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We had not long forth past, but that we saw
Black Cerberus, the hideous hound of hell,
With bristles reared, and with a three-mouthed

Foredinning the air with his horrible yell.
Out of the deep dark cave where he did dwell,
The goddess straight he knew, and by and by,
He peaste59 and couched while that we passed




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The flames upspring, and cruelly they creep
From wall to roof, till all to cinders waste:
Some fire the houses where the wretches sleep,
Some rush in here, some run in there as fast;
In every where or sword or fire they taste.
The walls are torn, the towers whirled to the

There is no mischief but may there be found.
Cassandra saw I yet there how they haled
From Pallas' house with spercled 54 tress un-

done. Her wrists fastbound, and with Greeks' rout empaled:

465 And Priam eke, in vain how he did run To arms, when Pyrrhus with despite hath done To cruel death, and bathed him in the baigne65 Of his son's blood, before the altar slain. But how can I describe the doleful sight, That in the shield so lifelike fair did shine! Sith in this world, I think was never wight Could have set forth the half, nor half so fine. I can no more but tell how there is seen Fair Ilium fall in burning red glede 56 down, 475 And, from the soil, great Troy, Neptunus'

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yfere, 60

That (oh, alas!) it was a hell to hear.

We stayed us straight, and with a rueful fear Beheld this heavy sight, while from mine eyes The vapored tears downstilled here and there,


521 67 Casts up lumps of putrid matter. 58 Placed. 59 Becaine silent. 60 Together mixed. 61 Distilled.

49 Fate.

51 Ceage. 60 Predestined judgment. 52 Die: pass away.

53 At hand. 54 Scattered. b5 Bath.

56 Glowing fragments.





And Sorrow eke in far more woeful wise,

have ensample to encourage them in their well Took on with plaint, upheaving to the skies

doing, I, Sir John Froissart, will treat and Her wretched hands, that with her cry the rout

record an history of great louages and praise. Gan all in heaps to swarm us round about.

But, or I begin, I require the Saviour of all the “Lo here,” said Sorrow, "princes of renown,

5 world, who of nothing created all things, that That whilom sat on top of Fortune's wheel he will give me such grace and understanding, Now laid full low; like wretches whirléd down that I may continue and persevere in such wise, Even with one frown that stayed but with a that whoso this process readeth or heareth may smile:

take pastance, pleasure and ensample. It is And now behold the thing that thou erewhile 10 said of truth that all buildings are masoned and Saw only in thought, and what thou now shalt

wrought of divers stones, and all great rivers hear

are gurgede and assembled of divers surges and Recount the same to Kesar, King, and Peer.”

springs of water; in likewise all sciences are Then first came Henry, Duke of Buckingham, extraught? and compiled of divers clerks; of His cloak of black all pilledø2 and quite forworn, 15 that one writeth, another peradventure is Wringing his hands, and Fortune oft doth ignorant; but by the famous writing of ancient blame,

authors all things ben known in one place or Which of a duke hath made him now her scorn, other. Then to attain to the matter that I have With ghastly looks, as one in manner lorn,

enterprised, I will begin first by the grace of Oft spread his arms, stretched hands he joins as

20 God and of the blessed Virgin our Lady Saint fast With rueful cheer, and vapored eyes upcast.

Mary, from whom all comfort and consolation

proceedeth, and will take my foundation out of His cloak he rent, his manly breast he beat, 540

the true chronicles sometime compiled by the His hair all torn about the place it lay,

right reverend, discreet and sage master John My heart so molt83 to see his grief so great 25 le Bel, sometime canon in Saint Lambert's of As feelingly, me thought, it dropped away: Liege, who with good heart and due diligence His eyes they whirled about withouten stay,

did his true devoir in writing this noble With stormy sighs the place did so complain As if his heart at each had burst in twain.

chronicle, and did continue it all his life's days,

in following the truth as near as he might, to Thrice he began to tell his doleful tale.

30 his great charge and cost in seeking to have the And thrice the sighs did swallow up his voice, perfect knowledge thereof. He was also in his At each of which he shriekėd so withal,

life's days well beloved and of the secret As through the heavens rivėd with the noise; council with the lord Sir John of Hainault, who Till at the last recovering his voice,

551 is often remembered, as reason requireth, hereSupping the tears that all his breast berained,64 35 after in this book, for of many fair and noble On cruel Fortune weeping thus he plained.

