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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 331



326 EOGEK OÏ WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066. whom to choose for their king and governor, some inclining to William duke of Normandy, some to earl Harold son of Godwin, while others favoured the pretensions of Eadgar son of Eadward. For Eadmund Ironside, the natural king from the legitimate royal stock, begat Eadward, and Eadward begat Eadgar, to whom was due by right the kingdom of England. But Harold, an able and crafty man, knowing that delay is always injurious, on the day of the Epiphany, being that on which king Eadward was buried, extorted the assent of the nobles, and placed the diadem on his own head. After his promotion, his brother Tosti arrived from Flanders with sixty vessels, and landing at the mouth of the river Humber, committed piratical ravages; but being driven from that province by the brothers Eadwin and Mercard, he turned his sails towards Scotland, where he fell in with Harold king of Norway, and made a league with him. The latter sailed to England with three hundred cogues to endeavour to subjugate it. As he was committing ravages in Northumberland, the life of that man, although in a living state, must be looked upon as if ho was in his grave." And if you are forgetful of the ancient dead, and of past events, who will remember you ? This is the anathema of the psalmist, who says, " Let the memory of nim be blotted from the earth ;" and the benediction of the same, " The righteous man shall live in memory to eternity, and his name shall be extolled for ever with blessings; but the unjust man will be mentioned with maledictions and ignominy." To avoid, therefore, the steps of the wicked, let us follow, step by step, the track of the good, whose acts we are describing, behold the fruits of the scriptures, behold the mirror of man's lot. On this account (although other examples may not be wanting) the law-giver Moses, in the Old Testament, shows forth, and by committing them to writing endeavours to perpetuate, the innocence of Abel, the envy of Cain, the cunning of Jacob, the carelessness of Esau, the simple-mindedness of Job, the evil disposition of the eleven sons of Israel, the righteousness of the twelfth son, namely Joseph, the punishment of the five cities, and the repentance of the Ninevites ; that we may truly imitate the good, but dread to be followers of the wicked. Aspiring to this end, the holy evangelists, theologists, Josephus the Hebrew historian, Cyprian bishop of Carthage and a martyr, Eusebius Cassariensis, Jerome the priest, Sulpitius Severus, Fortunatus, the venerable priest Bede, and Prosper of Aquitaine, have written the acts of God and the deeds of the ancients; and, to come to modern writers, Marianus Scotus the monk of Fulda, and Sigisbert a monk of Gemblour, and some others of profound genius, have published true chronicles. And at this point we also begin the chronicles of the English, from William, the leader of the Normans, who, being provoked by the perfidious and perjured king Harold, drove him from the throne of the kingdom as one who had broken his faith ; and the cause of this deed I shall briefly relate to my readers.


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