The Celtic Literature Collective

Of Elias, the Welsh Hermit
Walter Map - The Courtier's Trifles
Bodl. MS. 851


I ONCE saw Elias, the Welsh hermit, a man of exemplary faith and of praiseworthy life. With him were his brother Walenfreit and very many other persons in the forest which is called Dean, not from any connection with tithing but merely as a proper name. These men, not at the suggestion of Elias, but at their own instance, kept animals in the pastures which abound there. It happened that a mare was missing, and that despite a long search she could not be found. The loss was reported to Elias, who said, ‘Richard, the tax-gatherer, hath carried her off to Austclive, exhausted by much waking and working; you will find her in the shed near his door.’ Then he took out four pence which he handed to them, saying, ‘Give the money to him. for the labour of his theft, lest the workman be de¬frauded of his hire.’ This was done and everything was found to be as he had said. No one can doubt that, in this case, Elias was a prophet. He ended his life, and is now with Him in whom he put his trust and who is a propitiation for us.

Map, Walter. Master Walter Map's book, De nugis curialium (Courtier's trifles). trans. Frederick Tupper and Marbury Bladen Ogle. London: Chatto & Windus, 1924.

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