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FTER his father’s funeral, Richard went to Rouen, and in a parliament of nobles each man swore his fealty, acclaiming him as Duke of Normandy. Then, intent on making an inventory of his father’s finances, he imprisoned his father’s treasurer, Stephen of Anjou, and compelled the man to produce whatever he had secreted in various coffers at his father’s behest. While he attended to these and similar things, his brother John came to him. Richard gave him a warm welcome and, in addition to everything his father had bequeathed him in his testament, he bestowed on him in marriage Avisa, the sole daughter of the Earl of Gloucester. For a little before John had lost his wife, the daughter of Count Hubert of Moriton, having had no children by her. Finally, remembering his mother Eleanor, who still was held prisoner in England, he promptly sent a letter commanding that she be freed, and (as was reasonable) gave her supreme rule. Freed from custody and unexpected vested with great authority, Eleanor made a progress through all of England, embracing all men with wonderful friendliness so as to do all she could to win men’s minds over to her son and herself. But in particular, since she had learned by experience that imprisonment is the punishment that weighs heaviest on mortals, according to that verse about Dido in Book I of the Aeneid, “Not unfamiliar with suffering, I learn to succor the wretched,” wherever she went she freed many men from the public prisons. Meanwhile Richard had made a treaty with King Philippe, and received back all the places which his father had lost, together with Adele. For that girl had long since been betrothed to him, but because of suspicion that her virginity had been defiled he divorced her not long thereafter, sending her home with her dowry and enriched with many gifts. He had previously betrothed himself to Berengaria, the daughter of King Garcia of Navarre, whom he commanded to be sent to his sister Joan in Sicily, so he might marry her there while on his journey. After these things, since our people in Asia were daily asking for help, the kings designed to join forces at the earliest possible moment, outfit a fleet, and sail to Syria, and, having approved this plan, both prepared for the expedition. With French affairs arranged to his liking, Richard went to England and turned aside first at Winchester, and then at Salisbury, where he discovered his fathers treasury and was delighted, since his money-pile was far greater than any man would have imagined. For they say that besides jewelry, garments and precious plate, 900,000 pounds were discovered. With his mind elated by this lucky find, he hastened to London, and in a parliament was created king and consecrated in the traditional way by Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury. This was the year of salvation 1188. This Richard was the first of that name after William of Normandy, with whom the series of following kings began, as I stated at the end of his life. At the same time, his bastard brother Geoffrey became Archbishop of York, the thirty-second in his line. Having accepted the insignia of royalty, with high enthusiasm Richard prepared a fleet and all the things necessary for a Crusade, and particular levied a new tax which he imagined would supply the money for the countless expenses which he had paid for that army. Therefore he partly sold off, and partly pawned all his possessions, port-taxes, incomes, and some counties with their prefectures, from which he gathered a huge sum. But in particular he pleasantly fleeced Hugh Bishop of Durham, an exceedingly ambitious man, for he created him Earl of Northumbria in exchange for an enormous fee. And afterwards, when he insolently gloated over this thing, the king jokingly said, “I am a great craftsman, for a made a new earl out of an old bishop.” For after the time of Robert Mulberry, conquered in war by Rufus, no man had been created earl of that territory, taken back from the King of Scots.
2. While at home the king thus had everything for sale in his most capacious market, the burghers of London likewise contributed immense sums for the war, and they in exchange were enhanced by the king in their authority and comfort. For then was the first time they began to have town meetings as a royal concession, and annually two rulers or governors of the town, called Bailiffs. The first of these were Henry Cornhill and Richard Fitzrivers. And so the city gradually began to assume the form of a corporation, and was made most noble and wealthy, and most renowned for its gravity. Although it grew into usage that not every London boy seemed worthy of his ancestors, and common opinion attributed this to London, whereas it clearly happened only because of fathers’ indulgence. For as much as the masters to whom boys are indentured may keep a tight grip on them, to that same degree their fathers relax their own control. As a result, young men rarely imitate their fathers, since, being “new men,” they are obliged to make their own fortunes and their own honors. And so you can see that in so great a city there are very few sons who live in the same homes their parents occupied. But this blight on houses partly results from this, that men on their deathbeds are in the habit of making their wives their heirs, and they in turn remarry, even if advanced in years, and so convey with themselves the greatest part of their family fortunes into alien families, and partly because at all times many burghers’ families, being glutted, or at least content, with profit from commerce, withdraw from the city to their country estates, and such families, of London origin but having residence elsewhere, are by far the most prosperous in terms both of money and nobility. And the organization of the city is as follows. Its entire population, so to speak, is divided into guilds. For example, the woolmakers purchase from the king the privilege of assembling, having their own guild, establishing their own laws by which they create a monopoly, set the price for woolen cloth, and prohibit others from selling them in the city. Mονοπώλιον is a Greek word, for μόνος means alone, and πωλέω sell, when the power of selling resides in a single man, who may also set the price. And, as Justinian says, this is always harmful to a commonwealth. Into this guild come those who serve the woolmakers of this guild for seven or even ten years, and while they are in this service they are called by the not unattractive name of apprentices, and for the duration of their apprenticeship the power of their master over them resembles that a master has over a servant. After their term has been served, they are deemed to be townsmen of London: even if not such by birth, they are granted citizenship. Women are made citizens as the reward for this same form of service. And so a multitude of noble boys and girls come flocking from the farthest corners of the realm to London daily, and here they gain wealth, honors, and decent marriages. And this is the custom followed by all artisans’ guilds. Thus this city is increased by noble and newly-come citizens, and from these it has a senate, and nowadays an annual Lord Mayor and two Sheriffs, all for the purpose of administering laws for the people. But I shall speak of these magistrates more clearly and copiously at the beginning of my next Book. The city is divided into twenty-four districts called wards, each presided over by its own Alderman (i. e., a senator). The Lord Mayor is chosen out of these twenty-four senators, and before he enters into office he swears an oath to the king in the presence of a Baron of the Exchequer. The other cities have an organization not very different, particularly the more populous ones. But enough of this diversion.
3. Next a parliament of bishops and nobles was held, and in this parliament first the prelates, then the other leading men of the realm swore allegiance to the king, promising to remain in their duty and loyalty. King William of Scots did the same, who attended the parliament, as did Richard’s brothers John and Geoffrey Archbishop of York. But in the meanwhile the Scottish king looked after his own affairs in a timely fashion, and redeemed from the king Maiden Castle, Berwick, Roxburgh, and Sterling, which he had pawned to his father a few years earlier. After this, Richard, taking great care to shore up the condition of the realm, made Hugh Bishop of Durham governor of that part of England which borders on Scotland, giving him Hugh Baldulph and William Brunell, well-tried men, as lieutenants. He entrusted the government of the rest of the kingdom to Bishop William Longchamps of Ely, whom he made Chancellor of the realm, an industrious man, and yet one who was contentious and greedy. And he made Earl Robert of Leicester governor of Normandy and Aquitaine. Likewise he established a Privy Council, to which all things should be referred. Finally, as if foreseeing the future (that is, foreseeing the schemes his brothers would hatch against himself), he forbade John and Geoffrey from entering England in his absence. But their mother Eleanor obtained that this edict was promptly rescinded, lest her sons seem to quarrel between themselves or suffer from mutual hatred. These arrangements having been made, while Richard was hastening on his way it is said that at the village of Dunstable a cross appeared in a clear sky at midday, with the image of a man hanging from it. Hearing of this, in his mind the king conceived good hope for success, and immediately went over to Normandy with a very flourishing army. Here he summoned the nobles of Britanny and Aquitaine, and they made careful calculations how many ships and how great a number of soldiers he could bring to Asia, and he enjoined them to obey his governor Robert. This done and his shipping ready, he placed in charge of his fleet Girard Archbishop of Auch, Robert Sabeol, Ralph Folger, and Henry Bardulph, strong captains, charging them to prepare provisions for at least sixty days, and published an edict that his officers, selected already, should appear ready and equipped with their horses and army. Meanwhile, while his leaders and officers performed tasks of these kinds, he himself, after establishing many things which appeared to be advantageous for the commonwealth, if he should die on this lengthy excursion (for many dangers hung over him besides those provided by nature), lest he lack an heir he appointed Duke Arthur of Britanny, his nephew by his brother Geoffrey, a young man of lofty character and excellent virtue.
