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The Story of the Crusades by 

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THE ADVENTURES OF RICHARD LION-HEART

One who fought his fight has told the deeds

Of that gay passage through the midland sea

Cyprus and Sicily;

And how the Lion-Heart o'er the Moslem host

Triumphed in Ascalon

Or Acre, by the tideless Syrian coast.

PALGRAVE: Visions of England.

[137]

E
XACTLY two years after the siege of Acre had commenced, the army of Richard, together with the Knights of the Temple and the Hospital, set out to conquer the territory that lay between the mountains and the sea.

And "as the army marched along the sea-shore that was in its right, all the while the Turks watched its movements from the heights on the left." The progress of the Crusaders was therefore one long battle, and it was further harassed by the natural difficulties of the road. "That day," says Geoffrey de Viusauf, an eye-witness of these things, "the army moved forward with more than wonted caution, and stopped, after a long march, impeded by the thickets and the tall and luxuriant herbage, which struck them in the face. In these maritime parts there were also a number of beasts of the forest, who leapt up between their feet from the long grass and thick copses."

[138] He tells us, moreover, of the touching device employed to stir the hearts of the wearied soldiers, and to remind them of the aim of their journey.

" It was the custom of the army each night before lying down to rest to depute some one to stand in the middle of the camp and cry out with a loud voice, 'Help! Help! for the Holy Sepulchre!' The rest of the army took it up and repeated the words, and stretching their hands to heaven, prayed for the mercy and assistance of God in the cause. Then the herald himself repeated in a loud voice: 'Help! Help! for the Holy Sepulchre!' and everyone repeated it after him a second and a third time. The army," he adds naively, "appeared to be much refreshed by crying out in this fashion."

At length the preliminary skirmishes gave place to a pitched battle, of which our eye-witness gives a spirited account.

"On the Saturday, the Eve of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at earliest dawn, our men armed themselves with great care to receive the Turks, who were known to have preceded their march, and whose insolence nothing but a battle could check. . . . On that day the Templars formed the first rank, and after them came in due order the Bretons and men of Anjou; then followed King Guy with the men of Poitou; in the fourth line were the Normans and English who had the care of the royal standard; and last of all marched the Hospitallers: this line was composed of chosen warriors, divided into companies.

"They kept together so closely that an apple, if thrown, would not have fallen to the ground without touching a man or a horse; and the army stretched from [139] the army of the Saracens to the seashore. There you might have seen standards and ensigns of various forms, and hardy warriors, fresh and full of spirits and well fitted for war.

"King Richard and the Duke of Burgundy, with a chosen retinue of warriors, rode up and down, narrowly watching the position and manner of the Turks, to correct anything in their own troops if they saw occasion.

"It was now nearly nine o'clock, when there appeared a large body of the Turks, ten thousand strong, coming down upon us at full charge, and throwing darts and arrows, as fast as they could, while they mingled their voices in one horrible yell.

"There followed after them an infernal race of men, of black colour. . . . With them also were the Saracens who live in the desert, called Bedouins; they are a savage race of men, blacker than soot; they fight on foot and carry a bow, quiver and round shield, and are a light and active race.

"These men dauntlessly attacked our army. They came on with irresistible charge, on horses swifter than eagles, and urged on like lightning to attack our men; and as they advanced they raised a cloud of dust, so that the sky was darkened. In front came certain of their admirals, as was their duty, with clarions and trumpets; some had horns, others had pipes and timbrels, gongs, cymbals and other instruments, producing a horrible noise and clamour. This they did to excite their spirits and courage, for the more violent the clamour became the more bold were they for the fray."

So hot grew the contest, and such was the inconvenience suffered by the Crusaders because of their narrow quarters between the foe and the sea, that there [140] was nothing for it but to retreat. This of course brought the full force of the attack upon the Hospitaliers, "the more so," says Geoffrey, "as they were unable to resist, but moved forward with patience under their wounds, returning not even a word for the blows which fell upon them, and advancing on their way because they were not able to bear the weight of the contest.

"A cloud of dust obscured the air as our men marched on; and in addition to the heat, they had an enemy pressing them in the rear, insolent and rendered obstinate by the instigation of the devil. Still the Christians proved good men, and secure in their unconquerable spirit, kept constantly advancing, while the Turks threatened them without ceasing in the rear; but their blows fells harmless upon the defensive armour, and this caused the Turks to slacken in courage at the failure of their attempts, and they began to murmur in disappointment, crying out in their rage 'that our people were of iron and would yield to no blow.'

