« AnteriorContinuar »
on which he dismounted in all haste, and another horse was brought him, stouter than the first. Mounting it, he again made an attack upon William de Barres and tried to throw him down, but was not able, as he kept fast hold of the horse's neck, on which the king uttered threats against him.
Upon this, Robert de Breteuil, son of Robert, earl of Leicester, whom the king the previous day had girded with the sword of his father's earldom, was for laying hands on William de Barres that he might help his master, but the king said to him, “Hold, and leave me and him alone.” After William and the king had contended for a considerable time, both in words and deeds, the king said to him, “Away with you hence, and take care that you never appear in my presence again, for at heart I shall for everlasting be the enemy of you and yours.” Upon this, William de Barres departed from the king's presencegrieved and in confusion, in consequence of the king's indignation, and went to his lord the king of France, to ask his advice and assistance upon the matter that had thus happened on the road.
On the next day the king of France came to the king of England, on behalf of William de Barres, with humble entreaties on his part, asking for peace and mercy on behalf of William de Barres, but the king refused to listen to him. On the third day after this, William de Barres took his departure from the city of Messina; for his lord, the king of France, was unwilling to keep him any longer with him, contrary to the wish and prohibition of the king of England. However, after a considerable time had intervened, and the time for embarking was drawing nigh, the king of France and all the archbishops, bishops, earls and barons, and chief men of the army, again came to the king of England, and, falling at his feet, asked for
mercy on his part on behalf of Wil. liam de Barres, showing the losses and inconveniences that might result in consequence of the absence of a knight of such character and prowess; and after great difficulty they obtained from the king of England that the said William might return in peace, and the king of England would do no harm to either him or his, or make enquiry about them so long as they should be in the service of their lord.
After this, the king of England made present of many ships to the king of France and his own people, and distributed his treasures with such profuseness among all the knights and men-at-arms of his whole army, that it was said by
many that not one of his predecessors had ever given so much in a whole year, as he gave away in that month. tainly we have reason to believe that by this munificence he gained the favour of Him who sends his thunders, as it is written: “God loveth a cheerful giver.” 15
In the same month of February, the king of England sent his galleys to Naples, to meet queen Eleanor his mother, and Berengaria, daughter of Sancho, king of Navarre, whom he was about to marry, and Philip, earl of Flanders, who was coming with them. However, the king's mother and the daughter of the king of Navarre went on to Brindisi, where Margarite, the admiral, and other subjects of king Tancred, received them with due honor, and showed them all consideration and respect. The earl of Flanders, however, came to Naples, and finding there the galleys of the king of England, embarked in them and came to Messina, and in many matters followed the advice and wishes of the king of England ; at which the king of France being enraged, prevailed upon the earl to leave the king of England and return to him.
In the mean time, a serious difference happened in England between the king's chancellor and John, earl of Mortaigne, the king's brother, and the other principal men of the kingdom; which increased to such a pitch that they all wrote to the king relative to the state of his kingdom, and the excesses that the said chancellor was guilty of toward the people of his kingdom. Accordingly, when the king heard of the excesses and annoyances that the chancellor was guilty of towards his people, he sent to England from Messina, Walter, archbishop of Rouen, and William Marshal, earl of Striguil
, with commands to the chancellor that in all business of the kingdom he should have the said archbishop of Rouen, and William Marshal, Geoffrey FitzPeter, William Bruere, and Hugh Bardolph, as his associates and witnesses. On their arrival in England, these
did not dare deliver their letters to the chancellor, fearing lest they should rather incur his hatred, than derive honor therefrom. For the chancellor set at nought all the king's commands, and would have no one an equal with himself, or any associate in the kingdom.
On the first day of the month of March, Richard, king of England, left Messina, and proceeded thence to the city of Catania (where rests the most holy body of Saint Agatha the
15 2 Cor. ix. 7.
Virgin and Martyr), for the purpose of holding a conference with Tancred, king of Sicily, who had come thither to meet him. Accordingly, king Tancred, on hearing of the approach of the king of England, went forth to meet him, and with the greatest reverence and the honor due to his royal excellency received and introduced him into the city. As they were going together towards the tomb of Saint Agatha the Martyr, at the entrance of the church, they were met by the clergy and people, praising and blessing the Lord who had united them in the bonds of such brotherly love. After having offered up his prayers at the tomb of Saint Agatha, the king of England entered the palace of king Tancred, together with him, and stayed there three days and nights.
On the fourth day the king of Sicily sent to the king of England many presents of great value, consisting of gold and silver, horses and silken cloths; but he would receive nothing from him except a little ring, which he accepted as token of their mutual esteem. On the other hand, the king of England gave to king Tanored that most excellent sword which the Britons called “ Caliburn," and which had been the sword of Arthur, once the valiant king of England. King Tancred also gave to the king of England four large ships, which they
ursers," and fifteen gallies; and when the king of England left him, he escorted him back to Taverni, two long days' journey from the city of Catania.
