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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 10

this affront...” And repeating this again and again with a loud voice, he shook his battle-axe as if he was going to strike him, till the friends of both interposed, and after they had appeased Corineus, obliged Locrin to perform his agreement.

Chapter 4. Locrin at last marries Guendoloena, the daughter of Corineus Locrin therefore married Corineus’s daughter, named Guendoloena, yet still retained his love for Estrildis, for whom he made apartments under ground, in which he entertained her, and caused her to be honourably attended.

For he was resolved at least to carry on a private amour with her, since he could not live with her openly for fear of Corineus. In this manner he concealed her, and made frequent visits to her for seven years together, without the privity of any but his most intimate domestics; and all under a pretence of performing some secret sacrifices to his gods, by which he imposed on the credulity of every body. In the meantime Estrildis became with child, and was delivered of a most beautiful daughter, whom she named Sabre. Guendoloena was also with child, and brought forth a son, who was named Maddan, and put under the care of his grandfather Corineus to be educated.

Chapter 5. Locrin is killed; Estrildis and Sabre are thrown into a river.

But in process of time, when Corineus was dead, Locrin divorced Guendoloena, and advanced Estrildis to be queen. Guendoloena, provoked beyond measure at this, retired into Cornwall, where she assembled together all the forces of that kingdom, and began to raise disturbances against Locrin. At last both armies joined battle near the river Sture, where Locrin was killed by the shot of an arrow. After his death, Guendoloena took upon her the government of the whole kingdom, retaining her father’s furious spirit. For she commanded Estrildis and her daughter Sabre to be thrown into the river now called the Severn, and published an edict through all Britain, that the river should bear the damsel’s name, hoping by this to perpetuate her memory, and by that the infamy of her husband. So that to this day the river is called in the British tongue Sabren, which by the corruption of the name is in another language Sabrina.

Chapter 6. Guendoloena delivers up the kingdom to Maddan, her son, after whom succeeds Mempricius.

Guendoloena reigned fifteen years after the death of Locrin, who had reigned ten, and then advanced her son Maddan (whom she saw now at maturity) to the throne, Firsting herself with the country of Cornwall for the remainder of her life. At this time Samuel the prophet governed in Judaea, Sylvius Aeneas was yet living, and Homer was esteemed a famous orator and poet. Maddan, now in possession of the crown, had by his wife two sons, Mempricius and Malim, and ruled the kingdom in peace and with care forty years. As soon as he was dead, the two brothers quarrelled for the kingdom, each being ambitious of the sovereignty of the whole island. Mempricius, impatient to attain his ends, enters into treaty with Malim, under colour of making a composition with him, and, having formed a conspiracy, murdered him in the assembly where their ambassadors were met. By these means he obtained the dominion of the whole island, over which he exercised such tyranny, that he left scarcely a nobleman alive in it, and either by violence or treachery oppressed every one that he apprehended might be likely to succeed him, pursuing his hatred to his whole race. He also deserted his own wife, by whom he had a noble youth named Ebraucus, and addicted himself to sodomy, preferring unnatural lust to the pleasures of the conjugal state. At last, in the twentieth year of his reign, while he was hunting, he retired from his company into a valley, where he was surrounded by a great multitude of ravenous wolves, and devoured by them in a horrible manner. Then did Saul reign in Judaea, and Eurystheus in Lacedaemonia.

Chapter 7. Ebraucus, the successor of Mempricius, conquers the Gauls and builds the towns Kaerebrauc, etc.

Mempricius being dead, Ebraucus, his son, a man of great stature and wonderful strength, took upon him the government of Britain, which he held forty years. He was the first after Brutus who invaded Gaul with a fleet, and distressed its provinces by killing their men and laying waste their cities; and having by these means enriched himself with an infinite quantity of gold and silver, he returned victorious. After this he built a city on the other side of the Humber, which, from his own name, he called Kaerebrauc, that is, the city of Ebraucus, about the time that David reigned in Judaea, and Sylvius Latinus in Italy; and that Gad, Nathan, and Asaph prophesied in Israel. He also built the city of Alclud** towards Albani, and the town of mount Agned, called at this time the Castle of Maidens, or the Mountain of Sorrow.

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