ABSTRACT

The great expedition to France was over and not an inch of territory had been conquered. According to Hall, Edward had picked up the tercian ague during his absence to be a plague to him as long as he lived, 1 and for all the money he had squeezed out of his subjects for the war he had come home with nothing to show, which he dared announce, except a seven years’ truce with France with intercourse of merchandise. No wonder he had dreaded the reception awaiting him in England! Of course those who had suspected that the only reason why he talked about invading France was that he wanted an excuse for extorting money could now boast of their wisdom; and if some of Louis’ subjects thought their king had agreed to concessions derogatory to the honour and dignity of France, 2 more of Edward’s subjects felt that the treaty of Amiens was a disgrace to England and to England’s king. Those who had accepted Louis’ money insisted on calling their pensions “tribute money,” 3 and Edward lamely explained that, “after many great and importable charges and expenses in our last voyage by us borne and sustained, which were indeed more greater than any man could of likelihood have esteemed before,” God had been pleased to put into the mind of Louis of France to offer him “a good and an honourable appointment” which he hoped would prove to be “for the universal weal and profit of us and of all our subjects, as well by free communication and intercourse of merchandise to be had betwixt both parties as in many other wises.” 4 But no words could hide the truth. Edward had sold himself to the king of France, and if the treaty of amity had been made known at the moment of his home-coming, possibly the prediction of one who had heard from afar of the 156proposed marriage between the Dauphin of France and Elizabeth of York that Edward would be “torn to pieces the moment he returned to England” 1 would have been fulfilled. Even the truce with intercourse of merchandise, which Edward tried to think was for the profit of his people, bore much less resemblance to what his subjects had hoped for than to what Louis had long desired and had so nearly obtained at one time through the Earl of Warwick. For the people of England had not given their money to buy a chance to trade freely with France for the next seven years, but to recover the rich provinces beyond the sea which Henry VI had lost.