Capitulum decimum tertium.
EGELREDUS, Edgar his sone, i-gete on his secounde wif Elfritha, was i-made kyng after his secounde*. [elder, γ.] broþer Edward, at Kyngestoun. He was a faire*. [feir, β.] knyȝt and a loveliche; eiȝte and þritty ȝere he byseged*. [bisegide, β.] þe kyngdom more verrayliche*. [verreilich, β.; vereylich, γ.] þan rulede it*. [reulede hyt, γ.]; for þe cours of his lyf was cruel and ungracious in þe bygynnynge, wrecched in þe myddel, and foule*. [voul, γ.] in þe ende. For while seint Donston cristned*. [in, add. γ.] hym he defouled*. [folled, β.; vullede, γ.] þe font ston wiþ þe fruyt*. [frut, γ.] of his wombe; þerfore Donston seide, "By God and his moder þis schal be unkynde." And in þe day of his crownement he tolde þis prophecie: "For þou come to þe kyngdom by þe deth of þy broþer, in whos deth Englisshe men conspired wiþ þat wikked womman þy moder, Page 43, vol.7 þey schulleþ*. [hy scholleþ, γ.] nouȝt be wiþ oute blood and swerd, or*. [er, β.; ar, γ.] þere come a peple*. [pupel, γ.] of an unknowen tonge, and brynge hem into þe laste þraldom, þis trespas schal not be i-clensed wiþ oute longe vengeaunce."*. [veniaunce, β.; veyngeauns, γ.] Whan þis Egelredus was a child of ten ȝere olde, and herde*. [hurde, γ.] telle þat his broþer Edward was so i-slawe, he meved*. [meoved, β.] so his wode moder with wepinge and wiþ ȝellynge,*. [ȝollyng, γ.] þat sche beet*. [hue bute, γ.] hym almost to þe deth wiþ tapers, for sche hadde nouȝt elles in honde, þerfore he hated taperes*. [taperlyȝt, γ.] al his lyftyme. Also oon*. [on, β.] Ethelgiva, eorle Egbertus his douȝter, he gat Edmond Ireneside by his surname, and Edwyn and Ethelstan, and oon douȝter þat heet Edgiva. After|ward oon Emma of Normandie he gat Alfredus and Edward. Half a nyȝt a clowde was i-seie into al Engelond, now blody, now fuyry,*. [vury, γ.] þanne i-chaunged by dyvers coloures and bemes,*. [beemes, β.] and wente awey in þe dawenynge.*. [dawyng, β.] Þat ȝere Souþhamptoun, and the Ile of Thanet, besides Kent,*. [yl of Dent bysydes Kynt, γ.] and Seynt Petrok his abbay in Cornewayle, and þe province of Chestre, were de|stroyed by þe þeves of Danes. Þe citee of Londoun was Page 45, vol.7 i-brent wiþ fuyre*. [fier, β.; vur, γ.] of þe same citee.*. [So in β. also; cyte, γ.] Seynt Ethelwold, bis|shop of Wynchestre, is dede; he was i-bore at Wynchestre, and i-norsched*. [norischide, β.] up under Donston at Glastyngbury, and i-made monk. And he was i-made*. [maad, β.] abbot of Abyndoun in kyng Edredus his tyme, and he was i-made bisshop of Wynchestre in Edgar his tyme. Þere he made an abbay of mynchouns,*. [monchons, β.; meynchens, γ.] and translated seynt Swythyn his body out of þe eorþe. After hym seynt Alphegus,*. [Elphegus, β.] abbot of Bathe, and afterward arche|bisshop of Caunturbury, and was i-slawe of þe Danes. Of hym innere*. [ynner, β.; inner, γ.] more me schal speke. Þe þridde Otho, þe se|counde Otho his sone, regnede among Duchesmen*. [Duchesche men, α.; Duchys|men, β.; Duchysch, γ.] after his fader eyȝtene ȝere; þis hadde a wonder surname, and was i|cleped*. [y-clepet, γ.] Otho þe wondres of þe world,*. [worl, γ.] Mirabilia mundi, and he was i-crowned at Rome of þe fifte pope Gregorye; and þeigh þese thre Othones were emperours arewe as it were by kynde heritage, ȝit aftirward it was i-ordeyned þat the emperour Page 47, vol.7 schulde be i-chose by þe officers of þe empere; þese officers beeþ sevene, of hem is vers*. [beþ versus, β.] i-made:
