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1415. carry arms should repair with all diligence day and night to acquire honour with the constable wherever he might be. Even the Duke of Guienne had a great desire to go, though he had been forbidden by his father, the King of France; however, by the influence of King Louis and the Duke of Berry he was persuaded not to go. Then all the lords and warlike people hastened to join the constable, who had already gone down to the country of Artois, and who, having the express command of his lord the king, sent hastily the lord of Mongauchier to the Count of Charolois, only son of duke John of Burgundy, to inform him of the determination that had been taken to fight the English, requesting him affectionately, on behalf of the King of France, that he would be at the battle. The lord of Mongauchier found the count at Arras, where he was received with honour by him and all those of his council; and after he had explained the occasion of his coming to the count, the council being present, it was answered by the lords of Roubaix and Viesville, who were then his principal governors, that they would use their utmost diligence concerning his request, and so the said the lord of Mongauchier departed. However, though the said Count of Charolois wished with all his heart to fight in person with the English, and also the said governors gave him to understand that he should be there, yet they were strictly enjoined by Duke John, his father, in terms they could not mistake, that they should prevent him from going. For which reason, and in order to have him out of the way, they took him to Aire, to which place the constable anew sent some lords, and Mountjoy, king-at-arms, to make requests to the count similar to those which the lord of Mongauchier had made; but, briefly to tell, the thing was always broken off by the said governors, and they even found means of keeping him within the castle of the town of Aire, as secretly and securely as they
could, in order that he should not know the day ofA.D. Uis. battle. Meanwhile most of the people of his household, who knew the business was coming on, set out secretly without hi3 knowledge, and went with the French to be at the fight with the English ; and there remained with the said count only the young lord of Anthoing and his governors above named, who at last, in order to satisfy him, informed him of the prohibition of the duke his father against his going to this affair, which he took not in good part; and, as I was afterwards informed, he withdrew at these words to his private chamber weeping.
How the King of England conducted himself after crossing the river Somme, and how he came to lodge at Maisoncelles, near Azincourt. Chapter IX.
Now it becomes us to return to the King of England from the day that he came to lodge at Moncy-la-Gace, where he was made certain that he would be fought. Thence he took his way straight to Encre, and went to lodge at a village called Forteville, and his people lodged at Cennes and the neighbourhood, always in the same order that you have heard above, clothed in armour; and the next day, which was Wednesday, he rode almost to Luceu, and went to lodge at Bonnieres-l'Eschaillon, and the Duke of York, his uncle, leading the vanguard, lodged at Fervent, on the river Canche. And the English lodged this night in at least seven or eight villages, without meeting any hindrance; for the French, in order to be in front of them, had drawn towards Saint Pol and the river Anvin. To tell the truth, the King of England expected to lodge in another
A.D. Mi's, village, which his harbingers had retained for him, but he who is more tenacious of the ceremonies of honour, ought to he highly commended therefor. Now, in order that people may have some understanding of these facts, we shall speak a little about them here. It is true that whensoever during this expedition he wished to send couriers to towns or castles, or about any of his affairs, he made the lords and gentlemen who went divest themselves of their coats of mail, and resume them on their return. So it happened on the day that the King of England left Bonnieres to go towards Blangy, near which was a village which had been appointed for his lodging by his harbingers, he nevertheless, not being warned, or conducted to the said village, passed beyond it about half a league, and rode forward. Then he was told that he had passed his lodging place, but he replied, "God forbid I should "return, since I have on my coat of mail" So he went on still further to the neighbourhood of Blangy, where he lodged, and made his people sleep around him. Next day the King of England, having left his night quarters, rode on in the usual manner, always taking the direct way towards Calais; and it was the twenty-fourth day of October, the eve of St Crispin; but he had scarcely turned out when his scouts reported that they had seen the French in large bodies guarding his road, and they were informed that they were to lodge at Rousseauville and Azincourt in order to fight him on the morrow, to which the king replied that it was well.
King Henry, then being apprised of this, and because the passage of the river at Blangy, in Ternois, was long and narrow, before crossing it, made six noblemen of his vanguard divest themselves of their coats of mail and cross first to see whether the passage had no guard. They found it had none, and that there was no opposition; so the whole English army crossed with great expedition. When they had got over, and regainedA-N-1415the road, they had gone but a little way when they perceived before them the French in great force; wherefore King Henry made all his men dismount, and put them in good order of battle, expecting to be fought on this day. And all the English were engaged in devotional exercises, praying our Lord God that he would be their help; and there they remained till sunset. Similarly the French, who could well discern the battle army of the English, expecting to fight them, put themselves in good order, iput on their coats of mail, displayed banners and pennons, and made several new knights. Among those who , received the order of knighthood was Philip Count of Nevers, by Marshal Boucicault, with a great number of other noble esquires; and there near Azincourt gathered all the French in a single body.
When the King of England saw that it was already late, he made all his army draw towards Maisoncelles, which was near; but before he lay down he gave liberty to the prisoners, nobles, and others, who were at that time with his army, they promising him that if the victory turned on his side they would all return to him and to their masters if they were living, but if it fell to him to lose the battle, he for ever freed them from fealty and ransom. After the prisoners were thus liberated, the King of England lodged in the said town of Maisoncelles, so near his enemies that the foremost of his vanguard saw them quite plainly, and heard them call each other by name, and make a great noise; but as for the English, never did people make less noise, for hardly did one hear them utter a word, or speak together.
When the French saw that the King of England had lodged himself at Maisoncelles, and that they would not be fought that day, it was commanded on behalf of the King of France and his constable A.D. uio. that each one should sleep in the place where he was.
Then you might have seen banners and pennons furled round the lances, and coats of mail put off, mules and trunks unpacked, and each of the lords sending their servants and harbingers into the neighbouring villages to seek for straw or litter to put under them, that they might sleep in the same place where they were, which was much beaten down by the trampling of the hoises. And almost all the night it ceased not to rain, and there continued a great noise of pages, grooms, and all kinds of people; such that, as it is said, the English could hear them plainly, but those on their side were not heard; for during this night all that could find a priest confessed themselves; the men-at-arms tightened their armour, sharpening their aguilettes, and doing whatever was their business; the archers looked to their bows and cords, and whatever was necessary for them. Then when it came to be early morning, the King of England began to hear his masses; for it was his custom to hear three every day, one after the other; and he had on every piece of his armour, except his head gear; but after the masses were said he had brought to him his helmet, which was very rich, and had a handsome crown of gold around it like an imperial crown; then when he was fully equipped, he mounted a small grey horse, without spurs, and without causing any trumpet or other instrument to sound, he quietly drew his battalion from its night quarters, and there on a fine field of young corn arranged his troops; and, to guard his baggage and that of his men, he appointed a gentleman with ten lances, and twenty archers, besides pages, who were of noble birth, and some sick, who could be no help. He formed all his men into a single body, as closely massed as he could, his men-atarms in the middle, and all his banners pretty near each other. At each side of the men-at-arms were the archers; and there might be in all about ten