Capitulum vicesimum primum.
WHEN*. [Thanne, Cx.] Steven was dede þe secounde Henry was kyng. Þis Henry was þe [firste]*. [From α., β., and Cx.; vurste, γ.] Henries nevew, þe eldest sone of his douȝter þe emperesse and of Geffray Plantagenet, erle of Angoye.*. [Anjoye, β.; Ageo, γ.; Angeo, Cx.] His maneres and his dedes, his vertues and his vices, Girald Cambrencis in his distincciouns discryveþ, and saiþ in þis manere. Dredeful it is to allegge aȝenst hym þat may [put out of lond, and to discreve hym wiþ meny wordes þat may]*. [From α., β. and Cx.] excile a man wiþ oo*. [α, Cx.] word. Hit*. [That, Cx.] were a gracious þing and passinge oure wit and oure*. [ur wyt and ur, γ.] strengþe to telle out þe soþe in alle his dedes and offende þe princes herte in no manere poynt. Þis Henry was somdel*. [somwhat, Cx.] redisshe, wiþ a large face and brest*. [bryst, α.; fas and brust, γ.] and ȝelow eyȝen and a dym voys, and fleschely*. [fleschy, β.] of body, and took boþe*. [but, Cx.] scarsliche of mete and [of]*. [From α., β. and Cx.] drinke; Page 25, vol.8 and forto allegge*. [alledge, Cx.] fatnesse he travailled his body wiþ besynesse of*. [of] wiþ, β.; with, Cx.] hontynge, wiþ stondynge and*. [wiþ, α.] wandrynge. He was of mene stature, resonabel*. [renable, β. and Cx.; renabel, γ.] of speche, and wel i-lettred, nobel and orped in knyȝthode, and wise in counsaille and in bataille, and dradde douteful destonye; more manliche and curteys to knyȝtes*. [knyȝt, α. and Cx.] when*. [when] om. α.] þey were dede þan whiles þey were*. [while he was, α. and Cx.] onlyve. [He schewede more sorwe for men when þey were dede þan love while þey were of lyve.]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] No man was more goodliche þan he in mescheef, and whan he hadde nede of sturnes*. [whanne he had efte surte no man, β.; whanne a hadde efte surte, γ.; and whan he hadde efte suerte noo man, Cx.] no man was more sterne þan he. [He]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] was cruel*. [cruwel, β.] to hem þat was nouȝt i-chasted, and somtyme mylde to his sugettes; hard to his famulers,*. [famylers, α.] and freherted to straungers; large of ȝiftes outward, and scars in privete;*. [privyte, β.] whom he hated oþer loved ones, unneþe he wolde torne to þe contrarie; he wolde wilfulliche passe his owne word; slow in all manere answere, and loved wel pees and quyet; he bare doun gentil men, and solde and taried riȝtwisnesse; unstedefast of fay,*. [feiþ, β.; feyth, Cx.] chaunge|able*. [changehabel, γ.] and gileful of word; open spousebrekere, þe harmere*. [hamer, β.] of holy cherche, alway unkynde*. [unkuynde, γ.] to God; he norsched*. [norsede, γ.] strif amonges his sones wiþ al besynesse, and hopede to have pees hym self, have love*. [have love] aloon, β.; alone, γ. and Cx.] by stryf of his children. ȝif he*. [me, β.; men, Cx.] axede Page 27, vol.8 of alle his grete dedes, þe world schulde raþer faille þan*. [þat,.] we schulde make an ende; londes may cese [to a bolde herte, but victoryes conneþ*. [kunneþ, β.; cunneþ, γ.; can, Cx.] nouȝt cese];*. [From α., γ., and Cx.] triumphis and praysing schal not faille, but þe matir of wynnynge of worschippe may faille. He was peerles and passynge in chyvalrie, in werre, and in leccherie; he pesede myȝtiliche þe londes of his heritage, and wan Irlond myȝtily with*. [by, Cx.] strengþe. He took William kyng of Scotlonde, and joynede*. [innede, γ.] þe kyngdom of Scotlond to his owne. From þe souþ occean to þe norþ Irlond*. [ilondes, β.; ylondes, γ.; Ilandes, Cx.] of Orcades he closede all þe londes as it were under a*. [oon, β.; one, Cx.] principate, and sprad so nobilliche his empere, and made it ful wide. After Julius Cesar me redeþ of no man þat so happede. Byȝonde þe see, wiþoute Normandie, Gyan, Angoye,*. [Angeo, Cx.] and Cenomannia*. [Chynon in Toureyne, Cx.] þat fel*. [vul, γ.] to