Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/123

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51
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

CHAPTER XXVII.

HOW, THOUGH AT A DISTANCE, HE SAW IN SPIRIT THE DEATH OF KING ECGFRID, AND THE END OF HIS WARFARE, WHICH HE HAD FORETOLD.

Ecgrfid's death revealed to him.
A.D. 685
§45. Now, when King Ecgfrid had rashly led his army against the Picts, and devastated their territories with most atrocious cruelty, the man of God, Cuthbert, knowing that the time was now come, concerning which he had prophesied the year before to his sister, that the king would live only one year more, came to Lugubalia (which is corruptly called by the English Luel)Carlisle to speak to the queen, who was there awaiting the result of the war in her sister's monastery. But the next day, when the citizens were leading him to see the walls of the town, and the remarkable fountain, formerly built by the Romans, suddenly, as he was resting on his staff, he was disturbed in spirit, and, turning his countenance sorrowfully to the earth, he raised himself, and, lifting his eyes to heaven, groaned loudly, and said in a low voice, "Now, then, the contest is decided!" The presbyter, who was standing near, in incautious haste answered and said, "How do you know it?" But he, unwilling to declare more concerning those things which were revealed to him, said, "Do you not see how wonderfully the air is changed and disturbed? Who is able to investigate the judgments of the Almighty?" But he immediately entered in and spoke to the queen in private, for it was the Sabbath-day. "Take care," said he," that you get into your chariot very early on the second day of the week, for it is not lawful to ride in a chariot on the Lord's day, and go quickly to the royal city, lest, perchance, the king may have been slain. But I have been asked to go to-morrow to a neighbouring monastery, to consecrate a church, and will follow you as soon as that duty is finished."