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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 253



242 ANNALS OF BOGEE DE HOTEDEN. A.J). 1141. numerous. But the prowess of so many earls, so many nobles and knights always accustomed to warfare, who in words can express ? Besides, the boundless valour of the king himself will stand for you in the stead of thousands. Since, then, your liege lord is in the midst of you, the Lord's anointed, to whom you have sworn allegiance, perform your vows before God ; inasmuch as you shall receive the greater reward from God, the more faithfully and constantly you fight for your king, the faithful against the unfaithful, the observers of the law against the perjured. Then, be of good comfort and filled with entire confidence. Consider against whom you fight. The might of earl Robert is well known : according to his practice, he threatens much, and does but little, having the mouth of the lion and the heart of the hare—eloquent in words, and always in the baek-ground through his slothfulness. As for the earl of Chester, he is a man of unreasonable boldness, ready for plotting, inconstant in performing, impetuous in warfare, unprovided against danger, contriving schemes too lofty for his reach, bent upon impossibilities, and bringing with him few good soldiers : collecting a straggling multitude of strangers, there is no reason why he should be dreaded. For whatever he begins like a man, he always leaves like a woman ; since in all matters in whieh he has been concerned, he has met with misfortune, either overcome in the encounter and running away, or if, on extraordinary occasions, victorious, sustaining greater loss than those overcome. The "Welehmen whom he has brought with him are only objects of our contempt, opposing their unarmed rashness to the front of battle, devoid of skill and all knowledge of the art of war, like cattle running upon the hunting-spears. The others, both nobles and common soldiers, are deserters and vagabonds, and I only wish they had been brought here in greater numbers, for the more they are in number, the worse will they prove in the trial of them. You, therefore, earls and men of noble rank, ought to be mindful of your valour and your dignity. This day elevate your prowess, so inestimable, to the most exalted pitch, and, in imitation of your ancestors, leave to your sons an everlasting glory. The constant success of your arms should be to you an incentive to fight ; the continuance of reverses will be to them a motive for running away. And indeed, already, if I am not deceived, they repent of coming hither, and arc at


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