Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/41

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xxxiii
THE LIFE OF BEDE.

afterwards Abbot of Weremouth: Cuthbert, called likewise Antonius, to whom he inscribed his book, De Arte Metrica, and who succeeded Huetbert, and was afterwards Abbot of Jarrow; he wrote of his master's death, but of this hereafter: also Constantine, to whom he inscribed his book, De Divisione Numerorum; and Nothelmus, then priest at London, and afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom he wrote, Lib. Questionum XXX in Libros Regum; to which we may add several in other monasteries; whilst others have improperly classed amongst them Alcuinus, afterwards preceptor to Charles the Great.

Thus was the time of that excellent man employed in doing good to mankind, seldom or never moving beyond the limits of his own monastery, and yet in the dark cloister of it surveying the whole world, and dispensing to it the gifts entrusted to him: it seems not a little surprising, that one who had scarcely moved away from the place of his nativity, should so accurately describe those at a distance; and this quality in his writings, when considered with reference to the age in which he lived, is the more remarkable, as there is but one other recorded in history who possessed it in equal perfection,—the immortal Homer.