4. While these things were afoot and springtime was coming on, legates arrived from Pope Clement, who most of all arranged this Crusade, informing Richard that Christianity in Asia was being so oppressed that it could suffer no more delay. In those same days King Philippe told him the same thing in a letter, saying that he had made all his sailing preparations and was ready for the journey. And so Richard, who was very ready in all respects, had his fleet brought to the mouth of the Seine, brought all his horse and foot there as well, and commanded his soldiers to board ship in an orderly manner with no disturbance, so they might set sail at their earliest convenience. He himself, together with a select band of soldiers in the flower of their youth and strength, took a land route to Marseilles, the city of the province of Narbonne, so he might take ship there. At the same time Philippe gave the signal for his ships to sail, and, preceding Richard, he arrived at Genoa. The English fleet, making no delay after the departure of its sovereign, was borne onto the open sea by a strong enough wind and set its course for Marseilles. This was the year of human salvation 1189. Writers differ about how many soldiers or ships Richard took with him, althugh the truthful annals attest that his army consisted of 30,000 footmen and 5,000 horse. Meanwhile the king arrived at Marseilles, and while he awaited for his fleet to appear he very zealously assembled provisions all other things needful for its sailing. Meanwhile, the fleet, which, as I have said, had been borne on the deep and set its course for Marseilles, was blow apart when a storm arose, and its ships scattered. They say that when the English were all but sunk in the waves and were calling upon God, St. Thomas the Martyr miraculously appeared and consoled them with his good words, promising them assured rescue, and immediately thereafter a great peace came over the waters. When the storm had subsided in this way, the ships followed their intended route, and some sought the nearest part of Spain, today called Portugal, but before they could arrive there they were sorely vexed by Saracen pirates who were ravaging the Spanish coast with their plundering. While the fleet was repairing itself there, Richard, now bored with such a great delay, imagining that the fleet had been held back by a storm and would not be able to appear by the appointed day, hired some ships and went to Sicily. And, quickly crossing the Mediterranean, he arrived at Messana, a coastal city of Sicily, on the thirty-ninth day after he departed France. To this same place had come King Philippe, having lost a goodly part of his fleet, and they both decided to winter there. Meanwhile the English fleet did arrive at Marseilles, and when it learned of the king’s departure it immediately crossed to Messana.
5. At this time King William II of Sicily died at Palermo, leaving behind no legitimate heir, and the ownership of his kingdom passed to the Pope. But the island’s nobility immediately substituted Tancred, born from William’s grandfather Roger by a mistress, a man possessed of such great sloth that William refused to believe he was born of Roger. Although he received Richard with a great show of hospitality, yet he did not trust him, because he was insistently asking for the dowry of his widowed sister Joan, who had been married to King William, at a time he could not pay it, and he was afraid lest he take the side of Pope Clement, who was asserting his right over the kingdom of Sicily. And so he garrisoned all places, and secretly consulted with the burghers of Messana how he could compel the English sovereign to leave the kingdom and hasten on his intended way. As they were thinking on this thing, the English gave them an easy pretext for rioting. For when some of their soldiers were unruly in their behavior, as happens when a great number of men are assembled, although they were not in the slightest disturbed by this, the Messanans took up arms and, making a sudden assault, ejected the English from the city, locked their gates, and prepared to offer resistance. Richard, who had his headquarters outside the city, learned about these things and exploded in anger, and ordered his men to arm themselves and storm the city. While the English were making preparations to avenge the injury, Tancred sent Richard some of the leading men of the city, who explained that nothing had been done by their counsel or that of the public, but that this riot arose from the ignorance and levity of the multitude, so he should make no harsh judgment about the city, nor lessen his good-will towards the Sicilians, especially when Tancred himself would sharply punish those responsible for such a time. And Philippe lent his authority to settle the controversy. By this means Richard was induced to postpone his siege of the city for the moment. Meanwhile the citizens of Messana kept themselves within their walls, and, fearing the wrath of the aggrieved sovereign, they purposely dragged out the time taken for reconciliation until he would disappear at the arrival of springtime. This thing did not escape Richard’s notice, and, appreciating that their words contradicted their deeds and that he was being mocked by the townsmen, he suddenly applied ladders and other warlike instruments to the walls, set fire to their gates, and attacked the defenders with such force that with the effort of a single day he broke down their walls, wrenched open their gates, and gained the city, so far were the townsmen from being able to put up a longer defense. A goodly number were killed on both side, and a greater slaughter would have ensued, had not Richard commanded his soldiers to sheathe their swords, moved by citizens’ prayers as they piteously begged for mercy. With the upheaval sedated and some of the Sicilians responsible for recent scheme executed, Tancred appeared not much later. He, feeling guilty for having incited the citizens of Messana to expel the English and lest Richard hold him in suspicion any longer, borrowed a great sum from his friends and repaid Joan’s dowry, thus purchasing peace, and he reinforced this by a new kinship, promising to give his daughter (as usual, the annalists do not record her name) in marriage to Duke Arthur of Britanny. Richard heard both these things gladly, and advisedly both took the King of Sicily back in his good graces and did not neglect their kinship.
6. These dealings between the Kings of Sicily and England having been transacted, a greater discored erupted been the Kings of France and England, I believe so that there would always exist some obstacle to coming to the aid of our common interest. For Philippe did not take it calmly that Richard had compelled the King of Sicily to do his bidding and buy peace for a grat sum. Therefore the French, burning with envy, and also driven by wrath and audacity, seized a very slight opportunity to start a quarrel with the English. Then both sides fell to their arms. There would have been a great slaughter, had it not cooled off quickly. For both kings checked their onslauht. But that fight was a very great evil for Christendom. For Philippe, who accused Richard of having violated the rights of hospitality and of avarice, because he had done harm to the burghers of Messana, who had provided their food and their hospitality, and said it not by their own fault, but specifically because of the haughtiness and insolence of the English that things had come to a fight. Something else that increased his anger was that in a private conversation Richard had flatly said he was going to marry the daughter of the King of Navarre, having divorced his sister Adele, which he in fact did at that time. And so henceforth, even though he kept it hidden in the bosom of his breast, Philippe always nursed an incredible loathing of Richard. And at the coming of springtime, Phgilippe was the first to set sail and, having enjoyed a fair voyage, landed at Ptolemais, which they call Acco, which had long been besieged by our men. He encamped not far from the city, and greatly terrified the enemy but increased our men’s forces and courage. After this, having refreshed his soldiers from their exertions, he fell to the siegework with might and main, together with the other captains. Meanwhile Richard, having settled things with Tancred, together with with Joan, who escorded his bride, the girl Berengaria, daughter of the King of Navarre, he boarded ship and, sailing from the Sicilian coast into the open sea, and encountered a great storm, by which he was tossed about, and finally driven to the island of Cyprus. And when he was barred from the harbor by the islanders, he entered by force and, raving the island fare and wide, strengthened it with a garrison, and he retained many captives. Here he wed Barengaria, and after the marriage had been made he made his way to the camp at Ptolemaeis, where the city, held by Saladin’s garrison, was being besieged very aggressively.
