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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 245



the depths of the Severn. A man will embrace a lion on the ground, and the brilliancy of gold will blind the eyes of the beholders. Silver will glisten around, and vex the different wine-presses. When the wine is put in mortals will be drunken, and, disregarding heaven, will fix their eyes on the earth. The stars will avert their countenances from them, and will confuse their accustomed courses. The crops will wither under their indignation, and the moisture of heaven will be denied to them. The roots and branches will change places, and the novelty of the thing will be a wonder. The splendour of the sun will grow pale with the admixture of Mercury, and horror will be to the beholders. Stilbon of Arcadia will change his shield, the helmet of Mars will invite Venus. The helmet of Mars will cause a shade ; the fury of Mercury will pass its bounds. Iron Orion will bare his sword, the watery rhoebus will vex the clouds ; Jupiter will leave his lawful paths, and Venus forsake her appointed lines. The lust of the star of Saturn will fall, and slay mortals with his curved sickle. The twelve numbers of the houses of the stars will grieve that the hosts do so transgress. The Gemini will change their accustomed embraces, and call the urn to the springs. The scales of Libra will hang awry, while Aries places his crooked horns beneath. The tail of the Scorpion will appease the lightnings, and Cancer will quarrel with the sun. Virgo will mount on the back of Sagittarius, and will darken her virgin flowers. The chaunt of the moon will disturb the zodiac, and the Pleiades will break forth into weeping. No duties will return, but the closed door will be hidden in the fissures of Adrianne. At the stroke of a ray the seas will arise, and the dust of the ancients will be renewed. The winds will ' strive together with terrible blast, and make a noise amid the stars/ " When Merlin had uttered this long prophecy, he raised all his hearers to a kind of extasy and excessive admiration, though different people had different opinions about him. For some said that he had imbibed a pythonical inspiration, and that, in the fashion of demons, he spoke in riddles obscurely and ambiguously, as Balaam had done ; while others made contrary assertions. Vortigern therefore, desiring to know his end, asked the youth to tell him what he knew. And Merlin answered him, " Escape the fire of the sons of Constantine, if you can. For they will subdue the nation of the


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