« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
and deputy Lewis Dive, one other officer, and half-adozen armed corselets, not a man obeyed him. The men in the bulwark then receiving no support were driven out; yet the enemy, not adventuring to pass the brays, gave them leisure to reach the gate, where Grey, holding the wicket himself, received them in." Upon this the soldiers abandoned one yet remaining work, and the base court also, flying to the castle. Only the keep and the body of the castle were now left; and when all were within, the gates were "rammed up." It was now night; and a trumpeter was sent by the duke, with offer of a parley, to treat for a surrender. "The soldiers no sooner heard this, than, forsaking the walls, they came all in rout together, and, confusedly speaking to their chieftain, prayed him to hearken to the message, and have consideration for their lives, which, so long as any hope remained, they willingly had ventured. The lord Grey's answer was, "that he marvelled, either what causeless mistrust of his caring for them was now come upon them, or what sudden unwonted faintness of mind had so assailed them, as to cause them, in such disorder, to forsake their places, and leave the walls naked; and he willed them to return thither." But it was thought fit not to reject the offer. Arthur Grey and Lewis Dive accordingly were sent out to treat. D'Andelot received them in the brays, and carried them over the bulwark, where "naked and new slain carcasses, some of them moving yet, and groaning under their feet, were the only earth they trod on!" It is added, that the breach and the ditch were "little less fraught with the enemy's corpses;" and that when they saw this, it was "somewhat to the ease of the former heavy sight." Lord Grey went out himself on the morrow to treat with the duke in person; but, after an hour's conference, the French commander refused to let the garrison march out with their banners displayed, and the English one insisted that an honour to which they had so well entitled themselves should be allowed them. The conference broke off upon this point.
No sooner had Grey re-entered the castle, than the soldiers, forsaking the walls, which would have been left for the enemy to enter, if M. d'Estrées, who was one of the French hostages, and a few gentlemen of lord Grey's retinue, had not remained there, hastened about him, crying upon him to have pity on them. But he, who seems to have possessed some of that stern resolution which his son afterwards displayed in Ireland, replied to them, "Only the pity that I have for you hath caused me this day to make such offers of composition, as neither your honesties, nor my honour, nor either of our duties, may well bear. Harder I refused to take, to the utter defacing of our credit, which the best would blot. If I would, methinks, soldiers, yourselves ought rather to turn your weapons upon me, and sacrifice so heartless a captain, than to take it as a token of regard for you, and yield me thanks for it. We have begun as became us; we have held on as yet as duty binds us; let us end, then, as duty and honour require us. The case is in no such extremity of despair, but that we may yet dearly enough sell our skins ere we lose them. Let us, then, either march out with our ensigns displayed, or die here under them." But whatever his own sense of honour might have been, it was not reasonable to expect that in a cause wherein no religious feeling entered, and in which nothing could result from the most heroic example of self-devotement, his men should sacrifice themselves. They "flatly answered, that they would not for his vain-glory sell their lives. In some other place they might yet serve their prince and their country: but to venture farther here was to be thrust like oxen to the butcher; and he must not expect that they would strike another blow for him." At this moment D'Estrées, who stood at the rampire, sent to tell him that unless the soldiers were ordered back to the walls, the Swiss assuredly would enter. constrained," Grey promised them to compound: they, for their own sake, presented themselves then again at the station, and the capitulation was concluded; all the
SIEGE OF GUISNES.
officers to remain prisoners, the men to depart with their arms and baggage whither they would.* From 800 to 900 men marched out, English and Burgundians; of the Spaniards, almost all had fallen, “selling their lives right dearly, according to the order of good and hardy soldiers." Arthur lord Grey, when the Spaniards in Ireland yielded themselves to his mercy, ought to have remembered how faithfully their countrymen had stood by his father at the siege of Guisnes. †
Nothing now remained unconquered within the English pale, except the little castle of Hammes, which being surrounded with marshes could not easily be approached with great ordnance, neither could an army encamp before it. The only access was by a narrow causeway, traversed in many places by deep ditches, which were always full of water. The captain, Edward lord Dudley, had removed all the bridges in time; and on the night after the surrender of Guisnes escaped with his small garrison, by a secret passage over the marsh, into Flanders. Thus was the conquest of the English pale completed. "No need," says Holinshed, "to ask how this news was received, not only of the
Holinshed says that the lord Grey was given by Guise to mareschal Strozzi, and from him sold to M. de Randan, by whom he came into the hands of his brother the comte de Rochefoucault, and there rested till he was ransomed for 24,000 crowns. But in the memoirs of mareschal de Tavannes (Coll. du Mém. 26-174.), it is said that Guise gave his prisoner to Tavannes as a reward for his services during the expedition, and that Tavannes sent him to Dijon, and received for his ransom 60,000 crowns. At Calais son butin fut en livres Grecs, Hebreux, et Latins, qu'il donna à son frere de ville francon, amateur des lettres. (ib. 173.)
