Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/62

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54
HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

formed by a late monarch in our own time and country.

1135. Since the reduction of Normandy to the king's obedience, he found it necessary for his affairs to spend in that duchy some part of his time almost every year; and a little before the death of Robert he made his last voyage there. It was observable in this prince, that having some years past very narrowly escaped shipwreck in his passage from Normandy into England, the sense of his danger had made very deep impressions on his mind; which he discovered by a great reformation in his life, by redressing several grievances, and doing many acts of piety; and to show the steadiness of his resolutions, he kept them to the last, making a progress through most parts of Normandy, treating his subjects in all places with great familiarity and kindness, granting their petitions, easing their taxes, and in a word, giving all possible marks of a religious, wise, and gracious prince.

Returning to St. Denys le Forment from his progress a little indisposed, he there fell into a fever upon a surfeit of lamprey, which in a few days ended his life. His body was conveyed to England, and buried at Reading in the abbey-church himself had founded.

It is hard to affirm any thing peculiar of this prince's character; those authors who have attempted it mentioning very little but what was common to him with thousands of other men; neither have they recorded any of those personal circumstances or passages, which only can discover such qualities of the mind as most distinguish one man from another. These defects may perhaps appear in

the