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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 572



A.D. 1169.] THE ARCHBISHOP'S PETITION TO THE KING. 567 ings whereby the intrepid confessor Thomas even now suffered in mind the martyrdom which had not yet reached his body : for, seeing that he, who ought to have been the leader of the church militant, did not oppose himself as a wall in its defence on the day of battle, but turned back like a ram not having horns, he was now destitute of all hope from man, and turned his thoughts to receive comfort from above. He prayed without ceasing for the state of the church, macerating his body by vigils and fasting, praying for those who hated and persecuted him, and with sighs and tears prayed God to preserve the church which he had redeemed and consecrated with his own blood. Who shall declare the sufferings and mental agonies of this man of God, whose father and mother,* brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, clerks and ministers, had been driven into exile on his account ; and himself, so exalted a personage in the church of God, compelled with sorrow to eat the bread of strangers in a foreign land ! But, seeing that no one ever arrives suddenly at perfection, these his sufferings were precursors to strengthen his mind, and enable him to bear injustice, until he should be worthy to receive the honours of martyrdom from the sword's point, because the place of his martyr dom had not yet been appointed to him. The form of petition which Thomas archbishop of Canterbury presented to the king. The same year, within the octaves of St. Martin, by the mediation of the sovereign pontiff, a conference was held at Paris between the kings of France and England, at which the archbishop attended, but without coming into the presence of king Henry. Here, when long time had been spent in trying to reconcile the king and the archbishop, the same archbishop, by the advice of the king of France, his bishops, and nobles, who were present, sent to the king of England the following petition in writing : " W e ask of our lord the king, by the command and with the advice of our lord the pope, that, for the love of God, and of our lord the pope, for the honour of our holy church, and the salvation both of himself and of his heirs, he shall receive into his favour all those who in our behalf, and * This is an error of our author : Becket's father and mother were certainly dead thirty years before this time. See Vita S. Thomœ, passim.


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