Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/42

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34
HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

Whatever might have been the method of electing bishops, in the more primitive ages, it seems plain to me that in these times, and somewhat before, although the election was made per clerum & populum; yet the king always nominated at first, or approved afterward, and generally both, as may be seen by the style in which their elections ran, as well as by the persons chosen, who were usually churchmen of the court, or in some employment near the king. But, whether this were a gradual encroachment of the regal upon the spiritual power, I would rather leave others to dispute.

1104. About this time duke Robert came to England, upon a visit to the king, where he was received with much kindness and hospitality; but, at the same time, the queen had private directions to manage his easy temper, and work him to a consent of remitting his pension: this was compassed without much difficulty: but, upon the duke's return to Normandy, he was severely reproved for his weakness by Ralph bishop of Durham, and the two earls of Mortain and Shrewsbury. These three having fled from England for rebellion, and other treasons, lived exiles in Normandy; and bearing an inveterate hatred to the king, resolved to stir up the duke to a resentment of the injury and fraud of his brother. Robert, who was various in his nature, and always under the power of the present persuader, easily yielded to their incitements; reproached the king in bitter terms, by letters and messages, that he had cozened and circumvented him; demanding satisfaction, and withal threatening revenge. At the same time, by the advice of the three nobles

already