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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 284

his release by the payment of aa enormous ransom to the Duke of Burgundy, by consenting to a marriage between his eldest daughter Yolantc, and Frederick, son and heir of his rival, Count Y au démonte, and by betrothing the young Margaret of Anjou to the Count St. Pol. Meanwhile, in 1436, Louis, titular King of Naples, died ; the succession devolved upon Rene ; and his faithful consort prepared to immediately assert his rights against th e posterity of Charles Durazzo, who really held possession of the kingdom and the crown. With her mothrr the young Margaret hastened to Naples, when first at Capua, the Neapolitan residence of the Anjou family, and afterwards, on the release and arrival of her father, at the superb palace furnished by his predecessor, Joanna the Second, she resided and received her education under the care of the learned Antoine de Salle. Itene had-Tifnrn, thfi.,crown of Naples but a few months, when Alphonso, King of Arragon, drove him from the throne, and pressed him so hard, that it was with difficulty ho escaped with his wife and family to Lorraine ; where, as the English had possessed themselves of nearly the whole of Anjou and Maine, he was reduced to the unpleasant strait almost wholly on the bounty of his brother-in-law, the King of France. At this period Henry the Sixth, the bachelor King of England, was twentythree years of age, cultivated in mind, mild in disposition, pure and holy in thought, and pining to enter the married state. His morality was most exemplary, and when any of the frail damsels at court sought to wile him into an unlawful intimacy, he would turn away with disdain exclaiming, "Fie, fie, indeed! ye be greatly to blame." By those rival statesmen, the Duke of Gloucester and Cardinal JTeauFort, thé procuring a consort for the King was viewed as the deciding point of political mastery. In 1442, Gloucester had recommended to Hpniy flHfi of the, daughters of the Count of Armagnac, under a belief that the power of that nobleman who was then at war with x France, might form an impregnable bulwark of defence to Guiennc. But befuro the delicate business could be brought to an issue the French King learned the, secret, and prevented the match, by making the Count and his family prisoners. Beaufort, however, was more successful in his efforts. With the astuteness and cunning of the English cardinals in our own times, he foresaw that as Henry was devoid of cartacity, the Queen, whoever she might "be, would possess unbounded influence over the mind of her husband, and therefore, should she he tender of age and possessed of energy and superior endowments of mind, be might, possibly, through her influence, crush the power of his political adversaries, and bring about a peace with France, a measure wise as it was humane ; it being absurd to suppose that England could retain the mastery over a country so extensive, so civilized, and so populous as France, whilst the very attempt to do so had already done much to annihilate the arts of civilization, and to plunge both kingdoms into the very depths of crime and misery. Actuated by these motives, and a desire to conceal his purpose from his enemies, the cardinal, through the agency of Champchevrier, an Angevin prisoner belonging to Sir John Falstolf, but then at large, directed the choice of Henry towards Margaret of Anjou, a princess but just in her teens, of surprising beauty and wit, and of great energies of mind. Champchevrier painted the beauty and the accomplishments of Margaret in such glowing colours, that Henry, almost in love with her from hearsay^ dispatched him with great privacy to the court of her povertystricken father for her portrait, which, says the King in his instructions, " must be an exact ymagine alike in statute, countenance, beauty, colour of skin, and every particular, just the like as ye see." Jfcanwhile, Sir John Falstolf, not being in the secret, became enraged at the absence of his prisoner without leave ûï. license, and wrote to the King of France, detailing the particulars, and requesting that he might be restored to him. Champchevrier was accordingly

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