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Unformatted text preview: l earl of Strigul, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, William Briewere, and Hugh Bardolf, counsellors to Longchamp, and commanding him to take no measure of importance without their concurrence and approbation. But such general terror had this man impressed by his violent conduct, that even the archbishop of Roüen and the earl of Strigul durst not produce this mandate of the king’s; and Longchamp still maintained an uncontrouled authority over the nation. But when he proceeded so far as to throw into prison Geoffrey archbishop of York, who had opposed his measures, this breach of ecclesiastical privileges excited such an universal ferment, that prince John, disgusted with the small share he possessed in the government, and personally PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 265 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 disobliged by Longchamp, ventured to summon at Reading a general council of the nobility and prelates, and cite him to appear before them. Longchamp thought it dangerous to entrust his person in their hands, and he shut himself up in the Tower of London; but being soon obliged to surrender that fortress, he fled beyond sea, concealed under a female habit, and was deprived of his offices of chancellor and chief justiciary; the last of which was conferred on the archbishop of Roüen, a prelate of prudence and moderation. The commission of legate, however, which had been renewed to Longchamp by pope Celestine, still gave him, notwithstanding his absence, great authority in the kingdom, enabled him to disturb the government, and forwarded the views of Philip, who watched every opportunity of annoying Richard’s dominions. That monarch first attempted to carry open war into Normandy; 1192. but as the French nobility refused to follow him in an invasion of a state which they had sworn to protect, and as the pope, who was the general guardian of all princes that had taken the cross, threatened him with ecclesiastical censures, he desisted from his enterprize, and employed against England the expedient of secret policy and intrigue. He debauched prince John from his allegiance; promised him his sister Alice in marriage; offered to give him possession of all Richard’s transmarine dominions; and had not the authority of queen Eleanor, and the menaces of the English council, prevailed over the inclinations of that turbulent prince, he was ready to have crossed the seas, and to have put in execution his criminal enterprizes. The jealousy of Philip was every moment excited by the glory, The king’s heroic which the great actions of Richard were gaining him in the east, actions in Palestine. and which, being compared to his own desertion of that popular cause, threw a double lustre on his rival. His envy, therefore, prompted him to obscure that fame, which he had not equalled; and he embraced every pretence of throwing the most violent and most improbable calumnies on the king of England. There was a petty prince in Asia, commonly called The old man of the mountain, who had acquired such an ascendant over his fanatical subjects, that they paid the most implicit deference to his commands; esteemed assassination meritorious, whe...
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