Abbildungen der Seite

and esquires, sir Thomas de Spinguchen *, sir Thomas Ramson, and John Morbury, and likewise gave to them letters signed with your great seal, reciting this treaty of alliance, which I shall hereafter more fully state.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

“Since you have thought proper, without any cause, to act contrary to this treaty, we shall reply as follows, being desirous that God, and all the world, should know it has never been our intention to act any way contradictory to what we have promised. We therefore inform you, that we have annulled the letter of alliance received from you, and throw aside henceforward, all love and affection toward you; for it seems to us that no prince, lord, knight, or any person whatever, ought to demand a combat from him with whom a treaty of friendship exists. In reply to your letter, we add, that considering the very high rank in which it has pleased God to place us, we are not bound to answer any such demands unless made by persons of equal rank with ourselves. With regard to what you say, that we ought to accept your proposal to avoid idleness, it is true we are not so much employed in arms and honourable exploits as our noble predecessors have been ; but the all-powerful God may, when he pleases, make us follow their steps, and we, through the indulgence of his grace, have not been so idle but that we have been enabled to defend our honour.

“With regard to the proposal of meeting you at a fixed place with one hundred knights and esquires of name and arms, and without reproach, we answer, that until this moment none of our royal progenitors have been thus challenged by persons of less rank than themselves, nor have they ever employed their arms with one hundred or more persons in such a cause; for it seems to us that a royal prince ought only to do such things as may redound to the honour of God, and to the profit of all Christendom and his own kingdom, and not through vain-glory nor selfish advantage. We are determined to preserve the state God has intrusted to us; and whenever we may think it convenient, we shall visit our possessions on your side of the sea, accompanied by such numbers of persons as we may please; at which time, if you shall think proper, you may assemble as many persons as you may judge expedient to acquire honour in the accomplishment of all your courageous desires : and should it please God, our Lady, and my lord St. George, you shall not depart until your request be so fully complied with that you shall find yourself satisfied by a combat between us two personally, so long as it may please God to suffer it, which mode I shall prefer to prevent any greater effusion of Christian blood. God knows, we will that no one should be ignorant that this our answer does not proceed from pride or presumption of heart, which every wise man who holds his honour dear should avoid, but solely to abase that haughtiness and over presumption of any one, whosoever he may be, that prevents him from knowing himself. Should you wish that those of your party be without reproach, be more cautious in future of your letters, your promises, and your seal, than you have hitherto been. That you may know this is our own proper answer, formed from our knowledge of you, and that we will maintain our right whenever God pleases, we have sealed with our arms this present letter. Given at our court of London, the 5th day of December, in the year of Grace 1402, and in the 4th of our reign."

* Spinguchen. Q. Spencham? WOL. I. C



“Louis, duke of Orleans, count de Valois, Blois and de Beaumont, to all to whom these presents may come, health and greeting. We make known by them, that the most potent prince, and our very dear cousin, Henry, duke of Lancaster and Hereford, earl of Derby, Lincoln, Leicester and Northampton, has given us his love and friendship. Nevertheless, being desirous of strengthening the ties of this affection between us, seeing that nothing in this world can be more delectable or profitable:

“In the name of God and the most holy Trinity, which is a fair example and sound foundation of perfect love and charity, and without whose grace nothing can be profitably concluded: to the end that the form and manner of this our friendship may be reputed honourable, we have caused the terms of it to be thus drawn up. First, we both hold it just and right to except from it all whom we shall think proper; and conformably thereto we except, on our part, the following persons: first, our very mighty and puissant prince and lord Charles, by the grace of God king of France: my lord the dauphin, his eldest son, and all the other children of my foresaid lord; the queen of France; our very dear uncles the dukes of Berry, Burgundy and Bourbon; those most noble princes, our dear cousins, the king of the Romans and of Bohemia; the king of Hungary, his brother and their uncles, and Becop * marquis of Moravia; and also all our cousins, and others of our blood, now living, or that may be born, as well males as females, and our very dear father the duke of Milan, whose daughter we have married. This relationship must make us favourable to his honour. Also those noble princes, and our very dear cousins, the kings of Castille and of Scotland, with all the other allies of our foresaid lord. To whom must likewise be added our very dear cousin the duke of Lorrain", the count of Cleves t, the lord de Clisson, and all our vassals bound to us by faith and oath, whom we hold ourselves obliged to guard from ill, since they have submitted to our obedience and commands. “Item, The duke of Lancaster and myself will be always united in the strictest ties of love and affection, as loyal and true friends should be. “Item, Each of us will be, at all times and places, friendly to one another and to our friends, and enemies to our enemies, as will be honourable and praiseworthy. “Item, We will each, in all times and places, aid and assist the other in the defence of his person, his fortune, honour and estate, as well by words as deeds, diligently and carefully in the most honourable manner. “Item, In times of war and discord we will mutually defend each other against all princes, lords and barons, with the utmost good will, and also against any corporation, college or university, by every means in our power, engines, councils, force, men at arms, subsidies, or by whatever other means we may think most efficient to make war on and oppose the enemies of either of us; and we will exert ourselves to the utmost against every person whatever, excepting those who have been before excepted, in every lawful and honourable manner. “Item, All the above articles we will strictly observe so long as the truces shall continue between my aforesaid sovereign lord and king, and the king of England; and should a more solid peace be formed, so long as that peace shall last, without infringing an article. In witness of which we have caused these articles to be drawn up, and have appended our seal thereto. Done at Paris the 17th day of June, in the year of grace 1396."

