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thee, and grant thee a prosperous journey, Amen." On this, taking the ring and bidding him farewell, he saw the Apostle no more.
Now, on the same day, under the guidance of the Lord, to whom nothing is impossible, this stranger arrived in England, and, delivering the ring to the king, told him everything that had happened to him on the road, and how, on that day, he had returned from Jerusalem. Although this seemed to be impossible, still, in consequence of the assertions of sojourners who had been with him at Jerusalem, and who, a long time after this, returned into England, it was found to be the truth.
On another occasion it befell the same king Edward, that, on a certain day, he was taken by the queen and earl Harold to his treasury, to see a large sum of money which the queen and earl Harold, without the knowledge of the king, had collected for his necessities (namely, four pennies from every hide of land throughout each province of England, in order that the king might, by the day of the Nativity of our Lord, purchase clothes for the necessities of the soldiers and his servants); having entered the treasury, the queen and earl Harold accompanying him, he beheld the devil seated upon the money; on which the king said to him, "What dost thou do here?" Whereto the devil made answer, "I am here keeping guard over my money." Upon this, the king said to him, "I conjure thee by the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, tell me how it is that this money is thine." To this the devil made answer, and said, "Because it has been unjustly obtained out of the substance of the poor." During all this, those who attended him were standing astonished at hearing them talk, but seeing no one except the king; who afterwards said to them, "Restore this money to those from whom it was taken;" and his commands were immediately complied with.
Another story relative to this king. On a certain day of state, when Edward, the above-named king of the English, had been crowned at London and was clothed in royal vestments, and was going from his palace towards the monastery,33 accompanied by a crowd of nobles, archbishops, bishops, clergy, and people, there sat in the way by which the king was 23 Probably of Westminster.
about to pass, a certain leprous man, full of running sores. Those who went before rebuked him, and, wishing to remove him thence, bade him hold his peace; on which, the king said to them, "Allow him to sit there." When the king had approached him, the leper thus addressed him, "I conjure thee, by the living God, to carry me on thy shoulders into the church';" upon which the king, bowing down his head, ordered the leper to be placed on his shoulders. And it came to pass, that, when the king moved on, and prayed to the Lord that He would restore the leper to health, his prayers were heard, and the leper was made whole from that hour, praising and blessing the Lord.24
Harold, as soon as he had begun to reign, proceeded to abolish all unjust laws and to enact just ones, to become the zealous patron of churches and monasteries, to venerate and encourage the bishops, abbats, monks, and clergy, to show himself pious, humble, and affable to all, and to hold evil-doers in detestation. For he gave general orders to the dukes, earls, sheriffs, and thanes, to seize all thieves, robbers, and disturbers of the realm, and himself used every exertion, for the defence of the country, both by sea and land.
In the same year, on the eighth day before the calends of May, there appeared a comet, not only in England, but even, it is said, throughout the whole world. It made its appearance during seven days, and shone with extreme brightness; whence the saying;
In the year one thousand sixty-six
Shortly after this, earl Tosti, returning from Flanders, landed in the Isle of Wight, and, having compelled the islanders to find him tribute and provisions, took his departure and collected plunder near the sea-shore, until he came to the port of Sandwich. On hearing this, king Harold, who was then staying at London, ordered a considerable fleet, and an
24 With this king originated the supposed efficacy of the royal touch for king's evil; which was supposed to be possessed by the royal family of England till the reign of queen Anne, the last who practised it.
M* This translation is about as good as the rhyming verses in the original :—
Anno niilleno, sexageno, quoque seno
army of horse, to be levied, and himself made preparations to set out for the port of Sandwich. When this was reported to earl Tosti, taking with him some of the mariners who were well inclined and some who were ill-wishers to him, he retreated, directing his course to Lindesey, where he burned a great number of towns, and put many men to death.
On learning this, Edwin, earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, flew to their rescue with an army, and drove him out of that country. On his departure thence, he repaired to Afalcolm, king of the Scots, and remained with him all the summer. In the meantime, king Harold came to the port of Sandwich, and there waited for his fleet, which, when it had assembled, came to the Isle of Wight, and, as William, duke of the Normans, the cousin of king Edward, was making preparations to invade England with an army, all the summer and autumn he was awaiting his arrival, and, besides, kept a land force in suitable positions near the sea-shore. However, on the approach of the nativity of Saint Mary, their provisions failing, the fleet and the land force returned home.
