Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/220

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214 SYNOPSIS OF EVENTS AFTER THE


to search for the body of their benefactor. The Norman soldiery and camp-followers had stripped and gashed the slain, and the two monks vainly strove to recognize from among the mutilated and gory heaps around them the features of their former king. They sent for Harold's mistress, Edith, surnamed "the Fair," and "the swan-necked" to aid them. The eye of love proved keener than the eye of gratitude, and the Saxon lady even in that Aceldama knew her Harold.

The king's mother now sought the victorious Norman, and begged the dead body of her son. But William at first answered in his wrath and the hardness of his heart, that a man who had been false to his word and his religion should have no other sepulchre than the sand of the shore. He added, with a sneer, "Harold mounted guard on the coast while he was alive, he may continue his guard now he is dead." The taunt was an unintentional eulogy; and a grave washed by the spray of the Sussex waves would have been the noblest burial-place for the martyr of Saxon freedom. But Harold's mother was urgent in her lamentations and her prayers; the Conqueror relented: like Achilles, he gave up the dead body of his fallen foe to a parent's supplications, and the remains of King Harold were deposited with regal honors in Waltham Abbey.

On Christmas day in the same year William the Conqueror was crowned at London King of England.

Synopsis of Events between the Battle of Hastings, A.D. 1066, AND Joan of Arc's Victory at Orleans, A.D. 1429.

A.D. 1066-1087. Reign of William the Conqueror. Frequent risings of the English against him, which are quelled with merciless rigor.

1096. The first Crusade.

1112. Commencement of the disputes about investitures between the emperors and the popes.

1140. Foundation of the city of Lubec, whence originated the Hanseatic League. Commencement of the feuds in Italy between the Guelfs and the Ghibellines.

1146. The second Crusade.

1154. Henry II. becomes King of England. Under him Thom-