[Three French Knights hold a tournament at Saint Ingelvere, near Calais, and defend the lists, for thirty days, against all comers, from England, and Elsewhere.]"
At this season, the truce between England and France was punctually observed on sea and land by both parties, excepting a few pillagers in Auvergne, who continued a war against the peasants on each side the river Dordogne. Their principal leaders, who had surrendered on capitulation, were not openly guilty of any breach of the truce, but secretly encouraged the mischiefs that were daily committed in Aurergne. Such complaints were made of this to the king of France, that he determined, with the advice of his council, to remonstrate with the king of England on the conduct of these pillagers, who, notwithstanding the truce, still carried on a war in Auvergne and the adjoining country, which could not be suffered, neither ought it to be. I believe the king of England excused himself, by saying that those who had committed the acts complained of were lawless people, over whom he had no controul.
During the time in which these things were passing, the three knights before mentioned, who had undertaken to maintain the lists against all comers, at Saint Inglevere, near Calais, namely, Boucicaut the younger, the lord Reginald de Roye and the lord de Saimpi, were making preparations to fulfil their engagement. This tournament had been proclaimed in many countries, but especially in England, where it had caused much surprise, and excited several knights and squires, who were fond of adventures and deeds of arms, to confer on the subject. Some said they would be blameworthy, if they did not cross the sea,; when the distance was so short to Calais, pay a visit to these knights and tilt with them. I will name those who were most eager in these conversations. The first was John-Holland, earl of Huntingdon, sir John Courtenay, sir John Traictont, sir John Goulouffre, sir John Roussell, sir Thomas Scorabonne, sir William Cliseton1l, sir William Clinton, sir William Taillebourg, sir Clodfrey de Seton, sir William de Haquenay, sir John Bolton, sir John Arundel, sir John d'Ambreticourt, sir John Beaumont and many more, to the amount of upwards of one hundred knights and squires, who said, "Let us prepare ourselves to attend this tournament near Calais; for these French knights only hold it that they may have our company: it is well done, and shows they do not want courage: let us not disappoint them."
This chal1enge was made so public in England that many who had no intention of taking part themselves said they would go thither to witness the performances of others. Such knights and squires as proposed being there, when the appointed term was approaching, sent beforehand their purveyances, and arms for tilting and for war, to Calais. Sir John Holland, half brother to the king of England, was the first to cross the sea: more than sixty knights and squires accompanied him, and took up their quarters in Calais."
At the beginning of the charming month of May, the three before-mentioned young French knights were fully prepared to maintain their challenge in the lists at Saint Inglevere. They first came to Boulogne, where I know not how many days they tamed, CHECK and then went to the monastery of Saint Inglevere. On their arrival, they learnt that numbers of English knights and squires were come to Calais. This gave them much pleasure; and to hasten the business, and that news should be carried to the English, they ordered three rich vermilion-coloured pavilions to be pitched near the appointed place for the list and before each were suspended two targets, for peace or war, emblazoned with the arms of each lord. It was ordered, that such as were desirous of performing any deed of arms should touch, or send to have touched, one or both of these targets according to their pleasure, and they would be tilted with agreeably to their request.
On the 21st of the month of May, as it had been proclaimed, the three knights were properly armed and their horses ready saddled according to the laws of the tournament. On the same day, those knights who were in Calais sallied fortb, either as spectators or tilters, and, being arrived at the spot, drew up on one side. The place of the tournament was smooth, and green with grass.
Sir John Holland was the first who sent his squire to touch the war-target of sir Boucicaut, who instantly issued from his pavilion completely armed. Having mounted his horse, and grasped his spear, which was stiff and well steeled, they took their distances. When the two knights had for a short time eyed each other, they spurred their horses and met full gallop with such force that sir Boucicaut pierced the shield of the earl of Huntingdon, and the point of his lance slipped along his arm, but without wounding him. The two knights, having passed, continued their gallop to the end of the list. This course was much praised. At the second course, they hit each other slightly, but no harm was done; and their horses refused to complete the third. The earl of Huntingdon, who wished to continue the tilt, and was heated, returned to his place, expecting that sir Boucicaut would call for his lance; but he did not, and showed plainly he would not that day tilt more with the earl.
Sir Jolm Holland, seeing this, sent his squire to touch the war-target of the lord de Saimpi. This knight, who was waiting for the combat, sallied out from his pavilion, and took his lance and shield. When the earl saw he was ready, he violently spurred his horse, as did the lord de Saimpi. They couched their lances, and pointed them at each other. At the onset, their horses crossed; notwithstanding which, they met; but by this crossing, which was blamed, the earl was unhelmed. He returned to his people, who soon re-helmed him; and, having resumed their lances, they met full gallop, and hit each other with such force in the middle of their shields, that they would have been unhorsed had they not kept tight seats by the pressure of their legs against the horses' sides. They went to the proper places, where they refreshed themselves and took breath. Sir Jolm Holland, who had a great desire to shine at this tournament, had his helmet braced and grasped his spear again; when the lord de Saimpi, seeing him advance on a gallop, did not decline meeting, but, spurring his horse on instantly, they gave blows on their helmets, that were luckily of well-tempered steel, which made sparks of fire fly from them. At this course, the lord de Saimpi lost his seat. CHECK
This tilt was much praised; and the English and French said, that the earl of Huntingdon, sir Boucicaut, and the lord de Saimpi, had excellently well justed, without sparing or doing themselves any damage. The earl wished to break another lance in honour of his lady, but it was refused him. He then quitted the lists, to make room for others, for he had run his six lances with such ability and courage as gained him praise from all sides.
