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Unformatted text preview: foundation of animosities, which proved fatal to their enterprize. Richard and Philip were, by the situation and extent of their dominions, rivals in power; by their age and inclinations, competitors for glory; and these causes of emulation, which, had the princes been employed in the field against the common enemy, might have stimulated them to martial enterprizes, soon excited, during the present leisure and repose, quarrels between monarchs of such a fiery character. Equally haughty, ambitious, intrepid, and inflexible; they were irritated with the least appearance of injury, and were incapable, by mutual condescensions, to efface those causes of complaint, which unavoidably arose between them. Richard, candid, sincere, undesigning, impolitic, violent, laid himself open, on every occasion, to the designs of his antagonist; who, provident, interested, intriguing, failed not to take all advantages against him: And thus, both the circumstances of their disposition in which they were similar, and those in which they differed, rendered it impossible for them to persevere in that harmony, which was so necessary to the success of their undertaking. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 261 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 The last king of Sicily and Naples was William II. who had Transactions in Sicily. married Joan, sister to Richard, and who, dying without issue, had bequeathed his dominions to his paternal aunt, Constantia, the only legitimate descendant surviving of Roger, the first sovereign of those states who had been honoured with the royal title. This princess had, in expectation of that rich inheritance, been married to Henry VI. the reigning emperor;y but Tancred, her natural brother, had fixed such an interest among the barons, that, taking advantage of Henry’s absence, he had acquired possession of the throne, and maintained his claim, by force of arms, against all the efforts of the Germans.z The approach of the crusaders naturally gave him apprehensions for his unstable government; and he was uncertain, whether he had most reason to dread the presence of the French or of the English monarch. Philip was engaged in a strict alliance with the emperor his competitor: Richard was disgusted by his rigors towards the queen-dowager, whom the Sicilian prince had confined in Palermo; because she had opposed with all her interest his succession to the crown. Tancred, therefore, sensible of the present necessity, resolved to pay court to both these formidable princes; and he was not unsuccessful in his endeavours. He persuaded Philip that it was highly improper for him to interrupt his enterprize against the infidels, by any attempt against a Christian state: He restored queen Joan to her liberty; and even found means to make an alliance with Richard, who stipulated by treaty to marry his nephew, Arthur, the young duke of Britanny, to one of the daughters of Tancred.a But before these terms of friendship were settled, Richard, jealous both of Tancred and of the inhabitants of Messina, had taken up his quarters in the suburbs, and had possessed himself of a small fort, which commanded the harbour; and he kept himself extremely on his g...
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- Spring '08