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308 Cmpendhui Hifior
were held, In order to fix upon some expedition worthy of so puissant a force, and of rhonarchs of so distinguished rank, and in such high esteem for their personal qualifications.
The siege of Damascus was at length resolved upon, as the reduction of that important place Would Le attended with great advantages to all the Christian princes in the cast, it having proved long an equal curb on the king of Jerusalem, as well as the princes of Antioch and Tripoly. This city was held to be very strong, though without any fortifications, even according to the ihode cf these times ; but being surrounded on all sides with gardens, and those well walled, and having a numerous garrison, it was expected, and the event justified their expectation, that it would make a very obltinate defence ; but the gardens being gradually forced it must have fallen, if the oriental Christians had rot most scandalously entered into intrigues with the infidels, from an apprehension that, when taken, it would have been given to the count of Flanders. To prevent this, they altered the manner of the attack, suffered convoys of provisions to be ftrprised, and in the end brought th? army in»o such distress, that the emperor and the king of France, detecting their perfidy, and despairing of success, raised the siege, and made the best dispositions they could for returning into their own dominions. The king, embarking at one of the ports of Syria, returned safely to Calabria, and taking Rome in his way, that he might confer with the pope, c?.me at length, after this disastrous expedition, into his own dorninions. His brother, the count de Dreux, arrived there a little befoie him, and had thrown out strong
of France. Biiti/h
insinuations, that the losses sustained abroad, and the discredit reflected from thence -on the armies of France, was chiefly owing to the king's incapacity; by which he meant to raise his own reputation, and not without some view, as many have suspected, upon the crown. But the abbot Suger, who had governed as wifely and happily at home as the king had done indiscreetly and unfortunately abroad, rendered these intrigues abortive; upon which the count de Dreux, on his brother's arrival, laboured all he could to render that great man suspected ; but the king found his territories in so good condition, and the general voice of the nation was so loud in behalf of the minister, that the king treated him with all the respect and kindness imaginable, and afforded him all the marks of esteem and confidence that his great merit deserved, who had preserved peace and plenty in his absence, and presented him with a full treasury at his return.
It had been happy for France if that excellent person had survived longer; for so long as he lived the king was prevailed upon to dissemble his discontents with regard to the queen, and had even constnied to a reconciliation. But after his decease, growing more and more dissatisfied with her conduct, he pretended to scruples of conscience in regard to the lawfulness of their marriage; submitted the case to an assernbly of his prelates; and, in consequence of their sentiments, repudiated that princess, who gave all the assistance she could to the divorce, and restored to her the dominions which he had acquired by their marriage. It has been surmised, and not without great probability, that, beMag.
CompmJicui History os France.
fore things came to this extremity, she had entered into a correspondence with Henry duke of Normandy, count of Anjou and Maine, son to Geoffrey Planragenet and the empress Maud, so that he was presumptive heir to the crown of England ; and her espousing him in six weeks after the divorce rendered this suspicion so much the more probable. This marriage, which the wife abbot of St. Denis foresaw, mortified the king extremely, and procured him the surname of Le Jtune, as we before observed. By this great alliance, Henry, to the duchy of Normandy and the estates of the house of Anjou, added the county of Poitou and the duchy of Guienne; so that he was at least as powerful in France as the king himself. Lewis, to correct this false step, entered into * league with Stephen king of England, received the homage of his son Eustace count of Bologne, in quality of duke of Normandy, and drew over to his party Geoffrey the brother of Henry, who had once a projest of running away with qusen Eleanor himself. In consequence of this league, count Eustace attacked Normandy, and made a considerable progress there; which might have been fatal to duke Henry, if his abilities had not been superior to his fortune. At the age of twenty he was a great captain and a greater politician, and took so much pains to sooth and to flatter Lewis, that, contrary to all the rules of policy, he concluded a truce with him; *hich afforded Henry leisure to transport himself, and his mother the empress, into England, where they created Stephen a great deal of
crown was'left to Stephen daring bis life; and, having no children, hs consented that Henry should be declared his successor; the more willingly no doubt, if, what some writers fay be true, that the empress assured him he was the fruit of their amours in the life-time of her husband.