A young and gallant knight of England next came forth, called the earl-marshal, who sent, according to the regulations, to touch the war-target of sir Reginald de Roye. This being done, sir Reginald came from his pavilion completely armed, and mounted a horse that was ready for him: having had his shield and helmet buckled on, he seized his lance and took his distance. The two knights spurred their horses, but, at this first course, failed in their strokes, from their horses swerving out of the line, to their great vexation. Sir Reginald was hit with the second lance, and had his own broken. At the third course, they met with such force that the fire sparkled from their helmets, and the earl was unhelmed. He continued his career to his own p]ace, but justed no more that day, as he had done sufficiently.
The lord Clifford, a valiant knight, and cousin-german to the late sir John Chandos, of famed renown, then advanced, and sent to have the war-shield of sir Boucicaut touched with a rod. Sir Boucicaut instantly appeared, and, having his armour laced, mounted his horse: placing his lance in its rest, they met full gallop, and made, by their blows, the fire fly from their helmets, but they neither broke their lances nor lost their stirrups: having passed, they returned to their places, making ready for the second course. This was done without anyway sparing themselves: sir Boucicaut broke his lance and was unhelmed, but did not for this fall to the ground. Lord Clifford returned to his place, to prepare himself for another course, but sir Boucicaut did not again put on his helmet. Lord Clifford, noticing this, resolved to perform a tilt with another knight, and sent his squire to touch the shield of the lord de Saimpi. The lord de Saimpi being ready, sallied forth from his pavilion; they ran at each other with great force, met full, and lord Clifford broke his lance into three pieces against the target of his adversary. In return, the lord de Saimpi struck off hie helmet, and both continued their career to their places. The lord Clifford tilted no more that day, for the spectators said he had honourably and valorously borne himself.
Sir Henry Beaumont then came forward, and sent to have the target of sir Boucicaut touched, who was instantly ready to reply to the call, having not dismounted from the tilts with lord Clifford. The lord Bcaumont did not manage his lance well, and hit Boucicaut on the side; but sir Boucicaut struck him so full on the middle of his shield that it drove him to the ground, and continued his course. Lord Beaumont was raised up by his attendants and remounted. The lord de Saimpi then presented himself, and they tilted two courses very handsomely without hurt to either.
Sir Peter Courtenay, who was anxious to engage and to run six lances, sent a squire to touch with a rod the three shields of war. This caused a good deal of surprise, and he was asked what were his intentions by so doing. He replied, that he wished to tilt with each of the French knights two lances, if no misfortune befel him, and he entreated they would comply with his request. They were ready to consent to it, and sir Reginald de Roye first offered himself. Having made themselves ready, they spurred their horses, and took good aim not to miss their stroke; but, from the restiveness of their horses, they failed. They were much vexed, and returned to their places. On the second course, they met full gallop; and sir Reginald de Roye, having unhelmed his adversary, returned gently towards his pavilion, his two courses being completed. Sir Peter Courtenay being armed once more, the lord de Saimpi advanced, and their lances were broken at the first shock: they continued their course, when new lances were given them. They advanced towards each other furiously, and the lord de Saimpi hit sir Peter, whose horse swerved a ittle; but sir Peter struck on his helmet, and rode on at a gentle pace to his post. Sir Boucicaut now came to complete the two other courses; and at their onset they struck each other on the shield so rudely that the two horses were suddenly checked in their career: no other damage ensued. At the second course, they were both unhelmed. When these six tilts were done, sir Peter requested, as a favour, to run one more with any of the three knights who pleased, but it was refused; and he was told, that he had done enough that day.
An English knight, called sir John Gouloufre, came forth, armed from head to foot, and sent his squire to touch the war-silield of sir Reginald de Roye. The knight obeyed the summons, and both advanced full gallop. They hit each other's helmets, but were neither unhelmed nor had their lances broken. Their horses refused to run the second course, to their great vexation. At the third tilt they struck their shields and broke their lances. They were supplied with others, and, from the swerving of their horses, passed their fourth career without striking a blow. The fifth lance was too well employed, for they were both unhelmed, and then each rode to his own party.
Sir John Rousseau, an expert and valiant knight from England, but well known for his prowess in various countries, ordered his squire to touch the shield of the lord de Saimpi, who was already armed and mounted. On receiving his lance, he spurred his horse against the English knigllt, and the shock of their spears against the targets instantly forced them to stop. Each returned to his post, and it was not long before they commenced their second course with equal vigour: but when near, the horses swerved, which prevented their stroke. To their sorrow, they were thus obliged to return again to the end of the lists. They were more successful the third course; for they struck each other with such force, that the vizors of their helmets were broken off: the knights continued their career, and the Englishman tilted no more that day.
