Chapter 37

[ 37 ]

Bernard, however, seeing Osmund in the silence of the dark night, said to him, marvelling: "What's with you, osmund? No good news about my nephew?" And he: "Lord, if I rescue him from the hand of the harsh king, what will you do about him?~" And Bernard: "You, I will exalt, enriched with many offices; you, I will raise high, greatly endowed with benefices. Moreover, I will reinstate my nephew in the hereditary realm of his father, and I will compel the leaders of the Normans and the Bretons to serve him." To these things, Osmund: "At a late hour I secretly carried off your nephew by stealth from Laon, and I have committed him to the occupants of the castle of Coucy, that they might guard him." Then Bernard, more than usually delighted, arose quickly and, with a nimble retinue, hastily hastened to duke Hugh the great. Hugh the great, seeing him, said: "Why have you sped to us so suddenly and so early in the morning?" And he: "Because I come to you for some advice concerning king Louis, who guards my nephew closely and with caution. And if perchance someone were to rescue him from the hands of the king, what kind of assistance might your clemency bestow upon him?" Then Hugh the great: "What king Louis has said is astonishing to everyone. That boy's father was ensnared and slain for his fidelity to the king, and the king himself holds his son a prisoner. Would that someone would rescue him from the king's chains, and bring him to me." And Bernard: "Lord, what will you do if what you have just recounted were performed.~" And Hugh the great: "Indeed, subjugating the Normans and Bretons to him, I will bring it to pass that he shall possess whatever his father held. I will aid him against the king, and help him manfully against Arnulf and all who wait to ambush him." Then, heaping entreaties upon entreaties, count Bernard said, tumbling supplicatingly at his feet: "Mightiest lord duke, don't be angry if I repeat what I want from you. So that I might become full of confidence in your promises, give me, in your compassion, the most complete assurance possible by the promisings of your own words. For I have the boy (so loveable) at Coucy, delivered by Osmund from the treasonous king's imprisonment." Truly the great duke, giving thanks for the rescued boy, said to count Bernard: "So that you might be confidently more at ease concerning the intention of my promise, I will do what you ask for, for you and for him." Truly, he pledged by a bona fide oath of allegiance, his hands placed upon relics which had been carried to him, that he would aid the boy against everyone.


Hugh, mighty and strong and vigorous,
Great and illustrious and deserving,
Magnanimous, good, bountiful,
Wonderful, upright, eminent,
Look, be mindful of your aid,
With the help of honey-flowing goodness,
And recall the aid of uprightness
Which you are accomplishing,
And help, protect, save,
Refresh the deserving boy,
Bringing it to pass that he might
Hold, possess, have what his father held
And that he might rejoice, restored to that place,
Something he unremittingly strives to do.

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