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officers and others who governed them, for naturally A T)- l40C« the princes themselves, when they met, entertained each other and showed signs of affection, but notwithstanding those who governed them and had them in hand were by no means content, but strove each of them to rise in rank and power in order to enrich themselves and cared not about their masters to what end they might come; and all this happened for want of a wise shepherd, for if at that time there had been a king in France such as had been the father of him who then reigned, the ills and destruction of the kingdom would not have happened through the speedy provision which he would have made; but the said King Charles, then reigning, of a truth could do nothing with the jealousies, debates, and disturbances which each day arose between the princes of his blood, nor could he remedy them before the evils came, because of the malady which he suffered from, . . for which some of his nearest relations were secretly blamed, which was a great pity, for which the said noble kingdom was nearly brought to total destruction, as you shall hear more fully in this history.
How Louis Duke of Orleans xvas piteously slain at the command of Duke John oj Burgundy in the town of Paris. Chapter XIX.
In the year fourteen hundred and seven Duke Louis A D-1407' of Orleans, only whole brother of King Charles of France, sixth of that name, after he had been in Guienne and laid siege to Blaines and Bourg as you have heard before, came to Paris, where he so managed by his arguments with the aid of those of the great royal council that he obtained of the king his brother the gift of the duchy of Acquitaine, which long ago he had desired, at which many princes and great lords u 17967. H
A.D. 1407. murmured, and the common people even spoke of it, for Duke John of Burgundy, who was then at Paris, and who had been made to break up his enterprise against Calais, stirred up some to speak against the said gift, as being himself little pleased with the said Duke of Orleans because he had been the principal cause of breaking up his said army; so it seemed to the said Duke of Burgundy that the said Duke of Orleans had done very wrong to bring this annoyance, dishonour, and injury on him who had in this matter incurred costs, and his barons, knights, and subjects, friends and well-wishers had also made a large expenditure, so that he could not content or calm himself; but nevertheless it behoved him to bear it for a long time, because he could not mend it, and he knew well enough that for all this the Duke of Orleans was responsible, who for a long time had not loved the race of Burgundy whatever he might pretend, for since the times of Duke Philip his uncle, father of the said John, he had secretly sought and caused to be sought a quarrel with the said Duke Philip or his people. Duke John, inflamed by all these things, thought a good deal about this, to that he was heated with anger and ill will against the said Duke of Orleans, notwithstanding that before this peace had twice been made with the said Duke Philip, as you may have heard above. Duke John then saw that the said Duke of Orleans ceased not daily, covertly or otherwise, to desire to do something against him and his people, trusting in the King of Fiance, whose brother he was, and thinking that the Duke of Burgundy would never dare to do anything against him nor anything by which he could receive any displeasure or injuiy; but it fell out quite otherwise than as he thought, and deceived his confidence as you shall hear; for the Duke of Burgundy seeing that he, his people and officers, continued as well by deed as by word to annoy and injure him, and his impatience fco possessing Duke John that he could no longer
bear or suffer it, he sent for some of his friends A.D. 1407. and faithful counsellors to come to him at his hotel of Artois, where he lodged in Paris, with whom he decided to put to death somehow the said Duke of Orleans, which conclusion arrived at, he chose suitable men to do this, and fixed hour, place, aud time. This enterprise was the most horrible and cruel, and the one by which the kingdom received more injury than it had done for five hundred years before, because the king who could do nothing in the matter, and all the princes of the blood, and generally all the realm of France had much to suffer for it, and were greatly divided against each other, as you shall hereafter plainly hear declared. Duke John of Burgundy, who did not wish to let his enterprise be forgotten, secretly got together men to the number of eighteen, his most faithful, stoutest, boldest, and most enterprising, to carry out his desire, the first of whom was named Rollet d'Artonville, an esquire and native of Normandy, for whom Duke Philip of Burgundy in his lifetime had done so much with the King of France that [he had obtaiued for him] the office of General of Normandy, which office, immediately after the death of Duke Philip, the Duke of Orleans had got taken away from him, and the reason of this was because it was then commonly said that the Duke of Orleans kept the wife of the said Rollet, having his will of her; and because the said Rollet had somehow perceived this and spoken of it, the said duke so managed with the king and his council that this office of general was given to another person, for which the said Rollet felt great displeasure and not without reason, and so complained to Duke John of Burgundy, telling him his story at .full length; and thus the said duke seeing that the time was come and knowing the said Rollet to be a very bold venturesome man, charged and straitly commanded him to find means of putting to death
A.D. 1407. the said Duke of Orleans, whom they hated, and he would send him men who would aid him in the affair, which he did, for he sent to him first Stas de Courteheuse and his brother John de la Motte, and other bold men to the number of eighteen, who, when they had consulted about their deed, went one after the other into hiding in an old castle, and afterwards came into an hotel of l'Ymage Notre Dame, quite close to the Barbette Gate, and there, as was afterwards known, kept themselves for several days, prepared to accomplish their damnable purpose as they had been charged to do. And it was on a Wednesday, Saint Clement's day, that this piteous affair took place in the town of Paris about seven o'clock in the evening. The associates having been there some days without being able to accomplish their enterprise were apprised that the said Duke of Orleans was gone to the Queen of France, his sister-in-law, at an hotel which she had lattdy bought from the Lord of Montagu, grand master of the King's household, situate quite close to the said Barbette Gate towards their hostelry, where the said queen hail lain-in of a child lately dead, and had not yet accomplished the days of her purification. The conspirators then, desiring to carry into effect that for which they had come there, the more quickly to advance their business sent Stas de Courteheuse, who at that time was valet de chambre to the king, and whom the duke had never suspected. This Stas came to the duke and said to him, My lord, the king desires you to come presently before him, he has something to say to you of a matter which greatly touches you both. The duke, who thought of no ill, hearing the command of the king and wishing to fulfil it, though the king knew nothing about it, at once and immediately mounted his mule accompanied only by two esquires on one horse, and five or six footmen before and behind carrying torches, and his people who ought to have waited upon him made no haste, A.D. u07. and also he had gone in a private way notwithstanding that he had at that day in the town of Paris in his retinue and at his charge more than six hundred knights and esquires. When he drew near to the Barbette Gate, the seventeen companions of Stas, who were armed secretly, and were awaiting him in secret near a house where it was already quite dusk, for it was near seven o'clock in the evening, and the streets were narrow, immediately they observed the duke rushed out quickly upon him all together; one of them cried out, Kill him! and struck him with a hatchet, so that he cut his fist right off. And immediately the duke called out loudly. "I am the "Duke of Orleans, what are you doing?" to which some of them replied, striking him, " That is what we seek," with which words the greater part of them recovered themselves, and immediately without pause by force and abundance of blows ho was struck down off his mule and his head split in such wise that his brain was scattered on the pavement of the street; and there was killed with him a German esquire who threw himself upon him trying to save him. Then the authors of the deed having accomplished their enterprise, scattering and throwing caltrops after and behind them, and as swiftly as they could, departed from the place, not all together, and betook themselves where they thought they would be in safety. You may well know and bebeve that many tears and cries with great regrets arose throughout the town of Paris for the piteous death of the Duke of Orleans when it was known, especially in the household of the king; likewise the king, to whom he was natural brother, winch constrained him to this, was in great perplexity and vexation, so also were the Queen of France, the dukes, counts, and barons, duchesses, countesses, and baronesses, knights, esquires, dames