1517 Then the King made another expedition to France with his noble following, and the noble Prince also, and Duke Henry of Lancaster, and more than ten thousand others, whose titles I will not give, for it behoves me to dispatch quickly. But, as the book says, he rode through Artois and Picardy and Vermandois and Champagne, Burgundy and Brie, right to the Yvonne (?), I assure you, and came as far as before Paris. There were the noble and renowned King and the noble and valiant Prince; there they were encamped in the open, drawn up in battle array #8212; about that can there be no debate — but they did not engage. Then they turned their expedition towards Chartres. There the peace was agreed to, which was afterwards sworn; in this peace-making the Prince of right noble conditions was concerned, for by him and his admonition the two Kings came to terms, and King John was set free from prison; and there by the peace was all Guyenne delivered into the keeping of the noble King and of his son the very valiant Prince. And this peace whereof I speak was in the year of our Lord one thousand three hundred with sixty, at the time when the nightingale sings, eight days on in the gay month of May, when birds wax bold.
1555 They returned to England bringing their great array. Very noble feast was made them, and right well were they welcomed. After the day of All Saints, just at this time, of that I am sure, the two Kings were together at Calais, methinks; and the Prince and all the barons and all the knights of repute of all the realm of England, and of all the realm of France also, were there of their free will. There each one swore on the book, and also without reserve on the holy and precious sacrament, that they would hold the peace surely (?) without ever breaking it and without renewing the war. Thus both the noble Kings agreed in making peace. The King of France went away, who made but short stay further; the noble King and the Prince of noble conditions returned with great joy to England, bringing with them the hostages.
1585 The gentle Prince married no long while afterwards a lady of great renown, who enkindled love in him, in that she was beauteous, charming, and discreet. And after that marriage he delayed no longer, but betook himself without tarrying, in brief season, to Gascony, to take possession of his land and country. The very noble Prince took his wife with him, for that he loved her greatly. He had of his wife two children. He reigned seven years in Gascony, in joy, in peace, and in pleasantness, for all the princes and barons of all the country round about came to him to do him homage; for a good lord, loyal and sage, they held him with one accord, and rightly, if I dare say, for since the birth of God such fair state was never kept as his, nor more honourable, for ever he had at his table more than fourscore knights, and full four times as many squires. There were held jousts and feasts in Angoulême and Bordeaux; there abode all nobleness, all joy and jollity, largesse, gentleness, and honour, and all his subjects and all his men loved him right dearly, for he dealt liberally with them. Those who dwelt about him esteemed and loved him greatly, for largesse sustained him and nobleness governed him, and discretion, 149 temperance and uprightness, reason, justice and moderation: one might rightly say that such a Prince would not be found, were the whole world to be searched throughout its whole extent. Neighbours and enemies had great dread of him, for so lofty was his courage that he held potent sway everywhere, so that his deeds should not be forgotten, neither in words nor actions.
1639 Now it is not right that I should be backward in telling of a noble Spanish expedition, but very right that he should be esteemed therefor; for it was the noblest enterprise that ever Christian undertook, for by force he put back in his place a king whom his younger bastard brother had disinherited, as you will be able to hear if you give ear a little.
1649 Now it is full time to begin my matter and address myself to the purpose to which I am minded to come, to what I saw befall after the battle in Brittany, in which the Duke and his company conquered and gained his land by the power of England. And there was slain Charles of Blois and many a noble and courteous baron, of high and puissant lineage, both of France and of Picardy. There were Sir Bertrand du Guesclin, of great renown, and many high lords of degree, of noble and puissant lineage, whose names I will not mention, because I might delay too much to come to my purpose, and to shorten my words the more.
1669 You know that Sir Bertrand, right bold and valiant, with the approval of the Pope of Rome, led out of the realm of France the whole of the Great Company and a great part of the mounted men, and drew to himself many a man — barons, bachelors and earls, knights, squires, and viscounts. At the time of which I relate there was between Spain and Aragon a right marvellous war that had lasted, in very cruel fashion, the space of fourteen years and more. On this account Sir Bertrand du Guesclin, bold-hearted and true, was chosen, and the good Jean de Bourbon, styled Count of la Marche, and the gallant and loyal Marshal d’Audrehem and Eustace d’Aubréchicourt, of noble disposition (?), Sir Hugh of Calverley, who gladly smites with his sword, and Sir Matthew de Gournay, and many other true knights, to go (?) into that country and by their great valour bring about peace between the Kings, and open the passes and defiles of Granada, that these many valiant men and good lords might set out to conquer. Thus were they all accorded. For this agreement Sir Bertrand and his men received great monies.
