Chapter 49

[ 49 ]


       "If your son, king Lothar, (note 1) sets out for Richard's most fortified towns with the gathered military band of all Francia and Burgundy, Richard will struggle against Lothar, perhaps preferring to halt his advance. If not, Richard will settle himself within the extremely durable ramparts of his highly secure cities. Then, with an amassed army of Christ-worshippers and pagans, he will go to Lothar's towns, pillaging everything along the way, and if he should peradventure capture those towns, he will hold both realms, untroubled by Franks or Burgundians. To a certain extent it is more sensible and more appropriate to capture him through deceit, than to lay waste his monarchy and besiege his towns, for in this enterprise we will accomplish nothing. For he will realize our intention and so will guard himself even more cautiously. Truly, send an ambassador to the extraordinary Lotharingian duke, that is to say your brother archbishop Bruno of Cologne, (note 2) to come to you to undertake the business of this deception, and let him ensnare that man Richard (so self-exalted!) with some cunning sophism."
       The queen has immediately sent to Bruno and confided to him the entire sequence of this deception. In fact Bruno has immediately made for Francia and, coming to the district of Vermandois, has sent a certain bishop to say to Richard in deceit: "Bruno, although unworthy, archprelate of Cologne, sends you his faithful prayers. Indeed, because our lord well knows what the evangelical speech said by announcing 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God,' he therefore prays with all his strength that you come swiftly to meet him in the district of Amiens. For he has heard of the deceptions of those quarrels that are rising up against you and because of his love for you he wishes with an ardent soul to calm their commotions. He will bring you and his nephew the king together in an inextricable alliance, he will reconcile you with Tetbold and the other spiteful people, after removing their baleful will. He is striving to regulate and make serene all his nephew's realms through the law of right authority and to disperse and tread down all strife. For he desires to bind everyone in fidelity to his nephew and, after the whirlwinds of quarrels have been calmed in this way and peace has been covenanted by all, to march back home." Then, ensnared by these deceitful addresses, the most benign marquis Richard has undertaken, with his fideles, to go meet Bruno.
       And when he has come to the district of Beauvais, and Bruno to Amiens, on the day designated for them to confer together, two of Tetbold's men, inspired by divine command, have come to Richard saying: "We wish, duke, to speak to you privately." As Richard withdraws, they have mentioned to him: "Would you prefer to be duke of the Normans than the shepherd of sheep and she-goats outside your region?" But count Richard has been marvelously brought to a standstill and is staring fixedly and giving them (absolutely astounded) no reply! Having almost withdrawn within himself and thoroughly examined the meaning of this mentioned proposition, he has said the two men: "Where are you from, and whose fideles are you?" They have replied: "Why do you ask whose? Are we not yours?" Richard, realizing that they are his fideles and that they do not wish that fact to be made public, thanking them and bidding them farewell, has secretly honored them greatly. In fact he has given one a sword, glittering in a hilt made from four pounds of gold, but the other an armlet constructed from just as many pounds of purest gold.
       For indeed as they depart, he has announced to his magnates what they alleged. Then the magnates, having reconsidered and explained the two men's scolding and comparing proposition, have forced him to go back to the walled town of Rouen and to send an ambassador to Bruno to report that he was not about to come to the conference. But archbishop Bruno has been astounded at the ambassador's report that Richard will not come to the conference, and believes that the latter has recognized the plan for deception, and he has said to the ambassador: "Go speedily and tell great duke Richard to come at least to the river Epte, if he desires to have rest and an increase of peace from his foes, and I will travel there, because of my love for him, in order to support him." Then the ambassador: "Neither because of me, nor because of any other of your followers would he come to meet you at a conference." Thus, before the obstacle of this reply, and with the deceit of so great a betrayal so completely exposed, Bruno returns home, ashamed.                      Apostrophe (note 3)


O kind Richard,
Duke and patrician and great count,
And bountiful to all,
Behold, very many are attempting
Mightily to subjugate you
By crafty cunning
And each one reconsiders how
To ruin you, unfairly, by deceit,
Therefore strive vigorously
To gleam with determined hope
And faith and gleaming force,
Whereby you might be able always to bloom
With merits and a just recompense
And, with ready uprightness,
To keep to the right road
And to the equitable path of the scales,
Where you will never be captured
But, rescued from such a lot,
You will flourish,
Now, through all eternity.


Notes:


1. Lothar, king of Western Francia (954 - 986), son of Louis IV and Gerberga.

2. Bruno, duke of Lotharingia and archbishop of Cologne (953 - 965), son of Henry I, king of Germany and brother of Gerberga, queen of Western Francia.

3. Preferring the "Apostrophe" of CC 276 and others.


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