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.
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."
 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
At length the preliminary skirmishes gave place to a
pitched battle, of which our eye-witness gives a spirited
"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
 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
 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,
 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,
 who were astonished at his blows and those of his men,
and gave way to the right and to the left."
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
 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
 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
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
 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
"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
"When, however, the King discovered that the
 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
 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."
 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.
 "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
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
 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
 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
 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
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
 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
 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
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
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
 of which he pulled out a handful of gold coins before the
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
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
 person of the King, and Richard found himself closely
confined in a lonely castle of the Tyrol, the prisoner of the
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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