As soon as the truce expired, Lewis invaded Normandy, where he made some progress; but the death of king Stephen, and the accession of Henry to the throne of England, quickly induced the king to make peace. He certainly wanted not abilities to discern the danger he.was in, not only fiom the great power, but from the great talents of Henry, who inherited all his grandfather's spirit, and was invested with much more authority; but, though he knew his danger, he had not sagacity enough to devise, and, it may be, wanted the firmness to apply, the proper remedies. But how much soever he fell short of being great, was supplied in being a good prince. His subjects adored, and his nobility loved him, insomuch that, at their persuasion, he married Donna Constantia, daughter to Don Alonso, king of Castile; and soon after, from motives which have been explained in another place, made a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James at Compostella, which gave him an opportunity of conferring with his father-inlaw, and with Sancho, king of Navarre. Ar his return he held a council at Soissons, where he engaged his nobility to swear a *»' peace for ten years; that is, they precluded themselves, during this space, from deciding their quarrels by the sword, which was their common method.
Amongst these great lords the
count os Flanders was the moll considerable; who going, not long after, into (he Holy Land, committed his son and his dominions to the care of Henry, king of England, which was a new mortification to Lewis, who sound himself in a manner blocked up on every side by this too powerful neighbour; yet Henry omitted no arts to mitigate his jea. lousy and apprehensions. His queen had sufficiently instruct»d him in the temper of Lewis, and he managed him with such address, that he had scarce any pretence given him on which to found a quarrel; for Henry was continually writing to him, and finding him presents; treated him with the highest marks of deference and esteem, and proposed a marriage between his son Henry and the princess Margaret, the king's daughter by his second marriage, though they were but infants. But it length a rupture happened j for Henry, unsatisfied with the great dominions he already had, surmized that the county of Toulouse belonged of right to his wife, as being not given, but mortgaged only by a duke of Aquitaine to the ancestor of the then count: he offered therefore the sum that he supposed to be due, and that being refused, marched with a great army, composed of all nations, and blocked up Toulouse. The place was not strong by situation, nor was it fortified; but the count, brave in his person, and having a numerous army, made a gallant defence. He had married Constance, the widow of Eustace, count of Bologne, and sister to king Lewis, who immediately armed, in support of his brother-in-law; and having left a competent force, under the command of his brother the count de Dreux, on the frontiers of Normandy, marched
with the rest directly to Toulouse, where, having forced one of the posts of the besiegers, he threw himself into the place with the flower of his troops. Henry, perceiving it would be very difficult, if not impracticable, to carry the town, sent a compliment to the king, importing, that he would not commit hostilities against any whom he had undertaken to protect, and thereupon raised the siege. This, however, did not put an end to the war, which continued two years longer, and then ended in a peace, on terms that were tolerably equal. Henry did homage to the king for his duchy of Normandy; his sou Henry did the like for the counties of Anjou and Maine; and it was agreed, that his second son Richard, already contrasted to the daughter of the count of Barcelona, should quit her, espouse one of the king's daughters, and have the duchy of Guienne. In this peace the count of Toulouse was included, but without any '* discussion of the point upon which the war began; for peace was necessary to Lewis, and Henry was resolved to keep his old claim in reserve.
The fame year died the queen Donna Constantia; and the nobility being very urgent with the king to marry again, as he had only two daughters by her, he accordingly espoused Adelaide, the daughter of Thibaut, earl of Champagne, by which alliance he gained all the princes of her family. At this juncture, a schism in the church was very near plunging the most considerable powers in Europe into a war. The kings of France and England supported Alexander III. the emperor Frederick maintained the cause of Victor IV. went so far as to arm o» Mag.
Cmptndhtu HiJIery es France.
his behalf, and threatened France with an invasion. Lewis, provoked by his behaviour, levied troops likewise, and the king of England marched a powerful corps to the frontiers of Normandy, that they might be in readiness to join the French, if it was necessary; and, upon this occasion, Alexander III. had the satisfaction of seeing Lewis on one side, and Henry on the other, at his stirrups, on foot, while he rode flowly to a magnificent tent prepared for him in the French camp, and held afterwards a council at Tours with great splendor. It was not long before new differences arose between the two monarchs, chiefly on account of Thomas a Becket, chancellor to king Henry, who having raised him to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, found him less pliant than he expected, and therefore disgraced him. On this he retired into France, where he was received and treated with great respect, notwithstanding all the representations made by his master. From this discordance in sentiments, both kings foresaw that it would not be long before they came to an open rupture; and this at length happened, notwithstanding the empress Maud, so long as she lived, exerted her utmost endeavours to prevent it, In the prosecution of this dispute, several places were taken on both fides; some vassals of the crown of France took up arms for king Henry, and, on the other hand, most of the lords of Poitou armed on behalf of 1<wij. At length, both parties, weary of seeing their countries destroyed to little purpose, and having other motives to wilh for the return of quiet, amongst which was the birth of a son to Lewis, a treaty was fcton foot, which, after a long negp.
