« AnteriorContinuar »
Harold (with dignity). Earl of Mercia !
Leofric. A coward's tongue grows bold in a king's service.
Affection has no place
Harold. Look you, Earl Leofric, a poor scholar am I,
Leofric. There may be swords as true of steel as your's,
"Twas of softer metal
From a true heart
Godwin ! Godwin !
[drops Harold's hand.
'Tis a tune
Chafe not, son Harold,
When summer brought the flowers, and you gave help
Harold. And tell her she is Harold's sister, earl,
More than all to me
Enter an Attendant.
Comes he mounted ? arm'd ?
Singly, on foot he comes
Thurkell. 'Gainst witchcraft, and the evil eye, and the spit
Godwin. Hush Thurkell, there's a corner of your heart
You will save my life,
Godwin. Who threats your life, Prince Edward ?
Oh ! not so
Godwin. What life was that? I thought that royal blood
I led a peaceful life ;
And knew, the while,
Edward. Aye; but no right nor law, the abbot said
A crowned monk
No, my lord;
Godwin (apart.) Why, though he carried in effeminate hand
If ought else
Godwin (suddenly taking his resolution.) King!
You mock me! you have power:
Dread Prince !
Edward. Oh sir,-if Godwin is my shield.
Not so ;
Steals from my heart the word—to loveliness
As a form
In her heart
Edward. But Leofric, sir,
I'll deal with him myself,
27.-THE BANISHMENT OF GODWIN.
Dr. LAPPENBERG. Edward had spent not only his youthful years, which are wont to give a fixed direction to the inclinations and the character, but also those of his maturer age, in which the indissoluble bonds of love and habit hold us even till death, in a country widely differing in climate, manners and language, from the land of his birth. The higher those intellectual enjoyments raised him, to which he could devote himself in the leisure of his powerful position, so much the more excusable and powerful must be his conviction, that the participators in the sentiments which made him happy had a claim to his entire confidence, and to the support of the whole power committed to him by the Almighty. On leaving the soil of his education and his joys, the hearty greeting of the West Saxop peasant sounded strange to his ear, and spoke not to his heart. The rugged manners of the Anglo-Danish nobles, from intercourse with whom he could no longer take refuge under the peaceful arches of a cloister, filled him with disgust, while the independent spirit of the Anglo-Saxon clergy, who in language and through ancient tradition had ever been divided from the church of Rome, appeared to the orthodox Catholic little better than damnable heresy. Above all things, Edward was anxious to introduce Norman ecclesiastics into his kingdom, and through them to bring it into closer relationship with the papal chair. Soon after his accession, the see of London becoming vacant by the death of Bishop Ælfweard, he bestowed it on Robert the Frank, a monk of Jumièges, who is said to have shown particular kindness to Edward in his days of need. A few years afterwards Robert succeeded Eadseye in the dignity of Archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England, Other French ecclesiastics were appointed chaplains to the king, which post in this as in other countries inay be regarded as the nursery of its future bishops. On one of them, - named William, at the instance of Robert and command of the pope, the see of London was bestowed, although the king bad already conferred it under his writ
and seal on Spearhafor (Sparrowhawk), and whose rich abbey of Abingdon had been given to Radulf, a relation of Edward. Another Norman, named Ulf
, received the bishopric of Dorchester, and thus all the best vacant benefices fell into the hands of foreigners, a state of things to which the English church had till then been a stranger.
The nation, nevertheless, would hardly have noticed these innovations, and would probably have endured the gradual installation of foreign prelates, had not the powerful temporal lords of the land found themselves aggrieved by the strangers. Of these Radulf, a nephew of the king, who had attended him on his return from exile to England, had been (probably after the banishment of Sweyn) invested with the earldom of Hereford. Many French knights had also attached themselves to Radulf, and resided in his castles, and some had their own castles, as Osbern, surnamed Pentecost, and Hugo. Mention is also made of the castle of another French knight, Robert, son of Wincare, situated to the north of London. The influence of Radulf was considered all powerful at the court of Edward : the weak courted his favour, and presumed not to withstand any of his pretensions; and even the influential abbot of Ramsey, prompted by the conviction of his power, was induced to surrender to him certain lands, the possession of which he coveted. The powerful looked on him only with ill-concealed rancour. The refusal of Archbishop Robert to consecrate Spearhafor to the see of London had just excited the minds of the people anew against the Franks, and they looked with jealousy on the marriage, which shortly after took place, of Goda, the sister of Edward and mother of Radulf, with Eustace count of Boulogne, called from his large moustaches 'Eustace aux Grenons,' when the unwelcome intelligence of a fresh arrival of Frankish visitors became public, and was received with mistrust and murmuring. The king's brotherin-law, Eustace, appeared at court with a stately retinue. On his return, having stopped for refreshment at Canterbury, he proceeded on the way to Dover. When within a mile or two of the town, it was observed that he and his men put on their hauberks, and no sooner had they arrived than they announced their intention to quarter themselves wherever it appeared agreeable to them. Against abuses in harbouring even the king and his followers, the townspeople could secure themselves; but to these Franks, who were regarded as a public nuisance, no one would act as host. One of them having wounded a householder, who resisted his attempt at entrance, was slain by the latter ; whereupon Eustace and his followers mounted their horses and made a general attack on the inhabitants, in which the householder above-mentioned and about twenty others were slain. Many of the French also fell by the hands of the townsmen, and many more were wounded. Eustace himself with a few of his people escaping with difficulty, went immediately to the king at Gloucester, who on hearing their version of what had taken place, in his anger despatched Godwin to punish the townsmen for their misconduct. But why should the proud and mighty earl, out of mere compliance with the will of his weak-minded son-in-law, be the instrument to punish his brave burghers for a deed which had called forth praise from every part of England, and thus degrade himself for the sake of the odious Franks? All the West Saxons shared in this hatred, for reckless insolence and rash violence had marked the career of every Frank in England. In the neighbourhood of one of their newly-built castles in Herefordshire, probably that of Pentecost, even the king's vassals were exposed to their insults and violence. Godwin hereupon, with his sons, Sweyn and Harold, resolved to lay their own and the nation's complaints before the king, who had appointed his witan to assemble at Gloucester about the second mass day of St. Mary, for the purpose of suppressing these dissensions. In the meantime Godwin and his sons had gathered around