OF SOME LEAVES IN SAXON HANDWRITING
ORDNANCE SURVEY OFFICE, SOUTHAMPTON
AND PUBLISHED WITH ELUCIDATIONS AND AN ESSAY
JOHN EARLE, M. A.
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS.
HALF-A-DOZEN odd leaves may seem a poor basis to found a book upon. But the
same thing assumes a different expression when seen as labour spent in
re-setting, and elevating above the
reach of immediate accident, some lineaments of a life that has passed away a
life directly related to our own.
The name of Swiđhun is one that has never perilled from the lips of his countrymen. On examination it will be found to possess not merely a traditional prestige, hut also considerable value as an historical key-name. It is so circumstanced as to group unconstrainedly with the most conspicuous times and events in Saxon Church History. Hence it comes to pass, that the little we know of Swiđhun personally, is capable of a large amount of expansion and historical illustration. The text here published makes no substantial additions to recorded facts. But hitherto the story of Swiđhun has been entirely dissociated from his own mother-tongue. Swiđhun has been known to us only tho' Latin chroniclers, we had nothing about him in Anglosaxon.1 Now we have these considerable fragments, on the circumstances, miraculous or ordinary, which attended his 'Translation.' They are in the language of the Augustan age of Saxon, and must have been written in the early years of Æđelred's reign. This was the period when the language was at its highest condition of development, and when the books produced in it had the best claim to he called an original literature. Inferior in excellence to those which were based, in whole or in part, upon classic models, they are notwithstanding more useful as samples of the thought and expression of their day. This is the recommendation of the text here offered. It is a genuine product of the mind of the tenth century.
The three leaves concerning Swiđhun appear to have been written about 985. They are in good preservation, although two of the pages are much stained [p.iv] and obscured by the binder's paste. The clouded surface of these pages (viz. 1 and 3) has caused a variation in the facsimile-ing process. Under photography the paste-marks came out almost as dark as the ink-marks, and it became necessary therefore to have these pages traced by hand. The tracings then passed through the same subsequent treatment as did the photograms of the other pages. All were alike printed from zinc, and hence they are all zincograms; and all, with the exception of the said two, are photozincograms.
The three leaves on the story of S. Maria Egyptiaca appear to be older, and may belong to the early part of the tenth century. Both the handwriting and the diction give evidence of this higher antiquity.
All we know of the adventures of these leaves, or what has befallen them since the date of their production, is comprised in that brief marginal note on Facsimile 3, "From Abbots Braunche and Newton's Register, Chapter Library, Gloster." Abbot Thomas Braunche was elected in 1500—John Newton, alias Brown, D. D., in 1510.
But this is not a meagre entry. It tells of a native literature that has first ceased to grow, and then ceased to be cared for, while the taste of the nation had set in a new direction. When the English neglected the culture of their own natural speech, out of preference for the foreign French and the artificial Latin, then the stores of Saxon libraries were nothing but waste parchment!2 Happily for posterity, some leaves got encased in book-covers and other lurking-places, hiding there like some obscure chrysalis, till time had clothed them with a new interest and beauty. We may still expect these fragmentary additions to Saxon literature, and they should specially be looked for when mediæval bindings are repaired. Any scrap of Saxon handwriting, however mutilated, is worth preserving, as it may help to complete the sense of other fragments.
The only trace that I have been able to find of the later fortunes of these leaves has been from the Reverend John Webb, Vicar of Cardiff; sometime Minor Canon of Worcester and afterward of Gloucester. The account which he has kindly furnished me, through correspondence with a common friend, is, that more than thirty years ago, as he was searching the Abbatial Registers in the College Library at Gloucester for the purpose of helping Mr. Britton's account of the Cathedral, he met with these fly-leaves in the [p.v] said Registers, and shewed them to Mr. Bishop, the librarian. He cannot fix the date of this more precisely than by saying, it was probably somewhere about midway between the dates 1819 and 1829. ''My imperfect acquaintance with Anglosaxon did not allow me to determine whether they were purely biographical or historical, but we determined that they ought to be put into a more secure condition, and that we would get the opinion of Mr. Sharon Turner upon them. That eminent historian and antiquary was wont annually to pass through Gloucester on his way to some agency in Wales, and we took the next opportunity of his coming to the Cathedral to bring him into the Library, and shew him the leaves; when he at once pronounced them to be portions of an Anglosaxon homily or of homilies. I remember being a little mortified at their not turning out to be more purely matter of history or of biography. What became of them afterwards I am not aware, for after Mr. Bishop's death I searched for them and enquired after them, but could never find them. I had left the Cathedral long before his decease. My notion with regard to them is, that they were found somewhere among the books of the Abbey when the latter were looked over and sent to be bound by order of Dr. Jeune." Both Mr. Webb and Mrs. Bishop recognize the memorandum on Facsimile 3 as the handwriting of Mr. Bishop.
When the Archæological Institute was preparing to hold its Annual Meeting at Gloucester in 1860, notice was taken of a thin portfolio of loose Saxon leaves, and my attention was called to them by Mr. Albert Way, who desired me to make them the subject of a Memoir at the Annual Meeting. By the unexpected degree of interest with which my discourse, before the Institute, was received, and by the friendly urgency of Dr. Bosworth, Professor of Anglosaxon at Oxford, I was led to undertake the present publication.
It has been part of my aim to make this volume serviceable as an Introduction to Saxon Literature. Both in point of language and history, it afforded a good opening for this.
The familiarity of the name of Swiđhun, and the purity of the text as a fit specimen of polished Saxon, are both in favour of the same idea. To make the text as easy as possible for the general reader, a Literal Translation faces it, which will be found to indicate the sense of individual words, and obviate the immediate need of a dictionary. Specimens of earlier and of later forms of our language are also comprised—of earlier, in the Fragments on S. Maria Egyptiaca; of later, in the Metrical Life of Swiđhun (hitherto unpublished). These are most of the essentials for imparting an idea of our ancient mother- [p.vi] tongue. But Saxon, to be really and concretely known, ought to he known in its own original garb. It is only a second-hand acquaintance with it that we get through modern print What gives completeness to the present work, and makes it almost a microcosm of ENGLISC, is the Photozincographic Facsimiles.
These have been executed at the Ordnance Survey Office, Southampton, under the direction of Colonel Sir Henry James, Royal Engineers; to which Officer, and to Captain A. de C Scott, Royal Engineers; as well as to all others who have had a share in their production, I wish to express my gratification at the beautiful illustration and solid help which they have afforded for the study of the primordia of the mother-tongue. Students of Saxon will join with me in recognizing and appreciating the care which must have been exercised by the photographer. Corporal Rider; and the printer, Mr. Appel; so as to produce such excellent results. By these means the reader has before him an exact reproduction of the original Saxon writing, not a brief specimen only, but the whole of the extant Saxon text upon S. Swiđhun.
A multiplication of trustworthy facsimiles, enabling the student in every region, without a toilsome pilgrimage, to have immediate access to originals, or, at least, the true picture of the original forms—this would be the greatest stride made by literary appliances since the invention of printing. Hitherto, if entire works have been reproduced in facsimile, it has been only by rare and chivalrous efforts of lithography or type-founding, such as Woide's Codex Alexandrinus, Mr. Babington's Two Orations of Hyperides, and Professor Bosworth's Orosius. A taste for the acquisition of such books has not yet been generally cultivated, because their price has rendered them inaccessible. But that there is a desire for a pictured reproduction of ancient books may be proved by the many partial attempts which have been made to publish representations of the chief manuscripts of the New Testament. Photozincography may produce a change. Already an example of its capability is before the public, in the Domesday of Cornwall. If it would place on shelves of homely deal those treasures of antiquity which are now severed from the studious by considerations of time, travel, and expense—if it would present a dead language to us in forms which it bore when living—if it would relieve us of some of that descriptive annotation which now clogs the heels of our best editions—the result would be an acceleration of the progress and of the diffusion of knowledge; which would render not the learned alone, but the general public, debtors to photozincography.
It has great advantage over simple photography, in regard to the facility with which a number of copies can be printed off. Photograms are made by [p.vii] the action of the sun's light and each copy is the subject of a distinct chemical experiment; whereas photozincograms are multiplied like newspapers at each turn of the printing-press, I attempted, at first to publish these leaves photographically with the aid of a neighbour and friend who is an excellent amateur photographer. But even with these advantages I found that the expense of printing-off would be a fatal obstacle to the scheme. My thanks are not the less due for the generous assistance afforded me by the Reverend Francis Lockey in my design to illustrate Saxon literature by the rays of the sun.
It remains for me to give an account of one or two particulars. The reader may notice here and there a slight departure from the usage of our established orthography, which may appear to him to be an improvement or the contrary. I only plead that attempts of this sort should not be prohibited as if our orthography were finally settled, but that they should receive fair consideration, and be accepted or discarded according to their merit in each case.
In the proper names I have preserved throughout that Saxon letter of the alphabet which our forefathers retained long after they had, with this exception, admitted the Roman characters as preferable to their own. The Ƿ, ƥ, the old Runic symbol "Thorn"—the Northern Theta (θ)—was gradually dropped amidst the flood of continental fashion that set in after the Conquest; but it ought to be revived even now, either in its original form, or in that of its Latin-sprung representative, Ð, đ. It is hardly more than a generation since "Thorn" became finally extinct. The abbreviation 'ye' for 'the' owed its origin to the genuine 'ƿe.'
I have much pleasure in acknowledging the help which I received from Mr. Stubbs in various parts of the work, and especially on the perplexed subject of canons and motifs in our early conventual establishments. And I cannot be satisfied to close this Preface without commemorating the repeated kindness of the Rev. Henry O. Coxe, Bodleian Librarian. Those only who live far from books can estimate the value of a learned friend who is continually in the midst of them.
October 18, 1861.
PART I.— ON SAINT SWIÐHUN.
The Swiđhun facsimiles: six pages, viz.
1, 2, 3, 4: Y, Z.
The Swiđhun text, printed line for line and page for page, with a literal translation and notes ..... Page 1.
An Essay on the Life and Times of Swiđhun ...... Page 19.
I. The 'Professio' of Swiđhun
..... Page 59.
II. A syllabus of the Book of Lantfirid, with extracts ................ Page 60.
III. Two Latin Biographies of Swiđhun, parallel ........... Page 67.
IV. Extracts from Rudborne's Annales Ecclesisæ Wintoniensis ...... Page 75.
V. Life of Saint Swiđhun, in English Rime ............ Page 78.
(Postscript to No. v.) Notice of another metrical Life ............ Page 82.
VI. Life of S. Swiđhun, in Prose, from Caxton's Golden Legende; A. D. 1483 ....... Page 84.
VII. Extracts from Missals .............. Page 86.
VIII. List of churches named after S. Swiđhun ........... Page 87.
IX. Extract from John of Exeter .......... Page 88.
X. Inventory of the church of S. Swiđhun's in Winchester, &c. ............ Page 89.
XI. Scraps from various sources. Postscripta, ....... Page 94.
PART II.—ON S. MARIA ÆGYPTIACA.
Facsimile, facing the Title, as Frontispiece.
Notice of S. Maria Ægyptiaca ............. Page 99.
Text with translation parallel .............. Page 102.
Notes ............... Page 114.
[See the Anglo-Saxon facsimile]
WITH A LITERAL TRANSLATION
[See Anglo-Saxon text]
A LITERAL TRANSLATION.
and closed over afterwards; until his miracles displayed his influence with God, Three years before the saint into church was brought from the stone coffin (which stands now within the new edifice) came the venerable Swiđhun to a decrepit-old smith, in dream appearing, worshipfully apparelled. And these words to him did speak; Knowest thou the priest that is hight Eadsige that was of Old-minster with the other priests ejected, for their misconduct, by Ađelwold bishop? The smith then answered the venerable Swiđhun thus: Long ago I knew him, Sire! but he departed hence and I know not with certainty where he liveth now. Then replyed the holy man to the old smith: Of a surety he dwelleth now at Winchclcombe settled. And I thee now entreat by the Saviour's name, that thou to him my errand quickly announce, and say to him for a truth that Swiđhun the bishop bade that he should go to Ađelwold bishop, and say that he himself open my byrial-place, and bring my bones within the church. For that to him is vouchsafed that I in his time should be made known to men. And the smith said to him: Oh, Sire! he will not believe my words. Then quoth the bishop in reply; Let him go to my burial-place, and draw a ring up out of the coffin: and if the ring yields [lit followeth him] at the first tug, then wot he for a truth that I sent thee to him. If the ring will not up by his singlehanded tug, then shall he not in any wise believe thy saying. Say to him eke further, that he himself rectify his deeds, and conduct, according to his Lord's will, and hasten singleheartedly to the eternal life. Say eke to all men, that as soon as they open ray burial-place, that they may there find so valuable a hoard, that their dear gold will be nought worth in comparison with the foresaid treasures. The holy Swiđhun then went [p.5] from the smith up. And the smith durst not tell the vision to any man. He would not be looked upon as an untruthful news-teller. So then the holy man spake to him again; and yet a third time; and severely chided him, for that he would not obey his commands actively. The smith then at last went to his burial-place; and took hold of a ring—timidly however; and cryed to God thus saying with words: Oh! thou Lord God; of all creatures the Creator, grant to me sinful that I may draw this ring up out of this lid, if he lyeth here within who spake to me in dream thrice. He drew thereupon the iron up as easily out of the stone, as if it on sand had stood; and he vehemently thereat wondered. He then re-placed it in the same socket and pressed it to with his feet. And it so fast again-stood that no man might draw it thence. Then went the smith awe-struck therefrom, and met in the market that (same) Eadsige's man, and said to him precisely what Swiđhun enjoined him (Eadsige), and prayed him earnestly that he would report it to him (Eadsige). He said that he would declare it to his lord. And he dared not however say it at first—until he reflected that for himself it would not be desirable that he should conceal the saint's behest from his lord. He said then consecutively what Swiđhun on him enjoined. At that time the (said) Eadsige used to shun Ađelwold the bishop, and all the monks that were in the minster, because of the ejection that he did upon them. And he would not obey the saint's order; though the saint was related to him in worldly kindred. He retired however within two years to the same minster, and became a monk by God's mercy. And there he dwelt until he departed out of this life. Blessed is the Almighty, who humbleth the proud; and the humble He exalteth to lofty dignities; and He correcteth the [p.7] sinful, and constantly supports the good who hope in Him; forasmuch as He is the Saviour. Again, there was a poor ceorl awfully hump-backed, and painfully bowed together, through the broad hump. To him was made known in sleep, with certainty, that he was ordained to recover at Swiđhun's burial-place his body's health, and (relief) of the infirmity. He arose accordingly in the morning much exulting, and with two crutches crept to Winchester, and sought the saint just as to him was said; praying for his health with bended knees. He was thereupon healed through the holy bishop; so that it was not visible afterwards on his back where the hump stood that had oppressed him previously. At that time knew not the monks about the glorious saint; and they weened that some other saint had healed the man. But the ceorl said that Swiđhun had healed him, forasmuch as he himself wist with most certainty about the matter. A certain man was disabled with a very evil ailment, so that he with difficulty his eyes opened, and hardly could he any word utter—but he lay so tormented despairing of his life. Then intended his friends all to convey him to New-minster to the holy Iudoc that he might give him health. But a certain man told them that for them were better that they to Old-minster the invalid carried to Swiđhun's burial-place. And they so did soon. They watched then that night by the tomb with him, praying the Almighty God, that He to the sick man his health would grant, through the holy Swiđhun. The infirm man also watched until it was about to dawn. Then he fell on sleep, and the worshipful tomb—as to them all seemed—all rocking was. And to the sick man it seemed as if one of his shoes were being tugged off from his foot. And he suddenly awoke. He was then healed through the holy Swiđhun. And they sought [p.9] the shoe very diligently. But no man was able to find it there ever. And they returned then home with the healed man. There were healed at the holy tomb eight infirm men, before that he from the tomb up-taken was; miraculously through God. King Eadgar then after these tokens, willed that the holy man should be translated, and spake it to Ađelwold the venerable bishop, that he should translate him with honourable solemnity. Then the bishop Ađelwold with abbots and monks raised the saint with song solemnly. And they bare him into the church S. Peter's house, where he stands in honoured memory, and worketh wonders. There were healed through the holy man four invalided men within three days. And during five months few days were there, that there were not healed at least three infirm persons—sometimes five or six—seven or eight—ten or twelve—sixteen or eighteen. Within ten days there were two hundred men a' healed—and so many within twelve months, that no man could reckon them. The burial-ground lay filled with diseased men, so that one easily could not the minster visit. And these all were so miraculously healed within a few days that you could not there find five infirm men of that large crowd. In those days there were in the Isle of Wight three women. Two of them were blind during nine years' space, and the third saw not the sun's light never. Then gat they with some difficulty for themselves a guide a dumb boy. And they came to the saint; and one night there they watched. And they were healed, both the blind women, and also the dumb guide. Then said the [p.11] what thou mayest be of men; seeing thou canst men's hearts so penetrate. Then quoth the holy Swiđhun: I am he who now newly came! As if he had thus said; I was manifested now recently. Then quoth the bewitched man to the bishop in reply; How art thou named? And the saint quoth to him: When thou comest to Winchester thou shalt know my name. The man was then brought to his bed eft-soon, and awoke out of sleep and said to his wife all the vision which he had seen. Then said the woman to him, that it were Swiđhun, he who him had instructed, with the holy lore, and the man whom he saw in the church (in person) so fair. She quoth then to the man: It were now full good that one bore thee to church, and that thou should pray the saint that he should heal thee, through his holy merit. Him they bore then soon from the bed to church in the Isle of Wight; and he was healed soon through the Almighty God, for Swiđhun's merits. And he departed then home whole on his feet, he who before was borne on a bier to church. He went moreover afterwards to Winchester speedily, and announced to Ađelwold the venerable bishop, how he was healed through the holy Swiđhun. And Landfer, the transmarine recorded it in Latin. Now is it for us to know that we should not care over-much about dreams; for as much as they be not all of God. Some dreams are verily of God, even as we read in books; and some be of the devil for some delusion, (seeking) how he the soul may seduce. But his sorcery cannot harm the good if they bless themselves, and pray to God. Those dreams be cheerful which come of God; and those be horrible that of the devil come. And God himself forbade that we by dreams should not be guided, lest the devil us (to) bewitch [p.13] have power. A man in Winchester was angry with his serf-man for some carelessness, and he put him in fetters. He remained there so long in the loathed bands until he stole out with his staff hopping, and sought the saint Swiđhun with lamentation. The bolt then shot at once out of the fetter, and the serf arose, extricated through the saint. A certain man was bound about the head for his heavy guilt. He came to the saint, and his burdensome headband soon burst asunder as he prayed. We cannot describe nor with words narrate all the wonders that the holy man Swiđhun through God performed in the sight of the people, as well on prisoners, as on diseased men—for a manifestation to men, that they themselves may God's kingdom earn with good works just as Swiđhun did, who now shineth through wonders. The old church was all hung around with crutches, and with cripples' stools from one end to the other, on either wall, that there were healed : and they could not even-so however put half of them up. Such-like tokens declare that Christ is Almighty God; Who His saint demonstrated through such benefits. Although the Jews by the devil deluded will not believe on the living God, before that Antichrist shall be killed through God. Then shall bow the wretched creatures, at the end of this world, who there (until) remaining shall be, with faith to Christ; and the former (generations) shall perish who ere would not believe. We have now said about Swiđhun thus shortly; and we say in sooth that the time was happy, and winsome in Angel-cyn, then when king Eadgar furthered Christendom, and many monasteries erected, and his kingdom was dwelling in peace.
NOTES TO THE FOREGOING TEXT.
Page 2, line 10. The name of our saint is Swiƿhun or
Swiđhun. The first
syllable is the adjective swiđ = validas, strong, bold: the second syllable
obscure. It is not unfrequent in names of
the eighth and ninth centuries. There is Hunferđ, Sax. Chron. 744. In Codex
Diplomaticus we find, Æđelhun, No. 235; Eadhun, 239; Ræđhuni, Hunred, 240. We
have also, in the tenth century,
Aldhun, bishop of Lindisfarne—and the names Berhthun, Andhun, and Hun, brought
together by Bouterwek in his elaborate Preface to the Four Northumbrian Gospels,
p. cxxxvl. He there suggests an etymology—"bedeutet hun centurio, wie das alts. hunno."
Page 2, line 14. ardlice] Not a common word, but it is found in Joshua ii. 5. "efstaƥ nu ardlice," where the Vulgate has "persequimini cito." Also in the Homily on the Depositio Sti Cuthberti: "and his name ƿe biđ ardlice gecydd = and his name shall soon be made known to thee. It seems to be rightly referred to that [Greek] in Judith 275 (Thorpe's Analecta, p. 150 a): "sum to đam arod," aliquis adeƌ audax, where Grein renders "entschlossen."
Page 4, line 15. on cyƿinge] in the market-place. This word is preserved in such names as Chipping Norton, Chippenham, &c. (formed on the analogy of the Roman 'Forum Julii,' &c.), probably of places which had their origin in the selection of their sites for interchange or sale of products, at an early date. Of the same kind is Copenhagen, written in Danish Kiöbenhavn, and pronounced by the Swedes precisely as we pronounce Chippenham.
Page 4, line 15, 16. ƿæs Eadsiges mann "Eadeige's man''] This expression could not be avoided where the aim was to keep the version as close as practicable to the text. But it is misleading, without a word of explanation. It means not his personal attendant, valet or manservant, but one of his serfs or villains, part and parcel of the premises of that ham in which he was settled, or as above expressed, ham-fœst; at Winchelcombe. For I do not understand from the text that Eadsige had attached himself to the monastery at Winchelcombe.
Page 4, line 24. for ƿam utdræfe ƿe he gedyde wiđ hi] Saxon Chronicle H, 964.
Page 4, line 26. for worulde] This expression is most frequently found coupled thus: "for Gode and for worulde," which means "spiritually and temporally."
Page 6, line 2. ceórl] This word cannot be translated into modem English. It still continues to exist in a totally different and degenerate sense, in the form churl. The ceórl was the Saxon freeman, who had not land enough to be a thane. The Saxon gentry were eorlisc; and the mass of freeborn people, ceorlisc. E.g. Alfred's Laws, Cap. 4. § 2. Swa we eac settađ be eallum hadum, ge ceorle ge eorle—i.e. "So we lay down the law for all degrees, gentle and simple." The subject is fully discussed in Hallam's Middle Ages, vol. ii. note iii.
Page 6, line 2-15. All this paragraph is semi-rhythmical and alliterative, and may be divided into lines as poetry.
Page 6, line 5. hæle and ƿære] There is here an omission, which is remedied by the insertion of the word "relief" in the translation. Or, it may be, that hæle, by an untranslatable zeugma, governs both lichaman and alefednesse.
Page 6, line 6. micclum fægnigende] [Greek]. fægnian = to rejoice, exult,—whence that in the Psalms, "My lips shall be fain, &c."
Page 6, line 7. creap him] This (him = sibi) is untranslatable. Verbs of motion
often take a dative of their subject after them, and thus are reflexive.
E.g. gewat him, eode him (mox, p. 10, 1. 16), he departed, he went. I know not
whether "go along with you" is an offset of this idiom.
Page 6, line 17. ƿa eagan undyde] un-did his eyes. I could not venture to render this literally in the translation, it seemed a little too incongruous.
Page 6, line 19. Iudóce] The history of this saint may be read in the Acta Sanctorum, or in a more abridged form in Ordericus Vitalis, B. iv. Judoc was son of Juihail and brother of Judicail, both British kings, in the middle of the seventh century. He abruptly left his lessons at "Lanmailmon," to join a party for pilgrimage to Rome. But Haimo duke of Ponthieu, who knew him, stopped him on the road, and made him his chaplain. Then follow miracles in his life-time, as a prelude to the miraculous discovery of his body in the tenth century, at which time Isembard, a monk of Fleury, wrote S. Judoc's Life, and a monastery was founded in his name on the banks of the river Canche, near Montreuil-sur-mer, a few miles south of Boulogne—at a place since called from S. Judoc, S. Josse-sur-mer. The narrative in Ordericus excludes the possibility of a translation of the relic to Winchester, which is notwithstanding recorded in the poorest of Saxon Chronicles (MS. F.) as having taken place in the year 903, together with the consecration of the New Minster. There appears from the text to have been considerable rivalry between S. Swithun and S. Judoc (i.e. between the Old and New Minsters at Winchester), but the foreign celebrity was unable to cope with the native saint.
Page 8, line 24. heape] The word heap is no longer used in English of a crowd of persons, but its analogue, the German Hauf, is so used.
Page 8, line 26. ne geseah ƿære sunnan leoht næfre] We now say that two negatives destroy one another, or are equivalent to an affirmative. But it was not always so in the English language, which anciently was accustomed to the double negative, almost as much as the French of the present day, with its ne—pas, ne—point, &c.
Page 10, line 1. Between this and the former page one or more
leaves are missing, and to mark the discontinuity I have changed the notation,
from figures to letters, and Y Z are chosen to signify that this leaf in the
closing one of the Homily.
Page 10, line 4. be dry da] Ettmuller, p, 292, has bedrida, clinicus, referring to Ælfric's Glossary, 9. Yet I take this to be the participle of the verb be drian, to bewitch, fascinate: cf. bottom of the same page. Probably it has been the parent of such expressions as bed-ridden, be-ridden, hag-ridden, &c.
Page 10, line 16. The "man" written over the line, in a later hand, is unmeaning. Possibly it was discontinued abruptly, and the word designed may have been manigfealidcum.
Page 10, line 18. ceastre] It was a natural omission for the scribes to leave out the syllable Win. Each chief city was in the tenth century apt to he styled the ceaster (i.e. castrum) of its own country. Thus in the Chronicle 964 we observe Winchester is still Ceaster: under 685, York is called Caster; and one of our provincial capitals has retained this title fixedly, viz. Chester.
Page 10, line 20] Landferđ se ofersæwises, "Landferđ from over the sea," transmarinus. He appears to have been a monk of the Old Minster in the days of ÆđelwoId, to whom he might have been a sort of Latin secretary or historiographer: cf. Mr. Wright's excellent "Biographia Britannica Literaria Anglosaxon Period," p. 469.
Page 10, line 22. be swefnum] The opening lines of Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose illustrates both the words and the thought:
Many menne sain that in sweveninges
There n' is but fables and lesinges:
But menne may some sweven seene,
Which hardely that false ne been,
But afterward ben apparaunt, &c.
Page 12, line 10. he hine gebæd] hine-gebiddan is a reflexive verb,
= to pray.
Page 12, line 18. wage] We have now no other word but wall to render wah or wag, which is the nominative of "wage;" but in Saxon times both words existed, wah for the side of a building which was of timber, and weal for the more solid structure of stone or earths. With the growth of the practice of building dwelling-houses of stone, the word wah went out of use, and wall alone remained. A trace however of wah remains in 'wainscot' which meant the planking for the sides of a chamber, quasi, for ƿam wagum, and of which a wrong etymology is given in Richardson. Cf. Diefenbach, vol. i. p. 147. Well furnished houses were hung with curtains along the wah, which were called wah-hrægel, wah-rift. This was to keep out the draughts inseparable from fabrics of timber, and hence sprung the domestic pursuit of working tapestry, and the manufacture of "Arras" hangings.
Page 12, line 28. ge sælig] happy. This identical word still exists in English, but in a degenerate sense, as, "silly." Compare Dean Trench, "Study of Words," p. 45.
Page 12, line 28, Angel cynne] Yet this is not an Anglian but a Saxon Homily, and the king whose times are lauded, was a Saxon king, not Anglian. The Saxons called their nation Angel-cyn and their speech Englisc. This shews what an influence the Anglian superiority of the seventh and eighth centuries had exercised over the island. The four western counties are called 'Weal cyn' as late as king Alfred's time. Cod. Dipl. 314.
Page 12, line 32, on sibbe] So closes this neat summary of the felicities of Eadgar's reign with the word which was proverbially associated with him, he was "Eadgar the Peaceful" entering into the peaceful fruition of the dignities acquired for him by a series of warlike progenitors. Yet the title is not due to this fact, however justified by it. It sprang from the change felt under the reign of his 'unready' son Æđelred, which made men remember with regret the time when under king Edgar the kingdom dwelt in peace.