* Jodocus, marquis of Moravia and Brandenburg, cousin-german to the emperor Wenceslaus, appears to be here meant. See the following table –

1. Isabel, = John, King of Bohemia, -i- 2. Beatrix, Daughter of Heiress of Bohemia. killed at Crecy. Louis, Duke of Bourbon.

Charles ! Emperor. John-Henry, Marq. 1. Margaret, Wenceslaus, Duke of Moravia. m. Duke of Bavaria, of Luxemburg. 2. Bona, m. Joan, Duchess of m. K. John of France. Brabant & Limburg, 3. Anne, d. s. p. m. Otho, D. of Austria. Wenceslaus, John, Duke of Jodocus, Procopius, Emperor, Luxemburg & Marq of Brand. Marq. of Brand. d. 5, p. Goritia. & Moravia, & Moravia, d. 1411. after Jodocus. ! Elizabeth,

m. Antony, D. of Brabant: 2dly, John of Bavaria, Bishop of Liege.



“High and mighty prince Henry, king of England, I, Louis, by the grace of God son and brother to the kings of France, duke of Orleans, write to make known to you that I received, as a new year's gift, the first day of January, by the hands of your herald Lancaster, king at arms, the letter you have written to me, in answer to the one I sent to you by Champagne, king at arms, and Orleans my herald, and have heard its contents. “In regard to your ignorance, or pretended ignorance, whether my letter could have been addressed to you, your name was on it, such as you received at the font, and by which you were always called by your parents when they were alive. I had not indeed given you your new titles at length, because I do not approve of the manner whereby you have attained them; but know that my letter was addressed to you. “In regard to your being surprised at my requesting to perform a deed of arms with you during the existence of the truce between my most redoubted lord the king of France and the high and mighty prince king Richard, my nephew, and your liege lord lately deceased, (God knows by whose orders) as well as an alliance of friendship subsisting between us, of which you have sent me a copy—that treaty is now at an end by your own fault; first, by your having undertaken your enterprise against your sovereign lord king Richard, whom God pardon who was the ally of my lord the king of France by marriage with his daughter, as well as by written articles, sealed with their seals, to the observance of which the kindred on each side made oath, in the presence of the two monarchs and their relations, in their different countries. You may have seen in those articles of which you sent me a copy, that the allies of my said lord the king were excepted, and may judge whether I can honestly now have any friendship for you; for at the time I made the said alliance, I never conceived it possible you could have done against your king what it is well known you have done. “In regard to your objection, that no knight, of whatever rank he may be, ought to request a deed of arms until he shall have returned the articles of alliance, supposing such to exist between them, I wish to know whether you rendered to your lord, king Richard. the oath of fidelity you made to him before you proceeded in the manner you have done against his person.—In respect to your throwing up my friendship, know, that from the moment I was informed of the acts you committed against your liege lord, I had not any expectation that you could suppose you would place any dependence on me; for you must have known that I could not have any desire to preserve your friendship. “With regard to your high situation, I do not think the divine virtues have placed you there. God may have dissembled with you, and have set you on a throne, like many other princes, whose reign has ended in confusion. And, in consideration of my own honour, I do not wish to be compared with you. You say, you shall be always eager to defend your honour, which has been ever unblemished. Enough on that head is sufficiently known in all countries. “As for your intentions of visiting your possessions on this side of the sea, without informing me of your arrival, I assure you that you shall not be there long without hearing from me; for, if God permit, I will accomplish what I have proposed, if it be not your fault. In regard to your telling me, that your progenitors have not thus been accustomed to be challenged by those of less degree than themselves—who have been my ancestors, I need not be my own herald, for they are well known to all the world. And in respect to my personal honour, through the mercy of God it is without reproach, as I have always acted like a loyal and honest man, as well towards my God as to my king and his realm : whoever has acted, or may act otherwise, though he hold the universe in his hand, is worthless, and undeserving of respect. “You tell me, that a prince ought to make his every action redound to the honour of God, to the common advantage of all Christendom, and the particular welfare of his kingdom, and not through vain-glory, nor for selfish purposes. I reply, that you say well; but if you had acted accordingly in your own country, manythings done there by you, or by your orders, would not have taken place. How could you suffer my much redoubted lady the queen of England to return so desolate to this country after the death of her lord, despoiled, by your rigour and cruelty, of her dower, which you detain from her, and likewise the portion she carried hence on her marriage 2 The man who seeks to gain honour is always the defender and guardian of the rights of widows and damsels of virtuous life, such as my niece was known to lead. And as I am so nearly related to her, acquitting myself toward God and toward her, as a relation, I reply, that to avoid effusion of blood, I will cheerfully meet you in single combat, or with any greater number you may please; and that through the aid of God, of the blessed Virgin Mary, and of my lord St. Michael, so soon as I shall receive your answer to this letter, whether body to body or with any greater number than ourselves, you shall find me doing my duty, for the preservation of my honour, in such wise as the case may require. “I return you thanks, in the name of those of my party, for the greater care you seem to have of their healths than you had for that of your sovereign and liege lord. You tell me, that he who is not void of discernment in regard to his own condition will be desirous of selecting irreproachable companions. Know, that I am not ignorant who I am, nor who are my companions; and I inform you, that you will find us loyal and honest, for such we have been ever reported. And, thanks to God, we have never done anything by word or deed but what has been becoming loyal gentlemen. Do you and your people look to yourselves, and write me back your intention as to what I have offered, which I am impatient to know. That you may be assured this letter has been written by me, and that, through God's aid, I am resolved to execute my purpose, I have put to it the seal of my arms, and signed it with my own hand, on the morrow of the feast of our Lady, the 26th day of March, 1402.”

