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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 289



he could not trust the strength of a political treaty without the bond of a union with the royal family of England. King Henry therefore despatched a messenger with an af-fectionate letter to his mother, demanding the restoration of his sister. Count la Marche refused to resign the guar-dianship of his lovely step-daughter until the dower of his wife should be restored. The young king had then recourse to Pope Honorius III., traducing his mother and her hus-band in no measured terms, and praying him to lay upon them the ban of excommunication. By a process almost as tedious as the present "law's delaj-s," the pope investi-gated the affair, till Alexander becoming impatient, Henry was glad to accommodate the matter by paying np the ar-rears of his mother's dower. The little princess was then sent to England, and married to Alexander II., at York, 1221. She was a child of angelic beauty and sweetness, and though only eleven years of age, had thus twice stopped a cruel war. The English styled her Joan Makepeace. The domestic bliss of Count Hugh and Isabella was less exquisite than might have been anticipated from the con-stancy of his love, and the romantic revival of her attach-ment : nor did the birth and education of eight beautiful children concentrate their affections or afford sufficient scope for their ambitious aspirations. Differences con-stantly arose between the King of France and her son Henry, and it was often the duty of her husband to fight in behalf of Louis, his liege-lord, against her former sub-jects of Aquitaine. It was her sole study," therefore, to render French Poitou independent of the King of France. She "was a queen," she said, "and she disdained to be the wife of a man who had to kneel before another." Causes of mortification on this point were constantly occurring. Count la Marche sought to obviate the difficulty by allying his family with the blood royal. He offered his eldest daughter in marriage to the brother of the French king, but the prince refused her, and gave his hand to Jane of Toulouse. On this occasion the king made his brother Count of Poictiers, and thus it became necessary for Count ISABELLA. 801


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