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during several centuries; and if the clergy had not at last desisted from their persecution of it, it might still have been the prevailing fashion in Europe.
But Anselm was more fortunate in decrying the particular mode which was the object of his aversion, and which probably had not taken such fast hold of the affections of the people. He preached zealously against the long hair and curled locks which were then fashionable among the courtiers; he refused the ashes on AshWednesday to those who were so accoutred; and his authority and eloquence had such influence, that the young men universally abandoned that ornament, and appeared in the cropt hair which was recommended to them by the sermons of the primate. The noted historian of Anselm, who was also his companion and secretary, celebrates highly this effort of his zeal and piety 1.
When William's profaneness therefore returned to him with his health, he was soon engaged in controversies with this austere prelate. There was at that time a schism in the church between Urban and Clement, who both pretended to the papacy; and Anselm, who, as abbot of Bee, had already acknowledged the former, was determined, without the king's consent, to introduce his authority into England'. William, who, imitating his father's example, had prohibited his subjects from recognizing any pope whom he had not previously received, was enraged at this attempt, and summoned a synod at Rockingham, with an intention of deposing Anselm: but the prelate's suffragans declared, that, without the papal authority, they knew of no expedient for inflicting that punishment on their primate". The king was at last engaged by other motives to give the preference to Urban's title; Anselm received the pall from that pontiff; and matters seemed to be accommodated between the king and the primate", when the quarrel broke out afresh from a new cause. William had undertaken an expedition against
i Eadmer, p. 23. p. 13. Diceto, P. 494. Diceto, p. 495.
k Hoveden, p. 463. 1 Eadmer, p. 25. M. Paris,
Wales, and required the archbishop to furnish his quota of soldiers for that service; but Anselm, who regarded the demand as an oppression on the church, and yet durst not refuse compliance, sent them so miserably accoutred, that the king was extremely displeased, and threatened him with a prosecution. Anselm, on the other hand, demanded positively that all the revenues of his see should be restored to him; appealed to Rome against the king's injustice"; and affairs came to such extremities, that the primate, finding it dangerous to remain in the kingdom, desired and obtained the king's permission to retire beyond sea. All his temporalities were seized; but he was received with great respect by Urban, who considered him as a martyr in the cause of religion, and even menaced the king, on account of his proceedings against the primate and the church, with the sentence of excommunication. Anselm assisted at the council of Bari, where, besides fixing the controversy between the Greek and Latin churches concerning the procession of the Holy Ghost', the right of election to church preferments was declared to belong to the clergy alone, and spiritual censures were denounced against all ecclesiastics who did homage to laymen for their sees or benefices, and against all laymen who exacted it. The rite of homage, by the feudal customs, was, that the vassal should throw himself on his knees, should put his joined hands between those of his superior, and should in that posture swear fealty to him. But the council declared it execrable, that pure hands, which could create God, and could offer him up as a sacrifice for the salvation of mankind, should be put, after this humiliating manner, between profane hands, which, besides being inured to rapine and bloodshed, were employed day and night in impure purposes and obscene contacts". Such were the reasonings prevalent in that age; reasonings which, though they cannot be
r Ibid. p. 40.
r Eadmer, p. 49. M. Paris, p. 13.
• Eadmer, p. 37. 43.
4 M. Paris, p. 13. Sim. Dunelm. p. 224. verbo Hominium. Dunelm. p. 224. Brompton,
passed over in silence, without omitting the most curious and perhaps not the least instructive part of history, can scarcely be delivered with the requisite decency and gravity.
The cession of Normandy and Maine by duke Robert increased the king's territories; but brought him no great increase of power, because of the unsettled state of those countries, the mutinous disposition of the barons, and the vicinity of the French king, who supported them in all their insurrections. Even Helie, lord of la Fleche, a small town in Anjou, was able to give him inquietude; and this great monarch was obliged to make several expeditions abroad, without being able to prevail over so petty a baron, who had acquired the confidence and affections of the inhabitants of Maine. He was, however, so fortunate as at last to take him prisoner in a rencountre, but having released him, at the intercession of the French king and the count of Anjou, he found the province of Maine still exposed to his intrigues and incursions. Helie being introduced by the citizens into the town of Mans, besieged the garrison in the citadel: William, who was hunting in the new forest when he received intelligence of this hostile attempt, was so provoked, that he immediately turned his horse, and galloped to the seashore at Dartmouth, declaring that he would not stop a moment till he had taken vengeance for the offence. He found the weather so cloudy and tempestuous, that the mariners thought it dangerous to put to sea: but the king hurried on board, and ordered them to set sail instantly; telling them that they never yet heard of a king that was drowned. By this vigour and celerity he delivered the citadel of Mans from its present danger, and pursuing Helie into his own territories, he laid siege to Majol, a small castle in those parts: but a wound which he received before this place, obliged him to raise the siege; and he returned to England.
