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earls and officers, so that hardly one of them admitted the justice of what had been decided by the earls and prefects, and in consequence of this pertinacious and obstinate dissension, all desired to have the judgment of the king, and both sides sought at once to gratify their desire. But if any one was conscious of injustice on his side in the suit, though by law and agreement he was compelled, however reluctant, to go before the king, yet with his own good will he never would consent to go. For he knew, that in the king's presence no part of his wrong would be hidden; and no wonder, for the king was a most acute investigator in passing sentence, as he was in all other things. He inquired into almost all the judgments which were given in his own absence, throughout all his dominion, whether they were just or unjust. If he perceived there was iniquity in those judgments, he summoned the judges, either through his own agency, or through others of his faithful servants, and asked them mildly, why they had judged so unjustly; whether through ignorance or malevolence; i. e., whether for the love or fear of any one, or hatred of others; or also for the desire of money. At length, if the judges acknowledged they had given judgment becanse they knew no better, he discreetly and moderately reproved their inexperience and folly in such terms as these : “I wonder truly at your rashness that, whereas by God's favour and mine, you have occupied the rank and office of the wise, you have neglected the studies and labours of the wise. Either, therefore, at once give up the discharge of the temporal duties which you hold, or endeavour more zealously to study the lessons of wisdom. Such are my commands.' At these words the earls and prefects would tremble and endeavour to turn all their thoughts to the study of justice, so that, wonderful to say, almost all his earls, prefects, and officers, though unlearned from their cradles, were sedulously bent upon acquiring learning, choosing rather laboriously to acquire the knowledge of a new discipline than to resign their functions ; but if any one of them from old age or slowness of talent was unable to make progress in liberal studies, he commanded his son, if he had one, or one of his kinsmen, or, if there was no other person to be had, his own freedman or servant, whom he had some time before advanced to the office of reading, to recite Saxon books before him night and day, whenever he had any leisure, and they lamented with deep sighs, in their inmost hearts, that in their youth they had never attended to such studies; and they blessed the young men of our days, who happily could be instructed in the liberal arts, whilst they execrated their own lot, that they had not learned these things in their youth, and now, when they are old, though wishing to learn them, they are unable. But this skill of young and old in acquiring letters we have explained to the
knowledge of the aforesaid king.*
* Asser's work here leaves off abruptly, which is the more remarkable, because, in a former passage of his work, he has shewn by his mode of speech, that he was alive in the 45th year of King Alfred's life, that is in 893 (see p. 100].
Here therefore we lose sight of Asser, and introduce the Annals in his place to make the 6 columns perfect. It may be remarked that Florence who has copied Asser almost word for word, has only a general likeness of phraseology to the Annals, like the other chroniclers.
He inquired into almost all the judgments
CHARTERS IN 887. None.
Ethelwerd 888 A. 888.
• In the following year they
doing much damage to the Here alderman Beocca car- country, and there remained ried the alms of the West
one year. Saxons and of king Ælfred
to Rome. And queen Æthelswith, who
* This is displaced, in Asser,
Florence and Simeon, for the sake was king Ælfred's sister, died
of the connection.
In the same year died queen on the way to Rome, and
Ethelsuuith. her body lies at Pavia. And that year Æthelred
In the lapse of the same archbishop of Canterbury,
year also, archbishop Ætheland alderman Æthelwold died
red died, and Athelbald in the same month.
commander in Kent. A. 889. Here there was no journey to Rome, except that king Ælfred sent two couriers with letters. A. 890. A. 890.