"Then the Turks, about twenty thousand strong, rushed again upon our men pell-mell, annoying them in every possible manner, when, as if almost overcome by their savage fury, Brother Garnier, one of the Hospitallers, suddenly exclaimed with a loud voice, 'O excellent St George! Will you leave us to be thus put to confusion? The whole of Christendom is now on the point of perishing, because it fears to return a blow against this impious race.'"

The King, however, had determined that no charge should be made until the army had, by retreat, obtained a better position for so doing. So, even when the Grand Master of the Hospitallers went to him, and said, "My lord the king, we are violently pressed by the enemy, [141] and are in danger of eternal infamy, as if we did not dare to return their blows. We are each of us losing our horses one after another, and why should we bear with them any further?" The King replied, "Good Master, it is you who must sustain their attack; no one could be everywhere at once."

"On the Master returning, the Turks again made a fierce attack upon them from the rear, and there was not a prince or count among them but blushed with shame and said to each other, `Why do we not charge them at full gallop? Alas ! Alas ! we shall for ever deserve to be called cowards, a thing which never happened to us before, for never has such a disgrace befallen so great an army, even from the unbelievers. Unless we defend ourselves by immediately charging the enemy, we shall gain everlasting scandal, and so much the greater the longer we delay to fight.'"

In spite of these protests, they had all come to the conclusion that the King was right in not ordering them to charge till all were in a more advantageous position, when "the success of the affair was marred," says Geoffrey, "by two knights who were impatient of delay." Fortunately, Richard, seeing the mistake in time, gave the order, "Prepare to charge!" forthwith. "The sky grew black with the dust that was raised in the con fusion of that encounter. The Turks who had purposely dismounted from their horses in order to take better aim at our men with their darts and arrows, were slain on all sides in that charge. King Richard, on seeing his army in motion and in encounter with the Turks, flew rapidly on his horse through the Hospitallers who had led the charge, and to whom he was bringing assistance with all his retinue, and broke into the Turkish infantry, [142] who were astonished at his blows and those of his men, and gave way to the right and to the left."


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RICHARD OF ENGLAND UTTERLY DEFEATS SALADIN

A terrific fight ensued, ending in a triumph for the Crusaders in so far that they had scattered the foe and were able to proceed upon their march in safety.

In equally vivid phrase Geoffrey describes the anger of Saladin when the news reached him of this defeat. Bitterly did he reproach and deride his men, while his "admirals" listened with heads bowed down. At last one bolder than the rest made answer, " Most sacred Sultan, saving your Majesty, this charge is unjust, for we fought with all our strength and did our best to destroy them. We met their fiercest attacks, but it was of no avail. They are armed in impenetrable armour which no weapon can pierce so that our blows fell as it were upon a rock of flint. And further, there is one among their number superior to any man we have ever seen; he always charges before the rest, slaying and destroying our men. He is the first in every enterprise, and is a most brave and excellent soldier; no one can resist him or escape out of his hands. They call him Melech Ric (King Richard). Such a king as he seems born to command the whole earth; what then could we do more against so formidable an enemy?"

Such is the description which Geoffrey, in his hero- worship, puts into the mouth of the vanquished leaders of the Saracens, and Saladin, no longer making light of the danger that threatened his realm, promptly destroyed all his more important fortresses, such as Joppa and Ascalon, for fear Melech Ric should occupy them.

Richard himself was now very anxious to get possession of Ascalon, and to re-fortify the walls. But on this point opinions were divided. The French were, as [145] usual, violently opposed to him, and wanted rather to rebuild the fort of Joppa, "because it furnished a shorter and easier route for pilgrims going to Jerusalem," and the feeling of the multitude was with them.

"Foolish counsel; fatal obstinacy of those indolent men!" comments Geoffrey. "By providing for their immediate comfort and to avoid labour and expense, they did what they would afterwards repent of, for had they then saved Ascalon from the Turks, the whole land would soon have been clear of them. But the cry of the people prevailed, a collection was made, and they immediately began to rebuild the towers, and to clear out the moat of Joppa. The army remained there long, enjoying ease and pleasure . . . and the whole people became corrupted; the zeal of pilgrimage waxed cold, and all their works of devotion were neglected."

It was about this time that an adventure befel King Richard which nearly put an end to his career as leader of the Third Crusade.

"About this time," says Geoffrey, "King Richard went out hawking with a small escort, intending, if he saw any small body of Turks, to fall upon them.

