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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 553



Tents, especially that of Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Wereburga the Virgin, situated in Leicester, and the church of {Saint Mary of Stowe, which Eadmot, bishop of Dorchester, had built. This countess, wishing, in a most pious spirit, to deliver the city of Coventry from a burdensome and shameful slavery, often entreated the count her husband, with earnest prayers, under the favour of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Mother of God, to deliver the town from that slavery to which I have alluded. And when the count reproached her for persevering in asking to no purpose for a thing which would be injurious to him, he at last charged her never for the future to mention this subject to him. She, on the contrary, prompted by female obstinacy, incessantly attacked her husband with the request which I have mentioned, and at last extorted this answer from him :— "Mount," said he, "your horse naked, and ride through the market of the town, from beginning to end, at the time when all the people are assembled, and when you return you shall obtain your request." And the countess answered and said, "And if I am willing to do so, will you give me permission ?" And the count replied, " I will." Then the countess Godiva, beloved by God, on a set day, as I have already said, mounted her horse naked, letting fall the hair and tresses of her head, and so covering her whole body except her beautiful legs; and when she had finished her journey, without having been seen by any one, she returned with joy to her husband, who looked on this as a miracle. And count Leofric, releasing the city of Coventry from its slavery, confirmed the charter which he then gave it with the sanction of his own seal. A.D. 1058. Stephen was elected to the Roman chair, which he filled for nine mouths. And the same year, he was succeeded by Benedict, who also governed the see nine months, as his predecessor had done. About this time, a certain Boman citizen, of youthful age, of senatorial rank, married a nobly-born virgin, in honour of whom he gave a marriage-feast to his companions, which lasted several days. And when one day they had gone out to the fields to recruit by sport their stomachs, which were weary with dainties, they called for a ball, and spent a great part of the day in playing. But the young man, that he might not while playing lose his weddingring, he, unperceived by his companions, put it on the stretchedout finger of a brazen statue which was at hand, and then he


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