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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 447



into France, hoping, by a fresh sedition, to avenge the death of their father with the help of foreigners, and to make themselves masters of England. But, by the providence of God, they were not able to consummate what they had begun, because their days, as will be seen, wasted away in vanity and misery. In this year, being the fiftieth of the king's reign, which may fitly be called the jubilee, a certain writer, touching with an elegant pen the causes of the wars above-mentioned, said, " Who will give water to my head and a fountain to my eyes, bringing thither streams of tears, that day and night I may weep for those of my people who were slain ? Ο England, formerly glorious, illustrious, and great among the nations, as in the pride of the Chaldeans ! the ships of Tarsbish could not be compared to your fleets, bringing spices and all kinds of precious things from the four quarters of the world. You had the sea for a wall, and mighty castles fortified your harbours as your gates. In you warriors, and clergy, and mer* chants flourished ; to you the men of Pisa, of Genoa, and of Venice brought sapphires, carbuncles, and emeralds, derived from the streams of Paradise. You were served by Asia with purple and fine linen, by Africa with cinnamon and balsam, by Spain with gold, and by Germany with silver. Your weaver, Flanders, wove you precious garments from your own materials ; your own Guienne supplied you with wine ; all the islands between the Pleiades and the Bear were your servants. In your own interior you had the game of the forests in abundance, and on your hills you had beasts of burden and cattle. All the birds of heaven were yours, and the beauty of the country was with In abundance of fish you surpass all countries. And although, being confined by the shores of the sea, you are extended over but a small space of territory, nevertheless, on account of your famous productiveness, the sides of all the nations in the world have blessed you, being made warm by the fleeces of your sheep. For your swords being turned into ploughshares, peace and religion flourished, so that you were a spectacle and an example to all Catholic kingdoms. Alas ! why are you stripped of such great glory? Why do you yield, being dashed against yourself? Why do you rage about the domestic madness of your sins, and why, as if you had conspired against yourself, have you declared war against yourself and not against your enemies? Alas!


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