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II


Henry's eldest surviving son, Richard, was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1190. He took the title of Richard I but is better known as "Ceur de Lion" ("the lion-hearted"), a name which was given him on account of his bravery. He had wonderful strength and his brave deeds were talked about all over the land.


With such a man for their king, the English people became devoted to chivalry, and on every field of battle brave men vied with another in brave deeds. Knighthood was often the reward of valor. Then, as now, knighthood was usually conferred upon a man by his king or queen. A part of the ceremony consisted in the sovereign's touching the kneeling subject's soldier with the flat of a sword and saying, "Arise, Sir Knight." This was called "the accolade."


Richard did not stay long in England after his coronation. In 1191 he went with Philip of France on a Crusade.


The French and English Crusaders together numbered more than one hundred thousand men. They sailed to the Holy Land and joined an army of Christian soldiers encamped before the city of Acre . The besiegers had despaired of taking the city but when reinforced they gained fresh courage.


Ceur de Lion now performed deeds of valor which gave him fame throughout Europe . He was the terror of the Saracens. In every attack on Acre he led the Christians and when the city was captured he planted his banner in triumph on its walls.


So great was the terror inspired everywhere in the Holy Land by the name of Richard that Moslem mothers are said to have made their children quiet by threatening to send for the English king.


Every night when the Crusaders encamped, the heralds blew their trumpets, and cried three times, "Save the Holy Sepulchre!" And the Crusaders knelt and said, "Amen!"


The great leader of the Saracens was Saladin. He was a model of heroism and the two leaders, one the champion of the Christians and the other the champion of the Mohammedans, vied with each other in knightly deeds.


Just before one battle Richard rode down the Saracen line and boldly called for any one to step forth and fight him alone. No one responded to the challenge, for the most valiant of the Saracens did not dare to meet the lion-hearted king.


After the capture of Acre Richard took Ascalon (As'-ca-lon). Then he made a truce with Saladin, by which the Christians acquired the right for three years to visit the Holy City without paying for the privilege.



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