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derate computation 1,200 French knights, 1,400 gentlemen, 4,000 men-at-arms, besides about 30,000 of inferior rank. Many of the principal nobility of France, the Dukes of Lorraine and Bourbon, the Earls of Flanders, Blois, Vandemont, and Aumale, were left on the field of battle. The Kings, also, of Bohemia and Majorca were slain. The fate of the former was remarkable: he was blind from age, but being resolved to hazard his person, and set an example to others, he ordered the reins of his bridle to be tied on each side of the horses of two ntlemen of his train ; and his dead body, and those of his attendants, were afterwards found among the slain, with their horses standing by them in that situation.*
His crest was three ostrich feathers, and his motto these German words, “Ich Dien,” I serve, which the Prince of Wales and his successors adopted in memory of this great victory. The action seems no less remarkable for the small loss sustained by the English, than for the great slaughter of the French. There were killed in it only one esquire and three knights, and very few of inferior rank; a demonstration, that the prudent disposition planned by Edward, and the disorderly attack made by the French, had rendered the whole rather a rout than a battle ; which was, indeed, the common case with engagements in those times.
Hume, vol. ii., p. 437. SURRENDER OF CALAIS. After the departure of the King of France with his army from the hill of Sangate,t the Calesians saw clearly that all hopes of succour were at an end, which occasioned them so much distress, that the hardiest could scarcely support. They entreated, therefore, most earnestly, the Lord John de Vienne, their governor, to mount upon the battlements, and make a sign that he wished to hold a parley. The king upon hearing this, sent to him Sir Walter Manny and Lord Basset. When they were come near, the Lord de Vienne said to them, “Dear gentlemen, you who are very valiant knights, know that the King of France, whose subjects we are, has sent us hither to defend this town and castle from all harm and damage: this we have done to the best of our abilities. All hopes of help have now left us, so that we are most exceedingly straightened, and if the gallant king, your lord, have not pity
* The king said to his attendants,“Gentlemen, you are all my people, my friends, and brethren in arms this day, therefore, as I am blind, I request you to lead me so far into the engagement that I may strike one stroke with my sword.” The knights replied they would directiy lead him forward, and in order that they might not lo-e him in the crowd they fastened all the reins of their horses together, and put the king at their head, that he might gratify his wish, and advanced towards the enemy. They rode in among them, and the old king made good use of his sword, for he and his companions fought most gallantly. They advanced so far that they were all slain, and on the morrow they were found on the ground, with their borses all tied together.
Froissart, vol. i., p. 167. † He had come to the relief of the town, but finding the English force too formidable, and, says froissart, “that he could not in any way succeed, decamped on the morrow, and took the road to Amiens, where he disbanded his troops, the men-atarıns, as well as chose sent from the different towns.
on us, we must perish with hunger. I therefore entreat that you would beg of him to have compassion on us, and to have the goodness to allow us to depart in the state we are in, and that he will be satisfied with having possession of the town and castle, with all that is within them, as he will find riches therein to content him.” To this Sir Walter Manny replied, “John, we are not ignorant of what the king our lord's intentions are ; for he has told them to us. Know, then, that it is not his pleasure you should get off so; for he is resolved that you surrender yourselves solely to his will, to allow those whom he pleases their ransom, or to put them to death ; for the Calesians have done him so much mischief, and have by their obstinate defence cost him so many lives, and so much money, that he is mightily enraged.” The Lord de Vienne answered, “ These conditions are too hard for us; we are but a small number of knights and squires, who have loyally served our lord and master, as you would have done, and have suffered much ill and disquiet; but we will endure more than any men ever did in a similar situation, before we consent that the smallest boy in the town should fare worse than the best. I therefore once more entreat you, out of compassion, to return to the King of England, and beg of him to have pity on us; he will, I trust, grant you the favour, for I have such an opinion of his gallantry as to hope that through God's mercy he will alter his mind.” The two lords returned to the king and related what had passed. The king said he had no intentions complying with the request, but should insist that they surrender themselves unconditionally to his will. Sir Walter, replied : “My lord, you may be to blame in this, as you will set us a very bad example ; for if you order us to go to any of your castles, we shall not obey you so cheerfully, if you put these people to death ; for they will retaliate upon us in a similar case.' Many barons who were then present supported this opinion; upon which the king replied: Gentlemen,
I am not so obstinate as to hold my opinion alone against you all. Sir Walter, you will inform the governor of Calais, that the only grace he must expect from me is, that six of the principal citizens of Calais march out of the town, with bare heads and feet, with ropes round their necks, and the keys of the town and castle in their hands; these six persons shall be at my absolute disposal, and the remainder of the inhabitants pardoned.” Sir Walter returned to the Lord de Vienne who was waiting for him on the battlement, and told him all that he had been able to gain from the king. “I beg of you,” replied the governor, " that you be so good as to remain here a little, while I go and relate all that has passed to the townsmen; for as they have desired me to undertake this, it is but proper they should know the result of it." He went to the market place and caused the bell to be rung; upon which all the inhabitants, men and women, assembled in the Town-hall. He then related to them what he had said, and the answers he had received ; and that he could not obtain any conditions more favourable; to which
they must give a short and immediate answer. This information caused the greatest lamentations and despair; so that the hardest heart would have had compassion on them; even the Lord de Vienne wept bitterly.
