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cause he cautions you not to provoke The last charge the archbishop sharpthe king further. Your best friends ly denied, and Lewis afterwards acquithave often given you the same advice.' ted him also. For the rest he said that

With great difficulty Becket was the king had begun by attacking the brought to consent to see the cardinals. Church. He was willing to consent to They came to him at Sens, but stayed any reasonable terms of arrangement, for a short time only, and went on to the with security for God's honor, proper reking in Normandy. The archbishop spect for himself

, and the restoration of gathered no comfort from his speech his estates. They asked if he would rewith them. He took to his bell and cognise the Constitutions; he said that candles again, and cursed the Bishop of no such engagement had been required London. He still intended to curse the of his predecessors, and ought not to be king and declare an interdict. He wrote required of him. “The book of abomito a friend, Cardinal Hyacinth, at Rome, nations,' as he called the Constitutions, to say that he would never submit to the was produced and read, and he chalarbitration of the cardinal legates, and lenged the cardinals to affirm that Chrisbidding him urge the pope to confirm tian men should obey such laws. the sentences which he was about to pro- Henry was prepared to accept the nounce.* He implored the pope him- smallest concession; nothing need be self to recall the cardinals and unsheath said about the Constitutions if Becket the sword of Peter. To his entire con- would go back to Canterbury, resume fusion, he learned that the king held a his duties, and give a general promise to letter from the pope declaring that his be quiet. The archbishop answered that curses would be so much wasted breath. there was a proverb in England that The pope tried to soothe him. Soft silence

gave consent. The question had words cost Alexander nothing, and, been raised, and could not now be passed while protecting Henry from spiritual over. The cardinals asked if he would thunders, he assured the archbishop him- accept their judgment on the whole self that his power should not be taken cause. He said that he would go into from him. Nor, indeed, had the vio- court before them or any one whom the lence of Becket's agitation any real occa- pope might appoint, as soon as his propsion. Alexander wished to frighten him erty was restored to him.

In his present into submission, but had no intention of poverty he could not encounter the excompromising himself by an authoritative pense of a lawsuit. decision. Many months passed away,

Curious satire on Becket's whole conand Becket still refused to plead before tention, none the less so that he was the cardinals. At length they let out himself unconscious of the absurdity! that their powers extended no further He withdrew from the conference, believthan advice, and Becket, thus satisfied, ing that he had gained a victory, and he consented to an official conference. The again began to meditate drawing his meeting was held near Gisors, on the spiritual sword. Messengers on all sides frontiers of France and Normandy, on again flew off to Rome, from the king the 18th of November, 1167. The arch- and English bishops, from the cardinals, bishop came attended by his exiled Eng- from Becket himself. The king and lish friends. With the cardinals were a bishops placed themselves under the large body of Norman bishops and ab- pope's protection should the archbishop bots. The cardinals, earnest for peace if begin his curses. The Constitutions they could bring their refractory patient were once more placed at the pope's disto consent to it, laid before him the gen- cretion to modify at his pleasure. The eral unfitness of the quarrel. They ac- cardinals wrote charging Becket with becused him of ingratitude, of want of loy- ing the sole cause of the continuance of alty to his sovereign, and, among other the quarrel, and in spite of his denials things, of having instigated the war.t persisting in accusing him of having

caused the war. Becket prayed again

for the cardinals' recall, and for the * Giles, vol. ii. p. 86.

+ Imponens ei inter cætera quod excita- pope's sanction of more vigorous action. verat guerram regis Francorum.'—Materials, He had not yet done with the cardivol. i. p. 66.

nals; they knew him, and they knew his restless humor. Pending fresh resolu- dent, but with amused contempt of the tions from Rome, they suspended him, chameleonlike Alexander, advised Henry, and left him incapable either of excom- through the Bishop of Poitiers, to treat municating or exercising any other func- with the archbishop immediately, nec tion of spiritual authority whatsoever. mediante Romano episcopo, nec rege FranOnce more he was plunged into despair. cice nec operá cardinalium, without help

Through those legates he cried in his either of pope, of French king or cardianguish to the pope : 'We are made a nals. Since Becket could not be frightderision to those about us. My lord, ened, Alexander was perhaps trying what have pity on me. You are my refuge. could be done with Henry; but he was I can scarcely breathe for anguish. My eager as any one for an end of some kind harp is turned to mourning, and my joy to a business which was now adding disto sadness. The last error is worse than grace and scandal to its other mischiefs. the first.'

