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bonne, laying every place waste around him: CH A P. And after an incursion of six weeks , returned XVI. with a vast booty and many prisoners to Guienne, 1355. where he took up his winter - quarters'. The constable of Bourbon, who commanded in those provinces, received orders, though at the head of a superior army, on no account to run the hazard of a battle.
The king of England's incursion from Calais was of the same nature, and attended with the same issue. He broke into France at the head of a numerous army; to which he gave a full licence of plundering and ravaging the open country. He advanced to St. Omer, where the king of France was posted; and on the retreat of that prince, followed him to Hesdin'. John still kept at a distance, and declined an engagement: But in order to save his reputation, he sent Edward a challenge to fight a pitched battle with him ; a usual bravado in that age, derived from the practice of single combat, and ridiculous in the art of war. The king, finding no fincerity in this defiance, retired to Calais, and thence went over to England , in order to defend that kingdom against a threatened invasion of the Scots.
The Scots, taking advantage of the king's absence, and that of the military power of England, had surprised Berwic; and had collected an army with a view of committing ravages upon
' Ibid, chap. 144. Avesbury, p. 206. Walsing. p. 171,
CH A P. the northern provinces : But on the approach of XVI. Edward, they abandoned that place, which was
not tenable, while the castle was in the hands of the English; and retiring to their mountains, gave the enemy full liberty of burning and destroying the whole country from Berwic to Edinburgh '. Baliol attended Edward on this expedition; but funding, that his constant adherence to the Eng. lish had given his countrymen an unconquerable aversion to his title, and that he himself was decliving through age and infirmities, he finally resigned into the king's hands his pretensions to the crown of Scotland ', and received in lieu of them an annual pension of 2003 pounds, with which he palled the remainder of his life in privacy and retirement.
DURING these military operations, Edward received information of the increasing disorders in France, arising from the imprisonment of the king of Navarre; and he sent Lancaster at the head of a small army, to support the partisans of that prince in Normandy. The war was conducted with various success; but chiefly to the disadvantage of the French malecontents; till an important event happened in the other quarter of the kingdom, which had well nigh proved fatal to the monarchy of France, and ihrew every thing into the utmost confusion,
The prince of Wales , encouraged by the
? Walling, p. 171.. Ypod. Neust. p. 521.
'Rymer, vol. v. p. 823.
fuccess of the preceding campaign, took the field c H A P. with an army, which no historian makes amount
XVI. to above 12,000 men, and of which not a third were English ; and with this small body, he ventured to penetrate into the heart of France. After ravaging the Agenois, Quercy, and the limousin, he entered the province of Berry; and made some attacks, though without success, on the towns of Bourges and Issoudun. It appeared that his intentions were to march into Normandy, and co join his forces with those of the earl of Lancaster, and the partisans of the king of Navarre; but finding all the bridges on the Loire broken down, and every pass carefully guarded, he was obliged to think of making his retreat into Guienne'. He found this resolution the more necessary, from the intelligence which he received of the king of France's motions. That monarch, provoked at the insult offered him by this incursion, and entertaining hopes of success from the young prince's temerity, collected a great army of above 60,000 men, and advanced by hasty marches to intercept his enemy. The prince, not aware of John's near approach , lost some days, on his retreat, before the castle of Remorantin"; and thereby gave the French an opportunity of overtaking him They Battle of came within fight at Maupertuis near Poictiers; Puicriers. and Edward, sensible that his retreat was now become impracticable, prepared for battle with
to ibid, Froissard, liv, 1.
9 Walling. p. 171. chap. ; 8.
CHA P. all the courage of a young hero, and with all XVI.
the prudence of the oldest and most experienced commander.
But the utmost prudence and courage would have proved insufficient to save him in this extremity, had the king of France known how to make use of his present advantages. His great superiority in numbers enabled him to surround the enemy; and by intercepting all provisions , which were already become scarce in the English camp, to reduce this small army, without a blow, to the necessity of surrendering at discretion. But such was the impatient ardor of the French nobility, and so much had their thoughts been bent on overtaking the English as their sole object, that this idea never struck any of the commanders; and they immediately took measures for the assault, as for a certain victory. While the French army was drawn up in order of battle, they were stopped by the appearance of the cardinal of Perigord; who having learned the approach of the two armies to each other, had hastened, by interposing his good offices, to prevent any farther cffufion of Christian blood. By John's permission, he carried proposals to the prince of Wales; and found him so sensible of the bad posture of his affairs , that an accommodation seemed not impracticable. Edward told him, that he would agree to any terms conlistent with his own honor and that of England; and he offered to purchase a retreat by ceding all the conquests, which he had made during this and the former
campaign, and by ftipulating not to serve against c H A P. France during the course of seven years. But XVI. John, imagining that he had now got into his hands a sufficient pledge for the restitution of Calais, required that Edward should surrender himself prisoner with a hundred of his attendants; and offered on these terms a safe retreat to the English army. The prince rejected the proposal with disdain; and declared, that, whatever fortune might attend him, England should never be obliged to pay the price of his ransom. This resolute answer cut off all hopes of accommodation; but as the day was already spent in negociating, the battle was delayed till the next morning %.
The cardinal of Perigord, as did all the prelates of the court of Rome, bore a great attachment to the French interest; but the most determined enemy could not, by any expedient, have done a greater prejudice to John's affairs, than he did them by this delay. The prince of 19th Seps: Wales had leisure, during the night, to strengthen, by new intrenchments, the post which he had before so judiciously chosen; and he contrived an ambush of 300 men at arms, and as many archers, whom he put under the command of the Captal de Buche, and ordered to make a circuit, that they might fall on the flank or rear of the French army during the engagement. The van of his army was commanded by the earl of Warwic, the rear by the earls of Salisbury and
" Froissaru , liv, 1. chap. 161.