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Unformatted text preview: was general among the English, who had become sensible, though too late, of their defenceless condition, and began already to experience those insults and injuries, which a nation must always expect, that allows itself to be reduced to that abject situation. A secret conspiracy was entered into to perpetrate in one day a PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 142 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 general massacre of the Normans, like that which had formerly been executed upon the Danes; and the quarrel was become so general and national, that the vassals of earl Coxo, having desired him to head them in an insurrection, and finding him resolute in maintaining his fidelity to William, put him to death as a traitor to his country. The king, informed of these dangerous discontents, hastened Decemb. 6. over to England; and by his presence, and the vigorous measures which he pursued, disconcerted all the schemes of the conspirators. Such of them as had been more violent in their mutiny betrayed their guilt, by flying or concealing themselves; and the confiscation of their estates, while it encreased the number of malcontents, both enabled William to gratify farther the rapacity of his Norman captains, and gave them the prospect of new forfeitures and attainders. The king began to regard all his English subjects as inveterate and irreclaimable enemies; and thenceforth either embraced, or was more fully confirmed in the resolution, of seizing their possessions, and of reducing them to the most abject slavery. Though the natural violence and severity of his temper made him incapable of feeling any remorse in the execution of this tyrannical purpose, he had art enough to conceal his intention, and to preserve still some appearance of justice in his oppressions. He ordered all the English, who had been arbitrarily expelled by the Normans, during his absence, to be restored to their estates:b But at the same time, he imposed a general tax on the people, that of Danegelt, which had been abolished by the Confessor, and which had always been extremely odious to the nation.c As the vigilance of William overawed the malcontents, their 1068. insurrections were more the result of an impatient humour in the people, than of any regular conspiracy, which could give them a rational hope of success against the established power of the Normans. The inhabitants of Exeter, instigated by Githa, mother to king Harold, refused to admit a Norman garrison, and betaking themselves to arms, were strengthened by the accession of the neighbouring inhabitants of Devonshire and Cornwal.d The king hastened with his forces to chastize this revolt; and on his approach, the wiser and more considerable citizens, sensible of the unequal contest, persuaded the people to submit, and to deliver hostages for their obedience. A sudden mutiny of the populace broke this agreement; and William, appearing before the walls, ordered the eyes of one of the hostages to be put out, as an earnest of that sev...
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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