AN ESSAY ON THE LIFE AND TIMES
SWIĐHUN, bishop of Winchester, architect, statesman; during life a chief man in
his nation, and after death installed as a saint in the Calendar; has dwindled
into a myth—vox et præterea nihil—a sound ominous of unseasonable rain.
ÆÐELWOLD, the famous bishop of Winchester, in the most stirring period of the Saxon Church, shews plainly that he was proud to be a successor of Swiđhun. Æđelwold counted it among the chief glories of his preferment that he inherited the mantle of Swiđhun. When Æđelwold reviewed the catalogue of his predecessors in the see of Winchester, from Birinus (A.D. 634) to his own accession (A.D. 963)—next to the singular and unattainable honour of the missionary founder, Birinus—the name most distinguished to his eye was that of Swiđhun, ten years bishop, from 852 to 862. He was in Æđelwold's judgment the model bishop of Winchester, the prelate whose steps he resolved to follow. For Æđelwold, rebuilding his cathedral, and desiring to enrich it with the best relic, made it the resting-place of Swiđhun. He thus ennobled the work he had begun, and gratified his veneration for a name that was dear to him, by enshrining it in perpetual memory and honour. That Swiđhun's name is still current, is due to the reverence of Æđelwold's esteem.
Swiđhun had been 108 years in his humble grave, when he was the cause of a holy-day in Wessex. A grand assembly of men and women of all degrees met at Winchester, on the 15th of July, 971, to convey bishop Swiđhun's đryh3 from without the north side to within the east end of the church.
This public act was the inauguration of the new work, the sainting4 of Swiđhun, and the subjection of the cathedral to his celestial patronage. The 'old church' had been styled "ecclesia beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli,'' commonly called "Petres hus5,'' but from that day forward the fabric of Æđelwold was known as Saint Swiđhun's, and this title lasted until Henry the Eighth ordered the Name of the Holy Trinity to be substituted.
The retention of Swiđhun's name in the popular memory, unaccompanied [p.22] by any attribute that appeals to the imagination, associated only with a trivial, worn out, and discredited prognostic of the weather, is a phenomenon which the philosopher might turn to some account. In a primitive condition of society such a dismantled effigy would invite fresh embellishments from the rhapsodist, and become the centre of dominant fantasies. But in the nineteenth century its chances of rehabilitation are over, and the only way of investing the relic with a meaning is to recover its antiquarian history.
Confident as I am, that some solid outlines of this history are to be established, I will begin by admitting that we have scarce a word of contemporary record about him6. His written story dates from his sainting—that is to say, more than a hundred years after his death. Yet that story is not necessarily apocryphal. His relations to conspicuous persons, to permanent institutions, and to leading events, will aid his restoration to history; and we may, in such a case, make more of a few brief notices than could be done without some external setting to receive them.
At the same time I must guard against the tempting but unprofitable exercise of installing a hero into every vacant place wherein his character would seem to fit, and where it is desiderated in order to round off the fragmentary records of the times. There are many places where the absence of a telling name makes itself felt as a sensible void. Here and there opens a vacancy which Swiđhun would admirably fill. Like the Ichnolite of the palaeontologist, he may be surmised to have occupied the space which his figure would conveniently fit.
A collector is wanted for the early history of Wessex. We have the fruits of his labours, but we have hitherto enquired in vain for the labourer. Was Swiđhun the man?
A companion is wanted for prince Alfred's infantine progress to Rome; and the instinct of investigators has led them to Swiđhun.
Æđelwulf's grant of tithe (whatever may have been the purport of that much disputed ordinance) is attributed on all hands—except that silent contemporary pen—to the counsel of Swiđhun.
Who was the intermediary that averted a civil war when king Æthelwulf returned from his pilgrimage to Rome, bringing with him the Frankish princess Judith? He found his eldest son Ethelbald with the warlike bishop Ealhstan of Sherboume, and Eanwulf the chief of Somersetshire, all confederate against him, and prepared to resist his return. The end was a compromise: Ethelbald kept Wessex, and his father had to be content with the provincial throne of Kent, the secondary government of the realm—nam occidentalis Sawonice pars semper orientali principalior est (Asser). Considering the unwise conduct of the king, and [p.23] the cause he had given for dissatisfaction, the threatened danger was happily averted even at the price of such disgrace. The over-mildness of the concession is redeemed by its policy—nimiâ clementiâ et prudenti consilio ustis, says Asser. And who was this prudent counsellor and successful diplomat, that arranged the quarrel between a jealous parent and a foolhardy son—who but his tutor and ''chancellor'' and bishop, the man who had known him from first to last, at his best and at his worst, the man whom he delighted to call altorem et doctor em suum?
At this rate a history of Saxon times might be produced, gliding along with a fluent circumstantiality, and satisfactory to those who had no suspicion of the flimsy basis on which it reposed. A full and particular history of any epoch might thus be constructed—given only a few names and dates and scraps of events.
On the other hand we might throw up the task of writing Swiđhun's history as a thing impossible. It is certainly an inauspicious fact that his name is not even mentioned in the contemporary annals. Meagre as these annals may be, the utter absence of his name in annals written in or about his time, and in his city, seems to assign him to unredeemable oblivion. We might easily conclude that Swiđhun was of more importance after death than during his life-time, and that his posthumous celebrity had risen from some caprice of the people or policy of the rulers, in a subsequent age.
But in truth there is a middle course. Without magnifying the value of extant documents, or disdaining them for their poverty, we may endeavour by laying out fairly the circumjacent pieces of history, to appreciate the relative position of the morsels which concern Swiđhun. The true way to compensate the want of circumstantiality in our historical documents, is not by completing the picture from fancy, but by studying how the fragments ought to stand to each other in direction and distance.
The main particulars recorded of Swiđhun may soon be told. Swiđhun was born near Winchester, probably about the year 800. He became a monk of the Old Abbey of Winchester, and rose to be prior of that brotherhood. Ecgberht, who was then king, chose him for præceptor to his son Æthelwulf, the heir to the throne of Wessex. In a charter of Ecgberht, Anno 8387, we find the signature of 'Swiđhunus diaconus' close after that of 'Elmstan episcopus.' In the year 852 this bishop Elmstan or Helmstan died, and Swiđhun became bishop of Winchester. In this dignity he shewed that constructive taste and ability which has from time to time shone conspicuous in bishops of Winchester. The bridge which he built by the east gate of the city [p.24] appears to have struck his contemporaries as a very emblem of permanence with its piers and arches of stone. He was king Æthelwulf's chief counsellor in matters of religion and in the arts of peace, as Ealhstan, bishop of Sherbourne, was prime adviser and chief commander in war and foreign affairs. He outlived Æđelwulf, and did good to Æđelbald. His death was probably in 863. Not earlier, for we have his signature under that date8. He was buried—his particular request—in a vile place, under the eavesdroppings, outside the church on the north. There he lay till the third quarter of the following century, when he was exhumed for translation and beatification by bishop Æthelwold, in the days of archbishop Dunstan.
Thus Swiđhun touches upon two salient points of Saxon history. His story rests, at its distant extremes, upon Ecgberht and Æthelwulf 's great reigns at one end, and upon the eminence of Dunstan's epoch at the other. It is not requisite here to strain history or make forced combinations. The historian's passion for grouping his eminent characters, here enjoys its legitimate exercise and gratification.
Our disquisition about Swiđhun will divide itself naturally into two groups, consisting of, first, the personages with whom he was connected in life; secondly, those who bore a part, directly or indirectly, in his translation and sainting. If to this be added a view of his hagiology, or what traces his sainthed has left in literature and folk-lore, our disquisition will be complete.
Let us at once strike the date 800 A.D.
In continental history this figure signifies the age of Charlemagne, and the new order of things which he introduced. He overran much of Europe with his victorious arms; he brought under one throne many minor sovereignties, and embraced them all in one comprehensive system of legislation. He first gave tithes a legal basis; he it was who set up the Papacy upon that pedestal of temporal power from which we now seem to see it tottering to its irrecoverable fall. Having conquered and organised a great empire, and having exhibited his power over a still wider area, he seemed to have laid the foundations of an era full of peace, prosperity, and progress. To his descendants he might appear to be about to leave little more than the office of occupying the seat of power and guiding the reins of administration. Never were probabilities more contradicted by the events. His wise organisation was rent asunder by a succession of internal wars, arising out of the quarrels of his own children. Whatever wealth or comfort had been obtained by local industry was wasted and scattered by the destructive inroads of the Northmen. It is said of Charlemagne that when first he saw the Northern ships entering the waters of Narbonne, he [p.25] wept with the prophetic anticipation that they were destined to demolish much of the fabric that he had laboured to erect. In the weakness of his own descendants, and the fury of the Northern hordes, the fortunes of the dynasty of Charlemagne were constantly retrograde, and in less than seventy years all its bright promise was extinguished.
The Wessex history of the same period presents the same general outlines in the ascendancy, and a fainter parallel in the relapse.
The date of 800, which gives us Charlemagne, emperor of the Franks, sitting on the throne of Aix-la-Chapelle, shews us Ecgberht, king of Wessex, enthroned at Winchester. Ecgberht may be styled our insular Charlemagne. He carried his victorious arms through a great part of this island, and brought under his influence the whole of what we now call England and Wales. But he subjected to his own sceptre only the countries south of the Thames, as Charlemagne's permanent acquisition of territory was limited by the Rhine and Elbe, Eegberht's invasion of Northumbria was like Charlemagne's German campaigns, more for the exhibition of power than the conquest of territory. On the continent Charlemagne was emperor; among our insular chieftains Ecgberht was Bretwalda, Charlemagne associated his son Lewis with him in the government—Ecgberht placed the young Æđelwulf on the provincial throne of Kent.
The little kingdom of Wessex, consisting of the counties of Hampshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, and a part of Somersetshire (about to the line of the Parret), was now for the first time looked up to as the leading power in the isle of Albion. On its eastern side, the ancient kingdom of Kent, consisting of the counties of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, was attacht as an appanage to the throne of Wessex. On its western side, the 'Weal-cyn' or Welsh country, as it was styled—consisting of Cornwall, Devon, and most part of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire—was in a kind of mutinous unwilling dependency upon Wessex.
The country across the Severn, which we now call Wales, was then 'Norđ-Weal-cyn,' the country of the North Welsh, in contradistinction to the people of Devon and Cornwall, who were the Welsh of the West. These all, as well as the kingdoms of Mercia, East Anglia, Northumbria, and the various little sovereignties that occupied the obscure niches and nooks of the country, were more or less aware of their subordination to the supremacy of the Bretwalda who sate upon his ancestral throne at Winchester.
Ecgberht had been a man of war, but he educated his son to be a man of peace. The power which he had acquired by military prowess would need to be consolidated by wisdom and policy. The numerous subjects of his house would need instruction and correction, emancipation from the pagan thraldom that was still over their minds, and initiation into the arts of life, temporal as well as [p.26] eternal. He committed the education of his son Æđelwulf to the care of Swiđhun, who was then prior of the monastery at Winchester. The prince became attached to Swiđhun with an affection which lasted his life-time. In after years we find him mentioning Swiđhun as "altorem meum" = the guide of my youth. Under such a tutor the personal character of the prince would be well cultivated, and his tastes would be well regulated. Swiđhun would never have forgotten to direct his attention to business, to the art of governing, to the importance of industry, as well as to the value of a pure creed and Scriptural learning.
But it is probable that the athletic and military side of a royal education was overlooked at a moment when the country teemed with the military virtues, and when the crying demand was for some addition to the arts of peace. While we are acquainted with the fact that Æđelwulf had Swiđhun for tutor, we are not told that he had any military instructor. But if he really had the training of an ecclesiastic, and if, as writers tell, he really became deacon; it only shews how securely Ecgberht counted that his son^s vocation was to improve the opportunities of peace.
The last exploit of Ecgberht's glorious reign was his victory at Hengistes dun. Many a tourist in his descent from the western brow of Dartmoor, looking over the wide and rich valley of Tavistock, has enquired the name of that broad-backed elevation which rises over against him and confines the other side of the valley. It is "Kingston Down" the field where Ecgberht fought the Danes. The Western Welsh, the Welsh of Kernyw and Dyfnaint, constantly fretting at the encroachments of imperious Wessex, had made an alliance with that wild and savage horde that now began to infest the shores of Britain. The Danes and the Welsh were mustering their forces upon Hengistes dun! They were preparing to invade the western border of Wessex. Ecgberht appeared, and demolished the design at a blow.
But repeated blows were necessary to protect the country from such an enemy as the Dane. Ecgberht, like Charlemagne, passed off the scene, leaving the sword in feeble hands. The Danes swarmed every where, and left only a wilderness behind them wherever they passed. There was a general desolation, and a general panic. Winchester was plundered. No longer any chance for religion to advance, and learning to flourish—the great necessities of existence are too generally felt to leave room for any other consideration. One hand alone is seen lifted with decision to stay the progress of the general confusion, and that the hand, not of a king, but of a bishop.
The kingdom of Wessex was divided into two bishoprics, the see of Winchester and the see of Sherbourne. The bishop of Sherbourne was Alhstan; the bishop of Winchester (not however promoted to that see till some years after Æđelwulf's [p.27] accession) was Swiđhun. These two bishops are the props of Æđelwulf 's reign. The one in the cabinet, the other in the field, succeeded in preserving the state from impending ruin. Swiđhun has been called the chancellor9, and Ealchstan the chief general of Æđelwulf. Swiđhun was zealous for the instruction and edification of the people, and for improving their domestic condition;—Ealchstan was bent upon protecting the frontier against the enemy, Dane or Briton. Between these two able and zealous men, Wessex was preserved, though it suffered much. It was kept together, and handed on entire to the hands of young Alfred. The value of these two names, Swiđhun and Alhstan, only then becomes fully apparent, when we remember that they were the leading characters in the court of the father of Alfred. The balanced and doubly qualified character which presents Alfred to us as a master-king, may perhaps without undue indulgence of the imagination, be attributed to the combined example if not instruction, of Alhstan and Swiđhun. Of the two, it is however Alhstan whose influence is most prominent in the tenor of Alfred's life. The foundation of Alfred's greatness—that by which he kept his throne, recovered it when lost, and again maintained it when assailed—is this, that he was a great general. The assertion that he could not read before twelve years old seems only to signify that his early passion was for athletic rather than for literary pursuits.
He had not his match as a keen and successful sportsman—in omni venatana arte industrim venator incessahiliter laborat nan in vanum: nam incomparabilis omnibus peritid et felicitate in ilia arte, sicut et in caeteris omnibus Dei donis fait: sicut et nos scepissime vidimus10. He loved his native songs with the ardour of a hunter and a soldier; and while he could not 'pen a line'—illiteratus permansit—he had already stored his memory.
He had surely visited Rome in his childhood. The documentary evidence of this fact is irresistible. This visit seems to fall in the very year of Swiđhun's promotion to the see of Winchester. If we suppose that the profit of a visit to Rome, or the pious associations connected with it, disposed Swiđhun to pass a summer in this journey, to receive a benediction on his new office, as metropolitans were already accustomed to sue for their pallium, it becomes very easy to understand how Æđelwulf would have seized the opportunity to send his youngest and dearest child, under such tutelage, to the foot of the apostolic throne.
To some it has appeared aimless, this frequent visiting of Rome in the early period of our history. To others it appears scandalous and Popish. But it [p.28] should be remembered, that Rome was the mother of the Saxon church, her capital city, to which she looked for instruction in much that pertains to this life, and still more in what belongs to the powers of the world to come. It was not long since the archbishops of Canterbury had been furnished by Rome—before the Saxon church produced men capable of that honour. The family of Wessex maintained a seminary at Rome for the instruction of English students. Rome was, in short, their metropolis. At a critical period in his life, Swiđhun would be specially inclined to visit that city, which he had always hoped he should see once before his death11.
The culminating point of Swiđhun's policy is visible in a brief passage of the Saxon Chronicle. In 855—the first year of the Northmen's wintering here—king Æđelwulf conveyed the tenth of his land to religious uses. In a part of the annals which is distinctly military and not ecclesiastic in spirit, this is told in words of singular emphasis and approbation. To judge this donation rightly, we must shake off the influence of modern divisions, and see it as a matter of Christianity against barbarism and paganism. The more unstable the times, the more necessary was it to secure a maintenance for the clergy. The king was induced to give the example, which others would probably follow, till at length opinion might be converted into law. So might tithes eventually be established in England, as Charlemagne's wisdom had led him to establish them by law in the Prankish empire. Such appear to have been the views of Swiđhun.
The two bishops of Wessex did a great work, each in his department, and their names ought to be famous. Yet Alhstan has passed out of popular recollection a thousand years ago, and he is to be found only in the remote historic page. On the other hand, the name of Swiđhun is as familiar as an old proverb, and for this distinction we have now to account.
For this purpose we must pass over a hundred years in silence, and step into the second half of the succeeding century. In 958 Eadgar ascends the [p.29] throne of Wessex—"Eadgar the Peaceful." That reign of peace which a hopeful patriot might have anticipated for Æđelwulf in the first half of the ninth century, did at length dawn upon Eadgar in the second half of the tenth.
So long had it taken to subdue all those elements of hostility which prevented the introduction of a peaceful reign. History-books have too generally made the "Heptarchy" dissolve and fade away under Ecgberht, whom they constitute the first king of England. But that title is hardly applicable to any king before Eadgar, whose wherry was rowed by a crew of kinglets on the Dee, and who wrote himself, "King of all England12!''
Under king Eadgar, Æđelwold, abbot of Abingdon, educated at Glastonbury, was made bishop of Winchester. He stands forth prominently in the history of Eadgar's reign, slightly overshadowed by a taller figure. There is Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, in the middle; with Æđelwold, bishop of Winchester, on his right; and Oswald, bishop of Worcester, supporting his left. The grand movements of Eadgar's reign owe their origin to this trio. To them moreover is due the perpetuity of the name of Swiđhun. Their aims and policy must be considered under two or three distinct heads. Their desire was to extend religion, and to banish the remnants of paganism. One of the chief means they chose was the reform and extension of monastic institutions. Such monasteries as were decayed or ruined they restored—such as were degenerate in manners or discipline they reformed—and to this they added the foundation and erection of new monasteries.
Another favourite measure was the celebration of deceased Christian worthies, which were generally presented to public veneration by the process then called ''Translation."
A third means which was in fact only a following up of the second, was that of pious biographies and homilies on the lives and miracles of those persons who by the course of translation had been ranked as saints.
The consideration of these expedients will merit a little digression.
Monasticism occupies for ever a grand chapter in the story of the human family. There are some sections of history which cannot be seen in a right [p.30] light at all, until monastic institutions shall have received a more just appreciation. And the section before us is one of them.
When a long period of war was followed in England by a short period of tranquillity, the great domestic question which was agitated turned upon monastic institutions. It was in supporting and pushing these to his utmost that Dunstan won the celebrity and the odium which have attached to his name.
Many things are distorted to our eye by the inveterate habit of regarding the Norman Conquest as the first moment of English history worth attention. It seems as if Hume's words were stereotyped upon the English mind; as though his "obscure and uninteresthig period of Saxon annals" contained a self-evident truth. This has led to a habit of viewing the Saxon period through a false light. Consciously or unconsciously, the reader who having begun at the Conquest has only read downwards, treats that point as if it were absolutely the beginning. He lays there the foundation of his historical principia, and begins there the construction of his views upon English history. When a mind so trained is brought to bear upon the anterior period, great confusion results. Saxon history has been habitually read by lights reflected from subsequent periods. This is strikingly apparent in the opular treatment of Dunstan, and in almost all that is written about the monastic life of our Early Church. Through the tacit analogising of that which is unanalogous, monasteries are identified with Romanism, and as Dunstan's policy was to favour the monastic system, Dunstan is made out to have been an ultramontane Roman Catholic! So strong is the tide of concurrent phraseology on this point, that even Lappenberg, who candidly appreciates Dunstan13, is borne away before it, and calls Dunstan a [p.31] Romling. Where such an expression is used, it seems to be forgotten for the moment, how impotent Rome was in the tenth century.
One of the best school-histories of the day treats the monasteries of the tenth century as follows: "Mysterious reverence still hung round the convents, within which such ceaseless prayers were said, and so many relics exposed, and whither it was also known that all the learning and scholarship of the land had fled for refuge. The doles at monastery doors, however objected to by political economists, as encouragements of mendicancy and idleness, were viewed in a very different light by the starving crowds, who, besides being qualified by destitution and hunger for the reception of charitable food, had an incontestable right, under the founder's will, to be supported by the establishment on whose lands they lived. The abbot who neglected to feed the poor, was not only an unchristian contemner of the precepts of the faith, but ran counter to the legal obligations of his place. He was administrator of certain properties left for the benefit of persons about whose claims there was no doubt; and when the rapacious methods of maintaining their adherents, which were adopted by the count and baron, were compared with the baskets of broken victuals, and the jugs of foaming beer, which were distributed at the buttery of the abbey, the decision was greatly in favour of the spiritual chief. His ambling mule and swift hound, and hooded hawks, were not grudged, nor his less defensible occupations seriously enquired into, as long as the beef and mutton were not stinted, and the liquor flowed in reasonable streams."
Here we have the conventional portrait of monkish life and character unusually well executed. It is however the stock article, which has been handed on from writer to writer, and without distinction of times it is reproduced wherever monks make their appearance on the stage of Protestant history. It is made up of the satire of Chaucer and the execration of Wiclif, with a dash of scandal from the times of the Reformation. It has its illustration in that popular but sinister picture, "Bolton Abbey in the Olden Time!" Being true in a partial sense, as the dark side of a picture which belongs to the four- [p.32] teenth and fifteenth centuries, it is offered to the reader as a complete and impartial representation of the monachism of the tenth.
This error, so far merely a confusion of historical ideas, is next reinforced by a strong religious prejudice. Ever since the Reformation, Monasteries and Lives of Saints are offensive to the mind of a Protestant. In a great majority, even of educated persons, this repugnance is unqualified by any consideration of the difference of times. The 'Monastery' of the seventh century is equally distasteful with the 'Monastery' of the fifteenth. Yet the one was a rude shelter for self-denying preachers of the Gospel, and hard-living reclaimers of the soil; a winter's bud of our modern civilization. The other was a sumptuous range of buildings, in the most fastidious style of architecture, full of provisions and even luxuries, where men who set up a profession of extraordinary services were only eluding common duties; living lazy and indulgent lives; a' maintaining the formulas of a pompous superstition.
Between the two extremes of the early missionary zeal, and the laxity which preluded the fall of the monastic system, we must admit a vast amount of eminent service rendered to the country by this well-abused institution. It was by the monks that learning was maintained in the country; it was by them that all our history (of their times) was written; they improved agriculture; cleared and drained large tracts of country; they were the medium of communication with the thought of Europe, and through them new ideas and discoveries were introduced into the country; they cultivated the mechanical arts, and it was a monk who made the first clock that was set up in England; they were the hostels of the traveller, the primary schools and hospitals of their neighbourhood, the seminaries for the supply of clergy, of physicians, and (before the upstart of universities) of lawyers also: in short, if you abstract from the history of the country merely the administrative and belligerent elements, all the rest of its life and growth centred round the monasteries.
Experience has led us to the conclusion, that an error lies at the root of the monastic system. A given individual may, like S. Paul, find his true vocation in a life of celibacy: but to found societies upon conditions unwholesome for mankind at large, cannot be true religion. This, we believe, we have ascertained. But nothing would be more unreasonable, indeed inhuman, than to apply to the tenth century the standard of the nineteenth, and from the vantage ground of our ripened experience to condemn the aberrations of our forefathers, who, at their own peril, worked out the experiment for us. A sweeping contempt for monasteries, translations, relics, pilgrimages, and processions, is easy work. But to see in these contrivances an honest purpose, and to solve the riddle how such methods were deemed means of grace, is both more arduous and more profitable.
The monasteries of the seventh century in England were the missionary [p.33] stations from which was propagated our English Christianity. St. Augustine's at Canterbury was the first of them. In the zeal of the early Saxon Conversion, the monastery was the house of regular hours, active habits, frequent prayers, plain food, scant allowance, and diligent labour for the benefit of the people.
It must be allowed that this state of things did not long continue unmixed. Abuse began early. But the abuse of the early times was something quite different from that which is conventionally introduced to blacken the aspect of a monastery. It was not so much the degeneracy of the monastic order, as the intrusion among them of unmonastic persons. It was the usurpation of monastic privileges by wealthy and secular persons, that created the confusion in monkish life which disgraces the first half of the eighth century, and which nearly, if not entirely, extinguished the pure monastic life in England. Princes, perceiving the benefit of encouraging monasteries in their dominions, conferred grants of land upon them, with exemption from all but the most indispensable secular burthens14. These privileges only encumbered the system they were designed to foster. The advantages were too attractive, and secular persons dragged themselves and their property through the forms of foundation and dedication only to secure their tenure or obtain the immunities. As founders or benefactors they retained the patronage; and made the religious houses their homes—sometimes their second residences or hunting villas—and bestowed the headship upon a member of their family, who was bent upon any thing rather than a 'religious' life. They lived, as in the world, or worse. When English Christianity was not much more than a century old, and when the monasteries were yet (presumedly) missionary stations, these were their founders and called benefactors. It seems like a parody of the prophetic words: Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers. The country came to be dotted over with these mongrel institutions, not religious and not secular, till it grew into a proverb—neque Deo neque hominibus utilia: good neither for God nor man. And from the same source we learn (viz. the Venerable Bede writing to Ecgberht, archbishop of York)—"sunt loca innumera, ut novimus omnes, monasteriorum ascripta vocabulumy sed nihil prorstis monastics conversationis habentia." "Countless places, as we all know, have got classed as monasteries, without any thing whatever of monastic discipline about them.''
In 745, Boniface, the Apostle of Germany (himself an Englishman of Devonshire), wrote an imploring letter to the king of Mercia, Æthelbald. He begged him to abstain from such abuses himself, and to restrain others. He wrote also to Cuthbert, the archbishop of Canterbury. These letters produced the council of Clovesho, where the liberty of monasteries was asserted. Yet the freedom of election had to be reiterated in 785 at the synod of Cealchythe.
The forms of oppression varied according to circumstances. In certain cases
heavy imposts were laid upon religious houses by way of tribute, and by way of
service. The monks were impressed for corvee-work. Servants, horses, hounds, hawks of landlords were quartered upon
We have been following the best light afforded us in assuming that this state of things prevailed as well in the south as in the north, in British Saxony as well as in British Angle-land. As it was highly injurious, temporally as well as spiritually, we may judge that Wessex was less enervated by it, seeing she bore the Danish shock better than Northumbria. So far we may conclude that it was more markedly prevalent in the latter than in the former. But then this holds good of eve^y part and feature of the two countries. Northumbria was in every respect more advanced and developed than Wessex. Northumbria had more civilization than Wessex, more wealth, more power, more religion, more monasteries, and, as a corollary, was more liable to abuses. But there is nothing, as far as I am aware, either in the causes which were at work, or in the conditions of the countries, to suggest that this abuse was confined to Northumbria and not shared by Wessex. Bede's description may be taken as concerning the general abuses of monasticism throughout the island in the eighth century.
Such a struggling existence had the monastic life in England in the period before the Danish troubles—when the country was at peace, or only disturbed by intestine commotions. When the piratical invaders made the country their prey, it was found, more especially in the north, that those who had been strong enough to oppress the monasteries were not strong enough to defend them. The seats of religion drew upon themselves the special fury of the depredators, and they were almost extirpated from the land. Hence the period of gross darkness which follows, and which clouds our view of history now, as it darkened the intelligence of contemporaries then. This is the Danish eclipse of our early history, in which Swiđhun is the single solitary light;—out of which the first rays of illumination display Alfred mastering a desperate position, and winning an imperishable name.
We are all familiar with Alfred's complaint, of the ignorance and incompetency of the clergy. The oft-repeated incident can only be properly understood by connection with the fate of the monasteries. For these were the nurseries of learning. These were now either demolished, or if any where extant in form they had fallen into decay. Absorbed in care for the necessaries of life, their members had succumbed to the general distress, and had almost forgotten those exalted pursuits by which alone they could exert any influence upon the country. Learning had vanished out of the land. In his celebrated circular to the bishops, presenting each see with a copy of his English translation of Gregory's Pastoral, king Alfred dwells on the high state of learning in the [p.35] good old times before the land was ravaged. Even in his own youth (he says) Latin books were still abundant. But nobody had translated them into English, and the tradition of knowledge having been interrupted by the violence of the times, learning had perished.
