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Roger De Hoveden The Annals vol.1., From A.D. 732 To A.D. 1180.

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Roger De Hoveden
The Annals vol.1., From A.D. 732 To A.D. 1180.
page 252



A.D. 1141. BALDWIN ADDRESSES THE KXNo's ARMY. 241 King Stephen in the meantime, his mind fluctuating amid mighty cares, had the mass performed with the greatest solemnity. But when, according to the usual custom, he was placing in the hands of bishop Alexander a wax taper, an offering to God worthy of a king, it broke. This was an omen of sorrow to the king. The pix9 also fell down upon the altar in which was the body of the Lord, the string breaking in the presence of the bishop. This was an omen of the king's ruin. After this, the valiant king went forth, and with the greatest coolness disposed his troops in battle array ; he himself on foot ranged in the closest possible order the whole body of his men in armour, dismounted from their horses. The earls with their troops on horse-back10 arranged to fight in two bodies ; but these bodies of horsemen appeared to be very small, as the earls had brought but few with them, though pretended to be more in number. But the king's army was very numerous, and marshalled under only one standard, that of the king ; upon whieh, as king Stephen had not an agréable voice, the speech to the army by way of exhortation was delegated to Baldwin, a man of great nobleness, and a most valiant soldier, who, standing on an elevated spot, when, by a modest sBence he had caBed the attention of all to his words, thus commenced, with the gaze of all intently fixed upon him ; " AB those who, when the lines of battle are drawn up, are about to engage, ought to see beforehand to three things : first, the righteousness of their cause ; next, the number of their men ; lastly, the prowess of their troops. The righteousness of their cause, lest danger to the soul should be incurred ; the number of their men, lest they should be overwhelmed with the number of the enemy ; the prowess of their troops, lest, twisting in a multitude, they should, by relying on the weak, still be overthrown. On aB these points we see ourselves suitably prepared in the matter upon which we are engaged. For the righteousness of our cause is this, that, observing what we have sworn to our king before God, we stand facing those who have proved perjured towards him to the peril of death. As to our numbers, in horsemen we are not inferior, in foot more 9 The box in which the consecrated wafer is kept. 10 This passage in Roger of Vendover applies to the earls, the antago-nists of Stephen, and the liberty has been taken here of adapting the passage to that sense. ' VOL. I. R


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