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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 573

body. Therefore, duke William, now that everything had turned out successfully, in accordance with the will of the Lord of Hosts, permitted his enemies who were slain to be buried, if any people chose to perform that work of charity. But those of his own soldiers, of whom the fortune of war had deprived him, he caused to be interred much more honourably, with great funeral pomp and solemnity. And the body of king Harold he sent to his mother, who begged it of him, without any ransom, although she, by her messengers, had offered a great sum. And when she received it, she buried it ,at Waltham, in the church which Harold himself had built out of his own revenues, in honour of the Holy Cross, and which he had given up to the care of a body of secular canons. And when he was departing from it, and about to set out for the war, after he had offered up hie prayers before the cross, it is related that the cross, as if bidding him farewell for the last time, moved forward, and remains in this attitude to the present day. This subversion of a kingdom, and vast effusion of blood, was presaged by the threatening brilliancy of a huge comet, of a bloody colour, with long hair, which appeared at the beginning of the year, in reference to which, some one has said :— In the course of the thousand and sixty-sixth year, A huge comet did fill all England with fear." But a comet, whether it be a mere falling light, or a prognostic, still being a flame of prodigious appearance in the air, is always an omen of impending calamity. On which account, Claudian, where he speaks of the three goddesses who contrived the rape of Proserpine, says in the .middle of the episode, " And while the path glows 'neath the feet divine, Lo I through the heated sky is seen to shine An awful comet, whose ensanguin'd flame Ne'er augurs aught but deeds of woe or shame. The people gaze with half-averted bead, The sailor views the lurid heav'ns with dread ; For sure that light portends destructive squalls, Or hostile armies leagued around the walls." This conflict, so fatal and so deadly, stained with the blood of so many noble men, took place on the fourteenth of October, that is to say, on the day of pope Calixtus, at a little dia . tance on this side of Hastings.

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