Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/70

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62
HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

condition of protecting them from the present insults of the earl of Anjou. But, before this matter could come to an issue, Stephen, who upon reduction of the towns already mentioned, had found a short interval of quiet from his English subjects, arrived with unexpected speed in Normandy; where Geoffry of Anjou soon fled before him, and the whole duchy came over to his obedience; for the farther settlement whereof, he made peace with the king of France; constituted his son Eustace duke of Normandy, and made him swear fealty to that prince, and do him homage. His brother Theobald, who began to expostulate upon this disappointment, he pacified with a pension of two thousand marks[1]: and even the earl of Anjou himself, who, in right of his wife, made demands of Stephen for the kingdom of England, finding he was no equal match at present, was persuaded to become his pensioner for five thousand more[2].

Stephen, upon his return to England, met with an account of new troubles from the north; for the king of Scots, under pretence of observing his oath of fealty to the empress, infested the borders, and frequently making cruel inroads, plundered and laid waste all before him.

1138. In order to revenge this base and perfidious treatment, the king, in his march northward, sat down before Bedford, and took it after a siege of twenty days. This town was part of the earldom of

  1. The mark of Normandy is to be understood here. Such a pension in that age was equivalent to one of £.31000 sterling in the present.
  2. Five thousand marks of silver coin was, in this reign, of the same value as the sum of £.77500, modern currency, is now. Here again the Normanic mark seems to be used.

Huntington,