"Fatigued by his ride, he fell asleep, and a troop of the enemy rushed suddenly upon him to make him prisoner. The King, awakened by the noise, had barely time to mount his bay Cyprian horse, and his attendants were still in the act of mounting, when the Turks came upon them and tried to take him; but the King, drawing his sword, rushed upon them, and they, pretending flight, drew him after them to a place where there was another body of Turks in ambush. These started up with speed, and surrounded the King in order to make him prisoner. The King defended himself bravely, and the enemy drew [146] back, though he would certainly have been captured if the Turks had known who he was.

"But in the midst of the conflict, one of the King's companions, William de Pratelles, called out in the Saracen language that he was the "Melech," i.e. the King; and the Turks, believing what he said, led him off captive to their own army.

"At the news of this action our army was alarmed, and seizing their arms, came at full gallop to find the King, and when they met him returning safe, he faced about and with them pursued the Turks, who had carried off William de Pratelles thinking they had got the King. They could not, however, overtake the fugitives, and King Richard, reserved by the Divine Hand for greater things, returned to the camp, to the great joy of his soldiers, who thanked God for his preservation, but grieved for William de Pratelles, who loyally redeemed the King at the price of his own liberty."

Richard was much blamed by some of his friends for his rashness on this occasion. "But," says Geoffrey the hero-worshipper, "notwithstanding these admonitions on the part of his best friends, the King's nature still broke out; in all expeditions he was the first to advance and the last to retreat; and he never failed, either by his own valour or the Divine Aid, to bring back numbers of captives, or, if they resisted, to put them to the sword."

When the fortress of Joppa had been rebuilt, Richard sent a "distinguished embassy " to Saladin and Saphadim, his brother, to demand the surrender of the Holy Land once more. This was to include the whole kingdom of Syria, as well as tribute for Babylon, and to this Saladin would not agree. At the same time he appeared to [147] deal very reasonably with the embassy, sending back with them his brother Saphadim, and offering through him to give up the kingdom of Jerusalem "from the Jordan to the sea," on condition that the city Ascalon should never be rebuilt. The account of the meeting of the two great representatives of Christendom and Islam is very interesting, and the more so because Richard never came face to face with the renowned Saladin himself.

"When Saphadim came with this message to the King, Richard, who had just been bled, would not converse with him on that day; but he was supplied with every kind of delicacy for his table, and entertained in the valley between the castles of the Temple and Jehoshaphat.

"The next day Saphadim sent a present of seven camels and a rich tent, and coming into the King's presence, delivered Saladin's message, upon which Richard determined to have patience for a time, that he might the better make provision for the future. But, alas! he showed too little prudence in not foreseeing the deceit with which they sought to protract the time until the cities, castles and fortresses of that country were destroyed.

"In short, Saphadim so cunningly beguiled the too credulous king, that one would have thought they had contracted a mutual friendship; for the King received Saphadim's gifts, and messengers were daily passing with presents to the King, much to the annoyance of his friends. But Sapbadim pleaded that he wished to make peace between them, and the King thought he was adopting a wise policy, by which the bounds of Christianity would be enlarged, and a creditable peace concluded.

"When, however, the King discovered that the [148] promises of Saphadim were mere words, he at once broke off the negotiations."

The Saracens said in after days that Richard's friend- ship with Saphadim went so far that he offered him his sister Joanna in marriage; but that Joanna herself refused with scorn to marry an infidel.

It was not until nearly the end of that year, when much time had been lost, that the army of Richard once more turned its face towards Jerusalem. The Templars however, tried to prevent the King from attempting the siege of the Holy City, "lest, while they were besieging Saladin and the garrison, the Turkish army which was outside among the mountains, might attack our men by surprise, and so place them between the attack of the garrison from within and the Turkish army from without."

But Richard was sick and tired of inaction, and his army had been lately much depressed by the miserable weather of winter.

The rain and the hail had killed many of their beasts of burden; storms had torn up the pegs of the tents, drowned the horses and spoiled all their biscuits and bacon. "Their clothes were dissolved by the wet, and the men themselves suffered from the unwonted severity of the climate."

"Under all those sufferings, their only consolation arose from their zeal in the service of God, and a desire to finish their pilgrimage. Even those who were sick in bed at Joppa were carried in litters, so great was their wish to see Jerusalem."

But the weather grew worse, and at length the advice of the Templars, experienced as they were in that climate, prevailed.

[149] Most of the French went back to Joppa, and with much wrath on the part of Richard and deep despondency on the part of his army, a march was made instead upon the ruined town of Ascalon.

