Chapter 16

[ 16 ]

When however with the leadership of divine grace he was rich in the tokens of goodness. that accorded with the strengths of his chronological age. and was copiously gleaming with the zealous exertions of sanctity; the counts. and the leaders of the normans and the bretons of one mind came together as one. and discussed with each other what they should do. Our duke namely rollo who is also known as robert. incessantly exhausted by the great labor of wars. and fatigued by the very many dangers of the heaving sea. and weakened by the hardship of frequent sailing; and worn out by innumerable sleepless nights. and enfeebled by the bruises of very many blows. Drained of strength emptied by infirmity. yea indeed devoured by the long duration of his aged inactivity; he no longer has the strength to aid and support the realm. and to boldly preside over and benefit himself and us. Let us ask whom he himself has chosen as heir to his realm. acquired in battle; and whom he would set over us as a suitable chief. For he has a son descended from an extremely noble race of franks. who is both extremely fine in that his body is animated by invigorating health. and extremely skilful in that his understanding is informed by zealous exertions in very many different matters. whom we should place before us as our duke. and as our patrician and count. with his father's approval. Thus once a resolution concerning this stewardship had been devised. although really due to the controlling clemency of omnipotent god; they came of one mind to robert. wearied by the debility of old age at his residence in rouen. and spoke to him with gentle speech. and lowered face. Mightiest lord duke. you are annoyed by the inconveniences of senile age. and are not able advantageously to succor yourself and us; foreign nations therefore now strike us. and snatch our goods for themselves. Among us division and dueling is active. and comradeship is not steadfast in order that the realm might endure; and therefore the annihilated state is being demolished. We beseech therefore choose someone who might preside over and benefit us. and to whom we might subordinate ourselves with esteem. both so that he might be duke and patrician due a degree of advocacy for us; and so that we might compliantly and personally wage war for him. Then rollo constrained by the extremely humble words of his followers; began with replies of this type. Since you are not ignorant that all good health has been forcibly taken away by old age; and you perceive that I can no longer prevail. nor benefit you. by your resolution and your judgment. let a duke be established for you; who might zealously preside over and benefit you as I have until now. For I have a son arisen from a frankish-born seed of the noblest possible noble breed. whom botho the leader of our household troops has fostered as a son; and has adequately versed in the customs and zealous exertions of warfare. Choose him I beseech as your duke. and protector; patrician and count. Let him wisely succor you in deliberations; and steadily benefit you in battles. Let him protect you from opponents by force of arms. and make uninterrupted peace among you by force of law. It has been said to me that to religious affairs. he wishes to be enslaved; and with changed dress to be bound to things contemplative. Merry then at the import of this reply the counts; replied saying. That man will be a hereditary and meet duke for us; and we will willingly subordinate ourselves to his authority. And we will courteously obey his injunction; and we will make the realm of the frankish nation well-disposed towards him. Moreover the duke merry at the words of his warriors. who approved his own purposes; enjoined botho the leader of the household troops. to bring to him the hope of the people. namely WILLIAM. the young man. To be sure botho swiftly brought WILLIAM to his father. once the leaders of the entire realm had been summoned. Then the kind father lovingly received his dearest scion; and as was right embraced him sweetly; and prophesied that with his spiritual mind. he surpassed not a little the boyhood years.
BOTH WERE REJOYCING. william in the paternal office. And the distinguished father. in william's bountiful actions. This one stooped with debility would rejoyce in the uprightness of the progeny. And the splendid offspring in the father of ancient age. The one soon to ascend to heaven. away from the future martyr. The other to be reborn to the world through his blessed sire. And reflecting sacred embraces with embraces. These men would still taste the kisses of a honey-flowing mouth. Sire and offspring equally manifesting joy; he sat erect.

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