7. Meanwhile back in England a great evil had begun, thanks to the insolence and greed of William Bishop of Ely. That man, a proverbial son of the soil, had long been a pauper but was suddenly made a rich man, having been a little while earlier created a papal legate by Pope Celestine. And, making bad use of this good fortune, he began to lord it. And so at a synod of bishops he introduced many changes at his discretion and for his personal advantage. Bribed by Hugh Bishop of Chester, he ejected the monks from the college at Coventry and replaced them with so-called secular priests. Then he dismissed from office all the governors appointed by the departing Richard, and schemed against John out of the fear, as he said, that he would seize power if Richard chanced to die without issue. Likewise he forcibly removed from office Richard’s other brother Geoffery Archbishop of York, and imprisoned him. But at the request of certain bishops who vouched for him, he quickly ordered him freed. Finally, he stripped of their fortunes whatever members of the nobility he feared might ever seek to keep him from acting as he wished. Although these things and others of the same kind smacked of tyranny, yet this clever man protected himself against calumny under color of his office. For he said that he had deprived the other governors of the realm of their power lest the people grow to hate the domination of many and complain that it now had several kings instead of one, and that he was at the same time countering John’s greed lest he dare to usurp the throne while Richard was alive, or, should he die, snatch it from Arthur. And, finally, he said that he required money in order to supply funds necessary for the king, waging such a great war. What of the fact that added another reason, that he was doing everything according to the king’s bidding, as if it were lawful to abolish every right by royal command? But, just as all these excuses were inventions, so they had little effect. And so all men’s minds were so inflamed that nothing came closer than for some sedition to erupt, and so Richard was soon informed of these factions by his mother Eleanor. He energetically strove to hold his nobles to their allegiance by letters, messengers, rewards, and promises, and at the same time he wrote a letter admonishing Ely to deal mildly with the people so it would wish to remain loyal. And thus the headstong rage of the Bishop of Ely was eased somewhat, when in another quarter, a little before Easter, rioting between Christians and Jews broke out at York and Lincoln. The townsmen suddenly took up weapons and cut down the poor Jews, women as well as men, save for a few who claimed they wanted to convert to Christianity. The king took this crime badly, because when he went off to war he was greatly by the Jews with their money.
8. Now it was another year, and the Christians still persevered in their siege of Ptolemais,. The enemy, seeing that the Christian army had been so enlarged by the advent of the two kings, calculated that, should they try to storm the city, it would be difficult to resist them. And so they promised to surrender and hand over a part of the True Cross which they claimed was in the city, if all of the garrison would be released, with a single piece of clothing for each man. The condition was accepted, and after being besieged for two years Ptolemais or Acco was surrendered to our men. Here the quarrel among the Latin princes, arising from rivalry for power and honor, which had already begun now manifestly increased, as will be made clearer below. And in particular the quarrel between the Austrians and the English now started. For the Austrians, eager for the glory of capturing the city, were the first to plant their standards on its walls, and the English promptly cast these down and replaced them with their own. Which deed was later Richard’s bane. And with Ptolemais gained in this way, a part of the captives was brought out by Philippe and exchanged for Christian captives. Another part was brought out by Richard, and since the Lord’s cross was not found and he believed this to be a cheat and immediately killed them. They were about 7,000 in number. And so it was held to Richard’s discredit that he had not spared these infidels so they could be exchanged for captive Christians, but his fierce mind could not restrain itself. After the loss of Ptolemais Saladin, losing hope of defending his other places, stripped of their walls whatever cities seemed to be less capable of offering resistance because of their location and the quality of their works. Among these were Porphyriae, Caesarea, Ascalon and Gaza. On the other hand Richard, when Philippe now began to refrain from fighting because he was on the point of return to France, repaired Joppa and planted a Christian colony there. Joppa is a city of Palestine, which (as Pliny attests in Book V) was founded before the time of Noah’s Flood, and it has a very useful harbor, so that Richard decided the place must be retained. Saladin was now entertaining thoughts of abandoning Jerusalem to the Christians, so that he might put an end to such a long war, when he heard of the quarrel between Philippe and Richard, and so he persevered in holding that city. Indeed, when Philippe and Richard had been struggling might and main in the siege of Ptolemais, and had attacked its walls, often with joined arms and often with their separate forces, employing various strategies and arts, they easily recalled their old grudges and gradually began to argue, and one would so disapprove of the other’s word or deed that out of there differing ideas on how the war should be managed the beginning of a great quarrel arose. This obscured the memory of their many brave deeds and greatly weakened the strength of our commonwealth, as will be shown below. And so Philippe, a man of great spirit and desirous of great things, seeing that the fortune of war favored our men, and persuaded that Richard greatly surpassed the other Christian leaders in his great courage and ferocity, could not easily tolerate him as a comrade-in-arms, thought that with such and so great a partner in the war he could never achieve anything glorious by his own leadership or decision. Motivated by this rivalry, and pleading the bad weather, to which he was sensitive, as his excuse, he sailed away from Syria with the first available wind, crossing to Apulia. From there he went to Rome to fulfil a view, and then returned to France, leaving Duke Otto of Burgundy in the Crusade to help Christianity. Pope Celestine III, who had succeeded Clement, urgently asked Philippe, while he was at Rome during his return from Syria, to do nothing against Richard after his return to France, since he perceived he was ill-disposed toward him, so that a captain so useful to Christendom would not be diverted from the Crusade. But when Philippe left Syria, Richard, who especially liked to do things on his own initiative, applied himself to the war with higher spirits than ever. And just at this time two assassins murdered Conrad of Montserrat as he was walking in the bazaar at Tyre, and when dragged back from their flight and subjected to the most exquisite torture, they confessed they had decided to contrive the death of all the Latin captains in this manner.
9. At the same time , Richard, solicited by the assiduous complaints of his subjects in England, wrote a letter depriving the Bishop of Ely of all his government, and replaced him with William Archbishop of Rouen. This done, his enemies, rejoicing that Ely had been cast down from authority, conspired at John’s prompting. Therefore in a synod the bishops publicly cursed this man (as was their custom) together with a number of others, because he had ordered Geoffrey Archbishop of York to be imprisoned, and the others had obeyed such commands. Hearing of these things, Ely, fearing worse (and deserved) punishments for his deeds, dressed as a woman and attempted to cross over into the Continent. And, knowing that the coast around Dover was guarded by his enemies (for his escape was not at all secret), he chanced to be recognized and caught as he wandered here and there searching for a ship. Scorned by all men, he was thrown in jail and forced to hand over the castles still in his possession. Then, despoiled of all his fortunes, he was proscribed. But John, his most bitter enemy, was not content with such a revenge, and strove to cover him with every manner of disgrace. But the bishops, mindful of their order, kept this from happening and immediately freed him. Ely went to Normandy, from where he had come, and sent letters of complaint about this insult he had received both to Pope Celestine and to Richard, and at the same time by flattery and bribery he strove with all his power to get into the good graces of Eleanor and John. After Ely had been deposed from all power, the Peers of the realm carefully dealt about the good management the commonwealth, and they were joined by the Archbishop of Rouen. Although by royal command they had chosen him as their governor, yet the real power increasingly lay with John, a man born for throwing all divine and human things into confusion. There was a manifold origin of England’s woes, but they were especially created by the great bane of the Crusade. For John, fired by a craving for power, was solicited by Philippe after his return from Syria, and immediately entered into secret discussions with him about usurping his brother’s crown and a little later, brooking no delay but now revealing what he had kept secret, decided to go to Philippe on some pretended errand. But he was prevented from dong so by his mother.
