Chapter 47

[ 47 ]

     Since, however, the celebrated marquis Richard, that is to say Christ's dove, gleamed (without arousing bitter acrimony) with tokens of every good and kept the area of the Norman and Breton realm both calm and safe from its foes, and no nation dared to lash out against Richardians, the great and marvelous duke Hugh, nearing the end of his days, constrained by the indisposition of his body, said before he passed away to all his assembled warriors: "Although she be of tender age, I have, on your advice, through an oath of fidelity for a future wedding, committed in marriage to Richard, mightiest duke of the Normans, my daughter, whom you must not hesitate to give bountifully to him when she shall be suitable and fit for a husband. Truly let him be the advocate of my wife and my son, while the latter is underage, and may you all adhere of your own accord to his most advantageous advice and commands." Truly, once duke Hugh of the Franks had passed away, of one mind, they all came together to the powerful marquis Richard and placed themselves under the care and deliberation of his patronage.
     Moreover, all would devote themselves voluntarily to his service and would willingly attend him as their very lord. Moreover he would endow them with the very greatest presents and marvelous gifts and would load them with most bountiful beneficia. Moreover they would value him highly with minds full of goodwill and would look upon him with the awe of the very highest reverence. They would humbly submit to his orders and dictates and would obediently obey his instructions. He would rule them carefully, as the head of a household does his slaves, and would nourish them sweetly with benign warmth, as a father does his children. The convenience of the more retired order, which exerts itself in the school of the speculative life, would be judiciously pondered by him, and those things beneficial to the order leading a wider life, which wrestles in the public contest of an active life, would be furnished by his splendor. He would compell the prelates to rule the republic actively and carefully and gently, and he would threaten them and demand that they do no damage to anyone. Truly while duke Richard advantageously ruled almost the whole of Gaul with the sagacious and equitable direction of his laws, the citizens of heaven would rejoice exceedingly, reciting laudations of immense praise to the indivisible Trinity. The whole land would rejoice, shouting to the Lord in delight. All would applaud and give thanks to the all-powerful One in the highest, who bountifully gave them a patrician and duke famous for his augmentation of such goods.
     But the Normans, showing their joy in so great a censor and so great an advocate, and wishing not only to enjoy him in the present but planning also for succeeding generations, came to him so that the glory of a descendant not be lacking from that man and so that they not be defrauded of that man's offshoot in succeeding generations, saying: "It is needful that, in every matter, all the conditions which have been prescribed by the oath of fidelity of a true promise be fulfilled by orthodox persons within the prescribed period of fore-appointed time. Therefore should she be suitable and fit and marriageable, it is worthy that you couple to yourself under matrimonial law the daughter of Hugh the Great, duke of the Franks, that daughter whom, during his lifetime, you ratified through an oath of fidelity was to be joined to you in marriage before the end of an established time be reached. Truly she, a virgin of most elegant mein and appearance, as we have heard, hesitates little to yield to the force of a masculine seed, for she is now fit for the mingling of nuptial marriage and for the appropriate embrace of delightful copulation." Truly Richard, rich in the power of virile fertility, is said to have replied to his followers: "Because it was ratified by a promise that it would be accomplished, it is now according to reason to carry it out. Let whatever is required for the expense of the wedding be immediately prepared, and let a marvelous betrothal gift composition be furnished." Thus, once the band of magnates of the Norman and Breton region had been called together and all the things which were necessary for the nuptual ceremony had been prepared, he becomingly and honorably escorted her, with an incomputable assembly of leaders, to the town of Rouen.


Oh, Norman prelates and warriors,
Inflamed by the fire of lively minds,
Always desirous and needful
Of the hoped-for posterity of a descendant,
No descendant or heir to rule the populace
Will be born to this maiden who is now being conveyed
But, by command of the divine will,
At a future time there will appear a celestial maiden
Of the Dacian race, noble, nourishing,
Beautiful, celebrated and reverend,
Worthy, forechosen and worshipful,
Cautious in deliberation, prudent, discreet,
She alone will the equitable marquis, duke Richard,
Select for himself from among many,
Uniting with her in marriage and, after the alliance has been covenanted,
As time passes to her will be born
The nourishing offshoot of a worthy heir.

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