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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 6

Goddess of woods, tremendous in the chase To mountain boars, and all the savage race! Wide o’er the ethereal walks extends thy sway, And o’er the infernal mansions void of day! Look upon us on earth! unfold our fate, And say what region is our destined seat? Where shall we next thy lasting temples raise? And choirs of virgins celebrate thy praise? These words he repeated nine times, after which he took four turns round the altar, poured the wine into the fire, and then laid himself down upon the hart’s skin, which he had spread before the altar, where he fell asleep. About the third hour of the night, the usual time for deep sleep, the goddess seemed to present herself before him, and foretell his future success as follows:— “Brute! sub occasum solis trans Gallica regna Insula in oceano est undique clause mari: Insula in oceano est habitata gigantibus olim, Nunc deserta quidem, gentibus apta tuis. Hanc pete, namque tibi sedes erit illa perennis: Sic fiet natis altera Troja tuis. Sic de prole tua reges nascentur: et ipsis Totius terrae subditus orbis erit.” Brutus! there lies beyond the Gallic bounds An island which the western sea surrounds, By giants once possessed, now few remain To bar thy entrance, or obstruct thy reign. To reach that happy shore thy sails employ There fate decrees to raise a second Troy And found an empire in thy royal line, Which time shall ne’er destroy, nor bounds confine. Awakened by the vision, he was for some time in doubt with himself, whether what he had seen was a dream or a real appearance of the goddess herself, foretelling to what land he should go. At last he called to his companions, and related to them in order the vision he had in his sleep, at which they very much rejoiced, and were urgent to return to their ships, and while the wind favoured them, to hasten their voyage towards the west, in pursuit of what the goddess had promised. Without delay, therefore, they returned to their company, and set sail again, and after a course of thirty days came to Africa, being ignorant as yet whither to steer. From thence they came to the Philenian altars, and to a place called Salinae, and sailed between Ruscicada and the mountains of Azara, where they underwent great danger from pirates, whom, notwithstanding, they vanquished, and enriched themselves with their spoils.

Chapter 12. Brutus enters Aquitaine with Corineus.

From thence, passing the river Malua, they arrived at Mauritania, where at last, for want of provisions, they were obliged to go ashore; and, dividing themselves into several bands, they laid waste the whole country. When they had well stored their ships, they steered to the Pillars of Hercules, where they saw some of those sea monsters, called Syrens, which surrounded their ships, and very nearly overturned them. However, they made a shift to escape, and came to the Tyrrhenian Sea, upon the shores of which they found four several nations descended from the banished Trojans, that had accompanied Antenor in his flight. The name of their commander was Corineus, a modest man in matters of council, and of great courage and boldness, who, in an encounter with any person, even of gigantic stature, would immediately overthrow him, as if he were a child. When they understood from whom he was descended, they joined company with him and those under his government, who from the name of their leader were afterwards called the Cornish people, and indeed were more serviceable to Brutus than the rest in all his engagements. From thence they came to Aquitaine, and entering the mouth of the Loire, cast anchor. There they stayed seven days and viewed the country. Goffarius Pictus, who was king of Aquitaine at that time, having an account brought him of the arrival of a foreign people with a great fleet upon his coasts, sent ambassadors to them to demand whether they brought with them peace or war. The ambassadors, on their way towards the fleet, met Corineus, who was come out with two hundred men, to hunt in the woods. They demanded of him, who gave him leave to enter the king’s forests, and kill his game; (which by an ancient law nobody was allowed to do without leave from the prince.) Corineus answered, that as for that matter there was no occasion for asking leave; upon which one of them, named Imbertus, rushing forward, with a full drawn bow levelled a shot at him. Corineus avoids the arrow and immediately runs up to him, and with his

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