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Simplicien is as much to say as simple, or without any pleat of falsehood. He was simple by meekness and humility, for he humbled himself to receive martyrdom; he was knowing, for he knew the christian faith, and for the faith he suffered martyrdom. Faustin is as much to say as fortunate. Beatrice is to say holding blessedness, or it is said of beata, that is blessed, and of ares, that is virtue, which is a blessed virtue. And Beatrice is said, sorrowful or heavy, for she was sorrowful of the passion of her brethren, and she was blessed by her martyrdom.
Of the Saints Simplicien, Faustin, and Beatrice.
Simplicien and Faustin, brethren, when they would not by no constraint do sacrifice to the idols, and refused it utterly, they suffered many torments at Rome under Diocletian, and at last sentence was given against them, and they were beheaded and their bodies cast into Tiber, the river. And Beatrice, their sister, took up the bodies of them and buried them honourably. Lucretius, which was provost of Rome, went on a time playing about the heritage of Beatrice, and saw her, and made her to be taken, and commanded her that she should make sacrifice to his gods, and she refused it. And Lucretius made his servants to strangle her in a night and let her lie. And Lucia, the virgin, took away the body and buried it with her brethren, and after that Lucretius entered into their heritage. And thus as he assailed the martyrs, and did do make a great feast to his friends, and as he sat at dinner, a young child that lay wound in small clouts in his mother's lap, which yet sucked, sprang out of the lap of his mother that held him, and all men seeing, escried and said: O thou Lucretius, hear and understand, thou hast slain and assailed the martyrs of God, and therefore thou art given into the possession of the fiend. And then anon Lucretius trembled and feared, and was forthwith ravished of the devil, and was so tormented by three hours of the devil that he died at that same dinner. And when they that were there saw that, they were converted to the faith, and recounted to all men how the passion of S Beatrice was avenged at the same dinner. And they suffered death about the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty-seven.
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