pb 22 vTheir stay was no hardship for them since they were in their own country and near their homes, and so they had everything they might need in terms of supplies and other things, and in more abundance and cheaper than they would have been at Bruges or Damme.
The count of Flanders, who knew of the large number of knights in the town of Oudenaarde, was fearful that by a long siege they would be starved inside, and would have listened willingly to any treaties addressed that were honourable to him, because, in truth, the war against his people restricted him, and he had not undertaken it of his own will. What is more, his mother, countess Marguerite of Artois, was furious and laid the blame at his feet, and she would have established peace if she could, and so she did. This countess was residing in the city of Arras and wrote to duke Philippe of Burgundy, to whom the inheritance of Flanders, through the lady Marguerite, his wife, was to fall upon the count's death, that he might see his way clear to coming into the Artois. The duke, who had been well informed of these affairs, as he received news of them every day, came to Arras, and his council with him: Sir Guy de la Trémoille, Sir Jean de Vienne, admiral of France, Sir Guy de Pontallier and many others. The countess of Artois received them most gladly and demonstrated to them with great wisdom how unseemly was this war between her son and his country, and how it was as displeasing to her as it must be to all reasonable and good people. She also explained how these valiant men, barons, knights and squires were in great peril within the town of Oudenaarde, however honourably they were lodged there, and asked, for God's sake, that guidance and a remedy might be provided.
The duke of Burgundy replied that he was obliged to do this and would do everything in his power to achieve it. Shortly afterwards he departed Arras and came to Tournai where he was joyfully received, for those of Tournai were also very desirous of peace for the reason that their goods could not be moved down the river Scheldt. The duke of Burgundy sent the abbot of Saint-Martin to the army outside Oudenaarde to discover if the captains of Ghent might be prepared to negotiate. The abbot reported back to the duke of Burgundy that out of respect for him they would do so willingly. Hence the duke granted them safe conduct to Ronse, as did the Flemish for him and his men. And so the duke came to Ronse to parley with the Flemish, and the Flemish with him, and the first negotiations lasted from the morning until the evening when the duke returned to Tournai, with the provosts of Tournai in his company who had brought him there and who brought him back with them. The discussions lasted for fifteen days, and finding a way forward proved difficult because the Flemish wished to see Oudenaarde razed, but neither the duke nor his council could consent to this. The Flemish, who were pompous and proud, seemed indifferent to peace, maintaining that, since those within Oudenaarde could not leave without facing the threat they posed, they considered them conquered. pb 23 r