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rivetted into their iron trappings. Mezeray, the French historian, giving an account of a conflict, wherein some Italian knights were engaged and worsted, informs the reader that the victors, unable to uncase the vanquished, kindled a fire, whereon they placed the unfortunate warriors, who were thus roasted, like lobsters, within their shells.
Page 29. Holinshed, speaking of this battle, and the loss sustained by the French and their confederates the Scots, says, at page 600::“. Wherefore Sir John Fastolfe set all his companie in good order of battell, and pitched stakes before everie archer, to breake the force of the horssemen, At their backes they set all the waggons and carriages, and within them they tied all their horses. In this manner stood they still, abiding the assault of their enemies. The Frenchmen, by reason of their great number, thinking themselves sure of the victorie, egerlie set on the Englishmen, which with great force them received, and themselves manfullie defended. At length, after long and cruell fight, the Englishmen drove backe and vanquished the proud Frenchmen, and compelled them to flee. In this conflict were slaine the lord William Steward, constable of Scotland, and his brother, the lord Dorvalle, the lord Chateaubrian, Sir John Basgot, and other Frenchmen and Scots, to the number of five and twentie hundred, and above eleven hundred taken prisoners, although the French writers affirme the number lesse.”
Dubreton, at page 86, adverting to the deaths of John Stewart, constable of Scotland, and his brother, at the battle of Herrings, thus expresses himself:
“ Those two valliant brothers, as they were about to disengage themselves from their perilous situation, from the love they bore to each other, were killed, after having fought most bravely; and covered the error of their imprudence and inconsiderate ardor by the most signal proofs of their affection and their courage.”
John Fastolff, knight, and knight banneret, was a general, a governor, and a nobleman, in France, under the several kings, Henry IV., V., and VI., of England, and was also a knight of the garter. Some have supposed this personage of French extraction, while others erroneously fixed his birth-place in Bedfordshire; whereas he was the descendant of an ancient and famous English family of the county of Norfolk, which had flourished there anterior to the conquest. As early as 1405; it appears that Sir John Fastolff accompanied Thomas of Lancaster, afterwards duke of Clarence, son of Henry IV., to Ireland; the said Thomas being appointed lord lieutenant of that country; where Sir John Fastolff married a rich young widow named Milicent, lady Castlecomb, daughter of lord Tibetot, relict of Sir Stephen Scrope, knight. Upon the nomination of the English regency in France, Sir John was appointed to the command of some forces in that country, and he, in consequence, removed thither from his estate in Norfolk, and continued for many years on the Gallic soil ;
for, according to Caxton, in his edition of Tully's Offices, to use that printer's phraseology, when speaking of Fastolff, he states that, “ exercisyng the warrys in the royame of Fraunce and other countrees, &c., by fourty yeres enduryng.” So that we see no reasonable pretence for supposing that the Sir John Falstaff of Shakspeare was intended as a representation of the character now under consideration ; who, for his bravery, was made knight banneret on the field of battle, and on account of his discreet, valiant, chaste, and sober habits, was intrusted with the highest commands abroad ; created also a baron in France, and knight of the garter in England. In 1428, Sir John Fastolff, with other approved captains, was despatched by William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, to the regent at Paris, for supplies for the army besieging Orleans ; who not only provided him plentifully, but appointed a strong guard at his return to secure the safe conveyance of the same. The French, being fully aware of the importance of this succour, united two armies to meet the convoy, but they were completely overthrown, their loss in slain being computed at more than Fastolff had under his command; which gallant victory was called the battle of Herrings. In the ensuing year, however, the tide of fortune was turned, for at the conflict at Patay Sir John Fastolff was obliged to fly to Corbeil, in order to escape being killed, with the lord Talbot, or made prisoner of war with lord Hungerford and Sir Thomas Rampston. In 1430 we find Fastolff named lieutenant of Caen, in Normandy; and in 1435, when the regent died at Rouen, he named Fastolff one of the executors of his will : after which, in 1440, Sir John made his final return to England, laden with the laurels acquired in France, and afterwards shining as bright upon his native soil. In 1459, having attained the venerable age of eighty years, he says of himself, that he was * in good remembrance, albeit I am greatly vexed with sickenesse, and thurgh age infebelyd.” This great warrior and statesman lingered under an hectic fever and asthma for an hundred and forty-eight days, and died at his seat at Castre.
Having equally a great command of men at arms. “After this fortunate victorie, John Fastolf and his companie, having lost no one man of any reputation, wyth all theyr caryages, vytail, and prysoners, marched forth and came to the English campe before Orleans, where they were joyfully receyved, and highly commended for theyr valiaunce and worthie prowes shewed in the battaile, the which, bycause most part of the caryage was Herring and Lenten stuffe, the Frenchmen call it the battaile of Herrings."— Holinshed, vol. ii., p. 1241. Ed. 1577.
About this period arrived at Chinon Jeanne la Pucelle.
Jeanne d'Arc was conducted by her uncle, Durand Lapart, to Vaucouleurs, where she was first presented to Robert de Baudricourt, governor of that town, but without making any impression upon his mind; notwithstanding which he afterwards went to the Pucelle, accompanied by the parish curate, arrayed in his stole, when the latter began by performing exorcisms upon Jeanne; commanding her not to approach if she was wicked, but to come near him if
she was good. Upon this Jeanne was angry, ảnd taxed the priest with being indiscreet, since he had been accustomed to hear her at confession. Baudricourt, after this interview, advised Lapart to conduct his niece back to her parents, yet thought it expedient to write to the king upon the subject, detailing the great promises made by Jeanne, and her assurances so frequently reiterated, that God would afford him succour before the middle of Lent. · Shortly after the above interview, the Pucelle returned to Vaucouleurs with her uncle, submitting to these delays with that violence of temper which formed a leading trait of her singular character. The duke of Lorraine being desirous to see her, she presented herself before him by means of a pass, wherewith she was furnished for that purpose: nothing, however, is detailed in history respecting the nature of their conference.
Jeanne at length became so anxious to see the king, that she resolved to set out on foot, when two gentlemen, chancing to be at Vaucouleurs, whose names were Jean de Novelompont, surnamed of Metz, and Bertrand de Poulangies, they introduced themselves to the Pucelle, and ultimately conducted her in safety to Chinon. During this tedious and perilous journey, through a country abounding with English and Burgundians, these gentlemen were filled with the greatest disquietude; but Jeanne incessantly told them to apprehend nothing, as she was commanded to proceed ; that her brethren in Paradise had instructed her what was to be done; and in this manner, after the expiration of eleven days, they arrived at Chinon, where the court then resided.