Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/207

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BATTLE OF HASTINGS. 201


Norman, nor Frenchmen kill his countryman by mistake. Those on foot led the way, with serried ranks, bearing their bows. The knights rode next, supporting the archers from behind. Thus both horse and foot kept their course and order of march as they began, in close ranks at a gentle pace, that the one might not pass or separate from the other. All went firmly and compactly, bearing themselves gallantly.

"Harold had summoned his men, earls, barons, and vavassors, from the castles and the cities, from the ports, the villages, and boroughs. The peasants were also called together from the villages, bearing such arms as they found; clubs and great picks, iron forks and stakes. The English had inclosed the place where Harold was with his friends and the barons of the country whom he had summoned and called together.

"Those of London had come at once, and those of Kent, of Hertfort, and of Essesse; those of Suree and Susesse, of St. Edmund and Sufoc; of Norwis and Norfoc; of Cantorbierre and Stanfort; Bedefort and Hundetone. The men of Northanton also came; and those of Eurowic and Bokinkeham, of Bed and Notinkeham, Lindesie and Nichole. There came also from the west all who heard the summons; and very many were to be seen coming from Salebiere and Dorset, from Bat and from Sumerset. Many came, too, from about Glocestre, and many from Wirecestre, from Wincestre, Hontesire, and Brichesire; and many more from other counties that we have not named, and can not, indeed, recount. All who could bear arms, and had learned the news of the duke's arrival, came to defend the land. But none came from beyond Humbre, for they had other business upon their hands, the Danes and Tosti having much damaged and weakened them.

"Harold knew that the Normans would come and attack him hand to hand, so he had early inclosed the field in which he placed his men. He made them arm early, and range themselves for the battle, he himself having put on arms and equipments that became such a lord. The duke, he said, ought to seek him, as he wanted to conquer England; and it became him to abide the attack who had to defend the land. He commanded the people, and counseled his barons to keep themselves all together, and defend themselves in a body; for if they once separated, they would with difficulty recover themselves. 'The