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Edward The Black Prince: The Boy Warrior
by [?]

Through all that long summer evening of August 26th, and far into the night, the Black Prince and his army fought the army of France, fought until the flower of the French force lay dead, and their troops were utterly discouraged, and disorganised.

Then seeing that the case was hopeless for them, and that the victory had been won by the sturdy little English army, John of Hainault seized the bridle of King Philip’s horse and led him away, led him away from the danger and tumult of the battle-field. Out into the quiet country they rode in silence, with five horsemen only following them. On they journeyed through the blackness of the night and on until they reached Amiens. But of their flight or journey or destination, not one of the victors thought or cared, for the battle-field had become the seat of wild rejoicing and of revelry.

On the field of Crecy great fires were being lighted by tired but jubilant warriors, and torches flamed high to celebrate the victory of the Black Prince and his army over an enemy ten times as strong in numbers. And as the torches flashed and the fire-glow flamed high, King Edward came down from his hill-top and before the whole army, in the red glow of the blazing fires put his arms around the young prince, his son, who had given battle so bravely to the French, and said with solemn earnestness:

“Sweet son, God give you good perseverance. You are my true son, right royally have you acquitted yourself this day, and worthy are you of a crown.”

What a moment that was for the young prince!

With the reverence due not only to a king but to his father, for so were sons taught in those chivalrous days, Edward the Black Prince, though hot with the joy of victory, bowed to the ground before his father and gave him all the honour, as his king and commander.

And so ended the great day on which was fought the memorable battle of Crecy, the result of which was not only deliverance of the English army from an imminent danger, but also later the conquest of Calais, which King Edward almost immediately besieged and won, and which remained in the possession of the English from then until the time of Queen Mary.

And from that day, the Black Prince became the idol of the English people, and the terror of the French, who cherished an almost superstitious fear of his youthful valour and strategy in battle, and the king, realising that there was stern stuff in his son, from that day treated him as an equal, and discussed matters of gravest importance with him, as with one in whose counsel he had implicit confidence, and on the day after the battle, they might have been seen arm in arm, walking together on the field of the combat, talking it over in detail, and as they walked, the king asked his son:

“What think you of a battle? Is it an agreeable game?”

What the prince answered we do not know, but we do know that in after years whenever he had the game of war to play, he played it in such a masterly manner that his name has come down to us as the most famous warrior of his age. And he won his spurs, remember, at the battle of Crecy, when only a boy of sixteen years!