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Geoffrey de Vinsauf
Itinerary of Richard I and others to the Holy Land
page. 100


returned to Tyre to the count, their future king, and reported the message entrusted to them. Then the joy and exultation of all was revived, and the principal persons persuaded the count to marry the marquis’s widow who was heiress to the kingdom; but he refused, lest he should offend King Richard. Upon this, the French, and the nobles of the kingdom, urged him to it, alleging that his position would be strengthened thereby; and by their influence, the lady came of her own accord to offer him the keys of the city. This was done at the instance of the French, who were for hurrying on the matter. The marriage was solemnized in the church in the presence of the clergy and laity. Those who persuaded the count to this step were not supposed to have had much difficulty; for there is no trouble in persuading a willing man. The nuptials were solemnized with royal magnificence, and all were rejoiced at the accomplishment of the affair, which was wished for by every one; the French exulted, and the Normans were equally joyful, for the count was a nephew of both the kings of France and England; and by this union happier times were hoped for, and a return of those who differed to peace and concord. On the completion of his nuptials, the count immediately sent persons to assume the government of Acre, Joppa, and other cities and forts, in his name; and to take possession of all his dominions, which they were to hold under him as their lord. He then published an edict, calling on all to get ready for the expedition against Darum.

Chapter XXXVI. - With what joy Count Henry was received at Acre on his way, with the duke of Burgundy and his army, to aid King Richard.

Having, therefore, left fit persons to guard the city of Tyre, and the rest of the land, Count Henry, in company with the duke of Burgundy, moved forward his army towards Acre, in order to hasten the campaign and provide what was necessary; and he also brought his wife with him, as he could not yet endure to be without her. When the count’s coming was known to the people of Acre, they came out, with dances, to meet and applaud their new lord; and crowding round him, they accompanied him into the city, which was adorned on every side like a temple, with curtains and silken cloths; burning censers were filled with frankincense, and carried about the roads and streets; and women led the dance with joy and exultation. Why need we enter into detail? An immense number of people, calculated at 60,000, went forth in full armour to meet the count, and testify their joy and regard for him. The clergy led him by the hand into the church before the altar, and offered him the Holy Cross, and other relics, to kiss. The count himself, and several others, made many precious offerings there; after which he was conducted to the royal palace, where he ordered a banquet to be prepared, and every one, according to his means, strove to do honour to their new lord.

Chapter XXXVII. - How King Richard, moved with pity, gave to King Guy the island of Cyprus as a reward for his prowess in war, and to console him for the loss of his kingdom.

But since it is hardly possible for one man to rise without another’s downfall, so that the loss of the one turns to the advantage of the other, King Guy was now deprived of the kingdom, in the acquisition of which Count Henry gloried, and for which he had fought so many battles. He now dwelt therein like a private man, not because he was undeserving of the kingdom, for there was not another king to be found of more royal habits or character than he, but for this only reason, that he was simpleminded and unversed in political intrigue; instead of being esteemed the more on this account, as he should have been, he was considered the more contemptible. He was a soldier of great prowess, and conducted the siege of Acre, when occupied by the Turks, with the greatest vigour and perseverance; but owing to the increasing numbers of the enemy on the side towards the sea, he could not storm the city, which two kings afterwards with difficulty gained possession of. Ought, then, the simplicity of his character to have injured him in obtaining his rights? For such was the perversity of the age, that he whoever was known to be most inhuman in his actions was thought worthy of greater honour and glory; and thus while craftiness gained respect, piety sunk into disrepute, because prudence is the reigning virtue of the present age. Thus, then, Guy became a king without a kingdom, until King Richard, moved with pity for him and his well-known probity, gave him the unconditional sovereignty of the island of Cyprus, although the Templars had previously bought it of him; and thus the condition of purchase by the Templars being set aside, Guy was made emperor of Cyprus.

Chapter XXXVIII. - How messengers arrived frequently from England, and how the news they brought made King Richard doubtful what to do.

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