THE TWO LILY PRINCES
 DURING the next ten years France was ruled by the Dukes
of Burgundy and Bern.
The Lily Princes wished to remain at peace with
England, so they encouraged Richard II., son of the Black Prince, to ask for the hand of
little Isabelle, the daughter of
Isabelle was only ten years old, but she was a wise
little princess, who early
learned to speak with courtly ease. The English
ambassador, who had come to France
on his master's behalf, kneeling before the child,
said, "Madame, please God you
shall be our sovereign lady and Queen of England."
Whereupon the maiden answered, "If it please God and my
lord and father that I
should be Queen of England, I would be willingly, for I
have certainly been told
that I should then be a great lady."
In March 1396 Richard II. and Isabelle were married, and
a truce was then signed
which was to last for twenty-eight years. But three
years later King Richard was
deposed, and Henry Bolingbroke then became Henry IV. of
England. Isabelle was sent
back to France.
Ten years passed, and then Charles VI., being a little
better, determined that his
brother the Duke of Orleans should become regent, as
was his right. But Orleans
taxed the people so heavily that they turned to the
Duke of Burgundy, who loved
France, and cared for the rights of the citizens.
Orleans was forced to retire. Even
 king, when he was well, agreed that after all
it was better that his uncle
should again become regent. From this time, however,
the Duke of Burgundy and his
nephew, the Duke of Orleans, were rivals and hated one
Unhappily, soon after this, Philip, Duke of Burgundy,
died, and his son John the
Fearless became duke. John hated Louis of Orleans even
more than his father had
done, and was determined to become regent in his stead.
At first the Duke of Orleans proved so much more
powerful than John the Fearless
that John was persuaded to make peace with his rival.
But it was not a real peace,
though the two dukes swore to be friends, heard Mass,
and took the Sacrament
together in November 1409.
Before the winter was over, John, Duke of Burgundy,
broke his vow of friendship, and
that in a most treacherous manner.
For one evening the Duke of Orleans, after having dined
with Queen Isabelle, was
riding home, attended only by two squires and a few
servants carrying torches, when
suddenly eighteen or twenty armed men rushed out of an
alley in which they had been
hiding, and attacked the duke, shouting, "Death!
Haughty and indignant, Louis demanded what was the
matter. Then, thinking that his
name would cow the rough fellows, who had probably
mistaken him for an enemy of
their own, he said, "I am the Duke of Orleans."
"It is he whom we seek," was the unexpected answer, and
in a moment the ruffians had
struck the duke to the ground and slain him.
The Duke of Burgundy did not hide that the terrible
deed had been done by his order.
After confessing it to the Duke of Berri, he mounted
his horse and, leaving Paris
behind him, rode off unhindered to Burgundy.
But he did not stay there long. If he had ridden away
for safety, he soon found he
had nothing to fear in the capital. The citizens of
Paris, who had hated the Duke
 of Orleans, were glad that he could trouble them
no more; while for the Duke
of Burgundy who had slain him, they had nothing but
gratitude. Even the poor mad
king said he was not angry with John the Fearless for
murdering his brother, but
perhaps he hardly knew what he was saying.
There was only one who really mourned the death of the
Duke of Orleans, and that was
his beautiful wife, Valentina, the lady who was always
kind to the poor weak king.
She threw herself weeping at the feet of Charles, and
demanded that her husband's
murderer should be punished. The king wept with his
"fair sister," but he had no
power to help her.
Meanwhile, the Duke of Burgundy came back to Paris, and
with him were a thousand
men-at-arms. The people greeted him with joy, shouting
lustily, "Long live the Duke
Being sure of the people, the duke, so confident he
was, then wrote his own pardon,
and easily persuaded King Charles to sign it. Charles
even received him kindly, but
warned the duke to guard himself against those who
would never forgive his crime. To
which the duke proudly answered, that "as long as he
stood in the king's good graces
he did not fear any man living."
There was certainly nothing to fear either from the
king or the people. But Queen
Isabelle had always been on good terms with the Duke of
Orleans, and the duke
determined to win her favour. In this, too, he was
successful, and through the
queen's goodwill he gained possession of Charles, the
But John the Fearless had an enemy, and that a
determined one. This was the son of
the man whom he had killed, Charles, the young Duke of
Charles had married the daughter of Bernard of
Armagnac, a count who had great power
in the south of
 France. He, along with the Duke
of Bern and other
nobles, joined the Duke of Orleans in his struggle
against John the Fearless.
As the Count of Armagnac was the leader of the Orleans
party, those who followed him
were called "Armagnacs." First one party was in power
and then the other, and for
many years the story of France is the story of the
cruel deeds done by the
Burgundians and the Armagnacs.
At length, in 1414, things began to go badly with the
Duke of Burgundy. His
followers were driven out of Paris, and even out of
their own provinces, while the
duke himself fled into Flanders, where he was forced to
make terms with the
The dauphin meanwhile was at Paris, enjoying himself
too well to give heed to the
quarrels of the nobles, and behaving as though he were