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Captain cried out—"Is your work done?-Are we ready?”—“ Yes in truth we are !" was the reply. The cables were then slipped from the capstans on shore, and the vessels got under way, whilst the priests and clerks on board, mounting on the castles, chaunted psalms in praise of God, and put up prayers for the prosperity of the voyage. When these had ceased, minstrels of a less holy order struck up their music, and
This was do with merry sowne,
The gale was prosperous, and soon brought them under the western cliffs of the Isle of Wight; coasting around which, they arrived at that point known by the name of the Needles : when getting into the open sea, they stood away for the opposite shore.
It was on the third day of their voyage that d'Artois accosting Manny
“ It was but yesterday”—he said, “ that you were telling me of a dispute which you had with the old Seigneur, your Sire, and which occasioned your coming to King Edward's Court, -have you not since returned home to see your
“ Alas!—I have since been there, but was not fortunate enough to find either of my parents in life. My mother had died a natural death, if indeed my abrupt departure from home did not partly occasion it; and my father-ah me !-he had been murdered."
“ How !--murdered"-exclaimed Robert,who was the faytor of such foul deed ?"
“ You have some times,” replied Manny, “ heard me tell of an enmity existing betwixt my Sire and the Lord Bishop of Cambrai : occasioned by the former having, at a tilt, done to death a certain Gascon, a nephew to the said Bishop. Well, then, he taking much to heart the loss of this relation, maintained against every show of reason that my Sire had done it purposely, and with intent to satisfy the cravings of an ancient grudge: and so he slurred him with the name of murderer, and cited him to appear in his own Court at Cambrai, there to clear him of the charge. The which, because my Sire refused to do-what hope of
justice had he there forsooth!—my Lord of Cambrai did make war on him, and pressing all his vassals in the cause, reduced our castle to the last extremity. Nathless from this strait I had the good luck to free him-I overthrew the Bishop's chieftain, and made him prisoner.”
Well, but, Manny, how came your parent to be murdered, as you just now said ?"
" Ay, indeed! my good lord, and I have the misery of thinking, that had I then been where I then should have been, such mischief had not chanced. I left my home, as I have before related, and went to England with Messire Froissart. -Well, after I had tarried in that country for some little time, his Grace commissioned me to go with the Earl of Derby into Flanders, and I took this opportunity of visiting my paternal mansion.—'Twas then that I first learned my mother's death."
“ And your other parent.— Was he then alive? or
“ No, indeed, he too was gone. I heard that the Bishop of Cambrai had so severely suffered by the defeat I gave his troops, that, from that time despairing of success, he offered to compound for his nephew's death by my father's making a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Jaques de Compostella.
This was agreed to. My father fulfilled his vow, and was on his return to Hainault; when, coming home one evening to his hostel, in La Reolle, where he had tarried on his journey to rest himself awhile, he was waylaid by ruffians, and most foully murdered. I strove to find who were the authors of this atrocious act, and, after much enquiry, learned-from the testimony of one who chanced to have been in La Reolle at the very time, and had himself beheld my father's tomb in a small chapel of the town—that it had been ordained and brought about by the connivance and secret approbation of his enemy, the Bishop. Well!" Manny continued, in a tone of triumph, my good Lord Bishop had his fill of revenge on my poor father, and I, too, have had mine of him.— I quitted not Hainault before I had cleared scores with him ;-till not one stone of his castle rested on another."
This happened, I suppose, much about the
time of the battle at Mortaigne, which obtained you such renown in England : did it not ?" enquired Robert.
“ Ay, my Lord, it did: it was shortly afterwards. I was determined not to return to England without purchasing myself the satisfaction of knowing, that he who had bereaved me of a parent was no longer alive to glory in the crime. 'Tis my design, seeing that the war may chance to lead us near the spot, to go into La Reolle, have my father's grave dug up, and take his bones to England, whence I will journey into Hainault, for the purpose of entombing them in the chapel of mine own castle.”
“ 'Tis piously purposed,” replied his companion; " and is, methinks, the least that you may, in atonement, do, for such unnatural conduct, -at least, so have I heard you name it,towards your sire when he was living. But tell me! you have never, since first leaving home, had any tidings of the Damoyselle who was the original, though innocent cause of your misdemeanour."