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bravely defending the towns he had taken, retard the progress of the French towards Guienne, for the reduction of which great preparations had been made.
King Edward was no sooner informed by the Earl of this unexpected revolution, than he prepared to haften in person to his relief; but being detained at Southampton a considerable time by contrary winds, and despairing of arriving in time to save Guienne, he was persuaded by Geoffrey d'Harcourt, a Norman, to change the place of his destination. This Nobleman having displeased his master the King of France, to avoid his anger fled to England; where he was received by King Edward as a valuable acquisition. Urged by the same motives as Robert d'Artois, he entered into the King's resentments, and advised him to the best methods of prosecuting them. He pointed out to him, that an invasion by way of Normandy promised more certain fuccess, than the intended expedition to
Guienne ; Guienne ; the northern provinces of thé, kingdom being left almost defenceless by the departure of those troops which had been drawn towards the south : that this part of the country being exceedingly plentiful, would supply his army with necessaries ; whilst the many rich cities with which it also abounded, would afford plunder fufficient to repay the expences of the war. These and many other reasons which this Nobleman gave the King, induced him to alter his plans and he ordered his fleet, which consisted of near a thousand fail, to steer for La Hogue in Normandy, where after a short passage he safely disembarked his army on the 12th of July 1'346.
In this expedition my hero the Prince of Wales, then only fixteen years old, first entered on that stage, which he ever after trod with so much reputation to himself, and glory to the kingdom which gave him birth. From this period therefore shall I begin my account of him ; as nothing wor
thy of notice can be supposed to have happened in the earlier part of his life ; only remarking, that from his very childhood he gave proofs of strength, courage, and solidity of judgment far above his years. It is uncertain whether he acquired the name of Black Prince from the colour of the armour he usually wore, as fome Historians affert, or from that gloom which his dreadful deeds in war fpread over the whole kingdom of France, and induced that people to give him the appellation of Le Noir. The Prince, with several of the young Nobility, received the honour of Knighthood from his Royal Father on their landing'; and every prudent disposition being made by King Edward, the English army immediately marched towards Caen, a populous and commercial city. :
The King of France was thrown into the greatest perplexity when he was informed of this unexpected invasion ; he however issued orders for raising troops from
alt quarters, and in the mean time difpatched the Count d’Eu, Constable of France, and the Count de Tankerville, to ftop the progress of his adversary. The inhabitants of Caen receiving this. reinforcement, animated by their numbers, ventured against the advice of the Constable to meet the English in the field; but their courage failing them on the first shock, they fled' with precipitation, leaving the two Counts their Commanders to the mercy of the enemy. The victors entered the city with the flying citizens, and a dreadful masacre ensued; King Edward however put a stop to it as soon as it was possible, but permitted his men to begin a plunder which lafted three days. The effects collected on this occafion were put on board the ships and fent over to England, with three hundred of the richest citizens, from whose ransom the captors expected a future profit.
The King marched next to Rouen, in hopes of treating that city in the same man
ner ; but he found that Philip was arrived there with a considerable force, and that he had already ordered the bridge to be broken down.. Disappointed in this design he continued his march along the banks of the Şeine in his rouț to Paris, wishing to get poffeffion of his enemy's capital. In this scheme he was also frustrated by the same precautions ; for he found all the bridges demolished both on that river and on the Somme.
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.. Edward's situation now became extremely hazardous; as on the opposite banks of the river an army commanded by Lord Gondemar de Faye attended his motions, whilft Philip pursued him at the head of one hundred thouland men. In this dilemma the King of. fered a considerable reward to any one that would give him intelligence of a safe passage oyer the Sommé. A Peasant, tempted by the sum, betrayed the interest of his country, and informed him of a ford below Abbeville which might be passed at low water, : The