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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 450



A.D. 1100.] CHARACTER OF WILLIAM RTJFUS. 445 out of respect to his great holiness. The following Jay also, the archbishop went to Lyons, and the same night, when the monks who accompanied him had chanted the matin-service, behold, a young man, simply dressed, and of a mild countenance, stood by one of the clerks of the archbishop, who had his bed near the door of the chamber, and though not asleep, kept his eyes shut ; and calling him by name, "Adam," said he, " are you asleep ?" The clerk answered, " No," and the young man continued, "D o you wish to hear some news ?" " Most willingly," said Adam. " Then," said the young man, " be informed for certain that the quarrel between the archbishop and king William is now put an end to." The clerk, roused by these words, looked up and opened his eyes, but saw no one. The next night also one of the monks of the same archbishop was standing at his post and chanting matins, when some one held out to him a small paper tc read, on which the monk read the words, " King William is dead." He immediately opened his eyes, but saw no one except his companions. A short time after, two of his monks came to him, and telling him of the king's death, earnestly advised him immediately to return to his see. Of the faults of king William. It was right that king William was cut off by death in the midst of his injustice ; for he was beyond all other men, and always did whatever evil was in his power, following the advice of his evil counsellors. He was a tyrant to his own people, worse to strangers, but worst of all to himself, and annoyed his subjects by continual gelds and tallagies,* whilst he provoked his neighbours by wars and exactions, and England could not take breath under the burdens which he laid upon it. For the king and his servants laid violent hands on everything, creating confusion and destruction on all sides ; their acts of violence and adultery, of fraud and oppression, were such as had never been heard of in former times. This wicked king, hateful both to God and to his people, on the day of his death, held to his own use the arch- bishopric of Canterbury, the bishoprics of Winchester and Salisbury, besides twelve abbacies, which he either sold, or * Customs or imposts.


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