On the following day, when the king of England was preparing to take his leave, king Tancred gave him a certain document, which the king of France had sent to him by the duke of Burgundy, and had therein stated that the king of England was a traitor, and had not kept the treaty of peace which he had made with him, and that if king Tancred was willing to go to war with the king of England, or to attack him hy night, he and his people would give him aid against the king of England, for the purpose of destroying his army.
On this, the king of England made answer, “I am not a traitor, nor have I been, nor will I be; the peace which I made with you I have in no way broken, nor will I break it so long as I live; and I cannot easily bring myself to believe that the king of France did send you this about me, as he is my liege lord, and my sworn associate in this pilgrimage.” To this king Tancred made answer and said, “I give you the letter which he himself sent me by the duke of Burgundy; and
if the duke of Burgundy denies that he brought me that letter on behalf of his lord the king of France, I am quite ready to make proof of the same against him by one of my captains.' Upon this, with the letter so received at the hands of king Tancred, the king of England returned to Mes. sina.
On the same day, the king of France came to Taverni, and had an interview with king Tancred, and after remaining with him one night, on the next day returned to Messina. The king of England, being aroused to anger against the king of France, showed him à countenance neither joyous nor betokening peace, but sought an opportunity of withdrawing from him with his people. Consequently, the king of France made enquiry why this was done; on which the king of England, by Philip, earl of Flanders, informed him of every
word that the king of Sicily had said to him about the king; and, as a proof of the fact, showed the letter already mentioned. On this becoming known to the king of France, having a bad conscience on the matter, he at first held his peace, not knowing what to say in return. At length, however, having recovered his self-possession, he said:
“Now do I know of a truth that the king of England is seeking pretexts for speaking ill of me, for these words are forged and false. But he has invented these evil charges against me, I suppose, that he may get rid of my sister Alice, whom he has sworn that he will marry; but let him know this for certain, if he does put her aside and
another woman, I will be the enemy of him and his so long as I live.” On hearing this, the king of England made answer, that he would on no account whatever take his sister to wife; inasmuch as the king of England, his own father, had been intimate with her, and had had a son by her; and he produced many witnesses to prove the same, who were ready by all manner of proof to establish that fact.
When this became known to the king of France, through the information of many persons, by the counsel of the earl of Flanders and others of his faithful advisers, he acquiesced therein; and that all disputes between him and the king of England, both on this point as well as on all others, might be put an end to, he released the king of England from his promises and oaths, and all covenants which he had entered into with him as to being united in marriage with his sister
Alice: and, in consideration of this treaty, the king of Eng. land promised that he would pay yearly, for the next five years, two thousand marks sterling; of which, at the beginning of the treaty, he paid to the king of France two thousand marks. Also, when they should have returned to their own territories, the king of England was to deliver to the king of France his sister Alice, and Gisors and all the other places that the king of France had granted him as a marriage portion with his sister. Also, by virtue of this treaty, the king of France gave to the king of England leave to marry whomsoever he should choose ; and granted to him, and conferred the same by his charter, that the dukedom of Brittany should always belong to the demesne of the duke of Normandy, and that the duke of Brittany should always be a liegeman of the duke of Normandy, and be answerable to him as his liege lord, and the duke of Normandy should be answerable to the king of France both as to the dukedom of Brittany as well as the dukedom of Normandy. Accordingly, on that day the king of France and the king of England were made friends, and confirmed all those covenants with good faith, and upon oath, with the testimony of their seals.
In the same month of March, on the third day before the calends of April, being Saturday, Philip, king of France, left the port of Messina with all his fleet; and on the twentysecond day following, that is to say, the Saturday in Easter week, he arrived with his army at the siege of Acre. The king of England, however, and his army remained at Messina after the departure of the king of France. On the same day also on which the king of France left Messina, queen Eleanor arrived there, the mother of Richard, king of England, bringing with her Berengaria, daughter of Sancho, king of Navarre, whom the said king of England was to marry: on the fourth day after which, the said queen Eleanor again returned her
way to England, with the intention of passing through Rome, to treat of the business of Geoffrey, the archbishop elect of York; for, through her the king of England sent word to the Supreme Pontiff, and humbly entreated him to confirm the election of the said Geoffrey and consecrate him archbishop of York, or else to allow him to be consecrated by some one else. On the departure of queen Eleanor, the daughter of the king of Navarre remained in the charge of the king of England, with Joanna, queen of Sicily, the sister of the said king.