Sir Peter Shirborne, a young knight, but of good courage, sent his squire to touch the war-shield of sir Boucicaut. The knight was ready to answer him, for he was armed and on horseback, leaning on his spear, to wait for an adventure. Perceiving himself called upon, he raised his spear, and looked to see what his adversary was about, and observing that he was handling his horse, did the same. When they began their course, they couched their spears, thinking to make sure blows; but they were disappointed, to their great vexation, by the sw-erving of their horses, which forced them to return to their posts. They determined to manage them better at their second tilt, and spurred them both so vigorously, they each struck the other on the vizor. Sir Boucicaut broke his lance, but not so the English knight; for he employed it with such force, that he not only unhelmed, but made the blood spout from his nose as he broke off the helmet of sir Boucicaut, who then retired to his pavilion: he tilted no more that day, for it was now nearly vespers. Sir Peter Shirborne, however, would not desist until he had completed his number of lances he, in consequence, sent his squire to touch the war-target of the lord de Saimpi, who was prepared to meet him. The two knights spurred on violently against each other, and hit on the top of their helmets; but the lances slip over, and they passed each other without hurt. The spectators said, had their spears been pointed lower, and the shields received the blows, one or both must have suffered severely from the shock. The next course they struck full on their targets, and broke their lances into three parts; but the blow of the lord de Saimpi was so strong that the English knight lost his seat and fell to the ground, from whence, however, he instantly arose, and was led by his attendants from the lists. The lord de Saimpi returned to his post, viewing the state of his adversary, and showing his willingness to renew the tilt with him he had overthrown or with any other; but none came forward, as it was now time to leave off for this day. and return to their hotels. The English, and such as had accompanied them, set off full gallop for Calais, where they remained that night enjoying themselves, and talking over the feats of arms that had been performed. The French retired to Saint Inglevere; and, if the English talked much of what had been done, you may readily suppose the French were not silent.
On Tuesday, after mass and drinking a cup, all those who intended to tilt, and those who wished to see them, left Calais, and rode in an orderly manner to where the lists had been held the preceding day. The French were already there, as was right, and prepared to receive them. The day was bright, clear, and sufficiently warm. The English drew up on one side, and armed those who were to tilt.
Sir William Clifton, a rery valiant and expert knight, was the first who sent his squire to touch the shield of sir Boucicaut: the knight instantly came forth, aruned completely for the tournament, mounted his horse, and grasped his lance. The two knights met full gallop, hitting each on the target, but passed on without anything more. The second couree was very handsome: they met, and hit each on the helmet, the lances crossing. The third course they-struck again their shields, and with such violence that the horses were stopped. The fourth course with lances was gallantly performed, for they hit each other so strongly on the vizors of their helmets, they were driven off by the blow to different sides. The English knight tilted no more that day, for he was told he had done enough.
After this, sir Nicholas Clinton, a young English knight, sent to touch the target of the lord de Saimpi, who immediately appeared ready armed and mounted. The two knights spurred their horses, bearing their spears in good array; when near, they struck their opponent's target with such violence that the steel remained fixed; and it is wonderful no other harm ensued, for they were both young, of good courage, and did not spare themselves. They neither fell nor were wounded, but their lances were shivered to pieces. They then passed on, each to his post. The second course was well tilted: they struck each on the helmets, but, as it was on the top, they did no damage, and passed on. At the third course with lances, the horses swerved, to their sorrow; and, at the fourth, the lord de Saimpi unhelmed the English knight, who returned to his countrymen and tilted no more, for they assured him he had behaved most valiantly, and that he must allow others to have their share.
When sir Nicholas Clinton was returned from the lists, a gallant knight of England, nearly related to the earl of Huntingdon, called William Seimortir, left his tent, and sent to touch the target of sir Reginald de Roye, who appeared to meet him. Each having taken his post,: they vigorously spurred their horses, and gave such blows on their shields, that it was surprising they were not unhorsed; but both kept their seats, as they rode well. They passed on to their places; but the English knight let fall his lance, and sir Reginald bore his in handsome array.
The English knight having had his lance given to him, he placed it in its rest, and spurring his horse, intended to have done wonders. Indeed the blow would have been good if it had been straight, but, by the swerving of his horse, it was very weak; and I doubt if it were not, in some measure, the fault of the knight. Sir Reginald struck him such a blow on the shield, as made him bend backward, but they passed on without further hurt. Being prepared for the third course, they again spurred their horses and couched their lances, and hit each other so rudely on the helmets that the fire sparkled from them. They passed on, but from this blow their lances fell to the ground: persons were at hand to pick them up and give them to the knights. Having replaced the lances in their rests, they renewed the tilt, and, aiming well, struck each other on the vizors of their helmets so severely, that sir William Seimort was unhelmed and nearly thrown to the ground, but, though he staggered, he kept his seat. The English knight then went to his countrymen, and did nothing more that day. A squire called Lancaster now stepped forth, and sent to touch the shield of sir Boucicaut. He was ready mounted to answer the call, and, having grasped his spear, they met most courageously: they struck their helmets, so as to make the fire fly from them, and it was astonishing they kept them on their heads. No harm being done, each returned to his post where they made no long stay before they began their second course with great vigour, each hitting on his opponent's target: the horses swerved, which prevented this from being a handsome or effectual tilt, but this they could not help. At the third lance they met, and the blow was so well placed, that the Englishman was unhelmcd, and passed on to his post bareheaded all but the scull-cap, and would not that day tilt more.
