« PředchozíPokračovat »
As soon as he was provided with his royal apparel, ornaments, and retinue, he sent word to Aganippus and his daughter, that he was driven out of his kingdom of Britain by his sons-in-law, and was come to them to procure their assistance for recovering his dominions. Upon which they, attended with their chief ministers of state and the nobility of the kingdom, went out to meet him, and received him honourably, and gave into his management the whole power of Gaul, till such time as he should be restored to his former dignity.
In the meantime Aganippus sent officers over all Gaul to raise an army, to restore his fatherin-law to his kingdom of Britain. Which done, Leir returned to Britain with his son and daughter and the forces which they had raised, where he fought with his sons-in-law and routed them. Having thus reduced the whole kingdom to his power, he died the third year after. Aganippus also died; and Cordeilla, obtaining the government of the kingdom, buried her father in a certain vault, which she ordered to be made for him under the river Sore, in Leicester, and which had been built originally under the ground to the honour of the god Janus. And here all the workmen of the city, upon the anniversary solemnity of that festival, used to begin their yearly labours.
wood, and continued three days in that place. The Saxons, having now no provisions to sustain them, and being just ready to starve with hunger, begged for leave to go out; in consideration whereof they offered to leave all their gold and silver behind them, and return back to Germany with nothing but their empty ships. They promised also that they would pay him tribute from Germany, and leave hostages with him. Arthur, after consultation about it, granted their petition; allowing them only leave to depart, and retaining all their treasures, as also hostages for payment of the tribute. But as they were under sail on their return home, they repented of their bargain, and tacked about again towards Britain, and went on shore at Totness. No sooner were they landed, than they made an utter devastation of the country as far as the Severn sea, and put all the peasants to the sword. From thence they pursued their furious march to the town of Bath, and laid siege to it. When the king had intelligence of it, he was beyond measure surprised at their proceedings, and immediately gave orders for the execution of the hostages. And desisting from an attempt which he had entered upon to reduce the Scots and Picts, he marched with the utmost expedition to raise the siege; but laboured under very great difficulties, because he had left his nephew Hoel sick at Alclud.2 At length, having entered the province
ARTHUR MAKES THE SAXONS HIS TRIBUTARIES After a few days they went to relieve the of Somerset, and beheld how the siege was carcity Kaerliudcoit, that was besieged by the ried on, he addressed himself to his followers pagans; which being situated upon a moun- in these words: "Since these impious and detain, between two rivers in the province of testable Saxons have disdained to keep faith Lindisia, is called by another name Lindoco- with me, I, to keep faith with God, will enlinum.1 As soon as they arrived there with all deavour to revenge the blood of my countrymen their forces, they fought with the Saxons, and this day upon them. To arms, soldiers, to arms, made a grievous slaughter of them, to the num- and courageously fall upon the perfidious ber of six thousand; part of whom were wretches, over whom we shall, with Christ asdrowned in the rivers, part fell by the hands sisting us, undoubtedly obtain victory." of the Britons. The rest in a great consternation quitted the siege and fled, but were closely pursued by Arthur, till they came to the wood of Celidon, where they endeavoured to form themselves into a body again, and make a stand. And here they again joined battle with the Britons, and made a brave defence, whilst the trees that were in the place secured them against the enemies' arrows. Arthur, seeing this, commanded the trees that were in that part of the wood to be cut down, and the trunks to be placed quite round them, so as to hinder their getting out; resolving to keep them pent up here till he could reduce them by famine. He then commanded his troops to besiege the
When he had done speaking, St. Dubricius, archbishop of Legions,3 going to the top of a hill, cried out with a loud voice, "You that have the honour to profess the Christian faith, keep fixed in your minds the love which you owe to your country and fellow subjects, whose sufferings by the treachery of the pagans will be an everlasting reproach to you, if you do not courageously defend them. It is your country which you fight for, and for which you should, when required, voluntarily suffer death; for that itself is victory and the cure of the soul. For he that shall die for his brethren, offers himself a living sacrifice to God, and has Christ
