Ælfric’s life of St. Edmund
In the days of King Æthelred, a certain exceedingly learned monk came over the sea from the monastery of Saint Benedict in the south to Archbishop Dunstan, three years before he died; the monk was called Abbo. They came into conversation until Dunstan explained about saint Edmund, just as Edmund's sword-bearer had explained it to king Æthelstan whenDunstan was a young man and the sword-bearer a very old man. The monk composed all the stories into a book, and a few years afterwards, when the book had come to us, we translated it into English just as it remains here. Two years later this monk Abbo went back home to his monastery and immediately was appointed abbot in that monastery.
Edmund the blessed, King of East Anglia, was wise and honorableand always respected by noble practice to the almighty God. He was humble and virtuous and had always remained resolute that he wouldn't give way to shameful sins, neither did he turn away from his good practices but he was always mindful to the true doctrine, 'Are you set to be a leader? Don't raise yourself but be among people as if you were one of them'. He was generous to poor people andwidows, just like a father, and with benevolence always guided his people to righteousness and punished the cruel and lived happily in the true faith.
His misfortune was near from the Danish people and proceeded with fleet ravage and attacked far and wide trough and just as their customs were. In the ship were the foremost leaders, Hingwar and Hubba, united by the devil, and they arrived to the land ofNorthumbria with ashes and lay wasted in the land and destroyed people.
Hingwar went back to the east with his ships and Hubba remained behind in Northumbria, having won victory with cruelty. Hingwar became to the East Anglia rowing, the year in which orubcge Ælfred was twenty years old, who would afterwards became the king of the West Saxons, he was ward glorious, and the mentioned beforeHingwar suddenly just as a wolf move quickly on the land and stalked and attacked people, man and women and the innocent children and mistreated shamefully the innocent Christians. Soon he sent to the king a threatening message that he must take into account to do him homage, if he cared for his life. The messenger quickly came to King Edmund and announced to him about Hingwar’s fierce with all hisnational army was ready to seed the dishonourable and how he was answered. The messenger told him Hingwar's message: "Hingwar our king, keen and victorious by sea and by land, has rule over many people, and has now landed here suddenly with an army, intending to take up his winter-quarters here with his host. Now he commands you to divide your secret treasures and your ancestors' wealth quickly withhim, and you shall be his under-king, if you desire to live, because you do not have the power to withstand him."
Then king Edmund called a bishop, who the nearest to him, and with him he contrived how he should answer to the savage Hingwar. The bishop feared for this terrible misfortune and for the king´s life, and he said it seemed advisable to him that he should submit to that which Hingwardemanded. Then the king felt silent and looked to the ground and said regally to him: “Oh, bishop the poor people of this land are shamefully mistreated and I’d prefer to die fighting as long as my people might enjoy their home”, and the bishop said: “My dear king, your people lie destroyed and you are not able to fight, and the Vikings will come and will bind you alive unless you save your life byflight, or you save yourself by summiting to them”; Then king Edmund said just as brave as he was: “I desire and wish in my mind with courage that I do not remain alone after my beloved thanes, who in their beds with their children and women have been quickly destroyed by the Vikings. It has not been never my custom that I worked of the flight however I would rather die for my own country and...