  to   be   accused    of   cowardice,    ho    issued 
forth  at  the  head  of  his  clergy,  closely  followed  by  his  domestics 
and  some  knights  with  arms  and  armour  under  their  clothes •     As 
the  company  filed  past,  one  of  the  forty  conspirators,  thinking  the 
moment  favourable  for  striking  the  blow,  rushed  out  suddenly  from 
under  an  arch  with  a  shout  of  **  Commtme  !  cmnmune !  "     A  low 
mormur  ran  through  the  throng;  but  not  a  soid  joined  in  the 
shout  or  the  movement,  and  the  ceremony  came  to  an  end  without 
mj  explosion.     The  day  after,  another  solemn  procession  was  to 
take  place  to  the  church  of  St.  Vincent.     Somewhat  reassured, 
bat  still  somewhat  disquieted,  the  bishop  fetched  from  the  domains 
of  the  bishopric  a  body  of  peasants,  some  of  whom  he  charged  to 
protect  the  church,  others  his  own  palace,  and  once  more  accom- 
panied the  procession  witliout  the  conspirators'  daring  to  attack 
him*     This  time  he  was  completely  reassured  and  dismissed  the 
peasants  he  had  sent  for.     "  On  the  fourth    day    after  Easter," 
gays  Guibert  of  Nogent,  '*  my  coi'n  having  been  pillaged  in  conse- 
quence of  the  disorder  that  reigned  in  the  txjwn,  I  repaired  to  the 
bishop's,  and  prayed  him  to  put  a  stop  to  this  state  of  violence, 
'  What  do  you  suppose,'  said  he  to  me,  ^  those  fellows  can  do  with 
all  their  outbreaks  ?    Why  if  my  blackamoor  John  were  to  pull  the 
nose  of  the  most  formidable  amongst  them  the  poor  devil  durst 
not  even  grumble.     Have  I  not  forced  them  to  give  up  what  they 


4 


22 


mSTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[CfiAi.  XIX 


called  their  commune,    for  the  whole  duration  of  my  life?'      I 
liekl  my  tongue,"  adds  Giiibert ;  **  many  folks  besides  me  wamnd 
bim  of  his  danger ;  but  \m  would  not  deign  to  believe  any  body/' 
Three  days  later  all  seemed  quiet;  and  the  bishop  was  bnny 
witli  his  archdeacon  in  discui^Bing  tlie  sums  to  be  exact^l  froni  the 
biH'ghers,     All  at  once  a  tumult  arose  in  the  town ;  and  a  crowd  of 
people   thronged  the  streetSs  shouting    ^^  Oommtme  f    cmmnuiier' 
Bands  of  burghers  armed  wth  swords,  axes,  bows,  hatchets,  clubs, 
and  lances,  rushed  into  the  episcopal  palace.     At  the  news  of  this, 
the  knights  who  had  promised  the  bishop  to  go  to  his  assistance  if  he 
needed  it  came  up  one  after  another  to  his  protection  ;  and  three 
of  them,  in  succession,  were  hotly  attacked  by  the  burgher  bamls, 
and  fell  after  a  short  resistance^     The  episcopal  palace  was  set  on 
fire-     The  bishop,  not  being  in  a  condition  to  repulse  the  asftaiilt!* 
of  the  populace,  assumed  the  dress  of  one  of  his  own  domes!  icis 
fled  to  the  cellar  of  the  church,  shut    himself  in  and  osconcA*d 
himself  in  a  cask,  the  bung%hole  of  which  was  stopped  tip  by  ft 
faithful    servitor.       The    crowd    wandered    about    every    where 
in  search  of  him  on  whom  they  wished  to  wreak  their  Tengeance. 
A    bandit   named    Ten t gaud,   notorious    in    those   times   for    bis 
robberies,  assaults  and  murderB  of  travellers^  had  thrown  himwlf 
headlong    into   the   cause   of  the    commune.     The   bishop,    who 
knew  him,  had  by  way  of  plctasantry  and  on  account  of  his  ovil 
mien  given  him  the  nick*name  of  Ismfjrin,     This  was  the  tianne 
which  was  given  in  the  fables  of  the  day  to  the  wolf,  and  which 
corresponded  to  that  of  Mn^frr  Uq/nfinl,     Teutgaud  and  his  men 
penetrated  into  the  cellar  of  the  cliurch  ;  they  went  along  tapping 
upon  all  the  casks;  and  on  what  suspicion  there  is  no  knowing, 
but  Teutgaud  lialted  in  front  of  that  in  which  the  bishop  was 
huddled  up,  and  had  it  opened,  crying  **  Is  there  any  one  here  ?" 
"  Duly  a  poor  prisoner/'  answered  the  liishop  trembling,      **  Ha  I 
hal*'  said  tlie  playful  bandit,  who  recogni7,e*l  the  voice,  **  so  it  is 
you^  Master  h*^mjnn^  wlu>  are  hiding  here  !**     And  he  took  him  by 
the  hair,  and  dragged  him  out  of  his  cask.     The  bishop  implored 
the  conspirators  to  spare  his  life,  oftering  to  swear  on  the  Gospels 
to   abdicate   the    bishopric,   pronnsing   them    all   the   money    he 
possessed,   and   saying  that  if  thoy  pleased  lie  would  leave  the 


,  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


25 


I 


eoiantiy-  The  reply  was  insults  and  blows,  He  was  immediately 
Aosptched;  and  Teiitgaud,  seeing  the  episcopal  ring  glitteriDg  on 
liis  finger,  cut  off  the  finger  to  get  possession  of  the  ring-  The 
body,  stripped  of  all  covering,  was  thrust  into  a  corner,  where 
passers-by  threw  stones  or  mud  at  it,  accompanying  their  insults 
^th  ribaldry  and  curses, 

Morder  and  arson  are  contagious.     All  the  day  of  the  insur- 

rtjction  and  all  the  following  night  armed  bands  wandered  about 

tlie  streets  of  Laon  searclxing  every  where  for  relatives,  friends, 

or  servitors  of  the  bishop,  for  all  whom  the  angry  populace  knew  or 

Bup|>08ed  to  be  suchj   and  wi^eaking   on   their   persons  or  their 

houses  a  ghastly  or  a  brutal  vengeance.     In  a  fit  of  terror  many* 

poor  innocents  fled  before  the  blind  wrath  of  the  populace ;  some 

wem  caught  and  cut  down  pell-mell  amongst  the  guilty ;  others 

«4iped  through  the  vineyards  planted  between  two  hills  in  the 

ptekirts  of  the  town,     "  The  progress  of  the  fire,  kindled  on  two 

s  at  once,  was  so  i-apid,*'  says  Guibert  of  Nogont,  **  and  the 

winds  drove  the  flames  so  furiously  in  the  direction  of  the  convent 

of  St.  Vincent,  that  the   monks  were  afraid  of  seeing  all  they 

possessed  become  the  fire's   prey,  and  all  the  persons  who  had 

taken  refuge   in  this   monastery  trembled   as  if  they   had   seen 

Bvords   hanging   over   their  heads,^*     Some    insurgents   stopped    ' 

a  young  man  who  had  been  body-servant  to  the  bishop,  and  asked 

him  whether  the  bishop   had   been    killed   or   not;    they  knew 

nothing  about  it,  nor  did  he  know  any  more ;   he  helped  them 

to  look  for  the  corpse,  and  when  they  came  upon  it,  it  had  been 

10  mutilated  that  not  a  feature  was  recognizable,     '^  I  remember," 

said  the  young  man,  **  that  when  the  prelate  was  alive  ho  hked  to 

talk  of  deeds  of  war,  for  which  to  his  hurt  he  always  showed  too 

mach  bent ;  and  he  often  used  to  say  that  one  day  in  a  sham  fight 

juHt  as  be  was,  all  in  the  way  of  sport,  attacking  a  certain  knight, 

the  latter  hit  him  with  his  lance,  and  wounded  him  under  the  neck 

near  the  tracheal  artery/*     The  body  of  Gaudri  was  eventually 

r*3€0gmzed  by  tins  maik,  and  *'  Archdeacon  Anselm  went  the  next 

day,"  says  Guil>ert  of  Nogent,  "  to  beg  of  the  insurgents  permis- 

mn  at  least  to  bury  it,  if  only  because  it  had  once  borne  the  title 

wid  worn  the  insignia  of  bishop.     They  consented,  but  reluctantly. 


HI8T0RT   OF  PRANCE. 


[ObakXIX. 


It  were  impossible  to  tell  how  tnany  threats  and  insults  wero 
launched  against  those  who  undertook  the  obsequies,  and  what 
outrageous  language  was  vented  against  the  dead  himself.  His 
coipse  was  thrown  into  a  lialf-d«g  hole,  and  at  cbui*eli  there  was 
none  of  the  prayers  or  ceremonies  prescribed  for  the  btirial  of^ 
I  will  not  say  a  bishop,  but  the  worst  of  Christians."  A  few  days 
afterwards  Raoul^  archbishop  of  Rheims,  came  to  Laon  to  purify 
the  church*     *'  The  wise  and  venerable  archbishop/'  says  Guib^^, 

,  **  aftei'  liaving,  on  his  arrival,  seen  to  more  decently  disposing  the 
remains  of  some  of  the  dead  and  celebrated  divine  service  in 
memoiy  of  all,  amidst  the  tears  and  utter  grief  of  their  relatives 

•and  connexions^  suspended  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  maeg,  in  order 
to  deliver  a  discourse,  touching  those  execrable  institutions  of 
communes,  whereby  we  see  serfs,  contrary  to  all  right  and  justice, 
withdrawing  themselves  by  force  from  the  lawful  authority  of 
their  masters/* 

Here  is  a  striking  instance  of  the  changeableness  of  men's 
feelings  and  judgments ;  and  it  causes  a  shock  even  when  it  is 
natural  and  almost  allowable*  Guibert  of  Nogent,  the  contem- 
porary hist4>rtan,  who  was  but  lately  loud  in  his  blame  of  the 
hisho])  of  Laon's  character  and  oonduct,  now  takes  sides  with  the 
reaction  aroused  by  popular  excesses  and  vindictiveness,  and  is 
indignant  with  "  those  execrable  institutions  of  communeSi'*  the 
source  of  so  many  disturbances  and  crimes.  The  burghers  of 
Laon  themselvesj  -'having  reflected  upon  the  number  and  enormity 
of  the  crimes  they  had  coram itted,  shrank  up  with  fear,"  says 
Guibert,  *'  and  dreaded  the  judgment  of  the  king/'  To  protect 
themselves  against  the  consequences  of  bis  resentment,  they  ailded 
a  fresh  wound  to  the  old  by  suniinoning  to  their  aid  Thomas  de 
Marie,  son  of  liord  Enguerrand  de  Ooucy.  '*  Tliis  Thomas,  fi'om 
his  earliest  youth,  enriched  himself  by  phmdering  the  poor  and  the 
pilgrim,  contracted  several  incestuous  marriages,  and  exJiibiteil  a 
ferocity  so  unheard  of  in  our  age  that  certain  people,  even 
amongst  those  who  have  a  reputation  for  cruelty,  appear  less 
lavish  of  the  blood  of  common  sheep  than  Thomas  was  of  human 
blood.  Such  was  the  man  whom  the  burghers  of  Laon  implored 
to  come  and  put  himself  at  their  bead,  and  whom  they  welcomt?d 


CbakXIX.]  the  communes  and  the  third  estate.  27 

^^tli  joy  when  be  entered  their  town.     As  for  him,  when  he  hayrl 

J:^eiird  their  reqtiest,  he  consulted  his  own  people  to  know  what 

Jt:»e  ought  to  do ;  and  thoy  all  ropUed  that  his  furcos  were  not  suffi- 

iic^iently  iiunieroiis  to  defend  such  a  city  against  the  king.     ThoniaR 

^  lien  induced  the  burghers  to  go  out  and  hold  a  meeting  in  a  field 

"^^swliere  be  would  make* known  to  them  his  plan.     When  they  were 

smbout  a  mile  from  the  town,  he  said  to  them ;  *  Laon  is  the  head 

^zjf  the  kingdom ;  it  is  impossible  for  me  to  keep  the  king  from 

t^iiaking  himself  master  of  it.  If  you  dread  his  arms,  follow  me 
to  my  own  land,  and  you  will  find  in  me  a  protector  and  a  friend.' 
These  words  throw  them  into  an  excess  0f  consternation  ;  soonhow- 
CTer  the  popular  party,  troubled  at  tho  recollection  of  the  crime  they. 
had  committed,  and  fancying  they  already  saw  the  king  threatening 

•  their  lives,  fled  away  to  the  number  of  a  great  many  in  the  wake 
of  Thomas*  Teutgaud  himself,  that  murderer  of  Bishop  Gaudri, 
liastened  to  put  himself  under  the  wing  of  tho  loi'd  of  Marie.  Before 
long  the  rumour  spread  abroad  amongst  the  population  of  the 
eoimtry-places  near  Laon  that  that  town  was  quite  empty  of  inha- 
bitants ;  and  all  the  peasants  rushed  thither  and  took  possession  of 
tlie  houses  they  found  without  defenders.  Wlio  could  tell  or  be 
believed  if  be  were  to  attempt  to  tell  how  much  money,  raiment, 
and  provision  of  all  kinds  was  discovered  in  this  city  ?  Before 
long  there  arose  between  the  first  and  last  comers  disputes  about 
the  partition  of  their  plunder ;  all  that  the  small  folks  had  taken 
,10Dn  passed  into  the  hands  of  the  powerful;  if  two  men  met  a 
Huid  quite  alone  they  stripped  him ;  the  state  of  the  town  was 
tpifly  pitiable.  The  burghers  who  had  quitted  it  with  Thomas  de 
Marie  bad  beforehand  destroyed  and  burnt  the  houses  of  the  clergy 
and  grandees  whom  they  hated  ;  and  now  the  grandees,  escaped  from 
tie  massacre,  carried  off  in  their  turn  from  the  houses  of  the 
fugitives  all  means  of  sidDsistence  and  all  movables  to  the  very 
liingi's  and  bolts." 

The  mmour  of  so  many  disasters,  crimes,  and  reactions  succeeding 
one  another  spread  I'apidly  throughout  all  districts,  Thomas  de 
Marie  was  put  under  the  ban  of  the  kingdom,  and  visited  with  excom- 
mimication  '*  by  a  general  assembly  of  the  Church  of  the  Gauls>"  says 
riiiibeil  of  Nogent^  "  assembled  at  Beauvais  ;'*  and  this  sentence  was 


28 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XIX. 


read  every  Sunday  after  mass  in  all  the  metropolitan  and  parocliial 
churches.  Public  feeling  against  Tliomas  de  Marie  became  so  strong 
that  EngueiTand  do  Boves,  lord  of  Coucy,  who  passed,  says  Suger, 
for  his  father,  joined  those  who  declared  war  against  him  in  the 
name  of  Church  and  King.  Louis  the  Fat  took  the  field  in  person 
against  him*  "  Men-at-arms,  and  in  very  small  numbers,  too," 
says  Guibert  of  Nogent,  "  were  with  difficulty  induced  to  second 
the  Idng  and  did  not  do  so  heartily;  but  the  light-armed  infantr}^ 
made  up  a  considerable  force,  and  the  archbishop  of  Rlteims  and 
the  bishops  had  summoned  all  the  people  to  this  expedition,  whilst 
offering  to  all  absolution  fi^om  their  sins.  Thomas  de  Marie,  though 
at  that  time  helpless  and  stretched  upon  his  bed,  was  not  sparing  of 
scoffs  and  insults  towards  his  assailants  ;  and  at  first  he  absolutely 
refused  to  listen  to  the  king's  summons."  But  Louis  persistt^d 
without  wavering  in  his  enterprise,  exposing  himself  freely  and 
in  person  leading  liis  infantry  to  the  attack  when  the  men-at-arraa 
did  not  CO  mo  on  or  bore  themselves  slackly.  He  carried  sucoos^ 
sively  the  castles  of  Crecy  and  Nogent,  domains  belonging  to 
Thomas  de  Marie,  and  at  last  reduced  him  to  the  necessity  of 
buying  himself  oft'  at  a  heavy  ransom,  indemnifying  the  churches 
he  had  spoiled,  giving  guarantees  for  future  behaviour,  and 
earnestly  praying  for  re-admission  to  the  communion  of  the 
faithful.  As  for  those  folks  of  Laon,  perpetrators  of  olr  accomplices 
in  the  murder  of  Bishop  Gandri,  who  had  sought  refuge  with 
Thomas  de  Marie,  the  king  sliowed  them  no  mercy,  "  He  ordered 
them,''  says  Suger,  "  to  be  strung  up  to  the  gibbet^  and  left  for 
food  to  the  voracity  of  kites  and  crows  and  vultures." 

There  are  certain  discrepancies  between  the  two  accounts,  both 
oontemporaneous,  which  we  possess  of  this  incident  in  the  earliest 
years  of  the  twelfth  century,  one  in  the  Life  of  Louis  the  Fat^  hj 
Suger,  and  the  other  in  the  Life  of  fruibert  of  Nogent ^  by  liimself. 
They  %vill  be  easily  recognized  on  comparing  what  was  said,  after 
Sugar,  in  VoL  L  of  this  history  (chap,  xviii.),  with  what  lias  just 
been  said  here  after  Guibert.  But  these  discrepancies  ar©  of  no 
hist^mcal  importance,  for  they  make  no  difierencc  in  respoctof  the 
essential  facts  chamctoristic  of  social  condition  at  the  period  and 
of  the  behaviour  and  position  of  the  actors. 


CKiP.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THHID  ESTATE.  29 


I 


Louis  the  Fat,  after  his  victory  over  Thomas  da  Marie  and  the 

^ffVjgitives  from  Laon,  went  to  Laon  with  the  archbishop  of  Rheims ; 

^*-Tid  the  presence  of  the  king,  whilst  restoring  power  to  the  foes  of 

*- lie  commune,  inspired  them  no  doubt  with  a  little  of  the  spirit  of 

^fcfcoderationj  for  there  was  an  interval  of  peace,  during  which  no 

^^ttention  was  paid  to  any  thing  but  expiatory  ceremonies  and  the 

'X^estoration  of  the  cliurches  which  had  been  a  prey  to  the  flames, 

^She  archbishop  celebrated  a  solemn  mass  for  the  repose  of  the  souls 

K^f  those  who  had  perished  during  the  disturbances,  and  lie  preached 

m  sermon  exhorting  serfs  to  submit  tliemselves  to  their  masters, 

siud  warning  them  on  pain  of  anathema  from  resistiag  by  force. 

■     The  burghers  of  Laoni  however,  did  not  consider  every  sort  of 

H    reiistanee  forbidden,  and  the  lords  had  no  doubt  been  tanght  not  to 

I        provoke  it,  for  in  1128,  sixteen  years  after  the  murder  of  Bishop 

Gaudri,  fear  of  a  fresh  insurrection  determined  his  successor  to 

consent  to  the  institution  of  a  new  commune,  the  chart^T  of  which 

I  was  ratified  by  Louis  the  Fat  in  an  assembly  held  at  Compi^gne. 
Only  the  name  of  commune  did  not  recur  in  this  charter ;  it  was 
replaced  by  that  of  Peace'estahUshmeni ;  the  territorial  boundaries 
of  the  commune  were  called  lyeace-houndaries^  and  to  designate  its 
members  recourse  was  had  to  the  formula,  All  iJiom  who  have  signed 
I  ihis  peace^  The  preamble  of  the  charter  runs^  "In  the  name  of 
B  the  holy  and  indivisible  Trinity,  we  Louis,  by  the  grace  of  God 
IttQg  of  the  French,  do  make  known  to  all  our  lieges  present  and  to 
come  that,  with  the  consent  of  the  barons  of  our  kingdom  and  the 
bhabitants  of  the  city  of  Laon,  we  have  set  up,  in  the  said  city,  a 
peace-establishment/'  And  after  having  enumerated  the  limits, 
forms  and  rules  of  it,  the  charter  concludes  with  this  declaration  of 
amnesty :  '*  All  former  trespasses  and  oflTences  committed  before 
the  ratification  of  the  present  treaty  are  wholly  pardoned.  If  any 
one,  banished  for  having  trespassed  in  past  time,  desire  to  rettirn 
to  the  to^Ti,  he  shaD  be  admitted  and  shall  recover  possession  of 
his  property.  Excepted  from  pardon,  however,  are  the  thirteen 
whose  names  do  follow  ;**  and  then  come  the  names  of  the  thirteen 
excepted  from  the  amnesty  and  still  under  banishment-  *'  Perhaps,'* 
says  M.  Augustin  Thierry,  "  these  thirteen  under  banishment,  shut 
out  hr  ever  from  their  native  town,  at  the  very  moment  it  became 


30 


HISTORY   OF  FRAKCE, 


[CiiAP,  XIX- 


free,  had  been  distiuguished  amongst  all  the  burghers  of  Laan  by 
their  opposition  to  the  power  of  tlie  lords ;  perhaps  they  hafi  sullied 
by  deeds  of  violence  this  patriotic  opposition  ;  perhaps  they  had  been 
taken  at  hap*hazard  to  snffer  alone  for  the  crimes  of  their  folloir- 
oitiifiens/*  The  second  hypothesis  appears  the  most  probable  ;  for 
that  deeds  of  violence  and  cruelty  had  been  committed  alternately 
by  tlie  burghers  and  their  foes  is  an  ascertained  tact,  anil  that  the 
charter  of  1128  was  really  a  work  of  hberal  picification  is  proved 
by  its  contents  and  wording.  After  such  struggles  and  at  the 
moment  of  their  subsidence  some  of  the  most  violent  actors  always 
bear  the  burden  of  the  past^  and  amongst  the  most  violent  some 
are  oflten  the  most  sincere, 

Bor  forty-seven  years  after  the  charter  of  Louis  the  Fat  the  town 
of  Laon  eiyoyed  the  internal  peace  and  the  communal  Uberties  it 
had  thus  achieved;  but  in  1175  a  new  bisliop>  Roger  de  Ilosoy,  a 
man  of  high  birtli  and  related  to  several  of  the  great  lords  his 
neighbours,  took  upon  himself  to  disregard  the  regimen  of  freedom 
established  at  Laon.  The  burghers  of  Laon,  taught  by  experience, 
apphed  to  the  king,  Louis  the  Young,  and  offered  liim  a  sum  of 
money  to  grant  them  a  charter  of  commune.  Bishop  Roger,  "  by 
himself  and  through  his  friends/*  says  a  chronicler,  a  canon  of 
ltfM?n»  "implored  the  king  to  have  pity  on  his  Church,  and  abolish 
the  serfs^  commune ;  but  the  king,  clinging  to  the  promise  he  had 
received  of  money,  would  not  Us  ten  to  the  bishop  or  his  Mends/' 
and  in  1177  gave  the  burghers  of  Laon  a  charter  which  confirmed 
their  peace-establishment  of  1128,  Bishop  Roger,  liowever,  did 
not  hold  himself  beaten.  He  chiiraed  the  help  of  the  lonls  his 
neighbours  and  renewe<l  the  war  against  the  buj*ghers  of  Laon,  who 
on  their  side  asked  and  obtained  the  aid  of  several  communes  in 
the  vicinity.  In  an  access  of  democmtic  rashness,  instead  of 
mwaiting  within  their  walls  the  attack  of  their  enemies,  they 
marched  out  without  cavalry  to  the  encounterj  ravaging  as  they 
went  the  lands  of  the  lords  whom  they  suspeck^d  of  lieing  ill* 
difiposed  towmxls  them;  but  on  arriving  in  front  of  the  bishop*s 
allies,  "all  this  rustic  multitude,'*  says  the  canon-chronicler, 
**  terror-stricken  at  the  bare  names  of  the  knights  they  found 
MSOmbled,  took  suddenly  to    flight,  and  a  great  tmmber  of  tho 


I 


Chai*.  six.]  the  communes  and  the  third  estate. 


SI 


burghers  were  massacred  before  reaching  their  city."     Lfouis  the 
Young  then  took  the  field  to  help  them ;  but  Baldwin,  oount  of 
Hmault,  went  to  the  aid  of  the  bishop  of  Laon  with  seven  hun- 
tlred  knights  and  several  thousand  infantry.     King  Louig,  aft^r 
having  occupied  and  for  some  time  held  in  scquestmtion  the  lands 
of  the  bishop,  thought  it  advisable   to  make  peace  rather  than 
coutinue  so  troublesome  a  war,  and  at  the  intercession  of  the  pope 
iiidtlie  count  of  Hainault  he  restored  to  Roger  de  Rosoy  bis  lands 
and  his  bishopric  on  condition  of  living  in  peace  with  the  com- 
miinei    And  bo  long  as  Louis  VII.  Uved,  the  bishop  did  refrain 
from  attacking  the  liberties  of  the  burghers  of  Laon;  but  at  the 
kingg  death^  in  1180j  ha  applied  to  his  successor,  Philip  Augustus, 
ami  offered  to  cede  to  him  the  lordsbip  of  Fere-sur^Oise,  of  which 
fie  wm  the  possessor,  provided  tliat  Philip  by  cliarter  abolished  the 
commune  of  Laon*     Philip  yielded  to  the  temptation,  and  in  1190 
publiahed  an  ordinance  to  the  following  purport:    "Desiring  to 
aroid  for  our  soul  every  sort  of  danger,  we  do  entii'ely  quash  the 
eammune  established  in  the  town  of  Laon  as  being  contrary  to  the 
nghtB  and  liberties  of  the  metropolitan  churcli  of  St.  Mary,  in  re* 
gard  for  justice  and  for  the  sake  of  a  happy  issue  to  the  pilgi^mago 
wbtch  we  be  bound  to  make  to  Jerusalem."     But  next  year  upon 
titnaaiy  and  offers  from  the  burghers  of  Laon  PhiHp  changed  his 
mmd,  and  without  giving  back  the  lordship  of  F&re-eur*Oise  to  the 
iisliopi  guaranteed  and  confirmed  in  perpetuity  the  peace-establish- 
ment granted  in  1128  to  the  town  of  Laon  '*  on  the  condition  that 
every  year  at  the  feast  of  All  Saints  they  shall  pay  to  us  and  our 

rfticoessors  two  hundred  livres  of  Paris."  For  a  century  all  strife  of 
1^  consequence  ceased  between  the  burghers  of  Laon  and  their 
Visliop ;  there  was  no  real  accord  or  good  understanding  between 
tliom,  but  the  public  peace  was  not  troubled,  and  neither  the  kings 
of  France  nor  the  great  lords  of  the  neighbourhood  interfered  in 
its  affairs-  In  1 294  some  knights  and  clergy  of  tlie  metropolitan 
chapter  of  Laon  took  to  quarrelling  w  ith  some  burghers ;  and  on 
th  sides  they  came  to  deeds  of  violence,  which  caused  sanguinary 
itruggles  in  the  streets  of  the  town  and  even  in  tbe  precincts  of 
the  episcopiil  palace*  The  bishop  and  his  chapter  applied  to  the 
popo,  Boniface  VIII.,  who  applied  to  the  king,  PhiUp  the  Hand- 


S2 


mSTORY  OF  FRAI^CE. 


[Chap.  XIX. 


some  J  to  put  an  end  to  these  scaiidaloiis  disturbances.  Philip  the 
Handsome,  in  his  turn,  appHed  to  the  Parliament  of  Paris,  which, 
after  inquirj,  **  deprived  the  town  of  Laon  of  every  right  of  com- 
mune and  college,  under  whatsoever  name,"  The  king  did  not 
like  to  execute  this  decree  in  all  its  rigour.  He  granted  the 
burghers  of  Laon  a  charter  which  maintained  them  provisionally 
in  the  enjoyment  of  their  political  rights  but  with  this  destructive 
clause ;  **  Said  commune  and  said  shrievalty  shall  be  in  force  only 
so  far  as  it  shall  be  our  pleasure."  For  nearly  thirty  years,  from 
Philip  the  Handsome  to  Philip  of  Valois,  the  bishops  and  bupgliers 
of  Laon  were  in  htigation  before  the  crown  of  France^  the  former 
for  the  maintenance  of  the  commune  of  Laon  in  its  precarious  con- 
dition and  at  the  king's  good  pleasure,  the  latter  for  the  reeoveiy 
of  its  independent  and  durable  character.  At  last,  in  1331,  Philip 
of  Valois,  '*  considering  that  the  olden  commune  of  Laon,  by  reason 
of  certain  misdeeds  and  excesses,  notorious,  enormous,  and  de- 
testable, had  been  removed  and  put  down  for  ever  by  decree  of 
the  court  of  our  most  dear  lord  and  uncle  King  Philip  the  Hand* 
some,  confirmed  and  approved  by  our  most  dear  lords.  Kings 
Philip  and  Charles,  whose  souls  are  with  God,  we,  on  great  delibe- 
ration of  our  council,  have  ordained  that  no  commune,  corporation, 
college,  shrievalty,  mayor,  jurymen  or  any  other  estate  or  symbol 
belonging  thereto  be  at  any  time  set  up  or  established  at  Laon." 
By  the  same  ordinance  the  municipal  administration  of  Laon  was 
put  under  the  sole  authority  of  the  king  and  his  delegates ;  and  to 
blot  out  all  romonibranceof  the  olden  independence  of  the  commune 
a  later  ordinance  forbade  that  the  tower  from  wliioh  the  two  huge 
comnmnal  bells  had  been  removed  should  thenceforth  be  called 
belfry-tower. 

The  history  of  the  commune  of  Laon  is  that  of  the  majority  of 
the  towns  which  in  northern  and  centlral  France  struggled  from 
the  eleventh  to  the  fourteenth  century  to  release  themselves  from 
feudal  oppression  and  violence.  Cambrai,  Beauvais,  Amiens,  Sois- 
sons,  Bheims,  V^zelay,  and  several  other  towns  displayed  at  this 
period  a  great  deal  of  energy  and  perseverance  in  bringing  their 
lords  to  recognize  the  most  natural  and  the  most  necessary  rights 
of  every  human  creature  and  community.     But  within  their  walls 


Cbap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIED  ESTATE. 


33 


t 


dissensions  were  carried  to  extremity,  and  existence  was  ceaselessly 
tempestuous  and  troublous;  the  burghers  were  hasty,  brutalj  and 
barbaric,  as  barbaric  as  the  lords  against  whom  they  were  de* 
fendmg  their  Hberties.     Amongst   those  mayors,  sheriffs,  jurats 
and  magistrates    of  different  degrees  and   with  different  titles, 
set  up  in  the  communes,  many  c^me  before  very  long  to  exercise 
dombion  arbitrarily,  violently,  and  in  their  own  personal  interests, 
Tlie  lower  orders  were  in  an  habitual  stata  of  jealousy  and  sedition 
of  a  ruffianly  kind  towards  the  rich,  the  heads  of  the  labour* 
market,  the  controllers  of  capital  and  of  work.     This  reciprocal 
Tiokiice,  this  anarchy,  these  internal  evils  and  dangers  with  their 
incessant  renewals  called  incessantly  for  intervention  from  without; 
and  when,  after  releasing  themselves  from  oppression  and  iniquity 
eoming  from  above,  the  burghers  fell  a  prey  to  pillage  and  mas- 
sacre coming  from  belowj  they  sought  for  a  fresh  protector  to  save 
them  from  this  fresh  evil-     Hence  that  frequent  recourse  to  the 
ting,  the^  great  suzerain  whose  authority  could  keep  down  the 
bad  magistrates  of  the  commune  or  reduce  the  mob  to  order ;  and 
hence  also,  before  long,  the  progressive  downfall,  or,  at  any  rate, 
the  utter  enfeeblement  of  those  communal  liberties  so  painfully 
wan.     France  was  atthat  stage  of  existence  and  of  civilization  at 
which   security  can   hardly   be  purchased    save    at  the   price   of 
liberty.     We  have  a  phenomenon  peculiar  to  modem  times  in  the 
provident  and  persistent  effort  to  reconcile  security  with  liberty,  and 
the  bold  development  of  individual  powers  with  the  regular  mainte- 
nanoe  of  public  order.  This  admirable  solution  of  the  social  problem, 
stBl  so  imperfect  and  unstable  in  our  time,  was  unknown  in  the 
middle  ages ;  liberty  was  then  so  stormy  and  so  fearful  that  people 
conceived  before  long  if  not  a  disgust  for  it,  at  any  rate  a  horror 
of  it,  and  sought  at  any  price  a  political  regimen  which  would  give 
them  some  security,  the  essential  aim  of  the  social  estate.     When 
we  arrive  at  the  end  of  the  thirteenth  and  the  beginning  of  the 
fourteenth   century  we  see  a  host  of  communes  falling  into  decay 
or  entirely  disappearing ;  they  cease  really  to  belong  to  and  govern 
iheiuselves;  some,  like   Laon,  Cambrai,  Beauvais,  and  Bheims, 
fought  a  long  while  against  decline,  and  tried  more  than  once  to 
pe^atabUsh  themselves  in  all  their  independence;  but  they  could, 

\0L,    IK  D 


u 


HISTORY   OF   FKANCK. 


[Chai^  XIX. 


not  do  without  the  king's  support  in  their  resistance  to  their  lords, 
laic  or  ecclesiastical ;  and  they  were  not  in  a  condition  to  resist  the 
kingship  which  had  grown  whilst  they  were  perishing.  Others, 
Meulan  and  SoisBons  for  example  (in  1320  and  1335),  perceived 
their  weakness  early,  and  themselves  requested  the  kingship  to 
doUvor  them  from  their  communal  organization  and  itself  assume 
their  administration.  And  so  it  is  about  tliis  period,  under  St. 
Louis  and  Philip  tho  Handsome,  that  there  appear  in  the  collections 
of  acts  of  the  French  kingship^  those  great  ordinances  which 
regulate  the  administration  of  all  communes  within  the  kingly 
domains.  Hitherto  the  kings  had  ordinarily  dealt  with  each  town 
severally;  and  as  the  majority  were  almost  independent  or  in- 
vested with  privileges  of  different  kinds  and  carefully  respected, 
neither  the  king  nor  any  great  suzerain  dreamed  of  prGscribiug 
general  rules  for  communal  regimen  nor  of  administering  after  a 
uniform  fashion  all-  the  communes  in  their  domains.  It  was  under 
St.  Louis  and  Phihp  tho  Handsome  that  general  regiUations  on 
this  subject  began.  The  French  commimes  wei*e  associations  too 
small  and  too  weak  to  suffice  for  self- maintenance  and  self-govern- 
ment amidst  the  distm'bances  of  the  great  Christian  comm unity ; 
and  they  were  too  numerous  and  too  little  enlightened  to  organize 
themselves  into  one  vast  confederation  capable  of  gi^'ing  thorn 
a  central  government.  Tho  communal  hberties  were  not  in  a 
condition  to  found  in  Franco  a  great  repubhcan  community;  to 
the  kiiigship  appertained  the  power  and  fell  the  honour  of  presiding 
over  the  formation  and  the  fortunes  of  the  French  nation. 

But  tlio  kingship  did  not  atone  accomplish  this  great  work.  At 
the  very  time  that  the  communes  were  |3erishing  and  the  kingship 
was  gi'owing,  a  new  power,  a  new  social  element,  the  Third  Mstnie^ 
was  springing  up  in  France;  and  it  was  called  to  t^ike  a  far  more 
important  place  in  the  history  of  France*  and  to  exercise  far  mure 
influence  upon  the  fate  of  the  French  ftitherland^  than  it  hatl  been 
granted  to  the  communes  to  acquh'e  during  their  short  and  inco- 
herent existence. 

.  It  may  astonish  many  who  study  the  records  of  French  history 
from  the  eleventh  to  the  fourteenth  century,  not  to  find  any  where 
the  words  fJdrd  miak> ;  and  a  desire  may  arise  to  know  whether  those 


Chap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


35 


I 

I 
I 


inquirers  of  our  day  who  have  deroted  tliemselves  professedly  to  this 

particular  stvulyj  have  been  more  successful  in  discovering  that  grand 

term  at  the  time  when  it  seems  that  we  ought  to  expect  to  meet 

with   it.      The  question  was,  therefore,    submitted  to   a  learned 

member  of  the  Amdemie  den  lusenjHions  et  Belles-lettres^ ^  M,  Littr^ 

m  fact,  whose  Dicitommira  etpnolofjtque  de  la  Larufue  Fran^aUe  is 

I'onsulted  with  respect  by  tlie  wliole  literary  woi^ld,  and  to  a  young 

ma^strate,  M.  Pieot,  to  whom  the  Aeadfjmie  des  Scmices  luorahs  et 

IHilitiqueif  but  bitely  assigned  the  first  prize  for  his  great  work  on 

ibe  question  it  had  propounded,  as  to  the  history  and  influence  of 

States^general  in  France;  and  here  ai'o  inserted^  textually,    the 

aiUiWei'd  given  by  two  gentlemen  of  so  much  euUghtenment  and 

autJiority  upon  such  a  subject. 

M»Littri5,  writing  on  the  3rd  of  October,  1871,  says,  "  I  do  not 
find,  in  my  account  of  the  word,  third-estate  before  the  sixteenth 
century,  I  quote  these  two  instances  of  it :  '  As  to  the  third  order 
caUed  third  estate  .  .  .'  (La  None,  Discourse  p,  541);  and  *  clerks 
and  deputies  for  the  third  estate^  same  for  the  estate  of  labour 
(labourm^s)  *  {C(ni$tu7fder  general ^  t,  i,,  p.  335) •  In  the  fifteenth 
century  or  at  the  end  of  the  fourteenthj  in  the  poems  of  Eustace 
Dfeschamps,  I  have— 

'  Jinnee,  da  at  thou  f/earn  for  good  old  ttm^s  again  / 
In  fjoiid  tdd  wti^s  the  Three  £sttii€$  restrain  J 

"  At  date  of  fourteenth  century,  in  Du  Cange,  we  read  under  the, 
worii  statiiH  ;  *  Per  Ires  statue  vonrllli  tjeneralh  Prmlatorum^  Baronmtt^ 
iMlimn  et  unhyerMtatiim  cotnitdtuvij*  According  to  these  docu- 
m«nts  I  think  it  is  in  the  fourteenth  century  that  they  began  to 
call  the  three  orders  ires  staUts^  and  that  it  was  only  in  the  sixteenth, 
oeiittii'y  that  they  laegan  to  speak  in  French  of  the  tiers  estat  (third 
Utate),  But  1  cannot  give  this  conclusion  as  final,  seeing  that  it  is 
supported  only  by  the  documents  I  consulted  for  my  dictmnanj" 

M.  Picot  replied  on  the  3rd  of  October,  1871,  *'  It  is  certain  that 
acta  contemporary  with  King  John,  fi^equently  speak  of  the  *  three, 
€itated/  but  do  not  utter  the  word  tiers-etat  (third  estate)^  The 
great  chronicles  and  Froissart  say  nearly  always,  *the  church-men, 
tlio  nobles,  and  the  good  towns/     The  royal  ordinances  employ  the 


36 


HISTORY   OF   FRAliCE, 


[Chap*  XIX, 


same  terms;  but  BOmetimes,  in  order  not  to  limit  their  enumeration 
to  the  deputies  of  closed  cities,  they  add^  the  good  towm^  and  the  open 
country  {Ord,  U  iii-  p<  221,  note).  When  they  apply  to  the  provincial 
estates  of  the  Oil  tongue  it  is  the  custom  to  say,  fJis  burghtn^s  and 
inhabitants  ;  when  it  is  a  question  of  the  Estates  of  Languedoc^  l/w5 
commonalties  of  the  seneschalty.  Such  were  in  the  middle  of  the  four* 
teenth  century  the  only  expressions  for  designating  the  third  order, 

**  Under  Louis  XL,  Juvenal  des  Ursins,  in  his  harangue,  addresses 
the  deputies  of  the  third  by  the  title  of  burghem  and  inhahitants  of 
the  good  towns*  At  the  States  of  Tours,  the  spokesman  of  the 
estateSj  John  de  E^lyj  says,  tlie  people  of  the  common  mtate^  tJie  estute 
of  the  people^  The  special  memorial  presented  to  Charles  VIII. 
by  the  three  orders  of  Languedoc  likewise  uses  the  word  people* 

**  It  is  in  Masselln's  report  and  the  memorial  of  grieyances  pre- 
sented in  1485  that  I  meet  for  the  first  time  with  the  expression 
third  estate  (tiers-etat)^  Masselin  says,  *  It  was  decided  that  each 
sectton  should  furnish  six  commissioners,  two  ecclesiastics,  two  nobles^ 
and  two  of  tks  third  estate  {duos  eccUsimficos^  duos  Twbiles,  et  duos  tertii 
stattis*  (Doetiinents  inSdifs  sur  VHistoire  dA^  France;  proces^uerbal  d^ 
MasseUriy  p,  7G).  The  commencement  of  the  chapter  headed  Of  tfie 
Commons  [diicoinmun)  is:  *  For  the  third  and  common  estate  the  said 
folks  do  represent  ,  *  /  and  a  few  Unes  lower,  comparing  the  king- 
dom with  the  human  body,  the  compilers  of  the  memorial  say,  *The 
members  are  the  clergy,  the  nobles^  and  the  folks  of  the  third  estate 
{Ibid,  after  th£  report  of  MasseliUi  memorial  ofgrievaw^es^  p.  669). 

*'  Thus,  at  the  end  of  the  fifteenth  century,  the  eKpression 
third  estate  was  constantly  employed ;  but  is  it  not  of  older  date  ? 
There  are  words  which  spring  so  from  the  nature  of  things  that  they 
ought  to  be  contemporaneous  with  the  ideas  they  express ;  their 
appearance  in  language  is  inevitable  and  is  scarcely  noticed  there- 
On  the  day  when  the  deputies  of  the  communes  entered  an  assem- 
bly and  seated  themselves  beside  the  first  two  orders,  the  new  comer, 
by  virtue  of  the  situation  and  rank  occupied,  took  the  name  of 
ihird  wrder;  and  as  our  fathers  used  to  speak  of  the  third  denwr 
(tiers  denier)  t  and  the  third  dag  (tierce  joumee)^  so  they  must  have 
spoken  of  the  {tiers*etat)  third  estate.  It  was  only  at  the  end  of  the 
fifteenth  century  that  the  expression  became  common ;  but  I  am 


Chap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


37 


inclined  to  believe  that  it  existed  in  the  l>eginDmg  of  the  four- 
teenth. 

**  For  an  instant  I  had  imagined  j  in  the  coui'se  of  my  researches, 
that,  under  King  John,  the  ordinatices  had  designated  the  good 
towfis  by  the  name  of  third  estate,  I  very  soon  saw  my  mistake; 
but  you  will  see  how  near  I  found  myself  to  the  expression  of  which 
"we  are  seeking  the  origin.  Four  times,  in  the  great  ordinance  of 
December,  ISSS,  the  deputies  wrest  frem  the  king  a  promise  that 
in  the  next  assemblies  the  resolutions  shall  be  taken  according 
to  the  unanimity  of  the  orders  *  without  two  estates,  if  they  be  of 
one  accord,  being  able  to  bind  the  third  J  At  first  sight  it  might  be 
supposed  that  the  deputies  of  the  towns  had  an  understanding  to 
secure  themselves  from  the  dangers  of  common  action  on  the  part  of 
the  clergy  and  noblesse, but  a  more  attentive  exammation  made  me  fly 
back  to  a  more  correct  opinion  :  it  is  certain  that  the  three  orders 
had  combinetl  for  mutual  protection  against  an  alliance  of  any  two 
of  them.  Besides,  the  States  of  1676  saw  how  the  clergy  re- 
adopted  to  their  profit,  against  the  two  laic  orders,  the  proposition 
Toted  in  1355,  It  is  beyond  a  doubt  that  this  doctrine  served  to 
keep  the  majority  from  oppressing  the  minority  whatever  may  have 
been  its  name.  Only,  in  point  of  fact,  it  was  most  frequently  the 
third  estate  that  must  have  profited  by  the  regulation. 

"  In  brief,  we  may,  before  the  fifteenth  century,  make  suppo- 
iitions,  but  they  are  no  more  than  mere  conjectures.  It  was  at  the 
great  States  of  Tours,  in  1468,  that,  for  the  first  time,  the  third 
order  bore  the  name  which  has  been  given  to  it  by  history," 

The  fact  iras  far  before  its  name.  Had  the  third  estate  been 
centred  entirely  in  the  communes  at  strife  with  their  lords ;  had  the 
fete  of  burgherdom  in  France  depended  on  the  communal  liberties 
won  in  that  strife,  we  should  see,  at  the  end  of  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury, that  element  of  French  society  in  a  state  of  feebleness  and 
decay.  But  it  was  far  otherwise.  The  thu*d  estate  drew  its  origin 
and  nourishment  fii'om  all  sorts  of  sources ;  and  whilst  one  was 
within  an  ace  of  drying  up,  the  others  remained  abundant  and 
frmtfuL  Independently  of  the  commune  properly  so  called  and 
invested  with  the  right  of  self-government,  many  towns  had  privi- 
legei,  serviceable  though  limited  franchises,  and  under  the  adminis- 


38 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap,  XDC. 


-tratlon  of  the  king's  officers  they  grew  in  population  and  wealth. 
These  towns  did  not  sliarcj  towards  the  end  of  the  thu'teentli 
century,  in  the  decay  of  the  once  warlike  and  victorious  commutiea. 
Local  political  liberty  was  to  ^eek  in  them;  the  spirit  of  inde- 
pendence and  resistance  did  not  prevail  in  them;  but  we  see 
growing  up  in  them  another  spirit  which  has  played  a  grand  part 
in  French  history,  a  spirit  of  little  or  no  ambition ,  of  Uttle  or  no 
enterprise,  timid  even  and  scarcely  dreaming  of  actual  resistance, 
but  lionoiu'ablej  inclined  to  order,  persevering,  attached  to  its  tra* 
ditional  franchises  and  quite  able  to  make  them  respected  sooner 
or  later*  It  was  especially  in  the  towns  administered  in  the  king*g 
name  and  by  liis  provosts  that  there  was  a  development  of  this 
spirit  which  has  long  been  the  predominant  characteristic  of  French 
burgherdom.  It  must  not  be  supposed  that,  in  the  absence  of  real 
communal  independence,  these  towns  lacked  all  internal  security. 
The  kingship  was  ever  fearful  lest  its  local  officers  should  render 
themselves  independent,  and  remembered  what  had  become  io  the 
ninth  century  of  the  crown's  offices,  the  duchies  and  the  count* 
ships,  and  of  the  difficulty  it  had  at  that  time  to  recover  the  scat- 
tered remnants  of  the  old  imperial  autliority.  And  so  the  Ca[K>tian 
kings  with  any  intelligence,  such  as  Louis  VL,  Philip  Augustus, 
St.  Lou  IS}  and  Philip  the  Handsome,  were  careful  to  keep  a  hand 
over  their  provosts,  sergeants,  and  officers  of  all  kinds,  in  order 
that  their  power  should  not  grow  so  great  as  to  become  formidable. 
At  this  time,  besides,  ParHament  and  tlie  whole  judicial  system  was 
beginning  to  take  form  ;  and  many  questions  relating  to  the  ad- 
ministration of  the  towns,  many  disputes  between  the  provosts  and 
burghers  were  carried  before  the  Parliament  of  Paris  and  there 
decided  with  more  independence  and  equity  tlian  they  would  liave 
been  by  any  other  power,  A  certain  measure  of  impartiality  is 
inherent  in  judicial  power;  the  habit  of  delivering  judgment  ac- 
cording to  written  texts,  of  applying  laws  to  facts,  produces  a 
natural  and  almost  instinctive  respect  for  old-acquii^d  rights.  In 
Parliament  the  towns  often  obtained  justice  and  the  maintenance  of 
their  franchises  against  the  officers  of  the  king.  The  collection  of 
kingly  ordinances  at  this  time  abounds  with  instances  of  the  kind, 
Tliese  judges,  besides,  these  baihifs,  these  provosts,  these  seneschals, 


I 


I 


Chap.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THraO  ESTATE. 

and  all  these  officers  of  the  king  or  of  the  great  suzerains,  formed 
IxTore  long  a  numerous  and  powerful  class.  Now  the  majority 
amongst  them  were  bnrghersjand  their  number  and  their  power  were 
turned  to  the  advantage  of  burgherdom  and  led  day  by  day  to  it-s 
fiirther  extension  and  importance.  Of  all  the  original  sources  of  the 
third  estate  this  it  is,  perhaps,  which  has  contributed  most  to  bring 
ahout  the  social  preponderance  of  that  order.  Just  when  burgher- 
dom, but  lately  formed,  was  losing  in  many  of  the  communes  a 
portion  of  its  local  hberties,  at  that  same  moment  it  was  seizing 
by  the  hand  of  Parhaments,  provosts,  judges,  and  administrators  of 
all  kinds,  a  large  share  of  central  power.  It  was  through  burghers 
ailmitted  into  the  king's  service  and  acting  aa^  administrators  or 
jtidgea  in  his  name  that  eommunal  independenoe  and  charters  were 
often  attacked  and  abolislied ;  but  at  the  same  time  they  fortified 
and  elevated  burgherdom,  they  caused  it  to  acquire  from  day  to 
day  more  wealth,  more  credit,  more  importance  and  power  in  the 
intaroal  and  external  afiairs  of  the  State* 

Philip  the  Handsome,  that  ambitious  and  despotic  prince,  was 

under  no  delusion  when  in  1302,  1308  and  1314,  on  convoking  the 

first  states-general  of  France,  he  summoned  thither  '*  the  deputies 

of  the  good  towns*'*     He  did  not  yet  give  them  the  name  of  third 

e^fai^  ;  but  lie  was  perfectly  aware  that  he  was  thus  summoning 

to  his  aid  against  Boniface  VIIL  and  the  Templars  and  the  Flem- 

nigs  a  class  already  invested  throughout  the  country  with  greate 

iniluetiee  and  re^dy  to  lend  him  efficient  support*  His  son,  Philip  the 

Lon^,  was  under  no  delusion  when  in  1317  and  1321  he  summoned 

to  the  states-general  **  the  commonalties  and  good  towns  of  the 

kingdom"  to  decide  upon  the  interpretation  of  the  Salic  law  as  to 

the  succession  to  the  throne,  '*  or  t^  advise  as  to  the  means  of 

establisliing  a  uniformity  of  coins,  weights,  and  measures  ;**  he  was 

perfectly  aware  that  the  authority  of  burgherdom  would  be  of  great 

assistance  to  him  in  the  accomplishment  of  acts  so  grave.     And  the 

tlir^  estates  played  the  prelude  to  the  formation,  painful  and  slow 

as  it  was,  of  constitutional  monarchy  when,  in  1338,  under  Philip 

ofValois,  they  declared,  "in  presence  of  the  said  king,  Philip  of 

Valois,  who  assented  thereto,  that  there  shouhl  be  no  power  to 

impoBO  or  levy  talliage  in  France  if  urgent  necessity  or  evident 


40 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE, 


[Chap,  XIX- 


Utility  did  not  require  it,  and  then  only  by  grant  of  the  people  of 
the  estates/* 

In  order  to  properly  understand  the  French  third  estate  and  its 
importance  more  is  required  than  to  look  on  at  its  birth  ;  a  glance 
must  be  taken  at  its  grand  destiny  and  the  results  at  which  it  at 
3ast  airived.  Let  us,  therefore^  anticipate  centuries  and  get  a 
glimpse,  now  at  once,  of  that  upon  which  the  course  of  events  from 
the  fourteenth  to  the  nineteenth  century  will  shed  full  light. 

Taking  the  history  of  France  in  its  entirety  and  under  all  its 
phases  J  the  third  estate  has  been  the  most  active  and  determining 
element  in  the  process  of  French  civilization.  If  we  follow  it  in  its 
relation  with  the  general  government  of  the  country  we  see  it  at 
first  allied  for  sis  centuries  to  the  kingships  struggling  without 
cessation  against  the  feudal  aristocracy  and  giving  predominance 
in  place  thereof  to  a  single  central  power,  pure  monarchy,  closely 
bordering,  though  with  some  frequently  repeated  but  rather  useless 
reservations,  on  absolute  monarchy.  But,  so  soon  as  it  had  gained 
this  victory  and  brought  about  this  revolution,  the  third  estate 
went  in  pursuit  of  a  new  one,  attacking  that  single  power  to  the 
foundation  of  which  it  had  contributed  so  much  and  entering  upon 
the  task  of  changing  pure  monarchy  into  constitutional  monarchy. 
Under  whatever  aspect  we  regard  it  during  these  two  great  enter- 
prises so  different  one  from  the  other,  whether  we  study  the  pro- 
^gressive  formation  of  French  society  or  that  of  its  government^  the 
third  estate  is  the  most  powerful  and  the  most  persistent  of  the 
forces  which  have  influenced  French  civilisation. 

Til  is  fact  is  tmique  in  the  history  of  the  world*  We  recognize  in 
the  career  of  the  chief  nations  of  Asia  and  ancient  Europe  nearly 
all  the  grcjit  facts  which  have  agitated  France ;  we  meet  in  them 
mixture  of  different  races,  conquest  of  people  by  people,  immense 
inequality  between  dssses,  frequent  changes  in  the  forms  of  govern* 
msf^t  and  extent  of  public  power ;  but  nowhere  is  there  any  ap* 
pewance  of  a  class  which,  starting  from  the  very  lowest,  from  being 
feeble,  despised,  and  almost  imperceptible  at  its  origin^  rises  by 
jH^rjM^tual  motion  and  by  labonr  without  respite,  stpengthens  itself 
from  period  to  periotl,  accjuires  in  saooasaion  whatever  it  lacked^ 
trwltb,  enhghtenraent,  influence,  changes  the  face  of  society  and 


Chaf.  XIX,]  the  communes  and  the  THIBD  estate.  41 


I 


I 


the  nature  of  government,  and  arrives  at  last  at  such  a  pitch  of 
predominance  that  it  may  said  to  be  absolutely  the  country*  More 
than  once  in  the  world's  history  the  external  semblances  of  such 
and  such  a  society  have  been  the  same  as  those  which  have  just 
been  reviewed  here,  l)ut  it  is  mere  semblance.  In  India,  for 
example,  foreign  invasions  and  the  influx  and  establishment  of 
different  races  upon  the  same  soil  have  occurred  over  and  over 
again  ;  but  with  what  result  ?  The  permanence  of  caste  has  not 
been  touched ;  and  society  has  kept  its  divisions  into  distinct  and 
almost  changeless  classes.  After  India  take  China,  There  too 
history  exhibits  conquests  similar  to  the  conquest  of  Europe  by  the 
Germans ;  and  there  too^  more  than  once,  the  barbaric  conquerors 
settled  amidst  a  population  of  the  conquered.  What  was  the 
result  ?  The  conquered  all  but  absorbed  the  conquerors  and 
changelessness  was  still  the  predominant  chai^acteristic  of  the  social 
eondition*  In  Western  Asia»  after  the  invasions  of  the  Turks, 
the  separation  between  victors  and  vanquished  remained  insur-* 
mountable ;  no  ferment  in  the  heart  of  society,  no  historical  event 
could  efface  this  first  effect  of  conquest.  In  Persia,  simOar  events 
succeeded  one  another ;  different  races  fought  and  intermingled ; 
and  the  end  was  irremediable  social  anarchy  which  has  endured 
for  ages  without  any  change  in  the  social  condition  of  the  country, 
without  a  shadow  of  any  development  of  civiHzation* 

So  much  for  Asia,  Let  us  pass  to  the  Europe  of  the  Greeks  and 
Romans.  At  the  first  blush  we  seem  to  recognize  some  analogy 
between  the  progress  of  these  brilliant  societies  and  that  of  French 
society  ;  but  the  analogy  is  only  apparent ;  there  is,  once  more, 
nothing  resembling  the  fact  and  the  history  of  the  French  third 
estate.  One  thing  only  has  struck  sound  judgments  as  being 
somewhat  hke  the  struggle  of  burgher dom  in  the  middle  ages  against 
the  feudal  aristocracy,  and  that  is  the  struggle  between  the  plebeians 
and  patricians  at  Rome.  They  have  often  been  compared ;  but  it 
is  a  baseless  comparison.  The  struggle  between  the  plebeians  and 
patricians  commenced  from  the  very  cradle  of  tlie  Roman  republic ; 
it  was  not,  as  happened  in  the  France  of  the  middle  ages^the  result 
of  a  slow,  difficult,  incomplete  development  on  the  part  of  a  class 
which,  through  a  long  course  of  great  inferiority  in  strength,  wealth. 


42 


HTSTOBY  OF   FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XIX, 


and  credit,  little  by  little  extended  itself  and  raised  itsolfj  and  ended 
by  engaging  in  a  real  contest  witli  the  superior  class.  It  is  now 
acknowledged  that  the  struggle  at  Eome  between  the  plebeians 
and  patricians  was  a  sequel  and  a  prolongation  of  the  war  of  con- 
quest, was  an  effort  on  the  part  of  the  aristocracy  of  the  cities 
conqnered  by  Rome  to  share  the  riglits  of  the  conquering  aristocracy. 
The  families  of  plebeians  were  the  chief  families  of  the  vanquished 
peoples ;  and  though  placed  by  defeat  in  a  position  of  inferiority, 
they  were  not  any  the  less  ariatocratic  familioB,  powerful  but  lately 
in  their  own  cities,  encompassed  by  clients,  and  calculated  from 
the  very  first  to  dispute  with  their  conquerors  the  possession  of 
power.  There  is  nothing  in  all  this  like  that  slow,  obscure^  heart- 
breaking  travail  of  modern  burgh erdom  escaping,  full  hardlyi 
from  the  midst  of  slavery  or  a  condition  approximating  to  slavery  ' 
and  spending  centuries  not  in  disputing  political  power  but  in 
winning  its  own  civil  existence.  The  more  closely  the  French  thinl 
estate  is  examined  the  more  it  is  recognized  as  a  new  fact  in  the 
world's  history  appertaining  exclusively  to  the  civilization  of  modem, 
Christian  Europe* 

Not  only  is  the  fact  new,  but  it  has  for  France  an  entirely  special 
interest,  since,  to  employ  an  exprossion  much  abused  in  the  prest^nt 
day,  it  is  a  fiict  eminently  French,  essentially  national.  Nowhero 
has  burgh  erdom  bad  so  wide  and  so  productive  a  career  as  that 
which  fell  to  its  lot  in  France-  There  have  been  communes  in  the 
whole  of  Europe,  in  Italy,  Spain,  Germany,  and  England^  as  well 
as  in  Franco.  Not  only  liave  there  been  communes  every  wliere^ 
but  the  communes  of  France  are  not  those  which,  as  communes^ 
under  that  name  and  in  the  middle  ages,  have  played  the  chiefcat 
part  and  taken  the  highest  place  in  history.  The  Italian  corn* 
munes  were  the  parents  of  glorious  republics.  The  Germai 
communes  became  free  and  sovereign  towns,  which  had  their  own 
special  history  and  exercised  a  great  deal  of  influence  upon  the 
general  history  of  Grcrmany,  The  communes  of  England  madd 
alliance  with  a  portion  of  the  English  feudal  aristocracy,  formecl 
with  it  the  preponderating  house  in  the  British  government,  and 
thus  played,  full  early,  a  mighty  part  in  the  history  of  their  country* 
Far  were  the  French  communes,  under  that  name  and  in  their  day 


Ciur.  XIX.]  THE  COMMUNES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


45 


I 


of  special  activityj  from  rising  to  such  political  importance  and  to 
such  historical  rank.  And  yet  it  is  in  France  that  the  people  of  the 
communes,  the  burgherdom  reached  the  most  complete  and  most 
powerful  development,  and  ended  ^by  acquiring  the  most  decided 
preponderance  in  the  general  social  structure*  There  have  been 
communes,  we  say,  throughout  Europe ;  but  there  has  not  really 
been  a  victorious  third  estate  any  where,  save  in  France*  The  re- 
volution of  1789,  the  greatest  ever  seen,  was  the  culminating  point 
arriYed  at  by  the  tliird  estate ;  and  France  is  the  only  country  in 
^'bich  a  man  of  large  mind  could,  iu  a  burst  of  burgher's  pride, 
exclaim,"  What  is  the  third  estate?    Every  thing,^* 

Siiice  the  explosion,  and  after  all  the  changes,  liberal  and  illiberal, 
due  to  the  revolution  of  1789,  there  has  been  a  common-place 
ceaselessly  repeated,  to  the  effect  that  there  are  no  more  classes  in 
rr^ncli  society,  there  is  only  a  nation  of  thirty-seven  millions  of 
persons*     If  it  be  meant  that  there  are  now  no  more  privileges  in 
France,  no   special  laws   and  private  rights  for  such  and  such 
families,  proprietorships,  and  occupations,  and  that  legislation  is 
the  same  and  there  is  perfect  freedom  of  movement  for  all  at  all 
tps  of  the  social  ladder,  it  is  true  :  oneness  of  laws  and  similarity 
rights,  is   now  the  essential    and    characteristic  fact  of  civil 
society  in  France,  an  immense,  an  excellent,  and  a  novel  fact  in  the 
history   of  human  associations.     But  beneath  the  dominance   of 
this  fact,  in  the  midst  of  this  national  unity  and  this  civil  equality, 
there    evidently  and  necessarily  exist    numerous  and  important 
diversities    and   inequahties,   which  oneness   of  laws  and  simila- 
rity of  rights   neither   prevent   nor   destroy.     In   point   of  pro- 
perty real  or  personal,  land  or  capital,  there  are  rich  and  poor ; 
there  are  the  large,  the  middling,  and  the  small  property.    Though 
the  great  proprietors  may  be  less  numerous  and  less  rich,  and  the 
imd^Uing  and    the  small  proprietors   more   numerous  and    more 
powerful   than    they    were    of   yore,   this  does  not   prevent   the 
ilifference  from  being  real  and  great  enough  to  create  in  the  civil 
body  social  positions  widely  different  and  unequal.     In  the  profes- 
mm  which  are  called  liberal,  and  which  live  by  brains  and  know- 
ledge, amongst  barristers,  doctors,  scholars,  and  literates  of  all 
kindsp  some  rise  to  the  first  rank,  attract  to  themselves  practice 


46 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XIX. 


and  success,  and  win  feme,  wealth,  and  influence;  others  make 
enough  by  hard  work  lor  the  necessities  of  their  famUic^g,  and  the 
calls  of  their  position ;  others  vegetate  obscurely  in  a  sort  of  lazy 
discomfort.  In  the  other  vocationSj  those  in  which  the  labour  is 
principally  physical  and  manual,  there  also  it  is  according  to 
iiature  that  there  should  be  different  and  miequal  positions ; 
some  by  brains  aud  good  conduct  make  capital  and  get  a  footing 
upon  the  ways  of  competence  and  progi*ess ;  others,  being  dull,  or 
idle,  or  disorderly  remain  in  the  straitened  and  pi  ecarious  condition 
of  existence  depending  solely  on  wages.  Throughout  the  w^hole 
extent  of  the  social  structure,  iu  the  ranks  of  labour  as  well  as  of 
property,  differences  and  inequalities  of  position  are  produced  or 
kept  up  and  co-exist  with  oneness  of  laws  and  similarity  of  rights. 
Examine  any  human  associations  in  any  place  and  at  any  time; 
and  whatever  diversity  there  may  be  in  point  of  their  origin, 
organization,  government,  extent,  and  duration,  there  will  be  found 
in  all  three  types  of  social  position  always  fundamentally  the 
same,  though  they  may  appear  under  different  and  differently  dis- 
tributed forms;  Ist,  men  living  on  income  from  their  proix*rties 
real  or  personal,  land  or  capital,  without  seeking  to  increase  them 
by  their  own  personal  and  assiduous  labuur;  2nd,  men  devotod 
to  working  up  and  increasing  by  their  own  personal  and  assiduous 
iabom'  the  real  or  personal  properties,  land  or  capital  they  possess ; 
3rd,  men  living  by  their  daily  labour,  without  laud  or  capital 
to  give  them  an  income*  And  these  differences,  these  inequali- 
ties in  the  social  position  of  men  are  not  matters  of  accident 
or  Tiolence,  or  peculiar  to  tnueh  and  such  a  time  or  such  and 
such  a  country ;  they  are  matters  of  universal  apjilication,  produced 
spontaneously  in  every  human  society  by  virtue  of  the  primitivo 
and  general  laws  of  human  nature,  in  the  midst  of  events  and 
under  the  influence  of  social  systems  utWrly  different, 

These  matters  exist  now  and  in  France  as  they  did  of  «>ld  and 
elsewhere,  Whetlier  you  do  or  do  not  use  the  name  of  classes, 
the  new  French  social  fabric  contains  and  wiU  upt  cease  to  contain 
social  positions  widely  different  aud  unec|ual,  Wliat  oonstitutics 
its  blessing  and  its  glory  is  that  privilege  and  fixity  no  longer 
cling  to  tiuB  diflurenco  of  positions ;  that  there  are  no  more  special 


CiiAP.  XIX.]  THE  COMMONES  AND  THE  THIRD  ESTATE. 


47 


I 


I 


tighte  and  advantages  legally  assigned  to  some  and  inaccessible  to 

others ;  that  all  roads  are  free  and  open  to  all  to  rise  to  every  thing ; 

tlmt  personal  merit  and  toil  have  an  infinitely  greater  share  thau 

was  ever  formerly  allowed  to  them  in  the  fortunes  of  men*     The 

third  estate  of  the  old  regimen  exists  no  more ;  it  disappeared  in 

its  victory  over  privHlege  and  absolute  power ;  it  has  for  heirs  the 

middle  classes  as  they  are  now  called ;  but  these  classes,  whilst 

inheriting  the  conquests  of  the  old  third  estate,  hold  them  on  new 

conditions  alsoj  as  legitimate  as  binding.     To  secure  their  own 

interests  as  well  as  to  discharge  their  public  duty  they  are  bound 

to  be  at  once  conservative  and  liberal;   they  must^  on  the  one 

Imud,  enlist  and  rally  beneath  their  flag  the  old,  once  privileged, 

superiorities  which  have  survived  the  fall  of  the  old  regimen,  and, 

OQ  the  other  hand,  fully  recognize  the  continual  upward  raove- 

meut  which  is  fermenting  in  the  whole  body  of  the  nation.     That 

in  its  relations  with  the  aristocratic  clasaea  the  third  estate  of  the 

old  regimen   should   have  been  and   for   a  long  time   remained 

uneasy,  disposed  to  take  umbrage,  jealous  and  even  envious,  is  no 

more  than  natural ;  it  had  its  rights  to  urge  and  its  conquests  to 

^in ;    now-a-days  its  conquests  have  been  won,  the  rights   are 

fmjguLzed,  proclaimed,  and  exercised,  the  middle  classes  have  no 

longer  any  legitimate  ground   for  uneasiness  or  envy,  they  can 

rest  with   full  confidence   in    their   own   dignity   and   their  own 

itrengthj  they  have  undergone  all  the  necessary  trials  and  passed 

all  the  necessary  tests.     In  respect  of  the  lower  orders  and  the 

democi'acy  properly  so  called,  the  position  of  the  middle  classes 

b  no  less  favourable ;  they  have  no  fixed  line  of  sepamtion ;  for 

irlio  can  say  where  the  middle  classes  begin  and  where  they  end  ? 

lu  tlie   name  of  the   principles  of  common   rights    and   general 

libtsrty   they   were    formed ;    and    by    the    working    of    the    same 

principles   they   are   being   constantly    recruited,   and   are  inces- 

aantly  drawing  new  vigour  from  the  sources  whence  they  sprang. 

To  maintain  common  rights  and  frco  movement  upwards  against 

the  retrograde  tendencies  of  privilege  and  absolute  power  on  the 

one  hand  and  on  the  other  against  the  insensate  and  destructive 

prntensioDs  of  levellers  and  anarchists  is  now  the  double  business 

of  tlie  middle  classes ;  and  it  is  at  the  same  time,  for  themselves, 


4S 


HISTOET   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XIX, 


the  sure  way  of  preserving  preponderance  in  the  State,  in  the 
name  of  general  interests  of  which  those  classes  are  the  most  real 
and  most  efficient  repreBentatives. 

On  reaching  in  our  history  the  period  at  which  Philip  the 
Handsome  by  giving  admission  amongst  the  states-general  to  tka 
'*  burghers  of  the  good  towns"  substituted  the  third  estate  for  the 
communes  and  the  united  action  of  the  three  gi*eat  classes  of 
Frenchmen  for  their  local  struggles,  we  did  well  to  halt  awhile  in 
order  clearly  to  mark  the  position  and  part  of  the  now  actor  in 
the  great  drama  of  national  life*  We  will  now  return  to  the  real 
business  of  the  di'ama,  that  is^  to  the  history  of  France,  which 
became  in  the  fourteenth  century  more  complex,  more  tragicj  and 
more  grand  than  it  had  ever  yet  been* 


'"^^IfV^^^s^i*^ 


K:.\1 


.A- 


HUNDRED  YEARS 


B  have  just  been  spectators  at  the  labour  of  formation  of 

the  Prench  kingship  and  the  French  nation*     We  have 

seen  monarchical  unity  and  national  timty  rising  little 

bj  little  out  of  and  above  the  feudal  system,  which  had  been  the 

fii-st  result  of  barbarians  settling  upon  tlie  ruins  of  the  Roman 

pmpire.     In  the  fourteenth  century  a  new  and  a  vital  question 

arose :  will  the  French  dominion  preserve  its  nationality  ?     Will 

ibe  kingship   remain   French   or   pass   to   the   foreigner?     This 

qiieation  brought  ravages  upon  France  and  kept  her  fortunes  in 

lii^peuse  for  a  hundred  years  of  war  with  England,  from  the  reign 

'  f'MIip  of  Valois  to  tliat  of  Charles  VII.;  and  a  young  girl  of 

>.ame,  called  Joan  of  Arc,  had  the  glory  of  communicating  to 

France  that  decisive  impulse  which  brought  to  a  triumphant  issue 

the  independence  of  the  French  nation  and  kingship. 

Ab  we  have  seen  in  the  preceding  chapter,    the   elevation   of 
Pliilip  of  Valois  to  the  throne,  as  representative  of  the  male  line 
amongst  the  descendants  of  Hugh  Capet,  took  place  by  virtue  not 
VOL.  n*  E 


50 


HISTORY  OP   FRAJ^CE, 


[Chap,  XX, 


of  any  old  written  law,  but  of  a  tratlitional  right  recogoized  and 
confirmed  by  two  recent  resolutions  taken  at  the  death  of  tlie 
two  oklest  sons  of  Philip  tlie  Handsome.  The  right  thuB  pro- 
mulgated became  at  once  a  fact  accepted  by  the  whole  of  France ; 
IMiilip  of  Valois  had  for  rival  none  but  a  forei^  princOt  and 
"  there  was  no  mind  in  France/*  say  contemporary  chroniclers, 
**to  be  subjects  of  the  king  of  England/'  iSonie  weeks  after 
bis  accession,  on  the  29tli  of  May,  1328,  Philip  was  crowned  at 
RheiniK,  in  presence  of  a  brilliant  assemblage  of  princes  and  lords, 
French  and  foreign ;  and  nest  year,  on  the  6th  of  June,  Edward 
III.,  king  of  England,  being  summoned  to  fulfil  a  vassal's  duties 
by  doing  homage  to  the  king  of  France  for  the  duchy  of  Aqui- 
taiue,  which  ho  held,  appeared  in  the  cathedral  of  Amiens,  with 
his  crown  on  his  head,  his  sword  at  his  side,  and  his  gilded  spurs 
on  his  heels.  When  lie  drew  near  to  tlie  throne,  the  Viscount 
de  Melun,  king's  chamberlain,  in\4ted  him  to  lay  aside  his  crown, 
his  sword,  and  his  spurs,  and  go  down  on  his  knees  before  Philip, 
Not  without  a  mtn^mur,  Edward  obeyed ;  but  when  the  chamber- 
lain said  to  him^  "  Sir,  you,  as  didce  of  Aquitaine,  became  liegeman 
of  my  lord  tlie  king  who  is  here,  and  do  promise  to  keep  towards 
him  faith  and  loyalty,"  Edward  protested  saying  that  he  owed 
only  simple  homage  and  not  liege-homage,  a  closer  bond  imposing 
on  the  vassal  more  stringent  obligations  [to  serve  and  defend  his 
suzerain  against  every  enemy  whatsoever].  *'  Cousin/'  said  Philip 
to  him,  '*  we  would  not  deceive  yon,  and  what  you  have  now  done 
contenteth  us  well  until  you  have  returned  to  your  own  country, 
and  seen  from  the  acts  of  your  predecessors  what  you  ought 
to  do,'*  **  Gniraercy,  dear  sir,"  answered  the  king  of  England  ; 
and  with  the  reservation  he  had  just  made,  and  which  was  added 
to  the  formula  of  homage,  he  placed  his  hands  between  the  hands 
of  the  king  of  France,  who  kissed  him  on  the  mouth  and  accepttMl 
his  homage,  confiding  in  Edward's  promise  to  certify  himself 
by  reference  to  the  archives  of  England  of  the  extent  to  wliich  his 
ancestors  had  been  bound,  Tlie  certification  took  place,  and  on  thu 
fSOth  of  March,  1331,  about  two  years  after  his  visit  to  Amiens^ 
Edward  II L  rocogni/.ed,  by  letters  express,  '*that  the  said  homage 
which  we  did  at  Amiens  to  the  king  of  France  in  general  tcrmj^^ 


CHiF.  XX  J 


THE   HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR. 


■  is  ^d  must  he  understood  m  liege ;  and  that  we  are  bound,  as 
duke  of  Aquitaine  and  peer  of  France,  to  bHow  him   faith   and 

The   relations  between  the  two    kings   were   not    destined   to 
tie  for  long  so  courteous  and  so  pacific.     Even  before  the  question 
of  the  succession  to  the  throne  of  France   arose  between  them 
tliey  had  adopted  contrary  policies*     When   Philip  was  crowned 
at  Rheims,  Louis  de  Nerers,  count  of  Flanders,  repaired  thither 
with  a  following  of  eighty-six  knights,  and  he  it  was   to  whom 
the  right   beloDged  of  carrying  the  sword  of  the   kingdom.     The 
hemlds-at^arms    repeated  three   times,   "  Count    of    Flanders,   if 
you  are  herei  come  and  do  your  duty/'      He  made  no  answer. 
The  king  was  astounded,  and  bade  him  explain  himself,     ^*My 
brd/^   answered  the  county  **  may  it   please  you   not  to  be   as- 
tounded;  they   called   the   count    of   Flanders,    and    not   Lotus 
(leJfeverg/'     '*  What  then!"  replied  the  king:  "are  you  not  the 
count  of  Flanders  ?"      "It  is  true,  sir,"  rejoined  the  other,  "that 
I  hear  the  name,  but  I  do  not  possess  the  authority;  the  burghers 
of  Bruges,  Ypres,  and  Cassel  have  driven  me  from  my  land,  and 
ft    there  scarce  remains  but  the  t^wn   of  Ghent  where  I  dare  show 
I   mviseltV     "  Fair  cousin,"  said  Philip,   "  we  will  swear  to  you  by 

■  the  holy    oil  which  hath  this  day   trickled  over    our    brow    tliat 
m   we  will  not    enter   Paris  again  before  seeing  you  reinstated  in 

(M^oeable  possession  of  the  countship  of  Flanders,"     Some  of  the 

Freaoh  barons   who  happened  to  be  present  represented  to  the 

king  that  the  Flemish  burghers  were  powerful,  that  autumn  was 

a  iiad  season  for  a  war   in    their   country;    and  that  Louis  the 

Quarrel ler,  in    1^U5,  had  been  obliged  to  come  to  a  stand-still 

in  a  similar  expedition.     Philip  consulted  his  constable,  Walter  de 

ChatiUon,  who  had  served  the  kings  his  predecessors  in  their  wars 

.  against    Flanders*     "  Whoso    hath    good     stomach    for    fight," 

(sjigwered  the  constable,  **  findeth  all  times  seasonable."     *'  Well 

ken/*  said  the   king,   embracing   him,    "  whoso   loveth   me   will 

>U0W  me,'*     The  war  thus  resolved  upon  was  forthmth  begun, 

^htlip,  on  arriving  with  his  army  before  Cassel,  found  the  place 

)t'feuded  by  16,000  Flemings  under  the   command   of  Nicholas 

innequiii|  the   richest  of  the  burghers  of  Fumes,  and  already 

E  2 


52 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[CftAP.  XX, 


renowned  for  his  zeal  in  the  inBurreetion  agaiBst  the  count- 
For  several  days  the  French  remained  inactive  around  the 
mountain  on  which  Cassel  is  built,  and  which  the  knights  mounted 
on  iron-clad  horses  were  unable  to  scale.  The  Flemings  had 
planted  on  a  tower  of  Caasel  a  flag  catTying  a  cook,  with  this 
inscription : — 

**  Wlien  the  cock  thftt  ie  hereon  shall  crow^ 
The  foundliTuj  king  herein  shall  go." 

They  called  Philip  the  foundlmg  hm^  because  he  had  no  busin 
to  expect  to  be  king.     Philip  in   his  wrath  gave  up  to   fire  and 
pillage  the  outskirts  of  the  place.  The  Flemings  marshalled  at  the 
top  of  the  mountain  made  no  movement.     On  the  24th  of  August^ 
1328,  about  tliree  in  the  afternoon  >  the  French  knights  had  dis- 
armed*    Some  Were  playing  at  chess;  others  *^  strolled  from  tent 
to  tent  in  their  tine  robes,  in  search  of  amusement;"  and  the  king 
was  aleep  in  his  tent  after  a  long  carouse,  when  all  on  a  sudden  liis 
confessor,  a  Dominican  friai",  shouted  out  that  the  Flemings  were 
attacking  the  camp.      Zannequin,  indeed,   "  cam©  out  full  softly 
and  without  a  bit  of  noise,"  says  Froissart,  with  his  troops  in  three 
divisions,  to  surprise  the  French  camp  at  three  [loints.    He  was  quite 
close  to  the  king's  tent,  and  some  chroniclers  say  that  he  was  already 
lifting  his  mace  over  the  head  of  Pliili|>,  who  liad  armed  in  liot  haste, 
and  was  defended  only  by  a  few  knights,  of  whom  one  was  waving 
the  oriflammo  round  him,  when  others  hurried  up,  and  Zanneijuin 
was  forced  to  stay  his  band.     At  two  other  points  of  the  camp  the 
attack  had  ftiiled.     The  French  gathered  about  tlie  king  atid  the 
Flemings  about  Zannequin  ;  and  there  took  place  so  stubborn  a 
fight,  that  "  of  sixteen  thousand  Flemings  who  were  there  not  one 
recoiled,"  says  Froissart,  ''  and  all  were  left  there  dead  and  slain  in 
three  heaps  one  upon  another,  without  budging  from  the  spot  whore 
the  battle  had  begun."     The  same  evening  Philip  entered  Cassel, 
wliich  he  set  on  fire^  and,  in  a  few  days  aftt^rwards,  on  leaving  for 
Fmnce,  he  said  to  Count  Louis,  before  the  French  barons,  "Count, 
I  have  worked  for  you  at  my  own  and  my  barons'  expense ;  I  give 
you  back  your  land,  recovered  and  in  peace;  so  take  care  that  justice 
be  kept  up  in  it  and  that  I  have  not,  through  your  fault,  to  return  ; 
for,  if  I  do,  it  will  be  \o  my  own  profit  and  to  your  hurt." 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED   YEARS'   WAR. 


53 


^ 


The  count  of  Flanders  was  far  from  following  the  advice  of  the 
king  of  France,  and  the  king  of  France  was  far  from  foreseeing 
wliitber  he  would  be  led  by  the  road  upon  which  he  had  just  set 
foot     It    has   ateadj  been  pointed  out   to  what  a  position  of 
wealth,  population,  and  power  industrial  and  commercial  activity 
kl  in  the  thirteenth  century  raised  the  towns  of  Flanders,  Bruges, 
Glient,  Lille,    Ypres,  Fumes,  Courtrai,  and  Douai,  and  with  wliat 
eoergy  they  had  defended  against  their  lords  their  prosperity  and 
tlieir  liberties-     It  was  the  struggle,  sometimes  sullen,  sometimes 
riolent,  of  feudal  lordship  against  municipal  burgherdom.     The  able 
and  imperious  Philip  the  Handsome  had  tested  the  strength  of  the 
Flemish  cities,  and  had  not  cared  to  push  them  to  extremity.    When 
in  1322,  Count  Louis  de  Nevers,  scarcely  eighteen  years  of  age, 
iiilieritad  from  his  grandfather  Robert  IIL  the  countship  of  Flan- 
ders, he  gave  himself  up,  in  respect  of  the  majority  of  towns  in  the 
coantship,  to  the  same  course  of  oppression  and  injustice  as  had 
been  familiar  to  his  predecessors;  the  burghers  resisted  him  with 
the  same,  often  niffianlyj  energy;  and  when,  after  a  six  years' 
struggle  amongst  Flemings,  the  count  of  Flanders,  who  had  been 
conquered  by  the  burghers,  owed  his  return  as  master  of  his  count- 
sliip  to  the  king  of  the  French,  he  troubled  himseli'  about  nothing 
but  avenging  himself  and  enjoying  his  victory  at  the  expense  of  the 
Taaquished,      He   chastised,   despoiled,  proscribed,  and   inflicted 
atrocious  punishments;   and,  not  content  with  striking  at  indi- 
riduals,  he  attacked  the  cities  themselves.     Nearly  all  of  them, 
^re  Ghent,  which  had  been  favourable  to  the  count,  saw  their  pri- 
vik'gcs  aenxilled  or  curtailed  of  their  most  essential  guarantees.    The 
burghers  of  Bruges  were  obliged  to  meet  the  count  half  way  to  his 
castle  of  Male  and  on  their  knees  implore  his  pity.   At  Ypres  the  bell 
in  the  tower  was  broken  up.   Philip  of  Valois  made  himself  a  partner 
in  these  severities ;  he  ordered  the  fortifications  of  Bruges,  Ypres, 
and  Courtrai  to  be  destroyed,  and  ho  charged  French  agents  to  see 
to  their  demolition.     Absolute  power  is  often  led  into  mistakes  by 
its  insolence ;  but  when  it  is  in  the  hands  of  rash  and  reckless 
mediocrity  there  is  no  knowing  how  clumsy  and  blind  it  can  be. 
Seither  the  king  of  France  nor  the  count  of  Flanders  seemed  to 
remember  that  the  Flemish  communes  had  at  their  door  a  natural 


5i 


HISTOEY  OP   FRANCE, 


[Chaj%  XX. 


uod  powerful  ally  who  ootild  not  do  without  them  any  more  than 
tluiy  could  do  without  him,  Woulleo  stuffs,  cloths>  carpetn^  wiu*ni 
coverings  of  every  sort  were  the  chief  articles  of  the  zuaniitiic^tiires 
and  coinmerce  of  Flanders ;  there  chiefly  was  to  be  found  all  tJiat  the 
active  and  enterprising  Tnerchants  of  the  time  exported  to  Sweden, 
Norway,  Hungary,  Russia,  and  even  Asia ;  and  it  was  from  Enghmd 
that  they  chiefly  imported  their  w*ool,  the  priraai'y  staple  of  their 
handiwork.  "All  Flanders/'  says  Froissart,  "was  based tipon  cloth; 
and  no  t?v'^oo1,  no  cloth/'  On  the  other  hand  it  was  to  Flanders  that 
England,  her  land-owners  and  farmers,  sold  the  fleeces  of  their 
flocks ;  and  the  two  countries  were  thus  united  by  the  bond  of  their 
mutual  prosperity.  The  count  of  Flanders  forgot  or  defied  this 
fact  80  far  as  in  1330,  at  the  instigation,  it  is  said,  of  the  king  of 
France,  Uy  have  all  the  English  in  Flanders  arrested  and  kept  in 
prison.  Beprisals  were  not  long  defeiTed.  On  the  6th  of  October 
in  the  same  year  the  king  of  England  ordered  the  arrest  of  all 
Flemish  merchants  in  his  kingiiora  and  the  seiziu*e  of  their  goods  ; 
and  he  at  the  same  time  prohibited  the  exportation  of  wool. 
**  Flanders  was  given  over,"  says  her  principal  historian,  **  to  deso* 
lation ;  nearly  all  her  looms  ceased  rattling  on  one  and  the  same 
day,  and  the  streets  of  her  cities,  but  lately  filled  with  rich  and 
busy  workmen,  were  oveiTUn  with  beggars  who  asked  in  vain 
for  work  to  esca[x»  from  misery  and  hunger.*'  The  English  land* 
owners  and  farmers  did  not  sufier  so  much  but  were  scarcely  less 
angered;  only  it  was  to  the  king  of  France  and  the  count  of  Flanders 
rather  than  their  own  king  that  they  held  themselves  indebted  for 
the  stagnation  of  their  afiairs,  and  their  discontent  sought  vent 
only  in  execration  of  the  foreigner. 

When  great  national  interests  are  to  such  a  point  misconceived 
and  injured,  there  crop  up,  before  long,  clearsighted  and  bold  men 
who  undertake  the  championship  of  them,  and  foment  the  quarrel 
to  explosion-heat,  either  from  personal  views  or  patriotic  feeling. 
The  (luestion  of  succession  to  the  throne  of  France  seemed  settled 
by  the  inaction  of  the  king  of  England,  and  the  formal  homage 
he  had  come  and  paid  to  the  king  of  France  at  Amiens;  but  it 
was  merely  in  abeyance*  Many  people  both  in  England  and  in 
Prance  still  thought  of  it  and  spoke  of  it;  and  many  intrigues  bred 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED  YEAJIS'   WAB. 


56 


I 


ofliope  or  fear  were  kept  up  witlireferencG  to  it  at  the  courts  of  the 

two  kings.     When  the  ruTiibliDgs  of  aoger  were  loud  on  both  sides 

m  Doiisequetice  of  affaira  in  Flanders^  two  men  of  note,  a  Frcncliman 

auJa  Fleming,  coiiBidering  that  the  houi*  hiid  come,  determined  to 

revive  the  question,  and  turn  the  great  struggle  whicii  could  not 

6il  to  be  excited  thereby  to  the  profit  of  their  own  and  their 

csouatries"  cause,   for   it  is   singular  how  ambition  and  devotion, 

shness  and  patriotism  combine  and  mingle  in  the  human  soul, 

*wl  even  in  gi*eat  souls, 

PhiUp  VI.  had  embroiled  himself  with  a  prizice  of  his  line, 
Robert  of  Artois,  great-grandson  of  Robert  the  first  count  of 
Artois,  who  was  a  brother  of  St.  Louis,  and  was  killed  during 
the  crusade  in  Egypt,  at  the  battle  of  Mansourah.  As  early  as  the 
rt'ign  of  Philip  the  Handsome  Robert  claimed  th6  countship  of 
Artois  as  his  heritage  ;  but  having  had  his  pretensions  rejected 
by  a  decision  of  the  peers  of  the  kingdom,  he  had  hoped  for  more 
success  under  Philip  of  Valois,  whose  sister  he  had  married. 
FMlip  tried  to  satisfy  him  with  another  domain  raised  to  a  peerage; 
but  Robert.,  more  and  more  discontented,  got  involved  in  a  series 
of  intrigues,  plots,  falsehoods,  forgeries,  and  even,  according  to 
public  report^  impiisonments  and  crimes  whicli,  in  1332,  led  to 
liifi  being  condemned  by  the  court  of  peers  to  banishment  and  the 
coafiscation  of  his  property.  He  fled  for  refuge  first  to  Brabant, 
and  then  to  England,  to  the  court  of  Edward  III.,  who  received 
bim  graciously,  and  whom  he  forthwith  commenced  inciting  to 
claim  the  crown  of  France,  **  his  inheritance,*'  as  he  said,  '^  which 
King  Philip  holds  most  wrongfully."  Edward  III.,  wlio  was 
naturally  prudent  and  had  been  involved,  almost  ever  since  his 
aeoession,  in  a  stubborn  war  with  Scotland,  cared  but  Httle  for 
ninhing  into  a  fresh  and  far  more  serious  enterprise.  But  of  alj 
iiaman  |mssions  hatred  is  perhaps  the  most  detei  mined  in  the  pro- 
feeution  of  its  designs-  Robert  accompanied  the  king  of  England 
fe  his  campaigns  northward;  and  "  Sir,"  said  he,  whilst  they  were 
niai-chiug  together  over  the  heaths  of  Scotland,  **  leave  this  poor 
oauntry,  and  give  your  thoughts  to  the  noble  crown  of  France/* 
When  Edwai'd,  on  retmiiing  to  London,  was  self-coraplacently  re- 
joicing at  his  successes  over  his  neighbours,  Robert  took  pains  to 


56 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[ClL^F.  XX. 


piquo  his  self-rospect,  by  expressing  astonishment  that  he  did  not 
s?eek  raore  practical  and  more  brilliant  successes.  Poetry  sometimes 
reveals  Bentiments  and  processes  about  which  history  is  silent*  Wo 
read  in  a  poem  of  the  fourteenth  century,  entitled  l%e  tHiw  an  Ike 
hermi^  **  In  the  season  when  summer  is  verging  upon  its  decline, 
and  the  gay  birds  are  forgetting  their  .sweet  converse  on  the  trcjes* 
now  despoiled  of  their  verdure,  Robert  seeks  for  consolation  in 
the  pleasui'es  of  fowling,  for  be  cannot  forget  the  gentle  land  of 
FrancOj  the  glorious  country  whence  be  is  an  exile.  He  carries  a 
falcon,  which  goes  flying  over  the  waters  till  a  heron  falls  its  prey ; 
then  he  calls  two  young  damsels  to  take  the  bird  to  the  king's 
palace,  singing  the  while  in  sweet  discourse  \  *  Fly,  fly^  ye  honour* 
less  knights;  give  place  to  gallants  on  whom  love  sraOes;  here  is  the 
dish  for  gallants  wlio  are  faithful  to  their  mistresses.  The  heron  is 
the  most  timid  of  birds,  for  it  fears  its  own  shadow ;  it  is  for  tlie 
heron  to  receive  the  vows  of  King  Edward  wlio,  though  lawful  king 
of  France,  dares  not  claim  that  noble  heritage/  At  these  words 
the  king  flushed  J  his  heart  was  wroth,  and  he  cried  aloud,  *  Since 
coward  is  thrown  in  my  teeth,  I  make  vow  [on  this  heron]  to  the 
God  of  Paradise  that  ere  a  single  year  rolls  by  I  will  defy  the  king  of 
Paris,'  Count  Robert  hears  arid  smiles;  and  low  to  bis  own  heart  ho 
says,  *  Now  have  I  won  :  and  my  heron  will  cause  a  great  wan*  ** 

Robertas  confidence  in  tliia  tempter's  work  of  his  if  as  well 
founded,  but  a  little  premature.  Edward  III*  did  not  repel 
him ;  complained  kuidly  of  the  assistance  rendered  by  the  king 
of  France  to  the  Scots ;  giave  an  absolute  refusal  to  Pbilip*s 
deniiinds  for  the  extradition  of  the  rebel  Robert,  and  retorted  by 
protesting,  in  his  turn,  against  the  reception  accorded  in  France  to 
David  Bruce,  the  rival  of  his  own  fevourite  Baliol  for  the  throne  of 
Scotland-  In  Aquitaine  he  claimed  as  of  bis  own  domain  some 
pLices  still  occupied  by  Philip.  Philip,  on  his  side,  neglected  no 
chance  of  causing  Edward  embarrassment,  and  more  or  less  overtly 
assisting  his  foes.  The  two  kings  were  profoundly  distrustful 
one  of  the  other,  foresaw,  both  of  them,  that  they  would  one  day 
come  to  blows,  and  prepared  for  it  by  rautually  working  to 
entangle  and  enfeeble  one  another.  But  neither  durst  aa  yet 
proclaim  his  wishes  or  his  fears,  and  take  the  initiative  in  those 


C&AF.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED   YEARB'   WAR, 


unknown  events  wliich  war  must  bring  about  to  the  great  peril  of 
their  people  and  perhaps  of  themselves.  From  1334  to  1337^  as 
they  continued  to  adYance  toward  the  issue,  foreseen  and  at  the 
game  time  deferred,  of  this  sitnationj  they  wei'e  both  of  them  seek* 
ing  allies  in  Europe  for  their  approaching  straggle.  Philip  had  a 
notable  one  under  his  thumb,  the  pope  at  that  time  settled  at 
A\iguon  ;  and  lie  made  use  of  hiin  for  the  purpose  of  proposing  a 
new  crusade,  in  which  Edward  III.  should  bo  called  upon  to  join 
with  him.  If  Edward  complied,  any  enterprise  on  his  part  against 
France  would  become  impossible;  and  if  he  declined,  Christendom 
would  cry  fie  upon  him„  Two  successive  popes,  John  XXII,  and 
Benedict  XII,,  preached  the  crusade,  and  offered  their  mediation  to 
R'ttle  the  differences  between  the  two  kings ;  but  they  were 
uosaccessfid  in  both  their  attempts.  The  two  kings  strained 
<^very  nerve  to  form  laic  alliances,  Philip  did  all  he  could  to 
m:urti  to  himself  the  fidelity  of  Count  Louis  of  Flanders,  whom 
the  king  of  England  several  times  attempted,  but  in  vain,  to  win 
over.  Philip  drew  into  close  relations  with  himself  the  kings  of 
Bohemia  and  Navarre,  the  dukes  of  Lorraine  and  Burgundy,  the 
Count  of  Foix,  the  Genoese,  the  Grand  Prior  of  the  Knights  of  St 
John  of  Jerusalem,  and  raany  other  lords.  The  two  principal 
liiighboui's  of  Flanders,  the  count  of  llainault  and  the  duke  of 
Brabant,  received  the  solicitations  of  both  kings  at  one  and  tho 
Bame  time.  The  former  had  to  wife  Joan  of  Valois,  sister  of  the 
king  of  France,  but  he  had  married  his  daughter  Philippa  to  the 
king  of  England ;  and  when  Edward's  envoys  came  and  asked  for 
liis  support  in  "the  great  business"  which  their  master  had  in 
view,  **  If  the  king  can  succeed  in  it,'*  said  the  count,  "  I  shall  bo 
right  glail.  It  may  well  bo  supposed  that  my  lieart  is  with  him, 
liim  who  hath  my  daughter,  rather  than  with  King  Philip,  thoiigh 
1  have  married  his  sister ;  for  he  hath  filched  fi'oni  me  the  hand  of 
the  young  duke  of  Brabant^  who  should  have  wedded  my  daughter 
Isalx^l,  and  liath  kept  him  for  a  daughter  of  his  own*  So  help  will 
1  my  dear  and  beloved  son  the  King  of  England  to  the  best  of 
my  power.  But  he  'must  get  far  stronger  aid  than  mine,  for 
Hainault  is  but  a  httle  place  in  comparison  with  the  kingdom  of 
and<Encrland  is  too  far  off  to  succour  us*"     "Dear  sir," 


38 


HISTORY   OF   FllANCE. 


[Chap.  XX. 


said  the  envoys,  **  a4\4se  ue  of  what  lords  our  master  might  beat 
geek  aidj  and  in  what  he  might  best  put  his  trust/*  **  By  my 
soul,"  said  the  count,  "  I  cauld  not  point  to  lord  so  powerful  to 
aid  him  in  this  business  as  would  be  the  duke  of  Brabant  who  is  his 
cousin- german,  the  dnke  of  Gueldres  who  hath  his  sister  to  wife> 
and  Sire  de  Fauquemont.  They  are  those  who  would  have  most 
men-at-arms  in  the  least  time,  and  they  are  right  good  soldiers ; 
provided  that  money  be  given  them  in  proportion,  for  they  are 
lords  and  men  who  are  glad  of  pay/'  Ed%vard  III.  went  for  powerful 
allies  even  beyotid  the  Rhine ;  he  treated  with  Louis  V.  of  Bavaria, 
emperor  of  Germany ;  he  even  had  a  solemn  interview  with  him 
at  a  diet  assembled  at  Coblenz,  and  Louis  named  Bdwar'd  vicar 
imperial  throughout  all  the  empire  situated  on  the  left  bank  of  the 
BJiine^  wnth  orders  to  all  the  princes  of  the  Low  Countnes  to  follow 
and  obey  him,  for  a  space  of  seven  years,  in  the  field.  But  Louis 
of  Bavaria  was  a  tottering  emperor,  excommunicato  by  the  pope, 
and  with  a  formidable  oompetitor  in  Frederick  of  Austria.  When 
the  time  for  action  arrived,  King  John  of  Bohemia^  a  zesilous 
ally  of  the  French  king,  persuaded  the  emperor  of  Germany 
that  his  dignity  would  be  compromised  if  he  wei^  to  go  and 
join  the  army  of  the  English  king,  in  whose  pay  lie  would  appear 
to  have  enUsted;  and  Louis  of  Bavaria  withdrew  from  his  alliance 
with  Edward  ITL,  sending  back  the  subsidies  he  had  received 
from  him. 

Which  side  were  the  Flemings  themselves  to  take  in  a  conflict 
of  such  importance  and  already  so  hot  even  before  it  had  reachud 
bui'sting  point?  It  was  clearly  in  Flanders  that  each  king  was 
likely  to  find  his  most  efficient  allies;  and  so  it  was  there  that  tliey 
made  the  most  strenuous  apphcations,  Edward  III.  hastened  to 
restore  between  England  and  the  Flemish  communes  the  com- 
mercial relations  which  had  been  for  a  while  disturbed  by  the  aiTest 
of  the  traders  in  both  countries.  He  sent  into  Flanders,  even  to 
Ghent,  ambassadors  charged  to  enter  into  negotiations  with  the 
burghers ;  and  one  of  the  most  considerable  amongst  those 
burghers,  Sohier  of  Gourtrai,  who  had  but  lat4jly  supported  Count 
Ijouib  in  Ills  quarrels  with  the  people  of  Bruges,  loudly  declared 
that  the  alliance  of  the  king  of  England  was  the  first*  requiremeut 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDHED   YEARS'   WAR. 


51* 


of  Flanders,  and  gavo  apartments  m  his  own  liouse  to  one  ot  tlie 
English  envoys,  Edward  proposed  the  estabhshment  io  Flanders 
of  a  magazine  for  English  wools ;  and  he  gave  assurance  to  such 
Flemish  weavers  as  would  settle  in  England  of  all  the  securities 
they  could  desire.  He  even  offered  to  give  his  daughter  Joan  in 
marriage  to  the  son  of  the  count  of  Flanders.  Philip,  on  liij3  side, 
tried  hard  to  reconcile  the  communes  of  Flanders  to  tbcu*  count, 
and  60  make  them  faithful  to  himself;  he  let  them  off  two  years' 
payment  of  a  rent  due  to  him  of  40,000  hvres  of  Paris  per 
mmum  ;  he  promised  them  the  monopoly  of  exporting  wools  from 
Fi-ancej  he  authorized  the  Brugesmen  to  widen  the  moats  of  their 
city,  and  even  to  repair  its  ramparts,  The  king  of  England*s 
envoys  met  in  most  of  the  Flemish  cities  with  a  favour  which  was 
real,  but  intermingled  with  prudent  reservations,  and  Count  Louis 
of  Flanders  remained  ever  closely  allied  with  the  king  of  France, 
**  for  ho  was  right  French  and  loyal,"  says  Froissart,  "  and  with  good 
imson,  for  he  had  the  king  of  Fiance  almost  alone  to  thank  for 
restoring  him  to  his  country  by  force.'* 

Whilst,  by  both  sides,  preparations  were  thus  being  made  on  the 
Continent  for  war,  the  question  which  was  to  make  it  burst  forth 
was  being  decided  in  England.  In  the  soul  of  Edward  temptation 
overcame  indecision.  As  early  aa  the  month  of  June,  1336,  in  a 
parliament  assembled  at  Northampton,  he  had  complained  of  the 
assistance  given  by  the  king  of  France  to  the  Scots,  and  he  had 
^^ipressed  a  hope  that  "  if  the  French  and  the  Scots  were  to  join, 
ey  would  at  last  offer  him  battle,  which  the  latter  had  always 
^carefully  avoided."  In  September  of  the  same  year  he  employed 
similar  language  in  a  parliament  held  at  Nottingham,  and  he 
obtained  therefrom  subsidies  for  the  war  going  on  not  only  in 
Scotland  but  also  in  Aquitaine  against  the  French  king^s  Hen* 
tenants.  In  AprU  and  May  of  the  tbllomng  year,  1337,  ho  granted 
to  Robert  of  Artois,  his  tempter  for  three  years  past,  court  favours 
which  proved  his  resolution  to  have  been  already  taken.  On  the 
21ftfe  of  August  following  he  formally  declared  war  against  the  king 
of  France,  and  addressed  to  all  the  sheriffs,  archbishops,  and  bishops 
of  hb  kingdom  a  cu'cular  in  which  he  attributed  the  initiative  to 
Philip;  on  the  26th  of  August  he  gave  his  ally,  the  emperor  of 


60 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX. 


Germany^  notice  of  what  he  had  just  done,  whilst,  for  the  first 
time,  insultingly  describing  Philip  as  **  setting  himself  up  for 
king  of  France/*  At  last,  on  the  7th  of  October,  1337,  he  pro- 
claimed himself  king  of  France,  aa  his  lawful  inheritance,  desigiiating 
as  representatives  and  supporters  of  his  right  the  duke  of  Brabant, 
the  marquis  of  Juhers,  the  count  of  Haitiault,  and  William  de 
Bohun,  earl  of  Northampton. 

The  enterprise  had  no  foundation  in  right,  and  seemed  to  hare 
few  chances  of  success.  If  the  succession  to  the  crown  of  France 
had  not  been  regulated  beforehand  by  a  special  and  positive  law, 
I'hilip  of  Valois  had  on  his  side  the  traditional  right  of  nearly  three 
centuries  past  and  actual  possession  without  any  disputes  having 
arisen  in  France  upon  the  subject*  His  title  had  been  expressly 
declared  by  the  peers  of  the  kingdom,  sanctioned  by  the  Chm*eh, 
and  recognized  by  Edward  'himself,  who  had  come  to  pay  liim 
homage.  He  had  the  general  and  free  assent  of  his  people  :  to 
repeat  the  words  of  the  chroniclers  of  the  time,  "There  was  no  mind 
in  Franco  to  be  subjects  of  the  king  of  England."  Philip  VI,  was 
regarded  in  Europe  as  a  greater  and  more  powerftil  sovereign  than 
Ed  wan!  II L  He  had  the  pope  settled  in  the  midst  of  his  kingdom ; 
and  he  often  traversed  it  with  an  array  of  vaHant  nobility  whom  he 
knew  how  to  support  and  serve  on  occasion  as  faithfully  as  lie  was  j 
served  by  them.  *'Ho  was  highly  prized  and  honoured,"  saysl 
Froissart,  "  for  the  victory  he  had  won  (at  Cassel)  over  the  Flem- 
ings and  also  for  the  handsome  service  he  had  done  his  cousin 
Count  Louis.  He  did  thereby  abide  in  great  prosperity  and 
honour,  and  he  greatly  increased  the  royal  state;  never  had  there 
been  king  in  Franco,  it  was  said,  who  had  kept  state  like  King 
Philip,  and  he  provided  tourneys  and  jousts  and  diversions  in  great 
abimdance/*  No  national  interest,  no  public  ground  was  provo- 
oative  of  war  between  the  two  peoples ;  it  was  a  war  of  persona! 
ambition  like  that  which  in  the  eleventh  century  William  the 
Conqueror  had  carried  into  England.  The  memory  of  that  groat 
event  was  still  in  the  fourteenth  century  so  fi'osh  in  France,  that ' 
when  the  pretensions  of  Edward  were  declared,  and  the  struggle 
wm  begun,  an  assemblage  of  Normans,  barons  and  knights,  or, 
according  to  others,  the  Estates  of  Normandy  themselves  c^me  and 


CiiAi*,  XX-] 


THE   HUNDRED  YEABS'  WAR. 


61 


projmsed  to  Philip  tf>  uiHlertiiko  onco  move  and  at  their  own 
expeose  the  conquest  of  England,  if  he  woiihl  put  at  their  head  liis 
eldest  son  John,  ihf*ir  own  duke*  The  king  rtN^eived  their  depu- 
tation at  Viucennes,  on  the  23rd  of  March ,  13*10,  and  accept4?d 
their  offer.  They  bound  tbemselves  to  supply  for  tho  expetlition 
40* JO  men-at-arms  and  20,000  foot,  whom  thoy  promised  to  main- 
tain for  ten  weeks  and  even  a  fortnight  lx*yond,  if,  when  the  duke 
of  Normandy  had  crossed  to  England,  his  oouncU  shouhl  coiiHitler 
the  prolongation  neoc^ssary.  The  conditions  in  detail  and  the 
subsequent  course  of  the  ent4?rpri.He  thus  projecteil  were  minutely 
^gulated  and  settled  in  u  treaty  published  by  DutiUet  in  1588,  from 
copy  found  at  Caen  when  Edwanl  11 L  became  mast^^r  of  tliat  city 
in  L*i4fi.  The  events  of  the  war,  the  long  fits  of  hesitation  on  the 
part  of  both  kings,  and  the  repeated  altc^rnatious  from  hostilities  to 
tnices  and  truces  to  hostihties  prevented  any  thing  from  coming  of 
Udii  profiosalj  the  authenticity  of  which  has  been  questioueil  by  M. 
Michelet  amongst  others,  but  the  genuineness  of  which  lias  been 
ilemonstrated  by  M,  Adolph  Despont,  member  of  the  appeaUeourt 
of  CaeD)  in  his  lajirned  lHatoire  du  CottnUn. 

Edw^ard  ITL,  though  ho  hsA  proclaimed  himself  king  of  France, 
did  not  at  the  outset  of  his  claim  adopt  the  poHcy  of  a  man  firmly 
resolved  and  burning  to  succeed.  From  1337  to  1310  he  behaveil 
as  if  ho  were  at  strife  with  the  coimt  of  Flanders  rather  than  with 
the  king  of  Franco.  He  was  incessantly  to  and  fro,  either  by  em- 
sy  or  in  person,  between  England,  Flanders,  HainauU,  Bnibaut, 
and  even  Germany,  for  the  purpose  of  bringing  the  princes  and 
[people  to  jujtively  co-operate  with  himagtiinst  his  rival ;  and  during 
this  tliplomatic  movement  such  was  the  hostihty  bt?twt*en  the 
king  of  England  and  the  count  of  Fhmders  Ihat  Edwaitl's  aniUis* 
sadors  thouglit  it  impossible  for  them  to  pass  thnnigh  Flanders  in 
safety,  and  went  to  Holland  fur  a  ship  in  which  to  return  to 
Kngliind-  Nor  were  their  fears  groundless;  for  tho  count  of 
Flanders  luul  caui?ed  to  bo  arrested,  and  was  still  detaining  in 
prisfm  at  the  castle  of  Ruiielmonde,  the  Fleming  Soliier  i>f  (■ourtrai, 
who  had  received  into  his  huuse  at  Ghent  one  of  the  English 
envoys,  and  had  shown  himself  favourable  to  thei?  cause.  Edward 
ketndy  resented  these  outrages,  denumdeil  but  did  not  obtain  the 


62 


HISTOBY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX. 


release  of  Sohier  of  Courtrai,  and  by  way  of  revenge  gave  orders  in 
NoYember,  1337,  to  two  of  his  bravest  captains^  the  earl  of  Derby 
and  Walter  de  Manny,  to  go  and  attack  the  fort  of  Cadsand,  sitnated 
between  the  island  of  Walcheren  and  the  town  of  Ecluse  (orSluys), 
a  post  of  conseqiienc3e  to  the  count  of  Flanders,  wlio  had  confided 
the  keeping  of  it  to  big  bastarrd  brother  Guy,  with  five  thousand 
of  hia  most  faithful  subjects*  It  was  a  sanguinary  affair.  The 
besieged  were  surprised  but  defended  themselves  bravely;  the 
landing  cost  the  English  dear ;  the  carl  of  Derby  was  wounded  find 
hurled  to  the  ground,  but  his  comrade,  Walter  de  Manny,  raised 
him  up  with  a  shout  to  his  men  of  **  Lancaster,  for  the  earl  of 
Derby  f*  and  at  last  the  English  prevailed.  The  Bastard  of 
Flanders  was  made  prisoner ;  the  town  was  pillaged  and  burned ; 
and  the  English  returned  to  England  and  **  told  their  adventure/' 
says  Froissart,  **  to  the  king»  who  was  right  joyous  when  he  saw 
them  and  learnt  how  they  had  sped.'* 

Thus  began  that  war  which  was  to  be  so  cruel  and  so  long.  The 
Flemings  bore  the  first  brunt  of  it*  It  was  a  lamentable  position 
for  them ;  their  industrial  and  commercial  prosperity  was  being 
ruined ;  their  security  at  home  was  going  from  thera ;  their  com- 
munal liberties  were  compromised;  divisions  set  hi  amongst 
thera;  by  interest  and  habitual  intercourse  they  were  draiim 
towards  England,  but  the  countj  their  lord,  did  all  he  could  to 
turn  them  away  from-  her,  and  many  amongst  them  were  loath  ta 
separate  themselves  entirely  from  France.  "  Burghers  of  Ghent, 
as  they  chatted  in  the  thoroughfares  anfl  at  the  cross-roads,  Raid 
one  to  another  that  they  had  heard  much  wisdom >  to  their  mind, 
from  a  burgher  who  was  called  Jaraes  van  Artevelde,  and  who  was 
a  brewer  of  beer.  They  had  heard  him  say  thut,  if  he  eoukl  obtain 
a  hearing  and  credit,  he  would  in  a  little  while  rest^i*e  Flanders 
to  good  estute,  and  they  would  recover  all  their  gains  without 
standing  ill  with  the  king  of  France  or  the  king  of  England, 
These  sayings  began  to  get  f?pread  abroad  insomuch  that  a  quarter 
or  half  the  city  was  informed  thereof,  especially  the  small  folks  of 
the  commonalty,  whom  the  evil  touched  most  nearly.  They  began 
to  afisembl©  in  the  streets,  and  it  came  to  pass  that  one  day^  after 
dinner^  several  went  from  house  to  house  calling  for  their  conirndes. 


Chap,  XX*] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEAKS^  WAR. 


63 


and  saying,  *Come  andliear  the  wise  man's  counsel/  On  the  26th 
of  December,  1337,  they  came  to  the  house  of  the  said  Jaraes  van 
Artevelde,  and  found  him  leaning  against  his  door.  Far  off  as 
they  were  when  they  first  perceived  him^  they  made  him  a  deep 
obeisance,  and  ^  Dear  sir,'  they  said,  *  we  are  come  to  you  for 
counsel ;  for  we  are  told  that  by  your  great  and  good  sense  you 
will  restore  the  country  of  Flanders  to  good  case.  So  tell  us  how/ 
Tlien  James  van  Artevelde  came  forward,  and  said,  *  Sirs  comrades, 
I  am  a  native  and  burgher  of  this  city,  and  here  I  have  my  means. 
Know  that  I  would  gladly  aid  you  with  all  my  power,  you  and  all 
the  country ;  if  there  were  here  a  man  who  would  be  willing  to 
take  the  lead,  I  would  be  willing  to  risk  body  and  means  at  his 
side;  and  if  the  rest  of  ye  be  willing  to  be  brethren,  friends 
and  eomi^ades  to  me,  to  abide  in  all  matters  at  my  side,  notwith- 
standing that  I  am  not  worthy  of  it,  I  will  undertake  it  willingly/ 
Then  said  all  with  one  voice,  *  We  promise  you  faithfully  to 
abide  at  your  side  in  all  matters  and  to  therewith  adventure 
body  and  means,  for  we  know  well  that  in  the  whole  countship  of 
Flanders  there  is  not  a  man  but  you  worthy  so  to  do/  "  Then 
Van  Artevelde  bound  them  to  assemble  on  the  next  day  but  one  in 
the  grounds  of  the  monastery  of  Biloke,  which  had  received 
numerous  benefits  from  the  ancestors  of  Sohier  of  Courtraij  whose 
soB4n-law  Van  Artevelde  was. 

Tills  bold  burgher  of  Ghent,  who  was  bom  about  1285,  was 
HpruDg  from  a  family  the  name  of  which  had  been  for  a  long  while 
inscribed  in  their  city  upon  the  register  of  industrial  corporations. 
His  father,  John  van  Art^o^vehle,  a  cloth- worker,  had  been  several 
times  over  sheriff  of  Ghent,  and  his  mother,  Mary  van  Groete,  was 
great-aunt  to  the  grandfather  of  the  illustrious  publicist  called  in 
history  Grotius.  James  van  Artevelde  in  his  youth  accompanied 
Count  Charles  of  Valois,  brother  of  Philip  the  Handsome,  upon 
bis  adventurous  expeditions  in  Italy,  Sicily,  and  Greece,  and  to  the 
island  of  Rhodes;  and  it  had  been  close  by  the  spots  where  the 
soldiers  of  Marathon  and  Salamis  had  beaten  the  armies  of 
Darius  and  Xerxes  that  he  had  heard  of  the  victory  of  the 
Flemish  burghers  and  workmen  attacked  in  1302,  at  Courtrai,  by 
tlie  splendid  army  of  Philip  the  Handsome.     James  van  Artevelde, 


64 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE. 


[OnAf ,  XX. 


on  retwning  to  his  country,  had  been  busy  with  his  inaiinfactnre5»^ 
his  fieklB,  the  education  of  his  children,  and  Flemish  aftUirs    up 
to  the  day  when,  at  his  invitation,  the  burgliers  of  Ghent  throngt^d 
to  the  meeting  on  the  28th  of  Decenaberj  1337j  in  the  gi^ounds  of 
the  monastery  of  Biloke,     There  he  delivered  an  eloquent  speech, 
pointing  out  imhei?itatingly  but  temperately  the  policy  which    he 
considered  good  for  the  country.     "  Forget  not/^  he  stiid,  **  the 
might  and  the  glory  of  Flanders.     Who,  pray,  shall  forbid  that  we 
defend  our  interests  by  using  our  rights  ?    Can  the  king  of  France 
prevent  us  from  treating  with  the  king  of  England  ?    And  may  we 
not  be  certain  that  if  we  were  to  treat  with  the  king  of  England* 
the  king  of  France  would  not  be  the  less  urgent  in  seeking  our 
alliance  ?     Besides,  have   we   not  with   us   all  the  comnmnes  of 
Brabant,  of  Hainault,  of  Holland,  and  of  Zealand  ?"    The  audience 
cheered  these  words;  the  commune  of  Ghent  forthwith  assembled, 
and  on  the  3rd  of  January,  1337  [according  to  the  old  style,  which 
made  the  year  begin  at  the   25th  of  March],  re-established   the 
offices   of  captains  of  parishes  according  to   olden   usage,  when 
the  city  was  exposed  to  any  pressing  danger.     It  was  carried  that 
one  of  these  captains  should  have  the  chief  government  of  the  city; 
and  James  van  Artevelde  was  at  once  invested  with  it.     From  that 
moment  the  conduct  of    Van  Artevelde  was  ruled  by  one  pre- 
dominant idea :  to  secure  free  and  fair  commercial  intercourse  for 
Flanders  with  England,  whilst  observing  a  general  neutrality  in  the 
war  between  the  kings  of  England  and  Fiance,  and  to  combine  eo 
far  all  the  communes  of  Flanders  in  one  and  the  same  policy.    And 
he  succeeded  in  this  twofold  purpose.    '*  On  the  29th  of  April, 
1338,  the  representatives  of  all  the  communes  of  Flanders  (the 
city   of  Bruges  numbering  amongst  them  a  hundred  and  ei^bt 
deputies),  repaired  to  the  castle  of  M&le,  a  residence  of  Count 
Louis,  and  then  James  van  Artevelde  set  before  the  count  what  had 
been  re&olved  upon  amongst  them.     The  count  submitted,  and 
swore  that  he  would  thenceforth  maintain  the  liberties  of  Flan dern 
in  the  state  in  which  they  bad  existed  since  the  treaty  of  Athie^, 
In  the  month  of  May  following  a  deputation,  consisting  of  James 
van  Artevelde  and  other  burghers  appointed  by  the  cities  of  Glient, 
Bruges,  and  Ypres  scoured  the  whole  of  Flanders,  from  Bailleul  to 


Ch4p.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDBED  YEARS'  WAR. 


67 


) 


I 


Temonde,  and  from  Ninove  to  Dunkerque,  **  to  reconcile  the  good 
folks  of  the  communes  to  the  count  of  Flanders,  as  well  for  the 
count's  honour,  as  for  the  peace  of  the  country, "  Lastlyj  on  the  10th 
of  June,  1338,  a  treaty  was  signed  at  An  vers  between  the  deputies 
of  tbe  Flemish  communes  and  the  English  ambassadors,  the  latter 
tieclBring:  *'  We  do  all  to  wit  that  we  have  negotiated  way  and 
sabgtance  of  friendship  with  the  good  folks  of  the  communes  of 
Flanders  J  in  form  and  manner  hereinafter  following : 

"First,  they  shall  be  able  to  go  and  buy  the  wools  and  other 
merchandise  which  have  been  exported  from  England  to  Holland| 
Zealand  or  any  other  place  whatsoever ;  and  all  traders  of  Flanders 
wlio  shall  repair  to  the  ports  of  England  shall  there  be  safe  and 
free  in  their  persons  and  their  goods,  just  as  [in  any  other  place 
where  their  ventures  might  bring  them  together, 

^^Ileffij  we  have  agreed  with  the  good  folks  and  with  aU  the 
coDunon  country  of  Flanders  that  they  must  not  mix  nor  inter* 
meddle  in  any  way,  by  assistance  in  men  or  arms,  in  the  wars  of 
our  lord  the  king  and  the  noble  Sir  Phihp  of  Yalois  (who  holdeth 
hiniBelf  for  king  of  France).'* 

Three  articles  following  regulated  in  detail  the  principles  laid 
down  in  the  first  two,  and,  by  another  charter,  Edward  III, 
oniained  that  "  all  stidfs  marked  with  the  seal  of  the  city  of  Ghent 
might  travel  freely  in  England  without  being  subject  according  to 
ellage  and  quaUty  to  the  control  to  which  all  foreign  merchandise 
wa3  subject/'  {Histoire  de  Flmidre^  by  M,  le  Baron  Kerwyn  de 
Lettenhove,  t  iii.  pp.  199—203,) 

Van  Artevelde  was  right  in  telling  the  Flemings  that,  if  they 
treated  with  the  king  of  England,  the  king  of  France  would  be 
only  the  more  anxious  for  their  alhance,  Philip  of  Valois  and  even 
Count  Louis  of  Flanders,  when  they  got  to  know  of  the  negotiations 
entered  into  between  the  Flemish  communes  and  King  Edward, 
redoubled  their  offers  and  promises  to  them.  But  when  the 
passions  of  men  have  taken  full  possession  of  their  souls,  words  of 
concession  and  attempts  at  accommodation  are  nothing  more  than 
poBtponements  or  lies,  Phihp,  when  he  heard  about  the  conclu- 
sion of  a  treaty  between  the  Flemish  communes  and  the  king  of 
England,  sent  word  to  Count  Louis  **  that  this  James  van  Artevelde 

F  3 


68 


HISTORY   OF   FEANCE. 


[Chap.  SX. 


