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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 97



In the year of grace 654, Penda, king of the Mercians, madly bent on war, and rejoicing only in bloodshed, made an attack on Anna, king of the East-Angles, a very religious man, whom he destroyed in a moment, with all his army. Anna was succeeded in the kingdom by his brother Athelhere. The same year died Erconbert, king of Kent, and was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Egbert, who reigned nine years. Egbert had brought up in his palace Athelbert and Ethelred, the two sons of his uncle Ermenred, who, after their regeneration in holy baptism, continued in innocence and voluntary chastity, and threw the shield of humility over their eminent virtues. Now there was, in the house of the aforesaid king, a certain servant, a limb of the devil, named Thuner, which is the same with " Tonitrum " in Latin, and means " Thunder," who, through envy at the improvement of the noble boys, made it his daily business with the king to blacken their innocence. " I see," said he, "that thou, Ο king, art with much care bringing up these youths, who will one day aspire to take thy kingdom from thee; wherefore I would give thee good counsel, either to banish them to a distance, or to deliver them to me to put them to death." As he daily urged him on, and the king dissembled or gave a cold denial, the audacious wretch was encouraged to destroy the guiltless. Not to make a long story, Thuner, with devilish rage, armed a multitude, and, in the king's absence, ignominiously cut the throats of the aforesaid innocents, and buried the bodies of the holy youths without ceremony in the king's hall under the royal chair. On the king's return, in the dead of the night, a column of light was shed down from heaven, and filled the royal house with a wonderful resplendence, at the sight of which the servants of the king's household fell to the ground in consternation, and almost lost their wits. The king being awaked by the uproar among his servants, and being quite ignorant of the cause of the tumult, rose as usual to hear matins ; and, on going out of the house, he saw an orb of unusual splendour with bright rays issuing therefrom. The king thereon called to mind his conversation with that wicked servant about destroying the youths, and became very sad. Calling to him the minister of iniquity, he demands of him where his kinsmen were, who were wont to be with him daily, but whom


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