Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/35

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tion in which the young Student was held. His piety, moreover, must have been well known to the Abbot who sent him for ordination, and to the Bishop, who hesitated not to admit him so prematurely to that holy rite. It is moreover said of him that, in his ardour for study, he declined to be raised to the dignity of an Abbot, lest the distraction to which the care of such an establishment, or family, as the Historian expresses it, would subject him, might allow him less time and leisure for his favourite pursuits. "Officium quippe curam requirit, cura mentem distrahit, distractio studium literarum impedit."[1]

This, however, no doubt happened after he took priest's orders in his thirtieth year, though the eleven years which intervened must have been sedulously spent in laying up that store of erudition which afterwards enabled him to bring forth from his treasury things both new and old. For it does not appear that he published any thing in writing until after he had undergone the second of the Church's ordinances. This we have from his own words, "Ex quo tempore accepti Presbyteratus usque ad annum ætatis meæ quinquagesimum nonum, hæc in Scripturam Sanctam meæ meorumque necessitati ex opusculis Venerabilium Patrum breviter adnotare, sive etiam ad formam sensus et interpretationis

  1. Trithem. de Viris illust. ord. Bened. II. 21, 34.