Capitulum nonum decimum.
ALSO þis ȝere deide þe secounde Richard, þe fourþe duke of Normandie, to whom succedid his sone Richard þe þridde, whom afterward a ȝere of his ducherie his ȝong broþer Robert slow wiþ venym; for whiche cause þe same Robert succedynge hym, after þe sevenþe ȝere of his ducherie, havynge compunc|cioun in his herte, wente in pilgrimage to Ierusalem barefoot, and deide at Bithanye; of whom it was tolde þat in fiȝtinge he was strong, in giffynge liberal, in festynge and mete ȝevynge large. Wherfore it byfel in a festivite þat alle oþer knyȝtes offerynge at a messe, o knyght offred nouȝt; þe duke forsoþe supposynge þat he hadde nouȝt wherof he myȝte offre, co|maunded for to giff hym an hondred pounde, whiche al so sone Page 121, vol.7 as he hadde receyved, þan he putte holy all up on þe auȝter; and when he was i-asked why he hadde done so, he answerde, "For þey were gyffen for to offre." When þe duke herde þat, he ȝaf hym an oþer hondred pound to his owne use. Anoþer tyme, when þe same duke plaied at þe chesse, hym was ȝoven a viste of gold, honoured wonderfully wiþ precious stones, and he also sone ȝaf it to þe clerk þat pleyde with hym, and þe clerk also sone deide; of whiche þing phiciciens and leches tolde þe cause, seienge þat riȝt as for overmoche sorwe the herte is stoken and spered, and bot it be þe sonner opned, it bryngeþ yn deth, riȝt so for overmoche gladnesse þe herte is oponed, and bot it be þe sonner spered it schal be cause of deth. Also anoþer tyme a man brouȝte to Robert þe duke two ful faire knyȝtes,*. [Sic in MS., see Harl.] to whom he made giffe al so sone an hondred pound, and whiles he tolde þe penyes two gentil hors were ȝefen to þe duke, whiche al so sone he ȝaf to þe same man; and he, when he hadde taken þese, hastily wente awey, þat þere schulde no lettynge peradventure come unto hym. In þe mene tyme a selver cuppe was ȝefen to þe duke, and he þat brouȝt þe knyves i-souȝt and nouȝt i-founde, þe duke pleyned hym þat he hadde i-take to litel rewardynge. It was seide of þis Robert þat what some evere was ȝeven hym, he wolde ȝeve it unto hym þat ȝaf hym any worschipful þing þat day, but if peraventure þe ȝifte war Page 123, vol.7 able to be eten. Willelmus de Regibus, libro 3o. Þis Robert somtyme passynge þoruȝ Phalesiam, a citee of Normandy, he saw a mayden, Arlek by name, þe douȝter of a skynner, daunsynge in a carroll among oþer maydouns; þat nyȝt he took hir to hym, þe whiche he hilde longe tyme in stede of his wif, and on hir he gat William conquerour, whos gretnes to come bytokened þe dreeme of his moder, in whiche sche saw hir bowels spred þoruȝ Engelond and Normandye. And also in þe schedynge of þe burþe, þe ȝong childe, when he touched þe erþe, he filled boþe his hondes of poudre of þe pavement, he constreyned and helde to gidre; of þat the mydwif schewed byfore þat he schulde be a kyng. Þis mayden forsoþe Arlek, þe firste nyȝt þat sche was ledde to þe duke Robert his bedde, sche brak hire owne smok fro the chyn unto þe foot, and when sche was asked of þe duke why sche dede so, sche answerde þat it was nouȝt laweful nor curtesye þat þe lowest party of hir smok, þat hadde gone aboute hir fete, schulde be torned to his lordes mouth. Þe duke Robert þerfore goynge to Ierusalem, i-called alle his gentiles at Fiscan, and he made þaim alle for to swere truþe and feaute to William his sone, seven ȝere of age þat tyme; to whom he ordeyned child Page 125, vol.7 Gilbert to be tutour, and he assigned the kepynge and defend|ynge of his tutour to kyng Henry of Fraunce. Þe gentiles keped hir feiþ to þe