Imatges de pàgina

CHAP. declaration of war. By the treaty of Bretigni


it was solemnly stipulated that France should renounce for ever all claim of sovereignty over the territories ceded to the English. Nothing therefore could be more audacious. and unprincipled, when tried by the dictates of morality, than the proceeding of Charles V. His plea, so far as he condescended to colour his measures with the technicalities of justice, appears to have been that, though the treaty of Bretigni had now been concluded more than eight years, the stipulated renunciations had never been executed. Yet this circumstance had been solely caused by his artificial delays. Edward III, confident in the high and merited reputation of himself and his son, entertained not the slightest suspicion of the new king of France, and did not allow himself to imagine that the French monarchy which had repeatedly been humbled at his feet, would ever dare willingly to unfurl its banners against him,


Froissart, Chap. ccxlvi.


Intelligence of the hostile and insulting CHAP. proceedings of Charles V. being brought to the court of London, Edward III, by the advice of his parliament, resumed the stile of king of France, and began vigorously to prepare for war". He saw that he had been deceived in relying upon the terror of his arms flowing from the past, and that he must now contend afresh for the monuments of his glory and the acquisitions of his prowess. Reasoning perhaps on chivalrous principles, he disdained to measure himself with the youthful tenant of the throne of France; and, while he appeared copious in measures of precaution and defence, he left the active direction of the campaign to his sons. Charles V. on the other hand had nothing of the spirit of chivalry: he contented himself with the wisdom of the cabinet, and never once during his reign appeared at the head of his armies. In the present instance he threatened the British dominions with an invasion,

* Rymer, Tom. VI, 43 Edv, 3, June 3.

1369. War.

CHAP. and obliged Edward III, to adopt measures XXVIII. of prevention on the side both of Scot


land and Ireland; at the same time that, having gained intelligence of the defenceless state of the English possessions in Picardy, he pushed forward a strong and rapid body of troops, and seized upon Abbeville, St. Valori and Crotoy, before Edward III. could take the proper steps for their relief1.

Duke of

in Picardy.

At length the duke of Lancaster, with a commands small but select army, sailed from Dover, and by his appearance at Calais, put an end to the real or ostensible preparations for invading the dominions of England. The duke of Burgundy, brother to the king of France, and intended admiral of his fleet, marched from Harfleur, its rendezvous, to watch and counteract the motions of the English general. The principal companion of the duke of Lancaster in this expedition was the illustrious sir Walter Manny, one of the original

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founders of the order of the Garter, and a CHAP. gallant and most distinguished coadjutor of 1369. Edward III. in all his expeditions into France m

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system of


Here were displayed the first symptoms Cautious of the military system of Charles V. Indif- the French ferent to the brilliant scenes of actual service in which he took no part, he fixed a stern and stedfast eye upon consequences and results. The maxims of war then fashionable were calculated to incite him to signalise the first campaign of his reign by some memorable achievement. The French army is said by seven times to have outnumbered the forces of the duke of Lancaster "; and therefore to the ardent and enterprising spirit of a young man it would have appeared as if they had it in their power to trample down and annihilate the English by a single effort. But the king of France thought otherwise. He remembered the discomfitures of Cressy

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CHAP. and Poitiers; and he knew that the present commander of the enemy burned with the most painful desire to place his name upon the same scroll with those of his father and his brother. Charles V. saw that the inhabitants of Picardy and Aquitaine earnestly desired to return under the sway of their native sovereign; and he was convinced that nothing could tend more strongly to that purpose, than his carefully providing for them time and opportunities for that purpose, and wasting the strength of the adversary in inactive campaigns. Like Fabius, he aimed by procrastination and delay to win back the conquests of the British Hannibal. Accordingly, his peremptory instructions to his brother were, by no consideration to be drawn into a general action. The English and French armies therefore faced each other from day to day, without proceeding any further than to mutual ostentation and menace.

An idle and ridiculous story is here intro


Fable of the monkish


• Froissart, ubi supra.

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