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Book I. city of London continued doubtful which

sovereign they should own, but much more inclined to the king than to Matilda, for near two months; at the end of which time, that princess having advanced as far as St. Albans, a body of the chief citizens waited on her there, and, after fome treaty with her, consented to receive her within their walls. A few days before Midsummer The entered into that city, with a great train of fpiritual and temporal lords, and with her uncle, the King of Scotland, who came to assist, as a feudatory, at her coronation. She then took up her refidence at the palace of Westminster, built by William Rufus, and remained there some time, to order and compose the state of the kingdom. The earl of Glocester served her well in this necessary work. He negociated with the barons of the opposite faction, allured the haughty by caresses and the mercenary by promises, was full of humanity, moderation, and courtesy, in all his deportment. Nor did he merely employ fair appearances, or smooth words, to reconcile the inclinations of the people to that change which had espoused his sister's cause, or submitted to her power, he tried to reform the administration of justice, and restore the good ancient laws; being thoroughly sensible, that more stability would be given to government, by these acts of beneficence, than by force and fear, to which, he knew, the spirit of the people could not


long be subjected. Had the been guided by Book I. his wisdom, the whole kingdom would soon. have acknowledged her sovereignty, without further opposition: but all his endeavours were defeated by the perverseness of her conduct. The pride and haughtiness of her temper were so swelled by this sudden gale of prosperity, that they bore her far from the course which his prudence desired to make her steer. From the day, in which the king was delivered to her a prisoner, her looks, her mien, her language, were absolutely changed. She assumed an air so imperious, that one would have thought her another Semiramis, giving laws to a nation long accustomed to servitude, rather than a princess of England, making her way, through many obstacles, to the limited government of a free people, not sufficiently convinced of her right to their fealty. Her Grandfather, William the Conqueror, was hardly more Vid. auctores despotick at the end of his reign, than the at citat. ut fuprà. the beginning of a yet unassured and unsettled authority, even before the crown, so lately worn by her valiant antagonist, was placed on her head. Some of the party of Stephen, who came to offer their allegiance and services to her, she received with great coldness, others the drove from her presence with upbraidings and threats. All the grants made by that prince, even those to the church, she precipitately revoked, to give them to her favorites. From those who had submitted to

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Book. I. her she often took a part of their lands and

and possessions, as fines for their past conduct;
and thus left them, at the best, but half re-
conciled to her, or rather secret enemies, who
naturally felt more resentment for what they
had lost, than gratitude for what they re-
tained. But all the barons who, from a sense
of honor or fidelity, delayed to abandon their
late master, she wholly deprived of their ho-
nors and estates, and conferred them on
others; thus rendering them implacable, and
keeping up a head of opposition against her,
which no time could remove. The citizens
of London, whom she ought to have parti-
cularly courted, were treated with great se-
verity: for she not only denied them the in-
dulgence they asked, of being governed by
the laws of King Edward the Confessor, but
oppressed them by arbitrary and grievous
exactions. They represented to her how
much they had lost of that opulence they for-
merly had enjoyed, by the decay of their trade
and other public calamities attending the
war, besides the high demands, which the
the late government had often made upon
them, and which they durst not refuse. They
more especially pleaded the extraordinary ex-
pences they had lately sustained, in making
provision for the relief of their poor, against
an imminent danger of famine, which, they
apprehended, was not yet entirely removed.
And therefore they humbly implored her, in
the most pathetic terms, to moderate her de-


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mand, or, at least, to grant them, out of Book. I. compassion to their present great distress, a. longer time for the payment; promising her, that, when peace should be perfectly established, as their riches would encrease, so should also their zeal for the support of her government. But, before they had ended their remonftrance, with rage in her eyes, frowns on her brow, and such a disorder of paffion, as equally destroyed the majesty of the queen

and the softness of the woman, she told them, that they had frequently and lavishly granted their money to Stephen, for his support, and to her detriment, having been long combined with her enemies, as she had felt to her cost; and therefore they must not expect that she would shew any lenity to them, or remit the least part of the sum The had demanded. So ill did she understand the art of converting subdued enemies into friends, which, so far as it can be done without alienating those by whose assistance they were subdued, is of all arts the most neceffary in revolutions of government!

Nor was her behaviour more gracious to her friends themselves When the bishop of Winchester and the earl of Glocester were suitors to her for any of the king's party, she frequently rejected their interceffions with great rudeness, suffering them to kneel to her, without rising up: a pride, which, contrafted with the familiar and obliging behar viour of Stephen, appeared the more offeri


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Pook I. five and insupportable to a free people. In

a vain did her brother, to whom the owed her A. D. 1141.

success, suggest to her right measures, and
a conduct more agreeable to that state she was
in, and to the temper of the nation. Nei-
ther his counsels, nor those of the king of
Scotland, her uncle, could prevail against
the dictates of her impetuous passions, to
which she now gave so absolute a sway, that
she made little use even of her own under
ftanding, which, in the former transactions
of her life, had appeared to be much stronger
and fitter for government, than could be ima-
gined from her present behaviour. She was
indeed quite intoxicated with her good for-
tune, and considered England as a conquered
country, upon which she might trample at
pleasure; forgetting that most of those by
whom she had conquered had fought for free-
dom, and that even the vanquished party was
not so difpirited, or reduced to such weakness,
as that a galling and desperate resentment
might not yet render them dangerous to her,
especially if they were strengthened by a
coalition with those whom interest alone had

made her friends. But while she was lulled Vid, apétores

in all the security of insolent folly, and incitat, ut fuprà. tent upon nothing but her approaching co

ronation, for the ceremonies of which the
now prepared, with all the impatience and
pleasure of a woman who loved the
royalty no less than the substance, there arose
a sudden storm, which burst upon her head

pomp of

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