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reading?" saith Brigit, "and what seekest thou in that wise."
"O nun," saith the scholar, "I am going to heaven."
"The Virgin's Son knoweth," saith Brigit, "happy is he that goes the journey, and for God's sake, make prayer with me, that it may be easy for me to go."
"O nun," saith the scholar, "I have no leisure; for the gates of heaven are open now, and I fear they may be shut against me. Or if thou art hindering me, pray the Lord that it may be easy for thee, and that thou mayest bring many thousands with thee into heaven."
Brigit recited a paternoster with him. And he was pious thenceforward, and it is stated gave her communion and sacrifice when she was dying. Wherefore thence it came to pass that the comradeship of the world's sons of reading is with Brigit, and the Lord gives them, through Brigit's prayer, every perfect good that they ask.
Brigit went to Bishop Mél, that he might come and mark her city for her. When they came thereafter to the place in which Kildare stands to-day, that was the time that Ailill, son of Dunlarg, chanced to be coming, with a hundred horseloads of peeled rods, over the midst of Kildare. Then maidens came from Brigit to ask for some of the rods, and refusal was given to them. The horses were (straightway) struck down under their horseloads to the ground. Then stakes and wattles were taken from them, and they arose not until Ailill had offered the hundred horseloads to Brigit. And therewith was built Saint Brigit's great house in Kildare, and it is Ailill that fed the wrights and paid them their wages. (So) Brigit left (as a blessing) that the kingship of Leinster should be till doomsday from Ailill, son of Dunlarg.
Once upon a time two lepers came to Brigit to ask an alms. There was nothing in the convent except a single cow. Brigit bestowed that cow on the lepers (jointly). One of the two lepers gave thanks to the Lord, but the other leper was ungrateful, for he was haughty. "I alone," saith he, "have been set at naught as regards a cow. Till to-day I have never been counted among Culdees and the poor and feeble, and I should not be in partnership as regards this cow." Said Brigit to the humble leper: "Stay here, till somewhat be found for thee, and let
yon haughty leper go off with his cow." Then came a man to Brigit having a cow for her, and she gave it to the humble leper. Now when the haughty leper went on his way, he was unable to drive his cow alone; so he came back to Brigit and to his comrade, and kept reviling and blaming Brigit. "It was not for God's sake," saith he, "that thou madest thy offering; but it is because of (our) importunity and oppressiveness that thou gavest it to me." Therefore the two lepers go to the Barrow. The river rose against them. Through Brigit's blessing, the humble leper escapes with his cow. The haughty leper falls with his cow prone against the river and was drowned.
Once upon a time the queen of Crimthan, son of Enna Cennselach, King of Leinster, came with a silver chain as an offering to Brigit. The semblance of a human shape was on one of the ends thereof, and an apple of silver at the other end. Brigit gave it to the virgins. The virgins stored it up without her knowledge, for greatly used Brigit to take her wealth and give it to the poor. A leper came to Brigit, and Brigit gave him the chain without the nuns' knowledge. When the virgins knew this they said with anger and bitterness: "Little good have we," say they," from thy compassion to every one, and we ourselves in need of food and raiment." "Ye are sinning (?)," saith Brigit: "Go you into the church in the place where I make prayer, and there ye will find your chain." They went at Brigit's word. Though it had been given to a poor man, the nuns found the chain.
Once upon a time the King of Leinster came to Brigit to listen to the preaching and celebration on Easter Day. After the celebration was ended, the King fared forth on his way. When Brigit went to eat her forenoon meal, Lomman, Brigit's leper, declared that he would eat nothing until there was given to him the King of Leinster's armor, with spears and shield and sword. Brigit sent a messenger after the King. From midday till evening the King was a-straying, and they did not attain one thousand paces: so he took the armor from him and bestowed it upon the leper.
Once upon a time Brigit beheld a certain man passing her with salt on his back. "What is on thy back?" saith Brigit. "Stones," saith the man. "They shall be
stones then," saith Brigit. Straightway stones were made of the salt. The same man came again past Brigit. "What is on thy back?" saith Brigit. "Salt," saith he. "It shall be salt then," saith Brigit. Salt was at once made of the stones through Brigit's word.
Once upon a time two lepers came to Brigit to be healed of the leprosy. Brigit bade one of the two lepers to wash the other. He did so. He did so. "Do thou," saith Brigit to the other leper, "tend and wash thy comrade even as he hath ministered unto thee." 66 Save the time that we have seen," saith he, "we will not see one another. What, O nun, dost thou deem it just that I, a healthy man, with my fresh limbs and my fresh raiment, should wash that loathsome leper there, with his livid limbs falling from him? A custom like that is not fit for me." So Brigit herself washed the lowly miserable leper. Said the haughty leper who had first been cleansed from the leprosy: "Meseems," saith he, "that sparks of fire are breaking through my skin." He was filled with leprosy from his crown to his sole, because of his disobedience.
