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Vrat Ltrs

6. Monks of Hersfeld

Letter 6. The Monastery of Hersfeld to King Vratislav To the glorious king, [from] the poor and wretched congregation of Hersfeld: would that you might accept its unremitting prayers to God! Having considered your virtues, that with respect to our emperor and the whole res publica you have been faithful, and for that reason God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions,1 we are led in hope to lay bare to you our torments not without some benefit of comfort. For behold this, which you knew and to which you were oftentimes present: worn down little by little from the madness of wartime, we are now altogether reduced to nothing; meanwhile, even as, positioned on the border of both agitated peoples, on both sides we are [exposed] to depopulation. Compelled by this necessity, whatever we found in the treasures of the lord’s house,2 we have now completely used up in bringing comfort to life, while the ark of God, which the kicking oxen had caused to lean3 (that is, the church, which by God’s doing, we serve zealously), we desired to retain, as long as we do not willingly let go of divine guard duty, as long as we do not unwillingly renounce our military service. Therefore, we approach the throne of your grace with confidence, so that we might obtain mercy and by a benefaction of your generosity might find the grace of some supportive help as a monument to your benevolence in the way of opportune aid.4 He is ready to reward this change with a worthy reward, He who also conferred upon you, for your aforesaid virtues, the scepter of a kingdom and a seat of glory, placing help upon one who is mighty and exalting one chosen from his people.5