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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 95



90 BOGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D . 651. seeking his society for the sake of his rare mental qualities, to the end that, being instructed after the royal fashion, they might appear wise in the eyes of others. I must not omit to speak of his humility, a virtue which has been called the guardian of the others, and of which he left a singular example to all his posterity. He had given to bishop Aidan a very valuable and excellent horse, which he might use either in crossing rivers, or for expedition's sake, when travelling on any urgent business, though he ordinarily went on foot. Not long after, a poor man meeting him, and asking for alms, he dismounted, and ordered the horse, with his royal trappings, to be given to the beggar ; for he was a friend to the poor, and, as it were, the father of the wretched. This being told to the king, he said to the bishop, " Why, my lord, should you give to a poor man the royal horse which you ought to have kept for yourself ? Had we not other horses, of less value, and of a different sort, which would have been good enough for poor persons, but you must needs give them the one which I had particularly selected for yourself?" On which the bishop replied, " What is it you say, Ο king ? Is that foal of a mare more dear to you than this child of God ?" The king instantly repented of what he had said, and straightway rising up, he threw himself at the bishop's feet, beseeching him to pardon his offence, and freely to give whatever he would of the rest of his substance to the children of God. At this sight, the bishop immediately arose, and lifting him up, assured him that he would be entirely pacified if he would only sit down and lay aside his sorrow. The king beginning to be merry, as the bishop bade him, the pontiff began to be sad, and shedding tears in abundance, he said to his servants, in the tongue of his own country, " I never till now saw a humble king: this country is not worthy of such a ruler." Lastly, he was perfect in his love to God and to his neighbour ; for in loving God he so loved hi3 neighbours that, to spare his own people, and what is more, aliens also, he did not scruple to shed his own blood. Being, therefore, endued with so many and such excellent virtues, and rendered thereby a worthy sacrifice unto God. he hastened unto martyrdom. The most blessed king and martyr, Oswin, suffered on the 20th day of August, in the ninth year of his reign, at a place


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