+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

Paris, and also to build a wall and strong
gates. Sir John Froissart, who seldom stops
to comment on his facts, says with approval
of this wise act:

"For the space of one year there were
three hundred workmen daily employed,
the expense of which was equal to
maintaining an army. I must say that to
surround with a sufficient defence such a
city as Paris, was an act of greater utility
than any provost of merchants had ever
done before; for, otherwise, it would have
been plundered and destroyed several
times by the different factions." After
the Jacquerie insurgents had lost seven
thousand of their number at Meaux, where
the Count de Foix, and the Captal de
Buche, on their return from a crusade
against the pagan hordes in Prussia, had
fallen on them, rescuing the Duchess of
Orleans and three hundred other ladies,
the Duke of Normandy besieged Paris with
three thousand lances, the town being
defended by the provost's blue and red hoods,
and English and Navarese archers. This
time the English helped to defend Paris.

The duke lodged at St. Maur and
Charenton alternately, and his army advanced
by the suburbs of St. Antoine. Holding
both the Marne and Seine, nothing could
enter Paris by land or water on that side,
and all the unenclosed villages he burned.
The King of Navarre, not liking the look of
things, now left Paris and went to St. Denis,
offering peace to the duke, who wished the
provost and twelve citizens to be delivered
up to his tender mercies. Navarre artfully
persuaded the provost, in case of need, to
send money to be taken care of by him; so
every day, two horses, laden with florins,
were sent to Charenton, and, as Froissart
quaintly says, the King of Navarre "most
cheerfully received them." When the treaty
was concluded, some of the English and
Navarese soldiers, who had served the provost
and commonalty of Paris loyally and well,
entered the service of the King of Navarre,
but about three hundred remained in Paris
enjoying themselves, and spending their
money cheerfully. Unfortunately, however,
in a quarrel with some citizens, about sixty
of these English archers were slain, and the
stern provost, furious at their brawls, seized
one hundred and fifty of them, and shut
them up over three of the city gates,
promising the enraged citizens, who wanted to
murder them, that they should be duly
punished. But in the night the provost
set them secretly free, and trooping off to
St. Denis, they joined their friends in the
King of Navarre's service. The united
band now resolved to be revenged for the
murder of their countrymen, and
challenging the Parisians, made war upon
them, slaying any who dare venture outside
the gates. The provost, furious at this
state of siege, armed twelve hundred
Parisians, who divided into two divisions, and
went over Montmartre and towards St.
Cloud, after the English archers. Not finding
them the provost and his party returned
by the Porte St. Martin. The other division
came straggling in, tired and careless,
by the gate of St. Honoré. Some carried
their helmets in their hands, others had
slung them round their necks; some dragged
their swords after them, others had hung
them on their shoulders. Suddenly, in a
hollow road, they came upon four hundred
English soldiers, who, upon seeing them,
began to shout, "These are the Frenchmen!"
and fell on them at once roundly,
killing some two hundred citizens in the
first onset. The French, too straggling and
astonished to rally, were killed like sheep.
In the pursuit beyond the barriers, some
six hundred were slain. The next day,
the friends of the dead coming out of Paris
with cars and carts to collect the bodies,
fell into an ambuscade of the English,
archers, who killed and wounded more than
six score of them.

The provost and his party, afraid of the
vengeance of the duke, and finding the
King of Navarre cold towards them since
the murder of the sixty English, resolved
to invite the English and Navarese soldiers
to return secretly by night, and murder
and plunder every man belonging to the
regent's faction. The houses to be saved
were, it was understood by the archers, to
be marked by special signals at the doors
and windows. The English were to enter
by the gates of St. Honoré and St.

But the good angels saved the city. Sir
Pepin des Essart, and others of the
Normandy party, suspecting evil, went by
night to the fort of St. Anthony
(afterwards replaced by the Bastille, which was
built against the English), and there, a
little before midnight, found the provost
with the keys of the city gate in his hand.
"Stephen," they said, "what doest thou
here at this time of night?" and crying,
"Kill them, kill them! now strike home,
for they are all traitors!" they clove him
down with a battle-axe, and murdered six
others of his friends. They then seized
others of their enemies at the gate of St.