1426 UNIVERSAL HISTORYTHE MODERN WORLD.
disaster, that the land forces of the French
broke up in disorder, and returned in haste to
their own provinces.
It appears that John was crazed by his
victory. Eager to follow up his advantage,
he purposed an invasion of France; but his
barons, though having no affection for the
French, and very willing to go to war to maintain the honor of England, were in no wise
disposed to follow the banner of an unpopular king on a foreign expedition. John
was therefore obliged to forego his project.
But though unsupported by his nobles and
by the temper of his kingdom, he still sought
to carry out his retaliatory purpose against
the French king. He accordingly sought
an alliance with Frederick II., Emperor of
Germany, with whom it was arranged to
make an invasion of France on the east,
while John would do the same in the provinces adjacent to the Channel. An English army, made up in large measure of the
refuse of the kingdom, was accordingly
landed at Poitou, and an expedition was
begun into Anjou and Brittany.
In a short time, however, the English
king received intelligence that his ally, the
German Emperor, had, in 1214, been decisively defeated by the French in the great
battle of Bouvines. Seeing that Philip
would now be able to concentrate all his
forces against the English, John made haste
to conclude with that monarch a five years'
truce, and quickly made his way back to
The Island during the king's absence had
become the scene of a great commotion.
The barons, thoroughly disgusted with John's
vacillating conduct and unkingly bearing,
had made a conspiracy against him, and the
movement had gained such headway that
he quailed before his powerful but disloyal
subjects. Archbishop Langton lent the sanction of the Church to the insurrection and
proved himself to be an able and far-seeing leader. Having discovered a long-concealed copy of an old charter signed by
Henry I., wherein were set forth and guaranteed by the royal seal the rights and privileges of Englishmen, be made it the