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Geoffrey of Monmouth History of the Kings of Britain

 
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Geoffrey of Monmouth
History of the Kings of Britain
page 20



the nobility, disdaining to bear his tyranny any longer, made an insurrection against him, and deposed him; and then advanced Elidure, his brother, who was afterwards surnamed the pious, on account of his commiseration to Arthgallo in distress. For after five years’ possession of the kingdom, as he happened to be hunting in the wood Calaterium, be met his brother that had been deposed. For he had travelled over several kingdoms, to desire assistance for the recovery of his lost dominions, but had procured none. And being now no longer able to bear the poverty to which he was reduced, he returned back to Britain, attended only by ten men, with a design to repair to those who had been formerly his friends. It was at this time, as he was passing through the wood, his brother Elidure, who little expected it, got sight of him, and forgetting all injuries, ran to him, and affectionately embraced him. Now as be had long lamented his brother’s affliction, he carried him with him to the city Alclud, where he hid him in his bed-chamber. After this, he feigned himself sick, and sent messengers over the whole kingdom, to signify to all his prime nobility that they should come to visit him. Accordingly, when they were all met together at the city where he lay, he gave orders that they should come into his chamber one by one, softly, and without noise: his pretence for which was, that their talk would be a disturbance to his head, should they all crowd in together. Thus, in obedience to his commands, and without the least suspicion of any design, they entered his house one after another. But Elidure had given charge to his servants, who were set ready for the purpose, to take each of them as they entered, and cut off their heads, unless they would again submit themselves to Arthgallo his brother. Thus did he with every one of them apart, and compelled them, through fear, to be reconciled to Arthgallo. At last the agreement being ratified, Elidure conducted Arthgallo to York, where he took the crown from his own head, and put it on that of his brother. From this act of extraordinary affection to his brother, he obtained the surname of Pious. Arthgallo after this reigned ten years, and made amends for his former maladministration, by pursuing measures of an entirely opposite tendency, in depressing the baser sort, and advancing men of good birth; in suffering every one to enjoy his own, and exercising strict justice towards all men. At last sickness seizing him, he died, and was buried in the city Kaerleir.

Chapter 18. Elidure is imprisoned by Peredure, after whose death he is a third time advanced to the throne.

Then Elidure was again advanced to the throne, and restored to his former dignity. But while in his government he followed the example of his eldest brother Gorbonian, in performing all acts of grace; his two remaining brothers, Vigenius and Peredure, raised an army, and made war against him, in which they proved victorious; so that they took him prisoner, and shut him up in the tower at Trinovantum, where they placed a guard over him. They then divided the kingdom betwixt them; that part which is from the river Humber westward falling to Vigenius’s share, and the remainder with all Albania to Peredure’s. After seven years Vigenius died, and so the whole kingdom came to Peredure, who from that time governed the people with generosity and mildness, so that he even excelled his other brothers who had preceded him, nor was any mention now made of Elidure. But irresistible fate at last removed him suddenly, and so made way for Elidure’s release from prison, and advancement to the throne the third time; who finished the course of his life in just and virtuous actions, and after death left an example of piety to his successors.

Chapter 19. The names of Elidure’s thirty-three successors.

Elidure being dead, Gorbonian’s son enjoyed the crown and imitated his uncle’s wise and prudent government. For he abhorred tyranny, and practised justice and mildness towards the people, nor did he ever swerve from the rule of equity. After him reigned Margan, the son of Arthgallo, who, being instructed by the examples of his immediate predecessors, held the government in peace. To him succeeded Enniaunus, his brother, who took a contrary course, and in the sixth year of his reign was deposed, for having preferred a tyrannical to a just and legal administration. In his room was placed his kinsman Idwallo, the son of Vigenius, who, being admonished by Enniaunus’s ill success, became a strict observer of justice and equity. To him succeeded Runno, the son of Peredure, whose successor was Geruntius, the son of Elidure. After him reigned Catellus, his son; after Catellus, Coillus; after Coillus, Porrex; after Porrex, Cherin. This prince had three sons, Fulgenius, Eldadus, and Andragius, who all reigned one after another. Then succeeded Urianus, the son of Andragius; after whom reigned in order, Eliud, Cledaucus, Cletonus, Gurgintius, Merianus, Bleduno, Cap, Oenus, Sisilius, Blegabred. This last prince, in singing and playing upon musical instruments, excelled all the musicians that had been before him, so that he seemed worthy of the title of the God of Jesters. After him reigned Arthmail, his


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