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Unformatted text preview: , Geoffrey, who character of Henry. alone had behaved dutifully towards him, attended his corpse to the nunnery of Fontervrault; where it lay in state in the abbey-church. Next day, Richard, who came to visit the dead body of his father, and who, notwithstanding his criminal conduct, was not wholly destitute of generosity, was struck with horror and remorse at the sight; and as the attendants observed, that, at that very instant, blood gushed from the mouth and nostrils of the corpse,a he exclaimed, agreeably to a vulgar superstition, that he was his father’s murderer; and he expressed a deep sense, though too late, of that undutiful behaviour, which had brought his parent to an untimely grave.b Thus died, in the fifty-eighth year of his age and thirty-fifth of his reign, the greatest prince of his time, for wisdom, virtue, and abilities, and the most powerful in extent of dominion of all those that had ever filled the throne of England. His character, in private as well as in public life, is almost without a blemish; and he seems to have possessed every accomplishment both of body and mind, which makes a man either estimable or amiable. He was of a middle stature, strong and well proportioned; his countenance was lively and engaging; his conversation affable and entertaining: His elocution easy, persuasive, and ever at command. He loved peace, but possessed both bravery and conduct in war; was provident without timidity; severe in the execution of justice without rigour; and temperate without austerity. He preserved health, and kept himself from corpulency, to which he was somewhat inclined, by an abstemious diet, and by frequent exercise, particularly hunting. When he could enjoy leisure, he recreated himself either in learned conversation or in reading; and he cultivated his natural talents by study, above any prince of his time. His affections, as well as his PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 253 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 enmities, were warm and durable, and his long experience of the ingratitude and infidelity of men never destroyed the natural sensibility of his temper, which disposed him to friendship and society. His character has been transmitted to us by several writers, who were his contemporaries;c and it extremely resembles, in its most remarkable features, that of his maternal grandfather Henry I.: Excepting only, that ambition, which was a ruling passion in both, found not in the first Henry such unexceptionable means of exerting itself, and pushed that prince into measures, which were both criminal in themselves, and were the cause of farther crimes, from which his grandson’s conduct was happily exempted. This prince, like most of his predecessors of the Norman line, Miscellaneous except Stephen, passed more of his time on the continent than in transactions of this reign. this island: He was surrounded with the English gentry and nobility, when abroad: The French gentry and nobility attended him when he resided in England: Both nations acted in the government, as if they were the s...
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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