pb 2 vThe widespread opinion of the English is certainly such, and has proved to be so in England since the time of noble king Arthur, that between two valiant kings there is always one less well endowed with insight and prowess. This is apparent in the king Edward of whom I was speaking just now, for true it is that his ancestor, called the good king Edward, was a courageous, wise and bold man, enterprising and fortunate in exploits of war. He had been much occupied against the Scots and conquered them three or four times, and the Scots could never gain any lasting advantage or victory over him. When he died, his son from his first marriage, who was the father of fair king Edward, succeeded him to the crown yet did not remotely resemble him in understanding or prowess, governing and ruling haphazardly on account of counsel given to him, for which he later suffered terribly, as you will discover hereafter if it please you. For, quite soon after he had been crowned, Robert Bruce, king of Scotland, who had caused trouble so often for the said good king Edward who was known for his great prowess, reconquered all Scotland including the city of Berwick-upon-Tweed. He twice burned and laid waste to large areas of the kingdom of England four or five days' march into the country. He defeated this king and all the barons of England at a place in Scotland called Stirling, in a decisive pitched battle. The pursuit following this defeat lasted two days and two nights, and the king fled to London with a very few of his men; but because this is no part of our matter I will speak no more of it for the present.SHF 1-2 sync For what reason the war was begun between the king of France and the king of England.
The king who was the father of this gallant king had two half-brothers, one of whom was the earl of Norfolk and known as the Earl Marshal, who had a very wild and fierce temperament, and the other was named my lord Edmund, and was earl of Kent, and he was a noble, mild and benevolent man, belovèd of the people. This king was married to the daughter of good king Philippe the Fair, king of France; she was one of the most beautiful women in the world. By this lady he had two sons and two daughters. The first son is the noble and valiant king Edward of England with whom this history begins; the other was named John of Eltham; he died rather young. The eldest of the two daughters was called Isabella and was wedded to young king Robert Bruce; she was given to him in marriage in their youth by agreement reached between the two kings and realms of England and Scotland to bring about a peace. The other daughter was married to Reginald, count of Guelders, who had two sons by this lady, Reinoud and Edward, who later reigned with great strength against their enemies.
SHF 1-3 syncNow history shows us that good king Philippe the Fair of France had three sons as well as his fair daughter Isabella, who was married to the king of England of whom I have already spoken to you. These three sons were most handsome, the eldest of whom was called Louis and who was, during his father's lifetime, the king of Navarre and nicknamed the Quarrelsome King. The second was named Philippe the Tall, and the third, Charles. All three of them were kings of France following the death of their father, king Philippe, by right of succession one after the other, without producing a male heir of their bodies through marriage. pb 3 r