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Unformatted text preview: le the fumes of the liquor, and the ardour of the company, prevented him from reflecting on the consequences of that rash attempt. But after his cool judgment returned, he foresaw, that the conspiracy of those discontented barons was not likely to prove successful against the established power of William; or if it did, that the slavery of the English, instead of being alleviated by that event, would become more grievous, under a multitude of foreign leaders, factious and ambitious, whose union and whose discord would be equally oppressive to the people. Tormented with these reflections, he opened his mind to his wife, Judith, of whose fidelity he entertained no suspicion, but who, having secretly fixed her affections on another, took this opportunity of ruining her easy and credulous husband. She conveyed intelligence of the conspiracy to the king, and aggravated every circumstance, which, she believed, would tend to incense him against Waltheof, and render him absolutely implacable.x Meanwhile, the earl, still dubious with regard to the part which he should act, discovered the secret in confession to Lanfranc, on whose probity and judgment he had a great reliance: He was persuaded by the prelate, that he owed no fidelity to those rebellious barons, who had by surprise gained his consent to a crime; that his first duty was to his sovereign and benefactor, his next to himself and his family; and that, if he seized not the opportunity of making atonement for his guilt, by revealing it, the temerity of the conspirators was so great, that they would give some other person the means of acquiring the merit of the discovery. Waltheof, convinced by these arguments, went over to Normandy; but, though he was well received by the king, and thanked for his fidelity, the account, previously transmitted by Judith, had sunk deep into William’s mind, and had destroyed all the merit of her husband’s repentance. The conspirators, hearing of Waltheof’s departure, immediately concluded their design to be betrayed; and they flew to arms, before their schemes were ripe for execution, and before the arrival of the Danes, in whose aid they placed their chief confidence. The earl of Hereford was checked by Walter de Lacy, a great baron in those parts, who, supported by the bishop of Worcester and the abbot of Evesham, raised some forces, and prevented the earl from passing the Severne, or advancing PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 153 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 into the heart of the kingdom. The earl of Norfolk was defeated at Fagadun, near Cambridge, by Odo, the regent, assisted by Richard de Bienfaite, and William de Warrenne, the two justiciaries. The prisoners taken in this action had their right foot cut off, as a punishment of their treason: The earl himself escaped to Norwich, thence to Denmark; where the Danish fleet, which had made an unsuccessful attempt upon the coast of England,y soon after arrived, and brought him intelligence, that all his conf...
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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