Ttixist  Eotj  on  any  account,  be  allowed  to  rule  or  even  live»  for,  if  it 
wm'o  so  for  long,  the  count  wonkl  lose  liis  land/'     The  count,  very  j 
inuch  disposed  to  accept  such  advice,  repaired  to  Ghent  and  sent  j 
fur  Van  Artcvelde  to  come  and  see  hirn  at  his  hoteL     He  went,  bnt 
with  80  large  a  following  that  the  count  was  not  at  the  time  at  all  ^ 
in  a  position  to  venrnt  him.      He  tried  to  persuade  the  Flemish  | 
burgher  that    "  if  he  would  keep  a  hand  on  the  people  so  ns  to 
keep  thorn  to  their  love  for  the  king  of  France,  he  having  more 
authority  than  any  one  el  so  for  sucli  a  purpose,  niueb  good  would 
result  to  him :  Tningling,   besides,  with  this  address,  some  words 
of  threatening  import/'     Van  Artevelde  who  was  uot  the   least 
afraid  of  the  threat,  and  who  at  heart  was  fond  of  the  English, 
told  the  count  that  he  woidd  do  as  ho  had  promised  the  com-  j 
munes.       "  Hereupon    he    left   the    count,    who    consulted    hii 
confiflants  as  to  what  he  was  to  do  in  this  business,  and  tliey  ' 
counselled  him  to  let  them  go  and  assemble  their  people,  saying  that 
they  would  kill  Van  Artevelde  secretly  or  otlierwise.     And  indeed^ 
they  did  lay  many  traps  and  made  many  attempts  against  the  cap 
tain  ;  but  it  was  of  no  avail,  since  all  the  commonalty  was  for  hira/ 
When  the  rumour  of  these  projects  and  those  attempts  was  spread  j 
a]>road  in  tlio  city,  the  excitement  was  extreme,  and  all  tJie  burghers  J 
assumed  white  hoods,  which  was  the  mark  peculiar  Lo  the  members , 
of  the  commune  when  they  assembled  under  their  flags;  so  that 
the  count  found  himself  reduced  to  assuming  one,  for  he  was  afraid 
of  being  kept  captive  at  Ghent,  and,  on  the  pretext  of  a  hunting- 
party,  he  lost  no  time  in  gaining  his  castle  of  Male. 

The  burghers  of  Glient  had  their  minds  still  filled  with 
their  lato  alarm  when  they  heard  that,  by  order  it  was  said  of! 
the  king  of  France,  Count  Louis  had  sent  and  beheaded  at  the! 
castle  of  Rupelmonde,  in  the  very  bed  iu  which  he  was  confined 
by  his  infirmities,  their  fellow-citizen  Sohier  of  Courtrai,  Vani 
Artevelde*s  father-in-law,  who  had  been  kept  for  many  months  inj 
prison  for  liis  intlniaey  with  the  EngHsh.  On  the  same  day  the; 
bishop  of  Seulis  auil  the  abbot  of  St<  Ueuis  had  arrived  at  TournaVf  i 
and  had  superintended  the  reading  out  iu  the  market-place  of  Uj 
sentence  of  excommunication  against  the  Ghentese*  j 

It  was  probably  at  this  date  that  Van  Artevelde  in  his  vexation! 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE  HUXURED  YEAU^'   WAR. 


69 


t 


I 
I 


and  disquietude   assumed  in  Ghent  an  attitude  thmatening  and 
des^potic  even  to  t^Tanny,     '*  He  had  continually  after  him/*  says 
Fwasart,  *'  sixty  or  eighty  armed  varletSj  amongst  whom  were  two 
or  three  who  knew  so  mo  of  his  secrets.     When  he  met  a  man 
ffbom  he  hated  or  had  in  suspicion  this  man  was  at  once  killed, 
fur  Van  Arteveldo  had  given  this  order  to  his  varlets  :  *  The  moment 
1  meet  a  man,  and  make  such  and  such  a  sign  to  you,  slay  him 
witliout  delay,  however  great  he  may  be,  without  waiting  for  more 
speech/     In  this  way  he  had  many  great  masters  slain.     And  as 
soou  as  these  sixty  varlets  had  taken  him  home  to  his  hotel,  each 
went  to  dinner  at  his  own  house;  and  the  moment  dinner  was  over 
they  returned  and  stood  before  his  hotel  and  waited  in  the  street  until 
tliat  he  was  minded  to  go  and  play  and  take  his  pastime  in  the  city, 
mi  m  they  attended  him  to  supper- time.  And  know  that  each  of  these 
birelings  had  jkt  dlcni  four  groschen  of  Flanders  fur  their  expenses 
mi  wages,  and  he  had  them  regularly  paid  from  week  to  week,  ,  ,  • 
And  even  in  the  case  of  all  that  were  most  powerful  in  Flanders 
bights,  esquires  J  and  burghers  of  the  good  cities,  whom  he  believed 
to  he  favourable  to  the  count  of  Fkinders,  them  he  banished  from 
Flanders  and  levied  half  their  revenues.     He  had  levies  made  of 
rcnts,of  dueson  merchandi?;e  and  all  the  revenues  belonging  to  the 
count  J  wherever  it  might  be  in  Flanders,  and  he  disbursed  them  at 
liis  will,  and  gave  them  away  without  rendering  any  account-  .  •  . 
And  when  he  would  borrow  of  any  burghers  on  his  word  for  pay- 
ment, there  was  none  that  durst  say  him  nay.     In  short  them 
wa,5  never  iu  FlanderSj  or  in  any  other  country,  duke,  count,  prince, 
ar  uther  wlio  can  have   had   a  country  at  his  will   as  James  van 
Artevelde  had  for  a  long  time/* 

It  is  possible  that,  as  some  historians  have  thought,  Froissart, 
being  less  favourable  to  buj*ghers  than  to  princes,  did  ngt  deny 
himself  a  little  exaggeration  iu  this  portrait  of  a  great  burgher- 
patriot  transformed  by  the  force  of  events  and  passions  into  a 
demagogic  tyrant.  But  Siuue  of  us  nuiy  have  too  vivid  a  personal 
recollection  of  similar  scenes  to  doubt  the  gencTal  truth  of  the 
piclnre ;  and  we  shall  meet  before  long  in  the  history  of  France 
iluring  the  fourteenth  century  with  an  example  still  more  striking 
uud  more  famous  than  that  of  Van  Artevelde, 


70 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX* 


Whilst  tte  count  of  Flanders,  after  having  yainly  attempted  to 
excite  an  uprising  against  Van  Arteveldej  was  being  forced,  in 
order  to  escape  from  the  people  of  Bimges,  to  mount  \m  horse 
in  hot  haste,  at  night  and  barely  armed,  and  to  flee  away  to 
St.  Omerj  Philip  of  Valois  and  Edward  III.  were  preparing,  on 
either  side,  for  the  war  which  they  could  see  drawing  neai*- 
Philip  was  vigorously  at  work  on  the  pope,  the  emperor  of  Ger- 
many, and  the  princes  neighbours  of  Flanders,  in  order  to  raise 
obstacles  against  his  rival  or  rob  him  of  his  allies.  He  ordered 
that  short-Uved  meeting  of  the  States-general  about  which  we 
have  no  information  left  us,  save  that  it  voted  the  principle  that 
"  no  talliage  could  be  imposed  on  flie  people  if  urgent  necessity  or 
evident  utihty  should  not  require  it,  and  imless  by  concession  of 
the  Estates/^  Philip,  as  chief  of  feudal  society  rather  than  of  the 
nation  which  was  forming  itself  little  by  Uttle  around  the  lords, 
convoked  at  Amiens  all  his  vassals  great  and  small,  laic  or  cleric, 
placing  all  his  strength  in  their  co*operation,  and  not  caring  at 
all  to  associate  the  country  itself  in  the  aflairs  of  his  government, 
Edward,  on  the  contrary,  whilst  equipping  his  fleet  and  amassing 
treasure  at  the  expense  of  the  Jews  and  Lombard  usurers,  was 
assembling  his  parliament,  talking  to  it ''  of  this  important  and 
costly  war,"  for  which  he  obtained  large  subsidies,  and  accepting 
without  making  any  difficulty  the  vote  of  the  Commons'  House, 
which  expressed  a  desire  "  to  consult  their  constituents  upon  this 
subject,  and  begged  him  to  summon  an  early  parliament,  to  which 
there  should  be  elected,  in  each  county,  two  knights  taken  from 
among  the  best  landowners  of  their  counties,"  The  king  set  out 
for  the  Continent;  the  parliament  met  and  considered  the  exi- 
gences of  the  war  by  land  and  sea,  in  Scotland  and  in  France ; 
traders,  shipowners,  and  mariners  were  called  and  examined ;  and 
the  forces  determined  to  be  necessary  were  voted-  Edward  took 
the  field,  pillaging,  burning,  and  ravaging,  "  destroying  all  the 
country  for  twelve  or  fom*teen  leagues  in  extent/*  as  he  himself 
said  in  a  letter  to  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury.  When  he  set 
foot  on  French  territory,  Count  William  of  Haiuault,  his  brother- 
in-law  and  up  to  that  time  his  ally,  came  to  him  and  said  that 
**  he  would  ride  with  him  no  farther^   for  that  his  presence  w'as 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE  HDNDEED  YEARS'  WAE. 


71 


I 


I 

I 

I 


prayed  and  required  by  liis  undo  the  king  of  France,  to  wliom 

he  bore   no    hate,    and   wtom    lie   would    go   and    serve   in  his 

own  kingdom,  as  he  had  served  King  Edward  on  the  t-erritory  of 

tiie  emperor,  whose  vicar  he  was,"  and  Edward  wished  him  "  God 

speed!'*     Such  was  the  binding  nature  of  feudal   ties  that   the 

same  lord  held  himself  bound  to  pass  from  one  camp  to  another 

according  as  he  found  himself  upon  the  domains  of  one  or  the 

other  of  his  suzerains  in  a  war  one  against  the  other,     Edward 

continued  his  march  towards  St,  Quentin,  where  Philip  had  at 

ht  arrived  with  his  allies  the  kings  of  Bohemia,  Navarre,  and 

iicotlaBdi  **  after  delays  which  had  given  rise  to  great  scandal  and 

DJiirmurs  throughout  the  whole  kingdom/'     The  two  armies,  with 

a  strength,  according  to  Froissart,  of  a  hundred  thousand  men  on 

the  French  side,   and  forty-four  thousand  on  the  English,  were 

mn  facing  one    another,  near  Buironfosse,    a   large   burgh    of 

Pimrdy,     A  herald  came  from  the  English  camp  to  tell  the  king 

of  France  that  the  king  of  England  'demanded  of  him  battle.     To 

which  demand,"  says  Froissart,  *'  the  king  of  France  gave  willing 

went  and  accepted  the  day  which  was  fixed  at  first  for  Thursday 

ihe  2l8t,  and  afterwards  for  Saturday  the  25th  of  October,  1339." 

To  judge  from  the  somewhat  tangled  accounts  of  the  chroniclers 

and  of  Froissart  himself,  neither  of  the  two  kings  was  very  anxious 

to  come  to  blows,     The  forces  of  Edward  were  much  inferior  to 

tliose  of  Philip ;  and  the  former  had  accordingly  taken  up,  as  it 

appears,  a  position  which  rendered   attack  difficult  for   Phihp, 

Tliere  was  much  division  of  opinion  in  the  French  camp,     Inde- 

peadently  of  military  grounds,  a  great  deal  was  said  about  certain 

Wtters  from  Robert.,  king  of  Naples,  "  a  mighty  necromancer  and 

full  of  mighty  wisdom,  it  was  reported,  who,,  after  having  several 

times  cast  their  horoscopes,  had  discovered  by  astrology  and  from 

experience,  that,  if  his  cousin,  the  king  Of  France,  were  to  fight 

the  king  of  England,  the  former  would  be  worsted/'      '*  In  thus 

disputing  and  debatingj"  says  Froissart,  **the  time  passed  till  full 

ttiid'day,     A  little  aftex'wards  a  hare  came  leaping  across  the  fields, 

and  rushed  amongst  the  French,    Those  who  saw  it  began  shouting 

and  making  a  great  halloo.     Those  who  were  behind  thought  that 

those  who  were  in  front  were  engaging  in  battle ;  and  several  put  on 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX. 


their  helmets  and  gi'ipped  their  swords.  Thereupon  several  knights 
were  made ;  and  the  count  of  Hainault  himBelf  made  fourteen,  who 
were  thenceforth  nick-named  knights  of  the  Hare/*  Wliatever 
his  motive  may  have  been,  Philip  did  not  attack ;  and  Edward 
promptly  began  a  retreat.  They  both  dismissed  their  allies ;  and 
dm^ing  the  early  days  of  TQ^ovember  Philip  fell  back  upon  St, 
Quentiuj  and  Edward  went  and  took  up  his  winter-quarters  at 
Brussels. 

For  Edward  it  was  a  serioue  check  not  to  have  dared  to  attack 
the  king  whose  kingdom  he  made  a  pretence  of  conquering;  and 
ho  took  it  grievously  to  heart.  At  Brussels  he  had  an  interview 
with  his  allies  and  asked  their  counscL  Most  of  the  princes  of  the 
Low  Countries  remained  faithful  to  him  and  the  count  of  Hainaulr 
seemed  inclined  to  go  back  to  him ;  but  all  hesitated  as  to  what  he 
was  to  do  to  recover  from  the  check*  Van  Artevekle  showed  more 
invention  and  more  boldness.  The  Flemish  communes  had  con- 
centrated their  forces  not  far  from  the  spot  where  the  two  kings 
had  kept  their  armies  looking  at  one  another;  but  they  had  main- 
tained a  strict  neutrality,  and  at  the  invitation  of  the  count  of 
Flanders,  who  promised  thejn  that  the  king  of  France  would 
entertain  all  their  claimsj  Artevelde  and  Breydel^tliG  deputies  from 
Ghent  and  Bruges  >  even  repaired  to  Courtrai  to  make  terms  with 
him.  But  as  they  got  there  nothing  but  ambiguous  engagements 
and  evasive  promises  ^  they  let  the  negotiation  drop,  and,  whilst 
Count  Louis  was  on  his  way  to  rejoin  Philip  at  St,  Quentin, 
Artevelde  with  tlie  deputies  from  the  Flemish  communes  startled 
for  Brussels.  Edward,  who  was  already  living  on  very  confidential 
terms  with  him,  told  bim  that  "  if  the  Flennugs  were  minded  t»o 
help  him  to  keep  up  the  war  and  go  with  him  whithersoever  ho 
would  take  them,  they  should  aid  him  to  recover  Lille,  Douai,  and 
B^thunCj  then  occupied  by  the  king  of  France,  Art^velde,  after 
consulting  his  colleagues,  returned  to  Edward,  and,  *Dear  sir,^  said 
he,  *  you  have  alrefidy  made  such  requests  to  us,  and  verily,  if  we 
could  do  so  whilst  keeping  our  Imuour  and  faitli,  we  would  do  as 
you  demand ;  but  w©  be  bound,  by  taith  and  oath,  and  on  a  bond 
of  two  milUons  of  florins  entered  into  with  the  pope,  not  tci  go  to 
war  with  the  king  of  France  without  incurring  a  debt   to  the 


Cuf.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR. 


n 


amount  of  that  sum  and  a  sentence  of  excommunication ;  but  if 
you  do  that  which  we  are  about  to  say  to  you,  if  you  will  be 
pleased  to  adopt  the  arms  of  France,  and  quarter  them  with  those 
ofEtiglandjand  openly  call  yourself  king  of  France^  we  will  uphold 
voQ  for  true  king  of  France;  you^  as  king  of  France,  shall  give  us 
quittance  of  our  faith ;  and  then  we  will  obey  you  as  king  of  France^ 
and  will  go  whithersoever  you  shall  ordain," 

Tins  prospect  pleased  Edward  mightily :  but  "  it  irked  him  to 
take  the  name  and  arms  of  that  of  which  he  had  as  yet  won  no  tittle/' 
He  consulted  his  allies-     Some  of  them  hesitated;  but  ''  his  most 
privy  and  especial  friend,'*  Robert  d'Artois,  strongly  urged  him  to 
consent   to   the  proposaL     So   a   French    prince  and  a  Flemish 
bargher  prevailed   upon    the  king  of  England  to  pursue,  as  in 
assertion  of  his  avowed  rights,  the  conquest  of  the  kingdom  of 
Fmnce*     King,  prince,  and  burgher  fixed  Ghent  as  their  place  of 
meeting  for  the  official  conclusion  of  the  alliance ;  and  there,  in 
Jamiary,  131-0,  the  mutual  engagement  was   signed   and    sealed • 
Tim  king  of  England  "assumed  the  arras  of  France  quartered 
iritli  those  of  Eugland,"  and  thenceforth  took  tbo  title  of  king  of 
Francep 
Then  burst  forth  in  reality  that  war  w-hich  w^as  to  last  a  hundred 
ears;  whicli  was  tu  bring  upon  the  two  nations  the  most  violent 
iiggles  as  well  as  the  most  cruel  sufferings,  and  which,  at  the 
end  of  a  hundred  years,  was  to  end  in  the  salvation  of  France  from 
lier  tremendous  peril  and  the  defeat  of  England  in  her  unrighteoua 
Jitlempt,     In  January,  1340,  Edward  thought   he   had   won   the 
moBt  useful  of  allies  ;  Artevelde  thought  the  independence  of  the 
Flemish  communes  and  his  own   supremacy  in  his  own  country 
gured ;  and  Robert  d*Artois  thought  with  complacency  how  ho 
liad  gratified  his  hatred  for  Philip  of  Valois.     And  all  tlu'ee  were 
deceiving  thera^lves  in  their  joy  and  their  confidence- 
Ed  ward  ^  leaving  Queen  Philippa  at  Ghent  with  Artevelde  for 
lier  adviser,  had  returned  to  England,  and  had  just  obtained  from 
the  Parlianieiit,  for  the  purpose  of  vigorously  pushing  on  the  war, 
a  subsidy  almost  witliout  pi^ecedent,  when  he  heard  that  a  large 
French  fleet  was  assembling  on  the  coasts  of  Zealand,  near  the  port 
<»f  Ecluse  (or  Sluys)  with  a  design  of  surprising  and  attacking  Iiim 


74 


HISTORY  OF  PRANCE. 


[Chap. 


when  lie  should  cross  over  again  to  the  Continent,  For  some  time 
past  this  fleet  had  been  cruising  in  the  Channel,  making  descents 
hero  and  there  upon  English  soilj  at  Plymouth,  Southampton, 
Sandwich,  and  Dover^  and  every  where  causing  alarm  and  pillage, 
Its  strength^  they  said,  was  a  hundred  and  forty  large  vessels, 
"without  counting  the  smaller,*'  having  on  board  thirty-five 
thousand  men,  Normans,  Picards,  Italians,  sailors  and  soldiers  of 
all  countries,  under  the  command  of  two  French  leaders,  Hugh 
Quicret,  titular  admiral,  and  Nicholas  Bfihuchet,  King  Philip*s 
treasurer,  and  of  a  famous  Genoese  buccanier,  named  Barbavera, 
Edward,  so  soon  as  he  received  this  information,  resolved  to  go 
and  meet  their  attack ;  and  he  gave  orders  to  have  his  vessels  and 
troops  summoned  from  all  parts  of  England  to  Ore  well,  his  point  of 
departure.  His  advisers,  with  the  archbishop  of  Canterbury  at 
their  head,  strove^  but  in  vain,  to  restrain  him,  "Ye  are  all  in 
conspiracy  against  me,*'  said  lie;  *M  shall  go;  and  those  who  arc 
afraid  can  abide  at  home/'  And  go  he  did  on  the  22nd  of  June^ 
1*340,  and  aboard  of  liis  fleet  "went  with  hira  many  an  English 
dame/*  says  Froissart,  "  wives  of  eaids  and  barons  and  knights 
and  burghers  of  London,  who  were  off  to  Ghent  to  see  the  queen 
of  England,  whom  for  a  longtime  past  they  had  not  seen  ;  and  King 
Edward  guarded  them  carefully/*  "  For  many  a  long  day,"  said 
he,  "  have  I  desired  to  fight  those  fellows,  and  now  we  will  fight 
them,  please  God  and  St.  George  ;  for,  verily,  they  have  caused  me 
so  many  displeasures  that  I  would  fain  take  vengeance  for  them  if 
I  can  but  get  it/'  On  arriving  off'  the  coast  of  Flanders,  opposite 
Eehise  (or  Sluys),  he  saw  ^*  so  great  a  number  of  vessels  that  of 
masts  there  seemed  to  be  verily  a  forest/'  He  made  his  arrange- 
ments forthwith,  **  placing  his  strongest  ships  in  front  and 
manoDuvring  so  as  to  have  the  wind  on  the  starboard  quarter  and 
the  sun  astern.  The  Nornmns  marvelled  to  see  the  Enghsh  thus 
twisting  about,  and  said,  'They  are  turning  tail;  they  are  not  men 
enough  to  fight  us/  "  But  the  Genoese  buccaneer  was  not  misled* 
"When  he  saw  the  Enghsh  fleet  approaching  in  such  fashion,  he 
said  to  the  French  admiral  and  his  colleague  Behuchet,  '  Sire,  here 
is  the  king  of  England  with  all  his  ships  bearhig  down  upon  us  : 
if  yo  will  follow  my  advice,  instead  of  remaining  shut  up  in  ])ort, 


Cmp.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAB. 


75 


)o  wUl  draw  out  into  the  open  sea;  for,  if  ye  abide  bei^,  ti^^yi 
Vrliilst  tbey  liave  in  their  favour  sun  and  wind  and  tide,  will  keep 
you  so  short  of  room  that  yo  will  be  helpless  and  unable  to 
loancauvre/  Whereupon  answered  the  treasurer,  Behuchet,  who 
knew  more  about  arithmetic  than  sea-fights,  *  Let  him  go  hang, 
vviioever  shall  go  out ;  here  will  we  wait  and  take  our  chance.' 
*  Bit/  repUed  Barbaveraj  '  if  ye  will  not  be  pleased  to  bebeve  niej  I 
have  no  mind  to  work  my  own  ruin,  and  I  will  get  me  gone  with 
my  galleys  out  of  this  hole.' "  And  out  he  went  with  all  bis 
scjuadroD,  engaged  the  Enghsh  on  the  high  seas,  and  took  tlio 
first  ship  which  attempted  to  board  Mm,  But  Edward,  though  lie 
was  wounded  in  the  thigh,  quickly  restored  the  battle.  Aft«er  a 
gallant  resistance  Barbavera  sailed  off  with  bis  galleys,  and  the 
Freuch  fleet  found  itself  alono  at  grips  with  the  English,  The 
struggle  was  obstinate  on  both  sides  ;  it  began  at  six  in  the  morn- 
ing of  June  24th,  1340,  and  lasted  to  mid^day.  It  was  put  an  end 
toby  the  arrival  of  the  reinforcements  promised  by  the  Flemings 
to  the  king  of  England,  ''The  deputies  of  Bruges/'  says  their 
bistorian,  **liad  employed  the  whole  night  in  getting  under  weigh  an 
armament  of  two  himdred  vessels  and,  before  long,  the  French  heard 
eclioing  about  them  the  bonis  of  the  Flemish  mariners  sounding 
to  quarters.'*  These  latter  decided  the  victory;  Behuchet,  Philip  of 
Valois*  treasurer,  fell  into  their  bands ;  and  they,  heeding  only  their 
destre  of  avenging  themselves  for  the  devastation  of  Cadsand  (in 
13;J7),]ianged  him  from  the  mast  of  his  vessel  ''out  of  spite  to  the 
kitig  of  Prance."  The  admiral,  Hugh  QuitSret,  though  be  surren- 
dered, was  put  to  death ;  "  and  with  him  perished  so  great  a 
numljer  of  men-at-arms  that  the  sea  was  dyed  with  blood  on  this 
ooagt,  and  the  dead  were  put  down  at  quite  30,000  men," 
.  The  very  day  after  the  battle  the  queen  of  England  came  from 
Glient  to  join  the  king  her  husband,  whom  his  wound  confined  to 
fcis  ship  *r  *^iid  at  Valenciennes,  whither  the  news  of  the  victory 
lipeedily  arrived,  Artevelde,  mounting  a  platform  set  up  in  the 
umrket-place,  maintained  in  the  presence  of  a  large  crowd  the 
right  which  the  king  of  England  had  to  claim  the  kingdom  of 
France.  Ho  vaunted  **  the  puissance  of  the  three  countrieSi 
Fbndurs,  Hainault,  and  Biabantj  when  at  one  accord  amongst 


I- 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE, 


[Ceak  X3 


themselves,  anil  what  with  his  words  and  his  great  sense,"  says 
Froissart,  **  he  did  so  well  that  all  who  heard  him  said  that  lie  had 
spoken  mighty  well  and  with  mighty  experience^  and  that  he  was 
right  worthy  to  govern  tlie  countship  of  Flanders."  From  Valen- 
ciennes he  repaired  to  King  Edward  at  BrngeSj  where  all  the 
allied  princes  were  assembled ;  and  there,  in  concert  with  the 
other  deputies  from  the  Flemish  comtnuneSi  Artevelde  oftered 
Edward  a  hundred  tliousaud  men  for  the  vigorous  prosecution  of 
the  war,  "  All  those  burghers,"  says  the  modern  historian  of  the 
Flemings,  **  had  declared  that,  in  order  to  promote  their  country's 
cause,  they  would  serve  mthout  pay,  so  heartily  had  they  ent<?redj 
into  the  war*"  The  sic»ge  of  Touruay  was  the  first  opiTutioi^l 
Edward  resolved  to  undertake-  He  had  promised  to  give  this 
place  to  the  Flemings ;  the  burghers  were  getting  a  taste  f( 
conquest,  in  company  with  kings. 

They  found  Philip  of  Valois  bettor  informed  and  also  more  hot 
for  war  than  perhaps  they  had  expected.  It  is  said  that  he  learnt 
the  defeat  of  his  navy  at  Eelusc  from  his  court-fool,  who  was  the 
first  to  announce  it,  and  in  the  following  fiishiou,  "  The  English 
are  cowards,"  said  he,  *' Why  so?"  asked  the  king.  "Because 
they  lacked  com^age  to  leap  into  the  sea  at  Ecluse  as  the  French 
and  Normans  did."  Philip  lost  no  time  about  putting  the  places  on 
his  Northern  frontier  in  a  state  of  defence ;  he  took  up  his  quartens 
first  at  Arras  and  then  three  leagues  from  Tonrnay,  into  which  his 
constable,  Raoul  d*Eu,  immediately  threw  himself  with  a  consider- 
able force,  and  whither  his  allies,  the  duke  of  Lorraine,  the  count  of 
Havoy,  the  bisho[>s  of  Liege,  Metz,  and  Verdun,  and  nearly  all  tlie 
karous  of  Bin*gundy  came  and  joined  him.  On  the  27th  of  July, 
1340,  he  received  there  from  his  rival  a  challenge  of  portentous 
length,  the  principal  terms  of  which  arc  set  forth  as  follows: — 

**  Philip  of  Valois,  for  a  long  time  past  we  have  taken  proceediu 
by  means  of  messages  and  other  reasonable  ways,  to  the  end  tl 
yon  might  restore  to  us  our  rightfid  heritage  of  France,  which  you 
have  this  long  while  withheld  from  us  and  do  most  wrungridly 
occupy.  And  as  we  do  clearly  see  that  you  do  intend  to  persevere 
in  your  wrongful  withholding,  we  do  giro  you  notice  that  we  are 
jnarching  against  yon  to  bring  our  right  fid   ehiims  to  an  issue* 


CaAP.  XX.] 


TOE   HUNDRED   YEARS'   WAR. 


77 


And,  whei'eas  so  great  a  iiiirabei*  of  folks  assembled,  on  our  side 
and  on  yours,  cannot  keep  themselves  together  for  long  without 
catising  great  de^trnction  to  the  people  and  tlio  countryj  we  desire, 
m  the  quarrel  is  between  you  and  us,  that  tlte  decibion  of  our 
ehim  should  bo  between  our  two  bodies.  And  if  you  have  no 
nmitl  to  this  way,  we  propose  that  our  quarrel  should  end  by  a 
battle,  body  to  borly^  b:?twcon  a  hundred  persons,  tho  most  capable 
on  your  side  and  on  ours.  And,  if  you  liave  no  mind  either  to  one 
way  or  to  the  other,  that  you  do  appoint  ns  a  fixed  day  for  figliting 
before  the  eity  of  Touruay,  power  to  power.  Given  under  our 
privy  seal,  on  the  field  near  Tournay,  the  2Gtb  day  of  July,  in  the 
first  year  of  our  reign  in  France  and  in  England  the  fourteenth/' 

Philip  replied :  **  Phibp,  by  the  grace  of  God  king  of  Francej  to 
Edward  king  of  England.  We  have  seen  your  letters  brought  to 
our  court,  as  from  you  to  Philip  of  Valois,  and  containing  certain 
demands  which  you  make  upon  tlie  said  Philip  of  Valois*  And,  as 
tbe  said  lett<^rs  did  not  come  to  ourself,  we  make  you  no  answer. 
Our  intention  is,  when  it  shall  seem  good  to  us,  to  burl  you  out 
of  our  kingdom,  for  the  benefit  of  our  people.  And  of  that  we  havo 
firm  hD|je  in  Jesus  Christ,  from  whom  all  power  eometh  to  us." 

Events  were  not  satisfactory  either  to  the  haughty  pretensions 
of  Edward  or  to  the  patriotic  liupes  of  Phihp.  The  war  continued 
in  the  north  and  south-west  of  B'ranco  without  any  result.  In  the 
l^i^ghbourhood  of  Tournay  some  encounters  in  the  open  country 
TCre  unfavourable  to  the  English  and  their  allies ;  the  siege  of  tlio 
[fece  was  prolonged  for  seventy- four  days  without  the  attainment 
ftf  any  success  by  assault  or  investment;  and  the  inhabitants 
defended  themselves  with  so  obstinate  a  courage,  that,  when  at 
length  the  king  of  England  found  himself  obliged  to  raise  the  siege, 
Philip,  to  testify  his  gratitude  towards  them,  restored  them  their 
ln?r,  that  is,  their  communal  charter  for  some  time  past  withdrawn, 
and  *Hhey  were  greatly  rejoiced,"  says  Froissart,  "at  having  no 
more  royal  governours  and  at  appointing  provosts  and  jurymen 
a?cording  to  their  fancy."  The  Flemish  burghers,  in  spite  of  their 
display  of  warlike  zeal,  soon  grew  tired  of  being  so  far  from  their 
bosiness  and  of  living  under  canvas.  In  Aquitaine  the  ben  tenants 
of  the  king  of  France  had  the  advantage  over  those  of  the  king  of 


78 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chj^p. 


England,*   they  re-took  or   delivered  several   places   in   dispute 
between  the  two  crownsj  and  they  closely  preBRed  Bordeaux  itself 
both  by  land  and  sea.     Edward,  the  aggressor,  was  exhausting  hig 
pecuniary  resources,  and  his  Parliament  was  displaying  but  little 
inclination  to  replenish   them.     For  Philip,  who  had  merely 
defend  himself  in  his  own  dominions,  any  cessation  of  hostilitii 
was  almost  a  victory.,  A  pious  princess,  Joan  ofValois,  sister 
Philip  and  mother-in-law  of  Edward,  issued  from  her  convent  at 
Fontenelle,  for  the  purpose  of  urging  the  two  kings  to  make  peace 
or  at  least  to  suspend  hostihties,    **  The  good  damo,'^  says  Froissart^ 
"  saw  there,  on  the  two  sides,  all  the  flower  and  honoui'  of  tli^ 
chivalry  of  the  world ;  and  many  a  time  she  had  fallen  at  the  feet 
of  her  brother,  the  Idng  of  France,  praying  him  for  some  respite  or 
t!*eaty  of  agreement  between  himself  and  the  English  king.     And 
when  she  had  laboured  with  them  of  France  she  went  her  way  to 
them  of  the  Empire,  to  the  duke  of  Brabant,  to  the  marquis  of  Juliers 
and  to  my  lord  John  of  Hainaidt,  and  prayed  them,  for  God's 
pity's  sake,  that  they  would  bo  pleased  to  hearken  to  some  ter 
of  accord,  and  would  win  over  the  king  of  England  to  bo  pleased 
condescend  thereto/'   In  concert  with  the  envoys  of  Pope  Benedict" 
Xn,,  Joan  of  Valois  at  last  succeeded  in  bringing  the  two  sove- 
reigns and  their  allies  to  a  truce,  which  was  concluded  on  the  25th 
of  September,  1340,  at  first  for  nine  months,  and  was  afterwards 
renewed  on   several  occasions  up  to  the  month  of  June,  1342. 
Neither  sovereign,  and  none  of  their  allies  gave  up  any  thing  or 
bound  themselves  to  any  thing  more  than  not  to  fight  during  that 
interval;   but   they   were,   on  both  sides,  without  the  power  of 
carrying  on  withovit  pause  a  struggle  which  they  would  not  entirely 
abandon. 

An  unexpected  incident  led  to  its  recommencement  in  spit« 
the  fence :  not,  however,  throughout  France  or  directly  betweei 
the  two  kings,  but  with  fiery  fierceness,  though  it  was  limited  to  a^ 
single  province,  and  arose  not  in  the  name  of  the  kingship  of 
France  but  out  of  a  purely  provincial  question,    John  III.,  duke  of 
Brittany  and  a  faithfid  vassal  of  Philip  of  Valois,  whom  he  had  gone 
to  support  at  Tournay  **more  stoutly  and  substantially  than  any 
of  the  other  princes/*  says  Froissart,  died  suddenly  at  Caen,  on  the 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED   YEABS*  WAR. 


30th  of  Aprilj  1341,  on  returning  to  his  domaiTi,     Though  he  had 

been  thrice  married  he  left  no  child,     Tho  duchy  of  Brittany  then 

reverted  to  his  brothers  or  their  posterity;  but  liis  very  next  brother, 

Guy,  count  of  Penthi&'vre,  had  been  dead  six  years  and  had  left 

only  a  daughter,  Joan  called  the  Cripple,  married  to  Charles  of 

Blois,  nephew  of  the  king  of  Franco.    The  third  brother  was  still 

alive;  he  too  was  named  John,  had  from  his  mother  the  title  of 

mmt  of  Montfort,  and  claimed  to  be  heir  to  the  duchy  of  Brittany 

in  preference   to  his  niece   Joan.     The   niece,   on  the  contrary, 

believed  in  her  own  right  to  the   exclusion  of  her  uncle.     The 

f|ue9tion  was  exactly  the  same  as  that  which  had  arisen  touching 

the  crown   of    France   when    Philip   the   Long  had   successfully 

(llsputed   it   witli   the   only   daughter   of  Ids   brother   Louis  the 

(|u3rreller;    but  the   Salic   law,  which  had   for  more  than  three 

eentaries  prevailed  in  France  and  just   lately  to   the  benefit  of 

Philip  of  Valois,  had   no   existence    in  the  written   code   or  the 

tnviitions  of  Brittany.     There,   as   in   several   other   great   fiefs, 

women    had   often   been   recognized   as   capable   of  holding   and 

transmitting  sovereignty.     At  tho  death  of  John  IIL,  his  brother 

tte  count  of  Montfort,  immediately  put  himself  in  possession  of  the 

inhoritance,  seized   the  principal  Breton   towns,   Nantes,    Brest, 

Eenaes,  and  Vannes,  and  crossed  over  to  England  to  secure  the 

support  of  Edward  IIL     His  rival,  Charles  of  Blois,  appealed  to 

the  decision  of  the  king  of  France,  his  uncle  and  natural  protector. 

Pliilip  of  Valois  thus  found  himself  the  champion  of  succession  in 

tlie  female  line  in  Brittany,  whilst  he  was  himself  reigning  in 

France  by  virtue  of  the  Salic  law,  and  Edward  III,  took  up  in 

Brittany  the  defence  of  succession  in  the  male  lino  which  ha  was 

disputing  and  fighting  against  in  France,     Philip  and  his  court  of 

peers  declared   on   the    7th   of  September,    1341,  that   Brittany 

lielonged  to  Charles  of  Blois,  who  at  once  did  homage  for  it  to  the 

long  of  France,  whilst  John  of  Montfort  demanded  and  obtained 

^e  support  of  the  king  of  England.     War  broke  out  between  the 

claimants,  effectually  supported  by  the  two  kings,  who  never- 

tlieless  were  not  supposed  to  make  war  upon  one  another  and  in 

their  own  dominions.     The  feudal  system  sometimes  entailed  these 

strange  and  dangerous  complications,  ^ 


60 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap. 


If  the  two  parties  had  been  reduced  for  leaders  to  the  two^ 
claiTnaiitB  only,  the  Avar  would  not,  perhaps,  have  lasted  long.  In 
the  first  caiiiimign  tho  coimt  of  Montfort  was  made  prigonor  at  the 
giego  of  Nank>s,  can  led  off*  to  Paris  and  shut  up  in  the  tower  of 
*th0  LouFre,  whence  he  did  not  escape  until  tliree  years  were  ovn|^| 
Cnmrles  of  Blois»  with  all  his  personal  valour,  was  so  scrupulously 
devout  that  he  often  added  to  the  embarrassments  and  at  the  same 
time  tho  delays  of  war.  He  never  marched  without  being  followed 
by  his  almoner^  who  took  with  him  every  where  bread  and  wine  and 
water  and  fire  in  a  pot  for  the  purpose  of  saying  mass  by  the  way* 
One  day  when  Charles  was  accordingly  hearing  it  and  was  very 
near  the  enemy,  one  of  his  officers,  Auffroy  de  Montbouclierj  said  U> 
him,  "  Sir,  you  see  right  well  that  your  enemies  are  yonder,  and 
you  halt  a  longer  time  than  they  need  to  take  you."  *' Auffroy/' 
unswercd  tlio  prince,  **  wo  shall  always  have  towns  and  castles,  and, 
if  they  arc  taken,  we  shall,  with  God's  help,  recover  them;  but  if 
we  miss  hearing  of  mass,  we  shall  never  recover  it."  Neither  side, 
however,  had  much  detriment  from  either  the  captivity  or  pious 
delays  of  its  chief.  Joan  of  Flanders,  comitess  of  Montfort,  was  itt 
Rennes  when  she  heard  that  her  husband  had  been  taken  prisoner 
at  Nantes.  "  Although  she  made  great  mourning  in  her  heart/* 
says  Froissart,  "  she  made  it  not  like  a  disconsolate^  woman,  but 
like  a  proud  and  gallant  nian.  She  showed  to  her  friends  and 
soldiers  a  little  boy  she  had,  and  whose  name  was  Juhn^  even  as 
his  father's,  and  she  said  to  them,  'Ah  !  sirs,  be  not  discomforted 
and  cast  down  because  of  raj  lord  whom  we  have  lost ;  he  was  but 
oue  man;  see  here  is  my  little  boy  who,  please  God,  shall  be  his 
avenger.  I  have  wealth  in  abundance,  and  of  it  I  will  give  you 
enow,  and  I  will  provide  you  with  such  a  leader  as  shall  give  you 
all  fresh  heart.*  She  went  thi^ough  all  her  good  towns  and 
fortresses,  taking  her  young  son  with  her,  reinforcing  the  garrisons 
with  men  and  all  they  wanted,  and  giving  away  abundantly  wherever 
she  thought  it  would  be  well  laid  out*  Then  she  went  her  way  to 
nennebon*sur-Mer,  which  was  a  strong  town  and  strong  castlet 
and  there  she  abode,  and  her  son  with  her,  all  the  winter."  In 
May,  1342,  Charles  of  Blois  came  to  besiege  her;  but  the  attempts 
at  assault  were  not  successful     **The  countess  of  Montfort,  who 


Chap.  XX.) 


THE  mXNDBED   TEAES'  WAR. 


81 


I 


I 
I 


I 


waa  Oftsetl  in  armour  and  rode  on  a  fine  steed,  galloped  from  street 

to  street  throiigli  the  town,  summoned  the  people  to  defend  them- 

sehes  stoutly,  and  called  on  the  women  sdamcSjdamoisels,  and  others, 

to  pull  up  the  roadSj  and  carry  the  stones  to  the  ramparts  t-o  throw 

down  on  the  assaihints/*    She  attempted  a  bolder  enterprise.    "  She 

sometimes  mounted  a  towerj  right  up  to  the  top,  that  she  might 

see  the  better  how  her  people  bore  themselves-     She  one  day  saw 

tliat  all  they  of  the  hostile  army>  lords  and  others,  had  left  their 

(jijartera  and  gouo  to  watch  the  assault.     She  mounted  her  steed, 

aH  armed  as  she  was,  and  summoned  to  horse  with  her  about  three 

himdred  raen-at-arms  who  were  on  guard  at  a  gate  which  was  not 

being  assailed.     She  went  out  thereat  with  all  her  compaBy  and 

threw  herself  valiantly  upon  the  tents  and  quarters  of  the  lords  of 

France,  which  were  all   burnt,  being  guarded  only  by  boys  and 

Tarleis,  who  fled  as  soon  as  they  saw  the  countess  and  her  folks 

entering  and   setting   fire.     When   the  lords   saw  their  quarters 

biiruing  and  heard  the  noise  which  came  therefrom  they  ran  up  all 

dazed  and  crying,  *  Betrayed  I  betrayed  I  *  so  that  none  remained  for 

the  assault.     When  the  countess  saw  the  enemy's  host  running  up 

from  all  parts,  she  re-assembled  all  her  folks,  and  seeing  right  well 

that  she  could  not  enter  the  town  again  without  too  great  lossj  she 

went  off  by  another  road  to  the  castle  of  Brest  [or,  more  probably, 

d'Auray,  as  Brest  is  much  more  than  three  leagues  from  Honnebon], 

which  lies  as  near  as  three  leagues  from  thence."     Though  hotly 

pursued  by  the  assailants  *'  she  rode  so  fast  and  so  well  that  she 

and  the  greater  part  of  her  folks  arrived  at  the  castle  of  Brest, 

whetB  she  was  i*eeeived  and  feasted  right  joyously.     Those  of  her 

folks  who  were  in  Hennebon  were  all  night  in  great  disquietude 

because  neither  she  nor  any  of  her  company  returned;  and  the 

assailant  lords,  who  had  taken  up  quarters  nearer  to  the  town, 

cried,  *Come  out,  come  out  and  seek  your  countess;  she  is  lost; 

jou  will  not  find  a  bit  of  her,'     In  such  fear  the  folks  in  Hennebon 

remained  five  days.     But  the  countess  wrought  so  well  that  she 

had  now  full  five  hundred  comrades  armed  and  well  mounted;  then 

ghe  set  out  fi*om  Brest  about  midnight  and  came  away,  arriving  at 

sunrise  and  riding  straight  upon  one  of  the  flanks  of  the  enemy's 

liTOt;   tliere  she  had  the  gate  of  Honnebon  castle  opened,  and 

voi*.  Ji.  Q 


82 


HISTOEY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Ch4p.  XX- 


entered  in  witli  great  joy  and  a  great  noise  of  trumpets  and  drums; 
wliereby  the  besiegers  were  roughly  disturbed  and  awakened/* 

The  joy  of  the  besieged  was  short.  Charles  of  Blois  prt^ssed  on 
the  siege  more  rigorously  every  day,  threatening  that,  when  he 
should  have  taken  the  place,  he  would  put  all  the  inhabitants  to  the 
sword.  Consternation  spread  even  to  the  brave ;  and  a  negotiation 
was  opened  with  a  view  of  arriving  at  terms  of  eapitulatioo.  By 
dint  of  prayers  Countess  Joan  obtained  a  delay  of  three  days.  The 
first  two  had  expired,  and  the  besiegers  were  preparing  for  a  fresh 
assault,  %vhen  Joan,  from  the  top  of  her  tower,  saw  the  sea  covered 
with  sails:  "  'See,  see,'  she  cried,  'the  aid  so  mach  desired!'  Every 
one  in  the  town,  as  best  they  could,  rushed  up  at  once  to  the 
windows  and  battlements  of  the  walls  to  see  what  it  might  be/* 
says  Froissai^t.  In  point  of  fact  it  was  a  fleet  with  (5000  men 
brought  from  England  to  the  relief  of  Hennebon  by  Amaury  de 
CUsson  and  Walter  de  Manny ;  and  they  had  been  a  long  while 
detained  at  sea  by  contrary  winds,  *' Wlien  they  had  landed,  the 
countess  herself  went  to  them  and  feasted  them  and  thanked  them 
greatly,  which  was  no  wonder,  for  she  had  sore  need  of  their 
coming/'  It  was  far  better  still  when,  next  day,  the  new  arrivals 
had  attacked  the  besiegers  and  gained  a  brilliant  victory  over  them. 
When  they  re-entered  the  place,  "whoever,**  says  Froissart,  **  WAW 
the  countess  descend  from  the  castle,  and  kiss  my  lord  Walter  de 
Manny  and  his  conarades,  one  after  another,  two  or  three  timeSi 
might  well  have  said  that  it  was  a  gallant  dame." 

All  the  while  that  the  count  of  Montfort  was  a  prisoner  in  the 
tower  of  the  Louvre,  the  countess  his  wife  strove  for  his  cause  with 
the  same  indefatigable  energy.  He  escaped  in  1345,  crossed  over 
to  England,  swore  fealty  and  homage  to  Edward  III.  for  the  duchj 
of  Brittany,  and  immediately  returned  to  take  in  hand,  himself,  his 
o^vn  cause,  Btit  in  the  very  yeai*  of  his  escape,  on  the  26tli  of 
Septemlier,  1345,  he  died  at  the  castle  of  Hennebon,  leaving  once 
more  his  wife,  with  a  yoinig  child,  alone  at  the  head  of  his  party 
and  having  in  charge  the  fiiture  of  his  house.  The  Countess  Joan 
maintained  tlie  rights  and  interests  of  her  son  as  she  had  maintained 
those  of  her  husband.  For  nineteen  years,  she,  with  the  help  of 
England,  struggled  against  Charles  of  Blois,  the  head  of  a  party 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEABS'  WAE. 


8S 


\ 


I 


I 
I 


growing  more  and  more  powerful  and  protected  by  France- 
Fortune  shifted  her  favours  and  her  asperities  fi'om  one  carap 
io  the  other.  Charles  of  Blois  had  at  first  pretty  considerable 
suooess ;  but,  on  the  18th  of  June,  1347^  in  a  battle  in  which  he 
personaUy  displayed  a  brilliant  courage  he  wag  in  his  turn  made 
prisoner^  carried  to  England,  and  immured  in  the  Tower  of 
London.  There  ho  remained  nine  years.  But  he  too  had  a 
Tsliant  and  indomitable  wife,  Joan  of  Penthifevre,  the  Cripple, 
She  did  for  her  hnsband  all  that  Joan  of  Montfort  was  doing 
for  hers.  All  the  time  that  he  was  a  prisoner  in  the  Tower  of 
Loodon,  she  was  the  sonl  and  the  head  of  his  party,  in  the  open 
coimtry  as  well  as  in  the  to\TOS,  turning  to  profitable  accoujit  the 
mdiBations  of  the  Breton  population,  whom  the  presence  and  the 
faTages  of  the  English  had  turned  against  John  of  Montfort  and 
hi  cause.  She  even  convoked  at  Dinan,  in  1352,  a  general 
lesembly  of  her  partisans,  which  is  counted  by  the  Breton  histo- 
mns  as  the  second  holding  of  the  States  of  their  country.  During 
me  years,  from  1347  to  1356,  the  two  Joans  were  the  two  heads 
of  their  parties  in  politics  and  in  war,  Charles  of  Blois  at  last 
obtained  his  lilK?rty  from  Edward  III*  on  hard  conditions,  and 
returned  to  Brittany  to  take  up  the  conduct  of  his  own  aifairs. 
The  struggle  between  the  two  claimants  still  lasted  eight  years 
ffith  vicissitudes  ending  in  nothing  definite-  In  1363  Charles  of 
Blois  and  young  John  of  Montfort,  weary  of  theii'  fruitless  efforts 
and  the  sufferings  of  their  countries,  determined  both  of  them  to 
make  peace  and  share  Brittany  between  them,  Bennes  was  to  be 
Charles*  capital,  and  Nantes  that  of  his  rivah  The  treaty  had  been 
signed,  an  altar  raised  between  the  two  armies,  and  an  oath  taken 
on  both  sides,  but  when  Joan  of  Penthjfevre  was  informed  of  it  she 
ii*fu8ed  downright  to  ratify  it.  **  I  married  you,'*  she  said  to  her 
kniband,  **to  defend  my  inheritance  and  not  to  yield  the  half  of  it; 
lam  only  A  woman,  but  I  would  lose  my  life,  and  two  lives  if  I  had 
ttem,  rather  than  consent  to  any  cession  of  the  kind/'  Charles  of 
Btois,  as  weak  before  his  wife  as  brave  before  the  enemy,  broke  the 
treaty  he  had  but  just  sworn  to,  and  set  out  for  Nantes  to  resume 
the  war.  *'My  lord/'  said  Countess  Joan  to  him  in  presence  of  all  his 
faiigliti,  **you  are  going  to  defend  my  inheritance  and  yours,* which 


86 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap-  XX, 


my  lord  of  Mont  fort — wrongful  Ij,  God  knows — doth  withliold  from 
us,  and  the  barons  of  Brittany  who  are  here  present  know  that  I 
am  rightful  heiress  of  it-  I  pray  you  affectionately  not  to  make 
any  ordinance,  composition j  or  treaty  whereby  the  duchy  corporate 
remain  not  ours,"  Charles  set  out;  and  in  the  following  year,  on 
the  29th  of  September,  IZOl,  the  battle  of  Auray  cost  liim  his  life 
and  tho  countship  of  Brittany,  When  he  was  wounded  to  death 
he  said,  "  I  have  long  been  at  war  against  my  conscience/*  At 
sight  of  his  dead  body  on  the  field  of  battle  young  John  of 
Montfort,  his  conqueror,  was  touched,  and  cried  out,  "Alas  I  my 
cousin,  by  your  obstinacy  you  have  been  the  cause  of  great  evils  in 
Brittany :  may  God  forgive  you  I  It  grieves  me  much  that  you 
are  come  to  so  sad  an  end."  After  this  outburst  of  generous 
compassion  came  the  joy  of  victory,  which  Montfort  owed  above  all 
to  his  English  allies  and  to  John  Ohandos  theii'  leader,  to  whom, 
**  My  lord  John,"  said  he»  **  tliis  great  fortune  hath  come  to  me 
through  your  great  sense  and  prowess:  wherefore,  I  pray  you, 
drink  out  of  my  cup,"  "  Sir,"  answered  Chandos,  "  let  us  go 
hence,  and  render  you  your  thanks  to  God  for  this  happy  fortune 
you  have  gotten,  for,  without  the  death  of  yonder  warrior,  you 
could  not  have  come  into  tho  inheritance  of  Brittany."  From  that 
day  forth  John  of  Montfort  remained  in  point  of  fact  duke  of 
Brittany,  and  Joan  of  Penthi^vre,  the  Cripple,  the  proud  princess 
who  had  so  obstinately  defended  her  rights  against  him,  survived  for 
full  twenty  years  the  death  of  her  husband  and  the  loss  of  her  duchy , 
Whilst  the  two  Joans  were  exhibiting  in  Brittany,  for  tho 
preservation  or  the  recovery  of  their  little  dominion,  so  much 
energy  and  persistency,  another  Joan,  no  princess  but  not  the  less 
a  heroine,  was,  in  no  other  interest  than  the  satisfaction  of  her 
love  and  her  vengeance,  making  war,  all  by  herself,  on  the  same 
territory.  Several  Norman  and  Breton  lords,  and  amongst  others 
Oliver  de  Chsson  and  Godfrey  d'Harcourt,  were  suspected,  nomi* 
nally  attached  as  they  were  to  the  king  of  France,  of  having  made 
secret  overtures  to  the  king  of  England.  Philip  of  Valois  had  them 
arrested  at  a  tournament,  and  had  them  beheaded  without  any 
form  of  trial,  in  the  middle  of  the  market-place  at  Paris,  to  tho 
number  of  fourteen.     The  head  of  Clisson  was  sent  to  Nantes,  and 


Cbap.  XX.] 


THE  HUISTDRED  YEABS'  WAR. 


87 


I 


I 


I 


\ 


exposed  on  one  of  the  gates  of  the  city.  At  the  news  thereof,  his 
widow,  Joan  of  Belleville,  attended  by  several  men  of  family,  her 
Beighboura  and  fi'iends,  set  out  for  a  castle  occupied  by  the  troops 
of  Philip's  candidate,  Charles  of  Blois.  The  fate  of  Clisaon  was 
apt  yet  known  there ;  it  was  supposed  that  his  wife  was  on  a 
knting  excursion;  and  she  was  admitted  without  distrust.  As 
soon  as  she  was  inside,  the  blast  of  a  horn  gave  notice  to  her 
Mowers,  whom  she  had  left  concealed  in  the  neighbouring  woods, 
rtey  rushed  up,  and  took  possession  of  the  castle;  and  Joan  do 
CKsson  had  all  the  inhabitants-^but  one-^put  to  the  sword.  But 
this  was  too  little  for  her  grief  and  her  zeal.  At  the  head  of  her 
troops^  augmented,  she  scoured  the  country  and  seized  several 
places,  every  where  driving  out  or  putting  to  death  the  sei'vants  of 
the  king  of  France,  Philip  confiscated  the  property  of  the  house 
of  Cliason*  Joan  moved  from  land  to  sea.  She  manned  several 
vessels,  attacked  the  French  ships  she  fell  in  with,  ravaged  the 
coasts,  and  ended  by  going  and  placing  at  the  service  of  the 
countess  of  Montfort  her  hatred  and  her  son,  a  boy  of  seven  years 
af  age  whom  she  had  taken  with  her  in  all  her  expeditions  and  who 
ffas  afterwards  the  great  constable  Oliver  de  Clisson,  We  shall 
find  him  under  Charles  V-  and  Charles  VI,  as  devoted  to  France 
and  her  kings  as  if  he  had  not  made  his  first  essays  in  arms  against 
the  candidate  of  their  ancestor  Philip.  His  mother  had  sent  him 
to  England  to  be  brought  up  at  the  court  of  Edward  III,,  but, 
shortly  after  taking  a  glorious  part  with  the  English  in  the  battle 
of  AiU'ay,  in  which  he  lost  an  eye  and  which  secured  the  duchy  of 
Brittany  to  the  count  of  Montfort,  De  CUsson  got  embroiled  none 
the  less  with  his  suzerain,  who  had  given  John  Chandos  the  castle 
of  Giavre,  near  Nantes.  '*  Devil  take  me,  my  lord,*'  said  Oliver  to 
him,  "  if  ever  EngMshman  shall  be  my  neighbour ;''  and  he  went 
forthwith  and  attacked  the  castle,  which  he  completely  demoHshed, 
The  liatreds  of  women  whose  passions  have  made  them  heroines  of 
war  are  more  personal  and  more  obstinate  than  those  of  the 
roughest  waiTiors.  Accordingly  the  war  for  the  duchy  of  Brittany 
in  the  fourteenth  century  has  been  called  in  history  the  war  of  tho 
three  Joans. 
This  war  was,  on  both  sides,  remarkable  for  cruelty.     If  Joan  de 


88 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE^ 


[Cbaf,  XX. 


CMsson  gave  to  the  sword  all  tlie  people  in  a  castle,  belonging  to 
Charles  of  Blois,  to  which  she  had  been  aflmitted  on  a  supposition 
of  pacific  intentions,  Charles  of  Blois,  on  liis  side,  finding  in  another 
castle  thirty  knights,  partisans  of  the  count  of  Montfort,  had  their 
heads  shot  from  catapults  over  the  walls  of  Nantes  which  he  was 
besieging;  and,  at  the  same  time  that  he  saved  from  pillage  tbo 
churches  of  Quimper  which  he  had  just  taken,  ho  allowed  his  troops 
to  jnassacro  fourteen  hundred  inhabitants  and  had  his  principal 
prisoners  beheaded.  One  of  them,  being  a  deacon,  he  caused  to  bo 
degraded  and  then  handed  over  to  the  populace,  who  stoned  him. 
It  is  characteristic  of  the  middle  ages  that  in  them  the  ferocity  of 
barbai*ic  times  existed  side  by  side  with  the  sentiments  of  chivalry 
and  the  fervour  of  Christianity :  so  slow  is  the  race  of  man  to 
eschew  evil  even  when  it  has  begun  to  discern  and  relish  good. 
War  was  then  the  passion  and  habitual  condition  of  men.  They 
made  it  without  motive  as  well  as  without  prevision,  in  a  transport 
of  feeling  or  for  the  sake  of  pastimei  to  display  their  strength  or  to 
escape  from  listlessness  i  and,  whilst  making  it,  they  abandoned 
themselves  without  scruple  to  all  those  deeds  of  violence,  ven* 
geance,  brutal  anger,  or  fierce  delight  which  war  provokes.  At  the 
same  time,  however,  the  generous  impulses  of  feudal  chivalry,  the 
sympathies  of  Christian  piety,  tender  affections,  faithful  devotion, 
noble  tastes,  were  fermenting  in  their  souls;  and  human  nature 
appeareil  with  all  its  complications,  its  inconsistencies,  and  its 
uTegidaritieB,  but  also  with  all  its  wealth  of  prospective  develop- 
ment. The  tlnx)e  Joans  of  the  fourteenth  century  were  but  eighty 
years  in  mivauce  of  the  Joan  of  Arc  of  the  fifteenth;  and  tho 
knights  of  Charles  V,,  Du  Gueschn  and  De  Giisson,  wore  tho 
forerunners  of  the  Bayard  of  Francis  I. 

An  incident  which  has  retained  its  popularity  in  French  history, 
to  wit,  the  fight  between  thirty  Bretons  and  thirty  English  during 
tho  just  now  commemorat<?d  war  in  Brittany  will  give  a  bett4?r  idea 
than  any  general  observations  could  of  the  real,  living  characteris- 
tics of  facta  and  manners,  barbaric  and  at  the  same  time  chivalrie, 
at  that  period.  No  apology  is  needed  for  here  reproducing  the 
chief  details  as  they  have  been  related  by  Froissart,  tho  dramatic 
chronicler  of  the  middle  ages, 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED   YEARS^   WAR, 


la  1351,  **it  happened  on  a  day  that  Sir  Rol)ert  do  Boaumanoir, 
a  valiant  knight  and  commandant  of  the  castle  wliich  is  called 
i\4k  Josscliu  came  before  the  town  and  castle  of  Ploermel, 
diureof  the  captain,  called  Brandebourg  [or  Bremhro^  probably 
Brffiihoroufjh^^  had  with  him  a  plenty  of  soldiers  of  the  oonntess  of 
Monlfort,  *  Brandebourg,*  said  Egbert*  '  have  ye  within  thero 
nerer  a  man-at-arms,  or  two  or  three,  who  would  fain  cross  swords 
^fith other  three  for  love  of  their  ladies?'  Brandebourg  answered 
that  their  ladies  wonld  not  have  them  lose  their  lives  in  so 
misemble  an  affair  as  single  combat,  whereby  one  gained  the  name 
of  fool  rather  than  honourable  renown,  '  I  will  tell  you  what  wo 
win  do,  if  it  please  you.  You  shall  take  twenty  or  thirty  of  your 
comrades,  as  I  will  take  as  many  of  ours.  We  will  go  out  into  a 
goodly  field  where  none  can  hinder  or  vex  us,  and  there  will  we  do 
so  much  that  men  shall  speak  thereof  in  time  to  come  in  hall  and 
palace  and  highway,  and  other  places  of  the  world.*  *By  my  faith/ 
md  Beaumanoir,  *  'tis  bravely  said,  and  I  agree :  be  ye  thirty,  and 
WQ  will  be  tliirty  too/  And  thus  the  matter  was  settled.  When 
the  day  had  come,  the  thirty  comrades  of  Brandebourg,  whom  we 
filmll  call  Enfjflsh^  heard  mass,  then  got  on  their  arras,  went  off  to 
tke  place  where  the  battle  was  to  be,  dismounted,  and  waited  a  long 
wliile  for  the  others,  \^  horn  we  shall  call  Fremh,  When  the  thirty 
French  had  come,  and  they  were  in  front  one  of  another,  they 
jxirleyed  a  little  together  all  the  sixty;  then  they  fell  back  and 
made  all  their  fellows  go  far  away  from  the  place-  Then  one  of 
tlwm  made  a  sign,  and  fortliwith  they  set  on  and  fought  stoutly  all 
in  a  heap,  atid  they  aided  one  another  handsomely  when  they  saw 
tlieir  comrades  in  evil  case.  Pretty  soon  after  they  had  come  toge- 
ther ono  of  the  French  was  slain,  but  the  rest  did  not  slacken  the 
fiofht  one  whit,  and  they  l>ore  themselves  as  valiantly  all  as  if  they 
liad  all  Ix^en  Rolands  and  Olivers.  At  last  they  were  forced  to 
stop,  and  they  rested  by  common  accord,  giving  themselves  truce 
ontil  they  sliould  be  rested,  and  the  first  to  get  up  again  should 
recall  the  others.  They  rcsk^d  long,  and  there  were  some  who 
drank  wino  which  was  brouglit  to  them  in  bottles.  They  re-buckled 
tiiiiir  armour  which  liad  got  undone,  and  dressed  their  wounds. 
Four  French  and  two  English  were  dead  already/* 


90 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chaf.  XX, 


It  was  no  doubt  during  fcliis  interval  that  the  captain  of  the 
Bretons,  Robert  de  Beaumanoirj  grievously  wounded  and  dying  of 
fatigue  and  thirst,  cried  out  for  a  drink,  "  Drink  thy  blood, 
Beauinanoir/'  said  one  of  his  comrades,  Geoffrey  de  Bois  accordirig 
to  some  accounts,  and  Sire  du  Tint^niac  according  to  others. 
From  that  day  those  words  became  the  war-cry  of  the  Beaumanoirs. 
Froissart  says  nothing  of  this  incident.  Let  us  return  to  his 
narrative* 

**  When  they  were  refi^eshed,  the  first  to  get  up  again  made  a 
sign  and  recalled  the  others.  Then  the  battle  recommenced  as 
stoutly  as  before  and  lasted  a  long  while.  They  had  short  swords  of 
Bordeaux,  tough  and  sharp,  and  boar-spears  and  daggers,  and  some 
had  axes,  and  therewith  they  dealt  one  another  marvellously  gi'eat 
dingSj  and  some  seized  one  another  by  the  arms  a-struggling,  and 
they  struck  one  another  and  spared  not*  At  last  the  EngUsh  had 
the  worst  of  it;  Brandebourg,  their  captain,  was  slain,  with  eight  of 
his  comrades ;  and  the  rest  yielded  themselves  prisoners  when  they 
saw  that  they  could  no  longer  defend  themselves,  for  they  could 
not  and  must  not  fly.  Sir  Robert  de  Beaumanoir  and  his  comi*adeS| 
who  remamed  ahve^  took  them  and  carried  them  off  to  Castle 
Jossolin  as  their  prisoners;  and  then  admitted  them  to  rauBom 
courteously  when  they  were  all  cured,  for  there  was  none  that  was 
not  grievously  wounded,  French  as  well  as  English.  I  saw  after- 
wards sitting  at  the  table  of  King  Charles  of  France  a  Breton 
knight  who  had  been  in  it.  Sir  Yvon  Charuel;  and  he  had  a  face  so 
carved  and  cut  that  he  showed  full  well  how  good  a  fight  had  been 
fought.  The  matter  was  talked  of  in  many  places ;  and  some  set 
it  down  as  a  very  poor,  and  others  as  a  very  swaggering  business/* 

The  most  modei-n  and  most  judicious  historian  of  Brittany, 
Count  Daru,  who  has  left  a  name  as  honourable  in  literature  as  in 
the  higher  administration  of  the  First  Empire,  says^  very  truly,  in 
recounting  this  incident,  **  It  is  not  quite  certain  whether  this  was 
an  act  of  patriotism  or  of  chivalry,"  He  might  have  gone  farther, 
and  discovered  in  this  exploit  not  only  the  characteristics  ho  points 
out,  but  many  others  besides.  Local  patriotism,  the  honour  of 
Brittany,  party-spirit,  the  success  of  John  of  Montfort  or  Charles 
of  Blois,  the  sentiment  of  gallantry,  the  glorification  of  the  most 


Cm?.  XX,] 


THE  HUNDRED   YEARS'   WAR, 


91 


beautiful  one  amongst  their  lady-loves,  and,  chiefly,  the  passion  for 
war  amongst  all  and  sundry ^ — there  was  something  of  all  this  mixed 
tip  with  the  battle  of  the  Thirty,  a  faitLfid  reflex  of  the  complication 
and  confusion  of  minds,  of  morala  and  of  wants  at  that  forceful 
|X?riod,  It  is  this  very  variety  of  the  ideas,  feelings,  interests,  motives, 
and  motive  tendencies  involved  in  that  incident  which  accounts 
for  the  fact  that  the  battle  of  the  Thirty  has  remained  so  vividly 
remembered,  and  that  in  1811  a  monument,  unpretentious  but 
national,  replaced  the  simple  stone  at  first  erected  on  the  field  of 
battle,  on  the  edge  of  the  road  from  Plocrmel  to  Josselin,  with  this 
inscription  :  "  To  the  immortal  memory  of  the  battle  of  the  Thu-ty, 
gained  by  marshal  Beaumanoir,  on  the  2Gth  of  March,  1350 
(1351)/' 

With  some  fondness  and  at  some  length  this  portion  of  Brittany's 
history  in  the  fourteenth  century  has  been  dwelt  upon,  not  only 
because  of  the  di*amatic  interest  attaching  to  the  events  and  tho 
actors^  but  also  for  the  sake  of  showing,  by  that  example,  how 
many  separate  associations,  diverse  and  often  hostile,  were  at  that 
time  developing  themselves,  each  on  its  own  account,  in  that 
extensive  and  beautiful  country  which  became  France,  We  will 
now  return  to  Philip  of  Valois  and  Edward  III.,  and  to  the 
struggle  between  them  for  a  settlement  of  the  question  whether 
France  should  or  should  not  preserve  its  own  independent  king- 
bip  and  that  national  unity  of  which  she  ah'eady  ha<l  the  name, 
l^ut  of  which  she  was  still  to  undergo  so  much  painful  travail  in 
acquiring  the  reality. 

Although  Edward  III.  by  supporting  with  troops  and  officers, 
and  sometimes  even  in  person,  the  cause  of  the  countess  of  Mont- 
fort — and  PhiUp  of  Valois,  by  assisting  in  the  same  way  Charles  of 
Blois  and  Joan  of  Penthifevre,  took  a  very  active,  if  indirect,  share 
ia  the  war  in  Brittany,  the  two  kings  persisted  in  not  calhng 
themselves  at  war;  and  when  either  of  them  proceeded  to  acts  of 
unquestionable  hostihty,  they  eluded  the  consequences  of  them  by 
liastily  concluding  truces  incessantly  violated  and  as  incessantly 
renewed.  They  had  made  use  of  this  expedient  in  1 340 ;  and  they 
had  recourse  to  it  again  in  1342, 1343,  and  1344,  The  last  of  these 
fcniioes  was  to  have  lasted  up  to  1346 ;  but,  in  the  spring  of  1345, 


92 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE. 


[Ceap. 


Edward  resolved  to  put  an  end  to  tbig  equivocal  po  Bit  ion,  and  to 
openly  recommence  war.  He  annouTiced  his  intention  to  Pope 
Clement  IV.  j  to  his  own  lieutenants  in  Brittany,  and  to  all  the 
cities  and  corporations  of  his  kingdom.  He  accused  Philip  o^ 
having  "violated,  without  even  sending  us  a  challenge,  the  true 
which,  out  of  regard  to  the  sovereign  pontiff,  we  had  agi^eed  u\ 
with  him,  and  which  he  liad  taken  an  oath^  upon  his  soul,  to  kee| 
On  account  whereof  we  have  resolved  to  proceed  against  him,  hii 
and  all  his  adherents,  by  land  and  sea,  by  all  means  possible,  in 
order  to  recover  our  just  rights/'  It  is  not  quite  clear  what^ 
pressing  reasons  urged  Edward  to  this  decisive  resolution,  TW 
English  parliament  and  people,  it  is  true,  showed  more  disposition 
to  support  their  king  in  his  pretensions  to  the  throne  of  France, 
and  the  cause  of  the  count  of  Montfort  was  maintaining  itself 
stubbornly  in  Brittany,  but  nothing  seemed  to  call  for  so  staitling  a 
rupture  or  to  promise  Edward  any  speedy  and  successful  issu8«_ 
He  had  lost  his  most  energetic  and  warlike  adviser ;  for  Robei 
d' Artois,  the  deadly  enemy  of  Philip  of  Valois,  had  been  so  des} 
rately  wounded  in  the  defence  of  Vannes  against  Robert  do  Beat 
manoir  that  he  had  leturned  to  England  only  to  die.  Edward 
this  loss  severely,  gave  Robert  a  splendid  funeral  in  St.  Paul's 
church,  and  declared  that  **  he  would  listen  to  naught  until  he  bad 
avenged  him,  and  that  he  would  reduce  the  country  of  Brittany  tdH 
such  phght  thatj  for  forty  years,  it  should  not  recover."  Philip  of 
Valois,  on  his  side,  gave  signs  of  getting  ready  for  war.  In  1343 
he  had  convoked  at  Paris  one  of  those  assemblies  wliich  were 
beginning  to  be  called  the  States-general  of  the  kingdom,  and  he 
obtained  from  it  certain  subventions.  It  was  likewise  in  1343  and 
at  the  beginning  of  1344  that  he  ordei^d  the  arrest,  at  a  touiiia- 
ment  to  which  he  had  invited  them,  and  the  decapitation,  without 
any  form  of  trial,  of  fourteen  Breton  and  three  Norman  lords 
whom  he  suspected  of  intriguing  against  him  with  the  king  ol 
England •  And  so  Edward  might  have  considered  hiraseli'  threatcnc 
with  imminent  peril ;  and,  besides,  ho  had  friends  to  avenge.  But 
it  is  not  unreasonable  to  suppose  that  his  fiery  ambition  and  liifi 
impatience  to  decide  once  for  all  that  question  of  the  French  king* 
ship  which  had  been  for  five  years  in  suspense  between  himself 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED   YEARS'   WAR. 


98 


and  Uis  rival  were  the  true  causes  of  liis  warlike  resolve.  However 
that  mny  be,  lie  determined  to  pusli  the  war  vigorously  forward  at 
the  three  points  at  which  he  could  easily  wage  it.  In  Brittany  he 
bad  a  party  already  engaged  in  the  struggle ;  in  Aquitaine  posses- 
sions of  importance  to  defend  or  recover ;  in  Flanders  allies  with 
power  to  back  him  and  as  angry  as  he  himself,  To  Brittany  he 
forwarded  fi'esh  supplies  for  the  count  of  Montfort ;  to  Aquitaine 
lie  i^ent  Henry  of  Lancaster,  earl  of  Derby,  his  own  cousin  and  the 
alilost  of  his  lieutenants ;  and  he  himself  prepared  to  cross  over 
with  a  large  army  to  Flanders. 

The  eoxl  of  Derby  met  with  solid  and  brilliant  success  in  Ajqui- 
taine.  He  attacked  and  took  in  rapid  succession  Bergerac,  La 
Rrole,  Aiguillon,  Montpezat,  Villefranche,  and  Angoulfime,  None 
of  those  places  was  relieved  in  time;  the  strict  discipline  of  Derby's 
troops  and  the  skill  of  the  English  archers  were  too  much  for  the 
bravery  of  tlie  men-at-arms  and  the  raw  levieSj  ill  organized  and 
ill  paidj  of  the  king  of  France;  and,  in  a  word,  the  English  were 
Boon  masters  of  almost  the  whole  country  between  the  Garonne 
mil  the  Charente.  Under  such  happy  auspices  Edward  III, 
arrived  on  the  7th  of  July,  1345,  at  the  port  of  Eeluse  (Sluys), 
anrious  to  put  himself  in  concert  with  the  Flemings  toiicliing  the 
immpaign  ho  proposed  to  commence  before  long  in  the  north  of 
France,  Artevelde,  with  the  consuls  of  Bruges  and  Ypres,  was 
awaiting  him  there»  According  to  some  historians  Edward  invited 
tliLiu  aboai*d  of  his  galley,  and  represented  to  them  that  the  time 
had  come  for  renouncing  imperfect  resolves  and  half-measures; 
told  ihem  that  their  count,  Louis  of  Flanders,  and  his  ancestors 
Iwl  always  ignored  and  attacked  their  lil>erties,  and  that  the  begt 
tiling  they  could  do  would  be  to  sever  their  connexion  with  a  house 
tlify  could  not  trust ;  and  ofiered  them  for  their  chieftain  his  own 
«on,  the  young  prince  of  Wales,  to  whom  he  would  give  the  title  of 
I  fluke  of  Flanders,  According  to  other  historians  it  was  not  King 
L  Kdward,  but  Artovelde  him^^elf,  who  took  the  initiative  in  this 
I  proposition.  The  latter  had  for  some  time  past  felt  his  own  domi* 
H  iiion  in  Flanders  attacked  and  shaken;  and  he  had  been  con- 
■  rronted,  in  lus  own  native  city,  by  declared  enemies  who  had  all 
I      but  come  to  blows  with  his  own  partisans.  The  different  industrial 


t 


u 


HISTORY  OP  PRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX* 


corporations  of  Ghent  were  no  longer  at  one  amongst  themselves; 
tlie  weavers  had  (jinirrelled  witli  the  fullers.     Division  was  likewise 
reaching  a  great  lieiglit  amongst  the  Flemish  towns-   The  burghers 
of  Poperiiighe  had  refused  to  continue  recognizing  the  privileges  of 
those  of  Ypres ;  and  the  Ypres  men,  enraged,  had  taken  up  arms, 
and,  after  a  sanguinary  melley,  liad  forced  the  folks  of  Poperinghe 
to  give  in.     Then  the  Ypres  men,  proud  of  their  triumph^  had 
gone  and  broken  the  weavers'  raacliinery  at  Bailleul  and  in  some 
other  towns.     Arfcevelde,  constrained  to  take  pai*t  in  these  petty 
civil  wars,  ha<l  been  led  on  to  greater  and  greater  abuse,  in  his  own 
city  itself,  of  his  nnmieipal  despotism  already  grown  hateful 
many  of  his  fellow-citizens,      Wli ether   he   himself  proposed 
shako  oflF  the  yoke  of  Count  Louis  of  Flanders  and  take  for  duke" 
the  prince  of  Wales,  or  merely  accepted  King  Edward's  proposal, 
he  set  resolutely  to  work  to  get  it  carried.     The  most  able  men, 
swayed  by  their  own  passions  and  the  growing  necessities  of  the 
struggle  in  which  they  may  be  engaged,  soon  forget  their  first 
intentions  and  ignore  their  new  perils.     The  consuls  of  Bruges  and 
Ypres,  present  with  Artavelde  at  his  interview  with  King  Edward 
in  the  port  of  Ecluse  (8hiys),  answered  that  "  they  oould  not  decide 
so  great  a  matter  unless  the  whole  community  of  Flanders  should 
agree  thereto/*  and  so  returned  to  their  cities.      Artevelde  fol- 
lowed them  thither  and  succeeded  in  getting  the  proposed .  reaolu* 
tion  adopted  by  tlie  people  of  Ypres  and  Bruges.     But  when  he 
returned  to  Ghent*  on  the  24-th  of  July,  1315,  "  those  in  the  city 
who  knew  of  his  coming,"  says  Froissart,  "had  assembled  in  tho 
street  whereby  he  ai^st  ride  to  his  hostel.     So  soon  as  they  saw 
him  they  began  to  mutter,  saying,  *  Tliero  goes  he  who  is  too 
much  master  J  and  would  fain  do  with  the  count  ship  of  Flanders 
according  to  his  own  will;  which  cannot  be  borne/    It  had,  beside 
this,  been  spread  about  the  city  that  James  van  Artevelde  hac 
secretly  sent  to  England  tlie  great  treasure  of  Flanders  which  lie 
had  been  collecting  for  the  space  of  the  nine  years  and  raoi'e 
during  which  he  had  held  the  government.     This  was  a  matt€^r 
which  did  greatly  vex  and  incense  them  of  Ghent.     As  James  van 
Artevelde  rode  along  the  streat  he  soon  perceived  that  there  wa 
something  fresh  against  him,  for  those  who  were  wont  to  bow" 


CflAf,  XX,] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR, 


down  and  take  off  their  caps  to  him  turned  him  a  cold  shoulderj  and 
wmi  back  into  their  houses.  Then  he  began  to  be  afraid ;  and  so 
mm  as  he  had  dismounted  at  his  house  he  had  all  the  doors  and 
windows  shut  and  banned.  Scarcely  had  his  varlets  done  so  when 
the  street  in  which  he  lived  was  covered,  front  and  back,  with 
folk,  and  chiefly  small  crafts-foik*  His  hostel  was  surrounded  and 
beset,  front  and  back,  and  broken  into  by  force.  Those  within 
defended  themselves  a  long  while  and  overthrew  and  wounded 
many ;  but  at  last  they  could  not  hold  out,  for  they  were  so  closely 
assailed  that  nearly  three-quarters  of  the  city  were  at  this  assault. 
When  Art4?velde  saw  the  efforts  a-making  and  how  hotly  he  was 
pressed  he  came  to  a  window  over  the  street,  and  began  to  abase 
himself,  and  say  with  much  fine  language,  *  Good  folks,  what  want 
ye  ?  What  is  it  that  doth  move  ye  ?  Wherefore  are  yo  so  vexed 
at  me  ?  In  what  way  can  I  have  angered  ye  P  Tell  mo,  and  I  will 
mend  it  according  to  your  wishes.'  Then  all  those  who  had  heard 
him  answered  with  one  voice,  *  We  would  have  an  account  of  the 
great  treasure  of  Flanders  which  you  have  sent  to  England  without 
right  or  reason/  Artevelde  answered  full  softly,  *  Of  a  surety, 
Birs,  I  have  never  taken  a  denier  from  the  treasury  of  Flanders; 
go  ye  back  quietly  home,  I  pray  you,  and  come  again  to-morrow 
morning;  I  shall  be  so  well  prepared  to  render  you  a  good  account 
that,  according  to  reason,  it  cannot  but  content  ye/  'Nay,  nay,* 
they  answered  with  one  voice,  ^  but  we  would  have  it  at  once ;  you 
ihall  not  escape  us  so ;  we  do  know  of  a  verity  that  you  have  t^iken 
it  out  and  sent  it  away  to  England,  without  our  wit;  for  which 
Ciiuse  you  must  needs  die.'  When  Art-evelde^pard  this  word  he 
began  to  weep  right  piteously,  and  said^  *  Sirs,  ye  have  made  me 
what  I  am,  and  ye  did  swear  to  me  aforetime  tliat  ye  would  guard 
aud  defend  me  against  all  men ;  and  now  ye  would  kill  me,  and 
without  a  cause,  Yo  can  do  so  an  if  it  please  you,  for  I  am  but 
one  single  man  against  yo  alh  without  any  defence*  Think  hereon, 
f(ir  God^s  sake,  and  look  back  to  bygone  times*  Consider  the 
^at  courtesies  and  services  that  I  have  dona  ye.  Know  ye  not 
how  all  trade  had  perished  in  this  country  ?  It  was  I  who  raised 
it  up  again.  Afterwards  1  governed  ye  in  peace  so  great  that, 
during  the  time  of  my  government,  ye  have  had  every  thing  to 


I 


90 


HISTORY   OF  PRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX. 


your  wisli,  grains,  woolsj  and  all  sorts  of  merchandises  wherewith 
ye  are  well  provided  and  in  good  case/  Tlien  tbey  bejafim  to 
sliout,  *  Come  down,  and  preach  not  to  us  from  such  a  height;  we 
would  have  account  and  reckoning  of  the  great  treasure  of  Flanders 
which  you  have  too  long  had  under  control  without  rendering  an 
account,  which  it  appertainctli  not  to  any  officer  to  do/  Wlien 
Arteveldo  saw  that  they  would  not  cool  down  and  would  not 
restrain  themselves,  he  closed  the  window,  and  bethought  him  that 
he  would  escape  by  tho  back  and  got  liim  gone  to  a  church 
adjoining  his  hostel;  but  his  hostel  was  already  burst  open  and 
broken  into  behind,  and  there  were  more  than  four  hundred 
persons  who  were  all  anxious  to  seize  him.  At  last  he  was  caught 
amongst  them,  and  killed  on  the  spot  without  mercy.  A  weaver, 
called  Tliomas  Denis,  gave  him  his  death-blow.  This  was  the  end 
of  Artevelde,  who  in  his  time  was  so  great  a  master  in  Flanders, 
Poor  folk  exalted  him  at  first,  and  wicked  folk  slew  him  at  the 
last/' 

It  was  a  great  loss  for  King  Edward.  Under  Van  Artevelde's 
bold  dominance,  and  in  consequence  of  his  alliance  with  England, 
the  warlike  renown  of  Flanders  had  made  some  noise  in  Europe, 
to  such  an  extent  that  Petrarch  exclaimed,  ''  List  to  the  sounds, 
still  indistinct,  that  reach  us  from  tlie  world  of  the  West ;  Flanders 
is  plunged  in  ceaseless  war ;  all  the  country  stretching  from  the 
restless  Ocean  to  the  Latin  Alps  is  rushing  forth  to  arms.  Would  to 
Heaven  that  there  might  come  t/O  us  some  gleams  of  salvation  from 
thence  I  0  Italy,  poor  fatherland,  thou  prey  to  sufferings  without 
relief,  thou  who  wast  wont  with  thy  deeds  of  arms  to  trouble 
the  peace  of  the  world,  now  art  thou  motionless  when  the  fate  of 
the  world  hangs  on  the  chances  of  battle  I**  The  Flemings  spared 
no  effort  to  re-assure  the  king  of  England.  Their  envoys  went  to 
WestmiuBter  to  deplore  the  murder  of  Van  Artevelde,  and  tried  to 
persuade  Edward  that  his  policy  would  be  perpetuat^jd  through- 
out their  cities,  and  **to  such  purpose,'*  says  Froissart,  "that  in 
the  end  the  king  was  fairly  content  with  the  Flemings  and  they 
with  him,  and  between  them  the  death  of  James  van  Artevelde  was 
little  by  little  forgotten,"  Edward,  however,  was  so  mucli  affected 
by  it  that  he  required  a  whole  year  before  he  could  resume  with 


Chap,  XX  J 


THE  HUNDEED   YEARS*  WAR. 


VI 


mj  confidence  his  projects  of  war ;  and  it  was  not  until  the  2nd 
of  July,  1346,  that  be  embarked  at  Soutbamptonj  taking  with  him^ 
ksidea  his  son  the  prince  of  Wales,  hardly  sixteen  years  of  age, 
an  army  which  comprised^  according  to  Froissart,  seven  earls,  more 
than  thirty-five  barons,  a  gi'eat  number  of  knights,  four  thousand 
men-at-arms,  ten  thousand  English  archers,  six  thousand  Irish 
and  twelve  thousand  Welsh  infantry,  in  all  something  more  than 
thirty-two  thousand  men,  troops  even  mpre  formidable  for  their 
discipline  and  experience  of  war  than  for  their  numbers.  When 
they  were  out  at  sea  none  knew,  not  .even  the  king  himself,  for 
what  point  of  the  Continent  they  were  to  make,  for  the  south  or  the 
north,  for  Aquitaine  or  Normandy*  ''Sir/*  said  Godfi^ey  d'Har- 
court,  who  had  become  one  of  the  king's  most  trusted  counsellors, 
*'  the  country  of  Normandy  is  one  of  the  fattest  in  the  world,  and 
1  promise  you,  at  the  risk  of  my  headj  that  if  you  put  in  there  yon 
^liall  take  possession  of  land  at  your  good  pleasure,  for  the  folk 
there  never  were  armed  and  all  the  flower  of  their  chivalry  is  now 
at  Aiguillon  with  theu'  duke;  for  certain^  we  shall  find  there  gold, 
silver,  victual,  and  all  other  good  tilings  in  great  abundance." 
Edward  adopted  this  advice  ;  and,  on  the  12th  of  July,  1346,  his 
fleet  anchored  before  the  peninsula  of  Cotentin  at  Cape  la  Hogue. 
DTbilst  disembarking!  at  the  very  first  step  he  made  on  shore,  the 
kiug  fell  "so  roughly,"  says  Froissart,  "that  blood  spurted  from 
his  nose-  "•  Sir,'  said  his  knights  to  him,  '  go  back  to  your  ship, 
uod  come  not  now  to  land,  for  here  is  an  lU  sign  for  you/  'Nay, 
terily,*  quoth  the  king  full  roundly,  *  it  is  a  right  good  sign  for 
ma,  since  the  land  doth  desire  me,'  "  Caesar  did  and  said  much 
the  same  on  disembarking  in  Africa,  and  William  the  Conqueror  on 
landing  in  England,  In  spite  of  contemporary  accounts  there  ig 
a  doubt  about  the  authenticity  of  these  strLking  expressions  which 
become  favourites,  and  crop  up  again  on  aU  sim^Jar  occasions. 

For  a  month  Edward  marched  his  army  over  Normandy  "  find- 
ing on  his  road,"  says  Froissail},  '*  the  country  fat  and  plenteous 
in  every  thing,  the  garners  full  of  corn,  the  houses  full  of  all 
manner  of  riches,  can-iages,  waggons  and  horses,  swine,  ewes, 
wethers,  and  the  finest  oxen  in  the  world."  He  took  and  plun- 
dtfred  on  his  way  Barfleur,  Cherbourg,  Valognes,  Carentan,  and 

VOL*   u.  H 


98 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap,  XX- 


St.  L6-  WTien,  on  the  26th  of  July,  be  arrived  before  Ca^n,  *'  a 
city  bigger  than  any  in  England  save  London,  and  fuUtjf  all  kin<U 
of  merchandise,  of  rich  burghei'Sj  of  noble  dames,  and  of  fine 
churches,"  the  population  attempted  to  resist  Philip  had  sent  to 
them  the  constable,  Raonl  d'Eu,  and  the  count  of  Taucarville ; 
but,  after  three  days  of  petty  fighting  around  the  city  and  even 
in  the  streets  themselvea,  Edward  became  master  of  it,  and,  on 
the  entreaty  it  is  said  of  Godfrey  d* Harcourt,  exempted  it  from 
pillage*  Continuing  his  march,  he  occupied  Louviers,  Vernon, 
Verneuil,  Mantes,  Meulan,  and  Poissy,  where  he  took  up  his 
quarters  in  the  old  residence  of  King  Robert;  and  thence  his 
troops  advanced  and  spread  themselves  as  far  as  Ruel,  Neuilly, 
Boulogne,  St,  Cloud,  Bourg4a-Reine  and  almost  to  the  gates  of 
Paris,  whence  could  be  seen  "  the  fire  and  smoke  from  burning 
villages."  "  We  ourselves,"  says  a  contemporary  chronicler,  **  saw 
these  things  ;  and  it  was  a  great  dishonour  that  in  the  midst  of 
the  kingdom  of  France  the  king  of  England  should  squander, 
spoil  and  consume  the  king's  wines  and  other  goods,"  Great  was 
the  consternation  at  Paris.  And  it  was  redoubled  when  Philip 
gave  orders  for  the  demolition  of  the  houses  built  along  by  the 
walls  of  circumvallation,  on  the  ground  that  they  embari'assed  the 
defence.  The  people  behoved  that  they  were  on  the  eve  of  a 
siege.  The  order  was  revoked  ;  but  the  feeling  became  even  more 
intense  when  it  was  known  that  the  king  was  getting  ready  to 
start  for  St.  Denis,  where  his  principal  allies,  the  king  of  Bohemia, 
the  dukes  of  Hainault  and  of  Lorraine,  the  counts  of  Flanders  and 
of  Blois,  "  and  a  very  great  array  of  baronry  and  chivalry  "  were 
already  assembled,  '*Ah!  dear  sir  and  noble  king,"  cried  the 
burghers  of  Paris  as  they  came  to  Philip  and  threw  themselves  on 
their  knees  before  him,  **  what  would  you  dci?  Would  you  thus 
leave  your  good  city  of  Paris?  Your  enemies  are  already  within 
two  leagues,  and  will  soon  be  in  our  city  when  tliey  know  that  you 
are  gone;  and  wo  have  and  shall  have  none  to  defend  us  against 
them*  Sir,  may  it  please  you  to  remain  and  watch  over  your  good 
city."  *'My  good  people,'*  answered  the  king,  "have  yo  no  fear; 
the  Englisli  shall  come  no  nigher  to  you ;  I  am  away  to  St.  Denis 
to  my  men*at-arms,  for  I  mean  to  ride  against  these  English,  and 


Calf,  XX,] 


THE   HUlSrDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


101 


Bght  tbem,  in  such  fashion  as  I  may/^  Philip  recalled  in  all 
fia«te  his  troops  from  Aqiiitainej  commanded  the  burgher-forces 
td  assemble,  and  gave  them,  as  he  had  given  all  his  allies  ^  St. 
ID  ems  for  the  rallying*  point.  At  sight  of  so  many  great  lords  and 
wlU  Borts  of  men  of  war  flocking  together  from  all  points  the 
T^arisiang  took  fresh  courage.  "  For  many  a  long  day  there  had 
T\ot  been  seen  at  St-  Denis  a  king  of  France  ill  arms  and  fiilly 
prepared  for  battle/* 

Edward  began  to  be  afraid  of  having  pushed  too  far  foT*wsii?d  and 

of  finding  himself  endangered  in  the  heart  of  Francej  confronted  by 

an   army  which  would   soon  be   stronger  than  his  own*     Some 

chronicles  say  that  Philip,  in  his  turn,  sent  a  challenge  either  for 

siDgle  combat  of  for  a  battle  on  a  fixed  day,  in  a  place  assigned, 

and  that  Edward,  in  his  turn  also,  declined  the  proposition  he  had 

but  lately   made   to   his   rival.     It  appears,  further,  that  at  the 

ttoment   of  commencing  his   retreat   away  from   Paris   he   tried 

ringing  the  changes  on  Philip  with  respect  to  the  Hne  he  intended 

to  take,  and  that  Philip  was  led  to  believe  that  the  English  army 

v^uld  fall  back  in  a  westerly  direction,  by  Orleans  and  Tours, 

"whereas  it  marched  northward,  where  Edward  flattered  himself  he 

"would  find  partisans,  counting  especially  on  the  help  of  the  Flemings 

"vho,  in  fulfilment  of  their  promise,  had  already  advanced  as  far  as 

^^thima  to  support  him.     Philip  was  soon  better  informed  and 

imreA  with  all  his  army  into  Picardy  in  pursuit  of  the  English 

army,  which  was  in  a  hurry  to  reach  and  cross  the  Somme  and  so 

ooutinue  its  march  northward.     It  was  more  than  once  forced  to 

fight  on  its  march  with  the  people   of  the   towns  and  country 

tbrongh  which  it  was  passing ;  provisions  were  beginning  to  fall 

itiort ;  and  Edward  sent  his  two  marshals,  the  earl  of  Warwick  and 

G(4frey  d'Har court,  to  discover  where  it  was  practicable  to  cross 

the  river,  which  at  this  season  of  the  year  and  so  near  its  moxith 

ns  both  broad  and  deep.     They  returned  without  having  any 

saHsfactory  information  to  report;  **  whereupon,"  says  Froissart, 

**the  king  was  not  more  joyous  or  leas  pensive,  and  began  to  fall 

into  a  great  melancholy,"     He  had  halted  three  or  four  days  at 

Airaines,   some   few  leagues   from  Amiens^  whither  the   king  of 

France  bad  arrived  in  pursuit  with  an  army,  it  is  said,  more  than  a 


102 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[CuAP*  XX# 


hundred  thousand  Btrong.  Philip  learned  through  bis  scouts  that 
the  king  of  England  would  evacuate  Airaiues  the  next  morning,  and 
ride  to  Abbeville  in  hopes  of  findiug  some  means  of  getting  over  the 
Somme.  Philip  immediately  ordered  a  Norman  baronj  Godemar 
du  Fay,  to  go  with  a  body  of  troops  and  guard  the  ford  of  Blanche- 
Tachej  below  Abbeville,  the  only  point  at  which^  it  was  said,  the 
EngUsh  could  cross  the  river;  and  on  the  same  day  ha  himself 
moved  with  the  bulk  of  his  army  from  Amiens  on  Airaines.  There 
he  arrived  about  mid-day,  some  few  hours  after  that  the  king  of 
England  had  departed  with  such  precipitation  that  the  French 
found  in  it  *' great  store  of  provisionsj  meat  ready  spitted,  bread 
and  pastry  in  the  ovenj  winea  in  barrel,  and  ma^ny  tables  which  the 
English  had  left  ready  set  and  laid  out."  *'Birj"  said  Philip's 
officers  to  him,  as  soon  as  he  was  at  Airaines,  "  rest  yon  here  and 
wait  for  your  barons  and  their  folk,  for  the  English  cannot  escape 
you."  It  was  concluded,  in  point  of  fact,  that  Edward  and  his 
troopSj  not  being  able  to  cross  the  Somme,  would  find  themselves 
hemmed  in  between  the  French  army  and  the  strong  places  of 
Abbeville,  Bt.  Valery,  and  Le  Orotoi,  in  the  most  evil  case  and 
perilous  poBition  possible »  But  Edward,  on  arriving  at  the  little 
town  of  Oisemont,  hard  by  the  Somrae,  set  out  in  person  in  quest 
of  the  ford  he  was  so  anxious  to  discover.  He  sent  for  some 
prisoners  he  had  made  in  the  country,  and  said  to  them  *'  right 
courteously/'  according  to  Froissart,  '"Is  there  here  any  man  who 
knows  of  a  passage  below  Abbeville,  whereby  "we  and  our  army 
might  cross  the  river  without  peril  ?'  And  a  varlet  from  a  neigh- 
bouring mill,  wliose  name  history  has  preserved  as  that  of  a  traitor^ 
Gobin  Agace,  said  to  the  king,  *8ir,  I  do  promise  you,  at  the  risk 
of  my  head,  that  I  will  guide  you  to  such  a  spot,  where  you  sh^ 
cross  the  river  Somme  without  perils  you  and  your  army/  *  Com- 
rade,* said  the  king  to  liim,  *  if  I  find  true  that  which  thou  tellest 
u8,  I  win  set  thee  free  from  thy  prison » thee  and  all  thy  fellows  for 
love  of  thee,  and  I  wiU  cause  to  be  given  to  thee  a  hundred  golden 
nobles  and  a  good  staUion/  ^'  The  varlet  had  told  the  truth ;  the 
ford  was  found  at  the  spot  called  Blanche-Tache,  whither  Philip 
had  sent  Godemar  du  Fay  with  a  few  thousand  men  to  guard  it. 
A  battle  took  place;  but  the  two  marshals  of  England,  **  unfurling 


Chap.  XX,] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEAES'  WAIL 


103 


their  banners  in  the  name  of  God  and  St-  GeorgCj  and  having  with 

them  the  most  valiant  and  best  mounted,  threw  themselves  into 

the  water  at  full  gallop,  and  there,  in  t}ie  riverj  was  done  many  a 

deed  of  battle,  and  many  a  man  was  laid  low  on  one  side  and  the 

other>  for  Sir  Godemar  and  his  comrades  did  valiantly  defend  the 

passage ;  but  at  last  the  English  got  across,  and  moved  forward 

into  the  fields  as  fast  as  ever  they  landed.    When  Sir  Godemar  saw 

the  mishap,  he  made  off  as  quickly  as  he  could,  and  so  did  a  many 

of  his  comrades-"     The  king  of  France,  when  he  heard  the  news, 

was  very  wroth,  "for  he  had  good  hope  of  finding  the  English  on 

the  Somme  and  fighting  them  there*     *  What  is  it  right  to  do 

now?'  asked  Pliihp  of  his  marshals*     'Sir,*  answered  they,  *yoa 

cannot  now  cross  in  pursuit  of  the  English,  for  the  tide  is  already 

up.'"     Philip  went  disconsolate  to  lie  at  Abbeville,  whither  all  his 

men  followed  him.     Had  he  been  as  watchful  as  Edward  was  and 

had  he,  instead  of  halting  at  Aii'aines  "  by  the  ready-set  tables 

which  the  English  had  left,*'  marched  at  once  in  pursuit  of  them, 

perhaps   he   would   have   caught   and   beaten   them   on   the   left 

bank  of  the  Somme,  before  they  could  cross  and  take  up  position 

c^n  the  other  side.     This  was  the  first  striking  instance  of  that 

cistreme  inequality  between  the  two  kings  in  point  of  abiUty  and 

energy  which  was  before  long  to  produce  results  so  fatal  for  Pliilip. 

Wlien   Edward,  after  passing   the   Somme,  had  arrived  near 

Crfcy,  five  leagues  from  Abbeville,  in  the  countship  of  Ponthien 

wliich  had  formed  part  of  his  mother  Isabers  dowiy,  "  Halt  we 

Here,"   said  he  to  his  marshals;  "I  will  go  no  farther  till  I  have 

Been  the  enemy;  I  am  on  ray  mother's  rightful  mheritance  which 

1^'ttS  given  her  on  her  marriage ;   I  will  defend  it  against   mine 

adversary,  Philip  of  Yalois  ;'  and  he  rested  in  the  open  fields,  he 

aid  all  his  men,  and  made  his  marshals  mark  well  the  ground 

where  they  would  set  their  battle  in  array/*     Philip,  on  his  side, 

M  moved  to  Abbeville,  where  all  his  men  came  and  joined  him, 

and  whence   he  sent  out  scouts   "  to  learn  the  truth  about  the 

EwgUsh.     When  he  knew  that  they  were  resting  in  the  open  fields 

near  Cr^y  and  showed  that  they  were  awaiting  their  enemies,  the 

kuig  of  France  was  very  joyful,  and  said  that,  please  God,  they  should 

fight  him  on  the  morrow  [the  day  after  Friday,  Aug.  25,  1346], 


104 


HISTORY  OF   FBANCEL 


[Chap.  XX. 


He  that  day  bade  to  supper  all  the  high-born  princes  who  were  at 
Abbeville-  They  were  all  in  great  spirits  and  liad  great  talk  of 
arms,  and  aftar  supper  the  king  prayed  all  the  lords  to  be  all  of 
them,  one  toward  another^  friendly  and  courteous,  without  envy, 
hatred,  and  pride,  and  every  one  made  him  a  promise  thereof.  On 
the  same  day  of  Friday  the  king  of  England  also  ^ve  a  supper  to 
the  earls  and  barons  of  his  army,  made  them  great  cheer,  and  then 
gent  them  away  to  rest,  which  they  did.  When  all  the  company 
had  gone  J  he  entered  into  his  oratory,  and  fell  on  his  knees  before 
the  altar,  praying  devoutly  that  God  would  permit  him  on  the 
morrowj  if  he  should  fight,  to  come  out  of  the  business  with 
honour;  after  which^  about  midnight,  he  went  and  lay  down.  On 
the  morrow  he  rose  pretty  early,  for  good  reason,  heard  mass  with 
the  prince  of  Wales,  his  son,  and  both  of  them  communicated • 
The  majority  of  his  men  confessed  and  put  themselves  in  good 
case.  After  mass  the  king  commanded  aU  to  get  on  their  arms 
and  take  their  places  in  the  field  according  as  he  had  assigned 
them  the  day  before/*  Edward  had  divided  his  army  into  thre© 
bodies ;  he  had  put  the  first,  forming  the  van,  under  the  orders  of 
the  young  prince  of  Wales,  having  about  him  the  best  and  most 
tried  waniors;  the  second  had  for  commanders  earls  and  barons 
in  whom  the  king  had  confidence ;  and  the  third,  the  reserve,  he 
commanded  in  person.  Having  thus  made  his  arrangements, 
Edward,  mount4?d  on  a  Httle  palfrey,  with  a  white  staff  in  his  hand 
and  his  marshals  in  his  train,  rode  at  a  foot-pace  from  rank  to 
rank,  exhorting  all  his  men,  officers  and  privates,  to  stoutly  defend 
his  right  and  do  their  duty ;  and  **  he  said  these  words  to  them," 
says  Froissart,  "  with  so  bright  a  smile  and  so  joyous  a  mien  that 
whoso  had  before  been  disheartened  felt  reheartened  on  seeing  and 
hearing  him/*  Having  finished  his  ride  Edward  went  back  to  his 
own  division,  giving  orders  for  all  his  folk  to  eat  their  fill  and 
drink  one  draught :  which  they  did.  "  And  then  they  sat  down 
all  of  them  on  the  ground,  with  their  head-pieces  and  their  hows 
in  front  of  them,  resting  themselves  in  order  to  be  more  fresh  and 
cool  when  the  enemy  should  come/* 

Philip   also   mi  himself  in   motion   on    Saturday,  the  26th  of 
August^  and,  after  having  heard  mass,  marched  out  from  Abbe- 


Chap.  XX,] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR. 


105 


I 


ville  with  all  his  barons*     ^*  There  was  so  great  a  throng  of  men- 
at-arms  there,*'  says  Froissartj  "  that  it  were  a  marvel  to  think 
on,  and  the  king  rode  mighty  gently  to  wait  for  all  his  folk/' 
When  they  were  two  leagues  fi'om  Abbeville,  one  of  them  that 
were  with  him  said,  "  Sir,  it  were  well  to  put  your  lines  in  order 
of  battle  and  to  send  three  or  four  of  your  knights  to  ride  forward 
and  observe  the  enemy  and  in  what  condition  they  be,"     So  four 
knights  pushed  forward  to  within  sight  of  the  English,  and,  return- 
ing immediately  to  the  king^  whom  they  could  not  approach  with- 
out breaking  the  host  that  encompassed  hira,  they  said  by  the 
mouth  of  one  of  them,  "Know,  sir,  that  the  Enghsh  be  halted, 
well  and  regularly,  in  three  lines  of  battle,  and  show  no  sign  of 
meaning  to  fly,  but  await  your  coming.     For  my  part,  my  counsel 
JBthat  you  halt  all  your  men,  and  rest  them  in  the  fields  through- 
out this  day.    Before  the  hindermost  can  come  up^  and  before  your 
lines  of  battle  are  set  in  order,  it  will  be  late ;  your  men  will  be 
laied  and  in  disarray;  and  you  will  find  the  enemy  cool  and  fresh* 
To^moiTOw  morning  you  will  be  better  able  to  dispose  your  men 
and  determine  in  what  quarter  it  will  be  expedient  to  attack  the 
enemy.     Sure  may  you  be  that  they  will  await  you/*    This  counsel 
wag  well  pleasing  to  the  king  of  France,  and  he  commanded  that 
thus  it  shonkl  be*     **  The  two  marshals  rode  one  to  the  front  and 
the  other  to  the  rear  with  orders  to  the  bannerets :  *  Halt  banners, 
by  command  of  the  king,  in  the  name  of  God  and  St.  Denis  I'     At 
this  order  those  who  were  foremost  halted,  but  not  those  who 
were  hindermost,  continuing  to  ride  forward  and  saying  that  they 
would  not  halt  until  they  were  as  much  to  the  front  as  the  fore- 
most were-     Neither   the  king   nor   his  marshals  could  get  the 
TDiBtery  of  their  men,  for  there  was  so  goodly  a  number  of  gi*eat 
brds  that  each  was  minded  to  show  hia  own  might.     There  was, 
be^ideSj  in  the  fields,  so  goodly  a  number  of  common  people  that 
all  the  roads  between  Abbeville  and  Crecy   were  covered  with 
them;  and  when  these  folk  thought  themselves  near  the  enemy 
they  drew  their  swords,  shouting,  *  Death  1  death!'     And  not  a 
soul  did  they  see," 

"When  the  English  saw  the  French  approaching  they  rose  up 
n»  ftne  order  and  ranged  themselves  in  their  lines  of  battle,  that  of 


106 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX. 


the  prince  of  Wdes  right  in  frontj  and  the  earls  of  Northampton 
and  Arundel,  who  commanded  the  second,  took  up  their  place  on 
the  wing,  right  orderly  and  all  ready  to  support  the  prince,  if  need 
should  be.  Well,  the  lords,  kings,  dukes,  counts  and  barons  of 
the  French  came  not  up  all  together,  but  one  in  front  and  another 
behind,  without  plan  or  orderliness.  When  King  Philip  arrived  at 
the  spot  where  the  English  were  thus  halted,  and  saw  them,  the 
blood  boiled  within  him,  for  he  hated  them,  and  he  said  to  his 
marshals,  '  Let  oui'  Genoese  pass  to  the  front  and  begin  the  battle, 
in  the  name  of  God  and  St,  Denis.'  There  were  there  fifteen 
thousand  of  these  said  Genoese  bowmen ;  but  they  were  sore  tired 
with  going  a-foot  that  day  more  than  six  leagues  and  fully  armed, 
and  they  said  to  their  commanders  that  they  were  not  prepared  to 
do  any  great  feat  of  battle.  *  To  be  saddled  with  such  a  scum  as 
this  that  fails  you  in  the  hour  of  need!'  said  the  duke  d'Alen^on 
on  hearing  those  words.  Whilst  the  Genoese  were  holding  back, 
there  fell  from  heaven  a  rain,  heuvy  and  thick,  with  thunder  and 
lightning  very  mighty  and  terrible.  Before  long,  however,  the  air 
began  to  clear  and  the  sun  to  shine.  The  French  had  it  right  in 
their  eyes  and  the  Enghsh  at  their  backs.  ^Then  the  Genoese  had 
recovered  themselves  and  got  together  they  advanced  upon  the 
English  with  loud  shouts  so  as  to  strike  dismay;  but  the  English 
kept  quite  quiet  and  showed  no  sign  of  it»  Then  the  Genoese 
bent  their  cross-bows  and  began  to  shoot.  The  English,  making 
one  step  forward,  let  fly  their  arrows,  which  came  down  so  thick 
upon  the  Genoese  that  it  looked  like  a  fall  of  snow.  The  Genoese, 
galled  and  discomfited,  began  to  fall  back.  Between  them  and 
the  main  body  of  the  French  was  a  great  hedge  of  men-at-arms 
who  were  watching  their  proceedings.  When  the  king  of  France 
saw  his  bowmen  thus  in  disorder  he  shouted  to  the  men*at-arms, 
*  Up  now  and  slay  all  this  scum,  for  it  blocks  our  way  and  hinders 
us  from  getting  forward/  "  Then  the  French,  on  every  side, 
struck  out  at  the  Genoese,  at  whom  the  English  archers  continued 
to  shoot* 

'*  Thus  began  the  battle  between  Broye  and  Cr^cy,  at  the  hour 
of  vespers."  The  French,  as  they  came  up,  were  already  tired 
and  in  great  disorder :  "  howbeit  so  many  vahant  men  and  good 


Chat.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


107 


I 


^ 


I 


knights  kept  ever  ridiog  forward  for  their  honour's  sake  and  pre- 

rather  to  die  than  that  a  base  flight  should  be  cast  in  their 

h,"     A  fierce  combat  took  place  between  them  and  the  division 

of  the  prince  of  Wales.     Thither  penetrated  the  count  d'Alenfon 

and  the  count  of  Flanders  with  their  followers,  round  the  flank  of 

the  English  archers;  and  the  king  of  Francej  who  was  foaming 

Tirith  displeasure   and   wrathj  rode   forward   to  join   his  brother 

d'Alen^on,  but  there  was  so  great  a  hedge  of  archers  and  men-at- 

anas  mingled  together  that  he  could  never  get  past.     Thomas  of 

Norwich,  a  knight  serving  under  the  prince  of  Wales,  was  sent  to 

tlie  king  of  England  to  ask  him  for  help.    "  *  Sir  Thomas,'  said  the 

king,  *  is  my  son  dead  or  unhorsed  or  so  wounded  that  he  cannot 

Iielp  himself?'     *  Not  so,  my  lord,  please  God;  but  he  is  fighting 

against  great  odds  and  is  like  to  have  need  of  your  help.'     '  Sir 

Thomas/  replied  the  king,  *  return  to  them  who  sent  yoUj  and  tell 

tbem  from  me  not  to  send  for  me,  whatever  chance  befall  them,  so 

btig  as  my  son  is  alive,  and  tell  them  that  I  bid  them  let  the  lad 

win  his  spurs ;  for  I  wish,  if  God  so  deem,  that  the  day  should  be 

liis,  and  the  honour  thereof  remain  to  him  and  to  those  to  whom 

I  have  given  him  in  charge/     The    knight   returned   with   this 

answer  to  his  chiefs ;  and  it  encouraged  them  greatly,  and  they 

repented  within  themselves  for  that  they  had    sent  him  to  the 

king."     Warlike  ardour,  if  not  ability  and  prudence,  was  the  same 

on  both  sides,    Philip's  faithful  ally,  John  of  Luxembourg,  king  of 

Bobemia,  had  come  thither,  blind  as  he  was,  with  his  son  Charles 

and  his  knights ;  and  when  he  knew  that  the  battle  had  begun  he 

a^ked  those  who  were  near  him  how  it  was  going  on-    "*  My  lord/ 

iWy  said,  *  the  Genoese  are  discomfited  and  the  king  has  given 

orders  to  sky  them  all ;  and  all  the  while  between  our  folk  and 

them  there  is  so  great  disorder  that  they  stumble  one  over  another 

vWd  hinder  us  greatly/     *  Ha  !'  said  the  king  ;  *  that  is  an  ill  sign 

fcr  us;  where  is  Sir  Charles,  my  son  ?'     *My  lord,  we  know  not; 

we  have  reason  to  believe  that  he  is  elsewhere  in  the  fight/    *  Sirs,' 

Pephed  the  old  king;  *ye  are  my  liegemen,  my  friends  and  my 

coairades ;  I  pray  you  and  require  you  to  lead  me  so  far  to  the 

front  ill  the  work  of  this  day  that  I  may  strike  a  blow  with  my 

sword;  it  shall  not  be  said  that  I  came  hither  to  do  naught/     So 


108 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap,  XX. 


his  train,  who  loved  Ms  honour  and  their  own  advancement,*'  saya 
Froissarfcj  **  did  his  bidding.  For  to  acquit  theraBelves  of  their 
duty  and  that  they  might  not  lose  him  in  the  throng  they  tied 
themselveB  all  together  by  the  reins  of  their  horses  and  get  the 
king,  their  lord,  right  in  front  that  he  might  the  better  accomplish 
his  desire,  and  thus  they  bore  down  ob  the  enemy.  And  the  king 
went  so  far  forward  that  he  struck  a  good  blow,  yea  three  and 
four ;  and  so  did  all  those  who  were  with  him.  And  they  served 
him  so  well  and  charged  so  well  forward  upon  the  EngHsh,  that  all 
fell  there  and  were  found  next  day  on  the  spot  around  their  lord, 
and  their  horses  tied  together/* 

"  The  king  of  France,"  continues  Froissart,  *^  had  groat  anguish 
at  heart  when  he  saw  his  men  thus  discomfited  and  falling  one 
after  another  before  a  handful  of  folk  as  the  EngHsh  were.  Ho 
asked  counsel  of  Sir  John  of  Hainault  who  was  near  him  and  who 
said  to  him,  *  Truly,  sir,  I  can  give  you  no  better  counsel  than 
that  you  should  withdraw  and  place  yourself  in  safety,  for  I  see  no 
remedy  here.  It  will  soon  b©  late ;  and  then  you  would  be  as 
likely  to  ride  upon  your  enemies  as  amongst  your  friends,  and  so 
be  lost/  Late  in  the  evening,  at  nightfall,  King  Philip  left  the 
field  with  a  heavy  heart — and  for  good  cause ;  he  had  just  five 
barons  with  him  and  no  more  I  He  rode,  tpite  broken-hearted,  t^ 
the  castle  of  Broye,  When  ha  came  to  the  gate,  he  found  it  shut  and 
the  bridge  drawn  up,  for  it  was  fiilly  night  and  was  very  dark  and 
thick.  The  king  had  the  castellan  summoned,  who  came  forward 
on  the  battlements  and  cried  aloud,  *  Who's  there?  who  knocks 
at  such  an  hour?'  *  Open,  castellan,'  said  Philip:  *it  is  the 
unhappy  king  of  France.*  The  castellan  went  out  as  soon  as 
he  recognised  the  voice  of  the  king  of  France ;  and  he  well  knew 
alremly  that  they  had  been  discomfited,  fi'om  some  fugitives  who 
liad  passed  at  the  foot  of  the  castle^  Ho  let  down  the  bridge  and 
opened  the  gate.  Then  the  king,  with  his  following,  went  in,  and 
remained  there  up  to  midnight,  for  the  king  did  not  care  t^  stay 
and  shut  himself  up  therein.  He  drank  a  draught  and  so  did  they 
who  were  with  him ;  then  they  mounted  to  horse,  took  guides  to 
conduct  thorn  and  rode  in  such  wise  that  at  break  of  day  they 
entered  the  good  city  of  Amiens*     There  the  king  halted,  took  up 


his  quarters  in  an  abbey,  and  said  that  he  would  go  no  farther 
until  ha  knew  the  truth  about  his  men,  which  of  them  were  left  on 
the  field  and  whicli  had  escaped*" 

Whilst  PhiUp,  with  all  speed,  was  on  the  road  back  to  Paris  with 
his  army  as  disheartened  as  its  king,  and  more  disorderly  in  retreat 
than  it  had  been  in  battle,  Edward  was  hastening,  with  ardoui*  and 
int^Uigencei  to  reap  the  fruits  of  his  victory.     In  the  difficult  war 
of  conquest  ho  had  undertaken,  what  was  clearly  of  most  importance 
to  liim  was  to  possess  on  the  coast  of  France,  as  near  as  possible  to 
England,  a  place  which  he  might  make,  in  his  operations  by  land 
and  S6a»  a  point  of  arrival  and  departure,  of  occupancy,  of  pro- 
visioning and  of  secure  refuge,     Calais  exactly  fulfilled  these  con- 
ditions.    It  was  a  natural  harbour,  protected,  for  many  centuries 
padt,  by  two   huge  towers,   of  which   one,   it  is  said,  was  built 
by  the  Emperor  Caligula  and  the  other  by  Charlemagne ;  it  had 
been  deepened  and  improved,  at  the  end  of  the  tenth  century,  by 
Baldwin  IV.,  count  of  Flanders,  and  in  the  thirteenth  by  PhiUp  of 
France,  called  Toughskin  (Hurepel),  count  of  Boulogne;  and,  in 
the  fourteenth,  it  had  become  an  important  city,  surrounded  by  a 
strong  wall  of  circumvallation  and  ha\nng  erected  in  its  raidst  a 
liuge  keep,  furnished  with  bastions  and  towers,  which  was  called 
ihc  Castle.     On  arriving  before  the  place,    September  3rd,  1346, 
Edward    '*  immediately  had   built   all   round  it,"   says  Froiasart, 
"houses  and  dwelling-places  of  sohd  carpentry  and  arranged  in 
reets  as  if  he  were  to  remain  there  for  ten  or  twelve  years,  for  his 
fttention  was  not  to  leave  it  winter  or  summer,  whatever  time  and 
wliataver  trouble  he  must  spend  and  take.     He  called  this  new 
town  Villeiieiwe  la  Ilardle ;  and  he  had  therein  all  things  necessary 
For  an  army,  and  more  too,  as  a  place  appointed  for  the  holding  of 
a  market  on  Wednesday  and  Saturday ;  and  therein  were  mercers' 
ihops  and  butchers'  shops  and  stores  for  the  sale  of  cloth  and 
bread  and  all  other  necessaries.     King  Edward  did  not  have  the 
city  of  Calais  assaulted  by  his  men,  well  knomng  that  he  would 
lojse  bis  pains,  but  said   he   would  starve  it  out,  however  long  a 
time  it  might  cost  him,  if  King  Philip  of  Fiance  did  not  come  to 
fight  him  again,  and  raise  the  siegB.** 
Calais  had  for  its  governor  John  de  Vienne,  a  valiant  and  faithful 


no 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap,  XX. 


BurgiindiaTi  knight,  *'tlie  wtich,  seeing/'  gays  Froissartt  "  that  the 
king  of  England  was  making  every  sacrifice  to  keep  up  the  siege, 
ordered  tliat  all  sorts  of  small  folk,  who  had  no  provisions,  should 
quit  the  city  without  further  notice.  They  went  forth,  on  a 
Wcdneaday  morning,  men,  women,  and  children,  more  than  seven- 
teen hundred  of  them>  and  passed  through  King  Edward's  army. 
They  were  asked  why  they  were  leaving;  and  they  answered, 
hecauBo  they  had  no  means  of  living.  Then  the  king  permitted 
them  to  pass  and  caused  to  be  given  to  all  of  theins  male  and 
female,  a  hearty  dinner  and  after  dinner  two  shillings  a-piece,  the 
which  grace  was  commended  as  ybtj  handsome ;  and  bo  indeed  it 
was,"  Edward  probably  hoped  tliat  his  generosity  would  produce, 
in  the  town  itself  which  remained  in  a  state  of  siege,  a  favourable 
impression ;  but  he  had  to  do  with  a  population  ardently  warlike 
and  patriotic,  burghers  as  well  as  knights.  They  endured  for 
eleven  months  all  the  sufferings  arising  from  isolation  and  famine; 
though,  from  time  to  time,  fishermen  and  seamen  in  their  neigh- 
bonriiood,  and  amongst  others  two  seamen  of  Abljeville,  the  names 
of  whom  have  been  preserved  in  history,  Marant  and  Mestriel, 
Buccebded  in  getting  victuals  into  them.  The  king  of  France  made 
two  attempts  to  relievo  them.  On  the  20th  of  May,  1347,  he  assem* 
bled  Ills  troops  at  Amiens;  but  they  were  not  ready  to  march  till 
about  the  middle  of  July,  and  as  long  before  as  the  23rd  of  June  a 
Fix*nch  fleet  of  ten  galleys  and  thirty-five  transports  had  been 
driven  off  by  the  Enghsh,  John  de  Vienne  wrote  to  Philip, 
**  Every  tlting  lias  been  eaten,  cats,  dogs,  and  horses,  and  we  can 
no  longi?r  find  victual  in  the  town  unless  we  eat  human  flesh.  ,  .  , 
If  we  have  not  speedy  succour,  we  will  issue  forth  from  the  town  to 
fight,  whether  to  live  or  die,  for  we  would  rather  die  honourably  in 
the  field  timn  eat  one  another,  .  .  ♦  If  a  remedy  be  not  soon  applied, 
you  will  never  more  have  letter  from  me,  and  the  town  will  be  lost 
as  well  as  wo  who  are  in  it,  Jfay  oiu*  Lord  grant  you  a  happy  life 
and  a  long,  and  put  you  in  such  a  disposition  that,  if  we  die 
for  your  sake, you  may  settle  the  account  therefor  with  our  heirs  !*' 
On  the  27th  of  July  Philip  arrived  in  person  before  Calais.  If 
Proiasart  can  be  trusts,  "  he  had  with  him  full  200,000  men,  and 
these  French  rode  up  with  banners  flying  as  if  to  fight,  and  it  was 


ICHAr.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR. 


Ill 


I 
I 


a  fine  sight  to  see  such  puissant  array ;  and  so  when  they  of  Calais 
who  were  on  the  walls  saw  them  appear  and  their  banners  floating 
on  the  breeze  they  Iiad  gi*eat  joy,  and  believed  that  they  were  going 
to  be  soon  delivered  I  But  when  thoy  saw  camping  and  tenting 
going  forward  they  were  more  angered  than  before,  for  it  seemed 
to  them  an  evil  sign,"  The  marahals  of  France  went  about 
every  where  looking  for  a  passage,  and  they  reported  that  it  was  no 
where  possible  to  open  a  road  without  exposing  the  army  to  loss, 
30  well  all  the  approaches  to  the  place,  by  sea  and  land,  were 
guarded  by  the  English.  The  pope's  two  legates  who  had  accom* 
paiiied  King  Philip  tried  in  vain  to  open  negotiations,  Philip  sent 
ibiir  knights  to  the  king  of  England  to  urge  him  to  appoint  a  place 
where  a  battle  might  be  fought  without  advantage  on  either  side ; 
but  '*sirs/*  answered  Edward^  "  I  liave  been  here  nigh  upon  a  year, 
and  have  been  at  heavy  charges  by  it ;  and  having  done  so  much 
thut  before  long  I  shall  be  master  of  Calais  I  will  by  no  means 
retard  my  conquest  which  I  have  so  much  desired*  Let  mine 
adversary  and  his  people  find  out  a  way,  as  they  please,  to  fight 
me." 

