The Norman's Strategy deceives The Saxons
King Harold has been shot with an arrow just above his eye which has put it out and many other English soldiers have suffered a similar fate due to the strategy of the Norman archers. But the Saxons still continued to defend well.
"The Normans saw that the English defended themselves well, and were so strong in their position that they could do little against them. So they consulted together privily, and arranged to draw off, and pretend to flee, till the English should pursue and scatter themselves over the field; for they saw that if they could once get their enemies to break their ranks, they might be attacked and discomfited much more easily.
As they had said, so they did. The Normans by little and little fled, the English following them. As the one fell back, the other pressed after; and when the Frenchmen retreated, the English thought and cried out that the men of France fled and would never return.
Thus they were deceived by the pretended flight, and great mischief thereby befell them; for if they had not moved from their position, it is not likely that they would have been conquered at all; but, like fools, they broke their lines and pursued.
The Normans were to be seen following up their stratagem, retreating slowly so as to draw the English farther on. As they still flee, the English pursue; they push out their lances and stretch forth their hatchets, following the Normans as they go, rejoicing in the success of their scheme, and scattering themselves over the plain.
And the English meantime jeered and insulted their foes with words. 'Cowards,' they cried, 'you came hither in an evil hour, wanting our lands and seeking to seize our property; fools that ye were to come! Normandy is too far off, and you will not easily reach it. It is of little use to run back; unless you can cross the sea at a leap or can drink it dry, your sons and daughters are lost to you.'
The Normans bore it all; but, in fact, they knew not what the English said: their language seemed like the baying of dogs, which they could not understand. At length they stopped and turned round, determined to recover their ranks; and the barons might be heard crying, '_Dex Aie_!' for a halt.
Then the Normans resumed their former position, turning their faces toward the enemy; and their men were to be seen facing round and rushing onward to a fresh melee, the one party assaulting the other; this man striking, another pressing onward. One hits, another misses; one flies, another pursues; one is aiming a stroke, while another discharges his blow. Norman strives with Englishman again, and aims his blows afresh. One flies, another pursues swiftly: the combatants are many, the plain wide, the battle and the melee fierce. On every hand they fight hard, the blows are heavy, and the struggle becomes fierce.