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cess had taken the vows in a conyent, and had abandoned the world, she left her retreat on so interesting an occasion, and employed all her pious efforts to allay those animosities which had taken place between persons so nearly related to her, and to each other. Her humane endeavours so far succeeded, as to bring the hostile Kings to consent to a truce till the Midsummer following; and each dismissing his forces, retired to their respective dominions.
During this interval of peace, King Edward employed his time in the regulation of the internal police of his kingdom ; till another incident aroused his warlike inclinations, and excited anew that resentment against the King of France which had not been totally eradicated, but only lay slum. bering in his breast.
John, the third Duke of Brittany, finding himself some years before his death gradually sinking under the weight of age and
infirmities, and having no issue, was folicitous to prevent the disorders attendant on a disputed succession. His younger brother the Count de Penthievre had left only one child, which was a daughter, and whom the Duke deemed his heir. As his family had inherited the duchy by a female fuccefsion, he thought her title preferable to that of the Count de Mountfort, who' being his brother only by a second marriage, though the next male heir, was not the presumptive successor to that principality. Proposing therefore to bestow her on some person who might be able to defend her rights, he cast his eyes on Charles de Blois, nephew to the King of France, being the son of Margaret de Valois, fister of that Monarch. “But as he loved his subjects, and was beloved by them, he determined not to take this important step without their approbation : he accordingly assembled the States of Brittany, and representing to them the advantages which would attend this alliance, found that they willingly concurred in his choice. The marriage was soon after concluded, and all his vassals, among whom was the Count de Mountfort himself, swore fealty to Charles and his confort as their future sovereign. Thus every danger of civil commotions seemed to be obviated, as far as human prudence could find a remedy against them.
But on the death of this good Prince, the ambition of the Count de Mountfort broke through all these prudent regulations. Whilst Charles de Blois was soliciting at the court of France the investiture of the duchy, Mountfort was active in gaining possession of it. By force or intrigue he made himself master of several strong fortresses, and engaged many considerable Barons to acknowledge his authority. Sensible that he could expect no favour from the King of France, he made a voyage to England on pretence of soliciting his claim to the Earldom of Richmond, which had devolved to him by his brother's death ; but his real intention was to procure assistance from King Edward. He accordingly proposed an alliance between that Prince and himself; offering at the fame time to do homage to him as King of France for the duchy of Brittany. The English Monarch immediately saw the advantages that would attend this treaty, and accepted the conditions, as they corresponded so well with his favourite wishes. It was however necessary to keep this union as yet a secret ; and Mountfort on his return ventured to appear at Paris to defend his caufe : but observing the French King to be prejudiced against him, he suddenly made his escape, and hostilities immediately commenced between him and Charles de Blois.
: In the course of the war, during which King Edward had privately given him affiftance, the Count de Mountfort being besieged in the city of Nantz and made prifoner, he was shut up in the Tower of the Louvre. After his captivity, Jane of Flanders his Countess, the most extraordinary woman of that age, supported for a while the fading honours of her family : at length finding her heroic efforts ineffectual, she failed to England in hopes of obtaining further succours from King Edward. That Prince listened to her supplications, and granted her a confiderable reinforcement under Robert d'Artois. On their passage they were met by the enemy's fleet, and an engagement ensued, in which the Countess behaved with more than female intrepidity, charging her foes sword in hand, and animating her own forces by her example, Whilst the victory remained doubtful a storm arose, and the fleets being separated, that of the English arrived safe in Brittany.