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తరతరతరతరం చిరు పురంతరం

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The author of the following Chronicle was a Benedictine Monk, who flourished probably in the early part of the fourteenth century, though some place him near the end of it. It begins with the creation of the world, and continues to the end of the reign of Edward the First. In his Preface, the Author speaks as if he intended to write the history of the whole world ; but after the time of the Heptarchy, he very rarely mentions the affairs of any country except Great Britain. The early portion of the work is merely an abridgment of the Bible : then he gives us a brief sketch of Rome, making little mention of Greece, except where its history is connected with that of the Jews or Romans. Of our own early times he gives us the fabulous traditions of Brutus (whom he represents as the great-grandson of Æneas), and Pandrasus, and Corinæus, and Camber; relates the sad story of Lear, the prophecy of Merlin, and so conducts us through the wars of Vortimer and Vortigern, &c., to the times of comparatively certain history. It is, of course, after this point that his work begins to be really valuable ; for he was not only a careful observer, and a great master of plain and simple narrative, but, what was even more uncommon in the days in which he wrote, he paid great attention to order and chronology. As might be expected, he is very credulous on the subject of the miracles attested by the Roman church, as performed by the early martyrs, dead and alive ; of which he gives us copious accounts : but the frequent recurrence of such marvellous stories ought not to diminish our confidence in him when relating facts, where there was no room for ascribing them to supernatural agency; for we must recollect that the belief in such events was common in his time ; and not only have we no right to quarrel with him for not being in advance of his age on such points, but we may derive some instruction from seeing what in those days the most learned men could look upon as matters of sober history. In the reigns of our kings after the Conquest, he is exceedingly minute and careful; and as such, is constantly referred to by Hume and other historians. His account of the troubles of the reigns of John, and Henry the Third, bears internal marks of accuracy and fidelity ; and in his relation of the wars of Edward, he shows no small power of vivid description.

He is said to have formed his work very much upon the plan of that of Matthew Paris, who lived in the preceding century; and both were largely indebted to Roger of Wendover, as far as his history extended, which was to A.D. 1238. For the last seventy-two years of his work, he appears to have drawn on his own resources and industry. On the whole, there can be no doubt that he is one of the most valuable authorities for the times of which he treats, and well deserving the reputation which he has earned among modern historians.

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