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DAVID HUME, ESQ.
THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND
The arrival of Philip and Richard inspired new life into the Christians; and these princes acting by concert, and sharing the honor and danger of every action, gave hopes of a final victory over the infidels. They agreed on this plan of operations: when the French monarch attacked the town, the English guarded the trenches: next day, when the English prince conducted the assault, the French succeeded him in providing for the safety of the assailants. The emulation between those rival kings and rival nations produced extraordinary acts of valor: Richard, in particular animated with a more precipitate courage than Philip, and more agreeable to the romantic spirit of that age, drew to himself the general attention, and acquired a great and splendid reputation. But this harmony was of short duration, and occasions of discord soon arose between these jealous and haughty princes. The family of Bouillon, which had first been placed on the throne of Jerusalem, ending in a female, Fulk, count of Anjou, grandfather to Henry II. of England, married the heiress of that kingdom, and transmitted his title to the younger branches of his family. The Anjevan race ending also in a female, Guy de Lusignan, by espousing Sibylla, the heiress, had succeeded to the title; and though he lost his kingdom by the invasion of Saladin, he was still acknowledged by all the Christians for king of Jerusalem.(*) But as Sibylla died without issue during the siege of Acre, Isabella, her younger sister, put in her claim to that titular kingdom, and required Lusignan to resign his pretensions to her husband, Conrade, marquis of Montferrat. Lusignan, maintaining that the royal title was unalienable and indefeasible, had recourse to the protection of Richard, attended on him before he left Cyprus, and engaged him to embrace his cause.(**) There needed no other reason for throwing Philip into the party of Conrade; and the opposite views of these great monarchs brought faction and dissension into the Christian army, and retarded all its operations. The templars, the Genoese, and the Germans, declared for Philip and Conrade; the Flemings, the Pisans, the knights of the hospital of St. John, adhered to Richard and Lusignan, But notwithstanding these disputes, as the length of the siege had reduced the Saracen garrison to the last extremity, they surrendered themselves prisoners; stipulated, in return for their lives, other advantages to the Christians, such as restoring of the Christian prisoners, and the delivery of the wood of the true cross;(***)and this great enterprise, which had long engaged the attention of all Europe and Asia, was at last, after the loss of three hundred thousand men, brought to a happy period.
[* Vinisauf, p. 281.]
[** Trivet, p. 104. Vinisauf, p. 342. W. Heming. p. 524.]
[*** This true cross was lost in the battle of Tiberiade, to which it had been carried by the crusaders for their protection. Rigord, an author of that age, says, that after this dismal event, all the children who were born throughout all Christendom, had only twenty or twenty-two teeth, instead of thirty or thirty-two, which was their former complement (p. 14.)]
But Philip, instead of pursuing the hopes of further conquest, and of redeeming the holy city from slavery, being disgusted with the ascendant assumed and acquired by Richard, and having views of many advantages which he might reap by his presence in Europe, declared his resolution of returning to France; and he pleaded his bad state of health as an excuse for his desertion of the common cause. He left however, to Richard ten thousand of his troops, under the command of the duke of Burgundy; and he renewed his oath never to commence hostilities against that prince's dominions during his absence. But he had no sooner reached Italy than he applied, it is pretended, to Pope Celestine III. for a dispensation from this vow; and when denied that request, he still proceeded, though after a covert manner, in a project which the present situation of England rendered inviting, and which gratified, in an eminent degree, both his resentment and his ambition. Immediately after Richard had left England, and begun his march to the Holy Land, the two prelates whom he had appointed guardians of the realm, broke out into animosities against each other, and threw the kingdom into combustion. Longchamp, presumptuous in his nature, elated by the favor which he enjoyed with his master, and armed with the legantine commission, could not submit to an equality with the bishop of Durham: he even went so far as to arrest his colleague, and to extort from him a resignation of the earldom of Northumberland, and of his other dignities, as the price of his liberty.(*) The king, informed of these dissensions, ordered, by letters from Marseilles, that the bishop should be reinstated in his offices; but Longchamp had still the boldness to refuse compliance, on pretence that he himself was better acquainted with the king's secret intentions.(**) He proceeded to govern the kingdom by his sole authority; to treat all the nobility with arrogance; and to display his power and riches with an invidious ostentation. He never travelled without a strong guard of fifteen hundred foreign soldiers, collected from that licentious tribe, with which the age was generally infested: nobles and knights were proud of being admitted into his train his retinue wore the aspect of royal magnificence; and when in his progress through the kingdom, he lodged in any monastery, his attendants, it is said, were sufficient to devour in one night the revenue of several years.(***)
[* Hoveden, p. 665. Knyghton, p. 2403.]
[** W. Heming. p 528,]
[*** Hoveden, p. 680. Benedict. Abbas, p. 626, 700. Brompton, p. 1193.]
The king, who was detained in Europe longer than the haughty prelate expected, hearing of this ostentation, which exceeded even what the habits of that age indulged in ecclesiastics; being also
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