+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

that this collection actually exists, and that I
have described it with strict fidelity, as I
actually saw it. The whole story is truly told.



IF any of the English Barons remembered
the murdered Arthur's sister, Eleanor the fair
maid of Brittany, shut up in her convent at
Bristol, none among them spoke of her now, or
maintained her right to the Crown. The dead
Usurper's eldest boy, HENRY, by name, (and
called of Winchester, because he was born in
that city,) was taken by the Earl of
Pembroke, the Marshal of England, to Gloucester,
and there crowned in great haste when he
was only ten years old. As the Crown itself
had been lost with the King's treasure, in the
raging water, and, as there was no time to
make another, they put a circle of plain gold
upon his head instead. "We have been the
enemies of this child's father," said Lord
Pembroke, a good and true gentleman, to the
few Lords who were present, "and he merited
our ill-will; but the child himself is innocent,
and his youth demands our friendship and
protection." Those Lords felt tenderly
towards the little boy, remembering their own
young children; and they bowed their heads,
and said "Long live King Henry the Third!"

Next, a great council met at Bristol, revised
Magna Charta, and made Lord Pembroke
Regent or Protector of England, as the King
was too young to reign alone. The next
thing to be done, was, to get rid of Prince
Louis of France, and to win over those
English Barons who were still ranged under
his banner. He was strong in many parts of
England, and in London itself; and he held,
among other places, a certain Castle called the
Castle of Mount Sorel, in Leicestershire. To
this fortress, after some skirmishing and
truce-making, Lord Pembroke laid siege.
Louis despatched an army of six hundred
knights and twenty thousand soldiers to
relieve it. Lord Pembroke, who was not
strong enough for such a force, retired with
all his men. The army of the French Prince,
which had inarched there with fire and
plunder, marched away with fire and plunder,
and came, in a boastful swaggering manner,
to Lincoln, The town submitted; but the
Castle in the town, held by a brave widow
lady, named NICHOLA DE CAMVILLE, (whose
property it was), made such a sturdy resistance,
that the French Count in command of the
army of the French Prince, found it necessary
to besiege this Castle. While he was thus
engaged, word was brought to him that Lord
Pembroke, with four hundred knights, two
hundred and fifty men with cross-bows, and a
stout force both of horse and foot, was
marching towards him. "What care I?"
said the French Count. "The Englishman is
not so mad as to attack me and my great
army in a walled town! " But the English-man
did it for all that, and did itnot so
madly, but so wisely, that he decoyed the
great army into the narrow ill-paved lanes
and bye-ways of Lincoln, where its
horse-soldiers could not ride in any strong body;
and there he made such havoc with them,
that the whole force surrendered themselves
prisoners, except the Count: who said that
he would never yield to any English traitor
alive, and accordingly got killed. The end of
this victory, which the English called, for a
joke, the Fair of Lincoln, was the usual one in
those timesthe common men were slain
without any mercy, and the knights and
gentlemen paid ransom and went home.

The wife of Louis, the fair BLANCHE OF
CASTILE, dutifully equipped a fleet of eighty
good ships, and sent it over from France to
her husband's aid. An English fleet of
forty ships, some good and some bad, under
HUBERT DE BURGH (who had before then,
been very brave against the French at Dover
Castle), gallantly met them near the mouth
of the Thames, and took or sunk sixty-five in
one fight. This great loss put an end to the
French Prince's hopes. A treaty was made
at Lambeth, in virtue of which the English
Barons who had remained attached to his
cause returned to their allegiance, and it was
engaged on both sides that the Prince and all
his troops should retire peacefully to France.
It was time to go; for war had made him so
poor that he was obliged to borrow money from
the citizens of London to pay his expenses

Lord Pembroke afterwards applied himself
to governing the country justly, and to
healing the quarrels and disturbances that
had arisen among men in the days of the
bad King John. He caused Magna Charta
to be still more improved, and so amended
the Forest Laws that a Peasant was no longer
put to death for killing a stag in a Royal
Forest, but was only imprisoned. It would
have been well for England if it could have
had so good a Protector many years longer,
but that was not to be. Within three years
after the young King's Coronation, Lord
Pembroke died; and you may see his tomb,
at this day, in the old Temple Church in

The Protectorship was now divided. PETER
DE ROCHES, whom King John had made
Bishop of Winchester, was entrusted with the
care of the person of the young sovereign; and
the exercise of the Royal authority was
confided to EARL HUBERT DE BURGH. These two
personages had from the first no liking for
each other, and soon became enemies. When
the young King was declared of age, Peter
de Roches, finding that Hubert increased in
power and favor, retired discontentedly, and
went abroad. For nearly ten years afterwards,
HUBERT had full sway alone.

But ten years is a long time to hold the
favor of a King. This King, too, as he grew
up, showed a strong resemblance to his