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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 572



A.D* 106G. DEATH 0 7 HABOIiD. 563 any more lose or delay, and holding out hopes to every one that he and his posterity would be enriched with invaluable spoils, and revenues, and treasures. And lo ! the battle-cry was heard again, and the courage of the soldiers was renewed, and they pressed again to the conflict. The clang of arms dashing together resounded ; and the neighing of horses, and the crash of spears, and the blows stricken on the shields, and the groans of the wounded, and the cries of the dying, filled the air to the very clouds 9 and the dust and the steam arising from the panting combatants, and sweat, and blood, filled the eyes, and the air appeared to every one to be quite darkened, till at last Harold fell, with his brain pierced through by a wound from an arrow, numbers of which rattled through the air, flying like wintry hail ; and so his brains were scattered about, and he died. But one of the Normans rushed forwards, and, giving vent to his execrable hatred, cut off the king's thigh, while he was still gasping ; on which account, he was disgraced for his baseness by William, and beaten in a most; shameful manner, and expelled as an abominable person, as one who had done a detestable action. But, after the death of the king, then the burden of the battle turned against the English, and increasing audacity elevated the spirits of the Normans, while amazement weighed down the English, who were now without a head. And, as they saw that the whole matter in dispute was for a head, and as the fortune of war had now turned against them, they afforded their enemies a bloody victory at their expense. And the common soldiers sought refuge in flight, and sought all kinds of places of retreat and concealment. But the nobles, preferring to die rather than to flee disgracefully, seeing that their complete spoliation and an intolerable yoke was at hand, persevered in doing battle, exposing their invincible breasts to the enemy, many of them expiring through mere fatigue, till night put an end to the contest. But the flight of the English of ignoble birth lasted till night, and when that came, it descended in the complete triumph of the Normans over their enemies, as had been predicted. Beyond all doubt, the hand of God, more than that of man, protected duke William in this battle, as he afterwards, like a wise man, often confessed. For though, amid the showers of javelins that were flying around, he was often struck by arrows, yet the enemy could not draw one drop of blood from his


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