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ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDN FOUNDAT ONS. 1914

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The text of Bede's writings in this little work is mostly taken from Dr. Giles's translation.

PREFACE

I HAVE long felt a contempt, beyond the expression of words, for the histories of this country which have appeared within the last half century, and it is my Bělief that the intense ignorance gi their owń country, which prevails.among šo-cabled educated Englishmens is owing to their amusing themselves with the ephemeral writings of modern historians instead of studying the standard works on which modern history is founded.

It is with the object of enabling my fellow-countrymen to go to the fountain head for their knowledge, that I, without misgivings, take up my pen to begin this, the first of a series of faithful transcripts from the works of recognized historical authorities. I intend to give a translation of the text, weeding out such portions as may have no direct bearing upon the subjects in question. Old historians are often discursive, and it is the province of an editor, to strike qut those parts of their works which he may consider unnecessary.•'Anaccjrafe:rendering of the text itself; without additions of my own, who be.tbe prinápal aim and object of my labors.

The early part of the Ecclesiastical History of the Venerable Bede will form then the first of a series of a hundred volumes, treating of the history of the English nation. The

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public must content itself with this installment until I think proper to issue another.

I beg the student to bring to his work an unbiassed mind and a perceptive judgment. Let him put aside all prejudice and form his own independent opinions from the evidence that shall be put before him, bowing to nothing but the stern necessity of facts. Such is the right spirit in which to approach the great science of history.

The lesson which the reader will be kind enough to learn from this portion of the writings of Bede is that the Established Church of England is the descendant and representative of the Ancient British Church, founded in this country five centuries before the schism introduced from Rome by Saint Augustine, and he will be so good as to consider the earliest English papists as little better than dissenters. Any further inferences which he is to draw will be pointed out to him as the work proceeds.

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