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This was caused by the divisions that existed among the nobles, some taking part with the king and others with the duke of Burgundy, and therefore they were fearful of trusting each other. The constable had besides drawn off the greater part of the forces in this district to Paris, to be prepared to meet the duke of Burgundy, whom he daily expected in those parts with a large army.
At this period, by orders from the holy council at Constance, Italy, France, England, and Germany, selected four discreet men from each nation, who entered the conclave with the cardinals of the Roman court, to elect a pope, on the eve of Martinmas-day. During the time they were shut up in conclave, Sigismund emperor of Germany, and king of Hungary and Bohemia, was seated on his royal throne without the doors of the conclave, having on his head an imperial crown, and in his hand the sceptre, surrounded by a numerous body of princes, knights, and men-at-arms. By the grace of the Holy Spirit (it is to be believed), they unanimously elected for pope the cardinal Colonna, a native of Rome. He bore for arms a shield vermilion, having a column argent in the centre surmounted with a crown or. He was conducted to the cathedral church, and consecrated by the cardinal of Ostia, dean of the cardinals, and took the name of Martin V.
This nomination was instantly published throughout all nations, for which the clergy and people returned thanks to God, with the exception of the city of Paris ; for they were afraid this new pope and the emperor of Germany would be more favourable to the king of England and the duke of Burgundy than to the king of France, his son, the count d'Armagnac and others of the king's council.
CHAPTER CLXXII. THE LORD DE CANNY IS SENT BY THE KING OF FRANCE AMBASSADOR
TO THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, WHOM HE FINDS AT AMIENS. THE ANSWER HE RECEIVES
FROM THE DUKE.
The duke of Burgundy had been a long time in making his preparations for a successful issue to his enterprise ; and when all things were ready, he marched his army from Arras on St. Laurence's day, toward Corbie, with the intent to continue his march to Paris. On the same evening that he arrived at Corbie, Raoul de Roye, abbot of the place, departed this life, to the great sorrow of the duke. After remaining some days at Corbie, he went to Amiens, where he was most honourably received by all ranks, and. carols were sung in the streets he passed through to his lodgings, at the house of master Robert le jeune, his counsellor.
Before he left Amiens he appointed a new set of officers, namely, the lord de Belloy governor, the lord de Humbercourt bailiff, Andrew Clavel attorney-general; and he changed others according to his good pleasure. During his stay at Amiens, letters were presented to him, signed by the king himself, by sir Aubert lord of Canny and Varennes, who said, "Very noble prince, and renowned lord, it will appear by these letters from the king our lord that I am commanded to enjoin and order you in his name, that you do instantly lay aside the expedition you have undertaken, by disbanding your army, that you return to your own country, and that you write him your reasons why you have raised this army contrary to his orders." The duke instantly replied, "You, lord de Canny, are, if you please, or if you do not please, of our kindred, by the Flanders line ; notwithstanding which, in good truth, I have a great mind to have your head struck off for having brought me such a message." The lord de Canny, greatly terrified at this speech, fell on his knees, and humbly begged that he would hold him excused, for that he had been constrained to obey the king's commands, showing, at the same time, the instructions that had been given him by the king and council. The knights who surrounded the duke taking the part of the lord de Canny, he was somewhat appeased, but said he would not inform him of his intentions, and that another should carry his answer to tho king; that he should not pay any regard to the prohibitions the king had sent, but would march his army to Paris as speedily as he could, and reply, face to face, to his majesty, to all the charges he had made against him.
The duke, notwithstanding, ordered his council to draw up separate answers to the articles of the instructions given to the lord de Canny, as well as to the different charges made by the king, which he gave to the lord de Canny, making him at the same time promise that he would deliver this writing into the hands of the king and of none other. It contained also the names of the traitors in the king's council, and such of his officers as wished the destruction of the duke. The lord do Canny, having finished his business, left Amiens and returned to the king at Paris.
Here follow the instructions given to sir Aubert do Canny lord de Varennes in the name of the king and council, prescribing his mode of proceeding with the duke of Burgundy.
"He will first address the duke of Burgundy, and say that the king and my lord the dauphin are greatly astonished at his conduct towards the king and his highness, considering how near related to them he is by blood, and under what obligations he lies to them, as he has often avowed by his speeches, and by his various letters. He will strongly remonstrate with him on the open warfare which his vassals, subjects, and allies are carrying on against the king, by taking towns and castles by storm, and committing numberless cruelties by fire and sword against the liege subjects of the king, as bad or even worse than his enemies the English could have done. He will remonstrate with him, that his officers, and others attached to him, make the inhabitants of many of the king's towns swear obedience to the duke of Burgundy, forbidding them henceforward to pay any taxes or subsidies which they have usually done to the royal treasury, which is an astonishing act of authority against the honour and dignity of the king. Ho will likewise declare, that the above acts having been done so nearly at the time of the invasion of the English, it has caused many persons to suspect they were committed for their advantage, and to prevent the king from making resistance against them, and that the duke of Burgundy is their sworn ally.
