Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England

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Author: William II

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WILLIAM OF MALMESBURY, Gesta Regum, R. S., Vol. 90, pt. 2, p. 373. World History

71.

Bold Spirit of William II.

But still there are some proofs of noble magnanimity in the king, the knowledge of which I will not deny posterity. As he was once engaged in hunting in a certain forest, a foreign messenger acquainted him that the city of Mans, which he had lately added to his dominions on the departure of his brother, was besieged. Unprepared as he was, he turned his horse instantly, and shaped his journey to the sea. When his nobles reminded him that it Would be necessary to call out his troops and put them in array, "I shall see," said he, "who will follow me: do you think I shall not have people enough? If I know the temper of the young men of my kingdom, they will even brave shipwreck to come to me." In this manner he arrived, almost unattended, at the seacoast. The sky at that time was overcast, the wind contrary, and a tempest swept the surface of the deep. When he determined to embark directly, the mariners besought him to wait till the storm should subside and the wind be favorable. "Why," said William, "I have never heard of a king perishing by shipwreck: no, weigh anchor immediately, and you shall see the elements conspire to obey me." When the report of his having crossed the sea reached the besiegers, they hastily retreated. One Helias, the author of the commotion, was taken; to whom, when brought before him, the king said jocularly, "I have you, master." But he, whose haughty spirit, even in such threatening danger, knew not how to be prudent, or to speak submissively, replied: "You have taken me by chance; if I could escape, I know what I would do." At this William, almost beside himself with rage, seizing Helias, exclaimed: "You scoundrel! And what would you do? Begone, depart, fly: I give you leave to do whatever you can; and by the crucifix at Lucca, if you shall conquer me, I will ask no return for this favor." Nor did he falsify his word, but immediately suffered him to escape.

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Chicago: William, "Bold Spirit of William II.," Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947) (Boston: Ginn, 1935, 1922), 116–117. Original Sources, accessed July 4, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UUAEEECFL2W11AP.

MLA: William. "Bold Spirit of William II." Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, edited by Edward Potts Cheyney (1861-1947), Boston, Ginn, 1935, 1922, pp. 116–117. Original Sources. 4 Jul. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UUAEEECFL2W11AP.

Harvard: William, 'Bold Spirit of William II.' in Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England. cited in 1922, Readings in English History Drawn from the Original Sources: Intended to Illustrate a Short History of England, ed. , Ginn, 1935, Boston, pp.116–117. Original Sources, retrieved 4 July 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UUAEEECFL2W11AP.