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tation and despair, so that the hardest heart would have had compassion on them, even the Lord de Vienne wept bitterly.
After a short time, the most wealthy citizen of the town, by name Eustace de St. Pierre, rose up and said, 'Gentlemen, both high and low, it would be a very great pity to suffer so many people to die through famine, if any means could be found to prevent it, and it would be highly meritorious in the eyes of our Saviour if such misery could be averted. I have such faith and trust in finding grace before God, if I die to save my townsmen, that I name myself as first of the six.'
When Eustace had done speaking, they all rose up and almost worshipped him, many cast themselves at his feet with tears and groans. Another citizen, very rich and respected, rose up and said, he would be second to his companion Eustace, his name was John Daire. After him James Wisant, who was very rich in merchandise and lands, also offered himself, as companion to his two cousins, as did Peter Wisant, his brother. Two others then named themselves, which completed the number demanded by the King of England.
The Lord John de Vienne then mounted a
small hackney,* for it was with difficulty that he could walk; and conducted them to the gate. There was the greatest sorrow and lamentation all over the town, and in such manner were they attended to the gate, which the governor ordered to be opened, and then shut upon him and the six citizens, whom he led to the barriers, and said to Sir Walter Manny, who was there waiting for him, 'I deliver up to you, as governor of Calais, with the consent of the inhabitants, these six citizens, and I swear to you that they were, and are at this day, the most wealthy and respectable inhabitants of Calais. I beg of you, gentle sir, that you would have the goodness to beseech the king that they may not be put to death.'' I cannot answer for what the king will do with them,' replied Sir Walter, 'but you may depend that I will do all in my power to save them.'
The barriers were opened, when these six citizens advanced towards the position of the king, and the Lord de Vienne re-entered the town..
When Sir Walter Manny had presented these six citizens to the king, they fell upon their knees, and with uplifted hands, said:
"Most gallant king, see before you six citizens of Calais, who have been capital merchants, and who bring you the keys of the castle and the town. We surrender ourselves to your absolute will and pleasure, in order to save the remainder of the inhabitants of Calais, who have suffered much distress and misery. Condescend, therefore, out of your nobleness of mind, to have mercy and compassion upon us.'— All the barons, knights, and squires, that were assembled there in great numbers, wept at this sight.
The king eyed them with angry looks, for he hated much the people of Calais, for the great losses he had formerly suffered from them and ordered their heads to be stricken off. All present entreated the king that he would be more merciful to them, but he would not listen to them. Then Sir Walter Manny said; Ah, gentle king, let me beseech. you to restrain your anger: you have the reputation of great nobleness of soul, do not therefore tarnish it by such an act as this, nor allow any one to speak in a disgraceful manner of you. In this instance, all the world will say you have acted cruelly if you put to death six such respectable persons, who, of their own
free will, have surrendered themselves to your mercy, in order to save their fellow-citizens.' Upon this the king gave a wink, saying, ‘Be it so,' and ordered the headsman to be sent for: for that the Calesians had done him so much damage, it was proper they should suffer for it.
The Queen of England, who at that time was great with child, fell on her knees and with tears said, Ah, gentle sir, since I have crossed the sea with great danger to see you, I have never asked you one favour; now I most humbly ask as a gift, for the sake of the son of the most blessed Mary, and for your love to me, that you will be merciful to these six men.' The king looked at her for some time in silence, and then said 'Ah, Lady, I wish you had been anywhere else than here, you have entreated in such a manner that I cannot refuse you: I therefore give them to you to do as you please with.' The queen conducted the six citizens to her apartments, and had the halters taken from round their necks, after which she newclothed them, and served them with a plentiful dinner, she then presented them with six nobles,* and had them escorted out of the camp in safety.
*Coins of that date.
THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS.
THEN they (Christiana and her company) set forward, and began to go up the hill, and up the hill they went but before they got to the top, Christiana began to pant, and said; 'I dare say this is a breathing hill: no marvel if they that love their ease more than their souls, choose to themselves a smoother way.' Then said Mercy: 'I must sit down,' also the least of the children began to cry. Come, come,' said Greatheart, sit not down here, for a little above is the Prince's arbour. Then took he the little boy by the hand, and led him up thereto.
When they were come to the arbour, they were very willing to sit down, for they were all in a pelting heat. Then said Mercy; 'How sweet is rest to them that labour. And how good is the Prince of Pilgrims to provide such resting places for them! Of this arbour I have heard much, but I never saw it before. But here let us beware of sleeping; for that, as I have heard, cost poor Christian dear.'