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Unformatted text preview: selves among Robert’s adherents. William de Warenne was the next victim: Even William earl of 1103. Cornwal, son of the earl of Mortaigne, the king’s uncle, having given matter of suspicion against him, lost all the vast acquisitions of his family in England. Though the usual violence and tyranny of the Norman barons afforded a plausible pretence for those prosecutions, and it is probable that none of the sentences, pronounced against these noblemen, was wholly iniquituous; men easily saw or conjectured, that the chief part of their guilt was not the injustice or illegality of their conduct. Robert, enraged at the fate of his friends, imprudently ventured to come into England; and he remonstrated with his brother, in severe terms, against this breach of treaty: But met with so bad a reception, that he began to apprehend danger to his own liberty, and was glad to purchase an escape, by resigning his pension. The indiscretion of Robert soon exposed him to more fatal injuries. This prince, whose bravery and candor procured him respect, while at a distance, had no sooner attained the possession of power, and enjoyment of peace, than all the vigour of his mind relaxed; and he fell into contempt among those who approached his person, or were subjected to his authority. Alternately abandoned to dissolute pleasures and to womanish superstition, he was so remiss, both in the care of his treasure and the exercise of his government, that his servants pillaged his money with impunity, stole from him his very clothes, and proceeded thence to practise every species of extortion on his defenceless subjects. The barons, whom a severe administration alone could have restrained, gave reins to their unbounded rapine upon their vassals, and Attack of Normandy. inveterate animosities against each other; and all Normandy, during the reign of this benign prince, was become a scene of violence and PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 182 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 depredation. The Normans at last, observing the regular government, which Henry, notwithstanding his usurped title, had been able to establish in England, applied to him, that he might use his authority for the suppression of these disorders; and they thereby afforded him a pretence for interposing in the affairs of Normandy. Instead of employing his mediation, to render his brother’s government respectable, or to redress the grievances of the Normans; he was only attentive to support his own partizans, and to encrease their number by every art of bribery, intrigue, and insinuation. Having found, in a visit, which he made to that dutchy, that the nobility were more disposed to pay submission to him than to their legal sovereign; he collected, by arbitrary extortions on England, a great army and treasure, and returned next year to Normandy, in a situation to obtain, either by violence or corruption, the dominion of that province. He took Bayeux by storm after an obstinate siege: He made 1105. himself master of Caen by the voluntary submission of the inhabitants: But being repulsed at Falaise, and obliged, by the winter season, to raise the siege, he retur...
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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