[Þat is to menyng, "Bysshop Maguns,*. [Over Maguns is written Meinse in β.] Trever, and Colonna,*. [Colonia, β. and γ.] þees þre,]*. [From α., β., and γ.] everichone of þese*. [þues, γ., et infra.] is i-made riȝt chaunceller of þe empere; eorle Palatinus sewer, duke of Ostriche,*. [Oustryche, α. and γ,; Oust|riche, β.] bereþ þe swerd; Markis*. [Marchys, γ.] chamburleyn, Boteller*. [Botiler, β.; Botyller, γ.] kyng is of Beeme: þese*. [þues, γ., et infra.] cheseþ to men al þe lord hiȝest*. [heyȝeste, γ.] for evere." Þe þridde Otho hadde a wif þat wolde have i-hadde an hous|bonde man to ligge by here, but þe man wolde nouȝt assente to [the]*. [From α., β., and γ.] spousebreche;*. [spousbruche, γ.] þanne it was i-hote þat his hede schulde be i-smyte of wiþoute eny dome. But or*. [er, β.] he deide he*. [he] om. α.] heet*. [hoote, β.; a hyt, γ.] his wif þat sche schulde after his deth preve*. [preove, α.; pruve, γ.] hym gilteles by þe dome of fuyre*. [vure, γ.] brennynge iren. Þe day cam Page 49, vol.7 whanne þe emperour seide þat he wolde doo riȝt to faderles and moderles children and to wydewes*. [widues, β.]; þis wedewe cam and brouȝt wiþ here hir housbondes hede, and axede what deth he were worthy þat had i-slawe a man wrongfulliche. "He is worþy to lese*. [luse, γ.] his heed," quoþ þe emperour. "Þou art þat man," quoþ the widewe,*. [widue, β., et infra.] "and þat I schal preve anon by þe dome of fuyre*. [vure, γ.] brennynge iren." Whanne þe dome was fulfilled*. [folfelled, γ.] the emperour ȝaf hym self to þe womman for sche schulde punsche*. [punysche, β.; punse, γ.] hym as sche wolde; but at þe prayenge of bisshoppes first*. [furst, β.; vurst, γ., et infra.] of ten dayes were i-graunted, and þanne of [eyȝte, and þanne of]*. [From α. and β.] sevene, and at þe laste of sixe. In the whiche*. [whoche, γ.] dayes þe emperour examyned þe cause at þe fulle,*. [folle, γ.] and brende his owne wyf, and for suche*. [vor soche, γ.] a raunsoun he ȝaf the wedewe foure castel townes in þe bisshopriche of Bry|nensis, þat ȝit haveþ*. [ȝet habbeþ, γ.] the names and beeþ i-cleped by þe firste*. [furst, β.; vurst, γ., et infra.] dayes, Ten, Eyȝte, Sevene, and Sixe. Þe fourtenþe*. [fourteþe, α.] Iohn was pope eyȝte monþes. After hym þe fifteþe Iohn [foure Page 51, vol.7 monþes. After hym þe sixteþe Iohn]*. [From α. and β.] was pope ten ȝere. Willelmus ubi supra. Kyng Egelredus, for stryf þat was bytwene hym and the bisshop of Rouchestre, bysegede þe bisshop of Rochestre. Donston sendeþ to hym þat he schulde leve his woodnesse,*. [wodnes, γ.] and þat he schulde nouȝt offende seynt Andrew, patroun*. [patrone, β.] of þat place.*. [plas, γ.] Þe kyng rouȝt nouȝt of bare wordes. Þanne Donston hyȝte and arraysede*. [arayed, β.] his heste*. [heest, β.] fayre*. [veyr, γ.] wiþ money, and sente him an hondred pound for he schulde breke of þe sege; þe money was i-fonge,*. [y-vonge, γ.] and Donston wondreþ of the man his covetise, and sente hym word by þe messangers in þis manere: "For þou hast i-put gold tofore God, and silver tofore þe apostle, and covetise tofore me, riȝt sone*. [soone, β.] evel happes schal come uppon*. [oppon, γ.] þe, but not while I am on lyve."*. [ich am alyve, β.; ych am alyve, γ.] Þanne two ȝere after cam the Danes. Whanne Donston was dede þat ȝere tweie pestilencis þat were unknowe to forhonde fil*. [vul, γ.] in Engelond, for men had þe feveres, and bestes þe schyt. Seynt Donston deide, his lyf ful Page 53, vol.7 of vertues and of wondres discreved Osbertus, monk of Caun|terbury. He telleþ in seynt Donston his lyf, þe*. [þat, α. and β.] while seint Donston hiȝtede þe ymages of þe apostles*. [postels, β.] and of martires wiþ þe stole of a preost, an harpe þat heng on a*. [þe, β.] wal was i-herde*. [y-hurd, γ.] make sweteliche melodie wiþ oute manis hond; þe me|lodye was the note of þis antym of þe apostles, "Gaudent in celis anime sanctorum;" þat is, "Holy men soules makeþ ioye in hevene." Also he telleþ þat Donston cowde*. [couþe, β.] many Page 55, vol.7 craftes, and wrouȝte wiþ his hondes, and made in a tyme a chalys by goldsmethes*. [goldsmyþes, β.; goldsmyth hys, γ.] craft in a celle faste*. [vast, γ.] by Glastyng|bury; þere þe fend*. [vend, γ., et infra.] cam in likenesse of a womman, and tempted hym by fantasies of divers likynge. Dunston in his spirit was war þerof, and cauȝte hym by þe nose wiþ his fuyry*. [vure, γ.] hote tonges, and hilde*. [huld, γ.] him so stille*. [and . . . stille] om. β.] for to þat dede was