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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.2

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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.2
page 240



A .D. 1207.] STEPHEN l.ANOTON. Iiou} pope Innocent .tent letters to the king of V.nglund asking him to receive Stephen Langlon, already consecrated us ar, h/jishop. After this matter was settled, pope Innocent sent letters to the king of England humbly and earnestly asking him to receive with kindness master Stephen Langton, a cardinal priest of St. Chrysogonus, who was canonically elected to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and who tracing his origin from his kingdom, had not only gained the title of master in secular learning, but also that of doctor in theology; and especially since, his life and morals surpassed the greatness of his learning, his character would be of no small advantage to the king's soul as well as his temporal affairs. Having by many arguments of this kind, alike gentle and persuasive, donc his best to induce the king to consent ; he, by letters ordered the prior and monks of Canterbury, by virtue of their obedience, to receive the above-named archbishop as their pastor, and humbly to obey him in temporal as well as shape, number, material, and colour, that you may pay regard to the signification of them rather than to the gift. The rotundity signifies eternity, which has neither beginning nor end. Therefore your royal discretion may he led by the form of them, to pray for a passage from earthly to heavenly, from temporal to eternal things. The number of four, which is a square number, denotes the firmness of mind which is neither depressed in adversity, nor elated in prosperity; which will then be fulfilled when it is based on the four principal virtues, namely,—justice, fortitude, prudence, and temperance. In the first place, understand justice, which is to he shown in judgment ; in the second, the fortitude which is to he shown in adversity ; in the third, prudence, which is to be observed in doubtful circumstances ; nnd in the fourth, moderation, which is not to be lost in prosperity. By the gold, is denoted wisdom : for as gold excels all metals, so wisdom excels all gifts, as the prophet bears witness,1 The spirit of wisdom shall rest upon hini,'&c. There is nothing whieh it is more necessary for η king to possess. Wherefore the peaceful king Solomon asked wisdom only of the Lord, that by those means he might know how to govern the people entrusted to him. Moreover the greenness of the emerald denotes faith ; the clearness of the sapphire hope ; the redness of the pomegranate denotes charity ; and the purity of the topaz good works, concerning which the Lord says, 'Let your light shine,' Sic. In the emerald, then, ou have what to believe ; in the sapphire, what to hope for ; in the pomegranate, what to love ; and in the topaz, what to practise ; that you ascend from one virtue to another till you see the Lurd in /.ion.' When these gifts were brought into the king's presence, he at first was much pleased with them ; but not many days afterwards the pure gold was turned to dross and derision, the jewels into groans, and love into hatred, us the following narrative will show."


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