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vent the growth of children designed for dwarfs, by enclosing them in boxes, or by the use of tight bandages- The sister of one of the Roman emperors had a dwarf who was only two feet and a hand breadth in height. Many relations concerning dwarfs we may look upon as not less fabulous than those of giants. They are, like the latter, indispensable in romances, where their feats, far from being dwarfish, are absolutely gigantic, though these diminutive heroes seldom occupy any more ostensible post than that of humble attendant.
"Fill'd with these views th' attendant dwarf she sends:
(A hugye giaunt stiffe and starke, All foule of limbe and lere;
A mouthe from eare to eare.
Behind her farre away a dwarfe did lag
That lasie seem'd, in being ever last,
Or wearied with bearing of her bag
Of needments at his backe.—Faerie Queene.
The dwarf worked in the tapestry has the name Tvrold placed above him, and seems to have been a dependant of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, William the Conqueror's brother*
* Archaeologia, lvo. xix.
The first negotiations are unsuccessful; more urgent messages are forwarded, and in the end Duke William himself proceeds at the head of some troops to compel the surrender of the prisoner. Count Guy is intimidated, and the object is attained; every stage of these proceedings is depicted on the canvas, as well as William's courteous reception of Harold at his palace.
The portraiture of a female in a sort of porch, with a clergyman in the act of pronouncing a benediction on her, is supposed to have reference to the engagement between William and his guest, that the latter should marry the daughter of the former. Many other circumstances and conditions were tacked to this agreement, one of which was that Harold should guard the English throne for William; agreements which one and all—under the reasonable plea that they were enforced ones—the Anglo-Saxon nobleman broke through. It is said that his desertion so affected the mind of the pious young princess,* that her heart broke on her passage to Spain, whither they were conveying her to a forced union with a Spanish prince. As this young lady was a mere child at the time of Harold's visit to Normandy, the story, though exceedingly pretty, is probably very apocryphal. Ducarel gives an entirely different explanation of the scene, and says that it is probably meant to represent a secretary or officer coming to William's duchess, to acquaint her with the agreement just made relative to her daughter.
* "Her knees were like horn with constant kneeling."
The Earl of Bretagne is at this moment at war with Duke William, and the latter attaching Harold to his party, from whom indeed he receives effectual service, arrives at Mount St. Michel, passes the river Cosno (to which we have before alluded), and arrives at Dol in Brittany. Parties are seen flying towards Rennes. William and his followers attack Dinant, of which the keys are delivered up, and the Normans come peaceably to Bayeux; William having previously, with his own hands, invested Harold with a suit of armour.
Harold shortly returns to England, but not before a very important circumstance had taken place. William and Harold had mutually entered into an agreement by which the latter had pledged himself to be true to William, to acknowledge him as Edward's successor on the English throne, and to do all in his power to obtain for him the peaceable possession of that throne; and as Harold was, the reigning monarch excepted, the first man in England, this promised support was of no trifling moment. William resolved therefore to have the oath repeated with all possible solemnity. His brother Odo, the Bishop of Bayeux, assisted him in this matter. Accordingly we see Harold standing between two altars covered with cloth of gold, a hand on each, uttering the solemn adjuration, of which William, seated on his throne, is a delighted auditor; for he well knew that the oath was more fearful than Harold was at all aware of. For " William sent for all the holy bodies thither, and put so many of them together as to fill a whole chest, and then covered them with a pall; but Harold neither saw them, nor knew of their being there, for nought was shown or told to him about it; and over all was a phylactery, the best that he could select. When Harold placed his hand upon it, the hand trembled and the flesh quivered; but he swore, and promised upon his oath, to take Ele to wife, and to deliver up England to the duke; and thereunto to do all in his power, according to his might and wit, after the death of Edward, if he should live, so help him God and the holy relics there! (meaning the Gospels, for he had none idea of any other). Many cried 'God grant it!' and when Harold had kissed the saints, and had risen upon his feet, the duke led him up to the chest, and made him stand near it; and took off the chest the pall that had covered it, and showed Harold upon what holy relics he had sworn, and he was sorely alarmed at the sight."
** But bloody bloody was the field,
Ere that lang day was done."—Hardyknute.
u King William bithought him alsoe of that
Folke that was forlorne,
In the bataile biforne.
An abbey he lite rere
That there slayn were.
Feffed without fayle,
Abbey of Bataile."
Immediately after the solemn ceremony described in the foregoing chapter, Harold is depicted as returning to England and presenting himself before the king, Edward the Confessor. "But the day came that no man can escape, and King Edward drew near to die." His deathbed and his funeral procession are both wrought in the tapestry, but by some accident have been transposed. His remains