i-knowe of neiȝeboures aboute by crienge*. [criyng, β.] and ȝellynge of þe fende. Also in a tyme Donston was slepy, and herde aungels synge ful*. [fol, γ.] sweteliche "Kyrieleyson, Christeleyson;" þe melodye and note of þat armonye is ȝit famous among Englischemen, and i-used on þat "Kyrie, Kyrie, Rex splendens." Þanne whan Donston was deed þe Danes come into everiche havene of Engelond, so þat me wost*. [me wus, γ.] not where me myȝte mete*. [myte, γ.] hem; þerfore men myȝte nouȝt putte hem awey wiþ iren,*. [yre, γ.] and put hem awey wiþ silver, and paied hem þe firste ȝere ten þowsand pounde, by counsaile of Siricus, þat was archebisshop next after Donston, and þe secounde ȝere sextene Page 57, vol.7 þowsand pound; þe þridde ȝere twenty þowsand pound; þe fourþe*. [ferþe, β.] ȝere foure and twenty þowsand pound, þe fifte ȝere þritty þowsand pounde; at þe laste fourty þowsand pounde, for to all þe money failled.*. [fayled, β.] Þanne þe Danes gonne*. [bigunne, β.] aȝen to robbe and to reve. And ȝit herto oon Elfricus, maister of þe kynges schippes, flyȝ to þe enemyes, as a vile flemed harlot, þe nyȝt tofore þe batayle, and warned hem of whom þey schulde take hede*. [hyde, γ.] and be war. For þat dede me took his sone Algarus and put*. [pot, γ.] out boþe his eyȝen,*. [yene, γ.] but ȝit Elfricus cam aȝen, [but he fayllede aȝen;]*. [From α., β., and γ.] þanne þe Danes spoylede and robbede al Northumberlond, and byseged Londoun, and make þe kyng paie tribut by strengþe.*. [stryngþe, γ.] Þe mene tyme Elphegus bisshop of Wynchestre ȝaf plegges, and brouȝt Anlaf kyng of Danes to kyng Egelredus, and kyng Egelredus feng*. [vyng, γ.] hym of þe colde water, and þe bisshop confermed hym. Therafter he wente to his owne, and dede none harme;*. [hard, α.] but ȝit so cesed*. [ȝitt so ceeside, β.; cessete, γ.] nouȝt þe*. [þe] om. α., β., and γ.] harme, bote as þe hedes of Idra, whanne som enemyes were aweie, come up oþer enemyes and destroyed þe contray. Þe cheventeyn his*. [cheveteyns, β.] presence is moche Page 59, vol.7 worþy*. [myche worþe, β.] to be knowe in werre and in batayle, so is hardynesse, use, and lore of dedes of armes. Þese*. [þues, γ.] faillede þat tyme among Englisshemen, ffor ȝif*. [ef, γ.] þe oost were in any tyme i-gadered, ȝif*. [ef, γ.] schippes were i-made no þing spedde ariȝt; for oure men were nouȝt i-chasted ariȝt þey ȝaf hem to þefte and to robbory, ffor þey were nouȝt i-conforted þey wolde liȝtliche flee.*. [fleo, β.; vlue, γ.] Oure schippes were destroyed wiþ greet tempest; oon Wilnotus, þat þe kyng hadde exciled, occupiede þe schippes þat were i-left, [and drenchide*. [drynchede, γ.] hem oþer brende hem].*. [From α., β., and γ.] ȝif*. [Þe, β.; Ef, γ.] lordes come to counsaile in eny tyme þey were nouȝt of oon assent, but þey tretede more of discord and stryf þat was among hem self þan of þe comyn profit; and ȝif any good counsaile and profitable were i-ȝeve, anon enemyes schulde wite*. [ywete, α.] for al; wiþ oute*. [wite; for wiþout, β.] þe forseide*. [vorsede, γ.] Elfricus, oon Edricus, þat þe kyng hadde i-made lord of Mercia, a wel false traytour and a sligh,*. [slyȝ, γ.] þat couþe wel feyne hym self trewe frende*. [vrend, γ.] þeyȝ he were false; he aspied þe kynges counsaile, as he were trewe and trusty,*. [tristy, β.] and warned enemyes þerof as a false traytour and a gyleful. In þe mene tyme meschief*. [meschef, β.] and honger encressed faste;*. [vast, γ.] enemyes myȝte goo freliche*. [vrelyche, γ.] fifty myle, and take prayes and lede to hire schippes; þanne þey payed more tribute to þe Danes. Þe kyng hadde suche*. [siche, β.] a condicioun þat he wolde liȝtliche disherite Englisshe Page 61, vol.7 men, and feyne trespas for to byneme*. [bynyme, β. and γ.] hem here money, and what [þat]*. [From α., β., and γ.] þey hadde. He was so froward *. [vroward, γ.] to his wif Emma þat sche com seelde in his bed; he [walwede]*. [From γ.; walwide, β.] in leccherie with strompettes and wiþ hores.*. [houres, γ.]