1709 When they had set forth on their way, he and all his company, they passed the defiles of Aragon, and then in right brief season they sent tidings to the King of Castile by a messenger, how he should accord and swear peace to Aragon, and that he should open the passage for them to go on a holy expedition in which all good feats of arms might fortune against the enemies of God. He, who was proud and disdainful, and feared little the power either of them or others, conceived sore displeasure thereat in his heart, and said that he would esteem himself but little if he obeyed such people. Then he let assemble his forces and prepared himself right stoutly to defend his country. Then he summoned great and small, gentlemen, freemen, and serfs, and thought to be well assured of defending his land against them. Fair, sweet sire, may it please you, hearken! English, French and Bretons, Normans, Picards and Gascons, all entered into Spain, and so did the Great 150 Company; the good Hugh of Calverley, and Gournay his comrade, and many good and bold knights, crossed there without delay, and gained by their emprise all the land that King Pedro had formerly conquered. Right sore grieved at heart was Don Pedro of Spain, the king; he says he will esteem himself no whit if he take not vengeance for all this. But little did his power avail, for not a month had passed when, by the great disloyalty of those who were bound to serve him, it behoved him to quit Spain and abandon his royal state (?), for all those who should have loved him were disloyal to him, so that one should verily say he ought not to be called lord that is not beloved of his people. This is manifest by this king, who was of so proud a disposition that he had fear of no man, but weened well that none could do him any hurt, howsoever great his power might be; but in no great while he had no friend nor relative, cousin-german, uncle, nor brother that did not part from him. They crowned his bastard brother, bestowed on him all the land, and all in Castile held him for lord, both great and small.
1777 Don Pedro durst wait no longer, but betook himself then incontinent to Seville, where his treasure had remained. He had galleys and ships loaded, and his treasure placed in them. Hastily he embarked, as the story says; day and night he sailed until he came to the port of Corunna, the which is in Galicia. And the Bastard was no fool; he rode through Castile; not a city remained of which he did not get possession; there were neither earls nor barons that did not do him homage, saving only one reputed sage, — Fernandez de Castro, they that knew him called him — and right valiant and noble was he, and he vowed, so God aided him, that never for a day would he forsake him who was king by right, and if they all would do it — those who had the power — yet could not he suffer a bastard to hold a kingdom. But all the others of his country were altogether agreed that Henry should remain king of Castile and of Toledo and Seville, and Cordova, and of Leon. By the accord of all the barons was Castile thus conquered, and by the power and emprise of Sir Bertrand du Guesclin. Now you will be able to hear the end, how it fortuned after this day, not a score of years ago.
1817 Now begins a noble tale, of noble and puissant import (?), for pity, love, and justice dwelled together in his upbringing, as you will hear. You have well heard me recount the forgoing matter. Right wretched was King Pedro at Corunna on the sea, and full of cruel, bitter grief (?), for they had failed him that should have been his friends. Exceeding sad was he and could devise no means whereby he might obtain succour, neither for pure gold nor for treasure. One day the King called to mind that he had long had alliances and amity — wherewith he held himself full content — with the King of England, of such noble disposition, for God had given him such virtue that since the time of King Arthur there was no king of such power; and if for that alliance, and for love and lineage, and for God, and for knightliness, he would send him succour, he might yet be saved.
1847 Thereupon he called his council, and showed them the matter, and every one said he spoke well. Then a noble lord, Fernandez de Castro, the gentle, who was of right good counsel, spoke and said, ‘Sire, hearken to me. By the faith I owe you, first of all, if you believe me, you will send straight to the Prince of Aquitaine, 151 who is his son; right valiant is he and bold, and so strong in men-of-arms that I ween there is no man living, save God, that would do him wrong; and, if you find him well minded to succour you, be certain that you will have Spain again in your hands before this year is over.’ To all this they readily agreed.
1867 Don Pedro, the king of Castile, writes and seals incontinently, begging the Prince humbly that for God’s sake first of all, and for love and pity, for alliance and amity, and by reason of lineage also, and for the right he has, without any doubt, that it please him, the right noble Prince, puissant, honourable, valiant and doughty, to succour justice and him, who petitions him in the name of patience; and that he would of his valiancy send ships to set him across, and bring him sagely, for he would fain speak with him. The messenger came without delay.