Once upon a time when Brigit was going to the bishop to receive the Sacrament, a he-goat's head seemed to her to be in the mass-chalice. Brigit refused the chalice. "Wherefore dost thou refuse it?" saith the ecclesiastic. "A hegoat's head is revealed to me therein," saith Brigit. The bishop called the lad who had brought the credence-table, and bade him make his confession. "I went," said the gillie," into the house wherein goats are kept, and I took a fat goat thence, and I ate up my fill of him." The lad did penance and repented. Thereafter Brigit went to communion and saw not the semblance.
Once upon a time guests came to Brigit: noble and pious were they, even the seven bishops who are on the hill in the east of Leinster. Then Brigit ordered a certain man of her household to go to the sea and catch fish for the guests. The man goes, taking with him his harpoon; and a seal chanced to come to him. He thrusts the seal-spear into it, and ties the string of the spear to his hand. The seal drags with him the man over the sea unto the shore of the sea of Britain, and, after breaking the string, leaves him there on a rock. Then the seal was put back with his spear in it, and the sea cast it on the shore that was near to
Brigit. Howbeit the fishers of Britain gave a boat to Brigit's fisherman, when he had told his tales to them. Then he crossed the sea and found his seal here on the shore of the sea of Leinster, and took it with him to Brigit's guests. In the morning he went over the sea, and passed again over the sea of Britain to Brigit at midday. guests and the rest of the host magnified God's name and Brigit's through that miracle and through that prodigy.
Once upon a time a certain nun of Brigit's community conceived a longing for salt. Brigit prayed, and the stones were turned into salt and the nun was cured.
Once upon a time a churl of Brigit's household was cutting firewood. It happened to him that he killed a pet fox belonging to the King of Leinster. The churl was seized by the King. Brigit ordered the (wild) fox to come out of the wood; so he came and was at his feats and playing for them and for the King by Brigit's orders. When the fox had done his deeds, he went safe through the wood, with the host of Leinster, both foot and horse and hounds, pursuing him.
Once upon a time bishops came to Brigit and she had nothing to give them, the cows having been milked twice. The cows came a third time to the place, and the milk they had then was greater than every other milking.
Once upon a time Brigit had a band of reapers reaping. A rain storm poured on the whole plain of Liffey, but not a drop fell on her field.
Now (this) was (another) (another) of her miracles. miracles. She blessed the blind table-faced man, and gave his eyes to him.
Once upon a time Brigit went to the widow, who killed the calf of her (only) cow for Brigit, and burnt the beam of her loom thereunder. God so wrought for Brigit that the beam was whole on the morrow, and the cow was licking her calf.
Once Brigit and Bishop Eiric were in Leinster. Said Brigit to Bishop Eiric: "There is battling among thy people and to-day they contend." Said a clerical student to Bishop Eiric's household: "We do not think it likely," saith he, "that that is true." Brigit sained the eyes of the clerical student. Thereafter he said: "I perceive," saith
he, "my brethren slaying them now." And he made great repentance.
Once Brigit was herding sheep. A robber came to her and took seven wethers from her. Howbeit the herd was counted, and through Brigit's prayer the wethers were found complete.
Once a certain man of Brigit's household made mead for the King of Leinster. When they came to drink it not a drop was found, for it had been consumed before Brigit. Brigit arose to save the wretched man, and she blessed the vessels, and the mead was found in fullness, and that was a wonderful miracle.
Once upon a time the seven bishops came out of Húi Briuin Cualann from Telach na n-Espac, and they found Brigit in a place on the northern side of Kildare. Brigit asked her cook, even Blathnait, whether she had any food. She said she had none. Brigit was ashamed not to have food for the holy men, and she besought the Lord fervently. So the angels told her to milk the cows for the third time (that day). Brigit herself milked the cows, and they filled the tubs with the milk, and they would have filled even all the vessels of Leinster. And the milk overflowed the vessels, and made a lake thereof, whence Loch in Ais, that is the "Lake of Milk" to-day. God's name and Brigit's were magnified thereby.
For everything that Brigit would ask of the Lord was granted her at once. For this was her desire: to satisfy the poor, to expel every hardship, to spare every miserable man. Now there never hath been any one more bashful, or more modest or more gentle, or more humble, or sager, or more harmonious than Brigit. She never washed her hands or her feet, or her head among men. She never would speak without blushing. She was abstinent, she was innocent, she was prayerful, she was patient: she was glad in God's commandments: she was firm, she was humble, she was forgiving, she was loving: she was a consecrated casket for keeping Christ's Body and his Blood: she was a temple of God. Her heart and her mind were a throne of rest for the Holy Ghost. She was simple (towards God): she was compassionate towards the wretched she was splendid in miracles and marvels: wherefore her name among created things is Dove among