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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.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 355

of Mercia, a certain band of fiery brilliancy shone forth, which seemed to descend from the sky and to be stretched out to the cross, which was standing before the door of the house in which was a woman in travail. And this mighty miracle was immediately known all over the country of the Midland Mercians. And the child was baptized, and, by desire of his parents, was called Guthlac. And when he advanced in age, and his strength increased, he collected around him a band of followers, and followed the profession of arms. But the innate kindness of his disposition was such, that out of the plunder that he collected from every quarter, he always remitted a third part to those who had possessed the property. Accordingly, when he had passed eight years in this ferocious kind of fife, one night he pondered within himself, and recollected how vain the glory of this world is, and how everlasting and certain the damnation of the world to come. Therefore, when morning came, he left his house and his fellow banditti, and betook himself to the monastery of ftepentiune,1 which was famous at that time. And there he received the tonsure, and assumed the clerical garb, and determined to repent of his sins. And, after that, he procured himself to be instructed in sacred literature and monastic discipline, and laboured in solitude to emulate the virtues of the saints ; and having read accounts of the virtues of monks who had chosen a life of solitude, he desired to find a wilderness, and undertook a journey to discover a suitable place for himself. At last, he came to a large swamp, which is situated on the eastern side of Mercia, and enquired diligently what was the character of that district. And some one told him that there was in that vast swamp a remote island, which many people had endeavoured to inhabit, but which had been abandoned by almost everyone, on account of the monsters seen in that desolate place. But when he heard that, this man of God asked to have this place pointed out to him. And his informant, taking with him a fishing-boat, carried the holy man of God to the place. This island is called Croyland ; and no one before had ever ventured to inhabit it, on account of the terrible apparitions of the devils who dwelt in it. In this place then the holy man began to dwell, committing himself especially to the protection of Saint Bartholomew. And when he had abode there some time, he returned to his companions, from whom he selected two boys, and then returned with them to the island, where he took up his spi .Now Repton. 1

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