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They likewise report that he invaded Britain in hopes of finding pearls, 1 the size of which he would compare together, and ascertain the weight by poising them in his hand; that he would purchase, at any cost, gems, carved works, statues, and pictures, executed by the eminent masters of antiquity; and that he would give for young and handy slaves a price so extravagant, that he forbad its being entered in the diary of his expenses.
1 Bede, quoting Solinus, we believe, says that excellent pearls were found in the British seas, and that they were of all colors, but principally white. Eccl. Hist. b. i. c. i.
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