10. After the murder of Conrad, which I have decribed above, Count Henry of Campania married Isabella, who had been married to him, the sister of Queen Sibyll, who had died in the camp of dysentery a little earlier, together with her four sons fathered by Guy of Lusignan, and gained Tyre as a dowry. But Richard, by treating Guy of Lusignan affably and offering him the island of Cyprus, induced him to cede the rights of the kingdom of Jerusalem to himself. And so it came about hat afterwards other Kings of England laid claim to this title. Guy gladly accepted the kingdom of Cyprus from the English king, which from his time down to our own the family of the Lusignans has possessed. Richard, in high spirits because of these things, decided he should besiege Jerusalem. Therefore he was leading his army there, accompanied by Duke Odo of Burgundy, when Saladin launched a sudden attack on his rear guard and compelled our me to fight on disadvantageous grounds. The fight lasted from noon to sunset, at which time the conquered enemy retreated to the village of Bethelem, although not without great losses to the Christians, and there the encamped so as to intercept the transport of provisions from Egypt to our men at Jerusalem. On the next day Richard, together wtih Otto, encamped not far from Jerusalem took counsel about besieging the city, and then from his scouts he learned that a great multitude of camels was hastening there from Egypt, bearing provisions, and so he formed the plan of intercepting them. Therefore he chose no small band of soldiers and, setting out in the middle of the night, captured almost all the plunder together with their escort, and brought it into his camp. So far Christian affairs prospered and were mostly secure, when the king, after forming a strategy for storming Jerusalem on the spot, abandoned this very necessary blockade and went off to winter quarters in Ascalon, fearing for his food-supply, and because the summer was drawing to a close so that he was prevented by the season of the year. He did so although Pope Clement sent him money to pay his soldiers and vehemently urged him to prolog the siege. Saladin stripped this city of the walls which Richard had repaired in wintertime, attracted by the strategic convenience of the place. During the winter Otto went off to Henry Camanus, a fellow countryman. And so our men, when nothing was closer than that they pluck the very ripe fruit of the victory won a little previously and gain the Holy City itself, imprudently put the ease of wintering ahead of the siege, and this so greatly damaged the Christian cause that, when it had once gone into decline, for the present it could not be restored by any counsel or aid. Furthermore, the contingent from Pisa, which had worn out their ships in that three years’ fight and was greatl in need of replacements, sailed into the Adriatic and captured Parenzo, intending to winter there. In pursuit of the Pisans, the Venetian fleet also arrived at Parenso. Here the Venetians, having increased the number of their shops, ejected the Pisans from the city and sacked it. A bitter battle commenced between them, as they were urged on by their mutual hatred, and a great war would have been fought between them, had not Celestine interceded with his authority, and the matter was settled according to his arbitration.
11. While these things were occurring in Asia, Philippe, thinking it was high time to satisfy his hatred against the King of England, entered into serious discussions with his advisors about commencing a war. And, although a few right-thinking councilors urged him not to wage war on Richard, who was fighting in defense of Christendom, saying that, if he did otherwise, then doubtless he would later be judged to have acted against religion, nevertheless he, impelled by ill-will rather than any reason, first of all urged John to rebel against his brother. And to entice the young man’s mind all the easier, he promised to give him his sister Adele in marriage with a great dowry. I have already told how she had been divorced by Richard on suspicion of debauchery. He also promised his help in occupying his brothers kingdom. These things easily moved John who was very greedy for power, and he would have gone quickly flying to Philip on the pretext of some invented his business had his mother Eleanor not read his mind and prevented him. The French king, understanding this and the finally downfall of the kingdom of Jerusalem being brought on by some evil demon, as is reasonable to believe, suddenly took up arms and invaded Normandy. And at this first coming he captured some towns, including Gisors, surrendered by its governor Gilbert of Gascony, and he wasted the he entire region with steel and fire, although it had appeared to have been adequately garrisoned by Richard. And so that old grudge gave the French king the pretext for moving against the King of England. And at the very same time, to that nothing should be wanting for throwing everything in the world into a hurly-burly, England was suffering from seditions thanks to the efforts and bribery of the Bishop of Ely. Springtime was a approaching, and Richard, planning to attack Jerusalem, had made all his preparations and had sent forward the supplies necessary for continuing the siege, and was hurrying to lead his forces forward on the expedition when, behold, it was suddenly announced that King Philippe was troubling Normandy with an eye to smoothing his way for an invasion of England, so that when it had been gained he might hand it over to his brother John. Richard, inexpressibly troubled by this news, immediately and sorrowfully informed the other captains of this domestic trouble, at the same time railing against Philippe for having no reverence for the Christian cause or for piety, and for choosing that particular time to vent his hatred and anger against himself, when triumph over the enemy had almost been gained. And this thing did not disturb the minds of all our men then any more than a little latter it gave the infidels assured hope of victory, when it became common knowledge. And so Richard, affected with such great sorrow at having such a noble victory snatched from his hands by the hatred of his enemies, and fearing lest, while he fought for for Christendom so far from his homeland, he would not be creating deadly ruin at home, was obliged to come to terms with his enemy Saladin, on the condition that our men restore all places captured within the last three years except Ptolemais (for Tyre and some other less important places had already been held by the Christians), and Saladin would keep his hands off Christian affairs. The infidels cannily obtained these conditions for peace from our men, so that by taking back the lost places he could sufficiently demonstrate that by their efforts those two kings had achieved nothing memorable in Syria, and so might more easily deter others from making war against himself, since they would reflect that the effort spent by such great sovereigns on behalf of the Christian cause had been in vain. And they say that the Joachim the Abbot, a man with a famous reputation for sanctity, predicted this outcome to the kings while they were in Syria, proclaiming that the time had not yet come when Jerusalem might be recovered by our men. But back to my subject. Because that peace was more necessary than honorable, and lest the Christian men who remained there would someday lose faith in their own strength, or be vexed by truce-breaking infidels and be led to despair of their safety, Richard is said to have made a speech such as this prior to his departure, to raise their spirits and to diminish the opprobrium of his departure:
12. “My lords, men ought to take most amiss those thing which turn out badly by their own fault. On the other hand, they should feel less chagrin should anything turn out contrary to what reason demands, to what has been foreseen, to what religion ordains. This is the medicine for my sorrow, which I have made for myself. When I was planning on waging the most just war on human memory, lest there should be some reason why I would be prevented, at the outset I decided that after I set foot outside the borders of my homeland I should fear no unfriendly plots at home, no desertion by my allies abroad. Therefore I procured peace and friendship with my neighboring kings, and in particular with King Philippe of France, who had joined me in undertaking this war for the protection of Christendom, and at the same time I shared my plans with him, I joined arms with him, I linked my power with him. At home I created William Bishop of Ely my governor, and I gave him partners and helpers for the conduct of public business, men I believed to be faithful and worthy of such a trust. And I advised my brother John, upon whom I had bestowed possessions, honors, and a family, that he strive for the good and the peace of my peoples. I took my wealth along with me, so that in my travels men would not be terrified, nor drained dry, nor disturbed. And this was my great provision, my caution, my avoidance of all the things I imagined might be an impediment to my continuing this war I had begun. But oh the vain caution of human counsels! For all my affairs have turned out otherwise than I had expected, and this in a single moment of time. First at home the Bishop of Ely, raised to such a height of capriciousness and ambition, did not conduct himself as a ruler of the commonwealth, but as a tyrant, not as a guardian of a home but as its robber. Then my brother John, forgetful of my benefits, kindness, and kinship, and led on by greed, is attempting to exclude and despoil me of my wealth, my honor, my kingdom. And so my brother, most of all men, hastens to ruin me, he whom I have loved most of all men. Good God, who would imagine you should need to be on your guard against a brother of whom you have deserved the best? Human nature is hidden in so many shrouds and veils that it can no wise be penetrated. And finally King Philippe, my comrade-in-arms, a man with whom I thought everything would be safe from the first time I made his acquaintance, not only has refused to wage this war we undertook with joint auspices, but even has decided that when I alone am fighting with you, I must be disturbed, vexed, and turned aside from so great an enterprise. Now he has so loaded my brother John with promises, presents and pacts, and has so infatuated the man, that by his means my domestic affairs have been brought to such a sorry pass that I must either lose my ancestral kingdom, or go home as soon as possible, all other things ignored. And my patriotism, my sense of duty and honor advise me that I must prefer the latter to the former. Would not any man alive blame me, accuse me, convict me of madness if, while I devoted myself to recovering the kingdom of Jerusalem for other men, I were to lose my own? And so for these reasons I am recalled to England, even if I am most reluctantly compelled to abandon you, after having decided either to seek a glorious death here or to go home with glory, and I do this not without pain, and perhaps it was a great mistake in your judgment to pin your hopes on me. But, my lords, this is not my sin, but rather that of Philippe, who has violated faith, law, and right, on whom God Almighty will soon be visiting His punishment. And I am sure He will be brining you His help after you have been deserted by Man; deserted, I say, by the sin of one single man, but only until these pestilential quarrels permit me to bring you aid. In the meanwhile, you should not despair of repose, since you are enjoying peace with an infidel who is equally worn our by war, and beyond doubt will gladly stand by his agreement.”