In Alfred himself is begun the resuscitation of the monastic system, for he founded the New-Minster at Winchester, and another monastery at Athelney, the place of his retreat; besides a convent at Shaftesbury.
The corrective which Bede had proposed to apply was this. He would make the religious houses take a greater part in active clerical labours. He would rouse them by directing their thoughts to their original duties, missionary and pastoral. Some of the most competent houses should become the sees of new bishoprics; the monks should choose one of their own members for the new bishop, and thus the episcopate of Northumbria should be augmented.
Less than thirty years after the death of Bede an important innovation in religious discipline was started by a Frankish bishop. Chrodegang, archbishop of Metz, instituted a system of 'canonical' life, in which the clergy were combined in fraternities after the pattern of monasteries. As the abbot was chief over the monastery, supported by his second in command, the prior—so in the canonical body, the bishop presided, and acted through the archdeacon or dean as his vice-gerent. By this scheme, the clergy were grouped in families, instead of living sparsely among the laity; and they were subjected to common domestic regulations as to hours, diet, clothing, habits, pursuits, instead of being left to form each his own plan for the conduct of daily life. This was the revival and extension of an old, rather than the invention of a new institution.
When a missionary expedition pitches its camp on a heathen soil, the members are at first mutually dependent, and they live together in a state of brotherhood. They form a body—more or less compact—with an internal organization, which gives them unity and completeness. This is seen in the accounts of our mission stations in foreign parts, much as it happened when Augustine or Birinus visited Britain. This constitutes the first plant of a see. If the mission flourishes, and founds a church, the chief of the mission becomes its bishop ; the staff by which he is immediately surrounded forms a chapter of persons living by a common rule, canonice, and therefore called canons—these train and send out ministers to the dependent stations, which are the germs of future parishes. The multiplication of parishes provides constant work for the supervising bishop, and detaches him gradually from his former intimate associates, the canons. They are governed by a dean, who is at first only a representative of the bishop, but in course of time acquires an independent position.
Thus we may see at a glance that the canonical body represents the original missionary offset, and therefore is co-eval with the national church. Chrodegang [p.36] was not its inventor, but he infused into it new life and expansion. He would not that the canonical body, having discharged its primal task, should repose in numbers few and select, under the shadow of the cathedral, but he would affiliate to them the whole of the working clergy. They should still be attached to the home from which they had issued, and continue to own the parental sway. Circles should be formed; each circle should have its capitular house or college for the residence of the canonicized clergy, and their organization would be complete.
Charlemagne favoured the canonic scheme, and if he had been able to carry out his ecclesiastical views, all the clergy of the empire would have been embodied in such canonical corps. This however was never accomplished. The spread of the system was not such as to absorb into itself the whole of the secular clergy, yet it did extend so far as to come into serious competition with the monastic body, and to draw to itself a good share of that popular veneration which formed the capital of the 'religious' system.
It would dissipate some of the uncertainty which clouds a vital part of our early church history, if we could determine what effect Chrodegang's institution had in England. William of Malmesbury15 says, that the canonical rule of Chrodegang was never received in England. This may be granted, and yet it seems hardly reasonable to suppose it had no influence on this side the channel16.
The contention between canons and monks, which plays so large a part in the home affairs of England for two hundred years, seems to claim kindred with the Frankish canonic movement, and its rivalry against monachism.
In the ninth century, monachism had little support in England. It was befriended by Swiđhun, Æđelwulf, and Alfred—and yet these powerful allies could not compensate its losses. Danish violence seems to have completed the ruin of the monasteries, which were already in a languishing state through the oppressions detailed above. Chapters had weathered the storm better than monasteries. A monastery is a highly destructible institution, and at that date monasteries were not yet skilled to stand a siege. A monastery might be sacked, burned, and the monks killed or dispersed. But the bishop never dies, and this perpetuity his canons share. During the ninth century, monks decreased and [p.37] canons increased. Some monasteries, finding it impracticable to maintain their numbers, had recourse to the expedient of inviting canons to join their fraternity, and keep up the service and ceremonial of the house. The companionship of canons proved contagious to monks, who were disposed to prefer the rule canonical as less rigid than the monastic. In the tenth century, the monasteries were hardly distinguishable from canonical chapters, excepting, perhaps, a single one in which monastic discipline had been maintained, namely, the Monastery of Glastonbury.
In the reign of Eadgar the contention emerges in a sudden and explosive manner. Dunstan and Æđelwold were exerting all their influence to expel canons, and reinstate monks in the old monasteries. In that Saxon Chronicle, which we may call the Winchester Chronicle, we read under the year 964, that king Eadgar ejected the priests (i.e. canons) in Winchester, both from the Old Minster and from the New Minster. He did the same at Chertsey and at Middleton. This happened in the year following that in which Æđelwold was advanced to the see of Winchester.
This is only a sample of what had been taking place in various parts of the kingdom. Dunstan, abbot, bishop, archbishop, had for years been making it the chief point of the internal policy of the country to substitute the rigid Benedictine discipline, like that at Fleury and Monte Cassino, for the comfortable anarchy of the canonical cloister. Odo, his predecessor in the primacy, and his nominee, had begun this revolution as long ago as 942, and had carried it through in military style. Oswald, bishop of Worcester, carried out the change in that see, which Dunstan, who had held Worcester before him, had not effected. In short, the revolution was complete—not to the extinction of the canonical order, but to the reversal of the numerical proportion of seculars to regulars, and to the preponderance of the latter.
Out of Glastonbury had gone forth a spirit of revival. Glastonbury was the scene of Dunstan's education, and likewise his first seat of authority. In this sheltered spot the primitive conventual life had continued to survive; its coenobitic character being maintained by Keltic rather than by Saxon inmates. Into this chosen nook was inserted the bud that was to spread and fill the land with a new religious movement.
Glastonbury was on the extreme of Wessex Proper, toward the Weal-cyn; and to this day, in all the associations connected with its name, Glastonbury seems to belong as much to the Briton as to the Saxon. Glastonbury is a border-land in more senses than one. It is a place where fact and fable meet. It has the rare distinction of being situate equally in mythland and in physical geography. On its local catalogue of celebrities are, Joseph of Arimathæa, Arthur, Dunstan, and Æđelwold. Dunstan's history, in its first Glastonbury stage, is hardly [p.38] less enveloped in the haze of romance than that of the famous names preceding his. It is the story of a visionary youth, feeding his soul on the wild native songs of the Kelt and the Saxon, accused of sorcery, and declaring himself to be persecuted by devils. After an extreme struggle, under the influence of his uncle Ælfheah the Bald, bishop of Winchester, he became a converted character, and renounced the world. So went the phrase in his day, to signify, he became a monk. At Fleury he passed his probation, and came home perfect in the discipline of the straitest sect of monachism,—a Benedictine. Having adopted this profession he pursued it with zeal and constancy, and speedily won a reputation for extraordinary sanctity. This, combined with his good family connexions, soon caused him to be promoted to that leading position in the state for which his matchless abilities qualified him. As abbot of Glastonbury he was the most powerful man in England. Under two kings, Eadmund and Eadred, that is, from 940 to 955, he was the chief adviser of the crown. In the short reign of Eadwig, from 955 to 959, his power suffered a brief eclipse, and the secular party triumphed. But under Eadgar he resumed the government of the country with an absolute sway, from which no one, not even the king himself, was exempt. Dunstan's influence lasted forty years, and had permanent effects on the country. To him is to be attributed the comparatively long peace which the land enjoyed in the reign of Eadgar. His statesmanship united the kingdom internally as it had never been united before, and he protected the shores by the maintenance of an efficient navy. The monastic movement made mighty strides. Eadgar has the credit of having founded forty-seven Benedictine houses. The strength of Dunstan's position lay in this, that he was supported by the religious convictions of the people, while he was opposed only by an interest. Influential names appear on the other side, such as Wulfstan, archbishop of York, and Ælfhere, ealdorman of Mercia. But good men sided (generally speaking) with Dunstan, and if our modern impulse is to condemn his plans, we may doubt whether we have understood his position. Even Milton, who in his own day could not "praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue," might have been of a different mind if he had been contemporary with Dunstan.
Which party Swiđhun would have elected to side with, we cannot doubt. Neither did Dunstan or his friend Æđelwold doubt, that the affectionate reverence with which the people treasured the name of Swiđhun was a favourable symptom for themselves, and one out of which they might coin means to advance their plans.
Information began to reach Æđelwold that Swiđhun had appeared to divers persons in vision. (Had it been intimated that such announcements would receive the attention due to them?) When visitors came on this business, they were received by the bishop with his secretary sitting by, like an assessor, even [p.39] the learned Landferđ, from over the sea; and he wrote it all down in Latin—and Landferđ se oferscewisca hit gesette on Leden17! Presently Landferđ had a volume full of the appearances and miracles of bishop Swiđhun. Specimens of its contents may be read in the leaves at the head of this essay; the materials of which were plainly, and almost professedly, drawn from the Latin work of Landferđ.
These remarkable circumstances being reported to the king Eadgar, it was his desire that the body of the saint should be elevated from his humble tomb with all attendant honour and distinction, and so he desired the bishop, ƿæt he hine upp adyde mid árwurđnysse18.
The leading interest of these Gloucester Fragments may be said to consist in this, that they expand before our eyes the process by which a 'translation' was prepared and effected.
The initiative was with the people, though it rested with their leaders to ignore it or give effect to it. It was some broken-down smith (se gelyfeda smiđ19) or some poor peasant body (sum earm ceorl20); or again, three blind women from the Isle of Wight21, who, or whose friends, are the deponents, either in their own persons or through the priest, in the drawing up the case for the translation of bishop Swiđhun. The case prepared, it is brought by the bishop under the notice of the king, who thereupon notifies the bishop of his will, that the remains of the holy man be 'translated;' and so the movement, having begun with the people, and having through the priest and bishop ascended to the throne, is next repeated inversely; the order for the 'translation' issues from the king, and through the bishop and clergy descends to the people.
The proceeding is strictly constitutional. Church and state are parties to it. Under order from the temporal head of the church, the clergy convene the people—but to enact a solemnity, the first springs of which were in the popular sentiment. Regular as the transaction is, and void of any tumultuary feature, yet, at the same time, Swiđhun is no canonized saint, but a saint by popular conviction and popular enthusiasm—Vox populi vow Dei—a saint by acclamation!
Whatever be the measure of esteem which we accord to the titles of ecclesiastical 'saints,' we may find room for gradations of respect, and prefer the home-made 'saint,' to the 'saint' canonized at Rome. It was nearly 200 years after the translation of Swiđhun, when popular enthusiasm running high after saint-making, the chiefs of the hierarchy at Rome assumed the direction of this passion, founded a committee to sit on the merits of saints, and commenced the [p.40] chapter of "canonization." And it was this coldblooded evidence-weighing institution that, entering into things which it had not seen, pretended to dispense crowns of celestial merit, while waiting nations were impatient to honour their departed worthies—it was this that brought the very name of 'saint' into contempt, and imparted to it a jarring, incredulous, and ironical sound. The earlier and simpler doings of the national church must not be confused with a later system. Swiđhun was called a saint, much in the same way as now-a-days in many a Protestant family, one whose life has exhibited a consistent profession, witnessed of many witnesses, is unhesitatingly and unmisgivingly pronounced 'a saint in glory.'
True, the immediate causes of Swiđhun's sainting, as given in the narrative of his translation, seem to destroy all analogy with the private sainting of Protestant life, by resting Swiđhun's sainthed on his miracles. Many would go on to say, that these miracles being fictitious, the sanctity based upon them is also a fiction. This looks logical, but it is not so. For if we seek the cause of the general readiness to accept his miraculous attributes, it can have been nothing else than a foregone opinion of his sanctity. The conviction of those before whom his life had been passed, that he was a holy man, and one who as a prince had power with God, is after all the fundamental basis of the reputed sanctity of those whose sainthed is professedly rested on mere reports of miracles.
Happily, the miraculous element has not so completely encrusted the portrait of Swiđhun, but what we are able to discern some of the truly Christian features of his character. He was marked by a simple and sincere humility, an indefatigable zeal and activity, and a large-minded statesmanlike care for the interests of the church. If this last expression has, in our day, and to some ears, something antagonistic and sectional in its sound, in Swiđhun's time it was not so. The interests of the church were then identical with the interests of Christianity. When Swiđhun induced Æđelwulf to grant one tenth of his lands to the use of the church, it was a pure and unmingled effort for the promotion of the kingdom of Christ. Whatever may now be said or alleged on conflicting views of state provision and ecclesiastical endowments, it is certain that in Swiđhun's day one view only was possible. To the mind of a sincere believer there could not be two sides to make a question of.
I will not here stop to examine the different explanations that have been given of the donation of ÆđelwuIf. I will at once state what I believe it to have been. Wherever the king had a manor, he gave a tenth part of it, to found upon it what we should now call a 'mission.' Outlying districts that were distant from the sound of the Gospel and the ministrations of religion, were thus often provided with the means of maintaining clergy. What was thus founded in each case was not a parish church, but a mother church—a station, or college of [p.41] clergy, which in course of time became the parent of parish churches, and dotted the country roundabout with Christian spires. Some of these became afterwards monasteries of name with mitred abbots sitting in Parliament, but many a one subsided into equality with the daughter churches about her, unless she chanced, as in some cases, to retain the maternal title—little understood, till lately explained—of 'Minster.22'
That we may safely attribute this important act of Æđelwulf's to the advice of Swiđhun, though it is not said so in the earliest records, can hardly be doubted by any one who has examined all the considerations on which the opinion rests. The enucleation of the question involves another, which is ranged with it at the head of this essay. Namely, whether the hand of Swiđhun can with any probability be traced in one of the Chronicles? What I have to say on this subject I reserve for my Introduction to the Saxon Chronicles. Here I am only taking the survey and valuation of Swiđhun's acts in relation to himself and the credit they reflect upon him, that we may see what justification they offer for the proceeding of those who after his death declared him to be a 'saint.'
If Æđelwulf's donation be rightly interpreted, Swiđhun achieved a great benefit for his country and a great service in the cause of Christianity, It entitles him to take rank not only among the promoters, but almost among the founders of the national church. Next to the introduction of the Gospel into the land, the machinery for its diffusion was of the greatest importance. If Christianity was to cope with the native paganism, it must be carried into each remote hamlet. We may believe that the fruits of Swiđhun's policy witnessed for him a century after his decease, and helped to resuscitate his fame, Æđelwold recognised in the counsel of Swiđhun a spirit and a purpose cognate to that with which he and his colleagues were animated. The sincere object which Æđelwold and his fellows had at heart was identical with the aim of Swiđhun, viz. to systematize and 'establish' Christianity, so that it should pervade and season the life of the country, and depaganize it.
Swiđhun had not gone so far as to induce Æđelwulf to make the payment of tithes a legal obligation, but the measure of giving to religious uses a tenth of all the royal land must have acted as a strong precedent and example. The dedication of a tenth seemed to be recognised as a duty of religion.
It was not until the days of king
Æđelstan that tithes gained a footing in the
Statute Book; and we must look still later to find them invested with full
legal authority and coercive sanction. It is in the
reign of king Eadgar that a formal law first emanates from king and Witan,
which, while it urges the religious obligation like a homily, enjoins its
performance under penal liabilities. Thus the
counsel of Swiđhun bore its mature fruits under Dunstan,
Æđelwold, and Oswald;
and these would naturally hold the name of Swiđhun in honour, not only as a
good pastor, but also as a politic
statesman. Swiđhun had initiated that course in the development of a national
church which Dunstan had consummated.
And as in the category of tithes, so also in that of monastic institutions, a kindly harmony is discovered between the aim of Swiđhun and that of Dunstan or of Æđelwold.
The minster system of Swiđhun stood intermediate between the parishes on the one hand and the conventual system on the other. The parochial system was its natural deductive result, and the high monastic system was the perfect development of its innate capacities. Between Swiđhun's time and Æđelwold's the parishes had been silently multiplying23, and now, the foundations being well laid, the care of the masterbuilder concentrated itself on the upper regions of the ecclesiastical edifice. Swiđhun had laid the foundation widely and durably—Dunstan, Æđelwold, and their compeers should bring it to completeness and perfection. The highest known form of a religious and devoted life was that which was regulated by the Benedictine rule. Through the timely provision of Swiđhun, the English church was now prepared to admit that rule in many parts that, but for Swiđhun, might have been still heathen. Swiđhun the founder of minsters had paved the way for Æđelwold the father of monks (muneca fader). How could Æđelwold do other than promote the translation of Swiđhun?
The people could not share in these comprehensive views, but they could appreciate Swiđhun's public works and his personal humility. Had he not been the first to build a stone bridge over the Itchin, just outside the east gate of the city, where only a wooden one, rickety and unsafe, had ever been before? The townsfolk of wooden Winchester, with its wooden monasteries and its wooden cathedral, had never seen such stone-work, before nor since, as those arches in [p.43] Swiđhun's bridge! (Why has not time spared us some Saxon description of that bridge, that we might know how the Winchester folk talked of it, and what were the indigenous words that gave Landfertđ his powerful and enviable phrase: lapideis arcubtcs opere non leviter ruituro!)
And the bridge was not all. He had built or reedified many churches. Moreover, that lofty tower, that was only lately taken down when bishop Æđewold begun his new works on the cathedral—the belfry tower detached from the old church on the north side, near where Swiđhun lay. A work of cunning builders in wood—turris rostrata tholis—story over story, with carved beam heads projecting over, was not that consecrated when Swiđhun was bishop?
Then, for such a great and good man, only to think, what mean notions he had of himself! He would not be buried like a bishop, or a holy man, inside the church, nor in any of the choice places in the cemetery, in front of the eastward or southward elevation of the fabric,—but he would lie where none, not oven the poorest, liked to be buried; in the sides of the dreaded north, where between the church and his own tower the place was trampled by the feet of passengers, and mined by the eavesdroppings from either side. There he had given orders to be buried and we may be sure that in days when so much virtue was associated with the bodily remains of a saint, the popular mind would have been deeply impressed with this example of self-depreciation. Thus people and priest alike had (each according to their lights) a sincere Christian esteem for the man whom they were about to 'translate,' though they felt it necessary to ground such an important proceeding on another kind of testimony, viz. the divine. This was forthcoming, as soon as required, and was apparently produced in all good faith and simplicity. We need not maintain the historical reality of miracles alleged in this and like cases, but we shall be precipitate if we judge them to have been the work of artifice.
English Christianity in the tenth century had not yet passed the stage at which dean Milman's words (speaking somewhere on the conversion of the barbarians of Europe) are applicable, "Christianity prepared or found ready the belief in those miraculous powers which it still constantly declared itself to possess; and made belief not merely prompt to accept, but creative of wonder, and of perpetual præterhuman interference.'' There is no way of ascertaining what is, and what is not, evidence of the senses; except by bringing the senses of several persons to bear upon the same experiment. In days when the imagination played a far larger part than now in the entertainment of the mind, the imagination was hardly more informed by the senses, than the senses were amused and beguiled by the imagination. Men were not yet properly skilled to use either the one or the other. As the infant of days, or the man who has lately acquired the power of sight, knows not yet to measure distances or adjust [p.44] proportions—so there is an era in a nation's life when men do not yet distinguish a mental from an optical picture. In dreams we believe that we see and hear—and in the same manner the half-awakened barbarian mind projects from its inward resources a miraculous phantasmagoria which imposes upon the outward senses. If the mediaeval miracles are not worthy of credit, they are notwithstanding worthy of respect. The vagaries of our infantine Christianity are so constantly treated either as an abomination or as a joke, that it flashes like a discovery upon the investigator, when he first sees that people then were as earnest as they are now24.
It is commonly assumed that all the ecclesiastical miracles are fabrications. Considering the huge mass of reported miracle, and the diversity of the evidence upon which it is authenticated, it is clear, that such a decision against it has not been based upon examination, but upon an axiom which renders all enquiry superfluous. There are two axioms upon the subject. One is that of Hume, Gibbon, &c., excluding all miracle. This axiom is self-consistent, but it is purchased with unbelief. The other, which is common in the Protestant churches, is this: "The age of miracles is past." Therefore, mediæval miracles are all groundless, because the age of miracles is past. On further enquiry, how the age of miracles is to be ascertained, we find it means the age in which the received miracles were performed. Attempts have been made to bring "the age of miracles" within the compass of a better definition, but without success. It cannot be justified, either by the nature of Christianity, or by the words of its Founder. The altered position of Christianity in the world is the most potent argument, but this hardly applies to the case of our heathen forefathers.
The true distinction between the credibility of New Testament miracles and those of after-ages, is this, that the former are attested by witnesses who have our full confidence, and the latter are not. It does not therefore follow that we must disbelieve them in the mass. Historical and Christian arguments tend alike to the supposition that there is in them a nucleus of truth enveloped in a large product of the imagination.
But, be this as it may, we may at least exclude dishonesty from the account. The early miracles—at the first stage—were either genuine or genuinely believed in. Where the facts reported did not happen, the report, sprang from an imagination glowing under spiritual excitement. The spiritual nature of man is immediately stirred by the first contact with Christianity—the [p.45] ethical and experimental fruits which counterbalance the spiritual, take time for their development. The great and prime fact about the earliest miracles (to which the question of reality is subordinate and secondary), the prime fact is, that they were sincerely believed in.
The case was totally different when, in later times, miracles were maintained by those who had ceased to believe in them, and when they had assumed the character of an established imposture, which could not be done away with because it would involve the ruin of vested rights! While the miracles were honestly believed in, they were but childish ignorance, and were morally unimpeachable. We may look back at them with a kindly sympathy, and may remind ourselves that the highest attainments of human knowledge are after all but a partial illumination. There are regions of intelligence from which the enlightenment of the nineteenth century would look as grotesquely ignorant as the darkest of the past ages now appears to us. This reflection may help us to reverence the rude simplicity of our ancestors.
But the conduct of the leaders in such movements is open to a more searching enquiry. Did Dunstan and Æđelwold, and such men as they, believe in the miracles which stimulated the wonder and the piety of the untaught? There are passages in the life of Dunstan which would incline us to think that he largely shared the popular feeling in this respect. There are others which suggest that he made a politic use of the prevalent superstition. The one is not inconsistent with the other; and the probability is, that any movement of scepticism within the breast of such men was lulled by the soothing thought that the errors of the people could not be serious so long as they were favourable to piety.
They may well have argued, that it was better men should exercise their imaginations on Christian subjects than on the heathenish lore of their old pagan mythology. If both were equally unreal, the former, at least, had a solid foundation in eternal truth. If all the miracles were not facts, yet they were like facts, and represented substantial truth, viz. the wonderworking power resident in the Christian church. In this respect they might appear to be even instructive, as modern works of fiction are—to which they bear a considerable analogy, as the popular mental pabulum of different ages.
The great mischief was, that it proved a bar to progress. Once admitted, that visionary tales were profitable to edification, the whole tide of popular thought set strongly in that one direction. All the stores of knowledge, memory, surmise, observation, discovery, were poured indiscriminately into the one laboratory where miracles were manufactured. Every church, every saint, every locality swarmed with miracles. When men began to see the danger of losing Christianity in a new paganism of the wonderful, and to disbelieve all the popular miracles, they found the belief of them so rooted, and so widely spread, that [p.46] they feared to attempt its eradication, lest all popular religion should be torn up along with it. Then two great evils arose. On the one hand, church-leaders had recourse to explanations, evasions, and compromises with their own conscience, which sapped the very foundations of honesty25. On the other hand, and as a counterpart, arose the grim spectre of popular distrust, which regarded the whole hierarchic lore as one monstrous incubus of delusion. But to Æđelwold in the year 973 these things were hidden in the distant future. The translation of Swiđhun was called for, and miracles were quoted and substantiated.
What the weather was on the fifteenth of July, A. D. 971, no record informs us. We are therefore at liberty to imagine, in opposition to sundry modem authorities, that it was a fair summer's day. By an invention of late date it is pretended that it rained so heavily as to interrupt the ceremony of the day, namely, the translation of bishop Swiđhun. This, it is alleged, was held for a proof that the meek bishop rejected the proffered honour. But it is only necessary to read the text above facsimiled, to learn that this contradicts the legend that was current at and just after the time of his translation. He is there represented as appearing in person, time after time, and urging his own "manifestation.''
It agrees ill with what else we know of our sturdy forefathers, that when they had set their minds on a national celebration, and had met together from all parts for the purpose, they should have been deterred even by the most violent thunderstorm. In the north of Scotland when it rains at a funeral, they take it for a token that the deceased was a good man. Whether the rain be tears of sympathy with a bereaved world, or heaven's benediction in acknowledgment of a gem transferred to Paradise, they question not—they hail [p.47] the omen. But perhaps this augury was unknown in Wessex; and, if it had been known, yet a translation is not a funeral! The one is a joyful, the other a sorrowful service. "A time to weep and a time to laugh." To earnest men the 'translation' said in a figure, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."
On the day of 'translation' the devout worshipper's thoughts, as he marched in the musical procession, would be to the tune of, "He that goeth on his way weeping, and beareth forth good seed, shall doubtless come again with joy and bring his sheaves with him." Corpora sanctorum in pace septata sunt, sed nomina eorum vivent in stemum. "The bodies of the saints are buried in peace, but their names shall live for ever." "Such honour have all His saints."
"The sweet remembrance of the just
Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust."
The prosaic hexameters of the diligent Wolstan almost kindle with a poetic fire, when he touches the grand ovation at which his theme culminates;
Not long ago there stood a lofty tower
With bluff projecting timbers gurgoyle-beaked,
At narrow distance from the old church porch;
A tower detach'd;—'twas consecrated when
Saint Swiđhun's reverend brow the mitre wore.
Twixt tower and church—oft named in story both—
The body of the man of God lay buried
—To memory lost by very lapse of time.
And few were left tradition-skilled t' unfold
His name or merit—such long time had sped
Since his interment, For, in his own esteem.
So little was he, and of no account,
(As all who knew him witness, faithful men,)
That, death in sight, he gave strict charge his bones
Should not be laid within the sacred shrine,
Nor yet in any of those choice aspects
Where ancient sires reposed, (bright sunny spots
Shined on when first the golden sun awakes.
And shined on through the noon) but rather where
The westering sun scarce reaches;—on that side
Of the antique church he had decreed to lie.
For oft his dying lips gave charge with tears.
Protesting sternly he would not be laid
Within the Lord's pure temple; nor be equal ranked
With worthies old of monumental fame.
Such his behest—but mark the just decree
Of righteous Heaven!—the saint who was so vile
In his own eyes, who slept like common dust.
Outside the church—extolled through power divine;
By signs innumerous, and by startling proofs,
Vouched meet to dwell with Peter and with Paul,
Into their church he was in triumph borne26.
Nine years later there was another gathering at the church of
Winchester. On the 2oth of October, 980, the fabric of
Æđelwold was dedicated. The dedication is
narrated with much pomp by the
poet Wolstan, who addressed his work to bishop Ælfheah the successor of
Æđelwold. All the magnates of the realm were present. There was king
a lovely boy of twelve years old; there
was Dunstan the archbishop, now a venerable old man, with snow-white locks:
next to him came Æđelwold the good-hearted, the bishop of the see; then
seven [p.49] other bishops; to wit,
Ælfstan, of Rochester; Eđelgar, of Selsey;
of London; Æscwig, of Dorchester;
Ælfheah, of Lichfield;
Sherbourn; Ađulf, of Hereford; and after them a
long train of grandees and notables.
A synod had recently been held at Andover, and so Æđelwold skilfully drew that assembly, after their business was transacted, to swell the solemnity of his dedication at Winchester.
Post alii plures aderant proceresque ducesque
Gentis et Anglorum maxima pars comitum
Quos concilio pariter collegerat illo
Quod fuerat vico Regis in Andeferan
Idem pastor ovans ac ssep notandus AÐELUUOLD27.
A' many were present beside chief lords and leaders in battle,
Ealdormen, ƿegnas, and eke most part of the eorlas of England,
Which had from the synod just held in the Vill-Royal of Andover, hither
In captive procession been led by the busy benevolent bishop.
This mighty gathering had assembled with toil, and they worshipped with energy.
The sound of their devotions was like the sound of many waters; and their joint
Amen like a peal of thunder. Agmen Amen resonat ..... Agmen Amen resonat!