A young knight whose name was sir John Tallboys, next made his appearance, completely armed, and sent to touch the war-target of the Iord de Saimpi. That knight was ready for the tilt, and, having grasped trig spear, stuck spurs into his horse: their first onset was so rough, their lances were shivered. The two knights passed each other without other damage, and were not long before they began their second course, having received new lances, of which there was a provision ready, all of the same length. From the fault of their horses, though they aimed well, they missed hitting; but the third course was well performed, for they unhelmed each other, and then each retired to his own party, and the English knight did nothing more that day.
Sir Godfrey de Seca next presented himself: he was a gallant knight, and showed, by his nanner of riding and bearing his lance, that he was an able tilter, and desirous of renown. He sent his squire to touch the war-target of sir Reginald de Roye. That knight came forward instantly, as he was ready mounted, and, placing himself properly for the tilt, they both set off full gallop, and gave such blows on their targets, that though their spears, from their strength, did not break, they remained fastened to the shields, and by dint of hard pushing, the horses were checked: each knight returned to his post without losing his lance, but bearing it handsomely before him. Having placed them in their rests they again spurred their horses, which were strong and active, but by their swerving they missed their stroke and dropped their spears. Those near picked them up and returned them, and again they renewed the tilt; for they were heated, and seemed unwilling to spare each other. The English knight hit sir Reginald a very severe blow on the top of his helmet, without otherwise damaging him; but sir Reginald gave him so strong a thrust on the target, (for at that time he was acounted one of the stoutest tilters in France, and was smitten with love for a young lady that made all his affairs prosper) it pierced through it as well as his left arm: the spear broke as it entered, the butt end falling to the ground, the other sticking in the shield, and the steel in the arm. The knight, however, did not for this fail to finish his course gallantly; but his companions came to him, and the broken spear and steel were extracted, the blood stanched, and the arm tied up. Sir Reginald returned to his friends, and there remained, leaning on another lance that had been given him. Sir Reginald was much praised by the French and English for this tilt; and no one said anything improper against him, on account of the Englishman being wounded, for such are the events of arms: to one they are fortunate, to another the reverse; and, to say the truth, they did not spare each other.
An English squire, called Blaquet, then sent to strike the war-shield of the lord de Saimpi. When they were both ready, they spurred their horses, and hit on the helmets hard blows, though the points of their spears slipped off: on finishing their career, they lost their lances. When they were restored to them, they began their second course, but, by the fault of their horses, nothing was done. At the third onset, Blaquet gave the lord de Saimpi a hard blow on the helmet, but was struck by him much harder on the vizor, and unhelmed, with a force that broke the buckle which fastened it behind, and it fell on the ground. They finished their course, and the English squire went among his countrymen, not intending to tilt more that day. The lord de Saimpi remained gallantly on horseback, leaning on his spear, to wait until he should be again called upon.
Sir John Bolton, a gallant knight from England, shortly after this tilt was over, sent his squire to touch the shield of the lord de Saimpi, who, being prepared, entered the lists, his target on his neck and spear in hand. Each hit his adversary's shield, and it was surprising they were not pierced, for their lances were strong, and their heads well tempered; but they passed without further loss than of their spears, which fell to the ground. When they were picked up and given them, they again spurred their horses, and struck the helmets, but without effect, and continued their career. At the third course their horses crossed. The lord de Saimpi, at the fourth, unhelmed sir John Bolton, by a hard blow, and then the two knights returned to their friends.
Thomelin Messidon, a young English knight, well and richly armed, with a greet desire to gain honour, sent to touch the shield of sir Bouciosut. The knight instantly came forth, and, having grasped his lance, both spurred their horses; and each made his stroke by crossing under the helmet: they passed on without hurt or blame, but were not long before they spurred on again. In this course, they hit very roughly on the targets; Thomelin Messidon shivered his lance; but sir Boucicaut's blow was so severe, it drove his opponent over the crupper of his horse to the ground. Those of his party ran to raise him up, and carried him off, for he tilted no more that day.
Another squire of England, called Tavarton, instantly stepped forth, and sent to touch the war-shield of sir Boucicaut, saying he would revenge his companion, whom he had struck to the ground in his presence. Boucicaut was ready to answer him, being armed and mounted, and leaning on his spear. They met full gallop, and hit each otber on the vizors of their helmets, but passed on without other damage. Having had their helmets re-adjusted, and their lances given them, they again met with great violence, and from the shock of the blows on the targets, the horses were stopped, and the lances broken into three pieces, but they completed their course without any hurt. They had new spears given them; and at the third course sir Boucicaut was hit hard on the target, but he gave Tavarton a blow that unhelmed him: he then withdrew to his countrymen, and tilted no more that day; for they said he had done sufficient, and had gained great applause.
After this, another squire advanced, called Sequaquetont, an able man at arms and expert tilter. He sent to touch the shield of sir Reginald de Roye, who replied, that he was prepared and mounted. They spurred their horses, and gave violent strokes on their targets, without sparing eact other. Sequaqueton bore himself handsomely without falling, to the surprise of the spectators, for sir Reginald's blow made him bend backward almost on the crupper of his horse; but he raised himself, and gallantly finished his career with the loss only of his lance. Having received another, they ran the second tilt with great courage, and struck such blows on their helmets as made the fire fly from them. It was a handsome course, and no damage done. They repaired to their posts, and spurred again for the third time. In this tilt, Sequaqueton was severely unhelmed, and on the point of falling, both himself and horse, for he staggered considerably. The squire, when on his feet, returned to his companions and tilted no more: indeed, there was an end to the whole for the day, as it was now late. The English collected together, and returned to Calais, as did the French to St. Inglevere.
