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GEOFFREY VINSAUF Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land

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Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
page 49

power of the natives.

Chapter XX. - Of the construction of Mategriffin, and of the discord between the two kings.

King Richard had expended great labour and diligence in erecting a castle, to which he gave the name of Mategriffin; at which the Griffons were very much exasperated, because this erection they saw was intended for their destruction. The building was now completed on the bill, close by the city, and very convenient for retreat. The army would have suffered much from want of provisions, which were forbidden to be exposed for sale, had they not used those which were brought by the fleet as provision against future wants. The enemy, therefore, did what harm and injury they could to our soldiers; they placed guards over the city by night, and the army in their turn defended themselves from their attacks by keeping watch. Moreover, discord again took possession of the minds of the kings, and the king of France openly shewed himself a favourer of the enemies of King Richard. But the great majority of the nobles were earnest for the renewal of peace, visiting at one time the palace, at another Mategriffin, to try and pacify their anger: but their labour and endeavours were in vain, for each accused the other, and offered to prove that the other was the aggressor, and neither of them would yield to the others will; the king of France, unwilling to commit himself to the power of an inferior, and so derogate from his own dignity; and King Richard, fearful that the acknowledgment of subjection might lessen the glory of his own deeds.

Chapter XXI. - How King Tancred made peace with King Richard, by giving him 40,000 ounces of gold as a dowry for the queen and the marriage of Arthur; and how the two kings and the citizens made peace.

Thus matters fluctuated, when King Tancred considering that danger might arise from further discord, and perceiving that King Richard would not desist from his purpose until he had obtained what he wished, sent messengers of noble birth to offer peace, and beg for reconciliation, asserting - very appositely for persuading him - that he was unwilling, as far as lay in him, to bear the ill-will of so great a man, to the danger of his own people; that he was willing to purchase his alliance with money, and that he would give the queen, sister of King Richard, 20,000 ounces of gold for her dowry, and 20,000 ounces more as a marriage portion for a daughter of his own, a damsel of talent and beauty, to become the wife of his nephew, Arthur of Brittany, if he chose. King Richard, at the earnest request of the messengers on both sides, agreed, and the. affair was concluded; the money, viz. 40,000 ounces of gold, was paid, and his sister, the queen, delivered up altogether to her brother’s care. And thus, after peace had been agreed upon, and confirmed in writing, all controversy ceased entirely. So when King Richard saw that satisfaction had been given him, as he required, he ordered the money which had been received from King Tancred to be equally divided, and also the money which had been given as a dowry for his sister he divided in like manner, although he was not bound to do so; but he did it from mere liberality, which redounded to his glory and praise, and relieved him in part from the hatred of his adversaries. Finally, by the advice of Walter, archbishop of Rouen, all who should not restore entire whatever silver or gold had been plundered from the city, were laid under an anathema. All things having thus been restored, and to outward appearance peace established, the citizens rejoiced in their safety, and the pilgrims in their tranquillity; the condition of the city was thus rendered secure, and penal laws made against the disturbers of the peace. The citizens had free intercourse with the pilgrims, without either quarrelling or giving offence; all rejoiced exceedingly, and henceforth provisions, for both man and horse, were exposed for sale, at a very reasonable price. The friendship of the kings was also renewed, and by the intervention of justice, universal goodwill was restored. But though in outward appearance the king of France dissembled his feelings, the rivalry which had been once engendered continued immortal in his mind, and throwing a veil over his envy at the illustrious deeds of King Richard, he concealed the cunning of the fox beneath an unmoved exterior.

Chapter XXII. - How King Tancred and King Richard meet at the city of Fatina.

Meanwhile, King Tancred, who was residing at that time at Palermo, not a little astonished at the fame of the magnificence and glory of King Richard’s deeds, sent ambassadors of noble birth to invite him to an interview at the city of Fatina. He very much desired to behold the face of the man whom he much admired for the report of his magnanimity and valour. Now the city of Fatina was situated midway between Messina and Palermo, and King Richard assenting, went to meet him at the appointed

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