This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: d Macbeth in battle, he PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 106 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 restored Malcolm to the throne of his ancestors.m This service, added to his former connections with the royal family of Scotland, brought a great accession to the authority of Siward in the north; but as he had lost his eldest son, Osbern, in the action with Macbeth, it proved in the issue fatal to his family. His second son, Walthoef, appeared, on his father’s death, too young to be entrusted with the government of Northumberland; and Harold’s influence obtained that dukedom for his own brother Tosti. There are two circumstances related of Siward, which discover his high sense of honour, and his martial disposition. When intelligence was brought him of his son Osberne’s death, he was inconsolable; till he heard, that the wound was received in the breast, and that he had behaved with great gallantry in the action. When he found his own death approaching, he ordered his servants to clothe him in a complete suit of armour; and sitting erect on the couch, with a spear in his hand, declared, that, in that posture, the only one worthy of a warrior, he would patiently await the fatal moment. The king, now worn out with cares and infirmities, felt himself far advanced in the decline of life; and having no issue himself, began to think of appointing a successor to the kingdom. He sent a deputation to Hungary, to invite over his nephew, Edward, son of his elder brother, and the only remaining heir of the Saxon line. That prince, whose succession to the crown would have been easy and undisputed, came to England with his children, Edgar, surnamed Atheling, Margaret and Christina; but his death, which happened a few days after his arrival, threw the king into new difficulties. He saw, that the great power and ambition of Harold had tempted him to think of obtaining possession of the throne on the first vacancy, and that Edgar, on account of his youth and inexperience, was very unfit to oppose the pretensions of so popular and enterprising a rival. The animosity, which he had long borne to earl Godwin, made him averse to the succession of his son; and he could not, without extreme reluctance, think of an encrease of grandeur to a family, which had risen on the ruins of royal authority, and which, by the murder of Alfred, his brother, had contributed so much to the weakening of the Saxon line. In this uncertainty, he secretly cast his eye towards his kinsman, William duke of Normandy, as the only person whose power, and reputation, and capacity, could support any detestation, which he might make in his favour, to the exclusion of Harold, and his family.n This famous prince was natural son of Robert, duke of Normandy, by Harlotta, daughter of a tanner in Falaise,o and was very early established in that grandeur, from which his birth seemed to have set him at so great a distance. While he was but nine years of age, his father had resolved to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; a fashionable act of devotion, which had taken place of the pilgrimages to Rome, and which, as it was attended with more difficulty and danger, and...
View Full Document
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