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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 506



his death, inasmuch as he trusted that he had a long time to Uve, and he was not aware that there was at Rome a church called Jerusalem, where the pope chaunts mass when the day of the festival called the Station at Jerusalem is appointed. For, when Gerebert had performed mass in that church, he immediately fell sick and took to his bed, and, consulting the statue, found out the deception, and learnt that his death was at hand. But, although he had been a most wicked man, nevertheless he did not despair of the mercy of God, but, confessing his sins before all people, he ordered all his limbs with which he had done any service to the devil to be cut off. " Let him," said he, "have the service of those limbs who sought their homage, for my mind was never attached to that wickedness, or, Î should rather say, sacrilege." And he ordered his dead trunk to be placed on a two-horse cart, that it might be buried wherever the animals carried it and stopped. And this was done. He was buried in the Lateran church, and, as a sign that he had obtained mercy, his sepulchre, both by the tumult o f his bones and also by the sweat which flows from them, is a presage of the death of the pope, as it is stated in letters which are engraved on that sepulchre. In the days of this Gerebert there was near Borne, in the Campus Martius, a brazen statue, the right hand of which had the finger which we call the forefinger stretched out, and an inscription on the head, " Strike here." This the men of that time thought ought to be understood to indicate that they should find a treasure in the statue. Accordingly, many of them beat the innocent statue with blows of axes to no purpose. But Gerebert explained their mistake, interpreting the words in another way ; and when the sun was in the centre of the heaven, he took notice where the shadow of the statue extended on the south, and there he fixed a stake. And presently, when night came, he, accompanied by his chamberlain alone, carrying a lantern, went to the place ; and there, opening the earth with thè customary incantations, he made a wide entrance for them to go in by ; and they beheld a vast palace, having golden walls, golden ceilings, and everything o f gold : they beheld golden soldiers amusing their minds with golden dice. They also saw a king of the same metal lying with a golden queen, dishes of dainties set before them, servants standing around, goblets of great value and great weight, the work of which was superior to the material. In the interior


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