Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/75

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67
STEPHEN.

dition into Scotland, to pursue and improve his victory, where he met with no opposition: however, he was at length persuaded with much difficulty to accept his own conditions of a peace, and David delivered up to him his eldest son Henry, as hostage for performance of articles between them.

The king, in his return homeward, laid siege to Ludlow castle, which had not been reduced with the rest: here prince Henry of Scotland, boiling with youth and valour, and exposing his person upon all occasions, was lifted from his horse by an iron grapple let down from the wall, and would have been hoisted up into the castle, if the king had not immediately flown to his assistance, and brought him off with his own hands by main force from the enemy, whom he soon compelled to surrender the castle.

1140. Stephen having thus subdued his inveterate enemies the Scots, and reduced his rebellious nobles, began to entertain hopes of enjoying a little case. But he was destined to the possession of a crown with perpetual disturbance; for he was hardly returned from his northern expedition, when he received intelligence that the empress, accompanied by her brother the earl of Gloucester, was preparing to come for England, in order to dispute her title to the kingdom. The king, who knew by experience what a powerful party she already had to espouse her interests, very reasonably concluded, the defection from him would be much greater, when she appeared in person to countenance and reward it; he therefore began again to repent of the licence he had granted for building castles, which were now likely to prove so many places of security for his enemies, and fortifications against himself; for he

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