Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/45

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

gentle words to stop the flight of his men, but found it impossible: then he commanded two bodies of horse, which were placed on either wing, to join, and wheeling about, to attack the enemy in the rear. The duke, who thought himself so near a victory, was forced to stop his pursuit; and ordering his men to face about, began the fight anew; mean time the scattered parts of the main body, which had so lately fled, began to rally, and pour in upon the Normans behind, by which duke Robert's army was almost encompassed; yet they kept their ground awhile, and made several charges, until at length, perfectly overborn by numbers, they were utterly defeated. There duke Robert, doing all the parts of a great captain, was taken prisoner, together with the earl of Mortain, and almost his whole army: for being hemmed in on all sides, few of them could make their escape.

1107 Thus, in the space of forty years, Normandy subdued England, and England Normandy; which are events perhaps hardly to be parallelled in any other ages or parts of the world.

The king, having staid awhile to settle the state of Normandy, returned with his brother into England, whom he sent prisoner to Cardiff castle, with orders that he should be favourably used, which, for some time, were duly observed; until being accused of attempting to make his escape (whether it were real or feigned) he had his eyes put out with a burning basin, by the king's express commands; in which miserable condition he lived for six and twenty years.

It is believed the king would hardly have engaged in this unnatural and invidious war, with so little

D 3