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“Long live the king, and the dukes of Berry and Bourbon " at the same time falling desperately on the light troops of the van, so that very many were killed and wounded on each side; but the main army, advancing, soon forced them to retreat. When they had re-entered the town, they set the gates wide open, and gallantly made preparations for defence.
The van of the king's army was commanded by the grand master of the household, sir Guichard Daulphin, and the lords de Croy and de Heilly, knights, Aymé de Vitry and Enguerrand de Bournouville, esquires. The lords de Croy and de Heilly, in the absence of the marshals of France, Boucicaut and de Longny, were ordered by the king to exercise the functions of marshals. The rear division was commanded by the lords d'Arlay, sir John de Chalon, the lord de Vergy, marshal of Burgundy, the lords de Ront and de Raisse.
In the king's battalion were the dukes of Aquitaine, Burgundy, and Bar, the counts de Mortain and de Nevers, the lord Gilles de Bretagne, and a numerous body of chivalry. When the army arrived on the plain in front of the city, they were from three to four hours in arranging their places of encampment, and in dividing the army under the different commanders. Then, near to a gibbet, were created more than five hundred knights, who, with many others, had never before displayed their banners. After this ceremony, the army was advanced nearer to the town, and encamped on the marshes on the side of the small river before-mentioned, and other flat grounds—Some tents and pavilions were pitched among vineyards, and by the ruins of the houses belonging to the priory of St. Martin-des-Champs, of the order of Cluny, and others near to part of the suburbs which had been destroyed by the inhabitants prior to the arrival of the king's army, and among the large walnut-trees adjoining. It is true, that some from thirst drank water from wells without the town; but whoever did so died suddenly, so that the wickedness and treachery of the besieged were discovered. It was proclaimed by sound of trumpet, that no one should in future drink any well-water, but always make use of spring or running water, for that the wells had been poisoned. The besieged afterward confessed, that an herb called Iorarts by the Greeks, and by the Latins Glastum, had been thrown into the wells, to cause the deaths of all who should drink out of them.
Though the townsmen could not now pass the marshes and cross the fords as usual, from fear of the besiegers, they had, by another road, free communication with the country, so that all manner of provision could be brought into the town, to the great vexation of the lords in the king's army. The besiegers had now approached pretty near to the town, and had brought their artillery to bear on it, so that, from the continued cannonading and shooting from cross-bows, they slew many of their adversaries. The townsmen frequently insulted them by their abuse, calling them false Burgundian traitors, who had brought the king thither confined in his tent, as if he was not sound in mind. They called the duke of Burgundy a treacherous murderer; adding, that they would instantly have opened their gates to the king if he had not been there. The Burgundians were not behindhand in their replies, retorting on the Armagnacs by calling them false and rebellious traitors to their king, and using various other invectives on each side; but the duke of Burgundy, who heard all their abuse, made no reply whatever, but only thought how he might distress them the more. On Wednesday the 13th of June, a truce was agreed on between the two parties, at the solicitation of the duke of Berry; but during this time, some of the king's household, incited by treason, sent to the besieged,—“Sally forth : now is the time!" well knowing what they would do. When precisely between one and two o'clock in the afternoon, while the king was in his tent, and the dukes of Aquitaine and Burgundy were reposing, and the greater part of the army disarmed, as not suspecting anything, about five hundred chosen men-atarms sallied out of two gates of the town, and marched on as secretly as they could through vineyards and by-paths to avoid being seen, with the intent of surprising and taking the king and the duke of Aquitaine, in their tents, and putting the duke of Burgundy to death. What they were afraid of happened; for two pages of the lord de Croy, riding their coursers to exercise and to water, perceived this body of five hundred marching toward the army, and instantly galloped back again, crying out, “To arms! here are the enemies advancing, who have sallied out of their town.” On hearing this, every one hastened to his tent, and armed. The vanguard drew up in array, and soon met the enemy. The engagement immediately commenced; but the Armagnacs were overpowered by their adversaries, who increased every moment, so that they could not withstand them. Six score were soon killed, and about forty made prisoners: the rest took disgracefully to flight, making all haste back to Bourges, led on by the lord de Gaucourt. Among the slain were Guillaume Batiller, who had been taken at the battle of St. Cloud, and set at liberty, and Guillaume de Challus, knight, whose bodies, when stripped, were thrown into the wells said to have been poisoned, to serve them for a grave. In the number of prisoners were the grand-master of the household of the duke of Berry, an