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1386 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

sent word to his ally to take care of himself

as best he could. The confederates next attempted to bribe Henry VI to detain Richard

for another year, and that money making sovereign would have gladly accepted the bait

but for the interference of the Pope, who

threatened him with excommunication should

he dare further to molest the greatest champion of the Cross.

Richard's friends in England were meanwhile exerting themselves to raise the required ransom. In order to secure the amount

a general tax was levied, and, the sum thus

raised being insufficient, the nobles contributed a fourth of their yearly income,

while many of the churches gave up their

silver-service to be coined for the king's redemption. When the sum was secured,

Queen Eleanor herself took the money to

Germany, and her great son was liberated.

In March of 1194 the king arrived in

England. He had been absent from the

kingdom for four years, the last fifteen

months of which he had been held as a prisoner. Great was the joy of the English

people, not only in London, but throughout the realm, on again beholding their sovereign. There was a burst of loyal devotion

on every hand, and the king in the midst

of acclamations might well forget the perils

and hardships to which he had been exposed. As for Prince John, who was as

timid as he was treacherous, he availed himself of the first opportunity to rush into the

apartment of his famous brother, and, flinging himself down at his feet, anxiously pleaded

for forgiveness. It was not in Richard's

nature to withhold a pardon from his abject

brother; but he accompanied the act with

the laconic remark to some of his friends

that he hoped to forget the injuries done to

himself as soon as John would forget his

pardon!

Richard took the precaution to have himself recrowned; for he had been a prisoner.

As soon as the affairs of the kingdom could

be satisfactorily settled, he crossed over

into Normandy to defend that province

against the aggressions of Philip. For the

remaining four years of the king's life he

was almost constantly occupied in preparations for war, or making truces with the

French, who had neither the good faith to

keep a treaty nor the courage to fight. In the year 1199 the report was spread abroad

that a treasure had been discovered on the

estate of the Viscount of Limoges. He being

Richard's vassal, the king claimed the treasure, but the viscount would yield only a

part. Thereupon Plantagenet went with

a band of warriors to take the castle of his

refractory subject. One day, while surveying the defenses preparatory to an attack,

he incautiously walked too near the wall

and was wounded by an arrow. Though

the injury was slight, a gangrene came on,

and the king was brought to his death.

Before that event, however, the castle was

taken and all of its defenders hanged except

Bertrame de Gourdon, who discharged the

fatal arrow. He was taken and brought

into Richard's presence to receive sentence

of his doom. "What harm have I done you,"

said the king, "that you should thus have

attempted my death?" "You killed my

father and brother with your own hands,"

said the prisoner, "and you intended to kill

me. I am ready to suffer with joy any torments you can invent, since I have been so

happy as to destroy one who has brought so

many miseries on mankind." Richard was so

impressed with the boldness and truth of

this answer that he ordered Bertrame to be

set at liberty. His soldiers, however, were less

merciful, and as soon as the king was dead,

his slayer was executed.

Before he expired Richard changed his

will, and being childless, bequeathed his

kingdom to his brother John. Hitherto

he had made a provision that the crown

should descend to his nephew, Prince Arthur of Brittany, son of Geoffrey Plantagenet.

On the 6th of April, 1199, Richard breathed

his last, and in his death was greatly lamented by the English nation, whose name

he had made a terror as far as the corners of

Asia.

At the epoch of the Third Crusade it

was the misfortune of the Christians of

Palestine to be rent by faction. One party

embraced the adherents of Guy of Lusignan, and the other the followers of the valiant Conrad, fcount of Montferrat. When Richard and Philip were at Acre the former

espoused the cause of Guy, and the latter

that of Conrad. After the departure of the

French king, however, Richard, finding the

country on the verge of civil war, and