^  Other  testimony  would  have  us  believe  that  Edward  accepted 
£hilip*e  challenge,  and  that  it  was  the  king  of  France  who  raised 
iesh  difficulties  in  consequence  of  whicli  the  proposed  battle  did 
not  take  place,  Froissart's  account,  however,  seems  the  more 
truthlike  in  itself  and  more  in  accordance  with  the  totality  of  facts* 
However  that  may  be,  whether  it  were  actual  powerlessness  or  want 
of  spirit  both  on  the  part  of  the  French  army  and  of  the  king; 
Philip,  on  the  second   of  August,   1347,  took   the  road  back  to 

I  Amiens  and  dismissed  all  those  who  had  gone  with  him,  men- 
at-arms  and  common  folk. 
When  the  people  of  Calais  saw  that  all  hope  of  a  rescue  had 
dipped  from  them,  they  held  a  council,  resign eil  themselves  to  offer 
gubmisgioii  to  the  king  of  England  rather  than  die  of  hunger,  and 
begged  their  governor,  John  de  Vienna j  to  enter  into  negotiations 
for  timt  purpose  with  the  besiegers,  "Walter  de  Manny,  instructed 
by  Edward  to  reply  to  these  overtures,  said  to  John  de  Vienne, 
**The  king*8  intent  is  that  ye  put  yourselves  at  his  free  will  to  ransom 
or  put  to  d^th  such  as  it  shall  please  him  i  the  people  of  Calais 


112 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XK- 


have  caused  him  so  great  displeasure,  cost  him  so  much  money  aod 
lost  him  so  many  men  that  it  is  not  astonishing  if  that  weighs 
heavily  upon  him/'  *'  Sir  Walter,"  answered  John  de  Vieuiie,  **it 
would  be  too  hard  a  matter  for  us  if  we  were  to  oonaent  to  what 
you  say.  There  are  within  here  but  a  small  number  of  us  knights 
and  squires  who  have  loyally  served  our  lord  the  king  of  Francis 
even  as  you  would  serve  yours  in  like  case ;  but  we  would  suffer 
greater  evils  than  over  men  havo  had  to  endure  rather  than  consent 
that  the  meanest  'prentice-boy  or  varlet  of  the  town  should  have 
other  evil  than  the  greatest  of  us.  We  pray  you  be  pleased  to 
return  to  the  king  of  England ^  and  pray  him  to  have  pity  upon  ub  ; 
and  you  will  do  us  courtesy/*  **  By  my  faith/'  answered  Walter 
de  Manny,  '*  I  will  do  it  AvilUngly^  Sir  John;  and  I  would  that,  by 
God's  help,  the  king  might  be  pleased  to  listen  unto  me/*  And 
the  bi^ve  English  knight  reported  to  the  king  the  prayer  of  the 
French  knights  in  Calais,  saying,  *'  My  lord,  sir  John  de  Vieune 
told  me  that  they  were  in  very  sore  extremity  and  famine,  but  that, 
rather  than  surrender  all  to  your  will  to  Hve  or  die  as  it  might 
please  you,  they  would  sell  themselves  so  dearly  as  never  did  men- 
at-arms/'  '^  I  will  not  do  otherwise  than  I  have  said/'  answerer] 
the  king.  ''My  lord/'  replied  Walter,  "you  will  perchance  be 
wrong,  for  you  will  give  us  a  bad  example ;  if  you  should  be  pleased 
to  send  us  to  defend  any  of  yoiu*  fortressesj  we  should  of  a  surety 
not  go  willingly  if  you  have  these  people  put  to  death,  for  thus 
would  they  do  to  us  in  like  case/'  These  words  caused  Edward  to 
reflect;  and  the  gi^ater  part  of  the  English  barons  came  to  the  aid 
of  Walter  de  Manny.  "  Sirs/'  said  the  king,  "  I  would  not  be  all 
alone  against  you  all.  Go,  Walter,  to  them  of  Calais,  and  say  to 
the  governor  that  the  greatest  grace  they  can  find  in  my  sight 
is  that  six  of  the  most  notable  burghers  coma  forth  from  their  town 
bare-headed,  bare-footed,  with  vopeB  rouud  their  necks  and  with 
the  keys  of  the  town  and  castle  in  their  hands.  With  them  I  will 
do  according  to  my  will,  and  the  rest  1  will  receive  to  mercy/' 
"  My  lord,"  sfud  Walter,  *'  I  mil  do  it  willingly/'  He  returned  t<J 
Calais,  where  John  de  Vienne  was  awaiting  him,  and  reported  the 
king's  decision.  The  governor  immediately  left  the  ramparts,  went 
to  the  market-place,  and  had  the  bell  rung  to  assemble  the  people. 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAB. 


118 


r 

I 


I 


At  sound  of  the  bell  men  and  women  came  hnriying  up  hungering 
for  news,  as  was  natural  for  people  so  luu^d-pressed  by  famine  that 
they  could  not  hold  out  any  longer.     John  de  Vienue  then  repeated 
to  them  what  he  had  just  been  told,  adding  that  there  was  no  other 
way  and  tliat  they  would  have  to  make  short  answer.     On  this  they 
all  fell  a-weeping  and  crying  out  so  bitterly  that  no  heart  in  the 
world,  however  hard,  coidd  have  seen  and  heard  them  without 
pity.     Even  John  de  Vienne  shed  tears.     Then  rose  up  to  his  feet 
the  richest  burgher  of  the  town,  Eustace  do  St.  Pierre^  who,  at  the 
former  council,  had  been  for  capitulation,     "  Sir,"  said  he,  **  it 
would  be  great  pity  to  leave  this  people  to   die,   by  famine   or 
otherwise,  when  any  remedy  can  be  found  against  it ;  and  he  who 
should  keep  them  from  such  a  mishap  would  find  great  favour  in 
the  eyes  of  our  Lord,     I  have  great  hope  to  find  favour  in  the  eyes 
of  our  Lord  if  I  die  to  save  this  people;  I  would  fain  be  the  first 
herein  and  I  will  willingly  place  myself,  in  my  shirt  and  bare- 
beaded  and  with  a  rope  round  my  neck,  at  the  mercy  of  the  king  of 
England/^    At  this  speech,  men  and  women  cast  themselves  at  the 
ket*  of  Eustace  de  St.  Pierre,  weeping  piteously.     Another  right- 
honourable  biirglier,  who  had  gi^at  possessions  and  two  beautiful 
damsels  for  daughters,  rose  up  and  said  that  he  would  act  comrade 
to  Eustace  de  St.  Pierre  ;  his  name  was  John  d'Aire,     Then,  for 
th^  third,  James  de  Vissant,  a  rich  man  in  personalty  and  realty; 
then  his  brother  Peter  de  Vissant ;  and  tlien  the  fiftli  and  sixth,  of 
whom  none  lias  tc»ld  the  names.     On  the  5th  of  August,  1347,  these 
iijt  burghers,  thus  apparelled,  with  cords  round  their  necks  and 
emh  with  a  bunch  of  the  keys  of  the  city  and  of  the  castle,  were 
eonducted  outside  the  gates  by  John  de  Vienne  who  rode  a  small 
hackney,  for  lie  was  in  such  ill  pHght  that  he  could  not  go  a-foot. 
He  gave  them  up  to  Sir  Walter,  who  was  awaiting  him,  and  said 
U>  him^  *' As  captain  of  Calais  I  deliver  to  you,  with  the  consent  of 
the  poor  people  of  the  tow^n,  these  six  burghers  who  are,*!  swear  to 
yon,  the  most  honourable  and  notable  in  person,  in  fortune,  and  in 
ancestry,  in  the  town  of  Calais,     I  pray  you  be  pleased  to  pray  the 
king  of  England  that  these  good  folks  be  not  put  to  death/'     "  I 
know  not,"  answered  De  Manny,  *'  what  my  lord  the  king  may  mean 
to  do  with  them ;  but  I  promise  you  that  1  will  do  mine  abihty." 


Hi 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[CttAF.  XX. 


When  Sii'  Walter  brought  in  the  six  burgherg  in  this  condition. 
King  Edward  was  in  his  chamber  with  a  great  company  of  eails, 
barons,  and  knights.  As  soon  as  he  heard  that  the  folks  of  Calaini 
were  there  as  he  had  ordered^  he  went  out  and  stood  in  the  open 
space  before  his  hostel  and  all  those  lords  with  him ;  and  even 
Queen  Philippa  of  England,  who  was  with  child,  followed  the  king 
her  lord.  He  gazed  most  cruelly  on  those  six  poor  men,  for  he  had 
bis  heart  possessed  with  so  much  rage  that  at  first  he  could  not 
speak.  Wlien  he  spoke,  he  commanded  tiiem  to  be  straightway 
beheaded.  All  the  barons  and  knights  who  were  there  pmyed  lura 
to  show  them  mercy.  **  Gentle  sir,'*  said  Walter  de  Jtanny, 
"  restrain  your  wrath ;  you  have  renown  for  gentleness  and  noble* 
ness ;  be  pleased  to  do  nought  whereby  it  may  be  diminished;  if 
you  have  not  pity  on  yonder  folk,  all  others  wiW  say  tliat  it  wm 
great  cruelty  on  your  part  to  put  to  death  these  six  honourable 
burghers  who  of  their  own  free-will  have  put  themselves  at  your 
mercy  to  save  the  others,"  The  king  gnashed  his  teeth,  saying, 
*'  Sir  Walter,  hold  your  peace ;  let  them  fetch  hither  my  headsnmn  j 
the  people  of  Calais  have  been  the  death  of  so  many  of  my  men 
that  it  is  but  meet  that  yon  fellows  die  also.*'  Then,  with  gre-at 
humility  J  the  noble  queen,  who  was  very  nigh  her  delivery,  tlirew 
herself  on  her  knees  at  the  feet  of  the  king,  sajnng,  "  Ah !  gentle 
sir,  if,  as  you  know,  I  have  asked  nothing  of  yon  from  the  time 
that  I  crossed  the  sea  in  gi^eat  peril,  I  pray  you  humbly  that  as  a 
special  boon,  for  the  sake  of  Holy  Mary's  Son  and  for  the  love  of 
me,  you  will  please  to  have  mercy  on  these  six  men/'  The  king 
did  not  speak  at  once,  and  fixed  his  eyes  on  the  good  dame  Ids  wife, 
who  was  weeping  piteously  on  her  knees.  She  sofbened  his  eteru 
heart,  for  he  would  have  been  loth  to  vex  her  in  the  state  in  which 
she  was ;  and  he  said  to  her,  ''  Ha  !  dame,  I  had  much  rather  you 
had  been  elsewhere  than  here ;  but  you  pray  me  such  prayers  tliat 
I  dare  iiofrrefuseyou,  and  though  it  irks  me  much  to  do  so,  there  ! 
I  give  them  up  to  you  ;  do  with  them  as  you  will,"  **  ThankBj_ 
hearty  thanks,  my  lord,"  said  the  good  queen.  Then  she  rose 
and  raised  up  the  six  burghers,  had  the  ropes  taken  off  theii 
necks,  and  took  them  with  her  to  her  chamber  where  she  had 
fresh  clothes  and  dinner  bmught  to  them.     Afterwards  she  gave 


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i  m    -^-^  ^ 

1  .it^'-t 

1 

^^41'   '                                    ^SSmJ^H^^^^IK      J^ak     '^^'' 

J 

I    ^ 

^^^9 

-<-.       'JlO^^Mfcl^^^^J 

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^ 

Qt'EEX    riniJl'lA    AT    TilE    FEtT    OF    THE     K 

Ntr. 

Chaf.  XX.} 


THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'   WAR. 


117 


fcfaem  six  nobles  a-piece  and  had  them  led  out  of  the  host  io  all 
safety, 

Edward  was  eholeric  and  stern  in  his  choler,  but  judicious  and 
politic.     He  had  sense  enough  to  comprehend  the  impressions  ex- 
hibited around  him  and  to  take  them  into   account.      He  had 
yielded  to  the  free-spoken  representations  of  Walter  de  Manny  and 
to  the  soft  entreaties  of  bis  royal  wife-     When  he  was  master  of 
Calais^  he  did  not  suffer  himself  to  be  under  any  illusion  as  to  the 
sentiments  of  the  population  he  had  conquered,  and,  without  ex* 
eluding  the  French  from  the  town,  he  took  great  care  to  mingle 
with  them  an  English  population.     He  had  allowed  a  free  passage 
to  the  poor  Calaisians  driven  out  by  famine  ;  he  now  fetched  from 
London  thirty-six  bm'gbers  of  position  and  three  hundred  others 
of  inferior  condition,  with  their  wives  and  children,  and  he  granted 
to  the  town  thus  de  peopled  and  repeopled  all  such  municipal  and 
eommercial  privileges  as  were  likely  to  attract  new  inhabitants 
thither.     But,  at  the  same  time,  he  felt  what  renown  and  im- 
portance a  devotion  like  that  of  the  six  burghers  of  Calais  could 
not  fail  to  confer  upon  such  men,  and  not  only  did  he  trouble  him- 
telf  to  get  them  back  to  their  own  hearths,  but,  on  the  8th  of 
October,  1347,  two  months  after  the  surrender  of  Calais,  he  gave 
Eustace  de  St-  Pierre  a  considerable  pension  "  on  account  of  the 
good  services  he  was  to  render  in  the  town  by  maintaining  good 
order  there,'*  and  he  re-instated  him,  him  and  his  heirs,  in  pos^ 
sesabn  of  the  properties  that  had  belonged   to   him.     Eustace, 
more  concerned  for  the  interests  of  his  own  town  than  for  those 
of  FrancCj  and  being  more  of  a  Calaisian  burgher  than  a  national 
l>atriot,  showed  no  hesitation,  for  all  that  appears,  in  accepting  this 
new  fashion  of  serving  his  native  city  for  which  he  had  shown 
himself  so  ready  to  die.     He  lived  four  years  as  a  subject  of  the 
king  of  England.    At  his  death,  which  happened  in  1361 ,  his  heirs 
daelai^  themselves  faithful  subjects  of  the  king  of  France  and 
Mward  confiscated  away  from  them  the  possessions  he  had  re- 
itored  to  their  predecessor.     Eustace  de  St-  Pierre's  cousin  and 
Comrade  in  devotion  to  their  native  town,  John  d'Aire,  would  not 
filter  Calais  again ;  his  property  was  confiscated,  and  his  house, 
tie  finest^  it  is  said,  in  the  town,  was  given  by  King  Edward  to 


118 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX, 


Queen  Pliilippaj  who  sliowed  no  more  hesitiition  in  accepting  it 
than  Eustace  in  serring  his  new  king.  Long-lived  delicacy  of 
sentiment  and  conduct  was  rarer  in  those  rough  and  rude  times 
than  heroic  bursts  of  courage  and  devotion, 

Philip  of  Valoia  tried  to  afford  some  consolation  and  supply 
some  remedy  for  the  misfortune  of  the  Calaisians  banished  from 
their  town*  He  secured  to  theiu  exemption  from  certain  imposts 
no  matter  whither  they  removed,  and  the  possession  of  all  property 
and  inheritances  that  might  fall  to  them,  and  he  promised  to  confer 
upon  them  all  vacant  offices  which  it  might  suit  them  to  filL  But 
it  was  not  in  his  gift  to  repair,  even  superfcially  and  in  appear- 
ance, the  evils  he  had  not  known  how  to  prevent  or  combat  to  any 
purpose.  The  outset  of  his  reign  had  been  brilliant  and  pros- 
perous ;  but  his  victory  at  Cassel  over  the  Flemings  brought  more 
cry  than  wool.  He  had  vanity  enough  to  flaunt  it  rather  than  wit 
enough  to  turn  it  to  account.  He  was  a  prince  of  courts  and 
trOurnaments  and  trips  and  galas^  wliether  regal  or  plebeian  j  he  was 
volatile,  imprudent,  haughty  and  yet  frivolous,  brave  without 
ability  and  despotic  without  any  thing  to  show  for  it.  The  battle 
of  Crecy  and  the  loss  of  Calais  were  reverses  from  which  he  never 
even  made  a  serious  attempt  to  recover  ;  he  hastily  concluded  with 
Edward  a  truce,  twice  renewed,  which  served  only  to  consohdate 
the  victor's  successes.  A  calamity  of  European  extent  came  as  an 
addition  to  tlie  distresses  of  France.  From  1347  to  1349  a  fright- 
ful disease^  brought  from  Egypt  and  Syria  through  the  ports  of 
Italyj  and  called  the  blnck  playm  or  the  plague  of  Fhreme^  ravaged 
Western  Europe,  especially  Provence  and  Langiiedoc,  where  it 
carried  off,  they  say,  two-thirds  of  the  inhabitants.  Machiavelli 
and  Boccacio  have  described  with  all  the  force  of  their  genius  the 
matCTial  and  moral  effects  of  this  terrible  plague-  The  court  of 
France  suffered  particularly  from  it,  and  the  famous  object  of 
Petrarch's  tender  sonnets,  Laura  de  Noves,  married  to  Hugh  de 
Sade,  fell  a  victim  to  it  at  Aviguon.  ^^en  the  epidemic  had  well 
nigh  disappeared,  the  survivors,  men  and  women,  princes  and 
subjects,  returned  passionately  to  their  pleasures  and  their  galas ; 
to  mortality ^  says  a  contemporary  chronicler,  succeeded  a  rage  for 
marriage;  and  Philip  of  Valois  himself,  now  fifty *eight  years  of 


Chap.  XX.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


119 


I 


I 


%ige^  took  for  his  second  wife  Blanche  of  Navarre,  who  was  only 
eighteen »  She  was  a  sister  of  that  yoimg  king  of  Navarre, 
Charles  IT.,  who  was  soon  to  get  the  name  of  Charles  the  Bad^  and 
to  become  so  dangerous  an  enemy  for  Philip's  successors*  Seven 
months  after  his  marriage  and  on  the  22nd  of  Aii gust,  1350,  Philip 
died  at  Nogent-le-Roi  in  the  Haute- Marne,  strictly  enjoining  his 
son  John  t^  maintain  with  vigour  his  well  ascertained  right  to  the 
crown  he  wore,  and  leaving  his  people  bowed  down  beneath  a 
weight  '*  of  extortions  so  heavy  that  the  like  had  never  been  seen 
in  the  king«iom  of  France." 

Only  one  happy  event  distinguished  the  close  of  this  reign.  As 
early  as  1344}  Philip  had  treated,  on  a  monetary  basis,  with  Hum-- 
hert  n*,  count  and  Dauphin  of  Vienness,  for  the  cession  of  that 
beautiful  province  to  the  crown  of  France  after  the  death  of  the 
then  possessor*  Humbert,  an  adventurous  and  fantastic  prince, 
plunged,  in  1346,  into  a  crusade  against  the  Turks,  from  which  he 
rt'tamed  in  the  following  year  without  having  obtained  any  suc- 
cess. Tired  of  seeking  adventures  as  well  as  of  reigning,  he,  on 
the  16th  of  July,  1349,  before  a  solemn  assembly  held  at  Lyons, 
abdicated  his  principality  in  favour  of  Prince  Charles  of  France, 
gmndson  of  Philip  of  Valois  and  afterwards  Charles  V.  The  new 
dauphin  took  the  oath,  between  the  hands  of  the  bishop  of  Gren- 
oble, to  maintain  the  hberties,  franchises  and  privileges  of  the 
Daiiphiny;  and  the  ex-dauphin,  after  having  taken  holy  orders 
and  passed  successively  through  the  archbishopric  of  Rheims  and 
the  bishopric  of  Paris,  both  of  which  he  found  equally  unpalatable, 
went  to  die  at  Clermont  in  Auvergne,  in  a  convent  belonging  to 
tlie  order  of  Dominicans,  whose  habit  he  had  donned. 

In  the  same  year,  on  the  18th  of  April,  1349,  Philip  of  Valois 
hoiigbt  of  Jayme  of  Arragon,  the  last  king  of  Majorca,  for  120,000 
golden  crowns,  the  lordship  and  town  of  Montpellier,  thus  tiying 
to  repair  to  some  extent,  for  the  kingdom  of  France,  the  losses  he 
had  caused  it- 
Hie  successor,  John  11,,  called  the  Good,  on  no  other  ground 
than  that  he  was  gay,  prodigal,  credulous  and  devoted  to  his 
&voarite8,  did  nothing  but  reproduce,  with  aggravations,  the  faults 
and  reverses  of  his  father.     He  had  hardly  become  king  when  h^ 


120 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE, 


[Crap.  XX 


witnessed  the  airival  in  Paria  of  the  constable  of  Francej  Raoul, 
count  of  Eu  and  of  Guines,  wliom  Edward  III.  Lad  made  prisoner 
at  CaeDj  and  who,  after  five  years'  captivity »  had  just  obtained, 
thftt  is,  purcliased  his  liberty,  Raoul  lost  no  time  in  huiTyiiig  to 
the  side  of  the  new  king,  by  whom  he  believed  himself  to  be  greatly 
beloved,  John,  as  soon  as  he  perceived  hira,  gave  him  a  look, 
saying,  "  Count,  come  tliis  way  with  me ;  I  have  to  speak  w^^b 
you  aside/'  *'  Right  willingly,  my  lord."  The  king  took  him  into 
an  apartment,  and  showing  him  a  letter,  asked^  *^  Have  you  ever> 
count,  seen  this  letter  any  where  but  here?*'  The  constable  ap- 
peared astounded  and  troubled,  ''  All !  wicked  traitor,*'  said  the 
king,  **  you  have  well  deserved  death,  and,  by  my  father's  soul,  it 
shall  assuredly  not  miss  you*;"  and  he  sent  him  forthwith  to 
prison  in  the  tower  of  the  Louvre,  **  The  lords  and  barons  of 
Fi'ance  were  sadly  astonished,"  says  Froissart,  ^'  for  they  lieM  the 
count  to  be  a  good  man  and  true,  and  they  humbly  prayed  tie 
king  that  he  would  be  pleased  to  say  wherefore  he  had  imprisoned 
their  cousin,  so  gentle  a  knight,  who  had  toiled  so  much  and  so 
much  lost  for  hira  and  for  the  kingdom.  But  the  king  would  not 
say  any  thing,  save  that  he 'would  never  sleep  so  long  as  the  count 
of  Guines  was  living ;  and  he  had  hira  secretly  beheaded  in  the 
castle  of  the  Louvre,  whether  rightly  or  wrongly;  for  which  the 
king  was  greatly  blamed,  behind  his  back,  by  many  of  the  barons 
of  high  estate  in  the  kingdom  of  France  and  the  dukes  and  counts 
of  the  border/'  Two  months  after  this  execution,  John  gave  the 
office  of  constable  and  a  large  portion  of  Count  Raours  property 
to  his  favourite,  Charles  of  Spain,  a  descendant  of  King  Alphonso 
of  Castille  and  naturalisied  in  France ;  and  he  added  thereto  before 
long  some  lands  claimed  by  the  king  of  Kavarre,  Cliarles  the  Bml^ 
a  nickiiame  which  at  eighteen  years  of  age  he  had  already  received 
from  his  Navarrese  subjects,  but  which  had  not  prevented  King 
John  from  giving  him  in  marriage  his  own  daughter,  Joan  of 
France,  From  that  moment  a  deep  hatred  sprang  up  between  the 
king  of  Navarre  and  the  favourite.  The  latter  was  sometimes 
disquieted  thereby.  **  Fear  naught  from  my  son  of  Navan-e,** 
said  John,  "  he  durst  not  vex  you,  for,  if  ho  did,  ho  would  have  no 
greater  enemy  than  myself.**     John  did  not  yet  know  his  son-iu- 


Cl4F.  xxo 


THE  HUNDRBD  YEARS*  WAR. 


121 


law.  Two  years  later^  in  1354|  his  favourite,  Charles  of  Spain, 
siirived  at  Laigle  in  Normandy,  The  king  of  Navarre,  having 
notice  thereof,  instruct^ed  one  of  his  agents,  the  bastard  de  Mareuil, 
to  go  with  a  troop  of  raen-at-arais  and  surprise  him  in  that  town ; 
nod  be  himself  remained  outside  the  walls,  awaiting  the  result  of 
his  design •  At  break  of  day,  he  saw  galloping  up  the  bastard  de 
Mureutl  who  shouted  to  him  from  afar,  "  'Tis  done.'*  "  What  is 
done?"  asked  Charles.  '*  He  is  dead,"  answered  MareuiL  King 
Joim's  favourite  had  been  surprised  and  massacred  in  his  bed. 
JoliE  burst  out  into  threats ;  he  swore  he  would  have  vengeance, 
and  made  preparations  for  war  against  his  son-in-law.  But  the 
king  of  England  promised  his  support  to  the  king  of  Navarre. 
Charles  the  Bad  was  a  bold  and  able  intriguer ;  he  levied  troops 
and  won  over  allies  amongst  the  lords ;  dread  of  seeing  the  recom- 
mencement of  a  war  with  England  gained  ground;  and  amongst 
the  people  and  even  in  the  king's  council  there  was  a  cry  of 
"Peace  with  the  king  of  Navarre !"  John  took  fright  and  pre* 
tended  to  give  up  his  ideas  of  vengeance ;  he  received  his  son-in- 
W,  wbo  thanked  him  on  bended  knee.  But  the  king  gave  him 
%mer  a  word.  The  king  of  Navan'e,  uneasy  but  bold  as  ever, 
oontinued  his  intrigues  for  obtaining  partisans  and  for  exciting 
trotibles  and  enmities  against  the  king*  "  I  will  have  no  master  in 
Franca  but  myself,'*  said  John  to  his  confidant :  **  I  shall  have  no 
joy  so  long  as  he  is  living,"  His  eldest  son,  the  young  duke  of 
Nonnandy,  who  was  at  a  later  period  Cliarles  V*,  had  contracted 
fmndly  relations  with  the  king  of  Navarre,  On  the  IGth  of  April, 
1356,  the  two  princes  were  together  at  a  banquet  in  the  castle  of 
Bouen,  as  well  as  the  count  d'Harcourt  and  some  other  lords.  All 
ou  a  sudden  King  John,  who  had  entered  the  castle  by  a  postern 
«"ith  a  troop  of  men-at-arms,  strode  abruptly  into  the  hall,  preceded 
bjthe  marshal  Aj'noul  d'Audenham,  who  held  a  naked  sword  in 
til  hand,  and  said,  "  Let  none  stir,  whatever  he  may  see,  unless  he 
wiih  to  fiill  by  this  sword/*  The  king  went  up  to  the  table;  and 
^I  rose  as  if  to  do  him  reverence .  John  seized  the  lang  of 
NivErre  roughly  by  the  arm,  and  drew  him  towards  him,  saying, 
"Gefc  up,  traitor,  thou  art  not  worthy  to  sit  at  my  son's  table;  by 
^j  father's  soul  I  cannot  think  of  meat  or  drink  so  long  as  thou 


122 


HISTORY   OF  FHANCE, 


[Chap. 


art  living.*'     A  servant  of  the  king   of  Navarre,  to  defend  his 
master,  drew  his  cutlass,  and  point<?d  it  at  the  breast  of  the  king 
of  France  J  who  thrust  him  back,  saying  to  liis  sergeants,  "  Take 
me  this  fellow  and  his  master  too."     The  king  of  Navarre  dis- 
solved in  humble  protestations  and  repentant  speeches  over  the 
assasgination  of  the  constable  Charles  of  Spain*   "  Go,  traitor^  go,** 
answered  John  •   "  jon  will  need  to  learn  good  rede  or  some  in- 
famons  trick  to  escape  from  me/'     The  young  duke  of  Normandy 
had  thrown  himself  at  the  feet  of  the   king  his  father,  erj-ing, 
*'  Ah  !  ray  lord,  for  God's  sake  have  mercy ;  you  do  rae  dishonour ; 
for  what  will  be  said  of  me,  having  prayed  King  Charles  and  his 
barons  to  dine  with  me,  if  you  do  treat  me  thus  ?    It  will  be  said*  \ 
that  I  betrayed  them,"     *'  Hold  your  peace,  Charles,'*  answered 
his  father  :  "  you  know  not  all  I  know/'     He  gave  orders  for  the 
instant  removal  of  the  king  of  Navarre  and  afterwards  of  the  count 
d'Harconrt  and  three  others  of  those  present  under  arrest •     **  Bid 
us  of  these  men,*'  said  he  to  the  captain  of  the  Ribahh^  forming  the    ! 
soldiers  of  his  guard;  and  the  four  prisoners  were  actually  be- 
headed in  the  king's  presence,  outside  Rouen,  in  a  field  called  th^H 
Field  of  pardon,     John  was  with  great  diflSculty  prevailed   iipo^« 
not  to  mete  out  the  same  measure  to  the  king  of  Navarre,  who 
was  conducted  first  of  all  t-o  Gaillard  Castle,  then  to  the  tower  of 
the  Louvre,  and  then  to  the  prison  of  the  Chatelet :  **  and  there," 
says  Froissart,  "  they  put  him  to  all  sorts  of  discomforts  and  fears,     [ 
for  every  day  and  every  night  they  gave  him  to  understand  that 
his  head  would  be  cut  off  at  such  and  such  an  hour,  or  at  such  and 
such  another  he  would  be  thrown  into  the  Seine  -  .  ,  .  whereupon     ' 
he  spoke  so  finely  and  so  softly  to  his  keepers  that  they  who  were 
so  entreating  him  by  the  command  of  the  king  of  France  had 
great  pity  on  him." 

With  such  violence,  such  absence  of  all  legal  procedure,  such 
mixture  of  deceptive  indulgence  and  thoughtless  brutality  did 
King  John  treat  his  son-in-law,  his  own  daughter,  some  of  his 
princi|fel  barons,  theii'  relations,  their  friends,  and  the  people  with 
whom  they  were  in  good  credit.  He  compromised  more  and  moru 
seriously  every  day  his  own  safety  and  that  of  his  successor  by 
vexing  more   and  more  without  destroying  his  most  dangerous 


Cm?.  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED  YEARS^    WAR, 


125 


enemy.  He  showed  no  greater  prudence  or  ability  in  the  goyerii- 
ment  of  his  kingdom.  Always  in  want  of  money,  because  he  spent 
it  foolishly  on  galas  or  presents  to  his  tavourites,  he  had  recourse, 
for  the  purpose  of  procuring  it,  at  one  time  to  the  very  worst  of  all 
fiuancial  expedients,  debasement  of  the  coinage  ;  at  another^  to 
disreputable  imposts,  such  as  the  tax  upon  salt  and  upon  the  sale 
of  all  kinds  of  merchandise.  In  the  single  year  of  1352  the  value 
of  a  silver  mark  varied  sixteen  times,  from  4  livres  10  sous  to  18 
liYTea*  To  meet  the  requirements  of  his  government  and  the 
greediness  of  his  courtiers  John  twice,  in  1356  and  1356,  convoked 
the  states-general,  to  the  consideration  of  which  we  shall  soon  recur 
in  detail,  and  whicli  did  not  refuse  him  their  support ;  but  John 
\md  not  the  wit  either  to  make  good  use  of  the  powers  with  which 
he  was  furnished  or  to  inspire  the  states-general  with  that  con- 
fidence which  alone  could  decide  them  upon  continuing  their  gifts. 
And^  nevertheless,  King  John's  necessities  were  more  evident  and 
more  urgent  than  ever :  war  with  England  had  begun  again. 

The  truth  is  that,  in  spite  of  the  truce  still  existing,  the  English, 
m^  the  accession  of  King  John,  had  at  several  points  resumed 
hostihties.  The  disorders  and  dissensions  to  which  France  waa  a 
prey,  the  presumptuous  and  hare-brained  incapacity  of  her  new 
iiog  were  for  so  ambitious  and  able  a  prince  as  Edward  IIL  very 
ng  temptations.  Nor  did  opportunities  for  attack  and  chances 
of  success  fail  him  any  more  than  temptations.  He  found  in  France, 
amongst  the  grandees  of  the  kingdom  and  even  at  the  king's  court, 
men  disposed  to  desert  the  cause  of  the  king  and  of  France  to  serve 
a  prince  who  had  more  capacity  and  who  pretended  to  claim  the 
cmwD  of  France  as  his  lawful  right.  The  feudal  system  lent  itself 
to  ambiguous  questions  and  doubts  of  conscience :  a  lord  who  had 
two  suzerains  and  who,  rightly  or  wrongly,  believed  that  he  had 
cauBe  of  complaint  against  one  of  them,  was  justified  in  serving 
that  one  who  could  and  would  protect  him*  Personal  interest  and 
lubtle  disputes  soon  make  traitors ;  and  Edward  had  the  ability  to 
diacDver  them  and  win  them  over.  The  alternate  outbiu'sts  and 
Weaknesses  of  John  in  the  case  of  those  whom  he  suspected ;  the 
iuares  he  laid  for  them;  the  precipitancy  and  cruel  violence 
with  which  ho  struck  them  down,  without  form  of  trial  and  almost 


126 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap-  XX. 


with  his  own  hand,  forbid  history  to  receive  his  Buspicious  and  his 
forcible  proceedings  as  any  kind  of  proof ;  but  amongst  those  whom 
he  accused  there  were  undoubtedly  traitors  to  the  king  and  to 
France,  There  is  one  about  whom  there  can  be  no  doubt  at  all* 
As  early  as  1351,  amidst  all  his  embroilments  and  all  his  reoon- 
ciMationa  with  liis  father*in-laWj  Charles  the  Bad,  king  of  Navarre, 
had  concluded  with  Edward  III*  a  secret  treaty,  whereby,  in  ex- 
change for  promises  he  received,  he  recognized  his  title  as  king  of 
France-  In  1355  his  treason  burst  forth.  The  king  of  Navarre, 
who  had  gone  for  refuge  to  Avignon,  nnder  the  protection  of 
Pope  Clement  VI.,  crossed  France  by  English  Aquitaine,  and 
went  and  landed  at  Cherbourg,  which  he  had  an  idea  of  throwing 
open  to  the  king  of  England.  He  once  more  entered  into  commu* 
nications  with  King  John,  once  more  obtained  forgiveness  from 
him,  and  for  a  while  appeared  detached  from  his  English  alUance. 
But  Edward  III.  had  openly  resumed  his  hostile  attitude;  and  he 
demanded  that  Aquitaine  and  the  countship  of  Ponthieu,  detached 
from  the  kingdom  of  Franco,  should  be  ceded  to  him  in  full 
sovereignty,  and  that  Brittany  should  become  all  but  independent, 
John  haughtily  rejected  these  pretensions  which  were  merely  a 
pretext  for  recommencing  war.  And  it  recommenced  accordingly, 
and  the  king  of  Navarre  resumed  his  course  of  perfidy.  He  had 
lands  and  castles  in  Normandy,  which  John  put  under  seques- 
tration and  ordered  the  officers  commanding  in  them  to  deliver  up 
to  him*  Six  of  them,  the  commandants  of  the  castles  of  Cher- 
bourg and  Evreux  amongst  others,  refused,  believing,  no  doubt, 
that  in  betraying  France  and  harking,  they  were  remaining  faithful 
to  their  own  lord. 

At  several  points  in  the  kingdom,  especially  in  the  northern 
provinces,  the  first-fruits  of  the  war  were  not  favourable  for  the 
English.  King  Edward,  who  had  landed  at  Calais  with  a  body  of 
troops,  made  an  unsuccessful  campaign  in  Artois  and  Picardy  and 
was  obliged  to  re-embark  for  England,  ftilhng  back  before  King 
John,  whom  he  had  at  one  time  offered  and  at  another  refused  to 
meet  and  fight  at  a  spot  agreed  upon.  But  in  the  south-west  and 
south  of  France,  in  1355  and  1356,  the  prince  of  Wales  at  the  head 
of  a  small  picked  army  and  with  JohnChandos  for  comrade,  victo- 


Ce4P,  XX.] 


THE   HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


riously  overran  Limousin,  Perigord,  Languedoc,  Auvergne,  Berry, 
and  Poitoii,  ravaging  tlie  country  and  plundering  the  towns  into 
which  he  could  force  an  entrance  and  the  environs  of  those  that 
delended  themselves  behind  their  walls.     He  met  with  scarcely 
any  resistance,  and  he  was  returning  by  way  of  Beny  and  Poitou 
back  again  to  Bordeaux  when  he  heard  that  King  John,  starting 
from, Normandy  with  a  large  army,  was  advancing  to  give  him 
battle.     John,  in  fact^  with  easy  self-coraplacency  and  somewhat 
proud  of  liis  petty  successes  against  King  Edward  in  Picardy,  had 
been  in  a  hurry  to  move  against  the  prince  of  Wales,  in  hopes  of 
forcing  him  also  to  re-einbark  for  England.     He  was  at  the  head 
of  forty  or  fifty  thousand  men,  with   his   four  sons,   twenty-six 
dukes  or  counts,  and  nearly  all  the  baronage  of  France ;  and  such 
was  his  confidence  in  this  noble  army,  that  on  crossing  the  Loire 
lie  dismissed  the  burgher  forces,  *'  which  was  madness  in  him  and 
in  those  who  advised  him,"  said  even  his  contemporaries*     John, 
even  more  than  his  father   Philip,  was  a   king   of  courts,   ever 
surrounded  by  his  nobility  and  caring  little  for  his  people.     Jealous 
of  the  order  of  the  Garter  lately  instituted  by  Edward  III.  in  honour 
of  the  beautiful  countess  of  Salisbury,  John  had  created  in  1361,  by 
way  of  following  suit,  a  brotherhood  called  Ou/r  Lady  of  the  Noble 
Souse  or  of  the  Sta/r^  the  knights  of  which,  to  the  number  of  five 
bundred,  had  to  swear  that  if  they  were  forced  to  recoil  in  a  battle 
tbey  would  never  yield  to   the   enemy  more  than  four  acres    of 
^und,  and  would  be  slain  rather  than  retreat,    John  was  destined 
to  find  out  before  long  that  neither  numbers  nor  bravery  can  supply 
the  place  of  prudence,  ability,  and  discipline.    When  the  two  armies 
were  close  to  one  another  on  the  platform  of  Maupertuis,  two 
leagues  to  the  north  of  Poitiers,  two  legates  from  the  pope  came 
Imrrying  up  from  that  town  with  instructions  to  negotiate  peace 
hetween  tlie  kings  of  France,  England ,  and  Navarre.     John  con- 
sented to  an  armistice  of  twenty-four  hours.     The  prince  of  Wales, 
Keeing  liimself  cut  ofi"  from  Borfeanx  by  forces  very  much  superior 
to  bin  own,  for  he  had  but  eight  or  ten  thousand  men,  offered  to 
n?store  to  the  king  of  France  *'  all  that  he  had  conquered  this  bout, 
l>otli  towns  and  castles,  and  all  the  prisoners  that  he  and  his  had 
taken^  and  to  swear  that^  for  seven  whole  years,  he  would  bear  arms 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE. 


[CiiAF.  XX. 


no  more  against  the  king  of  France;"  but  King  Jdlin  and  hig 
council  would  not  accept  any  thing  of  the  sort,  saying  that  *'th# 
prince  and  a  huntlrcd  of  his  knights  must  come  and  put  themselves 
as  prisonors  in  the  hands  of  the  king  of  France/'     Neither  the 
prince  of  Wales  nor  Chandos  had  any  hesitation  in  rejecting  such 
a  demand :  "  God  forbid/'   said  Chandos,  *'  that  we  ehould    go 
without  a  figlit !     If  we  be  taken  or  discomfited  by  so  many  fine 
men-at-arms  and  in  so  great  a  host  we  shall  incur  no  blame ;  and 
if  the  day  be  for  us  and  fortune  be  pleased  to  consent  thereto  we 
shall  be  the  most  honoured  folk  in  the  world,**     The  battle  took 
place  on  the  19th  of  September,  1356,  in  the  morning.     There  m 
no  occasion  to  give  tlie  details  of  it  here  as  was  done  but  lately  in 
the  case  of  Cr^cy ;  we  should  merely  have  to  tell  an  almost  per- 
fectly similar  story.     The  three  battles,  wliich,  from  the  fourteenth 
to  the  fiftetnxth  century  were  decisive  as  to  the  fate  of  Franoe,  to  wit, 
Ci^cy,  on  the  26th  of  August,   1346;  Poictiers,  on  the  19th  of 
September,  1356;  and  A?Jncourt,  on  the  25th  of  October,  1415, 
considered  as  historical  events,  were  all  alike,  offering  a  spt*ctacie 
of  the  same  faults  and  the  same  reverses  brought  about  by  the 
same  causes.     In  all  three,  no  matter  what  was  the  difference  in 
date,  place, and  persons  engaged,  it  was  a  case  of  undisciplined  foreeft, 
without   co-operation   or    order,   and   ill-directed   by   their   cx>m<- 
manders,  advancing,  bravely  and  one  after  another,  to  get  broken 
against  a  compact  force  under  strict  command  and  as  docile  as 
heroic.     From  the  battle  of  Poictiers  we  will  cull  but  that  glonous 
feat  which  was  peculiar  to  it,  and  which  might  be  called  as  unfor- 
tunate as  glorious  if  the  captivity  of  King  John  had  been  a  mis- 
fortune for  Franoe.      Nearly  all  his  army  had  been   beaten  and 
dispersed;  and  three  of  his  sons,  ^ith  the  eldest,  Charleay  dukaof 
Normandy,  at  their  head,  had  left  the  field  of  battle  with  the  wreck 
of  the  divisions  they  commanded.     John  still  remained  there  witli 
the  knights  of  the  Star,  a  band  of  faithful  knightg  fi'om  Picnrdy, 
Burgundy,  Normandy,   and    Poitou,   his   constable   the   duke  of 
Artois,  his  standard-beai^r  Geoffrey  de  Charny,  and  his  youngest 
son  Philip,  a  boy  of  fourteen,  who  clung  obstinately  to  his  side, 
saying  every  instant,    **  Father,  ware   right!  father,  ware  left!'* 
The  king  was  surrounded  by  assailants,  of  whom  some  did  and 


Chap.  XX,] 


THE   HUNDRED  YEARS' 


some  did  not  know  him  and  all  of  whom  kept  siioiitiDg,  "  Yield 

yati!  yield  you  !  else  you  die.*'     The  banner  of  France  fell  at  his 

ride;  for  Geoffrey  de  Charny  was  slain,     Denis  de  Morbecque,  a 

bight  of  St,  Omer,  made  his  way  up  to  the  king,  and  said  to  him 

iDg^od  French,  ''  Sir,  sir,  I  pray  you,  yield  !"     "  To  whom  shall 

I  yield  me?"    said   John:    "where  is   my  cousin   the  prince  of 

ffaka  ?•*     "  Sir,  yield  you  to  me ;  I  will  bring  you  to  him. "    "  Who 

are  jou?*'     "Denis  de  Morbecque,  a  knight  of  Artois;  I  serve  the 

ting  of  England,  not  being  able  to  live  in  the  kingdom  of  France, 

Itrlhave  lost  all  I  possessed  there/*     "  I  yield  me  to  you/'  said 

John  ;  and  he  gave  his  glove  to  the  knight,  who  led  him  away  "  in 

tlie  midst  of  a  great  press,  for  every  one  was  dragging  the  king, 

^J^gf  *  I  took  him  I '  and  he  could  not  get  forward  nor  could  my 

lord  Philip,  his  young  son,  .  .  _  The  king  said  to  them  all,  *  Sirs, 

conduct  me  courteously,  and  quarrel  no  more  together  about  the 

t^ing  of  mcj  for  I  am  rich  and  great  enough  to  make  every  one 

of  you  rich/  **      Hereupon,  the  two   English  marshals,  the   earl 

of  Warwick  and  the  earl  of  Suffolk,  "  seeing  from  afar  this  throng, 

g»ve  spur  to  their  steeds,  and  came  up,  asking,   *What  is  this 

yonder  ?*     And  answer  was  made  to  them  :  '  It  is  the  king  of 

France  who  is  taken,  and  more  than  ten  knights  and  squires  would 

fain  have  him/     Then  the  two  barons  broke  through  the  throng 

by  dint  of  their  horses,  dismounted  and  bowed  full  low  before  the 

kbg,  who  was  very  joy ftxl  at  their  coming,  for  they  saved  him  from 

great  danger/'     A  very  little  while  afterwards  the  two  marshals 

"entered  the  pavilion  of  the  prince  of  Wales,  and  made  him  a 

present  of  the  king  of  France;  the  which  present  the  pnnce  could 

BOt  but  take  kindly  as  a  great  and  noble  one,  and  so  truly  he  did, 

for  be  bowed  full  low  before  the  king,  and  received  him  as  king, 

pmperly  and  discreetly,  as  he  well  knew  how  to  do.  .  .  .  ^Vlien 

erening  came  the  prince  of  Wales  gave  a  supper  to  the  kuig  of 

Franco  and  to  my  lord  Phili[],  his  son,  and  to  the  greater  part  of 

the  barons   of  France  who  were  prisoners,  *  .  .  And   the   prince 

would  not  sit  at  the  king's  table  for  all  the  king's  enti-eaty,  but 

waited  as  a  serving-man  at  the  king*s  table,  bending  the  knee  before 

him,  and  sajing,  *Dear  sir,  be  pleased  not  to  put  on  so  sad  a  coun- 

lenanca   because  it  hath  not   pleased  God   to   consent  this   day 

K  2 


THE   STATE S'GENEEAL   OF  THE   FOURTEENTH   CENTUBy, 

[ET  us  turn  back  a  little,  in  order   to   understand   the 
government  and  position  of  King  John  before  he  en- 
gaged in  the  war  which  so  far  as  he  was  concerned 
euded   with   the   battle   of  Poitiers   and   imprisonment   in   Bng- 

A  valiant  and  loyal  knight,  but  a  f  rivolouB,  hare-brained,  thought- 

Jesa,  prodigal,  and  obstinate  as  well  as  impetuous  prince,  and  even 

more  incapable  than  Philip  of  Valois  in  the  practice  of  govern- 

laetit,  John  J  after  having  summoned  at  his  accession,  in  1351,  a 

states-assembly  concerning  which  we  have  no  exphcit  information 

I  feft  to  tts,  tried  for  a  space  of  four  years  to  suffice  in  himself  for 

'  iD  the  perils,  difficulties  and  requirements  of  the  situation  he  had 

^  found  bequeathed  to  him  by  his  father*     For  a  space  of  four  years, 

fin  order  to  get  money,  he  debased  the  coinage,  confiscated  the 

goods  and  securities  of  foreign  merchantSj  and  stopped  payment  of 

I  hk  debts ;  and  he  went  through  several  provinces,  treating  with 

eounclls  or  magistrates  in  order  to  obtain  from  them  certain 


134 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[CnAF-  XXI. 


siibsidiea  which  he  purchased  by  granting  them  new  priTileges. 
He  hoped  by  his  institution  of  tho  order  of  the  Star  to  resuscitate 
the  chivab*oue  zeal  of  his  nobility.  All  these  means  were  vain  or 
insufficient.  The  defeat  of  Cr^cy  and  the  loss  of  Calais  had  caused 
discouragement  in  the  kingdom  and  aroused  many  doubts  as  to 
the  issue  of  the  war  with  England.,  Defection  and  even  treason 
brought  trouble  into  the  court,  the  councilSpand  even  the  family  of 
John*  To  get  the  better  of  them  ho  at  one  time  heaped  favours 
upon  the  men  he  feared,  at  another  he  had  them  arrested,  im- 
prisoned, and  even  beheaded  in  his  presence.  He  gave  his  daughter 
Joan  in  marriage  to  Charles  the  Bad^  king  of  Navarre,  and,  some 
few  months  afterwards,  Charles  himself,  the  real  or  presumed 
head  of  all  the  traitors,  was  seized,  thrown  into  prison  and  treated 
with  extreme  rigour,  in  spite  of  the  supplications  of  his  wife,  who 
vigorously  took  the  part  of  her  husband  against  her  father,  Aftar 
four  years  thus  consumed  in  fruitless  endeavours,  by  turns  violently 
and  feebly  enforced,  to  reorganize  an  army  and  a  treasury,  and  to 
purchase  fidelity  at  any  price  or  arbitrarily  strike  down  treason, 
John  was  obliged  to  recognize  his  powerlessness  and  to  call  to  his 
aid  the  French  nation,  still  so  imperfectly  formed,  by  convoking  at 
Paris,  for  tho  30th  of  November,  1355,  the  states- general  of  Lmujm 
d^oil^  that  is,  Northern  France,  separated  by  the  Dordogue  and 
the  Garonne  from  Lmigae  d'oc^  which  had  its  own  assembly  dis- 
tinct,    Auvergne  belonged  to  Laugiis  d*oiL 

It  is  certain  that  neither  this  assembly  nor  the  king  who  convokeii 
it  had  any  clear  and  fixed  idea  of  what  they  were  meeting  together 
to  do.  The  kingship  was  no  longer  competent  for  its  own  govern* 
ment  and  its  own  perils;  but  it  insisted  none  the  less,  in  principle, 
on  its  own  all  but  unregulatesd  and  unlimited  power.  The  assembly 
did  not  claim  for  tho  country  the  right  of  self-government,  but  it  had 
a  strong  leaven  of  patriotic  sentiment  and  at  the  same  time  wu 
very  much  discontented  witli  the  king*s  government :  it  had  equally 
at  heart  the  defence  of  France  against  England  and  against  the 
abuses  of  the  kingly  power.  There  was  no  notion  of  a  social 
struggle  and  no  systematic  idea  of  poHtical  revolution ;  a  dan- 
gerous crisis  and  intolerable  sufferings  constrained  king  and  nation 
to  coma  together  in  order  to  make  an  attempt  at  au  understand- 


I 


ing  and  at  a  mutual  exchange  of  tbe  supports  and  the  reliefs  of 
which  thoy  were  in  need. 

On  the  2nd  of  December,  1355,  the  three  orders,  the  clergy,  the 
nobility  and  the  deputies  from  the  towns  assembled  at  Paris  in 
the  great  hall  of  the  Parliament.     Peter  de  la  Forest,  archbishop 
of  Rouen  and  chancellor  of  France,  asked  them  in  the  king's  name 
**  to  consult  together  about  making  him  a  subvention  which  should 
suffice  for  the  expenses  of  the  war,"  and  the  king  offered  to  "  make 
a  sound  and  durable  coinage,"     The  tampering  with  the  coinage 
wm  the  most  pressinjif  of  the  grievances  for  which  the  thj^ee  orders 
solicited  a  remedy*     Thoy  declared  that  *^  they  were  ready  to  live 
and  die  with  the  king  and  to  put  their  bodies  and  what  they  had 
at  his  service ;"  and  they  demanded  authority  to  deliberate  together 
— which  was  granted  them,   John  de  Craon,  archbishop  of  Rheims ; 
Walter  de  Brienne,  duke  of  Athens ;  and  Stephen  Marcel,  provost 
of  the  tradesmen  of  Paris,  were  to  report  the  result,  as  presidents, 
each  of  his  own  order.     The  session  of  the  states  lasted  not  more 
than  a  week.     They  repUed  to  the  king  ''  that  they  would  give  him 
a  subvention  of  30,000  men*at-arms  every  year,"  and,  for  their  pay, 
tl^y  voted  an  impost  of  f/ffj  handred  thonmnd  Imres  (five  millions 
of  Uvres),  which  was  to  be  levied  "  on  all  folks,  of  whatever  con- 
dition they  might  bo.  Church  folks,  nobles,  or  others,**  and  the 
gabel  or  tax  on  salt  ^*  over  the  whole  kingdom  of  France,"     On 
separating,  the  states  appointed  beforehand  two  fresh  sessions  at 
which  they  woukl  assemble,  "  one,  in  the  month  of  March,  to  esti- 
JMte  the  sufficiency  of  the  impost  and  to  hear,  on  that  subject,  the 
report  of  the  nine  superintendents  charged  with  the  execution  of 
their  decision ;  the  other,  in  the  month  of  November  following,  to 
examine  into  the  condition  of  the  kingdom," 

They  assembled,  in  fact,  on  the  Ist  of  March,  and  on  the  8th 
of  May*  1356  [N.B.  as  the  year  at  that  time  began  with  Easter, 
the  24tb  of  April  was  the  first  day  of  the  year  1 350:  the  new  style, 
wwer,  is  here  in  every  case  adopted]  ;  but  they  had  not  the 
tion  of  finding  their  authority  generally  recognized  and 
their  patriotic  pui'pose  effectually  accomplished.  The  impost  they 
had  voted,  notably  the  salt-tax,  had  mot  with  violent  opposition. 
"When  the  news  thereof  reached  Normandy,"   says   Froissart, 


136 


HISTOET  OF  FRANCE* 


[CeAP,  XXI. 


"  the  country  was  very  much  astounded  at  it^  for  ttey  had    not 
learnt  to  pay  any  such  thing.    The  count  d*Harcourt  told  the  folks 
of  Rouen,  where  he  was  puissant,  that  they  would  bo  very  serfs 
and  yeiy  wicked  if  they  agreed  to  this  tax,  and  that,  by  God's 
help,  it  should  never  bo  current  in  his  country/*     The  king  of 
Navarre    used    much    the   game   language   in   his   countship    of 
Evreux,     At  other  spots  the  mischief  was   still  more   Berious. 
Close  to  Paris  itself,  at  Melun,  payment  was  peremptorily  refused ; 
and  at  Arras,  on  the  5th  of  March,  ISSB,  ^*  the  commonalty  of  the 
town,*'  says  Froissart,  "  rose  upon  the  rich  burghers  and  slew 
fourteen  of  the  most  substantial,  which  was  a  pity  and  loss ;  and 
BO  it  is  when  wicked  folk  have  the  upper  hand  of  valiant  men. 
However  the  people  of  Arras  paid  for  it  afterwards,  for  the  king 
sent  thither  his  cousin,  my  lord  James  of  Bourbon,  who  gave 
orders  to  take  all  them  by  whom  the  sedition  had  been  caused 
and,  on  the  spot,  had  their  heads  cut  off/' 

The  states-general  at  their  re-assembly  on  the  1st  of  March, 
1356,  admitted  the  feebleness  of  their  authority  and  the  insuifi- 
ciency  of  their  preceding  votes  for  the  purpose  of  aiding  the  king  in 
the  war.  They  abolished  the  salt-tax  and  the  sales-duty  which 
had  met  with  such  opposition;  but,  staunch  in  their  patriotism  ai 
loyalty,  they  substituted  therefor  an  income-tax,  imposed  on  eve 
sort  of  folk,  nobles  or  burghers,  ecclesiastical  or  lay,  which  was 
be  levied  "  not  by  the  high  justiciers  of  the  king,  but  by  the  folks  of 
the  three  estates  themselves.*'  The  king's  ordinance,  dated  th© 
12th  of  March,  1356,  which  regulateB  the  execution  of  these 
different  measures,  is  (article  10)  to  this  import :  "there  shall  be> 
in  each  city,  three  deputies,  one  for  each  estatt*.  These  deputies 
shall  appoint,  in  each  parish,  collectors  who  shall  go  into  the 
houses  to  receive  the  declaration  which  the  persons  who  dwell 
there  shall  make  touching  their  property,  their  estate,  and  their 
servants.  Wlion  a  declaration  shall  appear  in  conformity  with 
truth,  thi\v  whali  be  content  therewith ;  else  they  shall  have  him 
who  has  made  it  sent  before  the  deputies  of  the  city  in  the  district 
whereof  he  dwells,  and  the  deputies  shall  cause  him  to  take,  on  this 
subject,  such  oaths  as  they  shall  think  proper,  ,  ,  ,  The  collectors 
in  the  villages  shall  cause  to  be  taken  therein,  in  the  presence 


^^^  ^'  ..Ai^ll 


CliimtES  THE    BAI>* 


Chap.  XXL]    STATES-GENEBAL  OF  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY.    139 

tiw  pasfcofj  suitable  oatlis  on  the  subject  of  the  deelarations.     If,  in 

fhe  towns  or  villages,  any  one  refuse  to  take  the  oaths  demanded, 

tiiB  collectors  shall  assess  his  property  according  to  general  opinion 

and  on  the  deposition  of  liis  neighbours  **  {Onlomtances  d£s  Rou  ds 

France f  L  iv,  pp.  171^175). 

In  return  for  so  loyal  and  persevering  a  co-operation  on  the  part 
of  the  6tat€8-general,  notwithstanding  the  obstacles  encountered  by 
their  votes  and  their  agents,  K^i^g  John  confirmtd  expressly,  by 
«in  ordinance  of  May  26th,  13  50  [art.  9 :  Ordomuiuces  dets  Rfm  ds 
FruMe^  t.  iii,  p,  55],  all  tlie  promises  he  had  made  them  and  all 
tbe  engagements  he  had  entered  into  with  them  by  his  ordinance 
ef  December  28th,  1355,  given  immediately  after  their  first  session 
{Ihlikm^   t.   iii.  pp.  19 — 37)  :    a  veritable  reformatory  ordinance 
wtiicb  enumerated  the  various  royal  abuses,  <'idmini  strati ve,  judi- 
cial, financial,  and  military,  against  whlcli  there  had  been  a  public 
claoiour,  and  rcgiilat'ed  the  manner  of  redressing  them. 

After  these  mutual  concessions  and  promises  the  states-general 
broke  up,  adjourning  until  the  30th  of  November  following  (1356) ; 
but  two  months  and  a  half  before  this  time  King  John,  proud  of 
aoiae  success  obtained  by  hira  in  Normandy  and  of  the  bnlhant 
army  of  knights  remaining  to  him  after  he  had  dismissed  the 
burgher-forces,  rushed,  as  has  been  said,  with  conceited  impe- 
i\mity  to  encounter  the  prince  of  Wales,  rejected  with  insolent 
demands  the  modest  proposals  of  withdrawal  made  to  him  by  the 
comraander  of  the  little  English  army  and,  on  the  19th  of  September, 
lost,  contrary  to  all  expectation,  the  lamentable  battle  of  Poitiers* 
We  have  seen  how  he  was  deserted  before  the  close  of  the  action 
By  bis  eldest  son.  Prince  Charles,  with  his  body  of  troops,  and  how 
he  himself  remained  with  his  youngest  son.  Prince  Pliilip,  a  boy  of 
fourteen  years,  a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  his  victorious  enemies* 
**At  tliis  news,'*  says  Froissart,  "the  kingdom  of  France  was 
greatly  troubled  and  excited,  and  with  good  cause,  for  it  was  a 
right  grievous  blow  and  vexatious  for  all  sorts  of  folk.  The  wise 
laen  of  the  kingdom  might  well  predict  that  great  evils  would  come 
of  it,  for  the  king,  their  head,  and  all  the  chivalry  of  the  kingdom 
irare  slain  or  taken ;  the  knights  and  squires  who  came  back  home 
Were  on  that  account  so  hated  and  blamed  by  the   commoners 


uo 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXI 


tbat  they  liad  great  difficulty  in  gaining  admittance  to  the  goc 
towns;  and  the  king's  three  bohs  who  had  returned,  Charles, 
Louis,  and  JoliBj  were  very  young  in  years  and  experience,  and 
there  was  in  them  such  small  resource  that  none  of  the  said  lads 
liked  to  undertake  the  government  of  the  said  kingdom/'  ^| 

The  eldest  of  the  three.  Prince  Charles,  aged  nineteen,  who  was 
called  the  Dauphin  after  the  cession  of  Dauphiny  to  France, 
nevertheless  assumed  the  office,  in  spite  of  his  youth  and  his 
any  thing  but  glorious  retreat  from  Poitiers,  He  took  the  title  of 
lieutenant  of  the  king,  and  had  hardly  re-entered  Paris,  on  the 
29th  of  September,  when  he  summoned,  for  the  15th  of  October, 
the  states-general  of  Langue  d'oil,  who  met,  in  point  of  fact,  on  the 
17th,  in  the  great  chamber  of  parliament,  "  Never  was  seen,"  saj^| 
the  report  of  their  meeting,  ''an  assembly  so  numerous,  or  com^ 
posed  of  wiser  folk.'*  The  superior  clergy  were  there  almost  to  a 
man ;  the  nobility  had  lost  too  many  in  front  of  Poitiers  to  be 
abundant  at  Paris,  but  there  were  counted  at  the  assembly  four 
hundred  deputies  from  the  good  towns,  amongst  whom  special 
mention  is  made,  in  the  documents,  of  those  from  Amiens,  Touraay, 
Lille,  Arras,  Troyes,  Auxerre,  and  Sens.  The  total  number  of 
members  at  the  assembly  amounted  to  more  than  eight  hundred. 

The  session  was  opened  by  a  speech  from  the  chancellor,  Peter 
de  la  Forest,  who  called  upon  the  estates  to  aid  the  dauphin  with 
their  councils  under  the  serious  and  melancholy  circumstances  of 
the  kingdonii  The  three  orders  at  first  attempted  to  hold  their 
deliberations  each  in  a  separate  hall ;  but  it  was  not  long  before 
they  felt  the  inconveniences  arising  from  their  number  and  their 
separation,  and  they  resolved  to  choose  from  amongst  each  order 
commissioners  who  should  examine  the  questions  together  aud 
afterwards  make  their  report  and  their  proposals  to  the  genaril  ! 
mcHi^ting  of  the  estates.  Eighty  commissioners  were  accordingly 
elected  and  set  themselves  to  work*  The  dauphin  appointed  some 
of  his  officers  to  be  present  at  their  meetings,  and  to  fuminh  them 
witli  such  information  as  they  might  require.  As  early  as  the  second 
day  '*  these  officers  were  given  to  understand  that  the  deputies 
would  not  work  whilst  any  body  belonging  to  the  king's  council 
was  with  them."     So  tho  officers  withdrew  ;  and  a  few  days  after- 


Chap,  XXI,]    STATES-GENERAL  OF  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY.    141 

wards,  towards  the  end  of  October,  1356,  tlio  commiasionera 
re|)orted  the  result  of  their  confereBces  to  each  of  the  three  orders. 
Tlie  general  assembly  adopted  their  proposals  and  had  the  dauphin 
informed  that,  they  were  desirous  of  a  private  audience.  Charles 
repaired,  mth  some  of  his  councillors,  to  the  monastery  of  the 
CordeUers,  where  the  estates  were  holding  their  sittings,  and  there 
he  received  their  representations.  They  demanded  of  him  "that 
lie  should  deprive  of  their  offices  such  of  the  king's  councillors  as 
th$j  should  point  out »  have  them  arrested,  and  confiscate  all  their 
property.  Twenty-two  men  of  note,  the  chancellor,  the  premier 
preaident  of  the  parliament,  the  king's  stewards,  and  several  officers 
in  the  household  of  the  dauphin  himself  were  thus  pointed  out. 
They  were  accused  of  having  taken  part  to  their  own  profit  in  all 
tb  abuses  for  which  the  government  was  reproached,  and  of 
hflving  concealed  from  the  king  the  true  state  of  things  and  the 
misery  of  the  people.  The  commissioners  elected  by  the  estates 
tere  to  take  proceedings  against  them  ;  if  they  were  found  guilty, 
they  were  to  be  punished ;  and  if  they  were  innocent,  they  were  at 
the  very  least  to  forfeit  their  offices  and  their  property,  on  account 
of  their  bad  counsels  and  their  bad  administration/' 

The  chronicles  of  the  time  are  not  agreed  as  to  these  last 
deraands-  We  have,  as  regards  the  events  of  this  period,  two 
contemporary  witnesses,  both  full  of  detail,  intelhgence,  and 
animation  in  their  narratives,  namely,  Froissart  and  the  continuor 
of  William  of  Nangis'  Latin  Chroniele.  Froissart  is  in  general 
faYourable  to  kings  and  princes ;  the  anonymous  chronicler,  on 
tlie  contrary,  has  a  somewhat  passionate  bias  towards  the  popular 
party.  Probably  both  of  them  are  often  given  to  exaggeration  in 
their  assertions  and  impressions ;  but,  taking  into  account  none 
but  undisputed  facta,  it  is  evident  that  the  claims  of  the  states- 
general,  though  they  were  for  the  most  part  legitimate  enough  at 
hot  torn,  by  reason  of  the  number,  gravity,  and  frequent  recur- 
n?Bce  of  abuses,  were  excessive  and  violent,  and  produced  the 
effect  of  complet-e  suspension  in  the  regular  course  of  govern- 
ment and  justice-  The  dauphin,  Charles,  was  a  young  man,  of  a 
B&turally  aouud  and  coUccted  mind,  but  without  experience,  who 
had  hitherto  lived  only  in  his  father's  court,  and  who  could  not 


142 


mSTORT  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap- 


help  being  deeply  shocked  and  disquieted  by  such  demands.     He 
was  still    more   troubled   when   the   estates   demanded   that   tl 
deputies,  under  the  title  of  refornicrSj  should  traverse  the  provin 
as  a  clieck  upon  the  malversations  of  the  royal  officials^  and  th 
twenty-eight  delegates,  cliosen   from  amongst  the   three  orde: 
four  prelates,  twelve  knights,  and  twelve  burgesses,  should   be 
constantly  placed  near  the  king's  person  "  vrith  power  to  do  and 
order  every  thing  in  the  kingdom,  jtist  like  the  king  himself,  as 
well  for  the  purpose  of  appointing  and  removing  public  officers  m 
for  other  matters."     It  was  taking  away  the  entire  govommen: 
from  the  crown  and  putting  it  into  the  hands  of  the  estates. 

The  dauphin's  surprise  and  suspicion  were  still  more  vivid  wh 
the  deputies  spoke  to  bim  about  setting  at  liberty  the  king  of 
Navarro,  who  had  been  imprisoned  by  King  John,  and  told  him 
that  **  since  this  deed  of  violence  no  good  had  come  to  the  king  or 
the  kingdom  because  of  the  sin  of  having  imprisoned  the  said  king 
of  Navarre,'*  And  yet  Charles  the  Bad  was  already  as  infamous 
as  he  has  remained  in  history;  ho  had  laboured  to  embroil  the 
dauphin  with  his  royal  father ;  and  there  was  no  plot  or  intrigue, 
whether  with  the  malcontents  in  France  or  with  the  king  of 
England,  in  which  he  was  not,  witli  good  reason,  suspected  of 
having  been  mixed  up  and  of  being  ever  ready  to  be  mi^ed  up. 
He  was  clearly  a  dangerous  enemy  for  the  public  peace  as  well  as 
for  the  erown,  and,  for  the  states*general  who  were  demanding  his  g 
release,  a  bad  associate.  ^| 

In  the  face  of  such  demands  and  such  forebodings  the  dauphin 
did  all  he  could  to  gain  time.  Before  he  gave  an  answer  lie  must 
know,  he  said,  what  subvention  the  states-general  woidd  be  willing 
to  grant  him.  The  reply  was  a  repetition  of  the  promise  of  thirty 
thousand  men-at-arms,  together  with  an  enumeration  of  the  several 
taxes  whereby  there  was  a  hope  of  providing  for  the  expense.  But 
the  produce  of  these  ta^es  was  so  uncertain  that  both  pai-ties 
doubted  the  worth  of  the  promise.  Careful  calculation  wont  to 
prove  that  the  subvention  would  suffice  at  the  very  most  for  tb| 
keep  of  no  more  than  eight  or  nine  thousand  men.  The  estati 
were  urgent  for  a  speedy  compHance  with  their  demands.  The 
dauphin  persisted  in  his  policy  of  delay.     He  was  threatened  with 


I 


a  public  and  solemn  Bession  at  which  all  the  questions  should  be 
brought  before  the  people^  and  which  was  fixed  for  the  3rd  of 
November*  Great  was  the  excitement  in  Paris  ;  and  the  people 
fihowed  a  diBposition  to  support  the  estates  at  any  price.  On  the 
2iid  of  November  the  dauphin  summoned  at  the  Lonyro  a  meeting 
of  lii«  eouncillorg  and  of  the  principal  deputies ;  and  there  he 
aMioiiDced  that  ho  was  obliged  to  set  out  for  MetZj  where  he  was 
going  to  follow  up  the  negotiations  entered  into  with  the  Emperor 
Cljarles  r\^-  and  Popo  Innocent  Yh  for  the  sake  of  restoring  peace 
between  France  and  England,  He  added  that  the  deputies^  on 
retiu^ing  for  a  while  to  their  provinces,  should  get  themselves 
enlightieiied  as  to  the  real  state  of  affairs,  and  that  he  would  not 
feil  to  recall  them  so  soon  as  he  had  any  important  news  to  tell 
diem  and  any  assistance  to  request  of  them. 

It  was  not  without  serious  grounds  that  the  dauphin  attached 
80  much  importance  to  gaining  time.  When,  in  the  preceding 
month  of  October,  he  had  summoned  to  Paris  the  states-general  of 
Langm  d*ml^  he  had  likewise  convoked  at  Toulouse  those  of 
Imgue  (Toe^  and  he  was  informed  that  the  latter  had  not  only  just 
Toted  a  levy  of  fifty  thousand  men-at-arms  with  an  adequate 
subsidy,  but  that,  in  order  to  show  their  royaUst  sentiments,  they 
Wl  decreed  a  sort  of  public  mourning,  to  last  for  a  year,  if  King 
John  were  not  released  from  his  captivity.  The  dauphin's  idea 
wag  to  summon  other  provincial  assemblies  from  which  he  hoped 
for  iimilar  manifestations.  It  was  said,  moreoverj  that  several 
deputies,  already  gone  from  Paris,  had  been  ill-received  in  their 
towna,  at  Soissons  amongst  others,  on  account  of  their  excessive 
claimg  and  their  insulting  language  towards  all  the  king's  coun- 
cillors. Under  such  flattering  auspices  the  dauphin  set  out, 
acoDrding  to  the  announcement  he  had  made,  from  Paris,  on  the 
5th  of  December,  1356,  to  go  and  meet  the  Emperor  Charles  IV. 
at  Met35;  but,  at  his  depai-ture,  he  committed  exactly  tbe  fault 
which  was  likely  to  do  him  the  most  harm  at  Paris :  being  in  want 
of  money  for  his  costly  trip,  he  subjected  the  coinage  to  a  fresh 
adulteration,  which  took  efiFect  five  days  after  his  departure. 

The  leaders  in  Paris  seized  eagerly  upon  so  legitimate  a  grieV' 
anoo  for  the  support  of  their  claims.     As  early  as  the  3rd  of  the 


144 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXL 


preceding  November,  when  they  were  apprised  of  the  daupUia*i 
approachiog   departure   for   Metz  and  the  adjournment   of  their 
sittings,   the   states-general  had   come  to  a  decision  that  their 
remonstrances  and  demands,  summed  up  in  twenty-one  articlea, 
should   be   read   in   general  assembly,  and  that  a  recital  of  the 
negotiations  which  had  taken  place  on  that  subject  between  the 
estates  and  the  dauphin  i^hould  be  likewise  di^aw^n  up,  **iii  order 
that  all   the   deputies   might   be    able   to   tell   in   their   districts 
wherefore  the  answers  had  not  been  received/*     When,  after  the 
dauphin's  departure,  the  new  debased  coins  were  put  in  circulationi 
the  people  were  driven  to  an  outbreak  thereby,  and  the  provost  of 
tradesmen,  **  Stephen  Marcel,  hurried  to  the  Louvre  to  demand  of  i 
the  count  of  Anjou,  the  dauphin's  brother  and  lieutenant,  a  with- 1 
drawal  of  the  decree.    Having  obtained  no  answer,  he  returned  thai 
nezt  day  escorted  by  a  throng  of  the  inhabitants  of  Paris.     At 
length,  on  the  third  day,  the  numbers  assembled  were  so  consider-! 
able  that  the  young  prince  took  alarm,  and  suspended  the  execution 
of  the  decree  until  his  brother's  return.    For  the  first  time  Stephen | 
Marcel  had  got  himself  supported  by  an  outbreak  of  the  people ; 
for  the  first  time  the  mob  had  imposed  its  will  upon  the  ruHng^J 
power;  and  from  this  day  forth  pacific  and  lawful  resistance 
transformed  into  a  violent  struggle." 

At  his  re-entry  into  Paris,  on  the  19th  of  January,  1357*  the 
dauphin  attempted  to  once  more  gain  possession  of  some  sort  of 
authority.     He  issued  orders  to  Marcel  and  the  sheriffs  to  remove 
the  stoppage  they  had  placed  on  the  currency  of  the  new  coinage. 
This  was  to  found  his  opposition  on  the  worst  side  of  his  case. 
"  We  will  do  nothing  of  the  sort,'*  replied  Marcel ;  and  in  a  few 
moments,  at  the  provost's  orders,  the  work-people  left  their  work, 
and  shouts  of  "  To  arms !  "  resounded  through  the  streets.     The 
prince's  councillors  were  threatened  with  death.    The  dauphin  saw 
the  hopelessness  of  a  struggle ;  for  there  were  hardly  a  handful  of 
men  left  to  guard  the  Louvre.    On  the  morrow,  the  20th  of  January, 
he  sent  for  Marcel  and  the  sherifts  into  the  great  hall  of  parUament, 
and  giving  way  on  almost  every  point  bound  himself  to  no  longer) 
issue  new  coin,  to  remove  from  his  council  the  officers  who  had] 
been  named  to  him,  and  even  to  imprison  them  until  the  return  oP 


I 


I 


Chap.  XXL]    STATES-GENERAL  OF  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY.   147 

hie  father,  who  would  do  full  justice  to  them.  The  estates  were  at 
tlie  same  time  authorized  to  meet  when  they  pleased :  '*  on  all 
which  points  the  provost  of  tradesmen  requested  letters  which 
were  granted  him ;"  and  he  demanded  that  the  dauphin  should 
immediately  place  sergeants  in  the  houses  of  those  of  his  council- 
lore  who  still  happened  to  be  in  PariSj  and  that  proceedings  should 
be  taken  without  delay  for  making  an  inventory  of  their  goods  with 
a  view  to  confiscation  of  them. 

The  estates  mot  on  the  5th  of  February.     It  was  not  without 

surprise  that  they  found  themselves  less  numerous  than  they  had 

hitherto  been.     The  deputies  from  the  duchy  of  Burgundy,  from 

the  oountships  of  Flanders  and  Alen^on,  and  several  nobles  and 

burghers  from  other  provinces,  did  not  repair  to  the  session.     The 

kingdom  was  falling  into  anarchy;    bands   of  plunderers  roved 

hither  and  thither^  threatening  persons  and  ravaging  lands ;   the 

magistrates  either  could  not  or  would  not  exercise  their  authority ; 

disquietude  and  disgust  were  gaining  possession  of  many  honest 

folks.    Marcel  and  his  partisans,  having  fallen  into  somewhat  of 

disrepute  and  neglect,  keenly  felt  how  necessary  and  also  saw  how 

easy  it  was  for  them  to  become  completely  masters.     They  began 

by  drawing  up  a  series  of  propositions  which  they  had  distributed 

and  spread  abroad  far  and  wide  in  the  provinces.     On  the  3rd  of 

Mafch  they  held  a  public  meeting,  at  which  the  dauphin  and  his 

two  brothers  were  present.     A  numerous  throng  filled  the  hall. 

The  bishop,  of  Laon,  Robert  Lecocq,  the  spokesman  of  the  party, 

inade  along  and  vehement  statement  of  all  the  public  gi'ievanqeSjand 

declared  that  twenty-two  of  the  king's  officers  should  be  deprived 

for  ever  of  all  offices,  that  all  the  officers  of  the  kingdom  should  be 

provisionally  suspended,  and  that  reformers,  chosen  by  the  estates 

and  commissioned  by  the   dauphin  himself,  should   go  all  over 

Fmnce,  to  hold  inquiries  as  to  these  officers,  and,  according  to  their 

deserts,  either  reinstate  them  in  their  offices  or  condemn  them- 

it  the  same  time  the  estates  boimd  themselves  to  raise  thirty 

thousand  men-at-arms  whom  they  themselves  would  pay  and  keep; 

and  as  the  produce  of  the  impost  voted  for  this  piu^pose  was  very 

uncertain,  they  demanded  their  adjournment  t-o  the  fortnight  of 

Bflfiter,  and  two  sessions  certain,  for  which  they  should  be  free  to 

L  2 


148 


HISTORY   OF   PRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXI. 


fix  the  times  before  the  15th  of  February  in  the  following  year. 
This  was  simply  to  decree  the  permanence  of  their  power*  To  all 
these  demands  the  dauphin  offered  no  resistance.  In  the  month 
of  March  following*  a  grand  ordinance,  drawn  up  in  sixty-one 
articles,  enumerated  all  the  grievances  which  had  been  complained 
of,  and  prescribed  the  redress  for  them.  A  second  ordinance, 
regulating  all  that  appertained  to  the  suspension  of  the  royal 
officers,  was  likewise*  as  it  appears,  drawn  up  at  the  same  time, 
but  has  not  come  down  to  us*  At  last  a  gi'and  commission  was 
appointedj  composed  of  thirty-six  members,  twelve  elected  by  each 
of  the  three  orders,  "  These  tliirty-six  persona,"  says  Froissart, 
"  were  bound  to  often  meet  together  at  Paris,  for  to  order  the 
affiiirs  of  the  kingdom,  and  all  kinds  of  matters  were  to  be 
disposed  of  by  these  three  estates,  and  all  prelates,  all  lords, 
and  all  commonalties  of  the  cities  and  good  towns  were  bound  to 
be  obedient  to  what  these  three  estates  should  order,"  Ha\ang 
their  power  thus  secured  in  their  absence,  the  estates  adjourned  to 
the  25th  of  April. 

The  rumour  of  these  events  reached  Bordeaux,  where,  since  the 
defeat  at  Poitiers,  King  John  had  been  living  as  the  guest  of  the 
prince  of  Wales  rather  than  as  a  prisoner  of  the  English.  Amidst 
the  galas  and  pleasures  to  which  he  abandoned  himself  he  was  in- 
dignant to  learn  that  at  Paris  the  royal  authority  was  ignored,  and 
he  sent  three  of  his  comrades  in  captivity  to  notify  to  the  Parisians 
that  he  rejected  all  the  claims  of  the  estates,  that  he  would  not 
have  payment  made  of  the  subsidy  votad  by  them,  and  that  he  for- 
bade their  meeting  on  the  25th  of  April  following.  This  strange 
manifesto  on  the  part  of  imprisoned  royalty  excited  in  Paris  such 
irritation  amongst  the  people,  that  the  dauphin  hastily  sent  out  of 
the  city  the  king's  three  envoys*  whose  lives  might  have  been 
threatened,  and  declared  to  the  thirty-six  commissioners  of  the 
estates  that  the  subsidy  should  be  raised,  and  that  the  general 
assembly  should  be  perfectly  free  to  meet  at  the  time  it  had 
apixjinted* 

And  it  did  meet  towards  the  end  of  April,  but  in  far  fewer 
numbers  than  had  been  the  case  hitherto,  and  with  more  and  more 
division  from  day  to  day.     Nearly  all  the  nobles  and  ecclesiastics 


Cbap.  XXI.]    STATES-GENEHAL  OF  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY.    149 


I 


I 


were  withdrawing  from  it ;  and  amongst  the  burgesses  themselves 
noaoy  of  the  more  moderate    spituts  were  becoming  alarmed  at 
the  violent  proceedings  of  the  commission  of  the  thirty-six  dele- 
gates who,  under  the  direction  of  Stephen  Marcel,  were  becoming 
a  sDmll  oligarchy,  little  by  little  usurping  the  place  of  the  great 
national  assembly:     A  crj^  was  liaised  in  the  provinces  "  against 
the  injustice  of  those  chief  governors  who  were  no  more  than  ten 
or  a  dozen;*'  and  there  was  a  refusal  to  pay  the  subsidy  voted.' 
These  symptoms  and  the  disorganization  which  was  coming  to  a 
head  throughout  the  whole  kingdom  made  the  dauphin  think  that 
the  moment  had  arrived  for  him  to  seize  the  reins  again.     About 
the  middle  of  Angus t^  1337,  he  sent  for  Marcel  and  three  sheriffs, 
accustomed  to  direct  matters  at  Paris,  and  let  thera  know  "  that 
he  intended  thenceforward  to  govern  by  himself,  without  curators/' 
He  at  the  same  time  restored  to  office  some  of  the  lately  dismissed 
royal  officers.     The  thirty-six  comiiiisaioners  made  a  show  of  sub- 
miBsion  ;  and  their  most  faithful  ecclesiastical  ally,  Robert  Lecocq, 
bishop  of  Laon^  returned  to  his  diocese.     The  dauphin  left  Paris 
and  went  a  trip  into  some  of  the  provinces,  halting  at  the  principal 
towns  J  such  as  Rouen  and  Chartres,  and  every  where,  with  intel- 
ligent but  timid  discretion,  making  his  presence  and  his  will  felt, 
not  very  successfully,  however,  as  regarded  the  re-establishment  of 
aome  kind  of  order  on  his  route  in  the  name  of  the  kingship. 
Marcel  and  his  partisans  took  advantage  of  his  absence  to  shore 
their  tottering  supremacy.     They  felt  how  important  it  wag 
for  them  to  have  a  fresh  meeting  of  the  estates,  whose  presence 
alone  could    restore    strength    to    their  commissioners;    but  the 
dauphin  ordy  could  legally  summon  them.    They,  therefore,  eagerly 
pressed  him  to  i^eturn  in  person  to  Paris,  giving  him  a  promise 
that,  if  he  agreed  to  convoke  there  the  deputies  from  twenty  or 
thirty  towns,  they  would  supply  him  with  the  money  of  which  he 
was  in  need,  and  would  say  no  more  about  the  dismissal  of  royal 
officers  or   about  setting  at  liberty  the  king  of  Navarre*     The 
dftuphin,  being  still  young  and  trustful,  though  he  was  already  dis- 
creet and  reserved,  fell  into  the  snare.     He  returned  to  Paris,  and 
wimmoneil  thither,  for  the  7th  of  November  following,  the  deputies 
from  seventy  towns,  a  sufficient  number  to  give  their  meeting  a 


150 


HISTORY  OF  FRAKCE. 


[CiiAP^  XXI. 


specious  resemblance  to  the  states-gencraL  One  circumstance 
ought  to  have  caused  him  some  glimmering  of  suspicion.  At  the 
same  time  that  the  dauphin  was  sending  to  the  deputies  his  letters 
of  convocation,  Marcel  himself  also  sent  to  them,  as  if  he  pofiaeesed 
the  right,  either  in  his  own  name  or  in  that  of  the  thirty*six 
delegate-commissioners,  of  calliiig  them  together*  But  a  still 
more  serious  matter  came  to  open  the  dauphin's  eyes  to  the  danger 
he  had  fiillen  into.  During  the  night  between  the  8th  and  9th  of 
November,  1357>  immediately  after  the  reopening  of  the  states^ 
Charles  the  Bad^  king  of  Navarre,  was  carried  ofif  by  a  surprise 
from  the  castle  of  Arleux  in  Cambr^Ssis,  where  he  had  been  confined ; 
and  his  liberators  removed  him  fii*st  of  all  to  Amiens  and  then  to 
Paris  itself,  where  the  popular  party  gave  him  a  triumphant  recep- 
tion. Marcel  and  las  sheriffs  had  decided  upon  and  prepared,  at  a 
private  council,  this  dramatic  incident,  so  contrary  to  the  promises 
they  had  but  lately  made  to  the  dauphin.  Charles  thti  Bad  used 
his  deliverance  like  a  skilful  workman;  the  very  day  after  his 
arrival  in  Paris  he  mounted  a  platform  set  against  the  walls  of 
St,  Germain's  abbey,  and  there,  in  the  presence  of  mom  than  t<>n 
thousand  persons,  burgesses  and  popuhvce,  he  dehvered  a  long 
speech,  "  Beasoned  with  much  venom,*'  says  a  chonicler  of  the 
time.  After  liavLng  denounced  the  wrongs  which  he  had  l>i*en 
made  to  endure,  he  said,  for  eighteen  months  past,  he  declared 
that  he  would  live  and  die  in  defence  of  the  kingdom  of  France, 
giving  it  to  be  understood  that  '*if  he  wei^  minded  to  claim  the 
crown,  be  would  soon  show  by  the  laws  of  right  and  wrong  that 
he  was  nearer  to  it  than  the  king  of  England  was/'  He  was 
insinuating,  eloquent,  and  an  adept  in  the  art  of  making  truth 
subserve  the  cause  of  falsehood.  The  people  were  moved  by  his 
speech.  The  dauphin  was  obliged  not  only  to  put  up  with  the 
release  and  the  triumph  of  his  most  dangerous  enemy,  but  to  make 
an  outward  show  of  reconciliation  with  him,  and  to  undertake  not 
only  to  give  hira  back  the  castles  confiscated  after  his  arrest,  but 
**  to  act  towards  him  a^  a  good  brother  towards  his  brother.*' 
These  were  the  exact  words  made  use  of  in  the  dauphin^ii 
name,  *'  and  without  having  asked  his  pleasiu'e  about  it/'  by 
Robert  Lecocij,  bishop  of  Laon,  who  himself  also  had  returned 


Chap,  XXI.]    STATES-GENERAL  OF  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY,    151 

from    hia    diocese   to    Paris   at   the   time   of    the   recall   of    the 
estates. 

The   consequences  of   this  position  were  not  slow  to  exhibit 
themselves,    Whilst  the  king  of  Navarre  was  re-entering  Paris  and 
the  dauphin  submitting  to  the  necessity  of  a  reconcihation  with  him, 
several  of  the  deputies  who  had  but  lately  returned  to  the  states- 
general,  and  amongst  others  nearly  all  those  from  Champagne  and 
Burgundy,    were   going  away   again,   being   unwilling   either   to 
witness  the  triumphal  re-entry  of  Charles  the  Bad  or  to  share  the 
responsibility  for  such  acts  as   they  foresaw.     Before   long   the 
itmggle  or  rather  the  war  between  the  king  of  Navarre  and  the 
dauphin  broke  out  again;  several  of  the  nobles  in  possession  of  the 
les  which  were  to  have  been  restored  to  Charles  the  Bad,  and 
especially  those  of  Breteuil,   Pacy-sur-Bure,  and  Pont-Audemer, 
flatly  refused  to  give  them  back  to  him;    and  the  dauphin  was 
suspected,  probably  not  without  reason,   of  having  encouraged 
them  in  their  resistance.     Without  the  walls  of  Paris  it  was  really 
war  that  was  going  on  between  the  two  princes.    Philip  of  Navarre, 
brother  of  Charles  th3  Bad^  went  marching  with  bands  of  pillagers 
over  Normandy  and  Anjou,  and  within  a  few  leagues  of  Paris, 
declaring  that  he  had  not  taken  and  did  not  intend  to  take  any 
,rt  in  his  brother's  pacific  arrangements,  and  carrying  fire  and 
«word  all  through  the  country.     The  peasantry  from  the  ravaged 
districts  were  overflowing  Paris,     Stephen  Marcel  had  no  mind  to 
reject  the  support  wliich  many  of  them  brought  him ;  but  they  had 
to  be  fed  and  the  treasury  was  empty.     The  wreck  of  the  states- 
general,  meeting  on  the  2nd  of  January,  1358,  themselves  had 
PBcourso  to  the  expedient  which  they  had  so  often  and  so  violently 
reproached  the  king  and  the  dauphin  with  employing :  they  notably 
depreciated  the  coinage,  allotting  a  fifth  of  the  profit  to  the  dauphin 
and  retaining  the  other  four-fifths  for  the  defence  of  the  kingdom, 
Wliat  Marcel  and  his  party  called  the  defence  of  the  kingdom  was  the 
works  of  fortification  round  Paris,  begun  in  October^  1356,  against 
the  English,  aftiT  the  defeat  of  Poitiers,  and  resumed  in  1358 
nst  the  dauphin's  party  in  the  neighbouring  provinces,  as  weU 
I M  against  the  robbers  that  were  laying  them  waste.    Amidst  all  this 
military  and  popular  excitement  the  dauphin  kept  to  the  Louvre, 


152 


HISTOHY   OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXL 


having  about  Mm  two  thousatid  men-at-arms  whom  he  had  taken 
into  his  pay,  bo  said^  solely  '*on  account  of  the  prospect  of  a  war  with 
the  Navarrese/^  Before  he  went  and  plunged  into  a  civil  war  outsido 
the  gates  of  Paris  ho  resolved  to  make  an  effort  to  win  back  tho 
Parisians  themselves  to  his  cause.  He  sent  a  crier  through  die 
city  to  bid  the  people  assemble  in  the  market-place,  and  thither 
repaired  on  horseback^  on  the  11th  of  January,  with  five  or  six' 
of  his  most  trusty  servants.  The  astonished  mob  thronged  alxiut 
him  and  he  addressed  them  in  vigorous  language.  He  meant, 
said,  to  live  and  die  amongst  the  people  of  Paris ;  if  he 
collecting  his  men-at-arms,  it  was  not  for  the  purpose  of  plundei 
ing  and  oppressing  Paris,  but  that  he  might  march  against  thd| 
common  enemies  ;  and  if  he  had  not  done  go  sooner  it  was  becaua 
*'  the  folks  who  had  taken  the  government  gave  him  neither  mont 
nor  arms ;  but  they  would  some  day  be  called  to  strict  account  for 
it/*  The  dauphin  was  small,  thin,  delicate,  and  of  insignificaut_ 
appearance ;  but  at  this  junctm*e  he  displayed  unexpected  boldnc 
and  eloquence;  the  people  were  deeply  moved;  and  Marcel 
his  friends  felt  that  a  heavy  blow  had  just  been  dealt  them. 

They  hastened  to  respond  with  a  blow  of  another  sort..  It  wn 
every  where  whispered  abroad  that  if  Paris  was  suffering  so  much 
from  civil  war  and  the  irregularities  and  ealaniities  which  were  tlwj 
concomitants  of  it,  the  fault  lay  with  the  dauphin's  surrounding 
and  that  his  noble  advisers  deterred  him  from  measures  which 
would  save  the  people  from  their  miseries,  **  Provost  Marcel  and 
the  burgesses  of  Paris  took  counsel  together  and  decided  that  it 
would  be  a  good  thing  if  some  of  those  attendants  on  the  regent 
were  to  be  taken  away  from  the  midst  of  this  world.  They  all  put 
on  caps,  red  on  one  side  and  blue  on  the  other,  which  they  wore  as 
a  sign  of  their  confederation  in  defence  of  the  common  weah  Thi 
done,  they  reassembled  in  large  numbers  on  the  22nd  of  Februai 
1358,  with  the  provost  at  their  head,  and  marched  to  the  pi 
where  the  duke  was  lodged,'*  This  crowd  encountered  on  ita  way? 
in  the  street  called  Juiverie  (Jewry),  the  advocate-general,  Regriault 
d'Acij  one  of  the  twenty-two  royal  officers  denounced  by  the  estatei 
in  the  preceding  year;  and  he  was  massacred  in  a  pastry*cook\s 
shop.     Marcelj   continuing  his  road,  arrived  at   the^  palace,  and 


kipended,  followed  by  a  band  of  armed  men,  to  the  apartments  of 
■ffie  dauphin,  **  whom  he  requested  very  sharply/*  says  Froissart, 
**to  restrain  so  many  companies  from  roving  about  on  all  sides, 
damaging  and  plundering  the  country*     The  duke  replied  that  he 
would  do  so  willingly  if  he  had  the  wherewithal  to  do  it,  but  that 
it  was  for  him  who  received  the  dues  belonging  to  the  kingdom  to 
discharge  that  duty,     I  know  not  why  or  how,"  adds  Froissart, 
**  but  words  were  multiplied  on  the  part  of  all,  and  became  very 
high.'*     '*  My  lord  duke,"  suddenly  said   the  provost,    "  do  not 
alarm  yourself ;  but  we  have  somewhat  to  do  here;''  and  turning 
towards  his  fellows  in  the  caps,  he  said,  "  Dearly  beloved,  do  that 
for  the  which  ye  are  come."     Immediately  the  lord  de  Conflans, 
marshal   of  Champagne^   and    Robert  do   Clermont,   marshal   of 
Normandy,  noble  and  valiant  gentlemen,  and  both  at  the  time 
unarmed,  were  massacred  so  close  to  the  dauphin  and  his  couch, 
that  his  robe  was  covered  with  their  blood.     The  dauphin  shud- 
dered; and  the  rest  of  his  officers   fled,     ''Take  no   heed,  lord 
duke/*  said  Marcel;  **you  have  naught  to  fear,"    He  handetl  to  the 
dauphin  his  own  red  and  blue  cap  and  himself  put  on  the  dauphin's, 
which  was  of  black  stuff  with  golden  fiinge.     The  corpses  of  the 
two  marshals  were  dragged  into  the  courtyard  of  the  palace,  where 
they  i-emained  until  evening  without  any  one*s  daring  to  remove 
them ;  and  Marcel  with  his  fellows  repaired  to  the  mansion-house, 
»nd  harangued  from  an  open  window  the  mob  coDected  on  the 
Place  de  Greve,     "  What  has  been  done  is  for  the  good  and  the 
profit  of  the  kingdom,"  said  he;  '*  the  dead  were  false  and  wicked 
traitors/'     **  We  do  own  it  and  will  maintain  it  !**  cried  the  people 
who  were  about  him. 

The  house  from  which  Marcel  thus  addressed  the  people  was  hia 
own  property,  and  was  called  the  IHllar-honse.  There  he  accom- 
modated the  town-council,  which  had  formerly  held  its  sittings  in 
divers  parlours. 

For  a  month  after  this  triple  murder^  committed  with  such 
official  paradt*,  Marcel  reigned  dictator  in  Paris,  He  removed  from 
^he  council  of  thirty-six  deputies  such  members  as  he  coidd  not 
rely  upon,  and  introduced  his  own  confidants*  He  cited  the  council, 
tliUH  modified,  to  express  approval  of  the  blow  just  struck ;  and 


Chap,  XXL]    STATES -GENERAL  OF  FOUHTEENTH  CENTURY.    155 


156  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXI. 

the  deputies,  "  some  from  conviction  and  others  from  doiiht  (that 
is,  fear),  answered  that  they  believed  that  for  what  had  been  done 
there  had  been  good  and  just  cause."  The  king  of  Navarre  was 
recalled  from  Nantes  to  Paris,  and  the  dauphin  was  obliged  to 
assign  to  him,  in  the  king's  name,  "  as  a  make-up  for  his  losses," 
10,000  livres  a  year  on  landed  proix*rty  in  Languedoc.  Such 
was  the  young  prince's  condition  that,  almost  every  day,  he  was 
reduced  to  the  necessity  of  dining  with  his  most  dangerous  and 
most  hypocritical  enemy.  A  man  of  family,  devoted  to  the  dauphin, 
who  was  now  called  reijent^  Philip  de  Repenti  by  name,  lost  his 
head  on  the  19th  of  March,  1358,  on  the  market- place,  for  having 
attempted,  with  a  few  bold  comrades,  "  to  place  the  regent  beyond 
the  power  and  the  reach  of  the  people  of  Paris."  Six  days  after- 
wards, however,  on  the  25th  of  March,  the  dauphin  succeeded  in 
escaping,  and  repaired  first  of  all  to  Senlis,  and  then  to  Provins, 
where  he  found  the  estates  of  Champagne  eager  to  welcome  him. 
Marcel  at  once  sent  to  Provins  two  deputies  with  instructions  to 
bind  over  the  three  orders  of  Champagne  "  to  be  at  one  with  them 
of  Paris,  and  not  to  be  astounded  at  what  had  been  done."  Before 
answering,  the  members  of  the  estates  withdi-ew  into  a  garden  to 
parley  together  and  sent  to  pray  the  regent  to  come  and  meet 
them,  "^ly  lord,"  said  the  count  De  Braine  to  him  in  the  name 
of  the  nobility,  *'  did  you  ever  suffer  any  harm  or  villainy  at 
the  hands  of  De  Confliuis,  marshal  of  Champagne,  for  which  he 
deserved  to  be  put  to  death  as  he  hath  been  by  them  of  Paris  ?" 
The  prince  replied  that  he  firmly  held  and  believed  that  the  said 
marshal  and  Robert  de  Clermont  had  well  and  loyally  served  and 
advised  him.  ''  My  lord,"  replied  the  count  De  Braine,  "  we 
Champagnese  who  are  liei'c  do  thank  you  for  that  wliich  you  have 
just  said,  and  do  desire  you  to  do  full  justice  on  those  who  have 
put  our  friend  to  death  without  cause;"  and  they  bound  them- 
selves to  sup])oi-t  him  with  their  persons  and  their  property  for  the 
chastisement  of  them  who  had  been  the  authors  of  the  outrage. 

The  dauphin,  witli  full  trust  in  this  manifestation  and  this 
promise,  convoked  at  Conipiegne,  for  the  -ith  of  May,  1353,  no 
longer  the  estates  of  Chanii)agne  only,  but  the  states-general  in 
their  entirety,  who,  on  separating  at  the  close  of  their  last  session, 


Chap.  XXI.]    STATES-GENERAL  OP  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY-    159 


_  bad  adjourned  to  the  let  of  May  following.    The  story  of  this  fieBh 
P^ession   and  of  the  events  determined  by  it  is  here  reproduced 
text  oally,  just  as  it  has  come  down  to  us  from  the  last  con  tinner  of 
the  Ghrofiicle  of  WiUiam  of  Nangtsj  the  most  fayourable  amongst 
^^11  the  chroniclers  of  the  time  to  Stephen  Marcel  and  the  popular 
party  in  Taris,    "All  the  deputies  and  especially  the  friends  of  the 
nobles  slain  did  ^ith  one  heart  and  one  mind  counsel  the  lord 
Charles^  duke  of  Normandy,  to  have  the  homicides  stricken  to 
death ;  and,  if  ho  could  not  do  so  by  reason  of  the  number  of  their 
defenders,  they  urged  him  to  lay  vigorous  siege  to  the  city  of 
Paris,  either  with  an  armed  force  or  by  forbidding  the  entry  of 
victuals  thereinto,  in  such  sort  that  it  should   understand   and 
perceive  for  a  certainty  that  the  death  of  the  provost  of  tradesmen 
and  of  his  accomplices  was  intended.     The  said  provost  and  those 
who,  after  the  regent's  departure,  had  taken  the  government  of  the 
city,  clearly  understood  this  intention,  and  they  then  implored  the 
Umveraity  of  studies  at  Paris  to  send  deputies  to  the  said  lord- 
regent,  to  humbly  adjure  him,  in  their  name  and  in  the  name  of  the 
whole  city,  to  banish  from  his  heart  the  wrath  he  bad  conceived 
against  their  feOow-citizens,  offering  and  promising,  moreover,  a 
writable  reparation  for  the  offence,  provided  that  the  lives  of  the 
persons  were  spared.     The  University,  concerned  for  the  welfare 
of  tile  city,  sent  several  deputies  of  weight  to  treat  about  the 
Clatter,     They  were  received  by  the  lord  duke  Charles  and  the 
f^ilier  lords  with  great  kindness ;  and  they  brought  back  word  to 
Paris  that  the  demand  made  at  Compiegne  was  that  ten  or  a  dozen 
or  even  only  five  or  six  of  the  men  suspected  of  the  crime  lately 
^xjmmitted  at  Paris  should  be  sent  to  Compiegne,  where  there  was 
deiigu  of  putting  them  to  death,  and,  if  this  were  done,  the 
k^regent  would  return  to  his  old  and  intimate  friendship  with 
Parisians.     But  Provost  Marcel  and  his  accomplices,  who  were 
for  themselves,  did  not  believe  that  if  they  fell  into  the 
>  of  the  lord  duke  they  could  escape  a  terrible  death,  and  they 
bd  no  niind  to  run  such  a  risk.     Taking,  therefore,  a  bold  resolu- 
lionj  they  desired  to  be  treated  as  all  the  rest  of  the  citizens,  and, 
to  that  end,  sent  several  deputations  to  the  lord-regent  either  to 
Compifegne  or  to  Meaux  whither  he  sometimes  removed ;  but  they 


160 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXI, 


got  no  gracious  reply  and  rather  words  of  bitterness  atid  threaten- 
ing.    Thereupon,  being  seized  witli  alarm  for  their  city,  int^  the 
which  the   lord-regent  and  his  noblo  comrades  were  so  ardently 
desirous  of  re-entering,  and  being  minded  to  put  it  out  of  reach 
from  the  peril  which  threatened  it»  they  began  to  fortify  themselves 
therein,  to  repair  the  walls,  to  deepen  the  ditches,  to  build  new 
ramparts  on  the  eastern  side,  and  to  throw  up  barriers  at  all  the 
gates.  *  -  .  As  they  lacked  a  captain,  they  sent  to  Charles  the  Bad^ 
king  of  Navarre,  who  was  at  that  time  in  Normandy,  and  whom 
they  knew  to  be  freshly  embroiled  with  the  regent;    and   they 
requested  him  to  come  to  Paris  with  a  strong  body  of  men-at-arras, 
and  to  be  their  captain  there  and  their  defender  against  all  their 
foes,  save  the  lord  John,  king  of  France,  a  prisoner  in  England, 
The  king  of  Navarre,  with  all  his  men,  wag  received  in  state  on  the 
15th  of  June  by  the  Parisians,  to  the  great  indignation  of  the 
piince-regent,  his  friends,  and  many  others.     The  nobles  thereupon 
began  to  draw  near  to  Paris  and  to  ride  about  in  the  fields  of  the 
neighbourhood,  prepared  to  fight  if  there  should  be  a  sortie  from 
Paris  to  attack  thorn.  ...  On  a  certain  day  the  besiegers  came 
right  up  to  the  bridge  of  CharentoUj  as  if  to  draw  out  the  king  of 
Navarre  and  the  Parisians  to  battle.     The  king  of  Navarre  issued 
forth,  armed,  with  his  men,  and  drawing  near  to  the  besiegers  had 
long  conversations  with  them  without  fighting,  and  afterwards  went 
back  into  Paris.     At  sight  hereof  the  Parisians  suspected  that  this 
king,  who  was  himself  a  noble,  was  conspiring  with  the  besiegers, 
and  was  preparing  to  deal  some  secret  blow  to  the  detriment  of 
Paris  ;  so  they  conceived  mistrust  of  him  and  his,  and  stripped  lUm 
of  his  office  of  captain.     He  went  foi-th  sore  vexed  from  Paris,  he 
and  his;  and  the  Enghsh  especially,  whom  he  had  brought  with 
him,  insulted  certain  Parisians,  whence  it  happened   that  before 
they  were  out  of  the  city  several  of  them  were  massacred  by  the 
folks  of  Paris,  who  afterwards  confined  themselves  within  their 
walls,  carefully  guarding  the  gates  by  day  and,  by  night,  keeping 
up  strong  patrols  on  the  ramparts," 

Whilst  Marcel  inside  Paris,  where  he  reigned  supreme,  was  a  prey, 
on  his  own  account  and  that  of  his  besieged  city,  to  these  anxieties 
and  perils,  an  event  occurred  outside  which  seemed  to  open  to  him 


Chap,  XXI,]    STATES-GENERAL  OF  FOUBTEENTH  CENTURY.   161 

a  prospect  of  powerful  aid,  perhaps  of  decisive  victory.   Throughout 
several  provinces  the  peasants,  whose  condition,  sad  and  hard  as  it 
already  was  under  the  feudal  system,  had  been  still  further  aggra* 
Tated  by  the  outrages  and  irregularities  of  war,  not  finding  any 
protection  in  their  lords^  and  often  being  even  oppressed  by  them 
as  if  they  had  been  foes,  had  recourse  to  insurrection  in  order  to 
eBCi^pe  from  the  evils  which  came  down  upon  them  every  day  and 
from  every  quarter.     They  bore  and  would  bear  any  thing,  it  w^as 
said  J  and  they  got  the  name  of  Jacques  Bonhomme  (Jack  GoodfeUow); 
but  this  taunt  they  belied  in  a  terrible  manner.     We  wiU  quote 
from  the  last  continuer  of  William  of  Nangis,  the  least  declamatory 
and  the  least  confused  of  all  the  chroniclers  of  that  period  :  **  In 
this  same  year  1358,"  says  be,  "in  the  summer  [the  first  rising 
took  place  on  the  28th  of  May],  the  peasants  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  St*  Loup  de  Cerent  and  Clermont  in  the  diocese  of  Beauvais  took 
up  arms  against  the  nobles  of  France,     They  assembled  in  great 
niunberSj  set  at  their  head  a  certain  peasant  named  William  Karle 
[or  Cale,  or  Callet],  of  more  intelHgence  than  the  rest,  and  march- 
ing hy  companies  under  their  own  flag  roamed  over  the  country, 
ilajring  and  massacring  all  the  nobles  they  met,  even  their  own 
lords,    Kot  content  mth  that,  they  demolished  the  houses   and 
castles  of  the  nobles :   and,  what  is  still  more  deplorable,  they 
villainoysly  put  to  death  the  noble  dames  and  little  children  who 
fell  into  their  hands;  and  afterwards  they  strutted  about,  they  and 
tbir  wives,  bedizened  with  the  garments  they  had  stripped  from 
their  victims.     The  number  of  men  who  had  thus  risen  amounted 
to  five  thousand,  and  the  rising  extended  to  the  outskirts  of  Paris. 
They  had  begun  it  from  sheer  necessity  and  love  of  justice,  for 
tJieir  lords  oppressed  instead  of  defending  them ;  but  before  long 
ihaj  proceeded  to  the  most  hateful  and  criminal  deeds*      They 
and  destroyed  from  top  to  bottom  the  strong  castle  of  Erme- 
nonville,  where  they  put  to  death  a  multitude  of  men  and  dames  of 
Boble  family  who  had  taken  refuge  there.      For  some  time  the 
nobles  no  longer  went  about  as  before ;  none  of  them  durst  set  a 
foot  outside  the  fortified  places."     Jacquery  had  taken  the  form  of 
a  fit  of  demagogic  fury,  and  the  Jack^  [or  Goodfellaws']  swarming 
out  of  their  hovels  were  the  terror  of  the  castles. 
VOL  jf.  K 


\m 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXI. 


Had  Marcel  provoked  tbis  bloody  insurrection  ?  There  is  strong 
presumption  against  him;  many  of  liis  contemporaries  say  lie  had ; 
and  thu  daupliin  himself  ^^Tote  on  the  30th  of  Augustj  1359,  to  the 
count  of  Savoy  that  one  of  the  most  heinous  acts  of  Marcel  and  his 
partisans  was  "  exciting  the  folks  of  the  open  country  in  France, 
of  Beauvait^is  and  Champagne,  and  other  districts,  against  the 
nobles  of  the  said  kingdom ;  whence  so  many  evils  have  proceeded 
as  no  man  should  or  could  conceive.*^  It  is  quite  ceriainj  however, 
tbat,  the  insurrection  having  once  broken  out.  Marcel  hastened  to 
profit  by  it  and  encouraged  and  even  supported  it  at  several  points. 
Amongst  other  things  he  sent  from  Paris  a  body  of  thi^e©  hundrtxl 
men  to  the  assistance  of  the  peasants  who  were  besieging  the  castle 
of  Ermenonville.  It  is  the  due  penalty  paid  by  reformers  who  allow 
themselves  to  drift  into  revolution  that  they  become  before  long 
accomplices  in  mischief  or  crime  which  their  original  design  and 
their  own  personal  interest  made  it  incumbent  on  them  to  prevent 
or  repress. 

The  reaction  against  Jot  yiier^/ was  speedy  and  shockingly  bloody. 
The  nobles,  the  dauphin,  and  the  king  of  Navarre,  a  prince  and  a 
noble  at  the  same  time  that  ho  was  a  scoundrel,  matle  common  cause 
against  the  (iootlfdlows^  who  were  the  more  disorderly  in  proportion 
as  they  had  become  more  numerous  and  believed  themselves  more 
invincible-  The  ascendancy  of  the  masters  over  the  rebels  was 
soon  too  strong  for  resistance-  At  Meaux,  of  wliich  the  Goodfellows 
had  obtained  posst*asion,  they  were  surprised  and  massacred  to  the 
number,  it  is  said,  of  seven  thousand,  with  the  town  burning  alx>ut 
their  ears.  In  Beauvaisis,  the  king  of  Navarre,  after  having  made 
a  show  of  tivating  with  tlieii'  cliieftain,  AVilliam  Karle  or  Calleti 
got  possession  of  him,  and  had  him  beheaded,  wearing  a  trivet  of 
red-hot  iron,  says  one  of  the  chroniclers,  by  way  of  crown*  He 
then  moved  upon  a  camp  of  GUMKljV'lhwsuBsemhlod  near  Hon tdi*lier, 
slew  three  thousand  of  them  and  dispersed  the  remainder.  These 
figures  are  probably  very  mucli  exaggeratt*d,  as  nearly  always 
happens  in  such  accounts;  but  the  continuer  of  Wilham  of  Kangis, 
so  justly  severe  on  the  outrages  and  bai^barities  of  the  insurgeiit 
}X5asants,  is  not  loss  so  on  those  of  their  conquerors,  "  The  nobles 
of  France,"  he  says,  "committed  at  that  time  such  ravages  in  the 


CflAF.  XXI.]    STATES-GENERAL  OF  FOUETEENTH  CENTURY,   1G3 

district  of  Meaux  tlmt  there  was  no  need  for  the  English  to  come 
and  daatroy  our  country;  those  mortal  enemies  of  the  kingdom 
could  not  have  done  what  was  done  by  the  nobles  at  home/' 

Marcel  from  that  moment  perceived  that  his  cause  was  lost,  and 
no  longer  dreamed  of  any  thing  but  saving  himself  and  his,  at  any 
price ;  **  for  he  thought,"  says  Froissart,  **  that  it  paid  better  to 
slay  than  to  be  slain/*     Although  he  had  more  than  once  ex- 
perienced the  disloyalty  of  the  king  of  Navarre,  he  entered  into 
&^sh  negotiation  with  him>  hoping  to  use  him  as  an  intermediary 
between  himself  and  tlie  dauphin  in  order  to  obtain  either  an  ac- 
ceptable peace  or  guai^antees  for  his  own  security  in  case  of  extreme 
danger.     The  king  of  Navarre  lent  a  ready  ear  to  these  overtures ; 
he  bad  no  scruple  about  negotiating  with  this  or  that  individual  > 
I  this  or  that  party,  flattering  himself  that  he  would  make  one  or  the 
other  useful  for  his  own  purposes.     Marcel  had  no  difficulty  in 
discovering  that  the  real  design  of  the  king  of  Navarre  was  to  set 
igide  the  house  of  Valois  and  the  Plantagencts  together,  and  to 
I  become  king  of  France  himself,  as  a  descendant,  in  his  own  person, 
I  of  St.  Louis,  though  one  degree  more  remote.     An  understanding 
was  renewed  between  the   two,  such  as  it  is  possible   to   have 
'between  two  personal  interests  fandamentally  different  but  capable 
of  being  for  the  moment  mutually  helpfuL     Marcel,  under  pretext 
of  defence  against  the  besiegers,  admitted  into  Paris  a  pretty  large 
number  of  EngUsh  in  the  pay  of  the  king  of  Navarre,     Before 
long  quarrels  arose  between  the  Parisians  and  these  unpopular 
Iforeigners;  on  the  21st  of  July,  1358,  during  one  of  these  quarrels, 
Itwenty-four   Enghsh   were   massacred   by  the   people ;    and  four 
adred  others,  it  is  said,  were  in  danger  of  undergoing  the  same 
when  Marcel  came  up  and  succeeded  in  saving  their  lives  by 
Itiaving  them  imprisoned  in  the  Louvre.     The  quarrel  grew  hotter 
[iind  i^pread  farther.     The  pt^oplo  of  Paris  went  and  attacked  other 
mercenaries  of  the  king  of  Navarre,  chiefly  Englisli,  who  were 
occupying  St*  Denis  and  St*  Cloud.     The  Parisians  were  beaten  ; 
and  the  king  of  NavaiTc  withdrew  to  St.  Denis.     On  the  27th  of 
July  Marcel  boldly  resolved  to  set  at  liberty  and  send  over  to  him 
the  four  hundred  English  imprisoned  in  the  Louvre,    He  had  them 
let  oat,  accordingly,  and  himself  escorted  them  as  far  as  the  gate 

M  2 


104 


mSTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[CnAi\  XXL 


St.  Honord,  in  the  midet  of  a  throng  that  made  no  moyemtmt 
for  all  its  irritation.  Some  of  Marcel's  satellites  who  forniiHl  ilm 
escort  cried  out  as  they  went,  *'Has  any  body  aught  to  say  ap' *»ri<i 
the  setting  of  these  prisoners  at  liberty?"  The  Parisians  rtv 
bered  their  late  reverse,  and  not  a  voice  was  raised.  **  Strom 
moved  as  the  people  of  Paris  were  in  their  hearts  against 
provost  of  tradesmen/'  says  a  contemporary  chronicle,  '*  there 
not  a  man  who  durst  commence  a  riot." 

MarcePs  position  became  day  by  day  more  criticah  The  dauplifl 
encamped  with  his  army  around  PariSj  was  keeping  up  secret 
very  active  communications  with  it ;  and  a  party^  numerous  and 
already  growing  in   popularity,  was  being  formed   there   in  Im^ 
favour.     Men  of  note,  who  were  lately  Marcers  comrades, 
now  pronouncing  against  him;  and  John  Maillart,  one  of  the  fd 
clioBen  captains  of  the  municipal  forces,  was  the  most  vigils 
Marcel,  at  his  wit^s  end,  made  an  offer  to  the  king  of  Navarre 
dehver  Paris  up  to  him  on  the  night  between  the  31st  of  July 
the  1st  of  August,     All  was  ready  for  carrying  out  this  de8i| 
During  the  day  of  the  Slst  of  July  Marcel  would  have  changed 
keepers  of  the  St.  Denis  gate,  but  Maillai't  opposed  liim,  nishf?tl 
the  Hotel  de  Ville,  seized  the  banner  of  France,  jumped  on  hoi 
back  and  rode  through  the  city  shouting,  "  Mount  joy  St.  Doi 
for  the  king  and  the  duke  P*     This  was  the  rallying-cry  of 
dauphin's  partisans.     The  day  ended  with  a  great  riot  amonj 
the  people.     Towards  eleven  o'clock  at  night  Marcel,  followed 
his  people  armed  from  head  to  foot,  made  his  way  to  the  St,  Anthc 
gate,  holding  in  his  hands,  it  is  said,  the  keys  of  the  city* 
he  was  there,  waiting  for  the  arrival  of  the  king  of  Navarre'a 
Maillart  came  up  **  with  torches  and  lanterns  and  a  numat 
assemblage*     He  went  straight  to  the  provost  and  said  to  hi| 
'Stephen,  Stephen,  what  do  you  here  at  this  hour?'     *  Johni 
business  have  you  t^  meddle  ?     I  am  here  to  take  the  guard  of  I 
city  of  which  I  have  the  government.'     '  By  God,'  rejoined 
lart,  *  that  wOl  not  do ;  you  are  not  here  at  this  hour  for  any  ^ 
and  I'll  prove  it  to  you,'  said  he,  addressing  his  comrmles,     *  He©, 
holds  in  his  hands  the  keys  of  the  gat^s,  to  betray  the  city.'     '  Yi 
lie,  John,'  said  Marcel.     '  By  God,  you  traitor,  'tis  you  who  Jie>* 


Chap.  XXL]    STATEIS-GENEIUL  OP  FOUKTEENTH  CENTURY.    107 

replied  Maillart:  *  death  I  death  I  to  all  on  Ins  side!'*'    And  ho  raised 

lits  battle-axe  against  Marcel     Philippe  Giffard,  one  of  the  pro- 

rostra  friends,  tlirew  himself  before  Marcel  and  covered  him  for  a 

moment  with  his  own  body;  but  the  struggle  had  begun  in  earnest. 

Maillart  plied  his  battle-axe  upon  Marcel,  who  fell  pierced  with 

many  wounds.     Six  of  his  comrades  sliared  the  same  fate ;  and 

Robert  Lecocq,  bishop  nf  Laon,  saved  himself  by  patting  on  a 

Cordelier's   habit.      Maillart*s  company  divided    themselves   into 

several  bands^  and  spread  themselves  all  over  the  city,  carrying  the 

news  every  where,  and  despatching  or  arresting  the  partisans  of 

Msurel,      The  next  morning,  the  1st  of  August,   1358,  "  John 

Maillart  brought  together  in  the  market-place  the  greater  part  of 

the  community  of  Paris,  explained  for  what  reason  he  had  slain 

the  provost  of  tradesmen  and  in  what  offence  he  had  detected  him, 

and  pointed  out  quietly  and  discreetly  how  that  on  this  very  night 

the  city  of  Paris  must  have  been  overrun  and  destroyed  if  God  of 

His  grace  had  not  applied  a  remedy^     When  the  people  who  were 

present  heard  these  news  they  were  much  astounded  at  the  peril 

in  which  they  had  been,  and  the  greater  part  thanked  God  with 

folded  hands  for  the  grace  He  had  done  them/*     The  corpse  of 

Stephen  Marcel  was  stripped   and  exposed  quite   naked   to   the 

public  gaxe,  in  front  of  St.  Catherine  du  Val  des  Ecoliers,  on  the 

very  spot  where,  by  his  orders,  the  corpses  of  the  two  marshals, 

Boberfc  do  Clermont  and  John  de  Cunflans,  had  been  exposed  five 

months  befoi'e.      He  was  afterwards  cast   into  the  river  in   the 

presence  of  a  great  concourse,    "  Then  were  sentenced  to  death  by 

the  council  of  prud*hommes  of  Paris,  and  executed  by  divers  forms 

of  deadly  torture  several  who  had  been  of  the  sect  of  the  provost," 

the  regent  having  declared  that  he  would  not  re-enter  Paris  until 

■iilGse  traitors  had  ceased  to  live. 

W  Thus  perished  after  scarcely  three  years'  political  life,  and  by  the 
^uands  of  his  former  fiiends,  a  man  of  rare  capacity  and  energy,  who 
^r^  the  outst^t  had  formed  none  but  patriotic  designs,  and  had  no 
I  doubt  promised  himself  a  better  fate.  When,  in  December,  1355, 
I  at  the  summons  of  a  deplorably  incapable  and  feeble  king.  Marcel, 
I  a  fiitnple  burgher  of  Paris  and  quite  a  new  man,  entered  the 
"    membly  of  the  states-general  of  France,  itself  quite  a  new  power. 


168 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


tCHAl-,  XXI. 


he  was  justly  struck  with  the  Tices  and  abuses  of  the  kingly 
government,  with  the  evils  and  the  dangers  being  entailed  thereby 
upon  France,  and  with  the  necessity  for  applying  some  remedy. 
But,  notwithstanding  this  perfectly  lionest  and  sound  conviction, 
he  fell  into  a  capital  error ;  he  tried  to  abolish,  for  a  time  at  least, 
the  government  he  desired  to  reform,  and  to  substitute  for  the 
kingship  and  its  agents  the  people  and  their  elect.  For  more  than 
three  centuries  the  kingship  had  been  the  form  of  power  which 
had  naturally  assumed  shape  and  development  in  France,  whilst 
seconding  the  natural  labour  attending  the  formation  and  develop- 
ment of  the  French  nation ;  but  this  labour  had  as  yet  advanced 
but  a  httle  way,  and  the  nascent  nation  was  not  in  a  condition  to 
take  up  position  at  the  head  of  its  government.  Stephen  Marcel 
attempted  by  means  of  the  states-general  of  the  fourteenth  century 
to  bring  to  pass  what  we  in  the  nineteenth,  and  after  all  the 
advances  of  the  French  nation,  have  not  yet  succeeded  in  getting 
accomplished,  to  wit,  the  government  of  the  country  by  the 
country  itself.  Marcel,  going  from  excess  to  excess  and  from 
reverse  to  reverse  in  the  pursuit  of  his  impracticable  enterprise, 
found  himself  before  long  engaged  in  a  fierce  struggle  with  the 
feudal  aris^tocracy,  still  so  powerful  at  that  time,  as  well  as  with 
the  kingship.  Being  reduced  to  depend  entirely  during  this 
struggle  upon  such  strength  as  could  be  supphed  by  a  municipal 
democracy  incoherent,  inexperienced,  and  full  of  divisions  in  its 
own  ranks,  and  by  a  mad  insurrection  in  the  country  districts,  he 
rapidly  fell  into  the  selfish  and  criminal  condition  of  the  man  whose 
special  concern  is  his  own  personal  safety.  This  he  sought  to 
secure  by  an  unworthy  alliance  with  the  most  scoundrelly  amongst 
his  ambitious  contemporaries,  and  he  would  have  given  up  his  own 
city  as  well  as  France  to  the  king  of  Navarre  and  the  English  had 
not  another  burgher  of  Paris,  John  Maillart,  stopped  him,  and  put 
him  to  death  at  the  very  moment  when  the  patriot  of  the  states* 
general  of  1355  was  about  to  become  a  traitor  to  his  coimtry. 
Hardly  thirteen  years  before,  when  Stephen  Mareel  was  already  a 
full-grown  man,  the  great  Flemish  burgher,  James  van  Artevelde, 
had,  in  the  cause  of  his  country's  liberties,  attempted  a  similar 
enterprise  and,  after  a  series  of  great  deeds  at  the  outset  and 


Chap.  XXL]    STATES-GENERAL  OF  FOURTEENTH  CENTURY 


tlien  of  faults  also  similar  to  those  of  Marcel,  had  fallen  into 
the  game  abyas,  and  bad  perished  by  tlie  hand  of  his  fellow-citizens, 
at  the  Yery  moment  when  he  was  labouring  to  put  Flanders,  his 
iiative  country,  into  the  hands  of  a  foreign  master,  the  prince  of 
Wales,  son  of  Edward  III,,  king  of  England.  Of  all  political  snares 
the  democratic  is  the  most  tempting,  but  it  is  also  the  most  de- 
moraliring  and  the  most  deceptive  when,  instead  of  consulting 
tlie  interests  of  the  democracy  by  securing  public  liberties,  a  man 
aspires  to  put  it  in  direct  possession  of  the  supreme  power  and  with 
its  sole  support  to  take  upon  himself  the  direction  of  the  helm. 

