Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/158

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86
THE MINOR HISTORICAL WORKS

Fourth journey to Rome A.D. 671. § 4. He ruled the monastery for two years; and then successfully, as before, accomplished a third[1] voyage from Britain to Rome, and brought back a large number of books on sacred literature, which he had either bought at a price or received as gifts from his friends. On his return he arrived at Vienne, where he took possession of such as he had intrusted his friends to purchase for him. When he had come home, he determined to go to the court of Conwalh, king of the West Saxons, whose friendship and services he had already more than once experienced. Death of Cornwall. A.D. 672.But Conwalh died suddenly about this time, and he therefore directed his course to his native province. He came to the court of Æcgfrid, king of Northumberland, and gave an account of all that he had done since in youth he had left his country. He made no secret of his zeal for religion, and showed what ecclesiastical or monastic instructions he had received at Rome and elsewhere. He displayed the holy volumes and relics of Christ's blessed Apostles and Martyrs, which he had brought, and found such favour in the eyes of the king, that he forthwith gave him seventy hides of land out of his own estates, and ordered a monastery to be built thereon for the first pastor of his church. This was done, as I said before, at the mouth of the river Were, on the left bank,A.D. 674. A. IV. Æcgfrid. in the 674th year of our Lord's incarnation, in the second Indiction, and in the 4th year of King Æcgfrid's reign.

§5. After the interval of a year, Benedict crossed the sea into Gaul, and no sooner asked than he obtained and carried back with him some masons to build him a church in the Roman style, which he had always admired. So much zeal did he show from his love to Saint Peter, in whose honour he was building it, that within a year from the time of laying the foundation, you might have seen the roof on and the solemnity of the mass celebrated therein. When the work was drawing to completion,
  1. The third voyage from Britain, hut fourth journey to Rome.