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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 541



532 MATTHEW OF WE8TMXNSTEB. A.D . 1041· justly accused ; and engaging the giant in battle, by a miracle of God hamstrung him, and so deprived him of strength. And when he fell to the ground, Mimecan cut off his head and pre sented it to' his mistress. Then the empress, being gladdened at this unhoped-for triumph, divorced herself from the emperor, nor could she from that time forth be won over, by either threats or blandishments, to consent to enter his bed. This emperor, while his father, Conrad, was still alive, had received from one of the secular clergy a silver pipe, on condition that, when he became emperor, he should confer a bishopric on him. And when the clergyman demanded the fulfilment of the promise, Henry, who was now grown up, and who had been created emperor after the death of his father, willingly gave him a bishopric. But not long afterwards, he was afflicted for this wicked error, and struck with disease, and so took to his bed, and as his illness increased, he lay three days senseless and speechless, dumb as if his soul had departed from his body ; so that the breath of life scarcely beat within his breast, and the only sign of life was, that if a hand was held before his nostrils a very weak breathing was perceived. Then the bishops and his friends who were present ordered a fast for three days, and with tears and prayers implored the divine mercy for the safety of the emperor. And when, in consequence of these remedies, as it is believed, he became convalescent, he sent for the bishop whom he had made so simoniacally, in return for the silver pipe, and degraded him by the decree of the council. For he confessed, in the hearing of all men, that during the whole three days that he had been lying in that lifeless state, he had been among the devils, and had found them so hostile to him that they had kept darting flames of fire into his mouth through a pipe, and burnt his whole body both inside and outside. And the flame burnt him to such a degree that, in comparison of that fire, all earthly fire seemed only lukewarm, and absolutely devoid of heat But amid all this burning, the emperor had a young man exceedingly hot, as if he had been roasted with fire, who bore in his hands a golden goblet, of wonderful size, full of water. And the emperor by his care being besprinkled with the liquid, found the fire extinguished by it, and was restored to his former health. And when he marvelled at this, and enquired of the roasted young man who had provided him with this cooling aspersion who he was, he brought back to his re


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