One  fiingle   result   of  importance  was  won  for  France  by  the 
states-general  of  the  fourteenth  century,  namely,  the  principle  of  the 
nation's  right  to  intervene  in  their  own  affairs,  and  to  set  their 
government  straight  when  it  liad  gone  wrong  or  was  incapable 
of  performing  that   duty  itself.     Up   to   tlmt  time,  in  the  thir- 
t^nth  century  and  at  the  opening  of  the  fourteenth,  the  states- 
general  had  been  hardly  any  thing  more  than  a  temporary  expedient 
employed  by  the  kingship  itself  to  solve  gome  special  question  or  to 
escape  from  some  grave  embarrassment.    Starting  from  King  John, 
the  states-general  became  one  of  the  principles  of  national  right ;  a 
principle  which  did  not  disappear  even  when  it  remained  without 
application  and  the  prestige  of  which  survived  even  its  reverses. 
Faith  and  hope  fill  a  prominent  place  in  the  lives  of  peoples  as  well 
as  of  individuals ;  having  sprung  into  real  existence  in  1355,  the 
ttaies-general  of  France  found  themselves  alive  again  in  1789  ;  and 
we  may  hope  that,  after  so  long  a  trial,  their  rebuffs  and  their 
toiitakes  will  not  be  more  fatal  to  them  in  our  day* 


^  -. 


/^: 


r/i 


'^1 


m^L% 


^nn«f^  V 


A-JtTC 


CHAPTER   XXII. 


THE  riins^DRED  years^  war.-citaeles  \\ 


[0  soon  as  Marcel  and  tliree  of  his  chief  confidants  had 
been  put  to  death  at  the  St.  Anthony  gate,  at  tbo 
very  moment  when  they  were  about  to  open  it  to  the 
English,  John  Malllart  had  information  sent  to  the  regent,  at  that 
time  at  Charenton,  mth  an  urgent  entreaty  that  ho  wouki  come 
back  to  Pains  without  delay,  "  The  news,  at  once  spread  abroad 
through  the  city,  was  received  with  noisy  joy  there,  and  the  red 
caps  which  had  been  worn  so  proudly  the  night  before,  were  every 
where  taken  off  and  hidden.  The  next  morning  a  proclamation 
ordered  that  whosoever  knew  any  of  the  faction  of  Marcel  shouhl 
arrest  them  and  take  them  to  the  Chatelet,  but  without  laying 
hands  on  their  goods  and  without  maltreating  their  wives  or  chiU 
dren.  Several  were  taken,  put  to  the  question,  brought  out  into 
the  public  squarcj  and  beheaded  by  virtue  of  a  decree.  They 
were  tho  men  who  but  lately  had  the  government  of  the  city  and 
deciiled  all  matters.  Some  were  burgesses  of  renowni  eloquent 
and  learned,  and  one  of  them,  on  arriving  at  the  square,  cried  out, 


IfcfAF.  XXII.]  THE   HUNDRED   YEARS^    WAR. 


171 


*  Woe  is  me  I    Would  to  heaven,  0  king  of  Navarre^  that  I  had 
never  seen  thee  or  heard  thee  !'  "     On  the  2nd  of  August,  1358,  in 
the   eveniog,   the  daiipbin,    Charles,   re-entered   Paris,    and    was 
accompaQied  by  John  Maillart,  who  "was  mightily  in  his  grace  and 
love/'     On  his  way  a  man  cried  out,  "  By  God,  sir,  if  I  had  been 
Estened  to,  you  woukl  never  have  entered  in  here ;  but>  after  all, 
you  will  get  but  little  by  it/'     The  count  of  Tanearville,  who  was 
in  the  prince's  train,  drew  \m  sword,  and  spuiTed  his  horse  upon 
"  tliis  rascal;"  but  the  dauphin  restrained  him,  and  contented  him- 
elf  with  saying  smilingly  to  the  man,  '*  You  will  not  be  hstened  to, 
fiiir  sir/'     Charles  had  the  spirit  of  coolness  and  discretion ;  and 
•*be  thought,"  says  his  contemporary  Christine  de  Pisan,  "that  if 
this  fellow  had  been  slain,  the  city  which  had  been  so  rebellious 
nught  pi*obably  have  been  excited  thereby,"     Charles,  on   being 
resettled  in  Pans,  sliowed  neither  clemency  nor  cruelty.     He  let 
the  reaction  against  Stephen  Marcel  run  its  course,  and  turned 
it  to  account  without  further  exciting  it  or  prolonging  it  beyond 
measure-    The  property  of  some  of  the  condemned  was  confiscated; 
some  attempts  at  a  conspiracy  for  the  purpose  of  avenging  the 
provost  of  tradesmen  were  repressed  with   severity]    and   John 
Maillart  and  his  family  were  loaded  with  gifts  and  favours.     On 
be€Oniing  king,  Charles  determined  himself  to  hold  his  son  at  the 
baptismal  font;   but  Robert  Lecocq,  bishop  of  Laon,  the  most 
intiinate  of  MarceVs  accomplices,  returned  quietly  to  his  diocese; 
ti^o  of  Marcel's  brothers,  William  and  John,  owing  their  protec- 
ti(>n,  it  is  said,  to  certain  youthful  reminiscences  on  the  prince's 
p*'ut,   were    exempted    from    all    prosecution ;    Marcers    widow 
even  recovered   a  portion  of  his  property;   and  as  early  as  the 
lOtli  of  August,  1358,  Charles  published  an  amnesty,  from  which 
he  excepted  only  "  those   who   had   been   in   the   secret   council 
of  the  provost  of  tradesmen  in  respect  of  the   great  treason;" 
find  on   the  same   day   another    amnesty   quashed    all    proceed- 
ings for   deeds   done  during  the   Jarquenj^  '*  whether  by  nobles 
or  igaoblcs/'     Charles  knew  that  in  acts  of  rigour  or  of  grace 
iiTJparliality   conduces    to   the    strength    and   the    reputation    of 


The  death  of  Stephen  Marcel  and  the  ruin  of  his  party  were 


172 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[CuAP.  XSIL 


fatal  to  the  plots  and  ambitious  hopes  of  the  king  of  Navarre,  At 
the  first  moment  he  hastenotl  to  renew  his  alliance  with  the  king 
of  England  and  to  recommence  war  in  Normandy,  Picardy,  and 
Champagne  against  the  regent  of  France.  But  several  of  his  local 
expeditions  were  unsuccessful ;  the  temperate  and  patient  policy  of 
the  regent  rallied  round  him  the  populations  aweary  of  war  and 
anarchy  ;  negotiations  were  opened  between  the  two  princes ;  and 
their  agents  were  laboriously  discussing  conditions  of  peace  when 
Charles  of  Navarre  suddenly  interfered  in  person,  saying,  **  I  would 
fain  talk  over  matters  with  the  lord  duke  regent,  my  brother*" 
We  know  that  his  wife  was  Joan  of  France,  the  dauphin's  sister, 
"  Hereat  there  was  great  joy,"  says  the  chronicler,  "  amongst  their 
councillors.  The  two  princes  met,  and  the  king  of  Navarre  with 
modesty  and  gentleness  addressed  the  regent  in  these  terms,  '  My 
lord  duke  and  brother,  know  that  I  do  hold  you  to  be  my  proper 
and  especial  lord ;  though  I  have  for  a  long  while  made  war 
against  you  and  against  France,  our  country,  I  wish  not  to  con- 
tinue or  to  foment  it ;  I  wish  henceforth  to  be  a  good  Frenchman, 
your  faithful  friend  and  close  ally,  your  defender  against  the 
English  and  whoever  it  may  be:  I  pray  you  to  pardon  me 
thoroughly,  me  and  mine,  for  all  that  I  have  done  to  you  up  to 
this  present.  I  wish  for  neither  the  lands  nor  the  towns  which 
are  offered  to  me  or  promised  to  me ;  if  I  order  myself  well  and 
you  find  me  faithful  in  all  matters,  you  shaU  give  me  all  that  my 
deserts  shall  seem  to  you  to  justify/  At  these  words  the  regent 
arose  and  thanked  the  king  with  much  sweetness ;  they,  one  and 
the  other,  profi'ered  and  accepted  wine  and  spices ;  and  all  present 
rejoiced  greatly,  rendering  thanks  to  God,  who  doth  blow  where 
He  listeth  and  doth  accomplish  in  a  moment  that  which  men  with 
their  own  sole  intelUgence  have  nor  wit  nor  power  to  do  in  a  long 
while.  The  town  of  Melun  was  restored  to  the  lord  dnke ;  the 
navigation  of  tlie  river  once  more  became  free  up  stream  and 
down ;  great  was  the  satisfaction  in  Paris  and  throughout  the 
whole  coimtry;  and,  peace  being  thus  made,  the  two  princes 
returned  both  of  them  home." 

The  king  of  Navarre  knew  how  to  give  an  appearance  of  free 
will  and  sincerity  to  changes   of  posture   and   behaviour   which 


Chap.xxil]       the  hundred  TEAHS'  wab. 

seemed  to  be  pressed  upon  liim  by  necessity ;  and  we  may  suppose 
that  the  dauphinj  all  the  while  that  he  was  interchanging  graceful 
acts,  was  too  well  acquainted  by  this  time  with  the  other  to  become 
his  dupe,  but,  by  their  apparent  reconciliation,  they  put  an  end, 
for  a  few  brief  moments,  between  themselves  to  a  position  which 
was  burthensome  to  both. 

Whilst  these  events,  from  the  battle  of  Poitiers  to  the  death  of 
Stephen  Marcel  (fram  the  19th  of  September,  1356,  to  the  1st  of 
August,  1358),  were  going  on  in  France,  King  John  was  living  as 
a  prisoner  in  the  hands  of  the  English,  first  at  Bordeaux  and  after- 
wards in  London,  and  was  much  more  concerned  about  the  recep- 
tion he  met  with  and  the  galas  he  was  present  at  than  about  the 
affairs  of  his  kingdom.     When,  after  his  defeat,  he  was  conducted 
to  Bordeaux  by  the  prince  of  Wales,  who  was  governor  of  English 
Aqnitaine,  he  became  the  object  of  the  most  courteous  attentions 
not  only  on  the  part  of  his  princely  conqueror  but  of  all  Gascon 
iociety,    "  dames   and   damsels,   old   and   young,   and   their  fair 
attendants,  who  took  pleasure  in  consoling  him  by  providing  him 
with  diversion/*     Thus  he  passed  the  winter  of  1356;  and  in  the 
spring  the  prince  of  Wales  received  from  his  father,  King  Edward 
IIL,  the  instructions  and  the  vessels  he  had  requested  for  the 
conveyance  of  his  prisoner  to  England.     In  the  month  of  May, 
1357j"  he  summoned/*  says  Froissart,  '*all  the  highest  barons  of 
Gaficony,  and  told  them  that  he  had  made  up  his  mind  to  go  to 
Eiigland,  whither  he  would  take  some  of  them,  leading  the  rest  in 
the  country  of  Bordelais  and  Gascony  to  keep  the  land  and  the 
frontiers  against  the  French.     When  the  Gascons  heard  that  the 
pnnce  of  Wales  would  carry  away  out  of  their  power  the  king  of 
^i^ance  whom  they  had  helped  to  take,  they  were  by  no  means  of 
^cord  therewith,  and  said  to  the  prince,  '  Dear  sir»  we  owe  you,  in 
nil  that  is  in  our  power,  all  honour,  obedience,  and  loyal  service ; 
but  it  is  not  our  desire  that  you  should  thus  remove  from  us  the 
Itiiig  of  France,  in  respect  of  whom  we  have  had  gi'eat  trouble  to 
put  kirn  in  the  place  where  he  is ;  for,  thank  God,  he  is  in  a  good 
strong  city»  and  we  are  strong   and  men  enough  to   keep   him 
against  the  French,  if  they  by  force  would  take  hira  from  you/ 
Tb  prince  answered,  '  Dear  sirs,  I  grant  it  heartily  ;  but  my  lord 


174 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[CfiAP.  XXII. 


my  fatlier  wishes  to  hold  and  behold  him ;  and  with  the  good 
service  that  you  have  done  my  father  and  mo  also  we  are  well 
pleased,  and  it  shall  be  handsomely  requited/  Nevertheless,  these 
words  did  not  suffice  to  appease  the  Gascons,  until  a  means  thereto 
was  found  by  sir  Beginald  de  Cobham  and  sir  John  Chandos ;  for 
they  knew  the  Gaseous  to  bo  very  covetous.  So  they  said  to  the 
prince,  'Sirj  offer  them  a  sum  of  florins,  and  you  will  see  them  como 
down  to  your  demands.'  The  prince  offered  them  sixty  thousand 
florins ;  but  they  would  have  nothing  to  do  with  them.  At  last 
there  wag  so  much  haggling  that  an  agreement  was  made  for  a 
hundred  thousand  francs  which  the  prince  was  to  hand  over  to  the 
barons  of  Gascony  to  share  between  them-  He  borrowed  the 
money;  and  tlie  said  sum  was  paid  and  handed  over  to  them  before 
the  prince  started.  When  these  matters  were  done,  the  prince  put 
tx)  sea  with  a  fine  fleet,  crammed  with  men-at-arms  and  archers,  and 
put  the  king  of  France  in  a  vessel  quite  apart  that  he  might  be 
more  at  his  ease." 

"They  were  at  sea  eleven  days  and  eleven  nights,*'  continues 
Froissart,  "and  on  the  twelfth  they  arrived  at  Sandwich  harbour, 
where  they  landed,  and  halted  two  days  to  refresh  themselves  and 
their  horses.  On  the  tliird  day  they  set  out  and  came  to  St. 
Thomas  of  Canterbury," 

"^Vlien  the  news  reached  the  king  and  queen  of  England  that  the 
prince  their  son  had  arrived  and  had  brought  with  him  the  king  of 
Franco,  they  were  greatly  rejoiced  thereat  and  gave  orders  to  the 
burgesses  of  London  to  get  themselves  ready  in  as  splendid  fashion 
as  was  beseeming  to  receive  the  king  of  France.  They  of  the  city 
of  London  obeyed  the  king's  commandment  and  arrayed  tliem- 
selves  by  companies  most  richly,  all  the  trades  in  cloth  of  different 
kinds.'*  According  to  the  poet  herald-at-arms  of  John  Chandos, 
King  Edward  II L  went  in  person  vdth  his  barons  and  more  tlian 
twenty  counts  to  meet  King  John,  who  entered  London  "niount*^ 
on  a  tall  white  steed  right  well  harnessed  and  ac^coutred  at  all 
points,  and  the  [>rince  of  Wales,  on  a  httle  black  hackney,  at  his 
side,*'  King  Jolm  was  first  of  all  lodged  in  London  at  the 
Savoy  hotel  and  shortly  afterwards  removed  with  all  his  people  to 
Windsor:  **  there,"  says  Froissart,  'Ho  hawkj  huut^  dispoi't  him- 


Chap.  XXII.]  THE   HUNDRED   YEAKS' 


self  and  take  his  pastimo  according  to  liis  pleasure,  and  sir  Philip, 
his  S0D>  also  ;  and  all  the  rest  of  the  other  lords,  counts,  and 
barons,  remained  in  London,  but  they  went  to  see  the  king  when 
it  pleased  theiQi  and  they  were  put  upon  their  honour  only." 
Chandos'  poet  adds,  ''Many  a  dame  and  many  a  damsel,  right 
amiable,  gay  and  lovely,  came  to  dance  there,  to  sing  and  to  cause 
great  galas  and  jousts^  as  in  the  days  of  King  jlrthur/' 

In  the  midst  of  his  pleasures  in  England  King  John  sometimes 
also  occupied  himi?elf  at  Windsor  with  his  business  in  France,  but 
with  no  more  wisdom  or  success  than  had  been  his  wont  during  his 
actual  reign.     Towards  the  end  of  April,  1359,  the  dauplun-regent 
received  at  Paris  the  text  of  a  treaty  which  the  king  his  father  had 
concluded  in  London  with  the  king  of  England,     "  The  cession  of 
the  western  half  of  France,  from  Calais  to  BayonnG,and  the  imme- 
diate payment  of  four  million  golden  crowns,"  such  was,  according 
to  the  terms  of  this  treaty,  the  price  of  King  John's  ransom,  says 
M,  Picot  in  his  work  concerning  the  IJisto7^y  of  the  8tates*General 
which  was  crowned  in  18G1)  by  the  Academie  des  Sciences  Morales  et 
Vdiliques :  and  the  regent  resolved  to  leave  to  the  judgment  of 
France  the  acceptance  or  refusal  of  such  exorbitant  demands.     Ho 
iiuinmoned  a  meetings  to  be  held  at  Paris  on  the  19th  of  May,  of 
ckjThmen,  nobles,  and  deputies  from  the  good  towns;  but  *' there 
inine  but  few  deputies,  as  well  because  full  notice  had  not  by  that 
time  been  given  of  the  said  summons  as  because  the  roads  were 
lilocked  by  tlio  English  and  the  Navarrese,  who  occupied  fortresses 
in  all  parts  whereby  it  was  possible  to  get  to  Paris/*     The  assem* 
bly  had  to  be  postponed  from  day  to  day,     At  last,  on  the  25th  of 
May,  the  regent  repaired  to  the  palace.     He  halted  on  the  marble 
staircase ;    around   him  were  ranged   the   three   estates ;    and   a 
numerous  multitude  filled  the  courtyard-     In  presence  of  all  the 
peojile,  WiUiam  de  Dor  mans,  king*s  advocate  in  parliament,  read 
tile  treaty  of  peace  which  was  to  divide  the  kingdom  into  two 
part*;  so  as  to  hand  over  one  to  tlie  foes  of  France-     The  reading 
of  11^  roused  the  indignation  of  the  people.    The  estates  repUed  that 
tlio  treaty  was  not  "tolerable  or  feasible'*  and  in  their  patriotic 
enthusiasm  "decreed  to  make  fair  war  on  the  English,"     But  it 
was  not  enough  to  spare  the  kingdom  the  shame  of  such  a  treaty ; 


176 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap-  XXU. 


it  was  necessary  to  give  the  regent  the  means  of  concluding  a 
better.  On  the  2nd  of  June,  the  nobles  announced  to  the  dauphin 
that  they  would  serve  for  a  month  at  their  own  expense  and  that 
they  would  pay  besides  such  imposts  as  should  be  decreed  by  the 
good  towns.  The  churchmen  also  offered  to  pay  them-  The  city  of 
Paris  undertook  to  maintain  *'  six  hundred  swords,  three  hundred 
archers,  and  a  thousand  brigands-*^  The  good  towns  offered  twelve 
thousand  men ;  but  they  could  not  keep  theii'  promise,  the  country 
being  utterly  ruined. 

When  King  John  heard  at  Windsor  that  the  treaty  whereby  he 
had  hoped  to  be  set  at  liberty  had  been  rejected  at  Paris,  he  showed 
his  displeasure  by  a  single  outburst  of  personal  animosity,  say- 
ing, "  Ah  I  Charles,  fair  son,  you  were  counselled  by  the  king  of 
Navarre,  who  deceives  you  and  would  deceive  sixty  such  as  you  !" 
Edward  IIL,  on  his  side,  at  onco  took  measures  for  recommencing 
the  war ;  but,  before  engaging  in  it,  he  had  King  John  removed 
from  Windsor  to  Hertford  Castle,  and  thence  to  Somerton,  where 
he  seta  strong  guard,    Ha\nng  thus  made  certain  that  his  prisoner 
would  not  escape  from  him,  he  put  to  sea  and,  on  the  28th  of 
October,  1359,  lauded  at  Calais  with  a  numerous  and  well-supplied 
army.     Then,  rapidly  traversing  northern  France,  he  did  not  halt 
till  he  arrived  before  Rheims,  which  he  was  in  hopes  of  8ui"prising, 
and  where,  it  is  said,  he  purposed  to  have  himself,  without  delay, 
crowned  king  of  France.     But  he  found  the  place  so  well  provided 
and  the  population  so  determined  to  make  a  good  defence,  that  ho 
raised  the  siege  and  moved  on  Chalons,  where  the  same  disappoint- 
ment awaited  him-      Passing  fi^om  Champagne  to  Burgundy  be 
then  commenced  the  same  course  of  scouring  and  ravaging;  but  the 
Burgundians  entered  into  negotiations  with  him,  and  by  a  treaty 
concluded  on  the  10th  of  March,  1360,  and  signed  by  Joan  of 
Auvergne,  queen  of  France,  second  wife  of  King  John  and  guardian 
of  the  young  duke  of  Burgundy,  Philip  de  Rouvre,  they  obtained  at  the 
csost  of  two  hundred  thousand  golden  iiheep  {moutoim)  an  agreement 
that  for  three  years  Edward  and  his  army  "  would  not  go  scouring 
and  burning'*  in  Burgundy  as  they  were  doing  in  the  other  parta 
of  France.     Such  was  the  powerlessness  or  rather  absence  of  all 
national  government,  that  a  province  made  a  treaty  aU  alone  and  on 


Chap.  XXn.]  TKE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


177 


I 


k 


its  own  account  without  causing  the  regent  to  show  any  surprise 
or  to  dream  of  making  any  complaint  p 

Ab  a  make- weight,  at  this  same  time,  another  province,  Picardy, 
aided  by  many  Normans  and  Flemings  its  neighbours,  "  nobleSi 
burgesses,  and  common-folk,"  was  sending  to  sea  an  expedition 
which  was  going  to  try^  with  God's  help,  to  dehver  King  John 
from  his  prison  in  England  and  bring  him  back  in  triumph  to  hia 
kingdom.  "  Thus,"  says  the  chronicler,  '*  they  who,  God^forsaken 
or  through  their  own  faults,  could  not  defend  themselves  on  the 
soil  of  tlieir  fathers,  were  going  abroad  to  seek  their  fortune  and 
their  renown,  to  return  home  covered  with  honour  and  boasting  of 
divine  succour  I  The  Pioard  expedition  lauded  in  England  on  the 
14th  of  March,  1360;  it  did  not  deliver  King  John,  but  it  took 
and  gave  over  to  flames  and  pillage  for  two  days  the  town  of 
Winchelaeaj  after  which  it  put  to  sea  again  and  returned  to  its 
hearths."  {The  Gontinuer  of  William  of  Natyjis^  t.  ii.  p.  298.) 

Edward  III.,  weary  of  thus  roaming  with  his  army  over  France 

without  obtaining  any  decisive  result,  and  without  even  managing 

to  get  into  his  hands  any  one  "  of  the  good  towns  which  he  had 

promised  himself,"  says  Froissart,  "  that  he  would  tan  and  hide  in 

Hueh  sort  that  they  would  be  glad  to  come  to  some  accord  with 

liim,**   resolved   to  direct  his  efforts  against  the  capital  of  the 

kingdom,  where  the  dauphin  kept  himself  close.     On  the  7th  of 

April,  1360,  he  arrived  hard  by  Montrouge,  and  his  troops  spread 

theniselves  over  the  outskirts  of  Paris  in  the  form  of  an  investing 

or  Ix^sieging  force.     But  he  had  to  do  with  a  city  protected  by 

good  ramparts  and  well  supplied  with  pro\nsions,  and  with  a  prince 

cool,  patient,  determined,  free  from  any  illusion  as  to  his  danger  or 

his  strength,  and  resolved  not  to  risk  any  of  those  great  battles  of 

which  he  had  experienced  the  sad  issue •     Foreseeing  the  advance 

of  the  English  he  had  burnt  the  villages  in  the  neighbourhood  of 

Paris,  whei'o  they  might  have  fixed  tlieir  quarters  ;  ho  did  the  same 

with  the  suburbs  of  St.  Germain,  St.  Marcel,  and  Notre- Dame-des- 

Cbamps;    he   turned  a  deaf  ear  to  all   King  Edward's  warlike 

chaUenges ;  and  some  attempts  at  an  assault  on  the  part  of  the 

English  knights  and  some  sorties   on   the  part  of  the  French 

kBight^,  impatient  of  their  inactivity,  came  to  nothing.    At  the  end 

V*1L,    II.  N 


178 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap,  XXIL 


of  a  week  Edward,  whose  "army  no  longer  found  augtt  to 
withdrew  from  Paris  by  the  Chart  res  road,  declaring  his  pui 
of  entering  "  the  good  country  of  Beauce,  where  he  would  recruit 
himself  all  the  summer,"  and  whence  he  would  return  after  Tintage 
to  resuine  the  siege  of  Paris  whilst  hig  lieutenants  would  ravage 
all  the  neighbouring  provinces.  When  he  was  approaching  Chart  res 
*'  there  burst  upon  his  army,'*  says  Froisaart,  "  a  tempest,  a  storm, 
an  echpse,  a  wind,  a  hail,  an  upheaval  so  mighty,  so  wondrous,  so 
horrible,  that  it  seemed  as  if  the  heaven  were  all  a-tumble  and  the 
earth  were  opening  to  swallow  up  every  thing ;  the  stones  fell  so 
thick  and  so  big  that  they  slew  men  and  horses,  and  there 
none  so  bold  but  that  they  were  all  dismayed.  There  were  at  tl 
time  in  the  army  certain  wise  men  who  said  that  it  was  a  scourg^ 
of  God  sent  as  a  warning,  and  that  God  was  showing  by  signs  that 
He  would  that  peace  should  be  made,"  Edward  had  by  him 
certain  discreet  friends  who  added  their  admonitions  to  those  of 
the  tempest.  His  cousin,  the  duke  of  Lancaster,  said  to  him, 
*'  My  lord,  this  war  that  you  are  waging  in  the  kingdom  of  France 
is  right  wondrous  and  too  costly  for  you ;  your  men  gain  by  it  and 
you  lose  your  time  over  it  to  no  purpose  ;  you  will  spend  your  life  on 
it,  and  it  is  very  doubtful  whether  you  will  attain  your  desire;  tal 
the  offers  made  to  you  now  whilst  you  can  come  out  with  honot 
for,  my  lord,  we  may  lose  more  in  one  day  than  we  have  won 
twenty  years/*  The  regent  of  France,  on  his  side,  indirectly 
overtures  for  peace ;  the  abbot  of  Cluny  and  the  general  of  th " 
Dominicans,  legates  of  Pope  Innocent  VL,  warmly  seconded  them; 
and  negotiations  were  opened  at  the  hamlet  of  Br<^'tiguy,  close  to 
Chartres*  *'  The  king  of  England  was  a  hard  nut  to  crack,"  says 
Froissart;  he  yielded  a  little,  however,  and  on  the  8th  of  Alay, 
1360,  was  concluded  the  treaty  of  Bretigny,  a  peace  disastrous 
indeed,  but  become  necessary-  Aquitaine  ceased  to  be  a  French 
fief,  and  was  exalted,  in  the  king  of  England's  interest,  to  an 
independent  sovereignty,  together  with  the  provinces  attached  to 
Puitou,  Saintonge,  Aunis,  Agi^nois,  Perigord,  Limousin,  Quercy, 
Bigorre,  Angoumois,  and  Rouergue.  The  king  of  England,  on  his 
side,  gave  up  completely  to  the  king  of  France  Normandy,  Alaine, 
and  the  portion  of  Touraine  and  Aujou  situated  to  the  north  of 


CffAr,  XXII,]  THE   UUNDRED  YEARS'   WAE.  179 

tlie  Loire,     He  engaged,  further,  to  solemnly  renounce  all  preten- 
aons  to  the  crown  of  France  so  soon  as  King  John  had  renounced 
all  rights  of  suzerainty  over  Aquitaine.     King  John's  ransom  was 
fixed  at  three  millions  of  golden  crowns  payable  in  six  years,  and 
John  Galeas  Visconti,  duke  of  Milan,  paid  the  first  instalment  of  it 
(600,000  florins)  as  the  price  of  his  marriage  with  Isabel  of  France^ 
daughter  of  King  John.     Hard  as  these  conditions  were,  the  peace 
was  joyfiiUy  welcomed  in  Paris  and  throughout  northern  Prance; 
the  balls  of  the  country  churches  as  well  as  of  Notre-Dame  in 
Paris,  songs  and  dances  amongst  the  people,  and  liberty  of  loco- 
motion and  of  residence  secured  to  the  English  in  all  places,  ^*  so 
that  none  should  disquiet  them  or  insult  them,"  bore  witness  to 
the  general  satisfaction •     But  some  of  the  provinces  ceded  to  the 
king  of  England  had  great  difficulty  in  resigning  themselves  to  it, 
**In  Poitou  and  in  all  the  district  of  Saintonge,"  says  Froissart, 
"great  was  the  displeasure  of  barons,  knights^  and  good  towns 
when  they  had  to  be  Englisli.     The  town  of  La  Roclielle  was  espe- 
cially unwilling  to  agree  thereto ;  it  is  wonderful  what  sweet  and 
piteous  words  they  wrote  a^in  and  again  to  the  king  of  France, 
begging  him  for  God's  sake  to  bo  pleased  not  to  separata  them 
from  his  own  domains  or  place  them  in  foreign  hands,  and  saying 
tiat  they  would  rather  be  clipt  every  year  of  half  their  revenue 
than  pass  into  the  hands  of  the  English-     And  when  they  saw  that 
neither  excuses  Bor  remonstrances  nor  prayers  were  of  any  avail 
they  obeyed ;  but  the  men  of  most  mark  in  the  town  said,  *  We 
i?ill  recognize  the  English  with  the  lips,  but  the  heart  shall  beat  to 
it  never/  "     Thus  began  to  grow  in  substance  and  spirit,  in  the 
midst  of  war  and  out  of  disaster  itself  [per  damna^  per  emdm  ah 
Duxii  opCM  anlmmnque  ferro],  that  national  patriotism  which 
had  hitherto  been  such  a  stranger  to  feudal  France,  and  which 
was  io  necessary  for  her  progress  towards  unity^ — the  sole  condi- 
j  ticm  for  herj  of  strength,  security,  and    grandeur,  in  the  state 
characteristic  of  the  European  world  since  the  settlement  of  the 
Franks  in  Gaul, 

Having  concluded  the  treaty  of  Brdtigny,  the  king  of  England 
petemed  on  the  18th  of  May,  1360,  to  London  ;  and,  on  the  8th  of 
July  following,  King  John,  having  been  set  at  liberty,  was  brought 

N  2 


180 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[CiUP,  XXll. 


over  by  the  princo  ofWales  toCalaiSj  where  Edward  IILcame  to  meet 
him.  The  two  kings  treated  one  another  there  with  great  courtesy. 
"  The  king  of  England/'  says  Froissart,  "  gave  the  king  of  France 
at  Calais  Castle  a  magnificent  supper,  at  which  his  own  children 
and  the  duke  of  Lancaster  and  the  greatest  barons  of  England 
waited  at  table,  bai'eheaded."  Meanwhile  the  prince*regent  of 
France  was  arriving  at  Amiens,  and  there  receiving  from  his 
brothor4n4awj  Galeas  Visconti,  duke  of  Milan,  the  sura  necessarj 
to  pay  the  first  instalment  of  his  royal  fathe/s  ransom.  Payment 
having  been  made,  the  two  kings  solemnly  ratified  at  Calais  the 
treaty  of  Br^tigny,  Two  sons  of  King  John,  the  duke  of  Anjou 
and  the  duke  of  Berry,  with  several  other  personages  of  consider- 
ation, princes  of  the  blood,  barons,  and  burgesses  of  the  principal 
good  towns,  were  given  as  hostages  to  the  king  of  England  for  the 
due  execution  of  the  treaty ;  and  Edward  III,  negotiated  between 
the  king  of  France  and  Cliarles  the  Bad,  king  of  Navarre,  a 
reconciliation  precarious  as  ever.  The  work  of  pacification  having 
been  thus  accomplished,  King  John  departed  on  foot  for  Boulogne, 
where  he  was  awaited  by  the  dauphin  his  son,  and  where  the  prince 
of  Wales  and  his  two  brothers,  likewise  on  foot,  came  and  joined 
him.  All  these  princes  passed  two  days  together  at  Boulogne  in 
religious  ceremonies  and  joyous  galas ;  after  which  the  prince  of 
Wales  returned  to  Calais  and  King  John  set  out  for  Paris,  which 
he  once  more  entered,  December  13th,  1360.  "  He  was  welcomed 
thei*ei"  says  Froissart,  "by  all  manner  of  folk,  for  lie  had  been 
much  desired  there.  Rich  presents  were  made  him  ;  tlie  prelates 
and  barons  of  his  kingdom  came  to  visit  him  ;  they  feast-ed  him 
and  rejoiced  with  him  as  it  was  seemly  to  do ;  and  the  king 
received  them  sweetly  and  handsomely,  for  well  he  knew  how/' 

And  that  was  all  King  John  did  know*  When  he  was  once  more 
seated  on  his  throne,  the  counsels  of  his  eldest  son,  the  late  regent, 
mduoed  him  to  take  some  wise  and  wholesome  administmtive  mea- 
sures. AH  adulteration  of  the  coinage  was  stopped ;  the  Jews 
were  recalled  for  twenty  years,  and  some  securities  were  accorded 
to  their  industry  and  interests ;  and  an  edict  renewed  the  prohibi- 
tion of  private  wars.  But  in  his  personal  actions,  in  his  bearing 
and  practices  as  a  king,  the  levity,  frivolity,  thoughtlessness,  and 


inconsisfceiicy  of  King  John  were  the  same  as  ever.    He  went  about 
liis  kingdom,  especially  in  southern  Francej  seeking  every  wliere 
occasions  for   holiday-making   and    disbursing   rather    than    for 
observing  and  reforming  the  state  of  the  country.    During  the  visit 
h©  paid  in  1362  to  the  new  pope,  Urban  V,,  at  Avignon  j  he  tried 
to   get   married   to   Queen   Joan  of  Naples,  the  widow   of  two 
husbands  already,  and,  not  being  successful,  he  was  on  the  point 
of  involving  himself  in  a  new  crusade  against  the  Turks.     It  was 
OD  his  return  fi'om  this  trip  that  he  committed  the  gravest  fault  of 
his  reign,  a  fault  which  was  destined  to  bring  upon  France  and 
the  French  kingship  even  more  evils  and  disasters  than  those 
which  had  made  the  treaty  of  Bretigny  a  necessity.     In  1362,  the 
young  duke  of  Burgundy,  Philip  de  Rouvre,  the  last  of  the  fii*st 
house  of  the  dukes  of  Burgundy,  descendants  of  King  Robert,  died 
rithout  issue,  lea\dng  several  pretenders  to  his  rich  inheritance- 
King  John  was,  according  to  the  language  of  the  genealogists,  the 
nearest  of  blood  and  at  the  same  time  the  most  powerful ;  and  he 
immediately  took  possession  of  the  duchy,  went,  on  the  23rd  of 
December,  1362,  to  Dijon,  swore  on  the  altar  of  St.  Bcnignus  that 
be  would  maintain  the  privileges  of  the  city  and  of  the  province, 
and,  nine  months  after,  on  the  6th  of  September,  1363,  disposed 
of  the  duchy  of  Burgundy  in  the  following  terms :    "  Recalling 
^iu  to  memory  the  excellent  and  praiseworthy  services  of  our  right 
dearly  beloved  Philip,  the  fourth  of  our  sons,  who  freely  exposed 
iiimself  to  death  with  us  and,  all  wounded  as  he  was,  remained 
tinwavering  and  fearless  at  the  battle  of  Poitiers  ,  *  <  *  we  do  con- 
cede to  him  and  give  him  the  duchy  and  peerage  of  Burgundy, 
together  with  all  that  we  may  have  therein  of  right,  possession,  and 
proprietorslii])  ....  for  ^the  which  gift  our  said  son  hath  done  us 
boinage  as  duke  and  premier  peer  of  France/*     Tluis  was  founded 
that  second  house  of  the  dukes  of  Burgundy  which  was  destined  to 
play  for  more  than  a  century  so  great  and  often  so  fatal  a  part  in 
le  fortimes  of  France. 

Whilst  he  was  thus  preparing  a  gloomy  fiiture  for  his  country  and 
lusHne,  King  John  heard  that  his  second  son,  the  duke  of  Anjou,  one 
of  the  hostages  left  in  the  hands  of  the  king  of  England  as  security 
for  the  execution  of  the  treaty  of  Bretigny,  had  broken  his  word  of 


182 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE, 


[CHAr, 


honour  and  escaped  fi'om  England,  in  order  to  go  and  join  his 
at  Guise  Castle.  Knightly  faith  was  the  virtue  of  King  John  ;  and 
it  was,  they  say,  on  this  occasion  that  he  cried,  as  ho  was  severely 
upbraiding  his  son^  that  "if  good  faith  were  banished  from  the 
world,  it  ought  to  find  an  asylum  in  the  hearts  of  kings."  He 
announced  to  his  councillors ^  assembled  at  Amiens,  his  intention 
of  going  in  person  to  Euglaud.  An  effort  was  made  t^  dissuade 
him ;  and  "  several  prelates  and  barons  of  France  told  him  that  he 
was  committing  great  folly  when  he  was  minded  to  again  put  him- 
self in  danger  from  the  king  of  England.  He  answered  that  he 
had  found  in  his  brother,  the  king  of  England,  in  the  queen,  and  in 
his  nephews,  their  children,  so  much  loyalty,  honour,  and  courtesy, 
that  he  had  no  doubt  but  that  they  would  be  courteous,  loyal,  and 
amiable  to  him  in  any  case-  And  so  he  was  minded  to  go  and 
make  the  excuses  of  his  son,  the  duke  of  Anjou,  who  had  returned 
to  Franco/*  According  to  the  most  intelligent  of  the  chroniclers 
of  the  time,  the  Continuer  of  William  of  Nangis,  **  some  persons 
said  that  the  king  was  minded  to  go  to  England  in  order  to  amuse 
himself;"  and  they  were  probably  right,  for  kingly  and  knightly 
amusements  were  the  favourite  subject  of  King  John*s  meditations. 
This  time  he  found  in  England  something  else  besides  gaUs  j  lie 
before  long  fell  seriously  ill,  "  which  mightily  disconcerted  the 
king  and  queen  of  Engand,  for  the  wisest  in  the  country  judged 
liim  to  be  in  great  peril/'  He  died,  in  &ct,  on  the  8th  of  Aprils 
1364,  at  the  Savoy  hotelj  in  London ;  *'  whereat  the  king  of 
England,  the  queen,  their  children,  and  many  English  barons  were 
much  moved,"  says  Froissart,  "  for  the  honour  of  the  gieat  love 
which  the  king  of  France,  since  peace  was  made,  had  shown  them/* 
France  was  at  last  about  to  have  in  Charles  Y,  a  practical  and  an 
effective  king.  ^M 

In  spite  of  the  discretion  he  had  displayed  during  his  four  years 
of  regency  (from  1350  to  1360)  his  reigned  opened  under  the 
saddest  auspices.  In  1363,  one  of  those  contagious  diseases,  aU  at 
that  time  called  the  plague,  committed  cruel  ravages  in  Franco, 
"  None,"  says  the  contemporary  chronicler,  "  could  count  the 
number  of  the  dead  in  Paris,  young  or  old,  rich  or  poor ;  when 
death  entered   a   house,   the   little  children   died  first,  then  th© 


Knf 


.Gfi^tn^^^ 


CHASLEB  T< 


Caif.XXIL]  THE   HUNDRED  TEAES'   WAli, 

mouials,  then  the  parents.  In  the  smallest  villages  as  well  as  in 
Paris  the  mortality  was  such  that  at  Argenteuil,  for  example, 
where  there  were  wont  to  bo  numbered  seven  hundred  hearths, 
there  remained  no  more  than  forty  or  fifty/*  The  ravages  of  the 
armetl  tMeves  or  bandits  who  scoured  the  country  added  to  those 
of  the  plague.  Let  it  suffice  to  quote  one  instance,  "  In  Beauce, 
m  the  Orleans  and  Chartres  side,  some  brigands  and  prowlers,  with 
hostile  intent,  dressed  as  pig-dealers  or  cow-drivers,  came  to  the 
little  castle  of  Murs,  close  to  Corbeil,  and  finding  outside  the  gate 
the  master  of  the  place,  who  was  a  knight,  asked  hira  to  get  them 
batik  their  pigSj  which  his  menials,  they  said,  had  the  night  before 
taken  from  them,  which  was  false.  The  master  gave  them  leave 
to  go  in  that  they  might  discover  their  pigs  and  move  them  away. 
As  soon  as  they  had  crossed  the  drawbridge  they  seized  upon  the 
master,  threw  off  their  false  clothes,  drew  their  weapons,  and  blew 
a  blast  upon  the  bagpipe ;  and  forthwith  appeared  their  comrades 
from  their  hiding-places  in  the  neiglibouring  woods.  They  took 
possession  of  the  castle,  its  master  and  mistress,  and  all  their  folk; 
and,  settling  themselves  there,  they  scoured  from  thence  the  whole 
eomitry,  pillaging  every  where  and  filling  the  castle  with  the  pro- 
Tisions  they  carried  offi  At  the  rumour  of  this  thievish  capture, 
many  men-at-arms  in  the  neighbourhood  rushed  up  to  expel  the 
thieves  and  retake  from  them  the  castle.  Not  succeeding  in  their 
assault  they  fell  back  on  Corbeil,  and  then  themselves  set  to 
rivagmg  the  country,  taking  away  from  the  farm-houses  provisions 
and  wine  without  paying  a  doit,  and  carrying  them  off  to  Corbeil 
for  their  own  use.  They  became  before  long  as  much  feared  and 
kted  as  the  brigands ;  and  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  neighbouring 
Tillages,  leaving  their  homes  and  their  labom",  took  refuge,  with 
their  children  and  what  they  had  been  able  to  carry  off,  in  Paris, 
the  only  place  where  they  could  find  a  Uttle  security."  Thus,  the 
population  was  without  any  kind  of  regular  force,  any  thing  hke 
effectual  protection  ;  the  temporary  defenders  of  order  themselves 
went  over,  and  with  alacrity  too,  to  the  side  of  disorder  when 
they  did  not  succeed  in  repressing  it;  and  the  men-at^rms  set 
t^eadilj  about  plundering,  in  their  turn,  the  castles  and  country- 
plaoess  whence  they  had  been  charged  to  drive  off  the  plunderers. 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chat.  XXIL 


Let  US  add  a  still  more  striking  example  of  the  absence  of  all 
|Miblicly  recognized  power  at  this  period,  and  of  the  necessity  to 
which  the  population  was  nearly  every  where  reduced  of  defending 
itself  with  its  own  hands  in  order  to  escape  ever  so  little  from  the 
evils  of  war  and  anarchy.  It  was  a  little  while  ago  pointed  out 
why  and  how,  after  the  death  of  Marcel  and  the  downfall  of  his 
faction,  Charles  the  Bad,  king  of  Navarre,  suddenly  determined 
tipon  making  his  peace  with  the  regent  of  France.  This  peace  was 
very  displeasing  to  the  English ,  allies  of  the  king  of  Navarre,  and 
they  continued  to  carry  on  war,  ravaging  the  country  here  and 
there,  at  one  time  victorious  and  at  another  vanquished  in  a 
multiplication  of  disconnected  encoimters-  **  I  will  relate,"  says 
the  Continuer  ofWiUiam  of  Nangis,  **one  of  those  incidents  just  as 
it  occurred  in  mj  neighbourhood,  and  as  I  have  been  truthfully 
told  about  it.  The  struggle  there  was  valiantly  maintained  by 
peasants,  Jacques  Bonhomme  (Jack  Goodfellows)^  as  they  are  called, 
There  is  a  place  pretty  well  fortified  in  a  little  town  named 
Longueil,  not  far  from  Compitgne,  in  the  diocese  uf  Beauvais  and 
near  to  the  banks  of  the  Oise<  This  place  is  close  to  the  monastery 
of  St  Corneille-de-Compifegne.  The  inhabitants  perceived  that 
there  would  be  danger  if  the  enemy  occupied  this  point;  and, 
after  having  obtained  authority  from  the  lord-regent  of  France 
and  the  abbot  of  the  monastery,  they  settled  themselves  ther©, 
provided  themselves  with  arms  and  provisions,  and  appointed  a 
captain  taken  from  among  themselves,  promising  the  regent  that 
they  would  defend  this  place  to  the  death.  Many  of  the  villagers 
camo  thither  to  place  themselves  in  security,  and  they  chose  for 
captain  a  tall,  fine  man,  named  William  a- Larks  {aux  Almidtes)* 
He  had  for  servant  and  held  as  with  bit  and  bridle  a  certain 
peasant  of  lofty  stature,  marvellous  boddy  strength,  and  equal 
boldness,  who  had  joined  to  these  advantages  an  extreme  modesty : 
he  was  called  liitj  Ferrk  These  folks  settled  themselves  at  this 
point  to  the  number  of  about  two  hundred  men,  all  tillers  of  the 
soil,  and  getting  a  poor  livelihood  by  the  labour  of  their  hands. 
The  EngHsh,  hearing  it  said  that  these  folks  were  there  and  wero 
determined  to  resist,  held  them  in  contempt,  and  went  to  them^ 
saying,  *  Drive  we  hence  these  peasants  and  take  we  possession  of 


Chat.  XXII.]  THE  HDKDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


187 


I 
I 

I 


» 


tbis  point  so  well  fortified  and  well  supplied/     Thoj  wont  ttither 

to  the  number  of  two  hundred*     The  folks  inside  had  no  suspicion 

thereof,   and   had   left   their   gates   open.     The  English  entered 

boldly  into  the  place,  whilst  the  peasants  were  in  the  inner  courts 

or  at  the  windows,  a-gape  at  seeing  men  so  well  armed  making 

their  way  in.     The  captain,  William  a-Larksj  came  down  at  once 

with  some  of  his  people,  and  bravely  began  the  fight;  but  he  had 

the  worst  of  it,  was  surrounded  by  the  English,  and  himself  stricken 

with  a  moilial  wound.     At  sight  hereof,  those   of  his  folk  who 

were  stiU  in  the  courts,  with  Bi^f  FerrS  at  their  head,  said  one  to 

another,  *  Let  us  go  down  and  sell  our  lives  dearly,  else  they  will 

slay  us  without  mercy/    (fathering  themselves  discreetly  together, 

they  went  down  by  different  gates  and  struck  out  with  mighty 

blows  at  the  English,  as  if  they  had  been  beating  out  their  com  on 

the  threshing-floor ;  their  arms  went  up  and  down  again,  and  every 

blow  dealt  out  a  deadly  wound-     Big  Ferre^  seeing  his  captain  laid 

low  and  almost  dead  already,  uttered  a  bitter  cry,  and  advancing 

upon  the  English  he  topped  them  all,  as  he  did  his  own  fellows,  by 

a  head  and  shoulders*     Raising  his  axe,  he  dealt  about  him  deadly 

blows  insomuch  that  in  front  of  him  the  place  was  soon  a  void ;  he 

felled  to  the  earth  all  those  whom  he  could  reach ;  of  one  he  broke 

the  head,  of  another  he  lopped  off  the  arms ;  he  bore  himself  so 

valiantly  that  in  an  hour  he  had  with  his  own  hand  slain  eighteen 

of  them,  without  counting  the  wounded;  and  at  this  sight  his 

comrades  were  filled  with  ardour*     What  more  shall  I  say  ?     All 

that  band  of  English  were  forced  to  turn  their  backs  and  fly;  some 

jumped  into  the  ditches  full  of  wat«r ;  others  tried  with  tottering 

steps  to  regain  the  gates.     Big  Ferre^  advancing  to  the  spot  where 

the  English  had  planted  their  flag,  took  it,  killed  the  bearer,  and 

told  one  of  his  own  fellows  to  go  and  hin^l  it  into  a  ditch  where  the 

wall  was  not  as  yet  finished,     *  I  cannot,'  said  the  other,  '  there  aro 

still  so  many  English  yonder/     *  Follow  me  with  the  flag,'   said 

Big  Ferre^  and  marching  in  front,  and  laying  about  him  right  and 

left  with  his  axe,  he  opened  and  cleared  the  way  to  the  point 

iadieated,  so  that  his  comrade  could  freely  hurl  the  flag  into  the 

ditch.    After  he  had  rested  a  moment,  he  returned  to  the  fight,  and 

fell  so  roughly  on  the  English  who  remained,  that  all  those  who 


188 


HISTORY  OF  FRAI^CE. 


[Chap.  XXU- 


could  fly  Imstened  to  profit  thereby.  It  is  said  that  on  that  day» 
with  the  help  of  God  and  liltj  FerrS,  who,  with  his  oira  hand,  as  is 
certified,  laid  low  more  than  forty,  the  greater  part  of  the  EDgUjsh 
who  had  come  to  this  business  never  went  back  from  it.  But  the 
captain  on  onr  side,  William  a- Larks,  was  there  stricken  mortaUy : 
he  was  not  yet  dead  when  the  fight  ended ;  he  was  carried  away  to 
his  bed ;  he  recognized  all  his  comrades  who  were  there,  and  soon 
afterwards  sank  under  his  wounds.  They  buried  him  in  the  midst 
of  weeping,  for  he  was  wise  and  good." 

"At  the  news  of  what  had  thus  happened  at  Lougueil  the 
English  were  very  disconsolate,  saying  that  it  was  a  shame  that  so 
many  and  such  brave  warriors  should  have  been  slain  by  such 
rustics.  Next  day  they  came  together  again  from  all  their  camps 
in  the  neighbourhood,  and  went  and  made  a  vigorous  attack  at 
Longueil  on  our  folks,  who  no  longer  feared  them  hardly  at  all, 
and  went  out  of  their  walls  to  fight  them.  In  the  first  rank  was 
Bi4j  Feire  of  whom  the  English  had  heard  so  much  talk.  When 
they  saw  him  and  when  they  felt  the  weight  of  his  axe  and  his 
arm,  many  of  those  who  had  come  to  this  fight  would  liaye  been 
right  glad  not  to  be  there*  Many  fled  or  were  gi*ievousIy  wounded 
or  slain.  Some  of  the  English  nobles  were  taken.  If  our  folks  had 
been  willing  to  give  them  up  for  money,  as  the  nobles  do,  they  might 
have  made  a  gi*eat  deal ;  but  they  would  not*  When  the  fight  was 
over,  Big  Ferre,  overcome  with  heat  and  fatigue,  drank  a  large 
quantity  of  cold  water,  and  was  forthwith  seized  of  a  fever.  Ho 
put  himself  to  bed  without  pat*ting  from  his  axe,  which  was  so  heavy 
tluit  a  man  of  the  usual  strength  could  scarcely  lift  it  from  the  ground 
with  both  hands.  The  English,  hearing  that  Buj  Ferre  was  sick, 
rejoiced  greatly,  and  for  fear  he  should  get  well  they  sent  privily» 
round  about  the  place  where  he  was  lodged,  twelve  of  their  men 
bidden  to  try  and  rid  them  of  him.  On  espying  them  from  afar, 
his  wife  hurried  up  to  his  bed  where  he  was  laid,  saying  to  liuu, 
*  My  deal*  Ferr{5,  the  English  are  coming,  and  I  verily  believe  it  m 
for  thee  they  are  looking;  what  wilt  thou  do?'  i%  FerrVf  for- 
getting his  sickness,  armed  himself  in  all  haste,  took  his  axe  which 
had  already  stricken  to  death  so  many  foes,  went  out  of  Ids  house, 
and  enteiing  into  his  little  yard  shouted  to  the  EngUsh  as  soon 


Crap.  XXn.]  THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR. 


18J) 


I 


I 


as  lie  saw  them,  '^  Ali !  scoundrels^  you  are  coming  to  take  mo  in 
my  bed ;  but  you  shall  not  get  me/  He  set  himself  against  a  wall 
to  be  in  surety  from  behind j  and  defended  himself  manfully  with 
his  good  axe  and  hig  great  heart.  The  English  assailed  him, 
hiu-ning  to  slay  or  to  take  him ;  but  he  resisted  them  so  wondrously 
that  he  brought  down  five  much  wounded  to  the  ground  and  the 
other  seven  took  to  flight*  Big  Ferrer  returning  in  triumph  to  his 
hed^  and  heated  again  by  the  blows  he  had  doalt^  again  drank  cold 
Water  in  abundance  and  fell  sick  of  a  more  violent  fever.  A  few 
days  afterwards^  sinking  under  his  sickness,  and  after  having 
received  the  holy  sacraments.  Big  Ferre  went  out  of  this  world, 
and  was  buried  in  the  burial-place  of  his  own  village.  All  his 
comrades  and  his  country  wept  for  him  bitterly,  for,  so  long  as  he 
lived,  the  English  would  not  have  come  nigh  this  place*'* 

There  is  probably  some  exaggeration  about  the  exploits  of  Big 
Ferre  and  the  number  of  his  victims.  The  story  just  quoted  is 
not,  however,  a  legend;  authentic  and  simple,  it  has  all  the 
characteristics  of  a  real  and  true  fact,  just  as  it  was  picked  up, 
partly  from  eye-witnesses  and  partly  from  hearsay,  by  the  con- 
temporary narrator*  It  is  a  faithful  picture  of  the  internal  state  of 
the  French  nation  in  the  fourteenth  century :  a  nation  in  labour  of 
formation,  a  nation  whoso  elements,  as  yet  scattered  and  inco- 
hesive  though  under  one  and  the  samo  name,  were  fermenting  each 
in  its  own  quarter  and  independently  of  the  rest,  with  a  tendency 
to  mutual  coalescence  in  a  powerful  unity  but,  as  yet,  far  from 
succeeding  in  it. 

Externally,  King  (Jharles  V.  had  scarcely  easier  work  before 
him.  Between  himself  and  his  great  rival j  Edward  IIT.,  king  of 
England,  there  was  only  such  a  peace  as  was  fatal  and  hateful  to 
France-  To  escape  some  day  from  the  treaty  of  Br^tigny  and 
rt*cover  some  of  the  provinces  which  had  been  lost  by  it — this  was 
what  king  and  country  secretly  desired  and  laboured  for.  Pending 
a  favBurable  opportunity  for  promoting  this  higher  interest,  war 
rent  on  in  Brittany  between  John  of  Montfort  and  Charles  of 
Blois,  who  continued  to  be  encouraged  and  patronizefl,  covertly, 
one  by  the  king  of  England,  the  other  by  the  king  of  France. 
Almost  immediately  after  tb 


190 


HISTORY  OP  FRANOE^ 


[Chap.  XXIL 


again  between  liira  aiul  Iub  brother-in-IaWj  Charles  the  Bad,  king^ 
of  Navarre,  the  former  being  profoundly  mistruBtfuI  and  the  latter 
bmzcnfacedlj  perfidious,  and  botli  detesting  one  another  and 
watching  to  seize  the  moment  for  taking  advantage  one  of  the  othar. 
The  states  bordering  on  France,  amongst  others  Spain  and  Italy t 
were  a  prey  to  discord  and  even  civil  wars^  which  coidd  not  fail  t<j 
be  a  source  of  trouble  or  serious  embarrassment  to  Fmnce.  If 
Spain  two  brothers,  Peter  the  Cruel  and  Henry  of  Tranj^t- 
were  disputing  the  throne  of  Castile.     Shortly  after  the  m  4 

of  Charles  V,,  and  in  spito  of  his  lively  remonstranceg,  in  1367, 
Pope  Urban  V.  quitted  Avignon  for  Rome,  whence  he  was  not  to 
return  to  A\agnon  till  three  years  afterwards j  and  then  only  to  die. 
The  emperor  of  Germany  was,  at  this  period ^  almost  the  only  one 
of  the  great  sovereigns  of  Europe  w^ho  showed  for  France  and  her 
kings  a  sincere  good  wilL  When,  in  1378,  he  went  to  Paris  to  jKij^ 
a  visit  to  Charles  V.,  he  was  pleased  to  go  to  St-  Denis  to  see 
tombs  of  Charles  the  Handsome  and  Philip  of  Valois,  "  In 
young  days,"  he  said  to  the  abbot,  "  I  was  nurtured  at  the  hoi 
of  those  good  kings,  who  showed  me  much  kindness ;  I  do  n^qui 
you  affectionately  to  make  good  prayer  to  God  for  them*"  Charlei 
V-  who  had  given  him  a  very  friendly  reception  was,  no  dftii1>t^^ 
included  in  this  pious  request. 

In   order   to   maintain   the  struggle   against  these   difficullii 
within  and  without,  the  means  which  Charles  V,  had  at  his  dispo^ 
were  of  but  moderate  worth.     He  had  three  brothers  and  thr 
sisters  calculated  rather  to  embarrass  and  sometimes  even  injui 
him  than  to  be  of  any  service  to  him.     Of  his  brothers  the  eldeiit 
Louis,  duke  of  Anjou,  was  restless,  harsh,  and   beHicose,      H| 
upheld  authority  with  no   little  energy  in  Languedoc,  of  whic 
Charles  had  made  him  governor,  but  at  the  same  time  made 
detested;  and  he  was  more  taken  up  with  hi?  own  ambitious  vk 
upon  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  which  Queen  Joan  of  Hungary 
transmitted  to  him  by  adoption,  than  with  the  interests  of  Franc 
and  her  king-     The  second,  John,  duke  of  Berry,  was  an  in^ignif 
oant  prince  who  has  left  no  strong  mai*k  on  history.     The  third 
Philip  the  Bold,  duke  of  Burgundy,  after  having  been  the  favourite 
of  his  father,  King  John,  was  likewise  of  his  brother,  Charles  V., 


Chap,  XXII.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEAllS'  WAR. 


193 


"wha  did  not  besitate  to  still  fiirtlier  aggraadixe  this  vassal  already 
so  groat,  by  obtaining  for  him  in  marriage  the  hand  of  Princoss 
lliirgueritej  heiress  to  the  countship  of  Flanders  j  and  this  mar- 
inage,  which  was  destined  at  a  later  period  to  render  the  dukes  of 
Burgundy  such  formidable  neighbours  for  the  kings  of  France^  was 
e7en  in  the  lifetime  of  Charles  Y*  a  cause  of  unpleasant  complica- 
tions both  for  France  and  Burgundy,  Of  King  Charles'  three 
sisters^  the  eldest^  Joan,  was  married  to  the  king  of  Navarre, 
Charles  the  Bad,  and  much  more  devoted  to  her  husband  than  to 
her  brother;  the  second,  Mary^  espoused  Robert, duke  of  Bar,  who 
caused  more  annoyance  than  he  rendered  service  to  his  brother-in- 
kw  the  king  of  France ;  and  the  tliirdj  Isabel^  wife  of  Galeas 
ViscoBti,  duke  of  Milan,  was  of  no  use  to  her  brother  beyond 
the  fact  of  contnbuting,  as  we  have  seen,  by  her  marriage  to  pay 
i  part  of  King  John's  ransom-  Charles  V»,  by  kindly  and  judicious 
behaviour  in  the  bosom  of  his  family,  was  able  to  keep  serious 
Huarrels  or  embarrassments  from  arising  thence;  but  he  found 
ttorein  neither  real  strength  nor  sure  support* 

His  civil  councillors,    Ids  chancellor,   WilHam    de    Dormans, 

cardinal-bishop  of  Beauvais ;  his  minister  of  finance,  John  do  la 

Grange,   cardinal-bishop   of    Amiens ;    his   treasoi'er,    Phihp    de 

SavoLsy ;  and  his  chamberlain  and  private  secretary,  Bureau  de  la 

Eiri^re,  were,  undoubtedly,  men  full  of  ability  and  zeal  for  his 

wrice,  for  he  had  picked  them  out  and  maintained   them   un- 

diangeably  in  their  offices.     There  is  reason  to  believe  that  they 

conducted  themselves  discreetly,  for  we  do  not  observe  that  after 

tbir  master's  death  there  was  any  outburst  against  them,  on  the 

pwt  either  of  court  or  people,  of  that  violent  and  deadly  hatred 

ffhich  has  so  often  caused  bloodshed  in  the  history  of  France, 

Bumiu  de  la  Eivifcre  was  attacked  and  prosecuted,  without,  how- 

W€r,  becoming  one  of  the  victims   of  judicial  authority  at  the 

nd  of  political  passions.     None  of  Charles  V/a  councillors 

isod   over    his   master   that   preponderating  and   confirmed 

influence  which  makes  a  man  a  premier  minister.     Charles   V. 

liiinself  assumed  the  direction  of  his  own  government,  exhibiting 

unwearied  vigilance  "  but  without  hastiness  and  without  noise." 

There  is  a  work,  as  yet  unpublished,  of  M.  Leopold  Delisle,  which 

wiL.  tr.  0 


194 


HISTORY 


FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XX] 


is  to  contain  a  complete  explaoatory  catalogue  of  all  the  Mfrnd^" 
m^nfs  et  Aries  divers  de  Charleg  V.  This  catalogue,  which  forms  a 
pendant  to  a  similar  work  performed  by  M,  Delisle  for  the  reign  of 
Philip  Augustus,  is  not  yet  concluded;  and,  nevertheless,  for  the  first 
seven  years  only  of  Charles  V.'s  reign,  from  1364  to  1371,  there  are 
to  be  found  enumerated  and  described  in  it  854  juandementSf  ordon- 
nances  et  adesdhwrs  de  Charles  F.j  relating  to  the  different  branches 
of  administration  and  to  daily  incidents  of  government :  acts  aU 
bearing  the  impress  of  an  intellect  active,  far-sighted,  and  bent 
upon  becoming  acquainted  with  every  thing  and  regulating  every 
thing  not  according  to  a  general  system  but  from  actual  and 
exact  knowledge,  Charles  always  proved  himself  reflectivej  un- 
hurried, and  anxious  solely  to  comport  himself  in  accordance  vrith 
the  public  interests  and  with  good  sense.  He  was  one  day  at 
table  in  his  room  with  some  of  his  intimates,  when  news  was 
brought  him  that  the  English  had  laid  siege  in  Guienne,  to  a  place 
where  there  was  only  a  small  garrison  not  in  a  condition  to  hold  out 
unless  it  were  promptly  succoured.  "  The  king,"  says  Christine 
de  Pisan,  '*  showed  no  great  outward  emotion,  and  quite  coolly, 
as  if  the  topic  of  conversation  were  something  else,  turned  and 
looked  about  him  and,  seeing  one  of  his  secretaries,  summoned 
him  courteously  and  bade  hira,  in  a  whisper,  write  word  to  Louis 
de  Sancerre,  his  marshal,  to  come  to  him  directly.  They  who 
were  there  were  amazed  that  though  the  matter  was  so  weighty 
the  king  took  no  great  account  of  it.  Some  young  esquires  who 
were  waiting  upon  him  at  table  were  bold  enough  to  say  to  him, 
'  Sir,  give  us  the  money  to  fit  ourselves  out,  as  many  of  us  as  are  of 
your  household,  for  to  go  on  this  business ;  we  will  be  new-made 
knights,  and  will  go  and  raise  the  siege.'  The  king  began  to  smile, 
and  said,  'It  is  not  new-made  knights  that  are  suitable;  they  must 
be  all  old.*  Seeing  that  he  said  no  more  about  it,  some  of  them 
added,  '  What  are  your  orders,  sir,  touching  this  affair  which  is  of 
haste?*  'It  is  not  well  to  give  orders  in  haste;  when  we  see 
those  to  whom  it  is  meet  to  speak,  we  will  give  our  orders.*  '* 

On  another  occasion,  the  treasurer  of  Nimes  had  died  and  the 
king  appointed  his  successor.  His  brother,  the  duke  of  Anjou, 
came  and  asked  for  the  place  on  behalf  of  one  of  his  own  intimate^ 


Chap.  XXIL]  THE  HUNDRED  YEABS^  WAH. 


195 


saying  that  he  to  whom  the  king  had  granted  it  was  a  man  of  straw 
and  without  credit,  Charles  caused  inquiries  to  be  madej  and  then 
said  to  the  duke,  *'  Truly,  fair  brother >  he  for  whom  you  have 
spoken  to  me  is  a  rich  man^  but  one  of  Mttle  sense  and  bad 
I  behaviour/'  **  Assuredly,"  said  the  duke  of  Anjon,  "he  to  whom 
Hg|9a  have  given  the  office  is  a  man  of  straw  and  incompetent  to  fill 
it/*  "Why,  prithee?*'  asked  the  king,  "Because  he  is  a  poor 
man,  the  son  of  Bmall  labouring  folks  who  are  still  tillers  of  the 
ground  in  our  country."  "Ah  !"  said  Charles  ;  "  is  there  nothing 
more  ?     Assuredly,  fair  brother,  we  should  prize  more  highly  the 

I  poor  man  of  wisdom  than  the  profligate  ass;"  and  he  maintained 
in  the  oflSce  him  whom  he  had  put  there. 
The  government  of  Charles  V.  was  the  personal  government  of 
an  intelligent,  prudent,  and  honourable  king,  anxious  for  the 
interests  of  the  State,  at  home  and  abroad,  as  well  as  for  his  own, 
with  little  inclination  for  and  little  confidence  in  the  free  co-. 
operation  of  the  country  in  its  own  affairs,  but  with  wit  enough  to 
cheerfiilly  call  upon  it  when  there  was  any  pressing  necessity,  and 
accepting  it  then  without  chicanery  or  cheating,  but  safe  to  go  back 
u  soon  as  possible  to  that  sole  dominion,  a  medley  of  patriotism 
and  selfishness,  which  is  the  very  insufficient  and  very  precarious 
resource  of  peoples  as  yet  incapable  of  applying  their  liberty  to  the 
art  of  their  own  government.  Charles  V.  had  recourse  three  times, 
ifl  July,  1367,  and  in  May  and  December,  1369,  to  a  convocation 
of  the  states*general,  in  order  to  be  put  in  a  position  to  meet  the 
political  and  financial  difficulties  of  France,  At  the  second  of 
these  assemblies,  when  the  chancellor,  William  de  Dormans,  had 
explained  the  position  of  the  kingdom,  the  king  himself  rose  up 
**for  to  say  to  all,  that  if  they  considered  that  he  had  done  any 
tluttg  he  ought  not  to  have  done,  they  should  tell  him  so,  and  he 
would  amend  what  he  had  done,  for  there  was  still  time  to  repair 
it  if  he  had  done  too  much  or  not  enough/'  The  question  at  that 
time  was  as  to  entertaining  the  appeal  of  the  barons  of  Aquitaine 
to  the  king  of  Franco  as  suzerain  of  the  prince  of  Wales,  whose 
goTernmunt  hat]  become  intolerable,  and  to  thus  make  a  first  move 
to  struggle  out  of  the  humiliating  peace  of  Br^tigny.  Such  a  step 
and  such  words  do  gi*eat  honour  to  the  memory  of  the  pacific 

0  2 


1 


1 


196 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE. 


[CaiF,  XXIL 


prince  who  was  at  that  time  bearing  the  burden  of  the  goyenimeiit 
of  France,  It  was  Charles  V/a  good  fortune  to  find  amongst  hia 
servants  a  man  who  was  destined  to  be  the  thunderbolt  of  war  and 
the  glory  of  knighthood  of  his  reign.  About  1314,  fifty  years 
before  Charles'  accession^  there  was  born  at  the  castle  of  Motte* 
Broon,  near  Rennes,  in  a  family  which  could  reckon  two  ancestors 
amongst  Godfrey  de  Bouillon's  comrades  in  the  first  cnisade, 
Bertrand  du  Guesclin,  ^*  the  ugliest  child  from  Rennes  to  Dinan/' 
says  a  contemporary  chronicle,  flat-nosed  and  swarthy,  thickset, 
broad-shouldered,  big-headed,  a  bad  fellow,  a  regular  wretch, 
according  to  his  own  mother's  words,  given  to  violence,  always 
striking  or  being  struck,  whom  his  tutor  abandoned  without  having 
been  able  to  teach  him  to  read.  At  sixteen  years  of  age  he  escaped 
from  the  paternal  mansion,  went  to  Rennes,  entered  upon  a  course 
of  adventures,  quarrels,  challenges,  and  tourneys,  in  which  he 
distinguished  himself  by  his  strength,  his  valour,  and  likewise  his 
sense  of  honour.  He  joined  the  cause  of  Charles  of  Blois  against 
John  of  Montfort,  when  the  two  were  claimants  for  the  duchy  of 
Brittany  ;  but  at  the  end  of  thirty  years  "  neither  the  good  of  him 
nor  his  prowess  were  as  yet  greatly  renowned,'*  says  FroiBsart, 
"  save  amongst  the  knights  who  were  about  him  in  the  country  of 
Brittany."  But  Charles  V,,  at  that  time  regent,  had  taken  notice 
of  him  in  1359,  at  the  siege  of  Melun,  where  Du  GuescUn  had  for 
the  first  time  borne  arms  in  the  service  of  France.  When,  in  1364, 
Charles  became  king,  he  said  to  Boucicaut,  marshal  of  France, 
"  Boucicaut,  get  you  hence  with  such  men  as  you  have,  and  ride 
towards  Normandy ;  you  will  there  find  sir  Bertrand  du  Guesclin ; 
hold  yourselves  in  readiness,  I  pray  you,  you  and  he,  to  recover 
from  the  king  of  Navarro  the  town  of  Mantes,  which  would  make 
us  masters  of  the  river  Seine/*  "  Right  willingly,  sir,"  answered 
Boucicaut;  and  a  few  weeks  afterwards,  on  the  7th  of  April,  1364, 
Boucicaut,  by  stratagem,  entered  Mantes  with  his  troop,  and  Du 
Gueschn,  coming  up  suddenly  with  his,  dashed  into  the  town  at  a 
a  gaUopj  shouting,  "  St,  Yves  1  Guesclin  I  death,  death  to  aU 
Navarrese!"  The  two  warriors  did  the  same  next  day  at  the 
gat^js  of  Meulan,  three  leagues  from  Mantes,  "  Thus  were  the  two 
cities  taken,  whereat  King  Charles  V.  was  very  joyous  when  ho 


Chap.  XXnj  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR- 


ID? 


heard  the  news;  and  the  king  of  Navarre  was  very  wroth,  for  he 
set  down  as  great  hurt  the  loss  of  Mantes  and  of  Mculan,  which 
made  a  mighty  fine  entmnce  for  him  into  France." 

It  was  at  Bheims  during  the  ceremony  of  hia  coronation  that 

Charles  V,  heard  of  his  two  officers'  success*     The  war  thus  begun 

against  the  king  of  Navarre  was  hotly  prosecuted  on  both  sldes. 

Charles  the  Bad  hastily  collected  his  forces,  Gascons,  Normans, 

and  Enghsh,  and  put  them  under  tho  command  of  John  de  Grailli, 

called  the  Captal  of  Buch,  an  officer  of  renown,     Du   Guesclin 

recruited  in  Normandy,  Picardy,  and  Brittany,  and  amongst  the 

bands  of  warriors  which  were  now  roaming  all  over  France,     The 

plan  of  the  Captal  of  Buch  was  to  go  and  disturb  the  festivities  at 

Rheims,  but  at  Cocherel,  on  the  banks  of  the  Eure,  two  leagues 

from  Evreux,  he  met  the  troops  of  Du  Guesclin  ;  and  the  two  armies, 

pretty  nearly  equal  iu  number,  halted  in  view  of  one  another.     Du 

Guesclin  held  counsel  and  said  to  his  comrades  in  arms,  "  Sirs,  wo 

know  that  iu  front  of  us  we  have  in  the  Captal  as  gallant  a  knight 

E3  can  be  found  to-day  on  all  the  earth ;  so  long  as  he  shall  be  on 

the  spot  he  mil  do  ns  great  hurt ;  set  we  then  a-horseback  thirty 

of  ourSj  the  most  skilful  and  the  boldest;  they  shall  give  heed  to 

nothing  but  to  make  straight  towards  the  Captal,  break  through 

the  press,  and  get  right  up  to  him ;    then  they  shall  take  him, 

piH  bim,  carry  him  off  amongst  them  and  lead   him  away  some 

whither  in  safety  without  waiting  for  the  end  of  the  battle.     If 

he  can  be  taken  and  kept  in  such  way,  the  day  will  be  ours,  so 

Astounded  will  his  men  be  at  his  capture.'*     Battle  ensued  at  all 

[joiuta  [May  16,  1364]  ;  and,  whilst  it  led  to  various  encounters 

mth  various  results,   *'  the  picked  thirty,  well  mounted  on  the 

kiwer  of  steeds,"  says  Froissart,  "  and  with  no  thought  but  for 

their  enterprise,  came  all  compact  together  to  where  was  the  Captal, 

was  fighting  right  valiantly  with  his  axe,  and  was  dealing 

blows  80  mighty  that  none  durst  come  nigh  him ;  but  the  thirty 

broke  through  the  press  by  dint  of  their  horses,  made  right  up  to 

him,  halted  hard  by  him,  took  him  and  shut  him  in  amongst  them 

hy  force ;    then  they  voided  the  place  and  bare  liim  away  in  that 

state,  whilst  his  men,  who  were  like  to  mad,  shouted,  *  A  rescue 

for  the  Captal!  a  rescuer  but  naught  could  avail  them  or  help 


I 


198 


HISTORY  OF   FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XXIL 


them ;  and  the  Captal  was  carried  off  and  placed  in  safety.  In  ttia 
bustle  and  tui^moilj  whilst  the  Navarresc  and  English  were  trying 
to  follow  the  track  of  the  Captalj  whom  they  saw  being  taken  off 
before  their  eyes,  some  French  agreed  with  hearty  good  will  to 
bear  down  on  the  CaptaFs  bannerj  which  was  in  a  thicket  and 
whereof  the  Navari'ese  made  their  own  standard.  Thereupon  there 
wag  a  great  tumult  and  hard  fighting  there,  for  the  banner  was 
well  guarded  and  by  good  raen;  but  at  last  it  was  seiaed,  won, 
torn,  and  cast  to  the  ground.  The  French  were  masters  of  the 
battlefield ;  sir  Bertrand  and  his  Bretons  acquitted  themselves 
loyally  and  ever  kept  themselves  well  together,  giving  aid  one  to 
another ;  but  it  cost  them  dear  in  men," 

Charles  was  highly  delighted,  and  after  the  victory  resolutely 
discharged  his  kingly  part,  rewarding  and  also  punishing.  Du 
Gueschn  w^as  made  marshal  of  Normandy^  and  received  as  a  gift  the 
oountship  of  Longneville,  confiscated  from  the  king  of  Navarre. 
Certain  Frenchmen  who  had  become  confidants  of  the  king  of 
Navarre  were  executed,  and  Charles  V.  ordered  his  generals  to  no 
longer  show  any  mercy  for  the  future  to  subjects  of  the  kingdom 
who  were  found  in  the  enemy's  ranks.  The  wai*  against  Charles 
the  Bad  continued.  Charles  V.,  encouraged  by  his  successea, 
determined  to  take  part  likewise  in  that  which  was  still  going 
on  between  the  two  claimants  to  the  dnchy  of  Brittany,  Charles  of 
Blois  and  John  of  Montfort.  Du  Guesclin  was  sent  to  support 
Charles  of  Blois,  *^  whereat  he  was  greatly  rejoiced,"  says  Froissart, 
"for  he  bad  always  held  the  said  lord  Charles  for  his  rightful  lord." 
The  count  and  countess  of  Blois  '*  received  him  right  joyously  and 
pleasantly,  and  the  best  part  of  the  barons  of  Brittany  likew*ise  had 
lonl  Charles  of  Blois  in  regard  and  affection."  Du  Guesclin 
entered  at  once  on  the  campaign  and  marched  upon  Auray  which 
was  being  besieged  by  the  count  of  Montfort.  But  there  he  wM 
destined  to  encounter  the  most  formidable  of  his  adversaries, 
John  of  Montfort  had  claimed  the  support  of  his  patron  the  king 
of  England,  and  John  Chandos,  the  most  famous  of  the  English 
commanders,  had  apphed  to  the  prince  of  Wales  to  know  wlmt  he 
was  to  do.  **  You  may  go  full  well,"  the  prince  had  answered, 
"  since  the  French  are  going  for  the  count  of  Blois ;  I  give  you 


CaAP.  xxn.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR. 


199 


I 


good  leave;'*     ChandoSi  delighted,  set  hastily  to  work  recruiting. 

Only  a  few  Aquitanians  decided  to  join  him,  for  they  were  begins 

ning  to  be  disgusted  with  English  riiile,  and  the  French  national 

spirit  was  developing  itself  throughout  Gascony  even  in  the  prince 

of  Wales'  immediate  circle,     Chandoa  reemited  scarcely  any  but 

EngUsh  or  Bretons  and  when,  to  the  great  joy  of  the  count  of 

Montfort,  lie  arrived  before  Auray,  **  he  brought/'  says  Froissart, 

**  full  sixteen  hundred  fightiog-men,  knights,  and  squires,  English 

and  Breton,  and  about  eight  or  nine  bundi'ed  archers,"     Du  Gues- 

clin*s  troops  were  pretty  nearly  equal  in  number  and  not  less  brave, 

but  less  well  disciplined  and  probably  also  less  ably  commanded* 

The  battle  took  place  on  the  29th  of  September,  1364,  before 

Auray,     The  attendant  circumstances  and  the  result  have  already 

been  recounted  in  the  twentieth  chapter  of  this  history ;  Charles 

of  Blois  was  killed  and  Du  Guesclin  was  made  prisoner-    The  cause 

of  John  of  Montfort  was  clearly  won  ;  and  he,  on  taking  possession 

of  the  duchy  of  Brittany,  asked  nothing  better  than  to  acknowledge 

himdelf  vassal  of  the  king  of  Franee  and  swear  fidelity  to  him. 

Charles  V,  had   too  much  judgment  not   to   foresee   that,  even 

after  a  defeat,  a  peace  which  gave  a  lawful  and  definite  solution  to 

the  question  of  Brittany  rendered    his    relations    and   means    of 

influeuce  with  this  important  province  much  more  to  be  depended 

upon  than  any  success  which  a  prolonged  war  might  pronoise  him. 

Accordingly  he  made  peace  at  Gu^rande,  on  the  1 1th  of  April,  1366, 

after  having  disputed  the  conditions  inch  by  inch ;  and  some  weeks 

previously,  on  the  6th  of  March,  at  the  indirect  instance  of  the 

ting  of  Navarre,  who,  since  the  battle  of  Cocherel,  had  felt  himself 

in  peril,  Charles  V*  had  likemse  put  an  end  to  his  open  struggle 

against  his  perfidious  neighbour,  of  whom  he  certainly  did  not  cease 

to  be  mis  trustful.     Being  thus  delivered  from  every  external  war 

and  declared  enemy,  the  wise  king  of  France  was  at  Uberty  to 

devote  himself  to  the  re*establishment  of  internal  peace  and  of 

order  throughout  his  kingdom  which  was  in  the  most  pressing  need 

thereof. 

We  have  no  doubt,  even  in  our  own  day,  cruel  experience  of  the 
ittaorders  and  evils  of  war ;  but  we  can  form,  one  would  say,  but  a 
wry  incomplete  idea  of  what  they  were  in  the  fourteenth  century. 


200 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  SXII 


without  any  of  those  humane  administrative  measures^  still  so 
ineffectual — provisionings,  hospitals,  ambulances,  barracks,  and 
encampments — ^which  are  taken  in  the  present  day  to  prevent  or 
repair  them.  The  Remeil  drs  Ordonnanees  des  Eois  ds  France  is 
full  of  isafeguarda  granted  by  Charles  V.  to  monasteries  and  hos- 
pices and  communes,  which  implored  his  protection,  that  they  might 
have  a  little  less  to  suffer  than  the  country  in  generaL  We  mil 
borrow  from  the  best  informed  and  the  most  intelligent  of  the 
contemporary  chroniclers,  the  Continuer  of  William  of  Nangis*  a 
picture  of  those  sufferings  and  the  causes  of  them.  "  There  was 
not,"  he  says  J  "  in  Anjou,  in  Touraine,  in  Beauce,  near  Orleans 
and  up  to  the  approaches  of  Paris,  any  corner  of  the  countty  which 
was  free  from  plunderers  and  robbers.  They  were  so  numerous 
every  where,  either  in  little  forts  occupied  by  them  or  in  the 
villages  and  country-places,  that  peasants  and  tradesf oiks  could  not 
travel  but  at  great  expense  and  great  peril.  The  very  guards  told 
off  to  defend  cultivators  and  travellers  took  part  most  shamefiillyin 
harassing  and  despoiling  them.  It  was  the  same  in  Burgundy  and 
the  neighbouring  countries.  Some  knights  who  called  themselves 
friends  of  the  king  and  of  the  king^s  majesty,  and  whose  names  1 
am  not  minded  to  set  down  here,  kept  in  their  service  brigands  who 
■  were  quita  as  bad.  What  is  far  more  strange  is  that  when  those 
folks  went  into  the  cities,  Paris  or  elsewhere,  every  body  knew 
them  and  pointed  them  out,  but  none  durst  lay  a  hand  upon  tliem. 
I  saw  one  night  at  Paris,  in  the  suburb  of  St,  Germain  des  Pr^s, 
while  the  people  were  sleeping,  some  brigands  who  were  abiding 
with  their  cliieftains  in  the  city,  attempting  to  sack  certain  bos- 
pices;  they  were  arrested  and  imprisoned  in  the  Chatelet,  but, 
before  long,  they  were  got  off,  declared  innocent,  and  set  at  liberty 
without  undergoing  the  least  punishment ;  a  ^eat  encourag€iiiezit 
for  them  and  their  like  to  go  still  farther,  •  ,  .  When  the  king  gave 
Bertrand  du  Guesclin  the  countship  of  LongueviUe,  in  the  diocese 
of  Rouen,  which  had  belonged  to  Philip,  brother  of  the  king  of 
Navarre,  Du  Guesclin  promised  the  king  that  he  would  diivo  out 
by  force  of  ^ms  all  the  plunderers  and  robbers,  those  eneniies  of 
the  kingdom  ;  but  he  did  nothing  of  the  sort ;  nay,  the  Bretons 
even  of  Du  Guesclin,  on  returning  from  Rouen,  pillaged  and  stote 


Cbap.  XXn.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAE. 


201 


fe 


in  the  villages  whatever  they  fomid  there,  garmentB,  horses,  sheep, 
Dsen,  and  beasts  of  burden  and  of  tillage.*' 

Charles  V<  was  notj  as  Louis  XII,  and  Henry  lY.  were,  of 

a  disposition  fiill  of  affection  and  sympathetioally  inclined  towards 

his  people  ;  but  he  was  a  practical  man  who,  in  his  closet  and  in 

the  Ubrary  growing  up  about  Mm,  took  thought  for  the  interests 

of  his  kingdom  as  well  as  for  his  own ;  he  tad  at  heart  the  public 

good,  and  lawlessness  was  an  abomination  to  him»     He  had  just 

purchased  at  a  ransom  of  a  hundred  thousand  francs,  tlie  liberty  of 

Bertrand  du  Guesclin,  who  had  remained  a  prisoner  in  the  hands 

of  John  Ghandos,  after  the  battle  of  Aurayt     An  idea  occurred  to 

him  that  the  vaUant  Breton  might  be  of  use  to  him  in  extricating 

France   from   the   deplorable   condition    to  which   she   had  been 

reduced  by  the  bands  of  plunderers  roaming  every  where  over  her 

soil.     We  find  in  the  Ghroiikle  m  verse  of  Bertrand  Cruesclin,  by 

Cnveher,  a  troubadour  of  the  fourteenth  century,  a  detailed  account 

of  the  king^a  perplexities  on  this  subject  and  of  the  measures  he 

took  to  apply  a  remedy.   We  cannot  regard  this  account  as  strictly 

historical ;  but  it  is  a  picture,  vivid  and  morally  true,  of  events  and 

men  as  they  were  understood  and  conceived  to  be  by  a  contempo- 

rary^  a  mediocre  poet  but  a  spirited  narrator.     We  will  reproduce 

tlie  principal  features,  modifying  the  language  to  make  it  more 

easily  intelligible,  but  without  altering  the  fundamental  character. 

"  There  were  so  many  folk  who  went  about  pillaging  the  country 
of  France  that  the  king  was  sad  and  doleful  at  heart.  He  summoned 
iua  council  and  said  to  them  :  'What  shall  we  do  with  this  multitude 
of  thieves  who  go  about  destroying  our  people?  If  I  send  against 
them  my  valiant  baronage  I  lose  my  noble  barons,  and  then  I  shall 
never  more  have  any  joy  of  ray  life.  If  any  could  lead  these  folk 
into  Spain  against  the  miscreant  and  tyrant  Pedro,  who  put  our 
sister  to  death,  I  would  like  it  well  whatever  it  might  cost  me/ 

"  Bertrand  du  Gueschn  gave  ear  to  the  king,  and  *  Sir  king/ 
ssud  he,  *  it  is  ray  heart's  desire  to  cross  over  the  seas  and  go  fight 
tht3  heathen  with  the  edge  of  the  sword;  but  if  I  could  come  nigh  this 
folk  which  doth  anger  you  I  would  deliver  the  kingdom  from  them.* 
*I  should  like  it  well/  said  the  king.    *  Say  no  more/  said  Bertrand 

give  it  no  further  thought.* 


202 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[Ceap.  XXIL 


**  Bertrand  du  Gaesclia  summoned  his  herald  >  and  said  to  hitn, 

*  Go  tliou  to  the  Grand  Compamj  and  have  all  the  captains 
assembled ;  thou  wilt  go  and  demand  for  me  a  safe-conduct,  for  I 
have  a  great  desire  to  parley  with  them/  The  herald  mounted  his 
fcorse  and  went  a-seeking  these  folk  toward  Ch&lon-sur-la-SaAne. 
They  were  seated  together  at  dinner  and  were  drinking  good  wine 
from  the  cask  they  had  pierced.  *  Sirs/  said  the  herald,  '  the 
blessing  of  Jesus  bo  on  you !  Bertrand  du  GuescUn  prayeth  you 
to  let  him  parley  with  all  in  company*'  *  By  my  faith,  gentle 
herald,'  said  Hugh  de  Calverley^  who  was  master  of  the  Enghsh» 

*  I  will  readily  see  Berirand  here^  and  will  give  him  good  wine ;  I 
can  well  give  it  him,  in  sooth,  I  do  assure  you,  for  it  costs  me 
nothing/  Then  the  herald  departed,  and  returned  to  his  lord  and 
told  hira  the  news  of  this  company. 

**  So  away  rode  Bertrandj  and  halted  not ;  and  he  rode  so  far  that 
he  came  to  the  Grand  Compamj  and  then  did  greet  them,     *  Grod 
keep/  said  he,  *  the  companions  I  see  yonder ! '     Then  they  bowei 
down;    each  abased  himself*      *I  vow  to  God/  said   Bertrand, 

*  whosover  will  be  pleased  to  believe  me  ;  I  will  make  you  all  rich/ 
And  they  answered,  *  Right  welcome  here ;  sir,  we  will  all  do 
whatsoever  is  your  pleasure/  *  Sirs/  said  Bertrand^  *  be  pleased 
to  listen  to  me;  wherefore  I  am  come  I  will  tell  unto  you* 
I  come  by  order  of  the  king  in  whose  keeping  is  France,  and 
who  would  be  right  glad»  to  save  his  people,,  that  ye  should 
come  with  me  whither  I  should  be  glad  to  go ;  into  good  company 
I  fain  would  bring  ye-  If  we  would  all  of  us  look  into  our  hearts, 
wo  might  full  truly  consider  that  we  have  done  enough  to  damn 
our  souls  ;  think  we  but  how  we  have  dealt  with  life,  outraged  ladies 
and  burned  houses,  slain  men,  children  and  every  body  set  to 
ransom,  how  we  have  eaten  up  cows,  oxen,  and  sheep,  drunk  gcMjd 
wines  and  done  worse  than  robbers  do.  Let  us  do  honour  to  God 
and  forsake  the  deviL  Ask,  if  it  may  please  you,  all  the  companions, 
all  the  knights  and  all  the  barons ;  if  you  be  of  accord,  we 
will  go  to  the  king,  and  I  will  have  the  gold  got  ready  which  we  do 
promise  you ;  I  would  fain  get  together  all  my  friends  to  make  the 
journey  we  so  strongly  desire/  ** 

Du  Guesclin  then  explained,  in  broad  terms  which  left  the  choice 


Chaf.XXIL]  the  hundred  YEARS'  WAR.  205 

to  the  Qra/nd  Company^  what  this  journey  was  which  was  so  much 
desired.  He  spoke  of  the  king  of  Cyprus,  of  the  Saracens  of 
Granada,  of  the  pope  of  Avignon,  and  especially  of  Spain  and  the 
king  of  Castile,  Pedro  the  Cruel,  "  scoundrel-murderer  of  his  wife 
(Blanche  of  Bourbon),"  on  whom  above  all  Du  Guesclin  wished  to 
draw  down  the  wrath  of  his  hearers.  "  In  Spain,"  he  said  to  them, 
**  we  might  largely  profit,  for  the  country  is  a  good  one  for  leading 
a  good  life,  and  there  are  good  wines  which  are  neat  and  clear." 
Nearly  all  present,  whereof  were  twenty-five  famous  captains, 
"  confirmed  what  was  said  by  Bertrand."  "  Sirs,"  said  he  to  them 
at  last,  "  listen  to  me :  I  will  go  my  way  and  speak  to  the  king  of 
the  Franks  ;  I  will  get  for  you  those  two  hundred  thousand  francs ; 
you  shall  come  and  dine  with  me  at  Paris,  according  to  my  desire, 
when  the  time  shall  have  come  for  it ;  and  you  shall  see  the  king, 
who  will  be  rejoiced  thereat.  We  will  have  no  evil  suspicion  in 
any  thing,  for  I  never  was  inclined  to  treason  and  never  shall  be 
as  long  as  I  live."  Then  said  the  valiant  knights  and  esquires  to 
him,  "  Never  was  more  valiant  man  seen  on  earth  ;  and  in  you  we 
have  more  belief  and  faith  than  in  all  the  prelates  and  great  clerics 
who  dwell  at  Avignon  or  in  France." 

When  Du  Guesclin  returned  to  Paris,  "  Sir,"  said  he  to  the  king, 
"  I  have  accomplished  your  wish ;  I  will  put  out  of  your  kingdom 
all  the  worst  folk  of  this  Grand  Company^  and  I  will  so  work  it 
that  every  thing  shall  be  saved."  "  Bertrand,"  said  the  king  to 
him,  "  may  the  Holy  Trinity  be  pleased  to  have  you  in  their 
keeping,  and  may  I  see  you  a  long  while  in  joy  and  health !" 
**  Noble  king,"  said  Bertrand,  "  the  captains  have  a  very  great 
desire  to  come  to  Paris,  your  good  city."  "I  am  heartily  willing," 
said  the  king,  "  if  they  come,  let  them  assemble  at  the  Temple ; 
elsewhere  there  is  too  much  people  and  too  much  abundance ;  there 
might  be  tx)0  much  alarm.  Since  they  have  reconciled  themselves 
to  us,  I  would  have  naught  but  friendship  with  them." 

The  poet  concludes  the  negotiation  thus :  "  At  the  bidding  of 
Bertrand,  when  he  understood  the  pleasure  of  the  noble  king  of 
France,  all  the  captains  came  to  Paris  in  perfect  safety ;  they  were 
conducted  straight  to  the  Temple ;  there  they  were  feasted  and 
dined  nobly,  and  received  many  a  gift),  and  all  was  sealed." 


206 


HISTORY  OF  FBAl^CE. 


[Chap,  XXIL 


Matters  went,  afc  the  outset  at  least,  as  Du  Guesclin  had  pro- 
mised to  the  king  on  the  one  side,  and  on  the  other  to  the 
captains  of  the  Crraiid  Covipany*  There  was,  in  point  of  fact,  a 
civil  war  raging  in  Spain  between  Don  Pedro  the  Cruel,  king  of 
Castile,  and  his  natural  brother,  Henrj  of  Transtaniare,  and  that 
was  the  theatre  on  which  Du  Gueschn  had  first  proposed  to  launch 
the  vagabond  army  which  he  desired  to  get  out  of  France,  It  does 
not  appear,  however,  that  at  their  departure  from  Burgundy  at  the 
and  of  November,  1365,  this  army  and  its  chiefs  had  in  this  respect 
any  well  considered  resolution  or  any  well  defined  aim  in  their 
movements.  They  made  first  for  Avignon,  and  Pope  Urban  V,y 
on  hearing  of  their  approach,  was  somewhat  disqiiieted,  and  sent  to 
them  one  of  his  cardinals  to  ask  them  what  was  their  wilh  If  we 
jnay  believe  the  poet-chronicler,  Cuvelier>  the  mission  was  any 
thing  but  pleasing  to  the  cardinal,  who  said  t^  one  of  his  confi- 
dants, *'  I  am  grieved  to  be  set  to  this  business,  for  I  am  sent  to 
a  pack  of  madmen  who  have  not  an  hour's,  nayi  not  even  half-an- 
hour's  conscience/'  The  captains  replied  that  they  were  going  to 
fight  the  heathen  either  in  Cyprus  or  in  the  kingdom  of  Granada, 
and  that  they  demanded  of  the  pope  absolution  of  their  sins  and 
two  hundred  thousand  livres,  which  Du  Guesclin  had  promised 
them  in  his  name>  The  pope  cried  out  against  this*  **  Here," 
said  he^  '*  at  Avignon,  we  have  money  given  us  for  absolution,  and 
we  must  give  it  gratis  to  yonder  folks,  and  give  them  money  also  : 
it  is  quite  against  reason."  Du  Guesclin  insisted,  "  Know  you," 
said  he  to  the  cardinal,  **  that  there  are  in  this  army  many  folks 
who  care  not  a  whit  for  absolution  and  who  would  much  rather 
have  money ;  we  are  making  them  proper  men  in  spite  of  them- 
selves, and  are  leading  them  abroad  that  they  may  do  no  mischief 
to  Christians.  Tell  that  to  the  pope ;  for  else  we  could  not  take 
them  away,"  The  pope  yielded  and  gave  them  the  two  hundred 
thousand  livres.  He  obtained  the  money  by  levies  upon  the  popu- 
lation of  Avignon.  They  no  doubt  complained  loudly,  for  the  chiefs 
of  the  Grwnd  Company  were  informed  thereof,  and  Du  Guesclin 
said,  "  By  the  faith  that  I  owe  to  the  Holy  Trinity  I  will  not  take 
a  denier  of  that  which  these  poor  folks  have  given ;  let  the  pope 
and  the  clerics  give  us  of  their  own ;  we  desire  that  all  they  who 


WAR, 

have  paid  the  tax  do  recover  their  money  without  losing  a  doit;'* 
and,  according  to  contemporary  chronicles,  the  vagabond  army  did 
not  withdraw  until  they  had  obtained  this  satisfaction.  The  piety 
of  the  middle  ages,  though  sincere,  was  often  less  disinterested  and 
more  rough  than  it  is  commonly  represented. 

On  arriving  at  Toulouse  from  Avignon,  Du  Guesclin  and  his 
bands,  with  a  strength,  it  is  said,  of  30,000  men,  took  the  decided 
resolution  of  going  into  Spain  to  support  the  cause  of  Prince  Henry 
of  Transtamare  against  the  king  of  Castile  his  brother,  Don  Pedro 
the  CrueK     The  duke  of  Anjou,  governor  of  Languedoc,  gave  them 
encouragement,  by  agreement  no  doubt  with   King  Charles   V. 
and  from  anxiety  on  his  own  part  to  rid  his  province  of  such  in- 
convenient visitors.     On  the  Ist  of  January,  1366,  Du  GuescUn 
entered  Barcelona,  whither  Henry  of  Transtamare  came  to  join, 
him.     There  is  no  occasion  to  give  a  detailed  account  here  of  that 
expedition,  which  appertains  much  more  to  the  history  of  Spain 
than  to  that  of  France-     There  was  a  brief  or  almost  no  struggle. 
Henry  of  Transtamare  was  crowned  king,  first  at  Calahorra,  and 
afterwards  at  Burgos.     Don  Pedro,  as  much  despised  before  long 
as  he  was  already  detested,  fled  from  Castile  to  Andalusia,  and 
from  Andalusia  to  Portugal,  whose  king  would  not  grant  him  an 
asylum  in  his  dominions,  and  he  ended  by  embarking  at  Corunna 
for  Bordeaux,  to  implore  the  assistance  of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  who 
pve  hira  a  warm  and  a  magnificent  reception,     Edward  III.,  king 
of  England,  had  been  disquieted  by  the  march  of  the  Grarid^  Com-^ 
fmtj  into  Spain,  and  had  given  John  Chandos  and  the  rest  of  his 
chief  commanders  in  Guienne  orders  to  be  vigilant  in  preventing 
the  English  from  taking  part  in  the  expedition  against  his  cousin 
the  king  of  Castile ;  but  several  of  the  English  chieftains,  serving 
in  the  bands  and  with  Du  Guesclin,  set  at  naught  this  prohibition; 
and  contributed  materially  to  the  fall  of  Don  Pedro.     Edward  III, 
did  not  consider  that  the  matter  was  any  infraction  on  the  part  of 
France  of  the  treaty  of  Bretigny,  and  continued  to  live  at  peace 
with  Charles  V.,  testifying  his  displeasure,  however,  all  the  same. 
Bat  when  Don  Pedro  had  reached  Bordeaux,  and  had  told  the 
prince  of  Wales  that,  if  he  obtained  the  support  of  England,  he 
would  make  the  prince's  eldest  son,  Edward,  king  of  Galicia,  and 


208 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE, 


[CflAP.  XXil. 


share  amongst  tlie  prince's  warriors  the  treasure  he  had  left  in 
Castile,  so  well  concealed  that  he  alone  knew  where,  **  the  knighta 
of  the  prince  of  Wales,"  says  Froissart,  "  gave  ready  heed  to  \m 
words,  for  English  and  Gascons  are  by  nature  covetous/*  The 
prince  of  Wales  immediately  summoned  the  harons  of  Aquitainej 
and  on  the  advice  they  gave  him  sent  four  knights  to  London  to 
ask  for  instructions  from  the  king  his  father*  Edward  III*  as- 
sembled his  chief  conncilloTs  at  Westminster,  and  finally  "it 
seemed  to  all  course  due  and  reasonable  on  the  part  of  the  prince 
of  Wales  to  restore  and  conduct  the  king  of  Spain  to  his  king^ 
dom ;  to  which  end  they  wrote  official  letters  from  the  king  and 
the  council  of  England  to  the  prince  and  the  barons  of  Aquitaine* 
When  the  said  barons  heard  the  letters  read  they  said  to  the 
prince,  *  My  lord,  we  will  obey  the  command  of  the  king  our 
master  and  your  father ;  it  is  but  reason,  and  we  will  serve  you 
on  this  journey  and  king  Pedro  also ;  but  we  would  know  who 
shall  pay  us  and  deliver  us  our  wages,  for  one  does  not  take 
men-at-arms  away  from  their  homes  to  go  a  warfare  in  a  foreign 
land  without  they  be  paid  and  delivered.  If  it  were  a  matter 
touching  our  dear  lord  your  father's  affairs,  or  your  own,  or  your 
honour  or  our  country's,  we  would  not  speak  thereof  so  much 
beforehand  as  we  do.'  Then  the  prince  of  Wales  looked  towards 
the  prince  Don  Pedro  and  said  to  him,  *  Sir  king,  you  hear  what 
these  gentlemen  say ;  to  answer  is  for  you  who  have  to  employ 
them.'  Then  the  king  Don  Pedro  answered  the  prince,  *  My  dear 
cousin,  so  far  as  my  gold,  my  silver,  and  all  my  treasure  which  I 
have  brought  with  me  hither,  and  which  is  not  a  thirtieth  part  so 
great  as  that  wliich  there  is  yonder,  will  go,  I  am  ready  to  give  it 
and  share  it  amongst  your  gentry.'  *  You  say  well,*  said  the  prince, 
*  and  for  the  residue  I  will  be  debtor  to  them,  and  I  will  lend  you 
all  you  shall  have  need  of  until  we  be  in  Castile,*  *  By  my  head,' 
answered  the  king  Don  Pedro,  *  you  will  do  me  great  grace  and 
great  courtesy/" 

Wlien  the  English  and  Grascon  chieftains  who  had  followed  Du 
Guesclin  into  Spain  heard  of  the  resolutions  of  their  king,  Edwaiid 
m.,  and  the  preparations  made  by  the  prince  of  Wales  for  going 
and  restoring  Don  Pedro  to  the  throne  of  Castile,  they  withdrew 


CmXXn,]  THE  HUNDRED  TEARS^   WAR. 


209 


from  the  cause  which  tbey  had  just  brought  to  an  issue  to  the 
advantage  of  Henry  of  Transtamare,  separated  from  the  French 
taptain  who  had  been  their  leader,  and  marched  back  into  Aquitainej 
quite  ready  to  adopt  the  contrary  cause  and  follow  the  prince  of 
Wales  in  the  service  of  Don  Pedro,  The  greater  part  of  the 
adTenturers,  Burgundian,  Picardj  Champagnese^  Norman,  and 
others  who  had  enlisted  in  the  bands  which  Du  Guesclin  had 
marched  out  of  France,  likewise  quitted  him,  after  reaping  the 
fruits  of  their  raid,  and  recrossed  the  Pyrenees  to  go  and  resume 
in  France  their  life  of  roving  and  pillage.  There  remained  in 
Spain  about  fifteen  hundred  men-at-arms  faithful  to  Du  Guesclin, 
biiaself  faithful  to  Henry  of  Transtamare,  who  had  made  him 
constable  of  Castile. 

Amidst  all  these  vicissitudes  and  at  the  bottom  of  all  events  as 
reU  as  of  all  hearts  there  still  remaioed  the  great  fact  of  the 
period,  the  struggle  between  the  two  kings  of  France  and  England 
for  dominion  in  that  beautiful  country  which,  in  spite  of  its  dismem- 
berment, kept  the  name  of  France.     Edward  III.  in  London,  and 
tb  prince  of  Wales  at  Bordeaux,  could  not  see  without  serious 
disquietude,  the  most  famous  warrior  amongst  the  French  crossing 
the  PjTenees  with  a  following   for  the  most  part   French,  and 
nitotting  upon  the  throne  of  Castile  a  prince  necessarily  allied  to  the 
king  of  France.     The  question  of  rivalry  between  the  two  kings 
ani  the  two  peoples  had  thus  been  transferred  into  Spain,  and  for 
tlie  moment   the   victory  remained  with  France.     After  several 
iioaths'  preparation  the  prince  of  Wales,  purchasing  the  com- 
plicity of  the  king  of  Navarre,  marched  into  Spain  in  February, 
1367,  with  an  army  of  27,000  men,  and  John  Chandos,  the  most 
able  of  the  English  warriors*     Henry  of  Transtamare  had  troops 
more  numerous  but  less  disciplined  and  experienced*     The  two 
armies  joined   battle  on   the  3rd   of  April,  1367,  at  Najara  or 
Navarette,  not  far  from  the  Ebro.     Disorder  and  even  sheer  rout 
soon  took  place  amongst  that  of  Henry,  who  flung  himself  before 
the  fugitives,  shouting,  "Why  would  ye  thus  desert  and  betray  me, 
ya  who  have  made  me  king  of  Castile  ?     Turn  back  and  stand  by 
me;  and  by  the  grace  of  God  the  day  shall  be  ours,"    Du  Guesclin 
,  aad  his  men-at-arms  maintained  the  fight  with  stubborn  courage. 


310 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXU. 


but  at  last  they  wei*e  beaten  and  either  slain  or  taken.  To  the  lai 
moment  Du  Guesclin,  with  his  back  against  u  wall,  defended  hiru- 
Belf  heroically  against  a  host  of  assailants.  The  prince  of  Wales 
coming  up,  cried  out,  "  Gentle  marshals  of  France,  and  you  t 
Bertrand,  yield  yourselves  to  me/'  '*  Why,  yonder  men  are  my 
foes,"  cried  the  king  Don  Pedro;  '4t  is  they  who  took  from  me  my 
kingdom,  and  on  them  I  mean  to  take  vengeance."  Du  Guesclin 
darting  forward  struck  so  rough  a  blow  with  his  sword  at  Don 
Pedro  that  he  brought  him  fainting  to  the  ground,  and  then 
tunung  to  the  prince  of  Wales  said,  "  Nathless  I  give  up  my 
sword  to  the  most  valiant  prince  on  earth/*  The  prince  of  AVales 
took  the  sword,  and  charged  the  Captal  of  Bucli  with  the  prisoners 
keeping.  '*Aha!  sir  Bertrand/'  said  the  Captal  to  Du  Guesclin^ 
you  took  me  at  the  battle  of  Cocherel,  and  to-day  I've  got  you/* 
**  Yes/'  replied  Du  GuescUn  ;  *'  but  at  Cocherel  I  took  you  myself^ 
and  here  you  are  only  my  keeper/'  ^M 

The  battle  of  Najara  being  overj  and  Don  Pedro  the  Cruel  restored 
to  a  throne  which  he  was  not  to  occupy  for  long,  the  prince  of 
Wales  returned  to  Bordeaux  with  his  army  and  his  prisoner  Du 
Guesclin,  whom  he  treated  courteously,  at  the  same  time  that  he 
kept  him  pretty  strictly.  One  of  the  English  chieftains  who  had 
been  connected  with  Du  Guesclin  at  the  time  of  his  expedition  into 
Spain,  sir  Hugh  Calverley,  tried  one  day  to  induce  the  prince  of 
Wales  to  set  the  French  warrior  at  Uberty,  "  Sir/'  said  he, 
*'  Bertrand  is  a  right  loyal  knight,  but  he  is  not  a  rich  man  or  in 
estate  to  pay  much  mouey;  he  would  have  good  need  to  end  hiH 
captivity  on  easy  terms/'  "  Let  be,"  said  the  prince,  *'  I  have  no 
care  to  take  aught  of  his ;  I  will  cause  his  life  to  be  prolonged  in 
spite  of  himsulf :  if  he  were  released,  he  would  be  in  battle  again 
and  always  a-making  war/*  After  supper,  Hugh  without  any 
beating  about  the  bush,  told  Bertrand  the  prince's  answer.  *'  Sir/' 
he  said,  "  I  cannot  bring  about  your  release.*'  **  Sir,'*  said 
Bertrand,  "  think  no  more  of  it ;  I  will  leave  the  matter  to  the 
decision  of  God,  who  is  a  good  and  just  master/*  Some  time  afler, 
Du  Guesclin  having  sent  a  request  to  the  prince  of  Wales  to  admit 
him  to  ransom,  the  prince  one  day  when  he  was  in  a  gay  humour 
had  him  brought  up^  and  told  him  that  his  advisers  had  urgi«d  him 


rifAf.XXIL]  THE   HUNDRED   YEAR&   WAB. 


211 


not  bo  give  him  bis  liberty  so  long  as  the  war  between  France  and 

£n gland  lasted.     "  Hir/'  said  Dii  Guescliu  to  him,  "  then  am  1  the 

most  honoured  knight  in  the  world,  for  they  say,  in  the  kingdom  of 

Fr^Qce  and  elsewhere,  that  you  are  more  afraid  of  me  than  of  any 

ottier/*     **  Think  you,  then,  it  is  for  your  knighthood  that  we  do 

ko^p  yoo?"  said  the  prince:  **nay,  by  St.  George;  fix  you  your 

o%%^n  ransom,  and  you  sliall  be  released/'     Du  Gucsclin  proudly 

fisc:^  his  i^nsom  at  a  hundred  thousand  francs,  which  seemed  a 

IflLX^ge  sum,  even  to  the  prince  of  Wales*     "  Sir,"  said  Du  Guescliu 

to     him,  **  the  king  in  whose  keeping  is  France  will  lend  me  what 

1  lack,  and  there  is  not  a  spinning- wench  in  France  who  would  not 

e^in  to  gain  for  me   what  is  necessary  to  put  me  out  of  your 

clutches/*     The  advisers  of  the  prince  of  Wales  would  have  had 

Ydni  think  better  of  it,  and  break  his  promise;  but  *'  that  which  we 

HaYci  agreed  to  with  him  we  will  hold  to/*  said  the  prince ;  '*  it 

would   be  shame  and   confusion   of  face   to   us  if  we   could   be 

reproached  with  not  getting  him  to  ransom  when  he  is  ready  to  set 

liimself  down  at  so  mucli  as  to  pay  a  hundred  thousand  francs/' 

Prince  and  knight  were  both  as  good  as  then*  word-     Du  Guescliu 

found  amongst  his  Breton  friends  a  portion  of  the  sum  he  wanted ; 

King  Charles  V,  lent  him  thirty  thousand  Spanish  doubloons,  which, 

bj  a  deed  of  December  27th,  1367,  Du  Guesclin  undertook  to 

ffepay:  and  at  the  beginning  of  1368  the  prince  of  Wales  set  the 

FVench  warrior  at  liberty* 

The  first  use  Du  Guesclin  made  of  it  was  t^  go  and  put  his  name 
and  his  sword  at  the  service  first  of  the  duke  of  Anjou,  governor  of 
Languedoc,  who  was  making  war  in  Provence  against  Queen  Joan  of 
Xaples,  and  then  of  his  Spanish  patron,  Uenry  of  Trans tamare,  who 
liad  recommenced  the  war  in  Spain  against  liis  brother^  Pedro  the 
Cruel,  whom  he  was  before  long  to  dethrone  for  the  second  time 
and  slay  with  his  own  hand-     But  whilst  Du  Guesclin  was  taking 
part  in  this  settlement  of  the  Spanish  question,  important  events 
called  him  back  to  the  north  of  the  Pp'enees  for  the  service  of  his 
oirn  king,  the  defence  of  his  own  country,  and  the  aggrandizement 
of  hi.^  own  fortunes*     The  English  and  Gascon  bands  which,  in 
1367,  bad  recrossed  the  Pyrenees  with  the  prince  of  Wales,  after 
haring  restored  Don  Pedro  the  Cruel  to  the  throne  of  Castile  had 

r  2 


212 


HISTORY  OP  PRANCE. 


[Chap, 


not  disappeared.  Having  no  more  to  do  in  their  own  prince « 
service,  they  had  spread  abroad  over  France,  which  they  called 
"  their  apartment,"  and  recommenced,  in  the  countries  hetween  the 
Seine  and  the  Loire,  their  life  of  vagabondage  and  pillage*  A 
general  outcry  was  raised  ;  it  was  the  prince  of  Wales,  men  said, 
who  had  let  them  loose,  and  the  people  called  them  the  host  (army) 
of  Engl  mid,  A  proceeding  of  the  prince  of  Wales  Inmself  had  the 
effect  of  adding  to  the  rage  of  the  people  that  of  the  aristocratic 
classes.  He  was  lavish  of  expenditure,  and  held  at  Bordeaux  a 
magnificent  court,  for  which  the  revenues  from  his  domains  and 
ordinary  resources  were  insuflScient  j  so  he  imposed  a  tax  for  five 
years  of  ten  sous  per  hearth  or  family,  "  in  order  to  satisfy,"  he 
said,  *Hhe  large  claims  against  him."  In  order  to  levy  this  tax 
legally,  he  convoked  the  estates  of  Aquitaine,  first  at  Niort  and 
then,  successively,  at  Angoulfime,  Poitiers,  Bordeaux,  and  Bergerac; 
hut  nowhere  could  he  obtain  the  vote  he  demanded,  ^^  When  w© 
obeyed  the  king  of  Prance,*'  said  the  Gascons,  "we  were  never  so 
aggrieved  with  subsidies,  hearth-taxes,  or  gabels,  and  we  will  not 
be  as  long  as  we  can  defend  ourselves,"  The  prince  of  Wales 
persisted  in  his  demands.  He  was  ill  and  irritable,  and  was 
becoming  truly  the  Black  Prince*  The  Aquitanians  too  became 
irritated.  The  prince's  more  temperate  advisers,  even  those  of 
English  birth,  tried  in  vain  to  move  him  from  his  stubborn  course. 
Even  John  Chandos,  the  most  notable  as  well  as  the  wisest  of  them, 
failed,  and  withdrew  to  his  domain  of  St,  Sauveur,  in  Normandy, 
that  he  might  have  nothing  to  do  with  measures  of  which  he 
disapproved.  Being  driven  to  extremity,  the  principal  lords  of 
Aquitaine,  the  counts  of  Comminges,  of  Armagnac,  of  Perigonl, 
and  many  barons  besides,  set  out  for  France,  and  made  com- 
plaint, on  the  30th  of  June,  1368,  before  Charles  V.  and  his  peers, 
"on  account  of  the  grievances  which  the  prince  of  Wales  vras 
purposed  to  put  upon  them."  They  had  recourse,  thoy  said,  to 
the  king  of  France  as  their  sovereign  lord,  who  had  no  power  to 
renounce  his  suzerainty  or  the  jurisdiction  of  his  court  of  peers  and 
of  his  parliament.  ^ 

Nothing  could  have  corresponded  better  with  the  wishes  of 
Charles  V*     For  eight  years  past  he  had  taken  to  heart  the  treaty 


CoAJ^^XXn.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEAItS'  WAR. 


213 


of    Br^tigny,  and  h©  was  as  determined  not  to  miss  as  he  was 
patient  in  waiting  for  an  opportunity  for  a  breach  of  it.     But  he 
was  too  prudent  to  act  with  a  precipitation  which  would  have  given 
his  ixinduct  an  appearance  of  a  premeditated  and  deep-laid  purpose 
for   which  there  was  no  legitimate  ground.     He  did  not  care  to 
entertain  at  once  and  unreservedly  the  appeal  of  the  Aquitanian 
lords.    He  ^ve  them  a  gracious  reception  and  made  them  '*  great 
cbeer  and  rich  gifts  ;"  but  he  announced  his  intention  of  thoroughly 
examining  the  stipulations  of  the  treaty  of  Br^tigny  and  the  rights 
of  his  kingship.     "  He  sent  for  into  his  council-chamber  all  thu 
charters  of  the  peace,  and  then  he  had  them  read  on  several  days 
and  at  full  leisure-"     He  called  into  consultation  the  schools  of 
Boulogne,  of  Montpellierj  of  Toulouse,  and  of  Orleans,  and  the 
mogt  learned  clerks  of  the  papal  court.     It  was  not  until  he  had 
tlius  ascertained  the  legal  means  of  maintaining  that  the  stipula- 
tions of  the  treaty  of  Brutigny  had  not  all  of  them  been  performed 
bj  the  king  of  England,  and  that,  consequently,  the  king  of  France 
hA  not  lost  all  his  rights  of  suzerainty  over  the  ceded  provinces, 
tlmt  on  the  25th  of  January,  1369,  just  six  months  after  the  appeal 
of  the  Aquitanian  lords  had  been  submitted  to  him,  he  adopted  it, 
in  the  following  terms,  which  he  addressed  to  the  prince  of  Wales 
at  Bordeaux,  and  which  are  here  curtailed  in  their  legal  ezprea- 
lions ; — 

"  Charles,  by  the  grace  of  God  king  of  France,  to  our  nephew  the 

prince  of  Wales  and  of  Aqiiitaine,  greeting.  Whereas  many  prelates, 

bftroasj  knights,  universities,  communes,  and  colleges  of  the  country 

of  Gascony  and  the  duchy  of  Aquitaine  have  come  thence  into  our 

presaice   that  they  might   have  justice  touching   certain  undue 

grievances  and  vexations  which  yon,  through   weak  counsel  and 

silly  advice,  have  designed  to  impose  upon  them,  whereat  we  are 

quite  astounded  ,  ,  -  ,  we  of  our  kingly  majesty  and  lordship  do 

command  you  to  como  to  our  city  of  Paris,  in  your  own  person, 

and  to  present  yourself  before  us  in  our  chamber  of  peers,  for  to 

hear  justice  touching  the  said  complaints  and  grievances  proposed 

by  you  to  be  done  to  your  people  wlilch  claims  to  have  resort  to 

our  court,  ,  .  .  And  be  it  as  quickly  as  you  may/* 

**  When  the  prince  of  Wales  had  read  this  letter,"  says  Froiasart, 


214 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[Chaf.  XSU* 


"  he  shook  his  head  and  looked  askant  at  the  aforesaid  Frenchmen  ; 
and  when  he  had  thought  a  while,  he  answered j  -  We  will  go 
willingly,  at  our  own  time,  since  the  king  of  France  doth  bid  us,  but 
it  shall  be  with  our  casque  on  our  head^  and  with  sixty  thousand 
men  at  our  back-'  " 

This  was  a  declaration  of  war ;  and  deeds  followed  at  once 
words.     Edward  III.,  after  a  short  and  fruitless  attempt  at  an 
accommodation,  assumed  on  the  3rd  of  June,  1369,  the  title  of 
king  of  France^  and  ordered  a  levy  of  all  his  subjects  betwee^j 
sixteen  and  sixty,  laic  or  ecclesiastical,  for  the  defence  of  Englan^S^ 
threatened  by  a  French  fleet  which  was  cruising  in  the  ClianneL 
He  sent  reinforcements  to  the  prince  of  Wales,  whose  brother,  the 
duke  of  Lancaster,  landed  with  an  army  at  Calais ;  and  he  offered 
to  all  the  adventurers  with  whom  Europe  was  teeming  possession 
of  all  the  fiefs  they  could  conquer  in  France.     Charles  V<  on  his 
side  \ngorously  pushed  forward  his  preparations ;  he  had  begun    i 
them  before  he  showed  his  teeth,  for  as  early  as  the  19th  of  July, 
1368,  he  had  sent  into  Spain  ambassadors  with  orders  to  conclude 
an  alliance  with  Henry  of  Transtamare  against  the  king  of  England 
and  his  souj  whom  he  called  "  the  duke  of  Aquitaine.*'     On  the 
12th  of  April,  1369,  he  signed  the  treaty  which,  by  a  contract  of 
marriage  between  his  brother,  Philip  the  Bold,  duke  of  Burgundy, 
and  the  princess  Marguerite  of  Flanders,  transferred  the  latter  rich 
province  to  the  House  of  France,     Lastly  he  summoned  to  Paris 
Du  Guesclin,  who,  since  the  recovery  of  his  freedom,  had  been 
fighting  at  one  time  in  Spain  and  at  another  in  the  south  of  Fran^ 
and  announced  to  him  his  intention  of  making   him   constabl 
"  Dear  sir  and  noble  king,"  said  the  honest  and  modest  Breton,  "  I 
do  pray  you  to  have  me  excused;  I  am  a  poor  knight  and  petty 
bachelor-     The  office  of  constable  is  so  gi'and  and  noble  that  he 
who  would  well  discharge  it  should  have  had  long  previous  practice 
and  command,  and  rather  over  the  great  than  the  small.     Here 
are   my  lords   your   brothers,  your  nephews,   and  your  cousins, 
who  will    liave  charge  of  men-at-arms   in   the   armies,  and    the 
rwUm  a-fiuld,  and  how  durst  I  lay  commands  on  them?     In  sooth, 
dir,  jealousies  be  so  strong  that  I  cannot  well  but  be  afeard  of  them. 