hym by riȝt of his fader, and also Peytow and Gascoyne anon to þe mountes Pirenees, þe hilles of Spayne, þat fel to hym by mariage, he made suget to his lordschippe Alverne and oþer londes. He used to say*. [forto sygge, γ.] þat all þe world is litel*. [lyte, γ.] inow*. [ynowȝ, β.] for oon man þat is strong and myȝty. Þe kynges of Spayne forto cese stryf putte her querel uppon þe*. [þe] þis, β.] kynges dome. Meny of his dedes þat were al aȝen þe pees he brouȝt to ende at his owne wille, as it were by warnynge of gracious eure*. [eur, β. and γ.] and by a chose*. [chosen, β. and Cx.] wirker*. [worcher, β.] of fortune. But meny þinges passed*. [happyd, Cx.] hym as it were ungracious*. [ungraciousliche, β.; ungra|ciously, Cx.] to his owne Page 29, vol.8 mekenesse, ȝif he wolde be repentaunt,*. [repentauȝt, α.] and elles for*. [ellus vor, γ.] he schulde be torment in his owne flesche, þe cruel bocher.*. [cruwel bochour, β.; cruwel bo|cheur, γ.] First he took wrongfulliche Eleanore þe queene from here*. [vram hure, γ.] lord Lowys, kyng of Fraunce [and wedded here in dede þouȝ he myȝte nouȝt by þe lawe, and his owne fader Geffray for|bede*. [forbad, Cx.] hym, and saide þat he schulde nouȝt touche here, for he had y-lay by here hym self whiles he was þe kynges styward of Fraunce.]*. [From α. and Cx.] Noþeles þis Henry gat on here þre douȝtres and sexe nobel sones. Þe firste douȝter Molde he maried to þe duke of Saxon, þe secounde Elianore to þe kyng of Spayne, and þe þridde John*. [Johan, β. and Cx.] to William kyng of Secile.*. [Scicil, Cx.] Alle his*. [Also two, α.; Also his twey, Cx.] sones were hasteliche i-take from hym, and he was worþeliche destourbed and greved by þe oþer foure to his lyfes ende. He regnede nyh fyve and þritty ȝere, and so he hadde þritty ȝere y-ȝeven hym to worldliche blisse and likynge, to suffraunce of conversioun,*. [conversacion, Cx.] and to assay of devocioun; and þe ȝere þat were*. [weren, α.] over þe þritty ȝere [were]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] i-ȝeve hym too greef and to wreche as to an evel man and an*. [an] om. β.] unkynde. For Page 31, vol.8 in þe secounde ȝere his*. [of þis, α.; of these, Cx.] fyve ȝere his strengþe passed away*. [and] þat, β.] and*. [strengþe vansede away þat, γ.; the strength vanysshed aweye that, Cx.] he hadde i-ordeyned aboute þe sendynge of his sone John into Irlond, and þe þridde he þat lefte*. [loste, α.; lost, β. and Cx.] nevere þing lost Alverne aȝenst þe kyng of Fraunce; þe fourþe ȝere he loste Bythuricam, þe fifte ȝere he loste*. [þe citees, add. β.] Cenomannia*. [Cenomanniaca, α.] and Turon and many castelles þerto, and hym self [also].*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] This kyng usede to have in his speche of tretys religious bisshoppes, and lad hem wiþ hem byȝonde*. [byȝunde, γ.] þe see in dedes of armes, and dede*. [dude, γ.] more by counsail of hem þan by counsail of knyȝtes. And þat he dede for two skilles, ferst for his court schulde seme þe more real*. [rial, β.] and nobil to messangeres*. [messagers, Cx.] and legates þat come þerto; þe secounde skille for alway he assayed raþer pes þan wepen and armure, þerfore he made suche medyatoures with puttynge too of money. Also for he hadde somtyme y-ȝeve*. [yeven, Cx.] dignitees of holy cherche to unworþy per|sones, forto wynne his fame aȝe he made Baldewyn þe whiȝte monk archbisshop of Caunterbury, and Hugh,*. [Huwe, β. and γ.] prioure of þe Charthouse,*. [Chartherous, Cx.] bisshop of Lyncoln. He hadde þese tweyne as hit were alway to counsail. For every man þat redeþ in book Page 33, vol.8 schulde have þe lesse wonder of þe ungracious issue*. [ysseu, γ.] and ende of þis kyng and of his sones, we*. [me, β.; men, Cx.] schal take hede of þis kynges bygynnynge, and wherof he come boþe on*. [on] in, β. and γ.] fader syde and moder side. Also