"The lord de Canny, for these reasons, will, in the king's name, insist that the duke of Burgundy do henceforth abstain from such acts, more especially from attacking any of the towns in France, laying siege to them, and forcing the inhabitants to take illegal oaths. He will, at the same time require, that all the men-at-arms who have been assembled shall be disbanded, and sent to their different homes; for, considering the manner and time in which they have been collected, the king is firmly persuaded they have been thus raised to afford succour to the English, and to harass the king and his realm. Item, to induce the duke to comply, sir Aubert will dilate on the great dishonour he will incur, and the shame and reproach that will fall on him and his family, should he persevere in his present conduct; and at the same time gently entreat him to consider well these matters, and not to inflict such disgrace on the memory of his good father, who was so valiant and loyal, and who enjoined him, on his death-bed, to be ever obedient to the king and to his commands. Item, sir Aubert will, in like manner, remonstrate on all these matters with the barons, knights, esquires, and others who may have accompanied the duke of Burgundy, and to whom he may gain access, requiring them, in the king's name, not to fall off from that loyalty which they and their predecessors have always shown to the kiug and his realm, nor to disgrace themselves by listening to evil advisers, or by any act to draw on themselves and successors the opprobrium of being reported in times to come not only disobedient to their king, but even favourers of the enemies of the kingdom. Item, in the execution of these instructions, sir Aubert will act in the most gracious and polite manner,—and, before his return to Paris, will request to have answers in writing from all to whom he shall have addressed himself.
"Item, should the duke of Burgundy, or any of his partisans, say, that those who have at present the government of the king, have showered on him, the duke, so many and gross insults that they were not longer to be borne,—sir Aubert will reply, that supposing any of those about the king's person should have done anything displeasing to the duke, that is not a sufficient reason why he should endeavour to destroy the kingdom, as he is daily doing, nor why he should favour and give support to the English, the king's enemies, at the expense of his own honour and that of his posterity; for he might have expressed his dissatisfaction in a more decent and becoming manner. Item, sir Aubert will 'besides say, that in compliance with the requests of the late lord of Hainault, whose soul may God pardon! and from a sincere wish for peace with the duke of Burgundy and all others, the king had granted many considerable gifts, which ought to have been very agreeable to the duke, for they were much to his profit, and to that of his dependants. Nevertheless, the king's hand is not so closed but that he is well inclined to show great courtesy and favours to the duke of Burgundy, and all others in his service, should there be occasion, and should they perform that duty they are bounden to do. Item, should it be necessary, sir Aubert shall have giveu to him copies in writing of the answers which the king made to the complaints of the duke of Burgundy, and of the acts that he said had been done to his prejudice, for him to show such answers to the barons, knights, esquires, and others of the nobility who may be attached to, or in the service of the duke of Burgundy.
"Given at Paris, the 2nd day of August, in the year of Grace 1417-"
Signed by the king: countersigned, "Ferrement."
Here follows a copy of the answers which the duke of Burgundy made to the articles of the instructions in the name of the king, and given to sir Aubert de Canny, lord de Varennes.
"In the first place, with regard to the astonishment of the king at the conduct which the duke of Burgundy holds in opposition to his majesty, considering how nearly related he is to him by blood, and how very much he has been obliged to him,—the duke replies, that he is in truth his relation and vassal, and bound to serve him before all and against all; and it is from his warm affection and attachment that he is so anxious and pressing to procure a reform in the government of the realm, as well in regard to what personally concerns the king, the queen, and his children, as in the repairs of his palaces, the maintenance of strict justice, and a more equitable management of the public finances, as may be clearly proved by various royal ordinances. These reforms have been solemnly sworn to bo pursued by the perseverance of the duke of Burgundy, in the presence of the king holding a bed of justice; but, through the intrigues of those who now surround the throne, and who shall hereafter be named, these measures have not only been interrupted, and then laid aside, but the finances of the king, his realm, and in general of all the resident subjects iu the kingdom, have been most shamefully dissipated. - They have even attempted to destroy, in body and estate, the duke of Burgundy, his well-wishers, and such of them as they could apprehend; and have employed the arms of the spiritual court against them, to effect the dishonour and damnation of his fair reputation, and of the renown of himself, and posterity; but the duke of Burgundy did obtain from the council of Constance a sentence in his favour, which clearly demonstrates the upright conduct of the duke, and the wickedness and hatred of his enemies.