After one year abbat ByrnHere abbat Beornhelm car
helm carried to Rome the ried the alms of the West- Died Guthram king of the alms for the people, and Saxons and of king Ælfred pagans, who also at his bap- principally those of the westto Rome.
tism took the name of Athel- ern English and of king stan. He was the first who
Alfred. And Godrum the Northern reigned among the East- Then also Guthrum, king of king died, whose baptismal Angles after the passion of the northern English, yielded name was Æthelstan; he was the sainted king Eadmund,
his breath to Orcus. king Ælfred's godson, and he and he divided that country, He had taken the name of abode in East-Anglia, and and tilled, and first inhabited Ethelstan, as he came out of first settled that country.
it. He died, therefore, in the baptismal laver, from his the 14th year after he receiv- godfather, king Ælfred, and ed baptism, and was buried had his seat among the Eastin the royal vill called Head- Angles, since he there also
leaga [HEADLEY) among the had held the first station. And that same year the army East Angles.
In the same year, the aforewent from the Seine to Sant
said army of barbarians relaudan (St Lo], which is be
moved from the river Seine tween Brittany and France ;
to a place called Sandlaudan and the Bretons fought
(Saint Lo], situated between against them, and had the
the Bretons and the Pranks; victory, and drove them out
but the Bretons met them in into a river, and drowned
arms, and obtained the vic
tory, and followed them to This year Plegemund was
the windings of a certain chosen of God and of all the
river, and there not a few of people to the archbishopric
them were drowned in the of Canterbury.
waters. A. 891.
afterwards, the ward ; and king Earnulf, came from the eastern king- bands of the aforesaid army with the East-Franks and dom of the Franks as far as visited the eastern parts of Saxons and Bavarians, fought
France; king Arnulf met against that part which was
thenı; a fight of cavalry took mounted before the ships place before the fleets arrived, and an army of eastern Franks came up, and routed them. came up. Saxons and Bavarians; the pagans spread And three Scots came to king
their sails to flee. Alfred in a boat without any oars from Ireland, whence
In the they had stolen way, be
many of them.
7 But in the following year In the following year they
12 In the
of our Lord's entered the mouth of the river
incarnaticn 888, Ionna (Yonne], not without
7 They entered the mouth of doing much damage to the a river called the Ionna, not without much damage to the country, and there remained
country, and there dwelt one year. one year. 2 The noble chief, named
13 Prince Beocca, carried the alms of king Alfred and the West- Beocca carried to Rome the Saxons to Rome.
alms of king Elfred. 3 In the same year the king's sister Æthelsuuith, queen of Burhred king of the Mercians, died and was buried at Ticinum. 4 In which year, also, duke
On that journey died Ethel
suith the king's sister, and she Æthelwold and Æthelred
was buried in Pavia. archbishop of Dover died in
the same month.
subscribed also by « Æthelred dux," subscribed also by several CHARTERS IN 889. 1. WER- suhregulus et patricius Merciorum," others, II, 120, and bearing no date PRITH, [bishop of Winchester) "Æthelflæd,' and others. II, 118. is referred to 871-889. 4. ALFRED II, 117, 2. ALFRED king of Wessex, 3. A third charter of "ÆLFRED
king: no date. II, 122. (6) 890. 8 Abbat Bornhelm carried to in the 19th year of king In the year 890, abbat Rome the alms of king Alfred
Beornhelm carried to Rome and of the West-Saxons.
the alms of king Elfred and 9 The Northman king Guth- Alfred, king Godrun the
of the West-Saxons. rum, whom, as we have said Dane, who was son of king before, king Alfred received Alfred and reigned in East- In the same year died Guthfrom the sacred font and Anglia, was removed from rum king of the Northumgave him the name of Æthel
brians. King Elfred, as is stan, died this year.
read above, raised him from 10 This man lived with his
his baptism, and called him followers in East-Anglia, and
Ethelstan. first inhabited and possessed CHARTERS IN 890. that island after the martyrdom of St Edmund the king. 11 The same year the pagan This year the army went from In this year the aforesaid army so often spoken of the Seine to Sanlaudan which army went from the Seine to leaving the Seine, went to a is between Bretagne and Sanlaudan, situated between place called Santlaudan, France. But the Bretons Bretagne and France : but situated between France and fought with them, and driv- they were put to flight by Armorica. Against whom ing them into a certain river, the Bretons, and the greater fought the Britons, who, slew many of them. number of them drowned in having slain some, put others
the nearest river. to flight, and drowned others in the river, remained masters
of the field. 5 To whom succeeced, in the archbishopric, Pleigmund Here Plegmund was elected who was excellently instruct- archbishop by God and all the ed in literature.
