history of england_david hume

He was hunting one day in dorsetshire and being led

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Unformatted text preview: p://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 Edward lived four years after his accession, and there passed nothing memorable during his reign. His death alone was memorable and tragical.x This young prince was endowed with the most amiable innocence of manners; and as his own intentions were always pure, he was incapable of entertaining any suspicion against others. Though his stepmother had opposed his succession, and had raised a party in favour of her own son, he always showed her marks of regard, and even expressed on all occasions, the most tender affection towards his brother. He was hunting one day in Dorsetshire; and being led by the chase near Corse-castle, where Elfrida resided, he took the opportunity of paying her a visit, unattended by any of his retinue, and he thereby presented her with the opportunity, which she had long wished for. After he had mounted his horse, he desired some liquor to be brought him: While he was holding the cup to his head, a servant of Elfrida approached him, and gave him a stab behind. The prince, finding himself wounded, put spurs to his horse; but becoming faint by loss of blood, he fell from the saddle, his foot stuck in the stirrup, and he was dragged along by his unruly horse, till he expired. Being tracked by the blood, his body was found, and was privately interred at Wareham by his servants. The youth and innocence of this prince, with his tragical death, begat such compassion among the people, that they believed miracles to be wrought at his tomb; and they gave him the appellation of martyr, though his murder had no connexion with any religious principle or opinion. Elfrida built monasteries, and performed many pennances, in order to atone for her guilt; but could never, by all her hypocrisy or remorses, recover the good opinion of the public, though so easily deluded in those ignorant ages. PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 86 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 [Back to Table of Contents] III Ethelred — Settlement of the Normans — Edmund Ironside — Canute — Harold Harefoot — Hardicanute — Edward the Confessor — Harold ETHELRED The freedom, which England had so long enjoyed from the 978. depredations of the Danes, seems to have proceeded, partly from the establishments, which that pyratical nation had obtained in the north of France, and which employed all their superfluous hands to people and maintain them; partly from the vigour and warlike spirit of a long race of English princes, who preserved the kingdom in a posture of defence by sea and land, and either prevented or repelled every attempt of the invaders. But a new generation of men being now sprung up in the northern regions, who could no longer disburthen themselves on Normandy; the English had reason to dread, that the Danes would again visit an island, to which they were invited, both by the memory of their past successes, and by the expectation of assistance from their countrymen, who, though long established in the kingdom, were not yet...
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