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THE WAR WITH LONGCHAMP.
might well be doubted. At the instigation of John, the primate of the north now resolved to violate the royal command, and return. The whole council were opposed to this audacious outrage on all authority, and Longchamp ordered the sheriff of Kent to arrest the offender. The order was clumsily executed by the governor of Dover: Geoffrey was dragged through the streets in his priestly vestments, and kept without food till his captors began to be apprehensive of consequences. Advantage was now taken of the late compact to summon Longchamp before the king's court. Bishops and barons flocked to the council at Loddon-bridge, which John summoned by special writs. Longchamp tried to secure himself against the decision he foresaw by falling back upon London. But he entered it fresh from a defeat by John's forces, and found only enemies among the citizens. At the instigation of Geoffrey, they rose up in arms, and blockaded him in the Tower. The council adjourned to London, and the citizens, or their governing aristocracy, attended the sittings. The archbishop of Rouen produced a document, subscribed with Richard's name, and dated from Messina, which appointed that prelate to replace the chancellor if he governed badly. Fear had hitherto prevented the archbishop from disclosing his instructions. It is doubtful whether they were genuine or forged. By the legal principles of the day, Longchamp's counter-plea of oral credentials from the king ought to have outweighed any document. But the time that elapsed before this mandate was produced, and the readiness which the council displayed to purchase Longchamp's ratification of their proceedings, looks very much as if there were some flaw in their case. To his honour, he refused to retain his bishopric, and the custody of three royal castles, at the price of acquiescing in John's proceedings. "I am ready to answer
1 Matthew of Clare, governor of Dover, was nephew or brother-in-law to Longchamp.-Ang. Sac., vol. ii., p. 391; Newburgh, vol. ii., p. 48.
2 Between Reading and Windsor.
3 To this may be added the testimony of the pope, reported by Walter of Rouen's ambassadors: "Scimus quia dominus rex nulli unquam mortalium tantam dilectionem exhibuit vel honorem impendit, quantum domino Eliensi.”— Hoveden; Savile, p. 409.
DEPOSITION AND EXILE OF LONGCHAMP.
every charge you bring against me: I can account to the last farthing for every sum I have expended. I will resign no trust that has been committed to me by the king. But you are stronger than I am; and, chancellor and justiciary, I yield to force." He gave up the keys of the Tower, where the provisions were failing, and the garrison mutinous, and promised not to leave the kingdom till he had resigned his other fortresses. But in eight days he escaped to Dover, intending to cross the channel. There was some delay in the ship's sailing, and the chancellor, fearing to be recognized and stopped, disguised himself in the green silk dress of a woman, and sat with a basket on the strand. His ignorance of the English language betrayed him. A sailor, angry at getting no answer to his questions, lifted up the lady's veil, and saw a black beard. Longchamp was dragged and hustled till his life was in danger, and finally imprisoned. At the intercession of his brother bishops, who dreaded the scandal to the church, he obtained a passport from John, at the price of fulfilling the treaty. Once in safety on the continent, he obtained permission from the pope to excommunicate all his enemies except the prince. The thunders of the church rolled harmlessly over the heads of the English bishops and barons. Rome itself was powerless against public opinion. Longchamp now set himself to buy back his office of justiciary from the queen-dowager and John. John shamelessly espoused the cause of the man he had exiled, and warned the council that Longchamp had offered him seven hundred pounds. "I am in want of money: a word to the wise is enough.'" The barons took the hint, and lent the earl five hundred pounds out of the treasury. John reduced his claims in favour of principle, and sent Longchamp, who had returned to Dover, out of the realm. The earl had other
1 This dramatic speech is the Tower.-Ric. Div., p. 41. are, I think, "not proven." money, and ready at any
2 Hoveden; Savile, p. 409.
said to have been delivered from a window of The charges of peculation against Longchamp He served a master who was always in want of moment to disavow an unpopular act of his
RICHARD SEIZED IN AUSTRIA.
plans in view. Philip had lately offered him the hand of a French princess, and England and Normandy, if he would surrender the town of Gisors and the counties of Aumale and Eu. But queen Eleanor interfered in behalf of her absent son. The council threatened to confiscate all the earl's goods, and the oath of allegiance to Richard was taken anew through the kingdom. The queen-dowager even assisted the justiciary in the administration of justice.