2 During the Roman occupation. 1 Lincoln
3 The City of Legions (now Newport) in South Wales, where the Roman legions wintered.
for his example, who condescended to lay down his life for his brethren. If therefore any of you shall be killed in this war, that death itself, which is suffered in so glorious a cause, shall be to him for penance and absolution of all his sins." At these words, all of them encouraged with the benediction of the holy prelate, instantly armed themselves, and prepared to obey his orders. Also Arthur himself, having put on a coat of mail suitable to the grandeur of so powerful a king, placed a golden helmet upon his head, on which was engraven the figure of a dragon; and on his shoulders his shield called Priwen; upon which the picture of the blessed Mary, mother of God, was painted, in order to put him frequently in mind of her. Then girding on his Caliburn,4 which was an excellent sword made in the isle of Avallon, he graced his right hand with his lance, named Ron, which was hard, broad, and fit for slaughter. After this, having placed his men in order, he boldly attacked the Saxons, who were drawn out in the shape of a wedge, as their manner was. And they, notwithstanding that the Britons fought with great eagerness, made a noble defence all that day; but at length, towards sunsetting, climbed up the next mountain, which served them for a camp: for they desired no larger extent of ground, since they confided very much in their numbers. The next morning Arthur, with his army, went up the mountain, but lost many of his men in the ascent, by the advantage which the Saxons had in their station on the top, from whence they could pour down upon him with much greater speed than he was able to advance against them. Notwithstanding, after a very hard struggle, the Britons gained the summit of the hill and quickly came to a close engagement with the enemy, who again gave them a warm reception, and made a vigorous defence. In this manner was a great part of that day also spent; whereupon Arthur, provoked to see the little advantage he had yet gained and that victory still continued in suspense, drew out his Caliburn, and, calling upon the name of the blessed Virgin, rushed forward with great fury into the thickest of the enemy's ranks; of whom (such was the merit of his prayers) not one escaped alive that felt the fury of his sword; neither did he give over the fury of his assault until he had, with his Caliburn alone, killed four hundred and seventy men. The Britons, seeing this, followed their leader in great multitudes, and made slaughter on all sides; so that Colgrin, and Baldulph his
4 The famous Excalibur.
5 Leader of the Saxons.
brother, and many thousands more fell before them. But Cheldric,5 in this imminent danger of his men, betook himself to fight.-From the same; Book IX, Ch. III, IV.
FROM THE ANCREN RIWLE
Do you now ask what rule you anchoresses should observe? Ye should by all means, with all your might and all your strength, keep well the inward rule, and for its sake the outward. The inward rule is always alike. The outward is various, because every one ought so to observe the outward rule as that the body may therewith best serve the inward. All may and ought to observe one rule concerning purity of heart, that is, a clean unstained conscience, without any reproach of sin that is not remedied by confession. This the body rule effects. This rule is framed not by man's contrivance, but by the command of God. Wherefore, it ever is and shall be the same, without mixture and without change; and all men ought ever invariably to observe it. But the external rule, which I called the handmaid, is of man's con trivance; nor is it instituted for any thing else but to serve the internal law. It ordains fasting, watching, enduring cold, wearing haircloth, and such other hardships as the flesh of many can bear and many cannot. Wherefore, this rule may be changed and varied according to every one's state and circumstances. For some are strong, some are weak, and may very well be excused, and please God with less; some are learned, and some are not, and must work the more, and say their prayers at the stated hours in a different manner; some are old and ill favoured, of whom there is less fear; some are young and lively, and have need to be more on their guard. Every anchoress must, therefore, observe the outward rule according to the advice of her confessor, and do obediently whatever he enjoins and commands her, who knows *These "Rules and Duties of Monastic Life" were
prepared (c. 1210) for the guidance of a little society of three nuns who dwelt at Tarente, in Dorsetshire "gentlewomen, sisters, of one father and of one mother, who had in the bloom of their youth forsaken all the pleas. ures of the world and become anchoresses." The book consists of eight chapters, the first and last of which deal with the "outward rule," the others with the "inward rule." It is possibly the work of Richard Poor (d. 1237), Bishop of Salisbury, who was benefactor of the nunnery at Tarente. Very marked is the spirit of charity and tolerance in which it is written. Moreover, it is among the best examples of simple, eloquent prose in English antedating the English Bible. Our translation is that of James Morton.
her state and strength. He may modify the outward rule, as prudence may direct, and as he sees that the inward rule may thus be best kept.
