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Unformatted text preview: rong jealousy of his two surviving brothers, William and Henry, (for Richard was killed in hunting, by a stag) who, by greater submission and complaisance, had acquired the affections of their father. In this disposition, on both sides, the greatest trifle sufficed to produce a rupture between them. The three princes, residing with their father in the castle of l’Aigle in Normandy, were one day engaged in sport together; and after some mirth and jollity, the two younger took a fancy of throwing over some water on Robert as he passed through the court on leaving their apartment;l a frolic, which he would naturally have regarded as innocent, had it not been for the suggestions of Alberic de Grentmesnil, son of that Hugh de Grentmesnil, whom William had formerly deprived of his fortunes, when that baron deserted him during his greatest difficulties in England. The young man, mindful of the injury, persuaded the prince, that this action was meant as a public affront, which it behoved him in honour to resent; and the choleric Robert, drawing his sword, ran up stairs, with an intention of taking revenge on his brothers.m The whole castle was filled with tumult, which the king himself, who hastened from his apartment, found some difficulty to appease. But he could by no means appease the resentment of his eldest son, who, complaining of his partiality, and fancying that no proper atonement had been made him for the insult, left the court that very evening, and hastened to Roüen, with an intention of seizing the citadel of that place.n But being disappointed PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 157 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 in this view by the precaution and vigilance of Roger de Ivery, the governor, he fled to Hugh de Neufchatel, a powerful Norman baron, who gave him protection in his castles; and he openly levied war against his father.o The popular character of the prince, and a similarity of manners, engaged all the young nobility of Normandy and Maine, as well as of Anjou and Britanny, to take part with him; and it was suspected that Matilda, his mother, whose favourite he was, supported him in his rebellion by secret remittances of money, and by the encouragement which she gave his partizans. All the hereditary provinces of William, as well as his family, 1079. were during several years thrown into convulsions by this war; and he was at last obliged to have recourse to England, where that species of military government, which he had established, gave him greater authority than the ancient feudal institutions permitted him to exercise in Normandy. He called over an army of English under his ancient captains, who soon expelled Robert and his adherents from their retreats, and restored the authority of the sovereign in all his dominions. The young prince was obliged to take shelter in the castle of Gerberoy in the Beauvoisis, which the king of France, who secretly fomented all these dissensions, had provided for him. In this fortress he was closely besieged by his father, against whom, having a...
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