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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 544



Leo» who ruled the see four years, two months, and six days. In the time of this pope, king Edward sent ambassadors to the Apostolic See, to procure him absolution from a vow which he had made, for he vowed that he would go to Rome if he obtained his father's kingdom ; and the pope wholly released him from this vow, and wrote to him, enjoining him strictly, in the name of holy obedience and penitence, to distribute among the poor the sum which he had prepared for his journey, and either to build a new convent for monks, in honour of Saint Peter the Chief of the Apostles, or else to repair an old one, and to endow it with sufficient means for the support of the brethren out of his own revenues; and, by his Apostolical authority, he commanded that whatever he should give to that foundation, orwhatever had been given, or whatever should be hereafter given by others, should be confirmed to it, and whatever privileges pertaining to the honour of God the king should endow it with, the pope now sanctioned, and confirmed by the most positive authority, and condemned all who infringed them with his everlasting curse. Therefore, when the ambassadors returned to England, the blessed Peter revealed, to a certain monk of exemplary character, by name Wolsin, bis will that a certain foundation should be restored which was called West Monastery [Westminster]. And when the monk had related his vision to the king and to his brethren, the king, by the advice of the whole kingdom, restored that foundation and enriched it with estates, and revenues, and privileges. The same year, a diabolical piece of sorcery, unheard of in our times, was discovered at Rome. For there were in the public road which leads to Rome, two old women living in one cabin, and both imbued with the same wickedness, who were in the habit of transforming any stranger who came to them by himself, into a horse, or pig, or any other animal they chose, and then, selling the animals that had been so transformed to merchants, they spent the money that they procured in this manner in drunkenness and debauchery. And, by chance, they on one occasion received in their cottage a young man who was well acquainted with the art of dancing, and who gained bis livelihood by the profession of an actor. And that night they transformed him into an ass, and made a great profit by means of him ; for the young man, though he had become an ass, had not lost his understanding, though he had lost his power of speech. And whatever the old woman commanded,


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