When you first arise in the morning bless yourselves with the sign of the cross and say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen," and begin direetly "Creator Spirit, Come," with your eyes and your hands raised up toward heaven, bending forward on your knees upon the bed, and thus say the whole hymn to the end, with the versicle, "Send forth Thy Holy Spirit," and the prayer, "God, who didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people," etc. After this, putting on your shoes and your clothes, say the Paternoster1 and the Creed, and then, "Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us! Thou who didst condescend to be born of a virgin, have mercy on us!" Continue saying these words until you be quite dressed. Have these words much in use, and in your mouth as often as ye may, sitting and standing.
True anchoresses are compared to birds; for they leave the earth; that is, the love of all earthly things; and through yearning of heart after heavenly things, fly upward toward heaven. And, although they fly high, with high and holy life, yet they hold the head low, through meek humility, as a bird flying boweth down its head, and accounteth all her good deeds and good works nothing worth, and saith, as our Lord taught all his followers, "Cum omnia bene feceritis, dicite quod servi inutiles estis;" "When ye have done all well," saith the Lord, "say that ye are unprofitable servants." Fly high, and yet hold the head always low.
The wings that bear them upward are, good principles, which they must move unto good works, as a bird, when it would fly, moveth its wings. Also the true anchoresses, whom we compare to birds,-yet not we, but Godspread their wings and make a cross of themselves, as a bird doth when it flieth; that is, in the thoughts of the heart, and the mortification of the flesh, they bear the Lord's cross. Those birds fly well that have little flesh, as the pelican hath, and many feathers. The ostrich, having much flesh, maketh a pretense to fly, and flaps his wings, but his feet always draw to the earth. In like manner, the carnal anchoress,
who loveth carnal pleasures, and seeketh her ease, the heaviness of her flesh and its desires deprive her of her power of flying; and though she makes a pretense and much noise with her wings; that is, makes it appear as if she flew, and were a holy anchoress, whoever looks at her narrowly, laughs her to scorn; for her feet, as doth the ostrich's, which are her lusts, draw her to the earth. Such are not like the meagre pelican, nor do they fly aloft, but are birds of the earth, and make their nests on the ground. But God called the good anchoresses birds of heaven, as I said before: "Vulpes foveas habent et volucres cœli nidos." "Foxes have their holes, and birds of heaven their nests."
True anchoresses are indeed birds of heaven, that fly aloft, and sit on the green boughs singing merrily; that is, they meditate, enraptured, upon the blessedness of heaven that never fadeth, but is ever green; and sit on this green, singing right merrily; that is, in such meditation they rest in peace and have gladness of heart, as those who sing. A bird, however, sometimes alighteth down on the earth to seek his food for the need of the flesh; but while he sits on the ground he is never secure, and is often turning nimself, and always looking cautiously around. Even so, the pious recluse, though she fly ever so high, must at times alight down to the earth in respect of her body-and eat, drink, sleep, work, speak, and hear, when it is necessary, of earthly things. But then, as the bird doth, she must look well to herself, and turn her eyes on every side, lest she be deceived, and be caught in some of the devil's snares, or hurt in any way, while she sits so low.
"The birds," saith our Lord, "have nests;" "volucres crli habent nidos." A nest is hard on the outside with pricking thorns, and is delicate and soft within; even so shall a recluse endure hard and pricking thorns in the flesh; yet so prudently shall she subdue the flesh by labour, that she may say with the Psalmist: "Fortitudinem meam ad te custodiam;" that is, "I will keep my strength, O Lord, to thy behoof;" and therefore the pains of the flesh are proportioned to every one's case. The nest shall be hard without and soft within; and the heart sweet. They who are of a bitter or hard heart, and indulgent towards their flesh, make their nest, on the contrary, soft without and thorny within. These are the discontented and fastidious anchoresses; bitter within, when they ought to be sweet; and delicate without, when they ought to be hard.
1 The Lord's Prayer.
2 The Confession of Faith, beginning, "Credo in These, in such a nest, may have hard rest, when
they consider well. For, from such a nest, they will too late bring forth young birds, which are good works, that they may fly toward heaven. Job calleth a religious house a nest; and saith, as if he were a recluse: "In nidulo meo moriar;" that is, "I shall die in my nest, and be as dead therein;" for this relates to anchorites; and, to dwell therein until she die; that is, I will never cease, while my soul is in my body, to endure things hard outwardly, as the nest is, and to be soft within.
Hear now, as I promised, many kinds of comfort against all temptations, and, with God's grace, thereafter the remedies.
