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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 90

grand array, was, on entering the expansive waters of the Mediteranean, after much tossing and tumbling about, dispersed by foul weather and adverse winds : the galtey in which the royal ladies were, outsailed those of the Xing and his attendants, and " The lady Joanna Our Saviour besought, That to haven in Cyprus She soon might be brought; nd the weeping Berengaria, The lovely maid she, Sighed not for her own, But King KIchard'e safety. She kept crying, 1 Oh, look out, For sore is my fright, Whilst the King and his galleys Are all out of sight.' " After safely riding through the fierce storm, the vessels containing the princesses and their attendants ncared the island of Cyprus, when suddenly a terrific squall rushed out, and wrecked several of the ships on the rocks of the coast. In this direful disaster, the vessel containing the High Chancellor of England, Roger Mancel, and the great seal, went down, and every soul on board perished in the boiling billows. Isaac, the tyrannical, self-styled Emperor of Cyprus, though a professor of the Christian religion, plundered the wrecks and treated the shipwrecked voyagers with cruel barbarity, lìeing informed by them of the high station of the occupants of the vessels riding in the offing, he despatched a boat, with a polite invitation to the princesses to land. Eut tho royal ladies, suspecting treachery, returned an evasive answer, and enquired if Xing Richard had passed by. To this question Isaac sent a vague reply, accompanied with an intimation that he would not permit them to enter tho port, unless they consented to land and partake of his hospitality. This message sorely perplexed the royal ladies. To remain where they were, was to incur the risk of being insulted, or perhaps made captives, and, on the other hand, it was certain death to put to sea whilst the storm was raging, especially as the wind blew towards shore. Rut whilst the desponding princesses were anxiously resolving how to act, Sail ho ! was cried out by one of the mariners, and presently afterwards, all Richard's fleet sped swiftly towards them. On hearing from the lips of the royal ladies the tale of their insults, and the misfortunes of those that had been shipwrecked, the lion-hearted king became so enraged, that he instantly landed with a body of troops, and rushing upon the imperial plunderers, drove them into Limoussa, the capital of the island. Dismayed by the strength and valour of the English, Isaac requested an interview, which Richard instantly granted. But when the meeting took place, the Cypriot Emperor made such extravagant demands, that terms of peace could not be arranged, and Richard, astonished at the impudence of his foe, cried out,— " Ila ! de debil ! he do speak like a foule Breton." * Immediately after this fruitless attempt at pacification, Richard took the Cypriot capital by storm. It was in this contest that he first used that farfamed battle-axe, of which an old rhyming Chronicler says, "The valiant King Richard, As 1 understand, Before he departed Freni Old England, Made an axe to slaughter That infidel baud, The Saracen dogs, In the IJoly Land. The head, in sooth, Was wondrously wrought, Of steel, twenty pounds, The best could be bought. And when that he landed In Cyprus land, He first took this terrible Axe in hand, And he hewed and hewed With such direful slaughter, That the blood Mowed around him Like pools of water." Although weakened, Isaac was not beaten, and what his troops wanted in valour, for they were great cowards, he endeavoured to make up by energy and cunning. His efforts, however, were fruitless, and after losing the bravest of his men, and having his imperial banner * This speech, said to be the only English sentence Richard ev«r uttered, was meant as a reproach to the natives of Brittany, in France.

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