Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/171

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99
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

o'clock psalm, they again assembled and deliberated what was to be done. At length they resolved, with prayer, hymns, and fasting, to seek of the Lord a new abbot as soon as possible. This resolution they commmunicated to their brethren of St. Paul's, by some of that monastery who were present, and also by some of their own people. They immediately gave their consent, and, both monasteries showing the same spirit, they all together lifted up their hearts and voices to the Lord. At length, on the third day, which was Easter Sunday, an assembly was held, consisting of all the brethren of St. Peter's and several of the elder monks from the monastery of St. Paul's. The greatest concord prevailed, and the same sentiments were expressed by both. They elected for their new abbot, Hwætberht, who from his boyhood had not only been bred up in the regular discipline of the monastery, but had acquired much experience in the various duties of writing, chanting, reading, and teaching. He had been at Rome in the time of Pope Sergius, of blessed memory, and had there learnt and copied every thing which he thought useful or worthy to be brought away. He had also been twelve years in priest's orders. He was now made abbot; and immediately went with some of the brethren to Ceolfrid, who was waiting for a ship in which to cross the ocean. They told him what they had done, for which he gave thanks to God, in approbation of their choice, and received from his successor a letter of recommendation to Pope Gregory, of which I have preserved the few passages which follow.

Hwæberht's letter to Pope Gregory§ 19. "To our most beloved lord in the Lord of Lords, and thrice blessed Pope Gregory, Hwætberht, his most Pope Greogry, Hwætberht, his most humble servant, abbot of the monastery of the holiest of the Apostles, St. Peter, in Saxony, Health for ever in the Lord! I do not cease to give thanks to the dispensation of Divine wisdom, as do also all the holy brethren, who in these parts are seeking with me to bear the