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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 444

seemed to offend the politeness of the earls, he reproved him very pleasantly, saying, " John, how far is a Scotus removed from a Sotus ? "1 He answered and said to the king, " Only a table'β width." And thus Master John retorted an old re proach upon its author. What can be more witty than this repartee ? For the question had referred to the difference of pursuits and manners, and John's reply bore on the distance and difference of situation. Nor was the king offended at his words, but was rather moved to laughter, as were all who were sitting at meat with him. Again, at another time when the king was at a banquet, and one of the servants had brought him a dish which contained two very large fishes and one very email one, he gave the dish to Master John to distribute it fairly between two clerks who were sitting at table, for the fishes were of enormous size, and Master John was of a very slender person. Then he, who was always devising some pleasant thing by which he might raise the mirth of the feast, kept the two large fish for himself, and gave the one small fish to the two clerks. And when the king reproved Master John for not having divided the fish equally, he answered, " I have distributed them well and fairly ; for here there is one little one," meaning himself, "and two great ones," touching the fishes. Then, turning to the two clerks, he continued, "and here are two great ones," pointing to the two clerks, " and one little one," meaning the fish. This John, at the request of the same king, translated the Hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite out of Greek into Latin, so that the Latin characters are scarcely understood, as the piece is composed more with the fluency of the Greeks than the ordinary construction of Latin. He also composed a book which he entitled χΐγί φυβιχου fiepîtparoç ; that is to say, " A Treatise on the Division of Nature ; " a work of exceeding use, on account of the difficulty of some of the questions to be solved, provided that the author be pardoned as to some points in which he has deviated from the path of the Latins, keeping his eyes too fixedly upon the Greeks, on which account he has been considered a heretic by some people. For a man of the name of Floras -wrote against him, who distorted his writings, and so condemned them. For there certainly are in that treatise very many things which, unless they are carefully sifted, do seem at ι Scotus, means a Scot. Sotus, a trunk, a log, i.e. a blockhead ; the erigili probably of the French " sot," and of the English "sot."

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