1885 At Bordeaux he found the Prince, who marvelled right greatly when he had read the letter. So soon as he had looked it through he called his knights and all his best councillors. He showed them all the letter, even as it was indited, and said to them, ‘Fair lords, by my troth, I marvel at what I behold. Foolish is he who puts his trust in his might. You have well seen that France was, as I think, the most puissant Christian country, and now have God and right granted us strength to conquer our right; and also I have heard tell that the leopards and their company would spread abroad in Spain, and if it could be in our time we should be held the more valiant. Good counsel in this matter, my lords, you see to be right convenient. Now speak your minds thereon.’ Then answered Chandos and next Thomas of Felton, — these two were comrades, of his most privy council, — and said to him, of a truth, that he could not accomplish this unless he had some alliance with the King of Navarre, who at that time kept the passage of the defiles. By the advice they tendered they summoned the King of Navarre, the Count of Armagnac also, and all the barons of the noble land of Aquitaine. And then all the great council assembled. Each one said what seemed to him good to do in the emprise; and know that it was arranged, by such council and such agreement, as I hear in my record, that vessels should be made ready at Bayonne without delay, men-at-arms and archers also, to go forthwith to seek King Peter in Spain. Sir Thomas Felton, the great seneschal of Aquitaine, was to be their captain. But whilst they were lading their vessels and making preparation | 1941 the King Don Pedro in proper person arrived at Bayonne, bringing his sons and daughters, and that remnant of his treasure that God had left him, precious stones, pearls, silver and gold. When the Prince had knowledge of the tidings, they seemed to him good and pleasing. He went to Bayonne to meet him, and nobly welcomed him in great joy and pastance, and there they gave many a banquet. Why should I lengthen out and delay my story? Incontinent all were of accord, the King of Navarre also, to aid the King Don Pedro, and bring him again into Spain; since that for justice and amity he besought him so humbly, he ought assuredly to be succoured. All were agreed on this point, and henceforward the valiant Prince made no further tarrying.
1966 He returned to Bordeaux and bade his men prepare. Many a noble and doughty knight he summoned throughout his land; nor did any delay, great nor small; Chandos was not behind, for he went to the Great Company in quest of 152 companions, up to fourteen pennons, apart from the others who returned from Spain when they heard that the Prince wished to aid the King Don Pedro to his right. They took leave of King Henry who gave it them at once, and paid them right gladly, for they were no longer needful to him. He was King of Castile at that time, and held himself well satisfied that none could wrest it from him, howsoever great his power. To be brief, there then returned Sir Eustace d’Aubréchicourt, Devereux, Cresswell, Briquet, whose name is often on people’s lips, and thereafter the Lord of Aubeterre that ever gladly followed after war, and the good Bernard de la Salle. All the merry companions returned to Aquitaine, but first they endured great sufferings, for when the Bastard knew verily that the Prince wished without delay to succour the King Don Pedro he wrought them sore hindrance; he let cut all the roads, and night and morning he made to spring out many an ambush on them, and caused them to be attacked in divers fashion by geneteurs and villains. But God, who is sovereign Lord, brought them back in safety, right straight to the principality, whereat the Prince was right joyous, for he was right eager to accomplish his desire. And then without slackening he had gold and silver prepared and money to pay his men.
2015 Sirs, the time I speak of was after the birth of God one thousand three hundred sixty and six years, when the gentle bird ceases to sing, three weeks before the day when Jesus Christ of His sweetness was born of the Virgin Mary. Have no doubt of the time.
2023 Very nobly did the gentle Prince order his payment. Then might you see swords and daggers forged at Bordeaux, coats of mail, and bassinets, lances, axes and gauntlets. Exceeding noble would the equipment have been , had there been thirty kings.
2031 The muster of the noble Prince’s army was held at Dax. There assembled the barons and the knights from round about. All the companions camped in the fields at that time. In the Basque country, among the mountains, the great companies camped; they abode there more than two months, and endured great privations, all to await the passage, that they could go on their way. There they stayed all winter up to the month of February, until all were assembled, the distant and the near. 2049 But, according to what I heard, the Prince set out from Bordeaux | fifteen days after Christmas. And then the Princess had right bitter grief at heart, and then she reproached the goddess of love who had brought her to such great majesty, for she had the most puissant Prince in this world. Often she said: ‘Alas!’ what should I do, God and Love, if I were to lose the very flower of nobleness, the flower of loftiest grandeur, him who was no peer in the world in valour? Death! thou wouldst be at hand. Now have I neither heart nor blood nor vein, but every member fails me, when I call to mind his departure; for all the world says this, that never did any man adventure himself on so perilous an expedition. O very sweet and glorious Father, comfort me of your pity.’ Then did the Prince hearken to his gentle lady’s words; he gave her right noble comfort and said to her: ‘Lady, let be your weeping, be not dismayed, for God has power to do all.’ The noble Prince gently comforts the lady, and then sweetly takes leave of her, saying 153 lovingly: ‘Lady, we shall meet again in such wise that we shall have joy, we and all our friends, for my heart tells me so.’ Very sweetly did they embrace and take farewell with kisses. Then might you see ladies weep and damsels lament; one bewailing her lover and another her husband. The Princess sorrowed so much that, being then big with child, she through grief delivered and brought forth a very fair son, the which was called Richard. Great rejoicings did all make, and the Prince also was right glad at heart, and all say with one accord ‘Behold a right fair beginning.’
