pense thy valour deserves.” But a noble and generous nature, it the answer he made to a bravado most be accounted rather a vice of the earl of la Fiesche is a ftill than a virtue ; as, in order to supnobler inftance of his magnapi. ply the unbounded extent of it, mity. That lord, his competitor he was very rapacious. If he had for the earldom of Maine, being lived long, his expences would taken prisoner by him, and re- have undone him : for he had not, ceived with an insult, faid, with as Cæsar had, the treasures of the a spirit superior to fortune, “ An world to support his extravagance; accident has made me your cap- and it had brought him fome years tive; but could I recover my li. before his death into fuch difficul. berty, I know what I should do."- ties, that even if his temper had " You know what you should do not been despotic, his necesa replied the king ! Begone; I give fities would have made him a ty. you leave to do your utmost; and rant. I swear to you, that if you over- His foul was all fire, perpe. come me hereafter, I will ask no tually in action, undaunted with return from you for having thus danger, unwearied with applicafet you free." With these words tion, pursuing pleasure with as he dismissed him: an action of much ardour as business, but nee heroism that would have done ver facrificing hafiness to pleafure; honour to Cæfar, whose , foul (says addicted to women, yet without one of the best of our ancient any tenderness or fixed attachment, historians) seems to have tranf- rather from a spirit of debauchery migrated into this monarch. He than from the paffion of love. He likewise acted and spoke in the had many concubines, but no misspirit of that Roman, when, from cress; and never would marry, for his ardour to relieve the city of fear of subjecting himself to any Mans, befieged by the earl of la restraint. Flesche, he passed the lea in a Nevertheless, the vivacity of violent tempett, saying to the his temper and the quickness of failors, who warned him of the his parts were ballanced by the fo. danger, " that he never had heard lidity and the strength of his judgof any king having been drowned." ment: so that, although he was Nor did he less refe mble Cæsar very eager in all his pursuits, he in liberality, than in courage, and directed them with great prudence, greatness of mind. He gave excelling still more in policy than without measure, but never with. in arms. He had not indeed any out choice; diftinguishing merit, tincture of learning; but he had and fixing it in his service by studied mankind, and knew them means of his bounty ; that merit well, under all disguises; covering especially which was the moft ne- himself with a deep disimulation, cessary, to support his ambition, where it was necessary, and the eminent valour, and military. ta- more dangerous in it from an tenes. In the magnificence of his appearance of openness, heat, and court and buildings he greatly ex- pulsion; imperious and absolute, ceeded any king of that age. But, lo as to endure no contradiction or though his profufenefs arose from stop to his will, when he had power enough to enforce obe. was too penetrating not to see the dience, but pliant and soothing, depravity of what was then called when he wanted that power: in religion, and his heart was 100 public maintaining his majesty, corrupt to seek for a better. We not only with state, but with are told, indeed, that, in a danpride; yet in private, among his gerous fit of fickness, he ex. friends, and those whom he ad- preit remorse for the offences of mitted to a familiarity with him, his past life, and promised amend. easy, good-humoured, and often ment; which shews at least that more witty than is proper for a he had in him no settled principle king.


of abfolute infidelity : but he had His person was disagreeable, not any such steady sentiments of and his elocution ungraceful: noi. faith or piety, as could be a rewithstanding which imperfections fraint on his pasions. So that the he carried all points he had at impressions made in his illness were heart, more by the arts of in- foon effaced by the return of his finuation and address than by health. There was also a levity force.