people. (7) 891. 13 The army of pagans above In the following year, the
In the year 891, mentioned, leaving leaving West army went towards the east,
Heathured undertook the France, went into East and king Arnulf with the
bishopric. France ; but, before their French, and Saxons, and ships could come to them, the Bavarians, fought against the emperor Arnulf, with the army, and drove them back. Eastern Franks, Old Saxons and Bavarians, fought against
King ther land army and defeated
ALFRED 'August 2. II, 123, them.
Ethelwerd 891 cause they desired for the
chosen men of Hibernian love of God to be in a state race, burning with piety, leave their country: they of pilgrimage, they recked privately form a boat by sewing ox-hides ; they put not where. The boat in into it provisions for a week; they sail seven days and which they came was made seven nights, and arrive on the shores of Cornwall : here of two hides and a half, and they left their fleet, which had been guided, not by the they took with them provi- strength of their arms, but by the power of Him who sions sufficient for seven rules all things, and set out for the court of king Alfred, days; and then about the who with his senate rejoice in their coming. From seventh day they came thence they proceeded to Rome, and, as is customary shore in Cornwall, and soon with teachers of Christ, they essay to go thence to Jeruafter went to king Ælfred.
salem ... Their names were, Dufslane Thus they were named: Dub- the first ; Macbeathath, the second; Magilmumen, the slane, and Macbeth, and third, flourishing in the arts, skilled in letters, and a disMaclinmum.
tinguished masters of the And Swifneh, the best
Scots. teacher among the Scots,
died. A. 892.
Also in the same year, after And that same year, after 1 Comets appeared after Easter, a comet appeared, Easter, about Rogation week Easter, and about the time of which some think to be an or before, the star appeared
omen of foul times, which which in Latin is called
have already past; but it is cometa ; some men say in
the most approved theory of English that it is a hairy star, because a long radiance philosophers, that they forestreams from it, sometimes on the one side, and some- iell future things, as has been times on each side.
tried in many ways.
(8) A. 893.
after the barbarians Here in this year the great 3 And thence with fought king Arnulf, they go army, about which we for- 350 ships to the mouth of the to Boulogne, and there build merly spoke, came again river Limen, and there, not a fleet, and pass over into from the eastern kingdom far from the river, made a
England. westward to Boulogne, and strong fortress at a place There they station their fleet there was shipped ; so that called Apuldran. in the Limnean port, at a they came over in one pass- 5 The river Limin runs out of place called Apoldre [APPLEage, horses and all; and they the great wood, called And- Dore, in Kent,) and destroy
to land at Limene-' readesweald, which wood an ancient castle, because mouth with 250 ships. covers a space of ground in there was but a small band This port is in the eastern length from east to west 120 of rustics within, and there part of Kent, at the east end miles or more, and in breadth they make their winter camp. of the great wood which we
30 miles. call Andred; the wood is in length from east to west 120 miles or longer and 30 miles broad : the river of which we before spoke flows out of the weald. On this river they towed up their ships as far as the weald four miles from the outward harbour, and there stormed a fortress : within the fortress a few churlish men were stationed, and it was in part only constructed.
Then soon after that Hasten 6 That same year Hasteng In the course of this year, a with eighty ships landed at came with 80 ships to the large fleet belonging the mouth of the Thames, mouth of the river Thames Hæsten arrives on the banks and wrought himself a for- and made for himself a strong of the river Thames, and tress at Middleton , and the tower at Middeltun (Milton] found a citadel on the coasts other army did the like at on the south side of the of Kent, at a place called Apuldre.
Middleton (Milton] :
They encamped there the whole winter. And the number of years, from the glorious
nativity of our Saviour was 900, all but seven.