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King went out and saw that the cloud moved, and that
it behoved him to go, and he dispeeded himself from
the Abbot, and they commended themselves each to the
other in his prayers. And the Abbot saw plainly how
that cloud guided him, and how there was no other in
the sky, and he marvelled greatly, and said, Certes this
is some holy man, and he gave thanks to God. And the | King went on that evening till he came to a church which was solitary and remote from peopled places: and there the cloud stopt, and he abode there that night. And the King went into the church, and found in it a lamp burning, and it rejoiced him much, for by the light of it he said his hours as well before he should sleep as after. And on the morrow when he had made his prayer, he went out of the church and beheld the
cloud, and saw that it moved: and he went after it, and after two days’ journey he came to a place which where it is, or what it is called, is not said, save that it is the place of his burial, for such it is. And there the cloud stopt and proceeded no farther; and it rested without the town over an ancient hermitage. And the elder of that place incontinently knew by the Holy Spirit how King Don Rodrigo was come there; but he knew not his name, neither who he was; and lie asked him if he meant to lead his life there, and he answered that it was to be as God should please. And the Elder said to him, Friend, I am the Elder of this place, for all the others, when they knew that King Don Rodrigo and his chivalry were slain and vanquished, sled from hence for fear of the Moors, and of the traitor Count Don Julian, and they all went to the mountains to escape. And I remained, putting my trust in our Lord God, and in his holy hands : for that I would rather abide that which may befall and take my adventure here, than utterly forsake our mother holy church; while I am able I will remain here and not forsake it, but rather receive my death. And therefore I say, that if you are to abide here you must provide yourself of that whereof you have need. And the King said, Friend of God, concerning my tarriance I cannot certify you; though surely I think that I shall abide; and if for the the service of God you will be pleased to send me every day that I remain a loaf of pannick and water, I shall be contented therewith. And the Elder promised this, and departed forth with and went to his home, and sent him a loaf of pannick and water. And the cloud remained there three days over that hermitage, and when the three days were at an end, it was seen no more. And the King, when he could no longer see it, understood that there he must perform his penance, and gave many thanks to God, and was full joyful thereat. And on the morrow the Elder came to see him, and they communed with each other in such manner, that the King confessed to him all the sins which he had committed during his whole life till that time, all which he called to mind with great contrition, weeping full bitterly and groaning for his errors and sins. And the Elder was greatly astonished, and said, That on the third day from thence he would appoint him his pemance. And he went to his church and confessed, and
addrest himself to prayer in such guise that he neither
ate nor drank, nor raised himself from one place, weeping bitterly, and beseeching God that he would shew him what penance he should appoint the King; for after no other manner did he think to appoint it, than such as his holy mercy and compassion should
direct. And on the third day he heard a voice which said thus, Command King Don Rodrigo that he go to a fountain which is below his hermitage, and he shall find there a smooth stone; and bid him lift it up, and under it he shall find three little serpents, the one having two heads. And bid him take that which hath two heads, and carry it away, and place it in a jar, and ! nurse it secretly, so that no person in the world shall know thereof, save only he and thou; and let him keep it till it wax so great that it hath made three turns within the jar, and puts its head out; and when it is of that greatness, then let him take it out, and lay it in a tomb which is there, and lie down himself with it, naked; and close the tomb well, that the serpent may not be able to go out; and in this manner God is pleased that King Don Rodrigo should do penance.
Ch. 254.—Of the Penance which was appointed King Don Rodrigo.
