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Unformatted text preview: he enterprizes of his sons, were received with open arms, and were continued in those offices which they had honourably discharged to their former master.o This prudent conduct might be the result of reflection; but in a prince, like Richard, so much guided by passion, and so little by policy, it was commonly ascribed to a principle still more virtuous and more honourable. Richard, that he might make atonement to one parent for his breach of duty to the other, immediately sent orders for releasing the queen-dowager from the confinement in which she had long been detained; and he entrusted her with the government of England, till his arrival in that kingdom. His bounty to his brother John was rather profuse and imprudent. Besides bestowing on him the county of Mortaigne in Normandy, granting him a pension of four thousand marks a year, and marrying him to Avisa, the daughter of the earl of Glocester, by whom he inherited all the possessions of that opulent family; he increased this appanage, which the late king had destined him, by other extensive grants and concessions. He conferred on him the whole estate of William Pevereli, which had escheated to the crown: He put him in possession of eight castles, with all the forests and honours annexed to them: He delivered over to him no less than six earldoms, Cornwal, Devon, Somerset, Nottingham, Dorset, Lancaster, and Derby. And endeavouring, by favours, to fix that vicious prince in his duty, he put it too much in his power, whenever he pleased, to depart from it. The king, impelled more by the love of military glory than by The king’s superstition, acted, from the beginning of his reign, as if the sole preparation for the purpose of his government had been the relief of the Holy Land, crusade. and the recovery of Jerusalem from the Saracens. This zeal against infidels, being communicated to his subjects, broke out in London on the day of his coronation, and made them find a crusade less dangerous, and attended with PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 258 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 more immediate profit. The prejudices of the age had made the lending of money on interest pass by the invidious name of usury: Yet the necessity of the practice had still continued it, and the greater part of that kind of dealing fell every where into the hands of the Jews; who, being already infamous on account of their religion, had no honour to lose, and were apt to exercise a profession, odious in itself, by every kind of rigour, and even sometimes by rapine and extortion. The industry and frugality of this people had put them in possession of all the ready money, which the idleness and profusion, common to the English with other European nations, enabled them to lend at exorbitant and unequal interest. The monkish writers represent it as a great stain on the wise and equitable government of Henry, that he had carefully protected this infidel race from all injuries and insults; but the zeal of Richard afforded the populace a pretence for venting their animosity against them. The king had issued an edict, prohibiting their appearance at his c...
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