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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 545

536 MATTHEW OE WESTMUTSTEB. A.D . 1049« the ass performed, playing and dancing. And, accordingly, as the multitude flocked to see the tricks of the ass, the old witches did not allow them to see the ass play his tricks except on payment of money. At last, when his fame was spread over the whole province, a rich man came to the old sorceresses, and, giving an immoderate price for him, became the proprietor of this ass. But, as he was departing with his purchase, he was warned by the woman that if he wished to have a long enjoyment of the sport, he must keep the ass from entering the water. Accordingly, the rich man appointed a servant to watch him, and take diligent care of him. And whenever he wished to be amused, the tricks of the ass delighted him and all his company. But, after a considerable period had elapsed, the tricks of the ass began to get wearisome, and he began to be taken less care of by his keepers. And so, one day he broke the halter by which he was fastened, and threw himself into a lake which was close at hand, and having rolled about for some time in the water, he recovered his original form of a man. And his keeper pursued him, and, seeing a man, enquired of him whether he had seen an ass running away. He told him that hehimself had been the ass, but that he had just recovered the form of a man. And then he related to him all that had happened to him, and told him all the treatment that he had received. The servant marvelling, reported the matter to his master, and his master reported it to pope Leo. And the women being convicted, confessed their crimes to the pope. And while the pope was in doubt about the matter, he had his doubts set at rest by Peter Da* mian, who adduced the instance of Simon Magus, who caused Fauetianus to appear in the shape of Simon, and to be regarded with horror by his own sons. Augustine tells a similar story of a certain man whose, name was Prestantius, which he says he heard from Preestantius'e own son. For Prasstantius had taken poison in some cheese ; and as he lay in bed for many days as if he were asleep, when he awoke, he said that he had become a horse, and he declared that he had been carrying corn like a horse. The same Augustine records, that when he was in Italy, he heard of some women who used to give travellers diabolical confections wrapped up in cheese, by means of which they seemed to be transformed into beasts of burden ; and then, when they had finished the tasks that were imposed upon them, they returned

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