«The Elder when he heard the voice was greatly amazed at so rigorous a penance as this, and gave many thanks to God, and he went to King Don Rodrigo, and told him the manner how he had heard the voice, and the King was full joyful and content and pleased there with, and gave many thanks to our Lord, for that he should now complete his penance and save his soul. And therewith in great joy, and shedding many tears for pleasure, he went to the fountain as he had been directed, and found the smooth stone. And when he had lifted it up, he found the three serpents according as the Elder had said, and he took that which had two heads, and he took it and put it in a great jar, such as would be a large wine vessel, and nurst it there till it was of such bigness as the voice had said. And when King Don Rodrigo saw that it was of this biguess he confessed to the Elder, weeping full bitterly, demanding favour of God that he would give him grace and strength with patience to fulfil that penance without any temptation or trouble of soul; to the end that, the penance being completed, it might please our Lord God to receive his soul into his glory. And before the fifth day after the serpent was thus big, the King and the Elder went to the tomb, and they cleansed it well within; and the King placed himself in it naked as he was born, and the serpent with him, and the Elder with a great lever laid the stone upon the top. And the King besought the Elder that he would pray to our Lord to give him grace that he might patiently endure to penance, and the Elder promised him, and thus the King remained in his tomb, and the serpent with him. And the Elder consoled him, saying to him many things to the end that he might not be dismayed, neither fall into despair, whereby he should lose the service of God. Aud all this was so secret that no man knew it, s” only the King and the Elder. And when it was daybreak the Elder went to the church and said mass." many tears and with great devotion beseeching o that he would have mercy and compassion upon hid: Don Rodrigo, that with true devotion and repent” he might complete his penance in this manner, which was for his service. And when he had said mas. * | went to the place where King Don Rodrigo lay, and asked him how he fared, and the King answered, Well, thanks to God, and better than he deserved, but that as yet he was just as when he went in. And the *
strengthened him as much as he could, telling him that he should call to mind how he had been a sinner, and that he should give thanks to our Lord God, for that he had visited him in this world, and delivered him from many temptations, and had himself appointed for him this penance; the which he should suffer and take with patience, for soon he would be in heavenly glory. And the King said to him, that he well knew how according to his great sins he merited a stronger penance: but that he gave many thanks to our Lord Jesus, for that he himself had given him this penance, which he did receive and take with great patience; and he besought the Elder that he would continue to pray our Lord God that he would let him fulfil it. And the Elder said to him many good things concerning our Lord God. And the King lay there three days, during all which time the serpent would not seize on him. And when the third day, after that he had gone into the tomb, was completed, the serpent rose from his side, and crept upon his belly and his breast, and began with the one head to eat at his nature, and with the other straight toward hss heart. And at this time the Elder came to the tomb, and asked him how he fared, and he said, Well, thanks to God, for now the serpent had begun to eat. And the Elder asked him at what place, and he answered at two, one right against the heart with which he had conceived all the ills that he had done, and the other at his nature, the which had been the cause of the great destruction of Spain. And the Elder said that God was with him, and exhorted him that he should be of good courage, for now all his persecutions both of the body and of the soul would have an end. And the King ceased not always to demand help of our Lord, and to entreat that of his holy mercy he would be pleased to forgive him. And the Elder went to his home, and would not seat himself to eat, but retired into his chamber, and weeping, prayed full devoutly to our Lord that he would give strength to the King that he might complete his penance. And the serpent, as he was dying for hunger, and moreover was large, had in one minute eaten the nature, and began to eat at the bowels; nevertheless he did not eat so fast, but that the King endured in that torment from an hour before night till it was past the middle of the day. And when the serpent broke through the web of the heart, he staid there and ate no further. And incontinently the King gave up his spirit to our Lord, who
by his holy mercy took him into his glory. And at that
hour when he expired all the bells of the place rang of themselves as if men had rung them. Then the elder knew that the King was dead, and that his soul was saved.»
Thomas Newton, in his “ Notable History of the Saracens,” seems to imagine that this story is allegorical. * Nowe,” he says, a wheras it is reported, and written, that he folowed a starre or a messenger of God, which conducted and guided him in his way; it may be so, and the same hath also happened to others; but it may as well also be understoode of a certaine secrete starre moving and directing his will.
“And wheras they say he was put by that holy man into a cave or hole, and a serpent with him that had two heads, which in two days space gnawed all the flesh of his body from the bones; this, beyng simplie taken
and understanded, hath no likelihood of any truth. For what sanctity, what religion, or what pietie, commandeth to kyll a penitent person, and one that seeketh comfort of hys aftlicted mind by amendment of life, with such horrible torments and straunge punishment? wherefore I woulde rather think it to be spoken mysticallye, and that the serpent with two heads signifieth his sinful and tyity conscience.”
Note 72, page 442, col. 2.