2103 Then the Prince set forth, he waited no more; no longer did he tarry there. Very rich was his array. He came to Dax and abode there, for news was brought him that the Duke of Lancaster was on his way, commanding and maintaining a great company. Then he was minded to stay and await his brother. And know that the noble Duke when he heard it said that the Prince had set froth from Bordeaux, was sore grieved, for he thought not to come in time. He had landed in the Cotentin, and hastened much to ride, he and all the knights; he passed through the Cotentin into Brittany. To meet him there was a fair company, for Duke John of Brittany came; with him the greatest barons of his land, those he held most dear, Clisson, Knolles, and many who did him great honour. He feasted him in his land, but he made there but short stay, for it behoved him to make speed on account of the Prince, who would fain cross. He took leave without delay of Duke John and his wife.
2138 Night and morning the noble Duke of Lancaster rode until he came right to Bordeaux, and found there the Princess, mistress of all honour, who welcomed him sweetly and very graciously asked news of her country, how they fared in England. And the Duke recounted all. Then the Duke tarried no more, for he left Bordeaux; he rode through the Landes, hastening right speedily till he came to the city of Dax. He found his brother, the Prince, who came to meet him with more than twenty knights, and know, moreover, that at this time the Count of Foix was there. Great joy of each other did they make as soon as they met together. Then they kissed and embraced, and the Prince said, smiling: ‘Duke of Lancaster, sweet brother, welcome in our land. Tell me, how fares the King our father, and the Queen our mother, all our brothers, and all our friends?’ ‘Sire,’ said he, ‘by God’s mercy they fare no other than well. Our father tells you to send word to him if there lack aught that he can do. Our mother gives you greeting. All our brothers commend themselves to you, and send word by me that gladly would they have come if they had had leave.’
2177 Conversing thus they came to Dax, holding each other by the hand, and that night they made very merry. Of their talk I know no more, nor will I recount anything further. The Count of Foix returned into the land where he dwelt, and the Prince stayed at Dax awaiting the time and hour when he could pass the defiles. As yet he knew not whether they would cross by the pass of Roncevaux, for it was said that the King of Navarre was allied to Henry the Bastard, whereat many were dismayed. But at this time and juncture Hugh of Calverley took Miranda-de-Arga and Puente la Reina, whereat Navarre was affrighted. The King sent his 153 messenger to the Prince forthwith, without delay, and announced the deed to him, what Hugh had done to them. Afterwards the loyal-hearted Sir Martin came from Navarre; by his sage counsel he helped to secure for them the passage.
2209 Right soon after this day it befell that the King of Navarre came to St. Jean Pied du Port, and the Duke of Lancaster and Chandos went then to meet him. They escorted him towards the Prince to a place where they found him. Peyrehorade was the name of the town and the house. There came King Pedro, and their oath was renewed on the body of Jesus, and each one was agreed as to what he was to have. The next day the King, the Duke, and Chandos left, for it was settled that the vanguard should pass, first of all, the next Monday; and they without long delay reached St. Jean. There they were lodged, and the next day proclamation was made that every one should make ready to pass the next Monday, those in sooth who were chosen to cross in the vanguard. Now it is right that I should take heed to enumerate the vanguard. Fair sirs, first I should name | 2243 the Duke of Lancaster, who was valiant, bold, and courageous, and had in his company many noble knights. There was the good Thomas d’Ufford, bold and strong, the good Hugh of Hastings, and his noble comrade William Beauchamp, son of the Earl of Warwick, the Lord of Neville also, and many a good bold knight, whom now I will not name, as I wish to speak of them elsewhere. Next I must name Chandos, Constable of the army, leader of all the Companions, whose names I will tell you. First of all the Lord de Rays, good and valiant in deeds, next the Lord d’Aubeterre, eager in pursuit of war, Messire Garsis de Castel, valiant and loyal-hearted, and Gaillard (?) de la Motte also, and Aimery de Rochechouart, and Messire Robert Camyn, Cresswell, and the true-hearted Briquet and Messire Richard Taunton and William Felton and Willecock le Boteller and Peverell of the proud heart, John Sandes, a man of renown, and John Alein, his companion, next afterwards Shakell and Hawley. All these pennons were companions to Chandos, and placed under his pennon. Next were the Marshals, loyal men of valour, one Stephen of Cosinton, a very noble knight, the other the good Guichard d’Angle, who ought not to be set aside, rather is it very right that he should be remembered; with them they had the banner of St. George, and many other knights in their company.
2291 Now, my lords, I have enumerated and completely named the vanguard, which lingered not, but made the passage wholly, on Monday, the 14th of February. But since the just God suffered death for us on the cross there was no such painful passage, for one saw men and horses, that suffered many ills, stumble on the mountain; there was no fellowship; the father made no tarrying for the son; there was cold so great, snow and frost also, that each one was dismayed, but by the grace of God all passed in due time, ten thousand horses and more, and the men upon them, and camped in Navarre. And the next day all those who were with the Prince in his division made ready.
