The story is, that one day he was seated at Edward’s table, at some sort of entertainment, when one of his attendants, who was bringing in a goblet of wine, tripped one of his feet, but contrived to save himself by dexterously bringing up the other in such a manner as to cause some amusement to the guests; Godwin said, referring to the man’s feet, that one brother saved the other. “Yes,” said the king, “brothers have need of brothers’ aid. Would to God that mine were still alive.” In saying this he directed a meaning glance toward Godwin, which seemed to insinuate, as, in fact, the king had sometimes done before, that Godwin had had some agency in young Alfred’s death. Godwin was displeased. He reproached the king with the unreasonableness of his surmises, and solemnly declared that he was wholly innocent of all participation in that crime. He imprecated the curse of God upon his head if this declaration was not true, wishing that the next mouthful of bread that he should eat might choke him if he had contributed in any way, directly or indirectly, to Alfred’s unhappy end. So saying, he put the bread into his mouth, and in the act of swallowing it he was seized with a paroxysm of coughing and suffocation. The attendants hastened to his relief, the guests rose in terror and confusion. Godwin was borne away by two of his sons, and laid on his bed in convulsions. He survived the immediate injury, but after lingering five days he died.
Edward continued to reign in prosperity long after this event, and he employed the sons of Godwin as long as he lived in the most honorable stations of public service. In fact, when he died, he named one of them as his successor to the throne.
[Footnote 1: Pronounced Oolf]
[Footnote 2: Spelled sometimes Herald]