Whosoever leadeth a life of exemplary piety may be certain of being tempted. This is the first comfort. For the higher the tower is, it hath always the more wind. Ye yourselves are the towers, my dear sisters, but fear not while ye are so truly and firmly cemented all of you to one another with the lime of sisterly love. Ye need not fear any devil's blast, except the lime fail; that is to say, except your love for each other be impaired through the enemy. As soon as any of you undoeth her cement, she is soon swept forth; if the other do not hold her she is soon cast down, as a loose stone is from the coping of the tower, down into the deep pitch of some foul sin.
Here is another encouragement which ought greatly to comfort you when ye are tempted. The tower is not attacked, nor the castle, nor the city, after they are taken; even so the warrior of hell attacks, with temptation, none whom he hath in his hand; but he attacketh those whom he hath not. Wherefore, dear sisters, she who is not attacked may fear much lest she be already taken.
The sixth comfort is, that our Lord, when He suffereth us to be tempted, playeth with us, as the mother with her young darling: she flies from him, and hides herself, and lets him sit alone, and look anxiously around, and call Dame! dame! and weep a while, and then leapeth forth laughing, with outspread arms, and embraceth and kisseth him, and wipeth his eyes. In like manner, our Lord sometimes leaveth us alone, and withdraweth His grace, His comfort, and His support, so that we feel no delight in any good that we do, nor any satisfaction of heart; and yet, at that very time, our dear Father loveth us never the less, but does it for the great love that He hath to us.
cattle appears as Martha was, a better housewife than anchoress; nor can she in any wise be Mary, with peacefulness of heart. For then she must think of the cow's fodder, and of the herdsman's hire, flatter the heyward,1 defend herself when her cattle is shut up in the pinfold, and moreover pay the damage. Christ knoweth, it is an odious thing when people in the town complain of anchoresses' cattle. If, however, any one must needs have a cow, let her take care that she neither annoy nor harm any one, and that her own thoughts be not fixed thereon. An anchoress ought not to have any thing that draweth her heart outward. Carry ye on no traffic. An anchoress that is a buyer and seller selleth her soul to the chapman of hell. Do not take charge of other men's property in your house, nor of their cattle, nor their clothes, neither receive under your care the church vestments, nor the chalice, unless force compel you, or grea fear, for oftentimes much harm has come from such care-taking.
Because no man seeth you, nor do ye see any man, ye may be well content with your clothes, be they white, be they black; only see that they be plain, and warm, and well made-skins well tawed; 2 and have as many as you need, for bed, and also for back. Next your flesh ye shall wear no flaxen cloth, except it be of hardss and of coarse canvass. Whoso will may have a stamin, and whoso will may be without it. Ye shall sleep in a garment and girt. Wear no. iron, nor haircloth, nor hedgehog-skins; and do not beat yourselves therewith, nor with a scourge of leather thongs, nor leaded; and do not with holly nor with briars cause yourselves to bleed without leave of your confessor; and do not, at one time, use too many flagellations. Let your shoes be thick and warm. In summer ye are at liberty to go and sit barefoot, and to wear hose without vamps,5 and whoso liketh may lie in them. A woman may well enough wear an undersuit of haircloth very well tied with the strapples reaching down to her feet, laced tightly. If ye would dispense with wimples, have warm capes, and over them black veils. She who wishes to be seen, it is no great wonder though she adorn herself; but, in the eyes of God, she is more lovely who is unadorned outwardly for his sake. Have neither ring, nor broach, nor ornamented girdle, nor gloves, nor any such thing that is not proper for you to have.
He is alone good, above all goodness;
In this book read every day, when ye are at | love him and please him, the Lord of Life. leisure, every day, less or more; for I hope that, if ye read it often, it will be very beneficial to you, through the grace of God, or else I shall have ill employed much of my time. God knows, it would be more agreeable to me to set out on a journey to Rome, than to begin to do it again. And, if ye find that ye do according to what ye read, thank God earnestly; and if ye do not, pray for the grace of God, and diligently endeavour that ye may keep it better, in every point, according to your ability. May the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the one Almighty God, keep you under his protection! May he give you joy and comfort, my dear sisters, and for all that ye endure and suffer for him may he never give you a less reward than his entire self. May he be ever exalted from world to world, for ever and ever, Amen.
Thus quoth Alfred:
Thus quoth Alfred:
Though thou hast treasure
Thus quoth Alfred:
who knows not thy state,
to thee is thy fate.
as would without pity