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


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 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 121

Bad yet for these acts I am called a traitor, forsooth ! Oh, after this, it were difficult to belive that thou art a Christian, or ever confessed thy sins !" "Yes, I ara a Christian, and have often been at confession," answered the King, who was so greatly enraged at the Earl's boldness, that he would have had him seized on the spot, had he not been well assured that the nobles present would not permit such a proceeding. " What signifies confession without repentance?" replied the Earl, with, a look of defiance. " I never repented of any act," said the insulted King, " so much as I now repent of having bestowed my favours on one possessing so little gratitude and so much ill-manners." At this crisis the friends of both parties interceded, and abruptly terminated the dispute. Shortly afterwards, deeply wounded as the King was by the insolence of Leicester, he, to rid himself of his presence, sent him again as Governor of Gascony. " For," said Henry, addressing the Earl, intones of sarcasm, "as you arc such a fomenter of wars, you will doubtless there find enough of them, and also a reward answerable to your merits, as your father did of old." " Cheerfully will I go thither," replied the Earl, boldly, "norhence return, till I have reduced to subjection the rebellious subjects of an ungrateful prince." Henry now, with his usual indiscretion, offended the clergy, who had already suffered greatly from the extravagant exactions of the Holy See, by demanding of them a tenth of their revenues for three years, to aid him in the pious design of a crusade against the infidels of Palestine. On finding he could obtain nothing from the assembled clergy, Henry sent for the conscientious Bishop of Ely, and endeavoured, by soft words and bland smiles, to secure his interest. But on the prelate attempting to expostulate with him on the folly and tyranny of his conduct, Henry reddened with rage, and after angrily answering, " I did not invite you here to deliver me a sermon," called loudly to his attendants, " Turn this ill-bred fellow out, nor let him appear before me again, since even he denies mc aid and consolation." Nor did the King come off better, when, a few days afterwards, he gave audience to the Countess of Arundel, who waited on him to plead her right to a certain wardship, the charge of which he claimed to himself, by reason of a small portion of it belonging to him. As Henry turned a deaf ear to her entreaties, the Countess boldly retorted, " My lord the King, why do you turn your face from justice? One cannot now obtain what is just or right at your court. You are placed to mediate between our Heavenly King and us, but you ill-govern both yourself and us. Are you not ashamed of your tyrannical conduct both to the clergy and the nobles ? " "What mean you, lady Countess?" asked the King, with a derisive smile. " Have the nobles of England given you a charter to be their advocate ?" " Indeed, my lord, " rejoined the Countes3, " I have received no such charter from prelato or baron ; but you have broken that charter which you and your father granted and swore inviolably to observe, and for which you have so often extorted money from your subjects. Therefore, I, although a woman, in the name of the mighty nation over which you reign, appeal against you before the tribunal of the awful Judge of all. May the Lord, the God of vengeance, avenge us!" Dumbfounded and shame-stricken at this truthful accusation, the Kiug, after a brief pause, said, in a gentle voice, " My lady Countess, did not you ask a favour because you were my cousin ?" " Since you have denied me my rights,'' replied the Countess, " how can I expect a favour ?" The King, thus reproved, remained silent, and the Countess departed, without any satisfaction save that of having freely spoken her mind. At this period, Louis of France and many of his nobles were lingering in captivity in the Holy Land, and although Henry had strictly forbidden the English nobles to hasten to their succour, ere he was ready to lead them forth in person, and Eleanora had expressed a

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