Unformatted text preview: solved, if he found her charms answerable to their fame, to obtain possession of her on honourable terms. He communicated his intention to earl Athelwold, his favourite; but used the precaution, before he made any advances to her parents, to order that nobleman, on some pretence, to pay them a visit, and to bring him a certain account of the beauty of their daughter. Athelwold, when introduced to the young lady, found general report to have fallen short of the truth; and being actuated by the most vehement love, he determined to sacrifice to this new passion his fidelity to his master, and to the trust reposed in him. He returned to Edgar, and told him, that the riches alone, and high quality of Elfrida, had been the ground of the admiration paid her, and that her charms, far from being any wise extraordinary, would have been overlooked in a woman of inferior station. When he had, by this deceit, diverted the king from his purpose, he took an opportunity after some interval, of turning again the conversation on Elfrida: He remarked, that, though the parentage and fortune of the lady had not produced on him, as on others, any illusion with regard to her beauty, he could not forbear reflecting, that she would on the whole be an advantageous match for him, and might, by her birth and riches, make him sufficient compensation for the homeliness of her person. If the king, therefore, gave his approbation, he was determined to make proposals in his own behalf to the earl of Devonshire, and doubted not to obtain his, as well as the young lady’s consent to the marriage. Edgar, pleased with an expedient for establishing his favourite’s fortune, not only exhorted him to execute his purpose, but forwarded his success by his recommendations to the parents of Elfrida; and Athelwold was soon made happy in the possession of his mistress. Dreading, however, the detection of the artifice, he employed every pretence of detaining Elfrida in the country, and for keeping her at a distance from Edgar. The violent passion of Athelwold had rendered him blind to the necessary consequences, which must attend his conduct, and the advantages, which the numerous enemies, that always pursue a royal favourite, would, by its means, be able PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 83 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 to make against him. Edgar was soon informed of the truth; but before he would execute vengeance on Athelwold’s treachery, he resolved to satisfy himself with his own eyes of the certainty and full extent of his guilt. He told him, that he intended to pay him a visit in his castle, and be introduced to the acquaintance of his new-married wife; and Athelwold, as he could not refuse the honour, only craved leave to go before him a few hours, that he might the better prepare every thing for his reception. He then discovered the whole matter to Elfrida; and begged her, if she had any regard, either to her own honour or his life, to conceal from Edgar, by every circumstance of dress and behaviour, that fatal beauty, which had seduced him from fidelity to his frien...
View Full Document
This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08