Nor was the second part forgotten. The sturdy worshipper was recruited by an abundant festival; and day after day the solemn chant was heard alternating with the merriment of festivity. A sad countenance was nowhere seen, for every heart was glad. Food was abundant and various. The wine-drawers skipped to and fro—crowning the vessels with wine—pressing the guests to drink; and then with their empty cans, to the cellar they hasten again. But the national drink prevailed, and mead was preferred to wine. Many an honest face, eclipsed by the roomy tankard; emerged to view betimes, in fuller orbed glow. A drop from the brimming bowl had bedewed the shaggy beard; a jerk of the chin dislodged it, and the beard was itself again. As a shower from a summer cloud, so Saxon converse broke. At first in single drops; wide-spaced; full; weighty; express; monosyllabic—then a pause. But soon it burst anew, in a rattling shower of words; and soon it flowed in streams, for all were talking at once.
No like Dedication for grandeur has been,
In the whole English nation enacted, I ween.
Nunquam tanta fuit, talisque dicatio templi
In tota Angloram gente patrata reor.
All this pious exultation belongs to the history of saint
Swiđhun. The sacred
edifice, now dedicated, had been inaugurated in the course of its uprearing by
receiving into it the bodily remains of one
who was held to belong, assuredly, to the communion of saints.
We may assume that saint Swiđhun's name was prominent at this time as furnishing the chief local illustration of the wonderful power inherent in the Christian faith. He was the theme of the dedication day. His merits, already in Latin before 971, were probably by this time celebrated in the vulgar tongue, and made the subject of popular discourses. But it is only fair to remark, that if the merits of the saint were preached, it was so done, or so purposed to be done, as to reflect (and not to obscure) the glory of his Master. This may be seen on the leaves which are the text of the present memoir. Ƿyllice tacna cyđađ đæt Crist is ælmihtig God, đe his halgan geswutelode ƿurh swilce weldceda28. "Such tokens prove that Christ, who manifested his saint by such benefits, is Almighty God.''
Lives and miracles of saints began about this time to absorb the attention both of the learned and the unlearned. The development of this subject occasioned a new burst of vernacular literature. In the previous century, that is, the ninth, there had been a revival of letters under king Alfred. In his reign, as at a later and like revival, the approved and received models were translated out of Latin into English. This is the first step in the education of a language, and of a people through their language, to exercise it in the expression of thoughts already stored in older and more practised tongues. Such a process English underwent in the ninth century, and again in the sixteenth; and at this stage of progress is the Russian language now.
But in the tenth and eleventh centuries a domestic literature began to raise its head. It received its form from the religious impulses of the day, but a large part of its matter was from the older treasures of ancestral tradition. Lives of saints, memoirs of translations, and homilies were now produced in considerable numbers. The seats of learning were filled before Dunstan's death with able scholars either reared at home or invited from abroad. Themes were supplied for them to expatiate upon, by the repetition from time to time of the saint-making ceremony of 'translation.' The lives and miracles of saints became the popular literature of the day. Swiđhun's life was written by Landferđ in prose and by Wolstan in verse—Dunstan's life was written by Bridferđ, and his eulogium by Adelard of Bath—Æđelwold's life was written by Wolstan the [p.51] biographer of Swiđhun. In these compositions it often happened that the historical part was very meagre, being little more than a frame to support the medallions of popular tradition. Those legends of ancient gods or heroes which had been the staple of the old rhapsodies were now transplanted from verse into prose, and transferred from heathen to Christian subjects. It is this circumstance which gives the miracles of the saints an abiding historical value. In them we have, under altered names, a repertory of northern mythological tales. Among the stories narrated of Swiđhun is the following: A certain nobleman was walking by the side of a river at noon-tide, and he became suddenly aware of three female figures of more than human stature, which rapidly and furiously bore down upon him. He could not escape—they seized him and maltreated him, and left him as dead. He was brought to Swiđhun and presently restored. In this narrative we may confidently recognise the three Fates of Scandinavian mythology, the Past, the Present, and the Future. They make their appearance again, in the form of the three witches who meet Macbeth and Banquo on the heath;
The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land.
A well-known cromlech on the verge of Dartmoor, near Drewsteignton, has three
tall uprights. The name of the cromlech among the people of the country is, "The Spinsters' Rock." Still, the same
three 'weird' or fatal sisters.
Giraldus Cambrensis, in his Welsh circuit, picked up a story about the resentment of S. David de Llanvaes, shewn at a boy who was robbing the birds' nests about the church29. It is almost an echo of that which is so well known from the Father of History, old Herodotus.
Heathen relics were depaganised by placing them under the name and patronage of a Christian saint, and then all the virtues resident in the relic went to swell the fame of the saint That the heathen of the north held certain bracelets or rings in the highest veneration is well known. When Giraldus was at Brecknock, he found one of these revered bracelets figuring as the torques S, Canauci de Brecheinoef the bracelet or ring of S. Cynog the son of Brycheiniog; and wonderful things told of it30.
Another source of miraculous decoration was the wonders of nature. Any phenomenon, whether constant or casual, that had arrested popular attention, was fit matter for these amusing and edifying narratives. The ammonites of Whitby became coiled serpents that S. Hilda had charmed; another geological curiosity became the "Beads of S. Cuthbert," and to S. Patrick was attributed the absence of venomous serpents in Ireland.
Traditional prognostics contributed their quota to the ruling taste. We, to whom
famine has only an historical sense, cannot share the intense interest with
which men would anticipate the
probabilities of the weather, when they had no provision against a bad year, and
no chance, if their crop failed, of importing food from another country. If the
early summer was rainy, it might well
happen that a gloomy foreboding might take possession of men whose food was
totally dependent upon the weather. The untutored mind is incapable of
discovering laws of nature, because he is
impatient of observation, and therefore his deductions are hasty, unfounded, and
determined by his humour. The Gothic peoples appear to have had an early habit
of prognosticating what the
character of the season would be, by fixing a particular day to serve as a
specimen. The traditional custom of looking for forty days' rain or forty days'
sunshine, according as it may happen to rain
or to be fine upon a fixed day, is known not only in England but also in
France, Belgium, and Germany. It must, therefore, have been a prognostic of
primitive antiquity. Possibly they determined
in this way, whether a part of the population should start on an expedition, and
so relieve the community from the danger of a winter scarcity. This primæval
notion, having lost its original position
and connection in traditional lore, fell at length to the lot of S. Swiđhun, and
furnished him with his most distinguishing attribution. It is not clear at what
time this prognostic became embodied into
his legend. Whether his choice to be buried outside the church rather than
inside, led to an association of his name with the storms and showers of the
open air, we can only conjecture, Matthew of
Westminster says, "preecepit domesticis ut extra ecclesiam cadaver suum humarent,
ubi et prætereuntium pedibus et stillicidiis ex alto
rorantibus foret obnoxium."
"He ordered his household that
they should inter his corpse outside the church, where the feet of passengers
and the droppings from the eaves would beat upon it." This particular of the
eavesdropping, which occurs also in
William of Malmesbury31, but which does not appear in the early Lives, may be
thought to indicate that already in the twelfth century the anniversary of the
translation of saint Swiđhun had come
to be noted as the day of augury for the prospects of the summer. Mr. Parker, in
his Calendar of the English Church, Illustrated (Oxford, 1851), pp. 87-89,
discovers on the Clog Almanacks the
representation of a shower of rain as the symbol of saint Swiđhun; but it is not
easy to trace the resemblance in the figure there given32.
An account has somehow obtained currency, that on the day of the translation it rained, to mark the displeasure of the saint at the disturbance of his bones, and that the weather continuing unsettled for forty ensuing days, it became [p.53] a proverb, and a portent for succeeding generations33. This tale cannot be traced to any ancient source; and indeed in itself it has all the appearance of a modern simulation of history. It appears from a note in Mr. Druce's inter-leaved copy of Brand's Popular Antiquities that he had tried to investigate the origin of this legend, but could trace it no higher than to a cutting from an old newspaper34.
The real origin appears then to have been that already indicated, viz. the habit of attaching to the saints of Christendom any remnants of traditional and mythological lore, which, by the extinction of heathendom, had lost their centre and principle of cohesion, and were drifting about in search of new connections.
The utilisation of the mediæval saints as new subjects to receive the decorations of the discarded gods, and as a means of indulging the popular mind with select portions of their hereditary superstitions under a new name, must be taken into the account as one of the causes of hagiology.
The connection of saint Swiđhun's name with a rainy portent is probably as accidental as the meeting of any two given persons in the confusion of a crowd. Neither in the history of his life, nor in that of his 'translation,' is any thing to be found that can be called the origin of this prognostic. On the other hand, we find that in France, Germany, and Belgium35, there are certain saints' days to which the same legend is attached. The date of the 'translation' of Swiđhun, being probably on or about the day anciently in use for this prognostic, may be presumed as the occasion of its connection with his name.
It is quite a distinct point whether there is or is not any truth in the prognostic. In Hone's Every Day Book (July 15) some observations are quoted tending to prove that, though it will not bear rigid examination, yet it is not totally unfounded. Among other instances these occur. "In 1807 it proved wrong; a rainy July 15 was followed by a dry time. In 1808 it was wet, and the rule came partially true. In 1818 and 1819, July 15 was dry and followed by dry weather. Of the series 1807-1819 it was generally true enough; but [p.54] in the wet summer of 1816, though the adage was literally verified, yet the heaviest wet fell before the 15th.
To these observations is added the following explanation: "Our year has a dry and a wet moiety. The latter is again divided into two. Its first half is S. Swithin's epoch. It may be said on the whole, to set in with the decline of the diurnal mean temperature, the maximum of which falls between 12th and 25th July. Now July 15th (old style) = 26th (new), so that common observation, though unconscious of the cause, had nicely enough marked the effect. The operation of this cause being continued usually through great part of the eighth month, the rain of this month exceeds the mean by almost as much as that of the ninth falls below it."
I am assured by my friend the Rev. Leonard Jenyns, the author of Observations in Meteorology, that saint Swiđhun's prognostic is of no real value, and that it can only have obtained credit by attention being given to the instances wherein it fell true, to the neglect of the cases in which the reverse occurred36.
The 'saint' being once established, his fame was still in its ascendant. Pilgrimages were now made to his shrine, as to a holy spot, where prayers would be heard more favourably, miracles were wont to be wrought, and the pilgrim might expect both bodily and spiritual benefit. "So great was the concourse of people, and so numerous and frequent the miracles, that the like had never been witnessed in England; for so long as the canons inhabited the church of Winchester, S. Swithun performed no miracles, but the moment they were ejected, the miracles began, as Vigilantius testifieth37."
The 'saint' had become part of the popular creed. He had a day in the Calendar, which signified, not merely that once a year his name was remembered, as it is even yet in our own times,—but further, that the liturgy of the day embodied his name in forms of prayer. Strange as it may seem to us now, the people of the middle ages witnessed prayers offered in all churches on S. Swiđhun's day, in which the merits of that bishop were pleaded as a propitiation before God.
The earliest example I can produce of a Calendar with our saint's name in it, is
one which appears to have been written about A.D. 1600, in a missal deposited
in the Library at Rouen. In it, July 2 is
characterised as the "Depositio Sci Swithuni, Episcopi;" and July 15, "Translatio
Sci Swithuni, Epi38."
Another form of celebrity accorded to the established saints was this, they had churches called after their names. This habit was built on the presumed mediatorial or intercessory power of a saint; who as a prince had power with God. So churches were dedicated to the honour of God, sub invocatione Sancti Swithuni: as if the transaction were conducted through this saint's mediation—and hence it has become usual to speak of the saint as the 'patron' of a church. A list of churches bearing saint Swiđhun's name will be annexed to this essay.
But the chief place of the saint's celebrity was Winchester. Here the cathedral was called by his name, and his remains were deposited in a handsome shrine which stood under the east window in the most conspicuous and sacred position of the whole edifice. At the time of the Reformation, this shrine disappeared, and no account has been preserved concerning its demolition or what became of the fragments or of the long-esteemed relics. No site now remains to localise the curiosity of the historical pilgrim, and even the name of saint Swiđhun has been exorcised by Royal Edict.
In the cause of truth we cannot but rejoice that the name of Swiđhun has been done away, because it had become an occasion of error. But while we concur in the demolition of Nehushtan, we may do justice to the simple faith which first erected it.
If the people of Israel burnt incense to the brazen serpent which Moses had made, that no way injures the reputation of Moses. If the people of England chose to incense the relics or the memory of Swiđhun, and to hang the shreds of their old paganism about his posthumous fame, that ought not to interfere with our respect for the living bishop of real history, who spent his life in warring against that very superstition which has so much busied itself since to do him honour39.
The authoritative sainting of Swiđhun also requires to be considered with
candour. His memory, it is true, has been honoured in a manner which we now
condemn as erroneous. But it does not
follow from this, that we are to disown him as a pious father of our national
church, or to reflect upon those who raised his fame according to the religious
methods of their day, without foreseeing
consequences which were hidden from them.
Toleration has taught us—not indeed that truth and error are only relative or 'geographical' terms, but—that truth may exist under forms repulsive to ourselves; and it has also taught us to apprehend that there may be seeds of error in our own way of holding truth. The toleration which we concede to our contemporaries should not be refused to our forefathers.
Swiđhun's name deserves to be more than an idle by-word. Prominent by his office in the Church, and distinguished by his services to the State, he stands forth as the first conspicuous advancer of the Apostolic work of Birinus! He lived at a juncture of time when the first featureless infancy of the nation was passing off, when it began to put forth its first efforts of policy, and its character began to be declared. At such a moment Swiđhun was the chief minister of religion in the court where Alfred was being reared! At such a moment Swiđhun laid the first beams of our constitutional fabric, in the identification of the interests of Church and State.
His name should be rivetted in the English memory like a nail securely driven, as those which are fixed by the masters of assemblies. This was the opinion prevalent in 971, an opinion which was clenched by the panegyric act of the people of Wessex.
There is no reason why posterity should cease to concur in the verdict thus solemnly registered. We may smile at the rhapsody of the hagiographer:
..... avouched through power divine.
By signs innumerous, and by startling proofs,
Companion meet of the Apostles twain,
Into their church he was in triumph borne.
But we must acknowledge, that the closest scrutiny of Swiđhun's history tends not to unsaint him, but rather to, stamp his name with an inalienable credit, that—all due abatements made for the infirmity of his witnesses—he too, like the patriarch of old, before his translation had this testimony, that he pleased GOD!
END OF ESSAY.
ILLUSTRATIVE PIECES CONCERNING
The Profession of subordination, which Swiđhun,
when about to be consecrated to the See of Winchester,
made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Celnođ.
It has already been mentioned above, p. 22.
Professio Swithuni Wentoniensis Episcopi.
In Nomine Dei Summi et Domini nostri Jesu Christie Ego Suithunus humilis servun cuius servorum Dei, Celnotho Archiepiscopo sospitatis salutem. Licet indignus ad Episcopalem sedem eiectus Wentanse civitatis eccleassi, inprimts confiteor tibi, Reverentissime pater Celnothc Archiepiscope, continentiam meam40 et dilectionem meam ad te, quod absque ambiguitate et absque una falitatis coninientione est, Credo in Deum Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctuni, Filium natum et passum pro humani generis redeniptione et salute, Cujus potestas et imperium erat ante seeculum et regni Ejus non erit finis. Et illam rectam et orthodoxam fidem quam priores Patres nostri devote servaverunt, cum omni humilitate et sincera devotione, sicut prædecessores mei ipsi Sanctie sedi Dorobernensis Ecclessiæ subjuncti sunt, semper servare velle humiliter per omnia fateor. Necnon et tibi Pater Beatissime et amantissime Celnothe Archiepiscopes tuisque successoribus, veridica professione confiteor stabile obedientiae præbere preeceptum votorum meorum sine ullo scrupulo falsse cogitationis usque ad terminum vitæ niese. Beatitudinem vestram divina Gratia custodial.
Register, Pr. et Cap. Cantuar. No. i.
MS, Cotton Cleopatra E, 1.
Textus Roffenais, Hearne p, 269,
Rudburn, Ang. Sac. I. 305.
The best idea of the religious estimation of Saint Swiđhun,
and of his hagiology at the time of his translation,
is to be gained from the manuscript of which a sketch is here given,
with some extracts.
The MS. Reg. 15. C. vii. is a large and beautifully written MS., containing
127 folios, and rubricated in red and green. It is probably of the 10th century,
but the latest assignable date is 1006.
See p. 63. note.
fo. 1 . Letter of Lantfrid, priest and monk, to the Brethren of Winchester, on the miracles of S. Suithun—prefatory to the general work. As follows:
Dilectissimis fratribus UUintonie oommorantibus in sci Petri ooenobio quod nuncupatur vetustissimum jugis concordia salus ao perhennis gloria · gaudium inenarrabile splendor sine fine · pax sempitema caritas continua · hic et in celo · multiplicetur a Domino; Licet karissimi atque afbiles adelphi per universam ferme Europam sint diuulgata penitus miraoula · quae præpotens auctor miraculorum dignatus est largiri gentibus anglorum per sanctissimi Suuithuni meritum · tamen ne tanta Dei beneficia queant posteritatem latere sucoedentem; Nequissimus cunetorum prauis actibus hominum · utpote nullæ diuinae prerogatius scientise; Null fultus bonitatis auotoritate · uerum vestris obtemperans iussionibus; vestris oonfisus orationibus · tremens ad tantam pelagi magnitudinem accessi · et quasi stillam de undis oceani · ita de plurimis sancti miraculis perpauca decerpsi; Quapropter efflagito conditorem rerum; quatinus non meum respiciat meritum · sed effectus iubentum; Uos etiam pro meis precor orare deliquiis; ne me seducat spiritus falsitatis; Nimirum animus terrenis inretitus ouris · nihil ueritatis excogitare poterit nisi prius fallacis caligines erroris · spiritus soientise et pietatis expulerit; Et quum perparum scimus de signis mirabilibus · prodigiis ac uirtutibus · quad sanctus iste in sufi gessit orationibus uit; nimirum ut inquit Priscianus · auctor grammaticse artis peritissimus; studiis litterarum transeuntibus in neglegentiam propter soriptorum inopiam veniamus ad ea quae post obitum ejus indubitanter sunt peracta ad uiri Dei tumulum; Idcirooque accessimus maxime ad euoluenda huius sancti miraoula; quoniam ut beneficia Dei dignissimum est laudare; et iustissimum ea nescientibus predicare; Sic impiissimum est ilia silendo negare et nequissimum eadem ignorantibus non enarrare; Humanus quinetiam animus istius est naturaa; ut quotiescumque legendo didicerit uel audiendo sacros actus antiquorum uel mores patrum; relinquat cordis duritiam 'deseratque mentis contumaciam sectatricem uitiorum, et inclinetur ad misericordiam, secteturque humilitatem magistram virtutum.
fo. 3. Pandit hic ex multis miracula pauca libellus, Rubric of Preface.
Per meritum Sancti quae fecit Rector Olympi " "
Pontificis nacto Suithuni corpore sacro. " "
fo. 6. Explicit præfatio, incipit narratio de visione Fabri.
fo. 9. De clerico Gibberoso nomine ÆÐELSINO qui ad sepulcrum S. Pontificis Suithuni curatus est primum, dominica die 4 Non. Julii.
fo. 14. De quodam cive Wintoniensi et de Translatione S. Antistitis Suithuni.
fo. 20. De innumeris miraculorum prodigiis.
fo. 21. De Tribus efficis mulieribus et de juvene muto.
fo. 22. De Ancilla Teodici campanarii.
De Paralytico in lecto segritudinis suae curato.
fo. 23. De caeca muliere ad Sci Altare illuminata.
De matrona quæ mentis Sci Viri bis sanitati restituta est.
fo. 24. Quomodo vir Ses cuidam Matronse per nocturnam visionem in somnis evidenter apparuit.
fo. 27. De Paralytico Lundoniensi.
De xvi Lundoniensibus caecis.
De alio claudo Lundoniensi.
fo. 28. De 25 infirmis qui una die curati sunt.
De puero per quinquennium caecato.
De Homine qui caecatus Romam perrexit.
fo. 29. De Hrofensi paralitico.
De Homine caeco quem iratus ductor longe ab hospitio reliquit.
fo. 30. De 4 aegris utriusque sexus.
De muliere quae invisibiliter ad Sanctum portata est.
fo. 33. De duabus mulieribus quarum una caeca, altera fuit muta.
De 36 aegris qui in spatio Trium dierum curati sunt.
De 124 infirmis qui in spatio 14 dierum curati sunt.
De homine qui parricidium commisit.
fo. 34. De homine qui nuda manu ignitum calibem portavit.
fo. 36. De homine quem Legislatores caecaverunt et postea per S. et Venerabilem Christi Sacerdotem illuminatus est.
fo. 37. De homine qui ingentem cippum modico praecidit cultello.
fo. 39. De Praeposito Byrhfeio (Abendoniensi).
De caeco in itinere illuminato.
fo. 40. De debili et claudo.
fo. 41. De puero qui de equo cecidit.
De muliere quae in Gallia sanata est.
fo. 42. De altera muliere Gentis Francorum.
fo. 43. De ultramarino latrone.
De Visione cujusdam nobilis in Vecta Insula.
fo. 46. De Juvene caeco.
fo. 47. De quodam adolescente incurvo.
fo. 48. De muliere manicis illigata.
fo. 49. De servo compedibus vincto.
fo. 49. verso.
Finit libellus de miraculis S. Suithuni Episcopi.
Incipit hymnus in honore ipsius per Alphabetam compositus;
Aurea lux patriae; UUentana splendot in urbe;
Suuithun scs adest; Aorea lux patrise;
Blande patrdne tuts; suecurro benignus alumaia;
Confer opem famulia; Blande pair one tuis;
Culmlna celsa poli; fetioi calle petisti;
Et nobis iiperi; Culmina ceka pali;
Dextera Sancta Dei; te re benedixit in omni;
Nos et ubique regat; Dextera Sanota Dei;
Euge beate pater; meritoqne et nomine fulgens;
Undique signipotens; Suge beate pater;
Fulgida lux bodie; nostria lucescit in oris;
Spargit ubique iubar; Fulgida lux ho die;
Gentibus Angligenis; sollemnia feta recurrunt;
Et renouant iubilum; Oentibua Angligenia;
Haec ueneranda dies; astris arridot et amis;
Estque decora nimia; Heec ueneranda dies;
Illa uidere tuum; meruit super sethra meatum;
Digna fuitque obitum; illa uidere tuusi
Kastra beata poli; paallunt iubilando tonanti;
Congaudentque tibi; Kastra boata poli;
Leeta uident Dominum; fclieia corda piorum;
Et teoum iugiter; Laeta uident Dorainiitii;
Mitis ades miseris: releuans a clade cateruas;
Languida restituens; Mitis adea miseris;
Nulla camena tuas; potis est euoluere laudea;
Narrat uirtutea; Nulla camena tuos;
O medicina potens; que morbida corpora eanaa;
Nos Sana fragiles; medicina potens;
Protege sancte tuos; pia per auffragta seruos;
Nos et ab aduersia; Protege aancte tuos;
Quse tea cuncta potest; insignia promere lingua;
Pangore uox merita; Quae tua cuncta potest;
Regibud ac miseria; idem patronna haberia;
Subueniens pariter; Eegibus ac miaeria;
Solue oefas scelerum; disrumpe et uinola reorum;
Flebile nostrorum; Solue nefas eoelerum;
Te petitore Deus; pius est prestare poratus;
Parcit et exaudit; Te petitore Deus;
Uox tua celsithrodum; potis est placare tonantem;
Fleotit et ad ueniam; Uox tua oelsithronum;
Xristus ab arce poll; dat te rogitante salutem;
Mittit et omne bonum; Xristus ab aroe poli;
Ymnifer iste chorus; soluit tibi oantica Isetus;
Permaneat gaudens; Ymnifer iste chorus;
Zelus araarus abest; ubi secla per omnia pax est;
Pax ubi Christus adest; Zelus amarus abest;
Agmen amen resonat; quod ibi cum laude triumphat;
Cum Christo regnans; Agmen amen resonat;
Mens habitans inibi; canit Alleluia tonanti;
Exultans iubilat; Mens habitans inibi;
En tibi sancte pater; modicum cantauimus ynmum;
Quem commendamus; En tibi sancte pater;
Nomina nostra choro; sint ut sociata supemo;
Stent et in angelico; Nomina nostra choro.
Finit hymnus in honore sancti et beati Patris Suuithuni gentis Anglorum pii
suffragatoris editus; elegiaco et paracterico hoc est repercusso carnnine per A
Be Ce Darium compositus, atque in ejus
sacratissima depositione sub die sexta nonarum Juliarum qua feliciter ad regna
migravit celestia sollempniter recitatus.
fo. 51. Incipit ad domnum specialis epistola patrem
Elfegum Wenta residet qui prsesul in urbe
De Sancti Patris Suithuni insignibus et de
Basilica Petri reserat qui limen Olympi.
|A description of the great church
which Æđelwold built at Winchester.
In quo perstrinxi; qua feoit rector Olimpi;
Suuithuni mentis; coelica signa patris;
Per quern magna suis; miracula prebuit Anglis;
Milia languentum; corpora saluificans;
Haec etenim cecini; magnalia paupere cantu;
Presuraendo boni; De bonitate Dei;
Qrandia de minimis; est qui pensare suetus;
Suscipiens uiduse; Bina minuta libens;
Qua non paupertas; sed erat pensata uoluntas;
Quse uictum apreuit; Et sua cunota dedit;
Hæc igitur commendo tibi; munuscula patri;
Que uoui Domiao; Reddere corde pio;
Ut tua dignetur; bæc corroborate potestae;
Hie et ab mfestis; Protegere insidna;
Digbus apostolici; rosidei qui presul in aulfi;
Instruis et populurn; Dogmate catholicmn;
Hocque monasteri ut uariis ornatibus oroas;
Intus et exterius; lllud ubique leuace;
Quod quondam renouauit ouans antistes AÐELDUOLD;
Sollicitudo cui; Nocte dieque fuit;
Christicolas augere greges; atque ore paterae;
Hoe cum lacto aos; Lacto nutrine poli;
Qui struxit firrais; hsec cuneta habitacula muris;
Ilie etiam teetis; Texit et ipsa nouis;
Et cunctia decorauit ouaus id honoribus; huoque
Dulcia piscosse; Flumina traxit aquae;
Secessusque laci; penetrant eeereta domorum;
Muudantes totumj Murmure ccenobium;
Istiua antiqui reparauit et atria templi;
Mcenibus exceleis; Culmimbusque nouis
Partibus hoc austri; finnans et partibus arcti;
Porticibua solidis; Arcubus et uanis;
Addidit et plurea; sacris altaribua sedes;
Quæ retinent dubium; Liminie introitum;
Quisquis ut ignotis; hsec deambulat atria plantis;
Nesciat undo meat; Quoue pedeni referat;
Omni parte fores; quia conspiciuntur apertie;
Nee patet ulla eibi; Semita certa uise;
Hue illucque uagos; atans circumducit ooellos;
Attica dedalei; Tecta stupetque soli;
Certior adueniat donee sibi ductor; et ipsum
Ducat ad extremi; Limina uestibuli;
Hic Becum mirans; cruce se eonsignat; et unde
Exeat attonito; Pectore scire nequit;
Sio constructa micat; Sio et uariata ooruscat
Machina; quse hano matrem sustinet ecolesiam;
Quam pater ille plus; summa pietate refertus;
Nominis ad laudem; Celsitonantis heri;
Fundauit; struxit; dotauit; et inde sacrauit;
Et meruit templi; Soluere uota sui;
Regis ÆDELBEDI; uisu cemente modesti;
In regni solio; Qui superest hodie;
Ilium pontifices; sequebantur in ordine plures;
Gomplentes sacrum; Rit ministerium;
Quorum summus erat; uultu matunis et actu;
Canicie niueus; Dunstan et angelicus;
Huno sequebatur ouans; Anglorum lucifer idem;
Presul AÐELUUOLDUS; Corde benigniuolus;
Post alii septem; quos nunc edicere promptum est;
Carmine uersifico; Cum pede dactilico;
Ælfstan elgarus; rursumque stanus et ffiscuuig;
Ælfheah Æđelsinus; Hic et Adulfus erant;
Post alii plures aderant; proceresque ducesque;
Gentis et Anglorum; Maxima pars comitum;
Quos e concilio pariter collegerat illo;
Quod fuerat uico Regis in Andeferan;
Idem pastor ouans ac ssepe notandus AÐELUUOLD;
Sicut ei Domini Gratia contulerat;
Et celebrant cuncti; sollempnia maxima templi;
Plaudentes Domino; Pectore laudifluo;
Lætanturque bonis super omnibus; ille benignus
Quae statuit cunctis Presul opima dari;
Fercula sunt admixta epulis; cibus omnis habundat;
Nullus adest tristis; Omnis adest hilaris;
Nulla fames; ubi sunt cunctis obsonia plenis;
Et remanet uario; Mensa referta cibo;
Pincernseque uagi; cellaria ssepe frequentant;
Conuiuasque rogant; Ut bibere incipiant;
Crateras magnos statuunt; et uina coronant;
Miscentes potus; Potibus innumeris;
Foecundi calices; ubi rusticus impiger hausit;
Spumantem pateram; Gurgite mellifluam;
Et tandem pleno; se totum proluit auro;
Setigerum mentum; Concutiendo suum;
Sicque dies; alterque dies processit in hymnis;
Et benedixerunt; Omnia corda Deum;
Omnibus expletis; tandem sollempniter hymnis;
Quos in honore Dei; Uox sonuit populi;
Unusquisque suae alaoer repedauit ad oras;
In Domino gaudens; Peotore et ore oanens;
Numquam tanta fuit; talisque dioatio templi;
In tota Anglorum; Gente patrata reor.
fo. 57. Explicit.
fo. 58. Incipit ad cunctos generalis epistola fratres
Qui baiolant inibi suave jugum Domini.
fo. 59. Incipit exigui prsefatio stricta libelli
Parva canens sed magna tamen mysteria tangens,
De facile pietate tulit qua carnea Christus
Membra lavans totum sacro baptismate mundum
Restaurans et eum fuit unde expulsus in ortum.
fo. 63. Incipiunt tituli de signis praesulis Almi.
fo. 64-98. Incipiunt capitula de miraculis S. Suithuni Epi et Conf. Here follow 22 poems on the first 22 of the foregoing miracles, the rubrics being as above.
fo. 99-124. Incipiunt capitula sequentis libelli de miraculis S. Suithuni Epi. I. De fabrica arose et de ejus translatione. 2, De muliere quae ad Sanctum invisibiliter portata est; as above at fo. 30; followed by 20 other miracles the same as before—in poetry.
fo. 125. Unum S. Suithuni miraculum.
fo. 126. Verse and prose on the Translation of S. Swiđhun.
