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there was neither that which is hunted for on land, fished for in the water, or flying in the air, which was not compelled to be at the service of his table, insomuch that he appeared to have shared the elements with the Lord; leaving the heaven of heavens alone to the Lord, and reserving the other three to advantage by the use or rather abuse and luxurious enjoyment thereof. All the sons of the nobles acted as his servants, with downcast looks, nor dared they to look upwards towards the heavens, unless it so happened that they were addressed by him; and if they attended to anything else, they were pricked with a goad, which their lord held in his hands, fully mindful of his grandfather of pious memory, who being of servile condition in the district of Beauvais, had for his occupation to guide the plough and whip up the oxen ;31 and who at length, to gain his liberty, fled to the Norman territory. The grandchildren and relatives of this man, even any females whatsoever who were akin to him, though sprung from a poor cabin, earls, and barons, and nobles of the kingdom, longed with the greatest avidity to unite with themselves in marriage; thinking it a matter for pride, under any title whatever, to acquire the favour of his intimate acquaintanceship; nor was there a churl who longed for a field, a citizen who longed for a farm, a knight who longed for an estate, a clerk who longed for a benefice, or a monk who longed for an abbey, who was not obliged to become subservient to his power and influence. And although all England, bending the knee, was ever at his service, still did he always aspire to the free mode of life of the Franks, and removed his knights and yeomen, and all his household, to Oxford; where, slighting the English nation on all occasions, attended by a troop of Franks and Flemings, he moved pompously along, bearing a sneer in his nostrils, a grin on his features, derision in his eyes, and superciliousness on his brow, by way of fit ornament for a priest. For his own aggrandizement and for the glorification of his name, he was in the habit of getting up verses that he had picked up by begging, and adulatory jingles, and enticed jesters and singers from the kingdom of France by his presents, that they might sing about him in the streets; and but lately it was everywhere said that there was not such a person in all the world. And really, if it had been the time of the Cæsars, he would with Liberiuso have had himself styled
31 This is said in a spirit of caustic malevolence.
the living God. But when the king had given him certain earls as his associates, in order that at least the more weighty concerns of the realm might be managed by their counsels in common, he could not at all endure to have any partner therein, as he thought that the greater part of his glory would be thrown into the shade, if he should stand in need of the advice of any mortal being. Therefore he ruled alone, therefore he reigned alone, and from sea to sea was he dreaded as though a God; and were I to say still more, I should not be telling a falsehood, because God is long-suffering and merciful; while he, ruling every thing according to his own impulses, was neither able to observe justice when acting, nor to endure delay in waiting the proper time. Hence it arose that he set at nought all the letters and mandates of his lord ; that he might not seem to have a superior, nor be supposed to be subject to any one, having always made every one act as the servant of his own will. Therefore, aft England had for a consi rable time suffered under so heavy a burden and a yoke so insupportable, at length, while groaning at his deeds, she cried aloud with all her might. Her cries went up to the Lord, and He, rising, looked down on her from on high, who by His own might treads under foot the necks of the proud and haughty, and exalts the humble by the might of His arm. The sun of justice, indeed, may shine upon the good and the bad, still the eyes of the overwise it dazzles, and by the brilliancy of its light brings forth fruit in the minds of the humble. For although this chancellor may perchance have read that it is denied us long to dwell on high, 34 and that “He who stands must take care lest he fall,' 35 and that, “He who exalteth himself shall be abased,' 36 and that before a downfall the heart is elated; still, being forgetful of the lot of mankind, which never remains in the same condition, and of the volubility of the wheel that elevates the lowly man, and, when elevated, is wont to depress him, he was never willing to understand that he ought to act virtuously; but meditating iniquity in his bed, where he was sleeping with the ministers of wickedness, and with youths in his chamber, he added iniquity to iniquity, so as by his pride and his abuses, through the just retribution of God, to precipitate himself into the powerful hands of the Lord; so that now there was no longer any room for mercy for him, but 34 Perhaps alluding to Is. xxvi. 5.
Alluding to 1 Cor. x. 12. 36 St. Luke xiv. 11, and xviii. 14.