At the end of January, however, "the sky became brighter," and many of the French were induced to return to Richard, and to help him to rebuild the walls. But very soon the old quarrels broke out.

The Duke of Burgundy, finding himself without the means to pay his men, asked King Richard to supply him with a large sum of money, as he had done once before at Acre. When the King refused, on the ground that his previous loan had never been repaid, the duke at once left Ascalon, taking his army with him, and went back to Acre.

About the same time Conrad of Tyre gave mortal offence to Richard by his refusal to come to help him to rebuild the city, and the King, in his wrath, began to make fresh attempts at peace with Saladin, on the plea that his foeman was of nobler mettle than his so-called allies. Friendly overtures went so far that "on Palm Sunday, King Richard, amid much splendour, girded with the belt of knighthood the son of Saphadim, who had been sent to him for that purpose."

After Easter, came bad news from England to the King—news of the treachery of his brother John, of the seizing of the revenues, and of an empty treasury.

"And if," said the prior of Hereford who brought this news, "your majesty does not take speedy counsel on these matters, and return home with all haste and avenge our wrongs on the insurgents, it will fare worse, and you will not be able to recover your kingdom without the hazard of a war."

[150] When these things were laid before the leaders of the army, as a reason why Richard must speedily return to his own land, they unanimously declared that something must be done to settle affairs in Palestine by choosing a king, "one whom the army could follow and obey," and that if this were not done "they would one and all depart from the land, for they should not otherwise be able to guard against the enemy. The choice was given them between Guy of Lusignan and Conrad of Tyre, and to the secret disgust of Richard, they chose the latter, "as being much better able to defend the country."

The King gave his consent, though with no good will, for the Marquis Conrad was known to be in league with Saladin, who, on his part, was inclined to treat with him against the advice of Saphadim, who would do nothing "without King Richard's consent."

Conrad himself was delighted at the news that the crown was his if he would but do his best against the foe, and his followers at Tyre indulged, says Geoffrey, in a joy "the more unreasonable for being so intemperate."

Then came a tragedy, swift and sudden. The marquis was returning one day in a very cheerful and pleasant humour, from an entertainment given by the Bishop of Beauvais, at which he had been a guest, and had reached the Custom House of the city, when two young men, without cloaks, suddenly rushed upon him, and having drawn their daggers, stabbed him to the heart and ran off at full speed.

"The marquis instantly fell from his horse and rolled dying on the ground; one of the murderers was slain directly, but the second took shelter in a church, notwithstanding which he was captured and condemned to be dragged through the city until life should be extinct.

[151] "Now while the marquis was breathing his last, the attendants who were about him, took him up in their arms, and carried him to the palace, mourning and weeping inconsolably, the more so as their joy had been, but now, so great. He enjoined his wife to attend carefully to the preservation of the city of Tyre, and to resign it to no one, save King Richard. Immediately afterwards he died, and was buried in the Hospital amidst great mourning and lamentation.

Thus the cheering hopes of that desolate land were destroyed, and the former gladness was turned into intense grief.

With great treachery the French now began to spread abroad a report that Richard himself "had vilely brought about the death of the marquis," an accusation for which there was no shadow of proof. Not content with this, the French army, which lived in tents outside the city sent orders to Queen Isabella, the wife of Conrad, "bidding her place the city in their charge, without delay or opposition, for the service of the King of France. But she, mindful of the dying words of her lord, replied that when King Richard came to see her, she would give it up to him and to none other, as there was no one who had laboured so much to rescue the Holy Land from the hands of the Turks."

The French were very indignant at this reply, and while they were attempting to gain possession of the city, Count Henry of Champagne, the nephew of Richard, arrived unexpectedly on the scene.

"And when the people saw him among them, they forthwith chose him as their prince, as if he had been sent by God; and began with much earnestness to entreat him to accept the crown of the kingdom, without [152] excuse or hesitation, and to marry the widow of the marquis, as the kingdom was hers by right of inheritance." To this Richard willingly agreed, and thus Henry became the nominal king of Jerusalem, while the Holy City remained in the hands of Islam.

The sympathy of our chronicler Geoffrey is, however, entirely with the deposed Guy of Lusignan, "who," says he "now dwelt within the kingdom like a private man, not because he was undeserving, but for this only reason —that he was simple-minded and unversed in political intrigue. Thus then Guy became a king without a kingdom, until King Richard, moved with pity for him, gave him the unconditional sovereignty of the island of Cyprus."

