« AnkstesnisTęsti »
A load would sink a navy, too much honour : 0, 'tis a burden, Cromwell, 'tis a burden, Too heavy for a man that hopes for heaven!
Crom. I'm glad your grace has made that right use of it.
Wol. I hope I have: I'm able now, methinks,
weak-hearted enemies dare offer. What news abroad ?
5. Crom. The heaviest and the worst Is your displeasure with the king.
Wol. God bless him !
Crom. The next is that Sir Thomas More is chosen
Wol. That's somewhat sudden-
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury.
Crom. Last, that the Lady Anne,
Crom. O, my lord,
The king shall have my service; but my prayers
Wol. Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear
Crom. Good sir, have patience.
Battle of Crecy.
MACKINTOSH. THE king of England at length collected a greater army than on former expeditions, which was disembarked near Cape la Hogue, about the end of July, 1346. They speedily reduced Caen and Lower Normandy, on the south of the Seine. Edward marched along the left bank of the river towards Paris, burnt St. Germains and St. Cloud, and insulted by a few of his light troops the suburbs of the capital. Philip, who had fixed his head-quarters at St. Denis, broke down all the bridges to prevent Edward from joining
the 60,000 Flemings who had crossed the northern frontiers. Meantime the English army so deceived the French by a feint march towards Paris, that Philip sent the larger part of his troops to the relief of his capital; so that Edward's bowmen cleared the remains of the bridge of Poissy, which was capable of being so far repaired that the English, rapidly wheeling round, were able to pass it before Philip discovered the stratagem. The king of France appears then to have resolved on defending the line of the Somme, on which his opponents had vainly attempted to force the bridges of St. Remi, Long, and Pecquigny.
Philip, who had encamped at Amiens with 100,000 men, took advantage of the checks received by the English to take possession of Airaines, which they had evacuated two hours before; having pursued their way to Oisemont, where they found themselves cooped up between the sea, the Somme, and the French army, far more numerous than their own. At midnight, on the 24th of August, 1346, they found means, with great difficulty and danger, to cross the ford of Blanchetaque, which was passable at low water. An action was fought in the centre of the river between Edward's vanguard and the troops who, under Godamar du Fay, were appointed to defend the pass. The latter was defeated, and routed with a loss of 2000 men; only a few French stragglers remained on the left bank to join Philip; and Edward took possession of Crotoi, a village on the sea-coast to the right.
Philip waited a day at Abbeville for reinforcements. This day was employed by Edward in refreshing his troops and surveying the ground. He was now master of his own place and time for the fight, and he chose his position at Crecy, a small town on the road to Hesdin. The Battle of Crecy, still memorable after the lapse of ages, was fought on Saturday the 26th of August, 1346. Edward posted his main body on the ascent of the rising ground, under his heroic son, then a stripling of fifteen years of age: a separate body covered the prince's left: the king was at the head of the reserve, which occupied the bridge. He superintended in person the refreshment and repose. Philip arrived on the ground before noon, after a long march from Abbeville, and in spite of the counsel of his wary veterans attacked the enemy with an army wearied and confused by their disorderly advance. The Genoese archers, fatigued by their heavy cross-bows, in a sultry and tempestuous march, rushed forward with loud cries to attack the EngTish bowmen, who were the strength of Edward's army. These last stood still; even on the second charge they stirred not one foot.” When they got within shot of their foes, they let fly their arrows so thickly that they came like snow. The Genoese fled, and some of the heavy-armed troops were involved in their confusion. John of Luxemburgh, king of Bohemia, who commanded Philip's main body, though nearly blind, commanded his followers to bring him into the hottest part of the battle, and used his sword so valiantly that messengers were sent to solicit aid from the king to his son. “Is my son dead P" said Edward.—"No, sir," replied the knight; “but he is hardly matched.”—“ Return to those who sent you,” said the king, “ and say that they send no more to me while my son is alive. Let them suffer him to win his spurs; for if God be pleased, I will this journey (day) be his.”
John of Luxemburgh, who disdained quarter, was slain by the young hero, who thence assumed the motto of Ich dien-I serve. The rout, as often happened in that age, became universal. The vast disproportion of loss showed a panic which dissolves an army, and marked the unsparing vengeance of the pursuit. Three knights only are said to have fallen among the English army. On the French sides the kings of Majorca and Bohemia, the Duke of Lorraine, the count d'Alençon, brother to Philip, with 1200 knights, 1500 gentlemen, 4000 men at arms, and 30,000 infantry, are said to have perished in this tremendous defeat.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,