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ber. These men, wholly devoted to their commander, and enflamed with a detestable superstition, undertook to destroy any Christian prince or leader, who became obnoxious to their party. It was vain to threaten them with punishment; they knew the dangers that awaited them, but, resolute to destroy, they rushed upon certain death. Some time before, the capital of this tribe had been taken by the Tartars, and the inhabitants put to the sword ; yet there ftill remained numbers of them, that were educated in that gloomy school of superftition ; and one of those undertook to murder the prince of England. In order to gain admittance to Edward's presence, he pretended to have letters to deliver from the governor of Joppa, proposing a negotiation ; and thus he was permitted to see the prince, who conversed with him freely in the French language, which the assassin understood. "In this manner he continued to amuse him for some time, being permitted to have free egress and regress from the royal apartments. It was on the Friday in White fon-week, that he found Edward sitting in his apartment alone, in a loose garment, the weather being extremely hot. This was the opportunity the infidel had so lòng earnestly desired ; and looking round to see if there were any present to prevent him, and finding him alone, he drew a dagger from his breast and attempted to plunge it into the prince's bosom. Edward had just time to perceive the murderer's intention, and, with great presence of mind, received the blow upon his arm. Perceiving the aflaffin about to repeat his blow, he struck him at once to the ground with his foot; and wresting the weapon from his hand, buried it instantly in his bosom. The domeftics hearing a noise, quickly came into the room, and soon wreaked their resentment on the
perfidious wretch's body, who had thus abused the laws of hospitality. The wound the prince had received was the more dangerous, as having been inflicted, with a poisoned dagger ; and it foon be- • gan to exhibit some symptoms that appeared fatal. He therefore expected his fate with great intrepidity, and made his will, contented to die in a cause which he was assured would procure him endiefs felicity. But his usual good fortune prevailed ; an English surgeon of extraordinary skill, by making deep incisions, and cutting away the mortified parts, completed the cure and re. stored him to health in little more than a fortnight. A recovery, so unexpected, was considered by the superstitious army as miraculous ; nor were there wanting fome, who alleged that he owed his fafety to the piety of Eleonora his wife, who fucked the poifon from the wound to save his life, at the hazard of her own. However this be, it is probable that the personal danger he incurred by continuing the war in Palestine, might induce. him more readily to listen to terms of accommc. dation, which were proposed soon after by the fo'-. dan of Babylon. He received that monarch's am.. bassadors in a very honourable manner, and concluded a truce with him for ten years, ten weeks, and ten days. Having thus settled the affairs of Palestine, in the best manner they would admit of, he set sail for Sicily, where he arrived in safety, and there first heard the news of the king his far ther's death, as well as that of his own son John, a boy of six years of age. He bore the last with resignation, but appeared extremely afflicted at the death of his father ; at which, when the king , of Sicily expresfed his surprize, he observed that the death of a son was a loss which he might hope to repair, but that of a father was a loss irreparable.
Though the death of the king happened white the fucceflor was fo far from home, yet measures had been so well taken, that the crown was transferred with the greatest tranquillity. The high character acquired by the prince, during the late commotions, bad procured him the esteem and affection of all ranks of men; and instead of attempting to oppose, their whole with was to see him once more returning in triuinph. But the prince, sensible of the quiet ftate of the kingdom did not seem in much hafte to take poffefiion of the throne ; and he spent near a year in France before he made his appearance in England. The honours he received from the great upon the continent; and the acclamations, with which he was every where attended by the people, were too alJuring to a young mind to be suddenly relinquish ed; he was even tempted to exhibit proofs of his bravery, in a tournament, to which he was invited by the count de Chalons, who defied him to a trial of his skill. Impresled with high ideas of the chivalry of the tiines, he accepted ine challerige ; and propoled, with his knighes, to hold the field against all that would enter the lifts. His usual good fortune attended him ; and his fuc. cess had like to have converted a trial of skill in:o a matter of bloody contention. The count de Chalons, being enraged at being foiled, made a serious attack upon the English, in which some blood was idly fpilt ; but Edward and his knights ftill maintained the superiority. From Chalons, Edward proceeded to Paris, where he was magnificently entertained by Philip, king of France, to whom he did homage for the territories the kings of England had poffefsed in that kingdom. From Paris he fet out for Gascony, to curb the infolence of Gaston, count Bearne, who had rebelled in his absence. From thence he passed through Mon
treuil, treuil, where he accommodated some differences between the Englifh and Flemings. At length, after various battles, dangers, and fatigues, he arrived in his native dominions, amidst the loud acclamations of his people, and was solemnly crowned at Westminster, by the archbishop of Canterbury. The joy of all ranks upon this occafion was inexpreßible; the feasting continued a whole fortnight, at the king's expence; five hundred horses were turned loose, as the property of those who could catch them. The king of Scotland, with several other princes, graced the solemnity; and did homage for thofe territories they beld under the Englilh crown. Nothing, therefore, remained to complete the felicity of the people but the continuance of such prosperity, and this they had every reason to expect from the king's justice, his æconomy, and his prudence.
As Edward was now come to an undisputedtbrone, the oppofite interests were proportionably feeble. The barons were exhaused by long inutual dissensions : the clergy were divided in their interests, and agreed only in one point, to hate the pope, who had for lome time drained them, with impunity : the people, by fome insurrections. againft the convents, appear to have hated the clergy with equal animofity. These disagreeing orders only concurred in one point, that of esteem ing and reverencing the king.. In such a conjunc. ture, therefore, few measures could be taken by: the crown that would be deemed oppressive; and we accordingly find the prefent monarch often, from his own authority alone, raising those taxes that would have been peremptorily refused to his predeceffor. However, Edward was naturally, prudent ; and, though capable of becoming abfolute, he satisfied himself with moderate power, and laboured only to be terrible to his enemies.
1274. prope equal pole took every magiftratene, or
His first care was to correct those disorders AD which had crept in, under the last part of
his father's feeble administration. He *474. proposed, by an exact distribution of jultice, to give equal protection and redress to all the orders of the state. He took every opportunity to inspect the conduct of all his magistrates and judges, and to displace such as were negligent, or corrupt. In short, a system of strict justice, marked with an air of severity, was pursued throughout his reign ; formidable to the people indeed, but yet adapted to the ungovernable licentiousness of the times. The Jews were the only part of his subjects who were refused that equal justice which the king made boast of diftributing: As Edward had been bred up in prejudices against them, and as these were still more confirmed by his expedition to the Holy Land, he seemed to have no compassion upon their sufferings. Many were the arbitrary taxes levied upon thein , two hundred and eighty of them were hanged at once, upon á charge of adulterating the coin of the kingdom ; the goods of the rest were confiscated, and all of that religion utterly banished the kingdom. This severity was very grateful to the people, who hated the Jews, not only for their tenets, but for their method of living, which was by, usury and extortion.
But Edward had too noble a spirit to be content with the applause this petty oppression acquired ; he resolved to march against Lewellyn, prince of North Wales, who had refused to do homage for his dominions, and seemed bent upon renouncing all dependence upon the crown of England. The Welth had for many ages enjoyed their own laws, language, customs, and opinions. They were the remains of the ancient Britons, who had elcaped the Roman and Saxon invasions, and still