You must know, though I have not before made mention of it, that king Charles of France was present at these justs. Being young, and desirous of witnessing extraordinary sights, he would have been much vexed if he had not seen these tournaments. He was therefore present at the early part and latter end of them, attended only by the lord de Garencieres; but both so disguised that nobody knew of it; and they returned every evening to Marquise.
The ensuing day, Wednesday, was as fine as the foregoing; and the English, who had crossed the sea to take part in or view this tournament, mounted their horses, at the same hour as on the preceding day, and rode to the place appointed for the lists, to the delight of the French, who were rejoiced to see them. It was not long after their arrival when an English squire, a good tilter, called John Savage, squire of honour and of the body to the earl of Huntingdon, sent to touch the shield of sir Reginald de Roye. The knight answered, he was ready and willing to satisfy him. When he had mounted his horse, and had his helmet buckled end lance given to him, they set off full gallop, and gave such blows on the targets, that had the spears not broken, one or both must have fallen to the ground. This course was handsome and dangerous, but the knights received no hurt, though the points of the lances passed through the targets, and slipped off their side-armour. The spears were broken about a foot from the shaft, the points remaining in the shields; and they gallantly bore the shafts before them, as they finished their career. The spectators thought they must have been seriously wounded; and the French and English hastened each to their companion, whom, to their joy, they found unhurt. They were told they had done enough for that day; but John Savage was not satisfied, and said he had not crossed the sea for only one tilt with a lance. This was reported to sir Reginald, who replied, "He is in the right; and it is but just that he should be gratified, either by me or by one of my companions." When they had rested themselves a while, and received new lances, they began their second course, each aiming well at the other; but they failed, from the swerving of their horees, to their great vexation, and returned to their posts. Their lances, which had been accidentally dropped, were given to them, end they set off on their third course. This time they hit on the vizors of their helmets; and, by the force and crossing of their Iances, both were unhelmed as they passed. The tilt was much applauded for its correctness and vigour. When they were returned to their posts, the English told John Savage, that he had very honoursbly performed, and that it was now time for him to make way for others to tilt as well as himself. He complied with this, and, laying aside his lance and target, dismounted, and rode on a hackney to witness the performances of others.
An English squire, named William Basquenay, cousin to the earl marshal, came forth fully armed for the occasion, and sent to have the war-shield of sir Boucicaut stricken. The knight instantly made his appearance at the end of the list, and each galloped towards the other as straight as they could. They struck their helmets gallantly; and the blow was so effectual on the vizors that they were both unhelmed, and continued their course without further hurt. Their friends who were near re-adjusted their armours; and, giving them their spears, they commenced their second course by desperate strokes on their targets; but, the lances breaking, no harm was done, and they continued their career. They were supplied with new lances, tbat were stout and good; but, from the fault of their horses, they missed their strokes. At the fourth lance, they hit, and William Basquenay was unhelmed a second time, and then returned to his companions, not tilting more that day.
A squire from England, whose name was John Scot, sent to have the war-shield of the lord de Saimpi touched. He immediately appeared, and at their onset they gave such blows on their targets as stopped their horses; but, their lances being strong, they neither broke nor fell out of their hands. The second course was well performed: the lord de Saimpi hit his adversary; but Scot had more success in unhelming him, for which he was much applauded by his countrymen. The lord de Saimpi was soon rehelmed; and, grasping his spear, they spurred against each other with great violence. They placed their blows on their targets, but with a force that drove John Scot out of his saddle ta the ground, and thus did the lord de Saimpi revenge himself. The squire was raised, and carried off by his companions.
Bernard Stapleton, an English squire, sent to strike the lord de Saimpi's shield, who was not dismounted from his last tilt. They met, and hit each other on the helmets so forcibly as to make the sparks fly from them; but they passed on Without hurt and returned to their posts. Still grasping their spears, they couched them, and at this second course: struck very severe blows on their targets, but kept their seats well, without falling or staggering; to the end of their career. The third lance struck the helmets, and both were unhelmed. The English squire returned from the lists, and his friends told him he had acquitted himself with honour.
The next that presented himself was a young gay knight from England, who shone in tournaments, in dancing, and in singing, called sir John Arundel. He sent his squire to touch the war-shield of sir Reginald de Roye. The knight replied, that he wished for nothing more: agreeable than to tilt with him. Having received their spears, they galloped off at the same moment, and gave and received hard blows on their shields; but they kept their seats handsomely, and continued their career. Their lances, having fallen from their hands, were restore;d to them by those appointed for that purpose; and they began their second course with blows on the helmets that made the fire fly, but they passed on without further hurt. At the third onset, the horses swerved, and the knights, in their attempt to strike, lost their lances, and with difficulty recovered themselves. At the fourth they struck the helmets, but without harm or unhelming. At the fifth course, they hit each other on the targets and broke their lances, without any other damage. Sir John Arundel completed his oareer, and returned to his friends.
