Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/281

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pierce him through the head, even to his heart. A miracle. Without speaking more he fell to the ground, and groaning, howling, and gnashing his teeth, he was carried by his men into the house, and never spoke again, but died there in torments the third day after, at the same hour. When he was dead and buried, such a stench came from his tomb for the space of half a year, that no one could pass that way. This warning terrified the count, and all who heard of it, and he no longer attempted to seize his victim, but on the contrary began to bestow honours upon him. Moreover, all the others, who felt conscious that they had even consented to his being forced from the monastery, fearing the like punishment, offered no small store of gold, silver, and precious stones, on the tomb of the Saint, and with many tears implored his forgiveness, vowing that they would never again be guilty of such a crime. With these offerings,The Rood and the Gospels adorned with jewels. a cross of beautiful workmanship, and a very valuable copy of the Gospels, were afterwards adorned with gold and jewels, and they are preserved in the monastery, in memory of the event, unto this day. Such is the account of this matter, which we have heard more than once from the brethren who witnessed it, and from him who thus escaped from punishment.

§ 28. There was also another bad man, named Oswulf,Oswulf. who one day awaking from sleep in a field, and finding a serpent entwined round his neck, seized it, and dashed it against the ground; but it was of no use, for the serpent again and again returned and coiled itself round his neck, and so the wretched man, whether he threw the animal into water or fire, or cut it to pieces with a knife, yet was utterly unable to discover how it was that it immediately came back. At first A miracle. indeed the serpent was small, but by degrees it grew larger, and yet did not bite or poison the man. Whenever he entered the church, which was hallowed by the body of the Holy Cuthbert, the serpent left him, and did