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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 232



A.D. 892.] TNCTJBSION OP THE DANES. 227 Alfred, desiring to lead a solitary life for Christ's sake. They tiad constructed for themselves a very small boat out of three ox-hides and a half, and, without any equipment whatever, they secretly put to sea with food for one week only, determined to go whithersoever chance should take them. By the Lord's direction they landed in Cornwall on the seventh day, and for the novelty and strangeness of the thing were presented unto the king. Their names were Dubslane, Manchet, and Manslinum. The same year, about the time of the Rogations, there appeared a comet which is called in the Saxon tongue Vexete Sterre. Golden bracelets suspended in the cross-ways. In the year of our Lord 892, an immense swarm of pagans came over from Gaul with horses and two hundred and fifty vessels, and arriving in the mouth of the river Limen in Kent [the Rother], which flows out of a great wood called Andredeswald, they brought their vessels four miles higher up, and landing, destroyed a fort inhabited by some natives, and built a stronger one for themselves in a place called Appletre. And not long after Hastein arrived from the same parts with eighty vessels, and entering the mouth of the Thames, he constructed a fortification at great expense in a royal vili called Middleton. But while Alfred was thus exposed on all sides to the incursions of his foes, and while, as some say, laws are wont to be silent in the midst of arms, he, nevertheless, amid the clang of trumpets, the uproar of war, and the din of arms, enacted laws for the observance of divine worship and of military discipline; and because by the example of the barbarians the natives themselves were tempted to commit depredations, so that there was scarcely a place safe for any one, or any communication practicable, except under the protection of arms, he instituted centuries or hundreds, and tenths or tithings, that every Englishman who lived according to the laws might have his hundred and tithing; and if any one was charged with any offence, he was immediately required of the hundred and tithing, who became bail for his appearance ; but if any one could not give such bail, he incurred the severity of the law ; and if any one escaped before or after such bail, all of his hundred and tithing incurred a fine to the king. By these means he Q 2


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