Joan of Naples eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Joan of Naples.

“Long live Joan!” Robert of Cabane, Louis of Tarentum, and Bertrand of Artois were the first to exclaim, while the prince’s tutor, furiously breaking through the crowd and apostrophising the various members of the council of regency, cried aloud in varying tones of passion, “Gentlemen, you have forgotten the king’s wish already; you must cry, ’Long live Andre!’ too;” then, wedding example to precept, and himself making more noise than all the barons together, he cried in a voice of thunder—­

“Long live the King of Naples!”

But there was no echo to his cry, and Charles of Durazzo, measuring the Dominican with a terrible look, approached the queen, and taking her by the hand, slid back the curtains of the balcony, from which was seen the square and the town of Naples.  So far as the eye could reach there stretched an immense crowd, illuminated by streams of light, and thousands of heads were turned upward towards Castel Nuovo to gather any news that might be announced.  Charles respectfully drawing back and indicating his fair cousin with his hand, cried out—­

“People of Naples, the King is dead:  long live the Queen!”

“Long live Joan, Queen of Naples!” replied the people, with a single mighty cry that resounded through every quarter of the town.

The events that on this night had followed each other with the rapidity of a dream had produced so deep an impression on Joan’s mind, that, agitated by a thousand different feelings, she retired to her own rooms, and shutting herself up in her chamber, gave free vent to her grief.  So long as the conflict of so many ambitions waged about the tomb, the young queen, refusing every consolation that was offered her, wept bitterly for the death of her grandfather, who had loved her to the point of weakness.  The king was buried with all solemnity in the church of Santa Chiara, which he had himself founded and dedicated to the Holy Sacrament, enriching it with magnificent frescoes by Giotto and other precious relics, among which is shown still, behind the tribune of the high altar, two columns of white marble taken from Solomon’s temple.  There still lies Robert, represented on his tomb in the dress of a king and in a monk’s frock, on the right of the monument to his son Charles, the Duke of Calabria.

CHAPTER II

As soon as the obsequies were over, Andre’s tutor hastily assembled the chief Hungarian lords, and it was decided in a council held in the presence of the prince and with his consent, to send letters to his mother, Elizabeth of Poland, and his brother, Louis of Hungary, to make known to them the purport of Robert’s will, and at the same time to lodge a complaint at the court of Avignon against the conduct of the princes and people of Naples in that they had proclaimed Joan alone Queen of Naples, thus overlooking the rights of her husband, and further to demand for him the pope’s order for Andre’s coronation.  Friar Robert, who had not only a profound knowledge of the court intrigues, but also the experience of a philosopher and all a monk’s cunning, told his pupil that he ought to profit by the depression of spirit the king’s death had produced in Joan, and ought not to suffer her favourites to use this time in influencing her by their seductive counsels.

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Joan of Naples from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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