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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 232



A.D . 462. DEVASTATIONS COMMITTED BY THE SAXONS. 223 disposal of Vortigern, so that he might keep in his kingdom as many as he chose, and the rest should set sail again and return to Germany. When this message was given to the king, and when a time and place for confirming this agreement was fixed by common consent, the king ordered the nations and the Saxons to meet on the first of May at Amesbury, that what had been agreed to, might then and there be ratified. But Hengist ordered his comrades to bring with them, each of them, a long knife concealed in their boots, and while the Britons were conferring together without fear of danger, every one of the Saxons was to be ready, when the signal was given, — " Jipnut bon deree*," — to draw his knife and stab the Briton who sat next to him. And they did so . Hengist himself kept Vortigern close to him, holding him by his cloak ; and all the rest, who were expecting nothing o f the kind, to the number of four hundred and sixty men, princes, and illustrious barons, and magistrates, they murdered. The magistrate of Gloucester, named Eldol, was there, and he, when he saw the treachery, seized a stake which he happened to find, and dashed to pieces and sent to hell every one whom he could reach with it, and breaking the heads of one, the arms of another, the collar-bone of another, and the legs of several, he caused no small consternation among the enemy, and did not quit the place till he had slain seventy men and worn out his stick. But at last, as he was unable to resist so great a multitude, he turned from them and fled to his own city. Many were slain on both sides, but the Saxons gained the victory, because the unarmed Britons had n o means of resistance. A.D . 462. The Saxons threatening death to king Vortigern, pu t him in prison, and demanded of him that he should give u p his cities and fortifications as a ransom for his fife. And when he had confirmed his concessions by an oath, they released him, and first of all went and seized upon London. Then they seized York and Lincoln, and also Winchester, layin g waste each of the provinces. And they attacked the citisene with great violence, as wolves attack sheep which the shepherds have deserted. They levelled all churches and ecclesiastical buildings with the ground, and slew the priests b y the very altars. They burnt the Holy Scriptures with fire, and heaped mounds of earth over the burial places of the holy


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