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Harold : the Last of the Saxon Kings — Volume 05 by Baron Edward Bulwer Lytton Lytton
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Godwin had departed to Wales; all his sons were at their several
lordships; Edward was left alone to his monks and relic-venders. And
so months passed.

Now it was the custom with the old kings of England to hold state and
wear their crowns thrice a year, at Christmas, at Easter, and at
Whitsuntide; and in those times their nobles came round them, and
there was much feasting and great pomp.

So, in the Easter of the year of our Lord 1053, King Edward kept his
court at Windshore [125], and Earl Godwin and his sons, and many
others of high degree, left their homes to do honour to the King. And
Earl Godwin came first to his house in London--near the Tower
Palatine, in what is now called the Fleet--and Harold the Earl, and
Tostig, and Leofwine, and Gurth, were to meet him there, and go
thence, with the full state of their sub-thegns, and cnehts, and
house-carles, their falcons, and their hounds, as become men of such
rank, to the court of King Edward.

Earl Godwin sate with his wife, Githa, in a room out of the Hall,
which looked on the Thames,--awaiting Harold, who was expected to
arrive ere nightfall. Gurth had ridden forth to meet his brother, and
Leofwine and Tostig had gone over to Southwark, to try their band-dogs
on the great bear, which had been brought from the north a few days
before, and was said to have hugged many good hounds to death, and a
large train of thegns and house-carles had gone with them to see the
sport; so that the old Earl and his lady the Dane sate alone. And
there was a cloud upon Earl Godwin's large forehead, and he sate by
the fire, spreading his hands before it, and looking thoughtfully on
the flame, as it broke through the smoke which burst out into the