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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 439

one army, they ravaged all West Saxony, from sea to sea, and covering the whole of that land like locusts, they reduced the whole country under their power, as there was no one to defend it. In the whirlwind of this persecution, those who had been appointed faithful bishops of Christ, fled over the sea with the relics of the saints and the treasures of the churches, and the natives of the country ; and part of them followed king Alfred into the woods and desert places, and there hid themselves, in the danger of their lives in which they were. But king Alfred being touched with internal grief of heart, knew not what to do, or which way to turn himself, for the wicked king, Gytro, had occupied all the fortified places. On which account, king Alfred, having no hope of a better success, withdrew for the present, in order to see what would be the ultimate end of the present circumstances. There is a place in the farthest part of the territories of the English towards the West, called Athelingay, that is to say, the Island of the Nobles, surrounded on all sides with marshes, and so inaccessible that it cannot be approached except by a boat. The ieland has in it a very large coppice of alders, which contains stags, and goats, and beasts of that sort. Of solid land it contains scarcely two acres, being only a small plain in the centre of the ieland. King Alfred then by himself, the very few comrades who still remained to him being left behind through grief, in order to he concealed from the enemy ; and seeing the cabin of a stranger he turned aside from it, and asked for and received hospitality, and for several days he dwelt there as a stranger and a poor man, obeying the commands of the cottager and his wife, and content with the scantiest fare. But when the king was asked who he was, or what he wanted in that deserted place ? he answered that he was a servant of the king, and that he had been defeated in battle along with him, and that so, while fleeing from the enemies who were pursuing him, he had come thither. Then the swineherd believing his words, and being moved with pity, with diligent care provided him with the necessaries of life. But it happened that the swineherd one day, according to his custom, was driving his pigs to their usual feeding places, and that the king remained at home alone with the swineherd's wife : and when the woman had put some loaves, such as are baked in the ashes, in the fire to be dressed, and being intent

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