After a short time the most wealthy citizen of the town, by name Eustace de St. Pierre, rose up and said: “Gentlemen, both high and low, it would be a very great pity to suffer so many people to die through famine, if any means could be found to prevent it; and it would be highly meritorious in the eyes of our Saviour, if such misery could be averted, I have such faith and trust in finding grace before God, if I die to save my townsmen, that I name myself first of the six. When Eustace had done speaking, they all rose up and almost worshipped him: many cast themselves at his feet with tears and groans. Another citizen, very rich and respected, rose up and said he would be the second to his companion Eustace; his name was John Daire. After him James Wisart, who was very rich in merchandise and lands, offered himself as companion to his two cousins; as did Peter Wisart, his brother. Two others then named themselves, which completed the number demanded by the King of England. The Lord de Vienne then mounted a small hackney, for it was with difficulty (being severely wounded) that he could walk, and conducted them to the gate. There was the greatest sorrow and lamentation all over the town; and in such manner they were attended to the gate, which the governor ordered to be opened, and then shut upon him and the six citizens, whom he led to the barriers, and said to Sir Walter Manny, who was waiting for him, “I deliver up to you, as Governor of Calais, with the consent of the inhabitants, these six citizens; and I swear to you that they were, and are at this day, the most wealthy and respectable inhabitants of Calais. I beg of you, gentle sir, that you would have the goodness to beseech the king, that they may not be put to death.". “I cannot answer for what the king will do with them,” replied Sir Walter, “but you may depend that I will do all in my power to save them.” The barriers were opened, when these six citizens advanced towards the pavilion of the king, and the Lord de Vienne re-entered the town. When Sir Walter Manny had presented these six citizens to the king, they fell upon their knees, and with uplifted hands, said : “ Most gallant king, you see before you six citizens of Calais who have been capital merchants, and who bring you the keys of the castle and of the town. We surrender ourselves to your absolute will and pleasure, in order to save the remainder of the inhabitants of Calais, who have suffered much distress and misery. Condescend, therefore, out of your nobleness of mind, to have mercy and compassion upon us. All the barons, knights, and squires that were assembled there in great numbers wept at the sight. The king eyed them with angry looks (for he hated much the people of Calais, for the great losses he had formerly suffered from them at sea), and ordered their heads to be stricken off. All present entreated the king that he would be more merciful to them ; but he
would not listen to them. Then Sir Walter Manny said, “Ah! gentle king, let me beseech you to restrain your anger: you have the reputation of great nobleness of soul, do not therefore tarnish it by such an act as this, nor allow any one to speak in a disgraceful manner of you.
In this instance all the world will say you have acted cruelly, if you put to death six such respectable persons, who, of their own free will, have surrendered themselves to your mercy, in order to save their fellow citizens.". Upon this the king gave a wink, saying, “Be it so," and ordered the headsman to be sent for ; for that the Calesians had done him so much damage, it was proper they should suffer for it. Upon this, the Queen of England fell upon her knees, and with tears said, “Ah! gentle sir, since I have crossed the sea with great danger to see you, I have never asked you one favour: now, I most humbly ask as a gift, for the sake of the son of the blessed Mary, and for your love to me, that you will be merciful to these six men.
The king looked at her for some time in silence, and then said, “ Ah ! lady, I wish you had been any where else than here: you have entreated in such a manner that I cannot refuse you ; I therefore give them to you, to do as you please with them.” The queen conducted the six citizens to her apartments, and had the halters taken from round their necks, after which she new clothed them, and served them with a very plentiful dinner; she then presented each with six nobles, and had them escorted out of the camp in safety.
