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Quotes / Richard the Lionheart

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Of this king I hear that if two people mourn him, the third undoes their work.
Giraut de Bornelh, "If it were not for Sobre-Totz" note  (1199)

This our lion — and more than lion...
Giraldus Cambrensis, Topographia Hibernica note  (1187)

In the morning the noble king, the Lion-Heart, saw Scandelion and passed Castel Imbert.
Ambroise the Minstrel, L’Estoire de la Guerre Sainte note  (c. 1195) — The first recorded use of the epithet.

He was the lord of warriors, the glory of kings, the delight of the world. Nature knew not how to add any further perfection: he was the utmost she could achieve.
Geoffrey de Vinsauf, Poetria Nova (1199)

See the cunning of this accursed man! To obtain his ends he would first employ force and then smooth words; and even now, although he knew he was obliged to depart, he maintained the same line of argument. God alone could protect the Muslims against his wiles. We never had to face a craftier or a bolder enemy.
Bahā' ad-Dīn Yusuf ibn Rafi ibn Shaddād, al-Nawādir al-Sultaniyya wa'l-Maḥāsin al-Yūsufiyya note  (c. 1220(?))

His courage, cunning, energy, and patience made him the most remarkable man of his time.
Ali Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh note  (1231)

Now by this light were I to get againe,
Madam I would not wiſh a better father:
Some ſinnes doe beare their priuiledge on earth,
And ſo doth yours: your fault, was not your follie,
Needs muſt you lay your heart at his diſpoſe,
Subiected tribute to commanding loue,
Againſt whoſe furie and vnmatched force,
The awleſſe Lion could not wage the fight,
Nor keepe his Princely heart from Richards hand:
He that perforce robs Lions of their hearts,
May eaſily winne a womans: aye my mother,
With all my heart I thanke thee for my father.
William Shakespeare, The Life and Death of King John (written c. 1595, published 1623) — Spoken by "The Bastard," Philip Faulconbridge, Richard's illegitimate son

…a noble prince, of judgement, of a sharp and searching wit… [He] showed his love and care of the English nation as also of Justice itself.
John Speed, The Historie of Great Britain (1611)

…valiant, wise, liberal, merciful, just, and which is most of all, religious. A prince born for the good of Christendom.
Sir Richard Baker, A Chronicle of the Kings of England (1641)

…the worst of all the Richards we had… an ill son, an ill father, an ill brother, and a worse king.
Sir Winston Churchill (no, not that one), Divi Britannicinote  (1675)

If heroism be confined to brutal and ferocious valour, Richard will stand high among the heroes of the age.
Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776)

All allowances being made for him, he was a bad ruler: his energy, or rather his restlessness, his love of war and his genius for it, effectually disqualified him from being a peaceful one; his utter want of political common sense from being a prudent one.
William Stubbs, Historical Introductions to the Rolls Series (1906)

Whenever he returned to England he always set out again immediately for the Mediterranean and was therefore known as Richard Gare de Lyon. note 
W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, 1066 and All That (1930)

But our king did well at Acre.note 
T.S. Eliot, The Rock (1934)

…that brutal and impolitic paladin…
R. Grossuet', Histoire des croisades (1936)

…a bad son, a bad husband, and a bad king, but a gallant and splendid soldier.
Sir Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades (1954)

His life was one magnificent parade, which, when ended, left only an empty plain.
Winston Churchill (yes, that one), History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1958)

Have you ever heard of the King of Beasts called "Lion the Richard-Hearted"?
Richard Armour, The Classics Reclassified (1963)

...he was a highly competent ruler, unusually effective across the whole range of a king’s business, administrative, diplomatic, and political as well as military … The qualities he displayed on these occasions — prowess, valour, and the sense of honour… were the qualities that made him a legend.
John Gillingham, Richard I (1999)

Prince of lions
The second son
Through the darkness
The king will come
Saxon, "Lionheart"


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