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same year, 1 The tyrant Healfdene obtained the kingdom of the Northumbrians, all of whom he reduced to subjection.
In the same year, Halfdene, 2 And in the course of the
[This same Rollo, duke of the Normans, whilst wintering in Old Britain, or England, at the head of his troops, enjoyed one night a vision revealing to him the future. See more of this Rollo in the Annals.
In the year 877, the
Then king Alfred command-
Meanwhile he went himself
Lastly their fleets put to sea and spread their sails to the
wind but a lamentable storm part of them, namely a huncame on, and the greatest dred of their chief ships, were sunk near the rock which is
The army above-mentioned left Exeter, and went to Chippenham, a royal villa,
In the 7th year of king Alfred, when now the Danes were in possession of all the kingdom on the northern side of the Thames, and king Haldene was reigning in Northumberland, and the brother of Haldene was in East-Anglia, and the 3 kings aforesaid were with their king Ceolwlf in Mercia and London and Essex, but to king Alfred nothing was left save the land beyond the Thames; it seemed to the Danes to be a disgrace to them that even this should
remain to him. The 3 kings therefore came to Chippenham in Wessex with a wonderful multitude of men who had lately come from Denmark, and covering the earth like locusts, since no
And going to the royal vill of Chippenham, there wintered.
And he, with a small band, with difficulty retreated to the woods and to the fastnesses of the moors.
situated in the west of Wilt-
with a few of his nobles,and certain soldiers and vassals, used to lead an unquiet life among the woodlands of the county of Somerset, in great tribulation; for he had none of the necessaries of life, except what he could forage openly or stealthily, by frequent sallies, from the pagans, or even from the Christians who had submitted to the rule of the pagans, and as we read in the Life of St Neot, at the house of one of his cowherds. But it happened on a certain day, that the country woman, wife of the cowherd, was preparing some loaves to bake, and the king, sitting at the hearth, made ready his bow and arrows and other warlike instruments. The unlucky woman espying the cakes burning at the fire, ran up to remove them, and rebuking the brave king, exclaimed :Ca'sn thee mind the ke-aks, man, an' doossen zee 'em burn? I'm boun thee's eat 'em vast enough, az zoon az 'tiz the turn. * The blundering woman little thought that it was king Alfred, who had fought so many battles against the pagans, and gained so many victories over them."
But the Almighty not only granted to the same glorious king victories over his enemies, but also permitted him to be harassed by them, to be sunk down by adversities, and depressed by the low estate of his followers, to the end that he might learn that there is one Lord of all things, to whom every knee doth bow, and in whose hand are the hearts of kings; who puts down the mighty from their seat and exalteth the humble; who suffers his servants when they are elevated at the summit of prosperity to be touched by the rod of adversity, that in their humility they may not despair of God's mercy, and in their prosperity they may not boast of their honours, but may also know, to whom they owe all the things which they possess.
We may believe that the calamity was brought upon the king aforesaid, because, in the beginning of his reign, when he was a youth, and influenced by youthfnl feelings, he would not listen to the petitions which his subjects made to him for help in their necessities, or for relief from those who oppressed them; but he repulsed them from him, and paid no heed to their requests.