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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 487



ROGER OP WENDOVER [A .D. 1135. difficulty with which she had given birth to her son ; but this discreet matron, who gave large gifts to widows, orphans, churches, and monasteries, escaped the danger of death. Of the death of Henry, king of England. A.D. 1135. Whilst king Henry was in Normandy, he one day returned from hunting, and stopped at St. Denys, in the wood of Lions, to eat some lampreys, a fish which he was very fond of, though they always disagreed with him, and the physicians had often cautioned him against eating them, but he would not listen to their advice. This food mortally chilled the old man's blood, and caused a sudden and violent illness, against which nature struggled, and brought on an acute fever, in the effort to resist the worst effects of the disease. Unable to overcome the malady, this great king died on the first day of December, after he had reigned thirtyfive years and three months. His death was foreshown by a violent wind, which, on the eve of the apostles Simon and Jude, cast down towers, and houses, and trees on every side : the moon also was eclipsed the same year, on the 29th of July. This king founded the abbeys of Reading, Cirencester, de Pré near Rouen, and Mortimer, and built twenty-five noble towns, besides towers and castles. The corpse of the Jesus Christ, who wishes that no one should perish, had granted to duke Robert, namely, the period of thirty years spent in loneliness and prison: but he had abused this gift of God, and was swollen with pride, detraction, malediction, and complaints, though he ought rather to have devoted himself, to humility and prayer, for he was a suffering and afflicted old man, and ought rather to have said in tears with the psalmist, that he suffered those things deservedly, because he rejected the burden which be should have borne in the holy land, and despised the honours that were offered him. But in his arrogance he did not think of this. It happened one day, taat the king was going to put on a new scarlet robe, and on these occasions hi always sent a similar robe to his brother ; but in trying to put it on, he found it too small and burst one of the seams. ' Carry this to my brother,' said the king, 'he has a narrower head than I.' When the duke received it, the seam had not been mended, ' How is this,' said he, ' that there is a fracture in the robe ? ' The attendants told him what had happened, upon which the duke exclaimed, 'Alas ! that I should have arrived to this pass : my brother, who hai betrayed and supplanted me, and is younger than 1, and nothing but a lazy clerk, has seized on my kingdom, thrown me into prison, and now treats me so contemptuously that he sends me his cast-off clothes.' Saying this, he wept and declined to eat, nor would he even touch a morsel more until he died. When the king heard of his death, he did not grieve much, but commanded the body to be reverently interred in the conventual church of Gloucester."


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