This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: able to give him inquietude; and this great monarch was obliged to make several expeditions abroad, without being able to prevail over so petty a baron, who had acquired the confidence and affections of the inhabitants of Maine. He was, however, so fortunate, as at last to take him prisoner in a rencounter; but having released him, at the intercession of the French king and the count of Anjou, he found the province of Maine still exposed to his intrigues and incursions. Helie, being introduced by the citizens into the town of Mans, besieged the garrison in the citadel: William, who was hunting in the new forest, when he received 1099. intelligence of this hostile attempt, was so provoked, that he immediately turned his horse, and galloped to the sea-shore at Dartmouth; declaring, that he would not stop a moment till he had taken vengeance for the offence. He found the weather so cloudy and tempestuous, that the mariners thought it dangerous to put to sea: But the king hurried on board, and ordered them to set sail instantly; telling them that they never yet heard of a king that was drowned.w By this vigour and celerity, he delivered the citadel of Mans from its present danger; and pursuing Helie into his own territories, he laid siege to Majol, a small castle in those parts: But a wound, which he received before this place, obliged him to raise the siege; and he returned to England. 1100. The weakness of the greatest monarchs, during this age, in their military expeditions against their nearest neighbours, appears the more surprising, when we consider the prodigious numbers, which even petty princes, seconding the enthusiastic rage of the people, were able to assemble, and to conduct in dangerous enterprizes to the remote provinces of Asia. William, earl of Poitiers and duke of Guienne, enflamed with the glory, and not discouraged by the misfortunes, which had attended the former adventurers in the crusades, had put himself at the head of an immense multitude, computed by some historians to amount to 60,000 horse, and a much greater number of foot,x and he purposed to lead them into the Holy Land against the infidels. He wanted money to forward the preparations requisite for this expedition, and he offered to mortgage all his dominions to William, without entertaining any scruple on account of that rapacious and iniquitous hand, to which he resolved to consign them.y The king accepted the offer; and had prepared a fleet, and an army, in order to escort the money, and take possession of the rich provinces of Guienne and Poictou; when an accident put an end to his life, and to all his ambitious 3d August. projects. He was engaged in hunting, the sole amusement, and indeed the chief occupation of princes in those rude times, when society was little cultivated, and the arts afforded few objects worthy of attention. Walter Tyrrel, a French gentleman, remarkable for his address in archery, attended him in this recreation, of which the new forest was the scene; and as William had dismounted after a chace, Tyrrel, impatient to show his dexterity, let fly an arrow at a stag, which suddenly started before him. The...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08