Peace was arranged at last between Lewis The pope seemed deaf to his lamenta- and Henry. The English king gave up tions. The suspension was not removed. a point for which he had long contendPlans were formed for his translation ed, and consented to do homage for from Canterbury to some other prefer- Normandy and Anjou. The day after ment. He said he would rather be killed. Epiphany, January 7, 1169, the two The pope wrote so graciously to Henry princes met at Montmirail, between that the king said he for the first time Chartres and Le Mans, attended by their felt that he was sovereign in his own peers and prelates. realm. John of Salisbury's mournful con- In the general pacification the central viction was that the game was at last disturber was, if possible, to be included. played out. * We know those Romans,' The pope had sent commissioners, as we he sighed; 'qui munere potentior est, should call them-Simon, prior of Montpotentior est jure. The antipope could dieu, Engelbert, prior of Val St. Pierre, not have done more for the king than and Bernard de Corilo-to advise and, they have done. It will be written in if possible, guide Beckeċ into wiser the annals of the Holy See that the her- courses. The political ceremonies were ald of truth, the champion of liberty, the accomplished, Lewis and Henry' were preacher of the law of the Lord, has reconciled amidst general satisfaction been deprived and treated as a criminal and enthusiasm. Becket was then introat the threats of an English prince. duced, led in by the Archbishop of Sens,

It is hard to say what influence again the son of the aged Theobald, Count of turned the scale. Perhaps Alexander Blois. Henry and he had not met since was encouraged by the failures of Bar- the Northampton council. He threw barossa in Italy. Perhaps Henry had himself in apparent humility at the king's been too triumphant, and had irritated feet. 'My lord,' he said, 'I ask you to the pope and cardinals by producing forgive me. I place myself in God's their letters, and speaking too frankly of hands and in yours. At a preliminary the influences by which the holy men meeting the pope's envoys and the had been bound to his side.* In accept- French clergy had urged him to submit ing Henry's money they had not bar- without conditions.

without conditions. He had insisted on gained for exposure. They were his usual reservation, but they had obashamed and sore, and Becket grew jected to saving clauses. He seemed again into favor. The pope at the end now inclined really to yield, so Herbert of 1168 gave him back his powers, per- de Bosham says, and Herbert whispered mitting him to excommunicate even to him to stand firm. Henry himself unless he repented before • My lord king,' said Henry, after the ensuing Easter. The legates were Becket had made his general submission, recalled as Becket desired. Cardinal and you my lords and prelates, what I Otho recommended the king to make require of the archbishop is no more than his peace on the best terms which he that he will observe the laws which have could get. John of Salisbury, less confi- been observed by his predecessors. I

ask him now to give me that promise.' John of Salisbury, Letters, vol. ii. p. 144,

Becket no longer answered with a resered, Giles,

vation of his order: he changed the


phrase. He promised obedience, saving ble as stone. Lewis, after a brief coldthe honor of God.

ness, took him back into favor. His “You wish,' replied Henry, powerfully power of cursing had been restored, to disappointed and displeased, to be king him. The doubt was only whether the

my place. This man,' he continued, pope had recalled the safeguards which turning to Lewis, ' deserted his Church he had given to the king. The pope's of his own will, and he tells you and all agents, on the failure of the conference, men that his cause is the cause of the gave Henry a second letter, in which AlChurch. He has governed his Church exander told him that, unless peace was with as much freedom as those who have made, he could not restrain the archbishgone before him, but now he stands on op longer. Again representatives of the God's honor to oppose me wherever he various parties hurried off to Rome, Beckpleases, as if I cared for God's honor et insisting that if the pope would only less than he. I make this proposal. be firm the king would yield, Henry emMany kings have ruled in England be- barrassing the pope more completely fore me, some less, some greater than I than threats of schism could have done am; many holy men have been Arch- by placing the Constitutions unreservedbishops of Canterbury before him. Let ly in his hands, and binding himself to him behave to me as the most sainted of adopt any change which the pope might his predecessors behaved to the least suggest. Becket, feverish and impatient, worthy of mine, and I am content.' would not wait for the pope's decision,

The king's demand seemed just and and preferred to force his hand by acmoderate to all present. The archbishop tion. He summoned the Bishops of hesitated. Lewis asked him if he as London and Salisbury to appear before pired to be greater than acknowledged him. They appealed to Rome, but their saints. His predecessors, he said, had appeal was disregarded. Appeals, as extirpated some abuses, but not all. Becket characteristically said, were pot There was work which remained to be allowed in order to shield the guilty, but done. He was stopped by a general to protect the innocent. On Palm Sunoutcry that the king had yielded enough; day, at Clairvaux, he took once more to the saving clause must be dropped. At his bell and candles. He excommunionce, at the tone of command, Becket's cated the two bishops and every one who spirit rose. Priests and bishops, he an- had been concerned with his propertyswered defiantly, were not to submit to the Earl of Norfolk, Sir Ranulf de Broc, men of this world save with reservations: whom he peculiarly hated, Robert de he for one would not do it.

