“Hengist then thought out a new method of betrayal. He ordered each of his soldiers to conceal a large dagger inside his boot. Hengist himself would give his men this signal: ‘Nimet sure saxes.’ Each of them should then be ready to attack boldly the Briton standing beside him: in short, each should draw his dagger and without a moment of hesitation cut his companion’s throat. They all gathered together in the neighborhood which had been chosen and the peace conference duly began. When Hengist saw that a suitable moment had come for this act of treachery, he bellowed out: ‘Nimet our saxes.’ He himself seized Vortigern and held him tight by his royal robe. The moment they heard this signal the Saxons drew their daggers, attacked the leaders standing near them and cut the throats of about four hundred and sixty counts and earls.” (164)
Background: After the Saxons lose their foothold in Britain by way of the valiant Vortimer, they take flight on their longships. When Vortimer is poisoned by his jealous step mother, Hengist returns to the island to do some of his own poisoning. He sets a date with Vortigern, then King of Britain, to assemble and devise a peace treaty. Yet, peace is not in his real plan, but rather blood shed.
Thought: Duplicitious characters always search for a weakness in their enemy. Vortigern was easily drawn away through subtle ploys and gesticulations. Betrayal comes more easily than one thinks and from people that may have long been allies. Vortigern had always been good willed to Hengist and Horse, offering them up rich lands and even trading away Kent for the hand of the pagan Renwein, Hengist’s daughter. Vortigern betrayed his own king to validate the marauding Saxons, and do you see how they return the favor? Yet, by betraying his own kin, Vortigern revealed his true character and treachery. It isn’t any wonder people didn’t like him, for he usurped the throne by inciting Picts to behead the innocent Constant, the cloister king. No matter how magnanimous, it is hard to like a tyrant.
Intention: Am I every deceitful towards people I should be kind to? Do I live a life of loyalty and deference? How can I be more aware of deceitful people? How can I surround myself with good people I can trust? I will leave you with a quote from a much admired man…
“My mom and dad passed away from cancer. Within nine months, I lost both of my folks. Immediately after that, I had a horrible betrayal where my brother, who worked for me, stole a lot of my money. He’s in jail now.” Dane Cook