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the king with ample revenge. Richard, dreading the fate which threatened him, retired to Flint castle for safety. The earl advanced towards that place with a considerable body of men ; but resolved not to waste his time in a siege, unless he failed in a scheme which he planned, to secure the person of the king. To accomplish this, he selected two hundred horsemen, and proceeded to the gate of the fortress; and, knocking loudly, demanded admittance. Those within asked, who thus required entrance; and were informed by the earl, that he came to demand his inheritance, the dukedom of Lancaster.
Richard and his counsellors debated whether it would be proper to grant the earl's request; and at length determined in the affirmative. Richard, hoping the artful earł might be induced to mediate between himself and bis discontented subjects, met him with a degree of confidence, which was soon abated by the imperative demand of Derby, whether he had broken his fast. Upon his replying that he had not, the earl recommended he should immediately breakfast, as he must ride many miles that day. Weak and irresolute in his determinations, the king seated himself before the table ; but the alarming view of crowds of soldiers from the windows, who had by this time surrounded the castle, deprived him of appetite : he found he was betrayed ; and, helpless, trusted his life in his enemy's hands; with
the only condition, that the earl would conduct him in safety to the Tower of London.
Enough has been said on this subject to explain the manners of the court. I shall, therefore refer the reader for political facts to Froissart, and mention some particulars relating to the language of the time.
Ralph Higden, in his Polychronicon, translated by Trevisa, and printed by Master Caxton, speaking of the causes of the impairing of our language, says: “ One is by cause that children that gone to scole lerne to speke first Englyshe, and then ben compelled to constrewe her lessions in Frensh, and that have ben used
the Normons come into Englond. Also gentilmen's children ben lerned and taught from theyr yougthe to speke Frensh, and uplondysh men will counterfete and liken himself to gentilmen, and are besy to speke Frensh, for to be more sette by; wherefore it is sayd by the comyn proverbe, -Jack wold be a gentilman if he coude speke Frenshi To which John de Trevisa, his translator, adds as follows: “ This maner was moche used tofore the grete deth (i. e. Plague, in 1349 or 1361); but syth it is somedele chaunged; for Sir John Cornuayl, a mayster of gramer, chaunged the techyng in gramer scole, and construction of Frenshe; and other scoolmaysters use the same way now, in the yere of our Lord 1365, the 9th yere of king Rychard the Secund; and leve all Frensh in scoles, and
use all construction in Englyshe; wherein they have advantage one way, that is, that they lerne the sonner theyre gramer ; and in another disadvantage, for nowe they lerne no Frensh, ne conne none, which is hurte for them that shal passe the see; and also gentilmen have moche left to teche theyr children to speke Frensh.”
When Richard II. died, the particulars of whose death Froissart confesses he was unable to collect, the prevailing party had his body placed on a black litter, and under a canopy of the same colour; which was conveyed, at a solemn pace, to Cheapside; where it remained two hours exposed to the view of at least 20,000 persons.
Froissart, who had been secretary to Edward the grandfather of Richard, and queen Philippa, pays some compliments to his memory as a munificent monarch in his household; and mentions that he presented him, on his departure from Windsor, with a silver gilt goblet, weighing two marks, filled with one hundred nobles; which we may conclude was the custom of the day, instead of the bag or purse.
The tragical story of Evan of Wales, said to have been the son of a prince of that country beheaded by Edward I. related by Froissart, will serve to promote the
of this work. The above-mentioned chief was employed in the siege of Mortain, about the year 1380; when John Lambe, an esquire, arrived at the camp. This
man, who had been hired to assassinate Evan, was introduced to him as one who desired to assist in his military operations. Flattered by the expressions of Lambe, and his assertions that the whole principality of Wales were impatient to acknowledge him their sovereign, Evan admitted the traitor to his confidence, and made him his chamberlain.
It was the custom with the chief to rise early on fine mornings, and seat himself in front of the castle his troops invested, to enjoy the view of that object, and the surrounding country. Not aware of the least danger, he had no other attendant than Lambe on these occasions. His last excursion took place after a warm night, which was succeeded by a very beautiful dawn. went thither,” says my authority, "all unbuttoned, with only his jacket and shirt, and his cloak thrown over him; when he seated himself as usual, attended by John Lambe. All the others were asleep; and no guard was kept, for he considered the castle of Mortain as conquered.
66 After Evan had seated himself on the trunk of a tree, he said to John Lambe, “Go, and seek my comb; for that will refresh me a little. He answered, · Willingly, my lord. On his way to seek for the comb, or when returning with it, the devil must have entered the body of this John; for, with the comb, he brought a short Spanish dagger, that had a broad point, to accom
plish his evil intentions. He struck this dagger into Evan, whose body was almost naked, and pierced him through ; so that he fell down dead."
It would be grateful to our present feelings could we remove this stigma on the customs of our court; but it is impossible, as Mr. Johnes quotes a passage from the Federa, which states the payment of one hundred francs to John Lambe and his two companions, for the acceptable service they had performed on the now unknown Evan of Wales, who cannot be identified with any person mentioned by Welsh authors consulted by the translator.
Froissart gives so satisfactory an account of the mole of challenging in his time, that I am tempted to tra scribe the passage from Mr. Johnes's translation. Richard II. was at Eltham, where he entertained his courtiers. “ When the day of the fast was arrived; and all the lords had retired, after dinner, with the king to his council chamber; the earl marshal, having settled in his own mind how to act and what to say, cast himself on his knees before the king, and thus addressed him: Very dear and renowned lord, I am of your kindred, your liegenian, and marshal of England; and I have beside sworn on my loyalty, my hand within yours, that I would never conceal from you any thing I might hear or see to your prejudice, on pain of being accounted a disloyal