Chapter 4.10

<Vt ad coemētērium eiusdem monastēriī ōrāns caeca lūcem recēperit>

[1] Sucessit autem Aedilburgae in officium abbātissae dēvōta Deō famula, nōmine Hildilid, multīsque annīs, id est usque ad ultimam senectūtem, eīdem monastēriō strēnuissimē et in observantiā disciplīnae rēgulāris et in eārum, quae ad commūnēs ūsūs pertinent, rērum prōvidentiā praefuit. [2] Cui cum propter angustiam locī in quō monastērium cōnstrūctum est, placuisset ut ossa famulōrum famulārumque Chrīstī, quae ibīdem fuerant tumulāta, tollerentur et trānsferrentur omnia in ecclēsiam beātae Deī genetrīcis, ūnōque conderentur in locō, quotiēns ibi clāritās lūminis caelestis, quanta saepe fragrantia mīrandī appāruerit odōris, quae alia sint signa ostēnsa, in ipsō librō dē quō haec excerpsimus quisque lēgerit inveniet.

[3] Sānē nullātenus praetereundum arbitror mīrāculum sānitātis quod ad ipsum coemētērium Deō dicātae congregātiōnis factum īdem libellus refert. [4] Erat quippe in proximō comes quīdam, cuius uxor, ingruente oculīs cālīgine subitā, tantum per diēs eādem molestiā crebrēscente gravāta est, ut nē minimam quidem lūcis alicuius posset particulam vidēre. [5] Cui, dum aliquandiū caecitātis huius nocte clausa manēret, repente vēnit in mentem quia, sī ad monastērium dēlāta virginum sanctimōnālium ad reliquiās sānctōrum peteret, perditam posset recipere lūcem. [6] Nec distulit quīn continuō quod mente concēperat explēret. [7] Perducta namque ā puellīs suīs ad monastērium, quia in proximō erat, ubi fidem suae sānātiōnis integram sē habēre professa est, intrōducta est ad coemeterium et, cum ibīdem diūtius flexīs genibus ōrāret, nihilō tardius meruit exaudīrī. [8] Nam exsurgēns ab ōrātiōne, priusquam exīret dē locō, petītae lūcis grātiam recēpit, et quae famulārum manibus adductā fuerat, ipsa līberō pedum incessū domum laeta reversa est, quasi ad hoc sōlummodo lūcem āmitteret temporālem, ut quanta sānctōs Chrīstī lūx in caelīs, quae grātia virtūtis possidēret, suā sānātiōne dēmōnstrāret.

MIRACLES AT BARKING ABBEY: ABBESS HILDELITH

Æthelburh was succeeded (ca. 675) as abbess of Barking by Hildelith, who served as abbess to an advanced age. She died around 712. It was under Hildelith that the book was written that Bede used as a source for 4.6–4.10 (the miracles at Barking Abbey). Hildelith was also the dedicatee of Aldhelm of Malmesbury's poem on viginity, and was known to Boniface for her visions.

(1) multīsque annīs: ablative (for accusative) or length of time

eīdem monastēriō: dative after praefuit (“she was in charge of”)

disciplīnae rēgulāris: “of the discipline of the Rule”

in eārum … providentiā: re-order: in providentiā (“provision”) eārum rērum quae pertinent ad commūnēs ūsūs.

(2) Cui cum … placuisset ut: “When she had decided that”; cui is a connecting relative (AG 308.f), dative after placuisset (“it had been pleasing to”).

quotiēs … quanta … quae: indirect questions introduced by inveniet; re-order quisquis lēgerit, inveniet in ipsō librō, dē quō haec excerpsimus, quotiēs…; the verbs in the indirect questions (appāruerit, ostēnsa sint) are in the perfect subjunctive. See articulated text.

in ipsō librō: the lost Life of St. Æthelburh that Bede is using as his source

A WOMAN'S SIGHT RESTORED

This final miracle returns to the theme of light and darkness that characterizes the miracles recounted in chapters 6–9.

(3) praetereundum: understand esse, in an accuastive-infinitive construction of indirect discourse after arbitror: nullātenus arbitror mīrāculum sānitātis praetereundum esse…

ad ipsum coemētērium: ad = “at”

factum: understand esse, in an accuastive-infinitive construction of indirect discourse after refert: quod libellus refert factum esse…; factum = “happened.”

libellus: the lost Life of St. Æthelburh

(4) in proximō: “nearby,” “in the neighborhood”

comes: usually translated gesith; a gesith is a member of a king’s entourage (DMLBS, comes 4).

ingruente … subitā: ablative absolute: “when a sudden dimness fell on her eyes”

tantum … ut: result clause

(5) vēnit in mentem quia: introducing indirect discourse

ad reliquiās … peteret: petere ad: “to resort to,” “make application to”

(6) Nec distulit quīn: quīn + subjunctive after diferre (“to postpone”): “she didn’t put off carrying out…” (AG 558)

(7) fidem … professa est: indirect discourse; re-order: professa est sē habēre integram fidem suae sānātiōnis. integram fidem = “complete faith”

suae sānātiōnis: with fidem, translate the genitive as “in”: “complete faith in her healing.”

nihilō tardius meruit exaudīrī: “earned a speedy answer to her prayers” (Colgrave-Mynors); literally, “more slowly by not a bit she deserved to be heard favorably.” nihilō tardius: ablative of degree of difference with the comparative adjective.

(8) adducta fuerat: the extended pluperfect, for adducta erat

quasi ... āmitteret: "It was as if (quasi) she lost..."

ad hoc: "for this reason"; the phrase seems to strengthen the sense of intentionality in the following purpose clause: "for this reason: to show...."

quanta … possidēret : indirect question

possidēret: possidere, “to take hold of,” with lux and gratia as its subjects and sanctōs as its object: “how much light, how much grace of healing took hold of the saints of Christ in heaven.” The point, that the relics of the saints possess healing power, is expressed somewhat paradoxically.

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