CHAP. XII. Of the Duke of Burbons Stratagem and Victorie, wherein the French King was taken prisoner.
NOw the Duke and his Souldiers were in great * miserie for want of Victuals and other ne∣cessaries, which they could by no meanes get within the Towne; Hereupon the Captaines and Souldiers began to grudge and murmure, being for want of Victuals all like to perish, and being in this extremitie came before the Duke, and said, Sir, we must of force and necessitie yeeld to our enemies; And better were it for us so to doe, then to starve like dogges. But when the Duke heard this, he replied with weeping teares; Sirs, (quoth he) you have proued your selves va∣liant * men, and of noble hearts in this service; and for your necessitie, whereof I my selfe doe participate, I do not a little lament; But I shall desire you, as you are no∣ble in heart and courage, so to take patience for two or three dayes, and if succour come not then from the King of England, (as I doubt nothing lesse) I will then con∣sent to you all to put our selves and lives unto the mercy of our Enemies; whereunto they all agreed, and tarried till two dayes were past, expecting reliefe from the King; Then the Duke seeing no remedy, called his noble Cap∣taines Page 32 and Souldiers before him, and weeping, said; You Noblemen and Captaines, we must yeeld our selves unto our Enemies, or else famish, and to yeeld the Towne and our selves, I know well the crueltie of our Enemies, as for my part I passe not for their cruelties, for I shall suffer death (I know very well) most cruelly, if I come once into their hands; It is not therefore for my selfe that I doe lament, it is for your sakes, it is for your lives, and for the safegard of your persons, for so that you might escape your enemies hands, I would willingly suffer death; good Companions, and noble Souldiers, (I doe require you all) considering the miserable cala∣mities and dangers we are in at this present to sell our lives most dearely, rather then to be murdered like beasts; Therefore if you all consent with me, we will take upon * us this night to give our Enemies assault, and by that meanes we may either escape, or else give them an over∣throw, for it were better to dye in the field like men, then to live prisoners miserably in captivity, to which they all agreed.
Then (quoth the Duke) you all perceive the enemies Campe is strong, and there is no way to enter upon them but one, and that entrie is planted with great Ordnance and strength of men, so that it is impossible to attaine to our enemies, that way to fight with them in their Campe; And also now of late you perceive they have had but small doubt of us, in regard they have kept but slender Watch.
Therefore mine advise is, there shall issue out of the Towne, in the dead time of the night from us a certaine number of you, that bee the most likely to assault the Campe, and they shall give the assault secretly against the place of the entry, which is most strong and invincible, which force and valiant assault shall bee to them of the Campe so doubtfull, that they will turne the strength of the entry, that lyeth ouer against your assault, to beate you from your purpose. Then will I enter out at the Page 33 Posterne gate, and come to the place of their strength newly turned, and there ere they be aware will I enter and fight with them in the Campe, and win their Ord∣nance, which they have newly turned, and beat them with their owne peeces, and then may you come and joyne with me in the field; So this devise pleased them all wonderfull wel, & they did then prepare themselves al that day for that devise, and kept themselves secret and close without any noyse or shot of peeces in the Towne, which gave the enemie the lesse feare of the assault, for at night they went all to their Tents, and couched quiet∣ly, nothing mistrusting what after happened; So in the dead of the night, when they all were at rest, the assailents issued out of the Towne, and there accor∣ding to the Dukes appointment, they gave so cruell and fierce an assault, that they in the Campe had much adoe to withstand them. And then (as the Duke before decla∣red) they within were compelled to turne the shot that * lay at the entry against the assault; Then issued out the Duke, and with him about fifteene or sixteene hundred men or more, secretly in the night. The enemy being ig∣norant * of his comming untill he entred the Field, and at his entry he tooke all the Ordnance that lay there, and slew the Gunners, then charged the Peeces against the enemies, and slew them wonderfully, and cut downe their Tents and Pavillions. and murthered many therein ere they were aware of his comming, suspecting nothing lesse then his entry, so that hee wonne the field ere the King could arise; So the King was taken in his lodging, before he was harnessed. And when the Duke had won the field, the French King taken, and his men slaine, his Tents robbed and spoiled, and the Kings coffers searcht, The Duke of Burbon found the league under the great Seale of England, newly made betweene the King of England and the French King, whereby hee perceived the impediment of his money which should have come to him from the King, having upon due search of this Page 34 matter further intelligence, that all this businesse was de∣vised by the Cardinall of England. Whereupon the Duke * conceived such indignation against the Cardinall, that he went immediatly to Rome, and there intended to sacke the Towne, and to have taken the Pope; But at the first assault of the Towne, the Duke was the first man that was there slaine, notwithstanding the Captaines conti∣nued their assaults. And at last many of the Towne fled with the Pope to the Castle of Angell, where hee conti∣nued in great calamity.
I have written this Historie more at large, because it was thought of all this mischiefe, wherefore you may see whatsoever a man doth purpose, be he Prince or Pre∣late, yet God dispatcheth all things at his pleasure and will; It being a folly for any wise man to take upon him any weighty enterprise of his owne will without cal∣ling upon God for his grace and assistance in all his pro∣ceedings.
I have seene Princes, either when they would call a Parliament, or any other great Assembly, that they would first call to God most reverently for his grace therein. And now I see the contrarie, as it seemes they trust more to their owne mindes and wills, then to Gods good grace, And even thereafter oftentimes doe their matters take effect; Wherefore not onely in this History, but divers others, may be perceived most evident exam∣ples. Yet I see no man almost in authoritie, or high e∣state regard the same, which is the greater pitty, and the more to be lamented. Now here I desist to speake any further of this matter; and to proceed to others.