esquire of the lord d'Albreth, and also his principal cook, called Gastard, who declared in the presence of several, that he would name those who had urged them to make this attempt. In consequence, on the morrow were arrested master Geoffry de Bouillon, secretary to the duke of Aquitaine, and the family of the lord de Boissay, first maistre-d'hôtel to the king, and afterward one called Gilles de Toisy, esquire, a native of Beauvais, his servant, and Enguerrand de Seure, esquire, a Norman, who were all on this account beheaded before the king's tent; but as the lord de Boissay was only suspected, and no proof brought to convict him, he was imprisoned, and made to witness the punishment of the others. There were a body of English and French in the king's army, consisting of about three hundred, under the command of Aymé de Vitry, two hundred of whom one day deserted; but, as they were making for the town, they were so closely pursued that numbers of them were slain by lances, swords, and arrows, before they could enter the gates. One half of the garrison of Gien-sur-Loire, consisting of about four hundred helmets, attempted, on the 19th of June, to enter the city; but, before they could accomplish it, having been observed by the besiegers, they were so vigorously attacked that from one hundred to sixscore were killed. During the time the king was at this siege of Bourges, the foragers were almost daily cut off by the ambuscades of the enemy, they themselves and their horses being slain or taken; and as they were obliged to seek forage at the distance of six or eight leagues, the army suffered much from famine. Moreover, the waggons that brought provision from Burgundy and other parts, were waylaid by the soldiers of Sancerre, and other places in rebellion against the king, and plundered : this caused great distress to the besiegers, and very many
were disheartened from want of bread. However it lasted not long, for by the vigilance of sir Guichard Daulphin, he met the garrison of Sancerre convoying provision to the town of Bourges, when he attacked them, and forced them to surrender the town and castle of Sancerre, which had been more active than any others in preventing forage being brought to the camp; and thus all dread of famine was removed. Toward the end of June, about sun-set, four hundred men-at-arms made a sally from the town, induced thereto by the information of some of their prisoners, that the provost of Paris, the admiral of France, and the vidame d'Amiens, were coming to the camp with a large sum of money from Paris to the king, to enable him to pay his troops. In the hope of defeating and plundering the above, they rode on and posted themselves in a wood, the more readily to surprise them. Intelligence of this was however carried to the lord de Ront, by some of his spies who had observed them march out of the town ; and he instantly made the duke of Lorrain and the lord de Heilly acquainted therewith. They collected about five hundred men-at-arms, under pretence of a foraging party, and, leaving the camp, crossed the river by an old bridge which they repaired as well as they could, and took up their quarters in a small vineyard, whence, during the night, they sent off scouts to observe the situation of the enemy. They were found in ambuscade, thinking to take the king's treasure, but were themselves taken, for no sooner were these lords informed where they were than they instantly attacked them, and killed and took many : among the latter was a gentleman named Guistardon de Seure: the rest saved themselves by flight. The duke of Lorrain and the lords de Ront and de Heilly returned to the camp with their prisoners, much rejoiced at their victory. The duke of Berry, and those with him in Bourges, were much grieved at this defeat, and others of a similar nature; for he saw with pain his country ruined, and daily witnessed the deaths of his most valiant knights and esquires. He nevertheless did not slacken in his endeavours to defend himself against all who wished to hurt him, and it frequently happened that his men retaliated severely on the besiegers.
While these things were passing, sir Philip de Lignac, grand master of Rhodes, who had attended the king, exerted himself at various times to bring about a peace between the two parties. The count de Savoye had also sent his marshal, and some of his principal knights, to the king and to the duke of Berry, to attempt the same thing. They, therefore, united in their endeavours, and, by permission of the king and of the duke of Aquitaine, who acted as his lieutenant, they had interviews with each party. By their diligence, a conference was appointed to be holden ; and there were added to them as commissioners, the master of the cross-bows, the seneschal of Hainault and some others. The commissioners on the part of the Armagnacs were the archbishop of Bourges, the lord de Gaucourt, the lord de Tignonville, the lord de Barbasan, the lord d'Aubreticourt and others, who diligently exerted themselves on each side to bring a treaty to a conclusion. They had frequent consultations on the subject with the different princes of each party; but in fact it was not a matter speedily to be finished, for each of the parties was too much interested and suspicious. It was strongly remonstrated that the besieged had, during a truce, made a treacherous attack on the army; and many arguments were urged by both sides, which greatly retarded the conclusion of a peace.
