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RICHMOND RETURNS TO BRITTANY.
hysterically, 'O my cruel son, do you not know me?' This was enough : the chord of natural affection was struck in either bosom; they fell on each other's neck, wept abundant tears, and seemed to want words to express the joy of the meeting. The Queen (says the old chronicler) then gave him a good dinner and a thousand nobles in English money, which he gave away amongst his fellow-prisoners and his guards. Both mother and son earnestly desired to be allowed a second meeting ; but Henry, who probably feared that renewed interviews might lead to the freedom of his warlike prisoner, would not grant their request.
Richmond remained in captivity for two or three years. At last political reasons arose (with which we have nothing to do in these pages) that induced Henry to let him go over to his brother, the Duke of Brittany, with whom he was desirous to be on good terms, and in this way sought to preserve his friendship. Before Richmond's departure, ho the King required his parole not to serve against him. Some insurrection in the Duchy which occurred shortly after, made the Duke very glad of his brother's return; and these disturbances led to his being obliged to pass into Normandy, where, being still on parole, he was ordered to remain, and not to quit that province without Henry's leave. What might have occurred to awaken the King's suspicions we do not know, but they seem to have been causeless; for Richmond was a man of honour and a knight, and strictly kept his word. But when Henry v. died in 1422, he considered himself
released, saying that his parole was given to Henry personally, and did not bind him to his successor.
When the time came that the Duke of Brittany was to proceed to Amiens for the conference before mentioned with Burgundy and Bedford, he passed through Normandy, and took his brother with him. At Amiens was concluded the marriage treaty proposed by the Regent. Richmond was betrothed to the young widow Margaret, the sister of Philip, and soon after was wedded to her at Dijon with splendour and feasting. For the present we leave him, and go to other matters.
The Regent proceeded to Troyes in Champagne, where, with a pomp truly regal, he married the lovely Lady Anne. There he remained but a short time; when, journeying towards Paris attended by a large body of troops, on passing Pont-sur-Seine he found the place garrisoned for Charles. He paused; and as rather a curious diversion for the days of his honeymoon, attacked the town, took it by storm, and most barbarously put all the French supporters of their native King to the sword. Then he quietly passed on to the metropolis, there to partake of all the honours, feasts, and entertainments prepared for him and his bride with the utmost magnificence at the Hôtel des Tournelles.?
Bedford, finding his attack upon Pont-sur-Seine had awakened a fear that he would become as formidable to the country as the late King Henry, lost no time in follow
1 Monstrelet, vol. vi. p. 35.
BEDFORD AND HIS PRISONERS.
ing up his success, when the hearts of men were faint from fear, by laying siege to the Castle of Ossay, near Paris. It held out for Charles with great resolution, but at the end of six weeks surrender was inevitable. Bedford caused the garrison to be conducted to Paris bareheaded, with no clothing upon them except their under doublets; some with halters round their necks, others with their swords reversed in their hands, and turned towards their own breasts.
The haughty victor received them seated in the great hall of des Tournelles, with his Duchess by his side, and without a pause ordered them to be taken forthwith to the Châtelet, there to receive the punishment of death. The Duchess, moved by compassion for these brave and unfortunate men, threw herself at the Duke's feet, and pleaded so urgently for mercy on their lives, that her stern bridegroom relented, and set them free. We call attention to these circumstances more particularly, because so many writers have cast a doubt on the truth of Froissart's narrative, wherein he ascribes to Philippa of Hainault's interference the saving of the lives of the citizens of Calais, when, after the capture of that place, they were brought before her husband, Edward 111., with halters round their necks.
Nothing was more common in the middle ages than to lead prisoners of war before their victors, ready equipped for the gallows. And though, we admit, Froissart often indulged his lively imagination in describing events, or in
too readily giving credence to current reports, he was the less likely to have been misled in his account of the citizens of Calais, as he was long secretary to Queen Philippa, and very likely received the account from herself. This matter is irrelevant to our subject; but the light thrown upon a disputed historical tradition by the incident detailed in our narrative, must be our apology for introducing the discussion.
It is time to return to Charles. As yet he possessed but the shadow of kingly power. Misfortune and difficulty beset his course. Those provinces which had rendered him their utmost aid, were drained both of men and money. He knew not where to turn for assistance. It is recorded by one of the chroniclers of the time, that such was his distress, that being in want of a pair of boots, the maker of them, finding he could not be paid on delivery, took them away, being unwilling to trust the royal bankrupt.
Yet his friends managed to raise troops and gain assistance for him, and probably they gave him a pair of boots. Charles had little energy in himself to maintain his rights; but he had about him some active men of spirit, who resolved to carry forward the war on the side of Champagne. They proposed to attack and recapture the strong Castle of Crevant, which the Burgundians had recently taken. This fortress, situated between Auxerre and Avallon, was of the utmost importance, as it had protected the communications of the Royalists with the north-east. A conTHE DUCHESS OF BURGUNDY.
siderable body of French, some mercenaries from Italy, and three thousand Scotch, under the guidance of a Stuart Darnley, set forth on the expedition.
It is proper here to observe, that before the engagement of Crevant, the English renewed their articles of alliance with the Burgundians. For this purpose they were to meet in the Church of Auxerre,-a sacred edifice being often chosen as a place in which to form political contracts. Before the parties assembled, two peremptory orders were issued by the chiefs of the contracting parties, that all who attended should, on pain of death, leave their horses half a league distant from the church; and that, in the coming strife, no prisoners should be taken till the fate of the day was decided, under pain of death both to the captor and the captive. The object of the first order was to prevent men summoned as vassals from running away ; of the second, to control the thirst for plundering the fallen by the demand of unreasonable ransoms.?
The Duke of Burgundy, after taking Crevant, had moved into Flanders, when, sooner than was expected, the foe advanced with speed and determination. The Duke's mother well supplied his place. Without delay she called up the feudatory lords and vassals of her son, and procured from the Duke of Bedford a strong force, directed by the Earls of Salisbury and Suffolk. We need not enter into the particulars of the conflict that followed. The defeat of Charles was complete. Overwhelmed by a supe
1 England and France under the House of Lancaster, p. 255.