2315 Now it is very right that I should recount to you the names of these noble barons: first of all the Prince and the King Don Pedro, whom I should rightly name, and the King of Navarre also — these three passed without delay; Messire Louis de 155 Harcourt and Eustace d’Aubréchicourt, Messire Thomas Felton and the Baron de Parthenay, and all the brothers De Pommiers, that were noble knights, and then the Lord de Clisson and the good Lord de Curton. The right courageous Lord de la Warre was there, and Messire Robert Knolles, of short speech. The Viscount de Rochechouart was also there, and the rightful Lord of Bourchier and many other honourable knights, and the Seneschal of Aquitaine, a noble captain, and the Seneschals of Poitou, the Angoumois, of Saintonge, Périgord, and Quercy, he that was bold and loyal; moreover, I will also name to you the High Seneschal of Bigorre. These I mention were assuredly in the Prince’s division, and good four thousand others, whose names I will not give, but they were good twenty thousand horse that all passed on the Tuesday. And the King of Navarre also crossed with the Prince, and escorted and guided him beyond the passes. And God, who was merciful, permitted them all to cross, but great hardships did the noble Prince of Aquitaine suffer in the passage.
2361 On the Wednesday the rearguard also crossed: the noble King of Majorca, and the valiant, courteous, and right gentle Count of Armagnac, the bold Berard d’Albret, the Lord of Mussidan, and other honourable knights of bold fame. And there were also other pennon-bearers: [to wit] Sir Bertucat d’Albret; and also know assuredly that the Bour de Breteuil was there, and the Bour Camus, whose deeds I am not forgetting; Naudon de Bageran was there also, and Bernard de la Salle and Lami: all these, without doubt, were placed in the rearguard and passed on the Wednesday out of the defile. Now I will tell you truly. Each one of these divisions camped in the concha of Pampeluna. There they found bread and wine, so that they were filled.
2387 Afterwards, without long delay, the noble Lord d’Albret crossed with the noble, valiant and loyal-hearted Captal, each one with two hundred fighting-men, valiant and bold men-at-arms. Now the army was all collected together again. The tidings were brought to Henry the Bastard of Spain, who was lodged, he and his company, at Santo Domingo. Now he was not greatly dismayed, but on the advice he received was minded to sent the Prince a letter. This he did, writing these words in the letter, as you shall hear: —
2402 ‘Most puissant, honoured, and noble Prince of Aquitaine! Dear Sire, it is a certain thing, as we have heard, that you and your men are come and have crossed to this side of the passes, and that you have made agreements and alliance with our enemy, whereat we have great wonder. I know not who counsels you, for I have never done you wrong or harm, wherefore you should hate us or take from us that little land that God has lent us of His will: but forasmuch as we know well that there is no lord holding land in this world nor any creature to whom God has given such fortune in arms as He has to you, and since we know well that you and your men seek only to have battle, we beg you in all courtesy that you will inform us merely in what place you will enter our seignory, and we pledge our word to you that we will be over against you to give battle.’
Then he had his letter sealed, and sent it by his herald, who journeyed without fail until he found the Prince: forthwith he delivered to him the letter.156
2441 And the Prince rejoiced greatly at the letter and showed it to his barons and set forth to them the tenour. Then King Pedro was summoned and all the council convened to advise about the answer, how he should send back and reply to him, But meanwhile Sir Thomas Felton craved a gift of the Prince, that it would please him to grant him only this one thing, that he might ride out ahead to go and spy out their army; and the Prince granted it him. And then Thomas called the companions, as many as he wished to have. Thomas d’Ufford and the lion-hearted William Felton, Hugh of Stafford and Knolles of short speech, were there; and there came also to the muster Messire Simon Burleigh. There were certainly, as I heard say, eight score lances, and there were three hundred archers. Then they began to ride through Navarre, day and night; they had guides and conductors. At Logroño they crossed the river, whose waters were swift and fierce, and camped at Navaretta to hear and know about their doings, how their army was being directed. Whilst this was being done the King of Navarre was taken by treason; whereat the Prince and his council were amazed. Now was Messire Marin de La Carra ruler and governor of all the country of Navarre. By the advice of the Queen, who is worthy to have every blessing, he came to the Prince and related to him the capture, in what wise it befell, and begged him to keep and govern the country. The Prince marvelled greatly when he heard it word for word, and answered graciously: | 2493 ‘I am sore grieved at the capture. Now I cannot recover him, but you know well, in good sooth, the very best that I can do is to quit his land. If good befalls me, it shall be for him, so please God, as much as for myself. I have no other counsel.’ Thereupon he bade the army make ready to set out in the early morning. Then he prayed Messire Martin to procure him guides; and know verily that so he did. Then he crossed the pass of Arruiz, which was very strait and narrow — much hardship did the army suffer there — and afterwards, of a surety, he journeyed through Guipuzcoa. But scant provisions did he find for his army right through the land until he came to Salvatierra.