After this, Nicholas Stone, an English squire, sent to touch the war-shield of sir Boucicaut; The knight seizing his lance, they spurred against each other and hit on the helmets; but the spears slipped off, and they passed unhurt. Holding still their lances in the rests, they set off again, and hit so hard on the targets, that the horses staggered with the shock, and the knights dropped their spears. When they had received their lances, they again galloped off full speed, and their blows on the helmets were effectual: at least the English squire lost his helmet and retired, for his friends said he had done enough.
Another squire from England, called John Marshal, advanced to the lists, completely armed, and sent to touch the war-target of sir Boucicaut, who replied, he was ready, and waiting to be called upon. At their first course they hit each other on the targets, but the lances fell to the ground, and they returned to their stations without other damage. On their being restored, they continued their tilt, and struck hard blows on the helmets without anything more, and pursued their career, bearing their lances handsomely before them. When they had rested a little, they considered how they could best annoy each other, and, having aimed well, spurred on their horees. John Marshal gave such a thrust on Boucicaut's shield that his lance was broken to the stump, and Boucicaut's blow unhelmed his opponent and drove him on the crupper of his horse. The squire, notwithstanding, completed his course without falling, and then went to his companions, who said he ought now to be satisfied, for that he had well performed.
When the squire had withdrawn, a young and frisky English knight advanced, most eager to gain renown. His name was sir John Cliseton, and he bore for arms a field argent, fretted azure, with a mullet argent in chief. He sent his aquire to touch the warshield of sir Reginald de Roye, who was much pleased at the summons. Having taken their stations and received their lances, they spurred their horses and hit each other full on the helmets, but passed and completed their career. They kept their lances in the rests, and were not long before they commenced the second course, in which they gave heavy thrusts on their shields, but without any loss, except of their spears, which fell to the ground. Having received their lances, they hit each other, on the third course, such blows on the tops of the helmets as made the fire fiy. At the fourth course their horses swerved, to their great disappointment. The fifth was well performed, for each broke his lance. The two knights grew warm, and plainly showed they were desirous of trying each other's valour to the utmost. When at their stations they had fresh lances given them, that were stiff enough and, after a short delay, they again spurred their horses, and laid in such blows on the helmets that both were unhelmed. This course was greatly praised by all present; and when they had completed their career, they returned to their countrymen; for the English knight tilted no more that day.
When this was finished, a squire from England, called Roger Lamb, whose arms were a cross gules, on a field argent and sable quartered, came forward, handsomely equipped, and gaily sent to touch the war-target of the lord de Saimpi; The knight instantly obeyed the call, and by his alacrity showed he preferred tilting to remaining idle. On the first onset, they checked their horses, by the force of their blows on their shieIds; but the lances, being strong, did not break, and they continued their course. On the second tilt, they hit the helmets hard enough; but, as the points of their lances grazed off, no harm was done. Roger Lamb was unhelmed at the third course, and returned to his countrymen without doing more that day.
After this a gallant knight from that part of Hainault called Ostrevant, a good man at arms and able tilter, offered himself. He had been educated in England at the court of king Edward, and his name was sir John d'Ambreticourt, and brother to that excellent knight, sir Eustace d'Ambreticourt. He bore for his arms ermine two bars humetty gules, each charged with three escallop shells argent. CHECK The knight was well equipped for the tournament, and sent one of his squires to touch the war-target of sir Reginald de Roye. Having taken their stations, they eyed each other well; and spurring their horses, gave such blows on their shields as made sparks of fire fly from them, and the horees to bend under them. The tilt was handsome, for no harm was done, and they continued the career. They were not long before they ran their second course, and again hit on the shields. It was wonderful that this was not attended with mischief, for they were both strong and courageous tilters, fearless of death or danger. The shock of this attack was so great that their horses were forced on their haunches and the two knights staggered. Nevertheless they continued their career, but with the loss of their lances. Having received their lances, they ran their third course, and sir Jobn d'Ambreticourt unhelmed sir Reginald de Roye so as to injure him very considerably, and to terminate his career. Sir Reginald went to his party, and plainly showed he would not tilt more that day. When sir John d'Ambreticourt perceived this, as he had a great delight in tilting, he sent to touch the war-shield of sir Boucicaut, who instantly advanced to the lists. Having had his target buckled on, and placed his spear in the rest, they spurred against each other, and gave such blows on the shield that it was surprising they were not pierced through; but this might be owing to the swerving of the horses. When returned to their stations, they.did not remain long before they commenced their second course with vigour, and hit each other hard on the helmets; but the spears slipped off, and they continued their career. The knights having lost their spears, they were brought to them by their squires, and they renewed the tilt. This time they were both very severely unhelmed, and gallantly finished their course.
The English now collected together, as evening was approaching, and returned to Calais, where they passed the night in talking over tbe different feats of arms that had been that day performed. The French amused themselves in like manner at Saint Inglevere. On Thursday morning, the fourth day of the tournament, the English found that there were yet many knights and squires who had not entered the lists, and who had purposely come from England; they therefore said, that all who had any intentions to tilt should do so, otherwise they would not be handsomely treated. The lords of England had agreed to return to Saint Inglevere on the Thursday for those who pleased to perform their Justs; in consequence, they left Calais after mass, and on arriving at the lists, found the three French knights ready in their pavilions to answer all who might call on them, attended by those that were to serve them and such as cane to witness the deeds of arms.