^o  afTcctionately  pray  you  to  dispense  with  me  and  to  confer 


chaf.xxil]       the  hundred  yeaes'  war 


215 


it  upon  another  who  will  more  willingly  take  it  than  I,  and  will 
know  better  how  to  fill  it/*  "  Sir  Bertrand,  sir  Bertrand/'  an* 
swered  the  kingj "  do  not  excuse  yourself  after  this  fashion  ;  I  have 
nor  brother,  nor  cousin,  nor  nephew,  nor  count,  nor  baron  in  my 
kingdom  who^ would  not  obey  you ;  and  if  any  should  do  otherwise, 
he  would  anger  me  so  that  he  would  hear  of  it.  Take  therefore 
the  office  with  a  good  hearty  I  do  beseech  you."  Sir  Bertrand  saw 
rell,  says  Froissart,  "  that  his  excuses  were  of  no  avail,  and  finally 
lie  assented  to  the  king*s  opinion ;  but  it  was  not  without  a  struggle 
aud  to  his  great  disgust,  .  *  .  In  order  to  give  him  further  en<- 
coiiragement  and  advancement  the  king  did  set  him  close  to  him 
at  table,  showed  him  all  the  signs  he  could  of  affection,  and  gave  him, 
together  with  the  office,  many  handsome  gitls  and  great  estates  for 
liims<>tf  and  his  heirs/*  Charles  V.  might  fearlessly  lavish  his  gifts 
OD  the  loyal  warrior,  for  Du  Guesclin  felt  nothing  more  binding 
upon  him  than  to  lavish  them  in  his  turn  for  the  king's  service. 
He  gave  numerous  and  sumptuous  dinners  to  the  barons,  knights, 
and  Boldiers  of  every  degree  whom  he  was  to  command* 

'*  At  Bertrand's  plate  gazed  every  eye. 
So  maa&ive,  chased  m  gloriously/' 

«|J8  the  poet-chronicler,  Cnvelier;  but  Du  Guesclin  pledged  it 
uiore  than  once,  and  sold  a  great  portion  of  it  in  order  to  pay 
'^titbout  fail  the  knights  and  honourable  fighting-men  of  whom  he 
was  the  leader/' 

Tbe  war  thus  renewed  was  hotly  prosecuted  on  both  sides,     A 

sen^ment  of  nationahty  became  from  day  to  day  more  keen  and  more 

geoeral  in  France,     At  the  commencement  of  hostilities,  it  burst 

forth  particularly  in  the  North ;  the  burghers  of  Abbeville  opened 

their  gates   to   the  count  of  St<  Pol,  and  in  a  single  week  St, 

Valery,  Crofcoy,  and  all  the  places  in  the  countship  of  Ponthieu 

followed  this  example-     The  movement  made  progress  before  long 

in  the  South  p     Montauban  and  Milhau  hoisted  on  their  walls  the 

royal  standard  ;  the  archbishop  of  Toulouse  '*  went  riding  through 

tlie  whole  of  Quercy,  preaching  and  demonstrating  the  good  cause 

of  the  king  of  France ;  and  he  converted,  without  striking  a  blow, 

Cahors  and  more  than  sixty  towns,  castles,  or  fortresses/'    Charles 

V,  neglected  no  means  of  encouraging  and  keeping  up  the  public 


21G 


HISTORY  OF  FBANCE. 


[Chaf-  XXII, 


impulse.  It  has  been  remarked  tbat,  as  early  as  the  9tli  of  May, 
1369,  he  bad  convoked  the  states-general ,  declaring  to  them  in 
person  that  **  if  they  considered  that  he  hail  done  any  thing  hi5 
ought  not  they  should  say  so,  and  he  would  amend  it,  for  there  wii^ 
stiU  time  for  reparation  if  he  had  done  too  much  or^not  enough/* 
Ho  called  a  new  meeting  on  the  7th  of  December,  1369,  afier  the 
explosion  of  hostilities,  and  obtained  from  them  the  most  extensiTe 
subsidies  they  had  ever  granted.  They  were  as  staunch  to  the 
king  in  principle  as  in  purse,  and  their  interpretations  of  the  treaty 
of  Brctigny  went  far  beyond  the  grounds  which  Charles  had  put 
forward  to  justify  war-  It  was  not  only  on  the  upper  classes  and 
on  political  minds  that  the  king  endeavoured  to  act,  he  paid  atteU' 
tion  also  to  popular  impressions ;  he  set  on  foot  in  Paris  a  series  of 
processions,  in  which  he  took  part  in  person,  and  the  queen  also, 
**  barefoot  and  unsandaled,  to  pray  God  to  graciously  give  heed  to 
the  doings  and  affairs  of  the  kingdom," 

But  at  the  same  time  that  he  was  thus  making  his  appeal, 
throughout  France  and  by  every  me^nSj  to  the  feehng  of  nationality, 
Charles  remained  faithful  to  the  rule  of  conduct  which  had  been 
inculcated  in  him  by  the  experience  of  his  youth  ;  he  recommended, 
nay  he  commanded,  all  his  military  captains  to  avoid  any  general 
engage mant  with  the  English,  It  was  not  without  great  difficult 
that  he  wrung  obedience  fi'om  the  feudal  nobility  who,  more  ni 
rous  very  often  than  the  English,  looked  upon  such  a  prohibition 
as  an  insult,  and  sometimes  withdrew  to  their  castles  rather  than 
submit  to  it ;  and  even  the  king's  brother,  PhiUp  the  Bold,  openly 
in  Biu"gundy  testified  his  displeasure  at  it,  Du  Guesclin,  baring 
more  intelligence  and  firnmesSj  even  before  becoming  constdble 
and  at  the  moment  of  quitting  the  duke  of  Anjou  at  Toulouse,  had 
advised  him  not  to  accept  battle,  to  well  fortify  all  the  places  that 
had  been  recovered,  and  to  let  the  Enghsh  scatter  and  waste  them* 
sehree  in  a  host  of  small  expeditious  and  distant  skirmisher 
constantly  renewed.  When  once  he  was  constable,  Du  Gueschii 
put  determinedly  in  practice  the  king's  maxim,  calndy  confident  in 
his  own  fame  fur  valour  whenever  be  had  to  refuse  to  yield  to  the 
impjitience  of  his  comrades. 

This  detached  and   indecisive  war  lasted  eight  years,  with 


Ceiaf.  XXII.] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEAES'  WAR. 


217 


medley  of  more  or  less  serious  incidents,  wliicli,  however,  did  not 
ckangB  its  cliaracter.  In  1370  the  prince  of  Wales  laid  siege  to 
Lioaoges,  which  had  opened  its  gates  to  the  duke  of  Berry.  He  was 
already  so  ill  that  he  could  not  mount  his  horse^  and  had  himself 
ed  in  a  litter  from  post  to  postj  to  follow  up  and  direct  the 
operations  of  the  siege.  In  spite  of  a  month's  resistance  the  prince 
took  the  place  and  gave  it  up  as  a  prey  to  a  mob  of  reckless  plun- 
derers whose  excesses  were  such  that  Froissart  himself,  a  spectator 
generally  so  indiflFerent  and  leaning  rather  to  the  English,  was 
deeply  shocked.  "  There,'*  said  he,  **wa8  a  great  pity j  for  men, 
women,  and  children  threw  themselves  on  their  knees  before  the 
prince,  and  cried,  *  Mercy,  gentle  sir!'  but  he  was  so  inflamed 
witL  passion  that  he  gave  no  heed,  and  none,  male  or  female,  was 
listeaed  to,  but  all  were  put  to  the  sword.  There  is  no  heart  so 
hard  but,  if  present  then  at  Limoges  and  not  forgetful  of  God, 
would  have  wept  bitterly,  for  more  than  three  thousand  persons, 
mn^  women,  and  children  were  there  beheaded  on  that  day<  May 
God  receive  their  souls,  for  verily  they  were  martyrs  T*  The 
massacre  of  Limoges  caused,  throughout  France,  a  feeling  of  horror 
mi  indignant  anger  towards  the  English  name*  In  1373  au 
English  army  landed  at  Calais,  under  the  command  of  the  duke  of 
Uncaster,  and  overran  nearly  the  whole  of  France,  being  inces- 
saatly  harassed,  however,  without  ever  being  attacked  in  force,  and 
without  mastering  a  single  fortress.  "  Let  them  be,"  was  the 
Mjing  in  the  king's  circle ;  **  when  a  storm  bursts  out  in  a  country, 
it  leaves  off  afterwards  and  disperses  of  itself;  and  so  it  will  be  with 
these  English/*  The  sufferings  and  reverses  of  the  EngUsh  armies 
on  this  expedition  were  such,  that,  of  30,000  horses  which  the 
English  hiid  landed  at  Calais,  *'  they  could  not  muster  more  than 
ftJOO  at  Bordeaux,  and  had  lost  full  a  third  of  their  men  and  more. 
There  were  seen  noble  knights  who  bad  great  possessions  in  their 
own  country  toiling  along  a-foot,  without  armour,  and  begging  their 
bread  from  door  to  door  without  getting  any/'  In  vain  did 
Edward  III,  treat  with  the  duke  of  Brittany  and  the  king  of 
Navarre  in  order  to  have  theu'  support  in  this  war.  The  duke  ol 
Brittany,  John  IV,,  after  having  openly  defied  the  king  of  France 
his  Buzerain,  was  obliged  to  fly  to  England,  and  the  king  of  Navarre 


218 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXI 


entered  upon  negotiations  alternately  with  Edward  III,  and  Charles 
v.,  being  always  ready  to  betray  either,  according  to  what  suited 
his  interests  at  the  moment.  Tired  of  so  many  ineffectual  efforts, 
Edward  III,  was  twice  obliged,  between  1375  and  1377,  to  conclude 
with  Charles  V.  a  truce  just  to  give  the  two  peoples,  as  well  as  the 
two  kings,  breathing- time ;  but  the  truces  were  as  vain  as  the  petty 
combats  for  the  purpose  of  putting  an  end  to  this  great  struggle. 

The  great  actors  in  this  historical  drama   did   not  know  how 
near  were  the  days  when  tliey  would  be  called  away  from  t 
arena  still  so  crowded  with  their  exploits  or  their  reverses.     A  fe' 
weeks  after  the  massacre  of  Limoges  the  prince  of  Wales  lo 
at  Bordeaux,  his  eldest  son,  six  years  old,  whom  he  loved  with  all 
the  tenderness  of  a  veteran  warrior,  so  much  the  more  affected 
gentle  impressions  as  they  were  a  rarity  to  him ;  and  he  was  hi 
self  so  ill  that  ''  his  doctors  advised  him  to  return  to  England,  A 
own  laiul^  saying  that  he  would  probably  get  better  health  there.** 
Accordingly  he  left  France,  which  he  would  never  see  again,  and,  on 
returning  to  England,  he,  after  a  few  months'  rest  in  the  country, 
took  an  active  part  in  parliament  in  the  home-poUey  of  his  country, 
and  supported  the  opposition  agavinst  the  government  of  his  father, 
who,  since  the  death  of  the  Queen,  Pbilippa  of  Hainault,  had  b 
ti'e^iting  Englatid  to  the  spectacle  of  a  scandalous  old  age  closing 
life  of  glory.    Parliamentary  contests  soon  exhausted  the  remaining 
strength  of  the  Black  Prince,  and  he  died  on  the  8th  of  June,  1376, 
in  possession  of  a  popularity  that  never  shifted  and  was  deservaflM 
by  such  quahties  as  showed  a  nature  great  indeed  and  generous^ 
though  often  suUied  by  the  fits  of  passion  of  a  character  harsh  even 
to  ferocity.     *■  The  good  fortune  of  England,'*  says  his  contemjio- 
rary   Walsingham,    *^  seemed   bound   up   with   his   person,  for  it 
flourished  when  he  was  wellj  fell  off  when  ho  was  ill,  and  vanished 
at  Ills  death.     As  long  as  he  was  on  the  spot  the  English  feared 
neither  the  foe's  invasion  nor  the  meeting  on  the  battle-field ;  but 
with  him  died  all  their  hopes*"     A  year  after  him,  on  the  21st  of 
June,  1377j  died  his  father,  Edward  III* » a  king  who  had  been  able, 
glorious,  and  fortunata  for  nearly  half  a  century,  but  had   fallen 
towards  the  end  of  his  life  into  contempt  with  his  people  and  into 
forgetfuluess  on  the  continent  of  Europe,  where  nothing  was  lieard 


Cffip.XXIL]  TEE   HUNDRED   YEAHS'   WAE,  210 

about  him  beyond  whispers  of  an  indolent  old  man's  indulgent 
weaknesses  to  please  a  covetous  mistress. 

\fliilst  England  thus  lost  her  two  gi^eat  chiefs,  France  still  kept 

bra.    For  three  years  longer  Charles  V.  and  Da  Guesclin  remained 

at  the  head  of  her  government  and  her  armies.     The  truce  between 

the  two  kingdoms  was  still  in  force  when  the  prince  of  Wales  died, 

and  Charles  J  ever  careful   to  practise  knightly  courtesy,  had   a 

solemn  funeral  service  performed  for  him  in  the  8ainte-Chapelle ; 

but  the  following  year,  at  the  death  of  Edward  III.,  the  truce  had 

eipired.     The  prince  of  Wales'  young  son,  Richard  II.,  succeeded 

his  grandfather,  and  Charles,  on  the  accession  of  a  king  who  was  a 

raiaor,  was  anxious  to  reap  all  the  advantage  he  could  hope  from 

that  fact.     The  war  was  pushed  forward  vigorously,  and  a  French 

fleet  cruised  on  the  coast  of  England,  ravaged  the  Isle  of  Wight, 

and  burnt    Yarmouth,    Dartmouth,   Plymouth,    Winchelsea,   and 

Lewes*     What  Charles  passionately  desired  was  the  recovery  of 

Oakid;  he  would  have  made  considerable  sacrifices  to  obtain  it, 

and  in  the  seclusion  of  his  closet  he  displayed  an  intelligent  activity 

m  his  efforts,  by  war  or  diplomacy,  to  attain  this  end.     "  He  had," 

says  Froissart,  "  couriers  going  a-liorseback  night  and  day,  who, 

from  one  day  to  the  next,  brought  him  news  from  eighty  or  a 

hundred  leagues*  distance,  by  help  of  relays  posted  from  town  to 

town,"     This  labour  of  the  king  had  no  success  ;  on  the  whole  the 

war  prosecuted  by  Charles  V*  between  Edward  III/s  death  and 

ill  own  had  no  result  of  importance ;  the  attempt,  by  law  and 

arms,  which  he  made  in  1378,  to  make  Brittany  his  own  and  re- 

anite  it  to  the  crown,  completely  failed,  thanks  to  the  passion  with 

which  the  Bretons,  nobles,  burgesses,  and  peasants,  were  attached 

^  thmr  country's  independence,     Charles  V.  actually  ran  a  risk 

of  embroiling  himself  with  the  hero  of  his  reign  ;  he  had  ordered 

Du  Guesclin  to  reduce  to  submission  the  countship  of  Rennes,  his 

native  land,  and  he  showed  some  temper  because  the  constable  not 

cmly  did  not  succeed,  but  advised  him  to  make  peace  with  the  duke 

of  Brittany  and  his  party.     Du  Guesclin,  grievously  hurt,  sent  to 

the  king  his  sword  of  constable,  adding  that  he  was  about  to 

draw  to  the  court  of  Castile,  to  Henry  of  Transtamare,  who 

would  show  more  appreciation  of  his  services.     All  Charles  V/i 


S20 


fflSTORY  OF   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  X:3 


wisdom  did  not  preserye  liim  from  one  of  those  deeds  of  haugl 
levity  which  the  handling  of  sovereign  power  sometimes  causes  ei 
the  wisest  kings  to  commit,  but  reflection  made  him  pitimptly 
acknowledge  and  retrieve  his  fault.  He  charged  the  dukes  of 
Anjou  and  Bourbon  to  go  and,  for  his  sake,  conjure  Du  Guesclin  \ 
remain  his  constable^  and,  though  some  chroniclers  declare  tl 
Du  Guesclin  refused,  his  will,  dated  the  9th  of  July,  1380,  leads 
a  contrary  belief,  for  in  it  he  assumes  the  title  of  eonetable  of 
France,  and  this  will  preceded  the  hero's  death  only  by  foui'  days. 
Having  fallen  sick  before  Chateauneuf-Randon,  a  place  he  was 
besieging  in  the  G^vaudau,  Du  Guesclin  expired  on  the  13th  of  July, 
1380,  at  sixty-six  years  of  age,  and  his  last  words  were  arf  exhorta- 
tion to  the  veteran  captains  around  him  "  never  to  forget  that,  in 
whatsoever  country  they  might  be  making  war,  churchmen,  women, 
children,  and  the  poor  people  were  not  their  enemies."  According  to 
certain  contemporary  chronicles,  or,  one  might  almost  say,  legends, 
Chateauneuf-Randon  was  to  be  given  up  the  day  after  Du  Guesclin 
died»  The  marshal  de  Sancerre,  who  commanded  the  king*s  army, 
summoned  the  governor  to  surrender  the  place  to  him  j  but  the 
governor  replied  that  he  had  given  his  word  to  Du  Guesclin,  and 
would  surrender  to  no  other.  He  was  told  of  the  constab!e*8 
death:  **  Very  well,'*  he  rejoined,  '*!  will  carry  the  keys  of  the 
town  to  his  tomb/*  To  this  the  marshal  agreed;  the  governor 
marched  out  of  the  place  at  the  head  of  his  garrison*  passed 
through  the  besieging  army,  went  and  knelt  down  before  Du 
Guesclin's  corpse,  and  actually  laid  the  keys  of  Chateauneuf- 
Randon  on  his  bier. 

This  dramatic  story  is  not  sufficiently  supported  by  au  then  tie 
documents  to  be  admitted  as  an  historical  fact ;  but  there  is  to  be 
found  in  an  old  chronicle  concerning  Du  GuescHn  [published  for 
the  first  time  at  the  end  of  the  fifteenth  century,  and  in  a  new 
edition  byM,  Francisque  Michel  in  1830]  a  story  which,  in  spite  of 
many  discrepancies,  confirms  the  principal  fact  of  the  keys  of  Cha- 
teauneuf'Randon  being  brought  by  the  gannson  to  the  bier.  "At 
the  decease  of  sir  Bertrand,"  says  the  chronicler,  **  a  great  cry  arose 
throughout  the  host  of  the  French,  The  English  refused  to  giv© 
up  the  castle.     The  marshal,  Louis  do  Sancerre,  had  the  hostages 


CfiP-XXII.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS^  WAR 


221 


bronght  to  the  ditches,  for  to  have  tlieir  heads  struck  off.  But  forth* 
witJi  the  people  in  the  castle  lowered  their  bridge,  and  the  captain 
came  and  offered  the  keys  to  the  marshal,  who  refused  them,  and  said 
to  him,  *  Friends  J  you  have  your  agreements  with  sir  Bertrand,  and  ye 
ihall  fulfil  them  to  him.*  '  God  the  Lord ! '  said  the  captain, '  you 
how  well  that  sir  Bertrand,  who  was  so  much  worth,  is  dead : 
how,  then,  should  we  surrender  to  him  this  castle  ?  Verily,  lord 
marshal,  you  do  demand  our  dishonour  when  you  would  have  us 
and  our  castle  surrendered  to  a  dead  knight/  *  Needs  no  parley 
hereupon,'  said  the  marshal, '  but  do  it  at  once,  for,  if  you  put  forth 
more  words,  short  will  be  the  life  of  your  hostages/  Well  did  the 
ETiglish  see  that  it  could  not  be  otherwise  j  so  they  went  forth  all 
of  them  from  the  castle,  their  captain  in  front  of  them,  and  came  to 
the  mai'shal,  who  led  them  to  the  hostel  where  lay  su'  Bertrand, 
and  made  them  give  up  the  keys  and  place  them  on  his  bier, 
sobbing  the  while  :  *  Let  all  know  that  there  was  there  nor  knight 
nor  squire,  French  or  English,  who  showed  not  great  mourning.' " 
The  body  of  Du  Guescliu  was  carried  to  Paris  to  be  interred  at 
8t*  Denis,  hard  by  the  tomb  which  Charles  V.  had  ordered  to  be 
made  for  himself;  an<i  nine  years  afterwards,  in  1389,  Charles  V.*8 
saccessor,  his  son-  Charles  VI,,  caused  to  be  celebrated  in  the 
Breton  warrior's  honour  a  fresh  funeral,  at  which  the  princes  and 
grandees  of  the  kingdom,  and  the  young  king  himself,  were  pre- 
sent in  skito.  The  bishop  of  Auxerre  delivered  the  funeral  oration 
orerthe  constable;  and  a  poet  of  the  time,  giving  an  account  of 
the  ceremony,  says, — ^ 

"  Tbe  tears  of  pritioea  fell^ 
Wbat  time  tlie  bisho|i  saiJ, 
*  Sir  Bertmnd  loved  7©  well. 
Weep,  warriors,  for  the  doftd  ! 
Tbc  knell  of  sorrow  tolls 
For  deeds  tlmt  were  so  bright ; 
God  save  all  Chrmtian  boiiIb, 
And  his — the  gallant  kniglit  !  *" 

The  Ufe,  character,  and  name  of  Bertrand  du  Guesclin  were  and 
remained  one  of  the  most  popular,  patriotic,  and  legitimate  boasts 
of  the  middle  ages,  then  at  their  decline. 


222 


HISTORY   OF   FRANCE, 


[CHAf.  XXIL 


Two  months  after  the  constable's  death,  on  the  16th  of  Septem- 
ber, 1380^  Charles  V,  died  at  the  castle  of  Beaute-siir-Miiriie^  near 
VincenneSj  at  forty-three  years  of  age,  quite  young  still  aft^T  so 
stormy  and  hard-working  a  life.      His  contemporaries  were  con- 
vinced, and  he  was  himself  convinced,  that  he  had  been  poisone*! 
by  his  perfidious  enemy,  King  Charles  of  Navarre.     His  tincle, 
Charles  IV.,  emperor  of  Germany,  had  sent  him  an  able  doctor,  who 
"  set  him  in  good  case  and  in  manly  strength,"  says  Froi^^art,  by 
effecting  a  permanent  issue  in  his  arm.     "  When  this*  little  son*,** 
said  he  to  him,  *'  shall  cease  to  discharge  and  shall  dry  up,  you 
will  die  without  help  for  it,  and  you  will  have  at  the  most  fi  i 
days'  leisure  to  take  counsel  and  thought  for  the  souL"    WTien  tie 
issue  began  to  dry  np,  Charles  knew  that  death  was  at  hand ;   and 
"  like  a  wise  and  valiant  man  as  he  was,"  says  Froissart,  *'  ho  mi 
in  order  all  his  affairs,  and  sent  for  his  three  brothers,  in  whom 
had  most  confidence,  the  duke  of  Berry,  the  duke  of  Burgiuidjj 
and  the  duke  of  Bourbon,  and  he  left  in  the  lurch  his 
brother,  the  duke  of  Anjou,  because  he  considered  him  too  cove 
ous.     *  My  dear  brothers/  said  the  king  to  them,  '  I  feel  and  kno^ 
full  well  that  I  have  not  long  to  live.     I  do  commend  and  give  in 
cliarge  to  you  my  son  Charles.     Behave  to  him  as  good  ijnf*lr^N 
should  behave  to  their  nephew.     Grown  him  as  soon  as  po.s 
after  my  death,  and  counsel  him  loyally  in  all  his  affjiirs.     The  lad 
is  young,  and  of  a  volatile  spirit;    he  will  need  to  be  guided  and 
governed  by  good  doctrine;    teaeh  him  or  have  him  taught  all  thi> 
kingly  points  and  states  he  will  have  to  maintain,  and  marry 
in  such  lofty  station  that  the  kingdom  may  be  the  better  for 
Thank  God,  the  affairs  of  our  kingdom  are  in  good  case. 
duke  of  Brittany  [John  IV.,  called  the  Valiant]  is  a  crafty  audi 
slippery  man,  and  he  hath  ever  been  more  English  than  Fr^ncl 
for  which  reason  keep  the  nobles  of  Brittany  and  the  good  toi 
affectionate,  and  you  will  tlius  thwart  his  intentions,     I  am  foi 
of  the  Bretons,  for  they  have  ever  served  me  loyally,  and  helped 
to  keep  and  defend  my  kingdom  against  my  enemies-     Make  the 
lord  Clisson  constable,  for,  all  considered,  I  see  none  more  cot 
petent  for  it  than  he.     As  to  those  aids  and  taxes  of  the  kingdom 
of  France,  wherewith   the    poorer    folks    are   so   btirthened   and 


CmXXn.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEAES'  WAR. 


225 


aggrieved,  deal  with  them  according  to  yoor  conscience,  and  take 
tliem  off  as  soon  as  ever  you  can,  for  they  are  things  which, 
although  I  have  upheld  them,  do  grieve  me  and  weigh  upon  my 
iimrt;  but  the  great  wars  and  great  matters  which  we  have  had 
on  all  sides  caused  me  to  countenance  them." 

Of  all  the  dying  speeches  and  confessions  of  kings  to  their  family 
and  their  councillors^  that  wliich  has  Just  been  put  forward  is  the 
most  practical,  precise,  and  simple,  Charles  V.,  taking  upon  his 
alioalders  at  nineteen  years  of  age,  first  as  king's  lieutenant  and  as 
dauphin  and  afterwards  as  regent>  the  government  of  France, 
employed  all  his  soul  and  his  life  in  repairing  the  disasters  arising 
from  the  wars  of  his  predecessors  and  preventing  any  repetition. 
No  sovereign  was  ever  more  resolutely  pacific  ;  he  carried  prudence 
even  into  the  very  practice  of  war,  as  was  proved  by  his  forbidding 
ilia  generals  to  venture  any  general  engagement  with  the  English, 
80  great  a  lesson  and  so  deep  an  impression  had  he  derived  from 
the  defeats  of  Crecy  and  Poitiers,  and  the  causes  which  led  to 
them.  But  without  being  a  warrior,  and  without  running  any 
hazardous  risks,  he  made  himself  respected  and  feared  by  his 
,eaemies*      **  Never   was   there   king,"   said   Edward   III.,   ''who 

andled  arms  less,  and  never  was  there  king  who  gave  me  so 
Mich  to  do/*  When  the  condition  of  the  kingdom  was  at  the 
befit,  and  more  favourable  circumstances  led  Charles  to  beheve 
tEat  the  day  had  come  for  setting  France  free  from  the  cruel  con- 
ations which  had  been  imposed  upon  her  by  the  treaty  of  Br^tigny, 
he  entered  without  hesitation  upon  that  war  of  patriotic  reparation ; 
and,  after  the  death  of  his  two  powerful  enemies,  Edward  IIL  and 
tie  Blach  Prince,  he  was  still  prosecuting  it,  not  without  chance  of 
nioeess,  when  he  himself  died  of  the  malady  with  which  he  had  for 
ikog  while  been  afflicted.  At  his  death  he  left  in  the  royal  trea- 
tnry  a  surplus  of  seventeen  nuUion  francs,  a  large  sum  for  those 
days.  Nor  the  labours  of  government,  nor  the  expenses  of  war, 
fior  farsighted  economy  had  prevented  him  from  showing  a  serious 
interest  in  learned  works  and  studies,  and  from  giving  effectual 
protection  to  the  men  who  devoted  themselves  thereto.  The  uni. 
versity  of  Paris,  notwithstanding  the  embarrassments  it  sometimes 


^used  him,  was 
TOf.   II. 


the  object  of  his  good-will.     "  He  was  a 


UISTOilY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIE 

I 
greai  lover  of  wisdom,"  says  Christine  de  Pisan,  *'  and  wlien  c^ 

tain  folks  ujurmured  for  that  he  honoured  clerks  so  liighly,  he 
answered,  *  So  long  as  wisdom  is  honoured  in  this  realm,  it  will 
continue  in  prosperity ;  but  when  wisdom  is  thrust  aside,  it  will 
go  down/  '^  He  collected  nine  hundred  and  fifty  volumes  (the  first 
foundation  of  the  Royal  Library),  which  were  deposited  in  a  tower 
of  the  Louvre  J  called  the  Ubrarif  tower  ^  and  of  which  he,  in  1373, 
had  an  inventory  drawn  up  by  his  personal  attendant,  Gilles  de 
Presle,  His  taste  for  literature  and  science  was  not  confined  to 
collecting  manuscripts.  He  had  a  French  translation  made,  for 
the  sake  of  spreading  a  knowledge  thereof,  of  the  Bible  in  the  first 
place,  and  then  of  several  works  of  Aristotle,  of  Livy,  of  Valerius 
Maximus,  of  Vegetius,  and  of  St.  Augustine,  He  was  fond  of 
industry  and  the  arts  as  well  as  of  literature,  Henry  de  Vic,  a 
German  clock  maker,  constructed  for  him  the  first  public  clock 
ever  seen  in  France,  and  it  was  placed  in  what  was  called  the  Clock 
Tower  in  the  Palace  of  Justice ;  and  the  king  even  had  a  clock- 
maker  by  appointment,  named  Peter  de  St.  B^athe.  Several  of  the 
Paris  monuments,  churches,  or  buildings  for  public  use  were 
undertaken  or  completed  under  his  care.  He  began  the  building 
of  the  Bastille,  that  fortress  which  was  then  so  necessaiy  for  the 
safety  of  Paris,  where  it  was  to  be,  four  centuries  later,  the  object 
of  the  wrath  and  earliest  excesses  on  the  part  of  the  populaDer 
Charles  the  Wise,  from  whatever  point  of  view  he  may  be  regarded, 
is,  after  Louis  the  Fat,  Philip  Augustus,  St.  Louis,  and  Philip  the 
Handsome,  the  fifth  of  those  kings  who  powerfiiUy  contributed  to 
the  settlement  of  France  in  Europe,  and  of  the  kingship  in  France. 
He  was  not  the  greatest  nor  the  best,  but,  perhaps,  the  most  honestly 
able.  And  at  the  same  time  he  was  a  signal  example  of  the  shallow^ 
Bess  and  insufficiency  ojF  human  abilities,  Charles  V*,  on  his  death- 
bed, considerad  that  **  the  affairs  of  his  kingdom  were  in  good  case ;" 
he  had  not  even  a  suspicion  of  that  chaos  of  war,  anarchy,  reverses 
and  ruin  into  which  they  were  about  to  fall,  in  the  reign  of  his  son, 
Charles  VL 


TtlE  HUNDRED  YEAHS'  WAR-CHARLES  TI.  AND  THE  DUKES  OF 

BURGUNDY. 

j  ULLY,  in  his  Memoirs^  characterizes  the  reign  of  Charles 
VI.  as  "  that  reign  so  pregnant  of  sinister  events,  the 
grave  of  good  laws  and  good  morals  in  France/'  There 
is  no  exaggeration  in  these  words  ;  the  sixteenth  century  with  its 
SL  Baiiholomew  and  T}t£  Leagiiey  the  eighteenth  with  its  reign  of 
terror^  and  the  nineteenth  with  its  Gommuue  of  Paris  contain 
ficarcely  any  events  so  sinister  as  those  of  which  France  was,  in 
themgn  of  Charles  VI.,  from_1380  to  1422,  the  theatre  and  the 
?ictim. 

Scarcely  was  Charles  V.  laid  on  his  bier  when  it  was  seen  what 
a  loss  he  was  and  would  be  to  his  kingdom.  Discord  arose  in  the 
king's  own  family.  In  order  to  shorten  the  ever  critical  period 
of  minority,  Charles  V.  had  fixed  the  king's  majority  at  the  age 
of  fourteen.  His  son,  Charles  VI.,  was  not  yet  twelve,  and  bo  had 
two  years  to  remain  under  the  guardianship  of  his  four  uncles,  the 
dokes  of  Anjou,  Berry,  Burgundy,  and  Bourbon ;  but  the  last  being 
Ottly  a  maternal  uncle  and  a  less  puissant  prince  than  his  paternal 

U  2 


228 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap-  XXIU- 


uncles,  it  was  between  the  otter  tliree  that  strife  began  for 
temporary  possession  of  the  kingly  power*  Thougli  very  unequal 
in  talent  and  in  force  of  character,  they  were  all  three  ambitious 
and  jealous.  The  eldest,  the  duke  of  Anjou,  who  was  energetic, 
despotic,  and  stubbomj  aspired  to  dominion  in  France  for  the  sake 
of  making  French  influence  subserve  the  conquest  of  the  kingdom 
of  Naples,  the  object  of  his  ambition.  The  duke  of  Berry  was  a 
mediocrej  restless,  prodigal,  and  grasping  prince.  The  duke  of 
Burgundy j  Philip  the  Bold,  the  most  able  and  the  most  powerful  of 
the  three,  had  been  the  favourite,  first  of  his  father,  King  John,  and 
then  of  his  brother,  Charles  Y.,  who  had  confidence  in  him  and 
readily  adopted  his  counsels.  His  marriage,  in  1369,  with  the 
heiress  to  the  countship  of  Flanders,  had  been  vigorously  opposed 
by  the  count  of  Flanders,  the  young  princess's  father,  and  by  the 
Flemish  communes,  ever  more  friendly  to  England  than  to  France; 
but  the  old  countess  of  Flanders,  Marguerite  of  France,  vexed  at 
the  ill  will  of  the  count  her  son,  bad  one  day  said  to  him,  as  she 
tore  open  her  dress  before  his  eyes,  **  Since  you  will  not  yield  to 
your  mother's  wishes,  I  will  cut  off  these  breasts  which  gave  suck 
to  you,  to  you  and  to  no  other,  and  will  tlirow  tliem  to  the  dogs  to 
devoui'/'  This  singular  argument  had  moved  the  count  of  Flanders; 
he  had  consented  to  the  marriage ;  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy*« 
power  had  received  such  increment  by  it  that  on  the  4th  of  October, 
1380,  when  Charles  VI,  was  crowned  at  Rheims,  PhiMp  the  Bold, 
without  a  word  said  previously  to  any,  suddenly  went  up  and  sat 
himself  down  at  the  young  king's  side,  above  his  eldest  brother, 
the  duke  of  Anjou,  thus  assuming,  without  any  body's  daring  to 
oppose  him,  the  rank  and  the  rights  of  premier  peer  of  France. 

He  was  not  slow  to  demonstrate  that  his  superiority  in  externals 
could  not  fail  to  establish  his  political  preponderance.  His  father^ 
in-law.  Count  Louis  of  Flanders,  was  in  almost  continual  strife 
with  the  great  Flemish  communes,  ever  on  the  point  of  rising 
against  the  taxes  he  heaped  upon  them  and  the  blows  he  struck 
at  their  privileges.  The  city  of  Ghent,  in  particular,  joined  com- 
plaint with  menace.  In  1381  the  quarrel  became  war.  The 
Ghentese  at  first  experienced  reverses,  "  Ah  I  if  James  van  Arte* 
velde  were  alive  !'*  said  they,     James  van  Artevelde  had  left  a  son 


f 


named  Philip ;  and  there  was  in  Ghent  a  burghar-captainj  Peter 
DnboiSj  who  went  one  evening  to  see  PhiUp  van  Artevelde*    "What 
we  want  now/*  said  he,  "  is  to  choose  a  captain  of  great  renown, 
Raisa  up  again  in  this  countiy  that  father  of  yours  who,  in  his  life- 
time, was  80  loved  and  feared  in  Flanders/*     **  Peter,"  replied 
Philip^  "  you  make  me  a  great  offer ;  I  promise  that,  if  you  put  ma 
in  that  place,  I  will  do  naught  without  your  advice."     "  Ah!  well!" 
said  Dubois,  **can  you  really  be  haughty  and  cruel  ?    The  Flemings 
like  to  be  treated  so ;  with  them  you  must  make  no  more  account 
of  the  life  of  men  than  you  do  of  larks  when  the  season  for  eating 
them  comes."     **  I  will  do  what  shall  be  necessary,"  said  Van 
Arteveldo,     The  struggle  grew  violent  between  the  count  and  the 
communes  of  Flanders  with  Ghent  at  their  head.     After  alterna- 
tioos  of  successes   and   reverses   the    Ghentese  were  victorious ; 
and  Count  Louis  with   difficulty   escaped   by   hiding  himself  at 
Bruges  in  the  house  of  a  poor  woman  who  took  him  up  into  a 
loft  where  her  children  slept,  and  where  he  lay  flat  between  the 
palliasse  and  the  feather-bed.     On  leaving  this  asylum  he  went  to 
Bapaume  to  see  his  son-in-law,  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  and  to  ask 
tisaid.     *'  My  lord,"  said  the  duke  to  him,  **  by  the  allegiance  I  owe 
to  you  and  also  to  the  king  you  shall  have  satisfaction  •     It  were  to 
feil  in   one's   duty  to  allow  such  a  scum  to  govern  a  country. 
Uidess  order  were  restored,  aU  knighthood  and  lordship  might  be 
destroyed  in  Christendom."    The  duke  of  Burgundy  went  to  Senlis, 
where  Charles  VI,  was,  and  asked  for  his  support  on  behalf  of  the 
cotuit  of  Flanders.    The  question  was  referred  to  the  king's  council, 
The  duke  of  Berry  hesitated,  saying,  **The  best  part  of  the  prelates 
and  nobles  must  be  assembled  and  the  whole  matter  set  before 
them;  we  wiU  see  what  is  the  general  opinion."     In  the  midst  of 
this  deliberation  the  young  king  came  in  with  a  hawk  on  his  wrist* 
**  Well  1  my  dear  uncles,**  said  ho,  "of  what  are  you  parleying  ?     Is 
it  aught  that  I  may  know  ?"     The  duke  of  Beny  enlightened  him, 
saying,  "  A  brewer,  named  Van  Artevelde,  who  is  English  to  the 
core,  is  besieging  the  remnant  of  the  knights  of  Flanders  shut  up 
b  Oudenarde ;  and  they  can  get  no  aid  but  from  you,     Wliat  say 
yoa  to  it?    Are  you  minded  to  help  the  count  of  Flanders  to 
n^conquer   his  heritage  which  those   presumptuous  villains  have 


230 


HISTORY  OP   FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXUI. 


taken  from  liim  ?"  **  By  my  faith,"  answered  tte  king,  *'  I  am 
greatly  minded;  go  we  thither  ;  there  is  nothing  I  desire  so  much 
as  to  get  on  my  harness,  for  I  have  never  yet  borne  arms ;  I  would 
fain  set  out  to-morrow*"  Amongst  the  prelates  and  lords  sum- 
moned t€  Compifegne  some  spoke  of  the  difficulties  and  dangers 
that  might  be  encountered.  **YeSj  yes/*  said  the  king,  "but 
*  begin  naught  and  win  naught,'  *'  When  the  Flemings  heard  of 
the  king's  decision  they  sent  respectful  letters  to  him,  begging  him 
to  be  their  mediator  with  the  count  their  lord ;  but  the  letters  were 
received  with  scoffs  and  the  messengers  were  kept  in  prison.  At  thii 
news  Van  Artevelde  said,  "We  must  make  alliance  with  the  English; 
what  meaneth  this  King  Wren  of  France  ?  It  is  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  leading  him  by  the  nose,  and  he  will  not  abide  by  his 
purpose;  we  will  frighten  Finance  by  showing  her  that  we  have  the 
EngUsh  for  allies."  But  Tan  Aitevelde  was  under  a  delusion  ; 
Edward  ILL  was  no  longer  king  of  England ;  the  Flemings' 
demand  was  considered  there  to  be  arrogant  and  opposed  to  the 
intemsts  of  the  lords  in  all  countries ;  and  the  alliance  was  not 
concluded.  Some  attempts  at  negotiation  took  place  between  the 
advisers  of  Charles  VI*  and  the  Flemings  but  without  success.  The 
count  of  Flanders  repaired  to  the  king,  who  said,  '*  Your  quarrel  is 
ours;  get  you  back  to  Artois ;  we  shall  soon  be  there  and  within 
sight  of  our  enemies," 

Accordingly,  in  November,  1382,  the  king  of  France  and  hk 
army  marched   into    Flanders.     Several   towns^   Cassel,  Bergues, 
Graveliiies,  and  Turnhout,  hastily  submitted  to  him.    There  was  less 
complete  nuanimity  and  greater  alarm  amongst  the  Flemings  than 
their  chiefs  had  anticipated.     **  Noble  king,"  said  the  inhabitants, 
**  we  place  our  persons  and  our  possessions  at  your  discretion,  and 
to  show  you  that  we  recognise  you  as  our  lawful  lord,  here  are  the 
captains  whom  Van  Artevelde  gave  ns ;  do  with  them  according  to 
your  will,  for  it  is  they  who  have  governed  us."     On  the  28th  of 
November   the  two  armies    found   themselves   close   together  at 
Rosebecque,  between  Ypres  and  Courtrai.     In  the  evening  Van 
Artevelde  assembled  his  captains  at  supper,  and  "  Comrades,"  said 
he,  **  we  shall  to-morrow  have  rough  work,  for  the  king  of  Franoe 
is  here  all  agog  for  fighting.     But  have  no  fear;  we  are  defending 


THE   HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR 


OUT  good  right  and  the  Uberties  of  Flanders.     The  English  have 
not  helped  us;  well,  we  shall  only  have  the  more  honour.     Witli 
the  fciBg  of  France  is  all  the  flower  of  his  kingdom.     Tell  your  men 
to  slay  all  and  sliow  no  quarter.     We  must  spare  the  king  of 
nee  only ;  he  is  a  child,  and  must  be  pardoned ;  we  will  take 
him  away  to  Ghent,  and  have  him  taught  Flemish.     As  for  the 
dukes,  counts^  barons,  and  other  men-at-arms,  slay  them  all ;  the 
bpommons  of  France  will  not  bear  us  ill  will ;  I  am  quite  sure  that 
Hftiey  would  not  have  a  single  one  of  them  back,"    At  the  very  same 
^ttioment  Ring  Charles  VL  was  entertaining  at  supper  the  princes  his 
uncles,  the  count  of  Flanders,  the  constable,  Oliver  de  Clisson,  the 
loarshals,  Ac.      They  were  arranging  the  order  of  battle  for  the 
morrow.     Many  folks  blamed  the  duke  of  Burgundy  for  having 
brought  so  young  a  king,  the  hope  of  the  realm,  into  the  perils  of 
war*    It  was  resolved  to  confide  the  care  of  him  to  the  constable  de 
[Clisson,  whilst  conferring  upon  sire  de  Coucy,  for  that  day  only, 
e  command  of  the  army.     "Most  dear  lord,"  said  the  constable  to 
lie  khig,  "  I  know  that  there  is  no  greater  honour  than  to  have  the 
care  of  your  person,  but  it  would  be  great  grief  to  my  comrades 
not  to  have  me  Yfith  them,     I  say  not  that  they  could  not  do 
without  me  •  but  for  a  fortnight  now  I  have  been  getting  every 
tiling  ready  for  bringing  most  honour  to  you  and  yours.     They 
would  be  much  surprised  if  I  should  now  withdraw."     The  king 
wag  somewhat  embarrassed-     **  Constable,"  said  he^  **  I  would  fain 
have  you  in  my  company  to-day ;  you  know  well  that  my  lord  my 
hther  loved  you  and  trusted  you  more  than  any  other;  in  the 
narae  of  God  and  SL  Denis  do  whatever  you  think  best.      You^ 
have  a  clearer  insight  into  the  paatter  than  I  and  those  who  have 
aiiriaed  me.     Only  attend  my  mass  to-morrow/'     The  battle  began 
irith  spirit  the  next  morning,  in  the  raidst  of  a  thick  fog.    According 
to  the  monk  of  St,  Denis,  Van  Artevelde  was  not  without  dis- 
quietude.    He  had  bidden  one  of  his  people  go  and  observe  the 
French  army ;  and  "  You  bring  me  bad  news,'*  said  he  to  the  man 
in  a  whisper,  **  when  you  tell  me  there  are  so  many  French  with 
tlie  king :    I  was  far  from  expecting  it.  <  .  .  This  is  a  hard  war : 
it  requires  discreet  management.     I  think  the  best  thing  for  me  is 
to  gp  and  hurry  up  ten  thousand  of  our  comrades  who  are  due/' 


Hill 


mSTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XXin*. 


••  Why  liHivo  thy  host  without  a  head?"  said  they  who  were  about  " 
hiiii :  •'  it'  vviiH  to  obi\v  thy  orders  that  wo  engaged  in  this  enter* 
(m*iiim;  thuu  nms*t  nui  the  risks  of  battle  with  us/*  The  French 
Wi*»\'  moiv  tH>nttdcut  than  Van  Artevelde.  **  Sir,'*  said  the  con- 
iUibK\  Hildtv.^'ung  tli#  Ufigt  cap  ^^  hand,  '*  be  of  good  cheer ;  theae 
IWii»vn»  im>  ourfi;  our  reiy  ^wriets  miglit  beat  them."  These 
wtvnU  w«K  br  too  pnsoiniitiioiis;  for  the  Flen^ungs  fought  with^ 
ftrc^t  brawrj^  Cmm  up  in  a  compM^  hoAj^  they  drove  back  for 
m  it^miMiA  lfei#  Vkmiidi  wtio  wmv  opposed  to  them ;  but  Clisson  had 
ui9i%W^  ^TfVT  Ukiog^  mdy  for  bemmiBg  theia  in ;  attacked  on  all 
«tiiii||N»  lli^y  tri^l*  biit  in  ¥am,  to  fly ;  a  few,  with  difficulty^  sue- 
ii^^fal  (n  TOCXfililg  fuid  casting,  as  they  went,  into  the  neighbouring 
%WMM  t^  banner  of  St*  George.  *^It  is  not  easy,''  says  timM 
l^^xHk  of  Si*  Denis,  **  to  set  down  with  any  certAinty  the  number 
^  Ikt  Asmd ;  those  who  were  present  on  this  day,  and  I  am  dis- 
j0$^  to  follow  their  account,  say  tliat  twenty-five  thousand  Flem- 
tmfn  ft41  on  the  field,  together  with  their  leader,  Van  Artevelde, 
th^  wncoctor  of  this  rebellion,  whose  corpse,  discorer^d  with  great 
trouble  amongst  a  heap  of  slain,  was,  by  order  of  Charles  VI-,  hung 
ii|iini  a  tree  in  the  neighbourhood.  The  French  also  lost  in  this 
Mtruggle  BO  me  noble  knights,  not  less  illustrious  by  birth  than 
viiUnir,  amongst  others  forty-four  vahant  men  who,  being  the  first 
IjO  hurl  themselves  upon  the  ranks  of  the  enemy  to  break  them, 
thus  won  for  themselves  great  glory." 

The  victory  of  Rosebecque  was  a  great  cause  for  satisfaction 
find  pride  to  Charles  VI,  and  his  uncle,  the  duke  of  Burgundy. 
^They  had  conquered  on  the  field  in  Flanders  the  commonalty  of  P^^ 
as  well  as  that  of  Ghent ;  and  in  France  there  was  great  need  of  such 
a  success,  for,  since  the  accession  of  the  young  king,  the  Parisians 
had  risen  with  a  demand  for  actual  abolition  of  the  taxes  of  which 
Charles  V,,  on  his  death-bed,  had  deplored  the  necessity,  and  all 
but  decreed  the  cessation.  The  king's  uncles,  his  guardians,  had 
at  first  stopped  and  indeed  suppressed  the  greater  part  of  those 
taxes,  but  soon  afterwards  they  had  to  face  a  pressing  necessity : 
the  war  with  England  was  going  on,  and  the  revenues  of  the  royal 
domain  wore  not  sufficient  for  the  maintenance  of  it.  The  duke  of 
Anjou  attempt-ed  to  renew  the  taxes,  and  one  of  Charlea  V/a 


CeAP,XXin-]         THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR. 


238 


former  councillors,  John  Desmarets,  advocate- general  in  parlia' 
mentj  abetted  him  in  Ins  attempt.  Seven  times>  in  the  course  of 
the  year  1381,  asseinblies  of  notables  met  at  Paris  to  consider  the 
project,  and  on  the  1st  of  March,  1382,  an  agent  of  the  governing 
power  scoured  the  city  at  full  gallop,  proclaiming  the  renewal  of 
the  principal  tax.  There  was  a  fresh  outbreak.  The  populace 
armed  with  all  sorts  of  weapons,  with  strong  mallets  amongst  the 
rest,  spread  in  all  directions,  killing  the  collectors^  and  storming 
and  plundering  the  Hotel  de  Ville.  They  were  called  the  MaUeteers. 
They  were  put  down,  but  with  as  much  timidity  as  cruelty.  Some 
of  them  were  arrested,  and  at  night  thrown  into  the  Seine,  sewn 
up  in  sacks,  without  other  formality  or  trial,  A  fresh  meeting  of 
iiotables  was  convened,  towards  the  middle  of  April,  at  Compi^gne, 
and  the  deputies  from  the  principal  towns  were  summoned  to  it ; 
bat  they  durst  not  come  to  any  decision  :  "  They  were  come,*'  they 
said,  "  only  to  hear  and  report ;  they  would  use  their  best  endea- 
vours to  prevail  on  those  by  whom  they  had  been  sent  to  do  the 
king's  pleasure.'*  Towards  the  end  of  April  some  of  them  returned 
to  Meaux,  reporting  that  they  had  every  where  met  with  the  moat 
lively  resistance ;  they  had  every  where  heard  shouted  at  them, 
"  Sooner  death  than  the  tax."  Only  the  deputies  from  Sens  had 
voted  a  tax,  which  was  to  be  levied  upon  all  merchandise ;  but, 
when  the  question  of  collecting  it  arose,  the  people  of  Sens  evinced 
such  violent  opposition  that  it  had  to  be  given  up.  It  was  when 
facts  and  feelings  were  in  this  condition  in  France  that  Charles  VI» 
and  the  duke  of  Burgundy  had  set  out  with  their  army  to  go  and 
force  the  Flemish  communes  to  submit  to  their  count. 

Betuming  victorious  from  Flanders  to  France,  Charles  VI,  and 
his  uncles,  every  where  brilUantly  feasted  on  their  march^  went 
first  of  all  for  nine  days  to  Oompifegne  "  to  fixid  recreation  after 
their  fatigues,"  says  the  monk  of  St,  Denis,  "in  the  pleasures  of 
the  chase ;  afterwards,  on  the  10th  of  January,  1383,  the  king  took 
back  in  state  to  the  church  of  St,  Denis  the  oriflamme  which  he 
had  borne  away  on  his  expedition;  and  next  day,  the  11th  of 
January,  he  re-entered  Paris,  he  alone  being  moimted,  in  the  midst 
of  his  army,"  The  burgesses  went  out  of  the  city  to  meet  him  and 
offer  him  their  wonted  homage,  but  they  were  curtly  ordered  to 


234 


HISTORY   OP  PRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXIIL 


retrace  their  steps ;  the  king  and  his  uncles,  they  were  informed, 
could  not  forget  offences  so  recent.     Tlio  wooden  barriers  whicl 
had  been  placed  before  tlio  gates  of  the  city  to  prevent  any  bodi 
from  entering  without  permission,  were  cut  down  with  battle-axes j 
the  very  gates  were  torn  from  their  hinges ;    they  were  throi 
down   upon  the   king's  highway,  and  the  procession  went  ovi 
them,  as  if  to  trample  under  foot  the  fierce  pride  of  the  Parisiani 
Wlien   he  was  once  in  the   city,  and  was  leaving   Notre   Dam€ 
the  king   sent   abroad  throughout  all  the   streets   an   order  for 
bidding  any  one^  under  the  most  severe  penalties,  from  insuliinj 
or  causing  the  least  harm  to  the  burgesses  in  any  way  whatsoever S 
and  the  constable  had  two  phinderera  strung  up  to  the  windows  o| 
the  houses  in  which  they  had  committed  their  thefts.     But  fundi 
mental  order  having  been  thus  upheld,  reprisals  began  to  be  taket 
for  the  outbreaks  of  the  Parisian s,  municipal  magistrates  or  papal 
burgesses  or  artisans,  rich  or  poor,  in  the  course  of  the  two  pr 
ceding  years;    arrests,  imprisonraentSj  fines,  confiscations,  e? 
tions,  severities  of  all  kinds  fell  upon  the  most  conspicuous  and 
most  formidable  of  those  who  had  headed  or  favoured  popi 
movements.      The   most   solemn   and   most    iniquitous   of  the 
punishments   was   that   which  befell  the  advocate-geueral,  Jobl 
Desmarets.     **  For  nearly  a  whole  year/'  $ays  the  monk  of  St 
Denisj  "  he  had  served  as  mediator  between  the  king  and 
Parisians ;    lie   had   often   restrained   the   fury  and    stopped 
excesses  of  the  populace,  by  preventing  them  from  giving  reil 
to  their  cruelty.     Ho  was  always  warning  the  factious  that 
provoke  the  wrath   of   the  king  and  the   princes  was  to  ex| 
themselves  to  almost  certain  death.     But,  yielding  bo  the  pray  era 
of  this  rebellious  and  turbulent  mob,  he,  instead  of  leaving  Pa 
as  the  rest  of  his  profeseion  bad  done,  had  remained  there, 
throwing  himself  boldly  amidst  the  storms  of  civil  discord,  he  had 
advised  the  assumption  of  arms  and  the  defence  of  the  city,  which 
he  knew  was  very  displeasing  to  the  king  and  the  grandees/'  When 
he  was  taken  to  execution,  ^*he  was  put  on  a  e^ir  higher  than  thai 
rest,  that  he  might  be  better  seen  by  every  body*"   Nothing  shook 
for  a  moment  the  firmness  of  this   old   man  of  seventy  years*] 
**  Where  are  they  who  judged  me  ?"  he  said :  "let  them  come  and 


Cflip,  XXin.]  THE  HUNDEED  TEABS*  WAR. 


set  forth  the  reasons  for  my  death.  Judge  me,  0  God,  and  sepa- 
rate my  cause  from  that  of  the  evil-doers/'  On  his  arrival  at  the 
inarket-plaoe  some  of  the  spectators  called  oat  to  himj  **  Aak  the 
idng'a  mercy,  master  John,  that  he  may  pardon  your  offenoea**' 
Ha  turned  round,  saying,  **I  served  well  and  loyally  his  great* 
grandfather  King  Philip,  his  grandfather  King  John,  and  hia 
father  King  Charles ;  none  of  those  kings  ever  had  any  thing  to 
reproach  me  with,  and  this  one  would  not  reproach  me  any  the 
more  if  he  were  of  a  grown  man's  age  and  experience.  1  don't 
suppose  that  he  is  a  whit  to  blame  for  such  a  sentence,  and  I  have 
DO  cause  to  cry  him  mercy.  To  God  alone  must  I  cry  for  mercy, 
and  I  pray  Him  to  forgive  my  sins."  Public  respect  accompanied 
the  old  and  courageous  magistrate  beyond  the  scaffold ;  his  corpse 
was  taken  up  by  his  friends,  and  at  a  later  period  honourably 
btiried  in  the  church  of  St.  Catherine. 

After  the  chastisements  came  galas  again,  of  which  the  king  and 
Ms  court  were  immoderately  fond.  Young  as  he  was  (he  was  but 
seventeen),  his  powerful  uncle  the  duke  of  Burgimdy  was  very 
aaxious  to  get  him  married  so  as  to  secure  his  own  personal  in- 
iuence  over  him.  The  wise  Charles  V-,  in  his  dying  hours,  had 
Ratified  a  desire  that  his  son  should  seek  alliances  in  Germany.  A 
lOE  of  the  reigning  duke,  Stephen  of  Bavaria,  had  come  to  serve  in 
the  French  army,  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy  had  asked  him  if 
there  were  any  marriageable  princess  of  Bavaria.  **  My  eldest 
brother^"  answered  the  Bavarian,  **  has  a  very  beautiful  daughter 
ag^  fourteen/^  "That  is  just  what  we  want,"  said  the  Burgun^ 
diaB:  "try  and  get  her  over  here;  the  king  is  very  fond  of 
beautiful  girls ;  if  she  takes  his  fancy,  she  will  be  queen  of  France.** 
The  duke  of  Bavaria,  being  informed  by  his  brother  j  at  first  showed 
Bome  hesitation.  **  It  would  be  a  great  honour,"  said  he,  **  for  my 
daughter  to  be  queen  of  France ;  but  it  is  a  long  way  from  here. 
If  my  daughter  were  taken  to  France  and  then  sent  back  to  me, 
because  she  was  not  suitable,  it  would  cause  mo  too  much  cliagrin. 
I  prefer  to  marry  her  at  my  leisure  and  in  my  own  neighbourhood/* 
The  matter  was  pressed,  however,  and  at  last  the  duke  of  Bavaria 
consented.  It  was  agreed  that  the  Princess  Isabel  should  go  on  a 
visit  to  the  duchess  of  Brabant,  who  instructed  her  and  had  her 


23S 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Ceap, 


well  dressed,  say  the  chroniclers,  for  in  Germany  they  clad 
selves  too  simply  for  the  fashions  of  France,  Being  thus  got  ready 
the  Princess  Isabel  was  conducted  to  Amiens,  where  the  king  ther 
was,  to  whom  her  portrait  had  already  been  shovm.  She  wa;, 
presented  to  him  and  bent  the  knee  before  him.  He  consider©^ 
her  charming.  Seeing  with  what  pleasure  he  looked  upon  her  t\^ 
constablcj  Oliver  de  Clisson,  said  to  sire  de  Coucj,  "  By  my  fair-f 
she  will  bide  with  us."  The  same  evening  the  young  king  said  i 
bis  councillor,  Bureau  de  la  Riviere,  "  She  pleases  me :  go  and  tea 
my  uncle  the  duke  of  Burgundy  to  conclude  at  once/*  The  dulte 
delighted,  lost  no  time  in  informing  the  ladies  of  the  court,  'whm 
cried  **  Noel  V*  for  joy.  The  duke  had  wished  the  nuptials  to  tak^ 
place  at  Arras ;  but  the  young  king  in  his  impatience  was  urgenll 
for  Amiens,  without  delay,  saying  that  he  couldn't  eleep  for  her*^ 
*'  Well,  well,"  replied  his  uncle,  '*  you  must  be  cured  of  your  com- 
plaint/' On  the  18th  of  July,  1385,  the  man^iage  was  celebrated 
at  the  cathedral  of  Amiens,  whither  the  Princess  Isabel  '*  was 
conducted  in  a  handsome  chariot,  whereof  the  tires  of  the  wheels 
were  of  silvern  stuff/'  King,  uncles,  and  courtiers  were  far  from  a 
thought  of  the  crimes  and  shame  w^hich  would  bo  connected  in 
France  with  the  name  of  Isabel  of  Bavaria.  There  is  still  more 
levity  and  imprudence  in  the  marriages  of  kings  than  in  those  of 
their  subjects.  ^M 

Whilst  this  marriage  was  being  celebrated,  the  war  with  England 
and  her  new  king  Richard  II.  was  going  on,  but  slackly  and  with- 
out result.  Charles  VL  and  his  uncle  of  Burgundy,  still  full  of  the 
proud  confidence  inspired  by  their  success  against  the  Flemish  and 
Parisian  communes,  resolved  to  strike  England  a  heavy  blow  and 
to  go  and  land  there  w^ith  a  powerful  army,  Inunense  preparaiions 
were  made  in  France  for  this  expedition.  In  September,  1386, 
there  were  collected  in  the  port  of  Ecluse  (Sluys)  and  at  iea, 
between  Sluys  and  Blankenberg,  thirteen  hundred  and  eighty-seven 
\'e8sels,  according  to  some,  and  according  to  others  only  nine 
hundred,  large  and  small ;  and  Oliver  de  Clisson  had  caused  to  be 
built  at  Triguier,  in  Brittany,  a  wooden  tow^n  which  was  to.be  trans- 
ported to  England  and  rebuilt  after  landing,  **  in  such  sort,"  says 
Froissart,  "  that  the  lords  might  lodge  therein  and  retire  at  night, 


'tt^.XXmO         THE   HUNDRED   YEAES'  WAR, 


239 


►   as  to  be  m  safety  from  sudden  awakenings ^  and  sleep  in  greater 

*oourity.*'    Equal  care  was  taken  in  the  matter  of  supplies*    "Who- 

pv^er  had  been  at  that  time  at  Bruges,  or  the  Dam,  or  the  Sluys 

p^ould  have  seen  how  ships  and  vessels  were  being  laden  by  torch- 

feg-ht,  wifcfe  hay  in  casks,  biscuits  in  sacks,  onions,  pease,  beans, 

pa.rley,   oats,    candles,   gaiters,    shoes,   boots,   spurs,  iron,   nails, 

*iilinary  utensils,  and  all  things  that  can  be  used  for  the  service  of 

loan*"     Search   was   made   every  where  for  the  various  supplies 

od  they  were  very  dear,     *'  If  you  want  us  and  our  service,"  said 

the  Hollanders,  "pay  us  on  the  nail ;  otherwise  we  wiU  be  neutral." 

To  the  intelligent  foresight  shown  in  these  preparations  was  added 

useless  maguificence,     ''  On  the  masts  was  nothing  to  be  seen  but 

paintings  and  gildings ;  every  thing  was  emblazoned  and  covered 

with  armorial  bearings ;    bnt  nothing  came  up   to   the   duke   of 

Burgundy's  ship,  it  was  painted  all  over  outside  with  blue  and 

gold,  and  there  were  five  huge  banners  with  the  arms  of  the  duchy 

of  Burgundy  and  the  countships  of  Flanders,  Artois,  R^thel,  and 

Burgundy,  and  every  where  the  duke's  device,  *  I'm  a-longing.' " 

The  young   king   too   displayed  great  anxiety  to   enter   on   the 

campaign.     He  liked  to  go  aboard  his  ship,  saying,  **  I  am  very 

eager  to  be  off ;  I  think  I  shall  be  a  good  sailor,  for  the  sea  does 

me  no  harm."     But  every  body  was  not  so  impatient  as  the  king, 

who  was  waiting  for  his  uncle,  the  duke  of  Berry,  and  writing  to 

Mm  letter  after  letter,  urging  him  to  come.     The  duke,  who  had 

lio  liking  for  the  expedition,  contented  himself  with   making  an 

answer  bidding  him  "  not  to  take  any  trouble,  but  to  amuse  himself, 

for  the    matter   would   probably   terminate   otherwise   than   was 

imagined."    The  duke  of  Berry  at  last  arrived  at  Sluys  on  the  I4th 

t)f  October,  1386.     ''If  it  hadn't  been  for  you,  uncle,"  said  the 

fang  to  him,  "  we  should  have  been  by  this  time  in  England/' 

Tluw  months  had  gone  by;  the  fine  season  was  past;  the  winds 

were  becoming   violent   and   contrary ;    the   vessels   come   from 

Treguier  with  the  constable  to  join  the  fleet  had  suffered  much  on 

As  passage ;  and  deHberations  were  recommencing  touching  the 

(Opportuneness  and  even  the   feasibility   of  the  expedition    thus 

throwTi  back.     **  If  any  body  goes  to  England,  I  will,"  said  the 

kiiig.      But  nobody  went.      *'  One  day  when  it  was  calm,"  says 


tio 


HISTORY  OF  FKANCE. 


[CB:4ff.  xxm. 


the  monk  of  St  Denis,  "  the  king,  completely  anned,  went  with 
his  uncles  aboard  of  the  royal  vessel ;  but  the  wind  did  not  permit 
them  to  get  more  than  two  miles  out  to  sea,  and  droTe  them  back, 
in  spite  of  the  sailors*  efforts,  to  the  shore  they  had  just  left.  The 
king  who  saw  with  deep  displeasure  his  hopes  tbu3  frustrated,  had 
orders  given  to  his  troops  to  go  back  and,  at  his  departure,  left,  by 
the  advice  of  his  barons,  some  men  of  war  to  unload  the  fleet  and 
place  it  in  a  place  of  safety  as  soon  as  possible.  But  the  enemy 
gave  them  no  time  to  execute  the  order.  As  soon  as  the  calm 
allowed  the  EngHsh  to  set  sail  they  bore  down  on  the  French, 
burnt  or  took  in  tow  to  their  own  ports  the  most  part  of  the  fleet, 
carried  off  the  supplies,  and  found  two  thousand  casks  full  of 
wine,  which  sufliced  a  long  while  for  the  wants  of  England/* 

Such  a  mistake,  after  such  a  fuss,  was  probably  not  unconnected 
with  a  resolution  adopted  by  Charles  VI.  some  time  after 
the  abandonment  of  the  projected  expedition  against  England. 
In  October,  1388,  he  assembled  at  Bheims  a  grand  council, 
at  which  were  present  his  two  uncles,  the  dukes  of  Burgundy 
and  Berry  [the  third,  the  duke  of  Anjou,  had  died  in  Italy, 
on  the  20th  of  September,  1384,  after  a  vain  attempt  to  conquer 
the  kingdom  of  Naples],  his  brother  the  duke  of  Orleans,  his 
cousins,  and  several  prelates  and  lords  of  note.  The  chancellor 
announced  thereat  that  he  had  been  ordered  by  the  king  to  put  in 
discussion  the  question  whether  it  were  not  expedient  that  he  should 
henceforth  take  the  government  of  his  kingdom  upon  himself.  Car- 
dinal Ascelin  de  Montaigu,  bishop  of  Laon,  the  first  to  be  interrogated 
upon  this  subject,  rephed  that,  in  his  opinion,  the  king  was  quite  in 
a  condition,  as  well  as  in  a  legal  position,  to  take  the  government 
of  his  kingdom  upon  himself,  and,  without  naming  any  body,  he 
referred  to  the  king^s  uncles,  and  especially  to  the  duke  of  Bur- 
gundy, as  being  no  longer  necessary  for  the  government  of  France. 
Nearly  all  who  were  present  were  of  the  same  opinion.  The  king, 
without  further  waiting,  thanked  his  uncles  for  the  care  thay  had 
taken  of  liis  dominions  and  of  himself,  and  begged  them  to  con- 
tinue their  aflection  for  him,  Neither  the  duke  of  Burgundy  nor 
the  duke  of  Berry  had  calculated  upon  this  resolution ;  they  sub* 
mitted  without  making  any  objection,  but  not  without  letting  a 


Cm.  xxm.] 


HUNDRED  YEAES' 


little  temper  leak  out.     The  dxike  of  Berry  even  said  that  he  and 

kk  brother  would  beg  the  king  to  confer  with  them  more  matiirely 
wi  tb  subject  when  he  returned  to  Paris*  Hereupon  the  council 
bioke  up ;  the  king's  two  uncles  started  for  their  own  dominionB ; 
and  a  few  weeks  afterwards  the  cardinal  bishop  of  Laon  died  of  a 
short  illness.  "It  was  generally  beHeyed,"  says  the  monk  of  St, 
Denis,  **  that  he  died  of  poison,"  At  his  own  dying  wish,  no 
inquiiy  was  instituted  on  this  subject.  The  measure  adopted  in 
tb  late  council  was,  however,  generaUy  approved  of.  The  king 
WBS  popular ;  he  had  a  good  heart,  and  courteous  and  gentle  man- 
ners; he  was  faithful  to  his  friends^  and  affable  to  all;  and  the 
people  liked  to  se©  him  passing  along  the  streets.  On  taking  in 
hand  the  government  he  recalled  to  it  the  former  advisers  of  his 
fctlier  Charles  V,,  Bureau  de  la  Rivifcre,  Le  Mercier  de  Noviant, 
and  Le  Bdgue  de  Vilaine,  aU  men  of  sense  and  reputation.  The 
taxes  were  diminished ;  the  city  of  Paris  recovered  a  portion  of 
br  municipal  liberties;  there  was  felicitation  for  what  had  been 
obtained,  and  there  was  hope  of  more* 

Charles  VI.  was  not  content  with  the  satisfaction  of  Paris  only, 
he  wished  aU  his  realm  to  have  cognizance  of  and  to  profit  by  his 
mdependence.  He  determined  upon  a  visit  to  the  centre  and 
the  south  of  France.  Such  a  trip  was  to  himself  and  to  the  princes 
lad  cities  that  entertained  him  a  cause  of  enormous  expense- 
"When  the  king  stopped  any  where,  there  were  wanted  for  his 
own  table,  and  for  the  maintenance  of  his  following^  six  oxen, 
eighty  sheep,  thirty  calves,  seven  hundred  chickens,  two  hundred 
pigeons,  and  many  other  things  besides.  The  expenses  for  the 
king  were  set  down  at  two  hundred  and  thirty  livres  a  day,  without 
couuting  the  presents  which  the  large  towns  felt  bound  to  make  him." 
But  Charles  was  himself  magnificent  even  to  prodigality,  and  he 
delighted  in  the  magnificence  of  which  he  was  the  object,  without 
troubling  hijnself  about  their  cost  to  himself.  Between  1389 
aad  1390,  for  about  six  months,  he  travelled  through  Burgundy, 
the  banks  of  the  Rhone,  Languedoc,  and  the  small  principaUtios 
bordering  on  the  Pjrrenees.  Everywhere  his  progress  was  stopped 
for  the  purpose  of  presenting  to  him  petitions  or  expressing  wishes 
before  him.    At  Nimes  and  Montpellier,  and  throughout  Languedoc, 

VOL*  n.  B 


242 


HISTOKY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXIU. 


passionate  representations  were  made  to  bira  touching  the  bad 
government  of  hiB  two  uncles,  the  dukes  of  Anjou  and  Berry. 
"  Thej  had  plundered  and  ruinedj"  he  was  told,  "  that  beautiful 
and  rich  province ;  there  w^re  five  or  six  talliages  a  year  ;  one  wa 
no  sooner  over  than  another  began ;  they  had  levied  quite  three 
millions  of  gold  from  Villeneuve-d* Avignon  to  Toulouse,"  Charles 
listened  with  feeling  and  promised  to  have  justice  done,  and  his 
father's  old  councillors,  who  were  in  liis  train,  were  far  from  dis- 
suading him.  The  duke  of  Burgundy,  seeing  him  start  with  them 
in  his  train,  had  testified  his  spite  and  disquietude  to  the  duke  of 
Berry,  sayings  **  Aha  1  there  goes  the  king  on  a  visit  to  Languedoc, 
to  hold  an  inquiry  about  those  who  have  governed  it.  For  all  hisj 
council  he  takes  with  him  only  La  Rivifere,  Le  Mercier,  Montaigu, 
and  Le  Begue  de  Vilaiue,  What  say  you  to  that,  my  brother?" 
*'  The  king  our  nephew  is  young,'*  answered  the  duke  of  Berry : 
''  if  he  trusts  the  new  councillors  he  is  taking,  he  will  be  deceived, 
and  it  will  end  ill,  as  you  will  see.  As  for  the  present,  we  must 
support  him.  The  time  will  come  when  we  will  make  those  coun- 
cillors and  the  king  himself  rue  it.  Let  them  do  as  they  please, 
by  God  :  we  will  return  to  oxir  own  dominions.  We  are  none  the 
less  the  two  greatest  in  the  kingdom,  and  so  long  as  we  are  united 
none  can  do  aught  against  us,*' 

The  future  is  a  blank  as  well  to  the  anxieties  as  to  the  hopes  of 
men.  The  king's  uncles  were  on  the  point  of  getting  back  the 
power  which  they  believed  to  be  lost  to  them.  On  the  13th  of 
June,  1392,  the  constable,  Oliver  de  CUsson,  was  waylaid  as  he 
was  returning  home  after  a  banquet  given  by  the  king  at  the 
hostel  of  St»  Paul,  The  assassin  was  Peter  de  Craon,  cousin  of 
John  IV*,  duke  of  Brittany.  He  believed  De  Chsson  to  be  dead, 
and  left  him  bathed  in  blood  at  a  baker's  door  in  the  street  called 
Culture-Sain te-Catherine*  The  king  was  just  going  to  bed,  when 
one  of  his  people  came  and  said  to  him,  *'Ah!  sir,  a  great 
misfortune  has  happened  in  Paris."  **What,  and  to  whom?" 
said  the  king,  "  To  your  constable,  sir,  who  has  just  been  slain." 
"Slain!"  cried  Charles;  "and  by  whom?"  "Nobody  knowe; 
but  it  was  close  by  here,  in  St<  Catherine  Street."  "LightsI 
quick  I"  said  the  king:  "I  will  go  and  see  him;"  and  h©  get  off 


CHAP.XXm.]        THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR.  243 

without  waiting  for  his  following.  When  he  entered  the  baker's 
shop,  De  Clisson,  grievously  wounded,  was  just  beginning  to 
recover  his  senses.  "  Ah  !  constable,"  said  the  king, "  and  how  do 
you  feel  ?"  "  Very  poorly,  dear  sir."  "  And  who  brought  you  to 
this  pass  ?"  "  Peter  de  Craon  and  his  accomplices ;  traitorously 
and  without  warning."  "  Constable,"  said  the  king,  "  never  was 
any  thing  so  punished  or  dearly  paid  for  as  this  shall  be ;  take 
thought  for  yourself,  and  have  no  further  care ;  it  is  my  affair." 
Orders  were  immediately  given  to  seek  out  Peter  de  Craon  and 
hurry  on  his  trial.  He  had  taken  refuge,  first  in  his  own  castle  of 
Sabl^,  and  afterwards  with  the  duke  of  Brittany,  who  kept  him 
concealed  and  replied  to  the  king's  envoys  that  he  did  not  know 
where  he  was.  The  king  proclaimed  his  intention  of  making  war 
on  the  duke  of  Brittany  until  Peter  de  Craon  should  be  discovered 
and  justice  done  to  the  constable.  Preparations  for  war  were 
begun ;  and  the  dukes  of  Berry  and  Burgundy  received  orders  to 
get  ready  for  it,  themselves  and  their  vassals.  The  former,  who 
happened  to  be  in  Paris  at  the  time  of  the  attack,  did  not  care 
to  directly  oppose  the  king's  project;  but  he  evaded,  delayed, 
and  predicted  a  serious  war.  According  to  Froissart  he  had  been 
warned,  the  morning  before  the  attack,  by  a  simple  cleric,  of 
Peter  de  Craon's  design ;  but  "  It  is  too  late  in  the  day,"  he  had 
said,  "  I  do  not  like  to  trouble  the  king  to-day  ;  to-morrow,  with- 
out fail,  we  will  see  to  it."  He  had,  however,  forgotten  or  neglected 
to  speak  to  his  nephew.  Neither  he  nor  his  brother,  the  i  duke  of 
Burgundy,  there  is  reason  to  suppose,  were  accomplices  in  the 
attack  upon  De  Clisson,  but  they  were  not  at  all  sorry  for  it.  It 
was  to  them  an  incident  in  the  strife  begun  between  themselves, 
princes  of  the  blood  royal,  and  those  former  councillors  of  Charles 
v.,  and  now,  again,  of  Charles  VI.,  whom,  with  the  impertinence 
of  great  lords,  they  were  wont  to  call  the  marmosettes.  They  left 
nothing  undone  to  avert  the  king's  anger  and  to  preserve  the  duke 
of  Brittany  from  the  war  which  was  threatening  him. 

Charles  VI.'s  excitement  was  very  strong,  and  endured  for  ever. 
He  pressed  forward  eagerly  his  preparations  for  war,  though 
attempts  were  made  to  appease  him.  He  was  recommended  to  take 
care  of  himself;  for  he  had  been  ill,  and  could  scarcely  mount  his 

B  2 


246 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XXHI. 


a  radical  mental  derangement^  sometimes  in  abeyance  or  at  lea 
for  some  time  alleviated,  but  bursting  out  again  without  appr 
ciable  reason  and  aggravated  at  every  fresh  explosion,  Cliarles 
had  always  had  a  taste  for  masquerading.  When  in  1889 
young  queen  Isabel  of  Bavaria  came  to  Paris  to  be  married,  tl 
king,  on  the  morning  of  her  entry,  said  to  his  chamberkin,  sire 
Savoisyj  **  Prithee,  take  a  good  horse  and  I  will  mount  behind  the 
and  we  will  dress  so  as  not  to  be  known  and  go  to  see  my 
come  in*"  Savoisy  did  not  like  it,  but  the  king  insisted;  and  8^ 
they  went  in  this  guise  through  the  crowd  and  got  many  a 
from  the  oflScers'  staves  when  they  attempted  to  approach  too  D€ 
the  procession.  In  1393,  a  year  after  his  first  outbreak  of  madne 
the  king,  during  an  entertainment  at  court,  conceived  the  idea 
disguising  as  savages  himself  and  five  of  Ms  courtiers.  They  tuul 
been  sewn  up  in  a  linen  skin  which  defined  their  whole  bodies; 
and  this  skin  had  been  covered  with  a  resinous  piteh  so  as  to  hold 
sticking  upon  it  a  covering  of  tow  which  made  them  appear  hairy 
from  head  to  foot.  Thus  disguised  these  savages  went  danci 
into  the  ball-room ;  one  of  those  present  took  up  a  lighted  turclT 
and  went  up  to  them;  and  in  a  moment  several  of  them  wc 
in  flames.  It  was  impossible  to  get  off  the  fantastic  dree 
clinging  to  their  bodies.  •*  Save  the  king  T'  shouted  one  of  tbo 
poor  masquers  :  but  it  was  not  known  which  was  the  king.  The 
duchess  de  Berry,  his  aunt,  recognized  hira,  caught  hold  of 
and  wrapped  him  in  her  robe,  saying,  **  Do  not  move ;  you  see 
companions  are  burning."  And  thus  he  was  saved  amid&t 
terror  of  aU  present.  When  he  was  conscious  of  his  mad  stat 
he  was  horrified ;  he  asked  pardon  for  the  injury  he  had  dot 
confessed  and  received  the  communion*  Later,  when  he  perceivi 
his  malady  returning,  he  would  allude  to  it  with  tears  in  his  0yc 
ask  to  have  his  hunting-knife  taken  away,  and  say  to  those  aboul 
him,  "  If  any  of  you,  by  I  know  not  what  witehcraft,  be  guilty 
my  sufierings,  I  adjure  him,  in  the  name  of  Jckus  Christy 
torment  me  no  morcj  and  to  put  an  end  to  me  forthwith  without 
making  me  linger  so."  He  conceived  a  horror  of  Queen  Isabi\ 
and,  without  recognizing  her,  would  say  when  he  saw  her,  **  What 
woman  is  this  ?     What  does  she  want  ?     Will  she  never  cease  her 


Bfie  king^s  horse  by  the  bridle,  cried,  **  Go  no  farther;  thou  art 

^lotrayed  ["    The  nien-at-arms  hurried  up  immediate ly,  and  striking 

tlie  bands  of  tho  fellow  with  the  butts  of  their  lances^  made  him  let 

jgo  the  bridle.     As  he  had  the  appearance  of  a  poor  madman,  and 

fciothing  more,  he  was  allowed  to  go  without  any  questionings  and 

Bbe  followed  the  king  for  nearly  half  an  hour,  repeating  the  same 

cry  from  a  distance-     The  king  was  much  troubled  at  this  sudden 

apparition ;  and  his  head,  which  was  very  weak,  was  quite  turned 

by  it.     Nevertheless  the  march  was  continued.     When  the  forest 

had  been  traversed,  they  came  to  a  great  sandy  plain »  where  the 

rays  of  the  sun  were  more  scorching  than  ever.     One  of  the  king's 

pages,  overcome  by  the  heat,  had  failen  asleep,  and  the  lance  he 

carried  fell  against  his  helmet,  and  suddenly  caused  a  loud  clash  of 

steel.     The  king  shuddered ;  and  then  he  was  observed,  rising  in 

his  stirrups,  to  draw  his  sword,  touch  his  horse  with  the  spur,  and 

make  a  dash,  crying,  *  Forward  upon  these  traitors  !     They  would 

deliver  me  up  to  the  enemy  I '     Every  one  moved  hastily  aside,  but 

not  before  some  were  wounded ;  it  is  even  said  that  several  were 

Irilled,  among  them  a  bastard  of  Polignac.     The  king's  brother, 

the  duke  of  Orleans j  happened  to  be  quite  close  by,     *  Fly,  my 

nephew  d'Orleans,*  shouted  the  duke  of  Burgundy :  *my  lord  is 

beside  himself*     My  God  1  let  some  one  try  and  seize  him  I  *     He 

im  so  furious  that  none  durst  risk  it ;  and  he  was  left  to  gallop 

hither  and  thither,  and  tire  himself  in  pursuit  of  first  one  and  then 

another.     At  last,  when  he  was  weai'y  and  bathed  in  sweat,  his 

chamberlain,  William  de  Martel,  came  up  behind  and  threw  his 

ams  about  him,     He  was  surrounded,  had  his  sword  taken  from 

him,  was  lifted  from  his  horeej  and  laid  gently  on  the  ground,  and 

then  his  jacket' was  unfastened.     His  brother  and  his  uncles  came 

up,  but  his  eyes  were  fixed  and  recognized  nobody,  and  he  did  not 

utter  a  word,     *  We  must  go  back  to  Le  Mans,'  said  the  dukes  of 

Berry  and  Burgundy :  *  here  is  an  end  of  the  trip  to  Brittany/ 

On  the  way  they  fell  in  with  a  waggon  drawn  by  oxen  ;  in  this 

tJiey  laid  the  king  of  France,  having  bound  him  for  fear  of  a  renewal 

of  his  frenzy,  and  so  took  him  back|  motionless  and  speechless,  to 

the  town/* 

It  was  not  a  mere  fit  of  delirious  fever ;  it  was  the  beginning  of 


Jkap/XXIH.]  the   hundred  YEAES'  WAB-  245 


246 


HISTOHY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap,  XXUI, 


a  radical  mental  derangement  ^  sometimes  in  abeyance  or  at  least 
for  some  time  alleviated,  but  bursting  out  again  without  appre- 
ciable reason  and  aggravated  at  every  fre.sh  explosion,  Charles  VL 
had  always  had  a  taste  for  masquerading.  When  in  1389  fcbe 
young  queen  Isabel  of  Bavaria  came  to  Paris  to  be  married,  tbe 
king,  on  the  morning  of  her  entry,  said  to  his  chamberlain,  sire  de 
Savoisy,  "  Pritheej  take  a  good  horse  and  I  w411  mount  behind  tliee ; 
and  we  will  dress  so  as  not  to  be  know^n  and  go  to  see  my  wife 
come  in,"  Savoisy  did  not  like  it,  but  the  king  insisted;  and  so 
they  went  in  this  guise  through  the  crowd  and  got  many  a  blow 
from  the  officers'  staves  when  they  attempted  to  approach  too  near 
the  procession.  In  1393,  ayeai*  after  his  first  outbreak  of  madaess, 
the  king,  during  an  entertainment  at  court,  conceived  the  idea  of 
disguising  as  savages  himself  and  five  of  his  courtiers-  Tht-y  bad 
been  sewn  up  in  a  linen  skin  which  defined  their  whole  bodies ; 
and  this  skin  had  been  covered  with  a  resinous  pit-ch  so  as  to  hold 
sticking  upon  it  a  covering  of  tow  which  made  them  appear  hairy 
from  head  to  foot.  Thus  disguised  these  savages  went  danciag 
into  the  ball-room  ;  one  of  those  present  took  up  a  lighted  torch 
and  went  up  to  them;  and  in  a  moment  several  of  them  wt  rp 
in  flames.  It  was  impossible  to  get  off  the  fantastic  dn'> 
clinging  to  their  bodies,  **Save  the  king!"  shouted  one  of  th' 
poor  masquers  :  but  it  was  not  known  which  was  the  king.  The 
duchess  de  Berry,  his  aunt,  recognized  him,  caught  hold  of  him 
and  wrapped  him  in  her  robe,  saying,  *'  Do  not  move ;  yon  see  your 
companions  are  burning."  And  thus  he  was  saved  amidst  the 
terror  of  all  present.  Wlien  he  was  conscious  of  his  mad  state* 
he  was  horrified  j  he  asked  pardon  for  the  injury  he  had  done, 
confessed  and  received  the  communion.  Later,  when  he  perceived 
his  malady  returning,  he  would  allude  to  it  with  tears  in  his  eyes, 
ask  to  have  his  himting-knife  taken  away,  and  say  to  those  about 
him,  '*  If  any  of  you,  by  I  know  not  what  witchcraft,  be  guilty  of 
mj  sufferings,  I  adjure  him,  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ*  to 
torment  me  no  more,  and  to  put  an  end  to  me  forthwith  without 
making  me  finger  so/*  He  conceived  a  horror  of  Queen  Isabel 
and,  without  recognizing  her,  would  say  when  he  saw  her,  **  Whi! 
woman  is  this  ?     What  does  she  want  ?    Will  she  never  cease 


lOfiAP^XXm,]  THE  HUNDRED  YEABS^  WAR, 

iTiiportuiiities  ?    Save  me  from  her  perBecution  I "    At  first  great  care] 
-^^^  taken  of  him*    They  sent  for  a  skilful  doctor  from  Laon,  named 
^^iUiam  de  Harsely,  who  put  him  on  a  regimen  from  whiclij  for  some 
tdmej  good  effects  were  experienced.    But  the  doctor  was  uncomfort- 
able at  court ;  he  preferred  going  back  to  his  little  place  at  Laon, 
wliere  he  soon  afterwards  died ;  and  eleven  years  later,  in  1405,  no^fl 
body  took  any  more  trouble  about  the  king.     He  was  fed  like  a  dog 
and  allowed  to  fall  ravenously  upon  his  food*    For  five  whole  months 
he  had  not  a  change  of  clothes.     At  last  some  shame  was  felt  for 
this  neglect  and  an  attempt  was  made  to  repair   it.     It  took  a 
dozen  men  to  overcome  the  madman's  resistance-   He  was  washed, 
shaved  J  and  dressed  in  fresh  clothes.     He  became  more  composed 
and  began  once  more  to  recognize  certain  persons,  amongst  otherSi  fl 
the  former  provost  of  Paris,  Juvenal  des  Ursins,  whose  visit  ap- 
t)eared  to  give  him  pleasure,  and  to  whom  he  said,  without  well 
knowing  why,  "  Juvenal,  let  us  not  waste  our  time.*'     On  his  good 
days  he  was  sometimes  brought  in  to  sit  at  certain  councils  at 
which  there  was  a  discussion  about  the  diminution  of  taxes  and 
relief  of  the  people,  and  he  showed  symptoms,  at  intervals,  o^ 
taking  an  interest  in  them.     A  fair  young  Burgundian,  Odette  de 
Champdivers,  was  the  only  one  amongst  bis  many  favourites  who 
was  at  all  successful  in  soothing  him  during  his  violent  fits.     It 
wa3  Duke  John  the  Fearless,  wbo  had  placed  her  near  the  king 
that  she  might  promote  his  own  influence,  and  she  took  advantage 
of  it  to  further  her  own  fortunes,  which,  however,  did  not  hinder 
licr  from  afterwards  passing  id  to  the  service  of  Charles  VII.  again  s&fl 
the  House  of  Burgundy,     For  thirty  years,  from  1392  to  1422,  the 
L'rowu  remained  on  the  head  of  this  poor  madman,  whilst  France 
WES  a  victim  to  the  bloody  quarrels  of  the  royal  house,  to  national 
dLsmemljerment,  to  licentiousness  in  morals,  to  civil  anarchy,  and 
to  foreign  conquest. 

When,  for  the  first  time,  in  the  forest  of  Le  Mans,  the  dukes  of 
Berry  and  Burgundy  saw  their  nephew  in  this  condition  their  first 
feeling  was  one  of  sorrow  and  disquietude.  The  duke  of  Burgundy 
AspeciaBy,  who  w^as  accessible  to  generous  and  sympathetic  emo- 
tions, cried  out  with  tears^  as  he  embraced  the  kingj  "  My  lord 
and  nephewj  comfort  me  with  just  one  word ! "     But  the  desires 


250 


HISTORY   OF  FEANCE. 


[Chaf.  XXIU. 


and  the  hopes  of  selfish  ambition  reappaared  befoixs  lon^ii  more 
prominently  than  these  honest  effusions  of  feeUng,  **  Ah  I"  said 
the  duke  of  Berry,  '*  De  Clisson,  La  Riviere,  Nuviantj  and  Vilaine 
have  been  haughty  and  harsh  towarda  me;  the  time  has  corns 
when  I  shall  pay  them  out  in  the  same  coin  from  the  same  mint,** 
The  guardianship  of  the  king  was  withdrawn  from  his  councillors 
and  transferred  to  four  chamberlains  ehoaen  by  his  uncles.  The 
two  dukes,  however,  did  not  immediately  lay  hands  on  the  govern- 
ment of  the  kingdom;  the  constable  De  Chsson  and  the  late 
councillors  of  Charles  V.  remained  in  charge  of  it  for  some  time 
longer ;  they  had  given  enduring  proofs  of  capacity  and  fidelity  to 
the  king's  service ;  and  the  two  dukes  did  not  at  first  openly 
attack  them  J  but  laboured  strenuously,  nevertheless,  to  destroy 
them.  The  duke  of  Burgundy  one  day  said  to  sire  de  Noviant,  *'I 
have  been  overtaken  by  a  very  pressing  business  for  which  I 
require  forthwith  thirty  thousand  crowns ;  let  me  have  them  out 
of  my  lord's  treasury;  I  will  restore  them  at  another  time/' 
Noviant  answered  respectfully  that  the  council  must  be  spoken  to 
about  it*  **  I  wish  none  to  know  of  it/'  said  the  duke.  Noviant 
persisted.  "You  will  not  do  rae  this  favour?"  rejoined  the  duke, 
"you  shall  rue  it  before  long."  It  was  against  the  constable 
that  the  wrath  of  the  princes  was  chiefly  directed.  He  was  the 
most  powerful  and  the  richest.  One  day  he  went,  with  a  single 
squire  behind  him,  to  the  duke  of  Burgundy's  house ;  and  **  My 
lord,"  said  he,  "  many  knights  and  squires  are  persecuting  me  to 
get  the  money  which  is  owing  to  them-  I  know  not  where  to  find 
it.  The  chancellor  and  the  treasurer  refer  me  to  you.  Since  it  is 
you  and  the  duke  of  Berry  who  govern,  may  it  please  you  to  give 
me  an  answer,"  "  CUsson,"  said  the  duke,  **you  have  no  occasion 
to  trouble  yourself  about  the  state  of  the  kingdom ;  it  will  manage 
very  well  without  your  services.  Whence,  pray,  have  you  been 
able  to  amass  so  much  money  ?  My  lord,  my  brother  of  Berry,  and 
myself  have  not  so  much  between  us  three.  Away  from  my 
presence  and  let  me  see  you  no  more !  If  I  had  not  a  respect  for 
myself,  I  would  have  your  other  eye  put  out/*  CUsson  went  out, 
mounted  his  horse,  returned  to  his  house,  set  his  affairs  in  order 
and  departed,  with  two  attendants^  to  his  strong  castle  of  Montlhery, 


Chaf,  XXIIL]  THE   HUNDRED   YEARS'   WAR, 


251 


The  two  dukes  were  very  sorry  that  they  had  not  put  him  under 

arrest  on  the  spot.     The  rupture  came  to  a  climax.     Of  the  king's 

four  other  councillors  one  escaped  in  time ;  two  were  seized  and 

thrown  into  prison ;  the  fourth,  Bureau  de  la  Riviere j  was  at  his 

castle  of  Auneau,  near  Chartres,  honoured  and  beloved  by  all  his 

neighbours.     Every  body  urged  him  to  save  himself.     "  If  I  were 

to  fly  or  hide  myself^"  said  he,  '*  I  should  acknowledge  myself 

guilty  of  crimes  from  which  I  feel  myself  free.    Here^  as  elsewhere, 

I  am  at  the  will  of  God ;  He  gave  me  all  I  have,  and  He  can  take 

it  away  whensoever  He  pleases.     I  served  King  Charles  of  blessed 

memory  and  also  the  king  his  son  ;  and  they  recompensed  me 

kndsomely  for  my  services.     I  will  abide  the  judgment  of  the 

parliament  of  Paris  touching  what  I  have  done  according  to  my 

king's  commands  as  to  the  affairs  of  the  realm/*    He  was  told  that 

the  people  sent  to  look  for  him  were  hard  by,  and  was  asked, 

*^ Shall  we  open  to  them?"     '*Why  not?''  was   his   reply.     He 

himself  went  to  meet  them  and  received  them  with  a  courtesy 

which  they  returned.     He  was  then  removed  to  Paris,  where  he 

wag  shut  up  with  his  colleagues  in  the  Louvre, 

Their  trial  before  parliament  was  prosecuted  eagerly,  especially 
in  the  case  of  the  absent  De  Clisson,  whom  a  royal  decree  banished 
from  the  kingdom  "as  a  false  and  wicked  traitor  to  the  crown,  and 
condemned  him  to  pay  a  hundred  thousand  marks  of  silver,  and  to 
forfeit  for  ever  the  office  of  constable,"  It  is  impossible  in  the 
present  day  to  estimate  how  much  legal  justice  there  was  in  this 
decree;  but,  in  any  case,  it  was  certainly  extreme  severity  to  so 
loble  and  valiant  a  waiTior  who  had  done  so  much  for  the  safety 
and  honour  of  France,  The  dukes  of  Burgundy  and  Berry  and 
inany  barons  of  the  realm  signed  the  decree ;  but  the  king's  brother^ 
tile  duke  of  Orleans,  refused  to  have  any  part  in  it.  Against  the 
other  councillors  of  the  king  the  prosecution  was  continued,  with 
fits  and  starts  of  determination,  but  in  general  with  slowness  and 
UBCertainty.  Under  the  influence  of  the  dukes  of  Burgundy  and 
Berry  the  parliament  showed  an  inclination  towards  severity ;  but 
fiiimau  de  la  Rivifere  had  warm  friends,  and  amongst  others,  the 
young  and  beautiful  duchess  of  BeiTy,  to  whose  marriage  he  had 
greatly  contributed,  and  John  Juvenal  des  Ursins,  provost  of  the 


252 


mSTORY  OP  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXIII. 


trsdesmen  of  Paris^  one  of  the  men  towards  whom  the  king  and 
the  populace  folt  the  highest  esteem  and  confidence*  The  king^ 
favourably  inclined  towards  the  accused  by  his  own  bias  and  the 
influence  of  the  duke  of  Orleans,  presented  a  demand  to  parliam^it 
to  have  the  papers  of  the  procedure  brought  to  him.  Parliament 
hesitated  and  postponed  a  reply;  the  procedure  followed  its  coiu'se; 
and  at  the  end  of  some  months  further  the  king  ordered  it  to  be 
stopped,  and  sires  de  la  Riviere  and  Noviant  to  be  set  at  hbertf 
and  to  have  their  leal  property  restored  to  them,  at  the  same  time 
that  they  lost  their  personal  property  and  were  commanded  to 
remain  for  ever  at  fifteen  leagues'  distance,  at  least,  from  the 
court.  This  was  moral  equity  if  not  legal  justice*  The  accused 
had  been  able  and  faithful  servants  of  their  king  and  country. 
Their  imprisonment  bad  lasted  more  than  a  year.  The  dukes  of 
Burgundy  and  Berry  remained  in  possession  of  power. 

They  exercised  it  for  ten  years^  from  1392  to  1402,  without  any 
great  dispute  between  themselves,  the  duke  of  Burgundy*a  inflnence 
being  predominant,  or  with  the  king,  who,  save  certain  lucid 
intervals,  took  merely  a  nominal  part  in  the  government*  During 
this  period  no  event  of  importance  disturbed  France  internally. 
In  1393  the  king  of  England,  Richard  II.,  son  of  the  Black  Prince, 
sought  in  marriage  the  daughter  of  Charles  VI.,  Isabel  of  France, 
only  eight  years  old.  In  both  courts  and  in  both  countries  there 
was  a  desire  for  peace.  An  embassy  came  in  state  to  demand  the 
hand  of  the  princess.  The  ambassadors  were  presented,  and  the 
earl  of  Northampton >  marshal  of  England,  putting  one  knee  to  the 
ground  before  her,  said,  "  Madame,  please  Grod  you  shall  be  our 
sovereign  lady  and  queen  of  England."  The  young  girl,  well 
tutored,  answered,  "  If  it  please  God  and  my  lord  and  father  that 
I  should  be  queen  of  England,  I  would  be  wiUingly,  for  I  have 
certainly  been  told  that  I  should  then  be  a  great  lady."  The 
contract  was  signed  on  the  9th  of  March,  1396,  with  a  promim 
that,  when  the  princess  had  accomplished  her  twelfth  year,  slie 
should  be  free  to  assent  to  or  refuse  the  union ;  and  ten  days  after 
the  marriage,  the  king's  uncles  and  the  EngHsh  ambMsadois 
mutually  signed  a  truce,  which  promised — but  quite  in  vain — ^to  last 
for  eight  and  twenty  years. 


flAF.  XXm.]        THE  HUNDBED  YEAES'  WAR. 


253 


Aboat  the  same  time  Sigismund^  king  of  Hungary,  tlireateoed 
irith  an  invasion   of  his  kingdom  by  the  great  Turkish  Sultan, 
Bajazet  I.,  nickoamed  Liglthiing  (El  Dermij^  because  of  his  rapid 
conquests,  invoked  the  aid  of  the  Christian  kings  of  the  West,  and 
especially  of  the  king  of  France.     Thereupon  there  was  a  fresli 
outbreak  of  those  crusades  so  often  renewed  since  the  end  of  the 
thirbeentli  century.     All  the  knighthood  of  France  arose  for  the 
d^nee  of  a  Christian  king.     John,  count  of  Nevers,  eldest  son  of 
ibe  duke  of  Burgundy,  scarcely  eighteen  years  of  age^  said  to  his 
comrades,  "  K  it  pleased  my  two  lords ,  my  lord  the  king  and  my 
lord  and  father,  I  would  willingly  head  this  army  and  this  venture, 
for  I  have  a  desire  to  make  myself  known."     The  duke  of  Bur- 
gundy consented  and|  in  person,  conducted  his  son  to  St,  Denis, 
but  without  intending  to  make  him  a  knight  as  yet.     "  He  shall 
receive  the  accolade,'*  said  he,  "  as  a  knight  of  Jesus  Christy  at  the 
firgt  battle  against  the  infidels/*     In  April,  1396,  an  army  of  new 
cnigaders  left  France  and  traversed  Germany  uproariously,  every 
there  displaying  its  valiant  ardour,  presumptuous   recklessness, 
and  chivalrouB  irregularity.      Some  months  elapsed  without  any 
news ;  but,  at  the  beginning  of  December,  there  were  seen  arriving 
tu  France  some  poor  creatures,  half-naked,  dying  of  hunger,  cold, 
mA  wearinesSj  and  giving  deplorable  accounts  of  the  destruction 
of  the  French  army-     The  people  would  not  believe  them  :  "  They 
ought  to  be  thrown  into  the  water,'*  they  said,  **  these  scoundrels 
wbo  propagate  such  lies."     But,  on  the  25th  of  December,  there 
arrived  at  Paris  James  de  Helly,  a  knight  of  Artois,  who,  booted 
and  spuiTed,  strode  into  the  hostel  of  St.  Paul,  threw  himself  on 
tii  knees  before  the  king  in  the  midst  of  the  princes,  and  reported 
that  he  had  come  straight  from  Turkey ;  that  on  the  28th  of  the 
pftoeding  September  the  Christian  army  had  been  destroyed  at  the 
Wttle  of  Nicopolis ;  that  most  of  the  lords  had  been  either  slain  in 
battle  or  afterwards  massacred  by  the  sidtan's  order;  and  that  the 
coont  of  Nevers  had  sent  him  to  the  king  and  to  his  father  the 
*liike,  to  get  negotiations  entc^red  into  for  his  release.     There  was 
uo  exaggeration  about  the  knight's  story.     The  battle  had  been 
terrible,  the  skughter  awful.     For  the  latter  the  French,  who  were 
for  a  moment  victorious,  had  set  a  cruel  example  with  their  pri- 


264 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXHI. 


ftonere;  and  Bajazet  had  surpassed  them  in  cool  ferocity.     After 
the  first  explosion  of  the  father's  and  the  people's  grief,  the  ransom 
of  the  prisoners  became  the  topic.     It  was  a  large  sum^  and  rather 
difficult  to  raise ;  and,  whilst  it  was  being  sought  for,  James  de 
Helly  returned  to  report  as  much  to  Bajazet,  and  to  place  himself 
onoe  more  in  his  power-     "  Thou  art  welcome/^  said  the  sidtan ; 
"  thou  hast  loyally  kept  thy  word ;  I  give  thee  thy  liberty ;  thou 
canst  go  whither  thou  wiliest."     Terms  of  ransom  were  concluded; 
and  the  sum  total  was  paid  through  the  hands  of  Bartholomew 
Pellegrini^  a  Genoese  trader.     Before  the  count  of  Nevers  and  bis 
eomrades  set  out,  Bajazet  sent  for  them,     **  John/'  said  he  to  the 
count  through  an  interpreter,  "  I  know  that  thou  art  a  great  lord 
in  thy  country,  and  the  son  of  a  great  lord.     Thou  art  young-     It 
may  bo  that  thou  art  abashed  and  grieved  at  what  hath  befallen 
thee  in  thy  first  essay  of  knighthood j  and  that,  io  retrieve  thine 
honour,  thou  wilt  collect  a  powerful  army  against  me.     I  might, 
©re  I  release  thee,  bind  thee  by  oath  not  to  take  arms  against  me, 
neither  thyself  nor  thy  people.     But  no  ;  I  will  not  exact  this  oath 
either  from  them  or  from  thee.  When  thou  hast  retximed  yonder, 
take  up  arms  if  it  please  thee,  and  come  and  attack  me.     Thou  wilt 
find  mo  ever  ready  to  receive  thee  in  the  open  field,  thee  and  thy 
men-at-arms.     And  B^iat  I  say  to  thee,  1  say  for  the  sake  of  all 
the  Christians  thou  mayest  purpose  to  bring.     I  fear  them  BOt; 
1  was  born  to  fight  them,  and  to  conquer  the  world.*'     Every 
where  and  at  all  times  human  pride,  with  its  blind  arrogance,  is 
the  same.     Bajazet  saw  no  glimpse  of  that  future  when  his  empire 
would  be  decaying^  and  held  together  only  by  the  interested  pro- 
tection of  Christian  powers.     After  paying  dearly  for  their  errors 
and  their  disasters.  Count  John  of  Nevers  and  his  comrades  in 
captivity  re-entered  France  in  February,  1398,  imA  their  expedition 
to  Hungary  was  but  one  of  the  last  vain  venturtes  of  chivalry  in  the 
great  struggle  that  commenced  in  the  seventli  eentiiry  between 
Islamry  and  Christendom* 

While  this  tragic  incident  was  taking  place  in  eastern  Europe, 
the  court  of  the  mad  king  was  Mling  a  victim  to  rivalries,  intrigiies, 
and  scandals  which,  towards  the  close  of  this  reign,  were  to  be  tbe 
curse  and  the  shame  of  France.    There  had  grown  up  between 


CsAp.  XXIIL]         THE   HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR 


255 


Queen  Isabel  of  Bavaria  and  Louis,  duke  of  Orleans,  brotter  of  tbe 
king,  an  intimacy  which ,  throughout  the  city  and  amongst  all 
honourable  people,  shocked  even  the  least  strait-laced.  It  was 
undoubtedly  through  the  queen*s  influence  that  Charles  VI,,  in 
1402,  suddenly  decided  upon  putting  into  the  hands  of  the  duke 
of  Orleans  the  entire  government  of  the  realm  and  the  right  of 
representing  him  in  every  thing  during  the  attacks  of  his  malady. 
The  duke  of  Burgundy  wrote  at  once  about  it  to  the  parliament  of 
Paris,  sa}ang,  "  Take  counsel  and  pains  that  the  interests  of  the 
king  and  his  dominion  be  not  governed  as  they  now  are,  for,  in 
good  truth,  it  is  a  pity  and  a  grief  to  hear  what  is  told  me  about 
it "  The  accusation  was  not  grounded  solely  upon  the  personal 
ill-temper  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  His  nephew,  the  duke  of 
Orleans,  was  elegant,  affable,  volatile,  good-natured ;  he  had  for  his 
partisains  at  court  all  those  who  shared  his  worse  than  frivolous 
tastes  and  habits ;  and  his  political  judgment  was  no  better  than 
his  liabits.  No  sooner  was  he  invested  with  power  than  he  abused 
it  strangely ;  he  levied  upon  the  clergy  as  well  as  the  people  an 
enormous  taUiage,  and  the  use  he  made  of  the  money  increased 
still  further  the  wrath  of  the  public.  An  Augustine  monk^  named 
James  Legrand,  already  celebrated  for  his  writings,  had  the  hardi- 
hood to  preach  even  before  the  court  against  abuses  of  power  and 
licentiousness  of  morals.  The  king  rose  up  from  bis  own  place  and 
went  and  sat  down  right  opposite  the  preacher.  "  Yes,  sir," 
continued  the  monk,  "  the  king  your  father,  during  his  reign,  did 
likewise  lay  taxes  upon  the  people,  but  with  the  produce  of  them 
lie  built  fortresses  for  the  defence  of  the  kingdom,  he  hurled  back 
iba  enemy  and  took  possession  of  their  towns,  and  he  eflected  a 
saving  of  treasure  which  made  him  the  most  powerful  amongst  the 
kingi  of  the  West.  But  now,  there  is  nothing  of  this  kind  done; 
tlie  height  of  nobility  in  the  present  day  is  to  frequent  bagnios,  to 
lire  in  debauchery,  to  wear  rich  dresses  with  pretty  fringes  and 
big  cuffs.  This,  0  queen,*'  he  added,  *4s  what  is  said  to  the  shame 
of  the  court ;  and,  if  you  will  not  believe  me,  put  on  the  dress  of 
some  poor  woman  and  walk  about  the  city,  and  you  will  hear  it 
talked  of  by  plenty  of  people."  In  spite  of  his  malady  and  his 
affection  for  his  brother,  Cliarles  VI ,,  either  from  pure  feebleness 


256 


HISTORY  or  FRAJ^CE. 


[Chap,  XXTU, 


or  because  he  was  struck  by  those  truths  so  boldly  proclaimed, 
yielded  to  the  councils  of  certain  wise  men  who  represented  to  him 
*^  that  it  was  neither  a  reasonable  nor  an  honourable  thing  to  entrust 
the  government  of  the  realm  to  a  prince  whose  youth  needed 
rather  to  be  governed  than  to  govern/*  He  withdrew  the  direction 
of  affairs  from  the  duke  of  Orleans  and  restored  it  to  the  duke  of 
Burgundy,  who  took  it  again  and  held  it  with  a  strong  grasp,  and  did 
not  suffer  his  nephew  Louis  to  meddle  in  any  thing.  But  from  that 
time  forward  open  distrust  and  hatred  were  established  between 
the  two  princes  and  their  fanulies.  In  the  very  midst  of  this  court- 
crisis  Duke  Philip  the  Bold  fell  ill  and  died  within  a  few  daysi  on  the 
27th  of  April,  1404.  He  was  a  prince  valiant  and  able,  ambitious, 
imperious^  eager  in  the  pursuit  of  his  own  personal  interests>  care- 
ful in  humouring  those  whom  he  aspired  to  rule,  and  disposed  to  do 
them  good  service  in  whatever  was  not  opposed  to  his  own  ends. 
He  deserved  and  possessed  the  confidence  and  affection  not  only 
of  his  father,  King  John,  but  also  of  his  brother,  Charles  V,,  a  good 
judge  of  wisdom  and  fidehty.  He  founded  that  great  House  of 
Burgundy  which  was  for  more  than  a  century  to  ecHpse  and  often 
to  deplorably  compromise  France;  but  Philip  the  Bold  loved 
France  sincerely,  and  always  gave  her  the  chief  place  in  his  poUcy. 
His  private  life  was  regular  and  staid  amidst  the  scandalous  Kcen- 
tiousness  of  Ms  court.  He  was  of  those  who  leave  behind  them 
unfeigned  regret  and  an  honoured  memory  without  ha\ing  inspired 
their  contemporaries  with  any  lively  sympathy.  M 

John  the  Fearless,  count  of  Nevers,  his  son  and  successor  in  tW 
dukedom  of  Burgundy,  was  not  slow  to  prove  that  there  was 
reason  to  regret  his  father*  His  expedition  to  Hungary,  for  all  its 
bad  leadership  and  bad  fortune,  had  created  esteem  for  his  courage 
and  for  his  firmness  under  reverses,  but  little  confidence  in  hi* 
direction  of  pubUc  affau's.  He  was  a  man  of  violence,  unscrupu* 
lous  and  indiscreet,  full  of  jealousy  and  hatred,  and  capable  of  any 
deed  and  any  risk  for  the  gratification  of  liis  passions  or  his  fancies. 
At  hia  accession  he  made  some  popular  moves ;  he  appeared  dis- 
posed to  prosecute  vigorously  the  war  against  England  which  iras 
going  on  sluggishly ;  he  testified  a  certain  spirit  of  conciliation  by 
going  to  pay  a  visit  to  his  cousin,  the  duke  of  Orleans,  lying  ill  at 


CflAf.  XXTTT,]        THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR, 


257 


Bis  castle  of  Beauty  near  Vincenneg ;  when  the  duke  of  Orleans 
was  well  again,  the  two  princes  took  the  communion  together  and 
dined  together  at  their  uncle's,  the  duke  of  Berry's ;  and  the  duke 
of  Orleans  invited  tte  new  duke  of  Burgundy  to  dine  with  him  the 
neit  Sunday.  The  Parisians  took  pleasure  in  obserying  these  little 
matters,  and  in  hoping  for  the  re-establishment  of  harmony  in  the 
rojul  family.     They  were  soon  to  be  cruelly  undeceived. 

On  the  23rd  of  November,  1407,  the  duke  of  Orleans  had  dined 
at  Queen  Isabel's.  He  was  returning  about  eiglit  in  the  evening 
along  Vieille  Rue  du  Temple,  singing  and  playing  with  his  glove,  and 
attended  by  only  two  squires  riding  one  horse,  and  by  four  or  five 
rarlets  on  foot  carrying  torches.  It  was  a  gloomy  night;  not  a 
soul  in  the  streets.  When  the  duke  was  about  a  hundred  paces 
from  the  queen's  hostel,  eighteen  or  twenty  armed  men,  who  had 
Iain  in  ambush  behind  a  house  called  hfut/fc  tie  Noir^Damey  dashed 
suddenly  out;  the  squires'  horse  took  fright  and  ran  away  with 
tbem ;  and  the  assassins  rushed  upon  the  duke,  shouting, ''  Death  ! 
death  I "  "  What  is  all  this  ?'*  said  he,  '*  I  am  the  duke  of  Orleans." 
**Just  what  we  want,"  was  the  answer;  and  they  hurled  him  down 
from  his  mule.  He  struggled  to  his  knees ;  but  the  fellows  struck 
at  him  heavily  with  axe  and  sword.  A  young  man  in  his  train 
made  an  effort  to  defend  him  and  was  immediately  cut  down ;  and 
another,  ^ievously  wounded,  had  but  just  time  to  escape  into  a 
Neighbouring  shop.  A  poor  cobbler's  wife  opened  her  window  and, 
seeing  the  work  of  assassination,  shrieked,  "  Murder  t  murder  1" 
"Hold  your  tongue,  you  strumpet!"  cried  some  one  from  the  street. 
Others  shot  arrows  at  the  windows  where  lookers  on  might  be.  A 
till  man,  wearing  a  red  cap  which  came  down  over  his  eyes,  said 
in  a  loud  voice,  "  Out  with  all  lights  and  away  !"  The  assassins 
fled  at  the  top  of  their  speed,  shouting,  "  Firel  fire  !'*  throwing 
behind  them  foot-trippers,  and  by  menaces  causing  all  the  lights  to 
be  put  out  which  were  being  lighted  here  and  there  in  the  shops. 

The  duke  was  quite  dead.  One  of  his  squires,  returning  to  the 
spot,  found  his  body  stretched  on  the  road  and  mutilated  all  over. 
He  was  carried  to  the  neighbouring  church  of  Blancs-Manteaux, 
thither  all  the  royal  family  came  to  render  the  last  sad  offices. 
The  duke  of  Burgundy  appeared  no  less  afflicted  than  the  rest. 
VOL-  u.  a 


258 


HISTORY   OF  FRANCE. 


[Cbat.  XXIIL 


** Never j'*  said  he,  ''was  a  more  wicked  and  traitorous  murder, 
committed  in  this  realm,"  The  proTost  of  Paris,  sire  de  TigoouviUc 
set  on  foot  an  active  seai^ch  after  the  perpetrators.  He  wms  sum- 
moned before  the  council  of  princes,  and  the  duke  of  Berry 
asked  him  if  he  had  discovered  any  thing.  "  I  believe/*  said  the 
provost  J  *'  that  if  I  had  leave  to  enter  all  the  hostek  of  the  kiiig*i 
servants^  and  even  of  the  princes,  I  could  get  on  the  track  of 
authors  or  accomplices  of  the  crime."  He  was  authorized  to  ent^ 
wherever  it  seemed  good  to  him.  He  went  away  to  set  himself  to 
work.  The  duke  of  Burgundy  looking  troubled  and  growing  paK 
"  Cousin,"  said  the  king  of  Naples,  Louis  d'Anjou,  who  was  presc 
at  the  councilj  "can  you  know  aught  about  it?  You  must  tell  iia*1 
Tlie  duke  of  Burgundy  took  him,  together  with  his  uncle,  the  dl 
of  Berry  J  aside,  and  told  them  that  it  was  he  himself  who,  tempted 
of  the  devil,  had  giv^en  orders  for  this  murder.  **  Oh  I  GodT'  cried 
the  duke  of  Berry,  '^then  I  lose  both  my  nephews !"  The  duke  of 
Burgundy  went  out  in  great  confusion  and  the  council  separate*!. 
Hesearch  brought  about  the  discovery  that  the  crime  had  been  for 
a  long  while  in  preparation,  and  that  a  Norman  nobleman,  Raoul 
d*Auquetonville,  late  receiver-general  of  finance,  having  b*^^^ 
deprived  of  liia  post  by  the  duke  of  Orleans  for  malversation,  1:  .■- 
been  the  instrument.  The  council  of  princes  met  the  nest  day  at 
the  H6tel  de  Nesle*  The  duke  of  Burgundy,  wlio  had  recovered  all 
his  audacity,  came  to  take  his  seat  there.  Word  was  se^t  to  him 
not  to  enter  the  room.  Duke  John  persisted ;  but  the  dtike  nf 
BeiTy  went  to  the  door  and  said  to  him,  *'  Nephew,  give  up  thti 
notion  of  entering  the  council ;  you  would  not  be  seen  there  wit 
pleasure,*'  "I  give  up  mtlingly,"  answered  Duk©  John;  **m 
that  none  may  be  accused  of  putting  to  death  the  duke  of  Orleani 
I  declare  that  it  was  I  and  none  other  who  caused  the  doing 
what  has  been  done."  Thereupon  he  turned  liis  horse's  head* ' 
returned  forthwith  to  the  Hotel  d'Artois^  and  taking  only  six  nmu 
with  him  he  gallopped  without  a  halt,  except  to  change  horied,  M 
the  frontier  of  Flanders.  The  diUce  of  Bourbon  complained  bitterly 
at  the  council  that  an  immediate  arrest  had  not  been  ordered-  Tl 
admiral  de  Brabant  and  a  hundred  of  the  duke  of  Orleans*  knight 
set  out  in  pursuit,  but  were  unable  to  come  up  in  time.     NeitbtT 


Chap.XXHL]         the  hundred  YEARS'   WAR. 


261 


Baoul  d*AuquetonvillG  nor  any  otlier  of  the  assassins  was  caught. 
The  magistrates  as  well  as  the  public  were  seized  with  stupor  in 
view  of  so  great  a  crime  and  so  great  a  criminal. 

But  the  duke  of  Orleans  left  a  widow  who,  in  spite  of  hie  infi- 
delities  and  hia  irregularities,  was  passionately  attached  to  him, 
Valentine  Visconti,  the  duke  of  Milan's  daughter^  whose  dowry 
ikad  gone  to  pay  the  ransom  of  King  John,  was  at  Chateau-Thierry 
when  she  heard  of  her  husband's  mui'der.  Hers  was  one  of  those 
natures,  fiiU  of  softness  and  at  the  same  time  of  fire,  which  grief 
does  not  oTerwhelm  and  in  which  a  passion  for  vengeance  is 
excited  and  fed  by  their  despair.  She  started  for  Paris  in  the 
early  part  of  December,  1407,  during  the  roughest  winter,  it  was 
laid,  ever  known  for  several  centuries,  taking  with  her  all  her 
children.  The  duke  of  Berry,  the  duke  of  Bourbon,  the  count  of 
Clermont,  and  the  constable  went  to  meet  her.  Herself  and  all 
ter  train  in  deep  mourning,  she  dismoimted  at  the  hostel  of  St. 
Paul,  threw  herself  on  her  knees  before  the  king  with  the  princes 
and  council  around  him,  and  demanded  of  him  justice  for  her 
husband's  cruel  death.  The  chancellor  promised  justice  in  the 
name  of  the  king,  who  added  with  his  own  lips,  "We  regard  the 
deed  relating  to  our  own  brother  as  done  to  ourself."  The  com- 
passion of  aU  present  was  boundless,  and  so  was  their  indignation; 
but  it  was  reported  that  the  duke  of  Burgundy  was  getting  ready 
to  return  to  Paris,  and  with  what  following  and  for  what  purpose 
would  he  come  P  Nothing  was  known  on  that  point.  There  was 
m  force  with  which  to  make  a  defence-  Nothing  waa  done  for  the 
duehess  of  Orleans;  no  prosecution  began.  As  much  vexed  and 
irritated  as  disconsolate,  she  set  out  for  Blois  with  her  children, 
being  resolved  to  fortify  herself  there*  Charles  had  another 
relapse  of  hia  malady.  The  people  of  Paris,  who  were  rather 
fevourable  than  adverse  to  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  laid  the  blame 
of  the  king's  new  attack  and  of  the  general  alarm  upon  the  duchess 
of  Orleans,  who  was  off  in  flight.  John  the  Fearless  actually 
reentered  Paris  on  the  20th  of  February,  1408,  with  a  thousand 
men-at-arms,  amidst  popular  acclamation  and  cries  of  **  Long  live 
tlie  duke  of  Burgundy  T*  Having  taken  up  a  strong  position  at 
the  Hotel  d'Artois,  he  sent  a  demand  to  the  king  for  a  solemn 


262  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXH 

audience,  proclaiming  his  intention  of  setting  forth  the  motives  for 
which  he  had  caused  the  duke  of  Orleans  to  be  slain.  The  8th  of 
March  was  the  day  fixed.  Charles  VI.,  being  worse  than  ever  that 
day,  was  not  present;  the  dauphin,  Louis,  duke  of  Guienne,  a 
child  of  twelve  years,  surrounded  by  the  princes,  councillors,  a 
great  number  of  lords,  doctors  of  the  University,  burgesses  of  note, 
and  people  of  various  conditions,  took  his  father's  place  at  this 
assembly.  The  duke  of  Burgundy  had  entrusted  a  Norman  Cordeher, 
master  John  Petit,  with  his  justification.  The  monk  spoke  for 
more  than  five  hours,  reviewing  Sacred  History  and  the  histories  of 
Greece,  Rome,  and  Persia,  and  the  precedents  of  Phineas,  Absalom 
the  son  of  David,  Queen  AthaUah,  and  Julian  the  Apostate,  to 
prove  "  that  it  is  lawful,  and  not  only  lawful  but  honourable  and 
meritorious  in  any  subject  to  slay  or  cause  to  be  slain  a  traitor  and 
disloyal  tyrant,  especially  when  he  is  a  man  of  such  mighty  power 
that  justice  cannot  well  be  done  by  the  sovereign."  This  principle 
once  laid  down,  John  Petit  proceeded  to  apply  it  to  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  "  causing  to  be  slain  that  criminal  tyrant  the  duke  of 
Orleans,  who  was  meditating  the  damnable  design  of  thrusting  aside 
the  king  and  his  children  from  their  crown;"  and  he  drew  from  it 
the  conclusion  that  *'  the  duke  of  Burgundy  ought  not  to  be  at  all 
blamed  or  censured  for  what  had  happened  in  the  person  of  the 
duke  of  Orleans,  and  that  the  king  not  only  ought  not  to  be  dis- 
pleased with  him,  but  ought  to  hold  the  said  lord  of  Burgundy  as 
well  as  his  deed  agreeable  to  him  and  authorized  by  necessity." 
The  defence  thus  concluded,  letters  were  actually  put  before 
the  king,  running  thus :  '*  It  is  our  will  and  pleasure  that  our 
cousin  of  Burgundy,  his  heirs  and  successors,  be  and  abide  at  peace 
with  us  and  our  successors  in  respect  of  the  aforesaid  deed  and  all 
that  hath  foUowed  thereon ;  and  that  by  us,  our  said  successors, 
our  people  and  officers,  no  hindrance,  on  account  of  that,  may  be 
offered  them  either  now  or  in  time  to  come." 

