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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

John II.

  • [King of France, 1350; defeated by Edward the Black Prince at Poitiers, Sept. 19, 1356; made prisoner and carried to England, where he remained in honorable captivity until 1360, but, finding on his return to France much opposition to the terms of peace he had made with Edward III., he again visited England, where he died, 1364.]
  • If good faith were banished from the rest of the world, it should be found in the mouth of kings (Si la bonne foi était bannie du reste du monde, il fallait qu’on la trouvât dans la bouche des rois).

  • The answer he gave his council, when dissuaded from returning to England after the escape of his son, the Duc d’Anjou, whom Edward III. held as a hostage. Froissart, however, gives an entirely different answer,—that he had found the king of England, the queen, and their children, so courteous and honorable, that he trusted entirely to their loyalty. According to another version, King John returned in order to see again the beautiful Countess of Salisbury; and the last stone is thrown at this discredited mot by attributing it, in nearly similar terms, to another royal captive, Francis I., that “If fidelity were lost, it should be found in the heart of a king.”—L’Esprit dans l’Histoire, 113, note.