An English knight, called sir Godfrey d'Estas, was the first who entered the lists: he bore for arms a lion sable on a field or, with three bars gules, and charged with a mullet or, on the dexter paw of a lion, and was completely and gaily armed. He sent a squire to touch the war-shield of sir Boucicaut, who instantly advanced from his pavilion prepared to obey the summons. Having received their spears and bucklers and eyed each other for a short time, they spurred on their horses, and both struck violent blows on the helmets; but, as the points of their lances slipped off, they continued their course to their stations. Keeping the lances in the rests, they recommenced the tilt, and met with such force on their bucklers, that had not their spears broken, much mischief might have ensued. When they had rested a while and had new lances, they ran a third course with great violence, and hit the vizors so fairly and well, that both were unhelmed; they continued their career; and then retired to their own people. The English knight did nothing more this day, for he was told that he had performed well, and must give way to others.
Alain Bourcht, an able and expert English squire, sent to touch the war-target of the lord de Saimpi, who came from his pavilion in obedience to the call. They gave blows on their helmets, at the first onset, that made the fire sparkle, but no other harm was done. At the second tilt, their lances met on their bucklers with such force as shivered them in pieces, but they continued their career unhurt. They were quickly supplied with new lances; and, spurred on the third time, they placed their thrusts so well and strong that they were both unhelmed, and completed their course; the Englishman retired to his countrymen, to allow others to show their skill and valour.
An English squire, called John Scrope, sent to touch the target of sir Boucicaut, who issued forth out of his pavilion, and his horse being ready, mounted him, and entered the lists. They failed in their first course, from the fault of their horses. When they returned to their stations, they were not long before they ran the second; and, although they gave each other severe blows on the helmet, no mischief ensued. At the third course, John Scrope was forcibly struck to the ground; whence he was raised by his friends, and did no more that day.
A Bohemian knight now advanced, who was of the household of the queen of England, called sir Herchauce. He was esteemed a strong and expert tilter, aud bore for his arms three griffins' feet sable on a shield argent ongle with azure. When he entered the lists, he was asked which of the three knights he wished to tilt with; he replied, With Boucicaut. On this, an English squire was sent, according to the regulations, to touch sir Boucicant's war-target. The knight, having kept himself prepared for any summons, left his pavilion, and, having fastened his buckler and grasped his lance, entered the lists. His opponent was then ready to meet him; and spurring their horses, they thought to give full strokes; but it was not so, from the ill conduct of the Bohemian knight, for which he was greatly blamed; He had, out of the line of tilting, hit sir Boucicaut on the helmet, and continued his career: for this impropriety, of which the English saw him guilty, he had forfeited his arms and horse, should the Freuch insist upon them. The French and English held a long conversation on this ill placed stroke; but at last the French knights pardoned it, the better to please the English. Herchauce begged as a favour that he might be permitted to run only one course more. On being asked "With which of the three knights?" he sent to touch the target of sir Reginald de Roye. That knight was waiting in his pavilion, not having tilted that day; and declared his willingness to accommodate sir Herchauce, since his request had been granted. Sir Reginald mounted his horse, and having had his buckler fastened, and his lance given him, he eyed his opponent, that he might well point his stroke. Both spurred their horses at the same moment, and hit on the shields; but sir Reginald (who was one of the firmest and best tilters in France) thrust with such force as made the Bohemian fly out of his saddle, and fall so severely on the ground that the spectators imagined he was killed. Sir Reginald continued his course to his own station. Sir Herchauce was raised with much difficulty by his attendants, and carried to the English, who were well pleased at what had happened to him, for the uncourteous manner in which he had run his first course. He had not any desire to tilt more that day.
The next who came forward was Robin Seorneborne, an able and gay squire from England. He sent to touch the war-target of the lord de Saimpi, who was ready mounted and prepared to answer him. At their first course they hit their helmets, and continued their career. At the next, they struck their bucklers, but unsuccessfully, as before, excepting the loss of their lances. I having received them again, they, on the third onset, placed their thrusts so ably and forcibly on the vizors, that both were unhelmed, and finished their course. The English squire returned to his companions, and was idle during the rest of the day.
Another English squire, called John Merlan, now advanced. He bore for arms a bend sable on a field argent, charged with three lion-heads sable, and sent to touch the war-target of sir Reginald de Roye. The knight answered, he was at his service. Having entered the lists, they at the first onset gave violent blows on the helmets, but without any affect, and, by firmly holding their lances, returned to their stations without loss of any kind. The second course, their spears met on their bucklers, and the horses were checked; having thrown down their lances, they continued their career, each to his station, and made ready to tilt well the third lance. When their spears had been given them, they set off full gallop, and sir Reginald hit John Merlan a blow on his buckler, which forced him out of the saddle to the ground. He continued his course to his station, and the Englishman was raised and carried to his countrymen.
John Mouton, another squire from England, next offered himself. He bore for arms a chevron sable on a field gules, three pierced mullets or, with an indented bordure sable, and sent to strike the war-shield of sir Boucicaut, who replied, he was always ready to tilt. Their first strokes met on their bucklers, but without damage. It was not their fault, for the blows were well placed, and they gallantly passed, bearing their lances before them, to their stations. They were not long before they commenced their second tilt, and hit very severely on the helmets, but without loss, excepting their lances, and returned to their posts; Those who were appointed to gather the lances that fell, instantly presented them to the knights, who renewed tbe tilt; but at this third course sir Boucicaut unhelmed John Mouton, who retired to his companions.
