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Nevertheless, the Norman barons were, from the beginning, displeased at the division of the empire by the late king; they eagerly desired an union as before, and looked upon Robert as the proper owner of the whole. A powerful conspiracy was therefore carried on against William; and Odo, the late king's brother, undertook to conduct it to maturity.

William, sensible of the danger that threatened him, endeavoured to gain the affections of the native English, whom he prevailed upon, by promises of future good treatment, and preference in the distribution of his favours, to espouse his interests. He was soon, therefore, in the field; and, at the head of a numerous army, shewed himself in readiness to oppose all who should dispute his pretensions. In the mean time, Robert, instead of employing his money in levies, to support his friends in England, squandered it away in idle expences, and unmerited benefits, so that he procrastinated his departure till the opportunity was lost; while William exerted himself, with incredible activity, to dissipate the confederacy before his brother could arrive. Nor was this difficult to effect: the conspirators had, in consequence of Robert's assurances, taken possession of some fortresses; but the appearance of the king soon induced them to implore his mercy. He granted them their lives, but confiscated all their estates, and banished them the kingdom.

A new breach was made some time after between the brothers, in which Rufus found means to encroach still farther upon Robert's possessions. Every conspiracy thus detected, served to enrich the king, who took care to apply to his own use those treasures which had been amassed for the purpose of dethroning him.

But the memory of these transient broils and unsuccessful treasons were now totally eclipsed by one of the most noted enterprises that ever adorned the annals of nations, or excited the attention of mankind: I mean the Crusades, which were now first projected. Peter the Hermit, a native of Amiens in Picardy, was a man of great zeal, courage, and piety. He had made a pilgrimage to the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem, and beheld, with indignation, the cruel manner in which the Christians were treated by the Infidels, who were in possession of that place. He preached the Crusade over Europe, by the pope's permission; and men of all ranks flew to arms with the utmost alacrity, to rescue the Holy Land from the Infidels; and each bore the sign of the cross upon their right shoulder, as a mark of their devotion to the cause. In the

midst of this universal ardour that was diffused over Europe, men were not entirely forgetful of their temporal interests; for some, hoping for a more magnificent settlement in the soft regions of Asia, sold their European property for whatever they could obtain, contented with receiving any thing for what they were predetermined to relinquish. Among the princes who felt and acknowledged this general spirit of enterprise, was Robert Duke of Normandy. The Crusade was entirely adapted to his inclinations and his circumstances: he was brave, zealous, covetous of glory, poor, harassed by insurrections, and, what was more than all, naturally fond of change. In order, therefore, to supply money to defray the necessary charges of so expensive an undertaking, he offered to mortgage his dukedom in Normandy to his brother Rufus, for a stipulated sum of money. This sum, which was no greater than ten thousand marks, was readily promised by Rufus, whose ambition was upon the watch to seize every advantage.

But though the cession of Maine and Normandy greatly increased the king's territories, they added but little to his real power, as his new subjects were composed of men of independent spirits, more ready to dispute than to obey his commands. Many were the revolts and insurrections which he was obliged to quell in person; and, no sooner was one conspiracy suppressed, than another rose to give him fresh disquietude.

However, Rufus proceeded, careless of approbation or censure; and only intent upon extending his dominions, either by purchase or conquest. The Earl of Poictiers and Guienne, inflamed with a desire of going upon the Crusade, had gathered an immense multitude for that expedition, but wanted money to forward his preparations. He had recourse, therefore, to Rufus, and offered to mortgage all his dominions, without much considering what would become of his unhappy subjects that he thus disposed of. The king accepted this offer with his usual avidity, and had prepared a fleet and an army, in order to take possession of the rich provinces thus consigned to his trust. But an accident put an end to all his ambitious projects; he was shot by an arrow that Sir Walter Tyrrel discharged at a deer in the New Forest, which, glancing from a tree, struck the king to the heart. He dropt dead instantaneously; while the innocent author of his death, terrified at the accident, put spurs to his horse, hastened to the sea-shore, embarked for France, and joined the Crusade that was then setting out for Jerusalem,

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HENRY, the late king's younger brother, who had been

hunting in the New Forest when Rufus was slain, took the earliest advantage of the occasion, and hastening to Winchester, resolved to secure the royal treasure, which he knew to be the best assistant in seconding his aims. The barons, as well as the people, acquiesced in a claim which they were unprovided to resist, and yielded obedience, from the fears of immediate danger.

