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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 156



the news of this event threw him into the deepest melan-choly. The train of calamities, which would inevitably follow the curse of the church, made him tremble for his throne, and the natural horror of the crime alarmed his imagination and partially disordered his reason. He knew not how to receive the murderers, nor yet how to treat with the pope, and finally concluded to give the matter over to the judgment of the spiritual courts. The assassins in con-sequence travelled to Rome, and were sentenced byway of expiation to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. To evade meeting the legates of the pope, Henry determined to seize this opportunity for his long meditated invasion of Ireland. The same month that witnessed the splendid coronation of Henry and Eleanor, had been signalized by the succes-sion of Nicholas Breakspear, to the throne of the Yatican. This prelate, consecrated under the name of Adrian IV. was the only Englishman that ever sat in the chair of St. Peter ; and his partiality for his native sovereign had led him to be-stow upon Henry, a grant of the dominion of Ireland. Now when troubles arose in that province and circumstances rendered absence from his own dominions desirable, the king led an army into Ireland. From the time of the marriage of her daughter Matilda with the Lion of Saxony, Eleanor had not visited England. The arrival of Becket's messenger in Bordeaux, conveyed to her the first intelligence of the prelate's death ; and the mysterious word Woodstock, immediately revived a half-forgotten suspicion excited by the stratagems of Henry, to prevent her return to her favorite residence. Her woman's curiosity prevailed over her love of power, and she intrust-ed the regency to her son Henry, repaired to England, and lost no time on her way to "Woodstock. As she approached the palace, her keen eye scanned every circumstance that might lead curiosity or lull suspicion, but with the excep-tion of a deserted and unkept look, the appearance of the place indicated no marked change. Though she came with a small train and unannounced, the drawbridge was instantly lowered for her entrance, and the aged porter re- ELEANOR. 165


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