Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/215

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BATTLE OF HASTINGS. 209


hewed down the barricades, and the English, in great trouble, fell back upon their standard, where were collected the maimed and wounded.

"There were many knights of Chauz who jousted and made attacks. The English knew not how to joust, or bear arms on horseback, but fought with hatchets and bills. A man, when he wanted to strike with one of their hatchets, was obliged to hold it with both his hands, and could not at the same time, as it seems to me, both cover himself and strike with any freedom.

"The English fell back toward the standard, which was upon a rising ground, and the Normans followed them across the valley, attacking them on foot and horseback. Then Hue de Mortemer, with the Sires D'Auviler, D'Onebac, and Saint Cler, rode up and charged, overthrowing many.

"Robert Fitz Erneis fixed his lance, took his shield, and, galloping toward the standard, with his keen-edged sword struck an Englishman who was in front, killed him, and then drawing back his sword, attacked many others, and pushed straight for the standard, trying to beat it down; but the English surrounded it, and killed him with their bills. He was found on the spot, when they afterward sought for him, dead, and lying at the standard's foot.

"Duke William pressed close upon the English with his lance, striving hard to reach the standard with the great troop he led, and seeking earnestly for Harold, on whose account the whole war was. The Normans follow their lord, and press around him; they ply their blows upon the English; and these defend themselves stoutly, striving hard with their enemies, returning blow for blow.

"One of them was a man of great strength, a wrestler, who did great mischief to the Normans with his hatchet; all feared him, for he struck down a great many Normans. The duke spurred on his horse, and aimed a blow at him, but he stooped, and so escaped the stroke; then jumping on one side, he lifted his hatchet aloft, and as the duke bent to avoid the blow, the Englishman boldly struck him on the head, and beat in his helmet, though without doing much injury. He was very near falling, however; but, bearing on his stirrups, he recovered himself immediately; and when he thought to have revenged himself upon the churl by killing him, he had escaped, dreading the duke's