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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 565



him. If you inform him that such is the case, and the king has entered into any unlawful contract with him or any other person, he will leave this point also to the decision and judgment of the church of his dominions. The king further asserts, that he did not compel our father the archbishop of Canterbury to leave the kingdom ; for he left it of his own accord, and he may return to it as freely as he left it, provided always that, whilst he is satisfied on the points which he complains about, he shall on his part observe faithfully the king's royal customs, to which he is sworn ; and if any church or ecclesiastical person can prove that they have been wronged by him or his, he shall be prepared to make compensation according to the judgment of the whole church. This is the answer which we received from our lord the king, who seems mainly to rest his cause upon his willingness to refer every point to the judgment of the church of his dominions. Wherefore we supplicate your excellence, to keep in mind that saying, " A bruised reed shalt thou not break, and smoking flax shalt thou not quench," and moderate, if it so please you, for a time, within the bounds of discretion, that zeal which starts up to avenge every insult done to the church of God, lest, by pronouncing an interdict, or that last sentence of excommunication, you have to grieve that numberless churches are subverted, and so you may alienate altogether the king and numberless other persons with him from your allegiance, which God forbid ! For royal blood will only suffer itself to be overcome when it has vanquished, but is not ashamed to yield when it has gained the victory. W e speak to you thus, foolishly indeed, but in real charity ; for if such should be the termination of this matter that the archbishop of Canterbury lose every thing and content himself with exile, whilst England no longer submits to your authority, it would have been better to have temporized for a while, than to have been a slave to such exercise of severity. For if persecution is not able to separate more of us from your obedience, there will not be wanting some who will bow the knee to Baal, or without regard to religion, accept the pall of Canterbury from the hand of the idol : nor will there be wanting men to occupy our sees, and show their obedience to him with all the devotion of their minds. Many already prognosticate such things,


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