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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 397



From these barons Edward learned that the "Welsh prince had violated the promise made to his princess on her death-bed, of conveying their daughter to the care of Eleanora, and that stimulated by the songs of the bards and the long-smothered anger of the malcontent barons, he had resolved to break his oath of allegiance to the King of England, and had dispossessed his brothers of their inherit-ance as a punishment for their loyalty. The council decided to assist David and Eodrie in the recovery of their possessions, and Edward not displeased with the occasion of making an absolute conquest of the country, advanced with his army into "Wales. The English at first suffered some reverses, but in the great battle of Builth, Llewellyn was slain, his forces put to flight, and the gold coronet taken from his head was offered by Prince Alphonso at the shrine of Edward the Confessor. But the war was not yet ended. Prince David now claiming the title of king, as the heir of his brother, assumed the command of the Welsh, and it needed the con-stant presence of Edward to keep down the rebellious spirit of the people. The same steadfast affection which had sup-ported Eleanora during the tedious hours of her anxious sojourn in the wilds of Devon, and that had prompted her to brave the varied dangers of the Syrian campaign, led her now to follow her lord's fortunes through the rugged de-files and rocky fastnesses of the Welsh mountains. For lier security, Edward built and fortified the strong castle of Caernarvon, which now, after the lapse of nearly six centuries, presents the same external appearance as on the day when Queen Eleanora first entered its stupendous gateway in company with her royal lord. The battlements with which the walls were defended, stand unchanged in their hoary strength and grandeur, and the statue of Edward I., carved to the life, still protects the entrance of the castle, and witli its drawn dagger, menaces the intruder who would venture within its guarded pre-cincts. The eagle tower yet nestles in the defences of the rocks, though the royal fledglings have deserted the com- ELEANORA. 413


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