and petulance in his wit, which Considering how much he owed often gave his conversation an air to the clergy in obtaining his of profaneness beyond what he secrown, it is no little proof of un. riously thouglīt or meant. He common abilities, that he wore it paid fo lircle respect to the oaths without any dependance upon he had taken, that he seemed to them, and entirely subjected their consider them as mere forms of power to his own. But not con. ftate, or arts which policy might tent to gorein the church, he ty. employ and dispense with at plearannized over it, as he did over fure. All his vices were public, the state. Nor would he constrain and he did infinitely more harm himself to that outward Thew of by the ba* example he gave, and reverence for ecclefiaftics, which the indulgence he thewed to the his father had always paid to them, enormities of others, than by his even while he oppressed them: He not only tolerated, but and this was certainly one prin- encouraged in his court, and ( what cipal cause why the monks, who was yet worse) in his army, the have transmitted his character to moit unbridled profigacy of manus, accuse him so heavily of being ners; relaxing all discipline, civil irreligious. That all the strange or military; and hardly punishing stories, related by those historians, any crimes, but rebellions and of his open impiety, are strictly treasons against himself, or the true, it is hard to believe ; be- breach of the forest laws, which cause one would imagine that his had been made by his father, and good sense alone must have taught of which he had solemnly pro. him some respect for the forms of mised a remission to his subjects. religion, in an age, which de. These he enforced with a cruel manded that, and demanded no rigour; hut other offences were

Yet though the charge either winked at, or the offender may have been aggravated, it was bought off the punishment. So, not wholly groundless. His mind that the misery of England was




complete in this reign; for the na- much resembled our Henry the tion was now a prey to licentious first : but in policy he was not ness, as much as to tyranny, suf- always a maich for that king., fering at once the disorders of anar. Yet he deserves no lefs esteem: for chy, and the oppressions of arbi. in goodness of heart he was greattrary power. The army of Wil- ly his superior, and had scarce any liam the firft had been under the equal among the princes who curb of a ftri&t discipline; but that reigned in his days. He loft his of William Rufus, like a wild beast health, and at last his life, by unchained, was let loose to infelt the fatigues he sustained, in bea his peaceful subjects. The young fieging castle after castle, where nobility were bred up in debauch- any flagitious or turbulent perery; luxurious, effeminate, and son had broken or endangered the guilty even of lufts which naturé peace of his realm. Abbot Suger, abhors; despisers of order, law, his principal minister, tells us, morality, and no less proud of their that he would often lament the vices than of their birth. But hap- unhappy condition of human life, pily the life of this prince was too in which to kuow much and at ihort to extend the corruption to

much is seldom or never in our the body of the people ; and there. power together; adding, that if fore the commonwealth recovered he had known in his youth, what again, when the succeeding mo. he knew in his age, or could act narch applied to it fuch remedies in his age with the fame vigour as of wholesome severity, as the dif- he did in his youth, he should tempers contracted by it required. have been able to conquer many

kingdoms. Yet that hiftorian af.

firms, that, even in the latter years Character of Louis le Gros. From of his reign, broken as he was the fame.

with incessant toils, and heavy from

a too corpulent habit of body, if ON

N the first of August, in the any thing happened in any part of

year eleven hundred and his kingdom, by which the royal thirty-seven, died, at Paris, Louis majetty was hurt or offended, he the fixth, surnamed le Gros, from never fuffered it to go unchaftised. the largeness and corpulence of his His dying words to his son were person. A much nobler firname admiráble. “Remember, said he, might have been properly given and have it always before your to him from the qualities of his eyes, that the royal authority is mind: He deserved to have been a public charge, of which you called the Good, or the Juít. His must render, after your death, a whole reign was paffed in conftant Itrict account.” In the year eleven struggles with the infolence, the hundred and thirty-one he had the licentiousness, and the tyranny of misfortune to lose his eldest son his nobles, against whose oppreffi. Philip, a very hopeful youth; ons he royally defended his peo. who, while he was riding in the ple, maintaining his laws by his fuburbs of Paris, was thrown down arms, and permitting no crimes to and killed, by a hog running fudcscape his juftice. Thus far he denly under the feet of his horse.


