Tales from Froissart

edited by Steve Muhlberger, Nipissing University

The Mallotins Rise in Paris

At the same time that the siege of Ghent intensifies in Flanders, the people rise against the king.

Book II, ch. 94. About this period the Parisians rose again, because the king did not reside among them. They were afraid lest he should order his men at arms to force the gates of the city in the night-time, overrun it, and put to death whomsoever he pleased.

To avoid this danger, which they dreaded, they kept great guards in all the streets and squares every night, and barricaded the streets with chains, to prevent any cavalry from passing; nor would they suffer any one on foot to pass: and those found in the streets after nine o'clock, who were not acknowledged by them or their partisans, were put to death.

There were in the city of Paris upwards of thirty thousand rich and powerful men, armed from head to foot, and so handsomely arrayed that few knights could afford to rival them. They had, in like manner, armed their servants, who had mallets of iron and lead for the bruising of helmets. They said in Paris, when they were mustering their men, that they were sufficient in number and strength to fight their own battles, without the aid of the greatest lord on the earth. These people were called the army of mallets.

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