Although this manuscript is in Latin, yet it may be called a Saxon document of a very high order. It has many direct or incidental notices of persons and things; it is indubitably contemporary; and further, the very imperfection of its Latin diction, which hardly conceals the vernacular thought behind it—all tend to draw the interest of the student of history towards this volume. It would be well if some one would recommend it to the notice of the Master of the Rolls. There is another early manuscript of Lantfrid, in Nero E. i, but not so early as the above.
|A Life of Saint
reprinted from the Acta Sanctorum; Julii 2.
|A Life of Saint
Swiđhun, now printed for the first time,
from the Arundel MS. (Brit. Mils.) No. 169.
VITA AUCTORE* GOTELINO APUD SURIUM.
Collata cum ea, quse est apud Capgravium.
Vita Epi et Conf. Sci Suithuni vii Nonas Julii.
|Glorioso rege Anglorum Egherto regnante, qui regi Kinegilso ah idolatria per beatum Birinum converso, octavus in regni administratione successit, beatum Swithunus, pater et pastor in Ecclesia Dei futurus, cursus sui in stadio mundi hujus exigendi, divina ordinantemisericordia, accepit exordium. Annis vero puerilibus pia simplicitate tramactis, jugum Dominicae servitutus suis humeris imponi voluit susceptum que humiliter viriliterque portavit. Itaque in clerum adscitus, de gradu m gradum, de virtute in virtutem, gressus ejus Deo per omnia dirigente, conscen-||Glorioso rege Anglorum Ecgberto regnante, qui regi Kinegilso de idolatria per beatum Byrinum occidentalium Anglorum apostolum ad idem converso, octavus successit in regnum, beatus Swithunus pater et pastor in Ecclesia Dei futurus cursus sui in stadio niundi hujus divinsl misericordia ordinante accepit exordium. Qui sicut scriptum est quiu filitis sapiens gloria patris est; honor parentum cognatorum gloria letitia propinquorum bene et sapienter vivendo factus est. Nam annis puerilibus in bona simplicitate et simplici bonitate transactis secundum Beati Jeremiae sermonem qui dicit Beatus homo qi portaverit jugum ab adolescentia sua jugum Domimcae servitutis arripere festinavit, susceptum humiliter viriliterque portavit, sciens secundum apostolum, Duciplmam in praesenti quidem non esse gauatt sea mcerorts; postea vero pacatissimum fructum jtistiticae ea:ercitatis per earn retribui recognoscens quod in prcesenti est momenta neum et leve passionis supra modum in sullimitafe etemum glorite pondus operari. Suscepto denique clericatus officio, de gradu in gradum, de virtute in virtutem, gressus ejus Deo per omnia dirigente,|
|dens, sub Helmstano Wintano episcope, ad sacerdotil honorem provectus est. Porro autem curabat seipsum ministrum idoneum et probabilem Deo semper exhibere, verhum veritatis recte et caiholice tractarey hwtnanitaii et mansuetudini studerey opera pietatis ante omnia exercerey non recta neque ordine viventes virga castigationis corrigerey humdliter omnibtis inservire.||conscendens, sub Helmestano venerabili Wentanse civitatis episcopo ad honorem sacerdotii provectus est. Ministerii autem hujus perceptione solicitus, curabat se ipsum ministrum probabilem Deo semper offerre, operarium inconfusibilem se non remiss exhibere, verbum veritatis catholice et recte tractare, omnia quae de puteo hereticae pravitatis oriuntur caute et sedul^ declinare, enignitati et mansuetudini admodum inservire, opera pietatis inter omnia et super omnia exercere, sciens quia pietas ad omnia utilis est promissionem hahens vitce quæ nunc est et futures, scurrilitatem et vaniloquium prout valebat omnimodis exturbare, stulte et inordinate viventes virga correctionis increpare, divina et saeculari scicntia prseditus, ordinem morum, magisterium vitae pro capacitate audientium valenter et humiliter omnibus ministrare. Unde factum est ut opinionis suavissimae odor de prato sanctitatis ipsius emanans regi supradicto innotuerit, quern rex evocatum multimoda indagatione perlustrans probatum|
|2. Ejusfama ubi ad regis aures pervenit, ah illo accersitus est, et inter prcecipuos amicos numeratus. Commendavitque ei rex Jilium suum Adulphum liheralibiis disciplinis emdiendumy et Sanctis moribus instruendum: quem posted subdiaconum ordinavit Attamen patre ejus sine herede ex hac vita decedent citm prceter eum nullus alius heres superesset, Leone Pontifice dispen-||et cognitum in sinum amicitiae recepit: receptum inter amicos et familiares praecipuum sicut et prudentiorem consilio et fideliorem obsequio repererat habere jam caepit. Sanctus vero Swithunus non illecebrae saecularis non terreni honoris gratia regi assistens serviebat, sed quia sullimioribus potestatibus obediendum esse secundum apostolum et legebat et sciebat, et quia si saepius a latere regis esset, indigentibus opem subventionis, regi consilia suggerendo, citius et valentius praestare potuisset. Commendavit autem ei rex filium suum nomine Athulfum documentis htteralibus edocendum et Sanctis moribus instruendum, tunc temporis quidem in ecclesia Dei Wintoniae clericatus officio niilitantem postea vero succedente tempore in decessu patris, de ordine et gradu subdiaconi acceptum, permittente et annuente sum mo pontifice Beato Papa Leone, eo quod rex supradictus absque haerede praeter ipsum solum obierit, genti Anglorum benigne et provide imperantem. Evoluto igitur aliquanto tem-|
|sante, uxorem duxit. Defuncto verb Helmstano Episcopo, omnium votis||pore supradictus Helmestanus morti debitum solvens vitam finivit et cathedram episcopalem civitatis Wintonise superventuro pontifici vacuam dereliquit. Disponente autem Dei misericordia qui non deserit sperantes in se, qui vota suplicantium sibi quando vult miseratus exaudit^ omnis aetas, omnis sexus, universa conditio, clerus ac populus Wentanae civitatis eadem voluntate pari consilio petierunt a rege Athulfo Beatum Swithunum sibi donari in patrem et pastorem, scientia videlicet clarum, ornatum sapientia omni morum referrentes dignitate pollentem, felicem et civitatem et populum esse cui tarn pius tarn sanctus tarn sapiens in regimen daretur ecclesise. Nec mora: rex Athulfus omnium petitioni assentiens et aggaudens Beatum Swithunum altorem et doctorem suum, ita enim eum solitus erat nominare, ut in quibusdam scriptis ipsius regis repperimus, ad se evocavit, petitionem omnium refert, quam canonice quam ecclesiastice quam desideranter ab omnibus petatur ostendit; Voluntati et petitioni tam devotae tam sanctae resistere non decere; de suo consilio et auxilio non debere diffidere; se paratum esse ad omnia facienda quae jusserit, nulla se ingressurum quae ille operari vetuerit, ilium sicut prius et modo magistrum et consiliarium habiturum, se totum de consilio ejus pendere, et omnia pro ipsius ordinatissima dispositione facturum. Annuit itaque humilis et Deo devotus Sacerdos regi petenti et jubenti; facere quod ab eo et ab omnibus rogatur intendit, tantum si rex adjutor Dei et sui sicut pollicebatur velit existere, si ecclesiam Dei et populum universum qui in manu ejus erat, secundum consilium Dei et suum sustentare aggrediatur et regere. Suscepta denique benedictione manu Dei Dorobernensium Archiepiscopo, magnae auctoritatis et religionis viro nomine Celnodo, cum omni gaudio totius cleri et populi secundum institutionem canonicam imponente, honore pontificali honorifice suUimatus, de miti mitior, humilior de humili, de devoto devotior curabat existere. Pauperibus non superbe sed pie|
|Swithunus electus est. Ejus precibtcs et exhortationium rex Adulphus permotuSy ecclesiis Dei universam decimam terrce regni sui benigne donavit, liherique sibi vendicare concessit. Idem sanctus Episcopus pontem Wintoniensem, qui est ad Orientem, construxit. Oumque ei cedijicando solicitam navaret operarriy quodam die, illo ad opus residente, qumdam paupercula mulier ed venit, ova venalia in vase deferens: quam apprehensam operarii lascivientes et ludihundi, magno incommodo affecerunty ovis universis non ereptis sed confractis. Ilia igitur pro illata injuria et damno data, cum hechrymis et ejulatu coram Episcopo conquerentey vir sanctus pietate permotus, vas, in quo erant reposita ova, corripit, dextra signum Crucis exprimity ovaque||et humiliter respondere, petentibus et pulsantibus consilii et auxilii manum non invitus porrigere, regi ut populum suum juste et benigne regat sedulus et oflliciosus assistere, Deum ut regem et gentem Anglorum in servitute sua pace et prosperitate bona maig conservet sine intermissione deposcere [non cessabat]: Vere in eo impletum est quod scriptum repperitur, iste homo in populo suo mitissimus apparuit, iste est qui assidue orat pro fratribus et amator fratrum suorum commodus omnibus miseretur. Hujus oratione et exhortatione clementissimus et serenissimus jam dictus rex Athulfiis ecclesiis Dei universam decimam terrse regni sui nificentissima devotione donavit, et quod liberaliter dedit libere possidere concessit. Speculationi vero et contemplationi divinae interno dilectionis ardore cum assidue et intente inhiaret, activse tamen disciplinae operibus non minus insudabat pro oportunitate rei et temporis, utriusque exercitii opera variatione decentissima commutabat. Unde factum est, ut necessitate exigente de spiritualibus ad forinseca exiens utilitati communi civium sicut semper et aliquando provideret, pontemque ad orientalem portam civitatis arcubus lapideis opere non leviter ruituro construeret. Huic ergo operi cum sollicite et laboriose operam daret et incepto difficili consummationis finem addere festinaret, contigit residente illo ad opus quadam die pauperculam mulierem usque ad locum operis venire, ova venalia in vase deferre, ab operariis lascivientibus et ludentibus miseram apprehendi, ova universa non eripi sed confringi. Quae cum ab eis qui sanioris intelligentiae erant flens et ejulans pro dampno et illata sibi injuria, in praesentiam Domini episcopi sisteretur, motus pietate et misericordia beatus antistes vas in quo erant ova reposita sum it, dexteram levans signum crucis super ova composuit, signando celeri redintegratione incorrupta restituit. Mirari omnes qui aderant pro virtute ceperunt, paupera ilia recuperato quod perdiderat vehementer gaudere, qui autem dampnum intulerant resipiscere et stupere.|
|incorrupta et Integra restituit.||Ipse amator et cultor sanctse universalis Ecclesise ecclesias quibus in locis non erant studio ardentissimo|
|3. Solebat verb studios fahricare ecclesias its locis quihics non erant: porrd dirutds et confractas instaurare. Dedicaturus soeras cedes, non equo vehehatur sublimis; nee secularis pompca apparatum sihi adhihehat: sed clericis et familiarihus suis comitantibics, nudis pedihus humiliter incedebat.||pecuniis large contraditis fabricabat quae vero semirutis et infractis parietibus destructae jacebant dominicis cultibus desiderantissime reparabat. Quando dum oportunitas sibi dedicandi ecclesiam aliqua ministrabat, sicut semper et tunc in se humilitatis et devotionis argumentum probabile omnibus proponebat. Nam neque muli vel equi alicujus saecularis pompae sibi adhibens dignitatem, clericis ac familiaribus suis comitantibus tantum, nudis pedibus ad ecclesiam quam dedicaturus erat|
|Ad convivia sua accersebat non locupletes, sed egenos et pauperes. Os ei semper apertum erat ad cohortandos peccatores ad agendamposnitentiam. Monehai stantes, darent operarriy ne caderent: lapsos, ut resurgerent Cihum non vi ventremfarcirety sed pro sui sustentatione pared et moderate sumehat. Post mullas vigilias multosque labores ne deficeret, somni paululum admittebaty psalmis et canticis spiritualihus semper intentus. Proximis semper, perinde ac sihi ipsiy quod util, quod honestumy pium et sanctum essety modesto et humili sermone proponehat.||pro consuetudine sua humiliter properabat. Sed et hoc non die
sed in nocte faciebat laudes et humanae adulationis favores sapienter declinans,
nolens esse cum eis vel inter eos de
quibus dicitur quia amantes laudes hominum receperunt mercedem suam.
Convivia sua non cum locupletibus sed cum egenis et pauperibus erant, os suum semper apertum habebat ut invitaret peccatores ad poenitentiam, stantes in statu bono ne cadere appetant, lapsos ut resurgere adiciant, suppellectile sui variata sermonis exhortans. Cibum non ad impletionem sed ad sustentationem sui parce et moderate sumebat; sompnum ut ad servitium Dei reparatus assurgeret, post multas vigilias post multos labores ne deficeret paululum admittebat, psalmis et canticis spiritualibus semper intentus vigorem orationis continuse nunquam deserebat; proximo semper tanquam sibi quod utile quod honestum quod pium quod sanctum in sanctionibus ecclesiasticis exequendum est humili et modesto sermone referebat.
|Vixit vir beatus usque ad vitæ exitum in vera observatione mandatorum Deiy omni custodia servans||Vixit igitur beatissimus Dei servus Swithunus a primitiis pubertatis suae usque ad exitum vitae in observatione vera mandatorum Dei, omni custodia|
|cor mum in omni munditia et spiritali puritat, Cotholicae et Apostolicae doctrines cvstos integer diorum spiritaliter regeneratorum in sanctce conversationis studio eruditor pervigil et magister. Ilumilitatem et mxtnsuetudinem accuratius sectahatur. Denique pacem et sanctimoniam sequens, fontem vitæ et sempitems, beatitudinis sitiebat Atque ita feliciter migravit ah hoc seculo ad sidereas manstones sexto Nonas adii, anno salutis octingentesimo sexagesimo secundo. Jussit vera non intra ecclesiam, sed extra ejus septa, indigno et vili loco se tumulari.||conservans cor suum in omni munditia et puritate spirituali Catholicae et Apostolicae doctrinse custos integer, filiorum spiritualiter regeneratorum in sanctae conversationis studio eruditor pervigil et magister. Et cum nulla fere virtus haberetur cujus apicem ipse non attigisset, humilitati tamen et mansuetudini curiosius inherebat, pacem et sanctimoniam sequens, fontem vitse et beatitudinis etemae sitiebat, ad bravium supernae vocationis anhelans vitam in pace finire cupiebat. Bene igitur et sancte domo et ecclesia Dei cui ipse pater et pastor piissimus praeerat, secundum ritus ecclesiasticos ordinata et ordinatissime confirmata, victor carnis, mundi perfuga, de corona securus, de incolatu hujus saeculi exiens, regnante in tertio anno Anglorum Rege Athelberto gloriosi regis Athulfi filio, feliciter migravit, exultans et gaudens quia a domino Deo dictum est sibi Euge serve bone et fidelis quia super pauca fuisti fidelis supra multa te constituam, intra in gaudium Domini tui Quod vero vitium exaltationis in vita sua omnimodis declinaverit, et virtutem vilitatis et humiliationis bonae potissimum coluerit, et colens amaverit, in fine vitae suae de sepultura|
|4. Post ohitum suum multis coruscavit miractelis: inter ques apparuit cuidam viro incredihili membrorum omnium injirmitate lahoranti, admonens, it Ethelwoldum Wintoniensem Episcopum adiret, diceretque ei divines providentic ita visv ut corpus ipsius d loco, in quo conditttm eraty sublatum, intra ecclesiam digniori loco honorificentius tumuletur. Si diffidat et haesitet, testimonii loco habiturum sanitatem, quam, profligato||sua praecipiens
aperto indicio ad exemplum subditorum indicare curavit. Nam neque intra
ecclesiae septa neque in praeminentiori parte cimiterii sed extra ecclesiam in
indigniori quae in plebes vilioribus patebat
aequaliter se tumulari praecepit, sciens a domino dictum quia qui se easaltaverit
hutniliabitur et qui se humiliaverit esaltabitur. Exivit autem de ergastulo
hujus saeculi anno ab incarnatione
Dominica octingentesimo sexagesimo secundo, indictione decima regnante eodem Doo
Nro Ihu Xto, cui est honor et gloria cum Deo Patre et Spiritu Sancto per omnia
saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Explicit vita S. Swithuni Epi etc.
fol. 28/36 29/37 30/38 new./old.
|eadem hora morho, quo diu laborasset, illico esset recuperatunis. Addidit etiam, ut ad locum sepulurce veniat, unum ex ferreis annulis, qui etiamnum lapidi in/im visuntur, sine vila lapidis lassione extracturus rursumque pari facilitate, nihil Iceso lapide, in suum locum repositurus. Surgit ille perfects anus: uti prasdicta erant omnia reperit, cunctaque ex ordine Episcopo enarrat. Incurvum quamdam, et pecudum more, prono vultu terram respectantem sanum et incolumem reddidit. Vir quidam nobilis et dives, cum meridiano tempore ad jluminis ripam deambularet, vidit subitd apparentes sibi tres ultra modum horrenda quasi mulieres staiurd immensa. Eos fugieniem ilium comprehendentes, et multis modis affligentes, pestiferoque hatu suo pend suffocantes, incredibili horrore affectum, insano similem reddiderunt. Adducto autem ad ecclesiam, nocte apparuit sanctus Swithunus, et omni pulso dolore, sanitati eum restituit.|
|5. Cum Ethelwoldus Episcopus corpus beati viri d terra levaret, mira odoris fragrantia omnes pervasit, mulier cesca visum recepit, et multi diversis pressi cagritudinibus, ejus meritis curati sunt. Ea translatio incidit in annum centesimum decimum ab obitu illius, Incarnationis vera Dominices nongentesimum septuagesimum primum, vili Idus Julii. Eodem die puerum, d nativitate mirabiliter contractum, sanavit: tribus mulieribus, oculorum lumine orbaiis, visum restituit: nexibus ferreis mulierem in carcere compeditam, ruptis vinculis, liberavit: paralyticum curavit: mastronam nobilem, sed cascam, illuminavit: viginti quinque homines variis vexatos morbis, qui d locis diversis venerant, uno die perfects restituit: cebcos aliquot, duas contractas feminas intrd unum diem: triginta et sex a diversis locis venientes, nee unius generis laborantes asgritudinibus, trium dierum spatio: neque diu post, centum viginti quatuor, intra dies qaatuordecim curavit.|
|6. Rex Edgarus ob coercenda jurta lege sanxit, ut in furto deprehensus, oculis privaretur, auribus, manibus pedibusque praecisis, cute capitis nudaretur, sicqueferis et avibus laniandus objiceretur. Accidit vera, innocentem quondam ed pcend mvlctatum, pend amittere auditum, obstructis sanguine aurium meatibus. Deladus d parentibus in oraiorium S. Swithuni, ut solus auditus ei redderetur, non id modo impetravit, sed etiam alia, quas non rogaverat. Mulierem quamdam dormientem ostio aperto in villa civitatis Wintoniensis, lupus d lecto ahsportavit in sylvam, et horrendo ululatu alios ad se lupos accivit. mulier et inedia et estate debilis, quid faiceret, ignorabat. Convertitur ad preces, divinam implorat opem, S. Swithunum appellat. Lupus, ejus audito nomine, obdormivit: mulier se subduct: lupus evigilans, cum sociis eam insequitur, sed Icedere non potuit, quam Dei et beati Pontijicis misericordia liberandam susceperat.|
|7. Statuam quamdam S. Svnthuni Episcopus Schireburnensis d frattribus|
|dequisitam, honorifice in ecclesia sua collocavit ubi praeclara miracula crebrd edi solebant. Ad hanc statuam quidam leprosiis non curationis obtinendas causa, sed vi ah illis, qui eo in loco preces funderent, stipem acciperety accessit Cumque paululum illic ohdormivisset, visum est ei, S. Swithunum adesse, lepram ipsius manu dastergere, et morbum ilium omnem repente ab ipso depellere. Evigilans, laetus coram omnibus dugulum solvit, et se purgaium ostendit.|
Of these two Lives, that which is now printed for the first time, from the
Arundel manuscript, seems to be the older. The more succinct narrative from the
Acta Sanctorum, which is here printed
in Italics, has the appearance of an epitome made from the other, rather than of
an original from which the other was expanded. It abbreviates the narrative of
the Life, but is elongated at the
end by a considerable "Post obitum." This appendix has features of a late date,
especially in the last two paragraphs; and as the style of the whole
composition is homogeneous, the probable date
of the whole is lowered accordingly.
In illustration of this I would point to what is said in paragraph 6, of the severity or rather atrocity of Eadgar's law for the punishment of theft. The statement is not borne out either by the Saxon laws in general, or by Edgar's in particular:—and it could not be made out of the Saxon Statute-book, but by putting together scattered and unconnected passages. After the Conquest, and under the feudal system, such barbarities became familiar. In the Saxon laws maiming is certainly named, in aggravated cases, both earlier and later than Eadgar, in the laws both of Ine and of Cnut. The penalty of death is moreover incurred, where the officers of the law have been impeded in their duties either by trickery or defiance. But, as a general rule in Saxon times, theft was punishable by restitution and fine; the latter amounting sometimes to entire confiscation. So effective were these enactments, that in the laws of Eadmund, who reigned but a few years before Eadgar, we have an explicit statement that theft had become comparatively rare. The extant laws of Eadgar are remarkable, not for their atrocity, but for their humanity and prudence. As regards theft, they are preventive much more than deterrent. No doubt justice was vigorously administered in the reign of Eadgar, and the popular confusion of justice with rigour may have begotten the mythical severity of Eadgar's punishments. Or else some Norman monk devised this picture of the administration of a reign often appealed to in Saxon tradition. For the posthumous celebrity of Eadgar was great and longlived, although it did not, like that of Alfred, altogether defy the lapse of time. Under him this country attained the highest degree of good government and general well-being, which it has ever known, up to a short while ago. Malmesbury well concludes his account of Eadgar's reign with these pregnant words; post mortem ejus res et spes Anglorum retro sublapsae.
From Rudborne's Annales Ecclesiae Wintonienis. A few selected passages concerning Winchester Cathedral and Saint Swiđhun and the priory called after him.
639. Kinewalchus .... ecclesiam pulcherrimaoi construxit in Wyntonia.
837. Edulfus .... totam terrain de dominico suo decimavit, et decimam quamque liidam contulit Conventualibus Ecclesiis per regionem.
872. Eluredus filius Edulfi Rex Angliae ste fecit in Wintonia in femiterio Episcopalis Ecclcsiae Novum monasterium; quod multis ditatum possessionibus S. Grimbaldo dedit, ut sic illuih retineret in Anglia, Iste Regum [? Regnum] Anglorum ante dies suos rude et incompositum, to turn emdivit et inform a vit ad regulam. In proverbiis ita enituit ut nemo post ilium amplius. Rex Eluredus sepultus est in Novo Monasterio apud Wintoniam,
959. Edgarus—Rex Angliae. Non fuit in Anglia Monasterium sive Ecclesiae cuius non emendaret cultum vel adificia. In Wintoniensi Ecclesia et Novo Monasterio (quod nunc ab eventu dicitur de Hida) Monachos posuit loco Clericorum; quia Clerici illi nomine tenus Canonici frequentationem chori, labores vigiliarum et ministerium altaris Vicariis suis ut cunque sustentatis relinquentes et ab Ecclesise conspectu ne dieam Dei plerunque absentes septennio, quiequid de Praebendis percipiebant locis et modis sibi placitis absumebant. Nuda fuit Ecclesia intus et extra; quia Vicarii non habebant unde eam vestirent et tegerent, nee Prebendarii qui praedicebantur talibus poterant intendere: vix invcniretur unus et is forte eoactus, qui vel pauperem pal lam aut ealicem quinque solidorum conferret altari. Rex Edgarus ista considerans &c.
1035. Rex Canutus dedit Wintoniensi Ecclesiae terram trium hidarum quae vocatur Hille, et feretrum ad reliquias S. Birini magnum et magni &c.
1043. Queen Emma's circular to the bishops from Wherwell, where she was detained by order of her son Edward Conf—Bonam conscientiam publice impetitam dc crimine non debere nisi publica satisfactione purgari, placere sibi candentis ferri examen. Tantum apponant, ut Rex jubeat examen fieri in Ecclesia S. Suithuni Wintoniensis. Securam se esse de Sancti suffragio pro conscientis testimonio. .... Regina de mandato Regis reducta est Wintoniam de Warewella; et tota noete proxime prieccdente diem agonis sui pervigilavit ad scpulchrum S. Swithuni, Non est opus ut dieam, quod toto corde oraverit, quod parum nocte ilia dormicrit, quod vota fecerit, ut in tanto [p.76] mereretur salvari discrimine. Et tamen dormire nolens dormitavit paululum, et vidit B. Swithunum sibi assistentem, et haec audivit dicentem sibi. Constans esto alia; ego sum Swithunus quem invocas; ego tecum sum, ne paveas. Confundentur qui te persequentur; quia cum transieris per ignem, flamma non nocebit te. Tu autem remittes banc noxam filio tuo. Die facto convenit ad Ecclesiam Clems et populus; et Rex ipse sedebat pro tribunali. Regina producitur ante filium; et an velit prosequi quod promiserat, convenitur. Quae, "Domine," inquit, "et fili. Ego ilia Emma quae te genui, pro te de tuis impetita de crimine in te et Eluredum filios meos, et de consensu turpitudinis et proditionis cum hujus sedis Episcopo, invoco hodie Deum testem in corpus meum, ut peream, si quid horum quae mihi imposita sunt vel mente commiserim." In pavimento Ecclesiae scopato novem vomeres igne candentes ponuntur in ordine. Quibus breviter benedictis, subtrahuntur Reginae calcei et caligae; et posito peplo et rejecto flamine succinta a duobus hinc inde Episcopis ducebatur ad tormentum. Flebant qui cam ducebant Episcopi; et qui niulto plus timebant quam ilia, animabant illam ut non timeret. Fit per Ecclesiam fletus intolerabilis; et fuit omnium vox una dicentium S. Swithune, S. Swithune tu illam adjuca. Si interim reboassent tonitrua, non audirentur a populo; tantis viribus tantis vocibus clamabatur in caelum, ut S. Swithunus vel tunc vel nunquam festinanter accurreret. Deus vim patitur, et servus suus Swithunus extrahitur violenter de caelo. Regina sine clamore banc ineundo faciebat orationem. Deus qui liberasti Susannam de senibus iniquis, qui liberasti tres pueros de camino ignis, tu de incendio mihi parato per merita S. Swithuni me liberare digneris. Videte miraculum. Episcopis pedes illius dirigentibus, super novem vomeres novem passus faciens, et singulos eorum totius corporis pleno premens pondere, sic omnes supergressa vomeres nee ferrum nudum nee sensit incendium ..... Regina Emma donata omnibus Maneriis dotis suae, quae illi priores Reges confirmaverunt, non est oblita liberatoris sui; deditque ipsa die S. Swithuni in oblationem pro ix vomeribus ix maneria &c. ... Elwinus Episcopus de suo patrimonio dedit S. Swithuno alia ix maneria. ... Rex ipse Edwardus donationes Reginae et Episcopi ratas habuit et confirmavit; et insuper de suo dominico dedit S. Swithuno duo maneria. ..... Regina et Episcopus certabant se invicem superare in ornamentis faciendis Ecclesiae S. Swithuni de thesauris suis. Sed ille superatus est; quia vel ilia plus potuit, vel plus dilexit decorum domus Dei.