2515 Now was the army come to Spain and it spread itself abroad over the country. The noble company of knights lodged near Salvatierra, in the villages; they thought to attack the town, but know well that without delay it surrendered to the King Don Pedro as soon as it beheld him. There the Prince abode six days in the country round about, and meanwhile his men were at Navaretta, who often rode out and spied on the Bastard’s army until it happened that one night they made their attack on their watch. All on horseback they charged upon them and took the knight that had command of the watch, and two or three others. Then the alarm was raised. To Messire Simon Burleigh fell prisoner the knight aforesaid. Then incontinent they came back to Navaretta, where they were lodged, and from the prisoners they had taken they learnt the truth about the army. Speedily they sent word to the Prince.
2543 And the Bastard, on the other side, knew the tidings of the other army, and said that he would break up his camp and come to meet them. And when Thomas Felton knew it, and all his companions, they departed from Navaretta. They rode always in front of the army to report more exactly the tidings. They stayed on the other side until the Spaniards had crossed and they were minded to come this side 157 of the mountains before Vittoria. In front of Vittoria, on the plain, Sir Thomas Felton and his companions camped. They sent word of this to the Prince, just what they had done. When the Prince heard the matter, even so as it stood, how the Bastard was coming straight to him, eager for battle, then he said: ‘So help me Jesus Christ, the Bastard is right bold. In God’s name let us go, my lords, and take up our position before Vittoria. The next day he came in front of Vittoria. There the Bastard was not yet in sight, but was on the plain on the other side of the mountain. When the Prince was in the fields, there he found his knights. Very gladly did he see them, and said to them, ‘Fair, sweet Sirs, be welcome more than a hundred times.’
2581 As they thus talked together the currours were scouring the field. They brought word to the Prince . . . that they had seen, they thought, the enemy’s currours. Then was there a stir in the camp, and all the army gathered together. The cry ‘To arms’ might be heard. The Prince drew up his men and set his divisions in order. There might a man regale himself at the sight, one to whom naught was at stake, for one could see gleaming pure gold and azure and silver, gules and sable, also sinople and crimson and ermine; there was many a precious banner of silk and sendal also, for since the time of which I now tell you so noble a sight has not been seen. There was the vanguard drawn up very nobly that day. There might one see knighted squires of high degree. The King Don Pedro did the Prince first make knight, and afterwards Thomas of Holland, ever ready for deeds of arms, and then Hugh de Courteney, Philip and Peter, as I know well; John Trivet, Nicholas Bond; and the Duke, in whom all virtue abounds, knighted Raoul Camois, fair and courteous in deeds, and Walter Ursewick also, and then Thomas d’Auvirmetri and Messire John Grendon. There the noble and redoubtable Duke, of enduring fame, made twelve knights or thereabout. And know well that there incontinent was many a good knight made whose name I cannot tell; but, by what I heard related, the Prince, with his men, made that day more than two hundred.
2631 All day were they there in battle-order and ready to abide the onset. But it pleased not Mary’s Son that the enemies should come that day, for, by Saint Peter, the rearguard was behind more than seven of the country’s leagues, whereat the Prince was sore grieved. At vespers they went to their quarters. Then the Prince let cry that each one should return the next day right to that plain, and that no one should go beyond the vanguard, and that each one should be on his guard and should camp under his banner. But, by the faith I owe St. Peter, Sir Thomas Felton and William his companion went off to encamp, more than two leagues of the country away, methinks.
2651 Now it is full time that I should tell you of Don Tello, the noble earl, who addressed his brother the Bastard Henry in these words: ‘Sire,’ said he, ‘now listen to me. It is very true, as you know in sooth, that our enemies are lodged very near here, and therefore, if you so will and give me leave, I will ride out in the morning and report you the truth about the enemies, what they are doing.’ The Bastard replies to him forthwith that he fully approved of this proposal, and that Sancho, his brother, should accompany him, and D’Audrehem, the good Marshal, should also go; 158 the expedition should be made with six thousand mounted men; thus was the matter settled. Sir Bertrand du Guesclin would have gone on it, but he had arrived that day, it was said, for he came straight from Aragon. Thus were their dispositions taken. Fiercely do they threaten the English, saying that for their great insolence they would make them die in shame.
2681 Now may God aid the right! The Prince was encamped in front of Vittoria; and round about there was no hovel nor house not wholly full of his men. But the Prince the next day was not aware of the expedition that Don Tello was preparing; for know that without sleeping he rose at midnight, rode the broadest road straight up the mountain, until he brought his company right down a valley. First he met Hugh of Calverley, who was breaking up, and coming towards the Prince. The currours wrought great damage to his sumpter beasts and waggons, whereat noise and shouting arose, and the currours ran up and down through the camp: many were killed in their beds. There the vanguard would have been sorely surprised had it not been for the noble Duke of Lancaster, full of valour; for as soon as he heard the shouting he sallied forth from his lodging and took his station on the mountain. There his company rallied, and all the others as best they could, and it is said that the Spaniards thought to take this mountain; but round the Duke and his banner all the banners of the army gladly gathered. Thither the Prince and Chandos came, and there the army was drawn up; there you might see the currours repulsed with force. Each one strove to acquit himself well.