CHAPTER XCIV.--THE KING OF FRANCE DECAMPS, AND LAYS SIEGE TO BOURGES ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE.-A TREATY IS CONCLUDED BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES.
WHEN the king of France had remained with his army for sixteen months before the city of Bourges, on the side toward la Charité-sur-Loire, without any hope of taking it, and had perceived the town was well supplied with provision on the side opposite to his camp, he broke up the siege, and ordered fire to be set to all his quarters. He marched away, and again encamped on the right of the city, about four leagues distant, on the river, and near to Yeure-le-Châtel. The besieged, seeing their adversaries thus suddenly decamp, thought it was done from fear of the English, who had promised them their aid, and that they were marching back to France. They were consequently much rejoiced, and some of them sallied forth, with a multitude of peasants, in the expectation of making prisoners, but it happened otherwise than they looked for. Enguerrand de Bournouville had, with some other captains, remained behind, with about three hundred men-at-arms in ambuscade, and, when they saw it was time, issued forth, killed many, and made more prisoners, and returned to the king's army. On the morrow, the king and his whole army crossed the river. One division advanced toward Bourges, and another to Orleans, to despoil and waste the country in the same manner as they had done on the opposite side. The townsmen of Bourges, observing the army to cross the river, hastily set fire to the suburbs on that side, which were very extensive, to prevent the enemy from occupying them, and some churches were also burnt: the more the pity! The king encamped his army round the city on that side, and had his cannons and engines pointed in such wise as effectually to annoy the place. The besieged were not idle in providing for their defence, and the means of preventing the city from being taken, but were very much grieved and cast down at the great damage which had been done to it. The duke of Aquitaine, son and lieutenant to the king, saw with regret the destruction of so noble a city, the capital of Auvergne and Berry, and to which he was heir, and, fearing its total ruin, forbade the cannoneers, and those who had the direction of the other engines, to fire any balls, or to cast more stones into it, under pain of death. The duke of Burgundy, on hearing these orders, which counteracted his wish to push matters to extremity, was much displeased and surprised, and suspected the duke of Aquitaine had changed his opinion, or was moved with compassion toward his enemies: however, in the conversation that passed between them on the subject, the duke of Aquitaine declared positively, that he would put an end to the war. The duke of Burgundy most earnestly begged of him, that if he were determined upon it, he would conclude it according to the terms that had been agreed to by the king's ministers at Paris, namely, that if their adversaries should present themselves with all humility before the king, and submit themselves to his mercy, he would receive them, but entreated that any terms he should make might not be to his dishonour. The duke of Aquitaine replied, that in truth the war had lasted too long; that it was prejudicial to the king and kingdom, and that he in the end might suffer from it, for those against whom the war was made were his uncles, cousins-german, and others of his kindred, by whom he should be greatly assisted in any cases of need,—but he was desirous that they should submit themselves in the manner proposed in council before he had left Paris. The duke of Burgundy, in consequence of this and other conversations, humbled himself much toward the duke of Aquitaine; for he had discovered that the business had been discussed with some other great lords, of whom he was very suspicious, and particularly of the duke of Bar, who had, for some time past, clearly shown he was displeased with him. He, however, told the duke of Aquitaine publicly, that he was satisfied that the negotiations for a peace should be continued according to the good pleasure and honour of the king and himself. The commissioners were, therefore, ordered to renew the conferences, which they willingly obeyed. When they had reduced to writing the demands and answers of the two parties, they requested of the princes on each side, that the dukes of Berry and Burgundy might meet and conclude the treaty; and this was agreed to by the king and the duke of Aquitaine, and the leaders of the opposite party. An elevated place was fixed and well secured for the meeting of the uncle and nephew, for neither of them had much confidence in the other. It was for this reason that barriers were erected on a platform, on which the dukes entered at separate ends, having bars between them, and their council behind, whom they occasionally consulted as to the demands and answers. For greater security, a body of their men-at-arms were stationed near to each, but not so near as to hear any conversation that passed.—They were both completely and handsomely armed. The duke of Berry, notwithstanding he was seventy years of age, wore a sword, dagger, and battle-axe : he had on a steel scull-cap, and a rich clasp on his breast,-over his armour a purple jacket, the cross-belt of which was hespangled with pearls. After they had been two hours together, they separated, to outward appearance, in good humour; but the duke of Berry said peevishly to the duke of Burgundy, “Fair nephew and fair godson, when
