Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

the Princess in particular was greatly affected at this accumulation of her sorrows, and viewed, with redoubled horror, , the approaching diminution of her family; this Joss appeared as a prelude to one of more importance, and she wept at the same time the present and expected evil.

It was judged neceffary, by the Prince of Wales's physicians, that he should try the efficacy of his native air on his decaying conftitution; he therefore prepared to set out" for England. The command of the fleet appointed for his convoy he gave to his Brother the Earl of Cambridge, and left the Duke of Lancaster to succeed him in the government of his principality. Before his departure he summoned all the Barons and Knights of Gascoigné and Poictou that retained their loyalty, and took his leave of them in the most pathetic and friendly manner; he conjured them, by that attention to their interest which he had unceafingly shewn during a residence of ten years,

by

by that courtesy and friendship with which he had always treated them, and by that duty which they owed him as their Lord, to continue stedfast in their fidelity; he defired they would cheerfully transfer the te {pectful homage they had ever paid him to his Brother the Duke of Lancaster, and unite in opposing the common enemy; then in a foftened tone of voice, and with a graceful air, in which dignity and affection were mingled, giving way to the effu-' sions of his humane and princely heart, he concluded with benevolent wishes for their welfare, and affurances of his continued regard. His whole court were moved with this folemn adieu, which the Prince's visible decline gave too fure a prospect of being an eternal one : with one voice the Barons afsured him of their loyalty, and, to confirm their vows, did fealty and homage in his presence to the Duke his representative. This done, his Highness embarked åt Bourdeaux in January, with the

Princess

Princess and their fon Richard, and arrived at Plymouth in a few days.

]

The Prince was conveyed in a litter to Windfor, where King Edward then held his court: he was there received with great affection by his royal parents, whose hearts felt unutterable pangs at the sad reverse they now beheld. Instead of the blooming Son they had parted from a few years before, full of health and crowned with glory, to receive again to their arms only a faint resemblance of him, forced by the fell Destroyer to relinquish those territories, he had bravely won, was one of Fate's feverest strokes, and probably hastened Queen Philippa's death, which happened shortly after. Had he died on the bed of honour, they would not have repined ; but thus to fall by à lingering disease, perhaps by perfidy, excited even murmurs.

He soon after retired to his palace, at Berkhampstead, and from the falubrity of

the

the air recovered a small degree of health ; but the accounts he frequently received from Acquitain of the success of the French, and the increasing spirit of defection among his Gascon Nobles (for since his departure, many who had given him assurances of their loyalty had been either intimidated of seduced" from their allegiance) gave him continuál' vexation, and retarded his recovery.

A great part of thiu.se who remained faithful to him being pent up in Thoüars by Sir Bertrand du Guesclin, and seeing no possibility of withstanding that General, they agreed to surrender themselves prifoners if they were nici succoured by a cer. tain time : à ceffation of arms accordingly took place, when they gave the Prince of Wales intelligence of their capitulation, and desired some assistance. 'King Edward, exasperated at this reverse of fortune, and unwilling to have the laurels he had gathered in his youth blasted on his hoary

brow,

brow, fitted out a formidable fleet and raised a large army, determined not only to reļieve his Gascon subjects, but to carry his arms into the dominions of his enemy. The Prince of Wales, though still weak and emaciated, resolved to accompany his Father ; his great foul would not submit to the infirmities of the body, or suffer him to remain inactive while glorious deeds were to be atchieved.

· It was the latter end of August before the necessary preparations could be made, when this armament failed for Rochelle; but the winds proving contrary, it was kept at sea fix weeks without being able to make that port. The King now found that however flattering Fortune may be for a while, the often proves fickle and inconstant even to her greatest favourites. In all the affairs of life, though the tide for a time flows smoothly, and the gale proves favourable, --yet a reflux may be expected, and adverse storms will surely arise. During the pros

perous

« ZurückWeiter »