tiation, produced the peace of Man txnirail, where Henry did homage in person for Norm3ndy, his son Henry for the counties of Anjou and Maine, Richard for the duchy of Guienne, and prince Henry a second time for the county of Bretagne, which his brother Geoffrey was to inherit, in. consequence of his marriage with the heiress of that country,and for which he was to do homage to him as presumptive heir of the duchy of Normandy, and he to Lewis, as Bretagne was a remote fief of the crown of France. In this we have , been so much the more particular, as it serves to explain the titles to these countries, and the tenures then in use; points of such utility in this period of history, that it cannot be understood without being versed in them.
The situation of affairs between these two princes was such, that, though they often made peace, they were never reconciled; and the intermarriages between their families, iustead of contributing to their own and their fubjects'reposc, served only to furnish fresh pretences for disturbing both. King Henry having caused his eldest son to be crowned in England, while his consort was in France, Lewis, to revenge the affront done to his daughter, invaded Normandy; but Henry, too wife to quarrel about a mere matter of form, promised the coronation should be performed over again, as it accordingly was. On the return of the young king to his father in Normandy, Lewis desired that his son and daughter might come and spend some time at his court, which was granted, and there such notions were put into the young prince's head, as, after his return, ■produced great heart-burnings between him and his father. At length
jl2 Compendious History of Trance. British
the young king, pretending that he Both kings were now thoroughly thought his person in danger, fled weary of war; Lewis was afraid of privately out of England into France, suffering by that good fortune which and was received with open arms by constantly attended his rival, and Lewis, who was now grown as tho- Henry had so much reason to fear rough a politician as Henry, and be- his own family at home, that he had lieved the time was now come, in no stomach to quarrels abroad, which he might revenge himself for Lewis, however, conceived in his all past affronts. He knew the pope own mind, that he had good grounds was angry with the king of Eng- to be offended with the conduct of land; and that he was also odious the monarch of England, on account to a great part of his subjects, on of his daughter Alice, whom the account of the assassination of arch- king retained at his court without bishop Becket: he farther knew that marrying her to his son Richard, the king was much feared by his In order to obtain satisfaction, he neighbours, and that the disputes applied himself to the pope ; and ran high in his family; so that he bis legate having expostulated with; flattered himself that he fliould gain Henry, that prince very roundly deequal advantages by fraud, and by dared he would have caused the marforce. The young king Henry, who riage to be celebrated, but that Lewi; served him zealoufly, drew his two had promised to give the city of brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, into Bourges in dowry with his daughter, the confederacy against their father; as he had likewise promised the and, which is almost incredible, em- French Vexin, when the princess barked his mother queen Eleanor in Margaret espoused the young king the same scheme. At the same time Henry. As the fasts were controthe king of Scots was in motion, and verted by^Lewis, the decision of their rebels and tnalecontents started up difference was left to the pope. In in almost all parts of the king of the mean time all the antient England's dominions. Henry, be- treaties were renewed; and 1 ing surprized at this, offered fair the two kings, to shew their cordial terms; but, finding this rejected, affection for each other, undertook raised an army, and quickly restored to make a croisade together, the prehis affairs at home and abroad. All parations for which were likewise this time he amused the king of settled, notwithstanding which neiFrance with negotiations, and at ther of them went; Lewis being length consented to a peace, but it strongly dissuaded by his consort, was upon his own terms; and tho* and by the principal nobility; and these were, in appearance, honour- Henry finding his affairs still so emable enough for king Lewis, and barrassed, that his presence was more very advantageous for the princes necessary than ever in his own dov.ho had put themselves under his minions. Some have attributed the protection, yet the king of Scots, the making and the breaking this treaty earl of Leicester, and the earl of to policy; but it is more probable Chester, who had been made pri- that Lewis was very sincere, and seners, being left to his mercy, (hew- made the first proposition of it to ed plainly that he was victor over Henry, who could not but give his this formidable league. consent, having entered into an en