13. Thus speaking and consoling his men, and with his fleet now outfitted, Richard sent ahead his wife Berengaria, together with his sister Joan and a large part of his contingent to Sicily, and from there to England, But he with a few followers sailed for Thrace and encountered a great storm, by which he was tossed about and blown to Dalmatia. Here he decided to disguise himself by a change of clothing and make his way to England through Germany, now on horseback, and now afoot. When he came to Upper Pannonia, which men nowadays call Austria, he thought of the quarrel between his men and the Austrians, which took its beginning in a trifling thing, when he had unbecomingly commanded the standards of Duke Leopold of Austria (who had participated in the war) to be cast down from the walls of captured Ptolemais, as I have related above, and at the same time he learned from his spies that the rumor of his arrival had spread throughout the region. So he began to fear for himself, and for that reason he only made his passage circumspectly and by roads tested in advance. But by no counsel could he avoid his destiny. As soon as he entered Vienna, the capital city of Austria, his manner of speech partly betrayed him as an Englishman, and partly his expenditure of far more money on his meals than befitted the personage who he pretended to be with his humble costume. And so the duke quickly surrounded with guards the house in which he was being entertained, so that no man could escape, and soon sent others to discover what manner of men were within. When it was announced that henchmen of the duke were standing in the doorway, and seeing there was no hope of flight, Richard resumed his royal costume and, showing the soldiers the same steadfastness of mind he always displayed in battle, asked the reason they were standing around in arms. They exclaimed they were seeking him, and he replied that it was not fitting for a king to surrender himself to anybody else but the duke himself, and that if the duke desired to appear in person, he would freely entrust himself to his care. And so he met the duke as he arrived, having first handed over his sword, and came into his power. Leopold, overjoyed that such a prey had unexpectedly fallen into his hands, addressed the king pleasantly and escorted him to his palace, giving him in to the custody of certain noblemen. This was the year of human salvation 1192. Meanwhile the Emperor Henry, the son of Frederick I, had heard by means of rumors spread throughout Germany that Richard had been captured by the duke, and, having good knowledge of English wealth, he began to think hard about how he could snatch such a rich prize from him. He therefore quickly sent ambassadors, and when these had issued many warnings why he could not safely keep so great a king in his custody any longer, since the Pope in particular would command him to be freed, and the rest of the nobility would make the same demand, and, should he not comply and satisfy their demands, no doubt would resort to force. Therefore he should hand Richard over to himself, the Emperor, for guarding, and he would take good care that Richard would have to redeem himself for a goodly sum. The duke, partly moved by these arguments, and partly by fear (for he knew Henry and that in his zeal to turn a profit he would not hold his peace until he had a share of the prize), handed the king over to these ambassadors, and Henry ordered him to be bound in chains before they met, so that Richard, because of the indignity of the thing and his chagrin, would offer more money.
14. At the same time Philippe, informed that Richard was being held in chains, exulted with joy and, being eager to do mischief, quickly sent secret messengers to his brother John summoning him, and urged that now a chance for success was being offered, so he should choose to take the throne of England from his brother. And to the quicker performance of this thing, he promised his aid. This incitement carried no little weight with John, since he was also inflamed by his own greed. And as soon as he had returned to England he formed a conspiracy and joined to himself a number of young men of his own ilk. Having exhorted them to arms and violence, he suddenly stormed a number of places, scraping together an army of every manner of ne’er-do-well, and attempted to take the other places with equal speed. But the Peers of the realm, having learned of this mad youth’s foul deed, straightway took up arms and opposed themselves to his attempts. First they encircled Windsor Castle, although it was a place better defended than the others both by its location and by its fortifications, and then with great energy they collected an army. This so shattered the conspirators’ spirits that, promptly handing back the castle, they took to their heels in all directions, were captured, and paid for their rashness with the due punishment. John, the head of this faction, thinking his brother would be lingering in chains, hot-footed it to take refuge with Philippe in France, so as to recruit a new band of warriors at the first moment possible.
