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240

And next, within the entry of this lake,
Sat fell Revenge, gnashing her teeth for ire,
Devising means how she may vengeance take,
Never in rest till she have her desire:
But frets within so far forth34 with the fire
Of wreaking flames, that now determines she
To die by death, or 'venged by death to be. 245

When fell Revenge, with bloody foul pretence
Had shewed herself, as next in order set,
With trembling limbs we softly parted thence,
Till in our eyes another sight we met:
When fro my heart a sigh forthwith I fet,3
Rueing, alas, upon the woful plight
Of Misery, that next appeared in sight.

35

250

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295

And, next in order, sad Old Age we found,
His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind,
With drooping cheer still poring on the ground,
As on the place where nature him assigned
To rest, when that the Sisters had untwined
His vital thread, and ended with their knife 300
The fleeting course of fast declining life.

There heard we him with broken and hollow plaint

Rue with himself his end approaching fast, And all for naught his wretched mind torment With sweet remembrance of his pleasures past, And fresh delights of lusty youth forwaste; 306 Recounting which, how would he sob and shriek And to be young again of Jove beseek.

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360

Her tearing nails scratching at all she saw;
With gaping jaws that by no means ymay
Be satisfied from hunger of her maw,
But eats herself as she that hath no law:
Gnawing, alas, her carcass all in vain,
Where you may count each sinew, bone, and
vein.

On her while we thus firmly fixed our eyes, 365
That bled for ruth of such a dreary sight,
Lo, suddenly, she shrieked in so huge wise
As made hell gates to shiver with the might.
Wherewith, a dart we saw, how it did light
Right on her breast, and therewithal pale Death
Enthrilling it, to reaves her of her breath. 371

44

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Yet saw I more, the fight at Trasimene,
And Treby field, and eke when Hannibal
And worthy Scipio last in arms were seen
Before Carthago gate, to try for all
The world's empire, to whom it should befall.
There saw I Pompey and Caesar clad in arms,
Their hosts allied, and all their civil harms:48

With conquerors' hands forbathed in their own blood,

421

And Caesar weeping over Pompey's head.
Yet saw I Scilla and Marius where they stood,
Their great cruelty, and the deep bloodshed
Of friends: Cyrus I saw and his host dead,
And how the queen with great despight hath

flung

425

His head in blood of them she overcome. 48 Broils, evils.

46 Straightway. 47 Cut in front.

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And now behold the thing that thou erewhile Saw only in thought, and what thou now shalt hear

Recount the same to Kesar, King, and Peer.”

Then first came Henry, Duke of Buckingham,
His cloak of black all pilled2 and quite forworn, 15
Wringing his hands, and Fortune oft doth
blame,

535

Which of a duke hath made him now her scorn,
With ghastly looks, as one in manner lorn,
Oft spread his arms, stretched hands he joins as
fast

With rueful cheer, and vapored eyes upcast.

His cloak he rent, his manly breast he beat, 540
His hair all torn about the place it lay,
My heart so molt to see his grief so great
As feelingly, me thought, it dropped away:
His eyes they whirled about withouten stay,
With stormy sighs the place did so complain
As if his heart at each had burst in twain.

546

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have ensample to encourage them in their well doing, I, Sir John Froissart, will treat and record an history of great louage and praise. But, or I begin, I require the Saviour of all the 5 world, who of nothing created all things, that he will give me such grace and understanding, that I may continue and persevere in such wise, that whoso this process readeth or heareth may take pastance, pleasure and ensample. It is 10 said of truth that all buildings are masoned and wrought of divers stones, and all great rivers are gurged and assembled of divers surges and springs of water; in likewise all sciences are extraught and compiled of divers clerks; of that one writeth, another peradventure is ignorant; but by the famous writing of ancient authors all things ben known in one place or other. Then to attain to the matter that I have enterprised, I will begin first by the grace of 20 God and of the blessed Virgin our Lady Saint Mary, from whom all comfort and consolation proceedeth, and will take my foundation out of the true chronicles sometime compiled by the right reverend, discreet and sage master John 25 le Bel, sometime canon in Saint Lambert's of Liege, who with good heart and due diligence did his true devoir in writing this noble chronicle, and did continue it all his life's days, in following the truth as near as he might, to 30 his great charge and cost in seeking to have the perfect knowledge thereof. He was also in his life's days well beloved and of the secret council with the lord Sir John of Hainault, who is often remembered, as reason requireth, here35 after in this book, for of many fair and noble adventures he was chief causer, and by whose means the said Sir John le Bel might well know and hear of many divers and noble deeds, the which hereafter shall be declared. Truth it is 40 that I, who have enterprised this book to ordain for pleasure and pastance, to the which always I have been inclined, and for that intent I have followed and frequented the company of divers noble and great lords, as well in France, Eng45 land, and Scotland, as in divers other countries, and have had knowledge by them, and always to my power justly have enquired for the truth of the deeds of war and adventures that have fallen, and especially sith the great battle of Poitiers, 10 whereas the noble king John of France was taken prisoner, as before that time I was but of a young age or understanding. a Glory.

