Jean Froissart (c.1337–1410?). The Chronicles of Froissart.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
The Battle of Poitiers
Of Two Frenchmen That Fled from the Battle of Poitiers and Two Englishmen That Followed Them
AMONG the battles, recounterings, chases and pursuits that were made that day in the field, it fortuned so to sir Oudart of Renty that when he departed from the field because he saw the field was lost without recovery, he thought not to abide the danger of the Englishmen; wherefore he fled all alone and was gone out of the field a league, and an English knight pursued him and ever cried to him and said, ‘Return again, sir knight, it is a shame to fly away thus.’ Then the knight turned, and the English knight thought to have stricken him with his spear in the targe, but he failed, for sir Oudart swerved aside from the stroke, but he failed not the English knight, for he strake him such a stroke on the helm with his sword, that he was astonied and fell from his horse to the earth and lay still. Then sir Oudart alighted and came to him or he could rise, and said, ‘Yield you, rescue or no rescue, or else I shall slay you.’ The Englishman yielded and went with him, and afterward was ransomed. Also ie fortuned that another squire of Picardy called John de Hellenes was fled from the battle and met with his page, who delivered him a new fresh horse, whereon he rode away alone. The same season there was in the field the lord Berkeley of England, a young lusty knight, who the same day reared his banner, and he all alone pursued the said John of Hellenes. And when he had followed the space of a league, the said John turned again and laid his sword in the rest instead of of spear, and so came running toward the lord Berkeley, who lift up his sword to have stricken the squire; but when he saw the stroke come, he turned from it, so that the Englishman lost his stroke and John strake him as he passed on the arm, that the lord Berkeley’s sword fell into the field. When he saw his sword down, he lighted suddenly off his horse and came to the place where his sword lay, and as he stooped down to take up his sword, the French squire did pike his sword at him, and by hap strake him through both the thighs, so that the knight fell to the earth and could not help himself. And John alighted off his horse and took the knight’s sword that lay on the ground, and came to him and demanded if he would yield him or not. The knight then demanded his name. ‘Sir,’ said he, ‘I hight John of Hellenes; but what is your name?’ ‘Certainly,’ said the knight, ‘my name is Thomas and am lord of Berkeley, a fair castle on the river of Severn in the marches of Wales.’ ‘Well, sir,’ quoth the squire, ‘then ye shall be my prisoner, and I shall bring you in safe-guard and I shall see that you shall be healed of your hurt.’ ‘Well,’ said the knight, ‘I am content to be your prisoner, for ye have by law of arms won me.’ There he sware to be his prisoner, rescue or no rescue. Then the squire drew forth the sword out of the knight’s thighs and the wound was open: then he wrapped and bound the wound and set him on his horse and so brought him fair and easily to Chatelleraut, and there tarried more than fifteen days for his sake and did get him remedy for his hurt: and when he was somewhat amended, then he gat him a litter and so brought him at his ease to his house in Picardy. There he was more than a year till he was perfectly whole; and when he departed he paid for his ransom six thousand nobles, and so this squire was made a knight by reason of the profit that he had of the lord Berkeley.