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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 223



218 ROGER OP AVENDO VER. [A.D. 885. we sowed discord among them and encouraged them iu evil ; wherefore we are now tormented in these fires of hell, with all other lovers of murder and rapine ; hither, too, shall come your own bishops and ministers, who now love to do as we did.' Whilst I listened with trembling, some of the blackest devils flew to me with fiery hooks and sought to lay hold of the thread which I held and draw me to them, but they were driven back by the beams of that clue, and could not touch the thread. They then ran behind my back, and would have seized me with their hooks and cast me into those pits of sulphur ; but my guide who bore the clue threw it twice round my shoulders, and, drawing me mightily after him, we ascended over high and fiery mountains, out of which came hot streams, and marshes, and all kinds of boiling metals, into which I found were cast innumerable souls of the people and nobles of my father and my brothers, some up to their hair, some to their chin, and others to their navel. These with lamentable cries addressed me thus, ' Whilst we lived we loved war, and slaughter, and rapine, for earthly lust, in company with yourself, and with your father, and your brothers and uncles; for which cause we are tormented in these boiling streams and melted metals.' While I fearfully listened, I heard some souls behind me exclaiming, ' The mighty shall suffer the mightier torments ;' and on looking back I saw on the banks of a boiling stream pitchy and sulphureous furnaces, in which I beheld some of the nobles of my father, and of mine own, and of my brothers and uncles, who cried out to me, ' Alas, for us, Charles ! Alas for us ! You see what heavy torments we are undergoing for our malice and pride, and the evil counsels which through covetousness we gave to our kings and to yourself.' While I was lamenting this spectacle, some devils ran at me with open mouths full of fire, and sulphur, and pitch, and would have swallowed me had not my guide wound the thread thrice round me, whose brightness surpassed that of the fire from their mouths, and was a sure defence to me. W e then descended into a valley, dark in one part and burning like a fiery oven, but in another part so pleasant and bright that no words can describe it. Turning towards the dark and fiery part, I beheld there some of the kings of my family in great punishment. A t this I was distressed beyond measure, and


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