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Unformatted text preview: person.h For this act of sacrilege he was reprimanded by Dunstan; and that he might reconcile himself to the church, he was obliged, not to separate from his mistress, but to abstain from wearing his crown during seven years, and to deprive himself so long of that vain ornament.i A punishment very unequal to that which had been inflicted on the unfortunate Edwy, who, for a marriage, which, in the strictest sense, could only deserve the name of irregular, was expelled his kingdom, saw his queen treated with singular barbarity, was loaded with calumnies, and has been represented to us under the most odious colours. Such is the ascendant which may be attained, by hypocrisy and cabal, over mankind! There was another mistress of Edgar’s, with whom he first formed a connexion by a kind of accident. Passing one day by Andover, he lodged in the house of a nobleman, whose daughter, being endowed with all the graces of person and behaviour, enflamed him at first sight with the highest desire; and he resolved by any expedient to gratify it. As he had not leisure to employ courtship or address for attaining his purpose, he went directly to her mother, declared the violence of his passion, and desired that the young lady might be allowed to pass that very night with him. The mother was a woman of virtue, and determined not to dishonour her daughter and her family by compliance; but being well acquainted with the impetuosity of the king’s temper, she PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 82 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 thought it would be easier, as well as safer, to deceive, than refuse him. She feigned therefore a submission to his will; but secretly ordered a waiting-maid, of no disagreeable figure, to steal into the king’s bed, after all the company should be retired to rest. In the morning, before day-break, the damsel, agreeably to the injunctions of her mistress, offered to retire; but Edgar, who had no reserve in his pleasures, and whose love to his bedfellow was rather enflamed by enjoyment, refused his consent, and employed force and entreaties to detain her. Elfleda (for that was the name of the maid) trusting to her own charms, and to the love with which, she hoped, she had now inspired the king, made probably but a faint resistance; and the return of light discovered the deceit to Edgar. He had passed a night so much to his satisfaction, that he expressed no displeasure with the old lady on account of her fraud; his love was transferred to Elfleda; she became his favourite mistress; and maintained her ascendant over him, till his marriage with Elfrida.k The circumstances of his marriage with this lady were more singular, and more criminal. Elfrida was daughter and heir of Olgar, earl of Devonshire; and though she had been educated in the country, and had never appeared at court, she had filled all England with the reputation of her beauty. Edgar himself, who was indifferent to no accounts of this nature, found his curiosity excited by the frequent panegyrics which he heard of Elfrida; and reflecting on her noble birth, he re...
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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