Charles  VI.,  weak  in  mind  and  will,  even  independently  of  his 
attacks,  signed  these  letters  and  gave  Duke  John  quite  a  kind 
reception,  teUing  him,  however,  that  "  he  could  cancel  the  penalty 
but  not  the  resentment  of  every  body,  and  that  it  was  for  him  to 
defend  himself  against  perils  which  were  probably  imminent/'   The 


Chap.XXIIL]        the  hundred  YEARS'  WAR.  263 

duke  answered  proudly  that  "  so  long  as  he  stood  in  the  king's 
good  graces  he  did  not  fear  any  man  Uving." 

Three  days  after  this  strange  audience  and  this  declaration, 
Queen  Isabel,  but  lately  on  terms  of  the  closest  intimacy  with  the 
duke  of  Orleans  who  had  been  murdered  on  his  way  home  after 
dining  with  her,  was  filled  with  alarm  and  set  ofi"  suddenly  for 
Melun,  taking  with  her  her  son  Louis,  the  dauphin,  and  accom- 
panied by  nearly  all  the  princes,  who,  however,  returned  before 
long  to  Paris,  being  troubled  by  the  displeasure  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  testified  at  their  departure.  For  more  than  four  months 
Duke  John  the  Fearless  remained  absolute  master  of  Paris,  dis- 
posing of  all  posts,  giving  them  to  his  own  creatures,  and  putting 
himself  on  good  terms  with  the  University  and  the  principal 
biurgesses.  A  serious  revolt  amongst  the  Lifegese  called  for  his 
presence  in  Flanders.  The  first  troops  he  had  sent  against  them 
had  been  repulsed;  and  he  felt  the  necessity  of  going  thither 
in  person.  But  two  months  after  his  departure  from  Paris,  on  the 
26th  of  August,  1408,  Queen  Isabel  returned  thither  from  Melun, 
with  the  dauphin  Louis,  who  for  the  first  time  rode  on  horseback, 
and  with  three  thousand  men-at-arms.  She  set  up  her  estabUsh- 
ment  at  the  Louvre.  The  Parisians  shouted  "Noel,"  as  she 
passed  along ;  and  the  duke  of  Berry,  the  duke  of  Bourbon,  the 
duke  of  Brittany,  the  constable,  and  all  the  great  ofl&cers  of  the 
crown  rallied  round  her.  Two  days  afterwards,  on  the  28th  of 
August,  the  duchess  of  Orleans  arrived  there  from  Blois,  in  a  black 
litter  drawn  by  four  horses  caparisoned  in  black,  and  followed  by 
a  large  number  of  mourning  carriages.  On  the  5th  of  September 
a  state  assembly  was  held  at  the  Louvre.  All  the  royal  family,  the 
princes  and  great  ofl&cers  of  the  crown,  the  presidents  of  the  parlia- 
ment, fifteen  archbishops  or  bishops,  the  provost  of  Paris,  the 
provost  of  tradesmen,  and  a  hundred  burgesses  of  note  attended  it. 
Thereupon  master  Juvenal  des  Ursins,  king's  advocate,  announced 
the  intention  of  Charles  VI.  in  his  illness  to  confer  the  government 
upon  the  queen,  set  forth  the  reasons  for  it,  called  to  mind  the  able 
regency  of  Queen  Blanche,  mother  of  St.  Louis,  and  produced  royal 
letters  sealed  with  the  great  seal  Immediately  the  duchess  of 
Orleans  came  forward^  knelt  at  the   dauphin's  feeti  demanding 


864 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap.  XXm* 


justice  for  the  deatli  of  her  huaband>  and  begged  that  she  ruighfc 
have  a  day  appointed  her  for  refuting  the  calumnies  with  which  it 
had  been  sought  to  blacken  his  memory.  The  dauphin  pronnsed  a 
speedy  reply-  On  the  11th  of  September,  accordingly,  a  new 
meeting  of  princes,  lords,  prelates,  parHament,  the  University,  and 
burgesses  was  held  in  the  great  hall  of  the  Louvre-  The  duchess 
of  Orleans,  the  duke  her  son,  their  chancellor,  and  the  principal 
officers  of  her  household  were  introduced,  and  leave  was  given  thom 
to  proceed  with  the  justification  of  the  late  duke  of  Orleans,  It 
had  been  prepared  beforehand  ;  the  duchess  placed  the  manuscript 
before  the  council,  as  pledging  herself  unreservedly  to  all  it  con- 
tained, and  master  S<5risy,  abbot  of  St.  Fiacre,  a  monk  of  the  order 
of  St.  Benedict,  read  the  docnment  out  publicly*  It  was  a  long  and 
learned  defence  in  which  the  imputations  made  by  the  Cordelier, 
John  Petit,  against  the  late  duke  of  Orleans,  were  effectually  and 
in  some  parts  eloquently  refuted.  After  the  justification,  master 
Cousinot,  advocate  of  the  duchess  of  Orleans,  presented  in  person 
his  demands  against  the  duke  of  Burgundy.  They  claimed  that  he 
should  be  bound  to  come  "  without  belt  or  chaperon "  and 
disavow  solemnly  and  publicly,  on  his  knees  before  the  royal  family 
and  also  on  the  very  spot  whore  the  crime  was  committed,  the 
murder  of  the  duke  of  Orleans,  After  several  other  acts  of  repa- 
ration which  were  imposed  upon  him,  he  was  to  be  sent  into  exile 
for  twenty  years  beyond  the  seas,  and  on  his  return  to  remain  at 
twenty  leagues'  distance,  at  least,  from  the  king  and  the  royal 
family-  After  reading  these  demands,  which  were  more  legitimate 
than  practicable,  the  young  dauphin,  well  instructed  as  to  what  h© 
had  to  say,  addressed  the  duchess  of  Orleans  and  her  children  in 
these  terms:  "We  and  all  the  princes  of  the  blood  royal  herepresenti 
after  having  heard  the  justification  of  our  uncle,  the  duke  of  Or!eans> 
have  no  doubt  left  touching  the  honour  of  his  memory  and  do  hold 
him  to  be  completely  cleared  of  all  that  hath  been  said  contrary  to 
his  reputation.  As  to  the  further  demands  you  make  they  shall  be 
suitably  provided  for  in  course  of  justice,"  At  this  answer  the 
assembly  broke  up. 

It  had  just  been  reported  that  the  duke  of  Burgundy  had  com* 
pletely  beaten  and  reduced  to  submission  the  insurgent  Lifegese  and 


Chap,  XXm.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEAES^  WAR, 


265 


that  he  was  preparing  to  return  to  Paris  with  his  army.  Great  was 
the  consternation  amongst  the  council  of  the  queen  and  princes. 
Thej  feared  above  eveiy  thing  to  see  the  king  and  the  dauphin  in  the 
diike  of  Burgundy's  power ;  and  it  was  decided  to  quit  Paris  which 
had  always  testified  a  favourable  disposition  towards  Duke  John. 
Charles  VI.  was  the  first  to  depart,  on  the  3rd  of  November,  1408, 
The  queen,  the  dauphin,  and  the  princes  followed  him  two  days 
afterwards,  and  at  Gien  they  all  took  boat  on  the  Loire  to  go  to 
Tours.  The  duke  of  Burgundy  on  his  arrival  at  Paris,  on  the  28th 
of  November,  found  not  a  soul  belonging  to  the  royal  family  or  the 
court;  and  he  felt  a  moment's  embarrassment.  Even  his  audacity 
and  lack  of  scruple  did  not  go  to  the  extent  of  doing  without  the  king 
altogether,  or  even  of  dispensing  with  having  him  for  a  tool;  and  he 
had  seen  too  much  of  the  Parisian  populace  not  to  know  how  pre- 
carious and  fickle  was  its  favour.  He  determined  to  negotiate  with 
the  king's  party,  and  for  that  purpose  he  sent  his  brother-in-law, 
the  count  of  Hainault,  to  Tours,  with  a  brilliant  train  of  unarmed 
attendants,  bidden  to  make  themselves  agreeable  and  not  to  fight. 
A  recent  event  had  probably  much  to  do  with  his  decision.  His  most 
indomitable  foe,  she  to  whom  the  king  and  his  councillors  had  lately 
granted  a  portion  of  the  vengeance  she  was  seeking  to  take  on  him, 
Valentine  of  Milan,  duchess  of  Orleans,  died  on  the  4th  of  December, 
1#8,  at  Blois,  £ir  fi'om  satisfied  with  the  moral  reparation  she  had 
obtained  in  her  enemy's  absence,  and  cleai'ly  foreseeing  that  against 
the  duke  of  Burgundy,  flushed  with  victory  and  present  in  person, 
she  would  obtain  nothing  of  what  she  had  asked.  For  spirits  of 
the  best  mettle,  and  especially  for  a  woman's  heart,  impotent 
pasiion  is  a  heavy  burden  to  bear ;  and  Valentine  Visconti,  beau- 
tiful, amiable,  and  unhappy  even  in  her  best  days  through  the  fault 
of  the  husband  she  loved,  sank  under  this  trial.  At  the  close  of 
her  life  she  had  taken  for  device,  **  Naught  have  I  more,  more  hold 
I  naught"  {Rien  ne  m' est  plus ;  plus  ne  m'est  rien);  and  so  fully 
was  that  her  habitual  feeling  that  she  had  the  words  inscribed 
upon  the  black  tapestry  of  her  chamber.  In  her  last  hours  she  had 
by  her  side  her  three  sons  and  her  daughter,  but  there  was  another 
still  whom  she  remembered.  She  sent  for  a  child,  six  years  of  age, 
John,  a  natural  son  of  her  husband  by  Marietta  d'Enghien,  wife  of 


HISTORY   or  FKANCE. 


[Chaf.  XXIIL 


sire  de  Cany-Dunois.  "Tliis  onej"  said  she,  *^was  filched  from  mc; 
yet  there  is  not  a  child  so  well  cut  out  as  he  to  avenge  hiB  father's 
death/*  Twenty*five  years  later  John  was  the  famous  bastso^ 
of  Orleans^  Count  Dunois,  Charles  VII /s  Heutenant-general  and 
Joan  of  Arc*s  comrade  in  the  work  of  saving  the  French  kingship 
and  France, 

The  duke  of  Burgundy's  negotiations  at  Tours  were  not  fruit  1 
The  result  was  that  on  the  0th  of  March,  1409,  a  treaty  waiJ  coii3 
eluded  and  an  interview  eflFectcd  at  Chartres  between  the  duke  on 
one  side  and  on  the  other  the  king,  the  queen,  the  dauphin,  all  the 
royal  family,  the  councillors  of  the  crown,  the  young  duke  of 
Orleans,  his  brother,  and  a  hundred  knights  of  their  house,  all  met 
together  to  hear  the  king  declare  that  he  pardoned  the  duke  of 
Burgundy*  The  duke  pmyed  ''  mj  lord  of  Orleans  and  my  k 
his  brothers  to  banish  from  their  hearts  all  hatred  and  vengeancse  j^ 
and  the  princes  of  Orleans  "  assented  to  what  the  king  commanded 
them  and  forgave  their  cousin  the  duke  of  Burgundy  every  thing 
entirely."  On  the  way  back  fi'om  Chartres  the  duke  of  Bmgundj 
fool  kept  playing  with  a  church-paten  (called  "peace")  and  thrust- ^ 
ing  it  under  his  cloak,  saying,  "  See,  this  is  a  cloak  of  peace;''  : 
*'  Many  folks/*  says  Juvenal  des  Ursins,  "  considered  this  Ikj 
pretty  wise/*  The  duke  of  Buigundy  had  good  reason,  howevc 
for  geeking  this  outward  reconcihation ;  it  put  an  end  to  a  pc 
too  extended  not  to  become  pretty  soon  untenable ;  the  peace 
a  cause  of  great  joy  at  Paris ;  the  king  was  not  long  cot 
back;  and  two  hundred  thousand  persons,  says  the  chronicle 
went  out  to  meet  him,  shouting,  **  Noel !"  The  duke  of  Burgunc 
had  gone  out  to  receive  him ;  and  the  queen  and  the  princes  arrive 
two  days  afterwards.  It  was  not  known  at  the  time,  though  ifc^ 
perhaps  the  most  serious  result  of  the  negotiation,  that  a 
understanding  had  been  established  between  John  the  Fearless 
Isabel  of  Bavaria,  The  queen,  as  false  as  she  was  dissolute, 
seen  that  the  duke  might  be  of  service  to  her  on  occasion  if  shi 
served  him  in  her  turn,  and  they  had  added  the  falsehood  of  their 
undivulged  arrangement  to  that  of  the  general  reconciliation. 

But  falsehood  does  not  extinguish  the  facts  it  attempts  to  dis- 
guise.   The  hostility  between  the  houses  of  Orleans  and  Burgundy 


I 


CHAF-XXm,]        THE  HTINDRED   YEABS 

oould  not  fail  to  sumve  the  treaty  of  Chartres  and  cause  searcli  to 
be  made  for  a  man  to  head  the  struggle  so  soon  as  it  could  be 
recommenced.     The  hour  and  the  man  were  not  long  waited  for. 
In  the  very  year  of  the  treaty,  Charles  of  Orleans,  eldest  son  of  the 
murdered  duke  and  Valentine  of  Milans  lost  his  wife,  Isabel  of 
France^  daughter  of  Charles  VI- ;  and  as  early  as  the  following 
year   (1410)   the   princes,   his  uncles,   made    him   marry   Bonne 
d'Armagnac,  daughter  of  Count  Bernard  d'Armagnac,  one  of  the 
most  powerful,  the  most  able,  and  the  most  ambitious  lords  of 
southern  France,     rorthwith,  in  concert  with  the  duke  of  Berry, 
the  duke  of  Brittany,  and  seyeral  other  lords,  Count  Bernard  put 
himself  at  the  head  of  the  Orleans  party,  and  prepared  to  proceed 
against  the  duke  of  Burgundy  in  the  cause  of  dominion  combined 
with  vengeance.     From  1410  to  1415  France  was  a  prey  to  civil 
yiw  between  the  Armagnacs  and  Burgundians  and  to  their  alter- 
nate successes  and  reverses  brought  about  by  the  unscrupulous 
employment  of  the  most  odious  and  desperate  means-    The  Burgun- 
dians had  generally  the  advantage  in  the  struggle,  for  Paris  was 
eMefly   the   centre  of  it,   and    their  influence   was   predominant 
there.     Their  principal  allies  there  were  the  butchers,  the  boldest 
and  most  ambitious  corporation  in  the  city.     For  a  long  time  the 
biitcher*trade  of  Paris  had  been  in  the  hands  of  a  score  of  families; 
the  number  had  been  repeatedly  reduced  and  at  the  opening  of  the 
fifteenth  century,  three  families,  the  Legoix,  the  St,  Tons,  and  the 
Thiberts  bad  exercised  absolute  mastery  in  the  market-district, 
wMch  in  turn  exercised  mastery  over  nearly  the  whole  city.   "  One 
Caboehe^  a  flayer  of  beasts  in  the  shambles  of  Hotel-Dieu,  and 
Piaster  John  de  Troyes,  a  surgeon  with  a  talent  for  speaking,  were 
tteir  most  active  associates.    Their  company  consisted  of  prentice- 
l^tcters,  medical  students,  skinners,  tailors,  and  every  kind  of 
J<?wd  fellows.     When  any  body  caused  their  displeasure  they  said, 
*  Here's  an  Armagnac/  and  despatched   him  on  the  spot,  and 
plundered  his  house,  or  dragged  him  ofi*  to  prison  to  pay  dear  for 
^B  release.     The  rich  burgesses  lived  in  fear  and  peril.     More 
^Wi  three  hundred  of  them  went  off  to  Melun  with  the  provost  of 
l^^esmen,  who  could  no  longer  answer  for  the  tranquillity  of  tho 
^ty/'     Tho  Armagnacs,  in  spito  of  their  general  inferiority,  some- 


270  HISTORT  OP  FEANOB.  [Cbxp.  XXHL 

times  got  the  upper  hand  and  did  not  then  behave  with  much  more 
discretion  than  the  others.  They  committed  the  mistake  of  asking 
aid  from  the  king  of  England,  "  promising  him  the  immediate  sur- 
render of  all  the  cities,  castles,  and  baihwicks  they  still  possessed 
in  Guienne  and  Poitou."  Their  correspondence  fell  into  the  hands 
of  the  Burgundians,  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy  showed  the  king 
himself  a  letter  stating  "  that  the  duke  of  Berry,  the  duke  of 
Orleans,  and  the  duke  of  Bourbon  had  lately  conspired  together  at 
Bourges  for  the  destruction  of  the  king,  the  kingdom,  and  the  good 
city  of  Paris."  "  Ah !"  cried  the  poor  king  with  tears,  "  wo  quite 
see  their  wickedness,  and  we  do  conjure  you,  who  are  of  our  own 
blood,  to  aid  and  advise  us  against  them."  The  duke  and  his  par- 
tisans, kneeling  on  one  knee,  promised  the  king  all  the  assistance 
possible  with  their  persons  and  their  property.  The  civil  war  was 
passionately  carried  on.  The  Burgundians  went  and  besieged 
Bourges.  The  siege  continued  a  long  while  without  success. 
Some  of  the  besiegers  grew  weary  of  it.  Negotiations  were  opened 
with  the  besieged.  An  interview  took  place  before  the  walls 
between  the  duke  of  Berry  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy.  "  Nephew," 
said  the  former,  "  I  have  acted  ill,  and  you  still  worse.  It  is  for 
us  to  try  and  maintain  the  kingdom  in  peace  and  prosperity."  "  I 
will  be  no  obstacle,  uncle,"  answered  Duke  John.  Peace  was 
made.  It  Avas  stipulated  that  the  duke  of  Berry  and  the  Armagnac 
lords  should  give  up  all  alliance  Avitli  the  English  and  all  confederacy 
against  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  who,  on  his  side,  should  give  up  any 
that  he  might  have  formed  against  them.  An  engagement  was 
entered  into  mutually  to  render  aid,  service,  and  obedience  to  the 
king  against  his  foe  of  England  as  they  were  bound  by  right  and 
reason  to  do ;  and  lastly  a  promise  was  made  to  observe  the  articles 
of  the  peace  of  Chartres  and  to  swear  them  over  again.  There  was 
a  special  prohibition  against  using  for  the  future  the  words  Ar- 
magnacs  and  Burgundians  or  any  other  term  reflecting  upon  either 
party.  The  pacification  was  solemnly  celebrated  at  Auxerre,  on 
the  22nd  of  August,  1412 ;  and  on  the  29th  of  September  following, 
the  dauphin  once  more  entered  Paris,  with  the  duke  of  Burgimdy 
at  his  side.  The  king,  queen,  and  duke  of  Berry  arrived  a  few  days 
afterwards.     The  people  gave  a  hearty  reception  to  them,  even  to 


Chaf.xsul]      the  hundred  yeaes^  war. 


271 


tie  Armagnacs,   well   known   as  such,   in   their  train;   but   the 
l3utchers  and  the  men  of  their  faction  murmured  loudly  and  treated 
^be  peace  as  treason*     Outside,  it  was  little  more  than  nominal ; 
-trhe  count  of  Armagnac  remained  under  arms  and  the  duke  of 
CUrleans  held  aloof  from  Paris.     A  violent  ferment  again  began 
*here.     The  butchers  continued  to  hold  the  mastery.    The  duke  of 
burgundy,  all  the  while  finding  them  very  much  in  the  way,  did 
xiot  cease  to  pay  court  to  them.     Many  of  his  knights  were  highly 
ciispleased  at  seeing  themselves  mixed  up  with  such  fellows.     The 
lionest  burgesses  began  to  be  less  fi'ightened  at  the  threats  and 
:iiiore  angry  at  the  excesses  of  the  butchers.    The  advocate-general, 
Juvenal  des  ITrsins,  had  several  times  called  without  being  received 
at  the  HAtel  d' Artois,  but  one  night  the  duke  of  Burgundy  sent  for 
liim  and  asked  him  what  he  thought  of  the  position.     '*  My  lord/* 
Said  the  magistrate,  *'  do  not  persist  in  always  maintaining  that 
you  did  well  to  have  the  duke  of  Orleans  slain ;  enough  mischief 
has  come  of  it  to  make  you  agree  that  you  were  wrong*     It  is  not 
to  your  honour  to  let  yourself  be  guided  by  flayers  of  beasts  and  a 
lot  of  lewd  fellows.     I  can  guarantee  that  a  hundred  biu'gesses  of 
Paris,  of  the  highest  character,  would  undertake  to  attend  you 
every  where  and  do  whatever  you  should  bid  them,  and  even  lend 
you  money  if  you  wanted  it/'     The  duke  listened  patiently,  but 
atiswered  that  he  had  done  no  wrong  in  the  case  of  the  duke  of 
Orleans  and  would  never  confess  that  he  had*     ''As  to  the  fellows 
of*  whom  you  speak,"  said  he,  '•  I  know  my  own  business."   Juvenal 
Returned  home  without  much  belief  in  the  duke's  firmness.     He 
ii^imsell^  full  of  courage  as  he  was,  durst  not  yet  declare  himself 
^^^601)%     The  thought  of  all  this  occupied  his  mind  incessantly, 
^^leeping  and  waking.     One   niglit,   when  he  had  fallen  asleep 
^^^Dwards  morning,  it  seemed  to  him  that  a  voice  kept  saying,  Snrgtte 
int  sederitiSj  qui  mandii'Catiii  fmiem  doloris  (Rise  up  from  your 
^^itting,  ye  who  eat  the  bread  of  sorrow).    Wlien  he  awoke,  his  wife, 
^good  and  pious  woman,  said  to  him,  *'My  dear,  this  morning  I 
^eard  some  one  saying  to  you,  or  you  pronouncing  in  a  dream  some 
"^ords  that  I  have  often  read  in  my  Haiirs ;"  and  she  repeated 
them  to  him.    *'  My  dear,"  answered  Juvenal,  "  we  have  eleven 
<!liildren,  and  consequently  great  cause  to  pray  God  to  grant  us 


272  HISTORY  OP  PRANCE.  [CHAP.XXni. 

peace ;  let  us  hope  in  Him,  and  He  will  help  us."  He  often  saw 
the  duke  of  Berry.  "  Well,  Juvenal,'*  the  old  prince  would  say  to 
him,  "  shall  this  last  for  ever  ?  Shall  we  be  for  ever  under  the 
sway  of  these  lewd  fellows  ?  "  My  lord,"  Juvenal  would  answer, 
"  hope  we  in  God ;  yet  a  little  while  and  we  shall  see  them  con- 
founded and  destroyed." 

Nor  was  Juvenal  mistaken.  The  opposition  to  the  yoke  of  the 
Burgundians  was  daily  becoming  more  and  more  earnest  and 
general.  The  butchers  attempted  to  stem  the  current;  but  the 
carpenters  took  sides  against  them,  saying,  "  We  will  see  which 
are  the  stronger  in  Paris,  the  hewers  of  wood  or  the  fellers  of 
oxen."  The  parliament,  the  exchequer-chamber,  and  the  H6tel- 
de-Ville  demanded  peace;  and  the  shout  of  Peace!  'peace I 
resounded  in  the  streets.  A  great  crowd  of  people  assembled  on 
the  Grfeve ;  and  thither  the  butchers  came  with  their  company  of 
about  twelve  hundred  persons,  it  is  said.  They  began  to  speak 
against  peace,  but  could  not  get  a  hearing.  "  Let  those  who  are 
for  it  go  to  the  right,"  shouted  a  voice,  "  and  those  who  are  against 
it  to  the  left !"  But  the  adversaries  of  peace  durst  not  risk  this 
test.  The  duke  of  Burgundy  could  not  help  seeing  that  he  was 
declining  rapidly;  he  was  no  longer  summoned  to  the  king's 
council ;  a  watch  was  kept  upon  his  house ;  and  he  determined  to 
go  away.  On  the  23rd  of  August,  1413,  without  a  word  said,  even 
to  his  household,  he  went  away  to  the  wood  of  Vincennes,  prevail- 
ing on  the  king  to  go  hawking  with  him.  There  was  a  suspicion 
that  the  duke  meant  to  carry  oflf  the  king.  Juvenal  des  Ursins 
with  a  company  of  armed  burgesses  hurried  off  to  Vincennes,  and 
going  straight  to  the  king,  said,  "  Sir,  come  away  to  Paris ;  it  is 
too  hot  to  be  out."  The  king  turned  to  go  back  to  the  city.  The 
duke  of  Burgundy  was  angry,  saying,  that  the  king  was  going 
a-hawking.  "You  would  take  him  too  far,"  rejoined  Juvenal; 
"  your  people  are  in  travelling-dress  and  you  have  your  trumpeters 
with  you."  The  duke  took  leave  of  the  king,  said  business 
required  his  presence  in  Flanders,  and  went  off  as  fast  as  he  could. 

When  it  was  known  that  he  had  gone,  there  was  a  feeling  of 
regret  and  disquietude  amongst  the  sensible  and  sober  burgesses 
at  Paris.     What  they  wanted  was  peace ;  and  in  order  to  have  it 


Chap.  XXTTT,]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  275 

the  adherence  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy  was  indispensable.  Wliilst 
he  was  present,  there  might  be  hope  of  winning  him  or  forcing  him 
over  to  it ;  but,  whilst  he  was  absent,  headstrong  as  ho  was  known 
to  be,  a  renewal  of  war  was  the  most  probable  contingency.  And 
this  result  appeared  certain  when  it  was  seen  how  the  princes 
hostile  to  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  above  all,  Duke  Charles  of 
Orleans,  the  count  of  Armagnac  and  their  partisans  hastened  back 
to  Paris  and  resumed  their  ascendency  with  the  king  and  in  his 
council.  The  dauphin,  Louis,  duke  of  Aquitaine,  united  himself  by  . 
the  ties  of  close  friendship  with  the  duke  of  Orleans,  and  prevailed 
upon  him  to  give  up  the  mourning  he  had  worn  since  his  father's 
murder ;  the  two  princes  appeared  every  where  dressed  alike ;  the 
scarf  of  Armagnac  replaced  that  of  Burgundy ;  the  feelings  of  the 
populace  changed  as  the  fashion  of  the  court ;  and  when  children 
sang  in  the  streets  the  song  but  lately  in  vogue,  "  Burgundy's 
duke,  God  give  thee  joy!"  they  were  struck  and  hurled  to  the 
ground.  Facts  were  before  long  in  accordance  with  appearances. 
After  a  few  pretences  of  arrangement  the  duke  of  Burgundy  took 
up  arms  and  marched  on  Paris.  Charles  VI.,  on  his  side,  annulled, 
in  the  presence  of  Parliament,  all  acts  adverse  to  the  duke  of 
Orleans  and  his  adherents;  and  the  king,  the  queen,  and  the 
dauphin  bound  themselves  by  oath  not  to  treat  with  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  until  they  had  destroyed  his  power.  At  the  end  of 
March,  1414,  the  king's  army  was  set  in  motion ;  Compifegne, 
Soissons,  and  Bapaume,  which  held  out  for  the  duke  of  Burgundy, 
were  successively  taken  by  assault  or  surrendered ;  the  royal  troops 
treated  the  people  as  vanquished  rebels ;  and  the  four  great  com- 
munes of  Flanders  sent  a  deputation  to  the  king  to  make  protesta- 
tions  of  their  respect  and  an  attempt  to  arrange  matters  between 
their  lord  and  his  suzerain.  Animosity  was  still  too  lively  and  too 
recent  in  the  king's  camp  to  admit  of  satisfaction  with  a  victory  as 
yet  incomplete.  On  the  28th  of  July  began  the  siege  of  Ajras ; 
but  after  five  weeks  the  besiegers  had  made  no  impression;  an 
epidemic  came  upon  them ;  the  duke  of  Bavaria  and  the  constable, 
Charles  d'Albret,  were  attacked  by  it;  weariness  set  in  on 
both  sides ;  the  duke  of  Burgundy  himself  began  to  be  anxious 
about  his  position ;  and  he  sent  the  duke  of  Brabant,  his  brother, 

T  2 


276  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXm. 

and  the  countess  of  Hainault,  his  sister,  to  the  king  and  the 
dauphin  with  more  submissive  words  than  he  had  hitherto  deigned 
to  utter.  The  countess  of  Hainault,  pleading  the  ties  of  family  and 
royal  interests,  managed  to  give  the  dauphin  a  bias  towards  peace; 
and  the  dauphin  in  his  turn  worked  upon  the  mind  of  the  king, 
who  was  becoming  more  and  more  feeble  and  accessible  to  the 
most  opposite  impressions.  It  was  in  vain  that  the  most  intimate 
friends  of  the  duke  of  Orieans  tried  to  keep  the  king  steadfast  in 
his  wrath  from  night  to  morning.  One  day  when  he  was  still  in 
bed  one  of  them  softly  approaching  and  putting  his  hand  under  the 
coverlet,  said,  plucking  him  by  the  foot, ''  My  lord,  are  you  asleep?" 
"  No,  cousin,"  answered  the  king ;  "  you  are  quite  welcome ;  is  there 
any  thing  new  ?"  "  No  sir ;  only  that  your  people  report  that  if 
you  would  assault  Arras  there  would  be  good  hope  of  effecting  an 
entry."  **But  if  my  cousin  of  Burgundy  listens  to  reason  and 
puts  the  town  into  my  hands  without  assault,  we  will  make  peace." 
**What!  sir;  you  would  make  peace  with  this  wicked,  this  dis- 
loyal man  who  so  cruelly  had  yoiu*  brother  slain  ?"  **  But  all  was 
forgiven  him  with  the  consent  of  my  nephew  of  Orleans,"  said  the 
king  mournfully.  "  Alas !  sir,  you  will  never  see  that  brother 
again."  "  Let  me  be,  cousin,"  said  the  king  impatiently,  ''  I  shall 
see  him  again  on  the  day  of  judgment." 

Notwithstanding  this  stubborn  way  of  working  up  the  irrecon- 
cilable enmities  which  caused  divisions  in  the  royal  family,  peace 
was  decided  upon  and  concluded  at  Arras,  on  the  4th  of  September, 
1414,  on  conditions  as  vague  as  ever,  wliich  really  put  no  end  to 
the  causes  of  civil  war,  but  permitted  the  king  on  the  one  hand  and 
the  duke  of  Burgundy  on  the  other  to  call  themselves  and  to  wear 
an  appearance  of  being  reconciled.  A  serious  event  wliich  hap- 
pened abroad  at  that  time  was  heavily  felt  in  France,  reawakened 
the  spirit  of  nationality,  and  opened  the  eyes  of  all  parties  a  httle 
to  the  necessity  of  suspending  their  own  selfish  disagreements. 
Henry  IV.,  king  of  England,  died  on  the  20th  of  March,  1413. 
Having  been  chiefly  occupied  with  the  difficulties  of  his  own 
government  at  home,  he,  without  renouncing  the  war  with  Prance, 
had  not  prosecuted  it  vigorously,  and  had  kept  it  in  suspense  or 
adjournment  by  a  repetition  of  truces.     Henry  V.,  his  son  and 


pflAF.XKIll-]         THE  HUNDHED  YEARS'  WAS. 


277 


sicc^sor^  a  young  prince  of  five  and  twenty,  active,  ambitiouej  able, 
aod  popular,  gave,  from  the  very  moment  of  his  accession,  signs  of 
having  bolder  views,  which  were  not  long  coming  to  maturity,  in 
rej?pect  of  his  relations  with  France,     The  duke  of  Burgundy  ha^i 
undoubtedly  anticipated  them,  for,  as  soon  as  he  was  cognizant  of 
Efinry  IV/s  death,  he  made  overt in*es  in  London  for  the  marriage 
of  his  daughter  Catherine  with  the  new  king  of  England,  and  he 
J^eived  at  Bruges  an  EngMsh  embassy  on  tlie  subject.     When  this 
^as  known  at  Paris,  the  council  of  Charles  VI,  sent  to  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  sire  de  Dampierre  and  the  bishop  of  Evreux  bearing 
letters  to  him  from  the  king  ''  which  forbad  him,  on  pain  of  for- 
feiture and  treason,  to  enter  into  any  treaty  with  the  king  of 
England  either  for  his  daughter's  marriage  or  for  any  other  cause*'* 
But  the  views  of  Henry  V*  soared  higher  than  a  marriage  with  a 
daughter  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy,     It  wag  to  the  hand  of  the 
Idng  of  France's  daughter,  herself  also  named  Catherine,  that  he 
laade  pretension,  flattering  himself  that  he  would  find  in  this  union 
aid  in  support  of  his  pretences  to  the  crown  of  France.     These 
pretences  he  put  forward,  hardly  a  year  after  his  accession  to  the 
throne,  basing  them,  as  Edward  III,  had  done,  on  the  alleged  right 
_  of  Isabel  of  France,  wife  of  Edward  II.,  to  succeed  King  John.    No 
W  ^eply  was   v^ouchsafed   from   Paris   to   this   demand.      Only   the 
Princess  Catherine,  who  was  but  thirteen,  was  presented  to  the 
envoys  of  the  king  of  England,  and  she  struck  them  as  being  tall 
and  beautifuL     A  month  later ,  in  August,  1414,  Henry  V.  gave 
^  Charles  VL  to  understand  that  he  would  be  content  with  a  strict 
^^atecution  of  the  treaty  of  Bretigny,  with  the  addition  of  Normandy, 
Vliwjoii,  and  Maine,  and  the  hand  of  the  Princess  Catherine  with  a 
<ioffry  of  two  miUion  crowns.     The  war  between  Charles  VI.  and 
Join  the  Fearless  caused  a  suspension  of  all  negotiations  on  this 

I^^bject ;  but,  after  the  peace  of  Arra^,  in  January,  1415,  a  new  and 
^^<)3emn  embassy  from  England  arrived  at  Paris,  and  the  late  propo- 
*bJb  were  again  brought  forward.  The  ambassadors  had  a  magni- 
ficent reception  ;  splendid  presents  and  enteitaiumentif  were  given 
"^Iiein ;  but  no  answer  was  made  to  their  demands ;  they  were  only 
*^ld  that  the  king  of  France  was  about  to  send  an  embassy  to  the 
'^itig  of  England*    It  did  not  set  out  before  the  27th  of  the  following 


278  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.XXIIL 

April ;  the  archbishop  of  Bourges,  the  most  eloquent  prelate  in  the 
council,  was  its  spokesman ;  and  it  had  orders  to  oflfer  the  king  of 
England  the  hand  of  the  Princess  Catherine  with  a  dowry  of  eight 
hundred  and  forty  thousand  golden  crowns,  besides  fifteen  towns  in 
Aquitaine  and  the  seneschalty  of  Limoges.  Henry' V.  rejected  these 
offers,  declaring  that,  if  he  did  not  get  Normandy  and  all  iihe 
districts  ceded  by  the  treaty  of  Br^tigny,  he  would  have  recourse 
to  war  to  recover  a  crown  which  belonged  to  him.  To  this  arro- 
gant language  the  archbishop  of  Bourges  replied,  "  0  king,  what 
canst  thou  be  thinking  of  that  thou  wouldst  fain  thus  oust  the 
king  of  the  French,  our  lord,  the  most  noble  and  excellent  of 
Christian  kings,  from  the  throne  of  so  powerful  a  kingdom  ? 
Thinkest  thou  that  it  is  for  fear  of  thee  and  of  the  English  that  he 
hath  made  thee  an  offer  of  his  daughter  together  with  so  great  a 
sum  and  a  poi*tion  of  his  land  ?  Nay,  verily ;  he  was  moved  by 
pity  and  the  love  of  peace ;  he  would  not  that  the  innocent  blood 
should  be  spUt  and  Christian  people  destroyed  in  the  hurly-burly 
of  battle.  He  will  invoke  the  aid  of  God  Almighty,  of  the  blessed 
virgin  Mary,  and  of  all  the  saints.  Then  by  his  own  arms  and 
those  of  his  loyal  subjects,  vassals,  and  allies,  thou  wilt  be  driven 
from  his  kingdom,  and,  peradventure,  meet  with  death  or  capture." 
On  returning  to  Paris  the  ambassadors,  in  presence  of  the  king's 
council  and  a  numerous  assembly  of  clergy,  nobiUty,  and  people, 
gave  an  account  of  their  embassy  and  advised  instant  preparation 
for  war  without  listening  to  a  single  word  of  peace.  "  They  loudly 
declared,"  says  the  monk  of  St.  Denis,  *'that  King  Henry's  letters, 
though  tliey  were  apparently  full  of  moderation,  had  lurking  at  the 
bottom  of  them  a  great  deal  of  perfidy,  and  that  this  king,  all  the 
time  that  he  was  offering  peace  and  union  in  the  most  honied 
terms,  was  thinking  only  how  he  might  destroy  the  kingdom,  and 
was  levying  troops  in  all  quarters."  Henry  V.,  indeed,  in  Novem- 
ber, 1414,  demanded  of  his  parliament  a  large  subsidy,  which 
was  at  once  voted  without  any  precise  mention  of  the  use  to  be 
made  of  it,  and  merely  in  the  terms  following :  "  For  the  defence 
of  the  realm  of  England  and  the  security  of  the  seas."  At  the 
commencement  of  the  following  year  Henry  resumed  negotiations 
with  France,  renouncing  his   claims   to  Normandy,   Anjou,   and 


I 


Cfflip.XXni]        THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAS, 


279 


I 


I 

• 

I 


MMne  J  but  Charles  VI,  and  his  council  adhered  to  their  former 

cffers-     On  the  16th  of  Aprils  1416,  Henry  announced  to  a  grand 

council  of  spiritual  and  temporal  peerSj  assembled  at  Wostminster, 

liis  determination  **  of  setting  out  in  person  to  go  and,  by  God's 

grace,  recover  his  heritage."     He  appointed  one  of  his  brothers, 

^he  duke    of   Bedford,   to   be   regent  in   his   absence,   and    the 

Twrs,  ecclesiastical  and  laical,  applauded  his  design,  promising 

^m  their  sincere  co-operation.     Thus  France,  under  a  poor  mad 

Iskg  and  amidst  civil  dissensions  of  the  most  obstinate  character, 

found  the  question  renewed  for  her  of  French  verms  English  king- 

fiiip  and  national  independence  vermis  foreign  conquest. 

On  the  14th  of  August,  1415,  an  Englisli  fleet,  having  on  board, 
together  with  King  Henry  V,,  six  thousand  men-at-arms,  twenty- 
four  thousand  archers,  powerful  war -machines,  and  a  multitude  of 
artisans  and  **  small  folk  *'  came  to  land  near  Harfleur,  not  far 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Seine,  It  was  the  most  formidable  expedi-* 
tion  that  had  ever  issued  from  the  ports  of  England,  The  English 
©pent  several  days  in  effectiag  their  landing  and  setting  up  their 
Biege-train  around  the  walls  of  the  city,  "  It  would  have  been 
^^sy,'*  says  the  monk  of  St.  Denis,  *^to  hinder  their  operations,  and 
the  inhabitants  of  the  town  and  neighbourhood  would  have  worked 
tliereat  with  zeal,  if  they  had  not  counted  that  the  nobility  of  the 
district  and  the  royal  army  commanded  by  the  constable,  Charles 
d'AJbret,  would  come  to  their  aid/'  No  one  came.  The  burgesses 
and  the  small  garrison  of  Harfleur  made  a  gallant  defence ;  but,  on 
the  22nd  of  September,  not  receiving  from  Vernon,  where  the  king 
and  the  dauphin  were  massing  their  troops,  any  other  assistance 
tloian  the  advice  to  "  take  courage  and  trust  to  the  king*s  discre- 
tioD,*'  they  capitulated;  and  Henry  V.,  after  taking  possession  of 
tie  place,  advanced  into  the  country  with  an  army  already  much 
i^iduced  by  sickness,  looking  for  a  favourable  point  at  which  to 
^JToss  the  Somme  and  push  his  invasion  still  farther*  It  was 
^ot  until  the  19th  of  October  that  ho  succeeded,  at  Bdthcncourt, 
^ear  St*  Quentin,  Chailes  VI,,  who  at  that  time  had  a  lucid 
interval,  after  holding  at  Rouen  a  council  of  war,  at  which  it 
^as  resolved  to  give  the  English  battle,  wished  to  repaii*  with  the 
^uphin  his  son  to  Bapaume  where  the  French  army  had  taken 


280 


HISTOllT  OF  FRANCE, 


[CHAf .  XXIU 


position ;  but  his  uncle,  the  duke  of  Berry,  having  still  quit^  a 
lively  recollection  of  the  battle  of  Poitiers,  fought  fifty-uine  years 
before,  made  opposition,  saying,  "  Better  lose  the  battle  than  the 
king  and  the  battle."   All  the  princes  of  the  royal  blood  and  all  the 
flower  of  the  French  nobility,  except  the  king  and  his  three  &oti|^| 
and  the  dukes  of  Berry,  Brittany,  and  Burgundy  joined  the  army" 
The  dukes  of  Orleans  and  Bourbon,  and  the  constable  d'Albret* 
who  was  in  command,  sent  to  ask  the  king  of  England  on  what 
day  and  at  what  place  he  would  be  pleased  to  give  them  battle. 
*'I  do  not  shut  myself  up  in  walled  towns,"  replied  Henry;  "I 
shall  be  found  at  any  time  and  any  where  ready  to  fight  if  any 
attempt  be  made  to  cut  off  my  march/'     The  French  resolved  to 
stop  him  between  Agincourt  and  Framecourt,  a  little  north  of  St. 
Paul  and  Hosdin.     The  encounter  took  place   on  the   25th  of 
October,  1415,    It  was  a  monotonous  and  lamentable  repetition  of 
the  disasters  of  Cr^cy  and  Poitiers ;  disasters  almost  ineritable, 
owing    to    the   incapacity    of    the    leaders   and   ever  the   same 
defects  on  the  part  of  the  French  nobility,  defects  which  rendered 
their    valorous    and    generous    qualities    not   only   fruitless    but 
fataL     Never  had  that  nobility  been  more  numerous  and  more 
brilliant  than  in  this  premeditated  struggle-     On  the  eve  of 
battle  marshal  de  Boucicaut  had  armed  five  hundred  new  knigh 
the  greater   part  passed  the   night  on  horseback,   under  ar; 
on  ground  soaked  with  rain  ;   and  men  and  horses  were  already 
distressed  in  the  morning,  when  the  battle  began.    It  were  tedious 
to  describe  the  faulty  manoeuvres  of  the  French  army  and  their 
deplorable  consequences  on  that   day.     Never   was   battle  more 
stubborn  or  defeat  more  complete  and  bloody*     Eight  thousand 
men  of  family,  amongst  whom  were  a  hundred  and  twenty  lords 
bearing  their  own  banners,  were  left  on  the  field  of  battle*     'J^fl 
duke  of  Brabant,  the  count  of  Nevers,  the  duke  of  Bar,  the  duke  of 
Alenyon,  and  the  constable  D*Albret  were  killed.     The  duke  of 
Orleans  was  dragged  out  wounded  from  under  the  dead.     Whn 
Henry  V.,  after  having  spent  several  hours  on  the  field  of  ba 
retired  to  his  quarters,  he  was  told  that  the  duke  of  Orleans  wouiw 
neither  eat  nor  drink.    He  went  to  see  him.    **  What  fare,  cousin  ?'* 
said  he,     **  Good^  my  lord,"     "  Why  will  you  not  eat  or  drink?'* 


XXm.]        THE  HUNDRED  YEAES*  WAE. 


283 


^ 


**  I  wish  to  fast,"     **  Cousm/'  said  tlie  king  gently,  "  make  good 

cheer;  if  God  has  granted  me  grace  to  gain  the  victory,  I  know  it 

is  not  owing  to  my  deserts ;  I  believe  that  God  wished  to  punish 

the  French ;  and,  if  all  I  have  heard  is  true,  it  is  no  wonder,  for 

they  say  that  never  were  seen  disorder,  hcentiousness,  sins,  and 

vices  like  what  is  going  on  in  France  jast  now.     Surely  God  did 

^wbM  to  be  angry."     It  appears  that  the  king  of  England's  feeling 

^waa  that  also  of  many  amongst  the  people  of  France*      "  On 

reflecting  upon  this  ciniel  mishap,"  says  the  monk  of  St,  Denis,  **all 

the  inhabitants  of  the  kingdom,  men  and  women,  said,  '  In  what 

evil  days  are  we  come  into  this  world  that  we  should  be  witnesses 

of  such  confusion  and  shame  V  "    Daring  the  battle  the  eldest  son 

of  Duke  John  tho  Fearless,  the  young  count  of  Charolais  (at  that 

time  nineteen) J   who   was  afterwards  Philip  the  Good,  duke  of 

Bnrgnndy,  was  at  the  castle  of  Aire,  where  his  governors  kept 

him  by  his  father's  orders  and  prevented  him  from  joining  the 

kiDg's  army.     His  servants  were  leaving  him  one  after  another  to 

gD  and  defend  the  kingdom  against  the  Bnghsh.     When  he  heard 

of  tbe  disaster  at  Agincourt  he  was  seized  with  profound  despair  at 

having  faOed  in  that  patriotic  duty ;   he  would  fain  have  starved 

binself  to  death,  and  he  spent  three  whole  days  in  tears,  none 

beiDg  able  to  comfort  him.    When,  four  years  aferwards,  he  became 

d  like  of  Burgundy,  and  during  his  whole  life,  he  continued  to  testify 

hm  keen  regret  at  not  having  fought  in  that  cruel  battle,  though  it 

filould  have  cost  him  his  life,  and  he  often  talked  with  his  servants 

about  that  event  of  grievous  memory.    When  his  father,  Duke  John, 

J*>ec^ived  the  news  of  the  disaster  at  Agincourt,  he  also  exhibited  great 

Sorrow  and  irritation ;  he  had  lost  by  it  his  two  brothers,  the  duke 

<^f  Brabant  and  the  count  of  Nevers;  and  he  sent  forthwith  a  herald 

^  the  king  of  England,  who  was  still  at  Calais,  with  orders  to  say 

^'lat  in  consequence  o£  the  death  of  his  brother,  the  duke  of  Brabant, 

^ho  was  no  vassal  of  France,  and  held  nothing  in  fief  there,  he,  the 

"^Uke  of  Burgundy,  did  defy  him  mortally  (fire  and  sword)  and  sent 

^itn  his  ^untlet.     *'  I  wiU  not  accept  the  gauntlet  of  so  noble  and 

Puissant  a  prince  as  tbe  duke  of  Burgundy,'^  was  Henry  V*'s  soft 

^Uswer  J  **  I  am  of  no  account  compared  with  him.     If  I  have  had 

'Ue  victory  over  the  nobles  of  France,  it  is  by  God's  grace.     The 


284  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXin. 

death  of  the  duke  of  Brabant  hath  been  an  affliction  to  me ;  but  I 
do  assure  thee  that  neither  I  nor  my  people  did  cause  his  death. 
Take  back  to  thy  master  his  gauntlet ;  if  he  will  be  at  Boulogne  on 
the  15th  of  January  next,  I  will  prove  to  him  by  the  testimony 
of  my  prisoners  and  two  of  my  friends,  that  it  was  the  French 
who  accompUshed  his  brothers'  destruction." 

The  duke  of  Burgundy,  as  a  matter  of  course,  let  his  quarrel 
with  the  king  of  England  drop;  and  occupied  himself  for  the  future 
only  in  recovering  his  power  in  France.  He  set  out  on  the  march 
for  Paris,  proclaiming  every  where  that  he  was  assembling  his 
army  solely  for  the  purpose  of  avenging  the  kingdom,  chastising 
the  English,  and  aiding  the  king  with  his  counsels  and  his  forces. 
The  sentiment  of  nationaUty  was  so  strongly  aroused  that  politi- 
cians most  anxious  about  their  own  personal  interests,  and  about 
them  alone,  found  themselves  obliged  to  pay  homage  to  it. 

Unfortunately  it  was,  so  far  as  Duke  John  was  concerned,  only  a 
superficial  and  transitory  homage.  There  is  no  repentance  so 
rarely  seen  as  that  of  selfishness  in  pride  and  power.  The  four 
years  which  elapsed  between  the  battle  of  Agincourt  and  the  death  of 
John  the  Fearless  were  filled  with  nothing  but  fresh  and  still  more 
tragic  explosions  of  hatred  and  strife  between  the  two  factions  of 
the  Burgundians  and  Armagnacs,  taking  and  losing,  retaking  and 
re-losing,  alternately,  their  ascendency  with  the  king  and  in  the 
government  of  France.  When,  after  the  battle  of  Agincourt,  the 
duke  of  Burgundy  marched  towards  Paris,  he  heard  almost  simul- 
taneously that  the  king  was  issuing  a  prohibition  against  the  entry 
of  his  troops,  and  that  his  rival,  the  count  of  Armagnac,  had  just 
arrived  and  been  put  in  possession  of  the  military  power,  as 
constable,  and  of  the  civil  power,  as  superintendent-general  of 
finance.  The  duke  then  returned  to  Burgundy  and  lost  no  time 
in  recommencing  hostiUties  against  the  king's  government.  At 
one  time  he  let  his  troops  make  war  on  the  king's  and  pillaged  the 
domains  of  the  crown ;  at  another  he  entered  into  negotiations 
with  the  king  of  England  and  showed  a  disposition  to  admit  his 
claims  to  such  and  such  a  pro\nnce,  and  even  perhaps  to  the  throne 
of  France.  He  did  not  accede  to  the  positive  alliance  offered  him 
by  Henry;  but  he  employed  the  fear  entertained  of  it  by  the  king's 


Chap.XKOI.]        the  hundred  YEABS'  war.  285 

govemment  as  a  weapon  against  his  enemies.  The  count  of 
Armagnac,  on  his  side,  made  the  most  relentless  use  of  power 
against  the  duke  of  Burgundy  and  his  partisans;  he  pursued 
them  every  where,  especially  in  Paris,  with  dexterous  and  pitiless 
hatred.  He  abolished  the  whole  organization  and  the  privileges  of 
the  Parisian  butcherdom  which  had  shown  so  favourable  a  leaning 
towards  Duke  John ;  and  the  system  he  established  as  a  substitute 
was  founded  on  excellent  grounds  appertaining  to  the  interests  of 
the  people  and  of  good  order  in  the  heart  of  Paris,  but  the  violence 
of  absolute  power  and  of  hatred  robs  the  best  measures  of  the 
credit  they  would  deserve  if  they  were  more  disinterested  and 
dispassionate.  A  Uvely  reaction  set  in  at  Paris  in  favour  of  the 
persecuted  Burgundians ;  even  outside  of  Paris  several  towns  of 
importance,  Rheims,  Chalons,  Troyes,  Auxerre,  Amiens,  and 
Rouen  itself,  showed  a  favourable  disposition  towards  the  duke 
of  Burgundy,  and  made  a  sort  of  alliance  with  him,  promising  to 
aid  him  "  in  reinstating  the  king  in  his  freedom  and  lordship  and 
the  realm  in  its  freedom  and  just  rights."  The  couut  of  Armagnac 
was  no  more  tender  with  the  court  than  with  the  populace  of  Paris. 
He  suspected,  not  without  reason,  that  the  queen,  Isabel  of  Bavaria, 
was  in  secret  communication  with  and  gave  information  to  Duke 
John.  Moreover,  she  was  leading  a  scandalously  licentious  life  at 
Yincennes ;  and  one  of  her  favourites,  Louis  de  Bosredon,  a  noble- 
man of  Auvergne  and  her  steward,  meeting  the  king  one  day  on 
the  road,  greeted  the  king  cavalierly  and  hastily  went  his  way. 
Charles  VI.  was  plainly  oflFended.  The  count  of  Armagnac  seized 
the  opportunity ;  and  not  only  did  he  foment  the  king's  ill-humour, 
but  talked  to  him  of  all  the  irregularities  of  which  the  queen  was 
the  centre  and  in  which  Louis  de  Bosredon  was,  he  said,  at  that 
time  her  principal  accompUce.  Charles,  in  spite  of  the  cloud  upon 
his  mind,  could  hardly  have  been  completely  ignorant  of  such 
facts ;  but  it  is  not  necessary  to  be  a  king  to  experience  extreme 
displeasure  on  learning  that  oflFensive  scandals  are  almost  public 
and  on  hearing  the  whole  tale  of  them.  The  king,  carried  away  by 
bis  anger,  went  straight  to  Vincennes,  had  a  violent  scene  with 
liis  wife,  and  caused  Bosredon  to  be  arrested,  imprisoned,  and  put 
to  the  question;   and  he,  on  his  own  confession* it  is  said,  was 


286  HISTORY  OP  PRANCE.  [Chap.XXIIL 

thrown  into  the  Seine,  sewn  up  in  a  leathern  sack,  on  which  were 
inscribed  the  words,  "Let  the  king's  justice  run  its  course!" 
Charles  VI.  and  Armagnac  did  not  stop  there.  Queen  Isabel  was 
first  of  all  removed  from  the  council  and  stripped  of  all  authority, 
and  then  banished  to  Tours,  where  commissioners  were  appointed 
to  watch  over  her  conduct,  and  not  to  let  her  even  write  a  letter  with- 
out their  seeing  it.  But  royal  personages  can  easily  elude  such 
strictness.  A  few  months  after  her  banishment,  whilst  the  despotism 
of  Armagnac  and  the  war  between  the  king  and  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  were  still  going  on.  Queen  Isabel  managed  to  send  to 
the  duke,  through  one  of  her  servants,  her  golden  seal,  which  John 
the  Fearless  well  knew,  with  a  message  to  the  effect  that  she  would 
go  with  him  if  he  would  come  to  fetch  her.  On  the  night  of 
November  1st,  1417,  the  duke  of  Burgundy  hurriedly  raised  the 
siege  of  Corbeil,  advanced  with  a  body  of  troops  to  a  position  withiii 
two  leagues  from  Tours,  and  sent  the  queen  notice  that  he  was 
awaiting  her.  Isabel  ordered  her  three  custodians  to  go  with  her 
to  mass  at  the  convent  of  Marmoutier,  outside  the  city.  Scarcely 
was  she  within  the  church  when  a  Burgundian  captain,  Hector  de 
Saveuse,  presented  himself  with  sixty  men  at  the  door.  "  Look 
to  your  safety,  madame,"  said  her  custodians  to  Isabel,  "  here  is  a 
large  company  of  Burgundians  or  English."  "  Keep  close  to  me," 
replied  the  queen.  Hector  de  Saveuse  at  that  moment  entered  and 
saluted  the  queen  on  behalf  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy.  "  Where  is 
he?"  asked  the  queen.  "He  will  not  be  long  coming."  Isabel 
ordered  the  captain  to  arrest  her  three  custodians ;  and  two 
hours  afterwards  Duke  John  arrived  with  his  men-at-arms.  "  My 
dearest  cousin,"  said  the  queen  to  him,  "I  ought  to  love  you  above 
every  man  iu  the  realm ;  you  have  left  all  at  my  bidding  and  are 
come  to  deliver  me  from  prison.  Be  assured  that  I  will  never  fail  you. 
I  quite  see  that  you  have  always  been  devoted  to  my  lord,  his  family, 
the  realm,  and  the  common-weal."  The  duke  carried  the  queen  off 
to  Chartres ;  and  as  soon  as  she  was  settled  there,  on  the  12th  of 
November,  1417,  she  Avrote  to  the  good  towns  of  the  kingdom  : — 

"  We,  Isabel,  by  the  grace  of  God,  queen  of  France,  having,  by 
reason  of  my  lord  the  king's  seclusion,  the  government  and  admi- 
nistration of  this  realm,  by  irrevocable  grant  made  to  us  by  the 


€HAP.XXm.]         THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR.  287 

said  my  lord  the  king  and  his  council,  are  come  to  Ohartres  in 
company  with  our  cousin,  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  in  order  to 
advise  and  ordain  whatsoever  is  necessary  to  preserve  and  recover 
the  supremacy  of  my  lord  the  king,  on  advice  taken  of  the 
prud'hommes,  vassals,  and  subjects." 

She  at  the  same  time  ordered  that  master  Philip  de  Morvilliers, 
heretofore  councillor  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  should  go  to 
Amiens,  accompanied  by  several  clerics  of  note  and  by  a  registrar, 
and  that  there  should  be  held  there,  by  the  queen's  authority,  for 
the  bailiwicks  of  Amiens,  Vermandois,  Tournai,  and  the  countship 
of  Ponthieu,  a  sovereign  court  of  justice,  in  the  place  of  that  which 
there  was  at  Paris.  Thus,  and  by  such  a  series  of  acts  of  violence 
and  of  falsehoods,  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  all  the  while  making  war 
on  the  king,  surrounded  himself  with  hollow  forms  of  royal  and 
legal  government. 

Whilst  civil  war  was  thus  penetrating  to  the  very  core  of  the 
kingship,  foreign  war  was  making  its  way  again  into  the  kingdom. 
Henry  V.,  after  the  battle  of  Agincourt,  had  returned  to  London, 
and  had  left  his  army  to  repose  and  reorganize  after  its  sufferings 
and  its  losses.  It  was  not  until  eighteen  months  afterwards,  on 
the  1st  of  August,  1417,  that  he  landed  at  Touques,  not  far  from 
Honfleur,  with  fresh  troops,  and  resumed  his  campaign  in  France. 
Between  1417  and  1419  he  successively  laid  siege  to  nearly  all  the 
towns  of  importance  in  Normandy,  to  Caen,  Bayeux,  Falaiso, 
Evreux,  Coutances,  Laigle,  St.  L6,  Cherbourg,  &c.,  &c.  Some  he 
occupied  after  a  short  resistance,  others  were  sold  to  him  by  their 
governors ;  but,  when,  in  the  month  of  July,  1418,  he  imdertook 
the  siege  of  Rouen,  he  encountered  there  a  long  and  serious 
struggle.  Rouen  had  at  that  time,  it  is  said,  a  population  of 
150,000  souls,  which  was  animated  by  ardent  patriotism.  The 
Rouennese,  on  the  approach  of  the  English,  had  repaired  their 
gates,  their  ramparts,  and  their  moats ;  had  demanded  reinforce- 
ments from  the  king  of  France  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy ;  and 
had  ordered  every  person  incapable  of  bearing  arms  or  procuring 
provisions  for  ten  months,  to  leave  the  city.  Twelve  thousand  old 
men,  women,  and  children  were  thus  expelled  and  died  either 
round  the  place  or  whilst  roving  in  misery  over  the  neighbouring 


2S8 


HISTOBY  OF  FRANCE, 


[CaAP.  SXIII.  i 


couQtry ;  '*  poor  women  gave  birtli  unassisted  beneath  the  w^dls, 
and  good  compassionate  people  in  the  town  drew  np  the  new-born 
in  baskets  to  have  them  baptized  and  afterwards  lowered  them 
down  to  their  mothers  to  die  together."     Fifteen  thousand  men  of 
city-militia,  four  thousand  regular  soldiers^  three  hundred  spearmen 
and  aa  many  archers  from  Paris,  and  it  is  not  quite  known  how 
many  men-at-arms  sent  by  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  defended  Rouen 
for  more  than  five  months  amidst  all  the  usual  sufferings  of  strictly 
besieged  cities.     "As  early  as  the  beginning  of  October,"   says 
Monstrelet,  "  they  were  forced  to  eat  horses,  dogs,  eats,  and  other 
things  not  fit  for  human  beings ;"   but  they  nevertheless    mada 
frequent  sortieSj  "rushing  furiously  upon  the  enemy^to  whom  they 
caused  many  a  heavy  loss.**      Pour  gentlemen  and  foiu*  burgesses 
succeeded  in  escaping  and  going  to  Beauvais,  to  tell  the  king  and 
his  council  about  the  deplorable   condition   of  their   city*     The 
council  replied  that  the  king  was  not  in  a  condition  to  raise  the 
siege,  but  that  Rouen  would  be  relieved  "within"  on  the  fourth 
day  after  Christmas.     It  was  now  the  middle  of  December.     The 
Bouennese  resigned  themselves  to  waiting  a  fortnight  longer;  but, 
when  that  period  was  over,  they  found  nothing  arrive  but  a  message 
from  the  duke  of  Burgundy  recommending  them  '*  to  treat  for  their  ^ 
preservation  with  the  king  of  England  as  best  they  could."     They^ 
asked  to  capitulate.     Henry  V*  demanded  that  "  all  the  men  of  th 
town  should  place  themselves  at  his  disposal.**     '*  When  the  com — 
monalty  of  Rouen  heard  this  answer,  they  all  cried  out  that  it  were 
better  to  die  all  together  sword  in  hand  against  their  enemies  i 
place  themselves  at  the  disposal  of  yonder  king,  and  they  were  fi 
shoring  up  with  planks  a  loosened  layer  of  the  wall  inside  the  ci 
and,  having  armed  themselves  and  joined  all  of  them  together,  me: 
women,  and  children,  for  setting-fire  to  the  city,  throwing  down  t 
said  layer  of  wall  into  the  moats  and  getting  them  gone  by  night 
whither  it  might  please  God  to  direct  them.*'  Henry  V- was  unwilling 
to  confront  such  heroic  despair;  and  on  the  13th  of  January,  141 
he  granted  the  Rouennesea  capitulation,  from  which  seven  perso 
only  were  excepted ,  Robert  Deli  vet,  the  archbishop's  vicar-general, 
who  from  the  top  of  the  ramparts  had  excommunicated  the  foreign 
conqueror ;  d'Houdetot,  baillie  of  the  city;  JohnSegneult,  the  mayor; 


CHAP.XXni.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  289 

Alan  Blanchard,  the  captain  of  the  militia-crossbowmen,  and  three 
other  burgesses.  The  last-named,  the  hero  of  the  siege,  was  the  only 
one  who  paid  for  his  heroism  with  his  life  ;  the  baillie,  the  mayor, 
and  the  vicar  bought  themselves  off.  On  the  19th  of  January,  at 
mid-day,  the  English,  king  and  army,  made  their  solemn  entry 
into  the  city.  It  was  two  hundred  and  fifteen  years  since  PhiUp 
Augustus  had  won  Rouen  by  conquest  from  Jolm  Lackland,  king 
of  England ;  and  happily  his  successors  were  not  to  be  condemned 
to  deplore  the  loss  of  it  very  long. 

These  successes  of  the  king  of  England  were  so  many  reverses  and 
perils  for  the  count  of  Armagnac.  He  had  in  his  hands  Paris,  the 
king,  and  the  dauphin ;  in  the  people's  eyes  the  responsibility  of 
government  and  of  events  rested  on  his  shoulders;  and  at  one  time 
he  was  doing  nothing,  at  another  he  was  unsuccessful  in  what  he 
did.  Whilst  Henry  V.  was  becoming  master  of  nearly  all  the  towns 
of  Normandy,  the  constable,  with  the  king  in  his  army,  was 
besieging  Senlis;  and  he  was  obhged  to  raise  the  siege.  The 
legates  of  Pope  Martin  V.  had  set  about  estabUshing  peace  between 
the  Burgundians  and  Armagnacs  as  well  as  between  France  and 
England  ;  they  had  prepared  on  the  basis  of  the  treaty  of  Arras  a 
new  treaty  with  which  a  great  part  of  the  country  and  even  of  the 
burgesses  of  Paris  showed  themselves  well  pleased ;  but  the  con- 
stable had  it  rejected  on  the  ground  of  its  being  adverse  to  the 
interests  of  the  king  and  of  France ;  and  his  friend,  the  chancellor, 
Henry  de  Marie,  declared  that,  if  the  king  were  disposed  to  sign  it, 
he  would  have  to  seal  it  himself,  for  that  as  for  him,  the  chan- 
cellor, he  certainly  would  not  seal  it.  Bernard  of  Armagnac  and 
his  confidential  friend,  Tanneguy  Duchatel,  a  Breton  nobleman, 
provost  of  Paris,  were  hard  and  haughty.  When  a  complaint  was 
made  to  them  of  any  violent  procedure,  they  would  answer, 
"  What  business  had  you  there  ?  If  it  were  the  Burgundians,  you 
would  make  no  complaint."  The  Parisian  population  was  becoming 
every  day  more  Burgundian.  In  the  latter  days  of  May,  1418,  a 
plot  was  contrived  for  opening  to  the  Burgundians  one  of  the 
gates  of  Paris.  Perrinet  Leclerc,  son  of  a  rich  iron-merchant 
having  influence  in  the  quarter  of  St.  Germain  des  Prds,  stole  the 
keys  from  under  the  bolster  of  his  father's  bed ;  a  troop  of  Bur- 

VOL.   IT.  u 


290  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIIL 

gundian  men-at-arms  came  in,  and  they  were  immediately  joined 
by  a  troop  of  Parisians.  They  spread  over  the  city,  shouting, 
"  Our  Lady  of  peace !  Hurrah  for  the  king  !  Hurrah  for  Bur- 
gundy!  Let  all  who  wish  for  peace  take  arms  and  follow  us!" 
The  people  swarmed  from  the  houses  and  followed  them  accord- 
ingly. The  Armagnacs  were  surprised  and  seized  with  alarm. 
Tanneguy  Duchatel,  a  man  of  prompt  and  resolute  spirit,  ran  to 
the  dauphin's,  wrapped  him  in  his  bed-clothes,  and  carried  him  off 
to  the  Bastille,  where  he  shut  him  up  with  several  of  his  partisans. 
The  count  of  Armagnac,  towards  whose  house  the  multitude 
thronged,  left  by  a  back-door  and  took  refuge  at  a  mason's  where 
he  believed  himself  secure.  In  a  few  hours  the  Burgundians  were 
masters  of  Paris.  Their  chief,  the  lord  of  Isle-Adam,  had  the  doorti 
of  the  hostel  of  St.  Paul  broken  in,  and  presented  himself  before 
the  king.  "  How  fares  my  cousin  of  Burgundy  ?"  said  Charles 
VL,  "  I  have  not  seen  him  for  some  time."  That  was  all  he  said. 
He  was  set  on  horseback  and  marched  through  the  streets.  He 
showed  no  astonishment  at  any  thing ;  he  had  all  but  lost  memory 
as  well  as  reason,  and  no  longer  knew  the  difference  between 
Armagnac  and  Burgundian.  A  devoted  Burgundian,  sire  Guy  de 
Bar,  was  named  provost  of  Paris  in  the  place  of  Tanneguy  Duchatel. 
The  mason  with  whom  Bernard  of  Armagnac  had  taken  refuge 
went  and  told  the  new  provost  tliat  the  constable  was  concealed  at 
his  house.  Thither  the  provost  liurried,  made  the  constable  mount 
behind  him,  and  carried  him  off  to  prison  at  the  Chatelet,  at  the 
same  time  making  honourable  exertions  to  prevent  massacre  and 
plunder. 

But  factions  do  not  so  soon  give  up  cither  their  vengeance  or 
their  hopes.  On  the  the  11th  of  June,  1418,  hardly  twelve  days 
after  Paris  had  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  Burgundians,  a  body  of 
sixteen  hundred  men  issued  from  the  Bastille  and  rushed  into  the 
street  St.  Antoine,  shouting,  *'  Hurrah  for  the  king,  the  dauphin, 
and  the  count  of  Armagnac  !"  They  were  Tanneguy  Duchatel  and 
some  of  the  chiefs  of  the  Armagnacs  who  were  attempting  to  regain 
Paris,  where  they  had  observed  that  the  Burgundians  were  not 
numerous.  Their  attempt  had  no  success  and  merely  gave  the 
Burgundians  the  opportunity  and  the  signal  for  a  massacre  of  their 


:«jip.  XXIUJ    THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


2dl 


e^nemies-  The  little  band  of  Tanneguy  Duchatel  was  instantly 
i^epiulsed,  hemmed  in,  and  forced  to  re-enter  the  Bastille  with  a 
loss  of  four  hundred  men.  Tanneguy  saw  that  he  conld  make  no 
<iofence  there  ;  so  he  hastily  made  his  way  out,  taking  tlie  dauphin 

Pwitb  him  to  Melun,     The  massacre  of  the  Armagnacs  had  ali-eady 
Ibommenced  on  the  previous  evening :  they  were  harried  in  the 
hostelries  and  houses ;  they  were  cut  down  with  axes  in  the  streets. 
On  the  night  between  the  12th  and  13th  of  June  a  rumour  spread 
about   that  there   were  bands   of  Armagnacs   coming  to  deliver 
their  friends  in  prison,     *'  They  are  at  the  Bt,  Germain  gate/*  said 
^some.     ''  No,  it  is  the  St.  Marceau  gate/'  said  others.     The  mob 
^assembled  and  made  a  furious  rush  upon  the  pi^ison-gates,     "  The 
city  and  burgesses  will  have  no  peace,"  was  the  general  saying, 
^**  so  long  as   there  is  one  Armagnac  left !     Hurrah  for  peace  ! 
^B^mrah  for  the  duke  of  Burgundy!''     The  provost  of  Paris^  the 
lord  oflsle-Adamj  and  the  principal  Burgundian  chicftainsj  gal- 
^ lopped  up  with  a  thousand  horse,  and  strove  to  pacify  these  mad- 
^ffioen,  numbering,   it   is   said,  some  forty  thousand.     They  were 
I'et^ived  with  a  shout  of  "A  plague  of  your  justice  and  pity! 
AuCcarsed  be '  he  whosoever  shall  have  pity  on  these  traitors  of 
Ajrmagnacs !     They  are  Enghsh;    they  are   hounds.      They  had 
already  made  banners  for  the  king  of  England,  and  would  fain  Inive 
X^l^iiited  them  upon  the  gates  of  the  city.     They  made  us  work  for 
TiDtliing,  and  when  we  asked  for  our  due  they  said,  'You  rascals, 
^1  aven't  ye  a  sou  to  buy  a  cord  and  go  hang  yourselves  ?     In  the 
^i^'^il's  name  speak  no  more  of  it ;  it  will  be  no  use  whatever  you 
^«y/  '*     The  provost  of  Paris  durst  not  oppose  such  fury  as  this, 
**  Bo  what  you  please,*'  said  he.     The  mob  ran  to  look  for  the 
[Constable  Armagnao  and  the  chancellor  de  Marie  in  the  Palacc- 
ftower,  in  which  they  bad  been  shut  up,  and  they  were  at  once 
I  torn  to  pieces  amidst  ferocious  rejoicings-     All  the  prisons  were 
I ^^"^ilaackad  and  emptied;  the  prisoners  who  attempted  resistance 
"^'^re  smoked  out ;  they  were  hurled  down  from  the  windows  upon 
jAkes  held  up  to  catch  them.     The  massacre   lasted   from   four 
^' clock  in  the  mornmg  to  eleven.     The  common  report  was  that 
fifteen  hundred  persons  had  perished  in  it ;  the  account  rendered 
to  parliament  made   the  number  eight  hundred.      The  servants 

u  2 


292  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [OHAP.XXm 

of  the  duke  of  Burgundy  mentioned  to  him  no  more  than  four 
hundred. 

It  was  not  before  the  14th  of  July  that  he  with  Queen  Isabd 
came  back  to  the  city ;  and  he  came  with  a  sincere  design,  if  not 
of  punishing  the  cut-throats,  at  least  of  putting  a  stop  to  all  mas- 
sacre and  pillage;  but  there  is  nothing  more  difficult  than  to 
suppress  the  consequences  of  a  mischief  of  which  you  dare  not 
attack  the  cause.  One  Bertrand,  head  of  one  of  the  companies  of 
butchers,  had  been  elected  captain  of  St.  Denis  because  he  had 
saved  the  abbey  from  the  rapacity  of  a  noble  Burgundian  chieftain, 
Hector  de  Saveuse.  The  lord,  to  avenge  himself,  had  the  butcher 
assassinated.  The  burgesses  went  to  the  duke  to  demand  that  the 
assassin  should  be  punished;  and  the  duke,  who  durst  neither 
assent  nor  refuse,  could  only  partially  cloak  his  weakness  by  im- 
puting the  crime  to  some  disorderly  youngsters  whom  he  enabled  to 
get  away.  On  the  20th  of  August  an  angry  mob  collected  in  front 
of  the  Chatelet,  shouting  out  that  nobody  would  bring  the  Armagnacs 
to  justice,  and  that  they  were  every  day  being  set  at  liberty  on 
payment  of  money.  The  great  and  little  Chatelet  were  stormed^ 
and  the  prisoners  massacred.  The  mob  would  have  liked  to  serve 
the  Bastille  the  same ;  but  the  duke  told  the  rioters  that  he  would 
give  the  prisoners  up  to  them  if  they  would  engage  to  conduct 
them  to  the  Chatelet  without  doing  them  any  harm,  and,  to  win 
them  over,  he  grasped  the  hand  of  their  head  man  who  was  no  other 
than  Capeluche,  the  city-executioner.  Scarcely  had  they  arrived 
at  the  courtyard  of  the  little  Chatelet  when  the  prisoners  were 
massacred  there  without  any  regard  for  the  promise  made  to  the 
duke.  He  sent  for  the  most  distinguished  burgesses,  and  consulted 
them  as  to  what  could  be  done  to  check  such  excesses ;  but  they 
confined  themselves  to  joining  him  in  deploring  them.  He  sent  for 
the  savages  once  more,  and  said  to  them,  "You  would  do  far  better 
to  go  and  lay  siege  to  Montlh^ry,  to  drive  ofi*  the  king's  enemies 
who  have  come  ravaging  every  thing  up  to  the  St.  Jacques  gate 
and  preventing  the  harvest  from  being  got  in."  "  Readily,"  they 
answered;  "only  give  us  leaders."  He  gave  them  leaders,  who  led 
six  thousand  of  them  to  Montlh^ry.  As  soon  as  they  were  gone, 
Duke  John  had  Capeluche  and  two  of  his  chief  accomplices  brought 


CffAP.XXin.]        THE  HUNDRED  TEARS^  WAR. 


293 


t<y  trial,  and  Capelaclie  was  beheaded  in  the  market-place  by  his  own 

apprentice.     But  the  gentry  sent  to  the  siege  of  Montlhi'ry  did  not 

t^ke  the  place;  they  accused  their  leaders  of  baving  betrayed  tbenij 

a^nd  returned  to  be  a  scourge  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Paris,  overy 

T^here  saying  that  the  duke  of  Burgundy  was  the  most  iiTesolute 

xneii  in  the  kingdoraj  and  that  if  there  were  no  nobles  the  war 

•w^ould  be  ended  in  a  couple  of  months.     Duke  John  set  about 

negotiating  with  the  dauphin  and  getting  him  back  to  Paris,     The 

tlaruphin  replied  that  he  was  quite  ready  to  obey  and  serve  his 

Ptn other  as  a  good  son  should,  but  that  it  would  be  more  than  he 

eould  stomach  to  go  back  to  a  city  where  so  many  crimes  and  so 

tniich  tyranny  had  but  lately  been  practised.     Terms  of  reconcUia- 

tion  were  drawn  up  and  signed  on  the  16th  of  September,  1418,  at 

St.  Maur,  by  the  queen,  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  and  tho  pope's 

legates ;  but  the  dauphin  refused  to  ratify  them.     The  unpunished 

atid  long  continued  massacres  in  Paris  had  redoubled  his  distrust 

t-owards  the  duke  of  Burgundy;  he  bad,  moreover,  just  assumed 

tie  title  of  regent  of  the  kingdom;    and  he  had  established  at 

I*oitiers  a  Parliament,  of  which  Juvenal  des  TJrsins  was  a  member. 

^Be  had  promised  the  young  count  of  Armagnac  to  exact  justice  for 

liis  father*s  cruel  death;   and  the   old  friends   of  the   House   of 

P  Orleans  remained  faithful  to  their  enmities.    The  duke  of  Burgundy 

liiad  at  one  time  to  fight,  and  at  another  to  negotiate  with  the 

dauphin  and  the  king  of  England,  both  at  once  and  always  without 

success-     The  dauphin  and  his  council,  though   showing  a  little 

'^ore  discretion,  were  going  on  in  the  same  alternative  and  unsatis- 

Victory  condition.     Clearly  neither  France  and  England  nor  the 

I    Mictions  in   France    had   yet   exhausted   their  passions   or   their 
powers;   and   the   day  of  summary  vengeance  was  nearer  than 
fhat  of  real  reconciliation. 
Nevertheless,  complicated,  disturbed  and  persistently  resultless 
situations  always  end  by  becoming  irksome  to  those  who  are  en- 
Angled  in  them  and  by  inspiring  a  desire  for  extrication.     The 
•^ng  of  England,  in  spite  of  his  successes  and  his  pride,  determined 
^pon  sending  the  earl  of  Warwick  to  Provins,  where  the  king  and 
*W  duke  of  Burgimdy  still  were :  a  truce  was  concluded  between 
tlie  English  and  the  Burgundians,  and  it  was  arranged  that  on  the 


294  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIII. 

30th  of  May,  141 9,  the  two  kings  should  meet  between  Mantes  and 
Melun  and  hold  a  conference  for  the  purpose  of  trying  to  arrive  at 
a  peace.  A  few  days  before  the  time,  Duke  John  set  out  from 
Provins  with  the  king,  Queen  Isabel,  and  Princess  Catherine,  and 
repaired  first  of  all  to  Pontoise,  and  then  to  the  place  fixed  for 
the  interview,  on  the  borders  of  the  Seine,  near  Meulan,  where  two 
pavilions  had  been  prepared,  one  for  the  king  of  France  and  the 
other  for  the  king  of  England.  Charles  VI.,  being  ill,  remained  at 
Pontoise.  Queen  Isabel,  Princess  Catherine,  and  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  arrived  at  the  appointed  spot.  Henry  V.  was  already 
there ;  he  went  to  meet  the  queen,  saluted  her,  took  her  hand,  and 
embraced  her  and  Madame  Catherine  as  well ;  Duke  John  slightly 
bent  his  knee  to  the  king,  who  raised  him  up  and  embraced  him 
likewise.  This  solemn  interview  was  succeeded  by  several  others 
to  which  Princess  Catherine  did  not  come.  The  queen  requested 
the  king  of  England  to  state  exactly  what  he  proposed ;  and  he 
demanded  the  execution  of  the  treaty  of  Br^tigny,  the  cession  of 
Normandy,  and  the  absolute  sovereignty,  without  any  bond  of 
vassalage,  of  whatever  should  be  ceded  by  the  treaty.  A  short 
discussion  ensued  upon  some  secondary  questions.  There  appeared 
to  be  no  distant  probabiHty  of  an  understanding.  The  English 
boHeved  that  they  saw  an  inclination  on  the  duke  of  Burgundy's 
part  not  to  hasten  to  a  conclusion  and  to  obtain  better  conditions 
from  king  Henry  by  making  him  apprehensive  of  a  reconciliation 
with  the  dauphin.  Henry  proposed  to  him,  for  the  purpose  of 
ending  every  thing,  a  conference  between  themselves  alone ;  and 
it  took  place  on  the  3rd  of  June.  "  Cousin,"  said  the  king  to  the 
duke,  "we  wish  you  to  know  that  we  will  have  your  king's  daughter 
and  all  that  we  have  demanded  with  her ;  else  we  will  thrust  him 
out  of  his  kingdom,  and  you  too."  "  Sir,"  answered  the  duke, 
'^  you  speak  according  to  your  pleasure ;  but  before  thrusting  my 
lord  and  myself  from  the  kingdom  you  will  have  what  will  tire  you, 
we  make  no  doubt,  and  you  will  have  enough  to  do  to  keep  yourself 
in  your  own  island."  Between  two  princes  so  proud  there  was 
little  probability  of  an  understanding;  and  they  parted  with  no 
other  result  than  mutual  displeasure. 

Some  days  before,  on  the  14th  of  May,  1419,  a  truce  of  three 


^■-^ 


■*-■ 


V 


Chap.XXJU.]  the  hundred  YEARS'  WAR. 


297 


months  Bad  been  concluded  between  the  dauphin  and  the  duke  of 

Burgundy,  and  was  to  lead  to  a  conference  also  between  these  two 

princes.     It  did  not  commence  before  the  8th  of  July.     During 

this  interval  Duke  John  Lad  submitted  for  the  mature  deliberation 

of    his  council  the  question  whether  it  were  better  to  grant  the 

English  demands  or  become  reconciled  to  the  dauphin.     Amongst 

bis    official  councillors  opinions  were  divided;  but,  in  his  privacy, 

tlic?  lady  of  Giac,  '*  whom  he  loved  and  trusted  mightily,"  and  Philip 

Jossequin,  who  had  at  first  been  Ms  chamber-attendant  and  afler- 

wiards  custodian  of  his  jewels  and  of  his  privy  seal,  strongly  urged 

"tkitn  to  make  peace  with  the  dauphin ;  and  the  pope's  fresh  legate, 

I     the  bishop  of  Leon,  added  his  exhortations  to  these  home  influences, 

■  Inhere  had  been  fitted  upj  at  a  league's  distance  from  Melun,  on  the 

^  ^Tnbankment  of  the  ponds  of  Vert,  a  summer-house  of  branches 

and  leaves,  hung  with  drapery  and  silken  stuffs;  and  there  the 

I  first  interview  between  the  two  princes  took  place.     The  dauphin 
I^ft  in  displeasure;  he  had  found  the  duke  of  Burgundy  haughty 
a-Tid  headstrong.     Already  the  old  servants  of  the  late  duke  of 
Orleans,  impelled  by  their  thirst  for  vengeance,  were  saying  out 
^oud  that  the  matter  should  be  decided  by  arms,  when  the  lady  of 
Giac  went  after  the  dauphin,  who  from  infancy  had  also  been  very 
^**uch  attached  to  her,  and  she,  going  backwards  and  forwards 
"etween  the  two  princes,  was  so  affectionate  and  persuasive  with 
"oth  that  she  prevailed  upon  them  to  meet  again  and  to  sincerely 
"^^ish  for  an  understanding.     The  next  day  but  one  they  returned 
^o   the  place  of  meeting,  attended,  each  of  them,  by  a  large  body  of 
^*^*^^n-at-arms*     They  advanced  towards  one  another  with  ten  men 
^^rily  and  dismounted.     The  duke  of  Burgundy  went  on  bended 
*^^>i».Ge.     The  dauphin  took  him  by  the  hand,  embraced  liim,  and 
"^^"cDuld  have   raised  him  up,     "  No,  my  lord,"  said  the  duke;  "I 
*^^:aow  how  I  ought  to  address  you,'*     The  dauphin  assured  him 
^«.at  he  forgave  every  offence,  if  indeed  he  had  received  any,  and 
^^(led,  "  Cousin,  if  in  the  proposed  treaty  between  us  there  be 
^-iigkt  which  is  not  to  your  Uking,  we  desire  that  you  amend  it,  and 

1*^^3Uceforth  we  will  desire  all  you  shall  desire;  make  no  doubt  of  it/' 
They  conversed  for  some  time  with  every  appearance  of  cordiality  ; 
*nd  then  the  treaty  was  signed.     It  was  really  a  treaty  of  recon- 


298  HISTORY  OF  FBANCE.  [Chap.  XXHI. 

ciliation,  in  which,  without  dwelling  upon  "  the  suspicions  and 
imaginings  which  have  been  engendered  in  the  hearts  of  ourselves 
and  many  of  our  oflBcers,  and  have  hindered  us  from  acting  with 
concord  in  the  great  matters  of  my  lord  the  king  and  his  kingdom, 
and  resisting  the  damnable  attempts  of  his  and  our  old  enemies,'' 
the  two  princes  made  mutual  promises,  each  in  language  suitable 
to  their  rank  and  connexion,  "  to  love  one  another,  support  one 
another,  and  serve  one  another  mutually,  as  good  and  loyal  relatives, 
and  bade  all  their  servants,  if  they  saw  any  hindrance  thereto,  to 
give  them  notice  thereof  according  to  their  bounden  duty/'  The 
treaty  was  signed  by  all  the  men  of  note  belonging  to  the  houses 
of  both  princes ;  and  the  crowd  which  surrounded  them  shouted 
"Noel!"  and  invoked  curses  on  whosoever  should  be  minded 
henceforth  to  take  up  arms  again  in  this  damnable  quarrel.  When 
the  dauphin  went  away,  the  duke  insisted  upon  holding  his  stirrup, 
and  they  parted  with  every  demonstration  of  amity.  The  dauphin 
returned  to  Touraine  and  the  duke  to  Pontoise  to  be  near  the  king, 
who,  by  letters  of  July  19th,  confirmed  the  treaty,  enjoined  general 
forgetfulness  of  the  past,  and  ordained  that  "  all  war  should  cease, 
save  against  the  English." 

There  was  universal  and  sincere  joy.  The  peace  fulfilled  the 
requirements  at  the  same  time  of  the  public  welfare  and  of  national 
feeling ;  it  was  the  only  means  of  re-establishing  order  at  home 
and  driving  from  the  kingdom  the  foreigner  who  aspired  to  con- 
quer it.  Only  the  friends  of  the  duke  of  Orleans  and  of  the  coimt 
of  Armagnac,  one  assassinated  twelve  years  before  and  the  other 
massacred  but  lately,  remained  sad  and  angry  at  not  having  yet 
been  able  to  obtain  either  justice  or  vengeance ;  but  they  main- 
tained reserve  and  silence.  They  were  not  long  in  once  more 
finding  for  mistrust  and  murmuring  grounds  or  pretexts  which 
a  portion  of  the  public  showed  a  disposition  to  take  up.  The  duke 
of  Burgundy  had  made  haste  to  publish  his  ratification  of  the 
treaty  of  reconciliation  ;  the  dauphin  had  let  his  wait.  The  Pari- 
sians were  astounded  not  to  see  either  the  dauphin  or  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  coming  back  within  their  walls  and  at  being  as  it  were 
forgotten  and  deserted  amidst  the  universal  making-up.  They 
complained  that  no  armed  force  was  being  collected  to  oppose  the 


Chap.  XXIIL]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR,  299 

English,  and  that  there  was  an  appearance  of  flying  before  them, 
leaving  open  to  them  Paris,  in  which  at  this  time  there  was  no 
captain  of  renown.  They  were  still  more  troubled  when  on  the 
29th  of  July  they  saw  the  arrival  at  the  St.  Denis  gate  of  a  multi- 
tude of  disconsolate  fugitives,  some  wounded  and  others  dropping 
from  hunger,  thirst,  and  fatigue.  When  they  were  asked  who  they 
were  and  what  was  the  reason  of  their  desperate  condition,  "  We 
are  from  Pontoise,"  they  said ;  "  the  English  took  the  town  this 
morning ;  they  killed  or  wounded  all  before  them ;  happy  he 
whosoever  could  escape  from  their  hands  ;  never  were  Saracens  so 
cruel  to  Christians  as  yonder  folk  are."  It  was  a  real  fact.  The 
king  of  England,  disquieted  at  the  reconciliation  between  the  duke 
of  Burgundy  and  the  dauphin  and  at  the  ill  success  of  his  own 
proposals  at  the  conference  of  the  30th  of  May  preceding,  had 
vigorously  resumed  the  war,  in  order  to  give  both  the  reunited 
French  factions  a  taste  of  his  resolution  and  power.  He  had 
suddenly  attacked  and  carried  Pontoise,  where  the  command  was 
in  the  hands  of  the  lord  of  Isle-Adam,  one  of  the  most  valiant 
Burgundian  oflBcers.  Isle- Adam,  surprised  and  lacking  suflBcient 
force,  had  made  a  feeble  resistance.  There  was  no  sign  of  an 
active  union  on  the  part  of  the  two  French  factions  for  the  purpose 
of  giving  the  English  battle.  Duke  John,  who  had  fallen  back 
upon  Troyes,  sent  order  upon  order  for  his  vassals  from  Burgundy, 
but  they  did  not  come  up.  Public  alarm  and  distrust  were  day  by 
day  becoming  stronger.  Duke  John,  it  was  said,  was  still  keeping 
up  secret  communications  with  the  seditious  in  Paris  and  with  the 
king  of  England;  why  did  he  not  act  with  more  energy  against  this 
latter,  the  common  enemy?  The  two  princes  in  their  conference  of 
July  9th,  near  Melun,  had  promised  to  meet  again;  a  fresh  interview 
appeared  necessary  in  order  to  give  efficacy  to  their  reconciUation. 
Duke  John  was  very  pressing  for  the  dauphin  to  go  to  Troyes, 
where  the  king  and  queen  happened  to  be.  The  dauphin  on  his 
side  was  earnestly  solicited  by  the  most  considerable  burgesses  of 
Paris  to  get  this  interview  over  in  order  to  insure  the  execution  of 
the  treaty  of  peace  which  had  been  sworn  to  with  the  duke  of 
Burgundy.  The  dauphin  showed  a  disposition  to  listen  to  these 
entreaties.    He  advanced  as  far  as  Montereau  in  order  to  be 


300  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXHL 

ready  to  meet  Duke  John  as  soon  as  a  place  of  meeting  should 
be  fixed. 

Duke  John  hesitated,  from  irresolution  evBn  more  than  from 
distrust.  It  was  a  serious  matter  for  him  to  commit  himself  more 
and  more,  by  his  own  proper  motion,  against  the  king  of  England 
and  his  old  allies  amongst  the  populace  of  Paris.  Why  should  he 
be  required  to  go  in  person  to  seek  the  dauphin  ?  It  was  far 
simpler,  he  said,  for  Charles  to  come  to  the  king  his  father. 
Tanneguy  Duchatel  went  to  Troyes  to  tell  the  duke  that  the 
dauphin  had  come  to  meet  him  as  far  as  Montereau,  and,  with 
the  help  of  the  lady  of  Giac,  persuaded  him  to  repair,  on  his  side, 
to  Bray-sur-Seine,  two  leagues  from  Montereau.  When  the  two 
princes  had  drawn  thus  near,  their  agents  proposed  that  the 
interview  should  take  place  on  the  very  bridge  of  Montereau,  with 
the  precautions  and  according  to  the  forms  decided  on.  In  the 
duke's  household  many  of  his  most  devoted  servants  were  opposed 
to  this  interview ;  the  place,  they  said,  had  been  chosen  by  and 
would  be  under  the  ordering  of  the  dauphin's  people,  of  the  old 
servants  of  the  duke  of  Orleans  and  the  count  of  Armaguac.  At 
the  same  time  four  successive  messages  came  from  Paris  urging 
the  duke  to  make  the  plunge ;  and  at  last  he  took  his  resolution. 
"It  is  my  duty,"  said  he,  "to  risk  my  person  in  order  to  get  at  so 
great  a  blessing  as  peace.  Wliatever  happens,  my  wish  is  peace. 
If  they  kill  mo,  I  shall  die  a  martyr.  Peace  being  made,  I  will  take 
the  men  of  my  lord  the  dauphin  to  go  and  fight  the  English.  He 
has  some  good  men  of  war  and  some  sagacious  captains.  Tanneguy 
and  Barbazan  are  valiant  knights.  Then  we  shall  see  which  is  the 
better  man.  Jack  (Hannotin)  of  Flanders  or  Henry  of  Lancaster." 
He  set  out  for  Bray  on  the  10th  of  September,  1419,  and  arrived 
about  two  o'clock  before  Montereau.  Tanneguy  Duchatel  came 
and  met  him  there.  "  Well,"  said  the  duke,  "  on  your  assurance 
we  are  come  to  see  my  lord  the  dauphin,  supposing  that  he  is  quite 
willing  to  keep  the  peace  between  himself  and  us  as  we  also  will 
keep  it,  all  ready  to  serve  him  according  to  his  wishes."  "My 
most  dread  lord,"  answered  Tanneguy,  "  have  ye  no  fear;  my  lord 
is  well  pleased  with  you  and  desires  henceforth  to  govern  himself 
according  to  your  counsels.     You  have  about  him  good  friends 


Cbap.XXIU.]        the  hundred  YEARS'  WAR. 


301 


I 


trlio  serve  you  welL"    It  was  agi^eed  that  the  dauplim  and  the  duke 
sbouldj  each  from  his  own  side,  go  upon  the  bridge  of  Montereaii, 
each  with  ten  meo-at-arms,  of  whom  they  should  previously  for- 
ward a  Hat*     The  dauphin's  people  had  caused  to  be  constructed 
at  the  two  enda  of  the  bridge  strong  barriers  closed  by  a  gate ; 
about  the  centre  of  the  bridge  was  a  sort  of  lodge  made  of  planks, 
the  entrance  to  which  was,  on  either  sidcj  through  a  pretty  narrow 
passage ;  within  tho  lodge  there  was  no  barrier  in  the  middle  to 
separate  tho  two  parties.    Wliilst  Duko  John  and  his  confidants,  in 
ooncert  with  the  dauphin's  peoplcj  were  regulating  these  material 
arrangements  J  a  chamber-attendant  ran  in  quite  scared,  shouting 
out,  "My  lord,  look  to  yourself;  without  a  doubt  you  will  be 
l^etrayed/*     The  duke  turned  towards  Tanneguy,  and  said,  **We 
t-rast  ourselves  to  your  word ;  in  God's  holy  name,  are  you  quite 
Sure  of  what  you  have  told  us  ?     For  you  would  do  ill  to  betray 
Us.'*    "My  most  dread  lord,"  answered  Tanneguy,  "I  would  rather 
lie  doad  than  commit  treason  against  you  or  any  other :  have  ye  no 
ftar;  I  certify  you  that  my  lord  meanetb  you  no  evil/'     "Very 
^e!I,  we  will  go  then,  trusting  in  God  and  you,"  rejoined  the  duke; 
and  he  set  out  walking  to  the  bridge.     On  arriving  at  the  barrier 
on  the  castle  side  he  found  there  to  receive  him  sire  de  Beauveau 
aid  Tanneguy  Duchatel.     "  Come  to  my  lord,"  said  they,  *'  he  is 
awaiting  you/'     "  Gentlemen,'*   said  the  duke,  "  you  see  how  I 
coma;"  and  he  showed  them  that  he  and  his  people  had  only  their 
fiwords ;  then  clapping  Tanneguy  on  the  shoulder,  he  said,  "  Here 
u  he  in  whom  I  trust,"  and  advanced  towards  the  dauphin  who 
Remained  standing,  on  the  town  side,  at  the  end  of  the  lodge 
Constructed  in  the  middle  of  the  bridge.      On  arriving   at  the 
prince's  presence  Duke  John  took  off  his  velvet  cap  and  bent  his 
knee  to  the  ground.    **My  lord,"  said  he,  "after  God,  my  duty  is  to 
obey  and  serve  you ;  I  offer  to  apply  thereto  and  employ  therein 
^y  body,  my  friends,  my  allies,  and  well- wishers-     Say  I  well  ?"    he 
^^Jdodj  fixing  his  eyes  on  the  dauphin,     '*  Fair  cousin,"  answered 
the  prince,  *'you  say  so  weU  that  none  could  say  better;  rise  and  bo 
Covereri,*'  Conversation  thereupon  ensued  between  the  two  princes, 
the  dauphin  complained  of  the  duke's  delay  in  coming  to  see  him; 
"*  For  eighteen  days,"  he  said,  **  yon  have   made  us  await  your 


302 


HISTOEY  OF  FRANCE, 


[CHAr.XXm. 


coming  in  tbis  place  of  Montoreau,  this  place  a  prey  to  epidemic 
and  mortality,  at  the  risk  of  and  probably  with  an  eye  to  our 
personal  danger."  The  duke,  surprised  and  troubled,  resumed  Im 
haughty  and  exacting  tone ;  "We  can  neither  do  nor  advise  aught,*' 
said  he,  "  save  in  your  father's  presence;  you  must  come  thither.*' 
"  I  shall  go  when  I  think  proper/'  said  Charles,  **and  not  at  your 
will  and  pleasure ;  it  is  well  known  that  whatever  we  do,  we  two 
together,  the  king  will  be  content  therewith/'  Then  he  reproaclied 
the  duke  with  his  inertness  against  the  EngMsh,  with  the  capture 
of  Pontoise,  and  with  his  alHances  amongst  the  promoters  of  civil 
war.  The  conversation  was  becoming  more  and  more  acrid  and 
biting,  '*In  so  doing/*  added  the  dauphin,  "you  were  wanting  to 
your  duty."  "My  lord,"  replied  the  duke,  **I  did  only  what  it 
was  my  duty  to  do."  "  Yes,  you  wei*e  wanting/'  repeated  Charles* 
**  iVtf,*'  replied  the  duke.  It  was  probably  at  these  words  that,  tin* 
lookers-on  also  waxing  wroth,  Tanneguy  Duchatel  told  the  duko 
that  the  time  had  come  for  expiating  the  murder  of  the  duke  of 
Orleans,  which  none  of  them  had  forgotten,  and  raised  bis  battle- 
axe  to  strike  the  duke.  Sire  de  Navailles,  who  happened  to  be  al 
his  master's  side,  arrested  the  weapon  ;  but,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
viscount  of  Narbonne  raised  his  over  Navailles,  saying,  "  Whoever 
stirs,  is  a  dead  man."  At  this  moment,  it  is  said,  the  mob  which 
was  thronging  before  the  barriers  at  the  end  of  the  bridge  heard 
cries  of  "  Alarm  1  slay^  slay."  Tanneguy  had  struck  and  felled 
the  duke;  several  others  ran  their  swords  into  him ;  and  he  expired. 
The  dauphin  had  withdrawn  from  the  scene  and  gone  back  into  tlio 
town.  After  his  departure  his  partisans  forced  the  barrier,  ehargi»d 
the  dumbfounded  Burgundians,  sent  them  flying  along  tlie  road  to 
Bray,  and  returning  on  to  the  bridge  would  have  cast  the  body  of 
Duke  John,  after  stripping  it,  into  the  river;  but  the  minister  uf 
Montereau  withstood  them  and  had  it  carried  to  a  mill  near  thu 
bridge.  "  Next  day  he  was  put  in  a  pauper's  shell,  with  nothing 
on  but  his  shirt  and  drawers,  and  was  subsequently  interred  at  the 
church  of  Notre-Dame  de  Montereau,  without  winding-sheet  and 
mthout  pall  over  his  grave/' 

The  enmities  of  the  Orleannese  and  the  Armagnacs  had  obtained 
satisfaction;    but   they  were   transferred  to   the  hearts   of  tlie 


Chap.  XXHL]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  305 

Burgundians.     After  twelve  years  of  public  crime  and  misfortune 
the  murder  of  Louis  of  Orleans  had  been  avenged ;  and  should  not 
that  of  John  of  Burgundy  be,  in  its  turn  ?     Wherever  the  direct 
power  or  the  indirect  influence  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy  was  pre- 
dominant, there  was  a  burst  of  indignation  and  vindictive  passion. 
As   soon   as   the   count   of    Charolais,    Philip,   afterwards   called 
the  Goody  heard  at  Ghent,  where  he  happened  at  that  time  to  be, 
of  his   father's  murder,   he  was  proclaimed  duke  of  Burgundy. 
"Michelle,"  said  he  to  his  wife,  sister  of  the  dauphin,   Charles, 
"  your  brother  has  murdered  my  father."     The  princess  burst  into 
tears ;  but  the  new  duke  calmed  her  by  saying  that  nothing  could 
alter  the  love  and  confidence  he  felt  towards  her.     At  Troyes 
Queen  Isabel  showed  more  anger  than  any  one  else  against  her 
son,  the  dauphin ;  and  she  got  a  letter  written  by  King  Charles  VI. 
to  the  dowager  duchess  of  Burgundy,  begging  her,  her  and  her 
children,  "  to  set  in  motion  all  their  relatives,  friends,  and  vassals  to 
avenge  Duke  John."     At  Paris,  on  the  12th  of  September,  the  next 
day  but  one  after  the  murder,  the  chancellor,  the  parliament,  the 
provost  royal,  the  provost  of  tradesmen,  and  all  the  councillors  and 
oflBcers  of  the  king  assembled,  "  together  with  great  number  of 
nobles  and  burgesses  and  a  great  multitude  of  people,"  who  all 
swore  "  to  oppose  with  their  bodies  and  all  their  might  the  enter- 
prise of  the  'criminal  breakers  of  the  peace,  and  to  prosecute  the 
cause  of  vengeance  and  reparation  against  those  who  were  guilty 
of  the  death  and  homicide  of  the  late  duke  of  Burgundy."     Inde- 
pendently of  party-passion,  such  was,  in   northern  and  eastern 
France,  the   general  and   spontaneous  sentiment   of  the  people. 
The  daupliin  and  his  councillors,  in  order  to  explain  and  justify 
their  act,  wrote  in  all  directions  to  say  that,  dm-ing  the  interview, 
Duke  John  had  answered  the  dauphin  "  with  mad  words  ....  He 
had  felt  for  his  sword  in  order  to  attack  and  outrage  our  person, 
the  which,  as  we  have  since  found  out,  he  aspired  to  place  in  sub- 
jection ....  but,  through  his  own  madness,  met  death  instead." 
But  these  assertions  found  little  credence,  and  one  of  the  two 
knights  who  were  singled  out  by  the  dauphin  to  accompany  him 
on  to  the  bridge  of  Montereau,  sire  de  Barbazan,  who  had  been  a 
fidend  of  the  duke  of  Orleans  and  of  the  count  of  Armagnac,  said 
VOL.  u.  X 


306  HISTORY  OP  FRANCK  [Chap.  XXIU. 

vehemently  to  the  authors  of  the  plot,  "  You  have  destroyed  our 
master's  honour  and  heritage,  and  I  would  rather  have  died  than 
be  present  at  this  day's  work,  even  though  I  had  not  been  there 
to  no  purpose,"     But  it  was  not  long  before  an  event,  easy  to 
foresee,  counterbalanced   this    general  impression  and  restored 
credit  and  strength  to  the  dauphin  and  his  party.     Heniy  V., 
king  of  England,  as  soon  as  he  heard  about  the  murder  of  Duke 
John,  set  himself  to  work  to  derive  from  it  all  the  advantages  he 
anticipated.     "  A  great  loss,"  said  he,  "  is  the  duke  of  Burgundy ; 
he  was  a  good  and  true  knight,  and  an  honourable  prince ;  but 
through  his  death  we  are  by  God's  help  at  the  summit  of  our 
wishes.     We  shall  thus,  in  spite  of  all  Frenchmen,  possess  dame 
Catherine^  whom  we  have  so  much  desired."     As  early  as  the  24th 
of  September,  1419,  Henry  V.  gave  full  powers  to  certain  of  his 
people  to  treat  "with  the  illustrious  city  of  Paris  and  the  other 
towns  in  adherence  to  the  said  city."     On  the  17th  of  October 
was  opened  at  Arras  a  congress  between  the  plenipotentiaries  of 
England  and  those  of  Burgundy.     On  the  20th  of  November  a 
special  truce  was  granted  to  the  Parisians,  whilst  Henry  V.,  in 
concert  with  Duke  Philip  of  Burgundy,  was  prosecuting  the  war 
against  the  dauphin.     On  the  2nd  of  December  the  bases  were  laid 
of  an   agreement   between   the    English    and   the   Burgundians. 
The  preliminaries  of  the  treaty  which  was  drawn  up  in  accor- 
dance with  these  bases  were  signed  on  the  9th  of  April,  1420, 
by  King  Charles  VI.,  and  on  the   20th  communicated  at  Paris 
by    the  chancellor   of  France  to  the  parliament  and   to   all  the 
religious  and  civil,  royal  and  municipal  authorities  of  the  capital. 
After  this  communication,  the  chancellor  and  the  premier   pre- 
sident of  parliament  went  with  these  preliminaries  to  Henry  V. 
at  Pontoise,  whence  he  set  out  with  a  division  of  his  army  for 
Troyes,  where  the  treaty,  definitive  and   complete,  was  at  last 
signed  and  promulgated  in  the  cathedral  of  Troyes,  on  the  21st 
of  May,  1420. 

Of  the  twenty-eight  articles  in  this  treaty,  five  contained  its 
essential  points  and  fixed  its  character  : — 1st.  The  king  of  France, 
Charles  VI. ,  gave  his  daughter  Catherine  in  marriage  to  Henry  V., 
king  of  England.     2nd.  ''  Our  son,  King  Henry,  shall  place  no 


Ci^HAF.  XXIIL]  THE   HUNDKED   rEABS"  WAR.  S07 

^rMndrance  or  trouble  in  the  way  of  our  holding  and  possessing  as 
long  as  we  live  and  as  at  the  present  time  the  crown,  the  kingly 
<ijgnity  of  France  and  all  the  revenueSj  proceeds,  and  profits  which 
are  attached  thereto  for  the  maintenance  of  our  state  and  tlie 
ctarges  of  the  kingdom.     3rd,  It  is  agreed  that  immediately  after 
our  death,  and  from  that  time  forward,  the  crown  and  kingdom  of 
Fffmce,    with  all  their   rights  and   appurtenances,    shall   belong 
perpetually  and  shall  be  continued  to  our  son  King  Henry  and  his 
h  eirs,    4th.  Whereas  we  are,  at  most  times,  prevented  from  advising 
by  ourselves  and  from  taking  part  in  the  disposal  of  the  affairs  of  our 
kingdom,  the  power  and  the  practice  of  governing  and  ordering 
the  commonweal  shall  belong  and  shall  be  continued,  during  our 
^fe,  to  our  son  King  Henry,   with   the   counsel  of  the   nobles 
and  sages  of  the   kingdom  who  shall  obey  us  and  shaU  desire 
the  honour  and  advantage  of  the  said  kingdom*     5th,  Our  son 
King  Henry  shaU  strive  with  all  his  might,  and  as  soon  as  pos- 
sible, to  bring  back   to  their  obedience  to  us*  all  and  each  of 
the  towns,   cities,   castles,   places,  districts,  and  persons  in  our 
kingdom  that  belong  to  the  party  commonly  called  of  the  dauphin 
Or  Armagnac.'* 

This  substitution,  in  the  near  future,  of  an  English  for  the  French 
kingship ;  this  relinquishment,  in  the  present,  of  the  government 
of  France  to  the  hands  of  an  English  prince  nominated  to  become 
1    before  long  her  king;  this  authority  given  to  the  English  prince  to 
P^secute  in  France,  against  the  dauphin  of  France,  a  civil  war;  this 
^mplete  abdication  of  aU  the  rights  and  duties  of  the  kingship,  of 
paternity  and  of  national  independence;  and,  to  sum  up  all  in  one 
^ord,    this   anti-French  state-stroke    [iccomplished  by  a  king  of 
*'i*iince,  with  the  co-operation  of  him  who  waii  the  greatest  amongst 
^i'l^uch  lords,  to  the  advantage  of  a  foreign  sovereign — there  was 
l^u^ely  in  this  enough  to  excite  the  most  ardent  and  most  legitimate 
^*itional  feelings.    They  did  not  show  themselves  promptly  or  with 
^  blaze.     The  fourteenth  and  fifteenth  centuries,  after  so  many 
Military  and  civil  troubles,  had  great  weaknesses  and  deep-seated 
^^rruptiou  in  mind  and  character.      Nevertheless  the   revulsion 
,     Against  the  treaty  of  Troyes  was  real  and  serious,  even  in  the  very 
I    "ieart  of  the  party  attached  to  the  duke  of  Burgundy.     He  was 


f 


308  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXTn, 

obliged  to  lay  upon  several  of  his  servants  formal  injunctions  to 
swear  to  this  peace,  which  seemed  to  them  treason.  He  had  great 
difficulty  in  winning  John  of  .Luxembourg  and  his  brother  Louis, 
bishop  of  Th^rouenne,  over  to  it.  "  It  is  your  will,"  said  they; 
"  we  will  take  this  oath  ;  but  if  we  do,  we  will  keep  it  to  the  hour 
of  death."  Many  less  powerful  lords,  who  had  lived  a  long  while 
in  the  household  of  Duke  John  the  Fearless,  quitted  his  son,  and 
sorrowfully  returned  to  their  own  homes.  They  were  treated  as 
Armagnacs,  but  they  persisted  in  calling  themselves  good  and  loyal 
Frenchmen.  In  the  duchy  of  Burgundy  the  majority  of  the  towns 
refused  to  take  the  oath  to  the  king  of  England.  The  most 
decisive  and  the  most  helpfiil  proof  of  this  awakening  of  national 
feeling  was  the  ease  experienced  by  the  dauphin  who  was  one  day 
to  be  Charles  VII.  in  maintaining  the  war  which,  after  the  treaty 
of  Troyes,  was,  in  his  father's  and  his  mother's  name,  made  upon 
him  by  the  king  of  England  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy.  This  war 
lasted  more  than  three  years.  Several  towns,  amongst  others, 
Melun,  Crotoy,  Meaux,  and  St.  Eiquier,  offered  an  obstinate 
resistance  to  the  attacks  of  the  English  and  Burgundians.  On  the 
23rd  of  March,  1421,  the  dauphin's  troops,  commanded  by  sire  de 
la  Fayette,  gained  a  signal  victory  over  those  of  Henry  V.,  whose 
brother,  the  duke  of  Clarence,  was  killed  in  action.  It  was  in 
Perche,  Anjou,  Maine,  on  the  banks  of  the  Loire  and  in  southern 
France  that  the  dauphin  found  most  of  his  enterprising  and  devoted 
partisans.  The  sojourn  made  by  Henry  V.  at  Paris,  in  December, 
1420,  with  his  wife,  Queen  Catherine,  King  Charles  VI.,  Queen 
Isabel,  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  was  not,  in  spite  of  galas  and 
acclamations,  a  substantial  and  durable  success  for  him.  His 
dignified  but  haughty  manners  did  not  please  the  French ;  and  he 
cither  could  not  or  would  not  render  them  more  easy  and  amiable, 
even  with  men  of  note  who  were  necessary  to  him.  Marshal  Isle- 
Adam  one  day  wont  to  see  liim  in  camp  on  war-business.  The  king 
considered  that  he  did  not  present  himself  with  sufficient  ceremony. 
'*  Isle-Adam,"  said  he,  "is  that  the  robe  of  a  marshal  of  France  ?" 
*'  Sir,  I  had  this  whitey-gi'ey  robe  made  to  come  hither  by  water 
aboard  of  Seine-boats."    "  Ha  !"  said  the  king,  "  look  you  a  prince 


Chap.  XXIII.]  THE   HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR.  309 

in  the  face  when  you  speak  to  him  ?  "  "  Sir,  it  is  the  custom  in  France 
that  when  one  man  speaks  to  anotlier,  of  whatever  rank  and 
puissance  tliat  other  may  be,  he  passes  for  a  sorry  fellow  and  but 
little  honourable  if  he  dares  not  look  him  in  the  face."  **  It  is  not 
our  fashion,"  said  the  king;  and  the  subject  dropped  there.  A 
popular  poet  of  the  time,  Alan  Chartier,  constituted  himself  censor 
of  the  moral  corruption  and  interpreter  of  the  patriotic  paroxysms 
caused  by  the  cold  and  harsh  supremacy  of  this  unbending  foreigner 
who  set  himself  up  for  king  of  France  and  had  not  one  feeling  in 
sympathy  with  the  French.  Alan  Chartier's  Quadriloge  mvectif  is 
a  lively  and  sometimes  eloquent  allegory  in  which  France  personi- 
fied implores  her  three  children,  the  clergy,  the  chivalry,  and  the 
people,  to  forget  their  own  quarrels  and  unite  to  save  their  mother 
whilst  saving  themselves;  and  this  political  pamplilet  getting 
spread  about  amongst  the  provinces  did  good  service  to  the 
national  cause  against  the  foreign  conqueror.  An  event  more 
powerful  than  any  human  eloquence  occurred  to  give  the  dauphin 
and  his  partisans  earlier  hopes.  Towards  the  end  of  August,  1422. 
Henry  V.  fell  ill ;  and,  too  stout-hearted  to  delude  himself  as  to 
his  condition,  he  thought  no  longer  of  any  thing  but  preparing 
himself  for  death.  He  had  himself  removed  to  Vincennes,  called 
his  councillors  about  him,  and  gave  them  his  last  royal  instruc- 
tions. "  I  leave  you  the  government  of  France,"  said  he  to  his 
brother,  the  duke  of  Bedford,  "  unless  our  brother  of  Burgundy 
have  a  mind  to  undertake  it ;  for,  above  all  things,  I  conjure  you 
not  to  have  any  dissension  with  him.  If  that  should  happen — God 
preserve  you  from  it ! — the  affairs  of  this  kingdom  which  seem 
well  advanced  for  us  would  become  bad."  As  soon  as  he  had 
done  with  politics  he  bade  his  doctors  tell  him  how  long  he  had 
still  to  live.  One  of  them  knelt  down  before  his  bed  and  said, 
"  Sir,  be  thinking  of  your  soul ;  it  seemeth  to  us  that,  saving  the 
divine  mercy,  you  have  not  more  than  two  hours."  The  king 
summoned  his  confessor  with  the  priests,  and  asked  to  have  recited 
to  him  the  penitential  psalms.  When  they  came  to  the  twentieth 
versicle  of  the  Muerere :  TJt  cedificeiiUir  mtiri  Hierusalem  {tlmt  the 
walls  of  Jerusalem  may  he  built  up)^  he  made  them  stop.     "  Ah  !" 


310  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXm. 

said  he,  "  if  God  had  been  pleased  to  let  me  live  out  my  time,  I 
would,  after  putting  an  end  to  the  war  in  Prance,  reducing  the 
dauphin  to  submission  or  driving  him  out  of  the  kingdom  in  which  I 
would  have  established  a  sound  peace,  have  gone  to  conquer 
Jerusalem.  The  wars  I  have  undertaken  have  had  the  approval  of 
all  the  proper  men  and  of  the  most  holy  personages ;  I  commenced 
them  and  have  prosecuted  them  without  offence  to  God  or  peril  to  my 
soul."  These  were  his  last  words.  The  chanting  of  the  psahns  was 
resumed  around  him,  and  he  expired  on  the  31st  of  August,  1422, 
at  the  age  of  thirty-four.  A  great  soul  and  a  great  king ;  but  a 
great  example  also  of  the  boundless  errors  which  may  be  fallen 
into  by  the  greatest  men  when  they  pursue  with  arrogant  con- 
fidence their  own  views,  forgetting  the  laws  of  justice  and  the 
rights  of  other  men. 

On  the  22nd  of  October,  1422,  less  than  two  months  after  the 
death  of  Henry  V.,  Charles  VI.,  king  of  France,  died  at  Paris  in  the 
forty-third  year  of  his  reign.  As  soon  as  he  had  been  buried  at 
St.  Denis,  the  duke  of  Bedford,  regent  of  France  according  to  the 
will  of  Henry  V.,  caused  a  herald  to  proclaim,  "  Long  live  Henry 
of  Lancaster,  king  of  England  and  of  France ! "  The  people's 
voice  made  very  different  proclamation.  It  had  always  been  said 
that  the  public  evils  proceeded  from  the  state  of  illness  into  which 
the  unhappy  King  Charles  had  fallen.  The  goodness  he  had 
given  glimpses  of  in  his  lucid  intervals  had  made  him  an  object  of 
tender  pity.  Some  weeks  yet  before  his  death,  when  he  had 
entered  Paris  again,  the  inhabitants  in  the  midst  of  their  sufferings 
and  under  the  harsh  government  of  the  English  had  seen  with  joy 
their  poor  mad  king  coming  back  amongst  them,  and  had  greeted 
him  with  thousand-fold  shouts  of  "  Noel !"  His  body  lay  in  state 
for  three  days,  with  the  face  uncovered,  in  a  hall  of  the  hostel  of 
St.  Paul,  and  the  multitude  went  thither  to  pray  for  him,  saying, 
"  Ah  I  dear  prince,  never  shall  we  have  any  so  good  as  thou  wert ; 
never  shall  we  see  thee  more.  Accursed  be  thy  death  !  Since 
thou  dost  leave  us,  we  shall  never  have  aught  but  wars  and 
troubles.  As  for  thee,  thou  goest  to  thy  rest;  as  for  us,  we  remain 
in  tribulation  and  sorrow.  We  seem  made  to  fall  into  the  same 
distress  as  the  children  of  Israel  during  the  captivity  in  Babylon." 


mSr* 


'''^^>>^:f^^S^^^ 


^  j^fi 


CHAPTER   XXIV. 

THE    HUNDRED    YEARS'    WAR- CHARLES    VII.    AND    JOAN     OF 

ARC.     1422— 146U 


[  HILST  Charles  VI.  was  dying  at  Paris,  liis  son  CTiarles, 
the  daupliinj  waa  on  his  way  back  from  Saiotouge  to 
Berry,  where  he  usually  resideii  On  the  24th  of  October, 
1422,  at  Mebun-sur-Yfe\Tc,  he  heard  of  his  father's  death •  For 
six  days  longer,  from  the  24th  to  the  29th  of  October,  he  took  no 
style  but  tliat  of  regent,  as  if  he  were  waiting  to  see  what  was 
going  to  happen  elsewhere  in  respect  of  the  succession  to  the 
throne.  It  was  only  when  he  knew  that,  on  the  27th  of  October,  the 
parliament  of  Paris  had,  not  without  some  little  hesitation  and  am- 
biguity, recognized  **as  king  of  England  and  of  France^  Henry  VL, 
son  of  Henry  V.  lately  deceased,"  that  the  dauphin  Charles  assumed 
on  the  30th  of  October,  in  his  castle  of  Mehun-sur-Y^\Te»  the  title 
of  king  and  repaired  to  Bourges  to  inaugurate  in  the  cathedral  of 
that  city  his  reign  as  Charles  VH, 

He  was  twenty  years  old  and  had  as  yet  done  nothing  to  gain  for 
himself,  not  to  say  any  thing  of  glory,  the  confidence  and  hopea 
of  the  people.     Ho  passed  for  an  indolent  and  fnvolous    prince, 


Chjlp.  XXIV.]        THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  313 

abandoned  to  his  pleasures  only;  one  whose  capacity  there  was 

nothing  to  foreshadow  and  of  whom  France,  outside  of  his  own 

court,  scarcely  ever  thought  at  all.    Some  days  before  his  accession 

he  had  all  but  lost  his  life  at  Rochelle  by  the  sudden  breaking  down 

of  the  room  in  the  episcopal  palace  where  he  was  staying ;  and  so 

little  did  the  country  know  of  what  happened  to  him  that,  a  short 

time  after  the  accident,  messengers  sent  by  some  of  his  partisans 

had    arrived    at    Bourges    to    inquire  if   the   prince   were   still 

living.     At  a  time  when  not  only  the  crown  of  the  kingdom  but 

the   existence   and   independence   of   the    nation  were   at   stake 

Charles   had   not   given   any  signs  of  being  strongly  moved   by 

patriotic  feelings.     "  He  was,  in  person,  a  handsome  prince  and 

handsome  in  speech  with  all  persons  and  compassionate  towards 

poor  folks,"  says  his  contemporary  Monstrelet ;  "  but  he  did  not 

readily  put  on  his  harness,  and  he  had  no  heart  for  war  if  he  could 

do  without  it."     On  ascending  the  throne,  this  young  prince,  so 

little  of  the  politician  and  so  little  of  the  knight,  encountered  at 

the  head  of  his  enemies  the  most  able  amongst  the  politicians  and 

warriors  of  the  day  in  the  duke  of  Bedford,  whom  his  brother 

Henry  V.  had  appointed  regent  of  France  and  had  charged  to 

defend  on  behalf  of  his  nephew,  Henry  VI.,  a  child  in  the  cradle, 

the   crown   of  France  already  more   than  half  won.     Never  did 

struggle   appear  more  unequal  or  native   king   more  inferior  to 

foreign  pretender. 

