Изображения страниц


It is now time to return to Philip, whose first care on arriving at Paris, was to summon Edward to do homage for Guienne and his other Gallic possessions. This was what the English Monarchs had always shown themselves extremely unwilling to perform, and what indeed they seldom or ever did perform, except upon compulsion.

Although their ancestral territory of Normandy-I never enter Normandy, or think of Normandy, without sighing-had been long reft from the English crown, they still retained possession of a very considerable tract of land in France. Edward was Duke of Guienne and of Acquitaine, Count of Ponthieu and of Montreuil, and these several dukedoms and counties made up a space of land, which might be of about eight thousand square leagues in extent.

As these were originally granted on condition that homage should be done for them, Edward ought, in all propriety, to have complied with the demand made by his Sovereign. Yet, notwithstanding this, he had constantly, under one pretence or another, avoided doing so.

Philip therefore, being returned from Cassel, despatched another embassy, of which Pierre Roger, Abbot of Fescamp, afterwards better known by the name of Clement the Sixth, was the principal, again to summon him.

Edward being resolved not to comply with this, feigned sickness, as an excuse for not admitting the Ambassadors to his presence, and the utmost they could obtain was, an audience from the Queen Mother, from whom, not being able to get any satisfactory reply, they were compelled to return, as it were empty handed, to their Master.

Enraged at the obstinacy and ill faith of Edward's conduct, as well as at the slight put upon him in the person of his servants, Philip immediately sent some troops into the South, and seized

upon the revenues of Guienne and of the county of Ponthieu.

This being done, he despatched another embassy to Windsor, where Edward then was, again commanding his vassal to appear, and do the homage due from him to his Lord.

Alarmed at the vigor with which the King had acted, and fearing that a longer resistance to his commands might occasion the loss of all his French possessions, Edward, not only received this embassy, but treated its members courteously; promising, that as soon as the state of his affairs would allow him to leave the kingdom, he would go over to France and take the oath required.

A few months afterwards he sailed to Boulogne, whence passing on with a very large suite of attendants, he joined the King of France, who was awaiting his arrival at Amiens.

have possessed in sovereignty all that which he was now only suffered to gaze upon as a vassal of his host.

He was often silent and abstracted during the fêtes,and he mused and cast his eyes around him, and sighed—and said, “Wherefore are these not mine?—Why must I bend the knee in homage, for a few poor measures of this land, when all of the fair territory which clippeth it around, doth rightfully belong to me? - Why shall I swear fealty as a vassal, when I should claim obedience as a Sovereign?

Not only did such feelings arise in Edward's breast, but in those also of almost all who had accompanied him, of whom there were none, not deeming it beneath the dignity of their Monarch, to do homage to a Prince, who ought, they said, to swear fealty to him,and who would not have sacrificed both life and fortune to have enforced the right; and this may be considered as another example of how little we can judge whether the attainment of our wishes will, or will not,

render us more happy.-Had Edward succeeded, he would, most likely, have 'fixed his court in France, for who would live amid the smoke and yellow fogs of London, had he the means of enjoying the pure bright sky of Paris ?-and thus England, instead of being the finest government in the world, would have dwindled down to the mere province of an empire.

But Philip, amid the sumptuousness of the entertainments, and all the courtesies with which he recieved his guest, was not unmindful wherefore he had bidden him to the feast; and at the conclusion of it, took occasion to break the matter to him.

“ Cousin,” he one morning said, "it much contents me to again behold you in this country, and I have endeavoured - though sorrily I fear hath my design been executed -to welcome you with the splendor which is your due, and which may convince you of the pleasure this meeting brings me. If, in this purpose, I have failed, impute the fault not to the host, but to the land

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »