Page:The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, Volume 16.djvu/77

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likewise deposited, fell, at the same time, into the king's hand, which in a few days broke the bishop's heart, already worn with age and infirmity.

It may, perhaps, not be thought a digression to say something of the fortunes of this prelate, who, from the lowest beginnings, came to be, without dispute, the greatest churchman of any subject in his age. It happened that the late king Henry, in the reign of his brother, being at a village in Normandy, wanted a priest to say mass before him and his train; when this man, who was a poor curate thereabouts, offered his service, and performed it with so much dexterity and speed, that the soldiers who attended the prince recommended him to their master, upon that account, as a very proper chaplain for military men. But it seems he had other talents; for having gotten into the prince's service, he soon discovered great application and address, much older and economy in the management of his master's fortunes, which were wholly left to his care. After Henry's advancement to the crown, this chaplain grew chief in his favour and confidence; was made bishop of Salisbury, chancellor of England, employed in all his most weighty affairs, and usually left vicegerent of the realm while the king was absent in Normandy. He was among the first that swore fealty to Maude and her issue; and among the first that revolted from her to Stephen; offering such reasons in council for setting her aside, as, by the credit and opinion of his wisdom, were very prevalent. But the king, in a few years, forgot all obligations, and the bishop fell a sacrifice in his old age to those treasures he had been so heaping up for its support. A just reward for his ingratitude to-

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