On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain
their swords, whilst chill terror ran through every limb, and they stretched out their hands to be bound, like women ; so that it has become a proverb far and wide, that the Britons are neither brave in war nor faithful in time of peace.
§ 7. The Eomans, therefore, having slain many of the rebels, and reserved others for slaves, that the land might not be entirely reduced to desolation, left the island, destitute as it was of wine and oil, and returned to Italy, leaving behind them taskmasters, to scourge the shoulders of the natives, to reduce their necks to the yoke, and their soil to the vassalage of a Roman province ; to chastise the crafty race, not with warlike weapons, but with rods, and if necessary to gird upon their sides the naked sword, so that it was no longer thought to be Britain, but a Roman island ; and all their money, whether of copper, gold, or silver, was stamped with Caesar's image.
§ 8. Meanwhile these islands, stiff with cold and frost, and in a distant region of the world, remote from the visible sun, received the beams of light, that is, the holy precepts of Christ, the true Sun, showing to the whole world his splendour, not only from the temporal firmament, but from the height of heaven, which surpasses every thing temporal, at the latter part, as we know, of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, by whom his religion was propagated without impediment, and death threatened to those who interfered with its professors.
§ 9. These rays of light were received with lukewarm minds by the inhabitants, but they nevertheless took root among some of them in a greater or less degree, until the nine years' persecution of the tyrant Diocletian, when the churches throughout the whole world were overthrown, all the copies of the Holy Scriptures which could be found burned in the streets, and the chosen pastors of God's flock butchered, together with their innocent sheep, in order that not a vestige, if possible, might remain in some provinces of Christ's reUgion. What disgraceful flights then took place —what slaughter and death inflicted by way of punishment in divers shapes,—what dreadful apostacies from religion; and on the contrary, what glorious crowns of martyrdom then were won,—what raving fury was displayed by the