Page 1377

1377 THE CRUSADES-FALL OF THE CROSS. 1377

to await the arrival of his fleet from England. The short delay which here occurred

proved intolerable to his impetuous spirit,

and, hiring a few ships, he embarked with

his immediate following, and sailed for Italy.

In the mean time the English squadron made

its way into the Mediterranean, reached Marseilles, took on board the army, and arrived at

Messina ahead of both Philip and Richard.

In Sicily the French and English armies

were maintained during the winter. It was not long until the island was in a ferment

of excitement. Tancred, the reigning king, had

imprisoned Joan, widow of his predecessor and

sister of Richard. The English king not only

enforced her liberation, but seized a castle and

gave it to her as a residence. He permitted

his soldiers to help themselves to the

best which the island afforded. When

hostilities broke out between his forces

and the inhabitants of Messina, and

the latter were defeated, he allowed

the city to be sacked as though it

were a stronghold of the Turks. These

proceedings greatly offended King

Philip, for Tancred was his vassal; but

Richard enforced his will, and then,

in order to placate the French king,

sent him a present of twenty thousand ounces of gold, which he had

extorted from Tancred as the price

of peace. He also gave a splendid

Christmas festival to the knights

and warriors of both armies, thus

greatly increasing his influence and

popularity.

Soon afterwards a more serious difficulty

arose between the friendly kings. For some

time Richard had been under engagement

with Philip to marry his sister, the Princess

Adelia; but for some reason the ardor of the

lover cooled. Forsooth, his former passion

for the princess had been one of the chief

causes of estrangement between himself and

his father Henry. Perhaps the appearance

of another royal maiden on the horizon of

Richard's dreams had something to do with

the change in his affections. For at this

juncture the Princess Berengaria, daughter

of King Sancho of Navarre, arrived in Sicily,

escorted by the queen-mother, Eleanor of

England. With her Plantagenet fell deeply

in love, and Philip was as deeply offended.

Nothing, however, could stay the tide of

Richard's purpose when once it began to

flow. He discarded Adelia. He and the

French king thereupon had a scandalous

quarrel, which was only smoothed over when

the capricious lover agreed to pay the rejected princess ten thousand marks and to

restore to her all the castles which had been

assigned as her dowry.

With the opening of spring, the two kings

made ready to set out for the East. Philip

departed first. After an auspicious voyage,

he arrived in safety in Palestine, and joined

his forces to the army before Acre. Richard,

on the other hand, had ill fortune. Off the