Further news of the disturbed state of his own kingdom at home now arrived for Richard, but, in spite of this, he was persuaded without much difficulty to defer his return until the Easter of the following year, by which time it was hoped that Jerusalem would have been taken.

This intelligence was proclaimed throughout the army by means of a herald, "and when the army heard it, they were as delighted as a bird at dawn of day, and all immediately set themselves in readiness, packing up their luggage and preparing for the march."

After a few days journey, a halt was called until Count Henry could join them with the rest of the army from Acre, and this delay enabled Richard to seize a richly loaded caravan, an event which caused something like a panic among the Turks. "Never," says one of them, "did any news so trouble the Sultan."

But the English King was only too well aware of the real weakness of his army, and when the soldiers urged him to march directly upon the Holy City, he firmly refused.

"If it pleases you to proceed to Jerusalem," he said [153] to the other leaders, "I will not desert you; I will be your comrade but not your commander; I will follow, not lead you. Does not Saladin know all that goes on in our camp? And do you think that our weak condition has escaped his notice?"

This was the occasion of great discontent among the Crusaders. In vain did the King propose to attack the power of Islam in Cairo or Damascus; the French declared that they would march only against Jerusalem, from which they were now but four miles distant. Quarrels arose among the soldiers, some taking one side, some the other, and finally the army retreated, in separate divisions and in a very depressed state, to Joppa, and thence to Acre.

We may well believe that the heaviest heart in all that company was that of the King himself. They tell us that in his pursuit of a party of Turks near Emmaus, Richard found himself upon a hill from which he could catch a glimpse of the Holy City in the distance. Turning away his eyes, he cried out with tears that he was not worthy even to look upon the spot which he had failed to wrest from the hand of the infidel; and so he retraced his steps in sadness to the sea-shore.

The retreat of the army from Joppa was an opportunity not to be lost by the astute Saladin. Whilst Richard was vainly trying to patch up a truce with him from Acre, the Sultan swooped down on the unprotected walls of Joppa and took the city after a five days' siege.

This news of the arrival of Saladin reached Acre just as Richard was preparing to sail to his own land. He immediately set off with fifty knights in two or three galleys and being detained by contrary winds, reached the city only to find the banners of Saladin floating from [154] the walls, and all the city save one tower in his hands. Dashing through the waves to the shore, Richard led his little band to the gates of the city, forced his way in, tore down the flag of Islam and hoisted his own in its stead.

"Saladin, hearing of the King's arrival, and of his brilliant contest with the Turks, of whom he had slain all who opposed him, was seized with sudden fear, and like that timid animal the hare, put spurs to his horse, and fled before his face."

Presently, however, it dawned upon him that instead of having been attacked by a great army from Acre, he had been routed by a mere handful of men, most of whom were now sleeping unprotected in camp.

"But a certain Genoese was led by the divine impulse to go out early in the morning into the fields, where he was alarmed by the noise of men and horses advancing, and returned speedily, but just had time to see helmets reflecting back the light which now fell upon them. He immediately rushed with speed into the camp, calling out" To arms! To arms!"

The King was awakened by the noise, and leaping startled from his bed, put on his coat of mail and summoned his men to the rescue.

During the battle that followed, in which Richard is said to have performed almost incredible deeds of valour, Saphadim showed him an example of generosity and courtesy.

The King had been unhorsed and was fighting desperately on foot when "a Turk advanced towards him mounted on a prancing steed. He had been sent by Saphadim, who now sent to the King as a token of his well known honourable character, two noble horses, requesting him earnestly to accept them and make use of [155] them, and if he returned safe and sound out of that battle, to remember the gifts and to recompense it in any way he pleased."

This was the last battle fought and the last victory won by Richard in the Holy Land. He himself fell ill from the fatigue of that day, the French refused to fight any more under his leadership, and England and Normandy were clamouring for his return.

So he employed Saphadim, always kindly disposed towards him, to intercede with Saladin for a truce; and this was finally agreed upon for the space of three years, the Christians meantime holding Joppa and Tyre, and all the land between; and all pilgrims having the right to visit Jerusalem in safety.

But the Holy City remained yet in the hands of the infidel, and the Third Crusade had come to an end before its real work had been begun.

Well might Richard gaze upon the land with heavy heart as he set sail for Europe.

"All night the ship ran on her way by the light of the stars, and when morning dawned, the King looked back with yearning eyes upon the land he had left; and after long meditation he prayed aloud in these words.

