Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/26

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
18
HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

ately raised in England, and sent over to him. The duke, to defend himself against these formidable preparations, had recourse again to his old ally the king of France, who very readily advanced with an army to his assistance, as an action wherein he could every way find his own account; for, beside the appearance of glory and justice by protecting the injured, he fought indeed his own battle, by preserving his neighbouring state in the hands of a peaceful prince, from so powerful and restless an enemy as the king of England; and was largely paid for his trouble into the bargain: for king William, either loth to engage in a long and dangerous war, or hastened back by intelligence of some troubles from Wales, sent officers to his army, just ready to embark for Normandy, that upon payment of ten shillings a man they might have leave to return to their own homes. This bargain was generally accepted; the money was paid to the king of France, who immediately withdrew his troops; and king William, now master of the conditions, forced his brother to a peace upon much harder terms than before.

In this passage there are some circumstances which may appear odd, and unaccountable to those who will not give due allowance for the difference of times and manners; that an absent prince, engaged in an unjust war with his own brother, and ill-beloved at home, should have so much power and credit, as by his commisslon to raise twenty thousand men on a sudden, only as a recruit to the army he had already with him; that he should have a fleet prepared ready, and large enough to transport so great a number; that upon the very point of embarking he should send them so disgraceful an offer; and that so great a

number