Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/27

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WILLIAM THE SECOND.

number of common soldiers should be able and willing to pay such a sum of money, equal to at least twelve times as much in our times, and that after being thus deluded and spoiled at once, they should peaceably disband and retire to their several homes. But all this will be less difficult to comprehend, when we reflect on the method of raising and supporting armies, very different from ours, which was then in use, and so continued for many ages after. All men who had lands in capite were bound to attend the king in his wars, with a proportioned number of soldiers, who were their tenants on easy rents in consideration of military service. This was but the work of a few days, and the troops consisted of such men as were able to maintain their own charges either at home or abroad: neither was there any reason to apprehend that soldiers would ever become instruments for introducing slavery, who held so great a share in the property.

The king, upon his return from Normandy, made an unsuccessful expedition against the Welsh, who upon the advantages of his absence had, according to their usual custom, made cruel inroads upon the adjoining counties of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford. Upon the king's approach they fled into their fastnesses among the mountains, where he pursued them for some time with great rage and vexation, as well as the loss of great numbers of his men, to no purpose. From hence he was recalled by a more formidable enemy nearer home: for Robert, earl of Northumberland, overrating his late services against the Scots, as much perhaps and as unjustly as they were undervalued by the king, refused to come to his court, which, in those days, was looked on as the

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