Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/43

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xxxv
THE LIFE OF BEDE.

was not there himself. Moreover, he tells us in his treatise, De Natura Rerum [46], that he was not with the monks of Yarrow, who went to Rome in the year 701.

The last editor of the Ecclesiastical History thinks that he has succeeded in clearing up this difficulty, by the discovery of an earlier copy of the letter in question, [Tib. A. xv. fol. 6, b, in the British Museum,] than that given by William of Malmesbury.

The following is a copy of the letter from the manuscript in question, with the variations of Malmesbury, Stevenson and Gaehle inserted in brackets in their proper places:—

"Sergius episcopus, servus servorum Dei, Ceolfrido religioso abbati presbyteroque, [presbyteroque om. M.] salutem."

"Quibus verbis et modis clementiam Dei nostri atque inenarrabilem providentiam possumus effari, et dignis gratiarum actionibus [-nas g. -nes St. qui lectionem MSti in nota addit] pro immensis circa nos ejus beneficiis persolvere, qui in tenebris et umbra mortis positos ad lumen suæ scientiæ producit. [Quibus … producit om. G.] … Benedictionis interea gratiam, quam nobis per præsentem portitorem tua misit devota religio, libenti et hilari animo, sicuti ab ea directa est, nos suscepisse cognosce, et pro ejus nimirum conscientiæ puritate