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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 201



Haeilesdune, which was also the name of a neighbouring wood, as the wicked robber had learned from the common people. Calling, therefore, to one of his followers, he despatched him to the king with a deceitful message, that if he would divide with him his riches he should retain the kingdom under him ; but Hinguar demanded the, treasure to conceal his real object, which was rather the head than the money of that most merciful king. The soldier thereupon, proceeding with all despatch to king Edmund, addressed him after this manner : — Ilinguar's message to king Edmund. "M y lord Hinguar, ever to be feared, the unconquered king of the Danes, has come to this country to winter. If you despise his power, you shall be accounted unworthy of your life and kingdom." And so when he had delivered the whole of his message to the king, as had been enjoined him, and which we have mentioned above, the most pious king Edmund groaned from the bottom of his heart, and calling to him Humbert, bishop of Helmham, asked counsel of him, saying, " O Humbert, servant of the living God, and the half of my life, the fierce barbarians are at hand, who have in part devastated my beloved country and destroyed the inhabitants, and are endeavouring to blot out that which remains from the memory of our successors. But oh that I might fall so that my people might thereby escape death; for I will not, through love of a temporal kingdom or the gain of the present life, subject myself to a heathen tyrant, when by dying for my people and country I can become a standardbearer of the eternal kingdom." On which the prelate replied, " Unless you save yourself by flight, most beloved king, the wicked traitors will presently be here, and will seek to destroy both yourself and your subjects whom you desire to save." " What I desire above every thing," said the most merciful king, " is not to survive my faithful and beloved friends, whom the fierce pirate has surprised and slain ; and truly what you advise would tarnish my glory, who have never hitherto incurred disgrace in war. Moreover the King of heaven is my witness that no fear of the barbarians shall separate me from the love of Christ, whether living or dead." Turning then to the messenger


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