Chapter 33

[ 33 ]


       For once these things had indeed been terminated by sage and judicious and advantageous deliberation, and very many things had been reasonably furnished to the sacred church and to the state, each one has returned home glad and merry. Meanwhile the infantine grace of great promise and of first flowering of celebrated Richard would be fashioned as the years sailed by. Moreover, the grace of the Holy Spirit would readily pile up in him, enriching the cavities of his breast with bountiful tribute and with the zeal (adequate for two) of burning and sagacious genius. Wisdom would construct in his breast an abode resting on columns. Moreover he himself, in keeping with the force of his age, would perform whatever good he could, with the best deeds. Moreover, just as he would vigorously mature in human increments, so also would he be happily fertilized by the merits of life. Whatever he heard that was good, he would remember, reconsidering it all by ready recollection, but wicked things he would account of slight value, casting them off. He would explain whatever obscurities were concealed in the law, all plainly revealed.
       But when (as was recounted, although in a dull style) his father William had been martyred due to treachery and been happily crowned in the starry kingdom, before William's body was interred in the sepulchre, those who had remained in the realm and had not gone to the sorrowful conference with him, have brought forward the boy Richard. Then, seeing the boy (so beautiful! so dignified!), the Normans and the Bretons, sobbing with mournful and doleful voices and emitting the varied howlings of deep sighs, have said of one mind: "Behold the one to serve, behold the one for whom to wage war, behold the one to whom we made a promise while his father survived."
       Then first Berengar, extraordinary count of the Breton region, begins, doleful and sorrowful, to speak for all of them: "Oh elders and lords, (note 1) deceitfully ensnared by Arnulf's treachery, sorrowful and sad at the deplorable violent death of the most pious marquis, before the lamentable corpse is placed in the tomb, let us make a lord (note 2) for ourselves. That boy ought to be put on his father's throne to be duke and patrician for us. Let that boy be appointed as leader of this realm, lest foreign nations, rushing upon us and determining, in this unheard-of affair of this betrayal, to rule over us, claim for themselves the Norman and Breton territories. And let us oppose those wishing to master us by making resistance, reestablishing and restoring the father's lost shield through the shield of his offspring."
       That said, unanimously approving this resolution, the counts and the great crowd of howling leaders approach the boy Richard (of prodigious reverence!) with disordered vehemence and murmuring. However, once the murmuring of the bustling crowds had been calmed and silence had been, with difficulty, achieved, Berengar and Alan and the rest of the counts of Normandy and Brittany, having given their hands to Richard, have with pleasure subjected themselves to him, just as they once promised to his living father. And they ratify for him the uninterrupted course of their irreproachable fidelity and military service on relics of precious saints, in the manner of a Christian confederacy. When these things had been lamentably fulfilled and very many had returned home, the boy Richard (of welcome nobility and celebrated courage!) has remained behind at Rouen with his father's young recruits and household retinue.

                            Apostrophe
Rouen, poured upon the shores of the wandering Seine,
A town which the Belgic, Celtic and Anglian port each invigorates,
Plentifully furnished with goods and all fierce warriors,
Always teeming with people, (note 3) rich in treasures and full of spectacles,
Merry, affluent and very opulent and very wealthy
In many species of game and classes of fish
And lofty winged creatures, in falcons and knowing fowlers,
In fact better, in fact more potent, more powerful than any other town,
Rejoice! celebrating, rejoycing, delighting that
There is an accomplished lord (note 4) and a lawgiving lord (note 5) for you
And, his father deceased, celebrated Richard (note 6) will be had
As your equitable and bountiful, gracious, blameless,
Holy and God-fearing, kind, sacred and upright
Festive, worthy, loveable duke, patrician, marquis,
Celebrated for merits, beloved, venerable, revered, memorable,
Who, having power by right, mighty by right, will now protect you,
Moreover will help you, governing you by right for all ages,
And by whose uninterrupted merits you, illustrious through all ages,
Will be enriched and endowed,
And whose goodness and compassion and reverence
Will compel you, at last, to ascend to the Elysian Fields.


Notes:


1. Seniores et domini.

2. Senior.

3. In Greek.

4. Senior.

5. Dominus.

6. Preferring the "Richardus" of CC 276.


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