Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/38

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she, "Why, I would have waited for him till he was born."

The young husband fell fighting against the Moors in 1343. By his elderly wife he left a son, Gaston Phœbus, of whom more when we come to Orthez.

Gaston Phœbus was succeeded by a cousin, Matthew de Castelbon, who died in 1398, without issue, and he was followed by his sister Isabella, married to Archibald, Captal de Buch, a just and worthy ruler. They had a son, John of Béarn, who succeeded his mother in 1426. He captured the antipope, Benedict XIII, and threw him into a dungeon in one of his castles, where he died of ill-treatment, and then John denied Christian burial to his body. This so delighted Pope Martin, the rival of Benedict, that he conferred on John the title of "Avenger of the Faith." Jean was succeeded by his son Gaston, who placed his sword at the disposal of Charles VI. At Bordeaux with his aid the English underwent a signal defeat. He was married to Eleanor of Navarre, through whom the claim to the title of King of Navarre came to her descendants. How that was, and the crimes that brought it about, must now be told.

Charles the Noble, King of Navarre, died in 1425. Having lost his only son, he bequeathed crown and kingdom to his daughter Blanche, married to Juan of Aragon, brother of Alphonso, King of Aragon and the Two Sicilies, and by reversion after her death to their son Charles, Prince of Viana. Juan of Aragon acted as viceroy to his brother whilst Alphonso was in Italy. On the death of Charles the Noble Juan and Blanche assumed the titles of King and Queen of Navarre. Blanche died in 1441, and by her will bequeathed the kingdom, in accordance with her father's desire, to her son Charles of Viana. But Juan had no thought of surrender-