1052. Emma Regina migravit a saeculo, et sepulta est in Ecclesia S. Suithuni Wintoniensis.
1079. Walkelinus Episcopus a fundamentis Wintoniensem caepit reædificare
1093. In praesentia omnium fere Episcoporum atque Abbatum Anglise cum maxima exultatione et gloria de veteri Monasterio Wintoniensi ad novum venerunt Monachi vi Idus Aprilis. Ad festum vero S. Swithuni facta processione de novo Monasterio ad vetus, tulerunt inde feretrum S. Swithuni, et in novo honorifice collocaverunt. Sequenti vero die Domini Walkelini Episcopi caeperunt homines primum vetus frangere Monasterium; et fractum est totum in illo anno, excepto portico uno et magno altari.
1241. Feretrum S. Swithuni fractum est flabello de turri cadente, Reliquiae ejus Sancti ostensae sunt xvi Cal. Junii.
1248. Item V Cal. Junii, in die Ascensionis, cecidit flabellum de turri S.
Swithuni, quando classicum vespertinum pulsabatur, et fer contrivit J. Monachum.
1274. Robertus Archiepiscopus Cant, causa visitationis trahsitum suum faciens per Episcopatum Wintoniensem in crastino S. Katarinae venit Wintoniam; et ibi a Domino Episcopo loci ac Clero et populo honorifice susceptus est cum processione. Qui feri ili et feria iv sequentibus suam visitationem in Prioratu S. Swythuni, et feria v in Abbatia Sanctimonialium B. Mariae ibidem, et iii Non. Decemb. in Abbatia de Hida Inde progrediens per alia monasteria ipsius Episcopatus, celebravit Festum Nativitatis Domini apud Byterne manerium Episcopi Wintoniensis prope Suthamptoun.
The 'novum monasterium,' or New Minster, founded by king Alfred in 872, as said above, was situated to the north of the Old Minster or Cenwallis foundation, mentioned above, A.D. 639. The Old Minster stood somewhat to the north of its present representative, the Cathedral, the site of which was chosen by bishop Walkelin (above, 1079). If northward of the Cathedral we imagine the Old Minster, we have then only the space between this site and the bounds of the cemetery, for placing the New Minster, which is expressly said above to have been in cœmiterio Episcopolis Ecclesiæ. Thus it appears that the Old and New Minsters must have stood side by side on that greensward on the north of the Cathedral. I am assured by Dr. Moberly that there are sufficient topographical reasons for rejecting the idea that the bounds of the cemetery have been reduced. In the course of time, the situation of New Minster was found inconvenient, and it was removed to the Hyde Meadows outside the town, and so it changed its name to Hyde Abbey, as above noted by Rudborne, under A.D. 959, "quod nunc ab eventu dicitur de Hida." [Under 1093 the term 'novum monasterium' is used, not of the New Minster, but of bishop Walkelin's new buildings for the Old Minster.]
An unpublished metrical Life of Saint Swiđhun, of the thirteenth century. It is from the Bodleian Manuscript, Laud 463. fol. 63.
Seint Swithin ƿe confessour; was her in Engelond;
Biside Winchestre he was bore; as I vnderstood.
Seint Swithin ƿis holy man; wel ɜong1 bigan;
ffbrto serue Ihu Crist. & bicome Cristen man;
Elmeston ƿe bissbop; of Winchestre ƿe was ƿo2; 5
Seint Swithin he made preost; as he dide oƿer mo.
His godenesse was wide y-kid oueral3 in eche side;
So ƿe it com ƿe king to ere; & sprong aboute wide.
ƿe king him honored swiƿe wel; & louede him y-now;
& made him his chief conseiler; & most to his consail drow; 10
Aldulf4 his sone & his cir; he tok him to loke5;
to norisshe & to warde wel; ƿe he to gode toke.
ƿo ƿe king Egbert was ded; ƿe child Aldulf his sone;
After him was king y-mad; as lawe was & wone6;
ƿis ɜong king was god y-now; as seint Swithin him gan rede; 15
After his conseil al he drow; & bi him dide al his dede,
Engelond was ƿo wel y-wist7; for ƿe king was [god] y-now;
And seint Swithin his conseiler; after him he drou,
Elmeston ƿe bisshop sithe; of Winchestre was ded;
ƿe king & othere heye men; perof nome her red8.
ƿis holy man seint Swithin; bisshop ƿe[i] made ƿere;
Alle men ƿe him knewe; joyeful ƿerof were,
Bisshop he was god y-now; & alle gode he wroughte;
ƿe king also to alle gode; holy chirche broughte.
So ƿe ƿorw heste of ƿe king; & his wissing9 also; 25
Eche man wolde ƿorw ƿe lend; his teching wel do.
Broken chirchcs also oueral; seint Swithin let arere10;
& newe chirches moni stede; ƿer neuer er non nere.
Whan he hadde halwed any chirche; host nolde he nun;
bi nighte o fote wel myldeliche; ƿider he wolde gon. 30
11Ajein him kepte he no rynging; ne bobaunce no pride.
Ne host of hors ne of squiers; for he tolde ƿerto bot lite.
he ƿought on ƿt ƿe gospel seiƿ; ƿat men takeƿ litel hede.
ƿe whoso doƿ his dede for bobaunce; tit12 he non oƿer mede.
Ffor he afongeƿ his mede here; wiƿ ƿe dede anon13. 35
ƿat word have noo forɜeten; ƿis heye men echon14.
Seint Swithin his bisshopriche; to al godnesse drow
ƿe toun also of Winchcstre; he amended y now
flor he let ƿe strong brigge; withoute ƿe est jate arere.
and fond ƿerto lym and ston; & werkmen ƿt ƿer were. 40
A day as ƿe werkmen; aboute here15 werk stod.
& the countreymen to cheping16; com wt muche god,
wiƿ a bagge ful of eyren17; a woman ƿer com.
A masone sone ƿis woman; in his folie nom.
And biclipte hire in ribaudie; as foles ɜet doth ofte. 45
& brak hire eyren ney echone; he handeled hire not softe.
ƿo ƿe woman hire barme sey18; kenliche heo gan biginne.
ffor she hem hadde gadered longe; som silver to winne.
Sheo made ƿo deol ynow; & crlede also on hey;
Seint Swithin come ƿo Jjerfoƿ; & ƿe deol y sey. 50
Of ƿe woman he had reuthe; he nom up his hond anon19
& blessed ƿe eiren that weren to broke20; & ƿei bicom hole echon.
As sounde as ƿei er were; ƿei bicome atte laste.
Glad was ƿo ƿe seli21 woman; & flanked god ful faste.
ƿe king Aldulf dyede sithe; ƿe kinges sone Egbert; 55
& his sone was king after him; ƿe bet Adelbert.
It was long afterwards; ƿe he was made king;
ƿis holy man seint Swithin; ƿe drow to his ending.
ffor he diede in ƿe thridde jer; ƿe he was king mad.
& ƿo he sholde hennes; his folk fast he bad. 60
ƿat ƿei ne sholde him bene; In chirche wi]? no pride;
Ac somwher wijjoute in a stcde; ƿat men tolde of lite,
he diede eyghte hondred jer; and in ƿe sixteƿe jeri
After ƿat oure lord alighte; In his moder here.
In a stede wiƿoute chirche; ƿat holy body ƿei leide. 65
In a stede ƿe men told of lite; As himself seide.
ƿere he lay an hondred jer; & nine jer ƿerto;
and almost fourtene; er he were ƿennes do.
bi ƿe kinges day Edgar; ƿat god man was y now;
Ji, seint Edwardes fader was; ƿat his stepmoder slow22. 70
ƿis holy man seint Swithin; shewed bi toknynge;
ƿat men sholde of ƿilk place; In hey stede him bringe,
ƿo bisshop ƿe was of Winchestre; ƿo king Edward was king
ƿit w as seint Athelwold; holy man ƿorw alle fing
Seint Swithin ƿe holy man; in god time gan him biseo; 75
Whan god king was & goed bisshoƿ; y chosen for to beo.
A night he com to an holy man; In his bedd as he lay;
In seknesse sore y now; as he hadde beo many day.
Aris he seide to morwe sone; & leve ƿou not bihynde.
To Winchestre to ƿe olde mynstre; and per ƿi shalt fynde. 80
ƿe gode bisshop Athelwold; ƿat ƿe tepe is after me.
And sey ƿat I him grete wel; & sende him word bi ƿe.
ƿat oure lord it haƿ biseye; ƿat my body shal be do;
In chirche in an heye stede; and no more ligge so.
And if ƿou doutest in any point; ƿat it beo dwelsinge23; 85
And not soƿ ƿat I telle ƿe; I wile ƿe take toknynge.
ffor as sone as ƿou wilt ryse; for to do myn heste;
ƿat yrel ƿat ƿou hast long had; shal no longer leste.
ƿu worthest24 ƿere hoi & sound; werld withouten ende.
If pe bisshop leove pe nought25; Other signe I wile hy m sende. 90
ffor je come to ƿe stede; ƿer I ligge jette;
Anoward me ƿa ston; ac oƿer ƿride wel litte.
Ringes of yren ƿer beoƿ onne; Nayled ƿer to wel faste.
Ac ƿer nis non so strong ƿe shal; Aɜeins ylaste.
ƿis gode man of ƿis tokning; joyeful was y now. 95
Wel bityme he aros; & toward ƿe weye drow.
Anon so26 he dide him in ƿe weye; hoi & sound he was;
Of ƿe yvel he hadde so long; y greved never he nas27.
To ƿe bisshop Athelwold he went; & told him of cas;
ƿe bisshop he herde ƿis; joyeful ƿerof was. 100
ƿe ringes ƿat were in ƿe ston; fast as he seide er;
lightlich his tok up wouten wemme; & as faste sette it ƿer.
wel ƿe joye ƿe he made; ƿis holy Athelwolde.
ƿis miracle was sone y kid; & sone aboute tolde.
Seint Athelwold went sone to Edgar ƿe gode king. 105
and tolde him as was right; his holy tiƿing28.
ƿis gode king was glad y now; ƿei nome hem to rede;
hou ƿei might wiƿ mest honour; do ƿat holy dede.
ƿei assigned a day ƿerto; as here conseil bisay;
bifore hervest in ƿe moneth of Julij; ƿe fifteneƿ day. 110
ƿei somond aɜein ƿilke day; heye men y now ƿer to;
bisshopes & abbotes; ƿat holy dede to do.
ƿo ƿei come to Wynchestre; ƿer ƿis holy body lay;
In fasting & orisons; ƿi were night & day;
ƿat oure lord hem sende grace; ƿat holy dede wel ende. 115
ƿo ƿe day was ycome; to ƿe mynstre ƿei gonne wende;
I reuested fair y now; wiƿ gret deuocion;
wiƿ tapers ytend29 & cros; wiƿ fair procession;
To ƿe tombe ƿei went sone; ƿer ƿat holy body lay;
as it fel in moneƿ of July; ƿe fifteneƿ day. 120
ƿe bisshop Athelwold; as right was to do;
let delue to ƿis holy body; &c ƿo ƿei come ƿerto;
ƿer com smyte30 out a suete breƿ; among ƿe men echon;
ƿat so gret swetnesse him thought; ƿei smelled never non.
Lord michel is ƿi might; soƿ it is seid; 125
ƿat a body sholde so swete smelle; ƿat so long had beo ded.
ɜe wite bi opeve dede mon; ƿat it was muche aɜein right31
a blind woman wiƿ ƿe dede; anon in ƿe place hadde her sight.
And many oƿere botened32 eke; of pine & of wo.
And wiƿinne ten dayes; two hondred & mo. 130
ƿis holy body was up y nome; wiƿ gret honor y wis;
and to Seint Petres chirche y bore; ƿer ƿe heye mynstre is.
and don in a noble shrine; per as it lith ɜite;
ƿe miracles ƿat of him comeƿ; for soƿ beoth not lite.
I shrined he was nine hondred jer; & in ƿe on & twenty ƿere 135
After ƿt oure lord on erthe alighte; in his moder here.
Now seint Swithin ƿat was bisshop; here in Engelonde.
bringe us to ƿe joye of heuene; ƿorw oure lordes sonde.
1. young. 2. that was then bishop of Winchester. 3. widely celebrated every where. 4. Æđelwulf. 5. he (Ecgbert) committed to him (Swiđhun) that he might look after him (Æđelwulf); attend to him and guard him, in order that the youth might take to good ways. 6. custom; wont. 7. well-governed. 8. thereupon took their counsel. 9. advising, direction. 10. caused to be reared up, set up, restored. 11. At his arrival he cared not to have any ringing, nor pomp, nor style, nor ostentatious gathering of horses and squires; for he counted such things but little worth. 12. Qu,? A. S. tiht = he claims; or, tiđeđ, he giveth; or, as in Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide, i. 334; "tite him"=chanceth to him: should it be here tit him instead of tit he? Obscure. 13. at the time, at the same moment 14. each one. 15. their. 16. market. 17. eggs. 18. when the woman her misfortune saw, shrilly she began (to cry). 19. at once, immediately. 20. Judges ix. 53. 21. Originally, blessed,—here, simple; as we should now say, "this good woman," not laying much stress on the adjective. Modern, silly. See p. 17. 22. slew. 23. delusion. 24. thou becomest, i.e. shalt become, whole, &c 25. believe thee not. 26. Immediately when. 27. is not. 28. tiding. 29. kindled, lighted. 30. ? suddenly. 31. ye wot by other dead men, that it [such sweetness] is much against law; preternatural 32. relieved: Sir F. Madden's Glossary to Layamon; v. bote, boten, remedy. 33. shrined or enshrined. The 'I' here, and above, line 117 is only the participial prefix, formerly ge-; but at this date i or y.
POSTSCRIPT TO NO. V.
In the Library of Trinity College, Oxford43, there is an interesting volume of Saints' Lives in early English verse, and among them a Life of S. Swiđhun, cognate to the version given above, but varying in several particulars. In some parts, especially at the opening, it departs from the version above for several lines together. It is in a later handwriting, but its orthography and many of its expressions are more archaic. I conclude that it was produced in a remoter part of the country, where early forms kept their ground longer. I am inclined to hazard the conjecture that it exhibits the dialect of West Somersetshire or Devonshire. The reference is. Arch. 57. Fol. 66 a.
Seint Swethyn ƿe oonfessor was her' in engelonde.
Be side Wynchestre he was ybore. as ich understonde.
By ƿe kyngee daye Egberd. ƿis guode man was y bore.
ƿat ƿo was kynge in Engelond. & somwhat eke by fore.
ƿe eyɜtende ƿer kynge he was. ƿat com after Eenewold kynge.
ƿat seint Berin dude to e'stendom. to engelond ferst brynge.
Ac seint Austyn hadde to fore, to e'stendom ybroɜt.
Athelbriɜt ƿe guode kyng. ac al ƿe lond noɜt.
and suƿƿe it was ƿat seint Berin. her' by weste wende.
and t'ude ƿe kynge Eenewold. as oure lord him g'oe sonde.
So ƿat Egberd ƿat was kynge. ƿo seint Swithyn was i bore.
ƿe eyɜtende was after Eenewold. ƿat so longe was by fore.
Seint Swithyn ƿis holy man. swiƿe ɜong began.
Ffor to seruy ihu o'st. and by come e'stene man.
Elmeston ƿe bischop eke. of Wynchestr' ƿat was ƿo.
Seint Swithyn he makede prest. as he dude oye mo.
So ƿat f'm ordre to oy. seint Swithyn p'st be com.
Clene lyf he ladde and guod. & to gret penance nom.
His guodnesse was wyde ykud. aboute in eche syde.
So ƿat it com ƿe kyng' to ere. and spronge aboute wyde.
ƿe kyng' him hon'ede swiƿe wel. & louede him y nouɜ.
Lines 33 and 34 run thus (confirming my conjecture on the last page, which was in print before I saw this MS.):
He ƿoɜte on ƿat ƿe gospel sais. ƿat me takeƿ litel hede.
ƿat who so dep his dede wt bobance. ne tyt him non oƿ mede.
Between lines 54 and 55 the following profane couplet:
Miɜte eyrenmongeres fare now so. ƿe baldeloker hy myɜte.
Lepe ouer dich wher so hy woldob & boƿe wrastly & fyɜte.
Lines 57 and 58 are correctly expressed:
It was nojt longe afterward. ƿat he was ymad kynge.
ƿat ƿis holy man Seint Swithyn. drou; to his endyng.
Line 100 has the same sense, but in a highly archaic manner:
ƿe bischop ƿo he herde ƿis. wel was him ƿas.
The more noticeable variations are,
|Line 2 (and off) in Bodleian MS.||I||
Trin. Coll. MS...ich
|7||godenesse. ... ykid||guodnesse ... y kud|
|12||norisehe ... warde||norschy ... wardy|
|39||ƿe strong||ƿat strong|
|85||point ... dwelsinge||poynt ... metinge|
|102||lightlich hii tok up w'outen wemme||liɜtliche hy op nome w'oute wem|
|103||ƿis holy Athelwolde||ƿe bischop Adelwold|
|116||mynstre ƿei||menstre hy|
|118||y tend||y tent|
|124||ƿei smelled never non||ne smelde hy never non|
|127||aɜein right||aɜe riɜt|
|129||botened ... pine||botnede ... euel|
|133||don ... shrine||y don ... schrine|
Life of S. Swiđhun, printed in Caxton's Golden Legende, A.D. 1483.
Here foloweth the lyf of fainte Swythune byffhop
Saint fwythyne the holi confeffour was born besydes Wynchester in the time of faint egberte kinge / he was the vij kynge after kenulf that faynt byryne cryftened · For faint austin cryftened not alle englond in faynt athelbertus daies · But faint byryne cryilened the Weste partye of englond in the dayes of kenulf the kyng · & at tyme thys holy Saynt Swythyne ferued our lady fo deuoutely / that all peple that knewe hym / had grete Joye of his holyneffe: And elmeston that was in that tyme byffhop of Wynchestre made hym preest / & thene he lyued a ftrayter lyuyng than he dyd byfore / And he became thenne fo holy in lining that kynge egbert made hym his chaunceler / And chyef of his counfeyll & sette ethulf his fone his heier vnder his rule & guydyng / & prayed hym to take hede to hym that he myght be brought vp vertuoufly / And wythin fhort tyme after the kyng deyed / & thene his fone ethulf was made kynge after him / & he guyded this londe ful well & wysely that it encreased gretly in good lyuyng thrugh the coufeill of faint fwythyne / & whan elmeston the byffhop of Wyncheftre was dede: Swythyne was made byflfhop there after hym wherof the people were full glad / & by his holy lyuyng he caufed ye peple to lyue vertuoufly · And to paye truely theyr tythes to god & holy chirche And yf ony chirche fyll doun or was in decay / faint fwythyne wold anone amede it at his owne coft / Or yf ony chirche were not halowed he wold goo thyder a fote and halowe it / For he louyd no pride ne to ride on gay hors / ne to be prayfed ne flatred of the peple whyche in this dayes fuche thynges be vfed ouer moche god ceaffe it: Saint Swythyne guyded full well his byffhopryche and dyd moche good to ye toun of Wyncheftre in his tyme: He dyd do make without ye wefte gate of the toun a fayr brydge of ftone at his propre coft / And on a tyme there came a woman ouer the brydge wyth her lappe full of egges: & 44 rechelles felaw ftroglyd and wreftelyd wyth her / & brake all her egges / And it happed that this holy byffhop came that waye the fame time: & bad the woman lete hym fee her egges / And anone he lyfte vp his honde and bleffyd the egges / & the were made hooll and founde euerychon by the merytes of this holy byffhop / And beyng thenne gladde thanked god & thys holy man for the myracle that was don to her / & foone after deyed kyng ethulf / & his fone egbert reyned after hym / And after hym was athelberte kynge / & in ye thyrde yere of his regne deyde this bleffyd byffhop faint fwythyne. And wha he f holde deye he charged his men to burye hym in the chyrcheyerde for the peple shold [p.86] not worfhyp hym after his deth; For he lotied no pompe by his lif / ne none wolde he haue after his deth / He paffyd to our lord the yere of grace viij C & vj: And he laye in the chyrche er he was tranflated an C and ix yere / & odde dayes: But in the tyme of holy kynge edgar his body was tranflated and putte in affiryne in th'abbeye ofWyncheftre by faint dunstone & ethelwold / And the fame yere was faint edward kyng & martyr fhryned at fhaftefbury: Thefe two byffhops dunston and ethehvolde were warned by our lorde to fee that thyfe ij holy faintes Swythyne and Edward fholde be worfhyppfully fhryned & fo thei were wythin a fhort tyme after / and an holy man warned ethelwold whyles he laye seke to helpe that thyfe two holy bodyes myght be fhryned: And thenne he fhold be parfyghtly hool; foo endure to his lyues end: and the token is: that ye shall fynde on faint fwythynes graue two rynges of yron nay led faft t heron · And affone as he fette honde on the ringes they come of/ of the ftone and no token was feen in the ftone / where thei were fastened in / And whan they had taken vp the ftone fro the graue / they fette the rynges to the ftone agayn / and anone they faftened to it by them felf: And thenne this holy byffhop gaf lawde and prayfyng to our lord for this myracle. And at the openyng of ye graue of faint fwythyne fuche a fwete odonr & fauour y fined out that kyng edgar and alle the multytude of peple were fulfylled wyth heuenly fwetenes / & a blynde man receyued there his fyght agayn / & many men heled of dyucrs fekenes and maledyes by the merytes of this holy faint / Saint Swythyne: to whom late vs praye / that he be oure aduocate to the good lorde for vs et cetera/
Extracts from Missals.
From the Sarum Use. A. D. 141 1. (Bodleian Libr. Rawl. C. 143.)
July 15. Translacio Sci Swithini epi et confessoris. Officium. Omnipotens
sempiterne Deus qui hodiemam diem honorabilem nobis in beati Swithini
confessoris tui atque pontificis sociorumque ejus
translacione fecisti; da ecclesie tue in hac celebritate leticiam ut quorum
veneramur solempnitatem in terris eorum intercessione subleuemur in celis, per
Respice quesumus Domine populum tuum ad Tua sacramenta currentem in presenti festivitate beati Swithini Confessoris tui atque pontificis sociorumque ejus et concede ut ipsis intercedentibus quod in honore Tui nominis detulerunt, cunctis prosit ad veniam.
Pignus in te capientes Domine humiliter imploramus ut intercedente beato Swithino confessore tuo atque pontifice cum sociis suis quod in ymagine contingimus sacramenti manifesta participatione sumamus, per &c.
From the Hereford Missal cir. A. D. 15 10. (Rotomagi.)
July 2. Alia memoria de sancto Svvithino. Deus qui hodiem, die sacratissimi nobis Swithini confessoris tui festiuitatem celebrare concedis; adesto propicius ecclesie tue precibus, ut cuius gloriamur mentis; muniamur suffragiis. Per &c.
Deus qui per sanctum confessorem tuum et antistitem Svvithinum mederis languoribus infirmorum: concede per tuum adjuvamen et ejus intercessione presentis vitae fungi salubritate; et ciuium supernorum societate. Per &c.
Churches named after S. Swiđhun; gathered mostly from Ector's Thesaurus.
|In the Diocese of ........................||Parish or Place.|
|Bath and Wells ........................||Bathford.|
|Chichester ........................||East Grinsted.|
|Exeter ........................||Littleham, near Barnstaple (consecr. 1319).|
|Pyworthy, near Totnes.|
|Sandford, near Exeter.|
|Woodbury, near Exeter (consecr. 1409).|
|Gloucester and Bristol ......................||Allington, near Bridport.|
|Stanley St. Leonard's.|
Sondhey, alias Sandy.
|London ........................||St. Swithin's (at London Stone).|
|Rochester ........................||Chishall Magna.|
|Salisbury ........................||Compton Basset.|
|Winchester ........................||Winchester The Cathedral.|
|St Swithin's (Kingsgate olim Chinget Bp.|
Henry of Blois's Survey).
This list is probably very far from perfect, but I do not know of any source from which it might be amplified. A classification of our religious edifices according to the saints whose names they have borne might possibly help to determine, in some cases, the length of the period during which particular names exercised an influence on the public mind.
Extract from John of Exeter.
(Circiter A.D. 1431.)
"S. Swithinus ... sepultus est extra portam borealetn navis ecclesise qui locus tunc indecens erat, modo verd ibidem quam pulchra capella in ejus honore construct a est."—(Quoted by Professor Willis, on Winchester Cathedral, in the Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute.)
(Strype, Cranmer, p. 709. from C. C. C. C. MS. Miscel. G.)
An Inventory of the Cathedral Church of S. Swithins in Winchester,
as it was given in, by the Prior and Convent, to Crumwell Secretary of State,
and the Kings Vicar general over al Spiritual men.
And first of the things that are abroad in the Church.
Imprimis, the nether part of the high Altar, being of plate of gold, garnished with stones. The front above being of brodering work and pearls, and above that a Table of Images of silver and gilt, garnished with stones.
Item, Above that Altar a great Cros, and an Image of plate of gold, garnished with stones.
Item, Behind the high Altar S. Swithens shrine, being of plate silver and gilt, and garnished with stones.
Item, In the body of the Church a great Cross, and an Image of Christ and Mary and John, being of plate silver and partly gilt.
Item, A cros of plate of silver and gilt with an Image over the Iron dore.
And the two Images of Mary and John are but Copper gilt.
The Inventory of the Sextre.
Jewels of Gold.
Imprimis, There are in the Sextre five Crosses of gold, garnished with precious stones. And one of the five is but of plate of gold fixed upon Wood.
Item, One shrine of plate of gold garnished with precious stones.
Item, One little pair of Candlesticks of gold.
Item, One little box of gold with his cover to bear the H, Sacrament.
Item, Three chalices of gold, and one of them garnished with precious stone.
Item, One little pax of gold.
Item, One little sacring bel of Gold.
Item, Four Pontifical rings of gold with precious stones.
Item, One pectoral of gold set with stones.
Item, One pectoral, partly gold, partly silver, and gilt, set with stones.
Item, Two saints amies of plate of gold, garnished with stones.
Item, S. Philips foot, covered with plate of gold, and with stones.
Item, A book of the four Evangelists, written al with gold; and the utter side is of plate of gold.
Jewels of Silver,
Imprimis, One Table of our Lady, being of silver and gilt.
Item, Nine crosses of silver and gilt, and one of Cristal.
Item, One and twenty shrines, some al silver and gilt; and some part silver and gilt; and part copper and gilt; and some part silver and part ivory, and some copper and gilt, and some set with garnished stones.
Item, Twelve chalices of silver and gilt, belonging to the Sextre, and to the Altars, and chauntries founded in the Church.
Item, Four Paxes of silver and gilt belonging to the Sextre, and other Altars.
