Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/23

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15
WILLIAM THE SECOND.

sion, whereof Anselm, the new Archbishop, felt the first effects. This prelate, soon after his promotion, offered the king a sum of money by way of present; but took care it should be so small, that none might interpret it to be a consideration of his late preferment. The king rejected it with scorn; and as he used but little ceremony in such matters, insisted in plain terms for more. Anselm would not comply; and the king enraged, sought all occasions to make him uneasy; until at length the poor archbishop, tired out with perpetual usurpations (or at least what was then understood to be such) upon his jurisdiction, privileges, and possessions, desired the king's licence for a journey to Rome; and upon a refusal, went without it. As soon as he was withdrawn, the king seized on all his revenues, converting them to his own use, and the archbishop continued an exile until the succeeding reign.

The particulars of this quarrel between the king and archbishop, are not, in my opinion, considerable enough to deserve a place in this brief collection, being of little use to posterity, and of less entertainment; neither should I have mentioned it at all, but for the occasion it gives me of making a general observation, which may afford some light into the nature and disposition of those ages. Not only this king's father and himself, but the princes for several successions, of the fairest character, have been severally taxed for violating the rights of the clergy, and perhaps not altogether without reason. It is true, this character has made the lighter impression, as proceeding altogether from the party injured, the contemporary writers being generally churchmen: and it must be confessed, that the usurpations of the

church