[3a.51] IN THE NAME OF THE HOLY AND INDIVIDUAL TRINITY. G. count palatine.1
[3a.52] Ranked first in the palace of the earthly prince at counsel concerning the highest affairs and second to none in the order of battle, we should incur a note of infamy and the crime of perfidy, if we would disclose counsel of the prince or turn tail in battle, leaving behind the standards to the enemy. Thus if so much vigilance is necessary for us, lest we procure the offense of the temporal prince or even lest we suffer loss of our reputation, with how much more zeal and caution must we take care, so that we might not incur the anger of the celestial Emperor, lest we might fall under unrecoverable infamy, lest we might be excluded from the consort of the celestial court, expelled by our own fault. Therefore, just as we precede the earthly emperor bearing the sword of empire, thus from the Leader himself, who is the truth and life, we understand we should precede others by the example of good works. Because all ways of the Lord <are> mercy and truth, we then truly tread the royal way, when we pursue works of justice and mercy.
[3a.53] Thus, so that our portion may be in the land of the living, we have regarded with the gaze of piety the tears of widows and the groans of paupers still laboring under the heavy burden of compulsory labor and taxes. And in order to obtain eternal salvation we commute the payments owed, which until now we have required without measure or mercy, into a small and tolerable sum, so that the whole province of N., which has every year paid to us more than two hundred pounds, besides lodging and fodder for horses and dogs and the heavy expenses of hunters, shall henceforth rest free from all obligation for two continuous years. In the third year it shall pay only one hundred pounds.
[3a.54] Those successors to us as palatine counts, if they shall have approved this counsel with us, shall participate with us in eternal reward. If they do not, let they be proscribed from the celestial court, let them be subject to an eternal curse. We strengthen this prerogative with the authority of our seal, lest it be lawful for malicious persons to plot wickedness.
1 The counts of Champagne were regularly styled as 'comes palatinus Trecensis'. See Recueil des actes des comtes de Champagne, 1152-1197 ed. JOHN F. BENTON (typescript 1987).
© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998
Scrineum © Universitą di Pavia 1999