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sale. He sold the demesne lands, he sold honours and offices, he sold bishoprics and abbacies. He compromised a quarrel with his natural brother Geoffrey, lately elected Archbishop of York, for a bribe of three thousand pounds; for one thousand he sold the earldom of Northumberland and lordship of Sadburgh to Hugh Pudsey the Bishop of Durham, who also purchased of him the office of Justiciary; for ten thousand he restored to the King of Scots what his father had wrested from him ; and when a remonstrance was addressed to him on the impolicy of all this, with appeal to the example of Stephen, he swore that he would sell London itself if he could but find a purchaser. His arrangements completed by expedients of this kind, which cost him four months' incessant labour, he held a great council in Pipwell monastery, and provided for the regency of the kingdom. He divided its powers between his chancellor, William Longchamp Bishop of Ely, and his justiciary, Hugh Pudsey Bishop of Durham. Neither to Eleanor nor to John was any share of authority committed ; but he increased his mother's dower ; and, with the vain hope of engaging that mean and jealous nature to his interests, endowed his brother with the earldoms of near one third of the kingdom. He left England on the 11th of December, 1189, never to return to it, or to take further share in its administration, until the 13th of March, 1194.
His departure was the signal for attack on the Bishop of Durham by his brother regent the Bishop of Ely. The weaker vessel broke; and in a few months Longchamp was not only sole regent, but had received from abroad, on his royal master's intercession with the Vatican, the office of papal legate, and reigned supreme in church as well as in state. He was in some respects a remarkable man, and undoubtedly very able. He was of the lowest birth (his grandfather had been a serf in the diocese of Beauvais), and had passed to the service of Richard from that of his natural brother Geoffrey. A proficient in the dexterous arts which win their way to power, his ambition had grown with every new success till it overtopped all means of restraint and of repression. The descendant of the serf of Beauvais was the only man whom Richard did not dismiss, when, on his father's death, either with sincere remorse or to invite popularity by the show of it, he sent his own old counsellors from his service, and called to his side those who had remained faithful to his father. When tidings of Longchamp's conduct to his fellow regent were borne to Richard on the Continent, he did indeed send formal instructions for the
reinstatement of the Bishop of Durham : but they were unaccompanied by any limitation of the power already turned to sueh bold uses by Longchamp, and the latter, declaring himself acquainted better with the king's secret intentions, openly refused to comply. The trust he had received at the king's departure, he added, was meant to comprise whatsoever powers he deemed needful to its diseharge. And he should govern the kingdom alone.
In what way he governed it, is unhappily to be read only in the statements of men manifestly his foes. · They say that he was not only haughty and insolent, but grasping and prodigal; that to the laity he was more than a king, oppressing them with fines; that to the clergy he was more than a pope, ruining them with exactions; that he never enforced submission by his justice, but by the promptitude and severity of his vengeance ; that had he remained in power not a knight could have kept his silver belt,
nor a noble his gold ring, nor a woman her bracelet or necklace, 'nor a Jew his merchandise or gem ;' and that, in the line of Norman kings, no such pomp or parade had ever been exhibited, as was indulged by this son of the serfs of Beauvais. Wherever he rested, a formidable guard was in waiting ; when he rode forth, a body of fifteen hundred horsemen attended him ; he sealed public acts with his own seal, not with the great seal of England; he imported from France large bands of minstrels, troubadours, jongleurs, and jesters, who did nothing but wander about the public streets, singing of the chancellor and regent, and declaring that the world had yet produced no equal to William de Longchamp; and these songs and shoutings quite drowned the curses of the native population.
It is doubtful if these curses wre heard, certainly. On the contrary, there is a suspicion that Longchamp was popular with every class beneath that of the haughtier barons and the immediate adherents of John. Worthy Peter of Blois praises him for his wisdom and unbounded generosity, and talks even of his amiable, benevolent, and gentle temper; and, making all allowance for the quarrels his mere superiority must have created, and for the many persons in every class likely to be most mortified by what was most praiseworthy in him, it will be safe to conclude that good predominated over evil in his character, as it rarely fails to do with men of real ability and genius. I take the secret of his position to have been that, very shortly after Richard's departure, he discovered John's designs on the succession ; and felt that they could only be effectively resisted by the seizure of extraordinary powers. This seems to derive confirination from the fact that, while yet in Sicily on his way to Holy Land, Richard not only took occasion in a treaty with King Tancred, and in letters to the pope, formally to declare the succession in Arthur, son of his dead brother Geoffrey, but secretly commissioned his chancellor to engage the help of the Scottish king should it become necessary, in support of Arthur's pretensions. John had at the same time spies in Messina ; and, on this being conveyed to him, redoubled his exertions against Longchamp. As for the possibility of a safe return to his adventurous brother, it never seems to have entered into the dream of his mean ambition. He had but to triumph over Longchamp and seize the throne. A crusade was hitherto but another word for the grave of whomsoever joined it. Prince or plebeian, the chances were against bis safe return.
