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Unformatted text preview: army, which had begun hostilities against the king of England: He was received with great marks of distinction by Philip; was knighted by him; espoused his daughter Mary; and was invested not only in the dutchy of Britanny, but in the counties of Anjou and Maine, which he had formerly resigned to his uncle.p Every attempt succeeded with the allies. Tillieres and Boutavant were taken by Philip, after making a feeble defence: Mortimar and Lyons fell into his hands almost without resistance. That prince next invested Gournai; and opening the sluices of a lake, which lay in the neighbourhood, poured such a torrent of water into the place, that the garrison deserted it, and the French monarch, without striking a blow, made himself master of that important fortress. The progress of the French arms was rapid, and promised more considerable success than usually in that age attended military enterprizes. In answer to every advance which the king made towards peace, Philip still insisted, that he should resign all his transmarine dominions to his nephew, and rest contented with the kingdom of England; when an event happened, which seemed to turn the scales in favour of John, and to give him a decisive superiority over his enemies. Young Arthur, fond of military renown, had broken into Poictou at the head of a small army; and passing near Mirebeau, he heard, that his grandmother, Queen Eleanor, who had always opposed his interests, was lodged in that place, and was protected by a weak garrison, and ruinous fortifications.q He immediately determined to lay siege to the fortress, and make himself master of her person: But John, rouzed from his indolence by so pressing an occasion, collected an army of English and Brabançons, and advanced from Normandy with hasty marches to the relief of the queen-mother. He fell on Arthur’s camp before that prince was aware of the danger; dispersed his army; took him prisoner, together with the count de La Marche, Geoffrey de Lusignan, and the most considerable of the revolted barons; and returned in triumph PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 280 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 to Normandy.r Philip, who was lying before Arques in that dutchy, raised the siege and retired, upon his approach.s The greater part of the prisoners were sent 1st August. over to England; but Arthur was shut up in the castle of Falaise. The king had here a conference with his nephew; represented to him the folly of his pretensions; and required him to renounce the French alliance, which had encouraged him to live in a state of enmity with all his family: But the brave, though imprudent, youth, rendered more haughty from misfortunes, maintained the justice of his cause; asserted his claim, not only to the French provinces, but to the crown of England; and in his turn, required the king to restore the son of his elder brother to the possession of his inheritance.t John, sensible, from these symptoms of spirit, that the young prince, though now a prisoner, might hereafter prove a dangerous enemy, determined to prevent all future peril by dispatching his nephew; and Arthur was never more heard of. The circumstances which attended this deed of darkness, w...
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- Spring '08