adventures he was chief causer, and by whose

means the said Sir John le Bel might well know John Bourchier, Lord Berners 1 and hear of many divers and noble deeds, the

which hereafter shall be declared. Truth it is 1467-1533

40 that I, who have enterprised this book to ordain

for pleasure and pastance, to the which always SELECTION

I have been inclined, and for that intent I have From The Chronicles of Sir John Froissart,

followed and frequented the company of divers 1360-c, 1390

noble and great lords, as well in France, Eng

45 land, and Scotland, as in divers other countries, (Berner's translation, 1524-5)

and have had knowledge by them, and always To the intent that the honourable and noble to my power justly have enquired for the adventures of feats of arms, done and achieved truth of the deeds of war and adventures that by the wars of France and England, should have fallen, and especially sith the great battle notably be enregistered and put in perpetual 50 of Poitiers, 10 whereas the noble king John of memory, whereby the prewe? and hardy may France was taken prisoner, as before that time

I was but of a young age or understanding. 62 Threadbare. 63 Melted.

64 Rained down upon. 1 Chancellor of Exchequer under Henry VIII.

? Glory.

6 Pastime. enjoyed the King's favor for an unusually long time. He 6 Turned into whirlpools. mare bis translation of Froissart (a notable work of 7 Extructed. Early Tudor prose) at the command of the King. Froig- 8 Flourished in the early 14th century. While living sart was a contemporary of Chaucer, who enjoyed the with Sir John of Hainault, in France, he compiled two patronage of Philippa, queen of Edward III. He wrote volumes of Chronicles on contemporary history. his Chronicles of the wars of his age in France, England, • Duty, service. Scotland and Spain, between 1360 and 1390 in the French 10 Fought in France, 1356, a famous victory of the tongue.

English over the French.


4 Ere.


Howbeit, I took on me, as soon as I came from case to do any great deed of arms: we have more school, to write and recite the said book, and need of rest.' These words came to the earl of bare the same compiled into England, and Alençon, who said: “A man is well at ease to be presented the volume thereof to my lady charged with such a sort of rascals, to be faint Philippa of Hainault,"l noble Queen of Eng- 5 and fail now at most need.” Also the same land, who right amiably received it to my great season there fell a great rain and a clipse with a profit and advancement. And it may be so terrible thunder, and before the rain there that the same book is not as yet examined or came flying over both battles a great number of corrected so justly as such a case requireth; for crows for fear of the tempest coming. Then feats of arms dearly bought and achieved, the 10 anon the air began to wax clear, and the sun to honour thereof ought to be given and truly shine fair and bright, the which was right in the divided to them that by prowess and hard Frenchmen's eyen, and on the Englishmen's travail have deserved it. Therefore to acquit backs. When the Genoways were assembled me in that behalf, and in following the truth as together and began to approach, they made a near as I can, I, John Froissart, have enter- 15 great leap and cry to abash the Englishmen, but prised this history on the foresaid ordinance and they stood still and stirred not for all that; then true foundation, at the instance and request of a the Genoways again the second time made true lord of mine, Robert of Namur, Knight, another leap and a fell cry, and stept forward a lord of Beaufort, to whom entirely I owe love little, and the Englishmen removed not one and obeisance, and God grant me to do that 20 foot: thirdly, again they leapt and cried, and thing that may be to his pleasure. Amen. went forth till they came within shot; then

they shot fiercely with their cross-bows,

Then the English archers stept forth one pace OF THE BATTLE OF CRESSY

and let fly their arrows so wholly (together) and

When the Between the king of England and the French 25 so thick, that it seemed snow. king

Genoways felt the arrows piercing through

heads, arms and breasts, many of them cast The Englishmen, who were in three battles down their cross-bows and did cut their strings lying on the ground to rest them, as soon as they and returned discomfited. When the French saw the Frenchmen approach, they rose upon 30 king saw them fly away, he said: “Slay these their feet fair and easily without any haste and rascals, for they shall lets and trouble us witharranged their battles. The first, which was out reason.” Then ye should have seen the the prince's battle, the archers there stood in men of arms dash in among them and killed a the manner of a herse3 and the men of arms in great number of them: and ever still the the bottom of the battle. The earl of North-35 Englishmen shot whereas they saw thickest ampton and the earl of Arundel with the second press; the sharp arrows ran into the men of battle were on a wing in good order, ready to arms and into their horses, and many fell, comfort the prince's battle, if need were. horse and men, among the Genoways, and when

The lords and knights of France came not to they were down, they could not relieve again, the assembly together in good order, for some 40 the press was so thick that one overthrew came before and some came after in such haste another. And also among the Englishmen and evil order, that one of them did trouble there were certain rascals that went afoot with another. When the French King saw the great knives, and they went in among the Englishmen, his blood changed, and said to his men of arms, and slew and murdered many as marshals: “Make the Genoways go on before 45 they lay on the ground, both earls, barons, and begin the battle in the name of God and knights, and squires, whereof the king of Saint Denis." There were of the Genoways England was after displeased, for he had rather cross-bows about a fifteen-thousand, but they they had been taken prisoners. were so weary of going afoot that day a six The valiant king of Bohemia called Charles of leagues armed with their cross-bows, that 50 Luxembourg, for all that he was nigh blind, they said to their constables: “We be not well when he understood the order of the battle, ordered to fight this day, for we be not in the he said to them about him: “Where is the lord !1 Queen of Edward III, and mother of the Black Charles


son?” His men said: “Sir, we canPrince.

not tell; we think he be fighting.” Then he 1 Generally written Crecy. The Battle was fought in 1346.

