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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 94



Cœur de Lion received the messenger with courtesy, hut fearing treachery, he mounted a swift charger, and fled by night to Eisenback, where a knight, sent by the Lord of Geritz, discovered him. However, as the knight was himself a Norman, and moreover had married an English lady, instead of seizing the lionhearted King, he warned him of his danger, and implored him to seek safety in flight. Accompanied by one knight and a page, who understood German, tho royal pilgrim instantly sped forward, and for three days and three nights hastily rode on, without even seeking shelter. Being ignorant of geography, he journeyed he knew not whither, and when at last, from sheer exhaustion, he put up at an inn, he learned, to his dismay, that he was in the suburbs of Vienna, the capital of that Archduke of Austria, Leopold, to whom he had given such great offence by tearing down, his standard at the taking of Acre, and by capturing his niece, the Cypriot Princess. Here, as at Geritz, the right royal habits of Richard betrayed him. Although in those days silver was scarce, his page tendered pieces of gold in payment for articles of food, which greatly astonished the market people ; and difficult, as the thoughtless boy then found it, to conceal from whom and whence he had come, and escape from the gaze of the suspicious and curious, he went out a few days afterwards on a similar errand, and at once betrayed the rank of his master, by unconsciously carrying the King's embroidered gloves in his girdle. "Ah!" exclaimed the market people, "the hoy of a merchant would not carry with him such gloves as those !" And a crowd collected around him, and detained him till an officer arrived, when he was conveyed before a magistrate and tortured till he confessed who his master was, and where he had left him. On being informed of the confession of the, page, Leopold, anxious to obtain possession of Richard s person, ordered a German knight, who had served at the siege of Acre, and well knew the royal pilgrim, to proceed with a number of officers to the inn where he was lodging, and seize him. "You have some wealthy foreigners abiding here?" said one of the officers, as they entered the inn, " In sooth we have no such good fortune," replied the host, politely; "for, saving a poor Templar, who is turning the spit for us in the kitchen, and, may I add, your honourable selves, gentlemen, we have not a customer in the house." The knight thanked the host, and after whispering to his companions to follow him, and prepare themselves to battle with the devil, he cautiously walked into the kitchen, where, sure enough, there was the valiant Richard busily engaged roasting fowl for supper. "That is him!" quickly roared out the knight. Seize him !" Richard instantly jumped up, tore the spit from the nre-plàce, and with it courageously fought for his liberty. But being, after a desperate and long-continued struggle, overcome by numbers, he was immediately heavily ironed, and incarcerated by the revengeful Leopold in a miserable dungeon in the castle of Tencbreus. This misfortune happened to Richard in December, 1192, and, in the spring following, he was given up by Leopold to the Emperor Henry the Fourth, Leopold's lord paramount, for the sum of sixty thousand pounds of silver. According to an ancient writer— " The Englishmen were a whole year without hearing any tidings of their King. Knowne it was that he had quitted the Holy Land, but none could tell in what countrey he arrived. Whereupon Blondel de Nesle, a Rimer or Minstrill, whom he had trained up in his court, and who with him had been shipwrecked on the voyage from Acre, after expense of divers days in travaile, came to a towne by good hap neere to the castell where his master, King Richard, was kept. One day he sat directly before the window of this castell, and began to sing, in the old Provençal tongue : ' Your beauty, lady fair, Nont! views without delight, But still sn cold an air. No passiim can excite ; Vet this 1 patient see, While all are ahunn'd like me.


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