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forfeited by the proprietors who refused to hold them under England, and the new government was thus rendered hateful in each place. The proclamation offering those who had fled permission to retain their property was coupled with the condition of their doing homage to the conqueror; so that many refused such terms, preferring confiscation, and those who accepted them were reduced rather to silence than subjection. Even the lowering of an oppressive tax, the gabelle, or duty on salt, had been found to afford little relief; for an impost equal to a fourth of the value was retained, and the exclusive power of selling the article was vested in public functionaries whose malversations had been described in the edict as the principal part of the burthen, and assigned as the ground of the reduction.1 The necessities of the war, too, had made Henry during the next year add to this duty. Then, although he succeeded in making a truce with the Duke of Brittany, which relieved him from some apprehension on that side, yet in Gascony he was threatened with an unexpected attack from the Spaniards, whose fleet scoured those seas, and who were preparing to besiege Bayonne.2 A large force was also destined by the Castilian Monarch to aid the Dauphin, whose cause he warmly espoused; and troops from Scotland were daily expected to join that prince, under Buchan, a skilful and experienced commander.
While all Henry's attempts failed to obtain succours 1 Bym., ix. 584. « lb., ix. 703.
from his dominions in the south of France, in England a growing discontent with the duration of the war prevented him from calling a Parliament during the whole of the year 1418, and until the latter end of the following year. He constantly urged Bedford to send him recruits, stating that his army was greatly weakened both by losses in the field and by the number of men which he was obliged to leave in the conquered towns. The Regent's exertions, however, though backed by the King's own letter and proclamations addressed both to the counties and March,
April, to individuals, failed to produce the desired 1419. effect; for the answer generally given was that the able-bodied men were almost all serving in the army already. In this state of things he all of a sudden found the main source of his past successes cut off by the unexpected reconcilement of the Burgundians and Armagnacs, and saw that he had now to encounter the united force of the monarchy in the field, as well as the rage of the people whom he had invaded and oppressed, but not enslaved. He had every reason, indeed, to expect that as soon as a formidable army took the field against him, the inhabitants would rise in his rear and cut off his retreat. Already he had experienced their disposition to revolt against his garrisons in the principal towns; and a conspiracy of the people of Rouen to deliver up the place to the Burgundians had only been defeated by the governor, Guy le Bouteillier, to whom the ringleaders confided their design, but who
denounced them to Henry, and had them put to death.
In this situation of complicated difficulty, his wonted courage and decision did not forsake him. Pressing forward, in order to make a great impression before the newly formed alliance of his adversaries should have time to be consolidated and produce a cordial co-operaJuly 31, tion, he marched a strong detachment to Pon1419- toise, a fortified place, about nineteen miles from the capital, and left under the command of L'Isle Adam: he was taken by surprise, and fled with his garrison and the wealthy inhabitants through the gate leading to Paris, as the English entered by the opposite gate. They thus obtained possession of the town, which they gave up to pillage. The riches which it contained, from the number of persons who had taken refuge within its walls, were in great part removed on the first alarm being given that the English were entering; but such was the insubordination which prevailed in the country, that the fugitives, who directed their steps towards Beauvais, were met and rifled on the way by some of the predatory bands which since the commencement of the civil war infested all parts of France. Upon the capture of this place, Clarence was sent to attack Gisors, and before it surrendered he marched his troops close to the walls of Paris, ravaging all the districts in the neighbourhood. The fall of Pontoise and the bold movement of Clarence threw the Parisians into such consternation that no troops were
HENRY THE FIFTH. 181
marched out to chastise the bravado of the English, although they remained two days under the walls. The Burgundian, too, perceiving that the capital was not secure from a surprise, deemed it prudent to remove the court, and he established it at Troyes. Meanwhile Henry sustained a reverse by the Dauphin's troops retaking Avranches and Pontorson. But an event now happened, wholly unexpected, which at once extricated him from all his difficulties, and not only gave a new aspect to the state of his affairs, but a new complexion to his whole enterprise.
Whether the reconcilement of the Dauphin and the Burgundian had from the first been insincere, or that, as oftentimes happens, their followers, especially the favourites, retained their former animosities, or that some jealousy of the more able and eminent individual, heightened probably by his not having found it easy to lay aside the habit of command, arose in the mind of the inferior party, certain it is that some differences were perceivable soon after the treaty of Melun, and seemed likely enough to obstruct the complete execution of its provisions. A meeting of the two chiefs was strongly recommended by the Dauphin's counsellors, upon the plausible pretext of improving their amicable dispositions, and concerting measures against the English. He was then at Montereau, on the junction of the Yonne and Seine,1 with Jean Louvet, President of Provence, and Tanneguy du Chastel, his chief advisers, as we have seen; and he had a large army with him also. It was proposed that the Burgundian should repair thither, and occupy the castle, which was made ready for his reception; but he was extremely unwilling to quit Troyes, and proposed that the Dauphin should rather go there, to visit the King and Queen. This correspondence was carried on by Tanneguy. He had been one of the Dauphin's most zealous adherents, and hitherto the implacable enemy of the Duke. With him, nevertheless, he found means to prevail so far that he set out attended by a few hundred men, and arrived at Braysur-Seine. Here his misgivings returned,
1 It is culled Monterenu-faut-Yonne, formerly "oii-I'aut-Yonne;" that is, Montereau where the Yonue fails or is lost in the Seine.
Sept. 1419. and he would proceed no farther. It happened unfortunately for him that his chief counsellor, the Bishop of Langres, had a brother in the Dauphin's sendee, the Bishop of Valence, who was despatched to make his relative join in the general solicitation; but without female influence the united efforts of the two prelates would probably have failed. Nor was this wanting. Madame de Giac, whose husband was one of the Duke's counsellors, enjoyed in a peculiar manner his favour. She had been a zealous promoter of the treaty at Melun, and now exerting her powerful influence to promote the desired interview, she succeeded in lulling all suspicions. A Jew, one of the Burgundian's retainers, earnestly besought him not to go, predicting that if he went he never would return; but this warning was disregarded, and he