After this, Harold Harfager, king of Norway, and brother of Saint Olaf, came with a very strong fleet, amounting to more than five hundred large ships, and anchored suddenly at Tynemouth; on which earl Tosti met him, as they had previously arranged, with his fleet, and, making all speed, they entered the mouth of the river Humber, and then, sailing against tide up the river Ouse, landed at a place which is called Richale. When this became known to king Harold, he speedily moved his troops towards Northumbria; but, before the king could come thither, the two brothers, earls Edwin and Morcar, with a large army, had had an engagement with the Norwegians on the northern bank of the river Ouse, near York, on the vigil of Saint Matthew the Apostle, being the fourth day of the week; and had at the first onset, manfully fighting, slain great numbers. But, after the battle had lasted a long time, the English, being unable to sustain the attack of the Norwegians, and having lost a great number of their men, turned their backs, and far more were drowned in the river than slain in the battle.
The Norwegians having gained the victory, and having taken one hundred and fifty hostages from the city of York, returned to their ships, having left there a hundred and fifty of their own men as hostages. But, on the fifth day after this, that is to say, on the seventh day before the calends of October, being the second day of the week, Harold, king of the English, attended by many thousands of soldiers fully armed, arrived at York; and, meeting the Norwegians at a place called Stamford Bridge, slew king Harold Harfager and earl Tosti with the edge of the sword, together with the greater part of their army, and, although it was most keenly contested, gained a complete victory: but to his son Olaf, and to Paul, earl of the Isle of Orkney, who had been sent with part of the army to guard the ships, he gave liberty to return to their country with twenty ships and the remnant of their army, having first received from them hostages and oaths for their future good behaviour.
WILLIAM THE ELDER.
In the meantime, while these things were going on, and the king supposed that all his enemies were crushed, word was brought to him that William, duke of Normandy, had arrived with an innumerable multitude of horsemen, slingers, archers, and foot, and that he had levied strong bodies of auxiliaries from the whole of England, having landed at a place which is called Penvesca.5s Upon this, the king with the greatest haste moved his army towards London; and although he was well aware that in the two battles above-mentioned the bravest men of the whole of England had fallen, and that the centre of his army had not yet come up, he did not hesitate to meet the enemy with all possible speed in Sussex; and, at the distance of nine miles from Hastings, where he had pitched his camp, on the eleventh day before the calends of November, being Saturday, and the day of Saint Calixtus the pope and Martyr, he engaged with them, before the third part of his army was drawn up; but, as the English had been drawn up in a confined spot, many withdrew from his ranks, and but very few remained with him with undaunted hearts.
Still, from the third hour of the day26 until nightfall, he made a most determined resistance against the foe, and 25 Pevensey. 26 Nine in the morning.
defended himself so bravely, and with such consummate valour, that the enemy could hardly get the better of him. But, alas! after very great numbers had fallen on both sides, at twilight he himself fell; the earls Girth and Leofwine, his brothers, also fell, and most of the nobles of England; on which duke William with his men returned with all speed to Hastings. The length of Harold's reign was nine months and as many days.
But in order that the origin may be known of the grounds on which William invaded England, the circumstances which had transpired a short time before this period shall be briefly related.
When the disagreement arose between king Edward and earl Godwin, as previously mentioned, the earl was driven into exile with his family from England. Afterwards, on his endeavouring to effect a reconciliation with the king, in order that he might be allowed to return to his own country, the king would by no means consent thereto, unless he first received hostages as a guarantee of his own security. In consequence of this, Wulnoth, son of Godwin himself, and Hacun, son of his son Sweyn, were given as hostages, and sent to Normandy in charge of duke William the Bastard, the son of Robert, son of Richard, his27 mother's brother. Sometime after this, when earl Godwin was dead, his son, Harold, asked leave of the king to go to Normandy, and obtain the liberty of his brother and nephew, who were kept there as hostages, and to bring them back with him to their own country; on which the king made answer: "By me this shall not be done; but that I may not appear to wish to prevent you, I permit you to go wherever you like, and to try what you can effect: still I have a presentiment that your efforts will end in nothing but injury to the whole kingdom of England and disgrace to yourself; for I know that the duke is not so devoid of intelligence as to be willing on any account to entrust them to you, if he does not foresee some great profit to accrue therefrom to himself."
However, Harold embarked on board of a ship, which, ^ ith all on board of it, being driven by a violent tempest into a river of Ponthieu, which is called the Maia, according to the custom of the place he was claimed as a captive by the lord 21 King Edward the Confessor.