Vincent Carloix charges Guise with inhumanity towards the inhabitants of Calais: he says, "Ne voulant pàs qu'au sortir de la ville, ils allassent à la comté d'Oye, ny en Flandres, il les contraignit de demeurer sur le bord de la mer deux jours entiers, et en hyver, avec leur malades et enfans, attendre des vaisseaux pour passer en Angleterre." (Mém. de M. de Vielleville, Coll. du Mém. t. iii. 189.) This would not have been inconsistent with the character of the duc de Guise. Speaking of a similar expulsion after the capture of Thionville, the same writer says, "Ce deslogement estoit fort pitoyable, de veoir un nombre infini de vieillards, de femmes, de filles, d'enfants, et de soldats blessez et estropiez se retirer de telle façon, et abandonner leurs terres, maisons et propres héritages, et n'y avoit personne qui n'en fust saezy de quelque compassion, hormis M. de Guise." (ib. 184.) But Guise must certainly be acquitted of any cruelty at Calais: no complaint is made by the English chroniclers; and Holinshed says that "the meaner sort" when they left the town were guarded through the army with a number of Scottish light horsemen, who used the Englishmen very well and friendly. (92.)
† Grafton, ii. 558-561. Holinshed, iv. 94-100. Rabutin, 164–173. Rabutin most unjustly censures Grey as if he had made a cowardly surrender
THE POPE CONGRATULATES THE FRENCH.
French king and all his court, but also universally through the whole realm of France; for it is constantly affirmed, that ever since the town of Calais was first won by Englishmen, in all solemn councils assembled to treat upon the state of France there was a special person appointed to put them in remembrance of Calais, from time to time: as it were to be wished that the like were used in England, until it were regained from the French." In their exultation for this great success, the tiers etat granted the king two millions of crowns, to defray the cost of the campaign, and for the further maintenance of the war; and the clergy, beside their tenths, contributed another million: the commons at the same time declared, that if these sums were not sufficient for compelling the enemy to make a good peace, the rest of their goods, and their persons also, should be at the king's service. * Such is ever the effect of success upon the multitude, who judge of the policy of wars by no other criterion. Pope Paul IV., who was at that time displeased with queen Mary, notwithstanding her burning zeal for the church of Rome, congratulated the French king upon a conquest, by which, he said, God had been pleased to show his justice, and chastise the pride of the English queen: the recovery of Calais, he said, was more to be valued than the conquest of half England would have been. † At the time, indeed, the advantage and the glory were not estimated more highly in France than the loss and the reproach were felt by the people of England. But they were far from being commensurate. If public opinion, and the king's temper, would have permitted, Wolsey, it has been said, would have sold Calais, glad to have his country rid of it in any way that did not imply weakness or dishonour. Its importance as a mart was wholly factitious; and though it was once deemed that Calais and Dover were the two eyes of the English sovereign, by which the command of the narrow seas was secured, a short time sufficed for proving, that English ships and English sailors were capable of keeping those seas, and * Rabutin, 193. + Ib. Obser. p. 318.
defending their own shores, against the most formidable force that could be brought against them.
The French king visited the conquered pale before the end of the month, approved of the orders which Guise had given for demolishing Guisnes, which, though a necessary hold for the English, would have been only a cause of expense to the French, gave instructions for repairing and strengthening Calais, and appointed M. de Thermes to be governor. Guise had hoped to follow up his success, by proceeding either against Gravelines or St. Omer; but the severity of the winter prevented this: part of the soldiers, therefore, were licensed to go home, the rest distributed among the 1588. garrisons. As the spring advanced, M. de Thermes "espied well the negligence of his neighbours the Flemings, and that they made no new provision for the defence of their own country, more than whilst Calais was English, though by the loss thereof their frontiers were now become open for the French at all times." He drew together all the forces that could be spared from the garrisons in Artois, Picardy, and the Boulonnois, amounting, with those at Calais, to some 9000 foot and 1500 horse. The whole were not assembled till a June fortnight later than the time appointed; but on the 30. very day that the last body arrived, he marched from
Calais with the intention of attacking Gravelines, knowing that it was weakly manned. Much was expected from this expedition, in which many distinguished officers held commands. But as the army were crossing the river Aa, a king's messenger arrived with despatches to the mareschal, apprising him that intelligence had been received of certain movements of the enemy on the side of Arras, which rendered it unsafe to leave the fortresses thus unprovided of men. It might be necessary to draw troops for them from his army : meantime, till the enemy's intention should be ascertained, he was not to engage in any enterprise from which he could not incontinently retreat if he were called for. This withheld him from laying siege to Gravelines, which was a strong place; but not to re