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Vrat Ltrs

3. Hartwig of Magdeburg

Letter 3. (Anti-)Archibishop Hartwig of Magdeburg to King Vratislav To the most glorious lord king V., the most eminent before our emperor in arms and loyalty and—what is more excellent than these—before God in piety, [from] H., by grace of God archbishop of Madgeburg, to be aided by the hand of God and sustained by his arm.1 Ever since we were first inspired by acquaintance with your virtues as if by the sweetest odor, we have ever been seeking an opportunity by which we might prove our zeal with respect to your service. Meanwhile it pleased God, on the merit of those same virtues, to heap help on one that is mighty and exalt one chosen from his people;2 and we, those things revealed to our ears by divine agency, with Samuel filled our horn with the oil of gladness for anointing the one chosen by the Lord above his companions.3 Indeed we were ready, but when not allowed, we thought to handle [it] as unnecessary. But let your dignity know this for certain, that we are not last among those who honor the top of your staff4 and who importune God with constant prayers for the state of your realm. We make known to your excellence that Benno, formerly bishop of Meissen but condemned at the Mainz synod, came to us, asserting himself to be reconciled by the lord pope. We considered it unworthy to pay heed to his words, partly because he brought no sign from the lord pope of certain reconciliation, partly because of your—rather our—Felix, who already succeeded to his see canonically. And now we have heard that this same Benno is attempting through his supporters and by every means to creep into his old see surrepticiously. Wherefore, your providence should try to anticipate him and not yield the horn to the sinner5—lest, with that one who was enthroned on account of your grace being rejected, he who for just reasons was condemned at the Mainz synod be accepted. We sent you the baker, about whom you asked us, together with his instruments and little presents of ours, which are indeed not suited to your dignity but nevertheless are to be weighed against our poverty. For the rest, for your health and for the stability of your realm, raising a prayer up to God, we say constantly: “Lord, save the king; and hear us on the day that we shall call upon you.”6