sent immediately for the legate, spoke much in excuse of what was past, and used all endeavours to regain him to her interests. Bishop Henry, on the other side, amused her with dubious answers, and kept her in suspense for some days; but sent privately at the same time to the king's army, desiring them to advance with all possible speed; which was executed with so much diligence, that the empress and her brother had only time with their troops to march a back-way out of the town. They were pursued by the enemy so close in the rear, that the empress had hardly time, by counterfeiting herself dead, to make her escape; in which posture she was carried as a corpse to Gloucester; but the earl her brother, while he made what opposition he could, with design to stop her pursuers, was himself taken prisoner, with great slaughter of his men. After the battle, the earl was in his turn presented to queen Maude, and by her command sent to Rochester, to be treated in the same manner with the king.
Thus the heads of both parties were each in the power of his enemy, and Fortune seemed to have dealt with great equality between them. Two factions divided the whole kingdom, and as it usually happens, private animosities were inflamed by the quarrel of the publick; which introduced a miserable face of things throughout the land, whereof the writers of our English story give melancholy descriptions, not to be repeated in this history; since the usual effects of civil war are obvious to conceive, and tiresome as well as useless to relate. However, as the quarrel between the king and empress was
- This should be — 'are obvious to be conceived, and tiresome as well as useless to be related.'