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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 487



unction at Kingston, from the hands of Odo, archbishop of Canterbury. There was a certain nnmarried woman, of noble birth, who, with her grown-up daughter, lived with him in the most wicked intercourse of familiarity, hoping to induce him to unite himself to either the mother or daughter by formal matrimony. Both of whom, they say, he used to handle alternately, in a shameful and immodest manner, without any decency or shame. For on the very day on which he was consecrated king, the prince, immediately after he had received the royal unction, suddenly he leapt down from the table and left the pleasant banquet, while wanton and full of wine, to satisfy himself with lascivious pleasures. The action offended the nobles, and they sent the blessed Dunstan to bring the king back, that he might be a pleasant messmate with them at his royal banquet. And Dunstan, according to the command of the nobles, taking with him bishop Cynesius, his kinsman, entered the king's bedchamber, where they found the kingly crown, splendid and beautiful as it was, thrown carelessly off his head down on the ground, and the king lying between the two women wallowing in the mire of impurity. Then Dunstan, being moved at such unhallowed conduct, said to the king, " Your princes have sent us to you to entreat you to return to the worthy couch on which was your seat, and to associate pleasantly with them." At the same time he reproved the vanity of the women ; and as the king was unwilling to rise up, he took hold of his hand and led him back, in great anger, to the royal banquet. Then that strumpet, whose name was Algiva, rising up against the man of God in a burning rage, said that he was over rash in entering into the secret chambers of the king without being invited. And so that most abandoned woman did not desist from persecuting the blessed Dunstan, till she had raised in the king's mind a mortal hatred against the venerable abbot. A.D. 956. John was created pope, and filled the Roman chair seven years. At tins time, Algiva, who has been mentioned before, that most abandoned woman, with the consent of king Edwy, stripped the monastery of Dunstan, that man of God, of all its property ; and having extorted a command from the king to that effect, at last banished him from the kingdom. And he, being thus driven into banishment, took refuge in the Gallic territories ; but that woman, wishing to


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