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in, sent a knight in great haste to the King of England, who was posted on an eminence near a windmill. On the knight's arrival, he said, “Sir, the Earl of Warwick, the Lord Stafford, and the others who are about your son, are vigorously attacked by the French, and they entreat that you would come to their assistance with your battalion, for if their numbers increase, they fear he will have too much to do.” The king replied, “Is my son dead, unhorsed, or so badly wounded that he cannot support himself?” “ Nothing of the sort, thank God,” replied the knight; “ but he is in so hot an engagement that he has great need of your help.” The king answered, “Now, Sir Thomas, return back to those that sent you, and tell them from me not to send again for me this day, or expect that I shall come, let what will happen, as long as my son has life; and say that I command them to let the boy win his spurs, for I am determined, if it please God, that all the glory and honour of this day shall be given to him, and to those into whose care I have entrusted him." The knight returned to his lords, and related the king's answer, which mightily encouraged them, and made them repent they had ever sent such a message.
The Earls of Alençon and Flanders were fighting lustily under their banners, but they could not resist the force of the English, and were there slain, as well as many other knights and squires that were attending on, or accompanying them. The Earl of Blois, nephew to the King of France,
and the Duke of Lorraine, his brother-in-law, with their troops, made a gallant defence; but they were surrounded by a troop of English and Welsh, and slain in spite of their prowess, as well as
Late after vespers, the King of France had not more about him than sixty men,' every one included.
Sir John of Hainault then said to the king, “Sir, retreat while you have an opportunity, and do not expose yourself so simply ; if you have lost this battle, another time you will be the conqueror.” After he had said this, he took the bridle of the king's horse, and led him off by force, for he had before entreated him to retire.
The king rode on till he came to the Castle of La Broyes, where he found the gates shut, for it was very dark. The king ordered the governor of it to be summoned.
He came upon the battlements, and asked who it was that called at such an hour ?
The king answered, “ Open, open, governor ; it is the fortune of France.” The governor, hearing the king's voice, immediately descended, opened the gate, and let down the bridge. The king and his company entered the castle; but he had with him only five barons.
This Saturday the English never quitted their ranks in pursuit of any one, but remained on the field guarding their position, and defending themselves against all who attacked them.
When on this Saturday night they heard no more hooting or shouting, nor any more crying out to particular lords, or their banners, they
looked upon the field as their own, and their enemies as beaten. They made great fires, and lighted torches, because of the obscurity of the night. King Edward then came down from his post, and, with his whole battalion, advanced to the Prince of Wales, whom he embraced in his armour, and said, “ Sweet son, God give you good perseverance; you are my son, for most loyally have you acquitted yourself this day; you are worthy to be a sovereign. The prince bowed down very low, and humbled himself, giving all honour to the king, his father. The English during the night made frequent thanksgiving to the Lord for the happy issue of the day, and without rioting; for the king had forbidden all riot or noise.
The next day he sent lords and heralds to examine the arms* of the dead, and two secretaries to write their names. They made a very careful report, and said they had found eighty banners, the bodies of eleven princes, twelve hundred knights, and about thirty thousand common men.
Adapted from Froissart's “Chronicles.” * In those days knights, or persons of note, wore over their armour a surcoat, with some device painted upon it, by which they were easily known. This was necessary, as their faces were covered by
47.- COLUMBUS AND THE EGG.
At a feast which Cardinal Mendoza gave to Admiral Columbus, he made a great speech in praise of the discovery which Columbus had made, and called it the greatest victory ever gained by the human mind. The courtiers who were present took it very much amiss that a foreigner, and besides that, a man who was not even of noble origin, should receive such marks of distinction. “ It seems to me,” said one of the royal chamberlains, “ that the way to the so-called New World was not so very hard to find—the sea is everywhere open, and no Spanish seaman would have missed the way.”
The whole company showed its approbation of this speech by courteous smiles, and several voices said, “Oh, any of us could have managed to do that!"
“I am very far,” replied Columbus, “from taking to myself the credit of what I can only ascribe to the gracious guidance of Heaven. Still, there are many things in the world which it seems to us very easy to do, but only after we have seen some one else do them first. If I might venture,” said Columbus, turning to the Chamberlain, “I would ask your Excellency to place this egg” (he
had made one of the servants give him a hen's egg) " upon its end, so that it will not fall.”
The Chamberlain tried to make the egg stand steadily, first upon one end, and then upon the other, but all in vain. His neighbour tried also, but with as little success. And now the others pressed around, and tried their utmost; but neither by doing it with great care, nor yet by keeping very quiet, could they achieve this feat of skill. " It is iinpossible !” cried the nobles ; "you are asking impossibilities.” “And yet,” said Columbus, these gentlemen are sure to say directly,
Any of us can do that.”” He took the egg, and, with a gentle blow, put it down on the table, so that it stood firmly up on the broken-in part of the shell, “Yes, indeed, any of us can do that!” cried the nobles.
48,-THE CLOCK AND THE DIAL.
It happened on a cloudy morn,
A dial thus bespoke-
I am upon the strike.”
The sun is in the shade;