Nevertheless, there was good reason, in all the news that Richard received from England, why he should return. Unluckily, his journey home was beset with difficulties. France was notoriously hostile, and the emperor was offended at Richard's alliance with Tancred of Sicily. The guilt of Conrad's murder was universally ascribed to him, and he was thus outlawed by the public feeling of Europe. Accident decided his course. A storm drove him on the coast of Istria, between Aquileia and Venice. After some danger of detection on the way, he arrived, with only a knight and a page, at Erperg, near Vienna. The foreign money which the boy tendered in the market excited suspicion, at a time when to be a stranger was dangerous, and when rumours of Richard's presence in the duchy had alarmed curiosity.1 The house in which the king lodged was surrounded, and he found himself a prisoner in the hands of Leopold of Austria, whose banners he had insulted, and whose brother-in-law, Comnenus, he had despoiled. A generous man would not have remembered these injuries against a stranger cast on his shores: Leopold's pride had stooped to serve and receive pay from the king, but it could not omit an opportunity of revenge. As a crusader, Richard was under the protection of the church. But if he was guilty of Conrad's murder, he had forfeited that protection.
When the news of Richard's captivity was known to the emperor Henry VI., he felt no scruple on the question of honour involved, but decided that diplomatic etiquette would
Hoveden says he was betrayed by spending money much more freely than the people of the country were accustomed to do.-Savile, p. 409.
RICHARD'S CAPTIVITY-HOMAGE TO THE EMPEROR.
not allow a duke to keep a king in custody. He accordingly bought Richard for fifty thousand marks from his captor, kept him in honourable but strict custody, and announced the fact of his imprisonment to Philip. The intrigues between Philip and John at once ripened into a league to despoil the injured king. But the barons maintained order in England, and John's garrisons and Welsh mercenaries achieved no higher success than ravaging the country. In Normandy, Philip was foiled before the walls of Rouen by its gallant and loyal people. The very women took arms against the French, and the burghers, throwing open the gates, dared the enemy to enter into the town. In September, 1193 A.D., the German diet assembled at Worms to sit in judgement on the English king. Richard refuted the false charge of assassination by a forged document, professing to come from the sheik of the assassins, who took the murder upon himself. He propitiated German pride and the emperor by doing formal homage for all his possessions. The act is a curious counterpart to John's humiliation before the pope, but no Englishman ever felt himself degraded by Richard's submission; it entailed no practical consequences, and was only a diplomatic stratagem by a man who had fallen among thieves. Richard's speech in his own defence was so manly and eloquent, that the emperor descended from his throne to embrace him. But sentiment did not overpower avarice in the imperial breast. For some time Henry hesitated whether he should not prefer Philip's offers of money and alliance to the claims of honour. At last he agreed to fix Richard's ransom at the monstrous sum of one hundred and fifty thousand marks. The old insult to Austria was to be condoned by a marriage between Leopold's son and Richard's niece Eleanor. The English regency did their best to collect the money demanded. Every laymen was taxed at one-fourth of his income; every priest paid from a tenth to a fourth; the Cistercians were forced to contribute the wool of their sheep, and church plate was seized or held to redemption. Nevertheless, winter passed before even the greater part of the sum was gathered in. Richard complained in a song which he com
RICHARD'S LIBERATION AND RETURN.
posed: "I had no so poor companion, that I would have left him in prison. I do not say it to reproach you, but I am still a prisoner."1 Nor was he comforted by the empty honour of the royalty of the Arlat and Provence, which Henry conferred upon him. Those provinces were nominally imperial fiefs, but had long since shaken off their dependence on the empire; Richard only received a title, and the diplomatic right of enforcing it by war. At last the German princes, scandalized at their country's dishonour, persuaded the emperor to accept hostages for the money still due, and release his captive. Richard travelled rapidly, and left Antwerp in time to escape the imperial messengers on their way to arrest him again. Henry's baseness was the most constant part of his character.3
The king's entry into England was a triumphal procession. The German nobles who had attended him were astonished at the opulence displayed, and regretted that the terms of release had not been higher. But no pageant was more grateful to the people than the return of peace. Of all John's castles, Nottingham alone held out, refusing to believe that the king had returned. Richard instantly marched there, stormed the town, and hanged a number of the prisoners. This was conclusive evidence, and the garrison surrendered. The council then sate in judgement upon John, and declared his honours and estates forfeit. But Richard's thirst for money was not easily quenched. During his captivity, he had issued a writ that no faith should be given to any instrument issued in his name, unless it were to his honour and profit. He now caused a new seal to be made, and declared all grants under the old one null and void. Purchasers who remonstrated, were told that they were only entitled to the difference between their advances and the rents they had enjoyed, as interest was forbidden by the
'Sismondi's Literature of the South, vol. i., chap. 4.
2 It was not very safe to remonstrate with the emperor. He struck one baron, who pleaded Richard's cause, with a knife, and cut off his nose.-Ellis, Metrical Romances, p. 304.
Menzel, of course, says that "the emperor acted well and nobly."Hist. of Germany, cap. 153.