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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 568

had some of the mad in his hands, gave the accident a better interpretation, saying, " Most fortunate duke, you have already ploughed up and taken possession of England ; behold, the land is in your hand ; gird yourself, and rouse yourself to good hopes, you who shall be king." And presently, when the duke landed, he restrained all his army from plunder, saying that they ought to spare the property which would soon be their own ; and for fifteen days together he kept his army so quiet, that he seemed to be thinking of nothing less than of a battle : however, he immediately built a castle in that place. In the meantime, Harold, returning from the war against the Norwegians, the moment that he heard of the arrival of William, marched upon Hastings, accompanied by a very small band of soldiers. For besides his stipendiary troops and those whom he had hired from the provinces, he had very few men with him, so that he might have been defeated by the invaders with very slight trouble or contest. But Harold sent messengers before him to make a calculation of the power and numbers of the enemy, who were arrested in the camp of the enemy, and then duke William ordered them to be led all over the camp, that they might have a thorough sight of his army ; and then, after they had been refreshed by a plentiful meal, he ordered them to be sent back uninjured to their master. When they returned, Harold enquired of them what news they brought ; and they narrated to him fully all the confidence and constancy of the duke, and asserted seriously that every man in his army seemed to them to be priests, because they had the entire face and both the upper and lower hp shaved, a custom which no one in England adopted except the priests. The king, laughing at the folly of the messengers who brought back such stories as that, told them that these men were not effeminate priests, but soldiers of valiant courage, invincible in arms. On this, the brother of the king, whose name was Gurth, a man in advance of his age in his excessive knowledge and virtue, took his words out of his mouth, and said to him, " If you speak so highly of the valour of the Normans, then I think it a foolish thing to fight with those to whom you are deservedly accounted inferior, both in merit and in strength. For you cannot deny that (whether voluntarily or unwillingly is another matter) you did take an oath to duke William. So that you will act more wisely if at

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