Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/263

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their treasure, they suffered the greatest anguish from the difficulties of their position, and were unable to determine how to get out of them, or how to console themselves under them. "What shall we do?" said they. "Whither shall we carry the holy father's reliques?" We have been travelling seven years through the land, fleeing from the barbarians: and we have now no place of refuge in our own country; and God has deterred us from seeking rest elsewhere, by laying his scourge visibly upon us. Add to this, that hunger is driving us to seek sustenance wherever we are able; but the swords of the Danes will not permit us to pass with this treasure in our possession. Lastly, if we abandon it, and provide for ourselves, the people will hereafter ask us for their father and patron—and what shall we answer them? Shall we say that he was taken from us by theft, or violence? That he was carried into exile, or abandoned in the deserts? Without a doubt we shall die, and with justice, too, by their hands, and shall leave our infamy to future ages, attended with the maledictions of all mankind."

§ 9. In this strait they were at length relieved, both in mind and body, by the aid of their pious patron himself; for the Lord is the refuge of the poor, a very present help in trouble. One of them, Hunred, saw the saint in a vision, and was told by him, that, when the tide was out, they should search for the book, which, as we have already stated, had fallen into the sea, and, perhaps, if God took compassion on them, they might find it, though they could not presume to hope so. For the loss of this book had caused them the greatest anguish of mind. Moreover, he spake these words to him: "As soon as you rise, take a bridle, which you will see hanging on a tree, and hold it up before a horse which you will see not far off, and he will come to you immediately: put on the bridle, and he will draw for you the carriage in which my body is placed, and so