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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 441



bed, there stood by him, in a vision of the night, the holy Cuthbert, who promised, him the certain restoration of his kingdom. And the king himself, receiving comfort from the explicit declaration of the man of God, when he rose up in the morning, promised God that he would build a monastery in that place, and ever after that time he was invincible, and an object of terror to his enemies. For the same hour, there flocked to the king, all his soldiers, with the men of Somerset and of Wiltshire, and came to lEtijtltngan, relying on whose aid, he waged unwearied war against the pagans. At length king Alfred, when the sacred solemn festival of Pentecost was at hand, went forth from the island, and rode to the rock of Egbert, which is on the eastern side of the wood which is called Saltati*. And there, too, all those who had remained in that district flocked to him, and were filled with universal joy at having recovered their king unhurt. And in the morning they moved their camp, and accomplishing a march of two days, they came to the place which is called lEtl)moune. And there they found Gytro, the king of the pagans, and all his army, against which they fought valiantly and with great courage, the Divine mercy working with them, and so they gained the victory, and, pitilessly pursuing the enemy, who fled from the field of battle, they compelled them to enter a castle which was in the neighbourhood, and then they seized everything that they could find outside the castle, and the horses and cattle, and slew all the men that were outside, and so they shut the men up in the castle, and besieged it ; and, when the siege had continued fifteen days, the pagans, being worn out with hunger and despair of being able to escape, begged for peace, on condition of swearing never again to attack the kingdom or the king. And Gytro, their king, who was blockaded in this castle along with them, promised to embrace the faith of Christ, and faithfully fulfilled all the promises that he had made. For, fifteen days afterwards, that same pagan king, with thirty chosen men of his army, was baptised not far from Ethelingay, in a place which is called in the native language Sire, and was taken up out of the font by king Alfred, by whom also he was received as a son by adoption, and Alfred, having become his godfather, changed his name and called him Athelstan ; and the attestation of his baptism was made eight days after, in the royal town which is called V29aomor, and the newly-baptised king, with the other persons


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