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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 147



CHAPTER V. For close designs and crooked counsels fit, Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit ; Restless, unfixed in principle and place, In power unpleased, impatient in disgrace. THOMAS A BECKET had risen rapidly in the royal favor. His calm discrimination and cool judgment had made him the chosen counsellor of his patron, his sedulous attention to his pupil had won the heart of Eleanor, while his courtly qualities and knightly address made him popular with all classes of people. The king conferred upon him the honors of Eye, the wardenship of the tower of London, and made him chancellor of the realm. .The versatility of his accom-plishments enabled him to adapt himself to Henry's vari-ous moods, and he thus became the monarch's inseparable companion. The rapidity of his rise was equalled only by the splendor of his course. He rivalled the king in the appointments of his household, exercised the most un-bounded hospitality towards those who visited the court, and became the medium through which the subjects com-municated with their sovereign. The king was his frequent guest, and the monarch and the favorite seemed bound by ties of real friendship. Queen Eleanor had removed her court from "Woodstock, to the palace of Beaumont, in Oxford, where the celebrated Cœur de Lion was born, A.D., 1157. On the receipt of this pleasing intelligence, the king set off with his chancellor and train to join his family. As they rode along, conversing upon terms of the most easy familiarity, a miserable beggar followed them asking an alms. The king carelessly bestowed a few pence, and the chancellor observing the tattered garments of the men-dicant, facetiously remarked, that the command was not to feed the hungry alone, but to clothe the naked. 156 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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