15. Meanwhile Pope Celestine, taking it in exceedingly bad part that Richard, who had lately waged such a great war in defense of Christianity so far from home, was being held in custody, issued his commandment to both the Duke of Austria and the emperor that he should be released forthwith. Henry, refusing to release such a great prize without a profit, replied that he was willing to let Richard go, but only if he would first give back what he had previously stolen in Sicily while on his way to Syria. Furthermore, not long before Henry had gained control of the kingdom of Syria. For when Pope Celestine was annoyed to see Tancred gain the throne of Sicily, he bestowed on Henry in marriage Roger’s daughter Constance, a nun whom he removed from her nunnery and released from her religious obligation, and gave him Sicily, together with Calabria and Apulia, as a dowry, with the stipulation that he should pay the Popes an annual tribute by which he might maintain his right of dominion. Although Richard easily cleared himself of that slander, maintaining he had not robbed the Sicilians but rather had recovered his sister’s dowry, he nonetheless knew for certain that he would in no wise be released if he did not pay a huge sum. So he sent Hubert Bishop of Salisbury, an upright man, to England. Returning from Syria, this Hubert had a little earlier learned in Sicily how the king had fallen into his enemies’ hands, and therefore he broke off the journey he had begun and turned aside to visit Richard. He was to impose a tax by the authority of the Privy Council and gather the money required for Richard’s redemption. While he energetically busied himself with collecting this money, the emperor, at the request of his nobles and others as well, and also having been castigated by the Pope, at length fetched Richard to a conference, at which he accused him of many and various misdemeanors against himself and Duke Leopold. When Richard had made abundant answer to these charges, with the assistance of the nobles present, he came to an agreement that for the sake of redemption he would pay 200,000 marks, or, as some say, 140,000, of which a third would go to the Duke of Austria. Therefore the king, having learned the cost of his freedom, wrote to his treasurers that they should immediately bring that sum out of the monies raised by the taxes. Although they had collected the required money most cruelly, since they extracted it according to their own whim rather than by an estimate of possessions and property, and when they received the royal letter they began snatching at everything for their own convenience, so one would think this was not a tax imposed for the redemption of a king, but rather that by public edict all the goods of the English were being turned over to the tax-collectors as their prey. And so it came about that, besides private property, the sacred gold and silver plate was removed from churches, and from this far more money was collected than had been originally ordered. Meanwhile while some money-men worked on tax collection, others brought a goodly sum to Germany where it was paid. And for the payment of the rest the Archbishop of Rouen and other bishops and nobles who had gathered for this purpose in England served as hostages, so that Richard was released, fifteen months after his imprisonment. He hastened home to England by forced marches, and those indeed made by devious routes, which was doubtless his salvation. For after the king’s departure, the emperor, urged on by the French king, schemed to ambush him, for now he regretted having let him go, and to place him in perpetual custody. Richard returned to England safely, and, having visited the tomb of St. Thomas, came back to London to great cheering, as the whole population turned out to greet him.
16. Richard seemed to many men to have suffered these troubles and perils deservedly, because he had placed his personal advantage ahead of the welfare of Christendom, which he had undertaken to defend, and because he had allowed his former fair and brave deeds to lack their final fruit of glory, and had been willing to exchange is reputation for high-mindedness for one of fear. For such critics argued that nothing had hung over his head that needed to be feared, since neither John’s treachery nor Philippe’s hatred was going to harm Richard, for whom the Normans and citizens of Aquitaine, no less than the English he ruled, would have fought for him stoutly. Richard was furthermore blamed for having cast away an assured and ready victory for the sake of a certain ardor for revenge rather than out of a fear of losing his kingdom. This was shown by the sudden death of Saladin a few days afterwards, so that no man could doubt that with the least effort the affairs of the Christians could have been placed back on a sound footing in Asia. They say that at Saladin’s funeral (I am not ashamed to recount this noteworthy thing) that his inner shirt was carried on a spear like a trophy, with a herald proclaiming, “Saladin, the conqueror of Asia, takes nothing with him from so great a realm and so great wealth besides this single thing.” This was assuredly a sight worthy of so great a king, for whom nothing was lacking for supreme glory but knowledge of the true religion. Richard, who desired nothing more than to repay Philippe for his injuries (and even now he was waging war against Normandy), and for whom everything had been thrown into confusion by his brother John ’s work, was not unaware how great woes are wont suddenly to arise from even the most trifling seditions, at his earliest convenience summoned the nobility, so that he would not suffer from domestic treason while waging a foreign war. Here in parliament assembled he first praised the nobles because they had always remained wholeheartedly steadfast in their faith, that they had resisted his brother’s enterprises, and that they had assisted him with their money both in war and when he was held in custody. Then, in accordance with a parliamentary decree, he deprived his brother John and all his confederates of all their honors and fortunes, and proclaimed them enemies of their nation, and he ensured that all the others of that faction who could be apprehended were executed. Likewise he decreed that all things he thought to pertain either to his office or to any part of the commonwealth should be put in good repair, because he regarded the welfare of his subjects as dear to his heart. And so by his will the office of Archbishop of Canterbury, which had lacked an occupant since the death of Baldwin, who died in Syria, was given to Hubert Bishop of Salisbury. He was the forty-second in the order of prelates. Reginald Bishop of Bath had been elected before him, but died before he could assume office, and so obtained no place in the series. And to replace the plate which had been abstracted from churches and turned into tax money, others were made for divine use at the sovereign’s expense and restored to their former use. Furthermore, rights and laws were corrected, as were weights and measures. After Richard had attended to these things for the good condition of the commonwealth, he persuaded himself that in this business he had served the public utility to the point that, if in some other matter he took something away, men would tolerate this, he gradually began to ask back the possessions and all else he had pawned prior to his departure for Syria. And, so this might seem not to be done by violence, he addressed individual men affably and proclaimed that he was sure his nobles, subjects, and friends would not want to turn a profit on a benefit they had conferred, but would rest content with the interest income they had already received, not refusing to give back the things he had not given them as gifts, but only pawned as collateral, especially since they knew for sure that without royal possessions he could not live properly, as a king should. With these pleasantries, and some threatening arguments as well, he silenced their voices and shut their mouths, so that no man dared mutter against him except Hugh Bishop of Lincoln, who did not keep silent about the great iniquity of this demand. And so the king quickly recovered his goods from lenders at no cost, although many men had not even realized a third of their loan from the interest on the collateral they had owned. But he used his prettiest art in coaxing the monks, especially the Cistercians, into displaying liberality toward him. For he had borrowed a large sum from the merchants’ guild at Calais, who most dealt in wool. Afterwards he told the monks he had been compelled by want, and had done this relying on their generosity. So he asked them to do him the great favor of giving a great deal of wool to the merchants in exchange for the money he had received from them, and he promised he would remember this. Overcome by these entreaties, in the end the monks complied with the king.
17. And so when Richard, enriched, was occupied in preparing a fleet for the crossing to Normandy, he learned that Verneuil was being besieged by the King of France, and that nothing was closer at hand than that he would gain the town, were help not quickly brought. With this understanding, he quickly crossed over to Normandy, and was now hastening to come to the aid of his subjects, when Philippe, learning of his enemy’s arrival, lost hope of winning the town (which he had attacked in vain twice before), broke off the siege and attacked the citizens of Eure, stormed their city (which he had harried a little earlier) at his first assault, and in large part sacked it. For his part, Richard entered French territory and sent three squadrons of horse to attack the castle of Vaudreuil, and he himself surrounded Loches and quickly compelled its surrender. Meanwhile, after his cavalry had attacked the castle (very well protected by its location) for eight days with no good effect and then Philippe had come up, it returned to its leader, ruining fields and villages along the way. After this Philippe removed its garrison and pulled down the castle or Ruel, so that might never be taken by his enemy and serve as an obstacle to himself. While war was waged with such great hatred on both sides, the kings entered in to a truce for a few months, at the request of some bishops. This was of advantage to nobody, for both sides, granted such a short interval, did not hold their peace. Rather, provoked by hatred, they were eager to renew the war and daily had new drafts of soldiers, asked help from their friends, prepared weapons and their fleets, and invented and set into motion new stratagems. But see a remarkable thing: the two kings shared the same enthusiasm, not just for war, but also for extracting money from certain kinds of men, so much so that they appeared to be following a common plan. For, since they did not have sufficient money to wage constant war, and since their peoples were nearly impoverished, partly by paying novel taxes daily, and partly by their own expenses for fighting, they had both run up a huge debt. So it struck them as not inappropriate, if they had until now made no imposition on the clergy (with whom they had thus far dealt mildly), to impose a new tax on them. And so that they might cover something less than wholly just with an honorable excuse, they decided to give it out that they were gathering this money to pay the wages of those who were defending Christendom in Syria, although this was the last thing on their minds. Therefore Richard went to Tours, and extracted a huge amount of money, first from the chapter of Tours, and then from all the priests in his French dominions. In the same way, albeit much more harshly, Philippe imposed intolerable tithes on priestly livings, payable immediately to his money-men, who, in addition to collecting the requisite sum, catered to their private advantage by harshly plundering the poor priests. A living (as I will say at the proper time) is a priest’s dignity, function and office, and for this reason possessions are given on which the priest may live. And it has not absurdly come into usage for us to call both the function itself and these possessions a living or a benefice, if for convenience’s sake I may use this term here and elsewhere. While the truce held, Richard went back to England, where he remained for a few days. For when he heard that forces were being held at the ready by his enemies, so that, if the necessity of fighting should arise, he could more expeditiously meet any sudden development, and so he hastily returned to Normandy and encamped near the French border, biding his time until the truce expired, lest he be anticipated with any battle. Philippe, joined by Richard’s brother John, kept a grip on his soldiers, ready and ardent for a fight.