of þe condicioun of his wyf,*. [lif, β. and Cx. wrongly.] on whom he gate his sones. Geffray Plantegenet come of þe children of a cuntesse*. [countesse, β.; contas, γ.] of Anioye*. [Angeo, Cx.] þat was y-spoused onliche for fayrnesse of body. Sche wolde selden*. [Heo wolde seelde, β.; Hue wolde selde, γ.] come at cherche, and þan unneþ sche*. [heo, β.] wolde abyde þe secretes of þe messe. Þe erle hir hous|bonde toke hir,*. [heede, β.] and was war of þat doynge, and ordeynede foure knyȝtes to holde here in cherche, and sche*. [heo, β.] þrewe awey here mantel þat sche*. [hue, γ. (quater).] was y-holde*. [holden, Cx.] by, and lefte þere here two sones under here ryȝt side of hir mantel, and wiþ here oþer two sones þat sche hadde under þe left*. [lift, β.] side of here mantel sche flauȝ*. [flyȝ, β.; fleuh, Cx.] out at the wyndowe of þe*. [atte chirche wyndow, Cx.] cherche in siȝt of alle men, and was nevere y-seyn after þat tyme. Afterward Richard kyng of Engelond tolde ofte þis tale, and saide þat hit was no wonder þouȝ þey þat comeþ*. [come, β., and Cx. bis.] of suche a kuynde*. [kunde, γ.] greved everich oþer, as þey þat comeþ*. [come, β., and Cx. bis.] of þe devel and schulde goo Page 35, vol.8 to þe devel. Also in a tyme kyng Henry sente a clerk to his sone Gaufrede erle of Britayne forto refourme and make ful pees,*. [vol pes, γ.] and þe sone answered þe clerk in þis manere: "Why art þu come to desherite me of my ryȝt*. [of my ryȝt, Cx.] of my kynde burþe? knowest þou nouȝt þat hit longeþ to us propurliche by kynde, and hit is y-pyȝt uppon us by kynde of oure fore|fadres,*. [of my ryȝt, Cx.] þat noon of us schulde love oþer? þan travayle þou nouȝt an*. [an] in, β. and Cx.] ydel to put awey kynde." Also þis kyng Henryes moder was y-wedded to þis Geffray, lyvynge here*. [hyr, Cx.] raþer hous|bonde, þat was a pilgrim and lyvede as an hermyte, and þis kyng Henry come of hem tweyne in þis lattere mariage. Also of þis Henry while he was a child y-norsched in þe kynges court of Fraunce, seynt Bernard þe abbot propheciede and saide in presence of þe kyng, "Of þe devel he come, and to þe devel he schal;" and menede*. [moeved, Cx.] þerby boþe þe tyraundise*. [iirauntrie, β.; tyraundys, γ.; tyrauntrye, Cx.] of his fader Geffray þat geldede the bisshop of Sagye,*. [Sagre, Cx.] and his owne cruelnesse þat slouȝ seynt Thomas of Caunterbury. And ȝit his fader Geffray hadde y-laye by þis Elianore*. [þues Alienor, γ.] þat his sone this Henry wedded afterwards. Also this Elianores fader,*. [of fornfaders, Cx.]Page 37, vol.8 eorle of Peytho,*. [Peytow, β.; Peytowe, Cx.] ravesched*. [raveste, γ.] his owne viscountes*. [schirreves, β.; vicounte, γ.; shyrreves, Cx.] wyf, and wedded here levynge*. [lyvyng, Cx.] her housbonde. In a tyme an holy man blamed hym [for]*. [From Cx.] þat dede, and it vayled*. [avayled, β.; availed, Cx.] nouȝt; þanne þe good man prayed þat nevere childe þat come of hem schulde brynge forþ gracious fruyt. It happede in a tyme at Wynchestre in þis kyng Henries chambre þat was dyversliche i-peynted [that one place was lefte unpaynted]*. [From Cx.; þat on plas was left unpeynt, γ.] by the kynges heste, þere þe kyng heet afterward peynte an egle wiþ foure briddes;*. [breddes, γ.] [þe þre briddes]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] cracched*. [cratched, Cx., bis.] and rent*. [torent, β. and Cx.] þe fader with billes and wiþ clawes,*. [clouwes, γ.] bote þe fourþe bridde besied hym faste to cracche out his fader eyȝen. Me axede of þe kyng*. [of þe kyng] hym, Cx.] what þis*. [þues, ., bis.] wolde mene. "Þese*. [þues, ., bis.] foure bryddes," quoþ þe kyng, "beeþ myn foure sones, þat wil*. [wole, β.] not cese to pursewe*. [pursywe, γ.] me anon to the deeþ, and nameliche þis laste John, whom I loved*. [ich love, β.; I love, Cx.] now moost, schal most scharpliche awayte and caste for my deeth."