While matters were in this state it happened that an outrage was perpetrated in the church. For the domestics of a man of quality who were foreigners, having experienced harsh treatment from their master, fled from him to the church; and thus they ran up to the very altar with their swords drawn. Nor could they be prevailed upon by any entreaties to withdraw; so that they impeded the performance of the sacred services; but inasmuch as they obstinately maintained their position for several days, brandishing their weapons in defiance of any one who dared to approach them -- and in fact killed one of the ecclesiastics, and wounded another -- they were finally compelled to slay themselves. A person who was present at this desecration of the sanctuary, remarked that such a profanation was an ominous presage, and in support of his view of the matter, quoted the two following iambics of an ancient poet: --
|For such prognostics happen at a time
When temples are defiled by impious crime.|
Nor was he who made the prediction disappointed in these inauspicious forebodings: for they signified as it seems a division among the people, and the deposition of the author of it.