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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 554



applied himself to the game ; but when his bowels began to warm with the violent running about, he retired from the sport before any of the others, and found the finger on which he had placed the ring bent down to the palm of the hand, and the ring tight and fast on the finger. And having tried for some time to no purpose to break the finger, or to get the ring off some way or other ; when he found that he could effect nothing, he departed in great vexation, lest the matter should become known to his companions. And the following night, he came back to the statue with some servants, and then they were amazed to find the finger stretched out, and the ring taken away. So, concealing his loss, the next night, when he had laid himself down by the side of his new bride, he felt something dark and dense lying between her and himself, which could be felt but not seen. And being prevented by this obstacle from embracing his wife, he heard a voice saying to him, " Lie with me, because you have espoused me this day. I am Venus, on whose finger you put the ring. I have it, and I will not give it up." A considerable time elapsed, during which, every time that he wished to He in his wife's bosom, he felt and heard the same tiling. In all other respects, he was a powerful and vigorous young man, of reputation in the forum as well as in the army. At last, by the advice of his wife, the matter was revealed to the parents of both of them ; and they, having taken counsel on the matter, related the occurrence as it had happened to a priest in the suburbs, named Falumbus. He was well acquainted with the arts of necromancy, so as to be able to raise up magic shapes, to summon devils, and to excite them to the performance of any action. They agreed to give this priest a great heap of silver and gold to recover the ring, if that were possible. But the priest said to the youth, " Find and bring me an epistle composed with mechanical art. Go," said he, "at the same hour of the night, to the road where it branches off in four directions, and stand there, and carefully watch for the event of what shall take place silently. For there will pass by figures of persons of both sexes, of every age, degree, and condition ; some of whom will be on horseback, some on foot, some will bend their countenances on the ground, and others will lift their heads high with pride and arrogance. Do not you give an answer to any of them, not even if they speak to you. For whatever has any bearing on joy or sorrow, you will see at once in their countenances and τ. Ν w


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