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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 209



204 HOGEK OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 871. was the son of Mahalaleel, who was the son of Cainaan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of GOD. Of king Alfred's early years. In his early years Alfred was exceedingly beloved by his father and mother above all his brothers, and what is more, by every one in the kingdom, for which cause he was ever, during his boyhood, in the king's court. He was of a more comely person than all his brothers, of a more serene countenance, and more gracious in speech and demeanour. Notwithstanding, by the neglect of his parents and governors, he continued illiterate till the twelfth year of his age. Yet he would sedulously listen to the Saxon poems day and night ; and these he readily retained in memory and used to recite ; he was incomparable for skill and success in hunting, hawking, and all kinds of exercise, as he was also in every other endowment. His mother one day showed him and his brothers a book of Saxon poetry, which she held in her hand, and told them she would give it to whichever of them should first learn its contents. Struck with the beauty of the initial letter, " Will you," said Alfred, " give the book to whichever of us shall most quickly understand it and recite it to you ? " On her assuring hini that she would, he went to his teacher with the book, and having read it, he returned and recited it from memory to his mother. Then with unceasing assiduity he wrote in a book the psalms and prayers of David, which he ever carried about with him in his bosom, using it at his devotions, and constantly meditating on its contents ; for he had heard from his teacher that an illiterate king is no better than a crowned ass. In the flower of his youth, perceiving " a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and striving to bring him into captivity to the law of sin," he would very often, at cockcrowing and in the early morning hours, rise privately from bed and visit the churches and relics of the saints, and would there remain a long while prostrate in prayer, beseeching God of his mercy to strengthen his mind in love to him by sending him some bodily infirmity not too excessive, nor such as to render him incompetent in worldly matters. Having long sought this" of God with great devotion of mind, he at length, by God's grace, became sub


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