2725 Then the main body of the Spaniards rode up and met Felton and Sir Richard Taunton, Degori Says (?), Ralph de Hastings, who cared not two cherries for death, and Sir Gaillard Beguer, and many a good and valiant knight: they were a good one hundred fighting-men together, great and small. Their company rallied on a little mountain, but Sir William, the valiant, very boldly and bravely charged the enemy like a man devoid of sense and discretion, on horseback, lance couched. Striking a Spaniard upon his flower-emblazoned shield, he made him feel through the heart his sharp blade of steel. Down to the ground he hurled him in the sight of all the people. Like a man full of great hardihood he rushed upon them, with drawn sword, and the Castilians by their might followed him on all sides, and threw spears and darts at him. They slew his horse under him, but Sir William Felton defended himself stoutly on foot, like a lion-hearted man; albeit his defence availed him little, for he was slain. God have mercy on him.
2769 And the others joined together on a mountain which they took; there the Spaniards made many an onslaught on them, fiercely attacking them without cessation, and hurling at them spears and darts and strong, sharp archegays. And they, who were very courageous, gave proof of their prowess like men of valour, for more than a hundred times that day they descended without ceasing, their sharp lances in their hands, and by force made them give way. Nor would the Castilians have been able to harm them, by casting lance or dart, had it not been for the French and Bretons, the Normans, Picards, and Burgundians, who came up a valley with Marshal d’Audrehem and Sir Jehan de Neufville. Those were together a thousand. As soon as they saw them, they all immediately dismounted. 159 The English and Gascons saw well that they cold not long withstand there, for they had no support, and the French on foot ran at full speed to attack them; and the others without slackening defended themselves fiercely, but they were not one hundred against more than six thousand. And these knights approved themselves well, and there did such feats of arms that never were Oliver nor Roland able to do more, as I have heard related. But their defence availed but little, for by force they had to yield themselves prisoners. There were taken: Hastings and Degori Says (?), Gaillard Beguer, a perfect knight, the three brothers Felton, and with them Richard Taunton, Mitton, and many others, whose names I have not mentioned: whereat the Prince was sore grieved, but he thought certainly that the whole army had come down through the pass and on that account he would not break up his army; for he would have gone to succour his men, had it not been for this, for that he was bound to do: but it was not so done. And they who had carried out their emprise, as soon as it was told them that the Prince was near there, departed at their speediest and turned back. They take the prisoners with them, treating them very harshly.
2827 Greatly did King Henry rejoice at their return, and he said to them: ‘Welcome, fair sirs, greatly am I beholden to you,’ and then added, in these express words: ‘All the others will follow. It is to his undoing that the Prince thinks to take my land and attack me: I will therefore cause him to know that great greed of possession has made him undertake this expedition. Whoso could take him prisoner, to him I would give so much silver and gold that he might make a treasure thereof.’ When the Marshal heard him, very softly he said to him: ‘Sire,’ quoth he, ‘what are you saying? As yet you have not discomfited all the good knights. But be sure and certain that you will find them proper men-at-arms when you fight against them. But if you will believe good counsel you will be able, in sooth, to discomfit them without striking a blow; if you will keep the defiles whereby they must pass and have your army well guarded. If you do not give them battle, through great lack of victuals you will see them quit Spain, or you will see them die of hunger.’ Thus was the Bastard King advised by French counsel. And the Prince was still encamped in battle-order before Vittoria, for he still waited there to see if the Bastard would come down, his troops drawn up, and his banners unfurled. That night he camped in the open. There was there none too good cheer, for many there were, by St. Martin, who had neither bread nor wine. None too pleasant was the stay there, for there were often conflicts and skirmishes with geneteurs; and of the English there were many slain, of them and of the others. Very ugly and foul was the weather, with rain and wind also. Sirs, the time I am telling you of | 2879 was in March, when it often rains, blows, and snows — never was worse weather — and the Prince was in the open, where there were many hardships to endure, both for men-at-arms and horses. And the Monday the Prince raised his camp and moved. He turned back through Navarre; he crossed a pass which is called by name the Pas de La Guardia. He journeyed until he came to camp at Viana, and speedily after this it befell that he passed the bridge of Logroño. The Prince, who is very anxious and eager for battle, camped that day in front of 160 Logroño, in the orchards and under the olive-trees. And the Bastard King learnt by spies that the Prince’s army was encamped before Logroño in the gardens. Then he stopped neither night nor morning; he turned back from St. Vincent and encamped on the river, in a vineyard, beneath Najares. A fair army he had, puissant and noble. Thereupon the Prince sent him a letter which ran thus: —
2909 ‘Right puissant and honourable Henry, who art called Duke of Trastamare, who else styles himself for the present time in his letters King of Castile. We have well heard the tidings of your noble letters present, that are fair and gracious, of which the tenour is in sooth that you would gladly know wherefore we have plighted our troth and are allied with your enemy, whom we hold as our friend. Know that we are bound to do it to fulfil the alliances made in the past, and for love and pity and to maintain the right; for you should assuredly feel in your heart that it is not right that a bastard should be king to disinherit the lawful heir. No man born of lawful wedlock should agree to that. Of another point we apprise you, that, whereas you have such renown, and are held so valiant, we would very gladly be at pains to accord you both, and would ourselves see to it that you should have a large share in Castile. But reason and right ordain that you must give up the crown, and thus in truth fair peace might be nourished between you. And as to the entrance into Spain, know that I and my company with the help of God will enter there by whatsoever place it shall please us to enter, without asking leave of any man.’