A very handsome knight from England now came forth: he was well armed at all points, and kept an excellent position on his horse, and was called sir Jaquemin Strop. He sent to touch the war-target of the lord de Saimpi, who, being mounted and armed before his pavilion, advanced to the lists. At their first course, they missed their stroke, from their horses running out of the line, which vexed them mucn. They were not long. before they again set off, full gallop, and, when they met, gave such blows on the helmets as.made them strike fire: they passed on without loss but of their spears. As soon as they were returned to their stations, their lances were brought them, and after a short delay, they began their third course. They both hit with great force. on the bucklers: but sir James Scrope's lance broke, while sir Reginald unhorsed his opponent and continued his career. Sir James was raised from the ground by his attendants, and did no more that day.
Another English knight, called sir William Masquelee, was ready to enter the lists, and to engage with whoever pleased; for he had crossed the sea with the earl of Huntingdon in this view. He sent to touch the war-target of sir Boucicaut, who had his buckler fastened, and instantly advanced to meet his adversary. They both at the same moment spurred their horses, which were fresh and eager to begin the course; for the very instant they felt the points, they bounded forward. The two knights took good aim, and mutually gave such strokes on their helmets that fire sparkled from them; and, though the points of the lances slipped off, the tilt was much praised by all present. They continued their career to their different stations, but did not make any long stay before they again spurred their horses and couched their spears, for they did not drop them, and met with such violence, that their lances must have pierced the bucklers, if the horses had not swerved. They finished their course, throwing down their lances, and completed their career like good tilters, in excellent array to their posts. Having received their spears, they set off as fast as their horses could carry them, and, on their meeting, hit the vizors of the helmets severely. The tilt was loudly applauded, for they were both unhelmed, and bare-headed all but the scull-caps: tbey finished their career, and then returned to their friends, for they had excellently performed.
An English squire called Nicholas Lamb, well and elegantly armed, advanced, having a great desire to try his skilI in arms. He sent to strike the war-target of the lord de Saimpi, who was already mounted and armed, in front of his pavilion, with his buckler on his breast, blazoned with his arms. He grasped his spear, and flew to the lists with the eagerness of a hawk to seize his prey. The English squire did the same, and, setting off at full speed, they gave such blows on their bucklers, that their lances were shivered; it was fortunate they broke, or the knigllts must have been greatly hurt, or unhorsed, but they kept their seats firmly. When returned to their stations, they were supplied with new lances; and with them, at the second course, made the fire fly from their helmets; no other damage was done, for the spears had crossed, and they continued their career to their posts. After a short rest, they commenced their third tilt, and had well examined where they could best place their thrusts. This was gallantly performed; for they hit, justly, the upper parts of the helmets, and the points of the lances entered; both were so neatly unhelmed, that the lacings burst, and the helmets flew over the cruppers of their horses on the field. The knights kept their seats and completed their couree in handsome array, and then returned to their countrymen. The tournament was now at an end, for no more tilters appeared on the part of the English. The earl of Huntington, the earl-marshal, the lord Clifford, the lord Beaumont, sir John Glifton, sir John d'Ambreticourt, sir Peter Sherburne, and all those knights who had tilted the preceding days, then waited in a body on the French knights and thanked them warmyl for the amusement they had given them. They said, "All the knights who have accompanied us having now tilted, we take our leave of you, and return to Calais on our way to England: We know well that whoever may wish to try their skill in arms will find you here for thirty days, according to your proclamation. On our return to England, we sball loudly speak of your gallantry, and tell all those who may inquire of these deeds of arms to come and witness them in person." "Many thanks," replied the three knights: "they shall be made welcome, and delivered by deeds of arms as you have been; and we desire you will accept our best acknowledgments for the courtesy you have shown us."
In such friendly manner did the English and French knights separate, in the plain of St. Inglevere: the first took the road to Calais, but made no long stay; for on the. Saturday morning they embarked on board passage-boats, and landed at Dover about mid-day, when each retired to his inn. They staid the whole of Saturday, and Sunday until, after mase, at Dover; where having refreshed themselve9 and their horses, they continued their journey to Rochester, and there lay that night: on the morrow they arrived at London, when they separated, and each returned to his home. The three French knights before named kept their engagements valiantly at St. Inglevere. When the English knights were gone, the king of France and the lord de Garencieres, who had witnessed the tournament in disguise, returned to their inn at Marquise; and on the morrow, at break of day, they set out for Paris, and never ceased riding until they came to Creil on the river Oise, where at that time the queen of France resided. Scarcely any one knew that the king was present at these tilts, but his confidential valets-de-chambre.
From the time the English left Calais, I never heard that any others came from England to St. Inglevere to try their skill in arms. The three knights, however, remained there; until the thirty days were fully accomplished, and then leisurely returned each to his home. When they waited on the king of France, the duke of Touraine and other lords at Paris, they were most handsomely received. Indeed, they were entitled to such reception, for they had gallantly behaved themselves, and well supported the honour of the king and of the realm of France.
Text from Froissart, Chronicles of England, France, etc., tr. Thomas Johnes. London, pp. 434 ff.Back to Geoffrey Chaucer Page | (Or use your browser's back button to return to the previous page.)
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