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Ethelwerd 876 And that year
In the same year, Halfdene, 2 And in the course of the Healfdene apportioned the king of those parts, divided
same year, lands of North-humbria : and out the whole country of
1 The tyrant they thenceforth continued Northumberland between Healfdene obtained the kingploughing and tilling them. himself and his men, and dom of the Northumbrians,
settled there with his
all of whom he reduced to This year Rolla overran Nor- In the same year, Rollo, with
revealing to him the future. * The vision may be seen in the
See more of this Rollo in the
In the year 877, the pagans,
partly marched for plunder
pointed them to watch the 2 And king Ælfred with his Meanwhile he went himself forces rode after the army to Exeter, where the pagans which was mounted, as far were wintering, and having as Exeter; and they were shut them up within the unable to overtake them walls, laid siege to the town. before they were within the He also gave order to his fortress, where they could sailors to prevent them from not be come at. obtaining any supplies by
sea; and his sailors were
hundred and twenty ships 1 And the fleet sailed round full of armed soldiers
, who Lastly their fleets put to sea westwards : and then a great
to help their
and spread their sails to the storm overtook them at sea,
wind: but a lamentable storm and there one hundred and As soon as the king's men came on, and the greatest twenty ships were wrecked knew that they were filled
part of them, namely a hunat Swanawic. with pagan soldiers, they dred of their chief ships, were
leaped to their arms, and sunk near the rock which is
settled there with his army.
Dec. [Nov. 17].
The following year the per- In the year of our Lord's in4 The pagan army left at Wer- jured army came from Ware- carnation 877, the 29th from ham with the fleet, went to
ham to Exeter.
the birth of Elfred. Exeter.
CHARTERS IN 877. None.
1 Alfred collected his army King Alfred with many of
they wintered there.
and the naval
host, as they were rowing But, before they arrived round, was overwhelmed by there, 120 of their ships were a storm and 120 ships perish
sunk by a storm at sea. ed at Swanawic (SWANWICH).
place called Suanewic.
1 All that is included in brackets far as Exeter; there he made from (THIS SAME ROLLO (P. 62) is a covenant with them, and not found in the earliest MS. of
Asser. The narrative is here very took hostages that they much confused and apparently in would depart.] 1
The barbarians renew their fraud and offer peace : hostages were given, more than were demanded, to the effect that they would withdraw out of the territories of king
Alfred ; and they did so.
And they there delivered to him hostages as many as he would have, and swore many oaths : and then they ob
served the peace well.
And afterwards, during The same year, in the month They devastata the kingdom harvest, the army went into of August, that army went of the Mercians and drive Mercia, and some part of it into Mercia, and gave part
out all the free men. they apportioned, and some of that country to one Ceolthey delivered to Ceolwulf. wulf, a weak-minded man,
and one of the king's minis-
They erect their huts in the
town of Gloucester.
At the end of that
CHARTERS IN 878. 1. ALFRED king of Wessex. II, 105. 2. Another of ALFRED, without date, (I1, 106] is referred to some year between 871 and 878.
Here during midwinter, after In the year of our Lord's in- this foul mob broke the twelfth night, the army stole carnation 878, which was compact which they had beaway to Chippenham, and the thirtieth of king Alfred's fore solemnly made with the overran the land of the West- life, the army above-men- Western Angles, and they Saxons, and sat down there. tioned left Exeter, and went take up their winter-quarters
to Chippenham, a royal villa, at Chippenham.
• Here Florence inserts "King • Then the army gave him Alfred with many &c." given in p. 63. whatever hostages he asked
for, and swore to keep the
On the approach of autumn, some Then the army went into of the pagans settled at Mercia, and kept part of Exeter, some went to Mercia that kingdom, giving the Part of which country they rest to Ceolwlf. gave to Ceoluulf, to whose charge they had committed it, as has been stated : part they divided among them
In the 7th year of king Al-
of the Thames, and king
remain to him.
men who had lately come
the earth like locusts, since no Essays
And going to the royal vill of Chippenham, there
Ethelwerd 878 situated in the west of Wiltshire, and on the eastern bank of the river, which is
called in British, the Avon. And many of the people they There they wintered, and The people were everywhere drove beyond sea, and of the drove many of the inhabitants unable to resist : some of remainder the greater part of that country beyond the them were driven by the imthey subdued and forced to sea by the force of their arms, pious wretches over the sea obey them, except king and by want of the neces
saries of life. They reduced
all the people of that country. And he, with a small band, At the same time the above- King Ælfred' was at this time with difficulty retreated to named king Alfred,
straitened more than was bethe woods and to the fastnes
with a few of
coming ses of the moors. his nobles,and certain soldiers
and vassals, used to lead an
none of the
day, that the countrywoman, 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.
* This is in the Somerset dialect. 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.