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FABIUS ETHELWERD THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975

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FABIUS ETHELWERD
THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975
page 28



ETHELWEBD'S CHRONICLE. [A.D. 871. And now I have followed up my plan, dear cousin Matilda, and will begin to consolidate my subject ; and like a ship which, having sailed a long way over the waves, already occupies the port, to which in her patient voyage she had been tending : so we, like sailors, are already entering, and as I briefly intimated to you in my former epistle, so also in the prefaces to this present book, and without any impropriety I again remind you, and though I cut short the course of that which is visionary, not impelled by necessity, but through love of your affection, I now send it you again more fully to be meditated upon concerning the origin of our family, and sufficiently embrace the study of your sincerity.* Thus far then : I will now leave obscurity and begin to speak concerning the sons of Ethelwulf. They were five in number : the first was Ethelstan, who also shared the kingdom with his father: the second was Ethelbald, who also was king of the Western English : the third was Ethelbert, king of Kent : the fourth was Ethelred, who after the death of Ethelbert succeeded to the kingdom, and was also my grandfather's grandfather : the fifth was Alfred, who succeeded after all the others to the whole sovereignty, and was your grandfather's grandfather. Wherefore I make known to you, my beloved cousin Matilda, that I receive these things from ancient tradition, and have taken care in most brief style to write the history of our race down to these two kings, from whom we have taken our origin. To you therefore, most beloved, I devote this work, compelled by the love of our relationship : if others receive them with haughtiness, they will be judged unworthy of the feast ; if otherwise, we advise all in charity to gather what is set before them. Let us return then to the story that we broke off, and to the death of the above-named Ethelred. His reign lasted five years, and he is buried in the monastery which goes by the name of Wimborne. CHAP. III.—Of the reign of Icing Alfred, A. 871. After these things, Alfred obtained the kingdom when his brothers were dead,—he also was the youngest son of king Ethelwulf—over all the provinces of Britain. • I must again request the reader to pardon the obscurity which so frequently occurs in our author's style, and my inability to deal with such passages ; the above is a tolerably close translation of the original.


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