Page images
PDF
EPUB

« chivalry, in Edward, must be extremely pleas" ing to every one, as it makes that Monarch “ appear in his true character. If rage and in“ dignation at the delay of the surrender of " Calais to him, had not for a moment put a “ violence upon his difpofition, his crown of « pearls would have been for Eustache de St. 6. Pierre, or Jean de Vienne."

EDWARD THE BLACK PRINCE. “ EDWARD, Prince of Wales,” says Montagne, “ that English Prince who governed “ Guienne for so long a time, a personage whose “ condition and whose fortune had always some “ distinguished points of grandeur, had been “ very much offended by the inhabitants of the « city of Limoges; and, taking the town by “ storm, could not be wrought upon by the “ cries of the people, of the women and of the “ children, who were given up to laughter, im“ ploring his mercy, and throwing themselves “ at his feet, till proceeding farther in the town, “ he perceived three French Gentlemen, who “ with an incredible degree of courage were “ alone sustaining the shock of his victorious “ army. His consideration and respect of such " distinguished valour, immediately blunted the “ edge of his resentment, and he began, by

B 4

“ granting

“ granting the lives of those three persons, to “ spare the lives of all that were in the town.”

Froissart has preserved the names of these three brave men: “ They were,” says he, " Messieurs Jehan de Villemur, Hugues de la 66 Roche, and Roger de Beaufort, son of the 6 Count de Beaufort, Captains of the town. 66 When they saw,” adds the Chronicler, “ the « misery and the destruction that was pressing 66 upon themselves and their people, they said, “ We shall be all dead men, if we do not defend « ourselves : let us then sell our lives dearly, as “ true Chevaliers ought to do : and these three « French Gentlemen did many feats at arms. 65 When the Prince in his car came to the spot “ where they were, he observed them with great “ pleasure, and became softened and appeased by « their extraordinary acts of valour. The " three Gentlemen, after having fought thus “ valiantly, fixing their eyes upon their swords, “ said with one voice to the Prince and the 6 Duke of Lancaster, “ My Lords, we are yours; “ you have conquered us; dispose of us according " to the law of arms.”_" By Heaven,” replied " the Duke of Lancaster, “ we have no other in“ tention, Messire Jehan, and we take you as our 66 prisoners.”—And so," adds Froissart, “ these 66 noble Chevaliers were taken, as I have been os informed.” Livre I. c. 289.

“ The most common method,” says Mon. tagne, “ to foften the hearts of those whom we “ have offended, is, when they have the power s6 to revenge themselves in their hands, by seeing “ us at their mercy, to move them by our sub6 mission to pity and commiseration. Some. “ times, however, bravery, constancy, and reso« lution, though directly contrary methods, have s produced the same effect.”

RICHARD THE SECOND.

[1377—1399.]

JOHN WICKLIFFE. “ Wickliffe,” said Luther, “ attacked the C morals and the rites of the Church of Rome. 6 The Monks, particularly those of the Mendi. 6 cant Order, seem to be the great objects of his 66 satire. He charges, in one of his Tracts, the 6 Freres, that is, the Fryars, with holding fifty « heresies, and many more, if men would seek “ them well out. He opposed very much the “ giving tithes, unless to those who officiated at os the Altar. He attacked the Pope's supremacy, 66 and the doctrine of transubstantiation. In his 6 MS. Treatise, ? Why Poor Priests have no

“ Benefices,' “ Benefices,' he says, “And if Lords fhallen « present Clerks to Benefices, they wolen have “ commonly gold in great quantity; and holden 6 their curates in their worldly office, and fùffren “ the wolves of Hell to strangle men's souls; fo " that they have much gold, and their office don “ for nought, and their chapels holden up for vain “ glory and hypocrisy; and yet they wolen not " present a clerk able of kunning of God's laws, “ and good life and holy ensample to the people, “ but a kitchen-clerk, or a penny-clerk, or wife “ in building castles, or worldly doing, thò he “ kanne not read well his Sauter, (Psalter,) and 66 knoweth not the Commandments of God, ne “ Sacraments of the Church. And yet some “ Lords, to colouren their fimony, wole not take " for themselves, but kerchiefs for the lady, or a 6 tun of wine. And when some Lords wolden « prefent a good man, and able for love of God “ and Christian souls, then some Ladies ben means “ to have a dancer, a tripper or tapits, or hun« ter or hawker, or a wild player of summer's “ gamenes, for flattering and gifts going betwixte; “ and if it be for dancing in bed so much the as worse.”

Wickliffe translated the Bible into English, and was so voluminous a writer, that Lubinio Lepus, Bishop of Prague, burnt two hundred

volumes volumes written by this extraordinary perfon, which belonged to some of the heretical Noble. men of Bohemia.

Courtenay, Bishop of London, cited Wickliffe to appear before him at Paul's, to give some account of the new opinions which he held. Wick liffe came attended by the Duke of Lancaster and the Earl Marshall. The crowd was so great, that the Lord Marshall was obliged to make use of his authority to get Wickliffe through it. The Bishop, displeased at seeing him so honourably attended, told the Lord Marshall, “ that if he “ had known beforehand what maestries he would “ have kept in the church, he would have stopped « him out from coming there.” The Duke of Lancaster, indignant at this threatening language, told the Bishop, “ that he would keep such “ maestries there, though he said nay.” Wickliffe, as usual, was standing before the Bishop and the rest of the Commissioners, to hear what things were laid to his charge, when the Lord Marshall desired him to sit down; telling him, that as he had many things to answer to, he had need of a soft seat to be at his ease. The Bishop replied, “ that he should not fit there; for," added he, “ it is neither according to law nor “ reason, that he who was cited to answer before “ his Ordinary (the Lord Pope) should sit down

“ during

.

« PreviousContinue »