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The strangeness of the accidentem- a sum of money to pay his men bittered the loss, and put the form but not obtaining any from them, titude of the father to a terrible he fell into a furious rage, and in. proof : but he bore it with the he. Itantly leaving their house, com roism of a good christian and a manded his soldiers, who were in great king. His grief did not hin- want of subfiftence, to cut down der him from immediately think the ripe corn all round the town, ing of the most proper measures to particularly what belonged to the guard his people and family against abbey, and bring it into his camp. the ill coniequences of this unhap- He had scarce seen this order exe. py event. For, presently after. cuted, when he was seized with a wards, Innocent the second hold. burning fever and frenzy, of which ing a general council at Rheims, he died in a short time. It may the afflicted monarch brought thi- well be presumed that his diftem. ther Louis, his second son, who per proceeded from the violent was under thirteen years old, and agitation his mind had been in, caused him, in the presence of all and from the heat of the weather, the assembly, to be anointed and at that season of the year: but the crowned king together with him. monks did not fail to suppose that self, by the hands of the pope, “in it was a judgment of heaven upon order (says Suger) to prevent the him, for having facrilegiouny difturbances which other competi- plundered their fields. He was of tors for the crown might excite :" a character to make his lofs re. remarkable words, which shew the greited by none, who had any real reason of the practice established concern for the good of the pubin France of crowning the son du- lic. Yet his nature was not utring the life of the father, and prove terly void of all virtues; but it that a regular course of hereditary was miserably depraved by a bad succession was not yet absolutely education. He had been bred, settled in that kingdom, any more

even from his cradle, amidft the than in England,

licentiousness, cruelty, and impi.

ety of a long civil war; without Charalier and death of Prince Ex- proper care, in those to whose tui. face, for to King Stephen. From tion his youth was committed, to

preserve him from the contagion of

fuch pestilent times, by oppofing a force fufficient to take the As he grew up, he became diffo. field, marched out from Cam- lute, fierce, and intractable. A bridge, a little before the feast of low tafte of pleasure carried him St. Laurence, intending to join the into mean company; fo that he king, his father, at Ipswich ; or to wasted a great part of his time attempt fomething himself againit with buffoons, and all the feum of the earl of Norfolk, whose power a loose court or disorderly camp; in those countries was still very which vile society debased bis great. When he came to St. Ed. mind, and corrupted his heart. mond's-bury, he demanded of the Otherwise he might have been camonks belonging to that convent, pable of doing great things: for

the same.

the same.


he possessed, with the activity and wrong, and having left the strait courage of his father, a more de- path of honour and virtue, he got termined resolution; and discover. into a labyrinth of perplexed and ed, in the earliest bloom of his crooked measures, out of which he youth, such talents for war, as never afterwards could extricate gained the admiration even of the himself, either with reputation, or oldest commanders. To his friends safety. he was affable, courteous, and li. The times and circumstances beral; but his bounty was too often in which he was placed, required extended to persons, whose only a steady, calm, and refolute pru. merit was serving his vices. Upondence: but he acted only by starts, the whole, he seemed made to per- and from the violent impulse of petuate the mischiefs, that Eng. some present paffion; always too land endured under the reign of eager for the object in view, and his father, and perhaps to increase yet too lightly changing his course; them.

too warm in his attachments, and too impetuous in his refent.

ments. Charailer of King Stephen. From The guilt of his ufurpation was

aggravated by perjury, and by the HE valour of this king was blackest ingratitude to his uncle,

much the most shining part King Henry, from whom he had of his character. In the field of received such obligations, as, to a battle he was a hero, though every mind endued with a right fense of where else an ordinary man. But honour, would have been no less even his military abilities were binding than the oaths he had chiefly confined to the use of his taken. This was a stain on his {word and battle-axe. The extent character, which even the merit of of his genius was not proportioned a good government could not have to a great plan of action; his fore. effaced: but his was so bad, that fight was fort and imperfect, his it might have expelled a lawful discipline loose, and his whole king from an hereditary throne. conduct in war that of an alert Indeed the weakness of his title, partisan, rather than of a discreet and the too great obligations he and judicious commander.

had to the clergy in his election, He had in his nature some ami. were incumbrances that hung very able virtues, as generosity, clemen- heavy upon him, and the original cy, and affability, which, under causes of all his troubles. Yet the direction of wisdom and justice, against both these difficulties, unwould have given him a place a- easy as they were, he might have mong the belt of our kings : but found a resource in the affection for want of those lights to guide of his people. Henry the first, in , and rule them, they were unwor. the beginning of his reign, was thily, weakly, and hurtfully em. no less indebted to the clergy than ployed. His mind was very active, he, nor was his title more clear : and always pushing him on to bold notwithstanding which he maine undertakings, in which he seldom tained himself in the throne, and proyed successful: for setting out kept the church in due obedience,


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