Tales from Froissart
edited by Steve Muhlberger, Nipissing University
More Rebellion in Paris
While the king and his army are campaigning in Flanders, the Parisians rebel again.
Book II, ch. 119. During the time the king of France was encamped on the hill of Ypres, news was brought that the Parisians were in rebellion: and that they had revolved, as it was then reported, to pull down the castle of Beauté, which is situated in the wood of Vincennes, and the castle of the Louvre, as well as all other castellated houses in the neighbourhood of Paris, to prevent big oppressed in future by their means.
One of their leaders made a speech to excite to mischief, but which, however, as it appeared afterwards, turned out quite the contrary: -- "My fair sirs, let us abstain from doing this, until we see how the king's affairs turn out in Flanders. If the Ghent men succeed, as I truly hope they will, then will be the time to destroy all these castles. Let us not begin any thing which we may repent of afterwards."
It was Nicholas le Flamand who by this speech made the Parisians give up their intentions of committing outrages. They kept within the walls of Paris, which they had amply supplied with every thing; and had as rich and handsome armour as if they had been great lords. There were upwards of thirty thousand armed from head to foot, like true men at arms, and more than thirty thousand armed with mallets. They worked day and night in forging helmets, and purchased armour wherever it was to be sold.
Now consider what a sad devilment it would have been, if the king of France, and the gallant chivalry with which he was accompanied, had been defeated in Flanders. It may readily be supposed, that then all the nobility would have been destroyed in France, as well as in other places; for the Jacquerie were never so ferocious as they would at such a time have been. In like manner the peasants began to rebel at Rheims, at Châlons in Champagne, and down the river Marne, and to menace those gentlemen, ladies and children who had remained at home. At Orleans, Blois, Rouen, and in the Beauvoisis, the devil had entered their heads to prompt them to murder very one, if God had not provided a remedy...