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Unformatted text preview: . William, who was become corpulent, had been detained in bed some time by sickness; upon which Philip expressed his surprise that his brother of England should be so long in being delivered of his big belly. The king sent him word, that, as soon as he was up, he would present so many lights at Notre-dame, as would perhaps give little pleasure to the king of France; alluding to the usual practice at that time of women after childbirth. Immediately on his recovery, he led an army into L’Isle de France, and laid every thing waste with fire and sword. He took the town of Mante, which he reduced to ashes. But the progress of these hostilities was stopped by an accident, which soon PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 160 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 after put an end to William’s life. His horse starting aside of a sudden, he bruised his belly on the pommel of the saddle; and being in a bad habit of body, as well as somewhat advanced in years, he began to apprehend the consequences, and ordered himself to be carried in a litter to the monastery of St. Gervas. Finding his illness encrease, and being sensible of the approach of death, he discovered at last the vanity of all human grandeur, and was struck with remorse for those horrible cruelties and acts of violence, which, in the attainment and defence of it, he had committed during the course of his reign over England. He endeavoured to make atonement by presents to churches and monasteries; and he issued orders, that earl Morcar, Siward Bearne, and other English prisoners, should be set at liberty. He was even prevailed on, though not without reluctance, to consent, with his dying breath, to release his brother, Odo, against whom he was extremely incensed. He left Normandy and Maine to his eldest son, Robert: He wrote to Lanfranc, desiring him to crown William king of England: He bequeathed to Henry nothing but the possessions of his mother, Matilda; but foretold, that he would one day surpass both his brothers in power and opulence. He expired in the sixty-third year of his age, in the twenty-first year of his reign over England, and in the 9th Sept. Death and fifty-fourth of that over Normandy. character of William
the Conqueror. Few princes have been more fortunate than this great monarch, or were better entitled to grandeur and prosperity, from the abilities and the vigour of mind which he displayed in all his conduct. His spirit was bold and enterprising, yet guided by prudence: His ambition, which was exorbitant, and lay little under the restraints of justice, still less under those of humanity, ever submitted to the dictates of sound policy. Born in an age when the minds of men were intractable and unacquainted with submission, he was yet able to direct them to his purposes; and partly from the ascendant of his vehement character, partly from art and dissimulation, to establish an unlimited authority. Though not insensible to generosity, he was hardened against compassion; and he seemed equally ostentatious and equally ambitious of show and parade in his clemency and in his severity. The maxims of his administration were austere; but might have been useful, had they been solely employed to preserve order in an established...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08