Broc, and various other (persons. The The meeting broke up in confusion. A chief justice he threatened. The king French noble said that the archbishop he still left unmentioned, for fear of prowas abusing their hospitality, and did voking the pope too far. not deserve any longer protection. Hen Harassed on both sides, knowing perry mounted his horse and rode sadly fectly well on which side good sense and away. The pope's agents followed him, justice lay, yet not daring to declare wringing their hands and begging for Becket wrong, and accept what, after ali some slight additional concession. The that had passed, would be construed into king told them that they must address a defeat of the Church, the unfortunate themselves to the archbishop. Let the Alexander drifted on as he best could, archbishop bind himself to obey the writing letters in one sense one day, and laws. If the laws were amiss, they should contradicting them the next. On the be modified by the pope's wishes. In no surface he seemed hopelessly false. The country in the world, he said, had the falsehood was no more than weakness, a clergy so much liberty as in England, specious anxiety to please the king withand in no country were there greater vil- out offending the archbishop, and trustlains among them. For the sake of ing to time and weariness to bring about peace he did not insist on terms precise- an end. There is no occasion to follow ly defined. The archbishop was required the details of his duplicities. Two leg. to do nothing beyond what had been ates were again sent-not cardinals this done by Anslem.

time, but ecclesiastical lawyers, Gratian Becket, however, was again immova- and Vivian-bound by oath this time to

cause no scandal by accepting bribes. tian had returned to Rome. Vivian was As usual, the choice was impartial; Gra- present, and pressed Lewis to bring the tian was for Becket, Vivian for the king. archbishop to reason. Lewis really exSo long as his excommunications were erted himself, and not entirely unsuccessallowed to stand, Becket cared little who fully. Henry was 'even more moderate might come. He added the chief justice than before. The Constitutions, by the to the list of the accursed, as he had confession of Becket's biographer, Herthreatened to do. He wrote to the Bish- bert, who was with him on the spot, were op of Ostia that the king's disposition practically abandoned. Henry's only could only be amended by punishment. condition was that the archbishop should The serpent head of the finiquity must not usurp the functions of the civil pownow be bruised, and he bade the bishop er; he, on his part, undertaking not to impress the necessity of it upon the pope. strain the prerogative. Becker dropped Gratian was taken into Becket's confi- his savirg clause, and consented to make dence. Vivian he treated coldly and the promise required of him, if the king contemptuously. According to Herbert would restore his estates, and give him and Becket's friends, Gratian reported compensation for the arrear rents, which that the king was shifty and false, and he estimated at 20,00ol. Lewis said that that his object was to betray the Church money ought not to be an obstacle to and the archbishop. Henry himself de- peace. It was unworthy of the archclared that he assented to all that they bishop to raise so poor a difficulty. But proposed to him, and Diceto says that here, too, Henry gave way. An imparthe legates were on the point of giving tial estimate should be made, and Becket judgment in Henry's favor when the was to be repaid. Archbishop of Sens interposed and for- But now, no more than before, had bade them. In the confusion of state- the archbishop any real intention of subment the actions of either party alone mitting. His only fear was of offending can be usefully attended to, and behind Lewis. The Archbishop of Sens had the acts of all, or at least of the pope, gone to Rome to persuade the pope to there was the usual ambiguity. Alexan- give him legatine powers over Henry's der threatened the king. He again em- French dominions. The censures of the powered Becket to use whatever power Church might be resisted in England. he possessed to bring him to submission, If Normandy, Anjou, and Aquitaine and he promised to confirm his sentences. were laid under interdict, these two spirAs certainly he had secret conferences itual conspirators had concluded that the at Rome with Henry's envoys, and prom- king would be forced to surrender. ised, on the other hand, that the arch- Becket was daily expecting a favorable bishop should not be allowed to hurt answer, and meanwhile was protracting him. Becket, furious and uncontrolla- the time. He demanded guarantees. ble, called the Bishop of London a par. He did not suspect the king, he said, but ricide, an infidel, a Goliath, a son of he suspected his courtiers. John of SalBelial; he charged the Bishop of Here- isbury had cautioned him, and the pope ford to see that the sentence against Fol- had cautioned him, against so indecent iot and his brother of Salisbury should a requisition. Lewis said it was unreabe observed in England. Henry, on the sonable. Becket said then that he must other hand, assured Foliot of protection, have the kiss of peace as a sign that the and sent him to Rome with letters from king was really reconciled to him. He himself to pursue his appeal and receive probably knew that the kiss would and absolution from the pope himself. The must be withheld from him until he had Count of Flanders interposed, the Count given proofs that he meant in earnest to of Mayence interposed, but without carry out his engagements. The king effect. At length on the 18th of Novem- said coldly that he did not mean, and ber, (the anniversary of the conference had never meant, to injure the Church. with the cardinals at Gisors, Henry and He was willing to leave the whole quesLewis met again at Montmartre outside tion between himself and the archbishop Paris, Becket and his friends being in at- either to the peers and prelates of France tendance in an adjoining chapel. Gra

