history of england_david hume

History of england_david hume

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Unformatted text preview: laid a scheme for surprising Noyon; but Henry, having received intelligence of the design, marched to the relief of the place, and suddenly attacked the French at Brenneville, as they were advancing towards it. A sharp conflict ensued; where prince William PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 189 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 behaved with great bravery, and the king himself was in the most imminent danger. He was wounded in the head by Crispin, a gallant Norman officer, who had followed the fortunes of William;a but being rather animated than terrified by the blow, he immediately beat his antagonist to the ground, and so encouraged his troops by the example, that they put the French to total rout, and had very nearly taken their king prisoner. The dignity of the persons, engaged in this skirmish, rendered it the most memorable action of the war: For in other respects, it was not of great importance. There were nine hundred horsemen, who fought on both sides; yet were there only two persons slain. The rest were defended by that heavy armour, worn by the cavalry in those times.b An accommodation soon after ensued between the kings of France and England; and the interests of young William were entirely neglected in it. But this public prosperity of Henry was much overbalanced by a 1120. Death of prince domestic calamity, which befel him. His only son, William, had William. now reached his eighteenth year; and the king, from the facility with which he himself had usurped the crown, dreading that a like revolution might subvert his family, had taken care to have him recognized successor by the states of the kingdom, and had carried him over to Normandy, that he might receive the homage of the barons of that dutchy. The king, on his return, set sail from Barfleur, and was soon carried by a fair wind out of sight of land. The prince was detained by some accident; and his sailors, as well as their captain, Thomas Fitz-Stephens, having spent the interval in drinking, were so flustered, that, being in a hurry to follow the king, they heedlessly carried the ship on a rock, where she immediately foundered. William was put into the long-boat, and had got clear of the ship; when hearing the cries of his natural sister, the countess of Perche, he ordered the seamen to row back in hopes of saving her: But the numbers, who then crowded in, soon sunk the boat; and the prince with all his retinue perished. Above a hundred and forty young noblemen, of the principal families of England and Normandy, were lost on this occasion. A butcher of Roüen was the only person on board who escaped:c He clung to the mast, and was taken up next morning by fishermen. Fitz-Stephens also took hold of the mast; but being informed by the butcher, that prince William had perished, he said, that he would not survive the disaster; and he threw himself headlong into the sea.d Henry entertained hopes for three days, that his son had put into some distant port of England: But when certain intelligence of the calamity was brought him, he fainted away; and it was remarked, that he never after was s...
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