While Richard yet lingered in Europe, little can be said to have passed beyond an active preparation for the struggle between Longchamp and John. When he set sail for Asia, the struggle desperately began. Through a space of more than two years, it continued with very various fortune ; but the combination of interests attracted to the side of the usurper, proved at last too strong for Longchamp. Geoffrey, the previous chancellor, now Archbishop of York, left France in defiance of a royal interdict, and joined the confederacy against him ; it best served the independent designs of many of the Norman barons to take similar part in the contest ; and it ended in the precipitate flight of the so powerful chancellor and regent. This last incident is the only one deserving of special note in this somewhat tedious and vulgar strife. The tall figure of what seemed to be a female pedlar, with a pack of cloth under the arm and an ell measure in hand, was observed by some fishermen's wives on the sea-shore near Dover ; and on nearer inspection revealed, from under &
green hood,' the black face and new-shorn beard of a man. It was the chancellor waiting to embark for France. He would have escaped, it is added, but for his ignorance of English. The fishermen's wives could get no answer to their inquiries for her wares, but a loud laugh ; which raised suspicion of his sanity, and induced the inspection that discovered him.
This incident may remind me that it will not be unimportant or uninteresting to make mention of the state of the language at this time. The Saxon was now assuming that form in which its rela
tion to our present speech becomes distinctly apparent. That there had ever been any deliberate design in the Normans to abolish the native language, I have before characterised as an assertion wholly without warrant; but the same causes which induced a gradual amalgamation of the races, brought about also important modifications of the language ; and a general and free communication of foreign clergy with every grade of the Saxon people, had of course an important influence in these changes. Such instances as that of Longchamp were now becoming exceptions, in the higher places of government; and even of him it is said that in his last chancellorship he knew more of Saxon than in his first. But one of the striking homilies preserved and translated by the learned and ingenious Mr. Conybeare, is in itself the most vivid illustration I could offer of this transitory state of the language of our forefathers. Its date is of the age I am now treating ; and probably there is no better specimen on record of what may be called the latest period of Saxon. Few grander things, it may be added, have been written in any speech, in any time of the world ; and it would be noble employment for the noblest writer, to give back an answer to its gloomy and dark sublimity which should become the brighter prospects and the sincerer faith of a more hopeful and happy world. The wes bold gebyld
For thee is a house built
Ere thou wert born,
For thee mould was ashapen
Ere thou of mother camest.
Its height is not determined,
Nor its depth measured, Nes til iloced,
Nor is it closed up Hu long hit the were,
(However long it may be) Nu me the bringth
Until I thee bring
Where thou shalt remain
Until I shall measure thee
And the sod of earth.
Thy house is not
It is unbigh and low;
When thou art in it
The heelways are low,
The side-ways unhigh.
The roof is built
Thy breast full nigh;
So thou shalt in earth
Dwell full cold,
Dim, and dark.
That clean putrefies.
Doorless is that house
And dark it is within:
At the time when John seemed: most secure in his triumphant usurpation of the regency, intelligence reached Europe of Richard's departure from Palestine. The eager anticipations of the people then became evidence of the detestation in which John was held, and of the fresh popularity Richard had acquired by the reported prodigies of his valour. I have not dwelt upon his career in the East, since it did not come within the province of my History, and, for the present, the origin and practical influence of the Crusades have been en ugh adverted to. But, apart even from the poetical exaggerations which pervade every available record of Richard's life, and which have made him the theme of romance in every age, there can be as little question of the extraordinary character of his martial exploits, as of their ludierous inutility. His greatness as a soldier contrasts throughout with his incapacity as a leader. He was too fickle and passionate to pursue steadily or rightly any victory he had gained ;, he was too headstrong and obstinate to keep together the jarring forces with which he had to deal ; he was pre-eminent in personal strength and bravery, and in these alone. The name of CEUR DE Lion, which had preceded him, he well maintained; but the repute of his father's wisdom, which had also travelled to Iloly Land, he did not support so well. Every champion that dared to oppose him, he vanquished ; wherever he charged, though into a host of Saracens, the enemy retired from before him; he worked like a common soldier at the heavy battering engines under the walls of Acre, and even in sickness was borne on a mattress to the trenches ; his cry of St. George! St.