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powered to pronounce. The only object of the King in this proceeding must have been to gain time for negociation with Louis; for there can be no doubt whatsoever that the legate had acted by the supreme Pontiff's authority, and that Alexander, freed from the apprehensions under which he had laboured while the schism continued, was now prepared to make the power of the church felt against all opposition.
The English monarch's expedition to France, however, was delayed for a considerable period, by the breaking out anew of an old wound in the thigh, which he had received some years before in his expedition against the rebels of Huntingdon and Norfolk. The injury indeed had not been inflicted by an enemy, but had been produced by a kick from the heels of a vicious horse belonging to one of his friends the knights Templars, who had accompanied him on the march. The King, with his usual hardy carelessness, had paid little attention to the matter at the time, but the wound now opened afresh, as I have said, while he was staying at Stanstead, and proved so severe as to force him to remove to Winchester before it could be healed.
At length, Henry departed from the British shore, and arrived in Normandy on the 19th of August 1177. In all probability, long ere that step was taken, various messages had passed between the kings of England and France, concern
ing the matters in dispute between them; and immediately on Henry's arrival in his continental dominions, a place of conference between him and the French monarch, was appointed. The English sovereign, however, was apparently by this time reconciled to his eldest son, and they proceeded together to visit the Legate at Rouen, where, it would seem, Henry endeavoured to treat with Rome apart from France.
In that attempt he was unsuccessful; and finding that the interdict would certainly be enforced if he did not make some satisfactory arrangement with Louis, he hastened to meet that monarch, at Ivry, where a conference took place between the two courts of France and England, on the twenty-first of September. Here Louis again demanded, that the marriage of Richard with his daughter Alice should immediately take place, and Henry now replied that such should be the case, provided Louis would fulfil his own engagements, by making over the whole of the French Vexin to the younger Henry, and giving up the town of Bourges en Berri, with all its appurtenances, to Richard, on his union with Alice. The demand of Bourges and its appurtenances, as the dowry of the princess, could be considered by no means excessive, even had Louis not actually promised them to his daughter on her marriage. That territory certainly was a desirable object to Henry, lying in the neighbourhood both of Touraine and Poitou; but still it was not very extensive, and the situation of the place was not such as to afford any great facility of injuring or annoying the French monarch.
Such however was not the case with the French Vexin. Had the English monarch obtained that province, the advanced posts of a dangerous neighbour and a vassal already too powerful, would have been within twenty miles of the French capi. tal; and if Louis ever really was weak enough to promise the cession of that district, he was now counselled with too much sagacity to be willing to keep his word. He refused therefore either to surrender the Vexin to the younger Henry, or to give Bourges and its appendages to Richard, and we do not find that he offered to make any compensation, or to substitute another territory as an equivalent for that which he withheld.
How long the Princess Alice had been absolutely under the tutelage of Henry, I cannot tell; but Hoveden the chaplain of the King himself acknowledges that the English monarch had detained her in his custody as long, and longer, than had been agreed upon between himself and the King of France, so that there could not be the slightest pretext for not affiancing her to Richard, except the refusal of Bourges and the French Vexin. Had Louis, therefore, been really anxious to see his daughter espoused without farther delay, by the son of the English king, he would certainly not have resisted the demand of the former place, though he might have reserved the question of the Vexin for after consideration; and had Alexander and the legate suspected that Henry was actuated in seeking delay, by a criminal passion for the French king's daughter, they would certainly have supported the demands of the King of France, by all the thunders of the Roman church. Louis, however, did not choose to cede Bourges; and rather than do so left his daughter in the hands of Henry; and the Pope and the legate consented to the marriage being delayed, or at least connived at its postponement, upon the sole condition that Henry should engage at some future period to accompany the King of France in an expedition to the Holy Land.
To this act it must be remembered that Henry had already bound himself, though he had always hitherto hesitated to fulfil his engagement. Additional motives, however, had lately arisen to induce Alexander to urge upon Christian kings the defence of Palestine against the infidels. These motives I shall mention, after having stated the conditions of the treaty which was now concluded between Louis and Henry by the advice of the legate, in which the question of the marriage of Alice and Richard is totally overlooked, as a matter of no importance whatsoever, so that any one who examines the document as it is given in Hoveden or in Rymer, must be satisfied that not the slightest suspicion of a passion on the part of Henry towards
the princess, existed in the mind either of the prelate or the King of France.*
The terms of the treaty are to the following effect.
First, it is agreed that the kings of France and England will take the cross, and go together to Jerusalem, for the service of Christendom. Secondly, that they will be friendly together, and defend each other against all other men, with their whole power, in life, limbs, and earthly honour. Thirdly, that neither will protect the enemies of the other. Fourthly, that to remove all cause of discord thenceforward, neither shall seek anything of the other in respect to the matters in dispute between them, except certain territories therein specified. Fifth, that if besides those territories specified, any others be called in question, the two kings being unable
* It is very extraordinary that Lord Lyttleton has not noticed this important fact. All that he says on the subject, is, “However this may have been, when the monarch discovered by his conference with the legate, that the sentence of the interdict would undoubtedly be pronounced against all his dominions, if he did not obey the Pope's mandate, he promised to do so, only begging for a respite till he had conferred with Louis. They accordingly met on the twenty-first of September, attended by the principal nobles of both realms. It seems the main obstacle to concord between them had been Henry's refusing to fulfil his engagement with regard to Richard's marriage: for, this point being yielded, all the others in dispute were either given up, or referred to arbitrators.” The fact however is, that this point was not yielded; for Henry in express terms refused to permit the marriage without the cession of Bourges.