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Unformatted text preview: dministration, his resuming all the grants of his immediate predecessors; an attempt, which is commonly attended with the most dangerous consequences. The poverty of the crown convinced the nation, that this act of violence PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 102 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 was become absolutely necessary; and as the loss fell chiefly on the Danes, who had obtained large grants from the late kings, their countrymen, on account of their services in subduing the kingdom, the English were rather pleased to see them reduced to their primitive poverty. The king’s severity also towards his mother, the queen-dowager, though exposed to some more censure, met not with very general disapprobation. He had hitherto lived on indifferent terms with that princess: He accused her of neglecting him and his brother during their adverse fortune;x He remarked, that, as the superior qualities of Canute, and his better treatment of her, had made her entirely indifferent to the memory of Ethelred, she also gave the preference to her children of the second bed, and always regarded Hardicanute as her favourite. The same reasons had probably made her unpopular in England; and though her benefactions to the monks obtained her the favour of that order, the nation was not, in general, displeased to see her stripped by Edward of immense treasures which she had amassed. He confined her, during the remainder of her life, in a monastery at Winchester; but carried his rigour against her no farther. The stories of his accusing her of a participation in her son Alfred’s murder, and of a criminal correspondence with the bishop of Winchester, and also of her justifying herself by treading barefoot, without receiving any hurt, over nine burning plough-shares, were the inventions of the monkish historians, and were propagated and believed from the silly wonder of posterity.y The English flattered themselves, that, by the accession of Edward, they were delivered for ever from the dominion of foreigners; but they soon found, that this evil was not yet entirely removed. The king had been educated in Normandy; and had contracted many intimacies with the natives of that country, as well as an affection for their manners.z The court of England was soon filled with Normans, who, being distinguished both by the favour of Edward, and by a degree of cultivation superior to that which was attained by the English in those ages, soon rendered their language, customs, and laws fashionable in the kingdom. The study of the French tongue became general among the people. The courtiers affected to imitate that nation in their dress, equipage, and entertainments: Even the lawyers employed a foreign language in their deeds and papers:a But above all, the church felt the influence and dominion of those strangers: Ulf and William, two Normans, who had formerly been the king’s chaplains, were created bishops of Dorchester and London. Robert, a Norman also, w...
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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