18. While for these reasons the kings competed for speed, so that they would more quickly lose their disposition to fight Pope Celestine sent messengers to them both. To the best of his ability he denounced, cursed, and forbade this war, so ruinous to Christendom, by which Syria was betrayed to their enemies. But when the truce expired, unmoved by the Pope’s words since they had decided to satisfy their dislike and slake their hatred, they burst forth once more. Richard hastened to Issoudun, a town on the border of the territory once occupied by the Bituriges, where he had heard the French king was leading his army, and there he waited a whole day for the enemy’s arrival. But he, thinking it advantageous not to appear, did not comply. The next day Richard moved to the castle of Montbrison, storming and sacking it at his first onslaught. Then he hastened to Châtelneuf. Arriving there and discovering it to be protected by a large garrison, he did not begin to besiege it before the third day. And to deprive its townsmen of all hope of help, he ordered the gates and walls to be kept under watch, and stationed his soldiers, not at fixed intervals, but but with continual obervation-points and stations touching each other, and they were to maintain this day and night. And so it came about that on the following day the townsmen yielded. Meanwhile the French king was besieging Aumale when Richard, having strengthened Châtelneuf with his own garrison, came up and strove to divert the King of France from the siege with a set battle. But the English, wearied with their march and rashly entering into the battle, could not withstand the enemy onslaught and were compelled to retire like fugitives, not without great loss. The French king, having routed the enemy, returned to Aumale and took it by storm. Then he granted the garrison leave to depart with their arms, regained the town, and leveled the castle. Meanwhile the English king, having refreshed his soldiers somewhat after their exertions, went to Million, and attacked and leveled the town in a trice. Afterwards peace negotiations began between these battle-weared kings. Hearing of this, John feared that Philippe might betray him as one of the terms of a peace, and finally came to the conclusion that it was better to put his trust in one brother rather than in nobody, and so he humbly entered Richard’s presence and on his life begged, asked and prayed for brotherly forgiveness, since he had not conducted himself in a brotherly way. He reminded him of their bond of fraternal piety, described his brother’s good deeds towards himself, and he regretted being thus far impious and ungrateful for not bearing them in mind. He owed it to Richard that he was alive, that he would continue to live. He said all this as humbly and submissively as he could. They say that the king was moved by this speech and answered that he indeed would spare him, but that he only hoped that the time would come when he could forget the insults he had received at this hands. Fortified by these words, John swore his oath, promising he would set aside his errors and do his duty, and was soon restored to his old place of honor. In those same days, after Austria had suffered from pestilence and famine, Duke Leopold fell sick, and soon died in torment. The son who succeeded him, thinking that his father had died in such agony because he had treated Richard unkindly although he had been fighting a holy war, took the earliest opportunity to set the hostages free and arranged for Richard to be forgiven a goodly part of his debt. This things was as pleasing to Richard as it was wholesome, because he began to think about how much he had sinned by offending both God and Man. It is wonderful what a better life he led thereafter.
19. The peace between the kings of which I spoke above failed to eventuate, and so immediately after the French king went to the border of Normandy and besieged Vernon. Richard had a good, large garrison within, which withstood the enemy assault until their king brought help. The French, learning of the king’s approach, broke off the siege a while and armed themselves for a fight, so they would not be caught off guard if the English king should offer battle. Here they say that, thanks to the authority of some bishops and at the request of their nobles (acting by divine inspiration), the kings came to a peace. Its conditions were these: that the King of France should concede to the King of England perpetual ownership of Issoudun with its adjacent territory, and at the same time should yield the right and possession of Auvergne and Gascony. For his part, the King of England should bestow on the King of France the town of Gisors, which he had previously captured and still retained. But since it is a well-known fact that a few days later the kings’ hatred flared up worse than ever and they ran to arms, it is more likely that we should believe that only a few days’ truce had been agreed between them, or that the war continued without any mention of peace, or, if there was any, that it was insincere. After the French king recovered Aumale, Count Baldwin of Flanders (who, when Count Philippe died childless at Ptolemais five years previously, had succeeded to the dukedom, being his nephew by his sister Margaret and Sieur d’ Annonay), defected from Philippe, and was followed by Count Raimond of Chataeau St. Martin, a stout warrior. Richard acquired these men as comrades-in-arms, and, so as to be able to devote himself to this manner of war with all his might, he decided to bind to himself Count Raimond of Toulouse, with whom he had old and great quarrels about the possession of that province, as said before, by ties of kinship and amity. Therefore, since Constance, the aunt of King Philippe, to whom the count had been married, had departed this life a little earlier, he betrothed to Raimond his widowed sister Joan, who had been married to King William of Sicily, and resigned his own right. And so, increased by that kingship and his new alliance with the Count of Flanders, he renewed the war with higher spirits than ever. When he saw his soldiers ready and under arms, he indicated to Count Baldwin that his strategy was for them to launch a simultaneous attack at different places to do their individual damage, and, if that was to his pleasure, he should make his invasions at the extremity of the French territory as soon as possible, and he appointed a day when they should both march against the French. The count liked the plan, and took the lead in attacking the city of the Atrebates, today popularly called Arras, and wasting the surrounding countryside. Likewise Richard attacked Gisors, and wherever he went he wasted towns, fields, and orchards with fire and steel and, pulling down the castle of Corcelle, besieged the city. Philippe, beset by a double war at the same time, sent some troops of foot to serve as a protection to his subjects against the Count of Flanders, and immediately set out against Richard, who was posing the greater threat. When he strove to get through to his men in the town, for a while he was prevented by the English, but in the end, when his sense of shame overcame his fear, he pretended to offer battle to the enemy, and when the English retired a little from the wall to oblige him, he hastened on and got into the town without very great loss to his men. After Philippe’s entry, the English king’s spirits did not flag and he industriously continued the siege. But since his enemy was more powerful, and was equipped to withstand a siege for many days in that excellently protected place, all his effort went for naught. And so, perceiving his difficulties, he quickly departed for Claremont, lest he waste his time in vain, and, making excursions in all directions, he did a lot of plundering. And when a great armed band of men from Beauvais under the leadership of Guilliame de Melle made an earnest effort to recover this, they chanced to fall into an ambush and were captured. While these things were being done by Richard, Philippe inflicted no less damage on the Normans, ravaging his way through every field from Le Neufbourg to Roger’s Belmont. Meanwhile Count Baldwin waged war with happier results, and, in addition to many and various damages inflicted on the French, he captured the populous and very well defended town of Saint-Omer.
