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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 326



attention of the fickle King of England, by a poem which she composed on the conquest of Ireland. Dazzled by her genius and personal charms, Henry's vows to Joanna were forgotten, and his ambassadors re-ceived orders to break off the negotiations, while his oblig-ing counsellors recommended a union with the very lady he so ardently admired. His habitual covetousness intruded however into the courtship, and had well-nigh subjected him to a sixth dis-appointment, lie intrusted his seneschal to demand twen-ty thousand marks as the dower of Eleanor, but privately empowering him to lessen the sum if necessary to fifteen, ten, seven, five or three thousand. He quite disgusted the haughty count her father, by his sordid bargaining, and at last wrote in great terror, to conclude the marriage forth-with, either with money or without, but at all events to se-cure the lady for him and conduct her safely to England without delay. In the splendid festivities with which Henry welcomed his young bride to London, and in the preparation of her coronation robes, he displayed a taste for lavish expend-iture altogether inconsistent with the state of his finances, and in ridiculous contrast to his former penuriousness. Like his father the greatest fop in Europe, but not like him content with the adornment of his own person, he issued the most liberal orders for apparelling the royal household in satin, velvet, cloth of gold and ermine, expending in the queen's jewelry alone a sum not less than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. About the saine time he bestowed his sister Isabella upon the Imperial widower Frederic IL, and personally desig-nated every article of her sumptuous wardrobe. It was on this occasion that he first learned how impera-tive a check a sturdy British Parliament may be on the lawless extravagance of a king ; for when he petitioned the Lords for a relief from his pecuniary difficulties, they told him they had amply supplied funds both for his marriage and that of the empress, and as he had wasted the money 312 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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