Sagacious  observers,  however,  would  have  easily  discerned  in  the 
cause  which  appeared  the  stronger  and  the  better  supported  many 
seeds  of  weakness  and  danger.  When  Philip  the  Good,  duke  of 
Burgundy,  heard  at  Arras,  that  Charles  VI.  was  dead,  it  occurred 
to  him  immediately  that  if  he  attended  the  obsequies  of  the 
English  king  of  France  he  would  be  obliged,  French  prince  as  he 
was  and  cousin-german  of  Charles  VI.,  to  yield  precedence  to  John, 
duke  of  Bedford,  regent  of  France  and  uncle  of  the  new  king 
Henry  VI.  He  resolved  to  hold  aloof  and  contented  himself  with 
sending  to  Paris  chamberlains  to  make  his  excuses  and  supply  his 
place  with  the  regent.  On  the  11th  of  November,  1422,  the  duke 
of  Bedford  followed  alone  at  the  funeral  of  the  late  king  of  France 
and  alone  made  offering  at  the  mass.     Alone  he  went,  but  with  the 


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Chap.  XXIVO         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'   WAR 


815 


daughter  of  the  great  Breton  warrior  and  mistress  of  a  castle  hard 

hy  the  scene  of  action >  sent  thither  her  son,  Andrew  de  Laval »  a 

child  twelve  years  of  age,  and,  as  she  buckled  with  her  own  hands 

the  sword  which  his  ancestor  bad  worn^  aha  said  to  him,  "  God 

j]:ia.l£e  thee  as  valiant  as  he  whose  sword  this  was!'*     The  boy 

iroc?eived  the  order  of  knighthood  on  the  field  of  battle,  and  became 

afterwards  a  marshal  of  France,     Little  bands,  made  up  of  volun- 

t^e^rsj  attempted  enterprises  which  the  chiefs  of  the  regular  armies 

ooTisidered  impossible*    Stephen  de  Vignolles,  celebrated  under  the 

Tiarne  of  La  Hire,  resolved  to  succour  the  town  of   Montargis, 

biBsieged  by  the  English;  and  young  Dunois,  the  bastard  of  Orleans, 

joined  him-     On  arriving,  September  5th,  1427,  beneath  the  walls 

of    the  place,  a  priest  was  encountered  in  their  road.     La  Hire 

^sked  him  for  absolution.     The  priest  told  him  to  confess,     ''  I 

ha^ve  no  time  for  that,"  said  La  Hire,  "I  am  in  a  hurry;  I  have 

^one  in  the  way  of  sins  all  that  men  of  war  are  in  the  habit  of  doing/' 

W^hereupon,  says  the  chronicler,  the  chaplain  gave  liim  absolution 

lOf  what  it  was  worth ;  and  La  Hire^  putting  his  hands  together, 

^^id,  "God,  I  pray  Thee  to  do  for  La  Hire  this  day  as  much  as  Thou 

t^ouldest  have  La  Hire  do  for  Thee  if  he  were  God  and  Thou  wert 

Hire*"     And  Montargis  was  rid  of  its  besiegers.     The  English 

<3etermined  to  become  masters  of  Mont  St.  Michel  aujieril  de  la  }tiei\ 

that  abbey  built  on  a  rock  facing  the  western  coast  of  Normandy 

^nd   surrounded  every  day  by  the  waves  of  ocean.     The  thirty- 

jnd  abbot,  Robert  Jolivet,  promised  to  give  the  place  up  to 

tfcem  and  went  to  Rouen  with  that  design ;  but  one  of  his  monks, 

John    Enault,   being   elected  vicar-general   by  the   chapter,   and 

avipported  by  some  valiant  Norman  warriors,  offered  an  obstinate 

x*^sistance  for  eight  years,  bafiQed  all  the  attacks  of  the  English,  and 

^^■"^tained  the  abbey  in  the  possession  of  the  king  of  Fimnco,     The 

^^totabitants  of  La  Rochelle  rendered  the  same  service  to  the  king  and 

"to  France  in  a  more  important  case.     On  the  15th  of  August,  1427| 

^^T\  English  fleet  of  a  hundred  and  twenty  sail,  it  is  said,  appeared  off 

tlieir  city  with  invading  troops  aboard*     The  Rochellese  imme- 

*3iatoly  levied   upon   themselves  an   extraordinary  tax    and   put 

"•themselves  in  a  state  of  defence;  troops  raised  in  the  neighbour- 

«ioo(i  went  and  occupied  the  heights  bordering  on  the  coast;  and 


316  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

a  bold  Breton  sailor,  Bernard  de  Kercabin,  put  to  sea  to  meet  the 
enemy,  with  ships  armed  as  privateers.  The  attempt  of  the 
English  seemed  to  them  to  offer  more  danger  than  chance  of 
success ;  and  they  withdrew.  Thus  Charles  VII.  kept  possession 
of  the  only  seaport  remaining  to  the  crown.  Almost  every  where 
in  the  midst  of  a  war  as  indecisive  as  it  was  obstinate  local 
patriotism  and  the  spirit  of  chivalry  successfully  disputed  against 
foreign  supremacy  the  scattered  fragments  of  the  fatherland  and 
the  throne. 

In  order  to  put  an  end  to  this  doubtful  condition  of  events  and 
of  minds,  the  duke  of  Bedford  determined  to  aim  a  grand  blow  at 
the  national  party  in  France  and  at  her  king.  After  Paris  and 
Rouen,  Orleans  was  the  most  important  city  in  the  kingdom ;  it 
was  as  supreme  on  the  banks  of  the  Loire  as  Paris  and  Rouen 
were  on  those  of  the  Seine.  After  having  obtained  from  England  con- 
siderable reinforcements  commanded  by  leaders  of  experience,  the 
English  commenced,  in  October,  1428,  the  siege  of  Orleans.  The 
approaches  to  the  place  wore  occupied  in  force,  and  bastilles  closely 
connected  one  with  another  were  constructed  around  the  walls. 
As  a  set  off,  the  most  valiant  warriors  of  France,  La  Hire,  Dunois, 
Xaintrailles,  and  the  marshal  La  Fayette  threw  themselves  into 
Orleans,  the  garrison  of  which  amounted  to  scarcely  twelve 
hundred  men.  Several  towns,  Bourges,  Poitiers,  and  La  Rochelle 
sent  thither  money,  munitions,  and  militia;  the  states-general, 
assembled  at  Chinon,  voted  an  extraordinary  aid ;  and  Charles  VII.  • 
called  out  the  regulars  and  the  reserves.  Assaults  on  the  one  side 
and  sorties  on  the  other  were  begun  with  ardour.  Besiegers  and 
besieged  quite  felt  that  they  were  engaged  in  a  decisive  struggle. 
The  first  encounter  was  unfortunate  for  the  Orleannese.  In  a 
fight  called  the  herring  affair^  they  were  unsuccessful  in  an 
attempt  to  carry  off  a  supply  of  \dctuals  and  salt  fish  which  Sir 
John  Falstolf  was  bringing  to  the  besiegers.  Being  a  little  dis- 
couraged, they  offered  the  duke  of  Burgundy  to  place  their  city  in 
his  hands  that  it  might  not  fall  into  those  of  the  English ;  and 
Philip  the  Good  accepted  the  offer,  but  the  duke  of  Bedford  made 
a  formal  objection  :  "He  didn't  care,"  he  said,  "to  beat  the  bushes 
for   another  to  get  the   birds."     Philip  in  displeasure  withdrew 


Chap.  XXIV.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  317 

from  the  siege  the  small  force  of  Burgiindians  he  had  sent.  The 
English  remained  alone  before  the  place,  which  was  every  day 
harder  pressed  and  more  strictly  blockaded.  The  besieged  were 
far  from  foreseeing  what  succour  was  preparing  for  them. 

This  very  year,  on  the  6th  of  January,  1428,  at  Domremy,  a 
little  village  in  the  valley  of  the  Meuse,  between  Neufchateau  and 
Vaucouleurs,  on  the  edge  of  the  frontier  from  Champagne  to 
Lorraine,  the  young  daughter  of  simple  tillers-of-the-soil  "  of  good 
life  and  repute,  herself  a  good,  simple,  gentle  girl,  no  idler,  occu- 
pied hitherto  in  sewing  or  spinning  with  her  mother  or  driving 
afield  her  parent's  sheep  and  sometimes  even,  when  her  father's  turn 
came  round,  keeping  for  him  the  whole  flock  of  the  commune,"  was 
fulfilUng  her  sixteenth  year.  It  was  Joan  of  Arc,  whom  all  her 
neighbours  called  Joannette.  She  was  no  recluse ;  she  often  went 
with  her  companions  to  sing  and  eat  cakos  beside  the  fountain  by 
the  gooseberry-biishf  imder  an  old  beech,  which  was  called  the  fairy' 
tree :  but  dancing  she  did  not  hke.  She  was  constant  at  church, 
she  delighted  in  the  sound  of  the  bells,  she  went  often  to  confession 
and  communion,  and  she  blushed  when  her  fair  friends  taxed  her 
with  being  too  religious.  In  1421,  when  Joan  was  hardly  nine,  a 
band  of  Anglo-Burgundians  penetrated  into  her  country  and  trans- 
ferred thither  the  ravages  of  war.  The  village  of  Domremy  and 
the  little  town  of  Vaucouleurs  were  French  and  faithful  to  the 
French  kingship ;  and  Joan  wept  to  see  the  lads  of  her  parish 
returning  bruised  and  bleeding  from  encounters  with  the  enemy. 
Her  relations  and  neighbours  were  one  day  obliged  to  take  to 
flight,  and  at  their  return  they  found  their  houses  biu'nt  or 
devastated.  Joan  wondered  whether  it  could  possibly  be  that  God 
permitted  such  excesses  and  disasters.  In  1425,  on  a  summer's 
day,  at  noon,  she  was  in  her  father's  little  garden.  She  heard  a 
voice  calling  her,  at  her  right  side,  in  the  direction  of  the  church 
and  a  great  brightness  shone  upon  her  at  the  same  time  in  the 
same  spot.  At  first  she  was  frightened,  but  she  recovered  herself 
on  finding  that  "  it  was  a  worthy  voice ;"  and,  at  the  second  call, 
she  perceived  that  it  was  the  voice  of  angels.  "  I  saw  them  with 
my  bodily  eyes,"  she  said  six  years  later  to  her  judges  at  Rouen, 
"  as  plainly  as  I  see  you ;  when  they  departed  from  me  I  wept  and 


318 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[CttAP.  XXIV. 


would  fiiin  have  had  them  take  me  with  them,'*     The  apparitions 
came  again  and  again^  and  exhorted  her  "  to  go  to  France  for  t4) 
deliver  the  kingdom,'*     She  became  dreamy,  wrapt  in  constant 
meditation.      **  I  could  endure  no  longer/*   said  she  at  a  later 
period  J  "  and  the  time  went  heavily  with  me  as  with  a  woman  in 
travail/*     She  ended  by  telHng  every  thing  to  her  father,  who 
listened  to  her  words  anxiously  at  first  and  afterwards  wrathfully. 
He  himself  cue  night  dreamed  that  his  daughter  had  followed  tbe 
king's  men-at-arms  to  France,  and  from  that  moment  he  kept  her 
under  strict  superintendence,     '*  If  I  knew  of  your  sister's  going,^ 
he  said  to  his  sons,  "  I  would  bid  you  drown  her ;  and,  if  you  did 
not  do  it,  I  would  drown  her  myself"     Joan  submitted  :  there 
was  no  leaven  of  pride  in  her  sublimation,  and  she  did  not  suppos 
that  her  intercourse  with  celestial  voices  relieved  her  from  the  di 
of  obeying  her  parents*    Attempts  were  made  to  distract  her  mine 
A  young  man  who  had  courted  her  was  induced  to  say  that  be  hud 
a  promise  of  marriage  from  her  and  to  claim  the  fulfilment  of  it 
Joan  went  before  the  ecclesiastical  judge*  made  affirmation 
she  had  given  no  promise  and  without  difficulty  gained  her  cause" 
Every  body  believed  and  respected  her. 

In  a  village  hard  by  Domremy  she  had  an  uncle  whose  wife  wa 
near  her  confinement ;  she  got  herself  invited  to  go  and  nurse  her 
aunt,  and  thereupon  she  opened  her  heart  to  her  uncle,  repeating 
to  him  a  popular  saying  which  had  spread  indeed  throughout  thu 
country :  "Is  it  not  said  that  a  woman  shall  ruin  France  and  a 
young  maid  restore  it  ?**  She  pressed  liim  to  take  her  to  Vauron 
leurs  to  sire  Robert  de  Baudncourt,  captain  of  the  bailiwick,  lb 
she  wished  to  go  to  the  daiqthm  antl  carry  assistance  to  him.  Her 
uncle  gave  way,  and  on  the  13th  of  May,  1428,  hedid  t^ike  her  Ui 
Vaucouleurs*  "  I  come  on  behalf  of  ray  Lord,*'  said  slie  to  sire  de 
Baudricourt,  'Ho  bid  you  send  word  to  the  dauphin  tokeeji  himself 
well  in  hand  and  not  give  battle  to  his  foes,  fur  my  Lord  will 
presently  give  him  succour,'*  *'  Who  is  thy  lord?*'  asked  Baudri- 
court.  "The  king  of  Heaven,*'  answered  Joan.  Baudricourt  »t*t 
her  down  for  mad  and  urged  her  uncle  to  take  her  back  to  her 
parents  **  with  a  good  slap  o'  the  face." 

In  July,   1428,   a  fresh  invasion  of  Burgundiaus  occurred  at 


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Chap.  XXIV.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  321 

Domremy,  and  redoubled  the  popular  excitement  there.  Shortly 
afterwards,  the  report  touching  the  siege  of  Orleans  arrived  there. 
Joan,  more  and  more  passionately  possessed  with  her  idea,  returned 
to  Vaucouleurs.  "  I  must  go,"  said  she  to  sire  de  Baudricourt, 
"for  to  raise  the  siege  of  Orleans.  I  will  go,  should  I  have  to 
wear  off  my  legs  to  the  knee."  She  had  returned  to  Vaucouleurs 
without  taking  leave  of  her  parents.  "  Had  I  possessed,"  said  she, 
in  1431,  to  her  judges  at  Rouen,  "  a  hundred  fathers  and  a 
hundred  mothers  and  had  I  been  a  king's  daughter,  I  should  have 
gone."  Baudricoiu't,  impressed  without  being  convinced,  did  not 
oppose  her  remaining  at  Vaucouleurs,  and  sent  an  account  of  this 
singular  young  girl  to  Duke  Charles  of  Lorraine,  at  Nancy,  and 
perhaps  even,  according  to  some  chronicles,  to  the  king's  coiu^t. 
Joan  lodged  at  Vaucouleurs  in  a  wheelwright's  house,  and  passed 
three  weeks  there,  spinning  with  her  hostess  and  dividing  her  time 
between  work  and  church.  There  was  much  talk  in  Vaucouleurs 
of  her  and  her  visions  and  her  purpose.  John  of  Metz  [also 
called  John  of  Novelompont],  a  knight  serving  with  sire  de 
Baudricourt,  desired  to  see  her,  and  went  to  the  wheelwright's. 
"What  do  you  here,  my  dear?"  said  he;  "must  the  king  be 
driven  from  his  kingdom  and  we  become  English  ?"  "  I  am  come 
hither,"  answered  Joan,  "  to  speak  to  Robert  de  Baudricourt,  that 
lie  may  be  pleased  to  take  me  or  have  me  taken  to  the  king ;  but 
lie  pays  no  heed  to  me  or  my  words.  However,  I  must  be  with 
the  king  before  the  middle  of  Lent,  for  none  in  the  world,  nor 
kings,  nor  dukes,  nor  daughter  of  the  Scottish  king  can  recover 
the  kingdom  of  France ;  there  is  no  help  but  in  me.  Assuredly  I 
would  far  rather  be  spinning  beside  my  poor  mother,  for  this  other 
is  not  my  condition;  but  I  must  go  and  do  the  work  because  my 
Lord  wills  that  I  should  do  it."  "Who  is  your  Lord?"  "The  Lord 
God."  "  By  my  faith,"  said  the  knight,  seizing  Joan's  hands,  "  I 
will  take  you  to  the  king,  God  helping.  When  will  you  set  out  ?" 
"  Rather  now  than  to-morrow ;  rather  to-morrow  than  later." 
Vaucouleurs  was  full  of  the  fame  and  the  sayings  of  Joan.  Another 
knight,  Bertrand  de  Poulengy,  offered,  as  John  of  Metz  had,  to  be 
her  escort.  Duke  Charles  of  Lorraine  wished  to  see  her,  and  sent 
for  her  to  Nancy.     Old  and  ill  as  he  was,  he  had  deserted  the 

VOL.  II.  Y 


322  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.XXIV: 

duchess  his  wife,  a  virtuous  lady,  and  was  leading  any  thing  btit  a 
regular  life.  He  asked  Joan's  advice  about  his  health.  "I  have  no 
power  to  cure  you,"  said  Joan,  "but  go  back  to  your  wife  and  hdp 
me  in  that  for  which  God  ordains  me."  The  duke  ordered  her 
four  golden  crowns,  and  she  returned  to  Vaucouleiurs  thinking  of 
nothing  but  her  departure.  There  was  no  want  of  confidence  and 
good  will  on  the  part  of  the  inhabitants  of  Vaucouleurs  in  for- 
warding her  preparations.  John  of  Metz,  the  knight  charged  to 
accompany  her,  asked  her  if  she  intended  to  make  the  journey  in 
her  poor  red  rustic  petticoats.  "  I  would  like  to  don  man's  clothes," 
answered  Joan.  Subscriptions  were  made  to  give  her  a  suitable 
costume.  She  was  supplied  with  a  horse,  a  coat  of  mail,  a  lance, 
a  sword,  the  complete  equipment,  indeed,  of  a  man-at-arms ;  and  a 
king's  messenger  and  an  archer  formed  her  train.  Baudricourfc 
made  them  swear  to  escort  her  safely,  and  on  the  25th  of  February, 
1429,  he  bade  her  farewell,  and  all  he  said  was,  "Away  then, 
Joan,  and  come  what  may." 

Charles  VII.  was  at  that  time  residing  at  Chinon,  in  Touraine. 
In  order  to  get  there  Joan  had  nearly  a  hundred  and  fifty  leagues 
to  go,  in  a  country  occupied  here  and  there  by  English  and  Bur- 
gundians  and  every  where  a  theatre  of  war.  She  took  eleven 
days  to  do  this  journey,  often  marching  by  night,  never  giving  up 
man's  dress,  disquieted  by  no  difficulty  and  no  danger,  and 
testifying  no  desire  for  a  halt  save  to  worship  God.  "  Could  we 
hear  mass  daily,"  said  she  to  her  comrades,  "we  should  do 
well."  They  only  consented  twice,  first  in  the  abbey  of  St.  Urban, 
and  again  in  the  principal  church  of  Auxerre.  As  they  were  full 
of  respect  though  at  the  same  time  also  of  doubt  towards  Joan, 
she  never  had  to  defend  herself  against  their  familiarities,  but  she 
had  constantly  to  dissipate  their  disquietude  touching  the  reahty 
or  the  character  of  her  mission.  "  Fear  nothing,"  she  said  to  thera, 
"  God  shows  me  the  way  I  should  go ;  for  thereto  was  T  bom." 
On  arriving  at  the  village  of  St.  Catherine-de-Fierbois,  near  Chinon, 
she  heard  three  masses  on  the  same  day  and  had  a  letter  written 
thence  to  the  king  to  announce  her  coming  and  to  ask  to  see  him; 
she  had  gone,  she  said,  a  hundred  and  fifty  leagues  to  come  and 
tell  him  things  which  would  be  most  useful  to  him.     Charles  VII. 


ciuF.  xxrv-] 


THE  HUNDRED  YEAES*  WAR. 


323 


d  his  councillorg  hesitated.     The  men  of  war  did  not  like  to 
I>^eve  that  a  little  peasant-girl  of  Lorraine  was  coming  to  bring 
the  king  a  more  effectual  support  than  their  own*     Nevertheless 
some^  and   the   most   heroic   amongst   them,   Dunois^   La   Hire, 
^nd  ^^intrailles,  were  moved  by  what  was  told  of  this  young  girh 
The  letters  of  sire  de  Baudriconi't,  though  fuU  of  doubt,  suffered  a 
gleam  of  something  like  a  serious  impression  to  peep  out ;  and 
'w^by  should  not  the  king  receive  this  young  girl  whom  the  captain 
o£  Vaucouleurs  had  thought  it  a  duty  to  send?     It  would  soon  be 
Been  what  she  was  and  what  she  would  do,     The  politicians  and 
coxirtiers,   especially  the   most   trusted   of  them,   George   de   la 
Tr^moille,  the  king*s  favourite,  shrugged  their  shoulders.     What 
coiild  be  expected  from  the  dreams  of  a  young  peasant-girl  of 
nineteen  ?    Influences  of  a  more  private  character  and  more  dis- 
posed toward  sympathy — Yolande  of  Arragon,  for  instance,  queen 
^^f  Sicily  and  mother-in-law  of  Charles  VIL,  and  perhaps  also  her 
■  daughter  the  young  queen,  Mary  of  Anjou,  were  urgent  for  the 
ting  to  reply  to  Joan  that  she  might  go  to  Chinon.     She  was 
Authorized  to  do  so,  and  on  the  6th  of  March,  1429,  she  with  her 
Comrades  arrived  at  the  royal  residence. 

At  the  very  first  moment  two  incidents  occiured  to  still  further 

lUerease  the  curiosity  of  which  she  was  the  object.     Quite  close  to 

Chinon  some  vagabonds,  it  is  said,  had  prepared  an  ambuscade  for 

tUe  purpose  of  despoiling  her,  her  and  her  train.     She  passed  close 

by  them  without  the  least  obstacle.     The  rumour  went  that  at 

her  approach  they  were  struck  motionless,  and  had  been  unable 

to  attempt   their  wicked   purpose.     Joan   was   rather  tall^  well 

sliaped,  dark,  with  a  look  of  composure,  animation,  and  gentleness. 

A.  nian*at-arms,  who  met  her  on  her  way,  thought  her  pretty,  and, 

"^^nth  ^1  impious  oath,  expressed  a  coarse  sentiment.     **Alasr' 

^^\i  Joan,  **  thou  blasphemest  thy  God  and  yet  thou  art  so  near 

"tlay  death  I"     He  drowned  himself,  it  is  said,  soon  after.     Already 

ix^pular  feeling  was  8iu*rounding  her  marvellous  mission  with  a 

b^o  of  instantaneous  miracles. 

On  her  arrival  at  Chinon  she  at  first  lodged  with  an  honest 
xainiiy  near  the  castle.  For  three  days  longer  there  was  a  dehbe- 
''^^'on  in  the  council  as  to  whether  the  king  ought  to  receive  her. 


321  HISTOEY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

But  there  was  bad  news  from  Orleans.  There  were  no  more 
troops  to  send  thither  and  there  was  no  money  forthcoming :  the 
king's  treasurer^  it  was  said,  had  but  four  crowns  in  the  chest.  K 
Orleans  were  taken,  the  king  would  perhaps  be  reduced  to  seeking 
a  refuge  in  Spain  or  in  Scotland.  Joan  promised  to  set  Orleans 
free.  The  Orleannese  themselves  were  clamorous  for  her ;  Dunois 
kept  up  their  spirits  with  the  expectation  of  this  marvellous 
assistance.  It  was  decided  that  the  king  should  receive  her.  She 
had  assigned  to  her  for  residence  an  apartment  in  the  tower  of  the 
Coudray,  a  block  of  quarters  adjoining  the  royal  mansion,  and  she 
was  committed  to  the  charge  of  William  Bellier,  an  officer  of  the 
king's  household,  whose  wife  was  a  woman  of  great  piety  and 
excellent  fame.  On  the  9th  of  March,  1429,  Joan  was  at  last 
introduced  into  the  king's  presence  by  the  count  of  Vend6me,  high 
steward,  in  the  great  hall  on  the  first  story,  a  portion  of  the 
wall  and  the  fire-place  being  still  visible  in  the  present  day.  It 
It  was  evening,  candle-light;  and  nearly  three  hundred  knights 
were  present.  Charles  kept  himself  a  Httle  aloof,  amidst  a  group 
of  warriors  and  courtiers  more  richly  dressed  than  he.  According 
to  some  chroniclers,  Joan  had  demanded  that  "  she  should  not  be 
deceived,  and  should  have  pointed  out  to  her  him  to  whom  she  was 
to  speak ;"  others  affirm  that  she  went  straight  to  the  king  whom 
she  had  never  seen,  "  accosting  him  humbly  and  simply,  like  a 
poor  little  shepherdess,''  says  an  eye-witness,  and,  according  to 
another  account,  "  making  tlie  usual  bends  and  reverences  as  if  she 
had  been  brought  up  at  court."  Whatever  may  have  been  her 
outward  behaviour,  "  Gentle  dauphin,"  she  said  to  the  king  (for 
she  did  not  think  it  right  to  call  him  king  so  long  as  he  was  not 
crowned),  "my  name  is  Joan  the  maid;  the  King  of  Heaven 
sendetli  you  word  by  me  that  you  shall  be  anointed  and  crowned 
in  the  city  of  Rheims,  and  shall  be  Ueutenant  of  the  King  of 
Heaven,  who  is  king  of  France.  It  is  God's  pleasure  that  our 
enemies  the  English  should  depart  to  their  own  country ;  if  they 
depart  not,  evil  will  come  to  them,  and  the  kingdom  is  sure  to 
continue  yours."  Charles  was  impressed  without  being  con- 
vinced, as  so  many  others  had  been  before  or  were,  as  he  was,  on 
that  very  day.     Ho  saw  Joan  again  several  times.     She  did  not 


C7fiAF,  XXIV,]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


325 


feelude  herself  as  to  the  doubts   he  still  entertained.     **  Gentle 
^L^uphin,'*  she  said  to  him  one  day,  **  why  do  you  not  belieye 
z3Cie  ?      I  say  unto  you  that  God  hath  compassion  on  yoUj  your 
kingdom,  and  your  people ;  Sk  Louis  and  Charlemagne  are  kneeling 
>>efbre  Him,  making  prayer  for  you,  and  I  will  say  unto  you,  so 
please  you,  a  thing  which  wiU  give  you  to  understand  that  you 
ought  to  believe  me*"     Charles  gave  her  audience  on  this  occasion 
in    the  presence,  according  to  some  accounts,  of  four  witnesses, 
tlie  most  trusted  of  his  intimates,  who  swore  to  reveal  nothing, 
a.xid,  according  to  others,  completi^ly  alone.     ^'What  she  said  to 
Ixim  there  is  none  who  knows,"  wrote  Alan  Chartier  a  short  time 
after  [in  July,  1429],  "but  it  is  quite  cert-ain  that  he  was  all 
i*adiant  with  joy  thereat  as  at  a  revelation  from  the  Holy  Spirit/' 
M*  Wall  on  J  after  a  scrupulous  sifting  of  evidence,  has  given  the 
following   exposition   of    this   mysterious    interview,      "  Sire   de 
Boisy,'*  he  says,  "  who  was  in  Ins  youth  one  of  the  gentlemen-of- 
the-bedchamber  on  the  most  familiar  terms  with  Charles  VII., 
*<»ld  Peter  Sala,  giving  the  king  himself  as  his  authority  for  the 
story,  that  one  day,  at  the  period  of  his  greatest  adversity,  the 
prince,  vainly  looking  for  a   remedy  against  so  many  troubles, 
entered  in  the  morning,  alone,  into  his  oratory  and  there,  without 
uttering  a  word  aloud,  made  prayer  to  God  from  the  depths  of  his 
heart  that,  if  he  were  the  true  heir,  issue  of  the  House  of  Franca 
(and  a  doubt  was  possible  with  such  a  queen  as  Isabel  of  Bavaria), 
ajid  the  kingdom  ought  justly  to  be  his,  God  would  be  pleased  to 
keep  and  defend  it  for  him;  if  not,  to  give  him  graco  to  escape 
"without  death  or  imprisonment  and  find  safety  in  Spain  or  in 
Scotland,  where  he  intended  in  the  last  resort  to  seek  a  refuge- 
TTHs  prayer,  known  to  God  alone,  the  Maid  recalled  to  the  mind 
of  Charles  VII*,  and  thus  is  explained  the  joy  which,  as  the  wit- 
nesses say,  he  testified  whilst  none  at  that  time  knew  the  cause. 
Joan  by  thi^  revelation  not  only  caused  the  king  to  believe  in  her ; 
^te  caused   him   to  believe  in   himself  and  his  right  and  title ; 
^tJjough  she  never  spoke  in  that  way  as  of  her  own  motion  to 
*hi3  king, it  was  always  a  superior  power  speaking  by  her  voice,  'I 
behalf  of  my  Lord  that  thou  art  true  heir  of  Prance 

re,  by  M.  Wallon,  t.  i,  p,  32,) 


king,'"    [/( 


eaniie 


326  HISTORY  OP  FRAlfOB.  [Chap.  XXIV 

Whether  Charles  VII.  were  or  were  not  convinced  by  this 
interview  of  Joan's  divine  mission,  he  clearly  saw  that  many  of 
those  about  him  had  Kttle  or  no  faith  in  it,  and  that  other  proofs 
were  required  to  upset  their  doubts.  He  resolved  to  go  to  Poitiers, 
where  his  council,  the  parliament  and  several  learned  members  of 
the  University  of  Paris  were  in  session,  and  have  Joan  put  to  the 
strictest  examination.  When  she  learned  her  destination,  she 
said,  "  In  the  name  of  God,  I  know  that  I  shall  have  tough  work 
there,  but  my  Lord  wiU  help  me.  Let  us  go,  then,  for  God's 
sake."  On  her  arrival  at  Poitiers,  on  the  11th  of  March,  1429,  she 
was  placed  in  one  of  the  most  respectable  families  in  the  town,  that 
of  John  Rabuteau,  advocate-general  in  parliament.  The  arch- 
bishop of  Rheims,  Reginald  de  Chartres,  chancellor  of  France,  five 
bishops,  the  king's  councillors,  several  learned  doctors,  and  amongst 
others  Father  Seguin,  an  austere  and  harsh  Dominican,  repaired 
thither  to  question  her.  When  she  saw  them  come  in,  she  went 
and  sat  down  at  the  end  of  the  bench  and  asked  them  what  they 
wanted  with  her.  For  two  hours  they  set  themselves  to  the  task 
of  showing  her  "  by  fair  and  gentle  arguments  "  that  she  was  not 
entitled  to  belief.  "  Joan,"  said  William  Aimery,  professor  of 
theology,  "  you  ask  for  men-at-arms,  and  you  say  that  it  is  God's 
pleasure  that  the  English  should  leave  the  kingdom  of  France  and 
depart  to  their  own  land ;  if  so,  there  is  no  need  of  men-at-arms, 
for  God's  pleasure  alone  can  discomfit  them  and  force  them  to 
return  to  their  homes."  "  In  the  name  of  God,"  answered  Joan, 
"  the  men-at-arms  will  do  battle  and  God  will  give  them  victory." 
Master  WiUiam  did  not  urge  his  point.  The  Dominican,  Seguin, 
"  a  very  sour  man,"  says  the  clu'onicle,  asked  Joan  what  language 
the  voices  spoke  to  her.  ''  Better  than  yours,"  answered  Joan. 
The  doctor  spoke  the  Limousine  dialect.  "  Do  you  believe  in 
God?"  he  asked  ill-humouredly.  "More  than  you  do,"  retorted 
Joan  offended.  "Weil,"  rejoined  the  monk,  "God  forbids  behef 
in  you  without  some  sign  tending  thereto :  I  shall  not  give  the 
king  advice  to  trust  men-at-arms  to  you  and  put  them  in  peril  on 
your  simple  word."  "  In  the  name  of  God,"  said  Joan,  "  I  am  not 
come  to  Poitiers  to  show  signs ;  take  me  to  Orleans  and  I  will  give 
you  signs  of  what  I  am  sent  for.     Let  me  have  ever  so  few  men-at- 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  327 

arms  given  me  and  I  will  go  to  Orleans ;"  then,  addressing  another 
of  the  examiners,  Master  Peter  of  Versailles,  who  was  afterwards 
bishop  of  Meaux,  she  said,  "  I  know  nor  A  nor  B ;  but  in  our 
Lord's  book  there  is  more  than  in  your  books ;  I  come  on  behalf 
of  the  King  of  Heaven  to  cause  the  siege  of  Orleans  to  be  raised 
and  to  take  the  king  to  Rheims  that  he  may  be  crowned  and 
anointed  there."  The  examination  was  prolonged  for  a  fortnight, 
not  without  symptoms  of  impatience  on  the  part  of  Joan.  At  the 
end  of  it  she  said  to  one  of  the  doctors,  John  Erault,  "  Have  you 
paper  and  ink  ?  Write  what  I  shall  say  to  you ;"  and  she  dictated 
a  form  of  letter  which  became  some  weeks  later  the  manifesto 
addressed  in  a  more  developed  shape  by  her  from  Orleans  to  the 
English,  calling  upon  them  to  raise  the  siege  and  put  a  stop  to  the 
war.  The  chief  of  those  piously  and  patriotically  heroic  phrases 
were  as  follows : — 
"  Jesu  Maria, 

"  King  of  England,  account  to  the  King  of  Heaven  for  His  blood 
royaL  Grive  up  to  the  Maid  the  keys  of  all  the  good  towns  you 
have  taken  by  force.  She  is  come  from  God  to  avenge  the  blood 
royal  and  quite  ready  to  make  peace  if  you  will  render  proper 
account.  If  you  do  not  so,  I  am  a  war-chief;  in  whatsoever  place 
I  shall  fall  in  with  your  folks  in  France,  if  they  be  not  wilhng  to 
obey,  I  shall  make  them  get  thence,  whether  tliey  will  or  not ;  and 
if  they  be  willing  to  obey,  I  will  receive  them  to  mercy.  .  .  .  The 
Maid  cometh  from  the  King  of  Heaven  as  His  representative,  to 
thrust  you  out  of  France ;  she  doth  promise  and  certify  you  that 
she  will  make  therein  such  mighty  haha  [great  tumult]  that  for  a 
thousand  years  hitherto  in  France  was  never  the  like.  .  .  .  Duke 
of  Bedford,  who  call  yourself  regent  of  France,  the  Maid  doth  pray 
you  and  request  you  not  to  bring  destruction  on  yourself;  if  you 
do  not  justice  towards  her,  she  will  do  the  finest  deed  ever  done 
in  Christendom. 

"Writ  on  Tuesday  in  the  great  week"  [Easter  week,  March, 
1429].  Subscribed:  *^ Hearken  to  the  news  from  God  aiid  the 
Maid:' 

At  the  end  of  their  examination  the  doctors  decided  in  Joan's 
fSftvour.    Two  of  them,  the  bishop  of  Castres^  Gerard  Machet,  the 


328  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [CmLP.XXIV. 

king's  confessor,  and  Master  John  Erault,  recognized  the  divine 
nature  of  her  mission.  She  was,  they  said,  the  virgin  foretold  in 
the  ancient  prophecies,  notably  in  those  of  Merhn ;  and  the  most 
exacting  amongst  them  approved  of  the  king's  having  neither 
accepted  nor  rejected,  with  levity,  the  promises  made  by  Joan; 
"  after  a  grave  inquiry  there  had  been  discovered  in  her,"  they 
said,  "naught  but  goodness,  humility,  devotion,  honesty,  simpli- 
city. Before  Orleans  she  professes  tb  be  going  to  show  her  sign ; 
so  she  must  be  taken  to  Orleans,  for  to  give  her  up  without  any 
appearance  on  her  part  of  evil  would  be  to  fight  against  the  Holy 
Spirit,  and  to  become  unworthy  of  aid  from  God."  After  the 
doctors'  examination  came  that  of  the  women.  Three  of  the 
greatest  ladies  in  France,  Yolande  of  Arragon,  queen  of  Sicily; 
the  countess  of  Gaucourt,  wife  of  the  governor  of  Orleans ;  and 
Joan  de  Mortemer,  wife  of  Robert  le  Ma^on,  baron  of  Treves,  were 
charged  to  examine  Joan  as  to  her  Ufe  as  a  woman.  They  found 
therein  nothing  but  truth,  virtue,  and  modesty;  "she  spoke  to 
them  with  such  sweetness  and  grace,"  says  the  chronicle,  "that  she 
drew  tears  from  their  eyes ;"  and  she  excused  herself  to  them  for 
the  dress  she  wore,  and  for  which  the  sternest  doctors  had  not 
dreamed  of  reproaching  her;  "It  is  more  decent,"  said  the  arch- 
bishop of  Embrun,  "  to  do  such  things  in  man's  dress,  since  they 
must  be  done  along  witli  men."  The  men  of  intelligence  at  court 
bowed  down  before  this  village-saint,  who  was  coming  to  bring  to 
the  king  in  his  peril  assistance  from  God ;  the  most  vaUant  men  of 
war  were  moved  by  the  confident  outbursts  of  her  patriotic 
courage ;  and  the  people  every  where  welcomed  her  with  faith  and 
enthusiasm.  Joan  had  as  yet  only  just  appeared,  and  already  she 
was  the  heaven-sent  interpretress  of  the  nation's  feehng,  the  hope 
of  the  people  of  France. 

Charles  no  longer  hesitated.  Joan  was  treated,  according  to 
her  own  expression  in  her  letter  to  the  English,  "as  a  war-chief;" 
there  were  assigned  to  her  a  squire,  a  page,  two  heralds,  a  chaplain, 
Brother  Pasquerel,  of  the  order  of  the  hermit-brotherhood  of 
St.  Augustin,  varlets,  and  serving-folks.  A  complete  suit  of 
armour  was  made  to  fit  her.  Her  two  guides,  John  of  Metz  and 
Bertrand  of  Poulengy,  had  not  quitted  her;  and  the  king  continued 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  329 

them  in  her  train.  Her  sword  he  wished  to  be  supplied  by  him- 
self; she  asked  for  one  marked  with  five  crosses;  it  would  be 
found,  she  said,  behind  the  altar  in  the  chapel  of  St.  Catherine-de- 
Fierbois,  where  she  had  halted  on  her  arrival  at  Chinon ;  and  there, 
indeed,  it  was  found.  She  had  a  white  banner  made,  studded  with 
lilies,  bearing  the  representation  of  God  seated  upon  the  clouds 
and  holding  in  His  hand  the  globe  of  the  world.  Above  were  the 
words  "  Jesu  Maria,"  and  below  were  two  angels  on  their  knees  in 
adoration.  Joan  was  fond  of  her  sword,  as  she  said  two  years 
afterwards  at  her  trial,  but  she  was  forty  times  more  fond  of 
her  banner,  which  was,  in  her  eyes,  the  sign  of  her  commission 
and  the  pledge  of  victory.  On  the  completion  of  the  prepara- 
tions she  demanded  the  immediate  departure  of  the  expedition. 
Orleans  was  crying  for  succour ;  Dunois  was  sending  messenger 
after  messenger ;  and  Joan  was  in  a  greater  hurry  than  any  body 
else. 

More  than  a  month  elapsed  before  her  anxieties  were  satisfied. 
During  this  interval  wo  find  Charles  VII.  and  Joan  of  Arc  at 
Chatelh^rault,  at  Poitiers,  at  Tours,  at  Florent-lfes-Saumur,  at 
Chinon,  and  at  Blois,  going  to  and  fro  through  all  that  country  to 
push  forward  the  expedition  resolved  upon,  and  to  remove  the 
obstacles  it  encountered.  Through  a  haze  of  vague  indications  a 
glimpse  is  caught  of  the  struggle  which  was  commencing  between 
the  partisans  and  the  adversaries  of  Joan,  and  in  favour  of  or  in 
opposition  to  the  impulse  she  was  communicating  to  the  war  of 
nationality.  Charles  VII.'s  mother-in-law,  Yolande  of  Arragon, 
queen  of  SicUy,  and  the  young  duke  of  Alenfon,  whose  father  had 
been  killed  at  the  battle  of  Agincourt,  were  at  the  head  of  Joan's 
partisans.  Yolande  gave  money  and  took  a  groat  deal  of  trouble 
in  order  to  promote  the  expedition  which  was  to  go  and  succour 
Orleans.  The  duke  of  Alen^on,  hardly  twenty  years  of  age,  was 
the  only  one  amongst  the  princes  of  the  house  of  Valois  who  had 
given  Joan  a  kind  reception  on  her  arrival,  and  who,  together 
with  the  brave  La  Hire,  said  that  he  would  follow  her  whither- 
soever she  pleased  to  lead  him.  Joan  in  her  gratitude  called 
him  the  handsome  duke^  and  exhibited  towards  him  amity  and 
confidence. 


330  HISTORY  OP  FEANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

But,  side  by  side  with  these  friends,  she  had  an  adversary  in  the 
king's  favourite,  Greorge  de  la  Tr^moille,  an  ambitious  courtier, 
jealous  of  any  one  who  seemed  within  the  range  of  the  king's 
favour,  and  opposed  to  a  vigorous  prosecution  of  the  war,  since  it 
hampered  him  in  the  policy  he  wished  to  keep  up  towards  the  duke 
of  Biu*gundy.  To  the  ill-will  of  La  Tr^mouille  was  added  that  of 
the  majority  of  courtiers  enlisted  in  the  following  of  the  powerful 
favoiurite  and  that  of  warriors  irritated  at  the  importance  acquired 
at  their  expense  by  a  rustic  and  fantastic  little  adventuress.  Here 
was  the  source  of  the  enmities  and  intrigues  which  stood  in  the 
way  of  all  Joan's  demands,  rendered  her  successes  more  tardy, 
difficult,  and  incomplete,  and  were  one  day  to  cost  her  more  dearly 
stiU. 

At  the  end  of  about  five  weeks  the  expedition  was  in  readiness. 
It  was  a  heavy  convoy  of  revictualment  protected  by  a  body  of  ten 
or  twelve  thousand  men  commanded  by  marshal  de  Boussac,  and 
numbering  amongst  them  Xaintrailles  and  La  Hire.  The  march 
began  on  the  27th  of  April,  1429.  Joan  had  caused  the  removal 
of  all  women  of  bad  character,  and  had  recommended  her  com- 
rades to  confess.  She  took  the  communion  in  the  open  air,  before 
their  eyes;  and  a  company  of  priests,  headed  by  her  chaplain, 
Pasquerel,  led  the  way  whilst  chanting  sacred  hymns.  Great 
was  the  surprise  amongst  the  men-at-arms.  Many  had  words  of 
mockery  on  their  lips.  It  was  the  time  when  La  Hire  used  to  say, 
**If  God  were  a  soldier,  He  would  turn  robber."  Nevertheless 
respect  got  the  better  of  habit ;  the  most  honourable  were  really 
touched;  the  coarsest  considered  themselves  bound  to  show 
restraint.  On  the  29th  of  April  they  arrived  before  Orleans.  But, 
in  consequence  of  the  road  they  had  followed,  the  Loire  was 
between  the  army  and  the  town  ;  the  expeditionary  corps  had  to 
be  split  in  two ;  the  troops  were  obliged  to  go  and  feel  for  the 
bridge  of  Blois  in  order  to  cross  the  river ;  and  Joan  was  vexed 
and  surprised.  Dunois,  arrived  from  Orleans  in  a  little  boat, 
urged  her  to  enter  the  town  that  same  evening.  "  Are  you  the 
bastard  of  Orleans?"  asked  she,  when  he  accosted  her.  **  Yes; 
and  I  am  rejoiced  at  your  coming."  "  Was  it  you  who  gave 
counsel  for  making  me  come  hither  by  this  side  of  the  river  and 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  831 

not  the  direct  way,  over  yonder  where  Talbot  and  the  English 
were?"  "Yes;  such  was  the  opinion  of  the  wisest  captains." 
"  In  the  name  of  God,  the  counsel  of  my  Lord  is  wiser  than  yours; 
you  thought  to  deceive  me,  and  you  have  deceived  yourselves,  for 
I  am  bringing  you  the  best  succour  that  ever  had  knight,  or  town, 
or  city,  and  that  is,  the  good  will  of  God  and  succour  from  the 
King  of  Heaven ;  not  assuredly  for  love  of  me,  it  is  from  God 
only  that  it  proceeds."  It  was  a  great  trial  for  Joan  to  separate 
from  her  comrades  "  so  well  prepared,  penitent,  and  well-disposed; 
in  their  company,"  said  she,  "  I  should  not  fear  the  whole  power 
of  the  English."  She  was  afraid  that  disorder  might  set  in 
amongst  the  troops  and  that  they  might  break  up  instead  of  fulfilling 
her  mission.  Dunois  was  urgent  for  her  to  go  herself  at  once  into 
Orleans  with  such  portion  of  the  convoy  as  boats  might  be  able  to 
transport  thither  without  delay.  "  Orleans,"  said  he,  "  would 
count  it  for  naught,  if  they  received  the  victuals  without  the 
Maid."  Joan  decided  to  go :  the  captains  of  her  division 
promised  to  rejoin  her  at  Orleans;  she  left  them  her  chaplain, 
Pasquerel,  the  priests  who  accompanied  him,  and  the  banner 
around  which  she  was  accustomed  to  muster  them ;  and  she  her- 
self, with  Dunois,  La  Hire,  and  two  hundred  men-at-arms,  crossed 
the  river  at  the  same  time  with  a  part  of  the  supplies. 

The  same  day,  at  eight  p.m.,  slie  entered  the  city,  on  horseback, 
completely  armed,  preceded  by  her  own  banner  and  having  beside 
her  Dunois,  and  beliind  her  the  captains  of  the  garrison  and  several 
of  the  most  distinguished  burgesses  of  Orleans,  who  had  gone  out 
to  meet  her.  The  population,  one  and  all,  rushed  thronging  round 
her,  carrying  torches,  and  greeting  her  arrival  ^'  with  joy  as  great 
as  if  they  had  seen  God  come  down  amongst  them.  They  felt," 
says  the  Journal  of  the  SiegCy  "  all  of  them  recomforted  and  as  it 
were  disbesieged  by  the  divine  virtue  which  they  had  been  told 
existed  in  this  simple  maid."  In  their  anxiety  to  approach  her,  to 
touch  her,  one  of  their  lighted  torches  set  fire  to  her  banner.  Joan 
disengaged  herself  with  her  horse  as  cleverly  as  it  could  have  been 
done  by  the  most  skilful  horseman,  and  herself  extinguished  the 
flame.  The  crowd  attended  her  to  the  church  whither  she  desired 
to  go  first  of  all  to  render  thanks  to  God,  and  then  to  the  house  of 


332  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.XXIT. 

John  Boucher,  the  duke  of  Orleans'  treasurer,  where  she  was 
received  together  with  her  two  brothers  and  the  two  gentlemen 
who  had  been  her  guides  from  Vaucouleurs.  The  treasurer's  wife 
was  one  of  the  most  virtuous  city  dames  in  Orleans,  and  from  this 
night  forth  her  daughter  Charlotte  had  Joan  for  her  bedfellow.  A 
splendid  supper  had  been  prepared  for  her ;  but  she  would  merely 
dip  some  slices  of  bread  in  wine  and  water.  Neither  her  enthu- 
siasm nor  her  success,  the  two  greatest  tempters  to  pride  in 
mankind,  made  any  change  in  her  modesty  and  simplicity. 

The  very  day  after  her  arrival  she  would  have  liked  to  go  and 
attack  the  English  in  their  bastilles,  within  which  they  kept 
themselves  shut  up.  La  Hire  was  pretty  much  of  her  opinion ;  but 
Dunois  and  the  captains  of  the  garrison  thought  they  ought  to 
await  the  coming  of  the  troops  which  had  gone  to  cross  the  Loire 
at  Blois,  and  the  supports  which  several  French  garrisons  in 
the  neighbourhood  had  received  orders  to  forward  to  Orleans. 
Joan  insisted.  Sire  de  Gramaches,  one  of  the  officers  present, 
could  not  contain  himself.  "  Since  ear  is  given,"  said  he,  "  to  the 
advice  of  a  wench  of  low  degree  rather  than  to  that  of  a  knight  like 
mo,  I  will  not  bandy  more  words;  when  the  time  comes,  it  shall  be 
my  sword  that  will  speak ;  I  shall  fall  perhaps,  but  the  king  and 
my  own  honour  demand  it ;  henceforth  I  give  up  my  banner  and  am 
nothing  more  tlian  a  poor  esquire.  I  prefer  to  have  for  master  a 
noble  man  ratlier  than  a  girl  who  has  heretofore  been,  perhaps,  1 
know  not  what."  lie  furled  his  banner  and  handed  it  to  Dunois. 
Dunois,  as  sensible  as  he  was  brave,  would  not  give  heed  either  to 
the  clioler  of  Gamaclies  or  to  the  insistance  of  Joan;  and,  thanks 
to  his  intervention,  they  were  reconciled  on  being  induced  to  think 
better,  respectively,  of  giving  up  the  banner  and  ordering  an  imme- 
diate attack.  Dunois  went  to  Blois  to  hurry  the  movements  of  the 
division  which  had  repaired  thither ;  and  his  presence  there  was 
highly  necessary,  since  Joan's  enemies,  especially  the  chancellor 
Regnault,  were  nearly  carrying  a  decision  that  no  such  reinforcement 
should  be  sent  to  Orleans.  Dunois  frustrated  this  purpose,  and 
led  back  to  Orleans,  l)y  way  of  Beauce,  the  troops  concentrated  at 
Blois.  On  the  4th  of  May,  as  soon  as  it  was  known  that  he  was 
coming,  Joan,  La  Hire,  and  the  principal  leaders  of  the  city  as  well 


rj^p.xxrvo      THE  hthstdred  yearr^  war. 


S33 


B»^    of  the  garriaon  went  to  meet  him  and  re-entered  Orleans  with 

1:1.  im  and  his  troops,  passing  between  the  bastilles  of  the  English, 

^w^lio  made  not  even  an  attempt  to  oppose  them,    "That  is  the  sor- 

Jberess  yonder/*  said  some  of  the  besiegers;  others  asked  if  it  were 

qxiite  so  clear  that  her  power  did  not  come  to  her  from  on  high ; 

a,Tid  their  commander,  the  earl  of  Suffolk,  being  himself,  perhaps, 

xm  certain  J  did  not  like  to  risk  it:  doubt  produced  terrorj  and  terror 

ixi activity.     The  convoy  from  Blois  entered  Orleans j  preceded  by 

PBi-other  Pasquerel  and  the  priests,     Joan,  whilst  she  was  awaiting 
it^  sent  the  English  captains  a  fresh  summons  to  withdraw  con- 
fi^rmably  with  the  letter  which  she  had  already  addressed  to  them 
frx>m  Blois,  and  the  principal  clauses  of  which  were  jttst  now  quoted 
H^pe.     They  replied  with  coarse  insults,  calling  her  strumpet  and 
C€>w-pTl^  and  threatening  to  burn  her  when  they  caught  her.     She 
"W^as  very  much  moved  by  their  insults,  in  so  much  as  to  weep;  but 
oalling  God  to  witness  her  innocence  she  found  herself  comforted, 
a,ti(J  expressed  it  by  saying,  ^*  I  have  had  news  from  my  Lord." 
The  English  had  detained  the  first  herald  she  had  sent  them ;  and 
K    '^^lien  she  would  have  sent  them  a  second  to  demand  his  comrade 
K    back,  he  was  afraid.    **In  the  name  of  God,"  said  Joan,  "they  will 
H    do  no  harm  nor  to  thee  nor  to  him ;  thou  shalt  tell  Talbot  to  arm 
B    and  I  too  will  arm ;  let  him  show  himself  in  front  of  the  city;  if  he 
«^G  take  me,  let  him  bum  me  ;  if  I  discomfit  him,  let  him  raise  the 
siege  and  let  the  English  get  them  gone  to  their  own  country." 
-Tile  second  herald  appeared  to  be  far  from  reassured ;  but  Dunois 
cJiarged  him  to  say  that  the  English  prisoners  should  answer  for  what 
'^^s  done  to  the  heralds  from  the  Maid.  The  two  heralds  were  sent 
^^k,     Joan  made  up  her  mind  to  iterate  in  person  to  the  English 
*lie  warnings  she  had  given  them  in  her  letter*    She  mounted  upon 
^tm  of  the  bastions  of  Orleans,  opposite  the  English  bastille  called 
Toumelles,  and  there,  at  the  top  of  her  voice,  she  repeated  her 
Counsel  to  them  to  be  gone;  else,  woe  and  shame  would  come 
'^^pon  them.    The  commandant  of  the  bastille.  Sir  William  Gladesdale 
L^alled  by  Joan  and  the  French  chroniclers  Gl(icidas\^  answered 
^^^th  the  usual  insults,  telling  her  to  go  back  and  mind  her  cows 
^nd  alluding   to  the  French  as  miscreants,      "You  lie,"  cried 
^oan,  **  and  in  spite  of  you  soon  shall  ye  depart  hence;  many 


334 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE. 


[CsAF.  xxrv. 


of  your  people  shall   be  slain;   but  as  for  you,  you  shall   not 
see  it/' 

Diinoi^j  the  very  day  of  his  retui'n  to  OrleanSj  after  dinner,  went 
to  call  upon  Joan,  and  told  her  that  he  had  heard  on  luB  way  that 
Sir  John  Falstolfj  the  same  who  on  the  12th  of  the  previous 
February  had  beaten  the  French  in  the  Hmmiig  affair^  was  about  to 
atTire  with  reinforcements  and  supplies  for  the  besiegers-  **  Bastard, 
bastard/'  said  Joan^  **in  the  name  of  God  I  command  thee^  m  soon 
as  thou  shalt  know  of  this  FaHCofe  comings  to  liave  me  warned  of 
it,  for,  should  he  pass  without  my  knowing  of  it,  I  promise  thee 
that  I  will  have  thy  head  cut  off.**  Dunois  assured  her  that  she 
should  be  warned,  Joan  was  tired  with  the  day's  excitement ;  she 
threw  herself  upon  her  bed  to  sleep,  but  unsuccessfiilly ;  all  at  onoo 
she  said  to  sire  Daulon,  her  esquircj  '*My  counsel  doth  tell  mo  to  go 
against  the  English;  but  I  know  not  whether  against  their  bastilles 
or  against  this  Fascot.  I  must  arm.*^  Her  esquire  was  beginning 
to  arm  her  when  she  heard  it  shouted  in  the  street  that  the  enemy 
were  at  that  moment  doing  great  damage  to  the  Frenchp  "My 
God,'*  said  she,  "the  blood  of  our  people  is  running  on  the  ground ; 
why  was  I  not  awakened  sooner?  Ah!  it  was  lQ  done! . .  -  My  arms! 
My  arms  !  my  horse  V*  LeaTing  behind  lier  esquire,  who  was  not 
yet  armedj  she  went  down.  Her  page  was  playing  at  the  door ; 
"  Ah !  naughty  boy,*'  said  she,  "  not  to  come  and  tell  me  that  the 
blood  of  France  was  being  shed  I  Come!  quick!  my  horse  I**  It  was 
brought  to  her;  she  bade  them  hand  down  to  her  by  the  window 
her  banner,  which  she  had  left  behind,  and,  without  any  further 
waiting,  she  departed  and  went  to  the  Burgundy  gate  whence  the 
noise  seemed  to  come.  Seeing  on  her  way  one  of  the  townsmen 
passing  who  was  being  carried  off  wounded,  she  said,  "  Alas  !  I 
never  see  a  Frenchman's  blood  but  my  hair  stands  up  on  my  head  I*' 
It  was  some  of  the  Orleannese  themselves  who,  without  consulting 
their  chiefs,  had  made  a  sortie  and  attacked  the  bastille  St.  Loup, 
the  strongest  held  by  the  English  on  this  side.  The  French  had 
been  repulsed,  and  were  falHng  back  in  flight  when  Joan  came  up, 
and  soon  after  her  Dunois  and  a  throng  of  men-at-arms  who  had 
been  warned  of  the  danger.  The  fugitives  returned  to  the  assault; 
the  battle  was  renewed  with  ardour ;  the  bastille  of  St.  Loup, 


Chap,  XXIVO         THE  HUNDRED  TEAES'  WAR. 


335 


notwithstanding  energetic  resistance  on  the  part  of  the  English 

who  manned  it,  was  taken ;  and  all  its  defenders  were  put  to  the 

sword  before  Talbot  and  the  main  body  of  tlie  besiegers  could 

come  up  to  their  assistance.     Joan  showed  sorrow  that  so  many 

people  should  have  died  unconfessed ;   and  she  herself  was  the 

means  of  saving  some  who  had  disguised  themselves  as  priests 

in  gowns  which  they  had  taken  from  the  church  of  St.  Loup. 

Great  was  the  joy  in  Orleans,  and  the  enthusiasm  for  Joan  was 

more  Hvely  tlian  ever,     "  Her  voices  had  warned  her,"  they  said, 

"and  apprised  her  that  there  was  a  battle;   and  then  she  had 

found  by  herself  alone  and  without  any  guide  the  way  to  the 

Burgundy  gate."     Men-at-arms  and  burgesses  all  demanded  that 

tlie  attack  upon  the  English  bastilles  should  be  resumed;  but  the 

next  day,  the  Sth  of  May,  was  Ascension-day •     Joan  advocated 

pious  repose  on  this  holy  festival,  and  tlie  general  feeling  was  in 

accord  with  her  own.     She  recommended  her  comrades  to  fulfil 

their  religious  duties  and  she  herself  received  the   communion. 

The  chiefs  of  the  besieged  resolved  to  begin  on  the  morrow  a 

oombined  attack  upon  the  English  bastilles  which  surrounded  the 

J)lace ;  but  Joan  was  not  in  their  counsels.     **  Tell  me  what  you 

tave  resolved,'*  she  said  to  them ;  **  I  can  keep  this  and  greater 

Secrets/*     Dunois  made  her  acquainted  with  the  plan  adopted,  of 

"which  she  fully  approved ;  and  on  the  mon'ow,  the  6th  of  May,  a 

fierce  struggle  began  again  all  round  Orleans,     For  two  days  the 

l^astilles  erected  by  the  besiegers  against  the  place  were  repeatedly 

attacked  by  the  besieged.     On  the  first  day  Joan  was   slightly 

wounded  in  the  foot.     Some  disagreement  arose  between  her  and 

sira  da   Gaucourt,   governor  of  Orleans,   as   to  continuing   the 

struggle ;  and  John  Boucher,  her  host,  tried  to  keep  her  back  the 

iecond  day,     **  Stay  and  dine  with  us/'  said  he,  '*to  eat  that  shad 

which  has  just  been  brought."     "  Keep  it  for  supper,"  said  Joan; 

"I  will   come  back  this    evening   and  bring  you   some   goddam 

(Eoglishman)  or  other  to  eat  his  shai-e;'*  and  she  salHed  forth, 

^er  to  return  to  the  assault.     On  arri\ang  at  the  Burgundy  gate 

Ae  found  it  closed;    the  governor  would  not  allow  any  sortie 

thereby  to  attack  on  that  side-     "Ah  I  naughty  man,"  said  Joan, 

*'you  are  wrong  j  whether  you  will  or  no,  our  men-at-arms  shall 


330 


BISTORT  OF  FRANCE, 


[Chap,  XXIT. 


go  and  win  on  this  daj  as  they  have  already  won/*  The  gate 
was  forced ;  and  men-at-arms  and  burgesses  rushed  out  fi'om  all 
quarters  to  attack  the  bastille  of  Toumelles,  the  strongest  of  the 
English  works.  It  was  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning;  the  passive 
and  active  powers  of  both  parties  were  concentrated  on  this  pointi 
and  for  a  moment  the  French  appeared  weary  and  downcast,  Joan 
took  a  scaling-ladder,  set  it  against  the  rampart,  and  was  the  first 
to  mount.  There  came  an  arrow  and  struck  her  between  neck 
and  shoulder,  and  she  fell.  Sire  de  Gamaches,  who  had  but  lately 
displayed  so  much  temper  towards  her,  found  her  where  she  lay» 
"  Take  my  horse,"  said  he,  *'  and  bear  no  malice ;  I  was 
wrong;  I  had  formed  a  false  idea  of  you/*  **  Tes,"  said  Joan^ 
**and  bear  no  malice :  I  never  saw  a  more  accomplished  knight/' 
She  was  taken  away  and  had  her  armour  removed.  The  arrow,  it 
is  said,  stood  out  almost  half-a-foot  behind,  There  waa  an  instant 
of  feintness  and  tears ;  but  she  prayed  and  felt  her  strength 
renewed,  and  pulled  out  the  arrow  with  her  own  hand.  Some  one 
proposed  to  her  to  charm  the  wound  by  means  of  cabalistic 
words;  but  *'I  would  rather  die,"  she  said,  "than  so  sin  ag^nst 
the  win  of  God.  I  know  fiill  well  that  I  must  die  some  day ;  but 
I  know  nor  where  nor  when  nor  how.  If,  without  em,  my  wound 
may  be  healed,  I  am  right  willing,"  A  dressing  of  oil  and  lard 
was  applied  to  the  wound ;  and  she  retired  apart  into  a  rineyard 
and  was  continually  in  prayer,  ratigue  and  discouragement  were 
overcoming  the  French ;  and  the  captains  ordered  the  retreat  to  bo 
sounded.  Joan  begged  Dunois  to  wait  a  while.  "  My  God,"  said 
she,  "  we  shall  soon  be  inside.  Give  your  people  a  little  rest ;  eat 
and  drink."  She  resumed  her  arms  and  remounted  her  horso;  her 
banner  floated  in  the  air ;  the  French  took  fresh  courage ; 
English  J  who  thought  Joan  half  dead,  were  seized  vrith  iiur 
and  fear ;  and  one  of  their  principal  leaders.  Sir  WiUiam  Gladesc 
made  up  his  mind  to  abandon  the  outwork  which  he  had  hither 
so  well  kept,  and  retire  within  the  bastille  itself.  Joan  pereeivol 
liis  movement.  *^  Yield  thee,"  she  shouted  to  him  from  afar ; 
"yield  thee  to  the  King  of  Heaven!  Ah!  Glacidas,  thou  I 
basely  insulted  me ;  but  I  have  great  pity  on  the  souls  of  then  man 
thine."     The  EngHshman  continued  his  retreat.    Whilst  he  was 


F 


AP.  XXIY.]  THE  HUNDRED   YEARS'   WAR.  339 

po-ssJngovertlie  drawbridge  which  reached  from  the  outwork  to  the 
tj^tstille,  a  shot  fi'om  the  side  of  Orleans  broke  down  the  bridge ; 
Gla/lesdale  felt  into  the  water  and  was  drowned,  together  with 
fci.»ny  of  his  comrades ;  the  French  got  into  the  bastille  without 
Lxiy  fresh  fighting ;  and  Joan  re-entered  Orleans  amidst  the  joy 
Lnd  acclamations  of  the  people.  The  bells  rang  all  through  the 
night;  and  the  Te  Demn  was  chanted.     The  day  of  combat  was 

(bliout  to  be  succeeded  by  the  day  of  deliverance^ 
On  the  morrow,  the  8th  of  May,  1429,  at  day-break,  the  English 
onders  drew  up  their  troops  close  to  the  very  moats  of  the  city  and 
seetned  to  offer  battle  to  the  French,     Many  of  the  Orleannege 
|[leaders  would  have  liked  to  accept  this  challenge;  but  Joan  got 
Tip  from  her  bed  where  she  was  resting  because  of  her  wound,  put 
on  a  light  suit  of  armour  and  ran  to  the  city^gates.     "  For  the  love 
_  and  honour  of  holy  Sunday,"  said  she  to  the  assembled  warriors, 
I  **  do  not  be  the  first  to  attack  and  make  to  them  no  demand ;  it  is 
■  GrDd*s  good  will  and  pleasure  that  they  be  allowed  to  get  them  gone 
I  if  they  be  minded  to  go  away ;  if  they  attack  you,  defend  your- 
"  Selves  boldly;  you  will  be  the  masters/'     She  caused  an  altar  to 
be  raised;  thanksgivings  were  sung   and   mass   was   celebrated. 
**  See,'*  said  Joan,  "  are  the  English  turning  to  you  their  faces  or 
Verily  their  backs  ?'*     They  had  commenced  their  retreat  in  good 
Order  with  standards  flying,     ^*  Let  them  go :  my  Lord  willeth  not 
tliat  there  be  any  fighting  to-day ;  you  shall  have  them  another 
time,"     The  good  words  spoken  by  Joan  were  not  so  preventive 
but  that  many  men  set  off  to  pursue  the  English  and  cut  off 
stragglers  and  baggage.     Their  bastilles  were  found  to  be  full  of 
victual  and  munitions;   and  they  had  abandoned  their  sick  and 
many  of  their  prisoners.     The  siege  of  Orleans  was  raised* 

The  day  but  one  after  this  deliverance  Joan  set  out  to  go  and 
rejoin  the  king  and  prosecute  her  work  at  his  side*  She  feU  in 
with  him  on  the  13th  of  May,  at  Tours,  moved  forward  to  meet 
Mm,  with  her  banner  in  her  hand  and  her  head  uncovered,  and 
bending  doim  over  her  charger's  neck,  made  him  a  deep  obeisance* 
Qjarles  took  off  his  cap,  held  out  his  hand  to  her,  and  "  as  it  seemed 
to  many,"  says  a  contemporary  chronicler,  '^  he  would  fain  have  kissed 
^%  for  the  joy  that  he  felt*"     But  the  king's  joy  was  not  enough 

z  2 


340  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

for  Joan.  She  urged  him  to  march  with  her  against  enemies  who 
were  flying,  so  to  speak,  from  themselves,  and  to  start  without 
delay  for  Rheims,  where  he  would  be  crowned.  "  I  shall  hardly 
last  more  than  a  year,"  said  she ;  "we  must  think  about  working 
right  well  this  year,  for  there  is  much  to  do."  Hesitation  was 
natural  to  Charles,  even  in  the  hour  of  victory.  His  favourite. 
La  Trdmoille,  and  his  chancellor,  the  archbishop  of  Rheims,  opposed 
Joan's  entreaties  with  all  the  objections  that  could  be  devised  under 
the  inspiration  of  their  ill-will:  there  were  neither  troops  nor  money 
in  hand  for  so  great  a  journey ;  and  council  after  council  was  held 
for  the  purpose  of  doing  nothing.  Joan  in  her  impatience  went 
one  day  to  Loches,  without  previous  notice,  and  tapped  softly  at 
the  door  of  the  king's  privy  chamber  (chambre  de  retraif).  He 
bade  her  enter.  She  fell  upon  her  knees,  saying,  "Gentle  dauphin, 
hold  not  so  many  and  such  long  councils,  but  rather  come  to 
Rheims  and  there  assume  your  crown ;  I  am  much  pricked  to  take 
you  thither."  "  Joan,"  said  the  bishop  of  Castres,  Christopher 
d'Harcourt,  the  king's  confessor,  "  cannot  you  tell  the  king  what 
pricketh  you  ?"  "  Ah  !  I  see,"  replied  Joan  with  some  embarrass- 
ment :  "  well;  I  will  tell  you.  I  had  set  me  to  prayer  according  to 
my  wont,  and  I  was  making  complaint  for  that  you  would  not 
believe  what  I  said ;  then  the  voice  came  and  said  unto  me,  *  Go, 
go,  my  daughter;  I  will  be  a  help  to  thee;  go.'  When  this  voice 
comes  to  me,  I  feel  marvellously  rejoiced ;  I  would  that  it  might 
endure  for  ever."     She  was  eager  and  overcome. 

Joan  and  her  voices  were  not  alone  in  urging  the  king  to  shake 
off  his  doubts  and  his  indolence.  In  church  and  court  and  army 
allies  were  not  wanting  to  the  pious  and  valiant  maid.  In  a  written 
document  dated  the  14th  of  May,  six  days  after  the  siege  of  Orleans 
was  raised,  the  most  Christian  doctor  of  the  age,  as  Gerson  was 
called,  sifted  the  question  whether  it  were  possible,  whether  it  were 
a  duty  to  believe  in  the  Maid.  "  Even  if  (which  God  forbid)," 
said  he, "  she  should  be  mistaken  in  her  hope  and  ours,  it  would 
not  necessarily  follow  that  what  she  does  comes  of  the  evil  spirit 
and  not  of  God,  but  that  rather  our  ingratitude  was  to  blame.  Let 
the  party  which  hath  a  just  cause  take  care  how,  by  incredulity  or 
injustice,  it  rendereth  useless  the  divine  succour  so  miraculously 


Chap.  XXIV.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  341 

manifested,  for  God,  without  any  change  of  counsel,  changeth  the 
upshot  according  to  deserts."  Great  lords  and  simple  gentlemen,  old 
and  young  warriors,  were  eager  to  go  and  join  Joan  for  the  salvation 
of  the  king  and  of  France.    The  constable,  De  Richemont,  banished 
from  the  court  through  the  jealous  hatred  of  George  la  Tr^moille, 
made  a  pressing  application  there,  followed  by  a  body  of  men-at- 
arms  ;  and,  when  the  king  refused  to  see  him,  he  resolved,  though 
continuing  in  disgrace,  to  take  an  active  part  in  the  war.     The 
young  duke  of  Alenfon,  who  had  been  a  prisoner  with  the  English 
since   the   battle   of  Agincourt,  hurried   on   the  payment   of  his 
ransom  in  order  to  accompany  Joan  as  lieutenant-general  of  the 
king  in  the  little  army  which  was  forming.    His  wife,  the  duchess, 
was  in  grief  about  it.     "We  have  just  spent  great  sums,"  said  she, 
**  in  buying  him  back  from  the  English ;  if  he  would  take  my 
advice,  he  would  stay  at  home."     "  Madame,"  said  Joan,  "  I  will 
bring  him  back  to  you  safe  and  sound,  nay  even  in  better  content- 
ment than  at  present ;  be  not  afraid."     And  on  this  promise  the 
duchess  took  heart.     Du  Guesclin's  widow,  Joan  de  Laval,  was 
still   living;   and  she  had  two   grandsons,  Guy  and  Andrew  de 
Laval,  who  were  amongst  the  most  zealous  of  those  taking  service 
in  the  army  destined  to  march  on  Rheims.     The  king  to  all  ap- 
pearance  desired  to  keep  them  near  his  person.     "  God   forbid 
that  I  should  do  so,"  wrote  Guy  de  Laval,  on  the  8th  of  June, 
1429,  to  those  most  dread  dames,  his  grandmother  and  his  mother; 
"  my  brother  says,  as  also  my  lord  the  duke  d'Alen^on,  that  a  good 
riddance  of  bad  rubbish  would  he  be  who  should  stay  at  home." 
And  he  describes  his  first  interview  with  the  Maid  as   follows. 
"  The  king  had  sent  for  her  to  come  and  meet  him  at  Selles-en- 
Berry.     Some  say  that  it  was  for  my  sake,  in  order  that  I  might 
see  her.     She  gave  right  good  cheer  (a  kind  reception)  to  my 
brother  and  myself;  and  after  we  had  dismounted  at  Selles  I  went 
to  see  her  in  her  quarters.     She  ordered  wine,  and  told  me  that 
she  would   soon  have   me   drinking  some  at  Paris.     It  seems  a 
thing    divine   to    look   on   her   and   listen   to   her.      I   saw   her 
mount  on  horseback,  armed  all  in  white  armour,  save  her  head, 
and  with  a  little  axe  in  her  hand,  on  a  great  black  charger,  which, 
at  the  door  of  her  quarters  was  very  restive  and  would  not  let  her 


342  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

mount.  Then  said  she,  *Lead  him  to  the  cross/  which  was  in  front 
of  the  neighboming  chm^ch,  on  the  road.  There  she  mounted  him 
without  his  moving  and  as  if  he  were  tied  up ;  and  turning  towards 
the  door  of  the  church,  which  was  very  nigh  at  hand,  she  said,  in 
quite  a  womanly  voice,  *  You,  priests  and  churchmen,  make  proces- 
sion and  prayers  to  God.'  Then  she  resumed  her  road,  saying, 
*  Push  forward,  push  forward.'  She  told  me  that  three  days  before 
my  arrival  she  had  sent  you,  dear  grandmother,  a  little  golden 
ring,  but  that  it  was  a  very  small  matter  and  she  would  have  liked 
to  send  you  something  better,  having  regard  to  your  estimation." 
It  was  amidst  this  burst  of  patriotism  and  with  aU  these  valiant 
comrades  that  Joan  recommenced  the  campaign  on  the  10th  of 
June,  1429,  quite  resolved  to  bring  the  king  to  Rheims.  To  com- 
plete the  deliverance  of  Orleans  an  attack  was  begun  upon  the 
neighbouring  places,  Jargeau,  Meung,  and  Beaugency.  Before 
Jargeau,  on  the  12th  of  June,  although  it  was  Simday,  Joan  had 
the  trumpets  sounded  for  the  assault.  The  duke  d' Alen^on  thought 
it  was  too  soon.  "Ah!"  said  Joan,  "be  not  doubtful,  it  is  the 
hour  pleasing  to  God;  work  ye  and  God  will  work; "  and  she  added 
familiarly,  "Art  thou  afeard,  gentle  duke  ?  Knowest  thou  not  that 
I  have  promised  thy  wife  to  take  thee  back  safe  and  sound  ?"  The 
assault  began ;  and  Joan  soon  had  occasion  to  keep  her  promise. 
The  duke  d' Alenfon  was  watching  the  assault  from  an  exposed  spot, 
and  Joan  remarked  a  piece  pointed  at  this  spot.  "  Get  you  hence," 
said  she  to  the  duke ;  "  yonder  is  a  piece  which  will  slay  you." 
The  duke  moved,  and  a  moment  afterwards  sire  de  Ludo  was 
killed  at  the  self-same  place  by  a  shot  from  the  said  piece.  Jargeau 
was  taken.  Before  Beaugency  a  serious  incident  took  place.  The 
constable  De  Richemont  came  up  with  a  force  of  1200  men.  When 
he  was  crossing  to  Loudun,  Charles  VII.,  swayed  as  ever  by  the 
jealous  La  Trdmoille,  had  word  sent  to  him  to  withdraw,  and  that 
if  he  advanced  he  would  be  attacked.  "  What  I  am  doing  in  the 
matter,"  said  the  constable,  "  is  for  the  good  of  the  king  and  the 
realm;  if  any  body  comes  to  attack  me,  wo  shall  see."  When  he 
had  joined  the  army  before  Beaugency,  the  duke  d'Alenfon  was 
much  troubled.  The  king's  orders  were  precise,  and  Joan  herself 
hesitated.     But  news  came  that  Talbot  and   the   English   were 


chap.xxivo       the  hundred  yeaes'  war 

approaching.  "Now/*  said  Joan,  **we  must  tlimk  no  more  of 
any  thing  but  helping  one  another."  She  rode  forward  to  meat 
the  constable,  and  saluted  Mm  comteously,  '*  Joan,"  said  he,  "I 
was  told  that  you  meant  to  attack  me ;  I  know  not  whether  you 
come  from  God  or  not;  if  you  are  from  God,  I  fear  you  not  at  all, 
for  God  knows  my  good  will ;  if  you  are  from  the  devil  j  I  fear  you 
BtUl  less."  He  remained,  and  Beaugeocy  was  taken.  The  English 
army  came  np.  Sir  John  Falstolf  had  joined  Talbot-  Some  dis- 
quietude showed  itself  amongst  the  French,  so  roughly  handled  for 
Bome  time  past  in  pitched  battles.  **  Ah  !  fair  constable,"  said 
Joan  to  Richemont,  "  you  are  not  come  by  my  orders,  but  you  are 
right  welcome/*  The  duke  d^Alengon  consulted  Joan  as  to  what 
was  to  be  done,  "  It  will  be  well  to  have  horses,"  was  suggested 
by  those  about  her.  She  asked  her  neighbours,  "  Hare  you  good 
spurs  ?*'  *'  Ha!"  cried  they,  '*  must  we  fly  then  ?"  "  No,  surely," 
replied  Joan :  *'but  there  will  be  need  to  ride  boldly;  we  shall  give 
a  good  account  of  the  Enghsh,  and  our  spurs  will  serve  us  famously 
in  pursuing  them/'  The  battle  began  on  the  18th  of  June  at 
Patay,  between  Orleans  and  Chftteaudun,  By  Joan's  advice  the 
French  attacked.  "  In  the  name  of  God,"  said  she,  "  we  must 
fight.  Though  the  English  were  suspended  from  the  clouds,  we 
should  have  them,  for  God  hath  sent  us  to  punish  them.  The 
gentle  Idng  shall  have  to-day  the  greatest  victory  he  has  ever  had ; 
my  counsel  hath  told  me  they  are  ours,"  The  English  lost 
heart  in  their  turn;  the  battle  was  short  and  the  victory 
brilliant ;  Lord  Talbot  and  the  most  part  of  the  English  captains 
remained  prisoners.  "  Lord  Talbot,*'  said  the  duke  d'AIen?on  to 
him ;  **  this  is  not  what  you  expected  this  morning,"  "  It  is 
the  fortune  of  war,"  answered  Talbot,  with  the  cool  dipiity  of  an 
old  warrior,  Joan's  immediate  return  to  Orleans  was  a  triumph ; 
but  even  triumph  has  its  embarrassments  and  perils.  She  de- 
manded the  speedy  march  of  the  array  upon  Rheims,  that  the  king 
might  bo  crowned  there  without  delay;  but  objections  were  raised 
on  all  sides,  the  objections  of  the  timid  and  those  of  the  jealous, 
**  By  reason  of  Joan  the  Maid,"  says  a  contemporary  chronicler, 
**  so  many  folks  came  from  aD  parts  unto  the  king  for  to  serve  him 
at  their  own  expense,  that  La  Trdmoille  and  others  of  the  council 


344  .         HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

were  much  wroth  thereat  through  anxiety  for  their  own  persons." 
Joan,  impatient  and  irritated  at  so  much  hesitation  and  intrigue, 
took  upon  herself  to  act  as  if  the  decision  belonged  to  her.  On 
the  25th  of  June  she  wrote  to  the  inhabitants  of  Toumai :  "  Loyal 
Frenchmen,  I  do  pray  and  require  you  to  be  aU  ready  to  come  to 
the  coronation  of  the  gentle  King  Charles,  at  Rheims,  where  we 
shall  shortly  be,  and  to  come  and  meet  us  when  ye  shall  learn  that 
we  are  approaching."  Two  days  afterwards,  on  the  27th  of  June, 
she  left  Gien,  where  the  court  was,  and  went  to  take  tip  her 
quarters  in  the  open  country  with  the  troops.  There  was  nothing 
for  it  but  to  follow  her.  On  the  29th  of  June,  the  king,  the  coiuii 
(including  La  Trdmoille),  and  the  army,  about  12,000  strong,  set 
out  on  the  march  for  Rheims.  Other  obstacles  were  encountered 
on  the  road.  In  most  of  the  towns  the  inhabitants,  even  the 
royaUsts,  feared  to  compromise  themselves  by  openly  pronoimcing 
against  the  English  and  the  duke  of  Burgundy.  Those  of  Auxerre 
demanded  a  truce,  oflFering  provisions,  and  promising  to  do  as 
those  of  Troyes,  Chalons,  and  Rheims  should  do.  At  Troyes  the 
difficulty  was  greater  still.  There  was  in  it  a  garrison  of  five  or 
six  hundred  English  and  Burgundians  who  had  the  burgesses 
under  their  thumbs.  All  attempts  at  accommodation  failed.  There 
was  great  perplexity  in  the  royal  camp ;  there  were  neither  provi- 
sions enough  for  a  long  stay  before  Troyes,  nor  batteries  and 
siege-trains  to  carry  it  by  force.  There  was  talk  of  turning  back. 
One  of  the  king's  councillors,  Robert  le  Mafon,  proposed  that  Joan 
should  be  summoned  to  the  council.  It  was  at  her  instance  that 
the  expedition  had  been  undertaken ;  she  had  great  influence 
amongst  the  army  and  the  populace ;  the  idea  ought  not  to  be 
given  up  without  consulting  her.  Wliilst  he  was  speaking,  Joan 
came  knocking  at  the  door ;  she  was  told  to  come  in ;  and  the 
chancellor,  the  archbishop  of  Rheims,  put  the  question  to  her. 
Joan,  turning  to  the  king,  asked  him  if  he  would  believe  her. 
"  Speak,"  said  the  king,  "  if  you  say  what  is  reasonable  and  tends 
to  profit,  readily  will  you  be  beKeved."  "  Gentle  king  of  Finance," 
said  Joan,  "  if  you  be  willing  to  abide  here  before  your  town  of 
Troyes,  it  shall  be  at  your  disposal  within  two  days,  by  love  or  by 
force;    make  no  doubt  of  it."     "Joan,"   replied  the   chancellor. 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS^  WAR.  345 

"  whoever  could  be  certain  of  having  it  within  six  days  might  well 
wait  for  it ;  but  say  you  true  ?"  Joan  repeated  her  assertion;  and 
it  was  decided  to  wait.  Joan  mounted  her  horse,  and,  with  her 
banner  in  her  hand,  she  went  through  the  camp,  giving  orders 
every  where  to  prepare  for  the  assault.  She  had  her  own  tent 
pitched  close  to  the  ditch,  "  doing  more,"  says  a  contemporary, 
"  than  two  of  the  ablest  captains  would  have  done."  On  the  next 
day,  July  10th,  all  was  ready.  Joan  had  the  fascines  thrown  into 
the  ditches  and  was  shouting  out*  "Assault  T*  when  the  inhabitants 
of  Troyes,  burgesses,  and  men-at  arms,  came  demanding  permission 
to  capitulate.  The  conditions  were  easy.  The  inhabitants  obtained 
for  themselves  and  their  property  such  guarantees  as  they  desired ; 
and  the  strangers  were  allowed  to  go  out  with  what  belonged  to 
them.  On  the  morrow,  July  11th,  the  king  entered  Troyes  with 
aU  his  captains,  and  at  his  side  the  Maid  carrying  her  banner.  All 
the  difficulties  of  the  journey  were  surmounted.  On  the  15th  of 
July  the  bishop  of  Chalons  brought  the  keys  of  his  town  to  the  king, 
who  took  up  his  quarters  there.  Joan  found  there  four  or  five  of  her 
own  villagers  who  had  hastened  up  to  see  the  young  girl  of  Dom- 
remy  in  all  her  glory.  She  received  them  with  a  satisfaction  in 
which  famiharity  was  blended  with  gi'avity.  To  one  of  them,  her 
godfather,  she  gave  a  red  cap  which  she  had  worn;  to  another,  who 
had  been  a  Burgundian,  she  said,  "I  fear  but  one  thing — treachery." 
In  the  duke  d'Alengon's  presence  she  repeated  to  the  king,  *'Make 
good  use  of  my  time,  for  I  shall  hardly  last  linger  than  a  year." 
On  the  16th  of  July  King  Charles  entered  Rheims,  and  the  cere- 
mony of  his  coronation  was  fixed  for  the  morrow. 

It  was  solemn  and  emotional  as  are  all  old  national  traditions 
which  recur  after  a  forced  suspension.  Joan  rode  between  Dunois 
and  the  archbishop  of  Rheims,  chancellor  of  France.  •  The  air 
resounded  with  the  Te  Deum  sung  with  all  their  hearts  by  clergy 
and  crowd.  *'In  God's  name,"  said  Joan  to  Dunois,  "here  is  a  good 
people  and  a  devout;  when  I  die,  I  should  much  like  it  to  be  in  these 
parts."  "  Joan,"  inquired  Dunois,  "  know  you  when  you  will  die 
and  in  what  place  ?"  *'  I  know  not,"  said  she,  "  for  I  am  at  the 
will  of  God."  Then  she  added,  "  I  have  accomplished  that  which 
my  Lord  commanded  me,  to  raise  the  siege  of  Orleans  and  have 


346  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

the  gentle  king  crowned.  I  would  like  it  well  if  it  should  please 
Him  to  send  me  back  to  my  father  and  mother,  to  keep  their  sheep 
and  their  cattle  and  do  that  which  was  my  wont."  "  When  the 
said  lords,"  says  the  chronicler,  an  eye-witness,  "heard  these 
words  of  Joan  who,  with  eyes  towards  heaven,  gave  thanks  to  Grod, 
they  the  more  believed  that  it  was  somewhat  sent  from  God  and 
not  otherwise." 

Historians  and  even  contemporaries  have  given  much  discussion 
to  the  question  whether  Joan  of  Arc,  according  to  her  first  ideas, 
had  really  limited  her  design  to  the  raising  of  the  siege  of  Orleans 
and  the  coronation  of  Charles  VII.  at  Bheims.  She  had  said  so 
herself  several  times,  just  as  she  had  to  Dunois  at  Rheims  on  the 
17th  of  July,  1429 ;  but  she  sometimes  also  spoke  of  more  vast  and 
varied  projects,  as,  for  instance,  driving  the  English  completely 
out  of  France  and  withdrawing  from  his  long  captivity  Charles, 
duke  of  Orleans.  He  had  been  a  prisoner  in  London  ever  since 
the  battle  of  Agincourt,  and  was  popular  in  his  day,  as  he  has 
continued  to  be  in  French  history,  on  the  double  ground  of  having 
been  the  father  of  Louis  XII.  and  one  of  the  most  charming  poets 
in  the  ancient  literature  of  France.  The  duke  d' Alenfon,  who  was 
so  high  in  the  regard  of  Joan,  attributed  to  her  more  expressly 
this  quadruple  design :  "  She  said,"  according  to  him,  "  that  she 
had  four  duties;  to  get  rid  of  the  English,  to  have  the  king 
anointed  and  crowned,  to  deliver  Duke  Charles  of  Orleans,  and  to 
raise  the  siege  laid  by  the  English  to  Orleans."  One  is  inclined  to 
believe  that  Joan's  language  to  Dunois  at  Rheims  in  the  hour  of 
Charles  VII. 's  coronation  more  accurately  expressed  her  first  idea; 
the  two  other  notions  occurred  to  her  naturally  in  proportion  as 
her  hopes  as  well  as  her  power  kept  growing  greater  with  success. 
But  however  lofty  and  daring  her  soul  may  have  been,  she  had 
a  simple  and  not  at  all  a  fantastic  mind.  She  may  have  foreseen 
the  complete  expulsion  of  the  English,  and  may  have  desired  the 
deliverance  of  the  duke  of  Orleans,  without  having  in  the  first 
instance  premeditated  any  thing  more  than  she  said  to  Dunois 
during  the  kings's  coronation  at  Rheims,  which  was  looked  upon 
by  her  as  the  triumph  of  the  national  cause. 

However  that  may  be,  when  Orleans  was  relieved  and  Charles  VU. 


Chap.  XXIV.]        THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  347 

crowned,  the  situation,  posture,  and  part  of  Joan  underwent  a 
change.  She  no  longer  manifested  the  same  confidence  in  herself 
and  her  designs.  She  no  longer  exercised  over  those  in  whose 
midst  she  lived  the  same  authority.  She  continued  to  carry  on 
war,  but  at  hap-hazard,  sometimes  with  and  sometimes  without 
success,  just  like  La  Hire  and  Dunois;  never  discouraged,  never 
satisfied,  and  never  looking  upon  herself  as  triumphant.  After  the 
coronation,  her  advice  was  to  march  at  once  upon  Paris,  in  order 
to  take  up  a  fixed  position  in  it,  as  being  the  political  centre  of  the 
realm  of  which  Rheims  was  the  religious.  Nothing  of  the  sort  was 
done.  Charles  and  La  Tr^moille  once  more  began  their  course  of 
hesitation,  tergiversation,  and  changes  of  tactics  and  residence 
without  doing  any  thing  of  a  public  and  decisive  character.  They 
negotiated  with  the  duke  of  Burgundy  in  the  hope  of  detaching 
him  from  the  English  cause ;  and  they  even  concluded  with  him 
a  secret,  local,  and  temporary  truce.  From  the  20th  of  July  to 
the  23rd  of  August  Joan  followed  the  king  whithersoever  he  went, 
to  Chateau-Thierry,  to  Senhs,  to  Blois,  to  Provins,  and  to  Com- 
pifegne,  as  devoted  a^  ever  but  without  having  her  former  power. 
She  was  still  active,  but  not  from  inspiration  and  to  obey  her 
voices,  simply  to  promote  the  royal  policy.  She  wrote  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  a  letter  ftdl  of  dignity  and  patriotism,  which  had  no 
more  efifect  than  the  negotiations  of  La  Tr^Jmoille.  During  this 
fruitless  labour  amongst  the  French  the  duke  of  Bedford  sent  for 
5000  men  from  England,  who  came  and  settled  themselves  at 
Paris.  One  division  of  tliis  army  had  a  white  standard,  in  the 
middle  of  which  was  depicted  a  distafi*  ftiU  of  cotton ;  a  half-filled 
spindle  was  hanging  to  the  distaff,  and  the  field  studded  with 
empty  spindles  bore  this  inscription,  **  Now,  fair  one,  come  ! "  ^ 
Insult  to  Joan  was  accompanied  by  redoubled  war  against  France. 
Joan,  saddened  and  wearied  by  the  position  of  things,  attempted 
to  escape  from  it  by  a  bold  stroke.  On  the  23rd  of  August,  1429, 
she  set  out  from  Compifegne  with  the  duke  d' Alenyon  and  "  a  fair 
company  of  men-at-arms ;"  and  suddenly  went  and  occupied  St. 
Denis,  with  the  view  of  attacking  Paris.  Charles  VII.  felt  himself 
obliged  to  quit  Compifegne  likewise,  "and  went,  greatly  against 
the  grain,"  says  a  contemporary  chronicler,  "as  fer  as  into  the 


348  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

town  of  Senlis."  The  attack  on  Paris  began  vigorously.  Joan, 
with  the  duke  d' Alenfon,  pitched  her  camp  at  La  Chapelle.  Charles 
took  up  his  abode  in  the  abbey  of  St.  Denis.  The  municipal 
corporation  of  Paris  received  letters  with  the  arms  of  the  duke 
d'Alen^on  which  called  upon  them  to  recognize  the  king's  authority 
and  promised  a  general  amnesty.  The  assault  was  delivered  on 
the  8th  of  September.  Joan  was  severely  wounded,  but  she  insisted 
upon  remaining  where  she  was.  Night  came,  and  the  troops  had 
not  entered  the  breach  which  had  been  opened  in  the  morning. 
Joan  was  still  calling  out  to  persevere.  The  duke  d'Alengon  him- 
self  begged  her,  but  in  vain,  to  retire.  La  Trdmoille  gave  orders 
to  retreat ;  and  some  knights  came  up,  set  Joan  on  horseback  and 
led  her  back,  against  her  will,  to  La  Chapelle.  "  By  my  martin  " 
(staflF  of  command),  said  she,  "  the  place  would  have  been  taken." 
One  hope  still  remained.  In  concert  with  the  duke  d'Alen^on  she 
had  caused  a  flying  bridge  to  be  thrown  across  the  Seine  opposite 
St.  Denis.  The  next  day  but  one  she  sent  her  vanguard  in  this 
direction ;  she  intended  to  return  thereby  to  the  siege ;  but,  by  the 
king's  order,  the  bridge  had  been  cut  adi'iffc.  St.  Denis  fell  once 
more  into  the  hands  of  the  English.  Before  leaving  Joan  left 
there,  on  the  tomb  of  St.  Denis,  her  complete  suit  of  armour  and  a 
sword  she  had  lately  obtained  possession  of  at  the  St.  Honor^  gate 
of  Paris,  as  trophy  of  war. 

From  the  13th  of  September,  1429,  to  the  24th  of  May,  1430,  she 
continued  to  lead  the  same  Ufe  of  efforts  ever  equally  valiant  and 
equally  ineffectual.  She  failed  in  an  attempt  upon  La  Charite-sin*- 
Loire,  undertaken,  for  all  that  appears,  with  the  sole  design  of 
recovering  an  important  town  in  the  possession  of  the  enemy. 
The  English  evacuated  Paris  and  left  the  keeping  of  it  to  the  duke 
of  Burgundy,  no  doubt  to  test  his  fidelity.  On  the  15th  of  April, 
1430,  at  the  expiration  of  the  truce  he  had  concluded,  Philip  the 
Good  resumed  hostilities  against  Charles  VIL  Joan  of  Arc  once 
more  plunged  into  them  with  her  wonted  zeal.  Ile-de-France  and 
Picardy  became  the  theatre  of  war.  Compiegne  was  regarded  as 
the  gate  of  the  road  between  these  two  provinces ;  and  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  attached  much  importance  to  holding  the  key  of  it. 
The  authority  of  Charles  VIL  was  recognized  there ;  and  a  young 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS^  WAR.  349 

knight  of  Compifegne,  William  de  Flavy,  held  the  command  there 
as  lieutenant  of  La  Tr^moille,  who  had  got  himself  appointed  cap- 
tain of  the  town.  La  Trc^moille  attempted  to  treat  with  the  duke 
of  Burgundy  for  the  cession  of  Compifegne ;  but  the  inhabitants 
were  strenuously  opposed  to  it.  "  They  were,"  they  said,  *'  the 
king's  most  humble  subjects,  and  they  desired  to  serve  him  with 
body  and  substance;  but  as  for  trusting  themselves  to  the  lord 
duke  of  Burgundy,  they  could  not  do  it;  they  were  resolved  to 
suffer  destruction,  themselves  and  their  wives  and  children,  rather 
than  be  exposed  to  the  tender  mercies  of  the  said  duke." 
Meanwhile  Joan  of  Arc,  after  several  warlike  expeditions  in  the 
neighbourhood,  re-entered  Compifcgne,  and  was  received  there  with 
a  popular  expression  of  satisfaction.  "  She  was  presented,"  says 
a  local  chronicler,  "  with  three  hogsheads  of  wine,  a  present  which 
was  large  and  exceeding  costly,  and  which  showed  the  estimate 
formed  of  this  maiden's  worth."  Joan  manifested  the  profound 
distrust  with  which  she  was  inspired  of  the  duke  of  Burgundy. 
"  There  is  no  peace  possible  with  him,"  she  said,  "  save  at  the 
point  of  the  lance."  She  had  quarters  at  the  house  of  the  king's 
attorney,  Le  Boucher,  and  shared  the  bed  of  his  wife  Mary.  "  She 
often  made  the  said  Mary  rise  from  her  bed  to  go  and  warn  the 
said  attorney  to  be  on  his  guard  against  several  acts  of  Bur- 
gundian  treachery."  At  this  period,  again,  she  said,  she  was  often 
warned  by  her  voices  of  what  must  happen  to  her ;  she  expected 
to  be  taken  prisoner  before  St.  John's  or  Midsummer  day  (June  24); 
on  what  day  and  hour  she  did  not  know ;  she  had  received  no  in- 
structions as  to  sorties  from  the  place;  but  she  had  constantly 
been  told  that  she  would  be  taken,  and  slie  was  distrustful  of  the 
captains  who  were  in  command  there.  She  was,  nevertheless,  not  the 
less  bold  and  enterprising.  On  the  20th  of  May,  1430,  the  duke  of 
Burgundy  came  and  laid  siege  to  Compifegne.  Joan  was  away  on 
an  expedition  to  Cr^py  in  Valois  with  a  small  band  of  three  or  four 
hundred  brave  comrades.  On  the  24th  of  May,  the  eve  of 
Ascension-day,  she  learned  that  Compifegne  was  being  besieged,  and 
she  resolved  to  re-enter  it.  She  was  reminded  that  her  force  was  a 
very  weak  one  to  cut  its  way  through  the  besiegers'  camp.  "  By 
my  martin^''  said  she,  "  we  are  enough ;  I  will  go  see  my  friends  in 


350  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

Compifegne."    She  arrived  about  day-break  without  hindrance  and 
penetrated  into  the  town ;  and  repaired  immediately  to  the  parish 
chijrch  of  St.  Jacques  to  perform  her  devotions  on  the  eve  of  so 
great  a  festival.     Many  persons  attracted  by  her  presence,  and 
amongst  others  "  from  a  hundred  to  six  score  children,"  thronged 
to  the  church.     After  hearing  mass  and  herself  taking  the  com- 
munion Joan  said  to  those  who  surrounded  her,  "  My  children  and 
dear  friends,  I  notify  you  that  I  am  sold  and  betrayed,  and  that  I 
shall  shortly  be  delivered  over  to  death ;  I  beseech  you,  pray  Grod 
for  me."     When  evening  came,  she  was  not  the  less  eager  to  take 
part  in  a  sortie  with  her  usual  comrades  and  a  troop  of  about  five 
hundred  men.     William  de  Flavy,  commandant  of  the  place,  got 
ready  some  boats  on  the  Oise  to  assist  the  return  of  the  troops. 
All  the  town  gates  were  closed,  save  the  bridge-gate.    The  sortie 
was  unsuccessful.     Being  severely  repulsed  and  all  but  hemmed 
in,  the  majority  of  the  soldiers  shouted  to  Joan,  "  Try  to  quickly 
regain  the  town  or  we  are  lost."     "  Silence,"  said  Joan :  "it  only 
rests  with  you  to  throw  the  enemy  into  confusion ;  think  only  of 
striking  at  them."     Her  words  and  her  bravery  were  in  vain ;  the 
infantry  flung  themselves  into  the  boats  and  regained  the  town, 
and  Joan  and  her  brave  comrades  covered  their  retreat.    The  Bur- 
gundians  were  coming  up  in  mass  upon  Compifegne,  and  Flavy 
gave  orders  to  pull  up  the  drawbridge  and  let  down  the  portcullis. 
Joan  and  some  of  her  following  lingered  outside,  still  fighting. 
She  wore  a  rich  sur-coat  and  a  red  sash,  and  all  the  efibrts  of  the 
Burgundians  were  directed  against  her.     Twenty  men  thronged 
round  her  horse ;  and  a  Picard  archer,  "  a  tough  feUow  and  mighty 
sour,"  seized  her  by  her  dress  and  flung  her  on  the  ground.     All, 
at  once,  called  on  her  to  surrender.     "  Yield  you  to  me,"  said  one 
of  them,  "  pledge  your  faith  to  me ;  I  am  a  gentleman."   It  was  an 
archer  of  the  bastard  of  Wandonne,  one  of  the  lieutenants  of  John 
of  Luxembourg,  count  of  Ligny.    "  I  have  pledged  my  faith  to  one 
other  than  you,"  said  Joan,  ''  and  to  him  I  will  keep  my  oath." 
The  archer  took  her  and  conducted  her  to  Count  John,  whose 
prisoner  she  became. 

Was  she  betrayed  and  delivered  up  as  she  had  predicted  ?     Did 
William  de  Flavy  purposely  have  the  drawbridge  raised  and  the 


Chap.  XXIV.]  THE  HUNDRED  YEARS*  WAR,  351 

portcullis  lowered  before  she  could  get  back  into  Compifegne  ?  He 
was  suspected  of  it  at  the  time,  and  many  historians  have  indorsed 
the  suspicion.  But  there  is  nothing  to  prove  it.  That  La 
Tr(5moille,  prime  minister  of  Charles  VII.,  and  Reginald  do 
Chartres,  archbishop  of  Rheims,  had  an  antipathy  to  Joan  of  Arc, 
and  did  all  they  could  on  every  occasion  to  compromise  her  and 
destroy  her  influence,  and  that  they  were  glad  to  see  her  a  prisoner 
is  as  certain  as  any  thing  can  bo.  On  announcing  her  capture  to 
the  inhabitants  of  Rheims,  the  archbishop  said,  "  She  would  not 
listen  to  counsel  and  did  every  thing  according  to  her  pleasure." 
But  there  is  a  long  distance  between  such  expressions  and  a  pre- 
meditated plot  to  deliver  to  the  enemy  the  young  heroine  who  had 
just  raised  the  siege  of  Orleans  and  brought  the  king  to  be  crowned 
at  Rheims.  History  must  not,  without  proof,  impute  crimes  so 
odious  and  so  shameful  to  even  the  most  depraved  of  men. 

However  that  may  be,  Joan  remained  for  six  months  the 
prisoner  of  John  of  Luxembourg,  who,  to  make  his  possession  of 
her  secure,  sent  her,  under  good  escort,  successively  to  his  two 
castles  of  Beaulieu  and  Beaurevoir,  one  in  the  Vermandois  and 
the  other  in  the  Cambresis.  Twice,  in  July  and  in  October,  1430, 
Joan  attempted,  unsuccessfully,  to  escape.  The  second  time  she 
carried  despair  and  hardihood  so  far  as  to  throw  herself  down  from 
the  platform  of  her  prison.  She  was  picked  up  cruelly  bruised,  but 
without  any  fracture  or  wound  of  importance.  Her  fame,  her 
youth,  her  virtue,  her  courage,  made  her,  even  in  her  prison  and  in 
the  very  family  of  her  custodian,  two  warm  and  powerful  friends. 
John  of  Luxembourg  had  with  him  his  wife,  Joan  of  B^thune,  and 
his  aunt,  Joan  of  Luxembourg,  godmother  of  Charles  VII.  They 
both  of  them  took  a  tender  interest  in  the  prisoner ;  and  they 
often  went  to  see  her  and  left  nothing  undone  to  mitigate  the 
annoyances  of  a  prison.  One  thing  only  shocked  them  about  her, 
her  man's  clothes.  "They  ofiered  her,"  as  Joan  herself  said,  when 
questioned  upon  this  subject  at  a  later  period  during  her  trial,  "  a 
woman's  dress  or  stuff  to  make  it  to  her  liking,  and  requested  her 
to  wear  it ;  but  she  answered  that  she  had  not  leave  from  our 
Lord,  and  that  it  was  not  yet  time  for  it."  John  of  Luxembourg's 
aunt  was  full  of  years  and  reverenced  as  a  saint.    Hearing  that  the 


352  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

English  were  tempting  her  nephew  by  the  offer  of  a  sum  of  money 
to  give  up  his  prisoner  to  them,  she  conjured  him  in  her  will,  dated 
September  10th,  1430,  not  to  sully  by  such  an  act  the  honour  of 
his  name.  But  Count  John  was  neither  rich  nor  scrupulous ;  and 
pretexts  were  not  wanting  to  aid  his  cupidity  and  his  weakness. 
Joan  had  been  taken  at  Compifegne  on  the  23rd  of  May,  in  the 
evening ;  and  the  news  arrived  in  Paris  on  the  25th  of  May,  in  the 
morning.  On  the  morrow,  the  2Gth,  the  registrar  of  the  University, 
in  the  name  and  under  the  seal  of  the  inquisition  of  France,  wrote  a 
citation  to  the  duke  of  Burgundy  "to  the  end  that  the  Maid  should 
be  delivered  up  to  appear  before  the  said  inquisitor,  and  to  respond 
to  the  good  counsel,  favour,  and  aid  of  the  good  doctors  and 
masters  of  the  University  of  Paris."  Peter  Cauchon,  bishop  of 
Beauvais,  had  been  the  prime  mover  in  this  step.  Some  weeks 
later,  on  the  14th  of  July,  seeing  that  no  reply  arrived  from  the 
duke  of  Burgundy,  he  caused  a  renewal  of  the  same  denaands  to  be 
made  on  the  part  of  the  University  in  more  urgent  terms,  and  he 
added,  in  his  own  name,  that  Joan,  having  been  taken  at  Compifegne, 
in  his  own  diocese,  belonged  to  him  as  judge  spiritual.  He  further 
asserted  that  "  according  to  the  law,  usage,  and  custom  of  France, 
every  prisoner  of  war,  even  were  it  king,  dauphin,  or  other  prince, 
might  be  redeemed  in  the  name  of  the  king  of  England  in  considera- 
tion of  an  indemnity  often  thousand  livres  granted  to  the  capturer." 
Nothing  was  more  opposed  to  the  common  law  of  nations  and  to 
the  feudal  spirit,  often  grasping,  but  noble  at  bottom.  For  four 
months  still,  John  of  Luxembourg  hesitated ;  but  his  aunt,  Joan, 
died  at  Boulogne,  on  the  13th  of  November,  and  Joan  of  Arc  had 
no  longer  near  him  this  powerful  intercessor.  The  king  of 
England  transmitted  to  the  keeping  of  his  coffers  at  Rouen,  in 
golden  coin,  English  money,  the  sum  of  ten  thousand  livres. 
John  of  Luxembourg  yielded  to  the  temptation.  On  the  21st  of 
November,  1430,  Joan  of  Arc  was  handed  over  to  the  king  of 
England,  and  the  same  day  the  University  of  Paris,  through  its 
rector,  Hebert,  besought  that  sovereign,  as  king  of  France,  "to 
order  that  this  woman  be  brought  to  their  city  for  to  be  shortly 
placed  in  the  hands  of  the  justice  of  the  Church,  that  is,  of  our 
honoured  lord,  the  bishop  and  count  of  Beauvais,  and  also  of  the 


CaAP-  XXIY.]  THE  HUNDRED  rEAES*  WAR, 


353 


ordained  mqtiisitor  in  France,   in   order  that  her  trial  may  be 
c?oii ducted  oflBcLaUj  and  securely." 

It  was  not  to  Paris  but  to  Rouen,  the  real  capital  of  the 
English  in  France,  that  Joan  was  taken.  She  aiTiTCd  there 
OB  the  23rd  of  December,  1430.     On  the  3rd  of  January,  1431, 

■  an  order  from  Henry  VI.,  king  of  England,  placed  her  in  the  hands 
of  the  bishop  of  Beauvais,  Peter  Cauchon.  Some  days  afterwards^ 
Count  John  of  Luxembourg,  accompanied  by  his  brother,  the 
Unglish  chancellor,  by  his  esquire,  and  by  two  English  lords, 
Hichard  Beauchamp,  earl  of  Warwick,  and  Humphrey,  earl  of 
Stafford,  the  king  of  England's  constable  in  France,  entered  the 
prison.  Had  John  of  Luxembourg  come  out  of  sheer  curiosity  or 
"to  reheve  himself  of  certain  scruples  by  offering  Joan  a  chance  for 
lier  hfe?  **Joan,'*  said  he,  "I  am  come  hither  to  put  you  to 
xunsom  and  to  treat  for  the  price  of  your  deliverance;  only  give  us 
30!ir  promise  here  to  no  more  bear  arms  against  us,'*  *^  In  God's 
Tiame,'*  answered  Joan>  **are  you  making  a  mock  of  me,  captain? 
^nsom  me !  You  have  neither  the  will  nor  the  power ;  no,  you 
lave  neither."     The  count  persisted.     "  I  know  well,"  said  Joan, 

K  **that  these  English  will  put  me  to  death ;  but  were  they  a 
*  "himdred  thousand  more  Goddavis  than  have  already  been  in 
_    Prance,  they  shall  never  have  the  kingdom." 

■  At  this  patriotic  bm'st  on  the  heroine*s  part,  the  earl  of  Stafford 
half  drew  his  dagger  from  the  sheath  as  if  to  strike  Joan,  but  the 
m]  of  Warwick  held  him  back.  The  visitors  went  out  from  the 
piiBon  and  handed  over  Joan  to  the  judges. 

^      The  court  of  Rouen  was   promptly  formed,  but   not  without 

H  "^^jposition  and  difficulty.     Though  Joan  had  lost  somewhat  of  her 

K^i'^Batness  and  importance  by  going  beyond  her  main  object  and  by 

showing  recklessness,  unattended  by  success,  on  small  occasions,  she 

^till  remained  the  true,  heroic  representative  of  thefeeUngs  and  wishes 

^f  the  nation.     When  she  was  removed  from  Beaurevoir  to  Rouen, 

^H  the  places  at  which  she  stopped  were  like  so  many  luminous 

points  for  the  illustration  of  her  popularity.     At  Arras,  a  Scot 

^tiowed  lier  a  portrait  of  her  which  he  wore,  an  outward  sign  of  the 

f'ievoted  worship  of  her  Hegea.     At  Amiene,  the  chancellor  of  the 

^^^thedrai  gave  her  audience  at  confession  and  administered  to  her  the 


354 


HISTORY  OF  FRAI^CE. 


[CuAB.  XXII 


eucliarist.  At  Abbeville,  ladies  of  distinction  went  five  leagiios  to  pay 
her  a  visit;  tbey  were  glad  to  have  had  the  happiness  of  seeing  lier 
so  firm  and  resigned  to  the  will  of  Our  Lord  ;  they  wisliod  her  all 
the  favours  of  heaven,  and  they  wept  affectionately  on  t-akiiij^  leave 
of  her,  Joan,  touched  by  their  sympathy  and  open-heartedness, 
said,  "Ah I  what  a  good  people  la  this  I  Would  to  God  1  might  lie 
80  happys  when  my  days  are  endedjas  to  be  buried  in  these  parts f* 

Wlien  the  bishop  of  Beauvais,  installed  at  Rouen,  set  alioat 
forming  his  court  of  justice,  the  majority  of  the  inemliers  he 
appointed  amongst  the  clergy  or  the  University  of  Parie  obe^'wd 
the  summons  without  hesitation.  Some  few  would  have  refuse*) ; 
but  their  wishes  were  over-ruled.  The  abbot  of  Jumit'ges,  Nicholus 
de  Houppeville,  maintained  that  the  trial  was  not  legah  This 
bishop  of  Beauvais,  he  said,  belonged  to  the  party  which  declared 
itself  hostile  to  the  Maid  ;  and^  besides,  he  made  liimself  judge  in  a 
case  already  decided  by  his  metropolitan,  the  archbishop  of  Rheims, 
of  whom  Beauvais  was  holdeh,  and  who  had  approved  of  Joan's 
conduct.  The  bishop  summoned  before  him  the  recalcitrant,  who 
refused  to  appear,  saying  that  he  was  under  no  official  jurisdictiou 
but  that  of  Rouen,  He  was  arrested  and  thrown  into  prison,  by 
order  of  the  bishop,  whose  authority  he  denied.  There  was  some 
talk  of  banishing  him  and  even  of  throwing  him  into  the  river;  hot 
the  influence  of  his  brethren  saved  him.  The  sub-inquisitor  him- 
self allowed  the  trial  in  which  he  was  to  be  one  of  the  judges  to 
begin  without  him;  and  he  only  put  in  an  appearance  at  the 
express  order  of  the  inquisitor-general  and  on  a  confidential  hi| 
that  he  would  be  in  danger  of  his  life  if  he  persisted  in  liis  ref '^" 
The  court  being  thus  constituted,  Joan,  after  it  had  Ijeen  pi. 
possession  of  the  evidence  already  collected,  was  cited,  on  the  - 
of  February,  1431,  to  appear  on  the  morrow,  the  21st,  before 
her  judges  assembled  in  the  chapel  of  Rouen  Castle. 

The  trial  lasted  from  the  2l8t  of  February  to  the  30th  ui  Mas^ 
1431.  The  court  held  forty  sittings,  mostly  in  the  clmpel  of 
the  castle,  some  in  Joan's  Yory  prison-  On  her  arrival  tliere,  she 
had  been  put  in  an  iron  cage ;  afterwards  she  was  kept  **  no  longer 
in  the  cage,  but  in  a  dark  room  in  a  tower  of  the  castle,  wearing 
irons  upon  her  feet,  fastened  by  a  chain  to  a  large  piece  of  wood, 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  357 

and  guarded  night  and  day  by  four  or  five  soldiers  of  low  grade." 
She  complained  of  being  thus  chained;  but  the  bishop  told  her 
that  her  former  attempts  at  escape  demanded  this  precaution. 
"  It  is  true,"  said  Joan,  as  truthful  as  heroic,  "  I  did  wish  and  I 
still  wish  to  escape  from  prison,  as  is  the  right  of  every  prisoner." 
At  her  examination,  the  bishop  required  her  to  take  "  an  oath  to 
tell  the  truth  about  every  thing  as  to  which  she  should  be  ques- 
tioned." "I  know  not  what  you  mean  to  question  me  about; 
perchance  you  may  ask  me  things  I  would  not  tell  you ;  touching 
my  revelations,  for  instance,  you  might  ask  me  to  tell  something  I 
have  sworn  not  to  tell ;  thus  I  should  be  perjured,  which  you  ought 
not  to  desire."  The  bishop  insisted  upon  an  oath  absolute  and 
without  condition.  "You  are  too  hard  on  me,"  said  Joan;  "I 
do  not  Uke  to  take  an  oath  to  tell  the  truth  save  as  to  matters 
which  concern  the  faith."  The  bishop  called  upon  her  to  swear  on 
pain  of  being  held  guilty  of  the  things  imputed  to  her.  "  Gro  on  to 
something  else,"  said  she.  And  this  was  the  answer  she  made  to 
all  questions  which  seemed  to  her  to  be  a  violation  of  her  right  to 
be  silent.  Wearied  and  hurt  at  these  imperious  demands,  she  one 
day  said,  "I  come  on  God's  business,  and  I  have  naught  to  do  here ; 
send  me  back  to  Grod  from  whom  I  come."  ^*  Are  you  sure  you 
are  in  God's  grace  ?"  asked  the  bishop.  "  If  I  be  not,"  answered 
Joan,  "  please  God  to  bring  me  to  it ;  and  if  I  be,  please  God  to 
keep  me  in  it !"     The  bishop  himself  remained  dumbfounded. 

There  is  no  object  in  following  through  all  sittings  and  all 
its  twistings  this  odious  and  shameful  trial,  in  which  the  judges' 
prejudiced  serviUty  and  scientific  subtlety  were  employed  for 
three  months  to  wear  out  the  courage  or  overreach  the  under- 
standing of  a  young  girl  of  nineteen,  who  refused  at  one  time 
to  lie,  and  at  another  to  enter  into  discussion  with  them,  and 
made  no  defence  beyond  holding  her  tongue  or  appealing  to  God 
who  had  spoken  to  her  and  dictated  to  her  that  which  she  had 
done.  In  order  to  force  her  from  her  silence  or  bring  her  to 
submit  to  the  Church  instead  of  appeaUng  from  it  to  God,  it  was 
proposed  to  employ  the  last  means  of  all,  torture.  On  the  9th  of 
May  the  bishop  had  Joan  brought  into  the  great  tower  of  Rouen 
Castle ;  the  instruments  of  torture  were  displayed  before  her  eyes ; 


358  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXTT- 

and  the  executioners  were  ready  to  fulfil  their  office,  **  for  to  bring 
her  back,"  said  the  bishop,  "  into  the  ways  of  truth,  in  order  to 
insure  the  salvation  of  her  soul  and  body  so  gravely  endangered 
by  erroneous  inventions."  "  Verily,"  answered  Joan,  "  if  you 
should  have  to  tear  me  limb  from  limb,  and  separate  soul  from 
body,  I  should  not  tell  you  aught  else ;  and  if  I  were  to  tell  you 
aught  else,  I  should  afterwards  still  tell  you  that  you  had  made  me 
tell  it  by  force."  The  idea  of  torture  was  given  up.  It  was 
resolved  to  display  all  the  armoury  of  science  in  order  to  subdue 
the  mind  of  this  young  girl  whose  conscience  was  not  to  be  subju- 
gated. The  chapter  of  Rouen  declared  that  in  consequence  of  her 
public  refusal  to  submit  herself  to  the  decision  of  the  Church  as  to 
her  deeds  and  her  statements,  Joan  deserved  to  be  declared  a 
heretic.  The  University  of  Paris,  to  which  had  been  handed  in 
the  twelve  heads  of  accusation  resulting  from  Joan's  statements 
and  examinations,  repUed  that  "  if,  having  been  charitably  ad- 
monished, she  would  not  make  reparation  and  return  to  union  with 
the  Catholic  faith,  she  must  be  left  to  the  secular  judges  to  undergo 
punishment  for  her  crime."  Armed  with  these  documents  the 
bishop  of  Beauvais  had  Joan  brought  up,  on  the  23rd  of  May,  in 
a  hall  adjoining  her  prison  and,  after  having  addressed  to  her  a  long 
exhortation,  "  Joan,"  said  he,  "  if  in  the  dominions  of  your  king, 
when  you  were  at  large  in  them,  a  knight  or  any  other,  born  under 
his  rule  and  allegiance  to  him,  had  risen  up,  saying,  *  I  wnll  not 
obey  the  king  or  submit  to  his  officers,'  would  you  not  have  said 
that  he  ought  to  be  condemned  ?  What  then  will  you  say  of 
yourself,  you  who  were  born  in  the  faith  of  Christ  and  became  by 
baptism  a  daughter  of  the  Church  and  spouse  of  Jesus  Christ,  if 
you  obey  not  the  officers  of  Christ,  that  is,  the  prelates  of  the 
Church  ?"  Joan  listened  modestly  to  this  admonition  and  confined 
herself  to  answering,  "  As  to  my  deeds  and  sayings,  what  I  said 
of  them  at  the  trial  I  do  hold  to  and  mean  to  abide  by." 
"Think  you  that  you  are  not  bound  to  submit  your  sayings  and 
deeds  to  the  Church  militant  or  to  any  other  than  God  ?"  "The 
course  that  I  always  mentioned  and  pursued  at  the  trial  I  mean 
to  maintain  as  to  that.  If  I  were  at  the  stake  and  saw  the  torch 
lighted  and  the  executioner  ready  to  set  fire  to  the  faggots,  even  if 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEAES'  WAR.  359 

I  were  in  the  midst  of  the  flames,  I  should  not  say  aught  else,  and 
I  should  uphold  that  which  I  said  at  the  trial  even  unto  death." 

