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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 230



234 RESULT OP THE CRUSADE. [VIII. saw that Alexandria was untenable, and the season, for it was now the ioth of October, 1365, was too far advanced. The failure of the Crusade was bitterly commented on by Petrarch, who in a letter to Boccaccio writes, at the time, in the severest way of the greediness and irresolution of the Transalpines1, and many years after laments, in an epistle to Philip de Mazzeriis, the loss to Christendom, and the wretched effect produced, by the failure, on the character and fate of the king2. The English lords seem to have stayed sometime longer in Cyprus : the legate died at Famagosta in January, 1366, and they brought back to England the biography by Philip the Chancellor, which has furnished the most certain details of the story. After the Alexandrian expedition the Venetians, whose commerce was suffering, prevailed on Peter to treat for a peace with Egypt, which was to establish Cypriot consulates and reduce the customs in the ports of the Levant; but the attempt failed. The next year, with the Genoese and the Hospitallers, he ravaged the Syrian coast, but again had to make peace. He then visited Rome in search of succour, and returned finally to Cyprus in September 1368. The rest of King Peter's life was very wretched : he had left his queen during his long visit to the West, and she had proved faithless : he retaliated on the nobles who had been her favourites, and gave rein to his cruelty and lasciviousness. If he were not mad, as ' Siqnidem Petrus Cypri rex Alexandriam cepit in Egypto, magnum opus et memorabile nostneque religionis in immensum amplificando fundamentum ingens, si quantum ad capiendam tantum ad servandam urbem animi fuisset ; qui certe non defuit, ut fama, nisi comitatus ejus ex transalpinis maxime gentibus collectas, melioribns semper ad principia rerum quam ad exitus, ilium in medio prasstantissimi operis deserentes, ut qui pium regem non pietate sed cupiditate sequentes, collectis spoliis abiere piiqne voti impotem avari voti compotes fecere;' Petrarch, Opp. p. 843 ; Ep. Senil. lib. 8. ep. 8. ' lb. lib. 13. ep. 2 : 'Petrus rex Cypri, indigni vir exitus sed sacras memoriae nisi,' etc.


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