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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.2

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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.2
page 159



158 nOGElf OF W'FA'DOVER. [A.D. 1190. pitchy blackness, and this rising from all directions was diffused in a dreadful way, through the whole of that void space. The surface of the place abounded with a multitude of worms in the same way as the court-yards of houses are covered with rushes; and these, dreadful beyond conception, of a monstrous size and deformed, with a dreadful gaping of their jaws, and exhaling execrable fire from their nostrils, lacerated the crowds of wretched beings with a voracity not to be escaped from ; and the devils running in all directions, raging like mad creatures, took the wretched beings and at one time were cutting them up piece by piece with their fiery prongs, at another time were tearing all their flesh oil to the bone, at another time threw them into the fire, melted them like metals, and restored them in the shape of burning flame. Little it is, 1 call God to witness, yea nothing, that 1 recollect of the punishments of that place ; for God knows that, in a very brief space of time I saw those wretched beings destroyed by a hundred or more different kinds of torture, and soon afterwards restored again, and again reduced almost to nothing, and then again renewed ; for a lost life caused them to be tortured in that place, and owing to the different kinds of punishment there was no end to their sufferings. For the flame of that fire was so devouring, that you would think an ordinary fire or fever to be lukewarm in comparison with it ; dead worms torn in pieces were collected in heaps beneath the wretches, filling every thing with an intolerable stench which surpassed all other suffering. The most loathsome and severe of all remains vet to be told ; for all who were punished there had. in their life, been guilty of wickedness which is unmentionable by a Christian, or even by a heathen or a pagan. Those therefore were continually attacked by huge monsters of a fiery appearance and horrible beyond description, which, notwithstanding their opposition, committed on them tin- damnable crimes of which they had been guilty on earth ; and their cries were horrid until they fainted apparently dead, when they again revived to be exposed to fresh torments. 1 tremble while relating it, and am beyond measure confounded at the lilthiness of their crime, for till that time I had never bearti or thought that both sexes could have been corrupted by such filthiness. and, oh shame ! such an innumerable crowd of such wretches as


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