According  to  the  laws,  ideas,  and  practices  of  the  time  the  legal 
question  was  decided.  Joan,  declared  heretic  and  rebeUious  by 
the  Church,  was  liable  to  have  sentence  pronounced  against  her ; 
but  she  had  persisted  in  her  statements,  she  had  shown  no  sub- 
mission. Although  she  appeared  to  be  quite  forgotten  and  was 
quite  neglected  by  the  king  whose  coronation  &he  had  efiected,  by 
his  councillors,  and  even  by  the  brave  warriors  at  whose  side  she 
had  fought,  the  public  exhibited  a  lively  interest  in  her ;  accounts 
of  the  scenes  which  took  place  at  her  trial  were  inquired  after  with 
curiosity.  Amongst  the  very  judges  who  prosecuted  her  many  were 
troubled  in  spirit  and  wished  that  Joan,  by  an  abjuration  of  her 
statements,  would  herself  put  them  at  ease  and  reUeve  them  from 
pronouncing  against  her  the  most  severe  penalty.  What  means 
were  employed  to  arrive  at  this  end  ?  Did  she  really  and  with  full 
knowledge  of  what  she  was  about  come  round  to  the  abjuration 
which  there  was  so  much  anxiety  to  obtain  from  her  ?  It  is  diffi- 
cult to  solve  this  historical  problem  with  exactness  and  certainty. 
More  than  once,  during  the  examinations  and  the  conversations 
which  took  place  at  that  time  between  Joan  and  her  judges,  she 
maintained  her  firm  posture  and  her  first  statements.  One  of  those 
who  were  exhorting  her  to  yield  said  to  her  one  day,  "Thy  king  is 
a  heretic  and  a  schismatic."  Joan  could  not  brook  this  insult  to 
her  king.  "  By  my  faith,"  said  she,  "  full  well  dare  I  both  say  and 
swear  that  he  is  the  noblest  Christian  of  all  Christians,  and  the 
truest  lover  of  the  faith  and  the  Church."  "  Make  her  hold  her 
tongue,"  said  the  usher  to  the  preacher,  who  was  disconcerted  at 
having  provoked  such  language.  Another  day,  when  Joan  was 
being  urged  to  submit  to  the  Church,  brother  Isambard  de  la  Pierre, 
a  Dominican,  who  was  interested  in  her,  spoke  to  her  about  the 
council,  at  the  same  time  explaining  to  her  its  province  in  the 
Church.  It  was  the  very  time  when  that  of  Bale  had  been  convoked. 
"  Ah  I"  said  Joan,  "  I  would  fain  surrender  and  submit  myself  to 
the  council  of  Btile."  The  bishop  of  Beauvais  trembled  at  the 
idea  of  this  appeal.  "Hold  your  tongue  in  the  devil's  name  T* 
said  he  to  the  monk.     Another  of  the  judges,  WiUiam  Erard, 


360 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chaf,  xxrv. 


asked  Joan  menacingljj  "Will  you  abjure  those  reprobate  words  and 
deeds  of  yours  ?  **  '*I  leave  it  to  the  universal  Church  whether  I 
ought  to  abjure  or  not.'*  "That  is  not  enough:  you  shall  abjure  at 
once  or  you  shall  bum/'  Joan  shuddered.  "  I  would  rather  sign  than 
burn,"  she  said*  There  was  put  before  her  a  form  of  abjuration 
whereby,  disavowing  her  revelations  and  visions  from  heaven,  she 
confessed  her  errors  in  matters  of  faith  and  renounced  them  humbly. 
At  the  bottom  of  the  document  she  made  the  mark  of  a  cross. 
Doubts  have  arisen  as  to  the  genuineness  of  this  long  and  difiuse 
deed  in  the  form  in  which  it  has  been  published  in  the  trial-papers. 
Twenty*four  years  later,  in  1455,  during  the  trial  undertaken  for 
the  rehabilitation  of  Joan,  several  of  those  who  had  been  present  at 
the  trial  at  which  she  was  condemned,  amongst  others  the  usher 
Massieu  and  the  registrar  Taquel,  declared  that  the  form  of  abju- 
ration read  out  at  that  time  to  Joan  and  signed  by  her  contained 
only  seven  or  eight  lines  of  big  writing ;  and  according  to  anotli 
witness  of  the  scene  it  was  an  Englishman,  John  Calot,  secretary 
of  Henry  VI.,  king  of  England,  who,  as  soon  as  Joan  had  yielded, 
drew  from  his  sleeve  a  Mttle  paper  which  he  gave  to  her  to  sign, 
and,  dissatisfied  with  the  mark  she  had  made,  held  her  hand  and 
guided  it  so  that  she  might  put  down  her  name,  every  letter* 
However  that  may  be,  as  soon  as  Joan's  abjuration  had  thus  been 
obtained,  the  court  issued  on  the  24th  of  May,  1431,  a  d^fiintim 
decree,  whereby,  after  some  long  and  severe  strictures  in  the 
preamble,  it  condemned  Joan  to  perpetual  imprisonment  **  with 
the  bread  of  affliction  and  the  water  of  affiction,  in  order  that 
she  might  deplore  the  errors  and  faults  she  had  conimitted  and  J 
relapse  into  them  no  more  henceforth.*' 

The  Church  might  be  satisfied;  but  the  king  of  England,  Mb] 
councillors  and  his  officers,  were  not.  It  was  Joan  h ving,  even  though 
a  prisoner,  that  they  feared.  They  were  animated  towards  her  by  the  < 
two  ruthless  passions  of  vengeance  and  fear.     When  it  was  known' 
that  she  would  escape  with  her  life,  murmurs  broke  out  amongst 
the  crowd  of  enemies  present  at  the  trial.     Stones  were  thrown  at 
the  judges.     One  of  the  cardinal  of  Winchester's  chaplains,  who 
happened  to  be  close  to  the  bishop  of  Beauvais,  called  him  traitor. 
'*You   lie,'*  said   the  bishop.      And  the  bishop  was  right;    the 


Chap.  XXIV.]        THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR  861 

chaplain  did  lie;  the  bishop  had  no  intention  of  betraying  his 
masters.  The  earl  of  Warwick  complained  to  him  of  the  inadequacy 
of  the  sentence.  "  Never  you  mind,  my  lord,"  said  one  of  Peter 
Cauchon's  confidants,  "  we  will  have  her  up  again."  After  the 
passing  of  her  sentence  Joan  had  said  to  those  about  her,  "  Come 
now,  you  churchmen  amongst  you,  lead  me  off  to  your  own  prisons, 
and  let  me  be  no  more  in  the  hands  of  the  English."  "Lead  her  to 
where  you  took  her,"  said  the  bishop ;  and  she  was  conducted  to  the 
castle  prison.  She  had  been  told  by  some  of  the  judges  who  went 
to  see  her  after  her  sentence  that  she  would  have  to  give  up  her  man's 
dress  and  resume  her  woman's  clothing  as  the  Church  ordained. 
She  was  rejoiced  thereat;  forthwith,  accordingly,  resumed  her 
woman's  clothes,  and  had  her  hair  properly  cut,  which  up  to  that 
time  she  used  to  wear  clipped  round  like  a  man's.  When  she  was 
taken  back  to  prison,  the  man's  dress  which  she  had  worn  was  put 
in  a  sack  in  the  same  room  in  which  she  was  confined,  and  she 
remained  in  custody  at  the  said  place  in  the  hands  of  five  English- 
men,  of  whom  three  stayed  by  night  in  the  room  and  two  outside 
at  the  door.  "  And  he  who  speaks  [John  Massieu,  a  priest,  the  same 
who  in  1431  had  been  present  as  usher  of  the  court  at  the  trial  in 
which  Joan  was  condemned]  knows  for  certain  that  at  night  she 
had  her  legs  ironed  in  such  sort  that  she  could  not  stir  from  the 
spot.  When  the  next  Sunday  morning,  which  was  Trinity  Sunday, 
had  come  and  she  should  have  got  up,  according  to  what  she  herself 
told  to  him  who  speaks,  she  said  to  her  English  guards,  *  Uniron 
me;  I  will  get  up.'  Then  one  of  them  took  away  her  woman's 
clothes ;  they  emptied  the  sack  in  which  was  her  man's  dress  and 
pitched  the  said  dress  to  her,  saying,  *  Get  up,  then,'  and  they  put 
her  woman's  clothes  in  the  same  sack.  And  according  to  what 
she  told  me  she  only  clad  herself  in  her  man's  dress  after  saying, 
*  You  know  it  is  forbidden  me ;  I  certainly  will  not  take  it.' 
Nevertheless  they  would  not  allow  her  any  other ;  insomuch  that* 
the  dispute  lasted  to  the  hour  of  noon.  Finally,  from  corporeal 
necessity,  Joan  was  constrained  to  get  up  and  take  the  dress." 

The  ofl&cial  documents  drawn  up  during  the  condemnation-trial 
contain  quite  a  different  accoimt.  "  On  the  28th  of  May,"  it  is 
there  said,  "  eight  of  the  judges  who  had  taken  part  in  the  sentence 


362  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

[their  names  are  given  in  the  document,  t.  i.  p.  454]  betook  them- 
selves to  Joan's  prison,  and  seeing  her  clad  in  man's  dress,  *  which 
she  had  but  just  given  up  according  to  our  order  that  she  should 
resume  woman's  clothes,  we  asked  her  when  and  for  what  cause 
she  had  resumed  this  dress,  and  who  had  prevailed  on  her  to  do  so. 
Joan  answered  that  it  was  of  her  own  will,  without  any  constraint 
from  any  one,  and  because  she  preferred  that  dress  to  woman's 
clothes.     To  our  question  as  to  why  she  had  made  this  change  she 
answered,  that  being  surrounded  by  men  man's  dress  was  more 
suitable  for  her  than  woman's.   She  also  said  that  she  had  resumed 
it  because  there  had  been  made  to  her,  but  not  kept,  a  promise  that 
she  should  go  to  mass,  receive  the  body  of  Christ,  and  be  set  free 
from  her  fetters.     She  added  that  if  this  promise  were  kept  she 
would  be  good,  and  would  do  what  was  the  will  of  the  Church. 
As  we  had  heard  some  persons  say  that  she  persisted  in  her  errors 
as  to  the  pretended  revelations  which  she  had  but  lately  renounced, 
we  asked  whether  she  had  since  Thursday  last  heard  the  voices  of 
St.  Catherine  and  St.  Margaret ;  and  she  answered.  Yes.     To  our 
question  as  to  what  the  saints  had  said  she  answered,  that  God 
had  testified  to  her  by  their  voices  great  pity  for  the  great  treason 
she  had  committed  in  abjuring  for  the  sake  of  saving  her  life,  and 
that  by  so  doing  she  had  damned  herself.     She  said  that  all  she 
had  thus  done  last  Thursday  in  abjuring  her  visions  and  revela- 
tions she  had  done  through  fear  of  the  stake,  and  that  all  her 
abjuration  was  contrary  to  the  truth.     She  added  that  she  did  not 
herself  comprehend  what  was  contained  in  the  form  of  abjuration 
she  had  been  made  to  sign,  and  that  she  would  rather  do  penance 
once  for  all  by  dying  to  maintain  the  truth  than  remain  any  longer 
a  prisoner,  being  all  the  while  a  traitress  to  it." 

We  will  not  stop  to  examine  whether  these  two  accounts,  though 
very  different,  are  not  fundamentally  reconcilable,  and  whether 
Joan  resumed  man's  dress  of  her  own  desire  or  was  constrained  to 
do  so  by  the  soldiers  on  guard  over  her,  and  perhaps  to  escape 
from  their  insults.  The  important  points  in  the  incident  are  the 
burst  of  remorse  which  Joan  felt  for  her  weakness  and  her 
striking  retractation  of  the  abjm*ation  which  had  been  wining  from 
her.     So  soon  as  the  news  was  noised  abroad,  her  enemies  cried, 


CUAP.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR. 


363 


**Sh6  has  relapsed  ['*     This  was  exactly  what  they  had  hoped  for 
-^heDi  on  learning  that  she  had  been  sentenced  only  to  perpetual 
imprisonment,  they  had  said,  "  Never  you  mind;  we  will  have  her 
mip  again/*      "  FarmmU^  farewell^  my  lord,"  said  the  bishop   of 
IBeauvais  to  the  earl  of  Warwick  j  whom  he  met  shortly  after 
Joau*3  retract.ation ;  and  in  his  words  there  was  plainly  an  expres- 
sion of  satisfaction  and  not  a  mere  plirase  of  pohteness.     On  the 
29tb  of  May  the  tribunal  met  again.    Forty  judges  took  part  in  the 
cSeEberation  ;  Joan  was  unanimously  declared  a  case  of  relapse,  was 
found  guilty  and  cited  to  appear  next  day,  the  30th,  on  the  Vieux- 
3Warch^  to  hear  sentence  pronounced,  and  then  undergo  the  punish- 
ment of  the  stake. 

\\Tien  on  the  30th  of  May,  in  the  morning,  the  Dominican  brother 

»  Martin  Ladvenu  was  charged  to  announce  her  sentence  to  Joan, 
she  gave  way  at  first  to  grief  and  terror.    **Alas  1"  she  cried,  '*am 
I  to  be  so  horribly  and  cruelly  treated  that  this  my  body,  full  pure 
^ud  perfect  and  never  defiled,  must  to-day  be  consumed  and  reduced 
to  ashes !    Ah  I    I   would  seven  times  rather  be  beheaded  than 
burned  !"     The  bishop   of  Beauvais   at  this   moment  came  up. 
**  Bishop,*'  said  Joan,  '*  you  are  the  cause  of  my  death  ;  if  you  had 
Put  me  in  the  prisons  of  the  Church  and  in  the  hands  of  fit  and 
proper  ecclesiastical  warders,  this  had  never  happened ;  I  appeal 
from  you  to  the  presence  of  God/*     One  of  the  doctors  who  had 
Sat  in  judgment  upon  her,  Peter  Maurice,  went  to  see  her  and 
■  Spoke  to  her  with  sympathy,     "  Master  Peter,'*  said  she  to  him, 
■**  where  shall  I  be  to-night?'*      "Have  you  not  good   hope   in 
God?"  asked  the  doctor.     "Oh!  yes,'*  she  answered;  *^  by  the 
grace  of  God  I  shall  be  in  paradise/*     Being  left  alone  with  the 
Dominican,  Martin  Ladvenu,  she  confessed  and  asked  to  corarau- 
rieate.    The  monk  applied  to  the  bishop  of  Beauvais  to  know  what 
lie  was  to  do,     "Toll  brother  Martin/*  was  the  answer,  **to  give 
laer  the  eucharist  and  all  she  asks  for/*     At  nine  o'clock,  ha  ring 
l^esumed  her  woman's  dress,  Joan  was  dragged  from  prison  and 
driven  to  the  Vieux-March^.    From  seven  to  eight  hundred  soldiers 
^3SC0rted  the  car  and  prohibited  all  approach  to  it  on  the  part  of  the 
«^wd,  which  encumbered  the  road  and  the  vicinities ;  but  a  man 
Agreed  a  passage  and  flung  himself  towards  Joan,     It  was  a  canon 


364  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

of  Bouen,  Nicholas  Loiseleur,  whom  the  bishop  of  Beauvais  had 
placed  near  her  and  who  had  abused  the  confidence  she  had  shown 
him.  Beside  himself  with  despair  he  wished  to  ask  pardon  of  her; 
but  the  English  soldiers  drove  him  back  with  violence  and  with  the 
epithet  of  traitor,  and  but  for  the  intervention  of  the  earl  of  War- 
wick his  life  would  have  been  in  danger.  Joan  wept  and  prayed ; 
and  the  crowd,  afar  off,  wept  and  prayed  with  her.  On  arriving  at 
the  place  she  listened  in  silence  to  a  sermon  by  one  of  the  doctors 
of  the  court,  who  ended  by  saying,  "Joan,  go  in  peace;  the 
Church  can  no  longer  defend  thee;  she  gives  thee  over  to  the 
secular  arm."  The  laic  judges,  Raoul  Bouteillier,  baillie  of  Bouen, 
and  his  lieutenant,  Peter  Darou,  were  alone  qualified  to  pronounce 
sentence  of  death ;  but  no  time  was  given  them.  The  priest 
Massieu  was  still  continuing  his  exhortations  to  Joan,  but  "  How 
now!  priest,"  was  the  cry  from  amidst  the  soldiery,  "ve  you 
going  to  make  us  dine  here?"  •^Away  with  her  I  Away  with 
her  r*  said  the  baillie  to  the  guards ;  and  to  the  executioner,  "  Do 
thy  duty."  When  she  came  to  the  stake  Joan  knelt  down  com- 
pletely absorbed  in  prayer.  She  had  begged  Massieu  to  get  her  a 
cross ;  and  an  Englishman  present  made  one  out  of  a  little  stick, 
and  handed  it  to  the  French  heroine,  who  took  it,  kissed  it,  and  laid 
it  on  her  breast.  She  begged  brother  Isambard  de  la  Pierre  to  go 
and  fetch  the  cross  from  the  church  of  St.  Sauveur,  the  chief  door 
of  which  opened  on  the  Vieux-Marclie,  and  to  hold  it  "  up  right 
before  her  eyes  till  the  coming  of  death,  in  order,"  she  said,  "  that 
the  cross  whereon  God  hung  might,  as  long  as  she  lived,  be 
continually  in  her  sight;"  and  her  wishes  were  fulfilled.  She 
wept  over  her  country  and  the  spectators  as  well  as  over  herself. 
"Rouen,  Rouen,"  she  cried,  "is  it  here  that  I  must  die?  Shalt  thou 
be  my  last  resting-place  ?  I  fear  gi^eatly  thou  wilt  have  to  suffer 
for  my  deatli."  It  is  said  that  the  aged  cardinal  of  Winchester 
and  the  bishop  of  Beauvais  himself  could  not  stifle  their  emotion 
— and,  peradvcnture,  their  tears.  The  executioner  set  fire  to  the 
fagfi^ots.  When  Joan  perceived  the  flames  rising,  she  urged  her 
confessor,  the  Dominican  brother,  Martin  Ladvenu,  to  go  down,  at 
tlie  same  time  asking  him  to  keep  holding  the  cross  up  high  in 
front  of  her  that  she  miglit  never  cease  to  see  it.    The  same  monk, 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  365 

when  questioned  four  and  twenty  years  later,  at  the  rehabilitation- 
trial,  as  to  the  last  sentiments  and  the  last  words  of  Joan,  said  that 
to  the  very  latest  moment  she  had  aflBrmed  that  her  voices  were 
heavenly,  that  they  had  not  deluded  her,  and  that  the  revelations 
she  had  received  came  from  God.  When  she  had  ceased  to  live, 
two  of  her  judges,  John  Alesp^e,  canon  of  Rouen,  and  Peter 
Maurice,  doctor  of  theology,  cried  out,  "  Would  that  my  soul  were 
where  I  believe  the  soul  of  that  woman  is  !"  And  Tressart,  secre- 
tary to  King  Henry  VI.,  said  sorrowfully,  on  returning  from  the 
place  of  execution,  "  We  are  all  lost ;  we  have  burned  a  saint." 

A  saint  indeed  in  faith  and  in  destiny.  Never  was  human  crea- 
ture more  heroically  confident  in  and  devoted  to  inspiration  coming 
from  God,  a  commission  received  from  God.  Joan  of  Arc  sought 
nothing  of  all  that  happened  to  her  and  of  all  she  did,  nor  exploit, 
nor  power,  nor  glory.  "  It  was  not  her  condition,"  as  she  used  to 
say,  to  be  a  warrior,  to  get  her  king  crowned  and  to  deliver  her 
country  from  the  foreigner.  Every  thing  came  to  her  from  on 
high,  and  she  accepted  every  thing  without  hesitation,  without 
discussion,  without  calculation,  as  we  should  say  in  our  times.  She 
beUeved  in  God  and  obeyed  Him.  God  was  not  to  her  an  idea,  a 
hope,  a  flash  of  human  imagination,  or  a  problem  of  human  science ; 
He  was  the  Creator  of  the  world,  the  Saviour  of  mankind  through 
Jesus  Christ,  the  Being  of  beings,  ever  present,  ever  in  action,  sole 
legitimate  sovereign  of  man  whom  He  has  made  intelligent  and  free, 
the  real  and  true  God  whom  we  are  painfully  searching  for  in  our 
own  day,  and  whom  we  shall  never  find  again  until  we  cease  pre- 
tending to  do  without  Him  and  putting  ourselves  in  His  place. 
Meanwhile  one  fact  may  be  mentioned  which  does  honour  to  our 
epoch  and  gives  us  hope  for  our  future.  Four  centuries  have 
rolled  by  since  Joan  of  Arc,  that  modest  and  heroic  servant  of  God, 
made  a  sacrifice  of  herself  for  France.  For  four  and  twenty  years 
after  her  death,  France  and  the  king  appeared  to  think  no  more  of 
her.  However,  in  1455,  remorse  came  upon  Charles  VH.  and 
upon  France.  Nearly  all  the  provinces,  all  the  towns  were  freed 
from  the  foreigner;  and  shame  was  felt  that  nothing  was  said, 
nothing  done  for  the  young  girl  who  had  saved  every  thing.  At 
Rouen,  especially,  where  the  sacrifice  was  completed,  a  cry  for 


366  HISTORY  OP  PRANCE.  [C?haf.  XXIV. 

reparation  arose.   It  was  timidly  demanded  from  the  spiritual  power 
which  had  sentenced  and  delivered  over  Joan  as  a  heretic  to  the 
stake.    Pope  Caliztos  III.  entertained  the  request  preferred  not  by 
the  king  of  France  but  in  the  name   of  Isabel  Romee,  Joan's 
mother,  and  her  whole  family.     Regular  proceedings  were  com- 
menced and  followed  up  for  the  rehabilitation  of  the  martyr ;  and, 
on  the  7th  of  July,  1456,  a  decree  of  the  court  assembled  at  Bouen 
quashed  the  sentence  of  1431,  together  with  all  its  consequences, 
and  ordered  "  a  general  procession  and  solenm  sermon  at  St.  Ouen 
Place  and  the  Vieux-March^,  where  the  said  maid  had  been  cruelly 
and  horribly  burned ;  besides  the  planting  of  a  cross  of  honour 
(cruets    honestm)    on    the    Vieux-Marche,    the    judges    reserving 
the  official  notice  to  be  given  of  their  decision  throughout  the 
cities  and  notable  places   of  the  realm."     The   city   of  Orleans 
responded  to  this  appeal  by  raising  on  the  bridge  over  the  Loire  a 
group  in  bronze  representing  Joan  of  Arc  on  her  knees  before  Our 
Lady,  between  two  angels.     This  monument,  which  was  broken 
during  the  religious  wars  of  the  sixteenth  century  and  repaired 
shortly  afterwards,  was  removed  in  the  eighteenth  century,  and 
Joan  of  Arc  then  received  a  fresh  insult :  the  poetry  of  a  cynic  was 
devoted  to  the  task  of  diverting  a  licentious  public  at  the  expense 
of  the  saint  whom,  three  centuries  before,  fanatical  hatred   had 
brought  to  the  stake.     In  1792,  the  council  of  the  commune  of 
Orleans,  "  considering  that  the  monument  in  bronze  did  not  repre- 
sent the  heroine's  services  and  did  not  by  any  sign  call  to  mind  the 
struggle  against  the  English,"  ordered  it  to  be  melted  down  and 
cast  into  cannons,  of  which  "  one  should  bear  the  name  of  Joan  of 
Arc."     It  is  in  our  time  that  the  city  of  Orleans  and  its  distin- 
guished bishop,  Mgr.  Dupanloup,  have  at  last  paid  Joan  homage 
worthy  of  her,  not  only  by  erecting  to  her  a  new  statue,  but  by 
recalling  her  again  to  the  memory  of  France  with  her  true  features 
and  in  her  grand  character.    Neither  French  nor  any  other  history 
offers  a  like  example  of  a  modest  little  soul  with  a  faith  so  pure  and 
efficacious,  resting  on  divine  inspiration  and  patriotic  hope. 

During  the  trial  of  Joan  of  Arc  the  war  between  France  and 
p]ngland,  without  being  discontinued,  had  been  somewhat  slack : 
tlie  curiosity  and  the  passions  of  men  were  concentrated  upon  the 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  367 

scenes  at  Rouen.  After  the  execution  of  Joan  the  war  resumed  its 
course,  though  without  any  great  events.  By  way  of  a  step  towards 
solution,  the  duke  of  Bedford,  in  November,  1431,  escorted  to 
Paris  King  Henry  VI.,  scarcely  ten  years  old,  and  had  him  crowned 
at  Notre-Darae.  The  ceremony  was  distinguished  for  pomp  but 
not  for  warmth.  The  duke  of  Burgundy  was  not  present;  it  was 
an  EngUshman,  the  cardinal-bishop  of  Winchester,  who  anointed 
the  young  Englander  king  of  France ;  the  bishop  of  Paris  com- 
plained of  it  as  a  violation  of  his  rights ;  the  parliament,  the 
university,  and  the  municipal  body  had  not  even  seats  reserved  at 
the  royal  banquet ;  Paris  was  melancholy  and  day  by  day  more 
deserted  by  the  native  inhabitants;  grass  was  growing  in  the 
courtyards  of  the  great  mansions ;  the  students  were  leaving  the 
great  school  of  Paris,  to  which  the  duke  of  Bedford  at  Caen,  and 
Charles  VII.  himself  at  Poitiers,  were  attempting  to  raise  up  rivals; 
and  silence  reigned  in  the  Latin  quarter.  The  child-king  was 
considered  unintelligent  and  ungraceful  and  ungracious.  When, 
on  the  day  after  Christmas,  he  started  on  his  way  back  to  Rouen 
and  from  Rouen  to  England,  he  did  not  confer  on  Paris  "  any  of 
the  boons  expected,  either  by  releasing  prisoners  or  by  putting  an 
end  to  black-mails,  gabels,  and  wicked  imposts."  The  burgesses 
were  astonished,  and  grumbled ;  and  the  old  queen,  Isabel  of 
Bavaria,  who  was  still  living  at  the  hostel  of  St.  Paul,  wept,  it  is 
said,  for  vexation,  at  seeing  from  one  of  her  windows  her  grand- 
son's royal  procession  go  by. 

Though  war  was  going  on  all  the  while,  attempts  were  made  to 
negotiate ;  and  in  March,  1433,  a  conference  was  opened  at 
Seineport,  near  Corbeil.  Every  body  in  France  desired  peace. 
Philip  the  Good  himself  began  to  feel  the  necessity  of  it.  Burgundy 
was  almost  as  discontented  and  troubled  as  He-de-France.  There 
was  grumbUng  at  Dijon  as  there  was  conspiracy  at  Paris.  The 
English  gave  fresh  cause  for  national  imtation.  They  showed  an 
inclination  to  canton  themselves  in  Normandy,  and  abandon  the 
other  French  provinces  to  the  hazards  and  sufiFerings  of  a  desul- 
tory war.  Anne  of  Burgundy,  the  duke  of  Bedford's  wife  and 
Philip  the  Good's  sister,  died.  The  Enghsh  duke  speedily  married 
again  without  even  giving  any  notice  to  the  French  prince.     Every 


368  HISTORY  OP  PRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

family  tie  between  the  two  persons  was  broken ;  and  the  negotia- 
tions as  well  as  the  war  remained  without  result. 

An  incident  at  court  caused  a  change  in  the  situation  and  gave 
the  government  of  Charles  a  different  character.  TTia  favourite, 
Greorge  de.  la  Tr^moiUe,  had  become  almost  as  unpopular  amongst 
the  royal  family  as  in  the  country  in  general.  He  could  not  manage 
a  war  and  he  frustrated  attempts  at  peace.  The  queen  of  Sicily, 
Yolande  d'Aragon,  her  daughter,  Mary  d'Anjou,  queen  of  Prance, 
and  her  son,  Louis,  coimt  of  Maine,  who  all  three  desired  peace, 
set  themselves  to  work  to  overthrow  the  favourite.  In  June,  1433, 
four  young  lords,  one  of  whom,  sire  de  Beuil,  was  La  Tr^moille's 
own  nephew,  introduced  themselves  unexpectedly  into  his  room  at 
the  castle  of  Coudray,  near  Chinon,  where  Charles  VII.  was.  La 
Tr^moille  showed  an  intention  of  resisting,  and  received  a  sword- 
thrust.  He  was  made  to  resign  all  his  offices  and  was  sent  under 
strict  guard  to  the  castle  of  Montrdsor,  the  property  of  his 
nephew,  sire  de  Beuil.  The  conspirators  had  concerted  measures 
with  La  Tr^moille's  rival,  the  constable  De  Richemont,  Arthur  of 
Brittany,  a  man  distinguished  in  war,  who  had  lately  gone  to  help 
Joan  of  Arc,  and  who  was  known  to  be  a  friend  of  peace  at  the 
same  time  that  he  was  firmly  devoted  to  the  national  cause.  He 
was  called  away  from  his  castle  of  Parthenay  and  set  at  the  head 
of  the  government  as  well  as  of  the  army.  Charles  VII.  at  first 
showed  anger  at  his  favourite's  downfall.  He  asked  if  Richemont 
was  present  and  was  told  no:  whereupon  he  seemed  to  grow 
calmer.  Before  long  he  did  more;  he  became  resigned,  and, 
continuing  all  the  while  to  give  La  Tr^moille  occasional  proofs 
of  his  former  favour,  he  fully  accepted  De  Richemont's  influence 
and  the  new  direction  which  the  constable  imposed  upon  his 
government. 

War  was  continued  nearly  every  where,  with  alternations  of  suc- 
cess and  reverse  which  deprived  none  of  the  parties  of  hope  without 
giving  victory  to  any.  Peace,  however,  was  more  and  more  the 
general  desire.  Scarcely  had  one  attempt  at  pacification  failed 
when  another  was  begun.  The  constable  De  Richemont's  return  to 
power  led  to  fresh  overtures.  He  was  a  statesman  as  well  as  a 
warrior ;  and  his  inclinations  were  known  at  Dijon  and  London  as 


Chap.  XXIV.]        THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR 


sm 


^^ell  as  at  Chinon*     The  advisers  of  King  Henry  YI.  proposed  to 
^«pen  a  conference,  on  the  15th  of  October^  1433,  at  Calais*     They 
Jiad,  they  said,  a  prisoner  in  England  ^  confined  there  ever  since  the 
"■jattle  of  Agincourt,  Duke  Charles  of  Orleans,  who  was  sincerely 
-desirous  of  peaces  in  spite  of  his  family-enmity  towards  the  duke  of 
"Burgundy,    He  was  considered  a  very  proper  person  to  promote  the 
:ziegotiatians,  although  he  sought  in  poetry,  which  was  destined  to 
Tbring  lustre  to  his  name,  a  refuge  from  politics  which  made  his  life 
^  burthen.     He,  one  day  meeting  the  duke   of  Burgundy's  two 
embassadors  at  the  earl  of  Suffolk^ s,  Henry  VI. *s  prim©  minister, 
"went  up  to  them,  affectionately  took  their  hands  and,  when  they 
inquired  after  his  health,  said,  "  My  body  is  well,  my  soul  is  sick  j 
■  J  am  dying  with  vexation  at  passing  my  best  days  a  prisoner,  with- 
out any  one  to  think  of  me."     The  ambassadors  said  that  people 
Would  be  indebted  to  him  for  the  benefit  of  peace,  for  he  was 
faiown  to  be  labouring  for  it.    "  My  lord  of  Suffolk,"  said  he^  "can 
tell  you  that  I  never  cease  to  urge  it  upon  the  king  and  his  council ; 
but  I  am  as  useless  here  as  the  sword  never  drawn  from  the 
Scabbard*     I  must  see  ray  relatives  and  friends  in  France ;  they 
"^^ill  not  treat,  surely,  without  having  consulted  with  me.     If  peace 
depended  upon  me,  though  I  were  doomed  to  die  seven  days  after 
Swearing  it^  that  would  cause  me  no  regret.  However,  what  matters 
it  what  I  say  ?     I  am  not  master  in  any  thing  at  all ;  next  to  the 
t^o  kings,  it  is  the  duke  of  Burgundy  and  the  duke  of  Brittany 
who  have  most  power.     Will  you  not  come  and  call  upon  me?"  he 
^cMed,  pressing  the  hand  of  one  of  the  ambassadors.    /^They  will 
s^e  you  before  they  go,"   said  the  earl  of  Suffolk  in  a  tone  which 
i:i:iad6  it  plain  that  no  private  conversation  would  be  permitted 
Ijbetween  them*    And  indeed  the  earl  of  Suffolk's  barber  went  alone 
to  wait  upon  the  ambassadors  in  order  to  tell  them  that,  if  the 
^uke  of  Burgundy  desired  it,  the  duke  of  Orleans  would  write  to 
^im.     "  I  will  undertake,"  he  added,  "to  bring  you  his  letter," 
Inhere  was  evident  mistrust ;  and  it  was  explained  to  the  Burgun* 
^aau  ambassadors  by  the  earl  of  Warwick's  remark,  "  Your  duke 
'tiever   once   came  to  see  our  king  during  his  stay  in  France,** 
T^e  ditke  of  Bedford  used  similar  language  to  them,     *'  Why," 
aaid  he,  "  does  my  brother  the  duke  of  Burgundy  give  way  to  evil 

f  It  h 


370 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Ceap.  XXW. 


imagimngs  agmnst  me  ?  There  is  not  a  prince  m  the  world,  after 
my  king,  whom  I  esteem  so  much.  The  ill-will  which  seems  to 
eidst  between  us  spoils  the  kiiig's  affairs  and  his  own  too.  But  teU 
him  that  I  am  not  the  less  disposed  to  serve  Hm/' 

In  March,  1435,  the  duke  of  Burgundy  went  to  Parisi  taking  with 
him  his  third  wife,  Isabel  of  Portugal,  and  a  magmficent  follow- 
ing. There  were  seen,  moreover,  in  his  ti:ain,  a  hundred  waggons 
laden  with  artillery,  armour,  salted  provisions,  cheeses,  and  wines 
of  Burgundy.  There  was  once  more  joy  in  Paris,  and  the  diike 
received  the  most  affectionate  welcome.  The  university  was  repre- 
sented before  him  and  made  him  a  great  speech  on  the  necessity  of 
peace.  Two  days  afterwards,  a  deputation  from  the  city-dames  of 
Paris  waited  upon  the  duchess  of  Bm^ndy  and  implored  her  to 
use  her  influence  for  the  re-estabHshment  of  peace.  She  answered, 
*^  My  good  friends,  it  is  the  thing  I  desire  most  of  all  in  the  world; 
I  pray  for  it  night  and  day  to  the  Lord  our  God,  for  I  believe  that  wo 
aU  have  great  need  of  it,  and  I  know  for  certain  that  my  lord  and 
husband  has  the  greatest  willingness  to  give  up  to  that  purpose 
his  person  and  his  substance."  At  the  bottom  of  his  soul  Duke 
PhiUp's  decision  was  already  taken.  He  had  but  lately  discussed 
the  condition  of  Prance  with  the  constable,  De  Richemont,  and 
Duke  Charles  of  Bourbon,  his  brother4n-law,  whom  he  had  sum- 
moned to  Novers  with  that  design.  Being  convinced  of  the 
necessity  for  peace,  he  spoke  of  it  to  the  king  of  England's  advisers 
whom  he  found  in  Paris,  and  who  dared  not  show  absolute  oppo- 
sition to  it  It  was  agreed  that  in  the  month  of  July  a  general 
and,  more  properly  speaking,  a  European  conference  should  meet 
at  Arras,  that  the  legates  of  Pope  Eugenius  IV*  should  be  invited 
to  it,  and  that  consultation  should  be  held  thereat  as  to  the  meani 
of  putting  an  end  to  the  sufferings  of  the  two  kingdoms. 

Towards  the  end  of  July,  accordingly,  whilst  the  war 
being  prosecuted  with  redoubled  ardour  on  both  sides  at 
very  gates  of  Paris,  there  arrived  at  Arras  the  pope's  legat 
and  the  ambassadors  of  the  Emperor  Sigismund,  of  the  kings 
of  Castile,  Aragon,  Portugal,  Naples,  Sicily,  Cyprus,  Poland^ 
and  Denmark,  and  of  the  dukes  of  Brittany  and  Milan*  The 
university  of  Paris  and  many  of  the  good  towns  of  France, 


X^HAP.XXIV.]  THE  HUNDRED  TEABS*  WAR, 


371 


^rf'^Ianders,  and  even  Hollandj  had  sent    their  deputies  thithfer. 

jI^BIaiiy  bishops  were  there  in  person.     The  bishop  of  Liege  came 

-tfii^ther  with  a  magnificent  train  mounted,  say  the  chroniclers,  on 

-^ziwo  hundred  white  horses*     The  duke  of  Burgundy  made  his 

-^^ntrance  on  the  30th  of  July,  escorted  by  three  hundred  arches 

^^^earing  his  livery.     All  the  lords  who  happened  to  be  in  the  city 

"  ^^^eat  to  meet  him  at  a  league's  distance,  except  the  cardinal-legates 

«=>f  the  pope,  who  confined  themselves   to  sending  their  people* 

■3Cwo  days   afterwards   arrived  the  ambassadors  of   the   king  of 

^pp^rance,  having  at  their  head  the  duke  of  Bourbon  and  the  con* 

^  table  De  Richemont,  together  with  several  of  the  greatest  French 

lords  and  a  retinue  of  four  or  five  hundred  persons,     Duke  Philip, 

^rewamed  of  their  coming,  issued  fi'om  the  city  with   all  the 

princes  and  lords  who  happened  to  be  there*     The  English  alone 

^*t*fuBed  to  accompany  him,  wondering  at  his  showing  such  great 

^^oiiour  to  the  ambassadors  of  theii*  common  enemy.     Phihp  went 

forward  a  mile  to  meet  his  two  brothers-in-law,  the  duke  of 

Bourbon  and  the    count  de  Richemont,   embraced  them  afifec- 

tionately,  and  turned  back  with  them  into  Arras^  amidst  the  joy 

^^d  acclamations  of  the  populace.     Last  of  all  arrived  the  duchess 

of  Burgundy,  magnificently  dressed  and  bringing  with  her  her 

Joung  son,  the  count  of  Charolais,  who  was  hereafter  to  be  Charles 

^e  Rash*    The  duke  of  Bourbon,  the  constable  De  Richemont  and 

*U  the  lords  were  on  horseback  around  her  litter ;  but  the  BngUsh 

Tfrho  had  gone,  like  the  others,  to  meet  her,  were  unwilling,  on 

fuming  back  to  Arras,  to  form  a  part  of  her  retinue  with  the 

^^rench. 

V  Grand  as  was  the  sight,  it  was  not  superior  in  grandeur  to  the 
^vent  on  the  eve  of  accomplishment.  The  question  was  whether 
Franco  should  remain  a  great  nation  in  fiill  possession  of  itself 
a.nd  of  its  independence  under  a  French  king,  or  whether  the  king 
of  England  should,  in  London  and  with  the  title  of  king  of  France, 
Have  France  in  his  possession  and  under  his  government.  Phihp 
tHe  Good,  duke  of  Burgundy,  was  called  upon  to  solve  this  problem 
of  tlie  future,  that  is  to  say,  to  decide  upon  the  fate  of  his  lin^g$ 
and  his  country. 

t  soon  as  the  conference  was  openedj  and  no  matter  whal 

B  b  2 


872 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE. 


[Chap*  XXDT- 


attempts  were  made  to  veil  or  adjourn  the  question*  it  was  put 
nakedly.  The  English,  instead  of  peace,  began  by  proposing 
a  long  truce  and  the  marriage  of  Henry  VI,  wth  a  daughter 
of  King  Charles,  The  French  am1>assadors  refnsed,  absolutely, 
to  negotiate  on  this  basis;  they  desired  a  definitive  peace; 
and  their  conditions  were  that  the  king  and  people  of  England 
should  give  up  the  pretended  title  and  right  to  the  crown  of 
France,  that  the  duchy  of  Aquitaine  should  be  ceded  to  them 
as  a  fief,  and  that  they  should  give  up,  besides,  all  they  occupied  in 
France.  After  much  solemn  discussion  and  private  conversation 
the  legates  of  the  pope  by  dint  of  entreaty  got  the  French  to  offer 
Normandy  to  the  king  of  England,  but  on  the  footing  of  peerage 
and  vassalage,  as  it  had  been  held  by  King  John  and  by  King 
Charles  V.  when  dauphin;  and  they,  further,  peremptorily  de- 
manded the  abandonment  of  all  pretension  to  the  crown  of  France 
and  to  any  other  possession  in  Prance,  The  English  ambassadors 
and  the  cardinaUbishop  of  Winchester,  at  their  arrival  from  London 
on  the  26th  of  August  with  a  numerous  following,  declared  that 
they  had  no  power  thus  to  despoil  the  king  their  master  of  a  crown 
to  which  he  had  a  right,  and  that  they  withdrew  from  the  con- 
ference. Before  they  went  they  told  the  pope's  legates  "  that  it 
was  not  a  just  thing  nor  legitimate  to  laboiir  to  make  peace,  without 
them,  between  the  duke  of  Burgundy  and  King  Charles  their 
adversary,  since  the  duke  had  sworn,  with  them,  to  treaties  from 
which  he  could  not  extricate  himself/'  On  the  refusal  of  the 
legates  to  allow  their  objection,  they  left  Arras  on  the  Ist  of 
September,  and  returned  to  England  _ 

Up  to  that  moment  the  duke  of  Burgundy  had  remained  a 
stranger  to  the  negotiations.  *'  He  was  French  in  blood,  in  hearty  in 
wish;  he  belonged  to  the  noble  house  of  France,  and  from  it  sprang 
the  origin  of  all  bis  greatness.  He  saw  the  kingdom  deetrojdd 
and  the  poor  people  reduced  to  despair.  The  English  had  often 
offended  him ;  he  had  many  times  found  them  proud,  obstiiiats^ 
insolent ;  he  had  Uttlo  to  gain  by  their  alliance,  and,  for  seveiil 
years  past,  they  had  never  succoured  him  in  his  embarrassmeBta 
and  distresses,"  He  readily  listened  to  his  friends  in  Frooodi 
especially  to  bis  brother-in-law  the  constable  De  Richemont,    Night 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  375 

by  night,  when  every  body  had  retired,  the  constable  sought  out 
Duke  Philip,  gave  him  an  account  of  every  thing,  and  put  before 
his  eyes  all  the  urgent  reasons  for  making  an  end  of  this  situation, 
so  full  of  danger  for  the  whole  royal  house  and  of  suffering  for  the 
people.  Nevertheless  the  duke  showed  strong  scruples.  The 
treaties  he  had  sworn  to,  the  promises  he  had  made  threw  him  into 
a  constant  fever  of  anxiety ;  he  would  not  have  any  one  able  to  say 
that  he  had  in  any  respect  forfeited  his  honour.  He  asked  for 
three  consultations,  one  with  the  ItaUan  doctors  connected  with 
the  pope's  legates,  another  with  English  doctors,  and  another  with 
French  doctors.  He  was  granted  all  three,  though  they  were  more 
calculated  to  fiirnish  him  with  arguments,  each  on  their  own  side, 
than  to  dissipate  his  doubts  if  he  had  any  real  ones.  The  legates 
ended  by  solemnly  saying  to  him,  "  We  do  conjure  you  by  the 
bowels  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  and  by  the  authority  of  our 
holy  father  the  pope,  of  the  holy  council  assembled  at  BMe  and 
of  the  universal  Church,  to  renounce  that  spirit  of  vengeance 
whereby  you  are  moved  against  King  Charles  in  memory  of  the 
late  duke  John,  your  father;  nothing  can  render  you  more 
pleasing  in  the  eyes  of  God  or  further  augment  your  fame  in  this 
world."  For  three  days  Duke  PhQip  remained  still  undecided; 
but  he  heard  that  the  duke  of  Bedford,  regent  of  France  on  behalf 
of  the  English,  who  was  his  brother-in-law,  had  just  died  at  Rouen 
on  the  14th  of  September.  He  was,  besides  the  late  king  of 
England,  Henry  V.,  the  only  Englishman  who  had  received  pro- 
mises from  the  duke  and  who  lived  in  intimacy  with  him.  Ten 
days  afterwards,  on  the  24th  of  September,  the  queen,  Isabel  of 
Bavaria,  also  died  at  Paris;  and  thus  another  of  the  principal 
causes  of  shame  to  the  French  kingship  and  misfortune  to  France 
disappeared  from  the  stage  of  the  world.  Duke  Philip  felt  himself 
more  free  and  more  at  rest  in  his  mind,  if  not  rightfully  at  any 
rate  so  far  as  poUtical  and  worldly  expedience  was  concerned.  He 
declared  his  readiness  to  accept  the  proposals  which  had  been 
communicated  *to  him  by  the  ambassadors  of  Charles  VII.;  and  on 
the  21st  of  September,  1435,  peace  was  signed  at  Arras  between 
France  and  Burgundy,  without  any  care  for  what  England  might 
say  or  do. 


376 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap.  XXIV- 


There  was  great  and  general  joy  in  France,     It  was  peace  mdj 
national  reconciliation  as  well;  Dauphimsers  and  Burgundians 
braced  in  the  streets ;  the  Burgundians  were  delighted  at  being  aUtfj 
to  call  themselves  Frenchmen,     Charles  YIl,  convoked  the  statas^l 
general  at  Tours  to  consecrate  this  alliance.  On  his  knees^  upon  thej 
bare  stone^  before  the  archbishop  of  Crete  who  had  just  celebrated 
maas^  the  king  laid  his  hands  upon  the  Gospels  and  swore  the  peace, 
saying  that  '*  It  was  his  duty  to  imitate  the  King  of  kings,  our 
divine  Saviour^  who  had  brought  peace  amongst  men,"     At  the 
chancellor's  order  the  princes  and  great  lords  one  after  the  other 
took  the  oath  ;  the  nobles  and  the  people  of  the  third  estate  swore 
the  peace  all  together,  with  cries  of  **  Long  live  the  king !  Long  live 
the  duke  of  Burgmidy  ! "     "  With  this  hand/*  said  sire  de  Lannoj, 
**  I  have  thrice  sworn  peace  during  this  war;  but  I  call  God  tOj 
witness  that,  for  my  part,  this  time  it  shall  be  kept  and  that  nei 
will  I  break  it  (the  peace)*"     Charles  VII.  in  his  emotion,  sdzed 
the  hands  of  Duke  Philip's  ambassadors,  saying,  *^For  a  long  while 
I  have  languished  for  this  happy  day ;  we  must  thank  God  for  it.'* 
And  the  Te  Deum  was  intoned  with  enthusiasm. 

Peace  was  really  made  amongst  Frenchmen;  and,  in  spite  of 
many  internal  difficulties  and  quarrels,  it  was  not  broken  as  long 
as  Charles  VIL  and  Duke  Philip  the  Good  were  living.  But  the 
war  with  the  English  went  on  incessantly.  They  still  possessed 
several  of  the  finest  provinces  of  France ;  and  the  treaty  of 
which  had  weakened  them  very  much  on  the  Continent  had  likewise 
made  them  very  angry.  For  twenty-six  years,  from  1435  to  1461, 
hostilities  continued  between  the  two  kingdoms,  at  one  time  actively 
and  at  another  slackly,  with  occasional  suspension  by  truce,  but 
without  any  formal  termination.  There  is  no  use  in  recounting 
the  details  of  their  monotonous  and  barren  history,  Governmeota 
and  people  often  persist  in  maintaining  their  quarrels  and  inflictb| 
mutual  injuries  by  the  instrumentahty  of  events,  acts,  and  actors,^ 
that  deserve  nothing  but  oblivion.  There  is  no  intention  here  of 
dwelling  upon  any  events  or  persons  save  such  as  have  for  good  or 
for  evil,  to  its  glory  or  its  sorrow,  exercised  a  considerable  influence 
upon  the  condition  and  fortuiie  of  France- 

The  peace  of  Arras  brought  back  to  the  service  of  France  and 


CuAi'.XXIV,]        THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAE, 


377 


her  king  the  constable  De  Richemont,  Arthur  of  Brittany »  whom  the 
jealousy  of  George  de  la  Tr^raoille  and  the  distrustful  indolence  of 
Charles  VII.  had  bo  long  kept  out  of  it.  By  a  somewhat  rare 
privilegei  he  was  in  reality,  there  is  reason  to  suppose,  superior 
to  the  name  he  has  left  behind  him  in  histoij ;  and  it  is  only 
justice  to  reproduce  here  the  portrait  given  of  him  by  one  of 
his  contemporaries  who  observed  him  closely  and  knew  him  well. 
**  Never  a  man  of  his  time,*'  says  William  Gruet,  '*  loved  jtistice 
more  than  he  or  took  more  pains  to  do  it  according  to  his  ability. 
Never  was  prince  more  humble,  more  cliari table,  more  eompassio- 
iiate,  more  liberal,  less  avaricious,  or  more  open-handed  in  a  good 
fashion  and  without  prodigality.  He  was  a  proper  man,  chaste 
and  brave  as  prince  can  be ;  and  tbere  was  none  of  his  time  of 
better  conduct  than  he  in  conducting  a  great  battle  or  a  great 
siege  and  all  sorts  of  approaches  in  all  sorts  of  ways.  Every  day, 
once  at  least  in  the  four  and  twenty  hoiirs,  his  conversation  was  of 
war,  and  he  took  more  pleasure  in  it  than  in  aught  else.  Above  all 
things  he  loved  men  of  valour  and  good  renown,  and  he  more  than 
any  other  loved  and  supported  the  people  and  freely  did  good  to 
poor  mendicants  and  others  of  God's  poor/' 

Nearly  all  the  deeds  of  Richemont,  from  the  time  that  lie  became 
powerful  again,  confirm  the  truth  of  tbis  portrait.  His  first  thought 
and  his  first  labour  were  to  restore  Paris  to  France  and  to  the 
king.  The  unhappy  city  in  subjection  to  the  English  was  the  very 
image  of  devastation  and  ruin.  "  The  wolves  prowled  about  it  by 
night,  and  there  were  in  it,'*  says  an  eye-witness,  "twenty-four 
thousand  houses  empty.*'  The  duke  of  Bedford,  in  order  to  get 
rid  of  these  public  tokens  of  misery,  attempted  to  supply  the 
Parisians  with  bread  and  amusements  (panem  et  circmises);  but 
their  very  diversions  were  ghastly  and  melancholy.  In  1425,  there 
was  painted  in  the  sepulchre  of  the  Innocents  a  picture  called  the 
Dance  of  Death :  Death,  grinning  with  fleshless  jaws,  was  repre- 
sented taking  by  the  hand  all  estates  of  the  population  in  their 
turn  and  making  them  dance.  In  the  H6tel  Armagnac,  confiscated^ 
as  so  many  others  were*  from  its  owner,  a  show  was  exliibited  to 
amuse  the  people.  *'  Four  blind  men  armed  with  staves  were  shut 
up  with  a  pig  in  a  little  paddock.     They  had  to  see  whether  they 


878 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCR 


[Chap.  XMV. 


could  kill  the  said  pig,  and  when  they  thought  they  were  belaboiif- 
ing  it  most  they  were  belabouring  one  another-*'  The  constable 
resolved  to  put  a  stop  to  tbis  deplorable  state  of  things  in  the 
capital  of  Franca  In  Aprils  1436,  when  he  had  just  ordered  for 
himself  apartments  at  St*  Denis,  he  heard  that  the  English  had 
just  got  in  there  and  plundered  the  church.  He  at  once  gave 
orders  to  march.  The  Burgundians  who  made  up  nearly  all  his 
troop  demanded  their  pay  and  would  not  mount.  Richemont  gave 
them  his  bond ;  and  the  march  was  begun  to  St.  Denis.  **  Ycfa 
know  the  country?"  said  the  constable  to  marshal  Isle-Adam. 
"Yes,  my  lord,"  answered  the  other,  "and  by  my  faith,  in  the 
position  held  by  the  English,  you  would  do  nothing  to  harm  or 
annoy  them  though  you  had  ten  thousand  fighting-men."  **Ali! 
but  we  will,"  replied  Richemont ;  "God  will  help  us.  Keep  pressing 
forward  to  support  the  skirmishers."  And  he  occupied  St.  Denis 
and  drove  out  the  English.  The  population  of  Paris,  being  informed 
of  this  success,  were  greatly  moved  and  encouraged.  One  bmve 
burgess  of  Paris,  Michel  LailHer,  master  of  the  exchequer,  notified 
to  the  constable,  it  is  said,  that  they  were  ready  and  quite  able  to 
open  one  of  the  gates  to  him,  provided  that  an  engagement  were 
entered  into  in  the  king's  name  for  a  general  amnesty  and  the  pre- 
vention of  all  disorder*  The  constable,  on  the  king*s  behalf,  entered 
into  the  required  engagement,  and  presented  himself  the  next  day» 
the  13th  of  April,  with  a  picked  force  before  the  St.  Michel  gate. 
The  enterprise  was  discovered.  A  man  posted  on  the  wall 
signs  to  them  with  his  hat,  crying  out,  "  Go  to  the  other  g&te,^ 
there's  no  opening  this  ;  work  is  going  on  for  you  in  the  Market»j 
quarter."  The  picked  force  followed  the  course  of  the  ramj 
up  to  the  St.  Jacques  gate,  "Who  goes  there?"  demanded  some 
burghers  who  had  the  guard  of  it*  "Some  of  the  constable's 
people.''  He  himself  came  up  on  his  big  charger,  with  satisfection 
and  courtesy  in  his  mien.  Some  Uttle  time  was  required  for 
opening  the  gate ;  a  long  ladder  was  let  down ;  and  marshal  Isle- 
Adam  was  the  first  to  mount,  and  planted  on  the  wall  the  standard 
of  France.  The  fastenings  of  the  drawbridge  were  burst,  and  when 
it  was  let  down  the  constable  made  his  entry  on  horseback,  ri^ 
calmly  down  St,  Jacques  Street  in   the  midst  of  a  joyous  and 


Chap,  XXTY,]         THE  HUNDRED  YEAES'  WAE, 


879 


comforted  crowd.    **  My  good  friends/*  he  said  to  them,  **  the 
good  King  Charles,  and  I  on  his  behalf,  do  thank  you  a  hundred 
thousand  times  for  yielding  up  to  him  so  quietly  the  chief  city  of 
Ms  kingdom.     If  there  be  amongst  you  any,  of  whatsoever  Condi* 
tion  he  may  be^  who  hath  oflfended  against  my  lord  the  king,  all  is 
forgiven,  in  the  case  both  of  the  absent  and  the  present."     Then 
He  caused  it  to  be  proclaimed  by  sound  of  trumpet  throughout  the 
streets  that  none  of  his  people  should  be  so  bold,  on  pain  of  hang- 
ing, as  to  take  up  quarters  in  the  house  of  any  burgher  against  his 
win  or  to  use  any  reproach  whatever  or  do  the  least  displ^sure  to 
any.     At  eight  of  the  public  joy  the  English  had  retired  to  the 
Bastille,  where  the  constable  was  disposed  to  besiege  them.     **  My 
lord,"   said  the  burghers  to  him,  "  they  will  surrender ;  do  not 
reject  their  offer;  it  is  so  far  a  fine  thing  enough  to  have  thus 
recovered  Paris;    often,  on  the  contrary,  many  constables  and 
many  marshals  have  been  driven  out  of  it.     Take  contentedly  what 
God  hath  granted  you."    The  burghers'  prediction  was  not  imveri- 
fied.  The  English  salhed  out  of  the  Bastille  by  the  gate  which  opened 
on  the  fields,  and  went  and  took  boat  in  the  rear  of  the  Louvre* 
Next  day  abundance  of  provisions  arrived  in  Paris ;  and  the  gates 
were  opened  to  the  country-folks.     The  populace  freely  mautfested 
their  joy  at  being  rid  of  the  EngHsh,     "  It  was  plain  to  see/*  was 
the  saying,  **  that  they  were  not  in  France  to  remain ;  not  one  of 
them  had  been  seen  to  sow  a  field  with  com  or  build  a  house ; 
they  destroyed  their  quarters  without  a  thought  of  repairing  them ; 
they  had  not  restored,  perad venture,  a  single  fire-place.    There  was 
only  their  regent,  the  duke  of  Bedford,  who  was  fond  of  buUding 
and  making  the  poor  people  work ;    he  would  have  hked  peace ; 
bat  the  nature  of  those  English  is  to  be  always  at  war  with  their 
neighbours,  and  accordiogly  they  all  make  a  bad  end ;  thank  God 
there  have  already  died  in  France  more  than  seventy  thousand  of 
ttem." 

Up  to  the  taking  of  Paris  by  the  constable  the  duke  of  Burgundy 
Iwd  kept  himself  iq  reserve,  and  had  maintained  a  tacit  neutrality 
towards  England ;  he  had  merely  been  making,  without  noisy  de- 
^^onstration,  preparations  for  an  enterprise  in  which  he,  as  count  of 
Jlanders,  was  very  much  interested.     The  success  of  Richemont 


nm 


niSTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chaf.  XXIV. 


itis]>in^l  liim  with  a  bopo  and  perhaps  with  a  jealous  desire  of 
nhnwiiif^  \m  [Knver  and  his  patriotism  as  a  Frenchman  by  miikitifr 
\vm%  in  hi^  t  urn,  upon  the  English,  from  whom  he  had  by  the  ti  ■ 
of  ArniB  eflfocted  only  a  pacific  separation.    In  Juno,  1436,  )j 
wvwi  and  l>esii^ged  Calais.     This  was  attacking  England  at  one  of 
tho  i}oinU  sho  was  bent  upon  defending  most  obstinately.     Philip 
\uu\  nvkoned  on  the  energetic  co*operation  of  the  cities  of  Flanders, 
imd  at  the  first  bhish  the  FlemiDgs  did  display  a  strong  incliuation 
to  support  him  in  his  entCTprise*     **  When  the  English/'  they  said, 
**  know  that  my  lords  of  Gtt^ot  aie  on  the  way  to  attack  them 
witli  all  ^biir  miglit  they  wiU  not  awaifc  us;  they  will  leave  the  city 
HftA  flee  3iw*T  *^  Enghmd."     Neither  tlie  PTeiningB  nor  Pldlip  had 
<s>rt^iti^  MtXBBted  the  importanee  whicii  wai  attached  in  London 
to  %ht  pnsmsdom  of  Calais.     When  the  didsB  of  Gloucester,  lord* 
yiy4^tfter  of  England^  found  this  possesskm  threatened^  he  sent  a 
Ifor^M  to  defy  the  Duke  of  Burgundy  and  declare  to  him  that,  if 
^  %\kl  not  wait  for  battle  beneath  the  walls  of  C'alais,  Humphrey  of 
lilouoester  would  go  after  him  oven  into  Ms  own  dominions,     **  TeD 
y%\nr  lord  that  he  will  not  need  to  take  so  much  trouble  and  thati^H 
ho  will  find  me  here,"  answered  Philip  proudly.   His  pride  was  over-^B 
tNUindent-   Whether  it  were  only  a  people^s  ficUeness  or  intelligent 
cippi*eciation  of  their  own  commercial  interests  in  their  relations 
with  England,  the  Flemings  grew  speedily  disgusted  with  the  siege 
uf  Calais,  complamed  of  the  tardiness  in  arrival  of  the  fleet  wbidi 
rliilip  had  despatched  thither  to  close  the  port  against  Engli^li 
vessels,  and,  after  having  suffered  several  reverses  by  sorf^^*^  -  f , 
the  English  garrison,  they  ended  by  retiring  with  such  preci]  ^ 

that  they  abandoned  part  of  their  supplies  and  artillery.     Philip, 
according  to  the  expression  of  M.  Henri  Martin,  was  reduced  to 
covering  their  retreat  with  his  cavalry;  and  then  he  went  awi] 
gon*owfully  to  Lille,  to  advise  about  the  means  of  defending 
Flemish  lordships  exposed  to  the  reprisals  of  the  English. 

Thus  the  fortune  of  Burgundy  was  tottering,  whilst  thafc  of 
France  was  recovering  itself.  The  constable's  easy  occupation  of 
Paris  led  the  majority  of  the  small  places  in  the  neighbourhood, 
St*  Denis,  Chevreuse,  Marcoussis,  and  MontlhiSry  to  docide 
cither  upon  spontaneous  surrender  or  allowing  themselves  to  be 


JHAP.  XXrV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEABS'  WAR 


383 


taken  after  no  great  resistance*     Charles  VII.,  on  his  way  through 
France  to  Lyon,  in  Dauphiny,  Languedoc,  Anvergne,  and  along  the 
Lioine,  i^covered  several  other  townsj  for  instancej  Chftteau-Landoni 
Nemoitrsj  and  Charny-     He  laid  siege  in  person  to  Montereau,  an 
important  military  post   with  which   a  recent  and  sinister  re- 
miniscence  was   connected*      A  great   change   now   made  itself 
apparent  in  the  king's  behaviour  and  disposition.      He  showed 
activity  and  vigilance,  and  was  ready  to  expose  himself  without 
any  care  for  fatigue  or  danger*     On  the  day  of  the  assault  (10th  of 
October,  1437)  he  went  down  into  the  trenches,  remained  there 
in  water  up  to  his  waist,  mounted  the  scaling-ladder  sword  in 
hand,  and  was  one  of  the  first  assailants  who  penetrated  over  the 
top  of  the  walls  right  into  the  place.     After  the  surrender  of  the 
f^aatle  as  well  as  the  town  of  Montereau  he  marched  on  Paris  and 
xnade  his  solemn  re-entry  there  on  the  12th  of  November,  1437, 
for  the  first  time  since  in  1418  Tanneguy-DuchHtel  had  carried 
piiim  away,  whilst  still  a  child,  wrapped  in  his  bed-clothes.    Charles 
"Was  received  and  entertained  as  became  a  recovered  and  a  victori- 
ous king ;  but  he  passed  only  three  weeks  there,  and  went  away 
Once  more,  on  the  3rd  of  December,  to  go  and  resume  at  Orleans  first 
and  then  at  Bourges,  the  serious  cares  of  government*     It  is  said 
to  have  been  at  this  royal  entry  into  Paris  that  Agnes  Sorel  or 
Soreau,  who  was  soon  to  have  the  name  of  Qmmi  of  Bemdy  and  to 
assume  in  French  history  an  almost  glorious  though  illegitimate 
position,  appeared  with  brilliancy  in  the  train  of  the  queen,  Mary 

»cf  Anjou,  to  whom  the  king  had  appointed  her  a  maid  of  honour. 
It  is  a  question  whether  she  did  not  even  then  exercise  over 
Ctarles  VII,  that  influence,  serviceable  alike  to  the  honour  of  the 
king  and  of  Fmnce,  which  was  to  inspire  Francis  I,,  a  century 
later,  with  this  gallant  quatrain  :■ — 

'*  If  to  win  bock  poor  captiYe  France  be  ftught. 
More  honour,  gentlo  Agnee,  Is  tbj  tn€^d, 
TliMi  ero  was  due  to  deeds  of  virtue  wrought 
By  c!oifiter'd  nun  or  pious  hermit-breed/* 

It  is  worth  while  perhaps  to  remark  that  in  1437  Agnes  Sorel 
Was  already  twenty -seTen, 

On©  of  the  best  informed,  most  impartial,  and  most  sensible 


384 


HISTORY  OF  FRANCE. 


[Chap,  XXIV, 


histomns  of  that  epoch,  James  Duclercq,  merely  says  on  this 
subject,  "  King  Charles,  before  he  had  peace  with  duke  Philip  of 
Burgundy,  led  a  right  holy  life  and  said  his  canonical  hours.  But 
after  peace  was  made  with  the  duke,  though  the  king  continued  to 
serve  God,  he  joined  himself  unto  a  young  woman  who  was  after- 
wards called  Fair  Agnes" 

Nothing  13  gained  by  ignoring  good  even  when  it  is  found  in 
company  with  evil,  and  there  is  no  intention  here  of  disputing  the 
share  of  influence  exercised  by  Agnes  Sorel  upon  Charles  VIL's 
regeneration  in  politics  and  war  after  the  treaty  of  Arras*     Never- 
theless, in  spite  of  the  king's  successes  at  Montereau  and  during 
his  passage  through  central  and  northern  France,  the  condition  of 
the  country  was  still  so  bad  in  1440,  the  disorder  was  so  great  and 
the  king  so  powerless  to  apply  a  remedy  that  Richemont,  dis* 
consolate,  was  tempted  "  to  rid  and  disburthen  himself  from  the 
government  of  Franco  and  between  the  rivers  [Seine  and  Loire, 
no  doubt]   and  to   go   or   send   to   the   king  for  that  purpose/' 
But  one  day  the  prior  of  the  Carthusians  at  Paris  called  on  the 
constable  and  found  him  in  his  private  chapeL     "  What  need  you, 
iair  father?"    asked  Richemont.      The  prior  answered   that  he 
wished  to  speak  with  my  lord  the  constable.     Richemont  replied 
that  it  was  he  himself-     '*  Pardon  me,  my  lord,*'  said  the  prior, 
**  I  did  not  know  you ;  I  wish  to  speak  to  you,  if  you  pleas©," 
*'  Gladly,"  said  Richemont.     **  Well,  ray  lord,  you  yesterday  helil 
counsel  and   considered   about   disburthening  yourself  from 
government  and  office  you  hold  hereabouts,"     **  How  know  yoit^ 
that  ?    Who  told  you  ?"    "  My  lord,  T  do  not  know  it  through  any 
person  of  your  council,  and  do  not  put  yourself  out  to  learn  who  told 
rae,  for  it  was  one  of  my  brethren.    My  lord,  do  not  do  this  thing; 
and  be  not  troubled,  for  God  will  help  you/*     "  Ah  I  fair  father, 
how  can  that  be  ?     The  king  has  no  mind  to  aid  me  or  grant  me 
men  or  money;   and  the  men-at-arms  hate  me  because  I  have 
justice  done  on  them,  and  they  have  no  mind  to  obey  me,"     "My 
lord,  they  wiU  do  what  you  desire;  and  the  king  will  give  you 
orders  to  go  and  lay  siege  to  Meaux,  and  will  send  you  men  aiid| 
money,"     **  Ah  !   fair  father,  Meaux  is  so  strong!     How  oan  it  be 
done  ?     The  king  of  England  was  there  for  nine  months  before  it" 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR.  885 

"  My  lord,  be  not  you  troubled ;  you  will  not  be  there  so  long ; 
keep  having  good  hope  in  God  and  He  will  help  you.  Be  ever 
humble  and  grow  not  proud ;  you  will  take  Meaux  ere  long ;  your 
men  will  grow  proud ;  they  will  then  have  somewhat  to  suffer;  but 
you  will  come  out  of  it  to  your  honour." 

The  good  prior  was  right.  Meaux  was  taken ;  and  when  the 
constable  went  to  tell  the  news  at  Paris  the  king  made  him  "  great 
cheer."  There  was  a  continuance  of  war  to  the  north  of  the 
Loire ;  and  amidst  many  alternations  of  successes  and  reverses  the 
national  cause  made  great  way  there.  Charles  resolved,  in  1442, 
to  undertake  an  expedition  to  the  south  of  the  Loire,  in  Aquitaine, 
where  the  Enghsh  were  still  dominant;  and  he  was  successful.  He 
took  from  the  English  Tartas,  Saint-Sever,  Marmande,  La  Rdole, 
Blaye,  and  Bourg-sur-Mer.  Their  ally.  Count  John  d'Armagnac, 
submitted  to  the  king  of  France.  These  successes  cost  Charles  VII. 
the  brave  La  Hire,  who  died  at  Montauban  of  his  wounds.  On 
returning  to  Normandy  where  he  had  left  Dunois,  Charles,  in 
1443,  conducted  a  prosperous  campaign  there.  The  English 
leaders  were  getting  weary  of  a  war  without  any  definite  issue ; 
and  they  had  proposals  made  to  Charles  for  a  truce,  accompanied 
with  a  demand  on  the  part  of  their  young  king,  Henry  VI.,  for  the 
hand  of  a  French  princess,  Margaret  of  Anjou,  daughter  of  King 
Bend,  who  wore  the  three  crowns  of  Naples,  Sicily,  alid  Jerusalem, 
without  possessing  any  one  of  the  kingdoms.  The  truce  and  the 
marriage  were  concluded  at  Tours,  in  1444.  Neither  of  the 
arrangements  was  popular  in  England ;  the  English  people,  who 
had  only  a  far-off  touch  of  suffering  from  the  war,  considered  that 
their  government  made  too  many  concessions  to  France.  In 
France,  too,  there  was  some  murmuring ;  the  king,  it  was  said, 
did  not  press  his  advantages  with  sufficient  vigour;  every  body 
was  in  a  hurry  to  see  all  Aquitaine  reconquered.  "  But  a  joy  that 
was  boundless  and  impossible  to  describe,"  says  Thomas  Bazin, 
the  most  intelligent  of  the  contemporary  historians,  "  spread  abroad 
through  the  whole  population  of  the  Gauls.  Having  been  a  prey 
for  so  long  to  incessant  terrors,  and  shut  up  within  the  walls 
of  their  towns  Uke  convicts  in  a  prison,  they  rejoiced  like  people 
restored  to  freedom  after  a  long  and  bitter  slayery.     Companies 

VOL.  u.  0  0 


386  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

of  both  sexes  were  seen  going  forth  into  the  country  and  visiting 
temples  or  oratories  dedicated  to  the  saints,  to  pay  the  vows  which 
they  had  made  in  their  distress.  One  fact  especially  was  admirable 
and  the  work  of  God  Himself:  before  the  truce  so  violent  had 
been  the  hatred  between  the  two  sides,  both  men-at-arms  and 
people,  that  none,  whether  soldier  or  burgher,  could  without  risk 
to  life  go  out  and  pass  from  one  place  to  another  imless  under  the 
protection  of  a  safe-conduct.  But,  so  soon  as  the  truce  was  pro- 
claimed, every  one  went  and  came  at  pleasure,  in  ftdl  liberty  and 
security,  whether  in  the  same  district  or  in  districts  under  divided 
rule ;  and  even  those  who,  before  the  proclamation  of  the  truce, 
seemed  to  take  no  pleasure  in  any  thing  but  a  savage  outpouring 
of  human  blood,  now  took  deUght  in  the  sweets  of  peace^  and 
passed  the  days  in  holiday-making  and  dancing  with  enemies  who 
but  lately  had  been  as  bloodthirsty  as  themselves." 

But  for  all  their  rejoicing  at  the  peace,  the  French,  king,  lords, 
and  commons,  had  war  still  in  their  hearts ;  national  feelings  were 
waking  up  afresh ;  the  successes  of  late  years  had  revived  their 
hopes ;  and  the  civil  dissensions  which  were  at  that  time  disturbing 
England  let  favourable  chances  peep  out.  Charles  VII.  and  his 
advisers  employed  the  leisure  afforded  by  the  truce  in  preparing 
for  a  renewal  of  the  struggle.  They  were  the  first  to  begin  it 
again;  and  from  1449  to  1451  it  was  pursued  by  the  French  king 
and  nation  with  ever  increasing  ardour,  and  with  obstinate  courage 
by  the  veteran  English  warriors  astounded  at  no  longer  being  vic- 
torious. Normandy  and  Aquitaine,  which  was  beginning  to  be 
called  Guyenne  only,  were  throughout  this  period  the  constant  and 
the  chief  theatre  of  war.  Amongst  the  great  number  of  fights  and 
incidents  which  distinguished  the  three  campaigns  in  those  two 
provinces  the  recapture  of  Rouen  by  Dunois  in  October,  1449,  the 
battle  of  Formigny,  won  near  Bayeux  on  the  15th  of  April,  1450, 
by  the  constable  De  Richemont,  and  the  twofold  capitulation  of 
Bordeaux,  first  on  the  28th  of  June,  1451,  and  next  on  the  9th  of 
October,  1453,  in  order  to  submit  to  Charles  VII.,  are  the  only 
events  to  which  a  place  in  history  is  due,  for  those  were  the  days 
on  which  the  question  was  solved  touching  the  independence  of 
the  nation  and  the  kingship  in  France.     The  duke  of  Somerset  and 


tfHAP.XXIV.}         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  387 

Lord  Talbot  were  commanding  in  Rouen  when  Dunois  presented 
himself  beneath  its  walls,  in  hopes  that  the  inhabitants  would  open 
the  gates  to  him.  Some  burgesses,  indeed,  had  him  apprised  of  a 
certain  point  in  the  walls  at  which  they  might  be  able  to  favour  the 
entry  of  the  French.  Dunois,  at  the  same  time  making  a  feint  of 
attacking  in  another  quarter,  arrived  at  the  spot  indicated  with 
4000  men.  The  archers  drew  up  before  the  wall ;  the  men-at-arms 
dismounted;  the  burgesses  gave  the  signal,  and  the  planting  of 
scaling-ladders  began ;  but  when  hardly  as  many  as  fifty  or  sixty 
men  had  reached  the  top  of  the  wall  the  banner  and  troops  of 
Talbot  were  seen  advancing.  He  had  been  warned  in  time  and 
had  taken  his  measures.  The  assailants  were  repulsed;  and 
Charies  VII.,  who  was  just  arriving  at  the  camp,  seeing  the 
abortiveness  of  the  attempt,  went  back  to  Pont-de-rArche.  But 
the  English  had  no  long  joy  of  their  success.  They  were  too  weak 
to  make  any  efiectual  resistance,  and  they  had  no  hope  of  any  aid 
from  England.  Their  leaders  authorized  the  burgesses  to  demand 
of  the  king  a  safe-conduct  in  order  to  treat.  The  conditions 
offered  by  Charles  were  agreeable  to  the  burgesses  but  not  to  the 
EngUsh ;  and  when  the  archbishop  read  them  out  in  the  hall  of  the 
mansion-house,  Somerset  and  Talbot  witnessed  an  outburst  of  joy 
which  revealed  to  them  all  their  peril.  Faggots  and  benches 
at  once  began  to  rain  down  from  the  windows ;  the  English  shut 
themselves  up  precipitately  in  the  castle,  in  the  gate-towers,  and 
in  the  great  tower  of  the  bridge ;  and  the  burgesses  armed  them- 
selves and  took  possession  during  the  night  of  the  streets  and  the 
walls.  Dunois,  having  received  notice,  arrived  in  force  at  the 
Martainville  gate.  The  inhabitants  begged  him  to  march  into  the 
city  as  many  men  as  he  pleased.  "  It  shall  be  as  you  will,"  said 
Dunois.  Three  hundred  men-at-arms  and  archers  seemed  suffi- 
cient. Charles  VII.  returned  before  Rouen;  the  English  asked 
leave  to  withdraw  without  loss  of  life  or  kit ;  and  "  on  condition," 
said  the  king,  "  that  they  take  nothing  on  the  march  without 
paying."  "We  have  not  the  wherewithal,"  they  answered ;  and 
the  king  gave  them  a  hundred  francs.  Negotiations  were  recom- 
menced. The  king  required  that  Harfleur  and  all  the  places  in 
the  district  of  Caux  should  be  given  up  to  him.    "  Ah  I  as  for 

c  c  2 


388  HISTORY  OF  PRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

Harfleur,  that  cannot  be,"  said  the  duke  of  Somerset;  "it  is  the 
first  town  which  surrendered  to  our  glorious  king,  Henry  V., 
thirty-five  years  ago."  There  was  further  parley.  The  French 
consented  to  give  up  the  demand  for  Harfleur ;  but  they  required 
that  Talbot  should  remain  as  a  hostage  until  the  conditions  were 
fulfilled.  The  English  protested.  At  last,  however,  they  yielded, 
and  undertook  to  pay  fifty  thousand  golden  crowns  to  settle  aU 
accounts  which  they  owed  to  the  tradesmen  in  the  ciiy,  and  to 
give  up  all  places  in  the  district  of  Caux  except  Harfleur.  The 
duchess  of  Somerset  and  Lord  Talbot  remained  as  hostages ;  and 
on  the  10th  of  November,  1449,  Charles  entered  Bouen  in  state, 
with  the  character  of  a  victor  who  knew  how  to  use  victory  with 
moderation. 

The  battle  of  Formigny  was  at  first  veiry  doubtful.  In  order  to 
get  fi:om  Valognes  to  Bayeux  and  Caen  the  EngUsh  had  to  cross  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Vire  great  sands  which  were  passable  only  at  low 
tide.  A  weak  body  of  French  imder  command  of  the  count  De 
Clermont  had  orders  to  cut  them  ofi*  firom  this  passage.  The 
English,  however,  succeeded  in  forcing  it ;  but  just  as  they  were 
taking  position,  with  the  village  of  Formigny  to  cover  their  rear, 
the  constable  De  Richemont  was  seen  coming  up  with  three 
thousand  men  in  fine  order.  The  English  were  already  strongly 
intrenched,  when  the  battle  began.  "  Let  us  go  and  look  close  in 
their  faces,  admiral,"  said  the  constable  to  sire  De  Coetivi.  "  I 
doubt  whether  they  will  leave  their  intrenchments,"  replied  the 
admiral.  "  I  vow  to  God  that  with  His  grace  they  will  not  abide 
in  them,"  rejoined  the  constable ;  and  ho  gave  orders  for  the  most 
vigorous  assault.  It  lasted  nearly  three  hours ;  the  English  were 
forced  to  fly  at  three  points  and  lost  3700  men;  several  of  their 
leaders  were  made  prisoners ;  those  who  were  left  retired  in  good 
order ;  Bayeux,  Avranches,  Caen,  Falaise,  and  Cherbourg  fell  one 
after  the  other  into  the  hands  of  Cliarles  VII. ;  and  by  the  end  of 
August,  1450,  the  whole  of  Normandy  had  been  completely  won 
back  by  France. 

The  conquest  of  Guycnne,  which  was  undertaken  immediately 
after  that  of  Normandy,  was  at  the  outset  more  easy  and  more 
speedy.     Amongst  the  lords  of  southern   Franco   several  hearty 


Ohap.XXIV.]         the  hundred  years*  war.  389 

patriots,  such  as  John  of  Blois,  count  of  Pdrigord,  and  Arnold 
Amanieu,  sire  d'Albret,  of  their  own  accord  began  the  strife,  and  on 
the  1st  of  November,  1450,  inflicted  a  somewhat  severe  reverse  upon 
the  English,  near  Blanquefort.  In  the  spring  of  the  following 
year  Charles  VII.  authorized  the  count  of  Armagnac  to  take  the 
field,  and  sent  Dunois  to  assume  the  command-in-chief.  An  army 
of  twenty  thousand  men  mustered  under  his  orders ;  and,  in  the 
course  of  May,  1451,  some  of  the  principal  places  of  Guyenne,  such 
as  St.  Emihon,  Blaye,  Fronsac,  Bourg-en-Mer,  Libourne,  and 
Dax  were  taken  by  assault  or  capitulated.  Bordeaux  and  Bayonne 
held  out  for  some  weeks ;  but,  on  the  12th  of  June,  a  treaty 
concluded  between  the  Bordelese  and  Dunois  secured  to  the  three 
estates  of  the  district  the  liberties  and  privileges  which  they  had 
enjoyed  under  English  supremacy;  and  it  was  further  stipulated 
that,  if  by  the  24th  of  June  the  city  had  not  been  succoured  by 
English  forces,  the  estates  of  Guyenne  should  recognize  the 
sovereignty  of  King  Charles.  When  the  24th  of  June  came,  a 
herald  went  up  to  one  of  the  towers  of  the  castle  and  shouted : 
"Succour  from  the  king  of  England  for  them  of  Bordeaux  1" 
None  replied  to  this  appeal;  so  Bordeaux  surrendered,  and  on 
the  29th  of  June  Dunois  took  possession  of  it  in  the  name  of  the 
king  of  France.  The  siege  of  Bayonne,  which  was  begun  on  the 
6th  of  August,  came  to  an  end  on  the  20th  by  means  of  a  similar 
treaty.  Guyenne  was  thus  completely  won.  But  the  English  still 
had  a  considerable  following  there.  They  had  held  it  for  three 
centuries ;  and  they  had  always  treated  it  well  in  respect  of  local 
liberties,  agiiculture,  and  commerce.  Charles  VII.,  on  recovering 
it,  was  less  wise.  He  determined  to  establish  there  forthwith  the 
taxes,  the  laws,  and  the  whole  regimen  of  northern  France ;  and 
the  Bordelese  were  as  prompt  in  protesting  against  these  measures 
as  the  king  was  in  employing  them.  In  August,  1452,  a  deputation 
from  the  three  estates  of  the  province  waited  upon  Charles  at 
Bourges,  but  did  not  obtain  their  demands.  On  their  return  to 
Bordeaux  an  insiu*rection  was  organized;  and  Peter  de  Mont- 
ferrand,  sire  de  Lesparre,  repaired  to  London  and  proposed  to  the 
English  government  to  resume  possession  of  Guyenne.  On  the 
22nd  of  October,  1452,  Talbot  appeared  before  Bordeaux  with  a 


390  HISTORY  OP  PRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

body  of  five  thousand  men ;  the  inhabitants  opened  their  gates  to 
him ;  and  he  installed  himself  there  as  lieutenant  of  the  king  of 
England,  Henry  VI.  Nearly  all  the  places  in  the  neighbourhood, 
with  the  exception  of  Bourg  and  Blaye,  returned  beneath  the  sway 
of  the  English ;  considerable  reinforcements  were  sent  to  Talbot 
from  England ;  and  at  the  same  time  an  English  fleet  threatened 
the  coasts  of  Normandy.  But  Charles  VII.  was  no  longer  the 
blind  and  indolent  king  he  had  been  in  his  youth.  Nor  can 
the  prompt  and  efiectual  energy  he  displayed  in  1453  be  any 
longer  attributed  to  the  influence  of  Agnes  Sorel,  for  she  died  on 
the  9th  of  February,  1450.  Charles  left  Richemont  and  Dunois  to 
hold  Normandy;  and,  in  the  early  days  of  spring,  moved  in  person 
to  the  south  of  France  with  a  strong  army  and  the  principal  Ghwcon 
lords  who  two  years  previously  had  brought  Guyenne  back  under 
his  power.  On  the  2nd  of  June,  1453,  he  opened  the  campaign  at 
St.  Jean-d'Angely.  Several  places  surrendered  to  him  as  soon  as 
he  appeared  before  their  walls ;  and  on  the  13th  of  July  he  laid 
siege  to  Castillon,  on  the  Dordogne,  which  had  shortly  before 
fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  EngUsh.  The  Bordelese  grew  alarmed 
and  urged  Talbot  to  oppose  the  advance  of  the  French.  "  We  may 
very  well  let  them  come  nearer  yet,"  said  the  old  warrior,  then 
eighty  years  of  age ;  *'  rest  assured  that,  if  it  please  God,  I  will 
fulfil  my  promise  wlien  I  see  that  tlie  time  and  the  hour  have  come." 
On  the  night  between  the  16th  and  17th  of  July,  however, 
Talbot  set  out  with  his  troops  to  raise  the  siege  of  Castillon.  He 
marched  all  night  and  came  suddenly  in  the  early  morning  upon 
the  French  archers,  quartered  in  an  abbey,  who  formed  the 
advanced  guard  of  their  army  which  was  strongly  intrenched 
before  the  place.  A  panic  set  in  amongst  this  small  body,  and 
some  of  them  took  to  flight.  "  Ha  !  you  would  desert  me  then?" 
said  sire  de  Rouault,  who  was  in  command  of  them ;  "  have  I 
not  promised  you  to  hve  and  die  with  you?"  They  thereupon 
rallied  and  managed  to  join  the  camp.  Talbot,  content  for  the 
time  with  this  petty  success,  sent  for  a  chaplain  to  come  and  say 
mass ;  and,  whilst  waiting  for  an  opportunity  to  resume  the  fight, 
he  permitted  the  tapping  of  some  casks  of  wine  which  had  been 
found  in  the  abbey,  and  his  men  set  themselves  to  drinking.    A 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  391 

countryman  of  those  parts  came  hurrying  up  and  said  to  Talbot, 
"My  lord,  the  French  are  deserting  their  park  and  taking  to 
flight;  now  or  never  is  the  hour  for  fulfilling  your  promise." 
Talbot  arose  and  left  the  mass,  shouting,  "Never  may  I  hear  mass 
again  if  I  put  not  to  rout  the  French  who  are  in  yonder  park." 
When  he  arrived  in  front  of  the  Frenchmen's  intrenchment,  "  My 
lord,"  said  Sir  Thomas  Cunningham,  an  aged  gentleman  who  had 
for  a  long  time  past  been  his  standard-bearer,  "  they  have  made  a 
false  report  to  you ;  observe  the  depth  of  the  ditch  and  the  faces 
of  yonder  men ;  they  don't  look  like  retreating ;  my  opinion  is 
that  for  the  present  we  should  turn  back;  the  country  is  for 
us,  we  have  no  lack  of  provisions,  and  with  a  little  patience  we 
shall  starve  out  the  French."  Talbot  flew  into  a  passion,  gave 
Sir  Thomas  a  sword-cut  across  the  face,  had  his  banner  planted  on 
the  edge  of  the  ditch,  and  began  the  attack.  The  banner  was 
torn  down  and  Sir  Thomas  Cunningham  kiUed.  "Dismount!" 
shouted  Talbot  to  his  men-at-arms,  English  and  Gascon.  The 
French  camp  was  defended  by  a  more  than  usually  strong  artillery; 
a  body  of  Bretons,  held  in  reserve,  advanced  to  sustain  the  shock 
of  the  English ;  and  a  shot  from  a  culverin  struck  Talbot,  who  was 
already  wounded  in  the  face,  shattered  his  thigh  and  brought  him 
to  the  ground.  Lord  Lisle,  his  son,  flew  to  him  to  raise  him. 
"  Let  me  be,"  said  Talbot ;  "  the  day  is  the  enemies';  it  will  be  no 
shame  for  thee  to  fly,  for  this  is  thy  first  battle."  But  the  son 
remained  with  his  father  and  was  slain  at  his  side.  The  defeat  of 
the  English  was  complete.  Talbot's  body,  pierced  with  wounds, 
was  left  on  the  field  of  battle.  He  was  so  disfigured  that,  when 
the  dead  were  removed,  he  was  not  recognized.  Notice,  however, 
was  taken  of  an  old  man  wearing  a  cuirass  covered  with  red  velvet ; 
this,  it  was  presumed,  was  he ;  and  he  was  placed  upon  a  shield 
and  carried  into  the  camp.  An  English  herald  came  with  a  request 
that  he  might  look  for  Lord  Talbot's  body.  "  Would  you  know 
him  ?"  he  was  asked.  "  Take  me  to  see  him,"  joyfully  answered 
the  poor  servant,  thinking  that  his  master  was  a  prisoner  and 
alive.  When  he  saw  him,  he  hesitated  to  identify  him;  he  knelt 
down,  put  his  finger  in  the  mouth  of  the  corpse  and  recognized 
Talbot  by  the  loss  of  a  molar  tooth.     Throwing  off*  immediately 


392  HISTORY  OP  FRANCE.  [Ohap.XXIV. 

his  coat-of-arms  with  the  colours  and  bearings  of  Talbot,  **  Ah  1 
my  lord  and  master,"  he  cried,  "can  this  be  verily  you?  May 
Grod  forgive  your  sins  1  For  forty  years  and  more  I  have  been 
your  officer-at-arms  and  worn  your  livery,  and  thus  I  give  it  back 
to  you  1"  And  he  covered  with  his  coat-of-arms  the  stark-stripped 
body  of  the  old  hero. 

The  English  being  beaten  and  Talbot  dead,  Castillon  surren- 
dered; and  at  unequal  intervals  Liboume,  St.  Emilion,  Gh&teau- 
Neuf  de  M^doc,  Blanquefort,  St.  Macaire,  Cadillac,  &c.,  followed 
the  example.  At  the  commencement  of  October,  1453,  Bordeaux 
alone  was  still  holding  out.  The  promoters  of  the  insurrection 
which  had  been  concerted  with  the  English,  amongst  others  sires 
de  Duras  and  de  Lesparre,  protracted  the  resistance  rather  in  their 
own  self-defence  than  in  response  to  the  wishes  of  the  population; 
the  king's  artillery  threatened  the  place  by  land,  and  by  sea  a 
king's  fleet  from  Rochelle  and  the  ports  of  Brittany  blockaded  the 
Gironde.  "  The  majority  of  the  king's  officers,"  says  the  contem- 
porary historian,  Thomas  Basin,  "  advised  him  to  punish  by  at 
least  the  destruction  of  their  walls  the  Bordelese  who  had  recalled 
the  BngUsh  to  their  city;  but  Charles,  more  mercifiil  and  more 
soft-hearted,  refused."  He  confined  himself  to  withdrawing  fi'om 
Bordeaux  her  municipal  privileges  which,  however,  she  soon  par- 
tially recovered,  and  to  imposing  upon  her  a  fine  of  a  hundred 
thousand  gold  crowns,  afterwards  reduced  to  thirty  thousand; 
he  caused  to  be  built  at  the  expense  of  the  city  two  fortresses,  the 
fort  of  the  Ha  and  the  castle  of  Trompette,  to  keep  in  check  so 
bold  and  fickle  a  population  ;  and  an  amnesty  was  proclaimed  for 
all  but  twenty  specified  persons  who  were  banished.  On  these 
conditions  the  capitulation  was  concluded  and  signed  on  the  17th 
of  October;  the  English  re-embarked;  and  Charles,  without 
entering  Bordeaux,  returned  to  Touraine.  The  English  had  no 
longer  any  possession  in  France  but  Calais  and  Guines ;  the  Hun- 
dred Years'  War  was  over. 

And  to  whom  was  the  glory  ? 

Charles  VII.  himself  decided  the  question.  When  in  1455, 
twenty-four  years  after  the  death  of  Joan  of  Arc,  he  at  Rome  and 
at  Rouen  prosecuted  her  claims  for  restoration  of  character  and 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR.  893 

did  for  her  fame  and  her  memory  all  that  was  still  possible,  he 
was  but  relieving  his  conscience  from  a  load  of  ingratitude  and 
remorse  which  in  general  weighs  but  hghtly  upon  men  and  espe- 
cially upon  kings  ;  and  he  was  discharging  towards  the  maid  of 
Domr^my  the  debt  due  by  France  and  the  French  kingship  when 
he  thus  proclaimed  that  to  Joan  above  all  they  owed  their  deli- 
verance and  their  independence.  Before  men  and  before  God 
Charles  was  justified  in  so  thinking ;  the  moral  are  not  the  sole, 
but  they  are  the  most  powerful  forces  which  decide  the  fates  of 
people ;  and  Joan  had  roused  the  feelings  of  the  soul  and  given 
to  the  struggles  between  France  and  England  its  religious  and 
national  character.  At  Rheims,  when  she  repaired  thither  for  the 
king's  coronation,  she  said  of  her  own  banner :  "  It  has  a  right  to 
the  honour  for  it  has  been  at  the  pains."  She,  first  amongst  all, 
had  a  right  to  the  glory,  for  she  had  been  the  first  to  contribute  to 
the  success. 

Next  to  Joan  of  Arc,  the  constable  De  Richemont  was  the  most 
effective  and  the  most  glorious  amongst  the  liberators  of  France 
and  of  the  king.  He  was  a  strict  and  stem  warrior,  unscrupulous 
and  pitiless  towards  his  enemies,  especially  towards  such  as  he 
despised,  severe  in  regard  to  himself,  dignified  in  his  manners, 
never  guilty  of  swearing  himself  and  punishing  swearing  as  a 
breach  of  discipline  amongst  the  troops  placed  under  his  orders. 
Like  a  true  patriot  and  royaUst  he  had  more  at  heart  his  duty 
towards  France  and  the  king  than  he  had  his  own  personal 
interests.  He  was  fond  of  war  and  conducted  it  bravely  and 
skilfully  without  rashness  but  without  timidity :  "  Wherever  the 
constable  is,"  said  Charles  VII.,  "there  I  am  free  from  anxiety; 
he  wiU  do  all  that  is  possible  !"  He  set  his  title  and  office  of 
constable  of  France  above  his  rank  as  a  great  lord;  and  when, 
after  the  death  of  his  brother,  Duke  Peter  II.,  he  himself  became 
duke  of  Brittany,  he  always  had  the  constable's  sword  carried 
before  him,  saying,  "  I  wish  to  honour  in  my  old  age  a  function 
which  did  me  honour  in  my  youth."  His  good  services  were  not 
confined  to  the  wars  of  his  time;  he  was  one  of  the  principal 
reformers  of  the  military  system  in  France  by  the  substitution  of 
regular  troops  for  feudal  service.     He  has  not  obtained,  it  is  to  be 


394  HISTORY  OP  PRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

feared,  in  the  history  of  the  fifteenth  century,  the  place  which 
properly  belongs  to  him. 

Dunois,  La  Hire,  Xaintrailles,  and  marshals  De  Boussac  and  De 
La  Fayette  were,  under  Charles  VII.,  brilliant  warriors  and  usefiil 
servants  of  the  king  and  of  France ;  but,  in  spite  of  their  knightly 
renown,  it  is  questionable  if  they  can  be  reckoned,  like  the  con- 
stable De  Richemont,  amongst  the  liberators  of  national  indepen- 
dence. There  are  degrees  of  glory,  and  it  is  the  duty  of  history 
not  to  distribute  it  too  readily  and  as  it  were  by  handfuls. 

Besides  all  these  warriors,  we  meet,  under  the  sway  of  Charles 
VII.,  at  first  in  a  humble  capacity  and  afterwards  at  his  court,  in 
his  diplomatic  service  and  sometimes  in  his  closest  confidence,  a 
man  of  quite  a  difibrent  origin  and  quite  another  profession,  but 
one  who  nevertheless  acquired  by  peaceful  toil  great  riches  and 
great  influence,  both  brought  to  a  melancholy  termination  by  a  con- 
viction and  a  consequent  ruin  from  which  at  the  approach  of  old 
age  he  was  still  striving  to  recover  by  means  of  fi'esh  ventures. 
Jacques  CoBur  was  born  at  Bourges  at  the  close  of  the  fourteenth 
century.  His  father  was  a  furrier,  already  sufficiently  well  esta- 
blished and  sufficiently  rich  to  allow  of  his  son's  manying,  in  1418, 
the  provost's  daughter  of  his  own  city.  Some  years  afterwards 
Jacques  Coeur  underwent  a  troublesome  trial  for  infi'action  of  the 
rules  touching  the  coinage  of  money;  but  thanks  to  a  conmiutation 
of  the  penalty,  graciously  accorded  by  Charles  VII.,  he  got  off  with 
a  fine,  and  from  that  time  forward  directed  all  his  energies  towards 
commerce.  In  1432,  a  squire  in  the  service  of  the  duke  of  Bur- 
gundy was  travelling  in  the  Holy  Land  and  met  him  at  Damascus 
''in  company  with  several  Venetians,  Genoese,  Florentine,  and 
Catalan  traders  "  with  whom  he  was  doing  business.  "  He  was," 
says  his  contemporary,  Thomas  Basin,  "  a  man  unlettered  and  of 
plebeian  family,  but  of  great  and  ingenious  mind,  well  versed  in  the 
practical  affairs  of  that  age.  He  was  the  first  in  all  France  to 
build  and  man  ships  which  transported  to  Africa  and  the  East 
woollen  stuffs  and  other  produce  of  the  kingdom,  penetrated  as  far 
as  Egypt,  and  brought  back  with  them  silken  stuffs  and  all  manner 
of  spices  which  they  distributed  not  only  in  France,  but  in  Catalonia 
and  the  neighbouring  countries,   whereas  heretofore   it   was  by 


I  I 


ill. 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  YEAHS'  WAR.  897 

means  of  the  Venetians,  the  Genoese,  or  the  Barcelonese  that  siich 
supplies  found  their  way  into  France."  Jacques  Coeur,  tempora- 
rily established  at  Montpellier,  became  a  great  and  a  celebrated  mer- 
chant. In  14?33  Charles  VII.  put  into  his  hands  the  direction  of  the 
mint  at  Paris,  and  began  to  take  his  advice  as  to  the  administration 
of  the  crown's  finances.  In  1440  he  was  appointed  moneyman  to 
the  king,  ennobled  together  with  his  wife  and  children,. commissioned 
soon  afterwards  to  draw  up  new  regulations  for  the  manufacture 
of  cloth  at  Bourges,  and  invested  on  his  own  private  account  with 
numerous  commercial  privileges.  He  had  already  at  this  period,  it 
was  said,  three  hundred  manufacturing  hands  in  his  employment, 
and  he  was  working  at  the  same  time  silver,  lead,  and  copper  mines 
situated  in  the  environs  of  Tarare  and  Lyons.  Between  1442  and 
1446  he  had  one  of  his  nephews  sent  as  ambassador  to  Egypt,  and 
obtained  for  the  French  consuls  in  the  Levant  the  same  advantages 
as  were  enjoyed  by  those  of  the  most  favoured  nations.  Not  only 
his  favour  in  the  eyes  of  the  king  but  his  administrative  and  even  his 
political  appointments  went  on  constantly  increasing.  Between  1444 
and  1446  the  king  several  times  named  him  one  of  his  commissioners 
to  the  estates  of  Languedoc  and  for  the  installation  of  the  new 
parliament  of  Toulouse.  In  1446  he  formed  one  of  an  embassy 
sent  to  Italy  to  try  and  acquire  for  France  the  possession  of  Genoa, 
which  was  harassed  by  civil  dissensions.  In  1447  he  received 
from  Charles  VII.  a  still  more  important  commission,  to  bring 
about  an  arrangement  between  the  two  popes  elected,  one  under 
the  name  of  Felix  V.,  and  the  other  under  that  of  Nicolas  V. ;  and 
he  was  successful.  His  immense  wealth  greatly  contributed  to  his 
influence.  M.  Pierre  Clement  [Jacques  Coeur  et  Cliarles  VILj  ou  la 
France  au  quinzieme  siecle  ;  t.  ii.,  pp.  1 — 46]  has  given  a  list  of 
thirty-two  estates  and  lordships  which  Jacques  Coeur  had  bought 
either  in  Berry  or  in  the  neighbouring  provinces.  He  possessed, 
besides,  four  mansions  and  two  hostels  at  Lyons;  mansions  at 
Beaucaire,  at  Beziers,  at  St.  Pouryain,  at  Marseilles,  and  at  Mont- 
pellier ;  and  he  had  built,  for  his  own  residence,  at  Bourges,  the 
celebrated  hostel  which  still  exists  as  an  admirable  model  of  Gothic 
and  national  art  in  the  fifteenth  century  attempting  combination 
with  the  art  of  Italian  renaissance.     M.  Clement,  in  his  table  of 


398  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIT. 

Jacques  Coeur's  wealth,  does  not  count  either  the  mines  which  he 
worked  at  various  spots  in  France,  nor  the  vast  capital,  unknown, 
which  he  turned  to  profit  in  his  commercial  enterprises ;  but,  on 
the  other  hand,  he  names,  with  certain  et  ceterasj  forty-two  tcourt- 
personages  or  king's  officers  indebted  to  Jacques  Coeur  for  large  or 
small  sums  he  had  lent  them.  We  will  quote  but  two  instances  of 
Jacques  Cceur's  financial  connexion,  not  with  courtiers,  however, 
but  with  the  royal  family  and  the  king  himself.  Margaret  of 
Scotland,  wife  of  the  dauphin,  who  became  Louis  XI.,  wrote 
with  her  own  hand  on  the  20th  of  July,  1445:  "We,  Margaret, 
dauphiness  of  Viennois,  do  acknowledge  to  have  received  from 
Master  Stephen  Petit,  secretary  of  my  lord  the  king  and  receiver- 
general  of  his  finances  for  Languedoc  and  Guienne,  two  thousand 
livres  of  Tours,  to  us  given  by  my  said  lord,  and  to  us  advanced  by 
the  hands  of  Jacques  Coeur,  his  moneyman,  we  being  but  lately  in 
Lorraine,  for  to  get  silken  stuflF  and  sables  to  make  robes  for  our 
person.''  In  1449,  when  Charles  VII.  determined  to  drive  the 
English  from  Normandy,  his  treasury  was  exhausted,  and  he  had 
recourse  to  Jacques  Coeur.  "  Sir,"  said  the  trader  to  the  king, 
"  what  I  have  is  yours,"  and  lent  him  two  hundred  thousand 
crowns ;  "  the  effect  of  which  was,"  says  Jacques  Duclerq,  "  that 
during  this  conquest  all  the  men-at-arms  of  the  king  of  France  and 
all  those  who  were  in  his  service  were  paid  their  wages  month  by 
month." 

An  original  document,  dated  1450,  which  exists  in  the  "  cabinet 
des  titres  "  of  the  National  Library,  bears  upon  it  a  receipt  for 
60,000  livres  from  Jacques  Coeur  to  the  king's  receiver-general  in 
Normandy,  "  in  restitution  of  the  like  sum  lent  by  me  in  ready 
money  to  the  said  lord  in  the  month  of  August  last  past,  on 
occasion  of  the  surrendering  to  his  authority  of  the  towns  and 
castle  of  Cherbourg,  at  that  time  held  by  the  English,  the  ancient 
enemies  of  this  realm."  It  was  probably  a  partial  repayment  of 
the  two  hundred  thousand  crowns  lent  by  Jacques  Coeur  to  the 
king  at  this  juncture,  according  to  all  the  contemporary  chro- 
niclers. 

Enormous  and  unexpected  wealth  excites  envy  and  suspicion  at 
the  same  time  that  it  confers  influence ;  and  the  envious  before 


Chai»,xxiv.]      the  hundred  tbabs*  wab. 


300 


long  become  enemies.  Sullen  murmurs  against  Jacques  Creur 
ii^ere  raised  in  the  king's  own  circle;  and  tto  way  in  which  he  had 
begun  to  make  his  fortune,  the  coinage  of  questionable  moneji 
fumighed  some  specious  ground  for  them.  There  is  too  general  an 
inclination  amongst  potentates  of  the  earth  to  give  an  easy  ear  to 
reasons,  good  or  bad,  for  dispensing  with  the  gratitude  and 
respect  otherwise  due  to  those  who  servo  them.  Charles  VII., 
after  having  long  been  the  patron  and  debtor  of  Jacques  Coeur,  all 
at  once,  in  1451,  shared  the  suspicions  aroused  against  him.  To 
accusations  of  grave  abuses  and  malversations  in  money  matters 
iras  added  one  of  even  more  importance*  Agnes  Sorel  had  died 
eighteen  months  previously  [February  9th,  1450] ;  and  on  her 
death-bed  she  had  appointed  Jacques  Ccour  one  of  the  three 
executors  of  her  will.  In  July,  1451 ,  Jacques  was  at  TalUebourg, 
in  Guyenne,  whence  he  wrok)  to  his  wife  that  **  he  was  in  as  good 
case  and  was  as  well  with  the  king  as  ever  he  had  been,  whatever 
any  body  might  say,"  Indeed  on  the  22nd  of  July  Charles  VII. 
granted  him  a  **  sum  of  772  livres  of  Tours  to  help  him  to  keep  up 
his  condition  and  to  be  more  honourably  equipped  for  his  service;" 
and,  nevertheless,  on  the  Slst  of  JiJy,  on  the  information  of  two 
persons  of  the  court,  who  accused  Jacques  Coaur  of  having  poisoned 
Agnes  Sorel,  Charles  ordered  his  arrest  and  the  seizure  of  his 
goods,  on  which  he  immediately  levied  a  hundred  thousand  crowns 
for  the  purposes  of  the  war.  Commissioners  extraordinary,  taken 
from  amongst  the  king's  grand  council,  were  charged  to  try  him ; 
and  Charles  VII.  declaimed,  it  is  said,  that  "if  the  said  moneyraan 
were  not  found  liable  to  the  charge  of  having  poisoned  or  caused  to 
be  poisoned  Agnes  Sorel,  he  threw  up  and  forgave  all  the  other  cases 
against  him/'  The  accusation  of  poisoning  was  soon  acknowledged 
to  be  false,  and  the  two  informers  were  condemned  as  calumniators; 
but  the  trial  was  nevertheless  proceeded  with.  Jacques  Coeur  was 
accused  **  of  having  sold  arms  to  the  infidels,  of  having  coined  light 
crowTis,  of  having  pressed  on  board  of  his  vessels,  at  Montpellier, 
several  individuals,  of  whom  one  had  thrown  himself  into  the  sea 
from  desperatiouj  and  lastly  of  having  appropriated  to  himself  pre^ 
its  made  to  the  king  in  several  towns  of  Languedoc,  and  of  having 
practised  in  that  country  ftx?quent  exaction,  to  the  prejudice  of  the 


400 


HISTORY  OP  FRANCE, 


[C^p.  XXIV. 


king  as  well  as  of  his  subjects/'  After  twenty- two  montlis  of 
iraprisonraetit,  Jacques  Coeur,  on  tbe  29tli  of  May,  1453,  was 
convicted,  in  the  king's  name,  on  divers  charges,  of  which  several 
entailed  a  capital  penalty;  but  "whereas  Pope  Nicholas  V.  had 
issued  a  rescript  and  made  request  in  favour  of  Jacques  Ccmuv 
aud  regard  also  being  had  to  services  received  from  him^** 
Charles  VII,  spared  his  Mfe,  "on  condition  that  he  should  pay  to 
tho  king  a  hundred  thousand  crowns  by  way  of  restitution,  three 
hundred  thousand  by  way  of  fine,  and  should  be  kept  in  prison 
until  the  whole  claim  was  satisfied  ;'*  and  the  decree  ended  ai 
follows  :  "  We  have  declared  and  do  declare  all  the  goods  of  tilt 
said  Jacques  Cceur  confiscated  to  uSj  and  we  have  banished  and 
do  banish  this  Jacques  Coeur  for  ever  fi^m  this  realm,  reserving 
thoreanent  our  own  good  pleasure/' 

After  having  spent  nearly  three  years  more  in  prison^ 
ported  from  dungeon  to  dungeon,  Jacques  Coeur,  thanks  to 
faithful  and  zealous  affection  of  a  few  friends,  managed  to  mc^ 
firom  Beaucaire,  to  embark  at  Nice  and  to  reach  Rome,  wl 
Pope  Nicholas  V.  welcomed  him  with  tokens  of  lively  int 
Nicholas  died  shortly  afterwards,  just  when  he  was  preparing  an 
expedition  against  the  Turks,  His  successor,  Calixtus  IIL,  carried 
out  his  design  and  equipped  a  fleet  of  sixteen  galleys*  This  fleet 
required  a  commander  of  energy,  resolution^  and  celebrity,  Jaccjues 
CoDur  had  lived  and  fought  with  Dunois,  Xaintrailles,  La  Hire,  and 
the  most  valiant  French  captains ;  he  was  known  and  popular  in 
Italy  and  the  Levant ;  and  tho  pope  appointed  him  captain-genend 
of  the  expedition.  Charles  YIL'a  moneyman,  ruined,  convietedi 
and  banished  from  France^  sailed  away  at  the  head  of  tho  pope'i 
squadron  and  of  some  Catalan  pirates  to  carry  help  against  the 
Turks  to  Rhodes*  Chios,  Lesbos,  Lemnos,  and  the  whole  Grecian 
archipelago.  On  arriving  at  Chios  in  Novemberj  145G,  ho  feU  ill 
there,  and  perceiving  his  end  approaching  he  wrote  to  his  king  '*to 
commend  to  him  his  children  and  to  beg  that,  considering  the  grdst 
wealth  and  honours  he  had  in  his  time  enjoyed  in  the  king*s  service, 
it  might  be  the  king's  good  pleasure  to  give  something  to  his  cluldren 
in  order  that  they,  even  those  of  them  who  were  secular,  might  be 
able  to  live  honestly,  without  coming  to  want/*     He  died  at  Chios 


Chap.  XXTV.]  THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR. 


403 


on  the  23 th  of  November,  1456,  and,  according  to  the  historian 
John  d'Auton,  who  had  probably  lived  in  the  society  of  Jacques 
CcBur's  children,  "he  remamed  interred  in  the  church  of  the 
Cordeliers  in  that  islandj  at  the  centre  of  the  choir," 

We  have  felt  bound  to  represent  with  some  detaU  the  active  and 
energetic  life,  prosperous  for  a  long  while  and  afterwards  so 
pnevons  and  hazardous  up  to  its  very  last  day,  of  this  great 
French  merchant  at  the  close  of  the  middle  ages,  who  was  the  first 
to  extend  afar  in  Europe,  Africa,  and  Asia  the  commercial  relations 
of  France^  and,  after  the  example  of  the  great  Italian  merchants, 
to  make  an  attempt  to  combine  politics  with  commerce,  and  to 
promote  at  one  and  the  same  time  the  material  interests  of  his 
oouBtry  and  the  influence  of  his  government.  There  can  be  no 
doubt  but  that  Jacques  CcBur  was  unscrupulous  and  frequently 
Timonary  as  a  man  of  business ;  but,  at  the  same  time,  he  was  in- 
veDtive,  able,  and  bold,  and,  whilst  pushing  his  own  fortunes  to  the 
utmost,  he  contributed  a  great  deal  to  develope,  in  the  ways  of 
peace,  the  commercial,  industrial,  diplomatic,  and  artistic  enter- 
prise of  France  •  In  his  relatione  towards  his  king,  Jacques  Coeur 
Waa  to  Charles  VIL  a  servant  often  over-adventurous,  slipperyj  and 
Compromising,  but  often  also  useful,  fuU  of  resource,  eflScient,  and 
devoted  in  the  hour  of  difficulty.  Charles  VII,  was  to  Jacques 
Cceur  a  selfish  and  ungrateful  patron  who  contemptuously  de- 
serted the  man  whose  brains  he  had  sucked,  and  ruined  him 
pitilessly  after  having  himself  contributed  to  enrich  him  unscru- 
Jtiiously, 

We  have  now  reached  the  end  of  events  under  this  long  reign ; 
^  ttiat  remains  is  to  run  over  the  siibstantial  resnlts  of 
Charles  VII/s  government  and  the  melancholy  imbroglios  of  his 
fetter  years  with  his  son,  the  turbulent,  tricky,  and  wickedly  able 
"Orn-conspirator  who  was  to  succeed  him  under  the  name  of 
_  iiouis  XI. 

W  One  fact  is  at  the  outset  to  be  remarked  upon ;  it  at  the  first 
hlugb  appears  singular  but  it  admits  of  easy  explanation.  In  the 
I  first  nineteen  years  of  his  reign,  from  1423  to  1442,  Charles  VII. 
^k  ^ety  frequently  convoked  the  states-general,  at  one  time  of  northern 
H  fTance  or  Langue  d'oO,  at  another  of  southern  France  or  Langue 
K ^ud  9.  


404  HISTORY  OF  FRANCE.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

d'oc.     Twenty-four  such  assemblies  took  place  during  this  period 
at  Bourges,  at  Selles  in  Berry,  at  Le  Puy  in  Velay,  at  Meibi- 
sur-Yfevre,  at  Chinon,  at  Sully-sur-Loire,  at  Tours,  at  Orleans,  at 
Nevers,  at  Carcassonne,  and  at  different  spots  in  Languedoc.     It 
was  the  time  of  the  great  war  between  France  on  the  one  side  and 
England  and  Burgundy  allied  on  the  other,  the  time  of  intrigues 
incessantly  recurring  at  court,  and  the  time  Ukewise  of  carelessness 
and  indolence  on  the  part  of  Charles  VII.,  more  devoted  to  his 
pleasures  than  regardful  of  his  government.     He  had  incessant 
need  of  states-general  to  supply  him  with  money  and  men  and 
support  him  through  the  difficulties  of  his  position.     But  when, 
dating  from  the  peace  of  Arras  (September  21, 1435),  Charles  VIL, 
having  become  reconciled  with  the  duke  of  Burgundy,  was  delivered 
from  civil  war  and  was  at  grips  with  none  but  England  alone, 
already  half  beaten  by  the  divine  inspiration,  the  triumph,  and  the 
martyrdom  of  Joan  of  Arc,  his  posture  and  his  behaviour  under- 
went a  rare  transformation.   Without  ceasing  to  be  a  coldly  selfish 
and  scandalously  licentious   king  he  became  a  practical,  hard- 
working, statesmanlike  king,  jealous  and  disposed  to  govern  by 
himself,  but  at  the  same  time  watchful  and  skilful  in  availing  him- 
self of  the  able  advisers  who,  whether  it  were  by  a  happy  accident 
or  by  his  own  choice,  were  grouped  around  him.     **  He  had  his 
days  and  hours  for  dealing  with  all  sorts  of  men,  one  hour  with 
the   clergy,   another   with   the   nobles,  another   with   foreigners, 
another  with  mechanical  folks,  armourers,  and  gunners ;  and  in 
respect  of  all  these  persons  he  had  a  full  remembrance  of  their 
cases  and  their  appointed  day.     On  Monday,  Tuesday,  and  Thurs- 
day he  worked  with  the  chancellor  and  got  through  all  claims 
connected  with  justice.  On  Wednesday  he  first  of  all  gave  audience 
to  the  marshals,  captains,  and  men  of  war.     On  the  same  day  he 
held  a  council  of  finance,  independently  of  another  council  which 
was  also  held  on  the  same  subject  every  Friday."     It  was  by  such 
assiduous  toil  that  Charles  VII.,  in  concert  with  his  advisers,  was 
able  to  take  in  hand  and  accomplish,  in  the  military,  financial,  and 
judicial  system  of  the  realm,  those  bold  and  at  the  same  time 
prudent   reforms  which  wrested   the   country  from   the  state  of 
disorder,  pillage,  and  general  insecurity  to  which  it  had  been  a 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE  HUNDRED  TEARS'  WAR.  405 

prey,  and  commenced  the  era  of  that  great  monarchical  adminis- 
tration which,  in  spite  of  many  troubles   and  vicissitudes,  was 
destined  to  be  during  more  than  three  centuries  the  government 
of  France.      The  constable  De   Richemont  and  marshal   De  la 
Fayette  were  in  respect  of  military  matters  Charles  VII.*s  principal 
advisers ;  and  it  was  by  their  counsel  and  with  their  co-operation 
that  he    substituted   for    feudal   service   and   for  the   bands   of 
wandering   mercenaries   {rcnitiers)^  mustered  and   maintained   by 
hap-hazard,   a  permanent  army,  regularly   levied,   provided  for, 
paid   and   commanded,  and   charged   with   the   duty  of  keeping 
order  at  home   and   at   the   same   time   subserving   abroad   the 
interests  and  policy  of  the  State.     In  connexion  with  and  as  a 
natural  consequence  of  this  military  system  Charles  VII.  on  his 
own   sole   authority  established  certain  permanent  imposts  with 
the  object  of  making  up   any  deficiency  in  the  royal   treasury 
whilst  waiting  for  a  vote  of  such  taxes  extraordinary  as  might 
be   demanded   of   the   states-general.      Jacques   Coeur,    the  two 
brothers  Bureau,  Martin  Gouge,  Michel  Lailler,  WilUam  Cousinot, 
and  many  other  councillors,  of  burgher  origin,  laboured  zealously 
to  establish  this  administrative  system,  so  prompt  and  freed  from 
all  independent  discussion.     Weary  of  wars,   irregularities,   and 
suflTerings,  France,  in  the  fifteenth  century,  asked  for  nothing  but 
peace  and  security ;  and  so  soon  as  the  kingship  showed  that  it  had 
an  intention  and  was  in  a  condition  to  provide  her  with  them,  the 
nation  took  little  or  no  trouble  about  political  guarantees  which  as 
yet  it  knew  neither  how  to  establish  nor  how  to  exercise ;  its  right 
to  them  was  not  disputed  in  principle,  they  were  merely  permitted 
to  fall  into  desuetude ;  and  Charles  VII.,  who  during  the  first  half 
of  his  reign  had  twenty-four  times  assembled  the  states-general  to 
ask  them  for  taxes  and  soldiers,  was  able  in  the  second  to  raise 
personally  both  soldiers   and  taxes  without   drawing  forth  any 
complaint  hardly,  save  from  his  contemporary  historian,  the  bishop 
of  Lisieux,  Thomas   Basin,  who   said,   "Into   such   misery  and 
servitude  is  fallen  the  realm  of  France,  heretofore  so  noble  and 
free,  that  all  the  inhabitants  are  openly  declared  by  the  generals  of 
finance  and  their  clerks  taxable  at  the  will  of  the  king  without  any 
body's  daring  to  murmifr  or  even  ask  for  mercy.**     There  is  at 


406 


HISTORY   OF  FRAKCE. 


[Cbap.  xxrv- 


every  juncture,  and  in  all  ages  of  the  worlds  a  certain  amount, 
though  varying  very  much,  of  good  order,  justice,  and  security, 
without  which  men  cannot  get  on ;  and  when  they  lack  it  either 
through  the  fault  of  those  who  govern  them  or  through  their  own 
foult,  they  seek  after  it  with  the  bHnd  eyes  of  passion  and  iH^es^^ 
ready  to  accept  it^  no  matter  what  power  may  procure  it  for  the 
or  what  price  it  may  cost  them,'   Charles  VI L  was  a  prince  neither 
to  be  respected  nor  to  bo  loved,  and  during  many  years  his  reigw 
had  not  been  a  prosperous  one;  but  "he  re-quickened  justice  which 
had  been  a  long  while  dead,'*  says  a  chronicler  devoted  to  the  duke 
of  Burgundy;  "ho  put  an  end  to  the  tyrannies  and  exactions  of 
the  men-at-arms,  and  out  of  an  infinity  of  murderers  and  robliers 
he  formed  men  of  resolution  and  honest  life;  he  made  regukr 
paths  in  murderous  woods  and  forests,  all  roads  safe,  all  towns 
peaceful,  all  nationalities  of  his  kingdom  tranquil ;  he  chastised 
the  evil  and  honoured  the  goodj  and  he  was  sparing  of  human 
blood/' 

Let  it  be  added,  in  accordance  with  contemporary  testimony, 
that  at  the  same  time  that  ha  estabHslied  an  all  but  arbitrary  rule 
in  military  and  financial  matters,  Charles  VII.  took  care  that 
*'  practical  justice,  in  the  case  of  every  individual,  was  promptly 
rendered  to  poor  as  weU  as  rich,  to  small  as  well  as  great;  he 
forbade  all  traflBcking  in  the  oflSces  of  the  magistracy,  and  every 
time  that  a  place  became  vacant  in  a  parliament  he  nmda  no 
nomination  to  it  save  on  the  presentations  of  the  court." 

Questions  of  military,  financial,  and  judicial  organization  were 
not  the  only  ones  which  occupied  the  government  of  Charles  VI L 
He  attacked  also  ecclesiastical  questions  which  were  at  that  period 
a  subject  of  passionate  discussion  in  Christian  Europe  smongsi 
the  councils  of  the  Church  and  in  the  closets  of  princes.    ITii 
celebrated  ordinance,  known  by  the  name  of  Prmjmatk  Sanctum 
which  Charles  VI L  issued  at  Bo  urges  on  the  7th  of  July,  143i 
with  the  concurrence  of  a  grand  national  council,  laic  and  eoc 
siastical,  was  directed  towards  the  carrying  out,  in  the  in 
regulations  of  the  French  Church  and  in  the  relations  either  of  t- 
State  with  the  Church  in  France  or  of  the  Church  of  France  wi 
the  papacy,   of  reforms  long  since  desired  or  dreaded   by 


Chap.  XXIV.]         THE.  HUNDRED  YEARS'  WAR.  407 

different  powers  and  interests.  It  would  be  impossible  to  touch 
here  upon  these  diflficult  and  delicate  questions  without  going  far 
beyond  the  limits  imposed  upon  the  writer  of  this  history.  All 
that  can  be  said  is  that  there  was  no  lack  of  a  religious  spirit  or  of 
a  liberal  spirit  in  the  Pragmatic  Sanction  of  Charles  VII.,  and  that 
the  majority  of  the  measures  contained  in  it  were  adopted  with  the 
approbation  of  the  greater  part  of  the  French  clergy  as  well  as  of 
educated  laymen  in  France. 

In  whatever  light  it  is  regarded,  the  government  of  Charles  VII. 
in  the  latter  part  of  his  reign  brought  him  not  only  in  France  but 
throughout  Europe  a  great  deal  of  fame  and  power.  When  he  had 
driven  the  English  out  of  his  kingdom,  he  was  called  Charles  the 
Victorious ;  and  when  he  had  introduced  into  the  internal  regula- 
tions of  the  State  so  many  important  and  effective  reforms  he  was 
called  Charles  the  WelUserved.  "  The  sense  he  had  by  nature," 
says  his  historian  Chastellain,  **  had  been  increased  to  twice  as 
much  again,  in  his  straitened  fortunes,  by  long  constraint  and 
perilous  dangers  which  sharpened  his  wits  perforce."  "  He  is  the 
king  of  kings,"  was  said  of  him  by  the  doge  of  Venice,  Francis 
Foscari,  a  good  judge  of  policy;  "there  is  no  doing  without 
him." 

Nevertheless,  at  the  close,  so  influential  and  so  tranquil,  of  his 
reign,  Charles  VII.  was  in  his  individual  and  private  life  the  most 
desolate,  the  most  harassed,  and  the  most  unhappy  man  in  his 
kingdom.  In  1442  and  1450  he  had  lost  the  two  women  who  had 
been,  respectively,  the  most  devoted  and  most  useful  and  the  most 
delightful  and  dearest  to  him,  his  mother-in-law,  Yolande  of 
Arragon,  queen  of  Sicily,  and  his  favourite,  Agnes  Sorel.  His 
avowed  intimacy  with  Agnes  and  even,  independently  of  her  and 
after  her  death,  the  scandalous  licentiousness  of  his  morals  had 
justly  offended  his  virtuous  wife,  Mary  of  Anjou,  the  only  lady  of 
the  royal  estabUshment  who  survived  him.  She  had  brought  him 
twelve  children ;  and  the  eldest,  the  dauphin  Louis,  after  having 
from  his  very  youth  behaved  in  a  factious,  harebrained,  turbulent 
way  towards  the  king  his  father,  had  become  at  one  time  an  open 
rebel,  at  another  a  venomous  conspirator  and  a  dangerous  enemy. 
At  his  birth,  in  1423,  he  had  been  named  Louis  in  remembrance 


408  HISTORY  OF  PBANCB.  [Chap.  XXIV. 

of  his  ancestor  St.  Louis  and  in  hopes  that  he  would  resemble  him. 
In  1440,  at  seventeen  years  of  age,  he  allied  himself  with  the  great 
lords,  who  were  displeased  with  the  new  military  system  established 
by  Charles  VII.,  and  allowed  himself  to  be  drawn  by  them  into  the 
transient  rebellion  known  by  the  name  of  Prdguery.  VHien  the 
king,  having  put  it  down,  refused  to  receive