20. While the hostile kings struggled against each other in this way and all places were stained with human blood and filled with rapine, banditry, injuries, and all the other evils of civil tumults, Pope Innocent III, who had succeeded to the place of Celestine III a little earlier, and from the beginning of his reign was intent on the Crusade, learned that the Emperor Henry had died at Panormum in Sicily, and that the Germans fighting our common enemy under his banner in Asia, having the Bishop of Mainz and the Duke of Saxony as their generals, were now only thinking, planning, and providing for going home because of the death of their sovereign. The good Father was very distressed by this, grieving over this reversal for Christendom, and decided he must somehow exert himself to assuage the many and grave quarrels between these sovereigns. And so he straightway sent Cardinal Pietro of Capua to Kings Philippe and Richard, to inform them that, because of the Emperor Henry’s recent death, all things in Asia were in a state of confusion. And unless the other Christian princes, of whom they were the leaders, supplied aid quickly, the Christian cause would soon be lost. And so the Cardinal was to exhort them on his behalf that they set aside and remit all their hatreds for the sake of religion, whose cause was at stake. And, with all other things ignored and peace made, they should at length devote themselves to this war, and when their enemies were defeated they should expect the rewards they had earned from Almighty God. And although these words carried much weight for the suppression of their mad fury, they did not move the kings’ unbudging minds to the point that they wanted peace, since by no reward or entreaties could they be brought to the point that they would be willing to help our remaining affairs in Asia, or even to take pity on them as they collapsed. And so a truce was arranged scarce once within five years. Men assigned this stubbornness to Richard more than Philippe, since, as the first party to be injured, he was determined either to conquer or never to yield. These things transpired in the year of salvation 1198, the tenth of Richard’s reign.
21. After this truce granted by both sites, it immediately chanced to come about that the quarrel of these two kings, which was thought to be subsiding, was renewed more vehemently than ever. For in Germany, when one party of Electors, supported the choice of Duke Otto of Saxony, Richard’s nephew by his sister Mathilde, and another party wanted Philip, the brother of Henry the Caesar and Duke of Tuscany, whom on his deathbed Henry had appointed tutor for his son Frederick, in order that the discord might grow more widespread the King of France began to favor Philip, and the King of England Otto, and when Pope Innocent understood that, unless he were to take quick precautions, they could easily resume fighting because of this business, and lest the fire wax hotter because of such fodder and blaze up to the harm of Christianity, he proclaimed Otto Emperor, having previously been made such by those who had the right of election. So Philippe, who had wasted his effort on this business over the English king’s opposition, and Richard, because he had achieved his wish with difficulty despite the French king’s obstruction, began to hate each other with a much deadlier loathing. But nothing was more important to Richard, having achieved peace at home thanks to this truce, than to go back to Asia with an army to bring help to the Christian leaders, as he had promised years ago when he was departing Syria. For he was so gnawed by the memory of the triumph he had failed to gain in the Crusade that, whenever he was inspired by the hope of gaining immortality by his deeds (and he frequently had this inspiration), he was wont to exclaim that he had not always been wise. But he quickly was cheated in this intention by his sudden death. At this same time, by the doing of Hubert Archbishop of Canterbury, the monks were restored to the college at Coventry, whom I shown above to have been wrongly ejected by the Bishop of Ely, a papal legate. Having spent a great deal of money in the French war, the king was compelled to impose a tax on the people, and after he had collected a huge sum from them that year he built a very well-defended castle in Normandy on a high place by the Seine, which he called Petulant. By the local inhabitants it is called Castle Galliard. When Richard beheld it after its completion, he is reported to have jokingly said to his nobles, “Behold, the daughter of a single year.” And the place where the castle was built belongs to the archdiocese of Rouen, and was the source of a protracted suit between the king and the archbishop. In the end the king’s case failed. He abided by the judgment and cheerfully made satisfaction to the Archbishop.
21. Now there was leisure, free from all war, when it occurred to Richard to fine some nobles of Poictou for having given aid to King Philippe as he was coming against him. He therefore mustered his army, and while he was hastening toward Poictou, with his fatal destiny hanging over him, while on the march he was told that a treasure had been discovered by one of his soldiers. So he suddenly stopped and ordered the soldier to be summoned. He, imagining the king was wrongfully going to demand a share of the treasure, hid among the citizens of Limousin, because they, albeit beneficiaries of the English, had nevertheless sided with the French. And, received into the town of Chalus, for the sake of saving his neck he gave a goodly part of his money to the townsmen. Following the runaway soldier, or rather (if I may say so) following his bad demon, Richard hastened to the region of Limousin, and decided to besiege the town by all means. But in annals I find it written that Richard had sought Chalus because rumor had it that a large sum of money was hidden there which he itched to get his hands on, which I think to be far from the truth. Therefore at this first arrival the king fiercely attacked the town, but since it was very strong by nature and those within had already prepared themselves to withstand a siege, after three days both sides began to slacken in their fighting. Then the king decided to tunnel into the town. Therefore, while he was incautiously inspecting the place where the tunnel was to be dug, as it is thought, a poisoned arrow shot from the wall inflicted a fatal wound on his left arm. He immediately bandaged this unconcernedly, then continued his siege with such spirits that on the twelfth day he took the town, but no treasure was found there that any writer mentions. At this time his poorly-tended wound began to trouble him so much that he was not unaware he would soon die. And so, repenting the life he had badly lived until now, he duly confessed his sins and, having taken the Eucharist with great reverence, spared the man who had shot him (although, without his knowledge, the man was subsequently tortured and hanged). To the testament he had made prior to his departure for Asia he made this addition, that his money and private furniture should be divided into three parts, one to be given to the Emperor Otto, his nephew by his sister, a second to his domestics, and a third to the poor. Finally, mindful of his burial, he commanded that his body be buried in the earth at the monastery of St. Ebrulph, at his father’s feet, of whom he frankly confessed he had deserved ill. But his heart was to be preserved at Rouen, since he had always embraced that city with wonderful affection for its faithfulness, and had spent much time there. His other entrails were to be buried in the soil of Pictou, for it had been ungrateful to its lord. When these things had been done, and when the power of his mortal wound’s infection pressed him, he departed this life on the ninth of April, in the forty-third year of his life, which was the tenth year, ninth month, and twentieth day of his reign, and the year of human salvation 1199. His body was divided in three parts, in accordance with his dying instructions, and given to burial. He fathered no children. He was just of stature, possessed of a happy and honest face in which there was much grace and gravity, and he was as superior for his loftiness of mind as he was handsome of body, and so he did not unjustly win the nickname of The Lionhearted. He was indulgent towards his soldiers, generous to his friends and guests, harsh and implacable to his enemies, eager for a fight, averse to peace, ready in dangers, and insensible to fear. These were his his virtues. And, if you fairly weigh his virtues, his age, and what he achieved in war, his vices were either none at all or trifles. Among the common folk he was criticized for his pride, which often attends on greatness of mind, likewise for his lust, to which he yielded in his youth, and lastly for his avarice, which is a disgrace not easily avoided by captains and generals, who exert themselves to extract money from friends and enemies alike, since they have great need of it for the management of their wars. At that time there lived men distinguished for their intellect and piety: Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, who followed Richard to Syria and ended his life there; Hubert, his successor; Hugh Bishop of Lincoln, who was held in highest honor by all men for the splendor of his life ( I shall say more of him in my life of John); William Bishop of Ely, who was possessed of many virtues, even if they were matched by his great vices, and his help was often of great use to Richard. Many men flourished for their martial glory: Earl Robert of Leicester, Ralph Folger, the two Bardolphs, Hugh and Henry, the three Williams, Marshall, Brunell, and Magnaville, and the two Roberts, Ross and Sabeoll.
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