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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 153



pope did not approve his course, he retracted his consent. The king incensed at the conduct of his favorite, ordered a succession of charges to be prepared, on which the arch-bishop was cited to trial. Becket declined the jurisdiction of the court and appealed to the pope, finally escaped across the sea and made his way to the King of France. Troubles in Aquitaine had made it necessary for Eleanor to take up her abode there, where, in company with her children, she remained some time exercising the functions of regent with great ability. To detach Prince Henry, who was enthusiastically fond of his tutor, from the party of Becket, the king sent for him to be crowned at Westminster, and admitted to a share of the government. But when the princess Marguerite found that Becket, the guardian of her youth, was not to place the diadem upon her head, she trampled upon the coronation-robes, and perversely refused to leave Aquitaine for London. King Louis took up his daughter's quarrel, and entered Normandy at the head of an army. Henry hastened to defend his domains, and hostilities were commenced, but the two monarchs had a private conference, and Henry finally promised to seek an immediate reconciliation with his exiled primate. The archbishop of Eouen and the bishop of Nevers were au-thorized to arrange an interview, and the King of England awaited the arrival of his rebellious subject in a spacious meadow, on the borders of Touraine. As soon as Becket appeared Henry spurred on his horse, with his cap in hand, thus preventing any formal recognition, and discoursed with all the easy familiarity of former days. At the gracious words of his master, the archbishop descended from his horse, and threw himself at the feet of his sov-ereign ; but Henry laid hold of the stirrup, and insisted that he should remount, saying, " Let us renew our ancient affection for eacli other,—only show me honor before those who are now viewing our be-havior." Then returning to his nobles, he remarked, "I find the archbishop in the best of dispositions towards me; were I otherwise toward him I should be the worst of men." 162 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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