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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 347

338 MATTHEW 0 Ï WESTMUTSTEB. AJ). 699. of masses profit, so as to procure their release before the day of judgment. Again, that fire-vomiting and fetid well, which you saw, is the very mouth of hell, and whoever falls into that will not be released in all eternity. But that flowery spot which you saw, in which you beheld beautiful youths, happy and shining, is the place in which the souls of those persons are received who leave the body amid good works, and who, nevertheless, are not so absolutely perfect as to deserve at once to enter the kingdom of heaven ; but they all in the day of judgment will arrive at the sight of God and the joys of the kingdom of heaven. But those who are perfect in every word, and deed, and thought, the moment that they quit the body, enter the kingdom of heaven. And to the neighbourhood of this place that other spot extends, where you heard the sound of sweet song, amid sweet odours and brilliant fight. But as you are now about to return to the body, and again to live among men, if you study to examine your own actions curiously, and to keep your life and conversation in uprightness and simplicity, you yourself shall, after your death, receive a place of abode among these joyful bands of good spirits whom you have seen. For I, when I departed for a time from you, did so, with a view to find out what was to become of you.' When he had said this to me, I greatly loathed returning to the body, being delighted with the sweetness and beauty of the place that I had seen, and also with the fellowship of the persons whom I beheld. But while thinking of these things (in what manner it happened I know not), I suddenly found myself alive among men." At last, in the vicinity of his cell, as has been said before, he used constantly to go into the river which flowed by, for the sake of the great effect it had in chastising his body, and he would often plunge into its rising waves, and there, as long as he could stand, persevere in psalms and prayers, and remain fixed there while the water rose up to his loins, and sometimes up to his neck ; and when he left the water, he never took any care to change his clothes, but kept them until they became dry again by the warmth of his body. But in the winter, when the crusts of ice wereflowing down the river around him, those who saw him said, " It is a strange thing, brother Drichelm, that you can stand such severity of cold ; " but he answered simply, " I have seen things colder." And when they said, " It is a wonder that you can like to preserve such austere continence," he answered, " I have seen things more austere."

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