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XXII.

1359.

mayor, the sheriffs, and the court of alder- CHAP. men, and they undertook to defend the field for three days against all comers. Accordingly at the time appointed twenty-four combatants appeared, clad in complete armour, and bearing on their shields and surcoats the arms of the city of London. A variety of opponents presented themselves; but the city-combatants came off from every one of their contentions with the highest degree of credit and honour. The kings of France and Scotland, and many of the French nobility who had been taken prisoners at the battle of Poitiers, were among the witnesses of the spectacle. The citizens, says the historian, contemplated with the highest satisfaction this scene of their triumph; but were ravished with joy, when they discovered that Edward III, under the character of the mayor, and his four eldest sons, together with nineteen great barons of England, personating the sheriffs and aldermen, had done them the honour to fight under their cognisance .

d

Hollinshed, ad ann. Barnes, Book III, Chap. v, . 12.

сHAP. XXII.

1359.

We will conclude this chapter with a de

scription of the nuptial felicity of John of Harmony of Gaunt and his consort, as it is put into the Gaunt and mouth of the royal mourner by Chaucer, in

the
poem

in which he laments her untimely fate, commonly called the Book of the Duchess. He affirms his domestic condition to have been

his consort

in the nupo

gial state.

Of all happés the alderbest,
The gladdest, and the most at rest :
For trewély that sweté wight,
When I had wrong and she the right,
She wolden alwaie so godelie
Foryeve me so debonairlie;
In al my yothe, in allé chaunce,
She toke me in her

governaunce;
Therwith she was alwaie so trewe,
Our joye was ever iliche newe;
Our hertés werne so even a paire,
That never n'as that one contraire
Unto that other.
And thus we liv'd ful many a yere
So well, I cannot tellen how.

ver. 1279.

• alike, equally.

CHAP. XXIII.

GRAND INVASION OF FRANCE.-CHAUCER APPEARS

IN THE INVADING ARMY.-PEACE OF BRETIGNİ.

EARL OF RICHMOND CREATED DUKE OF LAN. CASTER. DEATH OF JOHN, KING OF FRANCE.

XXIII.

IN the midst of these festivals and splendid CHAP. exhibitions, Edward III. was engaged in the most serious discussions respecting peace and

1359.

war.

cluded

France.

The truce, which had been concluded be- Peace contween England and France in the year after between the battle of Poitiers, was to expire at the and midsummer of the present year; and this consideration had urged forward the negociations between Edward and his royal prisoner.

At length the conditions of a treaty of peace were mutually agreed upon, and signed by both parties on the twenty-fourth

CHAP. of March 2

The principal of these were the XXIII.

ransom of king John, the cession of Aqui1859.

taine and several adjacent provinces in full sovereignty to Edward III, and the renunciation on his part of all claim to the crown of France, as well as of his pretensions upon Normandy and the other northern provinces which had been held as fiefs by his ancestors, with the exception of Calais, and of a certain district which by the provisions of the treaty was annexed to it.

The terms of accommodation having been

rejected by

the states of France.

b

Duchesne, Histoire d'Angleterre, Liv. XV, Chap. xi.

Polydore Vergil, Historia Anglica, Lib. XIX. Barnes, Book III, Chap. iv, §. 1. Collins, History of the Black Prince, ad ann. Matteo Villani (Istorie, Lib. IX, cap. ix.), who ascribes the whole transaction to the usata astuzia Inghilese, states the terms otherwise, and represents the whole of Normandy, in addition to the other cessions, as resigned in full sovereignty by king John. Duchesne (ubi supra) follows the authority of Vil. lani. I am unwilling to adopt this representation, as it seems utterly inconsistent with the generosity with which Edward in other respects treated his royal captive. The terms of the treaty are not stated by Froissart. Walsingham, in a loose and rambling style, represents king John as hypocritically tendering to Edward Flanders, Picardy, Aquitaine, and other provinces.

XXIII,

settled between the respective monarchs, were chAP. next sent over to France for the acceptance

1359. . of the regency and states-general of that kingdom. Here however the scene was reversed. The states-general, with one voice, under the approbation of the dauphin and his council, pronounced the conditions too rigorous to be endured, and declared that they would not purchase even the freedom of their sovereign, and the peace of their country, at so high a price.

Edward was probably much disappointed Expedition at this decision. Peace having been signed between the two sovereigns, any further

prosecution of the war seems to have been regarded in England as out of the question. The nuptials of the earl of Richmond were probably solemnised under this impression; the concord of nations, and domestic union, were intended to go hand in hand: and a contemporary historian informs us, that the

Sandwich.

с

Froissart, Vol. I, Chap. cci. M. Villani, Lib. IX, cap. xviii. Walsingham, ad ann.

• M, Villani. Lib. IX, cap. ix.

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