Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/133

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OF VENERABLE BEDE.

face changed, his eyes became unusually fixed, and the knife dropped from his hands upon the table. The priest, who stood by and ministered to him, perceiving this, said to the abbess, "Ask the bishop what he has just seen: for I know there was some reason for his hand thus trembling and letting fall the knife, whilst his countenance also changed so wonderfully: he has surely seen something which we have not seen." She immediately turned to him and said, "I pray you, my lord bishop, tell me what you have just seen, for your tired hand did not let fall the knife just now without some cause." The bishop endeavoured to conceal the fact of his having seen anything supernatural, and replied in joke, "I was not able to eat the whole day, was I? must have left off some time or other." But, when she persisted in her entreaty that he would tell the vision, he said, " I saw the soul of a holy man carried up to heaven in the arms of angels."—" From what place," said she, "was it taken?"—" From your

monastery," replied the bishop, and he further asked her name. "You will tell it me," said he, "to-morrow, when I am celebrating mass." On hearing these words, she immediately sent to the larger monastery to inquire who had been lately removed from the body. The messenger, finding all safe and well, was preparing to return in the morning to his mistress, when he met some men carrying in a cart the body of a deceased brother to be buried. On inquiring who it was, he found that it was one of the shepherds, a worthy man, who having incautiously mounted a tree, had fallen down, and died from the bruise, at the same time that the man of God had seen the vision. He immediately went and told the circumstance to his mistress, who went forthwith to the bishop, at that time consecrating the church, and in amazement, as if she were going to tell him something new and doubtful, " I pray," said she, "my lord bishop, remember in the mass my servant Hadwald (for that Hadwald