* Charles the Bold, married to a daughter of Robert of + Adolphus II. duke of Cleves, married Mary, daughter Bavaria, elcctor palatine, and afterwards emperor. of the duke of Burgundy.


“Henry, king of England and lord of Ireland, to Louis de Valois, duke of Orleans.

“We write to inform you that we have received, the last day of this present month of April, the letter you have sent to us by Champagne, king at arms, and your herald Orleans, intending it as an answer to the one from us, received by you on the 26th day of last January, from the hands of Lancaster, king at arms, our herald. Your letter is dated the 26th day of March, in the year 1402, and we have heard its contents. Considering all things, more especially the situation in which it has pleased God to place us, we ought not to make you any reply to the request you make, nor to the replications since your first letter. However, as you attack our honour, we send you this answer, recollecting we did reply to your first request, which you pretended arose from the hot spirit of youth, and your earnest desire to gain renown in arms. It seems by your present letter that this desire has taken a frivolous turn, and that you wish for a war of words, thinking that by defaming our person, you may overwhelm us with confusion, which, God grant, may fall, and more justly, on yourself! We are therefore moved, and not without cause, to make answer to the principal points of your letter, in manner as will hereafter to you more plainly appear, considering that it does not become our state nor honour to do so by chiding; but in respect to such frivolous points, replete with malice, we shall not condescend to make any answer, except declaring that all your reproaches are false. “First, in regard to the dignity we hold, that you write you do not approve it, nor the manner by which we have obtained it. We are certainly very much surprised at this, for we made you fully acquainted with our intentions before we departed from France; at which time you approved of it, and even promised us aid against our very dear lord and cousin, king Richard, whom God pardon | We would not accept of your assistance; and we hold your approbation or disapprobation of our undertaking of little worth, since it has pleased God, by his gracious favour, to approve of it, as well as the inhabitants of our kingdom. This is a sufficient reply to such as would deny our right; and I am confident in the benign grace of God, who has hitherto guarded us, that he will continue his gracious mercy, and bring the matter to so happy a conclusion that you shall be forced to acknowledge the dignity we enjoy, and the right we have to it. “In regard to that passage in your letter, where you speak of the decease of our very dear cousin and lord, whom God pardon adding, God knows how it happened, and by whom caused,—we know not with what intent this expression has been used; but if you mean, or dare to say, that his death was caused by our order or consent, it is false, and will be a falsehood every time you utter it; and this we are ready to prove, through the grace of God, in personal combat, if you be willing and have the courage to dare it. As to your saying, that you would have preserved the alliance made between us, if we had not undertaken such offensive measures against our very dear lord and cousin, who was so intimately related to your lord and brother by marriage, and treaties sealed with their seals, adding, that at the time you made the alliance with us, you never imagined we should have acted against our very dear lord and cousin, as is publicly known to have been done by us, we reply, we have done nothing against him but what we would have dared to do before God and the whole world. “You say, that we might have seen, in the bond of alliance, what persons were excepted in it, and whether our very dear and well beloved cousin, the lady Isabella, your much honoured lady and niece, was not comprehended in those excepted. We know that you excepted them in general; but when, at your request, I entered into this alliance, you did” not make any specific exceptions of them, like to what you did respecting your fair uncle of Burgundy; and yet the principal cause of your seeking our friendship, and requesting this alliance to be made, was your dislike to your uncle of Burgundy, which we can prove whenever we please, and then all loyal men will see if you have not been defective in your conduct as to our alliance; and though hypocrisy may not avail before God, it may serve to blind mankind. When you maintain that, after you were acquainted with the pretended act done by us against our aforesaid lord and cousin, you lost all hope that I would abide by any agreement entered into with you, or any other person, we must suppose that you no longer wish to preserve any friendship with us; but we marvel greatly that some time after we were in possession of the dignity to which it has pleased God to raise us, you should send to us one of your knights wearing your badges, to assure us that you were eager to remain our very sincere friend, and that, after your lord and brother, the friendship of no prince would be so agreeable to you as ours. You charged him also to assure us, that the bonds

« ZurückWeiter »