Chapter 22

[ 22 ]

Then William raised loftily high by the carnage destruction of so many. untroubled by wars gained both the realm of the bretons and that of the normans; nor did anyone dare to dispute him. leaders of the frankish nation. and counts of the burgundians would obey him; the dacian-born and the flemish. the angles and the irish would submit to him. And of one mind the rest of the nations inhabiting the neighborhood of their own realm would yield obedience to his sovereignty. For at the time of that very worthy hunt. when deer beset by lascivious unchastity do accost deer. in order to conceive young by lust-producing right; he commanded to be prepared for him in the place which is called lyons-la-forąt. tents of ample size. Having heard about this count herbert. and hugh duke and prince of the whole realm. and also count William of poitou; came hastily to him there. Thankful for their arrival William; respectfully received them with great state. and caused them to linger with him throughout the time of the delightful hunt. and to dine magnificently. with royal gluttony. And one day. William of poitou said to William of rouen. Lord duke. do you not know why we have come here?~~ He replied. I am ignorant. And the other one. Unwilling to send ambassadors to so worthy a count as you; I preferred myself to discharge the business of the embassy. I have come. both so that you might give your sister (note 1) to me as a wife; and so that we might be reciprocally joined in an alliance of indissoluble friendship and esteem. It is said that William of rouen; then replied playing. Men from poitou are always faint-hearted. and feeble in arms. and avaricious. It is not fitting that such a girl be had by them. To William of poitou frozen-gazed at these irritating words; William of rouen then said. So that you shall not be agitated I will on the morrow impart to you my reply concerning both matters. with the advice of my fideles. For indeed the following day on the advice of counts hugh the great. and herbert and of his own fideles; he gave his sister to duke William of poitou. Truly he respectfully escorted her. honorably encircled with an abundant supply of wedding things; and carried by female horses. artfully girded with horse-trappings. laden with gold. and amber; along with a very great crowd of innumerable slaves of both sexes (note 2) ; and surrounded by many chests. filled and loaded with silk vestments. embroidered with gold; to the poitevin court. Moreover herbert seeing that William of rouen was strong and was gaining strength. and gleamed affluently in christ through both spiritual and bodily virtue and through very great deeds; on the advice of duke hugh the great. gave his own daughter (note 3) to that man. In marvelous nuptual state. and elegantly bolstered by unheardof adornments of indescribable office and rank; and surrounded on all sides by a multitude of invaluable horses; William magnanimously conducted her to the citadels of the town of Rouen. Holiness and discretion would shine bright in him; fairness and justice would incessantly glitter greatly. Harshly would he overpower the arrogant. and the malevolent; respectfully would he raise high the humble. and the benevolent. By words and gifts he would bring pagans and unbelievers to the worship of the true faith; he would drive believers to praise of christ. he would rule not only the monarchy which he himself held, but would also direct neighboring realms with vigorous deliberation. Angles would submit to his commands; franks and burgundians to his dictates. In whatever lands his name would be heard; he would be greatly praised by all. However peaceful king athelstan of the angles hearing. how William was distinguished in virtue and might. beyond all of the frankish nation; sent his ambassadors to him with the greatest possible offerings. and gifts. interceding in behalf of his own nephew louis. son of king charles the prisoner. already fallen prey to death in captivity; that he call him back to the realm of francia. and establish him there forever. exalting him with the advice of the franks. and also that moved by mercy. for love of [athelstan]; he take back alan. cast out from brittany for the fault of causing offense. and robbed of the grace of his love. On the advice of William duke of the normans. immediately did the mightiest duke of the franks hugh the great; and herbert ruler of princes. having gathered together the bishops on the advice of the metropolitan bishops; hastily call louis back. and anoint him for themselves as king of the peoples. of those residing in francia and in burgundy. Truly for love of king athelstan. William took back alan who had marched back along with louis; and handed over to him whatever he used to possess in the breton region. And alan himself; thereafter unfailingly stuck to William's commands. But within the space of one year after the anointing of the king; the franks began to dispute him and to overpower him in many ways. Yea indeed; they tried to drive him from the realm. However the king seeing himself abandoned. and considered worthless by the frankish-born people; sent ambassadors to henry the king across-the-rhine. asking for his assistance; and moreover that he bind himself together with him in friendship forever. The reply to them; he would not be allied with the king of the franks; except through duke william of the normans. These things having been thus reported. king louis exhausted by the blows of many tribulations. and weakened by the inconveniences of very many disasters; came to duke william of the normans at boisemont imprecating him to help. and to support him against the rebelling franks. and to obtain for him the assistance and friendship of henry the king across-the-rhine. Then William moved by compassion at the king's distress; conducted him to his residence in the town of rouen. and honorably kept him there many times with all his followers. Moreover the king would reside in duke William's house. just like a household member and servant. and would wait as a suppliant for his handouts.

APOSTROPHE

Marquis mighty by right and worthily shining bright with merits.
The dependent king esteems. serves. obeys. and sticks to you.
Indeed with humble entreaty. suppliant and stooping he seeks.
To maintain himself by handouts and by your valor.
Each nation too has now fallen subject to you.
Respectfully do bishops. dukes. counts. magnates and
Likewise both the clergy and the masses. of both sexes.
Beg you to aid them with arms and with entreaty.
As a messenger of peace. and a forerunner of salvation.


Notes:

1. William's sister (unnamed by Dudo) was known both as Gerloc and as Adela, according to later Norman historians.

2. Preferring the "sexus" of CC 276 and others.

3. Her name was Leyarda of Vermandois, according to other historians. The marriage took place c. 936/7.


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