Henry, to ingratiate himself with the people, expelled from court all the ministers of his brother's debauchery and arbitrary power. One thing only remained to confirm his claims without danger of a rival. The English remembered their Saxon monarchs with gratitude, and beheld them excluded the throne with regret. There still remained some of the descendants of that favourite line; and, among others, Matilda, the niece of Edgar Atheling; which lady, having declined all pretensions to royalty, was bred up in a convent, and had actually taken the veil. Upon her Henry first fixed his eyes as a proper consort, by whose means the long breach between the Saxon and Norman interest would be finally united. It only remained to get over the scruple of her being a nun; but this a council, devoted to his interests, readily admitted; and Matilda being pronounced free to marry, the nuptials were celebrated with great pomp and solemnity.

It was at this unfavourable juncture that Robert returned

from abroad, and, after taking possession of his native dominions, laid his claim to the crown of England. But proposals for an accommodation being made, it was stipulated that Robert, upon the payment of a certain sum, should resign his pretensions to England; and that if either of the princes died without issue, the other should succeed to his dominions. This treaty being ratified, the armies on each side were disbanded; and Robert, having lived two months in the utmost harmony with his brother, returned in peace to his own dominions.

But Robert's indiscretion soon rendered him unfit to govern any state; he was totally averse to business, and only studious of the more splendid amusements or employments of life. His servants pillaged him without compunction; and he is described as lying whole days a-bed for want of clothes, of which they had robbed him. His subjects were treated still more deplorably; for being under the command of petty and rapacious tyrants, who plundered them without mercy, the whole country was become a scene of violence and depredation. It was in this miserable exigence, that the Normans at length had recourse to Henry, from whose wise administration of his own dominions they expected a similitude of prosperity, should he take the reins of theirs. Henry very readily promised to redress their grievances, as he knew it would be the direct method to second his own ambition. The year ensuing, therefore, he landed in Normandy with a strong army, took some of the principal towns; and a battle ensuing, Robert's forces were totally overthrown, and he himself taken prisoner, with near ten thousand of his men, and all the considerable barons who had adhered to his misfortunes. This victory was followed by the final reduction of Normandy; while Henry returned in triumph to England, leading with him his captive brother, who, after a life of bravery, generosity, and truth, now found himself not only deprived of his patrimony and his friends, but also his freedom. Henry, unmindful of his brother's former magnanimity with regard to him, detained him a prisoner during the remainder of his life, which was no less than twenty-eight years; and he died in the castle of Cardiff, in Glamorganshire. It is even said by some, that he was deprived of his sight by a red-hot copper bason applied to his eyes; while his brother attempted to stifle the reproaches of his conscience, by founding the abbey of Reading, which was then considered as a sufficient atonement for every degree of barbarity.

Fortune now seemed to smile upon Henry, and promise a long succession of felicity. He was in peaceable possession of

two powerful states, and had a son, who was acknowledged undisputed heir, arrived at his eighteenth year, whom he loved most tenderly. His daughter Matilda was also married to the Emperor Henry V. of Germany, and she had been sent to that court, while yet but eight years old, for her education. All his prospects, however, were at once clouded by unforeseen misfortunes and accidents, which tinctured his remaining years with misery. The king, from the facility with which he usurped the crown, dreading that his family might be subverted with the same ease, took care to have his son recognized as his successor by the states of England; and carried him over to Normandy, to receive the homage of the barons of that duchy. After performing this requisite ceremony, Henry, returning triumphantly to England, brought with him a numerous retinue of the chief nobility, who seemed to share in his successes. In one of the vessels of the fleet, his son and several young noblemen, the companions of his pleasures, went together, to render the passage more agreeable. The king 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, Fitz-Stephen, having spent the interval in drinking, became so disordered, that they ran the ship upon a rock, and it was immediately dashed to pieces. The prince was put into the boat, and might have escaped, had he not been called back by the cries of Maude, his natural sister. He was at first conveyed out of danger himself, but could not leave a person so dear to perish without an effort to save her. He therefore prevailed upon the sailors to row back and take her in. The approach of the boat giving several others, who had been left upon the wreck, the hopes of saving their lives, numbers leaped in, and the whole went to the bottom. Above a hundred and forty young noblemen, of the principal families of England and Normandy, were lost on this occasion. A butcher of Rouen was the only person on board who escaped; he clung to the mast, and was taken up the next morning by some fishermen. FitzStephen, the captain, while the butcher was thus buffeting the waves for his life, swam up to him, and inquired if the prince was yet living; when being told that he had perished, "Then I will not out-live him," said the captain, and immediately sunk to the bottom. The shrieks of these unfortunate people were heard from the shore, and the noise even reached the king's ship, but the cause was then unknown. Henry entertained hopes, for three days, that his son had put into some distant port in England; but when certain intelligence of the calamity

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