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by harles
V. of
Account of
panics or
great ■a pcmyer as England, it was necelTary for him to
remedy the many diforch" s 10 which his owri kingdom
Is defeated vvas exPf)^ed* He accordingly turned his ^rms againft
nnd obliged' the king of Navarre, the great diiturbt r oi France du-
to fub'tntt t) ring that age \ and he defeated that prince, and redu-
the terms cecl him to terms, by the valour and conduct of Ber¬
trand du Guefclin, one of the moil accomplifhed cap¬
tains of thofe times, whom Charles had tin difeernment
to choofe as the inftrumt nt of his victories. He alfo
fettled the affairs of Britanny, by acknowledging the
title of Mountfort, and receiving homage for ins do¬
minions. But much was yet to be done. On the con-
clufion of the pt ee of Bretigni, the many military ad¬
venturers who had followed the fortunes of Edward,
being difperfed into the feveral provinces, and pofleffed
of Itrong holds, refufed to lay down their arms, or relin¬
quish a courfe of life to which they wrere now aecuftom-
ed, and by which alone they could earn a fubfiftence.
t hey afl’oeiated themfeives with the banditti, who were
the hr, ditti already inured to the habits of rapine and violence j and,
called com- unc{er the name of companies and companions, became a
terror to all the peaceable inhabitants. Some Englifh
and Gafcon gentlemen of chara61er wrere not afhamed
to take the command of thefe ruffians, whofe number
amounted to near 40,000, and who bore the appear¬
ance of regular armies rather than bands of robbers.
As Charles was not able by power to redrefs fo enor¬
mous a grievance, he was led by neceffity, as well as by
the turn of his chara&er, to correct it by policy •, to dif-
cover fome method of difeharging into foreign countries
this dangerous and inteftine evil; and an occafion now
Alphonfo XI. king of Caftile, who took the city of
Algezira from the Moors, after a famous liege of two
c™e*’kin£ years, during which artillery are faid firft to have been
0 a 1 e’ ufed by the belieged, had been fuceeeded by his fon
Pedro I. furnamed the Cruel; a prince equally perfidi¬
ous, debauched, and bloody. He began his reign with
the murder of his father’s rniftrefs, Leonora de Gufman :
his nobles fell every day the victims of his feverity : he
put to death his eoulin and one of his natural brothers,
from groundlefs jealoufy 5 and he caufed his queen
Blanche de Bourbon, of the blood of France, to be
thrown into prifon, and aftervrards poifoned, that he
might enjoy in quiet the embraces of Mary de Padella,
with wffiom he was violently enamoured.
Henry count of Traftamara, the king’s natural bro¬
ther, alarmed at the fate of his family, and dreading his
own, took arms againft the tyrant; but having failed
in the attempt, he fled to France, where he found the
minds of men much inflamed againft Pedro, on account
The Com- of the murder of the French princefs. He afked per-
pames em- miffion Qf Charles to enlifl the companies in his fervice,
hun anc^ ^eac^ t^iem ^n':o Caftile againft his brother. The
French king, charmed with the project, employed du
Guefclin in negociating with the leaders of thefe ban¬
ditti. The treaty svas foon concluded •, and du Guef¬
clin having completed his levies, led the army firft to
Avignon, where the pope then refided, and demanded,
fword in hand, abfolution for his ruffian foldiers, who
had been excommunicated, and the fum of 200,000
livres for their fubfiftence. The firft was readily pro-
mifed him, but fome difficulty being made with regard
to the fecond, du Guefclin replied, “ My fellows, I be-
Reign of
Pedro the
lieve, may make a fhift to do without your abfolution, Spah
but the money is absolutely necefiary.” His buhnefs
then extorted irom the inhabitants of the city and its
neighbourhood the fum of 100,000 livres, and offered it
to du Gueteiin. “ It is not my purpofe (cried that ge¬
nerous warrior) to opprels the innocent people.. The
pope and his cardinals can fpare me double the fum from
their own pocieets. 1 therefore infill, that this money
be reftored to the owners j and if I hear they are de¬
frauded of it, 1 will mylelf return from the other fide
of the Pyrenees, and oblige you to make them reftitu-
tion.” i'he pope found the neceffity of fubmitting, and
paid from his own treasury the fum demanded.
A body of experienced and hardy foldiers, condu6fed He Isd
by fo able a general, eafily prevailed over the king of out, brs 0
Caftile, whole fubjefts were ready to join the enemy by
againft their oppreflor. Pedro tied from his dominions,
took fhelter in Guitnne, and craved the protedfion of '
the prmee of Wales, whom his father had invefted with
the fovereignty of the ceded provinces, under the title
of the principality of Aquitaine. The prince promiled
his affiftance to the dethroned monarch *, and having ob¬
tained his father’s confent, he levied an army, and fet
out on his enterprife.
The firft lofs which Henry of Traftamara fuffered
from the interpolition of the prince of Wales, ’was the
recalling of the companies from his fervice j and fo
much reverence did they pay to the name of Edward,
that great numbers of them immediately withdrew from
Spain, and enlifted under his flandard. Henry, how¬
ever, beloved by his new fubjetts, and fupported by the
king of Aragon, was able to meet the enemy with an
army of 100,000 men, three times the number of thofe
commanded by the Black Prince : yet du Guefclin, and
all his experienced officers, advifed him to delay a deci-
five adlion y fo high was their opinion of the valour and
conduit of the Englifh hero ! But Henry, trufting to
his numbers, ventured to give Edward battle on the
banks of the Ebro, between Najara and Navarette j
where the French and Spaniards were defeated, with Spa.
the lofs of above 20,000 men, and du Guefclin and niards de
other officers of diitinitioh taken prifoners. All Caftile feated, ai
fubmitted to the viitor *, Pedro was reftored to the^®”e‘
throne, and Edward returned to Guienne with his ufual * 1
glory ; having not only overcome the greateft general
of his age, but reftrained the moft blood-thirfty tyrant
from executing vengeance on his prifoners.
This gallant warrior had foon reafon to repent of his
connexion with a man like Pedro, loft to all fenfe of
virtue and honour. The ungrateful monfter refufed the J
ftipulated pay to the Englifh forces. Edward abandon¬
ed him : he treated his fubjedls with the utmoft barba¬
rity •, their animofity was roufed againft him 5 and du
Guefclin having obtained his ranfom, returned to Caftile
with the count of Traftamara, and fome forces levied
anew in France. They were joined by the Spanifh
malecontents *, and having no longer the Black Prince
to encounter, they gained a complete viftory over Pedro js again
in the neighbourhood of Toledo. I'he tyrant now took
refuge in a caftle, where he was foon after befieged by k
the vigors, and taken prifoner in endeavouring to make deatbi
his efcape. He was conduced to his brother Henry j
againft whom he is faid to have rufhed m a tranfport of
rage, difarmed as he was. Henry flew him tvith his

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