"Item, with respect to what concerns the subjects of Burgundy, and others who avow their attachment to the duke, making open war on the king's towns and subjects, &e.— the duke of Burgundy replies, that when he perceived those about the king's person were persevering in their rigorous acts, and that they were unwilling to listen to any wholesome reforms for the welfare of the state, and that insult was added to insult upon him, by every violent means, the duke of Burgundy found himself obliged to send notice, by letters-patent, of these harsh proceedings, to many of the principal towns within the realm, signifying, at the same time, his good intentions,]and the means he proposed to remedy them; and it was for this purpose he issued his summonses for assembling men-at-arms and archers. Thanks to God, he had now under his command, for the service of the king and the welfare of the kingdom, six thousand knights and esquires, and an army of thirty thousand combatants, all well-wishers to his majesty, his realm, and loyal subjects. During the march of this army, the duke approached several large towns, the inhabitants of which, knowing his good intentions, opened their gates to him. This army has forced many places, full of plunderers, to surrender to him in the king's name, and he has regarrisoned them with good and loyal subjects to the king, who are incapable of committing anything dishonourable to his majesty, themselves, or their country; and this has been done with the full approbation of these towns and the adjoining countries.
"Item, respecting the charge that has been made against the officers of the duke of Burgundy, for having induced several towns to swear obedience to hhn, and having afterward forbidden them to pay any taxes to the king, &c, the duke of Burgundy replies, that if he has received the oaths of allegiance from any city or town, it has been done that they might persevere in their loyalty towards the king, and for the good of his realm, to the confusion and disgrace of those who prevent a peace being made, and who are the destroyers of the kingdom. Such as may have joined the duke of Burgundy, and are obedient to him, have been induced so to do from a knowledge of his upright intentions, and a confidence that his love for the king and kingdom exceeds that of all others. It is not true, under respect to the king, that sueh towns have been forbidden to pay any of the taxes due to the crown; but it may have been that they were ordered not to pay them to those false traitors the present ministers, but to reserve them to be employed for the king's service at proper times and places,—and this should be considered as praise-worthy; for of all the immense sums they have received, the greater part have been shamefully mismanaged, and taken from the king to be divided among themselves and the enemies of France, to the irreparable loss of the king, his realm, and chivalry, as is well known to all the world. The duke, however intends, when he shall be admitted to the presence of the king, to propose the abolishing of the most oppressive taxes, and that the good subjects of the realm may again enjoy their ancient rights and privileges in a reasonable manner.
"Item, in regard to the charge made against the duke of Burgundy, that his conduct has been influenced by his friendship for England, and that what he has done has been with a view to support the English in their invasion of France, and that the duke of Burgundy is their sworn ally,—the duke replies, that such an imagination could not have been formed in the heart of any honest man. The English have formerly invaded France without opposition, (although the same traitorous ministers governed the king and his realm), and to the great loss of the French chivalry. It is therefore to be supposed that since the English gained such success from the weak administration of his majesty's ministers, they intend to persevere in hopes of further advantages; and they have even taken the town of Harfleur, one of the strongest sea-ports in Normandy. This ought to be treasured up in the memories of all the noble chivalry attached to the duke of Burgundy, whom these wicked traitors wish to denounce as being disinclined to make any resistance to the English; and, with all due respect to the king, those who shall say that the duke of Burgundy is the sworn ally of the English, lie wickedly and damnably.
"Item, respecting the request made to the duke of Burgundy, that he would disband and send to their homes the troops he has assembled, the duke replies, that now the false and disloyal conduct of these traitors is very apparent, for every one knows that they have not raised any powers to oppose the English; and that it is at this moment more necessary than ever to have a suflicient force for the defence of the king and kingdom, especially such faithful and loyal knights and esquires as compose the duke's army, instead of disbanding and dismissing them to their homes; and it is clear that the conduct of the ministry tends more to favour the enemy, and oppress the king and country. Those noble men who compose the duke's army should particularly observe, that these traitors consider them as disloyal to their king, and enemies to their country. The duke also declares, in the most positive manner, for himself and his companions, that he will not disband his army, but will continue to proceed according to the tenor of his public letters declaratory thereof.—Item, with regard to the dishonour and disgrace in which he, the duke of Burgundy, will involve himself and family should he persevere in his present line of conduct, and, according to the remonstrances of sir Aubert de Canny, cover thereby his worthy and valiant father's memory with infamy, who, on his death-bed, strictly enjoined him to be ever obedient to the king and to his commands,—the duke replies, that his father, of worthy memory, whose soul may God pardon! was, as it is truly said, ever loyal and faithful to the king; and it was from his knowledge of the weak and wicked government of France at the time of his decease, that he ordered his son faithfully to serve the king and crown of France without sparing his person or fortune; and it has been for this reason that the duke of Burgundy has adopted the present measures, as the sole means for the reformation and reparation of the king's government. These measures have not been adopted by him of a sudden, but deliberately, and after maturely weighing the consequences with his council; and should he now change his conduct, he would be very justly blamed and reproached,—for this reason, therefore, he is resolved to proceed therein.