To the intent that the honourable and noble adventures of feats of arms, done and achieved by the wars of France and England, should notably be enregistered and put in perpetual 50 memory, whereby the prewe and hardy may

62 Threadbare. 63 Melted. 64 Rained down upon. 1 Chancellor of Exchequer under Henry VIII. Ho enjoyed the King's favor for an unusually long time. He made his translation of Froissart (a notable work of Early Tudor prose) at the command of the King. Froissart was a contemporary of Chaucer, who enjoyed the patronage of Philippa, queen of Edward III. He wrote his Chronicles of the wars of his age in France, England, Scotland and Spain, between 1360 and 1390 in the French tongue. 2 Gallant.

4 Ere.

6 Turned into whirlpools.
* Extracted.

Pastime.

6 Flourished in the early 14th century. While living with Sir John of Hainault, in France, he compiled two volumes of Chronicles on contemporary history.

Duty, service.

10 Fought in France, 1356, a famous victory of the English over the French.

Howbeit, I took on me, as soon as I came from school, to write and recite the said book, and bare the same compiled into England, and presented the volume thereof to my lady Philippa of Hainault," noble Queen of England, who right amiably received it to my great profit and advancement. And it may be so that the same book is not as yet examined or corrected so justly as such a case requireth; for 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 divided to them that by prowess and hard travail have deserved it. Therefore to acquit me in that behalf, and in following the truth as near as I can, I, John Froissart, have enter- 15 prised this history on the foresaid ordinance and true foundation, at the instance and request of a true lord of mine, Robert of Namur, Knight, lord of Beaufort, to whom entirely I owe love 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.

case to do any great deed of arms: we have more need of rest." These words came to the earl of Alençon, who said: "A man is well at ease to be charged with such a sort of rascals, to be faint 5 and fail now at most need." Also the same season there fell a great rain and a clipse with a terrible thunder, and before the rain there came flying over both battles a great number of crows for fear of the tempest coming. Then

OF THE BATTLE OF CRESSY1

shine fair and bright, the which was right in the Frenchmen's eyen, and on the Englishmen's backs. When the Genoways were assembled together and began to approach, they made a great leap and cry to abash the Englishmen, but they stood still and stirred not for all that; then the Genoways again the second time made another leap and a fell cry, and stept forward a little, and the Englishmen removed not one

went forth till they came within shot; then they shot fiercely with their cross-bows. Then the English archers stept forth one pace 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 down their cross-bows and did cut their strings and returned discomfited. When the French king saw them fly away, he said: "Slay these rascals, for they shall let and trouble us without reason." Then ye should have seen the men of arms dash in among them and killed a great number of them: and ever still the

The Englishmen, who were in three battles lying on the ground to rest them, as soon as they saw the Frenchmen approach, they rose upon 30 their feet fair and easily without any haste and arranged their battles." The first, which was the prince's battle, the archers there stood in the manner of a herse3 and the men of arms in 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 battle were on a wing in good order, ready to comfort the prince's battle, if need were.

The lords and knights of France came not to

press; the sharp arrows ran into the men of arms and into their horses, and many fell, horse and men, among the Genoways, and when 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

another. And also among the Englishmen there were certain rascals that went afoot with great knives, and they went in among the men of arms, and slew and murdered many as

knights, and squires, whereof the king of England was after displeased, for he had rather they had been taken prisoners.

came before and some came after in such haste and evil order, that one of them did trouble another. When the French King saw the Englishmen, his blood changed, and said to his 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 Saint Denis." There were of the Genoways cross-bows about a fifteen-thousand, but they were so weary of going afoot that day a six leagues armed with their cross-bows, that 50 they said to their constables: "We be not well ordered to fight this day, for we be not in the 11 Queen of Edward III, and mother of the Black Prince.

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The valiant king of Bohemia called Charles of Luxembourg, for all that he was nigh blind, when he understood the order of the battle, he said to them about him: "Where is the lord Charles my son?" His men said: "Sir, we cannot tell; we think he be fighting." Then he 55 said: "Sirs, ye are my men, my companions and 5 A mistranslation for "une esclistre," or flash of lightning.-Macaulay.

• Hinder.

7 Rise. Relieve is a mistranslation of "releves," for "se relever."

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