"O Holy Land, I commend thee to God, and if His heavenly grace shall grant me so long to live, that I may, in His good pleasure, afford thee assistance, I hope, as I propose, to be able to be some day a succour to thee."

But though he had not yet come to the end of his adventures in connection with it, the deeds of Richard, in the Holy Land he loved, were over.

He had sent on his wife and sister in front, and they had reached Sicily in safety, whilst he himself set out in a single vessel, only to meet with such stormy winds, that [156] he found himself at length a shipwrecked stranger on that strip of the Istrian coast that borders the Adriatic Sea. It was an unlucky spot for Richard. The governor of the district was Maynard, a nephew of that Conrad of Tyre of whose death the English King was held to be guilty.

Nor was Vienna very far off—Vienna ruled by Leopold of Austria, his ancient foe. But Richard's beard had been allowed to grow of late, and pilgrims' dresses were not difficult to obtain for himself and his companion, Baldwin of Bethune.

Making his way to the Castle of Maynard, with his usual rashness he bade Baldwin win his way to the governor by the gift of a magnificent ruby ring taken from his own finger, and ask of him a passport for the two, Baldwin and "Hugh the Merchant," as for pilgrims making their way back through the province from Jerusalem.

Long did Maynard gaze upon the jewel, until at length he said "This jewel can come only from a king; and that king can only be Richard of England. Bid him come to me in peace."

But Richard would not enter the lion's cage. He fled in the night to Friesach, leaving Baldwin and his other companions to be seized as hostages and kept in bonds. Travelling about the country with one knight as his comrade, together with a boy who could speak the language, Richard drew nearer and nearer to the dangerous region of Vienna.

Resting in the inn of a town close by the capital, he sent the boy to buy food for their journey in the market- place. The lad chose to swagger and boast of his master's wealth and mysterious high position, in proof [157] of which he pulled out a handful of gold coins before the bystanders.

This was the cause of his immediate discomfiture, for he was seized, carried before the chief man of the district and questioned as to whom he served.

He refused to disclose the name of his master, and was put to the torture. This was no light matter in those rough days, and under it the boy confessed that he was the page of Richard of England.

The news was carried hotfoot to Leopold, and meantime a troop of armed men surrounded the inn where lay the unsuspecting monarch.

Richard, however, was never to be caught with ease. Sword in hand he defended himself with such vigour that the men fell back. Escape was hopeless, notwithstanding this pause, and the King at length agreed. to yield if their chief would come in person to take him.

But this chief turned out to be Leopold of Austria himself, grimly delighted to find his former foe within his clutches. Other forces were also at work to get possession of the person of the English King. Philip of France had not forgotten his ancient grudge against him; and it was to his advantage that Richard's return to England should be hindered, since he intended meantime to annex Normandy. John, the King's brother, would now have his chance of obtaining the coveted English crown, and so it was to the interest of all his

enemies to keep him safe within prison walls. But a yet more powerful enemy was in league with both, and only too ready to take revenge upon Richard for the part he had once played in taking the side of Tancred of Sicily against him. The Emperor Henry VI. son of Barbarossa, offered Leopold a bribe of 60,000 for the [158] person of the King, and Richard found himself closely confined in a lonely castle of the Tyrol, the prisoner of the Emperor.

For a while no one knew of his place of concealment, nor into whose hands he had fallen.

At length, says the romantic story, this was discovered by his faithful minstrel, Blondel, who travelled over Eastern Europe, searching and inquiring for his master. One day, as he sat beneath the walls of a castle keep, he began to play upon his lute one of the troubadour airs that Richard had loved to sing in former days. To his surprise, the song was softly echoed from the walls. Staying only long enough to make sure that it was his beloved master, the minstrel sped back with the news to England.

This charming story may have no foundation save in the fact that the English Chancellor, William Longchamp, in his wish to leave no stone unturned in the attempt to discover the King, sent out messengers of all ranks and degrees on his behalf. Whoever found out his place of imprisonment matters little; for, directly it was known, all the powers of Christendom were set on foot to work the release of one who had done so much for the cause of God in the Holy Land.

The Pope brought pressure to bear upon the Emperor; the Emperor consented to accept a ransom for his royal captive, in spite of the fact that John of England had offered him twenty thousand pounds for every month that Richard could be kept in prison; and the hard- pressed English people once more brought out their coins on behalf of a King whose eastern expeditions had already cost them dear.

And thus at length the adventures of the Lion Heart in connection with the Third Crusade came to an end.


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