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« As you
do wish that she may die in peace, you
would even to madness agonize “ To hear this maiden call on you in vain « For aid, and see her dragg'd, and hear her scream “ In the blood-reeking soldier's lustful arms, « Think that there are such horrors ;* that even now,
* I translate the following anecdote of the Black Prince from Froissart.
The Prince of Wales was about a month, and not longer, before the City of Lymoges, and he did not assault it, but always continued mining. When the miners of the Prince had finished their work they said to him, “Sir, we will throw down a great part of the wall into the moat whenever it shall please you, so that you may enter into the city at your ease, without danger.” These words greatly pleased the Prince, who said to them, “ I chuse that your work should be manifested to-morrow at the hour of day break.” Then the miners set fire to their mines the next morning as the Prince had commanded, and overthrew a great pane of the wall, which filled the moat where it had fallen. The English saw all this very willingly, and they were there all armed and ready to enter into the town; those who were on foot could enter at their ease, and they entered and ran to the gate and beat it to the earth and all the barriers also ; for
* Some city flames, and haply as in Roan, "Some famish'd babe on bis dead mother's breast
there was no defence, and all this was done so suddenly that the people of the town were not upon their guard. And then you might have seen the Prince, the Duke of Lancaster, the Count of Canterbury, the Count of Pembroke, Messire Guischart Dangle and all the other chiefs and their people who entered in, and ruffians on foot who were prepared to do mischief, and to run through the town, and to kill men and women and children, and so they had been commanded to do. There was a very pitiful sight, for men and women and ehildren cast themselves on their knees before the Prince and cried“ mercy!" but he was so enflamed with so great rage that he heard them not, neither man nor woman was heard, but they were all put to the sword wherever they were found, and these people had not been guilty. I know not how they eould have no pity upon poor people, who had never been powerful enough to do any treason. There was no heart so hard in the city of Lymoges which had the remembrance of God, that did not lament the great mischief that was there ; for more than three thousand men and women and children had their throats cut that day, God has their souls, for indeed they were martyred. In entering the town a party of the English went to the palace of the Bishop and found him there and took him and led him before the Prince, who looked at him with a murderous look, (felonneusement) and the best
" Yet hangs for | food. Oh God! I would not lose “ These horrible feelings tho' they rend my heart."
« When we had all betaken us to rest,
“Sleepless I lay, and in my mind revolv'd
word that he could say to him was that his head should be çut off, and then he made him be taken from his presence.
The crime which the people of Lymoges had committed was that of surrendering when they had been besieged by the Duke of Berry, and in consequence turning French. And this crime was thus punished at a period when no versatility of conduct was thought dishonourable. The phrases tourner Anglois-tourner Francois-retourner Anglois, occur repeatedly in Froissart. I should add that of all the heroes of this period the Black Prince was the most generous and the most humane.
Holinshed says, speaking of the siege of Roan, “ If I should rehearse how deerelie dogs, rats, mise and cats were sold within the towne, and how greedilie they were by the poore people eaten and devoured, and how the people dailie died for fault of food, and young infants laie sucking in the streets, on their mothers' breasts, being dead starved for hunger, the reader might lament their extreme miseries. p. 566.
“The high-soul'd warrior's speech. Then Madelor “Rose in remembrance; over her the grave “Had closed; her sorrows were not register'd « In the rolls of Fame : but when the tears run down “The widow's cheek, shall not her cry be heard " In Heaven against the oppressor ? will not God “In sunder smite the unmerciful, and break " The sceptre of the + wicked ? thoughts like these “ Possess'd my soul, till at the break of day “I slept; nor then reposed my heated brain “For visions rose, sent as I do believe “ From the Most High. I saw a high-tower'd town “Hemmed in around, with enemies begirt
+ Do not the tears run down the widow's cheek? and is not her cry against him that causeth them to fall ?
The Lord will not be slack till he have smitten in sunder the loins of the unmerciful, till he have taken away the multitude of the proud, and broken the sceptre of the unrighteous.
• Where Famine on a heap of carcasses, “ Half envious of the unutterable feast, “Mark'd the gorged raven clog his beak with gore. “Iturn'd me then to the besieger's camp, “ And there was revelry: the loud lewd laugh “ Burst on iny ears, and I beheld the chiefs "Even at their feast plan the device of death. " My soul grew sick within me : then methought “From a dark lowering cloud, the womb of tempests, “ A giant arm burst forth, and dropt a sword “ That pierced like lightning thro' the midnight air, • Then was there heard a voice, which in mine ear “ Shall echo, at that hour of dreadful joy “ When the pale foe shall wither in my rage.
“ From that night I could feel my burthen'd soul Heaving beneath incumbent Deity. " I sat in silence, musing on the days “To come, unheeding and unseeing all « Around me, in that dreaminess of soul