2951 Thus was the letter indited and thereafter sealed. They delivered it to a herald, who was glad and merry at heart and mad great rejoicings, for they bestowed on him fine jewels, ermine robes, furred mantles. Then he tarried no longer. He took leave and departed; he came to his master, King Henry, and gave him the letter. The Bastard, when he looked at it and perceived the intent the Prince had made known to him, knew well that he was of high worth, and without making more delay he called his council together and asked: ‘What seems good to you to do in all this matter?’ Each one spoke his mind. Messire Bertrand du Guesclin, bold and true-hearted, said to him: ‘Sire, doubt not, for you will speedily have battle. Ill do you know, in sooth, the great power that the Prince leads. There is the flower of knighthood, there is the flower of bachelry, there are the best fighting-men living in the world, so that you have great need to make ready and marshal your men.’ ‘Sir Bertrand, have no fear,’ answered the Bastard Henry, ‘for I shall have, I am sure of it, good four thousand barded horses who will be on the two sides of the two wings of my army, and moreover you will see, know assuredly, good four thousand geneteurs; and of men-at-arms, of the best that can be found in all Spain, I shall have two thousand in my company, and moreover, I can have, know well, fifty thousand men on foot and six thousand crossbow-men. Between here and Seville there dwell neither free men nor villeins but all are sure to help me, and have pledged their word to me that they will ever look on me as king, so that I have no fear that I shall not have the victory.’ Thus did they hold converse that night in great joy and pastance.
3007 And the Prince made no tarrying. The next morning, at break of dawn, he 161 moved from before Logroño, for he delayed not at all. In right battle-array they rode that morning, so fairly ordered that never had any man seen so noble a host since the birth of Jesus. That day was Friday. Two leagues the Prince rode that day without making halt, and well he thought that day to have the battle. He sent out his currours in all directions, who were at great pains to report the truth; and, to speak sooth, they saw the disposition of the other army, and perceived that it was camped on the river, near Najara, on the moor, in the orchards and the fields — very mighty was their army — and that in no wise did they look as if they would move that day. They speedily reported to the Prince, who was camped at Navaretta, how they found the army. Then they heard at once the disposition of the battle. Now were the two armies camped together, about two leagues apart, methinks. That night each was on his guard and took heed to himself, and they slept under arms. And before it was day King Henry sent out spies on the English in divers directions to know about their movements; but these, if the chronicle does not lie, set forth earlier and began to ride. But the true-hearted Prince did not go the most direct road, but took the road to the right hand. They descended a mountain and a big valley, all on horseback, so nobly arrayed and in such fair close order that it was marvellous to behold. And the Bastard without slackening had at midnight set in order and instructed his army. On foot were Sir Bertrand and the good and valiant Marshal d’Audrehem, of great nobility, and the renowned Count Sancho. the Count of Denis likewise, who was truly from Aragon. Le Bègue de Villaines was there also, a very good leader, Messire Jean de Neufville, and more than four thousand others, whose names I cannot give, from Spain, from Aragon, from France, Picardy, Brittany, and Normandy, and many another distant country. Next on the left hand was the Count Don Tello, on horseback, with more than twelve thousand geneteurs, mounted men. On the right was the royal wing | 3083 of the bastard king, called Henry, the which had with him good fifteen thousand armed men and many men of the country — crossbow-men, villeins, varlets, with lances and sharp darts, and slings to throw stones — to guard the front ranks. Never was such a marvel nor such abundance of men seen as there were that day. There was many an embroidered banner, both of sendal and of silk. A little towards the side were the barded horses, to the number of four thousand five (?) hundred. A right sage knight commanded them — very wise was he, by name Gomez Carillo — with the Prior of St. Jean, who said that he would make the English suffer tribulation that day. And there was also the Master of St. Jacques and a good and bold knight called the Master of Calatrava; he said aloud that that day he would do so much that he would ride through the battle.