55 said: “Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and 2 Lines in battle array. ? Probably a wedge-formation of archers shaped like a 5A mistranslation for "une esclistre," or flash of triangular narrow herse (or barrow), back of which and on lightning.-Macaulay. the flanks of which were the inen-of-arms. Cf. Oman in Social England, Vol. II, pp. 174-5,

Relieve is a mistranslation of "releves," for Genoese.

"se relever,"

6 Hinder.
7 Rise.

friends in this journey: I require you bring me archers of the prince's battle and came and so far forward, that I may strike one stroke fought with the men of arms hand to hand. with my sword.” They said they would do Then the second battle of the Englishmen came his commandment, and to the intent that they to succor the prince's battle, the which was should not lose him in the press, they tied all 5 time, for they had as then much ado; and they their reins of their bridles each to other and with the prince sent a messenger to the king, set the king before to accomplish his desire, who was on a little windmill hill. Then the and so they went on their enemies. The lord knight said to the king: “Sir, the earl of WarCharles of Bohemia his son, who wrote himself wick and the earl of Oxford, Sir Raynold king of Almaine and bare the arms, he came in 10 Cobham and other, such as be about the good order to the battle; but when he saw that prince your son, are fiercely fought withal and the matter went awry on their party, he de- are sore handled; wherefore they desire you parted, I cannot tell you which way. The that you and your battle will come and aid king his father was so far forward that he them; for if the Frenchmen increase, as they strake a stroke with his sword, yea and more 15 doubt they will, your son and they shall have than four, and fought valiantly and so did his much ado.” Then the king said: “Is my son company; and they adventured themselves dead or hurt or on the earth felled?“No sir," so forward, that they were there all slain, and quoth the knight, “but he is hardly matched; the next day they were found in the place wherefore he hath need of your aid.” “Well,” about the king, and all their horses tied each to 20 said the king, “return to him and to them that other.

sent you hither, and say to them that they send The earl of Alençon came to the battle right no more to me for any adventure that falleth, ordinately and fought with the Englishmen, as long as my son is alive: and also say to them and the earl of Flanders also on his part. These that they suffer him this day to win his spurs; two lords with their companies coasted the 25 for if God be pleased, I will this journey 10 be his English archers and came to the prince's and the honour thereof, and to them that be battle, and there fought valiantly long. The about him.” Then the knight returned again French king would fain have come thither, to them and shewed the king's words, the which when he saw their banners, but there was a greatly encouraged them, and repoined" in that great hedge of archers before him. The same 30 they had sent to the king as they did. day the French king had given a great black Sir Godfrey of Harcourt would gladly that courser to Sir John of Hainault, and he made the earl of Harcourt his brother might have the lord Thierry of Senzeille to ride on him and been saved; for he heard say by them that saw to bear his banner. The same horse took the his banner how that he was there in the field bridle in his teeth and brought him through all 35 on the French party; but Sir Godfrey could not the currourse of the Englishmen, and as he come to him betimes, for he was slain or he would have returned again, he fell in a great could come at him, and so was also the earl of dike and was sore hurt, and had been there Aumale his nephew. In another place the earl dead, an his page had not been, who followed of Alençon and the earl of Flanders fought him through all the battles and saw where his 40 valiantly, every lord under his own banner; master lay in the dike, and had none other let but finally they could not resist against the but for his horse, for the Englishmen would puissance of the Englishmen, and so there they not issue of their battle for taking of any were also slain, and divers other knights and prisoner. Then the page alighted and relieved squires. Also the earl Louis of Blois, nephew to his master: then he went not back again the 45 the French king, and the duke of Lorraine same way that they came, there was too many fought under their banners, but at last they in his way.

were closed in among a company of Englishmen This battle between Broye and Cressy this and Welshmen, and there were slain for all Saturday was right cruel and fell, and many a their prowess. Also there was slain the earl of feat of arms done that came not to my knowl- 50 Auxerre, the earl of Saint-Pol and many other. edge. In the night divers knights and squires In the evening the French king, who had lost their masters, and sometime came on the left about him no more than a three-score Englishmen, who received them in such wise

persons, one and other, whereof Sir John of that they were ever nigh slain; for there was Hainault was one, who had remounted once none taken to mercy nor to ransom, for so the 55 the king, for his horse was slain with an arrow, Englishmen were determined.

then he said to the king: “Sir, depart hence, for In the morning the day of the battle certain it is time; lose not yourself wilfully: if ye have Frenchmen and Almains perforce opened the loss at this time, ye shall recover it again an$ Marched on the flank of. Couriers. 10 Day's work, day's battle.

