Harold's response

Kneeling down, Harold placed his hands between those of the Duke, and repeated the solemn form, by which he acknowledged the Duke as his lord, and promised to him fealty and true service. But William exacted more. He had caused all the bones and relics of saints, that were preserved in the Norman monasteries and churches, to be collected into a chest, which was placed in the council-room, covered over with a cloth of gold. On the chest of relics, which were thus concealed, was laid a missal. Harold, once more taken by surprise, and not able to deny his former words, approached the missal, and laid his hand on it, not knowing that the chest of relics was beneath. The old Norman chronicler, who describes the scene most minutely, says, when Harold placed his hand on it, the hand trembled, and the flesh quivered; but he swore, and promised upon his oath, to take Ele (Adela) 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 himself should live: so help him God. Many cried, "God grant it!" and when Harold rose from his knees, the Duke made him stand close to the chest, and took off the pall that had covered it, and showed Harold upon what holy relics he had sworn; and Harold was sorely alarmed at the sight.-- Creasy.

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