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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 141

raged with such fury, that neither age nor rank were spared ; and Philip, the French King's eldest son, and the remnant of the pestilence-smitten warriorhost, thought only of returning to France —a step which they took with all possible celerity. "Whilst in Sicily, anxiously awaiting the return of spring, Fdward received a message from his father, requesting his presence in England, which the Sicilian monarch strenuously advised him to obey, declaring that, as the French had returned, his army was far too insignificant to afford really serviceable succour to the Christians in the East. But devotion and curiosity overcame duty and interest, and, smiting his breast, Edward vehemently exclaimed : " By the clouds of heaven ! though aU should desert me, I would go to Ptolemais, and fight the infidels, if attended only by Fowen, my groom !" Edward and Eleanora landed at Acre in April, 1271, and although the Prince mustered an army of only about a thousand strong, his arrival elated the Christians, and struck terror into the camp of the infidels, who expected that he would equal the fame of that renowned hero, his great uncle, the " lion-hearted Richard." Bondoca, the Sultan of Egypt, who had already prepared to assault the city, retired with hi3 mulmicks across the desert into his own territory, and Edward, having reinforced his little band with about six thousand Latin chivalry, laid siege to Nazareth, totally defeated the garrison, entered the city, and mercilessly slaughtered every man, woman, and child, that could be found there. The other victories obtained by Edward during his sojourn in the Holy Land were insignificant. The capture of two small castles, and the surprise of a caravan, are alone worthy of notice. Butalthough he failed to win the laurels of a conqueror, the treachery of the Sultan of Egypt invested him with the glory of a martyr. The Emir of Joppa, counselled to the course by Bondoca, and under a pretence of embracing Christianity, sent a messenger with- friendly Utters and costly presents to the English heir. This messenger was one of the secret society known as Assassins, or agents of the Old Man of the Mountains, a body of fanatics, pledged by solemn oath, at all hazards, to murder every person doomed to death by the tribunal of their blood-stained band. Having, by frequent friendly visits, gained the confidence of the English Prince, this crafty envoy arrived on the Friday in Whitsun week with letters and presents from the Emir, when the vigilance of the guard being relaxed, he was incautiously permitted to enter the royal chamber, where Edward, overcome by the heat of the climate, was reposing on his couch, bareheaded, and clad only in a loose mantle. The infidel gave the Prince some kindly-worded letters to read, and as they touched upon the Emir of Joppa's conversion to Christianity, the conference was a private one, secrecy being imperative. Whilst Edward was reading the epistles, the assassin, pretending to search his belt for another letter, watched bis opportunity, suddenly drew forth a poisoned dagger, and aimed a desperate blow at the heart of the Prince, who, perceiving the treachery, received the blow on his arm, sprung to his feet, and grappling with the assassin, threw him on the ground, and despatched him with his own weapon, or, according to some authorities, dashed out his brains with a stool that stood by the couch-side. The Prince then called in his attendants, and ordered them to hang the body, with a live dog tied to it, over the wall of the city. fhe wounds on Edward being several in number, and inflicted with a poisoned dagger, threatened to be mortal. Mortification commenced, a skilful English surgeon was consulted, and he at once pronounced that life could only be saved by immediately paring away the sides of the wounds. Eleanora, who was present, on hearing her husband express his determination to submit himself to the surgeon's knife, lost all self-command, and bewailed his misfortune with a flood of hysterical tears. Edward, however, cut short her anguish by ordering her removal from the room. Whilst Prince Edmund and John de * 2

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