11 Repented.

other season." And so he took the king's horse and Bedford. These unhappy people of these by the bridle and led him away in a manner said countries began to stir, because they said perforce. Then the king rode till he came to the they were kept in great servage, and in the castle of Broye. The gate was closed, because beginning of the world, they said, there were it was by that time dark: then the king called 5 no bondmen, wherefore they maintained that the captain, who came to the walls and said: none ought to be bond, without he did treason “Who is that calleth there this time of night?" to his lord, as Lucifer did to God; but they said Then the king said: “Open your gate quickly, they could have no such battle, for they were for this is the fortune of France.” The captain neither angels nor spirits, but men formed to knew then it was the king, and opened the 10 the similitude of their lords, saying why should gate and let down the bridge. Then the king they then be kept so under like beasts; the entered, and he had with him but five barons, which they said they would no longer suffer, for Sir John of Hainault, Sir Charles of Mont- they would be all one, and if they laboured or morency, the lord of Beaujeu, the lord d'Aubi- did anything for their lords, they would have gny and the lord of Montsault. The king would 15 wages therefor as well as other. And of this not tarry there, but drank and departed thence imagination was a foolish priest in the country about midnight, and so rode by such guides as of Kent called John Ball, for the which foolish knew the country till he came in the morning to words he had been three times in the Bishop of Amiens, and there he rested.

Canterbury's prison: for this priest used oftenThis Saturday the Englishmen never de- 20 times on the Sundays after mass, when the parted from their battles for chasing of any man, people were going out of the minster, to go but kept still their field, and ever defended into the cloister and preach, and made the themselves against all such as came to assail people to assemble about him, and would say them. This battle ended about evensong time. thus: “Ah, ye good people, the matters goeth

25 not well to pass in England, nor shall not do THE SPEECH OF JOHN BALL

until everything be common, and that there be In the mean season while this treaty was, no villains nor gentlemen, but that we may be there fell in England great mischief and all unied together, and that the lords be no rebellion of moving of the common people, by greater masters than we be. What have we which deed England was at a point to have 30 deserved, or why should we be kept thus in been lost without recovery. There was never servage? We be all come from one father and realm nor country in so great adventure as it one mother, Adam and Eve: whereby can they was in that time, and all because of the ease say or shew that they be greater lords than we and riches that the common people were of, be, saving by that they cause us to win and which moved them to this rebellion, as some- 35 labour for that they dispend. They are clothed time they did in France, the which did much in velvet and camlet; furred with grise, and we hurt, for by such incidents the realm of France be vestured with poor cloth: they have their hath been greatly grieved.

wines, spices and good bread, and we have the It was a marvellous thing and of poor drawing out of the chaff and drink water: they foundation that this mischief began in England, 40 dwell in fair houses, and we have the pain and and to give ensample to all manner of people travail, rain and wind in the fields; and by I will speak thereof as it was done, as I was that that cometh of our labours they keep informed, and of the incidents thereof. There and maintain their estates: we be called their was an usage in England, and yet is in divers bondmen, and without we do readily them countries, that the noblemen hath great 45 service, we be beaten; and we have no sovereign franchise over the commons and keepeth them to whom we may complain, nor that will hear in servage, that is to say, their tenants ought us nor do us right. Let us go to the king, he is by custom to labour the lord's lands, to gather young, and shew him what servage we be in, and bring home their corns, and some to and shew him how we will have it otherwise, or thresh and to fan, and by servage to make 50 else we will provide us of some remedy; and if their hay and to hew their wood and bring it we go together, all manner of people that be home. All these things they ought to do by now in any bondage will follow us to the intent servage, and there be more of these people in to be made free; and when the king seeth us, we England than in any other realm. Thus the shall have some remedy, either by fairness, or noblemen and prelates are served by them, and 55 otherwise.” Thus John Ball said on Sundays, specially in the county of Kent, Essex, Sussex when the people issued out of the churches in

1 A social reformer known as “the mad Priest of Kent." One of the leaders in the Peasants' Revolt in England in ? United. 1381. He was executed at St. Alban's for preaching in- 3 A costly Eastern fabric, but applied to the imitations surrection.

of it. Grise was a kind of grey fur.

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