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Unformatted text preview: e. He sent over his fourth son, John, into Ireland, with a view of making a more complete conquest of the island; but the petulance and incapacity of this prince, by which he enraged the Irish chieftains, obliged the king soon after to recall him.c The king of France had fallen into an abject superstition; and was induced by a devotion, more sincere than that of Henry, to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of Becket, in order to obtain his intercession for the cure of Philip, his eldest son. He probably thought himself well intitled to the favour of that saint, on account of their ancient intimacy; and hoped, that Becket, whom he had protected while on earth, would not now, when he was so highly exalted in heaven, forget his old friend and benefactor. The monks, sensible that their saint’s honour was concerned in the case, failed not to publish, that Lewis’s prayers were answered, and that the young prince was restored to health, by Becket’s intercession. That king himself was soon after struck with an apoplexy, which deprived him of his understanding: Philip, though a youth of fifteen, took on him the administration, till his father’s death, which happened soon after, opened his way to the throne; and he proved the ablest and greatest monarch that had governed that kingdom since the age of Charlemagne. The superior years, however, and experience of Henry, while they moderated his ambition, gave him such an ascendant over this prince, that no dangerous rivalship, for a long time, arose between them. 1180. The English monarch, instead of taking advantage of his own PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 248 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 situation, rather employed his good offices in composing the quarrels which arose in the royal family of France; and he was successful in mediating a reconciliation between Philip and his mother and uncles. These services were but ill-requited by Philip, who, when he came to man’s estate, fomented all the domestic discords in the royal family of England, and encouraged Henry’s sons in their ungrateful and undutiful behaviour towards him. Prince Henry, equally impatient of obtaining power, and incapable of using it, renewed to the king the demand of his resigning Normandy; and on meeting with a refusal, he fled with his consort to the court of France: But not finding Philip, at that time, disposed to enter into war for his sake, he accepted of his father’s offers of reconciliation, and made him submissions. It was a cruel circumstance in the king’s fortune, that he could hope for no tranquillity from the criminal enterprizes of his sons but by their mutual discord and animosities, which disturbed his family, and threw his state into convulsions. Richard, whom he had made master of Guienne, and who had displayed his valour and military genius, by suppressing the revolts of his mutinous barons, refused to obey Henry’s orders, in doing homage to his elder brother for that dutchy; and he defended himself against young Henry and Geoffrey, who, uniting their arms, carried war into his...
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- Spring '08