Item, Six casts of Candlesticks belonging to the Sextre, and the Chauntries, being of silver and gilt.
Item, One Candlestick of silver, belonging to S. Swithens shrine.
Item, Six pair of Cruits of silver belonging to the Sextre and Chauntries.
Item, Seven Censers of silver and gilt.
Item, Two Sarys, one of silver and gilt, and the other only of silver.
Item, Three pair of Basins of silver and gilt.
Item, Two Ewers, one of them silver and gilt, and the other only silver.
Item, Six Images of silver and gilt.
Item, One and thirty Collars, six of them garnished with plate of silver, and gilt, and stones; the residue of brodering work and pearls.
Item, Six pectorals of silver and gilt, garnished with stones.
Item, Three pastoral staves of silver and gilt.
Item, One pastoral staf of an Unicorns horn.
Item, Three standing Mitres of silver and gilt, garnished with pearls and precious stones.
Item, Ten old Mitres, garnished with pearls and stones, after the old fashion.
Item, One Rectors staf of Unicorns horn.
Item, Four Processional staves of plates of silver.
Item, Four sacring bells of silver and gilt, belonging to the Sextre and Altars.
Item, Nine pixes of Christal, partly garnished with silver and gilt.
Item, Seven tables with Relicks fixed in them; and four of them are of plate of silver and gilt, and the three other of copper and gilt.
Item, Five Saints heads, and four of them of plate of silver and gilt, and the first painted.
Item, Three Saints armes, two of them covered with plate of silver and gilt, and the third is painted.
Item, Seven books, the outer parts of them being plates of silver and gilt.
Item, One Book of K. Henry the Sevenths foundation, covered with velvet, and garnished with bosses of silver and gilt.
Imprimis, One principal Cope of needle work, wrought with gold and pearles.
Item, One Chysible. Two Tymasyles, and parel of the Albes of the same work, of my L. Cardinal Beaufords gift.
Item, Eight and twenty other Copys of divers other works and colors, and divers mens gifts.
Item, Forty two Copys of tisshew: the one half of them blew, and the other of red.
Item, Twenty Copys of red bawdkyne, wrought with Connes.
Item, Eight white Copys. Four of them of White Velvet, and the other four of White Damask, brodered with white red roses.
Item, Eight and twenty Copys of White Bawdkyne, woven with copper gold.
Item, Nine and twenty Copys of blew silk, woven with rayes of gold.
Item, Thirty other Copys of divers colors and works; and many of them perished.
Chysybils, Tynnihyls (Tunicles) and Stolys.
Item, Imprimis, Eleven principal Chysybils with Tynnikyls, of divers sorts, and suites.
Item, Six and thirty old Chysybils of divers colors and works, and bene commonly used, and some of them perused.
Item, Fourteen stolys of needle work.
Hangings for the Altars.
Item, Eight divers hangings for the high Altar, some of them precious, and some of them of les value.
Item, One and twenty pair of Hangings for the Altars of the Church.
Vestments, Albes, &c.
Item, Twelve Albes of silk.
Item, Of linnin Albes, belonging to the Sextre and other Altars, 326.
Item, Vestments belonging to the Altars and Chauntries are of divers Values and works, to the number of twenty six.
Item, Corporows cases, and Corporaws thirty six.
Item, Altar cloths of Diaper and linnin, One and twenty.
Item, Mas Books thirteen, belonging to the Sextre and Altars.
The Inventory of our Ladies Chappel.
Imprimis, Five little shrines of copper and guilt.
Item, Three chalices of silver and gilt.
Item, Two Paxes, one of silver and gilt, and the other of silver.
Item, Two pair of Beads, and silver and gilt, being but of ten stones a piece.
Item, Three chappels of divers suites.
Item, Two Copys of silk.
Item, Thirteen Albes, and three of them of white silk.
Item, Three Collars for the three Altars of silk, garnished with plate of silver and gilt, and with stones.
Item, Four Altar cloths of linnin.
Item, Two Altars of silk for the Altar.
The Inventory of the Priors house.
Imprimis, Six salts, with three covers of silver and gilt.
Item, Six spoons of silver and gilt.
Item, Five and twenty other spoons of silver.
Item, Three standing Cups; one plain, and other two swaged with their Covers of silver and gilt.
Item, Seven bollis of silver and gilt with one Cover.
Item, Six silver cupps with one Cover.
Item, Four nuts with three covers.
Item, Two Masers with one cover.
Item, Two silver Basins with their Ewers.
Item, Two Gallon pots of silver and gilt, to serve Peter and Paul.
Item, Two smal silver pots.
Item, Two chalices of silver and gilt.
The Inventory of the Subpriors house.
Item, Two salts of silver and gilt with a Cover.
Item, One little salt of silver with a Cover.
Item, Three silver peeces.
Item, Eighteen silver spoons.
Item, Three old Masers perused.
The Inventory of the Hordars house.
Item, Two Salts of silver and gilt with a Cover.
Item, One standing Nut with a Cover.
Item, Three silver peeces.
Item, Eighteen silver spoons.
Item, Three old Masers perused.
The Inventory of the Fratrie.
Imprimis, One standing Cup of mother pearle, the foot and Cover being of silver and gilt.
Item, Two great bollys of silver.
Item, One standing Cup of silver and gilt with his Cover.
Item, One standing Massar with a Cover of Wood.
Item, Three great bollis of Wood with bonds of silver and gilt.
Item, Seven and thirty silver spoons of divers fashions.
Item, Four old Massars perused.
Scraps from various sources.
From Ben Jonson's "Every Man out of his humour." Act i. Sc. 3.
Sordido (reading an almanack): "O, here, St. Swithins, the xv day, variable weather, for the most part rain, good: for the most part rain; why, it should rain forty days after, now, more or less, it was a rule held, afore I was able to hold a plough, and yet here are two days no rain; has it makes me muse."
From Hone's Every Day Book, July 15.
In Poor Robin's Almanac (1697) are these lines:
"In this month is St. Swithin's day.
On which if it rain, they say,
Full forty days after it will
Or more or less some rain distill.
This S within was a saint, I trow,
And Winchester's bishop, also:
Who in his time did many a feat,
As popish legends do repeat.
A woman having broke her eggs
By stumbling at another's legs,
For which she made a woful cry,
St. Swithin chanc'd for to come by.
Who made them all as sound or more
Than ever that they were before.
But whether this were so or no
^Tis more than you or I do know;
Better it is to rise betime.
And make hay while sun do shine;
Than to believe in tales and lies
Which idle monks and friars devise."
"Now if on Swithin's feast the welkin lours
And every penthouse streams with hasty showers
Twice twenty days shall clouds their fleeces drain
And wash the pavements with incessant rain.
Let not such vulgar tales debase thy mind,
Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind."
From Brand's Popular Antiquities.
"St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain.
For forty days it will remain;
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair,
For forty days 't will rain na mair."
Note.—The reader who desires to follow out the subject, and to investigate the literary treatment of Saint Swiđhun down to our own day, may consult the following.—Punch, July 24, 1852, "Zong of Zaint Zwithun's Day (By a Ship of his Vlock)." It begins thus:
"Draa us up a drap moor liquor;
'Tis the vifteenth of July.''
"A Legend of St. Swithin; a rhyme for rainy weather; with 12 illustrations by John Faed, Esq., R. S. A. Lond. 1861.''—This is a Scotch Temperance Rhyme, cleverly illustrated; but with nothing historical in it.
In the "Anglia Sacra,'' vol. ii. p. 203. note, we read of a "Swithun senior SS. Dubricii et Davidis familiaris et literarum fama celeberrimus. De illo vide Galfridum Monumetensem Hist. Brit. ix. 12, et Giraldum Camb. in vita S. Davidis." The historical position of Dubricius and David is almost parallel with Hengist and Horsa, and hence it is not likely that they had a learned friend of the Saxon name of Swiđhun. No doubt the name which ought to stand here is Suibhne, which occurs many times in the Irish Annals. It is curious to see how two historical personages, separated from one another by a wide space of time, may, after a second interval, be blended into one. The following passage of Giraldus Cambrensis (Vita S. Davidis Menevensis, p. 634) is an instance of the kind : "Sanctus autem Aidanus, qui et Hybernice Maidocus dicitur virtutibus insignis, et divinis aifatim eruditus disciplinis, exin licentia primum a Patre dein fratribus accepta, cum omni benedictione Hyberniam petit. Ubi cum aliquamdiu signis et virtutibus claruisset; demum apud Femas nobile monasterium construxit : in quo ad formam et regulam quam apud Meneviam a pio Patre didicerat, collectis in unum fratribus Domino deservire devovit. Processu temporis cum nocte Paschali orationibus consueto more Vir Sanctus insisteret, astitit ei Angelus dicens; Nescis, Aidane, quod patri tuo David crastina die a fratribus quibusdam venenum ad prandium apponetur? At ille respondens, Nescio, inquit Cui iterum Angelus; Mitte ocius unum ex discipulis ad indicandum ei. At ille Nee navem, inquit, paratam habeo, nee aura concordat. Et Angelus; Discipulum tuum Swithunum ad mare quam citius mitte, et ego ei tam ventum quam vehiculum ministrabo. [p.96] Quo facto, cum Swithunus ad mare perveniens usque ad genua jam intrasset, assumptus a marina bellu^ et miraculose transvectus, Patri periculum indicavit. Cumque die Paschali completis Missarum solemnitatibus in Refectorio ad csenam consedissent, Diacono ex more ministrante panemque veneno confectum Patri apponente, surgens Swithunus qui et Scolanus dictus est, et postmodum in Wintoniensi ut perhibent cathedra sublimatus, Diacono cum confusione repulso; ego, inquit, hodie ministrabo. Sanctus autem Pater panem oblatum in tres dividi portiones fecit, et unam partem cani et alteram corvo tradi praecepit. Quibus devoratis, cementibus cunctis statim expiravit uterque. Ipse autem Pater tertiam sumens partem coram omnibus benedicendo comedit intrepidus pariter et illaesus."
Newspaper Extracts, July 1861.
"St. Swithin's Day.—The value to be placed upon the popular notion that if
it rains upon the 15th of July it will do so for the 40 succeeding days may be
learnt from the following facts, from the
Greenwich observations for the last 20 years. It appears that St. Swithin's day
was wet in 1841, and there were 23 rainy days up to the 24th of August; 1845, 26
rainy days; 1851, 13 rainy days;
1853, 18 rainy days; 1854, 16 rainy days; and in 1856, 14 rainy days. In 1842
and following years, St. Swithin's day was dry, and the result was in 1842, 12
rainy days; 1843, 22 rainy days; 1844,
20 rainy days; 1846, 21 rainy days; 1847, 17 rainy days; 1848, 31 rainy days;
1849, 20 rainy days; 1850, 17 rainy days; 1852, 19 rainy days; 1855, 18 rainy
days; 1857, 14 rainy days; 1858, 14
rainy days; 1859, 13 rainy days; and in 1860, 29 rainy days. These figures show
the superstition to be founded on a fallacy, as the average of 20 years proves
rain to have fallen upon the largest
number of days when St. Swithin's day was dry."
"The value to be placed upon the popular notion that if it rains upon the 15th of July it will do so for the forty succeeding days may be learnt from the fact, from the Greenwich observations, that the average of twenty years proves that during the forty succeeding days there were most rainy days when St. Swithin's day was dry. There had never been less than thirteen rainy days out of the forty, and never more than thirty-two."
(These scraps are inserted, not from a notion that the subject requires scientific investigation, but merely as contributions to the folk-lore associated with the name of Swiđhun. The same remark applies to a few other pieces which have no intrinsic recommendation.)
END OF PART I. ON SAINT SWIÐHUN.
LEAVES FROM AN ANGLOSAXON TRANSLATION
OF THE LIFE OF
S. MARIA ÆGTPTIACA,
WITH A TRANSLATION AND NOTES,
EXECUTED AT THE ORDNANCE SURVEY OFFICE, SOUTHAMPTON.
[See Anglo-Saxon facsimile]
S. MARIA ÆGYPTIACA
is a character in early hagiology, which bears a near resemblance to that of S.
Mary Magdalene45, as the latter appeared after the handling of tradition and
legendary art. In both, the central idea is
emancipation from gross sin, to a life of sustained holiness. But in the story
of S. Maria Ægyptiaca, the contrast is pushed to the utmost, and is enhanced by
detail and exaggeration. The narrative,
which exists both in Greek and Latin, runs thus. Zosimas was a monk in one of
the monasteries of Palestine. The brotherhood to which he belonged had the
following rule for keeping Lent. Taking
with them a small supply of food, they went out into the wilderness, wandering
apart from one another, and thus in entire solitude, and retreat from worldly
distractions, they passed the season of
repentance and mortification. It happened that Zosimas, being thus alone in the
desert, and having seen no being for many days, was suddenly struck with the
appearance of a dark figure passing
along at some distance before him. He followed, it fled. But he gained on the
apparition, and as he was overtaking it, the voice of a woman appealed to him,
to give her some clothing, before he
came nearer. He then rent his mantle, and threw her a large part of it. She put
it about her, for she was naked, and blackened with the vicissitudes of the
weather. She then addressed Zosimas by his
name, and thus fixed his veneration for her as a prophetess. After a pious
contention as to whether of the twain were the more qualified to bless the
other, she by her apparent spiritual gifts, or he
by his clerical function—she yields on the principle of obedience, and becomes
absorbed in silent prayer, during which Zosimas sees her lifted off the earth
and suspended in the air, while she
conversed with heaven. This ecstatic scene is followed by one of a different
character. Zosimas hears her confession; and it is in this manner that the
story of her life is introduced. After a course of
early profligacy in Egypt, she went on board a ship at Alexandria that was bound
for Palestine with pilgrims to the Festival of the Holy Cross. Her only impulse
was to share the throng and the
excitement. She continued in her evil courses until the hour when she joined the
multitude that was crowding to the solemnity. She entered the court or outer
yard of the church, and was borne along by the current towards the door of the
building. But here her progress was stayed. Those who were on either side of her
moved on and passed the door—she
alone continued in her place.
She resolved to advance, but some mysterious power restrained her. This
miraculous repulse brought on reflection, and then compunction, and she vowed to
the Blessed Virgin, whose effigy looked [p.100]
forth upon her from the wall of the church, that if she might be admitted to
approach the Holy Cross, she would spend the rest of her life in mortification
and penance. The resolve formed, and the
vow uttered, she entered the church without impediment. Having satisfied her
aspirations, and concluded her devotions, she went forth under the guidance of
the Blessed Virgin into the desert.
From that time to the encounter with Zosimas was 47 years; and Zosimas had now
been providentially sent to her that he might minister to the spiritual
necessities of one so long severed from the
congregation of the faithful. She appointed him a place to meet her again at
that time in the following year, that he might administer the Eucharist to her;
and this second meeting having taken
place, a new engagement was made for the year succeeding. On this third
occasion, Zosimas found S. Maria dead at the place of rendezvous. His presence
was required only to preside at her
funeral. A lion stood near the corpse, and the beast, at the command of Zosimas,
scooped out a grave for the saint. When all was done, Zosimas and the lion
parted company; and Zosimas returning
to his monastery, told all the tale, including some injunctions which the saint
had given him for his Abbot, to correct the abuses of his house.
This narrative grew up under the strong asceticism of the age of Jerome, and five centuries later became one of the feeders of a kindred spirit in English Christianity. The fragments of a Saxon translation which are here printed are very unskilful, and betray throughout the Latin original. The archaic forms of the penmanship, as well as of many of the expressions employed, combine with the rudeness of the translation to render it probable, that these fragments belong to the earliest Saxon essays in this branch of literature. However this be, they are curious and interesting as specimens of the devotional reading of a certain class of minds in the tenth century, and as relics of a popular literature of which the mass has perished.
The name of S. Maria Ægyptiaca continued to keep its place in our insular hagiology, and there is a metrical Life of her in the volume described above at p. 82. The following is a specimen:
Seinte Marie Egiptiake. in Egipt was ybore
Al here ɜonge lyf hy ladde in synne & in hore
vnneƿe hy was twelf ɜer old. er hy gan do folye
* * * * * * * * * *
It ys synne & shame to eny man. to ƿenche oƿ' to wyte
ƿe foule dede & ƿe wrecche synne. ƿat we fyndeƿ of her' y wryte
Ffor al so hy sede hire self ƿat shame it was to hure
So moche synne on erthe ydo of eny creature
And ƿat ƿe erthe y opened nadde. as hy hir self gan telle
And yswolwe as hy ƿede on erthe in to ƿe put of helle.
The three leaves on S. Maria Ægyptiaca which are preserved at Gloucester are so
many disjointed fragments of the story of her Life. By way of expressing this, I
have called the two pages of the
first leaf, G and H; those of the second, M and N; and those of the third, Y
and Z. These letters are intended, by their relative distances in the alphabet,
to represent the places of these fragments in
the connected narrative.
The leaves are considerably mutilated, and parts of the text are wanting. This has been supplied in some measure, the emendations being distinguished in type. Italics are used to mark such additions as are not doubtful, or, in some cases, partially visible—but all additions of a conjectural nature are enclosed in brackets. In certain places where the text remains imperfect, the sense has been completed in the translation, from the Latin original, in Vitae Patrum (Rosweyd). The Latin title stands as follows: Vita S. Mariæ Ægyptiacae quae Peccatrix appellatur, auctore Sophronio lerosolymae Episcopo: interprete Paulo Diacono Sanctae Neapoleos ecclesiae. The Greek Life is entitled: [Greek]. The Greek form of the monk's name was [Greek].
The Life closes on the top of page Z, and the blank space was filled up many years later by the beginning of a summary of Christian duties, probably excerpted from a book of monastic rule. The language is about parallel to that of the Chronicle under 1102.
[See Anglo-Saxon text]
A LITERAL TRANSLATION. (g.)
took hold of it and her body swathed about the [part that she] most needed to
conceal; and she then herself to [Zosimas turned and said:] Why hadst thou, O
Abba Zosimas, such great need [to
see me a sinful woman], or [what seekest thou of me] to have, or for my sake.
He then forthwith himself on earth prostrated, [and of her a blessing] asked:
whereupon she eke herself prostrated,
and his blessing requested. Then after many hours' space quoth the woman to
Zosimas: To thee it appertaineth, Abba Zosimas, to pray and to bless, forasmuch
as thou art authorised by the priestly
honour, and thou art a preacher of Christ's mysteries with the gifts of his
divinity, and at his holy altar for many years serving. These words verily
brought upon Zosimas great awe and fright, and
he was suffused with the sweat dropping. Then began he to speak as if utterly
exhausted, and in his breath tied, and thus quoth: Oh! thou spiritual mother,
manifest now what thou art of sight;
forasmuch as thou art before the Lord esteemed, and, for the most part, to this
world thou art become dead: for this reason appeareth in thee the divine grace,
especially that thou me by name
named'st: one whom thou never before sawest. But forasmuch as grace is not known
from personal dignity, but is wont to shew itself by the soul's [activity, I
beseech thy blessing], and give me the
needful prayer of thy perfection. Then began she to compassionate the old
worthy's steadfastness, and said, God be blessed, who careth for the salvation
of souls. Zosimas answered. Amen. Then
arose they both from the earth: then began the woman to speak to the old man,
and thus said; Oh man, for what purpose earnest thou to me sinful? But,
however, forasmuch as the grace of the Holy Spirit hath directed thee that thou
some service to my poor body's accommodation shouldest accomplish. Tell me how, now-a-days, in the world
Christ's people are governed, and how the
emperor's,—or how is now fed the flock of Christ's right-believing
congregation, Zosimas her answered: Oh thou holy mother, to thy holy prayers God
hath given permanent peace. [But tender the
consolation of an unworthy] monk, and for the Lord's sake [p.105]
[pray for all the] world, and for me sinful, that to me may not be [rendered
fruitless the] toil of this journey, and the way of sin great a wilderness.
She answered him; It becometh thee, Abba
Zosimas, for me and for all to pray [being invested with priesthood], as I
before said. [But since thou biddest], and forasmuch as we have the order of
obedience, thy will I do; and thus saying, she
[turned to the East, and] with uplifted eyes towards heaven and with
outstretched arms began to pray with the lips, motion in silence, so that there
was not at all any voice heard as far as one might
perceive; of the prayer accordingly Zosimas nothing understand might. He stood
indeed, as he himself said, trembling and the earth beholding; and nothing at
all speaking. He swore verity, setting
before him God as a witness to his words, that while she yet thus [continued] in
the perseverance of prayer, he his eyes momentarily from the earth upraised,
that he saw her uplifted, as it were a
man's ell, from the earth, and in the air hanging engaged in prayer. When he this
saw then was he seized with great fright, and himself on the earth prostrated
and with sweat suffused was, and
vehemently agitated, nought durst he speak, but with himself this only; [Lord
have mercy on me.] While he on the earth lay prostrate, [he had misgivings of
mind, doubting whether] perchance
it were a ghost that there to all appearance was praying. She then, the woman,
turned about and lifted up the monk, thus saying: Wherefore alarmest thou Abba,
thy thoughts to misdoubt about me,
as if I, some ghost, illusory prayers were enacting. But know thou, man, that I
am a sinful woman: withal however, indued with holy baptism: and I no ghost
am, but dust and ashes and altogether
flesh, and no spiritual .... As she thus spake, she blest her face with the holy
rood-token, and her eyes and lips and eke her breast with the blessing she
fortified, and thus said l God us deliver, Abba
Zosimas, from our adversary and from his instigations, for his spite is great
towards us. These words the old man hearing, himself adown stretched
disposed heart grieving brought forth the sorrowful lamentation. Then saw I,
from the spot whereon I stood, sanctae Dei genitricis (i.e. the Virgin's)
likeness (i.e. image) standing. And I quoth to
her earnestly and unflinchingly-beholding: Ah! thou glorious ladye quae verum
Deum after fleshly birth didst bear. Well I wot, that it is not allowable nor
becoming that I, so hideously corrupt,
should thy likeness petition or behold with so variously begrimed looks. Thou
wast ever a virgin known; and thy body preserving clean and unsoiled. Wherefore
assuredly it is quite just for me
polluted, from ( = by) thy clean unsoiledness to be rejected and cast away. But
nevertheless, forasmuch as I have heard that God was to that end made man (Whom
thou self didst bear) in order
that He might call the sinful to repentance: help me, of all other support
destitute: allow me, and me the permission grant, to open the entrance of thy
sacred church; that I be not excluded from the sight of the precious cross, on
which fastened was the Saviour of all the
world; whom thou a virgin didst conceive; Who His own blood did shed for my
redemption. But command thou now,
glorious ladye, for me unqualified to greet the divine rood, the doors to be
unclosed. And I offer myself to thee, and for my patron I choose thee, towards
thine own child; and to you both I promise
that I never hereafter myself will pollute through the hideous delusion of
guilty intercourse. But as soon as I, O thou holy Virgin, thy Son's rood see; I
immediately renounce this world and its
doings with all things that in it are; and then I will go whithersoever thou my
refuge directest. Thus speaking I became kindled with the heat of faith and with
trust was I touched: and by the
clemency of the gentle Dei genetrix I me from that same place stirred where I
had uttered this prayer. And I then again with those who were entering mingled.
Afterwards was there nothing that
out-shoved me or repelled me from the door, in the midst of the enterers. There
seized me however fright, and I was all trembling disturbed. When I me then
[p.109] to the door pressed whereof the ingress was before barred against me, it was to
me as if all that force which before prevented my entrance, had after that set
the ingress free, and so I was filled with
the spiritual mysteries within the temple; and I was made meet to pray
the mysteries of the precious and life-securing cross. And I there saw the sacred
mysteries of God, how He always is
ready His penitents to receive. Then cast I myself forth on the earth, and the
holy floor kissing, I went out. Then came I again to the place where I before
the holy Dei genitricis effigiem saw; and
my knees I bowed before the holy countenance, with these words praying; Ah! thou
perfectest ladye, who to me thy benign clemency before displayedst and my
unworthy petitions didst not cast
from thee. I saw but now the glory which we sinful deservedly do not see,—glory be to the Almighty God, who through thee accepteth of the sinful and
undone their regrets and penance. What
can I, sadly undone, more think upon or rehearse [cor. think to rehearse]? Now
is the time to fulfil and to perform, as I before spoke to thee, my admirable protectress. Direct me now on the way
that thy will is. Be to me now salvation's leader and truth's director, before
me going, on the way that to penance leadeth. As I thus spoke, then heard I
from far a voice crying; If thou Jordan
water overpassest there thou findest good rest. When I this voice heard, and for
my sake I understood it to be uttered, I weeping spake, and to the holy Dei genitrici looking responded; Ah! thou ladye, of all the world queen, through whom to all mankind salvation came,
forsake me not now. Thus saying, I went out of the temple's court, and hastily
departed. Then met I a man who me
three pennies gave, with which I me three loaves bought ; then I had for me
enough provision for my journey's sufficiency. Then asked I him, whom I the loaves
bought of, which was the way that to
Jordan the river was directest of all. When I the way knew, I weeping upon my
journey ran, continually adding asking to asking: and on this wise the day's
journey weeping I fulfilled. Now it was
the third hour of the day when I [p.111]
was anxious and with sweat and heavily he groaned from the heart's deepness.
When he of a sudden looked about him, then saw he an immense lion by the saint's
body standing, and its foot-soles
licking. Then was he affrighted for the awe of the huge wild beast; especially
because that the sainted woman had said to him, that she never there any wild
beast had seen. But he him quickly with
the sign of the cross fortified, confidently trusting that him unharmed would
keep the worthiness of the deceased. Then began the lion to fawn to the old man
-ward, and him with gentle movements
greeted. Zosimas then verily to the lion quoth: Oh! thou chief wild beast; If
thou, from God sent, hast come for this that thou should'st commit to earth the
body of this sainted handmaid of God,
fulfil now the work of thy service. I verily with age weighed down cannot delve,
nor aught requisite have I this work to undertake: nor I cannot speed so great
a journey, to bring (implements)
hither. But thou now by the divine best, this work with thy claws do; that
we-two this holy body to earth may commit. With that, in sooth after the holy
man's words, the lion with her arms wrought
a pit, as large as sufficed for the saint's body's burial-place. The old man
then soothly with his tears the saint's feet washed; and with outpoured prayers
repeatedly prayed that she for all would
intercede; and so the body with earth (he) covered, as naked as he her first
had met, but for large part of the rent garment, which to her Zosimas erewhile
had cast, wherewith Maria certain of her
body's limbs had wrapped. And they then together thence returned. The lion to
the inner desert departed like the mildest lamb; and Zosimas to his monastery
returned, glorifying and blessing and
with praises magnifying God. As soon as he to the monastery arrived, forthwith
related he to them all, from the beginning, all the particulars, and naught
concealed of all the things that he saw or
heard, so that they all revered God's mighty works, and with awe and love and
much faith celebrated the blessed woman's departure-day. Moreover John, the
abbot, found some of the monastery-officers needing correction, just as the holy woman before predicted. But he
them quickly by God's assistance corrected; and Zosimas in the monastery
serving a hundred years completed, and
then to the Lord in peace departed. Glory be to our Lord [p.113]
Saviour Christ; Who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever, world without end.
First, one must love God with all the heart, and with all the mind, and with all the strength, and after that his neighbour as himself. We must not man slay; nor unrightfully cohabit; nor steal; nor enjoy forbidden pleasure; nor leasings say. But every man we are bound ever to respect, and no man ought to do to other that he would not that to himself it be done. One ought his own lusts resist, and follow Christ's teaching. His body each one ought to keep clean; that is with abstinence control. Delicate meats too greedily must one not love: but fasting one ought to love: to visit the infirm, and bury the dead: to help the afflicted, and console the sorrowing; and from worldly desires should each himself alienate; and set nothing before Christ's love. Wrath must one not fulfil! Anger must not be retained for hours; Guile may we not in heart entertain; Feigned friendship must we not give, Sincere love may we not discontinue; We should not swear, lest we forswear: Truthfulness of heart and of mouth ought we always to bring forth. We may not evil with evil repay, nor to any man any injury do; but when one him evil does, he it shall patiently forbear [ = endure]. His enemies one must love for God's love. Those who curse, may we not curse, but rather bless. Persecution for right, one ought meekly to suffer. One must not be overbearing, nor fond of drunkenness, nor over-eating, nor too sleepy, nor slow, nor murmuring, nor complaining; but all his hope he should have on God. When he aught of good doth, then should he that all attribute to God; and when he aught of evil doth, he should know that that cometh of himself. Doom^s day he ought ever to consider, and hell-pains he should dread. And the eternal life he should with all diligence aspire to; and each day he shall bethink him of death. Of his works he shall be careful at all times, that they be good; and he shall consider that he nowhere is unseen of God, but that He him every where seeth. The evil thoughts that come into his mind, he shall at once, in Christ, quell ; and to his spiritual director confess. Then he them quells in Christ, when [Fragment breaks off.]