Froissart, vol i., p. 186. THE ORDER OF THE GARTER. Edward having nothing more to do at Calais, returned to England, where soon after he instituted the famous Order of the Gartert According to common opinion the order owes its origin to
* Thus on the 4th August, 1347, was Calais severed from the French crown,'after a siege of twelve months. To secure his conquest Edward expelled all the natives who refused to swear fealty to the King of England, and re-peopled the town with a colony of his own subjects. It rapidly became a place of considerable opulence; it was appointed the general mart for the sale of merchandise exported from England, and it continued to flourish for more than two centuries under the protection of The conqueror and his successors. Among those who swore fealty to Edward was the very Eustace de St. Pierre, whose character Froissart has so much embellished. The king gave him most of his former property and additional lands, and he on his part undertook to maintain by his influence, peace among the native population. At his death, in 1351, these donations reverted to the crown, because his heirs refused to acknowledge Edward for their sovereign.
Lingard, vol. iv., p. 57. † About this time (1344) the King of England resolved to rebuild and embellish the great castle of Windsor, which King Arthur had first founded in time past, and where he had erected and established that noble round table from whence so many gallant knights had issued forth, and displayed the valiant prowess of their deeds at arms over the world. King Edward, therefore, determined to establish an order or knighthood, consisting of himself, his children, and the most gallant knights in Christendom, to the number of forty. He ordered it to be denominated “knights of the blue garter," and that the feast should be celebrated every year, at Windsor, upon St. George's day. He summoned, therefore, all the earls, barons and knights of his realm, to inform them of his intentions: they heard it with great pleasure ; for it appeared to them highly honourable, and capable of increasing love and friendship, Forty kuights (ewenty-six was the actual number) were then elected, according to report and estimation the bravest in Christendom, who sealed, and #xore to maintain and keep the feast and the statutes which had been made. The king founded a chapel at Windsor, in honour of St. George, and established canons, there to serve God, with a handsome endowment. He then issued his proclamation for this feast by his heralds, whom he sent to France, Scotland, Burgundy, Hainault, Flanders, Brabant, and the empire of Germany, and offered to all knights and squires, that might come to this ceremony, passports to last for fifteen days after it was over. The celebration of this order was fixed for St. George's day next ensuing, to be held at Windsor, 1344 ; and the queen was to be present, accompanied by three hundred ladies and damsels, all of high birth, and richly dressed in similar robes.
an accident in itself of little importance, but in regard to its consequences very remarkable, if it be true that it gave rise to this order of knighthood. It is said, that Edward being at a ball, where the Countess of Salisbury, in dancing, dropped her garter, stooped to take it up; that lady imagining he had some other design, and showing her surprise, he said to her, to clear himself. Honi soit qui mal y pense-Evil to him that evil thinks. It is added that, in memory of this accident, he instituted the Order of the Garter, to which he gave for motto the words spoken to the countess. An origin, so little worthy of the lustre wherewith this order has all along shone since its institution, appears at first sight
so very offensive, that several ingenious wits have endeavoured to find į out a more honourable. Some affirm, the reason of Edward's in
stituting this order was, because, on the day of the Battle of Cressy, he had given garter for the word. Others say it was because on that day he ordered his garter to be fixed at the end of a lance for a signal of battle. Lastly there are who advance, that Edward only revived and regulated an order of knighthood, begun by Richard I., at the siege of Acre, in Palestine. They say King Richard, resolving to storm the town, distributed to some of his principal officers certain leather thongs to be tied round the leg, to distinguish them during the assault, and in memory of that event Edward instituted the Order of the Garter. But all this is said without sufficient proof. Besides, whatever endeavours have been used to give the order a different origin from the first abovementioned, nothing has been found satisfactory concerning the reason of the motto-Honi soit qui mal y pense. The motto agrees very well with the first circumstance, but has no connexion with those substituted in its room. It is no less uncertain why the knight's wear the garter on their left legs rather than on the right legs, or why the founder chose to put the order under the protection of St. George. But this is certain, that the great prince's design was to engage the present and future knights to distinguish themselves by their courage and virtue. This, of all the like orders, has best adhered to the rules of its institution. More ancient than those of the Golden Fleece and Holy Ghost, it has never degenerated as to the number, which has all along been twenty-six, including the sovereign of the order, who is always the person that wears the crown of England. * The kings and
Froissart, vol. i., p. 125. * Originally there were twenty-six knights companions; but in the year 1786, owing to the increase in the royal family, six more were added. Various offlcer.