"Item, with respect to sir Aubert de Canny remonstrating with the lords, barons, knights and esquires attached to the duke of Burgundy, on the above matters,—the duke replies, that the conduct he has hitherto held and proposes to pursue, with God's pleasure, has been with the advice and approbation of his barons, knights, esquires, and other notable persons, and he therefore shall give full liberty for any such remonstrances to be made to them; for the more they shall be conversed with on these matters, the more fully will they be made acquainted with the iniquities of those who prevent a peace, and disturb the good intentions of the duke of Burgundy.—Item, in regard to the polite and gracious manner in which sir Aubert de Canny is ordered to make these remonstrances, and to declare the king's prohibitions to him and to his company, &c.—the duke replies, that not having any consciousness that such commands and prohibitions were proper to be made him, knowing for a certainty that they are not the real sentiments of the king, who on the contrary lovea him affectionately, and is very earnest to see him, having often demanded his presence, he is aware that these false and wicked traitors have drawn up these instructions in an underhand manner, and that at this moment, when the enemy have landed in the kingdom, it is not a time to obey such orders and prohibitions; but this force, as well as the aid of all loyal subjects, ought now to be exerted in the defence of the country. Even supposing the enemies had not effected their invasion, the duke of Burgundy would not have suffered such false traitors to hold the government of the kingdom.
"Item, respecting what is said of the duke of Burgundy and of others in his company, that supposing those who have the management of the king should have done acts displeasing to them, and added insults to insults, these were not sufficient reasons to authorise the duke to endeavour to destroy the kingdom, or to afford aid and advice to the English,—the duke replies, that in addition to what he has before said, and other innumerable instances too long to relate, it is notorious that the present ministers, namely, sir Henry de Marie, the bishop of Paris, sir Tanneguy du ChateL, sir Burel de Dammartin, master Stephen de Mauregard, master Philip de Corbie, with several others, have been the principal promoters, and leaders in those iniquitous measures, disturbers of the peace of the realm, and guilty of many other excesses and great crimes, as shall be detailed more at large hereafter. The duke of Burgundy, therefore, has not assembled his forces to destroy the kingdom, or to favour the English, but to drive the present ministers from power, and from about the person of the king; and he will never desist from this praiseworthy intention so long as life may bo granted him,—for they are not such persons as should have authority, not being worthy by birth, knowledge, experience, or loyalty; and it is become a subject of contempt and laughter that persons of such low estate, and of so small a share of knowledge or experience, should have intrusted to them the expulsion of the English. The barons and principal persons of the realm should weigh this matter well, and not suffer themselves to be thus supplanted by persons of no understanding or birth; for they have shown themselves of weak capacity in daily committing acts of the utmost cruelty on the liege subjects of the king, under pretence of maintaining justice and order.
"Item, in respect to what relates to the king having (at tho solicitations of the count de Hainault, whose soul may God pardon!) from a love of peace, granted to the duke of Burgundy and those who had served him, many handsome gifts, but which the duke made light of,—the duke replies, that from his anxiety to preserve peace and union in France, which he has ever felt and feels from the bottom of his heart, he waited on my lord the dauphin lately deceased, and my lord of Hainault, to whose souls may God show mercy! and after much conversation relative to a peace, the duke of Burgundy offered them a schedule of his terms for the conclusion thereof, with all who may be desirous of partaking of it, with the exception of king Louis of Sicily, lately deceased, on account of disputes that existed between them: with this proposal, the dauphin and the count de Hainault were perfectly satisfied. For the accomplishment of which, they were to meet at Compiegne, as every despatch would be necessary, the sooner to put an end to the miseries of war. However, those traitors who surround the king, by their intrigues, protracted the business for three months, or thereabout, without coming to any final decision. The count du Hainault at length went to Paris, and, by means of tho queen, procured from these traitors