Page 102, line 9. underwreƿed] propped up, supported, and so,
the Vita, ''tu enim presbjterii honore fultis es." In Exodus xvii, 12, where
Aaron and Hur stayed up the hands of
Moses, it is in the Saxon version: "Aaron and Ur under-wriƿedon Moises
Page 102, line 14. geswutela nu &c.] My version is not more obscure than the Saxon. The Latin is clearer: "Manifesta jam quidem es ex ipsa visione," which means, as I suppose, "Now I plainly perceive what you are, even by eyesight."
Page 102, line 15. of ƿam strengran dæle] This is mere verbal interpretation, of "et fortiori parte mortua es."
Page 102, line 19. The Latin runs thus: .... gratia non ex dignitate cognoscitur sed ex animarum actibus significari consueta est, benedic propter Deum, et orationem tribue indulgentiae tusa perfectionis. Stabilitati autem senis sancti compassa &c., which latter word is expressed by emƿrowian i.e. efen-ƿrowian an imitative compound, after com-patior.
Page 102, line 21. sawla hælo tiliend] qui salutem procurat animarum.
Page 102, line 22. Zosime] The corrector had the true form of the name [Greek].
Page 102, line 25. Supplied by the help of the Latin and the apices of some of the letters. The Latin is: Tamen quoniam quidem te gratia Spiritus Sancti direxit ut aliquod ministerium exhibeas mete exiguitatis corpori congnmm, i.e. to gehyđ nysse. Cf. N, line 26, and note.
Page 102, line 30. The Latin here is: Sed suscipe indigni monachi consolationem et per Dominum ora pro omni mundo et pro me peccatore ut non hujus cursus et itineris labor sine fructu mihi efficiatur tantse solitudinis via. Et ilia respondit ad eum: Te quidem oportet abba Zosima, sacerdotii ut dixi habentem honorem pro omnibus et pro me orare; in hoc enim et vocatus es. Sed quia obedientise prseceptum habemus, quod mihi te jussum est, bona faciam voluntate.
Page 104, line 11. He swor] Jurabat autem Deum testem verbi proponens.....
Page 104, line 14. swa swa mannes elne] quasi cubitum unum: eln and eln gemot = ulna, ulnie mensura. Lit. the length of the ulna or fore-arm in a man.
Page 104, line 15. lyfte] Lift is still used in the Scotch, and some other dialects, for the air, the upper regions.
Page 104, line 15. ongan] This can hardly be the well-known preterite of onginnan (as Y, line 7, and oft); for if so, we have a strong anacolouthon. The choice lies between this and the infinitive ongan for ongaiigan = ingredi, procedere; a rare word, but perfectly suited to the sense and the syntax of this place. Taken thus, ongan would be an infinitive dependant from geseah, "He saw her uplifted ... and as she was hanging in the air, going on with or continuing in prayer." Our want of an infinitive form disables us from rendering the distinction between the participles of the agent's condition (upahefene ... hangiende) and the infinitive of the main action. In Cædmon 3085 (p. 187. Thorpe) we read forđ ongangan of the approach of Pharaoh's army.
Page 104, line 17. naht gerystehte] This naht here is not what it became later, the verbal negative not, but the substantival negative nought Not merely non, but nihil.
Page 104, line 19. Scandalizabatur in mente putans ne spiritus esset, qui se fingeret orare.
Page 104, line 22. to geseswicianne on me] scandalizari in me: cf. Mat. xi. 6. Saxon version.
Page 104, line 23. syrwiende gebedu fremme] fictam orationem facio.
Page 104, line 25. .... favilla et cinis et totum caro et nihil spiritualis phantasise aliquando vel ad mentem reducens. Hæc dicens, signo crucis signat frontem suam &c.
Page 104, line 28. anbringellan] This is rather a desperate conjecture, there being no such word known as anbringella, the assumed nominative of the above.
The Latin has "et immissionibus ejus,"—and the mutilated Saxon page gives anbr
... gellan quite distinctly. The lost part occurs at the end of a line, so that
it is not certain how many letters have perished: but the lines above having
generally lost two or three letters, the same is probably the case here.
Anbringellan would be a derivative from onbringan, instigare; and the noun would mean instigators, or more generally, emissaries.
Page 104, lines 29, 30. Hæc audiens senex prostemit se et apprehendit pedes ejus, dicens cum laorymis &c Then she enters upon her confession. This is in the middle of Cap. xi. (Rosweyd.)
Page 106, line 3. unforbugendlice behealdende] indeclinauter attendens. Cap. xvi.
Page 106, line 7. mid swa msenigfealdlicum besmitenum gesium &c.] ... me sic horridam adorare imaginem tuam vel contemplari oculis, tcmtis sor^ dibus polhuisy quse esse virgo dignosceris et casta, quæ corpus et animam habes immaculatam; justum est me luxuriosam tua purissima &c.
Page 106, line 9. genoh rihtlic] quite just. This adverbial use of genoh, = enough, is not frequent in written Englisc. It was in similar use, but was not received in literary composition. In the reconstruction of the 13th and 14th centuries, it appears with an excessive frequency, as above, page 78, lines 9, 17, &c. Many of its combinations have survived to our own day, e.g. well enough, glad enough, ready enough, good enough, &c. It has an abundant use in Danish, where the form is nok. To such an extent have the adverbial powers of nok been enlarged, that it is the most ubiquitous expletive in the language. It fills the office of the German wohl; and as a German says, Ja wohl—so a Dane says, Ia nok. And this is but one of its many functions.
In Boethius xi. § 2. genoh occupies a sub-adverbial position: genoh sweotole gessed = "clearly enough said."
Page 106, line 19. mundbyrdnysse] protection, advocacy, patronage. Again at line 24. This word is (apparently) an addition to our Saxon Vocabulary. Ettmuller (p. 220) gives miindbyrd and gemiind-byrdan, but no mundbyrdnys. For a full explanation of this historical word, see Schmid's Glossary, sub v. Mund and following words.
Page 106, line 21. bysmergleow] Another new word. It is compounded of bysmer = insolence, mockery; and gleow = joy, sport, which still exists in glee.
Page 108, line 16. licwurđan] Not a common word, but one that expresses a distinct idea, "worth liking,"—it answers etymologically to amiable, but in use it corresponds more nearly to adrmrabk. Our native compounds have been driven out by French substitutes, and we have no trace of this word in the present English. The German has one very analogous, liebenfwurbig.
There was a large and respectable family of derivatives from lician, placere; licung, voluptas, &c; but through neglect they came to vile uses, and then were abolished from conversation and literature. Such are licorous, lecherous, lecher, lechery, &c, wrongly derived in the Dictionaries.
Page 108, line 26. gehyđe] Another rare word. It is the collective of hyđ = commodum, of which we find the abstract gehynys on G, line 26. The Latin here is, ... dicens, Accipe hsec nonna. Ego autem accipiens, tres ex eis panes comparavi, et hoc accepi benedictioni mei itineris congruos: cf. Y, line 12, where it refers to implements requisite for digging.
Page 108, line 26. geblsedfbestnysse] This again is a rare compound—geblsedfaest is found in Cædmon, p. 6, 1. 15 (Ed. Thorpe); line 89 (Ed. Bouterwek); where I would render, not exactly frugifer, fruitful, as the Editors; but rather flourishing.
Page 108, line 29. Here begins Chap, xviii of the Latin: "Interrogationi autem interrogationem annectens, reliquum diei consumpsi iter properans, erat autem hora diei tertia quando pretiosam et sanctam crucem videre merui."
Page 110, line 1. In the fragment of a sentence with which this page opens, Zosimas is in trouble about the interment of S. Maria Ægyptiaca. "Laborabat enim et suspiriis nimiis urgebatur et sudoribus madesctus ingemuit graviter ex ipso cordis sui profundo." Cap. xxvi. mid.
Page 110, line 1. and mid swate] Here, I suppose, a word has escaped the scribe or the translator. It should be mid swate ofergoten, or some such word, to answer madefactus.
Page 110, lines 7, 8. wiđ ealdan weard] to- the old man -ward; i.e. toward the old man. This tmesis of toward is common in Englisc, and has continued down to near our own times. It may be traced in our Bible in the phrases "to God ward," Exod. xviii. 19; 2 Cor. iii. 4; i Thess. 18:—"to you ward" 2 Cor. xiii 3; Eph. iii. 2.
Page 110, line 9, mæsta wildeor] maxim e feranin.
Page 110, line 12. ne nabt gebjes hablfinde] nec congruum quid habeo: cf. N, line 26, and note.
Page 110, line 13, efstan] cf. Luke 3, 5, 6. Zaccheus, efst to ƿinum huse; forƿam ƿe ic wylle to-dæg on ƿinum huse wunian. Ða efste he, and hine bliƿelice onfenge. Zaccheus, haste to thine house; for I will to-day abide in thine house. Then hasted he, and him blithely received.
Page 110, line 20, butan gewealden] cf. Chron. Ā 894. buton swiƿe gewaldenum diele easte weardes ƿæs folces.
Page 110, line 21. bewefde] An uncommon word—the best known branch of it is wæfels = a cloak. The analogous Gothic form bivaibjan occurs in the Gospels in a precisely parallel use, Mark xiv. 50: bivaibiƿs leina ana naqadaca, i.e, amictui lino super nudo; where also the Saxon has, mid anre scytan bewaefed, nacod.—xyi, 5: bivaibidana vastjai weitai, i.e., amictumeste alba. Luke xix. 43, of a siege: jail bivaibjand ƿuk allaƿro, i.e., et circumdant te undjque. Uffilas, by De Guhelehtz and Loebe.
Page 110, line 26. Godes mærđa] magnalia Dei.
Page 110, line 28. wisan] If it were not for the terms of the original, I should have taken this for the plural of the fem. wise-an = way, manner, fashion, habit; pl. wisan = mores. Thus mynster-wisan would be the discipline of the monastery, and this would harmonise with the context. But the Latin speaks of correcting persons, "invenit quosdam indigeutea emendari .... convertit," where the Saxon is "ongeat sume ƿa mynster wisan to geribtanne .... gerihte." The verbal precision of this translation leads me to believe that here we have not the fem. wisan, but the masc. wisa-an, dux, rector, master. It is a word not otherwise found in prose, as far as I know, but the antiquated character of these fragments justifies the supposition that it is intended here. Further, it clears off a difficulty in G, line 20, where we have ƿæs ealdan wi ...; the completion of the fragmentary word is doubtless -san.
Page 112, line 3. Ærest] The Æ is not in the MS., the scribe having left space for an ornamental initial.
Page 112, line 3, mon sceal] "man shall" would not be English, unfortunately. In losing the pronominal use of "man," the language has been impoverished. In German it has been preserved, with advantage, "man fol." We are reduced to the alternative of "one ought," or ''you ought," "you must," neither of them satisfactory. Perhaps the true modern idiom is to use "we."
Page 112, line 4. mon menu] Here we see that the pronominally used "man" made to itself a distinct orthography from the nominal or substantival. In fact, 'mon' was an antiquated spelling which proved convenient as a distinction for the pronoun. On the other hand, 'mann' expresses by its more positive vowel and its doubled -n, the emphasized word, hominem. Compare line 6, ælcne mann mon &c.
END OF PART II. ON SANCTA MARIA ÆGYPTIACA
1 The contents of the present facsimiles are
entirely new, that is to say, they have never in any shape been published
before. I am the more careful to call attention to this particular, because
The Times of May 25, in a notice on 'Photozincography,' used these words:
"Mr. Earle proposes to republish an Early Saxon Manuscript by these means," i.e.
2 In an Inventory of Books of Exeter Cathedral, made A.D. 1327, printed in Dr. Oliver's "Bishops of Exeter" (A.D. 1861), there is (p. 309) the following note: Multi alu libri vetustate consumpti Gallic Anglic et Latin scripti qui non appreciantur (i.e. are not priced) qui nullius valoris reputantur.
3 I use the textual word for the stone coffin in which Swiđhun was buried. It is difficult to find a suitable modem word for it, and it may serve as a monument of the revolutions our language has passed through. For this is the word which is now written trough.
4 The following occurs in a Set of Injunctions, given in Wilkins, p. 84, as ''Canones editi sub Eadgaro Rege," No. 29. And we læraƿ ƿæt man innan circan senigne man ne birige, bute man wite ƿæt he on life Gode to ƿam wel gecwemde, ƿæt man ƿurh ƿæt læte, ƿæt he sy ƿæs legeres wyrƿe. And we direct, that no one be buried within church, unless he be known to have lived in a manner so well-pleasing to God as to form a ground for supposing him worthy of such a resting-place.
5 Cf. above, p. 8, line 11, and Cod. Dipl. 1033, 1035, 1037, 1038. The name of "Peterhouse" at Cambridge is of like origin.
6 Except his Professio, which is however a mere formula, and has no personal history in it. The most documentary remains are his signatures in the Codex Diplomaticus.
7 Codex Diplomaticus, No. 1044.
8 Codex Diplomaticus, No. 1059.
9 E.g. in Lord Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, and many authors before him. Godwin (De Præsulibus) censures the title as absurd: "Non desunt qui asserant (satis herald ridicule) Anglise hunc Cancellarium extitisse."
10 "In every branch of venery he toils indefatigably, like a steady sportsman, and not without success. For as to skill and good fortune in wood-craft he stood unrivalled; as indeed he did in all the other good gifts of God—and that we have oftentimes witnessed." (Asser.)
11 This subject may be illustrated by a passage from a speech of the Bishop of Oxford for the Propagation of the Gospel at Reading, November 14, 1859. Speaking of India the bishop said; ''There were great questions to be settled as to the transplanting into the native blood the gifts of the Christian ministry—how those natives are to be trained, where they are to be trained, how they are to be prepared for that work. For himself he believed they ought to bring the most promising youths to a Christian institution in this country, where they might be steeped thoroughly in Christian influences—where, instead of seeing Christianity in their land partially cast over the surface of heathendom, they might see Christianity as Christianity is in a Christian land, where it has been long established, elevating the minds of the people, raising the habits of family life, enlightening and chastening all, the action, the mind, and all the common interchange of social intercourse; so that these natives might be steeped to the very core in those influences of Christendom, and go back each one heated in this way, until they became candescent with Christian life from the centre of a Christian church." (Applause.) (Times, Nov. 15, 1859.)
12 Totius Anglicæ regionis Basileus—totitius Albiunius gubemator et rector—rex et primicerus totius Albionis regni. See any of Eadgar's Charters in Cod. Dipl. These forms were already beginning to appear under previous kings, from Ađelstan downwards; but in Eadgar they receive their full expansion. Eadgar was the first king who ordained uniformity in weights and measures. Be mynetum and gemetum. And gauge an mynet ofer ealne ƿas cynges anweald, and ƿone nan man ne forsace; and gauge an gemet and an gewihte, swilce man on Londenbyrig and on Wintanccastre healde &c. Of current coin and of measures. And a uniform mint is to pass current throughout all the king's dominion, and no man is to refuse it; and there shall be uniform measure and uniform weight, according to that which is established in London and in Winchester &c. Schmid, p. 192. A standard currency was enacted by Ađelstan.
13 "Let us here devote a few words in explanation of our idea of Dunstan. His Christianity was not the religion of love, of blissful delight in the creation, of a spiritual life bound with tender threads to the flowers of earth. Nor was it an unflinching promulgation of the mutual rights of man to be adjusted in the balances of charity, or exemplified in a temporal equality. But the purest and brightest conception, as soon as it enters upon life, is necessarily restricted, confused, obscured by frequent contrarieties. It was the licentiousness, ruggedness, and sensuality of the barbarians, which, by its need of control and refinement, elicited from the doctrine of Christ, the papal unity, the clerkly school-divinity, and the rigid monastic discipline. By these Dunstan sought to accomplish the utmost and the best that could be effected in his time; and though every record of his life should witness against him, yet the influence which his new race of clergy maintained in the country for so many centuries—even in times when the bell of the mass-boy reminded the priest of the name of the obsolete saint—proves that he who, in a time of universal disorder, was able so powerfully to awaken and to combine the more seriously disposed, apprehended and effected the best that was possible with the lights and under the circumstances of his time. We shall soon come to speak of Dunstan's numerous and excellent disciples, and of their disciples, who—not to enumerate all they did for the church, civilization, and language of the Anglosaxons—were able to turn the storm that burst upon England from the north into a blessing, and finally, when the Normans had conquered England, maintained so great an attachment to their country, that by their extirpation alone was the Conqueror able to sleep without anxiety in the strong Tower of London.
"True, Dustan and his supporters took the form for the essence, as all and every reformer and sect-founder have ever done, excepting only One, who taught no form to His disciples, because He knew that every age would impart an expression, a form, and—why shall we not say it?—a mask (necessary, perhaps, for the time) to His eternal doctrine. But a vital spirit propagates itself through suicidal deception and a succession of metamorphoses: so have Dunstan's spirit and works outlived the Anglosaxon language and dynasty, and even English Catholicism; nor can their influence at the present day be disowned by the Anglican Church, nor even by the Dissenter, or the Quaker, who, like Dunstan, is a resolute enquirer after that which is best." (Lappenberg.)
14 See Mr. Pearson's "Early and Middle Ages of England," 1861, p. 134.
15 De Pontificibus. Lib. ii. Exoniensibus.
16 How far is the ruri-decanal system indebted to Chrodegang—not its original institution, but its present form and title? We know that [Greek], or 'village bishops,' reach back into the earliest Christian antiquity, and that the council of Laodicea (A.D. 364) inhibited them. Can. 57. [Greek] (Dansey, Horæ Ruridecannales.) But the 'rural dean' and the 'rural chapter' are evidently no members of the original plant of the church, and they must have been instituted in the course of following out a systematic development in imitation of the older cathedral system.
17 See above, page 10, line 20.
18 Page 8, line 9.
19 Page 2, line 5.
20 Page 6, line 2. What progress the word ceorl had at this date made in absorbing into itself the spirit of its almost constant adjectival companion carw, it is not easy to decide. Here it looks almost as if it invited us to render, ein armcr aeri.
21 Page 8, line 25.
22 The Saturday Review has recently quoted the following from an author who will need no introduction to the antiquarian reader. "The present writer carries us back to a period of remote antiquity, antecedent to the formation of the present parochial system, when the church at Misterton (called in Domesday, Minster-Reyton) Cambridge, was the only church throughout a large district in which the ministrations of religion could be obtained." The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Blyth, in the Counties of Nottingham and York. By the Rev. John Raine, M, A. 'Vicar of Blyth' and formerly Fellow of Trinity College, Westminster: Nichols, 1860.
23 In the century between Swiđhun and Æđelwold the church had been quietly spreading itself in the country. We find the principle of church-rate distinctly recognised in unmistakeable terms in the year 902. Cod. Dipl. 1079—"and eac eelce geare fultumien to đeere cyrican bote Ȣe Ȣet land to hyrȢ be Ȣem dsele Ȣe Ȣet ođer folc do be his landes međe," i.e. "and also each year help to the repair of the church belonging to that land, in the same proportion as other folk do according to assessment."
24 "I am free to confess that I have learnt (many and wise though they are) as from the what little I know of the Middle Ages, what they thumbing over for years the semi-mythical saints' were like, how they came to be what they were, lives of Surius and the Bollandists." Mr. Kingsley's and how they issued in the Reformation, not so Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Modem History much from the study of the books about them at Cambridge, 1860.
25 E.g. Giraldus Cambrensis has the following peroration to a chapter embodying an incredible narrative, and we see at once that it was the pious evasion of the day. "Sin autem interpositue relationis de veritate quid sentiam, scrupulosus investigator inquiras, cum Angus ti no respondeo, admirauda fore divina miracula, non disputatione discutienda: nee ego negando divinae potentiae terminos pono, nee affirmando, cam quæs extendi non potest insolenter extendo. Sed illud Hieronymi semper in talibus ad animimi revoco: Mulla inquit, incredibllia reperies, et non verisimisa, quæ exhominus tamen vera sunt. Nihil enim contra naturce Dominum prcevalet natura. Haec igitur et similia si quae contigerint, juxta Augustini sententiam inter ilia locaverim, quae nee affirmanda plurimum neque neganda decreverim." Itinermium Cambri. i. 8.
"But if you ask, Mr. Sceptic, what is my own opinion of the truth of the above story, I answer with Augustine, that divine miracles are the subject not of controversial discussion, but of pious admiration. For my own part, I abstain equally from limiting divine power by the negative, and from a superfluous extension of it by the affirmative. In such cases I always call to mind Jerome's words: You shall find many things, says he, which are incredible and unlikely, which notwithstanding are true all the same. For nature is not so constant as to overrule the will of nature's Lord. I would therefore dispose of the whole question in Augustine's way, and decide, that while they need not be maintained so very positively, yet they are not things for a man to deny." This is a mere abdication of the judgment.
26 By the kindness of my friend Rev. J. W. Burgon, I am enabled to present Wolstan's verses in a more intelligible form. The original Latin is as follows:
Tunis erat rostrata tolls quia maxima quædam,
Illius ante saeri pulcherrima limina templi,
Ejusdam sacrata Deo sub honore ierarchi
Inter quam, templique sacram pemobilis aulam,
Corpore yir Domini sanctus requievit humatus,
Cujus adhuc ipso latuit nos tempore nomen:
Nee fuerant nisi perpauci qui pandere nossent,
Aut nomen meritumque Viri; jam tempore longo
Utpote transacto, postquam sacer ille sacerdos
Corpore ibi timiulatus erat; nam vilis apud se
Mente humili intantum Prsesul fuit inclitus idem,
Ut perhibent omnes hunc qui novere fideles,
Ut se post obitum sineret nullatenus intra
Ecclesise Christi penetralia corpore poni:
Sed nee in electis loca per diversa sepulchris.
In quibus antiqui patres jacuere sepulti,
Aurea sol oriens orbi quæ spicula mittit,
Quæ mediumque diem fervente calore perurit;
Sed magis occiduo mandat se climate poni
niius illustris, quam ssepe notavimus, aulae,
Contestans lacrimando suiun non esse locandum
Corpus in sede saerd Domini, preeclara nee inter
Priscorum monumenta patrum: moderamine Christi
Est ita quod fisutum justo, vir sanctus ut idem
Qui tactus virtute humili se sprevit, et extra
Est templum quasi vilis homo indignusque sepultus,
Innumeris signis virtutibus atque coruscis
Clarus, Apostolicam post transferretur in aulam.
(From Wolstan's Panegyric of Swiđhun, Brit. Mus. 15. C. vii. fol. 73. verso.)
27 Brit Mus. Reg. 15. C. vii folio 52.
28 Page 12, line 19.
29 Itin. Cambr. 1. 2.
30 Ibid. Hunc autem pro reliquiis habent indigense virtuosissimis, &c.
31 Gest. Pont. Lib. ii.
32 The general date assigned to the Clog Almanacks in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but their traditional forms are of high antiquity.
33 Encyclopædia Metropolitana, vol. xvi. p. 158.
34 Hone's Every Day Book, vol. i. p. 953.
35 In Notes and Queries, vol. xii (1855), pp. 137 and 253, the reputation of saint Swiđhun as magister diluviorum is made the subject of investigation. The following meteorological rhymes are quoted from France:
"S'il pleut le jour de saint Medard [June 8]
Il pleut quarante jours plus tard;
S'il pleut le jour de saint Gervais et de saint Protais [June 19]
Il pleut quarante jonra apres."
M. Quitard "Dict. des Proverbes'' gives the legend of St. Medard. In the
when roses bloom, he with a large party were abroad, enjoying a serene summer
day. Unexpectedly a heavy shower
fell on them and wetted them to the akin, all but St. Medard, over whose head
floated an eagle with expanded wings sheltering him all the way till he reached
The raining saint in Flanders is St. Godelieve, and in Germany are three raining
saints or saints' days. One of the days is that of the Seven Sleepers—Septum
36 Mr. Jenyns writes: "If it has any ground to stand on, it is simply the circumstance that, taking one year with another, there is generally more or less a change of weather at or soon after Midsummer. If there has been much dry weather all the spring, the chances are it sets in wet,—or, it may be just the contrary. This year  it was very wet all June; then fine and settled for the first half of July; after which, just about S. Swithin's day, the rains returned—but they continued much beyond the forty days, in fact, with only occasional and short intermissions, till the present time [Sep. 27] If persons would only note down in this, and in some other similar cases, when the rule fails as well as when it comes right, they would not trust it so much. They forget too the change of style since S. Swithin's time, which would quite alter tolerably the day as now standing in our Calendar."
37 Quotation by Professor Willis, from Rudbome in the Winchester Volume of the Archaeological Institute.
38 This missal was carried away out of England in 1052 by Archbishop Robert, when he fled to Jumidges. The Anglosaxon Calendar which it contains was privately printed some years ago by Benjamin Williams, Esq. I am indebted for these particulars to Rev. W. D. Macray, of the Bodleian Library.
39 We may probably trace an instance of this even in his choosing to lie on the north side of the church. This feature of his history certainly brings us into contact with a superstition not yet extinct. His purpose may have been, partly, to explode this notion. What Swiđhun did, many a good parson has done since; to correct a superstitious feeling, and consecrate the entire circuit of the churchyard. At Lawshall in Suffolk, where I once served the church, the immediate predecessor of the then incumbent lay, with his family about him, in the midst of the spacious sward on the north side, where they had it all to themselves.
40 Here Rudborn inserts, "quam prlus in profeasione Monahali expresai." Mr. Stubbs is inclined to think that this is an interpolation; arising from a mistake as to the meaning of "continentiam." This document is not to be considered an original composition of Swiđhun, who follows in it, almost verbatim, the profession made by his predecessor Wigthen, and by Humbert bishop of Lichfield. He is followed in the some form by Alhueth his successor.
41 Ælfheah removed to Canterbury in 1006, which gives a limit on one side for the date of this manuscript.
42 In the XIth century, Gotzelin came over with Hermann bishop of Sarum, from St. Omer (ex coenobio Sitbiensi). He compiled Lives of Saints from old authors. His Lives became the authority with Malmesbury and others, who commonly followed Gotzelin.
43 I have much pleasure in acknowledging the kind assistance which I received from the President, Dr. Wilson, in my examination of this manuscript.
44 rechelles] This is for rech-, tetch-, or reckless. The CH-form took by accident or caprice an initial W, and so formed wretchless, whence 'wretchlessness' in our with Article stands for carelessness, dissoluteness. This fancy for the initial W was exercised in other words, as in the 'whole' of our Authorised Version, which is seen above in Caxton's orthography as 'hooll,' and which still exists in the genuine form 'hale' as in 'hale old age.' A. S. hal. Its effect in wrecklessness appears to have been deleterious, for it caused an inconvenient confusion with the totally distinct wretch, wretched, wretchedness, which has led to the disuse of the former. We now only possess the more genuine form reckless. The word recan = 'to care for,' was in full vigour in Saxon times: e.g. Mark xii, 14. 'thou carest for no man,' is, ƿu ne recst hs be egum men. Besides the passages cited in Richardson, v. Wretchless, there is a good instance of its use in Lady Aime Bacon's Translation of Jewel's Apology, Part i. "For men to be careless what is spoken by [i.e. about] them and their own matter, be it never so falsely and slanderously spoken, (especially when it is such that the majesty of God and the cause of religion may thereby be damaged,) is the part doubtless of dissolute and wretchless persons, and of them which wickedly wink at the injuries done unto the name of God." The original has merely one epithet, "hommum est dissolutorum" the native word acting as interpreter to the stranger that was afterwards to requite the service.
45 In a Litany (Bodl. Miscell. Liturg. 104) they are put in the same category, thus: Omnes sancti monachi et heremitæ; Orate pro nobis.
Sca Maria Magdalena; Ora pro nobis.
Sca Maria iEgiptiaca; Ora pro nobis.
Sca Felicitas; Ora &c.
F I N I S.