your father, my dear brother, was living, there was no need of any barriers betwixt us: we were always on the most affectionate terms.” The duke of Burgundy replied, “My lord, it has not been my fault." The duke of Berry then mounted his horse, and returned, with his attendants, to Bourges, and the duke of Burgundy, in like manner, to the camp. The knights of the duke of Burgundy, on their return, said, that those of the duke of Berry, in their common conversations, declared themselves no way rebellious nor disaffected to the king; that their lord had been for some time very unwell, and unable to command them; that had he been otherwise, he would not so long have left the death of his nephew unpunished; that in regard to their having burnt, taken, and destroyed several towns and castles, in different parts of the kingdom, such as St. Denis and Roye, which they had plundered, they replied, that as their lords were of the blood-royal, they had a right to lead their men-at-arms through any towns in the realm, on their personal wars, for that they had very just cause for attacking the duke of Burgundy, and that in so doing they committed no offence against the king; but, in regard to having refused to open the gates of the city of Bourges when the king came in person before it, they confessed themselves guilty of contempt, for which they humbly asked his pardon, as was stated in the treaty, and offered him the keys of the town.
On the Wednesday following, the two dukes again met, with their counsellors, at the barriers in front of the city-gate, and renewed their conference. When it was concluded, they drank wine together, and separated very joyfully. On the next day, all the nobles and knights of the army assembled before the tent of the duke of Aquitaine, who appeared in state as the representative of the king. He was attended by the dukes of Bar and Lorrain, and many others of high rank. The chancellor of Aquitaine, sir John de Neelle, knight and licentiate of law, and of great eloquence, then recited most notably all the different acts of rebellion committed by John de Berry, Charles d'Orleans, John de Bourbon, John d'Alençon, Bernard d'Armagnac, and Charles d'Albreth, and their adherents, declaring their alliance with the king of England, the king's adversary, and detailing all the destruction they had brought on the kingdom, concluding a long speech by demanding, by orders of the king and of his son the duke of Aquitaine, that every person should now promptly deliver his opinion, whether there should be peace or war. Many replied, that it were better peace should be made with the above lords, and that they should be reinstated in the king's favour, than otherwise, provided the peace were a solid one; but others were of a contrary opinion, —and thus ended this meeting, which caused much murmuring. It is true, that at this time the heat of the weather was excessive, and great sickness prevailed in the army, insomuch that very many, hearing daily of the deaths of their companions, departed without taking leave. There was a great mortality among the horses, and the stench of their carcases much infected the camp.
CHAPTER XCV.--THE PRINCES AND LORDS WITHIN THE CITY OF BOURGES WAIT ON THE KING AND THE DUKE of AQUITAINE, AND AFTERward AT AUXERRE.
ON Friday the 15th day of July, when all things had been settled, the dukes of Berry and of Bourbon, the lord d'Albreth, the count d'Eu", the lord John de Bar, brother to the duke of Bar, accompanied by many knights and esquires bearing their banners, came forth of the city towards the king's army, and entered the tent of the duke of Aquitaine, who was surrounded by many nobles, such as the dukes of Burgundy and Bar, and other knights and esquires, the king being afflicted with his usual disorder. After the treaty had been read and agreed to, each kissed the other; but when the duke of Berry kissed his nephew the duke of Aquitaine, tears ran down his cheeks.
This treaty contained, among other articles, that the treaty which had been concluded at
• Charles d'Artois, count of Eu, son to the constable mencing in Robert the good count d’Artois, who was d'Eu (who died in Turkey, 1397,) and of Mary, daughter killed in Egypt in the year 1250, when accompanying his of the duke of Berry. He married twice, but had no brother St. Louis. issue, and in him ended the royal branch of Artois, com