How Carestes found the grave of King Don Rodrigo at
• I, Carestes, vassal of King Don Alfonso of Leon, son-in-law of the Knight of God, King Don Pelayo when the said King Don Alfonso won Wiseo from the Moors who held it, found a grave in a field, upon the which were written in Gothic letters, the words which you shall here read. This grave was in front of a little church, without the town of Viseo, and the superscription of the writing was thus:–
Of the writing which was upon the grave of King Don
• Here lies King Don Rodrigo, the last of the Goths. Cursed be the wrath of the traitor Julian, for it was of long endurance, and cursed be his anger, for it was obdurate and evil, for he was mad with rage, and stomachful with pride, and puffed up with folly, and void of loyalty, and unmindful of the laws, and a despiser thereof; cruel in himself, a slayer of his Lord, a destroyer of his country, a traitor to his countrymen; bitter is his name; and it is as grief and sorrow in the mouth of him who pronounces it; and it shall always be cursed by all that speak of him.” That veracious chronicler Carestes then concludes his true history in these words: “And by this which I found written upon this grave, I am of mind that King Don Rodrigo lies there, and because of the life which he led in his penitence, according as ye have heard, which also was in the same tomb written in a book of parchment, I believe without doubt that it is true, and because of the great penance which he did, that God was pleased to make it known in such manner as it past, for those who hereafter shall have to rule and govern, to the end that ail men may see how soon pride is abased and humility exalted. This Chronicle is composed in memory of the noble King Don Rodrigo; that God pardon his sins, and that son of the Virgin without stain, Jesus Christ, bring us to true repentance, who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen. Thanks be to God!» I believe the Archbishop Roderick of Toledo is the earliest writer who mentioned this discovery. He died in 1247. The fact may very possibly have been true, for there seems to have been no intention of setting up a shrine connected with it. The Archbishop's words are as follow — • Quid de Rege Roderico acciderit ignoratur; tamen corona, westes et insignia et calcianenta auro et lapidibus adornata, et equus qui Orelia dicebatur, in loco tremulo juxta fluvium sine corpore sunt inventa. Quid autem de corpore fuerit factum penitus ignoratur, misi
Ido B. Who doubts it? There's never a man in Essex bears a better. ty lea. And shall not these, though young, and hale, and happy, Look on with sorrow to the future hour? Shall not reflection poison all their pleasures? When I–the honest, staid, hard-working Tyler, Toil through the long course of the summer's day, Still toiling, yet still poor! when with hard labour Scarce can I furnish out my daily food— And age comes on to steal away my strength, And leave me poor and wretched! why should this be? My youth was regular—my labour constant— I married an industrious, virtuous woman; Nor while I toiled and sweated at the anvil, Sat she neglectful of her spinning-wheel.— Hob—I have only six groats in the world, And they must soon by law be taken from me. hob. Curse on these taxes—one succeeds another— Our ministers—panders of a king's will— Drain all our wealth away—waste it in revels— And lure, or force away our boys, who should be The props of our old age—to fill their armies, And feed the crows of France! Year follows year, And still we madly prosecute the war;-Draining our wealth—distressing our poor peasants— Slaughtering our youths—and all to crown our chiefs With glory!—I detest the hell-sprung name. ty left. What matters me who wears the crown of France 2 whether a Richard or a Charles possess it? They reap the glory—they enjoy the spoil– We pay—we bleed!—The sun would shine as cheerly, The rains of heaven as seasonably fall, Though neither of these royal pests existed. hob. Nay—as for that, we poor men should fare better; No legal robbers then should force away The hard-earn'd wages of our honest toil. The Parliament for ever cries, More money, The service of the state demands more money. Just heaven! of what service is the state 2 TY LeR. Oh! t is of vast importances who should pay for The luxuries and riots of the court? Who should support the flaunting courtier's pride, Pay for their midnight revels, their rich garments, Did not the state enforce?—Think ye, my friend, That I–a humble blacksmith, here at Deptford, Would part with these six groats—earn'd by hard toil, All that I have to massacre the Frenchmen, Murder as enemies men I never saw " Did not the state compel me ! (Tax-gatherers pass by.) Privileg'd r———s!— [Piens and Alice advance to him. ALICE. Did we not dance it well to-day, my father? You know I always lov'd these village sports, Even from my infancy, and yet methinks I never tript along the mead so gaily. You know they chose me queen, and your friend Piers Wreath'd me this cowslip garland for my headis it not simple?—you are sad, my father!
There they go,
You should have rested from your work to-day,
To want the coarse food for the frugal meal?
collectott. " " . . .
The state wants money. War is expensive—t is a glorious war, A war of honour, and must be supported.— Three groats a head. ... . . . . .
piers. A just revenge.
[PIERs goes out.
Nay, nay, my child,
Flight would be useless—I have done my duty,
Oh, let us fly!
My husband, my dear husband!
Quit but this place,
And we may yet be safe, and happy too.
(Enter Mob, Hot Cantea, etc.)
(Cry) Liberty! liberty!—No Poll-tax!—No War: hob. We have broke our chains—we will arise in angerThe mighty multitude shall trample down The handful that oppress them. TYLeR. Have ye heard So soon then of my murder? hop. Of your vengeance. Piers ran throughout the village—told the newsCried out, To arms!—arm, arm for Liberty! For Liberty and Justice! *YLER. My good friends, Heed well your danger, or be resolute; Learn to laugh inenaces and force to scorn,