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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 244



was forced to the conclusion that without some concession on his part, the whole crusade would prove an entire failure. The military abilities of Guy, were inferior to those of Conrad. Richard thus found it easy to satisfy his claim by bestowing upon him the rich and beautiful island of Cyprus, while he conciliated the Genoese, by consenting to the coronation of the Marquis of Tyre. Matters being thus accommodated between the jealous mercenaries, the mind of the king recurred to the original project of identifying the interests of the east and west, by uniting the heir of the thousand tribes, with the daughter of Henry Piantagenet. But Joanna, less susceptible of ro-mantic enthusiasm than her mother, steadfastly rejected the offer of her Paynim lover, and the bishop of Salisbury, with other zealous priests sustained her decision, and Cœur de Lion overborne by their clamor, was forced to relinquish his cherished project. As some slight compensation to the disappointed Saphadin, he conferred upon him the honor of knighthood, and dismissed him with the strongest ex-pressions of favor. Cœur de Lion then despatched a band of nobles to bring Conrad, the newly elected king, with all due honor to Acre. Delighted with his splendid prospects, Conrad ordered magnificent preparations to be made for the ceremony of coronation, and gave himself up to the most extravagant joy. But returning one day from an entertainment given by the bishop, he was suddenly seized and stabbed by two assassins, followers of the Old Man of the Mountain. His sudden death threw affairs again into confusion. The French who were encamped outside of Tyre, to the number of ten thousand, called upon the widow to give up the city for the service of King Philip. This she steadily refused to do; declaring that her lord had commanded her with his dying breath to resign it to no one but Rich-ard, or whosoever should be elected King of Palestine. The French at once commenced hostilities, and the siege of the city had been some time in progress, when Count Henry of Champagne arrived in the camp. He was one BEKENGARIA OF NAVARRE. 255


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