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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 410



A.D. 852· STOET ΟΓ A CERTAIN WICE3SD WOMAN. 401 bind the stone round with three most powerful chains of iron, and employ fifty clérical singers of psalms to chaunt, and as many priests to celebrate masses for three days, and by these means to check the ferocious attacks of my adversaries. And if I lie in this way unmoved for three days, on the fourth day bury me in the ground." Accordingly, everything was done as she had commanded them. But, alack the day! neither prayers, nor tears, nor chains were of any avail. For though on the two first nights the choirs of psalm-singers were watching by the body, the demons came and broke open the door of the church, which was shut fast with a mighty bolt, and easily burst asunder the two outer chains ; but the middle one, which was the strongest, remained uninjured ; and on the third night there was, about cockcrow, a noise as of enemies marching up, and the whole monastery seemed to be moved from its foundations. Then one of the demons, who was more formidable in countenance than the rest, and more conspicuous for his stature, shook down the doors of the church with a violent assault, and dashed them to pieces. Clergy and laity were stupified, all their hair stood on end, and the singing of psalms ceased. And then the demon, with arrogant gestures, as it seemed, proceeded to the tomb, and calling gently on the name of the woman, commanded her to rise. And when she replied that she could not because of her chains, " You shall quickly," said he, " be released, to your own misfortune." And in a moment he burst the chain which had mocked the fierceness o f the other demons, as if it had been an hempen string. He also pitched aside the lid of the sepulchre, and in the sight of them all, dragged the woman out of the church, where before the doors was seen a horse neighing proudly, with iron hoofs, and nails projecting from him on all sides, and the wretched woman was thrown upon him, and so disappeared from the eyes of the bystanders. «But her horrible cries, imploring help, were heard for nearly four miles. Now this story which I have related will not be incredible, if the dialogue of the blessed Gregory be read, in which he relates that a man who had been buried in a church, was turned out of doors by demons. Moreover, among the French, Charles Martel, a man of illustrious courage, who compelled the Saracens who had invaded Gaul, to return to Spain, is related, when he had ended his course of this life, to have VOL. .1. 3 D


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