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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. II. A.D. 1066 to A.D. I307.
page 581



MATTHEW OP WESTMINSTER. À.D. 1304. as it were, victorious, claimed themselves a place in the wall, as a token of their perpetual victory, leaving there indelible traces of the great triumph of the glorious king. Moreover, I must not pass over in silence the wisdom of the king, for, as a great many arrows shot by the besieged surrounded him, both on the right hand and on the left, and fell ineffectually around, and the English proposed to collect them, the king forbade them, saying, " Disregard them, and pass them by ; for if you do not collect them, they will calculate that they have not nearly reached you ; but if you pick them up, they will perceive that they have fallen near you, and will aim their arrows at us with the greater spirit." Then the besieged, seeing other engines raised higher than the castle walls, after that, for fear of the soldiers who were protected by them and invisible, did not dare to advance into the open air, and knowing that everything which they had in the castle for their support was now consumed, and that the castle and themselves were within three days of being taken, addressed the chiefs of the king's army, promising to surrender the castle, on condition of not being punished as traitors and murderers. The others promise them safety, as far as it depends on them. Therefore, all the garrison quitting the castle, being all guilty of death, on the day of the holy virgin Saint Margaret, came to the king, ungirt and barefoot, after the manner of thieves, with ashes sprinkled on their heads, carrying, like traitors, ropes in their hands and round their necks, showing thereby that they have well deserved such a fate, and asking the grace of the king. To whom the king said, " I will not receive you to my grace, because you deserve it not, but only to my will." They replied : " Our lord the king, we submit ourselves to your will." The king rejoined : " My will is to tear you limb from limb, and hang you ; and if you refuse, I will allow you to return as you are to the castle." Then, William Olifant, prostrating himself on the ground, with many sobs, said, " My lord the king, we know that our iniquity is too great to deserve pardon ; for this my household has never been otherwise than obnoxious to my lord the king. But, merciful king, we entreat your ineffable clemency, and whether we, unworthy as we are, obtain it or not, look upon us as dead upon the earth." And while he was thus weeping with a great outcry, the king said to the other parricides, " What do you, too, ask?" And they, groaning, cried out, "We are guilty of


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