History Makers Richard I: The Lion Heart by Jacob Abbott

By Jacob Abbott

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His father, Henry the Second, had in various ways acquired a great many estates in different parts of the kingdom, which estates he had added to the royal domains. These Richard at once proceeded to sell to whomsoever would give the most for them. In this manner he disposed of a great number of castles, fortresses, and towns, so as greatly to diminish the value of the crown property. The purchasers of this property, if they had not money enough of their own to pay for what they bought, would borrow of the Jews.

For a rich and powerful king thus to rob a poor, helpless peasant, and on such a pretext too, was as base a deed as we can well conceive a royal personage to perform. Richard at once proceeded to carry his design into execution. He went into the peasant’s house, and having, under some pretext or other, got possession of the falcon, he began to ride away with the bird on his wrist. The peasant called out to him to give him back his bird. Richard paid no attention to him, but rode on. The peasant then called for help, and other villagers joining him, they followed the king, each one having seized in the mean time such weapons as came most readily to hand.

So he concluded that they were not to be trusted. com treason, though he had been blind to it before, and he actually persecuted and punished some of those who had been his confederates in his former crimes. A great many cases analogous to this have occurred in English history. Sons have often made themselves the centre and soul of all the opposition in the realm against their father’s government, and have given their fathers a great deal of trouble by so doing; but then, in all such cases, the moment that the father dies the son immediately places himself at the head of the regularly-constituted authorities of the realm, and abandons all his old companions and friends, treating them sometimes with great severity.

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