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Unformatted text preview: d even laymen were not allowed to marry within the seventh degree of affinity.u By this contrivance, the pope augmented the profits, which he reaped from granting dispensations; and likewise those from divorces. For as the art of writing was then rare, and parish registers were not regularly kept, it was not easy to ascertain the degrees of affinity even among people of rank; and any man, who had money sufficient to pay for it, might obtain a divorce, on pretence that his wife was more nearly related to him than was permitted by the canons. The synod also passed a vote, prohibiting the laity from wearing long hair.w The aversion of the clergy to this mode was not confined to England. When the king went to Normandy, before he had conquered that province, the bishop of Seeze, in a formal harangue, earnestly exhorted him to redress the manifold disorders under which the government laboured, and to oblige the people to poll their hair in a decent form. Henry, though he would not resign his prerogatives to the church, willingly parted with his hair: He cut it in the form which they required of him, and obliged all the courtiers to imitate his example.x The acquisition of Normandy was a great point of Henry’s Wars abroad. ambition; being the ancient patrimony of his family, and the only territory, which, while in his possession, gave him any weight or consideration on the continent: But the injustice of his usurpation was the source of great inquietude, involved him in frequent wars, and obliged him to impose on his English subjects those many heavy and arbitrary taxes, of which all the historians of that age unanimously complain.y His nephew, William, was but six years of age, when he committed him to the care of Helie de St. Saen; and it is probable, that his reason for intrusting that important charge to a man of so unblemished a character, was to prevent all malignant suspicions, in case any accident should befal the life of the young prince. He soon repented of his choice; but when he desired to recover 1110. possession of William’s person, Helie withdrew his pupil, and carried him to the court of Fulk, count of Anjou, who gave him protection. z In proportion as the prince grew up to man’s estate, he discovered virtues becoming his birth; and wandering through different courts of Europe, he excited the friendly compassion of many princes, and raised a general indignation against his uncle, who had so unjustly bereaved him of his inheritance. Lewis the Gross, son of Philip, was at this time king of France, a brave and generous prince, who, having been obliged, during the life-time of his father, to fly into England, in order to escape the persecutions of his step-mother Bertrude, had been protected by Henry, and had PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 188 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 thence conceived a personal friendship for him. But these ties were soon dissolved after the accession of Lewis, who found his interest to be in so many particulars opposite to those of the English monarch, and who became sensible of the danger attending the annexation of Normandy to England. He joined, therefore,...
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- Spring '08