solely for the exercise of power. Nor indeed was there an opportunity for taking compassion on him or sparing him. For it was he himself who dictated the sentence against himself, who goaded vengeance on, who aimed at crimes so great, that he thereby provoked the anger not only of men, but still more, of God. For although the Lord can do all things, still He is unable to condemn a man who is innocent, or to save one who is guilty, nor would He spare him if the guilty man should chance to be obstinate in his guilt. For against an obstinate mind and the forehead of a harlot may be brought the hardness of real adamant, so as to be worn away thereby; for nothing is there so strong but that it must give way before what is stronger. As, therefore, a man so powerful could not be overcome by man, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation came to the aid of the people who supplicated God, and supplanting the hand of mercy in his case, hurled him down from his power, and brought this accuser, or rather destroyer, to such a pitch of giddiness of mind, that he was unable to recover or arouse himself therefrom ; but He so hardened his heart, blinded his mind, and infatuated his counsels, that he first besieged the archbishop of York in a church, then seized him, and after seizing him, violently tore him away; after tearing him away, strongly bound him; after strongly binding him, dragged him along; and after dragging him along, threw him into prison. And although there was a concourse of people who exclaimed, “What has this righteous man and friend of God been guilty of, that he should be taken to prison ? his innocent blood is condemned without a cause,' still, pity could not listen where pride reigned, and God was not heard where the tyrant held sway. For the said archbishop was coming from the country of Normandy with his pastoral staff and mitre, and ring, and superhumeral, which in later times has been styled the pall. And although he was the son of king Henry, of happy memory, and the brother of king Richard, who now reigns, and the brother of John, earl of Mortaigne, still, his royal blood could be of no service to him; and although he had been recently consecrated, the recent performance of that sacrament could not avail him. Consequently, it was in public the universal cry of the laity throughout the whole island, ‘Perish he who hastens on the ruin of all things ! that he may not crush all, let him be crushed. If he has
done this in a green tree, what will he do in a dry one ?” 37 And behold! under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, all persons meet together from the north, and from the sea, and from all parts of the whole island, and flock in crowds, that the archbishop may be set at liberty. But the cords of his sins tightening apace around the chancellor, and his conscience strongly accusing him, clad in a coat of mail, he flies from before the faces of men, and hides himself, and shuts himself with his people in the Tower of London. As we entered the city at a late hour, many of his household in arms attacked us with drawn swords, and slew one of our knights, a noble man, and wounded a great number. However, in the morning a council was held by nearly all the nobles of the kingdom, in presence of the lord John, the king's brother, the archbishops of Rouen and York, and the bishops of Durham, London, Winchester, Bath, Rochester, Norwich, Lincoln, Hereford, Saint David's, and Coventry; and in the presence of all the people of the city, and of the justiciaries of our lord the king, who approved thereof, we did, with the assent of all, agree that such a person should thenceforth no longer rule in the kingdom of England, by whom the Church of England was reduced to a state of ignominy, and the people to want; for, to omit other matters, he and his revellers had so exhausted the whole kingdom, that they did not leave a man his belt, a woman her necklace, a nobleman his ring, or anything of value even to a Jew. He had likewise so utterly emptied the king's treasury, that in all the coffers and bags therein, nothing but the keys could be met with, after the lapse of these last two years. On the third day he positively promised, and gave his word by one of his followers, in the presence of all, that he would not leave the island until certain castles which he kept in his own hands, and had given into the charge of some foreigners, unknown and obscure persons, and which were then named, should have been fully surrendered by him and given into the charge of certain persons named; for the performance of which he gave his brothers and his chamberlain as hostages. He then hastened to Canterbury, that there, as became him, he might assume the cross of pilgrimage, and lay aside the cross of the legateship, which for a year and a half since the death of
pope Clement, he had wielded to the prejudice of the Church of Rome, and to the detriment of that of England. For all the
37 St. Luke xxiii. 31.
churches of England had that cross put to their ransom ; that is to say, had compelled them to submit to the extortion of fines; nor was there any one exempt from feeling the blows of that cross. And then, besides if by chance it happened that he entered the house of any bishop, you will be able to learn from him that his entertainment cost him the price of one or two hundred marks. After he had remained in the castle of Dover some days, unmindful of his profession and of the obligation of his promise which he had given, forgetful also of his brothers, whom, having given as hostages, he was disgracefully exposing to peril of death, he determined to set sail, and as he did not care to do this openly, he hit upon a new kind of stratagem, and pretending to be a woman, a sex which he always hated, changed the priest's robe into the harlot's dress. Oh shame! the man became a woman, the chancellor a chancel. loress, the priest a harlot, the bishop a buffoon. Accordingly, although he was lame, he chose to hasten on foot from the heights of the castle down to the sea-shore, clothed in a woman’s green gown of enormous length instead of the priest's gown of azure colour ;38 having on a cape of the same colour, with unsightly long sleeves, instead of a chasuble, a hood on his head instead of a mitre, some brown cloth in his left hand, as if for sale, instead of a maniple, 39 and the staff of the huckster in his right in place of his pastoral staff. Decked out in such guise the bishop came down to the sea-shore, and he who had been accustomed much more frequently to wear the knight's coat of mail, wondrous thing! became so effeminate in mind, as to make choice of a feminine dress.40 Having seated himself on the shore upon a rock, a fisherman, who immediately took him for a common woman, came up to him; and, having come nearly naked from the sea, perhaps wishing to be made warm, he ran up to this wretch, and embracing his neck with the left arm, with his right began pulling him about, upon which he almost immediately discovered" that he was a
38 “ Hyacinthina" in the text. 39 The “ manipulum," "fanon," or “ sudarium,” was either a napkin or a short sleeve worn over the left wrist by the priesthood when officiating.
40 “ Animum" is probably a mistake for " amictum.”
41 This passage has been necessarily modified in the Translation; it stands thus in the text-"Cucurrit ad moustrum, et manu sinistra collum complectens, dexterâ partes inferiores rimatur. Cumque tunicam subito sublevasset, et nimis inverecunde ad partes verecundas manum extendisset andacter, femoralia sensit et virum in fæininà certis indiciis agnovit.” The story is not told with all these cir.