The weakness of the greatest monarchs during this age,
* W. Malms. p. 124. H. Hunting. p. 378. M. Paris, p. 36. Ypod. Neust. P. 442.
1100. in their military expeditions against their nearest neighbours, appears the more surprising, when we consider the prodigious numbers, which even petty princes, seconding the enthusiastic rage of the people, were able to assemble, and to conduct in dangerous enterprises to the remote provinces of Asia. William, earl of Poitiers and duke of Guienne, inflamed with the glory, and not discouraged by the misfortunes, which had attended the former adventurers in the crusades, had put himself at the head of an immense multitude, computed by some historians to amount to sixty thousand horse, and a much greater number of foot, and he purposed to lead them into the Holy Land against the infidels. He wanted money to forward the preparations requisite for this expedition, and he offered to mortgage all his dominions to William, without entertaining any scruple on account of that rapacious and iniquitous hand, to which he resolved to consign them3. The king accepted the offer; and had prepared a fleet and an army, in order to escort the money and take possession of the rich provinces of Guienne and Poictou: 2d August. when an accident put an end to his life, and to all his ambitious projects. He was engaged in hunting, the sole amusement, and indeed the chief occupation of princes in those rude times, when society was little cultivated, and the arts afforded few objects worthy of attention. Walter Tyrrel, a French gentleman, remarkable for his address in archery, attended him in this recreation, of which the new forest was the scene; and as William had dismounted after a chase, Tyrrel, impatient to show his dexterity, let fly an arrow at a stag which suddenly started before him. The arrow, glancing from a tree, struck the king in the breast, and instantly slew him; while Tyrrel, without informing any one of the accident, put spurs to his horse, hastened to the seashore, embarked for France, and joined the crusade in an expedition to Jerusalem; a penance which he imposed on himself for this involuntary crime.
y W. Malms. p. 149. The whole is said by Order. Vitalis, p. 789, to amount to three hundred thousand men. z W. Malms. p. 127. a Ibid. p. 126. H. Hunting. p. 378. M. Paris, p. 37. Petr. Bles. P. 110.
The body of William was found in the forest by the country people, and was buried without any pomp or ceremony at Winchester. His courtiers were negligent in performing the last duties to a master who was so little beloved; and every one was too much occupied in the interesting object of fixing his successor, to attend the funeral of a dead sovereign.
ter of Wil
The memory of this monarch is transmitted to us with and characlittle advantage by the churchmen, whom he had of- liam Rufus. fended; and though we may suspect in general that their account of his vices is somewhat exaggerated, his conduct affords little reason for contradicting the character which they have assigned him, or for attributing to him any very estimable qualities. He seems to have been a violent and tyrannical prince; a perfidious, encroaching, and dangerous neighbour; an unkind and ungenerous relation. He was equally prodigal and rapacious in the management of his treasury; and if he possessed abilities, he lay so much under the government of impetuous passions, that he made little use of them in his administration; and he indulged without reserve that domineering policy which suited his temper, and which, if supported, as it was in him, with courage and vigour, proves often more successful in disorderly times, than the deepest foresight and most refined artifice.
The monuments which remain of this prince in England are the Tower, Westminster-hall, and Londonbridge, which he built. The most laudable foreign enterprise which he undertook was the sending of Edgar Atheling, three years before his death, into Scotland with a small army, to restore prince Edgar, the true heir of that kingdom, son of Malcolm, and of Margaret, sister of Edgar Atheling; and the enterprise proved successful. It was remarked in that age, that Richard, an elder brother of William's, perished by an accident in the new forest; Richard, his nephew, natural son of duke Robert, lost his life in the same place after the same manner: and all men, upon the king's fate, exclaimed that, as the Conqueror had been guilty of extreme violence in expelling