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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


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 220

A.D. 883.J JOHANNES SCOTU8. 215 The same year died Asser, bishop of Sherburne, and was succeeded by Swithelm, who was the bearer of king Alfred's alms to St. Thomas the apostle in India, whence he returned in safety, bringing with him many precious stones for the king. Master John Scoi. The same year there came into England Master John, a Scot by nation, a man of an apprehensive mind and of singular eloquence. Quitting his country early in life he passed over to Gaul, where he was very honourably entertained by Charles the Bald, who made him the companion both of his meals and of his retirement. Instances of the vastness of his understanding, his knowledge, and of his wit, remain to this day. He was once sitting at table opposite the king, when, at the end of the repast, the cups having passed frequently, Charles became unusually merry, and observing master John do something which was offensive to Gallic good breeding, he pleasantly rebuked him and said, " John, what is there between a Scot and a sot ?" " Only a table," replied master Scot ; thus turning back the reproach on its author. What can be more facetious than such a reply ? For the question had been put with reference to the difference of manners, and John's reply had reference to the difference of place ; nor was the king offended at the speech, but rather moved to laughter, in which all present joined. At another time, as the king was at table, one of the servants presented him a dish in which were two very large fishes and one very small one ; the king gave it to master John, bidding him share it with two clerks who were sitting at meat with him. Now the fishes were of immense size, and master John was small in person. Ever devising something pleasant for the entertainment of the company, John kept the two large fishes for himself and gave the little one to the two clerks ; whereat the king found fault, that he had made an unfair division of the fishes. " Nay," said master John, " I have made a good and equal division; for here is a small one," alluding to himself; "and here are two great ones," pointing to the fishes. Then turning to the clerks, " Here," said he, " are two great ones," meaning the clerks, " and here is a little one," meaning the fish.

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