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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 505

Therefore, Gerehert, returning to his country, Gaul, entered the public schools, where he had many disciples in the science I have spoken of. It is related of this Gerebert, that he made for himself the head1 of a statue, by means of a certain inspection of the stars, at a time, forsooth, when all the planets were beginning their courses at the same time ; and that this head spoke, not only when questions were put it, and pronounced the plain truth either affirmatively or negatively. As, for instance, when Gerebert asked, "Shall I become Pope?" the statue answered " Yes." " Shall I die before I chaunt mass at Jerusalem ? " " No." And here, they say, that he was deceived by its ambiguous answer, so as to give no thoughts to repentance before The same tale is told by English tradition of Friar Bacon and of Albertus Magnus, bishop of Ratisbon, in the thirteenth century ; of whom Bayle, quoting Maude principally, says—" There are some who have believed it possible to make brazen heads under certain constellations, and to obtain answers from them to conduct us in all our affairs. One Yepes relates that Henry de Vileina made one at Madrid, which was broken to pieces at the command of John II., king of Castile. Virgil, pope Silvester, Robert of Lincoln, and Roger Bacon have had such heads, if we may believe some writers. Albertus Magnus was thought a more able man, for they pretend that he had composed an entire man after this manner, having laboured thirty years without interruption in forming him under different aspects and constellations. The eyes, for example, when the sua was in that sign of the Zodiac which answered to such a part, which he founded of metals mixed together, and marked with characters of the same signs and planets, and of their different and necessary aspects, and so the head, neck, shoulders, thighs, and legs, fashioned at different times, and mounted and fastened together in the form of a man, had the ingenuity to reveal to the said Albert the situation of aU his principal difficulties. This is what they call the Androido of Albertus Magnus. It was broken, they say, by Thomas Aquinas, who could not endure its too great prattling. Henry of Assia and Bartholomew Sibille affirm that it was composed at flesh and bones, not by nature, but by art ; which being always judged impossible by modern authors, and the virtue of images, rings, and planetary sigile being in great vogue, it has been thought ever since that such images were made of copper, or some other metal, and worked under the influence of the constellations and planets. Maude, however, who refutes the accusers of Albertus, and shows that the devil could have had nothing to do with such a machine, gives us a probable solution of the story, that Albertus might have had in his cabinet a head or a statue of a manlike Boetius's machines, of which Cassiodorus has said,' Metals low, the birdi of Diomedes trumpet in brass, a brazen serpent hisses, counterfeited swallows chatter, and those which have no proper note are taught by brass to utter the sweetness of music/"—See Bayle*9 Die. voc. Alberto Megm». Note F. VoLi.p. 436.

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