Gra- or to the French universities. More he

could not do. The conference at Mont receive the homage of the barons while martre ended, as Becket meant that it his father was still living. should end, in nothing.

The pope in person had been invited He sent off despatches to the Arch- to perform the ceremony. The pope bishop of Sens and to his Roman agents, had found it impossible to go, and entirely well satisfied with himself, and among the other inconveniences resultbidding them tell the pope that Norman- ing from Becket's absence the indefinite dy had only to be laid under interdict postponement of this coronation had not and that the field was won Once more been the lightest. The king had been he had painfully to discover that he had reluctant to invade the acknowledged been building on a quicksand. Instead privilege of the Archbishop of Canterof the interdict, the pope sent orders to bury, and had put it off from year to the Archbishop of Rouen and the Bishe year. But the country was growing imof Nevers to absolve a second time the patient. The archbishop's exile might victims whom he had excommunicated now be indefinitely protracted. The deat Clairvaux. Instead of encouragement lay was growing dangerous, and the obto go on and smite the king with the ject of the commission for which the king spiritual sword, he received a distinct had asked, and which the pope had command to abstain for another interval. granted to the Archbishop of York, was Last of all, and worst of all, the pope to enable the Archbishop of York to act informed him that at the king's request, in the coronation ceremony. The comfor certain important purposes, he had mission in its terms was all that Henry granted a commission, as legate over all could desire; the pope not only permitEngland, to his rival and enemy the ted the Archbishop of York to officiate, Archbishop of York. The king's envoys but enjoined him to do it. Promises had promised that the commission should were said.to have been given that it was not be handed to the Archbishop of not to be used without the pope's conYork till the pope had been again con- sent; but in such a labyrinth of lies litsulted But the deed was done. The tle reliance can be placed on statements letter had been signed and delivered. unconfirmed by writing. The pope did The hair shirt and the five daily floggings not pretend that he had exacted from had been in vain then! Heaven was the English envoys any written engagestill inexorable. The archbishop raved ment.

ment. He had himself signed a paper like a madman. 'Satan was set free for giving the Archbishop of York the necthe destruction of the Church.'


essary powers, and this paper was in the Rome it was always the same. Barab- king's hands. The coronation was the bas was let go, and Christ was cruci- symbol of the struggle in which Becket fixed.' 'Come what might, he would was now engaged. The sovereign, acnever submit, but he would trouble the cording to his theory, was the delegate Roman Church no more.'

of the Church. In receiving the crown

from the hands of the Archbishop of Becket had now been for more than Canterbury, the sovereign formally adfive years in exile. He had fought for mitted his dependent position; and so victory with a tenacity which would have long as it could be maintained that the done him credit had his cause been less coronation would not hold unless it was preposterous. At length it seemed that performed either by the Archbishop of hope was finally gone. At the supreme Canterbury or by the pope himself, the moment another opportunity was thrust sovereign's subject state was a practical into his hands. Henry's health was un- reality certain ; he had once been dangerously Becket saw the favorable moment, and ill. The succession to the English crown instantly snatched at it. He had many had not yet settled into fixed routine. powerful friends in England among the Of the Conqueror's sons William had peers and knights. The lay peers, he been preferred to Robert. Stephen sup- says in his letters, had always been truer planted Matilda ; but the son of Stephen to him than the clergy, they on their was set aside for Matilda's son. To pre- part having their own differences with vent disputes it had been long decided the crown. He had ascertained that the that Prince Henry must be crowned and coronation could not be postponed ; and

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