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The Ruin of Britain

But the cities of our land are not populated even now as they once were; right to the present they are deserted, in ruins and unkempt. External wars may have stopped, but not civil ones. For the remembrance of so desperate a blow to the island and of such unlooked for recovery stuck in the minds of those who witnessed both wonders. That was why kings, public and private persons, priests and clergymen kept to their own stations. But they died; and an age succeeded them that is ignorant of that storm and has experience only of the calm of the present. All the controls of truth and justice have been shaken and overthrown, leaving no trace, not even a memory, among the orders I have mentioned: with the exception of a few, a very few. 

Britain has kings, but they are tyrants; she has judges, but they are wicked. They often plunder and terrorize -the innocent; they defend and protect -the guilty and thieving; they have many wives -whores and adulteresses; they constantly swear -false oaths; they make vows -but almost at once tell lies; they wage wars -civil and unjust; they chase thieves energetically all over the country, but love and even reward the thieves who sit with them at table; they distribute alms profusely, but pile up an immense mountain of crime for all to  see; they take their seats as judges, but rarely seek out the rules of right judgement; they despise the harmless and humble, but exalt to the stars, so far as they can, their military companions, bloody, proud and murderous men, adulterers and enemies of God -if chance, as they say, so allows: men who should have been rooted out vigorously, name and all. 

Gildas 548AD

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