Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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53
their ■ ranks with trenches, in addition to
the trees, bushes, and vineyards, by which
it was naturally defended. Amidst these
natural and artificial defences, and only
accessible by this narrow and difficult pass,
the English troops, about ten thousand
men, were drawn up on the side of the
gentle acclivity, with the good sense and
judgment which, from his early days, had
distinguished their eminent commander.
Sir Eustace de Ribeaumont had the hon-
our to carry to King John of France an
account of the English position, which he
thus described: ^Sir, we have seen the
enemy. By our guess, they amount to two
thousand men-at-arms, lour thousand archers,
and fifteen hundred or two thousand other
men; which troops appear to us to form
but one division. They are strongly post-
ed, wisely ordered, and their position is
well nigh inaccessible. If you would attack
them, there is but one passage where four
horsemen may ride abreast, which leads to
the centre of their line. The hedges which
Hank this access are lined with archers,
and tlie English main body itself consists
of dismounted men-at-arms, before whom
a large body of archers are arranged in
the form of a harrow. By this difficult
passage alone you can approach the English
position. Think, therefore, what is to be
done.'
King John resolved, that, in such diffi-
cult circumstances, the attack must be made
on foot. He commanded, therefore, his
men-at-arms to dismount, cast off their
spurs, and cut their spears to the length
of five feet, in order to do battle as in-
fantry. Three hundred men-at-arms alone
were commanded to remain mounted, in
order that their charge might begin the
combat, break the archery, and make way
for the columns of infantry; and in this
order King John resolved to undertake the
attack.
The battle having been thus determined
upon, a noble churchman, the Cardinal of
Perigord, visited both the French and
English armies, to incline them to peace.
The Prince of Wales, being so greatly
outnumbered, was not unwilling to listen
to honourable terms; but the King of
France insisted that Edward and his prin-
cipal lords should remain prisoners.
will never yield me prisoner,' said Edward,
Mintil I am taken sword in hand.'
But before the battle took place, one or
two circumstances happened, highly cha-
racteristic of the spirit of the times.
It chanced that the celebrated John
Chandos was, on the morning before the
action, reconnoitring the French host, while
Lord Cleremont, a marshal of the French
army, performed the same duty on the
other side. These two knights bore the
same device, which was the Virgin Mary,
sun-ounded by sunbeams. This was in
those days a great offence; and it was ac-
cordingly challenged by Cleremont with
these words: 'How long is it, Chandos,
since you have taken it on you to bear
my device ?'
'It is mine own,' said Chandos; 'at least
it is mine as well as yours.'
'I deny that,' said Cleremont; 'but you
act after the fashion of you Englishmen,
who have no ingenuity to devise your own
appointments, but readily steal the inven-
tion of others.'
'Let us prove which has the right in the
battle to-morrow,' answered Chandos, 'since
to-day is truce, on account of the cardinals
negotiation.' They parted thus upon terms
of mutual defiance.
On the evening of that same day, the
Frenchmen dismissed the Cardinal of Peri-
gord from their host, and desired him to
bring them no more proposals of peace;
so that the battle was now determined on
by both sides. The churchman himselt
retired from the field; but some youths
of his train, inspired by the splendid pre-
parations for battle, remained and bore
arms on the side of France, which was
much resented by the Black Prince.
Early the following morning the valiant
young Prince of Wales reviewed the posi-
tion of his troops and brieily said to them.
'Sirs, be not abashed for the number of
our enemies; for victory is not in the mul-
titude of people, but where God pleases
to grant it. It we survive this day's con-
flict, our honour will be in proportion to
the odds against which we fight; if we die
this day, there are men enough in Eng-
land to revenge our fall.'
As the prince thus addressed his people,
the Lord Audley came forward, and be-
sought a boon of him. 'My lord,' he said,
'I have been the true servant of your father
and of your house; and out of respect for
both, I have taken a vow long since, that
when I should be in any battle where the
king your father, or any of his sons, should
command, I will myself begin the battle,
or die upon the place. May it please you
now to permit me to pass to the vanguard,
and accomplish my vow?'
The prince wiUingly granted his desire,
saying, 'Sir James, God give you grace so
to bear yourself, that you shall be acknow-