Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/184

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the Psalmist says, "The Lord hath heard the desire of The countryman recovers his oxen.the poor,"—at midnight, when every thing was buried in sleep, and the poor man alone was kept awake by poverty and sorrow for his loss, on a sudden, wonderful to be related, the oxen which he was seeking came to the door, as if by Divine interposition; having returned safe from the hands of the robbers, through the wild country and the darkness of night, to their owner’s house. They knocked with their horns against the door of the house, to signify that they were come back; but the poor man, in fear and trembling, thinking that the thieves were returned, durst not open the door, until the oxen, as if understanding the cause of his delay, informed him who they were by lowing. The rustic, having thus recovered his cattle, acted by no means like a rustic on the occasion, but like a wise man and a faithful Christian; for the first thing which he did in the morning was to offer up thanks to his Redeemer. He went to the church of St. Felix, and took his oxen along with him. He joyfully told every one who met him on his way thither, and also those who were at the church, the benefits which he had received from the holy confessor; and, inasmuch as by lamenting so long for his loss he had done no small injury to his eyes, he offered up a petition to St. Felix, and got them cured; so that he returned home benefited in more ways than one, and full of joy.

At this time they desired to erect a more noble building in honour of the saint; and for this purpose wished to remove two small cottages of disagreeable exterior, which stood in the way, and presented a most unsightly appearance in the vicinity of the church. With this end in view, Bishop Paulinus requested their owners to pay respect to the holy Saint Felix, and suffer their private houses to be removed, in order to beautify and improve the church. The owners, however, brutally rejected his request, and said they would part with their lives rather than their property. The bishop despaired of being able