Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/30

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For a youth of such studious habits and indefatigable industry, no situation could have been more appropriate than that in which he was now placed. Benedict Biscop, the founder of the monasteries, was a man of extraordinary learning and singular piety. Though a nobleman by birth, he was unwearied in the pursuit of knowledge, and in ameliorating the condition of his country. In order to accomplish his benevolent intentions, he travelled into other countries, and introduced not only foreign literature, but arts hitherto unknown, into our island. He was the first who brought masons and glaziers home with him, having need of their services in the noble buildings which he erected. He travelled four or five times to Rome, and became intimate with Pope Agatho. Here he was much captivated with the Liturgy of the Roman Church, and their manner of chaunting, for until then the Gallican or Mozarabic Liturgy was used both in Britain and Ireland, as is alluded to in Augustine's Questions to Pope Gregory. Each time, on his return to England, Benedict carried back with him the most valuable books, and costly relics and