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violence and misery) is of so harsh a sound, and so odious in nature, as a people subdued seldom gives the conqueror his due, though never so worthy: and especially to a stranger, whom only time must naturalize, and let in by degrees into their liking and good opinion : wherein also this king was greatly advantaged by reason of his twenty years government, which had much impaired the memory of former customs in the younger sort, and well inured the elder to the present usances and form of state : whereby the rule was made more easy to his sons, who though they were far inferior to him in worth, were a little better beloved than he; and the rather, for that they were content somewhat to unwrest the sovereignty from the height whereunto he had strained it; which brought the state to a better proportion of harmony.
§. 39. Of those who were the especial men of employment in his reign, time has shut us out from the knowledge
many; it being in the fortune of kings to have the names and memory of their counsellors (like rivers in the ocean) buried in their glory. Yet these we find principally mentioned in stories. First, William Fitz-Osborne earl of Hereford, the especial mover and counsellor of this voyage of England, reported also to have furnished forty ships at his own charge for the enterprise. Odo, bishop of Bayeux and earl of Kent, sometime his viceroy in England, and seems also to have managed the finances; but of such excessive avarice, that he gathered so much treasure, as he went about to buy the papacy ; and attempting to go to Rome about the same, the king stayed him at home in a fair prison; and excused the matter (upon exclamation made) in this sort, that he only imprisoned the earl of Kent, not the bishop of Bayeux. Beside he had Lanfranc, a man of universal learning, and an excellent lawyer, born in Lombardy, who peradventure might introduce something of the constitutions of that province, to the making up our laws, which in many things seem to participate with theirs. And no doubt he had many others else: for being of a strong constitution of judgment, he could not but be strongly furnished in that kind, seeing ever weak princes have weak sides; and our most renowned kings have been best underset with counsel, and happily served with the ablest officers.
$. 40. He had a fair issue by Maud his wife, four sons and five daughters. To Robert his eldest son he left the duchy of Normandy; to William the kingdom of England; and to Henry his treasure, with an annual pension of eight hundred pounds to be paid him by his two brothers, Richard, that was his second son, died in his youth, of a surfeit taken by hunting in the New Forest, and began the fatal misfortune that followed of that place by the death of king William the Second, there slain with an arrow; and of Richard, the son of Robert, duke of Normandy, that broke his neck. His eldest daughter Cicilia became a pun, Constance married to the earl of Brittain ; Adela to Stephen earl of Blois, who likewise became a nun in her age : such was their great devotion, and so much were these solitary retirements affected in those times by the greatest ladies. Another was affianced to Alfonsus king of Galicia, who, with the other sister promised to Harold, died before marriage.
$. 41. As to what he was in the circle of himself, in his own continent, we find him of an even or middle stature, comely personage, of good presence, riding, sitting, or standing, till his corpulency, gathering upon him in his latter age, , made him somewhat unwieldy; of so strong a constitution, that he was never sickly till a few months before his death: his strength such, as few men could draw his bow; and being about fifty-one of his age when he subdued this kingdom, it seems by his continual actions he felt not the weight of years upon him till his last year.
§. 42. His mind was no less excellently composed, and we see it the fairest drawn in his actions; wherein his mercy and clemency (the brightest stars in the sphere of majesty) appeared (next to his great devotion) above all his other virtues, by the often pardoning and receiving into grace those who had forfeited their loyalty and most dangerously rebelled against him; seeming to hold submission sa
tisfactory for the greatest offence, and that he sought to extinguish men's enterprises, but not themselves. For we find but one great nobleman executed in all his reign, and that was the earl Waltheof, who had twice falsified his faith before: and those whom he had held prisoners in Normandy, as the earls Morcar and Siward, with Wolfnothus, the brother of Harold, and divers others, upon compassion of their endurance, he released a little before his death.
$. 43. Besides, he was as far from suspicion as from cowardice, and of that confidence, (an especial note of his magnanimity,) as he gave Edgar, his competitor in the crown, the liberty of his court; and upon his suit sent him well furnished to the holy war, where he so nobly behaved himself, as he attained to great estimation with the emperors of Greece and Almain; which might have been held dangerous in respect of his alliances that way, being grandchild to Henry the third emperor. But these may be as well virtues of the time as of men, and so the age must have part of this commendation.
SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.
That the seat of government is upheld by the two great pillars thereof, viz. civil justice and martial policy, which are framed out of husbandry, merchandise, and gentry of
this kingdom. THEY
that the goodliest cedars which grow on the high mountains of Libanus thrust their roots between the clifts of hard rocks, the better to bear themselves against the strong storms that blow there. As nature hath instructed those kings of trees, so hath reason taught the kings of men to root themselves in the hardy hearts of their faithful subjects. And as those kings of trees have large tops, so have the kings of men large crowns ; whereof as the first would soon be broken from their bodies, were they not underborne by many branches, so would the other easily totter, were they not fastened on their heads with the strong chains of civil justice and martial discipline.
1. For the administration of the first even God himself hath given direction; Judges and officers shalt thou make which shall judge the people with righteous judgments.
2. The second is grounded on the first laws of the world and nature, that force is to be repelled by force. Yea Moses, in the twentieth of Exodus and elsewhere, hath delivered us many laws and policies of war. But as we have heard of neglect and abuse in both, so have we heard of the decline and ruin of many kingdoms and states long before our days ; for that policy hath never yet prevailed (though it hath served for a short season) where the counterfeit hath been sold for the natural, and the outward show and formality for the substance. Of the emperor Charles the
Fourth, the writers of that age witness that he used but the name of justice and good order, being more learned in the Jaw than in doing right, and that he had by far more knowledge than conscience. Certainly the unjust magistrate that fancieth to himself a solid and untransparable body of gold, every ordinary wit can vitrify and make transparent pieces, and discern their corruptions; howsoever, because not daring, they cover their knowledge : but in the meanwhile it is also true, that constrained dissimulation, either in the proud heart or in the oppressed, either in public estates or in private persons, where the fear of God is not prevalent, doth in all the leisure of her lurking but sharpen her teeth, the voluntary being no less base than the forced malicious. Thus it fared between the barons of England and their kings, between the lords of Switzerland and their people, between the Sicilians and the French, between the dolphin and John of Burgoign, between Charles the Ninth and the French protestants, and between Henry the Third, his successor, and the lords of Guise. Hereof, in place of more particulars, the whole world may serve for examples.
It is a difficult piece of geography to delineate and lay out the bounds of authority, but it is easy enough to conceive the best use of it, and by which it hath maintained itself in lasting happiness; it hath ever acquired more ho nour by persuading than by beating ; for as the bonds of reason and love are immortal, so do all other chains or cords both rust and rot noble parts of their own royal and politic bodies.
But we will forbear for a while to stretch this first string of civil justice; for in respect of the first sort of men, viz. of those that live by their own labour, they have never been displeased where they have been suffered to enjoy the fruit of their own travels; meum et tuum, mine and thine, is all wherein they seek their certainty and protection. True it is, that they are the fruit trees of the land, which God in Deuteronomy commanded to be spared; they gather honey, and hardly enjoy the wax, and break the ground with great labour, giving the best of their grain to the easeful and idle.