childe unto þe deienge of Robert, but his dede i-herde, everichon loked to hym self, and was necligent to þe childe. At þe laste þe forseide Gilbert i-slay by Rauf, þe childes eme sone and cosyn, over al was done menslauȝter, and þe contray was alto wounded wiþ ynward dissenciouns. William, whan he was wexynge in armes, toke Gy of Burgoyn, þat was cosyn to hym, of þe douȝter of Richard þe secounde, auctour of alle þe doyng, and slow hym; he made Odoun, þe kynges broþer of Fraunce comynge agayne hym, for to flee; whiche i-herde, kyng Henry of Fraunce, comynge wiþ a greet multitude, was made fouly for to flee, but mediatours goynge bytwixe, pees was made and þe kynges prisoners delyvered. Where it is sovereynly for to wite þat when þis William often tymes fauȝt wiþ þe kyng of Fraunce, nevere sodenly, as oure men doþ now, but þe day of batayle i-schewed, and assigned byfore, evermore i-bore awey þe overmore and þe hyȝer hond; afterward þe kyng of Fraunce cesede þe londes þat were appen|daunt to Normandie, as þe erldome of Cene and þe lasse Page 127, vol.7 Britayne whiche kyng Charles ȝaf wiþ Gille his douȝter to Rolloun, worþely he wan it. In whiche bataille was Harold of Engelond, as it schal be seide wiþynne. Þe duke Robert þer|fore goynge to Ierusalem wente þoruȝ Burgoyne, where whiles he went out at þe ȝate in a mornynge laste of alle þe pilgrimes, he was smeten of þe porter wiþ a staf, and also sone doynge þankes to God, seide to his men: "Keþe nouȝt in wil for to venge me, ffor I am worþy moche more evel; I love bettre þis stroke þan al Rothomage." Fro þens comynge to Rome þat he myȝte receyve þe croyce of þe pope, he put his mantel, þat was precious and riche, on þe ymage of Constantyn þe grete, skornynge in þat þe Romayns, þat wolde nouȝt ones a ȝere at þe leste ȝeve þaire lord a cloþe. He made also þe mule þat he rood uppon for to be schodde uppon*. [Sic in MS.] wiþ gold, forbedyng al his men þat when þe schone fel awey þat non schulde gadre þaym up. Also tornynge by þe emperour of Constantynnoble whiles he spak wiþ hym, sawe þat þere was no benche in þe hous, satte on his owne mantel, after þe manere and þe custume of his contre, and þat same dede his knyȝtes; and whan þey rose þay lefte þaire mantels þere as þe duke comaunded, seienge þat þey oghte nouȝt for to take awey wiþ þaym þaire benches and þaire sittynges; and whenne þe duke was prayed of þe emperour for to take costage and spence for the way, he answerde þat he Page 129, vol.7 wolde whiles he schulde goo in pilgrimage lyve on his owne, bote in comynge aȝen he wolde doo the emperours will; wherfore þe kyng and emperour forbeed þat any schulde selle hym woode ȝe forto seþe his mete and vitailles wiþ, but þe duke bouȝte notes wiþ þe whiche he seþe his mete and vitailles; þe emperour forsoþe, wondrynge þe worþynesse of þe duke, fro*. [for MS.] þat tyme forthe he ordeyned benches in his court in stede of þe forsaide mantelles. It was þat tyme forsoþe custome þat none schulde entre into þe holy citee, but he gaf prise or mede, wherfor meny men herynge of þe comynge of þis duke, asked help of hym; to whom he swore by þe herte of his body þat also longe as o peny he schulde hym self entre þe laste; whiche herynge a noble Sarcene þat was lord of þat citee, which also hadde herde of þe worþynesse of þis duke, forbede also sone þat þere schulde noþing be taken of hym ne none þat folowed hym, and þat al þe offrynge þat was made þat day schulde be gyfen aȝen to þe duke; whiche also sone as he receyved it, he ȝaf it unto pore men; and sone aftir, as it saide bifore, he deide in Bithinie.